Links 11/16/2023

Elephants have names for each other, just like humans ZMEScience (Paul R)

The Male-Female Longevity Gap Widens Harvard Magazine. As I said, US is going the way of Russia, and for much the same reasons: extreme neoliberalism at work. Male life expectancy dropped by 4 years.

Global Decline In Male Fertility Linked To Common Pesticides NBC

Physicians scramble to employment: 5 numbers to know Becker Physician Leadership. More important than headline suggests. Trend = more crapification of US medical treatment.

Life scientists’ flight to biotech labs stalls important academic research STAT (Dr. Kevin)

The Dark Side of a Clinical Trial AAAS (Dr. Kevin)



Forest Pulse: The Latest on the World’s Forests Global Forest Review (guurst)

Planting Trillions of Trees Won’t Save the Planet. Here’s a Better Way The Messenger (David L)

Prices For Offshore Wind Power To Rise By 50% BBC

Colorado River in Crisis: A Los Angeles Times documentary Los Angeles Times (David L)


Xi and Biden at summit speak of conflict avoidance Asia Times (Kevin W)

Biden-Xi Meeting Delivers Small Wins and Promises of Better Ties Bloomberg

Do click through to read:

Or see: President Xi Jinping Meets with U.S. President Joe Biden Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

Readout of President Joe Biden’s Meeting with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China White House. Quite the aggressive tone, and the uncharacteristic length compared to normal readouts strikes me as defensive. See this in particular, in contrast with Xi’s long form argument that continued great power confrontation and competition would lead to bad ends:

President Biden emphasized that the United States and China are in competition, noting that the United States would continue to invest in the sources of American strength at home and align with allies and partners around the world. He stressed that the United States would always stand up for its interests, its values, and its allies and partners. He reiterated that the world expects the United States and China to manage competition responsibly to prevent it from veering into conflict, confrontation, or a new Cold War.

So much for normalizing relations:

China pouring billions into new memory chip production Asia Times (Kevin W)

Outline of recent/ongoing Chinese military sales to Russia is now clear. Jacob Dreizin

No good options for Myanmar’s mortally wounded regime Asia Times (Kevin W)

European Disunion

French court issues arrest warrant for Bashar al-Assad for complicity in war crimes Guardian (Kevin W). The sarin gas fabrication is baaack.

Old Blighty

Keir Starmer suffers major Labour rebellion over Gaza ceasefire vote BBC (Kevin W)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 40: Israeli forces storm Al-Shifa Hospital, strip-naked and arrest people inside Mondoweiss (guurst)

Israeli troops deepen search at main Gaza hospital for evidence of Hamas SwissInfo. BC flags:

The Israeli military made no mention of finding any tunnel entrances in Al Shifa. It previously said Hamas had built a network of tunnels under the hospital. Hamas has denied it and dismissed the latest army statements.

* * *

All telecoms services in Gaza to halt in coming hours — Russian envoy to UN TASS. Subhead: “‘There will be no telling what happens there at all,’ he said.”

Hamas bodycam video shows early moments of massacre and tunnels under Gaza CNN

* * *

US will take massive hit in global standing over Israel Responsible Statecraft. Not “will take” but “is taking”. See also: What exactly are US special forces doing in Israel?

Iran’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ against Israel faces trial by fire Reuters. Opening para:

Iran’s supreme leader delivered a clear message to the head of Hamas when they met in Tehran in early November, according to three senior officials: You gave us no warning of your Oct. 7 attack on Israel and we will not enter the war on your behalf.

Turkey’s Erdogan calls Israel a ‘terror state’, criticises the West Aljazeers (ma)

Canada’s Justin Trudeau tells Israel to end ‘killing of babies’ Aljazeera (ma)

* * *

What We Get Wrong About Israel and Gaza Nicholas Kristoff, New York Times (David L)

Crisis Update: Politicians In A Zionist Death March Moneycircus (Micael T)

The Question of Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism Charles Blow, New York Times (David L)

* * *

US Is Quietly Sending Israel More Ammunition, Missiles Bloomberg (ma)

* * *

CHAOS IN DC: Hundreds of ‘violent’ anti-Israel protesters ‘begging for ceasefire’ clash with Capitol cops outside DNC headquarters — 6 officers injured New York Post. Lead story. 150 protestors = “chaos”?

Hundreds of Metro Detroit Jews stranded at D.C. airport by ‘malicious’ bus drivers Detroit News (ma)

New Not-So-Cold War

Forbidden Russian oil flows into Pentagon supply chain Washington Post. From a couple of days ago, still germane.

The AIVD CEO who saw how Russia prepared for war with the West: ‘They are ruthless cynics’ NRC, via machine translation, original here. guurst: “BONKERS”

Don’t plan yet for Ukraine reconstruction Indian Punchline. Aside from the elephant in the room of the territorial issue, as we have pointed out, there will be no meaningful reconstruction of Western controlled areas. Private sector actors don’t do that, and all the schemes involve fantasies about that. There will be at most looting. But there’s way less to loot than in Russia in the 1990s. And the effort to strip mine Greece in 2015 resulted in just about nada save the Chinese getting the port of

EU set to slap Russia with new sanctions on diamonds, tighten oil price cap Politico (Kevin W)

Preying on children: Olena Zelenska foundation involved in child trafficking schemes The Intel Drop (Kevin W). Warning: treat with caution. However, as we know, Ukraine is fabulously corrupt and has long been a major sex trafficking center.

The Decisive Moment for Ukraine: A Conversation with Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Hudson (Kevin C)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

A New Battle Over Government Spying Intercept

Imperial Collapse Watch

Arming Ourselves Against The Future. Aurelien (Chuck L)

That Scannable Spotify Tattoo Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time Wall Street Journal (David L). A tattoo as the answer to extreme laziness?


Fulton County prosecutors ask for emergency seal of evidence after video leak in election subversion case CNN (furzy)


N.H. sets presidential primary date for Jan. 23, defying Biden’s new primary order NBC (furzy)

Budget Showdown

Senate passes Johnson bill to fund government, averting shutdown threat The Hill

GOP Clown Car

Mike Johnson’s Shady Finances Are Already Coming Back to Bite Him Daily Beast (ma)


A Satanic Abortion Clinic Named After The Mother Of Supreme Court Justice Alito Is Open in New Mexico The Messenger. ma:

I don’t know what New Mexico’s abortion laws are, but if this church declared abortion to be a sacrament, could they perform them in any state, regardless the laws of the state? Hmmm.

Our No Longer Free Press

Lawmakers Question Apple Over Cancellation of Jon Stewart’s Show Engadget

US senators seek Meta documents over platforms’ alleged mental, physical harms Reuters (furzy)

Cruise is taking all its vehicles off public roads amid expanded safety probe, staff changes CNBC (Kevin W)

Cruising is back. A new law has made lowriders legit Los Angeles Times (David L)


With AI, Big Tech is No Longer Pretending to Care Illusion of More (David L)

Google researchers deal a major blow to the theory AI is about to outsmart humans Business Insider (furzy)

Training of 1-Trillion Parameter Scientific AI Begins HPC (David L)

Microsoft and Nvidia Are Making It Easier To Run AI Models on Windows The Verge

AI chemist finds molecule to make oxygen on Mars after sifting through millions Space (furzy). I do not like the personalizing of the AI in the headline.


Google Paid $8 Billion To Make Its Apps Default On Samsung Phones The Hill

The Bezzle

FAA Clears SpaceX To Launch Second Starship Flight CNBC

Guillotine Watch

Ultrawealthy charities that are helping no one and report nothing cost U.S. taxpayers billions every year, report says Fortune (ma). Of course they help someone! The employees, who are almost certainly family members.

Class Warfare

GM Contract Will Pass By Lower Margin Than in 2019 Strike – Indian Trade Unions Refuse to Send Guest Workers to Israel – Nurses Union Calls for Ceasefire Mike Elk

Alabama woman, 84, is set to be booted from her home of 60 YEARS as 20 family members and property investors force sale of 40-acre property that could be worth $20M to McMansion developer Daily Mail. Lead story. And no, my VPN is not set to Atlanta.

Antidote du jour. Sunny Roads:

Here you can see Monty, a young and very friendly tabby who lives in Port Moody, Canada, with his mom, Manuela. Monty is always curious about what’s going on behind the curtains.

In the photo with the red background he has been admiring the framed portraits of his distinguished Venetian cousins.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Country Roads by John Denver)

    North of Richmond — Langley, Virginia
    Fairfax County, slow Potomac River
    There’s a Farm there teaching expertise
    In torture, fraud, and murder all for world peace

    Good guys have to be strong
    Not confused by right and wrong
    Black ops run for the Pentagon
    Killing for the Hegemon

    Plans cooked up by State Department plotters
    Coups and kidnaps, orders to do slaughters
    The Oval Office only wants results
    Innocent as toddlers asking the adults

    Good guys have to be strong
    Not confused by right and wrong
    Black ops run for the Pentagon
    Killing for the Hegemon

    Joining this crew is a choice that lasts forever
    They always say nobody ever leaves the CIA
    After I retire I’ll sit and ponder
    All the things that I did yesterday, yesterday . . .

    Good guys have to be strong
    Not confused by right and wrong
    Black ops run for the Pentagon
    Killing for the Hegemon

    Good guys have to be strong
    Not confused by right and wrong
    Black ops run for the Pentagon
    Killing for the Hegemon

    Killing for the Hegemon

    Killing for the Hegemon

  2. caucus99percenter

    Apologists in the New Yorker ignore
    The dead of U N W R A
    Rabbi Kahane won a vote on the floor
    It said, “Sunnis, get out of our country”
    Neturei Karta gives ’em a
    Heart attack (ack, ack, ack, ack, ack)
    We oughta know by now
    Who needs a mouthpiece for A I PAC?
    ’Cause that’s all we get for our money

    It seems such a genocide
    Is that what it’s all about?
    Nakba? If that’s Zioning up
    Then I’m signing out
    I’m signing out

    Arguments drear, hasbara stalks every beat
    So trite, a discussion preventer
    They smirk with Mister fascist Tory at
    Ten Downing Street
    While bombing the medical centers
    Hiding Hunter’s presidential bag of crack (ack, ack, ack, ack, ack)
    We oughta know by now
    Amendment twenty-five gets us a token hack
    Who’ll maybe abolish the genders

    It seems such a genocide
    Is that what it’s all about?
    Nakba? If that’s Zioning up
    Then I’m signing out
    I’m signing out

    No good shipping armaments to crazy minds (mi-, mi-, mi-, mi-, mi-)
    We oughta know by now
    We all pay Uncle Sam for the wars and crimes
    ’Cause that’s all we get for our money
    If that’s what they have in mind
    If that’s what they’re all about
    Good luck Zioning up
    ’Cause I’m signing out
    I’m signing out (mmm)
    Oh, oh, uh huh (mmm)

    I’m Zioning out

    — to the tune of Anthony’s Song (Moving Out) by Billy Joel

  3. ChrisFromGA

    RE: Biden/XI: It would be interesting to get a readout on the meeting from the Chinese but I think that Biden’s poor impulse control likely ruined whatever minor progress was made.

    Sometimes anger is what triggers poor impulse control, like a 3-year-old having a tantrum because they didn’t get their cookie. It could be that Xi took a harder line than the press is suggesting and that triggered our addled CiC.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      My bad. Both readouts are up:

      China readout per Google published earlier….despite need to translate.

