Links 3/21/2024

Silence of the Wolves: How Human Landscapes Alter Howling Behaviour The Wire. Hasn’t affected me.

Spring has sprung and so have the turtles crossing roads (press release) Tufts University

Comcplex Memories of Cuttlefish Madras Cuttlefish


Climate models can’t explain 2023’s huge heat anomaly — we could be in uncharted territory Nature

Weather forecasts have become much more accurate; we now need to make them available to everyone Our World in Data

Easter eggs costs rise as climate change hits crops BBC

Global fertility rate to shrink by the end of the century, study says France24


New Orleans drainage will remain below capacity until May due to ‘operator error’ Times-Picayune

Trout Unlimited Identifies Hundreds of Highly Threatened Fisheries Across the U.S. Field & Stream


EU chamber warns of ‘slow-motion train accident’ with China, says something needs to change South China Morning Post

China starts international manhunt with belt and road corruption in its sights South China Morning Post


Myanmar Resistance Backs Conscription Warning With Wave of Assassinations The Irrawaddy

How Bank of Japan’s Kazuo Ueda dismantled world’s last negative rate Business Standard


India’s richest 1% has highest concentration of wealth in decades, study shows Channel News Asia

India enacts citizenship law criticised as ‘discriminatory’ to Muslims Guardian. “The citizenship amendment act (CAA), was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation proposed by the Modi government after it explicitly made religion the basis on which people could become Indian citizens.”

India in undersea race to mine world’s battery metal BBC


Israel and its allies – including the UK – are going to deliver a planned famine in Gaza Funding the Future

* * *

Saudi foreign minister, US secretary of state discuss cease-fire in Gaza Anadolu Agency

Gaza ceasefire talks: What are Israel and Hamas saying? Al Jazeera

* * *

Israeli army grows worried about legal battles after Gaza war Anadolu Agency

Claims that Palestinians are staging videos of their injuries are, once again, proved false France24

* * *

Internet ‘gardeners’ resist the communication blackout of Gaza il manifesto

European Disunion

Meyer Burger Eyes US Solar Plant After Shutting Europe Factory Bloomberg

Dear Old Blighty

Scotland’s Hate Speech Act and Abuse of Process Craig Murray. “It is a well-established principle in Scots law that anything published on the internet, which can be read in Scotland, is deemed to be published in Scotland. The act of publication is not deemed to be the person actually publishing the item, let us say in Tahiti.”

Why has UK’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda been delayed again? Al Jazeera

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 20, 2024 Institute for the Study of War. The Kagans clap harder. Worth a read.

The worm turns: Russia’s new position on entering into strategic arms negotiations Gilbert Doctorow

Putin’s going nowhere. The West needs to get a grip. Politico. The deck: “Don’t think that social media memes and clever stunts will topple Putin. Only a defeat in Ukraine can do that.”

Biden’s adviser did not mention regaining territories when talking about conditions for Ukraine’s victory Ukrainska Pravda

* * *

Ukraine needs 500,000 military recruits. Can it raise them? FT. Paperclips, just not maximized.

Ukraine’s Demographics Again Dictate To End The Fight Moon of Alabama

* * *

On visit to Kyiv, Sullivan confident US House will pass additional Ukraine aid, eventually CNN

Ukraine aid has stalled in Congress, but a Trump-backed plan is picking up steam USA Today

* * *

Ukraine Working to Restart Container Shipping and Build Danube Exports Maritime Executive

Global Elections

Controversial Indonesian defense minister wins presidential election FOX. Tortured some folks?

Santiago Martin: The ‘lottery king’ who is India’s top political donor BBC

The Quality of the Republic Depends on the Quality of its Bonds The Wire

Biden Administration

Congressional leaders roll out final $1.2T funding package ahead of Saturday shutdown deadline Politico

Biden Administration Announces Rule Aimed at Expanding Electric Vehicles NYT but Biden’s EPA Gives Automakers More Leeway to Phase Out Gas-Engine Cars WSJ

The Supremes

Public officials can be held liable for blocking critics on social media SCOTUSblog


Confusion Reigned at an Appeals Court Hearing Over Texas’s Now-Blocked Immigration Law Texas Monthly

Undocumented Immigrants Have Right to Own Guns, Judge Rules Newsweek

Digital Watch

A Taxonomy of Prompt Injection Attacks Schneier on Security. For example–

ASCII art elicits harmful responses from 5 major AI chatbots Ars Technica

I Used ChatGPT as a Reporting Assistant. It Didn’t Go Well The Markup

Facebook’s Algorithm Is Boosting AI Spam That Links to AI-Generated, Ad-Laden Click Farms 404 Media

* * *

Users ditch Glassdoor, stunned by site adding real names without consent Ars Technica

Our Famously Free Press

Discussion With Glenn Greenwald: How “Free Speech” Turned Into a “Far Right” Slogan Matt Taibbi, Racket News

Supply Chain

Russia remains China’s top crude supplier in Jan-Feb Hellenic Shipping News

Palm oil prices at 10-month high as tight supplies coincide with Red Sea delays S&P Global

Guillotine Watch

Billionaires go bunkers Red Flag

Bezos Cuts $50M Check to Celebrity Admiral as Washington Post Flounders The Intercept

Queens ‘squatters’ flee in disgrace after being confronted at house where homeowner was arrested – but one ‘legal’ tenant is staying (and wants his deposit back! Daily Mail

The Crime Rings Stealing Everything from Purses to Power Tools The New Yorker. My first thoought was “As above, so below.” But copaganda:

Class Warfare

How Capitalism Became a Threat to Democracy Project Syndicate

Free the Market: How We Can Save Capitalism from the Capitalists (PDF) Mark A. Lemley, SSRN

03/20/2024: Offensive Statements After Discharge Do Not Preclude Reinstatement. Matt Bruenig, NLRB Edge. Please Bruenig is doing this.

