Links 11/21/2023

This Japanese village was on the verge of being deserted, so a resident filled it with life-size dolls ABC Australia (Kevin W)

Why Won’t Men Wear Hot Pink While Hunting? Wall Street Journal (Dr. Kevin). What a great color.

Coalitional Instincts Edge (Chuck L). I have not read this carefully enough, but as an introvert with contrary tendencies, I recoil at praise of teams. I see them as coercive.

2. The Color of Your Consciousness Black Box Site (Walt D)



Earth surpasses critical 2-degree warming threshold, European climate officials say Los Angeles Times (David L)

Greening the Void: Climate Change and Political Legitimacy Philip Pilkington and Malcom Kyeyune American Affairs Journal. albrt: “This article is quite good, even though it will be taken as confirming some positions of climate or covid deniers.”

‘Where did I go wrong?’ The scientist who tried to raise the climate alarm Guardian (Kevin W)

The great carbon divide Guardian (furzy)

Giant batteries drain economics of gas power plants Reuters (Robin K)

Frustration as latest talks on global plastic treaty close Nine News (Kevin W)

All the Metals We Mined in One Visualization Visual Capitalist. BC: “Wow. Iron is almost 14 times all other metals combined.”

Fish House Project transforms decommissioned insulators into thriving marine habitats Pattaya Mail (furzy)


So this is the reason for the government to buy up the housing overhang? It’s a good idea, provided the main reason really is to provide housing and not prop up the market.

The next big tech war front: RISC-V Asia Times (Kevin W)

This does not make much sense. How will these countries acquire the yuan to make the repayments? International loans are VERY large transactions. The yuan is not much internationally traded (and won’t be as long as China continues to run, or is anticipated to be willing to impose, capital controls) and these countries are pretty certain not to be running trade surpluses with China, which is what they’d need to do to acquire yuan through tradeL


India’s daughters New York Times (furzy)

European Disunion

Germany freezes new spending commitments as budget woes deepen Reuters (Robin K)

Javier Milei: Argentina’s far-right outsider wins presidential election BBC


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 45: Israeli military besieges the last functioning hospital in northern Gaza Mondoweiss

Another Gaza hospital caught in fighting, as storms deepen civilian misery Washington Post (Kevin W)

* * *

To Palestine: Lessons from overthrowing the French in Algeria The Cradle (Chuck L)

Apartheid South Africa reached a tipping point, Israel will, too Al Jazeera (Dr. Kevin)

On Non-Violent Resistance London Review of Books (guurst)

* * *

Nakba generation relive trauma of displacement in Gaza Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

To Save Gaza, Invoke the Genocide Convention Sam Husseini. Userfriendly “Helpful list of un missions to email at the end.”

* * *

Rape, ISIS, Mein Kampf and Other Lies: How Israel Lost All Credibility Antiwar (Kevin W)

Student Gaza Protests Targeted by Pro-Israel Groups for Civil Rights Violations Intercept (Dr. Kevin)

“Massacred” vs “Left to Die”: Documenting Media Bias Against Palestinians Oct 7 – Nov 7 Column Blog. Userfriendly: “As if there were any doubt. But here are the receipts.”

* * *

Israel-Palestine war: The fate of Hamas’ captives could tear Israeli society apart Middle East Eye (Kevin W)

* * *

Biden orders top aides to prepare reprimands for violent Israeli settlers in West Bank Politico (Dr. Kevin)

US embarks on proxy war against Iran Indian Punchline

Pending global threats from the Israel-Hamas war that are not being aired in Western media just yet Gilbert Doctorow

New Not-So-Cold War

Tired Ukrainian Troops Fight to Hold Back Russian Offensive: ‘They Come Like Zombies’ Wall Street Journal. “Zombies” is the new trope.

Ukraine ‘concerned’ about Western push for Russia talks – security chief RT

The West Would Never Talk About Its Minorities The Way That Ukraine Talks About Its Russian One Andrew Korybko

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Hackers are taking over planes’ GPS — experts are lost on how to fix it New York Post (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Will the Scorpion Sting the U.S. Frog? Alastair Crooke (furnace)

The WEF “Cyber Attack” Scenario: Another Crisis “Much Worse Than COVID”, Paralysis of Power Supply, Communications, Transportation Michel Chossudovsky. This has been a trope of survivalist ads on YouTube for some time.


5 ways Democrats are coping with Biden’s terrible polls Politico (Kevin W)

Senate Democrats warn Manchin that running for president would risk disaster The Hill. Messages a mixture of thuggish and desperate. “What about ‘This is a free country’ don’t you understand?”

Colorado Official Slams Judge’s ‘Very Troubling’ Trump Insurrection Case Ruling HuffPo. (furzy). Unseemly whining. Judge had very aggressive finding of facts for Team Dem, but disagreed on the law. So go and appeal, FFS.

Our No Longer Free Press

X loses ad sales, faces blowback after Musk antisemitism controversy The Hill

Elon Musk’s X sues Media Matters for America Axois. If Musk’s allegations pan out, Media Matters will be in a world of hurt. The response so far not convincing. But also notice lack of editing of this piece, like missing words. AI on the loose?

Tell us how you really feel :-):


This Is Why Google Paid Billions for Apple to Change a Single Setting New York Times (David L)


Future of OpenAI in Jeopardy as Workers Threaten to Quit Wall Street Journal. Lead story. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.

Inside the Chaos at OpenAI The Atlantic (David L)

The Doomed Mission Behind Sam Altman’s Shock Ouster From OpenAI Bloomberg (David L)

Why Americans feel gloomy about the economy despite falling inflation and low unemployment Associated Press

The Bezzle

SpaceX celebrates Starship launch as a success – even with the explosion The Register

The reincarnation of totaled Teslas—in Ukraine ars technica (Chuck L)

Class Warfare

Hamburber Fortune Walter Kirn

Medicare Advantage is giving away billions to corporate insurers. It’s time we put a stop to it The Hill (Glenn F)

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon (I think 😊), visiting a lantana plant (I think) at West Los Angeles College. (It’s considering enrolling.)”

And a bonus. Chuck L note: “Per Science Girl: ‘Why women live longer than men.'”

And a second bonus (Chuck L):

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “The reincarnation of totaled Teslas—in Ukraine”

    I have to confess that as I opened this article, I had a vision of a hundred Teslas painted in camo colours being driven against the Russian lines – with their batteries starting to flare and burn. Sort of like how a coupla months ago the Russians were sending light tanks against Ukrainian lines but which were rigged as IEDS.

  2. SocalJimObjects

    Maglev train in China. Shanghai has long had a Maglev train, connecting the city and Pudong airport, albeit at a top speed of 300 km/h not the proposed 1000 km/h. The last time I was there in 2012, I wanted to take the train but the terminal station in the city was super inconvenient to get to from where I was staying, so I ended up taking the airport bus, LOL.

    1. El Slobbo

      I took that train a few years ago. I have a picture of the speedometer at 431 km per hour. You can connect to three subway lines at the terminus. I found the subways more convenient than a taxi for the remainder of the journey.

      1. Ken Murphy

        I got to ride it back in 2009 when I was sent to China to meet with some banking regulators. An unbelievably smooth ride, and quite fast. Some pretty sweet tech.

        I would also note that on the flight from Beijing to Shanghai the landing was sooo soft. Kudos to the pilot.

        As much as folks want to dog on the Chinese, as individuals I found most of them to be quite decent. They just want to live their lives and be happy with their families like pretty much anyone anywhere else. What impressed me most was their hustle. They want to get stuff done. You looking for something?; Yeah we can get that for you.

        The Chinese government? Well, that’s a bit more problematic, but is that any less true here in the U.S.? Or, for that matter, can anyone point me to a government that isn’t particularly problematic right now? Sadly we do seem to be living in interesting times.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Its been quite a few years since I used the Shanghai Airport link, but it is stunningly smooth and beautiful to ride, it presents one of the best ‘airport to city’ experiences in the world.

      Its based on German maglev tech and it was being seriously investigated in the 1990’s as the basis for some of the higher capacity rail lines China was planning at the time, but Siemens refused to license the technology for further use, which was probably a bad move as it turns out nobody else wants it, including German railways.

      The new Chinese system looks impressive, but it depends on vacuum tunnels which are likely to be extremely expensive to build – its hard to see it having a future except for some very high capacity routes. There are huge technical and safety obstacles to overcome. The Japanese Chou Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka is much further advanced – its also a maglev and very fast (500kph or thereabouts), probably as fast as is possible for a train without vacuum tubes.

      Just as an aside, trains using vacuum tubes have been around for railways since the 19th century – one operated in Dublin for a couple of decades – but it wasn’t a fully enclosed tunnel, just a ‘drag’ tube. Apparently the Dalkey Atmospheric Line fell foul of rats eating the leather valves. According to legend, rats would occasionally get blown into the next county at altitude if they started munching when the train was active.

