Links 11/24/2023

A moose has gone viral after being on the loose in the Midwest for over a month Business Insider (David L)

Why We Should Bring Back the Buffalo New York Times (David L)

Behold Cringe Thanksgiving Tweets From Our National Security State Ken Klipperstein (Chuck L)

Neil Young shreds “The Star-Spangled Banner” on electric guitar in new “Stand For Peace” video Consequence (David L)

Deep space astronauts may be prone to erectile dysfunction, study finds Guardian (furzy)

Demystifying death – a palliative care specialist’s practical guide to life’s end aeon (Dr


The eighth COVID-19 wave is here. Could catching it trigger Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or autoimmune disorders? ABC Australia (guurst)

Is Novavax, the latecomer COVID vaccine, worth the wait? KFF Health News. Robin K points out picked up by the Cedar Rapids paper, hooray!

Pfizer sues Poland over Covid-19 vaccine RT


Amazon region hit by trio of droughts in grim snapshot of the century to come The Conversation (Micael T)

Fishing industry rides tech wave to go green Modern Diplomacy. Micael T: “The word “smart” is there so the outcome will be the same as all other “smart” technology…

Competitive tension: How to keep offshore wind subsidies in check Energy Flux (Micael T)


Who are the candidates in Taiwan’s three-way presidential race? Nikkei

Yuan rally thickens China’s capital flight plot Asia Times

European Disunion

Geert Wilders’ victory in Netherlands election spooks Europe BBC

Violent clashes erupt in Dublin after 5 injured in stabbing attack Anadolu Agency

The up to 260 billion hole in the German state budget Anti-Spiegel (Micael T)

Germany: From the primacy of domestic policy to the primacy of foreign policy to the primacy of the military? Nachdenkseiten via machine translation (guurst)

Suppliers for the Energy Transition German Foreign Policy (Micael T). “Africa should begin to play a greater role as a supplier for Germany’s energy transition.”

A More Moderate Milei Embraces Trading Partners He Had Shunned Bloomberg

Old Blighty

UK consumer confidence rises sharply Financial Times

Labour group once run by Starmer’s right-hand man fined for failing to declare donations Telegraph (Userfriendly)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 48: Ahead of temporary ceasefire, Israeli forces continue to terrorize hospitals Mondoweiss

Gazans fill streets heading home as guns fall silent and uneasy truce begins Straits Times

IDF Knew Real Hamas HQ While Lying About al-Shifa Consortium News

Israeli forces detain director of Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital BBC. So are they going to torture him to extract a confession? Sleep deprivation will do….

Influential Israeli national security leader makes the case for genocide in Gaza Mondoweiss (guurst). From earlier in the week, still germane.

Should U.S. Aid to Israel Be Contingent on Human Rights? New Yorker (guurst)

Netanyahu Says UN Isn’t Doing Enough for Palestinians in Gaza (Kevin W)

America’s new proxy war Thomas Fazi

Over 90% of pro-Palestinian content deleted since Oct. 7 on social media following Israel’s request New Arab (Kevin W)

Celtic fined for fans displaying Palestinian flag amid Israel-Gaza war Al Jazeera (Kevin W)

Anxiety, nightmares and self-harm’: How Israel is pushing children’s mental health beyond breaking point in Gaza New Arab (ma)

* * *

John Fetterman Faces Revolt in Pennsylvania Newsweek (Kevin W)

Scott Ritter: Hamas Winning Battle for Gaza Sputnik. Based on the false premise that ending Hamas was the main objective (yes, the Israel government did say they wanted to destroy Hamas but pretty much everyone who knew anything at the time said that was not attainable). The objective is clearing Gaza of Palestinians. The fact that the neighbors won’t take them has not deterred the government. Aaron Mate (in a tweet Lambert featured yesterday) said the pause is about the hostage swap, that there is domestic unhappiness about the lack of action on that front. So for Israel, the pause is about local politics (and giving Biden a talking point). Israel does not have to be very successful in harming Hamas to continue to clear Gaza; in fact, lack of much accomplished on that front will serve as an excuse for continuing operations in Gaza. John Mearsheimer pointed out in his latest talk on Judge Napolitano that in fact the IDF has not gotten far; 1000 Hamas fighters claimed by the IDF to be killed is a small % of the estimated 30,000 to 40,000 in Gaza (again also assuming they have lost access to tunnel escapes to Egypt). Also note that Israel will soon not have to do much actively to eliminate civilians; disease, dehydration, and cooler temps with no shelter all will start to produce an accelerating death toll. What would curb Israel is the US saying it will stop providing funds and weapons and/or the economic cost becoming too him (or potentially Biden dying; President Harris won’t be taken as seriously even if she tries being as determined an Israel backer). Some are noticing what is a feature, not a bug: Gaza has become a moonscape in war. When the battles stop, many fear it will remain uninhabitable Politico

New Not-So-Cold War

Visualizing $233B in Ukraine Aid Visual Capitalist (Micael T)

Dems Fear Ukraine Might Not ‘Survive’ Until 2024 as House Stonewalls Funding Sputnik

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How Israel Spies on US Citizens Defend Democracy (Micael T)

Lockheed is now tracking phones and walkie-talkies from space, and the UAE military is allegedly a “strong” customer Jack Poulson (Paul R). From last month, still germane.

Cryptographers Solve Decades-Old Privacy Problem Nautilus. Micael T: “Well, if only the 17 agencies wouldn’t demand a backdoor in exchange for not destroying the life of everybody using such an application.”

Imperial Collapse Watch

Vladimir Putin to Extraordinary G20 Summit: “Dramatic transformation processes are underway in the world. New powerful global economic growth centres are emerging and gaining strength International Affairs (Micael T)

The Credibility Mirage American Conservative. In the 1960s, Johnson’s howlers about Vietnam led to the designation “credibility gap. Our contemporary media is much more deferential.

Never Stop Being Shocked By The Depravity Of The Empire Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Patrick Lawrence: What Died 60 Years Ago? Scheerpost (Chuck L)


DeSantis super PAC head quits, latest blow to struggling Republican’s presidential bid/a> Reuters<>

Democrats en deshabille

Lawsuit Accuses Eric Adams of Sexual Abuse in 1993 New York Times (Kevin W)


Sam Altman’s Second Coming Sparks New Fears of the AI Apocalypse Wired (Paul R)

OpenAI researchers warned board of AI breakthrough ahead of CEO ouster, sources say Reuters (Paul R)

How a Fervent Belief Split Silicon Valley—and Fueled the Blowup at OpenAI Wall Street Journal (David L)

Top 5 reasons why OpenAI was probably never really worth $86 billion Gary Marcus. Informative detail.

UnitedHealth uses AI model with 90% error rate to deny care, lawsuit alleges ars technica (Paul R)

When AI Hallucinates Nautilus (Micael T)


Biden Administration Says Cost Of Thanksgiving Dinner Is Down As Long As You Don’t Buy Anything Babylon Bee

The Bezzle

Right-wing influencers pledge to bail out Elon Musk after Apple, Disney, others suspend advertising on X Mashable. Paul R: “From the department of good luck with that.”

Class Warfare

Elon Musk Calls Swedish Tesla Strikes ‘Insane’ as Impact Spreads Bloomber

The Red State Brain Drain Isn’t Coming. It’s Happening Right Now. New Republic. Um, lots of people moved to Texas for then-cheaper housing and no income tax. My brother moved to Florida for similar reasons. The couple that bought my mother’s house in AL was from purple North Carolina. I only skimmed but this piece looks to be anecdata and that about OB/GYNs, and yes, they’d be leaving due to career risk with stoopid laws.

Chicago area residents flee from senior community after 300% increase in costs CBS (Robin K)

Antidote du jour. Bob H: “Great blue heron attacks egret, mid-coast Maine summer 2023.”

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. griffen

      To the good…at a bare minimum it is a little cheaper in the southern US to fuel up the automobile and head out on the highway…looking for adventure…

      I was born, born to be mild as opposed to wild heh heh…

  1. Benny Profane

    Cute story about the pigeon, but, I dont think that sanitary conditions are a high priority in that fictional hospital.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Change ‘his family’ to ‘his workplace’ and it becomes a metaphor for a controlling boss who won’t leave his employees alone, and keeps making demands of them even when they’re hospitalized.

      “Hey, where’s our food? Stop slacking!”

  2. timbers


    “Also note that Israel will soon not have to do much actively to eliminate civilians; disease, dehydration, and cooler temps with no shelter all will start to produce an accelerating death toll.”