      Will add to post. Also as now noted above, White House readout very aggressive, no doubt confirming to China the pointlessness of meeting senior US officials.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Thanks! Having parsed the latter, the one objective thing I notice is zero mention of Ukraine.

        There was a brief mention of the Palestine-Israel conflict, towards the end. And then, this:

        And San Francisco should be a new starting point for stabilizing China-U.S. relations.

        I wonder whether China will officially “react” to Xi being slandered by Biden again. I don’t know what Xi is thinking by continuing to subject himself to verbal abuse. This isn’t the way diplomacy works and there ought to be consequences.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          No, it’s in the White House readout:

          President Biden reaffirmed that the United States, alongside allies and partners, will continue to support Ukraine’s defense against Russian aggression, to ensure Ukraine emerges from this war as a democratic, independent, sovereign, and prosperous nation that can deter and defend itself against future aggression.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            I noticed that but the lack of any mention of it in the Chinese readout is a discrepancy that shows the parties did not reach any sort of agreement. I’m hair-splitting but I think it is significant that the Chinese readout simply did not line up with what Biden claims.

            1. Yves Smith Post author

              I don’t see readouts as about signifying agreement but what was said, particularly since Xi has called out Biden for giving lip service in their past interactions for the one-China policy and then going out and meddling big-time in Taiwan.

              The Biden remarks on Ukraine were a one-way communication.

      2. jbc

        > White House readout very aggressive, no doubt confirming to China the pointlessness of meeting senior US officials.

        A waypoint is not pointless at all. It serves as a future remembrance.

      3. The Rev Kev

        This whole meeting is going to go down as an epic failure and old Joe’s gaffe will be the symbol of it all. After reading the White House readout, it was really all about the US, what they wanted and noted areas that they were planning to attack China on. All stick and no carrots for China. I suppose the point of this meeting is that so old Joe can tell people that he really did try to negotiate with Xi but he was not just interested – before calling him a dictator once more. Maybe his supporters will buy that line but I doubt that the countries of the Global Majority will see it that way. In short, expect to see much more conflict with China, more sanctions on them, more trying to throttle their tech industries, more attacks on their human rights record and more pushing China about Taiwan. It is really all in that readout.

        1. ISL

          Why let Biden in front of the press if the administration has any hope for narrative management (after setting up the meeting as a reset)?

          Oh, let me put on my old “kremlinology glasses”,

          Evidence of at least two factions and which one has the upper hand.

          At least Russians were prepared for this end of empire phase.

        2. Lex

          I think it’s analogous to Russia’s collective security treaty proposal. Xi made the trip to offer a path to the US that wasn’t long term disastrous for the US. He came and said that he has no imperial ambition and that the two countries should cooperate rather than compete. The US said, we’re going to compete but we’d prefer that competition doesn’t lead to war … and by the way, you’re a dictator.

          It was a colossal failure. The sort of failure that maybe only Joe Biden could pull off. China offered its hand and we slapped it away.

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            Perhaps primary challengers could run on “decent relations with China” and see how far they get in the primaries.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      I’d agree that Biden has poor impulse control, but I’m getting tired of these reporters who ask shibboleth questions aimed at fueling American xenophobia and scapegoating. Remember George Stephanopolous asking Biden whether Putin was “a killer?” Now this CNN reporter, M. J. Lee, asks a question that predictably undermines whatever good might have come from the Xi/Biden meeting.

      I’m a strong supporter of freedom of the press, but does the American press have to be so committed to the grade-school level attitude toward foreign countries and leaders?

      And the liberal press’s determination to play these same shibboleth games with every Republican about Trump is hardly enlightening our discourse.

      1. The Rev Kev

        A coupla months ago I saw video of the White House Press asking questions of a White House Spokesperson and they got really angry and were demanding that the US start launching military attacks against some country. And it wasn’t just one or two reporters but was several and they were actively trying to push for a military attack and were really furious about the whole matter. It was really bizarre to watch.

      2. ChrisFromGA

        Well, we certainly have a “yellow press”, that would make the Brit tabloids jealous.

        But can you imagine President Obama letting himself get trapped like Biden? Knowing how to handle the press is part of the job.

      3. Lex

        The reporters and their questions were almost certainly pre-selected. You don’t maintain narrative control by letting the free press have a lot of freedom. Now whether Joe was supposed to answer it like he did or chose more artful language is a good question. Based on Blinken’s body language, Joe went off script.

        An alternate answer, “We all know that I don’t agree with the Chinese political system and I wouldn’t want that system here. Mr. Xi represents the Chinese people and I represent the American people. We owe it to all those people to have open lines of communication and try our best to solve whatever problems might arise through frank and productive conversations.” A good politician dissembles and manages to not answer questions they don’t want to answer or shouldn’t answer directly. A statesman doubly so.

    3. chris

      Fellow Chris, I’m just confused by all of this. I don’t understand why so many in our government seem to believe supporting multiple conflicts simultaneously is existential to the US. The level of dedication to slaughter in the middle east, Ukraine, with hopes for Taiwan… I just don’t understand.

      I wish we US citizens could have a focus group panel with the chief war mongers and have them explain their sincere beliefs. The Goldbergs, Applebaums, Nulands, Grahams… I just want to hear from them why they think the world will end if we don’t destroy Russia. Why they think the total capitulation to neocon philosophy has been a success, or is something we should continue to pursue. We are objectively poorer, sicker, less developed, and less safe now than we were in 2001. What possible success can these people point to as a reason to continue on the same path? I don’t even believe the energy angle anymore. We have enormous reserves of oil and gas. We have many people who are clamoring for a fuel transition to all electric everything. We even have billionaires excited about transitioning to electric vehicles so they can crush labor! If there was a unified block with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, all selling their petroleum on the open market tomorrow at the same or greater volumes, how would that hurt the US? If China cut us off from rare earths tomorrow, we would still options domestically and on the continent to obtain more.

      The news is so crazy making delusional lately. This all feels like a bunch of children, huddled under the covers, terrified that if they come out a monster will kill them. And even now that they’re full grown, they’re terrified that the monster will kill them, but even worse, they dread looking under the bed and seeing that there was never anything there. And they’re so scared that others might see the nothing under the bed, that they’ll kill anyone who tries to look for themselves.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        The best explanation I can come up with is that the world view of the neo-cons plus a not insignificant chunk of the so-called “moderates” in both parties is something like the following:

        The “rest of the world” outside of the US, Europe, and maybe Japan/Australia/New Zealand is essentially a bunch of savages incapable of self-rule. Left unattended, these savages will simply kill each other off in a Pulp-fictionesque orgy of violence. Therefore, it is the duty of the “civilized” part of the world (America, eff yeah!) to police these savages and impose our beautiful freedom and rules-based order upon them.

        You can see this thinking clearly in the words of EU flak Josef Borrell, who famously made the statement that the EU was a garden and the rest of the world a “jungle.”

        I also had a personal insight when speaking with a friend recently, a perfectly reasonable fellow who is not crazy or delusional, who verified that to a lot of Reaganite conservatives, there is this view that the US is some sort of global cop that is needed to rule over the rabble and prevent anarchy.

        Now compounding matters is that this lot seem utterly incapable of the reflection necessary to test such a theory. For example, to your point, if supporting multiple conflicts against not only China, Russia, Palestine currently, but in the past, Syria, Iraq, Afganistan, etc. were such a great strategy, why has the slaughter only gotten worse?

        What have they achieved, other than normalizing genocide?

        Honestly my only hope is that if you look at the generation of leaders who espouse the “World police” doctrine, they’re all dying or on the verge of it. With the exception of maybe Nikki Haley, who is still young enough to do a lot of damage were she to become President.

        The Gen-Xers and Millenials don’t seem to buy in to the America World Police crap, so maybe we just have to survive the next 10 years or so until there are literally no more neocons living, or they’re all sucking down apple juice while mumbling incoherently in nursing homes.

        1. Feral Finster

          “I also had a personal insight when speaking with a friend recently, a perfectly reasonable fellow who is not crazy or delusional, who verified that to a lot of Reaganite conservatives, there is this view that the US is some sort of global cop that is needed to rule over the rabble and prevent anarchy.”

          This is a common delusion among American Exceptionalists, and this idea that only American hegemony can keep the peace was blown up by the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as brokered by China while the United States seethed and raged in the background.

          And China did not need to fire a single shot.

          1. Glen

            Also point out to them that the “American Empire” that gave rise to “American Exceptionalism” was all done by that commie pinko FDR. And that all those people that want to “Make America Great Again” and point to the 50-60’s really want to go back to FDR’s version of America. And that the internal destruction of America got it’s start under Carter/Reagan, vastly accelerated by Clinton/Bush/Obama et al, which has wrecked America’s ability to maintain it’s own empire and even be a “global cop”.

            The Gen-Xers and Millennials don’t see much of a future in this neo-liberal/con version of America, and they’re right. Why should they “buy-into” any of it?

      2. tegnost

        What possible success can these people point to as a reason to continue on the same path?

        Our rich people are the richest.

        1. t


          Kinda surprised Trump has never said this. It’s kind of true, even! (Isn’t Bernard, the Frenchman who semi-crappified a bunch of lux brands, the only non-royal genuine trillionaire?)

          However, with rising infant mortality rates and decreased fertility, it’s no longer as true that the rich get rich and the poor get children.

        2. chris

          That’s likely true! Which is why I guess this whole representative democracy thing isn’t really working anymore.

          The best I could come up with was those people giving us a focus group of sorts. I understand we will never be allowed to vote on any of this. I understand our leaders will never ask Congress for official approval either. Just like I know the war powers act will never be used to rein in our bases in Iraq, Syria, etc. It doesn’t matter that those countries don’t want us there. We want to be there so we are. But when you look at the PMC which serves the ultra wealthy, and affirms the neoliberal point of view as “moderate”, and supports neoconservatism making the world safe for neoliberalism, I don’t see the wealth being shared. Like I saw genuine anger when UPS got the new contract and people with degrees saw that drivers could get 100k$+.

          I truly don’t understand how the current situation became the status quo. It makes no sense. And yet, this is the world we live in. I can’t help but think there will be a tremendous crash soon. But soon will most likely be longer than we can all stay liquid…

      3. upstater

        >I wish we US citizens could have a focus group panel with the chief war mongers and have them explain their sincere beliefs.

        Aaron Maté tried to have Senator Chris Coons explain US support for Israeli genocide in Gaza. No substantive response from Coons other than getting him thrown off the train. The disdain of the elites of the public would make the Bourbons blush.

      4. Antagonist Muscles

        Whenever I read our favorite website here, I sometimes read just the article and completely skip over the comments. Other times I read a bunch of comments. Comments from the Chrises of NC are almost always insightful. Thanks to ChrisFromGA, chris, adifferentchris, ChrisRUEcon for the knowledge. Are there other Chris commenters here? What happened to Kris Alman? He had valuable medical knowledge.

        Maybe all the Chrises here can join together and form Voltron. You would be unstoppable.

          1. ambrit

            Fear not. No half way sane Vulcan would dare open contact with Terran humans at their present state of “civilization.” (The best facsimile of ‘superior technology’ we can come up with at present is the Thrice Dreaded Cockring Drive. The Vulcans have evolved past that stage already.)

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          > Maybe all the Chrises here can join together and form Voltron. You would be unstoppable.


          You are too kind, but I love the imagery of this!

          I would only say that I have benefitted immensely from the comments of many of you all as well. I don’t always chime in with a #TYVM, but as always, this site continues to be a lighthouse illuminating a path through turbulent seas.

