Links 11/14/2023

Dear patient readers,

I am sorry for the lack of an original post today. I found out a close friend of 25+ years, to whom I would normally speak at least twice a week, may have only a few days to live. I had not called him for the last month because he had some time-intensive and very nerdy work he had to get done by a date certain, so I decided not to distract him. Now he seems so sick that I can’t even say goodbye properly, not that my emotional needs are what matters here. Needless to say, I am very broken up.

Colombia begins sterilizing its invasive hippos: what scientists think Nature (furzy)

She Charges $550 for 90 Minutes and Has a Wait List of 7,600 People Wall Street Journal (David L). Animal communicators.

A door at a Swedish library was accidentally left open — 446 people came in, borrowed 245 books. Every single one was returned ZME Science (Dr. Kevin)

FDA to Finally Outlaw Soda Ingredient Banned Around The World ScienceAlert (Chuck L). One of my brothers switched from caramel colored sodas to citrus sodas on the assumption the latter was less bad for you.

CRISPR for high cholesterol shows promise in first study NPR (David L). Help me. Treatments to address a non-issue. The total cholesterol level in women correlated with the lowest level of all factor mortality is 270. High levels of triglycerides and homocysteine are seen by better-informed doctors as vastly better predictors of heart disease risk.

‘Super melanin’ heals skin injuries from sunburn, chemical burns MedicalXpress (Paul R)


Pain, fatigue, fuzzy thinking: How long COVID disrupts the brain NPR (David L)

Can’t Think, Can’t Remember: More Americans Say They’re in a Cognitive Fog New York Times (from a couple of days ago, still germane.

Now we know how COVID attacks your heart National Geographic. Paul R: “Yes it says attacks even in mild cases.”

Accuracy of package inserts of SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen tests: a secondary analysis of manufacturer versus systematic review data The Lancet. From a few days ago, still germane. Paul R:

Tl;dr: they compared the RAT sensitivity stated on the pamphlet included with the test, with the results of a Cochrane study. They found that the RAT manufacturers usually overestimated the sensitivity.

Me: I wonder if RATs for earlier variants work at all for current variants.


Researchers’ ‘cooling glass’ blasts building heat into space MPR News (Chuck L)

‘Tourists are rethinking their relationship with Earth’ BBC (David L). Help me. If they were serious, they’d quit being tourists.

Green energy vs US Nukes: Air Force asks Congress to shield nuclear launch sites from wind power International Affairs (Micael T)

There’s another wildfire burning in Hawaii. This one is destroying irreplaceable rainforest on Oahu Associated Press (David L)

Fossil fuel producers work to shape U.N. treaty to cut plastics NPR (David L)


PE Firms Trapped in China After $1.5 Trillion Betting Spree Bloomberg. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

Why Xi Can No Longer Brag About the Chinese Economy Wall Street Journal

Xi agrees to clean up his own mess! Biden and Chinese president are set to announce deal to limit fentanyl supply at APEC in San Francisco – after deadly opioid flooded US and crippled the city Daily Mail

Japan To Create $6.6 Billion Fund To Develop Outer Space Industry Japan Times


India, US are on pathway to contain China Indian Punchline (Chuck L). So much for BRICS cohesion. We warned of divergent interests during all of the celebratory chatter.

European Disunion

Dear Mr. President #JoeBiden, #Germany is not doing so well at the moment Patricia Wingerter (Micael T)

German opposition leader demands new citizens embrace Israel RT (Kevin W)

Old Blighty

When the solution to your problem is David Cameron, you know you’re in deep trouble Guardian (Kevin W)

Pro-Palestine march: Sunak ‘to toughen protest laws’ as Braverman doubles down on criticism of protesters Independent (Kevin W)

Lost Doctor Who episodes found – but owner is reluctant to hand them to BBC Guardian

Kevin W: “Another reason why we can’t have nice things.”


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 38: Premature babies dependent on incubators in Gaza are officially being left to die. Mondoweiss (guurst)

Biden says Al-Shifa hospital must be protected as fighting rages on in Gaza BBC. Lordie, what is the point of an admission of impotence?

The Unspoken Elephant in the Room of Netanyahu’s Intent in Gaza Alastair Crooke

* * *

Israeli Army Loses 88 Armoured Vehicles in Five Days of Combat – Satellite Images Indicate Military Watch

HAMAS’S ALAMO Seymour Hersh (David L)

Israel’s Nuclear Weapons in the Spotlight Energy Intelligence (Micael T)

* * *

Israel Lobby’s Disastrous Domination Consortioum News (Skip K)

Lawyers for Palestinian victims of Israeli attacks on Gaza file complaint at International Criminal Court Anadolu Agency. Do they have standing? Logically they should but that does not mean they do…

US President Biden sued for ‘complicity’ in Israel’s ‘genocide’ in Gaza Aljazeera

Chaos at State Department as Memo Blasts Biden Over ‘Misinformation’ on Gaza War Sputnik

Democratic Aides in Congress Break With Their Bosses on Israel-Hamas War New York Times (David L)

* * *



* * *

A Town That Has Been a Refuge for Jews and Muslims Now Sees Divisions Wall Street Journal (David L)

New Not-So-Cold War

Almost no Russian oil is sold below $60 cap, say western officials Financial Times

Zelenskyy is in conflict with Ukrainian military, ex-presidential adviser says RT

Europe opens F-16 warplane training center for Ukrainian pilots Politico

Imperial Collapse Watch

Fire that indefinitely closed vital Los Angeles freeway was likely arson, governor says Associated Press (David L). Holy moley. 10 is a major artery.

