Links 5/26/2024

We Used to Think Everybody Heard a Voice Inside Their Heads – But We Were Wrong Science Alert

The Closing of the Internet Mind Zero Sum

Modular mobile ASTRA Bridge lets highway traffic fly over roadwork New Atlas

Notice Of Absence – Update: Change of Plans Moon of Alabama. To a speedy recovery.


The Largest Ice Shelf in Antarctica Is Behaving Oddly SciTech Daily

Metal mobilization from thawing permafrost to aquatic ecosystems is driving rusting of Arctic streams Communications: Earth & Environment

Sinking Town Granta ‘The reality of state capitalism is that it spreads devastation and calls it development.’


Indonesia increases vigilance following spike in Covid-19 cases in Singapore The Star

Patients who went to hospital for one thing, then died of Covid will never be known according to SA Health as records were never kept The Advertiser

Another pandemic is ‘absolutely inevitable’, says Patrick Vallance The Guardian. Commentary:

Bird flu detected in beef tissue for first time, USDA says, but beef is safe to eat AP


Biden courts Kenya for regional politics, and Haiti intervention Responsible Statecraft


China property: ‘underwhelming’ stimulus to fall short of refloating market amid sunken buyer confidence, analysts say South China Morning Post


US, China defence chiefs to meet following Taiwan tension Channel News Asia

The US defense secretary will visit Cambodia, one of China’s closest allies, after regional talks AP


After Mossad chief’s trip, Israeli official says hostage talks to resume next week The Times of Israel

Hamas denies Israeli reports of resumption of talks Tuesday: Exclusive Al Mayadeen

A Society So Indifferent to Death and Destruction Has Already Lost the War Haaretz


Hamas armed wing says its fighters have killed, captured Israeli soldiers in Gaza Middle East Eye. Commentary:


‘No personnel will enter Gaza,’ says US after four vessels run aground Al Mayadeen


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman accepts invitation to Iran bne Intellinews

European Disunion

Europe still unsure over US plan on Russian assets to pay for Ukraine Politico EU

Hungary slows down EU arms initiative for Ukraine funded by frozen Russian assets – the FT Ukrayinska Pravda

Germany’s authoritarian turn Unherd

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine attacked key element of Russia’s nuclear umbrella — Russian senator RT

Strike On Russian Strategic Early Warning Radar Site Is A Big Deal The War Zone

Russia strikes crowded Kharkiv DIY store in deadly attack Euronews


French Press Leaks Footage of Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Military Units Training in France: Controversy Surrounding Azov Units Rises Military Watch

Mainstream media IGNORING Boris Johnson hosting Ukraine neo-Nazi unit in parliament The Canary


WION, Indian global broadcaster, discusses Putin’s latest proposal for a ceasefire Gilbert Doctorow

Ukraine Starts Freeing Some Prisoners to Join Its Military New York Times

Russo-Ukrainian War: Widening the Front Big Serge Thought

Betting on Armageddon Tarik Cyril Amar, The Ninth Wave

Stop The Bullshit Matt Taibbi, Racket News

Old Blighty

Sunak promises to bring back national service for 18-year-olds The Guardian

South of the Border

This Instagram star might soon be mayor of one of Mexico’s wealthiest cities Rest of World

Groves of Academe

Manchester University is now OCCUPIED by students in latest escalation over Israel’s genocide in Gaza The Canary


Hunter Biden’s laptop was denied, disparaged, censored — now it’s evidence of a crime New York Post


Trump promises Libertarians a cabinet slot — and to free a notorious drug kingpin SEMAFOR


Clinton says women abandoned her because she wasn’t ‘perfect’ The Hill


Here Come the Russians, Again Mother Jones

Realignment and Legitimacy



‘It’s so complicated:’ Boeing Starliner teams diagnosing helium leak ahead of June 1 astronaut launch

China’s Comac poised to rise on Boeing’s downfall Asia Times


Activision and Meta sued by families of Uvalde school shooting victims The Verge


What the Toxic Morality of Crowdfunded Healthcare Says About American Society Literary Hub

Americans Are Paying Billions to Take Drugs That Don’t Work Mad in America

More Newborns are Being Diagnosed With Syphilis as Adult Cases Continue Dramatic Rise Science-Based Medicine

The Jackpot

Dual impact of extreme heat and Covid-19 had ‘deadly consequences’ for UK Carbon Brief

Our Famously Free Press

This Hedge Fund Wants to Save Investigative Journalism — By Using It to Game the Market Politico

Sports Desk

Meet the Private Equity Firm Squeezing America for Baseball Stadium Subsidies Boondoggle

Private Equity is Ruining My Weekends Discourse Blog

The Bezzle

Feds add nine more incidents to Waymo robotaxi investigation TechCrunch

Guillotine Watch

Entering the ‘amenities arms race’ at luxury apartments: IV drips and Botox without having to leave your home Fortune

Class Warfare

The first national calculation of mortality of the US homeless population Centre for Economic Policy Research

Accusing Mercedes of ‘Wanton Lawlessness,’ UAW Seeks New Alabama Vote Common Dreams

A New Leaf Atmos

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Clinton says women abandoned her because she wasn’t ‘perfect’ ”

    Well I am now officially gobstoped. The outstanding characteristic of Hillary’s campaign was the groundswell of female support for her and they were everywhere. Some joked that they supported her so much so that when she would be elected President, that they could go back to brunch. Magazine covers were ready to print with her image and the text “Madame president'”. And the night she lost there were endless images and videos of girls and women crying outside that center at their loss and in the coming months you had the pink pussyhat movement to show that she still had their loyalty.

    And now she turns around and blames them for her losing.

      1. Michaelmas

        Hillary is an incompetent psychopath.

        Not least in being unable to hide it even when all TPTB are running interference for her.

        1. Kara

          Go to X, used to be Twitter, and search for “Hillary Clinton”.

          You will see hundreds of videos and links to old main stream media articles about her that never appear on search results today, or have been memory holed.

          That woman personifies the end of The Enlightenment.

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            Maybe we should call ” not-Twitter-anymore” by the name TwiXtter, so as to remember the old name Twitter AND the new name X at the same time.

    1. griffen

      Make it Stop. At least Al Gore finally got onto doing something with his life …okay that includes an Emmy I believe and a highly profitable, lengthy stint on the board of Apple..

      Below is sung to the chorus of a “90’s classic” by Vanilla Ice…

      You lost baby
      You lost the ladies..
      Make it Stop baby
      Go away for good, dear lady..

      1. Randall Flagg

        I think of the refrain for “Loser” , by Beck

        Soy un perdedor
        I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?
        (Double-barrel buckshot)
        Soy un perdedor
        I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?

        1. britzklieg

          Just a few tweeks to the lyrics and voilà (apologies to John Lennon)!

          I’m a loser
          I’m a loser
          And I’m not what I appear to be

          Of all the votes I have won and have lost
          There is one race I should never have crossed
          He was a jerk with a billion, my friend
          I should have known he would win in the end

          Although I laugh and I act like a clown
          Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown
          My tears are falling like rain from the sky
          It is for me and myself that I cry

          What have I done to deserve such a fate?
          Self awareness, for me, isn’t great
          And so it’s true, pride comes before a fall
          I’m telling you hoping to be re-installed

    2. Neutrino

      Deep, deep, deep in that reptilian brain she harbors delusions of being invited, nay, demanded, even anointed to become the next President. Only she can overcome the obstacles, triangulate and, well you get the idea. Barf.

      Somebody in that trusted inner circle tell her to go away and find a hobby. And take Chelsea and Bill, too.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Bill kept some talent here and there, but both seek out less talented loyalists to raise up. Bill wanted henchmen, but Hillary wanted reassurance of her divine rights.

        There isn’t any loyalist capable of telling Hillary anything other than “Hail Mother…”

        1. griffen

          By talent I will infer you mean talented individuals…like say Bob Rubin for one. And who can forget or miss the Ragin Cajun Jimmy Carville. “Geaux Tigers”

          Otherwise, Bill kept some talent… On the side here and on the side elsewhere. Sure does seems like he did that, frequently it appears. By their deeds we shall know them.

      2. Just days so

        Barf is right. Everybody but herself is responsible for her loosing. And meanwhile she makes the rounds on any show that will invite her. Her reply to people liking neither Biden or Trump, “Get over it.” Such a peach. She is 100% O D I OUS. I long for the day when I’ll no longer have to suffer hearing her clipped, imperious, patrician tone as she LIES, lies, and lies. God I’d hate to have to listen to what goes on in her tiny, tiny all-self involved mind of hers.

      3. steppenwolf fetchit

        Somebody could tell her that, but could they make her do it? If some trusted person within the inner circle told her that, some trusted person would be cast immediately out of the inner circle.

        I hope she hands around for decades to come, stenching and stenching and stenching. Maybe that will finally be enough to discredit Clintonism . . . . at least at the esthetic level.

    3. Pat

      It has taken almost eight years, but more and more people have begun to realize that the preferred excuse that Russia stole it is a lie. And since Hillary Clinton cannot fail but can only be failed she has to find someone to blame. I am sure if you dig down there will be some aspect of stupid deplorable women being the crux of her woman problem, but honestly I cannot wander through the huge piles of manure that she spews on this. And every other subject.

      She was a terrible choice, a terrible candidate, along with being arrogant and incompetent. She will never admit that it was her job to convince the a portion of the almost half of the American population who knew her, disliked her and possibly even hated her that they were wrong she could and would represent them not just ignore them. It wasn’t just that she couldn’t do it, she didn’t even try. All of this is the reality of why she lost. She will die thinking she was a victim, because she cannot face she was a failure of her own design.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s more problematic. Robbie Mook had convinced everyone the election was a wrap due to trends, four or five data points. Instead of even trying to campaign, they simply ramped up the protection racket scheme, the Clinton Global Initiative.

        Hillary did great with the 55 and up crowd relative to previous Dems, but her numbers with transient types now 35 and under were appalling, largely because she invested in paying off MSNBC and others instead of making sure people with questionable registration were properly registered.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I recall that before the election that there was a claim that Hillary would win with 99% of the vote. If this was what she was hearing, then perhaps that she felt that she did not have to campaign in parts of the country where she needed their vote and so could stick to places like California and New York. That is was not so much an election but a coronation. I still think that one day that there is a great play to be written about her and her inner circle on election night where it starts off with euphoria and ends in her getting drunk.

          1. Benny Profane

            The NYT ran a little box on the front page during the late summer up to election proclaiming that she had something like an 85% to 10% lead most of the time. Boy, were they wrong. It was like snatching an ice cream cone out of the hands of blue team that night, and tossing it on the pavement.

