Links 3/14/2024

2024’s Water Cooler fundraiser is coming down the home stretch, with 307 donors (goal is 400, so [let me break out my calculator] 76% of goal). Please go straight to the Water Cooler “Donate” link and dig deep. Remember, you are giving back for work I have already done, in 2023. I hope 2024 will be even better! –lambert

* * *
Bumblebees socially learn behaviour too complex to innovate alone Nature. If only humans could do that!

Montana man pleads guilty after creating giant hybrid sheep and selling them for captive hunting: DOJ FOX

Why more CFOs are becoming CEOs FT. So more companies can become like Boeing?


Study highlights effect of aerosols over Asia on Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

Mars Has Unexpected Effect on Earth’s Deep Oceans Newsweek. Original.

Texas wildfire Thursday recap: Smokehouse Creek Fire becomes largest fire in Texas history Amarillo Globe-News

Mass Timber is Great, but It Will Not Solve the Housing Shortage Construction Physics


Covid, 4 years on Eric Topol, Ground Truths

The Majority of SARS-CoV-2 Plasma Cells are Excluded from the Bone Marrow Long-Lived Compartment 33 Months after mRNA Vaccination (preprint) Research Square. N = 19. From the Abstract: “[O]ur studies demonstrate that rapid waning of serum antibodies is accounted for by the inability of mRNA vaccines to induce [bone marrow (BM)] [long-lived plasma cells (LLPC)].” Not an RCP, though (perhaps in this case, it should be?).

* * *
My daughter was ‘poorly’ with cough, two days later she was dead Liverpool Echo. “Her asthma attack, which was triggered by a viral infection, was described by Bethany’s doctor as the most severe asthma attack they had ever seen.” I wonder what virus? ‘Tis a mystery! And where could she have caught it? “She knew people were relying on her for help at the care home.” And the deck: “Bethany would see people who needed kindness, who needed people to stick up for them, and she did it.” So it seems like there’s some sort of selection process going on….

Why are so many young people getting cancer? What the data say Nature. It’s almost as if some system that protected young people against cancer was turned off, simultaneously, in all of them. But why? ‘Tis a mystery!

* * *
“Poor, poor pitiful me”: Was Martin Kulldorff fired by Harvard? Respectful Insolence. These eugenicist creeps are still making bank, too.

Japan’s unions find surprising allies in push for higher pay, work with government, companies Channel News Asia


China makes clean energy the cornerstone of its long-term growth as trade falters S&P Global

China Outpacing U.S. Defense Industrial Base Center for Strategic and International Studies

China’s poker-style game, mentioned at ‘two sessions’, takes Communist Party by storm with players ‘throwing eggs’ South China Morning Post. Guandan.

Poo bags and trackers: Nepal orders new Everest rules Channel News Asia

New Not-So-Cold War

Explosive Secret French Military Report Makes Shocking Admissions: “Ukraine Can’t Win!” Simplicius the Thinker

ISW warns of danger of sudden breakthrough by Russian troops Ukrainska Pravda

‘Days Where We Wouldn’t Even Shoot’: US Vet Fighting in Ukraine Pleads with Congress to Pass Stalled Aid

* * *
Ukraine Hits Third Russian Refinery in Escalating Drone Strikes Bloomberg

Europe’s refineries in demand as Ukraine war boosts oil margins FT

* * *
Claims That Sanctions Hurt Europe More Than Russia Are Wrong Foreign Policy. “A false narrative is being peddled by the Kremlin and its Western friends”, so-called (whose sites presumably we’ll be able to deplatform soon, after the TikTok bill completes its mad rush to Biden’s desk).

Moldova about to escalate tensions with Russia Infobrics


Houthis claim hypersonic missile test success i24

US Army Sets Sail on Some Slow Boats to Gaza (video) What is Going on With Shipping?

* * *
Netanyahu Is Making Israel Radioactive Thomas Friedman, NYT. Let’s hope not literally so.

US trying to overthrow Netanyahu’s government, senior Israeli official says Jerusalem Post. Oh.

* * *
Israel has deliberately starved the people of Gaza Jeffrey D. Sachs, Pearls and Irritations

British lawyer Andrew Cayley to oversee ICC Gaza probe The New Arab

The Caribbean

Haiti crisis boils over, forcing pivot in US policy The Hill

US deploys Marine anti-terrorism unit to Haiti to protect embassy FOX. The deck: “Officials say Port-au-Prince embassy remains open to support ‘peaceful transition of power’.” Oh.

* * *
Jimmy ‘Barbecue’ Cherizier: The former cop-turned-gang leader bringing Haiti to its knees Independent. I’m dubious about this “gang” word I keep hearing — does it mean “cop”? “Statesman”? “Founder”? — but I don’t have good sources on Haiti, at all.

* * *
Analysis: Has Evangelical Aid Contributed to Current Chaos in Haiti? The Roys Report. Throwing a flag on the Betteridge’s Law violation

Haitian Cannibal Gangs Pour Over US Border After Seeing How Fat Americans Are Babylon Bee

Biden Administration

Creators are frustrated but energized as TikTok ban gains momentum TechCrunch

15 CFR § 7.4 – Determination of foreign adversaries Legal Information Institute. In the TikTok legislation, I questioned what “foreign adversaries” were. There’s a list, determined by the Secretary of Commerce, driven by Blob Vibes (“(4) Reports and assessments from the U.S. Intelligence Community, the U.S. Departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security, and other relevant sources“).

* * *
The State of the Union is “Failed” Black Agenda Report

Biden Raved About EVs to the Special Counsel: ‘Damn, They’re Quick’ Heatmap. The deck: “He then made an unspecified ‘car sound.'” “Car sounds” reminds me of this:

Spook Country

Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira agrees to accept 16-year prison sentence ABC. Missed this earlier in the month.

U.S. Government Seeks “Unified Vision Of Unauthorized Movement” The Intercept

The day I realized I was in the wrong place Science for Everyone. Well worth a read. I suppose “citizen scientists” would be guilty of “unauthorized movement” almost by definition.

The Bezzle

California Retail Theft Rings Making Millions Allegedly Just Selling Stolen Goods on Amazon SFist

Bitcoin: The Gambler’s Currency Madras Courier

Digital Watch

AI and the Future of Work Uncharted Territories. “A pretty basic version of a customer service bot has replaced 700 full time agents at Klarna.” Why aren’t we trying to replace Boards and CEOs? A question that answers itself, once asked.

Ownership and Trust – A corporate law framework for board decision-making in the age of AI European Corporate Governance Institute. From the Abstract: “The paper proposes a framework for judicial review of board decisions that have been augmented by an AI.” Why merely “augment”?

* * *
NYU Tandon study exposes failings of measures to prevent illegal content generation by text-to-image AI models (press release) New York University. That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

Google’s Gen AI Search Threatens Publishers With $2B Annual Ad Revenue Loss AdWeek. Outright theft by Google (unsurprisingly, since “original accumulation” of training sets from any and all human-created material is the foundation of the AI project).

* * *
AI safety is not a model property AI Snake Oil. The deck: “Trying to make an AI model that can’t be misused is like trying to make a computer that can’t be used for bad things.”

