Links 5/5/2024

If Corporations Are People, Then Animals Should Be Too The New Republic (Furzy Mouse).


Japanese, Brazilian leaders agree to protect Amazon rainforest Anadolu Agency

Fire for Water BioGraphic

Mexico’s Floating Gardens Are an Ancient Wonder of Sustainable Farming Reasons to be Cheerful


Thames Water London Review of Books


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus Infection in a Dairy Farm Worker (letter) NEJM. “The virus identified in the worker’s specimen had a change (PB2 E627K) that has been associated with viral adaptation to mammalian hosts and detected previously in humans and other mammals infected with HPAI A(H5N1) viruses and other avian influenza A virus subtypes, including A(H7N9) and A(H9N2). No genetic markers associated with reduced susceptibility to influenza antiviral drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration were identified.” Commentary:

(BAA = CDC’s “Broad Agency Awards.”)

Potential Pathways of Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A/H5N1 Clade Across Dairy Farms in the United States (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract:

The emergence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) A/H5N1 clade has led to an unprecedented intercontinental spread affecting a broad spectrum of avian and mammalian species….. The study aimed to evaluate the modes of introduction and transmission to dairy farms, through geospatial and exposure analyses. Our findings favour a singular introduction over multiple independent introductions, with non-waterfowl species exhibiting the highest dairy farm exposure, which is a major shift from historical waterfowl spread. Moreover, bidirectional spread between cattle and poultry highlights the intricate nature of disease transmission within the agricultural ecosystem. Additional factors such as livestock trade, poultry litter feed and contaminated milking machinery likely contributed to the amplification of the outbreaks throughout the United States. As large-scale outbreaks persist in the United States, the likelihood of a human pandemic increases, making it imperative to enact and sustain heightened surveillance measures across all potentially impacted species.

The avian and human influenza A virus receptors sialic acid (SA)-α2,3 and SA-α2,6 are widely expressed in the bovine mammary gland (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “We found all receptors were expressed, to a different degree, in the mammary gland, respiratory tract, and cerebrum of beef and/or dairy cattle…. These results provide a mechanistic rationale for the high levels of H5N1 virus reported in infected bovine milk and show cattle have the potential to act as a mixing vessel for novel IAV generation.” You’d think we could finish our first experiment with serial passage through the general population before starting the second, but apparently not.

* * *

Thousands Believe Covid Vaccines Harmed Them. Is Anyone Listening? NYT. Commentary:

Contribution of vaccination to improved survival and health: modelling 50 years of the Expanded Programme on Immunization The Lancet

* * *

2 new COVID variants called ‘FLiRT’ are spreading in the U.S. What are the symptoms? Today. A complete mess. CDC still recommending handwashing, and “Wear a mask in crowded, indoor spaces.” Like hospitals [ha ha, what am I thinking].

Akiko Iwasaki: The Immunology of Covid and the Future Eric Topol, Ground Truths

Temporal trajectories of COVID-19 symptoms in adults with 22 months follow-up in a prospective cohort study in Norway (preprint) medRxiv. N = 146,065. From the Abstract: “A positive SARS-CoV-2 test was associated with new onset memory- and concentration problems, anosmia and dysgeusia, dyspnoea and fatigue as well as self-assessed worsening of overall health, which persisted for the length of the follow-up of 22 months, even when correcting for symptoms before COVID-19 and compared to symptoms in negative controls.”

* * *

How Good, Kind, Caring People Became The Bad Guys Jessica Wildfire, OK Doomer

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right (Here I am, stuck in the Middle with you….) Essays You Didn’t Want to Read


Cold War Consequences: US Scrambles for Rare-Earth Magnets Produced in China Sputnik International

China’s steel industry risks ‘falling off a cliff’ as overcapacity concerns point to end of an era South China Morning Post

Macron set to press China’s Xi on trade, Ukraine during Paris visit France24

Commentary: China’s new moon mission is a rare example of countries working together Channel News Asia


Canadian police arrest three in slaying of Sikh separatist that strained ties with India France24


Turkiye to join genocide case against Israel at ICJ: FM The Cradle

Northern Gaza in ‘full-blown’ famine: Senior UN official EuroNews

Advisors Assure Biden This Will Blow Over Once All Gazans Dead The Onion

* * *

Report: Hamas Accepts Gaza Cease-fire Deal; Israeli Officials Reject Prospect of War Ending Haaretz

Hamas says no hostage deal without end to war as talks resume Updated 3 minutes ago Telegraph

Israel’s war on Gaza live: Hamas says Netanyahu ‘hindering’ truce efforts Al Jazeera

Ceasefire should be ‘no-brainer’ for Hamas, Blinken says Channel News Asia. Dumb as a stump.

* * *

Israeli forces detain Greek Consul’s personal guard at Church of Holy Sepulchre Anadolu Agency

International Court of Justice severely limits the transfer of arms to Israel Middle East Monitor

Charge Palestine With Genocide Too The Atlantic

Rules of the Game New Left Review. Iran and Palestine.

AIPAC Is Secretly Funneling Money Into a Congressional Race, Sources Say. Here Are the Details. Ryan Grim, The Intercept

European Disunion

“The ‘foreign agents law’ in its current form clashes with European values,” – the head of the European Commission for EU Enlargement JAM News

Why France is finding vegan croissants hard to stomach BBC

New Not-So-Cold War

RUSI Report Quietly Validates Russia’s Strategic Superiority: A Breakdown Simplicius the Thinker. A must-read (original).

Sullivan says military aid will help Ukraine mount counteroffensive in 2025 FT

* * *

German general warns of “fatal error” NATO will make if proxy war in Ukraine continues InfoBrics

Will the NATO war games on Russia’s borders trigger a nuclear response? Discussion on Iran’s Press TV Gilbert Doctorow, Armageddon Newsletter

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, May 4, 2024 Institute for the Study of War. “Russian forces appear to be choosing to exploit the tactical situation northwest of Avdiivka – a sound military undertaking – but their ultimate objective in this frontline sector remains unclear.” Unlike Ukraine’s summer offensive, a punch telegraphed as broadly as possible.

* * *

Zelenskyy briefed by Ukraine’s commander-in-chief and intelligence chief : We are aware of all the aspects of the current situation Ukrainska Pravda. Confidence-builder!

Zelensky is in a predicament in the war against Russia – opinion Jerusalem Post

Russia puts Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on its wanted list AP

Ukraine returns to Black Sea container market Container News

Brendan Mcgeever, Antisemitism and the Russian Revolution Historical Materialism


Unredactions Reveal Early White House Involvement in Trump Documents Case Julie Kelly, RealClearInvestigations. A “whole of government” approach to lawfare….

The Supremes

Biden Top Supreme Court Lawyer Laments Shadow Docket Effect Bloomberg Law

How ‘History and Tradition’ Rulings Are Changing American Law NYT

Digital Watch

Some scientists can’t stop using AI to write research papers The Register

Our Famously Free Press

Twitch app moves into news coverage, redefining journalism (press release) University of Oregon

X launches Stories, delivering news summarized by Grok AI TechCrunch. The creators will, naturally, be compensated?

Groves of Academe

Pro-Palestinian protests stretch on after arrests, police crackdowns: Latest updates USA Today

Student encampments have the potential to strengthen US democracy Guardian

How Do I Prepare My Phone for a Protest? (Updated 2024) The Markup

Imperial Collapse Watch

BRICS and De-Dollarization Efforts – Analysis InfoBrics

Class Warfare

Is Nominal Wage Growth Starting to Slow? Matthew Klein, The Overshoot

Administrative Enslavement (PDF) Columbia Law Review. “There are currently over a million people enslaved in the United States. Under threat of horrendous punishment, they cook, clean, and even fight fires. They do this not in the shadow of the law but with the express blessing of the Thirteenth Amendment’s Except Clause, which permits enslavement and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime.”

Doing Some (Catfish) Noodling? JSTOR Daily

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Macron set to press China’s Xi on trade, Ukraine during Paris visit”

    I heard on the news tonight that Macron will tell the Chinese to stop supporting Russia. He may dangle trade deals and the like in front of Xi in return but it won’t matter for two reasons. First, Macron constantly flip flops on all sorts of positions so he may say one thing to Xi but Xi could only trust Macron as far as the door. The second is that the US is gearing up to take on China by next year so it is only a matter of time before the US tells the EU to halt all trade with China like they did with Russia. And of course the EU will obey so there would go any trade deals that Macron might set up with Xi.

    1. timbers

      “I heard on the news tonight that Macron will tell the Chinese to stop supporting Russia.”

      What Xi would say to Marcon if he were me:

      “Emmanuel, when France becomes a sovereign nation able to make it’s own policy and decisions, get back to me this, will you please? Until then I’m just here for the cuisine. So Marcon, what’s for lunch? Any new trends in French culinary we can enjoy?”

      1. The Rev Kev

        After seeing Macron, Xi will be going to Serbia and Hungary so that is two countries that are still to a large extent sovereign nations that he will be able to do trade deals with.

      2. Emma

        I hope Xi brings his own food safety team. Wouldn’t want to come down with that rare cancer that brought down Arafat, Chavez, and others.

        1. Mikel

          Or come down with the mysterious “whistleblower flu” (even though he’s not a whistleblower).

      3. Emma

        Is Paris still on the Asian fusion food kick and mostly putting out food that’s indistinguishable from upmarket offerings in Sydney, SF, or London? Italy is really much better for food than France. (ducks)

        1. SocalJimObjects

          I would agree that French food is overrated. I’ve been to France twice and both times I didn’t find French food to be something to write home about. I also think there are better croissants to be had in Japan. Japanese people can bake ANYTHING.

          And yes, I’ve been to Italy on three separate occasions, and every single time I ate like a king. When it comes to European food, Italian is numero uno, can’t even think of number two, perhaps Spanish?

