Links 10/19/2023

Patient readers, I have been prolix. Two wars, that’s a lot! I will remove some excess shortly. –lambert UPDATE Finished!

Apple revival: how science is bringing historic varieties back to life Nature

Horrifying parasitic wasp with a giant head is one of more than 100 newfound species discovered in the Amazon Live Science (Furzy Mouse).

Octopus Intelligence Shakes Up Darwin’s Tree Mind Matters. I cannot forbear from quoting:

Animals without backbones hid from each other or fell down. Clamasaurs and Oysterettes appeared as appetizers. Then came the sponges which sucked up about ten percent of all life. Hundreds of years later, in the Late Devouring Period, fish became obnoxious. Trailerbites, chiggerbites, and mosquitoes collided aimlessly in the dense gas. Finally, tiny edible plants sprang up in rows giving birth to generations of insecticides and other small dying creatures.

Wall Street’s Latest Obsession Is an Unknowable Number WSJ. Term premium.

Bloomberg Says It Is Using Machine Learning to Deliver Near Real-Time Bond Prices Institutional Investor


A Startup Battles Big Oil for the $1 Trillion Future of Carbon Cleanup Bloomberg. On carbon capture, see NC here, here, here, and here.

Wildlife Poop Is the Climate Solution You’ve Never Heard Of Scientific American


Maya reservoirs relied on aquatic plants like water lilies to help keep water clean Ars Technica


Long COVID research risks losing momentum – we need a moonshot Nature. I’m so old I remember when NIH spent a billion dollars preparing the prerequisites for future Long Covid survey instruments, and didn’t even look for biomarkers. Good times. Commentary:

People who’ve had Covid at least 5 times describe how the illness changed with each reinfection NBC


China’s Xi announces over US$100 billion in new Belt and Road funding Channel News Asia

Bondholders of China’s Country Garden seek talks after missed payment: Sources Channel News Asia

China Sept coal output hits six-month high on rising power demand Hellenic Shipping News


Exclusive: Inside the Chinese-Run Crime Hubs of Myanmar that Are Conning the World: ‘We Can Kill You Here’ Pulitzer Center

Newsrooms should be prepared for deepfakes at a “staggering” scale Axios


Israel-Hamas latest news: Biden ‘privately’ gave Israel green light for Gaza invasion – report Telegraph

Israel will let Egypt deliver some aid to Gaza, as doctors struggle to treat hospital blast victims AP

U.S. troops fend off drone attack in Iraq: CENTCOM Just the News. And no wonder, after Biden just painted a target on their backs. Fortunately, we have a carrier in the area, so we can enter the conflict for reals.

State Department official resigns over Biden’s handling of Israel-Palestine conflict Anadolu Agency

A large group of protesters chanted calls for a cease-fire in the Middle East as scores were arrested inside a House office building. Politico. Another occupation:

* * *

A Ceasefire in Gaza International Crisis Group. The deck: “Western leaders should join calls for a pause to save lives, prevent fighting from spreading and give diplomacy a chance.”

The Anti-Imperialist Movement That Supports Palestinian Liberation—And Runs Part of the UK Declassified UK. Sinn Féin.

Revisiting Yeshayahu Leibowitz JSTOR Daily

* * *

How fake accounts sowed mass confusion in the immediate aftermath of the Gaza hospital blast Daily Dot

Was this photo of a dead Israeli baby AI-generated? When AI-detection errors muddle public debate France24

* * *

Biden backs Israel as Middle East protests Gaza hospital blast (video) Channel 4 News. Level-headed wrap-up, worth a click-through and a listen:

Gaza hospital blast: Initial U.S. intel assessment is Israel “not responsible” Axios

It’s Significant That Putin Didn’t Ascribe Blame For The Gaza Hospital Catastrophe Andrew Korybko, Eesti Eest!

Israel-Gaza war: China condemns ‘heinous attack’ on hospital and urges ceasefire as priority at UN Security Council South China Morning Post

* * *

Netanyahu aide walks back Gaza hospital air attack admission TRT Afrika. Turkish-funded.

Palestinian envoy revokes claim that Israel issued warning of hospital attack beforehand TASS

Defense expert refutes Israeli military claim about hospital attack in Gaza Anadolu Agency. Iron Dome should have been activated by a rocket.

Absence of craters in Gaza hospital attack suggests use of ‘proximity fuse’: Ammunition specialist Anadolu Agency. If we accept some digital evidence of the parking lot.

* * *

US vetoes UN’s call for ‘humanitarian pause’ and corridors into Gaza Guardian. Good to see diversity in our diplomatic corps, that’s the important thing here:

‘Gaza Is Being Strangled’: Why Israel’s Evacuation Order Violates International Law Madras Courier

* * *

‘This is their 9-11’: Absent a US House speaker, McCaul emerges as GOP lead on Israel-Hamas war Austin-American. Double down:

The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (PDF) John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt. From 2006, still highly germane (and the paper that got Mearsheimer blackballed in the Acela Corridor just as badly as Thomas Frank with Listen, Liberal!). 40 pages, but well worth a read. From paragraph four: “[T]he overall thrust of U.S. policy in the region is due almost entirely to U.S. domestic politics, and especially to the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby.'”

European Disunion

French left-wing alliance on brink of collapse over Middle East conflict France24

Europe’s Richest Royal Family Builds $300 Billion Finance Empire Bloomberg

Dear Old Blighty

Let them eat old vaccines AND plague Nate Bear, Do Not Panic

South of the Border

Washington says will ease Venezuela oil, gas sanctions after election deal France24

New Not-So-Cold War

News conference following the visit to China (transcript) President of Russia

Putin in Beijing Gilbert Doctorow

No More Malarkey on Ukraine The American Conservative

Ukraine’s Economy Starts to Rebound as It Adapts to War NYT

Republican Funhouse

Push to empower McHenry grows The Hill


Amateur astronomers file class-action lawsuits alleging telescope price-fixing conspiracy CBC. One for Stoller.


The shadowy underbelly of AI FOX

The world’s biggest AI models aren’t very transparent, Stanford study says The Verge

The Bezzle

Why can’t our tech billionaires learn anything new? Dave Karp, The Future, Now and Then. Crime makes you stupid. –Detective Frank Pemberton, Homicide

No, Really, What Is Going On With Sam Bankman-Fried’s Baffling Defense? Slate

Sports Desk

Tectonic Shifts RealClearPolitics

The Regulatory State

Wedding Websites, Free Speech, and Adverse Drug Effects NEJM. Important:

The First Amendment is traditionally seen as protecting the freedom of individuals’ speech from government interference. But in recent years, it has also been invoked by conservative litigators and relied on by judges to justify forbidding ‘compelled speech.’ In this view, just as the government cannot prevent a person from saying something, it cannot oblige a person to say something. Both uses of the newly weaponized First Amendment have become powerful tools in conservatives’ attempts to dismantle ‘the regulatory state.’ In 2023, pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck objected to provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices, arguing that requiring the company to state its acceptance of a future negotiated price would represent impermissible compelled speech. Merck’s argument and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and 303 Creative cases also reflect another development that was probably not anticipated by the Founders: that corporate entities deserve the same constitutional rights as individuals. The latter cases represented extensions of the Court’s 2014 Hobby Lobby ruling that a company can claim religious-freedom rights that exempt it from covering contraceptives under its employee health insurance.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Understanding democratic decline in the United States Brookings Institution. Blue cope, as Brookings fails to maintain even nominal even-handedness. The inability of liberal Democrats — and their base — to self-reflect never ceases to amaze (and is, in itself, a reinforcing factor in “democratic decline”).

Class Wafare

On the Unwholesomeness of Honest Toil Louise Crowley, The Anarchist Library. From 1966, still germane.

Life and Death and More Life: Leo Tolstoy on Science, Spirituality, and Our Search for Meaning The Marginalian

Antidote du jour (via):

Winter is coming.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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. griffen

    $300 Billion financial firm, money manager for the ultra rich. Well to the good, he does not look like Dr. Evil; it is just a simple prince from Lichtenstein.

      1. ambrit

        With Nero in Rome it was a case of; “Lyre, lyre, plebs on fire.”
        In Litchenstein they rely on Uncle Roy for the granular view.
        “It’s quite simple, just learn to connect the dots.”

    1. Feral Finster

      Not to mention the assured “Islamic Jihad operatives” helpfully don’t bother to use any codewords, thus greatly easing the task of the eavesdroppers.

      How utterly convenient!

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘Alan MacLeod
    The United States has just vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution trying to establish a “humanitarian pause” in the onslaught to allow for lifesaving aid to be brought into Gaza.
    It was the only country to vote against it.’

    As the linked article says, the US vetoed it on the grounds that it did not contain a statement that ‘Israel has the inherent sight of self-defence.’ But how that works in practice is a blank cheque for Israel to continue to bombard Gaza with artillery, missiles and aerial bombs. For the US it is a disaster as there is no possible way that they can get away with the optics of wanting the bombardment of Gaza to continue in the UN. The US is getting more and more isolated on the world stage and the trained poodles of the Collective west are only cold comfort. Being the one to veto humanitarian aid to Gaza is going to lead to all sorts of blowback. I am not sure how it will play out but it will be coming.

