Links 9/23/2023

From hangry to chonky: Fat Bear Week is coming NPR (David L)

Ghostly Deep Sea Dumbo Octopus Delights Researchers In Wholesome Video IFLScience (furzy)

Oaks vs. squirrels: A battle is underway in some Minnesota trees, and it’s nuts MPR News (Chuck L)

Worm that jumps from rats to slugs to human brains has invaded Southeast US ars technica (David L)

‘Extraordinary’ structure has no real parallel in the archaeological record, scientists say CNN (Kevin W)

The Physics of Crowds Nautilus


ma points out that the delay till November 1 is odd:

Feds to restart mail-order Covid test program Politico. ma:

“The president wanted to make sure that no one can go without tests,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said.”

Totally, that’s totally what happened……

Testing for long COVID: Eye exam as a new approach MedicalXpress (Micael T)


Climate Emergency Update, September 2023 Counterpunch (furance)

New battery recycling rules could be a game-changer in the EU’s search for EV minerals Grist


Rahm Emmanuel in Japan, goes rogue on China Responsible Statecraft

Top Chinese university scraps English requirements – media RT (Chuck L)

China Keeps Trying to Crush Them. Their Movement Keeps Growing. New York Times (David L)


A Murder, a Diplomatic Dust-Up and the Risk of Impunity New York Times (David L)

Intelligence input on Sikh leader’s murder came from Canada’s Five Eyes ally, report says (Kevin W) Independent

Why Canada Is Having A Diplomatic Crisis With India Ian Welsh (Micael T)

European Disunion

The Culprit’s Law (II) German Foreign Policy (Micael T)

New Not So Cold War

Ukraine war: US to give Kyiv long-range ATACMS missiles – media reports BBC

>US Can’t Deal with Defeat Consortium News (Chuck L)

The dilemma over transferring Russian assets to Ukraine Gillian Tett, Financial Times (David L)

Biden UN speech: no Ukraine compromise, negotiation Asia Times (Kevin W)

UN Feedback Shows That While the West Is Hostile to Russia, the World Isn’t Russia in Global Affairs (Micael T)

“Ukraine, before and after.” The Floutist. Important. A speech by Scott Ritter.

Ukraine SitRep: The War By Numbers Of Humans Moon of Alabama (Kevin W). We get a shout out :-)

Fields Fortified by Russia Become Pivotal to Ukraine’s Counteroffensive Wall Street Journal. The hopium, it burns.

Hoo boy. Admittedly the neocons have given plenty of grist for this point of views:

Living conditions in Ukraine are resembling a new slavery, a triumph of Western ‘democracy’ in the 21st century AlMayadeen (Micael T). Consistent with our post yesterday on economic collapse.

Russia’s indefinite ban on diesel exports threatens to aggravate a global shortage CNBC (Kevin W). We have been intermittently putting up posts on the expectation that diesel supplies would come under stress. That is finally starting to happen. And now….

Collapse of Black Sea grain deal worsen increasing global food insecurity: Irish premier Anadolu Agency

European shame. In Europe they collect from Wikipedia any information for sanctions against Russia International Affairs (Micael T)


Xi, Assad announce launch of China-Syria strategic partnership The Cradle (furnace)

Might Syria Become A Gateway Of The New Silk Road With Assad-Xi Summit? Canadian Patriot (Micael T)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

See-Through Sensors Hide Eye-Tracking in Plain Sight SpectrumIEEE (Chuck L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

With the acquiescence of the EU’s comprador elites, the US is de-industrializing Europe. Next on the agenda, to destroy European agriculture Gilbert Doctorow (Micael T)


FBI Lost Track Of Paid Informants In Jan 6 Crowd Because They Had So Many, Former Washington Field Office Chief Says Trending Politics (Chuck L)


THE PATRIOT How General Mark Milley protected the Constitution from Donald Trump Atlantic (David L). Douglas Macgregor has a particularly dim view of Milley and has also described long form how the military, and one assumes Milley had to have been involved, rejected properly papered up orders by Trump to pull out of Afghanistan in January, which Macgregor argues would have been much better than May, when it actually occurred, because tribes would be mainly in the hills, not cities.


>Republicans erupt after Pentagon exempts Ukraine aid from potential US government shutdown: ‘Says it all’ Fox (Micael T)

PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Question About Biden Consortium News

From Chuck L. Click through for entire text:

Biden administration launches first-of-its-kind American Climate Corps program CNN (Li)

Democrats en deshabille

US Senator Bob Menendez and wife accused of taking cash, gold bribes to benefit Egypt government ABC Australia (Kevin W)

United States v. Robert Menendez (BC)


Our No Longer Free Press

White House, States Try To Convince Supreme Court In Jawboning Case Techdirt. Mark G: “Techdirt goes full Blob. The use of pejorative language in this one is what really leaped out at me. Masnick’s not pretending to be objective anymore.”

Intel-Linked UK Official Pushing Censorship of Russell Brand ScheerPost (Micael T)

How scope of practice expansion efforts were defeated in New York AMA (Chuck L)


The Unlikely World Leader Who Just Dispelled Musk’s Utopian AI Dreams The Atlantic (David L)

White House Could Force Cloud Companies To Disclose AI Customers Semafor

Weaponizing Intelligence: How AI is Revolutionizing Warfare, Ethics, and Global Defense Modern Diplomacy (Micael T)

Artificial Intelligence Could Finally Let Us Talk with Animals Scientific American (David L)

Class Warfare

US auto strike expands to 38 GM and Stellantis facilities Financial Times

“Everything is becoming more expensive, only we should become cheaper.” NachDenkSeiten(Micael T, via machine translation)

Are we destined for a zero-sum future? Financial Times (David L)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa


    Zelensky’s back in Congress, in search of more drones
    Begging help from men who know he’ll never make his bones
    Short of cash and coke, he’s got a cruise missile jones
    But Putin holds all of the infinity stones

    Yes, Putin has a hand, and the pot is Ukraine
    The ground war is over, boys, that much is plain
    East of the Dnieper’s just a big bloodstain
    It’s over but the crying over lost terrain

    They’re weeping in DC that we’ve lost another war
    That we’ve run down and run out our powder store
    That our high seas fleet is a dinosaur
    Why can’t we rule the world like we did before?

    A postmodern perspective means we need not connect
    With reality at all, we can redirect
    With a narrative that counters what the plebes expect
    With a spin that denies what you recollect

    But the facts on the ground, oh, they have no give
    They’re simply immune to the narrative
    The truth comes out like juice through a sieve
    Facts on the ground are determinative

    The best we can do is declare a big win
    Say sweet things to surviving kin
    Deny our mistakes till it all wears thin
    And with a frozen smile take it on the chin

    Russia will transform our next election
    By carving up Ukraine section by section
    As a rump state is born with a whole new direction:
    No NATO, no EU, just rural perfection

    A collective farm, landlocked and bare
    Half way between no place and nowhere
    Pigs and peasants in the market square
    Everything abandoned to disrepair

    Our next election will be a real show
    Trump can’t win, but neither can Joe
    Neither one can serve but they won’t let go
    So who’s gonna lead us to the status quo?

  2. furnace

    “Worm that jumps from rats to slugs to human brains has invaded Southeast US ars technica (David L)”

    Well that doesn’t sound horrifying at all. Christ alive.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Why Canada Is Having A Diplomatic Crisis With India”

    The whole thing seems off, particularly as it came just after India hosted the BRICS. Canada’s accusation apparently came from one of the Five Eyes but regardless, they would have needed the nod from Washington to blow this up on the world stage. Been trying to think of a reason why Washington wants India to be held over the coals like this in spite of the fact that they need India as a bulwark against China and the only one that comes to mind is that Washington is letting India know that if they do not dissociate themselves from the BRICS, align itself with the Collective West and come out against Russia, that they will be severely punish and that this is just a taste of what is to come. It’s like an all-stick-and-no-carrot strategy but it is the only one that come to mind. Did India kill an opponent in Canada? Probably. Do western countries ever do that? (crickets)

    1. Don Cafferty

      Like you say “… The whole thing seems off …”, Mr Trudeau’s actions may been have directed towards the domestic audience (and it is now back firing). Mr. Trudeau’s Liberal Party government exists with the support of Mr. Singh’s (notice the Sikh name) New Democrat Party. There may be desperation as Trudeau and the governing party’s popularity declines. The target for votes could be the large Sikh population. The back firing occurs as visa restrictions and slow diplomatic service impedes the flow of people between Canada and the home country. This will not make India travellers happy.

      Supposedly, before and during the recent G7 meeting, Mr. Trudeau was looking for supporters among other countries. Representatives of India noticed. Possibly, the current conflict has become personalized and (partially) centers on Mr. Trudeau himself. He seems to have a propensity to lecture other heads of state about democracy and freedom at the same time as doing the opposite at home such as what occurred in the truckers strike. It may be recalled that when Mr. Trudeau and his family arrived for vacation in India 4 years ago, he and his family departed from the plane wearing Indian garb. He did not introduce himself to the head of state until the end of his vacation. Very likely, various diplomatic protocols were broken by Mr. Trudeau during this trip. While I don’t know the details, Mr. Trudeau may personally have been involved in the agitation for the independence of Kalistan either when in India or from outside. A lot of India’s wrath is directed at Mr. Trudeau and not at the people of Canada.

      1. Kouros

        I don’t like Trudeau, but all this ranting and raving on his impingment on democracy and freedom during the truckers’ protests is falling quite short after a close inspection.

        The use of emergency power legislation to cut funding to the truckers was not illigal. Also, it was non-violent. I wonder if the other way of ending that ill started, ill argued protest, where the main barrier for truckers was the US safety protocols, that is via police heavy handed intervention, and with heavy military equipment brought in to remove the big trucks would have received a better review?

        It was a pandemic. During 1918, people were put in jail and even shot if caught not respecting the safety protocols. The “Freedom” idea, disregarding completely the collective needs, was nicely burried in Ottawa. As well as the competence of Ontario Police…

        1. Jonhoops

          Exactly, it was kid gloves for months with the so called Truckers.

          It was only after they made the I’ll fated mistake of blocking the Peace Bridge and threatening 100’s of Millions in trade dollars, that the boom came down.

          Ordered from Washington DC no doubt.

    2. show_me

      It has been reported on the CBC that the Globe and Mail had given the government a heads up that they were about to break the story. The government couldn’t take the chance of being slow to respond especially after the ‘Chinese interference’ brouhaha.

