Links 3/31/2024

A unique tree-climbing fox is on the decline in the Midwest. Researchers want to know why Harvest Public Media

How do cicadas mix with pets? Experts have answers as 17-year cicada season nears CBS News

AT&T says personal data from 73 million accounts leaked on dark web Business Standard

Newly discovered Super-Earth has a permanent dark side just like the Moon ZME Science


The Worst Climate Disaster You Haven’t Heard Of Just Got More Deadly HuffPost

The Great Plains now have ‘wildfire years,’ not seasons, as blazes start and spread earlier Harvest Public Media


Iowa official finds dead fish in 50 miles of fertilizer-contaminated river Des Moines Register (LS). March 18, but still germane.

Cattle are drinking the Colorado River dry High Country News

Avian influenza spreads to dairy herds in Michigan and Idaho, expert ‘wouldn’t be surprised if there are infections in cows in Europe too’ Fortune


MICHAEL MOSLEY: The test that reveals Covid has made us more stupid… and what you can do about it Daily Mail (LS). The study Mosley cites was already linked to in 2/29 Water Cooler, but interesting to see it getting more mainstream coverage.

Clearing the Air Texas Observer


Amid Geopolitical Concerns, US Capital Flows From China to Japan The Diplomat

Japan’s fighter-sales plan ‘betrays pacifist tradition’ – Asian Media Report Pearls and Irritations

US, Japan, Philippines plan joint South China Sea naval patrols POLITICO


Why did US diplomat say Scarborough Shoal belonged to the Philippines? South China Morning Post

Taiwan races to catch up with mainland China’s military drone capabilities South China Morning Post.

Taiwan Navy Chief to strengthen US ties amid China threats TVBS

Preparing for a China war, the Marines are retooling how they’ll fight WaPo

China warns citizens of potential interrogations and harassment in US Times of India


Asia’s terrorism surge: from Pakistan to Russia, Isis-K awakens sleeper cells – as Chinese interests come under fire South China Morning Post

Chinese companies suspend work on Dasu, Diamer-Bhasha dams in Pakistan after suicide attack India Narrative


UK government lawyers say Israel is breaking international law, claims top Tory in leaked recording Guardian

9,000 patients ‘need emergency evacuation’ from Gaza, WHO says, as number of functioning hospitals reduces The New Arab

‘Wrong on every level’: Biden administration accused of hypocrisy over Israel weapons transfer The New Arab

Clashes, road blockages at mass protests demanding hostage deal, elections Times of Israel


Four wounded as Israeli strike hits car with UN observers near south Lebanon border; military denies Indian Express

While diplomatic efforts go on, IDF is bracing for short but devastating war in Lebanon Times of Israel

Hiding the ‘ratio’: Israel conceals 200+ troop deaths on Lebanon front The Cradle

Dispute Over Conscription for Ultra-Orthodox Jews Presents New Threat to Netanyahu New York Times


Land Day: Palestinians mark 48th anniversary amid war, death and land theft Middle East Eye

Like the establishment of Israel, the ‘Red Heifer’ is yet another forced prophecy Middle East Monitor

European Disunion

Norway is hoarding eggs from its neighbours in Sweden The Independent

Russian influence scandal rocks EU POLITICO EU vs. European Officials Weaponize Intelligence Services To Censor Political Enemies PUBLIC

New Not-So-Cold War

Zelenskyy fires more aides in a reshuffle as Russia launches drones and missiles across Ukraine AP

We requested more air defence systems and missiles from partners – Zelenskyy on Russian attacks on Ukraine’s energy facilities Ukrainska Pravda

Funding shortage persists for Czech initiative on ammunition purchase for Ukraine – Estonian Defence Ministry Ukrainska Pravda

Turkey to Support U.S. Efforts to Expand Artillery Supplies to Ukraine and Israel: F-35s On Offer to Ankara Military Watch


Money Transfers Proof That Crocus ‘Terrorists For Hire’ Followed Orders From Ukraine Sputnik

NATO’s Proxy War Against Russia Was Always in Essence Terrorism Strategic Culture



Serving a Lost Gamble Tarik Cyril Amar

Russia Is Making Its Own Gaming Consoles Game Rant

Old Blighty

The suicide of Wales Unherd

South of the Border

Peru President Dina Boluarte’s home raided in luxury watch investigation Al Jazeera

Biden Administration

Scoop: National Archives gives new tranche of Biden emails to House GOP Axios

GOP Clown Car

Michigan Republican congressman suggests nuking Gaza, ending humanitarian aid Detroit News


Egg prices are hopping again this Easter. Is dyeing eggs worth the cost? USA Today

The Supremes

Two retracted studies at the Supreme Court this week Your Local Epidemiologist


NYC will test AI gun detectors on the subway The Verge

Shareholders Sue AI Weapon-Detecting Company, Allege It ‘Does Not Reliably Detect Knives or Guns’ 404

This four-legged robot learned parkour to better navigate obstacles Ars Technica

Baltimore’s Key Bridge Collapse

High Pressure Gas Pipeline Halts Salvage of MV Dali gCaptain

Bridge warning systems have been recommended for decades. The Key Bridge didn’t have one. POLITICO

A Remedy for Ship Accidents: Tug Escorts Maritime Executive

Police State Watch

After Reforms to Solitary Confinement, Massachusetts Prisoners Say Officials Just Renamed It Bolts


Texas woman charged with murder for self-induced abortion sues Starr County district attorney Texas Tribune

Groves of Academe

University Leadership Suggest Using AI to Replace Striking Grad Students Futurism

Book Nook

The state of capitalism Michael Robert’s Blog

Our Famously Free Press

The Murthy Arguments Went So Poorly For The States That The FBI Feels Comfortable Talking To Social Media Companies Again Tech Dirt

Social Media, Authoritarianism, and the World as It Is Meredith Whittaker, Law and Political Economy Project

Class Warfare

What Is the Relationship Between Homelessness and the Law? Law and Political Economy Project

What if we never live on Mars? Disconnect

Zeitgeist Watch

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Hiding the ‘ratio’: Israel conceals 200+ troop deaths on Lebanon front”

    If over 200 Israelis have been killed on the Lebanon front which is a low-activity warfare front, then you have to wonder how many Israelis have been killed in Gaza which is an intense-activity front. But even before the war the Israelis were hiding any combat losses, much to the amusement of Hezbollah, by saying that soldiers died while falling off ladders or in a car accident. People like Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant can say ‘What we’re doing in Gaza, we can also do in Beirut’ but Hezbollah can now say ‘What you want to do in Beirut, we can also do in Tel Aviv.’ Can you imagine what would happen if the city of Tel Avv came under massive attack by missiles overwhelming Iron Dome? That would be something that the Israelis could never hide. But if the Israelis tried bombing all of Lebanon to punish Hezbollah like they did in 2006, then that would remove all restrictions on Hezbollah counter-strikes. Do the Israelis really want to find out what that could mean? As they say, FAFO.