    1. Mikerw0

      Strikes me as “so what”. Since when has anyone listened to the UN, followed its rules, done anything meaningful. As a New Yorker, who once a year has to put up with a traffic mess so delegations can bring their families to the city to do some serious shopping, I ask if its went away would anyone even notice?

      1. The Rev Kev

        It’s not the UN as such but what flows from it. First example at the top of my head is the end of the Abraham Accords. The Saudis will now not touch that one nor any other Arab country. Then there will be treaties with the US not signed, contracts not agreed upon, lack of diplomatic support and more and more countries gravitating to the BRICS. If you do not believe me, then consider this. Ever since the start of the NATO-Russia war, the Global Majority of countries have sat this one out saying that it was a European war. So no condemnations of Russia as demanded by the US nor any weapons to the Zelensky regime and no diplomatic support for the Collective West in international meetings like with the G-20. So what do you think will be the blowback from the Gaza war? I promise you that it will not be good, believe that.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Meant to add a link to my comment but here is a bit of it-

          ‘We have definitely lost the battle in the Global South,” said one senior G7 diplomat. “All the work we have done with the Global South [over Ukraine] has been lost . . . Forget about rules, forget about world order. They won’t ever listen to us again.’

          Lots of wailing and hair-pulling in that article.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Not that it matters much, but in 2006 the International Court of Justice came to the conclusion that an occupying power can not invoke the right of self-defence.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Heh, good catch.

        File away in the growing encyclopedia of obfuscatory and self-contradicting rhetoric from “the rules-based order” crowd.

      2. hk

        Great point: if an invader has a right to “self defense,” every act of aggression would be “justifiable.”

    3. Insouciant Iowan

      Those who became Israel and Israel from 1948 forward have been the aggressor in Palestine. Aggressors do not defend themselves so much as repulse resistance.
      If some take that as a distinction without a difference, consider which Israel is being defended: the one the UN defined, or the one Israelis claim? Clearly it is the latter. Even the one defined by the UN had to be claimed by aggressively expelling Palestinian residents. Israel’s presence beyond the bounds set by the UN amplifies that aggression and necessitates continuing vigorous resistance by Palestinians. The combinaion is deadly.
      Israel’s right to defend itself is a sham. It actually means that Israelis have the right to continue, even to amplify, their aggression. Thus, it is also a way of delegitimizing Palestinian resistance.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Self defense is part of the UN charter (for individuals too). There is no need except the Israelis are trying to create a future legal argument to protect IDF members in the future if they go abroad. Hence this need to claim a separate status when self defense is an inherent right is clearly meant to justify something other than self defense, genocide.

        1. Aurelien

          It’s truer to say that Art 51 of the Charter reaffirms the historic right of a state to defend itself against aggression, while waiting for the UN cavalry to arrive. It doesn’t create any new rights.
          There’s nothing here about individuals. Legitimate self-defence is recognised in all modern criminal codes in a situation where your safety or that of someone close to you is threatened, and where your response is proportionate to the threat. It has absolutely nothing to do with the situation in Gaza.

          1. urdsama

            Except that it has everything to do with Gaza.

            And Art 51 does mention the individual. Additionally, Art 2(4) and 51 have a very convoluted interaction, so your overall point is up for debate.

        2. Insouciant Iowan

          In Israel’s case the claim of self-defense is simply a ruse to continue its aggression in an “acceptable” guise. It hides behind a statement in the UN charter, but otherwise ignores UN resolutions that are contrary to Israel’s definition of it’s own interests.
          Had Israel not moved bryond boundaries set by the UN, it might have a plausible case. But then the likelihood of the sort of violent resistance by Hamas to its overreach would not happen. Indeed, Hamas mightn’t even exist.

      2. digi_owl

        Schoolyard bullying. Same as with USA/NATO in Ukraine. Keep needling the opposition (HAMAS/Russia) until the latter lash out, then go crying about self-defense.

    4. Vicky Cookies

      The U.S. has an interest in defining indiscriminate retaliation as ‘self-defense’.
      If applied universally, it would follow that if my neighbor assaulted me, I would be engaged in self-defense if I were to cut off vital supplies to the neighborhood, ensuring the deaths of many uninvolved people.
      Outside of some discussions of deterrence in the realist currents of international relations thinking, I find very few examinations of the assumption that violent response to violence is desirable, reasonable, moral, etc.
      More to the issue, the international community being horrified by the singular immorality of the U.S., and specifically in UNSC vetoes, is not new, but it does seem that strategic misteps could accelerate the decline of U.S. influence.

  3. Paul J-H

    Re: Rolls Royce:

    Good point, but Airbus , Dassault and Saab are doing quite ok, I think? In other words – the European firms.

  4. Mikel

    “Wall Street’s Latest Obsession Is an Unknowable Number WSJ” Term premium.

    “Bloomberg Says It Is Using Machine Learning to Deliver Near Real-Time Bond Prices” Institutional Investor

    If only there had been as much worry and hair-pulling over the stupidly low interest rates for TOO LONG and all the worthless BS that emerged from that.

  5. meadows

    The Nature article re apples… a great antidote to the wargasms going on all around us…. I live in NW WA state and am into old apples. I find and clone old varieties in town, where early settlers all planted apple trees after the civil war… many still alive (not the settlers). Sometimes an apple tree will live over 150 years, they are tough survivors.

    I have designed and built cider presses that are compact and efficient, my idea was that they might replace the ubiquitous lawnmower in garages… I can make about 10 gallons of juice an hour if I’m cranking (it is electric, the old type cider presses were hand cranked). I also have Thomas Jefferson’s favorite cider apple (Harrison) growing in our back yard mini-orchard, along with the oldest variety, Roxbury Russet, from the 1600’s, Massachusetts.

    I make sweet and hard cider, cider syrup, vinegar, you name it. I prune neighbor’s trees, they give me their apples, I return cider. I’ve invented a tool to shake down the fruit, (the Shaker), and large buckets for hauling apples (Poor Man’s Wheelbarrow).

    This is all good stuff, god bless apples and the peeps who love them!

    1. jackiebass63

      Apples are my favorite fruit. I go to my local U pick orchard every year and pick 3 bushles. I have a spare fridge that I store them in. I have apples to eat close to when a new crop is ripe.I take me less than 1/2 hour to pick them.I pick several varieties. Each variety has its unique charcteristics.I look forward to my annual apple picking trip.

    2. Lexx

      We just drove back from the PNW; there were apple trees everywhere I looked loaded with fruit. I breathed a small sigh of relief at the return to ‘normalcy’, if only for a visit. We live far now from the Garden of Eatin’. Unlike Adam and Eve we weren’t expelled and plan to return for retirement. I’d like to be buried under an apple tree.

      Developed a taste for hard cider while in Ireland, still prefer it to most anything else on tap.

      1. Laughingsong

        Same here! Got my taste for it in Ireland and hardly touch any thing else, especially dry cider (well sometimes Thinking Tree Spirits, especially their lavender vodka).

        A lot of cider in stores are too sweet for me, but here in Eugene, we have Wildcraft Cider Works. The guy who owns it, Sean Kelly, makes fantastic ciders.

        Every year he has a Community Apple Drive, where folks around the area are invited to bring in any apples, pears, and plums that they don’t need, in exchange for free cider. From these he makes that year’s community cider, a large portion of which will go to a local charity.

        1. Lexx

          Was it Magners by chance? Every bar seemed to have it on tap and it was good. I started buying it when we got home, probably a few bottles in the basement fridge now.

      2. Joe Renter

        I worked in Japan one summer before the downturn and while driving through the country side I saw fruit trees with little nylon socks over the fruit. I asked our guide what kind of fruit is that? He informed me there were Fuji apples. This was before they were exported and then grown domestically here in the states. I worked selling produce at Pike Place market a couple years later and saw the Fuji replace the Red Delicious as the go to apple.

    3. Lex

      I agree on the link! Apples with their somewhat weird pollination requirements and genetic diversity in terms of phenotype expression are fascinating.

      Actual apple “breeding” programs like the university of Minnesota’s are rare. And it might be more fair to characterize them as plant a bunch of seeds and hope something good comes out since the classical plant breeding methods of selecting and backcrossing aren’t very reliable. If I remember the story correctly, almost all of our current and historical varieties come from selections out of cider orchards. Hard cider especially makes apple taste a minor concern.

    4. Cassandra

      We recently acquired a vintage *ahem* cider press to refurbish; no cider this year though, alas. A hard, hard frost in mid May wiped out all of our tree fruit. Maybe next year. We planted several varieties of heritage apples several years ago and grafted in more varieties. Looking forward to trying the fruit, maybe next year…

    5. Bruce F

      We planted a few apple trees near the farmhouse, bought from the county extension office, a few years ago. This was the first year that one of them yielded much of anything. Unfortunately I don’t know the variety.
      I was wondering if any of the commentariat could identify them for me. Failing that, how would I go about identifying them myself?

    6. Hepativore

      My favorite apples to both eat and cook with are Northern Spy. They are a cultivar from the 19th century. While they are still popular in the Northeast, they have long since fallen out of favor as the trees can take up to ten years to reach bearing age.

