Links 11/23/2023

Happy American Thanksgiving to those who celebrate, and may your tryptophan-induced haze abide in beneficence. –lambert

Do Coyotes Hunt in Packs? Field & Stream

Scientists make breakthrough discovery in research into what causes an itch Axios


Unraveling Paddy Soil Secrets: Surprising Contribution of Nonmicrobial Mechanisms to CO2 Emissions (press release) Chinese Academy of Sciences


KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor November 2023: With COVID Concerns Lagging, Most People Have Not Gotten Latest Vaccine And Half Say They Are Not Taking Precautions This Holiday Season KFF. This is the key table:

I am — uncharacteristicially — going to regard this as “glass half full,” because the 50% adding at least some layers of protection are doing so in the face of an enormous tide of official propaganda, outright lying by so-called “public health” officials, and social opprobium. It’s really an encouraging sign that 50% of the population shows an ability to think critically.

As COVID numbers rise, public health officials call for vigilance against respiratory viruses AP

* * *

Repeated Omicron exposures override ancestral SARS-CoV-2 immune imprinting Nature. From the Abstract: “In summary, our findings suggest that secondary Omicron exposure is necessary to mitigate the immune imprinting conferred by previous ancestral virus exposure and to elicit higher levels of Omicron-specific antibodies. Accordingly, our recommendation is to administer two booster doses of Omicron-based vaccines to individuals who have not received prior Omicron-based vaccinations or have not been previously infected with the Omicron variant.” Commentary:

In summary, our findings suggest that secondary Omicron exposure is necessary to mitigate the immune imprinting conferred by previous ancestral virus exposure and to elicit higher levels of Omicron-specific antibodies. Accordingly, our recommendation is to administer two booster doses of Omicron-based vaccines to individuals who have not received prior Omicron-based vaccinations or have not been previously infected with the Omicron variant.

The Great Barrington Declaration and “natural herd immunity” versus public health three years later Science-Based Medicine

* * *

MRI study spotlights impact of long COVID on the brain Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Turning back the clock on brains aged by COVID-19 (press release) University of Queensland


China’s FDI withdrawal wave could ‘slow’ as outlook improves, analysts say Channel News Asia

Chinese shadow bank Zhongzhi faces $36bn shortfall after ‘management ran wild’ FT

How China took over the world’s online shopping carts Rest of World

* * *

WHO statement on reported clusters of respiratory illness in children in northern China WHO

Calm urged as pneumonia cases in children increase China Daily. From October 24. Or not:

PRO/EDR> Undiagnosed pneumonia – China (02): (BJ, LN) children, reported epidemic, comment ProMed


Talks on details of humanitarian pause in Gaza Strip going well: Qatar Anadolu Agency

Israel Accepts a Slowdown in Gaza Combat to Rescue Women and Children Held Hostage Haaretz. Commentary:

Israel-Hamas hostage deal and truce delayed FT. Oopsie.

Hamas deal divides Israel politicians, seen as ‘great harm’, ‘painful’ Al Jazeera

Israeli failures, US charades and a negotiated truce Al Jazeera

* * *

1,000 boats said set to leave Turkey for Gaza waters in new ‘Freedom Flotilla’ Times of Israel. There’s a history here:

International Security Warning Issued for Ships in the Red Sea Maritime Executive

US warship cruising Red Sea shoots down attack drones fired from Yemen Al Jazeera

* * *

Military briefing: has Israel achieved its war aims in Gaza? FT. The metric is Palestian lives, so no.

Al-Shifa Hospital: What do we know about IDF videos of a tunnel under the hospital? France24

* * *

The Harvard Law Review Refused to Run This Piece About Genocide in Gaza The Nation. More precisely, the piece would have run in an HLR blog. Nevertheless, just as craven as we would expect “the best and the brightest” among our PMC to be. I mean, who wants to end up at a second- or third-tier firm?

* * *

Many Politicians Support Israeli Genocide Because They’re Being Blackmailed Ian Welsh. Plausible. But not all–

Former Obama official arrested for harassing halal food vendor, faces hate crimes charges Anadolu Agency

As A.I.-Controlled Killer Drones Become Reality, Nations Debate Limits NYT (DL).

European Disunion

Germany freezes new spending commitments as budget woes deepen Reuters

Hard-right firebrand Geert Wilders wins election in Netherlands: ‘Dutch Donald Trump’ FOX

The Swedish Left Failed the Vulnerable During the Pandemic Jacobin

New Not-So-Cold War

NATO’s Proxy War On Russia Through Ukraine Appears To Be Winding Down Andrew Korybko’s Newsletter. Nice headline compilation.

Almost half of Americans think U.S. spending too much on Ukraine aid, AP-NORC poll says PBS

Leaders of 4 Central European states disagree on military aid for Ukraine but agree on other support ABC

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy warns of ‘difficult defence’ in east as cold sets in Reuters

Kennan Cable No. 85: Elections in Wartime Ukraine Would Test Ukraine’s Legal-Political Flexibility The Wilson Center

Russia says co-existence not possible with Ukraine’s current ‘regime’ Reuters

No Way Out Trying to Understand the World. Musical interlude.

Being an Arctic Nation is for the Good of All Americans Maritime Executive

Democrats en Déshabillé

Why I Am a Liberal Cass Sunstein, NYT. Musical interlude.

Pa. High Court Rejects ‘Percentage of Revenue’ Venue Defense


Apple privately asked Amazon to block rival ads. Insider found evidence of this special treatment, while others suffer from ‘junk ads’ Business Insider

Opinion: FTC and Colorado AG should take bold step to stop the Kroger-Albertsons merger Colorado Sun

Digital Watch

Behind the Scenes of Sam Altman’s Showdown at OpenAI WSJ. I hope Larry Summers slithering onto the OpenAI board is a sign that the enshittification of AI is proceeding with the rapidity and force it so richly deserves. Perhaps Larry can do for OpenAI what he did for the Harvard endowment!

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Old-School Artillery Shell Is Becoming High Tech WSJ. Something wrong with simple and rugged?

Thanksgiving Pre-Game Festivities

More Americans on Ozempic Means Smaller Plates at Thanksgiving Bloomberg

Meet the American who made cranberries a Turkey Day tradition, Marcus Urann, farmer with can-do spirit FOX

Thanksgiving travel fuels latest COVID-19 wave amid collapse of public health WSWS

Woman Still Wearing Mask On Plane Must Have Inside Information About Next Pandemic The Onion

Guillotine Watch

Colts owner Jim Irsay says police pulled him over because he’s a ‘rich, white billionaire’ AP

Macallan: Rare Scotch whisky becomes world’s most expensive bottle at £2.1m BBC

This Bat Uses Its Oversized Penis as an ‘Arm’ during Sex Scientific American. Something to talk about round the table!

Antidote du jour (via):

I suppose I should have done a turkey, but this wombat is just too cute.

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

    “Former Obama official arrested for harassing halal food vendor, faces hate crimes charges”

    But wait, there’s more. This is not the first time this POS has been doing this sort of harassment. He has spent a year also stalking and harassing Russian diplomats and calling Russian women prostitutes to their faces. Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations – Dmitry Polyanskiy – said that he was even harassing his dog while on a walk. ‘According to Polyanskiy, the New York Police Department did nothing to stop Seldowitz or assist the diplomatic team in identifying their serial harasser, dismissing it as a free speech issue.’ So having him being finally identified was a bit of a revelation. There is a video on this Grayzone page showing one such incident and it also shows him when younger as part of Madeline Allbright’s team. Why am I not surprised?

