Links 3/17/2024

St. Patrick Opened a Portal to Purgatory on This Little-Known Irish Island Smithsonian Mag

Columbia Engineers Develop Light-Controlled Molecular Devices SciTech Daily


Researchers connect declining atmospheric sulfur dioxide levels to rise in Legionnaires’ disease


CDC Report on U.S. Drinking Water Contamination Warns Legionella Outbreaks Increasing

Taps Run Dry in Africa’s Richest City VOA


Up to 5.8 million kids have long COVID, study says. One mother discusses the “heartbreaking” search for answers. CBS News


What Might the US Owe the World for Covid-19? Jeffrey D. Sachs, Common Dreams

‘Lab-leak’ proponents at Rutgers accused of defaming and intimidating COVID-19 origin researchers Science


The Dawn of India’s Semiconductor Era The Diplomat

‘Make in India’: Can South Asian giant surpass China and become world’s biggest factory? The Straits Times


Undersea cable failures cause Internet disruptions for multiple African countries Cloudfare

U.S. Steps Up Intervention in Somalia Covert Action

The Central African Republic – the end of Françafrique and the return of imperialist competition Review of African Political Economy


China in Sub-Saharan Africa: Sanction-Proof Supply Lines and Dual-Use Ports Royal United Services Institute

Philippines, Japan near long-range missile milestones as they arm up for China Breaking Defense

For many Chinese, there are ‘more important things’ than Taiwan unification Al Jazeera


China loans grow at slowest pace on record amid weak demand The Business Times

Gold beans all the rage with China’s Gen Z as deflation bites The Business Times

China ponders mass-producing ‘God’s particle’ Asia Times


Netanyahu Rejects Hamas Truce Proposal, Approves Rafah Invasion Plans Egyptian Streets

War on Gaza: Torture, executions, babies left to die, sexual abuse… These are Israel’s crimes Jonathan Cook, Middle East Eye

The U.S. Corporations Profiting from the Israeli Occupation Dollars & Sense

The Turkiye–Israel trade boom: Talk is cheap, but money talks The Cradle

Houthis vow to extend attacks deeper into the Indian Ocean Splash 247

UK Refuses to Say if Israeli Bomber Planes Are Using Its Cyprus Base Declassified UK

Israel detains 20 more Palestinians in West Bank, bringing total arrests since 7 Oct to 7,605 Middle East Monitor


‘You’ve starved us Sisi’: Dozens arrested during Egypt protest against falling living conditions The New Arab

Egyptian Leverage Phenomenal World. On Egypt’s negotiations with the IMF, food import dependence, and the military.


Turkey, Iraq Reach PKK Security Deal and Seek Closer Trade Ties Bloomberg

Doha hunts for whistleblowers who revealed Qatar’s funding of ISIS The Cradle

New Not-So-Cold War

Odessa Strike Kills Top Ukrs, Putin Rus Retaliate Ukr Strikes, Big Rus Gains Avdeyevka; Scholz Macron Quarrel Alexander Mercouris, The Duran (video)

Don’t rule out troops to Ukraine, Finnish FM says POLITICO.  ‘[John] Kirby told reporters… that the administration wouldn’t oppose other nations sending their forces to help Kyiv fight. “Those are sovereign decisions,” he said.’

Bonapartist Solutions New left Review

Western troops in Ukraine: How a big lie could lead to the biggest war RT


In this Ukrainian village, almost no men are left WaPo. Paywalled. Commentary:

Ukraine’s Frontline Air Defences Stretched Thin After Loss of Donbas Patriots and S-300s Military Watch

Ukraine faces ammunition crisis as air defence missiles dwindle The Telegraph

Interest from Russian assets to be spent on Ukraine arms: Scholz Al Mayadeen

EU sprinkles $560 million over defense firms to grow ammunition output Defense News

Imperial Collapse Watch

Our Real National Security Budget Spoils of War. “$2 Trillion, Here We Come.”

F-35 Fifth Generation Fighter Finally Begins Full Scale Production After Seven Years of Delays Military Watch

Controversy brews in Copenhagen over F-35 rental amid US turmoil Bulgarian Military

Survey of Blue Star Families finds considerable reluctance for recommending military life Stars and Stripes


Boeing criminal inquiry expands with subpoenas and grand jury New York Times

White House stops short of saying it’s currently ‘safe’ to fly on Boeing planes Washington Examiner

Spook Country

Exclusive: Musk’s SpaceX is building spy satellite network for US intelligence agency, sources say Reuters


Pro-Ukraine PAC launched with eye on congressional races The Hill

Why are so many voters frustrated by the US economy? It’s home prices AP. Well, even if owning a home is out of reach, at least the student loan “experience” is being improved (from a Department of Education email Friday):

The Supremes

SCOTUS Rules Public Officials Can Sometimes Be Sued For Blocking Critics On Social Media AP


AI ‘Ghosts’ Could Be a Serious Threat to Mental Health, Expert Warns Science Alert

Nvidia CEO Wishes “Pain and Suffering” on Young People Futurism


Screen time can affect children’s language development, study suggests CBC

Blessed Are the Rich, for They Can Afford to Limit Their Kids’ Screen Time Christianity Today

Parents have a problem with screen time, too, teens say WaPo

Laid-off techies face ‘sense of impending doom’ with job cuts at highest since dot-com crash CNBC


Oh So Close to Tackling the Corporatization of Medical Care Boondoggle

More States Cut Training Requirements for Some International Medical Graduates MedPage Today

In Hospitals, Affordable Housing Gets the Long-Term Investor It Needs New York Times

Police State Watch

Sophisticated ‘burglary tourists’ fly from South America to rob wealthy homes, LAPD says Los Angeles Times

New data explodes myth of crime wave fueled by migrants Popular Information

Our Famously Free Press

Assange Truth and UN Shenanigans Craig Murray

Class Warfare

‘That’s What US Capitalism Does Right Now. It Jettisons Its Elders.’ FAIR

Homelessness and Mental Illness: Medicalizing a Housing Crisis Journal of Human Rights and Social Work

