Links 9/29/22

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AI Image Generator DALL-E is Now Available to Everyone PetaPixel (DL)

‘Honorary authors’ of scientific papers abound—but they probably shouldn’t Science

Space Force unveils official song ‘Semper Supra’ Stars and Stripes

The Resurgence Of Tesla Syndrome Noema

University Staff Warned They Could Be Fired for Providing Birth Control Vice (J-LS)

Griftrix The American Prospect

EY thinks it can split and cash in while ringfencing audit liability The Dig

French central banker attacked in Basel in June SwissInfo


Rising Covid-19 cases in the UK may be a warning for the US CNN (J-LS)


As ice sheets melt, will Greenland mine? The McGill Tribune

Ian smashes into southwest Florida with historic force Yale Climate Connections (DL)

In Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, deforesters foot the bill for political campaigns Mongabay


US will continue to strengthen ‘unofficial ties’ with Taiwan, vice-president Kamala Harris says SCMP

Philippines Readies Crackdown on Chinese Online Gambling Operations The Diplomat


Report Reveals Thai Senator’s Deep Ties to Detained Myanmar Arms Dealer, Profiting Military The Irrawaddy


Indian government did not follow Procedure While Issuing Blocking Directions: Twitter to Karnataka HC MediaNama

PFI disbanded after Govt ban, says ‘as law-abiding citizens…’ Mint

‘Price of oil is breaking our back’: Jaishankar responds to queries on imports from Russia Indian Express

India may soon pave the way for a Rupee loan line to Bangladesh as it fights forex crunch India Shipping News


Clashes rock Baghdad’s Green Zone as Iraqi parliament re-elects speaker Al Monitor

Nine dead in Iranian attacks on Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq Al Jazeera

No, Elon Musk’s Starlink Probably Won’t Fix Iranian Internet Censorship The Intercept

‘The war on Syria has failed,’ Foreign Minister says in UN speech, denouncing the West’s hegemonic ambitions UN News

Satellite images show Eritrea military buildup near Tigray WaPo

Old Blighty

Bank of England launches £65bn move to calm markets FT

Tory MPs tell Truss: sack Kwarteng or face mutiny The Guardian

At the Top Table LRB

European Disunion

Germany: Prosecutors raid far-right AfD’s headquarters DW

German secret service operates hundreds of far-right social media profiles WSWS

EC okays 2nd tranche of Italy’s NRRP cash ANSA

YouTube Removes Incoming Italian Prime Minister Meloni’s Passionate Speech on Family Breakdown Yahoo News (KW)

Greek Foreign Minister meets with Armenian counterpart in Yerevan The Greek Herald

Greek shortsea shipowners protest steep rise in passage fees at Bosphorus strait as of Oct ANA-MPA

US does not act fairly when it comes to NATO allies: Turkish president Anadolu Agency

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

Whodunnit? – Facts Related to The Sabotage Attack On The Nord Stream Pipelines Moon of Alabama

Attack on Nord Stream kills prospects for dialogue in Ukraine Indian Punchline (KW)

Defense & National Security — US to send Ukraine more rocket systems The Hill

‘A beautiful, wonderful process’ — ANCYL defends sending observers to Russia’s sham referendums in Ukraine Daily Maverick

Japan demands apology after Russia detains and interrogates consular official over alleged espionage ABC (Australia)

Apple removes Russia’s largest social network from the App Store The Verge

EU announces Russian oil price cap in new sanctions plan Politico

EXCLUSIVE Afghan Taliban sign deal for Russian oil products, gas and wheat Reuters

Biden Administration

I’m Sorry, Biden’s *WHAT* Foreign Policy?? Caitlin Johnstone (KW)

Puerto Rico seeks a U.S. waiver to allow for more fuel shipments to the island NPR

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ‘preparing to depart White House after midterms’: Biden cabinet facing massive departure amid criticism over handling of inflation and voters saying the economy is their top priority Daily Mail (LS)

Gun violence clips 2.6% off U.S. GDP Science Blog (KS)

Recycle, repackage, repeat — Billy Downer sets out Jacob Zuma’s years of rolling the legal dice to stay out of jail Daily Maverick

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Uncle Sam to unmask anonymous writers using AI The Register

The Bezzle

A $100 Million Deli? Not So Fast, U.S. Prosecutors Say. NYT

NFT Trading Volumes Collapse 97% From January Peak Bloomberg

Imperial Collapse Watch

Egypt was top importer of French arms between 2012 and 2021 Middle East Eye

US sees chance to gain arms market share from sanctioned Russia Defense News

Aircraft parts output is being grounded by worker shortages Reuters

Class Warfare

Is UPS Retaliating Against Union Activists? The Nation

Workers strike again at UK’s largest port Felixstowe in threat to holiday shipments Hellenic Shipping News

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    Elvis (I mean Olaf) the Pelvis, singing to the tune of Heartbreak Hotel:

    Well, since they blew the Nordstreams
    i got nobody who’ll sell
    The energy for my factories
    In Deutschland-ic Hell.
    Well I’ll be, I’ll be so frozen, Baby
    Well, I’ll be so frozen
    I’ll be so frozen, I could die.

    Although we grew up from ashes
    To become an industrial power
    It’s getting tossed because of the cost
    Of each megawatt-hour
    Oh we’ll be, we’ll be so frozen, Baby
    We’ll be so frozen
    We’re so frozen, we could die.

    They made sure no gas can be flowin’
    Americans, Britons, or Poles
    With friends like these who needs enemies
    Time to…start searchin’ for coals
    And we’ll get, we’ll get so frozen, Baby
    Well, we’ll get so frozen
    We’ll get so frozen, we could die.

    Well now, if your allies hurt you
    And you’ve got a tale to tell
    No Western press will let us address
    Why…Deutschland is Hell
    Where we will be, we’ll be frozen, Baby
    Well, we will be frozen
    We’ll be so frozen, we could die.

    When Winter hits we won’t have
    Enough electricity
    To even observe the plummeting curve
    Of…our GDP.
    Oh we’ll get so, we’ll get so frozen, Baby
    We’ll get so frozen
    We’ll get so frozen, we could die.

  2. Alan Roxdale

    Germany: Prosecutors raid far-right AfD’s headquarters

    This one right here is today’s main story. Part of the “Mar-a-lago” phase transition of western societies from rule-of-law democracies towards “post-soviet style” by-fiat oligarchies. Desperate ruling classes are now ideologically, economically, and institutionally primed to undergo this phase-shift. Public back-reaction will now only accelerate a process that has been going on for some time.

    And anyone who thinks their person or monies will be safe in the United States has yet to realize it is the very eye of this storm.

    1. Stephen

      I agree.

      Western countries have got into the habit of abusing the rights of foreigners outside of the rule of law – eg Guantanamo Bay for alleged terrorists, sanctions against citizens of other countries, bombing those countries and so forth.

      Cutting and pasting that habit to use against one’s own citizens is but a simple step. We are now seeing it big time against anyone who steps out of line with the current “narrative du jour”.

      Much criticism of the Russia of President Putin is really projection. “Democracy” is increasingly a “doublethink” type concept, to use Orwell’s construct.

      1. Shawn

        “The European energy of the biggest economic policy errors in history”…That’s not an economic policy blunder, it’s a deliberate foreign policy decision dealing with energy.

        The Treaty of Versailles was meant to punish Germany, effects unknown.

        Same with the U.S. energy producers and U.S. mega ag industry pulling Biden’s green puppet strings, profits certain after Maiden, effects unknown.

        Talk about a Manchurian Candidate. Could the Chinese have ever conceived of an asset as beneficial to them as Biden?

      2. ambrit

        Agreed. YouTube removing a speech by the incoming Prime Minister of Italy is the “tip of the spear.” Now the Corporate Oligarchs are deigning to determine what is “approved” political speech.
        Many of us here saw this coming a few years ago. For me, it was the Irak Weapons of Mass Destruction farrago. Government officials obviously lying straight faced to the public.
        Blowback is not just a “special sauce” served with bar-b-que beans here in the North American Deep South.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Here’s to hoping the Blowback in the NADS causes more EXTREME POPULISM. Really really give the people- whether Left or Right – what they want!

