Links 12/7/2023

Readers, I rarely toot my own horn, but this kitchen sink-headlined post — CDC Director Cohen Must Reject HICPAC’s Shoddily Evidenced, Unreviewable, Statistically Invalid, Non-Performing, Conflicted, and Un-Peer-Reviewed Infection Control “Guidance” — really is important (that is, if you want to go to hospitals that heal you, as opposed to infecting you with SARS-CoV-2). If you haven’t read it, or commented upon it, please do so.

There are two UPDATES: First, a second footnote in the putative “evidentiary review” turns out to be bad, slowing HICPAC’s Gish Gallop to a canter. Second, the section on HICPAC wishing to reduce patient protections to avoid liability was a bit handwave-y. But now there’s a personal injury lawyer look for clients, so if you’re in North Carolina, and your hospital infected you with SARS-CoV-2, you can sue the bastards. And for more Covid fun, you can try out any of the action items at the end of the post.

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Jays jump in while crows hold out for the treat (press release) Anglia Ruskin University

Shocking study discovers bottlenose dolphins possess electric sixth sense Study Finds

The Fed Matters Less Than You Think A Wealth of Common Sense

Shared auditors may signal opportunities for bargain purchases, and deals also more likely to close Francine McKenna, The Dig


Future of fossil fuels sparks fiery debate at COP28 climate summit Upstream

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Waterborne Diseases That Are Sensitive to Climate Variability and Climate Change NEJM

* * *

It Could Be a Vast Source of Clean Energy, Buried Deep Underground NYT. Met

California may require homeowners to replace broken A/C units with heat pumps starting in 2026 Sacramento Bee

Orsted Powers Up America’s First Major Offshore Wind Farm Heated

* * *

A Pipeline Giant Is Helping to Push Texas’s Power Grid to the Brink Bloomberg


L.A. County aims to collect billions more gallons of local water by 2045 LA Times


Long COVID is associated with severe cognitive slowing (preprint) medRxiv, N = 270. From the Abstract: “We identified pronounced cognitive slowing in PCC patients, which distinguished them from age-matched healthy individuals who previously had symptomatic COVID-19 but did not manifest [post-COVID-19 conditions (PCC)]. Cognitive slowing was evident even on a 30-second task measuring simple reaction time (SRT), with PCC patients responding to stimuli ∼3 standard deviations slower than healthy controls. This finding was replicated across two clinic samples in Germany and the UK. Comorbidities such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and post-traumatic stress disorder did not account for the extent of cognitive slowing in PCC patients. Furthermore, cognitive slowing on the SRT was highly correlated with the poor performance of PCC patients on the NVT measure of sustained attention…. Together, these results robustly demonstrate pronounced cognitive slowing in people with PCC, which distinguishes them from age-matched healthy individuals who previously had symptomatic COVID-19 but did not manifest PCC.”

Thousands of Americans Died Due to Internal FDA Strife Surrounding COVID Booster Rollout The Messenger


Italy tells China it is leaving Belt and Road Initiative Reuters


Myanmar’s central bank to no longer set forex rates Channel News Asia


Navigating Deception: Dissecting the Implications of India’s Guidelines on ‘Dark Patterns’ The Wire


Israel-Hamas war: UN’s Guterres invokes Article 99 over Gaza Deutsche Welle

This is a War on Children, and “Safe Zones” are Death Traps: UNICEF Juan Cole, Informed Comment

* * *

Senior US lawmakers review plan linking Gaza refugee resettlement to US aid to Arab countries Israel Hayom, said to have been owned by Sheldon Adelson:

The proposal was shown to key figures in the House and Senate from both parties. Some who were privy to the details of the text have so far kept a low profile, saying that publicly coming out in favor of the program could derail it…. They continue: ‘The neighboring borders have been closed for too long, but it is now clear that in order to free the Gazan population from the tyrannical oppression of Hamas and to allow them to live free of war and bloodshed, Israel must encourage the international community to find the correct, moral and humane avenues for the relocation of the Gazan population.'”

Handy map, with quotas:

I love the way the outbound arrows don’t originate in Gaza, the erasure is that deep.

Egypt’s former vice president warns of Gaza depopulation amid growing fear in Cairo The New Arab. El Baradei, remember him?

