Links 11/12/2023

Larger Beaks, Smaller Bodies: Could Climate Change Literally Change Birds? The Nature Conservancy

JWST May Have Finally Confirmed How Planets Take Shape Science Alert

Desert birds lay larger eggs when they have more helpers Science Daily


More people not having children due to climate breakdown fears, finds research Guardian

Less War, Less Warming: A Reparative Approach to US and UK Military Ecological Damages Common Wealth

After the Flood The Baffler. “Perpetual crisis and recovery in Eastern Kentucky.”


‘Uncertain’ Link Between Allergic Diseases and Long COVID, Review Finds MedPage Today


39 babies at risk of death at Al-Shifa Hospital due to lack of oxygen: Palestinian Health Ministry Anadolu Agency

The Israeli public has embraced the Smotrich doctrine +972 Magazine

The Extreme Ambitions of West Bank Settlers The New Yorker. “A leader of the settlement movement on expanding into Gaza, and her vision for the Jewish state.”


Israel Warns Hezbollah That Beirut Could Face Similar Fate To Gaza AFP

Nasrallah’s Second Speech On Gaza Moon of Alabama

Israeli drone strikes deep into Lebanon The Cradle


As Israeli bombs rain down on Gazan hospitals and healthcare workers, millions participate in global protests WSWS

Irish lawmakers to debate expulsion of Israeli ambassador, referral of Israel to International Criminal Court Anadolu Agency

Calls for a Gaza cease-fire divide Europe’s Socialists Politico EU

EU weighs sanctions against Iran over Israel-Hamas war Politico EU

The ‘River to the Sea’ Rorschach test Robert Wright, Nonzero Newsletter

Levelling Gaza is No ‘End-Game’ For Biden Alastair Crooke, Al Mayadeen


Historic meeting today in Riyadh of Iranian president Raisi and Saudi Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) about which mainstream is telling you nothing Gilbert Doctorow

US military aircraft goes down in Mediterranean after training mishap Task & Purpose


India defence minister raises eyebrows saying India, US agree on countering ‘Chinese aggression’ Straits Times


Suisheng Zhao: Ideology, Thucydides Trap, and the Taiwan question stalemate the China-U.S. game The East is Read

Washington and Nvidia should not be ‘Catch me if you can’: Global Times editorial Global Times

Why a group of ‘everyday people’ in Iowa have been invited to dinner by Chinese president Xi Jinping: ‘We’re eager to meet with him’ Fortune

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s Kyiv comes under attack for first time in months, mayor says Al Jazeera

Amid Russia’s attack on Kyiv, Ukrainian Defence Minister discusses victory steps with US Defence Secretary Ukrainska Pravda

No Ukrainian victory in sight – EU’s Borrell RT

EU should be ready to support Ukraine, US aid may decrease – EU diplomacy chief Ukrainska Pravda

Germany Set to Double Its Ukraine Military Aid Under Scholz Plan Bloomberg

Ukrainian military officer coordinated Nord Stream pipeline attack Washington Post. They’re back on six guys on a yacht with trail leading to General Valerii Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s highest-ranking military officer.

Another One Bites The Dust… Andrei Martyanov

European Disunion

Hungary signals veto of Ukraine EU membership talks Al Jazeera

EU has ‘Plan B’ if Hungary vetoes 50 billion euro aid for Ukraine Reuters

Hungary will help Venezuela extract oil Daily News Hungary

South of the Border

Free Trade Firepower: The Growing Hemispheric Gun Trade Nacla

Spook Country

The Censorship “Switchboard”: A New Layer to the Biden Administration’s “Orwellian Ministry of Truth” Jonathan Turley

Terror and the Secondary Trauma of Social Media RAND.Social media companies could and should do more to moderate the virality of such content, but they have largely abdicated this responsibility.”

Stanford Group Helped US Government Censor Covid Dissidents and Then Lied About It, New Documents Show Public

Recognizing fake news now a required subject in California schools Cal Matters

Imperial Collapse Watch

In our lurch toward war in three places, who exactly will fight? Responsible Statecraft

The post-America war has begun Unherd

Federations and Foreign Policy: The Quest for Koinon Benjamin Studebaker, Isonomia Quarterly

Biden Administration


Axelrod’s sharp criticism gives nod to lingering Obama-Biden camp tensions  The Hill

Declining GOP debate ratings won’t help candidates catch Trump The Hill

Confronting the Threat of Deepfakes in Politics Tech Policy Press

One Woman Died on an Alaska Mayor’s Property. Then Another. No One Has Ever Been Charged. Anchorage Daily News

Woke Watch

“Brand safety” killed Jezebel Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic


Big Tech on Trial: Is Google’s Reckoning Finally Here? BIG by Matt Stoller


California imports doctors from Mexico to fill gaping holes in farmworker healthcare Los Angeles Times

Police State Watch

LAPD Admits Man Who Slept Thru 3-Hour Bus “Standoff” Was Carrying BB Gun Only after Hero Robot Dog Story Makes Rounds Streets Blog LA

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The Anti-Surveillance Coalition’s Highest-Stakes Gamble Forever Wars by Spencer Ackerman

Groves of Academe

“It’s like an old friend” Along the Mississippi. On saying goodbye to a closing elementary school.

Book Nook

Book Bans Have Reached Greater Pittsburgh’s Boardrooms and Ballots BELT Magazine

Surge of book removal requests turning Nebraska libraries into cultural battlegrounds Flatwater Free Press


Hiker stranded on a cliff in Canada after following fake trail on Google Maps New York Post

Class Warfare

SURVEILLANCE WAGES: A TAXONOMY Zephyr Teachout, Law and Political Economy Project

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “Ukrainian military officer coordinated Nord Stream pipeline attack”

    Rumour has it that the Ukraine’s special operations forces Colonel – Roman Chervinsky – has the code name of “The Professor.”

    1. Christopher Fay

      I take it as the CIA, and so part of the U.S. central govt., realizes Kiev is cooked so it (they, what’s the pronoun?) throws Kiev under the bus with this fake news.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The story was dropped in the CIA times, but I feel this is infighting. Zaluzhny v Zelensky. Zelensky’s camp is pushing that Zaluzhny was cowardly causing the counter offensive to fail. Zaluzhny might be pushing back by showing he was fighting an asymmetrical battle but attacking Russia.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      The Professor’s CIA handler’s name is “Mary Ann” and she reports to “The Skipper.”

      Just kneel beside me, hear me grieve,
      The remains of an oil pipeline
      Blown up by DC Kiev
      Using a tiny yacht.

      The mate was a Navy SEAL,
      The skipper paid with gold.
      Five operatives set sail that day
      For a three hour mission, a one hour dive.

      The climate started getting rough,
      The tiny yacht was tossed,
      If not for the electronic gear on board
      The Minnowski would be lost, the pipeline never blown.

      The ship set ground on the shore of an unoccupied isle
      With Sullivan
      Der Nuland too,
      The billionaire and his SATlink,
      The action movie star
      The Professor and Mary Ann,
      Here on Joe Biden’s Island.

      Now this is the tale of our operatives,
      They’re stuck for a long, long time,
      They’ll have to tread carefully,
      The island has been mined.

      The first spook and his handler too,
      Will do their very best,
      To get the others to detonate,
      Leftover cluster bombs & the rest.

      No radar, no laser sights, no tanks,
      Not a single HIMARS,
      Like Vladimir Zelenskiy,
      They’re as primitive as can be.

      So join us here each fiscal year,
      You’re sure to spend a billion,
      On seven stranded operatives,
      Here on “Biden’s Island”

        1. Sardonia

          Ginger is all yours. I’d change the channel and watch the object of my pubescent lust – Morticia Addams

              1. Mark Gisleson

                I can’t help but think y’all are secretly wishing for Barbara Eden but in truth would settle for drinks with Rose Marie and Jaye P. Morgan.

        2. airgap

          A bit of trivia about our generations favorite deserted tropical island castaways.

          About two decades ago while I was still working I learned by accident the location of the famous lagoon from the opening shot of Gilligan’s Island.

          I was in Honolulu on business and met with a colleague from the research microscope supply industry. He told me we had a dog and pony show for a number of high-end microscopes scheduled for researchers at the University of Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

          Upon meeting up with him early in the morning I learned that we were going to Coconut Island on the windward side of Oahu. We ended up having to lug tens of thousands of dollars of high end, and heavy microscopes, along with our computer gear
          down a long pier. At the end of the pier was a small runabout with an outboard motor that would transport us across a short inlet to Coconut Island and the research lab. As we departed the wind came up and it started to rain so this added to our anxiety. Although it was a tough day logistics wise I still smile when thinking about our visit to Gilligan’s Island.