Why We Search for Silver Linings Nautilus

Wondering When to Plant? There’s a Map for That The Allegheny Front

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from I Can Help by Billy Swan as performed by Elvis Presley)

    NATO’s in Ukraine, we all know that it is
    They wanna expand, put Russia outta biz

    Raising hell, they don’t raise no alarms, raising hell
    When a Storm Shadow flies it’s NATO guys raising hell

    Their cover story is phony, it’s there to confuse
    Soldiers of fortune maybe, there because they choose

    Raising hell, with their expertise, raising hell
    When a Storm Shadow flies it’s NATO guys raising hell

    They talk to US satellites, they wanna change Moscow’s regime
    They choose Russian sites, they’re the offensive team — so that’s clear

    The locals don’t know missiles or NATO protocol
    They bring in troops from NATO and those guys do it all

    Raising hell, they’ve got new i-Pads, raising hell
    When a Storm Shadow flies it’s NATO guys raising hell NATO guys baby!)

    (musical interlude)

    When a Storm Shadow flies, they steer it like a bird on the wing
    Some Russians will die, that’s the point of this thing — so that’s clear

    The locals don’t know missiles or NATO protocol
    They bring in troops from NATO and those guys do it all

    Raising hell — can we hit Volgograd? Raising hell
    When a Storm Shadow flies it’s NATO guys raising hell

    (musical interlude)

    They talk to US satellites, they wanna change Moscow’s regime
    They choose Russian sites, they’re the offensive team — so that’s clear

    The locals don’t know missiles or NATO protocol
    They bring in troops from NATO and those guys do it all

    Raising hell — can we hit Volgograd? Raising hell
    When a Storm Shadow flies it’s NATO guys raising hell

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Doha hunts for whistleblowers who revealed Qatar’s funding of ISIS”

    Strange this article. All of the Gulf states were funding ISIS as was the west as well. Those technicals and weaponry weren’t going to buy themselves after all. Gunna take a guess and say that the purpose of this article is to discredit Qatar so that it is eliminated as a place to have negotiations in the present Hamas-Israel war. The Mossad chief is getting ready to fly to Qatar for hostage deal-truce talks and suddenly this article pops up. Convenient for some parties I would say.

    1. Em

      The Cradle has always been very clear about their position on Palestine (and Syria and Iran and Lebanon). They want US and Israel out of West Asia and they don’t trust any government that works closely with the US and Israel, as the Qataris certainly do.

      I think the facts well support their suspicion of the Qataris. The Qataris subsidizes hosting of a massive US military base that is likely giving massive logistics support to Israel. They have funded several US-Israeli initiatives including the building of the pier. They have tried to push the unfavorable fake ceasefire on Hamas while not putting any pressure on the Israelis to negotiate honestly with Hamas terms that could actually lead to lasting peace and some justice in the region. Just because the Gulf despots throw a couple shekals at the Hamas political leadership does not make them any kind of honest broker.

    2. Feral Finster

      Everyone knew then and knows now that ISIS was and is s entirely a creature of the West and the Gulfie tyrannies.

      But like the buck naked emperor, nobody is supposed to say this out loud.

  3. Cody

    The Lordships are terrified of people understanding their monetary system because it might take some of their power away.

    1. John k

      Yes, their power to spend unlimited amounts on wars, which is also why war profits are so high. Stupid to have that power used for the common good, no profit in that.
      Those dumb Chinese are just wasting their power on the commons, maybe we need to pivot over there.

  4. Trees&Trunks

    Kirby, European troops in Ukraine and sovereign decisions.

    Let me guess. US is pressing the EU vassals real hard to get further into war with Russia to wreck the continent completely. When they EU finally do so, the US will just say “oh, they took that decision themselves. They are sovereign.”

    US is the Tonya Harding of geopolitics.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Too generous. Tonya turned into a decent person after her jail time. US? More the irredeemable Wicked Witch. “Fly, my pretties! Fly!”

      Hoping the world gets to the part where the Imperial Witch melts…

    2. Feral Finster

      No, this is to provide a pretext for direct open US intervention down the road. “We can’t leave Our Brave European Allies In The Lurch!” Churchill will be ritually invoked.

    3. ilsm

      Europe can send manpower, but like the French in Indochina they cannot do anything w/o US logistics support. If it is available.

      1. vao

        No need to go back that far. The UK and France had the exact same problem (dependency on logistics and intelligence/surveillance/reconnaissance from the USA) during their so successful operation in Libya — and this was just on the other side of the Mediterranean…

        1. Polar Socialist

          During Operation Barkhane USA provided only 10% of the logistics support. France managed about 50%, the rest was Spain, UK and Germany.

          Then again, the peak strength of the French contingent was 5,500, which would last about a week in Ukraine, not the 8 years they spent in Sahel. So maybe the French could manage it on their own for that week or two.

          1. vao

            I remember to have read that during the operation in Libya (that preceded Barkhane by a couple of years), the USA carried out 80% of the aircraft refuelling for the French and British forces.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “UK refuses to say if Israeli bomber planes are using its Cyprus base”

    I could very easily see the UK government providing the Israelis with free bombs, free fuel, free maintenance and free facilities for those pilots. And that would explain why the UK is saying zip. But if you look at the map in that article, another possibility arises. What if the Israelis are also using that Cyprus base to bomb targets in Lebanon as well? On that map the distance looks shorter and the UK would not want to say anything as they would be hosting an attack on a sovereign nation which is supposed to be a no-no.

    1. Antifa

      The Nuremberg Principle adopted by the UN and most countries after WWII —

      Principle VI
      The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
      (a) Crimes against peace:
      (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
      (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that. If they are caught at it, then they can be done like a dinner under international law. The UK before the International Justice Court? How would Sunak spin that one.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Presumes that the ICJ has any teeth, and that any of the powerful give a shit about any “international law” pontification.

        Mopes just have to wait, to hope, that the whole top-heavy sh!tfarm just falls over with a wet plop. Before the Fokkers get to loose the nuclear devastation.

      3. Feral Finster

        So, who will enforce this?

