Links 9/12/2023

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‘I feel like a man from another era’: Neanderthal hunter Ludovic Slimak Guardian (Kevin W)

Look into the secret world of numerology and puzzles in Bach aeon

Inside the forgotten third World Trade building occupied by CIA that burned down on 9/11 New York Post (David L). Amazed anyone is trying to relitigate this.

Anti-Vaccine Dog Owners Could Bring Back Rabies RealClearScience (Dr. Kevin)

How Close Is Science to Solving the Problem of Consciousness? Discover (David L)

Turmeric as effective for acid reflux as pharmacy drugs, trial shows New Atlas (furzy)

Researchers gave 200 people $10,000 each to study generosity Big Think (Micael T)


Covid’s new normal has set in amid another rise in cases STAT (Dr. Kevin). In the old days, this was called “defining deviancy downward.”

GM translates:

HEK293 cells are kidney-derived

And WT grows poorly there too compared to Omicron

Calu-3 is a lung epithelial cancer cell line, and BA.2.86 grows best there out of all Omicron. Halfway between WT and other Omicron strains. In simple terms, if this is indicative of how it behaves in actual humans, it should hit the lower lungs harder than anything we’ve seen since BA.1 first swept

New COVID vaccines get FDA approval NPR


Extreme heat is forcing America’s farmers to go nocturnal Washington Post (Kevin W)

Microsoft Is Using a Hell of a Lot of Water to Flood the World With AI Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Coal Use In Europe Rises In Shocking Reversal OilPrice. Not sure why anyone is surprised.


U.S. Marines shifting focus to China, threat is “real”: top general Kyodo Times (guurst)

China Sows Disinformation About Hawaii Fires Using New Techniques New York Times (David L)

Shut out of Western Markets, Top Exec Arrested, Access to Chips and Other Technologies Denied by the US: Instead of being Destroyed, Huawei is Reemerging Stronger than Ever! Eastern Angle (Micael T)

South of the Border

Why’d Lula Flip-Flop On Whether Brazil Will Arrest Putin If He Visits? Andrew Korybko (Micael T)

Chile’s pseudo-left government commemorates 50th anniversary of Pinochet’s coup by appeasing far right WSWS

European Disunion

I am told by a colleague who reads the German press daily that Sahra Wagenknecht will be forming a new party. This might put some lift back in what used to be the left plus will take votes from AfD, so the orthodox will support her up to a point just to check the AfD.

Important. Please click through to read in full:

Europe’s Economic Outlook Worsens as High Prices Plague Consumer Spending Associated Press

Scholz’s “Germany Pact”: A war alliance against the population WSWS (Micael T)

New Not-So-Cold War

Baerbock promises help – and calls for reforms Taggedeschau via machine translation (guurst)

An Endgame for the Ukrainian War w/ John Mearsheimer, Alexander Mercouris and Glenn Diesen YouTube

After “climbdown” at G20, US plans to step up involvement in Ukraine war WSWS. Note this contradicts the reading of The Duran gentlemen, who think that the Blinken visit to Kiev was to tell Zelensky to accept a frozen conflict. Per our article yesterday on Has the West Closed All Its Project Ukraine Exits?, if this is what Blinken fancies, it is just underpants gnome thinking:

Ceasefire > *Magic* > Russia goes away with its tail enough between its legs that we and Ukraine can declare victory

It also ignore that Russia did not stop prosecuting the war while it negotiated in Istanbul.

Ukraine offensive could have only 30 days left – US Army chief BBC (Kevin W)

IAEA sees no problem with depleted uranium weaponry – Grossi RT (Kevin W). The same way it never saw who was shelling the Zaporzhizhia nuclear power plant.

In vote of confidence, Europe parking massive amounts of gas in Ukraine Upstream Brunches with Cats

Inside Ukraine’s assassination programme International Affairs (Micael T)

Zelensky Threatens To Terrorize Europe Moon of Alabama


Thousands feared dead as flooding sweeps Libya BBC (furzy)

Bad Taliban, good Taliban: Britain falls victim to its own propaganda The Cradle (Micael T)

Osama Bin Laden: The First Great Man Of The 21st Century Ian Welsh (Micael T)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Top US Spies Meet With Privacy Experts Over Surveillance ‘Crown Jewel’ Wired (Dr. Kevin)

Lithuania Was the Country That Secretly Wiretapped the World for the FBI 404Media

Imperial Collapse Watch

A Deep Dive Into US Navy’s Epic Shipbuilding Failure qCaptain (guurst)

US threatens sanctions if North Korea sells arms to Russia Aljazeera. Kevin W: “Headline unintentionally funny.”


Energy Secretary’s Electric Vehicle Roadtrip Devolves Into ‘Scene Out Of VEEP’ Daily Wire (Kevin W)

Remember the air raid sirens were staged. Russia had been told of Biden’s visit and played nice:

Gabbard has flows as a candidate but she is a great foil:

The Wisconsin G.O.P.’s Looming Judicial Attack New Yorker (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Twitter appears to throttle New York Times Sempfor (Userfriendly)

Elon Musk has Massively Transformed Politics and Media to Help the Right Town Hall (Chuck L)


Google monopoly trial: Is the US losing the fight against Big Tech? BBC


Algorithm Warfare: How Elon Musk uses Twitter to control brains FrameLab (furzy)

US Copyright Office Denies Protection for Another AI-Created Image Reuters

Investors Say US Consumption Spending Will Shrink Bloomberg

The Bezzle

Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers request pre-trial release citing poor internet connection Cointelegraph. BC: “Lead Trial Balloons…”

Credit Card Disputes Keep Rising at Visa as E-Commerce Booms Bloomberg.

Major claim (second tweet in tweetstorm is false. I can name one study I was involved in that was discussed in an old Manhattan Inc story in great detail because one partner and members of the team talked to the reporter, who even read key client presentations. However, this was a study from the 1980s and most of the partners had some ethics. The rot started in the later 1980s when the three partners competing to be Managing Partner together decided it had try to compete with Wall Street on pay (I was actually in on those meetings, long story as to why) and then later when Rajat Gupta became Managing Partner. He drove the firm aggressively in the direction of increasing revenues. Nevertheless, will have to read to calibrate how far the firm has fallen:

Class Warfare

Medical debt is putting some Americans at risk of homelessness NPR (furzy)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Medical debt is putting some Americans at risk of homelessness”

    In other news, the grass is green and the sky is blue. That is what I like about NPR. Nothing gets past them. Next NPR headline-

    “Student debt is getting worse and cannot be discharged in bankruptcy”

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Well, grass may be green and the sky may be blue, but that doesn’t mean we’re supporting Nazis in Ukraine, so they don’t quite get everything.

  2. Ignacio

    Re: ‘I feel like a man from another era’: Neanderthal hunter Ludovic Slimak Guardian (Kevin W)

    A symptom of decay in Western MSM. No editing or bad editing. You find there “Homo Sapiens” “Home Sapiens” or “Sapiens” as humans when it should be Homo sapiens. Otherwise i liked the story.

    Don’t you think those mistakes would have been corrected decades ago?

    1. Jeff W

      The headline itself is also weirdly misleading. You’d think it was a reference to Ludovic Slimak’s work with Neanderthals but it’s not—it’s a reference to his grandfather which has next to no relevance in the story and just adds some background “color”:

      “My grandfather lived in the Pyrenees. He was born in 1918, but really, he was a man from the 19th century. I spent so much time with him that I also feel like a man from another era, lost in the modern world.”

      And there’s a bit more that’s interesting than Slimak feeling as if he was “a man from another era.”

  3. timbers

    IAEA sees no problem with depleted uranium weaponry – Grossi RT (Kevin W). The same way it never saw who was shelling the Zaporzhizhia nuclear power plant.

