Links 10/13/2023

For readers who started reading immediately, I made a very few edits. Two wars to cover. That’s a lot!–lambert.

Walkers in the City—and Everywhere JSTOR

The Enshittification of Amazon Continues… The Big Picture. Doctorow’s “enshittification” lifecycle propagates.

Audit failure is not down to any one firm: the whole audit system is designed to fail to suit the interests of big business and their auditors Funding the Future


Volcano Watch — The Great Hawaiʻi ShakeOut and the Earthquake Energy Budget U.S. Geological Survey

More Than 10,000 Indigenous Earthworks Hidden in the Amazon Reveal Human Connections to the Forest Over Millennia Colossal

The System Isn’t Designed to Help You Tony Dunn, OK Doomer

A strategy of concealment Beyond Nuclear International


China’s Commodities Imports Stay Buoyant as Economy Revives Bloomberg

China property creditors face worsening restructuring terms as sector recovery hopes sour Channel News Asia

China’s graft-busters to ‘delve deep’ in new round of corruption inspections South China Morning Post

EHang Successfully Obtains Type Certificate for EH216-S Passenger-Carrying UAV System Issued by Civil Aviation Administration of China Yahoo News


Rooting for Israel, Not a Good Word About Palestine: Modi Is Upending Indian Foreign Policy The Wire


Syria’s two main airports out of service after Israel strikes: state media France24

How will an Israeli invasion of Gaza regionalize the war? Talking to WION Indian television Gilbert Doctorow

Israel warns 1.1m people to flee northern Gaza BBC. It’s gonna be hard to call a cab:

Whether to the beach, or to Egypt:

Gaza braces for ground offensive, but can Israel achieve its objectives? France24

* * *

‘NETANYAHU IS FINISHED’ (excerpt) Seymour Hersh. The excerpt doesn’t even include a teaser, but the Hamas file rests squarely on Bibi’s desk. A kind reader sent me the full text. Here is the key material:

When he returned to office in 2009, the insider said, “Bibi chose to support Hamas” as an alternative to the Palestinian Authority, “and gave them money and established them in Gaza.”

An arrangement was made with Qatar, which began sending hundreds of millions of dollars to the Hamas leadership with Israeli approval. The insider told me that “Bibi was convinced that he would have more control over Hamas with the Qatari money—let them occasionally fire rockets into southern Israel and have access to jobs inside Israel—than he would with the Palestinian Authority. He took that risk….

The attack by Hamas was a direct result of a decision Bibi made, over the protest of local military commanders, “to allow a group of Orthodox settlers to celebrate Sukkot in the West Bank.” Sukkot is an annual fall holiday that commemorates the ancestral journey of Jews into the depths of the desert. It is a weeklong festival that is observed by building an outdoor temporary structure known as a sukkah in which all could share the food that their predecessors ate and viscerally connect to the harvest season. …

The Sukkot celebration, held near a Palestinian village known in Hebrew as Haware, would need extraordinary protection, given the tension over the latest violence, and the local Israeli military authorities, with the approval of Netanyahu, ordered two of the three Army battalions, each with about 800 soldiers, that protected the border with Gaza to shift their focus to the Sukkot festival.

“That left only eight hundred soldiers,” the insider told me, “to be responsible for guarding the 51-kilometer border between the Gaza Strip and southern Israel. That meant the Israeli citizens in the south were left without an Israeli military presence for ten to twelve hours. They were left to fend for themselves. And that is why Bibi is finished. May take a few months, but he is over.”

Mossad Chief Visited Doha, Urged Qatar to Continue Hamas Financial Aid Haaretz. From 2020, still germane.

* * *

Interview on Hamas-Israel War & Ukraine (video) John Mearsheimer, John’s Substack. Well worth a listen:

Has Washington’s Middle East Policy Failed? Foreign Policy

Congressman Who Defied the Foreign Policy Blob Calls for New Approach to Israel-Palestine (interview) Brian Baird, Lee Fang

* * *

It’s The Bugs all the way down Worcester Sucks and I Love It. “Both sides are right. But both sides murder. I give up. Why can’t they? –Exene Cervenka, “I must not think bad thoughts.”

US says it’s not within their scope to validate images shared by Israel of dead children Anadolu Agency. Taleb calls this form of propaganda “pedophrasty.” Like, even the ones on incubators?

* * *

Hamas’s attack was the bloodiest in Israel’s history The Economist. Handy timeline:

The Shift: Blinken deletes call for cease-fire while Israeli defense minister orders ‘complete siege’ of Gaza Mondoweiss

Jordan bans pro-Palestinian protests in Jordan Valley and border areas amid Israeli airstrikes against Gaza Anadolu Agency

‘Sh-t thing to say’: Tempers flare among House Dems over the Israel war Politico

Dear Old Blighty

Scoping Potential Routes to UK Civil Unrest via the Food System: Results of a Structured Expert Elicitation sustainability

New Not-So-Cold War

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby The White House. Kirby: “[I]n Ukraine — on the Ukraine funding, we’re — we’re coming near to the end of the rope.” Not dangling, I trust.

Amid Talk Of Ukraine Fatigue, Zelenskiy Seemingly Snubbed By Romanian Parliament Radio Free Europe

Minority Report (excerpt) Doomberg

* * *

Ukraine War Day #597: The Battle For Avdeevka, Part II Awful Avalanche. Part I. Interesting if true.

Why Finland and Estonia Are Not Sure If Their Gas Pipeline Was “Sabotaged” by Russians Ukrainska Pravda, of all people.

* * *

US can provide weapons to Israel and Ukraine simultaneously Ukrainska Pravda. Yes, but what about Taiwan?

Pentagon’s ‘FrankenSAM’ program cobbles together air defense weapons for Ukraine AP. Yes, that’s what the Pentagon calls it.

* * *

G7 attempts to clamp down on the Russian oil price cap Splash 247

US pulls trigger on Russian sanctions, blacklists 2 crude tankers Freight Waves. Handy map:

Russian rouble rebounds after Kremlin brings back capital controls FT

The Caribbean

The United Nations Pushes Haiti Under the Bus Black Agenda Report. Congratulations to the stalwart BAR on their site redesign.

Republican Funhouse

Republicans eye expanding McHenry’s powers amid leadership fallout The Hill. Ah, a permanent temporary speaker, and indeed why not?

Digital Watch

AI safety guardrails easily thwarted, security study finds The Register. [staggers toward couch] No!!!

Google offers some copyright indemnity to users of its generative AI services The Register. So Google steals the content, fences it (sense 4), then backs the fences with its army of lawyers, so the content creators will at best get a pittance. “Indemnity” my Sweet Aunt Fanny.

Cameras, cops and paranoia: How Amazon’s surveillance network alters L.A. neighborhoods LA Times


Boeing, Spirit expand inspections for 737 MAX production defect Reuters. A saying from my print shop days: “There’s never time to do it right, but there’s always time to do it over.”

Boeing’s 737 MAX Output Falls to Lowest Level in Two Years WSJ

Zeitgeist Watch

Amish people ‘shunned’ after ‘screeching’ emergency alert revealed they owned a phone Daily Star

Has the Fastest Known Time phenomenon run its course? Two Colorado ultra athletes are changing the conversation. Colorado Sun. Why isn’t there a Slowest Known Time? For people who want to look at the world around them?


Clothing Stocks Seen as Latest Winners From Weight-Loss Drugs Bloomberg


‘Like gold’: Patients cite reasons for nonprescription antibiotic use Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Imperial Collapse Watch

Army plans to cut ‘unnecessary maintenance’ on vehicles and weapons Task & Purpose. Oh.

Disney Goes All In on Sports Betting WSJ

Class Warfare

Why Walgreens pharmacy workers are walking off the job CNN

Hollywood studios break off strike talks with actors, who slam ‘bullying tactics’ AP

‘Wage Theft Is Built Into the Business Models of Many Industries’ FAIR

Pueblo is a clean energy leader. But you might have to look close to see it. News from the States. No local benefit (all profit extracted). Who knew?

Big Philanthropy Is a Scam That Makes the Rich Look Better, Conceals Their Crimes Teen Vogue

American Dreams Reuters. From the series, “Slavery’s Descendants” (“The ancestral ties to slaveholding of today’s political elite”).

