Links 11/8/2022

Fascinating Macro Photos Look at the Diverse Design of Butterly Pupae PetaPixel (David L)

What time is the Blood Moon total lunar eclipse on Nov. 8? Space (furzy)

A total eclipse happens this week, and it will be the last one for 3 years NPR (David L)

New Go-playing trick defeats world-class Go AI—but loses to human amateurs ars technica. Steven D: “Another example of the limitations of AI and poor training sets.

People in historically rice-farming areas are less happy and socially compare more than people in wheat-farming areas. APA PsychNet. Resilc: “Rice=hard work. Wheat=throw and go.”

Fossils Upend Conventional Wisdom about Evolution of Human Bipedalism Scientific American (Anthony L)



Covid Patients Coming Off Ventilators Can Take Weeks to Regain Consciousness New York Times (furzy)

What If COVID Reinfections Wear Down Our Immunity? The Tyree (fk). Good to see Leonardi getting more exposure.



UN unveils global ‘early warning’ system for disasters at $3 billion Agence France-Presse (furzy)

Fast Fashion Waste Is Choking Developing Countries With Mountains of Trash Bloomberg. Years behind our Jerri-Lynn….

Drought Forces One of Spain’s Largest Hydro Plants to Halt Bloomberg

Thailand’s ‘floating train’ a big hit as dam waters rise Reuters


Apple: iPhone shipments delayed over China Covid lockdown BBC

Despot Times, Despot Measures Heisenberg Report (resilc). More whining about China’s Covid policy….when the US is imposing chip sanctions. Why should China help the US by sacrificing its Covid policy? I know the argument is that China can’t defy Mr. Market. Xi just consolidated his hold on the party despite the economic costs of zero-Covid.

Chinese Chip Designers Slow Down Processors To Dodge US Sanctions ars technica

Time to redefine China’s regional security role Asia Times (Kevin W)

Trudeau accuses China of ‘aggressive’ election interference BBC

Asia girding for long-term dollar strength Asia Times

Old Blighty

UK grocery inflation hits 14.7%; recession looms as housing market weakens – business live Guardian

UK faces 50 billion pound fiscal hole, government sources say Reuters

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine – U.S. Deceives Allies To Keep Them In Line Moon of Alabama. In case you missed the Washington Post story. It is enormously frustrating to see normally sound commentators go pear shaped and act as if this story shows a shift in US willingness to negotiate. It isn’t. The Post made clear that Zelensky was only to present himself as willing to consider negotiation, but to remain unwilling to talk. Note Zelensky has not complied with even that suggestion; his decree against negotiating with Russia if Putin is in charge is still in place. One wonders if the Post ran this story to reassure Beltway denizens that funding for college tuitions are not threatened despite peace talks not longer being a verboten topic. Also the related WSJ story that Jake Sullivan was talking to the Kremlin supposedly to de-escalate in passing makes clear that Sullivan was the channel for the communiques that Russia said it was getting every few weeks from Washington: “Don’t you dare use nukes!” when Russia had stated no such intent. This made Moscow types worried that the US was planning to pin something on Russia. So how is that de-escalating? More US Big Lie in action.

US says Zelenskiy risks allies’ ‘Ukraine fatigue’ if he rejects Russia talks – report Guardian. Another take.

* * *

Ukraine plunges into darkness after wave of Russian attacks Al Jazeera (Kevin W). Not much new about attacks but about possible Ukraine responses.

How well are Germans prepared for a blackout? DW (resilc)

* * *

Indonesia’s president has ‘strong impression’ Putin will miss G20 summit in Bali Financial Times. Not that I have a vote, but I didn’t see the point of Putin going, so this is not a surprise. Someone in the officialdom had pointed out there are a lot of big shindig events in November, so by implication is G20 is dispensable, Putin can see other leaders elsewhere. Ursula von der Leyen had said she’d be rude to Putin’s face if he came, and you could expect similar cheap stunts from “Collective West” leaders. Biden already rejected a meeting with Putin and there were even accounts that Biden’s minders would plan Biden’s movements so he would not have a chance encounter with Putin, like passing in a corridor. And Biden is running the pretense that Ukraine has to decide, which means Zelensky/Ukraine have to look like the lead negotiators. But Zelensky issued a decree saying negotiations with Russia were impossible after the “liberated” territories were made part of Russia. Separately, the pretense that Ukraine can decide its fate sets up the sort of “double brokering” that occurred in the Istanbul talks in March. You never want as a principal to negotiate with an agent. The side using the agent can retrade the agent’s commitments, precisely as happened.

* * *

Scott Ritter and Richard Medhurst: Nordstream Sabotage, Russia & Ukraine YouTube. From last week but still germane. Very good discussion of those “Iranian” drones.

The West bullies Iran, again Indian Punchline (Kevin W). Marred by inclusion of bizarre asides, like Iran being flattered. Iran and Russia have been hostile for a long time and Iran would likely have made very careful calculations about this move. I’ve been warned by Russian-knowledgeable people that M. K. Bhadrakumar is not very well informed about Russia and currently lacks of meaningful inside contacts in India. In other words, he can still be insightful, but he’s working off public info and sometimes goes off the rails,

* * *

Biden administration privately asks US banks to keep working with Russia – Bloomberg RT

The Russian gas habit Europe can’t quit: LNG Politico (guurst)

* * *

US-Funded Media Fails to Produce Evidence of Russian “War Crimes” Brian Berletic

Pro-war hawks have progressives on their Squad Aaron Maté (resilc)

* * *



Tensions between Imran Khan, Pakistan military threaten to erupt into chaos South China Morning Post

128 scholars warn: ‘Don’t trap the United Nations in a vague and weaponized definition of antisemitism’ Euobserver (guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Japan Seeks Power To Turn Down Private Home Air Conditioners Remotely, Report Says Japan Today

Imperial Collapse Watch

Secret War Brennan Center. Resilc: “Endless waste, but lots of promotions and retirement consulting.”

America’s 9/11 Wars Created the Soldiers for Far-Right Violence Intercept


Biden’s “Bottomless Pinocchio”: Washington Post Hits the President With Rare Rebuke for Repeated False Claims Jonathan Turley


Debt, Ukraine and Hunter Biden: Republicans prepare for House majority Financial Times

GOP activists and candidates set stage to claim elections they lose are stolen Politico

Biden Impeachment? Trump Is Calling Republicans to Ask About It Rolling Stone

Why is the Major Israel Lobby supporting over 100 Antisemitic Racists, Climate Deniers and election Denialists for Congress? Juan Cole. Resilc: “How many did the DNC support in the GOP primaries?”


US Supreme Court considers restraining regulators’ power Financial Times

Our No Longer Free Press

Inflation/Supply Chain

4.5 million cash-strapped Americans are turning to SECOND JOBS jobs to supplement their incomes – in a 6 percent increase from last year Daily Mail

Natural gas futures jump 12% as colder weather around the US boosts prospects for stronger demand Business Insider

Starlink Is Getting Daytime Data Caps The Verge

SUVs and other vehicles have gotten huge, and the consequences are deadly. Slate (resilc)

This School Took Away Smartphones. The Kids Don’t Mind. Wall Street Journal (David L)

United Airlines eliminating seats as Americans get fatter New York Post

How to protect your car from catalytic converter theft NPR (David L)

US seizes $3.36B Bitcoin connected to wire fraud in dark web Anadolu Agency

US accounting industry split on taking private equity cash Financial Times (Kevin W). Gah.