        2. Skip Intro

          And part of that ‘inevitability meme’ was the silencing of anyone who questioned it. David Brock’s ‘Million Troll Army’ and crypto-apparatchiks like Kos assured aggressive embubblement and gaslighting that set the stage for Russiagate. This problem solving approach — silence critics and double down on feigned confidence, continues to this day, in most policy areas.

          And they are still looking at national poll leads and ignoring electoral college requirements.

      2. Milton

        It has taken almost eight years, but more and more people have begun to realize that the preferred excuse that Russia stole it is a lie.

        I wish the above was true but from my vantage point; where most of my family and acquaintances seem to fall under the PMC label, there is no doubt that Russians hacked and strongly influenced the 2016 election and that they are gearing up for a reprise.
        I can casually walk by any of their TV programs and keywords like “Russian Disinfo” and “Putin-directed” and “Kremlin Election Meddling” are still being banded about. After all, it was “proven” that Russia’s 70k in social media spending stirred the passions of normally undecided voters to vote Nihilistically against their self-interest by opting for Trump.

        1. Pat

          I can absolutely be wrong, but part of the fallout from Ukraine’s losing becoming increasingly obvious and the disintegration of the Israel as victim meme I am hearing more and more questions about the acceptable version of events which have always been riddled with holes. I still hear a lot of the Trump will destroy everything but even the trials are getting pushback in my day to day deep blue city eavesdropping.

          Since I want people to reject the propaganda I could be grasping at straws, but I really am hearing more and more pushback.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        Of her own design?!!!??? Do you mean to suggest that she had something to do with her lackeys contacting friends in the corporate media asking them to promote Trump over other republican candidates in the belief that the big Cheeto would be easier for her to beat?!? Who could possibly believe such a thing?

        Next you’ll be telling me she’s nothing but a shrieking harridan and not the philosopher queen we’ve all been waiting for, to rule over us with beneficence and loving grace.

      4. inchbyinch

        It wasn’t only the voters who despised Clinton, but I’ve learned that even those bullets fired at her by snipers in Bosnia, back in 1996, didn’t want to penetrate her. Not a single shell regretted missing her. You’re really a lousy person when even bullets don’t want to hit you.

      5. Victor Sciamarelli

        I think we’re missing the worst thing about HRC. That is, by offering misinformation as an explanation for 2016, she prevented a broad understanding of what actually happened in order to preserve her place, and others like her, at the top of the DP.
        I give her this much, she won the popular vote by millions and one can argue the Electoral College is overdue for a change.
        But HRC doesn’t merely believe in elite rule, she believes in meritocracy, and as she arrived at the top, she must have deserved it.
        As an elite, she never realized that it was crucial she sit alone and think, and comprehend how and why Trump eliminated the entire RP field, and Sanders won 23 primary states, and both candidates spoke to passionate enthusiastic crowds.
        Though there was plenty of evidence, she never figured out that 2016 was not a typical liberal DP verses conservative RP election. It was something new, and it’s still with us, in that both conservatives and progressive liberals had come to hate the establishment elites because they failed the country and the people.
        To this day, I think Clinton believes what she says, as does Pelosi, Jeffries, Schumer, Biden, et al. Unfortunately, by thwarting a political party primed for change, and to continue moving in the wrong direction, they are doing irreparable damage to the country.

    4. SocalJimObjects

      Hope is not a strategy, ……… instead we will proactively put the blame squarely on the shoulders of voters.

    5. Screwball

      She wrote an entire book (What Happened? – Hillary Clinton) when the reason was right on the cover.

    6. NotTimothyGeithner

      Why the attempt at self reflection? My guess is she was mapping out a convention strategy and learned about her numbers with women under then 36ish.

      1. Benny Profane

        Convention? You know, I didn’t consider that, but, you may have a point. She is so deluded, and probably still has enough sycophants surrounding her that are also as deluded and out of touch, probably more, that she thinks she has a chance at the nomination. And, it might work.
        Chicago is going to be fun.

      2. Pat

        She has been running to get the nomination again since Trump’s inauguration. The only thing is that even she knows she needs to reluctantly accept it for the good of the country. (A lot of people who went along with her team gaming the primary got burned in 2016, she could easily lose a primary campaign.)
        And god knows it is sad to say but for typical political calculation she would be the strongest choice as a Biden replacement barring Michelle.
        Christ, does anyone really want a rerun of 2020 or even less of 2016.

      3. Dr. John Carpenter

        This is an excellent comment. Of course she’s never stopped running. Biden is old and showing his age. Were something to happen to him…

        I mean, who else they got? Speculating is a fun game and really, they got nothin! All the names mentioned are either nonstarters or not interested (or both). As absurd as I think another Hillary run would be, who else they got?

        The problem is, for every Hillary deadender who would would show up at the polls to give Mother her rightful throne, you’d get two deplorables unenthusiastic about Trump, but pleased to get another chance to vote against Her. And you can repeat that process for the MAGA diehards too.

        This seems like the most ridiculous outcome so hey, why not?

          1. Uncle Doug

            I’d vote against her (again) out of simple decency and not wanting to inflict her on the world. And I would spitefully enjoy it.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          And given that under this scenario, which would have her placed one very old heartbeat away from the Presidency if Bidenclinton were elected, a large number of Forcey FreeTrade opponents would also vote for Trump again, just to make sure that TPP and TTIP stayed dead and buried.

    7. Alice X


      ~“They were willing to take a risk on [former President Trump] — who had a long list of, let’s call them flaws, to illustrate his imperfection — because he was a man, and they could envision a man as president and commander in chief.”

      Well, I didn’t vote for either one of them, but it her case, the vision of her as commander in chief was particularly terrifying. I felt that way long before her screed we came, we saw, he died.

      She always seemed to me as one only concerned with her own political triangulation. Has anyone ever heard of her expressing some concern for humanity in season, or even off season remarks or writings,. I can’t.

      Maybe I missed them.

      1. Tommy S

        Indeed. And her record on Iraq, TPP, support of fascist overthrow in Honduras, and tons of Wall Street speeches for big money after a global crash! She is so out of touch, so un self aware. the book ‘shattered’ is really hard to get through, she is so full of dumbness. “Why are people angry”, she asks. AS Albright said, they believe ‘there is a place in hell for women that don’t vote for her’…..that is, vote for a mass murderer of women and children.

    8. Dr. John Carpenter

      Women were next on the list of whom to blame. She’s running out of places to point the finger but, rest assured, Hillary Clinton will never be on that list.

    9. NotThePilot

      At least for me personally, her blaming women voters for losing is especially ironic.

      I tell people there were a few distinct moments my gut told me Trump was going to win, and one was when she stood up the NAACP (self-dealing and DC-adjacent as it may be) to hold “a dialogue on women’s issues” … with Lena Dunham … in NYC … I think with paid tickets.

      Good job, Hillary, you probably motivated hundreds of people in that famous swing-district of Flatbush, Brooklyn! And all you had to do was very loudly take the Democrats’ largest and strongest voting bloc (only about 15% of the country) for granted!

    10. chris

      If only Biden would be so kind as to pass out in public and need to be carried away by the secret service. Because he got too hot on a mild day. Preferably if he could do it while near a RFK Jr. rally, so the contrast in health would be obvious, that would be great…

      HRC does not live rent free in my brain, but she is such an awful person that I would protest her selection as the nominee if the backroom deal emerges from the convention this August. She is too old, too vile, too weak, and too much of a warmonger to ever be that close to the office again.

    11. XXYY

      Hillary Clinton can never fail, she can only be failed.

      Clearly her incredibly fragile ego would never have survived the office of the presidency.

  2. Terry Flynn

    Re Antarctica. Once upon a time engineering-adjacent stuff was designed on principles like “the 95% percentile fail”. Now science uses “mean projections” and the 95th percentile horror stories are ignored.

    I think we’re about to learn the hard way why this is wrong.

    I pity my nephews but am glad I have no dependents and will likely die of COVID sequelae before we go kaboom.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I believe that the new paradigm for scientific and engineering endeavours these days is to have both fingers crossed.

    2. Steve H.

      The 95th percentile fail still works for engineering, the mechanical properties of steel aren’t changing with time.

      Look at the Sea Surface Temperature chart and scroll the cursor up the graph. The bottom lines are in the 1980’s, and the top lines are now. The now lines are six to ten standard deviations off the mean. It’s as clear an example of a Fat-Tailed Distribution as you can find. The values are changing with time.

      Most people don’t get this. I know you can.

      Tangentially on scientific literacy, ‘A New Leaf’ reads like a fawning description of Cop City. It’s well-meaning so I won’t rip it. But the Kaboom is already dropping.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Yeah thanks for recognising I understand risk. Meanwhile the assumed latest massive covid immune system sequelae means I’m calling taxi to emergency dept. I’m so utterly tired of the “let’s not give a damn approach”. /rant

      2. Steve H.

        In retrospect, I don’t think fat-tailed applies. While the overall variance is increasing, the particular values are unlikely to drop back to 1980’s levels. A fat-tail would have uncertainty, that current values could pop across the full range of previous values. Not the case here.

    3. cfraenkel

      In the space biz, it used to be ‘take your normal safety margin; now double it’.
      (it was called “50% derating”. Take a manufacturing lot, test a sample to failure, use half of the value they fail at and calculate your safety margins from that.)

    4. Kouros

      Not necessarily true. In my neck of the woods, seems to be anunderstanding and acceptance among us professionals/technocrats, that only the worst scenarios for climate projections SSC8.5 and the 90% percentiles to be used. I don’t bother to use anything else.

  3. Butch

    I certainly have internal dialogue, constantly, incessantly, but it is also soundless– it has no “voice.” I’m just “thinking.” I don’t “hear” music I remember, “see” faces or movie scenes, I remember them. Things I do often like projects in the shop, trails I ride, roads I drive I can mentally visualize with color and a fair detail, but never any “voice.”

    1. Ben Joseph

      My thought was that if an intellectually challenged child had this problem and were scolded for talking to themself, wouldn’t that be stultifying and perhaps damaging.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      i hear my late wife’s voice on occasion…not often, and usually when i am in that half conscious state when waking up.
      but i do hear music in my head constantly.
      in detail.
      if im in an agitated state of mind, the music can get rather jumbled…one snippet of one song resembles a snippet from another song…often from an entirely different genre or era…and they get mashed together…then that happens again, and again…to where the song in my head is a mix-up of louis armstrong, softcell, bowie and a bach violin solo.

      if i concentrate, i can “listen” to Mozart’s Requiem front to back.

      its pretty crazy-making, sometimes.

