Links 10/24/2023

‘Superfog’ near New Orleans blamed for highway crashes that killed at least 7 Associated Press (furzy)

California Moves Ahead of the FDA in Banning Common Candy Additives KFF Health News

Nanocarriers study shows antibodies against polyethylene glycol in 83% of the German population PhysOrg (fk). !!!!!

Biggest cervical cancer drug advance in 20 years hailed BBC

Major Study Claims to Identify The Root Cause of Obesity: Fructose Science Alert (David L)

Toddler formula lacks nutritional benefits, expert pediatrics group says Washington Post (Kevin W)

Empress Elisabeth and the Archives of Anorexia Los Angeles Review of Books (Anthony L)



Masks Work. So What Went Wrong with a Highly Publicized COVID Mask Analysis Scientific American

Is Recovery Just the Beginning? Persistent Symptoms and Health and Performance Deterioration in Post-COVID-19, non-hospitalised University Students – A Cross-Sectional Study MedRxiv Jason Boxman, from Water Cooler:

Beyond the two-year mark, physical health and error rate continued to improve, while mental health began to deteriorate. Fatigue and reaction time continued to decline. Overall, our findings suggest that some effects of contracting COVID-19 can persist or even deteriorate over time, even in younger individuals who had mild cases that did not require hospitalization.


Developing countries poised to abandon climate reparations fund RT (Kevin W)

West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse may be unavoidable, study finds NBC (furzy)

China’s new limit on battery metals could haunt the global EV boom Axios (Kevin W). If correct, this will also lead to rolling back the CA and other state “end of gas engine” mandates. Note a modest early 1990s EV mandate was shelved.

Clean Hydrogen Faces High Costs, Low Demand Energy Intelligence (guurst)

Hot air: five climate myths pushed by the US beef industry Guardian (Dr. Kevin)


So who understands the Chinese economy? Definitely not China Salon. Amplifies the point Michael Pettis has made, on Chinese GDP not being a measurement but in Pettis’ telling, basically planning targets.

Beijing Stages Charm Offensive to Pave Way for Xi Trip Wall Street Journal (David L)

Foxconn, China Contractor for Apple, Said to Be Under Tax Audit New York Times (Kevin W)

US sanctions accelerating China chip self-sufficiency Asia Times (Kevin W)

China will have over 1,000 nuclear weapons by 2030, exceeding US predictions, Pentagon report on PLA expansion says South China Morning Post (furzy). In case you missed it…

European Disunion

Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen – Europe Is About To Blow Up Rumble (Chuck L)

Old Blighty

Sunak will pay the price for valuing LinkedIn luvvies over real life issues Telegraph (BC)

UK’s Labour Party shaken by string of resignations over stance on Gaza Anadolu Agency (Erasmus)


Israel Hamas war: No second aid convoy enters Gaza despite reports, says UN Euronews (furzy)

Genocide Unfolding Craig Murray (Erasmus)

* * *

Per below, I read the latest statements out of Iran as changing the trigger in light of delay, that starving and continuing to shell the population in Gaza would also produce action. The death count will inevitably accelerate as water and food run out. It seems likely that there are other triggers Iran and its allies are firming up, like a set level of deaths:

Intelligence shows Iranian-backed militias are ready to ramp up their attacks against US forces in the Middle East CNN (furzy). It takes “intelligence” to work that out?

* * *

Hamas shows off entire bunker room floor covered with U.S./Swedish M136 LAWs, British/Swedish NLAWs, and possibly U.S. M141 rocket launchers. Jacob Dreizin

* * *

Let my people in. Why Gazans are not welcome in Arab world Insider (Li)

Von der Leyen doubles down on pro-Israel stance, lashes out at Iran Politico (Kevin W)

The End of Netanyahu Atlantic (furzy)

The Reckoning That Is Coming for Qatar Atlantic (furzy)

View from Delhi: Why Biden lied on Gaza hospital attack International Affairs (Chuck L). See Larry Johnson arguing why the attack was very likely made by Israel here and Scott Ritter here.

New Not-So-Cold War

From Politico’s morning newsletter:

EUROPE’S ARMS MAKER: Amid sustained war at home and boiling conflict in the Middle East, Kyiv doesn’t just want to keep gobbling up arms and aid from Western allies. It wants defense contractors to invest locally and help build out a modern arms industry, amid a horrific live business case, the country’s Minister of Strategic Industries Oleksandr Kamyshin told Playbook in an interview in Berlin.

Shifting production: “The free world should be producing enough to protect itself,” Kamyshin told us, adding that the way to do that is to ramp up output and shift production to where it’s needed — close to the front lines. The plan is to get major defense players, such as Germany’s Rheinmetall, to sign joint venture deals as a foil to the kind of agreements Russia is signing with the likes of Iran and North Korea to feed its army.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park: Lions could move from Donetsk to Doncaster BBC. Looks like a Ukrainian squillionaire abandoned his pets.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Mozilla’s first-ever Annual Consumer Creep-o-Meter Mozilla

Imperial Collapse Watch

Iowa City schools releases 68 book titles removed from school libraries The Gazette (furzy)


Trump Goes All in on Xenophobic Christian Nationalism in New Hampshire New Civic Rights Movement (furzy). Hoo boy.

Liz Cheney: Democracy Is Doomed Under a Second Trump Presidency Rolling Stone (furzy)


The President’s Taunt to Show Him the Money May Have Just Backfired Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Behind the Curtain: Rattled U.S. government fears wars could spread Axios. Lambert posted this when it was fresh, but worth reading again. Alexander Mercouris discussed this piece at length in his latest broadcast. Telling that the paranoid Administration regards their slipping control over the famed narrative as a weapon being deployed against them, as opposed to it becoming increasingly apparent to mere mortals that most of the soi-disant kings are prancing about naked.

GOP Clown Car

GOP senators pressure House to solve Speaker drama The Hill

Our No Longer Free Press

US Government & NewsGuard Sued by Consortium News Consortium News. Filing here. I wish them luck, but the legal representation looks seriously underpowered.

Black Lives Matter and freedom of speech in the USA on the Palestinian question Gilbert Doctorow

‘The customer is the loser’ in the new hotel industry, where the rooms are dirtier, the prices are higher and you’re getting less service, analyst says Fortune (Kevin W)

Why it is time to retire Dr Copper Economist (Dr. Kevin)

Japan Investigates Google Over Alleged Antitrust Violations Bloomberg


Smart coop AI ‘Albert Eggstein’ can now translate your chooks’ chatter New Atlas (David L)

The Bezzle

Big Tech Cannot Be Regulated Yanis Varoufakis (David L). I don’t buy this and have pinged someone who might be able to get a more authoritative figure to saddle up to rebut this (Stoller has just gone on paternity leave!)

Tesla ‘digs its own grave with the Cybertruck,’ Convoy collapses and Rivian scores a win at Rebelle TechCrunch (Kevin W)

California Law Limits Bitcoin ATM Transactions to $1,000 to Thwart Scammers MSN

CarPlay? Android Auto? Most People Still Just Listen to AM/FM Radio 9to5mac

Class Warfare

The Moral Authority of Marc Rowan: The private equity billionaire is leading a boycott of an Ivy League oligarch factory over a Palestinian literary festival it held last month. Maureen Tkacik. Today’s must read.

America’s pharmacy deserts: Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens will shut more than 1,500 stores due to crime and competition – leaving MILLIONS without access to healthcare Daily Mail (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (Chuck L). I love the vertical takeoff:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Donald

    I don’t know who hit the hospital— the experts disagree and many seem tentative in their conclusions from what I have read.

    Scott Ritter places a fair amount of weight on what he sees as specific information in Naftali’s deleted tweet, but the tweet contained the standard excuse Israel uses for every single air strike or artillery shell that kills Palestinian civilians — they were aiming at terrorists who use civilians as human shields. If Naftali heard that Israel hit a hospital, he would spout that excuse by reflex.

    So that part of Ritter’s argument depends on whether Naftali has specific information as Ritter thinks and spouted that line truthfully before realizing that the storyline was to blame a Palestinian rocket. Now even then, I still wouldn’t take his statement as evidence that Hamas leaders really were there at the scene, though if we find out they were then that would support Ritter’s theory. But Israelis will always claim they were aiming at terrorists using civilians as human shields or else they will deny being responsible at all. Naftali could be telling the truth about initially believing the press report— if so, he is telling the truth about being an instinctive liar,

    Anyway, the Israelis are committing massive war crimes whatever happened at that hospital that day. The West is using the Palestinian missile theory to imply that the Arab world is irrationally angry at Israel because of a false belief about this one atrocity.

    1. russell1200

      IMO the arguments for an Israel bomb are not particularly strong: though not non-existent either.

      But the arguments distract from more important point that Israel is bombing the crap out of Gaza, in no way that seems like precision.

      1. Benny Profane

        Yup, the hospital bomb has become the shiny object distracting everyone from literally thousands of other bombs falling on Gaza that no MSM outlet is honestly reporting on. The Duran reported yesterday about some staggering number of missles launched by Israel in a day or two that actually surpassed the total of Ukranian launches in a month on the entire Eastern front. And Gaza is about as big as Manhattan. But, not to worry, the NYT lead headline was that a few relief trucks crossed into Gaza to feed and supply water to a million people or more.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I find Larry Johnson’s point dispositive. He and his bomb expert contacts have found no evidence that Hamas ever used a similar weapon, and he has challenged others to provide an example. They have been unable to.

        1. norbert

          I am no expert, but the best case I have seen for the attack not being from Israel is the WSJ reconstruction here:
          The claim is that the big blast was due to rocket fuel burning/exploding after impact. The reconstruction looks serious, though I am no expert. I have not seen any discussion of this reconstruction and would love to know what experts make of it.

          That said there seem to be holes. Nothing said about the sound of the falling projectile sounding hypersonic. That said, for those who care, this is the best reconstruction I have seen for the Israel didnt do it claim

          1. playon

            IMHO information from the WSJ is often suspect as they tend to be all in when it comes to propaganda.

      3. Roger

        Seems like you just need to read some actual honest journalism and analysis, as from the UK Channel 4.

