Links 4/16/2024

Dear patient readers,

Sorry to be light at launch. Come back at 8:00 AM for a full ration. Sorry to overshare, but recovering from a terribly bad overnight, an estate hearing where my attorney did not even remotely adequately prepare me and then basically hung me out to dry by being too lazy to do effective redirect. I either followed her guidance or learned she was silent on issues where she should have given me a heads up. I have never felt so humiliated.

All that was treated by the opposition and even the judge as if I were trying to pull a fast one, when I worked like a dog to get a sale for over the asking price for a dated house with no big reno and was meticulous about documenting expenses AND ate many expenses that I was not even allowed to mention!

And being used to NYC-caliber lawyers, I had already gone through three (although admittedly the first one quit after it was clear one heir was going to be difficult) before this one, so it was not as if I could fire her when I saw some worrisome signs. Although the problem may have been the probate bar and not Alabama. As David in Friday Harbor said,

Probate lawyers are bottom feeders shamelessly taking advantage of widows and orphans. I have never had an ounce of respect for their ilk. Probate turns even decent judges’ minds to mush.

* * *

Song Lyrics Have Become Simpler and More Repetitive Over the Last Five Decades Nature. I think not at NC!

People with a higher IQ and favorable genes for intelligence are more likely to be liberal ZMEScience

Conscientious unbelievers aeon

Your Vision Can Predict Dementia 12 Years Before Diagnosis, Study Finds ScienceAlert (Chuck L)


Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines to prevent long COVID: data from Norway Lancet (ma)

Self-amplifying RNA COVID-19 vaccine Cell. See Eric Topol: Approved in Japan, this self-amplifying Covid vaccine that uses much lower doses of mRNA, with less side-effects and potential longer duration of efficacy, is a better template than current mRNA shots (Dr. Kevin)

Predictors and Clinical Significance of Myocardial Injury in Elderly Patients Under the COVID-19 Pandemic DovePress (ma)

Characteristics and Outcomes for Recipients of NVX-CoV2373: A Real-World Retrospective Study in Germany (ma) MDPI


World’s Coral Reefs Hit By a Fourth Mass Bleaching Event, NOAA Says NBC

A machine learning-based approach to discover nanocomposite films for biodegradable plastic alternative PhysOrg

California Exceeds 100% of Energy Demand With Renewables Over a Record 30 Days Electrek


Apple loses smartphone crown to Samsung as Chinese rivals gain ground Financial Times

What will Chinese police officers do in Hungary? Daily News Hungary

Cambodia to divert Mekong trade via China-built canal, vexing Vietnam Nikkei (furzy)

Xi Rebuffs Scholz Pressure to Rein In Chinese Manufacturing Bloomberg. Duh.

European Disunion

Fire rages through Copenhagen’s historic stock exchange, spire collapses Associated Press (furzy)

Old Blighty

Revolt in Northern England: No Ceasefire, No Vote Consortium News

Protest against ‘foreign agent’ law in Georgia turns violent (VIDEO) RT (Kevin W)


Hamas reportedly now willing to release only up to 20 hostages in return for 6-week truce Times of Israel

Iran v. Israel

Israel vows retaliation over Iran attack after calls for restraint BBC

US and Europe seek to dissuade Israel from striking back against Iran Financial Times

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 192: European countries urge Israel not to respond to Iran attack; Israeli army targets Gazans returning north Mondoweiss

Israeli ‘diplomatic offensive’ urges sanctions against Iran Aljazeera. Bwaahaha.

What you need to know about the Iranian attack on Israel but will not find in your mainstream news provider Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

Sources deny Saudi Arabia’s participation in intercepting Iranian attacks on Israel Arab News


Israeli debt doubled since beginning of war on Gaza The Cradle (Kevin W)

British low-cost carrier easyJet suspends flights to Israel until late October Anadolu Agency


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Do It Again  by Steely Dan)

    Just an economic hitman
    Flying to the colonies
    A rapacious quiet con man
    Always putting on the squeeze
    All the profits we are wringing
    From your lithium or wheat
    Well that’s only the beginning
    Or we’ll send in our whole fleet yeah
    We take back much
    More than we give
    We’ll grab what’s in your ground
    We take back much
    More than we give

    Just a dirty deal designer
    Not an ally not a friend
    From Peru to Asia Minor
    Workin’ deals on the back end
    You are worth what you’re supplying
    Rule your country while you’re able
    I am smiling while I’m lying
    When I say your role is stable yeah
    We take back much
    More than we give
    We’ll grab what’s in your ground
    We take back much
    More than we give

    (musical interlude)

    We’ll build dams to tame your water
    We’ll build airports in your sand
    As our loans go underwater
    You will feel our hidden hand
    There’s a limit to your credit
    Not to profits that we see
    We keep track of every debit
    While you rule as our trustee yeah
    We take back much
    More than we give
    We’ll grab what’s in your ground
    We take back much
    More than we give

    1. jefemt

      I wonder if military strategist and Steely Dan guitarist Jeff “skunk’ Baxter reads NC? He might enjoy the layers of irony here… I know I did! Thank you for this and the many many others…

        1. griffen

          My first reaction….the “Karen’s ” movement as it were has found their leader in case they were lacking one…

          Good. Grief.

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, it is a “Final Warning.” It is interesting to see so many well educated, talented, and dedicated people completely miss what someone was trying to tell them: having an organization that has the same worldview and often coming from the same regions, schools, and organizations before being hired is not good for that organization.

        He did not say that the organization or its people were bad, he just said that their worldview was limited by being almost exclusively focused on issues of race and sexual identity via a very liberal viewpoint; that it forsakes journalism for advocacy of that viewpoint. I would say that their liberal ideology is not the same as the liberalism that I grew up in, but is a harsher, less flexible, more narrow one. To me, it is pseudo liberalism that apes appearances, not the actual values or actions, because they were indoctrinated with a checklist, not educated in the why, the how, and the goal of Classical Liberalism.

        This means they cannot see that differences in class, religion, education, and area of birth matters quite a bit, or that someone raised in a former coal or manufacturing town and graduated from Nowhere University might have have some valuable insights even if they were still liberal. Since they are saying all the right words and have worked on the very limiting viewpoint in Identity Politics, they must be liberal. This Neoliberal Groupthink is scary.

        1. spud

          “Nationalism is the core of the Enlightenment’s notion of liberal democracy. It asserts that the multinational dynasties that ruled autocratically denied basic human rights. Among these was the right to national self-determination and the right of citizens to decide what was in the national interest.

          The Enlightenment feared tyranny and saw the multinational empires dominating Europe as the essence of tyranny. Destroying them meant replacing them with nation-states. The American and French revolutions were both nationalist risings, as were the risings that swept Europe in 1848. Liberal revolutions were by definition nationalist because they were risings against multinational empires.

          Fascism differs from nationalism in two profound ways. First, fascists did not consider self-determination a universal right. Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco, to mention three obvious fascists, only endorsed nationalism for Germany, Italy and Spain. The rights of other nations to a nation-state of their own was, at best, unclear to the fascists.

          In a very real sense, Hitler and Mussolini believed in multinationalism, albeit with other nations submitting to their will. Fascism was an assault on the right of nations to pursue their self-interest, and an elevation of the fascists’ right to pursue it based on an assertion of their nations’ inherent superiority and right to rule.”

          “Arguing that being part of the European Union is not in the British interest, that NATO has outlived its usefulness, that protectionist policies or anti-immigration policies are desirable is not fascist.

          These ideas have no connection to fascism whatsoever. They are far more closely linked to traditional liberal democracy. They represent the reassertion of the foundation of liberal democracy, which is the self-governing nation-state. It is the foundation of the United Nations, whose members are nation-states, and where the right to national self-determination is fundamental.

          Liberal democracy does not dictate whether a nation should be a member in a multinational organization, adopt free trade policies or protectionism, or welcome or exclude immigrants. These are decisions to be made by the people – or more precisely, by the representatives they select. The choices may be wise, unwise or even unjust. However, the power to make these choices rests, in a liberal democracy, in the hands of the citizens.”

