Links 10/20/2023

Alaska Wildlife Troopers save deer struggling in cold waters Associated Press (furzy)

Beyond the Storm: Hurricane Ian Boosted Threat of Flesh Eating Bacteria ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)

The Nones: South America Associated Press (furzy)

US Is Receiving Dozens of UFO Reports a Month, Pentagon Official Says CNN

How would we know whether there is life on Earth? This bold experiment found out Nature (Kevin W). We have a narrow conception of what life is. It has to be corporeal. We won’t consider that stars could be living. Etc.

Veterinarians Confront a Human Problem: Anti-Vaxxers Wall Street Journal (Dr. Kevin)

Marked by Stars: Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy Public Domain Review. Anthony L: “How different is our world?”


Pfizer to price Covid drug Paxlovid at $1,390 per course CNBC (Kevin W)

Co-infection of Covid-19 and flu occurring Thai Newsroom (furzy). Note levels of obesity and smoking way lower in Thailand than in US, which likely contributes to Thais now having a longer life expectancy than Americans. So not clear the early findings here will translate to the US> Lambert adds:

Best university in Thailand and affiliated with a very large teaching hospital (with primarily Thai patient population, i.e. not optimized for foreigners).

In fact, globally ranked:

On the other hand, not Harvard. On the one hand, not Harvard :-)


The world has to add or replace 50 million miles of transmission lines by 2040, IEA says CNBC (Kevin W)

How climate-resilient buildings could help protect elderly from heat STAT (Dr. Kevin)

California Mandates Coastal Cities Plan for Future Sea-Level Rise KQED (David L)

PG&E plan to bury lines is shot down WildfireToday (Kevin W)

Earth’s Core Appears to Be Leaking In the Arctic and Scientists Don’t Know Why Vice


US escalates tech battle by cutting China off from AI chips CNN (Kevin W)

Down Under

Almost nine in 10 Australians support plan to outlaw lies in political advertising, poll shows Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

US easing Venezuela oil sanctions after election deal Reuters (Kevin W)

Canada-India Row

Canada withdraws 41 diplomats from India BBC


SITREP 10/18/23: Israel + Ukraine War Mega-Update Simplicius the Thinker

‘Al-Aqsa Flood Operation’ Day 13: Humanitarian aid to Gaza stalls as Israel renews airstrikes Mondoweiss (guurst). Note the road was is so damaged that it would have required repair for the relief convoys to enter Gaza. That was noted around the Innertubes a couple of days ago, now acknowledged in BBC’s lead story, Road repairs at Rafah crossing as aid trucks wait to cross into Gaza, which points out “Egyptian diggers” are doing the work.

* * *

Several dead and injured in Israel strike at Gaza church: Hamas Arab News

Why Biden lied on Gaza hospital attack Indian Punchline. Userfriendly: “I can’t help but wonder if Bibi has stone cold evidence of Biden and Hunter corruption.”

* * *

Israel Offensive in Gaza Could End in DISASTER History Legends, YouTube. Tactical details.

US Navy intercepts missiles headed north from Yemen Associated Press (furzy)

* * *

Israel-Gaza crisis: US vetoes Security Council resolution UN News. Ceasefire resolution by Brazil following one that failed on a regular vote proposed by Russia. Alexander Mercouris describes long form how this was ginned up by some (most? all?) BRICS states working togehter. Note merely called for “humanitarian pauses”.

HELL FREEZES OVER as European Student Council, uhh, I mean, European Parliament, votes 500-21 on resolution that, among other things, states “the terrorist organization Hamas needs to be eliminated.” (Yes, I had to read this 3 times, could hardly believe it.) Folks, as I told you, game has changed. Jacob Dreizin

Hundreds of US Congressional Staffers Sign Open Letter Demanding Gaza Cease-Fire Common Dreams

Exclusive: ‘Mutiny Brewing’ Inside State Department Over Israel-Palestine Policy HuffPost (Erasmus)

Survivors of kibbutz attack turn their ire on Netanyahu Politico

* * *

The Cost of Blindly Supporting Clients Daniel Larison

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Decency Becomes Indecent Consortium News (Chuck L)

* * *

Lambert flagged as possible loss of executive function:

This is another Iraqi WMD moment. We are being gaslit Jonathan Cook

* * *

Israel’s four unpalatable options for Gaza’s long-term future Economist (David L). All assume Israel is driving the bus.

* * *

Biden recounts story of his wife and daughter dying in a car accident as he meets Hamas attack survivors and first responders Daily Mail (Li)

New Not-So-Cold War

Something To Be Said About Kinzhal Andrei Martyanov

Ukrainian parliament passes first reading of bill outlawing Ukrainian Orthodox Church TASS (guurst)


UN sanctions on Iran ballistic missile program to expire Mehr News Agency (Chuck K)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

NY Bill Would Require Background Checks to Buy 3D Printers, Attempts to Target Ghost Guns Tom’s Hardware. BC:

Seriously 3D printing is used by a huge number of businesses and hobbyists for a multitude of use cases completely unrelated to guns. Plus most 3D printers could have the potential to make some part that could contribute to a firearm. Why not also require background checks for anyone buying metal working tools?

Overkillers gotta overkill…

Imperial Collapse Watch

Biden makes the case for wartime aid to Israel and Ukraine in primetime address CNN (Kevin W)

Biden’s Address to Nation: Shameful Hypocrisy a Final Nail in America’s Coffin Simplicius the Thinker

Worldwide Caution (Erasmus)

West’s Pro-Israel Position Accelerates Its Loss Of Power Moon of Alabama (Kevin W). We get a nice shout out.


Trump Is Winning Over Swing-State Voters Wary of Biden’s Economic Plan Bloomberg

Federal Prosecutors Reject Trump’s Immunity Claims in Election Case New York Times (furzy)

Former Trump Attorney Sidney Powell Has Pleaded Guilty in the Georgia Trump Case Charles Pierce (furzy)

GOP Clown Car

Jim Jordan to endorse empowering McHenry as temporary Speaker The Hill


Immigration agencies struggle with ‘mismatched’ laws, policy whiplash The Hill

Police State Watch

Small business owners say they’re pressured to hire off-duty cops for security Minnesota Reformer (Paul R)

U.S. Marines Strapped a Rocket Launcher to a Robot Dog You Can Buy on Amazon Vice (furzy)


Universal Music sues Anthropic over AI-generated lyrics Financial Times (BC)

Time to stop AI from stealing writers’ words Washington Post (furzy)

Microsoft-affiliated research finds flaws in GPT-4 TechCrunch (Kevin W)


In Antitrust Trial, Google Argues That Smart Employees Explain Its Success New York Times

Blackstone warns of looming hit to consumers from surge in bond yields Financial Times

The Bezzle

Binance.US Halts Direct Dollar Withdrawals Coindesk

Class Warfare

Look At These Heartbreaking Photos Of 9 Needy Millennials You Can Sponsor Today Babylon Bee

Ex-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell pleads guilty in Georgia election interference case NBC (furzy)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. zagonostra

    >Why Biden lied on Gaza hospital attack Indian Punchline. Userfriendly: “I can’t help but wonder if Bibi has stone cold evidence of Biden and Hunter corruption.”

    The article opens up with:

    White lies are often uttered to protect someone or deflect the upsetting truths. The US President Joseph Biden’s white lie obfuscated the horrific truth about the Israeli missile attack on the Baptist church in Gaza on Tuesday night

    I don’t think the author at Indian Punchline understands what a “white lie” is. If anything it was a lie of betrayal that warrants Biden to be placed in Dante’s innermost circle of hell, one that is reserved for “sinners who committed treason and betrayal.”

    As for the comment that, “I can’t help but wonder if Bibi has stone cold evidence of Biden and Hunter corruption” it reminded me of Whitney Webb’s book, One Nation Under Blackmail, whose 2 volumes I’ve yet to read. What also reminded me the book is a tidbit I read on twitter, and have yet to verify, that Antony Blinken’s father was Robert Maxwell’s lawyer, Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine’s father, who in turn was a Mossad agent. I didn’t know that Ghislaine and Blinken were childhood friends…another interesting intersection if true.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, both.

        When GM was growing up, the family had a town house in Boulogne-Billancourt. The mother’s family, the Meynards, owned a textiles factory. Pisar was the Meynard family and firm lawyer. Later, Epstein, GM and the Pisars had town houses on Avenue Foch, Paris.

          1. Irrational

            Headquarters of some particularly nasties during World War 2 if memory serves me right. Not such a swish address.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There is that, but Biden’s character is at play. His war in Ukraine isnt going well, and this opportunity showed up for him to show “leadership”, hence his harping on it along with his direct focus on Putin. He has two carrier groups. He’s desperate to deploy them and wear a bomber jacket and sunglasses.

      Right now, the GOP and Dim donors aren’t being mean to him, and he’s fighting those he sees as weak. In Biden’s pea brain, I can see how he sees it as defending the garden from the barbarian hordes. He’s actively demanding Arab countries take in refugees created by his policies. And so soon after those countries took in Iraq refugees. Imagine the death toll in Iraq if they didn’t.

      Biden wasn’t 18 when he befriended Strom Thurmond, during the Clarence Thomas hearings, the crime bill, the bankruptcy bill, lining up with Shrub’s invasion of Iraq, or his deranged Iraqi peace plan which more or less called for ethnic cleansing and handing Iran the oil. He’s stupid too.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe what Biden really wants is his own ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment aboard one of those two carriers in the next coupla weeks. Being able to claim to win a war always goes well with the voting public and Biden does have that election to worry about.

        1. Reply

          Anything goes with Joe. His free-associative mind grasps at what remaining memories he can summon, and those tend to be jumbled at best. Take away cue cards and Dr. Jill and other minders and the result is grim.

          His little Scranton fantasy world is crumbling as more revelations about the family corruptions pop up at the most inconvenient times. That leads him to become more unstable while he plays around with the future of his country and that of others.

          That so many are pressed into service to prop up the patently obvious idiotic behaviors is reason to want better, meaning competent and honest, servicers. Na-ga-happen. :/

            1. John k

              Yeah, but that activates the Kamala insurance policy. The puzzle is, which is worse? Wouldn’t it just be the same handlers?
              And… maybe dr. Jill has enough self preservation to avoid ww3.

