Links 3/22/2024

“What’s Lymphoma?” — Risks Posed by Immediate Release of Test Results to Patients New England Journal of Medicine (Dr. Kevin)

New gene therapy, to be priced at $4.25 million, has already transformed children’s lives STAT (Dr. Kevin)

Fetal tissue research gains in importance as roadblocks multiply STAT (Dr. Kevin)

The Age of Cultural Stagnation New Republic (Anthony L)



Touring Ground Zero of the Methane Emergency Powering the Planet (Kurt Y)


US weighs sanctions against Huawei’s chip network Asia Times (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Why Slovak Wildcard Robert Fico Could Bring EU House of Cards Crashing Down Sputnik (Micael T)

Kindergarten in the bunker German Foreign Policy (Micael T)

Peace building is necessary! NachDenkSeiten. Micael T: More on “The Germans are going insane. Militarization of school.”


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 167: Israel has killed over 100 aid workers in Gaza in the last week Mondoweiss (guurst)

MK Odeh Forcefully Removed from the Knesset Floor After Denouncing Massacre and Starvation in Gaza Communist Party of Israel (BC)

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Authorized Atrocities Consortium News

A top Israeli official said his country’s military was ultimately going to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah and defeat Hamas ‘even if the entire world turns on Israel, including the United States’. Bloomberg, with headline from Daily Maverick (BC)

Eilat Reels as Iran-Backed Houthis Put a Dent in Israeli Port Activity New York Sun (Vikas S)

Houthis hit Israel for first time RT (Kevin W)

The first step toward disintegrating Israel’s settler machine +972 (guurst)

Vast majority of Israelis abroad say ‘no intention to return’: Poll The Cradle (Kevin W)

Russia and China reach shipping deal with Houthis – Bloomberg RT

War on Gaza: Israel is dragging the US into a future regional war Middle East Eye (BC). Not exactly news but useful detail.

US submits draft resolution to UN Security Council calling for Gaza ceasefire — Blinken TASS

US House Speaker set to invite Netanyahu to address Congress BBC. Kevin W: “What could possibly go wrong?”

Israel’s War on the Education Sector in the Gaza Strip Arab Center (guurst)

Israeli influence campaign targeting African-American lawmakers critical of Gaza war: Report Middle East Online (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

a 9:00 AM addition: Russian Strikes Paralyze Ukraine’s Power Grid: Here’s What Was Hit Sputnik (guurst)

Peskov: Russia is in a state of war, everyone should understand this Federal AIF (Micael T)

Ukraine forced to close controversial ‘war sponsors’ blacklist RT

A Brief History of NATO and Ukraine Larry Johnson (Chuck L)

How the West Upended the World’s Best Figure Skater To Undermine Russia (Kevin W). Childish stunts are an admission of weakness.


The Middle East: The world’s playground for the privatization of war James Dorsey


Washington mulls ‘plea deal’ for Julian Assange: Report The Cradle. Micael T: “This I believe when I see it. Until then this should be considered as part of the psychological torture program.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

How the U.S. Waged a Global Campaign Against Baby Formula Regulation ProPublica (Carla). It boggles the mind that we throw our weight around for non-strategic commercial players this way, and then for a product with negative health effects (there is a case for formula for preemies, proven out by an academic and practicing MD who has made breastfeeding a research topic. But even then, formula is beneficial only as 20% of intake. Breastfeeding advocates were enraged than even a very limited use of formula was proven to be beneficial)

US forces unwelcome at Japanese ports and airfields Asia Times (Kevin W)


Cannon’s jury instruction order could crush Jack Smith’s case MSNBC (furzy)

Trump’s Threat to Europe Foreign Affairs

Potential $3.5bn windfall for Donald Trump hangs on fight over Spac deal Financial Times

Trump needs a half billion dollars, and fast CNN


Biden cancels $6bn in student debt for public service workers BBC (Kevin W)

GOP Clown Car

House GOP undermines Trump with call for $2.7 trillion in Social Security and Medicare cuts MarketWatch (Mike M)


Our No Longer Free Press

Why Government is Always the Most Dangerous Source of Misinformation Matt Taibbi

I was banned from Elon’s ‘free speech’ X app for offending power Grayzone (Tom H)

Is TikTok a Weapon Against American Hegemony? Eastern Angle (Micael T)


Pregnancy care has changed in alarming ways since Louisiana banned abortion NPR (furzy)


DOJ, 16 states sue Apple for monopolizing smartphone market The Hill

Why the Apple Antitrust Suit Matters Matt Stoller

US sues Apple for illegal monopoly over smartphones The Verge. Micael T: “Tim Cook goes to jail? 5 years for monopoly and 20 years for crappification would be a just sentence.”

Here’s the U.S. Government’s Antitrust Case Against Apple 404Media

The PBM-Insurer Mafia Comes for Community Pharmacies American Prospect (UserFriendly)


Business leaders push sustainable intelligence Bangkok Post (furzy). Seems like an oxymoron.

The Bezzle

First it was Facebook, then Twitter. Is Reddit about to become rubbish too? Guardian (Kevin W)

Patent Lawsuits Are a National-Security Threat Wall Street Journal (Dr. Kevin)

Class Warfare

Untangling the “socialism” vs. “capitalism” dichotomy Alex Krainer (Micael T)

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Lover’s Cross by Jim Croce)

    The soldiers come to kill and flatten
    To work a monstrous crime
    We know murder is their only mission
    Killing scores of us at a time
    So many thousands of us have been martyred
    They’ve destroyed all our water and food
    Do they know when they kill us all we still won’t be subdued?

    They kill all of the UN’s staffing
    The world lets it slide
    They shoot journalists out photographing
    There is so much blood to hide
    There’s no strength in the UN Charter
    Your Congress will obey the jews
    Do they know when they kill us all they’ve lit a larger fuse?

    Gaza is smashed and burning
    The streets are a firing range
    These scenes are so stomach churning
    But the liars in Congress see no need for change

    Crowds of orphans here who’ve lost their mother
    Wait for food in empty lots
    They sit and cry beneath the sky
    Or pray to a silent God
    They never have known killing hunger before
    And there’s nothing but grass here to chew
    Do you know when they kill us all we still won’t be subdued?

    Gaza is smashed and burning
    The streets are a firing range
    These scenes are so stomach churning
    While the liars in Congress see no need for change

    You can say all men are always brothers
    Till you see starving people shot
    The laws of war do not apply
    Nor sweet words your scripture taught
    They are building a pier on the Gaza shore
    Anyone who ships out will get food
    Do they know when they kill us all we still won’t be subdued?

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, unlike the several days without water, a person can live for weeks without food, until they can’t. IIRC, infants, children, the old, men, and then women more or less die in that order. The babies started to die a few weeks ago. Children just recently. Next up is the old and sick if they haven’t already. I suspect that formerly able bodied men will soon be up. Once that wall is hit, it becomes a predictable, routine event.

        But if you protest this genocide by starvation, you must be a jew-hater. I have said it before, but I wonder what my relatives, those who captured death camps and those who worked in the post war refugee camps would say of today’s Israelis and their supporters. Nothing positive, of this, I am quite sure.

        It is quite a cliché, but what is the saying about choosing your enemies wisely for you become like them? It seems to me that the Israelis kept looking for Nazis everywhere and in everyone, and then finding them to their cost.

        1. Em

          The Zionists grew out of the same European settler colonial ideology as the Nazis and started decades earlier.

          They looked for their “living space” in the Levant, rather than the Slavic lands to the East. The Holocaust merely provided them fuel for their cause and a very convenient smokescreen for their otherwise indefensible settler colonial State. It wasn’t the cause of the Jewish state, it was merely what allowed them to finally consolidate their hideous project into a state.

          The Zionists worked with Nazis to defeat a world Jewish attempt to boycott the Germany in the early 1930s. They tried to get German sponsorship of their Jewish supremacist state. They did not care about anti-Zionist Jews and carefully planned a curriculum to radicalize previously apolitical Arab Jews to loath their Arab neighbors.

          The Israeli state cooperated with unrepentant former Nazis that the West funneled into the Americas and within Europe. The very few Nazis they hunted down was for show, the way that their purportedly socialist Kibbutzim built in stolen Palestinian land were for show.

      2. Antifa

        Yes, and as the rain-soaked sewage puddles warm up a bit people who are forced to drink from them will begin a raging cholera pandemic, which is death by dehydration. Cholera is treatable with IV fluids and antibiotics. Which there is none of in Gaza.

        Nor are there any diapers, nor any way to wash whatever you use for diapers. Hand-mouth fecal infections will thrive, as will Hep-A and infinite diarrhea. Malnourished kids can’t handle any of this.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Why Slovak Wildcard Robert Fico Could Bring EU House of Cards Crashing Down”

    Once upon time there was a country called Czechoslovakia until they decided many years to go their own way without even a civil war to mark the occasion. It seems that they have really gone their own way. The Czech Republic is still gung-ho on Project Ukraine and are running around trying to find more weapons to ship to the Ukraine while shipping them more artillery rounds. Slovakia meanwhile has come closer to Hungary’s stance and noted that Project Ukraine has failed and it is time to get back to reality. But what surprised me was to learn that the Czech Republic even suspended intergovernmental consultations with Slovakia to punish them for daring to meet with Lavrov, even though other EU leaders have done the same. Never saw that coming. No wonder that they are upset with Robert Fico-

  3. Dr. John Carpenter

    Too bad “star” Democrat AOC can’t obliterate members of her own party who are propping up a genocide currently. She can’t even take criticism from her constituents without whining about her feefees being hurt. Sight. Red meat for the true believers, I guess.

    1. griffen

      I have doubt the Republican effort has a solid case to support moving past this inquiry. They got some good detail on Hunter I think, and that he did not register or file under the FARA; and potentially as well, also on brother James received some timely or well timed payments from a since failed healthcare company. These individuals just seem capable enough at extracting large sums of money for not actually doing much overall. Other opinions may vary.

      If Hunter had a different last name he’d be wearing an orange suit. What a country and our wonderful application of the law. \sarc

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Grandstanding all around. The Rs can look like they’re sticking it to Biden. The Ds can look like they’re fighting the Rs. Nothing changes. Red meat for the base.

      2. Benny Profane

        If Hunter had a different last name he’d be cleaning toilets. Or dead.

        And the inquiry is the whole point. Keep Hunter’s grand life in the public view for ’24. They don’t want to catch that car.

        1. Em

          I suspect he could have just become a normal person if he wasn’t raised in such a toxic family. The Biden’s managed to turn their dogs into unrepentant man-biters and their kids into unrepentant grifters.

      3. Procopius

        These individuals just seem capable enough at extracting large sums of money for not actually doing much overall.

        Just so. Hunter and his father never had to actually DO ANYTHING in Ukraine after Burisma hired him. Just being on the board of directors was all that was needed to scare their enemies off. The rest of the board of directors only had to say, “Look, we’ve got clout!” They’re never going to find any wrongdoing.

    2. GramSci

      I wish the witness had named the crime “Greed”. We then could have watched AOC and the ‘Occupy Democrats’ lecture us on how greed is not a crime.