    1. Emma

      Are you familiar with Jon Elmer’s reporting on Electronic Intifata and Justin Podur YouTube channels? He has been reporting from the very beginning that IDF casualties reporting makes no sense based on the Resistance reported strikes, what is reported from Israeli hospitals, and the reported death/injury ratio.

      He thinks it’s likely multiples higher and is intentionally concealed because Netanyahu and his government wants to continue fighting even as we see some evidence of pushback from the IDF and Israeli security apparatus.

    2. Melanie

      Garland Nixon did an in-depth review of Amos Hochstein, who worked in the Obam and Clinton Admin, then quit his job to go to Ukraine and be CEO for the gas company after the 2014 Maidan to make a lot of money, before quitting that to return in 2020 when Biden was elected.

      And now he is in Israel as an “envoy”?

      Exploitation of the undeveloped gas fields off Gaza are probably his real job, and 2 million Palestinians are just in the way. Why not use a neutron bomb, an Israeli invention that destroys cells, but not property, to get rid of the “human animals,” then go in and build a seaside resort with offshore gas?

  2. timbers

    AT&T says personal data from 73 million accounts leaked on dark web Business Standard

    73 millions accounts leaked. Well that would be marked improvement over current AT&T policy on leaks.

    AT&T leaks all the data of every single customer they have, every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year…all the time 24/7/365. To the government and maybe other corporations.

    I remind AT&T customer service folks of this fact when I need to speak with them, especially when they insist I provide them my “password” which isn’t my password but their password they forced upon my account so they could engage in pretend security theater, when they tell me no one can access my account until I provide them with their “my” password….while they make it unsecure by sharing it with US government which shares it with other governments and probably corporations whoever they are paid to share it with.

    1. Nikkikat

      AT&T one of the most reprehensible companies on the earth. When I had to try and unravel my elderly parents from their clutches, cell phones, landline , TV and internet and get them onto reasonably priced consumer cellular and other service, thought I would lose my mind. Took me weeks, while they played password games. Worst company ever. Charging my parents a fortune for these items. All bundled. Service was indeed horrible on each and every device. After I finally got them unhooked from all of this, they sent a person to the house to determine why We had disconnected and try to get us back. Could not believe these people. After both of them had passed away. Started to get bills saying there were unpaid monthly bills from various months that had never shown up before. Had my attorney contact and finally got rid of them. Most of company privatized. Calls itself AT&T but none of these entities are in any way connected. Try to get service on landline to house or TV connection, nightmare would be putting it mildly.

      1. Pat

        If your parents had a real landline, there may be a reason beyond just horrible customer service. Here in NY there were reports that Verizon deliberately put all repair service for landlines at the bottom of the pile if they were real copper wire landlines. I don’t remember the end of the legal get rid of it period, but there was this moratorium on copper service. If they could get it replaced with fiber, they were not responsible for keeping up the copper lines to those areas after a certain date. If the copper lines were still in use at that point they had to not only maintain them they had to replace them as necessary to keep it up. They deliberately let as much disintegrate as possible during the lead up to this in order to convince people to switch over.

        Verizon is also evil.

      2. Paleobotanist

        Bell Canada follows the same playbook. I am still fighting with them trying to clean up what they did to my spouse.

    2. Adam

      I had to take AT&T to forced arbitration because their home security system kept malfunctioning and calling the police on Thanksgiving Day, leading to near $1,000 in false alarm bills from the police. AT&T kept calling them because we couldn’t tell them the “password” to disable the service. There was no password, but rather an answer to a security question but they lost the question so we had no idea what to answer (it turned out to “What is your favorite band?”, the answer to which I would never use as a password).

      I ended determining that every AT&T employee I interacted with- whether in-store, over the phone help, corporate or legal- was a flagrant liar to the point where it was very clear that it was just a core part of their business model.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        shotgun to hand, and light sleeping.
        if yer in a dicey neighborhood, make a big show about cleaning your gun.
        on the porch, where everybody can see.
        better: bring a crockpot o0f whatever youre good at cooking, and make peace.

        when Gengis Khan shows up at your door, offer the man a beer.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Turkey to Support U.S. Efforts to Expand Artillery Supplies to Ukraine and Israel: F-35s On Offer to Ankara”

    The tap must be running dry if the US is going to Turkiye for explosives material. The EU is not doing that. Of course the US still wants Turkiye to abandon their S-400 air defence systems but in exchange for what? Patriot batteries? The Turks have seen how effective they are in the Ukraine. But seriously, F-35s on offer? Really? Congress would never agree to it. For that I have three words. Charlie-Lucy-Football.

    1. Emma

      Erdogan is truly the snakeiest snake to ever snake.

      I’m confused as to why he is so obsessed with F-35s or even the upgraded F-16s. Hasn’t Ukraine showed how ineffective they are compared to drones and missiles? How will they fare against presumably expanded S400 or S500 AD arrays in Iran and Syria? Is it just a case of wanting to feel like he’s one of the NATO “big boys” like Poland and the Latvia?

      Maybe instead he could have gotten some EU money and do something about the runaway inflation situation at home.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘Erdogan is truly the snakeiest snake to ever snake.’

        I have to say that India’s Modi is slowly starting to give Erdogan a run for his money. The problem for Erdogan is that he loves his sneaky schemes so much it sometimes happens that in doing so, it actually burns a opportunity for him to get actually get ahead. Like last year when he cut those Azov Nazis free breaking an agreement with the Russians. He got nothing that was promised by Biden and burned his relations with Russia and got zip for this scheme at the end of the day.

        1. Emma

          I dislike Modi but his behavior is actually pretty logical and consistent. Hindutva want to be the Zionists of the Indian subcontinent. Modi is happy to get whatever he can from the Russians and the Americans to further this goal. They hate the Chinese for…reasons (I know what’s offered for that break but none of them really make that much sense now – I think it comes down to jealousy and upperclass’s fear that the majority of the population might wake up to embracing Chinese style Communism). So the equivocating makes a lot of sense.

          Erdogan is something else. As you say, he is sneaky and underhanded when doing so obviously hurts him. His transparent two-faced behavior on Israel/Palestine ensure that no Arab and very few Muslims will ever see him as a reliable leader of the Muslim world again. He just loves putting one over on people he consider stupid, without realizing that they all see through him.

          1. Feral Finster

            Erdogan seeks to maintain the current equilibrium, because if the equilibrium is upset, the winner will remember Erdogan’s previous bad faith dealings.

            1. mrsyk

              I’m of an opinion that Erdogan has not forgotten Bojo riding in and blowing up the peace talks towards the beginning of the SMO. This cost Erdogan a payday of international goodwill and all that can be worked off that. I figure he secretly wants to nuke Britain.

            2. Emma

              I can understand balancing, but his actions are resembling the scorpion in the fable of the frog and the scorpion.

