Links 10/14/2023

Groundbreaking video of a wolf attacking a beaver Quetico Superior Wilderness News (Chuck L)

The Deep Link Equating Math Proofs and Computer Programs Quanta (David L)

Menstrual Health Companies Push to Show Period Blood in Ads Wall Street Journal (Dr. Kevin)

Teen Brains at Risk: Common Herbicides Linked to Cognitive Dip Neuroscience (David L)

Young Americans are losing the southern accent Economist (Dr. Kevin). Not in Alabama. But many are good at dialing them down for Yankees.

Best Buy to End DVD, Blu-ray Disc Sales Variety (Kevin W). Your humble blogger is super upset. Many foreign and older films are available only on DVD. I’ll have to acquire before they disappear and buy a backup Region 1 DVD player. Plus if you download movies the authorities have yet more info about your tastes (yes if you buy them they do too in theory but I guarantee they are not very well set up to tabulate onesies purchased from dispersed sellers)


Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations Nature (David L)

Codagenix announces promising findings for intranasal COVID vaccine CIDRAP (ma)

UK’s top civil servant said government looked like ‘tragic joke’ during pandemic Guardian (Kevin W)

Trudeau regime puts Canadian detective on trial for investigating link between infant deaths and mRNA vaccines The Dossier (Chuck L)


Africa’s revolt against Net Zero Thomas Fazi

Hydro Dams Are Struggling To Handle the World’s Intensifying Weather Wired

US agency refuses to examine toxicity of ‘inactive’ pesticide chemicals to crops Guardian (Kevin W)

Study: The best way to restore ecosystems is to listen to Indigenous peoples Grist (David L). Um, I think you have to do more than just listen.

“People are happier in a walkable neighborhood’: the US community that banned cars Guardian (Kevin W, furzy)


Biden hopes to squeeze loopholes to slow China’s devouring of US AI chips The Register

China’s promise of prosperity brought Laos debt — and distress Washington Post (furzy)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 7: Israeli genocide and ethnic cleansing underway in Gaza Mondoweiss

* * *

No end in sight: Israel has no good options in Gaza Financial Times

US in a quandary over Israel’s war on Gaza Indian Punchline

* * *

Hamas Militants Had Detailed Maps of Israeli Towns, Military Bases and Infiltration Routes Wall Street Journal (furzy)

Security Briefing Al-Monitor (furzy). See first entry. Netanyahu sure looks like he wanted a war. Recall how he looked pleased as punch in his first statement after the Hamas attacks.

‘Top secret’ Hamas documents show that terrorists intentionally targeted elementary schools and a youth center NBC

Extremist Politics in Israel and Ukraine Alastair Crooke, Alexander Mercouris and Glenn Diesen, YouTube. Important background on Israel-Palestine, particularly the description at the beginning of the plan to rebuild the temple on Temple Mount. See this Crooke story for related coverage: ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’: The surprise is that some are surprised AlMayadeen

* * *

Why I no longer stand with Israel, and never will again Scott Ritter (Chuck L). Important.

The Trap: I Refuse to be Recruited John Ganz

The Real Dividing Line in Israel-Palestine Slavoj Žižek, Project Syndicate (David L)

* * *

Saudis Put Israel Normalization on Hold in Blow to US Goals Bloomberg

THE MALEVOLENT KABUKI THEATER OF ISRAEL’S WAR WITH PALESTINIANS Larry Johnson. A credible call as to where this goes.

What It Would Mean to Treat Hamas Like ISIS New York Times (David L)

* * *

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine, Allies Push to Avoid Stalemate as Headwinds Grow Wall Street Journal

US imposes first sanctions under Russian price cap on tanker owners Reuters (Kevin W)

Why Germany is rattled about sending its Taurus missile to Ukraine Politico (Kevin W)


U.S. and Qatar Deny Iran’s Access to $6 Billion From Prisoner Deal New York Times. Kevin W: “Agreement-incapable.”

‘Freezing’ Iran’s humanitarian fund is self defeating Responsible Statecraft

Imperial Collapse Watch

When war tech doesn’t work as advertised Asia Times (Kevin W)

The Army doesn’t know where a lot of its excess arms and gear are Defense One (Kevin W)


How to Make Trump Go “Crazy,” According to George Conway New Republic (furzy). These armchair shrinks seem to forget Trump had an impossibly abusive father and so this threshold for emotional pain is very high.

Trump Says He Wants Netanyahu ‘Impeached’ Amid Israel-Hamas War Rolling Stone (furzy)

RFK, Jr.

GOP Clown Car

Republicans ramp up search for an escape hatch from speaker chaos Politico (Kevin W)

Jordan clinches Speaker nomination in GOP’s second go at the gavel The Hill

Former Ohio State University wrestlers say Jim Jordan betrayed them and shouldn’t be House speaker NBC (furzy)

Darcie Fontaine · Diary: Florida under DeSantis London Review of Books (Anthony L)

Opinion: The Kennedy who shames the name could hand the election to Trump Globe and Mail (Dr. Kevin)

Our No Longer Free Press

Europe, Get Off Our Speech Lawn Matt Taibbi (Chuck L)

Names and faces of Harvard students linked to an anti-Israel statement were plastered on mobile billboards and online sites CNN (Kevin W)


Michigan Introduces Legislation to Regulate A.I. in Elections Public Citizen


NY Times’ Paul Krugman says ‘inflation is over’ — if you exclude food, gas and rent New York Post (Kevin W)

The Bezzle

‘That seems pretty bad’: Bankman-Fried jury hears tape from Alameda’s final days Financial Times (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

A Price Jump From Pennies to $20/Pill for the Same Drug MedPage (Carla)

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Groundbreaking video of a wolf attacking a beaver”

    Tough luck for the beaver but for that wolf, an average adult beaver would represent about 40 to 70 pounds of meat and protein which would last that wolf a long time. In the early part of that video you can see that that wolf was wearing a tracking collar so I assume scientists would know the identity of that wolf. If they can track that wolf, perhaps they should track how many times it has been near places on the water that beaver has set up dams. That might help see if this was a planned ambush or whether it was an opportunistic ambush.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        i’ve seen better pics than the one in that article and the change in returning foliage was dramatic – meanwhile the states surrounding Yellowstone sponsor a blood-lust to kill wolves in any manner; traps, poison, guns – very very very sad – exploding cyanide bait traps are despicable – can’t write what would like to do to those individuals that kill wolves because the big ‘m’ will 86 my comment

    1. KFritz

      The wolf was almost certainly downwind of the beaver, which species lives and dies (on land anyway) by its keen sense of smell. I wonder if wolves are aware of this.

  2. vao

    The article by Thomas Fazi contains some gems that discredit its main message — with which I agree: Africa must be able to rely upon cheap, abundant energy for its development.

    (1) […] nuclear energy, which is fully carbon-free

    The whole chain for atomic energy requires mining, processing, and reprocessing of fissile material; storage of radioactive waste; massive constructions (processing plants, power plants, storage infrastructure) using up massive amounts of steel and concrete. All of this is highly carbon-intensive.

    (2) Africa must be able to exploit its large gas reserves for another 20 or 30 years to further its development and provide access to electricity to the 600 million people who are still deprived.

    And then:

    the African rebellion against the demands of the West has already taken material form with several new energy projects, established with or without the West’s support. For instance, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline is intended to transport crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields to the Port of Tanga on Tanzania’s eastern coast, where it will then be sold onwards to world markets.

    So we are not talking about Africa using its resources for its own development (e.g. generating electricity and power for its own usages), but about resource extraction for the benefit of developed countries. Actually, the article presents several examples of the latter projects, and none of the former kind.

    (3) The next step, however, is ensuring that Africa’s resources are employed first and foremost to promote the development of Africa itself, rather than to perpetuate their plundering — be it from the West, China or anyone else.

    That should actually be the first step. Given the information in the article, this is a step that is not being taken.

    (4) The author, fixated on solar and wind, seems to ignore that at least one African country is already a leader in renewables: Kenya, with geothermy.

    All in all, a somewhat disappointing article.

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      If Africa goes Big Fossil in its development, how much fossil carbon would it be able to flood the sky with? Enough to push global warming even further beyond some threshholds or tipping points which would make large parts of Africa uninhabitable? If so, the Big Fossil joke would be on Africa.

      It seems to me that Mr. Fazi is playing the “smell the hypocrisy game” on western readers and hoping to guiltmail them into supporting the concept of yet more Big Fossil development, this time for Africa. And maybe the African leaders are doing the same thing themselves.

      Now, in all fairness, one could say that if Western leader-thinkers expect the non-West to accept fossil carbon skyflooding limits, they will have to calculate just exactly what amount of carbon skyflooding every individual on earth may do and keep it balanced by skycarbon re-suckdown. That would have to start with the Western upper class first if the lower-than-upper-class majorities of Western countries should be expected to also stick to that per capita carbon skyflooding budget. If that could be achieved, then the Western countries could all defect from the Global Forced Trade System and protectionise themselves to prevent their green-eco economies from being carbon junk-flooded by import aggression from the new and rising Big Fossil economics of the non-West. If a Green Eco-West had such protectionism for such policies and any non-Western country or businesses wanted entry into a Green Eco-Western market, then that non-Western country or business could provably and verifiably adopt Green Eco-Western carbon skyflooding restriction standards. No standards? No business.