    1. Wukchumni

      Hot dog

      Well, he just got found in town today
      Another official who’s gone astray
      He took down the Halal 9000 tube steak store

      I searched online, I searched into the clown
      When I finally did sit down
      I find myself suffering fools no wiser than before

      He said Israel couldn’t do no wrong
      No other love could be so strong
      He asked for a warm bun from the heated bottom drawer

      Now he spilled his heart, he took a knee
      From any future hot dog stand trouble entendre
      And he’ll never work in DC anymore

      Now his occupation’s gone, he don’t know what to do
      He took his leave and walked right out the door
      And if he ever finds who did the video, I know one thing for sure
      He’s gonna give them footage like they never had before

      They finally caught up with his awkward schemes
      A little late these days it seems
      But they said a diss best served cold is well worth waiting for

      The smartphone took his word, the camera took it all
      Beneath the sign that said “Halal”
      It left no doubt for him hangin’ round any more

      Now his occupation’s gone, he don’t know what to do
      He took his leave and walked right out the door
      And if he ever finds who did the video, I know one thing for sure
      He’s gonna give them footage like they never had before

      He thought he had it all sewn up
      A Polish dog, accusations run amok
      But folks said he was after something more

      I never did quite understand
      All that talk about anti-Israel bans
      But they just rolled his job right out the door
      Oh yeah, they just rolled his job right out the door
      Whoaah, they just rolled his job right out the door!

      Hot Dog, by Led Zeppelin

    2. Pat

      My only surprise in all this is that he was finally arrested. I will be shocked if he is convicted and faces any real consequences. Still my fingers are crossed.

      And it does give me something additional to be thankful for on Thanksgiving – that things have changed enough that this walking rancid hate monger can no longer be willfully ignored and so he has been arrested. Scales falling from the public’s eyes can bring long needed change.

    3. Offtrail

      These are, exclusively, the only kind of people who get appointed to senior federal posts dealing with the Middle East (though most are not quite as outwardly disgusting).

      I still haven’t gotten over Doug Feith being put in charge of planning the occupation of Iraq.

  2. digi_owl

    “This Bat Uses Its Oversized Penis as an ‘Arm’ during Sex Scientific American. Something to talk about round the table!”

    Reminds me of a glorious card game in a Babylon 5 episode.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I hardly think that when Roman artists painted the portrait of the Greek god of fertility Priapus, that they were going to depict him with brewer’s droop. It kinda defeats the point of what is being depicted. I notice that in that painting that he had his dong on a pan on a set of scales with a bag of presumably money on the other pan in balance. Perhaps that was his going rate then? But I guess that when he rode a horse that he would have had to have ridden it side saddle.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘It’s really an encouraging sign that 50% of the population shows an ability to think critically.’

    Either that or else those that refused to think critically are no longer with us which is skewing that figure.

    1. albrt

      I guess Americans are demonstrating their ability to think critically by lying and telling pollsters what they think the pollsters want to hear.

      Public masking has increased significantly in recent weeks – from maybe 1% to 3 or 4 percent. It is nowhere near 50% any place I have seen.

      1. outside observer

        Personal data point: on a recent visit to ENT doc, the 10 or so people in the waiting room were all masked, but not the doctors.

      2. Pat

        I’m not saying it is accurate, but the percentage saying they are masking is 30% not 50. The 50% figure is the percentage of respondents who answered yes to any of the possible precautions they asked about. So if someone is avoiding crowds and nothing else they count towards that 50%.
        And anecdotally mask use has more than doubled in the last week on the bus. More masking but not that much of an increase in the supermarket. Probably not up to 30% but still interesting.

  4. Otto Reply

    Irsay has lots to be thankful for. As the man said, the truth is the truth. Here’s a truth, Jim Irsay has form. From 2002:
    Jim Irsay had pharmacy fill 120 prescriptions

    Pity, that. Addiction is a disease and deserves compassion and treatment. Truth is, any “average guy” in a similar circumstance hasn’t the financial resources to stay out of the warm embrace of the prison-industrial complex, unlike the rich white guy driving erratically, stopping in the middle of the road, carrying $29K in cash, unable to recite the alphabet, etc…

    Fortunately for rich white guy Irsay, he was in Carmel, a wealthy suburb just north of Indianapolis. Carmel Police Dept was an early adopter of body cams because of complaints of high instances of “driving while black” traffic stops. Carmel police ticket black drivers at higher rate, data shows.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Benny Profane

      The fans in Baltimore snigger, especially considering that they are much more consistent winners today than in the old Colt days.

    2. B24S

      And here I was thinking Carmel, Ca., where a rich white guy is ” just an average guy down the block…”.

  5. Jon Cloke

    Why I Am a Liberal, Cass Sunstein – “Because I can pretend to have a conscience but still take the money”

    1. Neutrino

      and it helps me pick up chicks. Don’t tell the missus.
      Next up, soliciting donations from Craven, Callow and Creepy then on to Meshugganah, Gonif and Putz.

    2. Judith

      I stopped reading at the word “elsewhere”. He was too lazy to type Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Life begins and ends in Cambridge MA I guess.

    3. ChrisPacific

      34 points. The first one encompasses six beliefs.

      I don’t think this column is intended to persuade – or if it is, it’s chosen a horrible structure for it (not out of the question I guess, given the author is an academic). It strikes me as a back-patting exercise for the author and like-minded readers.

      You also don’t have to read very far to encounter contradictions. For example, #4 says: ‘If some people are subjected to the will of others, we have a violation of liberal ideals’ (which sounds more libertarian than liberal to me) and then #6 is all about the rule of law, which is a systematic way of doing exactly that. ‘Prizing’ free markets is liberal (#15) but ‘insisting on their ceaseless wonders’ is not (#25). Thanks so much for clearing that one up.

    4. Don

      That liberals think that this is who they are, is sufficient reason to reject them. I bet that Arab-street-vender-female-Russian-diplomat-harraser-guy sees himself as a liberal super-hero, protecting freedom from the damned Muslims and Russkies.

    5. eg

      What a mess of sloppy, ill-defined mush that column is. With apologies to Galbraith, Sunstein is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for smug self-regard.

  6. digi_owl

    “The Old-School Artillery Shell Is Becoming High Tech WSJ. Something wrong with simple and rugged?”

    Seems the idea is to give it longer range without having to modify or replace the gun.

    See also the GLSDB that re-purpose rocket engines meant for LMRS and HIMARS cluster munitions to launch glide bombs normally dropped from planes.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Of course those new shells will cost a dozen times more that a regular shell and because they are so sophisticated, they will take far, far longer to produce in any quantity. This is one of the major reason why they cannot make enough 155mm rounds right now. The manufacturers were winding down production capacity in order to manufacture high-tech shells which had a massive mark up i.e. more profit margin.

      1. GlassHammer

        The core problem is that Drones are getting cheaper and their range is improving.

        Drones are an effective counter to older tech and older tactics.

          1. Anthony Noel

            Nah, drones are vulnerable to electronic counter measures and jamming. Artillery on the other hand, well unless we invent a machine that counteracts Newtonian physics, that shell is not getting stopped.

      2. Benny Profane

        Holy jebus, yeah. If anybody would learn anything from this conflict, it’s that the west has spent trillions on essentially useless military toys that either cant be used in what is finally a war with Russia, and what’s being used burns as easily as Soviet era hardware. So now the WSJ (of course!) runs a promotional piece for a company that is making another expensive and easily defended against money pit, that many stock speculators will rush to for a quick profit. Meanwhile, Russia wins.

        1. scott s.

          Would like to see a source for that $1MM number. I see a development contract was awarded for a new round last month, but that seems like a ways off to determine cost per round.

    2. R.S.

      The elephant in the room is the payload. I can’t find any figures, but from the pictures it’s something like… an equivalent of a 75 mm shell? Seven kilo, give or take? Let’s assume 10 kg. Compare that to an ATACMS warhead (200+ kg), or a Smerch missile (at least 150 kg), with similar ranges.