Antidote du jour (via):

I was looking for (topically appropriate) hawks, and found this hawk moth.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Live Live Israel warns 1.1m people to flee northern Gaza”

    In only twenty-four hours. Here is something to chew over. The Gaza Strip has about the same population as Houston, Texas. Now imagine that the Federal Government came out and said that half of Houston was to be bombed in 24 hours so everybody had to flee to the other half. You think that the people of Houston could do it? In peace time? With no places in “safe” Houston for those people to go live, get food, get water. And all those hospitals patients in the “dangerous” half would have to be evacuated along with vital medical supplies. Could the roads cope with that many people? How many people in Houston would die trying to do this? How about any form of public order?

    But Netanyahu thinks this completely reasonable.

    1. Quentin

      No one thinks this scenario is reasonable. Reasonableness is not part of the equation. It’s more like: Now we’ll do it while we can and, by the way, who gives a shit?’

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Regime change Karens. This is for people who have the memories of goldfish or can’t conceive stuff that happened earlier this fall could possibly connect to current events if Maddow types don’t tell them to keep them from thinking. I suspect Blinken hopes this will help keep Jordan in line, but this won’t play at the street level. When the active genocide occurs (its coming), Biden et al hope this will keep them from labeled that way.

        Even from a crueler perspective, part of the reason the US has been able to get away with this behavior was there was no alternative or the Soviets who had their own problems. Beijing is on the world stage, and the powers that be aren’t the paranoid, distrustful Soviet politiburo. This is just a way to go hey we aren’t going to use that military base against you.

        The French military began leaving much of their subsaharan former colonies today. Who will kick out NGOs tomorrow?

        1. Eleanor

          Are we sure that goldfish have poor memories? They have been trained to drive their fish tanks (which have wheels). I don’t remember how long they remember how to drive a fish tank, but learning such an odd behavior would argue for a fair amount of memory. (Learning requires memory.)

    2. caucus99percenter

      Worse yet, in the U.S. and Europe, all the people who “stand with” Netanyahu and Israel will argue this is completely reasonable. It’s “everyone in Hiroshima / Nagasaki / Dresden had it coming” time again.

      1. Mechmacho

        True that. Most of my undergraduate WA group of engineers – now PMCs – were justifiably up in arms about the massacre that happened at the music festival. However, even after being prompted, very few have managed to shed tears over the destruction of Gaza and the deaths of hundreds of children and other innocents. After all they are just Palestinians.

        In their daily lives, these PMCs all look and act like do-gooders – showing concerns about the poor people, despising racism, wanting women to break the glass ceiling, supporting DEI, donating to “noble” causes, etc. All good parents concerned about their childrens’ lives. But nary a concern about these wretched people in Gaza … as NotTimothyGeithner suggests above, they have the memory of a goldfish and the crisis started “unprovoked” only last Saturday. Everything was hunky-dory prior to that, excepting some tsk-tsking. No willingness to even understand the context.

        The casualness of the sentiment “they are just Palestinians who had it coming” is just so saddening. And they are all people I know … Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” all over again.

    3. Pavel

      Talk about pouring petrol on a fire. How is this not going to inflame the situation further throughout the Mideast?

      (Apart from the obvious violation of international law regarding collective punishment, which has in fact been going on for years in Gaza.)

      My theory is that Bibi has been for years just trying to create distractions to save his own skin. Things have finally spiraled out of his control and all the sh!t is hitting the fan, and he is even more desperate. Biden and the entire US Congress (D&R — Israel) are tagging along as we hurdle towards WW3 or at best the closure of the Strait of Hormuz and oil at $200 per barrel.

      What a world. And of course note that under Bibi, Israel has been directly and/or vicariously funding Hamas for years, initially to sabotage Arafat and the PLO.

      I chose a bad week to start Drytober or whatever it’s called.

      1. Louis Fyne

        your thesis is strongly hinted at by Seymour Hersch in his latest substack column, per Seymour’s anonymous “highly placed” source

    4. Randall Flagg

      Think about evacuation of any city if the word was out that in 24 hours a nuclear warhead would be flying in… talk about an instant breakdown of society.
      Keep stoking the fires for WW3 though.

      1. Feral Finster

        Since nobody is talking about evacuating a major city under such conditions, what is that supposed to mean?

        1. Randall Flagg

          What I meant was that asking everyone that wants to leave Gaza and only giving them 24 hours, it’s a joke and where are they going to go?
          Moving that to a larger picture,
          The way I see some folks throw words around that seem to imply war is no big deal and show little concern for the hundred ways this conflict could escalate into a much larger regional or even world war, imagine getting a warning and trying to evacuate a city of any size in the US. It’s a sick joke.

    5. Louis Fyne

      wow, that hersch revelation if it ever sees the light of day in western media,

      1. CIA-Mossad, heck throw in the US State Dept., need to be disbanded and a new institutional successor created. Their proxy war policy created this mess.

      2. Pride, hubris and Nemesis (the Greek goddess—personification of retribution for the sin of hubris) go hand in hand.

      1. mrsyk

        The burning question: How did Hamas know that two thirds of the border guard would be elsewhere that day? Was this public knowledge?

        1. Louis Fyne

          just like any other counter-insurgency/occupation….Aunt Betty lives down the street from the army base and saw xxx trucks leave on Monday and told her X who offers bounties for interesting info.

          While George noticed that xxx trucks passed through a West Bank checkpoint later that day.

          Heck, some IDF private probably even blasted it on TikTok.

          Pretty much in every engineering disaster, multiple things (human and mechanical) unluckily fail at the same time which explodes the death toll.

          Political/military disasters are no different. What might have been a standard Hamas raid that killed a few dozen Israelis got a massive tailwind from Israeli failures (if this and other allegations/hypotheses are true).

        2. Skip Intro

          And was it relevant?
          If we stipulate that Hamas had prepared this attack in advance, which seems obvious, then either the withdrawal of the guards was a coincidence, or it was the trigger that Hamas took advantage of.
          Of course the timing of the Al Aqsa provocations and Yom Kippur and the anniversary of the war, and the timing of Hamas’ attacks could have just been based on the calendar, in which case pulling the border guards was a major blunder on a day when some actions should be anticipated.
          If we entertain the idea that the provocation and guard withdrawal were like 9/11, and were an invitation to Hamas to give Bibi an excuse for a political Hail Mary of a war. Then we are reminded of the catastrophic ‘misunderestimation’ that led NATO to start a war in Ukraine expecting economic sanctions to cause regime change in Russia.

      2. pjay

        The Israeli right, Likud and the theocrats, have been using Hamas since the creation of the latter to undermine any real accommodation with the Palestinians. Hamas, in its turn, has a history of blowing up such negotiations through acts of “terrorism” any time they seemed like they might lead to something. Both groups have historically used each other, needed each other, much like our right-wing neocons have used jihadist groups around the world who in turn are strengthen by our massive destructiveness and obliviousness. Each side hates the other, but each believes they can get the other side to act in a way that promotes their own ultimate goals. Everyone else suffers.

        There is a tendency for those of us who have long supported the Palestinians to give Hamas a pass. But it is much more complicated story.

    6. bob

      The people of gauze that should stop supporting Hamas. Is it reasonable to tell people that an attack is coming and that they should leave. The bar verity of attacking women and children burning him in their homes is an excuse able. Please tell me the difference between Hamas and Isis. There is a huge difference between targeting civilians for terror and attacking military targets embedded among civilians

      1. The Rev Kev

        So please tell me how this ends even without this war. What is the future of the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation? What will the eventual settlement look like? What is the final end game? What rights will they have for themselves and their children? How does it all end? The thought occurred to me today there are nearly two hundred countries in the world and off-hand I cannot think of a single one that would want to have Israel as their neighbour.

      2. JohnA

        And the people of Israel should stop supporting Netanyahu and the pro-settler parties. Please tell me the difference between what Israel is doing and what was done to people in the ghettos of Warsaw etc., 80 years ago.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          been wondering the same thing – something off-kilter with it – gauze instead of Gaza? – seemed to pop-up only on this issue –

          1. chris

            You know how it is, you have your bar mitzvahs, your bar veritys…

            AI bot or not, Bob is vomiting up what so many seem to be saying. They’re all willfully ignoring reality. There is no way for Israel to react against Hamas in Gaza without Israel inflicting huge casualties on Gazans. If you hate what Hamas did be prepared for Israel to be 10x worse. Hamas may be counting on that and hoping that the carnage is what causes the rest of the world to step back from supporting Israel in this latest military response. Although from the other articles posted today, it appears other nations already have issues with unequivocal support of Israel.