              1. Emma

                I’m getting so into these animal comparisons! Maybe The NYT should offer me a regular opinion column. I promise to write all my paid writing on a laptop and run them through Grammarly.

          2. LifelongLib

            I suspect that Hindu Nationalists consider themselves the “native” or “indigenous” people of India, and regard everyone else (however long they’ve lived there) as “settlers” or “colonialists”. If it’s OK to (say) kick the “pied noirs” out of Algeria, why isn’t it OK to kick the Muslims out of India? Their ancestors came to those places as conquerors, and if you think that forever makes it illegitimate for them to live there, then the Hindu Nationalist position is indeed “logical and consistent”.

            I don’t think either raw power or claims about ancestry are a good basis to decide who gets to live where, but that seems like that’s what we’re stuck with.

            1. Paleobotanist

              Actually, a lot of Indian Muslims are the descendants of converted lower caste people who converted when the Muslim armies spread east. Lower caste people are probably more closely related to the original pre-IndoEurope Indigenous Indians than upper castes who still show strong Indo-European ancestry. The Y chromosome of Brahmins is pretty likely to be Central Asian ie Aryan. Muslims often equal uppity Dalits…

              Ain’t history wonderful…

              1. Snailslime

                That is also something to be taken with plenty of salt.

                For one Brahmins aren’t in charge, there Starts the anti Hindu demonisation already.

                India is Run by tich oligarchs the vast majority of which is Low Castel by traditional reckoning.

                The vast majority of Hindus is and always was Shudra, the lowest of the four Main castes, including the vast and overwhelming majority of followers, sponsors and leaders of the Hindutva movement, as also generally the almost entirety of India’s economic and political elite.

                The Shudras have hundreds of subcastes, of course, and it is between them that almost all caste based violence and oppression takes place.

                Brahmins are Not at all all of the same ethnicity, that’s just a pure lie.

                It’s also worth having a look at Brahmins in Bali and all over South East Asia in this regard.

                The Idea of the upper castes as foreign conquerors IS itself a dishonest propaganda construct with barely concealed genocidal intent behind it, that has long been propagated amongst others by opportunistic christian missionsries and some old school Stalinists of which India has plenty.

                Brahmins have never Held Most political Power in India, at any time, rulers where primarily from the aristocratic Khsatriyas or even in antiquity and medieval times wealthy shudras many of whom founded their own Kingdoms (or in antiquity also surprisingly often republics).

                Brahmins never were necessarily rich, in fact most lived in poverty and worked for rich Low casters and today it is still exactly the same.

                At the same time being low caste never necessarily meant being poor, asvit does not today.

                And while the casteless still often face discrimination (despite there being lots of rich and powerful dalit businessmen and politicians) most of that also in practice comes from Low caste people, which is unsurprising considering that almost everyone not a dalit, regardless of economic standing, is low caste.

                And of course Muslims and Christians and Buddhists and Sikhs, all those groups that today may hypocritically and opportunistically claim otherwise especially to carry water with ignorant westerners, we’re and are firm upholders of caste themselves.

                But of course it’s convenient for them to leave Hindus with the sole blame, ignore Hindu religious movements that cared as little or in reality probably less than Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists ever did.

                Or for example the already briefly mentioned Bali we’re the Kind of caste discrimination still plaguing India is basically unknown.

                Ironically balinese Hindus care less about caste than Indian muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Christians do.

                This whole Idea of some other Religion as a supposed savior from evil, evil caste IS a total invention First cooked up in the early twentieth century by Christians and later just as dishonestly and opportunistically taken up by Muslims.

            2. Emma

              The Jewish Zionists all consider themselves “indigenous” to Israel.

              Of course, even if we were to take their claims seriously, there are records of peoples who lived in both areas about them. Or how poorly the Modi government treats tribespeople in the east. But no national mythology is supposed to be examined closely anyways. They are myths even if there are accidental fact fragments floating in the stew.

              1. The Rev Kev

                ‘The Jewish Zionists all consider themselves “indigenous” to Israel.’

                Yeah, about that-

                ‘Eran Elhaik, a geneticist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, thinks so. In a recently published study in Genome Biology Evolution (Elhaik 2012), he is calling for a rewrite of commonly held assumptions about Jewish ancestry. Instead of being primarily the descendants of the 12 tribes of Israel, present-day Jewish populations are, finds Elhaik, primarily the children of a Turkish people who lived in what is now Russia, north of Georgia, east of Ukraine. This civilization, the Khazars, converted from tribal religions to Judaism between the 7th and 9th centuries.’


                It’s the Palestinians that are the true indigenous people. How about that.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Who the hell wants fussy, breakable F35’s these days?

          I’d rather have a hefty arsenal of those kinzhal missiles on hand in case I felt the need to really make a point clear.

      2. mrsyk

        Don’t be confused. He be snaking’. His obsession creates an egg counted before it’s hatched. I have no misperceptions which way Erdogan’s alliances will show if drawn out into the light.

      3. Mikel

        “Erdogan is truly the snakeiest snake to ever snake.”

        The entire global leadership is a bunch of authoritarians.

      4. eg

        The “upgraded” F-16s and whatever F-35s Erdogan can get his hands on might prove useful to Turkey for bargaining purposes with whatever non-American states might want a look-in on a tear down …

  4. JohnA

    Apropos Russian influence scandal rocks EU, in response to the British Royal Family shooting itself in both feet with the release of doctored photographs and videos concerning Catherine, wife of the heir to the throne, who has not been seen since December, that has given rise to various conspiracy theories, the British government has been claiming this is all the work of Russian and Chinese disinformation campaigns, designed to destabilise Britain. As with russiagate, incompetent actions are nowadays always explained away by pointing the finger at Putin and Xi.

      1. Feral Finster

        Basically this. Any event which the Establishment doesn’t like is automatically blamed on Russians. No evidence needed. Because Russians.

        In this, Russia plays the same role that Jews played not so long ago.

    1. Ignacio

      We need some psycho analysis of this need to find some other to blame. Even if cheap It will be informative.

    2. timbers

      UK is too unimportant for Russia or China to need to destabilize her and besides she already is, its governing elites are just so bubbled they can’t see that.

    3. Mikel

      If the Royal family just went away, would that be a negative hit to the UK?
      Or would it be a big plus for the UK?

      1. LifelongLib

        It’s a good idea to have the head of state separate from the head of government. Here in the U.S. we’re subjected to stories about the marital fidelity of the presidents, the sexual orientation of the first ladies, and the substance issues of their families. Your royals take care of all that, hopefully leaving your government free to deal with more important matters. At least in theory…

        1. Schopsi

          Plenty of republics separate head of state and head of government, basically everywhere were there are a President and a Prime Minister/Chancellor/ whatever.

          And while there are plenty of places where the President IS clearly in charge and the Prime Minister pretty much poodle, there are also countries were the president’s role as pretty much exclusively ceremonial, like that of a monarch in a parliamentary monarchy would be but arguably with even less weight and influence (and likely much cheaper).