    3. Feral Finster

      I would have thought that the US would take India’s side, regardless of facts.

      Canada is a bought and paid for puppet. Nothing the United States can do will shake Canada’s slavish loyalty. India is The New Cookie, the girl that the United States wants as part of its stable.

      1. jsn

        For the coven of Canadian Banderites at the heart of the State Department this has to be really confusing.

        The molasses Administration will ooze in front of this eventually.

    4. Cristobal

      And now Menendez. Was he the target or Egypt? Apparently the search of his house was some months ago, why the slow walk? Another BRICS member.

    5. Kouros

      Why do they think is such a big stick? Remember Bonesaw MsB? He ended up not becoming a pariah after all…?

      But this has an internal politics aspect as well. Liberals and Trudeau don’t have much traction in Canada right now and the Sikhs are about 750000… Can tilt the results of an election…

  4. LN

    Re: Alexander Dugin

    No, no, no. It’s not the neocons that trouble Mr Dugin. It’s transgender people:

    “And the preparation, the warm-up phase for this is the politics of gender, when people change sex at will – even at their whim – and will soon change species – choosing between being a man, a machine or an animal, which is already being seriously discussed at the highest levels by Western figures.”

  5. Jen

    Re oaks vs squirrels and the little buggers knocking the bumper crop of acorns off the trees – we have that going on with red squirrels and pine cones the white pines have produced this year. The pup and I have to dodge the barrage of pine cones on our daily walks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The Russians have been having a quiet chuckle about Senator Bob Menendez-

      ‘Menendez has been serving as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee since early 2021. He has been an active proponent of sanctions on Russia imposed by the US since the start of the Ukraine conflict, repeatedly arguing the measures were critical to “limit Russia’s ability to participate in the global economy, restrict critical exports, and… impose costs on Russian elites.” ‘

      Please, please let there be Cyrillic script on those gold bars. :)

      1. Cristobal

        Do you suppose the gold bars are real? There was recently a scheme involving fake gold bars from Egypt that was busted in a neighboring (I can´t remember which) country.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Pros set up a Foundation to launder all their money through. Maybe he should have asked the Clintons and the Obamas how that all works.

        1. Benny Profane

          The comments in the Twitter feed cover a lot of that. Hilarious, though. Three times he’s been in trouble, but, who knows, may get away with this one. Gold bars, madone. David Chase shakes his head.
          Imagine sitting at a table with that little garden knome and the wife, who seems to be at the center of all this. They met in an IHOP in Hudson County. That’s about as Jersey as it gets. You wonder if he knew most of what was going on. I’m guessing that she worked her, ahem, charms on Bob, and said, as cigarettes were lit, I have some good friends from Egypt who could use some help. Sure baby, anything.

      1. Benny Profane

        It’s like there is a hierarchy of sophisticated grifting in the party at the moment. The Clintons, of course, showed the way with the speeches and foundation. All legal. The Obamas seem to be taking a higher road, somewhat, Although, you gotta wonder at this point, what exactly is Netflix getting for that contract? Then there’s Pelosi actually saying, hey, Congress critters are people too! We can trade like anybody else! A few notches down are the Bidens, of course, sending their drug addled son to get the bags of cash. Classy. But, now, Menendez, with his gold bars. Good lord. You can call it arrogant, but I prefer to think of it as plain stupid. Aurelien has written a lot about our incompetent PMC class, and this is an awesome example. I mean, he works with people who figured out how to do it legally, almost went to jail recently for his grifting, and they find gold bars in his house. Amazing.

  6. Randall Flagg

    >See-Through Sensors Hide Eye-Tracking in Plain Sight

    About that, I suggest watching the sci fi movie ” Minority Report” a movie based on novella by Philip K. Dick.

    A brief clip and only about another hundred horrifying possibilities of our move into a survelliance society..

    1. The Rev Kev

      When “Minority Report” came out in 2002, that scene was seen as a sign of a dystopia. Silicon Valley at the time saw it as a blueprint to really cash in on and have been working on it ever since. You can imagine it. You go into a store and a hologram appears in the form of a person you know or trust telling you what you need. It knows your history, your preferences, your beliefs, your attitudes, your relationships, your credit history – everything. Total awareness in fact but all on their part. No use wearing sunglasses as they know you by your body profile and even your own walk. Videocams will be watching you and an AI will in real-time be analyzing your movements, your facial expressions, your voice, etc. to complete their present understanding of what you are thinking. And after your leave all that new info will go on their servers which any government or corporation will be able to access it down the track.

    2. Jeff W

      “Hello, Mr Yakamoto! Welcome back to The Gap! How’d those assorted tank tops work out for you?”

      The only line—and probably one of the few scenes—from the movie that I actually remember. The forced cheeriness of the “greeter,” along with the sheer pointlessness of the question, is pitch-perfect. (Duke Ellington’s “(In My) Solitude” in the background might be a little too on-the-nose but credit to the the film’s music supervisor for trying.)

  7. caucus99percenter

    A fishy-smelling paragraph from the Nautilus article “The Physics of Crowds” that, for me, makes the entire thing suspicious, as if a subliminal intent has slipped in that is quite different from the article’s surface content:

    Virtual crowds may draw individuals toward a black hole of extreme political and social opinions. Studies show that the rhetoric of these groups can boil over from online discourse to encourage real-world violence, and the interconnections they provide can support the organization of group actions like the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. The risk that online-fomented events like these will continue to threaten people and political stability in the real world make it important to discover how online crowds perpetuate extreme opinions that may have outsize impacts.

    Deadly riot? Oh, yes, let’s attribute the lone death, Ashley Babbitt’s, to the “physics” of a “virtual crowd” rather than to the individual agency of Capitol police lieutenant Michael Byrd.

    1. Sardonia

      Oh, I’ll give him an out by thinking that maybe what he was referring to as the “interconnections” that led to “extreme opinions” that resulted in violence were the interconnections between the FBI embedded agents, Nancy Pelosi (calling off the National Guard) and even Nancy’s daughter, the cameraperson.

      Definitely some “individuals (drawn) toward a black hole of extreme political and social opinions” there…

      1. JTMcPhee

        But “studies show…” so must be true, right? Never been any “ subtle manipulation” of the texts we mopes are forced to rely on to try to figure out what reality really is?

        I would note the enthusiastically anomic behavior of looting mobs and beat-downs, that pop up on X and FB these days. Such that several city retail districts and grocery chain stores in disaffected areas are shuttered.

        “Slowly, and then all at once.”

      2. marym

        In addition to the use of social media by rank and file, as well as influential politicians and other influencers, in organizing or inciting protest, there are laws being proposed and passed that promote citizen against citizen vigilantism against voters and election workers, teachers, abortion providers and seekers, standers of their ground, etc. This is also a factor promoting the “boiling over” of extreme rhetoric into action.

        There are numerous reasons besides provocation why informer, under-cover, off-duty, or retired cops would be part of a crowd right wing middle class white protesters, or active members of some of the more organized and militant groups. Maybe the rioters and their sympathizers will consider the destruction that sometimes accompanies peaceful protest on the left as being the work of cop provocateurs, rather than the work of BLM and “antifa.” That would be an interesting right/left alliance, but what I mostly see from “both sides” is that too few protesters on the “other side” have been arrested.

        The DC National Guard reports to the president via the Secretaries of Defense and Army. I know powerful people let things happen, and I’ve been skeptical at the lack of police presence during other events. However, Trump managed to have the NG out in full force during the summer BLM protests. To me the notion that the Capitol riot happened because Nancy Pelosi failed to stop it seems implausible and a bit whiny on the part of the participants.

        1. Pat

          I suggest you look at Steven Sund’s interview with Tucker Carlson, or if you can’t bring yourself to watch a long form interview you could read Sund’s book.
          Courage Under Fire

          There are reasons to think Pelosi and a number of other people were very much involved in making sure that on January 6 security was weak even compared to other conservative protests.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here is Rumble’s reply the the UK Parliament’s demand that Brand be demonitized based on only accusations-

      From what I have heard, the four women never went to the police at the time and I think that somebody said that they have still not gone to the police to make an official complaint. This is sounding more and more like what happened to Julian Assange with those two Swedish women.

      1. Alice X

        Glenn Greenwald did a dive on it the other night.

        Women often don’t want to go to the police where they’re likely to anticipate more intimidation. But did they say anything to anyone contemporaneously is my question.

        1. The Rev Kev

          If what I heard is true, then no they have not. Haven’t been following this story closely but have not heard of these four women making official complaints to the police so that charges can be laid. This really sounds like a redux of Metoo which was going like gangbusters – until some women starting complaining about Joe Biden’s past behaviour. And before you knew it, Metoo was gone. And now Tara Reade is living in Russia for her own personal safety after being abandoned by the sort of women that were pushing MeToo. I guess that she did not understand that she was expected to take one for the team if it was the right man.

          1. Screwball

            I was told Tara moved to Russia because she was a Russian agent trying to get old Joe and install Trump as president.

            Of course the same people now tell me the Biden’s are clean as fresh snow because we now have proof that if the DOJ were playing favorites they would have never went after Menendez.

            I’m guessing, after the embarrassing spectacle by Garland at that hearing, they needed to sacrifice a pawn to aid the credibility of an agency that has none left. But that’s just me.

      2. JohnA

        Basically, the TV programme and Times (London) journalists, sent out desperate emails in a massive trawl to find some women who were prepared to say something bad about Russell Brand, and to remain anonymous in the process. In the hope that you thrown enough dirt, some finally sticks.
        Apparently the vast majority of women contacted were OK about whatever interactions they had had with Brand and their dealings with him.

        Brand admits to being a former heroine addict, sex addict, and maybe other addictions and has never hidden from acknowledging a very promiscuous past.

        It is a huge contrast with Nick Cohen, a journalist who formerly wrote for The Observer, Guardian and Private Eye among other media, who was long known as a sexual predator but this was hushed up and the Financial Times even killed a scoop about his behaviour.
        Of course Cohen was a big supporter of the Iraq war, and other US and NATO bombing campaigns aaround the world, whereas Brand has been highly critical of the Ukraine war, and capitalism in general.

      3. digi_owl

        It makes one wonder if they in this day and age could character assassinate anyone by having someone show up in front of a camera and makes claims about events that are supposed to be 20+ years old.