          1. JohnA

            As someone who spends half the year in France, what I would say about the food, is that most towns and villages still have butchers, bakers, greengrocers and other small food stores where people shop on a daily or almost daily basis for seasonal food. There are also weekly or twice weekly food markets or daily indoor food halls. Not like Britain and Scandinavia, for example, where the majority of poeple shop at supermarkets, often just once a week. Of course you can get fruit and veg there out of season all year round flown from South America, New Zealand, South Africa etc. Or driven from vast plastic greenhouses in Spain. I definitely prefer the French way of food shopping and eating.

            1. JP

              It’s not about French dining. What makes eating in France really delightful is the availability of really good ingredients. When we are in France we most enjoy going to market and getting what we want to make dinner with. Don’t get me wrong. We have eaten in fine and not so fine restaurants in France Germany and Italy, but the French live to eat and expect to have access to the best of components.

              You really don’t need a refrigerator in France because really fresh stuff can be had daily at the market directly from the farmer in smaller villes. The best breads are available fresh daily in even the smallest towns. There is nothing quite as good as French bread + cheese + wine.

              I once spoke with an agronomist from the biggest farmer in the central valley CA. He was sarcastically critical of the efficiency of the French farmer. I suggested that the French farmer had to sell to French people who prized quality over quantity.

              1. Amfortas the Hippie

                yeah. i’m really jealous of the french and spanish and italians for their local production and markets….and have been for most of my life(doing what we used to call “organic” horticulture since i was 5 or so.)

                ive painted my signs to hang on my truck–“FRESH PRODUCE”.
                ill make my own market.
                maybe start another trend(i was instrumental in these folks out here discovering that theres more to cuisine/life than chicken fried steak, burgers and boring texmex)

              2. playon

                So many countries have better and fresher food than the USA. I’ve been to Thailand, China, Malaysia, Mexico and Jamaica and they all had better food than most of what you get in the USA, both on the street and in the markets. Was in Europe when I was a kid (which was a very long time ago but I recall the food being great except in Ireland and the UK.

                1. Amfortas the Hippie

                  i went to canada when i was 13…ate a lil street food, and still can taste it in my mind, right now.(savory pastry things…like handpies…with venison and mushrooms, etc)
                  went to mexico a bunch of time, and eschewed the touristy places…went into the back streets and over the tracks, as it were…asked locals(rather, wife did) where to eat….and was always amazed at how good it was.
                  so contrary to the long in tooth monteczuma;s revenge narrative.
                  caveat: it was always hot food…not ceviche or anything.
                  yet another anecdatapoint to the effect that our rulers are hiding the world from us.

        2. Bugs

          There are still many very good places to eat authentic French dishes of the old style and new in Paris and nearby. Use the Michelin or Gault & Millau. For the best in haute cuisine, Taillevent and Lasserre are still very, very good. Tour d’Argent is once in a lifetime, just for the wine cellar if nothing else. Pierre Gagnaire is awful – you will walk out hungry. These are all very expensive places but if you’re American, they probably seem affordable now lol.

          And follow your nose. If it looks and smells good, it usually is. The countryside used to abound with wonderful traditional restaurants but now it’s maybe only one or two decent ones per, say every 50km2. Ask around. Only people living there will know where to go. YMMV.

      4. Aurelien

        It’s a ritual, and will be understood on both sides as such. Macron is doing this to anticipate and counter accusations from the political opposition and the media that he’s “soft” on China. A depressing amount of the bilateral conversations between states consist of reading out prepared positions, but it has to be done.

        1. flora

          I understand Macron is not doing well in the polls. His Renaissance party is polling at 17%. Even Le Pen’s RN party is polling higher at 32%. Tough spot for Macron.

          1. Feral Finster

            So? Macron has the approval of People Who Matter and more importantly the approval of his American Master.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      People in Paris: “The last time Paris is this clean was like … never”. Xi’s visit transformed SF into a livable city for a couple of days, perhaps the same thing would happen to Paris? The last time I was there, back in 2010, it was filthy as hell.

      Xi should just give Macron an offer the later can’t refuse: a Chinese Hukou.

      1. The Rev Kev

        No worries there. They are already getting rid of the homeless and will be hard-cleaning the streets soon as the Paris Olympics starts in only several weeks more. Macron must be really worried about security though. I read recently that France wants to borrow security forces from other countries for those two weeks.

        1. Bugs

          The security theatre in Paris is going to be beyond the pale and it could use a post here to get into the dirty details. Some people are planning to get out of Dodge the whole time just to avoid the checkpoint and biometric hassles. The areas in the Red Zone are particularly locked down. This includes all of the usual tourist areas, plus corridors to 3 Olympic Village accommodation zones.

 (French – couldn’t find it in English, sorry)

          1. Aurelien

            This is going to be a nightmare, even if nothing serious goes wrong. The government is urging French people to just go away from Paris during the Games, and companies are being asked to move to remote working where possible. I’m not going anywhere even near Paris at the time if I can help it. Crime by itself will be an immense problem, and it doesn’t help that (to the surprise no doubt of many sports fans) the majority of the events are taking place not in the centre of the city, but in the “ninety-third”, the suburb of Saint-Denis to the North, which is the poorest Department in France, and which vigorously competes with Marseille to have the highest rate of drug-related crime. Oh, and the Islamists are particularly strong there, and they believe that all sports are sinful.

            The security problems are insoluble, not least because most recent attacks have been one man with a knife, and you simply cannot protect against that. Paris is impossible to protect anyway, given its size and geography, and there will be a lot of politicians sweating and sleepless until the Games are over. It was a stupid idea to bring them to Paris anyway.

            As you say, a story worth staying in touch with.

            1. flora

              Aurelien, it’s hard for me to formulate in a simple and direct way to say what I mean, (as it is always), but your and Bugs comments make me wonder if the so-called great and good of France (and the US and the UK) have been completely captured by their own hysteria, their own bubble-think, their own self-referential preferences about “truth.” I don’t know.

              This interview from last year of Walter Kirn by Palladiam seems to me to capture the – what can I call it – the recursive self-referencing data inputs of a frightened and out of touch political class?

              Walter Kirn on How America Lost the Plot


              1. Anon

                The United States has always been a mixed, neophyte culture; whereas Europe’s big states have held to theirs steadfastly since the Moors left. While one could argue it is their just deserves for colonialism, the reality of living with a hostile population, righteous or not, is unpleasant. It’s easy to have good feelings for the homeless and drug addled when you’re not the one stepping in dookie. I believe Aurelien is calling it how it is, however limited.

                1. JBird4049

                  >>>It’s easy to have good feelings for the homeless and drug addled when you’re not the one stepping in dookie.

                  Or seeing it being… created for your stepping enjoyment.

                  San Francisco (and the rest of the Bay Area) have had a shortage of public toilets for some decades now. Mayors and council members come and go throughout this great land, but nobody seems capable of doing what the Roman Republic was doing over two thousand years ago. It’s a mystery, it is. This building and maintaining of public toilets.

                  But for a few million dollars San Francisco can supply a pair of porta potties mounted on a rickety wooden platform trailer near a local methadone clinic. Walking by it, IIRC, I saw it leaned forward being as the hitch was not set up at level, which must make using the facilities a challenge.

                  And so we have the delightful scenes of dookie creation elsewhere.

                  1. Anon

                    It is notably intentional… but once that ball has rolled, the devastation cares little for its paternity, only its appetite, and reflexes. Aurelien’s take being an example of reflex; but as you clean your shoes and a bit of it crumbs your finger, do think of the city council, and the myriad choices of your ancestors.

              2. Mikel

                If it all has been lies, then nothing was lost.
                And that’s not bleak. It actually provides a path forward…as long as people stop letting liars be the gatekeepers of what the future looks like.

    3. CA

      May 5, 2024

      Xi Visits Europe, Seeking Strategic Opportunity
      The Chinese leader has carefully chosen three countries — France, Serbia and Hungary — that to varying degrees embrace Beijing’s push for a new global order.
      By Roger Cohen and Chris Buckley

      On his first visit to Europe in five years, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, appears intent on seizing opportunities to loosen the continent’s bonds with the United States and forge a world freed of American dominance.

      The Chinese leader has chosen three countries to visit — France, Serbia and Hungary — that each, to a greater or lesser degree, look askance at America’s postwar ordering of the world, see China as a necessary counterweight and are eager to bolster economic ties.

      At a time of tensions with much of Europe — over China’s “no limits” embrace of Russia despite the war in Ukraine, its surveillance state and its apparent espionage activities that led to the recent arrest in Germany of four people — Mr. Xi, who is arriving in France on Sunday, wants to demonstrate China’s growing influence on the continent and pursue a pragmatic rapprochement.

      For Europe, the visit will test its delicate balancing act between China and the United States, and will no doubt be seen in Washington as a none-too-subtle effort by Mr. Xi to divide Western allies.

      He has timed his arrival at his second stop, Serbia, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the deadly NATO bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo war. That mistaken strike on May 7, 1999, for which the White House apologized, killed three Chinese journalists and ignited furious protests around the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

      “For Xi, being in Belgrade is a very economical way to ask if the United States is really serious about international law,” said Janka Oertel, the director of the Asia program at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, “and to say, how about NATO overreach as a problem for other countries?”

      The Chinese government has continued to commemorate the Belgrade bombing, using it as an occasion to denounce what it sees as Western hypocrisy and bullying…

    4. Benny Profane

      I’m still convinced that Macron is publicly interviewing for a top job in Brussels.

    5. Bsn

      Yes, China should just respond with “We’ll stop support for Russia if you stop support for Ukraine”. Just let them duke it out, alone. Aint gonna happen of course.

