Links 10/22/2023

An Arresting Optic Nerve Tops the 2023 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition Colossal

Superconductivity ‘damaged’ as researchers look to move on from retractions Physics World


The Great Cash-for-Carbon Hustle The New Yorker

Evacuees live nomadic life after Maui wildfire as housing shortage intensifies and tourists return AP

In the Nineteenth Century, Scientists Set Out to Solve the “Problem of American Storms” Humanities



Wow, if only we had data like this!

* * *

Tell the CDC: Release the Draft! National Nurses United. “Publicly post HICPAC’s draft Isolation Precautions guidance update in full, with ample time for review and consideration by the public.” Lol, no.

* * *

Exploring the Relationship Between Marijuana Smoking and Covid-19 Outcomes Chest Journal. From the Abstract: “Marijuana smokers had better outcomes and mortality compared to non-users. The beneficial effect of marijuana use may be attributed to its potential to inhibit viral entry into cells and prevent the release of proinflammatory cytokines, thus mitigating cytokine release syndrome.” Big if true.

Hematopoietic memory of severe COVID-19 infection Cell Research. “In the past 3 years, the intense study of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 highlighted the role of dysregulated immune responses…. A new study describes that individuals who recovered from severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) exhibit long-term epigenetic changes in their hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, which are subsequently conveyed to circulating progeny myeloid cells.”


Taliban plans to join Chinese Belt and Road Initiative The Cradle


Commentary: Who decides the cessation of violence in Myanmar? Channel News Asia


Russia makes up 40% of Indian crude oil imports, dents OPEC’s share Business Standard


Uh oh:

US Navy intercepts missiles fired from Yemen, ‘potentially’ aimed at Israel France24. Shot:


* * *

Behind the Curtain: Rattled U.S. government fears wars could spread Axios. “Not one of the crises can be solved and checked off. All five could spiral into something much bigger.” Not a good time for a collapse of executive function in our governing class.

EU staff members express fury over von der Leyen stance on Israel-Hamas conflict The Irish Times

The U.N. Is Powerless To Help Gaza. That’s How The U.S. Wants It. The Intercept

* * *

Cairo Peace Summit ends without Gaza breakthrough Reuters

Egypt’s difficult questions in the Gaza war MadaMasr (venue).

While we Scream and Shout, Egypt Sorts it Out Benjamin Studebaker, Sublation

* * *

As a ground incursion looms, the big question remains: What is Israel’s plan for Gaza? CNN. Fallujah:

Israel’s Tet Moment Ettingermentum Newsletter. From last week, still germane

Israel Bombed Gaza Hospital and Lied About It Tikun Olam

The October Horror Is Something New Peggy Noonan

An axe to grind should make you sharper European Review of Books

* * *

Saudi television interviews Hamas:

The Spies of Hamas (excerpt) Spy Talk

* * *

A Surge in Suppression n+1. For example:

Company bosses and workers grapple with the fallout of speaking up about the Israel-Hamas war AP

At least the Times has a reporter on the ground (UserFriendly):

* * *

Scott Ritter Extra Ep. 108: Ask the Inspector (video) Scott Ritter (interview), U.S. Tour of Duty

European Disunion

The Polish Continuum New Left Review

New Not-So-Cold War

Battle for Avdeevka – Close Study Simplicius the Thinker(s). Well worth a read, both for the descriptions of the ground and the media critique. As usual, the lack of links and provenance drives me nuts (“that’s not blogging. That’s typing”).

Not Enough Artillery Rounds For Both War Zones: U.S. Diverting Ukraine-Bound 155mm Shells to Israel Military Watch

Ukraine fears drone shortages due to China restrictions BBC

Finland suspects Chinese ship linked to gas pipe damage Channel News Asia

South of the Border

How the U.S. Drove Venezuelans North In These Times

Could Venezuela’s diaspora hold the key to its opposition primary race? Al Jazeera. Looks like Greedo’s used up!


Biden let the world down. Brother West on the POTUS address to the American People (video) Cornel West, YouTube

Bidenomics and the Left Commentary:

Republican Funhouse

McHenry open to expanding his powers as acting speaker — but only with a ‘formal vote’ Politico

“Faith partners”:

Spook Country

The Rise of the New Spycraft Regimes Foreign Policy

Breyer on chat control investigative research: EU Commissioner as double agent of foreign interference Patrick Breyer

Face Scanning and the Freedom To “Be Stupid In Public”: A Conversation with Kashmir Hill The Markup


Instagram ‘Sincerely Apologizes’ For Inserting ‘Terrorist’ Into Palestinian Bio Translations (excerpt) 404 Media

Bombshell Stanford study finds ChatGPT and Google’s Bard answer medical questions with racist, debunked theories that harm Black patients Fortune. This will not surprise NC readers: See from April 23, 2023, April 26, 2023 (and this from January 30, 2023). All the stupid money sloshed out of crypto and Web 3.0, and sloshed into AI. And here we are!

Police State Watch

‘Didn’t State Who He Was’: Federal Drug Agents Seize Millions from Passengers at Atlanta Airport While Posing as Regular Travelers In Plainclothes In ‘Cold Consent Encounters’ Atlanta Black Star (CI). CI: “This is just theft!”


The 10 Year Anniversary of the Rescue Paul Smith. We covered this in great detail at the time, and called it. Although it was even worse than we imagined.


A Mathematical Analysis of a MMT Type Coordinated Fiscal and Monetary Stabilization Policy in a Dynamic Keynesian Model Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. First sentence of the Introduction begins: “Recently, a subgroup of Post Keynesian economists developed a somewhat heretical macroeconomic theory….” I wasn’t aware that “heretical” was a term of art in mainstream macro, but you learn something new every day!

The Final Frontier

Metals from spacecraft reentry in stratospheric aerosol particles PNAS. From the Abstract: “Measurements show that about 10% of the aerosol particles in the stratosphere contain aluminum and other metals that originated from the “burn-up” of satellites and rocket stages during reentry… With many more launches planned in the coming decades, metals from spacecraft reentry could induce changes in the stratospheric aerosol layer.” Thanks, Elon!

Zeitgeist Watch

Stanford scientist, after decades of study, concludes: We don’t have free will Los Angeles Times. “The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living,” but we “make their own history.”

Former NH Pastor Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison for ‘Horrific’ Child Sex Abuse Crimes The Roys Report. This keeps happening.

Class Warfare

The Great Amazon Heist: New doc exposes inconvenient truths about world’s biggest online retailer Big Issue

Amazon’s bestselling “bitter lemon” energy drink was bottled delivery driver piss (20 Oct 2023) Pluralistic

* * *

Federal agents found more than two dozen minors working in Ohio poultry plant NBC

He wakes up in his car. Then he lovingly chooses your avocados. WaPo. “Inside the life of an Instacart shopper.” Frankly, knowing my personal shopper sleeps in their car is the best part of the service!

Leave No Trace Principles Field & Stream

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Fishsticks?

    You can call me Kanye if you want to, but I don’t get the bad news for sailors. Banana, lobster (?) and meat. Could anyone please explain?

    1. urdsama

      Morale booster before bad news.

      Current take is that the Ford carrier group is going to have its current tour extended.

      1. Regis Tufarian

        I never remember ever getting a meal this good in the U.S. Navy.

        Not even on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

        And I used to at least sample all four (yes four) meals available every day when at sea.

        And I’ve been trying to lose the extra ten pounds I gained by doing so ever since.

      2. NYMutza

        That shouldn’t be a big deal. Carriers often get their tours extended – usually by a month or two. Now if the steak and lobster is a last supper of sorts that’s something else entirely.

  2. The Rev Kev

    Rumors are that the Crew onboard the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) in the Eastern Mediterranean have been served Steak & Lobster tonight for Dinner which is usually reserved for either Holidays (Which today isn’t) or News which is expected to Lower the Crew’s Morale like a Deployment Extension or possible something else.’

    That’s like that old joke of a slave-master on a Roman oared warship who went to the slaves at the oars and told them-

    ‘I have good news for you and bad news. First the good news. This morning all slaves are to get double rations and extra wine.’


    ‘Now the bad news. This afternoon the Captain wants to go water skiing.’

      1. ambrit

        They probably sat them in a broiling pan on top of the nuclear power pile for a while.
        Call it ‘Lobster Cherenkov.’

      2. redleg

        After being in charge of a mess section when i was XO of an artillery battery back in the day, i learned to be quite sympathetic to the cooks. And that was only for 160 soldiers. I can’t imagine cooking for 5000 sailors.
        As a staff officer we learned which company or battery mess section were miracle workers and tried to eat there whenever possible.