The New Barbarians: Pundits Raise Alarm Over the Sacking of the Beltway by Good Intentions Jonathan Turley


Biden rips ‘prick’ ex-Obama guru David Axelrod as 2024 tensions grow: report New York Post

‘QAnon Shaman’ Jacob Chansley, who served more than 2 years in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, now wants to run for Congress Business Insider (Kevin W)


Supreme Court Adopts Ethics Code After Reports of Undisclosed Gifts and Travel New York Times (Kevin W)

JFK’s Parkland Doctors Come Forward: Oswald Didn’t Act Alone Rolling Stone (furzy)

What Really Happened to JFK: His Doctors Reveal New Details of Assassination 60 Years Later The Messenger (furzy)

Our No Longer Free Press

Billionaires are teaming up for pro-Israel, anti-Hamas media drive: Report Aljazeera

Journalists in south Lebanon say they were targeted in Israeli strikes Arab News


New technology helps celebrities fight back against AI deepfakes NPR (Chuck L)

Giant AI Platform Introduces ‘Bounties’ For Deepfakes of Real People 404Media

The Bezzle

The wildest moments of WeWork’s rise CNN (furzy)

Confirmed the logo below is correct on Logowiki:

Class Warfare

Four Lessons From History, So We Don’t Have to Repeat It Douglad Lamont (Micael T)

A Grocery Chain Just Fired Its Self-Checkouts New York Times (furzy)

The End of Milton Friedman’s Reign New Republic (furzy). I wish. A lot of readers still seem to see him as gospel.

Sweden’s schools minister declares free school ‘system failure’ Guardian (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour:

And a bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa


    After Georgie Washington chopped down that cherry tree,
    He hurried home to pen a poem with bright Calliope.
    He sought to jot a grand bon mot, like any bel esprit,
    A quatrain for the ages writ in fine calligraphy.

    But clamour from the great lawn soon disturbed his reverie;
    His muse then fled, and soon he said, “Gadzooks! They call for me!
    They shout about their raging doubt of who chopped down that tree!
    Shall I produce a good excuse — or admit hatchetry?”

    “Forsooth, the truth must soon emerge — I left so much debris.
    Blatant facts — and my new axe — make me the confessee.
    How can I lie? Those chips did fly in youthful revelry.
    I’ll catch a welt from Father’s belt, or be shipped off to sea!”

    And so the lad, with no comrade, strode forth for all to see,
    As slaves and servants gathered ’round him most expectantly,
    And led him to his father as a humble detainee,
    To talk about his tomahawk, and things that should not be.

    “Was it ye who chopped my tree?” said Father tearfully.
    “You’ve had a lark upon its bark, and made a potpourri!”
    “I cannot tell a lie,”
    said Georgie, sinking to one knee,
    “To see you sigh, and dab your eye, brings home my crime to me.”

    “This was my sin. I did do in your favorite cherry tree.
    I see your grief to lose each leaf, each branch a child to thee.
    If you can but forgive me this; make me a parolee —
    I’ll take the whip, or some hardship, whatever you decree.”

    His father gazed upon him then, as judge and referee,
    Then said, “Such courage can’t be found amongst our monarchy.
    You have been true. I forgive you, and make this simple plea —
    Never lack the simple knack of dealing honestly.”

    This anecdotal nursery tale from some past century
    Still counts among Americans as how we all should be.
    Our politics these days are full of fraud and rivalry,
    Wall Street runs on stock buybacks, not productivity,

    Our roads and bridges go without, but not the MIC,
    The Fed attacks the wages that mean food for you and me,
    So getting rich can be a bitch — but not up in DC!
    Nowhere is found the lesson of that lonesome cherry tree.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Journalists in south Lebanon say they were targeted in Israeli strikes”

    Saw this on the TV news a few hours ago. They showed the initial strike and then suddenly they cut to another story without saying who was responsible. They knew full well who hit that party of journalist but were afraid to say so lest they be seen being critical of Israel. The Israelis knew that they were a bunch of journalist and that is why they targeted them. Just another item on their Geneva Checklist.

    1. Joe Well

      This is in Australia? How is the conflict being reported there?

      Here in Boston, USA it is a little confusing because the local media (Boston Globe, TV news) have a lot of stories of Palestinian suffering, especially the local people trapped in Gaza, and have sympathetically covered protests. On the other hand, the national media seems much more clinical in its coverage and literally embedded with the IDF and Netanyahu.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Here in Oz a lot of the reporting is just propaganda. They will show Palestinian suffering but will then have stories about people and families demanding that the hostages be returned as if to justify it. If they mention Hamas or Hezbollah, they automatically follow if with the spiel ‘an organization recognized by many nations as a terrorist organization, including Australia.’ and they do this every damn night. They no longer show videos of the attack on the first day but I think that it is only because they ran out of videos. Sometimes they will do a story about the Holocaust and survivors talking about their experiences but never the Nakba. These days I no longer regard it as news but watch it to get an idea of what the latest narrative is.

        1. skippy

          Wellie this is making the rounds and seemingly[tm] being at gale force 1 behind it all …

          Piers Morgan blasts former UK labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for failing to call Hamas a terrorist group during fiery interview

          File under when neocon ideology becomes a religion, determines reality/fact/s, and anyone not adhering to the out of whole cloth dogma is a heretic … best bit is all these mobs back in the day proselytized to the unwashed about totalitarianism of the state and the need to diminish its powers lest personal freedoms and liberties would be taken away ….

          Watching this stuff fold in on itself is – absurd too watch~~~~~

          1. ambrit

            What I want to know is, are there either no dissenting voices available, or those that do exist are buried under a mountain of silence?
            Really, why doesn’t someone just tell this Morgan fellow to bugger off? The brave ones told Joe McCarthy where to get off. Have we run out of brave people?

            1. The Rev Kev

              @ ambrit Here is a quote that may explain what is going on more-

              ‘This elite-generated social control maintains the status quo because the status quo benefits and validates those who created and sit atop it. People rise to prominence when they parrot the orthodoxy rather than critically analyze it. Intellectual regurgitation is prized over independent thought. Voices of the dispossessed, different, and un(formally)educated are neglected regardless of their morality, import, and validity.

              Real change in politics or society cannot occur under the orthodoxy because if it did, it would threaten the legitimacy of the professional class and all of the systems that helped them achieve their status…

              Even Alan Greenspan admits that neoclassical economics has flaws in theory and practice, yet it continues to be the dominant model at universities and in society. The faulty belief in the uber-rational, self-interested homo economicus probably persists mainly because it is a projection of the people who inhabit the privileged class.

              Corporate externalization of costs are absorbed by society and forgotten when heralding the successes of industrialists and capitalists. Resource extraction and environmental degradation, which are part and parcel of production, consumption, and consequently, economic growth, are downplayed or ignored.’