  2. Michael Hudson

    A former student of mine from 1971, David Beasley, sent me this poem he wrote. He has written a wonderful book about how a steam automobile was invented and produced in the early 19th-century England – and how the vested interests blocked its development by calling it unsafe, and requiring drivers to have a person walking in front of it to “protect” people. Needless to say, that slowed down how fast the driver could go

    Our Modern World

    There is a billionaire named Yass
    Who told Biden to kiss his ass.
    Dear Sir, I most kindly defer
    To the man likely to concur
    Netanyahu who’ll kiss your side
    When he completes his genocide.

    Biden, among ungrateful upstarts
    You’ve forgotten all your farts
    Bill, Dubya, Barack and you
    Not to mention that English lark
    Blair who made Iraq a filthy stew.
    You all got millions to do my will
    You made our workers into swill
    Plunged us into a fascist dark
    Citizens can be killed at will
    Zombie police control our state
    You brought Trump to seal our fate.

    Please dear Sir, You made the armaments
    Given to Israel for its bombardments.
    You made millions from those sales,
    You finance Trump when he fails,
    You wont let me save the kids
    Because Israel will hit the skids
    Without our taxes to support
    Psychopaths that you court
    For reasons I find insane,
    But I obey just the same.

    Look old Joe, I’ll explain.
    We rich got full acclaim
    By paying politicos the sums
    For laws expanding our incomes
    To great heights not foreseen.
    Our gardens in luscious green.
    And kept the people dumb
    With crass films and lotto plum,
    Till we got a madman on top.
    Reforms he’ll see botched
    And stomp the unwashed
    To make them one big prop.

    Dear Sir, you are too cruel
    You make us burn fossil fuel
    Thousands die from polluted air
    Millions starve so you can live
    In opulence I can’t forgive.
    You gave us 9/11
    Plotting for years to get even
    And gave us wars without end
    So we on your weapons spend.
    Don’t you realize
    Our heirs will you despise?
    Our earthly paradise
    Takes on an ugly guise
    The animals go extinct
    And we are on the brink.

    What the fuck do I care
    I don’t believe in after-life
    I worked hard for my share
    The world is full of idiot strife
    Best to enjoy what I can
    Feed the rest with spam
    And screw fools like you
    And laugh at what you rue
    Cause you are as much at fault
    For accepting from my vault
    Greedy stuff to be president
    Honoured on money bills
    In the White House resident.
    As sure as I am billionaire Yass
    You will kiss my ass.

      1. Mikel

        He said his friend wrote it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the professor wanted to compose some music to it.

    1. digi_owl

      Yeah, i seem to recall reading about that steam carriage. The one thing that particular comes to mind was a newspaper illustration of the vehicle. With a person in front waving a big flag to warn others of the slow moving, smoke belching, contraption coming their way.

      1. Vandemonian

        Cannny owners of the steam carriage had an impressive party trick. They would start the fire under the boiler, and walk down the road a little way. After an appropriate interval they would whistle and beckon, and the steam-powered iron horse would roll slowly down the road towards them.

      2. vao

        During the first half of the 20th century, steam lorries were actually a thing, especially in the UK. They were manufactured till 1950. Search for “Sentinel steam wagon” in YouTube to get videos of carefully restored steam lorries speeding through the English countryside, or “steam fair” for a parade of wildly eclectic steam-powered road vehicles.

        Steam cars were also produced, with the USA hosting a surprising number of manufacturers.

  3. mrsyk

    Oh dear, Charge Palestine With Genocide Too, really? It’s not fair! Apparently, middle schoolers are now writing articles for The Atlantic. The money quote? Produced by ElevenLabs and News Over Audio (NOA) using AI narration.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Are they sure that it was not written by an AI? And does the Atlantic really want to go there? Because if they do, then there will have to be an international investigation on just how those Israelis died on October 7th (cough*Hannibal Doctrine*cough). That would be political dynamite in Israel. There has been nothing but a ruckus there about Israeli hostages but to have it come out in court that far more would be alive except that they were killed by the IDF would go down like a lead balloon. There is an old saw about never holding an inquiry unless you know exactly what will be found. The Atlantic should know better.

      1. flora

        an aside: there’s a big, ongoing movement in Isr. to oust Bibi from office. The minute he’s out of office he goes to jail having been found guilty of serious crimes by the courts. (The courts he tried to neuter.) Is he genociding Gaza just to keep himself in office and out of jail? Can’t have elections while this mayhem is going on. A monstrous thought.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Netanyahu may be. He unlike most Western critters isn’t a complete doofus, but the rest of Tel Aviv is just crazed. I suspect he would have tried a limited war against Hezbollah if there were calmer heads still around, but besides the problems inherent to an ethnostate, Netanyahu always poisoned the well, creating a broken population. His first action after Sharon stroked out was to launch a war, but in political life, he was replaced by an Israeli hero/strongman. He was always at risk of being ousted by a right-wing “hero.”

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Given Netanyahu’s strongman act, it occurred to me Biden hasn’t realized Netanyahu will always take the position of strength unless he is completely brought to heel. There can’t be congeniality.

          1. ArvidMartensen

            Just like Israel has used the rabid-dog tactic of ‘there is nothing we will not do” to frighten the countries around it, so I think Israel also uses that tactic against the US government, especially in an election year.

            There probably isn’t a Democrat or Republican who wants to mess with the rabid dog leading up to the elections.

        1. pjay

          Thanks for this link. On the same subject, Electronic Intifada posted a thorough debunking of Sheryl Sandberg’s propaganda film “Screams before Silence” that was mentioned in Links several days ago. Of course Sandberg’s film got lots of attention and served to keep the “mass rape” story going. Forgive me if this has already been posted, but it’s also very good. Asymmetrical information warfare against well-connected billionaires and their media enablers is important.

          1. Alice X

            Richard Sanders lists a number of sources which were primarily alt-media sites, including Electronic Intifada. He discusses his own film’s debunking of mainstream media propaganda.

    2. Joker

      Everyone will be charged of genocide, except those that did the biggest genocides. They will be the ones judging.

  4. timbers

    Death of Self-Checkout, Walmart Charges for it in Some Locations

    It doesn’t help that self checkout is being turned into a sales spam vehicle. I am seeing an increasing amount of spam questions you must respond to before completing a sale: “Do want our Credit Card?” “Do you want to make a donation?” “Is this your membership card?” “Do you want to apply for Membership?” “Do you want a email/text receipt or printed?”

    It wasn’t like that in the beginning. You could scan your items and get out. Easy. No they almost want you to have a relationship with the AI running the scanner.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just wait until they start putting paid adverts on those page screens. You know it is coming.

    2. Carolinian

      Walmart fell under the spell of Amazon and thought they too needed a spybot. But then they try lots of things and then pull back if they don’t work. The heavy switch to self check may have brought along enough “shrinkage” that it has proven unprofitable. At least one Walmart in a nearby city has completely done away with self check because of this.

    3. Benny Profane

      I have a large Stop and Shop just a quarter mile away I avoid most of the time, but every now and then I use it for essentials. I was using self checkout, and brain faded and bypassed the scanner with a hunk of cheese, and all hell broke loose. In the ensueing reset, I learned that I was being watched by three cameras, and no doubt my face is on file as a possible thief, and maybe they’ve sold all of that info elsewhere along with the info on my credit card and all that brings. A marked man.
      They also have these six foot tall robots roaming around that are like a large Roomba with a tower sticking out of it with cameras and other sensors. Lord knows what they are doing with them, but, man, if I could just corner one with a baseball bat someday…

      1. The Rev Kev

        And all these robots, cameras plus the tech backup for them all is cheaper than a coupla kids on a checkout counter how exactly?

        1. Benny Profane

          Yeah, my thought and no doubt the thoughts of many in corporate during this transition. Those stations with the security can cost in the hundreds of thousands, and still need an employee or two to back them up.

          1. flora

            “6 foot tall robots roaming around….” Ah, so that’s where the Daleks now find work. Be glad they weren’t commanding “exterminate, exterminate” at you. / ;)

        2. Carolinian

          Not to rekindle this debate but stores see self check as a convenience feature for customers and not merely as a labor shafting opportunity. Those of us who used to spend endless minutes waiting in line for one of the few cashiers like self check.

          And at slow times those cashiers–if there are enough of them–may be merely standing around. Efficiency minded store managers don’t like this. So the self check is also a traffic flow device.

          Aldi, with its bare bones staffing, used to handle the above problem by having one cashier and more called from other duties as needed. Aldi really works its people.

          In any case the automation does seem to be seeing some dial back out here in flyover land.

          1. digi_owl

            Contactless cards, self-checkout, it is all about feeding that impulse buy by removing friction. Why Amazon tried the ultimate solution, tracking the customer from entry to exit like the place was massive vending machine.

          2. Don

            The catch is that stores create the customer convenience feature by understaffing at the tills. They present you with a choice: with a hundred customers wishing to pay for a purchase at a given moment, two cashiers open, and 20 self-checkout stations available, you might well opt for the “convenience” of walking out the door in fewer than 20 minutes.

            1. Amfortas the Hippie

              ive encountered the 1 human checker to 20+ self-checkout/ai everywhere ive seen the latter.
              of course its by design.
              make human checkers a hassle to use…which says that it is mostly about labor…or rather, a hatred of labor…and a strong desire to move beyond it.
              of course, they underestimate my stubbornness…..

              ive only used a selfcheck once…when they gave me no option in the matter(at a lowes hardware in san antone)…and even then, i put on my best country bunkin mien and looked befuddled at all this here fancy robot shit…and had the requisite human overseer do the (paid) work for me.

        3. cfraenkel

          Coupla kids are a direct labor expense. Robots, cameras plus the tech backup are a ‘capital investment’. Completely different, dontchaknow….