    Frustrating on so many levels. And so is this: The take-a-way for me from this, is if you personally face extinction from genocide from a hostile human force, don’t count on anyone lifting a finger in terms of marshalling forces to intervene and to save you. Because you are on your own. Do what you have to to survive and get out anyway you can. Not even the United Nations, and not even Arab states, will doing something of a military nature against Israel and the US to stop the genocide makes that clear.

    Also, anyone else scared as hell like I am to see old men quoting Biblical passages as the basis for government and military policy?

    Sad but true.

    1. pjay

      – “Also, anyone else scared as hell like I am to see old men quoting Biblical passages as the basis for government and military policy?”

      Yes. I certainly am, especially when the reference is Israel.

      1. JTMcPhee

        And those old men, soon to die anyway, have somewhere between 100 and 500 or so nuclear weapons, aimed at all the major cities irrespective of whether they “support Israel,” and they’ve been adding to their stockpile I believe while yelling that “Look, over there! The dastardly Iranians are on the imminent point of having their first nuke any minute now!” and the Likudnik old men have vowed not to give up their infinitely elastic Eretz Israel ambition without ending the world in a Samson Conflagration, the same sghtheads who will kill their own co-religionists to keep them from being captured…

        When people tell us who they are, best to believe them.

        Not that the old men and defectives who rule the West, especially the US Imperial part of it, ruling from inside an ironclad bubble that accepts only wealth inputs from among us mopes outside the bubble and cares not if we die, will do anything to muzzle the madmen and -women in The Only Democide-ocracy in the Middle East.

        Happy Holy Season, one and all…

        1. timbers

          If I were an Israeli Likud Knesst member or govt official, the lesson I would be learning from the lack of military intervention to provide supplies to Gaza would be: If we (Israel) can do this to Gaza, we can use nukes against Syria and Iran because no one will do anything about it besides Syria and Iran, so we need only consider that part in our calculations.

          1. nippersdad

            Pakistan has offered Turkey the use of some of its’ nukes, and several sources (Ritter, MacGregor, etc.) have said that Iran has no need of nukes because it has lots of conventional missiles that could turn Israel into a parking lot. Iran could also close the Straits of Hormuz, and its’ various militia friends could overrun US bases in both Syria and Iraq. Turkey has the largest army in Nato, and Erdogan has threatened to use it. Then there are the Houthis who could close the Red Sea and the Suez canal. Hezbollah could invade from the North.

            There are actually a lot of military options that other parties could use against Israel that they need to take into account.

      2. Bryan

        I was raised to believe the whole Jesus, Israel, second-coming thing. This is not about a difference of good faith opinion, these people are mentally ill. That’s what makes it so terrifying and dangerous, they have no capacity for self reflection. Who needs self reflection when you already know the mind of God? Besides, we are all born into sin, so what would be the point of analyzing the consequences of this original sin? There’s a reason why the British put the Puritans on boats and sent them away.

        1. Jeff W

          “There’s a reason why the British put the Puritans on boats and sent them away.”

          A friend of mine (Japanese-American, so he had no affinity to Christianity) always said that, during early colonial America, the Brits took their “crazy” religious people and shipped them off to America—which does put a different spin on the whole religious persecution/freedom of religion thing.

              1. LifelongLib

                Well, persons convicted of witchcraft in New England (and England) were hanged, not burned. And far fewer suffered this fate in North America than in Europe. The vast majority of people at the time believed in witchcraft and its power to harm, and some number practiced it. The Puritans shared this general belief but were not particularly extreme about it.

                1. nippersdad

                  You gotta admit, though, that was a great sound bite. :)

                  I used to love reading Cotton Mather et al. That was a pretty over the top group.

                2. Polar Socialist

                  Oddly enough, in the same era Swedish Lutheran theology witchcraft was considered impossible, since it would violate God’s omnipotency (or something along those lines, the gist being that God is incompatible with witchcraft) and the few cases were dealt purely by secular courts to pacify the masses who indeed did believe in witchcraft.

                  In Swedish Finland – were most of the accused were males – half were acquitted, the rest were fined and practically none were executed.

            1. Kurtismayfield


              The entire history of the New England colonies fully supports the whole religious zealotry of the origin colonists. They kicked many for not following what the Puritans wanted to the letter

              1. The Rev Kev

                Weren’t the Puritans at one time giving religious tests to new arrivals to determine if they should be allowed to stay?

                1. LifelongLib

                  AFAIK my ancestor was Church of England when he arrived in Boston in 1668. He married a Quaker woman who was already living there and converted to her faith, which did get him in enough trouble that they eventually moved to Pennsylvania, the main Quaker colony. I don’t know about residency, but religious tests of various sorts weren’t uncommon in those days. IIRC under English law you had to be C of E to hold an official position. Massachusetts negotiated some sort of exception to that.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    Your ancestor was in Boston in 1668? Now that is seriously a long time ago. I sat back and imagined what Boston would have been like back then and thought maybe a small outpost. Wrong. According to the following map from 1676, it was a thriving port that was already expanding in all directions. Don’t know if you will be able to spot your ancestor’s name on that map or not-


                    1. Jeff W

                      “… it was a thriving port…”
                      Boston had the largest population in British North America in 1680: 4,500. New York, the runner-up, had 3,000. Where was Philadelphia, which, a century later, would be the preeminent city for a time in the colonial and post-revolutionary period? Nowhere, really—the city would not be founded till 1682. London, for comparison, in 1680 had a population of about 497,000, about a quarter of a million fewer inhabitants than the most populous city at the time, Istanbul.

                    2. LifelongLib

                      Sorry didn’t see your comment with the map for a while. Took a quick look but didn’t see my ancestor. We know he bought (or somehow acquired) land at some point but not sure when. I’ll have to look up his wife too — maybe it was her land he acquired…

        2. XXYY

          We’re not Watusi, we’re not Spartans, we’re Americans. With a capital “A.”

          And you know what that means? Do you? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world.

          We are the wretched refuse.

          I always thought this was comedy.

    2. vao

      The take-a-way for me from this, is if you personally face extinction from genocide from a hostile human force, don’t count on anyone lifting a finger in terms of marshalling forces to intervene and to save you.

      Wasn’t this already clear from numerous historical precedents?

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Yes but history books are dry, about dumb people who werent smart enough to invent iPhones, and have “nothing to do with me”.
        Whereas living through it is reality, especially if your tribe is involved or close adjacent involved.
        So every generation has to re-learn lessons of the past. If we all learnt from history then perhaps the world wouldnt be as it is.

    3. chris

      It’s been terrifying to see myths and propaganda and misunderstanding be used to blanket supress factual claims of the base racism driving these policies. It’s terrifying to see the prejudice of old men result in the deaths of so many children. It’s awful to think what these people will do to us in revenge for our complicity. It makes me sick to think we will deserve it too.

      We will reap the whirlwind over this. We could have chosen to not intervene. We could have chosen to support a humanitarian area inside Gaza. Instead, we chose to make matters worse and give a blank check to Israel. We might escape for a few years but sooner or later we’ll see the results of our decisions come home.

      1. vao

        We will reap the whirlwind over this.

        I am not so sure. The belief in an immanent justice — in the form of blowback, reaping the whirlwind, chickens coming home to roost, etc — is not really confirmed by the historical precedents I mention above. So many times could the perpetrators of atrocities get away with it. So many times was retribution pitiful compared to the devastation inflicted upon the victims.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Thats what god is for, to give restitution and retribution in death to the people who were monstered with no comeback in life. Otherwise life would be intolerable.
          The most persecuted people can be the most religious.

          1. vao

            Ah, but the demise of that vision of the world started long ago, with the French Revolution: no longer any need to render anything to Caesar, nor to turn the other cheek. Behead the tyrans already!

            As an example, the Armenians organized operation Nemesis to eliminate the former Ottoman officials responsible for their genocide.

          2. Morincotto

            Making injustice tolerable isn’t necessarily always a good thing.

            Besides, God regularly helped/helps people monstering others to do so with a clean conscience.

            A lot of monsters and monstrosity justifiers/enablers ended up being venerated as saints.

            And of course there is always something deeply morally perverse about putting trust to for some reason undo the monstrosity of life into the very one that made it monstrous in the first place.

            It’s the metaphysical version of “If only the Führer knew!” after all.

    4. skippy

      “Also, anyone else scared as hell like I am to see old men quoting Biblical passages as the basis for government and military policy?”

      Wipes tear from eye for the good old days[tm] of Bush Jr’s daily SITREP reports on Iraq 1 war, biblical cover page and in case everyone has forgotten the huge public push for Christianifacation of the Nation by force.