        Almost like another round of satanic panic and repressed memories…

        1. flora

          Darest I suggest this seems historically reminiscent of the late Medeival Gothic age’s dismissal of information printed on the the then new type-set printing machines of the time? Gutenberg had much to answer for and the answer was positive for democracy, although anathema to the then ruling elites. / ;)

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Question About Biden Consortium News

    Consider: If FBI informants and others are reporting witness accounts of $5 million payments to Biden père et fils, reliable accounts of the interactions that led to them, bales of pertinent text and email messages and Joe Biden’s direct role in the firing of the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating these matters, everybody in Kiev who counts is probably aware of the Bidens’ dealings, at least in outline, and Zelensky must know of them in detail. Is there some other plausible conclusion to draw?

    The follow-on question is very simple and very large. Does Zelensky have enough on Biden to get whatever he wants — the HIMARS rocket systems, the howitzers, the tanks and APCs, the F–16s, the scores of billions of dollars, much of which Biden’s people know full well is black-marketed or embezzled?

    It is time to ask this question, immense in its implications as it is.

    I’m glad to see someone finally asking what ukraine has on biden, that keeps this ukrainian insanity going despite all indications it’s nothing more than lives and money down a stinking rat hole. No “evidence” of biden family “wrongdoing” my ass.

    The question becomes even more pointed now that we find out that, in the event of a government “shutdown,” the pentagon has “declared” that americans will go without, while the massively corrupt ukrainians will not. (Correct link:


    1. Sardonia

      Americans are used to seeing graft as “business-as-usual”.

      But it would be an entirely a different thing – if instead of Biden demanding bribes from others, it was shown that he is now the bribe-ee, paying off his extortionists with taxpayer dollars.

      My popcorn would need a bigger tub for that.

    2. pjay

      I really have to check myself for confirmation bias these days, because to me the corruption has become so blatantly obvious that I feel like I’m in one of those episodes of the Twilight Zone. The whole Weiss issue as noted in the Jim Jordan text above is another absolutely obvious example, as are the serial lawfare indictments of Trump (as were the earlier serial Russiagate attacks). As someone who has been critical of right-wingers my entire life, I keep asking myself if I am missing something that other “progressives” are seeing. I’m not. They are blind and delusional, and our current situation is dangerous. The reversal on the ATACMS missiles is yet another escalation after Z’s visit. And after some recent hopeful leaks about actual conditions in Ukraine in the mainstream press, today I read that the conflict is likely to become another forever war with no end in sight as Ukraine is urged to settle in for a long-haul “defensive” stance.

      There are apparently some in the military and intelligence community who oppose this insanity. So far they are just leaking stuff to Seymour Hersh and a few others. They better up their game pretty soon.

    3. Carolinian

      But, but Hunter and Joe don’t have gold bars hanging in their closet. Or do they??

      Part of the craziness is that Pelosi impeached Trump the first time simply for asking questions about the truth regarding Joe and his corruption. Perhaps it’s not so much that we have the stupid party versus the evil party but that we have the stupid party versus the evil and stupid party.

      To which the Dem response is that the best defense is a lawfare offense. Make it stop.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From Alzheimer’s poster boy, joseph robinette biden, jr., to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve caverns.

      So many metaphors, so little time.

  9. ChukJones

    US Can’t deal with Defeat . Consortium News
    Money Quote:
    “Americans have become masters in the art of memory management.

    Think about the tragic shock of Vietnam. The country made a systematic effort to forget — to forget everything about Vietnam. Understandably; it was ugly — on every count. Textbooks in American history gave it little space; teachers downplayed it; television soon disregarded it as retro. Americans sought closure — we got it.”

    I’ll see ‘ya and raise ‘ya Forest Gump as propaganda

    1. Benny Profane

      I’m reading this: in measured bursts right now. I have to put it down a lot, it’s so enraging and disgusting. I think I heard about it here, but, yeah, most Americans have no idea. I thought I did, pretty much deducting that Mai Lai couldn’t have been the only time something like that happened, but, lord, what an awful period in our history. I guess I’m lucky that the few friends and relations I had who were Nam combat vets have passed, because I’m not sure I could comfotably look them in the eye after this read. It may take twenty to thirty years for the real histories of Iraq and Afghanistan to be written. Lord knows about the hell of Ukraine right now.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Memory hole also sucked down all the atrocities committed by the Glorious US Military in WW II and Korea, e.g.

        “You can’t handle the truth!”

        “We will know our program of disinformation is complete when nothing the American public believes is true.”

        PS – I’m a Vietnam veteran who was stupid enough to enlist in 1968 to “protect the nation,” as taught in grade school civics classes, the Boy Scouts, “Life” Magazine, and the Westminster Fellowship/Presbyterian Church. Full spectrum information dominance. We are what we are. And remember that the Vietcong and NVA and later the forces of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge were not exactly choir boys (and choir boys often are vicious too.)

        Hard to live with the cognitive dissonance sometimes — Empire GOOOOD, Enemy BAAAAD = Booolsheeet of the finest kind.

        1. rowlf

          I grew up on military bases in the 1960s/70s and worked with Vietnam Veterans later on in industry. If there was a charity event that auctioned off the chance to feed Robert McNamara’s remains into a wood chipper a lot of money could be raised. I know a lot of veterans are bitter to learn that while they thought they were doing good work they were being told lies by their leaders. That’s a tough pot to keep from boiling over.

          Strange like the media always not mentioning why immigrants keep trying to cross the US border due to the US mucking up their countries, the media avoids mentioning that many veterans know they have been lied to.

      2. pjay

        More than once I have said that all the Congressional, academic, and journalistic war-mongers, especially our insipid “humanitarian interventionists,” should be forced to read this book. Most Americans have no idea whatsoever about the realities of our many dirty wars, past and present. I always recommend this book (though Benny is right that it is not easy to read), along with the work of Douglas Valentine. The latter had unique access to some of the top people who actually planned and led our most barbaric programs – and they were *programs*, matters of policy, and not just random effects of the brutality of war.

        My brother had a good friend, a respected and successful businessman, who had fought in the CIAs dirty war in Laos in the early 60s. Same stuff, and almost no one knows about it. I had a colleague who was a torture victim as a student during Operation Condor. Same stuff. A few more people know about that period, but as JTM says, it’s all sucked down the memory hole. We’re always the good guys when the next war starts.

        1. Feral Finster

          “Humanitarian intervention” is ever always only a pretext, the way Napoleon invaded Spain to rescue the people there from their institutions, the way a barroom bully seizes any excuse to start a fight.

      3. NYMutza

        I tried to get my siblings to read Nick Turse’s book “Kill Anything That Moves” but was unsuccessful. They simply did not wish to be reminded of the evil this country is capable of. Denial is a powerful response to unpleasant facts.

        1. Feral Finster

          Once you start down that road, you have to start making choices. If the society and system that we live under does so much evil, how much will I compromise with it?

          These choices can have very real personal and professional consequences. Try not paying taxes and see what happens. “Bartelby the Scrivener” it ain’t.

          Even if you do compromise, you are left with a guilty conscience.

          By contrast, if you go along with the crowd, you can avoid those tough choices and face no consequences, and your conscience stays relatively untroubled, for the time being at least. Even in the worst case, you can say to yourself that you did what every other Good German did under the circumstances.

    2. GramSci

      The US is only facing defeat if it was trying to defeat Russia. Mr Brenner ignores the possiblity that the US was actually trying to colonize defeat Europe.

      Military wars are just elite headfakes, with little regard given to the suffering of the little people.

      Control of Russia’s resources has long been an independent objective of expansionist US policy — not just since the Clinton Foundation started feeding at the trough of Yeltsin, but at least since America’s Siberian Adventure.

      In this context, one should not forget that Biden’s Democratic mentor was none other than Averell Harriman, who gave the Junior Senator Biden a personal tour of the opportunities of SE Europe.

      This is the same Harriman, who together with Prescott Bush, was bankrolling Hitler, even after Pearl Harbor, and even while Harriman was “serving” in FDR’s White House. The Elon Musk or Bill Gates of his day.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Wasn’t America’s President Woodrow Wilson at the time of America’s Siberian Adventure? Wouldn’t America’s intervention there have been yet more Wilsonian nastiness?

      2. Laughingsong

        “Mr Brenner ignores the possiblity that the US was actually trying to colonize defeat Europe.”

        I was reading an entry in Kunstler’s blog yesterday, and it started with a quotation that seems apropos here:

        “Our government has not failed us. To fail implies there was at least a good faith effort to do the right thing.” — Eric Matheny

    3. Tom Stone

      I have not forgotten Vietnam, I will never forget what my neighbor looked like after being shredded by a boobytrap.
      It took three years for him to die and it destroyed his Mother, she drank herself to death six months after he died.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Rahm Emmanuel in Japan, goes rogue on China”

    ‘As one White House official put it, his trolling is “not in keeping with the message coming out of this building.” ‘

    Who are trying to kid. He hasn’t gone rogue. That was why he was selected. To use his abrasive personality to s*** stir the Chinese and to cause trouble. It would be like sending Donald Trump to a diplomatic post and thinking that he would never use his social media accounts to get a stir. If he wasn’t doing what the Biden wanted him to do, then he would have been publicly called back to Washington for “consultations.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        Remember when Obama made Michael McFaul Ambassador to Russia back in 2011? Guy gets off the plane and as soon as he unpacks his bags, he is hosting anti-Putin activists in the US Embassy as if was still the 1990s or something. The guy was a disaster and really set back Russian-American relations but McFaul describes himself as a ‘specialist on democracy, anti-dictator movements, revolutions.’ Yeah, I bet he does. The guy is pure neocon as is at present lodged in Stanford University (there is that name again). Just do a Google news search on his name and you will see what I mean.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          i keep mcfaul’s twitter in the link stable where i keep things like Foreign Policy and Atlantic Council, etc.
          “know your enema”, and all.

      2. ambrit

        We have to step back a bit and focus on the Ambassadorial helpers, who are much like Sir Humphrey in the “Yes Minister” television programmes.
        This permanent “back brain” in the international diplomatic sphere does all of the hard work. They really set the tone of the relationships. They take their marching orders from Washington, make no mistake about it.
        Rahm is just a “shock trooper” for the Neo-cons, who are but one faction in the Instrumentality.
        The rest is often running ‘interference’ for other factions.

          1. ambrit

            Oh yes. Nothing like observations on a system from a long time practitioner.
            He was obviously having fun with words, thus, he was fun to read.