      1. redleg

        “There is a trade-off, as even a small ramjet engine in a shell changes how much explosive matter you can get in there,” Kotlarski said.

        The whole point of artillery is blowing things up. If the payload isn’t big enough to render the target combat ineffective, then what is the point? (Mr subliminal says $$$$$$ is the point).

        Knowing where you are and where your target is to the nearest meter or less can be just as accurate as a smart munition at a fraction of the cost. I know this because I’ve personally done it. With GPS and ample training for gun crews, fire direction teams, and forward observers, it’s not that hard to do. “Dumb” artillery and mortar shells cost less, can be produced in vast numbers (assuming the industrial capacity exists), and have larger payloads compared to smart munitions. The range concern is real, but there’s no point in devoting resources to toss a firecracker 80 miles. A round has to do something once it gets there.

        1. rowlf

          I have been impressed with how drones can be like having many forward observers in the field and how fast artillery can connect to the targets. Better targeting and less shells needed per target. Also safer for the forward observers who now can last longer and can build up more experience.

            1. rowlf

              Agree on that, but there have been some forward observers who were artists on the battlefield coordinating all of the resources.

              (Friends and family have called in fire. One was a FAC in SEA who called in battleship fire.)

              1. redleg

                Concur, but compared to a training a team of 13B, 13E, and 13F soldiers, it doesn’t take much training beyond playing video games to aim a kamikaze drone.
                Drone warfare might be more effective at killing targets, but as far as I can tell artillery is still faster on the target.

                1. rowlf

                  I’m talking about the FOs that have the bigger picture of the battle zone, who can use fire to maneuver the enemy to where they want them.

                  A relative would call fire on several locations at timed intervals due to the tendency of the enemy to prairie dog to see what happened on the first target, as an example. Other times fire was used to drive the enemy into a corner. Also check out USMC Captain Mirza Munir Baig as a master of artillery fire.

      1. albrt

        I think they need both – more for softening up the front line, and smarter, longer range fires to take out the other side’s artillery.

        1. cfraenkel

          Reading between the lines – I think the tradeoff is more you can fire one, maybe two heavier shells before your cannon gets blown up, or fire 10 or 20 lighter shells before you have to move the cannon.

          1. redleg

            Not true.
            The lighter shells merely extend the maximum range and might reduce barrel wear. The firing rate is essentially the same.

            Either way you fire one mission and move the battery (or mortar platoon) ASAP. If you feel like you have control of the battlefield you might be able to do two fire missions, but it’s a huge risk.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      This idea of a ramjet shell has been around a long time, but nobody bothered with it so much because there was no obvious advantage to it apart from range, and rocketry (i.e himars and ATACMS and similar systems) can provide that range (and more) at arguably the same price and greater system mobility. You would need to use up a lot of shells to match the destructive capacity of a modern rocket system. Its very much a niche weapon, probably only of use if you have already invested heavily in artillery.

      This is precisely why the US Navy gave up on its very long range gun for the Zumwalt in favour of cruise missiles and ballistic rockets. The shells for the Navy 155mm (much more powerful than the standard army gun) proved hugely expensive to construct, mainly because of the tolerances needed to survive the launch.

      High tech shells usually only make sense if you can push the price down by ordering in huge numbers (e.g. the proximity fused anti-aircraft shells of WWII or more recent copperhead laser guided shells). Its hard to see a shell like this being worth building in the 10’s of thousands needed.

      1. redleg

        The VT (proximity) shell is a standard HE shell with a special fuse. The cost of producing a fuse is a fraction of producing a whole shell, and does little* to affect the characteristics of that shell.

        * the fire direction folks know precisely how each fuse affects the flight characteristics of each type of shell and account for each combination.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          My point is that the ‘special’ fuse was very high tech and very expensive for its day, it involved a lot of intricate circuitry. It was made relatively cheap and effective through mass production, although all anti-aircraft shells cost multiples of regular shells due to the need for some sort of sophisticated fusing.

          We forget that super high tech and expensive weapons are not a recent thing.

          1. redleg

            Absolutely, but it attached to a common use shell.
            Think of how expensive it would have been (and would be, as the same fuses are used today) if the shell and fuse were fixed. WW2 would have been far more costly and might have dragged on for much longer.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Hard-right firebrand Geert Wilders wins election in Netherlands: ‘Dutch Donald Trump”

    Haven’t seen Wilders in the news for years but I tell you what. On the news tonight I thought that it was 2016 all over again going by the tears and looks of shock on the faces of the other party as they learned the result. It was just like watching Trump be elected all over again and I wonder what effect Dutch farmers had on this election. The only question is this – will Ursula von der Leyen use her ‘tools’ to turn Geert Wilders into another Giorgia Meloni?

    1. Feral Finster

      “will Ursula von der Leyen use her ‘tools’ to turn Geert Wilders into another Giorgia Meloni?”


    2. Biologist

      Many Dutch farmers voted BBB, a new farmer’s party that was once polling >15% but now raked in 7 seats – up from 1. In the fragmented Dutch political landscape this is quite a win.

      Wilders has been building his movement for 20 years. He left the conservative/liberal VVD, who ruled for more than a decade led by Mark Rutte. They now came in third.

      Yes it’s a nice sight to see establishment’s shock.

      But to many Dutch of immigrant origin he’s a real danger, and he has only radicalised. It’s not far from the extreme rhetoric you see in Israel (of which Wilders is a great supporter). He’s also been instrumental in pushing the ‘overton window’ of anti-muslim and anti-black racism, immigrant-bashing and general authoritarianism further and further right, with the ‘civilised’ VVD and others copying Wilders giving him space to radicalise further.

      Yes he’s anti-EU and anti-Euro which may appeal to some here but make no mistake, he’s an ethnonationalist POS. And forget about any climate action with him.

      Dark times ahead.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        In many ways he seems more overtly racist than the usual run of Euro far right parties. He is quite explicit in his hatred of certain groups – he seems to revel in his refusal to ‘go respectable’ like Marine le Pen or Meloni.

        Also, unlike southern European far right groups, he is also a dedicated austerian and low tax advocate. Although in typical Dutch style, he has plenty of oddball policies including free animal ambulances.

        The thing about the Dutch system though is that parties can be free to make wild promises as they almost always go into coalition so they can blame their new partners for having to drop them. The question with Wilders is which policies he is willing to fight for in negotiations and which he will drop with a nod and a wink.

        He seems to be a wildly narcissistic individual, so its going to be hard to tell. He may well end up like the dog that caught the car. But he is also potentially very dangerous as he has genuine charisma.

        1. Biologist

          Thanks PK.

          Indeed he really hates Muslims and has spent the last 20 years preaching that. Clearly it’s resonating. Banning headscarves, islamic schools and even Quran. Well that’s the rhetoric anyway.

          Also prohibiting double nationality, ending asylum rights and introducing work permits for EU citizens. That will run into some (EU) laws but that doesn’t matter for his voters.

          Paradoxically, his vestigial VVD austerity is paired with increased social spending: lower social housing rent, higher rent subsidy, lower VAT, more money for hospitals and nurses, lower health care premiums, banning of health care insurance deductibles / excess. This must also have contributed to his success, after 30 years of neoliberal carnage and left failure. Apparently redistributive social policies are only popular when paired with vicious racism. Benefits for us, not them.

          Unlike Trump he’s a complete politics insider. I think he’s now one of the longest serving MPs. What might have contributed to his narcissism and radicalism is his isolation. Don’t know if it’s still the case, but he’s lived for many years in government bunkers and safe houses after receiving many death threats.

          Volatility ahead.