Through the Psychedelic Looking Glass New Lines

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Thank God I’m A Country Boy by John Denver)

    Well, the Rules-Based-Order says they got our backs
    Their weapons and their dollars make some pretty tall stacks
    Pity an accountant is the only thing it lacks
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    Well, half a million soldiers here have ‘bought the farm’
    Half a million more have lost a leg or an arm
    So we shanghai our women with the old strongarm
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    I’m hidin in a trench eatin’ MRE Skittles
    Spotter drones will kill me if I stand up to piddle
    Russian tanks surround us then they shoot toward the middle
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    Well, the fightin’s all over but the very last blows
    We’ll be runnin’ for the Dnieper, everybody knows
    The smell of death is never gonna leave my nose
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    Our innards turn to puddin’ cuz the food’s no good
    We can’t hide our trenches, we can rarely burn wood
    Not a chance of holding in this neighborhood
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    I’m hidin in a trench eatin’ MRE Skittles
    Spotter drones will kill me if I stand up to piddle
    Russian tanks surround us then they shoot toward the middle
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    (musical interlude)

    We cannot fix our cannons cuz we got no tools
    We’d love to surrender but those Azov ghouls
    Shoot us in the back if we break their rules
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    I was fightin’ by a kid barely turned fifteen
    Got here in the mornin’ and by noon he left the scene
    We never found the pieces if you know what I mean
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    I’m hidin in a trench eatin’ MRE Skittles
    Spotter drones will kill me if I stand up to piddle
    Russian tanks surround us then they shoot toward the middle
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    (musical interlude)

    I can’t recall the faces of my friends who’ve died
    Some were in the distance, some were by my side
    I can’t face the horror so I stuff it inside
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    A simple wound would get me to a field hospital
    Wouldn’t mind the pain if I could warm up just a little
    Syrski’s now in charge, he’s a real lickspittle
    Ukraine’s gonna be destroyed!

    I’m hidin in a trench eatin’ MRE Skittles
    Spotter drones will kill me if I stand up to piddle
    Russian tanks surround us then they shoot toward the middle


  2. Em

    Somehow out of all of Israel’s atrocities against kids, women, doctors, academics, reporters, the elderly… These assassinations against people who successfully managed to secure a delivery of food to northern Gaza hit me the hardest. There is no level of Hell adequate for people who planned and execute this action. We are ruled by ghouls and they won’t hesitate to do the same to us if we have something they cover or think they deserve.

      1. Kouros

        The screws are slowly turning: “Israeli army grows worried about legal battles after Gaza war”

    1. pjay

      The daily atrocities are so egregious, and the cracks in the propaganda wall so great, that there have been many powerful exposes documenting elements of the ongoing genocide. But this recent post by Jonathan Cook is a very effective and comprehensive overview, with special emphasis on the culpability of the Western media. Even though it is long, I’d strongly recommend it for anyone who might still be influenced by the dying “Israel as victim” narrative and who are not named Debra Messing:

      1. Dermot O Connor

        I’ve been interested to hear more than one commentator say that at the current direction of travel, Israel will be lucky to survive another ten years. Thinking that is how I avoid losing my sanity.

    2. midtownwageslave

      Native Americans yesterday, Palestinians today. Who’s on for tomorrow?

      This is the cruelest timeline.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Claims that Palestinians are staging videos of their injuries are, once again, proved false”

    The Israelis have also been claiming that there is no famine in Gaza and that in fact the Palestinians have more than enough to eat. These days, when I hear the Israelis announce something I take it as seriously as when Zelensky makes an announcement. It’s not a bad rule of thumb.

      1. Em

        If the Banderites could have they would have. They could have been world champions in murdering women and babies, if only the Russians had sat on their hands and focused on producing viral video clips of aid food drops.

        1. Benny Profane

          Well, yeah, not any more, I should have said. They indiscriminately shelled the east for eight years.

          1. Em

            Yes. Leaf mines in Donbas. Tuna can mines in Gaza. I would agree that the Jewish Israeli society is far more culpable than the post-Maidan Ukrainian society that got hijacked by Western neocon-Banderites. The Ukrainians voted 75 percent for the peace candidate and was betrayed. 75-95 percent of Jewish Israelis want to annihilate Palestinians from Gaza.

            Can such people ever be rehabilitated into human society again?

            1. Turtle

              Can you provide more information regarding “The Ukrainians voted 75 percent for the peace candidate and was betrayed.”? I was not aware of this and would like to know more.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            Oh, did they stop that now? Mind you, it was even less defensible in peacetime. I don’t know if it’s “genocide”, a hard thing to actually prove, but it is gratuitous slaughter of civilians.

      1. JBird4049

        Ah, but Baghdad Bob was a farce, this is a tragedy. It is a reversal of first a tragedy, then a farce, true, but it fits. Bob was funny because he was unusual in his outrageous denial of reality. Today, it is SOP. Nobody in authority can be trusted at all in anyway. It is Baghdad Bobs all the way down. As above, so below. I can only trust people that I know personally. Hence, the tragedy.