    OK, so then Russia should offer to provide IAEA a new office for free, in an area in Donbass saturated with depleted uranium, as a humanitarian gesture to help it with it’s mission.

    I believe Maria Zakharova has the necessary stature and oratory skills to present this gift offer.

    1. Polar Socialist

      I believe Zakharova already pointed out that IAEA was correct (and the RT headline wrong) – as IAEA said, DU poses no radiation hazard. Even if it is very toxic heavy metal and can kill you when digested or inhaled.

      Same, of course, goes for Novichok – no radiation hazard to any victim whatsoever. Although I can’t quite remember if IAEA bothered to point this out during the dramatic events in Salisbury to calm the population.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The US Veterans Affairs Department disagrees with this word parsing. The damage is done by radiation, as in alpha particles, not by heavy metal toxicity. Those rays cannot penetrate the skin but as you indicated, can damage tissue and organs if it can bypass the skin.

        And this risk is real because on impact, DU can burn and/or pulverize. .

        DU is a potential health hazard if it enters the body, such as through embedded fragments, contaminated wounds, and inhalation or ingestion. This is because U’s radiation, while of high energy, penetrates poorly through tissues in the body. Simply riding in a vehicle with DU weapons or DU shielding will not expose a service member to significant amounts of DU or external radiation.

        The potential for health effects from internal exposure is related to the amount of DU that enters a person’s body. Inhaled DU particles are likely cleared from the lungs over several years. DU fragments may remain for many years. Older studies in U manufacturing workers show high exposures to U may especially affect the kidneys.

        And the European Commission:

        Depletion of U-235 during processing leaves DU appreciably less radioactive than naturally occurring isotopic mixtures. It typically contains 30-40 per cent of the concentration of U-235 found in natural uranium, or about 0.2 to 0.3 per cent by weight. This means that the radioactivity of newly produced DU is only about 60 per cent of natural uranium.

        DU munitions collected in Kosovo also contained trace amounts of other radioactive elements, but they increase the overall radioactivity by less than one per cent.

        All natural uranium isotopes emit alpha particles – positively charged ions identical to the nucleus of a helium atom, with two protons and two neutrons. Their beta and gamma activity is low. Alpha particles are relatively large, and do not penetrate far in tissue – they are stopped by the skin, for example. This means uranium only poses a radiation hazard if it is breathed in, eaten or drunk, or enters part of the body exposed by injury.

        1. Watt4Bob

          The best explanation I have heard of the danger that DU munitions pose goes something like this;

          The DU dust particle, inhaled and lodged deep in the lungs can be thought of as a tiny cannon, constantly shooting out alpha particles into the surrounding tissues, possibly for years, and those Alpha particles eventually hitting something important, leading to cancer.

          The first military man assigned to assess the possible danger of DU munitions was an honest man who pointed this out, he was quickly replaced with another officer who understood the MIC’s requirement to ignore the danger, and he declared the munitions safe.

          I have long maintained that DU was an expensive problem, a hazardous waste that required processing, containment and log-term storage prior to someone’s brilliant idea to turn it into munitions and sell it to the military at a great profit.

          1. GM

            DU is a huge potential source of fuel if we ever got our act together with breeder reactors.

            It is absolutely criminal it is being wasted on weapons.

            That’s like shooting gold shells.

            1. Paradan

              Especially considering there’s a limited supply. Like if USA, and Europe went 75% nuclear for their power generation, we’d have enough Uranium for 100 years max. This is one of the reasons people want to get Thorium reactors working, there’s like 1000 years of Thorium available.

              Also congress allowed a fast breeder to start operating a few years ago, no idea what they’re doing but NASA needs Polonium(?) since Russia was contracted to supply it, but that broke down years ago.

              1. Michaelmas

                Like if USA, and Europe went 75% nuclear for their power generation, we’d have enough Uranium for 100 years max.

                Calm down. There’s maybe 20,000 years of fuel if, as GM suggests above, we close the fuel cycle with breeder reactors.

                Unfortunately, the thorium reactor isn’t a great idea proliferation-wise, with all respect to the legacy of Alvin Weinberg. With a little work it’s modifiable into arguably the best-in-class reactor for producing weapons-grade uranium and plutonium ever. See the paper by von Hippel and Kang for details, forex.

                A better bet would be something like the Oklo reactor, which does recycling —

                — and has just got a new lease of life from the NRC —


      2. Skip Intro

        This is correct. The main health problems from DU munitions use come primarily from its combustion in air (N2), where it forms uranyl nitrate, a water soluble compound which is really toxic, mutagenic and conveniently bioaccessible. Having a shill like Grossi comment on something largely irrelevant to his remit was clever, but they still needed crooked headline writers to elide the key wiggle word.

    2. Feral Finster

      TL:DR: nobody of influence or authority gives a [familyblog] if grunts or Arabs or Ukrainians die prematurely of cancer.

      “‘Whether 10,000 Russian women collapse with exhaustion in the construction of an anti-tank ditch for Germany only interests me insofar as the ditch gets dug for Germany.” – Heinrich Himmler

  4. Ignacio

    Antidote :Pair of Coccinella septempunctata gossiping over one cotyledon in a dicotyledonous species, possibly Cucurbitaceae? And keeping aphids at bay?

      1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

        Or gossip. “You know, there’s a rumor going around that Bob has started identifying as a gentlemanbug.”

  5. Steve H.

    > The World Has Already Ended [Jessica Wildfire]

    >> It’s not the death of our hopes and dreams. It’s the fact that we’re not allowed to grieve it and move on. Imagine trying to grieve the loss of a friend or a parent when half of everyone you know won’t even admit they’re dead.

    Since Janet’s father died of Covid in January 2021, we’ve had a parent drop about every 8 months. Janet worked hospice, we know that the one year anniversary is hard, and we never had a chance to feel that without another being more recent. Recently we kinda accepted that the wave of grief might not come. Our world has changed so much in the last 1280 days that it’s several dimensions back, like trying to gauge distance in a house of mirrors.

    It’s been better to assess present circumstances and do the next right thing. We bought a couple acres that feeds the spring to my godsons land and protected their drinking water. That’s real. It feels good to do good.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        Thank you, Steve H. and Keith in Modesto, for the links — I have to say, it was remarkable how closely Jessica Wildfire’s essay matches my own experience.

        Given the level of dysfunction of the US in particular, but probably the West more generally, I’ve focused my energies, precisely as you say, on the things I can do. I happen to live in one of the few direct democracies left on Earth, the New England Town, where every registered voter is a member of the legislative branch, the Town Meeting (if you show up). You can make municipal laws in structurally analagous fashion to members of the Boston or New York or Chicago City Council. This is a lot of power, and many of us have been using it for humanistic and democratic ends, e.g., protecting Cape Cod Bay from a lawless and predatory nuclear energy corporation’s desire to illegally discharge radioactively and chemically contaminated industrial wastewater into it, and getting the Commonwealth of MA to, knock on wood, enforce its own laws; protecting our Town from, again lawless and again predatory economic actors who sought to utterly deregulate our housing market to make a libertarian AirBnB paradise that would have had disastrous effects on local renters; my friends in the Town next door passed a really excellent anti-clear-cutting bylaw.

        I am reminded of the document from the late Roman Empire, “The Groans of the Britons,” in which the Romano-Britons complain of their abandonment by Rome in the face of Saxon raids. I think a similar document is going to be written with respect to Towns and States and the Federal Govt this century.

        But as Jessica Wildfire says — there is liberation and even hope in realizing that yes, we are finally, in significant ways on our own (with apologies to CSNY) and we must build our Towns into arks to survive the rising waters and the coming decades.

