Links 4/19/2023

Dear patient readers,

Many of you are getting an icky popup about cookie preferences. We are in the process of getting that squashed. Lambert found a kludge for iOS:

Victory is mine! On iOS Safari.

I installed ProScript, which is free:

and added a blocking rule:

To get it to work, you must turn it on in Safari settings, under Content Blocking Extensions; that’s what I had not yet done in my comment above.

Of course, the ad people should fix this but this may help diagnose and at least there’s a workaround.

Again, apologies. I am super pissed on your and my behalf.

* * *

A Japanese Island Where the Wild Things Are New York Times (furzy)

T. rex skeleton sells for more than $6m BBC Kevin W: “Indiana Jones – ‘It belongs in a museum!'”

But: Bone to pick: Is the dinosaur fossil investment craze over? DW (resilc)

Early crop plants were more easily ‘tamed’ EurekaAlert (Anthony L)

New Zealand feral cat hunting competition for children prompts backlash Guardian (furzy) :-(

Redneck Rice Tractor Drag Racing in Thailand YouTube (resilc)

The Rules of the Games in Tudor England Lapham’s Quarterly. Anthony L: “The games we played.”

‘Radical by Nature’ Review: Alfred Russel Wallace’s Evolution Wall Street Journal. Anthony L: “Lovely chap.”


Facing brutal climate math, US bets billions on direct air capture Reuters. Resilc: “Cash flow expo. Where do I find the air capture ETF or is this all BlackRock all the time??? USA USA.”

Greenland’s melting ice could be changing our oceans. Just ask the whales NPR (furzy)

Biodiversity targets may be slipping out of reach – study BBC

In grim drought, Tunisians ration water in state-ordered ban Associated Press (resilc)


Are the Chinese nice? Gilbert Doctorow. I do not think Putin is nice or driven by religion as much as Doctorow posits. I think Putin pragmatically recognizes it is better to have friends and allies than enemies, and behaving in a polite manner (and being a good listener, a Putin trademark) increases the odds of eliciting friendly responses which can hopefully condition that sort of behavior. This amounts to making diplomatic skills a high priority among all senior officials (or at least most; Medvedev and Zarakhova are house bad guys). By contrast, the West has become so overconfident and lazy that we seldom bother considering what our counterparties might want.

China Brings Peace To Yemen, Syria And … Palestine? Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Macron ‘working on secret plan’ with China to end Ukraine war Telegraph. Working on a plan and getting a deal done are two different things.

European Disunion

From Politico’s morning EU newsletter:

FROM HERO TO WEIRDO: EU leaders barely hid their relief when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeated Jair Bolsonaro — aka the “Tropical Trump” — last year in Brazil’s presidential election, vowing to protect human rights, democratic institutions and the Amazon rainforest.

Reality bites: Now, EU foreign affairs officials are concerned about Lula’s increasingly hostile rhetoric on Ukraine, parroting Russian talking points and urging Europe and the U.S. to stop helping Ukrainians defend themselves against Vladimir Putin’s illegal and brutal invasion.

Leaked: Europe’s Lula worries. Hopes were high in Brussels and other EU capitals that this year would provide a window of opportunity to strike a historic trade and cooperation deal with South America’s Mercosur trading bloc — granting Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay much-needed investment and reciprocal access to EU markets while allowing the EU to diversify away from China. But now, the EU is “concerned about Brazil’s position on Russia’s war on Ukraine and Brazil’s lack of delivery on climate [and] environment,” reads a confidential briefing that EU foreign affairs ministers will discuss at their summit next week.

Old Blighty

UK inflation remains in double digits as food prices keep rising Financial Times

Sheikh Jassim confident of Manchester United deal amid new minority interest Guardian. Resilc: “Name change to Private Equity United?”

The implosion of the Scottish National party Financial Times

New Not-So-Cold War

High stakes for Ukraine as clampdown on corruption comes under scrutiny Guardian (resilc). Petty, no class behavior. This story was clearly triggered by the latest Seymour Hersh report, Trading with the Enemy, yet no mention whatsoever.

Lieven inside Ukraine: some real breaks, and insights Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

US warns Russia not to touch American nuclear technology at Ukrainian nuclear plant CNN. ZOMG, the US keeps doubling down on embarrassing behavior.

L’affaire Leaker

Age of new Psy Ops | Who is behind the US intelligence leaks? Scott Ritter Show, YouTube. With Larry Johnson. I am a wee bit annoyed. Johnson has reversed himself on his earlier (strong) claim that CIA top secret docs could not be had on DoD servers at military bases. Johnson was not relying only on his own experience but on that of people with more recent and presumed through their networks current knowledge. Someone contacted him and said the JWICS network (more on that soon) as of late could now be accessed at secure facilities (called SCIFs) operated by the DoD, for the benefit of CIA personnel working at those facilities. The issue is not Johnson having to walk back something he said but that he said it in an over-confident manner, so that people like me stuck our necks out based on the belief that his scuttlebutt was solid.

Having said that, the story about Teixeira still really does not add up. National Guardsmen who have not been called to active duty work only one weekend a month. It’s hard to see how he could have anything more than a bare minimum grasp of the systems. Cape Cod is a backwater, so it isn’t as if there would be regular meetings/presentations with big dogs there, particularly on weekends. Ritter and Johnson point out that unusual use of the systems, like a lot of poking around and/or printing, would be noticed fast.

Last week, I asked a contact who has done a lot of classified IT forensic/analytical work for the DoD and a three-letter agency for his take. His reply:

I have to admit, I have not been following this story beyond the headlines. From the little that I have gathered, the pilfered documents are in the highest sensitivity levels. It is hard to understand how this 21 AF Guard member would even know where to look for them, let alone have access to them. I have avoided wasting my time because with stakes as high as theses documents have, I would have good reason to doubt any “fact” out in the public domain. There are a number of valid reasons (and other dubious too) to engulf the narratives with smoke. Therefore, I follow stories like these more for the reactions than the story itself.

To have access to classified materials, a person needs a clearance AND need to know. Also, JWICS is only the network that connects together TS systems, repositories, computers, and printers. These documents are not the kind that would be available to just anyone with a JWICS account. He would need to request and be granted access to the repositories based on his need to know.

The most interesting thing that jumped out at me was that they were photos of the documents. This would mean that he either smuggled the docs out or smuggled a camera in (and back out). EVERY printed classified document is recorded, logged, and inventoried. You can’t even destroy a classified print out without going through specific procedures. If he smuggled them out, procedures should catch that they were missing. He would have to had brought them outside the SCIF (maybe for lunch) and brought them right back so they were not missing. That is very overtly criminal.

Taking photos inside is even more crazy. Because of security protocols, SCIFs have almost no electronic devices in them. Radio frequency scans are run regularly. Bringing a cell phone (even in airplane mode) into a SCIF would be as detectable as trying to find a blaring boom box in a library.

Leaked Document Reveals the US Spying on the UN Secretary-General Antiwar


China Offers To Facilitate Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks Associated Press. I’d love to have been a fly on the wall when Anthony Blinken got the news.

The missile strikes that killed Israel’s deterrence The Cradle (Chuck L)

NATO crimes in Yugoslavia: Kosovo Liberation Army leader Hashim Thaçi on trial for war crimes Defend Democracy

Imperial Collapse Watch

Mexican president accuses Pentagon of spying; vows to restrict military information Reuters. Resilc: “Si se puede. Will see usa usa special force in Mexico within 5 years.”

However, one expert who has no vested interest on this topic thought the authors of the paper were ignoring confounders: “Rapid rate changes of great size will move stuff around. Haven’t see big swings like the one we’ve had in a long while.” Even though the geopolitical types have focused on the effort of various countries to avoid using the dollar in trade transactions, a 2011 Bank of Settlements paper pointed out that in 2010, the total amount of financial flows into the US was at least 60 times the current account deficit, counting only securities transactions. I don’t have anything more current, but a protracted period of super low interest rates would favor leveraged speculation and hence investment/financial markets activity over real economy activity.


DeSantis Meets With Republicans on Capitol Hill, to a Lukewarm Response New York Times (furzy)

Ron DeSantis Donor Meltdown Revealed in Private Chats Rolling Stone (furzy). They want him to be Trump, just not as much. Irrespective of what you think of DeSantis, not hard to see why it’s difficult to deliver on a requirement like that.

Democrats en déshabillé

Democrats forced to play Feinstein waiting game after GOP puts up roadblock The Hill

GOP senators dig in against Feinstein committee swap Axios (resilc). The Dems acting unhappy and perplexed is a bit rich.


Safe havens? As some nations restrict access, a look at Europe’s abortion limits France24 (furzy)

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to be deposed in Epstein suit ABC (Kevin W). Judge Jed Rakoff in charge!

Police State Watch

S charges 4 Americans, 3 Russians in election discord case Associated Press. Not Again (hoisted from comments):

Now you can be arrested for not agreeing that America is the greatest country in the world? Indicted for “sowing discord” ? WTF I assume all you people on here on NC are next on the list.


Misfire: Williamson Adds New Disinformation on the History Behind the Second Amendment Jonathan Turley

How these Republicans intend to solve mass shooting problem BBC (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

Lee Fang vs. Mehdi Hasan, Round 2 Matt Taibbi

Fox News and Dominion reach last-minute $787 million settlement The Hill. Just so you know, this settlement does not necessarily mean that Fox judged it was at high risk of losing the case. The legal standard for what rises to being defamation is pretty high and since this case was settled, no new legal precedent was set. But it does say that Fox thought it was at high risk of being seriously damaged….and Fox was set to sustain damage with discovery and questioning of Fox executives and stars in court and that alone can be motivating. For instance, yours truly got a very big settlement when a one-time client behaved in an egregiously bad faith manner. The legal case was pretty weak but I would clearly get past summary judgement and the discovery process would enable me to depose top clients of theirs and expose their dishonesty. And this number suggests a lot of reputational exposure, given some experts saw the size of Dominion’s demand for damages as well above what could be justified even accepting the premise that Fox had behaved very badly.

Oklahoma county leaders caught on audio talking about killing reporters and complaining they can no longer lynch Black people NBC (resilc)

Woke Watch

Trans Kids Are Losing Critical Healthcare, and Their Parents Are Panicking Vice. Resilc: “Join the crowd, EVERYONE is losing healthcare of some sort…..USA USA.”

Disneyland launches ‘Pride Nite’ amid Bob Iger’s ongoing war with Ron DeSantis in Florida Daily Mail

Sens. Warren, Reed urge Treasury’s OFR use ‘all its tools’ after SVB failure Yahoo Finance (resilc). Always fighting the last war.

