Links 5/25/2024

Dear patient readers,

This is a big holiday weekend in the US. We will be observing it as we have in past years via reduced coverage through Tuesday. Hope those of you in the US get some well-deserved R&R!

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Mother’s joy as son named world’s youngest male artist BBC

‘My songs spread like herpes’: why did satirical genius Tom Lehrer swap worldwide fame for obscurity? Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Birth of universe’s earliest galaxies observed for first time ScienceDaily (Kevin W)

Reversing progress, stroke rates are rising, especially in working-age adults STAT. As Lambert is wont to say, ’tis a mystery. The story claims Covid played no role. Would like someone familiar with statistical methods in medicine to weigh in. After all, stroke rates fell previously even as the cited factors, obesity and opioid abuse, were getting worse.

Mary Lou Retton is sharing an update on her ongoing health issues CNN. Paul R offers a second “‘Tis a mystery!”

New tests confirm milk from flu-infected cows can make other animals sick — and raise questions about flash pasteurization CNN (ma)

We Still Aren’t Testing Enough Farmers for Bird Flu Bloomberg (ma). Subhead: Only 40 people in the entire country have been tested for H5N1. Let that sink in.”

These autonomous drones can recharge themselves from power lines ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin). This is illegal when poor people do it.


JAMA today: “Progress in Heart Failure Deaths Reversed Over Past Decade”

The stated likely cause: COVID.

— Mike Hoerger, PhD MSCR MBA (@michael_hoerger) May 24, 2024

Wow! Simon Case explains that test and trace worked in countries like Germany because they kept cases down, but because we had so many covid cases in the UK, our test and trace system was ineffective

Hugo Keith, “You knew the second wave was coming.. There was no vaccine.. Test…

— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) May 23, 2024


The “Energy Transition” Won’t Happen City Journal


China’s second day of war games around Taiwan tests ability to ‘seize power’ Reuters

China’s defense ministry says every “Taiwan independence” provocation to invite countermeasures Xinhua (Chuck L)

Philippines, Japan near reciprocal troops deal in move to counter China South China Morning Post

German defence industry says it will need government help to reduce dependence on China Reuters

So @McKinsey built a “think tank” based at McKinsey’s Beijing office, using McKinsey’s domain, McKinsey’s research, and their senior staff.

That “think tank” then authored a 300-page book on how the CCP could dominate future war technology and gave it to CCP Premier Li Keqiang.

— Gabriel Noronha (@GLNoronha) May 24, 2024

European Disunion

The Denmark secret: how it became the world’s most trusting country – and why that matters Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

La belle France

French president Emmanuel Macron delays New Caledonia voting reforms after deadly riots ABC Australia (Kevin W)

Macron says French troops will stay in New Caledonia ‘as long as necessary’ Aljazeera

Old Blighty

A must view:


— Robin Monotti (@robinmonotti) May 23, 2024

Michael Gove quits as Tory election exodus continues Politico (Kevin W). UK based readers, feel free to correct me, but my impression was that Gove was less terrible than the typical Tory front-bencher. Not that that is a high bar.

Jeremy Corbyn expelled from Labour Party after confirming he will stand as independent in general election Independent (Kevin W). Recall George Galloway asked Corbyn to join his Workers Party effort.

Cost of living crisis drives 3 million cash-strapped Brits to ‘dangerous’ loan sharks, study finds. Big Issue


The decision to was supported by almost all judges. Only Sebutinde (the Ugandan judge who always votes in favor of Israel)

and Barak (the Israeli ad hoc judge) voted against. Barak was absent from the courtroom.

— Craig Mokhiber (@CraigMokhiber) May 24, 2024

Global outcry for immediate stop to Rafah offensive grown too loud to ignore: UN relief chief Anadolu Agency


— Sulaiman Ahmed (@ShaykhSulaiman) May 24, 2024

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Deputy mayor of Jerusalem, everyone.

— Omar H. Rahman (@omarrahman) May 23, 2024

‘Operation al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 230: Israel lashes out at West Bank in wake of ICC request Mondoweiss (guurst)

Something so surreal about seeing ethnic cleansing documented in high definition digital video

— Tom Gara (@tomgara) May 22, 2024

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US plans to be ‘very involved’ in post-war Gaza – Politico RT (Kevin W). So the US has been writing checks to fund the war but has had no say about what happens. So does this similarly mean we will be funding Israeli real estate entrepreneurs?

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The message of Israel’s torture chambers is directed at all of us, not just Palestinians Middle East Eye (Chuck L)

Gaza Protests

Follow the Money: How Israel-Linked Billionaires Silenced US Campus Protests Scheerpost (Micael T)

Police Make First Arrest for Assault on Pro-Palestine Protesters at UCLA Common Dreams. Recall UCLA was where pro-Israel locals came in and assaulted protestors.