      But that could only happen if the non-upper-class majority within the West could crush, kill and destroy the power and influence of their own upper class minority and then impose Green Eco standards upon that upper class minority as well as self-impose them upon its own less-than-upper-class majority self.

      That will either happen country-by-country adding up to a self-contained group of countries all moving in a Green Eco direction, or it will not happen at all.

      “International Cooperation” is where fond hopes and dreams go to die.

    1. The Rev Kev

      LOL. And if things get kinda dicey for them, unmarked helicopters will fly in to evacuate their leaders and the families of those leaders.

    2. Louis Fyne

      ISIS, Hamas, Bin Laden….all propped into power by western/Israeli intelligence services.

      not a conspiracy theory-‐a public, documemted fact.

      the West sticking its hand into the mideast does more harm than good.

      we are on the eve of the mother of all blowbacks

      1. Vets Pal

        You can add Zelensky to that any minute now.

        For “betraying Ukraine,”our shoulder fired missiles may end up at the end of U.S. runways.

        Taliban controlled Afghanistan when we invaded. 20 years later, trillions wasted, thousands of dead Afghans, thousands of our boys dead or ruined for life. Payoff? The Taliban are in control agains, but this time with a nice airbase and oodles of new equipment.

    3. Skip Intro

      I thought Bibi already did that to stop the PLO. This is the Blowback Phase, where they call in the cat to eat the spider they called in to eat the fly. Maybe the cat will be fleeing ‘Banderistas’.

      1. SG

        Yes, he did – which was an even dumber move than the Democrats helping Trump’s 2016 primary bid because they thought he’d be easy to beat. But then Bibi was always opposed to the peace process and therefore opposed to the Palestinians having any sort of representative government. I think he’ll finally face a reckoning when this latest disaster is all over with.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Europe, Get Off Our Speech Lawn”

    ‘The European Union deigns to lecture America on free expression’

    More of those EU values in practice. So if a corporation falls foul of the EU Digital Services Act, what is the penalty? It is a fine worth up to 6% of its global turnover, and repeat offenders may be banned from operating in Europe altogether. Note, not 6% of turnover in the EU where the offense was deemed to have occurred but 6% of global revenue. That is, ahem, kinda expansive and amounts to the EU claiming a sort of global mandate. I would offer the EU a salt-shaker to go along with that bag of d**** but that is just me. And there is a twist. A coupla years ago the EU got into a fight with these US based corporations as they were sending private data from customers out of the EU and to the US and the US government went to bat but hard for those corporations. But over this one I am hearing only crickets.

  4. Carla

    IMHO, “NY Times’ Paul Krugman says ‘inflation is over’ — if you exclude food, gas and rent” could be filed under Class Warfare — because it IS.

    1. mrsyk

      Inflation is over kids!. See, we use this hedonic quality adjustments thingy, and presto, happy days are here again!
      I love when the Times’ wheels out Krugman (the ultimate “artifact of measurement”, heh heh) to defend the Neo crapola economic policy.

      1. SG

        C’mon man: sure you can’t afford a roof over your head or regular meals, but flat screen TVs are dirt cheap. You obviously need to adjust your priorities.

    2. GlassHammer

      If you or I ignore rising food, gas, and rent prices it is always to our detriment because doing so is always an error in judgment.

      Krugman writes to a very very narrow audience, it doesn’t matter if he is aware of that fact or not.

      1. chuck roast

        A narrow audience indeed. But that self-absorbed audience runs the show. Doesn’t Krugman live in Princeton, NJ?

      2. Cat Burglar

        Exactly right!

        You are writing as a person — Krugman writes as a system manager addressing other managers. Under an appropriate veneer of professionalism, their “conversation” is about what they will do next with their power.

        Notice that his walkback of the original tweet combines an apology for inappropriate attitude, a methodological mumble about consistency to remind us of his technical specialty, and conferring subjectivity on the data (“the data wants”). He’s just brushing aside the concerns of the average person again after being caught at it, because he is one our handlers, not one of us.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Krugman isn’t a wonk working in byzantine matters. He is being deliberate. He’s a NYT columnist, partially because he’s a good communicator. This is just a don’t believe your lying eyes claim, carrying water for the white house which is going all in on telling rosy stories.

          1. Cat Burglar

            The NYT functions like a newsletter that keeps the PMC on message. Krugman’s credibility as a communicator is founded on his academic work, which imparts a nimbus of import to his opinions. In this case, he is not technically incorrect in terms of his figures, but he is wrong in what it represents. I am sure he is being sincere — after all, in business, sincerity is everything…

        2. steppenwolf fetchit

          If we have handlers, and we know we have handlers, can we be like those poison-spine caterpillars which make it very hard for handlers to handle them?

    3. Michael Hudson

      The practical economic effect of saying “Inflation is over” is the teeny tiny increase in Social Security announced on Friday. The pretense is that for the elderly (I’m 84) inflation is supposed to be over. But that’s not what grocery prices say.
      Also, note that the cost of debt service is also soaring, along with mortgage debt. Krugman leaves that out because that concerns “money,” which always has been confusing to him.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Is it genuinely confusing to him? Or does he understand it perfectly well . . . and is merely trying to confuse us about it?

      2. Mikel

        Over $6 gasoline in LA again. I wouldn’t wipe my a – – with the statistical metrics the likes of Krugman use.

  5. EmmaD

    A Price Jump From Pennies to $20/Pill for the Same Drug MedPage

    Great article but contains a serious error, generic colchicine in 0.6mg dosing does exist. Cost plus drugs sells it for ~$10 for 30 tablets.

    While the point of the article is valid, the poor fact checking by the author (or editors) is disappointing.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Eva Karene Bartlett
    After over 15 years of having a Youtube account, now, while Israel is genociding Palestinians, Youtube has suddenly closed my account completely.
    This is not coincidental. I had many videos which I took in Gaza, under Israel’s bombs in 2009 & 2012…’

    I do wonder if it was Trudeau’s government which made the original complaint to YouTube to have here deleted. For her own safety, she eventually had to move to the Russian Federation years ago which even now is still kinda weird to write. I mean, a journalist fled from Canada to Russia for her own safety. It made me think. Way back in 1956 a young Senator named John F. Kennedy wrote a book called “Profiles in Courage”. It consisting of short biographies describing acts of bravery and integrity by 8 US Senators, Yeah, I know, I know – it was a different time. Point is that perhaps we need an update 21st century version of “Profiles in Courage” but instead of politicians, it should be filled with the stories of mostly journalists with people like Eva Karene Bartlett, Edward Snowden, Vanessa Beeley, Aaron Maté, etc. Certainly none of the stenographers of the New York Times or the Washington Post would never appear in such a volume. They are beyond redemption.

    1. jrkrideau

      I do wonder if it was Trudeau’s government which made the original complaint to YouTube to have here deleted.

      Possible but unlikely. They would have had lots of reason (pressure) from various groups for years and seem to have left her alone. If the Govt did not do it when she started broadcasting from Ukraine after the start of the SMO, I cannot really see them bothering now. I suspect it was just a Youtube sweep.

      …a journalist fled from Canada to Russia for her own safety.

      We do have dangerous Zionist and Ukrainian nutcases here in Canada. Also, I think she spent most of her time is Europe and the Middle-East where she probably was a target. She is on the Myrotvorets list.

      If I were her, I’d feel a lot safer in Russia.

      1. wilroncanada

        jkrideau: Yves Engler is still in Canada but he barely exists, in spite of his many (dozens) of books on Canada’s malign political and business affairs in numerous parts of the world, from Africa to the far east, and especially to Haiti.

        1. jrkrideau

          I do not follow Yves Engler that closely but I don’t think he registers as “brightly” on terrorist screens as Eva Bartlett does.

  7. KLG

    Scott Ritter’s piece is required reading on a long, quiet, rainy Saturday morning. As should Khirbet Khizeh, which can be read in a couple of hours. And which I expect to be allowed to go out of print in this edition. Time to buy several more copies to distribute to those who promise to read it.

    1. LawnDart

      I strongly agree: Ritter’s account lends insight and depth that demolishes the simplicity of common narratives, and is a journey that concludes with a clear-cut, principled stance.

      Ritter is no armchair warrior, and this piece deepens my respect for the man. He is the type of person that we should have in office were our country other than a pimp’s bazaar.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            take the congress critters and put them on the bidding block – and do i hear a starting offer….

      1. juno mas

        Agree the Ritter piece is important.

        Ritter in his video appearances doesn’t move me like he does with this exquisitely written account of Palestinian history. I’ll stand with Ritter for Secretary of State.