Depositors pull nearly $60bn from three US banks as Apple raises pressure The Local

US Republican lawmakers slam SEC chair on ‘rushed’ rulemaking Reuters (Kevin W). The generic version of this headline is “US Republican lawmakers slam SEC [for getting out of bed]”.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy Heads Down Wrong Path on Debt Limit Bloomberg

Public pessimism on the economy hits a new high, CNBC survey shows CNBC (resilc)

Guillotine Watch

Elizabeth Holmes is asking a judge to reverse her ‘unjust’ conviction or reduce her 11-year sentence one week before she’s set to report to prison Business Insider

Class Warfare

Clarence Thomas Can Do No Wrong New York Times (resilc)

300 Years of ‘Too Big to Jail’ New York Review of Books (Paul R)

Scoopers at Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington Seek to Unionize Seven Days Vermont (resilc)

Feudalism by Design: On Quinn Slobodian’s “Crack-Up Capitalism” Los Angeles Review of Book

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Catnip tea?”

And a bonus (Chuck L):

A second bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Penny Lane by the Beatles)

    The Gravy Train is all the millions from the donor class
    Without their gifts you cannot buy a Congress role
    Congresscritters will come and go
    But we all know

    Tons of money flows to all our Representatives
    And with that money comes a promise to give back
    To the wealthy on the inside track
    If you play the game, you will gain

    The Gravy Train requires our Congress to tell lies
    Their promises to us are pure disguise —
    Their donors get paid back

    Scatterbrains can get elected saying silly things
    To snag a spot in the political machine
    They own a jet, a yacht, a limousine
    But their hands are clean

    The Gravy Train requires our Congress to tell lies
    Their promises to us are pure disguise —
    Their donors get paid back

    Across America our bridges are all falling down
    Our infrastructure’s more like papier mache
    More like the Third World than the USA
    Every passing day

    A hurricane or a tornado tears your town apart
    Here’s the bill, you get to take it on the chin
    You’d think that Congress maybe could step in
    Share the Gravy Train, be humane

    The Gravy Train requires our Congress to tell lies
    Their promises to us are pure disguise —
    Their donors get paid back

    The Gravy Train requires our Congress to tell lies
    Their promises to us are pure disguise —

    Gravy Train . . .

    1. caucus99percenter

      Top notch! … If one of these new AI thingies can generate an actual audio track of this “in the style of the Beatles,” we may be getting somewhere…

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Copyright infringement? Lawyers chime in here.

        Satire is generally protected but Weird Al always asked permission before doing his parodies.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Weird Al performs those parodies more or less all the time. It gets fuzzy when they get too close and its their main bit. His teenage Beatles parody played on Dr Demento was shut down because it was too similar. He tried over the years and the Beatles rights holders shut down his efforts until George Harrison’s kid learned about the parody. Weird Al’s problem is he might be accused of profiting on the likeness, not satire or parody.

          Weird Al might do other things, but he does stadium shows because of Amish Paradise (he never did get permission). But if it was Criminal Heaven (wink, wink) instead with little jokes sprinkled in and the same idea he would run into problems. His Teen Spirit parody would get whacked hard.

          If he was an SNL performer who did like a parody of Dave Matthews once every couple of months he could probably rip off songs directly.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Thanks. I guess my question is, if one or more of us enterprising readers were to set one of these brilliant parodies to a backing track, either performed on real instruments or using computerized tech, and release it to the wild for no commercial gain, would we be legally on solid ground?

            Or should we expect the lawsuits to fly?

            1. LilD

              Chord progressions are not protected. Melodies are.
              It’s possible “ groove “ is protected ( Quincy jones is a heavy litigator…. Ed Sheeran a frequent target…) though I don’t think it should be.

              Fair use is allowed but not well defined

  2. Lex

    Why would the US/EU think that electing Lula would be a substantial shift in Brazilian foreign policy? IIRC, Lula was president when Brazil joined BRICS. I recall that Putin was asked about it during the Brazilian election campaign and said that Russia had worked closely with Brazil when Lula was president and would be more than willing to do so again.

    The west seems incapable of looking beyond its own, narrow narrative of how the world works. We, apparently, can only see it through the framework of how the US works. So we’re left with piles of dangerous category errors and failures of analysis.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      It is a pretty staggering line. If I understand the logic correctly, it goes something like:
      1) Tropical Trump=pro-Putin, anti-NATO;
      2) Enemy of Tropical Trump=the reverse of that.

      I find it difficult to believe the Western leadership is this stupid, but who knows.

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        It’s also a staggering line from the Politico EU newsletter for the second part of it regarding Brazil’s lack of progress on climate change issues. First off, Lula’s been president since January. Second, can we talk about what the US is doing for climate change? Let’s not forget how bad war is for the environment!! Thirdly, a quick look at recent English language news shows that Brazil is indeed making progress on the rainforest deforestation problem and it is a top priority of the Lula Administration.
        A quote from the above linked article apparently published in Europe drives the second point home:

        “Lula criticised world leaders for ignoring warnings about climate change and spending “trillions of dollars” on war “that only result in destruction and death.”

        The Politico EU newsletter is nothing but smear against Lula!!

        1. Mildred Montana

          >“Lula criticised world leaders for ignoring warnings about climate change and spending “trillions of dollars” on war “that only result in destruction and death.”

          When it comes to oil, “business the American way” is war. For purported believers in free-enterprise, American companies actually don’t like markets and refuse to negotiate in them. They don’t go to an oil-supplier and say, “We need oil, we’re willing to offer X dollars for amount Y”, then make a deal and shake hands.

          No, they want it *cheap* with unlimited and preferably exclusive access. So they sic the military on their targeted country with the connivance of the MIC. They often do get their cheap oil and reap the profits, but taxpayers are left to pay the high costs of the “intervention”.

          I think this might be what is really behind the almost-universal condemnation of Russia. Russia has oil. The Western world wants it. No need for further discussion.

          1. Oh

            That’s part of the US Industrial policy. Some of the others in the playbook are:

            1. Copyrights and trademarks and lawsuits to pressure other countries who fight them.
            2. Sanctions on anything and everything.
            3. Send the CIA to work on an Orange Revolution, fix elections and regime change.
            4. Use Hollywood for endless propaganda.
            5. IMF and World Bank loans.

            1. some guy

              And don’t forget the American Establishment’s own domestic Anti-Industrial policy, which is Free Trade.

              Our Free Trade rulers have successfully abolished a lot of industry in our country, as well as abolishing several million okay-paying industrial jobs.

        2. c_heale

          The EU is also doing very little to stop climate change. They and the UK cut down a lot of their trees a long time ago and have much less forest cover than Brazil, so bwhy aren’t they reforesting? Germany is opening new coalmines and has shut down it’s nuclear power stations. The mafia is cutting down Eastern European forests, and apparently some of the wood is finding it’s way into IKEA furniture.

          The EU is also buying many cash crops from Africa which is having a detrimental affect on forests and traditional more sustainable agriculture (and these cash crops are basically the export of water from Africa to the EU). Recently Albania made a National park of the last big river in Western Europe. I don’t see any of the richer Western European countries currently doing anything on that scale.

          Just total hypocrites.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Western foreign policy elites are convinced of the jungle/garden status of the world. The opportunity regardless of US meddling in Brazil and the bipartisan efforts against Lula are irrelevant because Lula would be allowed to sit in a corner at a garden party and listen to Baerbock lecture him on international feminism. Yes, she would be unaware of Lula’s Veep and successor.

      It’s like when Blinken went to Africa a year and a half ago and scoffed African countries now expect something for strangling their trade on US whims.

    3. Rino

      As a brazilian, the problem seems to be that it is too deeply embeeded into your education system, the whitewashed understanding of both history and current events.

      Bolsonaro when elected was an absolute Trump lapdog, he was going around unironically giving military salutes to the american flag. But even Bolsonaro, as dumb, uncultured, corrupt and generally ill intentioned as he is, realized that you don’t get shit by sucking up to the US, even worse, as political winds change in the US they can from one moment to the other throw you in the dumpster. There is no diplomacy, only a god-given right to lead, being an inconditional supporter is just the expected. Every president that was not bought and paid for to act contrary to his countries interests (like Zelensky) knows this.

      And even among the westerners that seem to understand that their countries relationships with the world have been bad and unfair, some still don’t understand that this is not some kind of diplomatic blunder, it is a project, power is a zero sum game, if anyone else gains, you lose, the western world has actively acted to keep poor countries poor everywhere, strategic positions like Taiwan and Israel aside.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        ” . . realized that you don’t get shit by sucking up to the US . . “

        Who was it that said “Being an enemy of the US is dangerous, but being its friend is fatal?”

        1. ambrit

          Don’t forget the Mexican dictator Diaz who said: “Poor Mexico, so far from G–, so close to the United States.”

  3. zagonostra

    >Bombshell filing: 9/11 hijackers were CIA recruits – Grayzone

    At least two 9/11 hijackers had been recruited into a joint CIA-Saudi intelligence operation that was covered up at the highest level, according to an explosive new court filing.

    I know, nobody wants to hear about 9/11, it’s ancient history. What made me want to post this is that I happened to mention WTC7 to a 28 year old and she didn’t know there was a third building that came down. I thought that was most curious, so I asked another young person, and although they had heard of the two towers, they did not know about the third building.

    The media mold cultural awareness to an extent I never fully appreciated. What average Americans don’t know about history is legend, but can so much information bombarding a populace each and every minute function to erase a country’s memory of current events?

    Somewhere I heard a podcast on “5th generation warfare” which had to do with the psychological manipulation conducted not on foreign enemies but on a country’s own citizenry. When Elon Musk fired 80% of Twitter’s staff and he tells Tucker Carlson that it improved the app’s functionality it makes me wonder just how deep this rabbit hole goes.

    1. foghorn longhorn

      My 70 something, military retiree neighbor hadn’t heard about the third building and seemed quite incredulous when informed of it.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is essentially Richard Clarke’s accusation before he was disappeared by the msm. Clarke proposed the CIA didn’t want to turn the future hijackers over to the FBI, who would immediately turn over their apartments discovering the plot, to keep the FBI from getting the glory of making arrests.

    3. jefemt

      Building Seven: DCD… delusional cognitive dissonance. Blue Pill Red Pill. Wake up, the world will never look the same, and it is incredibly disheartening at every turn.

      Speaking of disheartening— my general misanthropy added a kneejerk layer of racist antipathy — tempered by a deeper realization that the fault is in the species, wherever it is scratching out an existence…
      I only cried several times. Not many books have engendered such a response from this J O F*
      *(jaded old f*3K) Call me JOFrey.

      Wolf Totem.

    4. pjay

      Yes. Our collective ignorance is impressive. Though GZ uses the term “bombshell,” this information about Al-Hazmi and Al-Mihdhar has been available for, literally, decades. See, for example, the 9/11 timeline entrees (largely from very mainstream sources):

      Gosh, how could anyone have known?

      Kevin Fenton’s book Disconnecting the Dots is a very good source on these examples of assets and coverups, and many more besides. It was published in 2011.