      2. Lex

        I don’t doubt the corruption or the possibility of blackmail, but I agree with you. We don’t need complex or conspiratorial explanations. Biden is who he has always been. Though all of his negative attributes, which define him, have gotten worse with age. His actions are emotional rather than rational and are borderline messianic. He’s not doing the standard political lying at this point. I think he truly believes that he is saving the world from tyranny and terrorism. The sycophants surrounding him aren’t going to insert reality into his narrative. Partly because they’re ideologues and partly because everyone knows his famous rage. We’re bordering on mad emperor territory.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          your comment, “His actions are emotional rather than rational and are borderline messianic.” reminded me again of a particular reaction during the 60 Minutes interview this last week – the Husk went from his usual Eastwood squint to leaning forward with goggle-eyed emphasis in his answer speaking louder – an irrational, emotional response – was waiting for drool –
          Speaker 1 (09:38):
          Are the wars in Israel and Ukraine more than the United States can take on at the same time?

          President Biden (09:44):
          No. We’re the United States of America for God’s sake, the most powerful nation not in the world, in the history of the world. The history of the world. We can take care of both of these and still maintain our overall international defense.

          it was as if he was trying to convince himself more than anybody else

    2. ChrisFromGA

      I have to agree, that entire piece disgusted me. Stating that “the other team” did the massacre without any evidence to show is more than a white lie, it sounds just like the same old “repeat a lie until it becomes perceived as true” crap that GW Bush pulled in Iraq with WMD.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        One nice bonus: all the lock-step Democrats have to follow Joe’s lead. He’s not just destroying himself, he’s dragging the entire party down with him.

        Or they can revolt but if they do the only way to stop Biden’s renomination is by changing a lot of rules really fast. Which they can’t do.

        The Democrats are either going to have to dump Biden or campaign a year from now with Biden’s political corpse strapped to a white horse al estilo de El Cid.

    3. Martin Oline

      When you read Whitney’s book you will find that the major software for bank transactions, sold in the late ’80’s I think, had a back door built into it that allowed Israel’s security forces to watch all bank money transactions around the world. How could that lead to anything on Biden? I can’t check for the name of the software because I gave the books to a grandson.

      1. CarlH

        I think the software was called Promise, though that is the name of the original software developed in the US then sold to other entities which put their own touches on it. American Exception did a show on this awhile back.

        1. wilroncanada

          Promis without the final “e”. Both the Mossad and the NSA built backdoors into the original: Mossad for control of finance, and NSA for control of politicians (US and foreign) and other elites through blackmail.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “‘Al-Aqsa Flood Operation’ Day 13: Humanitarian aid to Gaza stalls as Israel renews airstrikes”

    Heard part of a news story today where the Israelis had a problem with those twenty trucks that may or may not be bringing in relief into Gaza They are worried that the fuel from those twenty trucks will be drained when they cross the border and that it would be then sent on to Hamas to use. Some stories you just can’t make up.

  3. zagonostra

    >Marked by Stars: Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy Public Domain Review, Anthony Grafton.

    I would have thought the article would have mentioned Giordano Bruno since Henry Cornelius Agrippa was such a large influence on him. Also, you would think a reference to Francis A. Yates’s work on Hermeticism would have been in order for an essay on “Occult Philosophy.”

  4. Acacia

    Israel may kill “600,000 civilians,” says ambassador

    Israel’s Ambassador to the UK compares attacks on Gaza to Britain’s attacks against German civilians during World War II.

    “There were many, many civilians [that] got attacked from your attacks on German cities,” she said. “Dresden was a symbol, but you attacked Hamburg, you attacked other cities, and altogether it was over 600,000 civilian Germans that got killed.”

    Hotovley continued by comparing the Palestinians to the Nazis: “Was it worth it in order to defeat Nazi Germany? And the answer was yes.”

    1. Louis Fyne

      My memory is failing me….but if I recall correctly there was a USAAF general who quipped that if the Allies had lost the war, he would have been the one standing trial at Nuremburg.

      And with the full benefit of hindsight—-no, carpet-bombing Germany did not shorten the war(B-17 bombers often missing targets by >1 mile in broad daylight) ….especially Dresden

      Lots of military academic research on the efficacy of WW2 aerial bombing on German industrial production.

      1. Alice X

        In the documentary The Fog of War, Robert S. McNamara recalled Curtis LeMay saying that if the US lost the war he (and his staff) would tried for war crimes. This for the carpet fire bombing of Japanese cities. IIRC

      2. The Rev Kev

        Before the start of WW2, there was this theory developed by the proponents of the new air power. Their idea was that bombers would be able to destroy a country’s industries and soon after, a plane would land to then accept their surrender. It would be that simple and nothing could talk them out of their ideological tree. I think that they were nicknamed ‘Airedales’ by their opponents. Well as we all know it did not work out that way and the US Army’s 8th Air Corps suffered towards 50,000 casualties alone in the campaigns above Europe and as you pointed out, the Norden bomb sight was not helping that much with accuracy.

        1. R.S.

          “The Douhet Strategy”, after that Italian Giulio Douhet?

          Once I’ve heard a lecture by a guy who read Douhet’s works. He said the idea in itself had some merit for Italy, but Douhet really overestimated the destructive power and precision of bombs, as well as the moral effect of air raids.

        2. Michaelmas

          Rev Kev: It would be that simple and nothing could talk them out of their ideological tree.

          It’s often vanity to assume that people in the past were stupider than oneself and didn’t in fact have good reasons for thinking as they did. You’re the one making simplistic assumptions that no more was involved in the focus on strategic bombing than simple doctrinal stupidity. Freeman Dyson was a 19-year-old drafted into operations research at RAF Bomber Command at that time ….

          Dyson: Let me start from World War I, which is really what was dominating everybody’s thinking at the time. The people who were running the various governments in different countries leading up to World War II, they had all lived through World War I, and they were totally dominated by their memories of World War I, whatever it was. On the British side, World War I was just an unspeakable tragedy, and our lives were dominated by this feeling of tragedy. The war had been so horrible, had killed so many people and had destroyed European civilization, and led to a feeling of doom and gloom everywhere.

          The number one imperative in everybody’s mind was, “We won’t fight World War I over again.” That was just absolutely the dominating principle. So how do you do it then? The question was, now Hitler comes along, we are faced with Hitler, we will obviously have to fight him one way or another. He was hell bent on conquering Europe, and had more or less said so publicly. So we were faced with this problem.

          In Britain, the chief advocate of bombing was Sir Hugh Trenchard, who had been the Chief of the Royal Flying Corps in World War I. In World War I, the Royal Flying Corps was part of the Army, so it operated just as a tactical Air Force. Hugh Trenchard was the boss. He flew over the trenches. The people down in the trenches were dying in the millions. He was flying overhead and he said, “That’s not the right way to do it. Instead of fighting in trenches, we should be attacking the Germans directly.”

          He said to himself, already in 1917 when World War I was aging, that, “Next time we will do it differently.” He became the head of the Royal Air Force when it was established, when it became an independent command. He was still very influential in the 1930s, and he campaigned then for having a big Air Force, and he won.

          The strategic plan was actually officially adopted in 1936 – that World War II should be an air war, not a ground war. The big money was put into Bomber Command. Bomber Command was, I think, one-quarter of the entire British economy. It was very, very large. So already in 1936 we started building factories to build big bombers, so we had the production lines running, and big bombers were being produced by the time the war started.

          Of course, in the Battle of Britain these were only an encumbrance. What we needed was fighters and not bombers, but still. We barely just had enough fighters to squeeze by.

          For the rest of the war, we continued producing bombers. The question was: what do you do with them? Originally, of course, the idea was that you use the bombers for attacking military targets, you bomb factories, bomb war communications, trains, and bridges and things of this sort, tactical military objectives. But they quickly discovered, first of all, that you couldn’t fly over Germany in the daytime, because you got shot down, and if you went at night, you couldn’t hit anything smaller than a city.

          So the answer was then decided quite early in the war: it had to be a night bombing campaign, because that was the only hope of surviving, and it had to be a campaign against cities, not against factories. That was how it went. The logic of war dictated how it should be fought. Once you had decided your main weapon was to be strategic bombers, then that was all you could do. So that’s how the whole thing started.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I was actually talking about the early American doctrine rather than the British one. They were so confident in their doctrine that the first few mission I understand that they were dismissive of fighter escort as being unnecessary. But then the Luftwaffe took them on and between the fighter attacks and the flak, the 8th had to call off their bombing campaign for a while because of the casualties. In the end they had to up-armour their bombers which also meant putting more machine guns in the B-17 and bringing into service the P-51 Mustang which could escort those bombers all the way to their targets and back again. And after the war when the United States Strategic Bombing Survey revealed how often bombs had gone astray, that was the end of that doctrine. If I remember the results of that survey correctly, the most heavily bombed targets in WW2 turned out to be open farmlands. That must have been a humiliation.

            1. vao

              that was the end of that doctrine

              Wasn’t the same doctrine (large bombers with escorts destroying everything deemed strategic — dams, bridges, and cities) applied again during the Korean war? Or how did it differ by then?

              1. scott s.

                By then radar controlled navigation was becoming feasible, also to limited extent guided munitions. Air operations were split between Fifth Air Force and USN TF 77 carrier air providing close support, and Bomber Command using B-29 medium bombers, mostly from SAC, for interdiction and anti-industrial bombing campaigns. During the initial phase most bomber missions were in interdiction roles close to the front line of troops, necessitating visual only bombing. But the air superiority the UN forces achieved meant that bomber crews had relative freedom in delivering weapons. After the defeat of the PRK army and subsequent invasion of the north, interdiction became less important as the target list shrunk. That would change after the entry of China and arrival of Mig-15 fighters which could easily attack B-29s. UN policy prohibited interdiction in Manchuria, giving Migs a safe haven from which to operate. In this period incendiary munition missions seem to have been more common.

          2. Michaelmas

            And of course, once the strategy and policy are fixed, and the factories and the infrastructure are built out society-wide, these things attain their own inertia and momentum throughout the population.

            From another Dyson interview —

            …Some of us were sickened by Sir Arthur’s (Bomber Harris’s) unrelenting ferocity. But our feelings of revulsion after the Dresden attack were not widely shared. The British public at that time still had bitter memories of World War I, when German armies brought untold misery and destruction to other people’s countries, but German civilians never suffered the horrors of war in their own homes. The British mostly supported Sir Arthur’s ruthless bombing of cities, not because they believed that it was militarily necessary, but because they felt it was teaching German civilians a good lesson ….

            I remember arguing about the morality of city bombing with the wife of a senior air force officer, after we heard the results of the Dresden attack. She was a well-educated and intelligent woman who worked part-time for the ORS. I asked her whether she really believed that it was right to kill German women and babies in large numbers at that late stage of the War. She answered, “Oh yes. It is good to kill the babies especially. I am not thinking of this war but of the next one, 20 years from now. The next time the Germans start a war and we have to fight them, those babies will be the soldiers.”