          And I still can’t decide between Ginger or Maryann. Kinda of like that quandary with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Great piece, Mark.

        I believe this is your first contribution to the NC Songbook. Thank you. It will be included in Volume Three.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          An in the moment thing, mostly worried that there were probably already at least three Gilligan’s parodies already in the book!

          1. ambrit

            Not to worry. The biggest and best Gilligan’s Island parody is presently playing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
            Since American Politics has become “Performance Theatre” now, the above should be categorized as “auf Broadway.”

  2. SocalJimObjects

    Why a group of ‘everyday people’ in Iowa have been invited to dinner by Chinese president Xi Jinping: ‘We’re eager to meet with him’

    Who knew the fate of the Chinese Communist Party lies with a bunch of Iowans? They will probably give Xi Covid, and the resulting Long Covid will be the end of Xi’s era. USA, USA, USA!!!

    1. mrsyk

      I haven’t read this piece yet, but the headline left me wondering what meeting the president of China would be like. I’m hoping for a NC reader/commenter makes the cut.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        I think the story has been covered before in other articles, but basically Xi once had been part of a delegation to Iowa 30 plus years ago where he forged friendships with a couple of people. Maybe he’s truly fond of his experiences in Iowa because he made a return visit in 2012 and now he’s invited his “old friends” to dinner.

          1. hk

            I wonder if there’s any chance Xi will meet his iowan friends, but not Joe Biden…. Not gonna happen, probably, but that would make me smile.

            1. The Rev Kev

              At least the people of San Francisco will get clean streets for awhile. It was not possible to do so before for some reason.

      1. Lunker Walleye

        Thanks, jo. I didn’t realize that Musco Lighting in Muscatine was headed up by Chinese. It was started by a couple of Iowans. Republican Terry Branstad, former governor of IA, was from a nearby town and became a pal of Xi’s. Guessing that the people invited to visit China were probably contributors to Branstad’s campaigns.

    2. Lou Anton


      To feed a growing population with shrinking arable land, China needs hardy, high-yield seeds but cannot afford to spend the many years it takes to develop them. That’s why a police officer in Iowa in 2011 found a Chinese businessman named Robert Mo wandering around in a cornfield where he didn’t belong.

        1. ambrit

          I must note that the original “incident” would be most properly characterized as “complex accumulation.”

      1. flora

        Was he gathering seed samples for reverse engineering the Pioneer corn or Monsanto soybean seed gmos? / ;)

        1. Kouros

          No, it was the US military command that wanted to move bodies accross the ocean no matter what state they were in. They called it Spanish flue because nobody else wanted to talk about it.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “The ‘River to the Sea’ Rorschach test”

    Melbourne writer Caitlin Johnstone has said that you have to squint really hard to turn the phrase ‘From the river to the sea’ into a call for genocide but not once online have I found mention of a similar Israeli phrase – ‘From the river to the river’ until by coincidence I saw it talked about in that New Yorker link “The Extreme Ambitions of West Bank Settlers’ in today’s Links. What this one means is found in Genesis 15:18 where it says ‘In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.’ The two blue stripes on the Israeli flag are said to represent the two rivers. So what it meant here is Project Greater Israel that will include much of Syria, a big chunk of Iraq, a chunk of northern Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and at least the Egyptian Sinai. And what will happen to all the people that are living in these lands? The Palestinians can give you chapter and verse about that.

    1. Es s Cetera

      This is a lesser known aspect of the settler project and I would say it urgently needs more visibility, given how the settler movement now controls Israel.

      Is Weiss’s movement threatening to expand the borders of Israel to the Euphrates and the Nile? Are we looking at future invasions by Israel or slower outward settlement expansions defended by the IDF, creating new “facts on the ground”? What is her game plan for achieving this vision?

      1. JTMcPhee

        The “settlers” better get down to some serious rabbit humping to have enough brown shirt types to fill up that much territory. Like the Germans to fill out the ranks of THEIR armies of acquisition. Or is the idea to make all Jewish people everywhere so hated by everyone else that they all will flee from wherever they lived for the “safety” of Eretz Israel?

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          If the Center-Left is ready and willing to stand up to Right and Extreme-Right threats of violence and civil war against the Center-Left in the event of an effort to replace Bibi, then they have a chance perhaps of making Israeli governance a little less Right and Extreme-Right. If the Center-Left is already too weak and demographically minority in Israel to be able to hold up its end of a civil war with hope of success, then there is nothing they can do except to save themselves by emigrating.

          What will likely happen is an effort to bolt a prettier head onto the Right-Extreme Right body of governance in Israel today.

          By the way, those who bray for Parliamentary Democracy here in America should understand that Israel is a Parliamentary Democracy. Take a good look at how governing coalitions are put together in Israel and understand that ” this is what Parliamentary Democracy looks like”.

    2. ThirtyOne

      “Unlike humans, the AI Rabbi has the entire Torah downloaded into its brain, allowing it to scan through thousands of books of Torah in mere seconds to provide quick and accurate answers to questions. This truly is a miracle from Hashem, and we are thrilled to be working hard to spread this technology to all Jews around the world.”


      “World’s Most Powerful Artificially Intelligent Rabbi”

      “ is an artificial intelligence tool and is not a substitute for personal guidance from an actual Orthodox Rabbi; it may not always provide accurate or halachically correct answers.”

    3. b

      So Yahweh promised these poor mopes living in the marchlands between two empires that one day *they* would have the Egyptian and Babylonian homelands to themselves, after being enslaved in both places. Thanks, Yahweh. Peace? Nah.

    4. Kouros

      The Lord refuses to come to the witness stand and provide testimony under oath that indeed, such promises were made…

    5. steppenwolf fetchit

      I wonder by whom ” it is said” that the blue stripes represent the two big rivers?

      Because I remember reading-hearing that the blue stripes represent or resemble the blue stripes on the traditional judaic prayer shawl ( tallis).;_ylt=AwrFFYx_YVFlLEMucSNXNyoA;_ylu=Y29sbwNiZjEEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Nj?p=tallis+prayer+shawl+image&fr=sfp

      If someone could find a link to written material from Israeli or Zionist sources explaining that the two blue stripes are to represent the two big rivers, that would be good to have.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I’m going to make a judgement call here and say that if you are talking to a secular Israeli, then it is obviously all about the blue stripes on a traditional Judaic prayer shawl. But if you are talking to an Ultra-orthodox settler, then they would see the two rivers in terms of their own ideology. What is beyond dispute is that those settlers are thinking about a Greater Israel.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          I wonder if the Ultra-orthodox setter would simply be neo-interpreting the blue stripes to mean what he wants them to mean.

          I wonder what the anti-Zionism Ultra-orthodox would say?

          The right and righter-wing side of Israeli society has been getting support from the right and righter-wing side of American Christian communities for some years now. I wonder how much of this support is precisely and exactly to get the ” right and righters” and the national-religious settlers to maneuver Israel into becoming the detonating trigger for the World War followed by World Nuclear War which the Rapture Community and the Armageddon Community wish to achieve.

          I gather it is considered ” not nice” to talk about the growing Rapturist and Armageddonist support for Israel as a vehicle for bringing about the End Times and the Return of Christ upon Earth, but they are out there in there millions and ignoring them will not make them go away.
          Some people want to stick their head in the sand about this, but if they leave their head in the sand too long, their heads will get stuck there when the sand suddenly turns to glass.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I really do think that they should get these right and righter-wing from both Israel and America, give them guns and then send them into Gaza to do their own dirty work. I’m sure that Hamas would give them a warm welcome and would be happy for the opportunity to meet with the people behind all these attacks. Doesn’t matter what religion you are talking about – Christianity, Muslims, Buddhist, whatever – it is always the extremists that cause 90% of the trouble.

          2. marym

            According to Wikipedia, the Palestinian resistance accused Israel of that ambition for expansion and that meaning for the flag. Most of the footnote links don’t work. One that does links to a website (that claims it “protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats” so there’s that) goes to great lengths to disparage this and other claims about Israeli ambitions for extended territory as fear-mongering by the Arab/Musllim Middle East.

            Well, that’s my 2 minutes of “research” but if that is the origin of the flag story, it’s ironic that it would then be openly embraced by settlers as reflecting their own ambitions.


            1. caucus99percenter

              The trouble with the “it’s merely a made-up Palestinian accusation” argument is that, under pressure, any clever person — let alone an oft-persecuted minority religion and/or ethnicity reputed to have above-average intelligence — can easily come up with Hillary Clinton’s recommended practice of always having both a private, unwritten, insider position and a consistently-maintained public position for outsider consumption.

