Links 11/22/2023

Skunks’ warning stripes less prominent where predators are sparse, study finds (press release) University of Bristol

Aurubis to spend $700m on US smelter for recycling materials Mining Technology


The Emperor’s New Climate Scenarios (PDF) Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, University of Exeter

Oceanis: Financiers disagree on the meaning of ‘greenness’, making shipowners’ options less clear Hellenic Shipping News


The Historic Claims That Put a Few California Farming Families First in Line for Colorado River Water ProPublica


Medical Board Reprimands Doctor Who Worked While COVID-Positive MedPage Today

Physicians’ Refusal to Wear Masks to Protect Vulnerable Patients—An Ethical Dilemma for the Medical Profession JAMA (antidlc). I don’t get it. What dilemma?

* * *

Recognition of COVID-19 with occupational origin: a comparison between European countries BMJ. “COVID-19 can be recognised as OD or OI in 94% of the European countries completing this survey, across different social security and embedded occupational health systems.” Let the lawsuits begin!


What do we know about China’s new financial watchdog? Channel News Asia

Outspoken Chinese economist Yu Yongding issues stagflation warning on Beijing’s fiscal policies South China Morning Post


‘This is a first step’: what the Israel-Hamas hostage agreement means FT. The Blob speaks:

Of course, Seldowitz was immediately thrown under the bus and lost his K Street gig, but how many more with his views are there, more circumspect?

Israel and Hamas agree to hostage deal, four-day pause in fighting in Gaza Axios. And after the “pause”:

It’s almost as if the IDF’s target is not Hamas and its tunnels at all, but the entire civilian population of Gaza.

The secret negotiations that led to the Gaza hostages deal Reuters

* * *

BRICS condemns Israel war on Gaza in signal to the West Al Jazeera

Israel-Gaza war: only a two-state solution can bring real peace, China president says in first public speech on conflict South China Morning Post. And we do what with 700,000 “settlers” on the West Bank?

* * *

An Open Letter on the Misuse of Holocaust Memory The New York Review

Opinion: Here’s what the mass violence in Gaza looks like to a scholar of genocide LA Times

Harvard Law Review Editors Vote to Kill Article about Genocide in Gaza The Intercept

* * *

Pro-Palestinian marches are far more frequent than pro-Israeli ones. How U.S. reaction to the Israel-Hamas war has changed LA Times

3 arrested after paint poured on Merrimack facility of Israel-based defense electronics company WMUR. Red paint. Commentary:

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

* * *

Israel’s fears, its delusions and its future (video) Daniel Levy, Middle East Eye. A calm voice:

Israel allegedly enforces ‘Hannibal Protocol’ on Oct. 7, killing festival-goers to prevent their captivity Anadolu Agency

Israel’s Campaign Against Palestinian Olive Trees The Yale Review of International Studies

Fool Me Twice Séamus Malekafzali

European Disunion

The Swedish Left Failed the Vulnerable During the Pandemic Jacobin

More than 200 mobsters convicted in historic Italian mafia trial France24

New Not-So-Cold War

‘A perfect storm is brewing for Ukraine and its allies. Negative developments everywhere are converging’ Le Monde

Putin is having his best month since Russia invaded Ukraine The Times. It’s now mud season.

US and Germany risk owning Ukraine’s stalling war effort FT

Ukraine’s Bridgehead on the Dnipro, the Military Nuts and Bolts Kviv Post

South of the Border

López Obrador says state ‘mega pharmacy’ will open in December Mexico News Daily. Mexico is a serious country.

Biden Administration

Secretive White House Surveillance Program Gives Cops Access to Trillions of US Phone Records Wired (Chuck L).

Our Famously Free Press

Media Matters’ Deceitful Study to Silence X/Rumble. Plus: Darren Beattie on New 1/6 Tapes, Argentina’s Election, & Israel-Gaza Glenn Greenwald. Again, I remember very well how the spooks, the press, Parliamentary Labor, and the Israeli embassy took down Jeremy Corbyn with a dogpile of false charges of anti-semitism. So my heuristic is that all such charges are performative and motivated until proven otherwise.

Media Matters and the Fake News Era Go to Court (excerpt) Matt Taibbi, Racket News

Sacha Baron Cohen Slams TikTok: “Creating Biggest Antisemitic Movement Since the Nazis” Hollywood Reporter


With filing in Sanofi and Mylan insulin lawsuit, FTC amps up scrutiny on pharma’s patent tactics Fierce Pharma

Kellogg, Kraft Secure Victory in Price-Fixing Lawsuit Against Egg Producers Bloomberg

The Supremes

The Fifth Circuit Will Soon Be the New NLRB On Labor (PR). New source; About page.

Justices schedule major cases on deference to federal agencies SCOTUSblog

The Bezzle

Binance CEO CZ quits, Richard Teng to take over; crypto exchange to pay US$4 billion for money laundering The Business Times

Digital Watch

OpenAI says Sam Altman to return as chief executive under new board FT. The deck: “Former Salesforce chief Bret Taylor and former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers to join as directors.” Larry Summers. ZOMG. That [family blogging] guy.

The Money Always Wins The Atlantic. Altman (hence investor) hagiography. “As is always true in Silicon Valley, a great idea can get you only so far. It’s the money that gets you over the finish line.” Yes, that’s why robot cars are the success that they are.

What OpenAI shares with Scientology Crooked Timber

Meta disbanded its Responsible AI team The Verge

The Dystopian AI Future Some Fear Is the Present-Day Reality Others Live FAIR. A must-read.

Thanksgiving Pre-Game Festivities

US officials warn against dangers of deep-frying turkeys BBC


Just What the (Urgent Care) Doctor Ordered NYT (dougiedd). Dougiedd writes: “[T]his is nothing but an infomercial.” He’s right. (Whenever you see one of those harmless-looking, “friendly” illustrations, whether in a brochure, or a story that might as well be a brochure, like this one, watch out!)

UnitedHealth uses AI model with 90% error rate to deny care, lawsuit alleges Ars Technica. So, we’re dealing with a proven technology?

How the shakeup at OpenAI underscores the need for AI standards in health care STAT

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Era of Total U.S. Submarine Dominance Over China Is Ending WSJ

The Crumbling of the World Order and a Vision of Multipolarity: The Position of Russia and the West Valdai Discussion Club

Class Warfare

The UAW’s Game Changer: The Right to Strike over Mass Layoffs Les Leopold, Wall Street’s War on Workers

Anger Is What’s Driving the US Economy Bloomberg. “A deep-seated anger about how the economy is ‘rigged’ has been simmering since long before the pandemic.” Prices rise because firms raise them. Anger rises because firms raise it.

Can inequality only be fixed by war, revolution or plague? The Economist. From 2018, still germane.

Seeing Beyond the Map Grassroots Economic Organizing. A comic about Elinor Ostrum (see NC here).

