Links 11/7/2023

How wildlife officials saved a humpback whale found ‘hogtied’ to a 300-pound crab pot NPR (David L)

Elephants: Covid and ethics reshape Thailand’s tourism industry BBC (furzy)

The quest to re-create nature’s strongest material MIT Technology Review (David L)

‘When is it too early to teach your kids about genocide?’ Inside the Imperial War Museum’s harrowing new galleries Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

Tai chi, a form of slow-moving martial arts, helps boost memory, study finds NPR (David L)

Why 40% of people choose willful ignorance Big Think (Dr. Kevin)

Interview with a Gladiatrix Antigone

11 most famous poems of all time Classical Music (David L)


Hoo boy:

Serotonin Slump: The Viral Residue Connection to Long COVID Symptoms SciTech


Musk has claimed that population decline is a ‘much bigger issue’ than climate change Fox (furzy)

Heat waves harm workers. These regulations offer some relief STAT (Dr. Kevin)


The Case for Joint Patrols in the South China Sea Geopolitical Monitor

China tightens controls over rare earth exports, imports of key commodities including crude oil, iron ore South China Morning Post

IMF raises China GDP forecast after Beijing’s policy moves CNBC


Delhi pollution: No school, no play for city’s children BBC


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 31: Israel continues ground advance into Gaza as civilians face starvation Mondoweiss

Note the water supply cut was on the 5th:

Israel-Palestine war: 100 Israeli doctors call for Gaza hospitals to be bombed Middle East Eye (Kevin W)

* * *

* * *

The ICC must investigate the crime of genocide in Gaza Jeremy Corbyn, Aljazeera. So it appears no Western outlet of consequence would run the op-ed.

* * *

US, Israel to open second front in Lebanon Indian Punchline (WJ). I don’t buy this theory. Scott Ritter, who has excellent contacts in Israel from his many years working there, says Israel lost its war games v. Hamas when Hezbollah came in bigly, and was wiped off the map if Iran came in too. And Israel, a very loss averse military, has already lost over 300 soldiers, when they haven’t even begun clearing operations in Gaza. That is reported to be about to commence. The death count will start to mount sharply. And Blinken would not be wandering around the Middle East trying to get some sort of minor concessions to take the temperature down if escalation were in the cards. He would have gone home after a few pro-forma meetings. See also next link.

Hawks Try and Fail to Make the War in Gaza All About Iran Daniel Larison

US to Transfer $320 Million in Precision Bomb Kits to Israel

Top Six Most Powerful Air Forces in Muslim-Majority Countries: Assessing Fleet Strengths From Algeria to Pakistan Military Watch

Yigal Amir is Israel’s Oswald Covert Action (Chuck L)

* * *

Netanyahu says Israel will take ‘overall security responsibility’ of Gaza after war Arab News

African nations recall diplomats from Israel RT (Kevin W)

Crisis Update: Globalists Plan Ban On Any Critique Of Zionism MoneyCircus (Micael T). Warning, paints in awfully bright colors but does not make it directionally incorrect.

New Not-So-Cold War

Death of Zaluzhnyi’s aide: wife says grenade was gift Ukrainska Pravda

Russian Armored Columns STEAMROLL North of Avdiivka History Legends

Meanwhile, Back in Ukraine, Desperation Sets In Larry Johnson

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

For sale: Data on US servicemembers — and lots of it Politico (Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US has bad habit of going all in on client state wars Responsible Statecraft

Bank deposit delays: Some customers still haven’t been paid CNN (Kevin W). This after my bank has been pushing me very hard to use ACH, warning of the dire consequences of check fraud, when I send very few checks.


Donald Trump’s Contentious Day on the Witness Stand New Yorker (furzy)

Donald Trump explodes on witness stand, calling AG a ‘hack,’ accusing judge of fraud New York Post


Mike Johnson has accused Biden of bribery. Now impeachment is in his hands The Hill

Our No Longer Free Press

New York Times Controversy Exposes the Inherent Conflict in Advocacy Journalism Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

Moms for Liberty members call the cops on Florida librarians Popular Information (furzy)

Woke Watch

Anne Frank kindergarten will be renamed ‘to be more diverse’ Telegraph. BC: “Wow. Just wow.”

Why Banks Are Suddenly Closing Down Customer Accounts New York Times (David L)


Chatbots May ‘Hallucinate’ More Often Than Many Realize New York Times (David L)

This intense AI anger is exactly what experts warned of, w Elon Musk. YouTube (furzy)

Elon Musk Announces Grok, a ‘Rebellious’ AI With Few Guardrails Wired (Kevin W). So deliberately launching an bad AI so as to pressure the officialdom to institute squillionaire-interest-protecting AI regulation?

The first AI nation? A ship with 10,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs worth $500 million could become the first ever sovereign territory that relies entirely on artificial intelligence for its future TechRadar (David L)

We must stop AI replicating the problems of surveillance capitalism Financial Times

AI Search Is Turning Into the Problem Everyone Worried About Atlantic (David L)

Can AI cut humans out of contract negotiations? BBC (David L)


Google Pays $21B for Search Monopoly: How “Free” Tech Markets Repress Tutanota (Paul R)

Class Warfare

Labor Unions Are Industrial Policy Matt Stoller

The New Headache for Bosses: Employees Aren’t Quitting Wall Street Journal

Meet the ultra-commuters who start their day at 5 a.m.: It costs them time and thousands of dollars, but they say it makes them better at their jobs—and happier too Fortune (Kevin W)

Maybe I am reading too much into this, but the dogs seem more intrigued than hostile. Nevertheless, notice how they mainly position themselves on opposite sides of the robot:

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from These Dreams by Heart)

    From below the rubble a child’s voice rings free
    Calling for her mother and for her family
    Beneath a concrete mountain we could not untwist
    We clawed and cried for days and days
    But could not assist

    We get dirty water and stale bread full of sand
    Pulling arms and legs from rubble as we can
    Across this ruined city all blown to shattered bits,
    As tears rise to the heavens another bomb hits

    These scenes go on when I close my eyes
    Can you ever unsee people vaporized?
    These scenes go out to the world outside
    Do you have a beating heart or will you turn away? (will you turn away?)

    When a building drops survivors start to call
    Some rise from the slaughter and some can’t even crawl
    (we live in a bombsight)
    We live in a bombsight, in the apocalypse
    (Where do prayers go)
    Where do prayers go falling from our lips?

    These scenes go on when I close my eyes
    Can you ever unsee people vaporized?
    These scenes go out to the world outside
    Do you have a beating heart or will you turn away? (will you turn away?)

    Who gets to say that we can’t exist?
    Have we lived and loved all in vain?
    Who gets to say that we can’t exist?

    A holocaust will happen when people have no worth
    A bomb’s a simple thing it is very down to earth
    This city full of children now meets the Iron Fist
    If you can stand by idle, you’re next on the list

    These scenes go on when I close my eyes
    Can you ever unsee people vaporized?
    These scenes go out to the world outside
    Do you have a beating heart or will you turn away?

    These scenes go on when I close my eyes
    Can you ever unsee people vaporized?
    These scenes go out to the world outside
    Do you have a beating heart . . .

    1. zagonostra

      Poignant, very moving.

      I don’t know why but it made me think of this line from Bob Dylan’s Tombstone Blues.”

      The geometry of innocence flesh on the bone
      Causes Galileo’s math book to get thrown

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Anne Frank kindergarten will be renamed ‘to be more diverse’ ”

    It could be worse. Hollywood could make a film about her short life and substitute a diverse, ethnic woman to play her. Why not? They did it to Cleopatra and Anne Bolyne and this would be more of the same, right?

    1. MD in Berlin

      Story is complete nothingburger. Just lazy clickbait. Nurseries get renamed from time to time. For example after a bad publicity episode and relaunch. As was the case here (the negative incident predated the renaming, which was proposed as part of the relaunch)

      1. JBird4049

        Yeah, but they are using publicity to determine when or if a name change is needed. If someone deserves to have their name on something, such as Anne Frank, famed diarist and Holocaust victim, I would hope mere annoyance would not dictate a fricking change.


      Well now we can focus on the New Holocaust in Gaza. Should be a section in Links.
      Gaza (New Holocaust).

      1. flora

        adding: the benefits of Tai Chi are not limited to those with near Olympic athletic strength. Tai Chi benefits all ages and all strength levels. There is even Tai Chi for people who cannot stand, for people sitting in chairs. The benefits are equal.

        1. juno mas

          As you point out the lady has strong legs. That is an important aspect of Tai Chi. The other is balance. These two traits are essential as one moves into their later years. If you watch the walking gait of Seniors, they have limited hip flexibility, Tai Chi improves that. It is the bent knee positions that put strain on the quadriceps and builds strength. A movement flat-surface walking does not.

          1. flora

            Yes, indeed. The sense of balance and the hip mobility are both very important and taken for granted in younger years. Tai chi is very good for both aspects – the inner ear sense of balance and the hip mobility and leg strength overall. Thank you.

  3. furnace

    After carpet bombing over 45 bakeries & water stations and preventing food assistance into the Gaza Strip,

    Israel targeted this morning fishing boats after seeing footage of Palestinians catching fish to survive the American-Israeli man-made famine in Gaza.

    Evil has a name

    Can anyone tell me what makes this different from, say, the Siege of Leningrad? I know Godwin’s law should be taken into account, but who else can we compare these bloodthirsty maniacs with? They do the nazi rhethoric (“human animals, extermination…”), they do the nazi war crimes, I guess all that is missing is the factory mass murder, but frankly that always seemed to me more of a German twist on the idea of genocide than a particular necessary element to be nazi-like.

    All I want is to stop seeing dead children. I’ve seen enough of those to be haunted for life.

    1. ilsm

      The US army against the plains Indians come to mind,

      Cannon against leather shields…..

      Hamas got off the reservation!

    2. vao

      It helps to view the status of Palestinian territories under Israeli occupation as a typical colonial regime, and what is currently happening in Gaza as a typical colonial conflict.

      Shooting at men, women, and children indiscriminately, driving away survivors, razing their dwellings, and wrecking their economic basis (burning fishing boats, uprooting plantations, destroying workshops, killing or stealing cattle, etc) was the standard operating procedure during “punitive expeditions” at the time of colonial empires. Even the hysterical genocidal frenzy is typical of a colonial setting. What is different is that the events in Gaza take place in a largely urban environment instead of a rural one.

      Just look up the way the Germans dealt with the Maji-Maji insurrection in Tanganyika (early 1900s), how the Belgian “force publique” suppressed the numerous rebellions in Congo during the last quarter of the 19th century, what the French did in Cameroon against the Bamileke in the little-known, prolonged counter-insurrection operation in the 1950s-1960s, or how the Portuguese operated in Mozambique in the late 1960s-early 1970s. And these are just some examples.

      1. Oh

        I wonder if the colonials thought that their white colored skin gave them a sense of superiority to be callous to the Africans?

    3. Benny Profane

      It was more than a German “twist”. The gas chambers were developed to protect German soldiers from emotional damage. They just couldn’t take standing there and directly murdering thousands of Jews of all shapes and sizes with bullets, so they came up with that. And that’s sort of a “twist” on the victim vs. killer argument we’re hearing today in this conflict.

    4. upstater

      Under Scrutiny Over Gaza, Israel Points to Civilian Toll of U.S. Wars NYT

      Israeli officials say it is impossible to defeat Hamas without killing innocents, a lesson they argue Americans and their allies should understand.

      “In any combat situation, like when the United States was leading a coalition to get ISIS out of Mosul, there were civilian casualties,” Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman, said in an Oct. 24 interview with PBS. Mr. Regev said that Israel’s “ratio” of Hamas fighters to civilians killed “compares very well to NATO and other Western forces” in past military campaigns.

      The Israeli defense ministry said it had dropped at least 10,000 munitions as of Nov. 1, in three and a half weeks of war. By contrast, the U.S. military dropped about 2,000 to 3,000 munitions per month during the most intense combat operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria from 2015 to 2017, according to a report by the RAND Corporation. Only in one month, in the battle for Raqqa in August 2017, did that number hit 5,000.

      “The pace of bombing in Gaza is off the charts,” Mr. Finucane said. “The U.S. engaged in heavy bombing of Raqqa and Mosul. It was heavily regulated, but even then, there were lots of civilian casualties.”

      “Compares very well”… huh? Who is keeping score? It seems that terrorism from planes, missiles and artillery is just “collateral damage” to the Israelis, US and its NATO poodles. Considering the Russian SMO has been going on for 21 months the civilian deaths don’t come close to the Israeli campaign. Terrorism from the air is going according to plan.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Can AI cut humans out of contract negotiations?”

    Yeah, let’s try it out and see what happens. What can possibly go wrong, especially when AIs are notorious for making stuff up. Look, you can have two corporations use these programs to do the grunt work of negotiations but here is the deal. You would have to make damn sure that a legal professional went through it with a fine, tooth comb to see just exactly what had been agreed. I mean, it is not like hacking could ever be a problem with this process. Then when that legal professional is totally satisfied as is their counterpart, only then will they add their chop so that they take final responsibility for that contract. Something occurs to me though. You could see the rise of specialist legal firms. After two corporations use this software to agree a contract, they could take it to them for the final approval and that is all that they would do. But those legal firms would have to have exact terms of understanding from those corporations what the aim of that contract is and even then, they would have to walk reps from that corporation through that AI generated contract to see that this is what they want. And then have that corporation sign off on it so that later they cannot go after that legal firm if they find something in that contract that they did not like.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      It’s all good until the first lawsuit for breach of contract hits a courtroom, and the judge asks both lawyers who wrote the contract language.

      When he hears “AI” and declares the contract null and void, then the fun begins. Maybe it ends with bar complaints and law licenses being suspended. The grifters selling the software will likely skate, though.

      PS – be very quiet, we don’t want to give SBF or Adam Neumann any ideas.

    2. digi_owl

      During the most frothy of the crypto days, there were talk about putting automated contracts on the blockchains. Best i could tell they were supposed to be more like the scripts that webdevs are oh so familiar with.

      Yeah, lets put a turbo on that paperclip maximizer…

  5. flora

    re: Why Banks Are Suddenly Closing Down Customer Accounts – New York Times

    Thanks for the link. This tbtf big bank issue may well revive a lot of currently struggling smaller regional banks and local banks. It’s a hassle to transfer personal and business accounts from a tbtf big bank to a smaller bank, but if the big bank is kicking you out…. ;)

    1. The Rev Kev

      With all the trillions of dollars that the US government has pumped into the economy the past fifteen years, how badly do the big banks even need small customers anymore? I see from time to time articles on how the big banks in the US just shut down customer’s bank accounts with never a justification much less an explanation why. Small customers? Who needs them.

      1. digi_owl

        Reminds me of the talk about “microloans” a decade or so ago. I think the person championing the idea was in some scandal or something recently.

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      Oh, the AML laws (the US PATRIOT Act)… This is part of my world…

      The bar owner who is regularly rounding deposits is unknowingly putting herself in the crosshairs for increased surveillance, and being flagged by the bank’s surveillance algos, which are looking for rounding and other potential structuring activities. Perhaps her deposit amounts should be a bit more ‘random’. The tbtfs all run highly automated, algo-driven surveillance, which is meant to look across a huge range of customer and business activity and flag the outliers, without much regard to the subtlety of specific businesses conditions. Analysts working in the anti-money laundering department are not senior bankers with deep knowledge of how cash businesses work, or even experts in fraud detection – they’re mostly following up on things the algo says are problematic.

      Small local banks should have greater knowledge of their individual customers’ activities, and recognize whether the deposit flows from those businesses or individuals are ‘usual’ or not, and flag inappropriate activity accordingly. Though most of the smaller banks use surveillance software from a common service provider (FIS is one of the big ones), so may still end up with poorly tuned surveillance analyses.

      I’m sure the local bar & grill I go to has an account and line of credit with the local bank (across the street, and been in the community 100+ years). I occasionally see one of the bank’s credit officer in there having an after-work drink with co-workers or dinner with his family. Mostly because it’s a nice place to go, but he gets a side benefit of observing how well the place is doing and what kind of people are working and hanging out there – he knows the business in a way that the tbtfs don’t.

  6. CanCyn

    Dogs meet robot… those huskies are displaying nothing but positive, playful body language. Slow, circling tail wags, they each do at least one play bow. Too bad, it’d be nice if they hated those things as much as I do.

    1. Lexx

      I figured they were waiting for an opportunity for a courtesy butt sniff, but robot dog was being weird. Play doesn’t really commence until the ‘who’s who and what’s what’ formalities are attended to.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I am waiting for one to approach a cop who will pull out his piece and shoot it on the grounds that he was in fear of his life after seeing the Black Mirror episode “Metalhead.”

    3. jhallc

      They likely don’t approach it as it has no dog smell to sniff. Would like to see one lift it’s leg on it.

    4. YuShan

      For dogs, smell is much more important that the visuals. So I doubt they see this as another dog. They probably see this as just some strange object that they have never seen before and that is interesting to play with.

    5. Ignacio

      What i thought about that video is how bad as a substitute (as presented in the tweet) is the robot compared with the dogs. The toy that will end in the trash in a couple of months and no one missing it.

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, but the dogs appeared playful, worried, and confused. Is it a toy, a new animal, friendly, a threat, wtf is it? Since the owners were not frightened, the huskies sort of accepted the robot.

  7. Lexx

    ‘Why 40% of people choose willful ignorance’

    There are tribal members and there’s everyone else. There’s nothing in between. The results would have changed radically if the participants had known each other, then willful ignorance is a lot harder to get by with without consequences. We chose willful ignorance when we’re pretty sure it won’t come back to bite us in the ass and that is more than self-image.

    This applies to generosity as well. Crappy behavior tends to get externalized (externalized costs, if any) and generosity stays in the family. I’ve had people say to me they can’t imagine going to any extra effort for someone they don’t know. What’s in it for them? Money, opportunity, goods, favors, cooperation, and influence are for insiders… like that tribe we call ‘the rich’. (Who in the lower classes considers themselves ‘philanthropists’?)

    1. t

      I’d like to see a study on those of us who are always sighing “no clean hands in a dirty world.” Right now I am drinking tea that very well may have been harvested by some poor south Asian soul up to their ankles in pesticide muck. And that’s just the start of my day!

  8. The Rev Kev

    Look up 10/20, Biden Remark
    ..if we’re bold enough and have enough confidence in ourselves..
    ..We were in a post-war period for 50 years where it worked pretty damn well, but that’s sort of run out of steam..
    ..It needs a new world order in a sense, like that was a world order’

    I heard old Joe talking about this but it never really made much sense. So he is saying that the US ran things the past fifty years and it worked out very well for the US. And when you consider how ‘world’ organizations like the World Bank and the IMF enforced US desires, he is not really wrong. But now he recognizes that that time is over and it is time for a new world order. And what is his idea? He wants a new world order where the US will run things so that it will work out very well for the US again. And that rules-based order is a part of it. Most of the countries of the Global majority are already headed to the exits and certainly China and Russia are not going to go along with it so who is he talking to with this idea of his. Is it just for domestic consumption?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Things stated to fall apart, that’s what. They couldn’t get their way in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Russians and Iranians spoiled their plans for Syria. The Ukraine is proving a bust. More countries are moving away from the dollar as there are now alternatives. China is overtaking the US and is starting to lead in technology. You can probably add in quite a few more factors but that unipolar moment in the 90s has gone away. Now he wants to go back to the past again and the good old times.

        1. vao

          While certainly less important than all those areas you mention, it is useful to point out that the interventions in Libya and Somalia, while fulfilling immediate objectives, eventually turned into festering sores — destabilizing the surrounding regions, causing a spike in piracy, enabling Russia to establish a presence — that neither the USA, nor its allies/vassals are able to deal with. Again, the USA could not really get their way and messed things up.

        2. Feral Finster

          This is also why the US and its hangers on are desperately seeking confrontation now, while the US is still in a position to potentially win.

          This is much like the situation in 1914, when German planners saw Russia industrializing and its population expanding at a terrific pace and feared that Imperial Russia would soon be a juggernaut.

          At the same time, France saw Germany also growing rapidly, and England feared German naval expansion. Austria (in particular Conrad von Hotzendorf) was in a panic over Serbia and demanding that Serbia be crushed before the various Slavic minorities of the Dual Monarchy started to get ideas.

      2. flora

        1995 – the Bill Clinton admin. NAFTA, off-shoring manufacturing, the rise of China as a new manufacturing power, the Chicago Boys “helping” Yeltsin in the new Ru (all done in C’s admin), W, 20 years of endless ME wars, B’s sanctions foolishly pushing Ru and Chn together? (just some guesses. / ;)

        Yeah, New World Order-ism is looking like a D.C. mental dis-order. / ;)

        1. Louis Fyne

          one of the alternate timelines i want to see if the one where Ross Perot stayed out of the 92 race.

          another is where Zoroastrianism managed to be a world religion

          1. Wukchumni

            Zoroastrianism came in handy earlier in the year @ a Wal*Mart in Poway, Ca.

            A couple of strident evangs were proselytizing in the pet food aisle, and asked me if i’d been saved?

            So I turned it around on them and asked why they were members of a johnny come lately cult?

            They gave me a look where if steam was coming out of their ears it would have matched the sour pusses on their countenances, and one of them demanded I explain myself, and keep in mind this is going on in a Wal*Mart!

            I tell em’ my cult is Zoroastrianism and my deity is a whole lot more faithful than theirs-who nobody has seen for a couple thousand years, while in sunny San Diego, my God is there on average 263 days a year.

            I got left behind, when they went prospecting a few aisles over.

          2. flora

            If Perot had stayed out, and speculating freely, then no NAFTA and the end of the neolib “New Dem” project. That project’s claim to importance was and is its ability to win. That’s why they were desperate to push B across the finish line in 2020. Two lose twice in a row – and to T! -would undermine the whole “New Dem” premise. / my 2 cents.

            1. ex-PFC Chuck

              Another alternate reality to speculate about is what if Perot had not pulled out of the race for about a week and then jumped back in. That was the reason I did not vote for him and I suspect many others as well. It wouldn’t do to have a president who wanted to quit in a snit when things weren’t going well for him. Perhaps if he had stayed in the race it would have gone into the House of Representatives and who knows what would have happened?

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                As I remember, Perot pulled out saying that the cia threatened to smear his youngest daughter and ruin her upcoming wedding.

                Spokespeople for the ex cia head, george h. w. bush, incumbent’s campaign called such a charge “loony.”

                If we “knew” then what we “know” now…. “Fake photos and wiretapping.” Loony is what it is. Yup. Can’t happen “here.”

                PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Independent presidential candidate Ross Perot accused President Bush’s campaign Sunday of plotting to fake a photograph to smear his youngest daughter, of conspiring to disrupt her wedding and of hiring an ex-CIA employee to wiretap his computerized stock trading program and ruin him.

                Perot said the plotting was the real reason he dropped out of the campaign for 11 weeks. He said he wanted to spare his daughter, Caroline, the pain that such dirty tricks could cause. After her wedding in August, Perot said, he told her what he had done. He said she replied: “Get back into the race.” He did, on Oct. 1.

                “Preposterous,” said Marlin Fitzwater, the President’s spokesman, in response to Perot’s dirty-tricks allegations. Margaret Tutwiler, the White House communications director, declared: “It’s all loony.” Bobby R. Burchfield, general counsel for the Bush campaign, said he investigated Perot’s charges. “There is absolutely nothing to them.”


          3. Morincotto

            Zoroastrianism always seemed like a more logical and ultimately more humane version of the later abrahamic religions that appropriated and twisted all of Zoroastrianism’s innovative concepts.

            That’s part of why it failed as a world religion though, they went too far in their clean separation of Good and Evil.

            A truly successful God can never afford to be all good and just, but has to be dangerous and capricious at least to a degree.

            By truly projecting ALL the darkness, cruelty and terror on Angra Mainyu/Ahriman/the OG Devil, they robbed Ahura Mazda of the massive and nasty intimidation factor that the abrahamic deity “wisely” always retained for itself.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      I’d say, hit the ignore button. Joe’s just gone on a walk-about, a sundowner. There is no plan B to replace the neocons fantasy of full-spectrum dominance.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I’m not really in the camp of Biden is too old as much as he was always unfit. This rhetoric takes me back to Dick Morris’ account of Bill Clinton asking whether he would be considered a great president. Biden being the thug he is wants a Shrub on the aircraft carrier moment to get his statue on horseback.

        He’s trying to find what is easy. Calling for leadership is easy.

        1. nippersdad

          The idea that he was too old always struck me as a placeholder for ideas that it would be too politically incorrect to say out loud. They had to rig the primaries in order for Biden to win them over Sanders, and Sanders is even older than Biden.

          Which is not to say that Biden’s increasing degree of infirmity is not a problem, but it is a problem that is covering a lot of other issues as well. He has always been unfit, but to point out the reasons why would be to discredit the very project he was selected to prolong.

    2. jefemt

      I’m wondering if Biden meant fifty years, mid-90’s or if he meant since post WW2 Eisenhower onward.
      Time flies. I’d like to assume he is accurate, on point, and recalling the heady times when he was one of the power-brokers in the 90’s Dem Senate.
      But I have to say I am not sure where his head is….

      I look in any direction, and perceive nothing positive. Seems worse and more precarious than ever.

    3. Ignacio

      The Neocon in Chief drilling down to the depths of their wisdom. New World Order. Sounds emmm… promising! I just can feel it like licking the ice cream in advance. /end of sarc

  9. Jason Boxman

    Ending TB Is Within Reach — So Why Are Millions Still Dying?

    Tuberculosis, which is preventable and curable, has reclaimed the title of the world’s leading infectious disease killer, after being supplanted from its long reign by Covid-19. But worldwide, 40 percent of people who are living with TB are untreated and undiagnosed, according to the World Health Organization. The disease killed 1.6 million people in 2021.

    I didn’t see that one coming; Mass infection without mitigation leads to an increase in susceptibility to other infections. We saw this in action during the “tripledemic” a year ago, but it didn’t occur to me that one consequence would be the resumption of TB as the leading killer.

    The Times mentions none of this, of course. It does mention more rent extraction from the pharmaceutical industry though:

    And for the first time in more than a hundred years, there is real hope for an effective vaccine: A promising candidate called M72, developed by the pharmaceutical company GSK with financial backing from the Gates Foundation and other philanthropies, is now in the last stage of clinical trials.

    (However, as ProPublica recently reported, it’s not clear who will have the rights to sell the vaccine, where it will be available and how much it will cost. Taxpayer and philanthropic money has paid for much of the vaccine’s development, but GSK retains control of critical components.)

    In any case, letting SARS2 ride free is leading to a resurgence of all sorts of disease. As if SARS2 doesn’t do enough damage on its own, as we continue to see. People that don’t stumble on with lasting damage from COVID will succumb to other infectious disease.

    Fun times.

      1. Ranger Rick

        There was a well-publicized hunt for an unrepentant tuberculosis carrier in the Northwest not too long ago. It was remarkable to what lengths they went to conceal her identity. Never did hear how that one ended.

    1. Samuel Conner

      > that don’t stumble on with lasting damage from COVID will succumb to other infectious disease

      perhaps immune dysregulation is increasing susceptibility to other infectious (and perhaps some non-infectious) diseases.

      I can’t wrap my head around the casual attitude toward CV spread.

      1. t

        The other day, someone who likes to think of themselves as a savvy, serious person was droning on about long covid sometimes meaning just six months. As if six months was fine.

  10. flora

    re: Crisis Update: Globalists Plan Ban On Any Critique Of Zionism

    Thanks for the link. I’m seeing hints and snippets of a proposed “new” Suez canal, a larger canal that can better handle the huge container ships coming from the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean. One container ship got stuck in the Suez two years ago and halted canal traffic for weeks. Some hint at a parallel canal running along side the existing Suez. Some hint at a new canal through Israel. Some suggest widening the Suez. utube news, 2 years ago, ~2+ minutes.

    The question of running a new canal through Gaza, if that’s the plan, presents the obvious problem: How to deal with the Gazans given Israel’s intractable and longstanding hostility to Gazans. Genocide seems to be Israel’s answer to the problem. Kill them all.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If it had been built that way, they would never have to worry about lighting up that canal at night for decades to come.

        1. vao

          Let us remember that the USSR actually used atomic bombs to extinguish fires in their gas fields. Reportedly, they also used atomic bombs for hydrological purposes — but the structures thus created ended up radioactive.

          1. IMOR

            Annnnddd…we’re now actually discussing a revived Orion, Bomb-powered engine program and actually spending/building atomic fuel loads that make Cassini’s look small.
            Those naughty Soviets!
            As time passes, fewer and fewer Soviet and Nazi shameful techniques/adventures that were not pioneered by the 1800s-1930 U.K./U.S can be identified. What’s also become obvious is that only one of three legacy entities seems to have learned much from the eventuations / comparisons.

            1. Ranger Rick

              That’s about as inaccurate as you could possibly get and still be in the same ballpark as “nuclear”. Nuclear thermal rockets involve heating propellant up with a radioactive heat source, and are not propelled by bombs in the Orion style. They are held to be about twice as efficient in propellant use as traditional rocket engines.

        1. digi_owl

          I think it was there when it was last mentioned a few days ago, but it is buried in the text rather than in the list of official projects.

        2. GF

          When in grade school we were herded into the cafeteria to watch a Disney propaganda movie about the program. I remember thinking at the time that it made perfect sense. It worked for electricity production so it must be safe.

      2. upstater

        Using nukes to blast a harbor came close to fruition in Alaska:

        The Firecracker Boys: H-Bombs, Inupiat Eskimos, and the Roots of the Environmental Movement

        In 1958, Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, unveiled his plan to detonate six nuclear bombs off the Alaskan coast to create a new harbor. However, the plan was blocked by a handful of Eskimos and biologists who succeeded in preventing massive nuclear devastation potentially far greater than that of the Chernobyl blast. The Firecracker Boys is a story of the U.S. government’s arrogance and deception, and the brave people who fought against it-launching America’s environmental movement. As one of Alaska’s most prominent authors, Dan O’Neill brings to these pages his love of Alaska’s landscape, his skill as a nature and science writer, and his determination to expose one of the most shocking chapters of the Nuclear Age.

        1. jefemt

          Melt the oil-shale in western colorado. That was on the table at one time. The Book Cliffs become Alphabet Soup.

  11. Wukchumni

    The first storm of the fall is coming next week and it’ll rain for 4 or 5 days, and yet another missed opportunity to have set up prescribed burns all over the state and set them on fire a few days before the rain comes, and presto!… have Mother Nature do all the heavy lifting of putting the conflagrations out.

    This same scenario has happened 4 out of the last 6 years where a powerful November storm presented amazing potential, but absolutely nothing was done to benefit from it.

    This is not to say it would be easy to set up prescribed burns, its labor intensive work and in the scenario i’d want, you’d need tens of thousands of workers prepping the forests for the trees so as to meet its match.

    1. mryk

      Now now, the funds required are more needed overseas. We’re teaching children about genocide after all.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “‘When is it too early to teach your kids about genocide?’ Inside the Imperial War Museum’s harrowing new galleries”

    One of the most powerful photos I know of comes from the Vietnam era during the battle of Huế in ’68. It was part of a series of photos from this battle and the photographer won the Robert Capa Award for these photographs. But to me it is a haunting image-

    1. mrsyk

      When is it too early to teach your kids about genocide? My first thought, is are we teaching them kids to recognize or commit?
      I remember, as a kid, endlessly examining photographs of the war in “Time” and “Life” magazines, horrified, hypnotized, trying to make sense of it all. It never ends, does it?

    2. Wukchumni

      My neighbor in Tiny Town had only arrived in country a week before Tet and was a machine gunner in a Patton tank in the USMC in Huế when the deal went down…

      It has taken almost 20 years for him to tell me his story in bits and pieces. It was beyond harrowing. The tank commander wore a necklace of 17 severed human ears, to give you an idea of what was what.

      When Ken Burns tv series on the Vietnam War was on, I asked his wife if he watched it, and she calmly told me ‘Fred doesn’t watch anything having to do with any kind of war…’

      1. The Rev Kev

        Combat vets never forget carrying all those memories and the same must have been true of Greek and Roman soldiers as well. I was reading about how two vets from the battle of Rorke’s Drift (Zulu War of 1879) met decades later to talk over old times. But the first thing that they did was to send the kids away so that they would not hear of how things actually went down, much to the disappointment of those kids.

        1. JBird4049

          Thinking of my relatives, I think that even the civilians tend not to tell the truth of what happened or at least not the details. It often not memories of what one did, but it is the memories of what one saw and endured that causes nightmares.

      2. AndrewJ

        Sounds like willful ignorance to me. I hope your neighbor’s lifetime of veteran’s benefits has compensated him for his complicity in one of our nation’s many unnecessary violent episodes.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “The first AI nation? A ship with 10,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs worth $500 million could become the first ever sovereign territory that relies entirely on artificial intelligence for its future’

    ‘In its announcement on X, the firm said the tightly-guarded barge could operate in international waters, and thus potentially be exempt from international AI regulations.’

    Looks like an offshoot of the SeaSteader movement. Please, please tell me that they want to sail one of these things in the North Atlantic or the Caribbean during storm season. And they cut back on sea safety gear on the grounds that it was frivolous spending. I think that for people like these, the sea is lie a sort of wallpaper where they set their grand schemes. Certainly I would not want to be on one of those oversized rafts in the middle of a hurricane.

    1. jefemt

      Got Fuel?

      Where would the world be without fiat, hypothecation, money creation, MMT?

      Watching what the tech oligarchs do with all their bazillions, like testing spaghetti on the wall at an inebriated college pot-luck. (anecdote, not personal experience)

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah i remember that place being all the rage in the early 2000s, as Pirate Bay was bouncing between hosting facilities.

        The story of the people behind it was one of the last good ones i read on Ars Technica before i got fed up with the rot. One of them tried to set up a libertarian paradise on some Caribbean island until he had his wallet stolen there and got no help from the local police.

    2. digi_owl

      Been tried before, using anchored cargo ships, but invariably what they find is that server racks do not take well to rolling seas.

      Now maybe moving from spinning platter HDDs to solid state storage has alleviated some of that, i guess we will see.

  14. Wukchumni

    You keep sayin’ you’ve got somethin’ for the country
    Somethin’ you call tall tales but confess
    You’ve been 6 foot 1 where you should’ve been 5 foot 9
    And now someone else is as tall as the rest

    These boots are stacked for walkin’
    And that’s just what they’ll do
    One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

    Trump keeps lyin’ when he oughta be truthin’
    And you keep losing ground you oughta get
    You keep samin’ when you oughta be a’changin’
    Now what’s right is hard right but you ain’t been hard right yet

    These boots are stacked for walkin’
    And that’s just what they’ll do
    One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

    You keep prayin’ where you shouldn’t be preyin’
    And you keep thinkin’ that in court Donald will get burnt (ha)
    I just found me a brand new poll of chances, yeah
    And what he knows you ain’t had time to learn
    These boots are stacked for walkin’
    And that’s just what they’ll do
    One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

    Are you ready, boots? Start walkin’ tall

    These Boots Are Made For Walking, by Nancy Sinatra

  15. TimH

    MacSweeney said the problem impacted less than 1% of the daily ACH volume in the United States.

    Whether in transactions or $ amount, that is a lot. This is being downplayed.

  16. MaryLand

    Weary with our world’s problems? You might like some escapist fare that relates to climate change, population pressures, and inequality with a sci-fi twist. It’s the 2017 film “Downsizing” I recently watched on Netflix. Matt Damon does a fairly good job as the protagonist. While the film is not destined be a classic, it does have its good points. I found it oddly soothing.

  17. Trees&Trunks

    Most famous poems.

    I wish this poem would top all the lists of famous and great poems and why not be the standard towards which all other poems are measured. It has everything you need: existence, peace, floating, movement, nature, sounds, sights…

    Stefan George, Wir schreiten auf und ab

    Wir schreiten auf und ab im reichen flitter

    Des buchenganges beinah bis zum tore

    Und sehen aussen in dem feld vom gitter

    Den mandelbaum zum zweitenmal im flore.

    Wir suchen nach den schattenfreien bänken

    Dort wo uns niemals fremde stimmen scheuchten –

    In träumen unsre arme sich verschränken –

    Wir laben uns am langen milden leuchten

    Wir fühlen dankbar wie zu leisem brausen

    Von wipfeln strahlenspuren auf uns tropfen

    Und blicken nur und horchen wenn in pausen

    Die reifen früchte an den boden klopfen.

  18. ThirtyOne

    New Not-So-Cold War

    “Stalin had two loyal subordinates: Vlasik and Poskrebyshev.
    One of them (I don’t remember who exactly) said that they would get to the “master” (as Stalin was called) when they were both pushed aside.
    A couple of months after both were transferred under various pretexts, Stalin died.

    Zaluzhny lost Khorenko and Chestyakov in three days ☝🏻

    That’s why we wrote that politics is intensifying.

    Few people will believe that the losses that occurred 3 days after Zaluzhny’s article are a coincidence, even if it is a coincidence !”

  19. Tom Stone

    It seems that Einstein underestimated the number of Infinities.
    The Universe.
    Human Stupidity.
    The depravity of the Blob.
    There are quite likely more, but these three have all been amply demonstrated.

  20. Michael Mck

    How about we make undisturbed marine reserves out of all the disputed ocean areas instead of jointly patrolling them? Fish need somewhere to seed the rest of the drastically overfished seas from. The US should throw in the Trust Territory of the Pacific while we are at it. How did we ever even claim it to begin with?

    1. caucus99percenter

      Do you mean the Marshall Islands? They were a German protectorate, then after WW1 were handed over to Japan, first under a League of Nations mandate, then by the Treaty of Versailles. After WW2 the U.N. Security Council handed them to the U.S. in 1947.

      Nothing like using the “Trust Territory” vouchsafed unto to your care to carry out 67 nuclear tests! That’s like being granted guardianship of a child and then mercilessly abusing it.

      1. jrkrideau

        I only have seen Levy in person once ~ 20 years ago and don’t remember what he looked like but, now that you mention it, it sounds like what he would say and how he would say it.

  21. Zzzz Andrew

    I grew up in Portland a few doors down from Bob Landsburg, the Mt. St. Helens photographer featured in the tweet above. He was a passionate amateur geologist, no family or kids, who spent his weekends tooling around the Northwest in that old brown car, visiting sites of interest and bringing home rock specimens for his ample collection. (My first memory of him, at 7 or so, is being chased out of his yard where I’d gone to pocket a stone studded with crystals that I’d spied from the street.) A nice guy under the spell of one of nature’s endless taxonomies, he died like he lived. I think about him surprisingly often.

    1. Angie Neer

      Thanks for adding your personal experience. I wasn’t here for the eruption, but since moving to the NW I’ve been fascinated by Mt. St. Helens, and my ears perk up for any related lore. I had not heard the Bob Landsburg story before.

  22. JBird4049

    >>>Israel-Palestine war: 100 Israeli doctors call for Gaza hospitals to be bombed Middle East Eye

    Damn, more génocidaires. While we look at the latest efforts to be Judenfrei safe, I have the quote of William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” in mind.

    But then, the German and American medical establishments were both serious proponents of eugenics in the first half of the Twentieth Century. Some Americans still do sterilizations in prisons and immigration detention on the sly as it is very illegal. It has been a thing since it was outlawed in the late 1960s or early 1970s. However, who believes prisoners?

    So many supposedly intelligent, educated, ostensibly humane people insist on staring without fear or caution into that Nietzschean abyss; they say that they are making the hard choices when really they are becoming the very evil they say that they are fighting.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s all fun and games until the hospitals that those Israeli doctors work at get hit then it will be squeals of outrage, flowing tears and the rendering of scrubs.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “11 most famous poems of all time”

    I would add a twelfth one to that list which, though not long, is very memorable-

    ‘Colder than an iceberg,

    gloomy and glum.

    Colder than the hair

    on a polar bear’s ***.’

  24. Morincotto

    The problem with things like calling stuff like the US overcommitting to it’s client states bad is that it is not sufficiently clear that this is really, unambigiously bad for the US.

    Don’t get me wrong, it is, but the damage that is very real was always and arguably still is of a kind that can be swept under the table, at least partially, or disconnected from imperial adventurism and/or just not painful enough for the masses of proud, brainwashed, ignorant empire simps and not painful at all for the actual ruling elite, at least not for the most powerful and psychopathic sections of the elite.

    The undeniable damage to both the client states and the victims of aggression is much larger, but who cares in the circles of Power or even the electorate?

    Still plenty of MAGA types who would be totes okay with war on Iran on top of the shitlibs and PMCs.

    Millions of dead and displaced don’t make for bad investment, far from it.

    Ukraine is a special case and very bad optics (for those actually looking at least) because the US has never had an adversary powerful enough to tank everything thrown at them the way Russia can and does, and the mere fact that Russia does this is humiliating for the US.

    Which is why they desperately want to crush Iran now, an “enemy” they loath almost as much and who is much less powerful, so they want a that war as a (hopefully) balm for their wounded pride.

    And they also (probably correctly) calculate that if they crush Iran and manage to turn in into a failed state, that will also damage and undermine Russia and China, especially if Russia and China are not seen doing anything to protect Iran from that fate (or if they do something and it is not enough).

    Even the destruction of Israel and/or it becoming a failed state too, would probably be absolutely worth it, at least in neocon eyes.

    And even in Ukraine it is still relatively easy for the neocons to argue that while Russia is hurt nowhere near as much as they had hoped or expected, not even talking about the sacrificed pawn itself, it is still hurting more than the US.

    Even that may be true only in some sectors, as yes, overall clearly Russia is growing stronger, but that can be easily dismissed.

    Especially if the destruction of Iran managed to spoil the global networks and alliances that Russia and China have been successful creating up until now to any significant degree.

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