Links 12/5/2023

The Evolution of Modern Dogs The Garden of Forking Paths (furzy)

Cicadas Are So Loud, Fiber Optic Cables Can ‘Hear’ Them Wired

A New Way to Trigger a Tsunami Nautilus (Micael T)

EU state reports ‘highly pathogenic’ bird flu outbreak RT (Kevin W)

Taylor Swift, Vladimir Putin, Sam Altman and Barbie are all shortlisted for Time Person of the Year Daily Mail


Massive new wave of coronavirus infections in Germany WSWS (Micael)

Thailand’s weekly Covid-19 cases surge over 500 with three fatalities Thaiger (furzy)

Are COVID Nasal Vaccines on the Way? Health Central (ma)

Iceland No Longer Offers Covid Vaccines To General Population After Spike In Sudden Deaths People’s Voice (Chuck L). Not a great source, but if this is an accurate translation, the officials are in denial that Covid can have very large impacts and therefore attribute all outa of band health issues to the vaccines, and not Covid + vaccines. Update: Turns out not, the article which is paywalled, apparently said that Covid vaccines were (temporarily) not available, which is not at all the same as being made not available.


As Dubai hosts climate talks, its air pollution soars Agence France-Presse (furzy)

Attenborough ship encounters mammoth iceberg BBC (David L)

Why a new climate group is heckling powerful Democrats Yale Climate Connections

China’s bamboo could replace high-emitting plastics, but tech bottlenecks are stunting growth South China Morning Post (furzy)


US Technology Policy Amid Rivalry With China Valdai Club (Micael T)

Moody’s cut China’s credit outlook to negative on rising debt risks CNBC

US Issues Warning To Nvidia, Urging To Stop Redesigning Chips For China Fortune

European Disunion

From Politico’s morning European newsletter:

Recap: The killer was a bombshell Constitutional Court ruling last month that said Germany’s use of special funds to finance energy and green subsidies violated the constitutional “debt brake,” which limits the federal deficit to 0.35 percent of GDP….

Bad news for Europe: Unless it finds another way to fill the budget gap — most likely by declaring another emergency that would allow it to disregard the “debt brake” — the EU’s biggest economy risks falling behind on the green and digital transitions and missing EU-wide emission reduction targets, with repercussions for the entire Union.

As for the EU budget: German officials have also warned that the Constitutional Court ruling means Berlin will have no leeway to finance budget increases for the EU….

IT GETS WORSE: On Monday evening, the coalition received another blow as another institution — the country’s federal audit court — slammed Berlin’s plan to attempt to save this year’s national budget.

Airbus might need state backing for new aircraft programme to replace A320, chief says Financial Times

Maduro’s Vote to Annex Territory From Guyana Is Seen as a Diversion New York Times (furzy)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 59: Palestinian civilians have nowhere to run as Israel expands ground operations south Mondoweiss (guurst)

UN says Gaza to get ‘even more hellish’ as Israel expands operation BBC

Alastair Crooke: Will Israel Face Consequences? Judge Napolitano, YouTube. Important details, like overwhelming opposition of Israelis to a cease fire, and a peace process and intensified support for clearing Israel of Palestinians. Also details on widening war.

“He who can destroy a thing controls a thing” (grr, Twitter often fails to “take” on its overly cumbersome “embed post” procedure. so a duplicate tweet was originally in the spot below instead of the intended one here now):

Houthi attacks on vessels in Red Sea sound alarm for global trade Financial Times. Only at the very very end does the piece acknowledge there is not much that can be done. The West underinvested in air defense and cheap drones (which can get a defender to deplete his air defense missiles even faster)O have furthers tipped the balance in favor in favor of missiled and drones.

Watch: Debunking Israel’s “mass rape” propaganda Electronic Initifada

Congress Reviews Plan to Facilitate Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians From Gaza (Kevin W). More short-sightedness. Will just further reduce US influence in the region.

Netanyahu corruption trial resumes Times of Israel (BC)

‘The butcher of Gaza should be tried like Milosevic:’ Erdogan The Cradle

Right Before Hamas Attacked Someone Shorted Israeli Stocks And Funds Moon of Alabama. I hate to point out but the short was placed October 2. The precipitating event was the attempt to desecrate the Al Aqsa mosque, which took place Oct. 4. Now admittedly Hamas was like a coiled spring ready to go, and there were signs of increased preparation in preceding months, but the precise timing of the raid was actually significantly influenced by the Israel side. Remember that Alastair Crooke reported shortly after the Al Asqua attack that the Israeli cabinet had met in the tunnels under the mosque in recent months and declare this this land was theirs and they would take it. If the mosque raid had been more successful, it would not be hard to expect some sort of violent reaction, since there had been one earlier that year. From Wikipedia:

A series of violent confrontations occurred between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem in April 2023. After the evening Ramadan prayer, Palestinians barricaded themselves inside the mosque, prompted by reports that Jews planned to sacrifice a goat at the site (which is forbidden by Israeli law). In response, Israeli police raided the mosque in riot gear, injuring 50 people and arresting at least 400.

In the aftermath of the clashes, Palestinian militant groups[4] fired rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon – acts broadly construed as a response to the events at Al-Aqsa

And recall that troops had been temporarily redeployed out of the base next to Gaza, which could also have played into the Hamas decision as to when to act. Hamas also practicing extreme secrecy, and placing a big trade would seem to contradict that. So while the tidy explanation may be correct, it’s not dispositive.

New Not-So-Cold War

War in Ukraine “This miserable purgatory brings no results” Tagesschau (guurst, original here)

In Ukraine, a war of incremental gains as counteroffensive stalls Washington Post. Aside from the cope in the headline, article details a lot of finger-pointing.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Documents Show The DEA Has Problems Constraining Itself To Losing The War On Drugs TechDirt (Chuck L)

Automakers’ Data Privacy Practices ‘Are Unacceptable,’ Says US Senator ars technica

23andMe admits hackers accessed 6.9 million users’ DNA Relatives data The Verge (Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Prophecies of Oswald Spengler or, He Wasn’t Wrong … Just Early Black Box Site (Walt D)

Late Republic Politics Joe Costello (Randy K)

Henry Kissinger, preserving empire and power The Duran (Kevin W).