          My favorite part of the DW article, I mean besides the State sponsoring and propping up Nazi like ideologies, is when the Far Leftists refer to their movement as Democratic, Decentralized Power.

          Hell Yeah! Sounds great to me, German Comrades!

          Something EVERYONE can get behind besides ACTUAL FASCISTS who use their central authority to immiserate the Working Class of the World and cancel/arrest/harass those who don’t toe the line.

          Ever since Zizek had that debate with Peterson, I think it’s our responsibility to bridge the supposed uncrossable chasm between left n right. Russell Brand, Glenn Greenwald, Jimmy Dore, et al are at the Vanguard.

          1. ambrit

            True, and the Vanguards are always called names in an attempt to muzzle them. Even if someone is wrong, how are they going to learn anything if no one who knows the “real deal” doesn’t know that there is someone who needs ‘schooling?’
            Welcome to the Ministry of Truth consumers! You get one from column A, one from column B, and one from Column C. Don’t worry about how they all look the same. Trust us.
            Stay safe down in the Big Easy!

    2. caucus99percenter

      So much for democracy and diversity, eh? No genuine political opposition or dissent will be allowed to thrive. Who are the real fascists here? Not the AfD.

    3. hunkerdown

      Really, the only permanent solution to the problems the PMC were created to enforce is the destruction of the PMC as an identity and a set of social relations.

      1. Mikel

        “the destruction of the PMC as an identity and a set of social relations…”

        Hit the nail on the head. Their power is mainted by destroying and commodifying people’s social relations. Turnabout is fair play. Their social relations being disrupted (they love to disrupt everyone else’s) is paramount.
        Another key thing: understanding their values are often poisonous.

    4. MT_Wild

      This was my thought exactly. There will be no hiding what Germany’s current ruling political class did to the economy by the next election.

      This seems like a preemptive political strike to prevent voters from having other options. Sort of like blowing up gas pipelines to prevent alternative sources for energy.

    5. Tom Stone

      I wonder how soon we’ll see wealthy Chinese divesting themselves of their Real Estate purchases in the USA and moving their $ to somewhere safer, like Cuba.

      1. fringe element

        In the last Duran video, Alex Mercuris noted that there were no buyers for the last round of treasuries we tried to sell.

        1. Yves Smith

          This looks to be false. Mercouris is more than occasionally out over his skis when he ventures into finance.

          The Treasury Department announced the results of this month’s auction of $43 billion worth of two-year notes on Monday, revealing the sale attracted modestly below average demand.

          The two-year note auction drew a high yield of 4.290 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.51.

          Last month, the Treasury sold $44 billion worth of two-year notes, drawing a high yield of 3.307 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.49.

          The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

          The ten previous two-year note auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.58.

          Bloomberg characterizes this result as “poor demand” that led to an investor freakout:

          The only way I can square this circle is that investors may have expected demand for Treasuries to be higher than normal given the widespread risk aversion in markets. Particularly 2 year Treasuries, which are less exposed to loss from adverse interest rate movements than longer dated Treasuries. And not seeing that alarmed them.

          Mercouris also incorrectly depicts QE as money printing.

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    Space Force unveils official song

    So many missed opportunities on this. I mean, sure, something Bowie would be the obvious go to but there are so many possible choices;
    Mothership Connection by Parliament
    Voivod’s cover of Astronomy Domine
    or just drop the space theme on the theme song and go pure hipster with a live version of Ruckzuck by Kraftwerk or the original single version of Lucid Dreams by Franz Ferdinand

    1. The Rev Kev

      I see that they managed to put the word ‘boldly’ into it but whatever. The US Space Force may sound cool and modern but I can see how it will be developed. One would hope that it would have been organized as a US Space Guard to parallel the roles of the US Coast Guard but by using the words ‘dominate’ and so forth in their doctrine, I can see which way they will be going- (2:39 mins)

    2. Hank Linderman

      I wrote a song about Space Force, I occasionally perform it while campaigning for Congress in KY-02. (I’m the 3 time D nominee.)

      “Sex In Space”

      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Uncle Sam needs you no time to waste
      Volunteers needed for sex in space

      Well NASA’s sounding out a bugle call
      To all you patriotic Ken and Barbie dolls
      They got a classified plan and they need to know
      If you can conjugate in a ufo

      Gonna’ see how you move in a pressure suit
      Launch you 90 miles high without a parachute
      Data recorders and sensors glow
      Time to fire all your rockets, here we go

      Tight squeeze in the honeymoon suite
      Deep freeze, we better turn up the heat

      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Time to saddle up & save the human race
      Volunteers needed for sex in space

      Well we’ve got saran wrap underwear
      And a velcro harness for your derriere
      A little bossa nova to set the mood
      And help you forget about the altitude

      Gravity belts with unisex tabs
      Carbon fiber knee and elbow pads
      High tech mints, for breath that’s swell
      All brought to you by Haliburton and Mattel

      Striptease by the light of the stars
      Trainee drop and take me to Mars

      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Find your fantasies in our database
      Volunteers needed for sex in space

      We’re conceiving a climactic flash
      And an out of this world afterglow

      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Volunteers needed for sex in space
      Uncle Sam needs you no time to waste
      Volunteers needed
      Volunteers are needed
      Volunteers needed for sex in space

      Enlist today!

      © 2017 All Rights Reserved by Hank Linderman

        1. Hank Linderman

          Ha! No.

          It was inspired by a guest on Larry Wilmore’s Nightly Show – a woman claimed to be part of a mission to Mars, along with 23 other Earthlings. It meant a 2.5 year – one way only trip. (Her husband had also applied but only she made the cut.) Larry asked what she’d be doing for 2.5 years inside a metal tube, she replied suggestively, “… you know…”

          I had also just watched “Interstellar”, the idea that somehow the Earth had gotten f’d up by some micro organism, not humanity’s fault (!) seemed ridiculous.

          My New England Puritanical upbringing might have also had something to do with it.


          1. ambrit

            Keep fighting the good fight.
            A 2.5 year trip suggests either a not at conjunction mission or a solar sail propulsion ship.
            Some days. like today, I feel that we are already living on Mars. Phil K Dick had it right with his “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.” We are all being bombarded with psychic versions of Can-D.
            Some days it’s a good thing that we cannot understand “it all.”
            Stay safe.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Hank – I’m putting together a Naked Capitalism Songbook including all of the songs that have been posted here over the past weeks.

        I would appreciate your permission to include this song, with copyright notice, in the songbook.

        You can reach me at zelnickertaxservice [at] comcest [dot] net.

        Thank you and good luck with your campaign.

    3. Mildred Montana

      If the USSF would like to stake a claim to space and strike a mildly defiant/challenging/bellicose note I suggest the Carpenters’ 𝘊𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘖𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘊𝘳𝘢𝘧𝘵. (7 mins). Sample lyrics:

      Calling occupants of interplanetary, most extraordinary craft
      You’ve been observing our Earth
      And we’d like to make
      A contact with you
      We are your friends

      That “We are your friends” part would be especially creepy to any ETs out there.

      1. CanCyn

        As a Canadian (I think you are too aren’t you MM?) Although my parent’s preferred the Carpenters’ version, I have to give a shout out to the original version by Canadian band and writers of the song, Klaatu. Rang through my high school halls in the morning before classes started. All of my memories of 70s songs are from morning hall music.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Yes, I’m Canadian too. I was aware that the Carpenters were covering Klaatu’s song but I had never heard it ’til now. Funny that, because I was and still am a big fan of ’70s prog rock.
          Thanks for the link.

    4. Chris Smith

      Points for Voivod mention!