  11. Lex

    Assad’s visit to Beijing seems pretty momentous in wider context. All of the US’s enemies are coalescing in what looks very much like a planned sequence. First the KSA and Iran, then Kim visits Russia and gets the full state visit treatment, now Assad gets the literal red carpet in Beijing. US global military strategy is fairly dependent on its “minor” enemies being isolated, if they’re not then the position of US forces and the escalation threat the US has become threatened and lessened.

    Whether Putin, Xi, et al are good or evil is immaterial. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there is a grand strategic plan to squeeze out the US empire and isolate it. The US is in no real position to do anything about it. None of the potential “solutions” will be palatable to US political leadership or the electorate. And especially not American Capital.

    The key for “the axis of evil” will be to manage this process slowly. For the most part no sudden movements that might spook the US to the point of a miscalculated over-reaction. Just stretch it and squeeze it depending on the local circumstances. It’s looking like the next 5 – 10 years will be eventful in historical terms.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      i revisit the idea occasionally, when i’m in a bad mood: what would USA! have to do…to what depths would it have to descend…for China(and now Brics, with their %’s of oil and raw materials and manufactory) to simply cut the USA! off?
      i mean, that’s the hole card, innit?
      right leaning rancher types out here have, for 30 years, worried out loud about “Tha Debt” and how many Treasuries the Chicomms hold…but i dont think thats as big a deal as they’ve been schooled to believe it is.
      it’s when walmart’s shelves are empty…proverbial tumbleweeds and surly lizards in the aisles of Costco…that’s when we’ll all suddenly discover just what a disaster our “Leadership” have constructed for the last 50 or so years.

      and i still can’t get over how it gets left out of so many otherwise cogent critiques of US china policy…that the same idiots who are now waving around swords, all hot and bothered about the latest Chinese “outrage”(see:….are of the same ilk that sent the Physical Plant over there in the first damned place.
      That’s my go-to rejoinder to such nonsense in the Feedstore….yeah, we did that,lol.
      and if this crazy hippie dude in the wilderness knew it was a bad idea, 35 years ago…why didn’t you?

      1. Lex

        The US has two choices, neither are easy. It could attempt to meet this challenge militarily. That would require a massive reindustrialization for military purposes and almost certainly mass conscription. It would require nationalizing all of the defense contractors and rooting out the corruption of the MIC. No guarantees it could win the conflict(s) necessary to maintain a global empire. But it could become a fairly self-sufficient and militaristic state in isolation.

        Or it could act like a [family-blog] grown up and negotiate with its “adversaries” as equals. That too will require some pretty major changes to how the US operates domestically and internationally. If it had done that even a year ago, then the degree of our current situation that could be maintained would have been higher. The longer the current trend line continues, the more adjustment we’ll have to accept.

        There’s no political will for either of the above options. So we’ll continue along. Except our internal contradictions grow more pronounced daily. The way to bring down the US at this historical junction is not a big war or selling off treasuries en masse but to stretch and squeeze it. Slowly, slowly. And let those internal contradictions blossom.

        1. Schopsi

          Option one does indeed very much sound like the Third Reich on steroids, on a vastly larger scale plus nukes.

          It’s often rightly Said that fascism IS used to describe everything we find repulsive, so that the Word loses it’s original meaning.

          But to pull of Option 1 it seems the US would have by necessity to embark on a programm that would truly meet the criteria.

          Doing what would be necessary for that kind of militarisation and mobilisation of the entire society and Economy from a starting point so radically different than that Roosevelt worked with, the measures necessary to motivate millions and millions to play along with it, to get them ready to march to almost certain death, there is no way it could recognizably the same country at the end of such a monstrous, nigh unfathomable process.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            option 2 sounds like a giant north korea….hermit empire?

            old scifi joke that the reason we havent seen aliens like out and about among us, is that we’re in a galactic gombe chimp preserve…and all the flying saucers and such are rich young alien teenagers coming here to essentially go cow tipping.
            i can foresee a sort of fence around us…no visas for you, amurkin!…no trade!…cut off…collective backs turned upon us…a shunned former hegemon, sulking between its oceans.
            would that finally dislodge these odious geezers?
            would it spur Us to run them off?

            1. digi_owl

              Or maybe Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate?

              I seem to recall China had a similar isolationist period, until it was broken by the British in order to force the opium trade.

              And there was also a want for US isolationism after WW1. Why FDR had to tap dance around congress with lend-lease and such until Pearl Harbor.

            2. rowlf

              Nuts. I got in early with Monkey Planet, Intergalactic Cow Tipping, “They’re Made Out Of Meat”, and the Hank Williams’ song No, No Joe being applied to the current administration.

              At least my grandfather got royalties after a The Simpsons episode used his music. (Go union)

        2. Mikel

          “That would require a massive reindustrialization for military purposes and almost certainly mass conscription…”

          I’m hard pressed to name a war that the USA has fought without immigrants filling the ranks.

          What could be more tried and true than opening borders, then rescinding privileges with the condition that military service can then lead to a re-instating of privileges?

          1. Michaelmas

            Mikel: I’m hard pressed to name a war that the USA has fought

            I’m hard pressed to name a war that the USA has fought and unequivocally won in the end, other than against Noriega in Panama.

            1. nippersdad

              Don’t forget Grenada!

              We can occupy college campuses like no one else…always given someone wanted to.

              1. undercurrent

                And don’t forget the war on it’s own citizens, leaving the rich awash with cash in a world gone to hell. Capitalism in all its naked glory.

        3. Cat Burglar

          Another option could be if the US simply damaged competitor powers enough to retain its supremacy. That would have to be done in a way where the US was not held responsible for doing so; it would be the lowest cost alternative, and require no shakeup of existing domestic power relationships. A tall order, but that is the kind of thing our handlers spend all their time thinking about — they specify an outcome they want, then assemble the means.

        4. Kouros

          “There’s no political will for either of the above options.” I also don’t think there is popular support. I don’t take the Americans to be that stupid, so that they can be led to the slaughterhouse and forced labor passively… Because no reindustrialization would be accepted by the elite without dropping of labor rights and demands…

          1. digi_owl

            Isn’t it already happening, as seen with the rescinding of child labor bans etc?

            That said, a harder sell will likely be conscription. Pentagon had steadfastly avoided that since Vietnam, and instead relied on heavy recruitment drives among the poorest of the poor.

            But i believe they now struggle to find anyone fit enough to be enrolled.

      2. Pat

        I think we could survive most of those empty shelves. It would take some ingenuity and learning real fast what is a necessity. (None of which I expect to come from the elite, but I know it is out there.)
        The one that scares me, is the empty pharmacy shelves. And I say that as someone who for the most part does not take drugs outside of aspirin and an occasional antihistamine. We have the most highly prescribed medicine usage in the world.

      3. Cat Burglar


        Ask ’em how they feel about the Republicans killing country-of-origin labeling on beef sold in stores — that always gets puzzled silence. Working on the ranch, we always used to joke whenever we ran across an old misplaced tool, “Wow! ‘Made In USA,’ this must be old!” Good teachable moments.

      4. Revenant

        The market would provide, as it has with Russia: China would refuse to sell to the USA and grey imports from India or Vietnam would take up the slack. Of course, China would have sold the goods to India and India, as a careful pusher, would add enough markup to get rich but not so much that the USA would bother to make any real attempt to get clean through supply diversification or even substitution of imports. And each year the price would get a little higher and perhaps payable in gold or semiconductors….

        As the mirror image of Russia destroying the Ukrainian army on its doorstep instead of invading and sustaining long supply lines, China could hurt the USA on its doorstep, or rather loading wharves, simply by selling to cut-outs and extending and breaking the USA’s just in time supply chains, draining the USA of gold in the way Russia has drained the Ukraine of blood.

        1. digi_owl

          Ah yes, the old “made in Hong Kong” gambit. Where truck with 99% complete products roll over the border each night to have the last few screws tightened and boxed.

      5. digi_owl

        Yeah, China really pulled a long con on them. I seem to recall that the mainstream thinking was that China would turn neolib once the people got a taste for the middle class lifestyle. Dumbasses ignored that China can trace its culture virtually uninterrupted back to Roman times. And they didn’t flush that down the drain just because communists took over.

          1. ambrit

            Well, those West Coast lifeguards are there to protect us from those “evil empire marines” trying to come ashore and pollute our “precious bodily fluids.” So, they are a strategic weapon. [We all know who lives on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.]

    2. JTMcPhee

      Really? A “grand plan” to oust the empire? Could not be just that the actions of the US over the last 250 years are coming home to roost? Generations of “aggressive assertion” and coordinated destruction of any manifestation of the truths “we hold self-evident” in the form of nationalism and “democracy” even in autocratic forms that do a better job of Erving public needs than the chimp house that is the US “elite?”

      Nah — must be another manifestation of the International Comm-yanist Conspiracy! Out it with fire! Kill the traitors!

      1. Lex

        Hence my putting “axis of evil” in quotes and pointing out that the question of “good” or “evil” is immaterial. The fact is that it has been centuries since the west and its heritage empire has faced not only a strong but coordinated challenge to its supremacy. The coordination is a product both of western behavior but also the strengthening of the forces opposing it (particularly the Sino-Russian relationship) and the degradation of the US led western empire.

        My personal opinions are irrelevant just like everyone else’s. The facts are that the challenge is shaping up to be massive and the US led “west” is in no position to face it. The US would have enough trouble if these were isolated developments, but it’s becoming clear that they are not. That raises the difficulty of US response by an order of magnitude.

        1. JTMcPhee

          So, grand international conspiracy against America the Beautiful, or not?

          Too bad the only response in the Imperial repertoire is to keep trying for hegemony, for full spectrum dominance, rather than seeking a decent and civil accommodation, in a positive-sum-game spirit. Seems the hoping they smoke is the continued “strength” of the dollar as the currency of trade. So little thought about how the game old be modified so it looks less like “Monopoly” and more like Utopia.

          The hubris underlying the Red Scare behavior is the root of the problem. But the “elite” idiots that rule us, that train us with constant onslaught of manipulation and sauté us in Bernays sauce to be fit pickings for their gluttonous feast, obviously have no other behavior available to them. The grand conspiracy is on the part of the hegemons and their minions. Creating the conditions of their own decimation. Too bad us mopes are just along for the ride, including the PMC that believe in their eventual victory in a negative-sum game they are so busily arranging the game space for.

    3. DJG, Reality Czar

      Lex: Thanks for the the insightful comments.