    1. griffen

      Not being a wine drinker, what sort of red pairs well with the above presentation, steak and lobster? I’d want to be drinking until I am merry and full from such a delicious meal.

      Party tonight, Armageddon tomorrow ! Now for an interlude by Def Leppard “Come on Steve get it…cause the best is yet to come, I say, cause the best is yet to come…”

        1. oliverks

          This is a tricky pairing. One option is to have 2 different wines, one with the lobster, and one with the steak. So a nice rich chard for the lobster and a red cab for the steak.

          However, if you are limited to one wine, I would choose a power house rose.. An example would be Valentini Cerasuolo. This would be able to stand up to both and leave a lasting impression. Note if you try such a wine, don’t expect a summer sipper here, these wines have significant depth and concentration.

          You could also try a rose Sparkling wine, that goes with pretty much everything.

          Hopefully that helps.

      1. mrsyk

        I’d like a glass of Sancerre with the lobster, thanks. That steak looks unsalvageable, maybe your best sriracha?

        1. Michael

          How bout 2 glasses of Sancerre and I’ll trade ya my steak for your slimy sea creature! Or a Rombauer Chard

            1. ambrit

              Yes! “Logistics 101” states: “Whenever possible, a military force shall forage off of the surrounding ‘hostile’ territory.”

            2. mrsyk

              Yes please, and you are entirely correct. Drink local! Musar is an excellent house and the better vintages compete with the top wines of Bordeaux.

      2. Polar Socialist

        Forget the wine and enjoy some blond ale with both of them. Of maybe a Belgian fruity tripel, if you prefer the beer to bring a bit of it’s own aroma to the mix.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Always count on the socialists to figure these things out! [fist bump]

          Working with a Thai restaurant I was always astonished at how many customers insisted on drinking wine with Thai food even though we had world class microbrews on the menu.

          Beer doesn’t care what you’re eating, it goes with everything but Thai food especially ; )

          (and by beer I mean ale)

          1. playon

            Most Americans wimp out by scaling back the chili pepper when ordering Thai food. If you are ordering it properly beer is the only choice IMO!

          1. ambrit

            If Halal is involved, things are a bit further along the infamous “slippery slope” than we imagine. In that case, some Lebanese Blond hashish is called for.

        1. griffen

          I was waiting for the pairing once suggested aka noted culinary enthusiast, Dr. Lecter. Census takers best beware!

          Fava beans a a nice Chianti….

      3. scott s.

        Being the USN, bug juice. But years ago when they first started allowing alcohol on ship, if you were underway for 30 days you could get two beers; thus a badge of honor was a “six-pack” cruise.

      4. redleg

        This is the US Navy, not the Royal Navy, so the question is moot.
        The only alcohol on board is what the enterprising petty officers manage to brew themselves and not get caught.

    2. Louis Fyne

      peeps need to settle down re the “lobster indicator”

      the bad news is that the higher-ups do not foresee that they will be home for Christmas. Those sailors have been in the middle of the ocean since May.

      not ww3. yet

        1. Michael

          I’m sure they pledged “Nothing fundamental will change”.

          Was cash out time anyway. Great success story.

      1. ambrit

        Big deal. Tours in the Days of Sail often lasted years.
        Ah, for the ‘good old days’ of; “rum, sodomy, and the lash.”

    3. Louis Fyne

      bigger news ignored by Twitter while they ponder the Lobster Indicator…

      USS Vinson carrier group left San Diego this week.

      This is the big news. As you’ll need a minimum of 3 CSG for any plausible bombing of Iran (IIRC 4th CSG already deployed near Taiwan, Reagan); and even then bombing Iran will be INSANE given the retaliatory escalations available to Iran

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe the reason is not Iran but to threaten Hezbollah if they get involved with this war when the Israelis go into Gaza. If those ships use missiles they may not be that effective. Back in 2018 the US, UK and France launched about 100 plus missile at Syria but the majority of those missiles were shot down. So we would be talking about air strikes on what is actually Lebanon. And with that every US base in the region would be attacked by missiles and whatever else would be at hand. The position of the US in Iraq and Syria may even become untenable. If they were Iranian missiles, it would be worse. When Trump murdered General Soleimani, the Iranians sent several ballistic missiles at US bases and the US military was unable to do anything to stop them. Since then Iranian missile technology has only gotten better. Something for the hot-heads in DC to think about.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The distance is too far for an attack on Iran. The new article by Helmer points out they are likely there to protect Israeli infrastructure.

          As for steak and lobster, the recent polling on Palestine Israel can’t even ignored, and like so many issues, there is a huge age divide with millennials who aren’t that young anymore. Can you imagine morale if 60% of sailors think they are on the wrong side? Hey, I know there are all kinds of great places for shore leave, but we are just going to sit here in the Mediterranean aiding genocide. Morale can’t be too high.

          1. Mac

            “A permanent war in the Middle East, all rationalized by the prophets!”

            You whiners are just sore because you didn’t buy defense stocks a week ago.

            No more Gazocide.

        2. An-Ominous

          Actually, I think the purpose of the carriers is simply to provide screening against attacks (such as those that are claimed to have come from Yemen).

          However, I wonder if anybody in the Biden administration or State Dept or in the UK/France has spent even a few minutes to consider the massive blowback they are setting the US up for over the next couple of *decades* if they “let” Israel continue wit impunity. They can’t really stop Israel, of course, but they can make the costs very high–instead, they are doing nothing.

          If 9/11 was the result of parking some soldiers and setting up bases in Saudi Arabia, how will people respond to at 2 million civilians in Gaza and wherever else (West Bank? Lebanon? etc.), mostly children, being staved and bombed to death, all on live video feeds? This is not something that is going to blow over after a couple of news cycles–at least not in the Arab world.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Nope, not a chance they thought of this. This is all Id. Team Blue is reflexively orgasming over Biden killing Muslims, though I imagine polling and activities like the letter from congressional staff is causing a stir.

            I’m on Fetterman’s list, and since his reprehensible comments, the first communication “came” from the Mrs. The staff even used a nickname for her husband. Its cowardice, but i suspect Team Blue is seeing that the “Emerging Democratic Majority” doesn’t share the same views as Biden. Team Blue’s problem is they fervently praised people who are openly calling for genocide. It’s not like it was subtle.

            The US can stop Israel. Israel’s top trading partners are all distant and require the Suez.

    4. Michael Fiorillo

      Piggy-backing on the Captain-wants -to-water-ski joke: a man who’s been having medical issues goes to the doctor, who performs various tests. Going in for the results, the man is told by the doctor, “There’s good news and there’s bad news: which do you want to hear first?”

      Told to give the bad news first, the doctor informs the patient he has an inoperable cancer and has six months to live.

      Asked what the good news is, the doctor points to a staff member and says, “You see that nurse over there? I’m f^*#ing her.”

  3. timbers

    The Duran had a Chinese guest. One point she threw out that got my attention: China’s 10 yr belt and road summit is attended by about 140 nations and “that’s basically the United Nations minus the West.” Very impressive is she is correct.

    I thought of America hosting such a long tough series meetings. Biden would melt in about 20 minutes.

    She also said there is a debate going on if anything should be in the final publication regarding the situation in the Middle East.

    She also noted their approach is different from the West: The West looks at a problem and decides what they can do to isolate or punish someone they don’t like. Belt and Road looks at a problem and tries to come up with the best solution.

    1. digi_owl

      Basically the proverbial west is still approaching the world as colonial masters.

      They may have given their former colonies nominally freedom, but in practice the local leaders are on the west’s payroll and makes sure that western corporations gets favorable deals while following IMF dictates.

      China still have a cultural memory of the fall of their empire, and the western powers carving it up among themselves until WW2 and the communists chased said powers out.

      Maybe China will change with time, who knows, but right now they seem to offer a more favorable deal for many nations currently under the western thumb.

      1. LifelongLib

        “the communists chased said powers out”

        Let’s not forget the Japanese. They were the first to show the world that Europeans were not invincible. Of course their Empire was hated by its neighbors and was eventually defeated militarily, but its psychological effect endured.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    Received notions from VanderHei and Allen. Biden’s White House (Heroically~!) Confronts…

    This post might as well be have been crafted by Axioskaya Pravda of Kyiv. It is what the correct-thinkers want you to think, right down to the use of the obligatory word “terrorist” to describe Hamas and the enforced doubt about the Al-Ahli attack.

    The first three factors might be described as: The usual villains + who is the “strategic” genius at the White House who wants to fight a three-front war?

    Then Kim Jong Un makes the required cameo as raving monster looney dictator.