      As for maglevs, they’ve been the next big thing for the last half century. Lots of short lines, but costs always seem to preclude real networks. I hope the Chuo Shinkansen changes this.

      1. AG

        Some 15 years ago in Shanghai myself – however only as a tourist – I was told by the Ex-pats there, the “Shanghai Express” (labeled like the 1932 Marlene Dietrich movie) ) was intended for business people and rich (Western) tourists. Which was no solution for modern transportation issues. Thus mainly a PR-option for Siemens/Thyssen in China.

        In the FRG in the early 1990s the system was said to be inadequate for the needs of a densly populated major German railway network – no connection to the existing rails naturally – making massive additional spending necessary that would be missing for renewing little known regional connections / massive environmental issues re: the huge maglev trails / time gains via mph max only on longer distances.

        A EU-wide major maglev network would have made sense. But that´s utopia. Not least of all due to Airbus´ difficult financial position and pet-project status (as the EU opponent to Boeing).

        In hindsight I don´t know if all these points are still correct. But looking at the demise of the German railway network today, the lack of investment has become even worse. A parallel, completely detached system of its own would have been no help.

        Which doesn´t mean to say I would be opposed to the idea itself. It has certainly its beauty and merits. But you don´t use a Ferrari in the city centre either (unless you wanna show off.)

      2. Acacia

        In the late 80s, I took a few rides on the experimental German M-Bahn that was installed in Berlin.

        It was a totally automated, driverless system. One thing I remember was hearing and feeling noise as it took some curves. I had thought it was totally supported by a magnetic field, and wondered if the undercarriage was scraping as it banked.

        Turns out the design was to only support about 85% of the train cars using the magnetic field, and there were still some small conventional wheels underneath. I wonder if this was part of the reason the design was never adopted.

        Still, the whole system seemed pretty cool, especially that it was driverless. This was almost 10 years before the Paris Météor (line 14) went into operation, also driverless, but which uses rubber-tire rolling stock.

        1. AG

          I only have heard of the M-Bahn (I was not in Berlin at that time).

          German daily TAZ is reminding of it here, on Nov. 20th:

          But the arguments against “maglev in the city” were the same 1990s as today.
          However the eventual end to the M-Bahn was due to the unification and incompatibility with East Berlin.

          German Wiki-page on M-Bahn is pretty comprehensive:

          M-Bahn system was regarded as inferior to the electrodynamic suspension system later used for the known maglev system. Nonetheless German Ministry for Science provided several million D-Marks to r&d M-Bahn for Berlin.

          p.s. one known German scholar on public transport and autonomous systems:

    3. John

      I led student trips to China for about 10 years. The tour always ended in Shanghai. We would be delivered to the station by our bus which would then proceed to Pudong airport with our luggage. 300 kph was fast enough for me. There was always that moment when the city bound train passed us.The two trains were closing with one another at about 600kph. The colliding slip streams, a blur, and the train was gone in an instant. IIRC, it took seven minutes to reach the airport. Then we slogged up to meet the bus collect the luggage and thank the driver. Worth inconvenience at least once.

  3. JB

    Have many people been following Glenn Greenwald’s Rumble? I completely tuned-out of Glenn’s stuff for years, partly because I didn’t know it was focused on his show on Rumble – but it’s really good, he is back on the civil-liberties-beat like the late-2000’s/early-2010’s (never really left it I guess), but it’s in the form of a nightly show now (which normally I’d avoid, but tbh this is kind of good time wise as I listen in the background, so it’s not as big a time commitment as reading his signature long-form, which was always excellent).

    It’s the best and most focused coverage of increasing online censorship that I’ve seen. To the point I’d describe it as almost mandatory to watch (in the background, or while having/making breakfast/dinner etc. – I have it on a second screen while coding/working).

    It’s like if you’re jaded after it being 20+ years from the WTC attacks and Iraq War, the principles learned from that time starting to fade or become less clear (or a good point he made recently, some people were just kids back then and didn’t learn all those lessons at all) – his coverage is just like his long-form writing, it’s like an ultra-clear, constructively repetitive grounding in those principles, executed very eloquently/clearly (and in the context of important events happening now).

    His most recent show today (watching while I type) is relevant to all this too (and I see his tweet in links here) – with Rumble and X in a lawsuit against Media Matters, for fraudulent accusations trying to pressure them into censorship.

    1. Alice X

      I’ve regularly watched his System Update since its inception. His civil rights and free speech stance align with my own. Trust but verify.

    2. UserFriendlyyy

      Yes, it is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to while driving, working out or cleaning. Brianahas Joy Grey (bad faith, and the Hill’s Rising) and Useful Idiots with Aaron Mate and Katie Halper are others.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        MUST sees all.

        Put ’em together with some newsmax and a network nightly “news” (abc in this household), and the contrast in the ways “information” is “disseminated” to an unsuspecting public will blow your mind wide open.

  4. digi_owl

    GPS is 80s tech. Basically a bunch of sats that is broadcasting location and time continually, allowing the receiver unit to compute location via triangulation.

    As with many things back then, it was all security by obscurity. Nobody envisioned someone faking a signal from a ground transmitter, after all that would require far to much expensive tech.

    If it was built today, at minimum the signal would include some kind of signed hash to ensure it was coming from a legitimate source.

    1. Carolinian

      One should say that airplanes do have alternate pre GPS navigation beacons across the US as well as that legacy thing called a compass. Have just been reading about those PanAm flying boats that would cross the Pacific in the 1930s–stopping at postage stamp islands. They had a plexiglass bubble on top of the plane so the navigator could take star sights.

      1. Carolinian

        Reading the article the Murdoch Post tries to blame it all on Iran (of course) but links to this with a lot more detail.

        The anomalies are taking place in the Middle East and it has been reported that in Ukraine the Russians have developed the capability to block GPS altogether. Therefore it’s not impossible that Iran is messing with GPS to help protect themselves against Israel. Apparently the problem also has to do with airliner flight management firmware which is not programmed to detect and deal with GPS spoofing and perhaps too dependent on GPS. There are also the just mentioned VOR beacons as well as inertial navigation such as is used by ICBMs and old fashioned dead reckoning (that compass).

      2. digi_owl

        The problem is not really the pilots as such, but all the tech, in particular the ever sprawling autopilot, that depend on all this stuff working.

        In them old planes there even was a flight engineer that was responsible for monitoring and advising on the state of the engines and like during flight.

        These days some airlines want to eliminate even the copilot, arguing the automation is good enough for the plane to only have one person in the cockpit.

        1. The Rev Kev

          One person and a dog. The airlines would have a pilot there but also a dog and the purpose of the dog would be to snap at the pilot if he tried to even touch those controls.

      3. Jason Boxman

        Before the Pandemic, the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum had an exhibit I visited, sadly I didn’t take notes, that covered the entire history of discovering and working with longitude, which is apparently extremely challenging to solve, and then it went into doing so while in flight, and finally in space. Extremely complicated stuff, but long before GPS as you’ve said we had other ways of determining location with some reliability. Wow, it was this:

        By 1700, finding latitude at sea was routine and fairly accurate.

        But finding longitude was mostly guesswork. Astronomers thought the answer to finding longitude lay in observing the skies. Others thought the solution was a good seaworthy clock, but no such clock existed.

        After an outpouring of ideas and generations of work, both a good clock and a good sextant for observations were invented. These instruments revolutionized position-finding at sea.

        They have all the gadgets (that fit inside anyway) in the exhibit. These museums is probably the one reason I’d almost like to live in DC. It’s an opportunity to see that there’s still some wonder in the world, not all neoliberal exploitation and death.

        1. scott s.

          There was a big to-do when the Naval Academy decided to eliminate sextant training from professional development. They eventually had to bring it back. Though in my day you did sight reduction by punching tables in the air almanac (preferred to nautical almanac) and filling out a strip of paper with lines for each step in the calc. Today I suppose “there’s an app for that”. Also reminds of the old 12 o’clock report by the messenger “Captain, the officer of the deck sends his respects and reports the hour of twelve o’clock. All chronometers have been wound and compared. Request permission to strike eight bells on time”.

        2. mary jensen

          “Longitude”, an absolutely wonderful tv series:

          Longitude is a 2000 TV drama produced by Granada Television and the A&E Network for Channel 4, first broadcast between 2 and 3 January 2000 in the UK on Channel 4 and the US on A&E. It is a dramatisation of the 1995 book of the same title by Dava Sobel. It was written and directed by Charles Sturridge and stars Michael Gambon as clockmaker John Harrison (1693–1776) and Jeremy Irons as horologist Rupert Gould (1890–1948).[1]

          youtube link:

      4. scott s.

        USCG used to have station ships between US mainland and Hawaii for over-ocean navigation. Of course in our infinite wisdom we decommed LORAN and OMEGA. (Here on Oahu there is the ongoing battle over the old OMEGA site which began life as a WWII US Navy transmit site. The navy built a series of stairs up the side of the pali known popularly as “Stairway to Heaven” and given to the City after the closure for use as a hike attraction. Unfortunately the city couldn’t work out an access agreement at the base of the stairs and after years of wrangling now will tear them down.)