    2. pjay

      I would like to add my strong recommendation as well. Your reference to Khirbet Khizeh is fitting. What makes Ritter’s essay so effective is his honest and nuanced observations based on personal experience. A very powerful statement in my opinion.

    3. Susan the other

      Scott Ritter is so information-dense; hardly ever a wasted word. The two state solution has been on the table forever, so why has it gone nowhere fast? What other solution could there be now besides complete genocide? Just do two separate states. Divide Jerusalem with half of the Temple Mount going to Palestine and half to Israel. If there isn’t enough room to rebuild their temple they can build a kiosk. Holiest of the Holies and very modest – just a quick walk through, maybe some prayer wheels for convent absolution or favors. It’s kinda like money because it’s all fiat, or theater, so maybe even a self serve gas station. Whatever. Some little souvenirs. Here’s a question for the United Nations: When the entire world is sick to death of genocide and environmental catastrophe what effective thing does it actually do besides scratch its head and shrug its shoulders?

    4. The Rev Kev

      Scott Ritter did an interview with the Swiss weekly magazine Die Weltwoche but it looks like the Swiss have drunk the kool-aid as Swiss intelligence started to spy on them claiming that they provided ‘a platform for a Russian influence actor’ and that Ritter was spreading ‘Russian propaganda and disinformation’ as well as hate speech. The Die Weltwoche, who obtained a confidential document from the Swiss Intelligence Service (NDB) proving this happened, concluded that ‘Apparently, the Ukraine conflict has transformed our country back into a surveillance state, which was supposedly overcome with a significant effort in the early 1990s.’

    5. JCC

      I saw Ritter speak at Hobart College in Geneva, NY during the leadup to the Iraq War. His talk was the first rational discussion I heard prior to Bush and Cheney launching the illegal invasion of Iraq. He had mentioned Israel’s involvement in promoting the war, but in my more naive days I was convinced it was “all about oil”.

      A few months ago I finally got around to reading John Mearsheimer’s book, “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy”. In this book, written in 2006, Mearsheimer explains why the Iraq War was all about Israel and had little to do with oil.

      Ritter’s piece, which I read on Friday, backed up everything Mearsheimer said. And even though both Mearsheimer and Ritter believe in Israel’s right to exist, they are smeared by the Israel Lobby as anti-semites.

      For those who are subscribed to Seymour Hersh’s substack, check out the post he just released tonight (Saturday evening). Israel’s, or should I say Netanyahu’s, latest plan is to drop JDAMs (5000 lb “bunker busters”) on Northern Gaza and completely wipe out Gaza City. And next to nukes, these are the most powerful bombs available today. The article is called “The Plan To Wipe Out Hamas – As refugees crowd the border with Egypt, Israel prepares to hit Gaza City with US-supplied bunker busters”.

      I think many have forgotten, and US MSM will never remind it’s readers, that when Netanyahu came into power the first thing he did in order to break up the Palestininian Authority’s political leadership in Gaza and the West Bank and shutdown any support of the Oslo Accords was to promote and support the Hamas rise to political power in Gaza with a “divide and conquer” policy.

      So I was pleased to see this quote in Hersh’s important article as a reminder of Netanyahu’s history with Hamas::

      Even then, the Israeli insider told me, Netanyahu and his advisers understood that Netanyahu’s support for Hamas was dangerous, like “keeping a tiger as a pet.” “He would eat you in a minute.”

      Netanyahu is a psychpath and should this happen, he and his supporters such as Ben-Givr and Smotrich will go down in history as the animals that turned Israel into a Pariah State.

  8. Carolinian

    Alastair Crooke:

    One aim (strongly advocated in Washington) behind moving to a unity government is to evict the Right from power — but recall that Netanyahu’s only hope of escaping indictment and prison lies with his coalition partners on the Right.

    Meanwhile our own president seeks to remain in power to avoid being indicted. There seems to be a lot of that going around. And Trump, no paragon himself, gets attacked by the so called liberals for criticizing either of these legally dubious bumblers. Oh and RFK jr. thinks Israel is just great and fires anyone who disagrees.

    The sage advice “avoid foreign entanglements” never looked so good. Getting someone who believes that never looked so impossible. At least Trump is willing to utter a little bit of truth regardless of whether he would do anything about it.

    1. Louis Fyne

      That Trump line about Bibi is fascinating. Trump has very good political instincts. Trump could have just kept mum.

      By accident or design, maybe Trump sees the potential geopolitical quagmire for Bibi ahead?

      incredible thatit is Trump providing the nuanced, circumspect soundbites amout Israel.

      1. Pat

        Part of this is probably change of circumstances. Trump was all in on Israel during his administration. Sheldon Adelson was still alive and his son-in-law Jared Kushner was a trusted advisor. They were the major pro Israel forces with TrumpAdelson was a major supporter, no one with the deep ties to Israel has stepped in. I’m pretty sure that anything the Kushners have done to avoid the pit the establishment keep trying to throw Trump in that Trump does not approve of is being blamed on Kushner, a well known weasel. I’m not sure we would be seeing this otherwise.

        But none of that discounts that Trump does not see taking this stance as a campaign killer. It is yet another sign that a good portion of the population no longer see Israel and its leaders as victims in this anymore.

    2. ex-PFC Chuck

      “Oh and RFK jr. thinks Israel is just great and fires anyone who disagrees.”

      I suspect Kucinich jumped rather than having been pushed.

  9. Louis Fyne

    the diplomatic statements coming out of the Mideast are pretty wild—thanks to the IDF strikes in Gaza and the extermination calls coming from even nominally “progressive” politicans and voices, we may be at the closest thing to pan-Islamic unity (on the discrete Gaza issue) in generations.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Mind you, if things really get ugly in Gaza, then those countries which signed the Abraham Accords – Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirate & the Sudan – may find themselves under all sorts of internal and external pressures to bail. And what happens if the OPEC countries announce a cut back in oil production in support of even a truce? Shades of ’73.

        1. ambrit

          US economy grinds to a halt. To make diesel fuel, you need heavy crude oil. America used to get that from Venezuela.

      1. Victor Moses

        Those Arab countries will do nothing except issue empty statements. I think the only thing is to convey to Israel to limit their ground incursion so as to not damage too much normalization.

  10. Alex

    The video from the Gaza-Egypt border is old. Btw now it’s Egypt that closed the border on their side to refugees.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Probably in response to both Israel and Biden saying that all those Gazans could just go over to Egypt and live there. Jordan closed their border too and probably for the same reason.

    2. LawnDart

      “We told you we were going to bomb, why didn’t you let those poor, innocent people flee? It’s your fault!”

      1. Feral Finster

        “I told, it was ‘your money or your life’ so it’s your fault that I shot you six times!”

    3. Lex

      Because the idea is that Egypt can let the Palestinians of Gaza resettle in Sinai and solve the issue for Tel Aviv. Except Egypt is unwilling.

      Rafah is now an even bigger flashpoint. Egypt is saying it will not let American citizens cross it until there are guarantees that aid can pass to Gaza. The first convoy turned back when Israel bombed the crossing. The second is waiting on the Egyptian side. And aid convoys are now multinational rather than Egyptian, with both Jordan and Turkiye contributing.

      It’s a shame that the rafah crossing is geopolitical bargaining chip right now, but that’s nobody’s fault but Israel.

    4. juno mas

      But then there’s a video of the Egyptian proletariat walking bushel size supplies INTO Gaza to support the Palestinians. Like the Xtweet pic about feeding the hungry homeless in the US, it appears to be a Call to Activism. (When will the US take to the streets?)

  11. Brian Beijer

    “Dennis Kucinich, who has been critical of Israel’s abuses against Palestinians and of US funding of Israel throughout his political career, is no longer RFK Junior’s campaign manager.
    RFK’s daughter in-law, a former CIA officer, is replacing him.”

    “Trump Tells Allies He Wants Netanyahu ‘Impeached’”

    Never in a million years would I have thought that I preferred Trump over RFK Jr. Today that changed.
    What crazy times we live in.

    1. mrsyk

      There goes Trump asking for my vote again.
      edit, this in response to “what crazy times we live in.”

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘a former CIA officer’

      When I read that I thought straight away – you can’t make that up.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        that struck me as extremely odd given his uncle’s intention to break the CIA into a million pieces and the speculated involvement in his father’s assassination – even in his early interviews he spoke disparagingly of the agency – and Kucinich leaving his campaign after being his campaign manager is sad, really like Kucinich – Cornell leaving the Greens creates questions too – and the Husk keeps on tripping his way along –

        1. Phenix

          Kucinich has his principles. I thought that his involvement in the RFK Jr campaign would be a moderating force on RFK Jr’s Israeli policy. This is obviously not the case.