              Kristine Mattis, “The Cult of the Professional Class”

      2. edgui

        The same in Colombia. Dissenting voices are virtually nonexistent. If you’re lucky, the closest you’ll find to decent journalism is a debate between a political advisor from the Palestinian embassy and a diplomat from Israel. Frankly pathetic.

    1. Alice X

      It is essential to be there. I recently visited an old friend far away who was in the checkout line. It was not easy but it was important.

    2. tegnost

      and 25 years likely means a friend of the blog, so we diminish by one as well
      a fond farewell, if such it turns out to be, to a fellow traveler

  3. Randall Flagg

    Yves, echoing a previous post,
    my sympathies to your friend, and you.
    I hope I speak for all when I say that when your dear friends are in the situation they are, it’s perfectly fine to say you’re taking a day off. We’ll understand.
    Best wishes always.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Agreed here. You like to think that there will always be time to say a proper goodbye when the time comes but it happens that sometimes a person is gone before you even know that they are even sick. It’s not fair but there it is. My sympathies for your ill friend and of course for yourself.

  4. digi_owl

    Careful about that Swedish school system article.

    The free here is not about price. It is about schools run by private groups, independent of the national school system.

    Ironically the minister making the statement is apparently from the same party that introduced the system in the first place.

    I guess the proper English term would be charter school (or at least that is what Wikipedia lumps them under).

    1. Trees&Trunks

      The minister talking has also profited from private schools personally. In Sweden the private schools are financed by the government through “school vouchers”. It is again private welfare queens parading as entrepreneurs.–till-statsministerniva/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=wapp

  5. Aurelien

    Deepest sympathy Yves.
    As regards Gaza and the ICC, the lawyers obviously know that the Court investigates individuals only, not states, in areas over which it has jurisdiction. Outside actors, other than states parties and the UN Security Council have no standing, and since the ICC has been investigating in Gaza since 2021 anyway, this is essentially a publicity stunt.

    1. Trees&Trunks

      It seems as if the only institutions in the West that does real politics are those whose purpose is to transfer political power and wealth from the public to private owners. All other institutions are just engaged in symbol politics. Insane…

      1. JBird4049

        Exactly. The political parties and their associated organizations use symbolic language or propaganda to hide that they mostly grift operations that give money to the wealthy, the connected, think tanks, NGOs, pseudo-charities, and so on. I would add the various religious organizations as well. It does not change across the spectrum with the slight exception of the most extreme of the left and right as that is where those people with actual beliefs beyond money go.

  6. .Tom

    Yesterday we watched a clip on Jimmy Dore’s youtube in which Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to say:

    Hitler didn’t exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews, and Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they will all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he asked. He said, ‘Burn them.’

    I don’t know when BN said that or if he says it often. But we were both shocked that an Israeli leader is saying that Hitler wasn’t so bad, it was the Palestinian leader that made him kill the Jews.

    1. Sibiriak

      The clip is on YouTube:

      Oct. 21, 2015

      Netanyahu: Hitler Didn’t Want to Exterminate the Jews –

      Prime minister tells World Zionist Congress that Hitler only wanted to expel the Jews, but Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti convinced him to exterminate them, a claim that was rejected by most accepted Holocaust scholars.

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Tom.

      Last week and week-end, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle, fronted by four ex BBC goyim* on behalf of neo cons and neo liberals after buying it from bankruptcy from the group that owns august publications like Asian Babes, Men Only and Readers’ Wives and trash like the Express, Mirror and People, said similar. *Including John Ware of the hatchet jobs on Corbyn.

      One claim was that the IDF had found copies of Mein Kampf on Palestinian children. What sort of “racaille” demonises children? I see the French version such “racaille” are busy rehabilitating the Le Pen family businesses.

      1. vao

        I thought you were joking when referring to “Asian Babes”, “Men Only” and “Readers’ Wives” — in fact I thought you were making puns on more respectable titles (such as “Men’s Health”).

        I checked.

        These magazines do exist.

    3. zagonostra

      There is no written record of Hitler saying any such thing. David Irving did meticulous research, his findings indicated that there were no written documents showing Hitler ordered the gassing of Jews, which is not to say that he didn’t, I’m just saying there is no written record.

      1. Roger

        Irving’s reputation was utterly destroyed by his later open Holocaust denial, the film version of his utter failure in the libel case (called “Denial”) is very informative; the court ruling was that in fact he was a Holocaust denier and that his books distorted history to show Hitler in a positive light. Irving is certainly not a reliable source on such things.

      2. lambert strether

        Saying David Irving did meticulous research is like saying Michael Milken papered his deals. GTFO, this is parody.

    4. Feral Finster

      Let us pretend that Hitler had no intention to harm a single Jew before Haj Amin al-Husseini put it in his suggestible little head. Let us pretend that Hitler also didn’t write Mein Kampf.

      Does that mean that all Palestinians (who we also are duly assured are not a “people”) are responsible for al-Husseini’s crime? Did they elect him somehow and give him plenary power?

      More to the point, is this not a blood libel? Sure sounds like “Jews deserve to be victims because their ancestors killed Jesus!

        1. Polar Socialist

          But what about all those Christian Palestinians and those old churches of theirs? You know, the ones that were probably the first “reformed Jews” around 30 CE and all that…

          They survived the Romans, they survived the Caliphate, they survived the Ottomans but they may not survive the Baptist backed Zionists.

          1. caucus99percenter

            Now I want to see the Dan Brown Da Vinci Code sequel where Mossad, minions of Zionism, go after the Priory of Sion in a bid to wipe out Jesus’ last surviving descendants.

  7. Milton

    A door at an American library was accidentally left open — hundreds of homeless came in and warmed themselves overnight. Not a single book was opened.

      1. Wukchumni

        In lieu of no dead tree newspapers to speak of these days and most cardboard being recycled, how would a homeless person go about setting a warming fire with say a bunch of wood pallets you purloined from the place under the 10 Freeway nearby, they’ll never miss em’

        …kindling comes with every book

    1. Carolinian

      LOL. Or they came in and couldn’t find any books (a few years from now). My library still buys books but they are regarded as disposable products to be removed of after anyone initially interested has checked them out. The shelves are thinning.