      I’d go with something more electronic to really capture that retro 80s vibe Space Force has: something like Nitzer Ebb, “Colony” by 808 State, or even Apoptygma Berzerk’s cover of “Major Tom”

  4. digi_owl

    So the boss is going increasingly senile, oh joy…

    Also, it would seem that reunited Germany embraced rather than distanced itself from STASI antics. Makes one wonder if the recent Baltic bangs were done by Germany, or by US Navy on German request, in order to undermine protests.

    If you had asked me 20 years ago if i believed the world could become this bleak, i would have denied it.

    1. timbers

      Yes. A terrorist attack on Germany almost certainly approved and incepted but USA perhaps assisted by others and the Germans are flaccid beyond belief. Germans are a beated defeated compliant nation devoid of self respect who’s only role is as pawns in US Empire.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Why? Twenty years ago we were in death rehearsal. Turning up all the dials on inverted totalitarianism, lies, needless wars, praetorian s leading the way with the oligarchs, economic disparity, etc. All signals pointed to this.

      1. digi_owl

        It was frankly not until 2008, and the financial mess, that i really started to read up on who messed up things were (in large part thanks to this very site). But even then i had hope that things could be made better, until Occupy disintegrated from internal squabbling over non-economic “issues”. Since then the “western world” has been looking more and more like a crab bucket, as everyone is busy with pulling others down than lifting as a group.

        1. CanCyn

          Not to mention a little help from police forces around the country encouraged by the lovely and talented President Obama.
          Occupy gave me real hope and then dashed it to a level from which it has never really recovered.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          The problem with “lifting as a group” is that every crab demands that all the other crabs obey that particular crab’s commands for how to “lift as a group”. Every sectarian will always try pulling every other sectarian down because every sectarian hopes to be the One Great Vanguard Leader who gets to rule from atop the Great Red Throne.

          The only cure for that would be for every crab to respect every other crab’s personal right to find its very own personal way out of the bucket. And if it looks like a crab or a group of crabs has developed a more likely way up out of the bucket, then yet other crabs can join in if they like.

          Someone who demands that I obey their commands in the name of “lifting as a group” is my enemy whom I will reject in every possible way.

      2. ArvidMartensen

        Twenty or thirty years ago the billionaires realised that global heating is real, no matter what their PR said. They foresaw droughts, floods, sea level rises, hurricanes, pestilence etc causing loss of life, homes and farms, and crops.
        So, they got their staff in governments and think-tanks to look at the geopolitical ramifications. What were the threats to their wealth and control, and how could they be minimised.
        Risks and threats. Hungry people riot. Homeless, hungry, hopeless people move en-masse to better places. Wars start over territory. Trade is disrupted. Genocides happen. Currencies plummet or disappear. And all this has come to pass.
        My view since the mid 2000’s has been that as the world descends into climate driven instability, the strategy of the US billionaires, their government and military will be repression across the world.
        The thinking being that, since it would be stupid to stop making money from gas, coal and oil, then mitigate the disruption stemming from food riots, mass migration etc. Through repression.
        In the mid 2000s I did not see how that repression would unfold. I believe we are seeing the how of it now.
        What we have is a concerted and orchestrated effort to bring the world’s economies, people and lands under the boot of the US billionaire/government/military complex.
        First the US dollar is being driven up to crush other currencies and impoverish the third world economies. Inflation is the PR, hegemony is the reason.
        Second, the manufactured war with Russia gives us demons to hate. China is next.
        Third, the elections of far right and neo fascist governments is happening in Europe. Italy was no popular uprising like Trump. It was carefully tended, Clinton’s comments on the joys of having a woman leader was part of that. Sweden. And next? Also, what has happened to once liberal Canada?
        Fourth, we see the rise of US connected, government run neo-fascist social media sites. And they are working on a targeted demographic, young people. In the US it has been obvious for a while. In Australia there are now school children tormenting Jewish children in schools with talk of a new Holocaust. That is how fast and far this is spreading. By design. Capture the children and they will shop their elders to the authorities. This has been seen before, 90 years ago.
        This is not going to stop. Only if Russia and China and their allies can do something to halt or at least slow this down, will the outcome be different to a new neo-nazi world run by the US.
        When the US ruled with relative impunity, they could afford the velvet gloves. Now the gloves are off, and will stay off. They are now starting to attack whatever they want to in Europe, and will continue to do so. Nothing will be off limits. Except maybe US nuclear bombs won’t be deployed because they are bad for business. But if the US billionaires feel as if their backs are to the wall then this option may not stay off the table.
        We can now see the trajectory, and the new world war has started. We also see this from the “spontaneous” local wars starting.

        1. ian

          Not sure when he said this (he died in 1993), but here’s Frank Zappa’s view:

          The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Forget 1/6. The real “insurrection” or “coup” or whatever you want to call it is taking this “presidency” seriously, let alone even the hint that this barely functional, demented individual would be “running” for “reelection.”

      1. Lee

        Hillary managed to make Trump look like the better option; just imagine what Biden will be able to accomplish in the next couple of years. Whatever rough beast is now slouching towards D.C. is of the Democrats’ own making.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            As a Florida resident who had a weather bullseye on her back yesterday, I can make this guarantee–if DeSantis handles a presidential campaign the way he’s handling Ian, the harrises, buttigiegs and newsoms will be rancid mincemeat, and biden will, at the very best, be spending more time with the steaming pile of garbage that it his family.

            1. MichaelWhitman

              Remember Bizarro World in Superman Comics? The square globe with all the characters on it portrayed by chalky square jawed anti-matter beings?

              That’s Kamala Harris, she’s like anti-thought, anti-intelligence, just shows up to occupy space and time and do nothing. The National Embarrassment.

      2. Mikel

        This should really put an end to the divisions caused by the cult of personality Presidential campaigning.
        Brain dead or not, they don’t run anything.
        The arguments and phrase parsing over what to call a shadow government can end.

        1. CanCyn

          This! Until we stop worrying about who OS the worst presidential candidate evah, and focus on the corporate oligarchies really in charge, nothing will ever, ever change. Sorry for the all caps but IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO IS PRESIDENT OR PRIME MINISTER IN ANY WESTERN COUNTRY.

          1. Portia

            Do you think it matters who it is in the shadow behind either party’s candidate, or has it become all the same?

            1. CanCyn

              I think it is become all the same. Profiteering over all else. Whether it be the MIC, big Pharma, the FIRE goons or Silicon Valley, they all have fingers in both parties. I can’t find the clip but Bill Hicks was right, the puppet on the left and the puppet on the right are controlled by the same guy.
              I only vote in municipal elections these, upper levels are irredeemable IMO.

            2. Anthony G Stegman

              I think you are on to something. Rather than there being a relatively small cabal of billionaire oligarchs and bankers running the show the entire capitalist organ is the brain that rules the world. No president or prime minister can defy this organ as it is everywhere always. Perhaps a cancer or other virile pathogen (socialism, nihilism as examples) can be introduced to and infect the organ, thereby slowly weakening it. Without weakening the organ from the inside the only way the organ is weakened sufficiently to effect meaningful change is for an outside impetus – economic collapse, ecological collapse, alien intervention, etc…to impose change by force and survival necessity.

              1. Portia

                The only way to get rid of this parasite is to stop feeding it. That either requires organization or individual will. It’s never happened before that there was a threshhold of consciousness large enough to do this. And we already have “alien intervention,” this effing parasite that is jerking us all around for dinner. Free yourself, that’s my advice for everyone.

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  And if you can’t free yourself all the way, free yourself part way. “More free” is freer than “less free”.

                  Between “all” and “nothing” is “something”. And the gray zone called “something” is where degrees of freedom may still be found, claimed, and acted on.

  5. griffen

    Hurricane Ian, caught a little coverage and the storm surge in the 6pm – 7pm hours on the east coast was the feature of this storm I was taking away. Waiting to see how things look in the first light of day. Hope people are okay in Tampa, St Pete up through Orlando.

    And here’s some planning tips 101. Maybe move those expensive to replace fire and rescue trucks to higher ground before the storm makes landfall? Saw that from a Naples, FL fire department. Clearly that was not planned well.

