Links 4/22/2023

Why elephants, otters and whales are nature’s secret weapons against climate breakdown Guardian (furzy)

Nong Nooch Pattaya welcomes 2nd baby elephant of 2023 Pattaya Mail (furzy)

Demons be gone: inside the American spiritual warfare movement Guardian (resilc)

New Zealand ships its last livestock as ban takes effect Reuters. Resilc:

I was on a screw worm inspection team for sheep imported to Bahrain from Australia for ramadan during my Peace Corps days. Unreal nightmare and smell. I think I have PTSD from screw worm damage on fat tailed sheep.


Kaiser hospital returns to masking amid COVID-19 outbreak Becker’s Hospital Review

Military Pilots Reported 1,700% More Medical Incidents During the Pandemic. The Pentagon Says They Just Had COVID (guurst)


Historic Asia heat breaks hundreds of records; extremes in Thailand and China Washington Post (resilc)

Every breath a struggle in country’s toxic air Bangkok Post (furzy). Rice field burning season.

They cleaned up BP’s massive oil spill. Now they’re sick – and want justice Guardian. Kevin W: “Grab a coffee.”


Janet Yellen warns US decoupling from China would be ‘disastrous’ Financial Times. I had wanted to write about this last night, as yet another example of American delusion, but estate duties intervened. A report at the pink paper the day before depicted Yellen as intending to extend an olive branch to China, when the only sort that would have fallen for her presentation is the victim in an abusive co-dependent relationship. There’s no new substantive action. The US continues to escalate on Taiwan and is planning more economic nasties. Her remarks contain so many points unfriendly to China that it might as well have been written by Anthony Blinken. Oh, and “constructive and fair” is the rebranding of “rules-based order”.

U.S. Cuts Itself Off From Future Chinese Profits Moon of Alabama (Kevin W). Per above, MoA got there before I did. When you’ve lost Ed Luce….

China’s push to hijack enemy satellites could be ‘game over’ for US, national security expert warns Yahoo (furzy). Note our 2022 post: Is the US Underestimating China’s Space and Counterspace Capabilities?

Um, as I recall it was Japan that invaded and controlled part of China for a while and Japan is now a military protectorate of the US. So please explain how either of those relate to Poland’s relationship to Russia, beyond neocon fevered brain analogies:

China’s 4th Industrial Revolution rattles US tech stocks Asia Times (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

Companies desert CBI after second rape allegation Financial Times. Lead story.

Dominic Raab resigns over bullying report BBC. Resilc: “Too funny. Tory excellence.”

New Not-So-Cold War

Stoltenberg reaffirms Ukraine should eventually join NATO DW (resilc)

Relations with West won’t improve – Putin’s special representative Sputnik

Guided and glide bombs: new feature in Ukraine war Asia Times

L’affaire Leaker

FBI closes in on TWO DOZEN gamers in Pentagon leaker’s Discord group – including RUSSIANS – as it emerges disgraced airman, 21, ‘had been sharing files since Ukraine War started Daily Mail. Note the a new theory, per Scott Ritter on Judge Napolitano earlier this week, is that (I kid you not) doing the visuals for top top presentations had been tasked to Teixeira’s unit. This is so stupid as to almost be plausible but I will again run it by contacts. Note I have been getting unsolicited communiques from supposed intel types asserting that things are so loosely run that Teixeira could have gotten the records, ignoring that they are way way above clearances normally given to people w/o many years of experience, and most of the higher-level clearances are also compartmentalized. Given that network supervision was tightened in the DoD and three letter agencies, bad task allocation does seem more plausible than no one minding the store (when that store has lots of eyes and alerts).


US military prepares for possible Sudan embassy evacuation Associated Press. Kevin W: “Hopefully not like Mogadishu.”

Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘satisfied’ with oil cuts Middle East Eye


Don’t Extradite Assange (Ann M). Please sign. I did.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Replenishing Controversy: The US Navy’s New Tanker Program QCaptain (guurst)

Learning From Vlad the Impaler American Conservative (resilc)

Pentagon shares first footage of a UFO over a conflict zone Express (furzy)

Footage of UFOs over conflict zones seen for first time: ‘This is devastating’ Fox (furzy)

GOP Clown Car

The Threat of Civil Breakdown Is Real Politico. Resilc: “I worry more about ticks.”

Leaked Audio: Ex-Trump Adviser Blamed Sidney Powell for Failure to Overturn Election Rolling Stone (furzy)

My Pillow boss Mike Lindell to pay $5m to man over bogus election claim BBC

Woke Watch

Rightwing extremists defeated by Democrats in US school board elections Guardian. Resilc: “Do nothing DNC vs evil GOP…..USA USA as a failed state.”

Wife of Florida drag ban sponsor to host ‘sultry’ performance to benefit kids’ charity NBC

Police State Watch

Boston Police Shoot 2 Dogs, 1 Fatally, After Officer Bitten NECN. Resilc: “Serving a warrant against a man for … driving without a license.”

‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’: FBI Sends Terrorism Warning Rolling Stone (furzy)

Florida to allow death penalty with 8-4 jury vote instead of unanimously Reuters


Ralph Yarl, Kaylin Gillis and other senseless shootings rattle US BBC (resilc)

EDITORIAL: Succumbing to NRA and gun industry hysteria is killing us Sentinel Colorado

Our No Longer Free Press

Facebook downgrades Hersh’s report to ‘partly false’ RT (Robin K)


Who Will You Be After ChatGPT Takes Your Job? WIRED (Dr. Kevin)

‘I’ve Never Hired A Writer Better Than ChatGPT’: How AI Is Upending The Freelance World Forbes (Paul R). Notice the featured boss in the piece reveals herself to be stingy. $22 an hour? I paid my cleaning woman in NYC more on an hourly basis in 2019, and I pay the blue-collar helpers here in low cost of Alabama more too.

Credit Suisse investors sue after facing billions in losses ABC (Kevin W)

US regional banks’ stability comes at a price after SVB’s collapse Financial Times (Kevin W)

Most Americans Are Not Completely Sold on Electric Vehicles Gallup (resilc)

The economics of dating during high inflation The Hustle. Resilc: “The cheapest tiny McDonald’s burger is $3.39.”

The Bezzle

Taylor Swift sidestepped FTX lawsuit by asking a simple question—investors can use the same strategy to avoid potential scams CNBC (Kevin W)

Tesla Insurance Really Doesn’t Want You To Drive At Night Jalopnik (resilc)

Class Warfare

Outrage after CEO applauds worker for selling dog to return to the office Independent (Kevin W)

Child labor returns to the United States: A society moving in reverse WSWS

Antidote du jour. mgl: “Common chaffinch singing in Queenstown (NZ) Gardens, January 2023.”

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. .Tom

    > Companies desert CBI after second rape allegation

    Confederation of British Industry I suppose?

    1. none

      Yeah, I had to web search that too. I guess something like a chamber of commerce. Also, re the clickbait headline “Taylor Swift sidestepped FTX lawsuit by asking a simple question”, article says, “In our discovery, Taylor Swift actually asked them, ‘Can you tell me that these are not unregistered securities?’”

      1. skippy

        That cracked me up this early on a Sunday …. so many entertainment sorts were just like = did you say money for nothing~~~~

        I which I could have seen the looks on the sales side when she popped the question.

  2. Steve H.

    > transmissible cancers

    Excerpts from my morning reading, the chapter on HIV:

    >> There is a short primary phase, with high virus load, followed by a long and variable asymptomatic phase, usually with lower virus load. Eventually patients develop the fatal immunodeficiency disease AIDS.The asymptomatic phase can last less than two years or longer than fifteen years. The average length (without therapy) is about ten years. During disease progression the CD4 count drops (as a nearly linear function of time) from 1,000 to essentially 0. AIDS is defined as a CD4 cell count of less than 200.

    >> Given that the virus infects and kills CD4 cells on a time scale of days, why is there such a long and variable asymptomatic period?

    >> I will present a model of disease progression. The main idea is that the key mechanism of disease progression is virus evolution in individual patients. During primary infection, there is selection for the fastest-growing virus mutant. Once immune responses emerge, there is selection for virus mutants that escape from these responses. This process is called antigenic variation. The number of different antigenic variants of the virus, the “antigenic diversity,” increases over time. The virus evolves more and more successfully to evade any opposing immunological pressure and is finally driven to a point at which the immune system can no longer control it.

    IM Doc states Covid is a vascular disease. I may be oversensitive, but it looks like airborne AIDS, hiding in reservoirs and depleting CD4 cells. With an enormous R0 and a coronavirus-quick mutation rate, it creates immunodeficient individuals who become slow-cookers for mutant variation. Once the CD4 cells deplete, the cancers start growing. And it takes years, so plausible deniability and ‘no one could have forseen…’

    A marginal revolution in depopulation. Stay safe out there.

