Links 10/31/2023

How to make NYC work better for its winged inhabitants Economist (David L)

‘Excruciating’ hornet sting leaves Rome dinner party guest on crutches as plague spreads Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

The Globe-Trotting Scholar Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aztecs Smithsonian Magazine (Chuck L)

How the Cure for Scurvy was Lost, then Found Douglad Lamont (Micael T)

Influential Ecologist Predicts Human Population Will Collapse This Century Real Clear Science (Dr. Kevin)

Cold War spy satellite imagery reveals Ancient Roman forts ScienceDaily (Kevin W)

‘Grave Consequences’: Scientists Warn of Extreme Bias in Brain Aging Research Science Alert (Dr. Kevin)

Why Antidepressants Take So Long to Work Wired (Dr. Kevin). I dunno. My great uncle suffered from severe depression and tried every drug and drug combo known to man. They either worked but stopped doing so after 6-12 weeks or never worked. He was so desperate in the end he sought out and got electroshock.

Lethal bat-borne virus sparks new pandemic fears Reuters (furzy)

The Stench of Death Has a Sunny Side Nautilus (Micael T)


Covid inquiry live: Boris Johnson’s pandemic response was ‘Trump-level mad and dangerous’ Independent (Kevin W)


The Race To Destroy PFAS, the Forever Chemicals MIT Technology Review

The case for wind power was built upon a falsehood Telegraph (furzy)

They went hunting for fossil fuels. What they found could help save the world CNN (Kevin W)

Greenwashing is Gaslighting Planet Critical (Micael T)

Microsoft wants its cloud data centers under the sea Asia Times (Kevin W)


China’s factory activity contracts in blow to economic momentum Financial Times

Northern China chokes under severe pollution PhysOrg

How the Youth Boom in Africa Will Change the World – The New York Times (furzy)

Fog of war: Myanmar’s armed conflict is not a stalemate Asia Times (Kevin W)

European Disunion

View from Poland: NATO leaders decided to abandon their commitment to defend Europe International Affairs (Micael T)


Australia’s free trade deal with EU collapses as both sides accuse the other of being unwilling to compromise Guardian (Kevin W)


Israel is ‘expanding’ Gaza ground operations New York Times (furzy)

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 24: Israel enters the second phase of its war on Gaza Mondoweiss (guurst)

Israel Latest: Military Strikes Back at Hezbollah in Lebanon Bloomberg

Military briefing: How Hamas fights Financial Times

U.S. Quietly Expands Secret Military Base in Israel Intercept (Kevin W)

There is video confirmation of Israeli tanks on main NE/SW artery Salah-al-Deen (Saladin) street, 3km inside the Strip, as Israel moves to isolate Gaza City from Nuseirat/Bureij & all points south. Jacob Dreizin. Says losses 15X in Israel’s favor and Hamas not happy no support from “The Resistance.” This may all be true. But if Israel says everyone is Gaza in the north = Hamas, are there really Hamas losses? See below that this is an entirely reasonable line of thought:

My brother’s family was under the rubble for 5 hours Mondoweiss (guurst)

There’s Only So Much Propaganda Spin You Can Put On The Murder Of Thousands Of Children Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Probe Finds Reuters Journalist Was Killed in ‘Deliberately Targeted’ Strike From Israeli Border Common Dreams

* * *

Hamas terror chief openly supports civilian deaths in Gaza Jewish Chronicle (Dr. Kevin). May well be correct but I’d like to see an independent translation. Recall the deliberately misleading translation of then President of Iran’s remark that it would be better if Israel had never come into existence. Tense was clearly conditional. It was widely claimed he has instead said he was going to wipe Israel off the map.

‘Forced displacement’ continues to happen in Gaza, says UNRWA chief Anadolu Agency

Biden Forced To Call Off His Plans For Ethnic Cleansing Of Gaza Moon of Alabama (Kevin W). I don’t buy it. Biden has said things to more important leaders (Xi) that he didn’t adhere to. Here the only part that is off is Plan A, herding Palestinians into Egypt, and that is due to Egypt and other neighbors holding firm that they will not enable Israel ethnic cleansing.

* * *

* * *

Alastair Crooke: The Deterrence Paradigm has Failed. Judge Napolitano, YouTube. The opening section is about Israel believing it is in an apocalyptic struggle.

New Not-So-Cold War

How Russia Plans to CRUSH Ukraine This Winter History Legends, YouTube. From a few days ago, but still informative.

Meeting with young scientists and space industry specialists President of Russia (guurst)


Deciphering What Really Happened In Dagestan Andrew Korybko

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How to tell if your boss is spying on you New York Post (BC)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Brisbane Lecture on US Grand Strategy John Mearsheimer

What a third world war would mean for investors Economist (Dr. Kevin)

There is no exit for dictators Branko Milanovic (Micael T)


Biden administration ordered to stop destroying border barrier RT (Kevin W)

Biden Throws $45 Billion in Federal Funds to Convert Offices into Homes MishTalk

GOP Clown Car

McConnell, Speaker Johnson headed for shutdown clash over Ukraine The Hill

Mike Johnson’s MAGA honeymoon: How long can the new House speaker hold the GOP intact? Salon

House Speaker Mike Johnson’s Long Crusade Against Birth Control Rolling Stone (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Senate Condemns Student Groups as Backlash to Pro-Palestinian Speech Grows Intercept (Dr. Kevin)


‘Congress, Do Your Job’: Gun Control Demands Grow After Dozens Shot in Florida, Illinois, and Indiana Common Dreams (furzy)


>Google Brain cofounder says Big Tech companies are lying about the risks of AI wiping out humanity because they want to dominate the market Business Insider (TF). As we have been saying based on input of reader BC.

Banks are excited about AI, but that doesn’t mean they’re using American Banker

The Bezzle

Sam Bankman-Fried grilled over what he told the public about FTX and Alameda Financial Times

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Post-Collapse Media Blitz Has Clearly Backfired CoinDesk. As we and many others predicted.

Class Warfare

CVS and Walgreens pharmacy staff begin 3-day walkout CNN (Kevin W)

Workers Keep Getting Big Raises. That’s a Problem for the Fed. Wall Street Journal

Disabled man drags himself off plane after Air Canada fails to offer wheelchair Guardian

Why Economists Are Wrong About How Good The Economy Is, And Regular People Are Right Ian Welsh (Randy K)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (guurst):

And a second bonus (Kevin W):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    Once more it is Halloween in America with its pumpkins, skeletons, witches, vampires, bags of lollies and all the work that that entails. But in a quite moment, perhaps you can take a break from all these frantic preparations to look at something restful – such as this car winding its way through a peaceful German valley. Bonus points if you can see what is so unusual about the rear of that car-

    1. Mark Gisleson

      We got a little bit of snow last night. If it sticks around until tonight, I’m playing Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas” for the trick or treaters.

    2. Wukchumni

      Cherokee Oaks is the only suburb in Tiny Town and fairly flat with perhaps 100 homes, and thus the only place where Halloween happens here.

      Its also STR heavy with lotsa AirBnB’s, and Halloween hearkening on a Tuesday and it being off-season, means maybe 30 out of 40 STR’s will be empty, and even if they have tourists staying in them, would many of them go out and blow $50 on candy for local kids prospecting for cavities?

      Tonight, I will get the skinny on whats what. A couple of years ago we walked with parents & their kids, and this one family’s kid had the peanut allergy bad, and mom & dad had to inspect the takings after each front porch foray, lest some goober laden goody slip through.


      Why aren’t there many Halloween songs?

        1. wilroncanada

          Fitting for Hallowe’en: …the rockets red glare, the firecrackers bursting in air…
          The U.S: minora times 91/2 plus border fences.

          1. Wukchumni

            If the National anthem was all that, it would mention egging something with that dozen carefully sequestered in your pillow case, while out on appointed rounds during Halloween.