    1. JW

      The only higher ground round Naples is on a bridge, not a good position.
      What is worrying is that hardly any news/pictures coming out of Cape Coral, where a lot of residents ( 300k) stayed put in single floor dwellings. With 400 miles of canals the 12ft or more of surge water could be devastating. All power/internet down. Difficult to get in or out.

        1. The Rev Kev

          So it is a parallel to building cities in the middle of a desert with the water not there to support it going forward. We get the same sort of thing in Oz where Councils let developers build housing in flood plains because they get greedy for the rates revenue streams.

          1. Wukchumni

            Flood plains don’t pay property taxes…

            Sacramento is perhaps our poster child in Cali in terms of urban deluge potential and really ought to have been named Sacrificeamento

        2. Lee

          Here in Alameda, CA, developers supported by state mandate meant to address the housing crisis over-population are building relatively high density, ticky-tacky housing all over low-lying shoreline landfill vulnerable to a little bit of sea-level rise or liquefaction due to a moderate quake caused by one our several nearby faults. What could possibly go wrong?

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Taxpayers will be forced to pay for the cost of sea walls, etc…in order to protect the private property. In Silicon Valley both Google and Facebook have substantial properties along the bay. Local and state politicians have already chimed in that regional taxes will need to be raised to pay for protecting these “important economic assets”. It matters not that both corporations have many tens of billions of dollars stashed offshore as part of their tax avoidance strategies.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Got to change the lyric: “above the fruited flooded desiccated plain…”

        Will any moiety of our species stand up and drive toward a better — for us all — political economy? Cut the legs from under the kakikleptocracy?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          The Indian Nations keep doing what they can right straight along. Perhaps they deserve some support here and there, now and again.

    2. Lee

      What higher ground would that be? The highest point in the whole state is Britton Hill, 345 feet above sea level, and it’s about as far away from the storm as you can get and still be in Florida.

      1. griffen

        Yeah I get that it’s basically a sand bar. They couldn’t position one truck on a man made hill on a golf course, maybe or maybe not is my guess. The coverage I saw, well it just seemed illogical.

      2. ambrit

        What about Professor Verne’s Moon Shot facilities? They are on ‘Stone’s Hill,’ in Tampa, Florida. Not too far away from Naples, Florida.

  6. Portia

    It looks like the managerial class outsmarted themselves. Who knew educated citizens with enough money to eat healthy, good medical care and time to exercise made better soldiers???


    “We are in danger of producing an educated proletariat,” announced Reagan advisor Roger A. Freeman during a press conference on Oct. 29, 1970. Freeman, an economics professor at Stanford, was also an advisor to President Richard Nixon.

    “We have to be selective on who we allow to go through [higher education],” Freeman added.


    “To put it bluntly, I am worried we are now in the early days of a long-term threat to the all-volunteer force. [There is] a small and declining number of Americans who are eligible and interested in military service,” Tillis said. He added that “every single metric tracking the military recruiting environment is going in the wrong direction.”

    The Council for a Strong America, a nonprofit organization made up of retired military officers, law enforcement and business leaders that advocates for better nutrition and healthy lifestyles among kids, issued a press release expressing alarm at the findings.

    The group called on lawmakers in Washington to take action so that younger generations would qualify for military service.

    Still no mention of the value of education though.

    1. Eureka Springs

      And no mention of what should, especially should not qualify for police/war action. Like every one of them since the end of WWII. It’s their ‘education’ killing us.

      1. Portia

        I was thinking that also. But they screwed themselves both ways, IMO. Education isn’t what makes people want to dominate others, it’s inculcated values. And telling people they are not good enough to become thinking, valued members of society is not going to make them fit and healthy.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Oh they know the the ‘value’ of education OK. Some official came out recently and said that a main reason for keeping student debt high was to encourage a lot of students to join the military to pay for their education or even joining to pay their student debts off with.

    3. Kengferno

      The US military is running up against the Unhealthy Industrial Complex. It’s almost impossible to get kids to NOT eat terrific tasting food that can be warmed in the microwave and for them to NOT hang out inside playing dopamine hitting video games while drinking soda instead of lead-lined tap water. Add in the lack of exercise classes in school, horrible weather conditions outside and fear of crime on the streets and it’s the perfect mix for unhealthy young adults.

      1. Wukchumni

        I noticed that McDonalds got rid of their all-you-can-drink beverage dispensers, which I feel was the turning point when we started putting on a lot of weight in the mid 80’s when they were introduced.

        Now the idea that they got rid of them out of concern of their clienteles health is probably not in the cards, nope it was about keeping the homeless out of the restaurant & saving $ all in one fell swoop.

    4. hunkerdown

      Education is merely indoctrination into an ideology. PMC ideology is not a solution to the problems the PMC create with it. When it comes down to it, the middle class is an inherently totalitarian social formation. No amount of performative “niceness” or “good works” or other crap religious speech adequately justify its continued existence.

      Shut down Puritan ethical bloviation by making it Russian.

      1. Portia

        I respectfully disagree that all education is indoctrination in a narrow sense. There are a lot of people who want to co-opt the system for their own brainwashing though. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to critical thinking, and even when I was told I had no right to disagree, I learned to trust myself. I met random people who moved me forward. That’s what we have, largely. I was made to feel I was stealing knowledge (i.e., the truth) but I learned to ignore that, stay low and pick my battles. Advocating for ourselves effectively when we have to is an invaluable skill.

    5. Stephen

      Yeah, this one isn’t hard to figure out.

      I, like most of my male peers, had the opportunity to enlist in the Bush years. Of course, in those days you could expect to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan.

      It was patently obvious, even to high school kids, that the whole thing was a racket. Nobody with other options opted for that route. This was in a fallen rustbelt town.

      1. Wukchumni

        I was briefly eligible to be a dog face soldier when they raised the maximum entry age as things started going south in Iraq, right around the time of Fallujah.

    6. Glen

      I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way America could win a “Cold War” against Russia or China would be to air drop the PMC on those countries, and hope those countries are stupid enough to let the PMC manage their economies into the ground just like the billionaires and their lapdogs, the PMC, wrecked America’s economy.

      But alas, I see that China actually applies the law to their billionaires/PMC:

      China to execute two over poisoned baby milk scandal

      Whereas, in America, CEOs can stop doing maintenance and burn down whole towns, kill over 80 people, and not go to jail:

      PG&E’s Lack of Power Line Maintenance Found to be Cause of the Paradise Wildfire

      So, no, I think China and Russia realize putting the billionaires/PMC in charge will just wreck their countries so we’re stuck with them.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Russia traded high value prisoners of war for a Putin friendly oligarch plus a handful of Russian POWs. Russia suffers from many of the issues the West suffers. That likely explains Russia’s poor performance in the Russia-Ukraine war.

    1. Stephen

      They do a great set of English accents for a trio of good old Irish guys! I had no idea they were Irish until they spoke as themselves at the end.

    2. Pat

      Good on them for ingenuity with props but that isn’t a sewing machine. It is a fiber craft machine but it makes thread or yarn. It is a spinning wheel.

    3. BillS

      Thanks PK, great sketch! Seems like a blarney filled nod to Plato’s Ship of Fools.

      From Book VI of Plato’s Republic. Translation: B. Jowett (found on Project Gutenberg ).