    3. mrsyk

      AOC, what has become of you? The weak tea gotcha (grand?)standing is another new low on the HRC career/character trajectory track you appear to have signed up for.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Yep. The Netflix and Vanity Fare coverage was a huge red flag for me. No way anyone seriously against the status quo was going to get that kind of coverage, especially when they were still being portrayed as just a humble barkeep with no political experience. Add to that her rapidly becoming the face of the DSA despite having no previous involvement with the organization and previously being an intern for Teddy Kennedy and it all stunk to high heaven.

          She hasn’t changed. She’s just showing her true colors.

          1. playon

            If you look at her educational background you can see why the CIA might want to recruit her.

        2. Benny Profane

          Well, that may explain a lot. I thought that somebody brought her into a small room in the congress building and pulled out that pen device from Men in Black and zapped her.

      1. Feral Finster

        If the Establishment is good at nothing else, it is very good at determining whom to co-opt, whom to buy off, whom to neutralize, whom to ignore.

    4. Jason Boxman

      A dutiful idiot. She clearly likes the cocktail parties, the adulation, and the sweet Congressional salary. The evidence of a Biden clan influence peddling scam is quite robust. Something always smelled “off” about The Squad ™.

      1. Oh

        Most of all the salary of $130,000 + and big benefits in addition to the items you pointed out. Bartenders don’t get those!

    5. lyman alpha blob

      For true believers only, indeed. Because I watched the video and it looked to me like she had her ass handed back to her. She asked what the crime was and repeatedly cut Bobulinski off as he was trying to tell her, and then wound things up before she was made to look more foolish.

  4. Afro

    I’m on a rare flight and wearing an N95. If it weren’t for the links here I would be ignoring COVID. Thank you for going far beyond your intended mandate (finance) to raise awareness on this public health topic.

    1. LawnDart

      I agree– nothing, no other site or source that I have found even comes close to matching the depth or breadth of information on covid as here at Naked Capitalism. And I really appreciate how well the available information has been organized and presented by Lambert.

      One this topic, is anyone here able to point to a source that describes the symptoms of the current, dominant strains of covid?

      As we have seen, this disease seems to manifest itself in different ways with each generation of mutations, and it’d be really helpful to know what we should be looking for or paying close-attention to.

      If such a source is available, I am unable to find it.

      1. LawnDart

        Thanks, but disregard (sort of)– I was sloppy in my search, found the info I was seeking, although it’d still be nice if it could be consistently found in one location:

        “People with JN.1 or HV.1 usually feel like they have a cold or the flu,” Dr. Cicogna explains. “They might get a sore throat, feel tired or have a headache. Sometimes, they get an upset stomach, too. But these variants don’t often cause serious illness.”

        1. JBird4049

          Aside from a sore throat, I get these symptoms when I get too stressed, never mind actually infected with anything. If you are sick, these symptoms are common, it actually could be anything including food poisoning. Without using quality home Covid testing, there is no good way to know if you or anyone with you has Covid or if your preventatives, whatever they are, are working.

          I have noticed that American boutique manufacturers of N95 masks especially for something other than basic white are having a hard time staying in business as well. It would be nice to be able to buy affordable, effective, American made N95 masks in something other than white or, if I am lucky, basic black. The Biden Administration is bleating about reshoring our manufacturing and some politicians are bleating about having the Commies other countries being the sole source of necessary manufacturing, I would think that logically this would concern them.

          1. playon

            I was able to find some very nice N95s in blue on ebay for cheap.

            Would prefer black but I’ll take them over white ones. I bought some black N95s but they were shoddy, thin, and the straps would break. Wish someone would make decent ones.

      2. kareninca

        Every day I go to “reddit covid positive.” It is a place where people post descriptions of what they are going through right now; that is how I get my sense of the symptoms the different variants. During the acute phase of each, of course; who knows about long term.

  5. zagonostra

    >US weighs sanctions against Huawei’s chip network – Asia Times

    Last August, Huawei launched its flagship smartphone Mate 60, which used the Kirin 9000S, a 7-nanometer chip made by the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC). In December, it unveiled a new electric vehicle called M9, which used the Kunpeng 920, another self-developed 7nm chip.

    What is much more impressive than the upscale M9 is the $10K EV cars that China has produced; that will most likely never be allowed to sell in the U.S., even tough it would help low income families having to take out a 7 year loan to afford current car offerings.

    There is an interesting clip from 2011 in below podcast from Carl Zha where Elon Musk dismissively laughs at China producing a quality EV. I bet he isn’t laughing anymore. And the more the U.S. imposes sanctions the more China will develop it’s internal R&D capacity to produce advanced chips.

    1. digi_owl

      We humans do have this annoying reflex of taking the present state and projecting it into infinity. This demonstrated by hobos and CEOs alike.

    2. Benny Profane

      And we just filled suit against what is our biggest corporation and what could arguably be the most admired in the world for monopolistic practices, at the same time our congress is trying to ban the world’s most popular social media app, or, should I say, force it’s transition to American ownership, i.e., steal it. Yup, land of free market capitalism.

    3. Ranger Rick

      Aside from the obvious “hostile state gaining technological capabilities” angle, I welcome this development. It’s somewhat ironic to see Elon scoffing at competition (he was famously rebuffed by Russia when he attempted to buy rockets from them). In the electronics space, the incumbents have been ripe for disruption for a while. Intel’s been floundering ever since they had to license the x86_64 instruction set from AMD.

  6. ChrisFromGA

    It looks like Ukraine (well, to be fair the neocons like Lindsay Graham who think it’s their personal toy to run depopulation experiments on are the real decision makers) got a lesson in “fool around and find out.”

    Massive blackouts and power outages after Russia finally got tired of the games:

    large scale power outages

    1. Trees&Trunks

      Today I had an email exchange with a business leader from a Western country based in Kiev. He had spent some time in a bomb shelter. I asked if it would not have had been better to negotiate a common European security framework as proposed for many years until and including the end of 2021. He seemed to not having gotten the message but doubled down on stupid ranting about Russian international aggression, Russia bombing civilian infrastructure, Russia attacks cilivians, Russian desinformation, Russia causing mass migration, people expulsion, a strong Europe and West to counter Russia is necessary etc.etc.etc.

      Does the experience of being bombed have only a radicalizing effect on people or can it also work as a humble pie? One would have thought the latter when experience the horrors. One could then, as an alternative, think that maybe life is better in peace.

      In the army we watched video of a missile attack. Cameras in the woods capturing the explosions, including going black when they were hit. It was horrifying and since then I hate war. It worked as a humbe pie.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I think that is right, bombing alone really never won a war, except for maybe Japan in WWII.

        During the blitz, Germany pretty much carpet-bombed London, and despite a huge number of civilian deaths, life carried on. The US learned this lesson (well, actually, we didn’t) in Vietnam.

        I suspect that the hardening of people to mass death around them is a survival/coping mechanism.

        Note that the Russia strikes aren’t aimed at killing civilians, but that won’t stop the usual suspects from claiming that they are.

        1. digi_owl

          Not even Japan. At the same time as the nukes dropped, USSR crossed into Manchuria. And by the time Japan signed the surrender, they were well on their way down the Korean peninsula.

          Keep in mind that Japan had been tangling with both Russia and USSR for decades already, with the most recent one seeing them mauled so hard they signed a ceasefire that allowed Stalin to ship hardened Siberian units to fight Nazi Germany.

          After Germany surrendered, Japan tried to get USSR act as a intermediary on a conditional surrender. And was shocked to see the ceasefire tossed aside instead.

          1. Jason Boxman

            Japan had actually been back channeling an attempt to surrender for weeks before the strikes, but was ignored. No nuking was ever necessary.

            1. Ranger Rick

              Surrender, but for a white peace (status quo ante bellum, which would have retained Japan’s territorial gains prior to the war). As I understand it, at the time nothing less than total surrender was seen as acceptable, and the alternative, complete annihilation, was demonstrated.

            2. TimH

              The US had two different nuke designs to test. Don’t forget the complete US lockdown on the Nag. and Hiro. devastations for post-analyses.

          2. Wisker

            Tsuyoshi Hasegawa’s seminal 2005 book “Racing the Enemy” being the key text here.

            The issue for the Japanese elite was the retention of the emperor-system. They wisely judged the Soviets would be implacable on the subject and so surrender to the Americans became the preferred option. Mass civilian casualties had already been suffered during the previous firebombings–they were not a major consideration for the elite. No one was really clear on the implications on atomic bombs at the time.

            1. Oh

              And the US let the Japanese war criminals including the ones who experimented with bio weapons, go scot free! Those people formed the LDP.

      2. Donald

        People generally don’t like the people who are bombing them. I don’t buy into the Western narrative of pure good vs pure evil, but I would expect anyone being bombed by country X to hate country X. It would have been much much better for the West to have negotiated in good faith, but once Russia invaded you should expect those Ukranians who are bombed or who have lost family at the front to hate Russia.

        This same principle, of course, applies to all the nasty things the US or its allies do.

        1. Em

          People also don’t like their sons, husbands, brothers, and fathers to be forcibly conscripted to serve as “meat” for a Western instigated war.

          As for your point, my counterpoint would be the Chechen soldiers serving with great distinction in the current SMO, less than 15 years after the end of the second Chechen War.

          Another example is the “Vietnam” war. Whereas this continues to be a huge sore in the American psyche, the Vietnamese themselves are incredibly gracious towards Americans responsible for the deaths of millions of their countrymen. Sometimes, most times, people just want the opportunity to have peace and be normal people. Create the conditions for peace and justice, and hope that better days will follow.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            JFK certainly tried and look what happened to him -in Oct 1963, 6 weeks before he was assassinated he issued a secret order to remove all troops from Vietnam – National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 263 – exposed in Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers – LBJ never followed through – seek peace and get marked – doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try –

          2. Feral Finster

            Well, the people I know whose kids were press-ganged just want the war to end.

            Of course, nobody in the West or Ukraine cares what they think.

        2. hk

          Not that simple. During WW2, France was bombed fairly heavily by the Allies: factories, railways, bridges and so on. Thousands of French people died from American and British bombs. But they knew who the “real” targets were and did not resent this…for most part.

          Heck, after the war was over, the Germans and Japanese did not hold grudge, despite being the actual targets of massive bombing, far heavier than what fell on Britain.

          As it were, I’d suspect that much of Ukraine will be somewhere between the two.

        3. Lefty Godot

          Maybe it’s just being reported more lately, but there seem to be more acts of sabotage by supposed pro-Russian “partisans”, even in western Ukraine. And some Ukrainians all along have been passing information about potential targets to the Russians (like for the Kharkhov hotel strike that killed all those French “mercenaries”). There is often a SBU hunt for “informers” after some of the Russian strikes that hit high value targets.

          Because Russia has been mainly bombing targets of military value, the average Ukrainian in central and western Ukraine may not have felt much impact from it. The forced conscription by their own government may be generating more hate. Things may change in May, when Zelensky’s supposed legitimacy runs out, with Russia turning up the heat to see if one of the coup-plotting factions is ready to cry uncle and try for a realistic negotiated settlement (meaning, basically, one written by Russian and signed off on by whoever ousts Zelensky).

      3. Feral Finster

        I might know this dude. If he is anything like any other western business leader, he knows what the group narrative is, and he is careful never to be more than fifteen minutes ahead of the times.

        Anyway, the son of a family friend got picked up. He lives in Kiev so he is relatively safe, but had to venture out of the city and is now In The Army. He’s a computer programmer and about useless for any serious military work other than soaking up munitions.