      1. Laughingsong

        I definitely have a jukebox running in my head more often than not. Like you it sometimes skips around, or hangs upon my favorite 64 bars of a tune, or plays the same song over again, but if I pay attention I can mentally put one of my favorite records on the internal platter and play the whole thing.

        Right now, out of the blue the song playing is Rod Stewart’s version of “Twisting the Night Away”. Dunno why.

        When I’m just thinking I have no real internal voice, but when I read and write I do, and I think that reading with my own internal voice helps me catch BS better….not perfect but better. I’m susceptible to fallacious arguments because I’m not great at logic, but reading something questionable in my own voice, hearing myself saying it does somehow raise a red flag even when I can’t reason why.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          as for an internal voice…well, ive spent a whole lot of my life alone.
          and i have therefore long had conversations in my head with all and sundry.
          same way when i write…i’ll pick…ummm…Olivia Munn, and carry on long imaginary discourses with her, as i go about my work.
          ive done that for as long as i can remember.
          in the last year or so, these discourses have been with the ghost of my wife, more often than not.
          and ive increasingly caught myself speaking my part out loud…or at least muttering it out loud.
          this is somewhat worrying,lol.
          all those others…Munn, Jen Aniston, Max Boot, Paglia, Zizek, etc…i havent “heard” them in my head.
          neither have i heard myself in my head.
          the words are just there, somehow.
          i do not think any of this is necessarily pathological…
          yet here i am… doing dishes and speaking aloud to the air,lol.

          metacognition is always wierd, like quantum physics.

          1. Glenda

            I too have a jukebox in my head. Hardly ever conversations.
            Sometimes I get fed-up on a song and “force” a change of record. And then have to get pushy to keep the next song from being too repetitive. The good part of that is that I’ve checked versions of songs and now have a pretty good memorized repertoire for folk music club events I go to. The silver lining.

            1. Joker

              I too have a jukebox in my head. It’s tinnitus, so no way of changing the tune, ever.

            2. Amfortas the Hippie

              my “conversations”…with hotchicks and philosophers…are intentional.
              first one was w jane goodall, when i was in jr high and wandering in the woods.
              i read about this mental exercise in the brittanica macropaedia thing on metacognition(“thinking about how one thinks”…sherlock’s mind palace, napoleons “system of drawers” etc)
              i entertain myself in this fashion.
              (i also talk to squirrels, lizards, cats, chickens, geese, trees, sheeps, etc…so…there’s that,lol)
              the music, otoh, is unintentional…unless, like you say, i force the issue…ie: apply my will to the damned cd player in my head.

              1. Amfortas the Hippie

                i suffer from tinnitus*, too…at the very frequency range that the various ringtones on my fone share,lol.
                (*3 decades ago, standing next to large amps, and PA speakers)

                1. rowlf

                  Turbine engines even with good ear plugs AND headsets, then Covid vaccination that played around with the volume knob.

                  1. JBird4049

                    Ouch. I mainly get tinnitus when I do not wear my hearing aids for a day with the volume going higher the longer I do not use them.

                    1. Amfortas the Hippie

                      les pauls of varyin quality and provenance.
                      whatever stack i could rent right then.
                      crank it to eleven.
                      jam on
                      i was quite feral, back then.

      2. Terry Flynn

        I internally listen to Mozart’s Requiem a lot. If you omit the Sussmayr Sanctus & Benedictus it’s quite possibly the best piece of classical (both small c and big c) music ever composed. For anyone doubting the Sussmayr bit I’ll simply say “tierce de picardie”.

        I am not crazy. I just reassure myself that perfection sticks.

  4. Terry Flynn

    National service in UK? Good luck finding people who are not already obese/diabetic/suffering from long COVID. Hacking coughs in all ages on buses is the norm around here. I’m guessing the “Singapore variant” causing mandatory masking there has already taken hold here.

    The statements made by Sunak are FAR more humorous than the supposedly satirical HIGNFY episode broadcast on Friday.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When I read that, my first thought was that this was Sunak making sure that he will lose in that election in July. Considering that the British establishment is keen on fighting the Russians, being forced to join the Army is a guaranteed vote loser as how many Brits want to die fighting for the Ukrainians?

      1. Terry Flynn

        To be honest, I struggle to think of a SINGLE policy Sunak is promoting to cause people to vote Conservative.

        It’s as if he has decided “I’m going down but I’m taking every single one of you with me”.

        The Guardian has reported that non-millionaire Tory MPs are mad as hell at him. They are quietly briefing that his choice of election date was deliberate so as to line up timing with his rumoured job in his wife’s empire

        1. The Rev Kev

          Well Sunak did also mutter about tax cuts for the rich so that has got to be a vote winner right there. I guess that nobody is calling him “Dishy Rishi” anymore.

        2. Samuel Conner

          In a recent episode of The Duran, the Alexes speculate that the election timing is calculated to leave too little time for alternative parties to the left or right of the UK “uniparty” to organize campaigns in parliamentary constituencies. It sounds somewhat analogous to, in US context, a major party’s efforts to impede ballot access of candidates outside of the political main stream.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Can’t say I disagree: the candidates truly “caught on the hop” were independents (many of whom might not have registered and and got enough ready cash to get on the ballot).

            The key question is “will this matter?” i am cynical and don’t believe such independents would have made much of a difference if we’d had the “autumn election” people were predicting.

            I’d like to think certain independents could make a difference but UK history suggests they would not :(

        3. Michaelmas

          What else is going on is that the Tories want to believe anything but that the whole country wants them gone. Thus, there are still factions gearing up to have yet another crazed leadership fight and a replacement for Sunak — maybe P. Mordant, maybe even bring back Boris.

          Yes, they’re that far from reality. You still find some of them saying, “The Red Wall loved Boris.”

          They really don’t get it.The majority of British working class people voted for the Tories in 2019 because Boris promised to deliver Brexit and working class people were sick of being immiserated after many years of cheap Eastern European workers flooding the UK labor force. Now Brexit is done, they’re quite ready to flush Boris and the Tories down the toilet. Where they belong, quite frankly.

          In any case, this move by Sunak forestalls such a Tory leadership fight.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Penny “poundland” Mordant will NEVER live down that joke….plus the one that she could hold a sword for 2 hours.

            (And that there’s a bunch of tories who have wet dreams about her).

            As a gay man I can say she’s easy on the eye but minister material? Sheesh. Have we sunk that low?

      2. Benny Profane

        Yeah, only way this all makes sense is that he’s had it with this job and wants to hand the stinking pile that the conservatives have made over to Labour ASAP, so he can get back to making money. I mean, advocating a draft as a campaign platform? Really?

        1. britzklieg

          And it’s not as if a Labour win will make a difference. Same song, different tune. Indeed, I’m more convinced each day that the Dems don’t give a damn if Biden loses either. Kayfabe.

          1. ArvidMartensen

            It was obvious from Day 1 that Starmer was the candidate that the upper class installed as head of Labour so that they take control again. The media fell into line almost immediately, big tell when all the stories about Starmer are in lockstep, and he walks on water.

            Boris is a clown, but the thing that upset the upper classes while he was in the public eye was not what he was doing, but that he didn’t have the sense to keep his mouth shut. He blabbed all over about what the upper class all say amongst themselves but never say in public.
            There was a contingent amongst the upper classes in and after WWII that thought H*tler was not too bad. An ex-king amongst them. The UK rescued some Ukrainian SS from Italy after the war, to save them from having to face war crimes courts.

            And so we have Boris posing with Azov troops, N*zi insignia and all. He would not see why all the fuss with N*zi flags, when these men are fighting the real enemy, Russians.

            1. CA


              Aaron Maté @aaronjmate

              Boris Johnson, best known for instructing Ukraine to fight Russia rather than make peace in April 2022, hosts the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion in the UK.

              This will not be a scandal because the hundreds of billions spent by Johnson and other NATO leaders on the Ukraine proxy war has also bought them a FashPass. What a bargain!


              6:59 PM · May 23, 2024

        2. Mikel

          “I mean, advocating a draft as a campaign platform? Really?”

          That’s what govts do that expect to be in a big war.

          1. The Rev Kev

            It can’t be a big war because the last I heard, they only had ammo enough for five days of fighting.

            1. Mikel

              They have to increase their troop levels also. Or they have a bunch of ammo and not enough people to use it.
              Still dealing with a large “just in time” delivery supply chain mindset.

              Many don’t want to believe a big war will happen, but the countries at the start of big wars are never totally prepared at the beginning.

          2. Benny Profane

            No, it’s what governments do when they suddenly are in a big war, and the public usually cooperates by signing up. Richie Rich needs a false flag in downtown London to get the proles behind a war. Then he needs an industrial base to make the weapons he doesn’t have.

          3. Henry Moon Pie

            Is it bad politics? Support for re-instituting the draft in the U.S. is regularly in evidence here on the grounds that it will prevent wars rather than enabling bigger ones.

            I wish it were the case in the UK or USA that the re-institution of a draft would spark an Empire-debilitating explosion of anti-draft activity, but it’s more likely to follow the trajectory of Vietnam in which it took years to build enough resistance to bother the decision-makers. In the meantime, the Limeys and the Yanks could be sitting in Ukraine trenches getting shelled by the Russians or manning the beaches of Taiwan.

            1. Snailslime

              Considering that the biggest,bloodiest wars in history were fought almost entirely with draftees I always had my doubts about that.

              And even long before world wars one and two plenty of reckless military adventurism by countries with conscript armies.

              Sure, an all volunteer force might suffice for all sorts of small, frivolous throw a tiny country against the wall operations.

              But for great power wars you need your draftees and once you have them I’m not sure the temptation to actually use them is any smaller.

              Still, most westerners have a firmly “post heroic” mentality, little in way of the self sacrificial patriotism,little loyalty to and respect for King and Country compared to past decades and centuries.
              They are also much, much softer and less used to hardships and lack and a huge amount are in an abysmal shape (though that at least was true in ww I as well, even if they then were more under- than overfed).

              The Ukrainians for decades in smaller and for the last decades in huge doses were fed a steady diet of sacrifice praising, “heroic” warrior cult ideology.

              And before that the martial culture of the Soviet Union.

              Westerners were definitely not drilled and indoctrinated in a comparable way (indoctrinated sure, but that was if anything meant to turn them into weak, apathetic, decadent consumers), not with the expectation that they would be the ones expected to do the fighting and dying.

              Even if westerners are forced to march and fight this will make a huge difference, at least for a while with huge numbers fying very quickly before the system perhaps starts to function properly.

              There’s not even many people really qualified to properly train masses of green recruits.

              There is also a highly developed and hardened ideologically properly motivated police state and paramilitarysector in Ukraine very willing to brutalize their own population that is vital to keep their war effort going that I think despite all corruption and authoritarian overreach does not yet exist in a comparable form in most european countries.

