Links 3/23/2024

Vernor Vinge, Father of the Tech Singularity, Has Died At Age 79 ars technica :-(. I particularly liked A Deepness in the Sky

The bizarre world of people who see ‘demonic’ faces ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)

The Multiplication of Monsters: From Gutenberg to QAnon Public Books (Anthony L)

Book Excerpt: How Robots Are Improving Surgery Undark (Dr. Kevin)

How healthy is intermittent fasting for your heart? Fortune (furzy). Lambert ran this yesterday in Water Cooler. Repeating here because reader comments suggest this approach has a following here. Note biased sample. Overweight young men. And how do you eat over a period of 16 hours a day? BTW IM Doc trashed the study.



Instead of wind turbines: company generates wind energy with a parachute NDR via machine translation (guurst)

E-Waste Is Growing 5x Faster Than It Can Be Recycled, Says UN The Register

A loophole in the EPA’s new sterilizer rule leaves warehouse workers vulnerable Grist

Higher Temperatures Mean Higher Food and Other Prices Associated Press


Why a small China-made EV has global auto execs and politicians on edge CNBC

New Hong Kong security law comes into force amid fears for freedoms Straits Times


European Disunion

Old Blighty

‘This isn’t a game of 4D chess’: Tories braced for bruising local elections Guardian (Kevin W)

Read Kate Middleton’s full statement on her cancer diagnosis New York Post


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 168: U.S. advances UN Security Council ceasefire resolution as al-Shifa Hospital siege enters fifth day Mondoweiss

Russia, China veto US resolution at UN Security Council over its failure to ‘unequivocally’ call for Gaza ceasefire Arab News (Kevin W)

US destroys Houthi targets in Yemen after missile attack in Red Sea Anadolu Agency

Spain, Ireland, Malta, Slovenia agree to work towards Palestinian state recognition Middle East Onlne

Lebanon busts ‘extensive, dangerous’ Israeli spy network in Beirut The Cradle (guurst)

New Not-So-Cold War

Moscow concert hall attack live news: At least 60 killed, 145 injured Aljazeera. The latest report I saw pre-launch (6AM EDT) said over 90 dead.

Eventful 24 Hours: Moscow Terror Attack Follows Massive UA Grid Strikes Simplicius the Thinker

Note not Moscow the capital city:

Plenty of skepticism about claims ISIL/Dahesh dunnit:

Terrorist attack in Russia: Putin briefed on detention of 11 suspects with “ties in Ukraine” Ukrainska Pravda

INTEL Roundtable w/ Johnson & McGovern: Roundup on Ukraine and Gaza Judge Napolitano YouTube. Discussion at the top of the show, noting in particularly the highly dubious, immediate State Department announcement that this was not Ukraine’s doing.

More on oddball US conduct: Terrorist Attack on Moscow – Ukraine Committing Suicide? Larry C. Johnson. Dialogue Works, YouTube

Russia. Is. At. War. Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Ukraine Talks Haven’t Started Because of US Threats to Zelensky, Seymour Hersh Says Sputnik. To be taken with a fistful of salt. Zelensky issued a decree in October 2022 that barred negotiations with Russia if Putin is in charge.

Western Hatred of Russia Rooted in Support for Nazis and Bureaucratic sclerosis Larry Johnson. Important background

Putin’s victory is a geopolitical reality Indian Punchline


U.S. Inks Deal to Build New Military Bases that Can Serve as Launching Point For Attacks on Yemen and Potentially Iran Covert Action (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Hawks pushing for ‘axis of evil’ reunion tour Responsible Statecraft


Truth Social reaches merger deal, giving Trump fresh potential source of cash The Hill. Democrat heads explode.

A Trump Bankruptcy? and A Trump Bankruptcy: Further Thoughts Adam Levitin, Credit Slips. Important. Note from his first post, which a top tax expert pointed out to me a while back:

The primary attraction of bankruptcy for Trump would be delay. The key mechanism for delay from bankruptcy would be the “automatic stay” that automatically goes into effect with a bankruptcy filing. The stay stops almost all efforts to collect against an entity that has filed for bankruptcy. That means a bankruptcy would stop entire appeal clock and vitiate the need for any entity that has filed for bankruptcy to post a bond.


Whistleblower: The CIA Allegedly Told the DOJ to Stay Away from Kevin Morris in the Hunter Biden Investigation Jonathan Turley

Budget Brinksmanship

Senate sends $1.2T spending bill to Biden’s desk in late night vote The Hill

GOP Clown Car

Speaker Mike Johnson faces threat of ouster from Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene Associated Press (Kevin W)

Matt Gaetz worries House may “end up with a Democrat” speaker after MTG files to oust Mike Johnson Salon

Our No Longer Free Press

America’s Intellectual “Bloodbath” Matt Taibbi

Woke Watch

How Queer Theory Turned Its Back on Gay Men Chronicle of Higher Education (Anthony L)


DOJ Lawsuit Against Apple is Headline Grabber But Poses Limited Near-Term Impact Techcrunch. Ahem, these big suits always move slowly…

DOJ escalates price-fixing probe on housing market Politico (Paul R)


Irrational AI exuberance blowing big Asian bubbles Asia Times

The dangers of AI farming aeon

All-Tolerant Powell Sends Wall Street Into a Buying Frenzy Bloomberg

Class Warfare

The Lie Banks Use To Protect Their Late-Fee Profits Lever News (Randy K)

Teachers at two private schools in north-east England strike against fire-and-rehire plans Morning Star. Paul R:”MORE than 100 teachers at two £13,000-a-year private schools in north-east England have launched strike action against being fired and rehired with a worse pension scheme.”

Preaching—and Teaching—What They Practice: Discrimination In the Public Interest

Opinion: How to skip the college admissions rat race and still get a degree Los Angeles Times. Henry L: “This is wrong on so many levels that it should generate an interesting discussion.” Moi: “An arbitrate! A lawyer friend of mine worked this out 2 decades ago. She planned for her son to go to Oxford or Cambridge even though she had no strong UK ties. ”

Global Population Set To Fall For First Time In 700 Years Modernity. Not that I am a fan of growth as defined by economists, but one of the two drivers of growth is population increases (the other is productivity increases). Will this development finally get the super rich to decide to improve the material conditions of ordinary people so they can afford to have more children?

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    Today we offer the Google Censor-Bot something it won’t ever figure out . . . or yet another reason to write off our species entirely.

    (melody borrowed from Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds by The Beatles)

    Homeward from Vegas beside the Mojave
    I stopped to gas up at a fuel franchise
    Hungover, hungry, in dire need of coffee,
    When what should appear to my eyes?

    Gas station sushi in seaweed with sauce!
    Fans to scare off all the flies . . .
    Kid said it’s fresh every weekend by gosh
    With daikon!

    Gamblers have the courage of lions!
    What’s the risk to simply try one?
    What’s that distant sound of sirens?

    Seven fun flavors there righter to lefter
    And me feeling clever and worldly and wise
    I picked the best five and asked, ‘Who is the chefster?’
    The kid said, ‘Some Mexican guys.’

    Five trays in hand I strolled out of the store
    Happily driving away
    Munching on sushi and belting out songs
    Until dawn

    That is when I started crying
    And I knew that I was dying
    All that sushi came out flying

    Managed to reach yet another gas station
    I ruined their restroom . . . I’m so sorry guys
    Slept in my back seat for two days duration
    Before I could focus both eyes

    Throwing up while highway driving
    Sushi germs were truly thriving
    Took a solid week arriving

    Don’t you be a sushi heaver!
    Upchuck with that white line fever!
    Now I am a true believer!

    First your haggard face it whitens!
    Then you get a couple dry ones!
    Suddenly your stomach tightens!

    1. upstater

      A local Dunkin Donuts now has flags and signs announcing Sushi offerings. Top it off with a 350 calorie Coolata ™ with 83 grams of sugar and 2 donuts for dessert! Get it at the drtive-thru and you hardly have to move to be sated!Yummy!

    2. Eclair

      Be aware that even eating local produce is no guarantee of intestinal peace. Driving through Georgia a few years ago, I bought a take-out container of boiled peanuts, spooned out of a slow cooker sitting on the counter top. (I was charmed by the story of the young Jimmy Carter selling boiled peanuts on the sidewalk in downtown Plains.) My husband declined to partake, but I happily munched on them throughout the day. I spent the night on the bathroom floor.

    3. B24S

      Chapeau, Antifa, chapeau.

      Six years ago we were driving across SoCal, atop Mt Palomar, and then headed east on small roads through Anza Borego to Joshua Tree. The landscape turned to rocky desert, and as we got deeper into the hills and heat, we were appalled to pass a small, seemingly out of place, rundown Korean restaurant offering… sushi.

      It has been the source of much speculative “amusement” ever since.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        first, a disclaimer: i have no issues whatsoever with asian folks….and ive eaten lots of unusual things.

        there was a chinese buffet in the small west texas city where my wife went to college.
        owned by a family of thais….a great big family,lol.
        all you can eat,etc.
        my mom wanted to go there every time she came with us up there for some reason.
        as is my long practice, i took note of various things…having been in the food bidness for most of my life.
        one thing i noticed about this place, is the lack of stray cats(there are always stray cats around dumpsters)
        so i stuck to vegetarian fare.
        wife, mom, etc didnt want to hear about the lack of cats.
        few years later, it was all over the regional news that the place had been busted by the health department for serving cat and dog.
        true story.

    1. Es s Ce Tera

      This story, and in particular the description of equipment found in the vehicle and the mapping of faces, reminded me of one time I participated in a pro-Palestine march in a major city about 15-20 years ago. I saw an unmarked vehicle with a camera mounted on the top, so I snuck up on it, then watched in the window for a few minutes as the driver was intently focused on fiddling with extensive equipment. He was capturing/recording the faces of every protester who passed, and as they passed their faces would be framed by multi-colored squares and the images stored. I remember thinking at the time this was insanely advanced tech, seemed to be catching a lot of facial data points, I’m a techie and hadn’t seen this level of facial recognition before.

      When the driver figured out I was standing there he asked me to leave but instead I started making a scene, drawing attention, so he quickly drove away.

      At the time I thought he was government, now this piece has me wondering if he was working for a fake company. Since then I’ve seen these vehicles at almost every protest/march related to Israel/Palestine.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe that is why the let the Occupy Wall Street protests go on for so long. They wanted to capture the faces of as many protestors as they could before shutting the whole thing down.

        1. southern appalachian

          I am holding on to this idea that a major forcing for the end of Covid masking was that it was making facial recognition software ineffective. My personal tin foily outfit.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Not so tin foily. Back in early 2020 NC linked to a short video of this guy in England wearing a mask on the streets. Then the British police moved in to make him remove it so that he could be identified by cameras. In the middle of a pandemic mind.

          2. Dr. John Carpenter

            When a message is so obviously coordinated and spread through all the media, government and TPTB, it seems irresponsible not to speculate that there were more sinister motives afoot.

            1. Reply

              From one of those 4:00 a.m. talking points memos that went to a select distribution list. The proof of that, of sorts, was the widespread use of identical wording.

              Or was there some secret Style Manual chapter that could explain the anomalies? /s

        2. digi_owl

          Nah, i think they found the people more resilient to early attempt at lawfare (banning loudspeakers etc, only for the public microphone materializing).

          And only by sending in the agent provocateurs pushing the “progressive stack” did things start to break down and the public to lose interest, such that when the riot cops descended hardly a shrug was offered.

      2. ambrit

        Here’s to all the future monkeywrenchers who spray paint the lenses of those cameras! (I’ll give a pass to the Street View crews for the various Map Apps.)
        We can call that group the “Fade to Black Bloc.”

        1. GF

          Has anybody noticed in the latest versions of Google Earth Pro that Street View isn’t there anymore? Or is it hidden now?

      3. steppenwolf fetchit

        Probably every participant at every gathering for every purpose will be photoed for scanning in this way. There should be a way to identify these cars as soon as they are spotted and a way to point them out to all participants so the photographer-occupants can be harrassed into leaving.