    1. pjay

      From her Wikipedia page:

      “After internships at the Council on Foreign Relations [15] and Eurasia Group, in 2004 & 2005, respectively, Maher began working at HSBC in London, Germany, and Canada as part of their international manager development program…”

      In 2007, Maher returned to New York City, where from 2007 to 2010, she worked at UNICEF as an innovation and communication officer… One of her first projects at UNICEF involved testing MediaWiki extensions related to accessibility in Ethiopia.[16] Another project received USAid Development 2.0 Challenge grant funding to work on the use of mobile phones to monitor nutrition in children in Malawi…”

      “From 2010 to 2011, Maher worked at the National Democratic Institute as an ICT Program Officer.[17] From 2011 to 2013, Maher worked at the World Bank as an ICT innovation specialist and consulted on technology for international development and democratization, working on ICT for accountability and governance with a focus on the role of mobile phones and other technologies in facilitating civil society and institutional reform…”

      The CFR, HSBC, USAID, the World Bank, the National Democratic Institute (the Democratic Party branch of the NED) and Wikipedia – and now NPR! That’s quite a resume already, and she’s only 40!

      Think about this list of organizations, and then read her tweets in Benny’s link. These are the people we used to use to “promote democracy” in disobedient Third World countries – but now it’s NPR, and the “Third World country” is us. What a clown show!

      1. flora

        Thank you. The Counsel of Foreign Relations, USAid, etc, is exactly why I cannot support a Tulsi candidate. All the bestest credentials, all the bestest associations as the globalists see it. I’m sure Argentina’s Milie is one of their cohort.

  2. Acacia

    Yves, having been through several years of probate, I can sympathize, but more importantly I hope your encounter with the court wraps a lot more quickly!!

    Meanwhile, something of possible interest in the new chapter:

    Paradoxocracy (2013) — Pasakorn Pramoolwong, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang

    Paradoxocracy begins with the 1932 Siamese Revolution — which transformed Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one — and works its way to the present day, chronicling the country’s major political revolutions, movements and countless coups along the way. Using a combination of archival footage, voice-overs and interviews with 15 unnamed academics, activists and political leaders, the film presents the directors’ personal journey to come to an understanding of how their country arrived at its current state of near-constant political division and dysfunction.

    Other films by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang are excellent, BTW.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The movie sounds fascinating…but you may know we farangs are advised not to discuss local politics! Among other reasons, no way do we understand them. And notice in the movie how the academics are unnamed.

      Thanks for your kind thoughts and sorry your case went on so long. One of my lawyer friends continues to be amazed my brother is fighting over so little money. I can’t see, even with clawing some money out of me for sport, by making me eat bona fide estate expenses, that he will come out ahead, between his and his share of the extra estate legal fees. This is an exercise in spite.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Told my wife years ago that you could make a fortune by publishing a book full of people’s stories of experiences with probate and how relatives behave after a family death. The family members that will come out of the woodwork or how some family members will go straight from the hospital after a death to clean out anything valuable in their house such as jewelry and will only return those items after threats of police involvement. There is no shortage of such stories for a book like this – believe that!

          1. flora

            In the US there are several legal ways to avoid probate, or avoid the worst of it. It takes prior planning by the estate owner working with a lawyer, though. (Search on ‘how to avoid probate’ in your browser for possibilities.) I suppose most people either don’t know probate can be avoided, or don’t want to think about it, or they can’t imagine their family members would go at each other after they pass. Adult children nursing petty resentments can be unbelievably confrontational.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              It is very easy to avoid probate. Beneficiary instructions on your financial accounts. They get distributed outside probate. The only stuff you can’t handle that way is real property, jewelry, art, etc.

              The one house was too little to be worth that….and my mother said no since it would mean the loss of control of her house. This same brother schemed several times to try to get control of her finances, like a trust (for only a house????), having her move in with them in another state in the horsey exurbs where she would depend on them (oh, and part of their scheme was to have HER spend over $100,000 on his indoor pool area to turn in into her condo.

              Then he and his wife wanted to buy her house from under her, when she had more than enough money unless she lived to be 100, and graciously let her live there. She could see where all this was intended to go. The other brother has commented on how obvious the machinations were.

              1. flora

                Sounds like your horsey exurbs brother has enough money to be a real pain. This sounds beyond the standard petty resentments, it sounds like something worse. I’m so sorry.

              2. juno mas

                Putting my mothers home in “Living Trust” (she maintained control until death) avoided the sibling squabbles you’ve encountered. The value of everything in probate was essentially ‘sentimental’. (Although, even that made for crazy contests.)

          2. ArvidMartensen

            One story. My grandmother’s SIL, with whom she had a good relationship, raided her home while her funeral was being held just up the street. Drove 2 hours for that. Didn’t go to the funeral obviously.
            I don’t know what she stole, except a whole lot of family photos went missing. She might have been looking for the money old people stash in biscuit tins, but my grandma had hidden it real good so she didn’t find it.
            My uncle, a few bricks short of a load, was home because he couldn’t face going to his mother’s funeral, and he just let his aunt waltz in and take whatever she wanted.

            1. flora

              I’m so sorry. Sometimes it’s not even a sibling creating a fuss. Sometimes it’s a sibling’s spouse creating the fuss. Really. Maybe even the most times. I’ll spare readers about my SIS’s histrionics at my last parent passing.

        2. MJ

          It is so much simpler when there is only one heir.

          I am currently the executor for an elderly friend’s estate and very grateful that I won’t be dealing with that sort of conflict.

        3. Tom Stone

          Family fights over Real Estate and Estates are something every Real Estate Broker deals with on a regular basis and they have more to do with who Mommy and Daddy
          loved best than the Money.
          The emotional reactions of the survivors are often those of 5 year olds rather than that of adults.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And these are the sort of people who populate the ranks of inheritors of great wealth. Primogeniture, just a really GREAT / s notion, along with the kind of “rules of law” that let the distant heirs of the winners of ancient wars in Britain own about 70% of the rent-generating property:

        “ Britain’s land is still owned by an aristocratic elite – but it doesn’t have to be this way”

        “but it doesn’t have to be this way,” the whine of the losers who also write, ironically, “The British people own the British Isles. This is a democracy, isn’t it?” As much as the US system is “Our Democracy (c) ™”.

        So sorry you are suffering this extension of “Jarndyce v. Jarndyce.”

        Lady named Lois Forer wrote a book entitled “The Death of the Law,” which iirc featured the depredations of probate through Albion’s history and the US Empire’s. Also as I recall the horrors of the bankruptcy racket, which I got to see ugly bits of in my days as a lawyer. Lootable money draws the most pathogenic of credentialed blowflies, esq.

    2. Thistlebreath

      Condolences on a schemer in the family. They are vile.

      My running partner of 10 years survived a stint as a first lieutenant in a rifle company up along the Iron Triangle in Vietnam. He said that paled in comparison to settling estates. For sheer cruelty, nothing beats familial greed. “The fights are so bitter because the stakes are so small.”

      Hang in there, difficult as it may be. Maybe read Charlie Mackesy’s book “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.” It has helped me.

  3. flora

    re: Izabella Kaminska’s twt.

    Wow. Sounds like a Potemkin panel made up of “experts” still using training wheels. / ;)

    1. Mikel

      “Innovate Finance Conference”…probably a bunch of people patting themselves on the back for misuse of decades of easy money.

  4. The Rev Kev

    Might I suggest a dartboard? Print out an image of that lawyer, pin it on that dartboard, and then go to town. Just have nothing breakable near that board in case of a violent overthrow! Hopefully probate will be over before too long and will then be behind you. Probate cases are mental and my wife nearly lost her house after her first husband died and the State took over the probate and stuffed up on house payments by forgetting them.

  5. zagonostra

    > Song Lyrics Have Become Simpler and More Repetitive Over the Last Five Decades Nature

    George Orwell’s 1984 (page 55) was on this way back in 1948:

    There was a whole chain of separate departments dealing with proletarian literature, music, drama, and entertainment generally…songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means on a special kind of kaleidoscope known as a versificator.

    1. Ann Uumelmahaye

      Ya, every theme from that book is in play, in some way or another.

      It’s not just song lyrics, tho. Think of the 1970s. We had tons and tons of famous musicians, across wide genres:

      Art rock
      Glam rock
      Prog rock
      Hard rock
      Birth of metal
      Birth of New wave
      Jazz fusion
      Folk and folk rock

      I didn’t even like Kiss, but I could name every one of those ridiculous dudes.

      Now? We have rap, hip hop, autotune “R&B,” and Taylor. That’s about it! Music has been decimated. On purpose.

      1. Neutrino

        Autotune, guaranteed to make me find actual music!
        Makes bagpipe and banjo duets seem listenable. /s

        1. Lena

          I love bluegrass. I’m from Appalachia. Give me a banjo and a mandolin any day (I play a bit of both, although not at the same time). There are a lot of talented bluegrass artists who are performing and recording these days.