    1. bdy

      It’s a strange future to face with a kid. Odd choice, I know. I was “never kids” for 20 years of adulthood until a wiser person said “Is there really a better or worse time to live out your days? I love sailing the most when there’s a storm.”

      Two weeks of marital indecisiveness followed. Now my seven year old talks about what kind of car he’s gonna drive and I’m thinking “when do I rain on his parade?” The prep is novice organic gardening and simple mechanics, which should play out like taking a picnic blanket down to the beach to ride out a category 4. I find myself in a new mental palace, hoping that I stick around long enough to walk him down there (after 40 years of hoping the shit waits til I’ve passed comfortably before it hits the fan).

      The real prep is facing what’s to come with resilience, love and acceptance — building whatever social bonds we can in our little sliver of the SW that some maps say could do all right, refugees be damned. He’s proven that he can make friends in a new school — as the only kid in a mask! Just gotta smile with the eyes. He lights up my eyes with a new “money is the problem, Dad” kick. “If we just got rid of money, then people would be able to share what anybody needed ‘cause nobody would have to buy stuff.” I take great pleasure in not playing devil’s advocate.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Anti-Vaccine Dog Owners Could Mean the Return of Rabies”

    Rabies is bad enough but what about Parvo? Will those dog owners refuse to vaccinate their dogs for this virus as well? As a reminder-

    ‘Canine parvovirus (also referred to as CPV, CPV2, or parvo) is a contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. CPV is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces. Vaccines can prevent this infection, but mortality can reach 91% in untreated cases. Treatment often involves veterinary hospitalization. Canine parvovirus often infects other mammals including foxes, wolves, cats, and skunks. Felines (cats) are also susceptible to panleukopenia, a different strain of parvovirus.’

    Add to that that this virus can live in the soil for up to a year which is really bad-

    1. Nikkikat

      I agree that the worry of parvo and distemper are far more worrisome than rabies. My dogs are never let loose in the yard. I have them on leashes and they are walked. Kept on the the sidewalks. Rabies is of little concern. However, these other diseases are like Covid. They are viruses and dangerous as they are in the air. My cats live entirely inside my house, again I do not worry for them with rabies. This article seemed to want to frighten people that rabies was going to kill all of our pets. I only vaccinate my pets against those diseases which are a true danger. In my situation rabies would not be one of them.

    2. Gregorio

      We used to have a healthy population of foxes here until canine parvo virus killed them all.
      I miss hearing their distinctive yelping in the night.

    3. MT_Wild

      The article mentions rabies is fatal “most of the time” once symptoms begin. To my knowledge there has been exactly three cases where a human has survived rabies once symptomatic. Starting with a Wisconsin girl, the Madison protocol involves an induced coma to allow the body to recover.

      That’s why county health departments test bats when there is a human exposure.

      USDA Wildlife Services administers the rabies prevention program with bait drops and surveillance in areas of the country that still have active rabies transmission. Mostly the fox, raccoon, skunk strains; but some dog and bat rabies as well.

    4. Louiedog14

      My dogs have a wonderful vet. I’ve never had a Medical doctor who has approached her combination of kindness, intellect, humility and compassion. A few years ago we were discussing Heartworm treatment, and that because we live in an area where it practically doesn’t exist, I was considering discontinuing it. Without going into the scientific details, the story is that she listened closely to my reasoning, and told me:

      “This decision makes sense for you, and for your dogs. However, as a vet, I have to consider ALL the dogs. The health of the herd. Therefore, I cannot recommend this course of action.”

      This resonated with me. I work with dogs. I rescue dogs. I love my own dogs dearly, but I am fortunate to have loved dozens, hundreds of dogs over the course of my life, most of whom were not “mine”. In short, I love ALL the dogs. Therefore, it was very easy to come round to my vet’s way of thinking.

      Not only do I know hundreds of dogs, I know their owners as well. Fundamentally, there are two types of owner. Ones who love THEIR dog. And those who love ALL the dogs. I don’t really trust the first type. I certainly don’t expect them to care about the health of the herd.

      And of course, we see this dichotomy writ large across the landscape. I care about me and mine. Or I care about all.

  7. Wukchumni

    Sports desk:

    You kind of wonder if NFL games in December of 1963 held vigils for Pearl Harbor, with coaches and players wearing leis?

    Will we ever be done with 9/11?

    In other news, Achilles last stand went all of 4 plays before bowing out for the rest of the season, and Josh Allen could have been any old journeyman NFL QB, yeah he looked that bad.

    1. Steve H.

      $38M / 3 > twelve million buckaroos per pass. Whole thing was weird, offensive line got worse each play, then got better with the other quarterback in.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      Trying to make lemonade out of it, I would make the following analogy:

      US officials repeated tripling and quintupling down on useless sanctions is like a Josh Allen deep ball forced into double coverage.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      No. 9/11 or 9/12 was a high water mark for the US political establishment. FDR’s “day that will live in infamy” isn’t his high water mark. It’s especially true for Republicans, but what is the Pelosi legacy? Being part of the gang of 8 and great security took trading tips? Trumped up sheriffs, ministers, politicians are going to hide there.

      Allen is talented like Mahomes, but Mahomes dad was a journey man talent MLB player who stayed with one team by per ARod (a legend for his effort) out working everyone all the time. I’m going to guess Mahomes does the Manning level work load and Allen doesn’t. He’s not hearing footsteps. When there was less film and the receivers were better, he looked like the second coming, but he makes too many mistakes.

    4. Bill Urman

      Perhaps a few Bills’ fans would prefer to see Allen doing less commercial enrichment and more in mastering his natural abilities as a quarterback. He certainly has the talent but he makes very questionable decisions too often.

    5. Wukchumni


      Gambling commercials predominated on the telly throughout the match, with both the online variant featuring celebrities, and local Native American casinos vying for the in person punter.

  8. zagonostra

    >Look into the secret world of numerology and puzzles in Bach aeon

    The mysteries of those 12 notes in a chromatic scale, as opposed to the Pythagorean diatonic, and how they are just a little itsy bit off brings “Lucretius’ swerve” to mind…excellent article.

    In an even-tempered system, the pitch difference between each chromatic note…is identical. With a well-tempered system, however, the gaps differ slightly, and are set up to provide sonorities in some keys closer to those that emerge from the ‘natural’ harmonic series. Choirs, string ensembles and other instruments unfettered by a fixed pitch system tend to converge upon these ‘purer’ intervals in performance – string ensembles and choirs make subtle but precise adjustments so that chords resonate, and these deviate from the fixed 12-note grid-lines of an even-tempered instrument such as the modern piano.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Although I am a critic of AI, this might be a case of an interesting use for it. Train one by feeding all of Bach’s works and perhaps similar compositions at the time. Then get that AI to see if it cannot pick out any patterns that might have been overlooked or missed. Anything out of the usual and see what it makes of all his works.

      1. Skip Intro

        ML algorithms will definitely find some more compact rules and patterns for generating Bach’s music, but they will be encoded in a set of ‘weights’ for categories that are unnamed and cannot be explained by anything other than the fact that those are the categories that compactly reproduce Bach-like music. If you open the AI black box, you just see more, smaller black boxes. It is black boxes all the way down.

      2. Reply

        Gödel-Escher-Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid. Written by Douglas Hofstadter.

        With a title like that and some enticing cover art, who couldn’t help but buy a copy and dive in?

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘Lee Fang
    Facebook now has a blanket ban on searches with the term “covid” on its new social media platform Threads. If you search that term or similar phrases, you get a blank screen and a link to the CDC website’

    Imagine being so triggered by Elon Musk that you delete your Twitter account and sign up for Big Zuck’s Threads instead. And then you learn that not only are you not allowed to talk about Covid but are also not allowed to talk about politics on the eve of an election year. What is left? Using Threads to swap images of the meals that you are eating and selfies of yourself?