          I was also hopeful that Kucinich would push RFK Jr towards modern monetary theory but that is a moot point since he has now left with our offering major economic policy initiatives.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            didn’t mind the bruha about vaccines but faith in the “free-market capitalism” was a warning and full unmoderated support of Israel was too much – but as a spoiler in the dem camp was OK – oh well – and here we are –

            1. Bsn

              His “bruha” about the vaccines is solid evidence of their failure to keep people safe and their success at killing people and making loads of money for other people. So that being true, we are down to just one problem, his stance on Israel. Ergo, one “problem” that I personally don’t agree with as opposed to the many problems inherent in Trump and Biden, I’m still “with Bobby”.

              1. Michael King

                Regarding vaccines and “solid evidence”, have you been reading Kunstler? There is lots of data that indicates the Covid vaccines lower the probabilty of severe illness and hospitalization. If you are a regular NC reader you would know this. As for the vaccines killing people: to what extent? Please provide links to credible studies. RFK Jr. is a frustrating politician in that he can come off as a total flake one minute and be wise and progressive the next. BTW, you forgot to mention Cornell West.

    3. Cassandra

      And Brother Cornell seems to be fading away even earlier than expected. Welp, Vermin Supreme it is.

      1. nippersmom

        Based on an email I got from the campaign the other day, Brother Cornel’s internal polling has him at 9%.

          1. hunkerdown

            Ritter’s got an old CSAM charge, not sure of the final disposition. His campaign lifetime would be measured in tenths of hours.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              He had two cases. Both looked like stings. Sexting, from what I could tell no actual sex with someone underage. I doubt the prosecutors found kiddie porn on his devices, otherwise they would have thrown the book at him.

              First case, conviction but sealed. Some sort of community service.

              Second case, the first conviction was illegally unsealed and got into evidence. Ritter went to prison for 2 years.

    4. flora

      I know….
      I’ve read some editorials and letters to the editor at Haaretz saying Netanyahu’s far right extreme policies are the cause of the latest uprising and Netanyahu must go.

    5. pjay

      I wouldn’t get too carried away about this headline. According to the story, Trump is still just pissed at Bibi for not backing his stolen election claim. And while I don’t usually accept anything Rolling Stone says about Trump anymore – or anything about politics for that matter – this claim tracks. Remember Trump’s policies toward Israel and Iran when he was President? These were not actions he was tricked into by any neocon advisors. These were actions he campaigned on and bragged about.

      I despise the Biden administration. Their propaganda about these events in Israel is disgusting. But if you read between the lines they are, ever so quietly, trying to slow down the Israeli ethnic cleansing/genocide, at least enough to keep Hezbollah out and the situation from blowing up completely. I have no illusions about anything they are doing. But on Israel, the Biden administration is *better* than RFK Jr., and definitely better than Trump. That’s how bad the latter two are on this issue.

          1. caucus99percenter

            That’s odd — works fine for me in Germany.

            Headline: Trump criticizes Netanyahu: Bibi let us down
            The deck: Former US President claims Netanyahu did not help in 2020 elimination of top Iranian general, but still tried to take credit for it.
            Dateline: Israel National News, Oct 12, 2023 at 6:31 AM (GMT+3)

            Former US President Donald Trump on Wednesday night criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and claimed that Netanyahu did not help the US assassinate Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was eliminated in a US air strike in Iraq in 2020.

            Speaking in West Palm Beach, Florida, Trump claimed Netanyahu was no help in the effort to eliminate Soleimani, but later tried to take credit for it.

            “I’ll never forget that Bibi Netanyahu let us down. That was a very terrible thing. I will say that. And so, when I see sometimes the intelligence — you talk about the intelligence or you talk about some of the things that went wrong over the last week, they’ve gotta straighten it out because they’re fighting — potentially — a very big force, potentially Iran. And when they have people saying the wrong things, everything they say is being digested by these people because they’re vicious and they’re smart, and boy are they vicious ’cause nobody’s ever seen the kind of sight that we’ve seen. Nobody’s ever seen it. But they cannot play games,” Trump said.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Works for me here in Oz. Perhaps it is blocked by region. After all that Trump did for Netanyahu – and Trump did everything for Netanyahu that he could – Netanyahu did zip for him. Further down that article is says-

            “I haven’t spoken to him since,” Trump said of Netanyahu. “F**k him.”

    6. Feral Finster

      My pure SWAG is thst Trump is butthurt that Netanyahu didn’t do more for him in 2020, especially as Trump was such a loyal Israel Firster when he was in office and he didn’t get repaid.

      Dumb [familyblog] doesn’t realize that loyalty ever always only goes one way.

    7. Mark Gisleson

      Looking for alternatives to duopoly candidates is like looking for something that can hold water in a pile of pottery shards. You think you’ve found something that works but the water runs out thru the hidden crack.

      We’re going to have to settle on someone less than perfect. West seems like the obvious choice but he needs to put on his real world pants and stop saying what he thinks and instead start saying what needs to be said with an effort made to be succinct. One of the ugliest jobs campaign managers do is to focus the candidate on the campaign’s needs. It’s not easy being the talent. If you’re not disciplined then everything is chaos (see Trump).

      1. LifelongLib

        Here in Hawaii I voted Green Party in the last three Presidential elections. It’s not listed as a party for 2024 but I’d hoped it would be so I could vote for West. With him running as an independent I suspect he won’t be on the ballot here. My understanding (welcome correction) is that both he and RFK Jr will be focusing on swing states. Hawaii is solidly Democratic so they would get only a small percentage of the popular vote and almost certainly no electoral votes.

      2. Pat

        It is always a crap shoot. Still you do realize that “chaos” is currently winning this popularity contest. Biden, and his campaign is a mess. The fact that neither party have possible candidates to challenge these two says a great deal about the state of retail politics in America. Third parties are still always long shots, and there has been a lot of work done in the last two decades to make ballot access even harder for them. Voting that way is always a protest vote (until it isn’t, but this is likely not that election.)

        I like aspects of West, and think he has a shot of perhaps doing the best of any third party candidate since Perot. But, and this is a very big but, beyond even ballot access he still needs to get introduced to most of America. And unless he can find a media hook that cannot be ignored that will not happen. And Unlike when Perot was running, he hasn’t got an ice cubes odds of surviving in hell of getting on the debate stage with the two other parties.
        Voting in our current situation is like nuclear war games, there probably is no way to win. It comes down to the best you can achieve for your position. Disrupting the system probably means Trump, status quo means Biden, a desire to return to the years of Rockefeller Republicans means RFK Jr, and a rejection of most economic policies of the past four decades (and in some cases longer) means West. I’m sure others can switch out those objectives and desires with others, but in every case it probably is fingers crossed that we can find a way to improve the day to day and not start a major war. And everything is stacked against that.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          You see “chaos,” I see a lot of people giving a Jesse Ventura middle finger to the establishment.

          I’ve mentioned this before but in the weeks before the 1998 Minnesota elections a newspaper poll showed Jesse in the low 20% range and suddenly you could feel the change in the zeitgeist as every reluctant Republican and Democrat realized they could nutpunch their parties for forcing hack candidates on them by voting for Jesse Ventura.

          The news media then as in 2016 and 2020 tried to pretend it was about negative issues but Jesse Ventura and Donald Trump owe their wins to the middle finger vote. They wouldn’t give us None of the Above so they got FUs instead.

          Classic American voter behavior. School kids in other countries can see what our leaders cannot admit. Acknowledging why Trump won would be to admit their political incompetence which calls into immediate question why the DNC leadership never changes, why the new voices all sound the same. Their game is rigged so it’s time to change the game. I think the one we’re playing right now is called “chicken” but I’d rather be playing “dump all incumbents.”

          1. Pat

            There is an aspect of that. But I think it is more distinctly about change. Whether it is a middle finger to the usual suspects because the voter believes the candidate is full of it, or a hopeful act that problems that have been being ignored will be addressed, it is a vote against the status quo.
            The last several elections have multiple examples besides Trump. John Edwards, Bernie Sanders, AOC, the Tea Party, even to an extent Ron Paul. Hell even Obama ended up taking on the nebulous mantle of “hope and change”

            1. digi_owl

              Now you got me wondering how Obama got re-elected. And while perusing the wikipedia article on Mitt Romney i came across a line from HRC defending Russia after Romney declared them a foe. The lady has no shame…

      3. Socal Rhino

        West would have the same obvious issue that I see facing Kennedy: Policy positions are fine, but how would you be able to govern? Unless you’ve built a party from the ground up, you have no team prepared to step in and work the government. And since you’re not running with congressional or senate candidates who at least in theory could ride your coat tails, you would face two hostile parties working against you along with the media.

        1. aletheia33

          yes. on the other hand nobody appears to be “governing” right now.

          since when has there been “a team prepared to step in and work the government”?
          my impression is, not for awhile.

      4. witters

        Looking for alternatives to duopoly candidates is like looking for something that can hold water in a pile of pottery shards. You think you’ve found something that works but the water runs out thru the hidden crack.