Whizkids jimmy OpenAI, Google’s closed models The Register

Here’s how AI will empower citizens and enhance liberty FOX


More than 80% of TB patients lack persistent cough, study finds Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Here is what CDC has to say on TB:

What a surprise. CDC’s top symptom doesn’t apply in 80% of the cases, just like Covid, where CDC erases asymptomatic transmission. Since today is my day to be kind, I will simply wonder whether we can zero out CDC’s budget now, instead of my usual position, which is that they should all in the dock at The Hague.

The Final Frontier

Scientists find black hole spaghettifying star remarkably close to Earth

Guillotine Watch

Companies paid top executives more than they paid in US taxes – report Guardian

Class Warfare

Is This What Happens When You Build a Real Social Safety Net, Then Take It Away? NYT. That is, get punished at the polls for gutting universal concrete material benefits? The “real social safety net” was the CARES Act, passed under the Trump Administration. The CARES Act actually reduced poverty. The Democrats dismantled it immediately. So, honestly now, file “Bidenomics” under “The Department of How Stupid Do They Think We Are?”

Part-time jobs, no benefits: The real state of the working class Struggle La Lucha

A splash of cold water Indignity

Pi, pie, and the making of a mathematical star The Daily Edition. Since this is 3.14…

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 After The Ball by Johnny Cash)

    3/13/24 — Putin says “Western elites have spent centuries feasting on human flesh, and stuffing their pockets with cash. They need to understand that this era is ending, that the Vampire’s Ball is over.”

    Colonies for centuries with slaves and bleak despair
    The West has fed on human flesh and cash they never share
    The West took human beings and they always take it all
    Putin says it’s over — the Vampire’s Ball

    The Vampire’s Ball is over, Vampire’s Ball
    The Global South is taking back their own wherewithal
    Their minds have now concluded that the West will steal it all
    Putin says it’s over — the Vampire’s Ball

    (musical interlude)

    Nothing new in his prediction he speaks simple truth
    Economic hitmen are so slick yet so uncouth
    Westerners take everything and what you keep is small
    Putin says it’s over — the Vampire’s Ball

    The Vampire’s Ball is over, Vampire’s Ball
    The Global South is taking back their own wherewithal
    Their minds have now concluded that the West will steal it all
    Putin says it’s over — the Vampire’s Ball

    The Vampire’s Ball is over, Vampire’s Ball
    The Global South is taking back their own wherewithal
    Their minds have now concluded that the West will steal it all
    Putin says it’s over — the Vampire’s Ball

      1. The Rev Kev

        Probably true. Years ago the US Air Force set up some sort of unit that monitored communications around the world. So for their unit patch design, they chose this evil looking octopus with its legs tightly gripping the world and I think that it had head phones on. Embracing the evil.

          1. The Rev Kev

            That’s the one. It has been quite a few years since I saw that image but that is the one. Thanks.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      This guy who used to post on MoonOfAlabama a lot (he left in a tiff and has his own blog) has an interesting theory about that “floating pier” and what it’s really for:

      Gaza crisis cover story

      It’s definitely a preparation for a US military logistics effort. The company is obviously a CIA/Pentagon front.

      He also reasons that the whole Gantz to the WH thing was not to undermine Netanyahoo. That was a cover story. The real purpose was to get US logistics support for a new war with Lebanon.

      His reasoning strikes me as pretty solid.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The reasoning rests on ignoring the reaction to the genocide in the US. Biden clearly expected a rallying around his unsinkable aircraft carrier. He even referred to its passion, but he simply doesn’t get that it’s not going away. This is a stunt. The carriers and existing ports would work for Hezbollah.

        The use of floating ports in the past was due to lack of control of existing ports. Besides ignoring a very large assumption one would need, this is a flaw in the reasoning.

      2. Enter Laughing

        Fogbow, the private company run by ex-military and ex-CIA guys, calls their humanitarian mission in Gaza the Blue Beach Plan.

        Turns out there’s a seaside luxury resort called Blue Beach in northern Gaza. Could it be the planned location of the temporary pier, or is it just clever misdirection?

        1. LawnDart

          Cute, too cute.

          What Is Blue Ocean?
          Blue ocean is an entrepreneurship industry term created in 2005 to describe a new market with little competition or barriers standing in the way of innovators. The term refers to the vast “empty ocean” of market options and opportunities that occur when a new or unknown industry or innovation appears.

  2. Terry Flynn

    I love those few weeks in March when USA has advanced its clocks by an hour but us Europeans haven’t yet. I get my links at 11am GMT.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Until a few nights ago, Links went up at 10 PM but now they are coming up at 9PM so only a few hours to read and comment. But at least it is the quite hours.

      1. Terry Flynn

        I always have to check the Sydney local time when contacting my Aussie friends in March and October. Despite living down under for 6 years I still forget that NSW does not change its clocks on same dates as Europe so there are a few weeks when the time difference is 10 hours, not 9 or 11 like it is for large parts of the year.

          1. The Rev Kev

            In our State we have no daylight savings as it is too close to the equator. Makes things much easier all around except when we have to ring family down south.

          2. ArcadiaMommy

            Live in Phoenix, AZ. The sun would be out until 9PM – no thank you.

            We spend a month in the summer at the beach in southern California. Sunrise is very late.

            While relief from the heat is great, it was harder to put kiddos to be at a reasonable hour (teenagers now out running around with friends so I have to stay up to monitor curfew).

            Business and school hours should adjust to the time change which of course they don’t.

            The three hour time difference with the east coast means you are waking up in the dark.

  3. ChrisFromGA

    The Houthis gaining hypersonic capability seems like a big, bad deal. Like, a dump truck full of nitroglycerin careening down a hill with no brakes bad.

    I doubt they would waste one on a mere cargo ship.

    1. digi_owl

      A few plane loads of sea skimming anti ship missiles will be bad enough, as their artillery rockets and drones already stress those CIWS.

      Potentially Millennium Challenge bad.

    2. DavidZ

      I think it’s wonderful. I get the feeling that if the rest of the world doesn’t want the US attacking them – the best way is to have a few nuclear bombs to lob America’s way.

      I think North Korea has the right idea.

      Not like the USA has made peace with North Korea or Cuba in 40+ years.
      Both are tiny nations, pose almost no harm to the USA.

      Though the US has massively hurt both nations with economic sanctions and (probably unilateral) sanctions by preventing them from participating in International Dollar Trade.

      1. digi_owl

        Because both, Cuba in particular, are reminders to DC that they are not omnipotent.

        Cuba was an offshore, mafia run, speakeasy for the US elite until Castro. A place where they could indulge while keeping up appearance back home.

  4. flora

    File under AI:

    From the Independent about Google’s AI guru Ray Kurzweil

    “In an upcoming book, titled ‘The Singularity is Nearer: When We Merge with AI’, Dr Kurzweil updates his previous predictions and elaborates on how he believes AI technology can transform humans biologically.”

    Which makes me think of the Firesign Theater joke: Alameda freeway, one-half mile.