            After fighting Germans for ten years, four in the first war and six in the second, we had become almost as bloody-minded as Sir Arthur.


            Me: Of course, too, the same ‘ethic’ of ‘kill the babies’ is now operative and internalized among people on both sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

            1. hk

              What a strange argument: British civilians didn’t see the horrors of war more than their German counterparts during WW1!

              1. Daniil Adamov

                Some British civilians did die from submarine attacks and air raids; not that many, comparatively speaking (I think the numbers were in the thousands overall) but it still left an outsized impression. So did the (heavily exaggerated but not completely groundless) reports of German atrocities against civilians in Belgium and France.

                1. hk

                  There were British bombings of Germany during WW1 (the amount of bombs was, apparently, twice as much as German bombing of UK, according to wiki, which surprised me–I knew there were British bombings, but always thought Germans dropped more.) I get the sense that the British civilians’ idea of “horrors of war” were mostly from their own side’s propaganda (about the misdeeds of the Germans in, say, Belgium–which turned out to be mostly grossly exaggerated–rather than their experience with the reality.

        3. Louis Fyne

          there is also a reasonable argument that the US/UK infatuation with strategic bombing diverted resources that could have been better used to produce more shells, artillery, and land vehicles.

      3. Acacia

        there was a USAAF general who quipped that if the Allies had lost the war…

        Yes, it sounds very much like what McNamara recounts LeMay telling him during the Pacific War, about the decision to firebomb Japanese cities. It’s in Errol Morris’ film The Fog of War.

      4. Martin Oline

        It was Chuck Yeager but he was probably not the only one. From Wiki:
        In his 1986 memoirs, Yeager recalled with disgust that “atrocities were committed by both sides”, and said he went on a mission with orders from the Eighth Air Force to “strafe anything that moved”. During the mission briefing, he whispered to Major Donald H. Bochkay, “If we are going to do things like this, we sure as hell better make sure we are on the winning side”. Yeager said, “I’m certainly not proud of that particular strafing mission against civilians. But it is there, on the record and in my memory”. He also expressed bitterness at his treatment in England during World War II, describing the British as “arrogant” and “nasty”.
        You suppose?

        1. Michaelmas

          steppenwolf fetchit: according to this article LeMay said that about the Hiroshima-Nagasaki atom bombings, not about the strategic non-atomic bombing of Germany or Japan.

          It was LeMay, yes.

          But the Grauniad article is, predictably, wrong in that LeMay made the remark first of all, about the non-nuclear bombings of Dresden and other German cities that he, as a commander, participated in with RAF Bomber Command, and during which he learned how strategic bombing could create fire storms to destroy entire cities. He then very deliberately applied the technique to fire bombing Japanese cities.

          And those non-atomic bombings of Japanese cities were potential grist for war crimes trials — as LeMay well knew — because those bombings, by creating fire storms over the target cities, actually killed more people than the Hiroshima-Nagasaki atom bombings: oxygen and human beings were sucked into the fire storm over a wide area. They did that because LeMay designed those missions expressly to bring such results about.

          One other thing about LeMay. As mentioned elsewhere on this thread, casualties among bomber crews were frightful. So bombers would fly in to somewhere in the vicinity of the target at night, drop their bombs somewhere within ten miles of the target and then run for home as fast as they could. This was remarkably ineffective, as you’d expect.

          So LeMay put a stop to it by putting himself in the pilot seat of the front bomber in a, forex, a two-hundred bomber formation — and becoming a prime target for German counterattacks — and then leading the whole formation in, lit cigar clenched between his mouth. As MacNamara described it: “He (LeMay)issued an order. He said, ‘I will be in the lead plane on every mission. Any plane that takes off will go over the target, or the crew will be court-martialed.’ The abort rate dropped overnight. Now that’s the kind of commander he was.”

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            Thanks for all this. I had remembered reading/hearing years ago about LeMay saying this and looked for a link and the Guardian article was the first link I found. Not very nice of them to be wrong on such a key detail. So thank you again for bringing better facts and sources bearing on WHAT LeMay was referring to.

    2. zagonostra

      I didn’t know the Palestinians had Panzer tanks, a formidable army and were looking to establish a Fourth Reich…an analogy only a vile and immoral Ambassador with the blood of his administration on his conscience (though it’s a stretch to imagine he has one) would make.

  5. griffen

    $100 billion more. May as well go ahead with a large funding package now or shortly, with House Republicans in moderate upheaval and disarray not making the path so easy.

    Fund it now, account for the funds later as in never gonna happen in a million years.

      1. griffen

        Not shocking. Still waiting on my $600 check from Joey R Biden, not holding my breath for it however…Pigs feeding at the trough never had it so good !

  6. Louis Fyne

    not to belitte Sergei Witte’s point, but to provide contexet…

    soldiers also got the spoils from campaigning and social capital for political office. (and in the Republic days, Rome’s enemies were pretty weak…until they hit Carthage)

    ….and you taxed the wealth because that was were the money was. Pay-as-you-go, no reserve currency debt issuance. In essence, start up capital which woukd be repaid from the spoils of war.

    “War is legal theft” (Jacob Boronowski) for most of human history.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      In most European societies (and I suspect others), it was the second and third sons and so of the aristocracy on who took the brunt of wars. The oldest son got the land and responsibility to look after the family wealth, the younger ones were left to seek glory and wealth on their own – military adventurism being the most straightforward way.

      I think WWI was probably the last major war where the children of the top 5% took the brunt of the death toll on all sides.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That is primogeniture that you are talking about here where, as you say, the oldest son gets the lot. I was reading that in Britain in the 19th century that as commerce was consider beneath contempt by the aristocracy, that it meant that for the other sons there were three traditional courses of careers – the Army, the Navy and the Church. In all three, having the financial backing of the family plus the right social connections ensured a smooth, comfortable rise up the ladder of promotion. Hmmm. Why does that last bit sound so familiar?

        1. R.S.

          AFAIR the same in German lands pretty much throughout the Medieval / Early Modern times. The oldest son was an heir, one of the younger ones went often into clergy and could expect to become an abbot or a bishop. This was also good for one of the daughters. All the rest climbed up the ladder the hard way. So if you were, say, a tenth kid, like that guy von Berlichingen, your life wasn’t easy to say the least.

          1. jefemt

            I’m getting near the end of H W Tilman’s Seven Mountain Travel Books.
            Tilman appears to have been one of these fellows– after WW1, he and others received lands in Britain’s Kenya. Did all soldiers, or just the Commissioned Officers (heirs of landed gentry?) Pre WW2, he climbed extensively in the Himalaya.
            He also fought in WW2, and then ended up in Mongolia foraying into the Himalaya, cruising around climbing and possibly spying during the turf wars between Russia and China (Tibet).

            Heck of a climber, adventurer, fabulously humorous observationist and commentarian. Great reads.

            1. nippersdad

              Thanks for the recommendation. I have shelves of such books, and they really do give a lot of insight into life during the periods in which they were written.

        2. Reply

          Witness those nostalgia programs on the Beeb about the charm, discreet or otherwise, of country houses, their cocooned residents and the servants. There wasn’t much insight or compassion presented when bigger matters weighed like having tea on time or going up to London for the season. The social inertia in that ecosystem meant that the post-war Potemkin village life got to gasp and stagger on as a cope, unironically.

        3. Acacia

          Same arrangement in Japan, even into the modern period. Only the eldest son got the land.

          This system was apparently the basis for a very strange satire, directed by Ichikawa Kon, set in the remote mountains of Tohoku:

          In the film, not only does the eldest son inherit all the land, but he is the only one allowed to marry a woman. The other brothers are forced to wear rags, are not allowed to shave, and spend their entire lives tilling the fields. And then, it gets a little bit weirder…

        4. Feral Finster

          In the British Army until around 1850 or so, it was possible to buy rank below that of colonel.

          In addition, the salary of an officer was too low to live off of, especially taking into account sumptuary standards. In fact, promotions typically happened when one’s senior died or retired.

          This was entirely intentional, to ensure that the people who were giving the orders to shoot had family money to live off of

          1. The Rev Kev

            I think that that system only came to an end in the Cardwell reforms of 1873. It encourage all sorts of corruption so for example, an officer would pay money to his superior to move on and would be compensated by the officer below him paying money for that post. It was not unknown for the officers of a Regiment to pool their money to get a Colonel to move on. Movement of officers were slow however and a popular toast for junior officers was ‘a bloody war or a sickly season.’ So an officer’s commission was actually a financial investment to him more than anything with some fashionable Regiments more valuable than others such as the Horse Guards. The big danger was for a senior officer to be promoted to General as then they would lose all their money here and it was known as ‘being caught in a brevet.’

      2. Louis Fyne

        This was very true w/the Normans, the Viking descendants in Normandy, France—where you had branches set up Norman kingdoms in random locations like Sicily and the Holy Land because of weak extant regimes that Normans took advantage of.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I wonder if anybody has done an analysis on the composition of William the Conquerors army. Yes there were a lot of mercenaries there but I am wondering from your comment now if there might not have been a lot of second and third sons who had an ambition for land of their own among his followers.

          1. Louis Fyne

            —composition of William the Conquerors army. —

            There are pretty good records (for being 1000 years ago).

            (arguably) One of the reasons why the Norman Empire conquered Wales and Ireland (which the Saxons left alone)….need new land for all the minor nobles.

            Scotland got left alone because of marriages and it, essentially, wasn’t worth conquering, just as the Romans learned.


            1. Synoia

              Willie the Conc took wales? I thought that was after his rein. I seem to recall it was Edward 1the first who conquers Wales 200 years after the Norman Invasion 1n 1066.

              1. ambrit

                And wasn’t it “Bad King John” who started the “official” expropriation of the lands of Ireland too back around 1200 AD?

              2. Louis Fyne

                the normans didn’t end after William and his direct line. The next 2 English houses were Norman descendants.

                1. steppenwolf fetchit

                  Could one argue that the entire “English” ruling elite ever since the Norman invasion had become Normanized and remain ” ethical Normans” unto this very day?

                  1. mago

                    Why is it that pond scum is always referred to as the “elite”.
                    I think it was Raymond Chandler’s fictitious detective Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep who said scum and cream always rise to the top.
                    More scum than cream is my take.
                    But I’ve been wrong in many ways.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Louis Fyne: Nope.