        That should be part of the planning and basic knowledge of every large gathering. ‘Every’ large gathering? Yes. Because who knows what kind of large gatherings will be declared to be part of a disposition-matrix deemed sufficient to trigger further action against every or any participant at some future point?

        I remember the overseas Iranian student protests against the Shah and Savak in different parts of the US in the 1970s. Every protesting Iranian student wore a bag over his/her head with two little eyeholes in it to prevent Savak agents from being able to identify them one way or another. Bags looking like this . . .
        ( I had to borrow an image of The Unknown Comic because i could not find any photos of Iranian students in America protesting the Shah).

        1. Reply

          About 50 years ago I was in a ‘manif’* in France. Anyone with a camera was viewed as part of the CRS** security service and therefore suspect and fair game for camera removal.

          *Manifestation, i.e., strike, which were not infrequent after Les Évènements de 1968.
          ** The guys in the Ford (!) vans, carrying machine guns in shoulder bags.

        2. Vandemonian

          I was in an anti Vietnam war protest march here in Oz in the 70s. Noticed some gentlemen toting SLRs with very large lenses atop buildings along the route.

  2. Em

    If we’re going to end up with Trump no matter what, I sure hope that he will turn against Kushner and his Zionist billionaire buddies for not forking over a measily few hundred million to tide him over. A lot of these guys are heavily involved in commercial real estate and I imagine that the last couple years hasn’t been quite as good for them as the rest of the billionaire class.

    1. flora

      Not if the message on the Georgia Guide Stones are any indication. / ;)

      Thanks for the link to Prof. Hudson’s article.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        If the Georgia Guidestone Overclass has decided that having several billion of us remaining alive here just stinks up the joint and spoils the view so far as they are concerned, then no . . . falling fertility rates won’t bother them any.

        One is conflicted here . . . . floating the human population down to a sustainable level through dropping fertility below replacent would be the soft-landing way to do it. And since the fertility is falling fastest in the high-consumption areas first, it is helping ease the burden of overpopulation and overconsumption both.

        But if the Overclass is not satisfied with doing it the easy way of dropping fertility, then they will want to do it the scanner way through The Long Great Cull Killoff. And that would be bad.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The last time there was a big improvement in labor pay and work conditions (ex the New Deal period, when the combo of capitalism falling apart and the Commie threat led to concessions) was after the Black Death, as in a direct result of labor shortages. Admittedly what we have coming is probably too gradual to affect behavior much.

      1. Steve H.

        Stark. I’m looking at the scales, and they’re set to maximize the slope/detail of each line. If you reset to percent increase, I suspect there will be a similarity to the GDP:Median_wage split.

    3. ChrisPacific

      The article was pretty bad. It noted the fact that some people thought population decline was a good thing but didn’t make any effort to tease that out, calling them ‘loons’ instead.

      My take: given what the science is telling us about climate change and our likely failure to address it, population decline is coming whether we like it or not. Decline via lower birth rates seems like the least bad option to me compared to global war, mass migration, famine and the other consequences we can expect from the climate change worst case scenario. Not that it will be enough – we’ll likely get all of that anyway – but it will at least lower the severity a little.

      On the personal choice front, one way to frame the question would be: suppose you lived in the Middle Ages, you had a crystal ball, and you knew the Black Death was coming (and what it would be like). Would you still choose to have children, knowing what their future was going to be? My younger friends who are concerned about climate change tend to take this view (viz. why would you do that to somebody you cared about).

      1. Anon

        By that argument, childbirth itself, being a mortal risk to a mother, is never worth it. Hence the abortion bans. ‘Patriarchy’, like Feminism, has its logic…

  3. Em

    Opinion: How to skip the college admissions rat race and still get a degree Los Angeles Times.

    The rich Chinese and South Koreans have been in this game for decades. Getting into Harvard or MIT (as a legal resident of the US) is easy peasy compared to getting into the top universities in their own countries.

    I don’t really understand how anyone who isn’t at least a multimillionaire and have other options, is continuing to raise their kids in the USA. Raising kids is crushingly expensive and exhausting in this country. Stay at home moms of my parents’ generation are much more hands off than the exhausting child focused calendars of my PMC friends.

    And despite all this attention, the kids are more often than not matriculating into schools that are one or two tiers below their parents alma maters. They are literally going to colleges I have never heard of.

    For the time being, it seems like all of Europe, rest of Anglo-Saxonia, and even bits of Asia and Latin America are better options for people with kids. If I had kids I would seriously consider moving to Russia.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      There is (or at least used to be) a better way to skip out on the admissions rat race and get a decent education. When I lived In Seattle, the University of Washington allowed WA state residents to take classes there for fairly cheap if the class in question wasn’t filled with enrolled students. I had already graduated from a different school, but I wanted to take some classes just for fun. Turns out students were not banging down the door to take Sanskrit and ancient Greek, so I got to take a couple classes there. If I remember right, you had to live in WA for six months to qualify as a resident, and each class was $500. Because I wasn’t actually enrolled, I don’t think there was any transcript, and I could never have officially graduated with a diploma, but it did occur to me that if you took four classes per semester for four years, which was the requirement at the college I actually graduated from, you could get an good 4 year equivalent education for $16K, which was quite a bit cheaper than the going rate for most schools at the time, including UW itself.

      If your concern is an actual education, and not just the piece of paper you get at the end, it’s not a bad way to do it.

      1. i just dont like the gravy

        If your concern is an actual education, and not just the piece of paper you get at the end, it’s not a bad way to do it.

        The thing is, the piece of paper at the end is the entire point of the system… Good Will Hunting was not a documentary.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          well,lol…there are a few of us out here who did the self education thing because we were curious about the world.
          i remember being thoroughly disappointed with college….forced to go to a ruralish state school, instead of the fancy places i got accepted to…and it was all about the job at the end of it…not about thought and knowledge.
          bureaucratic bs and a lack of funds ended my college career, and i was not sad to get out.
          i gave myself a better education than they ever could have managed.
          and i havent missed having a sheepskin, either….since i never wanted to do any of those jobs in the first place.
          id rather be poor than do what my brother has to do for his 300k per annum.
          what price ones soul?

          1. JBird4049

            The thing is that most people do better learning with and from others, often with a framework or plan, which is what an education is supposed to provide. Those without the practice or training to learn, and it is a skill, access to teachers or tutors especially if they have any learning difficulties, a quiet place and time to learn, plus either a good library or money for books, preferably both, are going to have a very hard time.

            The only reason I developed the habit of reading was because my family encouraged it, and they encouraged it because they were either college graduates or book lovers. Same with learning. How many people now are encouraged to read an entire book just because? How many people still have the patience to read hundreds of pages of boring print and the ability to understand, enjoy, and learn from doing so?

      2. Glen

        $500 a class? Good grief, that’s more than I paid for a full quarter of engineering classes at the University of California in the early 80’s. It was only about $1200 for a full year. I was able to work summers, work part time during school, and get a college degree without loans. I think that’s impossible now. Which is why I’m starting to consider STEM to mean Slave To Evil Megacorp.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          This was the rate around 1994-95. Not dirt cheap – you could probably take classes cheaper at a community college – but pretty affordable considering it was a big state research university. When I got my actual degree a bit before that, I worked part time and summers, got a bunch of scholarships, and still came out with significant loans to repay, although not nearly as bad as what you hear about today.

          1. Revenant

            You won’t want to hear this but when I went to Oxbridge in the early 1990’s, the tuition fees were around £3.6k per year and the cost of living was funded by a grant from my county council. (I actually spent so little in the first year, I made a profit on the grant!). Overseas fees were c. £10k per year for tuition.

            Blair turned University education into a credentialing treadmill racket. Tuition fees are now £10k p.a. (for worse tuition and the same teaching facilities as the 1990’s). All of the income increase has been spent on vice-chancellors’ salaries or invested in purpose built student accommodation that raises the cost of living to £15k+ per year. UK university education has gone from £10k all-in to more like £60k-£70k.

            This can be funded with loans but these suck money out of graduates when they should be buying a house and raising children.

            The fees are set by a cap and every institution pretty much charges full price (cartel, what cartel?) whether it is Cambridge or a degree-mill.

            What is amazing is how many Asian students seem willing to pay international fees fees at even mediocre UK universities, when international students pay more like £30k p.a. tuition plus living expenses, so £120k all in!

            The UK papers are regularly full of discussions that it is cheaper to send a child to a US university with a strong scholarship system than to UK universities (which don’t offer scholarships).

            I have told my children that if they get into Oxbridge and just maybe the rest of the top ten I will move heaven and earth to pay for their fees and board, so they don’t have to take student loans. Otherwise they can take the loan if they cannot stand up to the peer pressure but I would rather pay for them to skip University and start a trade or a business or work for a while to save up or go abroad where it is cheaper.

            If you want a cheap education, the place to go with an EU passport (they have one luckily) was Maastricht in the Netherlands, which taught all its courses in English and charge a few hundred Euros for initial admission only. Dutch nationalists have brought it to heel and made it introduce compulsory Dutch tuition and exam components but there are probably equal obliging places left around Europe….

      3. playon

        You can also talk to a professor and ask if you can audit the class for free, assuming you don’t care about the diploma. Most teachers want students who are genuinely interested.

        1. juno mas

          In the California community college system it’s a mere $15/course to audit a class. But then you are not included in the enrollment count and the college does not get “allotment” funding from the state; which is important to the school.

      4. Reply

        There have been some regional compacts in the west that allow access to a neighboring state Uni for the in-state tuition. Transportation increase offset often by cheaper living expenses, too.
        Not sure if still in effect but worth investigating.

        See also domestic exchange programs with similar benefits in addition to some cultural enrichment.

    2. Dean

      There’s another option too. Here in California students can attend a junior college and enter in to a transfer program. If completed successfully the student is guaranteed a spot at most of the UC* or Cal State schools. The application process is straightforward. Added bonus is the tuition for two years at the JC can be covered by scholarships.

      * UCLA and Berkeley have a more rigorous transfer program (honors classes) and acceptance is still not guaranteed.

  4. Daniil Adamov

    Moscow concert hall attack live news: At least 60 killed, 145 injured Aljazeera. The latest report I saw pre-launch (6AM EDT) said over 90 dead.

    Russian media now says 140 dead.

    1. Lovell

      From RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan :

      “We already know the names of the perpetrators. We have seen their faces and know what they are saying during interrogations. (We are not publishing to avoid disrupting the investigation.)

      And immediately it becomes clear why yesterday American media were shouting in unison that it was ISIS.

      Because it’s not ISIS. The perpetrators are simply chosen to convince the gullible global public that it is ISIS.

      It’s a simple sleight of hand. The level of a street corner shell game.

      So here’s the thing. It’s not ISIS at all. It’s Ukrainians. And the fact that even before the arrests, before the perpetrators’ faces and names were known, Western intelligence agencies began to persuade the population that it was ISIS—that’s what ignited the fire under this thief’s hat.
      It’s not ISIS.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        The US State Department has some ‘splainin’ to do. At a press briefing they assured everybody that this was not a Ukrainian attack but now they have to explain why the killers were bolting for the Ukrainian border. As for the Ukrainians, I am going to take a guess here. I would say that the calculation was to use a bunch of no-hopers to kill at least a hundred civilians in a bloody massacre. Then they figured that Russia would reply with their own massacre of civilians and based on that, they would have the west decry Russia in the UN, force Congress to pass that $61 billion and other benefits like having the ICC issue yet more arrest warrants. Yes, it would mean that hundreds of Ukrainians civilians would die needlessly but they would be prepared to accept that.

        1. timbers

          Could this day 1 or something like that, of a possible realization that all Ukraine Public/Government institutions are in fact terrorist conduits and those people in Ukraine’s government are terrorists themselves?

          That has legitimate policy implications how Russia should prosecute this war.