Guillotine Watch

Peter Thiel Has No Clue What Makes America Great New Republic (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Chet G):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from How Bizarre by OMC)

    It’s a crime to feed the homeless? To feed the destitute?
    To offer help to someone falling with no parachute?
    To look out for somebody else however you’re inclined?
    You’re s’posed to never see ’em, to pretend that you are blind
    Policemen will arrest you quick if you’re even tryin’
    Kindness and comfort cuts across a red line

    How bizarre ~ How bizarre ~ How bizarre

    If someone isn’t working while they’re in the working class
    They better be retired with a pension that will last
    No begging on the corner and no sleeping on concrete
    Where does a poor man die except out in the street?

    How bizarre ~ How bizarre ~ How bizarre

    Ooh, baby (Ooh, baby)
    It’s making me crazy (It’s making me crazy)
    Everytime I look around (look around)
    Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around)
    Everytime I look around
    It’s in my face

    A person isn’t money but without it they aren’t real
    There cannot be a rat race once the rat falls off the wheel
    There has to be dire poverty to fund the very rich
    A castle means ten thousand people drinking from a ditch
    There’s enough for everyone but vulture wealth demands
    Suck up all the coins into too few hands
    The beatings will go on till the working class unites
    Private property owns our human rights

    How bizarre ~ How bizarre ~ How bizarre

    Ooh, baby (Ooh, baby)
    It’s making me crazy (It’s making me crazy)
    Everytime I look around (look around)
    Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around)
    Everytime I look around
    It’s in my face

    It’s in my face

    Ooh, baby (Ooh, baby)
    It’s making me crazy (It’s making me crazy)
    Everytime I look around (look around)
    Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around)
    Everytime I look around
    It’s in my face

    Ooh, baby (Ooh, baby)
    It’s making me crazy (It’s making me crazy)
    Everytime I look around (look around)
    Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around)
    Everytime I look around
    It’s in my face

    1. John Zelnicker

      Antifa – This one hits really hard.

      In some ways I think it’s the angriest song you’ve written, and it spotlights the failure of social community in this country at the most basic level.

      If people are vilified for helping each other survive in these very difficult times, we have truly lost our humanity.

  2. Ignacio

    RE: Trudeau accuses China of ‘aggressive’ election interference BBC

    Werstern leaders retorting again and again on these not so clever claims on election meddling are an indicator on how degraded are Western democracies, indeed. Not because of China, of course.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Trudeau would be best to stay out of international politics. He is an inexperienced, not-too-bright PM of a minor country who likes to make what he considers to be “popular” statements on world affairs and burnish his resume by schmoozing with the big players. Predictably, he is out of his league.

      There’s a saying he ought to keep in mind: “If you sit down at the poker table and you don’t know who the patsy is, that means you’re the patsy.”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner


        He’s been PM for seven years. He’s just the child of nepotism and nostalgia.

        1. Mildred Montana

          I still think that in world terms he is inexperienced. Three years of high-school football and four years of college does not necessarily make an NFL player.

          1. russell1200

            Arguably that is an issue of skill: as that is how most NFL players do get started. Some people don’t seem to ever advance much beyond their starting point. In Trudeau’s case he would be perpetually inexperienced.

      2. caucus99percenter

        Protected by Canada’s status as one of the Five Eyes (the Anglo intelligence-sharing alliance consisting of the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), Trudeau does enjoy a certain leeway, a certain freedom from worry.

        I bet he feels sure he can rely on the Five Eyes’ combined behind-the-scenes power to buffer any possible consequences of error or stupidity.

        1. cfraenkel

          It’s a double edged sword. Canada’s biggest external threat is getting dragged under the US’ wake.

      3. leaf

        The Canadian government is probably extremely doomed in the long term. Currently I think more than half of our cabinet and most of the political party leaders are literally WEF Young Global Leaders including Trudeau and Freeland (descended from Ukrainian Nazi collaborators) so basically no one has our interests at heart. Our choices are the red liberals, the blue liberals, the green liberals, the orange liberals and the purple liberals who all more or less have the same platform. Maybe there might be some more meaningful change if the Western separatist movement gains more momentum or if the Quebec separatists make a very strong return

      4. spud farmer

        Spot on. Trudeau is a mediocre clown who’s only real assets are his inherited wealth and his family name. Another saying he ought to keep in mind: “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

        The first time I heard him speak I was surprised at just how vapid and insincere he sounded. Not that I was expecting much but at the time he’d already been in office for more than a year and I did assume his public speaking and rhetorical skills would be of a slightly higher caliber.

    2. wendigo

      It’s a funny thing how people can forget two things can be true.

      Western democracies are degraded and China is engaging in activities to further their interests.

      1. russell1200

        I am still a little puzzled that influencing other countries elections is supposed to be such a dastardly act. I mean the unelected EU gave the boot to an Italian PM to keep the monetary system running.

    1. Bsn

      In our small town, USA, the elec. utility has moved electric meters to internet connectivity. One could choose to opt out, so we did. Using still a mechanical meter a “meter reader” is required to walk the neighborhood and read them. This keeps people in a decent job and limits control by those who know better then us how much elec. we should use. Keep it as simple, and private as possible.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        I opted out of the “smart meter” program also. I did so because the smart meter broadcasts pulses of RF energy which I didn’t wish to expose myself to, especially considering that the meter is literally less than 6 feet from where I lay my head on the pillow while sleeping. I had to pay for the privilege of opting out, but feel the price is worth it.

  3. griffen

    United is removing seats in a bid to account for the average weight increase of both male and female passengers. That is a new one for me, tracking the increase in “winter weight”. No word if they are retrenching their policy to also include the new super economy class, for those who have more slim figures and also slimmer wallets.

    Hey fliers, arrive early for your flight and work off your ticket and fees behind the counter! That’s right, learn people skills while herding the masses into their cramped quarters. And, be sure to smile! \sarc

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It may also be for load balancing/limiting max passenger weight.

      During Covid, I still had to fly to NYC for hip surgery eval and pre-op. I was sometimes flying American rather than Delta because with the very much reduced schedules, American through Charlotte had shorter layovers. I was flying front of the bus because very cheap during Covid and less risky.

      American flew the same 40 seat-ish planes that Delta uses on some flights, but being cheap, has slightly smaller overhead bins. My trusty bag fits overhead on Delta but not on American. It has tiny wheels so if it was checked, they might snap off. Delta does have a true curbside service where bag goes from jetbridge to jetbridge pickup, so no bouncing around on conveyor belts, but for American, if they take your bag planeside, they deliver it in baggage claim.