    1. OnceWere

      Threads is for those whose preferred dystopia is Huxley’s Brave New World – after all “a gramme is better than a damn, I wish I had my soma” . Those who would prefer a good “two minute hate” and Orwell’s version of dystopia can stick with Twitter.

  10. russell1200

    They mention it, but don’t make enough of the fact that the Littorals are really two different ship types. One of them was mediocre, and the other type was just awful.

    They were supposed to be something like a modern day ocean-going gunboat. But they kept lumping them up with stuff so that they got to be too expensive to actually put in harms way. The idea that they would be under the protection of a larger ship is just bizarre.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They would have done better building a small fleet of WW2-style PT boats and a coupla ships that could transport them near where they are needed. Add in a modern point-defense weapon system for each PT Boat and you have something that might be of use.

    2. Lex

      Ex-FIL was deeply involved in building one of those and then moved shipyards and became involved in the second type. Of course it was supposed to be a contest but the Navy decided that both designs were so amazing that it would order both. If you drive between Menominee, MI and Marinette, WI you can still see unfinished LCVs on the river. The Navy gave up on both designs before the yards even finished building them all.

      I remember being regaled with how cool the LCV was, all its amazing capabilities and how it was a wunderwaffen. Turns out it was just another boondoggle.

    3. Glen

      There was a recognition in the US Navy as I was leaving that it’s littoral combat capabilities were lacking. The 600 ship navy built up under Reagan was squarely aimed at countering the USSR’s blue water navy, and with the collapse of the USSR, most of their ships were tied up to the pier, or in some cases just left to rust and fall apart. That left mostly deployment into littoral waters (Persian Gulf, middle east, etc) where quite literally things didn’t work right because the water was too shallow or too warm.

      Having read the ProPublica article earlier, I was amazed that the Navy had not conducted much more extensive sea trials with the new ships.

      1. Old Sarum

        Extensive sea trials:

        Reminds me of that US WW2 torpedo (Mark 14) that didn’t work and the faults were not discovered as they were deemed too expensive to test.

        One can only conclude that the submariners who went forth with them were hardly valued at all.


        ps This has sparked another memory: “McNamara’s Morons.”

      2. Polar Socialist

        If you already know that the specifications for the ship were contradictory, why would do trials to prove it?

        A littoral ship should never have helicopter deck, not speak of a hangar. The Chinese type 22 missile boat has 1.5 crew members per missile (and a CIWS per 12 crew members). Whatever you design is, that is the metrics your going for. It’s a small, fast boat bristling with weapons and nothing more.

        No endurance, no comforts, no superstructure and no fancy 12th generation sensor packages. It’s a cheap, disposable weapons platform relying on quantity and not quality. And by definition, it sucks at crossing oceans and projecting power. It’s a defensive weapon system with a sole purpose of punching way above it’s weight to prevent others from projecting power.

        So likely something US Navy doesn’t really want. So they masked a Marine battle taxi as one. Or whatever human relief helipad duties the LCS did manage to perform during its short career.

        1. Glen

          To be brutally honest, the LCS doesn’t address any of the issues we were wrestling with at that time so I’m not even sure what drove the requirements for it.

          But the mere fact that it cannot even reliably leave the pier means it fails even the lowest of low bars. And cannot be fully maintained by the Navy due to IP? How does that work out in a real shooting war?

  11. SET

    Have you looked at the “New Atlas” privacy and cookie policy? It’s HORRIBLE and VERY INVASIVE! How cab you expose readers to that by using them as a link? You value me? Jeez Louise, I’ve been reading you for over a decade, “New Atlas” takes over the farm, when it comes to invading every possible platform of privacy! At least they spell it out! I’m in California and am entitled to an opt out, BY LAW! I didn’t see it in their privacy policy! Right now I disgusted!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You have a reading comprehension problem. I have my VPN set to Los Angeles and the opt out notice is obvious.

      How dare YOU get nasty with a baseless accusation.

      Plus if you are that concerned about privacy you can use a VPN, or

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I get the loop captcha in firefox, have to use chrome to access

          I am running an older OS that’s getting pretty creaky but the access issues seem to be browser based.

            1. Mark Gisleson

              Mac but still running on OS 11 and that’s increasingly a problem.

              I just went to open in Firefox to see if AdBlock was possiblypart of the problem and opened properly.

              Somewhere someone is aggressively trying to limit access to that site, and it’s an ongoing effort. It’s always something! Frankly reminds me of how the anti-pirate orgs work : |

  12. Benny Profane

    Something tells me that the power substation that Baerbock visited is target number one when Russia unleashes it’s winter missle strikes against the grid.
    And she never fails to bring the stupid. A wind power farm all around Chernobyl. She’s the German’s Kamala.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The Duran’s Alex Christoforou has been noting that a lot of the big-hitter Neocons have been making their way to Kiev recently. First there was Antony Blinken. Then Boris Johnson made a trip there. And now Baerbock is there. Something is up.

      1. Lex

        Nuland was doing a video conference with someone and publicly said the current strategy is to strike russia’s most important strategic assets. Zelensky left for Europe, which is usually a tell that there will be a serious escalation. Rumors are that “Ukrainian” special forces have been visiting off shore gas rigs between Crimea and Odessa. (Note, the one Ukraine attacked early in the conflict is still smoldering.)

        1. The Rev Kev

          That rumour is confirmed. The Ukrainians landed aboard four abandoned oil rigs to claim a sort of victory. Wouldn’t want to be any of those guys on the rigs however. The Russians are not going to let them just sit there and set up weapons platforms to hit Crimea or Russian ships-

  13. Chas

    My take on the WSWS article about Chile is that Pinochet continues to rule Chile from the grave. But the article didn’t include one of the reasons for that. The same newspapers, radio and television stations that supported Pinochet’s dictatorship have been allowed to continue to exist and influence the thinking of the people of Chile.

    1. Benny Profane

      Ah, so, you are arguing that only certain media outlets should be allowed a voice? The outlets friendly to one political viewpoint? Sounds familiar.

      1. Chas

        I’m giving a reason why Pinochet continues to rule from the grave. And I do think if the people of Chile want to stop Pinochet from ruling from the grave they need to shut down the media that supported his dictatorship. No reason to shut down other media that never supported the dictatorship. Something else that needs to be done to bring an end to the dictatorship is to purge Pinochet’s officer class from the military, even though that would eliminate the fascist political viewpoint from the military.

      2. Bill Malcolm

        The US military very rarely leaves once it has a presence in a country. France strikes me as the exception, where de Gaulle booted them out anyway. A long time ago.

        The infection usually starts as a boil, and before you know it, develops into a carbuncle. Then sits there. Australia is the latest and most obvious case.

        Where does the US military budget go? It isn’t cheap keeping these overseas bases going. And if you have literally almost a thousand bases of varying sizes, do a quick bit of math and see what you come up with. The South Korean and Japanese Okinawa efforts must cost billions each. No wonder the pay for the average grunt is low. And if the natives object, too bad, as Iraq has found out. If you embrace them by the dozen, as does the UK, why, you have a “special relationship”! Big fat juicy targets if the nuclear balloon goes up.

        1. scott s.

          Most of those bases involve payments by host countries. Many old bases in EU have been closed or reduced, though probably more accurate to say replaced by Poland/Romania. Also keep in mind most overseas locations have limited real estate so when you count “number of bases” that includes a base for the garrison, another one for support, another one for medical, another one for housing, another one for ordnance, another one for training, etc. Though in Korea things have been consolidated quite a bit at Camp Humphreys / Osan Air Base.