    A a full length Joe Rogan interview of Kurzweil

    (It’s funny that Kurzweil thinks your smart phone’s software isn’t deliberately designed to listen in on you all the time, and if it is listening in then that’s a flaw in the design. ohh kayyy. / ;)

    1. Terry Flynn

      I remember a few years ago when I realised my phone was spying on me. I was discussing a very specific, but uncommon, but also treatable medical condition afflicting soneone close to our family.

      Within hours my YouTube ads and ads at top of my searches were on this topic. These days I just shrug and have decided it is too late to close the barn door. Though I was amused that (using an online tool that worked for a few years) my deliberately weird searches had convinced the algorithm that I was an elderly female. Now it knows what I had for breakfast. *sigh*

      1. Skip Intro

        We will soon be able to employ AI-based chaff generators, that can discuss/search for various random products/symptoms. Let the race begin.

        1. jsn

          AI : Agnotology Industrialized.

          At logarithmically accelerating speed, turning signal into noise.

      1. cousinAdam

        “I need some gas. Did I pass some?”
        “No, but the Fox did………. “
        Ahh, those high school stoner days!

  5. Lena

    Re: The Social Safety Net / CARES Act

    As a poor person, I will testify that I was better off financially when Trump was president. I had a real safety net for the first time in my life. I realize it was the result of unique circumstances (Covid) but nevertheless the concrete material benefits were there for me and millions of others. It was amazing how quickly the Democrats ripped them away, leaving us stranded. The way they gutted help for children was particularly telling. Now they say, vote for us, Trump is dangerous. I say (family blogging) you.

    1. griffen

      Biden and the Democrats are “fighting for” more money for Ukraine and Israel but your above anecdote is likely repeated all over this “exceptional” country. Added note, some measure of material help should be available direct to Americans but I don’t have the resources for an eponymous foundation to make that happen.

      Politicians really are just empty vessels after all. Just look at my senior senator from South Carolina, one of a multitude of examples.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      The real purpose of the CARES act was to bail out big corporate interests. Airlines that were run by gangster CEO’s spent the 2010’s paying dividends and doing share buy-backs. Instead of strengthening their balance sheets during the good times, they loaded up with debt. COVID probably would have bankrupted a couple of them, except for the virtually zero percent interest loans that the CARES act granted them. And the clauses to prevent mass layoffs were easily evaded.

      Similarly, there was a clause allowing the Fed to backstop corporate debt, something that had never been done before and was black-letter law illegal.

      The corporate bailouts had their effect, keeping zombie entities like American Airlines and Carnival Cruise lines from having to restructure in bankruptcy court. Such a scenario would have hurt the owners more than the rank and file, as bankruptcy wipes out equity holders but the company can survive and even thrive after shedding debt.

      Even the PPP was a hidden bailout for banks, as had a lot more small businesses gone bankrupt, any loans they had outstanding would have been fair game to be written off.

      On the other hand, the social safety net measures such as extended UE and the gig workers being allowed to file for UE, were sunsetted.

      TL;DR: I agree with your last sentence.

    3. DavidZ

      So I wasn’t following this debate very carefully at the time.

      So I tried doing a search for why the child care and money to family with kids was not renewed (which I think should have been). Just as a FYI,
      – Biden actually increased the money for kids and
      – reduced the barriers so all families with kids could get the money

      vs. what Trump had passed

      From what I can see – Joe Manchin blocked it from approval in the senate – and So did each and every Republican Senator. NOT ONE republican senator stepped forward to renew the money for children.

      So sure – it’s easy to say – Biden & Democrats failed, yes because they are in the administration – the failure was also of all of the Republicans who couldn’t be bothered to step forward – All 49 of them.

      Why? – because deficits!

      1. Lena

        I was following the debate very carefully. Biden didn’t fight for poor children at all. He put forth something that was meant to fail, then watched the staged show from the White House.

        As for Joe Manchin, he played his designated role as ‘One Bad Apple’ thus enabling Democrats to stick it to the poor yet again. If it hadn’t been Manchin, it would have been one of his stand-ins: Carper, Coons, Hassan, Shaheen, Tester. They were waiting in the wings, ready to be called on if necessary.

        1. John

          but there is never enough for “defense”, the MICIMATT. Cue chin-stroking… we shall have to cut social security and medicare to fund the production of combat ready toilet paper for Ukraine (which one of my good friends just happens to produce)

          there is a housing shortage, or so they say, but how many houses and apartments stand vacant so vultures can feast on rising rents and crapification of the properties.

          yeah, neo-liberal financialization has produced a ‘marvelous’ economy… for some … not so much for the majority. but don’t be a whiner “our democracy” is strong and we are standing on the walls against barbarism … or something like that

          1. cousinAdam

            So much of the pre-owned housing is off the market because it needs often major repairs- many were sub prime foreclosures, don’t forget. Do you think the PE and hedgie owners know how to pick up a wrench and fix a toilet? I’ve done a bit of property management work in my time and can say unequivocally that good “fixits” can name their price or turn down work that looks like a can of worms. Sadly I don’t see the current fat cat owners becoming “motivated sellers” anytime soon. Maybe if insurers stopped writing coverage for fire on unoccupied properties? Just a thought….

      2. upstater

        Didn’t Jayapal agree to separate social spending from the BBB and infrastructure bills? It seemed engineered to fail, like most democratic efforts. Next up failures: raising marginal income taxes and capital gains for the rich.

    4. Lena

      I want to add that I am under no illusions that Trump is a ‘nice guy’ who cares about the poor. I won’t be voting for Trump or Biden in November. I may vote 3rd party or may not vote at all.

      1. DavidZ

        People should vote how they want.

        Though considering everything, IMO,
        – republicans are highly unlikely to pass future child cash payments,
        – third party candidate – will not have the votes in congress / senate to do much.
        – democrats are more likely to get it done.

        Even if democrats come into power
        – people should always write a letter to their congress person & senator & president to tell them exactly what they want. At least once a year. Civic duty just like voting. Probably the best $5 one could spend in a year.
        – go out and protest for what you want, stand up, make a fuss; one weekend a year. The other 51, go chill with your friends.

        1. ajc

          I too am a member of the US Activist Reserves.

          It really helped me find a balance grinding away at a job eating up all the meaning in my life and my desire to be a condescending lib without any cred or bona fides.

          One weekend a year I go out and do a highly ineffective peace march that has all the proper permits and the occasional news camera. This way I can eat brunch without the thoughts of Palestinian parents carrying the remains of their children in plastic shopping bags intrude and ruin my ability to savor, well, it looks like bangers and mash this weekend. Happy St. Paddy’s Day.

          1. DavidZ

            to Lena
            – it’s not a joke.
            – do you have a solution?

            to ajc – good snark
            – do you have a better solution or other actual things to do that could achieve things?

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              “actual things to do that could achieve things”

              Do and do wrong;
              hold on, and lose.
              Not doing, the wise soul
              doesn’t do it wrong,
              and not holding on,
              doesn’t lose it.

              Tao te Ching #64 (Le Guin rendition)

              Has Lao Tzu’s advice ever been better tuned to the times? Act wrong, and you may well contribute to a worse outcome than if you had simply watched, waited, concentrated on discerning just where the cosmos is headed.

              Can you keep the deep water still and clear,
              so it reflects without blurring?