      Context? Rome had formidable enemies / adversaries. Check out:
      –Wars against Veii (a major city of the Etruscans)
      –The sack of Rome by the Celts / Gauls after the defeat at the Battle of Allia.
      –The Samnite Wars.

      The confrontation with Carthage started about a hundred years after these.

      I understand your point, but I think that Big Serge’s point still stands and has much merit.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I take everyone’s point, and would just add the even the author of the quote notes “Unlike the selfish elites of the later periods…”. Cannae was in the third century BC and it wasn’t too much later that most Roman elites became armchair warriors themselves.

        One other thing, from the hard-to-tell-if you-weren’t-actually-there department. As you noted, the Romans did have some formidable adversaries in Rome’s first centuries, but the more ancient history I read, I have to wonder whether these adversaries were formidable only because Rome was much weaker at the time than we moderns assume. I know that as a young person I used to think of ancient Rome as always commanding the greater part of the Mediterranean world, but until they finally defeated Carthage (and Corinth) in the 2nd century BC, they really only controlled a part of the Italian peninsula and were somewhat of a backwater. Once they started razing cities and calling it “peace”, as Tacitus quipped, their power and control grew and elite decadence followed fairly quickly afterwards, as even the Roman historians at the time noted.

        Recently read something similar about ancient Athens, possibly in a book about ancient Greek Thebes. While moderns tend to think of Athens as having been the cynosure of the ancient world for centuries, it was really only in the mid-6th century BC that Athens came to prominence. Prior to that other Greek city states were much more influential, and Athens’ really only had a century or so in the sun. They fought off the superior Persian forces and had their glory days in the 5th century, but never really recovered from fighting with other Greeks during the Pelopponesian war.

        Not sure what my overall point is after all that rambling, but I do find ancient history to be a worthwhile study – it does help to put modern events into perspective. Pretty sure we’re seeing the decline of some nations who enjoyed their century or two in the sun right now.

        1. nippersdad

          I have to say that I admire those with the ability to learn, and retain, the history of Rome such that they can apply it to current events. I read Livy’s history of early Rome a very long time ago, and the just endless litany of little wars made my eyes glaze over.

          About the only take away I still have is the value of stationing geese around your position, which is probably not very applicable to the kinds of warfare we see today.

    3. Roland

      Early Rome’s enemies were not weak. By no means were the Carthaginians their first dangerous opponent.

      The Romans were badly beaten, and even briefly conquered, by the Gauls. The Samnites could match the Romans in battle, as could the army of Pyrrhus.

      In pre-Republican times, the Etruscans may have also conquered the Romans, but narrative sources are lacking.

      The unusual level of social cohesion and elite commitment seen in the middle period of the Roman Republic was something that developed during the crises of its early wars. The plebian class used its wartime leverage to garner a series of political concessions from the patricians (“secessions of the plebians,” somewhat like general strikes). By the time of the Punic Wars, a composite patrician/plebian elite had formed.

      The long struggles and eventual victories in the Punic and Macedonian wars had the effect of both impoverishing the smallholder citizens, and introducing large numbers of slaves. This caused a re-emergence of deep class divisions, and finally ruined the Republic.

      The “synthesis” of the Principate preserved the Roman upper class in its class power, while virtually exterminating the bloodlines of its original members. The Roman upper class prevailed politically, but failed biologically.

      1. JBird4049

        Well, there is the reality that much or most of the old Roman elite families were wiped out in the final civil wars of the Republic. The elites were so concerned with maintaining their power, status, and money above all else that they forgot about maintaining their lives or their families. Actions such as the Proscriptions became about exterminating one’s enemies, their families, and their supporters as well as well as plundering the wealthy, who were usually the elites.

  7. The Rev Kev

    Working link for ‘HELL FREEZES OVER’ article at-

    No gratitude for Hamas taking part in the war against the Syrian government a coupla years ago but the European Parliament does not surprise me here as they were pulling the same sort of antics against Russia years before the present war. They have given a hall pass to Nazis in Europe for years now but suddenly Hamas is a problem?

  8. digi_owl

    That is not an antidote, that is how post-cold war USA looked at the world.

    And while i have seen crows figure out how to sled, this if the first time i have seen a dog. And he even does so in style!

  9. digi_owl

    “Why Biden lied on Gaza hospital attack Indian Punchline. Userfriendly: “I can’t help but wonder if Bibi has stone cold evidence of Biden and Hunter corruption.””

    Or he has something more incriminating from a Mossad run honeypot on a certain private island.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Rev.

          Further to our exchange a fortnight or so ago, it seems that, for the Ukrainian mums returning home, the priority was to get sons soon to be eligible for military service away, get them settled with a family and at school, and return to look after the family left / stuck at home.

          Local authorities have been notified to conserve and prioritise discretionary spending for an influx of Israeli refugees and the protection of synagogues and educational establishments. Around here, Thames Valley police has deployed outside places of worship and cultural centres for the past fortnight. Ukrainians are no longer the priority.

          Palestinian refugees are neither wanted nor, for virtue signalling puposes, needed.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Thank you, Colonel. Just saw something that might snag your interest-

            ‘Oslo has introduced a scheme designed to get some of the roughly 51,000+ Ukrainian refugees living in Norway to go home, offering cash payments of nearly €1,500 to Ukrainian nationals willing to leave the Kingdom.

            The scheme, whose details have appeared on the cabinet of ministers’ website, promises 17,500 Norwegian krone (€1,495) to persons “granted collective protection or residence on the grounds of strong humanitarian considerations” who decide to return home.’


            Other EU countries also want to get rid of the Ukrainian refugees but if I were one, why would I go back into an active war zone, especially one that is looking for war bodies to send to the front.

  10. digi_owl

    “HELL FREEZES OVER as European Student Council, uhh, I mean, European Parliament, votes 500-21 …”

    Do wonder who those 21 was.

      1. zagonostra

        I must have Dante on my mind, those “grifting off” were well described in Canto III

        Virgil replied, “Outside Hell Proper are the souls of those who never took a stand in life. While living, they were neither for good nor for evil, and now that they are dead, neither Heaven nor Hell wants them. These wretched souls who lived without taking a stand are punished with the angels who remained uncommitted during Lucifer’s rebellion against the Supreme Emperor. They did not commit themselves to evil, nor did they commit themselves to good. Even the souls in Hell feel superior to them because the souls in Hell made a choice: they chose evil.”

        (John D. Sinclair’s translation is better, but you get the idea)

          1. Joe Renter

            Hitler comes to mind. Luckily it does not happen too often. And these days those who wear black hats are in positions of power and have the veneer of respectability.

            1. LifelongLib

              I’ve never read anything Hitler wrote — attempted Mein Kampf (in English) once and my eyes glazed over after a couple pages. My sense from his history is that in his own mind Hitler was choosing a higher good rather than evil. He was not Milton’s Satan.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          this lady breathes righteous fire on the cowards every time she speaks – whenever she has stood up and spoken it has been unwavering truth to power – i know the use of the term ‘balls’ is euphemistically used here, but it denigrates imho – this lady is another warrior of the highest degree and doesn’t need any ‘balls’ –

          1. Mr Johnson

            “What’s all this talk I hear about growing a pair? How about growing a vagina… those things can take a pounding.” – Betty White

            1. Jabura Basaidai

              just dribble my cognac laughing at that one – gotta love Betty White, she was quick and relentless – excellent quote!!

  11. Ben Joseph

    Re: stages of genocide

    Seems like we’re in stage 7 with our southern border immigration behaviors.

  12. IM Doc

    The Paxlovid cost link”……..

    $1390 for a course. I truly thought that was a Twitter bot lie when I first saw that, but, no, it appears that is actually the truth.

    It is quite illuminating.

    Please remember- when you call your PCP to discuss your acute CoVid care, they will likely charge a level 99213 visit on a tele-visit modifier. In Medicare patients, they will likely be reimbursed between 18 to 25 dollars, commercial insurance likely about 40-60 dollars. Your insurance company or CMS for Medicare patients will then pay Pfizer and PBMs this outrageous amount for this drug. Just so we know who gets what in the medical world. At that level of cost, it is very likely that insurance companies will require peer to peer, pre auths, or multiple forms for each patient. So on top of the visit, staff in doctors offices will be spending hours with that paperwork all for the same 18 dollars.

    To add insult to injury, the drug really does not seem to be working as well as it once did, and there remain a lot of rebound cases – much worse than the original infection usually. Is that really worth 1300 bucks, much less 25?

    Also laughable is the usual Pharma line about how expensive their research is. That is of course why they need to charge all this money. Indeed. This drug to this day has one paltry trial that really leaves way more questions than answers. That was the extent of the clinical R&D.

    I have seen many reports in this current insurance sign up season about how families are spending 24K yearly for premiums with 10K deductibles. Look no further with your rage than this kind of Paxlovid thing being allowed by our regulators and agencies. It gets worse every month. And imagine it on all kinds of drugs and equipment. No one seems to be doing anything about it. The brick wall is on the way.

    PCPs are leaving and retiring in droves. Critical mass is now being reached in multiple areas. The emergency will soon be obvious to all. But please keep yelling at them and their office staff when you don’t get your Paxlovid authorized in a day or two. And unfortunately, it now is taking patients weeks and months to even get an appointment.

    Our system is already a joke. It is now devolving rapidly into complete chaos.

    I cannot believe what I am seeing.

    1. Reply

      Gotta hand it to the acumen of those insurers and pharmaceutical companies. They got Congress to make the public overpay for everything and had a built-in war chest of advertising and lobbying money to keep the lying going like some perpetual motion machine.

      The public never did see what was in that bill, or others, that had to be passed to find out the details. At some point the system will collapse and people will be hurt more.

    2. Bugs

      Anyone interested can look up French retail pharmacy drug prices on

      The Paxlovid 5-day treatment pack is currently 3.57€ from stocks provided by the Ministry of Health. I doubt Pfizer will be able to play the same games over here but we’ll see, won’t we.

    3. zagonostra

      Since I’m on a Dante jag…Selfishness, greed for money, power, or pleasure, is the basis of the injustice that reigns in Hell, as charity is the basis of the justice that operates in heaven…the traditional moral view of greed and pride as the worst of evils to the more sociopolitical distinctions of violence, fraud, and treachery…Thus greed, on the personal or public level, is a serious social sin for Dante because it interferes with the proper functioning of government and of providence.

    4. Gregorio

      It’s so nice that a country whose citizens routinely face bankruptcy because of medical debt can generously send billions in military aid to a country where the citizens are all enjoy universal health care coverage.