        This pretty much points to the Israeli claims not being truthful with the direction of the bomb being from Israeli held territory. Also, the nature of the explosion points to the product of a state military industrial complex, not the Hamas rough and ready workshops.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      I wonder if getting mired in the whodunnit stuff is missing the larger point. “But for” the IDFs horrid bombing of civilian targets, or putting their actions in the most favorable light, willingness to hit military targets embedded in an urban area where civilian deaths are unavoidable, the hospital bombing would not have happened.

      Return fire is simply a consequence of the IDF leveling buildings – what is Hamas supposed to do, just take it?

      Of course someone will argue that the initial October 7 attack was the trigger in the entire bloody chain of events, which are still unfolding.

      Point being, war is Hell and the Israelis are no better than Hamas morally.

      1. Young

        In my view, the intensity of the Israeli attack on Gaza is due to the fact that Hamas exposed a plastic dome, not the Iron Dome the world were fooled to believe that Israel had.

    3. Ken Murphy

      I’m of the opinion that, like the Ukraine situation, it’s just bad actors all around, and there really aren’t any “good” guys to side with. I don’t believe anything I’m hearing because of the high degree of likelihood that most of it is propaganda/cointel/agenda-driven/subversion/“misinformation”/outright lies. I don’t have a dog in this hunt other than an overall desire for peace so that families can be formed, be productive, and contribute to the overall prosperity of the commonweal.
      This is why I support space exploration, as it will help to mitigate the constant struggle for resources and energy, and to a lesser extent the desire for more room to raise “our type” of families. Until such time as we really start trying to tap those resources that await us we will continue to be not excellent to each other, and frankly that’s bogus.

      1. Louis Fyne

        Given your sensibilities, don’t read the “Expanse” series of books as it views the first 100 years of hypothetical space exploration through a scarcity-driven lens. (universal basic income as a tool of serfdom, not liberation; racial conflicts morphed into subspecies-driven racial conflicts: Earthers v. humans who grew up outside of earth-standard gravity, etc)

        just saying (or maybe you’ll really like it)

        1. Ken Murphy

          I did enjoy The Expanse. Probably some of the best sci-fi in a while. The books were written in the modern style, so light breezy reading, and the TV series was quite well done. As someone with a Masters in space studies I do appreciate the efforts to keep the physics accurate.
          That being said, do I think a space future is a utopian future? No. Corporations are still going to be crappy so long as we choose psycho- and sociopaths to run them. (But they’re -our- sociopath…). People are still going to be crappy to each other. Low-lifes are going to low-life, and will need unsavory characters to keep them in line. Rich folks are still going to engage in dick-swinging contests, although with much, much bigger balls…
          What will also happen is that we’ll be able to shift our focus from beating the crap out of each other here on Earth scrabbling for increasingly marginal sources of resources and energy, and towards expending all that testosterone on building infrastructure and tapping resources that will ultimately benefit life here Earth. Will there be conflict? Absolutely. But rather out there than down here.

          1. notabanker

            Will there be conflict? Absolutely. But rather out there than down here.

            This has some suppositions in it that may still not be reality in 100 years. In the last 70 years, technology in space travel really has not advanced as fast as say, silicon computer processing technology and communications. We are still building liquid gas powered rockets to fire into space, but now we can land parts of them back on earth. The vastness of space cannot be overcome without significant exponential breakthroughs in speed technology. And one wonders, if we could, what level of resources would need to be expended on earth to achieve it.

            The population of the planet is a math equation that does not work as well. 100 years may be extremely optimistic that the species can survive that long to keep scale large enough to organize the research and development of those technologies.

            In today’s reality fighting in space / off planet is a mighty expensive endeavor. Regardless of the fiat monetary costs, the space titans on earth are not going to risk extremely scares resources, like rockets and stations that take decades to build, on internal squabbles. They are going to solve those problems here.

            The other thought I have on this… is the species, humans, may just have too short a life span for viable space travel. Assume a sustainable long term energy resource is developed, the physics are still the physics. Beings that have a life span of a thousands years or more, would have a much different perspective on space travel than one’s that are 10% of that. Also, the ability to learn and evolve over massive time spans becomes a whole new landscape to develop the technologies needed.

        2. pasha

          Despite the pitfalls of space exploitation, the perils of exploiting our planet and its people seem worse. Ultimately, we cannot refute Heinlein’s admonition that “the Earth is just too fragile a basket to hold all our eggs.”

      2. Lambert Strether

        > This is why I support space exploration, as it will help to mitigate the constant struggle for resources and energy

        Only if you believe that capitalism doesn’t create shortages.

        1. Ken Murphy

          Meh, after over two decades in international banking and finance I find myself hewing more towards a mercantilist philosophy than a capitalist one. At least mercantilists focus on the finding and creation of goods and services to sell. Capitalists just seem to all want to be rentiers, funneling money into their pockets with little in return in the way of value-creation.
          But going back to modern economic theory, of course folks engaged in capitalism can create -temporary- shortages, but over time other actors, to the extent not constrained by systems established to enable and protect those engaging in the shortage creation, will come in and try to find other ways to serve those customers. I would argue that we can see that with something like the access-to-space arena, which was, for the longest time, increasingly monopolistic until an outside actor came in, flipped the table, and made space much more accessible.

        2. Late Introvert

          And the fact that there is no protection from radiation, and our muscles atrophy, eyeballs deform, etc.

          Shoot all the billionaires into space though? That’s got some merit.

          1. OliverN

            Mixed feelings on that actually. The desire of the billionaires to evac Earth is tacit proof that Earth is unsaveable and the rats want to flee the sinking ship. I’d have a law that anyone who’s ever had more than 1bill in assets is forbidden from leaving earth or having an island; that way they have to use their influence and power on fixing Earth rather than fleeing it

    4. Boomheist

      The story hit of 500+ killed at a hospital and that was the headline and since then we have learned that a)it was a parking lot not the hospital building itself that was hit; b) there was a doctor press conference with some bodies behind the podium but those appear to be the ONLY evidence or pictures of any of the 500_ supposedly killed. At this point there are a few voices asking, where are the bodies, biut everyone has simply internalized the 500+ figure and run with it. One could make an argument this was a clever Hamas psy-op, alleging this disaster early on, which worked beautifully in the media, all the arguments being about who did it and not about did it actually happen – s clever way perhaps to bring focus to the horrible bombing that has been going on and which is usually not reported in much detail by the media, even now….

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        There have been photos of a lot of body bags at that hospital, way more than the max 10 you’d get from a Hamas rocket + maybe 10 more if you blew up a car. Saying it was not 500 misses the point it was still far too many dead.

        And it was the WESTERN press that was fast to run the 500 dead story. NYT, BBC, et. al. Are you suggesting that they print Hamas press releases? I’m bothered by your misleading attributions.

        1. Boomheist

          I am not misleading anything, simply asking a question – where is the evidence of the mass death? I found a photo with two body bags, that’s it, and find it remarkable there are not dozens of pictures of bodies or body bags, or people racing to treat the victims, etc etc. Nothing. The pictures of the bombed courtyard show no or virtually no evidence of victims, not even piles of clothing, shoes, etc. Are you suggesting this blast occurred, killed hundreds, and then all the remains were removed before the first pictures of the blast area were taken? It seems, rather, you are implying I have an agenda to blame Hamas for this atrocity, which is not the case. In fact I agree with you and many others that it is most likely this blast came from the IDF, but the number of actual bodies shown looks closer to 10 than even 100. My main point here is that in the fog of war and propaganda many events that appear certain may in fact not be. Alleging a horrific blast and hundreds of victims at a Gazan hospital serves the narrative of the Palestinians. If it really happened as reported, and as most people now believe, Israel looks bad. Absent clear evidence it DID happen as described, this could have been someone taking advantage of gullible western media and expectations and an air blast and a few deaths and framing the story of a horrific massacre. This is the story that bursts out, and the real truth never catches up. By the way it is also clear to me that what was alleged to have happened at that hospital is exactly what has been happening since during the bombing, every single day, since, just as horrible if not more so than the October 7th attacks in Israel. I keep being reminded of that now nearly ancient movie “Wag the Dog”, which was, I believe, prescient…..

          1. Cat Burglar

            Sourcing is thin in a lot of the reporting on this war, just like in Ukraine. Even details of the first attack are unclear, poorly attributed, or are falsified — with Gaza under attack, reporting is even worse.

            I spent a couple hours today trying to read accounts of the Hamas attack in the first couple days of the war, just to try to picture how many people did it, where they were active, who the victims were, and what happened to them. Most of the reports were sourced to the IDF, and there was very little detail. There was the debunked beheaded babies story, and now the fabricated rape report. Ha’aretz appears to be doing some good reporting.

            I found this story from The Cradle to be the best sourced one on the beginning of the war that I ran across. We’ll have to wait before we know more about the hospital, but it sure looks like Israel did it, just like the previous five strikes on hospitals.

    5. Karl

      Shortly after the hospital bombing ADF intelligence released audio of a phone conversation by Gaza eye-witnesses which purports to absolve Israel and blame an errant missile fired next door. I was struck that this seemingly compelling “evidence” was not shared more widely by pro-Israel media in the West. The veracity of this audio was subsequently challenged as having the wrong accents, syntax, etc. and therefore fake. If true, it would also seem that the ADF could be implicated in a deliberate fabrication. Has this version of the story been confirmed? Am I naive to be surprised that the ADF might be spreading and even fabricating disinformation?

      Incidentally, Biden has not yet shared the “intelligence” he got from Israel during his visit that supposedly exonerates Israel for this attack (Rand Paul has demanded that he do so). Surely if Israel had some strong evidence why keep it hidden? I’d hate to think that Biden is complicit in Israel’s disinformation campaign.

  2. zagonostra

    >Genocide Unfolding Craig Murray (Erasmus)

    I find it almost impossible to believe that this genocide is under way with the active support of almost all western governments.

    I am having a hard time processing many impossibilities. How is it that Joe Biden is the president, that Trump is the most popular alternative, that RFK jr., Bernie Sanders and other erstwhile popular “leftist” politicians, have green lighted the “genocide under way” because Israel has the right to “defend itself.” That we send billions in “aid” to Israel so they can provide universal healthcare to their citizens that the U.S. citizens lack, that billions are going to Ukraine for a war that never should have started, that “Operation Mocking Bird” continues on, but openly this time where, again, “leftist” applaud the censorship, that pundits and podcasters that I agreed with on most topics have become rabid supporters of the “genocide under way,” that it’s possible to print money endlessly, that servicing the national debt is as large as the oversized defense dept. budget, that students will graduate as debt slaves, that big pharma funds most of the MSM’s budgets and have repeatedly lied with no consequences, that both political parties unanimously support Israel but can’t agree on anything else, and on and on and on…the cognitive dissonance is rattling my brain.