    2. Aurelien

      From 1973, the Left (of which WSWS is of course a particular instance) always saw Allende as representing “the people,” the argument being, in effect, that “the people” equalled the working class and that his government represented the “objective interests” of that class. I suppose this was pretty much my view at the time, and I was therefore surprised to meet people from the region subsequently who had, and still did, support Pinochet. Indeed, whilst Chile isn’t a country I know personally, I’ve been surprised how persistent this support is both from talking to people from the region, and from opinion polls, which have typically shown perhaps 30-40% of people with a favourable view of the Pinochet years. Interestingly, i’ve had a number of students from the region over recent years, and they’ve all confirmed that nostalgia for the dictatorship remains strong, especially among the middle classes for whom Pinochet was their saviour from chaos and anarchy, not to mention Communism. A useful reminder, in fact, that no political system anywhere in the world is totally homogeneous.

      1. Ignacio

        Very much as Generalísimo Franco nostalgics in Spain. Most cases are people that despise people at large and believe that a hard dictatorship of this type is best government always. At some point, it is true that during chaos a dictatorship of any kind helps things go along.

        1. digi_owl

          Isn’t this very similar to the Italian’s talking about Mussolini getting the trains to run on time?

          Thing is though that most of the people that will be nostalgic about these things were not on the receiving end of their terror tactics, and see themselves exempt from any “tough on crime” laws that they hope get passed to go after the “deplorables”.

          The see themselves as upstanding citizens even as they lie and cheat in an attempt at becoming a part of the monied elite they so worship.

      2. Biologist

        Let’s not forget that a lot of that chaos and anarchy was a direct result of US economic war. In fact, sowing chaos was the point, just as it’s been in other regime change operations.

  14. digi_owl

    Them Finns are nuts.

    that is some 200km closer to Murmansk, where the Russians have their submarine fleet, than Norway has allowed NATO “allies” in the past. Never mind that Norway officially forbade nukes on Norwegian soil throughout the cold war.

    I really didn’t know that Nokia was this vital to Finland, that they would let themselves become massive nuclear bullseyes for USA in return for a US FUD campaign against Huawei.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Oh, you should see how Finnish media is blaming Russia for building an image of Finland as a hostile country for no reason at all. It’s incomprehensible that Russia takes this as a hostile action. Or closing Finnish airspace. Or closing rail traffic over the border. Or limiting visas. Or joining the sanctions. Or arming and training Ukrainians. Or joining NATO.

      In what world are those hostile actions? And if they were, it’s not up to Russia to decide what is hostile and what is not… /s

      1. The Rev Kev

        Another twist is that lately they have, with full EU approval, have been taking cars off Russians visiting. And not just cars but mobiles, electronics, laptops, soap and even toilet paper. Moscow has had to warn their citizens not to take literally anything with them across the border or risk having it stolen. Must be more of those European values that I keep on hearing about-

        1. Polar Socialist

          Well, they have not yet done that, which is what pissed the Commission off. According to Commission the ban on “importing” cars to Eu from Russia has been in effect for months, but the members don’t seem to give a s.. care.

          The Finnish customs has already announced that they will follow orders from the Finnish Interior Ministry, not from Commission, and until then the operate as before. If and when the instructions do change, I assume they will deny entry rather than confiscate. Looting is looting, and even if Finland is now a member of both EU garden and NATO boys club, there’s still some decency left in the system.

            1. R.S.

              Yes, it was kinda unclear whether the word used, “Einfuhr” (driving/bringing in) was intended to mean commercial “import”, or any “bringing” of certain goods into Germany (no matter what). They made it clear that it means the latter, so cellphones, laptops and even personal jewelry ought to be confiscated. The bitter joke is the next thing to be seized will be your gold teeth.

              For instance (link in German)

          1. Maxwell Johnston

            Not just cars (the Germans have been confiscating RU-registered cars for several months already), but all sorts of items. These are the actual EU rules, as per a clarification on 8 September. This got a lot of media coverage in Russia over the weekend, my RU wife tipped me off to it. I had known about the Germans and the RU cars, but I thought she was mistaken about the other things or that RU media was being hysterical. Well, it turns out that my wife was correct (I ought to know better by now…..) and RU media had done its homework.

            The relevant EU document is here:


            The clarification of Friday 8 September (read to the end: the final paragraph on the last page is the money shot) is here:


            The EU’s stance is extremely clear: RU citizens may not bring any of the forbidden items onto EU soil, even if they are just visiting tourists. This includes suitcases (code 4202), shampoos (code 3305), deodorants (code 3307), toothpaste and dental floss (code 3306)….. the list is quite thorough. Oddly enough, most women’s clothing is also banned (code 6204) but men’s clothing is permitted. So a woman dressed in men’s clothes should be ok, but she will have to stuff her money into her underwear (as wallets and handbags are also listed as banned under code 4202.)

            Germany today confirmed “no exceptions” to these rules, according to RU media. So I’m guessing that Germany, Poland, and the Baltic Trio will enforce this nonsense. I read that Finland is allowing RU cars to enter freely. I cannot imagine that Italy’s nattily-dressed customs officers will lower themselves to this level.

            The behavior of the Brussels eurocrats reminds me a lot of the behavior of the Vienna Hapsburgs in the waning years of that empire.

            1. R.S.

              It’s reported that the Baltics have already enacted the ban.

              Estonia’s Russian car entry ban in effect from 10 am Wednesday
              with a quote from Margus Tsahkna, MFA of Estonia:
              Starting from today, in 16 minutes to be precise, #Estonia will deny entry to all Russian registered vehicles.

              They are not welcome here to enjoy privileges freedom has to offer until #Ukraine has achieved victory.

              Lithuania stops 19 Russian cars overnight under new EC sanctions guidelines

              Seems that by now they don’t dare to block the transit traffic to/from Kaliningrad, but I have a hunch it’s on the table.

      2. digi_owl

        Already getting more than enough of that from Norwegian media.

        Crap like tap-dancing around the base policy that since the 60s has forbidden permanent foreign troop deployments on Norwegian soil by claiming the US marines will only be here a few month to train. But when one batch leaves another arrives.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That is how it started here in Oz a coupla years ago. They weren’t a permanent garrison they said as they were constantly being swapped out. Then we had a small base. Now we are building bases for US nuclear bombers and naval bases for nuclear submarines, we are buying nuclear-powered submarines, our intelligence agencies are being integrated with US agencies and more US bases are being set up all over the shop. We are being turned into the Ukraine of the South Pacific. But our politicians and media reckon it is all great and so nothing to worry about.

          1. digi_owl

            Now that you mention it, there as a recent article about a B-2 that had for the first time landed on a Norwegian base for refueling and crew swap.

            There have been overflights previously though, including one that passed through Swedish airspace recently after they started talking about NATO membership.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          A number of years ago if I recall correctly, a contingent of Italian “mothers” travelled to d.c. to beg congress to close american military bases in Italy. The women were concerned that the bases were tantamount to putting a target on their families’ backs in the event of u.s. involvement in a war in Europe. (I’ve searched but can find no link as yet.)

          Obviously, their efforts were for naught.

          Given this decision by the Finns, I find myself wondering if spaghetti isn’t more conducive to seeing the writing on the wall than lingonberries and pickled herring.

          In any event, I can’t get the 4th Firesign Theatre album out of my head. It was called I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus.

          1. Nikkikat

            Oh! I hadn’t thought about that album in a few years. It was a great comedy album. And the title does apply to our friends in the EU.