          1. Skip Intro

            I expect it may have an impact on the morale of troops in the field, and the effectiveness of Russian recruiting efforts as well. Did the Germans, French, and Poles who just sent a sacrificial garrison to Ukraine know that the ground rules would change within hours of their arrival?

            1. Martin Oline

              French garrison + Russia’s TOS-1A “vacuum bomb” = French fries.
              (I am amazed this comment did not go into moderation. How insensitive of me. I’ll see myself out.)

              1. ambrit

                Poor lad! Get with the game plan. Now those “crispy uhlans” are known as “Freedom Fries.”

        2. Lovell

          Yes, some commenters were saying Zelensky recruited Tajikistan mercenaries.

          The puzzle is, why did ISIS leadership claimed responsibility if it was not, in fact, their men?

          Possible answer : because ISIS, Zelensky, and the mercs were all following the script and command of the CIA.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Somebody in comments said yesterday that when ISIS supposedly claimed responsibility for this attack, that it was using a message template that ISIS has not used for years.

            1. Polar Socialist

              Nor, from what I’ve read – but haven’t verified – was it published in any of the “official” ISIS channels. Apparently it just appeared on the internet and was immediately picked up by Western media…

              1. Trees&Trunks

                Putin has promised revenge for all involved. Hope Nuland and her gang gets to meet the maker:

              2. ChrisFromGA

                This is what happens when the press gets enshittified. 30 or even 20 years ago, such a claim would never make it to press, because journalism schools taught to never run a claim such as that without at least two verified sources.

                (Yes, one of the sources may have been the US govt. but they’re known to have very bad credibility, so the Times circa 1993 would have at least tried to find a second, independent source.)

                Thanks to staff cuts, AI, and other factors, we’ve enshittified the media to the point where they’re no better than some kids’ reddit feed.

                1. Anon

                  Reuters led with “Mass Shooting”, complete with multiple perpetrators in tac gear, explosives, 100+ dead… we are all narrative, zero substance.

                  This goes back to what I said here previously, that if Russia does not go on the offensive at some point, they will lose. Death by a thousand cuts.

                  This presents a quandary for those within the West who oppose their leadership, for unless you aspire to watching your house burn to the ground, content in your righteousness, you will be compelled to join them.

        3. Benny Profane

          My first thought is, wow, four captured alive? Whatever happened to suicide missions? If one is to believe the first bitchute interrogation, this was done out of pure greed. CIA hitmen, and we funded it.

          Nuland should be very careful in public from now on. I’ll bet this was one of her “nasty surprises” she was talking about, along with that cross border excursion recently. Probably why she got fired. She’s so evil, she announced this stuff into a microphone, with a smile.

        4. Lefty Godot

          Tin-foil hat thoughts: is it coincidence that Nuland’s “retirement” was announced a day or two before the US issued its warning to Americans in Moscow to avoid public venues because of an imminent terror attack? Could this whole fiasco be one of her private projects to provide a “surprise” for Russia, without having cleared it with her superiors first?

          1. ChrisFromGA

            And, was the US warning to Russia about potential terror acts their way of trying to wash their hands of her, and a tacit admission that her evil surprise had already been set in motion?

            1. Lefty Godot

              It seems like a clumsy way of trying to disclaim involvement of US officials (like Nuland was) in what was coming. But how would US government sources even know about a planned terrorist attack in a country that the US classes as an adversary and where that country’s intelligence agencies must be watching all US assets closely? The only way that makes sense is if US personnel were involved in the planning at some stage.

              Maybe Blinken and Sullivan got cold feet when they heard about this and tried issuing the warning (and tossing Vicky overboard) to exculpate themselves. But I doubt the Russians are going to fall for this. Someone on “our” side was probably working with Ukraine and “our” other terrorist proxies (which could well involve some Islamic State or Al Qaeda or even Israeli veterans) to plan this out. With the incompetent warmongers in charge of Biden’s foreign policy, making a hash of this would be par for the course.

      2. Benny Profane

        Ok, too early to come to conclusions, I thought, but now I’m pretty sure this was a CIA sponsored attack, because I just read this in the NYT: In First Remarks on Attack, Putin Tries to Link Assailants to Ukraine

        “Ukrainian officials have repeatedly denied having anything to do with the attack, and American officials have said there is no evidence of Ukrainian involvement. American officials voiced concern on Friday that Mr. Putin could seek to falsely blame Ukraine for the attack, and some analysts and Kremlin critics have said that he could use such an accusation to justify another escalation in Russia’s invasion.”

        There you go. “American officials” (who?) almost immediately fed to the press that ISIS was responsible, when nobody was under arrest and the fire was still smoking. How could they possibly know that, or anything? Then they, the “officials” (are we that stupid?) warn the world that Putin may over react, when something tells me that’s exactly what they hope he will do. It’s a damn prepared script. And convinces me that this was a really really stupid move by the crazed Nazi idiots in Kiev.

        Budanov better start digging a deeper hole to hide in.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          KEY FACT: the “American officials” that in the NYT piece were quoted WHEN THE ASSAILANTS WERE STILL AT LARGE!

        2. jhallc

          Seems to me it’s the same script that they used for the Nordstrom attack. Come out early blaming anyone else they can pin it on except the ones that did it. Surprised we haven’t seen them trying to blame the Russians themselves yet.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Yeah but. One very important difference :

            The Russians have the perps in custody andntheyre singing.

            1. playon

              From the clips I watched they weren’t giving up much information. If the perps are to be believed they were contracted anonymously for the job, and it was a job, they were supposed to have been paid.

              1. Vandemonian

                They won’t give up much useful information on a YouTube video. The actual interrogation will be long, methodical, professional and (almost certainly) free from “enhanced interrogation” techniques such as waterboarding.

        3. Glenn Stanley Olson

          I remember reading somewhere about how to spot a False Flag Operation so I googled it and found nothing (wiped clean) but DuckDuckGo found “”

          The main reveal I remembered was “False Flag Formula #4: MSM Quickly Name and Demonize the Patsy” Of course claiming this was ISIS is as believable as saying Russia blew up their own NS2. Unfortunately with the censorship and control of the media a lot of people will continue to believe both.

          1. hk

            I actually wondered if USG was, in some way behind this and are trying to toss Ukraine overboard, maybe along with Vicky Nuland. The “denial” by the US (was it Kirby, the state, or both? Can’t remember who it was now) was too prompt and too specific. But suddenly disgovering that “our democratic allies” are actually a gang of bloodthirsty terrorists would be a good way to wash one’s hands.

        4. Not Qualified to Comment

          All sorts of oddities to muddy speculation on this one:
          1. Why now, out of the blue by ISIS?
          2. Wouldn’t ISIS attackers have gone to ground in the Theatre for a shoot-out to cause maximum damage, fly their flag and be able to claim their 99 virgins?
          3. Mercuris was saying on his channel today that the US and UK embassies in Moscow were warning their people about a pending attack, and was suggesting they hadn’t passed the intel onto the Russians out of spite. But even in this case its surely unlikely that the Russians would not of heard of it and asked what it was all about. If it turns out that the US and UK were deliberately stonewalling the Russians Putin’s going to be shouting it from the rooftops and there’s no mileage for them in that.
          4. For the perpetrators (if they really are the perpetrators!) and their support group to be picked up so quickly the Russians must have already had a pretty good idea who to look for, which suggests they knew something was being planned and were caught on the hop. A bad look, but it would have been a lot more embarrassing for Putin had it occured before the Presidential election. So if it was an attack on Putin rather than the Russians, which surely would have been Nuland et al’s motivation, why wait until afterwards?
          5. Why were these guys trying to escape to Ukraine? If the Ukrainians set the thing up but wanted to point the finger at ISIS, the perpetrators trying to escape to Ukraine points the finger right back at them.
          6. Why even try to get to Ukraine? That border must be the most militarised, closely watched border on earth at the moment. Going south looking to disappear in the ‘Stans would make a lot more sense.
          7. If the Ukraine was behind it, Why? Especially if they’re going to deny it. It had no military relevance except to harden Russian attitudes and it isn’t going to win any friends. I can’t see the Americans risking being in any way linked with it – coming on top of Nordstream it would spook any state not already owned by the US to a very cautious arms-length (with friends like that who needs enemies!) and make BRICS seem very attractive.
          8. My best guess is that this was a rogue, or semi-rogue operation by some Ukraine operation led by someone lashing out at a personal level for revenge in the face of an inevitable total defeat, but there are so many players with axes to grind and accusations to make which they might even believe themselves that I’m going to take whatever I’m told by any player with a bucket of salt, and doubt that the truth will ever be certain.

          1. Morincotto

            Concerning ISIS there is a possibility that the Ukrainians themselves didn’t necessarily even want to blame ISIS, that could have been a purely american contribution foisted on them.

            Perhaps they were promised an open hero’s welcome back in Ukraine and then were set up to be killed but unfortunately survived.

            Of course many or most of Budanov’s stunts did neither serve a military purpose nor did they make any friends or sympathy points for Ukraine.

            Which Budanov with eventual collapse seemingly unavoidable and his days very likely numbered and opinion in the global majority firmly against him anyway, may no longer care about much.

            So he easily could himself be one of the ones lashing out.

            Who knows, if so he might eventually admit to it even despite Zelensky and the US not wanting him to do it.

            Maybe Budanov will be taken out soon, to keep him from doing so or to prevent him from more counterproductive stunts.

            Maybe Budanov is to be blamed specifically to goad the Russians into taking him out, so as to get rid of him for some reason, similarly to how Zelensky allegedly used the Russians to eliminate some nationalist formations that were loyal to Zalushny and thinking about couping Zelensky.

            Perhaps the Brits and the Yanks have decided to bring back Zalushny from his London exile after all and put him in charge and see Budanov as a hindrance to Zalushny’svtriumphant return when he is supposed to finally go on pure defense or head the government of Rump Ukraine or in exile at least and maybe Zalushny insisted on Budanov being done away with and they hope the Russians will do it for them very soon.

            The Neocons Sure Like their unecessarily complicated masterplans.

            Hell, maybe it’s even a ukro/CIA Operation that is deliberately designed to Look Like it might be a russian false flag Operation (even if also a rather stupid, clumsy and unflattering one).

            In that case blaming ISIS would be merely an intermediate step to set up the reveal of the new “Putin did it” conspiracy theory championed by Navalnaya.

            Putin has stubornly refused to give them the massacres in Ukraine that they were hoping for and much of independent media, the global majority and the international contrarians united are so turned against the West and it’s unending lies that they would much rather blame the West and the Banderites for any massacre on ukrainian soil (with good reason).

            The logical answer for our masterminds might be a massacre in Russia with Ukraine the very obvious suspect number, designed to direct contrarian instincts towards a possible russian conspiracy.

            Ha, thinking about it that IS actually a good deal more cunning than the typical neocon cunning plan.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            “If the Ukraine was behind it, Why?”

            Budanov has often said that Russian civilians away from the front should not feel like they are safe. Undermining the civilians’ feeling of safety and the prestige of the government on whose watch this happened is a plausible motive. Openly taking credit for it would be fraught in view of the international reaction, but the sense of safety can be undermined without it. Mind you, I don’t think this actually accomplishes anything, but this is the approach Budanov (along with some others, I think?) has openly advertised, and Ukraine being behind this would be consistent with it. Not that I’m sure this is what happened (I just think it’s likelier than ISIS or Putin being behind it).

            1. steppenwolf fetchit

              One reason being advanced for ” Ukraine diddit” is that the perps allegedly tried fleeing back towards Ukraine, thereby signaling that they had come from there and were tied to there.

              Something seems wrong about this to me. At first blush a reason for heading to Ukraine might be that it is the nearest non-Russia-allied border to flee to. Would they try fleeing to Belarus?

              But after a crime like this, fleeing to Ukraine makes no sense if they actually wanted to escape because the part of Ukraine they would reach would be the part already full of Russian soldiers and other personnel. What kind of escape would that even be?