        “Don’t quote laws to us. We carry swords.” – Gnaeus Pompeius

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Saint Patrick and the Portal to Purgatory (Smithsonian). Station Island, I suspect, is even older than Saint Patrick.

    The ritual: “Pilgrims begin fasting at midnight the day before they arrive. After stripping off their shoes and socks, they climb aboard a ferry to Station Island, where they kneel and pray in front of designated locations for 24 hours straight. During the three-day visit, pilgrims are only allowed to eat dry toast or oatcake, and they can only drink coffee or black tea.”

    This is reminiscent of what pilgrims to Eleusis did each year, although their ritual drink was the kykeon. Coffee and tea are stimulants–this may be a key. The Eleusinian mysteries endured, so far as we know, for some 1,100 years and were suppressed by the Christians–without ever revealing their secrets.

    I am also reminded of the oracle of Trophonius at Lebedea (near Thebes) in Greece–one of the strangest rituals I have ever come across:

    The oracle produced a great fright and altered memory. Like Saint Patrick, I suppose. We are in the collective unconscious, as explored by C.G. Jung.

    Meanwhile, I’ll hold off on my religious observances till Tuesday. (Sorry, Conor.) Tuesday is the Feast of Saint Joseph, Father of God. I’m going directly to the top. With a zeppola, naturalmente.

    1. britzklieg

      At Patrick’s Purgatory (translated by Seán Ó Faoláin)

      “Pity me on my pilgrimage to Loch Derg!
      O King of the churches and the bells
      bewailing your sores and your wounds,
      but not a tear can I squeeze from my eyes!
      Not moisten an eye / after so much sin!
      Pity me, O King! What shall I do / with a heart that seeks only its own ease?
      O only begotten Son by whom all men were made,
      who shunned not the death by three wounds,
      pity me on my pilgrimage to Loch Derg
      and I with a heart not softer than a stone!”

      first song in Samuel Barber’s cycle “Hermit Songs” here performed by Gerald Finley and Julius Drake:

    2. Lena

      Recommended: Declan O’Rourke’s album of original songs “Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine” released in 2017.

      The album seems especially poignant now because of the genocide in Gaza and the widespread Irish support for Palestinian rights.

  7. timbers

    “What Might the US Owe the World for Covid-19?”

    Wait…am I reading this right, that US funded bio-warfare caused Covid? But everyone in MSM knows China did that.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > bio-warfare

      Granting for the sake of argument the conclusions that the author thinks are possible based on the evidence provided, it seems to me that this assumes deliberate release of the pathogen. If the release was accidental, it would have been “bio-warfare research”

      1. chris

        My understanding is biowarfare is the only purpose for GOF research.

        As for the other statements in the article, we will never have a smoking gun of the kind people want, because the genetic evidence at locations like the Wuhan wet market was destroyed. All we can say now is there’s a lot of evidence that the US funded operations at the WIV were not good. The cover-up of the work at WIV and other similar places is not good. There is no solid evidence in the wild of Sars-2 like there was for Sars-1. But… we know that Sars-1 and MERS developed in the wild. We also know that things like the often mentioned Furin cleavage site aren’t as slam dunk for evidence of manipulation as lab leak theory proponents have claimed.

        A lab leak appears to be much more likely than originally claimed. But there’s still a possibility that this happened naturally and we won’t get evidence to determine what happened so we’ll never really know.

          1. chris

            And? There are also peer reviewed sources that say the opposite. Like this one and this one.

            Now, you can claim that those are NIH related sources and hence suspect. Those sorts of responses seem common when discussing this topic. To me, the best argument against the FCS being related to direct manipulation of the SARS2 virus is, we’re just not that smart. I believe a lab leak could have occurred. I believe there’s a lot of evidence saying it’s a lot more likely than was initially claimed. But we’re not going to see a smoking gun with the current level of evidence.

            1. jobs

              From the first link:
              “Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 is the only virus in subgenus Sarbecovirus having this feature, while even its closest relatives, bat coronavirus RaTG13 (sequence identity 97.7%) and pangolin coronaviruses (92.9%–90.7%), do not have furin site.”

              I, too, think it was a leak, accidental or not.

              Getting to the bottom of this should be a top priority, but last I read some people involved were being interviewed by Congresspeople behind closed doors and not under oath. And the majority of people don’t seem to care.
              Which means it will happen again, because without consequences for the people responsible, why not?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Nvidia CEO Wishes “Pain and Suffering” on Young People”

    ‘I don’t know how to do it [but] for all of you Stanford students, I wish upon you ample doses of pain and suffering,” Huang said in the interview, as highlighted by Fortune. “Greatness comes from character and character isn’t formed out of smart people — it’s formed out of people who suffered’

    Yeah suffering pain and suffering can build character – to a certain point. It teaches you what mistakes to avoid. But it can also be stupid. Napoleon Bonaparte once said that he did not learn so much by the mistakes he made but by observing and learning from the mistakes made by other people. And that sounds much smarter than what Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said here.

    1. Neutrino

      If you sign up for the special Stanford credit card, one of the perks is The Student Loan Experience*.
      Not quite on the same level as a curated top chef meal experience at The French Laundry or Chez Panisse, or even that Skybox experience for the Super Bowl.

      *Fine print unavailable at present, see insert in your first bill.

    2. Em

      Yeah, there’s a difference between letting young people learn that their actions have consequences that they will have live with and learn how to cope with adversity, and whatever the hell is going on in his sick brain. Most people who undergo extended suffering and pain are damaged by the experience, many irreparably so.

      Considering Nvidia’s well known ties with Israel, I wonder if he thinks he’s doing the toddlers and kids of Gaza a favor by toughening them up. Maybe a FAFO situation for him in about 10 years.

    3. Polar Socialist

      While knowing nothing about Jensen Huang, my first though was that maybe for him the suffering is defined as the Serendipity Cafe running out of edible 24 carat gold when Huang wants his $25,000 Frrrozen Haute Chocolate…

    4. Vicky Cookies

      Important to note that the CEO, net worth $80 billion, did not wish “pain and suffering” on young people in general, but specifically on Stanford graduates, and NVIDIA employees. I join him wholeheartedly in the first part, at least.