      Northern Spies do better in colder climates like those of zone 6 and under. The apples are very crisp, and have a wonderfully complex, “appley” flavor.

      Also…they have such a cool name, as if the apples were involved in espionage.

      1. playon

        My father loved Northern Spy apples – we lived in eastern WA and in the fall he would drive a couple of miles from town to a farmer’s place wh hoad a few trees of that variety. He loved tart apples in general.

        We still live in WA state but are now on the other side of the mountains in Skagit county. Would love to find some local sources for heirloom apple varieties if anyone could share that info.

        I’ve never cared for the so-called “Delicious” apple variety — bland, mealy and too big.

      2. Chip

        You are correct about Northern Spy favoring a northern climate, but I have one here in southern NM in zone 7 (almost zone 8), along with over a dozen other heirloom varieties. Sitting in high desert a mile above sea level a couple hours north of El Paso. The orchard has been more or less reliably producing for over 15 years. It has been a challenge to keep these alive through the worsening climate, but so far all is well. Many years the trees have produced bumper crops, and all the excess apples are turned into apple scrap vinegar (an easy process) to mix with our horrid alkaline well water. A poor man’s water softener, so to speak. I use the treated product to occasionally water the vegetables, as some of those are much more sensitive to the pH of the straight well water. It gives them a break now and then from the alkaline water. About 1 TBsp per gallon is the ratio I use. The leftover apple “mash” from the vinegar process is then added to the garden soil to decay. Nothing is wasted. As to the Northern Spy, it has produced a reliable crop every year, and being a late bloomer, it is one that I cherish, because it always misses the late freezes here in April.

      3. neutrino23

        My 95 year old mom loves to make pies with Northern Spy apples. I get them online and send her a half bushel from time to time. You can’t get them in stores anymore. At least not with any regularity. We only get Fujis, and some variant of Envy or Honey Crisp.

    7. tennesseewaltzer

      Meadows, what a wonderful undertaking!! You are to be commended, and then there are all those splendid apples and what can be done with them.

      I live in southern Tennessee, close to the Alabama border. Just over that border in the lyrically named community of Hazel Green, Alabama is Scott’s Orchard. They offer a variety of apples beginning summer and continuing into the new year. Most of the varieties are popular ones, but I do find it grand to have a nearby orchard in Alabama. This year I have already sauced and canned apples and I just finished juicing several varieties and canning them for the coming year. I will get several bushels of keeping apples later this month and refrigerate them for eating throughout the winter.

      The local Amish make vinegar from whatever apples they can find and the local hard pears. This large Amish community has connections to many places in the North and truckloads of apples and pears and peaches and plums make their way here to be boxed up for the Amish and for those of us English who have an Amish source.

      1. Bsn

        We have a few apple trees, but how many apples can one eat? We decided to trim back dramatically and keep our favorite one, Melrose. With other fruit combined: fig; berries; peaches; blueberries…. there’s only so much we can eat. Plus, in our region there are many apple trees in alleys and unattended fields – why waste vegetable space and potato ground on more fruit? My hubby grew up in so. cal. and there were avacato trees everywhere as the town used to be orchards. As teens they would have avacato wars abd if you got hit, the seed really hurt. Plus, it would leave a very serious blob of green. Oh, the folly of youth.

    8. jefemt

      Care to share the apple press design, or fabricate and sell one? We have a local organic farm that charges your first-borne to process on their aging press… reinforcing yet again decentralized IS power….

      1. Divadab

        I have a friend who made an apple press using a hydraulic press from harbor freight, not a ver yexpensive item, and a series of trays. Not sure about more than that, experiment away! We have only two trees and use a hand peeler-corer followed by a juicer to make cider. Skins and cores make sweet compost!

    9. playon

      Meadows I wish there were some way I could get hold of you as we are in the same area and would be interested in some cider, possibly a small press.

      I would be happy if one a moderator could forward my email address to you — Is there any way to contact other NC readers?

    10. upstater

      I would be interested in your press design. We have a hand crank that works… but its work!

      BTW for others, pressing is the second step. We have to chop/crush first. YouTube has videos of using a garbage disposal for initial chopping.

      As I type 5 gallons of cider is actively fermenting. This year we had a late frost which cut our harvest by 90%.

      We have 16 trees and another 10 graftlings. Several are wild apples from hedgerows around here.

    11. Wukchumni

      There used to be an apple orchard in Sequoia NP just off of Mineral King road about 12 miles up @ a place named Traugers, and the road was about 100 feet higher in the 1890’s when they planted the trees.

      Of the 30 apple trees, on 25 of them the main trunk had long since expired and 3 to 4 inch non-fruit bearing suckers went up 30 to 40 feet like so many Jack in the Beanstalks.

      The 5 trees that were still producing were akin to minor miracles to me in that the trees were completely uncared for, and dare I say pretty much unknown.

      Sadly, the KNP Fire came racing through the area in 2021 obliterating any evidence that they ever existed.

      Happily, there is still aged apple tree another 7 miles up the road only 15 feet away from it, that has 5 orbs (European crab apples) which need another week or 2 of ripening before I can get to them with a fruit picker, while standing in the bed of my truck, as they are pretty high up.

    12. JohnnySacks

      A very good friend introduced us to Sidra, Spanish hard cider. He’s been an aficionado for decades and imports now. Local artisans abound and the story is that apples used for hard cider are typically more flavorful and less sweet than grocery apples, which were/are bred to be more visually appealing, case in point the blandness of Red Delicious (good riddance!). Prohibition destroyed the cider apple market and with the recent growth of hard cider makers, microbreweries, the push to locate and culture the old varieties is real.

    13. GF

      There was a reference to apples that fall from the tree becoming fermented yesterday somewhere I was reading. It didn’t state how long that takes to ferment but mentioned an animal eating them would show signs of intoxication.

      Today on my morning walk where some homes have apple trees planted (currently ripe and falling from the trees – don’t know why they don’t have them picked) I saw a javelina as we call them (peccary: blissfully eating away under one of the trees. I watched for a few minutes as they don’t show themselves often in the neighborhood. When it was finished munching I noticed it sort of staggered and weaved as it meandered toward another tree.

      1. playon

        In the town I used to live in the amount of wasted fruit was significant – many people around town had fruit trees that were planted 50 to 120 years ago but most people did not bother to pick them – plums, apricots, apples, pears etc. When cycling around town in late summer and fall I would always see fruit on the ground and people were not taking care of their trees. Sometimes I would knock on the door to ask if it was OK to pick the fruit. It’s wild how spoiled Americans are… my parents grew up in the depression of the 1930s, and we got the message that it was not OK to waste food.

    14. Revenant

      I am just about to plant a 2-3 acre orchard. Barefoot maiden trees on standard root stock (so 30ft spacing between trees). Somewhere between 100-120 trees laid out on an hexagonal plan, in 14-15 rows of 7-8, roughly.

      The site is a south facing slope (good) but on the highest point between Dartmoor and Exmoor (bad, about 600 ft above sea level, very exposed to southwesterly wind and rain). Apples in Devon suffer from a lot of blight and canker because of the wet.

      Part of the site lies on part of the old orchard my grandmother got a grant to grub out. Oh the irony. The other parts lie on a field and a rough pasture. I am hoping they will all be equally good for apples but our ancestors were canny and observant people and I worry the field and rough pasture were not planted to orchard for a reason!

      I am going to plant the western boundary with mulberries because I love them so. I will plant the northern boundary with high trees, to catch as much southerly sun over the heads of the apples to make up for their exposed backs. At the moment, probably walnuts and local “mazzard” cherries and possible some plums/damsons and some pears. The other 90-odd trees will all be apples: 5-10 cooking apples at the eastern boundary, just for easy access, then cider apples in a group, about 20-30; the rest in the sheltered heart of the orchard will be dual purpose eating/juicing apples. There will be the occasional crab apple for pollination and quince because, like the mulberries, there’s nothing finer and none in the shops.

      The land is mine but the trees are probably £5k and the planting another £1k and the guards another £2-3k and the fencing £2k and I have invested another £3-4k in an irrigation system.that can use our greywater. I hope to make some juice and sell some to the local cider maker but frankly it is a labour of love (and mulberry greed) given it will cost £15k. But it may to out to have saved me £25k on upgrading the drainage and my children will thank me (if they like apples).

  6. John R Moffett

    Quoting Firesign Theater, I love it! :)

    “Two-way sneeze through edible steering column, with chrome fender dents, and factory air conditioned air, from our fully air conditioned factory!”

    1. dave -- just dave

      There’s a line from a Firesign Theatre “people in the street” bit, asking for opinions about the future:

      This is the future. You got to live it, or live with it.”

      As the decades roll by, this never loses its poignancy, although the unstated third option becomes more salient: “And, at a time TBD, get out of the way.”

    2. britzklieg

      “I’ve got an item right here that will clean your car while you’re driving it home to work.” DCTDHMTP

      1. uhh Clem

        Yes, living it Today’s complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head. But there they are.