        Doesn’t matter. As far as Graham or Zelenskii are concerned, he will have served his purpose if he can do that.

        1. Trees&Trunks

          First I thought Myrotvorets and Molfar were the compelling reasons for the standpoint. But since I have received the very same reactions in the West from similarly and more credentialed people living far away from these death lists I thought maybe not key arguments.

          1. Feral Finster

            In or out of Ukraine, straying from the Approved Consensus can lead to serious negative personal and professional consequences.

            To give an extreme example, if you are interviewing for a financial circuses job and you start talking about alien abductions, Nephilim and Jews From Outer Space, you may not be getting that job, even if you are otherwise very qualified. Axtually had someone do something like this once, although not a job interview.

            It doesn’t matter whether you personally had Close Encounters of the First, Second and Third Kinds and a note from your shrink that you are totally sane. You would best be advised to keep your experiences with Little Green Men to yourself.

      4. LawnDart

        Does the experience of being bombed have only a radicalizing effect on people or can it also work as a humble pie?

        I believe that it’s one of those “eye of the beholder” sort of things, processed at the individual level. Personally, I harbored no ill-will towards those doing the bombing: they were just doing their job as I would have done mine, if the shoe were on the other foot. But then, under any rules of war, I was a legit target, so I probably have different feelings if I were a civilian.

        For me, each incident of that nature added to the sum of life experience, and where I am at now finds me very conflict-avoidant and deeply appreciative of peace.


      1. Martin Oline

        Too muddy to do a drive by afterwards in the winter. Spring will be over in three weeks and it will be much better for armored assaults.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Opinion: House Republicans undermine Trump with call for $2.7 trillion in Social Security and Medicare cuts”

    There must be names attached to that Republican document from the House of Reps. The months between now and November should be used to remind those Republicans why exactly cutting Medicare and Social Security is a third rail issue. Have people campaign against them, constantly demand that they justify their positions, put signs out in public with their images and the text below ‘They want to cut YOUR Medicare and Social Security’, make the whole issue radioactive for them. Remind them that there a price to pay for taking an idiotic stand like this.

    1. timbers

      Are you forgetting the US is not a free country? MSM won’t air that and the Uni-Party won’t allow any candidates to take such positions w/o shutting them out of their Party apparatus. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised to the see the NYT headline “Why Russian’s Invasion Might Force Cuts to SS and Medicare & Cause Global Warming & Increase Flood & Auto Insurance Premiums” next the their Headline “Why Isn’t More Aid Getting to Gazans?”.

      The NYT need SOMETHING to replace their buried articles on Ukraine war.

      1. mrsyk

        If you think Timbers is hyperventilating tune in NPR and hear it for yourself. The soma buzz fueled, bedtime story voice narration backed by Kenny G and the Starbucks All Stars is really quite something. This past week they have been actively foaming the runway for censorship while defending genocide and bemoaning Trump and Team Red for holding back funding the slaughter of Ukrainians.
        Anybody else here remember Robert J. Lurtsema reading the headlines and ledes from the Times at 7:00am every morning? It was a pleasant start to the day.

        1. Kilgore Trout

          Morning Pro Musica was a regular part of many mornings for me in the 1970’s. Lambert has referenced the show from time to time, and Water Cooler’s bird song feature was inspired by Robert J’s bird song start to his show. Can’t believe it’s been fifty years since I first listened to his show. Adding: the switch from classical music on both GBH and BUR coincides with the start of NPR’s crappification. I imagine Daniel Schorr turning in his grave over the depths to which NPR has sunk as a corporate shill and government mouthpiece.

      2. Feral Finster

        TL:DR Russia is to blame for everything from ED to freak weather to your spouse leaving you.

        Once upon a time, not so long ago, Jews were assigned a similar role.

        1. TimH

          The hate is easy. Incumbent Americans hated the Irish immigrants in the early 19th c., the Polish and Italian immigrants in the early 20th c. “they are taking our jobs”.

        2. c_heale

          I’ve read a lot of books on, and many of the British ones from 1900 to the end of the 1930’s are incredibly anti-semetic.

          1. Not Qualified to Comment

            A millenium of anti-semetism was fuelled by the Christian churches aided by the Holy Bible itself blaming the Jews for the Crucifixion of Christ. The slipping of the Church’s grip on people’s minds and a genuine sympathy in response to certain events of WW2 went a long way to undo this – until now. Who is to blame for that, I wonder?

    2. John

      I have an alternative for those congress critters hell bent of balancing the budget by cutting Medicare and Social Security. The “defense budget” and everything surrounding it amount to somewhere between one and two trillion annually … and it increases annually. The record of the crapified “weapons systems” in Ukraine does not speak well for the MIC. The simple fact that they are incapable of producing something as relatively simple as an artillery shell tells me that we are wasting our money there.

      What to do? A stern talking to and say a one hundred billion cut in the budget each year until they get their act together, if they can do that, which I doubt.

      I get it. You, congress critters, have your orders from your owners. Privatize social security and medicare so the skim can go into high gear. Medicare Advantage is only the camel’s nose in the tent. (Were it up to me I would cut off the camel’s nose.)

      Hypocrisy thy motto is Balance the Budget.

      1. Samuel Conner

        It’s more nearly the motto of Futility.

        Unless US becomes a Trade Surplus nation, attempts to bring the Federal budget into balance, if they succeed, will simply drive the US domestic private sector into debt and the economy into recession or depression. The National Accounting Identity strikes again.

        IMO our rulers are either ignorant or evil. Of course, it’s entirely possible that they’re both.

      2. Feral Finster

        Ever notice that we cannot afford useless luxuries such as healthcare, education or infrastructure, but we never hear “but we can’t afford it!” when it comes to bailing the billionaires out at the casino or putting another war on the national credit card.

        We’re even told that these things are necessary. Because jobs. But everyone knows that there are no jobs in building infrastructure. The bridges just assemble themselves.

  8. zagonostra

    >US House Speaker set to invite Netanyahu to address Congress

    To me this equivalent to Canada’s House of Commons giving a standing ovation to Nazi 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka. I didn’t think my disgust with U.S. Congress could be any greater. Col. Douglas MacGregor, Scott Ritter, Max Blumental, Aaron Mate, Larry Johnson, among many others, have straight out stated that Congress is controlled by Israeli lobbyist. And yet here they will invite this genocide ghoul to speak in front of assembled “people’s” representatives and I’m sure, give standing ovations…sickening in the extreme.

    1. timbers

      Hope they broadcast Netanyahu’s address to Congress to the Heavens on Western Media. It will do more to improve the standing of Russia and China and Iran and US opponents within the Global Majority, than anything they could themselves.

      1. Neutrino

        Can we see one of those cool bomb graphics again, with the red ink dripping down on him? Some free publicity. /:

    2. The Rev Kev

      The sight of Netanyahu being given standing ovations again and again while at the same time Israel bombs refugees is not going to play well in the rest of the world. What credibility the US has left will be shot to pieces by this and I cannot think of why they thought it was a good idea to invite Bibi to address Congress.

      1. GramSci

        It will be clarifying to see which members of congress stand and applaud, if not edifying.

          1. undercurrent

            I betcha AOC claps longer than anyone else and stands long after everyone else becomes seated, because she has a brand, spanking new dress to show off, and she’s sold out to anyone who would buy, or rent, her(apologies to John Breaux.) AOC is so not AOK.

      2. Es s Ce tera

        This, in turn, may induce Biden to take a harder stance against Israel. One can hope…but nah, who are we kidding, he’s a Zionist Crusader.

        Actually, this is a good historical juncture for the world, it’s very important that it’s not only Israel being judged on the world stage.

      3. Not Qualified to Comment

        “What credibility the US has left…”

        I find it incredible how fast the US fell. As long ago as 2020 the US bestrode the world like Ozymandias. Now before the eyes of the whole world its failures in the face of Covid, its toothless humiliation in the Ukraine and its brazen, boundless, unconscionable support of genocide in Gaza in support of Israel for absolutely no discernable benefit to itself or anyone else has reduced it to the status of a despised schoolyard bully – still with some power to intimidate and a few hangers-on, but with no true friends and more and more people recognising it as an Emperor with no clothes.

        My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
        Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
        Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
        Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
        The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
        —Percy Bysshe Shelly, ‘Ozymandias’

      4. Oh

        Well, the rest of the world, (including the muslim nations) is sitting on their hands while thousands die in the genocide. I hope you’re right.

    3. Mark Gisleson

      I do wonder what would have happened had Speaker Bankhead invited Hitler to address Congress in the fall of 1939. Would that have made Naziism more attractive to Americans? Would the US have stayed out of WWII?

      No clue but I’m thinking Speaker Johnson may have just heightened the contradictions on Gaza to an untenable level. Letting Netanyahu address Congress won’t help Israel so much as it will create brutal internal strife within the Democratic party which could lead to a massive GOP landslide in November (assuming we have elections).

      I’m not sure what Johnson’s real agenda is but a man willing to scapegoat himself to further his cause is the kind of tactitian who won’t hesitate to drop October surprises out of season. Every story about this speech will weaken the Zionist cause as people find out more. You can still google Nakba and more people will.

      Not saying Johnson knows how this will end, just that he seems to see advantages to his side in roiling the waters and sharpening the polarization. He may be in over his head but I keep seeing signs that he’s playing a deeper game. The secret to a good essay is to remain focused on your subject matter. The secret to winning politics is to always stay focused on Novembers that fall in even numbered years.

      1. GramSci

        A deeper secret is to always offer the promise of support to deep-pocketed donors. Johnson’s advisors were probably promised big campaign bucks for this gambit.

        1. Neutrino

          Campaign spending on a bier budget.*
          title for new book. feel free to use. /s

          *oldsters may recall the book from decades ago:
          Champagne Spending on a Beer Budget.

        2. Verifyfirst

          In addition to campaign money from AIPAC, which was undoubtedly offered (If they are willing to spend $20 million for someone to run against Rashida, imagine the money on offer for this), there is zero downside for Johnson on this–he’s not going to lose any Republican Jewish American voters, and he will force the Dems to lick N’s boots, thereby perhaps peeling off some “progressive” Jewish American voters from going to vote for Biden.

          Bonus–he might speed up coming of the Rapture, which is his only real goal.

          Intercept is fundraising for an expose of how AIPAC manages to operate the way it does in the US (Intercept has such a giant budget I don’t feel any need to contribute). I’m thinking of a bumper sticker that just says: “Israel out of US”.

          But the end game for Gaza seems very clear–continued starvation, bombing, etc., until US gets the floating port built, then “humanitarian” evacuations of whoever is still alive to permanently de-populate. I find it very telling that I have not seen one word from anybody about how Gaza could be re-built for the Palestinians.

        3. Adam1

          I’d actually bet you and Mark are both right! There’s a reason we use the word “blowback” to describe situations like this.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Biden won’t cut Israel off. This is the determining factor. People are starving, and Biden is promisng a pier in 60 days to a Friedman unit. The pier and Schumer griping about Netanyahu, the most reasonable person in the Israeli government, is just fluff to distract. Biden owns the coming genocide. All he can do is stop it. Whether Team Blue applauds wildly or sits quietly, the weapons will still be shipped.

        Then there will almost certainly be stories about logistical support of the genocide. Biden can gripe about Netanyahu, but he owns this.