      This is worth highlighting and considering: Whether Putin, Xi, et al are good or evil is immaterial. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there is a grand strategic plan to squeeze out the US empire and isolate it.

      Exactly. So what we are seeing is how effective politicians like Putin and Xi (whether one likes them or not) who are under much pressure to produce concrete material improvements for the populace get together with other astute politicians like President Lula and come up with ways of getting around sanctions.

      Heck, it turns out that Russia, China, Brazil, and South Africa are rich enough to generate plenty of money to get around the U S of A. Throw in Iran. Throw in Syria. Again, one doesn’t have to like the heads of government, which is a weakness of U.S. thinking.

      The U S of A isn’t dealing with Cuba and sanctions on a vulnerable island anymore.

      The question that forms in my mind about what you write is if the U S of A has met its match. Do these countries up their trade and financial commitments to one another? Do many countries realize that the U S of A is not worth the risk?

      And as a recent report indicated that the north of England has a living standard of Alabama, making the U.K. into Greater London surrounded by Alabama, after years of decline, does that also summon up a picture of the multipolar-world U.S. of A. being Greater D.C. surrounded by one big Mississippi?

      1. digi_owl

        Brazil even has its own aircraft industry, producing planes a hair shy of the smaller ones from Boeing and Airbus.

        Never mind that they are now license producing JAS Gripen!

        1. ambrit

          Brazil also produces one of the best military grade turboprop engine all purpose close attack and surveillance aircraft; the Tucano.

          1. digi_owl

            Funny how you can’t really beat a prop and straight wings when you want to loiter for hours with a heavy weapons load.

            Seems some 20 of them made it to Afghanistan at US expense before the Taliban took back power, with an unknown number still in service.

        1. ambrit

          Sorry to say it, but that just about fits. To think that Mississippi is like most of England is mind twisting indeed.
          I have to try and find my VHS copy of “Morons From Outer Space” for a rewatch.
          “Here, have some more gloob!”

  12. Lexx

    ‘Eagle’s eye view’

    Oooooooh, one of the neater videos I’ve seen here. The bird’s wings seem impossibly steady, while her head keeps moving independently. Impressive!

      1. Kouros

        Why the idea that animals are always looking for food and not interested in anything else? Or combining things, like a fly by inspection with some opportunistic behavior. You never know when you find a stupid human frozen on those slopes, while looking for adventure…

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Alexander Dugin
    – Alexander Dugin, we increasingly hear the leaders of our country define modern western civilisation with the word ‘Satanism’. What do you think is meant by this?’

    I can think of one aspect which may have led to this charge. Any healthy civilization has at it’s heart the protection and nurturing of children. Everything else is just accessorization. They are the future, the seed-corn if you will and the most vulnerable. So I am thinking that Russians – as well as many other nations – are looking how the western countries are all in on the sexualization of children and saying ‘Nah!’ I am sure that everybody can think of examples where children are being sexually exploited and I don’t mean by the Jeffrey Epsteins but by the big corporations in fashion, the media, education, etc.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I remember watching a video of this woman that was appointed head of education in the Ukraine just after the Maidan. She was visiting this classroom of little kids and was asking them their names. If they had Ukrainian names she complimented them but if they had Russian names, she was shaming them in front of all the other kids. Since them Ukrainian education has almost gone evil in Russian hatred.

        That Maria Abramovic. Would you believe that she came to Oz once where she got into trouble calling the local Aborigines dinosaurs? But her whole Wikipedia entry gives off bad vibes-

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        That is just too perfect; the woman is the archetypal art world fraud and self-caricature, so of course she’s grifting for Banderastan.

        Bill Hader’s Documentary Now series does a pretty good send-up of her, in an episode called “”Waiting For The Artist,” though it’s literally impossible to take parody too far with her.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Dugin is the one whose daughter was killed in a car bombing last year. He was profiled a bit at the time. He is at the extreme end of views in Russia and was described as not having much pull or influence, although he may have done at some time in the past. You can think of him as the Russian Steve Bannon, if it helps with contextualizing his comments.

      Like Bannon he does speak for a constituency, that threatens to grow if circumstances develop in a way that favors it.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        we in the West are meant to believe that Dugin and Putin are as of one mind.
        because all the wogs can’t do nuance, i guess?
        interchangeable parts?
        but by all means, lets make conditions amenable for the Dugins, Bannons and…hell, why not?…David Dukes of the world….
        then we can have our very public outragegasms and feel better about ourselves.

        I’d like to see what its like to live in a Republic, before i shuffle off.
        just to be able to say that i did.

      2. Daniil Adamov

        Bannon seems about right, yes. I don’t think Dugin was ever all that influential. He’s an intellectual celebrity of a sort who is vaguely favoured by authorities because he is stridently anti-West. I’ve noticed that Western media likes to dig up some living or dead conservative Russian intellectual and say that Putin’s mind is wholly shaped by him if he quotes him once or twice. Dugin also has disciples (I ran into them at a historical conference once or twice) and occasional political projects, but all of them are strictly fringe. Another Western analogue might be the late Lyndon LaRouche (perhaps better, since Bannon was much closer to Trump at one point than Dugin was to Putin).

    2. skippy

      Ugh … I posted and noted long ago on NC that decadal studies conclusively showed the first 5 years in a humans life has huge ramifications for all other outcomes in their lives e,g, health, cognitive, EQ outcomes, and benefit too society at large.

      Yet the freedom and liberty sorts of all stripes seem dead set against any of that … can’t have a even playing field thingy …

  14. Mikel

    Are we destined for a zero-sum future (FT)

    “…Every five to 10 years, the World Values Survey asks people in dozens of countries where they would place themselves on a scale from the zero-sum belief that “people can only get rich at the expense of others”, to the positive-sum view that “wealth can grow so there’s enough for everyone”.

    What in the brain-dead neoliberal thinking is this?

    There aren’t enough imaginary trillions already for everyone?
    That is the point.
    And people are contending with a class of people who have no concept of “enough”.

    1. digi_owl

      Wealth has become this weird word.

      I guess that if you include shares etc, then yes in theory it can grow into the heavens. At least on the books.

      But sooner or later all that math ends up pointing back to acres of usable land.

      1. JBird4049

        I can make a good argument that the zero sum game being done today has decreased the amount of wealth especially if you are not using only money to determine it. Wages, bridges, bread, roads, education, books, musicians at a concert, skill mechanics, houses, paintings, restaurants (not fast food), doctors, machine tools, clean air and water, well paying jobs and quality housing, and so on, all come from investing from the government or private individuals.

        For forty years, most of the increase in money has gone to the wealthy and to increasingly corrupt, parasitic organizations, and not to the individual, forget about the community. Money is used to create and distribute these resources, but with less money going into the economy, but being used to store paintings, the resources are cheapen in value and reduced in quality.

        Restated, the wealthy have gotten increasing wealthy, while buying and storing in warehouses artwork especially paintings, while the ability of people to create art and not starve has gone down. A few individuals have gotten extremely, sickeningly, mind boggling wealthy and many others merely filthy rich, but both are mainly notationally so, with the majority of the population not only notationally, but also in other resources, such as housing, food, clothing, tools, work, entertainment both in quantity and in the quality, poorer.

        1. The Rev Kev

          There was that trickle-down theory saying that if you did not tax billionaires, then some of their crumbs would fall off the table and trickle down to the peons. This was a serious economic theory once and not that long ago so stop laughing. What happened instead was trickle-out in that the money that the wealth received was invested overseas and not in the country, further starving the place of funds.

          1. Tom Stone

            The trickle down theory DOES describe reality.
            Those at the top of the economic ladder drink champagne and after a while it trickles down.
            Thus “Pee on”, later shortened to “Peon”.

        2. Mikel

          Art is a shaky thing to base one’s wealth on…unless there is controlled and sustainedindoctrination of populations into specific value systems.

      2. Charger01

        According to Chris Rock, wealth cannot be spent in a single lifetime. If you’re rich, you can burn it well within your lifespan.

  15. ilsm

    Russian diesel export ban…..

    Since Feb 2022, US has morphed from net importer to net exporter: crude imports down but still net importing, while refined product is averaging heavier net export.

    Turn around from Trump’s vaunted good oil economy!

    However, the depleted strategic petrol reserve and refining limits won’t cover the Russian induced deficit!

    Good times in oil!

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Diesel moves freight and the u.s. has built long transport dependent supply chains wherever possible. Shortages of diesel — big price increases for diesel would promise far reaching impacts to the u.s. economy and standard of living. I believe the Russian diesel export ban could signal the beginnings of some very interesting times ahead. However, the CNBC link is less than helpful in assessing the impact of Russia’s action:
      “Oil prices jumped as much as $1 a barrel on the news…” — $1 a barrel does not seem like much to me.
      “Russia is one of the world’s largest suppliers of diesel…” vs “…Russian refineries exported an estimated 2.8 million barrels per day of oil products.” — How many barrels of diesel does the u.s. burn per day? How much of the 2.8 million barrels of “oil products” is diesel and how much other products?
      How much diesel is the Ukrainian war burning?
      I suspect there is a lot more to the story of diesel than this CNBC blurb conveys, and I grow worried for what it could mean for the future after the elections

  16. Evil Elites

    Dugin and satanism. I have thought about the Western poltical and business elite as evil for quite some time. It started with TTIP and the clauses that companies producing canceegenous stuff could sue the state for the exepected revenue loss in case of the state would ban the products. If that isn’t pure evil, what is?

    1. digi_owl

      Hollywood really did a number of many a term, like how corruption is seen as involving envelopes of money changing hands rather than tit for tat favors.

      Similarly evil is seen as some Bond villain, when more often than not it comes as causal disregard for human lives wrapped in some higher purpose.

    2. Kouros

      My question to Dugin is whether or not the Soviet and Russian scientists building up Russia’s military defenses are also servants of Satan…

  17. Mikel

    “Ukraine, before and after.” The Floutist

    While the masters of disasters may have to accept failure, I bet they don’t accept the blame. For one, the barely disguised belief in eugenics, that underpins so much of empirical thinking, will become more apparent. Also, the failures of oligarchy, plutocracy, neoliberalism, neocon chicken-hawks, etc. will continue to be described as failures of “democracy.”

    The beneficiaries of the current world order will then seek to exert even more authoritarian control on their own populations. This is seen already with the hyper-surveillance and group think cancelling. They’ll try to continue to squeeze blood from the captive turnips on their own shores with accelerated rentierism.