      2. Em

        Baghdad Bob wasn’t covering up for a genocide to facilitate its continuance. They are. They’re all Goebbels and should be tried as such.

  4. ChrisFromGA

    From the ISW report:

    Putin urged the Russian State Duma faction leaders to act in the interest of the state instead of corporations or parties and emphasized the importance of appointing people based on skill and competence.

    We should be so lucky as to have leaders like that in the US.

    Instead, we have incompetent corporate stooges.

  5. griffen

    Billionaires Building a Better World,or a Better Bunker. A hypothetical nonsense question of course. They’ll ride out the hell and doomsday forthcoming in style and grandeur! Egyptian pharaohs built the ancient pyramids,our modern corporate pharaohs have bigger designs than that.

    Don’t have enough scratch for your own personal bunker? Well, tough cookies your parents didn’t love you enough or you didn’t have good timing + luck and fortune to be a gazillionaire. That’s on you! Intentional sarcasm.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In case of a general breakdown, who is to say that a few rebel USAF squadrons may make use of all those stored bunker-buster bombs? Especially when it is realized that a lot of the people in those bunkers were in one way or another responsible for that breakdown.

      1. Vandemonian

        I was thinking more in terms of emptying a fleet of Readymix trucks into their air intakes, and in front of their entryways and exits…

      2. Not Qualified to Comment

        In my neck of New Zealand the location of the bunker of one well-known gazillionaire who purchased citizenship (and a chunk of prime landscape) just in order to build it (and who hasn’t contributed much else) is reasonably well-known. When the dust settles and he and his buddies decide it’s time to emerge and assume world-leadership they might very well discover several tons of Ready-mix concrete has been dumped on their hatches while they partied!

    2. griffen

      And speaking to the topic of billionaires and the category of Guillotine watching this is one to add more fuel into the fire. See, they really are better at hiding wealth and it’s not just offshore accounts registered to a simple PO Box.

      Reporting was on CNBC this morning. The founder of the company that sells those ingenious small bottles of 5 hour energy. Just my opinion, but those are handy in a pinch.,Wednesday%20to%20the%20bank's%20managing

    3. digi_owl

      And in the long run they plan to get their brain hooked up to the net so they can pilot a robot double and conduct meetings in VR while sustained by a nuclear powered heart-lung machine. Or maybe even AI digitized to really become an immortal netizen.

      1. Em

        What would an uploaded SV bro brainwave consist of?

        – weird group sex stuff
        – disrupt
        – funding rounds
        – Los Altos housing market
        – seasteading
        – weird group sex stuff with VCs
        – weird group sex stuff with wife’s best friend and ex-sister-in-law…

    4. flora

      I’m OK with billionaires building bunkers if they use them for the same purposes as the pharaohs used their pyramids. / ;) (And no, the pyramid buildings weren’t make work projects for the masses. heh.)

      1. ambrit

        “I’m OK with billionaires building bunkers if they use them for the same purposes as the pharaohs used their pyramids. / ;)”
        What? The Bunkers are advanced power generating machines?
        (And just how old is Mount Rushmore really?)

        1. Alice X

          I think she meant that the billionaires should use their bunkers as burial tombs.

          It might be a thought that could catch on, no?

          In those with an advanced sense of godlike immortality, perhaps. Or is that… immorality.

    5. ArvidMartensen

      The problem with the billionaires all thinking they will be hunky-dory in their bunkers while all the riff-raff burns, is that it makes them even more reckless with the world than they would be if they thought they would die along with the rest of us.

      The pilot is always really focused on passenger survival, whereas maybe the Boeing execs not so much.

    1. JBird4049

      Do not forget about the Indian famines of the 19th (and 20th) century with grain being shipped to London while poor Indians were starving to death in front of warehouses full of grain being guarded by the army. Late Victorian Holocaust by Mike Davies is a good primer.

      1. CA

        February 18, 2001

        Apocalypse Then
        The little-known story of drought, famine and pestilence that killed millions at the turn of the last century.
        By AMARTYA SEN

        El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World.
        By Mike Davis.

        The subject of this gripping book is a series of famines that devastated many countries in Asia, North Africa and Latin America in the last quarter of the 19th century. Mike Davis estimates that between 32 and 61 million people died from these famines in China, India and Brazil, and there were many other countries in the tropics that were also badly hit. There is plausibility in the description on the dust jacket of Davis’s book ”Late Victorian Holocausts” that these disasters were ”the greatest human tragedy since the Black Death.” …

      2. CA

        A portion of the entire opening chapter, which is at the link:

        February 18, 2001

        El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World.
        By Mike Davis.

        “While British procrastination was sacrificing charity to their savage god, the Invisible Hand, tens of thousands of these destitute villagers were voting with their feet and fleeing to Hyderabad, where the Nazim was providing assistance to famine victims. A large part of Sholapur was depopulated before British officials managed to organize relief works. Then, as a horrified British journalist discovered, they turned away anyone who was too starved to undertake hard coolie labor. But even ‘the labour test imposed upon the able-bodied,’ the correspondent noted, ‘is found to be too heavy for their famished frames; the wages paid are inadequately low; in many districts all who are willing to work do not find employment…. No arrangements have been made to preserve the cattle by providing fodder or pasture lands. No grain stores have been collected or charity houses opened for the infirm and the aged.’ The only recourse for the young, the infirm and the aged was therefore to attempt the long trek to Hyderabad — an ordeal that reportedly killed most of them.”