        The GOP is the GOP. If you haven’t figured it out what they are, you never will. Johnson knows he isn’t going to lose votes over Israel’s genocide at this moment, especially since the funding package still hasn’t been passed.

        1. Not Qualified to Comment

          The Mulberry Harbours built for D-Day (6th June) were installed and in operation at Gold and Omaha Beaches by June 18th, tho’ the one at Omaha was damaged by a storm on June 19th.

      3. Samuel Conner

        It’s also possible that MJ is motivated by religious ideology. I know people of conservative “independent fundamental baptist” conviction for whom criticism of Israel, whatever it does, is simply unthinkable, on the premise that the present State inherits the Old Testament divine promise to Abraham that “whoever blesses you, I will bless, and whoever curses you, I will curse.”

        They tend to not notice that the people being mistreated as Israeli State policy are also descendants of Abraham. But my point is that rational considerations may not be in view at all.

      4. Es s Ce tera

        If Netanyahu declines an invitation from the speaker (and recall he practically invited himself to speak during the Obama years) would that go over badly with Congress? Would it have negative consequences?

      5. cousinAdam

        “(assuming we have elections)” – Team D (or AIPAC?) may decide to throw a wrench in the gears to stop the Trump Juggernaut. Or an unscrupulous tactician like Steve Bannon might sabotage the D Convention in Chicago (black bloc “antifa” riots, anyone?) or “postpone” Nov. elections due to “martial law” declaration? As I’ve said before, I’m currently “long” on pitchforks……

      6. Jeremy Grimm

        The u.s. did not declare war against the Axis until after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I know less about the history of the u.s. involvement in World War II than I would like — but I have the impression the u.s. Elites, especially the Corporate and Financial Elites looked very favorably on Hitler and helped finance and organize the construction of Hitler’s war machine. Roosevelt did not order investigations into the ties between u.s. Elites and the Axis because he needed those same Elites to build up the u.s. war machine. I recall reading of that in one of Kevin Phillips’s books — I believe it was “American Dynasty”. I also had the impression that the u.s. was not completely unaware of Hitler’s intentions toward the countries he absorbed in expanding Germany’s Lebensraum.

        I can only wonder what the u.s. Elites are really up to now.

        1. JBird4049

          Hitler declared war first, which made it easy for the United States to do so. It was Japan that was going to be the country’s target at first.

    4. ChrisFromGA

      Huge “own goal” by Speaker Johnson.

      The best thing the GOP had going for it was the furor of younger voters at Sleepy Joe for countenancing a genocide. If nothing else, those voters had the demotivation factor to stay home in November.

      Now he’s gone and reminded them that “TINA.”

      The Israel-worship in Congress (outside of maybe AOC and Rashida Tlaib, you can count ’em on one hand) is so bad that they will kneel to AIPAC to their detriment. I echo your nausea.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Biden won’t cut aid to Israel. The best case is Team Blue sits on their hands while mass starvation kills. The young voters weren’t going GOP.

        Johnson is trying to force Biden either to comply or make more noises about really being serious about pressuring Netanyahu to not be so heinous for an afternoon.

        As you note, except for a few, Team Blue will genuflect.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          That’s not the way I interpret it, I think Johnson is dog-whistling to all the evangelicals who think Armageddon is their idea of family fun (to quote the late Frank Zappa.)

          The notion that he’s trying to put pressure on Joe to “do the right thing” doesn’t seem likely, IMO.

          And since when do any Republicans without the last name “Paul” ever do anything but bend the knee to AIPAC?

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The right thing is cutting off aid. Johnson knows Biden won’t do the right thing. All he will do is offer deranged promises such as the pier and huff about Netanyahu. They even brought out one of the nutters trying to coup Bibi. Then they likely learned Netanyahu is the most reasonable. Or Biden and Team Blue may even applaud.

            A dog whistle is code. Johnson knows his voters. There is nothing coded about inviting Netanyahu.

            Biden hopes people will get bored of this and move on, hence the 60 days to a Friedman unit promise. That is the only way out of this for Biden because famine is here now, so Johnson wants one keep Biden’s part in this front and center. The young people weren’t voting GOP. They are only staying home or reluctantly voting for Biden over false promises over Roe. He has nothing to lose by looking terrible. Republican voters don’t care.

            1. ChrisFromGA

              I’m just not understanding your overall argument. Why would Johnson want to end aid to Israel, when he’s one of the biggest supporters of the Chosen?

              You have a point about dog-whistling. Inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress is more than that, it’s an overt signal to the “Bring on the end times, now!” crowd.

              I think this is Johnson’s way of shoring up support from the evangelical base, and 5-D chess arguments while plausible, seem unlikely.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Johnson doesn’t want to end aid. He wants to draw attention to Biden. Biden can stop the aid at any time and by extension the immediate genocide. Israel wont act without US support. The Supremes might fuss in October of 2025.

                Johnson knows the only way Biden can avoid the genocide moniker is for Biden to stop the genocide which he won’t do or for people to forget it’s happening. Johnsons base doesn’t care about the genocide.

                1. ChrisFromGA

                  It’s looking like our argument may be moot.

                  MTG just filed a motion to vacate the Speaker. Johnson’s days look numbered.

    5. The Rev Kev

      What’s the bet that when Netanyau goes to Congress, that they will erect once more that metal fencing around the Capital Building to protect him from protestors? It would be funny if while he was making speeches in Congress, that back In Israel they deposed him and elected somebody else to take his place. Netanyahu might have to ask for political asylum then as he knows that he has a prison cell awaiting his return to Israel.

    6. pjay

      Remember Schumer’s “courageous” condemnation of Netanyahu the other day? Well here’s his reaction to this latest stunt:

      “In response to Mr Johnson, Mr Schumer’s office released a statement saying he did not object to an address by Mr Netanyahu.”

      “Israel has no stronger ally than the United States and our relationship transcends any one president or any one prime minister,” Mr Schumer said.”

      “I will always welcome the opportunity for the prime minister of Israel to speak to Congress in a bipartisan way.”

      They are *all* bought and paid for boot-lickers. Absolutely equivalent to honoring a Nazi, in my opinion. I would love it if this triggered some sort of 1/6 response in protest at the Capitol for a *just* cause. They’d probably call in an air strike for that, though.

    7. jrkrideau

      To me this equivalent to Canada’s House of Commons giving a standing ovation to Nazi 98-year-old Yaroslav Hunka.

      No. This was a total screw-up mainly because the Speaker of the House’s historical knowledge of WWII was probably gained from watching Hollywood movies and nobody else in the Gov’t thought to check. And he’s one old man.

      Netanyahu is Prime Minister of Israel whose Gov’t, the International Court of Justice has found to be plausibly engaged in genocide.

  9. gk

    > “What’s Lymphoma?”

    Many years ago, I had an inflated vein on my arm. We never figured out what it was but the surgeon decided to remove it and do a biopsy. But before we got to that point, my doctor ordered an MRI. After the results came back (which I didn’t see) she started examining my armpits before informing me that the MRI claimed I had a lymphoma. Maybe I had picked up on her amused reaction, but my immediate response was “there aren’t lymph nodes that far down the arm, are there?” and she confirmed that I was right. Maybe I was safe from reading false tests, but it’s probably a good idea in the US not to inform the patients directly.

    Here in Italy I do get test results online. There are only two cases where you must get the results in person, HIV tests and genetic tests.

    1. IM Doc

      The portal and indeed the EMR itself have done more to destroy the doctor patient relationship than anything else.

      It is a matter of time. In a functional system, we would have doctors who have spent years of life learning how to interpret tests. There are mounds of gobbledygook on each test that mean nothing in isolation but are often resulted as abnormal. The complete blood count is one such thing. There are cardinal numbers there – the wbc, HGB, HCt and platelet. These are critical. There are 20 more levels under them like MCHC and lymph count, etc , that mean nothing in and of themself but are often abnormal. They are reported though and on the portal. Then patients do a Dr. google and diagnose themselves with thalassemia or leukemia, etc. And massively freak out at the same time. THIS LOW MCHC HAS BEEN THERE FOR 5 YEARS – NO ONE SAID ANYTHING. I AM DYING OF MYELODYSPLASIA. I deal with this multiple times a day. All kinds of ways. So, instead of having time rationally discussing labs with patients, I am spending three times the amount of time talking someone out of their Google cancer diagnosis.

      So, when you have gripes about your provider not getting back to you in a timely fashion with labs etc, just shut up. You have no idea the stress they are under. The whole thing is literally out of control.

      Since the advent of the portal system, a whole new twist has also occurred. This may explain why it is being done. The radiology reports more than half the time now have statements in the conclusion something like this – there is possibly a small lesion in the greater trochanter , MRI pelvis with and without contrast, and CT of the abdomen are recommended for further evaluation. This would NEVER have happened just 5 years ago. Now, the patients read that before I ever have time to talk to them about it, and are already calling the office demanding all these tests for tens of thousands of dollars. When I ask the radiologists why, they tell you that suggestion was made by the “efficiency” consultants. I am telling you, patients are now viewed as “profit centers” – it is literally what they are referred to by these scum at meetings.

      So no, the portals releasing the data quickly is an absolute disaster in dozens of ways. When it came down as being needed, absolutely no one wanted it.

      1. mrsyk

        “profit centers”. That’s rather clarifying.
        Thanks for finding the time to post, doc. We know you’ve got a million other things need doing

        1. IM Doc

          The “profit center” verbiage clearly emanating from the MBA hordes has always been a bit discordant to me – especially when these meetings are occurring in a “non-profit” corporation.

      2. CA

        “The portal and indeed the EMR itself have done more to destroy the doctor patient relationship than anything else…”

        The explanation and criticism are superb for readers. Thank you so much.

      3. Randall Flagg

        Dear IM Doc, I can completely understand ( most likely beyond my comprehension though), the absolute frustration you have and time you spend trying to clarify medical results that patients receive via medical records and then do their “own research” before a consultation with their doctor within a system that is moving beyond anything rational. I remember most PCP visits as waiting out quiet moments while the DR. or NP, or whoever ever enters info on the laptop, asks question, enters info, wash, rinse, repeat. Kind of comical in a sad way.

        But I have to ask (And I detest doing so for fear of running afoul of moderators or wasting a second of your valuable time), from your side of the examination table, how should a patient best advocate for and inform themselves? I recently received an unfortunate diagnosis of the big C. Got the biopsies, received a quick phone call three working days later. Though I sort of had a premonition that this may be coming, it’s hard to ask questions on the phone working outside with a wind blowing and a notepad getting wet in the drizzle. Dr. says he will refer to oncology radiation for an appointment, and set up one with himself at the same time ( as I was led to believe). Get the radiation appointment set up a week later (for mid April), three business days later get a call from the same department to set up an appointment again for the same date, same time as before, they say they have no record of the first call.Hmmm, I must have been tripping out that day as I also recall being told on the first call that we were on a recorded line. I mentioned that I have no idea about any of this , she said, you’re going to be fine, I laughed and said, “Well I’m glad this conversation is being recorded.”, which got big laughs on the other end. I chalked up the lack of records on the first call to S**t happens in the world of electronic communications, etc. I only mention this long winded info to provide some background or context to my question.