      I shall answer you in a parable which will also let you see how poor a
      hand I am at the invention of allegories. The relation of good men to
      their governments is so peculiar, that in order to defend them I must
      take an illustration from the world of fiction. Conceive the captain of
      a ship, taller by a head and shoulders than any of the crew, yet a
      little deaf, a little blind, and rather ignorant of the seaman’s art.
      The sailors want to steer, although they know nothing of the art; and
      they have a theory that it cannot be learned. If the helm is refused
      them, they drug the captain’s posset, bind him hand and foot, and take
      possession of the ship. He who joins in the mutiny is termed a good
      pilot and what not; they have no conception that the true pilot must
      observe the winds and the stars, and must be their master, whether they
      like it or not;—such an one would be called by them fool, prater,
      star-gazer. This is my parable; which I will beg you to interpret for
      me to those gentlemen who ask why the philosopher has such an evil
      name, and to explain to them that not he, but those who will not use
      him, are to blame for his uselessness. The philosopher should not beg
      of mankind to be put in authority over them. The wise man should not
      seek the rich, as the proverb bids, but every man, whether rich or
      poor, must knock at the door of the physician when he has need of him.
      Now the pilot is the philosopher—he whom in the parable they call
      star-gazer, and the mutinous sailors are the mob of politicians by whom
      he is rendered useless. Not that these are the worst enemies of
      philosophy, who is far more dishonoured by her own professing sons when
      they are corrupted by the world. Need I recall the original image of
      the philosopher? Did we not say of him just now, that he loved truth

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Why is the philosopher a captain to begin with if he can’t see and hear well and doesn’t know how to sail?!? Seems like the crew is right not to trust him.

        More balderdash from an authoritarian crank who loved the oligarchs of his day – Socrates had it coming!

        And nothing personal BillS – I will fully admit to having Socrates Derangement Syndrome.

      2. BillS

        Thanks for your response. You are quite right, lyman. Plato was authoritarian at heart. Only benevolent philosopher kings were fit to rule. My point, perhaps not well made, was that even 2500 years ago, government by cretins was a recognized phenomenon.

    4. NotThisAgain

      I am not a financier, but I really think that this story is not getting nearly the attention that it deserves. The media articles are focusing on the idea that the pound may hit parity because it is a convenient marker, but I think there are much longer term consequences to this.

      For example, this is the first clear signal that I have seen (and I stress that I am not a professional) that “the markets” believe that supply side economics are destructive (at least in the current environment). The US is wealthy enough as a country that it can get away with such policies longer than everybody else, but if the UK has hit its limit, it will be interesting to see whether the remaining G7 (and China, for that matter) feel forced in shifting to “the left”.

      Moreover, does anybody really believe that the BoE, acting alone, can actually stabilize the pound? Or that the FIRE sector can really handle these large drops? It beggars belief that everybody is hedged against both the currency and interest rate changes.

      But the other part that is really bothering me is the insane strength of the USD–this does not look like just a typical “flight to quality” trade. This looks like the beginning of almost universal panic across the globe. And yet, the headlines (and even everyday conversations I overhear) don’t seem to reflect anywhere near the degree of panic that the financial markets are showing. Interestingly, even Truss appears to believe that she can double up on her current position when every single piece of data should be telling her to backtrack immediately. And the US doesn’t yet appear inclined to even jawbone the USD down…I can’t figure out what is going on.

      Maybe I am misreading this entirely, of course–but this seems utterly surreal.

      1. NotThisAgain

        Incidentally, has anybody pondered what type of trade agreements GB will be able to negotiate with the US going forward? After this fiasco, the country basically has absolutely no leverage other than some platitudes about supporting the US militarily–the country has even destroyed its relations with the rest of Europe to that point that the US is probably better off dealing with the individual European countries without using the UK as a conduit.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It’s gunna be a fire sale. Everything must go. And the first thing on the chopping block will be the British National Health System. The neoliberal impulse is to bring everyone down to their predatory level which the Germans must now be aware of. So you look at how it is for most Americans and that is the system that they want to force on the rest of the world.

        2. hunkerdown

          “Will privatize NHS for food” is about the size of UK’s lever. But the value of destroying a working Alternative to TINA has a very long tail indeed.

          1. Lee

            The severe diminishment of current governments’ abilities to deliver social goods seems to be on the near horizon for Europe as a whole. The neoliberal/neocon project is either at a high point or near its road’s end. I don’t know which, but it would seem that something’s got to give.

      2. Lee

        “I can’t figure out what is going on.”

        Problem is that they, as in the leaders of whom we speak, can’t either. The phrase “onward through the fog” comes to mind.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          i think the thesis that current events are part of a great plan to take away our stuff is becoming more untenable day by day. This is a system where multiple subsystems are breaking down, behaving erratically, gyrating wildly, all simultaneously. We’re witnessing nothing but doubling down, desperate improvisation, laughable attempts at bluffing, etc. from our elites. I’m sure there are some savvy sociopaths who see ways of making money from the increasing chaos, but that doesn’t mean they know how to re-stabilize things.

          1. aletheia33

            HMP, i agree that multiple subsystems are breaking down, etc., simultaneously. (though this view may not need to be in contradiction or exclusion of the sociopath theory for the shorter term.)

            from what i see on the ground in my small community, beyond “bad merchandise from china” now, so many things literally falling apart irreparably (not to mention accelerating levels of poverty, mental and physical illness, drug addiction, inflation, no help with any of this from anywhere, etc.):

            i think people are becoming almost daily more frustrated to the point of (helpless) rage at this across-the-board literal breakdown of everything.
            yet there is such denial of the possibility of, especially, internet and communications systems breaking down: i feel i am literally seeing this particular breakdown happening every day, while people are saying “yes, it seems that all things are stopping working, but what can i do, i’ve got to just try to hold on to my /job, home, apartment, status, children’s education fund, health insurance, etc. depending on the person’s situation/ for as long as i can”–though a few do seem to be realizing, as you have noted here, HMP, that we are ALL now dependent on systems that are not designed to be as reliable, durable, useful, time-saving, or workable as the ones that preceded them.

            as you imply, whoever benefits with $$ and power in the short term will eventually find themselves, too, at the mercy of the great breakdown. their efforts to survive above the fray will not succeed for much longer or with much greater benefits for the children than anyone else’s.

            i enjoy your comments HMP; they seem to be to be quietly and well considered and are clear.

      3. Maxwell Johnston

        Agreed. On my twice daily forays to the BBC news website, I saw no mention of the pound-related market turmoil. But lots of coverage of Ukraine, Nordstream, and the Florida hurricane. Keep calm and carry on, I suppose. Or else the politics of distraction.

        In reality, I think the UK economy is in very serious trouble. And Germany’s even more, as per this excellent summary (published long before Nordstream went kaputt, which makes things even worse for Deutschland):

      4. Socal Rhino

        The reported issue is dangerous use of leverage by pension funds to make unfunded liabilities look funded. Big drop in pound caused huge margin calls. Absent a rescue by BOE, pension funds would have failed. Intervention is to buy time for PFs to reposition.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    Philippines Readies Crackdown on Chinese Online Gambling Operations The Diplomat

    A few years ago I was in Manila, and out of curiosity googled Belt and Road initiatives in the city and spent a day wandering to have a look at a few of them (I’m of the school of thought that the only way to judge investment and infrastructure is to have a look yourself, preferably without a minder). Most were unfinished, but the ones that had been completed had two things in common – one is that they were absolutely enormous, and the second was that they were casinos. The advantage of being a handsome white male in much of Asia is that you can wander into places like this without anyone questioning your right to be there (something often not accorded to the locals), so I spent some time nosing around. It was pretty clear that most ‘customers’ were Chinese, and also pretty clear from the scale of things and the layouts that there were plenty of other ‘activities’ going on.

    The sad reality in much of Asia is that these massive casinos are almost invariably trojan horses for some of the most malign semi-legal or illegal activities. Countries with weak institutional structures such as Cambodia or Philippines or Indonesia are most vulnerable – although even Singapore has found it difficult to resist the temptation. It’s striking that China has been slow to act on them, despite (arguably) Chinese citizens being the primary target for the various scams. There have been crackdowns in Macau, but these seem to have been as much political in intent as anything else. It may be that from the point of view of Beijing these operations have certain side benefits that aren’t necessarily apparent – but whatever, its clear that they are a growing scourge. I’m no fan of the current PH government, but its a good sign if they are willing to take the lead on this.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “‘The war on Syria has failed,’ Foreign Minister says in UN speech, denouncing the West’s hegemonic ambitions”

    ‘Due to the Wests “economic terrorism,” Syria had lost an estimated $107 billion in oil and gas revenues since 2011, leading to further economic woes, he explained, telling the Assembly that Syria would continue to seek compensation for the lost revenues, while “doing everything possible” to improve the humanitarian situation on the ground.’