          3. hk

            People in the West don’t realize that Jesus is expected to return (to Damascus, or so they say) at the end of the days according to Islamic eschatology, too, to battle the Dajjal (the false messiah, ie the anti-Christ), at the gates of Lod (an old town near Tel Aviv, incidentally). One could see the story brewing on both sides.

            1. steppenwolf fetchit

              I gather that the extremest Christian Extremists come in two basic flavors .. .

              The ones who believe we must all live through Rapture, Time of Tribulations, Battle of Armageddon first before Christ can return to establish His Kingdom . . . and the ones who believe that the Purest Christians must take earthly power first and establish a thousand-year rule of Bible Christian Power beFORE Christ can return and take over the His Kingdom which the Pure Christians have spent a thousand years establishing and preparing for Him.

              I believe it was that second group which Margaret Atwood was writing her predictive novel A Handmaid’s Tale about. The Seven Mountains Dominionists, the Biblical Inerrancy Literalists, etc. etc.

              I think for a book detailing the dreams and hopes and wishes of the Rapturaniacs and the Armageddonites, one should probably read Hal Lindsey’s ” The Late Great Planet Earth”, a celebratory praise-novel of The Apocalypse and after, revealing its readers’ and believers’ desperate desire for the End Times to hurry up and get here now. I don’t believe Margaret Atwood ever really studied these people.

              Begin, the Likud, the other Rightists and Righterists flattered and flatter themselves as to how smart they are . . . to get the Evangelicals and etc. to support their Greater Israel dreams. But the Evangelicals and etc. are smarter than the Israeli Rightists are. The Evangelicals have been playing a longer game . . . . to Eschatologize Israel and make it their trigger for their desperately prayed-for and earnestly worked-for End of the World. ( Israel’s reward for playing the role assigned to it by the Evangelicals and etc. is the following: all the Jews in the world will go to Israel. Some mystical number of them . . . I believe 144,000, will convert to Christianity and the rest will be sent to Hell so they can burn forever as punishment for having rejected their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.)

      2. SG

        The idea of the flag seems to have occurred to several people at roughly the same time. While it was adopted as the flag of the Zionist movement at the First World Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, a very similar flag was flown by a Boston rabbi six years earlier:

        The man who is principally credited with proposing the flag at Basel, David Wolffsohn, wrote this about the design:

        “At the behest of our leader Herzl, I came to Basle to make preparations for the Zionist Congress. Among many other problems that occupied me then was one which contained something of the essence of the Jewish problem. What flag would we hang in the Congress Hall? Then an idea struck me. We have a flag — and it is blue and white. The talith (prayer ahawl) with which we wrap ouselves when we pray: that is our symbol. Let us take this Talith from its bag and unroll it before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations. So I ordered a blue and white flag with the Shield of David painted upon it. That is how the national flag, that flew over Congress Hall, came into being.”

        The color blue has historically been associated with the Tribe of Judah.

    6. SG

      Yes, there absolutely are genocidal, racist fanatics in the Israeli “settler” movement, and the failure to punish them for violence against Palesinians in the West Bank is a grave injustice. Personally, I hope to see them sharing cells with any Hamas members who manage to survive the next few weeks. They deserve each other.

      The blue stripes on the Israeli flag refer to the blue thread in the tzitzit (the fringes on the corners of a tallit, the traditional Jewish “prayer shawl”). They have nothing to do with geography or territorial ambitions.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “In our lurch toward war in three places, who exactly will fight?”

    This article seriously underestimates the casualties that could result in a full-fledged war with countries that are no longer afraid of America. What can this mean? Way back in June of 1969, “Life” magazine took the unprecedented step of publishing the photos of the Americans killed in Vietnam in just one week – all 242 of them. I recall one US officer saying that he absolutely hated what they did – but that he took care to keep a copy of that magazine. Is America ready to accept several hundred dead each and every week instead of the slow drip, drip of casualties the past two decades or more?

    1. voislav

      I think there is more to it. It’s not just how many are killed, but who gets killed. Since the abolition of draft, the killed and wounded soldiers are primarily from the poor underclass, people whose life has little value to the American public.

      Going into a major war would mean drafting middle- and upper-class kids (as well as poor ones) and I am sure that PMC’s will not like their kids being sent to die in Taiwan or in Iran. So, we’ll have wars but only as long as noone we care about dies in them.

      1. Benny Profane

        I was a little shocked to read that college students in Ukraine are still immune to the draft, so, no, I highly doubt our elites would allow a situation that their own kind are sent off to slaughter. If the powers that be are smart, they should spend more on salaries and bonuses to stimulate recruitment, as Putin has, but I fear more zillion dollar stealth fighters are the priority.
        The draft will shut down the war machine, and the neocons know it. No longer will a politician be able to say however long it takes.

        1. TimH

          Join a service, clear your student loan on enlistment and/or instant citizenship.

          There are a lot of desparate people around.

          The intake checks on BMI and substance habits will need adjustment though.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The powers that be are decadent at this point. Noble largesse requires living in communities. We don’t have this at the moment.

          I’m not sure better pay works without an espirit de corps. The current army has mold problems, and a general is confident enough to gripe about soldiers. Think a young John Kerry. If there was a risk, relatively important people passed through those things would be addressed, requiring real resources that can’t be deployed to kill brown people.

        3. SG

          “[T]hey should spend more on salaries and bonuses to stimulate recruitment, as Putin has.”

          Putin has, of course, also expanded conscription

          We could also send prisoners to fight as he has. Given our incarceration rates, we’d be unstoppable.

      2. Demora

        And, thanks to the feminists, young women can also get killed, or return to our streets with amputations, painkiller addiction, colostomy bags, you name it.

        So much for the glass ceiling. Oh, and they will be of childbearing age, so lower population. The Master Plan seems to be afoot.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Jokes on you….

      US military logistics is so messed up and rotten, the US won’t even be able to ship 2 divisions overseas before the war is over.

    3. Glen

      Before I left the USN, fighting a two front war was “official” DoD policy, but even within the military, actually fighting a two front war was viewed with something approaching dread. Or as a result of completely bonehead stupidity on the part of foreign policy “experts” in deep Foggy Bottom to put America is such a dire situation.

      But after Bush got America stuck in seemingly endless stupid wars, the Pentagon pretty much abandoned the two front war policy:

      Pentagon Rethinking Old Doctrine on 2 Wars

      And Obama replaced it with, well, I’m not sure what to call it other than it’s a massive amount of money and who the [family blog] knows where it all goes:

      Eisenhower’s Nightmare Arrives

      Today, the Pentagon is now spending more in inflation-adjusted dollars than at any time since the end of WWII to support a military force structure that is much smaller and older than at any time since the end of World War II.

      Keep in mind, this was the situation all the way back in 2012. Since then it’s fair to say the situation in the US military has not improved. It’s become even more of a dark mirror of corporate America – it’s all quarterly returns, stock buybacks, and cushy seats on corporate boards and think tanks. Actually fighting? Well let’s not dwell on that too much especially since we specialize in mugging countries way below America on the food chain.

      But now America is going to fight a three front war? With two of those fronts being Russia and China? I mean this propaganda is so detached from reality that it has to be aimed at American elites living in the DC bubble because nobody else in the world is stupid enough to believe it, and most Americans not in the bubble just look around at what’s going on in their part of America and have a good laugh.

  5. Mark Gisleson

    That wreath stand in front of Biden sure looks a lot like an aluminum walker painted white. I don’t think I would have noticed had there not been a really old man standing right in front of it, visibly doddering.

    1. .human

      That’s the first thing that I noticed, however, I can’t really fault Biden for his temporary confusion. I get the same way at well attended, official events. I’m not good in ctowds.

      At my oldest daughter’s wedding, I joked to family that if I stumbled in the aisle, just point me in the rigjht direction.

    2. Wukchumni

      Its worse than you know, the speech Joe wanted to give regarding Gaza started like this:

      ‘Can I level with you…’

      1. darlene

        I’m just curious. Is this a joke at that fact that Israel is in actuality leveling Gaza?

        If so, it’s not funny.

    3. Will

      Is that Kamala standing to the left with some other officials? Looks like she’s struggling not to break out laughing. (And not really succeeding.) The guy to her left as well.

      1. Nikkikat

        With Kamala the more serious the issue or location the louder she will cackle. Two huge embarrassments in the personas of Biden and Harris.

        1. Khaki

          Seen the new bumper sticker distributed by the hundreds before someone spotted the printer’s error?

          Hiden/Barris 2024

  6. mrsyk

    “After the Flood” is about the disaster that is “disaster capitalism” and is well worth a read. Coming to a theater near you…..