    Much of this is being filtered through Robert Gates, Washington re-tread, plus various “retired” intelligence officers. Don’t they have anything better to do? Plant an orchard.

    I enjoyed this “threat”:

    “Fake video, on top of bots (fake people) and fake written content, is being used aggressively by all anti-American actors, intelligence officials say. Some experts estimate that more than 90% of content on the internet will soon be fake or manipulated.”

    Do our betters means Rachel Maddow and more RussiaRussia?

    And we wouldn’t want the Bill of Rights breaking out:
    “Former top intelligence officials tell us domestic unrest is one of their biggest fears — whether it’s triggered by court rulings against former President Trump or protests over war in the Middle East. Biden allies frame these flare-ups as a reminder that global chaos requires calm and experience.”

    Ahhh, yes, the adults. “Experience.” The problem with experience is that many people are experienced in being mediocrities, sellouts, and scoundrels.

    War is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne wrote. The three-front or four-front war that the neoliberals have wrought has arrived back home. Welcome to scoundrel time.

    1. Will

      And this bit at the end…

      But there has been a total collapse of people’s trust in the opposing party

      Formalize one-party rule when?

        1. Mark Gisleson

          It was a close thing, but after dozens! of people began seeing my tweets again, I’m back down to single digit views since a rando Supreme gave the temp go-ahead for govt to go back to censoring social media.

          For the most part, my inflammatory content consists of links I pick up from Naked Capitalism.

          Just sayin’.

    2. mrsyk

      Thanks. I stopped reading it about half way thru. It’s the smug tone. I don’t seem to be able to tolerate it this morning.

  5. timbers

    Company bosses and workers grapple with the fallout of speaking up about the Israel-Hamas war AP

    Umm…no. At least not where I work. The CEO (Jewish) sent out a company email very very harshly condemning the terrorist attacks, and sympathy for the pain it might be causing workers. Lots of strong harsh words. I have waited in vain for a similar email regarding the terrorist attack on the hospital in Gaza that killed far more people.

    I won’t be responding to his email prodding him to include the hospital bombing, too.

    1. griffen

      There is much of this ongoing discussion, academic debate team points if you well, in upper levels of the high flying universities of course. I think the article mentioned the Harvard students. I am thinking instead of the conflagration at the highest level of leadership at UPENN, and this is based on several interviews over the past week on CNBC. Penn has many successful and influential alumni, and one has been much more outspoken; Marc Rowan is CEO of Apollo and has been a board of trustee / board participant for a long time. He has been vocal, and public, denouncing the attacks on Israel.

      Apologies if the article was previously linked and / or discussed. Personally I am finding this situation and the underlying circumstances, to be quite conflicting and the rhetoric involved is not exactly going to aid in the cooling off or calming of minds. It’s like the fiction of Orwell but in this case true, each side has been at war with the other for millenia.

  6. Lex

    I think Martynov is right, those missiles weren’t headed to Israel. They were fired at the USN ship. At this rate, supply of interceptor missiles is going to be a big problem. It was already a problem with the Patriot. It’s going to be a problem with the Iron Dome, and I suspect sooner rather than later since Hamas is still firing rockets. They’re going to be a problem at US bases in Syria and Iraq. And when/if they become a real problem things are going to go south for the US and Israel quickly. Ukraine will need to be cut out completely since they’re making little difference in that conflict.

    1. Micat

      I agree Lex.
      When they were short down the news said they were going to Israel.
      According to google maps that’s around 2000 km if I got that right. They would have to over fly Saudi Arabia, or Egypt, or Jordan or Iraq.

      Do they have any weapons that can fly that far? Would any of those countries just let that happen?

      Just more war mongering and nobody evening putting up the simplest of questions as if it was really possible.

      I don’t see any links listed but I’ve been listening to a number of retired military people, talking about the Ukraine and now Israel war, including col mcgreggor, col Wilkerson, and others. Many of these are on judge napalatano

      What has keep me listening to these channels is that they seem to be right way more than other people i used to listen to. I doubt I’d vote like them but I do appreciate their military clarity and insight.

      And it fills me with dread especially in regards to the latest conflict in isreal.

      1. Lex

        They do have missiles capable of reaching Israel. How many is a valid question but more importantly why they would. As an Iranian proxy they are unlikely to do so at this time and partly because there are more than a few negative potentials like off course accidental strikes in say Egypt that would cause more problems than a successful strike would provide benefit. I take it as a not so gentle warning about the potential for escalation and testing the US.

    2. An-Ominous

      t this rate, supply of interceptor missiles is going to be a big problem.

      I think the Patriot junk is just a bluff, but let’s just take the extremely optimistic scenario and say that they actually intercept every single missile for the duration of this war.

      Then what?

      Is the US going to remain in the Gulf for the next ten years? Is Israel going to be able to make amends (even if it was smart enough to want to do so) with its neighbors over this time? Because if not, what will be the consequences?

      The level of hubris and incompetence in the West right now is absolutely staggering

      1. TimH

        The level of hubris and incompetence in the West right now is absolutely staggering

        Which means that if there is any action hitting a USN vesel, Biden will initiate something far worse because he has an election to win. Thatcher was re-elected after Malvenas.

        1. hk

          Let’s consider the other side of the 1982, though:. the Argentine junta thought seizing the islands would be a splendid little war good for PR. Their overthrow was hastened by the failure of the operation.

          1. ambrit

            And to top it all off, the Royal Navy sank one of the last remaining functional warships to ‘survive’ the Pearl Harbour attack in 1941. The Argentine “Admiral Belgrano” was originally the USS Phoenix.
            USS Phoenix:
            As the US discovered with the attack on the USS Liberty in the Eastern Mediterranean back in 1967, sometimes one’s best ‘friends’ can be one’s best ‘enemies.’

        2. An-Ominous

          I don’t think the US is actually going to get into this for a number of reasons:

          1. All the media propaganda aside, there are not a lot of votes to win here
          2. The US will lose a *lot* of people and equipment (including all those bases they have scattered all over the place within missile range) and really has nothing to get from it. Basically, the country would be in a position where it can–at best–lose a little; breaking even is even impossible at this point
          3. The US is very, very, mind-bogglingly close to losing the entire Middle East for at least an entire generation (literally). If the ME rulers can’t be seen in public with the US or be seen as being in any way even remotely sympathetic to the Americans, that’s pretty much game over–the US lacks the military hardware and manpower to invade, and regime change could make things worse.
          4. The US at least for the last 20 or so years could count on a passive Russia and China. It no longer can. In fact, the US is going to be stuck kissing a lot of Arab ass over the next couple of decades just to be relevant.

          It’s absolutely remarkable how thoroughly these people have screwed themselves to satisfy a few settlers who even much of the Israeli public view as a burden and an embarrassment.

          And the new realities are obvious in hundreds of different ways. For example, does anybody want to bet against the idea that Trump will absolutely not campaign on getting a better nuclear deal with Iran by having pulled out over the JCOP? Are any Neocons going to say that they will re-invade Iraq but that “real men” want to go into Iran? Is the dementia-addled president about to warn Russia for or against anything right now or try to pick yet another trade fight with China?

          Nope…The US is going to become increasingly isolationist, and the US public will demand it.

    3. hk

      That’s exactly what I was wondering. Shooting rockets at Israel all the way from Yemen(!) didn’t seem to make much sense.

      1. S.D., M.D.

        Both the official explanation and the claim that the ship was the actual target make very little sense.
        Stupid and pointless for the Yemeni Rebs(and their sponsors) who have not survived this long by doing stupid or pointless things.

        What does make perfect sense is that the Houthis had nothing whatsoever to do with it and that it was a smokescreen/trial run for a pending false flag attack intended to make the U.S. a direct combatant.

  7. Old Sarum


    When the battle for third or second-in-line began I put “my money” on McHenry to take up the poisoned chalice because he’s already got one buttock on the throne. However my other half says that it will be a Democrat who takes up the cudgels. I hadn’t considered that possibility at the time as the there was talk of any Joe Blow (I learn something new and arcane every day) being invited to stand.

    Has anyone checked the British bookies for their odds?


  8. ilsm

    Steak and lobster in a military chow hall!!

    Could be something as innocent as the sailors have been eating bologna sandwiches and the “subsistence stock fund” has too much “cash” and not enough higher price food stock!

    A “crafty” mess chief can do menu wonders!

    Or maybe they will all bust out trying to generate 20 attack sorties per day until the mag cat drops off line.

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘Square profile picture
    Sky News
    Footage filmed by a dog walker shows the moment strong winds lift up the forest floor in Mugdock, Scotland.’