              So ISIS or Russian FSB or other-such False Flag seems equally possible to me considering the possible Russian FSB or other-such involvement in a series of apartment bombings designed to ” look like” Chechens diddit in order to make the Russia public favorable to restarting a Chechen war.

              In this case, either create or permit an atrocity pretext to blame Ukraine for. And given the Budanov comments, such blame could be plausibly supportable.

        5. Lefty Godot

          My guess is that there are different sections/factions within the CIA, DIA, State Department, etc. And that not all of these are on the same page as to what operations should be going forward and what the official line is that should be fed to the public about any of them. So it would not surprise me if one group of actors was helping to organize this, probably in concert with Budanov and company and possibly in concert with intelligence agents of other countries (e.g., MI6 or Mossad types). Plan A was for the atrocity to happen before the elections, this was Plan B.

          The warning that was given two weeks ago may have been one faction that was not in on the plan getting wind of it and complaining to people higher up the food chain that this was not going to work to “our” advantage. So a half-hearted attempt was made to pre-establish plausible deniability by putting out the warning press release. I’m sure whoever in the intelligence world was behind it could summon up stooges from ISIS, Al Qaeda, MEK, or whomever, since those outfits are probably well infiltrated by “our” agents or full of “gig terrorists” available on a part-time payroll basis.

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      I seriously hope the USgov gave the Russiagov every bit of intelligence the USgov had about threats of this as soon as the USgov picked up those bits of intelligence. Otherwise, the Russiagov will quite rightly wonder why the USgov did not tell the Russiagov everything it was learning as it was learning it in ongoing real-time.

  5. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The Multiplication of Monsters: From Gutenberg to QAnon

    Yet another article on conspiracy theories and fake news that fails to mention Russiagate. Because the liberals really believe that one. Talked to another one just the other day who tried defending it.

    1. Screwball

      Russiagate and the Russian bogeyman are alive and well for sure. I was told the other day Russia was going to pay Trumps legal fees as soon as they figure out a way to launder the money. In fact, they are also controlling the entire GOP. And we must not forget they are behind Hunter’s laptop as well. Of course everything is either Russia or Trumps fault.

      These very same people are quite valuable though. Whatever happens in the world, you can go to them to find out what’s not the truth. You will know immediately what narrative the narrative managers want people to believe. Then, take the reciprocal of what these people believe and you are closer to the truth of what really happened.

    2. griffen

      Cue up a hilarious episode of South Park featuring Al Gore. He visits the town and the young kids kind of feel bad for him, so they help and aid in his search for a mythical beast.

      ManBearPig. He’s real, I’m super serial and why won’t anyone believe me….

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        I remember seeing parts of that episode after the fact. Even later I remember reading about how . . . after Trey and Parker got caught in a very unusual Fort Collins flash flood event, they came out with another episode featuring the South Park kids apologizing to the Al Gore character and saying they realized that ManBearPig is real. Al Gore later had a mild laugh about that on a Daily Show with Trevor Noah episode.

        Here is the link.

        1. griffen

          Thanks for the above link, I had no idea that South Park had revisited the topic and a follow on episode featuring Gore. I’ll have to look that episode up soon and watch.

          Introspection, a bit of humility and conceding a mild error in their past show. Can’t imagine what sort of flooding would change their mind but it must’ve been epochal but perhaps not on a level Katrina flooding New Orleans, for one glaring example.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Truth Social merger approved, giving Trump potential source of cash”

    I wonder if the New York Attorney General’s office might swoop in and seize Trump’s interests in this company as an “asset” so that he cannot use it as collateral to raise money to pay those fines off with. It seems at this stage of the game they will do anything – legal or not – to make sure that his chances of being elected are wrecked.

      1. Janeway

        I don’t understand why his other, previously existing(!) judgment creditors, particularly Jean Carroll, aren’t in front of Trish??

        If Carroll’s attorneys were asleep at the switch and didn’t file her judgments already and let Tish prime them behind the AG judgment, then malpractice may be in store for them!

    1. griffen

      Not surprising to find another mega billionaire donor mixed into the business of Trump the man and Trump the brand. I read much of the above first post at credit slips but I can’t grok all the legal posturing and hypothetical methods in play.

      The problem with this merger being approved, if I understand correctly, there is a lock out period that likely precludes any actionable trade and subsequent windfall in the near future Still not too much mentioned about that pesky US constitutional amendment* on excessive fine and penalties, which I’m certain that Lambert has made reference to previously on the topic.

      *to the extent that governing document even matters…

    2. Reply

      Metaculus markets in nearly everything!
      For a break during Final Four halftime shows.
      What is the current over/under and such on the different Trump actions, for example?

    1. Michael McK

      Honey bees are not the answer. Maintaining enough habitat diversity for native pollinators is. Farmed Honey Bees (subsidized with sugar to maintain a strong colony most of the year) suck up all the nectar and pollen in an area and starve the natives out. They do not pollinate some native plants well but pollinate many, if not most, invasive species very well. Honey Bees enable industrial farming, if left to nature farmers would need to grow many crops in strips and leave natural refuges instead of chemical soaked monocultures for miles. “Africanized” bees never invaded California as had been predicted because the coast is heavily populated so they are discovered and exterminated while the Central Valley is so toxic with chemicals and usually food free from monocultures that wild hives can not survive there. Some “african” genes have made it here, but not enough to cause a commotion.
      If you want to keep bees for honey and other health benefits try catching wild swarms in spring (set up a hive and put in a swarm lure, I have success with about 1/4 of the ones I set out), raise them for the year and de-queen them in late summer. The hive dies out by late fall and the energy they would have put towards overwintering is put to your honey harvest and there will be fewer wild hives competing with the native Bees.
      The industrial model for beekeeping in Alaska I am familiar with involves sending nucs (a bunch of bees and a queen without a hive in a screen box with enough sugar syrup to survive the trip) from California to Alaska where they feed all summer and are de-queened for maximum production in late summer since they are unlikely to survive without all their honey and more nucs are sent the next spring.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Have any studies been done on the relative populations of native bees versus feral honeybees in large-to-huge areas where no farming happens and there is therefor no industrial beekeeping? If any such studies have been done, have they shown an impact on native bee populations in those type of situations?

        1. Michael McK

          I do not know. Most industrial bees are pastured in wild areas after the spring pollination duties so there are few areas with only feral Bees..
          My experience: The year before I got my 1st hive I counted 17 different pollinators on the Mint in my yard though I now know that the large and small Bumblebees were probably the same species but hatched at different times (the 1st brood are smaller than their later sisters because the 1st brood helps raise and feed the later ones). I quickly had 4 hives and only saw honey bees, sweat bees and yellowjackets on the Mint thereafter.

  7. digi_owl

    “Vernor Vinge, Father of the Tech Singularity, Has Died At Age 79 ars technica :-(. I particularly liked A Deepness in the Sky”

    The guy that laid the basis for “rapture of the nerds” with his writing about a technological singularity.

    So far i have yet to see any tech develop in anything other than a sigmoid curve. Sure, the middle point may look like a potential singularity. But then material and energy limits throw a wrench in the works time and time again.

    It is an age old classic that scifi basically ignores energy in order to write a compelling story.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      RIP – he was one of my scifi favorites.

      I read his Hugo winning book Rainbow’s End when it came out, and I admit to not really grokking the near future world he posited where everyone was hooked into the internet all the time and made their money from data mining. Now 18 years later, it’s abundantly clear that he really nailed it with that book.

      1. digi_owl

        Or that someone in Silly Valley loved the story so much they dedicated themselves to implementing it, something that seems to be a overall pattern these days.

        1. Cassandra

          Eh, that is the Left Coast. The Right Coast has been working on 1984 for decades. Seems to me that we have arrived.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Somebody made the observation that Silicon Valley has taken every dystopian book and movie of the past few decades and tried to make them come to life in the real world so that they can monetize them. An example is the surveillance State of “1984” and now how profitable that it has become for Silicon Valley.

          1. digi_owl

            Well the place was a MIC creation from the get go. their initial inception was to work on radio and radar tech for the US military after all.

            But yeah, cyberpunk as a genre seem to particularly intrigue them. Perhaps because they dream themselves the cyber-messiah…

          2. griffen

            HG Wells, The Time Machine coming to fruition? The Eloi and the Morloch… symbiotic relationships as one is serving the other so to speak. Just one of plenty examples to consider.

            Brave New World…where is my daily dosage when I need it…

          3. Dessa

            Just like the famous tweet:

            Sci-Fi Author: In my book I invented the Torment Nexus as a cautionary tale

            Tech Company: At long last, we have created the Torment Nexus from classic sci-fi novel Don’t Create The Torment Nexus

    2. irenic

      The idea of a singularity on Earth has been around a long long time. One of the supposedly hidden secrets was that the goal of the Illuminati was to bring about the singularity of “god” by either increasing the population of the Earth and therefore human consciousness to a level where god(a higher consciousness) would manifest itself to all himans or alternately manifesting god by bringing about the biblical end times.

      The technological singularity is just a modern take: a machine god instead of a meat god.

      Who will win? The Abrahamic god of end-timers or the machine-god of techies? or maybe they are both full of sh*t.

    1. pjay

      That twitter/X post by Arnaud Bertrand on Raphaël Glucksmann was quite something. Those of us looking from afar at the complete cooptation of the European elite and intelligensia continue to be amazed at the speed and thoroughness of this capitulation.

      I read the Bertrand post with interest. I remember the stir caused by the so-called “New Philosophers” back in my ancient student days, led by Glucksmann’s father, Bernard-Henri Lévy, and others. They were never taken seriously by what I’d consider the real left (there was a “real left” then), but their ideas were amplified widely by the usual Western media megaphone. I guess the influence of these intellectually shallow but politically powerful hacks is multi-generational – sort of like the former “Trotskyist” neocons here in the US.

      1. digi_owl

        I guess their ideas were and are useful to the monied, as it provided a means to diffuse and dismantle the socialist ideas that kept hounding them since industrialization. Shift the focus from class to race, gender and sexuality and watch former allies fracture like shattered glass.

    2. Bazarov

      When you’re a small country and the big empire shows interest in your region, it’s very difficult to prevent eventual decline into a mere satrapy. The same dynamic has played out many times in history. Take, for example, Pergamon and the Roman Republic.

      The Pergamon royal family maintained their relative independence in Asia Minor as allies and clients of the Romans, but in the course of time, this independence began to nettle the Romans, who made increasingly humiliating demands that Pergamon had no choice but to acquiesce to. This culminated with Pergamon’s last king, who was forced to bequeath his kingdom to the Romans upon his death. This final humiliation actually spurred the Pergamese to resist the bequest, but they were defeated after a heroic struggle. Thus, Pergamon became the Roman province of Asia.

      France is being gradually Pergamontised. I expect an eventual “heroic resistance” phase, as well. Perhaps the French will succeed where the people of Pergamon failed.

  8. Tom67

    Putins consolidation of power started with the “Chechen” attacks on appartment buildings in Russia that cost hundreds of lives. The outrage that resulted gave him the popular backing for all out war in the Caucasus and the tightening of central control. Think Russia´s 9/11. The problem for Putin was until now that all out war against Ukraine with the resulting carnage among civilians was not really a possibilty since as much as half of all Russians have relatives in Ukraine. This attack though could change things. Should Russia ultimately blame the current Ukraine leadership for the terror attack expect the gloves to come off. The formal declaration of war a few days ago point in that direction.

    1. JohnM_inMN

      In yesterday’s post Alexander Mercouris went through a lengthy explanation of Peskov walking back his “we are at war” comment. Seems it’s still an SMO.

      1. Martin Oline

        Thanks for the summary. While he is good and often has interesting details, I have unsubscribed from Alexander’s posts. I do not have enough time or patience to listen to his speeches and watch him fidget. Alex Christoforou will cover the news and there is at least scenery to look at.

        1. begob

          Mercouris at 1.5x speed setting is perfectly listenable (just shy of Mickey Mouse!). Makes me wonder if his normal delivery betrays a touch of depression.