  7. Mikel

    “Europe’s Richest Royal Family Builds $300 Billion Finance Empire” Bloomberg

    “The top royal for one of the world’s smallest nations heads a multibillion-dollar dynasty dating back almost 1,000 years that’s endured through wars…”

    Note the spin with the phrase “endured through wars.” I doubt it would have come to pass without war mongering.

    1. Lexx

      Switzerland was officially neutral. Money needed a hidey-hole, still does and always will.

      In ‘Jackpot’ Olivier would be referred to as part of the necessary entourage, providing services for which they too have become billionaires. Probably why at 58, he looks 70 plus.

      1. Mikel

        Last sentence:

        “The prince and his family’s wealth originated with land acquired in the 12th century that at one point spread across a wide swath of what’s now Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic…”

        Did that swiss-cheese (as in full of holes) neutrality extend that far back in time?

        1. Lexx

          I’m interested in how a country like Switzerland is perceived now vs. how the country really operates in the world.* The Swiss didn’t fight in WWII, but they participated big time. Decades later their stand in the war shines favorably upon them. When I think of Switzerland I think gorgeous cows with bells, alpine meadows, excellent chocolate, and one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever taken a walk along (Lake Geneva) on a fall morning. The memories of a tourist just passing through. It’s all most people ever know.

          *Not how is has operated in the past alone. There were land barons at all times everywhere in the world. One of the few reliable ways of accumulating wealth over generations.

          1. communistmole

            “gorgeous cows with bells, alpine meadows, excellent chocolate“. No cliché left out.

            Where I live, there is so much nitrate in the water because of the cow shit used as fertilizer that it is better to use it only for cooking.

            A cantonal initiative to improve water quality was rejected by the population because of fears that food prices, especially meat, would rise (the main opponent was the SVP, formerly known as the Swiss Farmers’ Party). In Switzerland, agriculture, along with the military, is the main recipient of state funds.

            Barbecuing on the balcony is a popular sport here, so much so that a large supermarket chain uses the slogan ‘Grillitarians of all countries, unite’.

            And btw: Car density is higher than in Germany

            1. Lexx

              I left out ‘Heidi’ on purpose. In retrospect it seems odd to me just how many Heidi’s I’ve known whose ancestry wasn’t Swiss, Austrian, or German. Perhaps we can thank Disney for their contribution?

              1. communistmole

                You’ve forgotten the cheese.

                I’ve never met a Heidi in all these years, and I only know the book because of the Japanese animated series. But at least Wagner didn’t make an opera out of it.

                p.s. Bruno Ganz not only played Hitler, but also the ‘Alpöhi’, the grandfather in the novel (from which you can conclude whatever you want …).

        2. hk

          A thousand years ago, the maxim was that, when your money runs out, so do the Swiss. They were literal mercenaries, fighting for almost anyone with the money (so, they were neutral that way…and still are in many ways.). Apparently, one exception they made was that they did not sign on with warlords fighting someone who already hired Swiss.

  8. Mikel

    “Amateur astronomers file class-action lawsuits alleging telescope price-fixing conspiracy” CBC.

    Damn. Is there anything at all that is not a grift???

    1. LifelongLib

      After a quick search I can’t tell if any of my astronomy equipment is connected with the companies in question. I’m not as outraged as I should be though because I spent maybe $2000 on it over 20 years so it’s not exactly wallet draining…guess that’s part of how they get away with it…

  9. digi_owl

    “On the Unwholesomeness of Honest Toil Louise Crowley, The Anarchist Library. From 1966, still germane.”

    Again and again i wonder how the likes of the USSR would have developed had they not developed institutional paranoia regarding invaders, thanks to all the empires wanting to kill the malignant tumor of socialism and reinstate either the tsar or a capitalist republic.

    End result was that far too much productive output was redirected to the oversized military.

    I guess some of the idea is embedded in the agricultural genesis of civilization as we know it, where if one do not work one starve. But then work is directly for oneself and ones family.

    But everything comes ajar when we bring that concept of work with us as we move to more “abstract” tasks in offices and factories.

    1. Late Introvert

      I was struck by the comments about how the Soviets had that hard won revolution and then managed to squander it by creating a mirror image of the same worker exploitation. It was not a worker’s paradise by any means. Add in the Cold War and it just went to hell. The US would have lost WWII without the Soviets, and then we turned on them and helped destroy any hope of a decent situation for the Working Class. Almost like they planned it.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “French left-wing alliance on brink of collapse over Middle East conflict”

    I am just going to leave the comment that unless you are for worker’s rights and are for peace, then you are not really a Leftist at all.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Indeed, mon frère, indeed. Meaning: France Insoumise is the left, and France’s thoroughly compromised Socialists are what? Maybe they’ll now find out.

      1. Bugs

        They’re going to soon find out what being a party with no seats in the National Assembly, and no state funding, is like.

  11. Snailslime

    According to Simplicius’ latest there was an attack on a US base carried out with two drones, 50% aka one of which they managed to shoot down.

    Mighty impressive.

    The superiority of american airdefense!!

    Meanwhile the israeli and the indian army are adopting the anti drone cages that the Russians were mocked for to protect their tanks.

    1. digi_owl

      What is funny is that some tanks already have a similar system incorporated into their design, to try and ward off RPGs by airgapping the impact surface from the main hull.

      And i seem to recall ships having anti-torpedo nets deployed while stationary during WW2, hoping the torpedos would either detonate or entangle on contact with them before reaching the ship.

      1. ilsm

        Torpedo “blisters” were installed on warships.

        Blister was a metal “skirt” the torpedo was to detonate on the skirt and its force dissipated before effecting the armor hull.

        Torpedo designers responded by adding a magnetic detonator to the weapon which was to fire the warhead when a certain magnetic field from a lot of iron was sensed.

        USN Mk XIV torpedoes were so configured, and proved unreliable in early operations in WW. II.

        See Operation Pacific, John Wayne…

        1. hk

          Torpedo nets were the thing during WW1. They were already considered by many or even most navies to be more trouble than they were worth (they interfered with boat traffic in harbors etc) by the time WW2 was beginning. (Plus innovations like torpedo bulges were thought to be better.)

      2. PlutoniumKun

        Torpedoes in the 19th and early 20th Century were very much the modern version of drones. There was a real fear among the big powers that a small nation with a few cheap torpedo boats (or later, submarines), could neutralize the battleship or battlecruiser, which was potentially catastrophic news for the big naval powers. Later on, post WWII, guided torpedoes threatened to do the same for aircraft carriers. Battleships did of course become outdated, but it wasn’t the torpedo that was responsible.

        But as so often, new weapons are rarely game changers – you just get a tit for tat escalation, with usually the country with most money and resources winning in the end. I suspect it will be the same for drones. A combination of layered defenses utilizing electronics warfare, directed energy weapons, and old fashioned guns will at least partly neutralize their usefulness, as we’ve already seen in the most contested areas in the Ukraine.

  12. DJG, Reality Czar

    Octopus Intelligence Shakes (well, I’m not sure it shakes me).

    I believe that this is the second article in recent days by Denyse O’Leary, and one must keep in mind that she is part of some “faith and science” network, looking for souls.

    Yet the article is intriguing. O’Leary does fall for one fallacy, which is that the brain concentrates the nervous system in mammals and birds. It’s the revenge of the “company headquarters” metaphor. Yet human beings have the vagus nerve, which reminds me of an octopodean tentacle as the vagus nerve winds down the front of the body. Also, human have the “brain in the gut,” which only my kinesiologist / chiropractor seemed to be aware of: Your gut has a quite complicated nervous system that can operate on its own (somewhat).

    Yet she does make an interesting proposal, almost in passing: The octopus evolved out of its shell and traded the shell for intelligence. Leaving the shell behind also gave it remarkable mobility and skill at squeezing through tight spaces. Compare the octopus with its shell-bound, less intellectual cousin, the nautilus.

    Likewise, human beings gave up claws, shells, horns, and tails (I suppose) as they evolved toward intelligence.

    I am reminded that horses have no horns or antlers, either. They and the donkeys traded in the horns for intelligence, one might surmise.

    I noted the photo up top on her article: The eye of the octopus. It is reputed to be the most evolved and accurate eye of invertebrates. So sight is linked here, too, human beings being sight hounds.

    But are octopodi some “second source” of intelligence? I don’t know. Let’s ask the bees.

    And back to souls and animism: I don’t eat much meat, but I do eat octopus on occasion. Like any animist or pagan, I find myself acknowledging what the animal is doing for me.

    1. playon

      I dunno about horses trading antlers for brains – horses just aren’t that smart – also not sure that horses and donkeys evolved from critters with antlers?

  13. Michaelmas

    I mentioned here on NC a couple of months ago that this was coming —

    Fears of employee displacement as Amazon brings robots into warehouses: Digit will begin its time on the floor by shifting empty tote boxes amid concerns humans will be shifted out of jobs

    “Tye Brady, the chief technologist at Amazon Robotics, claimed that – although it will render some jobs redundant – the deployment of robots would create new ones.

    “In a briefing at a media event at an Amazon facility on the outskirts of Seattle, Brady told reporters that he wants to “eliminate all the menial, the mundane and the repetitive” tasks inside Amazon’s business. He denied this would lead to job cuts, however, claiming that it “does not” mean Amazon will require fewer staff.”

