Links 10/28/2023

NYC rat drags doughnut across subway tracks to share with rodent date, sweet video shows New York Post (Li). Rats are supposed to make good pets.

Roosters may have passed the self-recognition test PhysOrg (David L)

Oyster fight: The humble sea creature could hold the key to restoring coastal waters. Developers hate it. MIT Technology Review (David L)


Why did Hurricane Otis get so strong, so fast? Yale Climate Connections (David L)

Indigenous people and climate change: With the Inuit when the ice melts France24 (furzy)

The committee asks the Storting to immediately stop oil exploration Norway Posten


US, China ‘working towards’ Biden-Xi meeting next month on Apec sidelines, White House says South China Morning Post. Xi skipped the G20 and some thought it was to assure he would not be buttonholed by Biden.

China Is Transitioning Economically, And So Far Successfully Ian Welsh (Micael T)

European Disunion

The secret rifts and rows consuming EU’s top corridors Modern Diplomacy (Micael T)

Old Blighty

Nigel Farage called ‘sketchy crackpot’ in secret NatWest emails Independent (Paul R)


Israeli forces fight through the night as ground operations in Gaza intensify Financial Times

Israel-Hamas war live updates: Israel pounds Gaza in ‘heaviest’ bombardments to date; rejects UN’s ‘despicable’ call for truce CNBC

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 21: Gaza Health Ministry releases names of martyrs after Biden cast doubts on death toll Mondoweiss

Israel’s Ground War Against Hamas: What to Know Max Boot, Council for Foreign Relations

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10 trucks loaded with relief and medical supplies crossed into Gaza amid Israeli onslaught Anadolu Agency

* * *

Notice how BBC buries the significance of the UN vote in plain sight:

* * *

* * *
A Plan to Defeat Hamas and Avoid a Bloodbath New York Times (David L)

Escalations Cannot Be Stopped – The White House Is Rattled; Escalations Might All Fuse Into ‘One’ Alastair Crooke

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard recruits volunteers to fight in Gaza France24 (furzy)

* * *

Israel blasts ‘antisemitic’ Amnesty over finding of ‘war crimes, by all parties’ Politico

Israeli tech workers consider leaving for US following Hamas attacks: sources New York Post (Li)

October 7 testimonies reveal Israel’s military ‘shelling’ Israeli citizens with tanks, missiles Grayzone

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s Prospects Dim as Russian Gains Grow Simplicius the Thinker


US diplomacy lost traction in Middle East. Isolating Iran no longer possible. Indian Punchline (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Vulnerabilities in Cellphone Roaming Let Spies and Criminals Track You Across the Globe Intercept

Imperial Collapse Watch

>Poll reveals more Americans are rejecting the Constitution and embracing violence International Affairs (Micael T)

Analyzing Putin’s Speech From His Meeting With Representatives Of Religious Associations Andrew Korybko (Chuck L)

“Europe no longer plays a role” – Hungarian political scientist on Valdai Club 2023 Nachdenkseiten via machine translation (Micael T)

Russia’s Sino-Indo Balancing Act Has An Increasingly Important Infrastructure Component Andrew Korybko


Daughter Ivanka Trump must testify at Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, New York judge rules Politico


FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Takes Action to Create More Affordable Housing by Converting Commercial Properties to Residential Use White House

GOP Clown Car

New House Speaker: Russia, China, and Iran Are New Axis of Evil (furzy)

Christian conservatives cheer one of their own as Mike Johnson assumes Congress’ most powerful seat Associated Press (Kevin W)


Maine shooting suspect Robert Card found dead after 2-day manhunt, officials say CBS

House Speaker Mike Johnson Blames Mass Shootings on “the Human Heart,” in Case You Were Thinking the GOP Might Actually Do Something About Guns Vanity Fair

Our No Longer Free Press

Meta wants Threads to be the ‘de facto platform’ for online public conversations The Verge. Kevin W:

Related article “Mark Zuckerberg’s $46.5 billion loss on the metaverse is so huge it would be a Fortune 100 company—but his net worth is up even more than that

Understanding Investing Regime Change Barry Ritholtz

US economy expanding? CADTM (Micael T)


Self-Checkout Is a Failed Experiment Atlantic (furzy)

The surprisingly subtle ways Microsoft Word has changed how we use language BBC (Dr. Kevin). WTF, people use and pay attention to the Word functions?!?!

3g sunsetting killing Subaru Outback batteries YCombinator (Paul R)


Food and Housing Costs Still Shoot Through the Roof Counterpunch


Google Paid How Much to Be the Default Search Engine? Gizmodo (Kevin W)

Google loses fight to hide 2021 money pit: $26B in default contracts ars technica (David L)

The Banality of Price Fixing Lee Hepner (Dr. Kevin)


AIs could soon run businesses – it’s an opportunity to ensure these ‘artificial persons’ follow the law The Conversation

New Tool Defends Artists by “Poisoning” AI Image Generators MyModernMet (David L)

Is AI Mimicking Consciousness or Truly Becoming Aware? Neuroscience News (David L

Class Warfare

I was innocent, but police seized my car and stalled for years. Their scheme has to stop. USA Today (furzy). Police used to limit themselves to keeping most of the haul from drug and illegal gambling busts…..

Shuggies in San Francisco – What’s Fueling the New Maximalist Restaurant Design Trends Eater (Dr. Kevin). This is so ugly I have to think it is intended to turn tables fasters, as the garish Dunkin Donuts colors are also designed to achieve.

Central Banks: Can Engines of Inequality Become Engines of Growth? Douglald Lamont (Micael T)

‘Great Economist’ Taylor Swift Is Now a Billionaire Newser (Dr. Kevin)

Antidote du jour. From tiebie66:

“Suzi hiding in plain sight”. Suzi loves this game. When I hold the sock open, she comes running to put her head in

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. divadab

    Re: Oyster fight: The humble sea creature could hold the key to restoring coastal waters

    I know an oyster farmer whose main purpose in setting up his oyster farm was to get the dairy farms upstream to control their coliform release into the watershed. The farm produced oysters, made some money but mostly based on volunteer labor, including mine. Every day the coliform counts in the estuary where he farmed was above a certain level, he had to shut down. This triggered a Dept of Environment investigation as to the source of the excess coliforms, which were almost always from a dairy farm source. It also triggered enforcement of wastewater rules for dairy farms and mandated fixes to their wastewater controls.

    Overall, his efforts made the dairy farms better citizens, controlling their wastestreams better and releasing less coliforms into the watershed. (Kicking and screaming, I might add, farmers being farmers – if you are surrounded by manure every working day, it’s hard to get excited about some amount of it getting into the downstream estuary!).

    SO yes to oyster farming, yes to cleaner water, yes to responsible dairy farming.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        what got my attention is the obvious lack of aquatic life compared to her childhood due to most likely commercial fishing and harvesting – kudos to the lady but her observations also indicate a larger problem imho – here in Michigan a democratic state house rep, who comes from a commercial fishing family, has introduced a bill to allow commercial fishing operations to harvest game fish that come from state hatcheries supported by funds from licensing – it has been tried before and public outrage from a coordinated effort by Trout Unlimited(TU), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) and other groups, got it defeated – the whitefish population of the Great Lakes plummeted due to over-fishing and now they want the fish that fisher-folks pay to raise and release, then they’ll sell it back to us – our state realizes over $2Billion from fishing tourism, which this bill will kill if passed – this problem of over-fishing and harvesting is worldwide with a myriad of problems that accompany it – and now they want to scrape the ocean floor for minerals – we are a sad greedy species –

    1. griffen

      Surprisingly that seems like a simple solution to filter the nasty stuff and restore or replenish even former wetlands. Article also cited the success story of the Chesapeake Bay. It’s as though oysters combined are doing the mighty work of undoing what humans inflicted over the past decades. Bonus outcome, you have a ready market to sell your product to all those DC and Maryland seafood restaurants.