Iran urges Egypt to unconditionally open Rafah crossing Anadolu Agency

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Putin Makes a Rare Middle East Trip Foreign Policy. Commentary:

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Are Yemen’s Houthis Getting Involved In The Israel-Hamas War? Madras Courier

Why Yemen’s Houthis are attacking ships in the Red Sea The Economist

* * *

Israeli Police Greenlight Far-right March Rallying for ‘Full Jewish Control’ Over Temple Mount Haaretz. What could go wrong?

Scandal-stained Israeli ‘rescue’ group fuels October 7 fabrications The Grayzone

The Official Story Of October Seventh Caitlin Johnstone

Israel’s Permit Regime The Baffler

How Israel Got an Endless Supply of U.S.-Made Smart Bombs In These Times

European Disunion

Here’s One Time When Europe Really May Lead John Authers, Bloomberg

Two crucial dinners to keep EUCO on track Politico

Dear Old Blighty

Johnson says ‘sorry’ – but ONLY for getting caught calling Long Covid ‘b*llocks’ Canary

Britain needs a way out of economic stagnation Martin Wolf, FT

New Not-So-Cold War

Trial window: Russia allows negotiations with Kiev in a Western country (Google translation from original) Izvestia. The deck: “Which state besides Hungary could become a mediator between Moscow and Kiev?” From the article:

Russia is ready for negotiations with Ukraine, including on the territory of a Western country , a high-ranking source told Izvestia. Earlier, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said that Budapest could still become a mediator between Moscow and Kiev on the issue of resolving the conflict. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that today Ukraine and its Western partners do not demonstrate readiness to negotiate with Russia. Nevertheless, the expert community believes that, most likely, the role of mediator could go to a country that is not a member of the NATO bloc.

And Hungary is in NATO, so.

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Ukraine soldiers in ‘hell’ as there’s not enough men: ‘Some soldiers can’t even swim’ Express

Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by U.S., Ukraine WaPo. Not paywalled, therefore sending a message. But this quote:

During one visit to Wiesbaden, Milley spoke with Ukrainian special operations troops — who were working with American Green Berets — in the hope of inspiring them ahead of operations in enemy-controlled areas.

“There should be no Russian who goes to sleep without wondering if they’re going to get their throat slit in the middle of the night,” Milley said, according to an official with knowledge of the event. “You gotta get back there, and create a campaign behind the lines.”

Looks like Zelensky got the message–

Pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician Illia Kyva assassinated near Moscow: “Such a fate will befall other traitors of Ukraine” CBS

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Are Ukraine’s President and Chief Commander Really at War? Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Political Frictions Unsettle Ukraine as It Seeks More Military Support NYT

Biden Administration

As Ukraine aid falters in the Senate, Biden signals he’s willing to make a deal on border security AP

Dems assess wreckage of border talks: ‘They never should have started’ Politico

The Supremes

Justices to hear major tax case SCOTUSblog

Spook Country

Warrantless surveillance hitches a ride on defense policy bill — causing fresh GOP agita Politico. Warrantless surveillance invented by Bush, normalized by Obama, and now loved by liberal Democrats.

The Bezzle

Large crypto-mining farm discovered in Abkhazia; owner said to be “influential person” JAM

Digital Watch

Boffins devise ‘universal backdoor’ for image models to cause AI hallucinations The Register. Excellent. Now make it a LightRoom plugin.

The FInal Frontier

Commercial companies to collaborate for DARPA’s new lunar economy study TechCrunch

Zeitgeist Watch

Venice gondola filled with tourists capsizes after selfie-snapping passengers refuse to sit down FOX

‘How do you reduce a national dish to a powder?’: the weird, secretive world of crisp flavours Guardian

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Global Credibility Gap Foreign Policy

The U.S. Can Afford a Bigger Military. We Just Can’t Build It. WSJ

The Military’s Big Bet on Artificial Intelligence Undark. You just buy AIs, you don’t have to recruit them.

Guillotine Watch

Lifestyles of the Blessed & Famous: Preacher Homes Sold in 2023 The Roys Report. For example:

Class Warfare

Norway union joins Tesla blockade in support for Swedish workers Reuters (Sub-Boreal).

A New Path for Unionizing Uber and Lyft On Labor

The first results from the world’s biggest basic income experiment Vox

Learning By Doing Couchfish. Sustainable tourism.

Urbanism and Peace Dror Poleg

Optimism Linked to Poor Decision-Making and Lower Cognitive Skills Neuroscience News

Antidote du jour (via). From LNK:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    ‘Arnaud Bertrand
    Quite a statement in and of itself for Saudi Arabia’s official Foreign Ministry account to post this whole 6 minutes video of Putin’s visit.’