          Together, may we all form a Voltron!

          1. chris

            I call left foot!

            And thanks go to our wonderful hosts, who accept a bouquet of Chris when they post articles for us to read :)

      5. Troy

        With America, it’s always important to remember its self-aggrandizing Puritan myth of its status as the “Shining City on the Hill”, although America has since long ditched many of its Puritan values that it had briefly adopted whenever it was convenient.

        Other considerations are of course America has never denounced, repudiated, or apologized for its wholesale adoption of Manifest Destiny, as well as the Monroe Doctrine, two colonialist foundations of America’s modern foreign policy.

        Basically, America’s modern foreign policy has made many, many people very stinkin’ rich and powerful. These people will never give this up unless made to, and the last time they were made to give anything up (during the New Deal era when they had to give some profit to working people), they overreacted and gave us all neo-liberalism.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      What a stupid “controversy,” tailor-made for an ignorant american public. Ooohh….”president” biden dissed President Xi by calling him a “dictator.” Fight, fight, fight….Xi is the president of China, fercrissakes, not some thug “ex-MMA fighter” pretending to be an american “senator.”

      I’d imagine Xi, and all other world leaders, see biden for exactly what he is–the personification of america itself–massively corrupt, well past its prime, reduced to increasingly mindless, belligerent bloviating and beating up 98 lb. weaklings to prove how strong it is.

      I’m sure they evaluate anything that comes out of biden’s mouth in terms of what he’s supposed to be doing as “leader” of a nation, a responsibility with which they are uniquely familiar. They see him just squatting in the white house, dithering and inert, while a once influential country dissolves at astonishing speed into internal division, economic chaos and gross public corruption. biden doesn’t even defend the country’s borders which, certainly, makes a far bigger impression on Xi than some geriatric, dementia-fueled name-calling.

      I’d imagine Xi had a good chuckle at biden’s “diss,” and probably figures that if he really wants reunification with Taiwan, now would be the time to make it happen.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        That is a “tour de force” of a comment right there.
        You’ve articulated my own feelings much better than I could have.

    5. Tom Stone

      It strikes me that the Biden cabal would really like to see an “Unprovoked terrorist Attack” soon.
      Do keep in mind that the FBI sat on Hunter’s laptop for years, starting more than a year before the 2020 election knowing full well that it was authentic.
      Think about it for a moment, R. Hunter Biden’s laptop was the laptop from hell, Hooker’s, blow, multiple instances of influence peddling and violations of FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act), money laundering…
      The FBI was just fine with that, and they still are.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if the spooks looked the other way if either UkroNazis or Muslim extremists decided to express their unhappiness with US Policies if it got them what they wanted…the”Domestic Terrorism” bill that’s been waiting for the right moment.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        This is truly one of my biggest fears at the moment. “Blowback” allowed with a wink and a nod by the security state to bring in the Patriot Act 2.0… which to borrow a favorite line uttered by the Duke in the jingoistic classic Green Barets “will make LSD look like aspirin”.

          1. ambrit

            Hmmm… America’s “Liberty” was blown up by a client state back in 1967? Now that’s a CT I can get behind. {For some definition of ‘Liberty.’}
            Just like Dostoevsky had a “Grand Inquisitor” as a character in one of his novels, we can have a “Grand Conspirator” as a character in our ‘Narrative.’ [With similar results.]
            However, it feels that comparing America’s nomenklatura with something out of Dostoevsky is giving them too much credit, and comparing them with characters from another Russian tale, “The Master and Margarita” would be more ‘suitable.’
            A false flag (the Gulf of Tonkin incident,) gets us into a land war in Asia, while a real provocation, [the “Liberty” incident,] is covered up. With friends like that…..

  4. marcel

    Re “Iran’s ‘Axis of Resistance’ against Israel faces trial by fire Reuters.”
    This information has been denied by both Iran & Hamas. I don’t know whether this makes it true.
    Reuters is the source. It is also the same agency that couldn’t name Israel as the source of the shells that killed its journalist.

    1. NN Cassandra

      On the other hand, if I were planning to enter the war, I would be telling everyone that I’m not going to enter the war. As they say, watch the ball, not the player.

      1. Socal Rhino

        I started maintaining bookmarks on various topics for future reference for just that reason. Rather than rely on memory alone.

  5. JohnA

    And how much would property in the Gaza strip, West Bank and now the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem be worth to McMansion developers? Especially as they don’t need to pay money to evict the current owners.

  6. Lexx

    ‘The Male-Female Longevity Gap Widens’

    But what about at the beginning of life, how does that factor in? I read a book in college that said the statistically boy babies are more vulnerable to health problems genetically than girl babies, from birth until about 5 years old when outcomes start to even out. To put it crudely, is Nature geared to an early culling of males? (yeesh… sorry)

    1. Louis Fyne

      correct, but now add unnecessary deaths ftom drugs, suicide, homicide (male skews).-‐all above the pre-Covid trendline

      1. Lexx

        Couples willing to have children are older now, much closer to 30 than 20. Generally the older men are, the more likely the sex of the child will be female. I think there’s much more happening from the get-go to life expectancy than suicide, homicide, addiction, and covid. Again I’m wondering if (yeesh!) there are fewer white males now, who can expect an earlier death? Natural selection from Above, economic Darwinism from Below… so’ta speak.

        1. Wukchumni

          There I was in the naked city, another sperm on the make against 100 million other contenders, and then she asked me out on a date.

            1. skippy

              On that note Wuk should look up the old Robin Williams animation “Spiffy the Sperm” …. totally refutes the ***Winnars[tm] come first[pun] meme …

    2. Eclair

      Re: pushing the narrative that women are living even longer than men.

      Is this an effort to set men and women against each other? Putting a ‘gender war’ on top of race wars? And, the Case-Deaton research duo, have been talking for at least a decade about the ‘deaths of despair, the marked decrease in life expectancy among working class men in 40 – 55 age group, with high school education (marker for lower income.)

      The US, for years, has had a high infant mortality rate, competing with nations such as Croatia (sorry, Croatians among the commentariat.) We’re number 51, depending on year, choice of countries, etc.

      From 2021 to 2022, the US saw a 3% increase in its already dismal infant mortality figures. It’s the poor (coincidentally Black and brown, as well as poor whites) of both genders who are dying before they have a chance to live.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s Chekhov’s Cat. You know the rule – ‘If you see in the first act that there is a cat hiding behind a curtain, in the second or third act it absolutely must do something cute or stupid – or both.’

      1. Nikkikat

        I’ve seen these paintings recently in a store that mostly sells furniture. First a cat propped up in a bed reading To kill a mockingbird. Next are two cats at the optometrist office trying on cat eye glasses. And then a cat sits at an easel
        With his back to the viewer his painting reflecting beside him. It’s a self portrait of a huge tiger.
        Cats are so clever.

  7. The Rev Kev

    ‘SIMPLICIUS The Thinker ?
    Gotta be kidding. Biden insults Xi just after meeting him by calling him a ‘dictator’.’

    This is what happens when grandpa does not have a script and just blurts out whatever is going through his mind. A smart President would have thrown back an answer like ‘C’mon now. We are all adults here.’ or something along those lines. But I would be looking at the reporter that asked that question as the whole thing looked staged to me to catch old Joe saying something like this. Who put that reporter up to asking such a loaded question? This is like the time back in 2016 when Bernie stepped off a plane to be asked by a “reporter” if he knew that his campaign was funded by Russia. When the Chinese heard about his latest gaffe, they called it ‘irresponsible’ so as payback, maybe X could arrange a face to face meeting with Gavin Newsom.

    1. timbers

      X might have gotten same or better or worse results if the first thing out of his mouth upon meeting Biden were: “Mr. President, can speak with who’s in charge here?”

  8. bassmule

    From this morning’s NY Times:

    “As the White House touted U.S. prosperity, a New York Times-Siena College poll found that 59 percent of voters in six key swing states have more confidence in Donald Trump’s ability to manage the economy over Joe Biden’s, regardless of whom they think they’ll vote for. Zero — yes, zero — respondents under 30 in three of the swing states think of the economy as ‘excellent’.”

    Good that the Times is running a story contrary to good ol’ Dr. Krugman. Telling that there is no opportunity for comments. (gift article-no paywall)

    Why Voters Aren’t Buying Biden’s Boasts About Bidenomics

    1. Pat

      Had a discussion the other day with someone where I noted I was seeing the same Beltway delusions I was seeing in 2016. Maybe they aren’t quite as bubbled in DC and the major media hubs as they were then, but they still think that because they think things are great anyone complaining is full of it and has just been stupid and/or lazy. They usually don’t say the last part out loud but it is implied.

      Whenever I see some MSM bit that isn’t the approved cheerleading I figure there are still a couple of people on the editorial staff who haven’t drunk the koolaid or forgotten the past. They know enough to print some CYA pieces just in case.

      1. chris

        The attitudes of people under 20 regarding economics who I have spoken with recently are depressing. N=13, so not scientific. But they all seem to agree shoplifting from a big box store is OK, because the corporation is stealing and shouldn’t be making money. Hence, theft from them is no problem. They also seem to believe that they will never have a home they themselves own. Never be able to pay off education loans. And if they by some miracle do make some money and manage to save it, someone will steal it from them in a scam and they won’t have any options to get it back. They’re not nihilistic. They’re numb.

        1. Paleobotanist

          My students are all telling me how to steal from self-checkout at the grocery store. They are all stealing cheese, meat and other groceries.

          I refuse to do this. I prefer being a Luddite. I can effortlessly crash a self-checkout and snarl up the line for a good 15 minutes and need 2-3 ex-cashiers to help untangle me. I have been assuring them that I am trying to maintain some job security for them. None have gotten mad at me for the chaos I cause. ;^) Sabotage! It would be cheaper for a company to provide me with a cashier than to untangle the havoc I smilingly and politely wreak. Now if we all started doing this….

          1. Wukchumni

            I noticed that the layout of the self-checkout @ Wal*Mart kind of resembled a holding pen for cattle, all let out one by one through the ‘chute’.

          2. marieann

            As an old Luddite I have never used a self checkout and I am pretty sure if I was forced to I would be told to never return.
            I have even sometimes managed to get out of the store without paying for all my purchases…that would be because of the “old” bit as I don’t realise it until I get home

          3. steppenwolf fetchit

            I have simply boycotted self-checkout lines. Krogers, for example , has installed huge numbers of them and way reduced its cashier lines. When I go in there, I look to see if a real cashier line is open. If it is, I ask the cashier how long they will be there. If they are there long enough, I shop for something.

            If they are not there, I think I will start telling the “customer service” cubicle people that I would have bought something if there had been a cashier, but since there isn’t, I am walking out. If enough people started doing that, would cashiers re-appear?

            About snarling up the robo-line, for those who would like to do this . . . silent sabotooge . . . what are the specific methods you employ:?

    2. skippy

      I always chortle when I see orthodox economics dressed up as some elected[????] Preznit master plan[tm] … its like saying Ronald McDonald Clown is the one making all the decisions for the golden arches franchise …

      At the end of the day the whole system is just persons or groups queued up for a payday and a life boat ticket.

      Economics … manic laughter ….

    3. JP

      Ridiculous that anyone buys the concept that presidents have much influence, much less control, over the economy. The causes of inflation or recession are generally a slow moving train. Congress, on the other hand can do a lot but have largely abdicated fiscal policy in favor of letting the Fed take the blame for using monetary policy to try and fix what congress won’t. Most administrations are reacting to the last one’s policy. Trump’s congress simply exercised the republican habit of overjucing the economy to get that happy days are here again reaction. Biden gets to process the hangover.