      1. Louis Fyne

        don’t get me started on the contemporary quality of book bindings!

        Kids books are the worst. Even children books are no longer made in the USA and designed to last the absolute bare minimum as required by the majority in focus group surveys.

        1. JBird4049

          I have noticed that even new hardcovers from university presses are becoming, not quite garbage, but cheap with glue predominating although they do have better quality glue than the paperbacks. Of course, the prices certainly have not gone down. What does it say when trade paperbacks and mass produced paperbacks of twenty or thirty years ago are of much better quality than current hardcovers? Even some of my cheap, mass produced, paperbacks of the 1960s are better aside from the tendency to self destruct with their highly acidic paper.

          There are exception of course, but I am finding that books that are even ten years old are much better quality. However, the inflection point seems to be about 2005 when print to order books started appearing.

    2. IMOR

      Really? I used to share tables in the periodicals sections at the Madison LoC building and S.F. public library main branch with a ton of homeless people, and there was plenty of reading going on.

      1. Objective Ace

        Sure its hyperbole, but the heading did note that there were hundreds more people who entered then there were books taken out. I dont think it’s too speculative to conclude some homeless simply wanted to warm themselves up. Nothing wrong with that either, admitting it might even persuade the city to offer such resources for dual use purposes in the future

        1. .Tom

          Warm up, use a decent bathroom, rest and sleep somewhere more comfy and safe than outdoors, use the internet, charge a phone, talk … all sorts of things might be higher priority than exploring the available literature.

  8. Sibiriak

    Many were aghast that Johnson used his first speech as speaker to thank God and to say that he believes that God has a plan for him. That is a view shared by millions of religious Americans and it is not the first time that a politician has made such public expressions of devotion. Bill Clinton used to invoke God and salvation continually as he set physical records for debauchery. –Jonathan Turley

    And let’s not forget Hillary Clinton’s wonderful religiosity:

    Hillary’s Prayer: Hillary Clinton’s Religion and Politics (Mother Jones, 2007)

    […] When Clinton first came to Washington in 1993, one of her first steps was to join a Bible study group. For the next eight years, she regularly met with a Christian “cell” whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat.

    Clinton’s prayer group was part of the Fellowship (or “the Family”), a network of sex-segregated cells of political, business, and military leaders dedicated to “spiritual war” on behalf of Christ, many of them recruited at the Fellowship’s only public event, the annual National Prayer Breakfast. (Aside from the breakfast, the group has “made a fetish of being invisible,” former Republican Senator William Armstrong has said.) The Fellowship believes that the elite win power by the will of God, who uses them for his purposes. Its mission is to help the powerful understand their role in God’s plan.

    […]The Fellowship’s ideas are essentially a blend of Calvinism and Norman Vincent Peale, the 1960s preacher of positive thinking. It’s a cheery faith in the “elect” chosen by a single voter—God—and a devotion to Romans 13:1: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers….The powers that be are ordained of God.” Or, as [Fellowship leader Doug Coe] has put it, “we work with power where we can, build new power where we can’t.”

    […]Coe’s friends include former Attorney General John Ashcroft, Reaganite Edwin Meese III, and ultraconservative Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). Under Coe’s guidance, Meese has hosted weekly prayer breakfasts for politicians, businesspeople, and diplomats, and Pitts rose from obscurity to head the House Values Action Team, an off-the-record network of religious right groups and members of Congress created by Tom DeLay. The corresponding Senate Values Action Team is guided by another Coe protégé, Brownback, who also claims to have recruited King Abdullah of Jordan into a regular study of Jesus’ teachings.
    * * * * *
    The Fellowship’s long-term goal is “a leadership led by God—leaders of all levels of society who direct projects as they are led by the spirit.” According to the Fellowship’s archives, the spirit has in the past led its members in Congress to increase U.S. support for the Duvalier regime in Haiti and the Park dictatorship in South Korea. The Fellowship’s God-led men have also included General Suharto of Indonesia; Honduran general and death squad organizer Gustavo Alvarez Martinez; a Deutsche Bank official disgraced by financial ties to Hitler; and dictator Siad Barre of Somalia, plus a list of other generals and dictators. Clinton, says Schenck, has become a regular visitor to Coe’s Arlington, Virginia, headquarters, a former convent where Coe provides members of Congress with sex-segregated housing and spiritual guidance.

    […]Throughout her time at the White House, Clinton writes in Living History, she took solace from “daily scriptures” sent to her by her Fellowship prayer cell, along with Coe’s assurances that she was right where God wanted her. (Clinton’s sense of divine guidance has been noted by others: Bishop Richard Wilke, who presided over the United Methodist Church of Arkansas during her years in Little Rock, told us, “If I asked Hillary, ‘What does the Lord want you to do?’ she would say, ‘I think I’m called by the Lord to be in public service at whatever level he wants me.’”)

    1. Wukchumni

      Well, speaking as a Christian, I would like to say that I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale appalling. ~Adlai Stevenson

      Opening sentence of remarks to a Baptist convention in Texas during 1952 Presidential campaign. In his introduction the host had said that Stevenson had been asked to speak “just as a courtesy, because Dr. Norman Vincent Peale has already instructed us to vote for your opponent.”

      1. marym

        Someone should send this link to Turley as a reminder that some who are likely to be aghast at Johnson were aghast at Clinton too. Whether Johnson is any more “honest” than HRC or her ilk remains to be seen.

        1. Carolinian

          Hillary is religious because it’s the source of her perceived Divine Right. Thus her onetime opponent Trump is the Devil.

          As for the new speaker, as we are seeing from recent events some religions are more equal than others depending on the predilections of the advocates. I believe the correct answer to this question is that in the US you are allowed to believe what you want and also required to keep it separate from the state. Turley is wearing his Fox News hat.

          1. undercurrent

            Whenever the Most Reverend Turley is forgiving republicans, he always wears a very correct, yet entirely fashionable, white mitre that fits his head smartly. When retaining democratic sins, as is his wont, he always looks splendidly pious in a daring dark red mitre that seems to altogether sit atop his crown like a burning bush.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Wouldn’t hurt to also send that link to Jeff Sharlet who, since writing about the fundamentalists has become obsessed with the hard right to the point where he no longer seems capable of recognizing the same behavior when it’s coming from neoliberals.