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Stanford Group Helped US Government Censor Covid Dissidents and Then Lied About It, New Documents Show”

    I’m beginning to think that perhaps Thomas Frank should write another book, this time with the title “What’s the Matter with Stanford?” Their name keeps on coming up in articles about scummy behaviour or censorship or lying about the pandemic. How bad can they be? A few short weeks ago at Stanford they had a conference with “The Five Eyes” intelligence head spooks as part of a panel (that’s strike one!) Hosting that panel was the FBI’s Christopher Wray (that’s strike two!) And the co-host? None other than former US SecState Condoleezza Rice (strike three-they’re out!) And it was all about how China is such a threat-

    1. MaryLand

      The Hoover Institution (think tank) at Stanford University


      “It has staffed numerous jobs in Washington for Republican presidents from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump. It has provided work for people who previously had important government jobs. Notable Hoover fellows and alumni include Nobel Prize laureates Henry Kissinger, Milton Friedman, and Gary Becker; economist Thomas Sowell; scholars Niall Ferguson and Richard Epstein; former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; and former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis. In 2020, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice became the institution’s director.”

      1. MaryLand

        From the wiki:

        Its mission, as described by Herbert Hoover in 1959, is “to recall the voice of experience against the making of war, and by the study of these records and their publication, to recall man’s endeavors to make and preserve peace, and to sustain for America the safeguards of the American way of life.”

      1. ambrit

        “Argh matey! Hoist the Jolly Roger and let’s have a go at that pesky Electronic Surveillance Tub!”
        “But Cap’n Piss Gums! They fly the Stars and Stripes! Friendlies!”
        “What flag you saucy boy?” Covers good eye with hand. “I see no Stars and Stripes!”
        “Oh Cap’n! Langley ain’t got a patch on you!”

    2. Clwydshire

      I love this idea, but better yet: “What’s the Matter with Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.”

      1. Neutrino

        What is the matter with Stanford, Yale, Princeton and Harvard?

        In their tertiary stages of development, perception falters and cognitive discernment fails. They succumb to the dreaded PMC virus, for which cures prove elusive.

    3. Vicky Cookies

      I’ve said this before, specifically about Harvard, but can we not look at the resume, the list of accomplishments in governance (both public and corporate) of the graduates of the ivy league and say “no more!”?

      We have several hundred years of evidence as to what the ruling class, as educated by such institutions, do; could there not be a ban on the alumni of these places ruling over us?

      If one has survived the intestines of the leviathan, it would be shocking if one hasn’t come out as crap. One or two Naders or Chomskys are statistical anomalies in the face of the devastation unleashed by these institutions.

  8. NN Cassandra

    Re: The Extreme Ambitions of West Bank Settlers

    Shame nobody asked that nice lady, if only Jews are going to be sovereign in Israel and enjoy things like voting rights, how it will be determined who is Jew and who is not-Jew. Or what will happen when Jew and not-Jew get together and make a baby.

    1. nycTerrierist

      According to Jewish law and tradition: if the mother is Jewish, so is the child.

      I don’t know Israeli law. Perhaps conversions are recognized.

      1. NN Cassandra

        Yes, I’m aware of that rule, however as always, the devil is in the detail. For starters this rule is nice example of infinite recursion, i.e. how do you determine if the mother is Jewish? There must be some external condition to break the cycle. Also there will be tons of people who consider themselves (and are generally considered by others) to be Jewish but will fail this rule. For example when the argument that Ukraine can’t have Nazi problem since Zelensky is Jewish started making rounds, some Orthodox fellow pointed out he actually isn’t proper Jew.

        1. Eclair

          “….how do you determine if the mother is Jewish?”

          One of my best friends when I attended a woman’s college, back in the late ’50’s, was tiny blue-eyed woman, with long flowing blonde hair, whose parents were Jewish refugees from Vienna. One weekend, when we were headed to New Haven and places to stay were in short supply, she managed to get us a room in a private house, apparently by emphasizing her ‘jewishness.’

          We arrived, knocked on the door, which was opened by an elderly woman, who after my friend had identified herself, looked her over, and remarked, in a heavy New York-Yiddish accent: ‘So, you said you were Jewish. You don’t look Jewish!’

          For years afterward, we had only to look at each other and say ….. you don’t look Jewish …. for us to end up in gales of laughter.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          “Whiteness” is an artificial construct. Applying logic doesn’t and has never made sense. Zelensky can break bread with his grandparents prosecutors’ grandchildren because of convenience.

          Arendt’s view that Jews were targeted because they were numerous enough to be noticed but not small enough to fight back effectively compared to blacks in the deep south hence they were targeted as smaller groups didn’t make the point is the only truism in this area. Ultimately its about power, not even the tribe. Netanyahu knows he’s close to being jailed. The only way out for him is to create the conditions where he can arrest “traitors.:

          1. Michael Levine

            Arendt’s view that Jews were targeted because they were numerous enough to be noticed but not small enough to fight back effectively compared to blacks in the deep south hence they were targeted as smaller groups didn’t make the point is the only truism in this area.

            This is a jumbled mess. What are you trying to say here?

    2. Will

      I think a German group develop a methodology and even some model legislation addressing those very same questions. Their efforts on how to manage a state with different levels of citizenship based on racial and religious categories might also be useful to the Israelis.

      1. ambrit

        Which State studied assiduously the methods of America’s Southern States post American War Between the States.
        Also, said German State received considerable technical assistance in the implementation of the policies in question from big American corporations; especially IBM.

        1. JBird4049

          There were were well funded American foundations that advocated eugenics. Some of the names I have seen listed for shows on PBS like Harriman, Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford. Read a book, see a show, and see the same names is disconcerting. I am sure that they were quite happy to help the Germans; the Germans made a study of how the United States put eugenics into practice using legislation, the courts, and public health, which including the “care” of those put in mental institutions, prisons, and clinics for the poor. The last three legal, often forcibly, sterilize the imprisoned and users of the clinics, while often not telling patients.

          And there were serious American advocates for either the denial of medical treatment or even outright euthanization of the disabled. Some doctors refused to treat the disabled, even writing about it.

          Remember, everything the Nazis did had its genesis in American theory, law, and practice with the Nazis only extending and organizing the practices. It was only the Holocaust that truly surpassed anything Americans as a nation thought and did. The organized, disciplined, efficient attempt to exterminate entire populations including the majority of the Slavs especially in Poland and the Ukraine, all Jews in Europe, plus assorted populations like the Romani; it only failed because the regime ran out of time. One could suggest that the not so gradual end of eugenics as a respected “science,” the decline of practices like forced sterilizations, which continues even today on the sly, even somewhat the rise of the Civil Rights Movement was the Holocaust. The still racist American nation stared at the abyss and looked away.

          1. Procopius

            … it only failed because the regime ran out of time.

            I remember reading a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, titled The Marching Chinese. If the population of China (I think this was 1948 or so) was lined up in age order and marched over a cliff (I forget how wide the front would have to be) they would never stop. The younger people in the back would be having babies faster than the old people at the front were dying.

    3. SG

      Well, these are the same yahoos who reject non-Orthodox conversions and want to amend the Law of Return to make those who are not Jewish by Orthodox standards (including non-Jews of Jewish descent) ineligible for aliyah, so you sort have your answer right there. I think she’s vile.

  9. Bruce F

    I’ve just watched a video made by a YouTuber who joined the trail of migrants crossing the Darien Gap on their way to the United States. My first impulse was to think it was a gimmick, but the footage and story of the migrants drew me in.
    Not knowing what to do next, I thought I’d share it here at NC.

    The Darien Gap known as the world’s most dangerous jungle. I had heard of the Darien many years ago through National Geographic and it had both fascinated and intimidated me. I knew one day I would have to visit…

    When the word Darien started appearing in the news in recent years by way of the migrant crises I decided that now was the time to explore it for myself. And so myself and my good friend @TimmyKarter headed north from Medellin in search of a way across the infamous jungle, avoiding cartel and bandits, injury and tropical diseases, on an adventure with migrants from all over the world where national laws don’t apply.

    1. Wukchumni

      A very important bubble predating the Mississippi Land Bubble & South Sea Company Bubble that was likely the cause for Scotland’s union with the UK in 1707 was the Darien Scheme in that same neck of the woods where the immigrants are filing through…

      The Darien scheme was an unsuccessful attempt, backed largely by investors of the Kingdom of Scotland, to gain wealth and influence by establishing New Caledonia, a colony in the Darién Gap on the Isthmus of Panama, in the late 1690s. The plan was for the colony, located on the Gulf of Darién, to establish and manage an overland route to connect the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The backers knew that the first sighting of the Pacific Ocean by Balboa was after crossing the isthmus through Darién.