        Appointment finally set up for the surgeon in June to discuss it all. I go onto my medical “portal” and see test results and honestly it may as well be ancient Sanskrit writings to me so I am not going to waste my time doing anything other than find general information because I refuse to set myself into a panic, unless it will be explained to me I should treat this a five alarm fire. Which then should have been told by now it seems.
        So again how does one work “with” the doctors, or within the overstressed medical system, in a productive way? I mean, who wants to be “That Guy”. Or, a “Karen”. World has too many of them already…

        Moderators, if this all is a waste of electrons for asking for specific medical advice but I hope this falls into a category of general education for us all here and apologies. And please do not hit me with too many demerits, dump this comment ASAP instead of posting.

        IM Doc, I think I speak for all with appreciation for your clarity and insights over the years and your service to humanity in general.

  10. griffen

    Loved the bonus antidote (!). It didn’t take long to find a fuzzy friend literally pawing at the keys.

  11. barncat

    Long read on historical context of Shoah: “”

    1. Alice X

      Thank you, important and valuable. From the piece:

      …Every day is poisoned by the awareness that while we go about our lives hundreds of ordinary people like ourselves are being murdered, or being forced to witness the murder of their children.

      I doubt that I could ever rival the courage of a Rachel Corrie and stand in front of an IOF soldier to shield a Palestinian from their wanton wrath, but I lift a piece of food to my mouth, or take a drink of water and wish that I could instead give it to a Palestinian child, or her mother, or father. Every day is indeed poisoned.

      …Most of the world doesn’t carry the burden of Christian European guilt over the Shoah, and does not regard the creation of Israel as a moral necessity to absolve the sins of 20th-century Europeans.

      There is much more to the piece.

  12. Mikel

    “War on Gaza: Israel is dragging the US into a future regional war” Middle East Eye

    If you think about it in those terms along with Macroneon’s latest ideas, it’s a sinister hole for the USA to fall in.

  13. timbers

    Looks like Russia is getting serious about prosecuting the SMO…

    “Ukraine’s energy grid experienced the largest attack to date throughout the whole course of the conflict with Russia…The morning attack…was the largest ever, and was characterized by the use of a combination of weapons. The attack was carried out across different regions of Ukraine, targeting thermal and hydroelectric power plants, as well as the main electricity substations managed by Ukrenergo…”

    Additional targets include various Ukraine defense manufacturing plants.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Russia says that you are targeting our oil infrastructure? We’ll target your electrical grid. Payback is a b****. Only it was not really the Ukrainians doing this. When this war is long over, I think that we will find that these were actually NATO attacks against Russian infrastructure with a few Ukrainians involved for the sake of deniability. We already know that the British are actually doing those long range attacks with those StormShadow missiles from that intercepted German call and it is almost certain that you have US crews helping fire those HIMARS missiles which is disturbing when you think how may times that they have been used to deliberately kill civilians.

      1. ambrit

        Also, no reporting on Americans killed when some of those HIMARS systems were “degraded” by Russian aerial munitions.

      2. Maxwell Johnston

        Hilariously enough, the USA is not happy about these refinery attacks:

        “Democracy and freedom are lovely and nice,
        But they mustn’t prevent the commerce in spice.”

        On a darker note, there is an (ongoing) huge terrorist attack in Moscow this Friday evening. At a concert venue, exactly as the USA et al predicted two weeks ago. Many dead. Situation unfolding. I expect RU might soon upgrade the legal status of the SMO to either an ATO (anti-terrorist operation) or possibly even a formal declaration of war against UKR. At a certain point, these provocations will become too much even for Putin. RU will respond.

        Fasten your seat belts.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Here. Mentions only the next 48 hours, but it still points to US security apparatus being aware – and refusing to share.

            1. hk

              I see that Kirby claimed Ukraine is not involved, but he didn’t claim that UK, France, or United States weren’t involved.

    2. Mister Pleathers

      Magnets, copper wire, and crude oil is all it takes to replace an electrical transformer, of which there are thousands in Ukraine, arranged in a rhizomatic network. If need be transformers and shunt reactors can be trunk-mobile, connecting Ukraine to the European grid. Disaster mgmt 101. Whereas the more-unwieldy Russian refineries are arrayed in series close to what used to be Russia’s largest energy market.

      After a single two-night drone operation, Russia lost capacity to refine 1.2 million barrels / day. I’m not sure Russian air-launched cruise missile strikes, missiles more expensive per unit as precision instruments than the common utility target they are exploding, qualifies as strategic parity. Maybe if 87% of the Russian public really believed its own news with which power is clung, they might be convinced the Ukrainians are now temporarily more miserable than they happen to be.

      Further, if NATO wanted to attack Russian infrastructure, NATO would just activate its STUXNET 2.0 for bootleg Windows that run Russian power stations like Russia claimed the US military did in 2019.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Lordie, your opening paragraph is magical thinking. You must have an MBA.

        Ukraine runs on old Soviet power standards which are not the same as the EU (I’m too lazy right now to run down the details, which I have included in older posts) so the transformers are not compatible. Every expert has said setting up factories to make the industrial sized transformer Ukraine needs would be a big costly deal and no one would invest enough for what amounts to a big order with little ongoing need….even before the long time it would take to build and start up such a factory.

        1. Benny Profane

          And that factory could not be within Ukraine’s borders, because it would just be more missile bait.

    1. Kevin DeNardo

      ooooh….it’s a “secret report”!!

      “Another major theme of the report is that Canadians are set to become increasingly disillusioned with their government, which authors mostly chalk up to “misinformation,” “conspiracy theories” and “paranoia.”

      this would be a LOT more believable if it were an FBI Report warning Americans are on the verge of revolt.

      1. cfraenkel

        a) it’s the post, they’re just talking up their book
        b) “increasing disillusioned”? Not possible. There are no illusions left to be disappointed in.

  14. Sam Adams

    Re; A top Israeli official said his country’s military was ultimately going to invade the southern Gaza city of Rafah and defeat Hamas ‘even if the entire world turns on Israel, including the United States’. Bloomberg

    so we have our Archduke Fredrick announcement. amazing how history rhymes.

  15. JohnA

    Apropos the Kamila Valieva alleged positive drug sample, a Swedish laboratory also helpfully found that samples from Navalny contained traces of Novochok even though neither the Russian nor German hospitals that first treated him found any such traces.
    Sweden, an ever obedient servant of Uncle Sam.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I thought the whole thing absolutely disgusting in how they were deliberately targeting a young, teenage girl in order to break her performance on the ice. It was just psychological warfare and they must have been really proud of themselves. And this Summer Olympics?

      ‘On Tuesday, the IOC announced that the maximum number of Russians who can qualify for the Paris Olympic Games this summer is 55, while Belarus is limited to 28 athletes. Participants from both nations can only appear in individual events, under neutral status, and may not take part in the opening ceremony.’

      If they keep this up the Olympics will have the same relevance as the Academy Awards.

        1. Pat

          I can’t speak to that, but as a lifelong figure skating fan, I can say that there were more Ukrainian skaters than I ever remember seeing over the last few years. And all were being feted and honored, especially at the Galas. Mind you the current World Championships that hasn’t seen as much of that. Of course the Gala isn’t until Sunday.
          Oh and Russia has been banned from the international competitions since the invasion, but Valieva’s coach has been with athletes from other former Iron Curtain countries. (And I also admit to being torn on Valieva. She was amazing and had it all. And I hate that this became all about the fifteen year old. Didn’t know about the serious questions regarding the Swedish lab, but do know enough about Tutberidze not to put strategic drug programs for training out of consideration. There have been incidents in the past.)

        2. ambrit

          Not only that, but the new “Greater Israel Government” is demanding that they be given the allocations of the ‘former’ nations of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. (All are ‘soon to be’ a part of “Greater Israel.”)
          One way to ‘weed out’ the Israeli athletes would be to reinstate the ancient Greek practice of competing in the nude. (I imagine it would also massively expand the viewership of the Games.)

      1. flora

        Eh, B keeps competitors out of the Dem primary, IOC keeps RU out of the Olympics. Same deal. No real Dem primary. No real Olympics. / heh (Corruption in the IOC is an old and well reported story.)

      2. digi_owl

        I dear say it has already reached that state, as more and more nations seem reluctant to cost the construction of the facilities needed.

        IOC and FIFA alike are filled with corrupt old suits.

    2. pjay

      There is a lot to raise the blood pressure in today’s Links. But along with the continuing travesties in Israel, Ukraine, and the US Congress, this story really had an effect. I remember when it happened it seemed contrived. And as details began to leak out it seemed more so. Combined with the typically chauvinistic response by both our media and our athletes (certainly ambassadors for the “American Way”), I had to finally give up on watching the Olympics. The reaction by the US skating team when they finally got their medals recently just continued the farce. Today’s article convinces me that my first instincts were correct. Destroying the life of a 15 year old girl is nothing to us when there are propaganda brownie points at stake. That our athletes allow themselves to be used as props just adds to my disgust.

  16. Mikel

    “First it was Facebook, then Twitter. Is Reddit about to become rubbish too?” Guardian

    “…Commerce and data licensing will also feature prominently in Reddit’s future. In its S-1, the company says it is in the early stages of allowing third parties to license access to search, analyze, and display historical and real-time data from its platform. “Reddit is one of the internet’s largest corpuses of authentic and constantly updated human-generated experience,” the company said.”

    Where the scam is that they tell you some algorithm did “thinking.”

    1. Kouros

      I read somewhere about an attempt to train some AI tool using reddit content and the dialogue very fast degenerated in insults and invectives…

    2. Tom B.

      The thought of an AI trained on NC content intrigues me. After the machine ingested without contextual understanding all those song parodies, covid reports, gardening notes and the complete spectrum of political/economic/cultural news and commentary from all sides I bet it would come up with some pretty strange and funny stuff!

      1. Tom B.

        Holy Cow! I would normally never self-reply, except in this case I must marvel at my obliviousness. This is exactly the context for the bizarre NC Google defunding threat that came up within the last couple of days. Which I read about! Even down to a song parody being cited as wrongthink.

        I hang my head in shame…

  17. KLG

    “What’s lymphoma?” Personal story and a time to tell it: In December 2021 I was diagnosed with OPSCC (Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma, also called HNSCC, Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma). Because of what I do for a living (biochemist and cell biologist who also tutors medical students), I understood the words and what the next six months of my life would be. Either the radiation and chemotherapy would work or not; I had already been to PubMed for the latest and current treatment is effective in 85% of patients without serious risk factors, which I lacked. If not, the future looked grim (so far, so good according to a PET-CT scan at one year post-treatment; another scheduled for September).

    “Official” notification came in the form of an email stating “You have new test results” and that I should login to my account with the health system to see them. I already knew what was coming but I looked nevertheless. Yep! Cancer, although the word “carcinoma” was used. How many people know that carcinoma is a cancer derived from epithelial cells. How many people know what an epithelial cell is? I later had a long conversation with my primary ENT who had already explained the diagnosis to me and who is also a friend, about the advisability of this form of notification. Not the kind of news to get basically in an email! This is definitely NOT advisable, but physicians are apparently, so far, powerless regarding this. Just another in a long series of absurdities that are our world, especially in health care.

    1. katiebird

      KLG, I am so sorry!! How could the system allow that email? What a nightmare. I am glad you had the opening to talk to your doctor about this form of notification. It’s incredible that physician does not have the power or authority or ability to personally give patients such a serious (or ANY) diagnosis.