  13. Donald

    I see Israel as an apartheid state which is engaged in massive war crimes backed by the U.S., but think it is more likely the hospital was hit by a Palestinian missile from the various arguments I have seen online. I am no munitions expert, so I could easily be wrong. I have flip flopped several times in my opinion on this bombing.

    Anyway, the hospital bombing became one of those symbolic incidents people latch onto on both sides but it represents a fraction of the Palestinian civilian death toll. There is no doubt Israel is hitting civilian targets indiscriminately and I suspect in many cases deliberately. But Biden used the hospital incident to absolve Israel in general— if they were innocent in this one case it is supposed to make you think they are innocent in all the other thousands of deaths.

    I wish people wouldn’t do this— put too much significance on specific events and evaluate what happened . It backfires if reality doesn’t cooperate with one’s ideology in a given case.

    1. Irrational

      I wish the US would back an impartial investigation (if such a thing is possible), but that is apparently not necessary. What are they afraid of finding? That more than anything is swaying my mind.

      1. Donald

        I wish the ICC would be allowed to do a thorough impartial investigation into all sides ( including outside allies) of this war and actions going back many years. I have zero doubt that an impartial investigation would find plenty to prosecute on all sides, including US officials.

        I wouldn’t want to limit it to the hospital bombing. It’s a sample of one.

    2. RookieEMT

      I have flip flopped several times too as evidence slowly trickles in.

      There are two videos from a distance showing the hospital explosion. What is massively confusing is during this time all in the same hour Hamas is firing rockets, there are Israeli aircraft in the area, and it appears the Iron Dome is being used as well. The fog of war is intense.

      One theory is the stray rocket seen above in the sky is an Iron Dome missile that exploded above the hospital in a successful intercept of a Hamas missile. Both the remains would have very little to do with the hospital explosion.

      So at the same time this is happening, Israel commits an airstrike on the hospital. One bomb falling a distance from the hospital, the second falling into the compound’s parking lot two seconds later.

      Cars are seen with their tops partially collapsed and pushed down. Maybe from a pressure wave. It would be a little odd for a rocket fragment to blow up mid-air…

      The parking doesn’t show much evidence of a mass casualty event, but you have to see pictures of the grassy lots next to the parking lot. That’s where the majority of the casualties happened with blood soaked grass and clothing. There is one video of the injured lying next to the parking lot as well. I still doubt 500 died but it would of been a mass casualty incident and overwhelming for the poor hospital.

      Oh, and I swear I hear an aircraft in this video.

      1. Donald

        Yeah, I am just confused. Right now I lean more strongly to the Palestinian missile theory but would not be shocked if that turns out to be wrong.

        But anyway, people like Biden are hiding behind this one mass casualty event, trying to push the idea that Israel’s innocence ( assuming that is true) proves that they are innocent in general. For people looking for an excuse to absolve Israel that’s good enough.

        1. RookieEMT

          Hate to say it this way but if water scarcity increases along with food shortages, this hospital disaster will pale in comparison in the coming weeks. It’s the water situation that scares me the most.

          I don’t want to see it.

        2. pretzelattack

          what is the evidence that anybody on the Palestinian side even had such a missile? As to Biden, I’m sure he also is pushing the idea that we aren’t backing neonazis in Ukraine; even when he had all his marbles he is well known for lying. He is also pushing the idea that Israel is the outraged innocent in the war, victim of an unprovoked attack; why should we believe what he says is related to the truth in this case?

  14. Jabura Basaidai

    MG -didn’t have time to answer in yesterday’s comment but after listening to your examples of electronic music, excellent samples – the visuals on the first piece could just as easily been used as a soundless background behind a band at the Grande Ballroom back in the day – EBN “Electronic Behavior Control System” – made me immediately think of the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy “Television, The Drug Of The Nation” – – Gil Scott Heron “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – – the Cameron piece was fantastic, loved the intro clip of the Shrub but too short, ended wanted more – and DJ Rx gave more Shrub the idiot – understand why the title is unnameable here – it is satire that peels the skin off – and “My Name is Rx” is just awesome, must pass around, listening for a second time – wiping tears of laughter for the joy that this is out there – Idris Ackamoor’s music immediately appeals to my jazz heart and the lyrics are so sadly true – i don’t subscribe or put a cc out in the wild but the lyrics to John Osborne’s “Woman’s Work” speak truth to power – Cassix “The Stanislawsky Method” needs to stretch out and so too Sudan Archives – “Is This Real? (Can You Hear Yourself?)” – but there was more of her music in the side panel like “Freakalizer” – thank you –

    1. Ken Murphy

      Speaking of EBN, another track from their album with the lyrics Get Down! is a song I play when I’m giving my team their periodic active shooter drills. Since step 1 of the three step process is to Get Down! Step 2 is to put mass between you and the shooter, and step 3 is GTFO.
      I also have the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy album, specifically for the TV song. I find it sad that social betterment rap doesn’t get more play, and that thuggish rap is what won the day and shaped the subculture.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        So cool that kids in sports are being EBNed!

        JB, glad you found the links of interest. I have created a new folder for stealth music. The examples I want to collect need to be much less obvious than these because obvious propaganda reinforces but stealth propaganda can change minds and hearts.

        But on further thought I’m not sure I’ll share those links. Stealth propaganda, in my wholly altruistic and unbiased POV, is a tool that when used by the right people (me) could be very helpful in, um, lots of helpful ways. I would only use this power for good. #fingerstotallynotcrossed

  15. DJG, Reality Czar

    Michael Stephens’s twiXt: “Israel appears qualitatively far weaker than we had presupposed, and the dysfunction has bled into many facets of their political and security apparatus (not all).”

    I’d argue that the loss of executive function has less to do with repeated infections with Covid and much more to do with neoliberalism as a parasite hollowing out the state. This manifest incompetence and inability to plan is something that Yves Smith commented on.

    The irony here is the as Randolph Bourne wrote, War is the health of the state.

    The hollowed-out state cannot execute military maneuvers, or maintain supply lines, or see to the needs of the civilian population. Instead, war is the health of the conjoined military-consultancies-congressional-speculator complex. We see no ability to plan, but we see plenty of ability to (1) use the emergencies to repress the populace, (2) use the war to loot the public fisc and engage in profiteering, and (3) use war to reinforce the destructive habits of neoliberalism (Pfizer raises rates again? Quelle surprise!).

    Plus memes!

    Israel went into the industrial espionage, meme maintenance, and general looting a while back. Even the secular kibbutzim have been suborned. And now the rot is evident.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      It’s not just Israel. The closest the USA has ever come to defining a coherent national strategy came from the pens of the authors of the Constitution preamble:

      We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

      For about a century and a half the processes that were stood up by the following articles more or less worked, thanks to the moats on each side of the continent And the fact that there were abundant resources for our settler colonial founders and their descendants to exploit. That is if you ignore the fact the general welfare and liberty clauses applied to only limited segments of “the people.”

      By the mid 20th century the rise of industry and technology had diminished the protections of the oceans, and the increasing wealth made money a more dominant factor in the political system. It is that money more than anything else That has polluted our political system meanwhile it further diminishes the reach of the welfare and liberties of the people. National strategy is determined solely by the financial interests of the wealthy.

  16. Lexx

    ‘Decency becomes indecent’

    “So, look, I’ve seen some of those statements this weekend. And we’re going to continue to be very clear,” Jean–Pierre replied. “We believe they are wrong, we believe they’re repugnant, and we believe they’re disgraceful.”

    (‘But you know and we know what we ‘believe’ doesn’t much matter. We do enjoy the diplomatic wiggle room that word affords us, and plausible deniability should we have to claw back all or part of this official statement.’ )

    I’m in a state of wonder when very powerful and well-educated people use such language.

    On the other hand, I typed in ‘ADIEU’ and then ‘STONY’, paused for a moment to put the ‘t’ on the end and the ‘a’ in front of it, and the first word to pop up in my mind was ‘SPLAT’, then I had an argument with my self that that was ridiculous, lost the argument, typed in ‘SPLAT’ and won in under a minute. After 558 games finding the answer in three tries is becoming routine. There’s no ‘evidence’, no real logic to why except practice and a certain predictability to the arrangement of letters in the English language. It’s not all that flexible and flexibility is what Washington desperately needs right now, but I have some doubts about whether they’ll get it.

  17. TheMog

    At least based on the (presumably selective) description of the NY 3D-printer bill, I think this is potentially even worse than Tom’s Hardware already described it. They already mentioned laser cutters, which one would mostly use to cut sheet metal, and of course a fair number of firearms that are designed to be cost effective to manufacture use folded sheet steel for frames, receivers etc and only require machined (or printed) parts for certain sub-assemblies. And of course, higher end shops use laser cutters for all sorts of other work, for example making parts for car restoration/modification and all sorts of other endeavours that IMHO are much more useful than firearm parts.

    My first thought was that the description of “For purposes of this section, ‘three-dimensional printer’ means a computer or computer-driven machine or device capable of producing a three-dimensional object from a digital model” matches any CNC mill (and to a certain extent, a CNC controlled lathe) to a T. While I would argue that 3D printers are probably more common, one can still wander into a Harbor Freight here in the US (or their equivalent in other countries) and for very reasonable money, purchase a hand controlled small mill. And like with 3D printers, there is a thriving hobbyist community who modifies these mills, including CNC control. Would that suddenly be illegal, or would one have to buy the mill and the controller separately, or would the purchase of a suitable controller suddenly be restricted in a similar fashion to, say, purchasing a receiver for a firearm?

    Not to mention that if one would run a company that offers 3D printing as a service (as the higher quality/higher precision process 3D printers are really out of the financial reach of most enthusiasts), does that mean these companies suddenly need to run a background check on their NY customers because they could potentially print something the legislature deemed illegal?

    Given Kathy Hochul’s track record on the right to repair bill, I’m intrigued and horrified in equal measures at the thought on how they could potentially even make this bill worse. This bill already seems to have all the usual hallmarks of a bad “something must be done” bill that seems to want to ban lighters because someone might light a jazz cigarette with some ingredients that might be illegal in a jurisdiction.

    1. Pat

      Hochul and the NY delegation are huge practitioners of the unthinkingly pass something stupid with huge drawbacks and problems in order “to do something”. This bill is hideous but totally in character for them. Not saying we were better off with Cuomo, but I do have to say that the desperate posturing has increased exponentially in Albany since his exit, power vacuum probably.

    2. doug

      I don’t see how the PTB in NY are going to know who has ordered a 3d printer online, and that is where they come from…

  18. DJG, Reality Czar

    Brethren and sistren, I have a feeling that you are asking yourselves, “In these dire times, what could lighten our burden? Could it be advice to the lovelorn at Naked Capitalism?”