    1. ian

      Zagonostra: THANK YOU for articulating in words MANY of the thoughts bouncing around in my brain. Perhaps Lewis Carroll, oh so many years ago, may have noticed this phenomenon and used it for creative expression:

      Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

      I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

    2. vidimi

      i don’t know who those pundits and podcasters are, but there must have been red flags earlier. People like the guys at the Greyzone, Caitlyn Johnstone, Craig Murray, Matt Taibbi even Glenn Greenwald who has been catering his arguments more for a conservative audience, have all been consistent.

    3. Mikel

      I’ve said before, as governments and institutions of all kinds (private and public) around the world face crises of legitimacy and decline, the global wars/conflicts increase. And with those conflicts come their justifications for censorship and surveillance.

    4. Rick

      Yes. Even for someone like me who has seen a half century of US history as an adult, the current situation is hard to believe. Add to your list the response to a dangerous airborne disease that has not only has been largely abandoned but information about its spread is being actively suppressed.

      I remember a time when there was at least some energy given to the public good.

      Definitely getting out of hand.

      Wish I knew a way to help get us back to a better place.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “The End of Netanyahu”

    As far as I can see, Netanyahu is toast. He was supposed to be all about security but has led Israel into its worse tactical defeat since the ’74 war. And it should be pointed out that the only reason that he wants to stay in power is so that he is not prosecuted for his earlier corruption and end up in a prison cell. That is why he allied himself with the crazies which helped him back into power. Taking a big picture view, there is only one possible way that he can save his hide. By having Israel take all of Gaza, displace all those Palestinians to Egypt and beyond and thus having this major victory save himself and his legacy. The land taken could be given to his ultra-Orthodox supporters to buy all their future support and ending all threats from Gaza would seal his place in Israeli history. Yes, thousands of Israeli soldiers will die and be crippled doing so but Netanyahu has always put himself first so it would be an acceptable price for him. Nonetheless he still can’t stop stuffing things up and I read of the latest thing a few minutes ago. Israelis around the world are boarding planes to go back to Israel and do their part in this war. Well, not all of them. Netanyahu’s son Yair has decided that the best place he can fight this war from is – wait for it – from Miami, Florida even though he was trained as a soldier. Not a good look for Bibi and it is like the time that the Ukraine’s former President Poroshenko was spotted in London with his grown sons-

    1. Lexx

      1. Netanyahu is nuts. Like recognizes like.

      2. Hamas won’t leave. Every single one of them will have to be hunted down, imprisoned or killed rather than abandon Gaza.

      3. Serious doubts whether Egypt will take in 2.3 million Palestinians. They would have to reverse their own policy and Egypt has problems that will be compounded by the sudden influx of a few million poor and desperate refugees. No one wants the Palestinians, but the Ukranians… sure.

      1. Roger

        1. Netanyahu is nuts and desperate to stay in power to stay out of jail

        2. The Palestinians will not leave their land and every single of them that can will fight for their land and have to be forcibly ethnically cleansed and/or genocided. Many of them have already been through the ethnic cleansing/land theft routine at least once.

        3. Egypt will not facilitate the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians

        There, fixed it for you.

    2. William Beyer

      Whatever happened to Sy Hersh’s claim of Bibi’s toastiness from last week? Due to directing funding of Hamas as a counter to Fatah via Qatar since 2007? Seems to have been disappeared.

      1. ambrit

        “Whatever happened to Sy Hersh’s claim…” You will have to inquire at the Ministry of Truth about this Hersh person, of whom, records are vague at best. Contact Mr. Smith at the Records Division for further help. Try this number and ask for Mr. Smith; (1-800-666-1984.)

        1. John Zelnicker

          Good morning, ambrit.

          By any chance have you tried to call that phone number to see who answers it?

          I searched for it and came up with nothing.

          1. ambrit

            I have learned the hard way to avoid any and all 800 numbers. If said number is associated with an organization I am familiar with, say, the Post Office, all I ever encounter are purposely time wasting automatic decision trees. “Your call is valuable to us. Press one for Deportations. Two for Liquidations. Three for all other forms of ‘Disposition.'”
            As a somewhat silly talisman, I carry about in my wallet a dollar bill with the last three numbers of the Serial Number being 666. 1984 explains itself.
            I was wondering if perhaps the 666 exchange is “cursed” like the Thirteenth Floor in many buildings, and thus not used at all. However, I find that the exchange number 666 is used all over America, so, the Telephone Companies are not run by Millennialists.
            Girding my loins and taking my manhood in hand I just called the number. It didn’t even ring. It hung up immediately. So much for one beloved CT.
            Stay safe on the hill Mr. Zelnicker.

            1. Irrational

              Isn’t 666 the number of the devil in the bible? Also significant for other reasons though. Combined with the 1984 an inspired choice for a phone number, sir!

  4. griffen

    I have to take my readings from Jonathan Turley in particular small doses, but absent any true reports from other media outlets ( hey NY Times or others ? ) this will have to suffice. It’s going from nothing to see here to just running the family business, as Turley suggests the goal posts will get shifted again. What, exactly, is the family business? I mean all my brothers were accountants practically but they didn’t bestow any sort of “CPA Light” magic potion down to me. Is there a physical office location in DC, or maybe Delaware, or instead is it like all those trust operations operating out of the same set of PO Boxes in the Cayman Islands. It all stinks. FJB.

    Grifting is not “good” for any person serving in office, be it Clarence or the Supremes or the Trumpians or the Bidenistas. Most people can’t fathom a “loan” or a “repayment” in the six figures. I bet Madison can’t stop rolling in his own grave, as it were.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      “Most people can’t fathom a “loan” or a “repayment” in the six figures.”
      I’m having a hard enough time with my student loan, and that’s only in the low 5s. Wish I had a connected brother. I also wish Joe Biden would send me the $600 he owes me, but that’s not going to happen either.

      1. Not Qualified to Comment

        I also wish Joe Biden would send me the $600 he owes me

        He’s sending it to Israel on your behalf.

    2. Feral Finster

      As long as any credible alternative to Biden is a worse outcome for the Empire, he could be shown on video taking quid-pro-quo bribes from child molesters and nothing would happen to him, Biden’s loyal MSM toadies would spin and lawyer like Squealer, motivated after a couple hits on Young Hunter’s crack pipe.

    3. SD

      Re: Jonathan Turley’s latest:

      Does anyone remember when Biden claimed back in 2016 that Obama had offered to help him pay for treatment for Beau when Beau became “sick”?

      This NYT piece is short and worth a read (but it may be paywalled, if so, apologies). The thrust of the piece was that Joe had a family medical crisis on his hands with Beau and needed financial help from Barack to pay for it.

      These quotes stand out: “[Biden] said, ‘But Jill and I will sell the house. We’ll be in good shape,’ Mr. Biden told CNN’s Gloria Borger, referring to his wife, Jill Biden.”

      Barack reportedly replied: “‘Don’t sell that house. Promise me you won’t sell the house,’ Mr. Biden remembered [Obama telling him]. [Obama] said: ‘I’ll give you the money. Whatever you need, I’ll give you the money. Don’t, Joe. Promise me. Promise me.’”

      With all of the ongoing revelations about the Bidens’ far-reaching corruption, I find myself wondering WTF this particular account–and it is of course hearsay–from Joe Biden was about at the time.

      Burnishing his Everyman/”Amtrak Joe” image–maybe in an effort to support Obamacare? A diversion from revelations about Beau that he knew were potentially damaging to his presidential ambitions? An attempt to burnish Obama’s image? Or court black voters? Cognitive decline? Possibly a knee-jerk moment of overcompensation for his family’s rampant and lucrative influence peddling? Something else?

      It’s an extremely weird Biden moment that seems even weirder in retrospect.

      1. griffen

        Yeah that’s a good reminder. It never added up to be honest, if Beau had served or was still serving as the Atty General for the state of Delaware then surely insurance coverage would not have been the issue. Cancer treatments are extensive and expensive of course. Late treatments or just placing the patient into a hospice like setting, the costs can also add up.

  5. timbers

    President Blinken seems determined to make this a regional war to take out Syria and Iran. Invading Gaza many say wont be an effective strategy so…Syria Iran? Which might result in Chinese and Russian missiles hitting US assets. Might we see one or two US Aircraft carries at the bottom of the Mediterranean if President Blinken launches missiles at Syria Iran from them? A US bloody nose might…might…do some good but not holding my breath. And where is Biden? Somewhere medicated? Regardless having a mental defective officially in charge of the situation is nuts.

    1. nippersdad

      And that is the thing I always ask myself. They go to war to break up Syria and Iran, then what? It is not like they have not had extensive experience with what happens after we break a country. They end up with fourteen more Libyas and then they think that is a win?

      These people are just nuts.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Joe Biden is President. Hillary was the Team Blue nominee before him. Blinken’s record made him completely unqualified to be hold a diplomatic post. They’ve been rewarded when they should have been punished.

        Carl Sagan’s point about bad ideas needing to die out is important. These people can’t be fixed, or the would have simply laughed at Shrub in the first place. These are people who believe Putin stole their glorious victory in Syria instead of serving actual US interests. Biden was going to run on the expansion of NATO after an ethnic cleansing in Ukraine, but Putin stole that from him too.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Old Joe certainly has a bee in his bonnet about Putin and has made it personal. Same with Xi too come to think of it as he has demonstrated before. Maybe Joe should be packed away in an assisted care facility for aged war criminals. But no dogs allowed!

      2. Feral Finster

        “They end up with fourteen more Libyas and then they think that is a win?”

        They see both as wins, as neither Libya nor Iraq no longer poses any threat to Israel or US interests.

        The human suffering never plays into it.

    2. Willow

      ‘Coalition of the Willing’ lost in Afghanistan and they think they can win against Iran? LOL. Biden Administration are snorting too much blow.