      Anyway, the bag fits under the seat. But even in first class, the American flight attendants gave me an enormous hard time about it. One tried the excuse that me plus the bag would unbalance the plane.

      I told her that was ridiculous, me plus my bag weighed less than the average American woman. Oh, and was she making fat women deplane?

      She then got the pilot. The pilot tried chewing me out for arguing with the flight attendant but let me keep the bag.

      Point is this is a concern, just not the way American wanted to use it.

      1. Stephen

        Whenever I fly in the US and on US carriers, which has been a lot over the past years but admittedly not at all since Covid, I am amazed at how confrontational airline staff want to be. Especially when it comes to enforcing petty rules that seem pointless. We have plenty of bad passenger behaviour in Europe but I have rarely seen the level of crew power playing that occurs in the US. Except for very genuine safety issues. And the chewing out for just arguing does seem particularly unique. Even fetching the captain. I have seen this multiple times on US carriers (I remember one pointedly putting his cap on) but never on other airlines.

        Is this US behaviour maybe even a good thing? One of those trade offs that sometimes works for the best. For example, I have seen semi drunken behaviour on the 6am EasyJet Gatwick to Amsterdam flight that the crew tolerated. I suspect that a US carrier would have refused to take off or even turned back (and the actual cruising time for that one is less than thirty minutes….).

        Is this just my perception? I have noticed similar things with immigration officers. My personal experience has been that even Saudi and Russian immigration officers were politer than ones at pretty much any US airport.

        Just asking if this is a fair perception (I may be biased), and as I say it may even be a good thing. Not seeking to judge.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Airline behavior in the US is just part of a greater militarization of society whereby anyone and everyone with even the slightest bit of power exercises that power to the nth degree.

          1. Stephen

            It’s sad. I had a very different view of the US when I lived in Ithaca back in the late 90s. I remember someone crashing into my parked car overnight and how polite and efficient the local police were.

            No consolation but I see the same trend in the UK too.

            I agree too that Ithaca may not be representative, even then!

        2. ahinsa

          You are absolutely correct. The airline agent, the TSA agent and flight attendant at US airports and on US airlines are all – God’s own sperms (and ova)! They are rude and uncouth and hostile. One has the feeling of being stripped every time one travels through US airports. Loudness is equated with efficiency and sullenness with service. I infinitely prefer to travel with the airlines from the Gulf or Europe on my travels abroad and will travel US airlines only for lack of alternatives

    2. The Rev Kev

      It could be worse you know. Sooner or later an airline will start selling tickets with prices depending on your BMI. The larger the BMI, the more expensive your ticket. So when you go to the airport, it will not just be your luggage that will be weighed.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Imagine the hypochondriacs freaking out when the airport scales reveal unexplained weight losses!

      2. John Wright

        I view airlines as being in the “human” package transport business.

        As I see it, BMI would not be a preferred choice in the USA, as package delivery companies such as Fedex, UPS and the US Postal Service have established a policy of charging by the size and weight of the package to ship.

        And a small rotund person could weigh little yet fail the BMI criterion.

        Maybe airline tickets could have a base passenger charge and an added cost per pound/kg?

        Everything (luggage + passenger) could be weighed to determine the “shipping” cost.

        As far as people claiming “weight discrimination”, one can wonder if these same people argue that UPS/FEDEX/USPS charging more to deliver heavier packages is a form of “package discrimination”.

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        That’s old news. A number of years ago airlines proposed pricing tickets based partially on passenger weight. Advocates for overweight people fought back aggressively, and so the airlines dropped it.

      1. russell1200

        I think it should be strictly by weight.

        Kindergarten classes would be able to afford all sorts of coo field trips!

      2. Molon labe

        Agree wholeheartedly with the first article and am astonished by the second. This obese person thinks that everyone else should subsidize her–either financially with a free second ticket or with some of his/her space?

    3. Lexx

      I was visiting the Universal Standard website yesterday, where the sizes available run from 00-40, and the models reflect that diversity. The average for American women according to that site is a size 18-20, which means that winter or summer, United Airlines is just starting to respond to a reality that has existed for some time.

      Women are also taller… and yet, A-list female leads in film continue to be around 5’2″-5’6″ and they’re the ones wearing the 00’s, in case anyone was wondering.

      And there’s this:

      “Average women” rarely see anyone who looks like them in the media. Frankly, I’m getting a little tired of seeing store clerks wearing ridiculously long false eyelashes. They used to be for fancy dress, but now they’re just for putting on your face to go to work. There’s something ‘Hunger Games’ about the trend.

  4. Alice X

    What time is the Blood Moon total lunar eclipse on Nov. 8?

    I was up with plenty of time to get out to see the eclipse (thanks to the handy timetable from yesterdays links). There it was, mostly gobbled up in the earth’s shadow, I took a phone pic. I went in to set up my old better camera with wobbly old tripod. A short time later I came back out only to find it had clouded over. Drats, foiled again!

    1. LaRuse

      I got a few phone photos as well. The Central VA skies were pristine for it for the first time in many days. It was fantastic and one of the few occasions where I regretted not having a real camera.

      1. Alice X

        I didn’t get a phone until 2015. Before that I would carry one or other of the two digital cameras I have. One is a point and shoot, but with manual features; the other is a micro 4/3rds with removable lenses. The latter, while smaller than a full SLR is still bulky. I use it so little that I forget how to, which is what cost me today.

        I use to take pictures of the planets in their various conjunctions, one time I even got all five of them at once. In 2015 I got a nice pic of the last lunar total eclipse, that I recall.

        I just carry my phone these days even though the cameras can, at times, do much better.

    2. Rod

      For many reasons, this was one I wouldn’t miss and chased the transit to the tree line first then onto the roof for some more— then to the Publix lot washed in streetlight for the emergence competing with predawn.
      Making another memory to open up Election Day.
      Life is big, get it while you can.

      1. Alice X

        A person after my own heart. I use to go out in the middle of the night, sometimes to parks, to take pictures of the planets and moon. When other young girls played with their dolls, I wanted a telescope, which my dad got me, that was over sixty years ago. I still have it. I took it out several years ago when Mars was at its closest, which was quite nice to see.

    3. RA

      Here in silly-con valley we were in the midst of getting about 1.5 inches of rain overnight. No eclipse for us.

      This is the second significant rain storm in a few weeks. In our major drought, I don’t have any control but I’ll gladly accept no stars in the sky if we are getting rain.

      Very early for this much rain. I hope it isn’t just a tease and keeps coming in the winter months.

  5. indices

    Antidote looks like a Box turtle. We have them here in Connecticut, along with Wood turtles, Mud turtles and Snapping turtles, although not in the abundance I can remember from childhood.

  6. KD

    Peter Thiel Has No Clue What Makes America Great

    America’s government is remarkably stable and efficient. Inside our borders, it’s easy to forget this, perhaps because our government works so well—and because we are treated to nonstop news of congressional dysfunction and greedy lobbies who have captured our representatives. Seen from outside, however, it’s a different story. While Masters and Vance wail about America and aim to gut our system of government, the U.S. dollar surges in global markets and investors are lapping up our Treasury bills, as they always do in times of economic uncertainty.