            ‘the rockets Red glare, an Impala getting Jumbo ‘airmail’ there…’

      1. The Rev Kev

        The past few year here in Oz they have tried to push the idea of having Halloween and you can see plenty of Halloween junk for sale in the shops the past few weeks. I’d hate to live in an area where the little tikes would try door knocking and there would be little fare for them in my region.

      2. ArcadiaMommy

        Because Halloween is the most annoying holiday.

        I’m glad my boys have aged out of wanting a costume and now just run around the neighborhood hanging out at a friends house until the mom gets super annoyed and kicks them out. Off to the next house!

        Wearing a costume doesn’t make you look cool in front of the ladies.

        I spent about $100 on candy and it will run out but I’m walking over to a friends house for drinks. But our neighborhood closes off the streets so it is a destination.

    3. Nikkikat

      There is a photo on Sputnick news web site that shows a Halloween party at the White House last night. Antony Blinken brought his two small children dressed as Zelensky and the other in a Dress made to look like the Ukrainian Flag. I kid you not.

    4. ArvidMartensen

      Halloween – just another arm of US cultural hegemony. Next thing Australians will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Veterans day and the whole shebang.
      And with our PM giving a sizeable charitable donation to the US arms industry – can we put that down on our US tax return as a charitable donation and get it off our US tax?

  2. cnchal

    > Microsoft wants its cloud data centers under the sea . . .

    So it can boil the ocean to feed it’s bullshit generator. No moar insane than building a nuke to do the same.

    1. The Rev Kev

      To Microsoft, the sea is merely another environment like you may have with computers. But I am here to say that the sea plays rough and anything involved with undersea activity will always be more expensive than at first thought. On second thought, Microsoft should totally do this and I encourage them to do so.

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      At present there is no evidence placing data centers in the world’s oceans will have any significant negative impact.” Shameless weasel wording. Considering the limited size and scope of tests to date, there wouldn’t be sufficient evidence. Isn’t to say there won’t be, at some scale.

      Currently, these experimental underwater data centers require a land-based energy source, and data cabling back to a landmass under some government’s control. At the moment, the energy ‘savings’ is merely the substitution of one exploitable heat sink (air conditioning) for a larger, less regulated one (ocean water).

      There’s a long-standing fantasy, fueled by the Sealand experience, that ocean-based data centers (wind- or wave- powered, placed outside territorial jurisdictions, and connected to the internet via satellite) will provide services reasonably outside the reach of local governments.

      1. Charger01

        It certainly would be interesting. The Puget Sound is not far from Redmond, and several utilities have experience with deploying submarine transmission cables to provide electricity. Combining that with a dash of experimentation with tidal generation would be an interesting ploy.

      2. digi_owl

        Some of the biggest centers already use artificial waterfalls as a heat sink, and i have seen talk about placing new centers where they can slip the radiator loop into nearby sea water.

        They may as well build combined nuclear reactors and data centers, so that they can share cooling towers.

        1. Michaelmas

          They may as well build combined nuclear reactors and data centers, so that they can share cooling towers.

          A venture capital firm I know has this mini-reactor company among their investments —

          I suggested to one partner that the reactors might be too small to have much of a potential customer base.

          He said he’d already had a dozen inquiries about it from crypto mining companies in China. (This was a couple of years back, just before Xi’s crackdown on crypto.)

  3. zagonostra

    >The Roots of Radicalism and the Structure of Evil – Edward Curtin

    You either agree with this or you don’t, there is no Talmudic parsing of meaning, nor is there a need for an Oxford style debate.

    I remembered the Gospel words I heard long ago about the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loudly lamenting: it was Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they were no more.” But this time it is not the Jewish Rachel, for Herod has assumed the name Netanyahu and his U.S. allies, and the weeping ones are Palestinian mothers and fathers. Nothing can justify such slaughter, not the terrible killings of innocent Israelis on October 7 that I denounce; not the fear that the birth of messengers of peace might strike into Herod/Netanyahu’s heart – nothing! Seventy-five years of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians continues apace. The Jewish child Jesus, the radical preacher of love and peace for all people, didn’t die on a private cross, nor do the Palestinians. So it goes.

  4. GramSci

    «the mood effects of SSRIs take several weeks to kick in»

    This may be generally true, but in my case the effect was immediate. The dean sabotaged my tenure bid because I refused to work for the CIA. My wife’s shrink prescribed Prozac, then new on the market.

    I took my first pill and set off to work, muttering “damned bastards, damned bastards”. Twenty minutes down the road, I found myself singing ♫ damned bastards ♫ damned bastards ♫ .

    N=1. There are many types of depression and many types of people.

    1. Carolinian

      Isn’t the rap against the drugs that they are both addictive and you have to take increasing amounts for the same effect? A friend is taking them and is totally dependent.

      And re shock therapy–Dick Cavett said he had it and it helped him. He said that during many of those suave interviews he was feeling greatly depressed.

      1. GramSci

        I only took it for a few months, during which it worked reliably. Recommended it to a colleague with a depressed preteen, whom it gave suicidal thoughts. I had prewarned the stepfather of this risk. The preteen had bigger problems. His stepfather was a graduate of Falwell U. An evangelical nut job.

        There are different types of ‘depression’.

        1. ambrit

          Unfortunately for US, the coming economic “depression” will trigger many of the other sort.
          Go long SSRIs?
          I was on Prozac for a couple of months and I was one of the people who the drug essentially “zombified.” After an induced attention deficit ‘sponsored’ automobile ‘fender bender,’ I stopped taking it. I decided that I would rather be “present” and a bit depressed than not be “there” and be “happy.”
          YMMV squared.

        2. digi_owl


          My understanding of SSRIs is that they do not fix the underlying problem, they instead provide the energy and drive to hopefully do something about it.

          Sadly that something may often be very violent indeed.

      2. Craig H.

        Shock therapy gives you amnesia. When it works you forget what was making you depressed.

        (I am not MD Hippocratic Oath hypocrite)

      3. t

        Drugs work for some people some of the time. But even drugs that work well for a person may have limits on terms of keeping various vital organs, like liver and kidneys happy for many years.

        The thing is, mental illnesses aren’t particularly measurable. Prescribing is educated guess work. Frustrating for everyone involved. And the history of people having significant side effects to placebos isn’t exactly comforting.

        And I’ve had people tell me that a percentage of their clients who are “doing well on meds would likely be doing as well on Skittles.

        And whether or not and how much to medicate kids and adolescents is apparently a special minefield and you have the extra layer of parents’ expectations to navigate.

        Maybe in the ten years we’ll find out a few sips of peyote tea solves all the problems.

      4. SG

        Well, Lexapro helped pull me out of the depressive spiral I entered after my mother’s death. It took about a week to kick in, and after few months I tapered the dose and discontinued it over a couple of weeks. No bad effects. I’m not sure I’d still be here without it. I know there are people for whom they don’t work and people who experience really unpleasant side-effects from them, but in my case they worked very well indeed.

    2. Phenix

      You literally described the obsessive compulsion that implicates SSRIs with mass shootings.

      Individuals become hyper focused on one issue/person/object and that fixation can morph into murder/suicide. I no longer know now the clinical terminology for this phenomenon.

      SSRIs do not beat placebo control. Depression is our response to our environment. It is not a psychological disorder.

      1. Edo

        Are those SSRI effects not overrepresented in the list of American school shooters? There have been so many comments on the internet about that.

    3. Color Me Skeptical

      Not sure if this is in direct response to GramSci, since what I’m taking away from his comment is more about the beneficial effects of (appropriate) anger. But this seems like the subthread to add what I came here to say:

      This seems like a strange study to me, since the efficacy of SSRIs has been increasingly questioned for a couple of decades at least (separately from concerns about side effects and withdrawal issues). And then it turns out that the serotonin-deficiency theory of depression is also not holding up well. So to basically say, well, SSRIs change the way brain scans look, and it takes a while for that to happen, doesn’t really address any of those issues. We already know that the placebo effect is real – how about we study how long it takes for placebo to change the way brain scans look?