    5. Mark Dempsey

      Buddha’s first noble truth: “Life is dukkha.” If you dislocate your shoulder, the shoulder is dukkha.

      So…life is difficult.

      From The Road Less Traveled (Scott Peck):

      “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

      “Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy. They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be and that has somehow been specially visited upon them, or else upon their families, their tribe, their class, their nation, their race or even their species, and not upon others. I know about this moaning because I have done my share.

      “Life is a series of problems. Do we want to moan about them or solve them? Do we want to teach our children to solve them?

      “Discipline is the basic set of tools we require to solve life’s problems. Without discipline we can solve nothing. With only some discipline we can solve only some problems. With total discipline we can solve all problems.

      “What makes life difficult is that the process of confronting and solving problems is a painful one….Yet it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning…As Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Those things that hurt, instruct.’ It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.”

  9. GC54

    For anyone in central North Carolina, Scott Ritter will be talking and taking questions at Community Church of Chapel Hill, which is near the UNC campus at 106 Purefoy Rd on March 21 7:30-9:30 pm.

    Balance & Accuracy in Journalism presents a very special evening with Scott Ritter. Scott will discuss the Russia/Ukraine and Israel/Hamas conflicts, and his campaign for nuclear disarmament. He will also answer audience questions and sign his book, Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika, following the event. FREE ADMISSION, but donations will be gratefully accepted. Call 919.542.2139 for more information.

    Scott Ritter is a former Marine intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union, implementing arms control agreements, and on the staff of General Norman Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War, where he played a critical role in the hunt for Iraqi SCUD missiles. From 1991 until 1998, Mr. Ritter served as a Chief Inspector for the United Nations in Iraq, leading the search for Iraq’s proscribed weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Ritter was a vocal critic of the American decision to go to war with Iraq. His most recent book, Disarmament in the Time of Perestroika: Arms Control and the End of the Soviet Union, is his ninth.

      1. Wukchumni

        The lottery was over a billion in August and my longtime backpacking partner and I were out for a week on the trail, when I spilled the beans the first night that I had included him in my investment scheme to turn $2 into mega riches.

        Over the week, the burden of winning a billion was on our minds often, as we both realized it wouldn’t do anything really to alter our lifestyle choices, which don’t revolve around money all that much.

        I was relieved when I placed the ticket under the scanner in the gas station in Tiny Town and it ungracefully told me that the 6 numbers randomly selected by a computer ‘was not a winning ticket’.

        1. begob

          Our feeling for money forgone or that ‘got away’. The gas station lottery-ticket scan may leave a sense of regret, just fleeting, no biggie. But I know of several cases where people have spent years agonizing over the loss of profits from speculative investments gone wrong: temporarily embarrassed millionaires forever. I wonder how our imagination of money plays that nasty trick, how it develops regret into a harmful obsession.

        2. Randall Flagg

          >was not a winning ticket.
          How rude, at least in Vermont it says”Sorry, not a winner”

          1. Martin Oline

            Back when I drank soda in the ’70’s I looked under the twist-off cap and it read, “Sorry you are not a winner.” Man, did I get mad. Who are they to decide such things about me, even if it is true? I never drank pop again.

            1. Randall Flagg

              Hilarious. I think that was RC Cola? Never realized that as a teenager “they already had me pegged in a category for life.

                1. ambrit

                  Up there with a box of Jolly Ranchers and a pack of Newport cigarettes.
                  Here in the North American Deep South the scanners sometimes say; “Sorry sucker! Thanks for the contribution!”

        3. Em

          If you’re going to buy a ticket, try to do it in a state where you don’t have to disclose your identity. Otherwise the tradeoff for the money is that every dirtbag you ever knew or did not know will come out of the woodworks with a hard luck story or investment opportunity.

          Almost justifies why rich people are almost all cold hearted SOBs, but the better solution is to take their money from them to help cure them of that terrible condition.

    1. Screwball

      Here’s how you make money on the lotteries. Not sure if all states are the same, but in Ohio you can take a losing lottery ticket, scan it into their app and get reward points.

      I used to go to a bar/restaurant and collect the losing lottery tickets people threw away. Many were Keno tickets but it doesn’t matter. Scan the barcode into the Ohio Lottery app and get 5 points per losing ticket. You could scan up to 1200 per month. After a little over 8 months you would have 10,000 points – good for a $100 gas card when redeemed. I did this on two phones.

      People thought I was crazy, and one lady even called me pathetic. LOL. Free gas is free gas.

    2. Adam Eran

      I always play the home version of the game. I take a dollar out of my wallet, wad it up and throw it in the trash.

    1. Adam Eran

      Well…when the predator state attacks its southern neighbors–it’s responsible for 41 changes of government between 1798 and 1994 there–this is just payback.

  10. griffen

    Laid off tech workers struggle to find fully remote work at their previous pay level. Probably a more accurate headline reflecting their adjusted reality, just my two cents.

    Job searches are a full time job. I have some empathy for those being downsized, having gone that route involuntarily a few times, and then more recently I left voluntarily when one role was too much a PITA. I don’t think Big Tech / Big IT has embraced the model of HR reflected by Welch / GE / Goldman Sachs of “annual culling” of the bottom 5% to 10% quite yet.

    1. Mikel

      “Allison Croisant, a data scientist with about a decade of experience in technology, was laid off by PayPal

      earlier this year, joining the masses of unemployed across her industry. Croisant has one word to describe the process of looking for a job right now: “Insane.”

      “Everybody else is also getting laid off,” said Croisant, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska, where she worked remotely for PayPal….”

      Hmmm….Two offices serve as the PayPal headquarters in the US. One of the headquarters is located in Nebraska while the other one is in California. Well, she probably didn’t move to Nebraska in order to work remotely? So at least that’s in her favor. It could feel like money down the drain in her situation at the moment on top of everything else.
      However, it is possible that she was in San Jose and then moved to Omaha when remote work became an option. Big cost of living difference.

    2. Mikel

      And, according to the article, the H1-B Visa holders are getting squeezed too.
      Maybe there will be a cheaper visa holder to hire after their’s expires?