In the Gut’s ‘Second Brain,’ Key Agents of Health Emerge Quanta

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Sacha Baron Cohen Slams TikTok: “Creating Biggest Antisemitic Movement Since the Nazis”

    Not that I would pay much attention to what people like Sacha Baron Cohen, Debra Messing and Amy Schumer think but Sacha is making an error of bias here. TikTok isn’t creating the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis and the present hatred for Israel is not due to antisemitism. People are starting to hate “Zionist” Israel for the massacres and war crimes that they are doing to Palestinian civilians and it is as simple as that.TikTok is typically used by young people so they have yet to learn that we are supposed to owe our fealty to Israel on an unconditional basis. They see the attacks on hospitals and the turning of people’s homes to rubble and they know exactly what they are looking at which is being reflected on social media – in this case TikTok. So what Sacha and his friends talking to TikTok executives is all about is them wanting TikTok to impose censorship on people’s views on TikTok and restrict free speech so that they do not have to feel uncomfortable.

    1. bonks

      If they don’t censor, it’s Beijing propagandising to the west. If they do censor, it’s Beijing clamping down on free speech. You can’t win with these people.

    2. TBone

      People are starting to hate “Imperialist Russia” for the massacres and war crimes that they are doing to Ukrainian civilians and it is as simple as that. Hmmm.

    3. Feral Finster

      Zionist demands for special pleading and intentional conflating of “Jews” with “Israel” have created more antisemites than anything since the Nazis.

    4. NYMutza

      Anti-Semite should be changed to Anti-Zionist. The entire world should oppose Zionism just as it should oppose Naziism. Sacha Baron Cohen should oppose Zionism.

    5. Carolinian

      So Cohen joins Nikki Haley in his disdain for TikTok. But didn’t Cohen make fun of people like Haley in one of his long ago candid camera movies where he spoofed some U of South Carolina students into saying dumb things? In the many intervening years his career hasn’t exactly soared, although the Hollywood Reporter still remembers who he is.

      Shorter Cohen when it comes his fellow Israelis and ethnic stereotypes: it’s ok when we do it. Others might disagree.

    6. ForFawkesSakes

      Let us not forget that more than half of Mr. Cohen’s characters are Islam and Muslim stereotypes. His body of work is embarrassing with any kind of nuance on this issue.

  2. Lexx

    ‘In the Gut’s ‘Second Brain,’ Key Agents of Health Emerge’

    I’m pretty confident that answers for why some people shrugged covid off and others continue to be sick lie in the gut, so this is interesting research to me. Decades away from anything like remedies, but interesting. Our healthcare system isn’t really about ‘cures’ or ‘prevention’ or helping folks lead healthier happier lives.

    1. furnace

      Eastern understanding has put the gut first and foremost for a very long time. Good to see medicine finally starting to catch up.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Lexx and furnace: Yes, this article is definitely worth a read. I recall my chiropractor/kinesiologist in Evanston, IL, remarking more than once on the brain in the gut. This article also reminded me of the constant interactions of the endocrine system and the brain plus the immune system and the brain. Or the two brains.

      1. Lexx

        For you both and the commentariat in general… highly recommend Mike Birbiglia’s Netflix special: ‘The Old Man and The Pool’. Yes, like Hemingway but hilarious. Mike’s been having more health issues than normal and he’s never been more painfully funny about them.

    1. Yves Smith

      Your snark is out of line. Wired is paywalled once you’ve read a pretty small # of articles. is not. We gets lots of complaints from readers when we link to paywalled content. We get very few complaints, by comparison, about

      1. John Beech

        Respectfully, Yves, but no snark intended. When I click an article I get an endless loop of bicycle or bus images to click on for the captcha and ‘never’ get access. Google it and you’ll learn I am far from alone. If that’s not nonsense, what is?

        1. Yves Smith

          I don’t get an endless loop. Lambert and I both use it to get past paywalls when we are in production mode, as in very time stressed, so we both find this an acceptable investment of our very scarce bandwidth given the upside. You are the only reader to complain about it.

            1. Procopius

              I have BypassPaywallsClean installed on my Firefox, and I haven’t seen those announcements about ad blockers for a couple of weeks (sorry, I didn’t make a note when I stopped seeing them). I don’t see any ads, either.

          1. jsn

            When I’m logged into my VPN network through work, I get the endless CATCHPA loop.

            When I log in on my personal lap top works fine.

        2. kareninca

          I used to use all the time but not anymore since I also get the endless loop of captcha images and never get access.

          1. neutrino23

            Same here. locks me in an endless loop of captcha. I just copy the title and search for it and get the article that way.

      2. albrt

        I appreciate the effort to make important information available, but I’ve never successfully gotten through the series of captchas to read an archive ph link. I stopped trying after 5 or 6 attempts. If somebody can tell me what I’m doing wrong I would appreciate it. I usually do not have a problem with that type of picture captcha.

        1. uhh Clem

          I finally solved months of inability to access because of the captcha loop (and before that started there was other weird bugginess with the site) by switching browsers. For me Firefox was choking on it, Safari works like it’s supposed to, I have to assume a similar move to Chrome or whatever would help

          1. kramshaw

            The issue I had with captcha loops was resolved by adding it as an exception to my dns-over-https setting in firefox. More details about the problem are here but its a little technical. u/Al-Terego wrote:

   (and its aliases: .is .fo .il .md .ph .vn) actively sabotages DNS queries coming from Cloudflare (, etc.), Quad9 (, etc.), and possibly others (I didn’t check but there were reports that Google’s is affected as well). The inconsistent results can be due to DNS cashing.

            Obviously, switching to your ISPs DNS server or to a third party one that isn’t affected will fix the issue, but people have legitimate reasons for using those DNS servers and since is the only site that refuses to play the most plausible explanation is asshattery, and a better approach would be give them the finger and advocate the use of instead.

            That said, if you feel that pragmatism trumps ideology, but still want to have your cake and eat it too, here’s how I solved it locally. Description is for Windows 10, Firefox, and a router running FreshTomato, but can be adapted to other settings and/or simplified as needed.

            I guess by adding as an exception, I’m now using my local ISP for dns lookups for this site, which I don’t feel amazing about, but is probably meh.

          2. pjay

            I seem to be having an issue posting comments with Firefox today myself. Not sure why. I’m using Edge here to check.

          1. NN Cassandra

            With disabled javascript you can go straight to, it will show the article with no problem/paywall. Same for NYT, WP and various others.

            1. Carolinian

              Also try disabling CSS style sheets which you can do in Firefox if not other browsers. Alt/View/Page style/No style. This will bypass many paywalls if we are allowed to do this.

      3. Gregorio

        The link usually works well, but for some reason that particular link was unreadable due to ads being plastered on top of the article. It left me wondering if publishers have figured out a way to block the use of the site.

  3. QuarterBack

    re OpenAI, with Larry Summers sitting on the Board, I am now starting to understand the narrative of how AI could destroy civilization.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      I’m feeling very behind the curve on this melodrama, but after reading the Atlantic piece that was linked in yesterday’s morning links, I don’t see how turfing out the board of directors and replacing them with someone like Summers can possibly have a good ending.