        Time for the ever great Diogenes the Cynic:

        Seeing a child drinking from his hands, Diogenes threw away his cup and remarked, “A child has beaten me in plainness of living.” … To Plato’s definition of a man as an animal, bipedal and featherless, Diogenes plucked a chicken and declared, “Here is Plato’s man.”

        Alexander the Great was reported to have said, “Had I not been Alexander, I should have liked to be Diogenes.” Once, while Diogenes was sunning himself, Alexander came up to him and offered to grant him any request. “Stand out of my light,” he replied… When asked why he went about with a lamp in broad daylight, Diogenes confessed, “I am looking for a [honest] man.”

        1. caucus99percenter

          Antiquity’s equivalent of KFC was already a thing in Diogenes’ day? Who knew?!

          According to a recent study, the broiler chicken, now the most populous bird on the planet, will someday be a defining feature of the Anthropocene, a greasy marker of our epoch. . . . [B]roiler chickens have a biomass greater than all other wild bird species combined.

  12. Aurelien

    An aspect of Gaza that doesn’t seem to have been covered much, if at all, in the western media, is the Iranian push to take control of the agenda and make themselves indispensable to any resolution of the crisis. They are still claiming to have had nothing to do with the Hamas attack, but not disguising where their sympathies lie. The Iranian Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, has been on a tour of the region (he was in Lebanon yesterday). He presented the Iranian position in familiar terms – a choice de-escalation or conflict, and in the latter case the “Axis of Resistance” is ready– coupled with a clear attempt to upstage Blinken’s recent tour, and a plea for other nations to put pressure on the US and Israel to back down. Significantly, this comes only a few days after the 45-minute telephone call between MbS and the Iranian President Raïssi. Both sides have provided readouts, which suggest a visible hardening of the public Saudi position, and a large measure of agreement on the conflict and what needs to be done.

    It’s clear, if nothing else, that the conflict in Gaza has put an end to the US and Israeli strategy of normalisation with Israel, and the attempt to construct a united front against Iran. There will continue to be discreet cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel where it suits them, but the idea of a grand alliance as Washington hoped seems less likely by the day.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘coupled with a clear attempt to upstage Blinken’s recent tour’

      That wouldn’t be hard to do as the guy has no depth. Kinda like Annalena Baerbock – who is also traveling to Israel. Certainly people like that would have no interest in ending the fighting but would be more likely helping ship ammo to the Israelis. I kinda miss the old days of “shuttle diplomacy” in pursuit of peace but that was then and this is now. With people of this caliber as head diplomats, it is so so much a bunch of has-beens but never-will-be.

    2. digi_owl

      The behavior of the Saudis are becoming more and more curious.

      Next up, the announcement of a big military contract with Russia?

    3. flora

      Two states were created in 1948 (?), Israel and Palestine. I think the majority of regular people on both sides would accept a 2 state solution but the extremists on both sides refuse to ever accept a 2 state solution. And, outside national actors in the West and the ME are funding the extremists for their own geopolitical reasons. But what do I know?

      1. digi_owl

        More like one state and one massive prison complex.

        Palestinians can’t come and go as they please, as all borders are closed either by direct Israeli control or via political pressure from Israel and USA.

        Never mind that while Israel have an army, air force and navy, Palestine barely has a police force.

      2. Eclair

        The problem begins even earlier, I believe, when Lord Balfour gave his stamp of approval, on November 2, 1917, for the establishment of a ‘national home for the Jewish people,’ in Palestine, then a region of the Ottoman Empire, with a small minority Jewish population. And, what were the Brits doing, mucking about and giving away land in somebody else’s empire? Well, there was the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916, in which Britain and France carved up the formerly Ottoman Middle East between them (with Russia getting Armenia, which at least bordered Russia.) Winners (of WW 1) get the spoils. So, I guess they felt they were entitled to give part of it away. Maybe they hoped the British Jews would emigrate there. Anti-semitism abounded in most of the European nations.

        Lord Balfour, bless his aristocratic heart, inherited 86,000 acres in Scotland (about 134 square miles; the Gaza Strip is 140 square miles; interesting factoid. Balfour undoubtedly would have been appalled if 2 million people settled on his estate. One of his ancestors had whole heartedly engaged in the Clearances, shipping tenant farmers off to America and making the land available for good game hunting. But, I digress.)

        So, per the Sykes-Picot Agreement, the Brits got to ‘administer’ their Palestine Mandate, which Balfour had declared a home for Jewish people. The Mandate expired on 15 May 1948, and immediately the Jewish community (undeniably traumatized by the Holocaust) declared a new nation, Israel, which was recognized by the UN. The part of Palestine not incorporated into Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was administered by Jordan, and then by Egypt. I am confused as to how the original borders of Israel were decided.

        No Palestine state was established. Whoops! An oversight? A deliberately evil plot? But plunking a Jewish nation down, smack in the middle of a territory that had been Muslim for a 6 or 7 hundred years! What could go wrong!

        PS. Lord Arthur James Balfour lost all his lands and money, through bad investments, etc. So, I tend to think that his approval of a home for the Jewish people was the result of sheer stupidity and incompetence. He simply never thought it through.

        1. Aurelien

          It’s a wee bit more complicated than that, even. Try James Barr, “A Line in the Sand,” and David Fromkin “A Peace to End All Peace”, which is more thorough and especially good on the end of the Ottoman Empire.

          1. Eclair

            Thank you, Aurelien. It’s always ‘more complicated.’ But us newbies have to take it in small doses. The Barr and Fromkin (who would have thought I would get all excited over a book on the end of the Ottoman Empire!) go on my reading list. Good that winter is coming!

            1. SG

              Well, the Palestinians’ situation wasn’t helped by Jordan’s seizure much of of the area designated for a Palestinian state (along with the designated international zone of Jerusalem) in the 1948 war. The British played no small part in that fiasco, as well.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Israel in the past has tried to move the Palestinians from Israel to Jordan so that they can claim that the Palestinians now have their homeland State. Problem solved. For Israel that is.

              2. Offtrail

                If Jordan hadn’t seized that territory, Israel would have taken it. The Palestinians had no military capability whatsoever. It is true that Jordan suppressed Palestinian political organizing while it was controlling the West Bank / East Jerusalem. But at least it did not drive them out, like Israel.

        2. Darthbobber

          And while Balfour was promising this bit of real estate to the Zionists, Colonel Lawrence was promising it to his Arab allies. And Britain didn’t even own the real estate in question at the time.

        3. Jeff W

          “I am confused as to how the original borders of Israel were decided.”

          This Report to the General Assembly by the UN Special Committee on Palestine [UNSCOP] (1947) suggests that the borders were delineated largely on the grounds of Jewish and Arab population in the respective areas:

          The Arab State will organize the substantial majority of Arabs in Palestine into a political body containing an insignificant minority of Jews; but in the Jewish State there will be a considerable minority of Arabs. That is the demerit of the scheme. But such a minority is inevitable in any feasible plan which does not place the whole of Palestine under the present majority of the Arabs. One cannot disregard the specific purpose of the Mandate* and its implications nor the existing conditions, and the safeguarding of political, civil and cultural rights provided by the scheme are as ample as can be devised.

          The proposed Arab state, according to the UNSCOP report, would have 725,000 Arabs (and others) and 10,000 Jews; the proposed Jewish state would have 407,000 Arabs (and others) and 498,000 Jews. (Jerusalem, with roughly equal numbers of Jews and Arabs (and others), would be its own separate entity under international trusteeship.)

          But the partition scheme also seems to have taken into account other factors, such as (but not only) access to the sea and not denying the Arab state access to a developed Arab area, both of which involved designating the “Western Galilee” as part of the proposed Arab state. Looking at the UN Partition Plan (November, 1947), which does not appear to differ much from the UNSCOP proposal, it doesn’t seem like either proposed state was particularly contiguous. (The UNSCOP report, while acknowledging the desirability of contiguity, noted “…it is impossible to make a satisfactory partition without sacrificing this objective to some extent.”)

          *The “specific purpose of the Mandate” was a reference to various references in the Palestine Mandate (1922) to “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”, in fact, the Mandate stated that “the Mandatory [i.e., Britain] should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917 [i.e., the Balfour Declaration].”

      3. caucus99percenter

        Two states were created in 1948, Israel and Palestine; but instead of growing into a pair of healthy fraternal twins, one embryonic state engulfed and devoured the other, turning the situation into something like this:

        G_d: “Behold your twin brother, whom you could yet recognize and nurture.”

        Man: “No! It’s a teratoma, a tumor I’m going to excise once and for all.”

          1. Offtrail

            There you go again. It was Israel that denied the Palestinians the opportunity to form a state “in the first place”.

    4. ilsm

      Off to the side is the China/Russia effort to bring Iran and KSA toward normalization.

      As events unfold, the US security arrangement, more than FDR’s, is less an enticement.

      While KSA has needs to update defense infrastructure.

      Or detente with Iran.

      Time is not US ally.