          1. Jamie

            Me too. Doc Watson, Billy Strings etc. . Grandfather gave me an old Gibson F4, when I was a kid.

      2. zagonostra

        @ANN: Yes, I was not fully appreciative of Orwell’s 1984 until I started re-reading it as an adult, as opposed to when I first read it as an unformed youth (“a creature void of form” Bob Dylan’s ISIS).

        Re-reading it now, I see that Orwell gives a cogent world political/historical analysis in the secretive “Brotherhood’s THE BOOK.” An extract of that section where Winston is reading it to Julia would make a great stand alone piece of work, one to tackle in a PolSci class in college, but alas, too late, the “academy” has already been captured.

      3. yep

        You need to step out of mainstream waters. Talented people still make good music, but it ain’t on the charts.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          And there was plenty of bad music popular in the “good old days” as well. As time goes one, people tend to forget it. Same will happen with today’s music.

        2. Ann Uumelmahaye

          The point was exactly about the mainstream, tho. Hence, what I said about Kiss. It wasn’t about ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ music. I certainly think there are still good musicians today.

          I could easily name five household name 70s artists for every one who has become HHN famous in this entire century so far, and probably more than five. (it would be a PitA, however).

          A weird corollary: In the 70s, pre-cable, when the TV turned off at midnight after the national anthems of Canada & USA, and there were only a handful of channels available, CBC had Glenn Gould talking classical music. Now we have a gazillion channels, 24/7/365, and an expanded population globally, and you’ll never see anything like that on any of them.

      4. digi_owl

        Cue Zappa:

        That said, i think Orwell puts too much emphasis on something politically willful.

        What we are seeing instead is music as a industrial product. Mass produced to appeal to the broadest of tastes, that can be left running in the background just about everywhere.

        This similar to how tortilla chips being the “perfected” snack thanks to focus group tuning etc.

        1. zagonostra

          Yes, you’re right. You need Aldous Huxley too. That’s why “Huxwell” is becoming more and more common in usage.

        2. .Tom

          Well, yes, but I think there’s more to it than that. Our pop music reflects our zeitgeist. It’s just not a good time to be a dissident, an experimenter, an original creative, provocative, etc. Not just ‘cos the labels won’t publish it but because audiences don’t have much courage just now and will get scared. People want comfort food. I wish there were market demand for revolutionary, challenging or even just interesting or unusual music but I don’t think there is. In the 80s John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Phillip Glass were on major labels and selling well. That couldn’t have happened without demand.

      5. Wukchumni

        When I was 13, I could have had my pick of music from the Osmond Family to Sly & the Family Stone and everything in-between, what a time we had, troubadours trying to one-up each other in talent so varied.

      6. Alice X

        Well, from the jazz and euro classical realms where I found myself alongshore, the sixties was a high water era. Coltrane, Shorter, Corea and others expanded the vocabulary considerably, but their appeal was limited beyond a core assembly. The record companies were concerned with commercial factors and thus the trends became inflected by rock, which overtook the previous advances. I am happy to find today that there is a resurgence, though you have to look for it since much of it stems from local production.

        In the euro classical realm, the sixties found new music pushing the limits of comprehensibility, but orchestras programmed it regularly. New avenues of the corporate funding of orchestras pushed back the trend and programming retrenched to the old warhorses. That trend more or less continues.
        Contemporary composers are still featured some, but the more adventurous they are, the more likely they are to be, if featured once, then put on a shelf and ignored.

        As with all corporate music, in corporate commercial popular music, similar forces were/are at work, though even more so.

        In all matters corporate, the bottom line is, well, the bottom line.

        1. Revenant

          Classical refers to a distinct period, pre-Romantic.

          20th century art music is modern(ist) or avant-garde or a specific movement like Serialism or Musique Concrète.

          Apologies, Alice, but classical = generically not popular is a musicology bugbear of mine.

          1. Alice X

            That may be why I put it in italics. As a general term, for me, and many of the classical players that I have worked with, it is used for the broad swath of European Art Music (more italics, since before Elliott Carter, the Europeans thought that Americans didn’t count). When you have a gig with an orchestra, you just play what they put in front of you. If someone stopped you on the street with your violin under arm, and asked you: what sort of music do you play? You would probably just say, err… classical? Even if you’d just been playing some of Krzysztof Penderecki’s music from the 23rd century. Anymore I would just say jazz. And jazz musicians (many of whom I have also worked with) would use the term in a broad, if by your standards, imprecise sense. They are also leery of classical musicians, so I had to be careful.

            Here I was writing amidst a group mainly talking about Pop, and yes, for them, classical may mean not popular, and I didn’t want to appear too technical. Would avant-garde be any more endearing?

            My greater point was on the force of corporate dominance in music.

      7. .Tom

        Rap, hop-hop and R&B are great musical traditions I am grateful for. My problem with commercial pop music offerings now is their being bland, boring and, worst of all perhaps, they sound like focus-group marketing fed to CAD/CAM designs into 3D-printed music. Even Ms. B’s new album is ruined by this production method. A singer of her talent with unlimited access to music industry resources and the result is … lifeless.

  6. griffen

    Regarding the article on song lyrics, yeah there is definitely something to the older stand by artists and performers. I don’t listen too often to more updated offerings in either of pop music or country music. On occasion I hear country and the band Florida Georgia Line seems to be an example infection of pointless writing ( I just don’t find their brand of music easy to listen to ).

    Now to offer a counter , in doing my taxes Sunday – Monday I listened to some “older” CD offerings from Radiohead. I’ll stack OK Computer from 1997 against literally anything else from that decade. Their previous album The Bends is no slouch.

    1. Mikel

      Much of it, especially in the popular mainstream, is a lot of words to fill up space.

      Previously, singers had to breathe a certain amount between phrases. Their performances weren’t patched together on a computer.
      It also allowed the music (and there was often more going on musically) to breathe in its own way.
      Remember when singers would rest to allow space for a musical solo? Almost a rarity now…

      1. griffen

        I need to take some care when it comes to getting older and with each passing year, I lean just a little more into the “old man yelling at clouds” territory…

        Early 90s I had a boss during my summer job ( college years ) who liked to reminisce and he’d always start any story with a “I remember when…”…

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘Suppressed News

    Interesting that. A coupla months ago it was reported that Hamas was luring Israeli soldiers into ambushes by playing similar sounds as they knew that the Israelis wanted to go in and harm them. Now the Israelis are using this tactic as they know that Palestinians civilians would want to go in to help them. Said it before and will say it again – Israelis have now become the people that persecuted them eighty years ago.

    1. converger

      From our good friends at Bing:

      [ˈlābənsroum, ˈlābənzˌroum, ˈlāb(ə)nzˌroum, ˈleːbnsˌroum]

      the territory that a state or nation believes is needed for its natural development, especially associated with Nazi Germany.

      room · space · breathing space · scope · freedom · play · free rein · license · latitude · leeway · margin · clearance · room to maneuver

      I think that it’s dangerous to call what is happening to Palestine genocide. Germany, Turkey, and Rwandan Hutus have committed genocide in the past by systematically attempting to obliterate an entire people.

      That’s a *very* high bar. Israel merely doesn’t care if its brutal ethnic cleansing campaign kills 10% or so of the Palestinian people. That’s roughly the same proportion of Irish who died during the Great Famine, as England blithely deployed starvation and diaspora to tighten control.

      That said, Israel’s end game in Gaza does look like Lebensraum.

      1. zagonostra

        Dangerous to whom? The ICJ has already pronounced on the subject. What is happening in Gaza is genocide. Maybe a more relevant German term is Lebenswelt:

        Lifeworld (or life-world) (German: Lebenswelt) may be conceived as a universe of what is self-evident or given,[1] a world that subjects may experience together. The concept was popularized by Edmund Husserl, who emphasized its role as the ground of all knowledge in lived experience.

      2. vao

        It is getting a bit tiresome, but here it is, from article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:

        In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

        a) Killing members of the group;

        b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

        c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

        d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

        e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

        Obliterating an entire people is not necessary for proving the crime of genocide. After all, the Germans in South-West Africa killed 50% of the Namas and 70% of the Hereros, the Turks at a minimum 40% and up to 80% of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire, and the Nazis about 2/3 of European Jews — and nobody denies that these are genuine genocides. For that matter, the British managed to exterminate all Tasmanians in the 19th century.