  5. timbers

    Texas woman charged with murder for self-induced abortion sues Starr County district attorney Texas Tribune

    The article says the hospital was in contact with law enforcement regarding her medical treatment. Isn’t one’s medical treatment private? Should Texas woman also sue the hospital?

    1. Samuel Conner

      > Isn’t one’s medical treatment private?

      I believe that medical providers are obligated to report evidence of certain crimes when that comes to light in the course of medical care (an example might be medical care provided to a child for injuries that the physician suspects may have been inflicted by an abusive parent). This case may fall under some state law of this kind.

      1. timbers

        Ok. But still I think she did this before the Supremes changed the law, so what she did was legal – that was the law of the land, if so the hospital should be sued. If she can get evidence. The article was vague regarding that referring to conversations.

      2. paddlingwithoutboats

        My understanding is that what is spoken with your provider is private but if it is written into your record it can be accessed by the insurance company, your boss, the courts. That later state turns it into public record.

        Be ware.

        1. ambrit

          And now that Corporatized Medicine is enabling voice activated audio surveillance of in house ‘visits,’ the legal issue becomes even murkier.

    2. Jarod

      No, one should always assume hospitals alert police. They’re a major way people get captured who otherwise wouldn’t be. Not to be trusted by anyone who avoids police.

  6. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    A rare instance of a French politician actually saying something smart and coherent.

    This is Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who was Prime Minister of France between 2002 and 2005.

    “In France and in Europe, a lot of people are talking about China without visiting China. And they don’t know what China is and who are the Chinese people. And I think we have to develop the understanding of the people of China… China is very important, a whole civilization, very sophisticated language, very beautiful and difficult history… Right now, when people have no practice they make too much ideology. We need to balance ideology with practice.”

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s actually one of the key reasons why I started tweeting in the first place, I just couldn’t take the insane amount of ideology with regards to China, from people who literally have no idea about the place. And I wanted to balance this with my practice…

    And as I keep repeating, this ideology doesn’t hurt China, it hurts us! Basing our actions on truth, on facts, on concrete knowledge is absolutely crucial. Basing them on projections, fantasies and fake news can only result in us chasing ghosts, which is ineffective at best, and most often utterly destructive.

    6:13 AM · Mar 31, 2024

    1. ambrit

      An admirable intention, but do resign yourself to incremental ‘success.’ The tendency for elites to retreat into magical thinking under stress is well nigh universal. There are too many examples to mention.
      Cases of lucidity and balanced thinking are exceptional because they are so rare.
      Keep tweeting and stay safe.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Like the establishment of Israel, the ‘Red Heifer’ is yet another forced prophecy”

    Reportedly the Israelis paid half a million bucks for those red heifers from Texas. Suckers. When it comes time to make the sacrifice, do you think that they will let Netanyahu do the deed with an enormous butcher’s knife? Will Joe Biden get a personal invite to see the first heifer be slaughtered. I’m sure that he would love it. When sacrificing animals becomes a regular thing, will the Israeli Tourist Board list it as one of the things to see in Israel? What if they get bored with animal sacrifice and decide to start sacrificing Palestinians instead? Virgins, infants, whatever. Do you think that the west will shout everybody down and say that Israel are entitled to their age-old traditions? If the west can let Israel carry out a genocide then I am sure that they will give human sacrifice a pass as well.

    1. Craig H.

      1. It’s an opinion piece;
      2. these are kooks who happen to live in Israel (and Texas); it would probably be unfair to take it as evidence that the story is evidence of anything.

      It’s more entertainment than anything. Info-tainment?

      There’s a South Park episode that was still on the internet the last time I looked.

      Remember when you were first going steady in high school and the six-month anniversary was a thing? It’s a couple more days until SIX SOLID MONTHS OF UNINTERRUPTED TELEVISED GENOCIDE.

      1. Phenix

        Evangelical Christians and radical Orthodox Jews are dominant political forces in America and Israel respectively. This is not a side show. These powerful political forces believe in this prophecy. They are dangerous….the security forces for Gaza were protecting these Israeli radical on October 7th.

    2. Vandemonian

      What if they get bored with animal sacrifice and decide to start sacrificing Palestinians instead? Virgins, infants, whatever.

      Aren’t they doing that already?

  8. Frank

    Under the Climate/Environment rubric:
    I live in the southern Green Mountains of Vermont. Our property has streams and wetlands and beavers. This winter we experienced an event not seen in our 23 years here- a beaver dam washed during the winter. That’s right, washed during a Vermont winter. We walk to the beaver pond regularly, even during winter. The dogs like playing on the frozen over pond and we walk on the ice.
    This year a confluence of events as follows: pretty cold spell and the pond was frozen over. My wife, two dogs and I walked there and even out onto the ice. Everything as it should be. Toward the end of the day and overnight we had heavy RAIN and the next day the pond was drained and ice sheets broken lay on the frozen mud and the breech in the day was obvious.
    I believe the heavy rain ran off the frozen mountain sides surrounding the pond and onto the ice. Instead of being slowed by hitting water it ran unimpeded onto the ice and picked up speed and this firehose effect hit the dam above the ice level and began eroding it till it finally eroded enough for the water under the ice to begin flowing with even more volume and the pond drained.
    However, within a day of two the beavers had begun the rebuild and the water was rising.
    I don’t know what the downstream effects were of this novel event, but I doubt anything beneficial happened.

    1. juno mas

      Flooding events are good fluvial occurrences. Usually moves sediment to new locations down-stream where old vegetation is removed and new growth can occur. The beaver will find ways to rebuild any dam damage. It’s all part of a cycle. Always stay clear of a river floodplain.

  9. Alice X

    Caitlin Johnstone latest:

    The Plan Is To Turn Palestine Into A Historical Footnote So It’s Too Late To Save It

    The Zionist plan for the Palestinians is to kill them and drive them off their land by whatever cruelty is necessary, with the understanding that one day people will look back on it in the same way they look back on the genocides of other indigenous populations, saying “Yeah it was bad, but that was in the past so there’s nothing we can do about it.”…[There’s more…]

    1. The Rev Kev

      I suspect that the west is using the 4 stage strategy with the situation in Gaza-

      Stage 1: We say nothing is going to happen.
      Stage 2: We say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
      Stage 3: We say maybe we should do something about it, but there’s nothing we can do.
      Stage 4: We say maybe there was something, but it’s too late now. (21 secs)

      1. jefemt

        1.a We sell some arms to help facilitate that nothing about to happen happens…
        2.a We sell some arms to help facilitate the events happen…
        3.a We sell some arms to help facilitate the continuation of something happening…
        4.a We sell some arms to top off supplies to assure what happens continues to happen…

    2. Feral Finster

      Of course.