              Tao te Ching #10 (Le Guin rendition)

              If you can think of no better action than voting for Democrats, then that’s a powerful argument that now is a time for non-ado.

            2. Mark Gisleson

              DavidZ, it’s not a joke that your elected officials will never ever see your list, a list of stats derived from such letters, or even a word of caution from the intern sorting the letters into unread piles.

              NO member of Congress or their staffs care about you. If you personally visit, you will be treated nicely because you’re potential donor (you had the money to come to DC in person, surely you want to make a campaign donation?).

              I also have no clue why you think a letter costs $5 to mail.

              Not joking and yes, I have boatloads of solutions. Most everyone does but if those solutions don’t make the right people rich(er), Congress won’t vote for those solutions. (I mean how hard is it to raise the minimum wage?)

              Solutions not the problem. Congress/White House/Judiciary/billionaires are the problem.

            3. bobert

              “do you have a solution”

              This is a fallacious response. Empty moralizing. Lena and ajc needn’t have solutions at hand in order to point out that the Democrats won’t lift a finger to help. It’s comparable to someone pointing out that there is a fire and being told “Well, are you a firefighter?”

              The fact is there is no solution. We are ruled by liars, thieves and killers. Things will get worse. Resistance is being criminalized. No amount of gumption or positive thinking will stop what’s already in motion.

              1. hk

                I agree with the premise, although I’m not sure if I agree with the implication you are drawing.

                In a society with a functional government, the people should not be afraid to say that they see problems. It’s not their job to propose solutions–that’s why there’s a government, in theory.

                When there are those who intimidate and shame the people for saying that there are problems, those are signs that something’s wrong. If it is the government that’s doing it, that means that that government should be overthrown.

            4. bum

              Young people just came out in record numbers calling their congressman to not pass the tiktok ban that just passed, putting pressure on your representative to actually represent the interests of their constituency is a laughable suggestion, which is why people are laughing at you.

              My solution would be the old hits , direct action, illegal and inconvenient protest , building parallel institutions. I don’t see how rewarding the Democrats abhorrent behavior with a vote is good for anyone but them.

              1. John

                Congress is simply emulating the stance of the German foreign minister who said it did not matter what the German people wanted, the government was going ahead with their plans.

                Besides the poor dears are scared. Pity them … then vote them out of office.

              2. steppenwolf fetchit

                I heard on the news that the young people came out in response to a mass blast message from TikTok to all their devices. The Representatives decided to take that as a ” TikTok influence operation” showing the kind of other “influence operations” TikTok” would carry out unless stopped by divesting or banning.

                So it is not that they didn’t listen. They listened and rejected for conspiracy-theory based paranoia reasons.

                Now, if enough people tell the DemParty Senators that permitting the “ban TikTok” bill to pass will cost Biden the youth vote and therefor the election, will the Senators defeat the bill? Is it worth a try?

            5. Pat

              DavidZ, one thing about this group you should understand is that they have been paying attention for a very long time and that means most have very few illusions left about how things really work in Washington not to mention with how approved methods of contact and protest have been corrupted.

              Here is something for you to chew on, advancement in Congress is determined by donor outreach. They have no such requirements for constituent outreach and support. The longest serving members know that constituent service can provide job security and even more, but that is old school. Most of the younger Democratic members think it wastes their time, I mean what are the constituents going to do -vote for Republicans? Donors can hurt you, voters not so much. So every few years they list all the times they fought for voters, never succeeding but hey they showed up for the faux vote.

              But once again that got Trump elected. And hey it will probably get him elected again. But never ever will they listen to their constituents, letters and protests included.

              1. lyman alpha blob


                It was about twenty years ago that I attended a forum about George W’s illegal spying on USians, and on the panel of speakers was our Democrat House Rep at the time, Tom Allen, who encouraged us all to write to our congressperson to express our dissent. The audience was full of very active political people, so I told Allen that many if not most of us in attendance had already done so, on this any many other issues, and never gotten the response we’d asked for. I suggested that the way to go was not writing letters, but voting Olympia Snowe, the Republican senator at the time, out of office. She was up for re-election that year and had a Democrat opponent for the Senate – not a strong candidate, but a Democrat and member of Allen’s party nonetheless. I asked Allen straight up if he would commit to the audience at hand that he would do everything in his power to make sure this Democrat challenger from his own party got elected over Olympia Snowe.

                He would not say “yes”. And he was one of the better Democrats.

                During the day, the differences between the parties are all for show. At night, they all go to the same cocktail parties – the ones we in the general public aren’t ever invited to.

            6. Anonymous

              Yes. Poison all the political fundraising dinners for all GOP and Democrats candidates and officeholders Use a slow acting poison to ensure they all get a deadly dose before it’s noticed.

              I’m sure that Russians still have a supply of apparently not that deadly Novichok to contribute for this project.


            7. zach

              I’m with you DavidZed, and not just because I start where you end. Don’t let the downers get you down. If useless action is your only recourse, by all means use it – one might argue (not me personally, but another one maybe) that kind of devotional effort is the foundation of all religions.

              Or, if the idea of higher power rankles, as my physical therapist instructed me – do that ’til it’s not fun anymore.

              Fortunately, and regrettably, I also agree with Laozi, though I’m not sure I agree with Henry Moon Pie.

        2. cfraenkel

          Re third party candidate: Remember Aesop’s King Log.
          If nothing else, it also chips away at the entrenched power structure. It’s been overturned before, it can happen again, when enough people get pissed off.

        3. jhallc

          I wrote my congresswoman here in MA to support voting against any aid for Israel or Ukraine. Here is the response I got two weeks later, from probably an intern:

          “Thank you for reaching out to my office with your concerns regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

          As a mother, each day has brought new heartbreak from the tragic, unnecessary suffering and death of innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza, including women and young children. An immediate stop to the fighting – a ceasefire – negotiated and agreed to by both the Israeli government and Hamas is desperately needed to halt the bloodshed, ensure the immediate release of Israeli hostages, surge humanitarian support for Palestinians in Gaza, and return to the hard work of achieving a viable two-state solution in the region.

          I recognize the challenges in this effort. Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that has repeatedly stated its goal of eliminating Israel as a nation, must agree. So too must Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his far-right government, who have repeatedly ignored pleas from the Israeli people, including families of hostages still held by Hamas, to negotiate a ceasefire that would allow for the remaining Israelis in captivity to come home. I am grateful the Biden administration has been working tirelessly toward this goal for months, and I encourage the President and his team to redouble their efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire as soon as possible.

          Israel has been an important ally and partner to the United States for generations. I will continue to support their right to protect the Israeli people from the threat of terrorist organizations like Hamas that have no interest in governing Gaza and securing a prosperous future for its people. However, Israel’s right to defend itself, like any nation, is not without bounds. The current situation – the deaths of thousands of innocent Palestinian families – is unacceptable, and it must stop without delay. Only then can we begin the difficult work of ushering in a new era of peace.

          Again, thank you for contacting our office. I always appreciate hearing from you and hope you will continue to share your views with my office. If we can ever be of future assistance to you, please do not hesitate to email us at or call my office at 978-549-0101. To receive regular updates on my work, you can subscribe to my newsletter through my website and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Threads.”