        So let us drop the argument “if you do not intend to or manage to exterminate everybody, then it does not count as genocide” — because it is simply wrong. Thus, the intention to decimate a specific population (i.e. deliberately killing 10% of it) counts as genocide.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The SA briefing to the ICJ includes a few of the many Zionist “statements against interest” that amount to admissions of intent to exterminate the Palestinians. Fer cliffs sake, the ever opportunistic diaspora is already selling off the beachfront of Gaza, and cutting deals to extract the gas and oil offshore of Gaza.

      3. MRLost

        If you must squint at something to make it look like genocide, or bend a couple of the rules that define genocide according to some UN pseudo-court, then it is already genocide. Be generous now so you won’t be ashamed later.
        And I am truly thankful for your identifying the ongoing as an example of Lebensraum. I hadn’t thought of that and it will be most useful during certain arguments.

      4. Saying so

        It’s genocide. They are killing people, directly targeting women and children to prevent a next generation. They destroyed heritages sites, universities, hospitals, schools, and cemetaries. They call them humans animals and have denied food, medical supplies, shelter, and other crucial, life sustaining supplies. It’s genocide coupled with lebensraum. Rev Kev has it right: they have become the people that persecuted them in Europe 80 years ago.

    2. LawnDart

      The sounds of women and children crying seem a standard tool used for psychological warfare too, to impart a sense of helplessness in the listener.

  8. jefemt

    Antidote- Pete Oswald : why is this sheep smiling? Gravity CAN be a friend…. apparently one can turn without the earn and burn.

    1. Benny Profane

      I’m a bit suspicious that the sheep was doing just fine up there before the skier decided to “help”.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hopefully this was not in New Zealand where, as Aussies say, ‘Men are men and sheep are nervous.’

      1. Wukchumni

        Not into sheep thrills, man. For starters has the ewe skied before and is it used to the momentum of speed and perhaps moguls, and oh by the way what sharp hooves you have, Lamb-chop.

        When man rescues animal, in particular the dog floating down the river version where the human jumps in, invariably the pooch makes it out a-ok, the would be rescuer not so much.

        Weirdest thing I ever saw on the slopes was a moose in the trees @ Breckenridge in Colorado last month and jeez oh Pete are they giants!

        I watched from the safety of a chair lift, feeling certain said moose wasn’t in hot pursuit of yours truly, but lets spice it up a bit, and claim this is what happened, yeah, that’s the ticket!

        Angry bull moose chases skiers at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Colorado

    1. jefemt

      I marvel at the energy and stamina of single moms.
      But Trump is starting to catch my eye… if 2024 doesn’t kill him, I will give credit to the McDonald’s preservatives– and Viagra?

      Poor little feller. He is a VICTIM. Actions do NOT have consequences. There is no meta-physical analogy at play. (snarc)

      1. The Rev Kev

        With Trump you always know what you are getting – something with the nutritional value of a McDonald’s burger and the cunning of a s***-house rat. To many, he is the horrible orange man. But that is irrelevant. You have a sitting President trying to use the powers of the State and that of his political party as well as the Washington establishment to have him removed as a contender for the Presidential election in November. The US has sanctioned entire countries for doing exactly the same. This is real banana republic stuff this and other countries are noticing.

        1. t

          I don’t think they’re noticing so much as no longer not speaking up. As a trope, this the US as a mean girl who hasn’t realized she’s no longer popular.

          In the 2016s, people were going on and on about what other countries would think if we elected the wrong person, and I was, like, girl, have you ever spoken to anyone in another country?

        2. Benny Profane

          Trump, again, is getting a mountain of free campaign coverage. Don’t know if his poll numbers have bumped, but, all he has to do is sit there in a courtroom instead of spending buckets of money on a campaign, while, Biden has to hide from Genocide Joe protesters if he ever hobbles out into public. CNN has people reporting on this 24/7! Free!

          1. Randall Flagg

            Honestly, Trump should just walk out of the courtroom each day and immediate launch into well rehearsed campaign speech. The it would be interesting to see how quickly the MSM and liberal cable news shows turn to something else rather than give him free advertising.

        3. JP

          While DJT derangement is real and contributing to the polarization and the loyal left is happy to see the don prosecuted, it is not a push by the administration or the attorney general that is driving the courts in the states of New York or Florida. That is a false narrative. If you are going to read Turdley bear in mind that his opinion is always devoid of any counter arguments or facts that get in the way of his always highly partisan rants.

          It would certainly be more banana republic like if Trump or Bolsinaro or a whole list of other sociopathic “leaders” were not held to some legal standard. Democracy is now routinely manipulated. Do you really think Trump won? Corruption runs bottom to top. Trump is a simple criminal. Biden will be much harder to prosecute but please do and please, Hunter is not the pres any more then Jared

    2. griffen

      I am waiting with baited breath for when the worm turns and it is Hunter Biden under the scope and scrutiny of major media outlets as well…all for the alleged schemes to extract large funds from “beneficial in nature” contacts and corporations from some of the most uncorrupted locations to find around. \sarc

      I’ll be waiting awhile and I understand this…Hunter and James as well. It’s amazing to realize just how apparently / allegedly well a nearby connection to a proverbial big important man offers no strings attached benefits (!)

    3. Randall Flagg

      Whoa, hold on there! Not according to the panel just discussing this on an NPR show LOL. The laws have been broken!! You CANNOT let this stuff with Trump slide. My god it’s amusing. And sad

        1. Randall Flagg

          Maybe worse than the View.
          I don’t recall the View proclaiming themselves as defenders of truth and total honesty in reporting, Debunking misinformation and disinformation whenever it may come from.

  9. upstater

    Norfolk Southern proxy battle… at least these guys are honest about asset stripping…

    Activist investor’s chief operating officer candidate would strip Norfolk Southern ‘down to the studs’

    Former CSX operations boss Jamie Boychuk says NS needs a complete overhaul and that tweaking the operating plan won’t produce meaningful results

    Ancora released a detailed presentation today on its plans for the railroad. Among the proposed actions to reach a 62% operating ratio goal within 12 months: An $800 million cost improvement plan that involves storing 450 locomotives, idling 35,000 freight cars, improving fuel consumption, and reducing switching through a complete network redesign.

    “None of this can really be done … through tweaking the operation through pulling unproductive pieces here and there,” Boychuk says. “This is what the full redesign gives you.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Fully agree here. Look at his last paragraph-

      ‘Iran makes an ideal energy partner for European economies replacing Russia. Suffice to say, the chances are that the endgames in Ukraine war and the Israel-Arab conflict, as they run on parallel tracks, may create synergy going forward.’

      How naive is that?

      1. Kouros

        Yup. WHy would Iran ever trust the west? This is more like Turkish or Indian behaviour, countries that have their feet for long time in two boats.

        Iran on the other hand has been by itself for long time.

  10. Richard H Caldwell

    RE: “AI Job Cuts: Banks Reportedly Eye Cutting Analyst Classes by Two-Thirds” — yes, random high-tech AI dart-throwing is probably more useful that human analysts’ reports…

    1. ChrisFromGA

      I was listening to CNBC the other day and they had a guest who said that most of the stock analysts were let go a while ago due to the rise of passive index funds and ETFs. I think he was a hedge fund guy who was lamenting the fact that stock picking is dead. Just buy NVDA or MSFT and hold your nose.

    2. digi_owl

      While at the other end, fast food places are increasingly using remote foreign workers as cashiers.

      Wonder how long before we learn that those humanoid warehouse robots are really remotely operated using motion rigs.

      1. jax

        Digi-owl, see a little-known film titled “Sleep Dealers” to elaborate on foreign labor using motion rigs. It’s definitely a view of the future.

        1. digi_owl

          Heard about it, but thanks. The concept has shown up from time to time in cyberpunk scifi. There is also the oh so lovely (/s) meat puppet concept, where someone with suitable cybernetic implants can have their body remotely operated (among other things).

  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    I have to admit to a twinge of “too bad” in reading the Mail’s article about the dustup in Belgium over the meeting of the National Conservatism group, which twixted that it is engaged in “civilized discussion.” Farage? Braverman? Civilized discussion?

    Yet I am in Yannis Varoufakis’s camp, and we see what just happened to him in Berlin. Very much the same.

    War is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne wrote some 100 years ago. We now see state power being used against even mild critics of the government and its policies.

    There does seem to be a special distemper in northern Europe. Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, England. You know, The Tighty Whities.