    Never seen anything like this before but can you imagine what it would have been like if one of our ancestors had experienced this? It would have been terrifying and to them it would appear if something under that forest was trying to get out or if the forest itself was alive. You do wonder if any folktales or tales have been passed down which might have its origin in this phenomena.

    1. digi_owl

      I have seen something similar where the ground behaved like a water bed as water got lodged between the turf and the rock underneath.

      Basically what is going on is that the turf and tree roots form a thin carpet on top of what is mostly solid rock.

      And in this instance the wind is blowing in an unusual direction, east to west from the North Sea to the Atlantic.

    2. Milton

      I’m sure our indigenous ancestors would have been aware of such phenomena as they were keen observers of the natural world. It was the folks under the spell of religion or royal rule that would have freaked as any knowledge was suppressed on them and replaced with hocus pocus and other social control devices.

      1. LifelongLib

        Whatever you think of religion, just about everybody (indigenous or not) was under its “spell” in every time prior to our own. That’s the human norm. It’s the (relative) absence of religion in our time that is remarkable and worthy of investigation.

        1. pretzelattack

          is there a norm for religion, though? a lot of different belief systems have long held a lot of people under various spells, just as they do today.

    3. nippersdad

      Those don’t look like very old trees. I have to wonder if that is not a result of many years worth of grazing and erosion making the soils thin and compacted. So many rocks! It looks to me like they waited until they were in the C soil layer before letting the trees grow back. It also looks like there is some edge effect going on there; thin belts of trees are more subject to winds than are contiguous woods or forests.

      That is prolly not something that our early ancestors would have seen; the soils would have been thicker, the trees would have been much larger and the winds would not have been able to lift the weight of so much biomass.

      1. Cassandra

        At least in this area, it is not uncommon after a windstorm to see a large tree on its side with a thin disc of roots that failed to hold onto the ledge below. The valleys often have lovely soil, but hillier areas were mostly scraped down to ledgerock when the glaciers went through.

        1. nippersdad

          That is very common to see here as well. The delimiting factor here, though, is the compacted clay subsoils that prevent any oxygen from getting down into it and discourage deeper roots systems. Those, individually, would be goners as well if they did not have their roots intertwined as they do. That is one huge mat, like grass growing out over a sidewalk.

          I seem to recall a documentary about the biosphere of the British isles that was found when humans first went into it being so thick that it was like a rain forest. Millennia of grazing on those Scottish slopes must have had a deleterious effect as well as any scouring done by glacial activity. They still don’t let many trees grow there, and I have always wondered if the grouse season (or whatever) was really worth the ecological cost.

    4. Cat Burglar

      Wasn’t there some old story from Scotland about woods looking like they were walking? Something about being a sign that the political leaders would fall?

    5. Kouros

      Might have to do also with the choice of species selected in the are for reforestation. It looked to me like Norway spruce, which for all intents and purposes, doesn’t have a tap root… They should have chosen some oaks or larch or pines or true firs…

  10. Lex

    RUSI weighs in with dire predictions for Ukraine softened by a great many “ifs” related to hypothetical, best case scenarios and a strange insistence that Russia is incurring casualties faster than it can replace them. No evidence is offered for Russian losses. Perhaps most interesting is the claim that Ukraine has been firing 200,000 artillery rounds per month this summer. Or almost a year’s worth of current US production every month. One Russian TG channel claims half of all US stocks are gone; I’ll bet it’s more than that based on the US having to ship 155mm shells taken from Israel to supply Ukraine back to Israel.

      1. Lex

        Thanks for the link. It generally confirms my hunch that for all the talk about rearming everyone, nothing would actually get done except contract signing and share price goosing.

        What’s funny is that Biden has the authority to change all this. And it’s actually a defense issue. If he really wanted to be FDR, here’s a great place to start. Instead he asks for money to throw away on Wall Street.

      2. ilsm

        The article is right about the effect of ‘profit motive’ and ‘too big to fail’ (US is buying F-35’s for the health of Lockheed, not for combat) on US’ ability to surge production.

        Deeper: the stinger problem is US will not send newer line of stinger! No one knows where most will end up. The old design needs chips no one makes! As well as engineers who can read the old drawings!

        Deeper: artillery ammunition is made in DoD owned plants spread around the country. These are government owned contractor operated (goco) ramping those up require materials and people! Both seem to be hard to find, some robotics going on but that is for packing explosives in the shells where humans do not belong. Time is required to move right people and find materials.

        Deeper: F-35 is not built for industrial war, it breaks too often and the complexity leaves repair troops looking for the root cause! That said they keep hanging stuff on it that need power and cooling which stresses the already unreliable engine! F-35 should be stopped but Lockheed has a cash generation plan that is more important than wasting tax dollars. F-35 needs a new engine which is not in design!

        F-35 is more the norm than the outlier wrt weapons that are too expensive to operate and don’t pass many tests!

        In my youth the C-5 was the poster child for wasteful acquisition. Now DoD can’t meet C-5 standards!

      3. scott s.

        Article ignores the impact of the “peace dividend” that resulted in BRAC and perception that defense contractors needed to consolidate due to declining demand.

      4. Lee

        “But if you actually look at the guts of the bureaucracy, nothing is happening, because doing something about our industrial base means thwarting Wall Street, and that’s generally not something that’s considered on the table among normie policymakers.”

        The difference being between the old military industrial complex and the new military financial complex. Who knew the gutting of America by Wall Street might have an upside?

  11. farmboy

    Vipin M. Vashishtha
    A NEW antiviral, 2-thiouridine (s2U), targets positive-strand RNA viruses has been identified! This antiviral targets viruses like dengue, Zika, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis , West Nile, Chikungunya, SARS-CoV-2, rhinoviruses, & seasonal coronaviruses 1/


  12. The Rev Kev

    “Israel Bombed Gaza Hospital and Lied About It”

    Caitlin Johnstone brought up a very interesting point in one of her latest posts about this attack-

    ‘If Israel didn’t bomb that hospital then why did it doctor up a fraudulent audio clip pretending to show Hamas fighters saying Israel didn’t bomb the hospital?’

    And they released that clip very, very soon after that attack. Almost as if they had it ready to go.

      1. pjay

        Hmm. That’s quite a reversal from his post of just a few days ago. I guess another buddy with “expertise in this area” won out over his “Air Force buddy” from the earlier piece. The thing is, most if not all of the points he now cites were known the other day, as some of his commenters pointed out then. He got some very strong push-back on his earlier statement, which seems to have had an effect.

        Just goes to show that *none* of these supposedly “expert” commentators are without blinders and biases. And that goes for their “insider” sources as well.

    1. AK

      It should be noted that the picture captioned “Ruins of Al Ahli hospital (AFP)” in Tikun Olam’s piece does not show the Al Ahli hospital at all. Quite apart from the fact that the blast’s impact and the resulting fire were in the carpark and no hospital building suffered structural damage, doing a Tineye reverse image search shows that the picture Olam used dates back to Oct. 10, predating the hospital strike by a full week. It’s of a completely different building. That sort of glaring error makes pieces like this very easy to dismiss.

      This said, I don’t find the IDF version credible either. For one, if such falling-rocket accidents were completely routine, wouldn’t we have seen many, many cases of dozens or hundreds of Palestinian civilians killed in this way? The fact that the strike hit the precise centre of the hospital complex Israel had attacked days before, and had warned people several times to evacuate, demands an even greater coincidence: the first falling rocket causing mass casualties, in the precise hospital compound Israel had attacked days before, and had phoned and texted repeatedly in the days before the blast, urgently demanding people evacuate … Really? That is supposed to be a coincidence? That is before we come to the sound the thing made when it came in (it does not sound like a falling piece of wreckage), the Doppler effect sound analysis reported by Channel 4 (UK) along with the doctored Arabic voice recording – and the various precedents of the IDF not telling the truth. Eww.

      There are some good Daniel Levy interviews out there. One on Aljazeera and one from ten days ago on BBC News that rightly went viral – watch it if you missed it.

      1. JB

        Good catch, and thanks for doing the legwork – I spotted that as well, and was triple-checking against images of the hospital before posting here.

        This story is dragging mainstream and alternative media through the mud, fighting over the narrative.

        I’m starting to think it was a significant (albeit quite pyrrhic) propaganda success by Hamas – spinning a failed rocket launch killing loads of their own people (not nearly as many as claimed), into a defining moment of rage against Israel.