              I’m not convinced that lacking all these traditions modern europeans will make a particularly effective fighting force without at least a decade of heavily intense banderisation of their own, looking at where they start from probably considerably more.

              Frankly european armies well might turn out about as effective as the former, much lamented afghan army of President Mohamed Karsai.

    2. Louis Fyne

      after destroying the concept of nationalism (too populist, see MAGA) in the trans-Atlantic world, WEF-uniparty wants national service and instituionalizing rural, exurban natives serving an urban elite that despises them? lol, good luck with that.

      broad, civic nationalism is dead for at least a generation, not even Russia-Iran-NK will change the tide…unless literal Martians invade.

    3. gk

      I don’t know about diabetes but Sunak seems to meet all the other requirements. Maybe Sunak could do national service once he has nothing better to do. (You should add “poor” to your list of requirements);

  5. CanCyn

    Re “Clinton says women abandoned her because she wasn’t ‘perfect’ The Hill“ – sorry to comment without reading the article but I just can’t …. My immediate thought on seeing the headline was that I bet women ‘abandoned’ her because she is a war-mongering, money-grubbing, lying harridan who called her own citizens deplorable and did no campaigning in any important states because she took the win against Trump for granted.

    1. CanCyn

      Sorry again, posted before above thread was showing. Appears we’re all on the same page on that one

      1. lyman alpha blob

        And I posted my comment above before seeing yours – two “harridans” in one day! In this case the pile on is well deserved.

    2. Robert Hahl

      Americans hate Hillary so much, they elected someone they hate more just to spite her. — Norm Macdonald’s only Trump joke

  6. The Rev Kev

    “WION, Indian global broadcaster, discusses Putin’s latest proposal for a ceasefire”

    I doubt that Putin seriously offered ‘to conclude a cease-fire and negotiate a settlement with Ukraine based on the present line of contact between the warring parties.’ Puting aside the fact that this would be a strategic victory for the Ukraine and would guarantee and even worse war in only a few years time, there is another factor. I believe that under the Russian Constitution, it is not allowed to have Russian territory remain under enemy occupation. Now the Russians have incorporated four Oblasts into the Russian Federation but large chunks of them are still under Ukrainian occupation. So under Russian Constitutional law, he cannot allow them to remain in this state nor negotiate them away so must liberate them.

    1. Joker

      Putin didn’t offer it seriously, nor in jest. It’s made up by the MSM, in order to see if people would still fall for same ol’ BS. The results might shock you.

      P..S. Putin did say that he won’t accept ceasefire just becase the enemy is running out of ammo.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I think the last time Putin commented on possible negotiations was in Minsk two days ago. And he re-stated the it wasn’t Russia which stopped the negotiations and then banned them. He also said that negotiations can recommence only based on realism: the principles from Istanbul (Ukrainian neutrality, limited armed forces, banning of Banderism and guaranteed minority rights) with the “new facts on the ground” (Ukraine ceding Crimea, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhe).

        He aslo pointed out that Russia doesn’t know who legally can sign for Ukraine – either Rada or the Constitutional Court should rule on Zelensky’s legitimacy to clarify the issue. And even then there’s the certainty that the “rules based order” won’t respect any peace agreement.

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          I doubt that Putin’s alleged proposal–if reports of such are even vaguely true–is anything like what the western media is cranking it up to be. “Facts on the ground” are not necessarily equivalent to “current troop positions on the ground.” E.g., on 11.11.1918 Germany had huge troop concentrations on foreign soil and zero foreign troops on German national territory. But the facts on the ground were that Germany was a spent fighting force, whilst the Allies were growing ever stronger. Had the war continued, Germany would have been overrun. Similarly, I can foresee a situation within a few months in which UKR troops still hold sizeable UKR territory (including the key cities of Dnipro, Kharkov, Kiev and Odessa), but the UKR army is utterly spent as a fighting force. As the Allies translated their facts on the ground into the Treaty of Versailles, I suspect RU will do much the same. No point in fighting for Odessa when you can capture it at the negotiating table.

    2. Andrey Subbotin

      That’s the same constitution that permits only two presidential terms, and that was modified 5 times in the last 20 years. It is easily modifiable, unlike the US one. Plus, adjusting the borders is considered a non-fundamental change and can be done with parliamentary vote – a while ago we transferred some islands on Amur river to China for example.

      1. Morincotto

        One suspects that there might be a slight difference to some river islands that probably weren’t home to very large numbers of people that considered themselves to be patriotic Russians and were subject to a decade of constant bombardement and faced with pretty much guaranteed genocide the moment their territory was ceded (back) to an actively and relentlessly hostile power.

  7. digi_owl

    “Entering the ‘amenities arms race’ at luxury apartments: IV drips and Botox without having to leave your home Fortune”

    “The first national calculation of mortality of the US homeless population Centre for Economic Policy Research”

    The contrast is palpable. And once more i have scenes from Soylent Green flashing before my eyes.

    1. Neutrino

      Do those apartments have auxiliary power to get the luxish ones up and down the elevators, keep the trains HVAC and refrigeration running and other mundanities? There must be some clever chappie providing service, with applicable grants and tax dodges, to ensure that there are no inconveniences. Better make sure the Family Office is on top of that, like they are at estates 1 through X. /s

      1. Benny Profane

        The new pencil towers in Manhattan remind me of the defensive towers built in Italian cities 1200 to 1600, like the structures that make the skyline of San Gimigano famous. Many are gone now. They were the last resort of the wealthy families from invading armies. Pretty soon, I’ll bet, we wake up to a headline that one has toppled over.

  8. griffen

    Trump addresses the Libertarian convention…”I’m asking for your endorsement…okay and if not an endorsement then I’ll just ask instead for a lot of your votes…

    Say the quiet part out loud, I’ll grant him that much. From the article I didn’t recognize who the kingpin was necessarily…

    1. digi_owl

      I think that is part of the appeal of Trump at core level, that he comes across as a “honest bastard”. But in the end he is just another businessman in a suit.

      1. griffen

        It’s a truism we see in action every day, our national politicians doing the heavy lifting as directed by a donor class of wealthy and ultra elites. Just from my state, our very own senior US Senator Lindsey Graham..all the money we can find for our defense contractors and all that the MIC demands or requires.

        Politicians…when not kissing babies they’ll steal their lollipops…to quote from the ever excellent Hunt for Red October.

  9. Terry Flynn

    I didn’t have full access to “drugs don’t work” article but I know plenty on this subject, having worked as a health economist for 25 years. The (circa 2000) “Manchester school” in the UK made the entirely reasonable point that “funding drugs that cost less than £30,000 per QALY gained” was a recipe for healthcare inflation. EXISTING meds with a better new version should be tested and if they failed the test should be withdrawn from NHS funding.

    This went down like a tonne of a sick. Certain people doing the “calculation of cost per QALY” for pharma companies seemed to be (on their off days) to be part of the establishment “setting the rules” regarding what the cost-per-QALY should be for funding. This, to quote British satirical shows, is all “allegedly” so NC/me don’t get sued.

    To use a MMT perspective, a lot of real resources should be directed into new meds and old meds known to be highly cost-ineffective should not be permitted anymore. But the status quo won’t allow that.

    1. Kouros

      I kept proposing the use of calculation of cost per QALY for elective surgeries prioritization, so that OR time is allocated by block to surgeon depts based on the QALY. It is like whistling in the church…

      1. Terry Flynn

        I really wish someone like you had advised my mum when it came to double knee replacements.

        I was at that point living down under so didn’t get to give her “proper” advice.

        Now she’s crippled. And I worked for the guy who literally wrote the textbook on rheumatology. So I know my stuff. I think 95% of clinicians are incompetent or amoral. I used to teach them. Where’s my family blogging taxi to take me to hospital?

  10. digi_owl

    While i am not one to defend Israel, i can’t help wonder how many in that room was aware of the actual lyrics of the song played. There is ample evidence of people dancing along to anything with a catchy beat and a simple refrain.

    A classic is perhaps Born in U S A being used by the GOP and adjacent again and again (that said, Springsteen’s unwavering support for the Dems is not without a certain irony either).

    1. gk

      In the video they seem to be singing along. Born in the USA is not a good example, since most people do get the words for the chorus, at least.

    2. ambrit

      “… Springsteen’s unwavering support for the Dems is not without a certain irony either.”
      Would that be Old Dems, New Dems, or DINO Dems?

    3. Christopher Fay

      Now Springsteen does a podcast with our first black republican president. It’s named The Boss and Da Man.

  11. Balan ARoxdale

    Hamas armed wing says its fighters have killed, captured Israeli soldiers in Gaza Middle East Eye. Commentary:

    This is major.

    Exactly why is this major? Because the new hostages are soldiers?

    I confess to being skeptical of Israeli government pronouncements about the need to secure the hostages. Frankly I doubt the government cares at all, and my suspicions are that there is an “ethnic” component to this as most of the civilian hostages are from pseudo-soviet Kibbutzs while settlers are a a wholly different crowd.

    I assumed military hostages / pows were a different matter, particularly to the military. But again the Israeli governments mealy mouthing on hostages lead me to believe that again, the soldiers being held by Hamas were not as important as the ethnic cleansing plan / real estate investments.

    Is there some distinction here? Something I am missing?
    Are he pows being held underground, but the civilians are above amidst the bombs? Would that explain why the IDF has been so lackadaisical about destroying Hamas tunnels (I simply don’t believe the IDF has not mapped out the vast majority of these)?
    Why would more hostages change the equation when the Israeli government manifestly considers the hostages a tertiary concern at best?

    1. Yves Smith

      The Israel government is very sensitive to members of the military being hostages. They once traded a ginormous number of Palestinians, I believe roughly 1000, to get one back. That is why they have the Hannibal Doctrine, they’d rather have their own forces kill them than have them taken.

    2. Adrian

      It’s major because if true it shows a high level of incompetence and combat ineffectiveness even in supposedly elite Israeli units. If they are getting smashed by guys with a fraction of the resources and training they have who in the region is going to be afraid of them? Israel’s entire security strategy is based on creating an aura of invincibility, it’s already been damaged by October 7, further disasters like this, again if true, only shred it further.

      1. Procopius

        From the short and suspect account I saw, Hamas suspects these guys are not regular military. They had different weapons and differemt uniforms. One speculation was that they might be a Special Operations group from Mossad or Bin Shet. One claim made was that all their weapons had silencers, which the regular army do not use. I’m doubting we’ll ever get to the truth.