  6. Michaelmas

    When you’ve lost Adam Tooze —

    ‘This idea, that there is a “place” in the world, which is that of “America as the organizer” … As a metaphysical proposition it is silly and self-deluding. It is bizarre to imagine that the world needs America to “hold it together”. America itself is hardly in one piece….’

    ‘…American democracy, the system that produces the leadership that Biden and Blinken so self-confidently evoke, is clearly broken. Pervasive and well-merited skepticism about America’s system of government, is now a massive reality in world affairs….

    ….America will agree to no climate treaty that does not place obligations on all parties … It will under no circumstances accept liability or any idea of compensation, the basis for the climate justice movement….

    ‘…these are largely non-negotiable positions on the American side. They are unacceptable to the vast majority of the rest of the world … This provokes indignation, a breakdown in trust, deadlock and thus the perpetuation of a disorganized status quo…’

    …’In this role, America becomes a force that does not hold the world together but blows it apart….’

    ‘ …the US prefers a status quo of disorganization and organized irresponsibility to any actually realistic possibility of global cooperation….’

    ‘…How does a world function in which dollar hegemony is entrenched …? What is the impact of a dysfunctional US political system, where the more reasonable wing of the ruling elite cling to ideas about America’s role that are systematically self-deluding?’

    And so on.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      The US leadership is so utterly corrupt and paid for that they don’t have the ability to look themselves in the mirror, as it will interrupt their paycheck. So nothing will chànge without a war or a huge economic event to knock the Uẞ down a peg.

    2. Mikel

      I’ll add to that. Many world leaders, outside the vassal states, are probably tired of pretending to have coherent meetings with Biden, the establishment figurehead.

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘DD Geopolitics
    Romanian journalist in Israel ducking for cover from Hamas attacks…. while people casually walk in the background.’

    Saw a CNN journalist pull the same sort of stunt a coupla days ago as there were no bags to sniff being available. Looking at that Romanian journalist laying next to that car, I can only say that this is one of the best examples I have seen of – shall I say it? – gutter journalism.

    1. griffen

      Baghdad Bob…Hold my Beer, all you pikers. Or alternately and more applicable, the ever hilarious “windy monsoon” of a tropical storm making landfall somewhere in the Northeast US a few weeks ago. “Jim, the weather is really getting worse out there.” Erstwhile, elderly couple stroll past on a summer afternoon seemingly unaware of a weather apocalypse.

      I mean that to say, for clarity purposes, serious Hurricanes (Andrew, Hugo, Katrina) are a serious threat. And yet, not every pending threat from a downgraded hurricane is quite so serious.

  8. rob

    I still find it hard to accept that now Tucker carlson, is an “adult” in the room.
    I am amazed at everyone spouting childish fantasies as to the US competence and morality, openly supporting insanity…. all these educated,experienced adults… reverting back to make believe…. all in.

    1. JBird4049

      In his current episode, he was interviewing some retired military officer, while looking perpetually stunned while doing so. I think most of what Carlson does is an act, but for today, not so much. The interviewee mentioned that (American) politicians just look at and follow what their supporters say and no further. Before that the officer said that most of the generals had never been in combat to explain their thinking.

      While listening, I kept hearing my Mom say “if they jumped off a cliff, would you do too?

    2. .Tom

      He’s an opportunist. One of the characteristics of our zeitgeist, of a bipartisan consensus that’s converged on a very narrow and radical posture to defend against their legitimacy crisis is that it leave a lot of strong, patently obvious, and sometimes moral arguments up for grabs. So some of the most repulsive people end up saying stuff that I agree with. It almost always opportunist poseurs just looking to advance themselves that get heard offering these arguments. Anyone proposing to use politics to materially change anything in favor of the people or peace is completely marginalized.

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, Carlson is very much the opportunist as well as a user; I just think that he a tiny bit of morals or conscience and is not invested in the narrative beloved by our elites. He allows reality to change his understanding.

        Remember how Donald Trump looked like during the first few days of winning his election? It was similar to Carlson’s. “I actually won? What do I do now?”

        I think that a real difference between some of the punditariot, literati, politicians, and others when compared to others is the ability to actually see some of what is happening, right now. As John Maynard Keynes is supposed to have said: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

        However, almost nobody is changing their mind on a, b, c, and now on to w, x, y, and z, are they? Personally, my head constantly has a tightness around it as I constantly check to see if I am the crazy person here. Or is it truly just that so many are either bamboozled or insane? This is especially true when I compare what the people of the recent past would have done to what is happening today. My Reality Meter or what I grew up creating is now garbage. What does it say that I miss the halcyon days of the Nixon Administration? Then, there is one of my earliest memories of the Apollo Program and the Moon Landings and comparing it to today’s reality. Or the first Cold War?

        I think I am seeing or reading more people more people really seeing that their Reality Meter is garbage as well. Sometimes, it just takes time or something so overwhelming that it can’t be denied anymore.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Saw that video earlier but in one way it makes to sense. How long did it take for the US to build up their forces to take on Iraq in the first Gulf War when US military power was at its peak? Six months? Maybe more? So those forces now maybe able to do some strikes but what then? Do they have the staying power? I read too about 2,000 US Marines in place. What are they supposed to do? Who are they supposed to fight? Hezbollah, Iran and Syria all have battle-hardened soldiers with lots of solid tech behind them. Is Biden & Co. trying to bluff the world to back down so that US military primacy will not be challenged? This is all a good way to get lots of men and women get killed all to satisfy Neocon delusions of competence.

      1. timbers

        My guess it’s all about bombing Syria and Iran. DC can declare victory if they bomb those nations by claiming they are funding Hamas (weather true or not). Israel would love that, President Blinken too. The complication is Chinese navy in Persian Gulf and Russian hypersonic missiles. Don’t know if either would respond if US just bombs Syria and Iran, but Russia will respond if her assets in Syria are hit.

        1. undercurrent

          But what would President Manchin say? ‘ Bomb the hell out of the them, but don’t touch my pipeline.’

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Biden doesnt havd a clue beyond his speech decades ago calling Israel a good investment. Now, the White House has likely realized they’ve put 600,000 Americans in danger, but they expected world wide outrage towards Hamas and weren’t prepared for the Israelis to be Likudnik holes they’ve ago ways been. Biden has already gone all in. He won’t back down to avoid looking weak.

        Macron is calling for an international force, but this is more of a hail mary at this point. The heads of Western governments all lined up like Biden to serve ethnic cleansing, and now they need to worry about their own citizenry.

        1. Feral Finster

          No international force is necessary, since what the the US and its puppets learned from Iraq was not to get into the nation-building business.

          The nation-destroying business is quicker, cheaper and doesn’t result in as much domestic unrest. Think Libya or Yemen.

          1. John k

            Libya and Yemen couldn’t effectively shoot back.
            Different people look at situations from different viewpoints. Russia might think us can’t win in iran without nukes, and if we avoid ww3 see this as an opportunity to push us out of Syria and, generally, out of ME.
            I wonder if generals with little combat experience are just as impressed with us competence as the dem warmongers.

      3. flora

        When have the neocons ever made sense to anyone other than themselves? Among themselves they are true believers in the rightness of their strategic thinking.

        1. John k

          Iran is bigger than Iraq was, has spent the time since developing missile defenses. Russia can take out carriers in a ny minute, not sure about Iran. We might find out soon.
          ‘A great nation will be destroyed…’
          Would Russia do nothing if Iran was losing? And what about opec? Hizbullah?

      4. boomheist

        As regards logistics support, the US has a base at Diego Garcia, in the Indian ocean, a big lagoon, wherein are moored several ro-ro ships operated by Military Sealift Cokmand, the fleet of ships on stand-by in case we need to invade some place and conduct a war. MSC has, or had when I worked with them 6 years ago, a bunch of ships based at US Ports which have a skeleton crew and are set up so if they get the call to be used can be manned and spun up and then get to a loading port within 96 hours. But there are also four to six ships at Diego Garcia, at anchor, fully loaded with 1,000 vehicles, enough rolling stock, jeeps, tanks, trucks, and some ammo, for a full division. These ships have a bigger skeleton crew plus people whose job it is to roam the holds and turn the engines over and make sure everything is ready to go. So we have up to six fully loaded ships not that far from the Persian Gulf, or even the Eastern Med, which can be fired up and sail, to then meet up to six airlifted divisions of soldiers dispatched from US or European bases in big planes. Talk about empire. Point being, the US actually has, or had, six years ago, the ability to project enormous force in literally days to the Middle East. Of course, all the necessary follow on and backup supplies, and diesel fuel ands gas, and ammo, are another thing entirely, and of course this assumes that those anchored ships are truly ready to go, which is an ipen question as ships sitting around year after year tend to seize up, get rusty, etc, not to mention the years of idleness and preparedness build their own series of seizures and things broken without knowing it that then emerge once you haul the anchor and are underway.

        Point being, the US has the force projection ability. Those among you who are good at digital forensics ight even be able to find those ships at anchor at Diego and see if they are still there. If it happens that suddenly several of those ships have weighed anchor and started toward the persian Gulf, well, then, get ready…..

          1. juno mas

            Yes, ship-based logistics support is not the same as the land-based logistics used by Russia for the SMO in its backyard. As the Urkaine fighting has shown, there is no place to hide in modern warfare. Bombs and missiles with your name on them hit there targets with precision. It will be interesting who goes nuclear first. (As if it matters.)

        1. John k

          I assume this is not a secret, and Iran missiles can get that far. And if they get closer it seems likely Russia will feed them satellite info just as us dies for Ukraine.

        2. Roger

          And exactly which nation is going to allow these ships to dock and provide facilities for staging them? Not any Arab nation that would be in an immediate insurrection if they did such a thing, not Afghanistan anymore, not Pakistan so who? All of those ships are also floating targets all the way to their destination.

          Who will even allow those paratroopers to land? The US is now a paper tiger in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and Iran declared peace and China became the biggest importer of ME hydrocarbons. Such arrangements are for attacking weak nations (certainly not Iran) bordered by nations which will provide staging facilities. Those ships will just rust away.

    2. Glen

      Yeah, I think the operational quote is “I got a bad feeling about this”.

      As much as comparison to the build up of W’s idiotic invasion of Iraq are appropriate (and they are), this feels like a much more out of control coda to “W and Cheney’s Excellent Middle East Adventure”.