    And just in case the neocons had ideas about doing a Dag Hammarskjöld on him, he was escorted by a flight of armed Su-35s fighters watching over him- (1:30 mins)

    1. Polar Socialist

      It was claimed somewhere that the first person greeting Putin on the tarmac was actually the king Salman himself. Can’t find any verification, but the old, hunched gentleman certainly looks a lot like the king.

      And yes, those four armed Su-35s were kinda impressive, both in the sense that even from Volgograd area and over Iran the range must be on the very limit of the fighters capability and in the sense that they were allowed to carry weapons trough sovereign airspace. It’s almost as if there’s a message somewhere there about the reach of Russian weapons…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe the message is the same as AT&T’s long-distance ad campaign – ‘Reach out and touch someone.’

    2. John Merryman

      Lol. And would any Western leader ever get on a plane if that happened? Not a problem killing masses of peons, but that would be dangerous.

      1. JBird4049

        I think that what passes for our Western leadership is unable to think of the consequences for them if Putin’s airplane was to have problems.

  2. Lexx

    ‘The Global Credibility Gap’

    ‘a crisis of credibility’

    This is a feature, not a bug. Roughly 8 billion on the planet and 334 million in the U.S.. We’re not really ‘governable’ under the current construct of ‘governments’ and as Yves and Lambert have repeatedly pointed out via ‘Links’, democracy isn’t compatible with capitalism. We’re unlikely to get a better form of government, capitalism or democracy, not because we can’t imagine it but because a tiny but powerful minority will fight the majority to the death of humanity rather than give up or share power. I think most of the citizens of this planet have to go to war with that tiny minority… like, yesterday… as we’re backed into a corner like the Palestinians, having concluded they have nothing more to lose but our ever-more-miserable lives.

    Meanwhile, I hope to live long enough to have it confirmed via blood test, that my pancreas is in fact aging faster than the rest of me. Ooooooh, if only I’d had that scientifically validated answer sooner! The consequences I could have avoided!!!

    1. Vikas

      “Roughly 8 billion on the planet and 334 million in the U.S.. We’re not really ‘governable”

      Amen to that. At least in terms of models of governance from recorded history, ie mostly state formations. Only way I see getting to democracy is some kind of distributed network with hierarchies of certain functions and coordination, but without hierarchies of power. Hard to imagine under capitalism or prior forms of actually existing socialism. We need something new……. I know! — Let’s ask the robots to help us!

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        Well, how did the Indian Nations do it? This all used to be Indian Country. The historical examples exist.

  3. zagonostra

    >The U.S. Can Afford a Bigger Military. We Just Can’t Build It. WSJ

    Intensifying security challenges from the western Pacific to Ukraine to the Middle East have fueled debate over whether the U.S. can afford a bigger military.

    I have to tip my hat to WSJ writer for framing Imperialistic goals as “security challenges.” And who is the U.S.? Does it include those sleeping under bridges and families struggling with food inflation, sick people made sicker by rapacious cost of medical services, forget about dental work…how about those of us with a moral consciousness that reject slaughter of innocents and the depravity of paying $1 trillion just to service the debt…too early to get my bile up.

    1. ilsm

      Using % of GDP to describe the US’ war mongering burden is utterly Hoover Inst.

      Hoover for years (as in every year) has screamed the ‘US of liberty is toast’ w/o 7% of GDP going to the blackholes in Lockheed, GD, UT and Boeing!

      US’ current 3% of GDP laundered through the pentagon/MICC is roughly the same real $$ as Reagan splurged to buy untested B-1’s, $40K toilet seats, etc. to bankrupt the Soviets!

      One difference today is 40% of MICC largesse goes to “contracts”, mainly corporate welfare.

      WSJ conclusion is correct: double the acquisition cost of F-35 is affordable, 20 years out we have bought 25% of the planes and all need huge upgrade including a TBD new engine to meet any threat out there, assuming low frequency radars don’t paint the stealth lead sleds like Rudolph leading Santa!

      After 30 plus years wobbling along the tilt rotor miraculous techie M-22 killed more GI’s and needs to be grounded.

      The GDP pap is further skewed bc US GDP has a lot more services and imports than with Reagan!