        1. JBird4049

          It is annoying to keep reading about all the deaths caused by communism, really totalitarian regimes, but the ignorance of the tens of millions of deaths from the past two centuries of free market capitalism under the ostensibly democratic, but usually oligarchic, countries. Whatever the faults of other economic systems, those of American style libertarianism were demonstrated in Victorian England as well as in the United States during the same period. Whatever the faults of socialism and communism, it was created as a response to those times.

          However, the critics of Communism, Socialism, Anarchism, the Progressive Movement, and similar things are determined to mostly minimize at best or ignore, if not just lie about, the grotesque wrongs that they were a response to. I wonder why that is?

          1. CA


            October 3, 2014

            Harvesting Cotton-Field Capitalism
            Edward Baptist’s New Book Follows the Money on Slavery
            By FELICIA R. LEE


            October 4, 2014

            A Brutal Process
            By ERIC FONER

            Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism
            By Edward E. Baptist

  6. zagonostra

    >Through the Psychedelic Looking Glass New Lines

    The subtitle to the article:

    Perception-altering drugs are going mainstream. Could a new movement driven by profit bring more harm than healing?

    It seems to me capitalism’s “drive for profit” can incorporate anything/process/service as long as it doesn’t undermine those who control them. The limits are set by the culture/ethics of a nation. Whether it “brings more harm than healing” is beside the point. Can we make buck off it, that is the question.

    We don’t, in this country, allow parents to sell their children off to the highest bidder, at least not yet. There are limits, but those limits are not a function of capitalism per se, they are cultural determinants.

    I don’t think that China and Russia allow internet access to pornography whereas the U.S. does. Most developed countries don’t allow companies to profit off of illness and disease, those cost are shared/socialized through “socialized medicine.” Not this country, I think ~20% of the GPD is healthcare related. So psychedelic’s, why not? They may help many people granted, but more importantly, this may be a new revenue/profit stream.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      We’ve already seen the capitalists using 1984 as an instruction manual in recent years. Now apparently it’s time for Brave New World to get the same treatment. Soma* – it’s not just for breakfast anymore!

      * when I just searched for a link to include here, I find that much like another scifi created consumable, Soylent (it’s people!), there is now already a product being marketed as soma. Not an enjoyable irony, I must say.

      1. pjay

        Writing in the 1960s Herbert Marcuse, one of the much-derided Frankfurt School “critical theorists,” discussed “repressive desublimation,” which basically referred to the process by which our growing capacity for individual consumption and “pleasure” was harnessed to a system of domination and capitalist accumulation through a manipulative mass culture.. Despite the Freudian terminology, I always thought that notion was very useful. It can be tweaked to apply to a declining economy as well, as various mechanisms of escape or distraction are provided to undermine any real resistance.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          ““repressive desublimation,” which basically referred to the process by which our growing capacity for individual consumption and “pleasure” was harnessed to a system of domination and capitalist accumulation through a manipulative mass culture”

          And thus Leary’s idea to counter that was hallucinogens to reset our systems and sever the harness.

      2. griffen

        Do we taste like chicken? Asking for a friend…Heh Heh…\sarc

        Take the daily Soma/ blue pill, and return to the Matrix, no red pill for anyone not named Neo. Modern capitalists like Peter Thiel seem to think they’ll live eternally in a secure, well supplied fortress of an island bunker.

      3. digi_owl

        Been thinking that the world has been a mix of the two for decades already. Toe the line and you get the soma via modernized bread and circus. But raise a stink and they go 1984 on you so fast you’re left spinning.

    2. jefemt

      Anything Goes (From “Anything Goes”)
      Cole Porter

      Times have changed
      And we’ve often rewound the clock
      Since the Puritans got a shock
      When they landed on Plymouth Rock
      If today
      Any shock they should try to stem
      Instead of landing on Plymouth Rock
      Plymouth Rock would land on them
      In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
      Was looked on as something shocking
      But now, God knows
      Anything goes
      Good authors too
      Who once knew better words
      Now only use four-letter words writing prose
      Anything goes
      If driving fast cars you like, if low bars you like
      If old hymns you like, if bare limbs you like
      If Mae West you like or me undressed you like
      Why nobody will oppose
      When every night
      The set that’s smart is intruding
      At nudist parties in studios
      Anything goes
      When Missus Ned McLean (God bless her)
      Can get Russian reds to yes her
      Then I suppose
      Anything goes
      When Rockefeller still can hoard
      Enough money to let Max Gordon
      Produce his shows
      Anything goes
      The world has gone mad today and good’s bad today
      And black’s white today, and day’s night today
      And that gent today you gave a cent today
      Once had several chateaux
      When folks who still can ride in jitneys
      Find out Vanderbilts and Whitneys
      Lack baby clothes
      Anything goes
      When Sam Goldwyn can with great conviction
      Instruct Anna Sten in diction
      Then Anna shows
      Anything goes
      When you hear that Lady Mendl standing up
      Now does a handspring
      Landing up on her toes
      Anything goes
      Just think of those shocks you’ve got
      And those knocks you’ve got
      And those blues you’ve got
      From that news you’ve got
      And those pains you’ve got
      (If any brains you’ve got)
      From those little radios
      So Missus R. with all her trimmings
      Can broadcast abed from Simmons
      ‘Cause Franklin knows
      Anything goes

      Because Markets! Freedumb!

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Putin’s going nowhere. The West needs to get a grip.”