    1. Keith in Modesto

      Responding to this:

      IM Doc states Covid is a vascular disease. I may be oversensitive, but it looks like airborne AIDS, hiding in reservoirs and depleting CD4 cells. With an enormous R0 and a coronavirus-quick mutation rate, it creates immunodeficient individuals who become slow-cookers for mutant variation. Once the CD4 cells deplete, the cancers start growing. And it takes years, so plausible deniability and ‘no one could have forseen…’

      Considering how COVID was allowed to superspread among children at school, does this mean that in about 10 years, there will be a huge spike in unusual cancers among teenagers and young adults?

      1. Steve H.


        Or as Janet said when she saw your question:


        (and I’d say ‘within’ 10 years.)

      2. Jason Boxman

        This is the grand experiment that we’re running; COVID seems to likely have a very long run, so we’ll know in the long run what the elite unleashed (by rejecting elimination as a strategy) upon the global population.

        I intend to remain in the control group for as long as humanly possible; it might even have scientific value in the future.

      3. antidlc

        This oncologist says he is already seeing “something different” since the onset of the pandemic:

        Kashyap Patel, MD, Sees Link Between COVID-19 and Cancer Progression, Calls for More Biomarker Testing

        Kashyap Patel, MD, CEO of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care Associates, sees something different in his practice since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—not just with cancer care, but with cancer itself.

        Since March 2020, the longtime community oncologist has seen multiple patients in his Rock Hill, South Carolina, based-clinic with cholangiocarcinoma, and these patients are developing the rare cancer 20 to 30 years earlier than the typical age at presentation, which is usually 65 years or older.1 In the past year alone, physicians in Patel’s practice saw 7 patients with this cancer, and 3 have died.

        It is not just a single cancer type, either. Patel and his colleagues, both in the United States and those he knows overseas, have seen patients with rapidly progressing cancers of several types, such as breast cancer and renal cell carcinoma. During an interview with Evidence-Based Oncology™(EBO), Patel said several did not even have time to receive treatment and died within weeks of diagnosis.

  3. DJG, Reality Czar

    I am not persuaded that UFOs represent probes or craft from some far-off civilization that has yet to reveal itself to Earthlings. The assumption being that the denizens of a UFO will fly to the US of A and ask for a hamburger and freedom fries.

    The two reports, with pictures of some shiny sphere, remind me of the many reports through the ages of appearances in the sky. I am thinking of the Wild Hunt or the Night Battles (of the benandanti), when all kinds of objects were seen crossing the skies.

    So: I wouldn’t rule out the god Ares.

    Signing off with,
    Klaatu barada nikto

    1. Cetra Ess

      I did a search for “spherical drone” and got many hits, I think this one being the most interesting partly because it looks exactly like the one in the grainy video, partly because wow, also now I’ve learned about the Coandă Effect:

      What is this trend, though, where the pentagon is scaremongering and FUDing about UFO’s lately. Is it some kind of public gullibility test?

      1. Cetra Ess

        OHHHHHH, I forgot to add a trigger warning. For any pentagon types reading, the link I provided will take you to images of a blimp. Sorry about that, hope you’re still ok.

    2. Mildred Montana

      For many years, it was UFO. Then, recently, it became UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena). Now, bizarrely, it’s Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena. Which is just stupid since “anomalies” can occur anywhere on this planet: in the oceans, on land, or in the atmosphere.

      I can’t keep up with the government jargon anymore. Does it hold long meetings for the sole purpose of naming things? And to what end?

      1. Steven A

        During my 36-year career in government, both as active duty military and civil service, I noticed early on the tendency to add syllables to titles and descriptions. This had the effect of changing something easily understood into something obscure. Example: during my tour in Vietnam as an Air Force intelligence analyst we compiled a daily Ground Fire Report (four syllables), which was a list of all incidents of aircraft that were shot at. I believe even my mother would have known what it meant. One day it became the “Anti-Aircraft Reaction Report” (nine syllables). That drew a lot of “what the hell does that mean?” type questions.

        In the example above we can see a progression of obfuscation from “unidentified flying object” (nine syllables) to “unidentified aerial phenomena” (twelve syllables) to “unidentified anamalous phenomena” (thirteen syllables).

        To answer your question, Mildred Montana, they don’t need long meetings to [re]name things; believe it or not, this kind of jargon actually makes sense in the institutional dialects that pervade almost every government office. For those of us on the outside it is just that, jargon.

        George Carlin gives a masterful explanation of these phenomena (pun intended).

        Can anybody guess what an “aerodynamic personnel decelerator” is? (Yes, that was once considered.)

    3. The Rev Kev

      How do we know that that video was not simply of a Chinese weather balloon as seen from above being pushed by some very fast winds?

  4. flora

    re: Military Pilots Reported 1,700% More Medical Incidents During the Pandemic. The Pentagon Says They Just Had COVID (guurst)

    We know they all had the experimental medicine dose. Take it or you’re out. No one seems interested in exploring that as a possible factor.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If the US military cannot even meet their annual recruiting goals by tens of thousands of people, then how are they going to recruit the replacements for all those military pilots as they gradually get too sick to fly? You can train a very basic infantryman in about four months. A military pilot takes several years of training before they are at a standard where they are ready to be part of a squadron.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The plan has been to remove humans from the OODA loop altogether. So the “drones” will be operated, and in time designed and eventually constructed, by AI “entities.” What could possibly go wrong?

          Already it’s drone against drone in Ukraine, and the Natsis are deploying chemical weapons too. How the world whimpers to its end, with a whir of rotors and a little pop…

      1. wilroncanada

        Ah, Rev. There were headline reports today on the morning and noon newscasts (Global. I think) that Russia has begun a recruiting drive for their military because , it has been reported, they’ve lost “thousand upon thousands” of wounded and killed in their war against “Ukraine.”

      2. scott s.

        Recruiting aviators is no problem; it’s all a question of throughput in the training commands. But might also be worth looking at how many aviators are in non-flying jobs.

    2. Questa Nota

      Would be interested in seeing an analysis of the different groups, separated by vaccine or lack thereof.
      For example, employees of various organizations, whether Pfizer, Congress or others, were reported to have been exempt from the vaccine mandate.
      Others, such as military, residents in various states, and employees of other organizations were reported to have been required to show proof of vaccination.
      Not sure how much truth may be extracted from such an analysis, but starting with some objective basis couldn’t hurt in understanding the playing field.

      1. TimH

        Any findings would be the basis for a lawsuit for some negligence or other, so the analysis won’t happen.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      This is what it looks like when an experimental drug is tested without a control group. The control group was kicked out so, presumably, their medical records are no longer available for comparison.

      If I recall, this same thing happened during at least some of pfizer’s own drug “trials” as reported by whistleblowers. Early on the control group was “vaccinated” because it was just too “inhumane” to let them go without the “vaccine’s” “benefits.” So, no control group. Oh well.

      My read on this article is that, rather than fault the “vaccine,” the military would prefer to “conclude” that the huge increase in reported medical incidents was due to service members having contracted the disease that they were “vaccinated” against. Not exactly confidence inspiring, but that’s just me.

      But since I’m obsessed this week with making sure RFK, Jr. doesn’t fall off the radar, it’s kinda fun to think of what his reaction would be as commander-in-chief to this particular brand of military inspired “scientific inquiry” and “conclusion.”

    4. JP

      You gotta wonder what the difference would have been between the performance of those who were vaccinated versus those who actually had Covid.

  5. tevhatch

    Yves Engler has a YouTube channel where once a week for an hour he reports on Canadian misdeed in the international arena, often has a guest speaker, then answers questions from participants over Zoom or some other similar software. This is a chance to see some of his reporting in written format on The Canada Files.

    Japan and Sovereignty should never appear in the same sentence, except maybe in an exhortation to the Japanese people to finally get some. A constitution written by the USA, Okinawa a formerly independent kingdom, then an occupied colony of Japan, is now a US military base with attached bonded slaves, and even the number of American troops on Japan proper is greater than the Japanese Self-Defense troop force the last time I checked. The only nation more subservient is the Republic of Korea (South Korea), which has in it’s constitution that the US Satrap takes martial command of their military by simply unilaterally declaring an emergency.

    1. wilroncanada

      Thanks, tevhatch
      Engler, like other thinking and acting leftists, gets no media coverage of any kind in Canada. I’ve read several of his books over the years about the misdeeds of the Canadian government, none of which get covered anywhere else in Canada. He stopped in the Cowichan Valley (Vancouver Island) a few years ago, giving a speech and selling one of his books which was new then. The attendance at the presentation was about a dozen.

    2. scott s.