    The masters of disasters will be like extensions of the little man with the moustache, railing at their own countrymen for lacking in character, intellect, and courage, once enemy troops had begun closing in.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>With the acquiescence of the EU’s comprador elites, the US is de-industrializing Europe. Next on the agenda, to destroy European agriculture Gilbert Doctorow

      I wonder if these people understand that famine, even just shortages, have caused empires to fall? Not to mention countries and entire civilizations?

      I feel silly asking this. They probably think history is for fools and so they don’t.

      1. digi_owl

        They don’t because they have not experienced famine in their lifetime.

        And they are trained in law and economics, not history.

        Just look at how they keep harming about social media being the force behind the Arab Spring, when what was going on in the background was a spike in grain prices.

        If anything social media acted as a pacifier.

      2. NYMutza

        I had to look up the definition of “comprador”. This is how it is defined in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:

        A Chinese agent engaged by a foreign establishment in China to have charge of its Chinese employees and to act as an intermediary in business affairs.

  18. Tom Stone

    Joe Biden has done more for childhood poverty than any other President and should be recognized for that achievement.

    1. Skip Intro

      I think the multi-decade stream of unwavering support from the usury industry is appropriate and sufficient recognition.

  19. LawnDart

    Very, very shortly, perhaps within the next three weeks, China will clearly demonstrate to the world that they are years ahead of the west in certain technologies in a visible and tangible way. With that said, the following might seem rather fuzzy to the layman and the implications may not resonate:

    China miles ahead of AUKUS, allies in sensor technology: Think tank

    China dominates 53 out of 64 sensor-specific scientific domains compared to the 11 the US has a slight lead in.

    1. Schopsi

      I’m as much of a non expert as one can be, but I recently read that the Chinese have been making great strides in the ability to detect nuclear submarines deep under the surface, and in miniaturizing that tech, if so that would certainly be bad news for what may (have) be(en) the US’s single greatest strength.

  20. DJG, Reality Czar

    On Alexander Dugin: Sorry, folks, Dugin’s theological maunderings are just vulgar radical dualism meeting more vulgar radical dualism.

    Further, that blather about Russia’s special spiritual history is just blather, as most Russians would recognize. It’s hard to square enlightened spirituality with the destruction of Novgorod and its populace, the genocide of the Circassians, years of serfdom for the majority of the peasants, and the looting of the country under Yeltsin (American advisors or no American advisors).

    Does that “years of serfdom” phrase remind Americans of anything local? (And sanctioned by much of U.S. Protestantism.)

    But let me continue with vulgar radical dualism.

    I hate to tell Dugin, but “gender ideology” isn’t going to destroy Western civilization, of which Russia is arguably one facet. Russia is undoubtedly European and Westernized.

    As an astute commentator who went under “jr” mentioned a while back, gender theory and queer theory are inventions mainly of straight people who wanted academic tenure. So the “cis-hets” invented cis-het-ery to get into the faculty of “queer” studies. (I won’t go into my opinions on slinging around the word “queer.”)

    In short, queer theory and gender theory are more vulgar radical dualism, just like Dugin. One’s body is separable from one’s mind and from one’s soul–just as he believes–it’s all Methodist youth camp thin-gruel theology. Let’s sing kumbaya, sing a hymn, and make s’mores.

    In much of Anglo-America and in the Germanic cultures of northern Europe, religion is dominated by another remarkable piece of vulgar radical dualism: Calvinism.

    And we all know from Calvinism that the good works of the damned are damned. Who cares about the Beatitudes when one has the sureties of John Calvin, UChicago Booth Business School, and Dugin?

    We are dealing with the continuing crisis of monotheism. Would that monotheism would finally slink away…

    We are dealing with Jonathan Swift’s Big-Endians and Little-Endians here. And such egg eaters, being good Calvinists and motivated by spirituality and by salvation-through-faith-alone, enjoy stealing from the poor as much as they always have.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Sorry — I do not share your enthusiasm for the link provided. The essay is indeed excellent, makes many excellent points, and holds considerable topical interest. I have never regarded the Jan 6 ‘uprising’ as more than a circus sideshow to hold our attention and circumscribe our thinking about u.s. politics within a comfortable scope.

      I can strongly agree with this assessment from the link: “The current political system has failed us entirely…”
      This comes much closer to what I believe is the the heart of the problem with the u.s. political system. The u.s. Populace could come together, link hands, and sing kumbaya as one voice spreading great love, compassion, and deep felt empathy between its multitudes. I do not believe such a great wave of love would have much impact beyond complicating and probably further brutalizing the means of control the Elites might apply. The Elites love wealth and power and they have little need for more such love. An essay humming a Beatles song and repeating “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)” may project a sweet dream. I suppose that is a nice coda for the dying Empire.

      1. Screwball

        I’m in the same boat. Good read, many good points that I agree with. When I finished reading my first thought was ” good luck with that.” My PMC friends hatred of Trump/Trump supporters runs too deep. They wouldn’t get through 3 paragraphs and would laugh it off as Substack propaganda (they refuse to read anything substack). If they got to Glen Greenwald they would be really done – since he’s on Putin’s payroll and all…

        Nothing is going to change things at this point. Nothing good that is. We are at FUBAR.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          i agree that it is futile.
          ive reckoned it as futile for 30+ YEARS,lol.
          i’m more concerned with what comes after….and the time to begin preparing for THAT, is RFN.
          and at your respective doorsteps.
          and that is why i found her whole Agape argument moving and effective.
          the political economic system is frelled…and the folks that like it wont let it change…until circumstances force that end upon them.
          but a large part of their hold on Power is their ability to keep us’n’s fighting amongst ourselves over stupid shit.
          Agape is at least a direction…and i think she makes a compelling argument for this.
          it helps that i am thataway already…and always have been at my root…in spite of loads and loads of BS unloaded upon me over that same period.
          most of Us’n’s will hatfta live with our neighbors, after it all goes to hell.
          the mighty can jet off to new zealand…or mars, one hopes…but we’ll hafta more or less stay put.
          it behooves us to start making the connections and goodwill, now, that will be necessary for that.

          and thats why i linked it.

          1. Screwball

            I’m with ya man… I enjoyed the read because one thing that grinds on me is the human behavior around this stuff. I don’t get it. It should be so obvious – but I’m the outcast. We are talking friends, neighbors, and family. I’m in small town Ohio in the sticks. Farm country. The division here is probably not much different than where you are, or many who read this. So sad, really. But I try – because we need to – as you point out.

            It really bothers me to read and hear people talk about their fellow American’s the way they do. Usually about how stupid and repulsive they are. Many don’t see the world exactly like they do. The hate is off the charts – that’s not good.

            That’s not the only thing that isn’t good.

            I think you nailed it above responding to another post when you said;

            “then we can have our very public outragegasms and feel better about ourselves”

            That nailed it. Understanding how that works is way above my pay grade, or how to fix it. I still blame disco. :-)

            But I’m old, so I have that going for me. I can’t image the landscape…even 10 years from now? Our youngins are gonna have to fix this $hit because they hafta live in it. Good luck and remember we love ya

          2. elviejito

            Many thanks for that post. I have subscribed to her substack. Prescribing love seems delusional until you begin to look at the alternatives. I also recommend “Breaking Together” by Jem Bendell for recommendations on where to go from here. He presents a clear-headed view of our current situation and how to proceed.

  21. Jason Boxman

    This is hard to believe, in the NY Times of all places: In Hospitals, Viruses Are Everywhere. Masks Are Not.

    Facing a potential wave of coronavirus infections this fall and winter, relatively few hospitals — mostly in New York, Massachusetts and California — have restored mask mandates for patients and staff members. The vast majority have not, and almost none require them for visitors.

    In August, Dr. Klompas and his colleagues published a paper showing that masking and screening for Covid at Brigham and Women’s also decreased flu and R.S.V. infections by about 50 percent.

    The situation must be worse than it seems if the Times is running a story on this.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitals consider putting masking in place when levels of respiratory infections rise, especially in urgent care and emergency rooms, or when treating high-risk patients.

    But the guidelines do not specify what the benchmarks should be, leaving each hospital to choose its own criteria.

    Also, as usual the CDC is incompetent. How’s rebuilding trust going so far, Mandy?

    1. britzklieg

      Quite a quandary for Broadway. Very sorry for the talent that was down due to covid and big kudos to the asst. director who apparently pulled off a near impossible feat of stepping in last minute to cover two roles. That said, I can’t imagine a musical celebrating Neil Diamond as anything but pedestrian. Learning as well that the nothing-burger Josh Groban is now portraying Sweeney Todd almost brings me to tears of both incredulity and hilarity… and I could be wrong on both of my last two points. Chacun à son goût.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Yesterday I was with some eastern German friends who were in their late teens when East and West Germany reunited — they had the TV tuned to a program toasting the legacy of the late singer of German Schlager-songs Roger Whittaker (originally a Briton from Kenya) and, of course, hawking a collection of 10 CDs for only € 69.99, not available in stores blah blah 😑.

        With a few exceptions, German Schlager are not my taste at all, and “pedestrian” or “nothing-burger” is a good description of my perception — but hey, we all get romantically imprinted with whatever music our respective regimes allow to be played on the radio during our youth. Who are we to judge others?

  22. Sin Fronteras

    Here’s a little context about the leaked video of Border Patrol chief confronting agents. I work with Tucson Samaritans, a humanitarian aid group on the border: we drop food and water, and provide help to migrants we run into.

    Trump gave the wall construction to a crony, who was under pressure to get as much done as possible before Biden was inaugurated. The wall pieces come in 20 foot pre-fabricated sections, on trucks. We assume the outfit was paid by the piece, because they slapped up as many sections as they could, leaving gaps where there was a wash or uneven area. There were about 32 of these gaps in the area of Arizona that we patrol. And the wall still ends abruptly in overly rugged terrain.

    Typically for years we would only occasionally encounter a migrant, we kept track of water usage at locations to figure out where to keep putting it, and where to cut back. Maybe 3 years ago we started seeing people frequently which was unusual. The last 18 months we see a constant flood of people every day coming through the gaps in the wall, turning themselves in to Border Patrol, getting a Credible Fear Interview, and those who succeeded would be released to join their families. Brandon is now Building Back Trump’s Wall Better (need some help with that). They are filling in the gaps, and doing a more careful job to fix erosion (walls fall over during monsoons. So Brandon is showing himself to be a more qualified wall builder than Trump.