            This is such a messed up situation.

            If i have the story so far correct… Bibi ignored warnings because he tried to please extremists. Bibi then made decisions that left the door wide open for an incursion despite that warning. Other extremists in Gaza then committed atrocities. Now Israel is committing war crimes in response to the initial atrocity. Israel is also planning genocide as a response to the initial attack. And none of the Palestinians’ neighbors are stepping in to help because they don’t want to absorb another 2 million refugees. Meanwhile, the US is saying screwy stuff that has a high chance of instigating nuclear armed states to act in reckless ways. What a horrible situation!

            1. mrsyk

              Meanwhile, the US is saying screwy stuff that has a high chance of instigating nuclear armed states to act in reckless ways. I really want to insert “true to character” into this sentence. It’s a terrible situation.

        1. chris

          Sarc/ They made a poor decision to be Jewish and German or Polish during the 1930s/1940s. We now know that they could have identified as people from another background and religion, because that would have changed everything. Or time! They could have identified as people from the 1960s and the Nazis would have left them alone. The pre-War II market delivered an appropriate consequence for the Jews inability to understand the consequences of their poor decision. Why can’t we blame them for that? /sarc

      3. Young

        I was trying to find the difference between what Hamas did last week and what Irgun had done at Deir Yassin in 1946.

        Unfortunately, tit for tat will never end.

    7. mrsyk

      The punch line is that, come Sunday everyone in Gaza will have to “flee southern Gaza”. For the moment, that’s a sarcastic prediction. For the moment. What Israel is doing is criminal. It’s evil. Look at the photo from the Israeli Air Force tweet. “Hamas targets” you say? Looks to me like Gaza is being razed to the ground.

      1. ambrit

        I’m wondering what it will take to bring Hezbollah fully into this conflict. Hamas fired six or eight thousand rockets into Southern Israel. Hezbollah is reputed to have a quarter million rockets, and many of those are guidable.
        Also, for the End Times crowd, the Plain of Jezreel, where the second Israeli nuclear facility is sited is also known as the Valley of Meggido. That place is well within the range of Hezbollah’s missiles and rockets.
        Meggido is said to be the site of Armageddon.
        Watch this space.

        1. mrsyk

          Yeah, I’m leaving that one alone. There are plenty “end of times” signals which don’t require a religious background.

        2. Cat Burglar

          If control of real estate is what the combatants are fighting over, would they want to contaminate the land and themselves by blowing up a nuclear facility? Could Hezbollah satisfy itself that they wouldn’t get dusted as well? I am guessing it will not happen.

          1. Bsn

            Of course it wasn’t a concerted effort of Ukraine’s to blow up the Zporizhzhia (sp?) nuclear power plant, just off and on shelling. A concerted effort by Hezbollah to do so in Israel may be more effective. However, nuclear plants are about as bomb resistant as can be. In addition, I’m positive Israel didn’t cut corners on their construction after taking into consideration their hostile neighbors.

            1. Cat Burglar

              The plants are bomb resistant to a degree, but the cooling systems are not.

              But if the intent if to cause greater destruction over a large area, then hitting weapons production plants, nuclear waste storage, and spent fuel storage pools with enough explosives to get the material airborne under the right wind conditions would cause the maximum effect.

              You could be right that Israel has undertaken the extra cost of preventing such vulnerabilities (the US sure has not). But the proximity of the Palestinian population could be the ultimate insurance policy for Israel –what enemy would nuke Israel and the Palestinians?

    8. Oh

      My solution for the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Disband Israel and move them all into an arid part of Texas (East Texas) where the climate will be similar, and make that a country within the US. Give current Israel to the Palestinians.

  2. cnchal

    > The Enshittification of Amazon Continues…

    Hmmm. Barry is an unsatisfied whip cracking sadist. Gonna take his whip elsewhere now.

    What I would really like to see is whip cracking sadists spend a year tied to the whipping post inside one of Bezos’ Satanic Mills on the receiving end of the lash.

    1. CanCyn

      “Barry is a unsatisfied whip cracking sadistic idiot. There, fixed it for ya. I add idiot because Barry seems to seriously think that as many online retailers as possible having his credit card on file is a good thing…Jeebus! I don’t even know where to start with that. I haven’t ordered anything from Amazon in years, but husband still does and he doesn’t seem to have the issues that Barry is having. Hard to believe that less densely populated Canada can do faster deliveries than the US but in this very limited comparison Canada wins – if fast deceivers of stuff we barely need or could buy some version of locally is a win.

      1. cnchal

        > . . . Canada can do faster deliveries than the US . . .

        . . . and a lot less expensive than shipping within the US as well. Canada Post is awesome and I can’t remember the last time a package was damaged or stolen unlike the box smashers and stealers at UPS.

        What surprises me about Barry is that for a renowned eclownomist he is clueless as to how abusive Amazon is and ignorant of the internal pump and dump whereby third party sellers, the majority from China, are put through the pay to be found scam and that “Prime” whip cracking sadists are massively subsidized to ‘lock them in’. It’s like the guy never gets off the couch to look at reality.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        never trusted google or Amazon – for Amazon have always bought gift cards with cash and used them for purchasing anything, never use a cc – always check local first, rather support local – have a debit card with no overdraft protection or linked to any other account – only keep funds necessary for specific purchases in that account – unfortunately need a cc for booking travel and rental cars otherwise cash is king

    2. Benny Profane

      It’s a bit shocking to see how they have destroyed the Whole Foods brand. And continue to, while the other supermarkets in my area fill that vacuum with quality and service, but keep prices fair. Well, as fair as they can be these days.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        rarely shop at WF but have noticed that price of loaves of bread went up and loaves got smaller –

        1. Oh

          It looks like this is the trend with all bakers today. Trader Joe’s bread have also gone up in price.

      2. Don

        Not drawing any conclusions about why, but what you describe is the opposite of what has happened in Vancouver (Canada). Before Whole Foods was taken over by Amazon here, it had by far the worst quality produce of any supermarket in the city (all organic, and all half-rotten) and the smell of the seafood department prompted wide detours around it. Pricing was also comparatively very high. Since Amazon’s takeover, produce quality (now about half organic and half conventional, but all fresh) has improved to the point where it is now the best in the city, (including at the Public Market), the seafood now smells and looks fresh, and prices are very competitive, in many cases, cheaper than at discount outlets. I am not anything close to being a fan of Amazon, and am dumfounded by the improvement. Perhaps part of the Amazon strategy of attaining worldwide market domination before introducing crapification?

      1. Jason Boxman

        Yep. For a decade now most third party sellers, when you check, are just randomly named “companies” in China shipping stuff across the Pacific. It’s cheap junk. Amazon doesn’t care, they get paid from every single angle. You have to rely on external web sites, which are hard to find in Google Search, to have done the work evaluating products on Amazon, to even have a chance at getting something that isn’t junk, or even finding what you want. What a joke.

        Amazon has been garbage at least since they took away “most reviews” as a sort option. Most/least stars is useless; finding a 5 star single voted item is meaningless.

      2. jefemt

        I did not realize amazon ever had a moment that it was not schit?

        I eschew it and espit it out. So virtuous!
        I am sure I benefit – unbeknownst to me, from amazon Web Services via the cloud as I whooosh around the ethersphere at the speed of electrons. But as much as I personally can, I boycott the behemoth and revile its apparent steroid chompin’ chrome-domed Galt.

        I sure hope I never have to work for the Big A.

        1. Bsn

          Hmmm, I never realized how sheety Amazon has become because I’ve never bought anything through them. That’s one way to end their game, refuse to play. “What if they had a war and no one came?”

    3. Louis Fyne

      Here’s a *shocker* —- everything that Amazon was offering was unsustainable, made possible only by: (1) Amazon trying to gain market share at any cost; and (2) the Amazon store subsidized by wildly fat profits from Amazon the corporate cloud provider (AWS)

      welcome to reality Barry

  3. furnace

    Things are heating up very fast. Don’t blink or you’ll miss the general escalation of the war. All signs point that the Israeli invasion of Gaza will start today, which, as many commentators have been pointing out, is eerily reminiscent of Austria’s intransigence in 1914, and the utter commitment of all parties to escalate no matter what.

    That faux Chinese curse never ringed so true: “may you live in interesting times”. Interesting indeed.