          1. caucus99percenter

            From here in Germany, though, I don’t see what is so scary about Geert Wilders when all the German establishment parties profess to welcome Muslim immigrants but are like, “Shut up, shut up, shut up, anti-Semitic scum!” as soon as said Muslims dare to weigh in with a public expression of opinion and advocacy on Israel-Palestine.

    1. .human

      We call it Red Glop around here. Cooked until the berries just burst, then added orange juice and zest. Yum.

      1. Carla

        Have a little serving of democracy to go with that turkey!

        For other holidays, cranberry sauce/chutney/relish is also fabulous with pork. Or for vegetarians, atop cream cheese, even the vegan kind.

    2. skippy

      As a kid growing up in AZ in the late 60s/70s the favorite dish at the T-table was Uncle Billy Berry’s. Bill would soak cranberries in Bourbon for a week or two covered in the fridge and slow cook just before T-day.

      The back drop was my Grandparents holiday house up in Sedona AZ over looking Oak Creek, through the picture windows looking down on it, and the oak tree branch that grew through the wall, half way across the room and then up through the roof over the huge dining table. It was almost right across the road from the rock church as you drive into Sedona.

      So yeah, T-day was more about the little things as we came all together than the day itself. Eating sourdough pancakes [gasp in the 60s] out on the flagstone BBQ area next to the creek, trout fishing, bouldering around the creek, eating escargot at the owl restaurant [whole place was adorned with stuffed owls on the walls and dimly lit, eating Italian at a mom and pop joint on the south side of Sedona next to Zane grey’s cabin, my Jewish grandfathers genital persuasion vs my German Lutheran Grandmothers strictness i.e. must make bed after waking up to military IG standards with hospital corners and tight enough to bounce a quarter on lol …

      Anywho … hope all have a nice[tm] holiday, today I am spraying out my work mates old house for sale and then right back in to my own job tomorrow and on it for a little over a week straight so the owners can have the house back before X-mass …

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    [I’m not keen on the “for those who celebrate” tagline. If you are celebrating, invite the neighbors in to celebrate with you.]

    Addams Family Values, the timeless story of Thanksgiving, shows its tender side:

    A description of the domestic tranquility that Thanksgiving produces:

    In the Addams house, we don’t believe in Thanksgiving traditions. We do, however, believe in sharp knives, carving things and painful conversations around the dinner table.

    Here in Italy, Thanksgiving means some improvising, because Italians work today. So the Pranzone will be on Saturday. I managed to find wild rice, although I shouldn’t have been surprised, because it likely was grown here in the Undisclosed Region, which is famous for rice of various kinds. “Zizzania acquatica” isn’t rice, but its cultivation is similar. Now to find the finferli…

    No turkey. Don’t even bring up that bird. I don’t like the smell. Instead, I have just procured a lovely duck breast from France.

    Cranberries are unobtainable. But sweet potatoes have arrived in the market in Via Madama Cristina and make the perfect pie. (No arguments, please.)

    All the best. As mentioned above, if you plan to talk politics, do keep control of the carving knife, which may come in handy.

    1. Feral Finster

      “A description of the domestic tranquility that Thanksgiving produces:

      In the Addams house, we don’t believe in Thanksgiving traditions. We do, however, believe in sharp knives, carving things and painful conversations around the dinner table.”

      If you bring up politics, you can also save on Christmas gifts.

      1. Macdaddy

        Bidenblab at the table?

        “…and by asserting that the economy is heading in the right direction, claiming that gas prices, as well as the cost of eggs and turkey, are both down since last year.”

        The rate of increases of prices has slowed a little. No guarantee they won’t resume their increase once the Biden Depression really kicks in.

        Tell ya what, Husk, when food and energy prices match what they were when you were inaugurated, only then will we vote for you. If not, we’ll return to the Orange Man’s policies.

        The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps track of the cost of energy, food, and household goods, and their latest report from March 2021-22 shows significant increases over the last year, for example:

        Gasoline has increased 48% in the past 12 months.
        Used cars and trucks have increased 35% in the past 12 months.
        Energy has increased 13.5% in the past 12 months.
        Airfare rose 10.7% in March, after rising 5.2% in February.
        Grocery bills are up 10% in the past 12 months.
        Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 13.7% in the past 12 months.
        Beef rose 16% in the past 12 months.
        Milk and dairy products increased 7% in the past 12 months.

        Most importantly for most Americans, in 2020, the national gasoline average was $2.17 per gallon, and today, gas is up over $4 across the country. Clearly, these numbers don’t lie, despite the Orwellian rhetoric coming from the White House.

  9. GramSci

    Cass Sunstein: “[Liberalism] forbids unduly rapid changes in the law.”

    Gaahh!! Usually, when I inadvertently click on an NYT article, my eyes are protected by a paywall, but this Orwellian POS was maliciously shared to me by an unnamed “NYT subscriber”

    1. Bryan

      How are any of Sunstein’s ideas Orwellian? I may not agree with every detail but I think his article does a good job of exposing the false duality of left vs. right. One might characterize his argument as saying that liberalism is not a thing but a process driven by transparent principles, which requires an honest review of the evidence. Another way to look at it is the concept of principles versus ideology where the former provides a place for gathering evidence and analysis. Ideological ideas, on the other hand, are fixed and rigid so that truth is separated from evidence.

      If we applied evidence-based thinking to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, we would be talking about the causal relationship between war, oil, gas and pipelines. If we really cared about human rights we would stop the cause of the carnage, which are the war and energy industries. When was the lastime you read about the Levatone oil and gas fields off the shore of the Gaza Strip or the myriad of pipelines planed for for carrying oil through Israel to the deveoped north?

      1. cfraenkel

        If we applied evidence-based thinking to US MIC support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, we would be talking about the causal relationship between war, oil, gas and pipelines.


        I doubt the ‘settlers’ on the West bank are motivated by pipelines, nor the families watching their olive trees burning thanks to said settlers. I think those motivations are a lot older.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Analysis | Israel Accepts a Slowdown in Gaza Combat to Rescue Women and Children Held Hostage”

    Meanwhile at the United Nations, Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan – noted author of the book “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People at the UN” – was in full flight. He was saying how great Israel was for this hostage swap as Israel was releasing 150 “convicted terrorists” to bring their people back. I do not know if anybody pointed out to him that it was actually 150 women and children and not terrorists, convicted or otherwise. The guy then attacks the UN for not fully adopting Israel’s narrative of this war until finally the current President of the UN Security Council – China’s Zhang Jun – had to tell him to shut up and pull his head in – but in diplomatese of course.–show-respect

    1. rowlf

      I’ve enjoyed watching video clips of the Chinese Ambassador driving The Freightliner Of Reality over Erdan several times in UN meetings. Nice to see people correctly call out BS.

  11. Wukchumni

    Not to harsh anybody’s Thanksgiving mellow, but I really don’t like cranberries & stuffing, and forget pumpkin pie too.

    That said, I would so want to be a fly on the wall @ what will be an awkward dinner-conversation wise, as everybody plots a new cockamamie legal scheme to keep Hunter out of the hoosegow.

    Nobody {family blogs} with a Biden!

    My mom had it with cooking & baking Thanksgiving in maybe the mid 70’s, and then began the saga of finding a restaurant or hotel in LA/OC that was serving Thanksgiving dinner, which we pretty much did as a family even as we got older, it was our tradition. I don’t think we ever went to the same place again, which was part of the allure of the pilgrimage to a catered fowl plate.

    Had to wait about 5 seconds the other day as a flight of 7 or 8 wild turkeys were crossing the road at their own chosen speed of being in no hurry, Yo!, i’m standing here…

    When I see a wild turkey and blow it up about 68x, I see a T. Rex, kinda how if you blew up a blue belly lizard 200x, it’d be a bad arse dinosaur, imagine it doing 20 push ups?

    Ben Franklin wanted it to be our National Bird, and if he had his way, we might be eating Butterbald® Eagles today.