  13. noonespecial

    re Larry Johnson link; he writes, “This type of human suffering in the age of social media will make it impossible for Israel to control the narrative and Israel will face growing international pressure to back off.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think Yves recently commented on the potential for bad things happening if armed settlers acted out against Palestinians. The following article (which includes embedded videos) adds credence to Johnson’s opinion.

    With all eyes on Israel’s carpet bombing of the Gaza Strip since 7 October, Israeli settlers have been on a deadly spree in the occupied West Bank with the help and protection of the Israeli army…On Thursday morning, Israeli settlers attacked a funeral procession of Palestinians who had been killed by Israeli fire the day before in Qusra, a village near the northern West Bank city of Nablus…At least seven Israeli settlers, some masked, invaded the village of Qusra on Wednesday with the protection of Israeli soldiers, and attacked the home of a Palestinian family, a field investigation by Defense for Children International – Palestine found.

    1. Daryl

      > re Larry Johnson link; he writes, “This type of human suffering in the age of social media will make it impossible for Israel to control the narrative and Israel will face growing international pressure to back off.”

      I think I would’ve agreed with this previously. Now, I don’t know. Certainly the information coming out is crazy, if one cares to look. But most people don’t.

      We’re still in the middle of a pandemic that is just being outright denied by media, and most people believe that. Why not add genocide to the list?

      1. digi_owl

        A problem as old as time i suspect.

        If MSM do not cover it, it effectively do not happen as far as the masses know.

        Because most has more than enough just keeping themselves afloat economically and socially.

        Marx called out religion, but i suspect these days he would call out the media as well. Or maybe he would have done so back then as well, if he didn’t make a living being a part time journalist.

        1. Anonymous 2

          Mark is supposed to have called religion the opium of the people. However, opium was a highly regarded, widely accepted and much used treatment at the time for a whole variety of ailments, so maybe he was praising it?

      2. hk

        The catch is that Western MSM is not the only media: Middle East has its own media outlets (with huge audiences) who know their audience. They are showing something different from what’s shown in the West.

      3. willow

        Larry Johnson’s point is that Muslims are looking and seeing all this stuff. Hamas aren’t after European support, this is to become a global jihad.

  14. Mark Gisleson

    Herbicides are a big problem. Hope I haven’t suffered from cerebral issues (given a choice of being smarter or dumber, with hindsight I’d go with dumber) but I have had problems with nosebleeds all my life. I did suspect farm chemicals as a kid but then I left the farm and the nosebleeds continued so I blamed smoking.

    I quit smoking, the nosebleeds continued. I decided it was just me as nothing impacted the frequency other than to make them worse (very careful consumer of natural blood thinners).

    Then I read about celery being the worst food for pesticides. So much so you can’t wash them all off. Life long celery consumer, stopped cold and have not had a nosebleed in years.

    Our regulatory system has failed us. Our govt serves the oligarchs, citizens are pests to be used and then discarded.

    1. mrsyk

      I’m going with citizens are a commodity to be used and then discarded.
      Your experience with celery is crazy and fascinating. Regulatory capture is the soup du jour, genocide the main course. Hey Mom, what’s for dessert?

    2. Bsn

      The best response is to grow your own food. But if living in a 10 story high rise in Chicago, buy organic. If that seems expensive, consider the extra cost of the organic food as an investment in your future – with less illness (and it’s cost) due to poisons and pesticides. You get what you pay for. I realize these options are near impossible form many people, but just sayin’.

      1. Verifyfirst

        Buying locally, from a CSA or Farmers Market, seems a far better bet than “organic” items at the supermarket. I have a hard time trusting corporate farm grown “organic” labels, especially given what inputs are approved in the US to still be labeled “organic” (sewer sludge bought from treatment plants, for example). And of course most of those supermarket items follow the standard transport protocol to travel vast distances from CA, etc. Instead of getting what you pay for, you get a lot of price gouging, cuz the factory farms’ cost of production for “organic” or regular is not very different.

        There is also the accuracy in labeling issue in supermarkets. I well remember a speech I went to by Caesar Chavez in 1988, where farmworkers explained that sometimes they tossed the grapes in the “organic” shipping carton, and sometimes they tossed them in the regular cartons–they were all the same grapes. Yes that was a long time ago, I’m sure one might hope standards and practices have improved since then, at least on paper.

        Want to be really radical? Eat in season! That’s right boys and girls, 49 cents a pound bananas in Michigan in January cannot be sustainable no matter what they are labeled.

        1. GF

          A few links would be helpful for these statements:

          “I have a hard time trusting corporate farm grown “organic” labels, especially given what inputs are approved in the US to still be labeled “organic” (sewer sludge bought from treatment plants, for example).”

          “Instead of getting what you pay for, you get a lot of price gouging, cuz the factory farms’ cost of production for “organic” or regular is not very different.”

          A link to Caesar Chavez 1988 statement??

  15. caucus99percenter

    In other news:

    • Both Conservatives and a Maori party emerged as winners in the parliamentary election in New Zealand.

    • The “Voice” referendum in Australia that would have created an Aboriginal body to advise parliament was defeated.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That Voice Referendum was probably never going to succeed. The government refused to say how many people were going to be part of the Voice, how they were to be selected, for how long, what their powers were going to be. In fact, nothing but ‘trust us and we will work out the details after you vote ‘Yes.’ And for some strange reason, a Yes campaign that was to a large extent based on shaming people to vote yes and accusing people who disagreed as being racist did not work. Odd that. Another factor was that it was held as a stand-alone Referendum which cost us a third of a billion when it would have been much better to combine it with the next Federal elections. And having this proposal come out of the blue about six months ago instead of building people up to it did not help it’s chances either. A right dog’s breakfast all around.

      1. caucus99percenter

        I’ve always liked that figure of speech “dog’s breakfast” — speaking of which, here’s a German dog food company whose marketing management doesn’t seem to have any experience with colloquial American English:

      2. OnceWere

        That’s certainly my reasoning for voting ‘no’ – zero trust that a blank check delivered to the political class to work out the details later wasn’t also an invitation to a years-long ‘BREXIT’-like political sh**show and a general sucking away of all the oxygen from actual practical governance. Give me a fully worked out proposal ready to implement tomorrow and I’d have almost certainly voted ‘yes’.

        1. Vandemonian

          If Labor want indigenous advice about policy and its implementation, why don’t they just write twice a year to all of the already existing entities representing indigenous Australians, asking for their advice? They could do that today.
          The problem we have isn’t knowing what problems need to be fixed, and finding the money, it’s knowing how to design and implement the solutions, and making sure the money is spent effectively. [/rant]

      3. La Peruse

        All true on the Voice referendum. What was of real interest was the voting pattern. Inner city/affluent voted yes, poorer urban and rural voted no. Classic blue state/red state divide. While the surface argument was race, shame and all sorts of vileness, it appears the underlying driver is largely economic. The social contract is not working for ordinary plebs. Same for Labour in NZ getting turfed after most popular PM ever in Arden.

        1. bwilli123

          The proposal failed in the main for 3 reasons.

          It was seen as an indulgence; a mis-allocation of national priorities at a time of rising interest rates, for an increasingly stressed population that has been led to believe that owning your own house is a basic right.
          Secondly, it was an attempt to provide a solution to indigenous disadvantage, rationalised & justified by identity politics, rather than by drawing on Australia’s long history of egalitarianism.

          And lastly it offered no practical method of ‘closing the gap’ of disadvantage, except by institutionalising the academic, inner urban, aboriginal PMC that conceived of and promoted the venture and where, as result of constitutional amendment, they would be safe from legislative review forever.

          1. La Peruse

            I agree with that as well. I also think the way the campaign was conducted by both sides make it more difficult for our polity to grapple with your points. Seeing lots of ‘no = racists’ on X.

            Have an acquaintance in Townsville who is living under siege from predominantly local youth, has to lock her bedroom at night in case of house invasion, Generous, educated, no. There is no simple solution to this, and no capacity to develop complex solutions that return real agency to individual and social lives, so ‘closing the gap’ is reduced to a slogan open to serial abuse and redirection of resources.

          2. Victor Moses

            @bwilli123 Long history of egalitarianism? You are talking about Australia? The failure of this referendum really shows how even a figleaf of reparation towards Aboriginals fails to garner wide public support. Sad.

            1. The Rev Kev

              I think that you are mistaken. It was never about justice for aboriginals but more about giving a PMC class of politicians a blank cheque to come up with whatever legislation that they wanted to have, depending on who they were listening to. Come back with a Referendum with that legislation written out ready to be incorporated directly into the Constitution after being thoroughly analyzed and vetted and I would be willing to vote for it then.