We linked to this video earlier but Chuck L sent this tweet which highlights some key points:


Trump defense points to bankers as proof business dealings had ‘no victim’ The Hill

GOP Clown Car

Burnham, Machiavelli, and Republican Freedom digressionaimpressions (Userfriendly)


US Supreme Court torn over Purdue Pharma bankruptcy settlement Reuters

Grand jury indicts former Ohio public utilities chairman for federal bribery, embezzlement crimes (Carla R)

Our No Longer Free Press

Disinformation researcher says Meta helped push her from Harvard NPR (David L)

3 university presidents to face grilling on campus antisemitism at House hearing The Hill


Cigna said to be going after Humana to buy its way into Medicare Advantage Wendell Potter


For true AI governance, we need to avoid a single point of failure Financial Times

The Twilight Zone of Economics Project Syndicate (David L)

The Bezzle

Tesla whistleblower casts doubt on car safety BBC

California commission says Cruise withheld data about parking atop of a pedestrian The Register (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

Free trade and debt : the two sides of neocolonialism CADTM (Micael T)

More US holiday shoppers turn to ‘buy now, pay later’ loans Financial Times. Another sign of lack of real wage growth.

UAW Calls for Ceasefire in Gaza – Washington Post to Strike – 2,000 Nurses Strike in Kansas and Texas Mike Elk

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa


    The heart of darkness can be found
    In jungle climes oftentimes,
    But that is not its breeding ground,
    The origin of its crimes.

    Nor in deserts, grassy plains,
    The high divides of mountainsides,
    Nor massive graves with stacked remains,
    That’s not where darkness hides.

    Nor hollow men in suit and tie,
    In parliaments and governments,
    Who deem that natives need to die,
    Then everyone consents.

    Nor in the flying bombardier,
    Dropping bombs on kids and moms.
    He’s just a common pistoleer,
    Performing fresh pogroms.

    The darkness truly blooms in war,
    In every fight where might makes right,
    In every marching fighting corps,
    Their bayonets so bright.

    It blooms where we launch genocide,
    Killing by race, no mercy or grace,
    The slaughter of the terrified,
    An arrogant smile on your face.

    Perhaps it’s done for profits gained,
    Commodity trade, or a holy crusade,
    Whatever purpose we’ve ordained,
    The darkness is always man made.

    “For theirs to be ours we simply must
    Plunder and steal, make them squeal,
    Giving free rein to hate and lust
    Will make our world ideal.”

    “Later we’ll write history books,
    Remove the gory from the story,
    Paint the dead as thugs and crooks,
    And wallow in our glory.”

    All through human history
    Ethnic strife is a fact of life.
    The method’s never a mystery:
    The hatchet, the rifle, the knife.

    The darkness blooms when you see
    People as stuff, and sure enough,
    Once you don’t see their humanity
    Things get really rough.

    Empathy is the only cure.
    You can choose to stand in their shoes,
    Feel the horrors they endure
    By the things you now excuse.

    We are the heart of darkness.
    No tiger will slay a thousand a day.
    It’s in us, in all its starkness,
    It’s right in our DNA.

    The Jew who screams for Arab deaths,
    The Aryan true who gases the Jew,
    Reciting accepted shibboleths,
    Buffalo soldiers killing the Sioux,

    Hutu and Tutsi, Prince Dracool,
    The hill in San Juan, a roof in Saigon,
    Dropping bombs on a UN school,
    Making plans to nuke Tehran.

    It’s in the intellect of man.
    Our big brain is not humane.
    We rationalize as best we can,
    But we add to our domain.

    1. zagonostra

      Well done, but alas If only “empathy was the cure.” Unfortunately there is a segment of the populace that lacks the capacity, just as there is a segment that has an innate tendency toward violence given the sufficient environmental conditions. It seems that that segment is the one that controls the government.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      WOW! thank you – we are a pathogen – a dead-end cul de sac – only empathy and love moderated by respect makes life worth living – too few care to understand or are able when living under the shadow of that darkness – it brought me to tears as so much does these days – thank you –

    3. Lexx

      ‘we are the heart of darkness’

      That’s hell… but we’re also all the ‘heaven’ we’ll ever know. Same DNA.

    4. Benn

      If you think horror is in our DNA then the empire has won even the hearts of those who stand against it.

      Question these underlying assumptions, walk away from Omelas.

  2. Wukchumni

    {…at the HUAC* meeting}

    ‘We are gathered here to investigate alleged disloyalty and rebel activities on the part of private citizens, public employees and organizations suspected of having anti-Israel ties.

    Are you now or have you ever been an anti-Semite?’

    *House Under AIPAC Control

    1. ChrisFromGA

      I may donate to the Squad for the first time. Rashida Tlaib and the chick up in Minnesota.

      While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.

      From George Washington’s Farewell Address.

      Needs to be brain-tattooed into every politician’s skull.

    2. Carolinian

      At least the Cold War was about some theoretical threat to Americans and our beloved capitalist system. Congress’ devotion to Israel is apparently about nothing other than bribes and threats by a foreign lobby and it’s American supporters. And it’s also of course about the perceived impotence of American voters to do anything about that.

      People love to talk about Hitler these days–perhaps more than ever (after WW2 many wanted to forget the whole thing)–but it’s entirely possible that Hitler was clinically insane and what’s happening in Gaza represents the same sort of insanity that is all about violence with only a vague plan. I’m not sure if this recent Big Serge got linked here

      but I think it’s super relevant to what is happening in Israel as well as the discussed war in Ukraine. And the description of how limited war turns into total war perhaps has to do with that same insanity. A few million in Israel believe they can use the borrowed violence of an unwary US to control an entire region. Hubris precedes nemesis, but surely we must avoid letting Netanyahu take the rest of us down with him.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        “At least the Cold War was about some theoretical threat to Americans and our beloved capitalist system.”

        The keyword is theoretical. The Cold War was instigated by a US/UK psyop to serve as the cover for the reestablishment of the stealth colonialism regime described so well by Michael Hudson in Super Imperialism.

    3. Mikel

      They would do that BS AND another communist scare persecution at the same time.
      On top of the deified greed and criminality within the Beltway establishment, they still get big money from a set that wants to see any remains of the New Deal gone before they go to the grave.

      1. Wukchumni

        ‘In God We Trust’ was only added to our currency in the white heat of the Cold War in the 1950’s…

  3. ChrisFromGA

    The Little Saint Zee

    (Sung to the tune of “The Little Saint Nick” by the Beach Boys)

    Ooh … cancel Christmas, Saint Zee
    (Gravy train left town this year)
    Ooh – ooh

    Well, way up north, where the air gets cold
    There’s a tale about a war that you’ve all been told
    And a real famous cat dressed like GI Joe
    And he spends the whole year beggin’ for some more dough

    It’s the little Saint Zee (ooh … little St. Zee)
    It’s the little Saint Zee (ooh … little Saint Zee)

    Just a little racket, we call it “feed the Beast”
    But she’ll walk a committee with their palms a-greased
    “We’d better fight them reds, before they take New York!”
    And when Powell hits the gas, man, just grab some pork!