  12. pjay

    – ‘Here Come the Russians, Again’ – Mother Jones

    Not the Onion – this is a completely un-ironic headline for an article by David Corn that treats all the Russiagate claims (not least of which were pushed by David Corn himself) as entirely true. And they’re coming for us again! “Of course,” he tells us, “conservative media and ex-lefty Trump-Russia denialists (Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and others) will pooh-pooh this and pump up the conspiracy theory that countering Russian disinformation is a scheme to impose state-sponsored censorship.”

    Reading this is just bizarre. Even Michael Isikoff, his co-author in that piece of total Russiagate bulls**t book they wrote together, has backed off on some of these assertions. But not Corn. Still all in.

    Glad to see Mother Jones is defending us from “Trump-Russia denialists” and “conspiracy theories” about state-sponsored censorship. The real Mother Jones would have been so proud.

    1. anahuna

      Thanks for your comment, pjay.

      That article left me gasping.

      Where is the Mother Jones of yesteryear?

      And not just Mother Jones.

    2. flora

      In the early 1960’s Alexamder Meilkejoh, member of the ACLU’s National Committe and strong defender of the !st Amendment, wrote this in one of his lecture/essays:

      [The 1st Amendment] gives us freedom to believe in and to advocate socialism or communism, just as some of our fellow citizens are advocating capitalism. It declares that the suppressive activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, of the un-American Activities Committees, of the Department of Justice and its Immigration Service, of the President’s Loyalty Order—all these are false in theory and therefore disastrous in practice.

      It tells us that such books as Hitler’s Mein Kampf, or Lenin’s The State and Revolution, or the Communist Manifesto of Engels and Marx, may be freely printed, freely sold, freely distributed, freely read, freely discussed, freely believed, freely disbelieved, throughout the United States. And the purpose of that provision is not to protect the need of Hitler or Lenin or Engels or Marx: “to express his opinions on matters vital to him if life is to be worth living.”

      We are not defending the financial interests of a publisher, or a distributor, or even of a writer. We are saying that the citizens of the United States will be fit to govern themselves under their own |institutions only if they have faced squarely and fear-lessly everything that can be said in favor of those institutions, everything that can be said against them.

      The unabridged freedom of public discussion is the rock on which our government stands. With that foundation beneath us, we shall not flinch in the face of any clear and present—or, even, terrific—danger.

      1. pjay

        I guess that unlike “ex-lefties” such as Taibbi and Greenwald, real lefties like Corn support McCarthyism. The First Amendment is a Russian meme. Says so right in the real lefty Mother Jones.

    3. Big River Bandido

      Oof. I clicked on that article before seeing your comment, pjay. Mother Jones used to be a decent magazine.

      I couldn’t believe what I [started to] read. Had to quit about 10 graphs in because it was just so, so cray cray stupid.

      1. Late Introvert

        David Corn is familiar to me from my days reading The Nation, long, long ago. He been stinkin’ up the joint for decades now. A real DemRat.

      2. pjay

        David Corn has become our very own Luke Harding. Both make increasingly outlandish claims, are oblivious to countervailing evidence, and write for what were once respectable “left” leaning publications turned bad. And like Harding, I honestly can’t tell whether he is a witting mouthpiece for obvious lies, compromised in some way, or actually believes this stuff. Surely no one is dumb enough to believe that Hunter Biden’s laptop was a “Russian disinformation” op anymore. But who knows? Confirmation bias is a powerful thing, especially with the right incentives.

  13. flora

    Nigel Farage, (I know) on twtr-X about CBDCs. In this he’s correct.

    Nigel Farage on the recent call by unelected EU head, Ursula von der Leyen, for world leaders to roll out digital ID, CBDCs and a cashless society—globally—by 2030.

    What did Mastercard just announce about incorporating biometric data?

    And Visa. Visa is creating one card to access all your bank accounts.

    Carl Sandburg poem The Fog:

    The fog comes
    on little cat feet.

    It sits looking
    over harbor and city
    on silent haunches
    and then moves on.

    1. Benny Profane

      Well, he has been unbanked in his own country, and, last I heard, had great difficulty finding another bank, so, he should know.

  14. Joker

    Russia strikes crowded Kharkiv DIY store in deadly attack Euronews

    DIY IED store. Now Zelensky will have to beg The West for one billion dollars in duct tape,
    so that brave defenders can fight on.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Mainstream media IGNORING Boris Johnson hosting Ukraine neo-Nazi unit in parliament”

    Yeah, sure why not? You had Nazis in the Senate so why not the British Parliament. Let the Russians see for themselves who supports modern day Nazis. Two of those Azov guys were captured at Mariupol but were subsequently freed by Erdogan against an agreement with Russia not to do so. Erdogan did so in exchange for a Biden promise. Sucker. But the fact of the matter is that how did we get to the point where we are supporting Nazis when our parents and grandparents were in a life and death fight with them, especially the British? Even Israel has invited the Azov Nazis in for a visit. Have they forgotten? Yeah, so I guess that that makes us the baddies-

    1. yep

      Your fight with Nazis ended in 1945. Concidentally, support for them started at the same time, but it was easier to hide. Parents and grandparents either didn’t know, or thought that hate towards Russians/communism was more important. Enemy of the enemy, etc. British (and French) never had life and death fight with Nazis, because they were not untermenschen to be exterminated.

      1. ambrit

        “British (and French) never had life and death fight with Nazis, because they were not untermenschen to be exterminated.”
        Tell that to the approximately 75,000 French Jews deported and killed in the camps. (With the connivance of the Vichy Regime. Nothing is clean cut in history. Just the Narratives.)
        Also, my now passed parents would beg to differ with you. Both, as children, lived through the Blitz in London. Until the day he died, Dad would never knowingly buy anything made in Germany. “The b——s tried to kill me. You don’t forget something like that.”

        1. yep

          Yea, French Jews, aka Jews, aka not French. Untermenschen were Slavs, Jews, Roma, etc. Not French, English, etc. How many pure French ended in camps? Not many, I guess. Where a lot ot them did end up is on Eastern Front alongside Germans et al., fighting for the “white race”, or oil, or whatever.

          We don’t have just the Narratives in history, because it repeats/rhymes all the time. We can see it rhyming as we speak, except the French are more chickens than roosters.

          Did your parents know about Ratlines, and Bandera/Banderites, and all the other things? I guess not. Then they fit in the “didn’t know” part of my “either” sentence.

          You don’t forget something like that. Russians surely did not. Some others kind of did (intentionally or not).

          1. Paleobotanist

            Actually my French uncle ended up a slave in Germany during part of the war, as did many other Frenchmen.

          2. Aurelien

            At least ten thousand French people died fighting in the French Resistance up to 1944, many in German concentration camps (they had several reserved for Resistance fighters alone.) After the landings, the Resistance became the Internal French Forces and fought the Germans until the end of the war. They lost around twenty thousand dead, a significant percentage of them shot by the Germans after being captured. Large numbers of civilians also died in reprisals.

            1. yep

              Shoking numbers, comparable to those from Gaza. On the other hand, when put in WWII perspective, they prove my point that Fuhrer was soft on Frenchies because he considered them “of his kind”. On the east side of Europe, tens of thousands of dead were below the margin of error. For comparsion, I just went to Wikipedia to see the officialy approved number of casualties for the Battle of Stalingrad and it says 1,100,000–3,000,000+. Tens of dead literally do not count. Maybe that’s why some find it so easy to forget, and other just can’t.

              1. JBird4049

                If we want shocking numbers, Poland can have a word. If you downplay the death and suffering of others, you are on your own. The seventy million dead came from all over the world.

                If you want to argue about the pernicious support of an evil ideology, you will have none with me aside from the fact that the fewer the survivors of the Second World War the more there are fools who support nazism. But there are always such fools around and they will be found everywhere.

          3. Daniil Adamov

            Plenty of Russians fought for Germans as well, bear in mind, and not just out of fear. There were some efforts to rediscover them as anti-communist heroes in the post-Soviet era or at least to humanise them, though for the most part both of those narratives failed to find purchase in the mainstream.

            1. yep

              Yep, Vlasovites. The term is used nowdays to refer to those Russians fighting for Ukraine.

      2. Kouros

        If Germany would have gone only east and not turn on Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, there wouldn’t have been a western alliance against the Nazi Germany. The strange war, after Sept 1939, declared by France and Britain against Germany for the Polish invasion is the war in which nothing happened, no shots, no casualties, no nothing…

        1. Daniil Adamov

          The really striking part for me was that the Polish plan was to hold out until the Allies could come to their rescue… and the Allied plan was to wait for the Germans to turn West (or give up on their own, or succumb to economic warfare, or perhaps indeed keep going East where it would not be their problem). In other words, Poland was encouraged to resist and then hung out to dry. A familiar pattern.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “‘It’s so complicated:’ Boeing Starliner teams diagnosing helium leak ahead of June 1 astronaut launch”

    So Boeing is going to launch this vehicle, in spite of the fact that that vehicle has a known fault that could affect the flight. This all reminds me of something but I am not sure what. Something, something, Challenger.

    1. digi_owl

      Watch the failure get blamed on NASA, so that congress can begin the debate about dismantling it and selling off its IP to private enterprise.

    2. Louis Fyne

      this will be at least the 3rd try…the Starliner was supposed to launch yesterday (try #2).

      Have some nieces and nephews in Florida right now who were bummesdthat yesterday’s launch was scrubbed as they bought tickets for the launch at Cape Canaveral.

      1. Ken Murphy

        This is exactly why, despite being a serious space nerd, I never saw a shuttle launch. I just wasn’t inclined to spend two weeks in Florida cooling my heels hoping that the shuttle might launch before I had to head back to work. That, coupled with the family curse of Murphy’s Law dictating that if I did go it wouldn’t launch, but if I didn’t go it would, kept me away.

      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        why doesnt is surprise me that they’re selling tickets,lol?

        when i was in 2nd grade, my class did the tour at the Johnson Space Center, down there in League City.
        my dad worked there at the time…so we got a lil extra.
        there was barely a gift shop….let alone the disneyfied monstrance it is, today…with actual jack-booted, body armored thugs(all in black, with helmets, no less) doing security theater between the disney part and the old mission control, practice barn, etc).
        these dudes freaked out over my artificial hip and all the screws and plates in other places.
        had to show them the scars.

  17. SocalJimObjects

    Captured Israeli soldiers. In the movies they would have bitten down on poison capsules hidden within their cavities to evade capture at any cost, or perhaps that kind of technology only exists in Wakanda?

    1. furnace

      Frankly, the current state of the IOF seems to be dismal. I don’t think there are many in it who would do such a thing, even if it were available (not as attractive to apply the Hannibal doctrine on yourself, after all).