    1. i just dont like the gravy

      I have nothing to add besides that I like your funny rambling comments.

      Also please don’t blow up any animals!!

    2. Hepativore

      If I remember correctly, the domestic turkey is descended from Meleagris gallopavo, the Mexican species, as the Mesoamerican natives had already started the domestication process, so Europe picked up where they left off.

      Anyway, I got three turkeys this year, as I have defrosted one, and I am keeping the other two in the freezer. As turkeys are less than a dollar a pound at Aldi, I figured it was time to get them at that price while I could.

      I live by myself, but I can finish off a large turkey within five days. Once you pull all of the meat from the bones of the bird, they are not as big as people think they are.

      This year, I am making a modified version of Peruvian chicken, tripled to scale up to the size of a turkey. Also, I am using sour cream instead of mayonnaise in the original recipe, as I hate mayonnaise. Here is the recipe if anybody wants it…just triple it if using it for a turkey and increase the roasting time as needed:


      2 tablespoon onion powder
      1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground cumin
      1 tablespoon (15 ml) sweet paprika
      1 tablespoon (15 ml) unsalted butter
      2 teaspoon (10 ml) dried oregano
      Salt and pepper to taste
      1 fresh lemon, zested and juiced
      1 (4 lb) whole fresh chicken

      Garnish: Creamy Herb Sauce:

      1 cup (250 ml) fresh cilantro leaves
      ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh flat-leaf parsley
      1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
      2 tablespoon onion powder
      1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lime juice
      1/2 cup sour cream
      Salt and pepper to taste


      Preheat oven to 375°F.

      Prepare spice blend. Add onion powder, cumin, paprika, butter, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon zest and lemon juice to a small bowl and whisk together with fork.

      Transfer chicken to a Dutch oven or roasting pan. Pour spice mix all over chicken and rub into skin until evenly coated.

      Roast chicken for 25 minutes then baste with pan juices. Cook for another 20-30 minutes, basting every ten minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.

      Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before carving.

      Prepare creamy herb sauce. In a blender or food processor, pulse cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, onion powder, lime juice, and salt. Add sour cream then puree until well blended.

      Carve chicken and serve with creamy herb sauce.

    3. Eclair

      Our Amish neighbor in Western NY/PA, bought two turkey chicks last spring, the domestic white variety. They had the run of his farm all summer long, with the chickens and the small children. By October, they had turned into enormous strutting masses of white feathers, with bald blue heads and long, red, string-like (actually, erectile is the proper term, ick) snoods (word-of-the-day.) Like over-stuffed peacocks.

      I admired them; they were obviously posing for a photo-op. Then inquired delicately if our neighbor was planning on ‘processing’ them or on keeping them to start a flock. He laughed and said the birds were so top heavy that they were unable to reproduce. Bye bye, birdies!

      We are roasting a capon for dinner today. A family tradition, started by my Lithuanian grandparent, and carried on by my dad, who started the capon hunt in each year in early September. Our son, who rather reluctantly follows the tradition, had to settle for a frozen capon this year.

      Whenever I feel sorry for the caponized male chicks, I think of our battles this summer with Sven, the rooster who terrorized, and inflicted actual bodily harm on a number of us, when we were hen-sitting for the weekend. In an attempt to terminate him, our neighbor banned him from the coop, and Sven lived ‘in the wilds’ of her backyard for a couple of weeks, evading skunks, raccoons, weasels, coyotes and a bear. He raided the compost heap for food and drank from puddles. Finally, he was captured, after a fierce fight, by our neighbor’s farmer son, and driven twenty miles away to be let loose in the middle of a state forest. I suspect he will wander back next spring, like one of those dogs who travel through 20 states to return to their home.

      1. Don

        We have very noisy flock of pavos reales (royal turkeys), which is what peacocks are called in Mexico on our back property and along the river behind it, in high-desert Querétaro State. Don’t know where the name comes from, but haven’t seen them on a menu, yet.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Hamas deal divides Israel politicians, seen as ‘great harm’, ‘painful’”

    The extreme right really seem to want those hostages dead for some reason. is it because they are mostly secular? I wonder what the effect on ordinary Israelis will be when they learn that a large portion of those killed on the first day of the attack were killed by their own fellow Israelis because of an army doctrine that was meant for only soldiers. But the Biden White House is unhappy with this deal as well because they are worried that journalists will go in and reveal what the Israelis have been doing in Gaza and that could make Biden look bad for enabling this-

    1. vao

      The extreme right really seem to want those hostages dead for some reason. is it because they are mostly secular?

      Another interpretation: they prefer them as martyrs rather than as witnesses — who, upon returning to Israel, could start reporting on the ineptitude of the security forces resulting in them being taken hostages.

      1. cfraenkel

        Or evidence of the military’s hannibal directive tactics, from one of ‘our guys’, so harder to ignore.

  13. JohnA

    Re Being an Arctic Nation is for the Good of All Americans

    ‘Another priority could be to engage China in back-door diplomacy to manage Russia’s risky behavior in sensitive polar waters that could circulate massive fuel spills to other countries’ shores and broadly harm northern ecosystems’

    Risky behaviour such as blowing up submarine gas or oil pipelines you mean? Do Americans do irony or does it simply whoosh over their heads

  14. Verifyfirst

    Very happy to not be celebrating Thnxg today here in the US, though might have to watch the Detroit Lions game today–they are 8-2 for the first time since 1962 and I keep rubbing my eyes…..

    I do not believe the KFF survey about Covid precautions, not even close. If anyone has seen remotely those kind of numbers for mask wearing etc., pipe up. I am not expert in research methodology, but this looks like KFF had to work VERY hard to create an apparently acceptable statistical sample–I’m going to guess they got a lot of responses from people saying what they thought the interviewers wanted to hear. Here is the KFF methodology page:

    CDC, on the other hand, has published much lower numbers for the new vaccination uptake (though CDC is now apparently also relying on a survey, since they don’t get actual since the end of the Public Health Emergency. CDC uses the National Immunization Survey-Adult COVID Module, which appears to be a phone survey of some sort, so who knows).

    KFF versus CDC new vaccine uptake:

    All: 20% to 14%
    Over 65: 34% to 30%
    Black: 26% to 8%
    Hispanic: 20% to 8%
    White: 19% to 15%

    Here is the CDC link:

    1. Wukchumni

      Bye Bye Barry is worthy of your time, and just to watch Sanders pirouette like a pinwheel around would be defenders again was such a treat, and best of all, he did it his way.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Al-Shifa Hospital: What do we know about IDF videos of a tunnel under the hospital?”

    Last night I mentioned in a comment that the tunnel found under that hospital was actually a long way from any of the hospital buildings. In that article you can see it in the right-hand video clip under the text ‘Breaking: IDF troops exposed a 55-meter terror tunnel 10 meters deep underneath the Shifa Hospital complex.’ Probably this was an access tunnel that the Israelis built themselves when they built all the underground rooms under that hospital years ago. And speaking of hospitals, what is it with Israelis and hospitals? I just read today that they attacked another hospital – but this one was in Lebanon.

    1. Feral Finster

      “And speaking of hospitals, what is it with Israelis and hospitals? I just read today that they attacked another hospital – but this one was in Lebanon.”

      Because they can, and they can do so with impunity. Meanwhile, the Great And Good around the world twist themselves into knots to make excuses for the Zionist entity.

    2. Synoia

      Better return on killing rates. Knock off some sick, some infants, and decrease the number doctors and nurses.

    3. albrt

      Attacking hospitals is a lot easier than actually finding and attacking underground fortresses filled with Hamas fighters. The sick and the infants can hardly even run away, much less fight back.