      I don’t participate in polls because they ask simplistic leading questions. A managed economy is the opposite of a free market economy. The old Soviet Union had a managed economy. It didn’t work out so well. Everyone who responded to that poll (under 30) doesn’t have a clue as to how our economy works.

      1. juno mas

        …but they do know how it works for them. And if we had a managed economy then maybe they would vote for a leader who did so.

  9. ex-PFC Chuck

    Re “Elephants have names for each other, just like humans ZMEScience (Paul R)”
    I’ve been using the Firefox browser for decades, not least because of its “Reader View” feature which renders the text visible in a consistent, larger print format without a lot of the annoying whoopdee doo features you see these days in website designs. But never before has reader view rendered a completely different article when I clicked on it while viewing the ZMEScience piece on elephant names. The title of the article is the same (“Elephants have names for each other, just like humans”) But the text and illustrations are about ultra processed foods. Curious, to say the least.

  10. DJG, Reality Czar

    Harvard: Male-Female Longevity Gap Worsening.

    I’d argue that what American men have to have is meaningful work.

    Work means work (and skill and responsibility) in Hannah Arendt’s sense of the word, not just labor, which she wasn’t so keen on. Work to build real wealth and not just labor as a beast of burden.

    Likewise, American men would benefit from a stronger union movement. It gives men a way of civic participation. Solidarity is good for one’s mindset. Plus unions have always been social support.

    So the answer, if there is an answer, is in concrete material benefits. Universal social programs.

    The answer does not lie in psychobabble about “toxic masculinity” or in another lecture from Hillary Clinton about man-spreading Putin.

    Have I mentioned a greater commitment to equality and equitable distribution of wealth in the U S of A?

    So we are back to liberty, equality, and solidarity.

    Meanwhile: Clintonago delenda est.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      I’m not so sure American males’ funk is about meaningful work as much as it is about lacking the cash to consume at the level pushed by our omnipresent media. Do humans have a built-in need to “work?” Did hunter gatherers feel guilty or unfulfilled when they found an abundant food source that allowed them to complete their gathering efforts mid-day?

      That said, I do think it’s possible to inspire humans to work together toward a common goal. The response of the American public to World War II is a good example. Right now, there is a task before us unlike any that humans have faced before. Our self-destructive systems have put our entire civilization at risk from Overshoot as we’re degrading the very resources we need to survive. Managing to feed our human population without resorting to population culling while restoring planetary systems at the same time would seem to be a challenge worthy of focus for men and women. This Nate Hagens Roundtable with four restorative agriculture practitioners, including Vandana Shiva, is a good discussion of the challenges of feeding 8 billion without destroying the planet in the process.

      1. EMC

        What is the appropriate place of work? How about doing something of meaningful of social value? This includes skills such as knowing how to construct and wire a house, hunt and gather, make music and write poetry. Work that is of value is not valued, and therefore does not provide for material comfort, nor much else.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          Henry Moon Pie: Work is work as described by EMC. “Guilty”? I’m going to have to go another of my rampages about the corrosive effects of Calvinism again. Avoid looking at the work through late-stage Calvinism, eh.

          EMC: Exactly. Put in a garden. Work as an artisan. Bind books. Work in a shop at a cash register. These are all valid forms of work.

          Hunters and gatherers spent plenty of time at work. It requires an effort to run down a deer–and use an arrow properly. It requires plenty of effort and skill to grow crops and harvest mushrooms.

          I’m not interested in people’s résumés. The managerial classes use them to stratify themselves. Even multiculturalism as practiced in the U S of A is mainly résumé building and résumé padding.

          I am interested in work.

          1. JBird4049

            People want to feel useful, to contribute, to belong, to create something. Instead, it’s buy stuff. Can’t? Got no money? You worthless loser. No housing, food, clothing, medical care, or community for you. Go die! But quietly, please. We’re having a banquet in our winecave.

            I can say without feeling at all hyperbolic that our current society has replaced everything from family and community, to religion, skills, jobs, and even government with a “society” where money is the sole determinant of worth and the only religion or philosophy is an empty and bland, always shifting, pastiche of nonsense.

    2. JTMcPhee

      Does “build real wealth” imply and include maintenance and stabilization of what’s called infrastructure? Much of which, like the Interstate system to move war materiel more efficiently and fortuitously to burn more fossil fuels and divide communities and atomize individuals)m, and suburb sprawl, is part of a deadly pathology? And does “real wealth” include maintaining and fostering institutions like families, communities and responsible “dominion” that humans have assumed, by fortuity of thumbs and brain structure? Asking for a friend… and sensing in advance that what we see is likely what we’ll get. But it’s a nice aspirational trope.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        JT McPhee: If I recall correctly, when Arendt wrote about wealth, she was writing about land, houses, infrastructure in the sense of bridges and canals, and farm buildings, probably churches, too, as buildings. She wasn’t writing about speculation and skimming. When the Chicago Public Schools shuts down schools and gets rid of buildings, it is meeting the requirements of the looting managerial / political class, but doing so also lessens wealth.

        Recall, too, that Arendt made the intriguing observation that the Reformation and its destruction of churches and suppression of monasteries destroyed much wealth. The churches and monasteries were turned into riches for the ruling classes–the germ of modern capitalism. Meanwhile, the peasantry (the vast majority) and the artisans no longer had the social support of churches and monasteries. Not to worry! The clearances begin shortly thereafter in the British Islands and Ireland. No peasants, no problem.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          The French Revolution did this as well if I’m not much mistaken. The new regime did try to replace what it destroyed, but not very successfully or one might say devotedly. It was certainly very big on looting/capital accumulation.

          1. Ignacio

            In Spain it came later by a policy called the Spanish Confiscation of which the most important was the “Mendizábal confiscation” in 1836. It works very much as DJG (on fire today) succinctly explains. Similar process happened in Mexico.

    3. earthling

      Men need to feel they have some shred of control over their lives. Increasingly they are shoved around, surveilled, laid off, and jerked around by giant corporations. Few without inherited wealth ever run their own business. In the political sphere, they can be a frustrated activist watching billionaires pull the strings of every official. Powerlessness kills.

      1. Snailslime

        And yet at least online I seem to see them rage against all sorts of things (very much including but of course not restricted to women) FAR more often than I see them rage against the giant corporations.

        With the sole exception of Disney perhaps, but that has also more to do with their own consumerist addiction to the corporate teat for their distraction than any of Disney’s shady business practices or inhumane treatment of their employees, etc, as such.

        And even that rage is almost invariably easily railroaded into anger against imaginary marxists

  11. PlutoniumKun

    Arming Ourselves Against The Future. Aurelien

    As so often, something of a must-read. Some fascinating recommendations there for reading for self preservation.

    1. Wukchumni

      Not mentioned was the solace that nature provides, nothing ever lies to me or distorts the truth inherent in wilderness, in a world of people in power that are uniformly deceitful.

      Everything is as it appears in the wild of the back of beyond, a novel concept.

      The key being that money plays no part whatsoever…

      1. Eclair

        Aurelien does mention at the beginning of his essay that he is a city person, not able to tell one end of a potato from the other, so he is focusing on his speciality, books and thinkers. But, I agree with you, Wuk, for many of us, being among trees, meadows, mountains, the ocean, provides much solace and healing.

        And, today, Aurelien loses it, just a bit, unlike his usual, carefully measured self: ” …. because economists these days have to swear an oath and sign a non-disclosure agreement with Satan in blood before they are allowed to work.” Providing me with a major chuckle to start the day!

    2. Laughingsong

      A bit of a quibble with his essay: once again “the 60s” and “the hippies” planted the seeds of today’s eviscerated reality. You could substitute “the Beatniks” or “the Boomers” or whoever. It’s a broad brush and also completely ignores the power dynamics.

      I know hippies, beatniks, and boomers who never thought that the ideas of the 60s should be used to hollow out society or institutions or anything. Those things certainly weren’t THEIR takeaways from that era.

      The thing is, that people in power, who strive for it, and will do anything to perpetuate it, can take any idea lying around and weaponize it to that end. I have seen more than one good idea or movement crapified in this manner.

      1. anahuna

        I couldn’t resist a quibble along the same lines. He seems to be suggesting that Wilhelm Reich and hippies having fun trying to levitate the Pentagon are somehow responsible for a state of affairs in which a professor teaching international trade theory insists, against the evidence, that a faulty equation is necessarily correct.

        He’s an elegant writer, but that bit of hippie-punching inspires an inelegant “Huh?”

    3. ArvidMartensen

      If you think of the US as a religious cult then this allows a whole different perspective.
      Cults are self-referential. Only cult members know the one truth and it is a pure moral truth.
      Cult members can do anything they want to because their actions are based in purity and truth.

      The world outside the cult is evil. All questioning and independent thought is an attack by evil outsiders on the pure truth and those who follow the pure moral truth. Anyone who questions the pure truth must be shut down, shunned, evicted or killed.

      The removal of wise women and the witch burnings of long ago were due to Christianity as a cult.

      Germany was a religious cult under Hitler. They banned and burned books to stop the evil. They could do anything they liked to the evil ones because it was in the interests of purity and truth.

      The US has been a religious cult for decades, increasingly removed from reality.
      Today, all independent thought and questions must be fact-checked, demonetised, shadow-banned, and banned to stop evil from weakening the truth. Questioners must be stood down, de-hired, de-platformed, publicly shamed, tortured and killed, no matter where they live.

      Anyone who refuses to join the US cult is evil. They are an Axis of Evil.
      To protect the members and purity of the US cult, it has unlimited rights to ritually bomb, drone, invade and slaughter all non-believers. It has unlimited rights to ritually bomb, drone, invade and slaughter anyone who hurts any cult member, and to obliterate their mothers, fathers, children and grandchildren.
      And that sums up the US, both internal politics and external foreign policy.

    4. DataHog

      Thank you PK. I agree.
      And Thank You David/Aurelien for your many fine comments here at NC.

      While yes, there may be a lot of imprecise things in this fine essay to quibble with, I suggest focusing instead on its sagacious fine finish.

      The last six paragraphs, suggestions how each individual (you) can thrive when all about you appears headed in very negative directions, contains extraordinary wisdom.

      One can quibble with whether on “first” reading of “any popular book on quantum physics” that you will be cured of “scientism’s” extremely arrogant assumption that Newtonian physics is all that there is. Aurelien is essentially correct about the usefulness of grasping that quantum physics demonstrates that Newtonian physics is a unique subset of, and resides within, an entirely different physics. I’ll guess that for most people it will take more than one substantial introductory exposure to quantum physics to grasp the profound usefulness of such an understanding.

      There are various way to experience that “outside world,”such as when reaching the deepest level of meditation past the dissolution of ego and separation from our senses. There are other methods to individually experience that outside world. Do such individual direct experiences of that “outside world” count as proof?

      Then, moving on from a foundational understanding that scientism is baloney, Aurelien arrives at the most useful section of his essay, the parts about what and who you really are. Grasping the totality of that understanding that Aurelien attempts to convey…provides an immensely useful and beautiful way to live, to thrive in our lives on earth. To “arm yourself” as Aurelien says.