    This is an overwhelming vote of confidence in the U.S. government and the economy it sustains—still the most dynamic on earth. Investors don’t sink their money into regimes that are short-lived, corrupt, or defective. Thanks to its reputation for stability and efficiency, our government secures global investment, enabling the vast ecosystem of corporate and consumer borrowing that underwrites the American way of life, the unparalleled comforts and conveniences that people all over the world covet. Who in their right mind thinks America is a “dystopian hell-world” deserving of revolution?

    I guess we’ll know when all the votes get counted for Masters and Vance.

    1. griffen

      Further down a few paragraphs, “We should be in awe of our bureaucracy. It makes our lives so much better…a model of efficiency” Sadly that is not out of the Onion or the Bee.

      It’s too early on the US east coast for stronger drink, but a spoonful of 80 proof might help such a proposed notion easier to swallow and believe in. And I don’t really like Thiel in particular, but man that article has a few whoppers!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        A billionaire advocate of blood transfusions from teenagers should probably be the target of investigations by multiple federal agencies. He’s probably astounded all it takes is a 5,200 primary and general election gift to a few congress critters to avoid this. Talk about efficiency.

    2. Mikel

      David Graeber vs Peter Thiel: Where Did the Future Go

      A debate for those that haven’t seen it.
      Theil’s over-arching philosophy: let the privileged (and often self-defined “brilliant”) do whatever they want and whenever they want now. “Don’t ask permission, ask for forgiveness later.”
      If you’re alive to grant forgiveness, is left out of the equation.

      1. hunkerdown

        Let us remember that the accused does not determine the form of forgiving, or even whether it is rendered. Forgetting is a viable option as well. Some day, that redemption arc might cost well more than oligarchs can afford.

        Personally, I’m of the opinion that redemption arcs should be presumptively, if not flatly denied to emolument holders.

    3. MichaelSF

      “Investors don’t sink their money into regimes that are short-lived, corrupt, or defective”

      Isn’t that a standard practice in disaster capitalism? There are lots of opportunities in working “the churn” of a failing state.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “UK faces 50 billion pound fiscal hole, government sources say”

    The UK government is running around to see what they can cut to fill this fiscal hole. I believe that Alexander Mercouris was saying that two idea have come to the fore already. One is defence which is no surprise. The second is support for Ukrainian refugees. I think that it was in March that the UK offered to pay people £350 ($400) a month if they can offer refugees a spare room or property for a minimum period of six months, even if they had no family ties in the UK. I believe that it is called “Homes for Ukraine” but it looks like it may get the chop. And as British households are already under the gun financially and if they are not being paid to house those Ukrainian refugees, then these Ukrainian refugees may get the boot.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Rev.

      As per, the local authorities are stepping up again. Neighbouring Oxfordshire and Kent and Sussex are planning to. My home county, Buckinghamshire, will no doubt follow.

      Private individuals and organisations continue to support as per This local effort in Swaffham and Dereham, Norfolk, was featured again on today’s breakfast and lunchtime news. The last convoy leaves for Ukraine this week.

      Coverage crops up in odd places. Yesterday’s Money For Nothing, which involves upcycling no longer wanted materials from scrap and recycling yards, featured profits from such exercises being donated to Ukraine.

      At the same time, we have cuts to education and social services as per

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thank you, Colonel. I suspect that people’s mood will change over this winter, especially if the Ukrainian Project completely fails courtesy of the Russian armed forces. Add in blackouts, inflation north of 20%, food and goods shortages and the like and an ineffective government and, well, it won’t be good. At that point, all this largess by County governments for Ukrainians will ignoring the vital needs of the locals will come back to haunt them.

        Meanwhile the propaganda is still being pumped out. Saw a BBC story on the news here in Oz and it was featured around a wife of one the the “heroes” of the Mariupol steels works. They really made out that those Azov guys & gals were the victims of the Russkies and this wife was worried because her husband was not one of those released. It was all I could do not to shout at the telly that is was probably because he is a f****** Nazi guilty of war crimes as were his mates. And to tell you the truth I wondered about this wife as well.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Rev.

          I was in Amsterdam on business in late September and noticed a glossy magazine at the airport featuring Ukrainian women soldiers on the cover. The women had Nazi emblems like the black sun on their combat jackets.

      2. Stephen

        Surrey County Council dropped a leaflet and a separate posted version through the doors here yesterday with information on getting help with the “Cost of Living Crisis”. That has clearly become a new “cause” for the PMC.

        Quite a glossy leaflet too, that must have cost a bomb plus they sent it twice. Not sure how practical any of the advice actually was except that it did include reference to food banks.

        This is a total disaster.

        Separately, a local councillor told me that Surrey spent £50m on its new HQ in Reigate, which is not even a very central or useful venue for the county either. It is still Tory controlled but I am sure it will not be after 2024.

  8. c

    China liet kritische speech Charles Michel schrappen
    (Belgian newspaper)
    China ordered removal of critical speech by Charles Michel
    Chinese authorities have had an opening statement by European Council President Charles Michel at a major trade fair in Shanghai deleted. In that speech, he would be critical of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and would call for greater trade independence from China.
    Michel was to address the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in a video message, which was pre-recorded. That was ultimately not shown at the request of Chinese authorities, European circles sound. “We addressed this through the normal diplomatic channels,” he said. Reuters news agency reports. A well-placed source confirmed the news to news agency Belga.

    Translated with (free version)

  9. Steve H.

    > A symphony of squirting clams

    Amazing. Wesley would be lifting Buttercup as they made their way over Bivalve Bay, once emergent from the Fire Swamp.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “The Russian gas habit Europe can’t quit: LNG”

    Politico being disingenuous here. When the energy supply system for Europe has been working for decades with billions invested in infrastructure, totally revamping and rebuilding that energy supply system is not one that can be done overnight, even if powered by wishes. It’s like saying that America has a diesel fuel habit that it can’t quit because it is running down of supplies and just can’t switch over to something else. Sometimes there are no alternatives available.

  11. Alex V

    Regarding the DiEM25 tweet featuring a screencap from the Flight Radar website – that’s a bit of disingenuous way to their message across, as 99% of the planes shown on the map are commercial aircraft, not private. Flight Radar uses a specific symbol for business jets. I can see 3 or 4 in their picture, with maybe one of those headed towards the location of the conference.

    I’m in no way disputing that hundreds of private flights were taken to Egypt for COP27, just that the picture does not align with the claim.

    1. hunkerdown

      PMC also stands for performative moral m[familyblog]ion class. Assume every communication from an organization is a cynical attempt to manipulate you, and you won’t go far wrong.

  12. antidlc

    Powerball officials explain reason for delay of $1.9 billion drawing, results still unknown

    Lottery players will have to continue to wait to see if they’re the world’s newest billionaire as Powerball officials are still waiting to complete the drawing scheduled for Monday, Nov. 7, due to an ongoing problem in collecting sales data.