      For example, the stupid pier idea is basically a moral figleaf. By the time it gets out of the planning stage, either the election will be over or the genocide a fait accompli,rendering the thing meaningless.

      1. vao

        rendering the thing meaningless

        Oh no, it will not be meaningless. The pier is a dual-use, nay, multi-use piece of infrastructure. Apart from bringing in relief supplies for the inhabitants of Gaza, it can also be used:

        1) by the Israeli military to bring in equipment by sea rather than trundle it through the ruins infested by Hamas/IJ/PFLP fighters;

        2) by the USA to bring in an “interposition force” to ensure that “all parties abide by a ceasefire” — without having to twist the arm of Egypt, nor rely too openly upon Israel acquiescence;

        3) by the “international community” to berth the ships that will take the Palestinians away from Gaza and deport them to, well, wherever, without going through Egypt (as in “bringing the Palestinian population suffering a life-threatening crisis to a safe place, as required by humanitarian principles”);

        4) by the Israelis to bring in equipment and material to rebuild Gaza as prime front beach property once the war is over;

        5) by the USA firms to bring out people and equipment to the platforms off the shore of Gaza, in order to exploit the gas fields that will be taken over by Israel once the war is over.

        See? In the future, the pier might well be the central place in Gaza where everything important happens, where endless opportunities beckon, where you have to go for business, pleasure, or crime.

  10. CA

    Look to the Nature Index of high-quality international research publications for the year. and notice that 3 of the top 5 publishing institutions are Chinese, 7 of the top 10 are Chinese, 9 of the top 15…

    The Nature Index

    1 December 2022 – 30 November 2023 *

    Rank Institution ( Count) ( Share)

    1 Chinese Academy of Sciences ( 7676) ( 2284)
    2 Harvard University ( 3683) ( 1116)
    3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences ( 3278) ( 654)
    4 University of Science and Technology of China ( 1877) ( 645)
    5 Max Planck Society ( 2568) ( 645)

    6 Nanjing University ( 1471) ( 622)
    7 French National Centre for Scientific Research ( 4386) ( 620)
    8 Peking University ( 2304) ( 614)
    9 Tsinghua University ( 1936 ( 604)
    10 Zhejiang University ( 1529) ( 592)

    * Annual Tables highlight the most prolific institutions and countries in high-quality research publishing for the year

  11. John9

    within a day of two the beavers had begun the rebuild and the water was rising.

    Maybe they should hire the Beaver Engineers Inc. to rebuild the FSK Baltimore bridge.

    1. The Rev Kev

      How about Arkady Rotenberg’s Stroygazmontazh who built the Kersh Bridge? That thing has been hit by a truck bomb and a submarine mine drone and within a short order of time has been back in order again.

  12. The Rev Kev


    Reports have arisen that the Skripals are in a coastal village know to the prisoners there as “the Village.” Yulia is now known as 14 while Segei is known as 13. Prisoners are free to move around the village but they are constantly under the surveillance of numerous high-tech monitoring systems and cannot leave. Security forces, including a balloon-shaped automaton, recapture or kill those who attempt to escape.

    1. Stephen T Johnson


      I once binge watched the entire series of The Prisoner. It was like being temporarily paranoid.

      Be seeing you!

  13. Carolinian

    Re homelessness and the law

    Whereas to be homeless is to lack control over a space of one’s own, to have property is to be in precisely the opposite condition: when you own (or lease) space, it is up to you (as a matter of law) how others may act in that space. Without property, we would have no rightful way to decide whose decisions about what happens where would prevail: we would live in a world of might, rather than right, when it came to all the things we do in our homes and other private spaces. We would not want to live in that world, because it would be a world rife with domination and subordination.

    How silly. Domination and subordination are the essence of our social relationships and with few exceptions always have been. The suggestion that we should guiltily cancel this in one corner of our society while making it almost holy in more prominent precincts is the argument of the dominant who don’t happen to have the problem in their back yard. Our Declaration–written with knowing hypocrisy by a slave owner–says that we have the right to life and liberty but when our personal rights take away someone else’s rights the law steps in. Which is to say those rights are not absolute.

    Of course homelessness is about freedom and not merely a housing problem. It’s about the freedom to drop out, to behave in ways that meet social disapproval or in some cases are actively illegal. In the movie Nomadland the Frances McDormand character is offered a home with a friendly retiree but goes out and sleeps in her van instead. The restlessness is perhaps an almost uniquely American form of individualism. Unlike centuries old Europe we have never been fully housebroken and some of us feel a deep sympathy with this impulse. You can’t just parse it into good Samaritans vs evil capitalists.

    To be sure Europe long showed tolerance for Gypsies and travelers until the Nazis tried to apply the final solution to them too. But the above ramble is merely to state that it’s a lot more complicated than merely providing public housing and that property owners–who may be poor themselves–have rights too.

    1. .human

      I discussed this with my GP during my annual this past week, seeing how it has been so much in the news.

      I noted that one who chooses to live in an encampment, given available choices, is not homeless. The situation may not seem ideal to many of us, but they deserve community services and representation regatdless. A serious increase in the “minimum” wage would likely empower many of them to move forward. So would a return to empathetic, well-funded social services with group homes and psychiatric care.

      I’ve often suggested to panhandlers that they take up residence in front of town halls.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        “I noted that one who chooses to live in an encampment, given available choices, is not homeless.”
        HUH??? – what exactly are the other choices if they can’t afford housing? –

        1. .human

          This is one of my points. Some, albeit, consider themselves housed as a member of an encampment. There are those who prefer subsistence living, which is become criminalized, after all they are barely “consumers.”

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            but your sentence is all-encompassing – now it’s ‘some’? – which is it?
            i have a dear and old friend that lives on subsistence with an autistic adult son she cares for – the fate of her circumstance is not by choice – but she does have a residence fortunately – we speak on the phone a few times a year – she told me about folks that are left with living in their cars because housing is unaffordable and they utilize services at the hospitality centers they work at for hygiene access – it is not a choice for those folks –

            1. JBird4049

              It is often not noted that the greater the discrepancy between income and housing costs from when there was not a housing problem, the greater the homeless population is. It is much easier to note the drug use and other issues with the homeless population, which is real enough and difficult to treat, but reducing the disparity between income and housing costs requires very deep reforms that are not likely to happen without a massive reform movement in similar size of the Progressive Movement of over a century ago.

              Such a movement, however peaceful, would certainly be violently, if hopefully unsuccessfully, repressed using the full powers of the American Police State; homelessness is too profitable for it to be allowed to be solved. This is also true for most of our problems. I think that most people unconsciously realize this, which is a reason for the simplistic descriptions of both the problems and the solutions to homelessness.

              1. Jabura Basaidai

                i think the movement implied is just about at boiling point – the full powers of the American Police State would only be torches thrown on straw – you mention ‘too profitable to be solved’ and that created imbalance, ever increasing, is the flame under the movement – how it will manifest beyond the simplistic is yet to be realized –

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      “Domination and subordination are the essence of our social relationships and with few exceptions always have been.” – that’s pretty bleak imho –
      – how about cooperation too?