      It seems to me that it’s impossible for OpenAI to serve two masters, one non-for-profit with a mission to promote AI in a way that has guardrails and is healthy for the future, and another for-profit Microsoft master that will simply seek to ruthlessly extend, embrace, and exterminate rivals with their proprietary AI designed to further the bezzle.

      Altman probably could have done some good for society by simply resigning and taking up another career, maybe in nursing, or delivering relief to the Gazans.

      Borrowing a line from the 70’s for AI: Now it’s Miller time … Now it’s “Bezz out!” time.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          I look at it as, competent or not, Summers represents neo-liberalism and market-based thinking, so look for OpenAI to become some version of Enron over the next decade.

          And, the links to Microsoft seem fatal. In terms of OpenAI maintaining any sort of distance from the worst of late-stage capitalistic predatory practices. The most we can hope for is what Lambert posted in yesterday’s Water cooler:

          AI doesn’t result in SkyNet, but merely turns everything into a crapified hellscape where you never get to talk to a live person again. All interactions are with a computer, saving corporations from having to hire and employ those pesky humans for any role involving customer service.

          (Paraphrasing Lambert; I hope I got it right.)

        2. NN Cassandra

          Less competent at what? He seems to be pretty good at driving countries to ruin while acquiring fame and money in the process.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘Sarah Kendzior
    This vile man is Stuart Seldowitz, former Director of the National Security Council under President Obama.
    His identity was confirmed by the PR firm at which he most recently worked.’

    But wait – there’s more. There is a Tweet embedded on the page I link to below showing more of this confrontation and where Seldowitz also says ‘If we killed 4,000 Palestinian kids, you know what, it wasn’t enough. It wasn’t enough.’

    I’d say that what this turkey was doing rates as a hate crime.

    1. Verifyfirst

      It does rate as a hate crime because he says to the vendor that he is going to turn him in to “his friends at immigration”, that’s why he is taking his picture. In the US that is a serious threat, regardless of the vendor’s legal status.

    2. Wukchumni

      Sure it seems odd, the former Director of the National Security Council under President Obama… hectoring a hot dog salesman, but you have to win the little victories or else halal will triumph, tube steak salesman utilizing the bully pulpit of not speaking the lingua franca, my arse.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Of course, Seldowitz was immediately thrown under the bus and lost his K Street gig, but how many more with his views are there, more circumspect?

        When I was in retail, the worst customers were white, upper middle class, middle aged, college educated, and usually women. Also, considering the area, liberal Democrats. I escaped most of it as I was both white and spoke just like them. Having a poker face that didn’t react also helped.

        Isn’t interesting that the worst people that I have had to deal with are stereotypically the most enlightened?

        1. Rip Van Winkle

          That is a great big-picture point! Such Vaudeville antics on any topic by any obnoxious smug loud-mouth wouldn’t fly very far in Flyover. ‘A ….. society is a polite society’ and all that. I only encountered The Jerky Boys on business from Boston-New York-Philly.

    3. s.n.

      apparently Seldowitz is but the tip of the iceberg stateside…
      buried in the Daily Mail (and completely unmentioned in NY Post)
      somebody picked the wrong one to trifle with

      Brooklyn bigot who doused father and his toddler son in coffee during heated anti-Palestine rant on Brooklyn playground surrenders to cops
      The woman who confronted Ashish Prashar, 40, at a Brooklyn playground with his son has surrendered after posters of her were spread across the area
      Hadasa Karvavanibozak, 48, is accused of throwing hot coffee and attacking the duo while asking if they supported Hamas
      Prashar later clarified on X that he was Punjabi but supported Palestine and that his keffiyeh scarf was a gift

      a gift for his work in a development project in Gaza, where he worked alongside or under Tony Blair…

    4. Es s Cetera

      The reason Seldowitz and Karvavanibozak behave the way they do is in their minds the people they are attacking are lower forms of human, a lower caste, and thus they truly believe they can get away with this. Pretty much the same way people would treat slaves.

    5. Es s Cetera

      Also, I’m very keen to hear what Obama says about this. Not making a public statement condemning it in itself would speak volumes.

    1. Lexx

      ‘It’s only when you see clearly that Israel is just an arm of the same empire that’s been murdering people by the millions around the world with nonstop invasions, bombing campaigns, proxy conflicts, starvation sanctions and CIA coups that you understand that, yes, Israel really is exactly as evil as it appears to be, and its behavior in Gaza is exactly what it looks like.’

      Wrote something to this effect earlier this morning, then leaned on the backspace button till the rant was gone… and besides, Caitlin writes it so much better. Nice work if you can get it.


      1. .Tom

        Caitlin is sometimes wide of the mark on the interpretations of facts but I admire her poetic sermon style of writing very much. She’s got a big audience and is focused on her strengths.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          true she can become a bit hyperbolic sometimes, but easy to forgive when she is on the money more often than naught –

        2. paul

          Being sometimes wide of the mark on the interpretaions is quite understandable and forgivable.
          The straight up, bald faced lying by her antagonists will never be either.

          1. JBird4049

            Most of her critics’ smearing is quite understandable to me as cockroaches tend to hate the light. If she is sometimes hyperbolic or even completely wrong, who hasn’t been?

    2. Randy

      I want to see the video where the vendor jumps over the counter and administers a serious ass-whooping to this smug bastard.

      1. paul

        Trouble is, in this wretched world, a powerless, less than white man circumscribing a PMC’s right to shelter behind his freedom to abuse, leads to a whole world of pain for the former.

        Public, or at least social media, humilitiation is a far more satisfying response than the cracking sound of an ass’s jawbone.

    3. Gregorio

      I’m just surprised that Biden’s neoconservative ideologues at the State Department let such a committed fellow traveler get away to the private sector.

      1. bert luger

        Maybe they were a little over-stressed at having to see the ever smiling face of evil every day and encouraged him in his non-governmental ambitions.

  5. Wukchumni

    Binance CEO CZ quits, Richard Teng to take over; crypto exchange to pay US$4 billion for money laundering The Business Times

    $4.01k update

    Now you’d think birds of a crypto feather are all alike and surely news that a major exchange agreed to pay a $4 billion fine would be at least a little disconcerting, but that doesn’t bother Bitcoin, nearly $37k now, and that’s off the lows of around $16k when the FTX imbrogliou came out, well before S B-F became an unwilling member of the block chain gang in the Federal ‘reserve’.

    I’m of course delighted by the news, my grubstake is on the upswing, worth around $2.50 now versus a buck, buck fifty in the dark days.

    1. Neutrino

      Binance is exhibit infinity about the necessity of legitimate, effective regulation. Who could say they were shocked, shocked that gambling illegal, immoral, unethical, terrorist-supporting and all-around bad behavior was going on? At least that dude got some comeuppance, after causing how much havoc, aiding and abetting criminals.