      And in North Carolina, the Neuse River runs downstream from the central cities like Raleigh and collects all manner of livestock and hog farm waste until it empties near New Bern. The area on the coast has experienced fish kills over the past 20 to 30 years and I would not be surprised if this approach is going to be or already in place. Just thinking out loud about other areas mentioned and the necessity of these approaches.

    2. Lexx

      When that extreme heat wave hit Washington state and killed so many shellfish, I felt a chill go up my spine. What will protect Chesapeake Bay’s oysters from heat? Everything in the ocean depends on the rungs of the food chain below.

      We’ve been giving money to an east coast aquaculture teaching group for years.

    3. shleep

      This sounds too good to be true – and I love oysters.

      I’m wondering about the several hundred? thousand? other heavy metals, compounds and “forever chemicals” flowing down our rivers that are nowhere-near-as-nice as nitrogen and phosphorous figure into this.

      1. juno mas

        Not familiar with the east coast ,but here on the west coast “red tide” and other diseases make clams unedible. I imagine oysters can be similarly affected.

  2. Kevin Smith MD

    >Poll reveals more Americans are rejecting the Constitution and embracing violence International Affairs (Micael T)

      1. Randall Flagg

        About that resorting to violence thing, this is all lovely for some people to have that mindset until they find out THEY may be on the wrong end of the violence perpetrated. As the saying goes,
        “ You can always pick how you’re going to start a fight, but you can’t always pick how it’s going to end..”
        Sort of along the quip of Mike Tyson’s famous saying, paraphrasing,:” Everyone has a plan, until they punched in the face.”
        Sarcasm off

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      It’s not nice to yell at me. The link was there but did not work due to a missing > with the blockquote.

      I am contending with an absolutely awful backup external keyboard which makes copying and pasting difficult. I am going to have to order one from the US. Nothing local is any good.

      1. furnace

        Maybe a Chinese one could be closer and better? Like from AliExpress. Chinese goods have become on the overall surprisingly good.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This is a Chinese one and the only type sold at the enormous local tech mall. Remember, they have to be Thai compatible which greatly shrinks the market.

      2. albrt

        I just bought a replacement keyboard yesterday. The good keyboards are now “gamer keyboards” found in the video game department.

        They probably have different advanced functionality than typing keyboards. All I can tell you is the one I bought has a very nice typing feel.

        1. JBird4049

          I had to special order a mechanical keyboard with the right variety of keys to get the proper feel and sound to me. The keyboards that come from Apple and other similar sellers are both junk quality and do not give back any feedback. Also, since I started with actual mechanical typewriters and do not hear well anyways, I prefer something solid.

          The latest mechanical keyboards are much more expensive, but seem to be a better deal since they seem to last much longer as well.

          1. Acacia

            +100. I switched to a Keychron K1 mechanical and there is no going back to Apple’s kit.

            The MacBook sits on a shelf, hooked up to external, wired keyboard, wired mouse, and a big monitor. All cables plus Ethernet go through a USB docking thingy.

            In this way, all the previous issues melted away.

        2. skippy

          I’ve only used gaming keyboards and mice for a couple of decades now due to them being designed for functionality, above all else, and more robust than the other stuff done more for fashion.

          An added feature is most have the option of creating macros where one can engage multiple key functions with one key, normally this is used in game to make multi function player moves with just one keystroke, albeit this can be used for many other tasks.

          Its also why my last two comp builds since 2010 have been founded on gamer hardware. The 2010 lasted me till 2018, until web code bloat got so bad that I needed to build a new one. Was just talking to the Comp shop old guy down the road the other day and he said I got every pennies worth out of it.

          The i7-7700@4.20GHz CPU w/ sealed 3 fan liquid cooler, 32 GB ram, Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe, 2 X 1TB old Raptor HDs, and GTX 1070FTW2 video card [human eye has a fixed refresh rate and anything above that is just a waste], old 2010 1200W thermaltake power source, and big smoked glass house sitting up on my desk.

          Never have any dramas, with any of it – ever … sorta like all my Festool gear for work …

      3. Joe Well

        I know you have strong and very good concerns about Facebook, but Facebook marketplace and even just plain old Facebook groups are usually good for buying “expat” stuff like that second hand…always someone moving out and looking to unload stuff…assuming you are in a place with a lot of expats.

        1. Joe Well

          I couldn’t resist searching on the Amazon knockoff in Thailand (I think it’s a German company that makes these knockoffs around the world), and I was surprised how difficult it is to find English-only keyboards in Thailand. Maybe just but the English-only stickers to put on top of the keys? But not fun typing on stickers…

          …ok, no more Thailand posts, today, I promise. “Advice is a form of nostalgia” and I miss my short time in Thailand a lot right now.

          Also, a lot of places have “expat buy-sell” Whatsapp or Telegram groups. Just a thought.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            It is not a matter of “English only”. It is that keyboard selection is very limited in Thailand due to the perceived need for Thai and English on the keyboard + being Macs not popular due to cost.

            So the keyboards sold here (yes with English and Thai on the keyboard) are for PCs and technically work on a Mac but have the four keys to the left of the space bar function differently than keyboards sold as Mac and PC compatible. The one to the immediate left is the one on a Mac keyboard you use with C, X, and V for copy and paste. On the keyboards sold in Thailand, the PC ones, it is the key TWO to the left. Horrible.

            To my shock, Amazon ships to Thailand cheaply or free and reserves for any customs duties. This is worth it given the time cost of having a horrible keyboard.

      4. Escapee

        I’ve bought Mac accessories (keyboard, power supplies, batteries, etc) on Taobao here in China for years. You can order on Taobao even in Thailand. Shorter postal times and probably cheaper.

        (Pro tip: Use Taobao’s website on Microsoft Edge browser for auto-translated shopping. When you find what you want, scan the website’s QR code with the Taobao app to purchase it there.)

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      I am wondering whether this might warrant a ” National Collapse Watch” category all its own, rather than being put in the “Imperial Collapse Watch” category. ( Unless none of this would be happening if the US never had an Empire to begin with and the collapse of Empire inevitably feeds back into collapse of Nation).

      1. Louis Fyne

        i understand where you are coming from….but look at the 50 states, the nation is literally an empire…

        you got Hawaii, Alaska, old Mexican California, Texas, Florida, the Mississippi Valley—-these are all imperial acquisitions (whether fairly negotiated or conquered) from the core Anglo heartland of the 13 colonies.

        And 18 year old me would have a #DIV/0 error trying to comprehend that the US is an empire, as the US are the “good guys”

  3. divadab

    Re: Ukraine suppressing and eliminating the Orthodox Church of Ukraine

    It’s the same thing Mussolini’s fascist blackshirts did to minority churches in the 30’s and 40’s. There is a Slovenian minority in northern Italy, and the priest in a Slovenian village was threatened and harassed for daring to provide services in Slovenian. The fascists threatened him, physically abused him (forced him to drink a bottle of cod liver oil ffs!) when he refused to operate only in Italian. God bless him for standing fast and God damn the filthy fascists who attack and hurt men of God!

        1. undercurrent

          So, where’s the great outcry from all the holy men in this country, in this time, as to the great sin of genocide being committed against the people of Gaza today, and the past several generations of Palestinians? Au contraire, I read daily of evangelical Americans, and their pastors, calling for the Jews to annihilate the poor and powerless of Gaza because “God” promised that land to the Israelites, and God forbid an Arab, and Semitic, people like the Palestinians from daring to live out their lives in a land “God” promised to someone else. That exercise in free speech likely results in death, and is the right of the lion to devour the lamb.

          One of the features of facism, I would suggest, is the willingness to use force and violence to obtain a certain end, and right now, the world’s attention should be focused on the awful genocide occurring in Palestine. The silence of the Christian church, in this country, by and large, is a terrible indictment of that Christian church.

          1. Feral Finster

            The purported holy men of the United States are, I suppose, not obligated to say anything, but they probably don’t regard the Orthodox as “real” Christians.

            That said, it appears that we are talking across each other.

          2. Kouros

            I want to ask God to come to the witness stand and give testimony on whether he/she/it promised Canaan/Palestine to Abraham/Joseph et Co.