      As the Company of Scotland was backed by approximately 20 per cent of all the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left the entire Scottish Lowlands in financial ruin. This was an important factor in weakening their resistance to the Act of Union (completed in 1707). The land where the Darien colony was built is located in the modern territory of Guna Yala, an autonomous indigenous territory home to the Guna people.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Calls for Gaza cease-fire divide Europe’s Socialists”

    This entire war is getting to be a very useful ‘touchstone’ to see what people are really all about. So we have seen people like RFK jr, Tulsi Gabbard, Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy go all in on defending Israel’s actions, even though the whole world can see it for the genocide and ethnic cleansing that it is. As for Europe’s Socialists, it’s not very hard. If you are pro-war and pro-genocide, then you are not really a socialist at all but a pretend one.

    1. Alice X

      >If you are pro-war and pro-genocide, then you are not really a socialist at all but a pretend one.

      Rosa Luxemburg made a similar observation about European Socialists’ support of WWI.

      As a result, she spent much of the war in protective custody in a German prison.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          It was one of Tulsi’s tells, but only a potential tell as everyone sticks to the same script on Israel.

          I was keeping close track and her actions and statements were defensible right up until now. Ditto RFK Jr. Both had serious but redeemable flaws.

          I believe in cutting some slack for public figures who are overquoted and quoted out of context but the Oct. 7 War is a litmus test you can’t fail, not if you want my support.

          So I guess it’s Cornel West by default, no one else even trying to get my vote.

          1. ambrit

            What’s the over and under on a State of Emergency being imposed before November 2024? It is instructive that this question is gaining traction with more than just the “usual suspects.”
            I do not exclude the possibility that such an “event” could be triggered in order to ease Biden and Harris out of the way.

            1. JBird4049

              An American “state of emergency” would be a coup. I lack clear thinking on how the American nation, not the country and certainly the United States’ government, which I do have clear thoughts, but Americans as a people would react.

              To speculate, I think that the true blooded Leftists, Liberals, Conservatives, and the Independents (let’s call the lot, the Old School) who have actual beliefs along with a large number of other go-with-the-flow Americans, would suddenly find them enemies of the state or at least think that the state was the enemy. This might be 30-40% of the population.

              Then there are the correctly opinionated, often employed in entertainment, a sinecure, or a politicized think tank. The glitterati, the literati, the pseudo-cognoscenti along with the everyday apparatchiks or PMC who are likely to be obedient, going yes, sir to the new regime for survival’s sake, if nothing else (What about your family’s lives). Many might even be true believers. That is 20%

              We are left with the remaining 30-40% and how they will go, I have no idea. I do believe that the Old School will be immediately targeted along with anyone among the nomenklatura, apparatchiks, and intelligentsia, which I would put the entertainers (we are an empire of illusion, they’re important) as well as anyone in any leadership position in any political, religious, or social organization including all NGOs, who either do not immediately, vociferously shout approval.

              After that, I do not have a clue. It just depends on so many different things. What part of our country collapses next? What fresh economic and/or military disaster appears? The climate? Just how does the government respond? Or the political parties? The many, many gendarmeries as well as the military? Does the police and the army start shooting indiscriminately at anyone or do terrorists mysteriously “appear” and assassinate the President? The food harvests could simply collapse leaving massive hunger. Does anyone trust any current American regime made from current politicians to be at all competent or the hollowed out FEMA? We are still likely to have enough food to prevent outright starvation, if there is no hoarding by the wealthy and corporations, but what are the chances that they would be stopped?

              I expect much effort to be successfully put into image management, but I do not expect the security crackdown to be well managed aside from the first weeks of the raids. After that, not trying to be melodramatic, the blood will flow.

              1. Christopher Fay

                I think the first coup has already been thrown in 2020 starting with the squashing of the pretend democrat primary. The next coup is to the correct the weaknesses of the first. Couping is process not a one time event.

                1. JBird4049

                  It is a reasonable belief that 2020 was a coup, but with the training wheels still on. I prefer to think of it as an intra-party squishing of the upstart proles. After the Clintons rearrangements, the Democratic Party was under new management. They just barely kept the façade with the knuckling under of Bernie Sanders and the installment of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

                  Unless the balance of power of the parties is very equal, and the power bases are also considered equally durable, which ever party wins the presidency is likely to start ruling by decree. There will be an attempt to maintain the fiction of some “democracy.” However, the cost of being a dissident or dissenter will rapidly increasing along with the gathering of the various security agencies including the military to the several different factions. Most Sheriffs, Border Patrol and the Air Force to the Republicans, CIA and NSA? to the Democrats. I have no clue as to where the army, marines, and navy will jump to, or the many agencies of DHS (Department of Homeland Security) as well as all the police departments across the country will go although I suspect that the regular police or gendarmerie will generally go Republican regardless of an area’s party loyalties are suppose to be.

                  It will not be the usual soft coup that most Americans are used to with the velvet glove inside a hard fist. It will be either a velvet glove with an iron fist or with the glove removed.

                  1. undercurrent

                    There’s a great deal in what you write that rings true. The battle lines are being drawn, no, they’re being fine-tuned, and have been gathering for a long, long time. I remember talking years ago to some people I worked with, that I thought that the US was breaking apart and that a civil war would be fought again; but I didn’t tell them that I thought my side would lose. This was about the time that Gingrich was, or would become, the republican Speaker of the House, and make the claim that Susan Smith had drowned her children in a car, because the democrats had essentially destroyed morality in the country. Afterwards, Gingrich would then go on to instruct campaigning republicans to declare that their political opponents, the democrats, were not ‘real Americans.’ It was the first sign, to me, that American politics was about to become the bloodiest of sports, and that american conservatism had the potential to lead to American facism.

                    And it started a process that has led me to where I am now, that human civilization is facing an existential crisis that no political party can solve.

                    And the hand may not be so much an iron fist, as merely a human hand striking with an iron bible.

                  2. caucus99percenter

                    The coup process is already very far along here in Germany, where preparations are being made to ban the largest opposition party, the AfD, for “hate speech.”

                    The Powers That Be, applying U.S. elites’ ideology to Europe, have discovered that a broad interpretation of laws can construe almost any kind of dissent as “hate speech” and a threat to public safety.

                    “Trivialization” of Nazi misdeeds and glorification (public expressions of approval) of present-day criminal offenses were always against the law in Germany. The difference is that interpretations are now being stretched to criminalize simply displaying the letter “Z” on one’s car, or wearing a Palestinian scarf to school.

                    Similarly, on the EU level, the European Parliament recently suspended the immunity of four Polish MEPs, to allow them to be prosecuted for liking or retweeting a Law and Justice party video featuring anti-migrant rhetoric:


                2. ambrit

                  This old geezer is of the opinion that the first stealth coup happened in 1980 with the Reagan wing of the Republican Party doing deals behind the scenes with the Theocracy in Iran to withhold the return of the Embassy Hostages until after the election. Add to that the later Iran Contra affair, and we have the skeleton of a ruthless, amoral power clique.
                  The Second Coup was probably the election of Bill Clinton in 1992.
                  The Third Coup was definitely the 2000 Election. In it, a Supreme Court decided the outcome of the election by judicial fiat. The discernable wishes of the electorate were ignored.
                  America has a long and storied history of “irregular” elections, the most famous probably being the Presidential Election of 1876. It was so juicy, Gore Vidal wrote a book about it.
                  To badly paraphrase Ben Franklin when the lady asked him what sort of government they had agreed on; “A Parliament of Whores madam, if they will stay bought.”

                3. steppenwolf fetchit

                  We’ve had a number of semi-coups over time. The JFK assassination was certainly a semi-coup. The series of assassinations after that were done to preserve the gains made by and after the JFK assassination.

                  The Supreme Court “underthrow” of the Bush v. Gore election was a kind of semi-coup. One could think of the Cheney(bush) Admin’s HIHOPing of the 9/11 attacks followed by the strictly hidden-governmental-actors anthrax attacks as a kind of coup-in-stages. The Cheney(bush) Administrations de-facto “legalization” of torture, war crimes, etc was furthering the point of the coup.

                  The Obama Admin’s retro immunization and impunification of the Cheney(bush) crimes was meant to consolidate the gains of the Cheney(bush) coup. If Obama is as CIA-” Mobbed Up” as some people think, this would have been Obama’s real deepest mission all along.

      1. John k

        Didn’t realize that.
        But just realized we can’t pick between the 2 apparent candidates for pres based on the genocide, both are for it. And this will likely be true with their veeps, too.
        I really thought the selection couldn’t get worse.