    2. Aurelien

      What the story appears to be saying is that the Finns are opening a facility at one of their air-bases to enable F35s to make use of it. There’s no suggestion in the story that the aircraft themselves will be based there. One version of the F35 (the A variant) is indeed certified as nuclear capable, but there’s no indication that these particular aircraft will actually carry nuclear weapons. For a start, aircraft don’t fly around with such weapons attached these days, they fly out of a small number of highly-protected and very secure airfields where the weapons are stored, and it would require very visible works to adapt the airfield, as well as a permanent US military garrison. The weapon the F35 would carry is the B61 gravity bomb, now being upgraded to permit it to be launched from less than pointblank range, but still pretty crude. The airfield itself would probably disappear in the first few minutes of the next war, together with any nuclear weapons it was decided to store there, and any aircraft that did get away would have to fly through the most heavily defended air defence zone in the world, almost directly over the target. Or then again, maybe not.

      I suspect the move for this is largely political – occasional deployments, joint patrols near the frontier etc; but possibly also intelligence gathering, trying to persuade the Russians to switch on the air defence radars, for example.

      1. ilsm

        Regarding F-35. “A” is the ‘standard runway’ version.

        That reinvented A-7 (lead sled) has to make headlines because the DoD testers won’t let it into operational test until it is reliable and has logistics support.

        Any mission given F-35 justifies the 98% acquisition cost overrun ($398B) and delays that require scores of billions in upgrades to meet original requirement.

      2. scott s.

        From what I have been able to see the design was nuclear certified, but still operational certification is required, let alone any US or NATO units being certified.

    3. cosmiccretin

      digi_owl “Them Finns are nuts”.

      Agreed. And I live there!

      I can’t pretend to understand what’s come over them. But then neither can I understand what’s come over everyone else – especially us Brits – even, of all people, the French (de Gaulle must be spinning at thousands of rpm).

      Collective insanity. This can’t bode well, for anyone.

  15. flora

    Seems like the G20 got a few things set this session. (They may be collapsing but that won’t change their global goals.)

    This announcement about Digital ID/CBDC AKA Social Credit System from G20 means they’re ready to launch.

    Not good news. Full report.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          In the future, please put information in the comments section of the post in question. Nick would not be likely look in Links for any discussion related to his post, so he would not see your link and reactions to it.

  16. Sibiriak

    China Sows Disinformation About Hawaii Fires Using New Techniques

    This tells me a lot:

    Clint Watts , the general manager of Microsoft’s Threat Analysis Center, said that China appeared to have adopted Russia’s playbook for influence operations…

    1. The Rev Kev

      This is just the New York Times proving once again that they are a garbage publication. So if you talk about how millions for Hawaii cannot be passed in Congress unless billions are approved for the Ukraine, that is just Chinese disinformation. I wonder if those videos of police stopping people leaving that town and directing them back into the flames is also Chinese disinformation? So what I am really wondering is this. Is this story a sort of trial balloon? That any stories about Biden’s catastrophic record – whether it is about East Palestine, union busting, Bidens business deals in the Ukraine, Hawaii, hundred of billions to the Ukraine, etc. – will be labelled by the main stream media as Chinese disinformation if people start talking about it in the lead up to the election? Not so far fetched as the main stream media buried the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation after all.

      1. Benny Profane

        The answer is yes.

        The NYT can cover this horrible situation from so many angles. There’s so much low hanging fruit. The Greyzone sent reporters in, and many residents were quite mad and more than willing to talk. Besides, what young reporter from the paper wouldn’t want a RT ticket to Maui, expenses paid? And yet, this is the garbage we get.
        His poor Corvette. He almost lost his Corvette. And, you know, when the attack ads come out filled with his many old man gaffes, including that awful speech, they’ll be labeled Chinese disinformation. You watch.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        there was a long thread not too long ago in comments about some microwave weapon causing the Maui fires – sounded weird then and bats#it crazy – tried to draw parallels to the fires in N. Cali too – was surprised it got traction, the “evidence” was nothing more than speculation –

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            nope, but that’s what it reminded me of – there was a link to a youtube vid that was at least an hour long – couldn’t understand why someone would take it seriously but it was a long thread and Madge T Green was not a commenter – the whole thing was trying to prove by observation that there was a microwave weapon capable of the fires – didn’t save the links –

      3. Jason Boxman

        It is comical that not long ago, the Clintons were taking Chinese money as I recall. Oh, how the decades have passed! We’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

      4. Feral Finster

        The fact that the NYT goes to such lengths to make Moar Money For Ukraine a sacred cow that cannot be questioned or denied shows what the Washington Consensus is on the matter.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Maybe I’m not just seeing the articles—–but the Maui fire seems to be memory-holed by US media.

      So if it wasn’t arcing electricity lines, what caused the fire? Any progress in the investigation?

      What was the deal w/the warning sirens?

      What is the final death toll? Why the slow-rolling of the public release of the number of deaths?

      I guess that I’ll have to go see what wikipedia says about the fires….

      1. Reply

        It will be interesting to read about the causes of those aluminum wheels melting while nearby objects didn’t suffer much damage.

    3. Ignacio

      It really means that “the general manager of Microsoft’s TAC has adopted CIA’s playbook for influence operations“. All them using three letter agency style. In Spain we use for this an expression “todos a una, Fuenteovejuna” that can be translated as united we stand, divided we fall.

      1. Ignacio

        Thinking long term. Microsoft is a company with much to loose (or opportunity loss) if most of the world starts creating their own sphere of influence distinct from US’ one.

        1. Ignacio

          Once arguing with myself, why not again? Microsoft siding with warmongers that are only accelerating the speed of emancipation of much of the world from US hegemony might be considered unwise.

  17. .Tom

    In the quotes from de Gaulle I was interested by his remarks on how one should prefer solid rather than soft strategic partners but that the USA seems to favor the soft. This appears to me to foretell the triumph of the yes-man in politics, that is to say the overwhelming careerist preference among europols to please their peers and superiors and to play the part for the media.

    1. heresy101

      de Gaulle has good comment on corporations:
      Interestingly, he saw very much the same dynamic apply with American multinational corporations as with NATO: “The market has some good sides. It forces people to stretch themselves, it selects the best, it encourages you to be better than others and to improve yourself. But at the same time it creates unfairness, installs monopolies and favors cheaters. So don’t be blind when it comes to the market. One shouldn’t imagine that it’ll solve all the problems on its own. The market isn’t above the nation or the state. It is the nation, it is the state that must be above the market. If the market reigned supreme, it would be the Americans who would reign supreme over it via the multinational corporations which are no more multinational than NATO. All of this is simply a camouflage for American hegemony. If we follow the market with our eyes closed, we would be colonized by the Americans. We wouldn’t exist anymore, us Europeans.”

      1. Pat

        I have to disagree with him somewhat. Multinational doesn’t mean American, it means from no nation. It is a small cadre of owners who have no allegiance to any country, only to themselves. They are with whoever will provide the most advantages, be it taxes, cheap labor, or best of all laws protecting their enterprises but not any other citizens. Oh and mercenaries to advance their interests disguised as national armed forces (and paid for by those citizens they abuse.) currently that may be the US, but as it’s powers fade those owners will pick another country to pretend is “home”.

        It is some ways just another version of DeGaulle’s observation on wanting the wrong partners, on soft strategic partners being a mistake. The leaders who depend on the Market have made a strategic mistakes. They have chosen “partners” that are using them and consider them tools, not partners.

        1. digi_owl

          Indeed. If say China or Russia were to demonstrate a better deal than uncle Sam and his marine corp, they would probably relocate en mass over night.

          That said, they still love the British crown dependencies for squirreling away those trillions from the tax men.