          1. Michael McK

            If you are not depressed and pissed off you are not paying attention. Or perhaps not human. The key is how you channel that emotional energy. As some EarthFirst!er once said, “Action is the antidote to despair.”
            I have started viewing them on where they have other contributors too. I agree that Alex (x2speed) is more succinct and I also like the scenery so I more often watch him.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      I didn’t notice a “formal declaration of war”. If it’s about Peskov, occasionally various public figures here slip up and start saying that we are at war. That hasn’t had any legal ramifications yet, though. (In fairness, that is also the case with various Western politicians going off message and saying that they are at war with Russia.)

      1. Laughingsong

        Big difference between an interview comment or tweet saying “we are at war” and a real, official declaration. If nothing else, it seems pretty clear that Russia always follows the prescribed forms.

  9. digi_owl

    “E-Waste Is Growing 5x Faster Than It Can Be Recycled, Says UN The Register”

    Right to repair is one thing, planned obsolescence is another.

    Analog TV broadcasts stayed largely unchanged for 60+ years. But in just the 20 years since say HDMI was introduced there have been 7 revisions of the standard, in order to cope with higher resolution video. The later revisions even demand new cables (though outwardly indistinguishable from the old ones).

    And today’s web sites are so laden with scripts that they choke a computer barely a decade old. And for what? So that they can pretend to be locally installed software? To try to emulate, badly, printed glossy pamphlets to allow some old media people to carry their thinking into the digital age unchallenged?

    When younger is used to be quite the techie. But these days i find myself sounding more and more like a “luddite”.

    1. mrsyk

      I don’t think it’s too tinfoily to mention electronics that fail (designed to?) within a few years, usually just outside their warranty. For instance, anyone who’s purchased a dehumidifier has most likely experienced this.

    2. hemeantwell

      When younger is used to be quite the techie. But these days i find myself sounding more and more like a “luddite”.

      Oh yeah. Building my first computer brought back a wave of pride akin to when I first tied my shoes. Now I’m on permagroan over constantly having to fiddle with stuff, longing for the equivalent of changing the spark plugs every 30,000 miles and being done with it. I’d like to throw crap pies in the face of the people responsible for constantly redoing software interfaces. And so on.

      1. Bsn

        Spot on with this “When younger is used to be quite the techie.” It takes a while for wisdom to dominate thinking.

        1. digi_owl

          Another thing that came to mind was that back then having a phone or computer out of commission for a few days or so was no big deal, as there were multiple other ways to handle expenses etc. But now the phone has become the one stop shop for everything official or economic it seems.

          Back when Android first launched, running all sorts of unofficial variants were “commonplace”. These days however anything from banking to HBO will denied to you if the attestation chain from CPU on up is faulty.

          And increasingly the same is worming its way into computers, as Windows 11 now insist on having a working Trusted Platform Module (TPM) to install. Btw the trusted there is not about you or me trusting the computer to function, it is about big biz or government trusting it to behave according to their dictates. Trusted Computing was coined by the military, referring to a computer they could put on the front line and trust to not spill military secrets.

          And i believe Apple as well has started clamping down on from where software for their computers can come from, modeled after their existing locked down phones.

          What is galling is that when last Microsoft tried all this, under the Palladium branding, there was a general uproar among techies. Now however we see plenty of big names go “hmm, TPM is good for you actually…”

          Back in the day we used to make jokes about “think of the children!!!” shrillness from busybodies in politics. But now many of the same ones that cracked those jokes are nodding sagely when hearing the same cries about the latest “creative” uses of AI image generation etc.

      2. Vandemonian

        I’m having a bit of fun running Ubuntu on old kit. My son in law works in tech support for a local firm, and is happy to pass on 3 year old PCs that are being upgraded. Seem to work fine so far. No need to pay for software either, apart from a TorGuard VPN subscription

  10. flora

    re: How healthy is intermittent fasting for your heart? – Fortune (furzy).

    From the article:
    “Lifestyle interventions aimed at weight loss have come under scrutiny as a new generation of drugs help people shed pounds.”

    oh. / ;)

    1. southern appalachian

      “it relied in part on forms that required patients to recall what they ate over two days, scientists said there was room for potential inaccuracies”

      That’s quite a bit of extrapolation.

    2. Lefty Godot

      In other words, intermittent (or, really, any type of) fasting is a threat to weight-loss drug profits. It must be discredited!

    3. GramSci

      This morning I independently stumbled upon the Wikipedia entry for Edward Bernays, who, it says, made his name promoting bacon for breakfast: he organized a ‘poll’ of 5,000 ‘doctors’, 4,500 of whom endorsed a hearty breakfast.

      1. Reply

        Would subsequent research demonstrate that Bernays pulled stats squarely out of his rectum?
        Reading about him makes me want to increase my fiber intake. /s

  11. timbers


    Anyone watched the movie Oppenheimer? I can’t speak to it’s historical accuracy, but it clearly touches on the growth of Western hatred of Russia eclipsing if not surpassing Nasim and the growth of policy in the West to the destroy her, in relation to the US development the atomic bombs. The depiction of Truman talking w/Oppenheimer in the Oval Office is priceless. Complety out of his depth.

    1. digi_owl

      The “hatred” is old, very old. Russia has been that wildcard at the edge of Europe for centuries. holding on to a variant of Christianity eradicated elsewhere by Rome. And beaten back Swedes, Germans and French alike.

      And thanks to WW1 and Lenin, the place doubled down by going communist. If not for the splitting of Poland i am sure UK and France would have been happy to sit back and watch the nazis goose step over the communists.

      1. Polar Socialist

        On that vein, I just read that Woodrow Wilson came to Paris Peace Conference demanding the right of self-determination for all those small European countries (that were in the process of forming) only to counter the same idea pushed by Lenin – it seemed to be a particularly popular policy of the Bolsheviks, and Wilson was not going to let the [family blog] commies outsmart the capitalist world.

        So, technically, all the nations born when the Russian, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires collapsed own their (relative) independence to an idea originally supported only by just one faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party…

        Oh, and Soviet Union just took back from Poland what Poland had taken 18 years earlier (in a war of aggression) and no other state had recognized as part of Poland.

        1. Kouros

          Also USSR took Eastern Moldavia from Romania as well, which, btw 1300s and 1812 was part of Principality of Moldova, and then ask for reunification in 1917, this time with Romania (Moldova was founder of K of Romania, with Wallachia). After WWII, the soviets invented a new ethnicity and a new language for Moldavians in their midsts – because otherwise their whole edifice of willing nations joining USSR would have shown to be a sham, with the rest of Romanians (the majority) out of the game.

        2. digi_owl

          On that note, i have seen some call for Russia to return Petsamo to Finland lately. Not sure if the people making those are being trolls or serious…

          1. Polar Socialist

            Haven’t heard that one, sounds like a poor joke. Finns never cared for Petsamo, anyway (and we took it from Russia in 1919, c/o British expedition, by force, during the Russian civil war).

            What I have heard, though, is some bitterness about the Norwegians bribing the Imperial Russian officer responsible for defining the Russo-Norwegian border to give the Kven areas to Norway. There was supposed to be a patch of Grand Duchy of Finland between Norway and Russia, but alas! for the treacherous Norwegians…

      2. jsn

        Immensely enjoying “Palo Alto” at the moment. Herbert Hoover snaps into focus as the organizing principle and principal I’ve been looking for behind the Dulles brothers acts both before and after the war.

        Hoover lived to 1964, ending his imperium in one of the Waldorf Astoria towers, having cocktails with David Rockefeller and waiving to Douglas McArthur, whom he’d put in charge of attacking the Hoovervilles on the Mall before FDR turfed them both out, across the way in the other tower.

        Hoover had his largest foreign success as a mining entrepreneur, bringing hyper-California-Capitalist exploitation to the Tzars Russia, expropriated by the Bolsheviks. Fold that in with the classical imperialism the OSS guys got from affiliation with Churchill’s British Intelligence Services, at that very moment seeding the Zionist project, and all kinds of stuff starts sorting out.

    2. pjay

      As I was reading Johnson’s brief account of the CIA’s absorption of the Gehlen organization it struck me that, while this story is probably old hat to NC readers, most Americans probably have no inkling of this history and why it was so crucial for our perspective on and relations with Russia. It is certainly relevant for understanding what’s going on in Ukraine. I had the same reaction to Turley’s story about the CIA warning the DOJ to leave Hunter’s “lawyer” alone. Get-out-of-jail-free cards for CIA assets are as old as the organization itself. But how many Americans actually know this? What kind of wild “conspiracy theory” would this sound like to the typical reader, especially one who leaned Democrat?

      I think the condemnation of McCarthyist red-baiting found in Oppenheimer is perfectly acceptable “liberal” history. I believe the integration of Nazis or their collaborators into our national security apparatus is generally beyond the pale and doesn’t usually make it into our fine liberal history books.

      1. GramSci

        What disturbed me was Johnson’s claim that it all started circa 1949 as CIA bumbling, thus obscuring the more likely story that it all began pre-WWII. as a continuing Liberty League-OSS-CIA policy against labor and commies.

        When I read Johnson this morning, there were nearly 400 comments. Only one (by lexx) mentioned ‘Operation Paperclip’, and a scant half dozen said ‘Dulles’.

        1. jsn

          You’ll probably like “Palo Alto”.

          It grounds this discussion in Herbert Hoovers’ experiences in Russia at the time of the Revolution having his mining concessions expropriated, his time in the White House with its vision of the veterans in Hoovervilles as likely Bolsheviks, and his position as “the last elected President” when Truman took over to contextualize a lot of back room staffing/policy decisions of the era.

          A ripping, great read too!

          1. digi_owl

            Again and again i wonder if those fervent anti-Russians in DC with a family history in the former USSR has a similar history of having old holdings expropriated. And now Russia is the inheritor of that blood feud.

      2. Reply

        Jeffy Epstein was with intelligence so there is form.
        How did that work out is that working out?
        Time might tell, or memory holes won’t.

  12. upstater

    The giant sucking sound continues. Prior to the pandemic this place employed 600. Adios!

    Marquardt Switches in Cazenovia to move 180 jobs to Mexico archive

    Approximately 180 jobs are expected to be affected by the end of the transition period. All affected employees will receive advance notice, consistent with federal and state requirements, the company said.
    Approximately 60 jobs will remain at the company’s site off Route 20 in Cazenovia.
    “We deeply regret the need for these measures at the Cazenovia site and are committed to supporting affected employees through these changes,” the company said. “However, these decisions were necessary and urgently required to ensure our continued competitiveness.”
    Some service, sales, development functions and equipment manufacturing will remain in Cazenovia, the company said.
    The company said several factors contributed to the decision.
    “The global economy has been challenging, resulting in persistently low order levels,” it said. “Additionally, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, along with geopolitical tensions, wars, and rising costs for materials, energy, and personnel, have all played a role in recent years.”

    Not to worry! Micron is going to build 4 chip fabs that will employ 9000… someday!

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Hawks pushing for ‘axis of evil’ reunion tour”

    This does not seem wise clumping Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea into an Axis of Evil 2.0. When you look at those countries you will note that three of them are BRICS countries. This being the case, the Hawks may next push to have BRICS itself declared as a Block of Evil that the US must take down. The Biden White House has already blown up the NS2 pipeline and used the NATO-Russia to cripple the EU as any sort of serious economic competitor to the interests of the US, even though they are suppose to be major allies of the US. So I could easily see the White House trying to destroy the BRICS too as an economic competitor and using a construct of the Block of Evil as a moral justification. As with so many things, follow the money.

    1. digi_owl

      Certain elements would likely love nothing more than dismantle BRICS as they see it as a direct challenge to the IMF/WB hegemony.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        waiting to see Argentina fall flat and swirl into economic oblivion – it may require a bit more forceful and overt threatening, perhaps fatal, behavior to corral those BRICS – they have been hanging tough but the Machiavellian expertise is quite advanced –

    2. ilsm

      “Axis of evil” remains projection.