    5. Mildred Montana

      I buy nothing about “9/11 Truth”. To me the tragedy is over and done with. 9/11 was a matter of fuel-laden jet-planes crashing into buildings. Nothing more. It was a simple plan, it worked, and conspiracies work best when they are kept small. No need to involve more people, with the greater the chance of discovery before the event.

      There was no need for the terrorists to deploy redundant explosives here and there (which so many CTer’s allege), thereby enlarging the operation, and increasing the chance of detection and pre-emption.

      I will say only this: The handling of the investigation was bungled. The site should have been treated as a crime scene, surrounded by yellow tape, and forensically examined for days if not weeks. After all, the attack was a crime. But that’s not the way the US government typically reacts to such events. It reflexively declares them the acts of madmen and cleans up sites quickly. And that’s what it did in this case. No need for further investigation.

      All that does is encourage conspiracy theories, but they never learn.

      1. pjay

        “I buy nothing about “9/11 Truth””

        I’m puzzled by your first sentence. It suggests you accept the official narrative. But the rest of your comments sound like you have doubts. Regardless, I’d strongly argue against the statement that “the tragedy is over and done with.” In my view we are still very much suffering from its effects. Failure to understand it is a major reason why.

        My original comment has not yet appeared, perhaps because I recommended a few sources on this particular “CT” which discussed the information provided in the Grayzone article years ago. There are a lot of worthless crackpot theories around. But I do think searching for the “truth” about 9/11 is worthwhile.

        1. Mildred Montana

          I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next person. But I can’t buy into any of the 9/11 CTs. As I said, why complicate a good simple plan by adding other things like planted explosives in the buildings with all the attendant risks of discovery? Don’t make sense to me.

          But as usual, in its typically bungling paranoid way, the government decided to clean up the site immediately without a proper forensic examination. And all that does is encourage the propagation of conspiracy theories. If it had done otherwise, if it had revealed everything, that would have gone a long way to allaying the suspicions of doubters of the official story.

          Think of the explosion of TWA flight 800 back in 1996, At first conspiracy theories abounded, but after a thorough investigation by the NTSB and the release of all the details, they were quickly and forever put to bed. Nobody talks about “the missiles that took down TWA 800” any more.

          1. zagonostra

            Funny you should mention TWA 800, back in July of 2022 a sailor on a Navy vessel near the tragedy came out and clamed that the US Navy accidently shot down the plane and c threatened him to delete all records…oh well. Won’t post any links, the truth is a hard thing to come by these days.

          2. some guy

            Perhaps the government sterilized the site in order to prevent a forensic examination from happening.

            Jeff Wells at Rigorous Intuition 2.0 wrote a number of articles about the 9/11 subject.
            Here is one addressed to “konspirisi thiri ” skeptics called A Coincidence Theorist’s Guide To 9/11.

            Considering that the 9/11 facilitators are still either in positions of power and/or influence in our society, it is not behind us. Also considering that the effects of several wars based on it are still with us, it is not behind us. Also considering that the anthrax attacks, waged with government quality anthrax, helped get the House and Senate to pass the Patriot Act, it is not behind us.

            So, yes. The hijackers reached their target just like some curling stones. Whose curling stones were they? And who were the sweepers massaging the ice ahead of the stones all the way in so that their success could be assured? It would be good to know for real so that effective justice could be sought and deeply broadly extensively sterilizing revenge taken against all high-level facilitators who lihopped, hihopped, and/or mihopped these attacks into existence.

    1. La Peruse

      I may have missed it, but Blinken has been interfering internally in Georgian politics (in the Caucasus, not downtown Atlanta), something to do with corrupt judges. Can no-one sanction Thomas? What’s going down in Tbilisi?

    2. Jon Cloke

      You can’t help thinking this is one of the occasions Uncle Joe wishes he’d done a better job….

      Rather than relentless intra-family corruption.

      1. jefemt

        It seems Biden is very content with his career and achievements. No-Contrition Catholic.

        Amazing what asking for forgiveness and receiving it from a magical person in special clothes can do to soothe the psyche.

        Heck, maybe with his ego, there was not even a perception of mistake(s).

  4. Stephen

    An absolute full to the brim Links today. Really awesome.

    L’affaire Leaker

    Larry Johnson’s volte face on where documents can legally walk to within the system was definitely an interesting development.

    The larger point is still valid. Very hard to believe that something bigger is not going on. Although as Aurelien pointed out, the very simple explanation might be correct. Some reports now allege that the leaker was sharing secret files for over a year and also point out that the 102nd Intelligence Wing has a history of being part of alleged cover ups in the past. Internet surveillance is clearly working well.

    At the very least, the US / broader NATO military industrial complex and intelligence “community” (what a word for them) seems as ineffective when it comes to custodianship of “Top Secret” documents as it is with respect to building effective weapons and pretty much everything else it is supposed to be doing.

    The real story here might be why anyone in the chain of command deserves to keep their phoney baloney jobs to use the language of Blazing Saddles with respect to Governor Lepetomane. If this is the way things are secured and monitored then the Russians and Chinese must surely be reading all these documents each morning over their breakfast and coffee. But I bet no one senior will ever get fired for this.

    My suspicion is that so much stuff is being produced and so much of it is Top Secret that no one in this “community” can see the wood for the trees. They must be drowning in “noise”. It might be too extreme but perhaps doing what Musk says he did at Twitter with respect to cutting the headcount by 80% would improve security and outcomes.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Stephen: Thanks for this insightful comment.

      Why I am I being reminded of the glorious Rosemary Woods and her typing skills?

      Agreed: “If this is the way things are secured and monitored then the Russians and Chinese must surely be reading all these documents each morning over their breakfast and coffee. But I bet no one senior will ever get fired for this.”

      Better to blame it on some kid from a family of Portuguese immigrants, now living in the splendor of New Bedford, Mass., or thereabouts.

    2. Polar Socialist

      The few pages I’ve bothered to look at I have found to be nightmarish messes that is hard to make any sense of.

      I hope they did come with some form of executive summary, that tells the main points clearly. Otherwise people would likely know less of what’s going after reading these documents…

    3. tevhatch

      Secrecy is an expense, and a hindrance to maximizing short term profits. Neo-liberalism loses what every little focus it had on long term profit on a sinking ship, the con-artist are just try to raid as many staterooms safes as they can before the ship goes under.

    4. Jason Boxman

      “Bomb Power” is a good read on our penchant for over-classification of documents, although the short summary is to hide mistakes by those in power.

    5. Skip Intro

      I’m surprised Yves’ contact found the folded print presentation so convincing. If you can get the digital files out on a tiny microSD card, you can print them anywhere and photograph the prints. This has the benefits of removing any digital watermarks from the documents by printing them, then obscuring/removing any graphical watermarks that may be hidden in the prints with the folding and crude photos. The frisson of authenticity and implication of cloak&dagger operations is too seductive, I mistrust it.
      That said, the callback to the Reality Winner story seems intriguing. The main info from that leak was the largely unremarked graphic showing that the NSA’s knowledge of the ‘hacking’ of Clinton emails all came from Crowdstrike, whose CEO has since admitted they had no evidence of Russian involvement. Many expected the NSA would have independent records of foreign hacking attempts. The source of that story was also murky.

        1. Lex

          I’ve been attached to corporations with only vague, national security implications (like power generation) and none of those computers have unlocked USB ports. They’ve all had full tracking software for web and network browsing, and even at least key word scans of all emails running through the system. That top level national security institutions have have less network security than a power generation company is mind boggling.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I don’t think anyone agrees with Skip Intro on unlocked USB ports. Plus the networks are monitored all the time, too much poking around or spikes in activity would also get picked up.

            Will check with my contact.

  5. flora

    Thanks for the Taibbi link. The embedded Lee Fang link is worth reading, too. Sounds like Hasan is a clown world hack who, when challenged, hides behind his color and religion as if those two things alone are some sort of unimpeachable character reference. riiight….

    1. Lexx

      Wasn’t Lee Fang accused of racism by a staff member at The Intercept a few years ago? I didn’t believe it for a second, not because it wasn’t possible, but because I’d been reading his work for a few years and it just didn’t seem likely. It annoyed me; it must have galvanized Fang.

      At the time of that accusation, I would said Lee Fang was ‘the golden boy’ at The Intercept, just a based on his writing.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Turley on guns. Turley falls into the usual definitional arguments, which become a kind of listicle of calibers and cannons, of the gun-enamored. Ergo: Williamson said blunderbuss instead of arquebus, so she must be incapable of understanding the societal problems and legal issues related to guns.

    Imagine if any discussion of traffic safety meant having to go through a long discussion of the numbers of cylinders of a Duesenberg and of why the door on the Isotta is on its front. Imagine if any discussion of food storage, food service, and food safety meant having to have long discussions of how to define hollandaise and what the difference is between a yam and a sweet potato.

    The U S of A has a very serious problem with guns (and if you don’t like that word, think firearms). These listicles (at least Turley didn’t try to drag in hapless duck and deer hunters) ignore the U.S. murder rate, the generalized fear, the excesses of the police forces, the notorious inability of gun ownership to reduce crime, and the sheer incivility of open carry. But we learn about big bullets of the 1700s!

    Oddly, slavery also was protected by the Constitution.

    1. t

      In his defense, the comments were even worse and appeared to be sincere rather than disingenuously pretending the referenced cannon is the same as a relatively lightweight gun one can carry while running and firing multiple rounds with little danger of being burned or blown up or crushed by your own weapon.

      1. Procopius

        tl;dr I thought he was basically just saying there are a lot of “assault rifles” around, suck it up.

        My own opinion is that we ought to ban all civilian possession of semi-automatic weapons. If people hunt for sport, let them work a little harder. I’d prefer it if all hunters were required to use bows and arrows, but that will never happen. Back about 60 years ago a friend took me to a rifle range and let me shoot a 1903 Springfield army rifle. It was fun. Removing semi-automatic weapons would at least slow down the killing.

      1. Mildred Montana

        He also failed to mention the increased lethality of the newly-invented cylindrical-conoidal bullets first used on a major scale in the Civil War.

        I was shocked by this statement of his: “Thankfully, mass shootings are statistically rare.” Only in America could one a day be considered rare. And we should be thankful for that.

      2. flora

        The Founders wrote with quill pens on paper or parchment. No typewriters or computers.
        Ergo, the First Amendment no longer applies, cause it was all about the material tech of the time, and not about the principle. (and the principle is getting in the way of suppressive efforts some pols would love to pass. see the RESTRICT Act.)/ ;)

        This sort of argument in general is gaining traction in an effort to undermine basic rights – not just the 2nd Amendment. Suddenly it’s “all different” because computers. (no, it’s not.)