    2. Don

      Scholz — Socialist?

      There goes the viability of trying to soft-peddle one’s Communism by claiming to be a Socialist.

    3. SG

      I would not be surprised if RFK, Jr. didn’t harbor some personal animus against Palestinians, in general, given family history.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Recognizing fake news now a required subject in California schools”

    Governor Gavin Newsom and Californian Lawmakers were both pleased and puzzled when the very first thing that those classes did was to take out a subscription to the Washington Post and the New York Times.

    1. Laura in So Cal

      Hah! Funny…but my kid graduated from public school in California a couple of years ago and they were already trying to teach “critical thinking” in English class. They would write an argumentative or persuasive essay on a subject, but were only allowed to use “approved” news sources which were all mainstream new organizations. If you introduced any information from a not approved source. it was an instant “F”.

      So teaching “critical thinking” by discouraging actual critical thinking.

      1. Neutrino

        To say that there is a lemming-like aspect to those Cali teachers would be unfair to lemmings.

        Gotta admit that school policy is very on-brand for Newsom. :(

  12. Wukchumni

    Hiker stranded on a cliff in Canada after following fake trail on Google Maps New York Post

    99% of the 2 million annual visitors here go to 1% of Sequoia NP, while 1% of the visitors to the backcountry go to 99% of the NP. and of that 1%, 99% never venture off-trail.

    I really enjoy walking off-trail as you have to make your own way based upon the lay of the land in front of you, aided by a topo map that would have really tight contour lines, indicating a cliff to the north of me, eh?

    The one cardinal rule of going off-trail is to never be by yourself, as were something to happen, search and rescue teams seldom canvas off-trail haunts for as i’ve mentioned up top, nobody goes there.

    We’ve had problems for years with some GPS systems sending drivers to Mineral King instead of the Giant Forest where they want to go, and its 698 significant curves and 7,000 feet gained in 25 miles to get to the end of the road in Mineral King Valley, and usually the wayward ones will meekly ask where the Sherman Tree is, or Lodgepole campground, and then I have to lower the boom on them and their totally unneeded 1,396 significant curved diversion. One driver even asked if the road went through to Las Vegas…

    I’d mentioned seeing Zuckerberg in Tiny Town last week~

    The scuttlebutt around these parts is that he was up in the forest for the trees in Sequoia NP as part of this Meta project:

    Large-scale mapping of canopy height at the resolution of individual trees

    1. griffen

      Sounds like the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, following the lead of the intrepid Moses. Hey man….can’t we get directions to this place? I am not seeing any quail and it’s cold at night, darn it. And now he gets to hand out these “Commandments” too. \sarc

      Google Maps is a failure at the absolute worse time. Whocouldanode. Added thought, late year entry for the Darwin awards.

      1. flora

        I’m imagining Moses’s wife after a year of wandering telling him to “just stop and ask for some directions already!” / ha

    2. Es s Cetera

      What I’m wondering is if you’re going to go deep woods following a google map, especially without regard to topology, aren’t you concerned you might lose cellular coverage and possibly also run out of juice?

      1. Neutrino

        The jokes practically write themselves.

        Hikers probably don’t think much about what old timers called the 10 Essentials.

        1. digi_owl

          I guess they are similar to what in Norway is known as fjellvettregler:

          The national broadcaster used to take the time to remind viewers of them each easter, but i think such activity has fallen out of fashion now that everyone have their own personal streams to watch and listen to. Likely also why more and more people seem to be caught completely off guard by bad weather, even though it has been announced for days.

    3. Offtrail

      I like your posts on the outdoors. Keep them coming.

      I used to love solo hiking and backpacking offtrail. You saw new things and could change your plans on a dime.

    4. digi_owl

      Heh, do not get me going about unprepared hikers.

      Preikestolen Is on the news every year of late involving some under-equipped hikers, usually foreign tourists, trying to get there for a quick social media photo op. It got so bad there is now a heated shelter set up at the half way point that is manned throughout the tourist season.

  13. Insouciant Iowan

    “Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant on Saturday warned Iran-backed Hezbollah that launching a war would result in widespread destruction in Lebanon similar to that in Gaza, where Israel battled Hamas militants.”

    I believe Hezbollah has made a similar point with Israelis about its ability to take out Tel Aviv and Haifa. Doubtless this is part of why so much US military muscle is in the eastern Mediterranian.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Gallant was talking about Israel’s Dahiya doctrine here. When the Israelis were getting their a**** kicked by Hezbollah back in 2006, they took it out on a neighbourhood called Dahiya in Beirut. It is all about dis-proportionally punishing civilians if you cannot achieve a military solution and we are seeing this in Gaza right now. Under International Law, this is called ‘collective punishment’ which just happens to be a war crime-

      But you are quite right about Hezbollah being able to retaliate using the tens of thousands of missiles that they have. So what would Israeli look like if Hezbollah missiles took out their electrical plants, power grids, sewerage treatment plants, water filtration plants, communication nodes, military bases, port facilities, etc. Does Gallant really want to find out?

      1. Carolinian

        That’s an important Alastair Crooke on the Nasrallah speech up in Links although on my system I had to search engine a mirror to read it.

        Kyeyune suggests that whereas:

        Deterrence was at first a helpful side effect of real American economic and military might. But over time, it became a crutch — and then, a Potemkin village: a façade put up as a cost-saving measure, to cover up the fact that the military was shrinking, political dysfunction growing, and fiscal stability eroding. Now, as drones and rockets rain down on US service members across Syria and Iraq … it is becoming clear that the Middle East has decided that American threats aren’t all that credible anymore.

        Will Iraq be the next ‘front’ to open in this expanding conflict?

        Seyed Nasrallah said of the US warships: “We have prepared for them something”. Taking on the US’ aircraft carriers (even without going into detail) is symbolically tantamount to the Axis challenging US hegemony at its very root. ‘Challenge Accepted’.

        The gist is that Hezbollah will respond to Israel by going against the US presence throughout the region since Israel’s 7.5 million are merely the tail that wags the dog.

        And thus we see the great dilemma for a US ruling class that is obsessed with the welfare of foreigners over US citizens (my view). Bubbles do burst.

      2. Polar Socialist

        What is new this time around is that Hezbollah has much better IRS than any opponent of Israel has ever had – their reconnaissance drones are penetrating Israel all the way to Haifa and further south.

        And apparently they already have used their new Burkan missiles with 300-500 kg payload. How many of those they need to take out the northern stations of the National Water System and turn most of Israel’s arable land back to desert? How many they need to stop traffic to ports of Ashdod and Haifa?

        How many they need to take out Israel’s 10 air bases for a day or three? Can IDF even fight without heavy air support?

    2. ilsm

      Does US have any more guidance kits to send? Same for 1000 and 2000 pound iron……?

      When do the wings buckle on the F-16’s until US ‘lends’ IDF more?

      IDF, with US resources, blowing targets with no military value!!

    3. Offtrail

      I highly doubt that Hezbollah is going to jump in.

      The eager anticipation among some of seeing Hezbollah, the Houthis and the Iraqi militias jump in puts me in mind of the Democrats’ bated breath wait for the Fitzgerald and Mueller reports.

      Many of us would like to see Israel get a comeuppance. But it’s a good thing if those parties stay out. Otherwise there could be enormous destruction, up to and including use of nuclear weapons.

  14. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Recognizing fake news now a required subject in California schools

    The article notes a valuable resource in the ongoing battle against “disinformation” –

    “She also provides lesson plans, resources and book recommendations such as “True or False: A CIA analyst’s guide to spotting fake news”…”

    Sounds like California has this whole thing figured out. Let the truthiness spread from sea to shining sea.

    1. Alice X

      Before your quote:

      Ormsby teaches concepts like “lateral reading” (comparing an online article with other sources to check for accuracy) and reverse imaging (searching online to trace a photo to its original source or checking if
      it’s been altered).

      Lateral reading should be the basis for critical thinking, imho.

      I’m just wondering if they need another law instead of greater support for teacher training and higher salaries for the teachers.

    1. Wukchumni

      The claim is you can never go home again, but its dead easy to drive by your elementary, junior high and high schools in SoCal, which all resemble prisons now with tall fences surrounding the campuses, where once were none when I attended.

      1. Demora

        That’s your diversity. Fifth generation American children are prohibited from wearing any red or blue clothing, or the American flag on it, for fear of being shot by gang members.