    And so on.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’ve been wondering what the capitalist response might be to an increasingly sick population from multiple COVID infections, and this certainly is one possibility. Eliminates union concerns as well. Robots for the shop floor, AI for the business desk. No need for healthy working class. But I do wonder where they’re going to hide all the sick people once affording shelter is no longer possible?

        1. Michaelmas

          jefemt: But what will ‘they’ sell, and to whom?


          ‘They’ will sell — through the intervening corporate manufacturers and vendors who’ll actually put these robots to work on the floors of their factories and shipping centers — to people who will pay out of their monthly UBI payments.

          Is there another solution? Please describe it.

          The US, with its elites set on turning back the clock to 19th century robber baron times, will resist the idea to the bitter end, naturally.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      Amazon will be hiring more people than ever for this upcoming holiday season. Full report on Wolf Street.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Newsrooms should be prepared for deepfakes at a “staggering” scale”

    If I was a “newsie” who worked in a newsroom, I would be totally offended about deepfakes. Faking the news is their job and they don’t need the competition.

    1. Louis Fyne

      someone please ask Skynet to send this memo back in time to 2002 and Judith Miller’s editor, and the entire NYT editorial team

    2. Skip Intro

      ChatGPT and its ilk have dramatically lowered the barriers to entry for ‘journalism’, allowing anyone to spew mostly coherent BS as well as Bloody Judy Miller. And thanks to the DoD thumb on the scale, up-to-date ideological correctness is automatic!

    3. Mark Gisleson

      My thought was that newsrooms are already fully protected. They ignore any videos they get that do not come from trusted govt sources. Whose names they cannot share with you because.

      The sky is NOT falling.

      Not unless a trusted source says so and . . . say, isn’t that a UFO over there?!

  15. Jabura Basaidai

    what i found more interesting at that link about marvelous octopi, and it seems the JRM picked up on it too, was the quoting link – so Yves, you’re a Firesign Theater fan! – in the article was what was referred to as a weak effort was writing that Firesign was “forerunners of comedy shows like ‘Saturday Night Live.’” – it is beyond weak – it would be like saying the Lamborghini was the forerunner of the tricycle – SNL is total crap now but was pretty good starting out – Firesign was a lifesaver – still listen and hear new things and still floored by the dark satire –

    1. Mark Gisleson

      The best satire at present imo is electronic music. No tags really (triphop sort of, field.recordings sometimes) but a lot of electronic music will layer in actual clips of politicians speaking or any other manner of political commentary. Hip hop is probably more aggressive in this regard; electronic music is often a stealth medium where every now and then you pause and think, “what did I just hear?”

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Excellent example. Much of this is exactly like that, not satire so much as commentary. The Electric Flag makes its point just by including a clip of LBJ. The Art of Noise’s “War” uses a similar strategy (YouTube has pulled the only video clip).

          Way over the top, but in the ’90s Emergency Broadcast Network put out a very intense album of techno-driven satire. The opening cut, Electronic Behavior Control System, is a good intro to just how powerful electronics and video can be in tandem. [STROBING EFFECTS!] [Present day example of how music you never heard in real time (EBN) continues to influence modern artists]

          Moving forward in time, DJ RX could have changed the course of history if given the media exposure his satire deserved. His only political video on YouTube is probably his most offensive. I cannot even say its name here. [link] I don’t think there was a video for ‘My Name is Rx‘ which was not just a devastating attack on W, but also maybe my favorite ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ parody ever. [occasionally strobing effects] [language]

          Idris Ackamoor’s “Police Dem” signals its message but it’s still afrobeat dance music. This one’s also an excellent example of an existing format embracing the afrofuturism tag. Different beat but politically similar to vintage calypso.

          9 to 5 feminism is still around. [Vintage blowback from Noh Mercy circa mid-’70s as a reminder of what direct engagement sounds like when you have a band : ]

          Finally getting to my point, Cassix’s ‘The Stanislavsky Method‘ is a short piece featuring Ronald Reagan. Is it political? You tell me. Or Sudan Archives simply asking ‘Is This Real‘? Is simply asking a question a psyop? (well, it is when I do it ; )

          Better examples elude me because I note them in passing but then sort them into a folder by musical format, not political content. All of this is fairly overt, but it takes little imagination to see how they could be done more subtly.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            This got a little jumbled up when I was assembling it but mostly I just wanted to reinforce the LANGUAGE warning.

            The best way to get a meme moving through society below the establishment’s radar is to use language most media won’t touch. Many of these videos use very strong language which, imo, goes well with lo-rez video.

            Jabura, I’m going to start saving better examples. My favorites are the ones where I’m not sure if I was just nudged or if it was my overclocked not-at-all paranoid imagination.

  16. GramSci

    Re: Octopus intelligence

    I found the author oddly preoccupied with the identity of intelligence and the ability to feel pain. Perhaps she conflates ‘intelligence’ with those two other ill-defined terms, ‘sentience’ and ‘consciousness’?

    To resurrect an old gripe, if I cleave a chunk of magnetite, disrupting its magnetic fields, does it not feel pain? Why do people draw such lines in the sand?

    1. Mikel

      I’m reminded of the ignorance that persisted in medicine that black people didn’t feel pain like white people.

    2. Joe Renter

      All matter is part of existence. All existence is form and life in it’s kingdom, wither in the mineral, vegetable, animal and finally human. The kingdom above gives energy to the one(s) below. We, the human, spiritualize matter through our bodies and magnetization. This is an esoteric philosophy viewpoint, however Incomplete by my interpretation. See Alice Bailey’s book, Consciousness of the Atom.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “No More Malarkey on Ukraine”

    Well I will have people know that in fact old Joe does have a plan for the Ukraine and it is this-

    ‘The White House is expected to send an appropriation request for security spending worth $100 billion to the US Congress on Friday morning, multiple news outlets report. The bulk of the package, $60 billion, would go to Ukraine.

    The administration of US President Joe Biden reportedly seeks to overcome Republican resistance against continued funding for Kiev by bundling the assistance with support for Israel and Taiwan and the policing of the southern US border, issues which enjoy overwhelming support among GOP lawmakers.’

    At $5 billion a month, the Ukrainians should be able to stretch that out $60 billion till the US Presidential elections are over.

  18. Arkady Bogdanov

    Was reading through comments from yesterday, and given that the subject is brought up in today’s links, I wanted to speak about the hospital attack. Everything, and I mean everything, that I have seen is consistent with an air-dropped munition:
    In the videos, just prior to the detonation on the ground, you can clearly see small bright lights appear in a line and begin to drift downward. Some are trying to interpret this as a rocket disintegrating. These lights are the release of flares and chaff (to decoy any heat seeking and radar guided air defense missiles). You then see the bluish flame of an afterburner spike as the aircraft makes it’s egress from the target area (and the single afterburner spike also indicates a single engine aircraft). These actions are bog standard doctrine utilized by every air force on earth whenever they release or fire a munition at a ground target.
    Now- to targeting doctrine. There are of course different types of munitions and different methods of fusing those munitions. If you are trying to destroy a structural target (such as a building, fortification, or equipment), you use a standard fuse setting that detonates on impact, causing cratering and ejection of materials- HOWEVER- if you are targeting a troop concentration out in the open, or if you have a doctrine or predispostion to target crowds of civilians, you will specifically not choose to fuse the munition in that manner. You will fuse the munition so that it airbursts, spreading shrapnel (in the case of DIME munitions, which Israelis have a history of using- high velocity metal powder) over a larger area, which optimizes casualties among soft human targets. Air bursts typically do not leave craters. The roofs of the cars in the photos of the courtyard/parking lot all show evidence of a blast wave pushing them directly downward. So we not only have targeting doctrine that says an airburst is a logical fusing method, we have direct physical evidence of an airburst.
    We also have very clear evidence of the sonic signature of a JDAM weapon (Joint Direct Attack Munition is not actually a weapon itself- it is a guidance kit that is bolted onto an ordinary bomb).
    So, to review, we have clear evidence of an aircraft releasing ordinance EXACTLY as doctrine would dictate, and we have a targeting/fusing method EXACTLY as doctrine would dictate, and we have clear physical evidence of said fusing method.
    On top of all that, we can confidently state that it is highly unlikely/bordering on the impossible, that the Palestinians have the technology to fuse munitions to airburst.
    There is no ambiguity here as far as I am concerned. Likely there are some other readers who have military experience, and I hope they share their views on this as well.

    1. The Rev Kev

      There is also the mindset behind this attack that should be noted. Jackson Hinkle posted a tweet where he shows a tweet by Netanyahu calling Palestinians “children of darkness” living by the “law of the jungle.” Netanyahu quickly deleted it but not before it was screen-captured-

      Israel may have been better off with having Yoni Netanyahu as Prime Minister if he had lived-

        1. The Rev Kev

          I saw a video of that murder. There was Rabin in a crowd and then you saw his bodyguards open up a wide lane in his screen which this nutjob strolled down.

      1. Carolinian

        Churchill too believed it was “civilization” versus the barbarians. The empire mindset always needs to blame the victims.