  5. griffen

    Article above on “Why economists are wrong about how great the economy is”. Reading to the end, you get the best summarization and something that gets a lot of discussion here. “We have late imperial disconnect…ordinary people live in the real world and it sucks…” And that sums it up in a nutshell. The graphing on medical coverage / sickcare is pretty remarkable, and small wonder that a health insurer such as UNH / United Health has only seen green shots and great quarterly reports. Thanks a few billion (at a bare minimum) to the ACA!!

    Economists agree on something I guess, the glass is always going to be half full vs half empty and that also depends on which team they root for. I look forward to the 2024 campaign rallying cry next year in America, are you better off than you were in 2019 or 2020? Of all people to cite on a Tuesday morning, Jimmy “mouth of the south” Carville had it right. It is so very much the economy.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      So simple even James Carville can explain it. Carville is one of the smarter Clintonistas. Now they’ve degenerated to the ilk of Neera who thinks one can simply lie and combine it with Reagan Era branding, hence Bidenomics.

    2. Wukchumni

      We went to Economic-Con in DC and I was dressed as William McChesney Martin Jr., while my better half had a punchbowl costume on.

        1. griffen

          Say what you will about her crazypants rhetoric, placing that aside I suggest Lauren Boebert would make some eye candy in a nicely fitted costume. The Congressional hottie mean nurse will see you shortly…\ sarc

          1. Wukchumni

            Lauren Boebert would be perfect as Thing from Addams Family, i’ve seen her in action getting handsy with her beau before getting the heave ho in Colorado.

    3. Screwball

      On this economy thing. As we all know, inflation is a problem, and many are trying to cut costs. Me included, since I am retired and on fixed income. I have made some changes to my buying habits, my household purchases (internet & TV service), and closely watching my energy usage.

      In particular, I have been watching my electric bill. I created a spreadsheet to track my energy usage by appliance. How long did I have the oven on? How many runs in the dryer? Record temperature to estimate furnace run time, etc. I got my latest electric bill yesterday. Lowest one I’ve had in a very long time, and lowest since I’ve been tracking. Great. But here’s what drive me nuts.

      My spreadsheet matches my bill almost to the penny based on my cost per kilowatt and the kilowatts used for the month (I read my meter daily at 6pm). I used $26.23 of electric. My bill was $66.34. So a little over 60 percent of my bill is non-electric. Amazing. Transmission service = $11.01 Distribution Service = $19.10 Customer Charge = $10.00

      I do buy from an alternative energy company to get a better rate, which, for the record, I’m not sure is a good idea. This is AEP Ohio for those curious. What a family blogging rip off.

        1. ambrit

          Yep. The first thing that happened to our gas bill when the local utility was bought up by a regional leviathan was the introduction of a monthly “Service Maintenance Fee.,” in this case, $8.00 USD the month. Oh, and the monthly rate did not go down to compensate for the new extraction. And the local bill offices were closed to the public and the collections farmed out to third parties. [I, for instance, pay my bill at a local ‘Rent To Own’ furniture outlet.] Considering that many gas bills were running under thirty dollars a month, that was a huge exercise in Rent Extraction. And the Public Service Commission went along with it.
          See why I am cynical about even State and local level politics?

      1. Louis Fyne

        —an alternative energy company t—

        These companies are largely scams in that the contract terms are so lob-sided written for the alt energy company that one is better off with either: (a) the default utility in your area; or (b) if your default utility offers it—real-time pricing where your price matches the wholesale price in the electricity markets calculated at 5 min intervals.

        Option (b) *is not* for everyone. However given’s OP’s commitment to track his usage, my hunch is that OP is a very good candidate for real-time pricing.

        Just read all the print, it’s not like buying loaves of bread at the store.

        1. Screwball

          Thanks for this.

          I’m curious about this too. I opted for the alternative company, which is actually a subsidiary of AEP (called AEP Energy) because it locks you into a rate for a period of time (1 or 2 years). There is a website you can see all these choices and their charge for kWh. AEP Energy is cheaper than the default AEP standard rates.

          Or are they?

          This is what I’m not sure about. I’m tempted to cancel the AEP Energy and get whatever the AEP rate is and see what happens to these fees? Will they stay the same, or go down? Is AEP jacking these fees up when you use an alternative provider (even though it’s them)?

          I have heard it both ways and don’t know what to believe. Might be time to find out.

          1. Louis Fyne

            —it locks you into a rate for a period of time (1 or 2 years)—

            you lose out if electricity prices go down; electricity prices pretty much move with natural gas prices.

            If the following apply, you should look into real-time energy (but only if offered from your local default regulated electric co.):

            1. you track your usage;
            2. you can live without A/C or less A/C on the hottest days of the year;
            3. you don’t have any medical devices that need to be on 24/7/365 or any other high-power “must have on” devices like aquarium systems.
            4. you have a natural gas furnace/

      2. chris

        This is it exactly. And it’s not just bills from various providers and monthly commitments. It’s the additional deductions in payroll. Its the increasing contribution for your health insurance premiums. It’s your home owner’s insurance company asking you to prove various things or your policy premium will increase because reasons.

        When there isn’t a material reason to raise prices, all these entities find reasons to increase them anyway. When companies can’t make a better product, or grow their customer base, they find ways to abuse and trap their current customers. Or they shift to “markets” where the customers have no choices. Like education.

        Ed Tech should not be a thing. It should be illegal to make a profit selling standardized tests and test services. Kids should have access to books, not apps on crappy chromebooks. But unless you have the choice to send your children to a private school you do not have a say in these matters. And even then, you don’t get much. All it takes is one brunch with a state representative and the slimy consultants get the right contract to force everyone in a jurisdiction to play a long. And pay pay pay. My taxes keep going up and the service they provide to kids is getting worse every year. But I do note the payments we make to consultants and outside entities are increasing. Progress to be excited about I guess.

        And then there’s the right to repair. And poor products coming from China, that were manufactured in China to avoid our labor laws and environmental constraints, because the people making the money here wanted to put the money they would have had to spend for compliance into stock buybacks. Which has lead to the amazing situation where drug companies who profit off research paid for by the public, send their requirements to India for manufacturing the pharmaceutical inputs, so that they can fund acquisitions of companies, and buy back more stock. In many cases, spending more on stock buy backs than R&D. But the part they complain about is the high cost of R&D!

        This is universities charging an “academic fee” because the board of regents says they can’t raise tuition. This is car manufacturers trying to make basic features subscription services. This is your HOA increasing its fees and assessments with no basis. This is your doctor charging you a fee for reviewing the online survey they required you to take before you came to the appointment. This is the manufacturer of your printer offering a service for cheap ink refills only if you agree to not use any other kind. This is an online subscription making it impossible to cancel your subscription and hoping you’ll just keep paying. This is credit card companies pleading that they shouldn’t be limited in the userous fees and interest rates because then they won’t be able to afford the rigged games they play with reward points. This is a population of healthcare analysts being paid to say single payer healthcare would be bad for the country because it would put most of them out of work.

        The only reason we don’t live in a world with the abundance it can provide is because so many useless people are sucking us dry. What we need is expensive because people have made it that way, not because of any law or even scarcity most of the time. What we want has been cheap but that is coming to an end because these same useless mouth breathers want more profit.

        But we made a decision that consumers were more important than citizens. We decided corporations were citizens. We stopped holding our leaders accountable. So here we are. God help us.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        Speaking of energy costs, everybody hates the electric company for the reasons you described. We have a referendum on the ballot this year to get rid of our privately run power company and replace it with a state agency.

        Read the fine print though, and what they want to do is set up a state commission of some sort, who will then hire out the services to some other private power generation company, to which I have to ask, “What, then, is the point?”.

        Of course the current power company is pulling out all the stops to make sure they aren’t given the boot, so about every five minutes there’s an ad with a guy with a fake Maine accent urging people to vote against the referendum because “you don’t want elected officials in charge of your electricity” or some such nonsense.