    Yet Farage, who should understand this contretemps as a civil-liberties issue, is as incomprehensible as ever:

    To wit:
    “‘ What is happening as we speak is he [the owner of the venue] is receiving phone calls from the local mayor, the police are being encouraged to come in and shut down this conference.’ [Farage] added: ‘This is what we are up against, we are up against an evil ideology, we are up against a new form of communism – this is nothing less than that.’ ”

    Communism? Who is writing Farage’s speeches? Eric Idle? Hillary Clinton? Jennifer Saunders?

    What they are up against is their own creature, capitalists believing they have a “right” to defend themselves.

      1. digi_owl

        That is the really ugly thing about this rising neoliberal authoritarianism, that they go straight for the money. Straight for the economic jugular.

        When conservatives in the past wanted something banned they would go through the legislature and courts, and maybe get smacked down on constitutional ground or similar.

        Now it is just directly targeting the banks and the payment processors and basically making you an economic pariah.

        1. JBird4049

          During the Cold War the conservatives went for beatings and assassinations, sometimes wholesale. The Jakarta Method and Operation Condor come to mind. Also the various assassinations of various left leaning politicians and activists in the United States during the war 1960s.

          When it appeared that the other side might or had won, the other side started the killing, and it did not matter whose ideology was what.

    1. Anonymous 2

      Farage is as trustworthy as a three dollar bill. Believe nothing the man says unless you can corroborate it with a reliable source.

    2. Kouros

      Varoufakis would have fared far better in St. Petersburg on that conference… Even though he is a big critic of the unprovoked war of agression started by Russia against pure inocent Snowhite Ukraine.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Iran Spectator
    🇮🇷 | 𝐈𝐫𝐚𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐚 𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐀𝐋 𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐉𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐑𝐨𝐲𝐚𝐥 𝐅𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐲…
    “If Jordan continue to participate in the Zionist aggression against Iran and its allies, 𝐉𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐧 will be directly targeted”
    Translated Quote from Iran’s FM ☝️’

    The people of Jordan itself are not happy with how they were helping to protect Israel after all they have done to the Gazans. Some of the vehicles shot down landed on Jordan causing damage infuriating the Jordanians even more – against their King.

    Scott Ritter was providing interesting details about King Abdullah II, last of the Hashamite kings. The guy was basically raised in England and was in their Army and when he came to the throne, could hardly speak Arabic. Even now he speaks Arabic with a heavy English accent. Fighting for Israel has gone down like a lead balloon and the smart move would have been to remain neutral. But that is not an option as it is almost under direct US control. Bases there helped train Jihadists to be sent against the Syrian government and even more recently ‘In February 2024, after the Tower 22 drone attack, Jordanian F-16s reportedly took part in strikes against Iranian assets in conjunction with the United States.’

    And now they are in the gun-sights of the Iranians.

    1. ilsm

      I read a report on USAF intercepts over Jordan and Syria. Suggested two squadrons F 15 operating out of air base in Jordan. Did not state where AWACS and KC 135 came from.

      Two squadrons could keep a couple dozen jets airborne 24/7. With latest ARAAM and AIM 9X a few hundred drones and cruise missiles; easy!

      1. digi_owl

        AWACS and tankers could come from anywhere, as they have far longer range and loiter ability than the high speed jets.

        I don’t see any on community plane tracking sites right now, but i belive both UK and USA had various planes flying holding patterns just off the Israeli coast when the Gaza thing started.

        1. Cristobal

          I think It would be wise to go after the tankers. There are not that many of then, and mostly USAF. Those fighters would be falling like flies.

    2. Feral Finster

      If the Jordanian ruling class have to choose between their own populace and keeping the Americans happy, they will choose the Americans. Every.Single.Time.
      For that matter, the rulers sleep soundly at night, as long as the police and army will shoot when ordered. Even if that were to fail, they have plenty of cozy properties in London, Paris, etc. flee to, Swiss bank accounts well-stocked, and they can expect a warm welcome.

      1. Wukchumni

        Once upon a time, we got King Tut and his goods.

        Nowadays you’ve got Unabankers with underground vaults in NZ, stocked with i’d imagine an awful lot of toilet paper, among other items.

        Think of it, 1922, Carter opens up Tut’s tomb and finds Charmin?

      2. Kouros

        Especially since Jordan’s population has a significant proportion of Palestinian refugees and their descendents from Nakba 1.0.

  13. Jackiebass63

    I guess my sister and I were lucky when our mother died. There was nothing left to argue over. She spent a long time in a nursing home and the nursing home ended up with everything. In my personal case I told our daughter to not expect a big inheritance. I paid for a college education for both of them. They both have good jobs so they should be fine. If my mother did have a big estate there would be no argument from me. To me if I have enough to get by that is fine. Having a big bank account means nothing to me. Good health is the most important thing you can have. Without good health life can be depressing.

    1. Benny Profane

      Maybe, but, when you get old and good health naturally leaves you, it’s good to have assets to live off of. Hopefully your kids are acquiring some sort of wealth now that you have so generously set them up, because old and poor sucks. You don’t get rich by working for it.

  14. Joker

    France decides to invite Russia to anniversary of Allied landings in Normandy Ukrainska Pravda

    Now, that’s surprising. I was expecting Yaroslav Hunka, or Azov guy that got medal at Disney World, or something along those lines.

  15. Mikel


    Never has a headline been more worthy of screaming all caps.
    I’m sure the same mind-numbing lies about “prevention of a broader war” are coming out of the obtuse EU.

    1. Mikel

      Meanwhile, a laughable headline over at NYTimes:
      April 16, 2024, 12:04 p.m. ET
      Just now

      “Global leaders are pressing Iran and Israel to avoid an escalation.”

  16. The Rev Kev

    “France decides to invite Russia to anniversary of Allied landings in Normandy”

    Will there be a Russian Federation flag raised there or will that Russian contingent have to use a neutral flag? I suppose the real intent is to show US/UK/Canadian/French & German unity and maybe there will be some negotiations going on in the background. I don’t know what they could offer Russia. Sanctions relief? Russia does not need them. Minsk 3? Don’t make me laugh. Maybe the Russians should offer their hosts a counter invitation to Volvograd, formally known as Stalingrad. There was about 10,000 dead and wounded at Normandy but at Stalingrad there were 1,347,214–2,672,000 Russian casualties but they still won.

    1. Mikel

      And this:
      “Macron wants Olympic truce in Ukraine and Gaza” RT

      Yeah, it’s basically an announcement of France’s preferred timeline to gather more troops and weapons to attack Russia.
      They really, really want to “help” Ukraine, but Olympic $$$$…

      1. The Rev Kev

        To paraphrase the Russians, just because you are running out of ammo does not mean that you get a truce.

      2. Wukchumni

        I don’t think Russia has a chance when pitted against the west in the jumping to conclusions event…

      3. Feral Finster

        The last time Russia foolishly agreed to a truce, the West took the opportunity to flood Ukraine with weapons.

        I hope that the Russian leadership has learned something since then. The West hates you and fears you. No matter how many symphonies you write, no matter how you try to be pleasant, reasonable and accommodating, they never will let you join The Club.

        1. Kouros

          This is why Russians are building their own club now and the West is not really invited, if they continue to behave like this…

    2. hk

      I wonder if they meant “the other Russia,” of the Ostruppen who fought in Normandy….for the other guys. They’ll fit in nicely with the “Russian dissidents” that NATO has been sending via Ukrainian proxies to commit terrorist acts.

    1. Wukchumni

      …does the home office in Big Eavesdrop, Utah know about this?

      What else could it mean other than a shutdown of the media as the war really gets going?

      Look at our pathetic back-up sources of news other than the internet, last time I saw a daily LA Times of the old school hold in your hands model, it was 28 pages long and advertisers avoided being in it like the plague.

      …got Ham Radio?

      1. Joe Renter

        I do. WA6SUQ. Well, that was in high school. But I still have a qrp CW transceiver with 3 watts of power! Which is enough. Ham radio has changed a lot since the 70’s.

        1. Thistlebreath

          Totally. We got our licenses as part of qualifying for a large animal evacuation volunteer unit for during wildland fire events. During natural disasters, cell service vanishes like spit on a hot griddle.

          “Elmers” are helpful, generous seasoned operators and they are around to help newcomers get started. FB has a great group of them. And by all means find a local ARRL ham club. They are remarkably jerk/weenie free. Those don’t last.

          We did a one day ‘cram and test’ class that was outstanding. We both passed. Highly recommend.

    2. digi_owl

      Frankly this seems to just make official what NSA has been doing for decades already, and what brought Snowden into the limelight in the first place.

      Basically they have dedicated rooms of intercept equipment set up at every tier one internet provider in USA, scarfing up everything that passed across the fibers.