  5. LawnDart

    Re; Gaza

    This posted a few hours ago:

    ‘Israel’ deliberately kills Al Mayadeen’s crew in South Lebanon

    Al Mayadeen’s correspondent, Farah Omar, alongside cameraman Rabih Me’mari, were martyred today by an Israeli bombing that deliberately targeted them after they had just finished their live broadcast.–deliberately-kills-al-mayadeen-s-crew-in-south-leba

    More names for the wall at the future Gaza Holocaust Museum, I suppose.

    A running total of journalists/press killed during this conflict (lags due to verification process):

    Journalist casualties in the Israel-Gaza war

    1. The Rev Kev

      It is only a matter of time until they do the same to a CNN, BBC, DW or a MSNBC news crew. Does anybody here seriously think that a Biden White House will come down on them for doing this like a ton of bricks or will they just say ‘mistakes were made’ and it was ‘the fog of war.’

        1. JTMcPhee

          Stronger response, then, than the silence and lies following the Israeli attempt to sink the United States Ship “Liberty,” back in 1967. Killed 34 Navy and NSA people and wounded 171.

          1. The Rev Kev

            And it was John McCain’s father that wrapped the entire inquiry about this in only about ten days and deep-sixed it. And survivors along with any service people that heard the transmissions that day were threatened with military prison if they revealed what actually happened. You will know when the US has broken free from the grip that Israel holds on it when they eventually name a aircraft carrier or a nuclear submarine the ‘USS Liberty.’

        1. John k

          Cnn too, and bbc, though there’s a rumor the latter has been told to stop it and get with the (apparently genocide) program. Still, I’m used to msm being all in on any war, this has so far been different. Funny, a million Iraqis were ok to go, but 13k now too many… or maybe realizing 2.4 mil are having issues with food/water.
          Germans thought genocide was best, now Israeli Jews think those Nazis had a good idea… so convenient, problem solved. And cheap, too, uncle sweet provides the bombs. 9 mil counting West Bank? That’s the holocaust plus pol pot.

    2. Verifyfirst

      It seems to me Israel is targeting the non-Hamas civil leadership in Gaza–doctors, lawyers, activists, journalists (who are all Gazans, since foreign journalists are not allowed in, unless embedded with IDF), even poets…..

      I do think the Zionists will in the long run regret drawing so much attention to how they treat Palestinians in the occupied territories–there seem to be many more stories like the water story in links above, touching every aspect of life. I have learned about the kneecapping by Israeli snipers back in 2018, which I had not registered at the time. Horrific by any standard.

      1. pjay

        Yes. And force all the bought and paid for members of Congress to take the tour.

        “The future Gaza Holocaust Museum” has a powerful resonance which I plan on utilizing from here out. Don’t know if you originated the phrase LawnDart, but thank you for your service regardless.

  6. The Rev Kev

    Never forget how Israel treated the Warsaw Ghetto uprising hero Marek Edelman for supporting Palestinian struggle. Despite receiving the French legion of honour and Polands highest honor at th 65th commemoration, Israel refused to acknowledge him, a ‘non-person’ in Israel 1/’

    You read this guy’s Wikipedia entry and he really was an international hero. In 1993, he accompanied a convoy of goods into the city of Sarajevo while that city was under siege – when he was in his 70s. I have never heard of this guy before but reading his entry, cannot forget him now. Israel has really shortchanged themselves by also not honouring him-

    1. vao

      Checking upon Edelman, it is very clear that zionists did not like him because he was a “bundist”, i.e. a zionism-averse socialist. This animosity shows up in unexpected places. As a New York Review article puts it:

      Marek Edelman is one of several key witnesses who do not appear in Claude Lanzmann’s film Shoah, though he saw much more than most.
      Lanzmann interviewed him; but chose not to use what he said. Among other things, Edelman wonders whether the fighting in the Warsaw ghetto in 1943 can really be called an uprising. He describes Zionism and the state of Israel as a “historic failure”; and he calls the Poles, among whom he has lived all his life, “a tolerant people.”

      Obviously not a politically-correct viewpoint.

  7. Mikerw0

    Re: Metals mined

    Please take no umbrage by this post. Most of what is on this site and across all media is pretty much noise. It will be forgotten in minutes or hours (maybe not the big themes). But there are a few things that matter and are big that can be teased out.

    One of the most important series, in my opinion, was the Energy Destinies. Few people in my circles appreciate just how ginormous the amount of energy we consume globally, and domestically, is. And, the implications for replacing hydrocarbons — simply isn’t going to happen for decades at the earliest. Remember that as we electrify things you need baseload power (wind or solar with batteries is unrealistic and uneconomic), that 87% of electricity is baseload and that 71% of it is produced with hydrocarbons, 18% from nuclear and the balance hydro. The world needs, but does not currently have an answer to how you replace hydrocarbons for power production.

    The same is true of metals. The Industrial Revolution, and our current economies, are basically built on plentiful cheap-ish hydrocarbons and steel. Steel, means iron ore. There is no know substitute. And, we overwhelmingly recycle steel. More so than any other metal; about 25% of steel is made from scrap steel.

    Until we recognize these facts we can’t develop solutions. And, once you do the analysis there is only one answer — restructuring our economies away from throw-away driven GDP growth (why does Apple design my iPhone so I must replace it every few years so they can sell more of them, etc.) to massive reduced consumption. Not gonna happen, sadly.

    The other implication of the data article is how much iron there is and how little of everything else.

    1. Ken Murphy

      One of the more interesting discussions I’ve seen regarding the energy issue is the documentary “GaiaSelene”, which goes to great lengths to lay out the scale of the energy issue and the challenges we face feeding our needs, especially in the context of a complex technological society.

      Sure, it had an agenda, but one with which I largely (but not entirely) agree – in the long term baseline power should come from space-based solar power (SBSP), because once we get the infrastructure in place it is going to be around for the foreseeable future from humanity’s perspective and will be available 24/7/364.something something. I do not believe that this will happen quickly. I also do not believe it will be built from Earth. It will only come about if we get serious about exploiting the energy and material resources awaiting us in the Solar system. If we can get a foothold on the Moon. If we can start tapping the asteroids. If we develop the necessary industrial infrastructure. Then SBSP is a reasonable and viable solution to part of our energy needs.

      I also think we should be doing a lot more nuclear power, and that we are going to have to go into space and experiment there to master fusion.

      1. John Steinbach

        The problem with these technological fixes is that, for a variety of reasons, they won’t work. As rapidly depleting hydrocarbon resources become ever more expensive to deliver, simultaneous with escalating climate catastrophe, time constraints limit meaningful action to address the energy dilemma.

        The opportunity costs (time, resources & money) of developing and building a highly theoretical space-based energy system or, alternatively, thousands (tens of thousands?) of nukes make either project unfeasible. For reasons described above so called renewables are unworkable.

        Scientists since the 1950s have been sounding the alarm about the limits to growth and the need for radical conservation. The longer society refuses to accept the reality that the era of cheap energy is over, and that the ability of the Earth’s ecosystem to absorb further pollution is increasingly limited, the more dire the Jackpot.

        1. Ken Murphy

          The technologies behind SBSP are being advanced all of the time.

          I was demonstrating wireless power transmission at Moon Day events in Dallas over ten years ago. I know it worked because I would pass my hand through the beam to demonstrate attenuation of the signal. (For those in the know, yes, we did have an FCC-licensed radio operator on hand during the demonstrations, and yes he did object to me doing so)

          More recently, tech demos were done in space that did the same thing. The military has looked at it and hasn’t opined on it not being viable technology-wise, in fact they would be interested in beaming power directly to front-line troops and avoiding the whole dangerous and vulnerable land-based fuel supply convoys thing.

          You say it won’t work, because reasons, and that it’s highly theoretical. Can you be more specific in your so far nebulous objections? Or should I just accept that your view is correct, because reasons?

      2. Jason Boxman

        A more immediate approach to the threat is simply to do less; less producing, less consuming, less work.

        But that’s antithetical to capitalist reproduction, so we’re screwed.

        There’s zero reason that an iPhone made today can’t last for 20 years, properly serviced. If the Web wasn’t constant crapification, I have old laptops that should still work today. Do we really need store shelves stocked with 100 different beverage choices in disposable plastic and aluminum containers? Four dozen types of toothpaste in disposable tubes?

        Capitalism has destroyed this planet.

        1. S.D., M.D.

          A more immediate approach to the “threat” is to off a few billion people, or failing that a mass sterilization effort.

          1. ArvidMartensen

            The public health response to Covid. The “elites” are aware of the problem and are working to solve it, so we can all relax

    2. paul

      I might differ with you about the nature of information available here.