        As an American I agree with those around here who say we are ultimately to blame. After all Biden has now caused the death of many thousands in Ukraine with his anti-Russia operation. So why would he bother about Gaza?

    2. Lex

      Thank you, Arkady. Your summary covers everything I’ve read and seen. It is the only explanation that fits the facts.

      1. pjay

        Yes, I second Lex’s comment. I have seen discussions of each of these elements separately. I lack any expertise to evaluate such evidence myself, but these comments are much more convincing to me than those offered for the “failed PIJ rocket” story. That “US intelligence” sources have backed the Israeli claim means absolutely nothing to me, given the vast past history of lies “supported” by such sources. As always, once we enter the “dueling experts” stage of debate, then all parties can find “experts” to back their preconceived narrative.

        1. jefemt

          We of Little Faith. USA USA USA Koolaid vat, made of cross-linked inert UHMW, is sun-baked, cracked, and empty?

          The lack of trust in, the credibility gap, the firm sense that there is NO honest truth to issue.

          Loss of trust is one of the worstest things

    3. Carolinian

      You have Larry Johnson, who suggests on not a lot of evidence that the Palestinian accounts are hoaxing the numbers and the damage.

      versus Chris Hedges, one time NYT Israel bureau chief, who says when it comes to killing and incidents the Israelis always lie and their supporters bend over backwards to believe them.

      Whatever the truth there doesn’t seem to be much dispute that the Israelis have claimed the right to bomb the hospital and had already done so once but with none killed. Myself, for some time now I’ve stopped watching American TV news altogether on the assumption that our US major media can be trusted on practically nothing. I’d say we best listen to what the Israelis claim are their intentions rather than excuses for what they have or have not done. And that’s not pretty. This latest Israeli government openly aims to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its longstanding inhabitants. When they tell you what they want believe them.

      1. Lex

        At a certain point the precise number of dead and wounded aren’t important. The fact remains that the “civilized” nation identified the courtyard of a hospital housing refugees from conflict and then used a precisely targeted, anti-personnel munition to strike the courtyard of a hospital.

        As Aurelien’s latest covers, the “rules of war” are normative ideals. They only function when those responsible for decision making commit to them, not because they’re compelled by force of law but because they’re compelled by the ideals that underwrite the norms. The question that should be asked of Bibi and Biden is why they don’t hold themselves to the ideals they proclaim makes them “civilized”.

        1. Feral Finster

          Where Aurelien goes astray is to think that our rulers are muddle-headed hand-wringing idealists.

          They are cynical full-blown sociopaths.

          1. hk

            Most extreme idealists ARE full blown idealists, IMHO. Only someone who is simultaneously both (and the current Western leadership is full of then) can gush about how wonderful “bombs for peace” are.

            1. Feral Finster

              I suspect that, like smirking Renaissance courtiers, they know that they are spouting [familyblog], but that [familyblog] is what their masters want to hear.

          2. Daniil Adamov

            I think their behaviour fits either explanation. Personally I suspect (based partly on my reading about some other elites whose secrets are no longer as well-hidden) that your elite consists of both delusional idealists and cynical careerist opportunists. Most of the latter will pretend to be the former. Telling them apart is usually difficult and maybe not that important in the grand scheme of things. Furthermore, a lot of people manage to combine both traits (“idealistic” with respect to the very big picture and self-serving in advancing one’s career – no reason why you can’t have both). Some of the stranger bungling in, say, diplomacy might be explained by a collision of assorted motives: wanting to feel like you are morally good while also destroying your enemies and securing your future prosperity. Impunity is a big part of it too, of course.

            1. hk

              Indeed, like a famous Russian said, “your ideals, their lives” (well, I guess the original was “your point, their village.”)

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Larry Johnson is a good source in some respects. I like him on Ukraine. For Israel, I listen to Scott Ritter.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Not to be too flip or cynical about it, if that’s even possible, but probably the best “evidence” that the israelis did it is that both they and the u.s. say they didn’t.

    5. zagonostra

      What makes this attempt to walk back Israel’s initial admission of having bombed the hospital so maddening is that people like Larry Johnson, who I regularly listen to, and for the most part agree with on so many topics, are posting articles like the one linked to below. I did notice that one of the comments Larry Johnson’s article is that he accepts the 9/11 official conclusion, which I hadn’t known and which will make me recalibrate/weigh his views in the future.

      Like the reaction to CV19 mandatory vaccination/lockdowns, this event of who bombed the hospital, is a clarifying moment, people I normally agree on and follow on Twitter/X, are showing a side that I never would have expected.

      1. pjay

        Yes, this post from Johnson is bizarre for several reasons. He keeps throwing out the lack of damage to the building and, especially, the lack of a crater, even though both of these issues have been addressed many times by others (these happen to be two pieces of “evidence” put forth by Israel early on). He explains away Naftali’s original tweet by repeating *Naftali’s own explanation/excuse*! His only “insider” evidence seems to be comments on the Gage video by “an Air Force buddy” whose points make *no sense* in relation to the video or the context of Israel’s air superiority. Finally, there is his conclusion: “In my opinion we cannot rule out the possibility that this was a deliberately staged drama…” Alrighty then!

        The comments were good, and many pushed back quite hard, some with detailed and informed objections to his arguments. This was striking as well, since usually Johnson’s commentariat are mostly cheerleaders.

    6. Skip Intro

      You neglected the very important Biden-effect, which causes enemies to attack themselves. We saw it at work with Nordstream, and now, more clearly than ever, in Gaza.

      I bet the Biden campaign is very happy that his headline visit to Israel shared the page with Hamas’ super-cunning JDAM attack on its own people and leadership.

    7. ilsm

      Take into account that if it were a rocket launched in Gaza gone out of control how/why was the warhead armed in initial phase?

      Generally the warhead is not armed until “down range”.

      That is if you believe PIJ could build a very large rocket. Per the Israeli FM on Fox.

    8. Lambert Strether Post author

      > In the videos

      Link, please. Which videos?

      > the photos of the courtyard/parking lot

      Links, please. Which photos?

      > Sonic signature

      Derived from what?

      Great synthesis, but links aren’t nice-to-haves, especially in this context; they’re have to haves.

      1. Arkady Bogdanov

        Good morning Lambert. Doing this from my phone so forgive any errors. I’m not the best with links on here, but here goes. This should take you to a 3 tweet thread I did on this:

  19. Jabura Basaidai

    GS – Julian Jaynes would give you a run for your money about ‘consciousness’ – just wondering if you have a clear definition of ‘intelligence’? – that doesn’t conflate – Allen Ginsberg would ask, “doesn’t a head of lettuce scream when you cut it” – i think the question of magnetite was discussed once on an episode of Lost in Space – i think i get your sarc in that question – i have mentioned this book previously and you may find it interesting and it is a quick read, “The Soul of an Octopus” by Sy Montgomery – subtitled, “A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” – there was/is? a documentary on Netflix called “My Octopus Teacher” which brought me to tears – our species has an interesting arrogance that sets it apart from the web of life by objectifying and classifying everything as if doing that provides intelligence and understanding – myself, i’m immensely humbled by all life surrounding me each day and thoroughly disappointed in our species – perhaps you feel likewise when you ask, “Why do people draw such lines in the sand?” – and here we are –

    1. hearing leary

      Ah yes, Allen “I’m a member of NAMBLA because I love boys too” Ginsberg.

      One must be as gentle with a leaf of lettuce as one is with a boy’s anus.

      1. hunkerdown

        People who use that tone of snooty high dudgeon in public should be pilloried. For a week. For the first offense.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        well you have a hair across your lettuce with Ginsberg obviously – certainly a comment from left field –

    2. zagonostra

      I’ve read Julian Jaynes several times, it’s a classic. Also enjoyed reading Iain McGilchrist’s “The Master and His Emissary” recently. But to my mind, pun intended, George Herbert Mead gives the best functional description/explanation for the emergence of consciousness, although not complete and not fully developed by his students like Herbert Blumer, who coined the discipline that has come to be know as “symbolic interactionism.”

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        would Mead and Blumer be more of the objectifying and classifying manifestations of consciousness – like Freud, Jung and others – rather than the root cause(s) that pushed the brain to develop our unique sense of consciousness? – have not read their writings so not able to go too deeply, but thank you for the sources – was thinking about Jaynes’s theory when reading “Sapiens” followed by “The Dawn of Everything” – found the Graeber/Wengrow book compelling and the Harari book lacking and pedantic, but both filled with interesting assumptions – Graeber in particular, who left us too soon – it is a fascinating subject and felt Jaynes passed to soon and never finished a follow up book he supposedly had started – it was reading some interview of William Burroughs that led me to Jaynes – the interesting assumption of a pre-conscious bicameral brain led by hallucination was fascinating –

    3. MaryLand

      My Octopus Teacher is still on Netflix and yes it is a wonderful experience. I will not eat octopus again. However I wonder about setting intelligence as a marker of worth. Do not all animals fit their environmental niche? And what does it say about how we value human life for those with lower intelligence and various disabilities? I am uneasy with the implications. I’m not saying everyone should be a vegetarian, but it’s worth thinking about how we relate to other creatures.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        understand your point fully – stopped eating all/any flesh at 18 – started back with seafood around 30 and added birds, chicken and turkey, soon after – i pass no judgment on others if they chow cow and other hooved and four-legged creatures – started seafood when i was waiting tables at a seafood restaurant in downtown Detroit – back then there were still slaughter houses in the area – visit one like i did and you will think twice about eating meat – would buy my chickens from Gratiot Central market that was across the street from where i worked which had live Amish chickens and would slaughter and remove feathers while you waited – now in my mid 70’s and it’s the way i’ve eaten ever since –

  20. Lexx

    ‘Let them eat old vaccines AND plague’

    I read somewhere (because I’m always reading) that drug companies don’t just eat the loss of profit on their drugs in more lucrative markets, but pass those products on to the markets of third world countries, where efficacy becomes a crap shoot if not outright dangerous.