      One of the big, big fears during the first Gulf War was that a SCUD would hit Israel, Israel would respond, and spark a regional war. The US had much closer alliances with all the Gulf states back then, and was able to prevent this (but it did light the fuse which eventually resulted in 9/11). I don’t know how the DC elites can ignore the very obvious warning signs that the annihilation of Gaza will result in at least a regional war. Some of them openly want a regional war.

      But again, America is choosing to ignore that China and Russia have critical interests in the region which they will protect:

      China’s Overreliance on Gulf Oil Is a Vulnerability for Everyone

      How Russia Is Turning Syria into a Major Naval Base for Nuclear Warships (and Israel Is Worried)

      China relies on Gulf oil for it’s economy even more than America or Europe does, and Russia is not about to give up naval and air force bases in Syria. This is a much different Middle East than twenty years ago, and given that Biden seems to be living in an America and Middle East from forty years ago, I have no idea what to expect.

  9. Lexx

    ‘The customer is the loser’ in the new hotel industry, where the rooms are dirtier, the prices are higher and you’re getting less service, analyst says Fortune’

    We stayed in one hotel last month (a Hilton) for one night. They checked us in right away but when we opened the door to our room it was obvious it hadn’t been cleaned yet. We were asked to leave our luggage and go off to do something while they cleaned it. We walked up the block and had lunch, then returned a few hours later. The hotel as far as we could tell was at capacity and the cleaning staff we could see were few.

    What I didn’t understand was why the front desk didn’t know what rooms had or had not been cleaned before checking us in. The one guy at check-in seemed clueless.

    There were no perks.

    I haven’t been in a hotel since before Covid, so that was new. But I have to say we found there was a lack of employees almost everywhere in every kind of business. The problem we repeatedly ran into was the gas pumps weren’t working, the air pumps were also broken, and the toilets were out-of-order, or locked and an employee had to come to open the door for us, after looking us over to see if we ‘passed’*. So our quest while pulling a 34.5 ft. 5th-wheel behind us was trying to find a fully functioning gas station that we could get in and out of without mishap. Husband became extremely discriminating before committing to pulling in to gas up.

    *If challenged, I thought pointing to Husband outside pumping a $100 worth of gas into the truck got us an automatic free use of their toilet, but not anymore. Strange days.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Based on your experience, could it be that that Hilton was understaffed as many people are out sick with Covid? You do wonder. Something else struck me. You said ‘the front desk didn’t know what rooms had or had not been cleaned before checking us in.’ Conrad Hilton would be spinning in his grave. They have these things these days called ‘computers.’ You could have the cleaning staff simply tap a display on a tablet when they finish cleaning a room which would update the database at the front desk to indicate that the room is ready for its next occupant. Is that even technically possible? Do yourself a favour though and don’t do a Gordon Ramsey by using a Black Light in your room- (5:39 mins) – at about the 3:10 mark.

      1. Kurtismayfiepd

        Nope, every business seems to be short staffed, and no one will do what it takes so they just keep plodding along. If I asked to pay 20k for a new Mercedes, I would be laughed at. But minimum wage is $7.25.

        1. John k

          We’re on a road trip in ca, haven’t seen the issues described in this thread. Maybe min wage here affects the difficulty in finding workers, it going up here again, I think to 25/hr.

      2. Lexx

        Yeah, he had one of those computer thingies right in front of him the whole time, yet seemed ignorant of which rooms had been already cleaned… t’was a mystery for him. He had to pick up that talkie contraption to find someone to go in and clean our room. I thought he looked surprised and relieved someone answered and agreed to the request. Every visible employee seemed young and inexperienced.

        There are alot of reasons why we have a 5-th wheel, Kev. We took our pillows with us to the Hilton. Eww.

        I was further amazed at how limited they had managed to make the showering experience, as though they were super tired of repairing the plumbing and shower doors, so they just fixed it so not much could be moved. ‘Hilton showers… accept the limits or be stinky.’ What would Conrad think of that?

        (I had already spent a week using the 5th-wheel shower, which as anyone who has one will tell is just a step above a spit bath and more cramped, so I had really been looking forward to that Hilton shower…. it did serve as an ‘attitudinal’ adjuster though.)

        1. ambrit

          When we were poorer than today, we lived in a 1963 Airstream, for about five years on and off. It had a rectangular mini-bath, with attached hand held shower head. When we travelled, we had a home made shower rig comprised of another hand held shower head attached to a garden hose. Find an isolated water spigot, set up the shower curtain rig, and, as long as it wasn’t freezing, go at it. We all got used to ‘cold’ showers during the Summer. (Hint: Add extra garden hose to the rig and leave it out in the sun for an hour or so and you got warm water for about two to three minutes.)
          We pulled the Airstream with an old International Scout 2 with a 305 cu. in. eight cylinder engine. It had the “towing package,” which included a heavy duty low gear transmission. We saw the South in that equipment.
          Good luck with your backing up skills. Driving the truck and trailer rig in reverse was nerve wracking. It gave me a new respect for big rig drivers.
          Stay safe, wherever you are.

        2. Nikkikat

          I enjoyed the part where Hilton suites requested for me to pay for that small bottle of water that I drank. Used to be free.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      We stayed at a Hilton or Hyatt – one of those H brands – several months ago. One of the lamps was out and the fire alarm was missing with wires hanging out of the wall. My better half called the front desk to ask them to fix it and I just laughed – if they couldn’t fix it before we checked in the definitely weren’t going to do it for us now, with only a one night stay.

      We checked out the next morning with everything still broken.

    3. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

      By way of “different place/different result,” I just had a conference and stayed at a different hotel (thrifty wife not letting freebies go to waste) and both the staying hotel (Holiday Inn Express) and the conference hotel (Best Western) the stay and conference were both pleasant. Prices though … one CAN of soda at conference was $3.50….

      But … different places, different results.” One place on the coast, which shall not be named, is … downhill from the old days.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Herzog: Hamas brought instructions on making chemical weapons to Oct. 7 onslaught”

    I think that I am ready to call shenanigans on this article. According to another publication, what Herzog was actually displaying was ‘an amateur biography of World Trade Center attacker Ramzi Yousef and contains no instructions on how to develop chemical weapons…Yousef, whose real name is Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim, is currently serving multiple life sentences in a prison in the US over his involvement in the 1993 bombing, which killed seven people.’

    Another porkie-pie that Herzog says is that ‘We are dealing with ISIS.’ If that was true, then Israel would still be financing Hamas, would be supplying them with weapons and also sending in special forces into Gaza to retrieve their wounded so that they can be treated for their wounds in Israeli hospitals before being sent back into action in Gaza. In Syria, ISIS, Hamas and Israel were all on the same side remember.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘il libanese
    🇩🇪 – Germany’s third most popular politician, Sarah Wagenknecht, announced the creation of a new party that advocates lifting sanctions on Russia and against arms supplies to Ukraine.’

    Minister for Everything Robert Habeck regrets to announce the tragic death of Sarah Wagenknecht in a small plane accident/heart attack/of cancer next Tuesday afternoon – at about 3 o’clock.

    1. Skip Intro

      Habeck continued “the chief pathologist of federal police is considering it a death by natural causes as the search for evidence of Russian Hamas involvement continues.”

      1. ambrit

        Grieving relatives are questioning. “How could we have missed all the signs that she was so depressed and suicidal?”

    2. Feral Finster

      No need. The German authorities will ban on any pretext any political force that challenges US hegemony in general or the War on Ukraine in particular, once it starts getting any traction.

  12. Mikel

    “Let my people in. Why Gazans are not welcome in Arab world” Insider

    Just based on the tone and issues pointed out in the article, it could just as likely be titled “Why the Gazans have nowhere to go.”

    1. Feral Finster

      If someone shows up and forcibly dispossesses you of your house, I suppose that means that it’s your relatives’ fault for not accommodating you.

      Isn’t there are term for that sort of lesser class of human being? Subliminal human? Underhuman? Something like that?

      1. Mikel

        The points in the article say more about those countries than Gaza. The headline doesn’t reflect that.

  13. The Rev Kev

    Since the Ukrainian war has been pushed to the back pages, I thought that I would mention this latest announcement by Generalissimo Zelensky-

    ‘“Ukraine needs results every day,” Zelensky insisted in his evening video address on Sunday. “We need to resist the Russian assaults, kill the occupiers and move forward. We must advance by at least a kilometer, at least 500 meters, every day. We must keep moving forward in order to improve the Ukrainian positions and put pressure on the occupiers.”

    Such progress is needed to strengthen Ukraine and motivate foreign allies to provide more military support, Zelensky said, adding that next week “will bring more opportunities for Ukraine.” ‘

    Sounds reasonable. Well, errrrr- (1:19 mins)

    It’s not duck season, it’s not wabbit season – it’s Rasputitsa season.

    1. Samuel Conner

      The thought occurs that VZ has taken a leaf out of the “positive thinking” literature — “every problem is an opportunity”.

      Unfortunately, the most fruitful opportunities, to negotiate the least unfavorable peace agreement that is still within reach, seem to have been refused a priori.

    2. tegnost

      next week “will bring more opportunities for Ukraine.”

      so the false flag is next week then, good to know…

  14. Mikel

    “Behind the Curtain: Rattled U.S. government fears wars could spread” Axios

    Meanwhile, plenty of actions, statements, and other reports in the news line up on the side of events set up to lead to a wider war.

    1. Feral Finster

      I like how the Axios article dutifully recites that party line that Israel assuredly did not bomb the Baptist Hospital, just as the MSM felt it incumbent to tell us that Jeffrey Epstein surely killed himself, LOL.

  15. notabanker

    As if there wasn’t already reason enough to ignore the pablum being spewed by the NYT, now living in cars is affordable housing. These people have lost their minds. HRC was right about the deprogramming, she just got the audience wrong.

    The mozilla privacy link is a good one. They did a very nice take down of Nissan, whose privacy policy in any sane country would be criminal. I had a couple of Infiniti’s in my lifetime, the best cars I ever owned, but would now never buy a new one, even if I had $60K to lop down on a car.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The nominal left and their organs have gone all in for “Bidenomics,” so it’s little pink houses time without the houses.