    In a statement released early Tuesday morning, Powerball officials explained the reason behind the delay, but have not given an exact timetable for when the drawing will take place.

    Maybe everyone is out sick.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Why can’t they do the draw and collect the sales data later? Why do they need that data before the draw? Suspicious me says, “Chicanery?”

      I commented the other day about computerized lottery draws and the irresistible temptation for skulduggery given the sum of money in question.

      Think it can’t happen? Here’s what went down at Arlington Park in the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Pick Six (a lottery-style wager in which the bettor must pick the winner of six consecutive races):

      A racetrack employee who had access to the Autotote wagering computer was able to purchase $3 million in winning tickets 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 the first four races of the Pick Six had been run.

      He was quickly caught and convicted. But many people with otherwise winning tickets who were unaware of the fraud lost their money.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      it will be interesting to learn who wins the multi-billion dollar jackpot. A major fraud? Perhaps. A very lucky person? Perhaps. in this day and age anything is possible.

  13. phiw13

    Chinese Chip Designers Slow Down Processors To Dodge US Sanctions ars technica

    Hmm, FT repost at Ars T.

    Compare and contrast this: Reuters: Exclusive: Nvidia offers new advanced chip for China that meets U.S. export controls

    Which suggest that it is US companies are looking for ways to work around those Biden sanctions against China. I am sure Chinese designers are looking and finding workarounds too in order to keep their data centers humming; I don’t think there is much “the sky is falling” mood though.

  14. fresno dan

    Despot Times, Despot Measures Heisenberg Report (resilc). More whining about China’s Covid policy
    What this reminds me of in a way is Ben Franklin’s for want of a nail, a shoe was lost, for want of a shoe, a horse was lost, etcetera, from the standpoint that it is all tied together. For want of telling the truth about covid (it is serious and it is airborne) that is then used to support the maintenance of the US imperial regime.
    As they almost say, “In neoliberalism, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

      1. GDmofo

        “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

        -Winston Churchill

  15. GramSci

    Re: Bipedalism

    I have long thought that a long-overlooked consequence of bipedalism is language.  Philip Lieberman suggested back in 1972 that the absence of a hyoid bone reflected Neanderthal’s incompletely upright posture entailed a compromised linguistic ability.  I find more significant the likelihood that bipedalism enabled human language by establishing stable rhythmic feet upon which the serial order of language and linear thought could be erected. This is the organizing principle Chomsky mistook to be evidence of a language acquisition device modeled on a pushdown store automaton.

    The multiplicity of quadruped gaits yields no such stable rhythmic anchor, explaining why the nearest analogues to human language are found in the other bipedal vertebrate species, birds and cetaceans.

    1. Lex

      Now that’s thought provoking and interesting. My assumption is that language developed out of making sounds because we could, and that these sounds gradually came to mean more than cries of alarm, distress, etc. that are common among all animals. But I think that music came before language proper with people making those sounds to various natural rhythms around them. Our own feet being the base rhythm is fascinating and logical. Rain on the ground may be more fun, but that rhythm that is regularly and nearly necessarily repeated is indeed a stable rhythmic anchor.

      1. hemeantwell

        This may belong to Just-So Story Anthropology, but in her book ‘Dancing in the Streets’ Barbara Ehrenreich wondered if the original street dances involved coordinated stomping by villagers trying to scare away predators.

    2. hunkerdown

      I like that entrainment theories of cognition are materialist, being a function of inputs into an adaptive system, not some essential property or (worse) “gift” to be repaid. It’s been said the heartbeat serves a similar clocking function for quadrupedal levels of consciousness. I’m curious now whether dogs could, in some halfway-humane fashion, be constrained to take up bipedalism, and whether their (or their cohort’s) language skills would be seen to advance.

  16. FreeMarketApologist

    Amidst all the bad news, there’s a touch of good news: Elizabeth Holmes’ request for a new trial was denied.

    From a Reuters article: “U.S. District Judge Edward Davila said that the arguments brought forward by Holmes’ lawyers for a new trial did not produce enough material evidence to prove alleged government misconduct, adding that the statements made by the government at Balwani’s trial were not material to result in Holmes’ acquittal.”

    Sentencing hearing for Balwani on Nov 15th, Holmes on Nov 18th.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s strange how Elizabeth Holmes is being thrown to the wolves when how many other executives have gotten off scott-free, now matter how criminal their behaviour. Never thought about it before but perhaps she made the same mistake as Bernie Maddoff did. If you rip off the little people, nobody cares and there are rarely any consequences. But when you rip off important people and make them look stupid, then that is when you have a ton of bricks drop down on your head – as Bernie Maddoff found out to his cost and so now is Elizabeth Holmes.

      1. caucus99percenter

        I’ve asked myself many times: whom exactly was it that Martha Stewart ran afoul of, that she was prosecuted and convicted of insider trading? While congresscritters, Fed Reserve Bank officials, and all sorts of other well-connected people seem to engage in shameless insider trading all the time as just one of their perks of office, but never have to answer for it?

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          It wasn’t the crime but the coverup. They threw the book at her for altering records and lying.

          She got a tip from her broker who gave her non-public info and did a trade. Even worse IIRC she was on the board. Oh, and she had been a securities broker once, so no way could she pretend she didn’t know the rules.

          If she had thrown herself on the mercy of the SEC and said something like, “I got a call between meetings. I did the trade without thinking enough and then realized I shouldn’t have but there’s no way to have cancelled the trade then” and groveled, the worst that would have happened is she would have paid a fine.

  17. Carla

    Great way to deep-six the Black vote:

    “While many states have made it easier for people convicted of felonies to vote, Tennessee has gone in the other direction.”

    I’m thinkin’, Republicans may have time to see to it that Nov. 2024 is the last election for federal offices in the United States.

  18. BillK

    Re: People in historically rice-farming areas are less happy and socially compare more than people in wheat-farming areas. APA PsychNet. Resilc: “Rice=hard work. Wheat=throw and go.”

    New Perennial rice improves rice-farming life.
    “Farmers are adopting the new perennial rice because it’s economically advantageous for them to do so. Farmers in China, like everywhere else, are getting older. Everyone’s going to the cities; young people are moving away. Planting rice is very labor intensive and costs a lot of money. By not having to plant twice a year, they save a lot of labor and time,” says Erik Sacks, professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and co-author on the report.

    1. c_heale

      Rice is only planted once a year here (Korea) and it’s all done by machines. The same as wheat (in wheat growing countries).

      The hierachical structure of both Korean and Japanese traditional cultures may be more due to the fact that about 70% of both countries is mountains where crops can’t be easily grown, so there was often a shortage of food.

      I’m not sure if this article holds true any more (if it ever did).

      Japan definitely had a one crop of rice, one crop of barley per year crop cycle. How is growing barley different to growing wheat?

      Nowadays, many rice fields are being built on (imo a tragedy), or being turned over to polytunnels – I think vegetables and fruit are more profitable.