    I think that he must be talking about this-

    1. digi_owl

      I am eternally puzzled why USA has not long since pushed for the creation of a Kurdish nation. but then perhaps having them as an irritant keeps the region from sorting itself out.

      1. Michaelmas

        I am eternally puzzled why USA has not long since pushed for the creation of a Kurdish nation.

        Maybe not such a mystery. While the US is willing to weaponize the likes of al Qaeda and ISIS, some social movements are beyond the pale even for Washington —

        The Kurdish Path to Socialism in Syria

        In northern Syria, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) aims to promote a political and economic system based on self-sufficiency and local democracy. Yet a closer look at the measures being implemented reveals a clear effort to apply the anti-capitalist ideology of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) ….

        Ocalan has written a series of books proposing a societal model for the Kurdish people. His “Ocalanism” was directly inspired by American social theorist Murray Bookchin, a radical leftist who wanted to break down capitalism through “libertarian municipalism.” Bookchin believed that capitalism’s fatal flaw lay in its conflict with nature — that is, by destroying the environment, capitalism will inevitably create a major crisis and consume itself. In his first book on radical ecology, he recommended the decentralization of polluted metropolitan centers and pesticide-ridden industrial farms so that people could live on a smaller scale, produce their food locally, use renewable energy, and manage their own affairs.

        We can’t have that now, can we?

        1. Aumua

          Exactamundo. The Kurds are leftists, and the U.S. is fundamentally against leftism gaining any foot hold, no matter how Woke the Pentagon might be.

          We’re happy to support foreign right wing extremists tho when it suits us.

        2. Fiery Hunt

          That’s just an evil plan….Not today, Satan!
          Nature must be subjugated!

          There’s profit to be had!

      2. The Rev Kev

        They have. But the problem remains that if you had an independent Kurdish state, every single one of the countries bordering it would be hostile to them which would be totally unsustainable. The only reason that you have the present one is because of US military support and last I heard, it was being run as a family mafia state. if the US military left, that Kurdish state would quickly collapse.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Even then, Kurds are very much inhabitants of mountainous regions on the edges of multiple economic zones with stark regional differences including major dialect and cultural differences. There never really was a cohesive economic zone which is more important than whatever a 16th century historian labeled those peoples as Kurds in the modern terms we use. They were basically people off the beaten tracks (plural) who lacked natural trade routes. Many of the Kurds assimilated into the various states anyway.

          Biden was an advocate of partitioning Iraq including basically a Kurdish ethnostate in the North. I guess when people pointed out he was gift wrapping the oil fields to Iran he reconsidered, but his plan would have resulted in ethnic cleansing more so than what happened.

          1. The Rev Kev

            One man’s partitioning of Iraq is another man’s ‘segregation’. And since Biden was also responsible for the Crime Bill, I would suspect it to be the later. A true Wilsonian Democrat.

        2. Cetra Ess

          The only objection I have to this assessment is, since the Kurds are anarchists a state is probably the last thing they want. If the Kurds are succesful in their project then its a threat to all states, proves states are unnecessary even for defense or basic societal functioning, and even proves that geopolitical “borders” are nonsense. Indeed, I think the CNT came very close to proving the same things during the Spanish Civil War. Which is why I quite like the Kurds and hope others around the world take up the same project.

      3. schmoe

        To prevent a land bridge for the dreaded “Shiite Crescent” from Tehran to Beirut. You know, that branch is Islam that basically never carries out attacks against Western civilians and fights the branch of Islam that does.

      4. hunkerdown

        Puritans do not ever endorse anarchy (at least not without an ulterior motive). It’s a direct challenge to their entire position in society as the self-indispensable commercial middle stratum.

      5. Stephen

        As someone who ships goods to Erbil, I can tell you from a supply chain perspective (transportation, customs clearance, etc), that part of Iraq is functionally a separate country.

      6. Alice X

        The 1920 Treaty of Sèvres negotiated by the Allies and the Ottomans did propose to establish a State of Kurdistan. The Ottomans signed it but Turkish nationalist opposition sparked a new war and the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne superseded the earlier treaty, which erased the proposed Kurdish State.

  9. RabidGandhi

    > Gun Violence Clips 2.6% Off U.S. GDP

    No it doesn’t, read the article and the underlying study to see it’s quite the opposite. The findings state that

    [E]ach nonfatal firearm injury leads to an estimated $30 000 in direct health care spending per survivor in the first year alone

    which all good economists know adds to GDP rather than ‘clipping it off’. And this is without counting all the spending on ambulances, garrisoning of schools, lawyers, insurance…. With a major recession bearing down, fewer shootings would clearly be a fatal blow to groaf.

    Although there is a mitigating factor:

    after a worker experiences a firearm injury, US employers and their insurers pay prices of medical care that are, on average, nearly twice the level of Medicare prices for a hospital stay, 2.6 times what Medicare pays for hospital outpatient services

    So not only would curbing shootings detract from GDP, but having socialised health care for them would cut growth even more. Clearly the US cannot afford to have either M4A or fewer gunz.

  10. Carolinian

    Re today’s Caitlin on the neocons

    As Shchake discusses the urgent need to explode the US military budget in order to defend Taiwan, The New York Times neglects to inform us that Schake’s employer, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), has been caught accepting a small fortune from Taiwan’s de facto embassy while churning out materials urging the US government to go to greater lengths to arm Taiwan. In a 2013 article titled “The Secret Foreign Donor Behind the American Enterprise Institute,” The Nation’s Eli Clifton reports that, thanks to a filing error by AEI, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office was found to have been one of the think tank’s top donors in 2009. Had that filing error not been made, we never would have learned this important information about AEI’s glaring conflict of interest in its Taiwan commentary.

    In the spirit of current revisionism should we just name our national capital Kaching and be done with it? The Dim Bulb himself is of course deeply compromised by conflicts of financial interest and therefore constantly exaggerates the menace of his opponents in order to justify himself. As for the NYT, a recent article talked about how gung ho they were for the Tonkin Gulf Resolution.

  11. Robin Kash

    “Semper Supra” resembles nothing so much as D’land Uber Alles.
    John P. Sousa’s estate could sue for copyright infringement.
    It’s concluding line, “We’re the Space Force from on high,” is like a descent to American, aka, the USA, exceptionalism.

  12. Rolf

    Re honorary authors (Science):
    To ring an old bell, in my experience the level of “honorary authorship” is far higher than the statistics shown:

    Overall, some 35% of the authors failed to meet the ICMJE criteria, and 4% didn’t meet the PNAS standards, the team reported this month at the International Congress on Peer Review and Scientific Publishing in Chicago. In addition, they concluded that some 1% of the authors appeared to have been listed solely because they secured funding or provided materials or other resources for the project, practices that don’t meet either standard.

    In my small neck of the woods, inclusion of authors simply because they controlled funding, access to instruments or other resources, or other nominal but meaningless criteria was routine. In many cases manuscripts were submitted without these “authors” having even read the paper, let alone having actually contributed substantively to its content. The abuse is endemic simply because of the hierarchical structure of academic research groups, and the fact that accumulating publications is the only means of acquiring funding and tenure. As has been enunciated far more eloquently elsewhere, such strategies ensure only a vast pile of publications, many of which are never cited by anyone else (another problem, distinct but related), whereas the actual rate of increase in real cumulative understanding is far more complex. The entire, ossified system (public funding of science, the tenure system, surrender of publicly-funded research literature copyright to private, paywalled publishers — for free) — like many others — is dead broke and should be abandoned.

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      And it’s not just papers – it happens with patent applications as well. Named inventors will sometimes include research group leads who had no hand in the actual invention other than supervising the group.