        It’s not like Israel aren’t significantly ovepowered on the propaganda front now as well – so I actually don’t mind this one falling against their favour – but I do mind journalistic integrity.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      That article made a decent argument, and while do I tend to distrust any IDF or US government pronouncements, simple common sense leads to the same conclusion. Israel is rather indiscriminately bombing much of Gaza, but this one stray Hamas rocket just happened to hit a hospital when it misfired, and not one of the far more common Israeli-created piles of rubble? That would have to be one unlucky misfire.

      But after the author discusses at length how we should not fall for this type of government sponsored propaganda, we are treated to the following propaganda the author has swallowed hook, line and sinker –

      “Russia invaded Ukraine twice and conquered and occupied a huge swath of its sovereign territory in 2014. In 2022, it invaded again and took more land.”

      To give the benefit of the doubt, that is a gross over simplification if the author is not well versed in the history of that conflict, and a flat out lie if they are. With all the righteous indignation against fake news and propaganda, no mention of the US sponsored coup in 2014?!? No mention of the civil war where Ukrainian far right oppressed and shelled its own citizens for nearly a decade? And please, let’s have some evidence of this 2014 “invasion”. Where are the pictures of the bodies and the rubble from that one?!?!? Is it actually an invasion if nobody dies and citizens hold a referendum?

      FFS, can’t anybody here play this game?

    3. Lexx

      Caitlin: ‘Hundreds of US congressional staffers are passing around a letter urging their bosses to call for a ceasefire, there’s a silent mutiny brewing in the State Department over the Biden administration’s Gaza actions, mainstream reporters have been refusing to parrot Israel narratives, and the streets are full of pro-Palestine demonstrators.

      This is different. What we are seeing right now is a deviation from the usual script.’

      Peggy Noonan: ‘We are again in a new place. What has happened in Israel the past week is different. I have spent much of my life as you have, hearing regular reports of fighting in the Mideast, so when news broke last Saturday of what was happening near Gaza my mind started to process it as a continuation of the past. Within hours, as the facts of the October horror began to emerge, I understood no, wait, this is a new thing. And I felt a foreboding.’

      I did the same.

      Noonan again: ‘This wasn’t “soldiers morally brutalized by war who, in a frenzy, butchered people.” Butchering people was the aim. It is what they set out to do. This wasn’t cruelty as an offshoot; it was cruelty as an intention.

      This sadism was strategic. It’s meant to force something.’

      It’s a suspension of ‘the rules’ or the status quo, the ones all who actively or passively participate abide by. We should be worried by this and bear in mind something Amfortas wrote here, that these are world dominating systems that ‘select for pathology’ and pathological leadership. What I count on as an unwilling observer is that those leaders and their minions aren’t stupid, certifiably insane, or as Peggy put it ‘stone evil’. I’m afraid that some leader or militant group is about to be one or all of the three, with an act the world can’t recover from.

      1. pjay

        More Noonan:

        “We must start with what was done. Terrorists calling themselves a resistance movement passed over the border from Gaza and murdered little children; they took infants hostage as they screamed. They murdered old women, tormented and raped young women, targeted an overnight music festival and murdered the unarmed young people in cold blood or mowed them down as they ran screaming. They murdered whole families as they begged for their lives; they burned people alive; they decapitated babies… this is what happens when savages hold the day: They imperil the very idea of civilization. They killed a grandmother and uploaded pictures of her corpse to her Facebook
        page. They cut an unborn child from a mother’s body and murdered both.”

        Yes, let’s “start” here. What happens when we do? Well, for one thing it is a lot easier to see these people as inhuman animals than if we would have “started” at another point along this tragic timeline. And this is precisely Noonan’s intention – to *justify genocide*. I don’t care what else she says, or even what she *thinks* she is doing.

        Murders and atrocities did occur, no doubt – though some of the most despicable actions Noonan describes have already been exposed as propaganda. We are also learning that a number of Israeli civilian casualties were actually caused by the IOF, though we will probably never know how many. Noonan is probably right that the Hamas attack was aimed to force a response. But be honest, when you read the words above, doesn’t it just make you want to cheer at the idea of these vicious inhuman sadists getting blown to pieces? Doesn’t it kind of make you forget for a moment about a lot of other events of the last 75 years? Yeah, that’s what this piece is about – emotional manipulation in order to short-circuit critical thought.

        1. Vicky Cookies

          I see the words “savages” and “civilization” so close together, and I generally tune out, and make a mental note not to trust the speaker.

    4. Feral Finster

      Well, the BBC produced an “independent report” by three “independent experts” with impressive looking credentials, which duly assured us that Israel was not to blame.

      The Beeb sort of forgot to mention that all three “experts” were Israel-linked, NATO-linked or on the Israeli payroll. Like the Gambino Family investigating itself and finding that it was an unfairly targeted group of local businessmen.

      Which in turn begs the question of what the BBC had to fear from a truly independent investigation.

  13. Benny Profane

    Don’t think it’s wise to somehow encourage marijuana smoking, or smoking of anything. Break down a pipe or vaporizer for cleaning, and you may soon realize that all of that tar and junk is also coating your lungs. I would think that consuming THC in edible form is much safer. The lungs are fragile organs.

    1. Bsn

      On paper what you say makes sense. However, now a daze the marijuana that people can smoke is so powerful 1-2 “hits” is plenty enough to get “high”. I have friends (he he) who smoked as teens in the 60s and would smoke 4-5 reefers over a few hours. Now, 1 – 2 hits achieves the same effect.

      1. Wukchumni

        ‘Reefer Hadness’ plot:

        Only the stoners are left after Covid goes out of control, even Sgt Stedenko is in line @ a dispensary looking to procure some fancy pre-rolls.

      2. Lee

        I never cared much for weed during my misspent youth. It often made me anxious. Now, hobbling achily along in my eighth decade, I find its use quite enjoyable. It soothes both mind and body.

        1. Benny Profane

          Try a hybrid THC/CBD edible product if it’s legal in your state. Or the next state. Topical CBD creams are awesome, too, if fairly short lived.

      3. playon

        That is true. Also the whole point of a vaporizer is that it “vaporizes” the weed instead of burning it.

    2. GramSci

      I’m with you, Benny. Per the abstract, which is all I can access, the cited paper evidently *did* collect data on tobacco use in its cohort. Given reports of higher Covid resistance among tobacco smokers, that should have been a pre-planned comparison. But the abstract doesn’t say what the P value was. More research is needed, I guess…

      1. Benny Profane

        The crucial factor I saw was that the weed smokers were young. Covid attacked, mostly, the old.

    1. GramSci

      A helpful addition to the main discussion under Benny Profane’s post. One suspects smoking week might be more protective against Covid than ingesting weed, operating directly at (sub)mucosal binding sites.

      Not particularly helpful since I agree with Benny and, as I understand him, IMDoc, that smoking (anything) is not good for your lungs.

  14. Carla

    Re: “Former NH Pastor Sentenced to Over 10 Years in Prison for ‘Horrific’ Child Sex Abuse Crimes”

    A measly decade? Throw away the key.

    1. ambrit

      Look on the bright side. If said pedophile gets sent to a general population prison and placed in that general population, his life will be a living H— for those entire ten years. (He may not survive at all.)

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Finland suspects Chinese ship linked to gas pipe damage”

    Seems to be a bizarre story this of these Finnish accusations against China. Did a bit of digging and found that there is a lot of trade between the two-

    ‘China is Finland’s fifth most important export destination. The value of Chinese goods imports to Finland grew by 28 % last year, roughly the same pace as import growth overall (27 %). The value of goods imports was 8.47 billion euros, driving the trade deficit up to 4.43 billion euros.10 Mar 2023.’

    But then in the same month there was this article saying that-

    ‘Finland’s dependence on China is so strong that the Finnish trade and electronics companies would suffer greatly from the disruption of imports from China, a study by the Bank of Finland Institute for Emerging Economies (BOFIT) published on Friday shows.’

    So my thought is that what this accusation is really all about is Finland wanting to cut a lot of their trade ties with China because going into NATO means that you can’t trade with the enemy – even if they are on the other side of the planet, m’kay?

    1. Polar Socialist

      Just a nuance, but Finland is not accusing China, the Finnish police is investigating with Chinese police whether Newnew Polar Bear vessel had anything to do with the pipeline damage.

      The current hypothesis is that some heavy object was thrown overboard, hit the pipeline and buried itself deep into the clay layer in the bottom. Considering that at the time there was a storm big enough to cancel all passenger traffic in the Gulf of Finland I must say the crew of Newnew Polar Bear deserves respect if they managed to hit the pipeline on purpose. I believe wave height records (19 feet) were broken that day.

      1. digi_owl

        Initially there were talk about maybe an anchor had been dragged along the sea bed.