    1. IMOR

      1. Once the previously venomously anticlerical Mussolini made his deal(s) with the Church/Pope while in the legislature, such actions were only a matter of time.
      2. Also, the arrests, property seizures, and demolitions of monks and churches by the Zelensky government are directed against the denomination with the longest history (a millenium plus) and from period to period the most worshippers within the fluctuating boundaries of Ukraine, AFAIK. In the service of an Instagram ‘church’ essentially imposed by Professor Joe and Vicky several years back.
      Mind blowing if you are of a certain vintage to see U.S. policy gung ho behind a cashless, state religion, election-free zone.

      1. undercurrent

        Could it be argued that, in fact, the Catholic Church and the Catholic Pope made a deal with Italian fascists precisely because they considered them a godsend to save Western Europe from the godless Bolshevism of the USSR?

        1. Polar Socialist

          Not just Italian fascists: this is precisely how Vatican managed to reinvent POW Ukrainian SS men as “good Catholics” and not to be repatriated to face prosecution for crimes against humanity.

    2. hk

      I’d imagine Galicians see this as a payback.

      Religion was an important factor shaping West Ukrainian nationalism: it grew around Eastern Catholicism–they were Catholics, but had a liturgy like the Orthodox; but they were not Orthodox, as they followed the Pope. So they were neither Poles nor “Russians.”. This did not go well with the Russians, especially (Poles had a more complicated relationship–the Pope intervening and all that): Czarist Russia tried hard to wipe out Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in the territories they controlled; UGCC was banned in USSR and the clergy imprisoned, until its fall (unlike Latin Catholics, say, in Lithuania, who were not too badly harassed). So Galicians are treating the Orthodox, the “Russians,” as the Orthodoxy did to them, I suppose.

      This, of course, is problematic since, for centuries, 2/3-3/4 of Ukraine has been Orthodox. (Now, some people might insist that many of the Orthodox today were originally Eastern Catholics who were forced into Orthodoxy by the Czars centuries ago.
      Maybe or maybe not, but that’s really wading into murky waters…although I guess that’s what Croats said about Bosnians during WW2 and, to some degree, during 1990s). So Ukraine is playing a Crusader state continuing the fight going back a full millennium in effect.

      1. Feral Finster

        The nationalists in Ukraine set up a fake “Orthodox church” under nationalist auspices, and the regime has been busy seizing church properties and tossing priests, heirarchs and believers who don’t go along into the regime’s prisons.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          As another commenter pointed out not long ago, this is no different from the deeds of Henry VIII. I suppose that’s what they meant by getting into Europe. But the Church of England has survived and thrived for centuries despite how arbitrary its creation was. This one may do too, depending on military and political outcomes.

      2. ilsm

        The international organization Knights of Columbus is all in for the “Catholics” in the Nazi areas of Ukraine.

        My monthly Knights magazine goes in the trash direct from the mailbox, when I see the blue and yellow flags.

        So much for following Just War doctrine….

      3. Kouros

        Going from Orthodoxy to Greek-Catholicism was not done by people out of religious fervour and religious conviction. The Orthodox, in areas occupied by the Haspburgs (taking over from Magyars or new conquests) were second class citizens, or not even recognized politically, and this deprived of many rights.

        As a wedge against Hungarians (divide and rule), the Habsburgs promised something in exchange of recognizing the Pope as the Supreme Leader.

        My dad kept blasting when I was young that in fact he was Greek -Catholic, and despite the fact he was quite a smart and educated man, he didn’t seem to understand to wider implications. Just wanted to do things like his daddy did, who was a cantor in the church.

        The Commies and their Orthodox “allies” had a different view: 1. Eliminate foreign leadership (i.e. in Romanian territories it took a lot of struggle for the Orthodox Church to become autocephalic, removed from Ottoman overseen Constantinopolitan rule); and 2. a reconquista of the lost “sheep”, bringing back to the bossom of their original church lost flocks.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Steven Donziger
    BREAKING: The UN today voted 120-14 to halt the Israel-Hamas fighting. Huge blow to the Netanyahu government and a recognition by the world that the indiscriminate bombing of civilians violates international law.’

    For those curious, the 14 countries that voted no were the US, Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Fiji, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay and Tonga-

    And even to get that result there must have been a lot of arm-bending. And The Hill must be slipping as I count only 13 countries there. The one that they missed was Nauru.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      What a sad list. Overlaps heavily with the countries that recognize Taiwan, Hungary is messing with the EU and US. Not even the rabid UK, would stand with the US on this one. Wonder what the deal is with Austria, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.

      1. ambrit

        “Wonder what the deal is with Austria, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.”
        I’m wondering if they are considering resurrecting the Hapsburg Empire, and are being encouraged in their plans by the Neo-cons in Washington. Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Don’t forget Hungary! It could be true what you say. Washington has been encouraging the formation of several blocks of eastern European countries to be bulwarks against Russia so one based on the old Austrian-Hungarian empire could be possible. Only thing is that such a block might put their own interest first rather than western European countries or even NATO.

          1. Wukchumni

            I’m about half-way through The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth, and an entertaining read in regards to the Holy Roman Empire vis a vis 3 generations of a family living under the long rule of Franz Joseph, a fine fin-de-siecle.

              1. Wukchumni

                Having the ruler/king/emperor,etc’s face/profile on a coin was important branding in a day when advertising was low key but effective, everytime they paid for or got paid for something, or saved for a rainy day, there he or she was.

                Usually the faces or profiles of said royalty on round metal discs were made to look better than they were in real life-early Photoshop via metal engraving of the coinage dies, I mean who would want to end up going by the horrible moniker of ‘Leopold the Hogmouth’ on account of Habsburg Jaw in 1693?

                But look, there it is…


      2. Feral Finster

        Austria has a fair amount of Holocaust guilt.

        Croatia and the Czech Republic want to show Master what loyal little lackeys they are.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Hungary is likely same as Austria in this regard, plus the affinity of a certain variety of the right with Israel (anti-Muslim, anti-terrorist). What surprises me is that Poland didn’t join.

          1. Feral Finster

            Poland does not have a real great relationship with Israel, and there is the sense in Poland that Israel demands more and more abject displays of loyalty, citing the Holocaust and alleged Polish antisemitism.

            Poles, for their part, don’t like Israel all thst much but they LOVE America and will do anything to please America.

      1. IMOR

        Your prose comments have been a guffaw a day, sometimes two, for a couple weeks now. And more numerous! Thank you, Wuk.

        1. Wukchumni

          All the world wide web is a stage, and I get to be a sit-down comedian, ha.

          Thanks for the compliments…

    2. Mikel

      What really jumped out at me:
      Tonga – blown up by a volcano
      Marshall Islands – blown up by nukes

      Both left needing much aid.

  5. timbers

    “Europe no longer plays a role” – Hungarian political scientist on Valdai Club 2023 Nachdenkseiten via machine translation (Micael T)

    Perhaps UN Secretary-General António Guterres might do some interior decorating and seat re-arranging for the main session room of the United Nations.

    Behind the designated seat of the United States, a large closet might be built large enough to accommodate seating for a few dozen, and windows so the occupants can look out upon the session room, but no audio arrangements. It will for the European nations. On the door a placard will be placed reading “US satellites – we don’t take them seriously anymore”.

    1. MT_Wild

      I get spam from ammo wholesalers and the latest round of emails have small arms ammo jumping 40% in the last two weeks. Prior to that we were back to 2018 lows.

      Much like good Bordeaux and beef jerky, stack it deep while it’s cheap.

    2. Camelotkidd

      Matt Stoller’s–“Why America Is Out of Ammunition” is a must read just for the dark humor. “Unfortunately, if the customer is US National Security, that means we are all in very bad shape – as we are. The Pentagon is talking about increasing arms production. They haven’t yet, not even 1.5 years after the invasion of Ukraine. It’s a complicated process – because genuinely boosting national security conflicts with cash flow maximization for Wall Street. High profits mean ruthless cost cutting. Shut down all production lines that don’t have a current contract. Make no effort to maintain machinery or labor – that would waste money.