    Politico has really been bad on analysis of the NATO-Russian war and this article is no exception. The guy has an approval rating in the 80s and is respected by his people. How many western nations can say the same of their leaders? France? The UK? The US? And Politico really misses Navalny ‘who had mastered the digital age, blending political activism with clever, funny and eye-catching YouTube videos that mock Russia’s political elite and unmask them as corrupt crooks and thieves.’ But at the polls the guy only got about 2% to 5% as most Russians had no trust in the guy. So the only solution that this author has is for the Ukraine to defeat Russia. There is nothing realistic about this goal and it is not going to happen as not only is the Ukraine running on empty but so is the Collective West. We have been effectively demilitarized. I should remember the author’s name – Jamie Dettmer – and see what he has to write as the Ukraine starts to implode.

    1. jm

      “ We have been effectively demilitarized.”

      While I take your meaning and agree with the point you are making, given ever expanding military budgets, I think a better word choice is we have been effectively looted.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      But but but, Putin could only win “imitation” elections. heh

      The headline made me pause. Has Politico come to their senses? Luckily, the article put that notion to rest in a few sentences.

      Also, I have really appreciated the Navalny coverage here. The US propaganda would have one believing he was this major figure, beloved by all the people and feared by the government. The reality seems to be so far removed from that, it’s almost unbelievable. I can’t imagine a clearer picture of how deep in the propaganda our media has fallen.

    3. CA

      “Putin’s going nowhere. The West needs to get a grip.”

      What the West prefers not to recognize or understand is that Russia was threatened existentially after 1990, initially economically then increasingly militarily. With the Putin presidency, Russia began to recover economically. Then, as with the completely unprovoked attack by Georgia on Russian peacekeepers in Ossetia, along the Russia border, Russia began to secure its immediate defense. Putin is broadly considered by Russians to have protected Russia existentially.

    4. OIFVet

      I wonder whether any authors, editors and Ukraine victory dead-enders ever notice the logical impossibility of a guy with 86%approval rating (according to I dependent pollster Levada, no less, as the article mentions) having to resort to sham elections to win 87% of the vote?

      Perhaps our own “liberal democracies” have become so delegitimized that these folks have trouble comprehending the possibility of a president who actually enjoys overwhelming popular support at home. Something no Western leader and political up-and-comer comes even close to achieving.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s a good essay that though I have come across that Yuval Noah Harari in videos. He makes arguments that you could drive a truck through – like a Russian victory would end the global order as if that was a bad thing. And then he gets his knickers in a twist and says ‘The most fundamental rule was that you just cannot invade and conquer and annex another country.’ A Israeli guy is saying this with no self awareness at all. Listen to the man yourself to get his measure- (7:33 mins)

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      That was excellent, top to bottom. Poor, old Yuval after Greer got through with him. My favorite Greer paragraph:

      It’s become quite popular in some circles to insist that the panoply of cascading failures set in motion by the Davos set and other groupings of our would-be lords and masters prove that the global managers we’re discussing are evil masterminds who deliberately intend to cause the dismal outcomes their pet policies have so reliably brought about. A somewhat less popular opinion, though arguably a more accurate one, holds that these same global managers belong to a decadent aristocracy so sheltered from the consequences of its own actions and so caught up in a world of vapid abstractions that it’s a marvel they haven’t caused even worse disasters. I’d like to suggest that another factor may explain a good deal more, however: the world we live in happens to be far too complex for global management to be a viable option.

      You can see the fear growing in their eyes (but not in their shiny, perfect teeth!).

    3. Em

      I consider his complete silence on the Gaza genocide to be a fair assessment of his character. Used to think better of him but he really hasn’t written anything new or interesting(except on magic, which I don’t know enough to address either ways) in about 10 years. He basically became, as he once rather eloquently said, a dead story that just kept repeating itself over and over again, to an ever more impervious echo chamber of like minded admirers – especially as the more progressive portions of his commentariat died off or went away.

      What’s supposed to be impressive about a guy who just repeats conservative cliches about the WEF and libs under a spiritualist veneer? His understanding of modern history is just based off of Spengler and doesn’t incorporate any understanding about leftist and anti-colonial struggles of the past 250 years.

      All his talk about degrowth and de-complexity doesn’t deal with the fact that many non-Westerm societies, especially China and Russia, can actually handle complexity and growth rather well when they’re able to remove themselves from Western interference. Michael Hudson could shut down his theories about civilization in about 90 seconds.

  8. Benny Profane

    The full Greenwald/Taibbi video is worth a watch/listen. Yes, Greenwald does drift into “full Scanners exploding-head rage mode” as Taibbi so aptly puts it, and Matt just sits there and lets it fly. But Greenwald is right. The most amazing point he brings up is that the NYT article still pushes the idea that the Hunter laptop is a figment of Russian disinformation, when both sit there and say, that was a true story!

    1. Carolinian

      I wish Greenwald hadn’t taken the move into his own video heavy ecosystem as he is one the better observers of our current scene. Some of us just aren’t into web TV. Or the other kind either.

      1. cyclist

        I believe Greenwald always publishes a transcript of his videos. His podcast is a must listen on my commutes, as I have little patience with watching videos of people just talking.

        1. Benny Profane

          Well, just consider them podcasts with video. You don’t have to watch. I listen to a lot of YouTube stuff in the gym and car, like the Duran and the Judge.