      The MICC is not up to the job and the arsenal of democracy is globalized to China and Vietnam

      1. Adam Eran

        Wall St. Journal is tacitly endorsing Modern Money Theory. The problem isn’t with the money, its with the resources. Just like Alan Greenspan here.

    2. Feral Finster

      If only it were possible for the government to spend (I mean “invest”) money on projects that don’t generate a net negative ROI, such as infrastructure, or schools or healthcare or something.

      1. ilsm

        Frederic Bastiat wrote about the inefficiency of building fortifications in the mid 19th century France.

        He felt almost any “investment” in war was better spent elsewhere, outside of direct fighting at time of need.

        It is too risky to prepare to fight when the enemy does not go to your strength.

        Aside from ‘public goods’ government has a lot of waste.

      2. foghorn longhorn

        Saw the other day that the 7.5 billion allocated for electric chargers to ‘save the planet’ has resulted in a grand total of zero effing chargers being built in the U.S.
        Maybe they are being built in Ukraine, who could know.

  4. Vikas

    Re: Long Covid in medrXiv: Just a quick read of the pre print. Good that people are routinely including infected group without Long Covid as controls since too many early papers failed on this score. But needs better analysis of the acute illness severity and better de-coupling of the time from illness from the date of illness — IOW older infections were more severe, later infections post vax were less severe, so their finding of an increasing severity of the cognitive dysfunction with time may be confounded by an increased severity of acute illness in the longer lookback periods… esp given the clear negative correlation of severity of acute illness with severity of cog dysfunction.

  5. lambert strether

    Whoopsie… I swapped Antidote images with power on my laptop at 1%, and since power there is at 0%, will be a short wait until I fix them. –lambert, from his iPad

    UPDATE All fixed.

  6. Alan Roxdale

    Senior US lawmakers review plan linking Gaza refugee resettlement to US aid to Arab countries Israel Hayom, said to have been owned by Sheldon Adelson:

    Such an expulsion of people is an explicit crime falling under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court

    Article 7
    Crimes against humanity

    1. For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

    (d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;

    2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:

    (d) “Deportation or forcible transfer of population” means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law;

    And note that, those who conspired in the act are also accountable. In this case I assume the US government members and probably law-makers who have reviewed or approved the proposals.
    The attempt to commit the crime is also a punishable offense.

    Article 25
    Individual criminal responsibility

    3. In accordance with this Statute, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court if that person:

    ( c) For the purpose of facilitating the commission of such a crime, aids, abets or otherwise assists in its commission or its attempted commission, including providing the means for its commission;
    (d) In any other way contributes to the commission or attempted commission of such a crime by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. Such contribution shall be intentional and shall either:
    (i) Be made with the aim of furthering the criminal activity or criminal purpose of the group, where such activity or purpose involves the commission of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; or
    (ii) Be made in the knowledge of the intention of the group to commit the crime;

    Article 30
    Mental element
    1. Unless otherwise provided, a person shall be criminally responsible and liable for punishment for a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court only if the material elements are committed with intent and knowledge.

    3. For the purposes of this article, “knowledge” means awareness that a circumstance exists or a consequence will occur in the ordinary course of events. “Know” and “knowingly” shall be construed accordingly.

    IANAL but it seems pretty clear to me that this Adelson plan is by itself an indictable offense at the ICC, let alone if it actually carried out or not.

    Government office is also not a shield

    Article 27
    Irrelevance of official capacity
    1. This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.
    2. Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.

    Wonks and policy makers might want to consult with their lawyers before signing up to this one.

    1. Polar Socialist

      The best part of Rules Based Order is that the US lawmakers can flip the bird to the ICC and even threaten to bomb it should the International Colonial Court suddenly find a spine and a pair of testicles and start prosecuting the leaders of The West.

    2. John

      Exactly! And the fact that “lawmakers” are considering signing on to crimes against humanity and genocide, does tell us something about them and perhaps more about Winken, Blinken,… Sorry … Biden, Blinken and so on and so forth.

      Democracy, people power… if only that were true.