          1. Randall Flagg

            Well, robots and cameras usually don’t call in sick, show up late for their shift , waste time on their phone, ask for or take vacation , bring their personal problems to the workplaces, get into arguments with coworkers, cause headaches for HR with saying or doing inappropriate behaviors to coworkers, quit in a huff with no notice, ask for raises and increases in benefits, go on strike, work to rule, stretch coffee and lunch breaks beyond reason,the list goes on.
            With all that though I am NOT advocating they are better.. just presenting corporate’s point of view. I have found a small minority of workers are the ones that taint the entire system and ruin it for the rest of those dedicated souls. And my question also is, though robots replacing humans in our most dangerous jobs is a good thing, what will people do with no jobs or income because the bots/AI have taken over everything?

            1. Amfortas the Hippie

              in the various american and euro expat to china twitter accts i look at, theyre always showcasing the almost fully automated factories that produce all that so-called overproduction.
              and i initially thought the same thing: well, how are folks gonna earn a living?
              but i glean/suspise that china is not near as addled as the west with regards to public provision of goods and services…from healthcare to housing to even eating.
              ie: no Bootstraps, Baby!!! like over here.
              and no BS jawbs and makework nonsense, either.
              they apparently fence in their would-be oligarchs, as well…and have a civilisational focus on something besides Profits, Uberalles for the rich.
              strange,lol…how if ya change some tiny fundamental assumption in the civilisational rootcode, remarkable things can happen.

              1. CA

                “In the various American and Euro expat to China twitter accts I look at, they’re always showcasing the almost fully automated factories that produce all that so-called overproduction…”

                Yes, and still expertise is needed and productive, meaningful jobs are being created and planned for. This is indeed important. This needs to be explained and discussed.

              2. CA

                I glean/suspect that China is not near as addled as the West with regards to public provision of goods and services…from healthcare to housing to even eating.

                [ Please continue this interest set of comments. ]

                1. Amfortas the Hippie

                  i have zero experience wit the chinese government and/or social system..but, like everything else…i try to get all around it…these days with twitter…pro and con and indifferent.
                  and see who gels with my Inner Vulcan.n that regard…i reckon china(as well as russia) are almost nothing like what our feudalist overlords would like us to think.
                  indeed, most of what they want us to think about R & C looks suspiciously like Projection, to me.
                  the things Dr Hudson talks about in these here comments, no less…about how Natural Monopolies(and monopsonies, for that matter) are kept in the Public realm in those places….is borne out by further reporting in links…even if its merely implied in whatever narrative.
                  so, yes…definitely assigning homework, here…Connor? Nick?…umm,Yves?
                  (Hides under woolen rainbow indian blanket).
                  needs a good airing out.

                  i hope i can check in in time for that discussion(running sheep to butcher and auction tuesday, so gone, then hurting and likely drunk,lol.)

        4. Kfish

          It’s cheaper because the machines are tax-deductible. You have to pay payroll tax for the kids.

      2. schmoe

        The grocery store I shop at in Manhattan is now owned by Stop and Shop. It has automoated checkouts and there is a sign at the entrance that states something along the lines of “by entering this premises you consent to biometric data monitoring.”

      3. Adam Eran

        My bet is the robots are doing inventory (none spotted so far in stores near me)

    4. Bsn

      It’s all about the subtle gathering of information. It seems so unimportant, initially. The latest is in our state, SW USA, the local store wants us to show ID to buy wine. We are both over 70 years old! That store no longer has our biz. Luckily, we can make our own spirits from fruit. I just can’t comply with this increased level of control, surveillance, namby pamby-ness.
      I’m tempted to have fun, fill a grocery cart with items, lots of small ones, and include a bottle of course. If ID required “Well, re stock it yourself” and if no ID required, darn, “I left my purse in the car”. “I’ll be right back, you wait there”. “Sorry folks” to the people behind me in line.
      The great challenge of modern times is how to cope with the increasing shootification which will be followed by possible collapse.

      1. Alice X

        ~I’m tempted to have fun, fill a grocery cart with items, lots of small ones, and include a bottle of course.

        Well, the worker who has no agency in the management’s policy does the restocking.

        Yesterday, I bought an item at a big box that required age verification, the worker asked me if I was 21, in jest, because I’m in my seventies. I said next week. He just punched in the ok code and left it at that.

        But the big box got any associated information with the use of my debit card. So there is that.

        I try always think of the workers first because they’re in the same dragnet.

        1. Randall Flagg

          I would have to agree, numerous time an employee asks the question for my ID re alcohol purchase. I’ve course my response is” You must be joking, look at me”. And as always, the poor employee is just stuck having to do what they are told by corporate. I don’t give them grief over it, just laugh with them. They’re just trying to get by.

          1. Wukchumni

            @ Burning Man’s numerous watering holes where all the drinks are on the house, you need an i.d., otherwise no snappy cocktail, sorry.

          2. Amfortas the Hippie

            yeah…solidarnosc, and all.
            i try not to frell with the powerless.
            my DL is long expired…hassle t o get it renewed, and i refuse/plead incompetence to do it online.
            so when the checker(human woman) at the one grocery store asks for my ID for the big jug of cooking wine, it never scans…but they all know me, any ways…and call the manager to wave their special card and bypass that part of the system.
            and it aint like i look like i’m 19,lol.

        2. Reply

          Debit and credit cards are treasure troves for retailers and others. You give up rights to use them, and can try to balance that by availing yourself of any privacy policies that your state may allow.

          Yet another reason to pay cash while you can. Many stores won’t give those cardholder discounts that help you try to deal with food price inflation. :(

    5. flora

      I’ve always avoided those self-checkout things.
      1.) I want the store checkout employees to have and keep their jobs.
      2.) If the store wants me to do the work of a store checkout employee then the store needs to give me some % discount on price since I’m doing store work. The store does not get my labor for free. (Though they want to.) What’s that? Stores won’t give me any discount for performing the store’s function? Well then….

      Stores that think all stores are doing this so where else ya gonna go? There are stores that still have human cashiers manning the checkout lines. I go to those stores. Stores that have eliminated human cashiers have also eliminated my shopping business. / ;)

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        standing in the one live, human checkout line at walmart…i often get to talking to the other luddites, etc in line with me.
        when i say that i aint gonna do unpaid labor for one of the richest families on earth….you can see the wheels turning behind their eyes.
        so i reckon i’m doin my part in subverting the minds of americans.

    6. Oh

      I’ve seen at least one location where Walmart has closed the self checkout lanes. I asked one of the employees why and she said that there are too many thefts in these lanes.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Charge Palestine with Genocide Too.

    The Vertlartnic messes up Covid coverage, tries to do a hatchet job on Walter Kirn, and now demonstrates that its tone-deaf immoralist media workers don’t even know what war is. The Vertlartnic evidently believes that war is office politics with pop guns. The Vertlartnic now comes off as the main vector for transmission of BlueAnon conspiracy fantasy.

    I wasn’t able to read the whole article because the Atlantic has a hair-trigger paywall. I read enough of the received wisdom to understand that the author, Grauhm Weedwhacker, doesn’t understand what genocide is.

    The October 7 raid by Hamas on Israel was an incursion by the armed militia of a government. The BlueAnon fantasy that this would be genocide misunderstands what a genocide is. A further inconvenience for media worker Weedwhacker is that the reports of rapes, burnt babies, and mutilations by Hamas have been more or less disproven. The main perpetrator of deaths seems to be the Israeli army.

    As deadly as the raid became, though, it still doesn’t qualify as genocide. Or does Weedwhacker think that Palestinian farmers defending their olive groves on the West Banker are somehow engaged in genocide?

    By these standards, the Empty Suit Antony Blinken does come across as a subtle thinker. eh. And Donald Trump is a peacemaker. And I am the czar of all the Russias.

    1. mrsyk

      IMO, this looks like another example of moving the definition goalposts to suit the current narrative, see “anti-semitism”. (Apologies to the moderator.)

      1. flora

        Apparently, being anti-Zionism is now equated with being anti-Semi. Talk about moving the definition goalposts…. (The anti-Zionist Jews I know will be surprised to learn they are anti-Semi.)

    2. Emma

      The article was stupid but nowhere near as stupid as the title. It did such a bad job of strawmanning that it may have convinced a few readers that Palestine needed to be a state and October 7 didn’t justify what came after.

      No doubt the best ‘journalism’ that Jobs Widow money can buy. Pity that there will be so few lampposts for when the revolution comes.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Rightwing aggregation media is even worse. There are no pro-Palestinian protesters, everyone is pro-Hamas. But I will give them credit for one thing: protester demands do not sound like protester demands, they sound like Blob implants reciting focus-group disliked slogans.

        You do not make demands for food or water (there was no water in an entire building?) or talk about anything other than why you are there. Proper spokespersons do not scream “Witch!” if a Zionist approaches, they do not launch into sing-song-y infantile chants. And — pro tip! — no matter what your issues your spokesperson MUST have a pleasant voice that makes you want to learn more. Unpleasant spokescritters are Blobby as hell, no one in movement leadership misunderstands this but getting the right (wrong) person in front of the cameras is a Blob speciality.

    3. CarlH

      Kern did a pretty good hatchet job on himself, along with Taibbi, in their latest podcast regarding Gaza.

  6. Steve H.

    > Akiko Iwasaki: The Immunology of Covid and the Future Eric Topol, Ground Truths

    >> I don’t expect a single drug to cure everyone.

    Excellent interview, thank you. It takes humility to work on complex systems (see Taleb ‘Because‘). Each team she speaks of has an invested view, but the other teams encourage the frame, that there may not be just one answer.

    >> And the immune response is just a beautiful system that is triggered in response to specific pathogens and can really provide long-term or even sometimes lifelong immunity and resistance against pathogens and it really saves our lives.

    It’s in the blood, Mr Bloom acceded at once. Beyond lifelong immunity, passed on to unborn children. An amazing universe we are in.

  7. ilsm

    I suppose it would be propaganda to call the campus protests “contra mass murder”?