    3. Kouros

      Does it have extrateritoriality? I don’t think so.

      As such, it is the Americans problem to face, I say.

  17. ChrisFromGA

    TNX at 4.70 and rising. Are we going to get our UK-style budget crisis moment? Can we get that lettuce meme back for Mike Johnson?

        1. Wukchumni

          ‘Mesclun Mike’ is a mix of baby green Congressman, tossed from obscurity. Goes well with Russian dressing.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            A second GOP congressman announced that they’ll join Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s MTV effort:


            Time to run out to the grocery store and pick up a head of lettuce, set up a web cam, and wait.

            PS – a little find on twitter – even if the Ukraine aid bill comes up, it is reduced from $61B to $48B, and most of the money is just to replenish stocks in the US.


            1. Wukchumni

              It’s not the same thing the second time around in motions to vacate, in what essentially sounds like a grandiose foreclosure notice, tacked on the door of the Speaker.

        2. The Rev Kev

          I bet that ‘Muh Kevin’ isn’t looking so bad anymore. That is an achievement in itslef.

          1. Wukchumni

            Since the divorce was finalized and this being a no-fault state in such matters, California was relieved to see him go rather than have him suffer through premature election recalculation by running to be just another Congressman, and not Speaker of the House anymore.

            We don’t see each other anymore, not that we ever did, the few town hall meetings of his here, he was nowhere to be seen, his 30 something sharp young aids did all the talking.

            The idea that Johnson was what the Pachyderm Party’s 5th or 6th attempt to find somebody to fill in Kev’s shoes, anybody!

            American politics is plain broken.

            1. Pat

              I actually appreciate the Republican version of broken more than the Democratic version. Is anyone looking forward to a Speaker Jeffries? And lord knows I wasn’t happy with the last two iterations of Speaker Pelosi, especially as there was not even faux pushback to the agenda from the so-called progressives. At least there is some drama and some citizen approved dissent of the Republican leaders.
              The only escapees from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers is on that side.

              1. Wukchumni

                I prefer the 435 so assembled play Congressional Power Ball lottery, where 1* of them is the lucky ‘winner’ of the post of being the new Speaker of the House, Congratulations (fill in here)!

                * Winning number can claim retirement as a reason for not fulfilling their office, offer void in Idaho.

                1. Pat

                  Oooh ooh ooh, can it be rigged, so we can rid Congress of the most annoying in three to six months sections. Just think if Pelosi had retired in 2007…

                2. ex-PFC Chuck

                  The speaker does not have to be a member of the House. Per Wikipedia:

                  The Constitution does not explicitly require the speaker to be an incumbent member of the House of Representatives, although every speaker thus far has been, and as a member the speaker also represents their district and retains the right to vote.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “What will Chinese police officers do in Hungary? Here is the government’s answer”

    Happens all the time and police exchange program go on all around the world and have for decades. Back in the late 70s when I lived in Sydney, I was walking along the streets in central Sydney when I spotted two cops that weren’t NSW cops but American cops. They looked like something out of Adam-12 and it was interesting to compare the uniforms of both police forces side by side. All that was missing was a black and white cruiser.

  19. Mikel

    “AI Job Cuts: Banks Reportedly Eye Cutting Analyst Classes by Two-Thirds” Business Insider

    Because even an algorithm can chant “AI, AI…” to pump asset prices.

  20. Wukchumni

    Humbly Report, Sir

    Not every man can have wisdom, Švejk pronounces. Stupid people have to exist too, because if everyone were wise then there would be so much good sense in the world that every other person would be driven crazy by it.

    …from The Good Soldier Švejk

    1. Joe Renter

      I read that book last year. One of the most interesting books I have come across. Svelk defected to the Russians, which is a kicker. Always appreciate a contrarian.

  21. Carolinian

    Still more Patrick Lawrence

    And elsewhere in Scheerpost, the silence of Amal.

    Why have Clooney and her foundation shown little to no interest in Palestine (or Lebanon)? Firstly, the CFJ is sponsored primarily by large liberal institutions, such as the Ford Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and foreign sources like the German and Swedish Postcode Lotteries, none of whom have shown any interest in pro-Palestine activism.

    Moreover, Clooney herself has close connections to many in the Democratic Party establishment, including some of the most hardcore pro-Israel zealots anywhere. In 2016, she and her husband hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton with Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban at their mansion. Tickets for the event cost $34,000 each.

    Saban is one of America’s most influential political donors but considers himself a “one-issue guy.” “And my issue is Israel,” he once said. He has also called for “higher scrutiny” of Muslim Americans, suggesting they are a threat to the country’s security, and branded Muslim-American Democrats such as Keith Ellison “anti-semites.” Clinton, who describes herself as an “emphatic, unwavering supporter” of Israel, wrote Saban an open letter promising to stamp out the spread of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement by any means necessary.

    Perhaps Americans should become one issue guys and gals on genocide and call out the Clooneys. A very perceptive link here the other day said the key to being in the overclass is to present the appearance of innocence even while boosting those who commit the crimes. Example: “the most moral army in the world.” This often works when the public is not paying enough attention.

  22. Mikel

    “Sources deny Saudi Arabia’s participation in intercepting Iranian attacks on Israel” Arab News

    Monarchies gotta monarch…their investments in the West are vast.

    1. Feral Finster

      Bears repeating, please forgive. Given a choice between Palestine, or their own people and keeping the Americans happy, the gulfie tyrannies will choose the Americans.
      Every. Single. Time.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘Greek journalists launch 24-hour strike over low wages’

    If American journalists went on strike, would anybody even care? After all the psyops that they have done for years going back? Back in the 90s journalist still had a fairly good reputation but right now it is the same as used-car salesmen and politicians. Check out this tweet showing their mentality and listen to that short video-

    ‘m o d e r n i t y
    At a discussion titled ‘Defending Truth,’ the WSJ editor-in-chief admitted to #Davos2024 #WorldEconomicForum elites that the legacy media no longer ‘own the news’, lamenting “We were the gatekeepers, and we very much owned the facts as well.” Report here:…’

    (37 sec video)

    1. Feral Finster

      Most Americans journalists could be replaced with ChatGPT trained to parrot Team D talking points and nobody would know the difference.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Katie Couric slammed as ‘out of touch’ for claiming Trump’s MAGA driven by ‘anti-intellectualism’ ”

    I’m sorry, but whenever I see Katie Couric I cannot help but think of the unit of measurement named after her, even if it is fictional based on something in her past. But if you think that she is out of touch, look who she was talking to – Bill Maher of all people. Very recently he gave his take on young people and it was bizarre. Here is the Due Dissidence guys talking about what he said with clips included- (10:30 mins)

  25. Grumpy Engineer

    Gah. The Electrek headline on California was terrible. Instead of reading “California exceeds 100% of energy demand with renewables over a record 30 days“, it should have read “During each of the last 30 days, renewable energy supply briefly exceeded electric demand.

    In fairness, though, the article was a little more accurate, with Lewis quoting Mark Jacobson during a moment of unusual candor, “Jacobson notes that supply exceeds demand for ‘0.25-6 h per day,’ and that’s an important fact.

    Lewis and Jacobson seem to be celebrating this “30 days with excess”, but it’s not a success. It’s a failure. The reason is that when renewable supply exceeds demand, grid operators orders a subset of renewable energy asset operators to curtail production, i.e., turn off their equipment. This is a wasted opportunity to generate energy, and it does nothing to offset the CO2 emissions from the gas turbines that presumably ran ’14-23.75 h per day’ during those record 30 days to keep the grid up.

    This waste could have been avoided with enough energy storage capacity, but California has deployed less than 15% of what they need, per [And I strongly suspect the California Energy Commission has underestimated what will truly be required for a 100% renewable grid.]

    And heavy curtailments in California during March and April aren’t new, as seen at Hmmm… I wonder if they’re still paying renewable energy asset owners during periods of curtailment for energy they could have produced but were ordered not to. Such payments reduce the arguments (and lawsuits) about who gets curtailed, but the monies for such payments ultimately come out of people’s electric bills. Which means that more curtailments cause bigger power bills. Ouch.

    1. digi_owl

      Speaking of storage, CATL, out of China, was recently showing off a all in one container sized Lithium-Iron unit for grid storage usage.

  26. .Tom

    > Effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines to prevent long COVID: data from Norway Lancet (ma)

    Very interesting data.

    How does an American with a by-the-book GP who works in a large teaching hospital learn about what vac to get and on what schedule?