  15. tegnost

    unherd from the penultimate paragraph…
    Israel has no choice but to destroy Hamas, and Ukraine no option but to continue defending itself: if peace talks with Russia were ever viable, there is no reason for Moscow to pursue them now. In both cases, the likelihood is that the wars will grind on to grim and morally unsatisfactory conclusions.
    re the bolded, I can’t even…
    A decent enough article at the beginning frays into threads at the end…
    Maybe some editorial interference…

    1. pjay

      I think the editorial slant is the author’s own. If the article sounds strangely ambivalent, it is because it is written by a Westernized, liberal “ex-Muslim” educated at Oxford who puts forth “humanitarian” smokescreens in liberal publications like Vice that serve to obfuscate geopolitical realities. Here is one hint from this long piece:

      “Pundits who rightly condemned Assad’s reckless bombing of hospitals, schools, bakeries and civilian homes now urge us to consider the painful necessity for Israel to bomb the same civilian targets in Gaza. Equally, many of those now loudly outraged by Israel’s air campaign previously welcomed Assad and Russia’s indiscriminate bombing of what they called terrorists in Syria. Objectively, it is difficult to see any significant moral difference between the two campaigns, between their rival sets of supporters, or between the rival great powers enabling them.”

      This type of both-siderism “objectivity” is a dead-giveaway; it only works for readers who don’t see the outrageous difference between these two examples. But to check my suspicions I did a quick search of the author. His Wikipedia entry was pretty brief, but it did include this interesting passage:

      “During the Arab Spring Roussinos travelled extensively with Islamic Front in Syria, anti-government fighters in Libya, as well as travelling to Mali, Sudan, South Sudan and Lebanon.”

      He’s also been embedded with Right Sector paramilitary units in Ukraine among other quite interesting assignments.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I was prepared to hate this article after reading your quote. Anyone who uses the words “moral” or “objectively” in reference to american foreign “relations” is woefully uninformed. You only need to remember “The Downing Street Memo”–(paraphrasing) “the ‘evidence’ is being fixed around the ‘policy’ “– to resolve any confusion.

        But then I read this part which IMNSHO is “painfully” accurate:

        At home, Biden’s voter base is bitterly divided: the dramatic scenes of the new pro-Palestinian activist base obscure the broader new consensus among a majority of younger voters — the future Democratic base — against continued American support for Israel. This is itself now the greatest single strategic threat to the Jewish state, creating a far more perilous dynamic than Hamas’s brutalities or Hezbollah’s missile armoury. The root cause of this situation is the Israeli hubris caused by decades of seemingly limitless American support, which allowed the Palestine conflict to smoulder unresolved. With Israel confident that America’s backing was eternal, and America confident that its power could always shield Israel from external threats, the two countries found themselves locked in a dysfunctional embrace. Israel is now dependent on American support as never before, while American support for Israel has never been so domestically contested. Instead of ensuring Israel’s security, decades of American indulgence permitted Netanyahu to lead the country towards disaster.

        Soon, according to US officials, international and domestic pressure will force Biden to insist upon a ceasefire. Yet any Israeli halting of hostilities before the total destruction of Hamas will be perceived worldwide as a Hamas victory, and a defeat for both Israel and the United States. A more astute American president — indeed, a truer friend of Israel — would have constrained Netanyahu’s response from the start, pushing the Jewish state to accept higher military casualties as the price of assuaging world opinion. But the current situation, in which America assumes the blame for the civilian casualties of Netanyahu’s punitive campaign while unconvincingly wringing its hands over the bloodshed, was the worst of all responses.

        biden gypped every american out of 600 bucks. israel (and ukraine) probably should have paid closer attention since they were counting on considerably more…forever.

        1. Anon

          Ugh… this quote makes us look anti-Semitic, now that we’re the “greatest strategic threat to Israel”… what is happening…

        2. hk

          To be fair, a number of Israeli nationalist politicians have been anticipating this: Sharon (I heard this on one of Duran podcasts, but I think it was Alastair Crooke who actually said this) allegedly said that Israel can’t do “what it really needs to do” (or something similar) as long as America is strong, but one day, America will be weakened enough that Israel will be able to act with impunity. I suspect that this is also how Netanyahu thinks, too.

  16. Wukchumni

    ‘You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!’ ~ Dr. Seuss
    This quote is on the Wolverton trailhead sign, and thats where 4 of us are headed to in Sequoia NP for what might be the last high altitude hike of the year, today’s destination being Panther Gap, which has a wonderful panorama view of the Great Western Divide, once thought to be the crest of the Sierra Nevada, but this middle range is 700 feet lower than Mt Whitney.

  17. Big River Bandido

    Thank you for introducing me to “On the Mississippi”. This writer lives in Davenport and I attended one of the other schools built under the same WPA program. The fishponds and fireplaces were in all 5 buildings. Drove by Washington school the other day and saw the demo; in my youth I’d have channeled my inner Alice Cooper and been thrilled (“school’s been blown to pieces”), but now it was just sad.

    1. griffen

      Man oh how that dude, and if my recall is correct his spouse as well, worked over those fawning idiots at Softbank. I believe investors in any funds managed by Softbank might have meaner and more vicious language themselves. I mean seriously, write an ironclad contract with such language that states “Okay we lent you this amount of money now it is due…shares are worthless tough cookies…”

      He failed in every way possible and still landed on his feet. America, what an exceptional country. By comparison, it is notable to think that Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos infamy, and more recently crypto “mogul” SBF, are going to serve actual time.

      1. vao

        If I remember correctly, Eddie Lampert ended up richer after driving Sears, the company he had invested in and whose CEO he was, to ruin.

          1. vao

            It has been years I read about it, and I can’t remember the details, but there was a whole scheme to transfer the property of valuable Sears assets to him while at the same time eschewing claw-backs that could result from a lawsuit for fraudulent bankruptcy.

            Why aren’t we taught such tricks at school instead of civic education?

  18. Trees&Trunks

    Yanis Varoufalis wrote in his book Adults in the Room about insiders and outsiders politicians.
    Has he ever published a list of the insiders? Or is he too intersted in being an insider?

  19. Camelotkidd

    According to the New York Times, (with regards to Gaza) aides to the president now report that he “believes history will remember him for how he defended democracy against forces of chaos, terror and dictatorship.”

    Biden may believe such nonsense but I think history will remember him for his dedication to Israel’s genocide. In fact, protesters are already calling him genocide Joe.

    Arnold Toynbee argued in his 12–volume A Study of History that civilizations rise when creative elites respond to new circumstances with imagination and courage, while they decline, in turn, not in consequence of external factors but due to spiritual collapses within.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Shrub fancied himself as a warrior for “democracy” too and proclaimed history would vindicate him. So maybe Ivanka will give him a cough drop?

    2. Neutrino

      Biden wants more inches of press than Obama, and seeks to outdo the latter’s policy disasters.

      Ukraine? Check. Coup ripple effects, billions, corruption, so scheme working.
      Add your favorites? Check

    3. Jouyeuse Garde Parent

      I am really curious what probability the White House would give itself (in private) about having a snowball’s chance in hell of getting re-elected.

      Same goes for Downing Street, Sussex Drive, and the Federal Chancellery (if that is what it is called) in Berlin. I won’t even bother mentioning Zelinsky and Nutenyahoo

      I remember complaining often and loudly about the revolving door between business and government, but I don’t think that the think tanks have anywhere near enough money to hire all of these people and their retinue.

      1. Anon

        ”… what probability the White House would give itself (in private) about having a snowball’s chance in hell of getting re-elected.”

        Hush now. Let’s not encourage Iran to make us bomb them. Build Back Ukraine Better! Biden 2024! *cue streamers*

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: As Israeli bombs rain down on Gazan hospitals and healthcare workers, millions participate in global protests WSWS

    Calls for a ceasefire have been rejected by the entire political establishment, including and not surprisingly the despicable political fraudster, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

    The video in the article of the nurse reading the plea to the world from medical staff at Al-Shifa Hospital to stop the israeli SNIPER and bomb attacks on their patients, many of whom are babies in incubators, and themselves, is both heartbreaking and infuriating.

    Once upon a time, attacks on “newborns in incubators” were considered so heinous, that the american government MADE UP stories about its happening to “justify” starting a war. Now that same depraved “government” not only turns a blind eye to the verified reality of its occurrence, it justifies it as “self defense,” and rushes to finance the incomprehensible barbarism of it all.

    A screen shot from The Automatic Earth this morning puts it this way:

    BREAKING: israel has killed two Hamas top commanders. Ahmed aged 5 and Nazir aged 8.

    I am not a “religious” person, but I find myself “praying” this morning that that “special place in Hell,” of which madeline albright was so fond, actually does exist.

    1. realist

      Oh come on. What’s going on in Gaza is horrible, but to link to an obviously false post casually posted at an art website is damaging and in bad taste. Keep to real sources, not jokes or ridiculous propaganda

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Oh you come on. “Art website”?????