  19. Cetra Ess

    re: Trudeau accuses China of ‘aggressive’ election interference

    CSIS has been publicly claiming for over a decade that China is meddling in various ways, without ever offering any evidence, just their sayso. If you read between the lines they just don’t like that there are Chinese folks immigrating to Canada, working in the Canadian workplace, studying in schools, etc. They’re all spiez! Gotta be!

    But this article is of interest especially because the alternative to candidates freely volunteering themselves and running as candidates in local elections in a so-called “Democracy” is for the state to screen, vet and appoint candidates. This strikes me as a trial balloon.

  20. fresno dan

    Pro-war hawks have progressives on their Squad Aaron Maté (resilc)
    There has been ample speculation about the behind-the-scenes pressure that prompted the letter’s quick retraction. But the 24-hour reversal makes perfect sense in light of the Democratic Party’s last six years. Since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Democrats have embraced fantasies about anything to do with Russia: a Manchurian, Kompromat-compromised president and the hope that Robert Mueller will prove it; Russian bots swinging elections and fueling anti-racism protests; Russia bounties on US troops in Afghanistan; Russian microwave weapons injuring US officials; Russia fabricating Hunter Biden’s laptop. Accordingly, Democrats have also embraced the national security state officials behind these deceptions, and the Cold Warrior outlook that guides them.
    Of all the remorseful signatories, no one renounced the letter more forcefully than Rep. Jamie Raskin. Arming Ukraine, Raskin declared in a statement, is not just about defending a country from foreign invasion, but combating bigotry:

    Moscow right now is a hub of corrupt tyranny, censorship, authoritarian repression, police violence, propaganda, government lies and disinformation, and planning for war crimes. It is a world center of antifeminist, antigay, anti-trans hatred, as well as the homeland of replacement theory for export. In supporting Ukraine, we are opposing these fascist views, and supporting the urgent principles of democratic pluralism.

    Raskin has apparently forgotten about his own prior positions that take a different view on the state of democratic pluralism in Ukraine. In 2019, Raskin signed on to a letter urging the State Department to declare Ukraine’s Azov Battalion a Foreign Terrorist Organization, on the grounds that Azov is a “a well-known ultranationalist militia organization in Ukraine that openly welcomes neo-Nazis into its ranks.” That militia happens to be formally incorporated into the ranks of the Ukrainian military. And despite a Congressional ban, it also continues to receive US military assistance, as its members do not even bother trying to conceal.

    Raskin may also be unaware of the State Department’s annual human rights reports on Ukraine, which most recently documented:

    Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by the government or its agents; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees by law enforcement personnel; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detention; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious abuses in the Russia-led conflict in the Donbas, including physical abuses or punishment of civilians and members of armed groups held in detention facilities; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including violence or threats of violence against journalists, unjustified arrests or prosecutions of journalists, and censorship; serious restrictions on internet freedom; refoulement of refugees to a country where they would face a threat to their life or freedom; serious acts of government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for gender-based violence; crimes, violence, or threats of violence motivated by anti-Semitism; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities, members of ethnic minority groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex persons; and the existence of the worst forms of child labor.
    In these cases, the State Department concluded, the Ukrainian government “generally failed to take adequate steps to prosecute or punish most officials who committed abuses, resulting in a climate of impunity.”
    Remember the reality based community? What I like about reality now a days is that it is so fun when you get to make your own…
    Well, I’m off to ride my rainbow colored unicorn to my 555,000 sq ft solid platinum mansion and have Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lawrence over for snuggle bunnies….
    And 2019 – the past is such a downer – I remember when I used to be born in 1955 – so I am formerly born in 1955, and now a days I’m born in 2000…being young is sooooo groovey.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Drought Forces One of Spain’s Largest Hydro Plants to Halt”

    I’m going to assume that countries like Spain have a digital dashboard kept somewhere showing the water levels for all their hydro plants so that they can see which ones will be going offline and how soon. Well you would hope that they would. Not that they would publish it to reinforce the idea of restricting water usage. Still not good news this. As our climate changes, how many dams will now find themselves located in regions where there will not be the water to fill them up properly, not just for drinking water but for power generation?

  22. Alice X

    Pro-war hawks have progressives on their Squad Aaron Maté

    Yesterday DemocracyNow ran a piece on Pittsburgh DSA endorsed Progressive congressional candidate Summer Lee. In a clip of her stump speech she was asking rhetorically why people would look to the party of gums, guns and more guns, meaning the GOP, when there is the party of health care, libraries, child care etc etc etc., meaning, I presumed, the Democrat party, as that’s the party she’s running with. I almost lost my lunch. Really, that is also the party of guns, guns and more guns too, even if they pretend to support street level gun control.

    Two wings of the War Party.

    Why Is AIPAC Spending Millions to Beat Summer Lee, a Democratic Socialist Running for Congress in PA?

    1. Bsn

      Poor ol’ DecocracyNow has moved to licking the boots of corporate sponsorship. Though they may not actually receive dinero from a specific corporation (I don’t care to look) I think they pander to wanting to use NPR and other “Public Broadcasting” stations to remain on the radio, and online. They won’t touch the Covid vaccine debate to avoid being Xed out by “the man”. I find that weak at best. Ciao Ciao, DemocracyNow.

      1. Alice X

        Aaron Maté, who worked there for sometime really raked them over the coals during the peak RussiaGate frenzy. And they deserved every bit of it.

      2. Alice X

        Earlier on in the pandemic, DN had Monica Gandhi on several times to discuss Covid and the vaccines. She’s quite consistent. She’s wrong nearly 100% of the time.

      3. Joe Renter

        They have been dying a slow death for quite some years now. I meet an independent film maker who did a documentary in Mexico, that Demnow wanted to interview. She refused the interview because Ms. Goodman wanted to swing the interview to Goodman’s narrative of the said documentary. Sound familiar?

    2. hunkerdown

      You do know that Progressivism isn’t a feeling, but a specific capitalist totalitarian movement, right?

      1. Alice X

        Well, I put Progressive in italics. And repeated Aaron Maté’s piece. I try always to engage my strongest reality based filter when viewing these things.

    3. Glen

      I think we’ve been through a dramatic increase in the ability for the elites to “apply pressure” to news media across the board. Almost all of our media is now “streamed” or “hosted” which gives the underlying platform tremendous leverage/control over what content is seen, what can be found by searching, and what can be quickly “de-platformed”.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “How well are Germans prepared for a blackout?”

    This is really terrible work by DW. And they do an awful lot of finger-wagging PMC style. They accuse people of turning on their heaters all at the same time. Well, yeah. That is what people do in a cold snap. Then they wag their finger how people do not have ten days food in storage. Assuming that they have the money to afford to do so. No word on how people should prepare that food if there is no electricity. Then they drag out the Russian boogie man talking about cyber-hacks and sabotage so that people will forget that it is due to the incompetence of the government that they will be sitting in the dark. Worse of all is not mentioning that when there is a blackout in wintertime, it is just not a matter of using candles to see your way around your apartment. No electricity also means no heating which means that people will be able to see their breath while sitting in their apartments too. DW is just a garbage media.