        If there was a storm, i could see a ship drop anchor in an otherwise prohibited zone (usually cables and such are marked in sea charts to avoid just such accidents) as an act of desperation.

    2. digi_owl

      Why i keep wondering if the fervor to get Sweden and Finland into NATO was payback for USA putting Huawei on the naughty list just as they were undercutting Ericsson and Nokia on 5G infra prices.

      Also, before Ukraine blew up Finland was looking into building a rail link into Norway in order to establish a container port for ships coming from Asia along Russia. That would shorten delivery times vis a vis going Suez or Panama. And there was also talk about an undersea tunnel to Estonia, linking up with a rail line through the Baltics and Poland to Germany.

      But all that is now halted after Russia became a pariah nation.

  16. Stephen V

    It seems that “heretical” is a flavor of “heterodox” economics::
    The confusion for me comes from the fact that most professions have a way of “burning people at the stake.” Witness anti-vaxxer MD’s; Bret Weinstein in Akademia; and my current favorite Graham Hancock by Archaeologists ( Witness him at the OH Serpent Mound entrance in his Netflix series reading the email informing him why he will not be allowed to film there).

    1. Polar Socialist

      Expanding the immortal words of Dara Ó Briain: “what do you call alternative medicine that has been proven to actually work? Medicine!”. Same goes for Hancock – he makes claims that have been proven to be false already decades before he even made them.

      So the archaeologist do act like luddites – they want no part of him presenting subpar, unprovable crap as facts and spoiling the reputation of the whole discipline. A discipline already under an enormous pressure from the modern day nutjobs looking into anything to justify their prejudices.

      At least the last time I checked, there’s been a lot of “internal” discussion about what can archaeology actually tell us about the ancient cultures – after all, the artefacts don’t have a language, ethnicity or culture. So, should it be “just the facts, m’am” or is building a plausible, supported narrative around a finding allowed. To my disappointment, the trend seemed to be more towards just recording the facts, and maybe pointing out some possible similar finds.

      Probably because all kinds of phantacists tend to turn anything beyond that into a half-baked hypotheses and the run wild with them.

      1. digi_owl

        Like the supposed History channel is wall to wall “aliens did it!” stories about everything from pyramids to Jesus.

      2. hunkerdown

        >after all, the artefacts don’t have a language, ethnicity or culture

        So-called civilization tends to have a simplifying effect on useful articles, as noted by Modernist architect Adolf Loos. The older artifacts often bear more ornamentation than the newer ones. To my eye, the paucity of ornamentation is one of the most prominent features of Modern art.

        Graeber & Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything reports dedications inscribed on early dynastic grooming goods:

        [W]hen the Egyptian First
        Dynasty took form, among the very first objects with royal inscriptions we find the ‘ivory comb of King Djet’ and the famous ‘palette of King Narmer’ (stone palettes being used, both by men and women, for grinding and mixing make-up). These are basically spectacular versions of the sort of objects Neolithic Nile dwellers used to beautify themselves millennia earlier and, not coincidentally, to offer as gifts to the ancestral dead; and in Neolithic and Predynastic times, such objects were widely available to women, men and children.

        David Wengrow’s 2001 article, “The Evolution of Simplicity: aesthetic labor and social change in the Neolithic Near East”, tells more about the change over time:

        The changing division of aesthetic labour in processes of pristine state formation has been touched upon by John Baines (1994) in a discussion of the status and purposes of ancient Egyptian art. He notes that the emergence of the dynastic state was accompanied by the specialization and circumscription of artistic production within élite circles and the ‘aesthetic deprivation of the non-élite’. This is particularly evident with regard to the production of widely disseminated media such as pottery, which was often decorated with complex and idiosyncratic designs in predynastic times. With the onset of the dynastic period pottery production was rationalized, drab and uniform vessels serving the needs of centrally organized processes for the production and distribution of staples such as bread and beer (Chazan and Lehner 1990; Samuel 2000).

        That hypothesis, for what it’s worth, seems pretty well baked, served with beer no less.

  17. LawnDart

    Re; Axios

    …there has been a total collapse of people’s trust in the opposing party, the media, what they see or share on social platforms, and even the top-secret intelligence the government relies on to measure these threats.

    Are they really only now realizing that people do not trust other people who have lied to them, repeatedly? Shocker. And don’t they yet realize that the only people who trust either wing of the party are the party-faithful themselves?

    Ours is a failed-state with nukes, one that cannot, will not, serve the needs of its people. All the PR and spin in the world can’t hide that.

  18. undercurrent

    Reading anything by Peggy Noonan this month certainly can best be described as an October Horror. Can’t get past the first paragraph. Small wonder that if she was not Reagan’s brain, then she most assuredly was one of his many, lying tongues.

    1. hunkerdown

      Well, they always called themselves orthodox economists. That should have been our clue it was never more than a myth to post-hoc justify capitalist relations.

        1. hunkerdown

          As GWB on cough syrup once had not actually said, “If you’re not with us, you’re with the Communists.”

    2. Lee

      The field should readopt one of its earlier monikers: The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Then we’d be having more meaningful conversations.

  19. Carolinian

    Re “that’s not blogging. That’s typing”–going all Truman Capote?

    Capote said of Jack Kerouac: “that’s not writing. It’s typing.” due to reports Kerouac wrote his books on long rolls of paper in stream of consciousness fashion. Literary guys were very competitive back in the quest for the Great American Novel.

    Meanwhile I think this new essay from Michael Brenner is good. He puts Europe on the couch.

    That brings our attention to the biggest external factor: the United States. More specifically, their enduring dominant/subordinate relationship. European countries have been denatured by America, in the sense that they are shed of sovereign status and its attendant political will. That perverse trans-Atlantic bond has been cultivated by both sides. It’s significance for understanding the European attitude towards Israel/Palestine is two-fold. One, there is an eerie inversion of roles for European polities who participate in dominant-subordinate relations with both America and Arab Muslims. It matches the classic profile of the “Authoritarian Personality.” Toward the superior one is docile, obedient, obsequious; toward the inferior one is arrogant, demanding and patronizing. The latter compensates for the former in terms of maintaining a positive sense of self.

    He suggests the Muslims have become scapegoats for Europe’s guilt complex over the Holocaust. Plus the increasing Muslim presence inside their former colonizers is creating tensions.

    One might speculate that Israel itself eventually became part of a similar syndrome in that after being, not just murdered, but humiliated by the Nazis they are kicking down at a subject population that had nothing to do with the Holocaust. Is our increasingly crazy world at least in part about “who’s the Alpha?” Certainly that seems to be how Joe “nobody f**ks with a” Biden thinks.

    1. Reply

      Nihilist Joe, to join the anals of history with Tailgunner Joe and Uncle Joe.
      In the end, the whole world will be ready to F with a Biden.

  20. Jay Ess

    I got the Novavax vaccine yesterday. It was so painless relative to the Pfizer vax that I was wondering if it was even injected correctly. I did have some mild injection side tenderness a few hours after the injection, but no other side effects so far.

    1. mrsyk

      We got ours yesterday as well. No side effects at all. Sadly, my 84yo mom-in-law tested positive yesterday. Fever and chest cold symptoms, no loss of smell or taste. Fatigue. We’re anxious.

    2. Lunker Walleye

      I got Novovax yesterday too. Pharmacist instructed to drink lots of water and walk around. Had slight headache for a few hours and was able to sleep on jabbed arm.

  21. Daniil Adamov

    That free will article is a hoot. I’m not sure that I disagree with the arguments about the factors influencing human behaviour, though I think they fall well short of disproving the possibility of people making decisions. But what’s more interesting is the academician saying that we have no free will, and then proposing something that is impossible unless we have free will.

    “The world is really screwed up and made much, much more unfair by the fact that we reward people and punish people for things they have no control over”

    But if we have no free will, we cannot control rewards and punishments either.

    “Stop attributing stuff”

    Can’t stop.

    “The greatest risk of abandoning free will, Sapolsky concedes, isn’t that we’ll want to do bad things. It’s that, without a sense of personal agency, we won’t want to do anything.”

    Or it would change absolutely nothing, because if we lack free will, it does not matter whether we believe in it or not – or so I would think. Surely this would be obvious – though I suppose that even if it is, he could not help himself.

  22. Carolinian

    Latest Helmer is worth a look including this.