    It’s the little Saint Zee (oooh … Saint Zee)
    It’s the little Saint Zee (oooh … Saint Zee)


    Run run Saint Zee!
    Run run Saint Zee!
    Run run Saint Zee!
    Run run Saint Zee!

    He don’t miss no one

    But, the counteroffensive didn’t go so well
    With a half a million casualties, it went straight to Hell
    Don’t feel bad for our boy, cause he’s coming to our shores
    And he’s goosing out his pad with some new hardwood floors

    It’s the little Saint Zee (ooh little Saint Zee) 2x

    ooh cancel Christmas, Saint Zee
    (Gravy train left town this year)

    wah-ah-ah cancel Christmas, Saint Zee
    (Gravy train left town this year)

    Wah-ah-ah cancel Christmas, Saint Zee
    (Gravy train left town this year)

    1. JohnA

      Zee has already tried to cancel the Orthodox Christmas, in early January, and force the western 25 december Christmas Day on the population instead.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I would not be surprised to see him announce one day that they are getting rid of the Cyrillic alphabet and adopting the Latin alphabet instead in the Ukraine. That is, if he can avoid becoming a smear against a brick wall first.

      2. ChrisFromGA

        Well, that’s a good point, and one that I hadn’t considered when cooking up the spoof.
        Honestly there is so much material these days, these lyrics write themselves.

  4. Alice X

    Ryan Grim – H. Res 894 – A new House resolution, which may be voted on as early as tonight, “clearly and firmly states that anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” This comes after a previous resolution hinted at that claim, but did not fully state it. So now Congress wants to leave no question.

    Congress shall pass no law abridging the right to shop, isn’t that what the framers meant?

    1. The Rev Kev

      That previous resolution was about a week ago and there were only two dissenters – Rep. Rashida Tlaib who voted “present,” while Rep. Thomas Massie who voted against it-

      So the Squad fell into line yet once again but it won’t save them as AIPAC is seeking to primary them. Yeah, Thomas Massie and his family are gun nuts but recall that Massie was also the only person to vote against the 2020 CARES Act with gave away trillions to wealthy individuals and corporations while only throwing bread crumbs to the peons.

      1. Jason Boxman

        But what matters is parading around in a dress that says eat the rich while walking amongst them, earning and upper middle class congresspersons salary. Priorities.

      2. IMOR

        Resolution has been put on calendar for suspension of rules, to be voted on or unanimously consented to with whatever other legislation is on suspension either at close of debate on such or in two legislative days. Debate may be limited to five minutes. No further amendments may be proposed, only those if any supplied already by the resolution floor managers for consideration.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Just for clarity, a “resolution” is not a “law,” it is a “sentiment” or “advice”:

      A Resolution of Congress is a statement issued by the House of Representatives or the Senate individually to regulate the administrative or internal business of the respective chamber, or to express facts or opinions on non-legislative matters. A Resolution of Congress is also referred to as a Simple Resolution, in contrast to a Joint Resolution of Congress or a Concurrent Resolution of Congress. Resolutions are identified by the abbreviations “H.Res.” for Resolutions of the House, or “S.Res” for resolutions of the Senate and an identification number. Resolutions of Congress are not signed by the president and do not have the force of law. The United States Senate webpage provides examples for when simple resolutions may be used, such as “to express the sentiments of a single house, such as offering condolences to the family of a deceased member of Congress, or it may give ‘advice’ on foreign policy or other executive business.”

      This “resolution” would appear to be a declaration of who’s on israel, inc.’s payroll, and doesn’t give a shit who knows it.

      “A republic if you can keep it.” The jury is in. “We” can’t.

      1. Alice X

        Thanks, I wasn’t confused about that, the resolution confirms the moral degeneration of the congress critters, and that is something.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          In the lemming-like stampede to virtue signal, they lack the self-awareness that they’re putting their names in the history books for posterity.

          1. Wukchumni

            When its unlawful to order a falafel
            Or despair over a matzo not so hot so
            Dare not whine over Manischewitz wine
            Because its not sweet enough this time
            Is the navy bean soup kosher?

          2. ArvidMartensen

            I think history books have about 50 years to go, and the maybe readers a bit more than that.

            So all this bs is being done for nothing, the universe doesn’t care, and neither does Planet Earth.

      2. nippersdad

        While resolutions are not laws, they can color legislation insofar as they become the legal definitions that are used when writing them. IOW, it is a back door legalization of something that would otherwise be subject to judicial review. IIRC, they tried to make this definition a law a few years ago, and that was why it failed to pass. It was just too brazen an infraction of the first amendment.

      3. caucus99percenter

        Sooo — how come a joint resolution of Congress, rather than a treaty, was deemed sufficient to annex a sovereign independent country? Against the will of its people, I might add, who just a few years earlier had lost their democratic constitutional monarchy to a putsch organized by foreign land owners?ʻokoʻa-native-hawaiian-students-organize-week-of-events-celebrating-hawaiian-culture-and-independence/

    3. Feral Finster

      Well, I guess that that solves it, then. I guess I am an antisemite, just as anyone who was opposed to apartheid could only do so because they hated Afrikaaners.

      If Congress voted that I am a Royal Bengal Tiger, does that mean I can eat fifty pounds of meat a day?

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Taylor Swift, Vladimir Putin, Sam Altman and Barbie are all shortlisted for Time Person of the Year ”

    Not a chance that Time will make Putin as Time Person of the Year nor Xi for that matter. King Charles III stands a good chance of getting this honour though there are rumours that he only got to be King through nepotism. Jerome Powell stands a good chance of winning too because of all the good things that he has done with the Biden economy. But in the end they will probably go with Barbie.

    1. Alice X

      My 2¢ are on Barbie, even though she was never among my favs as a kiddo. I did think it gracious of the Owners to allow the barbs (if you will) in the movie that they did.

      1. Wukchumni

        Around the turn of the century a coin dealer I know in Pasadena asks if i’ll put something on eBay for him, the computer divide back then being wide for older men.

        He had a circa 1964 hair color change Barbie, new never played with, in the clear plastic box with all accessories.