      WRT Korea, the situation in 1954 was that the Geneva Convention contemplated in the Armistice Agreement met and was unable to come to a resolution on a path to re-unification. As a result US/ROK implemented the ratified Mutual Defense Treaty. The US concern was that ROK (Rhee) would unilaterally attempt a military action to force re-unification. The insistence on operational control by UNC or later CFC was a condition of acceptance by the US to preclude getting drawn into another war. In its advice on ratification of the Treaty the US Senate stated: “It is the understanding of the United States that neither party is obligated, under Article III of the above Treaty, to come to the aid of the other except in case of an external armed attack against such party; nor shall anything in the present Treaty be construed as requiring the United States to give assistance to Korea except in the event of an armed attack against territory which has been recognized by the United States as lawfully brought under the administrative control of the Republic of Korea. ”

      I am unaware of the ROK constitutional (1988) provision you reference.

      As far as “troops on Japan proper” that’s mostly Air Defense Artillery and elements of the Marines’ 1st Air Wing (MAG-12).

      Not sure who/what are the “bonded slaves”? Of course Japan lost a war and as a result the US occupied and the US Navy administered Okinawa until the USA agreed to return it to Japan.

  6. LadyXoc

    Re:Taylor Swift NFTs: one part of whole story I cannot understand is why SEC did not intervene sooner, i.e., before many unsuspecting/unsophisticated Americans were essentially robbed, only coming in after horse had left proverbial barn. Is not part of their remit to prevent fraud? I really do not understand where Gary Gensler is coming from. Is it really just all right for a bunch of rubes to be fleeced? When is SEC going to enforce? Why not yesterday?

    1. juno mas

      I’m not certain the “rubes” felt they were being fleeced. It appears some thought they were buying low to sell higher. (Greater Fool Theory).

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Did you miss Gary Gensler did not take office until April 21, 2021? And there is a big crypto lobby in DC? And the SEC is the only financial regulator whose budget is controlled by Congress, and Congress can and has cut appropriations when the SEC goes after well-connected industries (read Arthur Levitt’s Taking on the Street for details)?

      Gensler was also impeded by the failure of previous SEC chairs, particularly Mary Jo White, to go after crypto before. The IRS made a decision regarding it tax status early on. Past SEC inaction could be argued as past SEC regimes deeming crypto not to be a security (the old legal principle, silence = assent).

      Gensler had to proceed cautiously and look like the agency had engaged in a lot of study given the history. The meltdown allowed him to move faster.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    The devil made me do it–

    Just a picky point about a confusion in terminology I’ve seen twice recently. This Guardian headline about deliverance from demons ascribes the practice to “evangelicals” which would include churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, but when we look at the example of such practices in the article, we learn that Brother Mike’s Hardcore Christianity ministry is a church that practices glossolalia, speaking in tongues. What does the Southern Baptist Convention have to say about speaking in tongues? Its International Mission Board says this:

    However, IMB missionaries in no way promote speaking in tongues or a private prayer language. Further, IMB may end employment for any missionary who places “persistent emphasis on any specific gift of the Spirit as normative for all or to the extent such emphasis becomes disruptive” to our missions work, which must align with the Baptist Faith and Message agreed upon by the Southern Baptist Convention.

    In the body of the article, the author refers not to evangelicals but to Pentecostals, who do practice glossolalia, so this may be just an uninformed editor who is conflating two very distinct Christian traditions.

    The second instance was more surprising to me. I watched Amy Goodman’s interview of Jeff Sharlet about his new book. Sharlet has been writing about Christianity, especially the more right-wing politically minded elements, since the Aughts. Sharlet said the following to Goodman about his new book:

    I think, though, that the way we understand the undertow, that pulls people like Ashli Babbitt or so many of the other figures I encountered in my travels into that sort of black hole of fascism, is to recognize that it’s not so much about any particular issue, but rather it is an aesthetic, as fascism is, but also a theology. And that’s why I said the prosperity gospel is — it comes from evangelicals, from the idea that God wants you to be rich. And the way that you know that is because he’s made your pastor so rich. Trump’s golden plane is evidence of God’s intention.

    Again, using the Southern Baptist Convention as the paradigmatic example of evangelicalism, this is what the SBC had to say about the “prosperity gospel” at its most recent convention:

    Assembled in Anaheim, California, this week for the denomination’s annual meeting, messengers passed Resolution 2, which defines the prosperity gospel as the belief that “Jesus’ sacrificial and atoning death grants believers health, wealth and the removal of sickness and poverty.”

    The resolution declares that this theology represents a distortion of “biblical generosity,” exploits vulnerable people and blames people who are sick for lack of faith while corrupting a biblical understanding of suffering.

    The resolution asserts that Christians are to “guard against false teaching, to beware of
    false prophets who come to us in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous
    wolves, and to guard the integrity of Scripture.”

    So you might hear the prosperity gospel preached by Kenny Copeland, but you won’t hear it in the pews at an SBC church on Sunday.

    (Rick Warren–remember Obama’s inaugural–is a Southern Baptist preacher who has flirted with the prosperity gospel and been sharply criticized for it. In this Pew interview, he denies teaching it and calls it a heresy.

    All angels on the head of a pin you might say, and while it’s not at the level of conflating Bakunin and Marx, this kind of sloppiness is not going to lead to a better understanding of the effects of Christianity on the country’s politics.

    1. IM Doc


      Having grown up in that part of the world, and with many family members involved, there is a striking lack of basic understanding of these Protestant sects. It instantly identifies the writers as outsiders who have really not done their homework. I get concerned about any further conclusions in articles like this where such misunderstandings are obvious.

      This is so common in our media regarding things I know much about. It gives me pause trusting anything the media says about things of which I know little.

      Prosperity teaching is a very specific group aided and abetted by modern media. Most of the rest of evangelicals have a very dim view of this. The same can be said of tongue talking and snake handling and end of the world Koresh Davidian talk among many others.

      These groups comprise a Venn Diagram that is very complicated, and also very contentious. The various segments have arisen over the years from vastly different theological backgrounds. As an example, Calvinist Baptists have a completely different background than the Pentecostal Assembly of God which sprang from Wesleyan Methodism. The two could not be more different in their basic understanding of the world. Yet to our media, they are all the same group. Like so many other things, our media paints these people as one big monolith and there is nothing that could be further from the truth.

      1. Questa Nota

        But it is so much easier to lump this week’s, or era’s, other into a handy group to get the clicks. /:
        That is an update on the old saying: Don’t confuse me with the facts. My mind’s made up.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        Absolutely right, IMDOC. Theologically, you can’t get much further apart in Christianity than Calvinists who teach election to damnation and the Arminian Methodists who teach salvation by choice. Then there’s the Lutherans who treat the old question “Why are some saved and others damned” as a paradox.

        I’m still mystified by Sharlet who’s made a good living writing about the right-wing of Christianity.

      3. pjay

        My reaction as well, for the same reasons. These days, I start by assuming articles like this in sources like the Guardian are written mainly to promote negative stereotypes of deplorables.

        Jeff Sharlet is an all too typical case study. I read his book on The Family and some of his related articles years ago. That work was useful in showing how elites often use organizations like Doug Coe’s and his National Prayer Breakfast to network and exercise influence (and cover each other’s “sins” if I remember the stories of John Ensign and Mark Sanford correctly). I believe Hillary Clinton was one of those elites discussed as well.

        Fast forward to a few months ago when I decided to start watching the Netflix series supposedly based on Sharlet’s book. It was a ridiculously overstated exercise in fear-mongering which now portrayed “The Family” as part of a nefarious international network of right-wing autocrats including, if not led by, *Putin*, with *Trump* playing a central role in this neo-fascist global movement!

        Whatever good work Sharlet used to do, he is now just a liberal propagandist. I also remember when the Guardian used to publish good stuff.

      4. Chris Smith

        Agreed. This is what happens when legacy media publishes articles where the author does not understand their subject.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The author did not understand the subject or the author’s ChatGPT did not understand the subject properly?

          If only the author had access to some sort of electronic communications media where he would have been able to research articles from around the world on this subject.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Never lets facts get in the way of a good story. As long as you spell the names right, you’re sweet.

      5. scott s.

        It is helpful to segregate questions of theology, polity, and liturgy/practice. As far as a concept of “spiritual warrior” I suppose it can take on many meanings. Certainly it is evident among some Roman Catholics. I might chide Catholics for making the Holy Spirit seem like the “odd man out” of the Trinity, but they can quickly point out in the Magisterium why that isn’t the case.

        As far as what is evangelical theology, the classical “sola fide, sola scriptura, solus Christus, sola gratia” works for me.

      6. Raymond Sim

        This is so common in our media regarding things I know much about. It gives me pause trusting anything the media says about things of which I know little.