    16. Russian and Chinese navy deployments. The Russian fleet based at Tartous, Syria, is at sea, as reported here. At the moment, there are as many, possibly more Chinese vessels of the 44th Naval Escort Task Force in the Persian Gulf. The anti-surface, anti-submarine, and anti-air missile capabilities of the Type-052D destroyer can be followed here, and of the Type-054A frigate here. For the time being, the significance of this Chinese screen to deter a US-Israeli missile and aircraft attack on Iran has been missed in the western press and by Russian military reporters.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “As a ground incursion looms, the big question remains: What is Israel’s plan for Gaza?’

    I read one idea being floated in Israel. To establish a DMZ around the whole of Gaza and cut them off from Israel as if there were a moat there. No food, water, electricity, nothing. Just walk away from Gaza totally. But they have not thought it through. Obviously they would still bomb the place from time to time to rattle their cages. And they would still have to patrol the coastline so that not only did no ships go to Gaza but to stop Palestinian fisherman going after any fish. And they would have to keep on bombing the Gazan side of any border crossings to other countries to stop any supplies going in. Otherwise they would have nothing to do with Gaza and they would be free to create their own statelet.

    1. An-Ominous

      Just a thought, but why is everybody so convinced that Israel will be able to implement whatever plan it wants in Gaza?

      Perhaps it could, but people are assigning a certainty to something that is only a possibility.

      As an aside, I am reading an increasing number of stories (perhaps all originating from the same source–I don’t know) that the Israeli military commanders are eager to enter Gaza as soon as possible but that Netanyahu is reluctant. If true, and if Israel is deemed to be losing, and if (this part seems likely) Netanyahu is still at odds with his Intelligence services, it will be interesting to see if a coup takes place and what kind of ramifications come out of that.

      It’s not likely, but again, people are assigning a 100% certainty that Israel’s government structure will emerge intact, whereas there is at best only a probability that it will. This current situation is the type of event where assigning probabilities based on “historical” facts breaks down.

  24. griffen

    Amazon boosted a best selling energy drink. As a listing of all time pranks on corporate America, this one goes near the very top. Oh goodness it is a howling article, worth a belly laugh and makes me reconsider ever using Amazon as an end user, not that I had plans on doing so.

    Straight out of Fight Club no less? Tyler Durden, selling artisanal soaps using the creamiest fat in the whole land. Oh and some anarchy with project Mayhem too.

  25. Wukchumni

    Leave No Trace Principles Field & Stream
    Maybe in 5,000 miles of traipsing around Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP’s i’ve picked up enough trash on trail or off-trail to fill 1/2 of a backpack. By far the commonest item I find of size is one of those mylar balloons that drift from a city setting to the wilderness. A few years ago I picked up a deflated ‘bouquet’ of a dozen of them all with ‘Happy Birthday’ greetings. They stick out like a sore thumb, being all bright and sparkly.

    LNT ethics are a given in the backcountry, but the road is a different story.

    We had our semi-annual trash pickup of exactly 1 mile in Tiny Town on Hwy 198 a few weeks ago, and among 7 volunteers we picked up a total of 14 large bags of trash.

    LNT is an integral part of Burning Man, you’ll not see any trash on the playa-nor are there any trash cans, similar to the wilderness, bring it in-bring it out.

    1. Carolinian

      No Chinese spy balloons I hope.

      We have some fishing lakes around here and the fishermen seem to be slobs but otherwise not much trash problem. When I lived in Georgia the likely suspects for heavy trashing would be the mountain folk who hold city recreators in low esteem (see Deliverance).

      Edward Abbey said he always threw his beer cans out the car window because the roads themselves were an offense to the wilderness and should be uglyfied. May have been kidding?

      1. Wukchumni

        The only place i’ve seen trash in the High Sierra was @ Crabtree Meadow on the High Sierra Trail/John Muir Trail.

        Its on the backside of Mt Whitney and quite a big meadow in which the most people camped overnight in one place i’ve ever witnessed was there, about 175 of us spread around the periphery of the rectangular-ish meadow.

        An empty freeze-dried meal bag weighs a few ounces, and practically begs you to take it out and do the right thing, but that afternoon I picked up 11 of them scattered here and there.

        I think it was the result of too many people and all it took was the first galoot to toss their empty meal packet on the ground and a few more felt it was ok, not really all that different from a driver tossing an empty Bud Light can out the window, as they’d seen other telltale blue cans along the road.

  26. TroyIA

    That Hamas interview on Saudi tv reminded me of an interview with the former Saudi ambassador and intelligence chief. My reading of the interview is that after 75 years of Saudi Arabia advocating for Palestine the Saudis feel that if Hamas wants to align with Hezbollah and Iran then they will be stepping back from the Palestinian cause as long as Hamas remains.

    Full transcript: Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s interview on Israel-Palestine conflict

    (Interview conducted October 2020 after Saudi Arabia began normalizing relations with Israel)

    Prince Bandar bin Sultan: What I heard from Palestinian leadership in recent days was truly painful to hear. This low level of discourse is not what we expect from officials who seek to gain global support for their cause. Their transgression against the Gulf states’ leadership with this reprehensible discourse is entirely unacceptable.

    However, if we want to look at it from a different perspective, it is not surprising to see how quick these leaders are to use terms like “treason,” “betrayal,” and “back stabbing,” because these are their ways in dealing with each other. Gaza Strip leaders [Hamas], who have seceded from the PA [Palestinian Authority] to govern Gaza independently, accuse the West Bank leadership of treason, while at the same time, West Bank leadership accuses separatist Gaza Strip leaders of stabbing them in the back.
    Efforts in the past years would have been better focused on the Palestinian cause, peace initiatives, and protecting the rights of the Palestinian people to reach a point where this just, albeit robbed, cause can finally see the light, and when I say robbed, I mean both by Israel and Palestinian leaders equally.

    . . .

    The Palestinian cause is a just cause, but its advocates are failures and the Israeli cause is unjust, but its advocates have proven to be successful. That sums up the events of the last 70 or 75 years. There is also something that successive Palestinian leadership historically share in common; they always bet on the losing side, and that comes at a price.

    1. hk

      Interesting. It sounds like Saudis might (still) be hedging their bets: none of the Muslim states really wants to be the first one to jump headlong into a big conflict, regardless of the public rhetoric–there are too many complexities among them, political, economic, and social. Bandar bin Sultan is the old (and largely retired/sidelined since MbS became de facto Saudi ruler) America-hand so he’d be the natural person to be the “official dissenter.”

    2. Kouros

      I found the attitude of the interviewee unfazed and the answers to the point, with pertinent examples. I think it made the other “Arabs” look bad in the end, no matter how hard the host was trying (albeit, the manerism and the translation didn’t show her as being rude).

      The failure of the Palestinian cause is due to lack of actual support from the rich sheikdoms – and constant oppression and attrition exercised by Israelis and overseen by the US. If Palestinians had the same abilities to arm and defend themselves as Hezbollah, the situation would be different nowadays, wouldn’t it?

  27. timbers

    Cars and Housing and Student Loans….

    $740 monthly just for a car and that doesn’t include state mandated insurance. Which itself can be quite expensive. Biden should announce a new FDR style housing program to help the Middle Class – extend FHA backed mortgages to all who buy a deluxe REI tent or shipping container as their owner occupied home, and make the interest tax deductible. It might have considerable appeal to immigrants from poorer nations.

  28. timbers

    Simplicus, Adeevika. You don’t have to be a genius to notice the Russians have difficulty advancing – at all – since Wagner left the battlefield, and notably against an opponent reportedly “low on ammo.” Simplicus previously noted if Adeevika doesn’t go well it will drastically reduce Russian ability to take much more of any ground. I hope the Kremlin is exploring other strategies. The troops seen to be not so good at offensive actions.

    1. nippersdad

      They still have the Chechens, so if a lack of people who want to go on the offensive were a problem we would be seeing a lot more of them. I saw a map of the Avdeevka line a little while ago, and that looks like a textbook cauldron, sucking in enemy troops at very little cost to themselves..

      Attriting the Ukrainians may not be as glamorous as shock and awe tactics, but it has been working for them very well up until now. I suspect they will continue the strategy until an offensive is the only way to stay in range of the Ukrainians as they retreat for lack of men and materiel.

    2. rudi from butte

      He’s gotta write about something. The numbers part was silly. And as Lambert pointed out….no backup. Just typing.

      1. timbers

        True. But it’s the same everywhere along the front line. So this is not an anomaly. Against an opponent that we read here has been out of artillery since forever. The Russians haven’t worked their offensive muscle and it shows. And the Kremlin refuses to take obvious measures that could have won this war long ago as I have repeatedly noted.