      Through monopoly or oligopoly pricing make the US pay through the nose if any more ammunition or vital missiles are to be made. And a non-trivial point – the entire US defense industry is in the hands of multinational oligopolies. They have defense interests on multiple continents. They have to consider all factors. And the Pentagon and Congress, the MIC, have absolutely no problem with this situation. The MIC was never set up to maximize national security – what a quaint and naive idea! If you’ve been doing this your whole career – what’s the big rush to change things?
      The world is on fire. That is irrelevant from a Wall Street and MIC viewpoint. It simply doesn’t matter – until the entire world changes because of it.”

  6. Wukchumni

    Up on the housetop after a long pause
    Out of a helo jumps IDF serving cause.
    Down through the tunnels with lots of trepidation,
    All for the little ersatz fascist nation

    Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?
    Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?
    Up on the housetop, click, click, click,
    Down through the stairs with an Uzi @ the quick!

    First comes the sacking of where they dwell,
    Oh, dear god looks like they’re giving em’ hell.
    Give the civilians more reason to despise,
    A tally of 10 eyes for every lost Israeli eye.

    Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?
    Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?
    Up on the housetop, click, click, click,
    Down through the stairs with an Uzi @ the quick!

    Next comes the beginning of World War 3,
    Oh, just see what a powder keg the Middle East can be.
    Here is Hezbollah with northern attacks,
    Casting aspersions being Iranian backed.

    Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?
    Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go?
    Up on the housetop, click, click, click,
    Down through the stairs with an Uzi @ the quick!
    Up on the housetop, click, click, click,
    Down through the stairs with an Uzi @ the quick!

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘Spetsnaℤ 007 🇷🇺
    🇺🇦❤️🇷🇺 Ex-Ukrainian soldiers who surrendered are now begging to fight along side the Russian army to defeat Zelensky.

    The new volunteer battalion “Bogdan Khmelnitsky” will be incorporated into the DPR army.

    Currently, the battalion is undergoing the procedure of obtaining Russian citizenship, signing contracts, combat coordination, and is preparing for further actions at the front.’

    I saw a video clip last night of these guys training. If they survive the war they will have more of a future in Russia than what is left of the Ukraine. But the Guardian just did a story about Russian deserters that want other Russian soldiers to desert as well so I wonder if this story came out because of the DPR’s new battalion of recruits. Not a believer in coincidences here-

    1. Roland

      I saw that as just typical wartime propaganda. Most sides in most wars can get some turncloaks working for them.

      I prefer to look at the bottom line: twenty months in, neither army has given up, and neither government has fallen. It’s a big long bloody war. Death toll likely cross the million mark before the thing winds down, even without a major escalation.

      A photo op for a battalion of renegades, what does it matter?

  8. none

    IDF is saying they found 1000s of miles of tunnels under Gaza. That makes Hamas sound like Hogan’s Heroes while Netanyahu is Colonel Klink. Of course Israeli intelligence must have known about this tunnelling for years, but Bibi ignored it, maybe because he wanted this very war.

    Meanwhile, maybe I’m missing something but it seems like every move since the initial surprise attack has been totally predictable. Hamas must have known at the outset what was going to happen, and did it anyway, so it goes beyond getting Gaza bombed. They want the wider escalation and fur ball. Israel’s endgame as Yves said yesterday is no Gaza, but Hamas’s endgame is no Israel. Sigh.

    1. furnace

      By this point the matter can only be decided by the sword. All overtures to end the misery were either made in bad faith or just plain incompetent. But this isn’t the 60s or even the 80s anymore, and Israel and its backers are in a far worse position, whilst their enemies are far stronger. It’s not a gamble I’d take, if it was my choice, but it seems like the Israeli military and political leadership have chosen it, so let’s see if Nemesis will confront their Hubris.

  9. Wukchumni

    Maine shooting suspect Robert Card found dead after 2-day manhunt, officials say CBS

    I really didn’t want to know the latest mass murderer’s name in the spree de corpse, but it was foisted upon me almost immediately after the deed was done.


    Lets get back to differing over the definition of an assault rifle, you know-the important stuff.

    1. The Rev Kev

      C’mon, man. How about the really important stuff. Like whether it is the assault rifle that kills people or the bullets that they fire.

      1. Wukchumni

        Mike Pence reckoned that he had the answer to these heinous murders by either Derringer, assault rifle, or snub nose .38 special, in that the death penalty should be administered to the perp!

        That’s how we fix the problem…

        1. The Rev Kev

          Pence is now officially toast-

          ‘Former US Vice President Mike Pence has ended his 2024 presidential campaign. Representing the Republican Party’s establishment wing, Pence’s full-throated support for Ukraine failed to win over skeptical conservative voters.

          Pence announced his withdrawal from the race in a speech at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual summit in Las Vegas on Saturday.

          “Traveling across the country over the past six months I came here to say it’s become clear to me, this is not my time. So after much prayer and deliberation, I have decided to suspend my campaign for president effective today,” Pence said.’

          Nobody cared as to what he had to say.

  10. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Members of the NC community who understand French may be interested in an interview given by France’s former foreign minister, Dominic de Villepin, to RMC and BFM TV yesterday,, and marvel at what passes for leadership and insight in the west now.

    Further to my recent tidbits about what EU officials make of the EU’s Russia policy, some officials mused de Villepin would make a good replacement for Uschi.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        I was about to post and saw yours, so many thanks.

        There’s a German translation linked, too, as one scrolls down.

        It would great to hear what the NC community thinks, especially former diplomat David / Aurelien.

        1. skippy

          As old as the hills mate … expectations of ***income*** are like a virus in a rodents brain … and others pay the tab …

        2. Kouros

          de Villepin seems to have forgoten about South African Apartheid and how in the end it was boicotted by the entire world. Israelis have declared loud and clear their apartheid regime over non Jews living in Israel and occupied territories (check the Basic Law).

          The West must boicot Israel if it wants to be taken seriously by the rest of the world.

        3. Ignacio

          Thank you for bringing this. I shake my head after reading de Villepin and then thinking of Borrell, not to mention Baerbock. Do we merit these idiots for our sins?

  11. Lexx

    ‘Food and Housing Costs Still Shoot Through the Roof’

    I think they should include in their stats the nearly homeless, those in recreational (?) trailer park ghettos. Trailers in such shoddy shape they should be condemned and demolished, and for which the residents still pay rent. The owners of those parks are slumlords.

    Did y’all catch this story this week?

    What got me was not that they were still living with mom in their forties or that they expected mom to cook and clean for them, galling as that is. But that they had jobs but refused to contribute to the household expenses in any way, or help out around the house, and that mom had to take the case to court – for a ruling! – to get them out of her house. It’s a Catholic country, how did shaming fail?!!

    1. Benny Profane

      Haha. That’s great. You shouldn’t be surprised that they are living with momma in their forties, that is not that unusual in Italy. Read some Tim Parks for a great perspective from an Anglo about life in Italy. The only surprise to me is that there are two boys. Most contemporary Italian families stop at one, and worship the little bambino.
      To be fair, employment opportunities have really sucked for Italian kids for a few decades now.

    2. NYMutza

      It is very common in Italy for unmarried men to live with their mothers. These men do not contribute financially to the household, nor do they do any household work. Instead, they spend nights chasing women and partying with friends. This is enabled by their moms who apparently feel so lonely they tolerate the abuse. 60 Minutes in the US had an episode covering this a number of years ago.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Arnaud Bertrand
    This is important: China at the UN explains its position after it was berated by Israel for not supporting a US-led resolution that called for a “humanitarian pause” instead of a full ceasefire in Gaza.’

    I put what the Chinese had to say through a semantic analyzer and the result came out – ‘We’re not putting up with your crap and you are a liar.’ He really lowered the boon on Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan but that guy has not been making many friends for Israel in the UN lately. No surprise as the guy is Likud party who cut his teeth at the beginning of his career opposing the Oslo Accords. The past few days I have heard this guy talking about Hamas refusing to recognize the State of Israel. Well the Palestinian did agree to recognize Israel a coupla years ago – but then Israel said that that was not enough anymore and they wanted them to recognize Israel as a Zionist State. As this would have made all those Israeli-Arabs suddenly insecure, they said no. But more to the point, I have not heard one country call Gilad Erdan out about the Palestinians not recognizing Israel when Israel itself refuses to recognize Palestine as a State and Netanyahu did produce a map a coupla days ago showing Israel – but with no Palestinians.