        Now there are plenty of reasons to vote against this proposal – it just adds to the bureaucracy and doesn’t seem to solve the problem of being overcharged for electricity by mixing in a bunch of incomprehensible fees, to name just a couple. It’s really just rearranging the deck chairs and creating a few government sinecures along the way. But I do actually want a state run electrical company managed by competent engineers appointed by elected officials! I’d also like the government to run health care and provide free higher education too. But we aren’t going to get any of that, and I’m not going to get cheaper and better electrical service no matter which way I vote next week. Which is why I am very likely to just sit this one out. Heads they win and tails I lose.

        1. SG

          Here in Boulder, we voted to establish a municipal utility. This was followed by a solid decade of foot-dragging and litigation that culminated in yet another vote to renew the utility company’s franchise, after a really underhanded and deceptive campaign (with a lot of scare-mongering on the part of the utility company). I wish you guys a better experience.

      4. neutrino23

        I don’t know the particulars of your life, but perhaps you can do without the dryer. We mostly hang stuff on the line to dry. You get the benefit of the sunshine and oxygen freshening your clothes and it is free. Try it for a month and see what the difference is.

        I get this doesn’t work for everyone, but it is great when it does.

        You could also vacuum the dust of the coils behind the refrigerator and make sure the door gasket seals well.

    4. Feral Finster

      I can take any wino off the street and make the aforementioned wino look like a financial wizard, as long as the wino can continue to borrow and refinance large sums.

      That goes double if the wino can print his own currency and get others to accept it.

      As to whether any productive activity necessarily results from the wino’s spending spree is left as an exercise to the reader.

    5. Marie

      What’cha going to do about it?
      Our family and friends have a vow: No more, discretionary purchase in the allegedly great Bidenconomy.

      We were going to buy a new car. Instead getting new radiator and a ball joint. Paid for in cash of course.

      We’ll do without, use up reserves, borrow items we might need once, especially tools, clear out closets Marie Kando style to replenish local thrift stores and in general sit on our wallets until a new president is in office. Bonus, savings and decluttering.

      1. ambrit

        ” …until a new president is in office.” Some of us have decided to do similar but are holding out for an entirely new political party.

  6. flora

    re: bat virus. right….

    from the article:
    The lesson comes at an important time,as global health leaders work on a legally binding accord for responding to future global health crises. (my emphasis)

    That would be the hideous, giant power grab of the WHO’s new pandemic treaty. I expect to see more of these fear stories to convince people the WHO’s treaty is a good idea. (Monkey pox had a short run in the fear campaign but didn’t really go anywhere.) From UK MP Andrew Bridgen, utube, ~18 minutes:

    Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response: International Agreement, 17 Apr 2023

    Tedros is not an MD and over rode his own scientific panel’s recommendation when he declared the last pandemic. Tedros’ declaration was enough to turn the world upside down last time.

    Shorter: watch for lots more of these “fatal virus” stories being reported in the next 12 months. Not that they aren’t real stories, but I think they’re used as part of a PR push. / :?

    It’s interesting a treaty of this momentus change for the US health systems isn’t mentioned at all in the US MSM. I wonder why not?

  7. Lexx

    ‘There’s Only So Much Propaganda Spin You Can Put On The Murder Of Thousands Of Children’

    The anti-propagandist sees opportunity for an ‘awakening’ due to the emotional effect of the images of thousands of dead Palestinian children. Surely something good should come from the slaughter and if we don’t respond appropriately to the horror… well, that’s just the narrative (the Matrix) and not a choice we’re making and recommitting to every day. We have no agency and never did. This is how The Powerful control 8 billion people. Also, weapons.

    I wonder what Caitlin thinks will happen once enough (?) sleepers awaken.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In another of her posts she was talking about how Hamas were supposed to be using people as human shields and said this-

      ‘Remember that murderer who took a US elementary school classroom hostage, and the US air force dropped a MOAB on the school and killed all the children, and everyone was cool with it because they needed to kill the guy and he was using the kids as human shields?
      Me neither.’

      Maybe they should have tried that at that school in Uvalde, Texas.

      1. Lexx

        I thought of this one first:

        My brain has a hard time registering dead babies and toddlers as ‘not sleeping’. It wasn’t until the guy above shook the two kids he’s holding and I saw the lack of muscle tone that it occurred to me that they were in fact dead, precisely because we don’t often see images of dead kids in the news, much less American kids. Death is mostly hidden from us.

        But hell, Kev, given enough time I’m pretty sure Americans can get used to anything rather than take action. Inaction and the maintenance of the status quo is the true purpose of propaganda. ‘Move along, nothing to see here.’

        1. GF

          IMO the aggressive murdering of children is a state policy used to limit the number of future fighters. It is also used to lower the population numbers so the resulting population will not be as crowded when they are shoved south into a smaller ghetto/concentration camp/open air prison … Israel thinks long term.

        1. ambrit

          “That” is exactly what “they” did at Waco.
          Remember the politics of the time. The FBI was going through a “crisis of confidence” and needed some positive public relations. The quick and easy swooping down on a compound of “Religious Nutters” and their disarming would have been perfect. Alas, the operation was bungled.
          Then, suddenly, almost like a ‘Deus Ex Machina’ the Oklahoma City Bombing happened and diverted attention away from the Waco Fiasco.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Often forgotten is the fact that that Timothy McVeigh picked April 19th to bomb the Oklahoma City building as that was the second anniversary of the Waco compound being burnt and all those people being killed. It was payback to the feds for what they did – or at least that was what went through his tiny, little mind.

            1. ambrit

              Do look into the links between McVeigh and a group known as “The Aryan Republican Army.” (Yes, their actual name.) He was identified as being with them in the time leading up to the bombing. They were/are so feared that even the local Sheriff’s Department in Oklahoma where they were initially located would not enter their “compound.” Think the supremacist gang in “Breaking Bad,” but more dangerous. These were the playfellows McVeigh was disporting with prior to the Oklahoma City “event.”
              This really is a Grand Rabbit Hole:

            2. t

              CPC has been fairly open, I think, in suggesting that if they asked Koresh to come in, he would, and then feds could have scooped him up that way.
              Never read anything where someone had a level of confidence about what would happen at the compound if he was detained or arrested, but still the case that he had children on his property who were not with their legal guardian.

            3. onion layers

              As is seemingly always the case, there was a lot more to the Timothy McVeigh phenomenon than we’ve been led to believe. There is much evidence that he was “sheep-dipped” and was in actuality always working for military/intel.

              Here is an interview with FBI case agent Jim Norman which gives a simple overview of what transpired that day from the perspective of lower-level, on-the-ground government agents:


              Here is an Esquire magazine article from June 2015: ‘The Prison Letters of Timothy McVeigh’:


              The Secret Life of Timothy McVeigh:


              Wendy Painting’s PHD thesis-turned book about McVeigh and ties to other ‘conspiracies’:


              Wendy’s book is still a thesis…it doesn’t come to any firm conclusions. She doesn’t explicitly condemn or condone, which irks many reviewers.

              Here is a review of Wendy’s book on Goodreads:


              Here is an interview with Dr Mark Mirabello who is referenced in the above review:


              Go study!

              1. lyman alpha blob

                Also Gore Vidal put out a really good book discussing McVeigh’s rationale in a favorable light. Been a while since I read it, but I’m pretty sure it was in Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace or How We Came To Be So Hated, and I believe he either interviewed McVeigh or corresponded with him prior to his death.

    2. chris

      I don’t know.

      I find it hard to accept the dual reality that my kids are getting ready for Halloween fun while bombs my taxes pay for are slaughtering Gazan children. And Ukrainian children. And Syrian children. And starving various populations in Africa. I’m spending money on chocolate to give away and also giving my taxes for weapons to kill children. I’m doing both as if I have no choice. Because it appears I really don’t.