    3. SocalJimObjects

      “I don’t think Big Tech / Big IT has embraced the model of HR reflected by Welch / GE / Goldman Sachs of “annual culling” of the bottom 5% to 10% quite yet.”

      Do a search on the term “stack ranking”, Amazon and a bunch of tech companies have been doing it for YEARS.

  11. Wukchumni

    Sophisticated ‘burglary tourists’ fly from South America to rob wealthy homes, LAPD says Los Angeles Times

    In LA, in particular in the jewelry district downtown, the scourge in the late 1980’s was Colombian crime gangs preying on diamond dealers.

    These criminals had graduated from ‘The School of 7 Bells’, where you had to be able to pickpocket a perp who had 7 bells attached to their clothes without making a sound.

    They operated w/o guns, one of their methods was to poke small holes in the tires of the car of their mark in the parking lot, and when said mark started driving, they’d follow him and in a few miles all of the tires would go flat, and they’d pounce on him and get the goods. Must have happened many dozens of times

    The mystery to me with the residential burglaries, is why LA and not Miami, seems like an easier get.

    1. Lee

      Here on the east side of SF bay, the target du jour are work vans chock a block full of pricey building tradesmen’s tools. The van jackers carry guns and some of the van owners have recently begun to followed suit. Should get interesting. My son applied his electrician’s skills to installing a salvaged fire alarm bell visibly obscured by ladder racks on the roof of his van that can only be deactivated by a secretly situated kill switch.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘David Sacks
    I have it on good authority that Ukrainians want to fight so we must keep funding their war effort. If the Washington Post is trying to imply that Ukrainians are being conscripted involuntarily to fight a doomed war, it has fallen prey to vatnik propaganda.’

    You have to be really in a bubble if you find yourself accusing the Washington Post of being a Putin puppet. Sounds like he thinks that Washington need only print money to keep this war going but unfortunately you can’t print men. When the Ukraine loses, I think that he will lose it like some did when Trump was elected President back in 2016.

    1. griffen

      After the Trump win in 2016, there was a long listing of Americans stating loudly and publicly they would not live in the US of A where a Donald J Trump was their President. Bill Maher ran a piece in recent weeks, where he called out their absolute horseshit with “look you’re still in the country after all.” I’ll wait such updated announcements to “leave America” should Trump win yet again in 2024. One person not leaving is Alec Baldwin…I believe legally he is restrained from doing that.

      Yeah the Post is a mouthpiece for whom, exactly?

      1. Carolinian

        One person not leaving is Alec Baldwin…I believe legally he is restrained from doing that.

        Rimshot. I always liked Baldwin and used to listen to his NY radio podcast. But all that SNL heroism for making fun of the already self parodying Trump suggested a fast and loose ‘NY state of mind’ (ht his Long Island pal Billy Joel) that finally came to tragedy in New Mexico. These days Baldwin looks terrible and is facing another trial.

        Hubris precedes nemesis. Somebody tell the elites.

        1. griffen

          I watched him again, just recently, in the 90s film classic Glengarry Glen Ross. That speech he gives up there on my personal list of top speeches from any film.

          Coffee is for closers.

          1. Pat

            Baldwin is a very good actor and a smart man. He has some nice moments, but he is also moody and volatile. And the Hollywood disease of catering to actors at the top of the call sheet was and is not good for him. It is as much a bubble as the Beltway, and he has been living in it for a very long time. For many, Baldwin included, it can make bad habits worse.
            So He is not always easy to be around. It is really easy to fall into bad habits. It is also easy to get into the mind set that everyone else is at fault when things go wrong. The situation Rust and it’s tragedy is rife with this. I can confidently say that he believes he is the victim. He isn’t both literally and figuratively. If he had taken traditional SAG safety measures seriously and acted accordingly, a woman would still be alive.

            1. Carolinian

              I think those of us who liked him liked him for who he was but he should have been kept away from loaded guns.

              And when I say “terrible” I’ve only seen him in one movie since that happened and he did look much aged.

            2. TimH

              “If he had taken traditional SAG safety measures seriously and acted accordingly, a woman would still be alive.”

              …and another woman wouldn’t be serving time now.

    2. José Freitas

      I think Sacks is being sarcastic and pointing out that the WaPo is starting to say what alt-media was saying months ago. If you follow him on Twitter you’ll see where his preferences lie.

      1. zach

        I agree, I’d never heard of the guy but anyone who incorporates “vatnik” into their vocabulary i just assume is blowing smoke, or at the least not to be taken seriously.

    3. Ohio Cider

      He’s being sardonic, or sarcastic. His position against western involvement in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict is well established, as a result he has often been accused of being a Putinist himself.

  13. noonespecial

    Jonathan Cook’s Middle East Eye article: “These are just some of the cases of Israeli sadism and barbarity that have surfaced briefly in western media coverage, soon to be forgotten.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in the collective West, news IDF snipers sniping a non-combatant as in the following example rarely get much press time. And even though at the Hague Israel’s lawyers downplayed leaders’ less than moral pronouncements, Gvir’s call to pin a medal on a soldier who shoots a 12 year old is cowardly and confirms the regime’s rot.

    On Tuesday, a sniper in an undercover combat unit of the Border Police opened fire on the young boy, Rami Hamdan al-Halhouli, after he shot a firework high in the air during confrontations in the narrow streets of the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem.

    Ben Gvir saluted the officer who killed the boy. “This is exactly how you should act against terrorists – with determination and precision,” he said.

    1. TimH

      Since Palestine is an occupied state, deemed so by UN, the occupants are legally not terrorists when acting in any way within. Ben Gvir repeating a Big Lie.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Macron is at it again. The Olympics this year are being held in Paris so he has proposed an a ceasefire in Ukraine during the duration of Summer Olympics. This is the same Olympics where maybe only as few as 40 Russian athletes will be allowed to compete as ‘Individual Neutral Athletes’ under a neutral flag and swearing that they do not support the war. So in this “truce” the Ukrainians will have a chance to rotate their men, distribute more munitions, strengthen their defenses while all the will doing individual attacks they they will deny has happened. And after two weeks has passed, there will be pressure to continue it and in effect freezing the conflict which will be all to the Ukraine’s advantage with none of Russia’s war aims fulfilled. Or maybe the Ukrainians in a cunning move will launch a major attack on Russia which they will never, ever expect. I think that at this point, the Russians are more likely to trust Turkiye’s Erdogan than France’s Macron-

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      From troops to a “magnanimous offer of a ceasefire,” one has to wonder how bad the push polls they must have put out went.