    1. Wukchumni

      When I was a kid, the popular image of pilgrims always had these assault blunderbusses where the end of the barrel mushroomed out, I guess it didn’t catch on.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “The Great Barrington Declaration and “natural herd immunity” versus public health three years later”

    This is well worth reading this article. Turns out the Neoliberals and the eugenicists – or do I repeat myself? – got together and convinced major governments to let ‘er rip and soon herd immunity will be achieved and the economy could go back to normal. Yes, they trashed the concept of public health but it was all in a good cause – themselves. Even now I doubt that many of the people that signed that declaration are sorry or even feel guilty about what they did. And now we have endemic long Covid. They did a heckuva job there.

    Just logging off for the night so happy turkey day for all those in Americaland from Down Under.

    1. Anonymous 2

      In the UK ,as per Patrick Vallance’s evidence to the Covid enquiry, it seems the reason why the UK was too slow to lock down was because the press – those well-known public health experts – were opposed. Murdoch & Co. strike again.

  17. Neutrino

    Coyotes, per my personal observation, frequently hunt in pairs. The first one stirred up the critters, and the second one loped along about 20-30′ back waiting for the prey to move. The pack behavior I’ve heard came with the celebration of a larger kill.

    Think of that as the Twilight Yip, signaling brethren about the dinner. Full moon optional.

    1. Bryan

      I too have personally witnessed this technique with two coyotes working in tandem, one confrontational and the other moving on the flank, encircling for a two front attack.

  18. Boomheist

    Re: USWarship shoots down drones in Red Sea….Following on from my post yesterday suggesting that there is a real danger the Houthi Rebels might launch a vast anti ship missile attack against military and commercial ships in the Red Sea, the extreme southern Red Sea especially, today we see that hours ago more drones were taken out. It also seems that a week ago a Red Sea maritime group warned shipping to be careful. A suggestion was made for ships to only sail at night to avoid being seen and identified.. This sounds reasonable but for at least the last two decades all ships have been required to link to a ship tracking system which marks where they are precisely. You can google “ship tracking” and the maps that rise are simply astounding. Really. Take a look for example at the Straits of Gibraltar, or the Suez Canal. Point being, a ship at night can also be located with the tracking system, easily. Further point being, I think we are at inflection point even more striking than that before the Maginot Line showed itself as useless a century, nearly, ago. We have this frame and idea that our warships and carrier groups are invulnerable, protected by electronics and AWACs and missiles and drones, yet we also know, for certain, this is not at all the case; that a massive launch of drones and low-level missiles can get to any ship or group of military ships despite defences, not to mention commercial ships which are entirely without protection. The ship tracking system maps show some of these ships as “Armed” but this means carrying a team of mercenaries with rifles to halt piracy, not guns or missiles or other defences. If the Houthis chose, for example, to sink 30 or 40 tankers in and around the southern Red Sea, they could, just as they could sink military ships and any other ships.

    Just imagine. Tomorrow morning we wake up and see reports flooding in of several ships, one or two tankers, one or two bulkers carrying potash and iron ore, one or two container vessels, and one or two military ships, all struck and sunk, all in the Red sea. You all saw what happened yesterday when that car exploded at the Canadian border and immediately was labeled a terror attack by Fox news and half the Republican party, for hours, until it became clear the car was headed for Canada, not the US, and had nothing to do with terror or explosives. It it still taking some time for that lie to die out. Imagine reports of up to ten ships sunk halfway around the world, and the immediate results, which would surely include: Every ship in the Suez transit river, which extends from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Indian Ocean, as distance of thousands of miles and containing at any one time hundreds, maybe even thousands, of ships, faced with the decision to immediately turn around and get away from the southern Red Sea, and go then around Africa, or return to an anchorage somewhere, plus, again for every single ship, getting the news they must double, or triple, their insurance rates to sail in that area…..chaos, immediate, and within a day worldwide, hindering trade flows everywhere.

    And this is what might happen in the southern Red Sea. Now look north to the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow passage entering the Persian Gulf, again a choke point, this time with Iran on one side, again transited by dozens of ships every day, most carrying oil. Whatever those Houthis plan to use in the Red Sea could likewise be used to the north, blocking the Persian Gulf, immediately choking off oil flows. Again, chaos.

    And this series of evens would display, in real, live, video time, that all surface military ships are sitting ducks, without any defense at all. This would be a Maginot Line moment, especially for the US Navy, not to say there aren’t many many other signs this military emperor has few clothes – lack of merchant ships to carry soldiers and supplies to distant war zones, military reserve ships not able to be manned up and run as promised, a lack of fuel tankers to get fuel to distant zones.

    This will be an instant, and shocking, and mind numbing realization, clear to everyone, and suddenly those thirteen carrier groups will become not guardians of the Shining City on a Hill but vulnerable liabilities which at any time could become visible and heart rending, real time video recorded, images of death, destruction, sinkings, thousands lost….

    Not a pretty picture, is it? Kind of makes you rethink our Taiwan strategy, wouldn’t you think? But the immediate, and mind bending consequence would be the clear, to everyone, identification that the US’s ability to project force into the Middle East, or anywhere else for that matter, is like the Maginot Line. We have, of course, the power and protection of our submarine fleet, and missiles and bombers, to blast and obliterate anyone, but carrying out a long distance military action far from home? Not so much, perhaps.

    I think the development of hypersonic missiles and anti-ship missiles and drones may be seen by the historians of the future as military developments as profound and world changing as airplanes were a century ago, utterly changing the way conflicts are fought, with robot drones and even foot robot foot soldiers not far behind….

    This is a long long way fo sating that if – IF – the Houthis choose to use the missiles and drones they now have to bring world trade to a halt and expose the US and any naval fleet as utterly vulnerable to these low level technologies, then, for sure, we are all in for a period of serious cognitive dissonance….

      1. ambrit

        Yes, but the ‘gamers’ in the Pentagon are not in control of Policy. As has been amply demonstrated over the past few decades, the Policy makers in America are dangerously delusional dilettantes.
        Something along the lines of; “While you lot are dicking around, we are creating our own illusions and imposing them on the rest of you.”

      2. Procopius

        In the 2002 war game, Millenium Challenge, the Red leader (representing Iran) used dozens of small speedboats to sink the Blue (the US) aircraft carrier and several supporting ships. The referees immediately put the ships back on the table and issued new rules so he couldn’t do that again. In the end they made him lose, as originally planned. That’s the way most American war games are played. If they show the U.S. losing, as almost all the war games about Taiwan do, they are ignored. There simply is not any way the U.S. can beat China, because we can’t put boots on the ground there. In the same way they can’t directly attack the U.S. Oh, I suppose we could pave the country with glass, but they’d do the same to us.

    1. Tom Stone

      “For we have the Maxim Gun and they have not” is no longer the case.
      Large aircraft carriers became obsolete in 1982, we have them because they are REALLY EXPENSIVE to build and because Admirals have egos and a desire for a very profitable second career.
      The same can be said for “Gun Control”, 3D printing now means that you don’t need mechanical skills or a lot of heavy expensive machinery to make good quality 9MM Submachine guns and their critically important magazines.
      You can do it in a spare bedroom…quietly.

      1. NYMutza

        The other reason for aircraft carriers (and perhaps the primary reason these days) is for the career opportunities they provide to naval aviators. In order for a naval aviator to be promoted to admiral they must successfully command an aircraft carrier. Surface warfare officers are not permitted to command carriers since that would deny opportunities to aviators.

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      “…hypersonic missiles and anti-ship missiles and drones…”

      Agreed, especially re drones. Dirt cheap electronics are changing how war is waged. And don’t forget EW: electronic warfare. Which will play an increasingly important role as we move deeper into the 21st century. Of course the Russians seem to be on the ball re EW; a lot of those hackers breaking into western databases at night have day jobs working at the FSB and the RU MoD.