    1. nippersdad

      It has to be said that that Greenfield Thomas woman is not a whole lot better than Erdan. It is kind of nice to be upstaged every once in a while if only to get her out of the news.

  13. Alice X

    >’Great Economist’ Taylor Swift Is Now a Billionaire

    Well, that sort of balances out the fact that she has minimal musical talent.

    Now I can go back to my distress over the genocide in Palestine.

    1. Alice X

      The Internet/power blackout in Gaza is gravely ominous. No communication and no cell phone videos of atrocities. Very convenient.

        1. Alice X

          When the crimes do come to light, it will be: he said, she said. No more and maybe much less.

          As Amira Hass puts it: war IS the crime.

    2. griffen

      Not to digress much on the “musical talent” angle, but I thought about a musician / entertainer from years gone by and how Michael Bolton was turned into a sidebar / punchline in the excellent and ever quoted “Office Space”. Hilarious short video from the employee interviews with the two Bobs.

      Heck in another 10 to 15 years, maybe it’ll be Taylor “Swift-Kelce” doing a rendition of “Sunday Night Football” as a viable replacement to the incredible Carrie Underwood. Without giving proper offense to others, Carrie has that great voice and is a smoking woman as a bonus.

    3. Carolinian

      Well how much popular music is about music? I’d argue that we still listen to Beatles songs because they are about music. There have been some look back documentaries about the “lads” and in one a would be music publisher shows his catalog to McCartney who then reveals his encyclopedic knowledge of all the pop that came before. They came out of a different tradition.

      1. Mikel

        “Well how much popular music is about music?”
        It’s all become a marketing arm of corporations.
        And Prince writing “slave” on his cheek was mocked by the establishment.

  14. NotTimothyGeithner

    Zeitgeist watch.

    I’m watching College Game Day out of the Utah crowd, and I don’t see any kind of stand with Israel sign. I might be speaking too soon, but they aren’t doing any feel good stories about Israeli sports teams this week.

    Also, I like Pat McAfee, but he seems too bombastic for this show. ESPN needs to move RG3 tof take Herbstreet’s role and slide Herbstreet into Corso’s spot. Herbstreet isn’t Corso, but everyone will accept it as the crowds will treat him as a beloved carnival barker who can still talk about the games.

    1. griffen

      Pat has a daily show now airing in the afternoons, and that is the better format for him and a wild crew of misfits which includes one former NFL’er. Hint, it advertises upfront that adults will be talking in adult language! Yeah he has a manner to him that serves well to his audiences. Now I think about it, he reminds me somewhat of comedian Dane Cook ( whom I never found interesting or funny ). Maybe Pat’s antics begin to wear thin, but I’m doubtful ESPN ever gives him the hook.

      Not sure that crowd would be the target audience for holding such a sign, though Salt Lake is definitely a Mormon community. And an aside, I’ve started oscillating between ESPN and FOX sports coverage a lot more this year. ESPN wears thin on their unceasing hype on every game highlight that’s “never been done”…Fox sports features some former QBs and the ever reprehensible and sometime “ethics instructor” Urban Meyer. It’s not like I am opting to read Aristotle or Shakespeare instead of watching, admittedly so.

    2. Louis Fyne

      in the gentile world, “Stand with Israel” is a generational-thing.

      Older you are, regardless of party label, the more likely: (a) one is/was Christian, (b) non-Hispanic White, (c) have the default view that Israel is a democratic ally of the USA and the white hat in a bad neighborhood.

      That all correlates with “Stand with Israel”—even with carpet bombing.

      Conversely the younger one is, the more negatively one correlates w/those variables

      My anecdote: at the local “Stand w/Israel” rally one week after the 7th, it looked no different than a NPR tote bag giveaway—-overwhelmingly older, affluent retirees/semi-retirees.

      1. eg

        I think you’re right about this, Louis. My 18 year old son surprised me by commenting (unprompted) that “Israel stole the Palestinian land in the first place” and complained that the news never acknowledges this. It’s a topic which we had never discussed, so he must have heard it from friends or on his social media.

  15. Lexx

    ‘Shuggies in San Francisco – What’s Fueling the New Maximalist Restaurant Design Trends’

    The perfect restaurant is minimalist… like Tina’s, where at those prices the experience from the moment you walk is on the quality of the food and the satisfaction of their customers.

    At Shuggies you’ll find the same prices and a bragging-right bit of marketing* on the menu I never want to see again, under ‘Food Waste Paradise’:

    *Applaud the effort, but shut up about it. Every restaurant should avoid food waste without expecting a pat on the back and a Michelin star.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Those places are absolutely hideous and it is not a matter of whimsical escape as they say. It’s just a fad and pretty soon all those decorations that you see will be in some landfill somewhere so the whole thing is just a waste of resources. How about going back to comfortable, subdued restaurants where the food is great and you can have good conversations. Eating at one of those places is like trying to enjoy a proper meal at a circus. I’d rather eat at L’Idiot- (1:19 mins)

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      Speaking as a big fan of Pedro Friedeberg, those knockoffs of his ‘hand’ chair (*) are not very true to the originals, and look terrifically uncomfortable.

      (*, though there were some variations)

      But, the description of the location of one of the restaurants pretty much tells you all you need to know about the target audience and the culinary expectations: “Located in a shopping mall overlooking Columbus Circle…”

    3. Socal Rhino

      Best food usually comes with aggressively plain atmosphere – like the seafood places that lay paper towels on your linoleum table and throw the food on it.

      See also: you can have great food or a great view but not both (unless really pricey).

  16. Wukchumni

    Daughter Ivanka Trump must testify at Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial, New York judge rules Politico

    Papa I know you’re going to be upset
    ‘Cause I was always your little girl
    But you should know by now
    I’m not a cry baby

    You always taught me right from wrong
    I need your help, daddy please be strong
    I may be young at heart
    But I know what I’m saying

    The trial you warned me all about
    The one you said I could do without
    We’re in an awful mess
    And I don’t mean maybe, please

    Papa don’t preach I’m in trouble deep
    Papa don’t preach, I’ve been losing sleep
    But I made up my mind, I’m taking the 5th no ifs buts or maybes, hm
    I’m gonna take the 5th no ifs buts or maybes, hm

    Papa Don’t Preach, by Madonna

    1. griffen

      We who are not about to die (far as I know) salute you. Well done.

      Another from Madonna, “Like a Prayer” “…This trial is a mystery, my Dad must stand alone, I hear the judge call my name, and I’d rather stay home…”

    1. GramSci

      I said the CDC gave that grant to with the intention of killing it with kindness. I’m glad to see they did not (yet) succeed.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “I was innocent, but police seized my car and stalled for years. Their scheme has to stop.”

    This is so wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to start. How about that ancient concept presumption of innocence? And having due process lasting years is having no due process at all. If those cops think that you did something wrong, then they have to prove it first. Something that they can immediately show a court of law. And leaving a woman 15 miles from home is unforgivable. That’s like 40 kilometers. For those cops, it could really backfire. Imagine a couple of them getting into serious trouble with the only person that sees what is going on is one that had their car stolen – by the cops. You think that they will use their mobile to call for backup for those cops or will they tell themselves that it is not their problem anymore?

    1. ambrit

      Civil Asset Forfeiture has been going on for quite a while. Some of the worst offenders are the Transport Safety Agency “officers.” Leave nothing valuable in any luggage that leaves your sight.
      This is a case of power corrupting.
      This is a plain case of America’s decline into Third World Country status.

      1. JBird4049

        The DEA and Border Patrol as well. I have been reading of stories where the officers search the luggage and wallets of bus and train passengers usually under the pretense of international travel if coming from Canada and Mexico, or sometimes just “reasons” at all if in the lower forty eight and away from the borders. Do keep in mind that the Border Patrol can search you car effectively without cause within a hundred miles of the country’s borders.