      Of course there are reading lists other than Aurelien’s that can help you reach the same wisdom that Aurelien discussed. My reading list is substantially different. But I still deeply appreciate Aurelien’s suggestions. I have taken some of his suggestions and ordered some books that he listed.
      Thank you Aurelien.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “That Scannable Spotify Tattoo Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time”

    ‘It’s becoming popular to get inked with a barcode so you can flash your flesh to turn on music. But the codes can stop working as skin sags and ink fades.’

    Somebody said in Comments once that a young girl can get a pretty tattoo of butterfly when young but as she gets older, that butterfly turns into Mothra. I saw another stupid story to do with tattoos a day or so ago when this young woman had her boyfriend’s name – ‘Kevin’ – tattooed across her forehead in huge letters. Her video went viral and I think that 14 million people have watched it. But then she just revealed that the tattoo was not real and although she has many tattoos herself, said ‘I want everyone to know that I regret my tattoos and you may regret yours when you get older’ and is now in the process of removing them-

    That girl with the Spotify tattoo should have listened.

    1. Ken Murphy

      I know it makes me something unmentionable, but I have never had an interest in dating a woman with a tattoo. I consider the female body a temple, why would you put graffiti on it?

      1. Louis Fyne

        …why would you put graffiti on it?…

        “identity” in a seeming nihilistic world, not much different than a Maori from 400 years ago.

        always wondered what the health effects are, especially in utero….I doubt tattoo ink is seriously regulated.

    2. Pat

      Forgive me for having a favorite Johnny Depp anecdote, but…

      Anyway when he and Winona Ryder were together he got a Winona Forever tattoo. When they broke up whether it was because of expense or discomfort or both, he didn’t get the entire tattoo removed, just the “na”. Yup he turned it into “Wino Forever”
      I think about that pretty much whenever I hear about someone getting a tattoo. Even cheap regret is costly.

      1. Wukchumni

        I use tattoos to ascertain a young adult’s visible net worth…

        Occasionally you see somebody with $10k-25k worth of skinned ink, a multi colored dragon hanging out on their left arm, or perhaps in case they run into a Japanese tourist, something penned in that language on their lower extremities.

        Now as far as actual art goes, know any young artists who are considered to be all that, where is the talent?

    3. nippersdad

      I once worked with a lot of former marines, one of whom had a tattoo of a leopard on his forearm. That one had to ask what the blob of color used to be was a pretty clear indication that they do not hold up over time. A good lesson learned early, IMHO.

  13. Jabura Basaidai

    for those interested there was a TikTok trend started with a video posted by woman, in which she told her nearly 12 million followers, “I need everyone to stop doing what they’re doing right now and go read ‘Letter to America,’ I feel like I’m going through an existential crisis right now.” – when the Guardian discovered this they took the letter down from their site but i managed to find it if you are interested –
    responses from TikTokers include “my eyes have been opened.” – another user who shared the letter wrote, “We’ve been lied to our entire lives, I remember watching people cheer when Osama was found and killed.”

    originally found this on The Wrap
    in the article –
    “In a statement to TheWrap, a spokesperson for the U.K. Guardian outlet said, “The transcript published on our website 20 years ago has been widely shared on social media without the full context.”

    my question is if the full letter was in the Guardian article how exactly is it without “full context”? – oh yeah, right……full context my A$$ –

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      before you start, yeah the letter is also interspersed with antisemitic tropes and hate speech – waddya expect from Osama – but that’s not the point – it’s about the explanation about Palestine and the fact it is resonating with young folks – the “z’s” in Israel have stepped in it big this time and it will not be easily glossed over – even The Husk is getting nervous……but not nervous enough to stop sending armaments to slaughter more – continues to bring me to tears of rage –

    2. Louis Fyne

      if there was ever any doubt that the Guardian was the defender of Enlightment liberalism or free thought.

      Guardian is no different than Fox News, just caters to a different demographic

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            so you’re a brit, eh? – like your comment, always enjoy a spot-on snark – expected from a brit – seems to be a DNA thing with y’all
            good link – thanks

            1. ambrit

              I’m a classic “immigrant,” born there, bought over as a child to “grow up,” (a very questionable assumption,) here.
              The ‘snark function’ seems to be a coping mechanism. Something along the lines of; “we laugh so as not to cry.” As such, the ‘snark function’ describes a method of attempting to rationalize personal helplessness.
              England being in the ‘Vanguard of the Proleterianization’ due to it’s early adoption of Liberalism and Industrialization, snark would develop there as a cultural quality. Either that or Labour Strife on an industrial scale.
              The older I get, the more I understand the less I know.
              Make Safe your watchword.

                1. Jabura Basaidai

                  i do make safety(safe?) a watchword – w, you’re an anchor baby too?….that threw me a bit after considering the source for your moniker led to more native assumption – ah well goes to prove a’s point, the older i get, the more i understand the less I know – and tbqh ‘understanding’ is in question too – the happy life of an apatheist –

                  1. Wukchumni

                    My mom being a lapsed Canadian lived in mortal feat that they would make her go back, as if there was a Chinooks chance of that happening.

                    I’m only Wukchumni in location, as we had the same digs as it were, both in the foothills & the high country.

    3. Pat

      One of the Twitter posts I saw about the TikTok response had multiple “TikTok should be banned” and lefty kids are stupid type posts.
      I thought about explaining that basing decades of war justification on a premise that falls apart in context destroys faith in those waging the war. Especially if that power has taken actions that can be seen as brutal and undeserved as the original trigger. (Raining shock and awe on Iraq for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction does not hold up well when you wish to be seen holding the high ground). But logical thinking deficiencies aren’t limited to lefty TikTok users.

      1. vao

        Replace “” with “” or, if in Europe, “” and you do not need a twitter account to access the message.

    4. furnace

      It’s impressive how much the mainstream media and pundits have lost control of the narrative. I guess it’s not so easy to do apologetics for genocide. As far as I’m aware, even the nazis did their genociding either away from Germany (Poland, USSR, etc.) or they did it secretively. When they openly were exterminating disabled people, the backlash got real bad real fast. So I wonder what goes inside Israelis’ minds when they think that no one cares about their mass murdering.

      I’ve seen utterly disgusting videos of Israelis mocking Gazans for their plight. Oh, they do not know what they call upon themselves. The world is seeing, and when the shoe is on the other foot it’s gonna be very difficult to find sympathy.

      1. Wukchumni

        We’ve had mini-genocides in the USA for donkeys years now in the guise of random mass murders of largely innocents who just happened to be at the right place at the wrong time, we’re used to the drill.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          donkey years? guess that means a long time, eh W? found this which goes back to those early days of donkey years long ago –

          guess when you write ‘random’ it’s about the armed nutcases running loose, not the purposeful intent described in the Zinn link –

          this piece posted in Links last week which is good to revisit to help excise it from our brains –

          and this one from a few days ago –

          does our species seem to be genetically coded to self-destruct? – rhetorically sarc question –

          1. Wukchumni

            The war will of course come back to haunt us and all those cunning drones that drop grenades and only need be mated with a gun, will terrorize us from above.

            We are used to snatches of dead innocents though, we’ve acclimatized.

            1. Jabura Basaidai

              i know you are not acclimatized – when you write, “We are used to snatches of dead innocents though, we’ve acclimatized.” – it made me stop for a moment – i know you meant “we” in the general sense and not a personal statement – i do not joke when i write that my eyes fill with tears of empathy and rage for the innocent lives and terror that they are going through – it is a sorrow deeply rooted – my Dad taught me to always carry empathy and generosity for the less fortunate and it is a gross understatement to say that those being slaughtered in Gaza are less fortunate – it is a sorrow that will not dissipate or become acclimated to the horror of the end result of settler colonialism whether in Gaza or all the places it seems my euro ancestors have despoiled –

              1. Wukchumni

                Except for a brief glimpse after the fall of Saigon and up until Operation Urgent Fury, our country has rabidly always been at war as yours truly graced this orb.

                I’m empathetic as the next earthling I suppose, but you get used to things.

                In the aftermath of Columbine, LA County was freaked out because maybe the largest gun show in the world was held on the LA County Fairground in Pomona, hells bells get it out of there!

                As far as I can tell, that’s the only action taken against guns by a major city in the aftermath of a spree d’corpse since, simply pathetic.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        have read that many Jews think he allowed 10/7 to happen to divert attention from his court fiasco and criminal indictments – as well as an excuse to ethnically cleanse – whether true or not i have no facts to state empirically, but without a doubt Netanyahu is toast – deserves to be tried as a war criminal along with the rest of his cabinet of frothing “z’s” –

      3. DJG, Reality Czar

        furnace: A caveat. Keep in mind that in the U S of A and England, and even in Germany, the behavior of the extreme right in Ukraine has caused nary a twinge of regret. The reports of torture chambers, private militias, extrajudicial murders, and confiscation of churches–all tolerated by the post-2014 Kiev regime–are grim. And they seem to have no effect on U.S. public opinion.

        Yet when the Russians moved in eighteen months ago, many in these same countries see / saw no problems with those nice buff blond Azov types and Right Sector loonies. We saw many a tweet posted here at Naked Capitalism. What groovy patches on the uniforms!

        What truly worries me is how one can only have occasional compassion only for certain events. This seems to be the media-induced ethic now–in the West, isn’t Gaza one more moral panic?

        Hell, I’m so old I recall (still horrified) the photos of toddler Alan Kurdi washed up on the beach in Turkiye.

    5. caucus99percenter

      Unfortunately, in the meantime, the Bryn Mawr scholarship page — presumably a copy of the Osama Bin Laden letter — seems to have been deleted as well.

      Funny how monolithically our elites can behave when something spooks them and they fear too many peons might be getting wise to them.

    6. Cristobal

      that letter was available shortly after 9/11. Don´t know where I found it it was so long ago – the Guardian (back when it was a respectable paper)? MoA? Given the source, it made sense and was useful to understand his anger.

  14. Ben Joseph

    I work in health care and I’ve never seen medical supplies labeled clumsily as such. BS detector goes ‘beep’.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Mine went into overload when I saw that those labels were in big English letters and not Hebrew letters. If they were genuine then there should have had plastered on them a list of that box’s contents.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That’s the point. I saw at least one box that had that that paper with the words ‘Medical Supplies’ on every single face of that box. It is about the 8-second mark on that video. But no inventory on the outside to show if it was band-aids, sutures or just headache tablets. Recipients would have to open up every single box to see what was inside and then inventory it themselves. The whole thing reeks of a pr stunt, probably thought up by someone in Netanyahu’s office.

      1. mrsyk

        Why are they using printed sheets of paper for labels in the first place? Are they out of sharpies? The font size alone indicates photo-op. I went and image searched various iterations of emergency medical supplies being delivered. One thing that stands out is the lack of barcodes on these labels or elsewhere on the box. Fishy.

  15. Pat

    Monty is adorable. That chin is just begging for scritches.
    But it isn’t just curiosity sending Monty behind the curtain. Every cat I have ever known like being behind hanging fabric, doors, etc. They like pouncing from a position of stealth. No ankle, hand, bouffant hairdo is safe. Play hunting.

    1. mrsyk

      We call this “hunting the game trail”. Our now departed beloved orange cat DTrain was a master of the art. Rarely did a night pass without a human cry in the dark, victim of an ankle strike on the way to the bathroom.

  16. john

    “Five separate strains of Sars Covid 19..” I believe this research was reported in 2020 by an African research team. But as it did not fit with the prevaling narrative, it was dismissed.h

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Sorry, impossible. Omicron didn’t get sighted until November 2021. From GM via e-mai:

      Six with BA.2.86

      But at minimum it should be two — WT and Omicron. But then the Omicrons did such rapid antigenic evolution that you have these distinct clusters very far away from each other on the antigenic map that they are almost distinct serotypes themselves.