      1. Mikel

        Cooperation usually comes first with all types of relationships.
        (And keeping in mind that being trapped is different from submission.)

      2. Carolinian

        Well you don’t have to agree with me. But as I’ve opined before the weakness of the left argument is the notion that just getting people to think differently will solve our societies versus the reality that thinking has so little to do with most of our behavior. Or in other words world history versus Utopia.

        And of course we cooperate when it’s in our interest or the group we are in is threatened (combat, war) because we are social beings by instinct. But here’s suggesting that true equality within any given group is rare indeed (I did say there are exceptions). Meanwhile the article in question suggests the opposite.

        Undoubtedly the rise of homelessness is a sign of social failure just as it was in the 1930s. But it’s also true that this strain of vagabondage has always been a part of American life. IMHO.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          and sometimes we cooperate when it’s not in our interest and not because we feel threatened – i thought i was a bit pessimistic and lacked optimism, but you have raised the bar – so, no matter what “-ism” we follow or think we’re following, our instincts as social beings reign supreme? – manifest destiny all the way, i guess –

          1. LifelongLib

            Allegedly the earliest human “society” was a small group, from which being expelled meant death. So you wanted to be popular, but you also wanted to have some indispensable skill or ability that would make everyone put up with you.

          2. Carolinian

            reign supreme

            But that’s not what I said. It’s our highly evolved brains that reign supreme and the reason we’ve made it this far if “by the skin of our teeth.” It’s our emotional side that gives scope to all those other impulses. Thinking of humanity as part of nature is a message of optimism, not pessimism. Like all the rest we were put here to live, but to do so need to understand who we are. You can’t defeat hierarchy if you don’t believe it exists or only applies to “bad” people who are “evil.” Universalism is humanism.

            1. Jabura Basaidai

              OK that makes sense and puts your comments in perspective for me and appreciate the time you took to respond – it’s 4/1@9AM so don’t know if you’ll read this but here goes – sometimes i just think our grey matter gets in the way – i do think of humanity as part of nature which doesn’t lead to a lot of optimism since to me it seems out of step with nature due to our brains that objectify and places nature outside of ourselves rather than cognitively inherent – and i do see the hierarchy but it has always been a conundrum to me – why do most people with the drive and intelligence to climb the hierarchy always seem in the end seem to satisfy base instincts rather than a greater good – the storms of fate in the end rain on all of us; good, bad, evil or saints – so why the higher an individual climbs the hierarchy does the drive and intelligence seem to fail them as a member of our species despite the incremental gains it may provide or benefit us – i keep coming back in my thinking to what George Carlin said that our species may be a closed end cul-de-sac……the earth ain’t going anywhere, we are – and this saddens me every day – the potential lost or distracted – the original sin spoken of in the bible is that bite from the tree of knowledge, which objectified our relationship with nature and is the essence of humanism which sets us apart from nature while being a part of the same, it is universalism in a sense – Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shall not eat.. For in that day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.”

              1. Carolinian

                Well thank you for replying to my reply. Just to clarify my point–and I see Comments as a kind of thinking out loud–what I’m saying is that we humans are amazingly smart when we want to be. We even split the atom. But vestigial instincts often lead us to apply that unique intelligence into directions that are counterproductive. Unless we can recognize our inner nature or simply admit that there is such a thing then that great cause for optimism–our intelligence–will be for naught.

                Or in other words it’s not good versus evil, as many on the current (fake?) left would have it, but knowledge versus ignorance. In our great class war the intellectual and academic spheres are particularly blameworthy when batting for the other team. Calling them out is a worthy task for blogs.

                1. Jabura Basaidai

                  i communicate with a friend in Brasil and he refers to the vestigial instincts you reference as our lizard brain – and yes it ain’t good vs evil but knowledge vs ignorance – it is a class war that the forces against it understand quite well which is why, i think, they have successfully equated socialism/communism with it and made those terms boogy-man words – have run across that narrow perception too often – i was a very angry before finding NC – it is nice to converse with folks that understand what an argument really is about, which means no yelling ad hominen BS or using the many illogical argument ploys to barricade a point of view – thanks again – i gained knowledge from our thread, which is always appreciated –

                  1. mrsyk

                    Thinking of humanity as part of nature is a message of optimism, not pessimism. I’m taking that line home. I love this place because I don’t feel like a fool for not understanding how the world works. Thanks both for this excellent thread.

    3. Vicky Cookies

      ‘Restlessness’ does not seem likely to be the cause of much of today’s urban homelessness. I’d add that in order to see it as a choice, the opposite option must be available, otherwise it isn’t a choice. Very like the freedoms of the working class within capitalism: you are free to rent your body to a rich person; you are also free to starve. That’s no choice at all. Homelessness can be viewed as an issue of freedom once housing is no longer at issue, that is, when it is available to all. The right to life would seem to me to include the basics of it: food, water, and shelter; without the right to these you might have a right on paper, but not in reality.

      1. Carolinian

        I think my point was that for some homeless they will still prefer the street because institutionalized housing will prohibit drug taking and other behaviors. Some of them may simply prefer not to be around other people. This was found in true in NYC some years ago and is likely true in CA now.

        In other words “life” and “liberty” can sometimes be at odds with each other so the problem is more complex than merely blaming everything on society’s stinginess.

        But for sure many on the streets are just poor people with nowhere to go.

        1. juno mas

          The homeless population in California has been surveyed regularly for the last ten years. It contains a mix of drug dependence, mental illness, non-working, working members. Some have descended into despair and likely never again find employment that pays enough to pay the rent. Others are quite diligent in seeking work (though it doesn’t pay the rent).

          All of them live in a society that has ignored their need for housing, education, counseling, since early in their lives. When you live in a callous/un-bothered society the meek will not inherit a house to live in.

          Inequity in talent, money, aggressiveness should not lead to the encampments we see in California.

  14. bob

    “any sort of coerced pressure or threats directed at the social media companies regarding their policies or decision-making.”

    Can anyone name any of these other than those directed at the companies from the USG side?

  15. The Rev Kev

    “What if we never live on Mars?”

    We certainly do not have the technology to go to Mars on a serious basis much less found a colony there. And it is not just some tech billionaires that want to go into space but lots of people. The same sort of people who in previous centuries would pack all that they had and head off to the nearest frontier or a new continent. But here is the thing. Just staying on Earth sounds like a great idea. Until you realize that it is those very same tech billionaires that are trying to run everything for their own personal profit, no matter the damage to the planet. And here is another thing. Nearly every human alive lives on this planet and this is really having all your eggs in one basket and I mean all of them. If another asteroid headed our way, it would be game over man, game over. Colonies elsewhere does spread the risk out somewhat whether it be in orbit, on the Moon or on Mars.