      There is an anniversary of sorts to celebrate acknowledge with a moment of silence in the regulatory biz. Only about a quarter century ago the derivatives regulations proposals got gutted. That set, or reinforced, the tone until Greenspan’s mea culpa-lite about market self-healing prior to the Obama orgy of regulatory capture, bailouts and public-screwing. Summers, that bad penny, also made an appearance and chimed in.

      1. Benny Profane

        I highly suspect that, with this lenient penalty, he’s working as an agent for the DOJ in some manner now, after he helped sink FTX.

  6. Wukchumni

    Being almost a year old when the deal went down, the next bowel movement was of vastly more importance than anything else, when being kept abreast of the action by mom.

    Generation Jones defining moment was not JFK being assassinated, but instead the triumph of the moon landing and then as it became commonplace in six degrees of separation between liftoffs, the yeah whatever hangover that presaged the seventies and a malaise we got used to as it too became the norm.

    Couldn’t have got there without JFK, though.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        reading that book right now – 163pgs in so far – excellent book – i was sitting at my desk in 9th grade at a private parochial school run by Jesuits in Detroit when JFK was assassinated and it was announced over the PA – there was much weeping that day and the days that followed – ever so often i will pull up and listen to the last few speeches that JFK made before his murder – especially his final speech to the United Nations a month before his murder – in that speech, which is important to this day he said that “…even little wars are dangerous in a nuclear world…”
        as the subtitle to the book states, “He Chose Peace. They Marked Him For Death.”

        Secret Societies speech 4/1961

        Rice University speech 9/1962

        American University speech 6/1963

        Final Address to the United Nations General Assembly September 20, 1963

        Assassinated a month later November 22, 1963

        1. Screwball

          I have read dozens of JFK assassination books. This one is one of the best IMO. Yet so many still believe the “official” story to this day. I will never believe it, nor many other “official” stories that are sold as truth.

          The topic is trending on Twitter. One poster Tweeted;

          60 years ago today, the CIA and the Military Industrial Complex realized there was nothing they couldn’t get away with

          That might be closer to the truth than we will ever know. I was in 3rd grade and will never forget it. Too young to understand what was really going on but it made me wonder. 60 years later and I’m as cynical as ever and wouldn’t put anything past these people – whoever they are.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            Curtis LeMay – what a stand-up guy – so american – a moral guidepost in life – and the running mate of George Wallace, a true stellar piece of racist excrement

    1. Ellery O'Farrell

      I didn’t hear it from Walter Cronkite. I was 13 and in English class; I heard it from my classmate Dorothea Johnson, who came back into the classroom from the bathroom crying and holding out her radio announcing that the President had been shot. Class ended then.
      What I remember next is that, following the announcement of his death and of closing the school, crying at my locker getting my books. Stunned.
      The funeral began the process of healing; we all watched the interment of a president who had been duly succeeded by another. The ceremony. There were the horse with reversed boots, the coffin, the procession of dignitaries from around the world. More tellingly, the widow and their children, especially John-John. If the world had resumed its ordinary turning, perhaps all would have been well.
      But there was always the war. And then, only five years later, there was 1968: Martin Luther King; Bobby’s speech, followed by Bobby’s death; the police at the Democratic convention in Chicago. The world collapsed.
      It’s never been the same since, at least to me. And neither my children nor my grandchildren know or can know the world I grew up in. Though of course I didn’t know the realpolitik of that world, still it was one in which Kennedy could override his generals in the 1962 crisis–where would we be if he had not?–and speak of peace. RIP, JFK

  7. fjallstrom

    The Jacobin article “The Swedish Left Failed the Vulnerable During the Pandemic” misses the chance to present the carrot aspect of the Pandemic response in Sweden, and focuses a lot on libertarians presentation of Sweden’s response.

    Sweden had recomendations, lots of carrots and a few sticks. Among the carrots, 80% of missed pay from day one for staying home with any symtoms and the same for staying home with children with symtoms, is I think the most important one. Combining money (promptly payed, no questions asked) with the recomendation to stay home broke the rise in cases in March 2020 (judging by when intensive care cases peaked and when deaths peaked), though cases declined more slowly than in enighbouring countries. While one can argue that Sweden’s response was hostile to workers, I would argue that paying people to stay home is economically less hostile than ordering people to stay home without paying them.

    Over all, excess mortality in Sweden was among the lowest in EU. The main reason libertarians can use that to argue that nothing needs to be done is that the many carrots that were used was not reported. This article continues that tendency.

    1. juno mas

      Anders Tegnell was an arrogant, non-circumspect, gambler with other peoples lives. Attempting to incur herd immunity with a new and unique virus is the opposite of ‘first do no harm’. Sweden did not pay to disperse/improve the conditions of the elderly in hospice care; they disproportionately died.

        1. Harold

          What I heard was that in Swedish nursing homes (not hospices) people over 65 were given opium instead of oxygen when they had trouble breathing (in other words euthanized) and that this was a matter of policy even though there was no shortage of oxygen. Perhaps this is untrue and just folklore. I would be very glad to be corrected if this was not the case. But I did read that irate relatives were calling for investigations.
          I did find this, which seems to suggest it was not policy, but rather confusion:

      1. fjallstrom

        Yes, herd immunity was never realistic.

        My argument is simply that the article is wrong in arguing that lockdowns would have been much better. Lockdowns would not have helped the spread in elder care, because the spread in elder care needed more than just a peek in national cases. (In effect, PPE and ventilation.)

        What would have helped in the spring of 2020 is acting earlier. If the same recommendations had been implemented in early March 2020 when cases became more numerous than track and trace could handle, instead of mid March, two weeks would have been saved, which given the doubling time would have cut cases and death by eight. What would also have helped is recommendation against travel to the Alps in general in February 2020. Stockholm County had half the deaths in spring 2020, probably because of a greater initial number of cases from travel to Alps mid February 2020 during sports break. Skåne County which is also very populous had much fewer cases and deaths. Probably because fewer from Skåne goes to the Alps and an earlier sports break.

        But of course, if those two things had happened, Sweden would have been a success, which would have been worse for the ideological fight the authors of the article is fighting. Libertarians would use it even more as an example, assuming that in that scenario paying people to stay home would have been just as ignored. Which seems to be a safe assumption.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Israel’s campaign against Palestinian olive trees. Or other ways of murder.

    As a writer also interested in cookery and in the long cultural continuity of the Mediterranean world, I have learned that the olive is a sacred tree. The Greeks claimed that both Poseidon and Athena offered gifts to the Athenians to become the patron deity. When the Athenians saw that Athena would give them the olive tree, they agreed that she was their goddess.

    This sentence stood out to me: “Just in November 2022, Israeli forces uprooted and destroyed 2,000 olive trees in the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan.7”

    Olive trees are both notoriously robust and yet require some human attention. The writer Mort Rosenblum, in his book, Olives, thought that his olive trees on his little farm in southeastern France required names and benefited from human interaction.