        1. Old Sarum

          To this outsider, the US constitution is groaning with decrepitude dating from times when travel was slow and compromises were made to pre-existing power structures. Functionally the revolution was never really was completed because the old British colonial power-structures survived to become states and the same errors were compounded in the creation of new states above and beyond the original 13 colonies.

          Now ‘states rights’ appears to be a bizarre contorted comedy. If one can put the Gunz issue aside(!); that a substance in one locality is legal and just across an adjacent border the same substance is illegal illustrates the rotten state of the constitution of a nation that has “united” in its name.

          Has anyone fully described the concatenation of anachronisms that constitutes the USA or counted the number (and expense) of legal staff required by large US national corporations to deal with all the local state laws?

          As an outsider observer I am astonished that such a seeming dog’s breakfast engenders an air of sanctity about it. Fascinating!


          ps The UK has similar problems with anachronisms but at least there is no whiff of sanctity in the public’s appreciation (or otherwise) of the unwritten constitution.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            It is certainly quite arbitrary, or on the other hand organic. Although I’m not sure what you mean by the revolution not being completed. The revolution achieved the result intended by its organisers (at least for some decades) – a rare success in that respect.

          2. flora

            It’s federalism you seem to be complaining about. The US does it pretty well. The EU, not so much. / ;)

            ps, not surprising the old mother country still doesn’t understand what her rebellious offspring is doing. (joke)

      3. tevhatch

        well order militia too, that means someone in charge of shooting the misceants, but more importantly the militia kept slaves revolts from succeeding, so lets bring back slavery… oh wait, it never went away.

    2. Carolinian

      Oddly, slavery also was protected by the Constitution.

      And now it isn’t because of an amendment. I would agree that it is unfortunate that we have a second amendment but we do have it and it says what it says. The militia conditional doesn’t really change things since militias of the time were private citizens who banded together and “well regulated” allows for some regulation of guns which we have–background checks and a past ban on assault weapons and magazine capacity.

      Therefore the real bar to better gun regulation is political which is all that Turley is saying. The Dems want the SC to do their legislating for them rather than defeat the gun lobby in Congress. It’s an argument to authority rather than democracy and in line with their other creative interpretation of the Constitution. Or, as Turley also writes today

      As with high lethality weapons, the Framers were quite familiar with censorship. They sought to ban it in the First Amendment, but that is one point of historical clarity that seems to escape many of our leaders.

      A return to populism would gain the Dems a lot of cred–perhaps even with gun owners not all of whom oppose regulation. Perhaps they should try it.

      1. tevhatch

        Chattel slavery is still allowed in the amended Constitution, and a large part of US industry depends on it. Then there is bonded slavery.

    3. Wukchumni

      Really the only alternative in these not so united states is to go big at this point…

      A neighbor 3 D printed a Paris Gun and purportedly can put Pixley in much peril, if the 3 D printed 238 mm shells work as expected.

      I’ve been pleading with him to instead fire off a few warning shots @ nearby Tulare Lake, for effect.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Leaked Document Reveals the US Spying on the UN Secretary-General”

    When I read this, I had a flashback from twenty years ago when the US was caught spying on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the lead up to the vote on the Iraq invasion. If I recall correctly, the US was also spying on all the members of the UN Security Council as well. If the headline for this article had said that the US was found not to be spying on the UN Secretary-General, then I would have been very much surprised. The US spends about $90 billion each year on spying so obviously they have to justify that budget to their political masters. Spying on the UN Secretary-General would be an obvious target and one that the spooks could show off-

    1. Polar Socialist

      It’s nice to know US still cares about UN enough to be interested what people there think. Or at least if they’re still on the leash.

    2. britzklieg

      We should not forget about Boutros Boutros-Ghali either:

      In an unprecedented turn of events, the Secretary-General of the United Nations is accused by the United States of being an obstacle to reform, as well as being useless, conceited and a megalomaniac into the bargain, if not corrupt. The Clinton administration is not slow to rid itself of undesirables. Mr Boutros-Ghali is enjoined not to seek a second mandate, or he will be vetoed by Washington.

      The sole remaining superpower has declared war on a man who enjoys the sympathy of the vast majority of the member countries of the UN. No matter, comes the chilling reply from US representative Madeleine Albright. Her government’s decision is unchangeable: Mr Boutros-Ghali must go, whatever the opinion of the international community. The worst of all this is that the accusations against him are generally little more than unsubstantiated smears, originated anonymously and then taken up by the press. One of them, circulated in late July, was actually false. For instance, in an off-the-cuff comment to a group of journalists, Robert Rubin, one of Mrs Albright’s associates, let slip that the US government intended to keep a very close watch on the use made by Mr Boutros-Ghali of UN personnel to promote his re-election; and pointed out, by way of example, that a top-ranking official had made a trip to Africa at the American taxpayer’s expense. The head of the UN was thus placed under suspicion of misuse of public funds. This prompted a furious outburst from UN representative Sylvana Foa, herself a US citizen, accusing her government of practices reminiscent of the McCarthy era (the period during the 1950s when Senator Joe McCarthy led the US in persecuting communists, both real and imagined).

    3. Martin Oline

      I’m shocked that this goes on. This is from pp. 286 – 288 of White Malice 2021 by Susan Williams:

      Hammarskjold was satisfied by the end of 1953, his first year at the helm, that he had removed the FBI from the UN. But other American intelligence agencies were operating… It emerged decades later that the cipher machines used by the UN were not secure. A top-secret back door was built into each one… Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA… With no knowledge of this deceit, more than 110 countries used Crypto AG encryption equipment from the 1950’s well into the 2000’s… The Soviet Union and China were suspicious of the equipment and did not use them.

      Some things never change unless you want them to.

    4. Alice X

      >The US spends about $90 billion each year on spying so obviously they have to justify that budget to their political masters.


      Chuck Schumer:

      They [the National Security State] have six ways from Sunday to get back at you!

      This when Trump was battling against them. I’ll bet those Congress Critters are a meek lot when it comes to that budget.

    5. Old Sarum

      Re: political masters:

      Any Inkling of which country (or countries, if any) the US does NOT spy on?


      ps Who was that Malaysian politician who talked of the host nation’s “penetration” by a certain middle-eastern state?

  8. digi_owl

    I found myself thinking about something i heard or read ages ago, supposedly attributed to some Japanese CEO or other.

    Supposedly he claimed that he much preferred negotiating with Europeans than Americans, because European at least knew that negotiation meant finding a middle ground. Americans on the other hand would not budge from their initial proposal.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I read years ago of a trend with big corporations and unions that for the CEOs, it would be all a zero-sum game. The CEOs would give their initial proposal and that would be it. No more negotiations no matter the cost. I’m a bit hazy on the details but there was one CEO that actually bulldozed a factory and fired all the workers to show those workers how tough he was. He even hung a picture of that bulldozed factory at his office as well. Unfortunately this zero-sum game mentality has seeped into government as well so in international negotiations with countries like Russia or China, there is no win-win but there must be only one winner – them – and one loser.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        You may be thinking of a different case, but that’s what Roger Milliken did with his plant in South Carolina. A Milliken exec proudly showed me the picture of the demolished plant hung in a headquarters hallway of pictures portraying the company’s history.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That’s the one. I knew that I read this story in a comment in Links but it was some time ago – though I have never forgotten the story of that picture.

        2. Carolinian

          Milliken like some of the other textile executives came down from the North for the low wage labor and so the issue was “existential” for them. Now almost all the mills are closed as the industry moved its labor shopping to Asia and the Third World. The Milliken mill in my town has been turned into lofts. However the corporate offices and research center remain.

      2. earthling

        Fuh-ball rules, straight from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Saint Vince Lombardi. Pathetic. The world is not the playing field of Friday Night Lights.

  9. Jeff Stantz

    Since I know a lot of you here at into soil health I wanted to share this from a new biologist friend I met at a get together the other day. Someone was talking about how climate change affects plants and he brought up something very interesting. CO2 is eaten by bacteria by an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase. And for this enzyme uses up zinc zinc when it degrades the CO2.

    So more CO2 in the air means less zinc in the soil. Less zinc in the soil means less zinc in the plants. Less zinc in the plants means less zinc in all the mammals and fish. And this might be bad for human health.

    This large-scale and rapid hydration of CO2 by the biosphere is accelerated by the family of carbonic anhydrase enzymes (CAs), which are ubiquitous in bacteria, algae, fungi and plants

    Makes me think, what if humans, breathing in all this extra CO2, also have low zinc?

      1. c_heale

        I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that our current ultra processed food diets means that many people aren’t getting enough zinc anyway.

    1. tevhatch

      It’s not just bacteria, it’s in nearly animals. It takes place in balancing the pH of blood and it an important part of our bloods ability to transport both 02 and C02. (I’m not sure about blue blood animals like horse shoe crabs, or single cell animals, but it’s still likely to be present). Warning, this is based on remembrance of pre-med studies 40+ years ago.

      1. Jeff Stantz

        So is climate change is decreasing human zinc in more people? When does have a large effect on immunity and Covid outcomes?

        1. tevhatch

          No idea about what levels effect immunity, but if levels get low enough, then breathing becomes a more urgent issue. The body recirculate/re-uses most of the Zinc, but there are losses that have to be made up.

          1. Jeff Stantz

            So a body that is more acidic will need more zinc as well then? This makes me think of diabetes and acidosis.

            1. tevhatch

              Not more zinc, enough zinc. More is not better.

              Alle Ding’ sind Gift, und nichts ohn’ Gift; allein die Dosis macht, daß ein Ding kein Gift ist. — Paracelsus

              All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose makes that a thing is not a poison.

    2. Parker Dooley

      Enzymes are catalysts, i.e. are not consumed in the reactions they catalyze. Therefore, the zinc component of carbonic anhydrase is not consumed in the reaction. It is possible that the soil pH may affect the availability of zinc to produce the (metalloenzyme) carbonic anhydrase.

    3. JeffC

      Zinc is an element. I can’t see how it can be “used up.” It can do something useful for some bacterium, but in the end it’s still there somewhere, either in the soil or in the bacterium, which eventually dies, presumably, leaving its bodily zinc in the soil. Worst case, I assume, is that the zinc gets bound into some molecule that keeps it away from plants. But forever? How stable is that molecule?

      What have I missed?

      1. Jeff Stantz

        Yes, I think the problem is that zinc gets bound to something and them is unusable?

        Zinc in the soil is present as three different pools: exchangeable pool (ions bound to soil particles), water-soluble pool, and organically bound pool (chelated or complexed with organic matter). Some proportion of the Zn may also bind to clay and other soil particles in an in-exchangeable form.

        Is this what happen in humans? Does it get bound to something and them we excrete it? I wish I was smarter….I’ll have to see if I can find that guy I met and ask him.

        But thinking, this enzyme works in reverse as well, so maybe it is just that the high CO2 keeps the reaction going in the same direction and the zinc never gets released?

        Is this why lime and zinc help plants much more?