  18. griffen

    Floating pier or a floating bit of exceptional American can do spirit \sarc(!) We’re the shining city on a hill, if you squint real close and you’ve reached the pinnacle of life to have a gazillion dollars to your name individually, or possibly your families’ name if you’re a lucky offspring…

    $300 million would have been more fun to watch it burn, possibly, just like from the movies…The Dark Knight. America in 2024.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Maybe they can take donations and for the low, low price of $10M you too can have your name emblazoned on a tile of that floating pier.

      But if it floats away in a strong tide, you don’t get your money back.

  19. Screwball

    Here Come the Russians, Again – Mother Jones

    They are already here. I didn’t know this until yesterday, but Trump’s wife is a Russian spy. It must be true, my vote blue no matter who friends told me so.

    I tried to read that article and didn’t make it too far, but it is the kind of article my friends would lap up like a hound. And to believe David Corn????

  20. The Rev Kev

    ‘Suppressed News.
    This is major.

    Some observations indicating that the soldiers captured by the resistance are from a special unite called Shayetet 13 and the number of the soldiers is around 16 between dead and captured. The weapon shown in the video is the Czech CZ Scorpion EVO 3, it is usually used only by elite special units, especially the naval ones’

    That Shayet 13 is supposed to be like Israel’s SEALS so that would be a big loss for them but that is the nature of war. Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear gets you. But this does illustrate that in spite of the Hamas footage of them dragging away a survivor and showing off the captured weapons, that the Israelis will continue to lie and say that this never happened at all.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Well, you could almost think that Israel’s main weakness is, actually, fear of appearing weak. If and when the Israeli society at large realizes what a clusterfamilyblog their government and army is, it’ll be over for the Zionists (at least for now).

      At some level both sides know this, and that’s why Hamas is trying to hit IOF in these hard-to-deny ways, and IOD is doing all it can to deny any and all losses, mistakes, miscalculations or catastrophes. To misquote again quite popular von Clausewitz, that is Israels center of gravity, and Hamas’ strategy is to survive and keep pounding that spot.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        If my relatives are anything to go by, even fervently pro-Israeli citizens of Israel are starting to believe that they are losing. Which is quite a shock, considering the level of Israeli faith in their military. I’m not sure that this leads to the end of Zionism quite yet, though. The beginning of the end, maybe, if they have no hope for this to improve.

  21. furnace

    Since I still know very little about diseases and epidemics (a person can only focus on so much…) what are the current prognostics for this new Bird Flu? What are the chances of it becoming a covid-like event, i.e. worldwide and out of control? Or, in simpler terms, how worried should one be?

    1. Art_DogCT

      Back in 2020 the sort of people who who warned about SARS-CoV-2 being a potentially catastrophic risk to the world seem to me to be saying that similar caution is demanded with H5N1. The lack of data on this evolving situation is appalling, so we are flying nearly blind. (I had no idea that dairy cattle were shipped in large numbers back and forth across the country. It seems tailor-made to establish communicable disease transmission networks. What could possibly go wrong?)

      We are left with having to rely on ourselves to evaluate risks based on deficient data. Personally, I start with the precautionary principle. In terms of anticipating what may be on the horizon, I rely on the following general guidelines: This is the stupidest timeline; Anything that can go wrong, will; The perversity of the universe tends to a maximum. So, I expect sooner or later H5N1 will successfully adapt for human-to-human transmission. Whether this wee beastie will be Jackpot-ready won’t be revealed for a while yet. Meanwhile, it seems that the layered protection strategy that has served well for COVID will work just fine on a personal level for H5N1. If H5N1 manages to become food borne further measures will be needed.

      Add this to the file of Industrial Agriculture Disasters.

      1. furnace

        Oh yeah, I recall hearing some people talk about how bad Covid would be in January 2020 and I just frankly couldn’t believe it. Guess I’ve gotten a little more used to the idea [family blog] can just hit the fan all of a sudden. Thanks for the answer! I don’t like to gamble with these odds, but seems like the folks in charge don’t mind risking a pandemic or two.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        “I had no idea that dairy cattle were shipped in large numbers back and forth across the country. It seems tailor-made to establish communicable disease transmission networks. What could possibly go wrong?”

        We live in a system in which preventing disease outbreaks is no more a goal of the system than ending our devastation of the biosphere, making sure every child’s life is at least tolerable or solving the “homeless problem.” The ultimate goal is to maximize that wealth of a few hundred families that have captured our government from the town council to the Senate, SCOTUS and White House.

        That such has been allowed, however, is not solely the fault of the billionaires or their lackeys.
        Enough of the public operates in the paradigm that produced that goal of profit uber alles, and that paradigm says fundamentally that the love of money and the “stuff” it can buy is the root of all goodness. Indeed, the dominant paradigm believes intensely that everyone pursuing greedy ends somehow produces the best of all possible worlds. It would be hard to find any religion or philosophy pre-Enlightenment that taught anything so absurd, but since the advent of the new Messiah, human Reason, such insanity is widely believed.

      3. Amfortas the Hippie

        “Industrial Agriculture Disasters”
        yes, this.
        all such places are almost Tlielaxian incubators….shit-covered hellscapes.
        as are ordinary feedlots, like here in my little town.
        our little ones are just orders of magnitude less than the Big Boys Butzian shitfarms.
        so bad that they hafta use antibotics prophylactically(=as a matter of course=antibiotic resistance labs), because it would be very expensive to test every cow/pig/chicken/whatever in sufficient numbers, at sufficient rates, to get ahead of something.
        and yes…cows(not just dairy cows) move all over the country, also as a matter of course…as do everything except poultry.
        my nearest neighbor, down at the end of the road, drives a cattle truck.(82, bowlegged and toothless…looks like PI Parker…might go to kansas tonight…south texas tomorrow…)
        ergo…this was almost Fated to happen.
        and now it has.

        and yes…bird flu/cow flu has serious potential to be a pandemic…even worse than covid.
        the cockroach and hermit crab historians of the future are gonna be obsessed with our times…

      4. CarlH

        My approach to surviving is to assume the elites are actively trying to kill me in numerous ways.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > how worried should one be?

      I think my headline still sums it up: H5N1 Happily Mutates Away, while Public Health Establishment Plods Along, Treating the Virus as a Food Supply Issue, and Not as a Potential Pandemic

      Human to human transmission with an R0 like Covid only happens with a mutation, assuming it’s airborne like SARS-CoV-2. It’s fair to say that’s not true yet, or hospitalization in Texas, where it’s been for months, would show it. However, if the mutation did happen, I am extremely dubious that CDC + USDA + FDA would recognize it, or react in time, or propose the smallest measure that interfered with business as usual.

      That said, I’m more worried today than I was back in April, because I don’t like the increasing numbers in dairy farms. Chicken CAFOs are used to culls. I don’t know about cattle CAFOs.

      1. furnace

        Thanks. Guess somewhat worried, gearing towards quite worried, is the answer. Bless you for doing this work so others don’t have to!

      2. Amfortas the Hippie

        all the numerous ranchers i know would rebel at a mandate to cull their herd.
        if trump then got behind it, he’d win in a landslide in the hinterlands.
        trust and legitimacy are dead letters out here, when it comes to government.
        so well done…

        these guys do, however, remember stories from grampaw about putting down and then burning anthrax infected cattle…so if there were a legitimate voice to emerge(or be allowed to emerge,lol)…they could be persuaded of the necessity.
        but prompt compensation from the ukraine and israel and bankster spigot would be necessary.
        like upfront cash, with zero strings and weasel language.

    3. sleeplessintokyo

      well it might not put your mind at ease to know that 14 years ago successful GOF was carried out on H5 N1, demonstrating the ability to increase cross species transmission and fatality

      1. Amfortas the Hippie


        recently re-watched “Fringe”…mostly so i could look at Agent Dunham.
        science and technology run amok is the lietmotif.
        (and i like the red headed Olivia, from the other universe)

        1. Pat

          I know he isn’t as pretty but as an acting geek I suggest watching John Noble’s performance. Once the show hit its stride the level of performance was generally pretty high, but Noble was always a joy to watch, possibly best of those years. (Next up was Mads Mikkelson as Hannibal.)

  22. Es s Ce Tera

    re: the Gaza pier

    Not that I think the US is up to any good with this pier, quite the opposite. I think Biden intends the permanent displacement of Gazans, and later West Bank Palestinians, put them on ships to nowhere like they once did with the Jews. Nevertheless, there’s something off/weird about the floating pier story.

    How is it that in WW2 they had great success with the Mulberry Piers at Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha and Utah and now they can’t even create a single landing pier to create a stable harbour off Gaza? Just dust off the blueprints for the Mulberry or something… I know the financial corruption of the MIC has crippled the US military but, really? So crippled that they can’t even create a stable pier? That bad? When there are working examples of floating piers at marinas around the world? I find this difficult to believe. Are they deliberately failing at this?

    1. ilsm

      In WW II “good enough for government work” was a guarantee the item was made for a son or brother to take into combat. Today it is a warning the item is done for the shareholder gain.

      1. Early cynic

        I think you may have this backward or upside down or something. I worked with a lot of WW II vets in the ’60s and ’70s and that’s where I first heard this expression. For them, ‘good enough for government work’ invariably meant ‘minimally passable’, certainly not something you would entrust the life of a loved one to.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      Res ipsa loquitor

      The thing itself speaks.

      Or, to put it in a more modern language, you might be a redneck failing empire if you build a pier for $300M and it falls apart under normal sea conditions within a week. See: Foxworthy, Jeff.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        i was thinkin about that pier(sic) on my run to town earlier.
        theres a hi voltage powerline bein replaced along the way…prolly 50-60′ creosoted wooden poles being replaced with enormous steel towers that i can see from the upper cabin porch, 3 miles away.
        i build stuff w “telephone poles”…because they’re free, last forever, and the toxins hafta go somewhere…
        it occurred to me that ive watched lots of docks and piers being built in my early times…and i could prolly manage such a project much, much better than this mess is being done.
        this incompetence and failure is deliberate.
        and!….did no one consult whatever weather service handles that particular part of the coast?
        humans have building piers in that very part of the world for millennium, after all..

        1. Procopius

          ….did no one consult whatever weather service handles that particular part of the coast?

          I recall Jimmy Carter’s attempt to rescue the hostages in the embassy in 1980. They failed because they didn’t expect a sandstorm during the season. I remember the question being asked then, why no-one had consulted with the theater military command. That was only eight years after we had fled Vietnam and converted to an all-volunteer force. Our military has gone a lot further downhill since then.

    3. scott s.

      First, the Mulberry look at least one order of magnitude more complex. Second, only one of two attempted actually worked. Having the floating platform in the open sea with no sort of breakwater or other protection is going to be difficult. I really don’t see what the “MIC” has to do with this, other than it is the favored whipping boy on this site.