      BTW l like the Japanese reference in the thread to mythical extremists … its the whole plot behind the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga …

      Scroll down to Themes.

    5. Es s Cetera

      My takeaway from your takeaway, if it should come to pass, is apartheid will be normalized. Racism and supremacism will now become the norm. Worldwide.

      1. undercurrent

        I think you’re right. And throw in all the harrowing possibilities of great migrations of people trying to avoid the calamities they face, and you have a perfect storm. Strangers in a strange world.

    1. Wukchumni

      Yeah, where did the time go?

      I’m on the cusp of getting the goodies such as a $80 lifetime NPS pass that’s also good for half-off of campground fees, oh and my annuity kicks in, allowing me to get to my gotten gains.

      Aside from signing a selective service agreement when I was 18, that was it in terms of obligations, there was never a whiff of war in my future, like most everybody my age, we skated through such a time with hardly a hairy moment.

      Now as far as senior citizen discounts, when you’re 55* you get the junior senior citizen discount at a few places, but they ideally want you to be a sexagenerian on the make in order to make bank on meals and the like.

      * i’m 54 and 7 months shy of the heed limit, and cautiously order from the 55 & older senior menu, and my waitress cards me, and admonishes me not to try that again! …so I request a Monte Cristo from the regular menu, and its a transhendered sandwich where parts of it want to be breakfast, while ham, turkey & cheese feel like they are trapped inside the body of French toast you deep fry, and then sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with strawberry jam, that want to be lunch.

      The only sandwich i’m aware of with a literary allusion…

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Pro tip: IHOP gives a 55+ discount, for certain menu items.

        No waitress has carded me, yet. I am in the weird zone between 55 and 65, when the real geezer discounts kick in.

        1. Benny Profane

          Yeah, some, but the real discounts start at 70. Although they keep bumping up the age as Boomers, the best market for a lot of stuff, pass through the python.

        2. Wukchumni

          Painful memories from say the summer of ’72 when our little league team sponsor was the local IHOP, with a larger than life acronym emblazoned across our backs, making us the butt of all jokes, that is beside from our woeful record on the field.

          …i’m discounting myself at this point

    2. pjay

      On the contrary. What died was the *possibility* of a different path. What followed was indeed the continuation of “anocracy.”

      I don’t know any journalist today who I respect more than Aaron Mate. His work, along with a handful of others, has been an invaluable source of information against the wall-to-wall propaganda that is our mainstream media today. Yet a few months ago, in two separate podcasts I watched a few days apart in which the discussion was about Kennedy and foreign policy, he said this (I paraphrase here): well, I don’t know much about the Kennedy administration; most of what I know comes from two books: one by Noam Chomsky and one by Seymour Hersh.

      When I heard that I was depressed to no end. Regardless of all the useful information provided by those two over the years, there have not been two books more harmful for the understanding of postwar history by the so-called “left” than those two books on Kennedy. They are easily the most influential sources of the idea that Kennedy was just another imperialist figurehead, and “nothing changed” with his death. Like Patrick Lawrence, I have no interest in glorifying Kennedy unduly. And I don’t want to argue about the assassination here. But I will assert, and argue all day with anyone, that it is impossible to understand our f**ked up world today without understanding the many reasons why that event was a crucial turning point in our history. That is Lawrence’s key point. I agree.

      If I misunderstood your seemingly flippant remark I apologize.

      1. Lefty Godot

        I feel like both Eisenhower and Kennedy had some “good intentions” (or the welfare of their country) at heart, in spite of a number of horrible things they did, or allowed to happen. Eisenhower’s refusal to be snared into an intervention in Hungary by Frank Wisner, his quashing of the Suez crisis, and his famous farewell address are evidence of this; Kennedy couldn’t avoid the similar snare that the CIA set with the Bay of Pigs invasion, but at least he pulled back before fully involving the US military, and his almost singular resistance to the calls for what would certainly have turned into World War III in the Cuban missile crisis spared us a global catastrophe, while his conversion to skepticism about the Cold War (most obvious in the famous American University speech) and attempts to find some way to gradually extricate us from the Vietnam mess are more evidence. Both were in some sense locked into the bad policies initiated by Truman, but they still had reservations.

        Almost every President since has been mostly driven by trying to “look strong” for domestic political reasons, even if that means entangling the US in foreign military adventures and raising the level of hostility in international relations. Reagan’s withdrawal from Lebanon is probably the only exception where some strategic advantage was not claimed. The near unanimity of the two leading parties’ foreign policy and its advocacy by successive Presidents has made it impossible to imagine a better direction for the country. That’s what we lost 60 years ago, the sense that there was still a chance for minds to be changed and for decency to assert itself.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          JFK’s final speech before the UN a month before his murder is one of his best along with the “Secret Societies” speech to journalists in 1962 i think – and of course the American University speech

          remember listening to an interview with Chomsky when he made the assertion that JFK was just another warmonger – he lost me on that one – still respect him but that assertion was a bit difficult to accept –

          one of the best books is “JFK And The Unspeakable” by James Douglass – i’m only 165pgs in but well researched and documented with excellent notes – read a few pages each day – i tag-team books and have 3 different ones i’m reading now –

          as mentioned yesterday i was in 9th grade at a catholic high school the day of the assassination

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            That assertion by Chomsky makes me wonder if Chomsky hasn’t long been one of the Establishment’s “pet leftists”.


            And perhaps a Rigorous Intuition 2.0 blogpost called The Violent Bear It Away deserves another mention. It touches on several things. Here is a little bit which is specifically Kennedy-Chomsky-etc. relevant extracted from the post. . . . ” There’s a reflex among some on the left to embrace the lone gunman hypothesis, because they regard the alternative as an embrace of a hollow liberal myth. Noam Chomsky and Alexander Cockburn regard John F Kennedy as nothing but a patrician cold warrior who would have delivered more of the same had he lived. Rabin receives the same treatment, if not more, for his harsh words and measures during the Intifada and for the flawed Oslo Accords. But their killers were not appraising them from the left. From the hard right, they were both men who had risen through the system and had become traitors to it.”

            Jeff Wells thinks Chomsky is sincere in his beliefs and dismissal of Kennedy as a patrician warmonger unworthy of a backward glance and a second thought. And perhaps Chomsky is sincere. It could be that the Establishment likes the way Chomsky thinks because Chomsky thinks the way the Establishment likes.

            Chomsky? Establishment? I remember watching on CSPAN a speech Chomsky was invited to give at West Point to that years graduating class of Officer-Cadets. Would West Point invite anyone genuinely Establishment-hostile or Establishment-undermining?

            Anyway, here is the link to that Rigorous Intuition blogpost.

      2. Old Sarum

        Flippant remark: Yes, up to a point.

        There is a perfectly good term to describe the situation so why not use it? A few years ago I asked A.C. Grayling during question and answer at one of his talks where he spoke of “para-democracies” (my euphemism) why the word “anocracy” is not used and he failed even to start to give a cogent answer. It seems to be a taboo word that is not on the notional (or otherwise) “approved list” because it puts an uncomfortable label on an equally uncomfortable reality. [I would like to ask Gillian Tett what she makes of it.]

        As far as JFK is concerned I like to compare and contrast him with Gandhi; India was partitioned (hundreds of thousands died) and the Mahatma was assassinated (as far as I know, not by us Brits.) To me Gandhi, was a heroic failure, but I’m not sure that JFK was even engaged.


        * Prominently used in Private Eye Magazine of yore

    3. ArvidMartensen

      What died was the pretense of US democracy. Since anyone with half a brain worked out that JFK was offed by the highest caste of very well connected individuals and their enforcers. With impunity. And then they offed Robert Kennedy and MLK. With impunity.
      Anybody wanting to lead a long and happy life learnt from the 1960s that the only way to do that was not to become a problem to the cabal of the highest caste or their enforcers.
      And that if they interferred and were assassinated, then there would be no justice and no change.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        I remember during the early days of Occupy when some Occupy supporters came to my town and I was conversating with them, they said one of the reasons they had a “no visible leadership” structure was so that Occupy could not be stopped by a few well-targeted decapitation assassinations.

        So instead it was stopped by a broad and massive Obama-coordinated multi-front multi-prong Mass Law Enforcement suppression campaign.

        But the adherents of “Occupism” could still filter around throughout society and seed various “cultural occupy” movements advancing here and there on this or that front or agenda. Maybe a million little Occupist countercultures will eventually organize themselves into existence and then come together leaderlessly at times like slime molds to overwhelm and dissolve-and-digest on target or another.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘Kim Dotcom
    North Korea withdraws from security treaty with South Korea. “We will deploy more powerful armed forces and new military hardware along the border.”
    Kim Jong-Un opens another conflict to accelerate the decline of US power with the goal to collapse the US economy. Putin chess.’