      1. ambrit

        “Little Parties, on the Hill side,”
        “And they’re all made out of Grifty Grafty,”
        “Little Parties, on the Hill side,”
        “And they all end up the same.”

        “There’s a Pink one, and a Green one,”
        “And a Red one, and a Blue one,”
        “And they’re all made out of Grifty Grafty,”
        “And they all play the same games.”

        “All the people in the Parties,’
        “All went to Elite Universities,”
        “Where they were put in boxes,’
        “And they all came out the same.”

        The whole song can be “spun” like this. America! What a country!
        Stay safe, in rhyming couplets.

    2. Reply

      One consolation of that mozilla item was that I won’t have to worry about auto privacy. My car is old, long paid off and will get a lot older as I can’t afford a new one and wouldn’t want one that is just a rolling privacy assault. A downside is that it isn’t really large enough to live in, should the need arise.

      When mashed up with that Rowan item, I had a concern about private parasite equity taking over auto companies. Maybe their techniques just filter around to other industries so they can contaminate what little remains of what used to be called business ethics. Hell, even lawyers had to take a course in ethics, so maybe just a desiccated fig leaf of sorts. :/

  16. Screwball

    From the “this is strange” department. I have one credit card, issued as a debit card through my bank. About 3 months ago a strange charge showed up for $300 in California. I live in Ohio. The bank fraud department caught it (good) and contacted me. I told them that was not my charge, so they cancelled my card. I waited about a week for a new one with a new number of course. I destroyed the old one. No issues since and I have watched closely. No idea how they got the number in Cali.

    I had an annual subscription come due last Thursday. It was using my old card so I didn’t expect it to go through. I wanted to cancel anyway, so I just let it ride figuring the card would be rejected, I would get a notice that I would ignore.

    I saw the charge for two days over the weekend under “pending” on my bank online statement. It also showed card ending in “XXXX” which is the old card. On Monday, the charge went through, wrong number and all. So my bank just paid this subscription with a card that has been deactivated for 3 months by the very same bank.

    How can this happen?

    I now must play customer service banking roulette which will take who knows how long, and I’m sure it won’t be good for my blood pressure.

    1. Michaelmas


      It’s one more data point for the ‘Very Slowly, Then All At Once’ file on the US, of course, as with Lexx’s account of their stay at a Conrad Hilton above.

    2. Samuel Conner

      > How can this happen?

      One would think that the fraud detection algorithm would flag “charges to cancelled accounts”. Perhaps the action on such flagged transactions is subject to human review. Account-holders accidentally using cancelled cards might be a relatively frequent occurrence.

      If prior charges by the same entity to that account had not in the past been challenged by the account-holder, the algorithm (or a human reviewer) may flag this as “valid charge by account-holder”. Then the question is “what to do?; it’s a recurring or repeated charge that the account-holder had previously authorized. Do we refuse it, perhaps causing inconvenience to the account-holder, or honor it and notify the account holder by some means or other?”

      I’ve had to scramble to change “auto-payment” method a number of times when my card was cancelled due to fraudulent charges, and it may be that there is a “customer-inconvenience-mitigation” subroutine (or human oversight protocol) within the algorithm that tolerates previously-would-have-been valid charges on recently cancelled accounts in order to give customers time to notice/remember these auto-charge arrangements and adjust their payment methods.

      It might be a feature (a beneficial one, arguably) rather than a bug.

      If your card has an “auto-notification” feature, that would be worth activating; then you would not learn about unexpected charges on the monthly statement, but would be apprised of them in real time. I am a bit less stressed about the potential for fraudulent charges now that I know I will be notified of each new charge.

      1. Screwball

        Thanks for the response. After getting my ducks in a row before calling the bank, I did see the credit card number changed from when it was “pending” to the posted charge. Once posted, the correct credit card number was used.

        Soooo, apparently, they knew the card number changed and “assumed” I wanted this payment to go through so they charged it to my account with the new number. I find it strange I wasn’t notified by the bank, but maybe that’s expecting too much.

        If the old number was posted, I was going to turn the bank in to their own fraud department for using a non-valid credit card. That might have been fun.

    3. Boomheist

      I had something similar happen – saw some strange charges on my card, went to the bank, cancelled the card, disputed the charges listed. Thought all was good, but then in the next billing cycle on the new card I had two charges carried over from the earlier card. Called the bak, they said maybe the charges then were in the ether pending and failed to be cancelled back then, so were carried forward, or maybe it happened as one of the comments here suggested. Anyway the aggravating part of this is that because disputing charges takes time, you sort of need to pay the minimum charge to avoid credit lowering. Pain in the ass.

    4. Vandemonian

      I’ve had a similar experience here in Oz, although the cars was expired, not cancelled. The bank continued to honour the standard monthly payment for my mobile service for around 18 months until I changed it to the new card.

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘Will Schryver
    ‼️ Israel has launched multiple strikes against the Syrian airports at Damascus and Aleppo — presumably to preclude Iranian arms shipments into the region. So the Russians have made available to the Iranians their airbase at Khmeimim.’

    So are the Israelis crazy enough at the moment to lob a coupla missiles at that Russian base? Absolutely. As the Russians have not come out 100% for Israel, then they must be against Israel and are thus fair game. Mind you, if they tried to do this, do not be surprised to hear of strange explosions in Israel, perhaps in the Golan heights which are still Syrian.

  18. Alice X

    And the Gazans are still cut off from water, food, fuel, medicines! Well, except maybe for a tiny trickle in the south. Maybe. There is going to be a steep escalation of catastrophic outcomes soon!

  19. Pat

    Bit the bullet and watched the local news which wasn’t as bad as I expected. Probably because a subway fire disrupted the commute. Any way the big Israel story, as in repeated often, was the release of the two elderly female hostages. Weird mix, the woman who talked said it was hell and her captors for the capture and transport beat her, but once she and others were in the tunnels they were treated well. Interesting. There was a brief report from a NYC cop stationed in Israel who said life there was largely normal.
    Most interesting was the brief discussion of the delayed Israeli ground invasion. Apparently the planning is being helped by an American general, sorry missed the name, with more insurgent ground combat experience than is found in Israel. But repeated twice was that the delay was apparently to try to secure the release of more hostages. Macron was even brought up as urging more consideration of the hostages. Got back online only to see a similar story on Yahoo.

    If this wasn’t so serious I might be laughing at the idea that hostages are determining any action by Israel. Except that is as justification for more destruction.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here is more about that US General sent there-

      ‘Although the White House has maintained that American officials are not making decisions on Israel’s behalf, the Pentagon has reportedly dispatched three-star Marine Lt. Gen. James Glynn to advise the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on urban operations. The officer previously led US special operators tasked with fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), and before that served in Fallujah, Iraq during some of the most vicious house-to-house fighting following the 2003 US invasion.’

      Personally I would have gotten in contact with the Wagner Group asking for their advice.

  20. Sin Fronteras

    Comprehensive study of West Antarctic Ice Sheet finds collapse may be unavoidable

    “The most comprehensive effort yet to predict how global warming will affect the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has found there is little humanity can do to stop its ice shelves from melting, which could collapse the sheet and raise sea levels by several feet in the coming centuries.”

    This type of article (“little humanity can do” WTF?) is in essence saying the collapse of civilization is “inevitable”.

    This is the ultimate indictment of neoLiberal Financialized Parasitic Capitalist imperialism (did I leave off any needed adjectives?). What kind of social system just passively observes as the social order collapses?

    Actually, the PTB are guaranteeing that seeding the stratosphere with SO2 to reflect sunlight will become the only possibility. Scientific American had an article to this effect, accepting that “we” won’t do anything to prevent climate collapse, so that is the only remaining possible solution.

    It’s one thing to observe a petri dish in a lab and see what happens when you add chemicals, it’s another thing to do this when you LIVE inside the petri dish.

    1. John Steinbach

      Sin, completely agree with your comments about FPCI, however the point the authors are making is that even if all AGW emissions stopped today, the warming inertia would still result the melting & sea level rise.

    2. mrsyk

      I wonder if the technology and engineering exists to spread enough SO2 to make a difference. Maybe nuking a distant neighbors volcano will be the mechanism. Or a full-out nuclear war. How long does a nuclear winter last? Any geo-engineering will be a unilateral undertaking and an act of desperation, poorly planned and likely to go sideways. Yet here we are.

  21. digi_owl

    “Bjorn Andreas Bull-Hansen – Europe Is About To Blow Up Rumble (Chuck L)”

    Not sure what to make of this.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I wasn’t either. But Sweden took in a ton of Syrians on short order and I don’t think they are assimilating well, at least from the Swedish perspective.

      1. Lexx

        Used to read an English-language Swedish online paper pretty regularly. I’m under the impression that no refugees assimilate well in Sweden from the perspective of all involved. Sweden’s government likes to look generous and welcoming; the high-tax paying citizens are less on board and mostly away from Stockholm there’s been lots of tension and violence over the years. The usual bones of contention… employment, housing, the language barrier, religious observations, racism and pure xenophobia. Politics in Sweden have been going rightier and rightier, yet we think of it as among the leftiest of the lefties. Huh.

        1. LifelongLib

          FWIW, I was a fan of the Martin Beck police detective series, written by a pair of Swedish writers. They would often say that the supposed leftism of Sweden was faux, and that in reality IIRC it was more of an authoritarian welfare state. Caveat: this was decades ago and I’ve never been anywhere near Sweden!

          1. Lexx

            Ditto. It’s just how Sweden comes off in the news, like there was this huge gap between the reality of Sweden and its political reputation, and without going myself have no idea where the truth lies.

          2. fjallstrom

            All states are authoritarian systems, aren’t they? If you view society from those that are stomped upon, the violence inherit in the system is pretty clear.

            But there are states that views larger or smaller portions of their population as trouble makers that needs to be stomped, there are states that stomp harder, and there are states that provide more or less for the population. I am not convinced Sweden in the post war decades – with jobs for all and cradle to the grave welfare – was a particularly bad society to live in. When left wing journalists revealed the IB affair in 1973 they got a year in prison.

            Shoud they have been imprisoned? No. Comparatively speaking, is a state that locks up journalists that reveal dark government secrets for a year and lets them go, on the softer or harder position of the scale? I would say softer.

      2. digi_owl

        I’m really not sure how to unpack it all.