    2. Bugs

      Now that would be a great opportunity to send French military to help beef up Odessa, set up missile batteries and install AD at the front. Macron is a laff riot lately. It’s gonna be so fun to watch the National Rally take literally everything in the upcoming EU elections.

      1. Feral Finster

        That would be faux pas akin to standing up during a press conference and asking that the person who just farted please identify himself.

        Even if everyone heard the wind break with a voice like thunder, you pretend that everything is normal and nothing happened.

        1. cousinAdam

          From our‘formative’ years, “he who smelt it, dealt it!”
          and….. “he who denies it, supplies it!”

    3. Mikel

      Not surprising. The Olympics or rather its committee is another supranational organization captive to the logic of neoliberal economics, so it’s an appropriate tool for the establishment.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If they keep their antics up and their bias against some nations, the Olympics will end up as relevant as the Academy Awards.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Survey of Blue Star Families finds considerable reluctance for recommending military life”

    I wonder if they also bothered to interview homeless vets living on the streets to see if they would recommend the military life. I read a blog by a gung-ho Marine veteran and even he is now saying that he cannot recommend young people joining the military as a career. Did not see that coming.

    1. TimH

      This may be stretching a thought, but I notice that US war films that have government support (free kit etc) push USMC very strongly as the place to be for heroic minded patriotic kids. Yet USMC (and Army Rangers) are the first in and therefore surely incur the highest casulties.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Don’t rule out troops to Ukraine, Finnish FM says”

    Sounds like some Finns have been drinking the same kool-aid as France and some of the Baltic States. The only way that any of those nations will send troops into the Ukraine will be on the coat-tails of US troops. But that is not going to happen as for a start it is an election year and getting the US involved in a shooting war with a nuclear power is not exactly a vote winner for old Joe. Secondly, between sending all that they could spare to the Ukraine and even more to Israel means that they do not have the means to conduct a major war against Russians battalions. The days of Russian Battalion Tactical Groups is long over and what has replaced them is much more dangerous, much more professional and certainly much more innovative. So Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen should not be tying Finnish foreign policy to that of Macron’s France. It will end in tears, especially since Finland has a very long border with Russia and France has none.

    1. Polar Socialist

      It was very confused comment by a new, inexperienced foreign minister. Her point was that Finland is not even considering sending troops anywhere (nor can she decide on the issue), but in the long run NATO may have to consider this, so it should not be categorically closed out.

      Her background is in finance analytics, think thanks and she’s a hard core neoliberal (of the “destroy unions and get rid of the government” type). In short: she has no idea how the real world operates.

      1. GramSci

        Aah, there’s the real world and the money world. I suspect she long ago chose to go for the money.

      2. cosmiccretin

        Another idiot to add to the ever-growing list.

        Baerbock, Habeck, Stoltenberg, Scholz, Macron, Blinken, Sunak …

        It goes on and on.

  17. .Tom

    Mike Shedlock has blog post Ukraine Won’t Win the War, It’s Time for a New Strategy. The commentary on the Euro politics was interesting. On the military side Shedlock appears not to grock the industrial attrition math so he gives credence to the pundit talk of the West’s, now really Europe’s, willingness to buy and give Western weapons to Kiev being the determinant of the progress of the war.

    1. Polar Socialist

      One would think that an economist would have the intellectual tools to understand that if Ukraine doesn’t produce weapons, ammunition and troops, has no money to buy weapons, ammunition and troops or can’t borrow money to buy weapons, ammunition and troops – it should should not be in the business of waging war.

      It’s like having all your business critical stuff in the cloud and hoping somebody else pays the overdue bill.

  18. Carolinian

    Re Long Covid in children–a quick use of search engine shows a long list of hits tied to that single NIH study which apparently showed a 4 percent incidence of long covid among the already small incidence of Covid among kids. The study even suggests that vaccination may reduce the claimed long covid in kids and so–to me at least–has the whiff of still more promotion of vaccines for children. I wonder if the same long list of hits would result from a search for heart damage in children from the vaccine. Just asking.

    1. t

      Kids are weird, they tell me. But vaccines reduce long Covid in adults. New Zealand and Singapore, for instance, had a decent period of high vaccines and low infections so you can see the kind of damage Covid does.

        1. Ghost in the Machine

          These countries kept Covid out for a longer period than most because of continued strict containment policies. So they have data for a population that had a high uptake of vaccines and very low incidence of Covid, and in New Zealand’s case I think it was practically zero for awhile. The excess deaths ramped up after they let Covid in not when the vaccines were first introduced.It is good evidence that most of the excess deaths are from Covid not the vaccines. I do also believe the vaccines are quite dangerous relative to other vaccines and are causing heart problems most likely due to the spike protein. And that drug companies and governments are lying about it. But vaccines are not the cause of the majority of deaths and heart problems.

          1. Carolinian

            You’re reading too much into what I said. What I said was that if 4 percent–or even 1 percent–of child vaccine recipients have heart problems would it get the same full page of search highlights?

  19. griffen

    Lots more coping happening in the above article about home prices being the source of ill news and American displeasure regarding US economy and the impact of Bidenomics.

    I picked this out, just to highlight what we don’t appreciate. “…incomes are up the economy is doing well, and inflation is down…”. Yes all good and all great, good to know. Such clowns who can’t comprehend reality, looking in the direction of Paul or Noah. I equally doubt Trump will actually be any different, you can’t talk down or magically have US mortgage rates revert to say, a 4% to 5% range.