        Does anyone remember those old World War Two or Cold War movies where the baddies would enter the train or even be on the street and politely ask “papers, please”?

        The officers especially if they are or are working together with the DEA and local police will happily take your money right out of your wallet. Don’t laugh. It does happen. Just consider it part of the war on cash and/or backdoor taxation.

          1. JBird4049

            IIRC, going to Mexico and Canada was an easy, no hassle, no passport, no problem thing. I certainly didn’t have any problem. But that was decades ago. What with all the extra policing, rules, and laws, I should feel ever so much safer. I do not.

        1. wilroncanada

          The driver of a car stopped by the cop rolled down his window. The cop said, “Papers.”
          The driver answered, “Scissors, I win,” and drove off. I guess the cop wanted a second chance though; he chased the car for 45 minutes.

    2. JBird4049

      This has been going on since the 1990s with increasing frequency. With the collapse of the local tax base from the destruction of local businesses from companies like Walmart and Amazon, and the exporting of manufacturing in much of the United States, not including the growing refusal of the wealthy to pay any tax, asset forfeiture is the replacement.

      Most of it still goes into the local police, which means they are self financing. The more the police steal, the more money they have often for personal, not departmental use. The politicians are kept quiescent by the bribes, which is what it is, and the sometimes threats of silent strikes, from the police as well as from the wealthy locals who prefer this as well. It is corruption.

    3. GramSci

      It’s an old story here in the USA. Back circa ’72 I had my ’64 VW beetle stolen from behind the store I was clerking in Boston. The insurance adjustors spent a lot of time with me, because it was a pattern: a gig worker steals an easy-to-steal car of minimal value and abandons it within 10 miles. The cops have it towed to a storage lot and — whoops — forget to record the incident. Six months later, the insurance company is stuck with a $3,000 dollar (1970’s dollars!!!) storage fee.

      Police states are like this.

      1. NYMutza

        My car was stolen a few years back. Five days later I received a phone call at 7am from the local police dept informing me that my car had been located approximately 10 miles away. I was told that I had 20 minutes to get the car off the street or it would be towed to an impound lot where I could then retrieve it. Of course, it was impossible for me to travel 10 miles in 20 minutes during rush hour so I told the cops to tow it to the impound lot. It cost me $270 in impound fees + $500 to replace the stripped ignition assembly (older Hondas can be started with a screwdriver). Since the vehicle is an old Honda Accord I was expecting the worst, but the (likely) kids who stole the car apparently just used it to roam the neighborhood stealing mail (the car was full of stolen mail which I bundled up and took to the nearest postal station).

  18. antidlc

    Grand Central Station sit-in:

    Over 200 arrested at Grand Central rally for Gaza ceasefire

    Hundreds of demonstrators took over Grand Central Terminal on Friday, calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war. More than 200 were arrested.

    Hundreds of demonstrators from a Jewish activist group made their way into Grand Central Terminal’s main concourse and staged a sit-in during rush hour.

    1. JP

      Funny, I didn’t see this covered in the Times, but they did cover the annual meeting of Jewish Republicans.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Nigel Farage branded ‘sketchy crackpot’ in secret NatWest emails disclosed after de-banking scandal”

    This is a strange article this and it is obviously a smear against him. Heard recently that he is not actively involved in politics but perhaps the UK political situation is so chaotic, that they are frightened that Farage could go in and pull off a few upsets. So they will launch a smear campaign to undermine him and this is a shot across the bows. Personally I think that he should sue that paper for publishing libel.

  20. Carolinian

    That Grayzone on all the October 7 friendly fire casualties is pretty devastating to the notion that Israel is about protecting Jews as opposed to asserting power (on the theory that this will protect Jews). Apparently some Israeli people are starting to think this as well about Netanyahu and his crew. For him it’s all about winning, not protecting.

    Which is to say hooray for Jewish Voices for Peace. They are a ray of light.

  21. IMOR

    re: Biden/Harris action on abandoned commercial properties

    “DOT is releasing guidance that makes it easier for transit agencies to repurpose properties for transit-oriented development and affordable housing projects, including conversions near transit. Under the new guidance, transit agencies may transfer properties to local governments, non-profit, and for-profit developers of affordable housing at no cost.”
    Great! No need any longer to figleaf the inside dealing of your PMC guy on the metro or regional transit dist to his wife, uncle, bro-in-law you’ve got fronting the ownership/REIT side of your dealings while you take out the expanded Fed loans (for projects you never saw the $ in or value of while money was at 0-3% for 12 yrs) and cash in with your development/constructiin side!
    The venal part of me wants to move back home, get the band back together, and get back on the planning commission again. Properties the dists and agencies overpaid their buddies in tax dollars for now given away to get lathered, rinsed, repeated. And they brag about it FFS. Bidenomics!

    1. Louis Fyne

      easier said than done.

      If you want cheap, miserable housing—-sure, (1) take an out-of-date office building, (2) throw in some drywall, add bathrooms (3) spike the football and declare the creation of “affordable” housing.

      It ain’t as easy as that.

      To convert an uncompetitive office building to *quality* residential housing, is not cheap nor easy.

      Likely what will happen when the final details of this project solidify: it will be a “heads I win, tails you lose” giveaway to developers.

      feature, not a bug

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Revamping the plumbing and heating to support a residential building should be a hefty endeavor. But if they can convert old warehouses to lofts, why not office buildings?

        1. Random

          Warehouses are relatively simple buildings that have lots of free space.
          Don’t need to tear much out I would guess.

        2. Louis Fyne

          emphasis on affordable….

          those conversions did not create “affordable housing”

          And living in a loft in an old warehouse is HVAC expensive in areas w/ stout four seasons; as the desire for real brick walls hits the reality of the insulation value of 100 year-old brick walls

        3. Yves Smith Post author

          But what about open plan offices? Some buildings might have a lot of those.

          However the big issues is probably not plumbing (if ceilings are high enough, you raise the floor so you can create enough elevation for the brown line) but routes to fires escapes and legal bedrooms. NYC code required that bedrooms have windows. That’s even in the building code for super redneck Cullman County, Alabama.

          1. ambrit

            Codes can be “altered” given enough money and political muscle.
            Most “modern” office buildings, especially multi storey ones are basically poured concrete floors supported by a forest of reinforced concrete pillars. Except for the elevator shafts and fire escape stairwells, the rest of the walls are light weight partitions; easy to erect and tear down. The planning goes into the holes in the decks where utilities pass through vertically. The largest voids in the deck are usually where the air conditioning ducts pass through. To change this to multi-use residential, one would need to completely redesign the place and move most of the utilities. In the multi-storey units I have worked on, the water, drains, and electrical have been suspended from the deck in the space between the deck and the room ceiling below. Some units have the water suspended from the deck above the rooms it is intended for. Many low rise projects do this. It makes it easier to locate the individual shut offs for the units. The valves are usually near and above the front door of each unit.
            It can be done, but often a complete tear down and rebuild on the site makes better financial sense.
            New York was generally known as having the ‘hardest’ building code in America.
            The South? Fugeddabot it!

            1. Revenant

              What is to stop (in terms of regulatiins or construction techniques) office redevelopment by taking out an inner courtyard of floor deck all the way down the building to create a lightwell, to create bedrooms with windows? Service risers can be created in the same operation.

              1. ambrit

                In poured reinforced concrete, you have to work with the balance of loads that various parts of the columns plus decks support. To make inner light wells, you have to figure out how many columns you can “sacrifice” before structural integrity is damaged too much. It gets extremely technical.
                Also, many decks today are lighter than before due to “reinforced stress design.” I have seen a stress cable snap and rip itself out of a slab. Very scary considering the forces at play. In those cases, you cannot cut any stressed cables. Thus, no added light wells possible.
                Stress cabling, slabs:,force%20to%20the%20concrete%20slab.

                1. Revenant

                  Interesting! Thank you for the informative reply, Ambrit.