  8. Carolinian

    Re antisemitism during the Russian revolution–the article’s point, or if you will complaint, seems to be that the Bolshevik’s–many of them Jewish–failed to quell the pograms and may have deliberately instrumentalized them to keep their peasant armies onboard. Of course Nicholas was hugely antisemitic and had encouraged that tendency so perhaps that rates a mention. But then he was also deeply religious since he saw his reign as God’s will and had to instill a similar belief in his populace by diverting anger to the “other.”

    Cut to now and our problem is that many think we are still in 1917 even as Tsar Bibi conducts his own pogrom of the other with religion once again at the root. So much for history’s inevitable march toward enlightenment.

  9. JTMcPhee

    On “animals as people,” a great idea assuming “people” get treated like the people in our progressive imaginations assume people should be treated, with the “rights (and responsibilities” the liberal hangover assume to be some kind of natural law.

    As I posted yesterday: What bennies, of general applicability, would personhood (that perverted Citizens United notion that actually rules now?

    “All people are equal, but some people are more equal than others.”

    Are Palestinians or Houthis or First People in Canada or pick a “disfavored group” of one’s preference, are they “persons?” Favela dwellers in Argentina?

    What forking bennies accrue to “people as a category?”

    Biggest Bennie that could be provided to “animals” (like Palestinians, and pretty much all the rest of humanity, in the worldview of the forking Zionists, where “YHWH CHOSE US, IT SAYS SO IN OUR TORAH THAT WE WROTE”) is that once-current penumbra from the Bill of (Choke) Rights, the “right to be let alone.” In a world of greed and impunity, how the fork is that going to become “policy?” Where “policy” any more is not what the chimaerical “government of laws” ought to bring forth for the common good, but what corrupting wealth decrees. The best laws money can buy. And until something big breaks the gears, “the ratchet only turns one way.”

    And of course animals-as-persons will need “guardians” and “interpreters” to “protect their rights.” Ask a Native American how that inevitably works out. In the world of “because markets” and “Go Die.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that for the Israelis, they have adopted the mindset of the Khmer Rouge. A common statement used by the Khmer Rouge to those they executed was that ‘To keep you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss.’

    2. Neutrino

      Human: put yer paw print here to vote.

      Dog: woof

      Human: here’s a treat

      Dog: (tail wags)

    3. The Rev Kev

      ‘In the world of “because markets” and “Go Die.”’

      Funny you should use that sentence. Just yesterday I came across the following line in a series of stories that I am following that made me think of Lambert’s Second Law-

      ‘And they taught me that when other people looked at me and said: “Just die!”

      I could say: “No.”

    4. Aurelien

      My argument to those who would treat animals as people and give them rights is that in that case they have to be subject to the laws that apply to people, too. The fox that steals your chickens is guilty of theft. The fox that actually kills your chicken is guilty of murder. (Because of course the chicken has rights as well.) So we’re back in the Middle Ages. How are you going to deal with that? I’ve never had an answer.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I believe the Romans kinda worked it out. So if a child chocked to death on a piece of fruit from a true, that tree was put on trial. And if found guilty, was chopped down. It may sound silly to us but to them it must have brought a level of satisfaction.

        1. JohnA

          Allegedly, during the Napoleonic Wars, a French ship was wrecked on the north east coast of England near a town called Hartlepool. The only survivor was a monkey and the locals hanged it on the grounds it was a French spy. I wonder if he was read his rights or even given the last rites beforehand.

      2. Mikel

        One of the questions asked of defendents in court (at least these days) is whether or not the defendent understands the charges being brought against them.
        I’m just going to grab my popcorn for any video of an officer reading a bear their rights.

        1. Max

          Perhaps we both have read/heard about the same case – a pig was put on trial in France for manslaughter (and such animal crimes happened repeatedly) and was found guilty. As punishment, the pig was dressed in human clothing, flogged and hanged. Got this from “The Reader’s Digest Book of Strange Stories, Amazing Facts”. Sadly not in print anymore, like most of Reader’s Digest’s good books.

          On the topic, the book also mentions a case where a cockerel was found guilty for laying an egg “in defiance of natural law” and burnt on the stake as “the devil in disguise”.

            1. ambrit

              I see it as going a step further and bringing in St. Augustine and the “Just Boar” controversy. The aspirations of the porcine defendant come into play here. Cross examination might be a bit tricky though. (I can imagine a good attorney hoisting the Prosecutor on the “Tusks of a Dilemma.”)

      3. Es s Ce Tera

        Arguably, probably a key reason for othering, a necessary precondition for murder, or for committing atrocities and genocides, including the holocaust, is how we learn to treat animals is how we will treat people. If animals are lesser than, inferior, we will apply the same logic to people, such that if it’s acceptable to create an assembly line to murder and process for food, it must be acceptable to use AI to automate and process the death of every last human being living in Gaza or the West Bank, or merely describing themselves as Palestinian, or Arab for that matter, and also anyone who comes within six degrees of data point proximity to a known Palestinian, such as having shared the same space by crossing paths only three days apart. People are only meat, after all, can be processed as such.

        So, I wonder, if we treat animals better than we have been by giving them some rights or attributing (their own type of) agency or intelligence, might we also learn to treat other humans better than we have been?

        1. Late Introvert

          If you can treat a dog like a dog, you can treat a human like one too.

      4. hnd

        The fox that steals your chicken obviously is under eighteen years of age, a minor, and cannot, and refuses to, be charged as an adult, and so, the court will certainly be merciful to our young friend.

    5. cfraenkel

      What are the odds that the outcome will not be ‘give animals the same rights as humans’, but more ‘give humans the same rights as animals’ once our corporatist masters get done with it?

    6. Hickory

      He doesn’t say how many person years were lost due to early deaths from vaccines, nor quality of life decreases due to long term injuries. Totally disingenuous to only look at the positive side.

  10. Jen

    File under Groves of Academe/Our Famously Free Press

    Dartmouth’s response to the arrest of two student journalists:

    “Freedom of the press is of paramount importance to our nation, and student journalists at The Dartmouth are respected members of our community,” Anderson wrote. “We understand The Dartmouth staff members who were taken into custody believe that occurred in error. We stand behind their right to vindicate that belief through the legal process.”

    Why use so many words when a simple GFY will do?

      1. Big Farmer

        this slippery statement doesn’t say the university will pay for their defense, only that it recognizes their right to get further into debt (because tuition) to defend themselves.

        1. Carolinian

          No I meant the endowments are to pay for lawyers for the university. Aren’t they the ones asking to get sued?

          1. ambrit

            Notice the ‘weasel wording’ of the phrase; ” We stand behind their right to vindicate that belief through the legal process.”
            ‘Stand behind’ does not imply obligation to become directly involved in said legal proceedings.
            When Dartmouth formally joins any lawsuit as co-plaintiffs, I will believe.
            Watch what ‘they’ do, not what ‘they’ say.

        2. Jen

          Pay for their defense? My sweet summer child, Dartmouth is the one pressing charges.

      2. Jen

        There’s an alumn who is representing several students who have been arrested pro-bon um so this could get interesting. Since Dartmouth’s attorneys get paid whether they’re doing anything or not, they can usually starve opponents into submission. Might not be the case here.

  11. edgui

    In case you missed it: “Colombia breaks diplomatic ties with Israel but its military relies on key Israeli-built equipment” – AP

    A couple of comments in this regard. Most of the coverage I went through seems to emphasize the “improvised” and “populist” nature of the declaration with which President Petro put an end to diplomatic relations with Israel. Difficulties in the access to arms, ammunition and support to Israeli military material used in Colombia are some of the reasons for which the president is criticized. But these criticisms omit two important considerations.

    The first is that the level of military dependence is not as significant as in previous years. In fact, military trade between the two countries has reached historic lows: “purchases […] fell 84.8% when comparing 2023 with 2022. This, going from US$63.8 million in 2022 to US$9.7 million”. Which brings us to the second point. The possibility of a rupture with Israel had been an option for at least eight months. The presidency even warned that if the Security Council resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza was not complied with in the middle of the month of Ramadan, this was the step to follow.

    This situation could result in an important military achievement for Colombia. As stated by the Minister of Defense, Ivan Velasquez, the implementation of a policy to diversify the military supplies of the army and the police is a reality. However, where this diplomatic rupture could prove to be more problematic is in the area of cybersecurity technology support provided by Israel to Colombia. Information is very limited in this regard. But, in addition to OSINT and Tangle technologies, it is known that in the years of Iván Duque’s presidency (2018-2022) the country acquired from Israel the famous software for hacking mobile devices, Pegasus. These foreign hands in such critical systems is almost a guarantee of backdoors that could compromise the security of Colombia, even more so when it comes to a country with a history as nefarious as that of Israel.

    1. Emma

      Exactly. The Colombians would do well to invite the Chinese and Russians over for a security audit and work on a plan to eliminate weak points in their Western supplied armory.

      Better yet, just scrap the stuff and buy Russian. Much cheaper lifecycle costs and as you say, no Pegasus or other Western backdoors.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “How Do I Prepare My Phone for a Protest?”

    I would have said don’t take one or take a burner phone at most. Or perhaps share a mobile with a coupla friends and keeping the mobile in a Faraday bag as much as possible. You can change any setting that you want but you have to remember that the spook services have been embedded with these tech companies for a very, very long time. So you can assume all sorts of multiple back doors have been built into them right from the get go. Tech companies are not your friend. After all, they are the ones that supply the gear for the surveillance state and in the end owe their loyalty to the State.

    1. Mikel

      Yep, the art of offline organization and communication has to be reclaimed.
      How to take covert actions needs to be learned as well.

    2. Bsn

      Too bad there’s not an article titled “How to Prepare Your Phone Against Surveillance When You Buy It”. There isn’t, so avoid that tracking device – only a suggestion.

      1. digi_owl

        Sadly society more and more assume one have a phone, and not just any phone but one logged into either Apple’s or Google’s ecosystem.