      Ship tracking is a thing, as is airplane tracking. I visit flightradar24 daily, just to see what’s going on where I am, and occasionally to see what’s going on near UKR. Always fascinating.

      BTW, the Maginot Line still exists and can be visited! Lots of tours available, I won’t even bother posting a link. Great fun. Seemed like a good idea at the time; oh well, guess you had to be there…..

      1. LifelongLib

        My understanding is that the Maginot Line was only supposed to protect France against a direct attack from Germany. At the time it was built Belgium and France were allies so fortification on their border wasn’t needed. But later Belgium declared neutrality which opened that border to attack. IIRC there were plans to extend the Maginot Line which were not carried out for economic reasons. In the end the Germans just outflanked it and defeated the main French armies and the BEF. I believe (can’t swear) that the Maginot Line actually held out until France surrendered.

        1. Tom Stone

          Lib, the fortress of Eben Emael was a key to the Maginot Line and the taking of Eben Emael was a masterful Coup De Main.
          It’s well worth a look in detail as are the Gran Sasso raid and the assault on Mt De La Difensa by the 1s tSSF.
          Achieving a strategic aim with a minimal force is not easy.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Eben Emael was 80 miles in front of Maginot line and not part of it in any way. It was also build by a German company so they did have the best blue prints available to plan the operation.

            The whole purpose of the Maginot line was to force the Germans to go around trough Belgium, where the French armor would chew them to pieces (as then happened in Hannut, but the French barely noticed). Belgium’s declaration of neutrality only delayed the French and British advance to meet the Germans a few days.

            What made the French somewhat nervous was the fact that there were no French troops between the Channel and the British, because quite a many French officer believed the British would leave the continent at the first sight of trouble. That would leave them overextended and in a very precarious position.

            1. LifelongLib

              “many French officer[s] believed the British would leave…”

              Which of course the British did. Officially Lord Gort was disobeying orders when he refused to attack the Germans and instead ordered the BEF to retreat toward the coast. I’ve seen speculation that he had secret orders, but I tend to think (haven’t researched) that there was an understanding among the British that the BEF was more important than France. IIRC Gort wasn’t casheried so it seems like the higher-ups were OK with his decision.

  19. Alice X

    Caitlin Johnstone: White House Fears Gaza Pause Will Let World See Too Much

    [As to the record number of journalists killed] Both the U.S. and Israel have been attacking the press in this way because their governments understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world.

    They understand that while power is controlling what happens, ultimate power is controlling what people think about what happens. Human consciousness is dominated by mental narratives, so if you can control society’s dominant narratives, you can control humans.

    1. Knot Me

      I am of the opinion that successful journalists are the ones that end up dead with two gun shots to the head while officials call it suicide.

  20. Tom Stone

    Since it’s Thanksgiving I thought I’d share a few words of wisdom from Ex Cons I have known.
    One a Real Estate Broker and prisoner’s advocate and the other a Jazz singer.
    “If you can’t be Grateful for where You are or what You have, You can always be Grateful for what you do not have, and where You are not’.

    “Gratitude is an action word”.

    From personal experience the best way to deal with hard times and depression is to help someone else.

    My deepest thanks to those who make this site function, and to the Commentariat whose knowledge and good will have contributed so much to my understanding of the World.

  21. Daniel

    $100 billion and counting for Ukraine? Next time you hear about the plight of the homeless……..

    Almost half of Americans think U.S. spending too much on Ukraine aid, AP-NORC poll says

    According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), it would cost $20 billion to end homelessness.
    -Less than 1⁄2 of what’s spent each year on weight loss and self-improvement
    -less than 1⁄2 of what some spend on pets each year

  22. Harold

    Article from the internationally prestigious science magazine Nature re Jacobin article on failure of Swedish pandemic response. Published: 22 March 2022
    Evaluation of science advice during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden. Excerpt from summary

    The Swedish pandemic strategy seemed targeted towards “natural” herd-immunity and avoiding a societal shutdown. The Public Health Agency labelled advice from national scientists and international authorities as extreme positions, resulting in media and political bodies to accept their own policy instead. The Swedish people were kept in ignorance of basic facts such as the airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission, that asymptomatic individuals can be contagious and that face masks protect both the carrier and others. Mandatory legislation was seldom used; recommendations relying upon personal responsibility and without any sanctions were the norm. Many elderly people were administered morphine instead of oxygen despite available supplies, effectively ending their lives. If Sweden wants to do better in future pandemics, the scientific method must be re-established, not least within the Public Health Agency. It would likely make a large difference if a separate, independent Institute for Infectious Disease Control is recreated. We recommend Sweden begins a self-critical process about its political culture and the lack of accountability of decision-makers to avoid future failures, as occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic.

    1. ChrisRUEcon


      Complete and utter dereliction of duty on the part of almost every major government in the West.

      I almost feel we need A/B testing type societies, where the pandemic-denial people could “run” in an isolated environment and the pandemic-acceptance could subsist in another. One wonders if the sight of overflowing morgues and refrigerator truck shortages in the pandemic-denial sim would make them change their minds.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        “One wonders if the sight of overflowing morgues and refrigerator truck shortages in the pandemic-denial sim would make them change their minds.”

        It would make the ones who are selling this approach break out the “Mission Accomplished” banner. And it’s not really eugenics at work. This has nothing to do with “improving the gene pool.” It’s getting rid of unprofitable people purposely while intentionally putting people at risk whose work is “necessary” to the people that matter.

        The Invisible Hand is a cruel and heartless god.

  23. Harold

    From the body of the Nature article cited above:

    The elderly care (responsibility of municipalities)
    Another heavily criticised part of the Swedish approach was prevention control and management of the infected elderly, both in elderly care facilities and home-care (including insufficient personal protective equipment) (Nilsson et al., 2021; Strang et al., 2020; Ohlin, 2020; Möller Berg, 2020; Höglund, 2020). The decision to provide end-of-life care to many older adults is highly questionable; very few elderly have been hospitalised for COVID-19. Appropriate (potentially life-saving) treatment was withheld without medical examination, and without informing the patient or his/her family or asking permission (Supplement 6) (Habib, 2020; Sörensen, 2020; Ohlin, 2020; Möller Berg, 2020). Many officials kept denying any responsibility (Falck, 2021; Möller Berg, 2020; Sennarö and Zachrisson, 2020), and there was only limited public outcry in Sweden when this came out, the common narrative being that those in care homes are expected to die soon anyway (see part on ageism in Swedish society, Supplement 1).

  24. Pookah Harvey

    RFK jr seems to be open minded in his position on the Ukrainian conflict. I was therefore surprised on his staunch support for Israel. The Ian Welsh article ‘Many Politicians Support Israeli Genocide Because They’re Being Blackmailed’ indicates that :

    “As part of our investigation, we spoke to Ari Ben-Menashe, who is a former Israeli spy,” Howard said.
    “He said, on the record, unequivocally, that Jeffrey Epstein was working for Israeli intelligence operations, the Mossad, and running a classic honey trap operation: that is, lure people inside, record their activities, and use it to blackmail them.

    The article has a partial list of those who visited Epstein’s hidden camera loaded residence. The list includes:
    Donald J. Trump
    Bill Clinton
    Bill Gates
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

    Something to think about?

  25. Jason Boxman

    Speaking of insurance, my auto policy renewal is up $115 this time; I’d switched 18 months ago because Progressive pulled this nonsense, now Geico is pulling it.

    I guess I’m going to try to switch yet again; clean record, no accidents or tickets, definitely not 25 or under anymore.

    1. juno mas

      No speeding tickets and over 25 is a plus, but accidents (crashes, really) happen all the time. If you drive alot crashes will happen. If you get in a crash and don’t have ‘loaner car’ assistance, expect to pay a significant sum while yours is repaired. It’s all a time sink; fault or no fault.