      I presume no one in the “establishment” is any more or less “pure” than the crowd in charge in 2002.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Arnaud Bertrand
    Ok, Raphaël Glucksmann’

    I am going to predict that this guy has an excellent shot at the op job in France. Macron is about used up so perhaps his recent bellicose statements is an attempt by him to convince others that he is still relevant. So maybe this Raphaël Glucksmann will run on a campaign of a fresh start for France. Anybody know the French words for ‘hope’ and ‘change’? When you read that tweet, he has so many backers. Washington will back him as he will change the way that France is to Washington’s interests. Israel will love him. The EU will love him as he will help them bring in the new and improved EU. And check out this section-

    ‘…in 2020 he was elected president of the “Special Committee for foreign interference in all democratic processes in the EU, including disinformation”. The guy who is literally THE poster child for US interference and US propaganda in Europe has been put in charge of fighting foreign interference and disinformation in Europe’

    So they will fob off Macron with a high-paying job and the French establishment/media will really push for this guy while they make Le Pen disappear. But this guy will be a disaster for France.

    1. digi_owl

      Quite the family history there.

      Dad was a jew who left Austria-Hungary for France, managed to dodge the Nazis, disowned communism in the 70s, and apparently became a CIA mouthpiece.

      Do wonder how many of the “new left” and like were collecting envelopes from CIA etc…

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Do wonder how many of the “new left” and like were collecting envelopes from CIA etc…

        The New Left of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s? A fair number through cutout organizations and agents like Gloria Steinem. The former often did not know that at least part of their pay was from the CIA while the latter were directly employed.

  15. Wukchumni

    I got you bot, that’s all I want
    I won’t forget, that’s a whole lot
    I don’t go out, now that you’re in
    Sometimes we shout online, but that’s no problem

    I don’t know why sometimes I get frightened
    You can see my lines, you can tell that I’m not lying

    Look at you, you’re an AI pageant
    You’re everything, that I’ve imagined
    Something’s wrong, I feel uneasy
    You stalk me, tell me you’re not teasing

    I don’t know why sometimes I get frightened
    You can see me online, you can tell that I’m not lying
    I don’t know why sometimes I get frightened
    You can see my scribbles, you can tell that I’m not lying

    There’s no doubt, not when I’m with you
    When I’m without, I stay in my room
    Where do you go, I get no answer
    You’re always looking out, it gets on my nerves

    I don’t know why sometimes I get frightened
    You can see me online, you can tell that I’m not lying
    I don’t know why sometimes I get frightened
    You can see my lines, you can tell that I’m not lying
    I don’t know why sometimes I get frightened
    You can see into my eyes, you can tell that I’m not lying

    I Got You, by Split Enz

  16. flora

    Thanks for the Taibbi link. From his article:
    “After working through the insight that not letting Trump campaign “in his own voice” hasn’t helped, and arguing more “precision” in reporting might even hurt him, Jeet retreats to the same the old saw of stressing “the necessity of making Trump’s threat clear to voters”:”

    What’s clear to workers in Dayton and Detroit is that letting in thousands of made-in-Mexico inexpensive Chinese EVs into the US market is a major threat to US auto workers. The “bloodbath” is a reference to what will happen to US jobs if these cars come in, and his declaration he’ll put a 100% tariff on them (whether he would or not). That’s clear if you listen to that unedited part of T’s speech. And, also, a whole lot of “none of the above” votes in the Mich Dem primary came not just from religious or ethnic protest votes but also from auto workers.

    / my 2 centrs

      1. The Rev Kev

        Said in a comment back in 2020 that in a nation of 335 million people, the only people that they could find to be the President are a carnival barker and a doddery, senile man. It may make a bit of difference on the domestic level but decades of experience shows that on the international level, nothing will change policy wise.

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            Or to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld more exactly . . . You go to election with the Chernenkos you have, not the Chernenkos you might want or wish to have at a later time.

        1. griffen

          Hey it’s America and we love our sequels, whether it’s an epic follow on to an original film or an original music album…in this instance this rematch of two elderly white men just seems like a nightmare come to life.

          One more time with feeling! Yeah not so much.

        2. Lefty Godot

          Looks like it’s either going to be not voting at all for me, or giving a futile vote to Jill Stein. RFKjr sounded interesting for a while, but his support for Israel and used car salesman persona have ruled that option out. Like he doesn’t even come up to Ross Perot/John Anderson standards.

          1. cfraenkel

            Both Perot or Anderson were head & shoulders better than the grifters we’ve been stuck with. Just sayin.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        “We’re so !@#$ed.” – absolutely X – and gonna get worse as the election kabuki show to the minions in Plato’s cave progresses

    1. digi_owl

      And all this comes back to basically zero social safety so without work there is only starvation right next to ripe fields of produce.

  17. CA

    March 22, 2024

    Absolute poverty: UK sees biggest rise for 30 years
    By Robert Cuffe

    The energy price crisis caused the sharpest increase in UK absolute poverty in 30 years, new figures show.

    Steep prices rises, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, meant hundreds of thousands more people fell into absolute poverty.

    The figure jumped to 12 million in 2022-2023, a rise of 600,000.

    This means the rate of absolute poverty in the UK now stands at 18% – a rise of 0.78 percentage points.

    Absolute poverty is the measure used by the prime minister when describing the government’s record.

    Even more families would have fallen into absolute poverty had it not been for government support like the Cost of Living payments.

    Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride – whose department compiled the figures – pointed to the government’s “biggest cost of living package in Europe, worth an average of £3,800 per household”.

    1. Milton

      More accurately:
      Steep prices rises, following the West’s severing of plentiful Russian oil and natural gas, meant hundreds of thousands more people fell into absolute poverty.

  18. Joe Well

    Re: antidote of cat jumping on the ferry

    I haven’t seen slapstick that funny in a long time.

    I miss actually funny comedy movies.

  19. Alice X

    In yesterday’s links, barncat posted a link to a remarkable piece by Pankaj Mishra at the London Review of Books. It was delivered as an LRB Winter Lecture on February 28, 2024.

    The Shoah after Gaza

    Shoah is Hebrew for catastrophe, in other contexts generally called the Holocaust.

    Naqba is Arabic for catastrophe, specifically of 1948. But, of course, for the Palestinians, the catastrophe never ended. Today the arch Zionists see a Final Solution at hand.

    It is 7503 words, which I have read but will need to read again to underline more of the many highlights.

    …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.

    True for those with the awareness.

    It is well worth the read.

    1. Michael

      Yes it is. Thank you for linking it again.
      I’m about 2/3 finished and feel a sense of relief. Tension relaxing.
      The offering of a new viewpoint to process this horror.
      That this state of mind has been under a microscope for decades.
      “Leaders are not immune to their own propaganda”.
      Read and share widely.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        halfway through it…had to give my email, etc.
        brave man.
        aligns with my own sentiments, evolved over time, on this intractable issue.
        and this part:
        “Of course, most European peoples had reasons of their own not to dwell on the killing of Jews. Germans were obsessed with their own trauma of bombing and occupation by Allied powers and their mass expulsion from Eastern Europe. France, Poland, Austria and the Netherlands, which had eagerly co-operated with the Nazis, wanted to present themselves as part of a valiant ‘resistance’ to Hitlerism. Too many indecent reminders of complicity existed long after the war ended in 1945. Germany had former Nazis as its chancellor and president. The French president François Mitterrand had been an apparatchik in the Vichy regime. As late as 1992, Kurt Waldheim was president of Austria despite there being evidence of his involvement in Nazi atrocities.”

        i remember when those things were discussed on pbs type news talk shows.
        now its all hidden away in orwell’s memory hole.
        see the show(i think dutch?) “Salamander”…its germane to the above excerpt….how things done perhaps by necessity in extremis, echo through to our times, and how history is never really dead.

  20. marcyincny

    “Longest sustained rise in people too sick to work since 1990s…”

    So what was it in the 90’s that caused a rise?

    And how many of the people they’re talking about feel well enough to work but are terrified of getting Covid again in workplaces that don’t do what they could to reduce the transmission of airborne diseases??

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      HIV. The rates in the UK spike in the mid 90’s both in diagnosis and heterosexual transmission per the lousy graph on wiki about HIV in the UK. So my guess is it was a leading cause of sustained illness in the 90’s there.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Their notice of fact that the NYT released a propaganda video that cribbed from Starship Troopers is hilarious!

      1. Reply

        Something in the NYC water, what with the Jean Carroll story remarkably similar to one from a TV cop show?

        On a more general note, a music wag said that the themes regurgitate every 20-30 years or so.
        Speculate on.
        Was disco a mutant variation on 50s music?
        Were the 80s tunes rehashing some idyllic 60s visionvia nostalgia?
        That was before the early 90s layoffs, downsizing, grunge and the like so distorted echoes of the Watergate 70s and gas lines?
        Whither Noughties, Teenies, Twoughties? Twinkies? WhatsinaNamies??
        As confusing as the Gen alphabet arbitraryish decrees.

  21. Carolinian

    re the BYD Seagull, CNBC

    BYD has found success in its battery technology; internal sourcing, also known as vertical integration; and production of parts, according to Caresoft. Most notable is BYD’s development of lower-cost battery technologies that are far cheaper to manufacture than lithium-ion batteries commonly used in U.S. EVs.

    So China comes up with breakthrough technology and the politicians yell tariffs? Clearly capitalism and AGW goals are, to use the current vernacular, “adversaries.”

    1. digi_owl

      Seems like the overarching issue is that US tech and industry has been busy chasing perfection, while over in China they have gone for good enough to get the job done.

      From what i am reading, BYD use a variant of lithium batteries that forgo cobalt for iron. This allows for a battery that is more stable, but do not deliver the peak performance that cobalt containing batteries do.

      1. Glen

        American manufacturer’s have to chase quarterly profit to maintain share price for all those stock buy backs:

        Detroit automakers splurge on shareholders with big stock buybacks

        So American auto manufacturers have just about completely stopped making small inexpensive cars – the engineering/manufacturing costs are the same (or even greater) than the larger trucks/SUVs, but the profit margin is smaller:

        American new car shoppers now only have one option under $20,000 as automakers jettison compact vehicles

        I think this could happen in other countries too, but it’s been going on in America for at least 10-15 years. The only thing most American manufacturers’ CEOs care about is profit. Perfection of engineering or product isn’t even on the same floor of the building as the CEO.

          1. Late Introvert

            Now watch as they make it illegal to buy the cheaper imports, from Mexico, of these Chinese vehicles. After shipping all the factories there. You can’t make this stuff up.

            1. Bill

              They already do. You cannot buy Mexican standards Corollas etc, they don’t pass U.S. crash tests and are deathtraps compared to similar models made for the U.S.

              Friends who work in supply have stopped ordering anything until the next presidents in office. Everything is going to come down in price the longer one waits.

      2. Carolinian

        A small car like that would make a perfect commuter car for a lot of people and if Detroit doesn’t want to make them then why not the Chinese? They make damned good phones.

        Should one point out that not so far back the govt had to bail out these American car dinosaurs who have tons to do with global warming as they push heavy trucks into the number one US vehicle type of choice. Where I live the absurdity of soccer moms cruising around in two ton rides is constantly on view.

        And on a practical level only a cheap electric car makes sense given the uncertain resale and life of the batteries. Practically may overcome the objections.

        1. digi_owl

          “They make damned good phones.”

          Funny that when a few decades back Made in China was seen as anything but quality products.

  22. Craig H.

    I normally eat all my meals in 6 to 8 hours. Not trying to fast, this is just when it makes sense to eat.

    My sleep is noticeably better the less food mass is remaining in my stomach when I lay down. For a good night of sleep 8 hours of food processing time is the minimum and if I can schedule it 9 or 10 is even better. Before this life mode I had nighttime acid reflux regularly. When my schedule management gets stressed and I try and get by with 6 or 7 my reptile brain fixes my schedule management the next day.

    The autophagy claims and whatnot are irrelevant to me. I presume they all are almost completely bogus.