    Naturally, on a government level, there’s a lot of bribery going on to allow the drug companies to use the locals as guinea pigs, for the human trials of new drugs as well.

    I’m probably remembering this poorly but it sounds familiar… like everyone on the planet (except the rich, of course) is a third world market now as far as the pharmaceutical industry is concerned.

    1. jefemt

      It’s called dumping. I remember when I first heard of it, it was really nasty chemical pesticides being dumped into Mexico and Central America. I recall a (late 1970’s?) Ducks Unlimited magazine article about it, decrying the fouling of warmer winter water resting habitats.

      And the irony: the ducks bio-accumulate the crap, fly back north, and are shot and consumed by the corporate executives who invented, marketed, then dumped the stuff.
      The elegant closed loop that is the Erf, instant Karma’s gonna get you, uh huh….

    1. Reader

      Here in the Arizona desert it’s the never-ending summer. NOAA has been teasing us the last few weeks with forecasts in the 80s but it’s still near 100. Gah!

    2. Lexx

      Tell me about it… no, really, tell me what’s involved for you to get ready for winter… how will you know when you’ve arrived?

      We were gone through the prime weeks of canning season*, so major holes in the pantry. Yesterday I bought three salmon to cure and ready for smoking tomorrow. I need to make yogurt, blackberry/sage jam before the frost starts killing back the leaves, restart the kombucha, find some place to store all the auction booty till next summer, clear out the landscape for several hours, gather rose petals (while I may) for winter projects, decorate for Halloween, finish some needlework…. clean everywhere and get rid of (family blog no-no word). I need to reorganize the pantry and freezers so I can actually find the food I’m looking for. And (this is the important part) I need to find the energy and enthusiasm to do any of the above. Ugh indeed.

      We could well see what royalty was doing in Game of Thrones to get ready for the long winter to come. What was happening down in the kitchens?

      *But then up in Sisters, OR I met a super canner and learned there’s no such thing as ‘prime weeks’ for her. She cans the year round and she cans everything. If she isn’t canning it, she’s freezing or drying it. And she sews high end sportswear by contract for extra cash. Ever heard of ‘minky’?

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Putin in Beijing”

    ‘The one tantalizing tidbit that Russian news (Sixty Minutes) threw out to viewers is that whereas Putin returns to Moscow tomorrow evening, Foreign Minister Lavrov flies to North Korea for a meeting with Kim.’

    The US was so unhappy about this that they sent for the first time in 30 years a B-52 nuclear bomber to ‘promote peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.’ Yes, they actually said that.

    Meanwhile Lavrov was having a ball-

    ‘Speaking at a meeting with North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui on Thursday, Lavrov declared that the recent meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gave grounds to say that the bilateral ties “had reached a completely new, strategic level.”

    His comments were echoed by his North Korean counterpart, who stated that the partnership between Moscow and Pyongyang is developing into “the invincible relations of comrades-in-arms.”’

    Things look to be changing in the Korean peninsular.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      “…..sent for the first time in 30 years a B-52 nuclear bomber to ‘promote peace, stability and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.’ Yes, they actually said that.” – glad i wasn’t drinking a beverage reading that – fits nicely with the rest of the BS spewed about South China Sea and Taiwan –

  22. Alice X

    Is Gaza still cut off from water etc? It seems so. One cannot live very long without water. This brutality is beyond endurance.

    1. digi_owl

      Supposedly water is reconnected. But as a Palestinian technician pointed out in a tweet, they lack the electricity to run the pumps to provide pressure in the pipes.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Israel will let Egypt deliver some aid to Gaza, as doctors struggle to treat hospital blast victims”

    ‘Biden said Egypt’s president agreed to open the crossing and to let in an initial group of 20 trucks with humanitarian aid. If Hamas confiscates aid, “it will end,” he said. The aid will start moving Friday at the earliest, White House officials said.’

    As that is 20 trucks for about 2.4 million people, each truck has to carry enough humanitarian aid for about 120,000 people then. Sounds legit. Wouldn’t wanna be those Egyptian repairmen fixing that road though. They should give those guys helmets and flak-vests because, you know, stuff happens.

  24. dao

    More than 24 hours later, “Main stream media” does not have a clear explanation of what caused the Gaza hospital explosion, leaving the whole question up in the air.

    Sometime in the 80s or 90s, news organizations started cutting back on dedicated journalists and news gatherers.

    At times like this, I wonder where the journalists are, because there doesn’t appear to be any working on this story.

    And then it dawned on me that outfits like CNN are referred to as “media” outlets, not news outlets.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      To be fair, CNN had some disaster war porn over the years, but it’s always been trash. Theread is an old episode of The Simpsons that seems like a send up of FoxNews, but the episode aired before FoxNews went live and the Rush Limbaugh parody is quoting Bernie Shaw, famed for his 1988 debate performance.

      They just got lucky with Peter Barnett being in Baghdad in 1991.

    2. zagonostra

      The ambiguity is by design. And yet, no ambiguity during 9/11, we knew who the perpetrators were right away, we even found one of the hijacker’s passport intact on the smoldering rubble.

      I think this is part of what some refer to as “5th generation warfare?”

    3. Daryl

      > At times like this, I wonder where the journalists are, because there doesn’t appear to be any working on this story.

      The “reporter” responsible for the baby massacre story apologized and said “we were misled.” My thought: Ok… isn’t it your job to figure out what actually happened? Thanks to the modern internet, I can get unfiltered agitprop from the IDF, Hamas directly if that’s what I want. What I would like to know is what is actually going on.

    1. Lex

      All the talk about carriers being struck is just that. Those bases in Syria and Iraq will be Hezbollah / the Resistance Axis’s targets to extract a price from the US. Defending, resupplying / reinforcing or even extracting personnel and equipment will be hugely problematic. The US can launch air strikes but that won’t change the situation on the ground at those bases, and could end up as catastrophic situations on par with somolia or the Iran hostage rescue attempt.

      1. urdsama


        I don’t think anyone has a clear idea where this will go. The only thing I would be sure of is that nukes are not on the table.

        Beyond that, everything is fair game if this spirals out of control.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Just a friendly reminder to the Pentagon that incoming missiles have right of way, no matter who fires them. And Iran could remind them of the time that they shot a coupla missiles at US bases after the Soleimani murder and the US was helpless trying to stop them.

    3. Emily

      Visegrad24 has a blaringly pro-Israel bias. I just scrolled through some of their tweets to get a sense and it’s rather obvious.

  25. Mikel

    Forgive me if this was posted earlier. Just now seeing it myself:
    State Department Official Resigns Over Arms Transfers to Israel

    “…Mr. Paul, whose resignation was reported earlier by The Huffington Post, said that he had seen the U.S. government approve numerous sales or shipments of matériel to other Middle Eastern countries, even when he believed federal law should have prevented them from going forward.
    “On all of them there’s a moment where you can say, OK, well, you know, it’s out of my hands, but I know Congress is going to push back,” he said, by issuing a hold on the transfer or grilling officials in hearings at the Capitol. “But in this instance, there isn’t any significant pushback likely from Congress, there isn’t any other oversight mechanism, there isn’t any other forum for debate, and that’s part of what got into my decision making.”
    Continuing to give Israel what he described as carte blanche to kill a generation of enemies, only to create a new one, does not ultimately serve the United States’ interests, Mr. Paul said…”

    He posted the letter online as well.

  26. Tom Stone

    I had two MRI exams yesterday (My right hip is shot) and masking was nearly non existent. 1 P100 (Me) one N95 and three baggy blues out of @ 40 people observed.
    It’s surprising how few health care professionals believe in the germ theory of disease…

    1. jefemt

      Nihilistic fatalism and exhaustion. Or long covid brain. Maybe it’s like US energy policy… all of the above?

    2. marieann

      I was at the Orthopedic doctor this morning for X rays, 3 people masked, the doctor, me and my husband. I went to the craft store after…it was busy, but I had the only mask.

    3. Janie

      A relative had a hip replacement recently. It was day surgery, recovery was fast and pain-free. Here’s wishing you the same experience, should you have surgery.

  27. Mo

    Fetterman attacking people who question Israel: “It’s truly disturbing that Members of Congress rushed to blame Israel for the hospital tragedy in Gaza,” he said in an interview.

    “Who would take the word of a group that just massacred innocent Israeli civilians over our key ally?” Fetterman questioned.