                  This is why we should build buildings (rather than structures like bridges) with traditional construction methods. It means that buildings can be repurposed and remodelled organically. The lifetime saving in not demolishing a building is worth more than any small saving on materials at the point of construction.

        1. JBird4049

          IIRC, this was also a thing just before the bubble burst over two decades ago. The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

  22. flora

    Taibbli’s latest substack. mostly paywalled.

    Twitter Files Extra: Amy Klobuchar Went Too Far, Even For Pro-
    sensor ship Media

    From the longer article:
    Klobuchar became the Senate’s designated Overton-Window-mover on sensor ship, endlessly pushing boundaries on surveillance authority and control over speech. In 2019 she introduced legislation to create a Malign Foreign Influence Response Center under the control of the Director of National Intelligence. In 2020, she asked Google for restrictions on sites deemed disinformation purveyors by the U.S.-funded Global Disinformation Index. She then asked 13 intelligence agencies to take action against “influence campaigns” that “spread disinformation,” introduced the hideously-named NUDGE Act, which asked the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences to find ways to slow “harmful” content in news feeds, and sought increased access to user data for “vetted” researchers in the Platform Accountability and Transparency Act, among many other things.

    On July 22, 2021, Klobuchar introduced “The Health Misinformation Act,” which would have given the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Department 30 days after enactment to issue by edict “what constitutes health misinformation.” Any platforms that subsequently posted “misinformation” as defined by the HHS chief could be sued for government-determined falsehood under a new carve-out she wanted to create in the government’s Section 230 liability shield.


    My opinion: quite a gal. Imagine what HHS with that kind of power would say about the information about aerosol tranmission of , oh, say viruses, for example. / ;)

    1. The Rev Kev

      And to think that it wasn’t that long ago she was a serious Presidential candidate. But when she falsely accused Bernie of sexual harassment, she gave away who she really was.

      1. pretzelattack

        I don’t remember that. Do you mean Elizabeth Warren? she accused Bernie of being sexist, and gave away who she really was. I’m struggling to remember anything at all about Klobuchar’s campaign.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Yep, my mistake. Warren was the one that accused Bernie of being sexist. About that time it came out that Klobuchar had as bad a temper as Biden on on at least one occasion threw a stapler at a staffer.

  23. Wukchumni

    As the world looks to explode this weekend, its worth noting that October 28-29th is when the stock market crashed in 1929, if you like comparisons.

    1. MaryLand

      Yesterday it was in the news that Jamie Diamond will sell about 10% of his own shares ($141 million) in JP Morgan. Just happening to cash in a bit. All is fine.

    2. ambrit

      October 28-29 was just the biggest ‘crash’ of 1929. There were several ‘panics’ earlier in the year. The early version of the ‘Plunge Protection Team’ “saved the day” before the sell off became too big to manage.
      Periods of alternating booms and busts were common back then. Some years, like 1920, the stock market would sell off as much as 20%, and roar back the next year.

    3. eg

      We have “circuit breakers” now that didn’t exist then, so at the very least any such meltdown would take longer than it used to.

  24. Jason Boxman

    On Google Paid How Much to Be the Default Search Engine? I was thinking about this yesterday; If Google really is everyone’s favorite search engine, and no one can fathom using any other search engine, then by paying for placement, Google has been destroying shareholder value.

    Wouldn’t there be a lawsuit or activist investor over the past decade that would be making a huge stink about this?

    So clearly these huge multi-billion dollar payments are achieving some aim that is thought to increase profits.

    Google’s payout to make it the default search engine comes weeks after Bernstein analysts reported the company paid Apple roughly $18 billion in 2021 to keep Chrome as the default on Macs, iPads, and iPhones. The report, shared with The Register, estimates that Google’s payout accounts for 14% to 16% of Apple’s annual operating profits.

  25. Jason Boxman

    Desperate for Air Defense, Ukraine Pushes U.S. for ‘Franken’ Weapons

    Americans officials call it the FrankenSAM program, combining advanced, Western-caliber, surface-to-air missiles with refitted Soviet-era launchers or radars that Ukrainian forces already have on hand. Two variants of these improvised air defenses — one pairing Soviet Buk launchers and American Sea Sparrow missiles, the other marrying Soviet-era radars and American Sidewinder missiles — have been tested over the past several months on military bases in the United States and are set to be delivered to Ukraine this fall, officials said.

    Fighting Russian aggression, to hear it from Washington, is the foremost policy objective in America, besides defending Israel. But we’re still not a war footing. We still can’t provide the munitions that are necessary for these supposedly existential threats.

    She said Ukraine was prepared to send 17 more Buk launchers to the United States to be refitted, but American engineers had been able to turn around only five each month.

    Talk about lack of executive function. You read that right. Five.

  26. square coats

    Re: the secret rifts and rows consuming EU’s top corridors

    I’m not sure if there have been any subsequent make-ups and then break-ups but it’s possible that von der Leyen and Michel’s habit of holding separate meetings with various persons dates back to the 2021 Sofagate incident in Turkiye, which I recommend readers look up if they’d like to have a laugh.

    It seems that following Sofagate, vdL and Michel pretty much stopped talking to each other as much as possible. If that trend really did hold this long, I wonder how much it’s effected high level EU policy…

  27. WillyBgood

    Thanks for the Douglald Lamont article taking central banks to task. I especially enjoyed his addendum, a concise rebuttal of typical Wiemar hyperinflation drek repeated ad-infinitum in commentary everywhere.

  28. Tom Stone

    Many here are in favor of banning “Assault Weapons”, however you define them.
    As an exercise, let’s assume that only the AR15 is so classified and that only 10,000,000 Americans own them (There are @ 20,000,000 AR15’s in the USA).
    Let’s further assume that 90% of those people voluntarily surrender their AR15’s…what do you do about the remaining 1,000,000 new felons who are armed with AR15’s?
    A substantial percentage of them will be Veterans of America’s forever wars who, delusional or not, think the 2nd Amendment guarantees them the right to keep and bear arms.

    1. JBird4049

      Whatever one thinks about guns, much almost all of the shouting from the political class is merely a distraction from the growing lack of jobs, housing, and healthcare going with the increasing poverty, social isolation, mental illness, hunger, disease, and death.

      The country has always been heavily armed, but only in the last thirty years, or since the start of deindustrialization and the growth of the carceral state with the ills both cause, along with the increasing corruption and incompetence, have mass shootings become the norm.

      However, will fixing all of the above would reduce the pain and death as well as making it more likely that the number and use of guns would greatly diminish, that would threaten the power and wealth of the elites, so it will not happen. Just more of these massacres that are so profitable for the American régime.

      1. GramSci

        Thank you, JBird,

        I would only add, as I’m sure you recognize, that it’s not the massacres themselves that are so profitable to the USian regime. It is the insecurity and fear and the popular demand for “sensor ship” that these massacres feed, as well as the psychopathic satisfaction the oligarchs derive from running a carceral state.

        1. jobs

          Also, security/surveillance services companies like ADT and Ring profit from people feeling increasingly insecure in/about their families and homes.

    2. Lefty Godot

      There is a time-honored method of dealing with new realities that the Constitution originally did not take into account: amending the Constitution. But for all the hue and cry about guns or about disinformation policing and hate speech, nobody puts any serious effort into pushing amendments to repeal or modify restrictively the 1st and 2nd amendments. Instead they try to use laws, regulations, and favorable court interpretations to whittle away at what the 1st and 2nd amendments (among others) provide. I wonder why that is.

      1. LifelongLib

        Contradictory thoughts come to mind:

        Too hard to amend the Constitution (I’m old enough to remember the Equal Rights Amendment), so just about any other legal approach is more likely to succeed;

        Too scary — there are people who want repeal the 1st Amendment, the 2nd Amendment, the 5th Amendment, get rid of the Senate or the Electoral College…maybe it’s a door everybody’s afraid to open.