      What I believe will happen, and happen sooner than we’d like to think, is that the horrible vacuum created by this disparity in living conditions will be filled by endless violence. And not in some foreign theater. I worry what the US has coming is worse than any 9/11. I worry what will happen in Europe will be worse than any blitzkrieg storm from N0tzi Germany. I fear that happening. But I can scarcely believe a God would allow the current situation to continue. So I wait for the bitter fuits of our idiotic cruelty to ripen.

      1. Randall Flagg

        Your paragraph at the top of your comment about the “dual reality”, our kids, our how our tax dollars are being used, etc., is EXACTLY the words I’ve been trying to find to write to my representatives as encourage by Yves in a post yesterday re the destruction going on in Gaza.
        I hope I’ll be forgiven for stealing them.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        What an excellent comment.

        And fast on the heels of tonight’s festivities come the annual, dual bacchanalias of overeating to “give thanks,” and gift-giving to the swells of choirs of angels singing “peace on earth, goodwill toward men” under the twinkling lights of the “most wonderful time of the year.”

        Please don’t, Gaza, we’ve waited all year for this.

        During a recent Breaking Points interview, Krystal asked the author of a book on life in israel / Palestine what it was like for israelis to live in such close proximity to an open air prison with 2.3 million inmates. His short answer was, “They never even think about it.”

        Like you, I don’t think americans will be afforded the luxury of “aid”-soaked nonchalance to this situation for much longer. But what the heck. We first need to finish grieving the tragic loss of matthew perry, the national treasure who drowned in his hot tub with the spectacular view, taken far too soon (at least from the perspective of the drug rehab “industry”), that was the lead story on the abc nightly “news” the other evening.

      3. Lexx

        Drove over to See’s Candies to buy the few tykes that show up their Caramel Apple lollipops. I read such pops are in the Top 10 of favorites for kids. Also Husband’s now annual advent calendar, but…. shhh! Additionally, we’re handing out little bags of roasted nuts (not peanuts!) from Natural Grocers. It can’t all be about sweet, can it? I feel there’s plenty of room for savory too just to take a break from all that sugar.

        Last year it was full-sized Tony’s Chocolonely bars and Cocomels. Some middle school boy took one look, called them out by brand name, and swooned with rapture startling the crap out of me… then I cracked up laughing. An ingratiating little actor, but apparently the Cocomels were his favorite. Who’da guessed?

        John Oliver (the spoilsport!) had a few things to say about chocolate, just before Halloween of course:

        I suppose Trader Joe’s is included in there somewhere…. no, don’t tell me! I’m pretending the sand in my ears isn’t there so I can enjoy a piece with coffee. Sigh. Denial is exhausting.

        1. hk

          One thing that I can’t put out of my mind is that every lynch mob thought itself to be doing “justice.” Very deranged form of “justice,” but nevertheless what THEY thought was justice.

          The worst, evilest kind of people are who do violence thinking that their cause is so just that whatever they do is justified.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The revenues from what the Gazans properly own could have funded their entire state and gave them a comfortable living with good education. Probably another reason why they want the Gazans out as they have a coastline. Of course if Israel gets into a war against Hezbollah, what are the chances that those oil rigs will be hit by missiles? Perhaps that is one reason why there are so many US Navy ships in the region – to proved an air defense network.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “There is video confirmation of Israeli tanks on main NE/SW artery Salah-al-Deen (Saladin) street, 3km inside the Strip, as Israel moves to isolate Gaza City from Nuseirat/Bureij & all points south.”

    Not everything has been going the Israelis way but you will hardly ever see it mentioned in the media. Like this one-

    Watched the news tonight and they showed a car full of Palestinians go down a road, realize that there was an Israeli tank there, and tried to reverse and drive away until that tank blew that whole car away. OK, it happens. But the news reported all of the above but in that last bit after they froze that footage, said that there was an explosion in that car. No idea why…such a mystery…it’s all complicated. The Oz media is officially complicit in war crimes.

  9. .Tom

    Jonathan Cook’s tweet about settler colonies is very good but I was surprised where he says “Israel could never allow the Palestinians out of their Gaza prison because their rapid growth in numbers is seen as a threat to Israel’s Jewish majority.” I had understood that in Israel Jews are a minority.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      When you include the noncitizens of Palestinian areas with the non-Jewish population, it’s close. The Likudniks would be crushed quickly in an election.

      For a two state solution to work (a farce), they need to got out the 67 borders which requires expulsion or Settlers becoming Palestinians. The other option is forming New Palestine. Then again, deeds and ownership will go to courts which would be governed by a non Jewish government, even if it was the Israeli Knesset.

      Places like Europe will be dealing with their own issues and Ukraine fallout, so they won’t bother with helping Settlers or Palestinians. Short of genocide, this is why the Israelis are eager to expel Gaza. It’s not just to steal but fears of the Knesset flipping and new laws.

      Everyone who has looked at this knows the only solution is one state and massive foreign aid which isn’t happening in a US puppet as the US only runs guns.

    2. John Steinbach

      A Jewish majority in Israel proper & the settlements. If you look at Israel & Palestine combined, Jews & non-Jews are about equal in numbers, 7 million each. Non-Jewish birth rate is higher.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Also the birth rate for the Ultra-orthodox is much higher than for secular Israelis and may be about six or seven children for each couple.

        1. chris

          Would be nice if they served in the IDF then, right? Or weren’t on the Israeli form of welfare? Since they’re being so generous with their multiplicity. After all, you could make a good argument that without the ultra conservative settlers causing trouble in the West Bank, the Gazan incursion wouldn’t have been successful. The worst part of these conflicts, Ukraine, Israel, Yemen, Libya, you name it, is the people who cause the problems never get to experience the consequences of their awful behavior.

          I know Heinlein was a crazy old crank, but I’m beginning to think he was on to something with Starship Troopers. If nothing else, that system would prevent wastes like Lindsey Graham and Joe Biden from getting anywhere close to office.

  10. Lexx

    ‘CVS and Walgreens pharmacy staff begin 3-day walkout’

    It sounds like Roy got out just in time. Good news for him, bad news for us. Roy was the very human face at the front counter of our CVS. He was almost always there when I walked in for a refill, unfailingly kind and funny, competent, and when called on inclined to go the extra mile for customers. In early September I told him jokingly he could never retire and he said he was retiring at the end of October. It was the last time I saw him. I hope retirement is everything he hoped it would be. Our CVS is poorer for his absence.

    1. Neutrino

      These days, anyone with a prescription has to follow the news to find out which outlets might be open. Even if they are, do they have adequate inventories or just pictures on shelves?

      Add in a mobility challenge like no car, no bus service and a limited budget and there is a little s**t storm for the unfortunate person who needs meds.

      As Uber so Unter?

    2. Wukchumni

      We lost our pharmacy 6 months ago and it’d been here since 1963.

      The main reason for it closing was the loss of full time residents, with almost 300 AirBnB’s providing the lack of means.

      Went into Visalia for a yearly checkup on a cataract and a young miss there asked if I was on any prescription Rx?

      When I told her no, she had this astonished look, and I asked how often do you get somebody my age that isn’t on prescription drugs?

      She replied, almost never.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There is a great book waiting to get written how AirBns gut communities and degrade public services like has happened in your community. But I doubt that it will come out of any economic school and I would predict that the media would try to ignore and deep-six it as fast as they could.

        1. Wukchumni

          There was a Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting last week on whether to have a moratorium on future STR’s in Tiny Town, with a bevy of 20 or so members of the public given 3 minutes to speak their piece, with predictable bias showing if you owned STR’s, or if you saw what they were doing to the place we call home.

          One of the main sticking points for the supervisors was that there really weren’t all that many complaints filed so as to be a nuisance-the STR’s, and I get it, more of local caterwauling over this galoot who thought it was ok to play loud music or that Susie over there chastising somebody that lives here for having their dog off leash.

          But the untangible point not really forcibly put forth was it boiled down to loss of community, how do you file a police report on that?

          Nothing was done in regards to STR’s by the Supervisors and its full speed ahead with ever more rental garage mahals.

          * Our Big Fat** Greek Restaurant opening has been pushed 6 months back, the hope is to be Opa! then.