        1. pjay

          Yes. I read Sharlet’s book, The Family (2008) and articles like this when they came out. I thought his work was pretty good at the time, showing how such organizations provide ideological cover for elite networking (certainly Hillary’s main interest). Fast forward to a year ago when I happened on the recent Netflix “documentary” series with the same title. After a few boring episodes featuring what seems to be some clean-cut Christian fraternity bros, they begin to get into the meat of the story. Now I find The Family has become a secretive neo-fascist global cabal whose central character, if not mastermind, is – wait for it – Donald Trump! Oh, and Trump’s partner, who is also a central player in this world-wide clandestine conspriacy of right-wingers, is – wait for it – Vladimir Putin! This is asserted with what I could see as no real evidence whatsoever.

          Another one bites the Trump derangement dust.

            1. Mark Gisleson

              Same issues as PZ Myers at Pharyngula. Apparently college campuses are pretty toxic right now, with some kind of noxious group think going on. My speculation is that the on campus enforcers must be truly ferocious given how little deviation there is in the talking points. Most def TDS.

        2. marym

          That’s too bad. It’s so discouraging when someone with an insightful critique turns to just demonizing the “other” side.

    2. Feral Finster

      Clinton invoked God more frequently than did Dubya, and Dubya was considered the latter day high water mark of evangelical Protestantism.

      But nobody paid to Clinton because everyone knew that he didn’t believe a word of it, just a crumb tossed to the rubes, sort of like when the fat boy made noises about Sister Souljah or school uniforms or suchlike.

  9. Insouciant Iowan

    “Is this punishment on Gaza’s civilian population, prompted by desire for vengeance? Or is it an outpouring of eschatological rage and determination? No one can say.”

    I wonder if Crooke is working altogether too hard to explain what has been transparently obvious for many years: Zionists want to purge the area from the river to the sea of Palestinians and any others who stand between them and its absolute control and the establishment of a Jewish-only state.
    Hamas’ 10/7 raid gave them cover to move that project along. Should their current murderous effort in Gaza–and less prominently in the West Bank–provoke other parties, e.g., Hezbollah, to join the fray, Zionists count on the US to intervene more directly on their behalf. They get huge servings of vengeance as a bonus. Eschatological rage? Please!

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Besides the behavior, the maximalist language and shifting goal posts (right of Israel changed to Jewish state to exist) was part of the narrative going to Netanyahu’s first tenure. There is nothing surprising about Israeli behavior unless you were ignoring it. They are taking the opportunity presented by the US Air shield and Biden to push for maximalist goals of the settlers. The demolition and seizure of Palestinian homes was horrific.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Israel just seems to keep doubling down. Just a few weeks ago when the story about the explosion at the hospital broke, it was actually still controversial to suggest Israel might have done it. No more. Israel is quite open about targeting hospitals now, because they’re being used as human shields by Hamas apparently. Ambulances, refugee camps: same thing.

    2. Carolinian

      Might want to re-read.

      This is the ‘Elephant’. And on its clarification hangs the issue of whether the U.S. too will be tainted by a crime. On this clarification, hangs whether some sustained diplomatic accommodation can be found, or not (if Israel is indeed returning to Biblical, eschatological root-justification).

      The Greater Israel problem is what he is talking about and the US knee jerk support for such madness. Of course if Israel ever did extend from the Euphrates to the Nile you wonder where they would find the people to fill it.

      So there is a great deal of self deception going on in Israel to join the other kind and perhaps the whole thing is about keeping Bibi out of jail. The plan is that there is no plan on all sides and DC and our “thought leaders” are stuck to the tar baby.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Gaza is currently an area of refugees surrounded by a larger nation who political leadership has been hostile for decades.

      If the Likud types get their wish and remove all Palestinians from inside of Israel, has it not occurred to them that then Israel itself would be the comparatively small region filled with refugees surrounded by larger, and now likely extremely hostile nations? And that’s just for starters, considering that the global majority is opposed to Israeli actions.

    4. Feral Finster

      Of course. If 10/7 had never happened, the architects of the project would have had to wait for or create something else.

      I am not now, nor have I ever been a “9/11 Truther” or similar, but 9/11 was hella convenient. On 9/10, anything like the so-called “Patriot Act” would have been a non-starter. Biden had proposed something similar in the 1990s and his proposal sank like a stone.

      On 9/12, Americans could surrender their civil liberties quickly enough.

  10. The Rev Kev

    ‘Middle East Eye
    “We may need to take strong measures, possibly even expelling some UN agencies and top officials”
    Israeli UN ambassador Gilad Erdan, speaking to Channel 14, called for the expulsion of UN agencies from Palestine.’

    And while Gilad Erdan was saying this, the UN observed a minute’s silence today, lowering flags worldwide for the 101 UN staff killed in Gaza. No other conflict has killed as many UN employees- (2:49 mins)

    Funny thing about that Al Jazeera video link. Immediately below it is a warning that ‘Al Jazeera is funded in whole or in part by the Qatari government.’ with a helpful Wikipedia link. So if there is ever a BBC video link, do they also contain the disclaimer that ‘The BBC is funded in whole or in part by the British government’?

    1. .Tom

      I thought the BBC was funded by license fees and is nominally independent of government. (The BBC World Service is a different.) But what does it matter? The New York Times is nominally independent of the US federal government but behaves like state media anyway. The Guardian, … etc. I think the interesting thing is how uniformity of narrative is accomplished despite funding independence.

      1. Feral Finster

        This is an old game, sort of like how Sheriff Buford was The Law In Dis Heah County when it came to arresting civil rights protesters on any pretext, but just a private citizen exercising his constitutional rights when it came to organizing the local KKK chapter.

    2. Bill Malcolm

      The annual individual licence fee for owning a TV set in Blighty is over 150 quid, amounting to over 3.5 billion a year for the BBC. It was 25 quid in real money in 1972 when as a grad student from Canada I bought a colour TV. Never heard of, you know, paying to own a darn TV before. Sure enough, a few weeks later, two blokes turned up at the flat’s door and proceeded to read me the riot act. They had vans with antennas that could somehow tell if a TV was switched on. And lists of licence payers and their addresses. Had to pay up or they were intent on taking my telly until I did — 25 quid was a trypical weekly wage then. What a ripoff.