        (See, I can miss the point every bit as well as you can.)

      2. Joyeuse Garde Parent

        Displaying (or even having genuine) outrage over gallows humor type jokes does not make one a purer person

      3. Pat

        My question is were you offended by the joke or the effectiveness of the joke?

        When the jokes illustrate the rank hypocrisy of the occupying power and show how vapid the justifications for their genocidal actions are they are certainly as valid as any supposedly serious commentary from propaganda organs like the Post and Times.

  21. Eclair

    Re: Andrei Martyanov’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”

    Definitely, Amanda Sloat, as the Senior Director for Europe at the US National Security Council, deserves scorn for her work as the architect of Biden’s European policies. But does Martyanov have to pile on an ad hominem and call Sloat a ‘bimbo?’ And, maybe even worse, a ‘young woman.’ As in, ‘that’s enough of that, young woman!’

    Or maybe it is an ‘ad feminam,‘ since there is really no male version of ‘attractive and empty-headed.’

    Other than that minor cavil, Martyanov provides excellent, if scary, information, on the little-known back-room workings of our government. I searched the internet, in vain, for some background info on Sloat. Other than her ‘official’ resume, not much. No family, hometown, dates of birth (is she really a ‘young’ woman?) partners, children. It’s like she doesn’t exist, outside of the NSC.

    1. Alice X

      Empty suit isn’t nearly the slur as bimbo.

      She apparently has a PhD, so she is no dummy, she is young and quite nice in appearance. I’m glad there are more women in government, that is the diversity/identity thing. Of course, that doesn’t address the philosophical deficit, which is huge.

      Martyanov is slipping a cog.

      1. mr longjohn

        She apparently has a PhD, so she is no dummy

        I’ve met a lot of PhD’s who are dummies. This may not apply to her, of course. Just for the record.

        1. NYMutza

          Yes – PhD = Piled higher and Deeper Look at the Fed. How many PhDs there? Policy mistakes all over the place.

    2. SG

      I take it as a positive sign that news articles don’t feel compelled anymore to cite a woman’s age, marital status, or hair color as if they were somehow relevant to her fitness for a policy position. She seems to have gotten her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State in 1997, so she’s most likely in her forties. She got her PhD at Edinburgh and spent two years as an advisor to the Scottish Parliament on EU affairs (pre-Brexit, obviously), before coming back to the US and taking posts at State in the Obama Administration, followed by a stint at Brookings. There were several favorable articles about her in the European press when she was first appointed. She seems to have a very unfavorable opinion about Vladimir Putin, which might have something to do with Martyanov’s comments.

      She’s hardly an ingenue and I sincerely doubt if she’s “empty-headed”.

  22. Jason Boxman

    Army Ammunition Plant Is Tied to Mass Shootings Across the U.S. (NY Times via

    The site was built for the military, but commercial sales are booming with little public accountability. Rounds have been bought by murderers, antigovernment groups and others.

    The plant, operated by a private contractor with Army oversight, is now one of the country’s biggest manufacturers of commercial rounds for the popular AR-15, and it remains so even as the United States supplies ammunition to Ukraine.

    I really don’t understand — why aren’t these rounds being sent along to Ukraine? Puzzling. (Only 1 mention of the word Ukraine in the entire story.)

    1. SG

      I don’t know how many AR variants are in use by the Ukrainians. I’m sure there are quite a few, but I would assume that a lot of their troops are equipped with Kalashnikovs of various sorts, which typically use 7.62mm rounds, rather than 5.56mm rounds.

      1. Jason Boxman

        This is supposedly existential crisis for democracy against authoritarianism. Us not sending them AR-15s is puzzling too. It was good enough for our friends in Afghanistan and Iraq, the much vaunted security forces we trained for decades without effect. And we were giving the Ukrainians NATO training, surely we trained them on AR-15s?

        1. digi_owl

          AR-15 (M-16) is not used much, if at all, by NATO outside of USA.

          Most seem to have adopted the HK416 as their 5.56 rifle, replacing some variant of the HK G3.

          All in all the ongoing problem of NATO is that the few standards it has are related to ammo, not the weapons themselves.

          And USA gives a flying hoot about said standards anyways, as it seems hell bent on retiring the 5.56 it introduced unilaterally back in the 60s just as the last of NATO is getting round to phasing out 7.62.

        2. SG

          There’s an ongoing controversy amongst my gun nut (their term, not mine) acquaintances over the relative merits of 5.56 vs. 7.62 rounds, and of the AK vs. AR/M16/M4 platforms. Not owning a firearm, I don’t feel qualified to offer an opinion. The 7.62 round is obviously larger diameter, but whether the higher velocity of the 5.56 round makes up for it in damage seems to be a constant topic of discussion. The perceived deficiencies of the 5.56 round was one of the factors behind the military’s next generation rifle platform:

          Given how many AKs were distributed to various parties during the Cold War, I suspect it’s easy for Ukraine to acquire lots of them on the cheap.

  23. Thorleif


    A lot of (paid by?) research (reports here at the NC) have been done lately regarding problems related to the virus (SARS-CoV-2).

    But less regarding the vaccine. Much less!

    So how can scientists be absolutely sure the damages done (in vivo) from the spikeprotein comes from the virus and not from the vaccine? Do they compare every investigation between vaccinated and unvaccinated? Yes, the amino-acids (RNA-code) between the two proteins differs somewhat. The virus also comes with other parts than the spike. The whole body.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The virus was damaging people long before the COVID shots based on modified RNA were deployed. Twitter is overrun with “but the shots” replies.

      There must be a full release of all the Pfizer data, without a doubt. In the case of immune disregulation it’s abundantly clear the virus does this. That doesn’t mean the modified RNA doesn’t also do things to the immune response to this virus.

      At this point, these “but the shots” posts are highly suspect. And the implication is often that it’s the shots, and the virus is harmless. This is as dangerous as those who held up the shots as magic, and sterilizing.

  24. SG

    The Global Times article is of particular interest to me, since I work for a competitor of NVIDIA’s in this space. Right now, the demand for these accelerators outstrips the supply by a considerable margin. The main issue most of the vendors are experiencing is insufficient fab capacity, not lack of demand. At some point, of course, the bubble will burst but it’s not really an issue right now.

  25. The Rev Kev

    Now the propaganda is getting just embarrassing-

    ‘Israeli forces found a dog-eared Arabic translation of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ on the body of a Hamas fighter holed up in a child’s bedroom in northern Gaza, Israeli President Isaac Herzog told the BBC on Sunday.

    Holding up a copy of the Nazi classic, Herzog claimed it had been “found just a few days ago in Northern Gaza in a children’s living room that had been turned into a military operations base of Hamas.” The home also contained an explosives laboratory, he alleged.’

  26. ChrisRuEcon

    The Death Throes Of Zionism

    Recently I have been going down some interesting online rabbit-holes where sentiments collide among disparate groups of people. I will point back to this comment made in response to one of mine to set the deck as it were.

    So in my online (X/Twitter) circles, it’s interesting to see a socialist person, say … liking a tweet that contains a video from the site TRUNews. Now TRUNews is a far right/conservative site – their tag line is “Christian Faith. Family Values.” The founder is a gentleman by the name of Rick Wiles. I will let the search engine of your choice fill you in on Mr. Wiles, but needless to say (and to paraphrase Jen’s comment from July 2022), this tweet is a classic example of one hearing the same grumble from people whose political ideologies don’t generally overlap. Is that overlap is signaling the end of Zionism? What I find fascinating about the video is that it is airing on a conservative Christian outlet; and that Mr. Wiles is specifically calling out Zionists. I was going to post just the tweet earlier, but decided to do some follow up on the source. My further searches led me to another tweet, this time from Mr. Wiles himself, from a week ago. While the recent conventional wisdom is that Israel has enjoyed near unconditional support from US Christians, particularly evangelicals, I think that a shift is underway. If the fading support from American Jews is properly met with fading support among US Christians, then it may well turn out that the horrid events are Gaza are the death throes of Zionism.

  27. The Rev Kev

    I regret to say that the Turcopolier site is really starting to sink now. They posted an article called “Who Blew Up Nord Stream” and they totally went in hook, line and sinker in the Ukrainians doing it led by Roman Chervinsky. TTG ends this article saying ‘If true it also means that Sy Hersh doesn’t know his a** from a hole in the ground. He’s lost his knack.’

    I’m not a military person, an engineer nor one experienced in deep sea diving but even I know that it is far more likley that the pipelines were blown up by the SS Minnow than the SS Andromeda-

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