      1. Cristobal

        Back when I was a boy in the 1950s, the Germans were just emerging from the nearly universal (in the US midwest) characterization as evil Nazis. How could they have allowed a thing such as the Holocaust to occur? This was smoothed over by the explanation that there were Good Germans, who really did not know what was going on in their country, and the Bad Germans, who were totally complicit in the genocide. How could the rest of the world, the supposedly civilized countries, have allowed it to happen and not step in to stop it? Well we, the rest of the world, did not know either. The Nazis kept it a secret. Since then there have been a number of similar attempts at mass extermination of peoples for ethnic or political motives. Most, but not all, of the time these slaughters have been perpetrated by ¨Western¨ alligned governments. Most of them occured far away from the ¨Homeland¨ and received little press coverage, so that the citizens of those countries behind the slaughter had some sort of plausable deniability as to their knowledge of what was going on. The current Holocaust now taking place in Gaza is probably the worst attempted extermination of human beings for political or ethnic reasons that has occured in the last hundred years. It is televised. It is industrial strength high tech murder. There is absolutely no excuse for peope not to know what is going on. There are no Good Isrealies and there are no Good Americans or Good Europeans. Particularly the Americans, who are arming and supporting the assassins and threatening to attack any country who tries to stop the slaughter. If the American public lacks the basic humanity or courage to stop what is at least as bad as the holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis in the 1930s, the least we could do is get out of the way and allow those who have the courage and the humanity to put a stop to it to act.

        1. communistmole

          “It seems to me today that the Nazis were not as outrageously innovative as we naïve people believed thirty-five years ago. After all, they still considered it necessary, or at least more opportune, to hide their mass murders and the methods they used. The really, the epochal new thing only begins with today’s men, with the men who plan the war in Vietnam, or take part in it, or accept it as a matter of course, or turn it into a part of their entertainment industry. For these contemporaries of ours no longer make any effort at all to hide what they are doing and the measures they are taking.”

          Günther Anders, Visit Beautiful Vietnam, 1968

        2. ACPAL

          At one time, years ago (I’m old now), I believed that everyone in a country was liable for what their leaders did in their names, whether they be Nazis, British colonialists, or Israelis. Now, after many years of railing against my own government’s slaughter of people around the world I’ve come to realize that I, and most of the general populace, no matter what we know, have no say in what our government does. We can call our government a “democracy” but it’s anything but.

          “If the American public lacks the basic humanity or courage…” Nothing short of an open revolution is going to change our government and history has shown that such revolutions merely turn the government’s guns inward rather than outward, and then only long enough to kill the rebels. Asking the public for humanity and courage is not asking for a vote, it’s asking them to give up their lives for a temporary reprieve on someone else’s lives, a much more difficult decision.

        3. steppenwolf fetchit

          . . . ” The current Holocaust now taking place in Gaza is probably the worst attempted extermination of human beings for political or ethnic reasons that has occured in the last hundred years. It is televised. It is industrial strength high tech murder.”. . .

          Really? the worst attempted in the last hundred years? Really?

          The Interahamwe Holocaust of the Tutsis happened only 20 years ago and the Interahamwe Holocausters killed around 800,000 people in 4 months. That’s around 200,000 people per month. Up close and personal with axes, hatchets, machetes. And also well known to an unconcerned Western World. Here is a link.

          Something about Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East inspires people to flights of hyperbole.

          I suppose someone could call me anti-Palestinianitic for having written this.

      1. Offtrail

        Certainly not by Israel! In fact, I would say that it has been our relationship with Israel, and the influence of supporters of Israel in our government, that led the US to ditch international law in favor of the “rules based order”.

    3. DJG, Reality Czar

      Alan Roxdale: Thanks for the research, not that the U.S. or Israeli government gives a crap about the International Criminal Court. Heck, this is tough-guy stuff! We don’t need no stinkin’ badges.

      There is this assertion that glosses over a whole lotta things: The proposal was shown

      There is no mention of who wrote the proposal or why. We get some hush-hush stuff. Yet reading the quotes from the proposal, it is plain to me that it was written in U.S. English with U.S. spelling and the usual U.S. hypercorrections and grammatical mistakes (allow for?). So is this some proposal from congressional staff? Is it from some think tank? Is it from some Israelis who work for HaYom who are originally from the U S of A?

      The remarkable thing is the strong-arming. Heck, we’re tough guys. Why should Turkey, which is majority Turkish-speaking, take in a half million Arab-speaking immigrants? Because it was forced to do so for the Syrians who left during the continuing U.S. misadventure in Syria?

      And what Palestinian would want to be shipped to Yemen? From the Levant to the end of the Arab world?