          1. cyclist

            The nice thing about podcasts is that the file is downloaded to your device, whereas y-tube is streaming and using up that extra data for the (possibly unwatched) video. Not sure I always have signal in the metro and don’t want to burn through my data plan unnecessarily.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Users ditch Glassdoor, stunned by site adding real names without consent”

    Yeah, when they do this sort of stuff, it is time to delete your Glassdoor account and data. But more to the point, spread it on social media far and wide what they did to encourage more people to do the same. You would not have to actually recommend people do this which might get you into future trouble. Just tell people what Glassdoor is doing and how it came about and mention the fact that they will not change their behaviour. The best possible case is that Glassdoor takes a serious financial hit as their user base deserts them.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’ve looked at the site before to get an idea of potential issues at places I was seeking employment. But I thought anyone who posted there was absolutely nuts because of the potential of exactly this scenario. The internet offers a false sense of security but you’re never truly anonymous out here. Also, it always seemed like a “you are the product” type of web site. Other than the satisfaction of putting a bad employer on blast, what do I get out of writing a review? Add into that the idea that someone somewhere knows who is behind the screen name and, no thank you.

      Even when I have read the site, I’d take it with a grain of salt or three. I know for a fact the most toxic place I’ve ever worked had employees from the HR and management side trying to counter all the negative reviews with their own glowing ones. The whole anonymous thing cuts both ways.

    2. TimH

      I ditched Whatsapp when FB reneged on keeping the programs separate. Never used FB. The Whatsapp wifi phone feature is as good on Signal and Telegram. And cleared most everything from Linkedin when MS took it over, but kept the account because it is an easy way for linked people to get my email address. These companies are so treacherous… looking at you too, Ancestry.

  10. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Global fertility rate to shrink by the end of the century, study says

    Just when you think you’ve read all the stupid things regarding “economic growth” for one day comes this gem –

    “Once nearly every country’s population is shrinking, reliance on open immigration will become necessary to sustain economic growth.”

    Not sure how this person thinks that will come about, but whatever.

    Some people might think fewer people means less pollution, a potential slowdown of climate change (if we haven’t already crossed the point of no return) , less land being farmed, fewer forests being cut down, fewer extinctions of other species, etc. Some people might think that, but not the growthers.

    How did we wind up being ruled by people who can’t understand simple mathematical concepts?!??

    1. The Rev Kev

      Because they still need cheap labour to serve them their food and to clean their toilets. Realistically, the ruling class needs a large import of emigrants to provide a cheap labour pool and to keep wages down for everybody else. And now it seems like some of those emigrants may be invited to join the military as the local peons see how little benefit there is in it for them.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        And that’s the thing I see it firsthand where I live – these jawbz immigrants are getting are the worst of the worst. At the hospital, they’re the ones mopping up vomit. In the new hotels that are popping up all over downtown like mushrooms, it’s immigrants doing the housekeeping, etc. These are large, corporate hotel chains we’re talking about here. And from what I understand based on interviews I’ve watched and immigrants I’ve met, the people coming to my area at least were often professionals in their own countries.

        It’s fairly clear at this point that these ‘asylum seekers’ are being fast tracked into the country to fill the jawbz created by the ongoing business surplus necessary to fuel the growth needed to keep the capitalist cancer alive.

    2. Mikel

      That means other countries will have to continue to be under-developed and/or in some sort of chaos to make the West more attractive.

  11. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    This is an extremely good illustration of Europe’s economic suicide.

    A mere 3 years ago ( in May 2021 ), Swiss company Meyer Burger opened a state-of-the-art solar factory in Freiberg, Germany in order to “revitalize the solar industry in Europe”. It was the largest plant for the production of solar modules in Europe.

    They’ve just announced they’re closing the place and relocating their factories to the U.S.

    They blame competition from China for the plant’s failure, as well as a lack of protection by the EU for European industry. High German energy prices, as we’ll see, also undoubtedly played a huge role.

    In any case, the end result is that Europe is losing its solar industry to the US’s benefit.

    It is true that Chinese solar modules are way cheaper than European ones, but there’s a reason for this, and it ain’t “cheap labor” ( Chinese salaries are now on par with many EU countries ) or government subsidies

    ( as this Bloomberg article makes clear, “there’s no evidence that such subsidies exist”: )

    but because China has had a decade-old industrial strategy on solar, with investments that put the rest of the world to shame.

    For instance in 2022, China installed roughly as much solar capacity as the rest of the world combined, and then DOUBLED additional solar in 2023…

    10:55 PM · Mar 20, 2024

    1. CA

      March 20, 2024

      EU chamber warns of ‘slow-motion train accident’ with China, says something needs to change

      China’s focus on the supply side to drive economic growth is creating problems in Europe, according to the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China
      Honest conversations are needed, while China should steer away from excessive self-reliance to create a more sustainable environment for foreign businesses…

      [ The point is that like Germany or Netherlands in manufacturing, China makes and sells stuff and that should be completely welcome and an incentive through Europe for the same. Also, America has been repeatedly threatening to “contain” China for years so of course China needs to work on self-reliance simply because of the continual threats. ]

  12. Mikel

    Digital watch stories:
    So imagine if the luster wears off the algorithm hype and the Fed announces a rate hike?

  13. Feral Finster

    Whether they call it “aid” or a “loan” makes no difference either to the Biden Administration or to Ukraine, since Ukraine will never be able to repay that money under any conceivable circumstances but the weapons will still be delivered.