    2. The Rev Kev

      This development should not be surprising. At a minimum 700,000,000 people have been infected the past three years. That is like 700,000,000 Petrie dishes being experimented on again and again to see how it all develops.

  17. Jason Boxman

    JN.1 full gas :
    Now its advantage over the baseline is 100% so it is a BA.5 event more than a XBB.1.5 in terms of growth advantage.
    A new era is likely beginning.
    The first competitor is XTC.1 with 70% over bsl
    then BA.2.86 sublineages &
    fastest Flip JG.3/JD.1.1.1 ~50% over bsl

    Situation continues to deteriorate.

    This was inevitable once it was decided to let it ride without any protections and a policy of lying about its severity.

  18. Otto Reply

    re: Preying on Children
    Double checking the assertion that Ukraine is a major sex trafficking center, (news to me) I did a quick search and found a USAID page that stated, “Ukraine has been a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking since the early 1990s. … The problem has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.” Ugh.

    Then went to bottom of page to download a PDF “Counter Trafficking in Persons Fact Sheet.” Spinning beach ball before connection timed out.

    So, went to another link, this time to US State Dept. The “Trafficking in Persons Fact Sheet” PDF did download. Nothing about human trafficking in Ukraine since the early 1990s, rather, “In the weeks before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Department of State, including the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) and our diplomatic missions abroad, preemptively engaged with Ukrainian officials, neighboring governments, and partner organizations to urge them to integrate anti-trafficking elements into their contingency planning and protection efforts for refugees and displaced persons.“

    Another variation of the State Dept’s mantra, “It’s the Russians!“

    The sourcing of the linked article seem sketchy, but anecdotally confirms that chattel slavery continues to this day. Which is disconcerting, to say the least. Some human beings really are the worst.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I’m not sure if Ukraine was a destination for trafficking, but I was in Greece several times in the 90s and saw some things. On one occasion, some friends thought it would be funny to take me to a “special” bar which unbeknownst to me, was a brothel. The women I saw working there were not Greeks, but were definitely Eastern European judging by their accents. At the time, there were plenty of reports indicating Eastern European women were leaving their countries to find work as prostitutes due to declining economic fortunes after the USSR collapsed. US looting of Russia and its environs at the time certainly didn’t help the situation.

  19. Jabura Basaidai

    looking at the picture in the transcript provided by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People’s Republic of China of the meet btw Xi & The Husk i noticed that those on the US side are all wearing earphones except translator for The Husk – but on the China side i see no headphones – would it be correct to assume those on China side all speak english? – thought it curious –

    1. bonks

      One can assume that, yes. Many of these leaders have at some point gone abroad to study or work or are at least well-versed Western philosophies and literature. One of the mandatory ‘gaokao’ subjects is a foreign language – English being the most popular choice. Wang Yi himself does not need a translator to understand English. President Jiang Zemin could speak English fine, though a translator would be a little quicker and more accurate. And then there was viral clip of Jiang who mixed languages in his response:

      English is still the lingua franca of the world, so most world leaders and their ministers have some proficiency to a large degree.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Meanwhile, in the US-

        ‘US college students are increasingly forgoing foreign language courses, reducing enrollment in such classes to the lowest levels in more than two decades, a new report has revealed.

        Enrollment in language courses other than English at US colleges and universities tumbled by nearly 17% between 2016 and 2021, led by declines in German and French courses, the Modern Language Association (MLA) said in a report released on Wednesday. The drop was the largest on record and left enrollment in such courses at around 1.18 million, its lowest since 1998.

        Foreign language study has been in decline on American campuses since enrollment peaked at nearly 1.7 million in 2009, sliding nearly 30% as colleges focus more on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. At the same time, schools have trimmed non-STEM programs.’

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          my brother-in-law’s oldest started studying Chinese in junior high at a private school and continued through college at UM – mentioned in passing to my brother-in-law when she was entering UM and going to continue with the Chinese language, that i wondered how long it would be before she was approached by some spook in sheep’s clothing – he thought i was kidding until it happened – she is a whip-smart kid on scholarships from junior high through college – kept her head on straight though and is involved with an environmental movement in the SW US and lives in Joshua Tree –

          1. Ana

            American Sign Language is not English “spoken” with gestures. It’s structure is unique, and it is a separate language not the English language that is spoken in America. Other countries likewise have unique gestural languages.

            In America there is also a sign language that maps exactly to spoken English. One of the interesting issues was working with clients who were deaf from birth or a very young age and who spoke only ASL.

            They had very poor reading skills because books are written in spoken English. We had to teach them English so that they could function in the printed world of job applications, work related instructions etc. They were effectively illiterate until they learned English.

            Ana in Sacramento who used to be a poobah in the Calif Dept of Rehab (rehab and employment services for persons with disabilities)

            1. caucus99percenter

              Thanks for those insights!


              I have two close friends who are blind but — aside from needing hearing aids myself — have little personal experience with deafness.

              With blindness, the big educational and cultural issue is Braille.

              For one thing, people who become blind in later life often find Braille reading skill too difficult to develop and don’t want to bother learning it. For another, authorities, in order to save money, sometimes don’t require blind children be taught Braille. The argument is that assistive technology — audiobooks, digital devices with screen readers, and computerized dictation — eliminate the need.

              That’s wrong. Relying on audio alone, a child does not get training in how English words are actually spelled. Furthermore, Braille is not only the foundation for basic literacy, it is a gateway to foreign languages, sheet music, and mathematical notation.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          My college had what I felt was a good language requirement, that perhaps increased study of foreign languages, at least for paper-averse students like myself.

          All students were required to take a course or two in a language, but it did not have to be English. The syllabus indicated that English courses required many lengthy papers, and I was way more interested in reading the books than in writing about it all afterwards. With foreign languages, the requirements were generally a lot of translation and maybe an essay or two.

          Got through college without ever taking an English course, and wound up being a classics major.

          1. Revenant

            The Cambridge English Tripos sees your language course requirements and raises.

            It is technically possible to read English at Cambridge without taking any papers in (modern) English, starting with the Chaucer, moving on to Shakespeare and then diving into Dante or other areas (Anglo-Saxon etc.). My friend was bored of English literature so left Trinity with a degree in English but a fluency in Italian.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        ah yes, the lingua franca of the world – it can be seen outside of the states when arrogant tourists don’t understand that everyone doesn’t speak our tongue – and it is sad – we had language available from high school when i went back in the early 60’s – my 4 years of Latin was interesting and helped with gaining a rudimentary understanding of Spanish when taking classes in it at college as well as picking up inferences in other languages when traveling Europe so long ago –

  20. ron paul rEVOLution

    >AI chemist finds molecule to make oxygen on Mars after sifting through millions Space (furzy). I do not like the personalizing of the AI in the headline.

    Very Red Mars by KSR. Using the materials on Mars to support life, build, etc. rather than bringing bottled oxygen for the ride. Also not a fan of personalizing AI.

    >Within six weeks, without any human intervention, the AI chemist selected, synthesized and tested 243 of those different molecules. The best catalyst the robot found could split water at minus 34.6 degrees F (minus 37 degrees C), the kind of cold temperature found on none other than Mars.

    The fact that they coupled AI to hardware and actually had it synthesize and test the compounds is… interesting. What are you supposed to do if you are going into college and trying to decide on a career right now? I certainly don’t see my job existing by the time I would like to retire after reading this.

    1. AndrewJ

      Engineering into maintenance and repair. These robots aren’t going to be able to fix themselves. Not very Jackpot-proof, though…

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Hundreds of Metro Detroit Jews stranded at D.C. airport by ‘malicious’ bus drivers”

    I know that the Detroit News was trying to cover their plight sympathetically but when it ends with their Detroit spokesmen saying-

    “We feel terrible for every single baby that is suffering and killed, and it’s a horrible war against Hamas,” he said. “The blame is squarely on Hamas.”

    Do they think that people would take kindly to that sentiment?

  22. pjay

    – French court issues arrest warrant for Bashar al-Assad for complicity in war crimes Guardian (Kevin W). The sarin gas fabrication is baaack.

    Coming soon:

    – The Center for Humanitarian Aid, Conflict Resolution, and Press Freedom for Iraq announces new evidence definitively proving that Saddam Hussein was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction!

    – The Institute for Freedom, Democracy, and Media Truth for Libya has confirmed through extensive investigation that Muammar Gaddafi did indeed provide Viagra to “rape squads” as part of his unprovoked terrorism of innocent civilians in Libya!

    These people are despicable pieces of ****. It does make you wonder why this is coming out now, though, doesn’t it?

    1. Feral Finster

      Translation the War On Syria may well heat up.

      It is no secret that Israel very much would like NATO to do to Syria (and Iran) what it did to Libya, so it’s time to break reheat some old allegations.

  23. Wukchumni

    Forest Pulse: The Latest on the World’s Forests Global Forest Review

    On our hike last weekend, 4 of us aged 51 to 62 spent a considerable time discussing whether the forest for the trees we were traipsing through, would be there while we were still living.

    The really burnt out areas of the KNP Fire had the quickest response in the aftermath of the winter of record for the southern Sierra, and trees take forever to grow compared to the various ground cover that took over in lieu of tall tales ala timber.

    Sadly, I only found out today that perhaps I have 6 years less to live, so the situation is even more urgent.

      1. Wukchumni

        It isn’t as bad as I paint it, Harvard only claims 4 years lessened life for American men, which might explain the trans phenomenon.

        1. Eclair

          The answer to having a longer life expectancy is money (and power): the richest 1% of men live 15 years longer than the poorest 1% of males (who, probably, are literally living on the streets, so not great for the health.) Wealthy women, OTOH, gain only 10 more years of life.

          1. Wukchumni

            Judging from a survey over 8 years of exactly 1 assisted living place and it’s 51 apartments, women greatly outnumber men @ a certain point with my late mom and a few others who skewed lefty, whereas everybody else was stridently conservative, including a number of bible thumpers holding down the fort on just the other side of Heaven’s door.

            There were exceptions, ‘Bulldog Bob’ lived to 103, and told me in great detail of the kamikaze attack on his ship in the South Pacific, over breakfast one morning.

        1. MaryLand

          Good to hear. I’m counting on the longevity in my tree also. It’s a worthy endeavor to keep improving what areas of our health we can. You never know when some of these effects make a change overall. And as you say, being out in nature provides a solace for many things.

        2. ambrit

          “I see a red pill,”
          “And I want it painted blue.”
          “I did not foresee the Jackpot,”
          “Happening to you.”

          ‘Elegy Written in an Imperial Churchyard.’

      1. Wukchumni

        Thanks, I have many role models, one of the cabin owners worked his way up from working on trail crews/fire crew to being the superintendent and if you were hiking or on a mule in Grand Canyon NP from the mid 60’s until the early 70’s, you might have come across him on his horse, or on foot as he was the Backcountry ranger for the park.

        He knew Ed Abbey, to give you an idea…

        Ken is a spray 82 and asked me a few months ago if I’d like to join him and a few other friends in visiting the Diamond Tree* in Mineral King, and its all steep off-trail in getting there, which takes a couple hours and about 1,500 feet of vertical to get to the goods, and he was good to go, never really wavered or seemed tired, and I thought to myself, man, that’s where I want to be when I grow up.