    Two thousand olive trees in one village: What the Israelis are doing is a kind of murder. It is also an attempt to destroy a culture. It is contempt for work–consider how much work it is for the villagers to maintain two thousand trees.

    A friend of mine who lives in Roma sometimes talks about People of the Olive, those of us who eat olive oil and are part of the culture of the olive. (A group that defies U.S. maniacal racial classifications, give that it includes Tunisians, Berbers, Syrians, Turks, Greeks, Italians, Catalans, French, and others.)

    Leyla Heydroug’s article is worth your while just for how to think metaphorically about what war is.

    1. Wukchumni

      I feel sure that Netanyahu would bring up Kit Carson cutting down 4,000 of the Navajo peach trees around Canyon de Chelly and then frog marching the defeated people away from their ancestral home down to New Mexico as a pretext for sending the Palestinians to Sudan.

    2. vao

      During the Peloponnesian war, a typical punishment the various parties inflicted upon each other when they were not able to take over a city was to uproot olive trees (which were naturally outside city walls and could therefore not be defended).

        1. Wukchumni

          Ever since importation of eating olives was allowed about 5 years ago, there’s almost a cottage industry in taking out olive tree orchards in Godzone, as the poor things that I always thought of as ‘Tree Hippies’ committed the worst act of all, becoming unprofitable.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        I remember reading somewhere ( perhaps in an old War Nerd column) that the threat to tear down all the olive ( and every other tree of value) trees was expressed poetically in the saying . . . ” Your cicadas will chirp from the ground”.)

    3. NYMutza

      Destroying olive trees is little different from the US Army killing the great plains buffalo so as to deny food and shelter to the plains Indians. Acts of genocide, plain and simple. The Zionists have learned well from the Americans. Just as Hitler did.

    4. eg

      I am reminded of chapter 5 of Steinbeck’s The Pearl when Kino discovers that his boat, passed down from his grandfather through his father, has been destroyed:

      “This was an evil beyond thinking. The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat. For a boat does not have sons, and a boat cannot defend itself, and a wounded boat does not heal.”

  9. Jabura Basaidai

    “Misuse of Holocaust Memory” – let’s not forget the full horror of murderous Nazi rampage –

    and yesterday’s link from from @ZarahnSouthon about how Israel treated the Warsaw Ghetto uprising hero Marek Edelman for supporting Palestinian struggle and stubborn opposition led by Holocaust historians in Israel to denigrate this selfless individual indicate how the Z’s utilize it – such a shame – ‘Edelman remained steadfastly anti-Z. He insisted that Z-ism was imperialist in both design and application and argued that it threatened a global multiculturalist aspiration… – a young Polish journalist asked him, “what does it mean to be a Jew?” He answered “To be a Jew is to be on the side of the weak.” – To Edelman “never again” meant “never again for anyone.” It was a statement of human solidarity – all Z’s may be Jews but all Jews are not Z’s –

    1. Kouros

      The chart doesn’t add up. The Soviets lost more than 25 millions in that war. Only in Leningrad, almost 1 million died of starvation and diseases during the over 900 days siege.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        believe it is those captured and put to death by Nazis – not combatants killed in battle or civilians killed as collateral –

  10. The Rev Kev

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

    ‘Yemen has a 30 million population and, according to Russia, a very strong arsenal of ship-sinking missiles with 2,000 km range that they themselves manufacture. If there is no other lever to stop the Israeli rampage, it is certainly credible that the Yemenis will attack global shipping routes.’

    Not sure how this can be countered. This was the country that was besieged by Saudi Arabia, the UAE as well as the Collective West to force them into defeat. I regret to say that I saw the Royal Australian Navy training the Saudis in blockade techniques – which was being used to try to starve that country to death. Well as we all know it didn’t work out. If Washington suggests that the Saudis and the UAE go back into that country, I think that they will flat out refuse. And does the US Navy really want to risk launching attacks on that country? That could go sideways real fast. The Yemenis could launch missiles at all those US military bases in Saudi Arabia – while privately assuring the Saudis that all their infrastructure is absolutely off limits for their drones and missiles.

    1. nippersdad

      I have been wondering what would happen were they to sink a ship while it was in the Suez canal. There was that big ship that stopped all traffic through the canal a few years ago, and the costs mounted incredibly fast.

      Hitting the bottom line for western commerce in aid of the Palestinians might go a long way toward keeping them in the news even as those same nations want to pivot away toward something else.

    2. Feral Finster

      “If Washington suggests that the Saudis and the UAE go back into that country, I think that they will flat out refuse.”

      They won’t refuse, but they cannot afford politically to be seen to make war on the few fellow Muslims who are supporting Gaza with something other than “thoughts and prayers”.

    3. Phenix

      I sometimes wonder if Washington’s plan is to destroy globalization. BRICS is heavily dependent on the global (American) system with on demand manufacturing. The US is the least integrated country and can in theory revert to an autarkic system or at least a Western hemisphere system. BRICS can not revert to an autarkic system…an attack that shuts down ME oil exports would destroy the BRICS and American empire…. American elites will probably come out on top.

      Russian oil will be bottled up or in Europe. There is no way that European countries would let hose ships past unmolested.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        How can the US revert to an autarkic system anymore? Or even an autarkistic one? The industry needed to make things for America in America was systematically destroyed over the last few decades by the International Free Trade Conspiracy and its “American” agents such as President Clinton, Speaker Pelosi, etc. etc. etc.

        It would take decades behind an utter and total Protectionist Wall to restore “American Survivalist” industry in America again. America won’t be self-autarkable any time soon. And unless every single Free Trade Agreement and Organization is repudiated and resigned from, anytime ever.

  11. Local to Oakland

    The Ars Technica article about United Health and AI points to an interesting and deserving lawsuit.

    However the headline is misleading. (This is Ars Technica’s fault)

    90 percent of decisions that were appealed proved to be wrong. That’s a big problem. The headline however makes it sound like 90 percent of total decisions made proved to be wrong. Presumably the AI made some reasonable care decisions that were not appealed as no one objected. It would be interesting to have more precise numbers about percentages of decisions appealed.

    But again, interesting and valid lawsuit. United is a bad actor here.

  12. s.n.

    Analysis: A pause in fighting – what’s in it for Hamas?
    Hamas can benefit militarily from the ambiguous truce deal, but as an opportunity rather than a necessity.
    By Zoran Kusovac
    Published On 22 Nov 2023

    “…His” [Netanyahu’s] “initial public opposition to the first mentions of a deal indicated the opinion of the Israeli extreme right wing, politically mostly directed by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and their patrons in the Knesset and cabinet. To them, Hamas are terrorists to be killed, eradicated and expelled from the Gaza Strip with captives being released either voluntarily or by force, and they took any suggestion of negotiating with Hamas as an insult and an offence.

    Having become the party that negotiates with the State of Israel, even if through intermediaries, Hamas gained political acceptance in the international community. In just six weeks since October 7, its status changed from “terrorists with whom any negotiations are unacceptable” to “an organisation that has control on the ground”.