      I find it remarkably diverse and expansive, yet the signal to noise ratio is at a level even hi-fi nuts would find acceptable.

      You might not wholeheartedly appreciate what is served, but the service and delivery is is exemplary.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        For me, this website, Yves, Lambert, Nick, the many guest posters and the community that has grown around this website are a source of comfort and sanity I find nowhere else.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Present Civilization is built upon materials and energy. Materials depend upon energy, particularly concentrated energy — higher and higher temperatures for longer and longer duration or large amounts of electric power — and also depend upon concentrated sources of materials — ores. The concentrated sources for materials, the ores and pure forms of materials, predominately depend on energy stored by long past geologic events and once depleted, only large amounts of energy or ‘re-cycling’ — which too often requires large amounts of energy — can obtain these materials. Consider the progress of Civilization through use of ceramics, glass, copper, bronze, iron, steel, and the present cornucopia of metals. When the fossil fuels are gone so too are these materials and our way of life.

      But wait, there is more! Humankind will experience a new and far less hospitable environment during the declines in materials and fossil fuel energy. The future holds bitter promise — the near future.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      It seems that we have a sister illness to TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome.)

      Musk Derangement Syndrome.

      Diagnosis: the former Twitter having been taken over by Musk, is one of the rare instances where a large organization escapes from neo-liberalism. The elites thought they had it captured and turned into another cog in the big censorship machine, until Elon came along and ruined the party. He even had the audacity to fire the government plants inside the org.

      This turn of events wasn’t anticipated by the power players, and they’ve been triggered.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        I don’t know if internecine squables between billionaires are a step forward. Twas always thus, except it used to be kings and their heirs

  8. Pat

    I recently had a revelation that left me feeling really stupid.
    This was the result of a conversation with a friend who is on several medications. I am on none. Anyway this meant a deeper dive into Medicare pt. D then I have ever done. I had just accepted that I needed a plan and took the cheapest I could find.

    It isn’t just Medicare Advantage that is ripping off the government and its clients left and right. Medicare pt D is also a legal means of theft that benefits insurance companies, the friggin corporate benefit managers AND Big Pharma. All of them benefit from high drug prices. Add to this that between the premiums and deductibles, and the funneling of patients to the preferred providers the supposedly insured may actually end up paying all or most of their drug costs out of pocket.

    I just ran the numbers with my friend. It is a gamble, but if the GoodRX discount holds they will end up $27 dollars richer without the cheapest Medicare part D plan we can find for him. And that is just considering the premiums and deductible but does not include any co-pays. When you consider that the government is reportedly paying a similar amount to insurers for each insured Medicare recipient that is one hell of a mark up.

    I realize that every case is different, but like I said the realization of how many pigs were at the trough was a duh moment. And I know my pt D insurer was only making about $138/yr from me and something similar from the government, but that was apparently not enough as I have been receiving two calls a week from them wanting to talk to me about my insurance. That they want me on an advantage plan that badly tells me they must see thousands on someone who probably won’t cost them anything.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Thank you, pramiia jayapal, for stating the massively obvious. As if most americans were unaware that the entire american “healthcare” system is just a gigantic money suck in which the very last to be considered are the chumps known as “patients.” (PS. This also includes big pharma and the provider/hospital corporations increasingly becoming favorite “investments” for the economic miracles known as “private equity.”)

      Your constituents and their fellow citizens have been screaming into the wind about it for decades.

      So I’d like to respond with equal obviousness. It is you and your colleagues in congress who are responsible for the “complicated…tangled web of loopholes, policies, and practices” that sustain the system. It is you who created the legal framework for this gargantuan ripoff, and you who consistently refuse to correct, discipline or punish it.

      The public does not need to be convinced. We are painfully aware. It’s your compadres in the house and senate who need to be reminded whom they work for. (Hint: it’s not israel or ukraine.) Problem is, however, that they too are aware and just don’t give a shit.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Indeed, it’s hard to not conclude that Jayapal is a moron; she had ample opportunity to attack this head on by refusing to vote for Pelsoi’s speakership, but her and The Squad rolled rather than force a M4A vote; And Jayapal was stupid enough to fall for the two-track scam, with Manchin getting his deficit reduction vote and “progressives” getting, surprise surprise, nothing.

        I’m not sure if this is learned stupidity, or if it’s actually the game, and liberal Democrats are the stupid ones? (The latter seems amply true, in general, regardless.)

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          You are so right.

          That she has the balls to write something like this after her refusal to force the M4A vote is so frickin’ insulting and infuriating.

          Blah, blah, blah…OMG…people actually need surgery because the insurance refused to authorize earlier, less serious treatment. “We” need to dooooo something about this.

          They say that john conyers got away with this shit for years. When repubs controlled the house and there was no chance of passage, he’d pull his national “healthcare” bill out of the drawer and wave it around in righteous indignation at the injustice of it all. When the dems were in power and he got a committee chairmanship because of seniority, he was first elected to congress in 1965, back in the drawer it went.

          jeezus h. christ

          1. Alice X

            Conyers put up HR 676 every year. The Speaker of the House determines which bills actually come to the floor. Of course his never did. Conyers was in a most safe district in Detroit.

        2. Alice X

          >I’m not sure if this is learned stupidity, or if it’s actually the game…

          It is most certainly THE GAME. Appearance as substance. Look like you are trying to do something beneficial, but don’t try too hard to DO IT. If you do, you will be primaried.

    2. flora

      You can thank erstwhile Dem Billy Tauzin for shepherding that Medicare Part D bit of pharma give away through Congress. After which drug prices shot up, and Congress held hearings to find out why, questioning pharma execs. I guess Congress never found an actionable answer to their questions. You only need to look at the post-Congressional careers of so many once top Dems to know the answer. In Tauzin’s case (by then a Republican having switched parties), per Wiki:

      “In January 2005, the day after his term in Congress ended, he began work as the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).[7] a powerful trade group for pharmaceutical companies. Tauzin was hired at a salary outsiders estimated at $2 million a year. Five years later, he announced his retirement from the association (as of the end of June 2010).[1]

      Two months before resigning as chair of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which oversees the drug industry, Tauzin had played a key role in shepherding through Congress the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill.[8] Democrats said that the bill was “a give-away to the drugmakers” because it prohibited the government from negotiating lower drug prices and bans the importation of identical cheaper drugs from Canada and elsewhere.

      The Veterans Affairs agency, which can negotiate drug prices, pays much less than Medicare. The bill was passed in an unusual congressional session at 3 a.m. under heavy pressure from the drug companies.[9][2]

      As head of PhRMA, Tauzin was a key figure in 2009 health care reform negotiations that produced pharmaceutical industry support for White House and Senate efforts.[5]

      Tauzin received $11.6 million from PhRMA in 2010, making him the highest-paid health law lobbyist.[10] Since 2005, Tauzin has been on the Board of Directors at LHC Group.[11] ”

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      This year my current plan D coverage very nearly doubled. I was already paying far more than the drugs I use cost. I did find another plan at a lower cost on the Medicare website. I have started to wonder whether the low cost plans — which I expect will increase their cost after a year or two — are offered in an effort to collect contact information for sending offers to join an affiliated Medicare Advantage plan. I received many such solicitations from the plan I ‘fired’ a few days ago.

      I am starting to feel radicalized in my old age in a way even the war in Vietnam failed to radicalize me in my youth — the prods and provocations are manifold. The financialization of Medicine is only one among many many provocations.

  9. southern appalachian

    On Coalitonal Instincts, little things worry me such as “Coalitions are sets of individuals interpreted by their members and/or by others as sharing a common abstract identity” which in my view can aptly describe an ant colony (as far as we know) or the coyote packs around here yet later he writes “Why do we see the world this way? Most species do not and cannot.”

    Which is simply asserted; perhaps having been decided by the experts, which I am not, so not needing a defense.

    This thought “The primary function that drove the evolution of coalitions is the amplification of the power of its members in conflicts with non-members.” seems to me hard to know. Maybe along the lines of Epicurus it was simply more pleasant to be in the company of others. Who knows?

  10. Paul J-H

    Not only Teslas…Our car was broken and was brought to a wrecker. When I brought the winter tyres that belonged to it, there was an Ukrainian guy loading several totalled vehicles on a truck. His intention was to drive back from Finland to Ukraine with them and repair them.

  11. Mikel

    China moves to adopt the Singapore Housing Model — where 80% of the population lives in public housing — in a big policy shift.

    “Analysts say the idea is to create a tightly regulated social housing market with limits on who can buy the homes…”

    Sounds fabulous, but that particular description of the proposed idea is triggering for me. While the details aren’t known, that also sounds like providing “access” to affordable housing. Like good ole USA “access” to services.
    For the uninitiated, I’ll use that in a sentence: “The ACA provides access to affordable healthcare for millions of families.”

    1. Louis Fyne

      if I recall correctly, technically all land in China belongs to the government? Owners essentially only have a leasehold.