      So unless you know something I don’t, the BBC is funded by TV set owners in Blighty, together sales of programs, etc.

      1. urdsama

        Not to nitpick, but it is the British government that enforces this fee.

        So yes, the British government is funding the BBC as no sane person would volunteer to pay this tax.

  11. Wukchumni

    Been an interesting fortnight as far as Illionaires making incursions into Tiny Town with Zuckerberg here a few weeks ago, and my wife saw a Tesla Cybertruck the other day on Hwy 198.

      1. Wukchumni

        There were precious metals in Mineral King, but they couldn’t separate them out from zinc & lead in the 1870’s & 1880’s, which was then referred to as ‘rebellious ore’ and unsaleable on the market, but since then with modern metallurgy practices it could be done pretty easily, and my friend the park archaeologist told me that she had an assay done on an old ore sample, and it would make financial sense to mine the area now, and why not also get Disney back in the game-as they own around 30 acres in Mineral King they bought in 1963-64 using as many as 4 shadow buyers, with the pesky problem that under current laws being in a National Park, none of it can be developed, but then rules were made to be broken, weren’t they?

    1. griffen

      I’ve seen a Rivian electric truck on a few occasions recently here in the eastern US, the last one was hauling two bicycles ( I could not investigate if the bicycles held in the truck bed were also electric…heh heh…). I would anticipate seeing the Tesla offering somewhere along I-85 in the coming months.

      I was going to pen a tune in tribute to the Cybertruck, but unfortunately some of the best words that rhyme to “truck” are not suited for a family blog. ( \Sarc ) “You’ve been…Cybertrucked…ahhh, ahhhh, Thunderstruck !”

  12. Jabura Basaidai

    Yves, so sorry for your loss – i’m at that age too where friends pass over with regularity – reminds me of the response Keanu Reeves gave to Colbert when asked what he thought happens when we die – taking a moment to consider the question, Reeves simply replied, “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.” – easy to understand you miss your friend –

  13. CanCyn

    Re COVID and the heart and COVID testing
    A friend of a friend of a friend kind situation but I know of a 51 yr old with no history of cardiac disiease who recently had a stroke. First thing I asked about was whether or not she’s had COVID. Unknown and person questioned was puzzled about why I would ask. Thanks for the National Geographic article, a nice simple one to share.

    Lots of people with ‘the worst cold I’ve ever had’ saying it is not COVID because they tested negative. I suppose it is a good thing that at least they’re testing??

    Last, I have an acquaintance who has noticed that people in her circle getting COVID are all first timers. This confirms to her that prior infection provides immunity. Sigh. She was one of four of a group and went unmasked at a recent indoor gathering, we other three being the only ones masked at the event.

  14. ChrisFromGA

    Re: Ukraine

    CIA spook Burns is supposedly visiting Kiev today. Thanksgiving week would be the perfect time to throw Zelensky under the bus – with everyone distracted by Hamas/Israel war and the holiday.

    Congress will also duck out of town after passing Johnson’s clean CR with no $$ for Z by this Friday.
    A pretty stunning fall, from the Churchill of the 21st century to … “we never knew the guy.”

    Simplicius is out with a new piece describing the Ukrainian “Game of Thrones” better than that short summary:

  15. ProNewerDeal

    Any informed prediction on the future of Covid? I believe the health advice expressed here at NC and by many other earnest health professionals, of wearing a N95-type mask in public indoor settings, especially riskier settings like schools/hospitals/airplanes/subways/etc, is valid for all persons, even very healthy and fit 25-35 year old adults, IN ADDITION to the use of any other actions like NPIs of taking Vitamins like Vitamin D (and I?) and getting the Novavax vaccine – per the multi-factor “Swiss Cheese” Harm Reduction approach. Such indoor masking can reduce Covid infection(s), and subsequent risk of long-term morbidity risk, including Long Covid and T-Cell permanent reudction.

    I also assume it is unlikely in the next 5 years for a future dominant Covid variant to become “common cold”-like and NOT have long-term morbidity risk. If I understand correctly virus evolution could possibly tend to more (like MERS) or less (like common cold) harmful than the current dominant Covid variant on morbidity risk, and it is anti-scientific to rely/hope on Covid “naturally evolving” to common cold-like with no long-term morbidity risk.

    Any estimate on when this indoor mask status quo will persist? Could it persist for 5+ years or even decades? Could the in-R&D nasal vaccine be sterilizing?

    BigCapital always cries about Uncertainty. But afaict this is huge individual/family Uncertainty.

    Afaict occupation selection (given “see your smile” anti-mask customers), romantic partner selection, traditional school vs home school decisions are possibly impacted by this Indoor Mask Uncertainty.

    What do ya think?! (c) Ed Schultz

  16. i just don't like the gravy

    I know NC is your job but don’t apologize for focusing your heart and mind on a friend in need.

    The only thing this species has left is our capacity for love and compassion.

    1. Joe Renter

      I also would like to add my sympathy to you Yves. It’s difficult when when it comes so suddenly and you, I believe are overseas these days. In my life view, will cross paths again in the future. Take care

  17. The Rev Kev


    I think that Seymour Hersh is just trying to play nice with his informants when he comes out with stuff like this as he does not want to be cut off from them. For the Gazans, it is not the Alamo – it is Rorke’s Drift! Hamas does not have to win this battle. They only have to survive. That and inflicting heavy losses on the IDF which they appear to be doing. Israel on the other hand has boxed themselves in strategically in that a stalemate for them would be a massive defeat and so have committed themselves to a total victory and Netanyahu has said this out loud. But Israeli doctrine is all about short and sharp wars where they bomb the crap out of their opponents – as well as the civilians – and then calling for a truce while they go to the US for a resupply of ammo. That is not possible here. Like in Lebanon in the 90s they have committed themselves to a war with an open ended deadline and it did not end well for them in Lebanon. Being there so long taught Hezbollah how to fight them. But for Israel the clock is ticking as they are being isolated strategically by more and more countries and the Arab countries are slowly coming together as a block in response to the Gaza onslaught. Add to that the low-level warfare on the Lebanese border while their economy starts to go down the gurgler and I am not sure Israel knows how to get out of this mess.