    I don’t recommend anybody else do what I do. For all I know I have a freaky slow stomach.

    1. Eclair

      After my husband and I both retired, we fell into a two-meal+ a day schedule. In the summer especially, because we work in the garden and and woods, we rise early, have tea, work for an hour or two (‘work’ can include reading NC!), then breakfast. Back outside to to garden, cut brush, etc., then we eat our mail meal between 2 and 4 PM. Usually with a glass of local wine. Nap. Then, when the day has cooled down, back outside to work until dusk. Often, we eat some fruit, cheese, bread, or a bowl of soup, before bed at 11-ish.

      The times when I eat a large meal late in the evening, with wine, when we are with friends or family, I do not sleep well.

    2. Laura in So Cal

      Yes. 20 Years ago, My husband’s heartburn issues moved our dinner earlier. On most days, we try to finish dinner by six and don’t eat again until maybe 8am. His reflux/heartburn issues improved significantly, we both sleep better, and we are both 60ish and haven’t gained any weight in that 20 years although we are both mildly overweight.

  23. Screwball

    From the outrage of the day department. Ronna McDaniel hired by NBC.

    My PMC friends are outraged that NBC would hire a known liar who wouldn’t know the truth if it smacked her in the face. Too funny. What do they think the other news “reporters” are?

    Here’s an idea; turn it off. You will save yourself the agony and probably be more informed.

    1. Reply

      What is the new trifecta?

      Media panel presence
      Book deal
      Other double-secret sinecure

      All for services rendered, no doubt.

  24. TomW

    Russian terror attack? Of course it was Ukraine. Their only remaining hope is to widen the conflict, and drag NATO into it.

    The US denying it was Ukraine? Just signaling it wasn’t us. The FT article about the US pressuring Ukraine to refrain from drone attacks on Russian refineries? The US never needed to promote this conflict, and won’t care when Ukraine gets carved up.

    Russia needs to restrain itself from grabbing too much real estate. Then it is off to the next “most important foreign policy challenge ever’.

  25. Aurelien

    One thing nobody has mentioned so far is that the Moscow terrorist attack represents a catastrophic political defeat for Ukraine and the West. Russia has turned from being the evil monster into the victim. People who fantasised about imaginary dead Russians are now seeing pictures of real dead Russians, including children, and have been jerked back to the real world with a sickening crunch. For the next week, the news will be dominated by the aftermath of the massacre, and many, especially in Europe, will find the pictures and the events traumatically familiar. The attack is almost a carbon copy of the 2016 ISIS attack on the Bataclan in Paris: attacks on the audience of a rock conceert by armed gunmen, who escaped to try to kill again. Even the motive was the same: like the French, the Russians were involved in fighting a branch of ISIS, first in Syria and then more recently in West Africa. Specialists have been warning of such an attack for a while, and this would have been a good time, while the Russians were mainly concerned with Ukraine.

    If the Russians play this cleverly, they can get a lot out of it. If you look at the speed and vehemence of the western supportive reactions, you can see that western leaders actually had little choice. The Russians will play this for all they can: state funerals, memoriam services, motion of condemnation at the Security Council, and no western state can afford to boycott such events. In 2016, after the Charlie Hebdo killings, François Hollande invited the world’s leaders to take part in a march in Paris and many of them came. Supposing Putin does the same thing? Can you imagine western governments tying themselves in knots trying to decide what to do?

    Whilst conspiracy theories involving Ukraine probably won’t make much impact in the West (even the Russian government has stopped short of suggesting direct involvement) there are parts of the world, notably in the Middle East and Africa, where Ukrainian, and by extension western involvement will be taken for granted. In these cultures, where conspiracy theory is part of the air you breath, it’s normal to be accosted by highly-educated and intelligent people who try to convince you that everything that happens in the world is the product the of the diabolical and all-powerful western intelligence services. If anything could further undermine the western position vis-vis Russia in such areas, this will be it.

    In fact, if the West had set out to undermine its own, and Ukraine’s position with respect to Russia, it couldn’t have done a better job. Whilst I don’t think for a moment that it was all organised by the Russians, I can understand why in certain parts of the world people seem to think so. It’s just too bad to be true.

    1. Martin Oline

      I believe this attack is an acknowledgement by the West it has lost the war. This is only the first shot of Plan B, much like Operation Gladio in Italy after WWII. The entry from WikiPedia says “Stay-behind operations were prepared in many NATO member countries, and in some neutral countries.” As long as we have plausible deniability and control the story it will be a win-win for TPTB. It also reminds me of Madeleine Albright’s remark to Colin Powell about Bosnia in the 1990’s “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”

    2. Sasanian

      The attack is almost a carbon copy of the 2016 ISIS attack on the Bataclan in Paris: attacks on the audience of a rock conceert by armed gunmen

      Thank you David. Do you mean the 2015 attacks that were carried out on Friday the 13th of November of that year?

      I believe this may well have been a false flag black op. There is ample evidence in support of this assertion.

      There were the now typical military drills both before and during this operation.

      It led to more emergency shutdown powers for government and even more massive sums being spent on ‘anti-terrorism’ measures as noted by Craig Murray, among many others.

      Less than two months later France carried out the largest ever airstrike of its Opération Chammal against ‘ISIS’ inside Syria…which never hurts ‘ISIS’ but continues to devastate Syria and her people.

    3. vao

      To be quite frank, I think that the attack on the Crocus City centre will reinforce the trends regarding the consideration or lack thereof for the West, Russia, Ukraine in the rest of the world, but that it will not change anything much in the West itself.

      1) Regarding:

      “For the next week, the news will be dominated by the aftermath of the massacre, and many, especially in Europe, will find the pictures and the events traumatically familiar.”

      The news in the West will be dominated by whatever is agreeable to the powers in place. Note that “pictures of real dead Palestinians, including children” should have dominated the news for the past 5 months — and they did not. And there, the scale of the massacre and devastation is vastly larger. And the West is largely co-responsible for it. But yes: “there is a serious humanitarian situation, food insecurity is looming, and many habitations have been damaged, as consequence of the war that erupted after the atrocious Hamas massacre perpetrated on the 7th of October.” Just apply similar rhetoric to the Moscow attack.

      2) Regarding:

      “the Moscow terrorist attack represents a catastrophic political defeat for Ukraine and the West. Russia has turned from being the evil monster into the victim.”

      See Palestine. The West will quickly focus on whatever new atrocity is allegedly commited by Russia, which will obliterate the consequences of the attack on the Crocus City centre. Of course, the loss of goodwill in the rest of the world will be significant — but the West seems to be totally oblivious to it, as it has been regarding Ukraine, Palestine, or earlier Iraq or Libya. So it will be regarding this event.

      3) Regarding:

      “The Russians will play this for all they can: state funerals, memoriam services, motion of condemnation at the Security Council, and no western state can afford to boycott such events.”

      It has been repeatedly noted that Russia seems pretty clumsy at “soft power” and PR — at least when targeting a Western audience. And as boycotting such events? Yes, I can perfectly see European and North American governments judging the presence of a government/head of state-level official delegation “inappropriate, since, as we all know, Russia has committed heinous war crimes, and we cannot lend any legitimacy to the attempts by Putin, who is under an arrest warrant from the ICC, to exploit the Crocus tragedy so as to bolster his murderous and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.” They will send a condolence message and perhaps at most their ambassadors.

      The past two decades, and especially the period beginning in October, have me entirely cynical about the Western diplomatic and geo-political acumen. Time will tell if I am too pessimistic.

      1. zach

        I’ll be your somber second vao, on all points unfortunately… But at least you left us an opportunity to be proven wrong in the future!

    4. Maxwell Johnston

      I agree that this horrendous attack is a soft power win for RU. Maybe you’re right, and RU will play it soft: no direct retaliation vs UKR, good PR, public funerals and memorials, global solidarity in the war on terror, etc. In fact, I hope you’re right.

      But I doubt it. I think that RU will choose a hard power response on this one. The images are just too brutal, and an attack on Moscow (well, its exurbs anyway) strikes too close to home. From what I’m seeing, RU is pushing the UKR link hard. Putin mentioned it in his speech to the nation, and the FSB has confirmed the attackers’ links with UKR; who knows if any of this is true or not, but that’s the line being taken by the RU government.

      The attack was amateurish. The terrorists arrived and fled in the same car (seriously! a Renault! are they Francophones?), then were speeding dangerously on several highways (great way to attract the keyed-up cops’ attention, well played, lads), and were finally captured in Bryansk region (bordering on UKR), which is one hell of a long drive. Most of the unfortunate RU casualties were not caused by gunfire but by smoke inhalation, which makes me wonder if the all too common RU tendency towards flouting the law was in play: were the fire sprinkler systems not functioning at this huge concert and exhibition facility? The fact that the attackers fled the scene rather than going out in a suicidal blaze of glory detracts from the ISIS angle and supports the RU angle that they were mercenaries being paid (by UKR, presumably) to do a specific job.

      I doubt we’ll ever know the complete truth, but I do expect that RU is about to increase sharply its operations in UKR. This nasty stunt, combined with the ongoing drone attacks on RU refineries, is a bridge too far even for the relatively phlegmatic Putin.

    5. Polar Socialist

      The ISIS angle is somewhat suffering from the fact that it was not a suicide attack, but even more so from the fact that at least one of the suspects has already confessed he was hired online (while in Turkey) for $5500 to kill people in Moscow. The weapons were waiting for them in a hidden stash.

      He might have been fighting for ISIS, who knows. Somebody, somewhere trained him to use automatic weapons effectively and in a military manner. And he had been residing in Turkey. But I doubt very much it was ISIS who hired him for this operation.

    6. Willow

      US coming out so quickly pointing out ISIS creates a huge narrative problem of West. ISIS is broadly seen in Russia & with muslims as being a puppet of the West. So whether this is seen as an ISIS or Ukrainian terrorist attack, the finger will be pointed at the US. (I suspect Ukrainians are being set up as the patsy). But then you have the interesting issue of US DIA giving the Russians a head up on impending attacks. This means either there is a major schism occurring in US three letter intelligence services or an ally (UK?) has just crossed over to batshit crazy & US is desperately trying to create distance. Why Nuland was told to step aside? That a major power would launch something like this, which comes across as panicked & shoddy tradecraft, against Russia is really ‘end of world’ stuff. If this line has been crossed what else is left except outright war?

      1. Morincotto

        The operation does seem pretty hodge podge.

        The smartest way for the West to play it (and indeed, if they weren’t just panicky and shoddy that MIGHT have been the actual plan) would be to Go all in on pushing a “Putin did it” conspiracy theory Line.

        After all, plenty of professional contrarians who would never go for the all too obvious suspect (Ukraine) and whose instincts this might be directed at Putin out there.

        1. Willow

          If they wanted to try the ‘Putin did it’ trick it came undone when US DIA said it was ISIS and that they passed info onto Russia.. and it’s turned out the terrorists weren’t the usual ISIS-type fanatics seeking martyrdom. Someone used Ukraine as a launch point to escalate the war & at same time try to drive a wedge between Russia & muslims. If it was Ukraine, it would have been a smarter & powerful narrative to craft the attackers as Russian resistance fighters not ISIS. Which would’ve been consistent with Ukraine’s narratives regarding the border raids into Russia.

          1. Willow

            *Ukraine more likely to have attacked government building/workers or pro-Putin gatherings not ordinary Russians. Ukraine’s bombings & drone attacks have been very successful to date. Switching to attacking with gunman who then get caught doesn’t make sense.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            I don’t think having the “Russian resistance” slaughter ordinary Russian civilians in such a prominent venue, with mass media coverage, would be a particularly good narrative. Either people wouldn’t believe it’s the “resistance” or they wouldn’t think this resistance is the “good guys”. What might just fly for them in a border area wouldn’t work this close to Moscow. Honestly, “Putin did it” is probably the best spin they may have for it, and even then they have to subtle about it. US pinning it on ISIS seems like a way of backing away from whatever happened very quickly (but US and Ukraine are not the same actor).