      4. skippy

        The difference in the current vote count between inner city and rural electorates is stark, particularly in the Eastern States, with only the NT bucking the trend;

        QLD: Brisbane 60% YES | Capricornia 80% NO,

        NSW: Sydney 61% YES | Parks 78% NO,

        VIC: Melbourne 78% YES | Mallee 78% NO

        NT: Darwin & Palmerston (Solomon) 64% NO | Outback NT (Lingiari), 63% NO

        SA: Adelaide 50% YES | Outback (Grey) 80% NO

        WA: Perth 58% YES | Durack, 78% NO

        TAS: Hobart (Clark) 58% YES | Braddon 73% NO

      5. skippy

        Lifted from an Oz blog …

        There are 40,000 native title claims in NSW alone! This land grab of Publicly owned land is an unacceptable Neoliberal enclosing of the commons.

        Everything in this country does not need to be privately owned.

        1. La Peruse

          Native title is not privatisation. The holders have no economic right to trade and develop the land. At mosf they may have a limited right to some rent extraction, and again the monies generated are subject to all sorts of restrictions. Until first nation peoples can gain agency over how they live their lives it is highly unlikely that the current deterioration will be curtailed.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Probably did not help the ‘Yes’ campaign in Queensland when overnight the World Heritage listed Fraser Island had its name changed to K’gari. Right out of the blue – with mutterings that Brisbane’s name should be changed to Meanjin. Made people wonder what surprises might also be found if the Voice got up and running.

          2. skippy

            Any legal contract to control the rights to it is privatization full stop and it removes any notion of ***the commons*** for all today and the future.

          3. skippy

            This whole ‘First Nation’ thingy is a just another Bernays sauce Marketing exercise e.g. there was never a first nation on any historical account. Then we could bag on about the Dutch and English stuff and the latter securing the land for itself at the time.

            Meanwhile labour has spent huge political capital for this sideshow and have not focused on concrete benefits – for all – with functional macro economics. Nay they have opened the emigration gates to full boar regardless of sound economic factors and social dramas.

  16. The Rev Kev

    China is entering an active political struggle against the West
    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, at a conference with EU representative Borrell, spoke in support of Palestine, saying that the Palestinian people have been oppressed by Israel for more than half a century. He also added that he would speak in emergency consultations of the UN Security Council in support of a cessation of hostilities, and China would provide humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.’

    Borrell looks like a man trying to give birth to broken glass in that image. While he was in China he had been wagging his gnarled finger at them and saying that it is not possible for them to be neutral and that it was up to them to convince the Ukrainians that China was not on Russia’s side. If that was not enough, he told them that they had to back Zelensky’s peace plan which is actually a Russian surrender document. And then he said that if EU-China relations were going to go forward, then it would all depend on them changing their tune with this Ukrainian war-

    I think that the Chinese had had enough of this lecturing, finger-wagging and threat-making which was why they dropped some truth bombs on Borrell about Gaza. Rumour has it that as Borrell left China, that the Chinese Army Band at the airport were playing themselves some Twisted Sister- :) (3:39 mins)

  17. Carolinian

    Very relevant to current events.

    the Washington Middle East scene later changed radically, especially with the advent of the Clinton administration. Clinton appointed Martin Indyk, who founded WINEP as the research arm of AIPAC, as his chief Middle East advisor (he did not have U.S. citizenship at the time and his papers were rushed in to meet the confirmation process).

    The administration then cleansed all Arabists from the State Department and anybody who was identified as titling to the Arab point of view was sent to Siberian posts. The message was loud and clear: the U.S. government would no longer tolerate anybody daring to express the “Arab point of view” in the Arab-Israeli question.

    That quickly elevated the status of the Washington Institute and many of its researchers served in high positions of government, especially at State and Defense. At least three of its “experts” served as assistant secretaries of state for the Near East (the top Middle East post at the Department of State). The reputation of the Institute as the organization which staffs Middle East posts at the National Security Council in the White House, State, and Defense grew.

    Of course as the article itself points out the actual policy has always been pro Israel despite all those Arabists. But things do seem to have deteriorated since the 90s to the point where we have an openly theocratic government in Israel that still gets unquestioned US support. Some have even suggested that the willingness of the H.W, Bush administration to challenge Israel in the early 90s was the reason for his loss.

    1. Offtrail

      “Arabist” was made into an epithet.

      An Arabist is simply someone who knows something about the Middle East and is not Jewish.

  18. LawnDart

    To sum things up, the United States and Israel are successfully uniting the muslim world, much of which has strong ties to Russia and/or China, while alienating most of Europe with the exception of the toy dogs who head many of these states.

    It’s sad that many in the west are oblivious, even incurious, as to what lays beyond the curtain… a bigger, better world, and one that is full of possibilites.

    1. RookieEMT

      The issue is will the American empire go quietly into the night or start WWIII.

      If conditions deteriorate enough, will Americans rise against their government to join in on that better world?

    2. Lexx

      I like toy dogs, in fact dogs of all kinds but especially the small ones… but if you meant chew toys, that’s spot on.

    3. flora

      re: “It’s sad that many in the west are oblivious, even incurious, as to what lays beyond the curtain… ”

      Well you know, ( I am putting in a dig here), many of the West’s “leaders” are graduates of the Davos World Economic Forum/ Klaus Schwab ‘Young Global Leaders’ program. (The word “program” has several meanings.) They don’t need to think. They have their “program.” / heh (except not really funny)

  19. caucus99percenter

    Hmm. From Germany, for a few hours earlier today I was able to “see” the website of Gaza’s quasi-government, — and now I can’t. Unclear whether it’s just down or if access has now been decreed banned in Germany / the EU.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Allah ﷻ Capable of everything — as of 9:15 am Sunday in central Europe, it’s up again. The English-language home page:

        The standard copyright notice at the bottom, “Copyright © 2023 Hamas All rights reserved,” is a nice touch. As if any court in the West / the NATO-obedient “international community” would help any Palestinian entity enforce copyright fairly.

  20. Tom Stone

    If you want to see how far the Republican party has come since the early 1970’s you only need to recall Pete McCloskey ( Paul N McCloskey Jr).
    He and my father corresponded about California Water issues and National politics for a number of years and I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with him and the McCloskey’s (Helen was a kick) at their ranch in Rumsey in the mid 1970’s.
    It was the first time I ever drank an “Arnold Palmer” and that meeting influenced my thinking substantially.

    1. Offtrail

      That is a very timely reference. McCloskey lost his seat because of his critical attitude towards Israel.

  21. skk

    Re: end of DVD sales.
    Region restriction free DVD players are, I think, easily available or with easy to do hacks in South Asia. It ought to be better to get that than a Region 1 dVD player
    I have a 20 year old OPPO OPDV971 VH that still does work, breaks region coding with easy hack 9210 and plays lots of other formats, divx, above all PAL, NTSC.

    Or on a computer with a DVD player, Decss on Linux, VLC on Windows and Linux should work.

    1. Glen

      I ended up buying portable external Blu-ray player/burner for my wife and daughter like this one at B&H:

      Pioneer BDR-XD08B Portable USB 3.2 Gen 1 Clamshell Optical Drive (Misty Black)

      I had to get one that worked with both Windows and Mac (it also works with Linux), and supports reading/burning all formats including quad layer Blurays, and M-Disc. I also tested that these can play back a 4K Bluray. I don’t have any way to test if these are region independent. The trade off is that these are not “players” and require a PC of some sort to operate. B&H still has a great selection of better quality CD, DVD, and BD media.

      Like skk mentions we’re sorta on the backside of this technology. I’m still using an almost twenty year old Sony Bluray player for the TV, but got the portables to make sure my wife and daughter can watch DVD and Bluray too. Plus the quad layer BDs can store about 100GB so are also a good way to back up long term data.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m not sure one should read too much into this announcement made by the itself somewhat struggling Best Buy. They also barely sell cameras any more and I’m unclear what they do sell now other than giant TVs and computers and phones. Optical discs have been around for a very long time and doubtless the Chinese will continue to turn out equipment to read them as long as there is any market for it.

        Meanwhile the encryption on DVDs was hacked decades ago by a Norwegian teenager so he could watch those restricted and region discs on his computer. At this point there are probably–to quote Carl Sagan–billions and billions of FBI violating copies of almost every movie ever made and the Darknet that isn’t that dark knows how to get them off the internet.

        That said, if one doesn’t like the recordable discs a tiny 2T hard drive can hold the equivalent of 400 of them. Cory Doctorow has said one thing computers are very good at is copying and boy do they.

        However while DVDs can be played on computers I believe you still need a licensed and purchased piece of software to play Blu-ray. And while I of course would never recommend violating those FBI rules, commercial Blu-ray discs are not as ridiculously easy to decrypt and copy as DVDs.

        Bottom line: Yves should probably indeed buy an all region player or perhaps two of them to cover her old disc region and the local. Doubtless they too will continue to be sold for quite awhile.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Several weeks ago Disney announced that they would no longer sell any of their DVDs or Blue-Rays in Oz anymore and it would be all digital. I think that the end game is to eliminate physical media across the world eventually and just to have digital streaming with payment every time you viewed it – provided that that movie had not been updated for “modern values.” And if you wanted a much older film from say the 30s or 40s or 50s then you will be all out of luck as copyright restrictions held by those major corporations means that you will never be able to see those films ever again. To the big studios, people watching those old movies will be seen as competition with their latest offerings – which to a large extent are garbage. It’s all a variation of the ‘you will own nothing’ ideal.