  13. Old Sovietologist

    “Germany: Prosecutors raid far-right AfD’s headquarters”.

    If it was happening in Moscow it would be called political persecution.

  14. Michael Ismoe

    That tape of Brandon talking to the dead Congresslady was so funny that Joe was laughing hysterically when he told Beau about it over drinks last night.

    WTF were you thinking America?

    1. Mikel

      And all the clips of him on stages, shuffling aimlessly about after speeches.
      And a pox on any politician who has been around him face to face and endorsed voting for him. Including Sanders. This was all noticeable during Biden’s campaign.

      Then I read dumb @$#& like this in the tweet thread to the bloomerg post:

      “love him so much. It is clear he has Alzheimer’s 😞 I get very upset when people mock him. Never mock a medical condition. He should rest in 2024 and enjoy his days with medical…”

      Rest in 2024???? He needs to rest it now.
      FFS..saying he needs to go NOW is not mocking. It’s the kindest thing that could be done for him.

      Posted about this event yesterday, but forgot to do a proper rant. :)

      1. Screwball

        One might wonder if he has the launch codes or if that decision will be made by someone else? It scares me to pieces who might be running the war machine, given what we’ve already witnessed. From my vantage point the 3 letter agencies and the MIC are in complete control which should scare the living $hit out of everyone. These people are nuts; see Vicky Nuland as example 1.

        Yet, there are people who will go bananas if you even “hint” that this guy has any issues. FFS, he’s a walking zombie.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Germany: Prosecutors raid far-right AfD’s headquarters”

    I don’t know. When this article says that the police ‘copied complete hard disks, mailboxes and file folders’, it is really starting to sound like a fishing expedition. Methinks that the present government know that they are going to be destroyed piecemeal at every local election until the next Federal election in 2025 and are now in a panic in who might follow them into power. And if it was the AfD, that party could get a lot of support by promising an open investigation into the disastrous German policies that are leading to the de-industrialization of Germany. Certainly that party would feel no obligation to maintain the present ‘narrative’ nor feel any loyalty to the present German elite.

    1. digi_owl

      Dunno about the other two, but i think copying whole harddrives are standard procedure. That way there is no risk of evidence destruction during forensic examination.

    2. ArvidMartensen

      One hand is running neo-fascist social media identities, the other hand is raiding AfD. A truly split personality government.

  16. dcblogger

    America’s oligarchs are fine with gun culture, it is radioactive to worker solidarity:

    Looking back at Big Business’ violent reaction against the New Deal and the political culture that it created: a more “collectivist” political culture, as the libertarians derisively call it, where people were more deeply involved with each other and their communities, and with that involvement in their politics and communities came greater trust in their communities. That political culture — where people were more involved in their politics and trusted government more than they trusted business — was a big problem, according to pollsters and PR experts hired by business lobby groups in the postwar era, groups like the National Association of Manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce.

    Much better is to pour arms unrestricted into the population, give them legal cover and political encouragement to take political matters into their own hands with laws like “Stand Your Ground”. That way you wind up creating a political culture of atomized, fear-fueled citizens who think they’re literally at war with each other, and their only way out is to fend for themselves and their family.

    1. Tom Stone

      The only people who can be trusted with Gunz are the jackbooted thugs that murder Black children for sport!
      Watch the dance scene in “Birth of a Nation” to see one example of how “Sensible Gun Laws” actually work in the USA.
      Oddly enough, every time a repressive law is passed you get more criminals…Hoocoodanode?
      If you want less violent crime, create a Society that is more just and equitable.
      Or arm the cops with tanks, machine guns, grenade launchers and sniper rifles…

  17. Exiled_in_Boston

    Are there no reputable links to the Russian sponsored referenda in the eastern Ukraine provinces? Just a minor report on ANC observers?

    1. hunkerdown

      What do you believe this PMC Karen act of ceremonially performing feelings-based judgments about news sources is really buying you?

    2. Polar Socialist

      It seems that Russia has not really sponsored the referenda other than removed the officials imposed on these areas by the Kiev regime that prevented the referendas for 8 years.
      There were referenda already in 1991 (IIRC) and several planned for 2014, but at both times the Ukrainian military intervened.

      1. Skip Intro

        Russia was also opposed to the 2014 referenda, which were, IIRC, just DPR and LPR independence, not even joining RF. Presumably they still had hope for some negotiated settlement.

    3. Portia

      There were documents online, if you searched hard enough, of the Zelensky declaration in 2021 that states, among other things, that people could not retain their native language unless it was “Ukrainian,” own land, etc. All this stuff has been wiped as far as I can tell, and searching for it would definitely get me on a list or two, but it’s on record in places that Z’s govt was going exclusionary. You’d have to go to Pepe Escobar at this point I think to get an inkling of what is going down.

      1. Yves Smith

        You can find them on the Wayback Machine if they got enough hits. For instance, you can still find the Ukraine kill list that has Tulsi Gabbard, Jeffrey Sachs, and Rand Paul on it there, even though it’s been taken down.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Japan demands apology after Russia detains and interrogates consular official over alleged espionage”

    I wonder what is Japanese for ‘Streisand effect.’ Look, the Russkies busted the guy fair and square and blew his cover. And since relations have been hostile with Japan the past several months, they weren’t polite about it. Japan should have said nothing, brought the guy back to a desk job somewhere and moved on. But trying to demand an apology may only lead the Russians into releasing their surveillance footage of him getting busted onto the media – which there would be somewhere.

    1. Exiled_in_Boston

      A foreign diplomat with immunity is accused of espionage…I am shocked I tell you.
      if the Russian model becomes the norm for dealing with this matter, there will be a lot of battered and bruised diplomats from a lot of countries.
      The new normal?

      1. judy2shoes

        Hmmm. The article does not state that the diplomat was “battered and bruised”; however, it does state that “The consular official has since been released with no health problems and is set to return to Japan on Wednesday.”

          1. judy2shoes

            That still doesn’t mean he was battered and bruised, which is your interpretation. I’m pretty sure the article would have used stronger language if he were in fact “battered and bruised,” not to mention including damning pictures to support the allegations. I also doubt they would have said he was released with no health problems if he sustained residual physical problems.

            1. ambrit

              He should just thank his lucky stars he is back home. If he was running agents, what about those poor souls? In America, you do jail time, even when you aren’t guilty.

      2. Polar Socialist

        He was not accused, he was caught red handed and videoed giving money for classified information. He was detained, which certainly is against the convention of diplomatic relations, although there is the gray area of the detaining law enforcement officers having to verify first that he actually was a diplomatic agent.
        Diplomats do carry diplomatic passport and other identification, but a smart move is still to verify from consulate if it’s actually one of theirs and what is the actual diplomatic status – staff (cooks, drivers, IT, guards etc) in general do not have diplomatic immunity.

  19. MT_Wild

    Hooray for turtles!

    Pretty sure that one is a Blanding’s turtle. Unfortunately I have never seen one in the wild. A little to Midwestern for me to find one.

  20. Carolinian

    Latest Diana Johnstone on the pipeline.

    European opinion-makers are showing the result of 70 years of Americanization. Especially in Germany, but also in France and elsewhere, for decades the United States has systematically spotted up-and-coming young people, invited them to become “young leaders,” invited them to the United States, indoctrinated them in “our values” and made them feel like members of the great trans-Atlantic family. They are networked into top positions in politics and media. In recent years, great alarm is raised about alleged Russian efforts to exert “influence” in European countries, while Europeans bathe in perpetual American influence: movies, Netflix, pop culture, influence in universities, media, everywhere.

    When disaster strikes Europe, it can’t be blamed on America (except for former President Donald Trump, because the American establishment despised and rejected him, so Europeans must do the same). It has to be the bad guy in the movie, Putin.

    She suspects all the leading actors know whodunit, just won’t say.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Carolinian: A chilling piece, given that she points out that it means endless gangster war.