          Trying to break through the AIPAC/donor lobby that they need to get re-elected isn’t gonna happen.

          1. Anonymous

            Thanks for trying. I don’t think even telling them that you will do everything possible to prevent everyone you know from voting for them and will fundraise for their opponents will make a difference.

            If they lose an election with AIPAC backing, they can comfortably fall into a lucrative nowork lobbyist, think tank, or corporate job. If they buck it they get redistricted out and becomes a nonperson like Dennis Kucinch.

            But I guess squirming and blaming Netanyahu when 90 percent of the Jewish Israeli population is just as genocidal is some kind of progress. Maybe she’ll even be willing to publicly admit that Palestinians are human after she retires from Congress.

          2. Not Qualified to Comment

            I would bet real money that if you responded to that letter with something along the lines of: “Please let me know, with examples, what supports your assertion that “Israel has been an important ally and partner to the United States for generations”,” the answer would be silence.

          3. TimH

            I wonder what your MA congresscritter’s response would be to pointing out that Hamas which she calls a “terrorist organization” was funded by Bibi.

        4. spud

          is this from the babylon bee?

          “Even if democrats come into power
          – people should always write a letter to their congress person & senator & president to tell them exactly what they want. At least once a year. Civic duty just like voting. Probably the best $5 one could spend in a year.
          – go out and protest for what you want, stand up, make a fuss; one weekend a year. The other 51, go chill with your friends.”

          now reality,

          bill clinton said we have no where to go, and the democrats still believe it.

          Is the US a Failed State? Countries who let an oligarchy develop end up pushing their own economies into obsolescence and a kind of dark age. It’s policy, and most of all, it’s the policy of the Democratic Party

          President Biden says that he wants the future to re-industrialize. He realizes that ever since the Clinton administration, the Democratic Party has been solidly behind de-industrializing the United States

          the real objective of de-industrialization from Clinton on, was an anti-labor policy, because de-industrialization meant essentially lowering employment, and thereby lowering the demand for labor, and lowering the wages

          when Clinton came in later, he wanted to deregulate the economy and he wanted free trade, for basically, corporations to de-invest from the United States, and invest abroad, and hire low wage labor. He pressed to accept China into the World Trade Organization in 2001, and that’s basically the Democratic Party program today, to fight against labor, and reduce its wages, and favor Wall Street. Obama typified this.

          “You can’t have both. You can’t have a class war against labor and reindustrialization, with the labor unionization that goes with it. That’s the conundrum. So when Biden talks about, we at the Democratic party want to re-industrialize, there’s no way that his policies can possibly permit any real re-industrialization to occur.”

          Is the US a Failed State?

          By Michael Hudson

      2. Lee

        From Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal p. 186:

        Those who still care about the war of the Rs and the Ds, Dion writes are practicing “political rituals that haven’t made sense since the 1980s, feathered tribesmen dancing around a god carved out of a tree stump.” From Marc Dion’s news article ‘A Sicker Fall River Eases Its Pain by Getting High.’ Fall River Herald News, October 4, 2015.

      3. Turtle

        I’m definitely voting third-party here. I’m just waiting to see the final list of candidates in my state to then research and decide. I already voted against Biden in the primary in my deep blue state. In fact, I’ve voted against the front-runner in the last several primaries and third-party in the last few main elections.

        I know my votes are just a drop in the bucket, but I can only hope that more people would do the same to at least show our displeasure. However, I totally understand anyone feeling that it has absolutely no effect on the outcome.

    5. earthling

      Neither party is worth a flip. But yes, after Trump my taxes got simpler. And I stopped having to pay a $4000 tax/fine to not be coerced into buying an Obamacare policy with a $7900 deductible.

      Biden has done one useful thing, allow there to be a real antitrust regulator for the first time in decades. Now they are shutting that down–it was probably all done to scare donors into digging deeper.

      How sad that Trump had no skills in public administration, he could done some useful things. But, just a disorganized loudmouth. Now we have a president who is a senile puppet. Ladies and gentlemen, the cream of 300 million people, these two.

    6. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, under liberal Democrats we’ve had the largest increase in childhood poverty in history, with the expiration of the CARES act. These people really are scum. Now they have Harris going to an abortion clinic, because apparently Democrats care about women’s health after 60 years? Sure.

    1. cfraenkel

      I dunno – a fool could never be this consistently, willfully evil. I couldn’t read to the end of that.

  6. digi_owl

    Whenever the AI in management topic comes up, i think about the original Connections series. Where in one episode Burke mused about the possibility that the executives would sit around waiting to for the computer in the basement (70, remember) would barf out the corporate agenda for the next quarter or some such.

  7. griffen

    Breaking news today on CNBC, former Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin reports he is working on a plan to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, and establish the social media platform as a wholly owned US business. I’ll guess Mnuchin is one of many power movers considering this.

    He’s then going “Fight Club” mode and not talking any further about it, except to add that it won’t be a single individual that buys the company.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Owners probably will be Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai and Bill Gates


    2. flora

      So the moral panic was created to enable a hostile takeover by a favored guy, eh? No corruption there. Nope. / ;)

    3. TomDority

      Congress sworn to uphold the constitution is now proposing what amounts to limits on 1st amendment for us smurfs to choke on. Complete bi-partisan idiocy. It shows a cowardice unequalled in US history… a complete distrust in having an informed citizenry and to control what people can know or who can associate with whom. What an abysmal abdication of office to the already long string of events … this, no doubt, is being helped along with AI and looks to me as a serious furtherance a fascist and authoritarian designs.
      I thought the only true defense for a democracy was an informed citizenry – obviously our elected are too busy with their own aggrandizement and self interest — why else would they violate their oaths and the constitution if their interests were not opposed by the very document they pretend to support.
      It, along with imperialist over-reach and support for genocide is just sickening.
      Follow the money

  8. digi_owl

    “AI safety is not a model property AI Snake Oil. The deck: “Trying to make an AI model that can’t be misused is like trying to make a computer that can’t be used for bad things.””

    Something they have been trying to build for decades now, thanks to the net enabling the OS and hardware to “attest” that they are “safe” to third parties.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Good reminder. I’ll also throw in the Episode of Black Mirror called “Metalhead” which has robot dogs with inbuilt guns. As someone who generally isn’t a fan of horror or horror-adjacent stuff (with a few notable exceptions) I found this both mesmerising and terrifyingly predictive.

    1. cfraenkel

      Just remember – any time you see a discussion about ‘AI safety’…. just replace every mention of ‘AI’ with ‘corporation’ and you haven’t changed the meaning.

      1. digi_owl

        Good point. We are effectively living in a paperclip maximizer scenario if one consider a corporation AI.

  9. SocalJimObjects

    Banning TikTok. The ban is pretty easy to circumvent since you can just install the APK directly? I am also pretty sure this will be another move that will backfire because the Chinese will now be motivated to develop their own app stores.

    1. digi_owl

      They already have. Huawei has a whole ecosystem set up in China already.

      Also, TikTok have a website.