        First of all is that i had barely heard about the guy, and had no idea he had developed such a following. I was only reminded of who he was when i went back and looked up the title of his debut book and recalled seeing it sitting on a fantasy shelf on a book store decades ago.

        That he has since pivoted to vikings and bushcraft raise a personal red flag, as the combo is something i have come to loath. And seeing him spout what is effectively a variant of the “great replacement” theory is not helping.

        That said, i suspect the goings on in Sweden had more to do with second-third generation refugees/immigrants paired with drag dealing gangs and the goings on in Ukraine.

        This because the teenagers of that background only know Sweden, have gone through the Swedish education system, speak fluid Swedish complete with a local dialect, but may still be treated as foreigners by random strangers simply based on skin tone. This makes them easy pickings for the gangs.

        And with the goings on in Ukraine, the same gangs may have easier access to weapons than before. Because once it gets over the border from Ukraine to Poland the free travel pilar of EU makes it virtually risk free to smuggle on to Sweden.

        1. William

          Or, they are radicalized, hate everything their host country stands for, and want to destroy it. Coming soon to America

        1. digi_owl

          Note that the article is over a year old, and Sweden has since gone through an election so the person is no longer their prime minister.

          Anyways, she was still talking in terms of decades. Again suggesting that this is not directly related to immigration, but the problem of youths of immigrant parents ending up straddling two worlds. They are mentally and culturally Swedish, yet often reflexively treated as foreigners. End result are that they wander the margins of society, where they are easy pickings for gangs and charismatic extremists offering a sense of belonging.

          the last few years of COVID may not have helped either, as while Sweden didn’t have the stringent policies of its Nordic neighbors i suspect there was still a disruption of social activities.

          All in all, it is far to simple to argue that immigration is at fault, and that if immigration was halted than the problem would go away over night.

          1. caucus99percenter

            Well, the new government is even further right and is in the midst of a crackdown on illegal immigration.


            From the Guardian, just three weeks ago:

            The prime minister of Sweden is calling in the army to help tackle an “unprecedented” epidemic of gang violence and “terrorist-like” attacks that has seen a record 11 people die in shootings in September alone and a wave of bomb attacks — including four within a single hour.

            It might not be what we in Britain expect in Scandinavia, but maybe we should have seen it coming — the issue has dominated Swedish politics for the last few years and partly led to the country last year electing the most far-right government in its history.


          2. fjallstrom

            If you look at crime statistics, immigrants in Sweden are under-represented up until 1990 (and Sweden had lots of immigrants in the post-war decades, notable groups were Finnish, Yugoslavians, Italians, Chileans, Iraqias and Iranians). After that year there is an over-representation from immigrants who arrive young or who grow up with immigrant parents.

            Around 1990 Sweden went from full employment policies to low (wage) inflation policies. In the European version union deal are kept for the majority, while you have a permanent reserve army of unemployed. The ones with worst connections gets to be unemployed. In Sweden, these are by and large immigrants (in neighbouring Finland more natives gets to be unemployed). this creates a pool of unemployed that can be recruited into organised criminality (which is a career, hence why you need to get them young).

            Blaming immigrants is easy, restoring full employment is hard, or at least would call down the wrath of capital. So immigrants will be blamed.

    2. aporetic

      I live in one of the neighbourhoods that he refers to. It’s true there were gangs in the 80s and 90s, but it actually improved, which he doesn’t mention. Next, who else has predicted ‘civil war in Europe’ lately? E Musk, of course, and one could say he is doing his utmost through twitter. so this prediction usually comes from rightwingers. The problems to which the video point are real, but not sure things develop deterministically as he predicts

      1. digi_owl

        Almost as if this is a generational thing rather than an immigration thing. Perhaps because every odd generation so the money and attention has moved away from youth orgs and activities as that has been quiet for years. Then it flares up, and all the pundits lean in blaming it in their pet peeve of the day. Then it simmers down again as all the worst offenders are either in jail, dead, or got too old for them antics.

          1. caucus99percenter

            At any rate, although opining about Sweden, Bull-Hansen does point out in the video that he himself is from Norway.

  22. square coats

    I wanted to follow up on my misgivings wrt Helmer’s pointing to Chinese Destroyers heading toward the vicinity of Palestine. China has stated that they are only in the neighborhood for their “routine escort mission and friendly visits to the region, not an interference in the current Israel-Palestine conflict.”

    Spokesperson from Chinese Embassy in the US Liu Pengyu in a statement to Sputnik on Sunday called for an end to the groundless hyping over the deployment of Chinese warships to the Middle East amid the Israel-Palestine conflict.


    According to the Chinese Military online, the 44th Chinese naval escort task force including the guided missile destroyer Zibo, the guided missile frigate Jingzhou and the comprehensive replenishment ship Qiandaohu arrived at Shuwaikh Port, Kuwait as planned on the morning of October 18 for a five-day goodwill visit. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy had previously revealed that the 45th Chinese naval escort task force, including the guided missile destroyer Urumqi, the guided missile frigate Linyi, and the comprehensive replenishment vessel Dongpinghu, was scheduled to take over an escort mission from the 44th naval fleet in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia.

    It is a routine practice to send three military ships at one time to the region for escort missions, so six ships will be present simultaneously in the region during a handover, Chinese military experts explained, noting that this has nothing to do with the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “UK’s Labour Party shaken by string of resignations over stance on Gaza’

    Looks like Keir Starmer’s march to the Prime Ministership may have to engage with a few potholes first. Being associated with what may be one of the great war crimes of the 21st century does not look good on your political resume.

    1. Feral Finster

      This is Labour we’re talking about, here.

      If some resign, there are plenty of careerists who would gladly shovel gassed bodies into crematoria if that would get them ahead at Party Headquarters.

      1. Vandemonian

        It started with the defenestration of Jeremy Corbyn, allegedly for sympathising with Palestinians.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Major Study Claims to Identify The Root Cause of Obesity: Fructose”

    After half a century they are only studying this now?

    ‘In the United States, HFCS was widely used in food manufacturing from the 1970s through the early 21st century, primarily as a replacement for sucrose because its sweetness was similar to sucrose, it improved manufacturing quality, was easier to use, and was cheaper.’

    Next major study to be announced-

    ‘Major Study Claims to Identify The Root Cause of Tooth Decay: Sugar’

    1. Reply

      It takes some work to find those fructose sources in foods. Avoiding HFCS is a start, but what else lurks out there? Buying organic when I can find and afford, and simpler without additives of god-knows-what side effects.

      1. Harold

        Years ago, I remember being told by a scientist friend of ours whom we have known since college, that the start of the obesity epidemic coincided with the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup into processed foods and beverages in the 1970s. Now he tells me that his grown son, who is a statistician, has been purchasing glucose in quantity for his family, having decided that it is a less harmful sweetener even than sugar. Seems a bit strange, but what do I know? I can’t (don’t want to) believe that fruit is bad for one.

        1. Harold

          How it began:

          Excerpt: The tale …started in the early 1971, when a massive, surprise sale of US grain to the Soviet Union triggered a boom in corn prices, which in turn led to a massive ramp-up in corn planting. By the mid-’70s, corn prices had returned to earth; but buoyed by subsidies, farmers kept planting “fencerow to fencerow,” as then-department of agriculture chief Earl Butz put it. The result: massive overproduction of corn. (The current corn glut, on the heels of the ethanol-driven boom of 2006-2012, followed a similar pattern.)

          Corn-processing giants like Archer Daniels Midland had access to all the cheap corn they could ever want, but could only make a profit with it if they could find new markets for corn products. The company came up with two big ideas: ethanol, designed to disrupt the massive gasoline market; and high-fructose corn syrup, which the company hoped would break up Big Sugar’s hold on the soda industry.

          They’re related, because both involve a process called “wet-milling” that isolates corn’s starch. To make ethanol, you ferment the starch and distill it into pure alcohol. To make HFCS, you add an enzyme to the starch that transforms some of its glucose into fructose—producing something with a sweetness profile similar to sugar. A single wet-milling plant could make both, and ADM began investing big in wet-milling in the early 1970s, a time when high gasoline and sugar prices offered opportunity for cheaper substitutes.

          They say there is not much evidence that high fructose corn syrup piles on the pounds more than other sweeteners, but it does seem that US food manufacturers employ more added sweeteners, even in savory foods, than do other nations, whether as a preservative or an appetite stimulant.

      2. .Tom

        Am I supposed to avoid apples, pears and grapes now? I quite enjoy the sweetness of these fruits. I imagined it was overeating that was why I am overweight. I guess not. It was the fruit all along.

        1. juno mas

          It’s not simply fruits. Apples have more fiber and less sugar (fructose) than grapes. Apples fill you up; grapes not so much.

          Fruits as snacks work best. A full meal should have a mix of (real) carbohydrates and protein (vegetable/lean meat) in a roughly 50/50 mix.

          If your day involves real exercise then the total calories consumed can increase. However, in no way shape or form can you out-exercise your calorie intake, in the long run.

    2. tegnost

      fructose…they’re having trouble fielding a military so now it’s a problem…
      good thing autonomous robot dog warriors are 10 years out…

    3. digi_owl

      I seem to recall a claim in recent years that “big food” spent decades distracting people away from sugar by funding publications pushing fat as a danger. This much like how “big tobacco” tried for the longest time to bury the risks of smoking (and frankly it only really kicked off when second hand smoke became a documented health issue for staff and non-smoking guests).

      And frankly one only have to look as the history of obesity etc to see the likely culprit, because back in the day only the rich were presented as anything other than rail thin. And only they could afford a diet high on white bread and sugar, because of the energy demands related to harvesting and extracting back then.

    4. Vandemonian

      As Michael Pollan said:

      “Eat food; not too much; mostly plants.”

      And by “food”, he meant something that your great grandparents would have called food, not industrially processed food-like substances. Any item on the supermarket shelf that has four or more ingredients is suspect.

  25. LadyXoc

    About the Gaza hospital bombing: Not remembering source exactly but perhaps MyLordBebo or Simplicius the Thinker, who stated that Hamas does not have technology to fuse bombs that explode in air above target (to obtain maximal soft tissue damage), which was used in Hospital attack. There are also sonic signatures of the bomb that can be used to identify its origin (manufacturer). More info has come to light, but questions remain (at least where politically advantageous).