        This has been my experience my whole adult life. But I’ve evolved. I’ve gone from hesitant to speak for fear of being seen as a pedant, to too disgusted to bother trying to disabuse people of the fallacies they’ve imbibed.

    2. Carolinian

      And then there’s all those believers in the prosperity gospel who aren’t Baptists at all. Or, as Hillary was reputed to say at one of her meet ups, “there’s no money here.” It’s a bit much for a society that worships money to be complaining about some pastors who do the same. After all where do they think they got that idea?

      I did grow up Baptist–or at least that’s what my parents wanted–and I’d say there was a whiff of Babbittry, the Sinclair Lewis version, in our town’s biggest church. The pastor they eventually settled on was into golf. Small businessmen, when there were a lot more of those, saw the church as good for networking.

      But fire and brimstone also had some good effects and I can’t recall my country Baptist parents ever telling a lie. Their sense of right and wrong may have been occasionally misguided but they did have one.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Yes, there’s a lot of that in the New Age, the nonsense about being able to manifest what you want. Sorry. no amount of affirmations and visualizations will turn me into an Olympic gymnast.

        1. Pat

          Even before the rise of New Age religion there was an aspect of manifestation in what could be called the American doctrine. There might have been more requirements to it in my youth than there is now, you couldn’t just pray, chant or visualize for the right job, the right person, the big house,….But work hard and you will be blessed, success will be yours, anything is possible in America, all of those were ideas and attitudes I grew up around.

          It might not have been part of the actual doctrine of any church* I attended, but it was so ingrained in the small town and suburban culture it was as a part of many of the sermons I heard as much as it was at the pep rallies at schools. The leap to a prosperity doctrine as espoused by someone broadcasting from a crystal cathedral or a peddler of the secret or even a warped modern American version of Buddhism was not all that much of a leap. This isn’t to say that there aren’t many Christians who have studied their church’s teachings more deeply than what you get in Sunday school and weekly church attendance and who would be able to separate culture from doctrine, but most people not so much.

    3. jsn

      So the SBC is a sort wSEC of the soul.

      Once you’ve fleeced the flock, penance is paid and victims blamed.

      Then back to building the next long con through willful forgetfulness. I suppose it’s always so when institutions engage with the corrupting power of cash.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Learning From Vlad the Impaler”

    ‘The American people need a champion who is willing to be the bad guy.’

    There is a certain strain of conservatives who want to go all macho and use violence to solve any problems. They are the sort who are fine with invading countries on spurious reasons and using torture at places like Guantanamo bay. They also tend to buy sports cars. Maybe instead of looking for inspiration from a psychopathic leader on a violent frontier during the medieval era, they could use a more American solution. How about a second FDR? It could be done. The top 10% of the country might tolerate that more than a solution where they find themselves and their families impaled on a pointed timber post with birds making nests in their entrails.

    1. floyd

      First of all, I’d suggest that many of those “neocons” you speak of departed the Bush admin and are now comfortably ensconced at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. Moreover, I am far more concerned about the Dems increasing use of the power of the state to go after people such as Taibbi who they view as “deplorable”. For those who think it’s fun watching the state monster go after people like Alex Jones today, it won’t be long before that monster comes after you. This from the group of people who speak politely and are so concerned with decorum. The conservatives have seemingly gotten steam rolled by the Democrats…and LOL about FDR – Biden picked up that torch and look how it’s going!

    2. TomT

      After watching the establishment reaction to the whiff of social democracy a la Sanders in 2016 and 2020, it seems like our rulers may not see the distinction.

    3. Kouros

      I have to give you a rebuked here concerning Vlad the Impaler. yes, I am a big, big fan. Even wanted to name my daughter after him, Vlada, but her mom said that then she will impale me.

      So the guy got a very bad rap from:
      – ottomans who were attacking the country and depredating it and extracting tribute in gold, products, and young kids;
      – German merchants that were trying to monopolize commercial activities in the principalities while Vlad was trying to develop his own, Wallachian merchant class;
      – Nobles / Boyars that were fine with subservience as long as they could exploit the peasant class as much as they wanted. Such individuals killed Vlad’s older brother by burying him alive.

      Romanians cherish him:

      “where are you o Lord Impaler…” writes Mihai Eminescu, the greatest Romanian poet.

      And no, given the current situation and current US elites, you do need 10% eliminated, physically. How, it matters little.

    4. Peter Whyte

      Who is this literary admirer of Vlad the Impaler calling a “leftist”. Has that label been as bastardised as “liberal” and “socialist”? and tries to make his point with a quote from Christian Parenti whose father, Michael, is a radical leftist of the old school who in his day caused conservatives to suffer exploding heads. Essay reads like chatGPT composed it.

  9. notabanker

    China decoupling forgoing profits….

    Well, at least the spooks are letting everyone know who is pulling the strings of the geriatric muppets running this country.
    First, we will secure our national security interests and those of our allies and partners,

    One only need look at who is going to benefit from the policy. After 5 decades of shedding any capacity or capability to manufacture anything but a selfie, the US will get creamed in international business.

    Interesting comment about capital controls…. #headscratcher, hmmm. Seems we are pushing the accelerator on isolationism? Or are we waiting for FED BTC to impose those?

    Oh, except for biotech and clean energy. The Wuhan Lab, photovoltaic and battery spice must flow.

    So who benefits from all this?

  10. Lexx

    ‘Learning From Vlad the Impaler’

    With a title like that, how could I resist? The author is comparing the political challenges of Count Dracula to poor Donald Trump? The former a much misunderstood (monster) man in history and the other destined for the same, but both true men of the People? Oooooooh, this was some deep funny. Really, I had to hold on to the edge of the desk and blink away the tears of mirth to read what the author had to say next.

    Not to make work for you, Ives… I could really look forward to more, please. It was like that time I watched an episode of ‘The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ stoned.

  11. antidlc

    What stage of capitalism are we in?

    Report shows homelessness up 22% in Tarrant County
    ‘Not sustainable’: DFW food banks struggle to meet surging need, even as their resources decline

    1. Screwball

      Warmer weather is coming. I expect a very interesting summer given the plight of so many people. Stay aware and stay safe.

  12. digi_owl

    “Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ‘satisfied’ with oil cuts Middle East Eye”

    For some reason i read that as clown prince on first pass. Not sure if it is not enough or too much coffee that is responsible.

    Anyways, that bonus antidote reminds me of a cartoon series i watched as a kid. One involving animals travelling to a national park when their home forest gets cut down, and that didn’t shy away from topics like death (even if not explicitly shown).

  13. Stephen

    “Dominic Raab resigns: hits out at ‘activist’ civil servants in BBC interview”

    He is my local MP for Esher and Walton. Am not a fan: after all he has strongly supported the war mongering, has sanctioned individuals without legal process and Julian Assange is incarcerated. This is all on his watch as Justice Secretary, an increasingly Orwellian job title in the UK.

    Am not totally sure though about the bullying allegations. Modern work places (in private and public sectors) are increasingly brittle even when criticism is over a work product and not personal. When I entered the work place a spade tended to be called a spade. That has increasingly changed in recent years. Some of this may simply be that he has not adapted accordingly.

    He would have been better advised anyway though to write a neutral resignation letter. If you are doing something then always better to do it willingly and not sound petulant. Ultimately, it works out better in the long run.

    We will see if he seeks to return to front bench politics and whether he steps down as MP at the next election. Esher and Walton is usually a safe Tory seat but these days nothing is for granted.

  14. Stephen

    “Florida to allow death penalty with 8-4 jury vote instead of unanimously”.”

    This is exactly the sort of law that can have unforeseen effects.

    During the eighteenth century Britain developed the so called Bloody Code where all sorts of minor crimes could attract the death penalty, far more than had done at the time of the 1688 Revolution. Juries very often refused to convict, knowing that the death penalty would be the outcome.

    With this proposed Florida law one can imagine all types of such behaviour by individual jurors who may be convinced of guilt, not be opposed to the death penalty on principle so surviving jury screening but not believing that the accused deserves that punishment in the specific case.

    Possibly more potential for hung juries with respect to conviction for first degree murder and more likelihood of a conviction on a lesser crimes than first degree murder? Or even for deal making within the jury room?

  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘Michael Tracey
    They claim that constantly simulating war, and forecasting how the US would be best equipped to wage this war, is actually meant to prevent and “deter” the war in question, rather than gradually reify its presumed inevitability’

    I don’t see any uniforms. Where are the uniforms? Did they make sure that they were all barred from this war game? Maybe they could get Paul Van Riper to swing by and weigh in on his opinion. I can see how it would pan out-

    Select Committee: ‘Now we just need to use our navy and airforce…’

    Van Riper: ‘Excuse me sir, don’t forget that you can only do that for about a month. After that we run out of spare parts.’

    Select Committee: ‘We’ll just order some more then.’