    3. vao

      take a burner phone

      I have a question here: are there still genuine burner phones in the USA (or Canada, Australia, etc)?

      At least in Europe, it has become legally impossible to buy a SIM card without presenting an ID.

      In some countries, there might be more or less shady places where one can obtain a SIM card without those “know your customer” constraints, but at least in the EU and EFTA countries, burner phones are a realistic thing only in movies from the 1990s.

      1. digi_owl

        For the law abiding citizen it is an issue, yes.

        But say a drug dealer one can always lean on a junkie to get a pay-as-you-go in their name. After all, snitches gets stitches.

        1. vao

          Which makes my point, I believe: if you are a protester, do not want to give cause for legal action because of procuring communication means via illicit means, or cannot do so because you do not have the means to find and convince junkies to procure SIM cards for you (and be ready to kneecap them if they talk), then burner phones are out of question.

          1. digi_owl

            Yeah, sorry. I was not so much trying to refute you but vent about the absurd state of things.

            At the same time as banks close down offices, they want 90 year old great-grandmas to show up with multiple IDs in hand to prove that she is the actual account holder of the account she has had since the bank opened.

            While they make it ever more onerous to get a SIM legally, any criminal can lean on someone to “borrow” theirs.

            Innocent until proven guilty my foot…

  13. petal

    Re Blinken dumb as a post-when I see him say stuff like that, I quickly remind myself who he really works for and then it makes sense.
    Have a lovely Sunday, everyone.

  14. chuk jones

    RE: Student encampments have the potential to strengthen US democracy from the Guardian. I coudn’t help but notice that only one person in the photo is not looking at their phone. The case could be made that democracy requires talking to one another.

  15. flora

    re: ” a whole of government approach to lawfair…”

    You’re hearing “whole of government”, ( a new, made up idea), more and more. Its the excuse for overriding the states’ and individuals’ rights, aka an end run around the limits the Constitution places on the the federal government. See this from Sasha Latypova.

    My first mixed tape! “Whole of Government”, dedicated to fake warriors everywhere…

  16. Pat

    This should have been a response to Petal.
    It isn’t just who he really works for, it is who he tied his political fortunes to years ago. Does anyone here really believe for a moment that Senator and VP Biden could keep anyone really talented around for any length of time or even moderately intelligent and talented for that matter? Working for a year or so, yeah, the good would always be looking for their next job. Blinken has spent years with Joe.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is an overlooked point. My hunch is Klain was selected as a minder for Biden in 2008.

      Unless it’s heavily suggested, Biden won’t bring anyone who doesn’t agree with him onto his orbit and is probably relieved Kain isn’t there anymore to confuse him.

  17. flora

    The B campaign is sinking among a long taken for granted segment of the voters. This is only one example. Judging from several of my longtime friends’ comments, there are many more.
    Jimmy Dore, utube, ~10 minutes.

    64-Year-Old Lifelong Democrat Gets RED PILLED!

    1. Pat

      Well they took care of that with the TikTok ban. (It starts with her watching TikTok all day.)
      Mind you the political brain trust won’t listen far enough to realize why she was already disillusioned. Dore’s crony makes a good point about how that develops.

    2. Alice X

      I’m not really enthused with Jimmy Dore, but the woman was terrific. The more like her the merrier.

      Sixteen years ago, for instance, when so many were dizzily lining up behind Obama, I called him status quObama, change you can pretend in.

    3. Emma

      The continued campus protest suppression may have legs amongst the baby boomer liberals. They may have done very little to nothing during the Vietnam protests, but they sure all think they did a lot to fight the righteous fight.
      Cops and guardsmen beating up peaceful kids hit in a way that can’t be masked by the ‘it’s complicated’ gloss put out by Israel’s liberal Western allies.

      And they’re not banning TikTok until January 2025. And the Chinese authorities are not allowing a sale. TikTok has every incentive to brand itself as the free from government interference app in the mean time.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        “TikTok has every incentive to brand itself as the free from government interference app in the mean time.”

        amen! and my thoughts exactly, when that story first did the rounds.
        the ads write themselves.

      2. flora

        re: “…the baby boomer liberals. They may have done very little to nothing during the Vietnam protests, ”

        Oh my dear younger Emma, the then boomer young people in the Western (US war) did indeed think the Vietnam War protests were important. Very important. Very, very important. But feel free to castigate an older generation’s section as unworthy. I’m sure it pets your your generation.

      3. Alice X

        The ZE came right out and said they had a tiktok problem, and they do. The congress puppets jumped.

        And the MIICC had a Nam problem, and I was a part of it, though only one of many.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      AI can really boil country music down to its essence – here’s another example ;)

      Not a diehard fan either, but kidding aside, there is some good stuff out there. I don’t listen to country every day, but when I do, I listen to Sturgill Simpson – Turtles All the Way Down.

      1. griffen

        That first clip is a veritable Cliff notes for how to do some country music Bro style for certain. That is awesomely hilarious.

        I have heard from reputable sources on musical matters, Chris Stapleton is a great show.

    2. Feral Finster

      I have heard Scott Alexander’s AI rationalist pop. It’s weird, but not markedly worse than what humans play on the radio.

  18. Acacia

    Re: Russia puts Ukrainian President Zelenskyy on its wanted list

    It would be such a shame if the Russians detained Z for a few years before possibly jailing him, and all the servants at his dozen-odd villas, bunkers, and hidey-holes had to go look for some other oligarch to serve.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Contrary to the popular shibboleth, you CAN get good help if you pay enough. It’s like the crew population of mega yachts — they have a broad underground of networking, so not long unemployed if your oligarch gets zapped. And they live pretty well when the boss and/or mistress ain’t on board.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Cold War Consequences: US Scrambles for Rare-Earth Magnets Produced in China’

    It would not be hard to picture the Neocons getting Biden to hit China hard with some serious sanctions to make him out to be the “tough guy”. By the same token, it would not be hard to picture the Chinese going all Soup Nazi and telling the Biden White House ‘No rare earths for you!’ Of course this would cause chaos for the US in the production of high tech gear, especially in US military equipment. Now here is the thing. This is all entirely predictable and should be avoided at all cost. But if there is one thing that the past two years or more has shown, the Neocons do not have any knowledge or any interest in learning about modern manufacturing but would go ahead and try to punish the Chinese hard with hard sanctions. They are entirely predictable.

    1. spud

      we had a strategic reserve of rare earths, can’t find the document now, so don’t quote me, but i remember bill clinton sold the reserves to china.

  20. GlassHammer

    “How Good, Kind, Caring People Became The Bad Guys Jessica Wildfire, OK Doomer”

    If we draw a circle of the people you could/should warn about something and then draw a circle of the people who could/should be able to understand that warning, there would be almost no overlap between the circles.

    One of the many downsides to the information age is that it tricked us into thinking people comprehend, internalize, and act upon information far more frequently than they actually do.

  21. i just don't like the gravy

    Feigl Ding Dong thinks voting will change anything? How can somebody witness the collapse of public health and think voting will make a difference?

    I clutch my ballot close to my chest, as I die from bird flu while hallucinating I am Christ because of my Long Covid brain damage… USA delenda est.

    1. SocalJimObjects

      Thinking about it, he’s probably always been a member of the PMC? The Chinese has this really good saying, 当局者迷,旁观者清, which roughly means that people on the outside often have a better view of things. It didn’t take me more than two years after my arrival in America to realize that there’s no fundamental difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. My American friends though used to love telling me about my lack of understanding of American politics.

  22. The Rev Kev

    ‘Eric Feigl-Ding
    Vaccines have saved 154 MILLIONS LIVES in the last 50 years alone. And 9 billion life years. But RFK Jr and anti vax MAGA Trump folks want to eliminate vaccine guidelines for all public schools. Both democracy and MILLIONS OF CHILDRENS’ lives and health are on the ballot this November 2024. #Vote’

    And it was a good situation – right up to the point that it was decided to politicize vaccines by trying to make an experimental, unproven vaccine mandatory with threats of isolating people who refused from being able to live their lives. They could not help themselves but felt the need to show off how smart they were by playing games with people’s lives. And the same happened with other vaccines. A coupla days ago the maker of AstraZeneca was forced to admit that it could cause a a rare (?) but deadly blood-clotting condition that could kill people-

    So I ask you. How are people suppose to have faith in any new vaccines?

    1. britzklieg

      Spot on.

      The quote is a fine example of Feigl-Ding’s disingenuous essence, slyly conflating valid stats from decades of provably effective vaccines with the mRNA covid vaccines, throwing in the “anti vax MAGA Trump folks” BS (didn’t someone here once mention how they disdain those who use “folks?”) condemning anyone who question it as a Trumpster while asserting they and RFK “want to eliminate vaccine guidelines” (link?) then ultimately offering the coup de grace and now de rigueur warning about a “democracy” that doesn’t exist and dead children to justify shilling for the war criminal Biden who supplies and has supplied, during his 4 decade reign as war pig extraordinaire, the lethal force which is now killing and has killed countless kids – with the intention of killing them.

      And just to be clear, I do not agree with RFK’s extreme views about vaccines in general while decidedly coming down against the mRNA experiment which has, provably, harmed many people

      Feigl-Ding is a reprehensible, attention-seeking, partisan schmuck.

    2. Pookah Harvey

      “They could not help themselves but felt the need to show off how smart they were by playing games with people’s lives.”
      But there is also always profits. As was reported back in 2021:

      the trio (Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna) will make pre-tax profits of $34 billion this year between them, which works out to over $1,000 a second, $65,000 a minute or $93.5 million a day.

    3. truly

      I am very disappointed that Feigl Dings post was put up at this site. Very very misleading to compare vaccines that went through proper testing and proving before being brought to market to a “vaccine” that wasn’t. Very very misleading to compare the success of vaccines that are neutralizing and prevent you from getting and passing on the illness you are trying to prevent to a “vaccine” that does not prevent you from getting ill or prevent you from spreading the illness.