      1. Carolinian

        An alternate theory is that streaming is a bit of a bust and the Disney honchos who gave us great movies like Mary Poppins Returns are trying to prop the thing up. One might see why they would block disc distribution of new content but why oh why block the catalog which is a simple cash cow where they sell the thing they have already sold many times before?

        Cory Doctorow said this sort of fighting your own customer behavior provokes “piracy, the obvious choice.” There was a time, so they say, when practically every movie sold in China was a bootleg. Coming again soon to a street corner near you?

        I will say that at my library, where I get a lot of movies to watch, the flow of new product is drying up fast. It’s unclear to me whether this is because the studios themselves are turning out fewer popular movies in these challenging times or fewer DVDs. Or maybe I should have a talk with the library director.

        1. The Rev Kev

          If you have any favourite films, I would go out and buy a DVD right now of it while you still have the chance. There is no guarantee that it will remain available if they succeed in getting rid of DVDs and Blue-rays.

          On a side note, can you imagine if Disney did an updated version of “Mary Poppins” to appeal to “modern audiences?” The total and utter fiasco associated with the remake of “Sleeping Beauty” would give you an idea how it would look-

 (6:38 mins)

      2. digi_owl

        Speaking of Disney and updating to modern values, i noticed years ago that they had taken to editing out various elements of religion and violence from their classic shorts involving Mickey, Donald and Goofy.

    3. Acacia

      Agree with @skk, above: if your PC or Mac doesn’t already have a DVD player, you can easily buy a small external drive that connects via USB. There are many different brands, very cheap.

      Then, get VLC player, which will defeat most region encoding. It’s free and runs on all major platforms.

    1. Bsn

      Yes! I’d forgotten about it and was reading NC, then had to turn the lite on. A minute later hubby did too. 20 minutes later we both read about the eclipse and thought “oh yea, that was it.” Fun to know we’re not always in charge.

  22. Mikel
    “…At California campuses this week, the already yawning gulf between students supporting Israelis or Palestinians widened. Many of them wore face masks during rallies to avoid being identified and declined to speak to reporters…”

    “…The group added that Palestinian students who do speak up have been doxxed, risking their future and professional lives. Many are fearful of their identities being published on Canary Mission, a website that posts names and photos of students, professors and others who it says “promote hatred of the USA, Israel and Jews” — often by supporting Palestinian resistance against the Israeli occupation.

    Abed Ayoub, national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said his staff has heard from students across the country, including California, who are facing expulsion and losing job opportunities for expressing their beliefs. Others are having their social media posts monitored and are threatened with violence on campuses, he said. The committee has set up an emergency fund to provide legal support…”

    1. Carolinian

      The threats and the masks are outrageous. Many states have even passed laws against free speech re Israel. This is also outrageous and, some courts have said, unconstitutional.

      Nikki Haley got one of those laws passed in my state and she seems to care more about Israel than she does the US. Perhaps she’s running for president of the wrong country??

    2. Samuel Conner

      I wonder if the masks were N95s.

      A twofer!


      Q: Why are you wearing that mask? The pandemic is over!

      A: I have unpopular political views and I’d prefer to not be identified. That, and the tuberculosis, that I don’t want to transmit.

  23. flora

    A pedantic aside, for no particular reason. Hegel’s conception of tragedy included this:

    Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.

    Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

  24. Glen

    A second carrier group is deploying to the Med.

    Deep Intel on Why Another Carrier is Headed to the Med

    This is an update by Ward Carroll, a retired USN F-14 RIO so you get a more in depth look at the units involved, and the basic mechanics of what happens on the carrier.

  25. Willow

    Just like a game of kal-toh, Armenia siding with US has allowed Russia & Azerbaijan to reconcile and consequentially crystallising Iran, Turkey & rest of Middle East. (Level of Western hubris & incompetence allowing this to happen is mind blowing). This was the prelude that needed to happen before the war with Israel over East Jerusalem & the Al-Aqsa Mosque could start. Was the Serbia/Kosovo flare up real or a misdirection faking Slav/Muslim conflict? The web is much more extensive than people think.

  26. Neutrino23

    I carry a bunch of $20 bills to hand out to homeless people. It hurts my heart that people in our country have difficulty eating. Also, there is a strong feeling of “there but for the grace of God go I.”

    I met a homeless kid my son’s age in a restroom in our local park using the hand dryer to warm up and gave him $200. He was shocked, I was in tears as I left. Another time I gave a woman collecting aluminum cans $300. She broke out in tears saying she really needed some medicine but couldn’t afford it. What kind of world is this?

    1. JBird4049

      According to some, the best of all possible worlds, here in the heart of the American Empire.

      Wonderful, ain’t?


  27. flora

    Thanks to NC for posting more in-depth information about the latest troubles in Israel in a non-partisan manner.

  28. Kouros

    Study: The best way to restore ecosystems is to listen to Indigenous peoples

    So Europeans with their techniques developed through time, some for the exact purpose of restoring ecosystems should also be listened to, since they are indigenous from Europe, no?

    Forest Management was practiced in China, in Japan for quite some time, but German lack of wood developed it in a science.

    Indigenous people in North America, or in other places, had certain uses and approaches, which were less extractive. All good, but how to reconcile that with the present extractive paradigm coupled with population boom? How to reduce consumerism?

    1. JBird4049

      >>>How to reduce consumerism?

      Killing the Fast Fashion insanity and the constant push to crappify everything including electronics to start. When I was working in retail at the beginning, it was a change in fashions 3-4 times a year often in tandem with the weather changing with major sales at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and after holiday clearances. Now…

      The more decades you go back, the fewer the fashion changes and the longer things lasted. There were always exception like American made cars, but you could work on them your self. People are forced to buy garbage to replace the garbage that was the only thing available. Sure, it is cheaper, but the quality goes downs faster than the price, which means it actually cost more.

      For the last few centuries, Western culture has been consumerist with conspicuous consumption by the wealthy or keeping up with the Jones always evident, but the past 75 years has been an increasing push to buy, buy, buy, buy, and buy, whether you want to or not. And now that half the American nation has been immiserated enough, people cannot afford the large initial lump sum for quality anything, even though buying junk is more expensive in the long run.

      Western civilization has always been extractive, dangerously so, and one can easily point to the Romans and Greeks among others who were not particularly good stewards of the land, but in the past few centuries it intensified. The First Industrial Revolution and the British Clearances are what I would use as the point where it went from exploitive to suicidal.

    2. hunkerdown

      Not rewarding such Western ideological elements as competition or drama would be a good start. So much for the ‘content’ industry.

  29. Wukchumni

    Exodus not a-coming, Egypt border line
    Gazans feeling strung out, future ill defined
    Saw them a-going down to war inopportune
    All I want, all I want is to write myself a tune

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Peace got arrested, wound up in jail
    Gaza about to blow up, communication failed
    If you see the answer, now’s the time to say
    All I want, all I want is to get you down to pray

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Saw the people standing, 75 years in chains
    Somebody said it’s different now, look it’s just the same
    Hasbara spins the message, round and round the truth
    They could have saved 40 beheaded babies, how can I tell you?

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you
    Wrote a song for everyone
    Wrote a song for truth
    Wrote a song for everyone
    When I couldn’t even talk to you

    Wrote a Song For Everyone, by CCR

  30. The Rev Kev

    ‘I debated posting this picture but I changed my mind.

    I didn’t know my boyfriend had captured this moment.

    A couple of day’s ago we went to eat late at night and as we waited for our order, I saw this homeless lady walk in asking people that were throwing away there leftovers if she could have them.’

    I don’t know who this girl is but damn, she’s a keeper.

    1. digi_owl

      Something of an aside, but i notice that Twitter has rearranged the replied to that tweet since i first clicked it when the Links article went up.

  31. Acacia

    Health news from Asia…

    A doctor of internal medicine told me today that “Japan is completely out of stock of cough medicines. There’s none available in the entire country.”

    A pharmacist confirmed. It’s not a supply problem, but that demand has vastly exceeded what’s available. Coronavirus and flu are said to be the main causes.

    Ppl on Twitter talking about this too, asking why PM Kishida hasn’t taken any action.

    One doctor opines: “I wonder if this winter is hopeless” and it’s not even November.

    1. Acacia

      More on the flu epidemic in Japan:

      Is “immune decline” a factor in the epidemic? Flu infection is spreading all over the country … What are the preventions and countermeasures? Experts explain

      The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare aggregates patient reports from about 5,000 fixed-point medical institutions nationwide, and if the number of reports of influenza infections per institution exceeds “1 person” in a week, it will be judged to be an “epidemic”. I think there has been an image that influenza has spread in winter so far, but in fact, it has been prevalent since the end of last year, […]

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