    Even though Israel and the United States continue calling it “terrorist”, a term that usually connotes “people we do not negotiate with”, they have recognised reality and accepted the Palestinian organisation as their opposite side in negotiations.

    Hamas scored an important psychological, political and strategic victory: The Israeli cabinet and the US president have negotiated with Hamas, reached an agreement and said publicly they intend to honour it. Two months ago, today’s reality would have been unimaginable.

    But, on the military side, Hamas has little to gain from the pause/ceasefire/truce. As I explained yesterday, it is militarily very convenient for Israel but makes no real difference for Hamas…”,

  13. Wukchumni

    The Historic Claims That Put a Few California Farming Families
    First in Line for Colorado River Water ProPublica

    A good article on the vagaries of water in Cali…

    I’m thinking i’m about 33rd in line here in Tiny Town, and maybe 8th in line up in the higher climes, as far as surface water goes-by far my largest investment, and an odd one in that I use almost none of it here in the foothills, as we have a hard rock well. Fun to swim in and a nice insurance policy in case of lack of something liquid this way comes via drought.

    I’m entirely dependent though upon surface water in Mineral King, along with every other cabin owner.

    Most every drop that goes by me in the foothills is in fact the property of J.G. Boswell-who managed to singled-handedly gain control of the flow from 4 major rivers on the western slopes.

    The King Of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of A Secret American Empire, by Mark Arax & Rick Wartzman is one hell of a read, and Arax’s more recent The Dreamt Land is the modern day equivalent of Cadillac Desert, it’s that good.

    1. Luckless Pedestrian

      Thank you for the recommendation on The Dreamt Land. I also thought The King of California was a worthwhile read and read Cadillac Desert years ago, but still remember the parts on Floyd Dominy (sp?). Thanks, Wuk.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “The Era of Total U.S. Submarine Dominance Over China Is Ending”

    It had to come as China spent more and more resources in learning how to build better, more sophisticated designs of subs along with detection gear. Apparently the Russians are also helping the Chinese here because why wouldn’t they? And as it is a partnership, the Chinese will always have access to uranium to power their nuke boats. If there was a brawl between China and the US, I wonder how the US would be able to ship heavy gear via ship across the pacific without Chinese subs going after them. Does the US Navy have the ships anymore to provide convoy escorts to those logistical ships while trying to box China in? Hopefully we won’t have to find out. Here is another article talking about these developments-

    1. Neutrino

      Is it defense procurement season?

      That was my initial reaction to the headline. Scare up some letters to friendly Senators and Representatives, reprint those in friendly media, repeat the solemn DC ritual.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’m not sure those articles are any more than the usual USN special pleading for more money.

      The Chinese Type 095, the new attack submarine, was anticipated in 2015, but still isn’t operational. Whether this is because of technical issues, or a change in priorities, as usual is not known. The Chinese are known to be struggling with non-nuclear AIP powerplants – they had to postpone sales to Thailand because the Germans wouldn’t license their systems.

      The Chinese seem to be changing their emphasis from deep water big subs to smaller non-nuclear subs and autonomous subs, which makes a lot of sense given how shallow the South China Sea is. They may of course go for both if their new production facilities are as big as they seem to be.

      I very much doubt the Russians would co-operate with China. China has consistently ripped off Russian tech whenever they’ve had joint projects (Sukhoi 30 / Shenyang J-11; S300/HQ15) and Russia has a clear lead on submarines, a major export item for them. China is looking to bite big time into Russia’s weapons export markets, its hard to see why Russia should help them.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          At least 8 different nations use the Kilo class. Algeria and Vietnam have purchased the most recent export variants.

      1. John k

        With all their fossil exports I’m not sure why they need more export markets. The next decade seems likely to be us fighting Russia/China/BRICS expansion, and likely us will continue military bullying cause that’s all they’ve got. Imo Most critical for Russia in the near term is that China not be rolled. Besides, Russia is not a naval power and any future disagreement with China doesn’t seem likely to be fought at sea.

    1. skippy

      I have one of those only a darker/richer/shiny black laying under my comp table right now. Never seen a canine that elicits such a strong response from other humans on walks. Everyone’s eyeballs get sucked in from the corner of their vision or when he comes into view e.g. dog walks are really meet and greet wanderings as we have to stop and chat for 15/30 min. Common first responses are majestic, noble, wow, what kind is he[?], and most of all huge smiles from others.

      Yet has such a gentle manner about him, which then elicits more reactions from those that meet him and his companion Rue – quarter his size cross breed with show dog looks and trot.

      Best thing to come out of the divorce imo …

  15. brian wilder

    Scanned the Kviv Post article on the Dnipro bridgeheads looking for some mention of that dam breaking being the setup for this strategic possibility. Nothing that I saw. Interesting.

  16. TomDority

    The Emperor’s New Climate Scenarios (PDF) Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, University of Exeter
    My simple minded take away – If we screw up the climate to much and make our planet inhospitable to human life – well then humans will lose a bunch of that human created measurement – GDP.
    So really a good part of that should be to hold investment portfolios and companies to a standard of fiduciary duty to not invest or do things that degrade the environment which directly leads GDP loss and asset un-insurability and value loss.
    Got to love everything measured by some economic gain without looking at the collateral losses that will lead to 100% complete destruction of GDP or economic gain. Guess humans like to create Gods out of human inventions like money and AI.

    1. Alice X

      Page 12 from the PDF:

      … there is a possibility that the remaining carbon budget for limiting warming to 1.5°C is already zero.

      It’s a very nice glossy thirty two page spread, very slick. But the climate catastrophe horse has already left the barn. The financial folks will keep their heads in the sand for as long as possible. When a place is uninhabitable, there will be no GDP.

      In September we went past 1.5 degrees. In November, we tipped over 2 degrees for the first time. What’s going on?

      Those were spikes but the message is clear.

        1. skippy

          GDP is like a funnel, zero distribution vectors outside of where its spout is inserted and with increasing financialization of everything creates a venturi like effect …

          Always blows me away how many times a stand alone metric for economic introspection has been plucked from – all the others – becoming the brass ring too shoot for, never mind all the other stuff that denotes the broader socioeconomic realities …

          Then most of the authors of such argued against the misuse of their devices …. funny that …

  17. Lex

    The two state solution: it’s obviously unworkable. Which raises the question of why so many national leaders are promoting it as the only solution. First, it’s theoretically enforceable because it comes from international agreements, so these nations (like China) can point to international law and the UN, which the US in its “rules based order” obliquely reference as if it were the foundation of that order. The two state solution puts the US in an international relations bind. Doing that is part of the Sino-Russian strategy of stretch and pressure.

    It’s also relatively easy for regional and global political opinion to point to as a reasonable solution. Because, in theory, it is.