      Honestly, given China’s pre-Party history (lots of citizen revolts), the PRC elite likely is more afraid of their pitchforks than DC elites are afraid of US pitchforks.

      Whether it is cuz of actual concern for their people, or cynical self-interest, I’d trust the PRC to provide more than mere access versus their US counterparts

      1. Mikel

        Well, looking at the Singapore model they are adopting. Why? The govt there owns a good portion of land but not “technically all land.”
        So is the devil in the details of what may be happening in Singapore?

      2. S.D., M.D.

        Technically, here in the Vampire State, if I do not pay the “rent” alias property tax to the government, I end up evicted PDQ.
        So who really “owns” the land?

        1. scott s.

          That’s why on the right, there is a distinction drawn between “fee simple” ownership and “allodial”, along with doctrine of “escheat”.

      3. John

        Israel’s insistence on conformity to its version of events is certainly not unique, but I do find their methods of enforcing it heavy handed and sometimes thuggish. I think it based on fear: fear of losing control, fear that dissent might empower the subject people. It was thus in the segregated south in the US. Plus ça, plus c’est le meme-chose.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The figures I’ve seen indicate that its a very small scheme and nobody is sure of the funding – it is likely to represent yet another cost loaded on local governments by Beijing without really solving the problem. Its really just an attempt to bail out some of the housebuilders. That said, Singapore has a pretty good housing system.

      The thing about Chinese housing policy is that they are in this mess now because of some decisions made in the early 1990’s intended to provide a ‘quick fix’ for a shortage of housing. It proved to be an excellent quick fix, but created an enormous long term problem. There is no easy backing out of a system whereby individuals wealth is tied up into their housing, and local government funding is based on land sales to developers. Unfortunately, other countries, most notably Vietnam, are following the Chinese lead, when perhaps they’d be better off looking to Singapore.

      1. Mikel

        “There is no easy backing out of a system whereby individuals wealth is tied up into their housing…”
        That seems to happen the most in countries where the other ways for individuals to earn wealth are drying up.

        “and local government funding is based on land sales to developers…”
        That seems to happen the most in countries where the other ways for governments get funding are drying up (or never existed).

    3. Ranger Rick

      I’m continually reminded of the old science fiction quote, “Imagine a boot stomping on a human face, forever.”
      IBM enabled suffering on an industrial scale in Germany back in the day. Big data is going to enable big oppression, the likes of which have to be seen to be believed. “Tightly regulated” is doing a lot of work here. Have your picture taken in the wrong place at the wrong time and you might be missing a home by the time you get back to your front door.

    4. NYMutza

      Public housing is a great idea. Not just for China, but for the US as well. It has many advantages – lower cost, more efficient, less wasteful than suburban sprawl, reduce and perhaps even eliminate homelessness, just to name a few.

      1. eg

        For all these reasons it must never be allowed to be considered, let alone implemented. Because it would be socialism, and we can’t have that, now can we? Better to keep the homeless dysfunction that we have, amirite?

  12. Mikel

    “Hackers are taking over planes’ GPS — experts are lost on how to fix it” New York Post

    Think about that the next time you go through TSA theater.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Why Won’t Men Wear Hot Pink While Hunting?”

    For the same reason that most men won’t drive Hot Pink cars as well perhaps? Well, not unless they are a fan of the new “Barbie” film that is. Put it this way. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should be doing it. Any guy turning up in hot pink gear to go shooting with his buddies is likely to be ribbed no end which will also incur occasional references to Bud Lite. It’s a guy thing.

    1. CanCyn

      I opened that article hoping that pink really was taking off in the hunting world. That top photo of the gun with the pink trim looks photo shopped to me. From a physical, medical etc. perspective I will always believe we need to recognize male and female but when it comes to dress and colour, I have long believed that we just need to let that sh*t go. Wear what you want. I think the world would be a better place if our dress and colour preferences couldn’t be used to identify us as members of any particular group, gender included.

      1. jefemt

        Our first born, a son, was eligible for a knit beanie toque made by the Maternity Ward nursing staff. They knitted them in the quiet hours, and every kid got one. I picked out a great hot-pink and white striped one, and one of the nurses said, “Well, you can’t give him that, he’s a boy!”
        This in a state where real rodeo cowboys wear some pretty snazzy garish pink-hued snap shirts on any given Saturday…
        Small wonder we gave our kids gender-ambivalent names ripe for mis-interpretation due to gender stereotype. McKenzie and Fraser… be careful what you think…

        My name is Sue, how do you do!!

    2. t

      I don’t think hot pink is highly visible. Lime green, yellow, and the safety orange which I would expect to get lost in fall and winter are all highly visible.

      Safety pink might be more visible, but pink doesn’t neccesarily jump out. At least not bright hot pink on a puffy vest, helmet cover, saddle pad, ear bonnet, and polos. A lot of bright colors that are obnoxious in the yard don’t really stand out in the field. Even with bling.

      The matchy matchy trend for equestrians shows no signs of fading so plenty of time to do rebeing. Make LeMieux pay for it. I think they started it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It is not only a matter of colours but also conditions viewed under. I was reading about the British redcoats of the 19th century saying that at night, they were almost invisible. When I first read that it sounded very unlikely and I thought that it was probably due to British officers resisting having their men’s red tunics replaced by khaki ones at the time. Turns out that they were right and the Purkinje effect is actually a thing-

        So red hunting vest would probably be a very bad idea at times.

        1. Kevin Smith MD

          Out for a walk yesterday and noticed [here in Niagara] a lot of the foliage where we were walking was … BLAZE ORANGE. A person dressed in blaze orange would have blended in just great. Saw a lady in hot pink quite far ahead of us: she stood out just fine.

          If I were a hunter around here, I might add fluorescent pink to my hunting wardrobe.

    3. Louis Fyne

      supposed (per an old QI episode) pink was the “boys color”; baby blue was the girl color.

      then sometime around the wave of commercialization between 1919-1950, pink became a girl’s color

    4. EarthMagic

      For the same reason most won’t wear a mask? Because social pressure is a helluva drug. It can even make people put their own well-being at stake.

    5. Not Qualified to Comment

      Haven’t read the article but I immediately assumed “Hot Pink while Hunting” was a reference to the Hunting Pink worn by English foxhunters – which is actually scarlet and takes its name from a tailor named Pink to whom one went if one wanted the best apparel with which to impress one’s peers in the field.

  14. Barncat

    The author of ” To Palestine, the lessons…” has taken a lot from the first chapter of Frantz Fanon’s ” The Wretched of the Earth” without attribution.

      1. paul

        That’s what I’ve always wondered about ‘generative AI’, it’s just an aggregation, far more Lamarkian than Darwinian.

  15. DJG, Reality Czar

    Many thanks for the many links to the situations in Palestine/Israel and in Russia/Ukraine. Korybko, Doctorow, Mondoweiss: Much to teach us.

    It is important to bear in mind that the oppression of minorities led the overweening Israeli and Ukrainian governments into going to war. It is hard to forget the Israeli-sponsored destruction of olive trees and the Ukrainian burning of Russian books. Let alone the use of torture, which led to further moral and political degradation.

    I am also reminded that both are rightwing governments, so ethically, I am willing to get them out of their rightwing-induced predicaments by advocating negotiations. [Nevertheless, Yves Smith keeps throwing metaphorical cold water in my face by reminding us how difficult it will be to negotiate lasting peace in Ukraine and in Palestine.]

    And yet: A controversy among my amici here:

    Maritozzo? Tiramisù? Cannolo siciliano?

    For the retro? Zuppa inglese.

    Here in the Undisclosed Region, one is required to consume a certain amount of bonet, ne.

    1. Carolinian

      Israel was always a right wing idea pretending to be a left wing idea. These contradictions were noted at the time but ignored by people like Harry Truman, a right winger pretending to be a Democrat.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The right-winger who desegregated the federal civil service and the military? Here’s what South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond had to say about Truman:

        A reporter asked Thurmond why he had bolted from the Democratic party when President Truman had not done anything substantially different from his predecessor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Thurmond replied, “Yes — but Truman really means it.” After the convention, Truman ordered the army integrated — a move brought about, in part, by the intense pressure of civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph. Truman’s stance on civil rights won him the black vote in 1948 — and with it, the presidential election.

        Or the right-winger who vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act only to have it overridden by Democratic votes.

        Or the right-winger who proposed a national health care plan in 1945 and was called the “daddy of Medicare” by LBJ as he enrolled Harry as the Medicare card holder.

        Yes, Truman ignored Marshall’s advice (a rarity for HST) and recognized Israel. He dropped the bomb. And he didn’t do much to stop the Red baiting HUAC committee.

        But a right-winger. C’mon Carolinian.

        1. Carolinian

          Dunno if you’ve read any books on Truman but he was known to use the “N” word and his gestures toward integration didn’t change much in society at large as that would take another twenty years.