  26. Marquis de Cocoa

    Hamas: We have 220 hostages.
    Israel: Cute. We have 2 million hostages, and by a priori knowledge, we consider your hostages already dead. We don’t negotiate. We’re just waiting for someone to give up, for a bottle of water, the location of the hole in which your dumpy leadership squats shaking from captagon withdrawal.

    And scene! Oh, one more thing, Scott Ritter has been wrong about everything. Even his life choices. It’s not urban combat if there are no buildings and no alleys. Urban combat is a nightmare because fire positions can be prepared on the assumption that infantry will be forced to make themselves contiguous along the routes of ingress. The IDF create there own routes with armoured bulldozers called “Doobi’s”. And the only reason there are any buildings left still standing is so Hamas wastes a booby trap before the 2000lb bomb comes down. In the entire history of hands, none have been as overplayed as Hamas’s.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No, Scott Ritter was right about the WMD in Iraq, about Saddam’s weapons programs before that, and his big mistake about the Ukraine war (as other US officials did and made similar statements at the time) that Russia was going to take a lot of Ukraine pronto. They didn’t because that was not what Putin wanted, he wanted to negotiate. And he got that until we kicked the table over.

      Ritter has also worked with the IDF extensively and still has contacts. I would hazard he knows them a lot better than you do. And he has specifically addressed fighting in rubble.

    2. Willow

      LOL Hamas tunnels in Gaza make it a very large Azov. Russians had the sense to lay siege to Azov instead of going in. 200 hostages outweigh their military calculus because their survivability is directly linked to Netanyahu’s survivability as Prime Minister.

  27. diptherio

    The photo of the car crash in the top link is wild. Most everything is burnt to a crisp. What happened there? The article only barely mentions it, but it looks like a tanker truck went up, or a couple of EV batteries caught fire…or it got hit by some napalm. Seriously, that is not a normal pile-up, super fog or no.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I was going to the airport and saw an EV fire about 500 feet away and wound up driving 2 lanes away from it This was a small van sized vehicle. They are scary ferocious fires.

    2. ambrit

      I have driven that stretch of highway both before the building of the elevated roadway and after. Manchac is a spit of land between two big lakes. To the South is Lake Pontchartrain, a big coastal bay connected to the Gulf of Mexico. To the North is lake Maurepas, a swamp supplied big body of water.
      Due to these conditions, this area suffers from truly “pea soup” quality fogs. Smoke from wildfires in the area compound the visibility problems. Local reports say that visibility was reduced to feet, while local drivers usually do not slow down for anything. The other conduit for commuters from North to South and vice versa is the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. It had been closed due to the same fog and smoke visibility problems. Thus, the Pass Manchac interstate was dealing with more than the usual volume of traffic as those who usually crossed the lake via the Causeway were forced to detour up to a hundred extra miles on their commute to work. These people generally are known to speed up to try and make up for the ‘extra’ time lost. “Can’t be late to work again!”
      Local news reports state that the tractor rig for one of the tanker trucks caught on fire and that it was pure luck that the tanker itself did not go up. Fires like the one shown involving the tanker truck and several cars look like what you would get when a few gas tanks ruptured and went up in flames.
      The Department of Transportation says that they will inspect the elevated highway at the scene to determine if it is safe to use right away. That stretch of elevated highway crosses over a true swamp and there have been persistent rumours of “trouble” with some of the support pilings not being “up to the job.” The old Highway from LaPlace to Pontchatoula was “affectionately” know as the “Snake Road,” because it sank so much and irregularly so as to present the driver with an almost Fun Fair quality roller coaster ride.
      This disaster was waiting to happen.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        “The old Highway from LaPlace to Pontchatoula was “affectionately” know as the “Snake Road,”…”
        I remember that road!
        and i remember the Pontchartrain Fog, too…but they didnt have wildfires in southern Lousyanna in my day.
        i remember being socked in in the vw van during one of those fog events…outside of Slidell, somewhere…about this time of year, too.
        said to Sam(road buddy)…”i’ma swim out and take a leak”.
        because the air was that thick.
        felt like one of those ancient Rus kings in their underwater underworld….or Gilgamesh.
        and we were miserable…no ac or heat or fans…had to leave the windows open lest we suffocate…but open, they just let the fog in,lol.
        tequila and beer and rolling cigs from a big can of prince albert.
        listening to real jazz on the radio.
        i finished the last 2 volumes of Campbell’s Masks of God that fall.
        the next fall…?…i was staying with people in a flop in Algiers, before it was gentrified…and one of those fog events happened. not as bad as the former one, but the flop was almost under the big iron bridge leading into nola, and you couldnt see the city across the water.

        the dry air is one of the features that led mom, then me, out here….of course, its raining like hell, today(remnants of Norma), so lousiana humid.
        (i ran out and plowed about 2 acres of the back pasture at sunup, then planted…on foot…a bunch of clover and native pasture grass…got wet as hell…so i’m in a louisiana state of mind)
        edit: WWOZ is streaming at the Wilderness Bar, now,lol)

  28. R.S.

    > Amir Weitmann, head of Israel’s ruling Likud Party

    Sorry to say that, but he’s not. He’s the head of the “Liberals in Likud”, an intra-party faction / lobbying group.
    (Link in Hebrew)

    Some say the faction is more like libertarian and is a minor one, but I’m not that versed in Israeli politics. He holds at least some sway and is not a random card-carrying Likudnik, that’s for sure.

    1. .Tom

      Where it said “In modern America, cheap, poorly nutritious food — a tasty and addictive combination of fats, carbohydrates, salt and sugars” reminded me of the Zippy The Pinhead in which Zippy reflected that bacon in Kaluha has all five American food groups: salt, fat, sugar, alcohol and caffeine. Or something like that. Does anyone know how to find old Zippy The Pinheads?

    2. Roland

      The moment I read the words, “ironized yeast,” I heard the tolling bell:

      It. Is. Later. Than. You. Think.

      Ironized Yeast Tablets was the sponsor of the “Lights Out” radio horror program.

      I’m an OTR fan. Internet Archive has a pretty big collection of old radio shows. “Lights Out” isn’t my favourite series, but there are some memorable episodes.

      The show’s opening gives me an uncanny feeling today, though.

  29. aporetic

    I live in one of the neighbourhoods that he refers to. It’s true there were gangs in the 80s and 90s, but it actually improved, which he doesn’t mention. Next, who else has predicted ‘civil war in Europe’ lately? E Musk, of course, and one could say he is doing his utmost through twitter. so this prediction usually comes from rightwingers. The problems to which the video point are real, but not sure things develop deterministically as he predicts

  30. Wukchumni

    And when was the flow of vice fuller? When did the palm
    open wider to greed? When did gambling arouse greater
    passion? See, they don’t flock to the gaming tables now
    with their purses: they place the family treasure and play.


  31. Tom Stone

    I just got off the phone with the clinic where my primary care physician works, it only took 30 minutes to get through to someone who could take a message regarding the refill of one of my blood pressure meds…
    This is a med I’ve been taking for 3 years and until last Month refills were never a problem.
    This time I requested the refill early, nine days ago, along with refills for 2 other meds.
    My pharmacy sent requests 3 times last week with no response so I called the clinic last Friday and after 45 minutes on hold was assured the requests would be given a high priority.
    Saturday two refills were OK’d and picked up, the third was not.
    The third will be presumably be approved today or tomorrow.
    These are routine requests and the procedures are standard, this is two Months in a row refill requests have been screwed up.

    1. Michaelmas

      These are routine requests …. this is two Months in a row refill requests have been screwed up.

      Sorry to hear it. Yet one more data point for the ‘Very Slowly, Then All At Once’ file.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      i feel ya, Tom,lol.
      now try a controlled substance!
      ive known my doctor for 25 years.
      and he’s aware of my idiosyncrasies and the general shape of my life(poor, widowed, different, and unable to just run down to the office all the time).
      but the damned dea is mucking about in legitimate opioid use, again…makes him jump through hoops galore.
      i can’t call in a refill early…lest i be marked by big brother as “drug seeking”…and he be marked as “bad doctor”.
      to reiterate…i am a model pain patient.
      woe to me if there’s a holiday on or around the first of the month when i get paid.
      sometimes takes a week to get it refilled.
      this is not a doctor shop or pharmacy issue—and i have no insurance, i pay cash for everything–, but a dea sticking their big foot in issue.
      still frustrating as hell.
      i keep a reserve*…and have told doctor about it…but we dont tell them.
      this is only prudent…because ive been in pain for 35(?) years…and will never not be in pain. usually, the holiday running out of meds would happen right when a hurricane came close,lol…so yer dern right i keep some spares on hand.
      when we lived in town, and people would ask me for a pill or two, i’d tell them to F^^^ off, because that BS is why i have such trouble getting my dern meds.

      (*if i have more than 3 beers, i skip a dose, due to the dea mandated tylenol in every pill(liver killer)…and into the reserve it goes, for emergencies)

    1. R.S.

      The denial came after the Telegram channel General SVR, which purports to be run by a former Russian intelligence officer, claimed that Putin collapsed in his bedroom at his Moscow residence Sunday night.

      RT and Fontanka reported in Feb ’22 (that is, before the current phase of hostilities) that this TG channel is run by some Viktor Ermolaev (or Yermolayev) from Kharkov, Ukraine.
      (link in Russian)

  32. Savita

    In response to Tom. Fructose in processed foods has nothing to do with natural fruit sugar. And the latter is not singled out as a factor in obesity. Its the chemically produced fructose or HFCS.
    It can’t be absorbed directly by the cells like glucose or sugar can. It isn’t recognisable to the body so it gets sent to the liver to process and convert it to glucose. This is highly inefficient, because its not compatible with the biological concept of glucose. Hence it turning to weight gain instead of a source of energy.
    It is also a highly manufactured product, with things like lye and other nasty chemicals contributing to its creation.
    Nicholas Nassim Taleb says in, I think ‘Anti Fragile’ that his life rules are, based on odds and risk aversion
    1. Avoid dealing with eastern european gangs
    2. Avoid using bicycles anywhere cars are around
    3. Avoid HFCS.
    I don’t know about McDonalds in Australia – they probably use it instead of sugar because its cheaper. But we here in Australia don’t have HFCS in products as a rule.

Comments are closed.