    In fact, a “loan” is better, from the point of view of increasing the sunk cost of leaving Ukraine, since the voices urging continued escalation will say that escalation is necessary or we won’t get repaid. They know that repayment isn’t happening, regardless, but it’s not their money so they don’t care.

    1. digi_owl

      I guess their ever more fleeting plan was that once the fighting stops, and the collectors come knocking, Ukraine is forced to sell itself cheap to Wall Street.

        1. vao

          Consider that a loan may entail some “interesting” legal consequences, contrarily to a grant.

          NATO countries took the step of confiscating assets of Russian oligarchs, and are now moving on to confiscate assets of the Russian State. The prospects and conditions for a future application of this method to Ukraine is left as an exercise to the reader.

          1. Feral Finster

            Since when did western countries start to care about laws, except when they wanted to?

    2. Gregorio

      “Loaning” money to Ukraine is about as logical as financing Lamborghinis for homeless drug addicts.

      1. Feral Finster

        Of course – the “loans” are a sham. Sort of like those “loans” to Hunter Biden, since you mention drug addicts.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “The worm turns: Russia’s new position on entering into strategic arms negotiations”

    The hawks back in the 70s and 80s that hammered out those treaties were realists and realized that there was little to gain by spending trillions on weapons that can never be used. Fast forward to the Bush era and you had a different breed of hawks. Ones that believed that as the old USSR was gone, that they could get the nuclear drop on Russia and so they withdrew from treaty after treaty. Ukraine was to eventually have nukes stationed there which would be only 7 minutes from Moscow. But Russia played the long game and it is now Russia that has the nuclear drop on the US and this time there is only one treaty left that could help protect the US. Idjuts!

    1. digi_owl

      It feels like nobody is trained in logistics any more, and thus think everything works like Amazon Prime.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Amazon Prime exists, so someone is still trained in logistics. I largely blame the current situation on “politics stops at the water’s edge” nonsense. Foreign policy enclaves simply are purged of bad and dumb actors.

        Albright didn’t see the State Department as a means to avert military action but saw military force as a tool. She and anyone who joined because of her or was promoted due to her should have been purged. Despite the importance of logistics, the problem isn’t that they thought they could simply materialize a no-fly zone its that their policy goals simply involved violence. Empathy is usually a requirement for critical thinking, so its a natural evolution of bad actors to become doofuses.

    2. CA

      December 13, 2001

      Bush Pulls Out of ABM Treaty; Putin Calls Move a Mistake

      December 13, 2001

      Tearing Up the ABM Treaty

      With his decision to junk the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, President Bush is rolling the diplomatic dice. If he is lucky, the Russians will live with the decision and relations with Moscow will continue to improve while Washington freely experiments with new missile defense systems. If he is not, Mr. Bush may alienate the Kremlin and give rise to a dangerous new arms race with Russia and possibly China as well…

      1. Jason Boxman

        Shrub continued what Clinton started, with NATO encroachment of Russia, despite Russians of every political stripe officially and unofficially stating plaining to Washington that this simply is not going to work out. But Washington knew better, didn’t care. Here we are.

        1. CA

          Russia offered arms control, America chose to move missiles to Poland:

          June 21, 2009

          As Arms Meeting Looms, Russia Offers Carrot of Sharp Cuts
          By CLIFFORD J. LEVY

          MOSCOW — President Dmitri A. Medvedev said Saturday that Russia was prepared to carry out significant reductions in its nuclear arsenal as part of its continuing arms control negotiations with the United States, which are to culminate here in a summit meeting with President Obama next month.

          His comments were among the clearest yet by Russia outlining its position on arms control.

          But Mr. Medvedev, issuing a warning in advance of the summit meeting, also reiterated Russian objections to an antimissile system proposed by the United States. He indicated that it had to be scrapped for the two countries to make any progress on arms control…

          October 21, 2009

          Poland to Accept Missile Defense Offer
          By JUDY DEMPSEY

          BERLIN — Poland, smarting after President Barack Obama announced last month that he would scrap Bush-era plans to deploy an antiballistic missile system in Eastern Europe, will accept an offer to host parts of a new, more mobile missile defense system, Polish officials said Tuesday…

  15. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Powerful statement signed by some of the most prominent Jewish Americans. They openly repudiate AIPAC and America’s “unwavering loyalty to Israel”, calling to “break the chain that holds in place the unbearable tragedy of Israel/Palestine”

    Here’s the statement in full:

    “We are Jewish Americans who have varying perspectives. We’ve come together to highlight and oppose the unprecedented and damaging role of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its allied groups in US elections, especially within Democratic Party primaries. We recognize that the purpose of AIPAC’s interventions in electoral politics is to defeat any critics of Israeli government policy and to support candidates who vow unwavering loyalty to Israel, thereby ensuring the United States’ continuing support for all that Israel does, regardless of its violence and illegality.

    Given that Israel is so isolated internationally that it could not continue its inhumane treatment of the Palestinians without US political and military support, AIPAC is an essential link in the chain that holds in place the unbearable tragedy of Israel/Palestine. In the coming US elections, we need to break that chain in order to help free the people of Israel/Palestine to pursue peaceful coexistence.

    In the same 2021-22 election cycle in which AIPAC endorsed Republican extremists and dozens of Congress members who’d voted against certifying Biden’s victory over Trump, AIPAC’s network raised millions from Trump donors and spent the money inside Democratic primaries against progressives, mostly candidates of color. AIPAC is now vowing to spend even more millions in the 2024 Democratic primaries, targeting specific Democrats in Congress—initially all legislators of color—who’ve advocated for a Gaza cease-fire, a position supported by the vast majority of Democratic voters. AIPAC’s election spending increasingly works to defeat candidates who criticize Israel’s racist policies.