    1. Pat

      The people who think inflation is down don’t shop for groceries, aren’t looking for a place to live and probably haven’t gotten a new quote for insurance. I would also say that they are well off enough that they pay their utility bills electronically and never look at them. Sure they probably have noticed that they are paying more in restaurants, but mark my words they don’t have a clue how little most restaurant staff are paid, and would be shocked how small the increases to the prices would have to be to cover that.

      This really is a class war.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Yep. Number go up.

        My cell went up, unceremoniously without any notification, and my Internet is going up to $85/mo this year for the cheapest service. I’d be happy with old 1.5Mbs service again if they’d offer it, plenty fast, and ought to be a few dollars a month these days. But no dice.

        1. Report from the Field

          You guys really are screwed; my mobile based internet access costs 2 EUR (read: two euros) per SIM card with 30 days usage and 100 GB data cap.

          You will note that this was a reduced price as part of a new-year promotion and since there was this action discount going I got 12 SIM cards for 24 Euros, for the whole year (normal price is 10 EUR, and normal discount price is 7 EUR) and the data cap is also increased to 200 GB.

          The speed is maxed at about 400 kB/s (so that’s about 4 Mbit/s) and it’s limited by some bizzaro 3G (or perhaps network) limitations, but it’s still perfectly good enough.


          I can’t imagine paying 85 per month, and would advise you to drop the service and use the library or – if you can – connect with a few neighbors and set up a LAN or wireless then buy a single subscription and share it; you could probably have a dozen households attached and still wouldn’t notice any slowdowns.

  20. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Dollars and Sense BDS article. While we citizens can’t expect our Congress to do much about genocide we can vote with out dollars to avoid corporate entities that supply and support it.

    And that goes for news corporations too of course which is why some of us are reading NC instead of the NYT.

      1. griffen

        Follow the maze to the government cheese, and instead find that they have shipped those supplies out to Ukraine? \sarc

        Definite on the sarc tag. Had to read that book about 20 years ago, Who Moved My Cheese?

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’m thankful the NY Times finally prevents reading articles if JavaScript is disabled; this was previously a workaround for their paywall, but now you only get the first 3-4 paragraphs, for Google I guess, and then an admonishment to enable JavaScript. For the best, I think, as the headlines are ever more detached from reality in regards to virtually every subject, not the least of which being Trump, Biden’s economy, Russiagate, Ukraine, ect. These people must walk around babbling Trump’s name nonstop, as if in a trance.

      1. Carolinian

        As I keep saying the rest of the article is blocked by the style sheet. Depending on the browser these can be turned off.

        However other sites require you to be linked through to a different url and the above doesn’t work. Also I read a lot of stuff offline so for the above cookies may also have to be temporarily disabled. But I don’t think so.

        And I don’t pay much attention to the NYT these days unless it gets linked here–typically because of some off the wall article. So the above may be a suggestion for light duty use.

  21. Screwball

    Trump outrage of the day – bloodbath. Queen Nancy has already been on CNN shrieking about it. It’s early in the day so she’s probably still sober.

    When they have nothing else…I can only imagine what the next 8 months will be like with everything on the table to eliminate Trump. How ugly will it get and at what level of ugly will they go?

    A giant $hitshow of partisans fighting over two people most of the country doesn’t want.

    1. flora

      There’s money in that outrage,l ots and lots of money in that “outrage.” See Lee Fang’s latest substack, no paywall.

      Consulting Giant Profits From Wave of Pro-Biden and Pro-Trump Campaign Spending

      No matter who prevails in the 2024 election cycle, this consulting group is positioned to reap a financial windfall from the $12 billion in political spending.

      Anger draws eyeballs. Eyeballs draws advertising and consultants. They want a giant $hitshow this year. $$$$

      1. Screwball

        Agreed flora, and thanks for the link.

        Imagine if that hate money were funneled for something good?

      2. mrsyk

        Elections are about profits before anything else. The fact that this year’s election hasn’t been canceled yet pretty much confirms this.

    2. Reply

      Once again the auto industry gets no love. You’d never know based on the bloodbath hyperventilating.

  22. Michael McK

    Speaking of undersea cables… From a report I just completed on a meeting I went to with a presentation on regional broadband issues:
    ” The Google cable to Taiwan is finished, though it may not be live yet. Project Echo, from Eureka to Singapore with branches to Japan, Guam, and Darwin (who host a sister institution to Cal Poly Humboldt) is soon to be built with no Chinese components so they will need to buy our info from Google instead of listening in. Speaking of listening in, a cable (I assume the Google one) goes through the Eureka police department where they have hooked a sensitive microphone to it. You can hear earthquakes through it before they hit you because sound travels very well through the cables (whether they are transmitting laser light or totally dark) and you can hear earthquakes before they hit because the sound from them travels faster through the cables than the earthquake waves travel through the earth. We saw a printout where you could see the registering of sound from people jumping over the cable in the parking lot outside the station and cars going over the speed bumps next to the line on the Samoa peninsula.”

    1. cousinAdam

      Hah! My old stomping grounds… CalPoly Humboldt is in Arcata, also on the shores of Humboldt Bay with Eureka which is separated from the Pacific by Samoa peninsula, home to a few small villages, a Coast Guard station and parklands with scenic dunes, a great drag racing track and numerous homeless trying to “stay off the radar “. I’ve come to refer to the Bay as “the Bermuda Triangle of the Emerald Triangle (the three top cannabis counties in CA). The area seems to attract “pilgrims” of all persuasions, and many inhabitants have experienced “weirdisms” in the space/time continuum. The inlet is capable of handling cruise ships and currently sees large cargo vessels exporting lumber (and sawdust, go figger) to China and elsewhere. I’d heard of data cables being planned, doesn’t surprise me one bit that it’s already a done deal. Also not surprised that the local PD has a “fat” data link- the only fiber links in the county are private networks (banks and other fat cat entities?) but “hearing” cars going over speed bumps definitely gave me a good chuckle. Only in Humboldt! Where Truth is usually (much) stranger than fiction! The welcome mat is always out….bring your wallets but beware of friendly strangers bearing gifts!