  10. Henry Moon Pie

    A tale of two Sciences:

    Today’s links give us pictures of two different Sciences. One version strives to advance humans’ understanding of the world around them by taking into account both human history and human limitations. The other cares about neither of those things but seeks only to be a dutiful servant of corporate and political power.

    Direct air carbon capture is example of the latter. Rather than adjust our social, economic and political systems once we learned of the damage we were doing to our Earthly home with our wasteful consumption, the scientists engaged in developing direct air carbon capture, generously funded by corporate and political power, claim to offer a high-tech solution that will allow all the affluent to continue to “live their best life,” flying all over the world on annual or semi-annual pilgrimages and driving four-seater, giant pickup trucks from their exurban ranchettes into their cushy office jobs in the city center.

    The problem is that the solution is idiocy. This article highlights five reasons carbon capture can never succeed, but this one is the clincher:

    Running a carbon capture system is incredibly energy-intensive. It essentially requires building a new power plant to run the system, creating another source of air and carbon pollution. That undermines the whole goal of capturing carbon in the first place.

    Our country emits roughly 5 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year. Removing 1 billion tons of that through direct air capture would require nearly the entire electricity output of the United States.

    It’s also important to consider the scale of what would be needed. The Energy Department recently announced $12 million to fund “direct air capture” projects. It also touted the possible removal of 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    To put this in perspective, the largest corporate polluter in 2018 was responsible for releasing 119 million tons of CO2 equivalent — and that’s only one of them.

    Apparently, the scientists who are claiming the direct air carbon capture is a viable solution are much better at the mathematics of their bank accounts than they are at calculating what it would take to solve the carbon problem with their technology.

    A very different scientific approach is detailed in the article about the “taming” of food crops. It begins with Natalie Mueller, a professor at Washington University not of physics or chemistry but of archaeology. She is seeking to better understand how humans first began to develop agriculture.

    Mueller’s study, published April 7 in PLOS ONE, focuses on work with a plant called erect knotweed, a member of the buckwheat family that was domesticated by indigenous farmers in eastern North America. The domesticated sub-species is now extinct; humans don’t eat it anymore. But Mueller and others have previously uncovered caches of seeds stored in caves, charred plant remnants in ancient hearths, and even the seeds of erect knotweed in human feces, clear evidence that this species was once consumed as a staple food.

    These knotweed seeds are hard to germinate. As gardeners who try to grow some herbs know, there are many seeds in nature that don’t germinate all that easily. Some require stratification (exposure to cold) or scarification (scratching through the seed coat), processes mimicking what seeds left in the wild undergo. How, Mueller wondered, did early gardeners get these difficult seeds to germinate.

    So Mueller got her hands dirty and put seed to soil:

    With erect knotweed, Mueller experienced a breakthrough of sorts. Based on four seasons of observations, Mueller determined that growing wild plants in the low-density conditions typical of a cultivated garden (i.e. spaced out and weeded) triggers plants to produce seeds that germinate more easily. This makes the harvests easier to plant successfully the next time around, eliminating a key barrier to further selection.

    “Our results show that erect knotweed grown in low-density agroecosystems spontaneously ‘act domesticated’ in a single growing season, before any selection has occurred,” Mueller said.

    Mueller says earlier domestication studies failed to uncover this because they regarded the plants’ response as statistical noise. They saw plants as “dumb” and incapable of responding to their environment and human tending.

    “Because we lack the practical experience with crop progenitors that ancient people had, these effects of the environment on plant development have gone mostly unnoticed and understudied,” Mueller said.

    Wow. You mean modern humans might have something to learn from ancient people? Even scientists? What a revelation.

    The type of science that is being done on direct air carbon capture is the kind of science that has filled the air with too much carbon in the first place along with developing nuclear weapons and phones that hypnotize people. It is humans destroying themselves and all around them with hubris.

    The science done by Dr. Mueller is the kind of science we must be doing if we have any hope of reducing the damage we are doing to our home. It is the kind of science advocated by Wendell Berry, a man who refuses to use a computer but who still recognizes the value that science can provide.

    We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world – to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity – our own capacity for life – that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.
    We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.

    From “A Native Hill”

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Thank you. The raw material from NC’s Links always provides a lot to think about. Thanks to Yves for collecting these Links today.

    1. Parker Dooley

      This excellent comment deserves to be hoisted.

      Apparently the “scientists” who are proposing direct carbon capture are unfamiliar with the 2d law of thermodynamics, or are “assuming a can opener” e.g. an unlimited source of non-polluting power to concentrate the CO2.

  11. Amfortas the hippie

    re: NLRB’s bit on Slobodian:

    early on in my research frenzy into the american Right, i hit upon the idea that the Masters were not just trying to undo the New Deal…but to undo the Enlightenment.
    this was circa 2004.
    nothing i’ve seen since has come close to changing that assessment.
    ergo, neofeudalism is where They want to take us…how to counter that, given the gigantic multifoliate Mindfuck we swim in?
    (which is even worse, now)
    being studied in history…and particularly early european monasticism…flowing from the Roman Villa, etc…it occurred to me that feudalism could just as well include communist or democratic formations within it.
    so that became the kind of redoubt/refugia i was trying to build out here, as a hedge against the collapse i see on the horizon, and the likely introduction/emergence of warlordism way out here in the hinterlands.
    one of these days, when the dern infrastructure is finished(end of summer, i hope), i intend to write this up in some coherent form.(i mean, hell…ive likely been On a List for 20+ years any way,lol)

    1. hemeantwell

      Jodi Dean’s review of Slobodian’s book provides a decent intro to the debates on the left over whether we’re seeing a recrudescence of feudalism or something else. As I see it, this looks a lot like the loose use of fascism that we’ve often discussed. We need to come up with another concept that’s more historically specific instead of recruiting one because it has accrued opprobrium. Dean herself has previously tried to float the idea of “communicative capitalism” re processes of profit extraction by tech firms. That idea fizzled and now she’s on this bandwagon.

      Its wheels come off when you consider how, at least in the classical definitions of feudalism, lords bore certain obligations to their vassals, while the idea here is that intrazonal workers are more or less pure labor inputs who will be maintained, if they are at all, by state spending that supplements their crummy wages. And then there’s the rub of the fact that the “vassals” still have voting rights that could be used to reverse these zonal horrors. Messy, and it might be worth recalling that when Veblen was lampooning feudalist posturing during the Gilded Age he didn’t think of it as precapitalist, just a way of asserting authority with some archaic terror thrown in. Robert Brenner, quoted by Dean, and Dylan Riley have been fiddling around with the idea of “political capitalism” lately — their work has been linked here — and some variant of that seems more on target.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Murray Bookchin had a similar idea with Libertarian Municipalism.

      (Note for anyone unfamiliar with Bookchin: Bookchin’s “libertarian” means “anarchist.” He would never concede ownership of that word to the Randians, whom he called Propertarians since they were never about human liberty but about inflating the rights of property owners.)

      It seems to me that your plan is the only viable one. Build in the interstices abandoned by the Neolibs so that when they fall, and it may not be long, there are organized options waiting to pick up the pieces and start over.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        bookchin is one of the lenses i had in mind at the time.
        and yes…parallel structures, a la prudhomme and lenin and others.
        gotta build what you can now, while there’s still the material basis to do so(easier to buy lumber than to hew it…assuming i even could, what with mesquite being the dominant renewable lumber around here)

        ive haphazardly searched around for lefty academic treatment of this…ie: feudalism as not necessarily heirarchical and authoritarian…but am limited by a tiny book budget and that swiss company that bought up all the journals.

        and the part of feudalism you mention…noblisse oblige…is almost universally forgotten in mainstream treatments of the era.
        in some ways, peasants had more rights and privileges and even remedies than we do…which is, i suppose, hard for a PMC to get their mush around.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Part of feudalism’ function was military. The lords raised armies from their peasantry, and starving or sickly soldiers, especially in the hand-to-hand combat of the times, weren’t of much use.

          Translate that to today, and I just keep coming back to that conversation about shock collars that Doug Rushkoff had with the hedge fund guys. First of all, they’re obviously projecting how they would behave if they were in their servants’ shoes, but there’s also something missing. These hedge funders have no expectation of, nor even concept of loyalty. A lord might find himself standing back to back with one his peasants in the field of battle, and a smart lord would have prepared for such a moment by trying to develop some loyalty in that peasant by providing some material benefits and maybe even decent treatment within the bounds of the feudal worldview.

          I think that while we usually think of feudal times as being much more hierarchical than our own, the reality may be that it’s our society that is much more stratified. Hedge funders hop from continent to continent by helicopter and private jet. Many of my neighbors manage to range a few miles around the city by foot and bus. A lord might have a horse that could outrun any of his serfs, but he couldn’t hop on a giant bird and fly away. And the lord could get thrown by that horse in front of the peasants, likely much to their amusement.

          The magnitude of the difference between top and bottom today is astonishing. The monarchies might be by divine right, but the king’s humanity was very apparent to his subjects. Our hedge funders live in a different world from us, a world where a belief in one’s own divinity becomes easier and easier. We treat our billionaires like pharaohs, and now we’re being told to make bricks without straw.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            the Phaoronic, a la Frank Herbert.
            and also Philip K Dick, with his whole Empire Disease.
            whomever mentioned yesterday(i think) something about an historical through-line from: our elite=>nazi germany=>cia/our elite=>amurka, today…was on to a particular CT that i am fond of for it’s veracity.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            Basically people these days are more equal (citizens in the same country are legally totally equal, in fact! albeit with qualifications) in name and less equal in reality. The power imbalance between the rulers and the ruled has certainly increased since the Middle Ages, when genuine grassroots uprisings had more chance of at least temporary success. Partly as a matter of technological and related institutional change (the army and the militarised police have a much bigger military advantage over your average urban rioters now than then).

      2. hemeantwell

        This is one of the things that I find so questionable with anarchism. Pretty much across the board, especially these days, they fall back on interstitial thinking, a vision that in some ways now trends to what we see in one depiction after another of the coming Dread, building little redoubts that will hopefully be above the flood’s highest tide. The idea of a mass movement, insisting on using and/or establishing democratic rights, is beyond them. I’m leery about drawing on the age of Lenin, but in this context it would be useful to look back at the debates in the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party during the 1890s and 1900s, where the RSDLP, following the example of the German SDP, really banged on the necessity of political rights to get anything done. We still have those rights, however restricted they are, and we should not retreat from using them.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Are you talking primarily about electoral rights? Ironically, Bookchin’s municipalism has been criticized as reformist because of its electoral features. (Also noteworthy from the above link to a collection of Bookchin’s essays on social ecology and municipalism is the foreword by Ursula Le Guin.)