    1. caucus99percenter

      Having lived in Germany for 45 years, I now support the AfD platform plank calling for reform or abolition of the tax-supported, government-mouthpiece public broadcast system (ÖRR, öffentlich-rechtlicher Rundfunk).

      At present, appointments to ÖRR oversight boards are doled out based on political party or top-down centralized societal institutions such as churches and labor unions. Appointees are in effect pre-vetted for conformity with establishment elite groupthink.

      In the Netherlands, in contrast, the Dutch system provides an assortment of competing public broadcasters having strongly differentiated backgrounds, demographics, and viewpoints. Individuals choose which public broadcast association they wish to join. Size of budget and priority in program time-slot scheduling are then allocated among the various public broadcasters in proportion to membership numbers.

  24. Katrina

    Biden, “economy is doing great!”

    Labor Department data showed that 4.5 million Americans have taken on a second job as inflation continues to soar and the holidays approach. “Holidays”? Champagne for New Years Eve must really be getting expensive. Diwali? That’s over. What holiday are they referring to?

    Yes, if we just give the Democrats a majority in congress they can implement all their promises. /sarc

  25. Lex

    Negotiations. I think that the US is putting feelers out, both because it needs to keep Europe on side and hopes to get others but also because there’s a slow dawning that none of this is going as planned. Which is part of why Europeans need to be kept on side. The tell is all the rumblings about Kherson and that does sound like a US “negotiating” tactic where it is suggesting that if its allowed a public win it will agree to other conditions privately.

    Putin is a fool if he accepts negotiating with the US at this point, or the Russian military is really, really not prepared for the conflict it finds itself in. After all, the US is agreement incapable. If you tally up the recent articles about things like “Biden yells at Zelensky”, we need to find a negotiated settlement, etc. etc. you can start to see the narrative turning. The Biden regime hopes to ensnare Russia in the newly evolving narrative. I guess we’ll see.

    1. Stephen

      I agree.

      Putin is no doubt also very cognizant of Russian opinion. Am sure he is not monitoring it in the way that western politicos do with focus on every sound bite but in a strategic sense it matters to him and the survival of his regime. He needs to be seen to be victorious at home.

      What I struggle with is that the US approach is such a double entendre. Tell Zelensky to be seen to be keen to keep the Europeans on side but then assume they do not read the Washington Post. Do these people really think that everyone is stupid? Maybe they do.

      It is almost like the plot for a Mel Brooks style comedy film. Albeit it would need to be a black comedy given how tragic the underlying reality is and how unconcerned these people are about human life. Any human life except their own, of course.

    2. David

      I think what’s being attempted here is to put the pieces in place for an eventual settlement which can be presented as a “negotiation” rather than unconditional surrender. Whatever the reality on the ground, the West wants to say that all the support it gave to Ukraine has forced the Russians to accept a negotiated settlement, rather than the outcome they would ideally have wanted. This is an old political negotiating trick (“if you thought the outcome was bad, you have no idea how much worse it would be if we hadn’t done X, Y and Z”). It will be argued, as I’ve suggested many times, that the Russians “really” wanted to take Kiev, but were “forced” by Ukrainian bravery and NATO/EU assistance, to settle for less. For this to work, Zelensky has to declare himself ready to negotiate, without stupid preconditions. Of course, this scheme is directed primarily at western publics only: the Russians and Ukrainians will understand that it’s all smoke and mirrors. But it’s also an escape vehicle for the western PMC, so that at the end of the crisis they can delude themselves that what they did was positive. I suspect the first drafts of books entitled “How We Saved Ukraine” are already being written.

      1. Karl

        I think what’s being attempted here is to put the pieces in place for an eventual settlement which can be presented as a “negotiation” rather than unconditional surrender.

        Unfortunately, I think Putin is quite serious when he says that the U.S. is “not agreement capable”.

        After the U.S. ripped up nuclear arms agreements for convenience; after it ripped up the Iran agreement for convenience; etc.– surely no agreement with the U.S. will be worth the paper it’s on.

        Because the U.S. is no longer agreement capable, what does this mean? If you care about your security, and the U.S. lets you know it greatly desires to regime-change you, you need your own nukes to keep the U.S. at bay.

        NATO has failed to admit Ukraine as a member for one reason only: Russia has lots of scary ICBMs with MIRVed warheads and lots of tactical nukes atop hypersonic missiles. The U.S. has failed to establish bases in Taiwan, as it has in South Korea, because PRC also has ’em.

        The U.S. has broadcast to the world that every country without nukes is a second-rate power — and the U.S. will regime-change you whenever it likes. Israel has ’em. North Korea apparently has ’em. Iran is probably close. We want to base nuclear-capable B-52’s in Australia and F-35’s in Finland. Nuclear proliferation risk must be high everywhere else.

        Will a nuclear arms agreement ever be possible again?

    3. John k

      Imo Russia has been pretty straight. They were willing to settle for not much in march, basically as I remember Minsk 2, but then crimea was shelled and they said they needed distance to prevent that, which imo means Odessa. And Odessa will need distance, too, at least a de-mil zone that Russia controls. So I think they’re right that putin isn’t ready to dictate… er, negotiate terms.
      But Russia is at the point where the ducks are lined up for a major offensive just as Ukraine has weakened themselves with their assaults against artillery. Imo the sooner the better we move away from the dangerous east-west confrontation. Hopefully the rest of the plebiscites (4 more oblasts?) by spring. And the west can celebrate their victory of retaining Kiev and the majority of the Ukraine land mass. Win-win.
      And even better, nato loses interest as the dream of a naval base at Odessa goes away.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t agree that there is yet any US (or UK) interest in negotiating. The idea that it’s Kherson-related is a bizarre theory running around the Innertubes with zero factual basis. Sheer fantasy.

      Weak negotiation hand waves are just virtue signaling for overseas audiences. That was clearly spelled out in the WaPo.

      So why would the WaPo be given this tidbit to run? To reassure the US audience that there was no change in plan.

      Separately, for there to be any real interest in negotiating, you’d need to see a massive effort to turn the propaganda supertanker around. Remember, as confirmed by many reader conversations, Putin = Hitler. We cannot let him win!

      Mind you, that isn’t to say the plans won’t change later and there won’t eventually be an effort to declare “peace with victory” as David suggested. But the US is so determined to get Russia at any cost that I would not bet on a settlement. Why should Russia settle unless sanctions are withdrawn? And I don’t see us as willing to climb down from the sanctions.

      Right now, the US/NATO is very much committed to using this war to bleed Russia, which does not necessitate winning the war. The Europeans are now taking huge costs due to sanctions blowback. The US needs to keep them in line as long as possible.

  26. Acacia

    Re: Massive Anti-Russian ‘Bot Army’ Exposed

    Before, Elon claimed to be quite concerned about the number of bots on Twitter. I wonder how concerned he is now.

    Also, it would be interesting to study not only the output of these bots but the non-bot accounts that received tweets from those bots and ‘engaged’ with them. How many of those accounts added Ukraine flags after receiving propaganda tweets? How many propaganda tweets did it take?