      And I am very, very sorry for this. I am very glad to read that one-year after treatment, your PET-CT scan result was good.

      1. Pat

        I am on such a portal. Went for my first appointment in years recently. Like the Doctor so far, which is a hard sell for me.
        But anyway had several tests run. I don’t know if it applies to all tests, but the results were obviously automatically posted. The Doctor messaged me about the one troubling result (preventative) about 24 hours later. I would hope other things would not be automated, but doubt it. Algorithms you know.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Sorry to hear about you got this news and I hope that all is well with you now. I thought that it was pretty bad to have hundreds of people learn that they had been fired in a text message in one go but receiving life-changing medical news in an email is just so callous. Efficient maybe from a bean-counter point of view but otherwise just so inhumane.

    3. Lena

      What a horrible way to receive a cancer diagnosis. I am so sorry you had to go through that. I hope your scan results continue to be good ones.

      I have a life threatening illness which is unfortunately untreatable. My diagnosis came over the phone, not email. I was so shocked, I dropped the phone. My choice has been not to sign up on my doctors’ portal or to give them my email. This means I don’t get any medical information that way. (I’ll be losing my internet in April anyway.) That may be a way for other people to avoid scary medical diagnoses via email – don’t get on their portal and don’t give out your email. Just a thought.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You learned about your diagnosis in a goddamn phone call? Unforgivable. Sorry that that happened to you.

        Before I forget. You said that you are losing your internet. Do your local libraries have free internet at all? Might be worth checking.

        1. Lena

          Yes, it was a phone call. I’m not going to say here what my diagnosis is. I’ll just say it’s one of the dreaded ones and it can’t be treated.

          I am now on ‘comfort measures only’ which means I no longer have scans or other tests/procedures done. That is a blessing to me because I have been through enough medical tests/procedures to last six lifetimes!

          ‘Comfort measures only’ is my decision given the untreatable nature of the illness. My primary doctor and my priest understand this and are supportive.

          There is internet at my local library but getting there is difficult for me.

            1. Lena

              Well, I won’t need to continue to look for an affordable place to live or worry about politics anymore.

              I wasn’t a commenter at NC for very long but it has been an enjoyable experience. There are a lot of good smart people here.

              Stay safe out there!

      2. witters

        Why is it when someone tells you something like this, you cry, and then apologize? I’m so sorry Lena. Your comments are the best!

    4. Pat

      I am so glad that you had the human care you needed, and that things look good so far and fingers crossed that September is the same.

    5. Jeremy Grimm

      So far I have made an effort to avoid setting up or using medical portals. I do not appreciate making my medical information so readily available on the Internet and have no faith at all that the medical portals are any safer or better protected than the many other kinds of portals already hacked.

      I hope I am not mistaken in believing my physician would make me aware of any serious results in a lab report and I can wait to hear the news.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        I am lucky that my US docs are solo or have storefronts in hospitals (the Hospital for Special Surgery runs this way) and so don’t have this portal nonsense. But I don’t trust the security either and like you have avoided using them when I do come across them.

  18. DavidZ

    I see lots of comments – “Biden is bad on Covid”

    and that is true, though I would suggest that it’s a bi-partisan affair.

    Trump was already talking about covid being like the flu, long before we had any research or the vaccine.
    GBD – which is odious in the extreme – was also produced in Oct 2020.

    the CDC’s stinky response is directly due to the US Political class’ absolute disregard for the people of the country (and takeover of the political class by the monied interests) and it’s a total bi-partisan affair.

    1. t

      I remember it well. Not sure he ever used the term face diaper but he made fun of people wearing masks, except when happened to wear one.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Yeah, what is the point of diapers anyway?

        It isn’t like anything harmful comes out of the distal parts of the alimentary canal of incontinent infants.

        Cholera, you say? Bullsh!t; who’s afraid of Cholera? It’s just another kind of ‘flu.


    2. Em

      And? Do you have anything other than “whataboutism” to justify your support of Democrats?

      I’m not voting for either of them. Decades of voting for the purported lesser evil has gotten us a corrupt ghoul with Swiss cheese for brains with a teach record of unmitigated evil. This dog isn’t eating your rotten dog food anymore.

  19. VTDigger

    Bidet cancels student debt:

    “The latest debt relief plan applies to government and nonprofit organisation workers in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The plan allows some of these full-time workers to see their debt cancelled after 120 monthly payments.”

    Going to go take a tums, be right back.

    1. Em

      These programs have been in place for over ten years. Biden has no right to take credit for them. Of course he was the prime mover of the bankruptcy bill that made it basically impossible for student loan borrowers to get bankruptcy relief even in cases of permanent disability.

      I’m an atheist, but I really really really want there to be a Hell for Biden and his ilk.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Thank you. When I read about this, I was certain this was already around, but I hadn’t had the chance to check. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I also thought this program was already a thing.

        1. anahuna

          I don’t have links to substantiate, but I do recall articles from 3 or so years ago about workers who completed their 10 years of payments and were then told they weren’t eligible after all, due to numberless nit-picking reasons.

          So far, no word on whether Biden has fixed this or not.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>So far, no word on whether Biden has fixed this or not.

            Can I assume that this is sarcasm?

      2. griffen

        Getting crowded down there…pick your leader or political hack to throw into the abyss to suffer and writhe in agony.

        Kissinger…Madeline…If Dick Cheney ever kicks the bucket…Biden’s friend in the US Senate and South Carolina’s own Strom Thurmond probably down there too.

        1. Em

          I recall that he could have structured the plan to pass judicial muster but opted not to. So it was always intended to create a illusion of doing something for the little people.

          These are the ghouls who defunded UNRWA during an active genocide and the worst documented famine on record and gave Israel billions more in military aid, in the same bill. It’s safe to assume that they have no humanity in them.

    2. juno mas

      Well, in many state government agencies it takes 120 months to fully vest in the retirement program. Many do not make it that long.

  20. Mikel

    “Business leaders push sustainable intelligence” Bangkok Post

    And their view on what “inequality” is? A laugh riot (if it weren’t so sad):

    “In terms of inequality, there are 1.7 billion unbanked people and 2 billion students who don’t have a computer…”

    Translation: Solving inequality for them means being able to control everybody in the world… equally.

  21. Daryl

    A minor but interesting entry in “news of the wired”:

    Baldurs Gate 3, a game which sold 10m+ copies, will not have any paid follow up content. Lots of speculation that it is because the independent studio that made it is no longer interested in working with Hasbro, which laid off a bunch of people after a profitable year, including people who were working with the studio on this game.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Wait! Let me get this straight. Are you trying to say that actions have consequences as Hasbro is finding out?

      1. flora

        as aside about Hasbro’s business situation, utube, ~6+ minutes.

        Hasbro’s sales drop more than Bud Light! How toymaker could have avoided a Go Woke Go Broke Scenario

        Interesting business info, contracts with movie studios obligating toy manufacture of things people don’t want to buy if the movie flops.

        1. digi_owl

          Meh, i dear say the tabletop RPG world was near patient zero for this whole woke debacle. Or at least i was seeing all kind of weirdness in trying to water down and redefine what a tabletop RPG meant years before things hit the mainstream.

          1. flora

            Good explainer in the utube. Combination of unlucky corporate contracts with movie studios pushing merch people didn’t buy, and a switch to opaque packaging that turns off buyers of toys.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      The videogame industry is really something to behold. In the last few years, you have a few big players hoovering up everyone they can and then laying off all the talent who actual make the games that made the companies worth buying in the first place. I was listening to a podcast the other day about another mega franchise (I want to say Call of Duty) running into trouble because the parent company canned so much of the workforce that created the games.

      It’s really been something to see. I know things are bad all over. But to have an industry raking in record profits and at the same time, laying off so much of it’s workforce is just nuts. Here’s a tracker for this year so far (and you can go back the past few years to see the trends) :

      My hunch based on nothing more than following the industry as an amateur, is a) these mega corps are buying IP and hoping to multiverse anything and everything they can, especially going into movies and TV series and b) they believe in the magical power of AI, that they can make up manhour shortfalls with machines. It’s worth adding the industry is notoriously hard on workers (mandatory overtime, “crunch”, etc.) and notoriously short sighted, so in a way, this is just another link in the chain.

  22. Mikel

    “The Age of Cultural Stagnation” New Republic

    I’d add that culture was already flattened enough by corporatism within globalization. The algorithms would be of little use in culture (arts, literature, sciences) that has things like vitality and individuality.

    1. EMC

      Maybe, just maybe, some culture could be found off screen? It wasn’t a TV in every home that brought cultural flourishing in the mid 20th century. Why would we expect the internet to meet human needs for culture and creativity? Of course it flattens it, how could it not? Live music, poetry readings, open mikes, improv theater, and more. Professional live theater, chamber music, and symphonies still exist and still have a capacity to inspire and feed the soul.

      1. Mikel

        It’s not just about the screen.
        The corporatism isn’t just limited to the screen.
        It jumps INTO the screen and out of it. But affects everything from labs to theatres to symphonies…all of it.

      2. ForFawkesSakes

        Performance arts are deader than last year’s cat and everyone knows it. It’s become the playground of the PMC, meant to enforce a particular worldview, free of any substance.

        The arts had a choice about twenty years ago and they decided not to grow their audience, but to cater to and nursemaid the elderly, white, ‘liberal’ audience. They are overloaded with administrators and creatives are kept as far from the institutional reins of power as possible. Those disciplines you mentioned MAY still exist in some urban areas, but the community has been gone for longer. Artists have been pushed out of their own field because actual art and creativity makes the PMC uncomfortable.

    2. Ranger Rick

      In a crude class analysis, I was immediately struck by the author’s assumption that the audience was sensitive to the difficulty of finding a not-banal living accommodation on a vacation to Athens. Or that culture consisted entirely of original artistic expression by well-connected and -reviewed creators, their work elevated merely by virtue of their regard and novelty.

      What the author refuses to engage with is the currency of modern culture: the remix. Sure, it may have been done before, but can it be done better? Can it be repurposed? Thanks to literary reinterpretation, there are whole canons that can be transformed to suit the present generation’s needs. That snark about the Gordon Ramsay gif being high culture to the under-30 set reveals a deep misunderstanding about the nature and eloquence of memes. They are the modern pictographs; “a picture is worth a thousand words” visual shorthand for quickly expressing complex contextual information in a brutally simple manner. And the algorithm much complained about? As the saying goes, the censorship is interpreted as damage and routed around. The culture exists in spaces invisible to the naked eye (and algorithmically-aided search results). Places you have to know about, or find out about by reputation, rather than search on your own. We’ve essentially replicated the entire artistic ecosystem on the Internet: the vast systems of patronage, the politically-connected art scene, the thriving underbelly of bohemian “do it yourself” amateur stylings.

      And all ephemeral. None of this stuff is going to last longer than ten years max. I do agree with lament that there is no important art anymore. Our modes of identifying and experiencing art have splintered so completely that one may encounter art important to you — but nobody else.