    In contrast to AIPAC, we are American Jews who believe that US support for foreign governments should only be extended to those that respect the full human and civil rights, and right to self-determination, of all people. We oppose all forms of racism and bigotry, including antisemitism—and we support the historic alliance in our country of Jewish Americans with African Americans and other people of color in the cause of civil rights and equal justice.

    Therefore, we strongly oppose AIPAC’s attempts to dominate Democratic primary elections. We call on Democratic candidates to not accept AIPAC network funding, and demand that the Democratic leadership not allow Republican funders to use that network to deform Democratic primary elections. We will support candidates who are opposed by AIPAC, and who are advocates for peace and a new, just US policy toward Israel/Palestine.”

    12:45 AM · Mar 21, 2024

    1. britzklieg

      Yeah that’s great re AIPAC, but I wonder how many of them would sign such a sternly worded letter denouncing the genocide in Gaza? I suspect many of those names would be absent…

    1. Jason Boxman

      The book in question:

      In this third volume of his Consent Factory Essays, C. J. Hopkins presents an unofficial history of the roll-out of the “New Normal” during the 2020-2021 Covid-19 pandemic, and an analysis of this new, pathologized-totalitarian ideology that has radically transformed societies around the world.

      From the proclamation of the “New Normal” and the initial propaganda blitzkrieg in March of 2020, and on through the global lockdowns, the suspension of constitutional rights, the mask mandates, the social distancing, the censorship, the segregation and persecution of “the Unvaccinated,” and, finally, the collapse of the official Covid narrative at the end of 2021, the essays in this volume comprise an “as-it-happened” record of how insane and totalitarian things got, and puts the madness into context. “No other prophet has described the strategies or predicted the perils of the emerging totalitarianism with such persistence and eloquence.” (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.)

      I’m not really sure how this satirically intersections with Nazism.

  16. Tom Stone

    I’ve been thinking about that $470 Million in fines levied against Trump and his decision to let Letitia James take and sell his property.
    Trumps crime was Heinous, he embarassed important people and rocked the boat and he is being punished accordingly.
    It’s not a surprise that it is happening, but it makes it brutally clear that even a rich man’s property can be taken if they step out of line.
    Things like the Rule of Law, the Bill of Rights and Habeas Corpus were put in place to protect the wealthy and powerful, the fact that they also protected the middle class ( Never the underclass) was deeply resented by the elites.
    So they got rid of them.
    Now NO ONES person or property is secure from arbitrary seizure by the “Authorities”, it is explicit and we are beginning to see the consequences.
    If I held significant property interests in NYC I would be sending a generous contribution to Ms James re election campaign before divesting myself of them as quickly as prudence allowed.
    I wonder how big an effect this will have on the tax base over the next few years?

    1. Martin Oline

      “he embar(r*)assed important people” had me rolling on the floor. Thanks for that. This is going to be a classic case of dog catches car if they seize the property. I am glad I own property in Florida because there are already tons of New Yawkas coming here. It will be easier for me to sell my property than some poor condo owner in NYC.
      *fixed it for ya.

  17. Xiaolei Mu

    Climate models can’t explain 2023’s huge heat anomaly — we could be in uncharted territory Nature

    Just a hot take but could the destruction of the Nord Stream Pipelines and the subsequent release of the natural gas be the reason behind the 2023 heat anomaly? Does methane act this fast on the atmosphere? It would be the kind of hypothesis researchers from NASA wouldn’t touch or perhaps even permitted to think about because politics forbids all proper inquiry on this.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      I’m glad you raised this. It might have had an impact.
      Also, methane could be bubbling from the Arctic Ocean which might be the fastest heating ocean in the world. Melting of the huge volume of methane clathrates is the problem.
      Taken from Arctic News 6 months ago:
      “Seafloor methane tipping point reached”
      The image below, created with NASA data, shows why these extremely high sea surface
      temperatures are so worrying.
      The red trend, based on August 2008-August 2023 data and better reflecting
      variables such as El Niño, indicates that the seafloor methane tipping point could be crossed late
      2023. Data show the seafloor methane tipping point was reached in August 2023

      Imho, if this is true then about now we should all be bending over and kissing our a*ses goodbye.

    2. juno mas

      My reading of reports suggests that 100,000 to 400,000 metric tons of methane were released by the NordStream sabotage. Some reports suggest that’s a few days/week of worldwide methane emissions. Seems small, but when scientists suggest “we” are a tipping point, every ton hurts.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The amount emitted was negligible in global terms – methane levels in the atmosphere are quite closely monitored by satellite, if there had been more emitted than admitted to, it would have been detected.

      Unfortunately, the likeliest explanation for 2023 is that we crossed some key tipping points. Models tend to assume straight line projections for climate, but in reality climate change historically moves forward in distinct jumps. The end of the last ice age, for example, was marked by a sequence of very rapid and sudden changes in what would have seemed at the time catastrophic sequence of rapid warming, with occasional dramatic cold snaps.

      What is deeply worrying many climate scientists now is that reality is following closer to what were known as the ‘hot’ models – a number of seemingly anomalous projections that ran significantly hotter than the mainstream assumptions. If this is the case, then we really are family blogged.

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