      1. Late Introvert

        Those poor MIC!!! Whipping boys who need defending on this mean ol’ blog.

      2. Pat

        Why not they took the money and run rather than pointing out the emperor was naked and stupid and covering for Israeli malfeasance. They should have refused to be any part of a plan so ill thought out. If the public figures out they just burned through a third of a trillion pretending to help feed starving people and showed their incompetence to the world for record profits in the process, so be it. But hey that is just me.

    4. Kouros

      “The Mulberry B harbour at Gold Beach was used for 10 months after D-Day, and over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of supplies were landed before it was fully decommissioned. The still only partially-completed Mulberry A harbour at Omaha Beach was damaged on 19 June by a violent storm that arrived from the north-east before the pontoons were securely anchored. After three days the storm finally abated and damage was found to be so severe that the harbour had to be abandoned and the Americans had to resort to landing men and material over the open beaches.”

  23. Carolinian

    re minor league baseball–my town had a minor league team for the Phillies–long gone–and now are building a stadium for a Texas Rangers team that is moving from a North Carolina town. While a private business group is paying for this, the city will supposedly have some financial responsibilities once the project is finished.

    So the article is concerning–particularly as the private group in question once ran a payday loan business. I wish I could supply more details but for that we would need a decent newspaper not also owned, now, by private equity.

    Grifter America or civic improvement??

    1. lyman alpha blob

      This was the first I’d heard of PE taking over minor league baseball. I’ve shied away from going to see the Sox in recent years – too expensive and too many people crowding Fenway (although now that the current Sox ownership group has succeeded in driving the fan base away, there appears to be more elbow room, temporarily at least). Instead I’ve been going to see every minor league team I can, and planning road trips around it. It’s much cheaper and more entertaining – the mid-inning promos the minor league teams run beat anything MLB does. The Hartford Yard Goats had a very saucy PA announcer and at a game last year. They did the “kiss cam” thing between innings where the camera will focus on a couple in the crowd and try to get them to kiss for the big screen. After finally getting a couple to bite after a few failed attempts, the PA guy quippped “Now let’s see if you can get to 2nd base”.

      I read the article and wondered if maybe my local minor league team had been bought up. Didn’t have to wait long to find out – the Sea Dogs were used as one of the prime examples of PE takeover in the article. Kind of takes a bit of the enjoyment out of going to a minor league game, thinking you’re escaping the overpriced, big money business of pro teams for something maybe a little more pure.

      Is there nothing the money grubbers can’t desecrate, even the national pastime?

      1. Another Scott

        The same PE firm also bought the Salem Red Sox from Fenway Sports Group and the Worcester Red Sox (who never should have left Pawtucket). Meanwhile the Fenway Sports Group’s second largest investor is RedBird Capital, a PE firm who has been investing all over sports. At the same time, the owners seem less interested in investing in a good team and are more interested in real estate development around the park. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence .

  24. griffen

    Private equity ownership and minor league baseball teams. Odd or not but heck, just about anything making these local or national headlines in 2024 is more Far Side farcical than real life. This ties into the article posted about stadiums and getting local subsidies to build or maintain them.

    Locally speaking, we will be hosting minor league baseball and a fresh new team, appropriately named for the city’s railroad heritage as a key commercial hub…to begin play in 2025 at a new stadium in downtown.

      1. griffen

        I subsequently just had to drive that way, to gauge the layout and proximity to downtown. I worked a downtown office role early 2016 until November 2019, or three+ years. Easily walkable and good eats for the lunch crowd. I’d suggest the stadium can do well when this happens to open, but during July when it’s sweltering and so humid who is going? Adding, more mixed use development should be of use for attracting talent. Compared to Greenville locally, at least this area is more reasonable on real estate for incoming families.

        One of the Groups sponsoring this activity, but not the Diamond Holdings company that owns the team to be clear, was my aforementioned employer. It’s good to have an awful lot of gold in store!

      2. juno mas

        The “artist rendition” (actually digital) of the stadium is typical of architectural presentations for today. Computer generated scenes can be quite detailed (as they are infinitely reproduceable). The digital illustrator is unfamiliar with the field of play, however. Homeplate is NOT elevated like the infield bases.

        It appears the stadium will have concrete pavilion/seating area with a modular steel overhead structure. A low-cost, low-maintence, design choice. Go ‘Burg’s!!

  25. The Rev Kev

    “French Press Leaks Footage of Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Military Units Training in France: Controversy Surrounding Azov Units Rises”

    If Macron insists on training Nazis inside of France, perhaps he could give that unit a name so that for the French they would be more acceptable and may forget all that Nazi tats. Something with historical meaning for French people. I know. How about calling them the Vichy Brigade?

      1. hk

        The last French Nazi division was the Charlemagne SS Division during WW2. I want to say that they actually fought in Ukraine, although I can’t remember for sure. I do know that they were the most fanatical defenders at Berlin, in 1945.

        1. Art_DogCT

          Precursors of the Charlemagne Division were active in the German military from 1941, some as individuals, some as members of the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism. Definitely served in Galicia. After the liberation of France the LFV was absorbed by a new formation, the Charlemagne Division. This Wikipedia entry is citation-rich. (I have not sampled their quality. Looked like rabbit hole bait…)

        2. Aurelien

          The Vichy government never sent a contingent to fight in the Soviet Union, but some of the hard-core fascists in Paris who thought Vichy were a load of wimps did organise a volunteer unit, the Legion of French Volunteers against Bolshevism, which fought mainly around Leningrad. There were also quite a few German-speaking French volunteers in the Waffen-SS from Alsace and Lorraine, and a number of them served in the Das Reich division, notorious for the extermination of the inhabitants of Oradour in 1944. The Charlemagne Division was the last iteration of these troops, as well as containing Vichy militia fleeing from the Resistance and the Gaullists after the Normandy landings. In spite of its name, it was more like a Brigade in size and, by that stage of the war Ukraine had been liberated. The best book I know is the subject, if you can read French, is by Pierre Giolitto:

    1. yep

      Yesterday’s comments were about triggering the Frenchies about colonialism, today’s about Nazism. I wonder what tomorrow will bring. :-)

  26. Es s Ce Tera

    re: More Newborns are Being Diagnosed With Syphilis as Adult Cases Continue Dramatic Rise Science-Based Medicine

    As I understand it, neurosyphilis and cognitive decline can still take place even after initial syphilis is successfully treated. So we’ve got the long covid, we’ve got rampant syphilis…

  27. britzklieg

    Larry Wilkerson closes the below linked commentary with the following:

    “The only way Israel can survive as a state located in the eastern Mediterranean, between the Jordan river and that sea, and as a state that serves as a safe haven for Jews, is if it is not a Jewish state… in short it must be a true liberal democracy, welcoming all citizens, affording them equal rights, humanitarian and otherwise. Incidentally, that is the only meaningful way US support for Israel can survive as well. The two go hand in hand… Today, in Gaza, the demise of both is in the wind. I can smell it. It has a putrid, decadent odor that only a fool can not recognize.”

  28. Louis Fyne

    Re. new Israeli cqptured

    as with anything Israel related, multiply Israeli losses by 40 to get a rough per capita equivalence to the US, continental EU.

    “special/clandestine” forces are not Superman….they are just very, very skilled light infantry who willbe annihilated if thrown into the wrong situation.

  29. The Rev Kev

    “Strike On Russian Strategic Early Warning Radar Site Is A Big Deal”

    This would not have been the Ukrainians but more likely NATO. But to attack a strategic early warning site means that Russia will have to ramp up their nuclear drills in case NATO gets the bright idea to launch an attack from that vector. Is NATO trying to tell Russia that they can blind and them nuke them? Is that a message that you really want to send? Is the idea to escalate things to a crazy level in the hope that the Russians will back down in the Ukraine? More likely it will make Russia want to finish the job – for good.

    1. Polar Socialist

      …launch an attack from that vector.

      If, and we really don’t know, that strike degraded the performance of the radar, Russia still has at least 6 early-warning satellites operational and 13 other early-warning radar sites. Most of which cover an arc of (at least) 245 degrees individually.

      tldr; Russia has something like 4 other early-warning radars looking at the same direction than the targeted one. For a reason they have made the system both layered and redundant.

      Besides, as these Voronez-DM radars are of modular construction (a new site can be constructed from prefabricated parts in a year), it’s supposed to be pretty quick to fix when something breaks.

      The intention of the strike, on the other hand, is really despicable gambling with the global security. In his book Jacques Baud says that this kind of diminished security for everyone is exactly why Russia has opposed NATO expansion – and why Ukraine was the red line.

    2. ilsm

      The vector of the two radars is South east and south west from an area of Russia due east of Crimea where the older sensors had been but the replacements were established away from the unstable Ukraine, in the early 2000’s. They would pick up launches from Indian Ocean to Syria (?).

      US has upgraded their early warning radars over the decades.

      The technology seems less technically ‘aggressive’: low frequency U/VHF. Latest US long range radar tech is S and X band.

      However, I doubt Ukraine could have done this mission without US intelligence, funded by the $20 billion just sent to USEUCOM to support the Kiev expired term comedian!

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      I read a perceptive comment over at Big Serge’s site by “marcjf”, the gist of which is that there are presently two separate wars going on in UKR. Quoting from “marcjf”:

      “… is a ground attrition war which Ukraine is on the verge of losing catastrophically…..the second war is a high tech long range war waged against Russian strategic assets using rebadged NATO personnel and using NATO weapons and targeting etc, to achieve NATO aims…..”


      I think he is on to something. Probably the smarter bulbs in DC/Brussels have figured out that UKR is toast, but have decided to use the brief window of opportunity to probe RU’s strategic defenses for weaknesses (as well as to test NATO’s ability to penetrate such) and maybe even (if good luck prevails) to destroy some of RU’s most precious assets (those A-50 airplanes are hard to replace). It’s a low-risk activity given Putin’s cautiousness and the fact that RU has not yet pushed the front lines sufficiently far away from RU borders, and if worse comes to worst NATO can always blame these attacks on rogue UKR elements. Which is OK with NATO, as UKR will eventually be thrown under the bus anyway.

      Of course there is a chance that RU will react badly to these attacks and do something really drastic, but I prefer not to go there.

      1. Snailslime

        Perhaps better Russia does something drastic now than NATO does something drastic with the infos it got later.

        Putin’s cautiousness has every bit as much of a chance of getting us all killed as NATO’s recklessness and the combination of both might easily be what guarantees all our damnation.

  30. LawnDart

    Are the rats abandoning ship?