  27. Georg Weissmann

    Regarding the adversial Go playing algorithm, I doubt the responsible researchers understand what they are doing. They purport to have found a way to fool the KataGo neural network using an adversial strategy. However, the lame trick they describe in the article is just placing some dead (read capturable) black stones inside KataGo’s territory (Katago using the white stones) and then contesting its territory since there are black stones inside. The problem with that is that under all rule sets and/or conventions I know of dead surrounded stones either do not matter or count as captured. On any over the board or online game between humans the board position they show in the article would be judged as a win for white (KataGo).

    Tldr: KataGo “thinks” it has won the game shown in the article because it has. Either the researchers or the journalist responsible for the article are clueless.

  28. fresno dan
    That’s what happened but it really doesn’t convey the sense of the encounter. Things started off civil with a “Hi there” from the female officer and a “Hey” in response from Hodges. “What’s this in your back pocket?” the officer asked. At that point, Hodges got a bit hostile. “It’s a navigational aid. What’s the problem are you a tyrant?” he replied.
    The officer also seems to have abandoned her professionalism by responding in kind “Yeah, I am actually,” she said. It’s downhill from there.
    When police realized he’s legally blind they asked why he wasn’t using the stick to walk. Hodges replied that he doesn’t have to use it all the time but did need it earlier when he walked to jury duty because it was dark out.
    After running his license a voice on the radio says the word “green.” The female officer then said to Hodges, who was still in handcuffs “All right Mr. Hodges was that that hard?”
    “It’s gonna be. I want your name and your badge numbers,” Hodges replied. Now he’s not letting it go but he’s still perfectly calm.
    The second officer snaps, “You know what, put him in jail for resisting.” And that’s what they did. Here’s video of the arrest.
    I haven’t posted about those who protect and serve in quite a while….
    A folded walking stick resembles a gun?

    1. Joe Renter

      I read the story. When you don’t provide ID to the “man” you are setting yourself up for failure. Just the way it works in a police state. Were the cops in the wrong? Yes. But cops can get a bad attitude really quick when you don’t follow their script.
      my 2 cents

  29. anon in so cal

    Germany and China:

    “Germany‘s Moral Collapse Inside China: Scholz‘s 11-hours Visit to Beijing Spells Catastrophe”

    “Germany is bankrupt. The Internet has exposed this fake country beyond reparation. The BRD regime certainly is the butt joke of the world. Mr. Xi did not even give Mr. Scholz a press conference. This was delegated to China’s Minister in Chief, Li Keqiang.

    You will not read this in the Western press, but China totally owned the narcissistic Stoltz charade. The great decouplers had traveled 20 hours over the North Pole to Beijing and were stopped right there on the airfield track by yellow medical people wearing hazmat plague suits. The Germans were told unambiguously that if one of them tested positive for coronavirus, nobody would pass immigration.

    Also, on no occasion whatsoever did Chairman Xi shake hands with Stolzi, who, oblivious to all social cues, went on babbling about “human rights” again, and on how “human rights is NOT meddling in domestic affairs.” Why is this wanker not discussing our mission to Mars, time travel, and cashless currencies? China is the world leader in over 170 areas, Germany in none. China has a better political system. It is more peaceful, stable, and productive.

    Unlike defeated Germany, China has principles. Peaceful coexistence, national sovereignty, harmonious society, and the Chinese Dream, to name a few. Germany has none. Scholz reproduces American slogans “freedom,” “rules-based international order,” “LGBTQ rights”. These are not German principles, but the marching order of the New York Iews and Washington Neocons. Nobody can or should take Mr. Scholz seriously, ever. Just look at this anthropological exhibit below of Mr. Scholz next to Chairman Xi. Thank God, Stoltz didn’t bring along his wife…”

    This is from The Saker, whose owner, I understand, may have issues. It is humorous, nonetheless.

    1. Mikel

      That article was lot.
      Escobar seems to think China is going to help Germany get out of its predicament with the US.
      The planet is getting “hot” in more ways than one.

    2. Anon

      *reads piece*… If he keeps talking like that I may have to side with the “lews”. This is a good reminder that the world is a cornucopia of interests, and often your choices are between dog food and cat food. Oi vey.

      Side note: not humorous, mostly just nostalgia, in a sore-loser, ‘if only Hitler had won; we’re the master race dammit!’ kind of way, with sprinklings of useful analysis. The Daily Stormer does better /sarc, less whinging.

    1. jan

      yes, yes, but Modi said this is no time for war!!!!

      They can’t get enough of that line in the west.

  30. Cetra Ess

    Re: Pro-war hawks have progressives on their Squad Aaron Maté

    I think what the Americans don’t realize is that this 24 hour reversal demonstrates to the rest of the world that the US currently embodies what they accuse Putin of.

    There is essentially more political freedom in Russia if politicians can disagree with Putin, if there are mass protests, and every western news outlet plays up that dissent. Whereas here, on the other hand, is a prime example of dissent being quickly, completely and utterly silenced, and politicians being “persuaded” to publicly renounce and retract their own words, leaving us to wonder which buttons were pushed, which pain points applied, and certainly to witness how quickly people of principle can be made to go against their principles.

    This is groupthink, where you get in trouble for thinking differently, the very same as was what was utterly wrong with Stalinism/Leninism and the Soviet experiment – and it should be noted that this will not be lost on the Russians and ex-Bloc peoples who only relatively recently recovered from that.

  31. Carolinian

    Re vehicle bloat and safety–I know someone who was hit by a car while on her bicycle and, I guess, if it had been a truck or SUV she might be dead or seriously injured (it was low speed at an intersection). The debate of driver training versus vehicle design is not new but was the centerpiece of the Nader reforms where car makers liked to blame drivers for the huge death toll and even resisted seat belts. And the article doesn’t even get into the AGW angle of laws that encourage (via tax breaks) the purchase of trucks. One of the big arguments for self drive cars was that their automated nature would take drivers out of the equation and allow safety plus smaller vehicles. But doesn’t look like that is going to work out.

    Here in my town they are building bicycle trails separated from roads by greenery or by being on old rail beds.Once gas prices shoot back up after the election bikes may be on the upswing. Here’s hoping.

    But vehicles will always be the greatest menace for cyclists.

    1. Joe Renter

      Yes, vehicles will always be the greatest menace for cyclists. Just this week in Las Vegas a cyclists was killed by a DUI driver and another injured. Hit and run victims here all the time. One of the issues is that vehicle drivers are not used to seeing people on bikes, as opposed to Seattle where I lived for some time. When I came through here two years ago a guy driving box truck took out a group of cyclists doing an event and killed 5. He was found to be on meth. I also had two teammates killed by drivers and know many who have been injured. I have had many close calls.
      So, heads up and say a prayer to, La Madonna del Ghisallo before heading out to ride. Patron saint of cyclists.

  32. Willow

    November G20 meeting creates opportunity for surprises in Ukraine while Western leaders are all in Indonesia.

    1. Karl

      Apparently Putin won’t be there, so he could definitely order a surprise.

      If today’s election results are too humiliating, will Biden need to find an excuse not to attend?

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