      So I suspect a U.S. source, because it is the usual “Don’t know much about history. Don’t know much about geography.” The secret proposal being handed around among the clique might as well have advocated (for?) sending a fifty thousand Gazans to Malta.

      1. Alan Roxdale

        According to the Intercept’s reporting the plan comes from Ron Dermer, the former Israeli ambassador to the US, currently the Minister for Strategic Affairs(is this a real department?). The intercept says he has been tasked by Netenyahu, but Minister Smotrich has also openly called for Palestinians to be deported in the past. This is looking like a whole cabinet initiative.

    4. Fictive Cipher

      When Russia’s unprovoked aggression forces millions of Ukrainians to flee to their neighbors, it’s considered self-defense. When Israel suggests it when responding to yet another massacre, so as to minimize civilian casualties because it’s enemies fight in civilian clothing, it’s evidence of genocide.

      Grayzone: Israelis were murdered in their beds, but they weren’t MURDERED-murdered all that much. Maybe Israeli Apache helicopters stripped Israeli corpses bare? Hostage-rescuing tanks firing high-explosive armour-penetrating shells burned Israelis to death. Or the massacre was justice, Grayzone can’t decide. Grayzone pockets gelt to reprint without question (or additional work) only pro-Hamas points.

      1. Yves Smith

        After top Western officials have admitted the conflict in Donbass was a proxy war with Russia? Seriously?

        You seem to miss that when Ukraine attacked Donbass in 2014 and 2015, millions fled then too, to Russia and Belarus, as reported by the UN. Russia despite pleas of the breakaway “republics” refused to integrate them into Russia then but tried 2x to negotiate a deal, which was signed, to take the heat off the conflict by giving the regions more autonomy, as in Minsk and Minsk II. Ukraine president Proshenko, German chancellor Merkel, and French president Hollande all said they were duping Russia and signed the deal just to give more time to better arm Ukraine. Troops were massing in Ukraine in Feb 2022 and per OSCE reports, Ukraine had greatly increased its shelling mid month. Importantly, Zelensky said at the Munich Security Conference on Feb 15 that he wanted nukes and no one said no or walked back his remarks.

        Dean of cold warriors George McKennnan said in 1997 (as did Henry Kissinger but not as loudly) that moving NATO east would be the biggest geopolitical mistake the US ever made. In 2008, now CIA director Bill Burns wrote a famous memo, “Nyet means nyet” in which he explained how Russia would never accept Ukraine as a NATO member on its borders. Former CIA daily briefer to three Presidents, Ray McGovern has asked repeatedly (and John Measheimer has agreed) Putin did everything he could to try to prevent this conflict. If you can’t see how this was a security threat against Russia, I can’t help you.

      2. nippersdad

        “When Israel suggests it when responding to yet another massacre, so as to minimize civilian casualties because it’s enemies fight in civilian clothing, it’s evidence of genocide.”

        You forget that Israel has a history that goes right up until the present moment of openly seeking ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population. They are not “suggesting” anyone leave for their own safety, they are saying they should leave before they have to use other means of getting rid of them.

        Big difference.

        You also failed to mention that the vast majority of those massacred were done in by Israel under their Hannibal Directive. There is something to be said for creating your own opportunities, but genocide is on a whole different level.

    5. bert luger

      As quoted by Allan, it pretty much covers the entire Jewish population of Israel (if we adopt the Israeli approach to roping in kiddies), and the whole sorry business does makes me wonder if this transgressive settler colony realises that its behaviour has created the very real existential threat it now faces.

    6. steppenwolf fetchit

      I remember having read that some years ago Adelson decided he liked various things about Netanyahu and began supporting him heavily within the Israel political system. ( I don’t remember where Netanyahu already was before Adelson decided to make advancing Netanyahu’s power-political career into Adelson’s personal project.)

      Part of how Adelson advanced Netanyahu was by spending money establishing and publishing that ” Israel Hayom” paper and giving out many millions of copies for free. People like free stuff, including free newspapers. I remember reading that at least one fairly major domestic Israeli newspaper was driven into liquidation by undercutting from Adelson’s free-giveaway newspaper. I think that paper which Adelson drove extinct was Yediot Aharanot but this was years ago and my memory might be hallucinating.