  26. Tom Stone

    Trump didn’t need Epstein to pimp for him and his taste runs to adult ( 18 and up) females rather than the obviously under aged.
    Trump did the Beauty contest thing and had no problem finding companionship…

    1. TBone

      He literally said OUT LOUD that he’d date his DAUGHTER. It’s in the public record. How do you reconcile your pretend world with reality??? A woman has said he raped her when she was a very young teenager and E. Jean Carroll is getting paid because HE RAPED HER and lied about it. He is a rapist and kiddie diddler.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Not to be compared with Joe Biden’s showering habits nor his treatment of Tara Reade who recently had to flee to Russia for her personal safety.

          1. TBone


            catches breath


            As I said, how do you reconcile your pretend world with the reality the rest of us inhabit?

            WHATABOUTBIDEN is a toddler response. To be expected, but nonetheless fitting. Tara is a female George Santos and her own lawyer dropped her as a client after two weeks before she defected.

            “The Associated Press and other media outlets published extensive biographies of Reade, revealing she appears to have exaggerated her educational achievements, was mired in endless financial difficulties and faced frequent lawsuits with individuals who said she defrauded them or failed to pay bills.

            Defense lawyers in Monterey County this week began investigating whether Reade committed perjury when she testified under oath that she had a college degree from Antioch, as first reported Friday by The New York Times. Antioch University told the AP that Reade never obtained a diploma from the school, and Reade herself could not produce evidence of the degree she claims to have earned there.”

            1. The Rev Kev

              Another term for ‘whataboutism’ is seeing both sides of a situation and frankly Trump is as bad as Biden. Neither of them should be anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

              As for Tara Reade, whatever her faults – and I am not going to be casting any stones here – brought out the worst in a lot of people. Her allegations were making the rounds when feminists were shouting ‘believewoman’ and ‘MeToo’ after the truth about Harvey Weinstein came out so what did they do? They told her to shut up and give old Joe a pass and a campaign was launched to smear her like was done when she first tried to give testimony. So ‘believewoman’ – but not just her.

  27. Tom Stone

    The more I learn about Covid the more impressed I become with the job “Patient Zero” (Brian Hu) did.
    A very clever lad indeed.

  28. Offtrail

    Happy Thanksgiving, Yves, Lambert & co! I’m thankful for this site which, in general, cuts through the crap.

  29. Lexx

    ‘The Harvard Law Review Refused to Run This Piece About Genocide in Gaza’ – The Nation.

    A glutton for punishment on this day of gluttony, I read this and only this one, with frequent breaks. It took all morning. It’s not long, just devastating and on point… and the Harvard Law Review wouldn’t publish it?! Huh.

    It was impressive even by The Nation’s standards. Wasn’t there some president who worked on the review who would go on to win a Nobel peace prize? The first black president in both offices.

    ‘Palestinians simply cannot be innocent. They are innately guilty; potential “terrorists” to be “neutralized” or, at best, “human shields” obliterated as “collateral damage”. There is no number of Palestinian bodies that can move Western governments and institutions to “unequivocally condemn” Israel, let alone act in the present tense. When contrasted with Jewish-Israeli life—the ultimate victims of European genocidal ideologies—Palestinians stand no chance at humanization. Palestinians are rendered the contemporary “savages” of the international legal order, and Palestine becomes the frontier where the West redraws its discourse of civility and strips its domination in the most material way. Palestine is where genocide can be performed as a fight of “the civilized world” against the “enemies of civilization itself.” Indeed, a fight between the “children of light” versus the “children of darkness.” ‘

    As long as Israel remains embedded as a colony on Palestinian lands, propped up by the U.S., they will be useful victims in an international drama that will never end, and as we all know, there can only be one victim… if they continue to play their cards right. The Palestinians then must play some other role. Sorry, but the U.S. is this planet’s official guardian and rescuer, and that just leaves the role of the villain. This may be the conflict that exposes a lot of dark underbelly regarding the ‘good intentions’ of both Israel and the U.S.. It’s about time we got down off our high horses and got over ourselves.

    P.S. Aww, the wombat is a cutie!

    1. Bert Luger

      The shady cowardice exhibited by the sample of the best and brightest at the Harvard Law Review really makes me feel proud that I’m not an American.

      1. Kouros

        Bureaucracy and PMC has as one of its defining qualities that of been cowardly and playing in the shadows. The best capture of the way they work is in the Oppenheimer movie with the guy played by Robert Downy Jr.

  30. Tom Stone

    Israeli’s have been prominent in the training of US Police and security forces for decades, the destruction of “Occupy” was straight out of the Israeli playbook, minus the snipers using integrally suppressed and Volquartsen 10-22 rifles.
    Which they use to destroy the ankles and knees of Palestinians, by the thousands.
    One thing that made taking down “Occupy” so smooth was the Fusion Centers, Public/Private partnerships and I do not know if Big Biz and Government are that smoothly integrated in Israel.

    All blessings on the thousand ship convoy to Gaza!

  31. Brian Wilder

    Aurelian’s unconsidered implication is that nothing can be done about the “economy of predation and rent” that sets politics on a course of conflict with “no solution”.

    “No way out” indeed.

  32. Not Qualified to Comment

    As we don’t have Thanksgiving in my neck of the woods I’m curious as to what you are giving Thanks for – Peace and Harmony on Earth, unstinting healthcare whenever you need it, crime a thing of the past, a roof over every head and a chicken in every pot? – and who you are giving your thanks to for these wonderful things.

    1. Procopius

      I’m giving my thanks to any higher power than me who might be interested in such thanks, or listening to human beings. I don’t believe in a creator god, or a god shaped in the image of a man, so I really don’t know if anyone or anything is listening, but that’s OK. I’m thankful that my health is pretty good for my age, that I didn’t get drunk today, that my life is comfortable, that I’m not in jail, that I have both eyes and all my limbs, … I think giving thanks is a good idea. If nothing else, it makes me feel better.

  33. Willow

    > 1,000 boats said set to leave Turkey for Gaza waters in new ‘Freedom Flotilla’
    Here we go, Erdoğan setting up a trigger. Will Israel bite?

    Flotilla will be multinational “Volkan Okçu, one of the organisers of the protest, indicated the boats will carry 4500 people from 40 countries, including anti-Zionist Jews.. The vessels sail under flags of the US, the UK, Luxembourg, Russian, Germany, Spain, Poland, and many other countries.”

  34. Frank

    As usual, I disagree with Korybko that the Ukraine war is on a course for lower intensity. Clearly he’s not paying close attention to developments at the front, which indicate the opposite. It is precisely at this stage where the war is set to get more ugly, intense and brutal. The Ukrainians will become more desperate and savage, they are already lining trenches with female infantry. The Russians, for their part, sensing weakness, will look to press their advantage to further demoralize the Ukrainians.

    Despite what is written in the western press, there is almost no prospect for negotiations over the short and medium term. Russia has no reason to, Ukraine can’t and the US doesn’t want to. In terms of military aid, the deep state will not let something as petty as partisan politics interfere with their pet project. There are plenty of funds in the black budget, more than ample weapons to find sitting idle in warehouses. Germany has also announced a substantial new package. No, we’re only at the end of the beginning in this one, it’s going to be very grim.

  35. TBone

    One of them is not facing NINETY ONE counts under four criminal indictments and knows he is not running against Obama, does not count Nazis and other white supremacists as part of his grifting operation, oops “campaign,” is not criminally insane, and is sharp as a tack despite all the propaganda you see on RWNJ TV to the contrary. My own eyes do not lie to me. Your both sides crap illustrates your questionable judgement in big, orange crayon. Remove head from anus.

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