    Well, from the Undisclosed Region of Italy, I have advice for you. There is a glorious entry into the dating market, depending on one’s point of view. Meloni (who once spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in D.C.!). Or mediaworker and former compagno, Andrea Giambruno, he of the Ciuffo.

    Breakup by tweXt. Romance is in the air!

    At least here in Italy, we keep things in perspective.

    PS: For those who follow Italian politics and culture closely, the latest from the thoroughly mischievous Natangelo:

    Viva l’amore. Baci a tutti!

  19. diptherio

    Mailchimp just dropped their latest TOS update and it includes a couple of doozies.

    We may suspend the Service to you at any time, with or without cause. We won’t refund or reimburse you in any situation.

    And the AI bit (because of course):

    Mailchimp may offer or integrate with certain artificial intelligence features as part of the Service (each, an “AI Model””), including to help you create Campaigns or other content (“Content Generation”), analyze your performance, organize Contacts, and more…Use of the AI Model may result in content, materials, data, visuals, metrics, insights, optimizations, recommendations, and other output generated and/or provided by the AI Model (collectively, “Outputs”) that are inaccurate or otherwise not fit for use (including from a legal and/or business perspective), and Mailchimp make no warranties, express or implied that the AI Models or any Outputs are free from error or bias. You are solely responsible for such Outputs, which is also your “Content” for the purposes of these Terms.

    So I’m looking for something else to use for our newsletter, but I’m worried about attrition during the migration process.

  20. Wukchumni

    Biden Oval Office Address: Calls For $100 Billion Aid To Israel And Ukraine… Hamas Must ‘Pay A Price For Their Terror’…
    Meanwhile back in the world, I was shocked but not surprised this summer to hear that seasonal backcountry rangers in Sequoia NP who had law enforcement training & credentials, would no longer be paid $6 more per hour, as the NP did away with them needing that rating in all backcountry station locations, which freed up money for 2 stations to be manned this summer.

    Robbing Paul over @ Pear Lake to pay for Peter @ Bearpaw Meadow.

    The National Parks are our crown jewels which an awful lot of people both Americans & foreigners frequent and frankly cherish.

    We treat them like cheap costume jewelry, while untold amounts of money are thrown at countries that mean about bupkis in terms of the USA in the line of fire, both being about as far away on the globe as you could be.

    I’d prefer to sit the war out in this here version of Switzerland in Mineral King, but adios to a magnificent indian summer, as it gets cold starting on Monday… turn off the propane powered fridge-freezer & the water gets turned off-pumped out of the pipes and some anti-freeze put into the toilets, shutters hung over windows and this year, i’ve decided to rid the cabin of any food for the winter, why tempt fate by giving a buffet minded bruin an all you can eat smorgasbord?

    Saw bears #6 & #7 on the year last week, and my buddy who runs sightseeing tours in Sequoia NP is up to 31. I always run @ about 25% of his numbers.

    From about now to the middle of November is prime bear spotting time in the NP, as along the Generals Highway from 2,000 to 5,000 feet where oaks predominate, bears are eating acorns to fill their bellies before hibernation. I’ve seen as many as 9 in one day.

    1. ambrit

      Brother, just have “MyKevin”(TM) push through a bill renaming “bears” as “aminal rites activists!” Then the NPS can get funding from Homeland Security for “Anti-terrorist Programs.” Presto changeo! You will double the number of Rangers overnight!

    2. Milton

      “Hamas Must ‘Pay A Price For Their Terror…”

      Sounds more like USians are the ones paying the price.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “AI is learning from stolen intellectual property. It needs to stop.”

    I read another example of how AI is being used to rip people off. I read this amateur writer’s group on Reddit and somebody piped up and said that there were people who were copying some of those stories, having an AI read it, and then posting it on their own website where they are making money from them.

    1. jsn

      As long as AI was just stealing from you and me, that was fine.

      Now that it’s threatening all the rent seeking industries who hide their uselessness behind IT and IP legal protections, well, look who’s ox is next to be gored!

      That’s why Congressional regulation is important, to keep the harms to the plebes and protect the plutocrats.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      That kind of scraping was being done in the 1990s. Not new.

      As a writer, my opinion of AI is similar to that of Yves toward cryptocurrencies. People are saying things, but I’m not reading anything that didn’t desperately need human editing.

  22. Wukchumni

    Jim Jordan to endorse empowering McHenry as temporary Speaker The Hill

    ‘Potempk(ev)in Village’

    1. The Rev Kev

      Biden wants $100 billion for the Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. To pass a bill of that order, does there have to be a Speaker in place?

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Whatever “rules” need to be suspended or amended, or whatever new powers of the “parliamentarian” need to be discovered or conferred, this $100 billion will happen.

        “We’re the united states of america, man.”

        1. Samuel Conner

          That’s only $300 per US capita; less than the notorious $600 that keeps getting mentioned in connection with past sounds that have come out of JRB’s vocal apparatus. I don’t see what people are upset about. /s

      2. ChrisFromGA

        Suspend the constitution, declare martial law, order the dread Pirate J-Pow to make printer go brrrrr! for Beebs-n-Z.

        I wish I could say I was joking.

        A bit of color from the Hill:

        Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) gave his theory on the real reason that the holdouts are opposing Jordan: “They want an omnibus.”

        “Jim Jordan is the only one who has a credible plan for not having a Christmas omnibus,” Massie said, later adding: “Some of it is muscle memory. They just know how to get things done in an omnibus, and they’re comfortable that will happen. And they’re uncomfortable with Jim Jordan’s plan to do a long-term CR [continuing resolution] and have that 1 percent cut as incentive to come do the 12 bills. They are concerned that will cut military spending.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      I think the temp speaker thing died yesterday; at least the Freedom Caucus (I know you’re personally a fan) aren’t going to play that way.

      Looks like Jordan is going to tough it out, vote until you get the right outcome!

      I’m still holding out hope for Zombie-Kev, just in time for Halloween.

      1. Wukchumni

        Kevin McCarthy lost the speaker’s gavel, but he hasn’t stopped using the speaker’s office

        Kind of the equivalent of the Swingline Stapler in Office Space for Kev.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        I think I dislike Jordan the least. Along with Nunes he was subjected to a remarkable level of gaslighting during peak Russiagate years, gaslighting for which there still has been ZERO accountability.

        So long as Congress is worthless, might as well have Speaker Jordan investigating as many lying neo-‘s as possible for as long as possible.

        In this political climate, the inability of Cornel West to start rapidly climbing in the polls can only be attributed to ineffective campaign management. Where are the truck billboards showing three faces: Biden’s, Trump’s and West’s? YOUR CHOICE is one heckuva a strong campaign slogan. When you have this kind of polarization it’s malpractice not to exploit it.

  23. lyman alpha blob

    Crustaceans in a coalmine. I was really hoping those missing snow crabs that were reported on a couple years ago had found a way to move to cooler waters and hadn’t been spotted yet. IIRC, that did happen with Maine lobsters, with evidence they were migrating northward as the Gulf of Maine rapidly warmed.

    Turns out the snow crabs all starved to death –

  24. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Brihana Joy Gray Bad Faith tweet

    Gray was interviewed by Glenn Greenwald on his Rumble show Wednesday evening. Apparently there is a campaign afoot, ginned up by her “colleagues” at the hill anonymously of course, to have her fired from Rising for her defense of Palestinian civilians.

    Since Oct. 7, Gray has been relentless in calling out israel’s war crimes, which is how she rightly characterizes the collective punishment being exacted by israel on the captive, occupied civilian population of Gaza, nearly half of which are children under 18.

    Gray’s stridence has been so insistent, she even roused her cohost, Robbie, from his what’s-mine-is-mine-and-everyone-else-should-just-go-get-their-own libertarian stupor to yell the “f” word at her for “supporting terrorists” on a recent Rising segment.

    In the past, Katie Halper and Kim Iverson have been dumped from “the hill”/ Rising for similar controversial stances.

    Gray has also been overtly critical of the vampire squid like influence of aipac over u.s. middle east policy, to the extent that the majority of “american” politicians feel an electoral imperative to unconditionally support and finance israeli apartheid and genocide, or get primaried out of their positions.

    I don’t know what will happen, but one thing’s for sure. In terms of viewership, if Gray goes, I go. That’s why they invented Rumble. “F” the hill and the youtube it rode in on.

    1. flora

      Brihana is good. I saw Robbie lose his cool in that episode, he was frothing. She might find this old talk interesting, especially wrt the media.

      Mearsheimer and Wald, Univ. Chicago, 8 years ago. utube. The delivered talks are the first 40 minutes, followed by a Q & A.

      The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy: John J. Mearsheimer

      1. Alice X

        I’ve just finished the 2006 Mearsheimer/Walt piece found in links yesterday. Except for a few details, of course, it could have been written yesterday. There is so much to read, it’s hard to keep up.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      She should be fired to help further boost her credibility.

      At this late stage of our failed democracy, hosting or appearing on talk shows is doing the Lord HawHaw/Tokyo Rose thing.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “Deer struggling in cold Alaskan waters saved by wildlife troopers who give them a lift in their boat”

    Kudos to those two troopers. They really came through when it counted. For those two dear to swim to the boat with the humans probably shows that they were at the end of their rope and certainly they looked frozen. Not the first time I have seen videos of animals caught out in deep water being rescued by humans but I take my digital cap off to those two troopers.

  26. Wukchumni

    Ah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Knesset Duck
    You gotta copy on me, Pig Pen, c’mon?
    Ah, yeah, 10-4, Pig Pen, fer sure, fer sure
    By golly, it’s clean clear to Gaza Town, c’mon
    Yeah, that’s a big 10-4 there, Pig Pen
    Yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy
    Mercy sake’s alive, looks like we got us an aid convoy

    Was in the dark of the moon on the war to come soon
    In humanitarian trucks pullin’ 1,000 tons of food
    Cab-over refrigerated trucks to haul perishables on
    And another truck in medical Rx for wounds
    We is headin’ to help
    ‘Bout a mile outta border town
    Bibi says, “Pig Pen, this here’s the PM Duck”
    “And I’m about to put the hammer down”

    ‘Cause we got a little ol’ convoy
    Rockin’ through the night
    Yeah, we got a little ol’ convoy
    Ain’t she a beautiful sight?
    Come on and join our convoy
    Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
    We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
    ‘Cross the Egypt-Gaza border today

    Convoy (ah, breaker, Pig Pen, this here’s the Knesset Duck)
    And, you wanna back off them trucks? Convoy
    Yeah, 10-4, ’bout mile or so
    Ten, roger, political pressure is gettin’ intense up here

    By the time we got into Gaza Town
    We had 20 aid trucks in all
    But they’s a roadblock up on the cloverleaf
    And them soldiers was wall-to-wall
    Yeah, them IDF is thick as bugs on a bumper
    They even had a drone in the air
    I says, “Callin’ all trucks, this here’s the Knesset Duck”
    “We about to go a-huntin’ Hamas there”

    ‘Cause we got a great big convoy
    Rockin’ through the night
    Yeah, we got a great big convoy
    Ain’t she a beautiful sight?
    Come on and join our convoy
    Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
    We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy
    ‘Cross the Egypt-Gaza border today

    Convoy, by C.W. McCall

    1. digi_owl

      Damn it, almost choked on my coffee when i read that first line.