  29. Irrational

    Bravo to Lambert for the strategic juxtaposition of the “Surge in Suppression” and the tweet immediately below. My immediate thought was that Brits should now hang a Palestinian flag in the window instead of calling 999 if they have been burgled. Just imagine what it would look like!
    PS: Of course, I realize suppression and burglaries are serious when you are the victim, still in these crazy times where “European values” seem no longer to include “free speech” one must take the laughs one can.

  30. playon

    The article about Maui recovering from the fires is really something – this bit:

    And it’s not feasible for authorities to bring in the mobile homes used to shelter people after natural disasters elsewhere, given Hawaii’s humidity and the difficulty of shipping them from the U.S. mainland.

    I fail to understand the difficulty in shipping trailers to Maui as temporary housing, nor do I understand the humidity issue. After Hurricane Katrina thousands of trailers were provided to people in New Orleans (where it is also very humid). It just sounds like more excuses not to help people. This government is too cheap to help the poor but are perfectly capable of helping the wealthy.

    Also see: Flint MI and Palestine OH…

        1. ambrit

          Probably the same people who, after Hurricane Katrina ripped the Mississippi Gulf Coast to shreds, imposed a slew of new “improved” building and zoning regulations on the rebuilding efforts. The net effect, Gentrification. Force the poorer denizens out through making rebuilding too expensive for them to afford, and thus free up prime land for “upscale” development.
          It’s all about the tax base.

          1. John D

            There was a lot of shoddy workmanship and inferior materials used to construct housing in south Dade (Miamii( Fl prior to Hurricane Andrew. The area was devestated. Subsequent new building codes brought about better, more solid construction. On Florida’s west coast, they didn’t build as substantially and recent hurricanes have trashed the area. Building codes are NOT all about the tax base.

            As I recall, many people bitched about the price of Obamacare (maybe justified) which
            replaced (for many people) the crap insurance they previously had. The previous insurance was next to worthless and people biched about paying for insurance that did pay for some things.

            1. katiebird

              (shaking head) People “biched” because a golden opportunity (There was actually a veto-proof Democrat majority at some point during the health-care negotiations) for getting a strong “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All” legislation was lost. Squandered.

              And so, instead of using that strength as an opportunity to bring Universal Healthcare for All to United States Citizens – Obama gave us a complicated package of cr*p that was barely better than what existed before. And actually in many cases was worse.

              This was extensively covered here by Lambert Strether.

              Sneer better.

              1. Lefty Godot

                The veto-proof Democratic majorities have never really been veto-proof because at least two Democratic senators defect to the “moderate” (right-wing) position and won’t allow any of that big spending socialist stuff. For a while it was Ben Nelson and Bill Nelson that were the designated can’t-be-counted-on duo. More recently it’s been Sinema and Manchin.

                On health care Joe Lieberman supposedly said he would stop any attempt to offer a public (Medicare-like) option in addition to the private plans. And Obama never had any interest in fighting for that, versus rewarding his corporate donors. Obama’s idea of bipartisan compromise was always to have his initial offer be over 50% slanted toward the Republican position, then make further concessions from there. The party has worked hard to get rid of any old school New Deal type Democrats and leave us with an assortment of useless DLC poseurs like these pols instead.

                1. katiebird

                  >> The veto-proof Democratic majorities have never really been veto-proof because at least two Democratic senators defect to the “moderate”

                  And would that have stopped a president like LBJ who went down to the Capital and lobbied eye-ball to eye-ball with legislators until he got what he wanted?

                  On one hand we are supposed to believe that the President of the United States is one of if not THE most powerful people in the World. But on the other that Joe Lieberman can keep the President under his thumb? That’s just pure BS. When an American President wants something he gets it. That’s just a fact.

                  When the poor-guy can’t because Lieberman or Nelson won’t give it to him is a convenient but stupid excuse.

                  Obama NEVER went to Congress to insist on passing decent health care. Do you sincerely believe that if Obama went to the Capital and grabbed the Senators/Congress by the lapels, looked them in the eye and said, “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All” that it wouldn’t have happened. I will never-ever believe that he wanted it. The proof is that we didn’t get it.

                  In the months after his inauguration, he could have passed anything he wanted. That he did nothing decent or memorable means that he did not want it.

                  Now, he never wanted it. Had no interest in it. I know that – we all know that. But, it had nothing at all to a couple of Senators who were against it.

                  1. Lefty Godot

                    It’s an excuse the Democrats have for never doing anything meaningful when they have a majority. They will always be two votes short on anything that helps ordinary people, because they serve their corporate donors. You didn’t need to do much investigation in 2008 to figure out Obama was a snake-oil salesman whose “hope and change” would turn into more corporate handouts domestically and more subversion and nation-wrecking abroad.

              2. Pat

                Please add to that it was now required to have insurance. For those that made too much money (and in expensive areas too much wouldn’t pay rent and utilities…) that meant buying garbage high deductible insurance that still wouldn’t pay and tightening your belt further because the subsidies didn’t existing. The fines might not have kicked in right away, but they were cheaper than paying through the nose for insurance that would leave you in bankruptcy for anything catastrophic anyway.

                Oh and people forget that ACA was passed In reconciliation which meant that Joe and his cohorts could have been ignored entirely. Instead they supposedly tried to woo a couple of Republican voters so they literally stripped most of the controls and added all sorts of giveaways to the insurance industry, big Pharma, and private healthcare corporations. I laugh when people bring up the public option as a solution to the totally foreseeable problems we still face. They have forgotten the House bill included the Public Option, it was one of the things stripped out.

                Seriously when you end up with a bill with less actual healthcare than Romney’s version in Massachusetts people should stop pretending it was the best they could.

    1. GramSci

      I read 33 pages into Webb(?)’s magnum opus at The Great Taking dot com. He told me in his 30+ page autobiographical preface that he was never about making money. He became an investment manager at a brokerage house because he found the field to be scientific. He says my pensions and my annuities and my other “securities” are insecure, as witnessed in the Great Recession of 2008. He seems to think I didn’t know this. I think he wants to sell me gold, but I didn’t read to the end.

  31. Wukchumni

    McHenry open to expanding his powers as acting speaker — but only with a ‘formal vote’ Politico

    Gotta say, that the Potempk(ev)in Village milieu is even better than I ever imagined it would be after Kev got defenestrated, completely dysfunctional.

  32. tegnost

    Bidenomics and the left…
    I managed to stifle my reflex after seeing free trade mentioned so many times and I would say generally worth the time, but…
    Over the past quarter century, a hopeful trajectory seemed on its way. Protests, single-issue campaigns over status within the status quo, and demands that were primarily defensive moved on to a promising recognition of the need to confront universal issues and explicitly address the state. When this too disappointed, activist energy moved on—again promisingly—to workplaces and the struggle for unionization.

    Something very democrat party happened during that hopeful 25 year period but the gist of the article is still dems good reps bad which assumes facts not in evidence

  33. Rocky

    “10% of the aerosol particles in the stratosphere contain aluminum and other metals that originated from the “burn-up” of satellites and rocket stages during reentry…”

    Wait until a plutonium powered nuclear reactor on a satellite accidentally burns up on reentry. Plutonium atoms, think there’d be enough to give every air breathing creature on earth lung cancer?

  34. SG

    I suspect that one factor of concern for Egyptian officials would be the presence of Hamas fighters among a crowd of Palestinian civilians entering through an open border crossing with Gaza. Hamas originated as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and successive Egyptian governments have experienced no end of trouble from the Brotherhood. I think the last thing they would want is for the Brotherhood in Egypt to be invigorated by an infusion of trained, battle-hardened Hamas terrorists from Gaza. I imagine that there are plenty of Egyptian (and Syrian, for that matter) officials who are secretly relieved to have the Israelis take care of Hamas for them, although they’d never say so publicly.

    1. NYMutza

      You ought to be careful in your use of the word “terrorist”. HAMAS” and “terrorist” are not synonymous. You would be more accurate in describing Zionists as terrorists.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if this was partly blowback caused by this-

      ‘ZURICH, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Activists have withdrawn their campaign to stop Switzerland from buying 36 Lockheed Martin (LMT. N) F-35A Lightning II fighter jets after the government signed a $5.5 billion procurement deal without waiting for a referendum.’

      The Swiss I knew would not have been impressed by a Federal government steamrolling their way over a Referendum. They take those things seriously in Switzerland.

  35. Pat

    I hope someone has told Senator Marshall how some of his “partners in faith” like to spit on Christians and want to wipe them from Jerusalem. Oh sure they may not be the actual majority, but they hold enough power that no one in power in Israel will be stopping them or hold them accountable.
    Might wake him up about who’s next on the list… and being a useful puppet who supplies money and arms is only speeding up that moment of reckoning.

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