    1. Louis Fyne

      The US is not in control of this bus.

      Zero American escalation domination (US ability to bluff, raise stakes, and call). Just like Ukraine.

      Zero American influence to persuade any side re. their choices

      What a wild moment in history…the loons running DC and have lost control of the entire world.

      Good thing I have 24 quarts of motor oil in my basement cuz I went a little overboard during the last sale, lol

      1. Benny Profane

        “Zero American influence to persuade any side re. their choices”

        Really? How about over a hundred billion to Ukraine so far, and Biden trying to get another hundred billion there behind most backs? Zero? Dont even start with the probably trillions we send to prop up Israel.

        1. jsn

          You could look at that 100B as stimulus spending to keep the Russian economy growing.

          That’s influence!

        2. Don

          But you are focusing on how much the US is spending, not on what it’s getting for the money. I am hopeful that what L.F. writes might be true; that no matter how many hundreds of billions the US throws at Ukraine, it will not achieve what it set out to do. And of course, I am hoping that the loons don’t inadvertently blow us all up in the process.

          Is the American Empire in decline because there are “loons running DC”, or are the “loons running DC” because the American Empire is in decline?

          1. Benny Profane

            Without that money Ukraine would cease to exist. We are paying for everything, including pensions.

      2. flora

        George HW Bush was the last post-WWII era president. He called the neocons “the crazies”. Since Clinton’s election we’re in the post-post-WWII era and those presidents all love the neocons. The neocons are still the crazies.

        30 years of neocons doing foreign policy and 40 years of neoliberals doing economic policy.

        1. digi_owl

          If only Bush the younger had listened to dear old dad.

          But i guess he had to show he was just as much, if not more, a man by invading Iraq.

          1. The Rev Kev

            At least George Bush senior saw combat in the South Pacific as a carrier pilot to wake him up to some of the realities of the real world. Bush the Younger didn’t want to go to ‘Nam so he joined the Texas Air National Guard to defend the skies of Texas from the Vietcong. That is, until one day he got bored and wandered away from his base without even resigning.

            1. jsn

              Elderbush is an interesting character. “Family of Secrets” paints a profoundly sociopathic portrait.

              He certainly saw himself as heir apparent to Americas Anglophile WASP power tradition and had no problem murdering his opponents.

              On the other hand, he understood the political/economic machine FDR had built as the basis of US force projection and thus as the enforcer of the “Globalist” Mont Pelerin vision he certainly saw as the future of the US empire, much as described in Bobbitt’s “The Shield of Achilles”. Like LBJ using the Presidency to push through Civil Rights, the odd but good focus of his withered inner angel, Elderbush raised taxes when health of the system required it. His inner angel was nothing but a Neoliberal gremlin and the Neoliberals ejected him for it!

        2. undercurrent

          Papa Bush, a former CIA director, pointed out to the American people how Saddam’s army was throwing Kuwati babies out of incubators. Just another big, fat American lie, one of many HW told in getting to where he was. He doesn’t get a pass. His hands are as bloody, and as red, as any stripe in the American flag.

          1. undercurrent

            As any RED stripe in the American flag. A thousand pardons, just as WH pardoned himself from any criminal indictments, on Christmas Eve, 1988.

          2. Cassandra

            Let us not forget that Vice President Bush claimed to be innocent of the Iran-Contra gun running fiasco, that he was in the washroom when senile President Reagan and his cabinet formed those plans…

            The 1980s’ regime change operations in Central America worked about as well as the 90s’ regime changes in the Balkans and Russia, which were a prelude for this century’s adventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine…*

            Same as it ever was.

            *nb: not intended to be a complete list

      3. Polar Socialist

        To be honest, the loons running DC do have the power to immediately de-escalate by publicly withdrawing their support. It’s the only control they have and the only one they don’t know how to use.

        1. The Rev Kev

          As the guys at The Duran often say, Neocons have no reverse gear. And when things go wrong for them, they will always double down.

        2. Pat

          The loons in DC are too afraid of losing thousands of dollars of funds. It is very direct, but some of our biggest buyers of Congress has been Israelis. They might have joint citizenship, but their interests were only about Israel. (There is some loony religious money as well, but pushing Armageddon is not as lucrative.)

        3. digi_owl

          Because doing so would make them look weak, and if they show weakness then out comes the daggers.

          same old “machismo”, no matter if they wear a suit or a skirt…

        4. NotTimothyGeithner

          I guess it’s too on the nose, but Robert Maxwell was almost certainly Mossad. So who is in Jeffrey’s black book?

          1. mrsyk

            I commented on this yesterday, and I will say it again. Any candidate that’s financially supported by the R/DNC will be toeing the AIPAC line, as will any candidate compromised by Epstein.

      4. mrsyk

        Good thing I have 24 quarts of motor oil in my basement cuz I went a little overboard during the last sale, lol. I seem to have stashed away about the same amount of olive oil. Funny to think that olive oil is topping my priority list.

        1. caucus99percenter

          For many years in Amsterdam in the past, I was always able to lay in a supply of primo Palestinian olive oil — to my knowledge, on sale almost nowhere else — through the Keizersgracht church’s “world fair-trade table.”

          They also sold chocolate and coffee from Africa / Latin America, etc. Unfortunately the the table no longer exists after the volunteer who kept it all going passed away.

          1. mrsyk

            I was always able to lay in a supply of primo Palestinian olive oil
            When I was living in NYC I could get it at the west side market. Primo Lebanese wines were available as well, cellared at a now shuttered restaurant/hookah bar (replaced with a f######g Chipotle’s some years ago) on 110th and Broadway.

        2. GF

          Olive oil doesn’t age well so drink up:

          “Here are some guidelines for the shelf life of different olive oils (keep in mind, this is the shelf life for sealed, unopened bottles stored in a cool, dark place—storage conditions are crucial for quality):

          18-24 months for regular olive oil
          12-24 months for extra virgin olive oil
          3-4 months for cloudy, unfiltered “olio nuovo”

          Since you don’t always know exactly when an olive oil was harvested and bottled (unless it lists a harvest date), it’s a good idea to use the best-by date or expiration date as a guide for how long an unopened bottle of olive oil will stay fresh enough for consumption, without developing flaws in flavor and aroma.

          However, olive oil has a much shorter shelf life once the bottle is open. When stored in ideal cool and dark conditions, an open bottle of olive oil should be used within 1 to 3 months, because it begins to oxidize once exposed to air. You can possible stretch that a bit longer, but if you do, you’ll want to do a sniff and taste test before using it in recipes. Keep your olive oil in the pantry or a cool dark cabinet to preserve its quality, and never in a warm place like the counter next to the stove or a window.

          Pro tip: Consider marking your bottle of olive oil with the date once you open it to make sure you use it up in time. If you’re anything like us, it won’t even last a month! Can’t finish fast enough? Your olive oil consumption clearly needs to go up, but maybe opt for a smaller bottle next time.”

      5. Feral Finster

        Sure the US can escalate. They got the public to support the wars on Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc., and most people fell right into line, every time.

        Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece?
        Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

        Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

        Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

        It works the same way in any country.

        • In an interview with Gilbert in Göring’s jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946)

    2. Jason Boxman

      “Admiral Josh Painter: This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we’ll be lucky to live through it.” – Hunt for Red October (1990)

      A rare instance where I feel the movie is actually better than the book, whereas The Sum of All Fears was definitely a better book. The movie substituted Nazis for Arabs.

    1. Louis Fyne

      The reality (while not good) doesn’t sound *as* the headlines make it. They are moving from a time-based maintenance to usage-based maintenance.

      While this sounds logical from a cubicle and corner office, this approach is not good in the real world—especially when maintenance is essentially a rounding error in the Pentagon’s budget.

      Downsides: presumably less spare parts on immediate hand (feature, not a bug); people are less proficient and efficient at maintenance tasks as it is human nature to forget how to do things that one does less often

      1. GlassHammer

        The “continuous maintenance” (be it army, navy, airforce, or marine vehicles/equipment) was never about cost and efficiency, it was about 1. Having them always running, 2. Having them always repaired, and 3. Having them always safe to operate/abuse.

        What’s going to happen with a use based approach is many repairs are going to be identified all at once (when it comes in) instead of a little bit over time. So much longer down times once repairs start.

        My guess is this switch in strategy is probably the result of less money for maintenance in the budget and less personnel available to do the work.(Getting Mechanics of any type is becoming increasingly difficult. It’s a dieing skill set now.)