New Not-So-Cold War

SITREP 5/24/24: Situation Turns Critical as De-legitimized Zelensky Dangerously Escalates Simplicius the Thinker

Sergey Lavrov: Europe as a partner was irrelevant for Russia for at least one generation International Affairs (Micael T)

Russia alarmed NATO allies by proposing to unilaterally redraw its border in the Baltic Sea, before withdrawing the bombshell text without offering an explanation Politico


UK: It’s not a joke, in Britain they have been afraid of the Russian “Tobol” for several weeks, which closed the skies of London. But not only London, but also its neighbors in Europe. As a result, planes do not fly…

— Peacemaker (@peacemaket71) May 23, 2024

US Accuses Russia of Launching Anti-Satellite Weapon, West & Russia Veto Each Others UNSC Draft Resolutions on Space Weapons, Zelensky Demands NATO Shoot Down Russian Missiles, more… Mark Sleboda, Political Misfits

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Apple Wi-Fi Positioning System open to global tracking abuse The Register (Chuck L)

Samsung Requires Independent Repair Shops to Share Customer Data, Snitch on People Who Use Aftermarket Parts, Leaked Contract Shows 404 Media (Micael T)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Reps Want Defense Companies to Rip Off the Government Jacobin (Kevin W)

Dubious Eagle: Why Has Pentagon Pumped $756 Mln Into Hypersonic Missile That Doesn’t Fly? Sputnik. See above.

US House Committee Proposes ‘Automatic’ Sign-Up for Military Draft (Kevin W)

Geopolitical risks top concern for global family offices, UBS survey shows Reuters

The ‘Rules-Based Order’ Is the Enemy of International Law Daniel Larison


This was before a major holiday weekend and NYC really empties out then. Still….

All jokes aside. Don’t let them gaslight you. This was the actual crowd for Trump in the Bronx. Zoom in and you can see him yapping on stage.

— Hoodlum 🇺🇸 (@NotHoodlum) May 24, 2024


Americans aren’t falling for the Biden spin machine’s lies about the economy The Hill (Kevin W)

House passes bill barring Federal Reserve from issuing digital dollar The Hill (Kevin W). Notice the title: CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act.


Democrats see Supreme Court crisis in second Alito flag controversy The Hill. I hate to have to point out that not only did Ruth Bader Ginzburg stay on the court despite her cancer so she could vote for abortion rights, but she also denounced Trump when he was first running. So it is not as if the appearance of impartiality has been upheld all that well in recent years.


[UK] Abortions surge past record 250,000 in a single year, with experts blaming cost of living crisis forcing women to terminate pregnancies ‘for purely financial reasons’ Daily Mail.

Why paying women to have more babies won’t work Economist (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

More Twitter Files: Your Posts Replaced With “Dog Pictures, Quinoa Recipes, and Sports Scores”? Matt Taibbi. I commented to Lambert that one of my two Twitter feeds has recently become overwhelmed by cute animal videos. And in my news feed, it’s HOURS after the ICJ ordered Israel to cut it out in Rafah, yet nada in that feed despite my following people of the Max Blumenthal school of thought.

EVs Twice As Likely To Hit Pedestrians As Gasoline Vehicles OilPrice. Some victim-blaming in the theory that pedestrians don’t hear EVs. They weigh a ton more than old fashioned cars. It would seem that less effective braking could play a role. Any data on accidents generally?

Frontier Airlines CEO urges crackdown of ‘rampant abuse’ of airport wheelchair service CNBC (Kevin W)

For the first time since the financial crisis, investors in top-rated bonds backed by commercial real estate debt are getting hit with losses. Bloomberg


Fritz Lang First Depicted Artificial Intelligence on Film in Metropolis (1927), and It Frightened People Even Then Open Culture

Sam Altman Is Full Of Shit Ed Zitron (Micael T)

Google promised a better search experience — now it’s telling us to put glue on our pizza The Verge (Micael T)

Google Is Paying Reddit $60 Million for Fucksmith to Tell Its Users to Eat Glue 404 Media. Micael T: “But of course, fucksmith gets nothing.”

The Bezzle

The Prophet Who Failed Harpers (Anthony L)

“Unacceptable”: Spotify bricking Car Thing devices in Dec. without refunds ars technica (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Most Americans falsely think the U.S. is in recession, poll shows CNBC. Ahem, this means most Americans personally are in a recession

Norfolk Southern will pay $15 million fine as part of federal settlement over Ohio derailment Associated Press (Kevin W). Here because this sum is couch lint.

Antidote du jour. Stephen T: “A snail on the stroll in downtown Tillamook, Oregon.”:

And a bonus (furzy). I know it may seem mean to make animals in captivity do tricks but the sea lions in the Central Park children’s zoo were enthusiastic about them. Admittedly they got lots of fish for their trouble.

Each member of the harbor seal family has a special shape they’ve learned to hunt for underwater. Once they find it, care staff deliver some of their favorite snacks to sealebrate a job well done!

— Oregon Zoo (@OregonZoo) May 23, 2024

And a second bonus from furzy, who is in the hospital with multiple hairline fractures of her pelvis. Her doctors have told her she should stay there for 3 months. She is resisting and plans to go home much sooner and be tended by her household staff. Yours truly and other friends (including one who needed a second operation and hospitalization after going home too soon after breaking her hip) have been telling her fiercely that this is unwise. Note that furzy needs only extreme bed rest to heal and not a procedure. I imagine this is to tell us how she feels:

Mood.. 😂

— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) May 24, 2024

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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Yves Smith