      1. Mikel

        “We’ve essentially replicated the entire artistic ecosystem on the Internet: the vast systems of patronage, the politically-connected art scene, the thriving underbelly of bohemian “do it yourself” amateur stylings…”

        Largely, the corporatized artisic ecosytem has been replicated on the internet. Ad based models at root. The patronage system on the platforms can be a whole lot of crators selling t-shirts and mugs. Platform plantation.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘James Tate
    Chess Grandmaster Anna Muzychuk refuses to play in Saudi Arabia and says: “In a few days, I will lose two world titles, back to back.” Because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia. I refuse to play by special rules, to wear abaya, to be accompanied by a man so I can leave the hotel, so I don’t feel like a second class person.’

    Entirely up to her and if she is happy with her decision, then so be it. But there is a string of thought in our cultures where we make allowances for our hosts as they are our hosts. We have heard the sayings – ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’ and the kid that has the bat and the ball gets to make the rules up. I wonder if she will take similar stances if she has to play chess matches in places like Russia or China.

    1. Benny Profane

      She won’t have to wear a head covering and be forced to go out in public with a male handler in either country, which seems to be her gripe.

        1. jrkrideau

          Thanks. I thought she was mistaken. Thirty years ago when I lived in Saudi a woman did not have to wear a abaya.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, all.

        It’s no longer compulsory to wear an abaya or have a male relative, even a toddler, in KSA. There’s obviously some cultural conservatism, especially in Najd, but the Hejaz is not like that and wasn’t even before MbS’s reforms. Methinks Ms M is playing to the westerner gallery.

        Dad was one of the royal family’s doctors for over two decades until 2015. We still keep in touch with friends and goings on there and hope to return.

        BTW one person who opposed this easing up was the darling of the western MSM and OBL’s best friend, Jamal Khashoggi. He was editor of the anglophone Arab News for many years and promoted a conservative interpretation of the religion. That often took a surreal turn, including if one’s prayer was negated if the worshipper kneeling in front breaks wind. Yes, really. WTF does the lack of control of other worshippers have to do with one’s prayers. I often think of that and laugh when hearing probably secular, if not revelling in anti-clericalism, western stenographers and other PMC laud that scoundrel and regret not keeping that column for framing.

        I apologise profusely for lowering the tone of this family blog and will get my coat.

        1. Em

          Jamal is also the nephew of CIA linked (e.g. Safari Club) arms trafficker Adnan Khashoggi. Everyone in the Arab world knew he was a Turkish/Western intelligence asset.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you.

            From time to time, before OBL went rogue, JK would join him and play cowboys and Indians.

        2. Feral Finster

          Speaking only for myself, I don’t think I’ve ever said that Khashoggi was a hero, an angel, or a model to be emulated.

          At the same time, that doesn’t mean that he should be murdered and his corpse dismembered.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, FF.

            JK’s days were numbered when he began to lobby on behalf of his US masters in the Al Saud succession and ultimately backed the wrong horse.

            JK went to school and was friends with some of the princes and laboured under the illusion that his views and those of his US masters mattered in a family matter, an issue all factions, Sudairi Seven, Abdullah / Al Shuraim / Al Shammar etc., consider a family matter. There are neo cons in DC who thought similarly and encouraged JK.

            His resistance to the MbS reforms further enraged the dynasty, sealing his fate.

        3. Pat

          Please don’t. I find it fascinating. And contrarian that I am, I figure any journalist that gets lauded by or defended by our establishment is probably an useful a$$. Not that he should have died that way, but it is still nice to get another viewpoint after he was so enshrined.

        4. digi_owl

          I think MSM mostly raised a stink because he was a journalist, and thus one of them. Thus his killing was an attack on the idea that journalists were sacrosanct.

          1. cfraenkel

            Funny they don’t apply the same to Assange.

            I suppose it only applies if one is the right sort of ‘journalist’.

          2. Feral Finster

            My SWAG is that because JK was a US citizen, Trump was informed and either approved of the murder, or, did nothing.

            Hence the CIA acting piously outraged about murder, torture and the like, even as the public could not have cared less.

          3. Pat

            Considering the crickets on the clear targeting of journalists by Israel, I don’t for a moment think that is much of a consideration.

      1. Roger Boyd

        Yes, completely old news. And she is about #200 in the world (#2 in women’s chess), so not really that important. “When in Rome do as the Romans” as they say, she should read up on cultural imperialism. She currently represents the fascist state of Ukraine, has she made any complaints against the Zionist genocide – perhaps refusing to play Israeli players?

    2. CA

      “I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia. I refuse to play by special rules, to wear abaya, to be accompanied by a man so I can leave the hotel, so I don’t feel like a second class person.”

      Please forgive an interference, but this quote was evidently from 2017 and the “special rules” listed then were incorrect according to the International Chess Federation.

    3. Not Qualified to Comment

      But there is a string of thought in our cultures where we make allowances for our hosts as they are our hosts.

      Sorry, but supposing we were talking Ancient Greeks here and they expected competitors to compete topless or even naked? Or expected you to sacrifice a pigeon or lamb to their god at the opening ceremony?

      I can choose whether or not to invite myself to a country as a visitor or tourist and if I don’t like what I’d have to wear or behave there I can go somewhere else, but if a country chooses to host an international competition to which people have to come if they want to compete and have no choice where it is, you’ve no right to force them to adopt your ‘customs’ they find objectionable as a precondition for competing.

    1. mrsyk

      Mayor Adams, that you??? heheh, sorry f. Gonna need to stock up on the bigger picker uppers over Gracie Mansion to mop up the profit projection drool.

    2. The Rev Kev

      But the authorities made clear that this was a one off against Trump and that they would never do the same again. So all those people that have money tied up in NYC or NY State have nothing to worry about. I don’t know about you but I’m convinced. /sarc

      1. Cassandra

        That would be a one-off like the Supreme Court calling the 2000 election for Bush the Lesser, would it?

    3. Benny Profane

      This has been done recently in NY. Sort of. After 1/6, de Blasio (remember him?) forced the Trump name off an NYC public course that his company was under contract to manage, and has since been renamed by another company. Not sure of the ownership arrangement of the other courses. I’m guessing he owns the one in Briarcliff. I bicycle past a course with his name on it in Duchess county. Looks pretty damn nice. Links style. He knows golf, and does it well.

    4. neutrino23

      This is so awesome. At last Trump will get his comeuppance. Get the popcorn ready for Tuesday.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Peskov: Russia is in a state of war, everyone should understand this’

    Peskov is just saying the quite bit out aloud. That this is actually a NATO-Russian war with all sorts of countries involved. He was saying later that 13,000 foreign nationals had taken part in the fighting with nealry 6,000 killed and that most of them came from Poland, Georgia, the US, Canada, the UK, Romania, Germany, and France. All, apart from Georgia, are NATO nations. So maybe this is a sort of warning to NATO. That if the French enter the Ukraine that they will be attacked and annihilated. In a video, Scott Ritter was saying that if they did not, then the Poles will send in troops and the Romanians and before you know it, there will be 60,000 troops in the Ukraine. At that point, Article 4 will be declared and all those 60,000 troops will be instantly badged as NATO troops on an official mission in the Ukraine.

    1. Wisker

      Not necessarily in disagreement with your gist, but Peskov says a lot of things. And he’s even said this particular thing before last year. I can’t find the exact clip, but in his 2018 interview with Megyn Kelly*, Putin made fun of what Peskov says sometimes. Maybe this is intentional messaging, maybe not.

      I’m waiting to see if the Kremlin confirms this before considering it a change of policy. RT’s report on this has Peskov walking back the significance of the statement shortly after he made it.

      For what it’s worth, I read NATO Article 5/6 as applying only in cases of attacks on NATO territory, not elsewhere. Then again, in the rules based international order anything goes doesn’t it?

      * God what a cringe-worthy interview, no wonder Putin doesn’t respect Western journalists

  25. The Rev Kev

    ‘Pat Just Pat 🍉
    Absolutely bonkers that Biden is bragging about getting sick people back into the workplace to spread Covid.’

    At this point, you could have carts going around collecting the dead from the streets and the Biden supporters will be pointing out all the employment created for those cart pullers and callers- (1:56 mins)

  26. Carolinian

    Stoller–just can’t help himself.

    On a broad level, the short story is that Apple used to be wondrous. But monopoly power, as it turns out, has poisoned the firm. Once a great innovator, Apple has decayed, moving away from its roots as a competitive technology firm, and spending its resources making it harder and harder for consumers and businesses to get out of the Apple ecosystem, and then trying to extend that ecosystem from smartphones into cars, business software, and banks. Apple has become a dangerous corporation, with designs on imposing an authoritarian vision over as much of the economy as it can get away with.

    This gush-o-matic ignores the degree to which all that “beautiful machine” marketing was hooey trying to turn a computer into a Cartier fashion accessory and a brand. While it did succeed in part because of the many defects of the main MS competitor, the fact remains that a computer is a machine just like a car and on a practical level a Rolls Royce with those half inch thick windows may not be a good choice if you’ve ever had to repair one.

    The rest of the article is more worth a read because it acknowledges this reality.

    In the United States and the rest of the world, there are no super apps. Why? Because Apple, through its control of app stores, has banned them. It doesn’t allow rival app stores, and it doesn’t allow super apps to be sold through its own app store. According to the complaint, “as one Apple manager put it, allowing super apps to become ‘the main gateway where people play games, book a car, make payments, etc.’ would ‘let the barbarians in at the gate.’ Why? Because when a super app offers popular mini programs, ‘iOS stickiness goes down.’”

    There has been talk around here about how the car companies are becoming like the computer business but one should also suggest that for Apple the computer business has always been like the car business, circa the 1950s. Tail fins this year or not? Why not make a phone so chic and thin you can bend it and then have all the customers buy fat phone protectors to surround it with.

    Smartphones themselves may not have been a good social idea but I have an Android version that is cheap and amazing. For that I’d give a lot more credit to China than the Apple corporation which is above all else a machine for making money.

    1. digi_owl

      Apple has always struck me as this weird company, perhaps partially thanks to only learning of their existence once i got online.

      Because as a Norwegian the brand was basically nowhere to be seen, while i had multiple relatives owning a C64 growing up, friends with Amstrad CPCs, myself got an Amiga 500, and the school had a Atari ST hooked up to a keyboard for those taking elective music classes.

      And frankly i think it was the iPod, in particular once they ported iTuned to Windows and released a model that used USB rather than Firewire, that made Apple a known brand outside of professional media circles.

      And the iPhone piggy backed on that by basically being a drop in replacement, sporting the same docking port etc early on.

      But their computers seems to mostly show up in the hands of journalists and such still.

      And it is a bit funny seeing Samsung becoming “the” high end Android brand, when their first entry into the mobile market it was all about undercutting the likes of Nokia and Ericsson.

      1. Carolinian

        Originally the personal computer movement was supposed to be about empowering ordinary people back when computers were expensive time sharing on mainframes. And originally Apple was very much part of that if not in the forefront.

        Now they are the forefront of the walled garden and corporate control over the computer experience–the opposite of the days when a smashing Big Brother TV ad meant something.

        Of course these are not my ideas but may need to be dusted off in an era where platforms have taken over that libertarian project known as the internet. My idea of a good computer product is one that gives the user as much control as possible–not a self driving car.

        But that’s just me.

    2. griffen

      I don’t own an Apple product that can function currently, at one time I bought an iMac in 2006 which lasted pretty well into 2015 or so but by then the OS was no longer updating. The smart phones I have owned thus far have been two LG products and the one in use is long in the tooth from a tech perspective at 5+ years but been overall pleased.