      I like her clear logic, stemming from her observation that the Baltic Sea is a NATO lake:

      As luck would have it, exactly the same task force around the USS Kearsarge was again in the sea area around Bornholm last week.

      In short, during NATO maneuvers, some participant could have laid the explosives, to be blown up at a later chosen moment.

      By an odd coincidence, only a few hours after the sabotage of Nord Stream 1 and 2, ceremonies began opening the new Baltic Pipe carrying gas from Norway to Denmark and Poland.

      The irony is that the map in use seems to be in Basque. At least someone is keeping track of the facts. I wonder how long it would take to learn to read the Basque newspapers?

  21. hunkerdown

    re: Uncle Sam to unmask anonymous writers using AI The Register

    Neat, a generative adversarial network as a stylometry and counter-stylometry tool. I’m a little impressed. I had a similar idea kicking around in my mind about a year ago but am hopelessly incompetent with modern AI tooling (and never particularly looked forward to compiling training sets).

    1. Polar Socialist

      I assume it won’t be hard to train AI to alter your text a bit here and there to confuse the tools.

      I do recall researchers have for a few decades used tools developed for genetics to find the “phylogeny” of texts and also calculate probabilities of authorship.

    2. BillS

      A few years ago, I was playing around with Bayesian filters and Markov chains and wrote a simple Markov-chain based text comparison code that would yield a probability that a given author wrote a sample of text. You would provide the program with a corpus of various authors and the the program would compute a table of the word-transition probabilities for each corpus sample. You would then insert your unknown text into the program, which would apply the Viterbi algorithm to find the most probable word sequence and associated probability for each author corpus. The sequence yielding the highest probability was your likely author. This approach worked surprisingly well and the code was very simple, altho’ wasn’t really computationally efficient. Kinda gives an idea about how these things work, though.

      The obfuscation angle given in the article is very interesting, and was something that I did not consider at the time.

      This type of profiling reminds me of the government registered typewriters in the old Soviet Union and the efforts of the Samizdat writers to frustrate the government’s efforts at identifying them. We have become what we once despised.

      1. Portia

        I think they have become what they were once envious of, myself. Even a child, as I was, could see rampant hypocrisy everywhere.

  22. fresno dan

    California Gov. Gavin Newsom this month signed a bill that requires state regulators to create a program allowing “natural organic reduction” by 2027. It will become the fifth state to pass legislation permitting what providers often call “human composting” or “terramation.”

    The process, which is essentially the controlled decomposition of a human body by a funeral service provider, takes about two months. Processing a person’s remains creates 1-2 cubic yards of compost — enough to nearly fill the bed of a pickup truck, which can then be used in gardens or conservation projects.
    so all I got to do is hang on for four more years…

    1. Milton

      Maybe this will help my avocado trees return to their previous lushness. I figure a sack of me will keep my spouse in bounty for the remaining couple of decades, whence the process begins anew.

  23. BillS

    Re: EU price caps on Russian gas. Heeellllppp! The stoopid, it burns!! How can those EU apparatchiks even think that this is going to work? Somebody help me understand, please.

    Oh, and it’s a good thing they left those Antwerp diamonds off the sanctions list.

  24. Michael Ismoe

    Why do I have the feeling that the nuclear bomb that NATO is going to blame on Russia has already been delivered to Ukraine?

    Blowing up NS 1 and 2 are not signs of rational people.

    1. Paleobotanist

      Right now I’ve told my spouse that I think that our probability of going nuclear this winter is about 0.25. I’m scared. I hope that I’m wrong but things sure seem to be going kinetic, as the military folk say. Yes the crazies are in power.

      I’m going to put on the teapot and go hug the cat. He’s warm and large.

      1. Carolinian

        i suspect both sides are bluffing about the nukes. What Putin really said was that if the fate of Russia was at stake nukes are on the table and he’s always said that. Obviously if Ukraine continues to attack the breakaways he has far milder ways of retaliating with conventional weapons.

        As for Biden, what’s the point of spending many billions of dollars on such weapons if you can’t pretend you are going to use them?

        If Biden really, seriously, wanted to go to war with Russia he would have done it by now. The whole plan is to destroy Putin’s government while limiting the damage to the USA.

      2. Fiery Hunt

        Once had a student (glass) who was a paleobotanist…thought it was the coolest area of study ever!
        Definitely lacking in the grant money, and hard as hell to get into the field, but cool as hell!

    2. Old Sovietologist

      A global catastrophe and a nuclear winter around the world has been my fear since the start of Russia’s SMO.

      October 2022 is beginning to resemble October 1962.

      Its been reported on Ukrianian Telegram that when Erdoğan visited Zelensky he brought with him Putin’s ultimatum and what consequences Ukraine would suffer if they refused to negotiate. Zelensky was offered a to return to the April agreement which was reached in Istanbul to end the war.

      If this was the case and I think its true then Putin was indeed the peacemaker. He was even at this stage in Russia’s operation prepared to return the conflict back to April.

      Putin’s patience finally snapped and decision to hold referenda and the partial mobilisation was then pushed forward.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I think that has been the message since the last December or so: this is the best deal you can get now, the next one will be worse for you as we [Russia] will change the facts on the ground.
        It may take several iterations yet for it to finally sink in or for the people who care to start acting on saving what can be saved. I don’t see the West being helpful in any way, though. It’s almost as “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem” has yet to strike the European leadership.

        1. KD

          The point is to use Ukrainians to kill Russians and weaken the RF. Peace is not the solution, peace is the problem. The only issue is what to do when the priests of the true faith run out of Ukrainians to sacrifice on the altar of the blood god of democracy, although it probably won’t object to a diet of Taiwanese or Armenians or Iranians as a substitute sacrifice.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Well, it’s eighth month now, and Russia is not really getting seemingly weaker – unless we count adding new territories tomorrow as weakening.

            Meanwhile USA and EU seem to be getting weaker, more unstable and sinking deeper into the economic corryvreckan of their own causing.

            The priests of the true faith have to come up with plan B pretty soon, if they want to remain priest.

  25. John Beech

    Hurricane Ian update – we weathered the storm. minimal damage. Heard from friends in Naples, Tampa/St. Pete, Tarpon Springs, and Sarasota and they are all good. Touched bases with several club members in the area, all good with them, also. God wiling the reports of 100s of deaths in Naples is exaggerated. As for us, we expect to begin fulfilling orders again Saturday, or maybe Monday, depends. Anyway, now the clean up begins. Lot of work but sweat beats death! Had one customer throw a hissy-fit on me yesterday during hurricane preparations (never should have answered the phone) but otherwise everybody has been understanding. God Bless.

    1. Paleobotanist

      Andrei at the Saker reports that he lost his house totally and won’t be blogging for awhile. Poor guy

  26. KD

    What is interesting between the sabotage, the who is winning and who is bleeding, and tactical nuclear discussion, and the rest of it, is that it would be geopolitical suicide for China to let Russia fail. The last thing China wants is a break-up of the RF and a bunch of NATO puppets on its borders and in Central Asia.

    So far, Russia appears to be able to go things alone, but it is hard to imagine if NATO became directly involved or if Russia was actually on the ropes (in contrast to the Western media reports) that China would not increasingly support Russia, and even possibly opening a 2 front war. Maybe this the NATO plan, but if you play it out, China + Russia can probably handle NATO conventionally or in a nuclear confrontation.

    Nations are balancers, and no one is going to want the US and NATO in Central Asia, so NATO maximalism is inevitably going to bring more and more allies to Russia.

  27. drumlin woodchuckles

    I am guessing the turtle in the image is a Blanding’s turtle. Here is a bunch of images of Blanding’s turtle.;_ylt=AwrigvetCDpjN.w0B3VXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZANMT0NVSTA1NF8xBHNlYwNzYw–?p=blanding%27s+turtle+image&fr=sfp

    I remember once at a local pond in the woods at a local park, seeing a Blanding’s turtle in among the painted turtles. It looked like a basketball among the soccerballs.

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