    Saudi Arabia Slashes U.S. Stock Holdings by $15 Billion

    The country’s sovereign wealth fund reported in securities filings a 41% drop in the size of its U.S. stock portfolio in the first quarter.

    Voices in the street, writings on the wall… it doesn’t take much to fuel speculation as to the reasons behind this move.

    It seems that the old agreement to cycle oil revenues into the US economy may have gone ka-plooey, or was this under different terms?

    1. flora

      Weaponizing the dollar and changing US law to allow taking frozen assets owned by foreign govts.

      1. LawnDart

        Good point.

        And we don’t exactly have the poster-children for geopolitical stability front-and-center at the moment. Between Bibi and Z, our own inept western misleadership, it’s kinda surprising that we still even have economies and stock markets to fret over.

        Aside from maybe some pharmacuticals and some tech, there’s still “defense” and energy, but I doubt foriegn cash can park in these, so what’s left in the west to invest it? WalMart?

        1. LawnDart

          Question answered: the Saudis appear to be selling into a US-bubble to finance their end of the Silk Road partnership with the Chinese.

          China Sea Investment Two-way Run to Renew “ Silk Road Legend”

          Fujian, the eastern starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road and the core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, had been in friendly exchanges and trade exchanges with Gulf Arab countries as early as about 1100 years ago. Today, the Gulf Arab States Cooperation Committee ( GCC ) member countries Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and China have once again gathered to consolidate and expand cooperation in areas such as energy petrochemical, interconnection, and financial services.

          1. Pat

            Bwahahahaha. And I didn’t think the Saudi’s had much of a sense of humor. Using America’s political elites only economical sign post of importance, the stock market, to fund something America is desperate to have fall apart reeks of black humor and payback.

  31. flora

    re: cow-bird flu. based on pcr tests.

    remembering these stories from 2021 and 2022:
    the hens didn’t die of illness. entire flocks were all killed based on single positive pcr tests found at the poultry facilities.

    Now here is birdflu again…in dairy cattle…based on pcr testing.
    I’m with the dairy farmers on this one.
    Ramping up the worry about dairy is a two-fer: create panic in the public about recalcitrant farmers endangering us all means passing the WHO pandemic treaty (terrible idea) is good and necessary; killing lots of dairy cattle will drive up the price of meat and dairy.
    “You vill eat ze bugs.” / heh (only partly in jest)

  32. Jamie


    Dr. Bill and FDA ramping up for next Pandemic
    Apr 12, 2024
    Bill Gates Called For A ‘Universal Flu Vaccine,’ Now The CDC Director Says The Organization Is ‘Activated’ After Issuing Bird Flu Alert

    Apr 24, 2024
    mRNA Bird Flu Vaccine Candidate Launches Study in the U.S. (CureVac)

    April 24, 2024
    CureVac Announces Start of Combined Phase 1/2 Study in Avian Influenza (H5N1); Development in Collaboration with GSK

    Avian Flu (H5N1) Program – U.S. FDA Fast Track Designation
    FDA granted Fast Track (warp speed) designation for a monovalent influenza A (H5N1) pre-pandemic vaccine candidate encoding an H5-antigen.
    Based on CureVac’s proprietary second-generation mRNA backbone, the vaccine candidate aims to contribute to pandemic preparedness against avian influenza and provide an effective countermeasure in the event of human-to-human transmission of the H5N1 virus.

    March 5, 2015
    The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CureVac Collaborate to Accelerate the Development of Transformative Vaccine Technology
    Bill Gates: “Technologies like mRNA give us confidence to place big bets for the future. We are pleased to partner with CureVac who has been pioneering this technology.”

    Dietmar Hopp (German software engineer and billionaire businessman):
    ”When I first met CureVac’s founders 10 years ago (2005), their vision and technology reminded me of the beginnings of the software industry: mRNA is like software that is able to teach the body to reprogram itself in order to fight cancer and infectious disease. I am delighted that Bill Gates and the foundation see it the same way.”

    Ingmar Hoerr (CureVac founder):
    “With the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we have found another strong and highly committed investor to support us in expanding our mRNA platform at an accelerated pace.

    Mini Bio’s
    Dietmar Hopp is a German billionaire and co-founder of SAP, (the world’s largest business software company). He transferred most of his SAP shares to a charitable foundation and invested in CureVac, a vaccine developer.

    Ingmar Hoerr played a key role in the development of mRNA therapeutics, co-founding CureVac in 2000. He left CureVac in 2020, after suffering an aneurysm rupture.

    1. flora

      It’s almost like Bill & co knew in early April what the MSM headlines would say today. Uncanny. / ;)

      1. Jamie

        And early in March, 2015:

        “Technologies like mRNA give us confidence to place big bets for the future.”

        Uncanny. Indeed.

  33. juno mas

    RE: Sinking Town

    The reality of state capitalism is that it spreads devastation and calls it development.

    What the author describes as “state capitalism” is actually a state captured by capitalism. Ignoring science is what the US CDC did with the recent pandemic. It is what the Fed does by ignoring the real cause of inflation. Most state agencies are put in place to set Health, Emergency, Building standards to protect its citizens, not endanger them.

  34. Mikel

    “This Hedge Fund Wants to Save Investigative Journalism — By Using It to Game the Market” Politico

    Wade through the PR and assorted image massaging BS and you’ll arrive at what the issue and stakes are behind another alleged “innovation.”

    “…Big names and professed love for journalism notwithstanding, though, there are open questions about how their model works. Legally, it can’t rely on one of investigative journalism’s strongest weapons: inside sources. If someone who works inside a company gives a Hunterbrook journalist information and then Hunterbrook Capital trades stocks based on that information, that’s insider trading. So Koppelman and his team have to depend on their ability to sort through already public information to discern something new about a company….”

    “…Perhaps the most obvious of those ethical traps is the possibility that, rather than doing dispassionate journalism that leads to smart investment, the company will do it the other way around, letting their investment hunches guide their journalism — an ethical breach that could also lead to shoddy journalism. Others have already raised the idea that Hunterbrook is simply a hedge fund with a research department that’s dressed up like a newsroom, because paying journalists costs less than paying financial analysts.

    Questions about potential conflicts of interest have also come up….”

    In short, another “innovation” centered around making something that was illegal now legal and hyper-financialization.
    None of it works without further weakening of insider trading regulations (that are already shakily enforced).

    1. Ranger Rick

      I’m not sure this is even innovative. I recall there were several occasions a short seller provided the results of investigations to the media. It’s not insider trading, technically speaking, but it definitely appears that way.

  35. Art_DogCT

    Mr. Gallagher,

    Thank you for the much most tasty Links and essays today! Delicious and nutritious!

  36. Alice X

    I don’t subscribe to the WaPo and therefore don’t often read them, but I received an email from them today (maybe I entered my address to read something at sometime). It linked to this article on Mexico City’s ongoing water crisis. There has been ink spilled on looming climate change refugee’s, Mexico City may have 22 million in waiting.

    Mexico City’s water ‘Day Zero’ may come even for the wealthiest residents

    The metropolitan area of 22 million gets about a quarter of its water from a system that is running dry. Some say it could be unable to provide water by June 26. – By Kasha Patel

    We in Michigan have plenty of water. Unfortunately, we have plenty of PFAS that is in it. But, that is another story of the self-terminating scope of the human experiment on this world.

    1. CA

      May 18, 2024

      Mexico City Has Long Thirsted for Water. The Crisis Is Worsening.
      A system of dams and canals may soon be unable to provide water to one of the world’s largest cities, a confluence of unchecked growth, crumbling infrastructure and a changing climate.

      By James Wagner, Emiliano Rodríguez Mega and Somini Sengupta
      Photographs and Video by César Rodríguez

      A collision of climate change, urban sprawl and poor infrastructure has pushed Mexico City to the brink of a profound water crisis.

      The groundwater is quickly vanishing. A key reservoir got so low that it is no longer used to supply water. Last year was Mexico’s hottest and driest in at least 70 years. And one of the city’s main water systems faces a potential “Day Zero” this summer when levels dip so much that it, too, will no longer provide water.

      “We’re suffering because the city is growing immeasurably and it cannot be stopped,” said Gabriel Martínez, 64, who lives in an apartment complex that struggles to get enough water for its roughly 600 residents. “There aren’t enough resources.”

      Mexico City, once a water-rich valley that was drained to make way for a vast city, has a metropolitan population of 23 million, among the top 10 largest in the world and up from 15 million in 1990. It is one of several major cities facing severe water shortages, including Cape Town; São Paulo, Brazil; and Chennai, India. Many are the consequence of years of poor water management compounded by scarce rains…

  37. Carolinian

    Good article on the closing of the internet mind but I’d say the real question is whether it is working and the answer is no. The infocrats may try to control things but with computers there’s always a workaround and eager users to find it.

    For example I like Wikipedia but am quit aware that any national security material is probably under the thumb of the CIA and treat those articles accordingly. The assumption of the mind controllers is that internet users are just as naive about the internet as that series of tubes senator was but their view is incorrect.

    So the real damage is when they attack reporters and journalists rather than try to limit access on facebook and youtube. Which is to say commercial media are arguably more of a threat than government which must eventually face the music for lies.

    And the media bigs suffer from lies as well but have deep pocket backers to prop them up.

    All the above is naive perhaps but true totalitarian systems have proved to be self limiting. Orwell gave a better warning in Animal Farm. It’s our nature that sustains hierarchy, not some well worked out scheme by people who aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are.

    1. Acacia

      I also thought that article was good, until the author’s TDS kicked in and the censorship industry was pinned on him. Uh, no.

  38. antidlc
    Neil Young’s Chicago show postponed at last minute ‘due to illness’
    Rocker had been scheduled to perform with his band Crazy Horse at the Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island.

    Neil Young’s sold-out concert at Chicago’s Huntington Bank Pavilion was postponed Thursday, just hours before showtime.

    A statement on the Northerly Island venue’s X page said the show, part of a tour with Young’s band Crazy Horse, was postponed “due to illness.” There were no details about who was ill.

  39. ChrisFromGA

    Lest anyone expect something different should Trump somehow win in November, here are two extremely disturbing developments:

    1. Trump stated that there is a place for Nikki Haley on the team. You go, girl!
    2. Latest rumor is that Tom Cotton is on the shortlist for VP. That guy makes Lindsay Graham look like George McGovern.

    Get your warmonger on!

    1. Carolinian

      Nikki can helm the newly created Israeli Affairs Department in the cabinet. Its building will be larger than the Pentagon.

      Trump does seem to be leaning to the right. Perhaps he thinks he has it all sewn up.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I’m rooting for a conviction next week. A second Biden admin might actually be the lesser of two evils.

        Although, I can see Biden stepping down if Trump gets acquitted. Enter Hildebeast …

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