      Do not think there is any surface smoothness with this duck though. Just a a whole lot of frothy paddling with a broken rudder.

      To bad there is no known release of the song that include the extra verse from the movie.

    2. Allosaurus

      That’s a good one, I remember that song from my childhood. CB radio was the 70’s version of the Internet.

      Could there also be a convoy heading up I95, towards the Beltway?

      A different kind of convoy, full of grifters hoping to get in on the $105B Joe wants to hand out?

  27. Snailslime

    Military Summary’s latest made me suspect (I realize one can’t base sweeping conclusions on one or two sources with a far from flawless trackrecord, thus it’s merely a suspicion) that the era of the tank might truly coming to an end and with it that of maneuver warfare as we knew it, at least in peer or near peer conflicts, at least for the forseeable future and at least everywhere where there are heavy fortifications involved.

    The Russians really don’t seem to do well currently in Avdeevka, and when the Russians have so much trouble, then everyone else would have even more.

    It seems that Putin himself is taking the problems seriously.

    At least I think his status as a leader and human being of greater format than Z and his western sponsors kinda stands and falls with him refusing to send his men on suicide missions with little hope of success like the Ukrainian leadership loves to do.

    This might be a problem that cannot be solved relying on bravery and tenacity.

    I don’t know how it could be solved, perhaps increasing focus needs to be put sabotaging the enemy’s ISR, perhaps ever greater swarms of new types of specialized drones can play a role in sufficiently suppressing enemy fire, possibly in tandem with carpet bombing from the air as rumors say the Russians are preparing to do anyway, perhaps the era of some as yet unprecedented types of robotic warmachines is nigh.

    But armoured groundwarfare as we knew it might well not be the answer.

    1. Feral Finster

      If Advdeevka and environs are so fortified, why does Russia not go around? For that matter, go around the entire Donbass?

      They have how many hundreds of kilometers of Byelorus border to use, and it cannot be so densely fortified or manned.

      1. Snailslime

        While I can’t pretend to know the actual answer, I pretty strongly suspect that it at least in part has to do with not wanting to have a powerful, well armed enemy fortress in their back.

        And of course there are lots of troops and equipment there that they will have to take out sooner or later anyway.

        But if they indeed change their strategy, maybe they’ll yet follow your advice after all.

        1. Feral Finster

          I’m sure that there is a reason that the Stavka is not getting advice from me, but I would think that if the Ukrainians wish to attack from Avdeevka at any distance, then they would have to emerge from their fortress to do so?

          I *suspect* that the real problem is a lack of manpower and a Russian leadership trying to run war on the cheap.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            That, plus it hoping that the war can be eventually brought to some satisfactory conclusion without rocking the boat at home. I’m sure they’d like to win conclusively at some point, but it is far from being the most important thing.

          2. John k

            Others have suggested better to go slow so as to not overly excite the crazies.
            Plus, slow both reduces Russian casualties but also thins the ranks of potential future guerrillas.
            And right now there’s a distraction further south demanding attention that involves crazies thrashing around.

          3. Polar Socialist

            As a side note, the main force attacking Avdeevka is the 1st Army Corps, formerly know as DNPR militia. While they likely have a lot of experience in fighting the fellow Ukrainians, they as likely are still not quite up to par with the Russian or Ukrainian professional units. While that sounds like a somewhat lame excuse, it has some truth in it.

            On the other hand, some commentators think that the back-and-forth battles over the “waste heap” are precisely bait-and-switch tactics to lure the Ukrainians out in the open from the fortifications. They think the waste heap is the Verdun of Avdeevka – the Ukrainians have to try to take it back if they want to hold on to the town.

          4. Snailslime

            Astonishing insight, yes, I guess they would have to come out.

            At least part of them, right?

            Of course they also have plenty of long range weapons they continue to use to bomb civilians and so forth.

            And of course Avdeevka probably also remains a strong nest of ukrainian airdefense, and some little birdie told me that you don’t actually need to fly right over those anymore for them to hit you.

            Every time a stronghold like this is taken out, the russian airforce gains more freedom to operate

            More men are obviously always a very good thing in war, but I for my part *suspect* that the quagmires of WWI were not so much a problem resulting from lack of manpower, at least not in the beginning.
            If there was one thing they had, it was men.

            And today’s problems having to do with things like omnipresent ISR and various technologies and weapons that no military has fully adjusted to yet won’t be solved by more manpower alone either (though more men surely won’t hurt).

            In some situations, like maneuvering through the open steppes, more men might just mean more targets.

            Siegewarfare in the more urbanized parts of the country may be the lesser evil on top of it being more effective in grinding up large concentrations of enemy troops that can’t easily if at all retreat.

            And the Donbass IS the most urbanized part of the country, with a lot of open steppes beyond it, while inside there remain yet several opportunities to Draw ukrainian forces into devastating meatgrinders.

            Rest Ukraine will not be a longterm viable state without the East , unable to even feed it’s population, the Russian Federation has taken on a constitutional duty to free the Donbass from enemy occupiers (which plenty of people take seriously I guess, regardless of how much of a cynic Putin may be), etc.

            We know all that (or at least have heard all that), so I’d say there are at least some non frivolous reasons for the focus on Donbass.

            Going around Donbass to do what exactly?

            Going for Kiev?

            Taking out the big Z?

            As tempting as it is, in the end the head of the serpent is easier to replace than the body.

            The body won’t regrow, not in a country like Ukraine.

            Not like it can and will in Palestine.

            And I can’t see the desire to not “rock the boat” or to keep the war economy from eating up the civilian economy as something utterly damnable either, I’m sorry.

            A mistake, quite possible, but I’m not fully convinced for now (though according to Simplicius putting the economy as a whole on a warfooting is happening anyway, just gradually).

            Perhaps even less so seeing as pretty soon Russia will no longer have to carry the burden of fighting the Americans alone.

            Let them get into a quagmire in the Middle East first, as deep as possible, and they will, someone will. do something that sets the bomb off, THEN escalate in whatever way is the most appropriate.

  28. flora

    an aside: Is anyone else having trouble opening The Automatic Earth this morning?

    I keep getting this error message in different browsers. Anybody else seeing this?


    Secure Connection Failed

    An error occurred during a connection to [website url]. PR_END_OF_FILE_ERROR

    Error code: PR_END_OF_FILE_ERROR

    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
    Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

    1. caucus99percenter

      The Automatic Earth is back up. It looks like it was down because of a switchover to a spiffy new page format.

  29. Pat

    I don’t know about any of you, but sometimes public people do something that provokes a physical response on my part, I am so disgusted that mere mention of it causes my nose to contract like it smells the worst smell on earth. It is usually something so two faced and includes casual cruelty.
    I have spent a couple of decades deeply disliking and distrusting Joe Biden. I might have appreciated his Rudy Giuliano line, but otherwise…I hated his policies, his betrayal of the judicial system by protecting Clarence Thomas, his endless beatification of Beau, his faux Everyman persona, all of it. But the day I finally lost it was when I found out about his crass use of his first wife’s death and the casual and cruel lies he spread to win elections. His wife was the first Beau.Not even Snopes can whitewash it enough to truly give Joe cover, too many facts say otherwise. He spent years declaring she was a victim of a drunk driver. Made the poor man’s life miserable. Because the responding officers didn’t have breathalyzer tests, the truck driver couldn’t take him to court. He had to just take it.
    Indisputable facts: Mrs. Biden was at fault, the trucker had the right away. She either didn’t stop at the stop sign or didn’t look before entering the intersection. She was also clearly distracted as she was apparently driving and holding onto the baby at the time. There is evidence that the trucker did slam the brakes as a soon as she entered the intersection but there wasn’t enough distance to avoid the crash. And all the files have disappeared.

    He used the death of his wife and daughter AND defamed a man with more morals and ethics to do it. (There are reports that the poor man was devastated that people died in an accident he couldn’t avoid.) Everything is to serve the great Joesph Biden no matter what.
    Or that he stinks to high heaven.

  30. Lex

    Yes, Israel is qualitatively weaker than advertised. The problem now facing Israel is that leadership has made bold, emotional claims of what it will do. I don’t think it can.

    Only Druze and Circassians are subject to conscription in Israel. But these are small communities. So the bulk of conscripted reservists are from the just over 7M Jews in Israel (but not all of them). 400,000 reservists are nearly 6% of the total Jewish population. That’s likely unsustainable and keeping an army of that many supplied in the field is a tall order for a small country. Israel required aid from the US within 48 hours, suggesting that its stocks are limited. But it’s also isolated and if Hezbollah enters the conflict you can bet that airfields Israel will need for resupply will be prime targets.

    It has already required resupply of Iron Dome ammunition and additional batteries via lease back but hasn’t yet faced a serious missile/rocket threat.

    And Israeli society is hardly united behind Netanyahu. Casualties will not be well received, nor the economic dislocation from the conflict, evacuations, etc. As I’ve said previously, Hamas doesn’t have to “win” in Gaza, it only needs to bleed the IDF.

  31. Ghost in the Machine

    Was Madonna’s illness ever officially associated with a Covid infection? I see it being attributed to a ‘serious bacterial infection.’

    1. Pat

      Well Pink’s respiratory illness that has caused her to cancel multiple concerts hasn’t been called Covid either, but she got it bad early on. Which to me says it is either Covid or the result of Covid induced immune deficiency. That said iirc Madonna was already in serious respiratory distress before she went to the hospital and we were never informed of the origin of the infection.

      1. Ghost in the Machine

        There is an obvious reluctance of many artists to admit their illness is Covid or Covid related. I also think there is a lot of illness due to Covid immune damage but I would not be surprised if they were ignorant of that aspect. I wonder at their motivations for not disclosing the cause of their illness. I don’t think there is much stigma. Are they worried, like politicians, that frightening the fans and real mitigation measures will result in less concert goers, economic activity etc? If I were as wealthy as Madonna, I would be more concerned about my health at this point than more money. But I do understand some get addicted to those roaring crowds.