    There is actually a bit more to this story here. North Korea launched a reconnaissance satellite earlier this week. In response, South Korea partly reneged on a 2018 deal where the demilitarized zone (DMZ) was declared a no-fly zone saying that that launch violated a UN sanction on missiles. North Korea then upped the ante and then said that they have withdrawn from that 2018 deal altogether and that is where we are right now. They said ‘We will withdraw the military steps, taken to prevent military tension and conflict in all spheres including ground, sea and air, and deploy more powerful armed forces and new-type military hardware in the region along the Military Demarcation Line’ and said that they had the right to launch a recon satellite in the first place-


      Yes. The real fact is that the US can’t maintain military hegemony over the entire planet indefinitely. It’s entirely unsustainable and the whole ideology comes from a time when the US had 50% of the wealth of the world and its only quasi military rival imploded.

      Putin isn’t playing chess – he’s eating popcorn and watching.

      1. Trees&Trunks

        That depends on the local comprador elite. If they, like in EU are all traitors, then the locals will do the bidding and the empire will go on.
        When you have idiots and compromised people like Schiolz, Baerbock, Leyen, the mery-go-round goes around and around

  4. Wukchumni

    {I lined up since 8 PM yesterday, to get the NC Black FrIday deals}

    O say can you see
    By the Gaza dawn’s early light
    What so proudly was hailed
    At the twilight’s last gleaning?

    Whose broad stripes and blue star
    Through the perilous fight
    O’er the embargo we watched
    They weren’t so gallantly, streaming

    And the rockets’ red glare
    The bombs bursting in air
    Gave proof through the night
    That dead bodies lie still there

    O say, does that six pointed star banner yet wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

  5. Carolinian

    Re Defend Democracy and that squashed Israel lobby documentary

    To tip the balance in its favour, Qatar “postponed” the broadcast, winning the halt of the campaign against Doha by a section of the right wing of an already very right-wing lobby. Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA) and a close friend of Donald Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon, flew to Doha and said he was delighted to see the documentary buried (see “Qatar charms and wriggles out of trouble”). That groups such as ZOA, which had not long ago been accusing Qatar of funding Hamas and terrorism, should change sides in return for the documentary’s suppression says a lot about its explosive revelations.


    There’s another worry for the lobby: support for Israel has traditionally transcended the Republican-Democrat divide, and a few months before the end of his presidency, Barack Obama unconditionally approved $38 bn of aid to Israel over 10 years, though his relations with Netanyahu were terrible. But the political landscape is changing, and the lobby’s unconditional support for Trump is narrowing its base to the Republican Party and the evangelical right.

    Some of us think the Republicans were always the natural home for the Israeli lobby and the fact that so many Dems support the right wing idea pretending to be a left wing idea is part of what has corrupted the Dems and brought people like Pelosi and Biden to the fore. There was a time when a Democrat–JFK–was in conflict with the Israelis over their nuclear bomb program and that time is so very long gone. We need at least one party on the other side providing some balance rather than Middle East TINA.

    Times are changing?

  6. Pat

    First Adams is a walking POS. But I have also seen how this plays out before. I have no idea if Adams committed sexual assault or not. What I do know is that accusations of sexual misconduct are a favorite tool in the Democrats’ bag of tricks. Either this will become the thing that drives someone who has become an embarrassment from their office at which point the assault accusations get thrown out and the more credible, and far reaching, issues get buried protecting other Democrats who are also implicated. Or he stays and denies over and over, the woman is vilified and especially if she is telling the truth she is essentially run out of town or even the country. One thing that they won’t do is rewrite the laws so she can get her day in court and fast tracked it, like they did for Trump’s, who by the way could not prove rape even to a very friendly jury who found for the lesser charges.

    I realize I am very cynical about these things. And who knows if I will have to apologize down the line for thinking the worst. But IMO this is more about circling the wagons than Adams sexual conduct, good or bad.

      1. Pat

        That temporary extension ends this month and unlike Carroll and Trump as far as I know no one has filed a civil suit against Cuomo (and unlike Carroll many of Cuomo’s accusers wouldn’t have needed the extension). The fact that the DA refused to prosecute the case with the most evidence probably didn’t help.
        That was always a way to get Cuomo out and protect the rest

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          and don’t forget Tara Reade fled to Russia in fear for her life (supposedly) from The Husk who allegedly assaulted her in 1993

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Visualizing $233B in Ukraine Aid”

    How to say this? Oh yes. I don’t believe it. Not for a single solitary second. I would suggest that the full total cost would be somewhere north of half a trillion dollars and a lot of these bills have not yet come due yet. We’ve see it before. Look at the Pentagon. It’s budget this year is supposed to be $773 billion but when you crank in all the money hidden in other departments and agencies, the true Pentagon budget has been reckoned to be about $1.2 trillion. And the money to the Ukraine will be the same. There is another factor. It is my understanding that all the money sent to the Ukraine from the US was borrowed, not simply printed. And since it has to be paid back, cuts will have to be made to the US budget – perhaps with social security or medicare. And I am not even going to guess how much interest will be due on all that money sent. It will certainly be in the billions.

    1. Milton

      We all know the whole idea of a constrained US due to fiscal limitations is a load of hooey. But since the budget game must be played, as defined by congress and enforced by the Fed and other major financial institutions, why is SS always singled out as needing to be cut as it is a payed for earned benefit? Where, in the copious lines of budget items is there any amount from the general fund going into SS payouts or it’s services?

      1. Feral Finster

        Ain’t it funny how we never hear “but we can’t afford it!” when it comes time to put another war on the national credit card or to bail out the billionaires at the casino?

        But healthcare, education and infrastructure are all fripperies that we cannot possibly pay for and should just forget about ever having.

    2. Samuel Conner

      > And since it has to be paid back, cuts will have to be made to the US budget

      Borrowed in USD, which the Fed emits as needed (and which Treasury could emit as needed, if Congress allowed it to).

      Attempts to pay down the Federal cumulative deficit (a better term than “debt”, I think) in the context of US structural trade deficit would (by the National Accounts Identity), require large deficits in the US private sector — massive private dis-saving. This happened, for example, in the late WJ Clinton period. It was not sustainable.

      Federal budget cuts in the context of the present trade deficit and private sector savings preferences will simply shrink the economy, which would have the effect of increasing the ratio of the cumulative Federal deficit to national economic output. To cut the Federal deficit, a better approach might be industrial policy to re-onshore industry and reduce the trade deficit.

      This isn’t to say that the military expenditures were a good thing — they were a colossal waste of real resources as well as a calamity for the places where the expenditures were realized.

    3. Procopius

      Borrowed money can be paid back with printed money. What’s the difference? Dollars are dollars. This kind of lie is one way the rich keep the poor getting poorer. I’m in favor of returning to the Eisenhower tax schedule, except any income above $10,000,000/yr is taxed at 100%. Billionaires should not exist.

  8. Wukchumni

    Deep space astronauts may be prone to erectile dysfunction, study finds Guardian

    [on Dave’s return to the ship, after he has killed the libidos on the rest of the crew]

    HAL : Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a blue pill, and think things over.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “‘Anxiety, nightmares and self-harm’: How Israel is pushing children’s mental health beyond breaking point in Gaza”

    Israel has been attacking children for years now so this recent behaviour is no different. They arrest about 500 to 1,00 children each and every year and this can come as raids on families in the middle of the night taking those children away. Not sure but I think that they have at least one children’s prison in Israel. They mistreat these children and put them through military courts where they have no rights but hey, only democracy in the middle east, right?

    You even have Israeli air force planes roar over Palestinian villages in the middle of the night to wake those families up and to frighten the children. I wonder how many of those Hamas fighters came from a background of being abused when young by the Israeli military? I would call it sewing dragon seeds myself.

  10. Judith

    Neil Young playing the star spangled banner brought to mind the Hendrix version. Whenever I listen to Jimi Hendrix playing that, I think of how freaky it might have been as a soldier in Vietnam listening to Hendrix playing. (And there’s a good chance the soldier was high at the time.)

    1. Screwball

      Funny you bring up Nam. I missed the 1973 draft by one year. My number was 8 and I would have been gone if I was a year older. A buddy and I were talking about the current wars the day before thanksgiving and Viet Nam came up. We remembered how so many our age were sent to that damn war. So many we knew never came back, and many who did, did not come back the same.

      He had a family member who served a term and was lucky enough to make it home, but his family said he wasn’t right, and struggled to make it here. He signed up for another tour. He came home again, and was in worse shape than before. Couldn’t cope with the post-war world here in the states. He signed on for his 3rd tour of duty, this time as a minesweeper. He was killed within a month. A mine blew him to pieces.

      A truly awful story, but common. I know vets today who still struggle with the memories, the flashbacks, and whatever else haunts them from that past. Two golf buddies who were there never talked much about it, but if they did, it was always “what could be worse than sending someone to Nam?”

      Maybe since we are old and have seen this kind of stuff up close and personal makes us less enthusiastic for these wars than some of our warmongering fellow citizens who seem to be all in for these wars in Ukraine/Russia/Israel/Gaza.

      Thanksgiving; a time to be thankful, remember our past and how we got here. Yea, two wars going on. Great! Come to think of it, when was the last Thanksgiving there wasn’t a war going on? I honestly don’t remember.

      Well from this old crabby ass on Thanksgiving (day after); screw war. War! What’s it good for? Absolutely nothing said Edwin Starr in his song War. Always reminds me of another, so greatly done by the late great John Lennon. Instead of these endless ugly disgusting wars, let’s try something else. Tell it loud and proud John;

      Imagine – John Lennon

      1. JTMcPhee

        There’s a lot more than two wars going on. There’s a reason there are 800 or so imperial installations around the planet, and hundreds of satellites in orbit. “Full Spectrum Dominance,” I can see it clearly now, from the light at the end of the tunnel…

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        And no remembering of Vietnam, the draft, and lottery numbers, in relation to the endless wars we have today, is complete without observing that a handful of the most “notable” draft dodgers of the day–clinton, baby bush and biden–are responsible.

        Those who had seen war, JFK or john kerry, were either assassinated or swift-boated into oblivion for their opposition as a result of actual experience.

        The Orange Satan–President Bone Spurs, another beneficiary of the deferments liberally sprinkled on the well-connected–was also subjected to political annihilation for his position, although his somewhat anti-war stance came from his ever-the-businessman conviction that war is a “bad deal.”

        Pretty much argues that the only way to end the relentless militarism that is consuming this country is reinstatement of the draft with absolutely no deferments. Everybody goes. No one is spared.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Not ever going to happen, but assuming the impossible, it would look just like democratic Ukraine — to the last Ukrainian, or USian, except some Uks are more equal than others.

        2. Screwball

          Well said Katniss, as usual. I could tell countless horror stories of Viet Nam vets since many are my age or a little older, and I’m sure many others can as well. Horrifying stuff that you will never forget. I have friends who suffer to this day.

          I would be all for reinstating the draft – barring no one. Maybe, just maybe, that would slow the warmongers down. But I suppose, like Lennon, I’m just a dreamer.

          On that subject, and since we have music (when they used to make anti-war music); Fortunate Son – CCR

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Fortunate Son–one of those “never forget” anthems conveniently and “mysteriously” buried in a flurry of investment “opportunities,” GDP “growth,” and “job creation” over the years.

            In my most fervent dreams of peace through draft reinstatement, I keep the spectacle of the draft lottery for maximum effect.

            I remember those horrible days, and I was a girl so not personally affected, of being glued to the radio or tv, watching dates be drawn from a hat, ominously announced, and recorded on a chalkboard. A person’s birthday, previously a joyful day full of presents and parties and cake and first driver’s licenses, turned into a signifier of the next to be sacrificed.

            The experience was as profound as it was clinically barbaric. I will never forget it.

            1. Benny Profane

              One of many bizarre moments during Trump’s 2020 campaign was the playing of that song at his rallies, sometimes right before he took the stage. I mean, c’mon, didn’t anybody know that song was about him?

    2. digi_owl

      Thanks, i was wondering where i had heard that before as it sounded so familiar.

      Hendrix really was something special.

      1. Screwball

        Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Ohio” still give me chills every time I hear it. I live in Ohio, knew people who were at Kent State May 4, 1970 on both sides, National Guard and students of Kent State (my next door neighbor for one). I will never believe the “official” story.

        Protest a war and they shoot you in the back. But we are exceptional…

        1. XXYY

          I remember an interesting story about the Ohio tune. It was written in somebody’s house in Laurel Canyon in about 45 minutes on the afternoon of the shooting, and then they cashed in some favors and got studio time the following day to record it.

          It then sort of “went viral” in a 1970 way via AM and FM radio immediately thereafter.

      2. playon

        My number was 36. I managed to escape the draft for two years by simply not registering, then received a letter from the FBI basically saying “register or go to jail”. I ended up being 4F but never found out why. I had a couple of friends from high school that went to Vietnam and met some other vets later in the 70s. One guy (a roadie for an act I was touring with) had the job of putting corpses onto a truck to be sent home. He didn’t seem as damaged as the guys who saw combat though.

        I went to a lot of anti-war protests back then, but now the media doesn’t cover them.

        1. Screwball

          As a second job in the 80s I worked nights at a bowling alley. One night I had to deal with a guy who was hiding in the back stall in the restroom/locker room who thought he was in Vietnam. People came out and told me some crazy guy was in the bathroom yelling and screaming. At the time, in his mind, he was in some Nam jungle.

          I didn’t know what to do (I did go in and talk to him) so I told people to use another bathroom. About a half hour later he came out. He walked right up to my counter and apologized for what happened and left.

          I had a buddy who would do the same thing. It was like he was time traveling back to some moment in time, and most likely very traumatic. It might only be for a short period of time, then he would regroup – for lack of a better word. So sad.

          We have endless money for war but not other things. It appalls me to see how we treat our veterans, our elderly, and our homeless. In no particular order.

    3. Benny Profane

      Um, I like Neil, loved his electric shows, but, let’s not forget he tried to cancel Joe Rogan during Covid, and destroy his career. So much for free speech in the rocking free world. And he also had a financial bias, because he hated what Spotify was doing to his and all of his Boomer rock star incomes, and has a big financial interest in his own high quality streaming service, a competitor to Spotify, although I think that was a dud, commercially. He’s not as cool as you imagine. But he just cashed in on his catalogue, like Dylan, so he’ll die a rich hippie.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’d wondered why aging rock stars were being paid what seemed like exorbitant amounts for their work in our era when recorded music is barely worth a song…

        It’s being turned into Muzak, I keep hearing familiar tunes in the background of tv commercials, sometimes with vocals, but not usually.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          man it’s my era and cannot fathom the Stones touring at 80 – seem so out of touch – a young friend of my daughter’s asked what was so special about those three guys that looked like skulls in a picture – had to laugh at that one – went to only one Stones concert back in the 60’s when Brian was still with them and it was in a small venue in Detroit that has since been torn down, The Olympia an old hockey stadium that held 10-15,000 – tickets were $4 – by the time stadium size concerts happened i was into jazz –

        2. The Rev Kev

          ‘I keep hearing familiar tunes in the background of tv commercials’

          I was once in an elevator in London and the muzac seemed familiar somehow. Took me a few seconds to realize that it was ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ of all songs.

          1. wilroncanada

            Can’t wait to hear, for REAL atmosphere, “Black Day in July”, or “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”, by Gordon Lightfoot. You’d have to go up and down several times (they’re looong) to get the complete atmosphere.

    4. Wukchumni

      One neighbor here never got high back in the day and figures he killed between 150 to 200 humans being the machine gunner in his Patton tank, while another neighbor in our cabin community was in a listening post far from the action and related he was stoned pretty much his full tour, and never heard a shot fired in anger.

      Read a story of an active duty GI Joe in ‘Nam who was back in the world for a week or so and went to Woodstock for R & R where he would’ve heard Jimi’s stirring version, only to be be out doing patrols, shortly thereafter.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        a buddy i’ve known since diapers was a grunt for 2 tours in Vietnam – he’s dealing with Lewy Bodies dementia from agent orange – another pal had a choice of prison or service for GTA – did the Marines – talked to him yesterday in the VA hospital in Aurora CO – COPD – he helped me a few times when i was building my post & beam home when he lived and worked back here – only time i saw him get hinky was once when a helo flew low overhead – otherwise good friend – whenever in CO would go to the range with him – he knew the owner who would bring out full autos for us to shoot, including an old Thompson – that thing wanted to rise –

    5. Bsn

      I think Benny alluded to it below but I’ll say straight away, N. Young is a cull. He promoted the vax and publicly pressured those who disagreed. I have no patience for the propagandized who can’t think clear enough to realize their error and either apologize or ask for forgiveness – even among family and friends. I don’t want them near me and I don’t support them when they put together a redo on a version of the S. S. Banner that was done much better, and with more heart by predecessors such as Hendrix.
      I never heard Hendrix publicly berate anyone. One exception may be “May I never hear surf music again” and that was a general opinion not specific to Dick Dale for example.

      1. Benny Profane

        What? Jimi and Dick paid each other big props. And Dick Dale was surf music. Jimi recognized that talent. And both were upside down left hand Strat virtuosos.

  11. Craig H.

    The bear must have just got out of bed. That’s exactly how I feel when I look at myself in the mirror too soon.

    He or she will be fine after a cup of coffee.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise
      If you go down in the woods today, you’d better go in disguise
      For every bear that ever there was
      Will gather there for certain because
      Today’s the day there will be a mirror’

    1. Bsn

      All for girl power as well, being one and such. But referencing OAC …. weak. She is a girl but is all talk and no action. Remember Medicare for All, she doesn’t. She forgot that as soon as she was elected and started getting paid and licking boots.

      1. Alice X

        It was the first piece I happened upon re Hill Harper, but I agree on AOC, she was quickly absorbed by the Borg. They usually are, if not, they are primaried.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Geert Wilders’ victory in Netherlands election spooks Europe’

    Call it blowback from the Ukrainian war. For decades now in many different countries we have seen the development of uniparties. So in the US for example, it does not matter if you vote Democrat or Republican, US foreign policy remains the same. In lots of countries, none of the main parties can be bothered doing anything for their citizens and usually they do not even listen to them as Annalena Baerbock once said. So in the US, tens of billions for the Ukraine. Hawaii? Where’s that? But now we are seeing nationalist parties develop and though some of their policies are odious, they come out and say that they are actually listening to the people. Like the AfD in Germany and Wilders in the Netherlands. In the EU it is more extreme as they can see their countries be destroyed in supporting the Ukraine but their leaders will not stop but will only double down. So I would expect to see more and more far right parties make progress simply by listening to people and saying things that people are afraid to say.

    1. Feral Finster

      The remaining Dutch political parties will do whatever it takes to prevent Wilders from forming a government.

    2. Procopius

      The difference in Europe is their proportional representation system of vote counting. The U.S.’s first-past-the-post system inevitably leads to our system of two major parties, and helpless/hopeless minor parties. Human nature leads to the two parties becoming alike and ceasing to listen to their voters.

    3. Robert Gray

      > … it does not matter if you vote Democrat or Republican, US foreign policy remains the same.

      And not only foreign policy, of course.

      I once taught in a very large private school where testing, testing, testing was the order of the day. Promotion or failure at the end of the term was solely determined by results on objective tests; machine-scored multiple-choice in most areas but there was also an essay and an oral exam, evaluated according to a checklist by a panel of teachers. Anyway, one year a new principal came in and introduced a ‘reform’ whereby teachers were allowed to ( /were required to) make a wholly subjective assessment of each student. This placated a faction within the faculty that had been clamoring against the monolithic test-results regime. However, at the end of the first semester in which the new system was implemented, someone analysed the results. He found that, in general, because the subjective component was so miniscule, whether the teacher’s evaluation was maximum or minimum made no difference at all in the student’s overall score.

      I suppose this is just a tangential reinforcement of the famous quip (was it Emma Goldman?): ‘If voting made any difference, do you really think they’d let us do it?’

    4. El Viejito

      I read an article earlier today referencing the outrage felt by Dutch farmers over some mandatory environmental regulations affecting farms. Apparently they’re angry that they had no say in them. So maybe Wilders victory is not out of the blue. Disrespecting people by not including them in decisions directly affecting them often has bad results.

  13. Skip Intro

    The Novavax piece has some fun backhanded jabs that illustrate how deeply the mRNA PR has penetrated our epistemic immune system.
    After discussing the reasons someone wanted fewer side effects with their jab and were helped by Novavax, they drop this:

    Research suggests that the Novavax vaccine is about as safe and effective as the mRNA shots. Its main disadvantage is arriving late to the scene.

    I guess they mean market advantage. Typically hi-tech latecomers are referred to as upgrades.

    Then they find an actual virologist who preferred Novavax, and they study his reasoning and motivations in a fair and thorough manner:

    Another group who waited on Novavax are biologists who geek out over its technology. When asked why he opted for Novavax, Florian Krammer, a virologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, replied on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Because I am [a] vaccine nerd, I like insect cell produced vaccines.”

    So it does sound like a tech upgrade, but maybe, like subwoofers, reduced side-effects are just for aficionados who ‘geek out’.

    I refuse to believe that everyone is on a payroll… this must be internalized.

    1. Jason Boxman

      The authors are probably on team Pfizer, after all! Remember when boasting about which modified RNA shot you got was all the rage in liberal Democrat circles?

      1. Screwball

        Boasting about the shots are still all the rage. I had a guy tell me just a few weeks ago; I’ve had 5 shots and only had COVID twice so they are still standing tall.

        Okie dokie!

        This is the same guy, when questioned about COVID procedures and safety, he said go to the CDC or WHO website. He is college educated (Purdue) and not to be questioned. I don’t question him, I just laugh.

  14. Pat

    This was supposed to be a response to @Alice X re: Hill Harper.
    And getting him to switch to run against Tlaib would solve two problems. He would have a good chance against Tlaib and has too good a chance against the approved Slotkin.

    1. Alice X

      Indeed, I thought of that as well, but beyond the the five minute edit window.

      ps – when your comment seems to have gone to the wrong location, or needs more editing than there is time for, or you just change your mind, click the edit button and cut out the comment so it is blank. Then save it whereupon you will be advised that a comment cannot be blank and do you mean to delete it.

  15. Mikel

    “Violent clashes erupt in Dublin after 5 injured in stabbing attack” Anadolu Agency

    “…Justice Minister Helen McEntee called for calm, expressing concern that a “violent and manipulative faction” is exploiting the incident to incite chaos. She strongly denounced the assaults on law enforcement officers….
    I was reminded of an article in yesterday’s water cooler: “In breakthrough, Congress obtains footage of undercover cops conducting surveillance on Jan. 6” [Just the News].

    “…Well.we go undercover as Antifa in the crowd,’ one officer that congressional investigators believe is a member of the MPD electronic surveillance unit is captured on video saying.” • Liberal fascists? Anitfa? What kind of sense does it make to go “undercover” as antifa at a Trump afterparty?

    All about fueling one group to believe the worst about the other group.

    I remember that in the immediate aftermath of Jan 6, the claims from people at the protest that “antifa” were spurring or doing the bad acting.
    The media then reports this and protesters who made the claim get called conspiracy theorists.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Ever wonder how these antifa types all dressed in black can roll into a protest, start throwing punches and smashing things up, in the middle of a big crowd, with cameras all around, and then manage to get away without being apprehended and nobody ever finds out who they are?

      It’s because antifa are cops.

    2. Wandering Maritimer

      As much as I would generally appreciate the undercover agent provocateur angle, I think in the case of the Dublin riots the real instigator is the manipulation going on by high-profile social media personalities (like Conor McGregor) who have exploited the erosion of Ireland’s living standards and the declining safety situation in Dublin City since the pandemic to stoke anti-immigrant and anti-migrant sentiment.

      Under the circumstances, no agent provocateurs would have been necessary to spur the “bad acting” and whip things into a frenzy. The social fabric in Dublin seems to be fraying (like in much of Europe) as a result of government incompetence, neglect, and a whole series of other issues familiar to everyone here on NC. As always, there are people eager to exploit this anger and hatred in the name of mobilizing support for far-right policies and projects.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Well, with my instinct nose for trouble, I accidentally found myself in the area as the riot kicked off. It was definitely the most impressive riot I’ve seen in a while – well, since I saw one in Hong Kong in 2019.

      I’d a work meeting nearby when someone with a knife attacked a group of school children leaving a junior school in the north Inner city, next to the main Chinese area of the city. Its a rough area, very mixed, with lots of homeless plus a few shelters used by refugees. There were very little details given in the news – the Irish police, with their usual absence of subtlety, refused to give any details of the man arrested except to say ‘it wasn’t terrorist related’, which made me (and presumably every one else watching the news) assume they didn’t want ethnic details discussed. I later learned that a photo was circulated on social media (I didn’t see it) showing an arabic looking man wielding a knife (he was bravely tackled and stopped by a Brazilian delivery cyclist and an American female tourist). The rumours are that he is Algerian, but I don’t know any details.

      I’d seen on the news about the incident, and though it better not to go out in the area until later. Around 6pm I was warned in the office I was in to leave as ‘something was kicking off in the area’, so walk the opposite direction. I did a circuit around. A mall group of anti-immigrant protestors had already started a noisy protest – they were clearly prepared as they were setting off multiple fireworks and had some form of flammable material. I suspect they are a small group where were waiting for an excuse for something like this and had been rounded up on social media. I don’t follow these things in detail, but there is a very small but very active right wing anti-immigrant group who are focused mainly on east Europeans and Syrian refugees, as well as Romany Gypsies. It has been noted many times that many of the ‘cheerleaders’ for these groups online claim to be locals but clearly have no idea of the geography of Dublin and use American spelling in their posts. But there is no doubt that there are a core of a few dozen people deliberately focusing on the settling of refugees in working class areas as a means of getting attention (they have no affiliations with any political party – Ireland lacks an organised racist far right, although some individual politicians flirt with it).

      I was nearly run over by a bunch of excited teenaged girls going directly for the march – they had clearly heard something was kicking off and wanted a good view. I’d decided I’d seen enough and better to wander off. But I’d seen enough to know that there was a ‘core’ of maybe 50 to 100 pre-prepared protestors, all the rest were just local teenagers out to join in anything that looked fun. The police seemed stunned by the speed it went out of control as they set fire to a number of cars.

      It was nasty for an hour or so, but had burned itself out as a riot within about 2 hours. This morning, apart from a burnt out bus and tram there was little to be seen apart from the bust windows of a hostel (thought to be used by refugees) and some looted sportswear shops. The online jokes were that most shops prevented looting by putting up ‘bookshop’ signs. I walked along Parnell Street and for a supposed anti-immigrant riot it was noticeable that not one of the many Chinese and Arabic owned shops along there had been damaged. I checked up on Chinese social media and there was lots and lots of photos and some people expressing fear, but no reports of anyone attacked.

      All in all, while it was visually spectacular (a bus on fire makes for a good photo) and there was one potentially very dangerous moment when some rioters went into a hotel and tried to start a fire, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the media (social and official) made out. There are fears of a follow on tonight, but I doubt much will happen.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for the detailed report, PK. By the sounds of it, it was more a case of the locals blowing off steam rather than them going after specific targets.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Definitely. People like to shove these events into neat packages, but the overwhelming majority of rioters I saw were just local youth grabbing an opportunity to have some fun. The ‘anti-immigrant’ element was unfocused and non-specific – based on (very real) local anger at having refugees pushed into their communities. There was no examples whatever of violence aimed at any particular ethnic minority, the anger was aimed at the police and government, and even this was pretty incoherent.

          It should also be said that the riots were very localised – essentially 2 streets of a couple of hundred yards and another outbreak on a single short street on the southside. It made for spectacular photographs, but in most of the city you wouldn’t even know it was going on, and Dublin City is quite small and compact.

  16. Jason Boxman

    Not many pay attention to what’s going on in developing countries, but this is a humanitarian crisis. Dengue is ravaging people. Host immune systems, change from Cov – are facilitating this.

    Bangladesh is undergoing its worst-ever dengue outbreak in history, with hospitals packed to the brim and the death toll rising. Last Wednesday, the country recorded 24 deaths – the highest in a day – from the mosquito-borne disease.

    1. mago

      My first Covid bout crushed me, but
      Dengue blew me out far far worse.

      It’s not called bone crushing fever for nothing.
      It feels like the devil is playing timpani on every bone in your body, nonstop.

      Then there are the fevered waking dreams because there’s no sleeping and there’s no eating.
      But lots of puking, lots of raging diarrhea if you’re dumb enough to try eating and drinking.
      So there’s suffering.
      When it cleared there was a child like clarity. Every play of light on leaves, every shimmering light and shadow was stark and effervescent. Awe in every moment.
      I knew it was a fleeting state, but almost a reward for the dengue experience, during which I almost died.
      Break on through to the other side . . .
      By the way, dengue seems common as dirt in the tropics, based on heard evidence from where I lived.
      It’s been migrating northward for a couple of decades now.
      California here I come.

  17. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Neil Young

    I do like old Neil, but I had a few issues with that one –

    1) Not particularly original.
    2) Doesn’t hit all the notes.
    3) Given that it’s a poem that glorifies surviving an all day shelling, I’m not sure it’s the best choice for an anti-war song. If there was some irony there, it was lost on me.
    4) Neil Young is Canadian.

    For a pro-peace song, Young got it right with this really beautiful tune from the Prairie Wind album back in 2005 – When God Made Me

    He also hit the America theme as a Canadian much better when he included this lovely choral rendition of America the Beautiful at the end of his 2006 Living with War album, a broadside against George W

    1. juno mas

      There are many Canadiens who are still American heroes: Joni Mitchell and Wayne Gretzky for two. Neil would never play the SSB like Jimi (doesn’t have those chops).
      Young now lives in Colorado with his wife Daryl Hannah–she produced a video (streaming) of Neil’s album “The Barn” which is a regathering of the Crazy Horse band. Like the video linked today, it’s passable but not perfect.

      Neil is not new to the “peace” movement. While many musicians joined a national TV concert to commemorate 9/11 and build momentum for the invasion of Iraq, he sang Lennon’s “Imagine” while playing the piano. (Cowboy hat on, head down so you would listen to the lyrics and not celebrate the celebrity!)

  18. digi_owl

    I guess i have spent far too many years reading Reddit, as i fully expected a long chain of moose puns given the opening headline.

  19. Glen

    Interesting post over on MOA:

    On ‘Sub-Imperial Power’ (by Arnaud Bertrand)

    One of the most interesting aspects of the book is how it departs from the theories of realism, championed by the likes of John Mearsheimer or Stephen Walt, who assert that all states – regardless of culture, religion, social hierarchy or political system – will act in the same way because they all prioritize survival and security above all else. They assert that given that maximizing power is the best way to survive in the international system, if they had the opportunity all states would seek to become hegemons like the US is today, or imperial Britain was yesterday.

    Fernandes makes a very different case, which I actually think is a far better explanation of how the world actually works, and of the historical behavior of various states. His point is that there’s something unique about US geopolitics, and that of Western colonial states before it, in that they have these extremely aggressive characteristics – the impulse to subjugate and pillage others – that actually often harm their security rather than safeguard it. And he explains this with the undue power the moneyed class has over the state in those systems of government. Which is hard to deny if one looks at things historically: for instance it is the East India Company that initiated the colonization and pillage of India, not the British state that only came afterwards to essentially pacify growing rebellion in India so as to perpetuate the ongoing pillage. Or take a more recent example: the war in Iraq. It makes very little sense from an American security or survival perspective but it makes eminently good sense from a US oil company or economic hegemony perspective. Or again the current conflict in Gaza, which is extremely negative for American security as it generates busloads of hatred throughout the Muslim world against America and diverts American attention from more consequential geopolitical challenges. But it makes sense if you look at it from the standpoint of perpetrating a hegemonic system.

    Makes sense to me. We see similar behavior in America too.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I saw a tweet that was critical of the book. This is projecting recent behavior backwards. The US did not become aggressive until WWII and afterwards. In the 1930s it had a very small military. The US had long been domestically focused. Among other things, we had plenty of land to exploit, lots of resources, and were protected by two oceans.

      The big change IMHO was the car and the physical dispersion of the population resulting in long driving times. That led to a need to secure oil. Even though we had a lot of domestic production, we were not self-sufficient.

      1. elviejito

        Not aggressive? Domestically focused? Mexico. Cuba. Philippines. Haiti. Central America. Should I continue?

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I haven’t read that book, but I find the thesis very simplistic and misguided. there are obviously ‘unique’ characteristics to western colonialism and imperialism, but you can say that about pretty much any empire in history, there are always specific internal and external dynamics. There are innumerable examples in history of empires from all cultures extending beyond what can immediately be justified by national economic needs or defence (Japan, to take just one example). 19th Century Western imperialism was so spectacularly successful because of a one-off imbalance in military capabilities which benefited industrialised nations. And there are plenty of historical examples of expansionist militaries becoming essentially self licking ice creams, finding fights to justify their own existence – this is a process as old as history. The current US is simply an example of one on steroids, possibly quite literally.

    3. Karl

      Thanks for this. I think there is something to Fernandaz’s thesis. But the conditions have to be right for a hegemon to exhibit these tendencies. Yves may be right that the U.S. exhibited excessively aggressive tendencies only after WW II (although the 19th century had plenty of examples of U.S. imperialism). One can argue that the time was not yet ripe for the U.S. to show its full colors until after WW II, in fact, after the dissolution of the USSR.

      U.S. support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza fails pretty much all cost-benefit, legal, reputational and other tests of a Hegemon concerned with its own survival, consistent with Fernandez’s thesis, it seems to me. It is yet another sign that the U.S. system has now become ossified, decadent and dysfunctional. But what condition is needed for a power to display this characteristic?

      At least one requirement must be met: the U.S. must be so rich and powerful it no longer needs to concern itself with mere survival or even costs and benefits. We can afford to have our “decision algorithm” be the expediency of the moment. We are so rich and powerful we don’t need to bother with strategic planning. As a result, we just lurch from crisis to crisis. One manifestation of this is that there is no consistency in the reasons we invoke for dealing with one crisis to the next. In Ukraine we can invoke a “rule based order” and in Gaza we can look the other way when our ally commits genocide.

      Why has the U.S. developed such an ugly “decision algorithm”? I blame the system of balancing or “satisficing” influential donor or coalition groups during crises. During a crisis, one interest group (in this case, the pro-Israel lobby) can essentially dictate to every other group in the coalition because its needs are upper-most. This is political coalition crisis management.

      A Hegemon that thinks it has absolute power can, as a result, be absolutely hypocritical, corrupt, stupid, craven and mendacious in pursuing its ends, essentially without consequence.

      Israel’s adventure in Gaza may finally demonstrate to our leaders (and the electorate) that the U.S. no longer has this absolute wealth and power (I hope so as a “world citizen” and U.S. citizen). The U.S. might have enjoyed this glorious position for in a brief time shortly after the end of the USSR. We surely squandered that golden moment. We could have brought the world together by living up to our ideals.

      I believe the slide downhill to utter political decadence began with the election of GW Bush, Jr., or maybe even before that–with the election of Bill Clinton. We let absolute power corrupt us absolutely.

      Other countries had this period of decadence. The Roman empire and the British empire after WW I are examples. Germany in 1941 believed it reached this stage.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Gaza has become a moonscape in war. When the battles stop, many fear it will remain uninhabitable Politico

    Duh. Is there really anyone who doesn’t comprehend that this is the way israel has chosen to skin that Palestinian cat?

    Even the most rabid zionist must understand that the outright extermination of over 2 million people would be difficult to “defend” in the court of world public opinion. “Better” to let starvation, deprivation and disease do the murdering.

    But the specter of a cunning Hamas army, sheltering like rats in underground tunnels that can only be dealt with by pulverizing the vital infrastructure above, presents a far more “defensible” and “palatable” explanation of the strategy.

    And the result is the same–no more Palestine.

    1. Karl

      Isn’t Israel taking a big risk that 2 million Gazans flee in panic EAST into Israel proper? Once you start a panic, it’s hard to stop….

      Surely, this risk has been dealt with. First, I’m sure Israel has troops in place to steer any possible flood South into Egypt. This would provoke a crisis with Egypt, but maybe the U.S. has Israel’s back? Maybe, behind the scenes, the U.S. has already sweetened the pot (e.g. elimination of IMF debt) for Egypt to accept 2 million refugees into Sinai?

      Moving the displaced Palestinians to a new “reservation” in Egypt seems to me the obvious way out of this mess. Most of them were displaced from previous Nakbas, so what’s one more Nakba? The U.N. will up their daily ration and give them better tents and latrines.

      It will then be obvious that forcing Palestinians out of the West Bank into Jordan will be Phase II. This is what the Netanyahu vision of a “Single State Solution” all adds up to, inescapably (imho).

      If the far right in Israel is delusional dreaming this fantasy, is Blinken clearly waking them up from this dream? It seems not. Israel is proceeding to make Gaza a place to which there is no possibility of return.

      It’s hard to see how Biden survives this, however it goes. Maybe he’s counting on a major escalation stirring up another “war to end wars” patriotic hallucination. Will the electorate rally around a President whose campaign theme is “Israel and Hamas got us into war”?

      1. vao

        It will then be obvious that forcing Palestinians out of the West Bank into Jordan will be Phase II.

        Phase III: evict all remaining Palestinians from Jerusalem.

        Phase IV: if Phases I-III go well, “incite” all Palestinians in Israel proper to leave.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      A little more information about this discussion would be helpful. I like Cornel West but his inability to run a campaign leaves me skeptical about his ability to run a government, particularly the u.s. government.

  21. JTMcPhee

    Speaking of fruit not falling far from the tree, my namesake “Jonathan” was a character in the Imperial imagination going way back to before the war with England. Many of these national stereotypes were depicted in popular ballads and stage comedies before America had even achieved its independence; Yankee Doodle was among them. He was originally a British invention—a caricature of a naive, upstart American colonist who was created as a foil for John Bull: the imposing personification of England. Though he never completely faded out of existence, after the Revolutionary War Yankee Doodle was mostly assimilated into another stage character: Brother Jonathan.

    Brother Jonathan pulling skunks (caricatures of southern secessionists) out of the back pockets of John Bull.
    Brother Jonathan pulling skunks (caricatures of southern secessionists) out of the back pockets of John Bull. Library of Congress/LC-USZ62-133078
    Brother Jonathan was a rustic New Englander who was depicted at various times on stage as a peddler, a seaman, and a trader, but always as a sly and cunning figure. He began to show up in political cartoons in newspapers and magazines during the early part of the 19th century as new and cheaper printing methods developed. It was at this point that American cartoonists transformed Brother Jonathan from a figure of derision into one of patriotic pride An archetype of rude, deceitful bumpkin, not altogether unlike the self-described character of natives of the only democracy in the Mideast,

  22. Tom Stone

    There’s a question I’d like one of our fearless members of the Press ask the “New FDR”, they would need to lead up to it with a properly fawning tone.
    Something along the lines of “Mr President you have long expressed your admiration for the way Israel has dealt with the Palestinian issue, do you think we should treat our darkies the same way? “.
    Do recall that Joe is not young and that he was very close to both Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms, for them “Darkie” was an euphemism, a nicer way to say Ni…r while meaning the same thing, subhuman.
    His response would be amusing, and might even be an honest Yes.

  23. juno mas

    RE: Antidote

    The Blue Heron and the White Egret share the same habitat. So what is transpiring in the photo is the heron is “escorting” the egret to a more accommodating space within the habitat. (As Lambert may recall, Non, je ne regrette rien.)

  24. Wukchumni

    Sam Bankman-Fried has figured out mackerel is the currency of choice among inmates.

    He recently used it to pay for a haircut, a source told the Wall Street Journal.

    The Journal reported the food item had been a popular currency in prisons since 2004.

    This is great, a redemption story (young Sam’s capitalistic bent won’t be assuaged as he proves himself worthy of being a trader on the bourse floor) that morphs into Bankman-Fried while not being Jesus, he did turn fish into a haircut!

    1. Sardonia

      He’s probably well on his way to becoming the Milo Minderbinder of New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center

  25. Karl

    RE: The Candidates in Taiwan’s 3-Way Presidential Race

    An attempt to unify the opposition has failed (so far). Current polls show a pretty even 3-way split, such that the incumbent pro-U.S. party might just squeak to victory:

    A My Formosa poll … of 1,471 voters conducted Nov. 20-22 put Lai’s support rate [pro U.S.] at 31.5%, followed by Hou at 30.1%, and Ko at 26.7% [both of the latter favoring accomodation with Mainland China].

    n =1400 may mean all of these percentages aren’t indicative given the large margin of error. But it would seem that at least a clear majority are not interested in a status quo of heightened tensions with China.

    1. John k

      You would think Ukraine would focus minds, but it might depend on the animosity between the 2 pro-China camps.
      Certainly us money will try to put a heavy thumb on the scales… wonder if China fights fire with fire.

  26. Anon

    Perhaps my second contribution to Links, this written by Ash Milton, for Palladium Mag.

    ”You Won’t Survive As Human Capital”

    An intricate (casually academic?) view on the origins of society, its stagnation, and rejuvenation… with some vague but insightful tips on the latter. If you dig Aurelien’s pieces, you’ll love this.

  27. The Rev Kev

    Modern thinking at work. So at Bristol airport they built a prayer spot that was multi-faith in purpose. Bristol Airport said: ‘This week, we have opened a new multi-faith area in the free waiting zone. Located just off the Silver Zone roundabout, the new area provides customers with a private space to reflect and pray whilst waiting to collect friends, family or loved ones.’

    What they actually built was something that looked like a bus shelter-

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