        2. .Tom

          Yes, DeGaulle doesn’t get it all right here but it still makes for interesting reading. I also find the nationalism and state-ism in these quotes too much for my preferences.

          1. Pat

            And where are those of the corporation that will buy out the first corporation if that is advantageous (and how often will the human parties of the second part have a huge say in the corporation of the first part.)

            People may not like to think this requirement of allegiance can change but we have numerous examples already of American corporations being purchased by foreign corporations.

      2. digi_owl

        That is demonstrating a level of statesman thinking that the collective west has not seen in a couple of generations, but that Putin and Xi seems to demonstrate amply every day.

  18. Lex

    So Biden’s first campaign ad is built around him being a war president. I get the argument that US media can memory hole anything, even an existential conflict for the future of “democracy”. But it’s hard to memory hole this if the sitting POTUS is going to campaign on being a war president. Since foreign policy is an extension of domestic politics, it likely means that Biden – personally – is going to demand “victory” in some form for the sake of his election and his legacy. And given that Biden is probably the least well informed person in the world on the actual contours of this conflict*, we’re in for a real mess over the next year.

    *Nobody’s going to tell him the truth because he doesn’t want to hear it and his anger / bullying is legendary. I’ll bet that he actually believes Russian casualties are +200k and Ukrainian casualties are <20k; the Russian economy is failing; Putin’s about to be overthrown, etc. etc.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      In case you missed it, our “true leader who doesn’t back down to a dictator” went back to the lying-dog-face-pony-soldier well in Vietnam, in his latest star-studded performance on the “world stage.”

      In what closely resembled the rambling, liberally medicated utterances of a hospice patient, our fearless, eminently “re-electable” leader fondly recounted one of his favorite John Wayne movie “quotes,” in which “Indians” in “headdresses” castigated John Wayne himself and the “Union soldiers” he was with, in reference to dastardly “climate change deniers.”

      TMZ, the entertainment industry trivia behemoth, has yet to locate a movie featuring The Duke in which those words, remembered so “clearly” by the leader of the free world, were spoken.

    2. Kouros

      I laught at the add, remembering clearly the discussions at the time, on how the US Gov double checked and triple checked with the Russians for “permission” to go to Kiev…

  19. ChrisFromGA

    Recently, Amazon chief Andy Jass declared that all his workforce was going to have to report back to the office. It seems like fertile ground for some fun with a McCartney solo classic:

    Uncle Andy/Admiral Pigman

    We’re so sorry, Uncle Andy
    We’re so sorry if we’ve caused you any pain
    We’re so sorry, Uncle Andy
    But we’re working now from home,
    And I’ve got recruiters on my tail

    We’re so sorry, that you think we haven’t done a thing, all day
    We’re so sorry, Uncle Andy
    But if anything should happen, we’ll be sure to give a ring

    We’re so sorry, (ah ah ah ah Andy) Uncle Andy, that you think we’ve not done a bloody thing all day
    We’re so sorry (ah ah ah ah ah all day), Uncle Andy
    But the AI’s on the boil, and we’re so easily lured away

    Yeah … yeah 2x

    Em-pty new headquarters, ‘quarters!
    Bosses we’ll defy
    Empty new headquarters, ‘quarters
    Bosses we’ll defy

    Admiral pigman called from DC
    He had to have a bailout for tanking CRE
    I had another look, and I had a cup of tea, and ate humble pie
    Humble pie, that shiny new HQ is just a deadzone in the sky

    Em-pty new headquarters, ‘quarters
    Bosses, we’ve defied
    Empty new headquarters, ‘quarters
    Bosses we’ve defied!

    Live a little, be a human, Mr. Jass (Mr. Jass!)
    Get your head out your … , or we’ll jump the ship, alas
    Live a little, be a human, Mr. Jass (Mr. Jass!)
    Get your head of your .. or we’ll jump the ship, alas

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Inside the forgotten third World Trade building occupied by CIA that burned down on 9/11”

    ‘On the condition of anonymity, sources told CBS, that intelligence officials had lost a trove of secret documents and crucial intelligence reports stored at the station — either on paper or in computers.’

    Kinda handy that. Any time some investigator wants to look for any files that might embarrass the CIA due to its 20th century activities and put them in a bad light, the CIA could always turn around and say sorry, those files were stored in our World Trade Building and were consequently destroyed. Copies? They were in the same building wouldn’t you know. Who was responsible for that decision? Yeah, he was caught up on 9/11 as well.

      1. Reply

        Awaiting news of that missing $2.3 Trillion that was mentioned by Rummy on 9-10. Documentation about that was in the outer ring area that got hit by that missile airplane that left scant evidence.

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      I had a feeling that there would be some in the naked capitalism commentariat that would not be surprised that aspects of 9/11 like building 7 are still being litigated. Quite a few (a majority?) feel it was never settled

    2. ACPAL

      That’s not a new tactic. Back in the 70’s when I was in the USAF we had a cargo plane on a training mission crash into a mountain. The cargo manifest somehow had the plane loaded with all the equipment the base had lost since the last crash. I’m sure the Army and Navy and all other government agencies work the same way. Never let a disaster go to waste.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Revealed: The Country that Secretly Wiretapped the World for the FBI”

    This was hardly necessary as the intell agencies already can dance their way around any restriction. This is how it was done. Supposing the spooks want to spy on Joe Blow in Chicago. They can’t do it as it is illegal for them to spy on American citizens and they might get caught. So they would go to one of the Five Eyes countries and casually drop Joe Blow’s name and location to them. So then the Canadians-British-Australians-New Zealanders-Canadians would spy on American citizens and lo and behold, find interesting info on a certain Joe Blow of Chicago which they pass on to the US as being of interest. And all that is legal.

    1. digi_owl

      This was not an intel job though, but a police honey pot in the form of a backdoored “dark web” messaging system.

      FBI’s “problem” was that any time they wanted to check the database for evidence against someone they had to do paperwork with a judge.

      So they did just as you said, got their colleagues in a different nation to do the actual database checks and then filed the result as tip off from said nation.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Inside Ukraine’s assassination programme”

    This has been going on for years and was entirely predictable. Not that long after the Maidan the US military went into the Ukraine to train their special forces. You see this in every country – Afghanistan & Iraq for example – where they become best buddies with that country’s special forces to the point that they are usually working for the US military rather than their own country. Some of the things they teach are assassination and sabotage techniques which the Ukrainians have been employing. I saw this with the murder of two talented Donbass militia commanders – Givi & Motorola – and this is straight out of the NATO special forces manual. This French article mentions a lot of what has been happening over the past few years here-

    1. Feral Finster

      Of course Ukraine is a terrorist state that assassinates people in and out of its country. Of course the Americans have trained them to do so.

      What does Russia propose to do about it? Pointing out Ukrainian misdeeds is as unfruitful as quoting Bible verses to an armed robber. He will laugh in your face, delighted by your impotence.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Doesn’t every liberal democracy have security forces killing political opponents of the government? Only to defend the democracy itself, naturally.

        At least that’s what they say we’re Ukraine is fighting for to save for all of us.

  23. pjay

    Stoller: “Bernie Sanders proposes an 18% cap on credit card rates… Sorry, I got confused, that’s Josh Hawley.”

    I’ve been getting similarly confused a lot lately. Heard a member of Congress made a very wise and rational statement about Ukraine the other day. Figured it had to be the democratic socialist, obviously. But I found out it was Marjorie Taylor Green. Surely that can’t be; isn’t she a right-wing fascist Hitler – I mean Trump – supporter? I don’t understand…. I’m so confused.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Opportunism. The hard Right can pick and choose from myriad low-hanging fruit right now, issues wise. They are closest to the troops and the troops and the military families have had enough.