    1. TimH

      Israeli Army Loses 88 Armoured Vehicles in Five Days of Combat – Satellite Images Indicate Military Watch

      …doesn’t match:

      HAMAS’S ALAMO Seymour Hersh (David L)

      Hamas has told former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges, then in Cairo, as he wrote in a recent Substack column, that its military win had destroyed more than 160 Israeli vehicle targets in Gaza in recent days, including twenty-seven tanks. Hamas officials also told Hedges that they had ambushed Israeli ground troops near the Al-Shifa Hospital. I was unable to confirm either of those statements.

      The Israeli insider, who is a combat veteran, scoffed at the reports, telling me that only forty-one Israeli soldiers had been killed since the offensive began. He acknowledged that one Israeli tank had been put out of action by a Hamas fighter but noted there had been a lack of hand-to-hand combat. “Israel has been surprised at how little fighting the Hamas soldiers put up,” he said.

      I realise than Armoured Vehicles /= Tanks, but 88 AVs being knocked out surely suggests hand-to-hand combat?

      1. vao

        One should be very cautious about loss statistics derived from imagery. During the Ukraine war, they proved to have quite a large confidence interval.

      2. juno mas

        MY understanding is that there are no IDF infantry on the ground. Combat is mostly from vehicles. No surprise that hand-to-hand combat is limited. If the UKR/Russia hand-to hand combat videos are examples of close-in fighting then the carnage will be high.

    2. Not Qualified to Comment

      Rather than the Alamo, or even Rorke’s Drift, I’d say that for Hamas this is Thermopylae. Like the Spartans there Hamas is hugely outnumbered and will probably lose the battle – but in losing it ‘heroically’ they will spark and galvanise a resistance and response to the Israelis that might well, as was the case with the Persian’s, bring about their downfall.

      Of course whether the non-Hamas Gazan women and children, and quite a lot of the Gazan menfolk, will appreciate the outcome of their involuntary sacrifices is another matter.

  18. Wukchumni

    Having declared a waratorium in February of 2022, I really tried to avoid goings on for I knew i’d just get lost in the fog of war, which is to say its all a big lie on both sides as festivities are in play.

    Just desserts in the desert is another honesty quagmire served stridently, with a dollop of reality occasionally to spice things up.

  19. Jason Boxman

    My highest triglycerides level ever, I mostly ate only carbs. Definitely don’t do that! Losing weight and a better diet work wonders.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Israel Lobby’s Disastrous Domination”

    You just know that there is going to be serious blowback on the Israeli occupation of Congress. Having too much control is a weakness in itself – which I think that Sun Tzu mentioned – and I will give an example which I call the Hasbara Effect. Most people are familiar with how Israel pays people to go online and police comments criticizing Israel or trying to justify Israel’s actions or just plain up and lie. But therein lies the danger. So you might have some guy from Israel talk about his viewpoint of the current situation but then it happens. People right away question if this is a genuine person giving forth their own ideas or whether it is a Hasbara agent as part of a propaganda campaign. So what that means is that genuine Israeli voices are downgraded due to the suspicion if they are real or not. They are met with mistrust and skepticism right from the get go. And that is what I call the Hasbara Effect.

  21. Carolinian

    Re highway 10 in LA–Atlanta had a similar fire some years back and the article says these storage lots under freeways are common. Common and a really bad idea?

  22. Carolinian

    Self checkout article–We Yanks of course have never heard of Booths but the article says Walmart is also dialing back the self check at some stores. This factoid may explain why.

    In 2016, a study of retailers in the United States, Britain and other European countries found that retailers with self-service lanes and apps had a loss rate of about 4 percent, more than double the industry average, with researchers saying self-checkout lanes tempted shoppers to act in ways they normally would not and made theft less detectable.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I have wondered for a while with all the hair on fire reporting about retail theft if the self-checkouts would ever come under scrutiny. I’d be curious if anyone has dug deeper into that 4% loss. Based on nothing more than my time as a cashier in a grocery store, I’ve felt more product walks out the door via honest self-checkout mistakes than actual grabbing stuff off the shelves, let alone people intentionally “forgetting” to ring an item or two up. Of course, that won’t be the lesson learned and more invasive measures like bag checkers and RFID will be used.

      Incidentally, I once returned to a Meijer store and attempted to pay for some things I’d honestly forgotten to ring up. It turned into an hour plus ordeal that made me wish I’d just considered the items compensation for doing the job of cashier without pay and forgotten about them.

    2. NYMutza

      I recall reading an article not too long ago about how some major retailers were incorporating AI into the cameras that monitor self-checkout lanes. The AI looks for odd behaviors that may indicate that attempts at theft may be taking place. The AI cameras send notification to store employees who then go to inspect the shopper’s cart. I recall that Target and Walmart were two of the retailers deploying this technology.

  23. Wukchumni

    Xi agrees to clean up his own mess! Biden and Chinese president are set to announce deal to limit fentanyl supply at APEC in San Francisco – after deadly opioid flooded US and crippled the city Daily Mail
    In lieu of going ‘Poortemkin Village’ on Frisco in hiding away the homeless from potential view, why not show Xi what fentanyl has done, not that he hasn’t seen videos of our situation, but it takes on a whole different set of urgency when in the midst of the milieu.

  24. upstater

    The Grey Lady (aka PMC Pravda) weighs in on the horrendously crapified “system” of elder care in the US. long on description, naturally short on causes and solutions:

    Facing Financial Ruin as Costs Soar for Elder Care (2 other articles there)

    The prospect of dying broke looms as an imminent threat for the boomer generation, which vastly expanded the middle class and looked hopefully toward a comfortable retirement on the backbone of 401(k)s and pensions. Roughly 10,000 of them will turn 65 every day until 2030, expecting to live into their 80s and 90s as the price tag for long-term care explodes, outpacing inflation and reaching a half-trillion dollars a year, according to federal researchers.