        1. digi_owl

          Filling boots are becoming increasingly hard, as potential recruits fail both physical and mental requirements when they are interested in signing up at all.

          And then training is a stack of DVDs rather than shadowing a senior.

          1. GlassHammer

            Guided on the job training should be emphasized more than classroom (papers, powerpoints, and dvds) but…. that just not happening right now.

        2. Polar Socialist

          And especially in the navy, having onboard the resources and knowledge to repair the ship’s systems means that the ship can take more punishment in a battle, and thus has more “staying power”.

          Even with the modern radars and missiles, peer-to-peer naval battles are still about the last boat standing.

          1. marku52

            Drachnifel (utoobs about naval stuff) insists that superior damage control was important in the USN success in battles against the IJN.
            One in particular, on our carriers, as soon as radar sighted incoming, all the avgas lines were drained and purged with CO. The Japanese did not do this obvious thing. It cost them.

            1. JBird4049

              The Japanese navy was worse in damage control especially in the first year or so, but they got better. Perhaps, a greater problem was the lack of radar, which gave the Americans more warning and time to prepare.

              This was a key reason for the defeat at Midway.

      2. Reply

        Just-in-time maintenance. What could go wrong?

        People in various corners of the maintenance business will tell you that failure to perform preventive maintenance will lead to large increases in lifecycle cost. That is for conventional items and systems with established supply chains and procedures. The more exotic elements in the DoD world do not have that luxury, even with a seemingly unlimited supply of budget dollars. That anodyne lifecycle cost notion can hide much inconvenience, even mortality.

        The failures come at inopportune times, and there are real costs to share all around. That print shop saying of Lambert’s

        There’s never time to do it right, but there’s always time to do it over.

        has a variation in other shops: If you don’t have time enough to do it right, how will you have time to do it over?

        1. GlassHammer

          Yes and it’s even worse considering the fact that some of these systems were not designed with upkeep in mind at all. (Just built to wait on replacement parts to be ordered…remove an replace…. remove and replace.)

        2. Cat Burglar

          Remember all the Russian equipment that had to be abandoned during the invasion of Ukraine because it had been pulled from storage and unmaintained?

        3. scott s.

          Spent much of my naval career in the ship repair biz. Condition based maintenance has always been the holy grail. It briefs well on a powerpoint deck. But accurately determining “condition” is a black art. I like how the brass argues it relieves the burden on troops. Not likely. More likely is it will justify reducing manpower.

    2. Watt4Bob

      If that truck won’t start, throw it in the burn pit and order a new one.


      And call it innovation.

  4. GramSci

    Re: Movement building

    Another link from Barry: «It’s really as simple as being attacked by fascist police in the streets. Once the attack begins, there are two sides: armed police inflicting violence and everyone else. We need to be able to see each other in those terms, reeling in the face of unthinkable violence, scrambling to stay alive and uncaged, and doing the work to protect one another.»

    But let’s not confine our theater to riots and shop floors. My most successful organizing has been at swap meets and flea markets, peddling single-payer to the masses reeling in the face of unthinkable medical system violence. Or consider Amfortas’ feed store…

  5. Randall Flagg

    Pretty amazing that we ( the USA) spends far and away the most on war (oops,excuse me), Defense than many other nations combined. Yet here we are, shortages of uniforms, maintenance problems, crappy equipment TPTB are likely afraid to send into combat in Ukraine for fear of being exposed as the rolling dog piles they are. Never mind the F-35. Bases worldwide and for what? The list goes on.
    It’ll never be able to to be properly audited and maybe that’s the point. Nations like Russia and China spend money to win wars, we spend it to line shareholders pockets.

    Meanwhile, for the rest of the citizens, see Lambert’s two rules…
    Apologies for the rant.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Owning the reserve currency and having the ability to near infinitely print money on demand is a literal super-power (with the only immediate consequence being inflation suffered by the hoi-polloi).

      The long-term curse to this super-power is that everything gets corrupted by easy access to government money: politicians, defense, patronage, etc.

      1. jsn

        The same way US GDP has been fictionalized by Financialization, with steady increases in all sector non-productive rents seen as “growth”, the “Defense” budget has detached not just from “defense” but from aggression, paying for the direct generation of rich people without any real world productive outcome.

        Finance was retooled for rent extraction starting in the late 90s, the Pentagon was retooled for rent extraction after 9/11. Ever more spending for ever less real capacity either to make or do things.

        For the 20s, now, the Medical Industrial Complex has taken over to ensure there’s no healthy population in the future to rebuild real world capabilities in whatever category. The promotion of sickness and treatments for profit is the ultimate self licking ice cream cone until we run out of people. The longer the Neoliberal Thought Collective narrative matrix lasts, the less functioning society will remain when it implodes.

    2. digi_owl

      Because the military budget is a roundabout way for congress critters to gorge at the money trough. This by funneling the budget into contractor corporations that then turn around and use the money on dividends and buybacks.

  6. Carla

    Re: Congressman Who Defied the Foreign Policy Blob Calls for New Approach to Israel-Palestine

    From the teaser provided, it seems to me a perfect example of a Substack entry that should NOT be paywalled.

    Any chance of NC reaching out to Lee Fang about permission to republish the whole piece?

    Substack is starting to really annoy me. I’d have to be a millionaire to read all the interesting looking entries I would like to.

    1. Benny Profane

      Yeah, they have to rethink their business model. Who can afford all of those subscriptions?

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Shellenberger’s last Substack ripped on Hamas so hard I canceled my subscription. I let him know I didn’t care to pay for the privilege of being lectured.

        He has some good news but you have to climb over his ego to get to it.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          yeah i noticed that last one from Shellenberger was hardly balanced – another one bites the dust – and couldn’t agree more C about the cost to stay up to speed with the substack authors you might appreciate – they gotta eat too so don’t know how that one could be resolved to everyone’s benefit –

          1. Carla

            An awful lot of the successful Substacks (i.e., those with lots of paying subscribers) are authored by people who are already prominent and financially well fixed in their own right. But in ‘murica, you can never have enuf dough, right? The greed is just sickening.

            I like Sam’s example of Alex Berenson (below). Shows some decency on Berenson’s part. But is decency infectious? Well, it appears that it’s not nearly as contagious as greed.

            1. Benny Profane

              I really don’t think that even someone like Taibbi is at a level where he’s shopping for a third home and a Porsche. Not the most lucrative field, unless you whore to talking head status on CNN.
              I’m wondering if this business model makes for a lot of filler product just to satisfy the subscribers. Kind of like the old record biz, when artists had to produce junk just to satisfy contract obligations.

            2. Jabura Basaidai

              good point C and made me think of Caitlin Johnstone – suppose she could get lined up with substack but doesn’t – she can occasionally get a tad hyperbolic but i don’t care, appreciate her go-for-the-throat warrior sensibility and only asks for donations not ‘subscriptions’ – i’ve donated –

      1. pjay

        Wow. It’s hard to remember back when the Daily Show was capable of such political satire. Are you sure this was just nine years ago?

    2. Sam

      I appreciate how Alex Berenson does his paywall. He makes it so only paid subscribers can read the whole article when he posts it, but in 72 hours he opens it up for everyone to read.

      I agree that the important news shouldn’t be behind a paywall. McCullough irritates the hell out of me by doing that to the information that could help a lot of people not get dead.

    3. iread

      I’m relieved I’m not the only one.
      I’d have thought Hersh might have more available to /p/ as well.
      Many thanks here to NC for roundup and comments.

      1. hk

        Manifest Destiny was partly inspired by the Old Testament, ie mythological history of the Levant. Jericho is, after all, in the West Bank.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Volcano Watch — The Great Hawaiʻi ShakeOut and the Earthquake Energy Budget”

    ‘The Great Hawaii ShakeOut is a yearly event for kamaʻāina and visitors to practice and prepare for when a large damaging earthquake hits the Hawaiian Islands. Every year, an earthquake drill happens on the third Thursday of October. This year, the ShakeOut is set for 10/19 at 10:19 a.m. HST.’

    Asking the obvious question here. Do they have something similar for Californians?

    1. Wukchumni

      We in Cali prefer the earthquake to manifest itself before we actually do any planning for such an event.