          I’m not sure why anyone at this point would hold onto the hope of using the electoral system to achieve the needed radical change. The system is set up so that “nothing will fundamentally change”. It is so inflexible, even brittle, that it will break before it will accommodate much change. And if it breaks, then we’ll be glad for any redoubts that people have established for what they can teach us about how to go forward.

          I also think that organizing in our atomized and manipulated age is far harder and takes much more time than was the case in earlier times. The dominant culture is powerful in producing distortions in our worldview, and Intense and long-term contact is necessary these days to produce the kind of solidarity that can withstand all the tricks and tools arrayed against it. Small communities offer the best hope in my view, and can serve as living experiments in new ways we can live together.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            the reason my list of allies is thin, is because most people i know…even in this far place are either:1. totally unaware of anything beyond the next meal, rent payment or meth hit…or, 2. true believers that if party a or b could only sweep the field, everything would be fine…or, 3. that everything is as it should be…carry on.
            if no one is capable of even seeing the myriad problems, there’s no reason to prepare for anything new…let alone anything worse.

            one of the fundamental features of the Neoliberal Order is lack of cohesion, by design.
            here we are, approaching Hobbes’ war of all against all…again, by design…so a few cretins cvan make some more ones and zeroes and feel lordly for a time.


            1. Late Introvert

              And because I love my family and friends and decide to forgive them for being 1, 2, or 3, life becomes even more surreal. It’s not like I’m going to change their minds, duh.

              I resort to dark humor these days and it seems to at least not start fights. My trigger phrase is when I’m asked “how do you know that?!” with a condescending tone. I reply “um, because I read a lot more than you?” They don’t like that at all. But Putin did too start that war, and Trump is the worst human alive.

    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      The thrust I get from Michael Hudson’s recent writings is that neofeudalism is indeed where we are heading.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That is not a comfortable idea that. Feudalism is the system that came together when the Roman Empire finally collapsed and a lot of the local machinery of Roman government became part of the feudal system. Neofeudalism implies what will remain when the present collapses after the Jackpot.

        1. Wukchumni

          After the fall of the western Roman Empire in 476 there really isn’t much in the way of coinage in Europe aside from the Byzantine Empire, which mints mainly gold coins for many hundreds of years, but little in the way of silver, as they must have seen how silver-washed Denarii debauched things in the west after about 300.

          Roman coins were used in lieu of nothing else to speak of all over Europe for centuries, and all the way to the far east. Sometimes an Aureus from Hadrian would show up in India, and if only money could talk, oh the tales that talisman could tell.

          Financial workhorses, it’d be as if the USSR Ruble was still viable in 2132 after their collapse, ha!

        2. some guy

          Well . . . if enough anti-feudalists created redoubts and lifeboats, they might be able to outnumber the number of pro-feudalist redoubts and lifeboats. If anti-feudalist redoubters can outnumber pro-feudalist redoubters by enough, they might be able to destroy the pro-feudalist redoubters and their redoubts in the coming Post-Jackpot War of the Redoubts.

      2. jefemt

        Where I live, I feel we have effectively arrived at neofeudalism. Not a shot was fired.

        I mean, a mass shooting every few hours there and here, but no organized resistant force. Those shots seem so much more related to psychoses related to trying to live in a very screwed up modern world.

        Frogs in a different simmering pot. Stove-top seems to have all burners going and many soup-pans!

        1. Wukchumni

          I’m thankful in this day and age there are no more Fuller Brush salesmen, or encyclopedia peddlers knocking on doors in our shoot first, question why you did it later society, should a stranger come a callin’.

      3. Ranger Rick

        I read Modern Mercenary years ago, and it contains a more pointed observation about when you’d see neofeudalism in effect: when the state loses its monopoly on the (defined as legitimate, legal, lawful, pick your synonym) use of force. We’re not quite there yet, but private contractors are certainly doing their part worldwide.

    4. c_heale

      I think neofeudalism but with themselves as gods is the direction the elites want to take us.

  12. timbers


    Are the Chinese nice? Gilbert Doctorow.

    I would add that recently China seems to have become more restrained and avoided her previous episodes of insensitivity even belligerence towards other nations. Almost as if Russian diplomacy and understatement has brushed off on her. That plus taking the high road fostering peace in the Middle East is a big change.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It may be though that the Chinese will not tolerate the provocations that the Russians experience. So as an example, the US has just sent another warship through the Straits of Taiwan to stir things up. I am waiting for the day when the Chinese – resurrecting a Cold War Russian practice – will send one of their own warships into there to bang hulls with the US warship. Or maybe they will send their aircraft down on the deck to fly just above that US warship like the Russians have done in the Black Sea. Play stupid games…

      1. jo6pac

        I think it would more fun if China sent a few ships to SF Bay, Long Beach, or Seattle. Then just go up and down the west coast with Russia doing the same on the east coast;-)

          1. digi_owl

            I swear i have read the claim that US Navy can go where they please, as Congress never ratified some UN convention or other.

            1. Polar Socialist

              That would be United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the other way to look at it is that it’s exactly that convention which allows ships to go where they please.

      2. tevhatch

        They are more likely to deploy the Fisheries Militia with nets designed to disable propellers in sufficient numbers to box in the ship(s). It would be a non-confrontational confrontation. However, we’re not at that point yet.

        1. digi_owl

          Speaking of fisheries militia. Seems the Nordic national broadcasters has collaborated on a documentary about how Russia use fishing boats to spy.

          1. begob

            It was mentioned on BBC radio news yesterday. I dropped the earbuds into my pocket and carried on.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Are they serious? This was a trope you heard all the time when I was a kid growing up in the 60s. Every Russian fishing boat was a spy vessel and I sometimes wonder if the Russian fishing vessels that appeared when there was a NATO exercise were real spy vessels or the Russians just stirring them.

            1. digi_owl

              Seems so, but from what i can tell it all is based on public data from ship traffic tracking, talks with officials at the various national intelligence services, and some old radios found about a few fishing vessels that the crew and company will not disclose the use of.

              And all of it baked into the same old “they are being forced to do it by strong man Putin, as that is how Russia has always worked”.

              Simply trying to read some of it makes me queasy, as my impression was that the broadcasters were better than this. But over the last year or so it is like they have all gone into pure propaganda mode, where the US world view is the only world view.

              1. digi_owl

                I read somewhere that security researchers were worryingly successful with a honeypot on Linkedin, so i would not be surprised that such a thing could work.

      3. digi_owl

        Not just Black Sea. some months before it all kicked off in Ukraine, US Navy was sailing all over the Baltic Sea. And in the process brushing very close to Kaliningrad waters. Didn’t see anything about in the media until Russia sent out a jet that buzzed the ship a bit too close for US comfort. Then it was headlines all over about how aggressive and reckless Russians were against a ship in international waters.

    2. tevhatch

      China verbal bellicosity to external nations is in my life’s experience a sure sign of a domestic power struggle, in that it is quite like the USA (but unlike the USA, the domestic power struggles have long periods of time between each cycle). The faction backing Xi has established once and for all their dominance, so organs that played up the struggle to build their own power, like the Fisheries militia, are now on a short leash. The only thing I’m having trouble with right now is the India/China border disputes turning hotter, something is driving it other than domestic politics but I can’t figure out what.

    3. c_heale

      The EU and the USA are still buying Russian oil through the backdoor.

      If this current hostility to the West continues or a NATO – Russia and/or China war starts, there will be no Russian resources or Chinese goods going to Europe or the USA.

      I don’t think the EU, or the USA will be happy with this outcome.

      Btw great links today

  13. elmer

    re: site update

    Yeah, that’s nice. Now the antidote du jour doesn’t appear in the rss feed.

    “We’re getting it ready for you!”
    — “The Magic Christian”

  14. Alex V

    Regarding the CNN piece on nuclear technology at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant – truly embarrassing, as Russia has zero responsibility for controlling access to export controlled technology – it is not the party that received it from the controlling party.

    Ukraine is the only responsible party here.

    Additionally, there are zero penalties in US or international law for receiving export controlled technology.

    1. paddy

      cnn, politico, the networks are propaganda voices of the uniparty neocon war machine.

      the special military operation is not ilegal, it is self defense and is not brutal the cabal dismisses 8 years of shelling civilians in donbas and the kiev regime cleansing the stalin created kluge of russian and Christian culture….

      war is only illegal when the empire disapproves!

    2. The Rev Kev

      Don’t forget to watch that short video on that age as it’s a doozy. A classic case on CNN trying to push a narrative that has little resemblance with any form of reality. The worse of it? I really do think that those CNN reporters actually believe that narrative which is worse. That actually believe everything that the Ukrainians tell them.

      1. paddy

        i broke down and wasted my eyes on the cnn write up.

        export controls!!!

        what were the safeguards required of the ukraine staff which is still there to prohibit release of most likely other than national security sensitive information?

        when you really want to control an export you put your people on site with a scif and keep it away from the ‘no forn’ peepers!

        and since us doe has not done any new plants since 3 mile island what american ‘good gravy’ is of value at znpp?

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      It’s a very strange letter that the USA govt sent to Rosatom, given that RU forces occupied the plant roughly a year ago. Why now? One possibility is that the USA will use this as an excuse to impose more sanctions on Rosatom, in order to discourage countries around the world from doing business with Rosatom (but then again, the USA doesn’t need a formal excuse to impose sanctions, it just does it, much like why the dog licks its testicles, “because it can”). Another possibility is that it’s simply a case of bureaucratic rear-end-covering; i.e., a corporate drone at Westinghouse noticed that they have equipment installed at Zaporizhia, so Westinghouse’s legal counsel sent a letter to DOE drawing attention to this fact, so DOE decided to write a letter to Rosatom. Again, why now? I truly don’t have any convincing reason as to why they sent this letter now. It’s weird.

      Natasha Bertrand (who co-wrote the CNN article) is one of the most zealous stenographers in the MSM. She makes Judith Miller look positively Hersh-like by comparison. Anything she writes is best ignored.

    4. jrkrideau

      This reminds me of e-mail messages warning me that I have received privilege information and if I got it by mistake I must not reveal it.

      Sorry snowflake. I am not even in your country.

      Actually, a nice request would probably work.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Not sure what it means, watched a video also of Lake Mead, all that rain only raised it a few feet.

    1. Wukchumni

      A lake 4x the size of Lake Tahoe about 45 miles away as the condor flies, rather all of the sudden…

      It’d be a perfect portal for H5N1 when waterfowl play happens.

      Hanford & Lemoore are the beating heart of Big Dairy in Godzone and not that far from Tulare Lake and maybe part of it, who knows?

      Be a damned convenient vector…

      …stay tuned

  15. .Tom

    > Redneck Rice Tractor Drag Racing in Thailand

    Given his specific accent, can anyone identify where the presenter is from?

  16. The Rev Kev

    ‘Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Catnip tea?”’

    I’d be more worried that that cat is thinking ‘Oh look. Objects on a flat surface. I guess that it is up to me to push them off.’ They say that cats are proof that we do not live on a flat surface like that Flat Earth Society maintains. If we did, cats would have pushed everything off the edge long ago.