  23. Jason Boxman

    From: Why are so many voters frustrated by the US economy? It’s home prices

    America, in a nutshell:

    Shelton, 67, drives an Uber to help pay rent in Aurora, Colorado. An advance on her pay covered her apartment’s security deposit. But it also cut into her next paycheck, leaving her bank account dangerously low when the rent was due — a cycle that never seems to end.

    “I’m always one step behind,” said Shelton, her voice choking up. “It’s a nightmare, it’s a freaking nightmare right now.”

    Having been broke and 80k in debt, I can somewhat relate, but thankfully I was much younger. Shelton is one the Americans that Biden’s stochastic eugenics program is solving for. No person, no problem. No one at 67 should be driving an Uber except for fun. America discards its senior citizens like so much garbage. This is a degenerate country.

  24. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is big: “Niger announces end to military relationship with US”.

    A huge blow as Niger is the center of US operations in west and north Africa, notably at its Air Base 201 in Agadez, the largest construction project ever undertaken by the US Air Force. *

    * Niger junta announces end to military relationship with United States

    5:14 AM · Mar 17, 2024

    1. The Rev Kev

      They didn’t get rid of one master – France – only to let another master in. I’d guess that the US started to interfere with local politics in order to secure their position in that country as that is what they do in every country. But having just gotten rid of France, they know how that story ends and said no.

    2. Daryl

      > But in the statement read on television, Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesman, said the Nigerien government “denounced with force the condescending attitude” of the head of the recent U.S. delegation, which he said had undermined the long relationship between the two countries

      Taken on face value, one wonders if this is just another example of the complete hollowing out of US diplomatic corps. Unfamiliar with the names but you have to imagine the same State Department employing clowns like Blinken and Nuland is probably not sending their best and brightest to Niger. Perhaps a complete own goal? Unlikely we’ll get the real story.

      Of course, CNN has a scoop: it was those wily Russians again.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I heard that the US delegation flew in without prepping the way with their counterparts in Niger to renew the lease on that drone base and gave them an ultimatum – either the Russians had to go or them. Niger chose for them to go instead.

  25. argos

    I’ve never seen this issue discussed in NC but it’s of great interest I think. ‘It talks about the IA workforce: However, what drives this whole structure remains invisible: work. They are miners, delivery and app drivers, note-takers who mark and label data, chat mediators, content producers and a range of activities that have not yet been adequately named. They are part of the great mass of today’s working class without rights, they are invisible. Most of them work piecework, a method of payment dating back to the end of the 19th century. There are more than two million workers in Brasil, according to the IBGE (2023).

    Brasil is one of the countries with the largest AI data annotation market in the world.

    This work can be carried out either by platforms such as Amazon Mechanical Turk or by local outsourced companies – the so-called BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing). There are at least 50 data annotation platforms for AI in Brasil. These workers are the human intelligence that supplies the information and trains the algorithms.

    So there’s a production chain for infrastructure and there’s a production chain for data extraction – we’re all part of this data chain, especially those who need to work via application platforms. An app delivery worker, for example, doesn’t just deliver food, they deliver data about the city, consumers, commerce, the weather, traffic. These workers are like antennas that collect data for free so that the platform’s algorithm can operate.

    1. CA

      “IA workforce: However, what drives this whole structure remains invisible…”

      [ Important and quite helpful topic on work. ]

  26. Mikel
    “On Campaign Trail In Ohio, Trump Warns Of ‘Bloodbath’ If He Loses In November”

    And if there isn’t one, it will be manufactured or instigated for us!
    These same types of things were said in 2020.
    I’m beginning to think parts of the global establishment would prefer “a bloodbath” as collective punishment for their failure.
    But even if there is no “bloodbath,” the election of whoever is no guarantee of positive change. At root, a character like Trump is the spawn of predatory economic policy.

    1. Martin Oline

      This link actually refers to what he was talking about – jobs in the auto industry. The final part was says while he was talking about the impact of offshoring on the country’s auto industry and his plans to increase tariffs on foreign-made cars. Bloodbath was all the MSDNC news readers want to talk about, insinuating riots in the streets. The actual quote (2 min. 50 sec.) is here for those interested in prime rib instead of pre-chewed information available on TV. Trump speech on EweTube It’s true he is a first class bull-shitter but accuracy in the media is so rare these days.

  27. mrsyk

    It’s been hoglegs and housecleaning. As I lean into crisp and lovely local IPA, I’ll leave you with this timeless quote:
    “Cats are like that killer summer fling. They live to be spoiled yet cannot be tamed.” mrsyk

  28. ilsm

    Military Watch on F-35 “full rate production”.

    They missed the law. A major weapon system cannot go into “full rate production” until congress receives a Beyond Low Rate Initial Production Report (BLRIP).

    Such report has not been submitted, at least not searchable this evening.

    F-35 has delivered over 600 aircraft they run less than 30% mission capable which would prevent the BLRIP anyway!

    The law alsl limits LRIP to 10% of programed aircraft buy, which F-35 exceeded several years ago.

    Law and delivering a mission capable aircraft cannever get in the way of profit.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘F-35 has delivered over 600 aircraft they run less than 30% mission capable’

      I wonder how many would be mission capable in war time conditions. But 30% in peace time conditions is just pathetic.

  29. Mikel

    Brokers are buying up precious tee times at L.A. city golf courses. Golfers are desperate and outraged

    ….“When the weekend comes around, and we want to … go and play golf and we can’t because the earliest tee time available is 4:30 in the afternoon, now you know why,” he stormed. “Apparently everybody knows about it. Everybody knows about it!”
    The confirmation of long-held suspicions has roiled the L.A. golf world, with players clamoring for the city to crack down. And when some of the dominant brokers are Koreans selling mostly to fellow Koreans — on courses designed to cater to all stripes of Angelenos — the controversy is riven with race and class politics.
    Golf has long had an image as a country club sport, and city courses are a vital outlet for those who can’t afford private memberships, with their five- and six-figure initiation fees.
    “This is a public good,” said Patrick MacFarlane, 35, who grew up playing on L.A. municipal courses and serves on the city’s golf advisory committee. “It’d be like if someone took over a public swimming pool and said there would be surge pricing.”

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