        An hour long NPS video interview of him from 1994

        *19th largest tree in the world

  24. Jason Boxman

    How R.F.K. Jr. Has Turned His Public Crusades Into a Private Windfall (NY Times via

    Whatever you think of Kennedy, it’s hilarious how Biden gets a pass on outright influence peddling and corruption, because NY Times.

    In 2021, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. earned more than $500,000 as the chairman and top lawyer at Children’s Health Defense, the nonprofit organization that he has helped build into a leading spreader of anti-vaccine falsehoods and a platform for launching his independent bid for the White House.

    This is only knowable because it’s legit. We only know about Biden’s family party money because of deep investigations and whistleblowers. Moreover, what Biden allegedly is involved in is illegal, not just immoral.

    Meanwhile, on vaccines in general, Biden and the CDC have done more to destroy public support of vaccination than Kennedy could have in his wildest dreams. Mandating non-sterilizing “vaccines”, based on experimental, modified RNA technology, while withholding data about it given to the FDA, and providing blanket immunity to the manufacturers, I can’t imagine why that might give legitimacy to the anti-vaccine camp?

    1. Screwball

      Speaking of “because NY Times.” Apologies if this has been linked here before. It seems the NY Times has not given up on pushing the Russia angle on anything. From the 14th of this month (couple of days ago).

      Ukraine Indicts Officials Linked to Efforts to Investigate the Bidens

      Under the headline is this;

      Three officials were accused of operating at the behest of Russian intelligence when they aligned with efforts by Rudolph W. Giuliani to tie the Biden family to corruption in Ukraine.

      From the article;

      Ukrainian police and prosecutors have accused two politicians and a former prosecutor of treason, saying they colluded with a Russian intelligence agency in aiding an effort by Rudolph W. Giuliani several years ago to tie the Biden family to corruption in Ukraine.

      Also implicated were a current member of Ukraine’s Parliament, Oleksandr Dubinsky, and a former member, Andriy Derkach, who had publicly advocated for an investigation in Ukraine into Hunter Biden. They had also promoted a spurious theory that it was Ukraine, and not Russia, that had meddled in the 2016 presidential election in the United States.

      It goes on to explain how Trump and Giuliani tried to get Ukraine to look into the Biden corruption that ended in Trumps impeachment due to the phone call.

      So after what, 7 years now, they are still peddling this stuff? Will it EVER end? All while they accuse so many others of spreading mis/dis-infomation and the need to crack down on that?

      Orwell would be proud.

    2. Pookah Harvey

      There is only one party. Biden was just continuing Trump policy.

      Operation Warp Speed was officially announced by Trump in May 2020. Operation Warp Speed was formed to encourage private and public partnerships to enable faster approval and production of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding was about $18 billion by October 2020.

      Operation Warp Speed used the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) as the financial interface between the U.S. federal government and the biomedical industry.
      Rick Bright, the BARDA director, was reassigned by the Trump administration in April 2020, following his resistance to (as he phrased it) “efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections”. Bright was immediately replaced by Moncef Slaoui, formerly Chairman of Global Vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline,

      The declaration that provided liability immunity for activities related to medical countermeasures against COVID–19 is dated February 2020.

      All of this predates Biden’s election. Biden just got on the train Trump had set in motion. This is a Uni-party effort to feed money to Big Pharma.

  25. Wukchumni

    Mike Johnson’s Shady Finances Are Already Coming Back to Bite Him Daily Beast
    When all that glitters was forever @ $300 to $400 an ounce back in the 80’s & 90’s, a number of hard sell bullion firms really ganged up on the evangs as they were an easy mark, gold is mentioned 418 times in the bible, not a hard sell.

    The FTC had decreed that a 40% markup was reasonable, so many bullion boiler rooms set their profit margins @ a safe 39.97% rate in abiding by the rules.

    Evangs could have bought Krugerrands or Maple Leafs for a tight $20 buy/sell spread from reputable firms, but instead were forced into other gold coins with whimsical added numismatic value.

    In the moribund marketplace of the era, they were a godsend in that nobody else really had all that much interest in old yellow.

    I’d suggest that Mike Johnson has most all of his wealth in unreportable #79, that’s why it looks like he’s a pauper on paper, financially.

      1. Wukchumni

        Were the almighty buck’s days as hegemon to come a cropper, evangs might be 1-eyed Kings financially in the scheme of things, a frightening thought.

        As far as I can tell, redemption into paper money was strictly voluntary in the aftermath of EO 6102, and by the mid 30’s numismatists were yammering that this edict made criminals of them, so the decree was put down that all gold coins dated before 1933 were completely legal to own by Americans.

        A typical buy/sell spread on a $20 Liberty or St Gaudens in the later 1960’s in the monthly Numismatic Scrapbook magazine was $40 to $45 when said coins contained $34 worth at melt value.

        The whole bullion market in the USA until January 1st 1975 was based on this, there were no bars or ingots for sale, but a host of older American gold coins, and Europe wanted in on the action, the Swiss in particular as they had somehow come into quite a bit of it, despite no new mining in any of the cantons during the war.

        Their first effort was clumsy as they minted oodles of 1935 dated 20 Francs coins (about 15th of a troy ounce in net weight) which missed the edict by 3 years, whoops!

        It was probably more to evade the fact of where the wherewithal came from, dating before festivities took place.

        They got smarter by having the Austrian mint strike coins in the 1950’s & 60’s with older designs of the Franz Joseph era, backdated to 1908 to 1915, they had really caught on, using another country as double deniability.

        Most any Austrian 1915 4 Ducat or 100 Corona or Hungarian 1908 100 Korona more than likely has Nazi gold in it.

        My favorite was the crafty Turks who minted coins dated 1923 with Ataturk on them, and below ‘1923’ was a couple of other numbers that you added to 1923 to get the current date, so if there was say a 44 underneath, the coin was issued in 1967.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I don’t understand why anyone would think Mike Johnson has money. I get hating him for his religion (all religon is repugnant to me) but I do not see any legitimacy to the corruption angle.

      He went to law school at LSU, worked for NGOs then became a public servant, got married and has kids. Only in Congress since 2016 (least senior member sworn in that session).

      Where is his money alleged to come from? Johnson was the result of an unplanned pregancy, his parents divorced. His dad was a fire fighter later injured on the job, there may have been settlement money and dad did die in 2016 but if there was a significant inheritance I guess Mike hid it well but I also guess that to Beltway folks it’s inconceivable that a white man could grow up in a non-wealthy family.

      This is heavy disinformation designed to make folks think that every DC pol is a crook but that’s not 100% true. Every time they list the wealthiest members of Congress, Chuck Grassley comes in near last in the Senate. Been a Senator since 1981, still only worth what his farm and two houses are worth (low single digit millions).

      Not someone I’d ever vote for, but if I was helping someone campaign against Grassley (or Johnson), I wouldn’t tolerate smears implying dishonesty. In a country where it is rare to find a non-corrupt politician, I take extreme umbrage at the efforts to malign Johnson ABSENT any kind of credible proof. Nothing in his lifestyle suggests hidden resources.

      Let him do his job, and right now his #1 job is impeaching Joe Biden, which would be a good thing.

      1. Feral Finster

        “Let him do his job, and right now his #1 job is impeaching Joe Biden, which would be a good thing.”

        That is precisely why Johnson is being smeared, that and his intransigence with regard to Ukraine.

      2. ThirtyOne

        But that does not mean that Johnson doesn’t have a mission. In fact, he does. And he has the motivation to see that mission through. Here he is speaking in front of Congress prior to being sworn in as Speaker.

        MIKE JOHNSON: I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this. I believe that Scripture, the Bible, is very clear. That God is the one that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you. All of us. And I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment in this time.

        This is my belief. I believe that each one of us has a huge responsibility today. To use the gifts that God has given us to serve the extraordinary people of this great country, and they deserve it. And to ensure that our republic remains standing as the great beacon of light and hope and freedom in a world that desperately needs it.

        Interesting guy, ol’ Mikey.

      3. Pat

        I don’t expect him to be a millionaire, but that NGO was paying him several hundred thousand dollars a year. We have less information on his wife, but all indications are she was also in the top 5% of earners for Louisiana. They weren’t living in NY or San Francisco. These two people should have some assets. Not Nancy Pelosi level assets, but there should definitely be some savings, and a mostly paid off house. There is no catastrophic event that could have wiped them out . So not having any accounts with more than $5000 in them and no reportable real estate equity is troubling. Once again not the same way as Pelosi or Biden’s shenanigans, but we don’t know how this happened and there are more ways it could be the result of manipulation rather than just not being good with money.
        That we don’t know is one more clear indication that financial disclosure for officials is not remotely adequate.

  26. Insouciant Iowan

    Poor Nicholas Kristof, horrified by what is happening in Gaza, but transfixed by loyalty to Israel (and maybe something about keeping his job), tries his hand a both sideism.
    Both Israel and Hamas are right, but Israelis are different from their government as Palestinians are not Hamas, so the people on both sides are victims of unscrupulous governing bodies.
    He mostly evades acknowledging that history did not start with Hamas or the Netanyahu war. But he suggests it is an antagonism between peers.
    He embraces a two-state solution but doesn’t know if that will actually make things better. He also passes over how two-states might become a reality given Israeli intransigence and covert, and contra official US policy, US support for Israel continued expropriation and settlement of what the UN designated as Palestinian land.

  27. Alice X

    In their meeting at the White House, Indonesian President Joko Widodo calls on Biden to help stop the atrocities in Gaza and for a ceasefire for the sake of humanity. He did this in the White House directly in front of Biden. He spoke in English so there would be no mistakes in translation. It begins at 4:20 in the video here. Biden’s immediate response was a non sequitur, he is not functional.

    1. Alice X

      Biden is seriously dysfunctional. Is the Blob really going to let him run against the Orange Man, whom they detest more than anyone?

      1. JBird4049

        It is likely that with Biden carefully stage managed doing no debates or likely (and God help us, if this is true) Gavin Newsom who is a corrupt tool, but has more brains than either Biden Kamala Harris. An excellent front man.

        If they can get the seriously ill Biden out of the White House and replace him with yet another handpicked, easily manipulatable successor, without major unrest, then I suspect that they will keep trying to keep corrupt, biddable, nonentities in the Oval Office. The Democratic Party will have proven to be a completely corrupt, pseudo-political party. That means that it would have to be abandon, staked, and burnt to ashes.

        Newsom is a nonentity because while he is intelligent and charismatic in person, like Harris he is in it for the money, maybe the status, and I do not see anything else. It is a glitzy, Las Vegas style façade.

        I am not using his severe dyslexia as the major problem. No, dyslexia can be a severe handicap, it still has nothing to do with his basic intelligence. In fact, his ability to be such a such a high ranking politician speaks well of his competency even with his personal connections to California’s ruling oligarchy. It is his lack of spine especially when it comes to serving the people, unless you are a wealthy, potential donor that is. I also do not think he is self reflective at all.

        1. Alice X

          I didn’t mean to suggest that the political machinery is anything but the shadow play of the oligarchs.

          I was just thinking out loud that the Blob might just bump him off, but certainly not necessarily in an obvious way. Dark times lead to dark doings.

          1. Acacia

            Heck, they don’t even have to overtly bump him off. As you say, Biden is so visibly dysfunctional, that it would only take one serious, uh, fall down the stairs of Air Force One, a trip to Walter Reed — where Joe suddenly falls into a “tragic and unfortunate” concussion induced coma, never to return —, and nobody aside from his wife Dr. Jill would ask any questions (before she needed to be, ahem, sedated for her own good).