      I think part of the issue is that the temblors we’ve had since the 1906 SF edition have been yeah whatever, compared to one of those monster quakes elsewhere in the world.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        well W ya gotta admit that the Loma Prieta earthquake on my Dad’s birthday in 1989 and the Northridge earthquake in 1994 were pretty scary for those experiencing it – and everyone knows the ‘big one’ is coming – and with the Millennium Tower in San Francisco leaning at a rate of 3″/yr it won’t take a big one to topple that tower of mis-engineering –

      2. Joe Renter

        The Loma Prieta quake of 1989 being 6.9 was no joke. I knew a victim who lost her life in downtown Santa Cruz.
        There will be another no doubt.

        1. JBird4049

          The proper building codes, properly enforced, is the reason for the Loma Prieta and Northridge earthquakes having so few casualties. Not having both proper codes and code enforcement are ther reasons why earthquakes tend to be so deadly outside of California and Japan. Often countries do have proper building requirements, but with the corruption, the builders and owners bribe the inspectors. My worry is the increasing corruption in California, as seen in the Bay Bridge, might mean that a growing number of buildings are improperly built and maintained, but we will not know until the next large one.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            “SF’s Millennium Tower now tilting more than ever to the west after early recovery”
            not exactly reassuring – wonder if the proper building codes were properly enforced –
            “…….tower currently leaning more than 29 inches at northwest corner of Fremont and Mission…….”
            “As far as remedial work goes, this is just a mess,” said veteran geotechnical engineer Bob Pyke, “You spend all this money, but you still have an uncertain result long term.”

            1. jsn

              The Grenfell tower fire woke me up to the neoliberal rot in the UK public services. The UK invented most of the principles of modern fire safety during the blitz, but let the Thatcherites throw it all out the window.

              In the US mostly Fire Marshals are the final authority on the issues that drove the Grenfell fire, but underpaid bureaucrats will accept most anything a licensed engineer puts in front of them, opening the path to “over optimization” and Millennium Tower type failures.

              Fire Marshals tend to take life safety seriously, generally preferring vacant lots to buildings as a death on a vacant lot is a problem for the police. There’s no such officer for geotechnical stability and design professionals tend to be too solicitous of project owners desires and confident in their models.

        1. JBird4049

          I remember that collapse. I use to drive on it often when working, but I wasn’t working that day. The thing is that it could have much worse as is often the case in other countries with similarly powerful earthquakes. It was only because of the eight decades of increasingly strict building codes since the 1906 Earthquake and Fire that more people did not die. Harsh as that sound. Just read about that earthquake to see the difference.

        2. Wukchumni

          In a real earthquake 10’s of thousands of people die, 42 people dying is the equivalent of a small commuter plane crashing, not that it isn’t sad in own right.

          A few of the 65 or so deaths in the 1994 LA quake were on account of heart attacks.

    2. repiet

      California worries about the buildings falling down on top themselves, Hawaii worries about the tsunami that follows.

  8. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Mooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The war saw ghetto bombing, and few expected anything less than total capitulation as its difficult to fall asleep on rubble unless you’re taking a dirt nap, experts agreed.

  9. LawnDart

    Re; China, Ehang

    In the tech-war, China is winning– bigly.

    This just in: EHang (NASDAQ: EH) has received the world’s FIRST & only type certification of pilotless passenger aircraft in China! Incredible.

    EHang receives first type certification from China’s CAAC for its EH216‑S eVTOL aircraft

    The official release occurred some 30 minutes later, showing again that social media is ahead of the game. It states, “EHang has obtained the type certificate (“TC”) officially issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). This demonstrates that the EH216‑S’s model design fully complies with CAAC’s safety standards and airworthiness requirements, and that the EH216‑S is qualified for conducting passenger-carrying UAV commercial operations.” Adding, “This also serves as an epoch-making milestone for commercial UAM operations.”

    Huazhi Hu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of EHang, remarked, “Embracing the TC as our springboard, we will launch commercial operations of the EH216‑S unmanned eVTOLs, prioritising safety above all. This will enable us to steadily progress towards our strategic goal to be a UAM platform operator, and commit to our mission to enable safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone.”

    Understandably, various factions from the West are not happy. The critics are out with sharpened knives…

    EHang assisted by CAAC governance, is two years ahead of its competition in the West and to make things worse? The company’s aircraft is autonomous to boot.

    THIS will be fun to watch, especially as I love seeing the China-hawks getting tweaked! And, yeah, I’m a fan of this company– have been since I caught wind of Ehang almost four years ago. Unlike their American “competetors,” Ehang’s been flying real aircraft for years, not touting CGI presentations of what their aircraft will be capable of… maybe.

    America cannot compete with this. US taxpayers are currently paying millions of dollars in an attempt to do so through the USAF Agility Prime program, but they’re being hustled: that’s just the “revolving-door” doing its thing.

    In the end, reality will always triumph over slick PR.

  10. Wukchumni

    Has the Fastest Known Time phenomenon run its course? Two Colorado ultra athletes are changing the conversation. Colorado Sun. Why isn’t there a Slowest Known Time? For people who want to look at the world around them?

    Walkers in the City—and Everywhere JSTOR

    I never try to walk all that fast unless inclement weather is on the horizon and I gotta scoot. I rarely walk in a city situation as concrete & asphalt are hard on the limbs.

    By going quick you run the risk of missing something interesting along the way, that ain’t no bueno.

    Today’s walk is up to the beautiful Mineral Lakes in Mineral King, off-trail most of the way, with fall colors beginning to manifest themselves.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Look at the bright side. If the Big One cuts loose in California, you will never have to worry about swarms of refugees heading to Mineral King as any quake would take that road out but good. Side benefit – no more AirBnB either. But I gotta say. That is one beautiful area going by the images in those links. No wonder that you settled there.

        1. Wukchumni

          One of the reasons we are situated here is it is a relatively safe area of the state for earthquakes compared to the major urban areas which are quite frankly, sitting ducks.

          A different kind of summer in Mineral King as only cabin owners were allowed entry into the hallowed high country.

          1. JBird4049

            Isn’t your area mostly granite unlike the dirt and sandstone found along the coast and lower areas? The more solid the ground, the less danger there is. It it not gone, but it certainly helps.

      2. Lexx

        Last week I relearned that Northern Utah is rather pretty in the fall. The hills are golden with reds, oranges, and yellows in the creases, come sunset it’s exquisite. It’s the dominant religion that puts me off, the land is beautiful and I’m reminded every time we return, only to forget again. Perhaps because we’re always just passing through. We need to stop and stay longer, maybe next year.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      the dirt road i live on and the general area is a favorite of walkers, runners and bicyclers – i live in the country with a beautiful countryside to view and right now the heron and egrets are migrating and making a lot of sounds – deer, red foxes, minks, turkeys, squirrels and the usual ground hogs and possums – some fishermen actually saw a pink flamingo in an estuary to Lake Huron which is unbelievable in Michigan – all sorts of birds singing and flying around – but the point to make is that at least half the people walking, mostly older folks but some young ones, are glued to their phones – freaking unbelievable –

    2. Cat Burglar

      The only benefit of not having the film crew was a record for me personally. I’m not going to say I don’t care about that at all, but I don’t care about it more than sharing my story with more people. The role of a professional athlete is to inspire people to participate and get involved. That should be every athlete’s goal when they are considering a challenge or trying to win something.

      A professional athlete. Professionalization — that’s the driver behind FKT and similar metrics. It is his job to do cool stuff and communicate it for his employers. In outdoor sports in North America, pro contracts were not known in, for example, the mountaineering and rock climbing world before the late 1980s, and then spread in the 1990s. The top performers went from being amateurs to being professional marketers — I know for a fact they hate doing it, but if you’re going to get paid to climb K2, well, hey, that’s a small price to pay. But you can see that as the need to sell stuff advances, everything else drops out of sight.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Angelo Giuliano
    ⚡️🇪🇬 Egypt has rejected the US-Israeli proposal to make safe passage and open the exit paths for civilians to leave Gaza.

    Egypt states that the moment that Civilians leave Gaza, they will be ethnically cleansed and massively displaced from Gaza, a second Nakba would ensue which would ensure that no Palestinian would ever return to Gaza.’