    We have heard for a while that the Biden administration (Mayorkas specifically) is having trouble keeping control of the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol union is reactionary hard right. So policy changes are in limbo, kind of managerial chaos.

    At the same time Rightists are yelling about the floods coming through the wall, and lie that they are all military age men who will form an army that will join with the US Left to take over the US.

    So Biden is filling in the holes in the wall, to reduce the political hysteria of the Right. I get the jam he is in politically, but most of the asylum seekers will be going to join their families. Walling them inside Mexico, or more likely driving them to cross in worse areas, will not fix the intolerable and dangerous conditions that WE have caused in their home lands.

    For those of you who don’t like the Open Borders idea, I recommend the book by Avaya Chomsky: “Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal”. Her point is that illegal immigration is an integral part of the US labor supply policy. There need to be immigrants, and some of them need to be illegal.

    I’m not really prepared to debate the issue, but there is a reason capital is free to flow world wide, and labor is increasingly being locked up (walls are proliferating all over the world). I suspect it has to do with preventing the cheap labor supply from escaping and reducing its supply (Haiti might be an example).

    1. some guy

      The only people who need immigrants, some of them illegal, are the wannabe-exploiters of underpaid labor. If immigration were frozen at zero in fact as well as in theory, wannabe-exploiters would be forced to choose between paying labor a fair wage for their work, or outsourcing production to sub-minimum wage areas.

      If Forcey Free-Trade were abolished, then the would-be outsourcer could no longer outsource. And would be forced to pay a fair wage to internal labor.

      If we had a Zero Population Growth society with a Zero Economic Growth economy, we would not need increasing labor levels. Zero Workforce Growth would be sufficient to fill all the jobs in a Zero Economic Growth society at Zero Population Growth.

      That sounds like a good platform for a National Greenist Party to run on. National Greenism in One Country.

      1. JBird4049

        I agree with you, and I do want the immigration to stop, but it would also help if the United States did not constantly intervene in those countries with coups and general economic warfare for over a century. Generally, all of the Americas south of the Rio Grande has suffered from this. It is a win-win for the elites as they economically rape and destroy a country’s economy and install a brutal, usually murderous and corrupt, always reactionary oligarchy, which forces the population to illegally immigrate to the United States, where they are used to destroy unions and drive down labor costs.

        So, the immigrants need to go, but our country needs to stop destroying entire countries including most of the their populations for profit. Otherwise, it is just hypocrisy.

        1. some guy

          Yes, the current attitude is just hypocrisy. We need an AmeriGov that has thoroughly ceased from economic damage and social destruction ( and climate destruction) to other countries. The pressure driving many people out of their own countries comes from rich country/ rich class actions.

          For example, the millions of economic exiles forced out of Mexico by NAFTA have been referred to as Naftastinians by some in an effort to make the language itself be more clear on the forced nature of their departure.

          And global warming itself is making parts of Guatemala, South Mexico, etc. so ecologically uninhabitable that climate refugees from there will go somewhere, because they will not just passively remain in place to die in place. Global dewarming/recooling will take decades if it were to even be seriously attempted at all. But NAFTA can be abolished and Mexico can be set free ( or re-set itself free) to re-protectionize its agricultural and re-ejidofy its land ownership. Then Mexico could spend a few decades remaking itself into a society viable enough to where those Naftastinian exiles who would want to return would have an economically viable society and ag-sector to return to.

          In the meantime we should accept the basic fact of the unpreventability of their arrival here and figure out how to make arrangements for them to be payed and workplace-rights-guaranteed to the same exact level as the rest of us. People who would pay them less and work them harder belong in prison, and we have the hundreds of thousands of prison spaces needed to put the would-be exploiters of immigrant labor.

          That does not apply to India however, whose economy we did not destroy and whose land we did not colonize. The H1B-etc. visa holders from there and other such places can be lowered down to zero and kept there long enough for American digital employers hire back all the layoffed American digital employees at their former good old American wages and salaries.

          A big beautiful wall of protectionism can prevent the digital business employers from trying to outsource their way out of their obligation to their fellow citizen workers.

          National Greenism in one country.

          Eco-socialism in one country.

        2. Sin Fronteras

          Thanks, I appreciate the clarity on the role of the US government. But, what’s your problem with immigrants? Are you thinking along the lines of “Some Guy”?

          1. caucus99percenter

            What’s any nation’s problem with an uncontrolled and uninvited influx of Others into that nation?

            The whole idea of countries and nations is that there is some kind of deep “blood and soil” connection between genealogy and land. Reference to: religious scriptures / proud history of successful conquest and settlement / “♫ G_d gave this land to me” Exodus lyrics = optional extras.

            “They” are not “Us” — the biological territorial instinct moving people to claim lands and resist (someone else’s further) invasion thereof, since time immemorial.

            The sort of humility expressed in Iceland’s national anthem — that even Iceland’s 1,000 years is, in G-d’s sight, merely like the opening and closing of a small flower or the melting of hoarfrost — is, alas, the exception.


            1. some guy

              When the American Indian Nations objected to uncontrolled waves of Mass European Settler Immigration, were they doing it to Other the European Mass Immigrant Settlers out of some kind of deep ” blood and soil connection” nastiness?

              Or did they object to losing everything and being left with nothing, not even their own existence?

              I suspect that if a million of the Very Nicest People decided to move to Iceland all at once and take it over, and give the Icelanders a reservation on an ice cap somewhere, or inside an extinct volcano crater, the Icelanders would object as hard as they could, including with violent resistance.

              1. caucus99percenter

                Oh, I agree entirely. Populism in Germany is growing as more and more people reject the notion that attachment to one’s ancestral culture and territory — something considered natural and a human right for everyone else — is only “nasty” when they, humans of northern European descent, try to practice it, defying what they perceive to be a psychologically crippling post-war shame and guilt cult imposed by the World War II victors.

      2. Sin Fronteras

        This is an answer to “Some Guy”, I may have messed up who I replied to.

        Your first sentence is certainly true, although I would question the word “only”: most corporations want to exploit under-paid labor any way they can get it, immigrants are just one way.

        So are you advocating zero-growth green capitalism in one country? I’d be interested in hearing more about how that would work.

        Well, and HOW we could get there: I run into a lot of liberals with plausible ideas and that’s fine; but how exactly do you take the power away from those who have it? That’s actually a question for all of us, I don’t have a tidy answer.

        1. some guy

          You raise interesting and worthwhile questions. When I have a computer timeblock big enough to think about and write a worthwhile and useful reply, I will circle back and do so.
          Meanwhile, I haven’t forgotten the question.

  23. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Climate Emergency Update, September 2023” is disappointing. The catalog of problems deplored at haphazard through the link is growing into a mantra. I do not doubt the seriousness or reality of the problems in the catalog. I fear they fall far short of conveying the full seriousness of the situation Humankind and the present Civilization face. The catalog repeats a nice list of bullet points with which to rally the already convinced while providing too little light on them and no light on what I believe are the biggest problems. Far too little is known about the climates systems, the world’s resource systems, and the impacts both will have on Humankind and the present Civilization, near-term and in the long term. There are far too many known unknowns and Rumsfeld’s unknown unknowns. Chanting through the catalog of climate emergency bullet points just blurs matters.

    That “…the IMF recently published an assessment of fossil fuel subsidies worldwide of $7,000,000,000,000 in 2022” — that fossil fuel subsidies worldwide came to an estimated $7,000,000,000,000 in 2022 concisely says it all to me. We are all in for a rough ride.

    1. some guy

      We are in for a rough slide down from the top of Hubbert’s Peak, all the way down the far slide of Hubbert’s Downslope till we come to a final rest at the bottom of Hubbert’s Pit.

      People who think they have something of value to contribute to the human survivors of a distant future should do their very best and most creative imagining right now about what all the worst aspects of life in Hubbert’s Pit will be like, and should try to engineer and prepare their own Separate Survival at the bottom of Hubbert’s Pit for when they get there. So they can hand off something worth handing off to the descendants of the Post Hubbert’s Pit Future.

      As Kurt Saxon once said . . . ” If you have nothing to pass on, pass on.”

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I had been trying to collect ideas about what I might salt away that would come in very handy in the future. I lost some of my steam as it became evident to me that the climate was changing faster than I had anticipated and seems to accelerating. Between Hummert’s Peak in roughly 2007 and now as it grows plain there is and may never be a plan ‘B’ for energy after the fossil fuels. Though I never had more than limited hopes for the so-called renewable energy sources the realities of what they can offer began to lower my expectations about what kind of technology the future might sustain. For the moment I do not have any clear idea of what I might pass on to the future — even my own children. Many of the items I had considered as possibly valuable for the future require access to relatively large amounts of power. For the moment I have been stumped, I have been collecting glass jars and metal and plastic lids. I might also try to collect borosilicate tubing. I have to learn a lot about what borosilicate glass items might be most valuable for building glass assemblages for producing drugs and basic chemicals.

        For the near term future, if I had the space, I would be collecting old bicycles and spools of bicycle chain cable, as well as other gears that could be driven using bicycle chain. Human leg power may be the best available source of ready physical power — other than flowing water. All metals, ceramics, and glass will become more much more valuable especially stainless steel ….

        The problems multiply like rabbits as my energy diminishes with my growing years and growing concern for how to save what I can of the technology and Science of our Civilization. Ho I might select that which might be fit for purpose in a world with extremely limited useful energy.

        1. some guy

          A village or a band can survive better than a lone person or a lone nuclear family in our Hubbert’s Pit future. The villagers or band members can all specialize in doing something or knowing something to share with or exchange with the other villagers or band mambers for the enhanced mutual survival of all the villagers or band members. Or so it seems to me.

          Using machinery now to pre-create the survival-enhancing band or village infrastucture which would permit survival on purely human or beast-of-burden energy if that is all that remains would be the best use of machines and machine energy while they still exist. Gardening goes better with a strong steel hoe from an elite hoe-maker like DeWit Tools than it will go with a clam shell tied to a stick.

          But if DeWit tools is going to go extinct along with every other company when we reach the very bottom of Hubbert’s Pit, your children won’t be able to get a DeWit hoe or a DeWit anything else ( for example) if they should decide they need one after it is too late. They will either settle for a clam shell tied to a stick, or they will have no hoe at all. So maybe they should lay in a lifetime supply of DeWit hoes, Red Pig furrowers, Meadow Creature Deep Broadforks, etc. etc., while it is still possible.