    1. IM Doc

      As has become usual, I would be very careful with the interpretation of this study.

      This was presented at a journal club where I was in attendance a few days ago. It was clear from the discussion that many of the audience members were trying to reconcile the purported results with what they were seeing in their own practices. I certainly am and so many others are seeing long COVID way more often in the multiply vaxxed. A big problem with the study is also a big problem in the real world – what do we count as long COVID? What are the critieria? That is really important.

      But the real problems start when we look at the methods section. There are literally millions of patients in this study – there is no way that actual human eyes are looking over these charts to make certain the computer records are correct in their determination of vaccination status. There is complete dependence on the EMR and registry systems being completely accurate. Those of us who use these systems daily know that trust is not earned. They describe that “vaccination” means you have received at least one dose. But very peculiar is the vaccination status outlined in the cohorts. Most interesting is what is described as “Cohort 1” – in the methods section described as those who are 75 and older. In this cohort there are 197,174 individuals identified as being vaccinated. 224,223 individuals being unvaccinated.

      That is a literal full stop. Something is going on in the cohort selection that is not being explained. The 75 and up cohort in vaccinated Western countries has well over 90% vaccination rates, likely above 95%. Remember – their criteria was at least 1 dose. There may indeed be 224 000 individuals that are unvaxxed and older than 75 in Western countries – but the proportional vaccinated patients in that cohort would be in the millions – BUT IT IS ACTUALLY LESS THAN THE UNVAXXED. Similar issues are found in the other 3 cohorts. But Cohort 1 is the most dramatic.

      There is a throw away line in the methods section that is an eyebrow raiser – if not a knee slapper – Unvaccinated people can be included in different cohorts and contribute to event counts multiple times. Ummm, OK.

      This study is extremely poorly done, or at least poorly explained. It comes to conclusions that those of us in the real world seem to not be seeing – that is the first red flag. The second red flag, as an IRB experienced individual, is the seeming manipulation of the cohorts that is not explained. I have seen decades of this in all kinds of ways. The multiple ways numbers can be manipulated is just staggering.

      Again, I have experience – and I can see right through these problems. The vast majority of people who are litigating these issues based on headlines on Twitter are in a different world.

      I really do grieve at what has become of our discourse of these very complicated studies. And the fact that our journals and mass media are just transmitting headlines. Not even basic attempts to separate the wheat from the chaff are being done. This is going on in all kinds of medical studies these days – not just COVID. Any new expensive drug is handled this way. Very concerning.

      1. britzklieg

        Thanks Doc. I have often questioned the validity of the endless studies offered up “proving” the “vaccine” to be beneficial and suggesting it protects people from all manner of things but not being a pro I can only use logic and the slippery slope of statistics to make my point. Your voice resonates with insight, experience and wisdom by contrast.

        And now Topol writes about a new gene based version with “less” mRNA and “fewer” side effects… well, at least he vicariously admits to the “side effects” which have been roundly dismissed by the pro-mRNA industry and its cheerleaders.

  27. The Rev Kev

    “What you need to know about the Iranian attack on Israel but will not find in your mainstream news provider”

    Here is what you really need to know. For decades Israel has been bombing countries both near and far. In the past few months alone they have been bombing Gaza, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. And if those countries thought about retaliating, Israel told them that if they did so, that they would be hit harder. Well those days are coming to an end. Iran just bombed them and if the Israelis try to bomb Iran, then the Iranians have the capability to hit them much harder. And think about this. For donkey’s years we have heard how Israel was this mighty power and their superb Iron Dome protecting them which gave them impunity. And yet, in spite of having advanced warning and the military might of the US, UK, Jordan and any number of other countries helping them, those missiles still got through. There were two runways that were hit from over a thousand kilometers with pinpoint accuracy. In a real war those runways would have been out of commission and the Israelis know it. The times they are a changing.

    1. ilsm

      “Repairing runways” is normal kit for most forward bases. In Vietnam and north Thailand VC rockets cratered runways all the time and the engineers had them up in hours.

    2. Polar Socialist

      What I just read from several sources is that today Hezbollah hit an Iron Dome radar station in the north with pretty modern stealth-y drones that apparently had anti-radiation seeker heads tuned into the Iron Dome frequencies. If that’s true, the next round will be way more costly for Israel than the previous one.

      At least according to the Iranian sources they now have constructed a map of Israel’s air defenses and all the frequencies it uses etc

    3. Albe Vado

      The accuracy part I’m not sure about. There seem to have been no reported casualties. Important bases were hit, but nothing major inside those bases seems to have been damaged or destroyed. Was this intentional?

      Either Iranian accuracy is very good and they intentionally didn’t hit anything significant because the purpose was a warning: “we can get through your defenses and hit stuff that matters if we choose too. Tonight we restrained ourselves”. Or they have the range and firepower, but accuracy is an issue, and they just didn’t hit anything valuable.

      Either way, you can be sure that for Iran this was also a large scale real-world test. I’m sure they learned all kinds of valuable stuff that they’ll integrate into both tactical practice and future R&D. I’d say the same for the NATO side, but they don’t seem to have been learning anything after two years in Ukraine, or against the Houthis.

    4. edgui

      It is clear. A war against Iran, hand in hand with the US and its allies, is the only possibility for Israel to continue to exercise its role of “domination in innocence”. It is a card that the US is hardly willing to lose in the midst of such a decisive region, since Israel can practically do almost anything with little consequence, as we have seen so far. But the election worries Biden. And the last thing Americans want is another war in the Middle East. So, at least until the presidential election is held, Bibi will hardly get a casus belli of sufficient weight for the United States. Who knows, it could always be worse. This should also be understood.

  28. Wukchumni

    Disneyland cracks down on free disability access service abused by park guests SFGate

    I’d long wondered if Joe Biden was acting so goofy on purpose, but you don’t want to just throw that sort of allegation around willy-nilly, no sir.

    Hunter is in SoCal when not sequestered in the White House, and was it all an act to allow the Biden family to get disability access service when visiting the Magic Kingdom?

  29. Tom Stone

    One dificulty in trying to predict what the Biden Administration will do either domestically or overseas is its tendency to ignore any norms of behavior.
    Any restraint is likely to be imposed by oligarchs concerned about $400 per barrel oil or companies like Apple that depend on good relations with China.

    1. Wukchumni

      Like most, i’ve yet to buy a barrel of oil because it contains all sorts of unrefined stuff, but have lots of experience in gallons that are refined and elegant at what they do.

      $10 a gallon gas would really do in large parts of the economy, and we’re halfway there! (Cali prices-relax homies, I know its cheaper where you live)

  30. Louis Fyne

    >>>What you need to know about the Iranian attack on Israel but will not find in your mainstream news provider Gilbert Doctorow

    Gilbert didn’t talk about the (alleged) Mossad listening post in the Golan Heights.

    The report of the Mossad target came straight from the Iranian equivalent of China’s “Global Times”—so it should be reasonably plausible?

    If anyone has a EU Sentinel satellite photo account, you can look up the place yourself— just due east of the Mt Hermon ski resort at the edge of Israeli territory. I assume that if there was a publicly accessible sat. photo of a big crater on Mt Hermon, it would’ve gone viral among the Twitter geopolitical punditsרכבל%E2%80%AD/@33.3161757,35.7814914,5838m/data

  31. Mikel

    “IMF Steps Up Its Warning to US Over Spending and Ballooning Debt” Bloomberg.

    The IMF can go jump in a lake of fire. Not one mention of ballooning military aid to warmongering countries and war budgeting in general.
    Sounds alot like “cut your domestic spending and throw it at Israel instead.”

  32. XXYY

    Hey Yves. Sorry to hear about your court experience. Very few things can be more stressful and make one feel more helpless than being in court.

    I ended up representing myself in Superior Court a few years ago after being unable to find a lawyer to represent me, and it’s something I will never forget. I had a relatively friendly judge, but even so I was petrified and spent the entire hearing feeling like I was in the grip of forces I didn’t fully understand. But at the same time of course, one must put on a strong face.

    My sympathies to you in your hour of need! I’m sure everyone here is pulling for you.

  33. John Merryman

    Haven’t read the article on liberals having higher IQ, but feel compelled to quote Robert Frost;
    “If you are not liberal when you are young, you have no heart, but if you are not conservative when you are old, you have no head.”

    1. Laura in So Cal

      I started to read the article, then started skimming, then gave up. But the assumption seemed to be that your political inclinations don’t change which is just silly. I was very conservative as a young adult (the Reagan years) and have become more liberal ( although my views aren’t consistent and depend on the issue). My husband was much more liberal as a young adult and has become more conservative with age but again, it depends on the specific issue. We’ve almost met in the miiddle.