          ** room for 240 diners (with parking for perhaps 20 cars) in a town of a little over 2,000 people.

      2. Pat

        I avoid doctors so am not really indicative, but I am the only one of my friends over fifty who is not on any prescription drug, most are on several.
        My baseline for overall health is my annual eye exam. I’ve been getting the retinal photograph for almost fifteen years. Only change was in the last year, possible early signs of a cataract forming, but so far so good on everything else.

        1. Lexx

          Hmmm. Had one doctor tell me I was in the early stages of cataract formation and the following year when I saw his partner, he said he saw no signs of cataracts whatsoever. So let another year go by and seek a second opinion. Sometimes it’s just a matter of one doctor’s opinion over another’s, even within the same practice.

      3. Lexx

        Ditto, kiddo. I answer the question the same way and get the same astonished look. I do use a blood glucose monitor twice a day to stay off prescription drugs*. Roy is a diabetic and walked me through the steps and set up my kit that goes with me everywhere. That’s what I meant by him going the extra mile for patients. I’ll miss Roy and wish him well in the next phase of his life.

        *I take a fistful of supplements however. I’d like to think it matters.

  11. Kristiina

    This occurred to me: Madame von der Leyen behaves like she were the president of the United States of Europe. And she probably feels she is doing just swell: compared to the US president, she is still less corrupt and more presentable. Chilling thought.

  12. GramSci

    Working link to «Australia’s Free Trade Deal with EU»:

    The stroy on the same topic has this tidbit:

    «Australia has bigger fish to fry: Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this weekend heads to China to meet with President Xi Jinping for the first visit by an Australian leader since 2016, marking a thaw in previously chilly relations. China accounts for 27 percent of Australia’s bilateral trade — three times as much as the EU.»

    1. Jason Boxman

      Nose sprays like Covixyl contain a compound called ELAH. It’s been used for decades in foods and mouthwashes like Listerine. It’s hard to find peer-reviewed studies on ELAH nose sprays, but it’s widely recognized as effective at inactivating and killing viruses. This one seems to burn the most.

      Can confirm that Covixyl burns some. Where it burns helps with confidence that I got it up into my nose all the way, honestly.

      The only study I found related to this was the approval study for the FDA. It showed that there was a shorter duration to PCR negative for COVID when used after someone was COVID positive. I never found any evidence of it being effective at preventing infection, but I use it anyway because it’s easier to get here than Enovid.

      I wish we had better evidence in regards to whether any of these really reduce transmission. I wouldn’t rely on any as a primary defense, only a last resort as part of layered defense.

      1. outside observer

        I’ve had no issues with enovid, but both times I’ve tried covixyl I had a reaction that felt like a sinus infection lasting a day or two, accompanied by headache. I suspect a sensitivity to an ingredient, won’t use it again. I will check out others on the list, thanks farmboy.

    2. GramSci

      It fails to mention povidone iodine. It’s generic, cheap, and easy to mix at home into a 1-2% solution with saline spray. We’ve been using it for nearly three years now, often in lieu of masking (e.g. grocery shopping at 6:30 am).

      Only caught the Big C once, when we became lax at a family reunion, despite four disease-ridden grandchildren and vaxxed family members, all multiply infected :-( . First read about it as a prophyllaxis in the British Journal of Dentistry, linked here at NC.

      1. MaryLand

        Pardon my elementary calculations here, but I want to do this right. I have 5% Betadine spray for using in the mouth. I do have an empty nasal spray bottle. If I mix in one part of the 5% betadine to 4 parts saline solution, that would be 1.25% concentration of the betadine. If 3 parts saline to one betadine it would be close to 1.7%. I wonder which would be better. I don’t have any saline solution on hand. I wonder if I could use the saline solution sold for contact lenses.

        1. MaryLand

          Answering my own question a bit: according to a study a concentration of 1.25% betadine in a nasal spray can be effective for up to 4 hours.

          “Frank et al. investigated the virucidal activity of a nasal spray using povidone-iodine as an active drug against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With as much low as 1.25% concentration of povidone-iodine, he observed efficient viral inactivation within 15 s of contact. The spray forms a protective barrier for up to 4 h while also lowering viral titers and increasing viral clearance.”

        2. GramSci

          BDJ and other studies I’ve read recommended 1%, but that was for 2x or 3x daily. We’re in threatening environments maybe once every two or three days, so I mix ours to 2%.

        3. Biologist

          I make saline solution at home, with kitchen salt and sodium bicatbonate, with quantities from a recipe found online.
          Just make sure to work sterile and use fresh boiled water.

  13. Jason Boxman

    More people saying they’re “sick” at work (~3) at the same time than I’ve seen since the Pandemic began, so far. Nonetheless tiny sample size.

    Stay safe out there!

  14. The Rev Kev

    “The Stench of Death Has a Sunny Side”

    ‘Humans avoid the smell of death like the plague.’

    Well of course they do. I have read combat vets talking about death on the battlefield and they say that you can get used to the burnt, ripped, disfigured and dismembered bodies but that there was no possibility of getting used to the stench of death. You just can’t get used to that smell.

  15. Jason Boxman

    From McConnell, Speaker Johnson headed for shutdown clash over Ukraine

    By contrast, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who led the push to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from the Speakership, praised the new Speaker as “MAGA Mike Johnson” and proclaimed his election “shows the ascendance for this movement.”

    Lambert had a quote in the past about the power to destroy a thing. So clearly here the MAGA crowd has actual power, whereas the Squad, in a similar position, did nothing. Instead of extracting concessions from Pelosi for her speakership, they fell in line. So instead of material benefits for the working class, we get to eat MAGA crow.

    Nicely done!

    1. Feral Finster

      Johnson will cave. Guarans ballbarans.

      Everyone of influence and authority wants the war to go on, so it will go on.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Well, that sure is pessimistic. I’m not so sure. All revenue bills must originate in the House. All Johnson has to do is pass a single subject bill with Israel aid, and no Ukraine money, and dare McConnell and Shumer to not pass it. The exigencies of the moment and the desire of the GOP religious right to aid Israel, start a war with Iran, and kick off Armageddon don’t bode well for project Ukraine.

        If the Senate can even agree to anything …

        1. Feral Finster

          The Senate can then amend to include the Ukraine war funding that almost all People Who Matter demand.

          Johnson can concede and say thst he kept his word. LOL.

          The Team R establishment would never have allowed Johnson to get the speakership if the fix were not in.

        2. John k

          But given the desire for the gravy train to continue… might there be 9 rep members calling for Johnson to leave? Or just threatening that?
          I wonder what mic might offer for that 60b…
          Imo the squad sold out way too cheap… gotta show u mean it to get the big bucks, and maybe even some crumb for the little people.

    2. Wukchumni

      Held a séance with My Kevin (since ’07) and through a medium was told he was now Chairman of the Oujia board.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Brisbane Lecture on US Grand Strategy” John Mearsheimer

    Gotta say that I was very disappointment in his lecture as the gist of what he was saying was that America should have ignored Europe, ignored the Middle east, allied with Russia and then take on China. So in my book that unfortunately makes him just another war pig. I think that he forgot to mention the Georgian war in 2008 and does not give the context to what the US/EU has tried to do in Europe and there were lost of other gaps. China’s rise was inevitable and a place could have been made for them at the table. Instead the Chinese are being hemmed in militarily and subjected to economic warfare which made them boost their own military spending. It could have been so different but Mearsheimer talks about none of that. For him, China is the threat. Personally I think that the biggest threat to America is Washington DC.

    1. flora

      “War pig” or clear sighted? I find the later. Economically China is the threat. How does the US meet that economic threat after offshoring its manufacturing. That’s something to focus on. People in power are starting to mumble about re-shoring manufacturing.

      Nixon’s fp focused on keeping RU and China separate even as Nixon made overtures to opening China to Western business. The current geniuses in DC have pushed RU and China together.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          If China and its 1.4 billion people have an economy that is larger than the US economy with its population of 350 billion people, I don’t feel threatened at all. In a world with actual equality, that would be the natural order of things.