      1. vao

        You should have a look at the proposed law. It is quite explicit and comprehensive:

        The term ‘‘foreign adversary controlled application’’ means a website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application that is operated, directly or indirectly (including through a parent company, subsidiary, or affiliate), by [follows a long list of targets, starting with TikTok and ByteDance]…

        Notice that the law is general enough to target any Internet company proposing an Internet service, except…

        The term ‘‘covered company’’ does not include an entity that operates a website, desktop application, mobile application, or augmented or immersive technology application whose primary purpose is to allow users to post product reviews, business reviews, or travel information and reviews.

        Do I smell a safe harbour for some successfully lobbying group here?

  10. Samuel Conner

    > Montana man pleads guilty after creating giant hybrid sheep and selling them for captive hunting: DOJ

    I just hope no-one starts hybridizing pigs and chimps. That doesn’t seem to have worked out so well the first time.

    1. nycTerrierist

      couldn’t bear to read that article – I hope they threw the book at that sick creep
      — or better yet, sell him for parts

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Netanyahu Is Making Israel Radioactive”

    Not just Netanyahu but Israel itself as two thirds of them back his actions. The past few nights when I turn on the TV, I wonder who the Israelis have murdered now. Tonight it turns out to be one of the few aid centers still working where they bombed it killing and wounding a whole bunch of people. The Israelis claimed that there was a Hamas commander there but we all know that they are full of bs. And on the same news they reported how Israel deliberately targeted a marked bunch of journalists last October because, well, they were a bunch of journalists. Gunna lay out a bet now that when this war is over, that Israel will claim that they were the real victims in this war and that is the line that they are going to run with.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Rev.

      The BBC has been at it, especially this week. Yesterday evening, two music festival attendees captured and released were interviewed. One does not wish them harm, but it was implied how much they are like Britons and unlike Palestinians. The same bulletin featured today’s announcement for the Glastonbury music festival line up.

      That Israeli festival is an annual event at the community by the prison camp known as Gaza. What do festival attendees, many of whom are from the west, make of that? Did they not expect the captives to make a break?

      UK local authorities are on notice to provide for Israeli refugees and to prioritise them over Ukrainians.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thank you Colonel. But eventually the Emperor’s new clothes will be exposed. It might start with little things (like certain sporting restrictions on Apartheid South Africa) – I’m thinking Eurovision (we’ve already had rumblings there – albeit not perhaps in the “right” way).

        This “different reality” is increasingly getting challenged by people on the ground. In my ultra marginal constituency don’t attempt to drum up support by mentioning Israel. It’s the ecinomy, stupid…. To coin a phrase.

        You can’t fool all of the people all of the time. But what partly worries me is that until 1997 the BNP got a non-trivial vote at general elections and those supporters are still alive. I absolutely don’t want our local MP to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism. People need to defend our jews but be ready to criticise the terrible atrocities in the middle east (conducted by extremists on all sides).

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Terry.

          I agree with you about the economy being the driver, but hear not much less about the culture war.

          If one has a look online, one would be surprised at the, er, respectable and relatively well known types expressing sympathy with the likes of Kelvin MacKenzie, a sort of proxy for the BNP.

          With regard to the Middle East, I’m not sure I want the gung ho types with British passports back.

        2. cfraenkel

          conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism.

          That horse left the barn a long time ago, at least on this side of the Atlantic. AIPAC, university admins, the MSM has long tarred any criticism of Israel as anti-semitic.

          Here in BC, we recently had a Jewish Minister forced to resign because of disparaging remark about Palestine, and there’s been an uproar about the ‘anti-semitic’ government not protecting Jewish sensibilities, when as best as can be seen by published info, all the Premier did was request his party to refrain from commenting on the Gaza war as being not directly relevant to the day to day governing of the province.

          “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ “

          1. Terry Flynn

            I wish I could identify a case to counter you. But I can’t. Our Leader of His Majesty’s opposition was the Director of Public Prosecutions for the UK. He did admirable stuff to counter big business.

            Now I predict he will win the next General Election by default with total implosion of the Conservative Party, proceed to show how totally morally and intellectually bankrupt the Labour Party is, and in short order give us a Reform Party govt with a certain Nigel Farage as Prime Minister.

            For anyone who thinks I’m wearing a tinfoil hat, let me refer you to all the appearances of a certain Boris Johnson as “comedy gold” on Have I Got News For You, shown on BBC1. We are up a certain creek without a certain instrument. BTW is anyone else finding that SwiftKey is now utterly rubbish? I have to correct virtually every word. It’s now a Microsoft product…..

      2. Feral Finster

        Ukrainians will doubtless be encouraged to return home to the loving embrace of the military commissars.

        1. jrkrideau

          I was thinking they could return home via Belarus. Then, some might want to return to the former Eastern Ukrainian oblasts of Donetsk, or maybe Kherson with a shiny new Russian passport.

    2. pjay

      Our National Security Establishment is desperately trying to get rid of Trump, and it is desperately trying to support Israel while pretending to scold it. But one parallel I see between Trump and Netanyahu is that both say the quiet parts out loud and force the curtain open so much that it makes gaslighting and propaganda difficult. And increasingly, it is gaslighting and propaganda that is holding our whole sad system together.

    3. ChrisFromGA

      Benjamin’s uptight
      His slaughter’s unattractive
      Turn him off tonight
      Cause Bibi’s radioactive

      There’s an Israeli fight
      They kill their own captives
      Turn the IDF loose tonight
      Cause Bibi’s radioactive

      I won’t want to stay with you
      Homie don’t want to play with you, Bibi
      Why can’t this go away, real slow
      And I want you … to go

      Got to concentrate
      Til Hamas is inactive
      Houthis join the fight!
      Now Israel’s radioactive

      I won’t want to stay with you
      Homie don’t want to play with you, Bibi
      Why can’t this go away, real slow
      And I want … you to go

      Got to concentrate
      Populace subtractive
      Joe’s ratings are a losing sight
      Cause now he’s radioactive

      Don’t you stand, stand too close … you might catch it!

  12. Jake

    SXSW Interactive (the tech part that’s the weekend before the music) has always felt like a huge joke. You get these tech people all running around yanking each other’s chains thinking they are really cool, and then the regular people start showing up and laughing at them. Last year it was crypto to the max, or was that the year before? So good to here the AI people are getting booed. “AI is here, get used to it.” is exactly what they were saying about crypto.

    1. digi_owl

      I keep trying to nail down when i first heard about that event, and i suspect it was around 2006-2007.

      And i keep coming back to 2007-2008 as some kind of inflection point. As if the subprime set the world down a different path than was being envisioned just a couple years before. And ever since people has gotten ever more shrill in their ongoing attempt at maintaining a lifestyle built on sand and can kicking.

    2. Jake

      And very interesting, for me at least, none of the xitter link in the article are working anymore. Maybe it’s just my internet but wouldn’t be surprised if Elon is blocking links about this.

    1. digi_owl

      Extra fun when the claimed leader is an ex-cop, as the old snark is that the cops are the biggest gang around.

      1. IMOR

        Wasn’t snark 30 years ago- in the most populous state, they boasted they were the biggest blue gang.

  13. Wukchumni

    I was giving some thought to a couple of countries with populations around 10 million, one has a right-wing gang leading it, while gangsters seem to have the upper hand in the other country.