    Van Riper: ‘They come from China sir. Also, by then we will be out of ammo and missiles’

    Select Committee: ‘What do you mean?’

    Van Riper: ‘We sent them to the Ukraine so now the cupboard is bare.’

    Select Committee: ‘We’ll just make more.’

    Van Riper: ‘It will take about a decade or more to get back to where we were a year or so ago. We’re running on fumes.’

    Select Committee: ‘You are excused Mr. Van Riper. (door slams) Now we just need to use our navy and airforce…’

    1. JohnnyGL

      Yup…only thing to add is the ships at the bottom of the sea from chinese surface-to-surface missiles.

      Do the chinese have those little fast attack boats like the iranians? You know, the ones we can’t defend against?

      1. RobertC

        Yep Type 22 missile boats. Built 80 with 60 in service. Carry 8 OTH ASCM.

        USN Capt Tancredi (retired) “Bigger Fleets Win” along with Capt Hughes modeling modern missile warfare.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Also Type 24 missile boats, a Chinese metal hull version of old Soviet wooden Komar class speed boat. Dozens in reserve, dozens still active. Carries 2 supersonic (mach 2) missiles, doesn’t have range to threaten US navy, but can be a problem for Taiwanese and South Korean navies.

          1. digi_owl

            Is it just me or is USA pretty much the only nation without such a boat in their navy?

            Are they convinced to the point of hubris that any potential threat to their shores will be picked up by sat and intercepted by carrier group before it gets close?

            That said, i have had people claim that the role of the Norwegian Skjold class is obsolete. Supposedly because it can’t survive long when the shooting starts, thanks to modern sensors etc.

            1. Polar Socialist

              I think it’s more of a NATO thing. Participating in multi-nation exercises can easily lead to “ship” swinging contest among the participants. Not that littoral missile boats are usually even invited.

    2. fresno dan

      You know what gets me about US saber rattling? We can’t defeat guys in black pajamas, we can’t defeat guys in Afghanistan whose most advanced weapon system is a Toyota pickup, yet we think we are gonna defeat a country that outnumbers us ?4 to1? and that we have to travel across the Pacific to get to. And unlike those guys in Vietnam and Afghanistan, these guys have intercontinential missiles…

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Hey, you are being unfair. Those guys in sandals got to be pretty good shots with those shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft launchers.

    3. paddy

      the Japan self defense force ship kaga is being modified, it already has a blow torch resistant landing deck, to operate f-35b.

      ijn kaga scored hits on usn battleships on 7 dec 1941, and was sunk off midway in June 1942.

      sensitive japanese entering power projection for the empire.

      okay for china to sink any ship named for any ijn ship!

      will f-35 have suitable engine any time

  16. Stephen

    “Note the new theory, per Scott Ritter on Judge Napolitano earlier this week, is that (I kid you not) doing the visuals for top top presentations had been tasked to Teixeira’s unit”

    I was in stitches when I watched that video.

    It is as good a theory as any other, I guess. Potentially or almost plausible because one can believe that clerical cut and paste tasks were seen as too mundane to be executed by Washington based fast track critters, even junior ones “so let’s get some part time Air Force guys out in the sticks to do all that… “ Even if they are part time and so a small army of guys must be involved in the daily (?) task. Or maybe these are the weekend cut and paste guys? The regular guys get weekends off?

    Also potentially believable that report creation / collation involved zero “thinking” and this could possibly explain why Ukraine estimates are seemingly just included at face value.

    Ritter did say I recall that a Colonel or some such at HQ would then be in a review mode. In that case, you might expect “Draft” to be written all over this work, I guess. But it does not seem to be. For anyone who is steeped in bureaucratic cultures, that seems yet another breach of expected procedure.

    The mystery deepens.

    1. John9

      No mystery to me. I was in a military intelligence unit at the height of VietNam. Looks to me like the same level of corruption, fraud, waste, stupidity, incompetence, laziness exists now as then. Except larger, with more new agencies.
      What do the French say, the more things change……

    2. Boomheist

      Not mentioned in all the talk about this “affair leaker” is the truth that in nearly ALL large organizations, whether they be corporations or government bureaucracies, in the last 15-20 years we have ended up with a bifurcation of skills concerning all the new software and storage systems, using computers, running things like Sharepoint, whereby the upper level managers (that is, people nowadays over the age of, say, 50) basically don’t know anything about a computer except how to turn it on and read email and send messages, so what happens, is, they turn to administrative support or the kids to handle stuff they should know themselves. I saw this 10 years ago in a big organization trying to get people to adopt Sharepoint. I learned there that nearly all the managers didn’t know how to do anything but, being afraid to let anyone know, resisted everything new. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to use Sharepoint, it was that they didn’t know how to use a computer beyond typing and reading emails. The lowest level admin support people, usually women, knew how to do all the more complex systems – Excel, Project Management Software, Budgeting software, etc – and did it, for their uppers.

      So in this structure, which I believe is still endemic in organizations, except maybe some of the High Tech software companies, and certainly in the US DOD, we have today officers in leadership who are over 40 to 50 years old, many of whom are clueless about anything digital but so used to having staff do the grunt work they don’t even know they don’t know anything, and of course they would turn to a young 21 year old gamer kid who lives and breathes these systems to handle all their work, as in, print off Power Point slides for a top secret SCIFF presentation, because the managers don’t know how to do it.

      Under this view, which I bet is and was the case, this kid was tasked with preparing briefing information to be shared with all these high level security people, none of whom know how to run computers, but all of whom dare not admit this – they give the kid this clearance so he can do the work the managers are assumed to be doing themselves, because the managers are too ignorant to learn, and this is why the kid gets access to all this stuff. All he then needs to do it copy off the files on a thumb drive, or take a screen shot photo with his phone, and they are his to send anywhere on earth at the speed of light.

      It would be one thing if, like for over 1000 years, all documents were paper and ink, made one at a time, which with proper storage can last 1000 years. But first came mimeograph (I think) in the 1930s, then copy machines (1960s) and then digital drive storage (1980s), then the “cloud” (2010s), such that today once something is reduced to xs and os it can be sent anywhere and is almost impossible to absolutely store totally safely. It is one thing to have a SCIFF room whereby officers assemble and then are handed numbered copies of paper documents for study and discussion, and quite another when officers sitting before screens are shown files sent over the web, because this latter system relies on digital experts the officers cannot do without and, as mentioned above, often end up being the digital-savvy kids the officers need to access the materials.

      So my take on all this is this kid was given the clearance to do the printing and copying and such for a bunch of higher-ups, and I bet this happens all across the DOD and in other government agencies, which all the higher ups pretend ois safe because they won;t admit they are clueless as to how to do the work themselves….

      Just my two cents….

      1. scott s.

        Sorry, but if you think the officers who spend their careers in the “two” or the “six” from most junior to most senior know nothing about computers, I just have to shake my head. Now it is no doubt true that grunts aren’t computer security experts, but the idea they have to turn to some random E4 for advice, it is to laugh.

        I saw something that the 102d Intel Wing is one of those USAF combined regular/ANG wings so it isn’t just a bunch of weekend warriors who no doubt spend much of their drill time in Diversity/Sexual Harassment training. I haven’t seen anything about what Teixeira’s actual assignment was, other than a reference to 102d Intel Support Squadron which seems reasonable given his AFSC.

    3. Dadeville East

      Today the New York Times and the Daily Mail report that a profile matching Airman Jack Teixeira “. . . began posting secret intelligence on the Russian war effort” in February 2022, shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

      The Massachusetts Air National Guard of which Teixerira was attached was tasked with certain national intelligence functions. Teixeira may have had direct access to computers, though there may have been some controls, or indirect access to copies left around, taken by someone else, etc. Some of these matters may be investigated.

      A larger, though less likely, investigative tack, relates to the military reliance on young, low level soldiers and contractors for a variety of tasks including IT. Since the Vietnam era the military has relied heavily on contractors, reservists and the National Guard. A share of the actual fighting in forever wars is done by ready reservists and Stop Loss members of the National Guard. The National Guard provides all sorts of training and logistics functions to the other branches and has for decades.

      The Teixerira case likely extends things illustrated by novelist Joseph Heller’s World War II novel, Catch-22. The scope of activities highlighted by Heller appear to have expanded. In other words, SNAFUs are possibly more likely in today’s “national security” epoch, extending the focus of Edward Shills’ concern expressed in the title of his book, The Torment of Secrecy (1956).

      Relying on the professional managerial class for illumination and clarification of things like Teixerira’s alleged misconduct tentatively looks unproductive. Such efforts, however, provide resources or temptations for virtue hoarding responders. Meanwhile, for perspicacious individuals, the increasingly costly efforts to deal with the ever encroaching intrusions of information age “innovations” are wearisome.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Could it be that this kid had access to a computer hooked up to highly sensitive networks? And that stuck to the monitor were the needed passwords on sticky notes? it does happen.