      Biden’s (Obama’s?) stubbornness is creating a political black hole that is tripping out all my inner childs and reptiles. The neolibs have suffocated liberalism and are now conjoined with the neocons as the duopoly grows more visibly incestuous and I mean that in the most pornographic way possible.

      MTG’s and Tulsi’s venn diagrams do not seem to overlap all that much, but they do overlap. As a team they would make Thelma and Louise look like Hillary and Merkel.

      We live in interesting weird times.

  24. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Energy Secretary’s Electric Vehicle Roadtrip Devolves Into ‘Scene Out Of VEEP’ Daily Wire (Kevin W)

    “[B]etween stops, Granholm’s entourage at times had to grapple with the limitations of the present. Like when her caravan of EVs — including a luxury Cadillac Lyriq, a hefty Ford F-150 and an affordable Bolt electric utility vehicle — was planning to fast-charge in Grovetown, a suburb of Augusta, Georgia,” the report said.

    “Her advance team realized there weren’t going to be enough plugs to go around. One of the station’s four chargers was broken, and others were occupied. So an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching secretary of energy,” the report continued. “That did not go down well: a regular gas-powered car blocking the only free spot for a charger?”

    “In fact, a family that was boxed out — on a sweltering day, with a baby in the vehicle — was so upset they decided to get the authorities involved: They called the police,” the report added. “The sheriff’s office couldn’t do anything. It’s not illegal for a non-EV to claim a charging spot in Georgia. Energy Department staff scrambled to smooth over the situation, including sending other vehicles to slower chargers, until both the frustrated family and the secretary had room to charge.”

    The devil is definitely in details.

    Looks like “we’ll” need a new “law” controlling access to and conduct at charging stations. I’m curious to see how “democrats” and “republicans” carve up the constituencies on this issue. And when the bullets start flying due to “charger rage,” it probably wouldn’t hurt to have worked in a “hate crime” angle as well. Trouble is, who you gonna hate in this scenario–I don’t give a fig for either of ’em.

    1. Pat

      The thing I keep coming back to is that the advance team was not electric. They knew that they could not depend on electric charging to make sure everything was set. And because there was going to be a glitch they outed this as they gamed the system to make sure the pr stunt was “successful”.

  25. Feral Finster

    Short of launching a nuclear strike, there is little that Russia can do that even so much as mildly inconveniences the Washington political class. They don’t care if Europe is impoverished, and are utterly indifferent to half a million dead Ukrainians or more. Hell, Zelenskii could send toddlers to clear minefields and they wouldn’t bat an eyelash as long as it wasn’t them or their kids getting blown up.

    Therefore, WSWS is right. Washington will only continue to double down. Russia has long miscalculated by refusing to admit just how sociopathic her enemies are and act accordingly.

    1. hk

      Washington can double down all it likes, but if they run out of pawns in Europe (and elsewhere), what they want is irrelevant. But this begs the real question: how long will it be until Washington has no friends/servants left in the world? What explains the insanity that grips the Europeans? (Eastern Europeans, one could chalk up to the irrational history of Russophobia…but the Germans? the French? the Dutch?) Or, indeed, peoples elsewhere? (I know from direct experience that South Korean diplomats and businesspeople are eager to compromise and not antagonize Russians needlessly. South Korean news media (and the crazy Yoon), on the other hand, have been as mad as the Europeans.)

      1. Feral Finster

        Well, the Polish government is absolutely raring to go, for one. And every Polish political faction competes as to who can be more rabidly russophobic and who can lick American boots with greater fervor.

        The fact that the neocons continue to double down shows that they know that they are nowhere near done.

        And Europeans like being slaves. A slave has no responsibilities, need not make any decisions. And Europeans tell themselves that the life of a house slave sure beats that of a field hand. Didn’t Borrel say something about Europe as a “garden” and not a “jungle”?

  26. Val

    How Close Is Science to Solving the Problem of Consciousness?

    Betteridge’s Law.

    Unintentionally hilarious expression of late neoliberal scientism.

    1. Late Introvert

      But they want us to believe computers can drive without killing and write without lying. Even humans can’t do that much.

  27. Jason Boxman

    For some history on how the Allies treated de Gaulle during WWII, I recommend “Allies at War”, and interesting book. “Forgotten Ally”, about China during WWII, is also an interesting read.

  28. pjay

    ‘Osama Bin Laden: The First Great Man Of The 21st Century’ – Ian Welsh (Micael T)

    I was very disappointed in this take by Ian. To me, it almost sounded like our Official Narrative: the wiley Bin Laden masterfully provoked us into a hopeless quagmire of forever-wars, which we were too naive and arrogant to avoid: “He found America’s trigger button and pushed it, and America acted as he wanted… His greatness was in making the greatest power of his time dance to his tune, and in so doing weaken itself.”

    This is a severe distortion of history, one which should be challenged whenever it arises, no matter how noble the intent. This was NOT simply a blind reaction from anger, fear, revenge, or whatever. This was a *long-planned* strategy. Read the goddamn blueprints laid out time and again in the 1990s by the neocons of the Project for a New American Century who would be *making the goddamn decisions* in the Bush administration! 9/11 was not the *cause*, it was the *excuse* for policies that had long been planned. It was the needed “New Pearl Harbor” that would provide cover and stifle any opposition to these plans. This is not some sort of Q-Anon type conspiracy theory. They were *open* about their plans; they obtained positions of power, they carried them out.

    Here’s John Pilger on “The New Pearl Harbor” … from 2002:

    Yes, our National Security apparatus has proven itself arrogant and incompetent time and again. But that does not excuse using the “incompetence” defense to mystify all the intentional evil it has carried out over the decades, especially in this case.

  29. flora

    From the Marion Record:

    Public Presses for Answers

    I’m keeping up with this story because I think it’s important in microcosm to larger issues current about the 1st Amendment, and because I think it’s important to follow stories that seem important for longer than “the next big thing” that’s supposed to make us forget about that earlier “next big thing.” The notion that newspaper or MSM readers should forget what was important last week (still without resolutions) seems like an attempt to … well… if you destroy memory what have you got? So I think there are some stories, even stories from small towns in out-of-the-way places that are worth pursuing to their resolution. / my 2 cents.

  30. bdy

    Gratitude without irony for removing my comment, mods. It was snark inflammation without being informative or the least bit constructive. Came back hoping to find it had been lifted, and it was!

    Also apology for adding it to someone’s workload, assuming it was a person and not an algo. You guys rock the info-wasteland.

  31. Jeff W

    “Elephants in Thailand have learned to exploit their right of way and stop passing sugar cane trucks to steal a snack…”

    Never underestimate contingencies of reinforcement. (Same with birds opening automatic doors.)

  32. juno mas

    re: Secret world of Bach

    Interesting article. Anyone who listens (today) to an accomplished pianist playing J.S. Bach would readily agree he must have been a supremely talented man: to devise and play musical scores in all 12 tonal keys of the Western musical scale on a well-tempered Clavier (keyboard) is beyond brilliant. (It’s why he’s considered the King of Klassical music.) However, piano’s today are usually tuned differently and therefore would not sound like Bach himself.

    Sending a gold disc of Bach’s music into space seems like a typical Western thing to do. There are other people with a different take on music residing on the planet. India, for example. India uses a scale very different from the diatonic/chromatic scale of Western music. In fact, India has two distinct scales for its music: North and South Indian. Those of you familiar with the emergence of Ravi Shankar would recognize the difference immediately; it’s rhythm-based. Then there are the Chinese who use a very simple pentatonic scale to accompany their dance/theatre art.

    My point: If you want interstellar life to recognize the intelligent life on this planet, rocket a representative compilation of music skyward.


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