    Tonton Netanyahu (with assistance from Uncle Gunny$ack) was fond of exclaiming ‘You Likud me, you really Likud me!’

    Haiti was only close alphabetically…

  14. Mangelwurtzel

    Re: the paper discussing the impact of Asian aerosols on the AMOC, I am reminded of the recent publication of Hansen et al, Global Warming in the Pipeline (11/23). But the Hansen paper seems to be drawing the opposite conclusion – global elimination of sulfur-containing bunker fuels is causing a large reduction in aerosols, which is driving more heat gain in the atmosphere – which is leading to possible weakening of the AMOC. Does anyone have any insight into these possibly contradictory findings?

    1. DavidZ

      I guess it depends on the aerosol.

      SO2 – causes heat and light to bounce back into space.

      Other aerosols – say dust (brown), car/truck pollution (carbon black) – would retain heat, so a reduction in these would be good.

      A lot of the pollution in China/Asia is because a lot of the manufacturing has moved there. Reduce demand for goods > reduce pollution. Maybe the US & Western nations can get their populations to buy less crap?

      Of course Yves I think has pointed out – what about income for people; good point, encourage people to purchase services – dance performances, music performances, sports, massages, physiotherapy/exercise, park / forest maintenance & creation. Services use a lot less energy and produce loads less pollution
      e.g. – use daylight instead of tennis matches in the middle of the night, that will reduce energy use.
      – use outdoor performance spaces instead of indoors

  15. DJG, Reality Czar

    Just received and marked my absentee ballot. Cook County isn’t exactly Johnny on the spot, what with the Illinois primary falling next Tuesday, 19 March.

    Saint Joseph’s Day, hmmm, who, as the Father of God, may have some doubts about warmongers and torturers. And, yes, I’ll have a zeppola.

    I will take the ballot to the central post office tomorrow, Friday, morning to make sure that it is franked properly. According to the directions, if postmarked before 19 March, it has to be counted. But it is highly unlikely that the ballot will arrive in Chicago by 19 March from the Undisclosed Region of the “Soft Underbelly of Europe.”

    I may have to attach a jar of one of our local folkloric products, Nutella, to speed the mails.

    I voted in the Democratic presidential primary for Marianne Williamson, who was still / is still on the ballot.

    Yet neither the Williamson nor the Howard Philips campaign ran delegates: All of the delegate selections are for Biden. So someone isn’t a serious politician, eh, Williamson / Philips?

    Nevertheless, after some discussion among the commentariat here at Naked Capitalism, I’m going to be working a line of self-defense: I won’t vote for Trump or Biden. Hey, kids, it really is okay to vote for the (mild) dissident or for another party. I’m leaning toward Jill Stein in the fall general election.

    1. EMC

      I too cast a primary vote for Marianne Williamson. At least she retains some shreds of humanity. I’ve voted for Jill Stein in the past. My strategy for the general is to get out of the country for October and November.

  16. Alice X

    ~Pi, pie, and the making of a mathematical star

    Happy Pi day, here’s another piece from the NYT (one of the occasional pieces that maybe proves somewhat that my subscription is not a worthless cause).

    Pi Day: How One Irrational Number Made Us Modern

    The famous mathematical ratio, estimated to more than 22 trillion digits (and counting), is the perfect symbol for our species’ long effort to tame infinity.

    Modern, yeah right, now back to thoughts of Armageddon.

    1. Lee

      It appears that Hippasus may have paid with his life for his discovery that pi was an irrational number.

      Irrational numbers
      Hippasus is sometimes credited with the discovery of the existence of irrational numbers, following which he was drowned at sea. Pythagoreans preached that all numbers could be expressed as the ratio of integers, and the discovery of irrational numbers is said to have shocked them. However, the evidence linking the discovery to Hippasus is unclear. Wikipedia

      BTW, for those without a subscription the NYT the article can be read here:

    2. Janie

      Our Oklahoma City Northwest Classen High School, 1956, honor math club had a cheer: secant, tangent, cosine, sine – three point one four one five nine.

  17. Alice X

    ~Israel has deliberately starved the people of Gaza – Jeffrey D. Sachs,

    Short but so much to the point, I’d like to have a transcript.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You will find the transcript immediately below that video. Saw this video coupla days ago and Sachs is calling it what it is.

    2. Maria

      If I know how to make a strikethrough letter S,

      STop the Nazis would be an appropriate comment here.

      1. Martin Oline

        The symbol for less than, followed by s, followed by the symbol greater than. Enter the letter to strike and end with same formula but with a / before the s.

      2. Alice X

        HTML text formatting

        It won’t let me show the code and an example is not given in the link above but simply use “s”
        instead of the letters shown other examples.

        “s in between hair pins This text is struck through – slash s in between hair pins”

        This text is struck through

  18. JP

    CFO’s Becoming CEO’s:

    I am reminded of the time my fellow engineer and myself were caught at the foot of the stairs in our manufacturing facility by the new CFO. He complained about all the money being spent on materials and asked how we could reduce those costs. My partner drily suggested that if he would stop sales from selling stuff then manufacturing wouldn’t have to make anything and we would’nt need any materials.

  19. Ghost in the Machine

    The data Eric Topol cites suggests the vaccines are quite beneficial in lowering the percentages of long term consequences of Covid.

    1. britzklieg

      “suggests” is a weasel word, not unlike the word “vaccine” as applied to this mRNA experiment that was shoved into everyone’s arm without adequate research and testing behind it.

    2. Laura in So Cal

      After IMDoc’s comments about the inaccuracies in the system about Covid vaccination status, I don’t think we can trust any studies regarding the effects of vaccination unless they are studies where the individuals were directly asked about their Covid vaccination status. IMDoc’s data was that a significant portion of his vaccinated patients showed as unvaccinated in the system. (39%?)

  20. Maria

    Part-time jobs, no benefits: The real state of the working class, that’s a great article. Demolishes the barking seals for Biden who are getting really shrill and everywhere online repeating the same “jobs created” “insulin cheaper” and a few other soundbites.

    Then the author paints themselves to look like an idiot using the “Latinx” word;

    Latinos and Latinas, their culture and traditions must be shoehorned by a newly created word created by university trained dweebs and rancid feminists which pretends they are equalized semantically. And they wonder why half of Latinos and Latinas will probably vote for Trump?

  21. Reify99

    Re: TB (former public health TB RN)

    I know it’s CIDRAP but I wish they would make the distinction between stages of the disease clearer in their classification language. Active and Latent would be nice. 20-25% of the world’s population has the latent form. They are not contagious. A latent case can become active if the immune system declines.
    (How? ‘Tis a mystery!)

    They are talking about active disease in the article above but they do not mention whether change in cardinal symptoms, i.e. lack of cough, is due to a mutation in the TB mycoplasma, or bone-headed risk assessment criteria dating back to the Stone Age. Or other.

    Sidebar: I never heard the word “airborne” when I was a TB nurse going into the homes of infectious patients and watching them swallow their 13 pills 5 days a week. I saw that word used in an article linked from NC. Glad I kept my N95 on. End sidebar.