      1. Escapee

        Economically China is the threat.

        Isn’t “the competition ” a more properly economic description? “Threats” want to hurt us, competitors want to outperform us.

        In the face of threats, we pull out guns; in the face of competition, we pull out mirrors. Mirrors are long-overdue for the West. It’s not China’s fault.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I am afraid that when he started to talk about the rules based order favourably, that that was when he really started to lose me. He knows full well that this fiction of the ‘rules based order’ is just a way of bypassing international established law. And China is only a threat if it helps to put an end to American hegemony. If they had accepted a unipolar world order, then there would have been no problem.

        People in power may be mumbling about re-shoring but as that means an industrial policy, paying workers fair wages, investing in infrastructure and affordable education and so on, you know that it will never happen. The elite like the way things are and in fact want more of it. If push comes to shove, our own elites are much more of a threat to us than China ever will be.

        1. flora

          He made your point directly, gently mocking the “rules based order” as something just made up by the West and the US to our liking.

          I think you misunderstand what I understand as the history of modern (1600 – present) empires, which I’ll briefly explain. European empires were first built on trades, then trading settlements, then armed local forces to protect trading settlement and navies to protect sea transport of goods, then colonization of whole areas. I think we’re past the direct colonization of whole areas now ( I hope), but the rest of the idea stands. See man made islands in the S. China sea and sea lanes to claim territorial water where it did not exist prior, for example. This is becoming a problem and flash point.

          For historical comparisons see England, Holland, Portugal, Spain, and US. etc.

    2. Willow

      Title of Mearsheimer’s talk was: ‘Israel-Hamas, Ukraine-Russia and China: John Mearsheimer on why the US is in serious trouble!’.

      Most interestingly, this talk was for Centre for Independent Studies which is a conservative thinktank closely aligned with conservative politicians and in particular former conservative Australian Prime Ministers. Strong Libertarian tendencies but much closer to mainstream Right in Australia than what you have in the US.

      Looks like starting to dawn on Australia’s conservative voters that only solution to counter China was/is for US to align with Russia. There were already undercurrents but recent Israel conflict will likely push things to a head. At some point (going to be soon) when the Ukraine adventure is acknowledged to have been lost, expect a political back flip on the Right.

      Centre for Independent Studies link:

      What Mearsheimer doesn’t mention is how important the context of Israel/Palestine conflict is for Australia in East Asia. Indonesia and Malaysia, both large Muslim countries, are just to the north of Australia. Being onside with Russia means being onside with these Muslim countries & local Muslim communities. But with West (& Australia) being so anti-Russian, Russia’s partnership with China partnership will be unbreakable in near to medium term. Hence Australia is screwed. China’s diplomatic ‘niceness’ over the last 6 months suggests China knows this – a cat playing with a mouse.

      1. flora

        Back in the early 1970’s, Nixon understood the best way to counter the old USSR was to make friends with China, something only an old commie basher like Nixon could get away with politically. “Only Nixon could go to China” was the saying in the US.

        Now, the way to counter China is to make friends with RU but the provincial neocons reject the idea.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Can’t make friends with a country that you want to break up and pillage for fun and profit. The west has lost Russia for at least a generation or two. That horse has not only bolted and is in the next county but took a train to the coast and boarded a ship for overseas.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Especially when they tell you that you don’t have to bother making things anymore. There was a saying before the 2008 crisis – and I forget the exact wording – but it went along the lines of Asians sweat while Westerners think. That little saying told me volumes of what was going on at the time.

              1. flora

                And Americans thrown out of manufacturing work could just learn to code. Because markets. right….

                Come to think of it, maybe it’s those kinds of Chicago School Western “thinkers” that need to be countered. / ;)

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Said in one of my first comments ever that they should hold a Neoliberal Conference at the Chicago School of Economics – and then nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

      2. flora

        Thank you. Look at a map of Central Asia and realize these countries are majority Muslim, and India has a large Muslim population. To the east of India lies Bangladesh and Indonesia and Malaysia.

        I shudder to think what could be the result if people in all these countries become enraged by what’s happening in Gaza. I think I read Pakistan offered to send nukes to Turkey if asked.

    3. eg

      I agree that the greatest threats to the US are internal, but Mearsheimer is an IR Realist for whom all power centres are equally amoral and who views anything approximating to a peer competitor as a threat — thus his calculation about China.

      I am not convinced that China can project power beyond the first island chain nor that it is interested in much in the way of overseas empire (it also has serious food and fuel insecurity issues), but the US is so overextended beyond its own borders that it has convinced itself that a threat to Taiwan is a threat to itself — which is frankly ridiculous.

    4. bonks

      John Mersheimer has always been an anti-China hawk ever since I watched his speech about Ukraine almost a decade ago. He’s lauded now because his predictions kept coming true, but he’s still an American imperialist through and through, ie. wanting to maintain US hegemony by felling the tree that will cast a shadow rather than cooperating and working towards a mutually beneficial goal for the entire humanity.

      1. Lambert Strether

        “Realism” is obviously a very loaded term, but since what he says has predictive value, we need to listen. The best way to create a new model, I am thinking, is to thoroughly understand the model we have.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Influential Ecologist Predicts Human Population Will Collapse This Century”

    ‘There is no convincing evidence to suggest that conditions on Earth have changed so much that a human population collapse is inevitable or even likely. Indeed, as productivity has increased and technology has advanced, we are creating more things but using fewer resources.’

    And with that, the rest of the article became suspect. No, the human population will not peak in the mid-2080s at around 10.4 billion people. It will peak far earlier than that. The article seems to be a rah! rah! effort to say that everything will be just fine and dandy. In fact, the article ends like this-

    ‘(Rees) also draws on history to correctly note that many major civilizations throughout human history have collapsed and suffered die-offs, often stemming from ecological overshoot within their respective habitats. He believes that, if we aren’t careful, the same will happen again. Let’s be sure to prove him wrong.’

    1. mrsyk

      We must be close to the peak now. Normalizing genocide-by-defense might just turn the table. Who’s next? The Kurds perhaps. Will Turkey take advantage of the upcoming chaos?

        1. Kouros

          There was no oversight when I was developing the provincial database for MAiD. And I am positive that the Feds exercise even less oversight…

          The medical profession is self regulating….

      1. NYMutza

        There is a link in today’s NC referencing the youth boom in Africa and how it will re-make the world. Human populations continue to expand. Wars and pandemics don’t kill nearly enough to offset high birth rates in Africa and the Middle East.

        1. Cassandra

          Wars and pandemics don’t kill nearly enough to offset high birth rates in Africa and the Middle East.

          …and TPTB replied, “Hold my beer.”

    2. Karl

      The telltale signs of overshoot seem to be ubiquitous in NC’s daily links. War, famine, general craziness.

      Rees’s paper is a good read. He seems to believe that only a disorderly collapse is in the cards. But humans have rationality, and with Rees’s timely prediction, we can avoid disorderly collapse if we organize and plan ahead, yes? I’m not talking about preventing collapse itself–Rees says this is inevitable. I’m talking about orderly, planned, efficient collapse.

      Thinking outside the box, in Dr. Strangelovian fashion, this would require timely organized action by governing elites within a country with the requisite tools. History says this is quite possible, even within a highly civilized country with the requisite combination of ingenuity and desperation. Efficient mass contraception, famine triage, even organized genocide are all possible. I’m imagining a sequel to Soylent Green — about what happens when the authorities run out of Soylent.

      Don’t under-estimate the power of desperate elites to get organized.

      What’s happening in Gaza is a preview of coming attractions. I don’t believe Israel is yet capable of the final solution they have been contemplating (by some reports). I think the Israeli’s will find that using conventional weapons to ethnically cleanse this area of 2 million + people is too slow, crude and bloody — i.e. inefficient for purpose in the age of ubiquitous webcams and internet. I suspect gas would be far better, particularly to clear out the tunnels. If all else fails, Israel could resort to nukes– Netanhayu has implied as much with respect to Iran.