    Let’s cut to the crash… DoD and the security state are at least $1.2T, interest of the debt is now $659B. Healthcare sucks 18% of GDP with a huge share to Pharma, corporate parasites such as PE managers, device, equipment and consumables yet delivers crap outcomes. We could obviously afford quality elder care and so much more. But our elected officials choose not to…

    An uncle in Eastern Ontario had dementia and was physically disabled and was in a memory care facility for 7 years. My aunt sings praise about his care (he had a great pension so out of pocket was $3K/mo, the rest covered). Aunt was active in her church, visiting many in care homes and both her parents had long term care. All of her experiences were positive. Unfortunately most of my visits to Medicaid places in NY, MA, LA have been negative, but self pay > $10K/month were not as bad.

  25. Jason Boxman

    Start-Ups With Laser Beams: The Companies Trying to Ignite Fusion Energy (NY Times via

    Take a smidgen of hydrogen, then blast it with lasers to set off a small thermonuclear explosion. Do it right, and maybe you can solve the world’s energy needs.
    A small group of start-ups have embarked on this quest, pursuing their own variations on this theme — different lasers, different techniques to set off the fusion reactions, different elements to fuse together.

    Occasionally the times brings out the fusion or small nuclear reactor hopium. (Both this week in fact.)

  26. Lexx

    Well, Yves, I don’t know you or your friend, but ’25+ years’ is nothing to sneeze at. Bragging rights about ‘long-term’ relationships these days start at far smaller numbers. I’ve laughed out loud at half a TV couple saying with dismay, ‘We’ve been married for 8 years, Bob/Janet/Whatsyourface!!!’ Like at that point they should have some perfect understanding of each other, in their knowing and being known somehow in the miles they’d walked together so far… delivered by actors for whom rehearsal time is frequently cut from the budget.

    In real life 25+ years is evidence of a shared commitment. Few people without legal ties exchange that level of trust, or continued interest and curiosity about where life’s road may lead them… and there’s the emotional shorthand that develops over time for sharing those experiences, in the knowing and being known. I could be wrong but I think we call that ‘love’. From an imperfect understanding of that loss, you have my sympathies.

  27. Wukchumni

    I’m dreaming of a white phosphorus Hanukkah
    Just like the ones we used in Fallujah
    Where the treetops all go missing
    And children glisten
    To hear slay yells as they glow

    I’m dreaming of a white phosphorus Hanukkah
    With every Hanukkah card I write
    May your days be merry and bright
    And may all your Hanukkahs be white

    I’m dreaming of a white phosphorus Hanukkah
    Just like the ones we used in Fallujah
    Where the treetops all go missing
    And children glisten
    To hear slay yells as they glow

    I’m dreaming of a white phosphorus Hanukkah
    With every Hanukkah card I write
    May your days be merry and bright
    And may all your Hanukkahs be white

  28. LeftistLawyer

    Re: the Derek Powazek post:

    To: Yves, Lambert, et al.


    I love you guys and I love this blog. You’re the best.


  29. john smith


    “Treatments to address a non-issue. The total cholesterol level in
    women correlated with the lowest level of all factor mortality is 270.”

    Non-issue, it’s easy to get cholesterol low with diet. Not sure about
    the rest of your comment. There is lots of contentious research in
    this field. It’s painfully easy to pick your desired conclusion and
    then find research to support it. Here’s the first search result
    showing ideal cholesterol for women of 160 – 199 ages 35-44.
    By design it’s hard to easily filter signal from noise.

      1. john smith


        Thanks for your reply.

        “The charts tell a different story”: I disagree. Figure 3 for 35-44 yr
        old females is clear that under 200 is better. Averaging out all
        cohorts then sure. It’s also odd that the hazard ratio seldom
        dips below 1; some adjustments are going on.

        There seems to be a follow up paper, by some of the same authors,
        about cardiovascular risk, but that’s a different topic I suppose.

        “The authors declare no competing interests.” This seems to be the
        hardest thing for a layman parse as some researchers choose not to
        disclose. Similar to “anonymous sources say” in the mainstream press.

        Thanks for your link. It’s certainly interesting. Confirms my hypothesis that:
        It’s painfully easy to pick your desired conclusion and then find research to support it.

    1. Bsn

      Yes, nation under blackmail. Get out of line and “they” come for you with a vengance. With so much surveillance and people’s willingness to carry a tracking device (that they actually pay for!!??) if someone thinks you’ve gotten out of line, it’s easy to destroy you. Right wing, left wing, Palestinian, Israeli, white, black, Native, woman, man………. just move along nothing to see here. Often, I hope that our systems collapse and we can start anew. Easy for me to say since I’ve had my fun if I don’t get well no more

      Check out this great interview on Techtonic regarding this book – Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech
      The interview: (apx. 1 hr.)

      The comment that struck me was that since the advent of rapidly “improving” tech, from steam engines on, with promises of this will save us time, sweat and toil, we are actually working more than in the days pre- hi tech. Included with these “developments” is our loss of privacy and ability to act or speak out.

      Some will say, but we can go to the Moon, we can talk with people across the globe. I call BS.

      The things that really matter are loved ones such as Yves’ friend in difficulty. Re-focus off of shiny objects like cell phones and return to caring for each other. Best to you Yves in these difficult times. We all appreciate your work via NC.

  30. Big River Bandido

    Yves, I’m very sorry to hear about your friend. I think we are all experiencing this more and more lately.

    The bare bones of the situation sound a lot like anecdotal incidents I’ve been hearing about, where someone goes to the doctor and comes out blindsided by a surprise diagnosis of Stage 4 _____ cancer, with only a month to live. This happened both to my partner’s aunt, and to the host at a local restaurant we visit often. I can’t recall exactly, but both cases may have been pancreatic cancer which metastasizes very quickly. If you know and it’s not too painful to share, I’d be curious to know if these anecdotes are…well, more than just anecdotes, but signifying a real pattern. And if so, I wonder if it’s Covid itself that has caused these cancers…or the “Covid vaccines”. Or something else…

  31. oldman

    I wonder if RATs for earlier variants work at all for current variants.?

    I can confirm, (sadly) they work at least some of the time ! Yuck!

  32. ambrit

    Sorry to hear about your long time friend and his medical condition. Be there for him any way you can. Sometimes, hearing a familiar voice over the telephone can calm one down and help with the ordeal.
    Don’t internalize any of it. Be yourself and that will be enough for a real friend.


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