    TB tends to go extrapulmonary in children. My great-grandparents’ generation came over from Ireland in steerage, living in the hold of the ship for the whole journey. It was a lonnnng superspreader event. Their grandchildren were still catching and carrying it. My father, born in the 1920’s, had it (extrapulmonary) on a kidney. Discovered when he was in the Navy in WWII. Extrapulmonary TB can go on for years asymptomatically. Or not. I consulted on a child who’s TB only came to light when she started fainting. Turns out she had a giant TB nodule (a calcium jail cell the body makes to encase the TB) pressing on her aorta. The NP gave her INH and she got better.

    The ancient BCG vaccine doesn’t block TB infection but it prevents it from going extrapulmonary in children. Most of the world uses it. We don’t.
    So anyone who is carrying around latent TB who experiences a decline in immune status,
    -‘Tis a mystery!- could experience some TB jailbreaks, latent could become active, etc.

    Since the USA has enjoyed relatively good TB control, naturally we look for ways to freeze funding, decreased staff, etc. Reagan tried this way back when and outbreaks ensued. 65 cases in Ft Wayne where one nurse was trying to handle it all, for example.

    Add TB to the list of diseases previously controlled in the USA that may already be starting to run amok in our current “post-pandemic” world.

  22. antidlc

    I learned something about maskless Mandy. I don’t think this info has been covered at NC. If it has, I apologize.

    Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) were talked about on NC:

    The PNHP (Physicians for a National Health Plan) sounded the alarm on ACO Reach and asked for signatures on a petition.

    What I did not know is that prior to her appointment as head of the CDC, maskless Mandy was CEO of
    Aledade Care Solutions and Aledade’s Executive Vice President.:

    As CEO of ACS, Dr. Cohen will lead the implementation of targeted wraparound care solutions to support the more than a thousand primary care practices in Aledade’s nationwide network of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). ACS will complement the care that practices provide, developing new programs to improve patient outcomes and increase cost savings. ACS announced its first launch earlier this month with Aledade’s acquisition of Iris Healthcare, a company that offers virtual Comprehensive Advance Care Planning services to patients across the country, following a successful pilot with Aledade.

    Future care solutions will be explored with input from practices in the Aledade ACO network, finding ways to leverage data and technology, including remote and virtual services, to improve patients’ health and increase ACO savings. ACS will help Aledade create innovative care delivery solutions that are seamlessly integrated with a patient’s primary care practice.

    She wasn’t at Aledade very long. The link said she was supposed to assume her roles at Aledade in March, 2022 and she took over at the CDC when Walensky left at the end of June, 2023.

    A whistleblower who was at Aledade in 2021 (prior to maskless Mandy’s arrival) filed a lawsuit:
    A recently unsealed lawsuit accuses Aledade, the largest US independent primary care network, of developing billing software that boosted revenues by making patients appear sicker than they were.

  23. Eclair

    Re: Companies paid top executives more than they paid in taxes.
    Sheesh, who do you trust more to spend responsibly the profits extracted from the environment and workers? Our government or our apex predators?

  24. Mikel

    “Why are so many young people getting cancer? What the data say” Nature. It’s almost as if some system that protected young people against cancer was turned off, simultaneously, in all of them. But why? ‘Tis a mystery!

    I’m sure Covid did not help. It’s opportunistic. But in addition to the factors of young people still developing being plied with all kinds of drugs and the crapola going food and water, I think a more touchy subject would be the effects of radiation on developing cells.

  25. Mikel

    AI and the Future of Work Uncharted Territories. “A pretty basic version of a customer service bot has replaced 700 full time agents at Klarna.” Why aren’t we trying to replace Boards and CEOs? A question that answers itself, once asked.

    A bot isn’t going to ask for a raise because their kid was accepted to college or buy a house and car.
    But wait…A bot also isn’t going to be taking out any loans to send their kid to college or buy a house and car.
    That’s alot of insurance they won’t need either.

    Talk me down. What am I missing? Must be something. Otherwise, I don’t see this type of economy working well for massive populations.

    1. pjay

      Thanks for the link. Lots of laughs in this kafabe theater, for example:

      “Nonetheless, the White House was quick to distance itself from Mr Schumer’s comments. Spokesperson John Kirby said that while the Senate leader had a right to his opinion, administration officials were focused on working with Israel on its defence.”

      And then there was this:

      “Mr Schumer’s comments prompted a rebuke from outgoing Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who called the 40-minute speech “grotesque” and “unprecedented”.

      “He said it was “hypocritical for Americans who hyperventilate about foreign interference in our own democracy to call for the removal of a democratically elected leader of Israel”. ”

      Yes, “six ways from Sunday” Schumer is a champion of principled foreign policy. Gosh, I guess the Congressional Democrats really are the good guys and not the bought and paid for shills I thought they were!. Lead us to the light, Chuck.

  26. CA

    “China makes clean energy the cornerstone of its long-term growth as trade falters”

    This heading is incorrect and misleading. Chinese trade is expanding strongly, but the expansion is coming with developing countries replacing Western developed countries as prime trade partners. Also, environmentalism is a prime concern for China and from infrastructure development to general and broad manufacturing, whether for domestic or foreign markets, being green is a prime concern. China has been working on environmental concerns for years now, so that, say, the entire vehicle production sector is consumed by it and will be for as far as I can tell.

    1. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      China’s Global South exports surge by double digits growth in first two months of 2024, more than compensating for declines in shipments to developed markets. *

      “China’s exports rose year-on-year by 10.3% in RMB, driven by 20% to 40% jumps in exports to India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and other countries of the Global South. This more than compensated for sharp declines in shipments to developed markets including the US (-7%), the European Union (-6.8%), and Japan (-2.5%).”

      * China’s Global South exports surge in 1st 2 months – Asia Times

      8:12 PM · Mar 13, 2024

    2. CA

      Permit me to be clearer; China has focused these last several years on growth that is environmentally sound and that means China has increasingly green industries that produce increasingly green goods. This will be a growth platform both in China and abroad in developing countries for years and years.

      Jeffrey Sachs is now projecting green production as a generational growth platform for China. The CEO of Mercedes is now saying the same and intends to have Mercedes take advantage of Chinese growth…

      March 10, 2024

      Mercedes-Benz CEO on how the future is all about hydrogen – and China

      In an exclusive interview with CGTN Europe, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius says the future is full of hydrogen… and China.

  27. ArvidMartensen

    In breaking news, research shows that Long Covid doesn’t exist.

    Yes, sure, it was apparently a poorly done study – “observational, based on reported symptoms with no physiological or detailed functional follow-up data. Without laboratory pathophysiological assessment of individual patients

    But because it doesn’t go against the business narrative of get back to work you slackers, the good doctor Gerrard will present his study next month at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Barcelona.

    Oh, and Gerrard is a state Chief Health Officer, so no political pressure.

  28. ArvidMartensen

    And in more breaking news, there is a mystery outbreak of streptococcal infections in Japan

    “The number of cases in 2024 is expected to exceed last year’s record numbers, while concern is growing that the harshest and potentially deadly form of group A streptococcal disease – streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) – will continue to spread, after the presence of highly virulent and infectious strains were confirmed in Japan”

    It sure is a mystery.

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