            1. Cristobal

              Two mostly unrelated comments:

              First, the US State Department response reminds me of the statement by José María Aznar´s government after the Madrid Metro bombings (11-M) in February of 2004. His government immediately attributed the act to ETA, the Basque separatist group. It later turned out, after investigation, that it was done by a group or groups presumably opposed to the Aznar government´s support of the US invasion of Iraq. Aznar´s government was promptly exposed as a liar and his party lost the elections three days later.

              Second, The attack is certainly a tangled web – intended to deceive. As an American who has been following world events for many years, I have come to the conclusion that it is too easy to get lost in the weeds when trying to trace things to their source. The most useful way to assign responsibility for things that happen is to look at the motivation, timing, history, abilities, and characters of the suspects. In this case it all points to a US/Ukranian involvement of some (potentially deniable) kind; The US/NATO is currently in the process of having its ass handed to it by Russia and has called for ¨asymmetrical warfare¨; US collaboration with and funding of so-called ISIS, ISIS-K, and other terrorist groups throughout the region is known; The Nuland´s parting words to Ukraine (unpleasant surprises) are reminiscent of Biden´s remarks on NS-1 and 2. Ukraine has been the perpetrator (with help from Britain and US spooks) of numerous terror attacks, false flags and assassinations in recent years. The US has a similar, but much longer history. In fact, one could say that the US government´s long suit is not dirrect military intervention, but CIA directed terror attacks, military coups, assassinations, color revolutions, etc. – mostly carried out through proxies. The immediate US statement that the Ukranians had nothing to do with the incident is a tell, as María Zakharova has noted.

    7. Em

      If the West can lie to itself about the 8 years of shelling civilians in the Donbas, the completely debunked non-existent rapes and beheaded babies on October 7 and then keep lying about the ongoing genocide in Gaza, not sure how 100+ dead Russians in an “ISIS” attack would be a catastrophic defeat of the Western narrative. You’re talking about an establishment that thinks open genocide and starvation of 40,000 innocent civilians (and the resistance fighters who have the complete right to armed resistance under international law) is okeydoke. Who are greedily eyeing the rich Gaza marine gas reserves for Europe and opening garish oceanfront resorts on the bones of Palestinians.

      The rest of the world already knows that whether ISIS or Budanov, it’s all coming from the USA headed monster. ISIS just draws an even clearer line to the US and Israel. But ghouls in DC and London don’t care. ISIS provides enough of a cover and they’ll follow the Israeli roadmap of normalizing atrocities – the next attack they may not even bother to make a plausible link to ISIS, they’ll just start marketing them as anti-Putin “freedom fighters”.

      Putin’s government needs to stop pretending that Israel can ever be its friend or the US can ever be dealt with through diplomacy. Time to arm Iran and Syria in earnest.

  26. kareninca

    My 99 year old father-in-law, who lives with us, is very skinny and frail but otherwise in perfect health, and he is in better cognitive shape than most people I know. For many years he has practiced caloric restriction. He eats breakfast (oatmeal with nut milk and frozen blueberries) at 8:30 a.m., lunch around noon, and he has dinner at 5:30 p.m.. He does not snack, and does not eat after dinner. He stops eating while he is still a little hungry. He only eats stereotypical health food. Well, over the past couple of years he has slipped a bit and started to have a pudding cup or a scoop of ice cream with dinner.

    He comes from a family of overweight people who don’t live to be very old, so it seems likely that his method has been of help to him. It does take a huge amount of self control to be willing to be somewhat hungry all the time. This is a more challenging technique than fasting.

    1. juno mas

      After the age of 75 most people begin to rapidly lose muscle mass, leading to mobility issues and injury from falling. A balanced diet with a practical strength maintenance program (including an increase in protein uptake) is essential.

      1. kareninca

        When he went to the VA hospital about six years ago at the age of 93, the doctor told him that they simply didn’t have any clinical trial data to provide to people who were his age who were as healthy as he was. Or really much good data at all for people his age. And to keep doing what he was doing, and by the way what was it so that the doctor would have a shot at great longevity in great shape, too.

        Anyway, not many people are willing to be hungry all day, so I don’t think there is a danger of this becoming wildly popular.

  27. flora

    From Bloomberg:

    March 22, 2024, 3:28 PM CDT
    Texas Doctors Force FDA to Remove Covid-19 Posts in Settlement

    The agency agreed to a settlement on Thursday with three Texas doctors who sued the Food and Drug Administration, alleging it provided unlawful medical advice about the off-label use of ivermectin to treat or prevent the disease.

    The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in September 2023 ruled the FDA “has identified no authority allowing it to recommend consumers ‘stop’ taking medicine” or to otherwise give medical advice, in “tweet-sized doses.”

    This is a great example for why the govt should not be allowed to silence voices it disagrees with, that don’t follow the official narrative. How often has the govt silenced people who are correct on a topic where the govt narrative is mistaken?

      1. rowlf


        But I trust the wider public can see right through such a statement. I mean, who will believe that they can claim innocence when they were forced to settle? You only settle when you know you are going to lose in court or… you cannot risk going through the discovery process. Like I said above, my bet is that they wanted to avoid discovery at all costs.

      2. fauna

        Thank you flora. I think the comments to the article are very important (as NC readers know). In short, a not insignificant number of Pierre Kory et al’s supporters are not happy about the results. The very first comment correctly asks for further clarification, which Pierre Kory never really gives. He just keeps repeating the same talking points. He even cut and pasted the same lame response to multiple commenters,

        There is no justice here, and I do not believe the decision will have a wide impact, unfortunately.

        Here is one lawyer’s comment. I’ve bolded the most important passage. I don’t know who is advising Kory et al, but this is both crucial and frankly pretty self-evident:

        “Thank you for your reply, Dr. Kory. I wrote in a Comment awhile back that I thought this particular suit with **our doctors** as the *Plaintiffs** against the U.S. Government, was not what I would have recommended. I did not spend a great amount of time litigating, personally, – I did most of my work in Prosecution as a patent attorney, – but I prosecuted, sometimes against, our government’s Patent, Trademark, and Copyright office, and I evaluated and worked on lawsuits brought by corporations to determine either the validity or the invalidity of patents that had been granted by the U.S. Government. I wrote that I felt that a suit brought by *our doctors* would have been better brought against medical licensing boards, and against their directors *personally,* and/or against medical journals and against their directors, personally,* because these entities and their directors/editors, in particular, would be more intimidated by a lawsuit, and have less money to use to fight a lawsuit, than would our government.

        Discovery in lawsuits, even brought against the government, can, indeed, be very fruitful. It just depends on some factors that I did not feel our doctors had to help them, one being enough money. Attorney Generals, such as those that are well-funded in certain states, can bring effective lawsuits, but even with all the money and attorney manpower that Texas AG Ken Paxton has, it’s difficult. He was on Tucker recently, and I was very impressed with his courage in his attempts so far in bringing suits against our government regarding the vaccines. They have come against him personally, and professionally, but he seems determined.

        What I’d be interested in, regarding Ivermectin, is if you could present the removal of the Ivermectin FDA comments in a few months to some pharmacists who had refused to fill Ivermectin prescriptions, (not big CVS pharmacists, but some smaller ones), to see if they will (now) fill Ivermectin prescriptions. You don’t have to write about that, but you could, if you find out that some of them are (now) willing to fill them.

        I so greatly respect you, Dr. Marik, and our other doctors, for the sacrifices you have made, and your determination to see this work through. I just didn’t think this particular strategy would pan out well. But, perhaps it will, when pharmacists realize that they can no longer point to the FDA material, to refuse to fill Ivermectin prescriptions.”

  28. steppenwolf fetchit

    . . . ” There’s fear among global automakers that Chinese rivals like the Warren Buffett-backed BYD could flood their markets, undercutting domestic production and vehicle prices to the detriment of their own auto industries. ” . . .

    Sometime in the 1980s, as I remember, America’s big fear was that Japanese cars would become so much more attractive than American cars to American carbuyers that American car companies ( and all their jobs) would become semi-extinct here. Somehow we excercised the political and cultural pressure needed to get the Japanese car companies to build factories here to make their cars here so Americans could make those cars here instead of becoming utterly totally disemployed.

    If we were to repeal or withdraw from the Forcey FreeTrade Agreements we have been entered into since that time, and go back to the less intensive all-surrounding Forcey FreeTrade legal, political and business environment we had back then, we would be theoretically able to force BYD to build car factories here to build its BYDs here. They would repatriate the profits back to China and back to Buffet, but at least some Americans would still be making some cars here and getting to still sleep under roofs rather than sleeping under bridges.

    But unless we can at least turn the Forcey FreeTrade clock back to what it was in the 1980s, we won’t be able to force BYD to build factories here in order to make every car here it wants to sell here. So when the BYD asteroid hits the made-in-America car sector, that sector will go mostly or totally extinct. And everyone who works in it, as well as everyone who works in any/every business which sells goods and serviced to those carmakers-in-America will become dejobbed and destitute unless they can find new much worse jobs at Walmart, Uber or Task Rabbit wages. People on those sorts of wages will be making too little money to buy a BYD at $10,000, after paying for food and rent and etc. ( Maybe BYD can make a car big enough to live in for $12,000).

  29. begob

    Caught an Al Jazeera TV documentary on the Oct.7 attack in Israel – very distressing footage from security cams and Hamas cams (presumably captured), and quite frank criticism of both sides. This link requires sign-in on youtube, but I’m sure you’ll find it elsewhere by noodling around:

    I haven’t seen it linked here before, so apologies if this is a repeat.

    The reporting is powerful, but I’ve seen Thomas Friedman interviewed at length uncritically a couple of times on AJ, which is funded by Qatar, so their sense of balance is questionable.

  30. Jabura Basaidai

    the comments today are predominantly, if not totally, political, but i found the Undark link, “Book Excerpt: How Robots Have Become Trusted Surgical Assistants” very interesting – a close friend who had been an ER nurse in Petoskey, came from a family where there seemed to be a strong genetic propensity for prostate cancer, his Dad and 2 uncles had it – when his PSA shot up into the double digits at his annual physical he didn’t hesitate to travel down from Petoskey to Univ of Mich hospital where they did a da Vinci prostatectomy robotic-assisted surgical procedure – he didn’t have cancer -yet- but figured the odds were not in his favor given the family history so proceeded with the robotic surgery of a full removal – he was out of the hospital in 48 hours, returned a week later to have the catheter removed and was cross-country skiing two months later and had no problems – had heard of problems others had with open surgery – no ED or incontinence – glad he did it –

    1. playon

      Are the robots more successful than a human surgeon? The odds are 50/50 that you will become incontinent after prostate removal.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        less invasive and far more accurate according to my friend, btw his Dad is a Dr – the device is operated by a surgeon in the same room as the patient – good info on websites of Cleveland Clinic, Mayo and UM among others – my PSA popped to 7 and had a long talk with my friend before a biopsy said no cancer and probably popped due to testosterone i was taking…..and have since ceased and PSA dropped to 4.2 – fwiw

        1. Polar Socialist

          I think that’s the important part often left unmentioned about surgical robots: they are not autonomous devices, they merely replicate the drivers (usually in the same room) hand movements but with inhuman precision. Many possibilities for a human error are removed from the operation, and all (well, both) urologists with whom I’ve talked about it just love the thing.

          1. Pat

            Are they robots or tools? I am not being a smart Alec here. But making a point that there may need to be better descriptive terms for things that make use of robotics beyond robots focusing on level of human input particularly vs. malfunction danger.

            What looks to be being discussed here is a robotic tool that has far greater level of human direction and control than most robotic vacuums or something more worrisome than an item that might become a pet toy, a robotic car. The descriptions should indicate that.

  31. Martin Oline

    It is early in the morning here and I thought to provide a link to an interview with Chip Tatum for the night owls. He was involved in black ops in the 1970’s for the US government. This interview on EweTube is 26 years old and runs nearly two hours. Chip Tatum – Black Op operative

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