    However, the reality of implementing it would be a catastrophic defeat for Israel … or at least the current political makeup of Israel. So Tel Aviv cannot support it, which means the US won’t support it. Which all means that the RoW can and is (slowly, somewhat gently) putting the US and Israel over a barrel and isolating them with growing global opinion. And it is this issue most likely to split the EU off from the US, not Ukraine. That’s not saying it will split the EU from the US, but this is the issue with the most potential and that includes domestic political pressure in Europe.

    It is pointless on the surface but powerful beneath it. At least potentially powerful. And what else can be done? Israel is run by madmen and the US is a close second. The military solution to defending Palestinians has uncomfortably high potential for Israel using its nukes or at least massively escalating.

    1. hk

      Yes. Someone should ask Biden the logical implication of supporting the two state solution: will you support deploying American troops to ensure the sovereignty of the Palestinian state and the security of its people against foreign aggression? For now, “two state solution” is just a mantra for Western leaders, but they should be cognizant, if they are smart (not something that we should assume, admittedly), they should know what it means.

    2. nippersdad

      If you look at a map of the region, there is a diagonal border in Jordan that, were it extended across Israel, would be a natural extension of an existing border. That would definitely infuriate the Israelis, but would also have the effect of allowing all of those Palestinians in Jordan the right of return.

      That line slices right through Jerusalem, which would give the Palestinians the Al Aqsa mosque and East Jerusalem. OTOH, the Palestinians would also lose the West Bank. Jordan would get much larger, but the land is poorer. Israel would get much smaller, but they would get the better land. It seems like it would be a natural state for the Palestinians, and a good punishment for Israeli overreach.

      1. Alice X

        The Middle East national boundaries are arbitrary post colonial artifacts.

        The original partition of Palestine itself was colonial project.

        1. nippersdad

          Exactly! They were already arbitrary, so this would rationalize some of it which could only make it easier to do. Just change one line and you suddenly have your two state solution with a built in government (Jordan).

          And it would piss off a lot of Israelis in the process. Win/win.

          1. scott s.

            What national boundaries (other than sea coasts) aren’t arbitrary? That seems a weak argument and a call to irredentism.

            1. nippersdad

              Few boundaries of countries were set by the UN in the last fifty years, so irredentism sounds like it is called for.

              After all, contracts entered into fraudulently by one of the parties cannot be enforced legally. Israel has been evading its’ responsibilities since the Balfour Declaration, and that is surely a basis for any fraud case against them in an international court were they to argue the point.

      2. nippersdad

        It just occurred to me that all of the oil and gas reserves off of Gaza would then go to the new Palestinian state! Poorer land, but better offshore resources! Jordan could then be a player in the ME energy markets.

        As a plan, this is starting to sound better than moving Israel to rump Ukraine, but there is no real reason why we couldn’t see both. I am still kind of enamored of a Zionist vs. Nazi fight on pay per view. Let’s see how they do when they are equally well matched.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “US and Germany risk owning Ukraine’s stalling war effort”

    ‘The onus is on European allies to step up support and chart a path for Kyiv towards Nato and EU membership’

    And there it is in the second line. The US will bail on the Ukraine and dump it all onto the Europeans to deal with. Probably the excuse will be that they cannot have any more billions passed in Congress so their hands are tied. A US official was just in Kiev bringing this up as something that was going to happen much to the shock of Zelensky & Co. It may not be so bad as Afghanistan with Ukrainians falling off the sides of transports taking off but the withdrawal will probably be quick. The Europeans do not have the money to keep the Ukraine going without the US so Project Ukraine will quickly collapse under its own weight. The fact of the matter is that the US cannot deal with Project Ukraine and Project Taiwan at the same time. The war in Gaza has just extended US military resources too far and the cupboard must be getting empty. Better to cut the Ukraine loose, try to put a lid on the Middle east and then go after their next target – China.

    1. nippersdad

      After the two debacles we are presently engaged in I am guessing there will be no project Taiwan. Just the threat of an embargo of all Chinese goods would stop that in its’ tracks, and then, suddenly, they would rediscover the One China policy that has never left the top paragraph of the State Department’s web page on the place.

      I think that was always a neoconservative wet dream, and they are going to find themselves all wet if they try to implement it.

    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      If it plays out that way, the various flavors of Ukranazi will spend the next few years or maybe decades setting off bombs all over Western Europe ( and Canada and America and Australia if they can reach us) to get revenge for the West not having supported Banderazovistan Hard Enough.

      1. The Rev Kev

        @ steppenwolf fetchit

        Zelensky actually promised that in an interview several weeks ago and other high-ups in his government have said the same.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          I should think that if the RussiaGov really wants to overextend and unbalance NATO-EUrope, he will reduce Ukranazi Galiciastan to its smallest feasible size and then allow it to join NATO-EUrope so as to get that Trojan Horse full of Ukranazis fully within the walls of EUrope; within which the Ukranazis can then start bombing and bombing and bombing.

          Ukranazi Galiciastan would be the gift which keeps on giving . . . and giving . . . and giving.

      2. Jabura Basaidai

        “….and Canada and America and Australia if they can reach us….” btw “if” ain’t the correct word – with the support of Z’s by our govt for the death and destruction in Gaza you can rest assured that our time for home-grown mayhem is fast approaching – where there’s a will there’s a way, not a matter of ‘if they reach us’ – how many folks in various diasporas here in the usa have lost loved ones to the carnage and will find revenge their only solace – it’s coming – and unfortunately well-deserved – love him or hate him but Ron Paul was correct that we need to keep out of foreign entanglements or risk a bullseye on our back –

  19. Boomheist

    Regarding Yemen and anti-ship missiles: The volume and flow of ships through the Red Sea to and from the Suez Canal is just astounding, 70 ships each and every say, or over 20,000 a year. The Red Sea is a long and quite narrow body of water separating Africa and the Middle East, generally 120 to 150 miles wide, but narrowing to as little as 20 miles at its southern end along the Yemeni coast. Through this passage every ship using the Suez Canal transits. I have been through this route seven times aboard container ships, and at times you can see the coast of Africa and Yemen at the same time. It is a beautiful, stark, historical place, miles of sand and dark rock, gray water, distant and nearby ships, islands with ancient ruins, small local fishing boats and, yes, pirates. The strait is as narrow as, say, the distance from Cape Cod to Nantucket, maybe even Martha’s Vineyard. Imagine what could happen if Yemen chose to sink dozens of ships at this narrow point, which they could clearly do. Naval vessels sharing this narrow body of water would also be vulnerable. You’d have an instant worldwide trade crisis. The Suez Canal would be blocked because the route south and east of the canal would be blocked, with an instant and catastrophic impact on world trade. In face just sinking one or two commercial ships would effectively stop all trade because in that instant insurance coverage for every ship in that area would be vastly increased or withdrawn, such that owners would be afraid to get close to that area at all. The Suez Crisis in 1956 saw the Suez Cabal blocked for a period of time, but that was back when world trade flows were nothing like today

    It is difficult to express the flow and volume of the ships in that area, coming and going. It is unrelenting and during the passage you are never out of sight of other vessels ahead of you and behind you, all moving at the same speed toward and from the Canal. At the Canal itself ships gather and anchor and then line up for convoys through the Canal, gatherings of 10, 20, 30 ships moving in close lines bow to stern in a smooth and steady flow which, if stopped, immediately creates chaos everywhere. This happened with the Ever Given a couple years go, remember? If Yemen chose to close the southern Red Sea with their missiles the closure would last a damn long time. One of the channels passing Yemen and is only 30 meters deep, 100 feet, so ships sunk there would block the waterway entirely. And stopping the tremendous volume of ships flowing east and west thrugh the Suez would have consequences you don’t hear much about, maybe because the consequences are nearly unimaginable.