      An equally misleading point one could make is how many lives have been destroyed by approved big Pharma products. How many billions of years have been taken from people who used Opiods, Fentanyl and others.

      Telling vaccine injured folks that the product that nearly killed them is not is not harmful is not a winning argument.

      1. petal

        It was posted so we can see what they are thinking and saying and we can tear it apart.

  23. Lefty Godot

    Georgia’s NGO transparency law is not compatible with European values, eh? Isn’t Georgia in Asia though?

    Georgia to Stoltenberg: “Keep your European values to yourself. Why do you think we want to be like you?”

    1. Feral Finster

      All that is beside the point. The students are protesting because the EU has made it clear that total subservience will be the price of admission to The Club that they so desperately want to be allowed to join.
      The wisdom.of the law, the fact that the United States has a comparable law, never enters into their decision.

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      “Isn’t Georgia in Asia though?”

      Technically, Georgia and the Caucasus region are part of Europe. But I think the border between Europe and Asia is more a state of mind, the marvelous city of Istanbul being a case in point. When I was in Kazan (west of the Urals), I felt like I was in Asia. But when I was in Novosibirsk (east of the Urals), it felt like European Russia to me. Perhaps Georgia is more European, while its neighbor Azerbaijan is more Asian. It’s truly a borderline call.

      But the protests in Tbilisi are not borderline at all: the government of Georgia is absolutely right. And the protestors (or is it protesters?) are just plain daffy. Or naive. Or purchased. The always excellent Paul Robinson (of the regrettably discontinued Irrussianality blog) has a good take on events there:

  24. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Moooooooorning Fiatnam!

    On campuses across the land, it was all about the skill-ratio, get a degree and corporate cong might hire you, to enable the paydown of a 6 figure student loan, but hope that the man didn’t spot you at a pro-terror riot.

  25. Bsn

    This link “But RFK Jr and anti vax MAGA Trump folks want to eliminate vaccine guidelines for all public schools. Both democracy and MILLIONS OF CHILDRENS’ lives and health are on the ballot this” …. is ingenuous.
    RFK has never said he “want(s) to eliminate vaccine guidelines for all public schools.” if someone can find a source document saying so, I’ll eat my husband’s hat.
    Secondly, the non sequiter of associating RFK with “MAGA Trump folks” is akin to saying person A is supporting person B (who has a friend that bakes cookies). NC, we can (and often) do better than re-posting this drivel.

      1. ambrit

        Not speaking for Bsn here, but I’d imagine he, or she, was speaking of dat ingenuous.

  26. magpie

    From the RUSI article:

    “Propaganda is used to support military operations, not the other way around.”

    The fact this even needs to be stated shows just how monstrously vain the conduct of Project Ukraine has been.

  27. antidlc

    Jim Clyburn, among others, receives Presidential Medal of Freedom.
    Biden awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, Michelle Yeoh and more

    On Clyburn, Biden noted his role in helping his 2020 campaign by offering his crucial endorsement.

    “I would not be standing here as president and making these awards without Jim,” Biden said, adding: “We are a great nation because we have people like Jim.”

    1. Carolinian

      Think I’m more outraged about Pelosi. And what’s a “presidential medal” for if not to reward your cronies?

      1. Verifyfirst

        But was she able to trade on it….surely she had knowledge aforehand……

        1. ambrit

          Yet, when a pleb like Martha Stewert supposedly does so, she goes to gaol.
          America is well into the Late Empire Stage now. The privatized fire fighters have done their job and now our Noe-Crassus Class is preparing to suffer another major defeat “in the East.”

    2. none

      Clyburn getting us TWO terms of Donald Trump, first by endorsing H. Clinton (who lost to Trump) and then Biden (who is about to lose to Trump). I think the saying is “smooth move, ex-lax”. The DNC manveuvering to torpedo Sanders both times really should be written up someplace. It’s as significant as Bush v. Gore in 2000.

    3. Amfortas the Hippie

      like,gag me with a spoon, man.
      this, right here, is why i avoid MSM.

  28. Jason Boxman

    There it is; Lack of executive function watch: Cold War Consequences: US Scrambles for Rare-Earth Magnets Produced in China

    Scrambles! Races!

    You’ll notice I haven’t seen a single H5N1 headline that describes the elite as “racing” or “scrambling” to achieve visibility into the current outbreak in the United States among cattle, or get us ready to detect human infections should that day come.

    So the elite alternate between obliviousness and incompetence in America. And maliciousness.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      i spent an hour or more after i came to the bar rummaging around in the links within one of the links about the bird flu…this was the most useful for me:

      no dairies anywhere even close to me…only spread out beef herds.
      and the only real movement is to market, as all these guys do artificial insemination…unless it with their native(sic) bulls.
      so its wild birds that’ll be the vector, out here.
      nice to know what to watch for.

    1. flora

      adding: I will watch on utube the great fire of life rising from the tomb coming to all from this year’s celebration. Even though I am an Protestant. Thank you to all.

  29. Jason Boxman

    Eric Topol (12:09):

    Absolutely. And it’s unfortunate we are not further along in this whole story of clinical trials, testing treatments and applauding your efforts with my friend Harlan there to get into the testing which we had hoped RECOVER was going to do with their more than billion dollars or allocation, which didn’t get us too far in that.

    Another sighting of NIH’s waste — theft? — of a billion dollars with no result. And this ought to be considered a theft. What institutions got grants from this? Or did NIH just waste a billion dollars internally? Who benefitted financially from this? That money went somewhere. Some people should be in federal prison. Full stop. To steal a billion dollars of public heath money, that’s quite a feat!

  30. none

    “There are currently over a million people enslaved in the United States. …”

    I just read someplace that if you see “Made in USA” on low cost manufactured stuff, that usually means it was made by prison labor. I haven’t looked into it but that was a disturbing thing to hear.

    1. JP

      I don’t know if chain gangs are still a thing but I would rather be fighting forest fires or even making license plates then rotting in a cell or being knifed in the yard for being out of my gangs territory.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      its a real thing.
      out of favor contractor guy(bipolar, adhd, etc…all untreated) i hired for my cabin spoke often about his prison time.
      i was amazed at the dehumanisation inherent and allowed.
      of course, i went to college in huntsville, tx…and most of my neighbors were prison guards…and we tried to be friendly with neighbors.
      so none of what contractor went into detail about surprised me…just the details made it worse to think about.
      “criminal justice” in america is an ongoing and unnoticed crime, in itself

  31. Jason Boxman

    Liberal heads explode.

    Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, already under fire for killing her family’s 14-month-old dog and boasting about it, on Sunday took aim at another family’s pet: Commander, President Biden’s bite-prone German shepherd.

    Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Ms. Noem, a Republican, suggested that Commander, who was banished from the White House last fall after bloodying a number of Secret Service agents, should also have been put down.

    That dog shouldn’t be around people anymore. What did Biden do to make the dog so vicious?

  32. Glen

    It’s funny, during the start of W’s invasion of Iraq, many of the TV or print reporters I followed were forced out of the MSM. I eventually learned to follow them on alternative media – web sites on the Internet, followed by
    videos on YouTube. We also cut the cable shortly after that when it just became too expensive for our tastes.

    Is it just me or does it seem like the alternate media that I was able to watch on YouTube is no longer available even on YouTube? I’m increasing finding them on Rumble and other sites.

    1. truly

      Yes, I noticed that Chris Hedges got ousted from The Real News Network recently. Once a prominent NYT reporter. Now he will have to reside on Substack or Rumble.
      SO many great reporters pushed off of larger quasi establishment (or full on establishment) sites having to lurk in the shadows now.

      1. flora

        The Real News Network has changed, imo. They eliminated longtime good reporters. The “shadows” of newer Substack and Rumble and other sites’ viewerships seem to be outpacing the MSM sites and the once known old alt-media sites like Real News Network in terms of views and readership. The measured drop in viewership of CNN, MSNBC, and other MSM outfits is really something.

        See this 2019 NC post about RNN eliminating Paul Jay and Sharmini Peries.

        1. flora

          Yes well, except, Badge of Honor, aka BoH, (heh), doesn’t pay the rent. Paying the rent is a real thing. Ya know?

  33. antidlc

    SARS‑CoV‑2 (COVID-19)

    Pandemic experts express concern over avian influenza spread to humans

    📌 Dr Jeremy Farrar, Chief Scientist at the WHO, said that the virus has an extremely high mortality rate among humans already infected with it.

    Short video at the link.
    At the 1:24 mark, he asks, “Do the milking structures of cows create aerosols?”

  34. Vander Resende

    “Data centers are the backbone of the increasingly digital world, and they consume a growing share of the nation’s electricity, with no signs of slowing down. The global consultancy McKinsey & Company predicts these operations will double their U.S. electric demands from 17 gigawatts in 2022 to 35 gigawatts by 2030 — enough electricity to power more than 26 million average homes.”,million%20average%20homes.

  35. Willow

    >Israel Makes Unusual Decision to Retire Patriot Missiles: Friendly Fire Issues Cause Concern
    Did US backdoor the Patriots to shot down nuke carrying fighter? Would explain Pepe’s leak trying to pin downing of plane on Russians. Worse, Russian could’ve been the one that backdoored Patriots.. which means in Ukraine, Russia is a cat playing with a (Western) mouse – getting West further into debt producing expensive but ultimately useless equipment.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      yeah, its weird how Pepe’s story never even made it to MSM.
      and seems to have been forgotten, otherwise(altho, i admit that ive been busy with weeding and weather)
      seemed like a big honking deal, to me…and one that should have been followed up by any and all self respecting journalists.
      dog that didnt bark, and all

      1. Willow

        Curious bit is that Israel’s counterstrike was a non event, suggesting something happened to curtail it.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Reportedly Israel used up about half their anti-air missiles defending themselves during that Iranian attack. One more attack like that and they would have been out.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            yeah…and a lot of iron dome went to the simultaneous hezbollah attack from lebanon.
            so it was a 2 front attack from the arab/islam side.
            that aspect hasnt been treated with anything like erudition in western press that ive seen.
            gulf states look to be watching the windsock…saudis to a lesser extent.
            baseline state is shifting.