    1. Adam1

      LOL!!! If that ain’t the truth!

      Comically and coincidentally my wife has had some personal papers (maybe 10 pages) she’s left on the living room foot ottoman the past few evenings. We have awoken or come home each day to find them on the floor. They obviously were not where someone (one of our cats) wanted them, although I’m inclined to think they were taking up HIS space versus just moving them for pleasure.

      1. Adam1

        OMG! I almost forgot about a definite, LOL, push it off the edge experience we had… It was probably 20 years ago and sadly one of our late cats, but I was planning on baking a cheese cake and put some eggs IN a bowl on the kitchen counter to warm to room temperature. My wife and I ran some errands and when we returned the bowl was on the counter still, but the eggs were on the floor (broken from the fall).

    2. Nikkikat

      I agree Rev, my cats take care of any offending objects on a flat surface. No matter if they heavy or not. They also make eye contact as they are pulling off the dirty deed. We’re in charge around here damn you!

  17. fresno dan

    So reading the news, I see where one young woman is killed in a car after mistakenly driving into a driveway, and young man shot in Kansas City after knocking on a door. With so many people well armed, funny how so many get murdered…

    1. fresno dan
      A man in Texas shot and wounded two cheerleaders when one almost got into his car by mistake, according to officials and local media reports.
      Why are Americans being shot for knocking on the wrong door?
      The shootings of Payton Washington and her Woodlands Elite Cheer Company teammate Heather Roth came three days after 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis was shot dead in New York when the car she was riding in pulled into the driveway of a wrong address. Two days before that, 16-year-old Ralph Yarl was shot and injured in Kansas City, Missouri, by a man whose doorbell he rang after going to the wrong address to pick up siblings.
      I think most people understand how dangerous cheerleaders can be…. danger is ever present

      1. ambrit

        Police are advised to take notice. Anyone in a uniform is being targeted. The Zeitgeist is souring.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Macron ‘working on secret plan’ with China to end Ukraine war”

    Macron is not a serious person and probably the Chinese realize this. One time, he was having an important private phone call with Putin but what Macron had not told Putin was that he was letting the press corps listen into that conversation. You don’t do that at that level. Maybe Macron is hoping that the Chinese will do all the heavy negotiating and then he can swoop in and get himself nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize or something. But as Macron is a bit like a weather vane, he will buckle to the NATO demands that any peace treaty at a minimum have all Russian troops retreat from all occupied land, including Crimea. That Russia pay reparations to the Zelensky regime. And that the Russians give up any commanders that the west deems guilty of any war crimes for judgement by Ukrainian judges at The Hague. The Chinese know that that is a recipe for continuing and intensifying the war, not ending it, so Macron has no hope of trying to get himself involved here.

    1. .Tom

      If The Telegraph is announcing Macron’s secret involvement in this secret plan then there isn’t secret. So I guess either the article is the “diplomats” giving the press the go ahead to treat him as a cowardly appeaser or its an appeal to the “diplomats” to apply the pressure needed to stop him.

    2. nippersdad

      The Russians had determined early on in their meetings with him that Macron was just a puffed up time waster. I doubt that the Chinese have any illusions as to the utility of his input. That they put up with him at all may just be a nod at such as Von der Leyen and Baerbock that real diplomacy is not solely composed of insults.

  19. jo6pac

    I’m happy to report the nasty pop up is gone:-) Thanks to NC IT nice people.

    Then again I have stupid thing from google and others saying I’m under attack at google. It’s not my problem.

    1. tevhatch

      I believe this is Google, perhaps with NSA, working to get you to reveal more information as part of getting back access.

  20. Adam1

    L’affaire Leaker

    The moment they said he was a 21 year old National Guardsmen I knew something didn’t smell right. How does someone that young acquire that kind of clearance? And I agree, being able to walk out with the documents or any recordings of them should have been next to impossible and for a weekend warrior even further than next to impossible.

    I have a friend who works for a satellite manufacturer – like one who makes sensitive government satellites. Up until a couple years ago he never owned a mobile phone beyond the dumbest of phones. Why, well because it had to be an approved item to take it into the building he worked in which meant it had to be proven that it could in NO WAY record or photograph anything. No item of any recording capability was allowed IN or OUT and your materials are search entering and leaving every time.

    Even today now that he has a smart phone, it stays locked in his car all day because he’s not allowed to bring it into the building.

    If Teixeira did post them, I’m inclined to bet someone else is responsible for him having them.

    1. Procopius

      The kid joined the Air National Guard in 2019. He got sent to Technical School. Last year he got called up to federal service, probably for one or two years. He’s a “computer technician.” I presume he repairs the computers in the Air Force’s networks. I’ll bet he had a lot of unsupervised time, when he was left to work on his own. My suspicion is he had enough unsupervised access to classified equipment that he browsed through a lot of classified stuff, just like Chelsea Manning did. My suspicion is he printed stuff out without anyone noticing, folded it up and took it home, and then photographed it and posted it. Apparently he first started the posting eight months or more ago, and none of his friends notified anyone. A couple of months ago one of his friends copied a bunch of the documents he’d posted and further posted them to another site, where they sat unnoticed for at least one month. Finally, somebody noticed them. I can’t believe how seriously people are taking this. There is so much stuff classified now that there are people who don’t take it seriously. Even when I was on active duty forty years ago Secret material was mostly no more important than For Official Use Only (which wasn’t even a classification). Clearly the same thing is now true of Top Secret material.

  21. dingusansich

    On some subjects I disagree with Larry Johnson—climate change, the 2020 election—but I consider him witty and insightful, and I respect his experience and expertise. Given his professional background, it can’t be easy to concede he might’ve been overly confident and hasty, leading to erroneous conclusions. I’m favorably impressed by his willingness to alter his position.

    It’s perhaps worth ironically noting that the vehemence of assertion on this matter actually parallels the story of young Jack and his Discord. By that account he spilled beans he oughtn’t have pocketed in his determination to win an online argument. Similar riling and overconfidence not uncommonly seen in precincts like this one do not make the story seem more implausible.

    One further observation: smart analysts like L.J., especially in the counterintelligence trade, can make names for themselves by noticing subtle inconsistencies. It’s a valuable skill, but it has downsides. Simple stories may be discarded in favor of elaborate explanations, with what is known, or thought to be known, fitted to accommodate them. Egos based on an ability to pick up on telling clues may end up insisting there’s more than meets the eye in cases where what you see is what you get.

    Knowledge is power, Scott Ritter likes to say, but as Mark Twain wryly and rightly said, sometimes what gets you in trouble ain’t what you know but what you know that ain’t so.

    1. nippersdad

      Ray McGovern of VIPS*, one in whom I have a great deal more confidence than Johnson, has said the same thing**; that there was no way that such signals could have come through that site. If there has been a change in procedure, it must have been fairly recent. Both of them have good contacts, and that this would suddenly come up AFTER they had made their points in public is…..interesting.



      1. dingusansich

        In an acronymic word, JWICS.

        I’ve seen the Ray McGovern interview. In the end he may be proven right. However the categorical denial about means and mechanisms for the moment looks to be wrong, which his VIPS colleague Johnson now concedes.

        But that’s not the reason for my reply. It’s to amend my clumsy quotation of Twain. It should’ve been what gets you in trouble ain’t what you don’t know. Now I feel better.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      “What gets you in trouble ain’t what you know but what you know that ain’t so.”

      To know without knowing is best.
      Not knowing without knowing it is sick.

      Tao te Ching #71 (Le Guin rendition)

  22. tevhatch

    Arsonist ex-Ukrainian government minister assisted Canadian government-funded Nazi propaganda bus tour

    ATIP requests and an interview with Ukrainian economist Roman Gubriienko have revealed that a Canadian government-funded program spreading Nazi propaganda enlisted an arsonist and ex-Ukrainian government minister to assist it.

    The Canadian federal and Ontario provincial government poured millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars into a bus tour which spread a myth from Ukrainian Nazi collaborators about a supposed genocide committed by the Soviet Union (prior to industrialization and the Second World War) to Canadian schoolchildren. Notably, Chrystia Freeland, known for her familial ties with Ukrainian Nazi collaborators as well, had been spreading said propaganda with Stephan Kubiv.

  23. TimH

    On “…charges 4 Americans, 3 Russians in election discord case”.

    The charges are not on the speech, but being agents of the Russian government within the US without providing prior notification to the Attorney General.

    Essentially unlicensed lobbyists.

  24. Wukchumni

    We’re #1 (holds up oversized foam hand with 1 digit extended)

    I credit growing up in the worst smog ever in LA in the 1960’s and 70’s with granting me pollution superpowers to be able to withstand anything, call me:


    p.s. it doesn’t seem that bad here, but once you get above the smog line @ 9k and look down where you live, it’s tantamount to a really dirty snow globe.

    Gonna go create more smog by doing a burn pile, just doing my particulate.

    Poor air quality affects everyone, but seniors, children, and people with lung disease are the most affected. Since California is the most populated state in the US, it is easy to see why many of the cities in the state rank amongst the highest for poor air quality. The air is more polluted in California than in other states due to many factors. For example, the significant port industry, a population of 39 million, diesel trucks, agriculture, significant emissions from traffic, and domestic emissions. However, one of the primary causes is environmental. When California experiences severe wildfires, the mountainous terrain traps the smoke and pollution. In addition, its warm climate contributes to ozone formation, which is an additional challenge to their air quality. But what California town has the state’s worst air quality? Unfortunately, this title goes to Three Rivers, California.

  25. Jason Boxman

    The outrages continue; Along with Walgreens going dark, NC (state) COVID dashboard is dumbed down, just showing some totals graphs, no detailed variant information is provided any longer.

    I guess odious “community levels” from CDC is also absent, so there’s that. But probably not for the reasons we’d want, it’s murderous inaccuracy, but to further burry the Pandemic with all the bodies we’ve already dumped into a mass grave.

    This year is the most dangerous year yet. Meanwhile XBB1.16 is picking up steam.

    Stay safe out there!

  26. Tom Stone

    I wonder how many criminal and radical organizations across the World have learned that you can build good quality 9 MM Submachine guns in a spare bedroom for less than $300 apiece for the first run.
    With costs dropping to about $200 including energy costs and rent.
    Wholesaling these at $500-$600 each shouldn’t be a problem…
    The capital cost of building 45 of these with 5 magazines each would be about $3K which gives these small businesspeople a nice profit margin.
    Everything needed can be bought OTC in any major city in the world.
    If you live in the UK or OZ and are thankful that your countries crazies and criminals have a hard time getting their hands on firearms, that has changed.
    2 low end 3 D printers, 3 5 gallon plastic buckets, copper wire, 9 volt batteries, Kosher table salt, polymer printing material and an 8×10 room with two electric outlets and you are in business…
    It’s going to be an interesting decade…

  27. Wukchumni

    T. rex skeleton sells for more than $6m BBC Kevin W: “Indiana Jones – ‘It belongs in a museum!’”

    When I was granted teenagerhood, who comes along but the whuh whuh neeee neeee waaaaaah waaaaah Six Million Man.