  32. Vodkatom

    >Marked by Stars: Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy Public Domain Review. Anthony L: “How different is our world?”

    >How climate-resilient buildings could help protect elderly from heat STAT (Dr. Kevin)

    The STAT article on climate resistant buildings provides a nice juxtaposition to story on Agrippa’s Occult Philosophy. And perhaps one answer to Anthony L’s question.

    I’m not sure how to categorize Agrippa’s description or collection of occult “facts”, but it is about how his world practically works. Heating coffee with a frog bone would be a useful trick.

    And then we have Amir Baniassadi learning how to ask, and answer, the right questions to create buildings with healthier environment for the elderly.

    The divine is missing from practical affairs these days (unless you count “thoughts and prayers”). And by some measures we’re better at creating new knowledge. But the human traits of curiosity, and learning about what is unknown haven’t changed much.

    (Nice to read something that isn’t about imminent climate disaster / pandemic / ww3 / end time capitalism)

  33. Acacia

    So I gather some of you have seen the buzz on Twitter about fragments of simian virus SV40 being found on Pfizer’s vaccine, and concerns about possible links to cancer. This is well above my pay grade, but there may be a legal angle too, as it’s being alleged that Pfizer knew about this but didn’t disclose it… which could turn out to be a major boo boo…

    1. ThirtyOne

      Meanwhile, 22 years ago:

      Q: Is the current polio vaccine safe?

      A: Vaccine producers, health officials and most scientists believe that it is safe. Manufacturers say they take elaborate steps to test their vaccine for SV40, and the government says it recently tested vaccine samples back to 1972 and found no trace of SV40.

      Some scientists, including Dr. Michele Carbone, have raised questions about whether manufacturers’ testing techniques have been adequate. Carbone, however, tested vaccine from 1996 and found no SV40. He has had his children inoculated.

  34. The Rev Kev

    “Almost nine in 10 Australians support plan to outlaw lies in political advertising, poll shows”

    ‘Australia Institute survey a boost to Labor legislation to tackle misinformation ahead of next federal election’

    Yeah, nah. This sounds like a canned poll so I went looking for the people that did that tiny survey – the Australia Institute. Who are they? In their own words, ‘The Australia Institute is one of the country’s most influential public policy think tanks. Based in Canberra, we conduct high impact research that combines rigorous fact-driven material with cutting-edge communication strategies.’ Their actual, motto is ‘We Change Minds.’ Yeah, I bet they do – in Canberra.

    This came about this because of the Voice Referendum which lost. Some people still can’t deal with that because everybody they knew voted ‘Yes.’ So they are still shaming people because they lost and are now putting the blame on ‘lies and misinformation’ but I would like to know – who decides? A Canberra bureaucrat? The security services? A political party? One commenter said on this page that ‘the voice of division will keep winning unless they change the laws on free speech. But the Voice vote was decisive by definition and it is people like these that will bring in speech censorship because of their own pet cause. A pox on all of them.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      I note that the leaders of the No campaign, the Liberal Party and the Natiional Party, have immediately jettisoned their promises of a second vote.

      Shane Dowling has a great roundup of all the government money that went to Mr Mundine’s enterprises while the Liberals ran the government. That is the same Mr Mundine who switched sides from Labor to Liberal..
      Under the former Coalition government, companies linked to Mr Mundine received more than $7.1 million in contracts to deliver training and employment services, and for subsidised wages for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

      Mr Mundine’s company Nyungga Black Group also received funding for a Sky News program called Mundine Means Business, showcasing entrepreneurship and enterprise by Indigenous-led firms. Freedom of information documents released by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet show funding for the second season of the show was approved before a grant application had been submitted.

      Mr Mundine was paid $255,983 for his work as co-chair of the Abbott government’s Indigenous Advisory Council between 2013 and 2017. (Click here to read more)

      The Voice proponents wanted to investigate where this money had gone.
      So maybe the wind in the No campaign sails was blowing from the direction of the Libs who knew what an audit would find. And none more than Mr Mundine.

      So all the No voters have spared the LNP from any unpleasantness due to possible fraud investigations. Well done sir !!

  35. John Beech

    Here in Florida, when a hurricane approaches some stations would raise the price of gas. And not by a little, a LOT, like maybe from $3/gallon to $6/gallon.

    Outraged citizens called on the state lawmakers who enacted anti price gouging legislation. My point? Maybe Pfizer needs little taste of this same medication.

    Or maybe it’s time to consider them utilities. Remember, there was a time when electric companies would hose some customers before providing service. These utilities came about for good reason, to protect the citizens from unbridled capitalism where all the power in the relationship accrued on one side leaving the other side utterly powerless.

  36. John Beech

    Regarding the PG&E plan to bury lines being shot down, I don’t whether to laugh or cry. The last big fire cost over $400B, burying them is a very small fraction of that amount. But the utility commissions don’t want to approve it because it’s too expensive and the costs will be passed on. Passed on? Like who else should pay for it? I’m thinking some folks are too stupid to be alive, much less appointed to a regulatory board!

    1. NYMutza

      There is a good reason why the CPUC would turn down the request to bury the lines and push the cost onto ratepayers. PG&E wouldn’t profit from the higher rates due to how rates are calculated. While the CPUC is deeply in the pockets of the “regulated” utilities, they do have to keep in mind rate payer anger. So, in the brilliant minds of the CPUC they would prefer to authorize rate increases that would directly benefit PG&Es bottom line. If more wildfires result from PG&Es poorly maintained infrastructure those costs will be covered by state taxpayer bailouts of PG&E and/or rate increases that will be easier to sell to ratepayers. Everything the CPUC does is done to benefit the utilities they are tasked with regulating.

  37. Amfortas the Hippie

    wandering through my twitterstable of middle east news:

    “Israeli police chief says there’s a ‘zero tolerance’ police for anti-war protests, threatening to send them to Gaza in buses.”

    the “only democracy in the middle east!”.

    my mom asserted this morning, as i was getting her trash for a dump run, that now there’s proof that Hamas used car bombs on that hospital the other day…presumably sourced from the Msdnc that’s always on the tv at her house…so it must be so!

    since this began, i’ve been tempted to paint a Palestinian flag on my tailgate…just for principles’ sake.
    but this is GOPtea christofascist country, around here…and i dont need a bunch of riled up thumpers marching down my dead end dirt road to run off the demons and principalities and whatnot.

  38. ChrisFromGA

    The third time wasn’t the charm for Jordan. My spin detector is observing a lot of schadenfreude coming from the usual suspects. But, it is probably fair to point out that a shutdown House means no dough for Beebs-n-Z, unless extra-constitutional tactics are resorted to.

    That seems to hurt “Bomb a country Joe & the warmongers” much more than the Freedom Caucus.
    Keep ‘er shut down, I say. The world is safer.

    With all the extra time on their hands, maybe the House can come up for a clever moniker for the new Bibi-Zelensky bromance.
    Sort of like, “Brangelina” (Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie.)

    Benjavlod? Vlodimiryahoosky?

    Help me out here, Wuk!

    1. nippersdad

      I don’t recall anything like this kind of news coverage when McCarthy was having to go through fifteen ballots to get the speakership that Jordan presently is. That says a lot about their priorities.

    2. Daryl

      > The third time wasn’t the charm for Jordan. My spin detector is observing a lot of schadenfreude coming from the usual suspects. But, it is probably fair to point out that a shutdown House means no dough for Beebs-n-Z, unless extra-constitutional tactics are resorted to.

      Doesn’t seem to have gotten in the way of anything recently. I’m sure they can divert it from something less necessary like food stamps or repairing railroads

  39. Sub-Boreal

    File under: Liberals gonna (L)(l)iberal

    Readers here may not appreciate that Canadian Deputy Prime Minister (& Finance Minister), Chrystia Freeland, is working her magic at home just as diligently as in the overseas realm.

    Currently, the Trudeau government is experiencing some friction with its vestigially social democratic parliamentary partner over the details of a national pharmacare scheme which is the centrepiece of the deal that has kept them in office since the 2021 election. Members of the smaller “New Democratic Party” were feeling their oats at their national convention last weekend, and made it clear that national pharmacare had to be a proper single-payer, universal scheme, not some kind of patchwork top-up with the miasma of thresholds, deductibles, and complicated eligibility requirements that (L)(l)iberals dote on.

    A Liberal-adjacent columnist assures us that Chrystia will be riding to the rescue:

    Liberals are said to be extremely wary of launching a new national program in the current economic climate, when Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has been hammering home the need for fiscal restraint.

    Behind closed doors at the cabinet and caucus retreats in August and September, Freeland essentially warned her colleagues that while Liberals will continue to be Liberals, investing in existing large spending programs, this government can’t do everything. Here’s how she put it when talking to reporters last month:

    “We are Liberals. We believe government has an important role to play in supporting Canadians, in building a social welfare net that supports Canadians and in putting in place programs that help our economy to grow.”

    There was a “but” there, though. “We also understand that government is able to deliver for Canadians when government operates on a responsible fiscal footing and that, by the way, is a profoundly Liberal conviction. It was Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin that did the very hard work of fighting to get the triple-A (credit) rating that Canada currently enjoys. And what we are committed to is doing the things Canadians need us to do and maintaining that responsible fiscal foundation, and we are doing that. Canada has a triple-A rating, notwithstanding the great investments we’ve made in Canadians.”

    Freeland and her Finance Department officials are said to be worried that a new pharmacare program would affect those credit ratings. It didn’t help either that the Parliamentary Budget Officer came out with a report last week, putting the cost of national pharmacare at $11.2 billion in the first year and $13.4 billion in five years. (link)

  40. chuck roast

    Ukrainian parliament passes first reading of bill outlawing Ukrainian Orthodox Church

    I gotta say, my eyes crossed on this one…I go, “Is this the Onion?” The Ukies have a rare, and exceptional talent for this kind of thing. Is it maybe genetic? We’ll have Herr Mendel check this out. I’m thinking they had the OUN, the OUN-M and the OUN-B and certainly some other fragments.

  41. chuck roast

    The Rentier’s Lament…

    “When interest rates settle out and it is clear the Fed is done, and at some point when the 10-year Treasury settles out, it will give a little more terra firma for investors,” he said. “Ultimately, the pent-up demand to sell businesses, to finance and to deleverage — all of that has to come.”

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