          But I’d say he’s a rightwinger because he gave us the Cold War and it didn’t have to happen. Stalin in fact wanted accommodation and the long standing hostility toward Russia held by Churchill and the US right was embraced by Truman who also gave us the CIA. Then there’s Korea which was quite the horror show in defense of a South Korean dictator. The facts on the ground as opposed to Truman’s carefully cultivated folksy image (he was the product of Missouri machine politics) say that virtue signaling does not trump a needless conflict that could have ended us all and may do so yet.

          And yes finally the bomb which also had a lot to do with opposing Russia. This may be the least of his sins as it was undoubtedly going to be dropped regardless. I will concede that calling Truman a bad Democrat may be wrong. He seems very much like our current flavor of Democrats.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            No need to condescend. Being from Missouri, I’ve read a few.

            The “n” word spoken by someone born in 1884 in Lamar, MissourI? Shocking, I know. It was about as rare there as in South Carolina. My grandfather never used anything else despite the pleadings of his spouse and daughter. Harry’s mother-in-law, who moved with them to the White House, was a hard-core Confederate who had been subjected as a child to the infamous Order #11 of the Union Army. Moreover, Harry lived in her house all his married life, including after his return to Independence from DC. Nevertheless, Truman issued those executive orders which you claim were inconsequential. In fact, they were bold and contrary to the views of many VIPs of the time:

            Contemporary audiences might be tempted to view EO 9981 as the outcome of logic and advocacy working together to right a historic wrong, and they would be partly right. But President Truman’s actions were highly controversial at the time. Even though over a million Black men and thousands of Black women served in the U.S. military during World War II, in April 1948 then-General Dwight Eisenhower testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that segregation was needed to protect unit cohesion (an action for which he would later express regret). Army Secretary Kenneth Claiborne Royall was forced from office in 1949 after refusing to desegregate the Army.

            It’s true that Truman went along with his Cold War advisors for the most part, but he did stop Douglas MacArthur from invading Mao’s China. His firing of MacArthur cost Truman politically.

            Finally, you can blame Truman for the CIA, but he repented of that in the op-ed he submitted to the NYT within a month of Kennedy’s assassination.

            I frequently see Truman blamed for Henry Wallace’s removal from the Democratic ticket. Truman did not “run” for the VP spot. Democratic Party leaders, and eventually FDR himself, were determined to get rid of Wallace. Truman was one of many possible alternatives that were considered, and was eventually chosen as a compromise. Wallace was never going to be President, even if Truman had never been born.

            Black and white thinking obscures the truth and distorts reality. Truman was a product of his times and place as we all are. He had nothing more than a high school diploma, but he was well-read, especially in histories. And as his record on civil rights and universal health care demonstrate, he had managed to escape his limitations to a remarkable degree.

            1. Carolinian

              I don’t think you are getting my point. Presidents have marginal power over domestic affairs and huge power over foreign affairs. Of course the Truman defenders only want to talk about the things that matter to them. But in the larger scheme Truman–indeed a very little man in a big job as he himself was constantly saying–was a disaster that is still reverberating. The support for Zionism, which many say was a reward to rich contributors who helped him win in 1948, is even now spread across our TV screens as it reaches its perhaps inevitable climax.

              Whether Truman deep down inside was a good guy or a bad guy doesn’t matter in the least any more than it does for George W. Bush or any of the others. What mattered was his judgment and in that he did indeed go along with the rightwing tenor of the times with the result, as Gore Vidal said, of our republic turning into an empire.

              As for all the ad hominem stuff in your replies–whatever. I don’t think that is what we are here for.

    2. Harold

      Gelato is the most loved. Coffee ice cream the best dessert based on coffee ( contrary to the article). I don’t like Tiramisu — too over the top. Zabaglione my favorite Italian dessert. Also cantucci or other biscotti Couldn’t find end of article.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Will the Scorpion Sting the U.S. Frog?”

    Personally I think that the only way forward is to put pressure on Israel with an international boycott of all their goods and services and I mean everything. One supermarket chain in Germany was caught changing the country of origin labels from some foods from Israel to places like Morocco instead. They know what is coming. And of course this will mean imports as well like oil. This sort of pressure made South Africa realized that they were on an unsustainable path and change course but here is the thing. Suppose that Israel gets everything that they want out of the Gazan war. I know that this will not happen but for the sake of argument, say that it does. Then this only means that Israel will be emboldened to take on Hezbollah next and level Lebanon while doing so as a punishment for resisting an Israeli invasion. But Hezbollah is not Hamas and they are capable of turning Israel to the way that it was back in ’47. But Netanyahu and those hard-righters do not see it. I just saw today where they were demanding the death penalty for resistors but which ended up in a shouting match with the relatives of the hostages who said that would be the same as signing the death notice for those hostages as well.

    1. Acacia

      Yes, this plus a boycott of all political parties that “stand with Israel”.

      Push them to realize at the polls that support for Israel is an absolute death sentence for their party, and it will matter a whole lot less how much bribe money they get from the Zionists.

      1. JTMcPhee

        There’s no evidence that what voters want has any effect on Big Policy. Here or most other places. The people who own the political parties/private corporations know that Zionist money will always flow to them as long as they toe the line. Bought and paid for. The nature of the institution.

        1. Acacia

          All true. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to deny them further support.

          At a certain point, South Africa reached a tipping point.

          Israel seems headed that way now, though it could be pushed…

      2. Feral Finster

        The European solution is to ban anyone outside the establishment consensus.

        The US prefers lawfare to keep unwanted candidates off the ballot, but that so far isn’t working as well as hoped.

        If I learned nothing else from the GFC, it is how far people of influence and authority will go.

    2. Carolinian

      A good Caitlin on how US liberals have gradually hardened their consciences re Palestinians due to constant propaganda over the years not to mention overt threats to one’s livelihood as are happening now.

      Will the frog be stung by the scorpion or boiled in Habara on the stove?

      However I think these Iran war warnings by Crooke and Indian Punchline are overdone. Even Biden/Blinken are not dumb enough to be sucked into that and they assume Bibi really does have a plan which is not at all clear. The Gaze slaughter is horrible but a war with Iran would have consequences for the whole world which is why the Neocons have yet to pull it off.

      1. Feral Finster

        n.b. the War on Iran is coming. This is why Ukraine is being told to “wrap it up”, since Israel’s present activities are not that much of a drag on current munitions supplies.

  17. Jeannie

    Why Americans feel gloomy about the economy despite falling inflation and low unemployment

    Economists are liars. Inflation is lower! What a crock.
    So the price increases have allegedly slowed down? When do the prices return to where they were?

    The price of food has basically doubled when taking into account package size and restaurant serving size shrinkage.

    Wages are up? Compared to inflation they are down, way down.

    A good way for Americans to protest this is to stop buying anything but food and necessary energy for as long as they can stand it. No discretionary purchases until after the election.

    A Brooks Brothers man’s shirt is now $130 plus with taxes.
    Got a two of them at the Salvation Army for six bucks. Thrift stores are great.

    Don’t waste your money buying compressed sawdust furniture for hundreds when far better made stuff is free on Craigslist. People are literally giving away entire households worth of goods when moving as it cheaper than paying to ship it, or what they could get in garage sales, which also are a great source of whatever one might buy new at inflated prices and lower quality.

    1. Bsn

      Another option. If you live in a university town, check the alleys and dumpsters at the end of each term. Used to do that all the time. Well to do college students leave all of their large items: TVs, furniture, bed frames, etc. when they graduate and return home, or just move away from dorm life. Used to fill up the microbus and re-sell everything, keeping the nice things ourselves. It’s been 30+ years and we still have some of the nice pieces.

  18. Nikkikat

    Politico article about Biden made me laugh. Referring over and over to fears about his AGE.
    It’s not his age people are afraid of, it’s his obvious senility. I don’t really care about his age.
    I do care that he appears so mentally diminished that he can barely read his script.
    I’m guessing the powers that be and people in his administration like Antony Blinken need to keep the doddering old fool around to foment more war and continue project Ukraine.
    After all his cabinet is as incompetent as Biden himself. Never mind his corruption.
    This country cannot withstand another term, let alone the possibility of a Kamala Harris administration. On a good day she is at least as frighting as President Joe Dementia.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Senility aside, Biden is who we said he was, a thoroughly worthless human being. Age is an excuse for letting this guy anywhere near the nomination. He never was the guy from the Onion.

      1. Carolinian

        Right. He was a mediocrity long before the senility. Therefore the real problem is the Democrats for making him president.

        1. Bsn

          At least he worked for stopping Bernie. The dems think, “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there”. Trouble for them is that they are there.

          1. John

            It is not age per se. I am a number of years older than Biden and realize that all else being equal I would be vastly more capable of the presidency than he is. The film clip of him becoming confused after laying the wreath on Veterans Day removed any lingering doubt.