      I get why the lawsuit is filed but seriously where have these state AG and Dept of Justice clowns been the last 10+ years I dunno. I overheard one interview on Cnbc today with the Connecticut AG and he’s all ” I love my iPhone I have two ” so they have both sides of their mouth moving. We like our expensive tech products I am shocked to learn.

    3. CA

      February 13, 2024

      How Chinese phones won over African consumers

      The world’s fourth largest smartphone producer is a Chinese company called Transsion. However, few people in China seem to know about it. That’s because their phones are not sold in China at all. Instead, they account for over half of all smartphone sales on the other side of the world, in Africa. In this episode of InFocus, we explain how these Chinese phones have won over the African market. *


      February 11, 2024

      How Chinese Phones Won in Africa: Targeting young consumers with devices that meet local needs

      1. digi_owl

        Gets me thinking about how Nokia was targeting African markets right before Elop happened. This by sending engineers and designers to talk to locals and learn what they looked for in a phone.

        And frankly i hold that it was Samsung and LG that killed Nokia, not Apple. Because they were taking large chunks out of the featurephone market, the Nokia foundation.

        Frankly the phone business is not that different from the car business. In both media likes to talk about the high end performance products, while what keeps the lights on year after year are the cheap models produced in mass quantities.

        Also, i had a Huawei some years ago. And it was basically the closest to a pocket computer i have come since playing around with a Nokia N800.

        They even saw fit to bundle a file manager with support for compressed archives out of the box. This while Apple and Google was hell bent on burrying the very notion of files. The result seen in recent years as students raised on iPads and Chromebooks are stumped when put before a PC or Mac come college.

        1. Pat

          The iPad file system actively discourages trying to use it.
          Having to keep track of files if that were your only experience….well It would be like always having to go to the librarian to get a book, and then moving to a library where suddenly you have to go get it on your own.

        2. CA

          “Also, I had a Huawei some years ago. And it was basically the closest to a pocket computer I have come since playing around with a Nokia N800.”

          Important, since America has been trying for years to destroy the very company, but Huawei has just about recovered and is moving ahead in the phone market with advanced cameras, foldable phones and a more versatile operating system. Huawei phones have already caught Apple in popularity in China.

          1. Pat

            People don’t mention it much, but until the government decided they were a danger Huawei was becoming a popular dark horse in the American market. Just before that happened my cell phone was dying. And as someone who buys outright and doesn’t do the get a bauble get locked into a contract nonsense, I had started researching affordable phone options. The Huaweis had some of the best specs and the highest customer ratings of the options. I didn’t pull the trigger in time so I didn’t get one, but I still remember it every time I hear them vilified. Even at the time the reasons felt like the pot calling the kettle black.

            1. digi_owl

              Frankly i think it is more about Huawei the network hardware supplier than Huawei the phone brand.

              Huawei was underbidding everyone on 4G and 5G network hardware. But then USA raised a stink about security, and now already installed kit is being replaced.

              Much of it with parts from Swedish Ericsson and Finnish Nokia no less. Makes one wonder if the fervor to get into NATO is payback for that little market manipulation.

              1. Pat

                I am sure you are right as to the reasons. As I have concerns about both 4 and 5G, I would have preferred every one doing that got cancelled.
                But I still find it fascinating when the government either clears the runways or locks the gates for businesses. In the cases of clear foreign ownership the cover story is usually easier, but it is rarely the real deal. Clearing the decks for NATO and sticking it to China works for me.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > The world’s fourth largest smartphone producer is a Chinese company called Transsion. However, few people in China seem to know about it. That’s because their phones are not sold in China at all. Instead, they account for over half of all smartphone sales on the other side of the world, in Africa.

        Excellent data, thank you

    4. CA

      Stoller–just can’t help himself:

      “Apple has become a dangerous corporation, with designs on imposing an authoritarian vision over as much of the economy as it can get away with.”

      [ Good grief; what sort of thinking is this? ]

        1. CA

          “I don’t think that’s wrong, and I’ve been a Mac user…”

          Yes, agreed. I thought about this objection carefully, and I can agree that I was too critical.
          Thinking back methodically, Apple has wanted to be as user controlling as possible.

          I appreciate Lambert’s objection.

  27. flora

    A Mike Benz twtr that sounds like it could be the plot line of a really good spy thriller novel like Le Carre’s Tinker,Taylor, Soldier, Spy. Don’t how much of this is true, but it’s a well crafted plot line for a story. / ;)

    Hunter Biden was advancing a CIA project in Ukraine to swing the natural gas market towards NATO & that’s why he’s untouchable.

    adding: destroying the NordStream pipeline helped the project along, whoever blew it up.

  28. Feral Finster

    Vast majority of Israelis abroad say ‘no intention to return’: Poll The Cradle (Kevin W)

    Zionists eternally tell me that Jews Have No Place Else To Go Other Than Israel (as if that were an excuse), but Israelis sure do seem quick to leave Israel for the countries that they came from.

    1. Benny Profane

      There are more Jews in the NYC metro and south Florida combined than in Israel. Plenty of places to go.

  29. Jason Boxman

    I wondered about this at least a year ago

    Not what I expected. SARS Cov 2 JN1 is superior at replicating in the gut. Not quite evolving into a common cold, is it?

    Although, if JN1 was the most sera-evasive at the time, the higher shedding in the gut could have been due to less immune control not an increase in tropism, no?

    This particularly

    TBH, it looks like the real story is that the summer and fall variants had LESS fecal shedding, rather than JN.1 having more. JN.1 and XBB.1.5 are more or less comparable except between days 0-5 (before the most shedding occurs).

    This might explain why the summer low was so low.

    We don’t have any independent sources anymore just some Walgreens.

  30. Bsn

    I sure hope for, but I don’t expect, massive “boooos” and representatives standing with their backs to Netenyahoo when he comes to congress. Oh well, one can hope>

  31. SD

    Re: Disqualifying Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva

    The big televised grand slam tennis tournaments and other important tennis events have been refusing to identify Russian players as Russian (“RUS”) and to display the Russian flag next to the players’ names since the hot war in Ukraine began. It is utterly childish and, as Yves points out, an admission of weakness.

    The best women’s figure skater perhaps ever is banned for four years from the biggest events in her sport. The performance linked to in the article is worth a watch if you’re curious to know what the West has decided we are not allowed to see.

  32. juno mas

    RE: How the West upended Russian skater Valieva

    It’s good to see this article. I observed something similar here in Comments years ago. The West is relentless in denigrating Russian culture; be it music, dance, athletics, literature, or politics!

    The video of Valieva competing is absolutely magical and majestic. There is a thing called generational talent and she is a millennial master.

  33. s.n.

    Not to be missed. By Alex de Waal, a leading authority on famine
    We are about to witness in Gaza the most intense famine since the second world war

    The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) system, set up 20 years ago, provides the most authoritative assessments of humanitarian crises. Its figures for Gaza are the worst ever by any metric. It estimates that 677,000 people, or 32% of all Gazans, are in “catastrophic” conditions today and a further 41% are in “emergency” conditions. It expects fully half of Gazans, more than 1 million people, to be in “catastrophe” or “famine” within weeks.

    A parallel report from the Famine Early Warning System Network of the US Agency for International Development sounds the same alarm. It is the clearest warning that the network has given at any time in its 40-year history.

    A rule of thumb is that “catastrophe” or “famine” conditions mean a daily death rate from from hunger or disease of two people out of 10,000. About half are children under five years old. The arithmetic is simple. For a population of 1 million, that is 200 deaths per day, 6,000 per month.

    1. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      How can this be allowed to happen in the 21st century? The cruelty of starving an entire people is just unfathomable.

      The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification ( IPC ), which is the global authoritative institution for hunger assessment, on which governments and multilateral organizations rely, now determines that half the population in the Gaza strip is in IPC Phase 5 ( Catastrophe/Famine ), the worst classification, where “starvation, death, destitution and extremely critical acute malnutrition levels are evident”.


      8:40 PM · Mar 18, 2024

  34. Tom Stone

    I am looking forward to Bibi giving the US Congress their marching orders in no uncertain terms, sometimes the serfs need a beating to remind them who the boss is.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Unsure at this moment exactly who the Elephants will have to run the zoo while receiving said marching orders.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Haha, that song goes in the upcoming songbook!

      Thanks for the link. Taibbi and I spoke after today’s Links fired. Lookie at how fast he knocks his pieces out. And at this quality.

      Please circulate! Post on your fave social media, and any sites where this might be of interest.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Yes! Hooray! Taibbi is a machine, turned this out with amazing speed.

      Please tweet and put on FB and LinkedIn, and if you are a Redditor or YCombinator, on any relevant threads.

      1. Antifa

        Matt is like those guys in old war movies who could phone in their articles verbatim from a phone booth in Madrid, without ever touching their Underwood.

      2. El Viejito

        You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that Taibbi’s article has been posted on many of the progressive FB pages in Omaha (not all. Some are restricted to events happening in Nebraska). The land of the Unicameral thanks you.

  35. DJG, Reality Czar

    Well, folkses, most of the news today seems to be dire. But I have found the comic relief in today’s Links.

    Yes, Grant Newsham’s blibby-blabbing about how the ungrateful Japanese don’t want U.S. forces showing up. After all, U.S. troops have never gotten into any trouble in Okinawa.

    I realize that “former dipomat” (that’s a laugh line) Newsham doesn’t write the kicker, but here’s the kicker:

    Given China’s rising threats to Japan, now’s the wrong time for local sensitivities to obstruct US access to crucial facilities

    Awww. Isn’t that precious? What’s sovereignty or years of Japanese history or Japanese geography, mere “local sensitivities,” when the U.S. wants to proxy-war its way with China?

    A haiku:

    For whiny splendor
    this blob of melodrama
    reeks of self-pity

    To accompany this quote dfrom the article: “If Japan can’t stand US Navy ships using more Japanese ports, or American aircraft using more Japanese airports, the alliance won’t be able to withstand the stress of US service members dying by the thousands for a Japan that didn’t let them prepare properly – to defend Japan.”


    1. CA

      March 21, 2024

      US forces unwelcome at Japanese ports and airfields
      Given China’s rising threats to Japan, now’s the wrong time for local sensitivities to obstruct US access to crucial facilities

      The Americans don’t send ships to Ishigaki and other Japanese ports to be difficult.

      Rather, to mount an effective defense, the US military wants access to as many ports as possible. And it’s important to use them in so-called “phase zero” — peacetime, or at least before the shooting starts…

      [ Beyond the carefully inflammatory writing, there has been a concerted effort to militarize Japan and finally make adherence to the Peace Constitution irrelevant. Japan’s political leadership, after all, persists in honoring the leadership that led the invasion and occupation and ravaging of China beginning in 1931. ]

    2. CA

      Global Times @globaltimesnews

      The baffling choice of Japan’s infamous Yasukuni Shrine to pick a former military commander as its chief priest reflects Japan’s misguided attitude toward its history of aggression. The shrine that honors 14 Class-A war criminals is a spiritual tool and symbol of the Japanese militarism’s war of aggression against foreign countries. China urges Japan to take concrete actions to completely break with militarism, & stop further breaking the trust of its Asian neighbors & the intl community: Chinese FM spokesperson

      9:10 AM · Mar 19, 2024

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