  36. Screwball

    I don’t know how this will link (link to a Twitter video) and I don’t know who the person is who posted the Tweet, but it has been highlighted by Glen Greenwald, retweeted by Edward Snowden. It is about Isreal/Gaza, narrative, and social media. The background of the stage is McCain Institute, and we have a conversation between Blinken and Mitt Romney.

    From the tweet containing the video (there is a longer youtube video lined as well.)

    “Why has the PR been so awful?… typically the Israelis are good at PR—what’s happened here, how have they and we been so ineffective at communicating the realities and our POV?… some wonder why there was such overwhelming support for us to shut down potentially TikTok.”

    Blinken and Romney are two of the scummiest of scum.

    1. Emma

      It turned out that their ‘goodness’ correspond entirely to their control of all the media levers and getting all legacy media to accept and propagate their lies unquestioningly.

      1. Screwball

        Yes. I think it was Caitlin Johnstone who said American’s are the most propagandized people on earth. I think she’s right. I don’t know why anyone would watch the MSM today, but many do.

        The people in power are lying scum and so is the media.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          “The people in power are lying scum and so is the media.”

          most people i know, when scratched a bit…and outside Bougie-dom….readily admit to feeling this way.
          and yet…they defer to the very same PTB when in a jam(like 911).
          and still will wrap themselves in a flag and beat someone like me that hints that we maybe might be an evil empire.
          the great wurlitzer has many functions.
          part of it is based on code that is in turn based on Orwell as a manual, not a warning.

          1. Screwball

            I’m with you.

            I have a couple I’ve known for 50 years who stop by my equivalent of your wilderness bar. We don’t get into politics, but they try. I can’t go there. Don’t want to ruin a lifelong friendship.

            We talk around the edges and they admit things are not good – then give me the – Joe Biden’s trying to fix that. Full stop here. Change the subject.

            I know so many like that. Boggles my mind. How the hell can anyone believe these lying conniving scum. Orwell’s famous book became an instruction manual and we are now living in it.

            I’m afraid of typing that because now it’s out “there.” That said; disclaimer; I am afraid of what my country might do to me, but I am harmless, unarmed, and just an old hippy.

            Peace please.

            1. Pat

              Do you remember your steps of realization that they were all lying scum?
              I cannot speak for anyone else, I might not have voted for him but I started making forced excuses during the Clinton era (and cringe now for not realizing at the time how bad it was on every level.) I remember being dismayed that people could vote for the Patriot Act, and that it wasn’t and hasn’t been overturned by the Supreme Court as it is clearly unconstitutional. How about HRC’s speech listing all the reasons not to agree to AUMF before voting for it, or Pelosi taking impeachment off the table as soon as there was a Democratic majority. Even with all that I still hung in there. Took George W Bush’s third term and bailing out bankers and the Obamacare farce to get me to 90% and the 2016 primary and Russiagate to get to 98%. Lawfare washed away the last remaining smidgen left. By my calculations that is well over twenty years to accept that what I had been taught as a child and believed in for over half my life had been entirely dismantled and that however it got there my government was almost entirely corrupt. (Gotta keep the almost for the aberrations like Lina Khan, the workers at the CDC advocating for increased waste water data, and the diplomats who quit…)
              My point being is that denial is largely chipped away over time. Rarely does one crack happen and the whole thing falls apart. But each crack is important because there are more questions, more wtf reactions to things you took for granted. And you can look back and go why the heck did I believe “that?!!”
              You got there faster than your friends, they may be behind but give them time.

              1. Screwbll

                For me, it was long ago. This might sound crazy, but I remember as a young kid hearing Henry Kissinger and thinking he’s a lying POS, yet they made him sound like a hero/genius. No sale.

                But my first awakening was in 1963 when they killed Kennedy. I didn’t buy the story as a 3rd grader and I don’t today. Then there was Bobby and MLK. Then the Kent State thing (close to here) and Nam. Kissinger just helped validate what I already thought. Something is amiss in Wonderfulville. They are killing people and we are being lied to.

                It only got worse from there. I don’t hold much hope for the still captured. They hate Trump too much to take the time to reflect on their own tribe and will only listen to approved sources.

  37. playon

    Who was the person came up with the idea to name these new variants “FLiRT”?

    1. ArvidMartensen

      C’mon, the new variant is just a harmless bit of fun that won’t never hurt nobody.

      1. ambrit

        “Uh oh. I think she’s giving you the eye.”
        “Hold my beer mate!”
        Later on, “Bloody H—! That floozy packs a punch!”

    1. Feral Finster

      Prediction: Bibi rolls the tanks into Rafah. Blinken continues to gratify Bibi in public in the most sloppy and humiliating ways humanly imaginable

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Blinken must bend the knee and kiss the glove of his master Netanyahu.

        Hamas will be blamed for attacking while cease fire talks were “oh so close!”

        Thereby giving aid and cover for the IDF to do the needful.

        Too bad for Blinken – he had already measured the spot on the wall to hang his Nobel peace prize. I guess that will have to go to Zelensky now.

        1. ambrit

          “Blinken must bend the knee and kiss the glove of his master Netanyahu.”
          Sorry, but I have it on good authority that Bibi actually said; “You can kiss my a– Blinkey!”

  38. ambrit

    I know not where to put this, but, I just received what looks like a “Nigerian Prince” e-mail purporting to be from a Thomas Cross whose e-mail address is, supposedly, It seems that, if I was a small business, I can ‘make bank’ in facilitating transactions of all sorts on behalf of shadowy Middle Eastern big shots. [Never let a crisis go to waste.]
    What’s not to like?
    (Anyone who wants to get in on the ground floor…..)

    1. skippy

      You think that is silly … French foreign legion in Ukraine and Russia is using Chinese golf carts for fast attack vehicles with good results …

      1. ambrit

        Damn it man! Chinese golf must be one h— of a rough game! Do they put land mines in the sand traps?

  39. chris#5

    Re “Commentary: China’s new moon mission is a rare example of countries working together” re the Chang’e 6 lunar probe and cooperation with China in space, Arnaud Bertrand had a very interesting X on 4th May,
    It begins:
    “I’m seeing a lot of questions on the launch of China’s Chang’e 6 mission yesterday to get samples – for the first time – from the far side of the moon. We don’t know (afaik) why specifically they’re doing that, but we have a pretty good idea what grand vision China is working towards with their space program. How? From this 2022 video by Chas Freeman (former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Nixon’s interpreter during his era-defining 1972 China visit), who imho is undoubtedly one of the most knowledgeable former US officials on China. He says that according to his own discussions with people running China’s space program, they’re following the vision described in the book “The high frontier” by Gerard K. O’Neill, which Freeman says has “become the bible of the Chinese space program”.”

    In the video, Freeman says (~2 min mark)
    “..25 years ago Congress banned any form of cooperation with the Chinese in space. The Chinese wanted to make the docking and locking facilities in their space station and in their rockets compatible with that which we had produced. No, can’t do that. And therefore movies that talk about Chinese rescuing us in space don’t work.”

    BTW the O’Neill book can be read on the Internet Archive

    1. Polar Socialist

      There’s also an explanation, in English, by China National Space Administration, so we don’t necessarily need to rely on experts to interpret these “aliens” to us.

  40. rowlf

    Enjoying listening to another Chas Freeman interview to make sure I wasn’t in an NC bubble.

    Israel Losing the War on every front – Russia’s Role in Destroying Hegemonic Policies | Chas Freeman

    From the transcript:

    …Chinese security interest there is I think in the Chinese view absolutely no reason that they would want to cooperate with Mr blinka uh Mr blinken in the in gardening terms there are some people who have so-called green thumbs everything they touch grows well and there are some people who have black thumbs anything they touch does Mr blinkin has a black thumb when it comes to diplomacy I cannot see anything he has accomplished in office other than the alienation of much of the world he is continuing to behave like the Congressional staffer he was that is he talks about foreign policy only in in terms of influencing domestic political views he does he speaks at talks at people rather than with them it does not show any empathy any understanding of other people’s viewpoints and I think he’s certainly the most inept Diplomat on the planet at the moment and I would happily trade him for the foreign minister of many other countries if such a trade were possible uh but I’m not in charge and I can’t arrange such a transaction


  41. chris#5

    Re “Commentary: China’s new moon mission is a rare example of countries working together” about the Chang’e 6 lunar probe and cooperation with China in space, Arnaud Bertrand had a very interesting X on 4th May,
    It begins:
    “I’m seeing a lot of questions on the launch of China’s Chang’e 6 mission yesterday to get samples – for the first time – from the far side of the moon. We don’t know (afaik) why specifically they’re doing that, but we have a pretty good idea what grand vision China is working towards with their space program. How? From this 2022 video by Chas Freeman (former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Nixon’s interpreter during his era-defining 1972 China visit), who imho is undoubtedly one of the most knowledgeable former US officials on China. He says that according to his own discussions with people running China’s space program, they’re following the vision described in the book “The high frontier” by Gerard K. O’Neill, which Freeman says has “become the bible of the Chinese space program”.”
    In the video, Freeman says (~2 min mark)
    “..25 years ago Congress banned any form of cooperation with the Chinese in space. The Chinese wanted to make the docking and locking facilities in their space station and in their rockets compatible with that which we had produced. No, can’t do that. And therefore movies that talk about Chinese rescuing us in space don’t work.”

    BTW the O’Neill book can be read on the Internet Archive

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