    Point being, if Yemen decided to unleash missiles against commercial and naval ships in a massive barrage the trade consequences would be instant and almost beyond understanding.

    Everyone, it seems, everyone, who knows anything about anti ship missiles, argues that ships, commercial and naval, are vulnerable to such missiles. It is one thing to imagine a few missiles sinking, say, one or two commercial ships in that narrow strait, that is chaotic enough, but imagine if instead a decision were made to fire off a broad attack against as many ships as possible, including naval ships? The impact would be world changing. We all know this, it seems, yet it seems lack the imagination to imagine such a thing actually happening.

    We are at an emperor having no clothes moment; have been, for some time.

    1. scott s.

      “Everyone, it seems, everyone, who knows anything about anti ship missiles, argues that ships, commercial and naval, are vulnerable to such missiles”

      Of course. That’s why many years ago the Aegis program was started.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        always wonder how effective the Aegis would be with a flurry of missiles a few feet off the surface of the water heading toward a ship – this whole situation with Yemen reminds me of the speculative fiction, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” by John Michael Greer

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Boomheist: Thanks for the detailed comment. I appreciate your reporting from aboard ship, as it were. Great image of seeing Yemen and Africa (Eritrea?) at the same time.

    3. John k

      Interesting thought.
      Imo the most profound effect would be on eu, they couldnt replace that much fossil fuel, anything from ME would have to be routed around Africa, not just pricey but aren’t enough ships to do the much longer route. Eu would have to make peace with Russia, wonder what Russia would ask/demand?
      Imagine houthis demanding 2-state solution.
      I’ve got lots of fantasies…

    4. steppenwolf fetchit

      If Yemen did that, how would it impact ship-borne resources reaching China? How would it impact ship-borne manufactures from leaving China? If China didn’t like the impact, would China apply some “this ain’t personal, its business” methods against Yemen to brute-force the Houthis into calling off the attacks?

      1. The Rev Kev

        China might tolerate it for a short period so that a point is made. A lot of their cargo can go overland via Russia and if it was summer, some ships could go the Arctic route with their ships. But as we have seen the past few decades, they are not the sort to go lobbing bombs and drones on a country like Yemen, especially now that they are making rapid progress in penetrating this part of the world diplomatically. Look at the Iran – Saudi Arabia rapprochement as an example. They would almost certainly go the diplomatic route and enlist the aid of Iran to do so.

  20. Gloria

    How can people practice nonviolent resistance to the imperialist war machine that may vaporize all of us?

    Inaction is action; Moms in the playground promise to do this.

    Boycott spending on things you actually can live without until after the election. Let the 1% profitting from the current situation support the economy.
    Pay off credit cards with the savings.

    Clear out closets and donate to those in need. You won’t miss the stuff.
    Buy food in Bodegas and little businesses for cash only.

  21. Wukchumni

    Anybody else lined up outside military armories for Friday’s Lack Friday festivities?

    I hear that you can buy 155mm shells for an undetermined delivery date…

    1. Procopius

      I’ve heard that current 155 mm artillery shells are going for $3500 each, up from IIRC $650 each. Are they going to clear out the last of their inventory with a Black Friday Special?

  22. Glen

    The American “science” of economics seems to be a “work in progress”:

    How’s it working out in America?

    Anger Is What’s Driving The U.S. Economy

    Much of the economic anger expressed in the polls may be less about current economic conditions and more about the economy the US has built over the past 40 years: one of high and rising inequality, with greater economic fragility due to higher income volatility and a reduced safety net. A deep-seated anger about how the economy is “rigged” has been simmering since long before the pandemic.

    The Wreckage of Neoliberalism

    The crisis of neoliberalism: America arrives at one of history’s great crossroads

    Boy, we are just so lucky Obama saved all those geniuses that had tanked the world economy, and went full speed ahead with finanicalizing America! Now we will use that powerful financialized economy to crush our foes!

    Russia’s Key Economic Sectors Shrug Off Sanctions

    Well, there has to be somebody benefiting from this American “science” of economics mess (in addition to all the American elites that have gotten rich strip mining America). I wonder who that could be?

    China is willing to be a ‘partner and friend’ of the US, Xi tells American CEOs

    And why not? Xi loves American CEOs! In forty short years those neo-liberal loving CEOs have wrecked the American industrial base, crushed American labor, destroyed the best public education in the world, and put China on top.

  23. Synoia

    I do not understand why the Suez canal is st ill a one way system.

    I went through it and back tn 1967, pre University. Not special . . No shore leave to see the Pyramids.

  24. Kouros

    An Open Letter on the Misuse of Holocaust Memory The New York Review

    Opinion: Here’s what the mass violence in Gaza looks like to a scholar of genocide LA Times

    Harvard Law Review Editors Vote to Kill Article about Genocide in Gaza The Intercept

    Good to see that the Lawfare on the US and Israel has started. A nice dose of their own medicine.

    The Harward Law Review editors contesting facts in the rejected paper, probably denied Nakba 1.0, despite all the historical Israeli evidence for it happening…

  25. Mikel

    “The Crumbling of the World Order and a Vision of Multipolarity: The Position of Russia and the West” Valdai Discussion Club

    The last paragraph:
    “..However, after the West understands what the balance of power in Europe looks like, a sobering will occur, which should lead to new political forces taking power in the West who realize that attempts at dominance are a dead end…”

    “a sobering will occur”
    I can’t help but see a bit of magical thinking going on with that wish.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Israel allegedly enforces ‘Hannibal Protocol’ on Oct. 7, killing festival-goers to prevent their captivity”

    At that festival, some 364 people were killed. Anybody want to lay a bet on how many of them were killed by Hamas and how many were killed by the IDF and assorted vigilantes?

  27. Willow

    Of interest how some gold mining companies are viewing the current geopolitical risks. From Evolution Mining’s Chair address: “The ongoing war in Ukraine is approaching the end of its second year and last month we saw the start of a major new conflict erupt in the Middle East. These regional conflicts are not only having tragic local consequences, but are also having very significant social, political and economic impacts around the world. I think it’s fair to say this is one of the most seminal geopolitical moments in our lifetime. A century ago, the global order was being redefined following World War One and similarly today, geopolitical changes have the potential to have ongoing, material repercussions for many years to
    come. ”

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