        I described it as best I could and took a dozen photos, and interest was intense, e-mails came in asking if Barbie had 2 or 3 strands of hair, or other minutia befitting a miniature doll.

        I think it sold for $3400.

      2. Carolinian

        I finally saw the Barbie movie. Eh. But I wasn’t really that impressed with Oppenheimer either which doesn’t seem to have a clear notion of what it is about.

        I do wonder about the Barbie premise. Wasn’t Barbie always just a fashion doll with the feminist angle added in as that too became fashionable? The notion of the Mattel corporation as social pioneers is of course flattering to Mattel, producers of the movie and owner of all its visuals and trademarks.

        1. Alice X

          I haven’t seen the Oppenheimer film (yet) but I did see the documentary, and am all too aware of the nuclear nightmare that could fall upon us at any point

          The Barbie flick is loaded with some witty quips, and visual cross references.

          From the link: the movie’s universal message of self acceptance and equality IS feminism.

          And, of course, Barbie is Margot Robbie, who I like.

          1. Carolinian

            Oh I like her too but she’s been better in some of her past movies. Now she may be stuck in Barbie 2,3,4….

            Since she’s a producer she is now very rich.

            And the documentary made in the 80s is good and I read the American Prometheus book but thought the movie somewhat disappointing. It’s certainly not about how to make an atomic bomb and doesn’t show much interest in that. Whereas it shows excessive interest in Oppenheimer’s subsequent rejection despite being the “father” (which he wasn’t–more like the adoptive father) of the Bomb.

            Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb is a much better book on the whole topic and Oppenheimer is just one of the many moving parts.

    2. Jason Boxman

      TS certainly got a lot of people sick this year. That alone gets her in the running for human of the year, maybe some public health prize as well. Can share it with Oster.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Kinda surprised neither fani willis nor tanya chutkan made the cut.

      What have taylor swift or barbie done to save democracy by stompin’ Trump into the dirt lately?

      1. Alice X

        >What have taylor swift or barbie done to save democracy by stompin’ Trump into the dirt lately?

        I woke up this morning with an excess of my usual level of despair – so whistling past the graveyard seems highly in order.

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        Since the #McResistance opened the current phase of its Lawfare campaign against Trump with Stormy Daniels, I nominate her. And while we’re at it, let’s bring back Michael Avenatti as part of the Walls Are Closing In Nostalgia Tour.

    4. ChrisFromGA

      Why not SBF? He epitomizes the current zeitgest of devil-may-care fraud that is all that’s left of our grift-olicious fake economy. Dressed up in dime store Ayn-Randian philosophical BS.

      Maybe the jail time killed the buzz … our anti-heroes have to get away with it.

      1. Wukchumni

        Seems as if S B-F ought to be the hair apparent, but deep down he’s just a common grifter dealing in uncommon amounts of money.

        And talking about money, if it wasn’t for S B-F’s ‘arbitrage macht frei’ in the hoosegow, I’d never know that packets of mackerel pass as manna on the inside, go fish.

        Kinda Jesus’y, turning fish into vegan loaves of bread.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          I’ll highlight the parallel between Sam-I-Am’s dressing up his grift with effective altruism (a kind of religion) and 80’s TV televangelists claiming they were running their games for “Jaysus!”

          It seems that most folks need to create some moral justification for their selfish acts, especially as the scale of the graft becomes unimaginable.

          That was one thing I think Rand got right, that such mental justifications lead to some of the greater harms in society.

    5. Trees&Trunks

      Time’s Person of the Year is not the same kiss of death as Forbes 30 & 40 so Putin can be selected and still win the war.

    6. Wukchumni

      I’d go with Taylor Swift, in that I know her visually from a glance, she’s one of the most recognizable people in the world, but know none of her music, for what she is known.

      1. Carolinian

        Who’s Taylor Swift?

        Ok I may have heard of her. Think I also got one of her CDs out of the library when they still had CDs. It didn’t make much of an impression.

        1. Not Qualified to Comment

          Likewise, tho’ I’ve heard the name Taylor Swift and knew it was attached to a female I wouldn’t recognise her if I fell over her. And until I read your comment I had assumed she was an actress who had ‘starred’ in a few films.

          Too, I had heard of ‘Time’ magazine and think I may once have seen a three year old copy of one in a dentist’s waiting room

          So for me, and I suspect for >99% of the World’s population, its nomination of a Person of the Year’ is utterly uninteresting and irrelevant. Particularly when that person obviously hasn’t done anything useful enough to draw its attention.

        1. Mikel

          The Forbes 30 under 30 have to worry about jail.
          Times Man(Person) of the Year has to worry about assination.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      We got this from a normally reliable reader, so apologies. I did attempt to look at the source article but it was paywalled to the degree that the paywall busters I use could not get past it.

  6. NN Cassandra

    So after losing war with Russia and morally debase itself in Gaza, the West is going to solve all this by doubling down and self immolating on the altar of completely artificial “debt breaks” and “debt ceilings”. You can’t make this up.

    1. timbers

      Well If it weren’t for Social Security creating all those deficits, we could have given that $400 billion its top General told Lyoud Austin Ukraine needs to fight Russia (so says Dima) and won the war. American indispensable-ism can not fail, it can only BE failed.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Since Milley went, am seeing a lot of Lloyd Austin on the news lately. Lloyd Austin is already seventy so isn’t it time that he want back to work for Raytheon again and cash in on all those contract that he is arranging? Just learned that he was once a partner in an investment company with which Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Michèle Flournoy are affiliated. It’s a big club – and he is definitely in it. He probably got his present job because Beau Biden was on his staff in Iraq in 2008 and 2009 and he kept in contact afterwards. That is probably why old Joe gave him some waivers so he could get his present job.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Too bad Carlin clouded an important point of public policy by his trenchant and depressing formulation.

          It is not a “big” club at all, it’s a DENSE club, of a very few people and their sycophants, kind of like a neutron star on its way to collapsing into a black hole and sucking everything in its surroundings in with it.

          Less than 0.01 percent of the Golden Billion political economy runs everything for the benefit of its cadre. A tiny club wielding, as it is, a very big stick to club us baby seals to death with.

      2. Feral Finster

        Well, fire up the printing presses, then! What is that, half of annual US military spending?

        Also, speaking of printing, is there a way to print young physically fit Ukrainian nationalist males? Maybe 3D print them by the tens of thousands on the cheap?

        Asking for a “friend”.

        1. Wukchumni

          Also, speaking of printing, is there a way to print young physically fit Ukrainian nationalist males? Maybe 3D print them by the tens of thousands on the cheap?

          Qin Shi Huang is who you want to hit up…

          1. Feral Finster

            I’ll be sure not to give the regime any bright ideas.

            On second thought, let the genocidal creeps try.

    2. ChrisFromGA

      The timing is suspicious.

      It’s not like they couldn’t muster the votes to print another $106B, if they really went TARP-a-matic on Johnson, and then just took the chance that Joe sixpack has to pay $10/gallon to fill up his truck and a happy-meal gets a 20-handle by next summer.

      Granted, there is an election next year, and it would cook Biden like Christmas turkey left in the oven too long, but I’m sure they could trot out Nikki Haley or some other alternative to orangumanbad.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        The Rs have been going on about deficits for a while, and plenty of non-R sites are banging on about our debt levels. So this is A Topic.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          paranoia … check.

          I am admittedly triggered by anything that might theoretically lead to “tanks in the street” and TARP. Too many bad nightmares from back in that day. My feelings, my responsibility.

          Draghi’s “whatever it takes” logically implies that things like Constitutions are mere speedbumps for autocrats and partisan scoundrels.

          To your point, the debt brake is a German thing.

        2. Adam Eran

          Two things:

          1. Thom Hartmann reports Jude Wannisky (a journalist for Wall St. Journal) came up with the “Two Santa Clauses” strategy for R’s: Make the deficit as big as possible when in power, and complain as bitterly as possible about it when out. Reagan adopted that strategy (“Reagan proved deficits don’t matter” – Dick Cheney) and, as far as I know, is still the record holder, in percentage terms for increasing the deficit.

          2. Plenty of D’s want to “balance” the budget. The last surplus was from the Clinton administration, and involved a tiny tax increase. The last significant deficit reduction from R’s was the Coolidge – Hoover combo’s pre-depression deficit reduction. My Democratic congress person has actually sponsored presentations from Pete Peterson’s “Fix the Debt” bushwa. It turned out to be push-polling to see how much his constituents would swallow in spending cuts, or FICA tax increases that still kept the upper cap on taxable income well below wealthy-person altitude.

          The best MMT about this that I know is this article from Randall Wray.

    3. Skip Intro

      Posters here (pats back), foresaw the budget stress of an unexpected long war coupled with deindustrialization putting new stresses on that neoliberal noose known as the EU, particularly if budget hawks so eager to crush the PIIGS suddenly have to run their own deficits. It seems as likely as ever that NATO’s war on Russia can break both NATO and the EU.

  7. KD

    On Spengler and Caesarism:

    Caesarism gets bandied about, and people can be “for” Caesarism or “against” it. However, if you look at the Roman Republic, as Rome grew from a provincial power to a large regional hegemon around the Mediterranean Sea, some citizens grew very rich, and some citizens fell on hard times. If you ad Peter Turchin’s analysis of income inequality leading to elite overproduction, you had a pauperization of the masses combined with an expansion at the very top. This immiseration of the masses combined with too many ultrawealthy competing in a zero sum game for a limited number of positions of power creates the basis for civil war. The Roman Republic collapsed because you have nasty civil wars between competing elites, which necessitated dictatorship to put down unrest. The Republic was no longer capable of avoiding civil war. The soldiers of the dictator were personally loyal to the dictator, so it became impossible to wind down the dictatorship without provoking another civil war on the part of the soldiers. So Rome could not operate without a dictator, and became an empire.

    Caesarism isn’t going to come to America because people vote for Donald Trump, or because they vote for Democrats who are going to support “democracy,” it is going to come from the massive income inequality leading to the over production of elites leading to elite competition for power leading to civil war and dictatorship, and then dictatorship becoming the standard and impossible to dispense with. By definition, a government controlled and run by the superrich is not going to do anything to address the structural problem of elite overproduction, because that is contrary to the interests of the superrich who like income inequality and don’t want high progressive income taxes or wealth taxes, and they want to construct a global financial empire making the potential profits inconceivably high relative to the average laborer. You then throw on the decline in US relative power and the rise of a multipolar world with serious geopolitical competition, and the climate crisis as aggravating factors, and it should be clear that it doesn’t matter if you are pro-Caesar or con-Caesar, if some form of US hegemony survives, its going to be Caesar with American characteristics, because the system is incapable of reforming itself.

    1. digi_owl

      Rent-a-cops in the streets and corporate armies “keeping the peace”?

      Now i see why Musk is throwing money at Neuralink, he wants cyberpunk to become real (with him in the penthouse atop the pyramid perhaps).

      1. chris

        Yes, I agree. I think Musk and others want cyberpunk to become reality, including DocWagons and constant credit checks and complete submersion into every system they’re interested in controlling for the sake of controlling people.

    2. JBird4049

      The Roman civil wars killed much of the ruling class including their families, friends, and supporters as well as the military age males. Of course, the ruling class focused on power by any means at the cost of having a functioning society/state. By the end of the wars, Rome likely did not have the ability to organically govern itself without a dictatorship.

      I could make a case that Western Civilization is doing the same right now only more quietly.

  8. Alice X

    >Venezuelan Voters Back Maduro’s Claim to a Neighbor’s Territory

    From the NYT piece, about Maduro:

    …his country continues to suffer under international sanctions.

    So the US tries to make the Venezuelan economy scream in order to topple the dictator Maduro but complains about the results when he holds a free and fair election.

    Wash, rinse and repeat. Oh, and watch the refugees stream over the US border.

  9. Jeff W

    An acknowledgment, almost out of the blue, in a recent video,“Henry Kissinger, preserving empire and power” on The Duran [here], in a conversation on the occasion of the death of Kissinger: Alex Christoforou—contrasting President Richard Nixon, who, he says, “was ruthless, cynical but he also had empathy in that he understood the other side’s position and the other side’s interest,” with other, later US leaders—comments:

    Actually, Naked Capitalism, Yves Smith, says it best—which is that the collective West, what they do is they negotiate and talk to each other but they never, you know, talk to to anyone that’s also involved in negotiation. They don’t consider anybody else. They spend all their time negotiating and talking between themselves.

    1. Jeff W

      I should have acknowledged that the video is, in fact, mentioned in the links but I missed it. Oops! In any case, the link I provided is cued up to the reference in my comment.

    2. Skip Intro

      Thanks for that quote. I vaguely recalled it when reading the story about Zaluzhny and Gerasimov cutting deals that let Ukraine join NATO after territorial concessions. It seemed like the west negotiating with itself.

      1. JTMcPhee


        Performed with either hand? That would make it “ambidextrous autoauthoritarianism.”

  10. The Rev Kev

    ” 3 university presidents to face grilling on campus antisemitism at House hearing ”

    And this is how you shut down criticisms of Israel on campus. You have the billionaires pull funding to those universities as the first step. Then you bring in university presidents to ask them why they are antisemitic. Lawmakers say that Jewish students do not feel safe on campus. And you go into it and you find that it was because they saw a Palestinian flag and felt threatened or seeing their fellow students actively protesting genocide by the Israelis which made them sad. So for their sake, the entire university zone will be declared a ‘safe zone’ where students will only be able to give support to Israel and not the people of Gaza. Having these presidents before Congress is to spread the word to all presidents to start cracking down on all that free speech rubbish and get with the program – or else.

    1. Es s Ce tera

      I truly hope these three take advantage of the opportunity to tell the so-called hearing what they don’t want to hear. The time to push back on their narrative is now, it has never been more urgent.

  11. Grumpy Engineer

    Gah. The new “Climate Defiance” group that’s demanding an end to fossil fuel production (along with moving the “Overton window” and various other social justice goals) appears to be another flavor of XR (“Extinction Rebellion”), which is another group infamous for bizarre attention-seeking protests that make similar demands.

    And unfortunately like XR, Climate Defiance gives no consideration to those who would be impacted by their demands. If we quit drilling for oil, we end up with a petroleum shortage immediately followed by a gasoline/diesel shortage. Prices would spike and people would end up stranded on the side of the road by the thousands. Possibly by the millions. How would we avoid that? And people with oil-fired furnaces would no longer be able to heat their homes during the winter, effectively being left to freeze to death in the dark. How would we avoid that?

    If we quit drilling for gas, people with gas-fired furnaces would also be unable to heat their homes. How would we avoid that? And if we quit digging for coal in addition to cutting off gas, most utilities would be utterly unable to keep the grid running during windless nights, which now means that people with heat pumps would also be left to to freeze to death in the dark. Again, how do we avoid killing people with XR and Climate Defiance demands?

    By failing to acknowledge the difficulties that a cut-off in fossil fuels would create and by failing to advocate alternatives that would enable people to avoid the impact of energy shortages and to reasonably live their lives, Climate Defiance has revealed themselves to be as childish as XR. I’ve met teenagers who better understand the tradeoffs in energy policy better than this.

    1. herman_sampson

      If the federal government ant TPTB were serious about climate change, military activity and spending would be cut drastically and the activities and resources of the wealthy and the rich would also be cut drastically as though are the biggest sources of green house gases. At the same time, alternatives will have to be subsidized for the 99%. Until those two things happen, the 99% will not take seriously climate change.

    2. digi_owl

      I think the biggest oversight among them is not related to heating and personal transport, but that the modern food supply runs on hydrocarbons. Not just for diesel fueling all the equipment, but also via NG getting “reformed” to extract hydrogen that is then turned into fertilizer.

      But then thinking systemic seems to be anathema among the accredited ones these days.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Aye. I’m not very familiar with the details of modern agriculture and offer few comments on it accordingly, but I suspect you’re correct. Without fossil fuels, our ability to grow food would become significantly compromised. So if we cut off fossil fuels cold-turkey, no only would we have trouble with transportation, heating our homes in winter, and keeping the lights on, but we’d also have trouble feeding ourselves. Ouch.

        Systemic thinking does indeed seem to be in short supply.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          We seem to be pretty good at systemic thinking when it comes to creating growth. It’s rather amazing how old John D. and the boys managed to use all of the oil molecule as demand for gasoline grew. At first, it was kerosene lamps, but by the 60s, there were airplanes to burn kerosene, trucks to burn diesel, stockings, hula hoops and plastic wrap to use plastics and nitrogen fertilizers being poured on the ground in the “Green Revolution.” It’s almost like there was some kind of central planning (calling Matt Stoller).

          What we must learn now is how to degrow in the same balanced, systemic way. Less flying. Less trucking. Less plastic clothing and packaging. Less fertilizer. Some of that will require a drop in demand for non-essentials achieved either by voluntary reductions, rationing or prohibitions. I doubt if the same Deciders who grew this consumption monstrosity are willing to manage that climb down, so it would have to be the State that manages it. Sadly, not likely.

          If I were a young person today, I’d be thinking Weathermen, so the XR and Climate Defiance folks, with their commitment to non-violence, are quite admirable in my view. Try something, anything and see what works to wake up the middle class from their torpor and blind consumerism. Without their getting off their hamster wheels, gearing way down on consumption and supporting rationing and prohibitions when they’re necessary, the kind of consensus required to pull this off will never materialize. And there isn’t time to wait until the next generation.

    3. heresy101

      Change is coming without XR, and coal generation will be gone by the end of the decade because coal is becoming more and more uneconomic. Coal plants need to run at a 70% capacity factor and with wind and solar being so much cheaper, coal plants are shutting down. This is occurring at a faster rate in coal powered Australia because of the rapid adaption of solar.

      Coal from 55% of electric resources in 1990 to 20% of resources in 2023 to 0% in 2030

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Coal gone by the end of the decade? Oh, how I wish. But the only way that’ll happen is if we can deploy enough energy storage to keep the grid up reliably through windless winter nights, and we’re currently short of the storage requirements by about three orders of magnitude. We are many decades away from that goal. Likely centuries. We would more realistically see coal generation replaced by fracked methane, but from an environmental standpoint, I’m not certain that constitutes an improvement.

        And as for costs, the “cheapness” of wind and solar isn’t working out as planned. They’re cheap when they run, but at night (or when the weather is otherwise favorable), fossil fuels must be used as backup. There is no choice if you want to avoid blackouts. And if capacity factors end up being less than 70%, the coal and gas operators will still run. They’ll just charge more because of their compromised economics, making electricity more expensive as a result. This is exactly what’s happened in Europe.

        Instead of renewables providing cheaper electricity, Europeans now suffer the most expensive electricity on the planet. Per, people in “environmental darling” Denmark pay $0.35/kWh. People in the “Energiewende paradise” of Germany pay $0.43/kWh. In Belgium, Ireland, and the UK people pay $0.43, $0.45, and $0.48/kWh, respectively. All of these countries have pushed hard for renewable power generation. When the hell will the “cheapness” of renewables be reflected in their citizens’ power bills?

        In contrast, people in the environmental “laggards” of Canada and the US pay $0.12 and $0.18/kWh, respectively. Do we really want to duplicate the economic suicide of Europe?

        1. heresy101

          South Australia will be there in a year or two with the addition of more wind, solar, batteries, and connecting transmission lines.
          “AEMO advised that subject to some technical studies being completed, they are looking to reduce the minimum requirement to just one gas generator … and are undertaking further studies to understand whether that last unit can be taken offline.

          This, of course, doesn’t mean that fossil fuels are not needed and that the remaining unit will be closed. South Australia still has a way to go to build enough wind and solar – and storage – to cover the gaps to provide close to an average of 100% renewables all year around.

          Small grids can to it, but the fact that a gigawatt scale grid is now within touching distance of running at times with no fossil fuels, and no synchronous generation is – as Zuur notes – quite remarkable.“ AEMO=CAISO

          1. Grumpy Engineer

            South Australia will get closer to NET zero, but that’s not the same as achieving an all-renewable grid. South Australia doesn’t have a stand-alone grid. They utilize interconnects with other states. They export power when they have surpluses, and they import power when they have shortfalls. The other states can provide this assistance only because they have NOT adopted renewables at similar levels.

            If the other states did, they would experience surpluses at the same time, and they would refuse South Australia’s surplus. Power generation would have to be curtailed, and the economics of the system would get worse. [And South Australia already has Australia’s most expensive electricity in yet another refutation of “cheap renewable power”.] Even worse, shortfalls would also occur in all states at the same time, which means rolling blackouts all across Australia.

            This is the same mess that’s happening in California. Every year the curtailment numbers get worse and worse: It happens as California deploys more renewables. It happens as their neighbors deploy more renewables. There is no viable path to everybody running 100% renewable.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s sorta like how there is this mob where if you give them your money, they will write any message you want on artillery shells that will be fired at the Russians. I am willing to bet that with MoveOn, that once you give them money along with your email address and contact details, that you will be flooded with appeals in the coming 12 months for more donations.

  12. The Rev Kev

    The polls show that the support for the DPP in Taiwan is crumbling by the day now as we approach the Elections in early 2024.’

    Not even going to pretend that I have a more than rudimentary understanding of Taiwanese politics but I do wonder. Most of the trade to and from Taiwan is from China so there is some integration there. But could it be that with the moves of the DPP, that the people see that they are being set up to become the Ukraine of the Pacific? And they can see front and center how that is working out for them. Not only has there been all those weapons orders for US weapons but US officials have said that if there was an invasion of Taiwan, that they intend to salt the earth by bombing its high-tech factories. And for all we know their water, electricity and sewerage plants as well to create a wasteland for the Chinese to deal with. Things like that would give you pause on who you want to support.

    1. chris

      Sooner or later Americans will suffer for their disregard of history. China was relentlessly attacked by Japan in WWII, with Taiwan being one of the strongholds and staging points for the attack. China is never going to permit a hostile power like the US to take over Taiwan. The fools in our government had better understand that we won’t get a cold war with China if we attempt to make the island more of a vassal than it already is.

    1. spork

      I have lately been trying to listen to more of Michael Shellenberger and hear him out on his various stances related to climate, but I have not really been able to get a handle on him yet. I first heard of him through his work on the twitter files, which I strongly support.

      Some of his positions:
      -He accepts climate change is real but does not believe it is existential
      -The IPCC reports depict a non-catastrophic future that human civilization can adapt to
      -Nuclear and natural gas should provide the cheap energy backbone for the world economy and are practically “limitless”
      -No mention of need to reduce energy use
      -His four cornerstones of civilization: cheap energy, meritocracy, free speech, law and order (a very interesting list)
      -Climate activists are a childish, anti-human death cult that are following religious beliefs and not science
      -Compares current climate doomerism to population scaremongering of the 1970’s and Malthusianism

      A lot of what he has to say about the climate movement I can’t disagree with at all, the disingenuousness of elites, corporate profiteering, overselling of “clean energy” solutions and the impossibility of renewables being able to power our economy, and I’m happy to continue listening to the debate about the place for nuclear. But he throws in a lot of startling ideas that fall outside my worldview. I tend more towards the limits to growth, and degrowth style analyses but like to accept challenges to that view…. but he has not produced anything that has won me over to his cheery outlook yet. So far I am reading him as a techno-optimist but I’m not sure….. Anyone else have a positive or negative take on his overall minimization of the climate change threat?

  13. The Rev Kev

    “A New Way to Trigger a Tsunami”

    While reading this I came across the following section-

    ‘Although the 17th-century eruption of Kolumbo was far smaller, it generated a tsunami 66 feet high on the island of Ios a dozen miles north.’

    I spent most of a summer on that island, mostly at Mylopotas Beach. And while there I would look to the horizon and wonder about a tsunami hitting this region from time to time. Perhaps I was thinking about the Thera eruption and it’s after effects. It was a funny feeling though and made me aware which routes to high ground there were. Just one of those things.

  14. nick

    re: BNPL

    These financing options have just become ubiquitous. I have enough savings that I don’t have to resort to them but I recently did it for the first time on a set of tires. Some of the appeal to me was down to memories of recent inflation, although I know durable goods inflation is pretty much gone.

    I’m pretty cheap but possibly did “upsell myself” 5-10% on price compared to the tires I would counterfactually have bought if the sale price was going to appear in total on my next statement. I did, however, decline to purchase an additional protection plan, and I wonder if this one aspect of BNPL that is valuable to the retailers who are making them ubiquitous: not just facilitating sale of items or upselling but of associated financial products.

  15. Mikel

    “23andMe admits hackers accessed 6.9 million users’ DNA Relatives data” The Verge (Kevin W)

    I knew it was only a matter of time.

    Tin foil alert. But I have to wonder:
    How many of these types of incidents are “hacks” and not data sales violating what thin privacy protection laws that may exist?

    1. JBird4049

      >>>How many of these types of incidents are “hacks” and not data sales violating what thin privacy protection laws that may exist?

      Tin foil? Nah, what with the corruption the way it is, it is almost a guarantee that some of the hacks were more sales than thefts.

  16. pjay

    Re Arnaud Bertrand tweet link to Wilkerson:

    It is important to keep reminding people how pathological the neocons have been and continue to be. Recall that this crew was also pushing conflict with Iran in the midst of the debacle in Iraq. The tiniest bit of sanity prevailed, and Rumsfeld was dismissed as a result.

    Wilkerson’s continued defense of the yes-man neocon enabler Powell is always irritating, but he does provide good “hindsight” criticism. It is hard to give Bush credit for anything, but like Obama and Syria, he did finally provide a bit of resistance to the neocon plans for a “New Middle East”. In both cases it came way too late; it’s hard to think that it actually could have been worse.

    1. CanCyn

      Haha! Me too! I loved that whole thing, such a humorous distraction. We could use a Boaty McBoatface controversy round about now

  17. JBird4049

    I am listening to Breaking Points right now and have learned that freaking Kamala Harris is now in charge of the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Harris’ speech is just horrible and her ignorance of the area is horrifically shocking. The woman should have a team of talented speechwriters and advisors, but obviously she does not or refuses to use them.

    We truly are f—ed.

    1. anahuna

      An old word with Biblical associations, “scapegoat,” comes to mind.

      What better way to send Harris slinking off the vice-presidential stage than to blame her for her inability to arrive at a successful resolution. Not that such a resolution is anywhere in sight.

  18. Feral Finster

    Re: Debunking Israel’s “mass rape” propaganda Electronic Initifada

    As support for the War On Afghanistan dwindled, the Pentagon commissioned a study which concluded that the undecided voters were most likely to favor continuing the war if it was couched as a struggle for women’s rights. Hence, public messaging shifted, which is why we heard politicians and journalists suddenly express a touching concern for Muh Afghan Women And Girls. This in turn allowed that particular grift to continue for a few years more.

    And we all remember the lurid allegations of rape used to sell the War On Libya and the War On Ukraine.

    In the last few days, public messaging on Gaza has shifted to unsupported allegations of mass rape, even though nobody has produced any rape kits or other evidence. But the MSM and politicians have changed their sales pitch almost simultaneously.

    Right on cue.

    1. Bionic Plague

      Shani Louk would, if she could, disagree with the Electronic Intifada’s denial of sexual violence. Bodies of women zip-tied to furniture offer a strong argument against. Systemic genital mutilation. My apologies, as a press organization, Electronic Intifada, wasn’t invited to an atrocity screening, but I doubt they would make the trip to Israel.

      In fact, the Intifada is un-electronic, offline, and device-free for the indefinite future. There are really only two or three places in Gaza where Hamas is trying to fight. Mostly, Hamas as gone into the fetal position waiting for a ceasefire, trapped in their tunnels next to their captives.

      1. Feral Finster

        I recall the Iraqi Baby Incubator hoax was also backed by purported eyewitnesses.

        Moreover, the hostages that have been released from Hamas captivity so far appear alive and unharmed. Those released from Israeli gaols, not so much.

      2. pjay

        How does the Shani Louk video demonstrate sexual violence? I’ve seen the video. As far as zip-tied and mutilated bodies – are you referring to those held hostage or hiding or fleeing who were blown to smithereens by the Israelis?

        There was murder of innocent Israeli civilians by Hamas (and others) – I’m not disputing that. But there is no evidence of systematic “sexual violence.” There could well have been isolated incidents, as there always is in war. But you are simply regurgitating the latest Israeli propaganda line that has been rerun and amplified in the last few days. We also know that of the “1200 Israelis killed in the Hamas terrorist attack,” about a third were military, and many, if not the *majority*, of the rest were killed by Israeli heavy fire. Of course we can ignore the 20,000 Palestinians obliterated, almost all civilians, while we keep talking about rape and genital mutilation of innocent Israeli girls.

        If I sound really pissed at this kind of crap I am – I just saw a news story showing pictures of the absolute devastation in Gaza immediately undermined and “balanced” by this “systematic sexual violence” s**t, with the reporter noting worries about the horrible fate of the female hostages at the hands of such monsters.

      3. pjay

        My first reply has yet to appear, but since I posted it I watched NBC Nightly News devote its opening five minutes to this “horrifying” story. It used each of the sources debunked in the Electronic Intifada piece (and the Mondoweiss article that Ali Abunimah cites in his discussion), and *only* those sources. Very disturbing. Very convincing. And complete propaganda! I encourage everyone to watch the EI piece if you want to be inoculated against this crap.

        Here’s the Mondweiss article; it’s very good too.

  19. Kouros

    For me, the pinacle of the vilenes of israel’s zionist, ethnocentric, apartheid regime is the image of destroyed olive groves, orchards of any kind, greenhouses. In what way are these terrorist? A baby Palestinian is, for argument’s sake, a potential future terrorist. But plants? Which are not that easy to grow in a semidesert during a climate warming period.

    This vileness is the ultimate evidence of the intention of Israelis to remove all Palestinians and likely all Arabs within their midst.

    And the last interview done by the 2 useful idiots with Gideon Levy was very sobering as well. It seems to me that the mind of Israelis is shut: “The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut.”

  20. Eclair

    Each time I have read of the Houthi actions in the past week, the mental image my brain conjures up is that of Star Wars’ Ewoks. Small, overlooked guys, who made really good use of ‘primitive’ weapons.

  21. Bsn

    Our dogs get lots of exercise and joy in chasing our local Antidote du Jour. I keep my right arm in shape by tossing pebbles at them if they approach our fruit trees. Essentially, they associate fear with our humble garden. They’re doing fine in other properties, and that’s OK.

  22. Willow

    Western deepstate now getting serious blowback from their creation of Greens and weaponization of social media. Worked a treat against Russia but now taking serious damage over Gaza to the point of putting their chosen elites, on both sides of politics, at risk.. groans of ffs coming from those dark corridors. It’d be a real bugger if Corbyn gets resurrected in some form.

  23. Matthew G. Saroff

    The Ecch (Tweet) from Armchair Warlord brings up an issue that is interesting beyond the tactics that he discusses.

    Specifically, he is starts from the supposition (one that I agree with) that the Russian military is organizationally inclined to attempt to reproduce the battles of World War II.

    You see something very much like this in the US military, where a focus on amphibious operations hearkens back to WWII, and the aggressive PR infrastructure is a response to Vietnam.

    The training of officers in the Russian military doubtless focuses on WWII, and as such, much of their thinking will be seen though that lens.

  24. Willow

    A question that keeps tickling the back of my mind – will Nuland & co./UK accept a Russian victory of any form? Will they go for the top shelf and consider tactical nukes? Blaming it on a couple of Ukrainian guys ‘refurbishing’ old Soviet nukes in a garage workshop? They have so so much invested in the current endeavours I can’t see them walking away. Their overriding compulsion will be to escalate.

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