    2. Revenant

      That was not Frost. Nor Churchill.

      I always thought it was Shaw but the internet tells me it was a French writer, Edmund Batbie, in a paraphrased form in the 19th C.

  34. Ignacio

    On the self amplifying vaccine:

    Self-amplifying RNA COVID-19 vaccine Cell. See Eric Topol: Approved in Japan, this self-amplifying Covid vaccine that uses much lower doses of mRNA, with less side-effects and potential longer duration of efficacy, is a better template than current mRNA shots (Dr. Kevin)

    The two links provided there go to the same paywalled article in Cell. Within the links in that paper there are two papers by Y. Oda et al on a clinical trial in Japan with about 900 participants of which half were vaccinated with the new ARCT-154 vaccine and the other half with Pfizer’s. BNT-etc. They claim no severe adverse events where seen but later in the same paragraph you find the following ” One severe adverse event, a case of abnormal hepatic function in the ARCT-154 group, was considered to be related to study vaccine.”

    If one in about 450 healthy participants is showing a severe adverse event that doesn’t qualify as rare. I would think that this grants further safety studies before vaccine approval. The problem as usual with Covid vaccines is that the Spike protein has proven problematic. For instance, Circulating spike protein may contribute to myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. In the ARCT-154 group they didn’t detect myocarditis but one should check this with more vaccine recipients and for longer times to analyse the risk of this outcome. From the second paper I deduct they conducted the trial for only about 180 days.

    What they claim is an advantage,: expression of the Spike protein for longer times, can be a disadvantage in many cases if this results in higher risks of serious adverse effects. You have a protein circulating (for too long?) that is able to bind ACE2 receptors in the recipient (possibly causing dysfunctions) and that mimics other host proteins, the chances of autoimmune problems might be higher.

    Yet as per the results of the second article the vaccine based on the Wuhan original strain are barely effective and many got infected during the short time the trial lasted. They only focus on Nabs titres (learnt that from Pfizer) and IMO this is a poor analysis with bad efficacy results to grant approval. Pfizer’s efforts to lower the bar on safety and efficacy have been successful and will extend to any new product.

    So, yes, lower doses, etc but the problem remains the same, and with a little bit of bad luck some might come worse.

    Aren’t the Japanese trying to run too fast with the approval of this vaccine?

    1. Art Vandalay

      Thank you, Ignacio, for your analysis. I greatly appreciate your sharing your expertise with all of us across the years of Covid.

    2. Acacia

      Thanks, Ignacio, for the heads up on this.

      Manufacturing of ARCT-154 will be in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture:

      Minamisoma is one of the “decontaminated” areas near the Fukushima Daiichi NPP. The factory for vaccine manufacture is part of the ”Fukushima Innovation Coast Framework” (FIPO), i.e., to support reconstruction of an area that was heavily impacted by the 3/11 disaster. The manufacturing facility was likely sited there to take advantage of government subsidies under FIPO (which, incidentally, figure into Hamaguchi Ryusuke’s new film Evil Does Not Exist).

  35. Marc

    The Biden Administration’s fairy tale about Israel and Iran. What world are they living in and if things went so well why is Congress about to transfer billions more aid on Friday?

    “ISRAEL CAN NAME ITS PRICE’: The surprisingly spectacular defeat of Iran’s weekend attack on Israel has both embarrassed Tehran and strengthened Israel’s hand significantly, argue Biden administration officials and former U.S. commanders.

    “Before yesterday, it was presumed that 100 ballistic missiles might overwhelm even the best defensive systems. That was Iran’s intent,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said at yesterday’s White House briefing. “It didn’t work. … There was virtually no infrastructure damage to Israel.”

    “So, let’s be straight. Given the scale of this attack, Iran’s intent was clearly to cause significant destruction and casualties. Iranian leaders launched so many missiles and other munitions because they knew that many were going to be defeated, but the aim was to get as many of them through Israel’s defenses as possible,” Kirby said. “This attack failed because it was defeated by Israel, by the United States, and by a coalition of other partners committed to Israel’s defense.”

    “Israel today is in a far stronger strategic position than it was only a few days ago. Iran’s vaunted missile program, something it has used to threaten Israel in the region, proved to be far less effective,” Kirby concluded.

    “Israel can name its price right now. And that’s a very heady position to be in,” retired Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the former top U.S. commander in the region, said on CBS on Sunday. “But it’s also a position that calls for exercise of strategic restraint and a view to the long term. And Israel has an opportunity here, I think, to demonstrate that and to seize the diplomatic initiative really in an arena where they struggled to do it over the past few months.”

    1. John Merryman

      It seems an effort to give Israel a way out.
      The thought that comes to mind, is if the states in the region and the US are truly motivated to prevent escalation, would they actively block Israeli retaliation? Say some Israeli jets malfunction over Iraq.

    2. Pat

      Amazing what shifting 90 degrees does to perspective. See I was looking at one country able to launch hundreds of drones and a few more expensive missiles. So successfully that despite the efforts of the target and four other nations managed to get ten percent (lowest estimate) of them passed one of the reported best missile defense systems in the world, and to still cause measurable damage. In fact the target nation used a great deal of their very expensive anti missile armaments, reports vary how much it depleted their stocks. The cost to the single nation is reportedly less than 100 million. The cost to the target nation and friends is estimated in the high nine figures. The target nation, who instigated the attack by their internationally criminal act of bombing a consulate in a third nation, was making strong noises of retaliation.

      So Iran had provocation, actually measured their attack, supposedly gave warnings to reduce casualties, spent far less and is more fully capable of producing the weapons they used. Israel is dependent on another nation for both funding and much of their armaments, the defense is impossible to repeat on any continuing basis both fiscally and from an ability to restock, and it has little or no diplomatic standing which will drop even further if they retaliate in any manner, especially if they continue to both block aid and assasinate aid workers in their illegally occupied territory in their ongoing genocide.

      It isn’t even a fairy tale, it is flat out delusional.

    3. Polar Socialist

      If Israel is so invincible, one wonders where is their response strike…? Some Iranian sources are claiming that US asked Iran to allow Israel “a symbolic strike” to “save face”.

      Also one couldn’t be blamed for thinking that if Iran gave a warning three days in advance of when and where it was going to strike – and still succeeded – it might have not been aiming to “cause significant destruction and casualties”.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The Trump White House also once asked for “a symbolic strike”, even if it was a garden shed in the middle of backwoods Iran but Iran refused permission.

  36. spud

    lambert, Alexis de Tocqueville was a woodrew wilson type.

    “Alexis de Tocqueville is a case in point. Tocqueville, who is almost synonymous with liberalism, democracy, and individual rights in the US, is known to be an apologist for colonisation and white settlers in North Africa.

    Writing Democracy in America in 1835 made him a hero of sorts, with streets, hedge funds, and restaurants named after him across the US. In the classroom, he is taught as a classic, timeless thinker in many comparative politics and political theory syllabi. His praised work on democracy, however, was built on the twin practice of glorifying democracy in a white-settler society – the US – and defending a French-led total war against North Africans in their own territories.

    Tocqueville was not just a theorist with a knack for travel; he was a member of parliament from 1839 to 1851 and was briefly French foreign minister during the Second Republic in 1849. When the French government and its elites were debating the merits of domination as opposed to partial colonisation of Algeria, Tocqueville wrote, in his 1841, Essay on Algeria, an unequivocal endorsement of a full-on colonisation. His thoughts on the merits of democracy and individual liberties clearly did not extend to North African natives.

    Tocqueville’s plan to subjugate Algerians and replace the population with European settlers included several concrete steps. He contended that the second-most important step in the conquest “after the interdiction of commerce, is to ravage the country”. As he further explained, “I believe that the right of war authorises us to ravage the country and that we must do it, either by destroying harvests during the harvest season, or year-round by making those rapid incursions called razzias, whose purpose is to seize men or herds.”

    If this savage policy recommendation was not clear enough, he reiterated in bullet points the necessity to “destroy everything that resembles a permanent aggregation of population or, in other words, a town.” The essay is littered with Orientalist views on nomads, on Islam, on the uncivilised Africans, and the trigger-happy Arabs. Tocqueville’s most stubborn recommendation comes in repeating throughout the text that “until we have a European population in Algeria, we shall never establish ourselves there (in Africa) but shall remain camped on the African coast. Colonisation and war, therefore, must proceed together.””

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