            There must be dozens of senior officials ready to roll the crocodile tears for an untimely end to Joe’s career and conscious life. I would submit that 99% of Team Blue would actually breathe a sigh of relief were Dementia Joe to start pushing up daisies while Newsom gets booted up as the new DNC droid.

            That’s real Term Blue loyalty for ya. ;)

  28. t

    Blood for Satan

    Satan Temple has a project to distribute menstrual supplies which I recommend highly.

    They also have diapers for the lil’ devils.

    Probably doing the best job of any church in making good use of their tax exempt status to fund good deeds.

  29. Carolinian

    Another good Patrick Lawrence

    After watching the Herzog video and then the London footage, I thought of a memorable passage in Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism:

    “In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.”

    Arendt was looking back to the Reich and Stalin’s Soviet Union when she wrote her celebrated 1951 treatise. But the thought seems never to have been thereafter far from her mind.

    In a conversation with a French, free-speech activist not long before her death in 1975, Arendt had yet blunter words as to what eventually comes of circumstances such as ours. “If everybody always lies to you,” she said to Roger Errera, “the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.”

    He’s saying that our Western societies are increasingly living in a world without truth even as they denounce Third World objectors as fanatics. Some of us might add that lying is also about power–the power to force people to accept the lie even if they don’t believe it. Call it the car salesman version of society (they know you need that car).

    Of course the antihero, the trickster, the liar is the stuff of fiction. Breaking Bad was a great show. But what we enjoy as entertainment we should view with contempt in real life. Language may be our greatest invention and shouldn’t be abused.

  30. ChrisRUEcon

    > So much for normalizing relations …

    Gawd, what a jackass …

    ” … he’s a dictator […] because he runs a […] Communist country […] with a form of government totally different from ours.”

    I have this tweet bookmarked for the people who think China is an un-democratic country (via X/Twitter).

    Dunno about you, but knowing how Xi rose to the Chinese premiership gives me more confidence in their form of government than say, knowing a carnival-barker billionaire cruised down the escalator of his own hotel one day to announce his run for US President, and seventeen months later, it was fait-accompli.

    I can’t wait for this gerontocrat nightmare and his sleazy administration accomplices to exit stage left …. UGH

  31. Bill

    Kristoff: “I’m exasperated by people whose hearts bleed for only one side, or who say about the toll on the other: “It’s tragic, but ….” No “buts.” Unless you believe in human rights for Jews and for Palestinians, you don’t actually believe in human rights.”

    I mainly agree with a lot of what he says in the article, but saying there are no “buts” rules out discussing any context, doesn’t it? I weep for the innocent killed on both sides, yes, but (there’s that word) the Hamas attack didn’t happen in a vacuum. I don’t have to support what Hamas did, but Gaza has been a pressure cooker for decades, and pressure cookers can explode. Take away the pressure, no explosion. How does saying this mean that I don’t actually believe in human rights?

  32. Wukchumni

    Hmong among us dept:

    Godzone was one of the areas of the country to receive Hmong immigrants after the fall of Saigon in 1975…

    Hadn’t been to our quaint little cemetery in Tiny Town in a year and when last paying a visit, noticed oh so many exotic out of towners doing long term rentals there, which was comforting knowing that such things still exist as short term rentals like AirBnB et al suck the atmosphere out of the community 6 feet above.

    Local gravesites with few exceptions were tasteful and on the down low, very little in the way of ostentation, but its a different world for the Hmong, another 8 or 9 of whom planted roots in the past year.

    Many of the Hmong tombstones are as much as 5 to 6 feet tall, some have photos of the deceased, others have imagery from the Vietnam War era inscribed, such as a F-4 jet, etc. A number of them are painted white, so the effect is they tend to stick out.

    Hmong don’t go away easily, the process of seeing somebody off takes days, and our cemetery had signs up requesting that food not be left at the base of tombstones, as is the custom when visiting later on apparently.

    Ideally, they want to hang out for all eternity ideally on the western facing slope of a mountain, and as luck would have it, that’s the layout of our cemetery perched right below Blossom Peak.

    I’d guess there are now 35 Hmong among us, which will bedevil historians in the year 2125 if man is still alive, as there are no Hmong living in Tiny Town that i’m aware of, but it will appear that they were a part of our community, c’est la vie.

  33. Daryl

    Greetings from not-particularly-sunny San Francisco. It has been not overly chaotic outside of the city this week, just a little busy. I went back through the city yesterday and there were cops every 5 feet on the Bay Bridge; thinking back I can never recall seeing a cop car there, ever. There were some fireworks over the bay, regaling the Chinese with something they invented (and probably made). It seems this morning that all westbound traffic on the bay bridge has been shut down by a protest for the ceasefire. Which good — but I think I’d rather go up against the national guard than an average California driver.

  34. Jason Boxman

    This came up indirectly recently from Cory Doctorow: Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air: the Freakonomics of conservation, climate and energy (linked to recently)

    Sustainable Energy – without the hot air

    Available as a free PDF download, or as a book, and as HTML now.

    David MacKay FRS is the Regius Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge and then obtained his PhD in Computation and Neural Systems at the California Institute of Technology. He returned to Cambridge as a Royal Society research fellow at Darwin College. He is internationally known for his research in machine learning, information theory, and communication systems, including the invention of Dasher, a software interface that enables efficient communication in any language with any muscle. He was appointed a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at Cambridge in 1995 and was a Professor in the Department of Physics from 2003 to 2013. Since 2005, he has devoted much of his time to public teaching about energy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

    Nine months after the publication of ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’, David MacKay was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

    And relatedly: Sustainable Materials: With Both Eyes Open

    Both have high praise from Doctorow.

    1. Revenant

      Mackay sadly WAS Regius Prof. He died of non-smoker’s lung cancer some years ago now, despite being a wiry running type. That paper must be most of a decade old, if not more. He was a brilliant man, a restless polymath who could not abide non-rigorous thinking, whether in or oiylut of his core professional interests in information theory. And as a good Scot and a science spod, he wore shorts and sandals in all weathers!

      He was my supervisor for the information theory course in Comp. Sci. He did not suffer fools gladly. One of my clearest memories of an emotion in a supervision is of being pleased as punch the one time I said something he thought intelligent.

      One of his inventions, a minor one intellectually but still elegant and minimalist, I think, was a predictive text system for the disabled where the letters scroll horizontally and as the predicted word stream splits, you fly the cursor just by moving it up or down between the predicted streams.

    2. Irrational

      The first book is absolutely excellent, I have not read the second one.
      Very practical approach like how large % of land surface would we need to cover with windmills etc to meet our energy needs.

  35. Wukchumni

    Colorado River in Crisis: A Los Angeles Times documentary Los Angeles Times
    I did snow surveys in Mineral King for a number of years, using the same state of the art 1912 equipment* as seen @ 2 minutes in on the excellent video, kudos to the LA Times for producing it.

    Usually we’d be doing a kayak trip on the Colorado River this weekend, but a combination of lack of interest, and the silly F-1 race in Pavlovegas making accommodation spendy, we decided to do it over New Years instead.

    On the last few trips we’ve noticed a great fall in numbers of waterfowl-compared to years past. We’ll see how things look in 6 weeks time.

    * never improved upon

  36. Amfortas the Hippie

    i got to this via al mayadeen,lol.

    dude is rabid.
    “we were just ambling along in other peoples’ back yards, minding our own empire bidness…when they started yelling at us…”
    its is russia, china and hamas(iran) who are the “aggressors”, you know…

    so we need…you guessed it…more money for “defense”!
    a trillion dollars a year just aint what it used to be…what with inflation and all…
    and that means(yes he actually says this) that politicians will just hafta tell the elderly that their ss/medicare is being cut…otherwise, they’ll be upset when their grandkids get sent to foreign wars(nowhere is it suggested that maybe we stop poking our foot in everybody else’s stuff)
    FP is always a hoot.

  37. Maxwell Johnston

    ‘The AIVD CEO who saw how Russia prepared for war with the West’ —

    Thanks for posting this; it’s an important insight to an oft-overlooked aspect of the European mindset. The USA has its neocons and empire builders, but fundamentally the USA is not afraid of Russia; the USA’s elites might see Russia either as a great power rival or as an outright enemy, but fear plays little role post-1991. Whereas in Europe (and not only in eastern Europe, as this article makes clear), there is a long-standing strain of fierce anti-Russian sentiment strong enough to make the USA’s neocons blush. People like Robert Spronk are a minority, but they have influence. In western Europe, there exists a visceral fear of Russia that has no equivalent in the USA; maybe it’s something related to Russian soldiers physically tromping around places like Berlin and Paris not so very long ago. Something atavastic and irrational. Asians. Barbarians. Mongols. Scythians. When it comes to being anti-Russia, the Yankees will never out-do the Europeans.

    I am increasingly pessimistic that EU-Russia relations will normalize within my lifetime.

    1. Revenant

      The Russians never liberated Paris. The French named their landmarks after Stalingrad etc put of gratitude.

      They did stomp around Berlin, however, but so did the Americans and we aren’t afraid of them. Yet.

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          That’s a fun little article. I knew about Russian troops in Paris and the etymology of the word ‘bistro’ (from the Russian ‘быстро’), but I didn’t know about the zinc countertops. Russians spurring cafe innovation!

        2. Daniil Adamov

          There is a village in the Urals called Parizh, i.e. Paris. Most of the people who live there are a particular small ethnicity (Nagaybaks) whose ancestors provided some of the light cavalry in those days. A few decades after the Napoleonic Wars, they moved to their current location and founded several settlements named after their victories (some after battles, some after cities taken). Much more recently, a telecommunications company built a smaller copy of the Eiffel Tower in Parizh:

          (I know this because I once studied with someone who made ethnographic documentaries about the Nagaybaks, including one in which some of the people from Parizh travelled to that other Paris.)

  38. Karl

    RE: Keir Starmer’s labour “rebellion” over Ceasefire vote

    Starmer’s position seems similar to what any U.S. politician would say:

    “No government would allow the capability and intent to repeat such an attack [Oct. 7] to go unchallenged,” he added.

    Of course, there is no nuance here about the conditions in Gaza, etc. But U.S. politicians don’t do nuance either.

    Western politicians defend Israel as justly defending their people from “Jihadists” and “religious extremists”.But what are these but martyrs suffering the dire consequences of just actions committed against superior brute power. Considering what Israel did to Beirut in the ’80’s, Hamas must have known Israel would have carried out a maximalist response Oct. 7.

    In a Christian context, martyrdom is heroic. I’m seeing Islamic martyrdom in Gaza in a similar light.

    The Foreign Affairs article I linked to above in this post says that Israel’s actions in Beirut, which also killed tens of thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians, only ended up creating more martyrs, particularly in a new organization called Hezbollah. So what Starmer is saying, in effect, is: what brutal power wouldn’t use its brutality to create more martyrs, and sow the seeds for further martyrdom, when faced with an attack like Oct. 7?

    Yes, Israel may wipe out Hamas, but what new monster will take its place?

    Be careful, Mr. Starmer and Mr. Sunak, that you don’t bring blowback of more martyrdom on British soil.

  39. SG

    Someone should point out to Mondoweiss that “Al Aqsa Flood” was Hamas’s code name for the Oct. 7 pogrom. The codename for the Israeli response is “Sword of Iron”.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *