Links 11/3/2023

Motorcyclist taken to hospital after tarantula crossing the road causes collision in California Sky News. To get to the chicken.

Top Fertilizer Maker Nutrien Warns Against ‘Artificial’ Market Constraints Bloomberg

Let’s End Bankruptcy Judge Shopping Credit Slips

‘The Hermès Game’: how the luxury house is defying the slowdown FT


When Idiot Savants Do Climate Economics The Intercept

Cover crops help the climate and environment, but most farmers say no. Many fear losing money AP

This might be the most beautiful place on earth. But only half of it is protected — for now The Narwhale


The long-term health outcomes, pathophysiological mechanisms and multidisciplinary management of long COVID Nature. From the Abstract: “Despite these crucial findings on long COVID, the current diagnostic and therapeutic strategies based on previous experience and pilot studies remain inadequate, and well-designed clinical trials should be prioritized to validate existing hypotheses.” Hey, remember when the NIH blew through a billion dollars doing exactly not this?


When Asset Bubbles Deflate: Will China Repeat the Japanese Experience? Nippon

China’s top spy agency takes swipe at ‘some countries’ trying to disrupt financial system South China Morning Post


‘Operation 1027′: A Turning-Point For Myanmar’s Resistance Struggle? The Diplomat

Seven Key Points About Myanmar Ethnic Alliance’s ‘Operation 1027′ The Irrawaddy


Israeli army says Gaza under total siege, rules out cease-fire Anadolu Agency

Israel-Hamas war: hard experience says a land war won’t go well – and faltering international support suggests the world knows it The Conversation

Tainted water and viruses put Gaza residents, especially kids, at further risk NBC. Commentary:

Thousands of Gazan workers sent back from Israel Arab News

The global consequences of the Israel-Hamas war are just beginning The Atlantic Council

* * *

‘Bibi’s finished’: Benjamin Netanyahu loses core support after Hamas assault on Israel FT

Why Israel Slept The Nation. Crime makes you stupid?

The Palestinian People Should Be Enraged at Both Israel and Hamas The New Republic

* * *

Israeli War on Gaza Sparks ‘Largest Mass Mobilization of Jews’ for Palestine in US History Common Dreams. Commentary:

Despite displays of unity, Israelis are divided over the war with Hamas France24

How the World Majority Sees the Consequences of the Crisis in the Middle East Valdai Discussion Club

* * *

Secret U.S. Military Presence In Yemen Adds a Twist to Houthi Attack On Israel The Intercept

First Details Of Hamas’ New Submarine Drone Weapon Naval News

A Plan for Peace in Gaza Foreign Affairs

European Disunion

Swiss village of Aarwangen in ding-dong over challenge to cowbells BBC

Hot on the heels of #ChatControl and in the name of ‘identity’ and ‘consumer choice’ the EU seeks the ability to undetectably spy on HTTPS communication DropSafe. Not an EU maven nor an Internet specifications maven. Readers?

Dear Old Blighty

Britain is itching to get back into lockdown The Telegraph. The deck: “Storms, strikes, colds, heatwaves all seem to be an excuse for the country to stay home. We urgently need to shake this pandemic psyche.” Wowsers.

Britain’s unreliable labour market data FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s commander-in-chief on the breakthrough he needs to beat Russia The Economist. The deck: “General Valery Zaluzhny admits the war is at a stalemate.”

The Black Sea and the Changing Face of Naval Warfare RAND

What exactly is Zelensky’s ‘Forum of Defense Industries’? Responsible Statecraft

The Last Effort: Germany’s Final Battle in the West Big Serge Thought. A fine explanation of Clausewitz’s twin concepts of friction and culmination. Well worth a read.

Biden Administration

Biden Wants Arms Deals With Israel to Be Done in Complete Secrecy Truthout. Odd. I wonder why? It would be irresponsible not to speculate: Nukes?

Biden weighs border deal — altering asylum law for Ukraine aid Politico

US House approves $14.5 billion in assistance for Israel, with no humanitarian aid included for Gaza Associated Press

Biden officials voice new concerns and warnings over Israel’s war with Hamas NBC

Digital Watch

Biden admin’s AI Safety Institute not ‘sufficient’ to deal with risks, must check user ‘procedures’: expert FOX. “[Phil Siegel, founder of the Center for Advanced Preparedness and Threat Response Simulation (CAPTRS)] compared the White House approach to that of an airline checking a plan for ‘safety’ but not checking maintenance procedures, the pilots’ training or crews.” Programmers just hate documentation — like maintenance procedure documentation — so no wonder Silicon Valley erased that requirement.

Google Billionaire Eric Schmidt’s Latest Venture: AI Lab Assistants The Messenger

The Bezzle

Sam Bankman-Fried: guilty on all charges Molly White

Bankman-Fried’s Conviction Stirs Both Hope and Condemnation for Crypto Bloomberg

Amazon designed its algorithm at Jeff Bezos’s urging to be something it wanted to show you, not the cheapest and best product, government claims Fortune. A phishing equilibrium.


Big thumbs up, here:

On This Day In History

On this day in history, November 3, 1956, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ debuts on TV, elevates film to American classic FOX

Birthday boy (1):

Birthday boy (2):

A Forgotten Vault Where Michelangelo Hid and Sketched For Months Opens for the First Time Colossal

Zietgeist Watch

The Deep Coding Of Genocide In The Western Brain indica. Musical interlude. One of the illustrations:

Guillotine Watch

Silicon Valley is the Church of Moore’s Law Crooked Timber. “The digerati have been propping up the corpse of Moore’s Law, Weekend at Bernie’s-style, for years now.” So no wonder all the fraud.

Class Warfare

The Economy Is Great. Why Are Americans in Such a Rotten Mood? WSJ. Could this be it:

UAW gears up to organize at Toyota, other nonunion automakers Reuters

Violent Bangladesh garment protests shut hundreds of factories Channel News Asia

The AFL-CIO Squashed a Council’s Cease-Fire Resolution. What Does It Say About Labor Right Now? In These Times

Flight attendants who blamed uniforms for their health issues win a lawsuit against clothing company AP

Eastern Gray Squirrels – Coloring Outside of the Lines Fossils and Other Living Things

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. furnace

    Nasrallah is set to make a speech in a couple of hours. I’ve been seeing rumors of massive concentration of forces in Syria and Lebanon close to the Israeli border, but who knows. Looks like deescalation is firmly and definitively off the table.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that that double attack on that refuge camp was on purpose in order to make Nasrallah commit to a military course of action. Why would Israel do that? Because for decades now they have been pushing the US into attacking Iran on their behalf as they can’t do it themselves so this may be a way of doing it – by escalating this war into a regional war.

      1. furnace

        Then they are fools if they have done so. Before 2022 maybe, maybe, they could have had a chance. Now? Now the US is barely capable of defending its bases, much less attacking a country as strong as Iran. As a wise commenter said, it took a year of preparation to do the Iraq Invasion in 2003, and that was with the “consent” of all parties in the region. The US is depleted, running on fumes, without political leadership, lurching from crisis to crisis just trying to stay afloat. If things do follow that course, I’m afraid that Baidu did update its maps properly, because there will cease to be the country of Israel.

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘there will cease to be the country of Israel’

          It might be worse for Israel. They might be forced to negotiate! :)

          Something I was thinking about earlier. Where is the ICC? I have heard nothing about them. They went gung-ho and slapped Putin with an arrest warrant for the crime of getting kids out of a war zone so why have they not sent a team into Israel to investigate Hamas like the team that they sent into the Ukraine to investigate Russia? Don’t suppose that any team there might find itself also having to investigate the IDF by any chance.

          1. Victor Sciamarelli

            There is already an ICC investigation in progress which began in 2019 and looks back as far as 2014 for potential crimes.
            Why as late as 2019 did it begin? Because there were issues of jurisdiction and other legal complications. Why 2014? Before 2014, Palestine had “non-member observer status” at the UN and Israel argued Palestine was not a state, thus, the ICC lacked jurisdiction. However, in 2014, Palestine was now recognized as a “state” by the ICC.
            IMO, this means the ICC is investigating both Israelis and Palestinians.

            1. Carolinian

              So four years and counting (assuming your complications explanation is correct) versus a practically instant indictment of Putin on a trumped up charge of kidnapping children. Maybe we need an ICC for the ICC. But then ICC selective prosecution is the new vogue among the lawfare crowd.

              Of course many people who agree with me say that international law must save us from all the late blooming fascism to which the long investigated targets reply “how many divisions does the Pope have?”

              My own country is the one that should be investigated first and it has been in the past with little effect because the US never signed onto the ICC. We’re the Hegemon after all.

          2. JTMcPhee

            When the Israel ites “negotiate,” it’s always in bad faith. Netanyahu said bluntly that he would interpret the Oslo Accords out of existence. The “peace process” has always been a deception. The “pauses” in settler colonial displacement were BS.

            Likud has taught the US everything it knows about how not to be “agreement-capable.” Since YHWH is on their side, there are no restraints or limitations, and the story they tell of themselves in the Torah is one of malevolence, displacement, murder, deception and corruption.

            But their YHWH conveniently forgives and encourages all this. See Netanyahu on the text of Samuel.

            And of course they have hundreds of nukes with which to backstop and enforce their impunity.

            The Zionist sense of mission and entitlement is vast and tenacious. Don’t look for a negotiated resolution that will stick. It would just be a matter of “reculer pour mieux sauter.”

            1. Carolinian

              Meanwhile in reality there’s the rest of the world to consider and a tiny nation with few resources can’t thumb its nose at everyone. The population who consider their land birthed by the Holocaust need to amend their own slogan: “first they came for the Palestinians, and I said nothing.”

              People like Netanyahu are about power, not religion. And as we saw with Rabin the Israeli right is more than willing to kill their own. A few months ago talk of civil war was in the air.

            2. Adam Eran

              I’ve said it before, don’t drag YHWH into this:

              In Israel all property belonged to the Lord, as Leviticus 25:23 (NIV, 1984) made clear: “the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.”

            3. SG

              I think your prejudices are showing, JT. I’m expecting your next post to trot out the old canard that the Kol Nidre prayer means that Jews can’t be trusted to keep their agreements (rather akin to the old anti-Catholic slur about confession and absolution).

              So let me ask you something. Has Israel substantively violated its agreements with Egypt or Jordan? Has it seized the Temple Mount from the Jordanian Waqf (in spite of the desire of the religious Right to do so)? If Israel’s not “agreement capable”, why would that be?

              The story we tell of ourselves in the Torah isn’t any different from the stories any other Bronze Age or Iron Age people told about themselves. Read the Iliad: Achilles was a psychopath. Read the Ulster Cycle: so was Cuchulainn. And let’s not forget Rome: from the Rape of the Sabine Women to the conquest of Gaul, Britain, Africa, and Judea, it’s a centuries-long tale of slaughter. The whole history of Europe is a bloody tale of war and fratricide. We are not our ancestors.

              Yeah, Bibi’s a thug and a criminal. His expansion of the “settlements” is a clear violation of international law. He and his government have failed to prosecute violence against Arabs (and Israeli leftists) by right wing goon squads. And I think whoever suggested or authorized bombing a refugee camp full of innocent civilians to kill a couple of bad actors should be vigorously prosecuted by the ICC. They can tack that onto Bibi’s sentence when he’s finally called to account. So should anyone involved in the plot to massacre over a thousand civilians (HY”D), including a group of Bedouin who were in the wrong place at the wrong time as well as Thai guest workers who were hacked to death or kidnapped. That assumes the perpetrators survive the next few weeks (which I sincerely doubt).

              But the whole reason he managed to (barely) get elected in 2022 was the frustration of some of the Israeli electorate with Hamas’s continued attacks on Israel in violation of the 2019 ceasefire – violations that culminated in the massacres of Oct. 7. If anyone’s “agreement incapable” here, it’s Hamas. Article 13 of their charter explicitly states that negotiation is “a waste of time”. When they tell you who they are, believe them.

              1. Yves Smith

                You are seriously invoking the Temple Mount as a defense? This is complete bad faith.


                And with the flagrant violations of international law and war crimes in Gaza, depicting Israel as law abiding is laughable.

                There were also media reports (like a lead story in the FT) in the US after the Biden visit that Israel had agreed to allow humanitarian relief into Gaza. As soon as Biden left, there was more shelling of the road at Rafah, requiring repairs before and aid could be let in. And only 10-20 out of 100 waiting trucks were let in. This is also not agreement capable.

                You are in moderation for past offenses. This attack on a reader is yet another. One more like this and you will be blacklisted.

            4. Kouros

              YHWH also punished them a couple of times…

              Maybe some wondreing years through the desert are appropriate now!?

            5. ACPAL

              “And of course they have hundreds of nukes with which to backstop and enforce their impunity.”

              Of course this means that all the other Middle East nations must now be reconsidering whether they need nukes of their own, especially Iran.

        2. GC54

          Quick sacrifice of sailors followed by nuke response. Easy peasy queasy for bunker equipped DC/Tel Aviv sociopaths. They’ll cross the nuclear threshold by dialing down the yield then never look back.

        3. Oh

          The US likes to get into wars it cannot win because all the PTB (the elite 1%) want is to enrich themselves further by defense spending.

      2. Feral Finster

        Why would Israel do that?

        Because they want to. The goal is ethnic cleansing, and failing that, genocide.

        1. SG

          Then why didn’t Israel “ethnically cleanse” the Arabs from Jerusalem in 1967, as the Jordanians did to the Jewish community in Old City in 1948? They certainly could have. Why did they not ban Muslims from the Temple Mount, the way the Jordanians banned Jews from access to the Wall for 19 years? Why did they leave the Jordanian Waqf in charge of the complex instead of taking total control of it as the Jordanians did?

          The original partition agreement called for the establishment of a Palestinian state and for Jerusalem to be a UN-administered international city. The Jews accepted that (in spite of nearly two millennia of saying “next year in Jerusalem”, I might add). The surrounding Arab states did not, and Jordan seized both the land allocated for a Palestinian state and the “international city” of Jerusalem when they invaded. In the process, they expelled the three millennia-old Jewish community from the Old City.


          The number of Palestinians has quadrupled since 1967. If this is a “genocide”, it’s certainly a most peculiar one.

    2. Louis Fyne

      …I’ve been seeing rumors of massive concentration of forces in Syria and Lebanon….

      yesterday, Kirby literally said nothing new was happening in south Lebanon when askes about Hezbollah

      Not saying that you are off-base as zero reason to think that Hez. is playing by US intel satellite-SIGINT rules.

      Will be interested to see who is right if Nasrallah issues an ultimatum and Israel does not comply

      1. Feral Finster

        Kirby knows that Hezbullah doesn’t want to get involved.

        The speech basically confirms this. It’s the equivalent of “thoughts and prayers”.

    3. The Rev Kev

      There has been talk of this being a year long war to which I say whatever. But I wonder if anybody has been keeping track of how much this is all costing the Israeli economy. Is the purpose of that $18 billion that Congress will send to them is to actually plug the bleeding financial holes that they have? At least two ratings agencies have put Israel into ‘negative ‘territory’ and anyway, just how long can the Israelis keep those workers in the army instead of their regular jobs? It may be that when this war is over, that a lot of Israelis will pull up stakes and go to other countries to live as the future for Israel is too dodgy, especially if it is Netanyahu and the ultra-Orthodox that want to entirely run the country. And considering the fact that these are the people that serve in the military, pay the taxes and fill the administrative jobs in Israel, the effect may be out of proportion to their numbers.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Well, Israel mobilized somewhere between 300,000 and 400,000 citizens. Then they evacuated 170,000 or so. And a lot of people left. Now they are kicking the Palestinian workers back to the bantustans.

        All in all, Israel’s economy has been missing 764,000 people for a month now. That’s 18% of the workforce.

      2. Feral Finster

        ” At least two ratings agencies have put Israel into ‘negative ‘territory’ and anyway, just how long can the Israelis keep those workers in the army instead of their regular jobs?”

        As long as the US can print money. See, e.g., Ukraine, which has no real economy other than cashing American checks and distributing western largesse.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Flight attendants who blamed uniforms for their health issues win a lawsuit against clothing company”

    Just trying to do some out of the box thinking here, but could they not make flight attendant’s uniforms out of stuff like wool and cotton and maybe even silk instead? And then as a bonus, maybe not use the chemicals that they use to preserve dead people as well? They could mine a lot of past uniforms patterns to come up with something that would be both smart and comfortable-

    Pretty sure that it was not American Airlines that had this problem alone but that there was at least one other major airline that had the same problem.

    1. LaRuse

      As a knitter and natural fiber enthusiast in general, I often think about the reasons why the world refuses to shift back to cotton, wool, linen, and hemp fiber for the majority of general garment production. It’s all labor intensive but could create meaningful jobs and reduce the impact of our plastic clothing, never mind how much better it would be for most of us for health reasons. There are so many benefits to natural fibers that plastic fibers for daily wear only make sense in our bass-akwards capitalist world.

        1. LaRuse

          Precisely. There are certainly valuable uses for man-made fibers. My first thought was hospital scrubs. You want something that can wear forever with heavy duty washing. I admit I love my technical running gear (100% plastic) and I wash that stuff with care to make it last for years. But for our daily shirts, slacks, t-shirts, pullovers, etc.? Yes. Death to fast fashion (and capitalism for that matter since I am making my wish list). :-)

          1. Vicky Cookies

            I recall reading about a Chinese song being pushed during the cultural revolution about a family-made jacket, how important it was to the singer, and how well it would be taken care of out of gratitude for the work which went into it.

            Which values do our corporate music industry promote?

            1. Randy

              Was it this one?

              Dolly Parton – Coat Of Many Colors

              I could provide a link but this comment would never, ever show up if I did.

    2. earthling

      I’m all for blends heavy on the cotton and linen, but, people who live on the run out of suitcases do not need things that need ironing and dry cleaning.

      I understand manufacturers get a huge cost shock whenever there is a really bad cotton crop which creates a shortage, so they think they can keep costs more even by using synthetics. As if the price of petroleum stays static.

    3. Jabura Basaidai

      over 50 years ago i stopped wearing synthetic fabrics and my skin stopped rashing up – and there is a comfort level superior to synthetics which for the most part do not breathe – then yesterday The Guardian ran an article about PFAS in gym/workout clothes – there is no getting away from PFAS in out winter coats unless going to wool, perhaps a good peacoat? – and raincoats definitely have PFAS unless you go to waxed cloth which requires maintenance – but in other clothing, especially those touching your skin for your health, imho, only natural fabrics should touch your skin – the use of PFAS in ladies’ personal garments has been revealed too –

      and because i love trees – something extra
      pretty cool flick when you have time – 30 min – about trees
      and just for whenever to have the link

    4. SG

      One has to question the wisdom of clothing flight attendants in highly flammable synthetics that release toxic fumes when burning, when their primary responsibility is passenger safety in an emergency.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not that many years ago the US Navy issued new standard uniforms which in a fire, would have melted to the skins of those sailors. Because that was not enough, those uniforms were camouflaged so that if sailors fell into the sea, they could not be seen.

  3. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: “Sam Bankman-Fried: guilty on all charges

    Rather a lot of entries on the ‘Now do…’ list, but could we start with the parents?

    1. Carolinian

      I’d throw in Larry David and the other celebrity endorsers for some hurt. And of course there’s a certain political party that was once tight with SBF.

      1. Wukchumni

        Watched the World Series and a nice contest-congrats to the Rangers…

        MLB umpires wore 2 FTX badges (but only 1 with the MLB logo) on their uniforms for a couple years, but luckily the kerfuffle and the S B-F shuffle happened in the off-season, so it was as if the league had nothing to do with it-as in…

        ‘FTX badges, we don’t need no steeeenkin’ FTX badges!’

        …wonder how much they got in compensation, umpires never let themselves get bought off cheap when calling a game

        1. Wukchumni

          No amount was given, but it looks to be that MLB got around $200 million from FTX

          FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried commented on the news, “It’s an honor for FTX to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to be associated with the history and tradition of America’s national pastime. FTX.COM and FTX.US are excited to enter this first-of-its-kind partnership with Major League Baseball. At FTX, we strive each day to make a positive global impact, and there is no better partner for us to achieve this goal with than with MLB and its international fan base. We look forward to announcing further details of our long[1]term partnership throughout the remainder of this year

          MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden stated, “This is an incredibly exciting announcement for everyone in Major League Baseball as we partner with a global leader in the early stages of their unbelievable growth. FTX quickly cultivated itself into a worldwide leader in the ever-evolving cryptocurrency industry and continues to build on its already impressive reputation. Our fans have been early adopters in using new technologies to engage with our game. We cannot wait to start collaborating with Sam and the entire FTX team.”

          1. ThirtyOne

            The crooked E

            What happened with Enron stadium?
            Minute Maid Park – Wikipedia
            The institution remains in existence today. The ballpark was named “Enron Field” after a $100 million, 30-year naming rights deal was made with Enron on April 7, 1999. After the Enron scandal of 2001, the Astros and the now-bankrupt Enron came to an agreement to end the deal and rename the stadium in February 2002.

        2. Carolinian

          Well I’d say any team with a swimming pool in their stadium deserves to win the WS and any team partly owned by George W. Bush deserves….??

          Admittedly this is not a very baseball savvy view.

          And yes all over America people are saying “Sam who? Never met the guy.”

      2. Benny Profane

        Cant hold it too much against “celebrity endorsers”, especially Larry, of all people, who you always have to view as the puppet master of George. And his Super Bowl commercial was the best. Thing is, man, did he really need that money? The residual checks are still flowing. He was probably seduced by the creatives.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      That’s one of the most amazing pieces of combat footage I’ve ever seen. I’m always a little skeptical of any footage from any side with signs of edits – there are a few possible ones in there, but I’ve not seen anyone question its authenticity (although the very last few seconds seem to be an ‘add-on’). There are of course lots of accounts from WWII of soldiers taking out tanks in that style, but to see it actually done in real time…

      It does seem that the Israeli’s are taking very significant casualties, including senior officers. Its noticeable from this and other footage that they are struggling to get infantry out on foot, and you’ll always lose vehicles in this way if you don’t have infantry in the open to provide cover. They may also struggle to recover damaged vehicles if they can’t get enough manpower out there. The Israeli army may meet its sustainability limits quicker than anyone anticipated.

      1. Carolinian

        I read a book about a British tank outfit after D-Day and one thing they feared most was some Hitler Youth with a Panzerfaust. These were quite effective but you had to get suicidally close to use it.

        This is why the military analysts like Big Serge say that armor needs infantry as part of their attack.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Nearly every army coming up to WWII had some sort of hare brained scheme about how their infantry would kill tanks. The Finns I believe were the first to show it was practical in the Winter War for infantry to gang up on isolated tanks to kill them with simple weaponry.

          Early on, it was often a simple matter of using a molotov cocktail on the engine compartment – particularly effective as air cooled engines required a lot of vents. But over time tanks were improved to prevent the more obvious weaknesses. But right through the war there were lots of crazy inventions, but most made life harder for the ‘home’ side. The British tried sticky bombs (grenades designed to stick to the tank surface), but allegedly they often stuck to the unfortunate thrower. The Soviets trained dogs to carry mines to tanks, but allegedly, these dogs were trained on diesel fueled T-34’s instead of gasoline Panzers, and so only went under the wrong tanks. The Japanese also invented a few solutions that turned out to be far more dangerous to their own soldiers than US tanks.

          1. Revenant

            You just uncovered a cognitive hole, PK!

            I never think of (excuse the unPC language for rhythm) Japs in tanks. Never seen a war film with a Japanese tank. Logically there must be some but in the WW2 film in my head, it is all airforce and navy vessels (and I’ve dived some in the Solomons) and the infantry in tropical uniforms. A thalassocracy at war overseas, like Britain with its naval convoys and the Battle of Britain and paratroops and special forces etc etc but never massed tanks or great armies on the move.

            I imagine the great armies roamed China in tanks….

    2. The Rev Kev

      It has not escaped my notice that nearly all the fighting has taken place in mostly open country but now the Israeli army says that they have surrounded Gaza city. So unless they are going to do siege warfare, the next step is to actually go into those ruins and take it block by block. That is when the real fun begins.

      1. SG

        With enough firepower, they could just completely level the place and then pave it over (sealing the Hamas forces in the tunnels and cutting off their ventilation). It worked for Assad in Hama in 1982. Gaza City is larger, but Israel has more firepower than Syria did in 1982. I hope this isn’t the plan, for the sake of the civilians who haven’t evacuated.

  4. griffen

    Google former executive Eric Schmidt is working on a real life plan as illustrated in the film “Ex Machina”. Hey make your lab assistant as nearly human as possible, I mean really go for broke. Nothing could go wrong after all. \sarc

    Elsewhere, the jury concluded quite quickly that Bankman-Fried deserves a gazillion years in jail and likely SBF gets the Hannibal Lecter isolated treatment sans protective mask. Far as we know there are no tendencies indicating cannibalism, just a devotion to a vegan lifestyle. Maybe there is a Dr. Chiton in residence that can poke at Sam’s brain as it were.

      1. Alice X

        First I was going to say that: wouldn’t robbing fat cats have some appeal in the hotel?

        But you were so nuanced it went over my head, bitcoin IS a convenient way to commit robbery. Well, until it isn’t.

        har-de-har :-)

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      As noted on The Automatic Earth this morning, sbf was biden’s second biggest campaign “contributor.”

      Criminal birds of a frickin’ feather…

      I can’t help but wonder if sbf didn’t expect a little more protection, ala hunter b., from the basement dweller he helped “elect,” who now bosses the “justice” department. No “good deed” and all that.

      1. Alice X

        They dropped the campaign finance charges IIRC. Funny that.

        It’s a big club and we ain’t in it.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          According to cnbc this a.m., prosecution on the campaign finance charges is supposed to come “later,” if the “justice” department decides it is “worth” expending all those taxpayer funds on the matter. Respect for taxpayer funds is, apparently, a long standing “justice” department concern.

          jeezus h. christ. Let’s all try to guess what merrick garland’s decision will be.

          Still, to the extent that sbf stays on his meds and remembers what happened, he could have a few bargaining chips in a 2nd Trump administration. And biden will have to find that campaign cash somewhere else. Some kickbacks from israel and ukraine maybe? biden seems pretty determined to get them the cash…

          1. Cassandra

            Let’s all try to guess what merrick garland’s decision will be.

            Oh, oh, oh! I know this one! “No reasonable prosecutor…”

            1. Pat

              Yeah. Sort of like a “reasonable” AG would of course ignore all legal requirements in designating a special prosecutor.
              I swear the utter perfidy of most of our political class, especially top Democrats, is asking Garland to tap dance like Savion Glover to protect them. Unfortunately he is more a Young Frankenstein Peter Boyle tap dancer, just less entertaining.

          2. Alice X

            I’m not sure why I thought they were dismissed, except that it was an area of legerdemain that the DoJ did not want to get into. Inconvenient what might be dredged up in defense.

            Maybe the point was to get sbf on the easier charges, but which carried stiff penalties.

        2. Mikel

          Toward the end:
          “…In addition to the criminal counts in this trial, Bankman-Fried faces another set of charges related to allegedly illegal campaign contributions.

          Those campaign finance charges are currently the subject of a complicated dispute related to the extradition treaty between the US and the Bahamas, where FTX and Alameda were based and where Bankman-Fried was arrested. A second trial, on those charges, is scheduled for March 2024…”

    2. Mikel

      “Elsewhere, the jury concluded quite quickly that Bankman-Fried deserves a gazillion years in jail…”

      I think this is the crypto jail sentence that currently holds the record:
      “…Faruk Fatih Ozer, who ran collapsed Turkish crypto exchange Thodex until it imploded in 2021, was sentenced to 11,196 years in prison by a Turkish court earlier this year. His charges included aggravated fraud, leading a criminal organization and money-laundering. Ozer, a high-school dropout who founded Thodex in 2017, fled to Albania after the exchange went bust, and was extradited back to Turkey.”

      from: SBF Tops a Long List of Crypto Hot Shots Facing Legal Reckoning – Bloomberg

      Several former digital-asset moguls have ended up in jail
      Some are awaiting trial after being charged with fraud

      1. SG

        Someone obviously should have watched Midnight Express before deciding to embark on a career of fraud in Türkiye.

        1. anahuna

          The Turks point out that the film was made with Greek actors during the crisis over Cyprus and was intended as anti-Turkish propaganda.

          Never having been in a Turkish jail. I can’t testify about conditions. Nazim Hikmet, though, wrote a book about his long years in them.

  5. Alice X

    It seems to me that someone said something about this quite a while back…

    Jessica Corbett @Common Dreams

    ‘MAGA Mike Johnson’ Wants Commission to Cut Social Security Formed ‘Immediately’

    …NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reported on social media that Johnson “says he pitched a debt commission to Senate Republicans yesterday and ‘the idea was met with great enthusiasm.’ He says it will be bipartisan and bicameral. He says he wants ‘very thoughtful people’ in both parties to lead it. He wants this ‘immediately.'”

    In response to Johnson’s remarks—which echoed his first speech as speaker—the Alliance for Retired Americans wrote, “Translation: They’re eager to begin gutting Social Security behind closed doors.”

    This is the same Mike Johnson that Glenn Greenwald had on and had nice words to say about.

    Oh, and his fourteen billion for Israel takes the money from the IRS, never let a good crisis go to waste. The fat cats never sleep.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If Congress thought that January 6th was a big deal, wait until some 50 million retired workers receiving Social Security turn up in Washington to hammer on their doors and start baying for their blood. And guess what? Nearly every single one of them is a voter whether they do so or not. Add in the number of people who are about to receive their first Social Security, they could end up having the numbers to blockade Washington DC itself. Drones buzzing DC’s three airports forcing the to close down, train services cut, highways blockaded-

      Sure they could send in the cops to beat them up to teach them to be civil but you know what? A lot of those cops would be approaching retirement age as well and would be thinking about whose side they should be on. You know what? If Mike Johnson was alive some two thousand years ago, he would be the one walking by that Samaritan and stopping just long enough to put the boot in a coupla times.

      1. Objective Ace

        If they’re smart they’ll defund it in the future. Currently retired (or even those 10 years out) get full benefits. It’s only after that that payouts gradually get reduced to nothing.

      2. Mark Gisleson

        Well…the interesting thing here is that Johnson did NOT think 1/6 was a big deal.

        He’ll do bad things but so far all he’s done is put aid to Israel on hold whle aid to Ukraine goes [family blog] itself.

        Do not think you understand what Johnson is saying on any given issue. He will agree certain kinds of funding to death while disagreeing bills through passage. Remember the first thing he said was $$$ for Israel AND Ukraine. Then he split that into two things one of which is not being talked about and the other of which is not what they thought it would be (offsets?!).

        An interesting man who should be watched closely, maybe with the sound off ; )

    2. Carolinian

      Didn’t Bill Clinton want the same thing? Wanting and getting are different.

      Trump has supposedly said hands off SS. He’s a bigger factor than this new speaker with a tiny majority.

      1. Alice X

        >Didn’t Bill Clinton want the same thing?

        Yeah, but along came Monica…

        And statusquObama had his Grand Bargain.

    3. Wukchumni

      Me: ‘I’m here to start claiming on the annuity I was forced to contribute to over the course of my working life…’

      SS: ‘Oh, we took your share and gave it to the brave freedom fighters of Israel, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman et al… you know you have the right to remain silent regarding Israel, are we clear on this!?’

    4. NYMutza

      Social Security is deeply flawed and needs to be scrapped, or reformed at the very least. It is a Ponzi scheme at its very heart. The system, in order to main solvency, needs each generation to be larger than the previous generations. This is a recipe for disaster in a world where human populations need to decline, not grow incessantly. Funding Social Security out of paychecks is a bad idea. It may have made some sense many decades ago, but it makes little sense now. For today’s young workers, they will be better off keeping their and their employers portion of FICA that funds Social Security and managing that money on their own.

      1. Lexx

        Are there any major employers that will allow workers to ‘opt out’ of paying into Social Security? I thought it was one of the conditions of employment.

          1. juno mas

            Yes, that’s correct. But there is federal legislation that says if you opt out of paying into SS while a State employee, any payments into SS from other jobs (private sector) will be ignored. So, unless ALL of your work was in state employment, your retirement SS check will be drastically reduced. BTDT.

      2. cgregory

        SS does not require that each generation be larger; it only needs to remove the $160,000 cap on the earnings it taxes.

        America has at least 6 million millionaires It might have as many as 11 million) and 748 billionaires. In terms of average household income, those income earners represent another 80 million households for the millionaires and ten million for the billionaires; a total of 10,080,000 untaxed SS wage earning households. This is the “larger generation” that is missing.

        However, given that extreme wealth warps the mentality of the wealthy, they fund the propaganda that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          thank you for your comment cg – i started to write one also along the same line but started off with an irrational angry response to NYM’s first sentence and had to ditch it cuz it would have been modRated out of existence and cool down – considering who buys our politicians it’s no wonder that cap has not been lifted –

        2. scott s.

          Sure you can remove the cap. Then it’s no longer an insurance trust fund, it’s just another income tax to provide transfer payments.

            1. ambrit

              Agreed. All taxes are basically social engineering tools. Removing the “cap” on income taxed for Social Security would just be supporting the “ordinary” citizens through income redistributions. As the Seven Sages say; how many yachts does one person need?

        3. NYMutza

          Your reasoning is flawed for the simple reason that removing the cap on SS contributions makes all such contributions taxes like any other taxes. If that were to be the case Congress could decide to use such additional taxes for anything they choose – such as funding more wars, funding more boondoggles, funding more bailouts. It is unlikely Congress would choose to provide additional retirement benefits to workers.

          1. Alice X

            SS is a pay as you go system. Money that comes in today goes out today for benefits. When there is excess it goes into the trust fund. It cannot go anywhere else unless there were a rewrite of the law and that would be very unpopular.

            And yes there is support for increasing benefits.

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        “managing that money on their own”

        I’ll leave it up to others to refute the other issues in your comment, but that “managing that money on their own” made me chuckle. So what are your recommendations. Hand it over to the stockbrokers? I’m sure they’ll do well with it–for themselves. Maybe become adept at Fanduel parlays? How about Powerball?

        It’s just like people who want to replace public education. There’s a whole lot of money collected, and somebody wants to get their hands on it.

        1. NYMutza

          Approximately 12% (including employer’s contribution) of a working person’s gross pay is deducted and sent to the government, ostensibly to fund Social Security payments to retirees. At that point the worker loses control of that money, and so must rely on the full faith and credit of the government to provide retirement benefits in the future. Do you trust the government in this regard? Contrast that to a person retaining control of that same money. They can invest in whatever they choose – gold, bitcoin, SPX, and so on. Of course, their investments can go sour in which case they may lose everything. Even in the worst case they won’t necessarily be worse off than they would be had they entrusted their money to the government because the government can simply refuse to provide retirement benefits. And it would have a Supreme Court ruling to backup its decision. As things stand now Social Security beneficiaries must constantly worry about the government either reducing their benefits or even eliminating them entirely. What kind of “golden years” is this?

      4. mcsnoot

        Why is solvency important? The Military budget isn’t “solvent” and nobody seems to have a problem with that.

      5. vao

        The system, in order to main solvency, needs each generation to be larger than the previous generations.

        No, the system requires each generation to be more productive that the previous ones — which has always been the case so far.

        Of course, by continuing to offshore all economic activities where the largest real productivity gains are achieved, i.e. industry, and keeping those where productivity stagnates or is even impossible to improve, i.e. many service occupations, then the system might become unsustainable at some point.

        1. ACPAL

          The government’s rigged system for calculating inflation guarantees that SS payments don’t keep up with income/tax inflation. For example, the government claims current inflation is only about 3% so my retirement check goes up about 2.8% while the average pay goes up 7% and the tax on that goes up even more (just guessing at the actual numbers). So the money going into SS per capita is going up faster than it’s going out. Ask anyone on SS if their annual cost of living adjustments (COLAs) are keeping up with inflation. If retirees lived long enough they’d get nothing.

      6. SG

        they will be better off keeping their and their employers portion of FICA that funds Social Security and managing that money on their own.

        The statistics on mean and median 401k balances by age would suggest otherwise:

        Most people are pretty bad with money, and most defined-contribution plans are opaque and difficult for non-professionals to understand. This is by design.

        Apply the 4% rule to Vanguard’s figure of $87,725 for the median 65+ 401k balance and you end up with the princely sum of $3,509/year. I’m not sure that will even buy catfood.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Biden Wants Arms Deals With Israel to Be Done in Complete Secrecy” Truthout.

    ‘Odd. I wonder why? It would be irresponsible not to speculate: Nukes?’

    If it is nukes, then I bet that it is nukes for their Dolphin-class submarines. Israeli subs sailing the oceans of the world armed with nukes. What could possibly go wrong?

    It’s all hush-hush though. They won’t even let Israelis serve aboard those boats if they have more than their own citizenship.

    1. FreeMarketApologist

      Re: “Odd. I wonder why?

      It’s not the nukes, though they make a nice bogeyman to distract attention. It’s because if the general population really understood how much money was involved, and the dubious places/people it is destined for, no incumbent would win re-election.

    2. caucus99percenter

      Neutron bomb? Nerve gas? Some biological agent that spreads and kills quickly, when you don’t have access to clean water?

      Many years ago, Mark Alan Stamaty’s Washingtoon comic strip imagined an AI-controlled missile system that sought out and struck human targets based on the language and dialect it detected them speaking.

      1. Revenant

        Yes, not nukes. Maybe the nerve gas that Israel publicly threatened to use in the tunnels (just teasing, I will believe this when I see it, just psy-ops on Hamas).

        I think it is something embarrassing.

        Is the aid for Israel:
        – buying something that Israel dare not admit from a position of weakness, not strength, like more decoy rockets for the Wizard of Oz Iron Dome?
        – buying something for Ukraine from Israel, more techno goodies for Zaluzhny?
        – buying something for USA? Technology? People (e.g. ransoming hostages)? Some upgrade for the covert US bases in Israel? A new proxy op against Iran?
        – all of the above, I.e. buy Zelensky’s airlift to Caesarea for retirement

        My most delicious thought is that the aid for Israel will include the payment to Iran that Biden is stalling on in public. In return, Iran will keep Hizbollah on a medium length leash until Bibi mows the last (stars and) stripes into the grass.

  7. Wukchumni

    Motorcyclist taken to hospital after tarantula crossing the road causes collision in California Sky News. To get to the chicken.

    Its tarantula time here, and back when California quail were plentiful, sometimes you’d encounter both on a drive, and if you see them, tarantulas are easy to avoid-just blow right over the top of them, must be an E-ticket ride for the furry ones, that experience.

    Quail have this weird suicidal tendency of running right at your wheels in a few locations here where you slow down on a few curves, only to pull back at the last instance, playing chicken as it were.

    1. Laughingsong

      Used to see both a lot when I was a kid, even in the Bay Area. Wasn’t so fond of the tarantulas (they seem even bigger when you’re 4 years old!), but the quail families running in a line across the back yard, with the dad sitting on the fence doing sentry duty, was one of my favorite things to catch.

      1. Wukchumni

        We have Tarantula Hawks here, and on a few occasions i’ve seen them dragging off a zombie tarantula a few times its size.

        2nd most painful sting of all insects is the claim, not eager to find out.

        1. Laughingsong

          Yeah, they’re usually pretty laid back really, but their sting is actually multiple, they have stinging hairs that they fling, and it tends to raise a rash. They don’t bite often though.

          Would see them hiking or at swimming holes in places like Yosemite, or even up Sawyer Camp Rd. By the reservoir in the Bay Area. Rather see them than the rattlers.

          Of course, it’s the rattler you DON’T see that’s the problem……

          1. Wukchumni

            Due to their black & orange-ish body, I always associate them with Halloween~

            Last month I was driving to a historical spot in Mineral King a few hundred feet from the road-where the KNP Fire had burned thoroughly, and the park archaeologist was with me, and we park and walk about 30 feet towards where we had to go off trail, and I noticed a 2 foot long rattlesnake on the asphalt, which startled me until I realized i’d run it over a minute before, the tire went right over the head, squish.

            We looked down into where in theory we were going to be walking, so overgrown since the fire to the point where you couldn’t see below your knees at times, and both looked at each other and said…

            Not today!

    2. ACPAL

      When I emigrated to SW Idaho I noticed lots of California Quail. I was told they were transplanted to provide local hunters with additional game. The running joke is that California is getting so bad even the quail are moving to Idaho.

      I remember one year in the Mojave desert there were so many tarantulas migrating across the roads you couldn’t miss them. There were probably one every 40 sq ft in one area. It would have been very dangerous on a motorcycle.

  8. David Z

    “tarantula crossing the road causes collision in California”

    I absolutely detest that headline.

    The Tarantula didn’t do anything.
    It didn’t bump into the motorcyclist or other vehicles!
    It didn’t throw the motorcyclist!
    It didn’t pick up the car or motorcyle – hulk style – and send them into space!

    journalism is doomed!

  9. griffen

    The economy is great, humming along at a brisk pace and ever expanding. Skies are blue, smooth sailing right? Okay okay this drum beat is really starting to take hold. So for any current office holder, be it the White House or in Congress, what is the reply when constituents offer a pithy response to the campaign question “Are you better off today than four years ago?”….

    In some ways yes, and in other way not so much. Inflation has trended in the right direction, but it just seems more “sticky” in certain aspects of life. Auto insurance, home owner insurance, and next week I look forward to open enrollment for medical coverage to carry forth into 2024. Pay more, get less is my best guess before I start researching the options. I’ll be happy with flat levels, all else equal.

    People may fondly recall the man Jimmy Carter. However his term in office is less a fond remembrance as it pertains to the US economy and elevated levels of inflation. Joe Biden may be joining this category of one term ex-Presidents, but I can’t say his person (aside from the office) meets the same level of admiration as Carter. Pardon me, but I must shout this to the supposed “serious” officials running this country into the ditch. Nothing feels right.

    1. Wukchumni

      Boy the way Glenn Frey played
      Songs that made the hit parade
      Guys like us we had it made
      Those were the days
      And you know where you were then
      There were no financial foibles aside from Pet Rocks, man
      Mister we could use a man like Paul Volcker again
      Didn’t need no upside down interest rates
      Every country pulled their weight
      Gee our old Pacer ran great
      Those were the days

      1. griffen

        Our old Pacer, I actually saw an AMC Hornet (well I think so) recently on the local roads here in South Carolina…Wayne’s World flashback anyone, anyone…

        Thunderbolts of lightning very very frightening…Galileo, Galileo Figarooo….

          1. Laughingsong

            I was waiting for my tattoo appointment, there were 4 guys in the artist’s booth this time. Even so it didn’t take very long.

            I asked the artist “why 4 guys?” He said that during a recent freeze, they were driving up one of the hilly streets in town and stopped to help a woman whose van was having trouble getting up the icy pavement. They figured their 4×4 truck could help. Problem is, they stopped to help. Even they couldn’t get started again, even after removing the tow rope.

            Now there’s two cars stuck at the side of the road. While they were calling various tow trucks and waiting, an old Pacer (yup, in the original oxidized orange) just wafted easily on past, making it easily to the top.

            So they all decided to get a Pacer tattooed on their backsides.

    2. TimH

      A friend of mine just go let go, and the COBRA paperwork came through wanting $2700/mo for the couple and kid…

      1. griffen

        I’ve read through a few COBRA form letters in the last 10 to 12 years, one parting with an employer was voluntary (no COBRA forms then) and others not so much. It is eye opening and remarkable to understand the real expense.

      2. Ken Murphy

        I remember when I left BNP back in 2000 and the COBRA was $800/month. When I got to France for grad school I paid $90 for a full year’s worth of medical insurance.

        Really not a fan of the U.S. Health Industrial Complex.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “On this day in history, November 3, 1956, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ debuts on TV, elevates film to American classic”

    It’s probably just as well that Disney has become such a train wreck at the moment and it is not only South Park that is raising serious questions about their direction. Their re-make of the classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” has become such an epic Hindenburgh-style flaming wreck that it is not even going to be released until 2025, if ever. So can you imagine what they would have done with “The Wizard of Oz” and how they would have gutted and changed everything to suit ‘modern audiences?’ I can only imagine what they would have done with the Tin Man, the cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow. Here is a brief video talking about what they did with Snow White and along with another upcoming remake so you know what I am talking about- (5:49 mins) – Some language

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Half the fun of older Disney movies was watching the lifeless come to life. The real problem is The Little Mermaid/Sleeping Beauty are not that good on their own merits when you go with the story presented. Disney is making pretty straight remakes without the focus on how new audiences feel. The faux woke nature of things is to cover for this.

      Toy Story (I’m pretty certain they released a better animation version) looks godawful by current standards, but Toy Story 4 was watchable because Buzz and Woody came to life. It’s the lifeless coming to life. The cgi Lion King just looked like a parody of meerkat manor.

      The Addams family was originally a take on decayed wasps, but “Wednesday” was really good (Tim Burton fans who were skeptical of a teen drama should watch it). The whole family is Latin in that series.

      Then there is just the soulessness in Disney. The first Pirates movie was just fun with the best trailer of all time, and the rest are just stories about Johnny Depp needs work. I know it’s the entertainment BUSINESS, but then dropped the entertainment bit.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The Wiz musical is fantastic. The movie was weird and off putting, but it was made by a cult. The current environment at Disney would produce The Wiz movie without Michael or Richard Pryor. Michael Jackson was good as the scarecrow, but his Scarecrow was a rag doll cheetah.

          If you can get past the casting of 40 year old Dianna Ross as Dorothy, a point of contention with the creator the Wiz, this song is great.

    2. Carolinian

      The snarky lead actress is not wrong that the 1937 version represents a different time but then why remake it at all? The cynicism here lies in the decision that is giving her a soap box. They are making a retread and using creativity as their defense when it’s really all about money.

    3. Wukchumni

      In my neighborhood in the SoCalist Movement in the 60’s, having a color tv was such a status symbol compared to the unlucky kids who had to watch Batman in black & white.

      Once a year The Wizard of Oz would grace our screens, in vivid color. It was much anticipated.

  11. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Biden weighs border deal — altering asylum law for Ukraine aid Politico

    It is beyond pathetic that american “lawmakers” have to be bribed with funds to finance a genocide or dump into a corrupt cesspool like ukraine, in order to get them to “govern” the country they were supposedly elected to “represent.”

    Wasn’t it just a few short weeks ago that “preventing a government shutdown” was the latest existential crisis facing the greatest country on the planet? Whatever happened with that? As far as I know, the critical “deadline” is still approaching.

    israel and ukraine are foreign countries. I don’t remember seeing the names b. netanyahu or v. zelensky on the ballot in 2020. That they have been “given” the power to subjugate the needs of the american people to their own murderous, corrupt ambitions is the most obvious sign of the failure of the american “experiment” yet.

    The entire sorry “congress” should be impeached and removed for gross dereliction of duty, and they should take the entire “national security” apparatus with ’em. What possible imperative could these fools see for “bargaining” border integrity in exchange for ethnic cleansing and massive ukrainian financial corruption?

      1. Screwball

        I second that motion. And yet, some people still worship, listen to, and believe the scum that is DC and these agencies. For now…tick, tick, tick…

    1. Feral Finster

      The whole thing is instructive in that it shows what the Administration’s real priorities are.

  12. The Rev Kev

    Ruh, roh. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has just come out and said the following-

    ‘I want to send a very clear message to the international community. If you do not condemn Hamas, if you do not [support] Israel’s right to self-defense, you are supporting Hamas.’

    So you are either with us or against us. Good to know. They just don’t understand how hard it can be for some people to decide- (2:58 mins) – some language

      1. Laughingsong

        LOL! Geez, Wukster, you channel humor like Stevie Ray Vaughn used to channel guitar solos. Did you sell your soul to Bill Hicks at some midnight crossroads somewhere?

        Cleaning my iPad screen yet again….

        1. Wukchumni

          Thanks for the fine compliments~

          Living in our times is an absurdist’s whet dream, so much material to work with, ha ha!

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Worked for W. back in ’01.

      With those few simple words, a low-IQ, dry drunk, nepo-baby slacker overrode the american constitution with the patriot act, knocked a few countries off the official regime change wish list, and kept the title “most powerful man in the world” for eight years.

      1. Sam

        And remember that Biden wrote the patriot act in 1995 and just waited for an incident to put it in play.
        Biden has done more damage to the country than Clinton and Obama, but they all were very bad for we the people. Clinton got passed what Bush 1 couldn’t.

        1. Allison

          Michael Chertoff was the author of the Patriot Act.

          Joe Biden, even when mentally competent, would not be capable of writing the Patriot Act. Though he’ll gladly add his name to it.

          Just for clarification’s sake.

  13. hunkerdown

    > Center for Advanced Preparedness and Threat Response Simulation (CAPTRS)

    Oh really? DuckDuckGo’s current cache says CAPTRS standsfor “Center for Advanced Pathogen Threat and Response Simulation”. Hilarious that FOX of all places is retreading a COVID organization as a corporatize-AI-for-the-children org.

    WHO is coming for your ability to train AI against the corporations.

  14. eg

    Ukraine now claims that the war is a stalemate? Wait, but weren’t they assuredly “winning” all summer?

    Yeah — stalemate is Newspeak for losing …

  15. Wukchumni

    ‘The Hermès Game’: how the luxury house is defying the slowdown FT
    We have a Gucci fur sink, but its a year old and some of the hair is piling, so we’re looking to find a Birkin basin in its place, and the wife will be happy showing it off to her friends. Most of the rooms are appointed with Louis Vuitton toilet paper in the bathrooms, and why not have 5-ply when taking care of business?

  16. The Rev Kev

    “A Forgotten Vault Where Michelangelo Hid and Sketched For Months Opens for the First Time — Colossal”

    I have heard about this place. As the article mentions a single window to the street. Michelangelo used to stare out that window a lot at people still being able to go about their lives. I like to think that in that two months there, that it gave him time to rethink his work and re-assess his style. Sorta like how people were doing similar when under lockdown back in 2020. That changed a lot of people’s lives that.

  17. juno mas

    RE: Global Consequences article

    the impressively rapid movement of a second carrier group to the eastern Mediterranean proves that the United States does not need large numbers of forces on the ground in the Levant to be ready to fight there. The sea will be full of Aegis long-range air and missile defense capabilities, Tomahawk missiles, electronic-attack and early-warning capabilities, and specialized jets and helicopters. Two thousand servicemembers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines are on alert to deploy.

    The Mediterranean sea will be full of aircraft carriers (and their 5K crew) on the seabed after being hit with Kinzhal-type missiles. Tomahawk missiles are sub-sonic and will be readily removed from the sky by air defense systems.

    The US naval group is target, not a sustainable threat.

    1. digi_owl

      Not even kinzhals, just enough conventional missiles to overload/exhaust the fleet’s defenses (takes far less than they want to admit).

  18. Wukchumni

    You made your parents cry when the jury did decide
    Ain’t that a shame, their tears fall like rain
    Ain’t that a shame, you’re the one to blame

    You broke their heart, although they played a part
    Ain’t that a shame, their tears fall like rain
    Ain’t that a shame, you’re the one to blame
    Ah, yes you are

    Farewell, goodbye, although without you I’ll cry
    Ain’t that a shame, my tears fall like rain
    Ain’t that a shame, you’re the one to blame

    You made investors cry when you said goodbye
    Ain’t that a shame, crocodile tears fall like rain
    Ain’t that a shame, you’re the one to blame

    Ain’t That A Shame, performed by Cheap Trick

  19. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: ” How the World Majority Sees the Consequences of the Crisis in the Middle East”
    This closing statement at the conclusion of this link reads like an epitaph for the u.s. Empire:
    “It’s time to think about the direction in which the construction of a new world order is moving: this is the position of the majority of countries throughout the world, which need not the destruction of existing rules and norms, but their observance as the basis of international stability. Russia needs to take these approaches into account even more than its opponents in the West.”
    This will not be the ‘American Century’ in any positive use of that phrase.

  20. Feral Finster

    Biden wants to fund the war in Ukraine several times what he proposes for the already lavish funding of Israel.

    That Biden is also attempting to tie Ukraine funding to Maui, then Florida, then Israel aid, even threatening to veto Israel aid if Ukraine isn’t funded, now attempting to horse trade immigration restrictions, shows again and again where his real priorities are.

    1. Lex

      I will continue saying that Biden primarily ran for president and had the field cleared for him because he was the only one who would reliably make sure the Ukraine war kicked off and go all in. For Biden it’s both ideological and personal, with a dash of his ego to make things sure. He had been surrounded by the people he elevated as president back when he was running Ukraine for the Obama admin. It was job that needed finishing.

      The problem being that Joe Biden has always been an idiot and it has gotten worse with age. So he screwed it up and now can’t get off the treadmill for the same reasons he was the perfect guy to make sure it happened.

  21. Duke of Prunes

    Not quite an https expert, but I have studied it. I’m familiar with how it works, but less aware of its exploits.

    If I understand the article, the EU is wanting to be the certificate authority for EU servers. A certificate is used to verify that a server is who it says it is. For example, to guarantee that the site that says it is your banking site is actually your banking site, not a clone run by a bad actor that will steal your credentials and then all your money. Public websites typically use a commercial certificate authority like Comodo or GeoTrust. In this case, it sounds like the EU wants to do this.

    The cert also contains a public encryption key that is used during the connection setup (aka handshake) to establish a symmetric encryption key to be used only for the duration of the conversation. To eavesdrop on the conversation, you need this ephemeral key, not the public key from the cert. To get this ephemeral key, you need to take part in the handshake (which requires the bad actor to somehow hijack the messages between the client and server – like creating spoof site which looks like the server to the client and the client to the server). This is commonly known as a man-in-the-middle attack (MITM).

    Public website certificates are shared freely with anybody that tries to talk to it. Therefore, I don’t see how this allows the EU to eavesdrop drop on any conversation… unless they also build the spoof website.

    I suppose this might make it easier for law enforcement or other “state actors” to build MITM attack sites since they could conceivably make the certificate authority certify the spoof site, but they can probably do this already with the appropriate warrants (or other threats) with commercial certificate authorities.

    More likely is the ability to control who gets certification. Without a valid, up to date certificate, a browser will give you a great big warning that you’re accessing an unsafe site, and 99% of your potential business will leave. Another way to deplatform the undesirables… but I suppose this is not as scary as the eavesdropping claim.

    1. Carolinian

      Your technical comment is above my pay grade but the article said Europe also wants control over DNS. Would this facilitate spoof websites?

      And if Europe wants international control over the internet then surely something broader than the EU should be making the rules. Given recent events I’m not sure EU assurances of “trust us” mean very much. Not that the US isn’t edging in the same authoritarian direction.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        Usually, the control of DNS is more about canceling websites. DNS lookups is how your browser translates the web name in the browser bar into the actual web address. Want to de-platform a site, drop it from the DNS lookup. Alternatively, modifying the DNS information could direct someone to a spoofed website instead of the real site, but as digi_owl correctly pointed out below, you don’t need the spoof website for a MITM attack…

    2. digi_owl

      You do not need to duplicate a site to do MITM, just putting a proxy between site and user (easy to do when you can lean on major DNS providers, same as FBI does when they “seize” a dot-com domain for “piracy”).

  22. JTMcPhee

    Anyone expecting Likud and reactionary imperial Israel and the US to change their course by “ceasefire and negotiation” ought to review this commentary by Bertrand Russel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate:

    The Vietnamese who have endured years of American heavy bombing have responded not by capitulation but by shooting down more enemy aircraft. In 1940 my own fellow countrymen resisted Hitler’s bombing raids with unprecedented unity and determination.

    For this reason, the present Israeli attacks will fail in their essential purpose, but at the same time they must be condemned vigorously throughout the world.

    The development of the crisis in the Middle East is both dangerous and instructive. For over 20 years Israel has expanded by force of arms. After every stage in this expansion Israel has appealed to “reason” and has suggested “negotiations”.

    This is the traditional role of the imperial power, because it wishes to consolidate with the least difficulty what it has already taken by violence. Every new conquest becomes the new basis of the proposed negotiation from strength, which ignores the injustice of the previous aggression.

    The aggression committed by Israel must be condemned, not only because no state has the right to annexe foreign territory, but because every expansion is an experiment to discover how much more aggression the world will tolerate.

    The refugees who surround Palestine in their hundreds of thousands were described recently by the Washington journalist I.F. Stone as “the moral millstone around the neck of world Jewry.”

    Many of the refugees are now well into the third decade of their precarious existence in temporary settlements. The tragedy of the people of Palestine is that their country was “given” by a foreign Power to another people for the creation of a new State. The result was that many hundreds of thousands of innocent people were made permanently homeless.

    With every new conflict their number have increased. How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty? It is abundantly clear that the refugees have every right to the homeland from which they were driven, and the denial of this right is at the heart of the continuing conflict.

    No people anywhere in the world would accept being expelled en masse from their own country; how can anyone require the people of Palestine to accept a punishment which nobody else would tolerate? A permanent just settlement of the refugees in their homeland is an essential ingredient of any genuine settlement in the Middle East.

    We are frequently told that we must sympathize with Israel because of the suffering of the Jews in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. I see in this suggestion no reason to perpetuate any suffering.

    What Israel is doing today cannot be condoned, and to invoke the horrors of the past to justify those of the present is gross hypocrisy. Not only does Israel condemn a vast number of refugees to misery; not only are many Arabs under occupation condemned to military rule; but also Israel condemns the Arab nations only recently emerging from colonial status, to continued impoverishment as military demands take precedence over national development.

    All who want to see an end to bloodshed in the Middle East must ensure that any settlement does not contain the seeds of future conflict. Justice requires that the first step towards a settlement must be an Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied in June, 1967. A new world campaign is needed to help bring justice to the long-suffering people of the Middle East.

    Lifted from here:

    1. Carolinian

      And it’s courtesy of his contributor Bob Bishop.

      Those of us of a certain age–you too I take it–can remember when the “antisemitism” mantra was less carelessly wielded and the halo that has been perched over Israel was still in the box. Of course Russell’s prediction is spot on except that, just as Israel always pretends to be reasonable, its opponents always say “this time it’s different” and so far it never is. I have been reading Mondoweiss for years and Phil Weiss is always saying that Obama or whoever will change things and zip.

      Maybe this time it is different. I hope so.

  23. Wukchumni

    Marjorie Taylor Greene lashes out at ‘vaping groping’ Lauren Boebert on social media (NY Daily News)

    Wishin’ and gropin’ and vapin’ and preyin’
    Plannin’ and dreamin’ that night of the play
    When they sent you both away
    So if you’re lookin’ to find love you can share
    All you gotta do is hold him, and kiss him and love him
    And show him that you care

    Show him that you care just for him
    Do the things he likes to do
    Move your hands just for him, ’cause
    You won’t get him
    Thinkin’ and a-preyin’, vapin’ and a-gropin’

    1. SG

      I recently saw a photograph of Matt Gaetz sitting between Bobo and Madge. I don’t know when it was taken, but I couldn’t help but think that that image caused underage girls throughout North Florida to heave a sigh of relief.

  24. SG

    My grandfather was an agronomist at the University of Illinois. He spent much of the Great Depression working for Department of Agriculture, convincing his neighbors to plant cover crops to prevent loss of topsoil due to erosion. This was one of the FDR administration’s main strategies to mitigate the Dust Bowl and prevent it from happening again. He did it himself on his own farmland (something that has benefited his descendants to the present day). Good topsoil takes millennia to produce and a single season to lose. It’s probably the single most valuable commodity on Earth, assuming you like to eat.

    1. digi_owl

      I seem to recall reading recently that even back in the day there were people warning against turning the prairie into farmland, but the banking and property lobby was too big in DC even then. And thus came the homestead acts etc.

      1. Benny Profane

        Dont forget God. Many farmers, even nearly into the second half of the twentieth century, thought the Dust Bowl was God’s wrath.

        1. JBird4049

          Yes, but farming practices are also a large cause of soil degradation. Do it right and the soil gets better. Do it the way they do it in Big Ag and it gets worse. It also contributes to the poor nutritional quality of American food.

    2. farmboy

      Cover crop use on production farmland needs to be used and understood in a larger picture. Assigning limited benefits, i.e. carbon sequestration nullifies the outbound potential of the practice. Using nitrogen fixing crops in the mix will generate lower input costs for fertilizer. Using high glucosinolate mustards will add some pest control to! There are other types of crops that could go into a mix for other benefits, it’s all adaptability in a specific locale. Also using livestock to gain some benefit from ground that doesn’t grow a cash crop, but then incorporating carbon into that addition is necessary. Going organic for most farmers is just a bridge too far, but is where the marketplace could reward them. There is a lot of transparency built into commodity markets and almost none in organic markets. Tough to find willing buyers…
      I’ve explored these idea through weather,climate, permaculture, biodynamics, radionics, etc, just about anything that might have some value. Finding some interesting avenues.

  25. digi_owl

    The thing about Moore’s law is that it can be used multiple ways.

    The basic law just talks about the number of transistors one can fit in a certain space.

    Now that can either mean a beefier chip, as more transistors means more computing ability, or it can allow a existing chip to be produced cheaper as more units can come out of a single fabrication run.

    The industry has for decades been leaning on the first interpretation, producing ever more powerful chips at a certain cost floor while software kept adding “features” to make it seem worthwhile to upgrade.

    But one can also these days pick up venerable workhorses from the 80s and 90s for 1/1000 of what they used to cost back in the day.

    But the industry is loath to admit that, as they have gotten so hooked on the gravy train upgrade threadmill.

    I dear say that for most people, computing stopped improving somewhere in the early 2000s.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I agree 100%. I remember working on complex systems running with 32 Kb of core memory — the F-16 flight control and stores management computer. I am using an old Dell tower to access the web, collect and store images, and documents. I have had no problems with horsepower or memory capacity.

  26. Karl

    HTTPS and Certificates expert here.
    The non-technical gist is, this legislation would make intercepting, eavesdropping and manipulating ALL web traffic ridiculously easy for EU authorities, and undetectable for all but the most technically savvy, maybe undetectable for even them.
    A super brief attempt at an explanation:
    All web browsers use 100+ so-called “root certificates” to validate the identity of all sites on the internet, and encrypt the traffic. Those 100+ (as of today, 144 in the Firefox browser) are run by companies that basically promise to not issue fake certificates to anyone including law enforcement. If they do, purposely or by mistake, they are evicted by browser makers (Google, Firefox) and operating system makers (Microsoft, Linux distributors) from that 100+ list, and go out of business (has happened).
    The EU wants to force browser makers to accept their EU-owned root certificate, and forbid to ever evict them.
    If that happens, the EU(-authorities) can at any time impersonate anybody on the web, and listen to and manipulate all web traffic (detailed tech explanation omitted, would take at least 2 screen pages). And even if somehow it would be noticed that they do listen in (like they did in this case ), the EU would forbid browser makers to interfere.

    So this is the biggest attack on web privacy ever that i am aware of.

  27. Van Res

    The Army Suddenly, and Chaotically, Told Hundreds of Soldiers They Have to Be Recruiters Immediately, 1 Nov 2023 | By Steve Beynon

    “The active-duty part of the Army came up 10,000 new recruits short of its goal of 65,000 for the past fiscal year. The Army Reserve is in an even more dire situation, getting only 9,319 new soldiers. Its goal was to recruit 14,000. The Army National Guard fared much better, bringing in 29,457 new soldiers, just shy of its 30,880 goal.”

    1. tegnost

      truish considering the dems are the party of rich people and yes have had heaping helpings of socialism for themselves, but saying only republicans is nonsense. I’m sure there are plenty of republicans slavering at the social trough alongside their piggish donkey brethren, but you’ve fracked most people, they’re just invisibles so unseen. Glad to hear you’re doing well…
      dow 40,000!

  28. Van Res

    The acess to the link below is

    403 Forbidden

    , for me, at least, in Brasil:
    Alternative link, at abcnews

    Cover crops help the climate and environment but most farmers say no. Many fear losing money, by SCOTT MCFETRIDGE Associated Press
    November 2, 2023, 12:05 PM

    … Many worry the practice will hurt their bottom line — and a study last year indicates they could be right.

    Researchers who used satellite data to examine over 90,000 fields in six Corn Belt states found cover crops can reduce yields of cash crops — the bushels per acre. The smaller the yield, the less money farmers make.

    1. JBird4049

      Not using cover crops will degrade the soil and reduce viability, forget about profitability, but the expensive seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, sold by Big Ag to all the consolidated farms makes very profitable right now.

      Fortunately(?), many of those farms are corporate owned meaning it is all about profits this quarter and not ten or twenty years from now. They will be fine even as they trash the land.

  29. Van Res

    New China-Australia relationship puts paid to blinkered approach, by SCMP Editorial

    Visit by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Beijing aims to heal wounds between nations and maintain move to more sustainable policy

    Relations already fraught with tension soured in 2020 after Albanese’s predecessor Scott Morrison joined calls for an international probe into the origin of the coronavirus. China responded initially with
    [import tariffs]
    barley …, followed by
    wine and action against
    other commodities, such as
    coal and

  30. Glenda

    Here is a song I keep hearing in my head. With possible changes to the lyrics.
    Insert Ukraine or Palistine for Johnny, and/or drugs for drums.

    Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye

    While goin’ the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
    While goin’ the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
    While goin’ the road to sweet Athy,
    A stick in me hand and a drop in me eye,
    A doleful damsel I heard cry,
    Johnny I hardly knew ye.

    With your guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
    With your guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
    With your guns and drums and drums and guns,
    The enemy nearly slew ye
    Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
    Johnny I hardly knew ye.

    Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg, hurroo, hurroo
    Ye haven’t an arm, ye haven’t a leg, hurroo, hurroo
    Ye haven’t an arm and ye haven’t a leg,
    Ye’re an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
    Ye’ll have to put with a bowl out to beg
    Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye

    Where are the legs with which you run, hurroo, hurroo
    Where are the legs with which you run, hurroo, hurroo
    Where are the legs with which you run,
    When first you went for to carry a gun
    Indeed your dancing days are done
    Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye

    I’m happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
    I’m happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
    I’m happy for to see ye home,
    All from the island of Ceylon;
    So low in flesh, so high in bone
    Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye

    With your guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
    With your guns and drums and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
    With your guns and drums and drums and guns,
    The enemy never slew ye
    Oh my darling dear, Ye look so queer
    Johnny I hardly knew ye.

    Source: Musixmatch
    Songwriters: Clancy Bros.
    First published in London in 1867 and written by Joseph B. Geoghegan

    (also sent to TAE)

  31. Anthony K Wikrent

    “Crime makes you stupid?”

    Yeah, it does. It works like this: one way operating in a crimonogenic environment impact people is by suppressing and eventually atrophying their empathy for others. If your empathy is blighted, you will find it difficult to understand other people. And being unable to understand other people makes you do stupid things/ Classic theorists of civic republicanism have outlined this process many times. This is why I often harp on the dirty money heritage of many USA elites, such as Leon Black of Apollo Capital Management.

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