      I’m not criticizing Israel, just pointing out that there is no limit to what desperate, organized, powerful and imaginative elites can and will do. We’ve seen numerous conflicts in the last 100 years that bear this out. The period — perhaps later this century — just before Rees’s predicted collapse, is possibly an occasion for a global genocide that will be seen by the survivors as necessary, moral, and possibly even humane–under the circumstances.

  18. LawnDart

    Israeli war on journalism:

    IOF raid house of Al Mayadeen’s bureau director in occupied Palestine

    IOF raid the residence of Nasser al-Laham, Director of Al Mayadeen’s office in occupied Palestine, assault his family, and detain his two sons, Bassil and Bassel.

    The Israeli fascists have killed/disappeared/detained over a dozen members of the press this year in an effort to prevent the raw truth of Israeli actions from reaching our eyes and ears.


    What are they trying to hide?

    1. Feral Finster

      It is obvious what Israel is trying to hide.

      The question is what is anyone going to do about it? Moral arguments are wasted on sociopaths. Reward and punishment are the language that they understand.

      Quote Bible verses to an armed robber and he will be delighted in your impotence. Hold a loaded .357 to his head with the sure knowledge that you will not hesitate to pull that trigger and he doesn’t care in the least whether you are justified in doing so.

      1. Kouros

        Maybe after 100,000 deaths, the sheikdoms would start an oil embargo, but I wont hold my breath…

        1. hk

          Sheikdoms are probably not the likely actors: they were willing to sign a deal with Israel until practically days ago and, for all their public statements, they are probably more miffed that they have to show solidarity to the Palestinians and scupper the deal.

          What is more interesting to me is the November 3 deadline that Hizbullah apparently put up. Too specific a deadline (And one that locals are too well aware of) to be dismissed, and the public deadlines like that where the organization (whose reputation as a potent military and political organization is immensely valuable) is not something to be taken lightly. This is in spite of the fact that I would not have expected Hizbullah, to whom Hamas and the like are literally an enemy in another conflict (over Syria and, in a more subtle fight, Lebanon itself), to stick its neck out publicly. If Hizbullah does act, of course, that in turn would be a bait for the US to act publicly and discredit itself for good as a meaningful diplomatic actor in the Middle East. If you reveal yourself as the Dajjal, no faithful would dare traffic with you in the open.

  19. The Rev Kev

    Ruh, roh! I think that China just cancelled Israel-

    ‘Israel can no longer be found on China’s leading online digital maps on platforms including Baidu and Alibaba, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing web users.

    According to the report, Baidu’s Chinese language maps still show the borders of both Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as key cities in the region. However, they no longer identify Israel by name.

    Alibaba’s Amap also no longer displays the name of Israel on its maps. According to the report, the platform is usually known for its attention to details, with even small countries like Luxembourg clearly labeled.’

    I wonder what all this is about.

    1. Wukchumni

      When I was in high school, the was this long rectangular map of the world in one of the classrooms that had 2 New Zealands on it, one to the right of Australia on the left hand side and another NZ on the right hand side of the map.

      1. ambrit

        On Saturday Night Live, back when it was funny, Chevy Chase did the Weekend Update News segment with a big wall map of the world behind him. The entire middle of the map was marked as Israel. Around the periphery were small little states like Russia, China, the US, etc. A comic and subtle dig.

    2. Escapee

      Having my morning coffee in small-town China home, I went to Baidu maps upon reading this and sure enough, no Israel named. Occupied territories are outlined in red, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are there, but not Israel. All the Arab states are named. Hm.

  20. Edo

    $45 billion for housing in offices proposal is idiotic. Real estate pros have cautioned against that type of policy solution for some good reasons. One is that offices are not plumbed like apartments. Retrofitting is very expensive.
    Does the plan include some waste on consultants and select community organizations to drive up costs? the end result would look like a few dormitories with ersatz common bathrooms.

      1. mrsyk

        Bailout for an investment class. Bailout for private equity. I’ve commented before that the interest rate environment is toxic to large portfolios of real estate. Curious.

    1. chris

      Yes. You’d get spaces that have a lot of problems. They’d be OK for temporary shelter. But not great for anything like long term living.

      The office buildings that you’d want to turn into apartments or condos have all the features that make them still occupied today. The ones that don’t, aren’t, and given what people will assume you can rent them for, will only be occupied by the desperate.

  21. Kevin Smith MD

    Why Antidepressants Take So Long to Work:
    The bottleneck with antidepressants seems to be that they take a number of weeks to increase neuroplasticity to a useful degree.

    There are a number of medicines which can increase neuroplasticity quickly [Studies in animals have shown that LSD, psilocybin, DMT, and DOI promote the expression of genes related to synaptic plasticity, including immediate early genes (IEGs) and BDNF].

    Mindfulness/meditation can increase neuroplasticity, as can heavy exercise, and some other activities.

    I expect that some of the above will turn out to augment and accelerate the effects of antidepressants, and will be of benefit to some subsets of patients who are being treated for depression.

  22. Tom Stone

    So 1,300 and change dying each week from Covid is no big deal, however a death toll of less than one half of that annually from murderers using rifles is a National Emergency.
    Makes sense to me…

    In another example of rational behavior my Daughter and her Fiancee’ have been looking at houses near Moffett Field ( They plan to get hitched when he finishes his probationary period at NASA), one that looked OK went on the rental Market a Month after being sold for $2,400,000, at $5,000 per Month.
    At least Gas prices are coming down, $5.09 per gallon for regular at Costco.

  23. Bill

    “Hamas terror chief openly supports civilian deaths in Gaza” But, ‘Appearing on on Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television, he called on the “free people of the world” to stop the bombing of Gaza, which he referred to as the “new Holocaust”‘ Why stop the bombing then? As Yves said, may be a translation error.


    The U.S. is funding this war crime. I wrote my congress people but no reply yet. It probably won’t do any good but…

    1. Acacia

      I wonder what would happen if people took their letters to congress critters, and started posting them on social media as open letters. I.e.,

      Dear Congressman X.,

      If you do not call for an immediate termination of all US govt aid and support for Israel, you and your party will lose my vote forever.

      I look forward to a timely public announcement on your part. 48 hours should be enough time.


      John Q. Public

      These would probably get retweets, and the more amusing ones would get more.

    1. hk

      That should be “stealing BECAUSE there is no tomorrow,” because there really isn’t (and the rats know it.)

    1. The Rev Kev

      Should it be pointed out that even if all the Gazans were moved out of Gaza and put into a refugee tent city out in the middle of the Sinai desert in Egypt, that the Israelis would still be bombing them there from time to time, even though they would be in a different country.

  24. Willow

    “A pair of U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers touched down in Turkey today for what may well have been the first-ever visit by the type to Incirlik Air Base.” “Hot pitting means keeping the engines running while the aircraft is refueled by ground crews. The tactic is used for everything from increasing training sortie rates to rapidly refueling and rearming combat aircraft at forward operating locations near enemy lines during a time of war to get them back in the fight faster.”

    Makes you wonder whether this was a practice run to get the nukes out?

  25. SG

    I’d take MEMRI’s translation with a grain of salt.
    Surely there’s an Arabic-speaker or two in the commentariat who could translate.

  26. ChrisPacific

    Re: What a third world war would mean for investors

    Classic Economist headline, missing the forest for the trees. Some suggested followups:

    – Could you be a casualty? Get your estate planning sorted today!
    – Fortified compounds: how to construct yours, and which companies are set to benefit
    – Ten surprising household items that are edible in an emergency
    – Paramilitaries and warlords of the world: a spotter’s guide
    – Who’s first on the butcher block in your neighborhood if things get tough? (If you don’t know, it might be you!)

  27. mcwoot

    How much food for the hungry could we generate with the farmland dedicated to pumpkins, decorative squash, xmas trees, and other festive waste

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