    What a complete slob and phony. I would say he dresses appropriately, except perhaps he should dress more like a prostitute

    1. undercurrent

      As to Fetterman’s remarks, it reminds me of something he said upon learning of a second Norfolk-Southern train derailment following the East Palestine disaster, but this time in Pennsylvania. “Same shit, different day.” The same can now be said about Fetterman’s own words.

    2. britzklieg

      Never understood any enthusiasm for the guy… the phony was indelible to begin with, except to partisans who still find redeemable qualities in the wretched, posing Democrats.

  28. Adam

    Received yesterday in the mail my new and improved, free Covid test kits from uncle Sam. Expired of course. But I’m told not worry on their website and that they’re still good to use! Maybe I should have asked good to use for what purpose?

    1. hunkerdown

      Expiration dates on medications are determined conservatively, based on typical warehouse conditions for consumer commodities, which are not always tightly controlled. If properly stored under controlled conditions, some medications can be authorized for “safe and effective” use long past that date.

    2. GC54

      I just had reason to use one of the two that i received 10 days ago. The first in the Binax box was invalid (no control showed), the other reported -ve infection. Inspires confidence?

  29. SD

    Re: What’s going on with SBF’s defense?

    It’s hard to imagine Everdell or Cohen setting up SBF for an ineffective assistance of counsel claim later. That would be humiliating to them and immensely destructive to the white-collar criminal defense bona fides of their firm.

    I can only speculate about what’s going on here. I do know that when I am representing a client who’s in a difficult spot largely of their own making, I need to be able to believe that the other side is seeking to visit some type of injustice on my client to do my best work.

    Perhaps SBF’s lawyers can’t get themselves there. Given their client’s behavior, I can hardly blame them.

  30. PlutoniumKun

    The Anti-Imperialist Movement That Supports Palestinian Liberation—And Runs Part of the UK Declassified UK. Sinn Féin.

    Its not just Sinn Fein that British (and other) commentators ignore when discussing left-right politics. It amused me how the entire British establishment ignored the fact that a far right religious fundamentalist party was in government just a few years ago (the DUP).

    Just for context with Sinn Fein – the Irish left – in fact all Irish politics – has been split for a century or more down the middle according to the ‘national question’ – i.e. nationalist or internationalist in nature. The only exception are the Greens who just pretend the question has never been asked. Sinn Fein, along with a number of other smaller parties, are nationalist – i.e. they support a united Ireland, while most of the ‘mainstream’ left are overtly hostile and internationalist. Mainstream Irish Labour, Social Democrats (the latter actually more left wing than Labour), plus all the various Trot and Marxist groupings and others are very hostile to SF and nationalism in general, although they usually keep this very quiet on doorsteps as its a vote loser in working class constituencies. Significantly, Sinn Fein has been growing rapidly in support and power and will most likely be the largest party north and south of the border after the next set of elections. They have pretty much wiped out all other left groups in NI and are likely to repeat this south of the border in the next election. The hatred is very deep – there is absolutely no possibility of any other left party going into coalition with SF.

    As to their relationship with Palestine, SF has always maintained close support of national liberation groups worldwide, including some pretty dubious ones. But support for Palestine is almost universal in Ireland, including among the mainstream centre-right. This is largely due to the impact of the long time Irish presence in Lebanon among UN peacekeepers. Pretty much every soldier and diplomat I know who has done their time there has come back with an abiding hatred of the Israeli government, which is apparently mutual as the Irish soldiers rapidly developed a reputation for being pro-arab along the border areas.

    1. digi_owl

      It is interesting to see how much leftist groups struggle with the idea of nationalism.

      Likely because they think it synonymous with fascism, that they are supposed to reflexively oppose (yet when given the chance they embrace the same kind of authoritarianism that is core to fascism).

      They seem to ignore that there is two takes on nationalism, defensive and offensive. Likely because the most blatant examples seen in “recent” memory have been of the offensive, or imperialist, kind.

      But it should be fully possible to say that yes we will cooperate on global initiatives, but we will not throw the nation, or its people, on the pyre in doing so.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>It is interesting to see how much leftist groups struggle with the idea of nationalism.

        Some of it is another variety of weaponized identity politics being and just not in the United States. The White Nationalists, aka the American Neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klaners; only White Nationalists can be American Nationalists. Being accused of being a White Nationalist, by White Nationalists because they claim the term nationalism only applies to White Americans in the United States.

        Also when people, particularly women, have some quibbles about Political Identity and Trans Rights they are labeled as TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) even when using biology as a defense, or labeled as a hater when having a quibble with LGBTQI+. You could be fine with the LGB part and have been for decades, but maybe want to debate the T and probably the remaining QI+, but nope, can’t have that. That is hatred. No questions allowed at all. Full stop.

        Funny, every five to ten years another letter or symbol is added to the list and everyone is required to accept it or be outcast because reasons. It just appears on the list of acceptable beliefs.

        Using identity and co-option to re-define and separate people is a good tactic to destroy societies and (reform) movements, and gain power. Even if you have not changed, people can change your identity without your consent to make you the evil other one, this separates you from others.

  31. Wukchumni

    Trump co-defendant Sidney Powell pleads guilty in Georgia election-interference case

    The devil in the details went down to Georgia
    He was lookin’ for votes to steal
    He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind
    He was willing to make a deal
    When he came across this lawyer figurin’ up a fiddle and playin’ it hot
    And said devil jumped upon a rally stump and said “Girl, tell me what you got?”

    “I bet you didn’t know it, but I like to fiddle, too
    And if you’d care to take a dare I’ll make a bet with you
    Now you play a pretty good fiddle, girl, but give the devil his due
    I’ll bet a fiddle of stole against your soul ’cause I think I’m better than you”

    The girl said, “My name’s Sidney, and it might be a sin
    But I’ll take your bet
    And you’re gonna regret ’cause I’m the best lawyer there’s ever been”

    Sidney, rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard
    ‘Cause Hell’s broke loose in Georgia and the devil has run out of cards
    And if you win this shiny fiddle you get a cabinet role
    But if you lose the devil gets your soul

    The devil stated his case and he said, “I’ll start this show”
    And fire flew from his lips as sweat formed on his brow
    And he agitated all the right wings and they made an evil hiss
    And a band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this

    When the devil finished, Sidney said, “Well, you’re pretty good ol’ son
    But sit down in that chair right there and let me show you how it’s done”

    “Liar on the Mountain.” Run, boys, run!
    The devil’s in the details
    Chicken’s in the White House raising dough
    Did he win though, no”

    The devil bowed his head because he knew that he’d been beat
    And he laid a retainer’s fee on the ground at Sidney’s feet
    Sidney said, “devil, just come on back if you ever wanna try again
    ‘Cause I’ve told you once–you son of a bitch–I’m the best there’s ever been”
    And he’d been played

    “Liar on the Mountain.” Run, boys, run!
    The devil’s in the details
    Chicken’s in the White House raising dough
    Did he win though, no”

    The Devil Went Down To Georgia, by The Charlie Daniels Band

  32. Wukchumni

    There are strange things done in the midnight sun
    By the men who moil for crypto gold;
    The blockchain trails have their secret tales
    That would make your blood run cold;
    The sum thing for nothings have seen queer sights,
    But the queerest they ever did see
    Was that day in the courtroom while out on large
    They cremated Sam Bankman-Fried

  33. Willow

    Col. Douglas Macgregor on Judge Napolitano – Judging Freedom: All the focus is on Iran but there’s already a Islamic nuclear power, Pakistan, who have promised Türkiye nuclear weapons in the case of Israeli aggression. And Israel & Türkiye already have bad blood since the last time Türkiye tried to send aid to Gaza and Israel ended up killing some of the Turkish crew.

    Biden Administration don’t have a clue the shit storm they’ve walked into which will make the Ukraine conflict pale in comparison.

  34. juno mas

    RE: Sports Desk

    I see what you’re doing there; today is “The Great Shakeout” day.

    ( I watched that tectonic shift play out on TV—amazing!)

  35. caucus99percenter

    It looks as if Israel has blasted and badly damaged St. Porphyrius Church in Gaza — the world’s third oldest Christian church building — killing and wounding people sheltering inside. (This time for real — i.e., not to be confused with an erroneous report of the church’s destruction a week ago.)

    1. The Rev Kev

      But *looks suspiciously around* are we sure that it was not the remnants of a Hamas missile that did it? /sarc

  36. Lambert Strether Post author

    Further to Al Ahli attribution:

    IOW, TSHTF. (The account is from RUSI, so worth paying attention to, if not agreeing with.)

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Lambert Strether: The church bombing du jour. Good thing everyone is spiritual but not religious.

      In yesterday’s Fatto Quotidiano, their special correspondent from Gaza City reported that the Anglican church attached to Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, and built in 1903, was destroyed in the attack on the hospital.

      The special correspondent, Aya Ashour, is a recent graduate in international law and lives in a town adjacent to Gaza City. She went in for the day to investigate.

      Two points: Destruction of a church, which is likely to be a solid structure, is more circumstantial evidence of a big Israeli bomb. Also, I can’t find a second source of verification of the destruction of the church. I guess an eyewitness will have to do. More grist for the mill.

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