        1. Pat

          Wouldn’t the access to the materials published then be attached to that password(s) which was not Texierira’s? And shouldn’t we be hearing about superiors being investigated and prosecuted for putting their password on a post it.

          Just saying that if the kid isn’t a scapegoat, and I still think that is the top option, the real questions are back to how he got access and how lax it was and who will pay the price besides him for that.

    4. Procopius

      Also potentially believable that report creation / collation involved zero “thinking” and this could possibly explain why Ukraine estimates are seemingly just included at face value.

      I can’t agree. The kids tasked with making the presentation(s) would have to choose which documents to use. Do they use the documents based on Ukrainian reporting, or the documents based on publicly available “intelligence?” Interestingly, they seem to have included documents from both batches.

  17. britzklieg

    I won’t repeat the long comment I left early this morning on yesterday’s water cooler reviewing Grayzone’s latest show but will leave the link:

    I will add that RFK jr speaks to the injustice carried out against Julian Assange. Whatever else, he certainly is separating himself from the DNC psychopaths (and the mindful war monger M. Williamson as well).

    1. nippersdad

      I was surprised to see that he outed his son as having been in the Karkhov offensive, and that he admits to taking advice from his cousin in the CIA. He talks a good game, but, for me anyway, trust is something that is going to be hard to come by.

      There is always something disturbing just showing its’ little tendrils from around the corner with these people.

      1. Mildred Montana

        >”…trust is something that is going to be hard to come by.”

        No politician is perfect. As voters with few palatable choices we take the best of each and are forced to ignore the rest.

        RFK Jr. is not perfect and a reminder of that comes from twenty years ago. Kennedy, a professed environmentalist, used his influence to kill a proposed windfarm off Nantucket despite popular support for it. He even wrote an op-ed in the NYT to that effect.

        Said Kennedy: “These turbines are less than six miles from shore and would be seen from Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket… According to the Massachusetts Historical Commission, the project will damage the views from 16 historic sites and lighthouses on the cape and nearby islands.”

        Ya cast yer ballot, ya take yer chances. Views for the rich or climate change mitigation Take your choice.

        1. nippersdad

          I remember that contretemps about the wind mills off Cape Cod and thought it strange at the time. I remember thinking that every place is “historic” to someone, dude.

          No, the thing this time is that he let his son go to fight the Russians, no one was drafted for this, and now he is claiming to have a problem with it. Seems like that is a tell. If he has no problem sending off his kids to fight in proxy wars of the very sort he derides, then how much difficulty is he going to have as President sending off those of others?

          1. Martin Oline

            I believe Robert is 69 years old. Not sure what’s the age of his son, but he is probably old enough to make his own decisions. The idea that the father is responsible for the actions of his son is irrelevant.

            1. nippersdad

              There are a couple ways of looking at that. We’ll start with the Fatherly one.

              Admittedly I am a Southerner, and am acculturated to what is, perhaps, a more authoritarian family structure. Fathers are always responsible for their kids, and what Father thinks it is a good idea to send one’s kid out as a mercenary? This is not a family that is in need of the money. However old he may be, he will still be shot as an enemy combatant without the colors of his own country. For a Kennedy, in particular, that should mean something. That would be one body that would never have a flag draped coffin.

              Which leads us to number two, the political one. Why do we need leaks about American boots on the ground from Airforce National Guardsmen when we have presidential candidates who are openly admitting that his own family has been there since the Kharkhov offensive? Was that something that was run through the State Department before he made the speech? Was he a member of the Mozart Group? And how does that fly in a speech that is supposed to be largely against proxy wars?

              I get what you are saying, but there is very little about this which sounds organic to me.

  18. JohnnyGL

    Re: “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” Rollingstone article.

    Have they had a look at that diving unit of the navy based in FL? I hear they’ve got themselves a bit of a reputation?!?!?!

  19. The Rev Kev

    “This is how Tokyo sees it: “China is like Russia. Taiwan is like Ukraine. Japan is like Poland.”

    I wouldn’t mind betting that Tokyo is looking at it differently. They can see that Washington is gunning for a fight with China and Japan itself would be on the front lines if one broke out. Even a short war could send the Japanese economy to the scrap heap and seeing what is happening to the Ukraine must be concentrating Japanese minds wonderfully. So perhaps, seeing the obsession with Taiwan, that they will encourage that country to become the missile sponge of the far east that might leave Japan with only minimal damage. I think that China could respect that stance and in fact cooperate with it on the sly. They just trade a few shots and declare a sort of Christmas truce. South Korea may be thinking along the same lines too.

    1. GramSci

      Yves wrote: “So please explain how either of those relate to Poland’s relationship to Russia, beyond neocon fevered brain analogies:”

      IMHO, then and now, the Polish government, like Japan and the British Royal Family, Chamberlain, Henry Ford, the DuPont bros, etc., was ideologically allied with Germany and the Master Race against the Commies.

      Of course this isn’t the Received History behind the tweet.

      1. britzklieg

        Bu, bu, but… everyone knows Churchhill was a HERO!

        “Academic studies by scientists found that the 1943 Bengal famine was not a result of natural causes; it was the product of the policies of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

        The Bengal famine of 1943 killed 2-3 million people, when Bengal was part of British-ruled India.

        There was food — but Winston Churchill ordered it be exported and stockpiled in case Europe needed it as the war dragged on.

        — Sasha Alyson 🌍🌏🌎 Karma Colonialism (@TrojanAid) September 2, 2021

        Churchill himself was a notorious racist who stated, “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.”

        In the early 1930s, Churchill also admired Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and the Italian dictator who founded fascism, Benito Mussolini.

        Churchill’s own scholarly supporters admitted that he “expressed admiration for Mussolini” and, “if forced to choose between Italian fascism and Italian communism, Churchill unhesitatingly would choose the former.”

        Genocidal colonialist Churchill “expressed admiration for Mussolini”

        Churchill’s own hagiographers admitted, “if forced to choose between Italian fascism and Italian communism, Churchill unhesitatingly would choose the former”

        In 1935, Churchill praised Hitler for his “courage”

        — Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) September 29, 2022

        Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, who served as an under-secretary general of the United Nations, has exhaustively documented the crimes of the British empire, particularly under Churchill.

        1. Questa Nota

          Winnie also had that Churchill Gambling Problem. What actions did he take to stay solvent, in good graces of Mayfair establishments and such?

        2. paddy

          winnie had a free hand in pushing the Cold War with fdr dead and gone he organized american amnesia and ran stalin over at potsdam

          1. Procopius

            My memory (admittedly faulty) is that Churchill essentially started the Cold War in 1947 with a speech claiming the Russians had created an “Iron Curtain” across Europe.

    2. RobertC

      I think if the US moves the 7th Fleet south to engage China Russia will deploy its northern fleet to engage Japan. And South Korea may very well stay home in case China gave the go ahead to Kim.

      So it’s looking like US and China are both salami-slicing their path to Taiwan. So far no shooting just shouting and the Taiwanese are beginning to wonder if independence is worth the risk.

      1. RobertC

        Taiwan’s big money maker is worried Taiwan asks US if it could chill out on the anti-China rhetoric

        Taiwan is caught in a difficult position between China and the US. The island’s semiconductor industry is a major contributor to its economy, and so vital that it can count on US help should China invade. But Washington is now trying to minimize its reliance on imported chips by building up its own domestic manufacturing capacity through CHIPS Act funding.

        Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC is playing a part in this by investing in two large new fabrication plants in Arizona. However these are still expected to provide just a tiny fraction of the output from TSMC’s total manufacturing capacity in Taiwan.

        TSMC is also said to be unhappy with regards to the conditions that Washington is attaching to any subsidies made available under the CHIPS Act funding, which may require it to share profits and disclose operational details.

  20. Screwball

    If you go to YouTube you can find a Kim Iversion show from the last couple of days interviewing Matt Taibbi. About 30 minutes long. They cover several topics including his congressional testimony, the MSNBC idiot attacking him, the threat to throw him in jail, and the Twitter Files.

    The Twitter files had a drop yesterday by some guy I never heard of. It was only 14 Tweets, but promised more later. They never came best I can tell. It was the beginning of the Fauci Files it looked like.

    In this interview (for disclosure; I have followed Matt for a long time and like him. I know little about Iverson, so I don’t know her agenda (if any)) Matt said something quite interesting, IMO, about the Twitter Files.

    To paraphrase (from Matt); From the beginning I didn’t think the Twitter Files would go on very long because the material was too explosive.