  29. zagonostra

    >Christian conservatives cheer one of their own, Mike Johnson assumes Congress’ most powerful seat , AP

    I’m not sure what type of christianity, conservative or otherwise, obscures the death and destruction of the children of Gaza and plucks out its own natural eyes that can see injustices with those of a computer screen that only deliver death. Congress has lost it’s moral compass, it has stopped up its ears to the cries of mercy for the innocent and an immediate ceasefire.

    There is a rent in the moral order and I fear for all the whirlwind that cometh. The Genocide of Gaza will not be forgotten, it may try and be spun, but I think enough are looking with more than just there electronic eyes and see with love ( I almost hesitated using the word.)

    1. Glen

      Just my opinion, but we will have no real, serious Speaker of the House until we have one who will finally revoke the AUMF:

      Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001

      Until Congress re-asserts it’s authority to declare war, the American people don’t have a proper say in how our military is used or abused:

      How Many Times Has the US Officially Declared War?

  30. flora

    Taibbi’s very latest. no paywall.

    Thanks, to a Politician Who Did His Job
    When the IRS visited my home, Jim Jordan actually did something about it. Why couldn’t I call a Democrat?

    Here’s his longer, related, paywalled article.

    A House Investigation Reveals Disturbing IRS Home Visit Practices
    The IRS promised to curtail home visits, but a deep dive by the House Weaponization of Government Committee revealed more about past abuses. Has this happened to you?

  31. Wukchumni

    Related article “Mark Zuckerberg’s $46.5 billion loss on the metaverse is so huge it would be a Fortune 100 company—but his net worth is up even more than that‘

    I was just seated at the next table over to Mark Zuckerberg @ our local sandwich & salad restaurant…

    Shorter than I imagined him to be~

    1. ambrit

      Try and find out about his “Fortress of Solitude” rumoured to be somewhere in the Sierras. Mr. Luthor says that he will make it worth your while.

  32. Mikel

    “Central Banks: Can Engines of Inequality Become Engines of Growth?” Douglald Lamont

    Good stuff. A big hindrance to his policy suggestions is that the only labor that is legitimatized, catered to, fawned over, and heavily rewarded is in the FIRE sector in countries like the USA. And I would say a lot of what is put under the banner of “tech” these days should fall under the banner of the FIRE sector.

    1. digi_owl

      US “tech” these days is “bend the regulations of some sector using a web site”.

      The few holdouts more and more need to fend of Asia using IP law enforced, ultimately, by Pentagon. Not that different to the situation UK was in as it’s empire waned.

  33. Escapee

    Re: China’s view of America,

    (And hoping this comment posts, as mine never do)

    I live–retired with an extendable 5-month property-owner’s visa–in a small (but lively!), slow, affordable, and beautifully mountainous and riverine farming town of maybe 200,000 people. I’m the only foreigner here. In the last couple of days, I’ve noticed a significant shift in how the curious locals react when they learn I’m American.

    In the past, in response to my stock “I’m embarrassed to say…” preface to the “Where are you from?” question, the locals would say things like “No, America is cool” or “That’s only your government.”

    In one encounter yesterday with an old woman working in the local supermarket, she asked, “Why did you retire here instead of in your own country?” I said “Because I’m American.” She immediately said, “Oh, I get it.”

    Then tonight, while walking along the riverwalk, three high school girls crammed on one ebike stopped to talk to the exotic foreigner. When they found out I was from America (with the “我有点尴尬“ “I’m embarrassed to say” disclaimer)–and I added, “It was okay in the past, but it’s really bad now”–they didn’t disagree. They said, “We know. And we welcome you to our town.” Hip high school provincials, yet that last bit was so spontaneously gracious.

    (FWIW, when reading about Yves’ search for a retirement country, I tried to comment suggesting she check out my town as an option–you can buy a beautiful new apartment here for less than USD 150,000 and food + utilities are less than USD 300/month–but my comments never survived. This place is an expat community waiting to happen. Brings to mind Tao Yuanming’s classic story of the “Peach-Blossom Spring.” Inquiries welcome if you want to cross over.)

    1. skippy

      Its been the same for me here Australia since 95. I’ve seen a huge shift over the decades, as my ex wife was raised and educated amongst the wealthy in Queensland and then introduced to all them over the first year the funny thing was how at the time they would always comment about how it was a good thing that America was the world police now … good times forever thingy … ev’bal communism is dead … freedoms and liberties guided by free markets[tm] … forever … my response always was be careful of what you wish for because …

      Fast forward too now …

      Recently was talking to a wealth family with their Uni student daughter about some stuff and mentioned Obama not being the guy dripping in Bernays sauce, mother was perplexed and then the daughter said a lot of her peers had become aware of a lot of his failings and all the PR shtick was a sham. This is now translating to our own political operatives for this age cohort. Even old socialist Dan from Victoria State recently reviled himself over comments made after nixing the Common Wealth Games in his state as a bad Business decision = WE = are a Market Economy and it does not make good business sense to do it from a balance sheet perspective … not that huge amounts of monies in that state are being looted in the name of free markets …

      1. Escapee

        Interesting. It’s the older woman’s shift that surprised me most–they seem to define America by imaginings of their youth in the ’80s. Chinese social media is full of Chinese-subtitled short clips from people like Jeffrey Sachs and Michael Hudson that seem to have done some damage to the Hollywood soft-power projections of old.

        And Obama is covered in Edward Bernays Sauce….

        1. skippy

          Oh she only thought he was washed, I corrected that and gave her all Lambert’s kind observations to support it.

          Yes China did invite all the western economic thinkers in the last decade and currently sorting the results of those thoughts out in a grand experiment, alas the Atlanticism tribe will just go OCD on the agenda set up decades ago, sux to watch …..

    2. SocalJimObjects

      Hm, I am intrigued. I currently live in Taiwan, but I am also interested in living in China, and that visa sounds exactly like what I am looking for. Would you mind posting more information? I speak Mandarin, so would not have language issues.

      1. Escapee

        The edit window closed before I could add:

        –I bought the apartment in 2017 or so, when the county govt announced the policy, and need to confirm that policy still holds despite all the anti-China @sshattery of the last three US administrations.

        –I’m not clear myself on the fine print (assuming it’s there) of the visa deal. I have to extend it in March by going to a nearby city’s Entry/Exit Bureau (as in a 30-minute ebike ride), and will probe more.

        So give me a bit of time to finish settling in–after three locked down years working in Beijing, I recently returned here to discover water damage requiring repairs and repainting, etc.

        Finally, living in 1984 as we all do, I want to keep a certain amount of privacy about all of this. How can I share the details less publicly? Does this community have a DM function?

      2. Escapee

        Since you speak Chinese, it seems the simplest thing would be to directly contact the local governments and ask them about the home purchase + visa policy. Anhui Province, Huangshan City, Xiuning County, Haiyang Township. 安徽省,黄山市,休宁县,海阳乡。This is the famous Yellow Mountains region.

  34. Anon

    I have to say, I was fearful of Tucker taking on the role of respected journalist (versus demagogue), but now that he is not on Fox, what little I see of him, is curiously agreeable. Respectable even. Haven’t heard one dog-whistle. +1 Tucker Carlson

    1. skippy

      He is just seeking a broader market base for a personal payday … and no authority over him or his product … pure homo economicus rationalization …

      1. caucus99percenter

        Still, in this fallen world it is unhealthy to be too obsessed with what one imagines to be others’ motives. Not that motives are unimportant, but I would think that it’s results that count.

        Compare “doing the wrong thing with the best intentions” vs. “doing the right thing for the wrong reasons” . . .

        1. skippy

          The very idea that someone like Tucker that cut his teeth on being a media operative to gain eye ball share and by it personal wealth/class distinction and swapped teams when it was personally advantageous is hilarious when some present him as fighting the Good[tm] Fight.

          Decades of such popular media/entertainment people have gone down the same road and all the unwashed keep falling for it mate … not me please …

  35. The Rev Kev

    Remember when Jamaal Bowman pulled that alarm before a vote and since has gotten a serious slap on the wrist? Turns out that the Capital Building does have internal cameras and after all these long weeks, footage has finally emerged of what he actually did. The guy is a liar- (5:36 mins)

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