            Each party has a leading candidates for the 2024 election over whom portions of the electorate are furiously waving red flags. Given the fraught situation of the world at this moment, the US cannot afford to have as president a person who is not at the top of his/her game. Unfortunately, I see no one who meets that standard.

  19. The Rev Kev

    ‘Nature is Amazing ☘️
    The octopus that waved back’

    This is actually a bit disturbing as the implication is that octopuses may be sentient. It was what it must have recognized as another life form, realized that it was not a threat, saw it wave and decided to reciprocate that move by also doing so with one of it’s tentacles. Yeah, this is not happenstance at work but something more than that-

    ‘It’s Life, Jim, but not as we know it’

    1. Laughingsong

      Ah, good ol’ “Star Trekkin’ “! A Dr. Demento staple. Riffed on a Spock line from the episode with the rock-eating, sentient calzone…. Name escapes me right now.

    2. c_heale

      Why is it disturbing? Many people in this world believe animals are sentient. Especially those with pets or who spend a long time with them. It is also a part of some religions.

      I have never understood why some people think animals are not sentient.

      1. S.D., M.D.

        “why some people think animals are not sentient.”. A Judeo-Christian thing.

        Genesis1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”.

        1. marku52

          Each of our 4 dogs, RIP for three, has been immediately identifiable by a single word descriptor. The are (were) each their own people.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Student Protests for Gaza Targeted by Pro-Israel Groups for Alleged Civil Rights Violations”

    This is where it gets interesting. For years now Israel has been getting individual US States to make illegal any boycotts of Israel and at least one is requiring American citizens to swear an oath about this on the grounds of civil rights. So here pro-Israeli groups are attempting to stop all protests and make them illegal on the grounds of ‘civil rights’ but here is the thing. Which has precedence in the US – civil rights or the US First Amendment. The former is being used to undermine that later on behalf of a foreign country so this is where the tire hits the road. One would hope that people will fight just as much for the First Amendment as much as some people and organizations fight for the Second.

    1. Feral Finster

      “Which has precedence in the US – civil rights or the US First Amendment.”


      Power has precedence. Civil rights are but a pretext and the Constitution has long been a dead letter.

      1. JBird4049

        I get the power thing, but censoring speech on the grounds of civil rights is a non sequitur. First Amendment is the foundational part of our civil rights, which is why it is the first amendment. I could argue that all the rest of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are just the fiddly bits and this is why the courts have traditionally kept it strong even when attacking the rest of our civil rights. Free Speech is the least tattered of our rights.

        1. vao

          Fine. How much money do you have to engage in a lawsuit that will make you tour all State and federal tribunals, up to the supreme court?

          1. JBird4049

            I said free speech is the least tattered. All of our rights are now wealth dependent as if you don’t have the money, you likely do not have the right. A right you cannot enforced is a right you do not have is a true statement.

        2. Feral Finster

          Just say the magic words “Muh National Security Abracadabra!” and the Bill Of Rights disappears.

          For people of influence and authority “Muh Civil Rights” are taking their place alongside Muh National Security. And as others have pointed out, you will have to be independently funded in order to fight the government through trial, appeal, etc.. No, you won’t get that money back. Even if you win.

        3. undercurrent

          Unfortunately, it’s impossible to make that argument to Eugene Debs, but Julian Assange might pull up a chair and argue the point with you.

          And the cop who pulls you over at 3:00 a.m., because you have a broken tail light, is constitutionally eager to have you exercise your First Amendment right, and will patiently and dutifully listen to your very best argument.

          1. Paradan

            HAMAS broke my tail light.

            So what’s it gonna be officer, you gonna support HAMAS?

            Your police chief gonna stand up to the ADL?

  21. Neutrino

    Strawberry farmers? Those are risky now, practically existential threats?

    Captain Queeg knew all about the strawberries, knew he had them.

    The Caine Mutiny, soon to be re-released as The Cain and Abel Mutiny with CGI Cecil B. DeMille effects for the full biblical experience.

  22. Mark Gisleson

    Elon Musk’s X sues Media Matters for America Axois. If Musk’s allegations pan out, Media Matters will be in a world of hurt. The response so far not convincing. But also notice lack of editing of this piece, like missing words. AI on the loose?

    I just did a close reading and saw no missing words so I’m guessing the piece was edited post-publication. Very tightly but oddly written with heavy use of complex descriptors and other stuff I forget the names of but which I’m pretty you’re not supposed to use. I’m guessing you’re right about AI but my guess is that the post-pub editing was done for political purposes leading to kludgy insertions of factoids like “X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who has received messages from marketing leaders pushing for her to resign, defended …”

    I don’t read Axios enough to know if the bolded setups are standard or if this is special treatment but the both-sides’ing here is pretty egregious given that it’s a straightforward accusation but for balance here’s a non-response chased with a drive-by bullet point:

    Meanwhile, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Monday that he is “opening an investigation into Media Matters for potential fraudulent activity,” noting Musk’s accusation of the organization “manipulating data” on X.

    The other side: “This is a frivolous lawsuit meant to bully X’s critics into silence. Media Matters stands behind its reporting and looks forward to winning in court,” Media Matters president Angelo Carusone said in a statement on Monday night.

    Carusone said over the weekend in response to Musk’s threat to sue that far from “the free speech advocate he claims to be, Musk is a bully who threatens meritless lawsuits in an attempt to silence reporting that he even confirmed is accurate.”

    Yes, but: Advertisers are not just concerned with brand safety on the platform. Musk backing an antisemitic conspiracy theory last week also drew ire from marketing chiefs.

    Musk denounced claims that he is antisemitic in a post on X on Sunday. Yaccarino has not acknowledged those concerns in her public remarks or in her recent memo to X employees.

    Wild guess but maybe AI edited by a political hack then edited by a real editor.

  23. NN Cassandra

    Re: Greening the Void: Climate Change and Political Legitimacy

    Not sure it’s that good article. They basically ask why we are doing the greening of economy, then speed past by the obvious answer “because we don’t want to cook the planet” and talk about how proponents of climate change are ideologues (yes, many are, still that doesn’t make the answer invalid). Admittedly they never state explicitly that it’s not true humans are driving climate to dangerous ends, but they are throwing around old canards (the climate changed before!), and without this unsaid premise the analogies with Roman scarifies make no sense.

  24. Offtrail

    Don’t you just love how the media never say “Israel attacks another hospital”? No, the hospital is always “caught in fighting”.

  25. Feral Finster

    The difference between apartheid South Africa and apartheid Israel is the extent to which the United States was openly willing to bully opponents into submission.

    Even the Reagan Administration had to slap sanctions on the South African regime, even if they supported it as much as they could, on the QT.

    For that matter, the South African regime never had anything like the full-throated bipartisan support that the Israeli regime now enjoys, where AIPAC can flaunt its violation of FARA and several states have, in flat and blatant violation of the Constitution, made it illegal to boycott the regime.

    Force is the language that they understand, but it is the only language that they understand.

  26. Tom Stone

    Some of the things Yves and company make clear is “Always look for the Agency”, “Listen for the passive voice” and pay attention to word associations.
    It’s always “Jewish Settler’s” and “Jewish Settlements”, never “Israeli Settlers” or god forbid “Israeli Occupiers”.
    jewish, because this is about the persecution of God’s Chosen People, not a raw land grab and mass murder.
    And “Settler’s” which evokes those heartwarming scenes from OKLAHOMA!.
    More recently we have “Gun Violence”, here in the USA Gunz acquired Agency and became violent shortly after George the Second was interrupted while reading “My Pet Goat”.
    Some have speculated that when George made it halfway through that book without mispronouncing a single word it caused a rift in the fabric of reality which allowed evil spirits to first infect box magazines holding more than 10 rounds and then, inevitably, the firearms that use them.

    1. Wukchumni

      Since you brought it up…

      Let’s look up how many mass murders (minimum of 4 dead) in the USA by hand cannon there were in 2001 versus 2022, the last full year of statistics…

      There was 1 mass murder by gun in 2001, and it just happened to be when assault rifles were banned by the Feds.

      There were over 600 mass murders by guns in 2022.

    2. JBird4049

      Like with the American occupation, conquest, and near genocide of the Native Americans and their lands? American Israeli settlers are the good guys and the Indians Palestinians are the savages.

  27. JBird4049

    Palestinian political prisoners are facing severe punitive measures, including shutting down electricity inside cells from 6 pm to 6 am, canceling all lawyer and family visits, stopping doctor checkups, and more, according to the Palestinian Authority Commission for Prisoners.

    After reading this sentence about the Israel’s treatment of political prison partway through the Mondoweiss’ article on the Israeli attack on the hospital, my first thought was “oh, like an American prison” (in the South).

    What does it say about the United States and its carceral state, that this American’s reaction was literal just a mental shrug? A sentence meant to show just how outrageously abusive the Israelis are towards their prisoner, just shows essentially what is the American SOP although the causes or justifications are different. Safety and saving money (i.e. punishments and kickbacks) in the United States are used. I am not sure what the Israelis are using to justify their actions.