    Given the Twitter Files now seem to be over, Matt seems to be correct. They are too explosive, and perhaps especially the parts about Fauci. From his statement on her show, and Matt now being a target (he has lawyered up) of congress, it isn’t in the best interest for journalist to report the truth.

    This is where we are, and that isn’t a good place.

    1. chris

      Yeah, that’s about right. If only we could blame all this on demons. Or possessed politicians. You see how bad things are and how much worse they could get and you wonder…why? Why can’t these people who are leaders in our country do something to stop it? Why can’t they change?

      It would be easier to put this on a supernatural cause than simple greedy idiocy.

  21. Mildred Montana

    Re: AI and potential job losses

    Just an off-the-wall thought:

    Couldn’t general managers and managers in baseball be prime candidates for AI extinction? Given the long baseball season, the many games played, and the almost infinite amount of statistics generated, it seems a no-brainer that AI could analyze that data far better and faster than any front-office guy or “field general”.

    Decisions on drafts and trades and roster moves become easy. Same for those in-game decisions to change pitchers, replace runners or fielders, or pinch-hit. All quick, all statistically sound and emotion- or bias-free, all made in a second by R2D2.

    Who will then roll out to the mound to retrieve the ball from a tiring pitcher, pat him on the fanny, and signal to the bullpen as the fans go wild.

  22. fresno dan

    The Threat of Civil Breakdown Is Real Politico. Resilc: “I worry more about ticks.”

    Yet full-scale civil war is not the only danger. Far-right Americans are highly unlikely to coalesce into a cohesive force that could wage war, but an army is not required to wreak sustained havoc and destabilize the country. In a deeply polarized environment, smaller pockets of armed unrest could easily ignite and spread disorder. The hyperbolic reactions of far-right Republican political figures and media commentators to the Trump indictment signal that they certainly do not believe the MAGA fever among their constituents and consumers has broken.
    Astounding. What we are seeing in real time is the construction of myth, legend, and fairytales. To the extent there has been an objective examination of the near coup that was Russiagate, the near coup was not due to Trump supporters but Trump opposition, where the democratic party, intelligence and law enforcement conspired to circumvent the “guardrails.” The guardrails that protected the lawful election of Trump in 2016 were shown to be incredibly tenuous – it is easy to imagine Mueller interpreting the law, or evidence, to conclude that Trump was guilty of something. All major media, a politicial party, and the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus were all aligned. (am I missing somebody – was there any major democrat questioning the investigation of Trump???)
    Reality shows that at least one politicial party (I don’t doubt repubs would do it also) was willing to frame an elected president of the highest possible crime (i.e., treason) to circumvent changing American policies. To parapharse the old saw, elections don’t have consequences….
    I think real republican payback never came because most repub politicians fully support the uniparty goals and want the American hegemonic policies to continue.

    1. tegnost

      but an army is not required to wreak sustained havoc and destabilize the country.

      You can say that again…finance, debt, deindustrialzation, intellectual property, among other things can make a dogs breakfast of it all just fine…

      1. Val

        an army is not required to wreak sustained havoc and destabilize the country

        But it does come in handy.

        Russiagate appeared a novel coup en place and this did require an army of sorts, with obedient regiments maneuvering in every domain of the empire, both public and bureaucratic. That army is well ensconced and, amongst other activities, can induce psychosis in an apparent majority of the population when necessary (hey look a balloon). The institutional coordination was noteworthy over many years and this may suggest a specific structure rather than simply an emergent property of a conditioned population prone to widespread hysterias.

        At home and abroad, when the oligarchs don’t get their way, they destabilize in the appropriate vectors and domains. To say the country is over but does not know it yet may not be hyperbole. Through bitter experience, 85% of the world’s population seems to have grasped this, which is a very hopeful sign for humanity, if we can avoid getting nuked by the exceptionals.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) would be a logical convenor and coordinator of federal law enforcement agencies charged with executing a variety of counterterrorism missions. But both the NCTC and the Department of Homeland Security lack full access to FBI files. By default, this makes the FBI, for all its known limitations, the analytic lead for producing strategic intelligence on domestic terrorism for the U.S. government.

      By all means, let’s give the fbi the authority to search out and destroy all MAGA/Trump scum in every hamlet and burg in the land in the interest of securing the country against domestic “terrorism.”

      Right after they explain why they burned scores of women and children alive at Waco, why there were more fbi agents than actual “terrorists” involved in the “plot” to “kidnap” gretchen whitmer, why peter strzok is a national security “analyst” on msdnc instead of in prison for treason, and why ray epps is still a free man. For starters.

  23. Pnwarrior_womyn

    “I’ve never hired a writer better than Chat GPT…”

    $22/ hour IS a good hourly wage. On the Boeing Renton manufacturing line, new employees are paid $21.85 plus benefits. And that’s the WING assembly line. New final assembly union workers in another building paid less. They have a union. Saturday and Sunday overtime obviously different. A big strike anticipated 2024. The place is a toxic workplace soup. #1 son quit in February on the most symptomatic day of his second CV-19 infection caught at work. Boeing called him two weeks ago (around 45 days after he quit) leaving him a VM asking him if he consider returning. He has not returned the call.

    1. Jason Boxman

      It’s definitely a good wage for any work offered on UpWork, where the competition is global and many of those bidding on work are non-US based and thus can work for less without straight up starving to death. So anyone doing better than 10 or 15 an hour is doing pretty well on that platform, all things considered, and then the platform takes a huge cut as well. And no benefits of any kind.

    2. Sailor Bud

      I’m gobsmacked by the premise, truly. I’m not only sickened that people use this thing to write at all and want to, but it simply has to be a lie that there is nobody who could compete with it as a writer!

      Here are the first two stanzas of ChatGPT’s Kamala Harris poem. I’m not even quoting it out of disgust for the subject. It could have written a poem about someone I love or admire, but I wouldn’t love or admire the poem.

      It shows that the bot has no clue about how to meter, for one thing, though perhaps it would meter and rewrite it if you asked (I don’t know). Second, it’s simply a terrible poem, corny and banal. Notice, also, how ‘pride’ doesn’t rhyme with anything at all in the concluding, syllable-stuffed line.

      Praise for Kamala Harris, a leader so bold
      With grace and intelligence, she shines like gold
      Fighting for justice, her passion is clear
      Her words inspire, her spirit sincere

      From California, she rose to great heights
      Breaking barriers and shining new lights
      The first woman, first Black, and South Asian vice
      Her trailblazing journey is a reason to celebrate with pride.

      Just awful, but yeah, no human could write better!

      1. Mildred Montana

        It’s worse than corny and banal and bad poetry. It’s cultish propaganda. ChatGPT has clearly gone through the records of encomia for political leaders and come up with…Joseph Stalin!

          1. marym

            Many years ago there was a Thomas Friedman op-ed generator. I don’t know that I’d want to click on some old http link, but it may still be out there.

        1. Sailor Bud

          Yep. That’s the part I was avoiding, but it certainly can’t be ignored.

          I would bet money the witless thing would never think or know to rhyme dual words with a single one, like “Harris” and “spare us.”


      2. wilroncanada

        Are you certain it was written by ChatGPT, and not by Kamala herself? Or to be wokie, should that be itself, or themself?

        1. The Rev Kev

          Did you hear about the German magazine ‘Die Aktuelle’? They published an article in which it purported to speak with F1 legend Michael Schumacher only it wasn’t. It was an AI and you had to go through the article to find that out. Schumaker’s family were furious and are taking legal action while the editor got the sack. That magazine had his smiling face on the cover and said ‘the first interview’ so they know what they were doing-

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      Bullshit. You just made clear you know nothing about labor and pay.

      Wage and gig work pay are in two different universes.

      Being a wage worker means you are accumulating quarters and $ for Social Security, Medicare, and Social Security disability. Your employer matches your contributions. Your employer is also paying all of your unemployment insurance.

      Plus benefits is HUGE difference.

      I know highly skilled people (one with a $120,000 a year pension she is drawing on now) who are working minimum wage to get health insurance. And yes, the required 30 hours a week.

      And “plus benefits” means some level of paid vacation.

      And being a wage worker means your employer pays for your computer, connectivity, phone at work, tools, etc.

      And that’s before getting to the fact that unpredictable gig work has ALWAYS gotten a big premium v. steady wage work. Before apps drove it down, the pricing for various temps across a lot of lines work was that you’d pay 2.5x the per hour equivalent of a salaried person for a temp. And that’t net to the temp. With an agency in between, make it 3x or more.

  24. Raymond Sim

    Japan (= Poland) – Crazy bloodthirsty neighbor eternally dreaming of conquering China (= Russia).

    Taiwan (= Ukraine) – Region with deep ethnolinguistic, cultural, and historical ties to China (= Russia), formerly subject to Japanese (= Polish) rule.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        In another fill-in for Jimmy Dore, Aaron Mate does a very thorough job of laying out the Morell story in its full context which included Joe Biden’s clinging to that letter like an overboard sailor to a lifebuoy during his last debate with Trump.