          Do your children understand the future which is coming? Do they realize that they will be living at the bottom of Hubbert’s Pit soon enough, whatever their “ideology” may be? At some point they will either have to understand the need to provide for their own future survival or fail to understand it.

          Perhaps they can reach out to other Hubbert’s Pit Preppers to prepare their place in such future village or band as may help them enhance their survival chances. Kurt Saxon wrote a very thought-clarifying article on group versus lone-wolf survival called The Idiocy of Space Capsule Survivalism.

          If your children or your friends’ children were to read that essay and understand it and decide they agree with it, then they might get themselves into a headspace where they could do specific thinking and acting about how to prepare for our neo-pre-industrial future. At which point they could find useful things at websites like . . .
          Low Tech Magazine –>
          Journey To Forever –>
          Backwoods Home Magazine –>
          and other good sources too numerous to mention.
          People might consider reading these sources and sites now, because when the Internet goes extinct along with the rest of electrical-powered infrastructure, they won’t exist to be read at all anywhere ever again. ( Except by those people far-sighted enough to have made paper copies or bought paper books and magazine versions of this material).

          There may also be an emerging genre of Technology History Re-Enactors, doing things the Old Way. They would be preservers of future-resistant viable knowledge.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Thank you for the links and ideas. I will add them to my collection.

            I do not know exactly what my children think about the future other than that they do no want to hear about it from me. I sense they are in IBGYBG mode and singing la la la la la…

  24. JBird4049

    >>>China Keeps Trying to Crush Them. Their Movement Keeps Growing. New York Times

    Just about everything that article could find comparable actions the United States. I wonder if the staff at the New York Times realizes this. This is where reading history is useful.

  25. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “How scope of practice expansion efforts were defeated in New York”
    I believe New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and the AMA have outdone themselves in handling efforts to expand the scope of practice allowed to non-AMA certified Health Care Professions. I agree with the AMA that allowing psychologists to prescribe drugs or permitting optometrists to perform eye surgery would endanger patients. I am less convinced that Nurse Practitioners need AMA certified Medical Doctors managing their practice of medicine or that AMA certified Medical Doctors are the most highly educated, trained and skilled health professionals for prescribing medications or managing drug interactions for certain patient ailments.

    I believe Gov. Kathy Hochul’s government has cleverly[?] done nothing and poisoned the outcome by mixing enough ill-considered scope of practice expansions with other necessary and over-due expansions to scope of practice. She has already succeeded in alienating large portions of New York outside NYC with her government’s measures at gun and ammunition control. What might make sense for NYC only pisses off the hinterlands of the state where people really do hunt animals to fill their freezers with meat.

    The AMA can advise: “The best prescription for good health starts with your physician,,,” in a quaint remembrance of Dr. Kildare or Dr. Welby. That remembrance grows pale compared with the reality of today’s medical practice. I see less of my GP than I see of the nurse who preps me for the doctor’s five-minute visit. Drug prescriptions from too many doctors’ offices seem to mirror the flavor of the moment, pushed in the Big Pharma freebies scattered around the waiting room — the welcome mats, the good health posters. The large numbers of retiring older physicians, the extremely high costs of medical school, the too few allowed into the practice of medicine, the too many medical practices becoming private equity cash cows … tend to quell my enthusiasms for the AMA’s formula for good health.

    Medical Doctors prescribing their own fees and proscribing practice by immigrant Medical Doctors through State Medical Boards bothers me. The way candidates are selected to practice medicine and the patient endangering hazing of Medical Interns and Residents — the apprentices and journeymen of the trade — appalls me. I feel such practices are highly disrespectful and destructive. As the costs for medical care inflate exponentially and the quality of care waxes abysmal, I loss all regard for the agency I most blame — the AMA. The AMA has not performed in the best interests of the trade or of its tradesmen … with the exception of those well-placed to take profit from the financialization of Medicine … … medicine.

    In short, I know little about Gov. Kathy Hochul, but little that endears her to me … and I have become one of her constituents. I know too little about the medical profession and the AMA … but my impressions are far from positive. I know a little about nurses and nurse practitioners, about pharmacists and pharmacy training versus medical training in pharma. If I have any rankled who know more — I look forward to their rebuttals of my burblings.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      This news from Gilbert Doctorow saddens, angers, and amazes me. I can understand greed and pride, stupidity, inflexibility and other sins of u.s. Elites but this level of madness is strange and frightening.

      1. Schopsi

        I don’t find it particularly surprising at all, I’m afraid, the signs arguably have been there for a while.

        The question is, will the actual fighting remain contained largely to ukrainian territory, at least for the near future?

        NATO sending it’s own troops, who are limited in number, less easily replaceable by forced conscripts and almost certainly won’t share the suicidal fanaticism and bravery of Ukraine’s own best troops, having far less to fight for, sending this troops in piecemeal similarly to what I suspect they have been doing for a while (their have been rumors for months, the Russians perhaps just didn’t make a big deal out of it) would be pretty ideal from a russian perspective.

        Thinning out NATO’s rapid response forces in a relatively geographically confined and controllable theater, would be Russia’s favourite way of fighting NATO, for as long as possible.

      2. Polar Socialist

        Doctorow has been a bit of a doomsayer for months now. It’s good that he’s pointing out the tightrope (perceived or real) the globe is treading regarding the desperate escalation attempts by Ukraine and US/UK.

        But in this case, as Mr. Martyanov points out, the strike at Black Sea headquarters was purely symbolic – all the function moved to an underground bunker likely a few days before the SMO even began. As usual, the hit will have no effect on the war whatsoever. It may have some propaganda value for the Ukrainians for a day or two, and for the Russian for years – according to the news an icon of Fyodor Ushakov* survived both the strike and ensuing fire even if it’s frame did burn.

        God, naturally, is on the side of the righteous.

        It seems that there’s a significant Rusian psyops going on targeting the Ukrainian soldiers: all of a sudden Russian MoD is allowing videos of dead Ukrainians, while at the same time they also are allowing the POWs to meet their families (with videos released, of course) and graffiti of the “Volga 149.200” (radio channel and a call sign for surrender) are appearing everywhere in the Ukrainian rear areas. If it’s working, NATO troops may soon be required to keep the war going.

        * The best naval commander of Russia of all times, fought 43 battles and lost none, canonized as saint in 2001

  26. ambrit

    This is not a concern trolling exercise.
    I just have to say that my Mom died last Thursday night at around 3AM. My sisters and Lydie’s family were with her at the end. Indeed, they were with her, one or another, all of the time over the last three weeks. I talked with Mom once or twice during the time over the telephone.
    The kaleidoscope of emotions and feelings is hard to describe. It has taken me this long just to feel comfortable with ‘sharing’ the information.
    Basically, a large chunk of history has disappeared into the Void. Mom lived through the Blitz in London, the rebuilding of England in the 1950’s, moving to the Americas (the Bahamas first and then America,) in the 1960’s, and then living the American Dream, and the nightmares that came along with it, for the rest of her life.
    She chose to die at home alongside my sisters and their children. A week in hospital for fluid in the lungs. Then a series of strokes. Then a week at home in hospice. Morphine every three hours at the end. I got to talk to her before she went comatose. Curiously enough, when I joshed her that since she had lived through the Second World War, she could at least try to live long enough to see the beginning of the Third, she shot back; “Listen Sonny Jim. It has already started.” She was sharp right up to the end.
    All I can say is that you should hold those you love, and even those you are ambivalent about close.
    Everyone stay very safe. Life is too precious to entrust to the hands of strangers. No matter how many degrees and certifications they have.
    As I told my sister over the telephone last night. “Now we are the elders of the society.”

      1. ambrit

        Thank you. No matter how ‘old’ I get, I move little if any distance at all closer to “wisdom.”
        Stay safe. Hold family close.

          1. ambrit

            Phyllis tells me that that recognition itself is Wisdom writ large.
            Thanks for caring. It’s human of you.

      1. ambrit

        Life can be an ordeal, not just the living of it, but watching others live through it’s vicissitudes.
        Thanks for understanding. You’ve been through a lot yourself.
        Stay safe and strong.

        1. skippy

          Concur on watching others mate … tis bad/hard enough for oneself but seeing others cop it is just more injury.

          I persist regardless …

    1. The Rev Kev

      So sorry to hear about your mother, ambrit. But that ‘Listen Sonny Jim’ – which I have not heard in ages – shows that she still had it right up to the end and that is a good thing. I can only imagine what it must have been like for her during the Blitz taking shelter in a tube station or perhaps an Anderson shelter in the backyard. My commiserations to you and your family.

      1. ambrit

        Thanks. I’m glad you got the cultural reference. It is a culture that is dying out as it’s practitioners go “into the Void.” More importantly, it is a coherent culture. Today’s population seem to be trapped in a crumbling and decaying wreck of a social order. That damned Maggie Thatcher has a lot to answer for. Her and that American actor they hired to play President.
        Mom’s family had a shelter built in their back yard. Her Dad was originally a mason, (probably both sorts.)
        Their back yard abutted a major rail yard, so, regular bombings. Mom was a young teen at the time.
        My sisters were closer to Mom than I was. They are taking it harder than I am.
        Be safe over there.

          1. ambrit

            Thank you Mr. Stone. Mortality creeps up on us. At least Mom went the way she wanted, not the way some Medical Industrial Actuary wanted.
            Typical Mom. No funeral, cremation, strew her ashes in the sea where Mom bestowed Dad’s ashes, lo these many years ago.
            Stay safe over there on the Left Coast, (or is it now the Bear Flag Republic again?)

  27. Tom Stone

    If the Insurer’s think excess mortality is a problem now they are whistling past the graveyard, and it’s as baffling as who blew the NordStream Pipelines.
    If 6% of the population is already experiencing long term damage from Covid along with damaged immune systems a mass casualty event is only a matter of time.
    There are going to be a lot of very interesting opportunistic infections showing up over the next few years.
    And the Virus is still rapidly mutating in every Host, randomly.

    With hundreds of Millions of Hosts at any given time the emergence of a much more deadly variant seems inevitable, which will both solve and cause a lot of problems, excess Human population among them.

  28. Rip Van Winkle

    Always remember when you see the year-by-year Chicago murder/shooting crime stats, that in 2016 Rahm was mayor. He deliberately hid the video until after he was re-elected of a cop shooting a guy on the ground arguably worse situation than the George Floyd incident. Not much reaction from north side-based Chicago mainstream media about Rahm on it, though, for some strange reason.

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