    If Biden thinks that this is such a great idea, then the answer is obvious. Egypt is saying that there is no way they can cope with adding two million refugees to their 110 million population as they do not have the resources as in at all. It would be like asking the US to take in 7 million refugees almost overnight. But there is an answer. Those 2.3 million Palestinians could cross the border into Egypt, be bussed to Cairo International Airport and then flown to the US for resettlement. After all, Biden sees no problems with evacuating them out of Gaza. But if the optics for this look bad, then they could go the regular route. They could be flown to Mexico City International Airport instead, be bussed to the US border, and then make their way across before anybody notices.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I use to read Riverbend all the time until she stopped it in 2007 as it was a fascinating look at life in Iraq under the Occupation. I really hope that she finds both safe harbour and happiness eventually.

    1. nippersdad

      Herding all of the Palestinians right up against the Egyptian border and creating the Mother of all humanitarian disasters appears to be the plan for Israel getting half of Gaza. The neocons think they are going to be able to blame Egypt, but I doubt it will actually work out that way.

      Enter Hezbollah stage north and it is game over.

    2. Feral Finster

      I was treated to some neocon jackhole telling me how The United States Must Continue To Occupy Afghanistan Because The Afghan People Deserve Muh Freedom.

      I did some back of the envelope calculations and told him that we could charter a few 747s and fly anyone in Afghanistan to the US if they want the freedom so badly. Everyone wins. The taxpayer comes out billions ahead, the Afghanis who want it get Muh Precious Freedom and those who don’t can live their lives without getting droned at weddings. If you really care about Afghanis, that is, LOL.

      He did not like that suggestion, Not One Little Bit.

      1. mrsyk

        Bring them here??! They’re gonna take our jobs! (sorry, a second South Park reference in comments today.)

        1. Feral Finster

          I think the Official Excuse given was Because Culture Not Compatible (but they sure want our freedom, especially when we deliver it at gunpoint, but letting them get the freedom straight from the tap is just too much to bear.)

  12. Lex

    For the time being, Ukraine and Israel mostly need different things so it will be theoretically possible for the US to supply both. But a prolonged ground operation in Gaza could change that. The deeper problem is that supplying Ukraine ran down stocks of certain munitions. Supplying Israel will run down stocks of different munitions.

    The question I have about the US supporting military proxies in Ukraine and Israel is to what extent intelligence assets will have to be stretched. How much bandwidth was being used supporting Ukraine? How much will have to be transferred to Israel, not that much will be needed inside Israel but a lot may be needed to keep an eye on the region. If it wasn’t for the US telling Kiev everything about where Russians are, Ukraine would be in a much worse position. Russia doesn’t announce missile/drone launches, it’s US intelligence that picks them up and then Kiev announces.

  13. Wukchumni

    The GOP makes me proud
    Lord, don’t they make me proud
    They never make a scene
    By voting in the open out loud

    ‘Cause people like to talk
    Lord, don’t they love to talk
    But when they turn out the lights
    I know we’ll have no Speaker, see?

    And when they get behind closed doors
    Then they let their hair hang down
    And it makes me glad that I’m apolitical
    Oh, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors

    The Pachyderms makes me smile
    Lord, don’t they make me smile

    An agreement is never far away
    Or maybe too tired to say, “I want you”
    They’re always lackeys
    Just like a lackey should be

    But when they turn out the lights
    They’re still a bunch of grown up babies to me

    ‘Cause when they get behind closed doors
    Then they let their hair hang down
    And it makes me glad that I’m apolitical
    Oh, no one knows what goes on behind closed doors

    Behind closed doors

    Behind Closed Doors, by Charlie Rich

    1. mrsyk

      I never thought I’d be missing your Kevin. Mind you, I’m still not, but I’m wondering if I soon may.

      1. Wukchumni

        The Red Scare wants to shut down government, as its about the only thing that will move their cause: Benedict Donald.

        Kev really disappointed when he didn’t bow out of politics, but the truth of the matter is he’d be just another mope in Bakersfield, so I get it.

      2. ChrisFromGA

        My 2-cent analysis here is that the GOP has reached the end of the road. There is no way to find common ground between people like muh Kevin! and MTG, or Boebert, or any of the Trumpian wing.

        The problem with GOP moderates is they offer nothing to distinguish themselves from Schumer, Hoyer, or any of the moderate Dems. If I wanted a sellout to corporate America who is in favor of killing in the name of profits, loves Wall Street, and wants to adopt Ukraine and Israel as the 51st and 52nd states, well, plenty of those to choose from in the modern Democratic party, save for maybe the squad.

        There is simply no more center to hold.

        1. Cassandra

          There is simply no more center to hold.

          There isn’t. We have a right-wing party and an ultra-right-wing party. The blue team has successfully purged those who used to be leftish, and embraced the erstwhile red team. Just look at who was welcomed to the stage at the last DNC convention. And Michelle has spoken about how Dear George shares her fundamental values.


  14. ChrisFromGA

    Thought about putting another parody song together, but I’m not in the mood anymore for humor, the scenes of violence coming from Israel and Palestine (from both sides) are too much. It wouldn’t be tasteful, nor appropriate

    It is particularly disgusting to watch the US stock market rising in the face of WWIII. I feel we’ve reached the point where the entire, rotten system needs to fail before we can have any nice things.

    1. notabanker

      I don’t find the need to re-write songs, there are plenty of relevant ones already out there, not that there’s anything wrong with that! I was motoring down the road yesterday and this came on, timing is impeccable. This was written in 1983:

      Justice to the left of you
      Justice to the right
      Speak when you are spoken to
      Don’t pretend you’re right
      This life’s not for living
      It’s for fighting and for war
      No matter what the truth is
      Hold on to what is yours

      Jigsaw puzzle traitors
      Set to spill the beans
      Constitution screw up
      Shattering the dreams
      Blood flows in the desert
      Dark citadels burning too
      Watch! Look over your shoulder
      This one is strictly for you………..

      1. ChrisFromGA

        I always liked Yes particularly their early 70’s stuff, thanks for the reminder that they put out a lot of good music in the 80’s, too.

  15. Amfortas the Hippie

    from last week, idk if it was linked, but i found it innerestin:

    “In sum, within the intellectual framework offered by cultural realism, we need an alternative instrumentalist and pragmatic ethic that 1) accepts the realities of power politics and spheres of interest without moralizing and projecting a Manichaean mentality upon the world, and 2) is grounded in principles that are conducive to a pluralist modus vivendi, including mutual and equal recognition, statesmanship, non-interference, humility, strategic empathy, and open dialogue.”

    1. mrsyk

      That’s commie talk, heh heh. Sorry. Sarcasm seems to be the seasoning du jour in my kitchen. Soberly, sure seems like a nice idea. Not a fan of the piece being framed by the idea that western imperialism was a good thing. It’s like the author doesn’t get how hated the US is these days.

  16. Lexx

    ‘Big Philanthropy Is a Scam That Makes the Rich Look Better, Conceals Their Crimes’

    Took 10 books with me on vacation, managed to only read one, ‘Jackpot’ by Michael Mechanic. I knew it was tough being rich, it’s even tougher being instantly rich (professional athletes, the sudden riches of Silicon Valley, powerball/jackpot winners, huge inheritances). He covers the scam that is big philanthropy but I thought Jane Mayer in ‘Dark Money’ did a better job in that she left no room for sympathy whatsoever. Her book was a bit more ‘old money’ and Mechanic’s was the nouveau riche…. they’re so lonely.


    Nevertheless, there was some conversation at the salon over that enormous Powerball jackpot of a month ago, each of them had plans on what they’d do with their sudden riches. I said something about not wanting the full time job that went with winning and they looked at me like I was nuts. Who wouldn’t want to suddenly be extremely rich and tasked with spending all that money?!

    1. flora

      But but…. just think of all the new relatives you’ll discover you never knew. Even better results than one of those ancestry tracing outfits. / ;)

    2. Wukchumni

      I bought a Powerball ticket and was gonna stop homelessness in Cali with the proceeds, but failed in my task.

    3. GramSci

      Lotsa linky goodness in that Teen Vogue piece. Thanks to Lambert for keeping his finger on the pulse of the younger crowd!

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        i’ve noticed those links as well and have to say that they inspire a bit of optimism considering from where they are coming – thank you Lambert

  17. Jason Boxman

    Failed state watch. The United States is being colonized by Chinese Bitcoin miners for rent extraction, after China smartly banned “mining” several years ago. What a joke: Across U.S., Chinese Bitcoin Mines Draw National Security Scrutiny

    When a company with Chinese origins broke ground last year on a crypto-mining operation in Cheyenne, Wyo., a team at Microsoft that assesses national security threats sounded the alarm.