    1. Ranger Rick

      A few days ago, someone mentioned Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, which posits we simply do not understand our environment on Earth well enough to replicate it elsewhere. I agree with that conclusion. What remains to be seen is if we can get to the point where that lack of understanding doesn’t matter, i.e. a new environment.

  16. digi_owl

    “Norway is hoarding eggs from its neighbours in Sweden The Independent”


    What seemed to happen was that Norway had a overproduction of eggs in recent years, so farmers were payed to cut back. But then Sweden, who produce massively more eggs than Norway, got hit with a epidemic among its chicken farms and so reduced their exports.

    Also, their source, Nettavisen is a right leaning free market rag and product of the internet era. Never mind that cross border trade has been going on for generations, as a Norwegian can bring back certain amounts of products from Sweden VAT/tax free.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “University Leadership Suggest Using AI to Replace Striking Grad Students”

    Grad students suggest using appropriate technology to replace University leadership – such as Fax machines and Sony Walkmans.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Today’s Antidote du jour is a great image of a hunter at rest. But you go to the ‘via’ link and there is more to be found-

    ‘New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
    Happy #NationalRelaxationDay!
    #DidYouKnow The gray fox is the only canid native to North America with the ability to climb trees? With semi-retractable hooked claws, this #fox looks for food and avoids predators by ascending the tallest of trees and jumping from limb to limb.’

  19. CA

    asad abukhalil أسعد أبو خليل @asadabukhalil

    Notice: Chinese military modernization and investment is “aggressive” while US military modernization and investment is just lovely. “Beijing’s aggressive military modernization and investment over the past two decades”

    Preparing for a China war, the Marines are retooling how they’ll fight
    U.S. troops are preparing for conflict on an island-hopping battlefield across Asia, against an enemy force that has home-field advantage.

    12:14 AM · Mar 30, 2024

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Asia’s terrorism surge: from Pakistan to Russia, Isis-K awakens sleeper cells – as Chinese interests come under fire

    I’m puzzled by this one, which I read it just after the piece about how the rona makes you dumber. I did have one short bout of the rona myself, but I have to wonder if maybe the editors had several. From the the subheader, which says this –

    Using Afghanistan as a base, Isis cells have hit targets in Russia, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey this year, spurred on by outrage over Israel’s Gaza war.

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but the slaughter in Gaza is being perpetrated by Israel, with the freedom bombs being supplied by GenocideJoe and the US of A, is it not? So if the dastardly ISIS-K, who nobody in the media ever heard of until suddenly they become experts on it overnight, is really responsible and they are outraged over Gaza, why are they then attacking the current enemies of Israel and the US, instead of Israel and its Uncle Sugar? Perhaps ISIS-K membership are the ones with brain fog because they didn’t hook up with Pfizer enough times? Because from what the rest of the article describes, ISIS-K seems to have very similar goals to those of the United states. What a coincidence.

    Sarcasm aside, I have read many articles from South China Morning Post featured at NC over the years, and while I don’t know much about the outlet, they seemed to be generally reliable. Don’t remember reading any head scratchers like this one before.

    1. CA

      “Using Afghanistan as a base, ISIS cells have hit targets in Russia, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey this year, spurred on by outrage over Israel’s Gaza war…”

      This is of course absurd.

      “I don’t know much about the outlet ”

      As for the publication or outlet in question, the politics is that of British colonized and occupied territory.

      1. Martin Oline

        “the politics is that of British colonized and occupied territory.”
        So that would make it the Inglish Secret Intelligence Service?

    2. Snailslime

      If you actually thought the South China Morning Post was reliable (I always was annoyed by articles from that despicable smear rag being listed without any of the snarky commentary we usually get with the obvious anti Russia propaganda articles), it’s perhaps time to re-read all those past articles with the much more accurate assumption that it is anything but.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Story I heard was that there was ISIS-K in Afghanistan until the Taliban crushed them. The Taliban reckon there are only a few of them left who work as mercs for western interests.

  21. Tom Stone

    It’s been nearly 4 years since I completed Chemotherapy for Stage 4 Lymphoplasmacitic Lymphoma.
    I learned several lessons, one is to enjoy the beauty each day brings me, and another was that taking myself too seriously is one of my major defects of character
    Cancer affects those who love us, mitigating their fear (As well as our own) is a duty.
    So… I got a Mohawk and died it purple.
    When my Daughter saw it she broke out laughing.
    It is very difficult indeed to take yourself seriously when you have a purple Mohawk and that is a great benefit when you are dealing with Cancer.

      1. CA

        All my wishes for Henry and unserious Tom:

        “It is very difficult indeed to take yourself seriously when you have a purple Mohawk…”

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      “I got a Mohawk and died it purple…..” blew my coffee all over the screen….almost – glad ya got enough hair to pull it off and glad you’re still kicking – good for you TS

  22. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Remember the Israeli hostages killed by the IDF even though they were unarmed and carrying white flags?

    Now we know why: “Israel created ‘Kill Zones’ in Gaza. Anyone who crosses into them is shot.” *

    That’s not speculation on my part, it’s what the article says: “the tragedy in which three hostages were killed by the IDF is such a story, since in fleeing from their captors the three entered a kill zone in the middle of the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City.”

    Those kill zones’ boundaries are undisclosed and apparently ever-changing: “the boundaries of these zones and the exact procedures of operation are subject to interpretation by commanders in that specific area. ‘As soon as people enter it, mainly adult males, orders are to shoot and kill, even if that person is unarmed,’ says a reserve officer.”

    Further quote from an IDF soldier: “In practice, a terrorist is anyone the IDF has killed in the areas in which its forces operate.”

    Needless to say, these are flagrant war crimes and it violates at least half a dozen international laws…

    * Israel created ‘kill zones’ in Gaza. Anyone who crosses into them is shot

    11:01 AM · Mar 31, 2024

  23. aleph_0

    Speaking of the Dostoevsky gag on Twitter, does anyone have a favorite translation of The Brothers Karamazov? Everyone keeps recommending the Pevear and Volokhonsky, but I find their translations so stilted and awkward that the text becomes a distraction and the feeling of the story disappears.

    1. CA

      The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Brothers Karamazov

      This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

      Title: The Brothers Karamazov

      Author: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

      Translator: Constance Garnett

      Language: English


      The Brothers Karamazov
      Translated from the Russian of
      Fyodor Dostoyevsky
      by Constance Garnett

      1. Martin Oline

        Great! I’ve bookmarked this for my vacation next month. It’s funny how many authors who used to be common in the 1970’s are hard to find today. I am thinking specifically of Nobokov who died in 1977. I had a collection of his short stories I enjoyed but he is hard to find anywhere today.

  24. Jason Boxman

    Ha. AT&T. That was my most incompetent experience at trying to get service from any company, ever:

    I tried to open an AT&T Internet account online as a new customer. I had to go through their verification process to prevent fraud, which asked the usual questions that you can’t remember from your credit report. I saved mine, so I can lookup the answers.