    1. pjay

      Good interview. Aaron has a way of clearing the bulls**t and cutting to the chase. I wish Mehdi Hasan would interview him. I doubt if he’d have the guts.

      Taibbi is much better with the written word, as flora’s link demonstrates.

    2. Screwball

      Thanks for the links. There are several videos with Aaron that are good.

      Amazing what goes on in this country, and what they get away with. Matt and Aaron both were talking about the consequences for reporting truth in today’s world. I respect them both and agree. This isn’t good in the bigger picture.

      I think one of our Naked Capitalism readers coined the phrase – (Orwell’s)1984 wasn’t suppose to be an instruction manual.

  25. Jason Boxman

    On the free pass given to BP executives, thanks Obama.

    Instead, the warnings appear to have focused on heat exhaustion, insects and the risks of trips and falls. In one module, prepared for shoreline workers, the risk of exposure to dispersant is characterized as “very unlikely”, adding that the “health effects would be similar to exposure to any mild detergent”.

    So it was linked to at NC at the time, that workers were getting sick, so this doesn’t really surprise.

    I am kind of surprised that there isn’t a universal understanding that chemicals are dangerous; So I have trouble understanding what kind of background and upbringing someone must have, to not immediately recognize this spill as horrifically dangerous, and not an incident to get involved in, without some kind of serious hazmat equipment.

    But maybe that kind of stuff isn’t so obvious? I knew as a kid that household cleaners were nasty stuff and tried to whiff as little as possible of the stuff. I guess not everyone has that same kind of internalized danger signal about this stuff?

  26. Mark Dempsey

    Lots of things we can’t do much about. Here’s one alternative (and a petition to sign)

    Short version: Building traditional neighborhoods minimizes environmental impacts. Building sprawl maximizes them. Everything from local building codes to FNMA mortgage underwriting guidelines could change the default to sprawl in a hot minute.

  27. Tom Stone

    I’ve mentioned more than once that “Sensible Gun Laws” are about disarming the unworthy poor and keeping the rabble in line.
    This was made crystal clear to me in the aftermath of those Black Panthers exercising their second amendment rights on the steps of the Alameda County Courthouse.
    I was living with my parents at 254 Wildwood Ave 94610, an upper middle class “liberal” neighborhood with a heavy concentration of ACLU members less than 3 miles from said courthouse.
    PMCVille, so to speak.
    The reaction was…SLAVE REVOLT!!! We must pass a Law to protect the Wimmens and Children!
    Long lines at the gun stores as the good people of Oakland and Piedmont armed themselves in order to protect their families from the savage hordes.
    And we got the Mulford Act, supported by the NRA…Which was at the time a thoroughly racist organization.
    The biggest cheerleaders of repression in these United States have always been the Bougies because they have an existential fear of falling into the abyss and becoming “One of those People”.

    1. GramSci

      Further to your comment and to britzklieg’s comment above and in yesterday’s Water Cooler, Omali Yeshitela of the African People’s Socialist Party was a former Black Panther, which explains some of the FBIs unforgiving hatred toward him and his.

      When I was first exiled to Florida ca. 2012, I discovered that this APSP was holding a convention in St. Petersburg, and went to check it out. Turns out it was a meeting of the White People’s Auxiliary of the APSP, with about 15 20-something bougies in attendance, making five- and six-figure annual restitution pledges to the Party. That was out of our league, though we were happy to pay the conference fees and one year’s membership.

      I like Yeshitela. I thought he was a bright, thoughtful guy. I’d make a generous donation now, but I have little confidence my money would find its way to him or his defense.

      Also, don’t miss britzklieg’s link to the Max/Aaron Grayzone episode.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Can’t help but think that Sir Les was modeled after some politicians from the 50s and 60s that were still around, eh possum?

  28. Carolinian

    Sam Husseini follow up praising RFK Jr announcement speech.

    His main takeaway is that Kennedy comes across as intelligent and not a maroon like Potus. The summer upper

    Me listening to Kennedy: Great point!….Oh, no, that’s not right…Absolutely!…Now you’re pandering….Wow, I didn’t know that….Funny!….Oh, no, really, you have a “former” CIA official on the campaign!?…Excellent insight….You’re off there…How eloquent….No, you’re quite off on foreign policy….well, fine speech.

    Me seeing mainstream media slam Kennedy: RFK! RFK! RFK!

    Truly if the NYT hates RFK then time to pay more attention?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Truly if the NYT hates RFK then time to pay more attention?

      Yes, yes and yes again.

  29. Carolinian

    From China’s Fourth Industrial Revolution

    BYD’s 78,000 Yuan ($11,400) Seagull EV, which offers a 300-mile radius and acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in five seconds, stole the show at last week’s Shanghai auto fair, according to industry websites. That’s half the base price of the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Bolt, making the Seagull the world’s cheapest electric vehicle – possibly, the Ford Model T of the 21st century. BYD says it will export 300,000 vehicles this year, a six-fold increase over 2022.

    China produced 27 million cars in 2022, compared with 10 million in the United States, 7.8 million in Japan, 5.5 million in India and 3.7 million each in South Korea and Germany. With nearly US $3 trillion in revenues, the automotive sector is by far the world’s largest manufacturing industry.

    Hmmmm. Biden wants this country to drive electric cars. China makes them affordable.

    Therefore let’s start a war with China!

  30. KD

    Demons be gone: inside the American spiritual warfare movement

    It probably works for long COVID as well. Instead of calling it exorcism, what if it was a performance put on by an encounter group to enact some kind of psychodrama resulting in psychic catharsis, like an old Greek tragedy? Could it have therapeutic benefit, how about placebo effect? Its also cheaper than accessing the American health care system.

  31. The Rev Kev

    “NATO leaders talk tanks, ammo and support for Ukraine”

    I wonder what next year’s Ukraine Defense Contact Group is going to be like. Maybe not so ra-ra! By then it will probably not even hit the news due to the Presidential elections or maybe by then the focus will have switched to Taiwan. Just like a cat with a laser dot.

  32. Willow

    US can’t maintain USD dominance without both the world’s largest manufacturing & resources countries outside the global (West) financial system. Leakage of liquidity out of the system will lead to inevitable collapse. US’s increasingly punitive regulatory approach to foreign ownership will also increase resistance to holding US financial assets. On top of this, increased risk will further soak up liquidity by increasing capital requirements, feeding into inflation pressures. Its all downhill from here.

  33. spud

    the only problem with the MOA article is that the average american has never benefited from free trade with china period. let alone with any other country.

    even if a western company, and i say that with a sneer, most major corporation in america are hardly local owned.

    what ever technology they purchased, in most cases would never be made here, they would keep it where its cheap, period.

    the history of technology staying in america after 1993 is quite plain to see. china has it now, and is building off of technology, that used to be ours.

    MOA was speaking to americas elites, and who cares about them if they are forced into making their own here and miss out on profits that were the results of selling out america.

    the time to have worried about todays pathetic mess made by bill clinton was here,

  34. hk

    Japan-Poland/Ukraine-Taiwan analogy is more apt than people think, although not necessarily the way people think. For example, Japanese leaders still think it should own Taiwan the way Poles seem to think they should own Ukraine, among other things…

    1. Raymond Sim

      The analogy is quite good, though not flattering to Japan and Poland. I posted a comment about it above.

  35. VietnamVet

    200 US military trainers now in Taiwan

    A picture is worth 1,000 words. The privatization of food safety, healthcare and the military in the USA has led to this lineup of the 21% of young Americans fit enough to serve in the military. What a scraggly bunch. Yes, probably, mostly IT personnel, but still how in the hell is the USA supposed to defeat China this time when fit healthy draftees and WWII Vets fought to a draw in Korea.

    The global exploitive deep state is simply divorced from reality. They believe their own propaganda. The only possible outcome of the West’s incessant provoking of the Eurasian Axis to keep the US dollar as reserve currency is a nuclear war. If somehow the Apocalypse is avoided, this is now a multi-polar globe with Europe and North America inevitably splitting apart unless they finally acknowledge reality.

  36. Tom Stone

    A book recommendation for those with strong stomachs, Whitney Webb’s “One Nation Under Blackmail”.
    I’m finishing up Volume 2 which has taken a while both because I have looked up a lot of the footnotes and because I have had to put it down for a few days at a time because it is so upsetting.
    If you are curious about where Epstein’s money came from (The Tower’s Financial Ponzi amongst other sources) , his connections to the WEF and his high six figure contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative as one of its founders it is well worth your time.
    The depravity and corruption revealed by Ms Webb’s research is astounding even to someone as skeptical as myself.

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