    Not only was the site next door to a Microsoft data center that supported the Pentagon — it was about a mile away from an Air Force base that controlled nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    In at least 12 states, including Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming, The Times identified Chinese-owned or -operated Bitcoin mines that together use as much energy as 1.5 million homes. At full capacity, the Cheyenne, Wyo., mine alone would require enough electricity to power 55,000 houses.

    The NY Times has been doing shockingly good journalism on this, and on the great water heist taking place with aquifer drilling in the west and south west draining these resources completely dry. None of this is likely to end well, and at least when it comes to Bitcoin “mining”, this ought to be quite sensibly banned, completely, in this country. It’s extractive and Bitcoin is useful for fraud and money laundering, period, nothing more.

    It would be a real shame if some motivated local decided to clip the fibre cable to these facilities and deprive them of Internet. Oops.

  18. ddt

    Man, wish Exene and co had some legal hold of “X” as a trademarked name and could go after Elon.

    Thanks for that song Lambert. Hadn’t heard that in a while. (Roommate at UCD turned me onto X late 80s).

    1. Joe Renter

      Yeah X was great. Saw them 3 times.
      John Doe’s book, “Under the black sun” is pretty good on the whole scene back in the day.

      1. Edgar, not Edmund

        X ain’t a ‘Was’, they’re an ‘Is’. Still going strong, 46 years down the road. Billy Zoom took a break in the middle, but the original lineup with Exene, John Doe, and D. J. Bonebrake have been back touring for 25 years now. They released a new album, Alphabetland, in 2020. And when I saw them recently at the Times Square Palladium (wish it was still on 14th St), they were rolling out more new songs, plus the early classics, of course. Wild to have the band teenage me fell in love with in 1978 still absolutely killing it.

  19. chuck roast

    Walkers in the City—and Everywhere

    Thanks for this. Lots to digest here. I had no idea I was a ‘psychogeographer’, but it fits. A relative gave me a car last week. First car I have owned in 20 years. My sauntier/cyclist days are not at an end, but my mobility is clearly diminishing. I told my sister that I was a sauntier. She, a professional French/English translator said, “Oh, no Roast, you’re a flaneur.”

    I had vaguely heard of the Situationists. They certainly sound like an interesting bunch. The fact that they flamed out so quickly speaks well of their name and their world-view. I’ll have to check them out.

    I’m reminded of the Jonathan Richmond tune Government Center. New Englanders of a certain age were both hip to Jonathan and the incredibly ugly Government Center in Boston. During the Urban Renewal fetish they demolished Scollay Square to build this monstrosity. I saw my first strip show at the Old Howard Casino in Scollay Square when I was barely a teen-ager. Gone but never forgotten. Jonathan was our own organic, home-grown Situationist.

  20. Wukchumni

    A massive attack on Friday the 13th…


    What letter was considered incredibly unlucky, back in the day?

  21. Carolinian

    Hey a big “wow” to Teen Vogue for taking on Big Philanthropy. In my town’s current hotbed of capitalism phase NGOs are on the upswing when their funders aren’t flying around in their Gulfstreams. Of course those tycoons who made their fortunes in real estate or maybe payday loans should be giving away their loot, which is why top tax rates used to be 90 percent–a return to which is not part of the current formula.

    But they are letting us know they feel 90 percent goodwill toward the little people and that’s almost as good as money, right?

  22. magpie


    A few weeks ago, somebody shared a link to an essay about conditions in Russia during the 1990s. I can’t seem to find it.

    If one of you still has that link, could you please share it? Many thanks!

  23. jrkrideau

    Pentagon’s ‘FrankenSAM’ program cobbles together air defense weapons for Ukraine

    A senior U.S. defense official said Thursday that the U.S. has been able to improvise and build a new missile launcher from radars and other parts contributed by allies and partners.

    This sounds promising. I understand Red Green is consulting on duct tape applications and Rube Goldberg is the overall project head.

    There is a hint of desperation here.

  24. mrsyk

    Thanks for the “The System Isn’t Designed to Help You” link. This is a must read for any USians who may fall victim to a “natural disaster”, or for anybody interested in how the playing field favors post disaster business interests over the victims. The author lost everything in the Camp Fire and discusses the injustices suffered thereon. Distressing yet utterly in line with how this country works, late/terminal stage capitalism fully on display.

    1. Wukchumni

      Oh so chilling that article…

      Meanwhile, said insurance companies have a gecko, an emu and assorted idiotic humans, a white guy who causes all sorts of mayhem, an actor who poses as a professor, a black gent with a reassuring voice, another black gent who appears with pro athletes, and last but not least, Flo & friends, as spokespersons.

      Its almost as if they know what a joke they are, the insurance companies.

    2. albrt

      The article is definitely worth reading. It misses a few minor points about how property insurance and mortgages work, but is an accurate portrayal of what a fairly sophisticated person would experience.

      Just imagine what it is like for an unsophisticated person.

      And the insult to injury is that if you try to get help from a professional to navigate this incredibly complicated system, you will overpay for the advice and you have no way of evaluating whether the advice is any good. So of course in that situation the whole ecosystem is mostly scammers.

  25. Louis Fyne

    For any aviation nerds out there, all the flights, including the US military, going into Israel are using a northern approach right between Haifa and Tel Aviv.

    Obviously prudent given Hamas.

    But if such a safe zone is needed for Hamas, there will be safe zone if/when Hezbollah gets sucked in.

    What if a USAF transport plane gets shot down?

    1. mrsyk

      I’m thinking about aircraft carriers/sitting ducks. Hamas leadership are surely exploring any possible means to sink one.

  26. Jason Boxman

    Disney Agonized About Sports Betting. Now It’s Going All In.

    Soon, Iger warmed up to sports betting. His adult sons’ use of sports-betting apps opened his eyes to its popularity with a younger audience, he told associates. He said that it is “inevitable” that sports-watching and sports-betting will go hand-in-hand, and he blessed Pitaro’s efforts to find Disney a partner. Getting involved with gambling was the only way to ensure that ESPN is able to continue to attract younger audiences, he reasoned.

    That’s just sick — he saw his kids using (addicted?) to it and realized the opportunity to exploit others. What a sick country this is.

    1. caucus99percenter

      Waiting for Disney to finally throw all of its founder’s quaint moral hangups onto the scrap heap of history, and go big creating the greatest environment for gambling and other vices the world has ever seen — “excesses of Las Vegas” style. The Sphere, did you say? Yawn.

      Watch out, world — if Iger catches the gambling bug for real, he’ll make the late Sheldon Adelson and his Sands franchise look like a piker.

    2. noonespecial

      Comment on Jason Boxman’s words above: “realized the opportunity to exploit others…”

      Curious the timing of the ratonsitos’ move into the betting world in light of the recently posted article via Vice media. If the trends highlighted on how teen gambling may be leading some young folks to display signs of gambling addiction, maybe raton, inc. should stick to the dwarves and what not.

      Some lines from Vice: The growing acceptance of online gambling in the U.S. is permeating the nation’s universities, high schools, and even middle schools at a rate that is of growing concern to politicians, therapists, and local helpline workers, who are noticing more underage and youth gamblers coming forward with problems…The National Council on Problem Gambling has found that 60 to 80 percent of high schoolers have gambled in the past year, and 14 to 19 percent either fit the criteria of having a gambling problem or are showing “signs of losing control.” Overall, high schoolers exhibit double the rate of gambling issues as adults.

    3. cnchal

      > . . . His adult sons’ use of sports-betting apps opened his eyes to its popularity with a younger audience, he told associates . . .

      What else does that tell us? He doesn’t watch the crap anybody puts out, not even Disney’s.

      Sport betting ads on TV are ubiquitous. A grifty offshoot of ‘learn to code’.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Iger warmed up to sports betting. His adult sons’ use of sports-betting apps opened his eyes to its popularity with a younger audience,

      The Godfather was more ethical.

    1. Snailslime

      Absolutely, for most of history in most countries and civilisations governments have led and whatever business was there followed, obviously before but also after the rise of modern capitalism and industrialisation, even today, even in countries that nominally follow heavily neoliberal economic policies.

      The US is one of the very few countries ever where the power of private business came to truly rival that of government, and even in the US the state IS still very much in charge much of the time.

Comments are closed.