    It seemed like all the money in the world @ the time…

    If only the dinosaurs knew that any one of them could be worth so much in the afterlife, well, that makes the impact and subsequent extinction all worth it.

  28. Randy

    Simplicius The Thinker sent an email the other day titled:

    “John Bolton Declares Total War on Russia”

    It concerns an interview Bolton gave to the Wall Street Journal published 4/12/23.
    In this article Bolton states: “Third, after Ukraine wins its war with Russia, we must aim to split the Russia-China axis.”

    He is a batshit crazy liar or he is batshit crazy and stupid, I would say both.

    I’m really surprised nobody at NC spotted or mentioned this interview, or maybe I just missed it.

      1. rowlf

        Are you talking to us or the media? (No slights intended.)

        1 Maybe they needed to fill in the space between advertisements.

        2 I always thought the same about Oliver North. The dude is a nutcase and should be shunned.

  29. fresno dan
    Today, U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01) introduced a Privileged Resolution of Inquiry, forcing President Joe Biden to transmit to the House of Representatives copies of any and all documents outlining plans for military assistance to Ukraine. Additionally, the resolution directs Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to disclose the number of United States Armed Forces, including special operators, deployed to Ukraine without Congressional authority.
    I think the uniparty thinks all this stuff should be done without congress. Simply put, congress only gets in the way of waging war, and Americans shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about it.

    1. Wukchumni

      Why did the chicken cross the road in Kyiv?

      To warn the people on the other side that the sky was falling.

  30. Wukchumni

    Mountain roads took a pounding from the relentless atmospheric rivers, and Hwy 33 out of Ojai is closed and will be for some time, as the damage is daunting, and I daresay maybe worse than what we have to reckon with here in Sequoia NP.

    I was told by an NPS majordomo here that they are having a difficult time finding stone, as there are many other wrecked roads all over the state where roads were undermined by water.

    Kind of ironic as there’s a fair amount of granite boulders around these parts…

    State Route 33 – Storm Damage 2023

  31. Another Scott

    I read this article yesterday about the political influence of the wind industry in Massachusetts and Washington. While much of the concern over fishermen is likely from people who don’t like wind power, the article makes a very strong case that their concerns aren’t really being taken seriously because they lack the political connections of the wind industry.

    For me this is the money quote:
    “Beaudreau’s potential conflicts of interest dwarf those of David Bernhardt, a former fossil fuels lobbyist who served as deputy secretary and secretary of the Interior Department in the Trump administration. Bernhardt has said he carried a list of 22 former clients with him so he could avoid conflicts. In Beaudreau’s financial disclosures, he reported working for 35 clients during the Trump administration, including 10 companies with offshore wind developments.”

    There is a massive revolving door between the wind and solar industries and the Democratic administration. The revolving door is a problem in and of itself, the specific industry benefiting from it doesn’t matter, but big money Democrats see otherwise. Specific to wind, this means that means that concerns about workers tend to take a backseat and alternate solutions, namely radical conservation will not be discussed. In addition, both Avangrid and Osted (the largest players in off-shore wind in the Northeast) are foreign-owned, which almost certainly would have had a prominent role in articles and publicity had the development been for an industry favored by something the liberals don’t like.

    The article does not mention is that Avangrid is trying to back out of a fixed-price contract because it did a poor job predicting future costs and can no longer make as much money. After all, corporate and executive profits must come first for neoliberals and never be questioned.

  32. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    Corruption in Ukraine? That’s false information, according to Facebook. After posting a link to the Seymour Hersch article Trading With The Enemy I now have this warning covering it:

    False information
    Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact. You can choose whether to see it.

    So not only is Hersch being ignored, once again, his work is actively being blocked by one of the largest social media platforms in the world.

  33. Lou Anton

    No more on-screen pop-up, thanks! Starting to think keeping a website experience nice is akin to keeping ants out of your home. You do everything you can to keep them out, but those [generally harmless, but definitely annoying] pests always find a way in.

    1. Wukchumni

      Rupert made his money pandering to Dominionists and then lost it to Dominion, is there not a God?

  34. Mark Hessel

    Pop Up Ads

    I highly recommend Firefox. It does a good job in this respect. Since it’s not affiliated with
    Google, Microsoft or Apple; I feel better about using it. Many of my IT compatriots were using it
    many years ago because of this fact.

  35. Joe Renter

    I heard year back that Rupert was an official card-carrying member of the “black hats”, consciously propagating evil. With so many billionaires and greed and power mongers he must have lots of company. Their plans will not succeed. Perhaps I might live long enough to see things turn around.

  36. .Tom

    What does the FT say about the SNP? Is it a summary of what we already knew or does it offer new information?

    1. paul

      I don’t think it adds any new information at all.

      If anything it underplays the smouldering wreckage the former first minister and her ‘husband’ bequeathed Yousuf (basically a poisoned chalice with a turd floating floating on top), and his total unsuitability for the both the task of reforming the party and holding any office with anything approaching competence.

      The increasingly corpulent westminster wing of the party has around 40 days to find auditors before their precious short money is cutoff, which must be very concerning to them, especially yousuf’s former assistant, who he was very close to before she miraculously became an MP.

      The article does seem to favour the convenient fiction that the existing party has even vague ambitions towards independence,

  37. Dadeville East

    RE: Age of new Psy Ops – Who is behind the U intelligence leaks? “. . . the story about Teixeira still really does not add up. National Guardsmen who have not been called to active duty work only one weekend a month. It’s hard to see how he could have anything more than a bare minimum grasp of the systems.”

    It’s been reported that In October 2021 Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira was called up to active duty in October 2021. Since May 2022 he worked “. . . in the 102nd Intelligence Wing based at Otis Air Force Base in Cape Cod, Mass., since May 2022. Teixeira’s step-father and step-brother appear to have worked at the same military base.” Elsewhere “. . . Officials say Teixeira worked in the 102nd Intelligence Wing based at Otis Air Force Base in Cape Cod, Mass. . . . . The unit’s job is [was?[ to provide worldwide intelligence for combat support and homeland security.” What Teixeira’s tasks, how, if he did, got access to the classified and his work status (full-time or part-time) hasn’t been specified.

    In the charging document ( THE following is noted:\

    In addition to TEIXEIRA’s Top Secret clearance,he maintained sensitive compartmented access (SCI) to other highly classified programs. He has also had this access since 2021. The Government Document posted on Social Media Platform was accessible to TEIXEIRA by virtue of his employment with USANG. According to a U.S. Government Agency,which has access to logs of certain documents TEIXEIRA accessed,TEIXEIRA accessed the Government Document in February 2023,approximately one day before User 1 (on Teixeira’s network) reposted the information on the Internet. User 1 told the FBI that the information he reposted was originally posted on Server 1 by the individual using the Subject (Teixeira’s) Username


    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Thanks so much for this. I had not relied on Johnson before as a major source. Due to being at a particularly bad time with settling the estate (unhelpful brothers finally coming to take their stuff; more emptying out after I was sure they’d taken anything they wanted; pulling up carpet and screening of hardwood floors; some painting; friends coming from out of state to help with clearing out and staging) I have not been able to do critical basics as I normally would….like reading the charging doc.

      So thanks for this important correction. I am very embarrassed by this lapse.

      Having said that, the statement about access contradicts what the IT/analytic contact of mine, who has been working at the DoD and earlier another three letter agency for much longer than Teixeira, and has clearances above Top Secret. Specifically, for documents on JWICS, you need not just to have a clearance for that level of record (“access”) but also a specific “need to know” approval of some sort, and my impression from him is these are not issued on a blanket basis to low level types like Teixiera or even middle level staffers/analysts (ie, it’s only the very top people who would). But I will try to clarify that.

      In other words, I got the weekend stuff wrong based on bad information, but it still does not make sense that he was able to get these docs. I will check with my contact who is current.

      1. Grebo

        The New York Times says Teixeira was a ‘computer network technician, or a “cybertransport systems journeyman.”’ That could mean he was responsible for plugging in the cables, or it could mean he had much broader access than a normal user.

  38. playon

    I wonder how likely it is that we may see some kind of covert or overt military operation in Mexico under the guise of the war on drugs/cartels? USA is not happy with AMLO.

  39. Willow

    Given Pentagon deployed the Streisand effect to these leaks with great success suggests they wanted these documents out there. Or a least a key set of documents imbedded within relating to Russia’s strength & how much Ukraine has been gutted (and NATO inventories). My reading is that the Pentagon is shit scared Biden & State Dept are going to escalate things and have US troops in Ukraine. Possibly by pushing Poland to make a stupid move first.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i think theres definitely a lot of factionalism among the PTB atm(lol), but given the wall to wall chaos and crazy, its difficult to parse just who is what.
      (and :Latoc Willow?)

    2. eg

      This essentially remains my interpretation until falsifying evidence emerges — the ground is being softened for the “shock horror” revelation that Ukraine is not “winning.”

  40. some guy

    If Ralph Nader is correct about . . . ” Democratic majority on Postal Board of Governors is not firing Trump appointee Louis DeJoy, bringing misery to postal customers.” . . . the hatred many people have for the Democrats is understandable. The Democratic majority on that Board is probably all DLC/Third Way-type Clintobamacrats who were appointed by the DLC/Third Way-type Clintobamacrats who have owned and run the Party ever since Alan From and the DLC itself.

    The DLC Democrats on the Board probably share the establishment goal to stealth-abolish the Postal Service by degrading it till it can be separated into profitably privatizable pieces and non-profitable pieces to discard.

    If Newer Deal Democrats can conquer and purge and disinfect some State Democratic Parties in entire States, perhaps they can plan for the day when they might have their States buy up whole State-fulls of entire Postal Service everything within those States, so they can start an Interstate Postal System within their own declintaminated States. Its either do that, or end up with no postal system at all, like the rest of the country at the end of this road.

  41. djrichard

    Regarding erosion of dollar reserves, another explanation for this is dollar shortage in the euro dollar system, so countries are unwinding their foreign reserves to fund their needs for dollars for trading.

    Remember when China did this in 2017 or so and we were scratching our heads. Same thing. Except now it looks like a harbinger of impending deflation. More at

  42. square coats

    I’m not so sure about China’s move regarding Palestine-Israel peace talks. On the Palestinian side, Qin spoke with Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki, who is part of the Palestinian Authority. Many (most?) Palestinians don’t trust the PA as it collaborates with Israel and serves Israel’s interests against Palestinians. See, for example, this article from Electronic Intifada.

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