    None of the questions were from my reports. (Same with family members when we tried to sign up, in vain, with other SSNs to get an account.)

    Of course AT&T customer service was useless, I did finally talk to someone that suggested I could go to any AT&T store and authenticate myself; So I dutifully go do this. When I get there, I explain the situation, that I need to verify my identity.

    So the rep goes and… calls AT&T fraud department to… verify my identity over the phone with them using credit questions! Which are wrong, as we’ve established.

    I never did get AT&T service. These people suck. I’m not sure how this company is even in business. My AT&T stock from 1998 is still down 80%, lol.

    Verizon was almost as bad; I came to get service with my own physical phone; I had to verify my identity including my auto tag, to make sure I wasn’t going to steal the phone that I did not get from Verizon because I brought my own, thus wasting 45 minutes of my time for a theft I could never commit. wtf.

    These are both recent experiences in the past 3 years.

    1. Screwball

      There is no such thing as customer service, and yes AT&T is truly awful. So are most others. What isn’t anymore, to be honest?

      Don’t get me started on banks…Seriously.

  25. Lee

    Paul Offit joins TWiV to discuss his latest book, “Tell Me When It’s Over”, an insider’s guide to deciphering COVID myths and navigating our post-pandemic world. This Week in Virology (1 hour and 50 minute video)

    Some of this content will contradict what some here at NC strongly believe, including use of the term “post-pandemic” in the headline, the effectiveness of ivermectin, and the lab leak hypothesis for instance. However, this is an interestingly and usefully informative discussion regarding the history of the science, decision making, and messaging from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic until now including mistakes that were and continue to be made.

    1. IM Doc

      A more appropriate historical text if you are so inclined would be The Pandemic Century by Mark Honigsbaum. Subtitled “One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris”.

      Unlike most history books these days, this one is literally just the facts with very little opining. I find it a wonderful resource for students.

      It goes back to the 1918 flu, the psitacossis scare, the legionnaires disease, swine flu, aids, Ebola, SARS and Zika.

      It demonstrates in great detail how at almost every step, decisions were made that contradicted all the experience from before. The most common reason why was hubris and arrogance. Also using fear and panic is never a good idea. With a lot of money grubbing thrown in the mix in more modern times. Chasing Nobels and being cover models for magazines, etc. Sound familiar?

      This book came out right before COvid. It is startling reading through the chapters how many important historical lessons have been completely ignored if not trashed. Not mentioned but very important were many of the laws passed in the 1990s that had horrific and obvious ethical problems as far as medicine. Pharma advertising, and NIH profit sharing just two of the most egregious. And as predicted by so many ethicists back then, they would detonate. They did indeed do so, it has just taken many years longer than thought at the time. It took a crisis.

      The fact these people like Offitt are now on a forgiveness and explaining tour is quite unsettling given the history of the past 100 years. Did anyone bother to ask him how much he and his institution have profited? We must somehow break this hubris cycle.

      1. Lee

        Thanks for the book reference and all your contributions to discussions here.

        “The fact these people like Offitt are now on a forgiveness and explaining tour is quite unsettling…”

        Better now than never. If there is one thing certain about science is that it is grounded in uncertainty, which it then methodically seeks to overcome.

  26. Tommy S

    Damn that wash post article is like hysterical fascist crap. What journalists, or editors, after what the USA has done to civilians, and even stable horrible dictatorships, from Iraq to Libya to now Gaza could even print that shit. Imperialist hubris, doesn’t even begin to describe this. Our gov’t is absolutely insane, and we should seriously start organizing bottom up dual power, at the least to be a threat. My god.

  27. Mikel

    “The state of capitalism” Michael Robert’s Blog

    In addition to the writer’s criticisms of the theories in the book, juxtapose those theories against this discussion of the global economy and actual experiences of people and countries within it:
    US Economic Decline and Rise of Greater Eurasia – Michael Hudson, Alexander Mercouris & Glenn Diesen

  28. Mikel (Bloomberg)
    Nippon Steel’s New Chief Says Deal Will Only Strengthen US Steel

    “There’s not a company in the US that can domestically produce the high-end, electrical steel sheets for automobiles which we produce at our steel mills in Japan,” Imai said, in an interview conducted last week and available for release on Monday, when he formally took over the top job.

    That technology will be available to US Steel after the acquisition. “We have over 2,000 patents in North America alone — much more than the other American steelmakers,” he said. “There’s a lot we can do to strengthen US Steel.”

  29. Mikel

    “Shareholders Sue AI Weapon-Detecting Company, Allege It ‘Does Not Reliably Detect Knives or Guns’ 404

    I see your “AI” and raise you an ex-con.

  30. Tom Stone

    AI is going to vastly accelerate enshittification and when added to Covid induced brain damage the results are going to be spectacular.

  31. Alan Roxdale

    Russia Is Making Its Own Gaming Consoles Game Rant

    This one is perhaps more significant that it may at first appear. It’s worth remembering that AI-chip trillion darling Nvidia got their start and made their fortune first by selling GPUs to gamers and console manufacturers. More besides, Elon Musk among other robotics companies has been known to actively hire game software developers for their car/space projects. They learn more from juggling the complexity of real-time 3D physics and rendering than from any java bootcamps.

    While the end consumer products are very different, there is considerable overlap between the software practices and methodologies at the backend/hardend, much more than would be the case for say, web developers or datacenter engineers or AI developers. In addition to promoting domestic hardware development, I also suspect Moscow is trying to encourage more domestic software development and of course developers for their games industry (There is no lack of Russia/former USSR top talent in this field, but they are all likely abroad), who are more easily convertible to the type of robotics/cyber-warfare developers it will increasingly need in future.

    Worth noting Iran’s recent forays into developing a Call of Duty-like first person shooter (albeit with the “Rules based order” now in the villain role). Should we be speaking about the “nerd gap”?

  32. jhallc

    “Some 9,000 patients in the Gaza Strip require evacuation for emergency care, with the war-torn Palestinian territory down to just 10 barely functioning hospitals, the head of the WHO said Saturday.”

    You would think that some country would have a floating Hospital ship called the “Mercy” that could be sent to the Mediterranean to provide medical aid…. I mean now that there is going to be a pier that it could be berthed at instead of San Diego. We are not a serious country.

  33. skippy

    Just … ZOMG …

    “Joe Biden’s proclamation that this year’s Easter Sunday will also officially be the Transgender Day of Visibility.”

    Just – WOW – at the results of the fracas that was the Theory of Evolution and resulting sh!te fight since then, but too assign such a socially divisive topic with such a historical religious observation is just asking for epic social dysfunction/division in a time when things are really really getting frisky …

    Yet absolutely nothing about core socioeconomic anything …

    On another note Amfort hold me … I had to clean my farm Ute for the first time in years inside and out so I might transport a lass in it on a date … patina is all gone …


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