    After reading and studying up on the American “justice” system, for several decades, plus some minor contact with it, I guess that I have become jaded about various unpleasant things. Kind of like with my government(s) at all levels. Municipal, state, and federal.

    Not quite sure that this comment is particularly connected to the links, but it is something I had to notice and mention.

  28. Jason Boxman

    The normalization of “just a cold” continues, although it doesn’t state as much, it doesn’t mention either long-COVID or clinical and sub-clinical damage, including immune dis-regulation, that it is crystal clear that a SARS-Cov-2 infection confers.

    Omicron, Now 2 Years Old, Is Not Done With Us Yet

    Does at least mention JN.

    Over the past few months, however, the BA.2.86 lineage seems to have kicked into high gear, gaining a mutation that allows it to evade even more antibodies. JN.1, as this mutated form is known, has become the most resistant version of the coronavirus. It appears to be growing quickly in France, and may soon spread to other countries.

    And this guy is a moron; the WHO stopped giving out letters to lull the public into a false sense of security; it worked.

    At first, BA.2.86 did not seem to live up to its genetic potential, failing to spread fast. “If genetics was all that mattered, it would have gotten its own Greek letter,” said Thomas Peacock, a virologist at the Pirbright Institute in Woking, England. “But BA.2.86 was a bit of a damp squib.”

    (bold mine)

    We know this is patently false. Omicron itself is a huge set of variants, and at this point, possibly its own distinct virus, much like SARS1 is different than SARS2.

  29. Wukchumni

    Earth surpasses critical 2-degree warming threshold, European climate officials say Los Angeles Times
    When the Little Ice Age was going on, the difference in temps was less than 2 degrees C the other direction. It was enough difference for all of the present glaciers in the Sierra Nevada to form.

    We appear to be in a ‘Big Heat Age’.

  30. Tom Stone

    Genocide Joe’s reelection prospects don’t look too good at the moment, but a terrorist attack would help…and between the NAZI’s in Ukraine he has betrayed and every effing Muslim in existence there is no shortage of people willing to help him out.
    No attack, 1% chance of reelection.
    Terrorist attack, 90-100% chance of the “New FDR” keeping the throne.

    1. Big River Bandido

      In normal times that logic would hold, but these are not normal times. I’m inclined to think that tactic would backfire, as it would highlight all of Biden’s defects. Of these, the most relevant point (more even than his senility, malevolence, and incompetence) is that Biden has already shot his credibility with the general public and they will be disinclined to take him at his word. He’ll have no buffer of support for any ill events or omens that occur on his watch, of which there are now likely to be plenty; and the public will be more apt to ascribe smaller failures to him, rightly or wrongly.

      We’re back in Jimmy Carter territory again.

  31. Wukchumni

    We have brown, blue & green bins, and today like every other Tuesday, the trash man cometh and collected the trash & recycling which all goes into the same place at the dump. On alternating Tuesdays, the trash and greenery all goes to the dump, too.

    Does this happen elsewhere?

    1. ambrit

      Oh yes it does. Plus, the dump is off limits to nonemployees of the City, for insurance reasons. I asked once about the “good” stuff found at the dump, like bicycles. Sorry was the reply. It all goes into the landfill.
      We were much better at proper recycling fifty years ago and more, when fewer “Officials” roamed the earth.
      I am not advocating here for ‘smaller’ government. I am arguing for “User Friendly” government. (For some definition of “user.”)

  32. VTDigger

    Greening the Void is a great article. Helps me understand:

    All the new solar fields now blanketing VT are owned by corporations from CT/NY/PA/Not here.
    They were built basically for free with subsidy.
    Said corpos will get 2x profit, once for the power and once for depreciation of the asset over 25 years and productive farmland will be lost.

    Who exactly is this helping? Is “The Planet” a stand in for shareholders? Because it sure looks like it.

    These are very unserious people, who will never evah give up:
    Any of their average of 4 annual plane rides
    Their backup fossil fuel vehicle (The Tesla is never your only car you willy pleb)
    Their whole house propane generator (What if the power goes out for more than a day?)
    Their 2+ seasonal vacation homes

    Very eager for other people to make sacrifices. If we can just get the bottom 90% to live in pods then the top 10% can continue as if nothing is happening!

  33. Tom Stone

    Further adventures in Healthcare!
    After 1o months of effort I finally got my hip MRI, a month’s wait after that to see a Nurse Practitioner, got there early and then saw the NP after waiting 2 hours.
    For 15 Minutes.
    He was looking at the computer for the first few minutes while talking to me…at the wrong Patient’s file.
    Two referrals after that got straightened out, “Here’s the card for referrals, give them a call”.
    I left messages four days running with no response and then got a person on the line who only showed one referral and told me that I’d hear from them “In a few days” with the referral.
    A week later I recieved a letter with the name and # of the specialist which also let me know my info had been sent there already.
    I got ahold of someone there the next day (Hurray!) who told me that they did not yet have my info and to call back in a week if I hadn’t heard from them.
    I called after a week and spoke to an exhausted sounding woman who told me that they had indeed recieved my info, but they could not schedule an appointment for me because there were a number of other patients ahead of me that they needed to call to make appointments.
    I asked if she had any idea how long that would be?
    “You will just have to wait your turn like everyone else”.
    No idea at all?
    I think we’re close to the total collapse of the Health Care system, the number of anecdotes about people with “Really bad colds” remind me of what a very bad flu season looks like three weeks after Thanksgiving.

  34. Pookah Harvey

    ” Palestinians are not only forbidden by israel from collecting RAINWATER, any cisterns found are destroyed. They’re also not allowed to drill water wells, install pumps, and have no access to the Jordan river or water springs on their land.”
    Former Israel Ambassador to the US, Yoram Ettinger, made clear the reason for this policy in a 2009 article:

    70% of Israel’s water resources will not be under its control if it withdraws from the Golan (30%), Judea and Samaria (40%). There is no precedent for a country giving away water sources.

    Judea and Samaria is the West Bank. So 70% of Israel’s fresh water resources are due to territory it claimed in the aftermath of the 1967 war. It was recently reported that between continuous population growth and increasing standards of living, Israel’s annual demand for water is expected to reach 3.5 BCM ( billion cubic meters) by 2050, which will prompt a yearly natural water deficit of 2.4 BCM––more than twice the gap that existed in 2015.
    A declassified 2007 CIA report titled ‘ISRAEL: WATER AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE’ stated:

    having achieved nearly full utilization of currently available conventional sources, Israel now must make some difficult decisions- either redefine current water allocation priorities, make enormous and continuing investments in nonconventional sources, or seek water elsewhere. Some sources of water in neighboring Arab countries are not fully developed. Israel could gain access to these supplies by working out water- sharing agreements or by appropriation via annexation or military force.

    Jordan. Syria and Lebanon all currently are suffering from a water scarcity crisis. Gaza sits on Israel’s Coastal Aquifer that is responsible for about 20% of its renewable water supply. Moving over 2 million Palestinians off that aquifer may be a contributing factor in current Israeli decisions.

    Israel has been very successful in stretching existing sources by developing non-conventional water source and promoting conservation. But how much water Israel will be willing to give up in any Two State solution will be problematic. As Yoram Ettinger stated above “There is no precedent for a country giving away water sources.”

  35. Alan Roxdale

    Biden orders top aides to prepare reprimands for violent Israeli settlers in West Bank Politico

    What are they going to do? Lock their Facebook accounts? Freeze their US assets? I don’t see this preventing any 20-something with am AR-15 from doing what they like with the natives. The organizations will deny all knowledge of anything and the US-side lawsuits will spend more time in court than the West Bank murder investigations will.
    And this is the same US government that is fairly vicious when it comes to sanctioning the likes of Wikileaks and anyone associated with them.

  36. Willow

    > China has commenced a program where it lends US Dollars to Global South countries
    A way to hold but not hold US Dollars? Reducing risk of confiscation Russia-style?

  37. Willow

    > The WEF “Cyber Attack” Scenario: Another Crisis “Much Worse Than COVID”
    In time for the next US presidential election to stop Trump winning.

  38. Korual

    Colour consciousness article.

    Linguistics 101 class I took : you can’t just experience colour you also have to explain orange as that colour as between what we are calling red and yellow. By extension we are not individually conscious of anything that is prior to language. So our physical perception and emotion are determined but our decisions about collective culture ethics art logic and even math are freely chosen.

  39. QuantumSoma

    Watching you throw SpaceX in the same category as crypto is kind of disappointing. It ultimately doesn’t matter, but there’s really no point in making a fool out of yourself just because you’ve never bothered to actually read up on the details of Starship, and why the technology is so revolutionary.

    Leftists really need to not let their cynicism blind them to what is right front of their faces. And this is coming from a communist.


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