      This total expulsion plan probably represents the private vision of the late Adelson and the fringe parties whose hands Netanyahu put firmly on the steering wheel in order to stay out of court and maybe out of prison a little while longer. It also shows how manipulation between countries can run in both directions.
      AIPAC probably portrayed itself to the GofI as a reliable tool for Israel to manipulate the US political system with. But over time, AIPAC and the domestic American Likudians who took it over decided to manipulate the Israeli political system in turn and make it overwhelmingly dominated by Likud and Right-Of-Likud parties and factions. I don’t know if Adelson co-ordinated his subversion and decimation of the Israeli newspaper ecosystem in concert with AIPAC or all on his own. But with Adelson and AIPAC manipulating the Israeli system to the point of making tiny fringe groups like Smotrich, the other guy, the outlaw settler pogromists on the West Bank, etc. into the determining political rulers of Israel; Adelson-AIPAC have been able to turn a fringe concept like this into Israeli government vision and maybe policy.

      There is nothing the tattered remnants of Israel’s relict “center-left” can do about any of this. Only outside overwhelming pressure over several unbroken years would be able to begin bending the Israeli political system back the other way, the way metal is bent under the steady crushing pressure of a hydraulic press.

      In my totally amateur intuition-based opinion. Or ” muh feelz”, as such thinking is also called by some.

  7. Terry Flynn

    Thanks for Long Covid neurological piece. My anecdotal experience certainly is in accord. The good news is the docs at the local (UK) teaching hospital have clearly finally been given permission to utter the words “Long Covid” as a diagnosis. (Infectious diseases consultant diagnosed me.) The bad news is they seem to have been instructed to add “there’s nothing we can or will do about it beyond anything the specialty specific consultants are doing”.

    So my trips to the dermatologist continue and now I’m back on the merry-go-round with cardiologists – the echocardiogram I was previously told would be “way into 2024 due to it being classed as non-urgent” has mysteriously been suddenly scheduled for 9 days time on a Saturday. I’m getting a LOT of interest from the doctors all of a sudden. Interesting….

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Senior US lawmakers review plan linking Gaza refugee resettlement to US aid to Arab countries”

    I got an idea. If all these Gazans were to be forced from their country, why not send them to those Collective West countries which are saying that Israel is only defending themselves – and please ignore the 6,000 dead children. So revising that map, about 1 million would head off to the US, 500k would go to the EU, 250k could go to the UK and the other 250k Gazans could go to all the other Collective West countries. I can hardly wait to see the faces of those US lawmakers when Gazans start turning up in their Districts.

    1. Pat

      Not even the grave has freed us from the toxic influence of Adelson.
      And I will only be happy if those representatives that push this illegal idea not only get them in their district, but three refugees per room of their home(s) not counting bathrooms. Up close and personal…

      1. Carolinian

        Apparently his widow carries on from a gambling parlor (as we Baptists would say–hope they don’t have dancing) somewhere in Las Vegas.

        Nikki is a protege and may have written the thing herself if she had help.

    2. danpaco

      Why not allow Gazan refugees into the West Bank?
      I already know the answer. I do however think its an important question.

    3. Feral Finster

      I made a similar suggestion to some neocon touchhole when he proclaimed the necessity of occupying Afghanistan permanently because human rights.

      We could charter a few used 747s and fly anyone who feels oppressed to the US. Green cards on arrival, and do it for a lot less than $100M a year or whatever we spent on that war.

      For some reason, Mr. Eagle Flag Freedom didn’t like that so much.

  9. Wukchumni

    L.A. County aims to collect billions more gallons of local water by 2045 LA Times
    The whole rigamarole in SoCal has been to expeditiously drain all incoming waters from on high into the ocean, that’s gonna be some effort to change everything around, and where would you put these extra billions LA, with your pipsqueak sized reservoirs compared to up north?

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Venice gondola filled with tourists capsizes after selfie-snapping passengers refuse to sit down”

    I swear to god that heavy usage of a mobile will drop your IQ by at least 10 percent, especially with people doing selfies. Check out these examples to see what I mean- (9:19 mins)

    Make that 20 percent.

    1. Benny Profane

      Unfortunately, it seems that the busloads of Chinese are back to the Euro tourist hotspots. They were a literal clown show pre Covid. I almost got knocked into a Venice canal by a few last time I was there.

      There is an excellent book that everyone should read before visiting the Grand Canyon, titled Death in the Grand Canyon. Every way people die there. Needs to be revised for the falls during selfies generation, which happens more than you think.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Still remember how during lockdown the canals in Venice were running clean and that fish, swans and dolphins were returning to this area. It must have been great for the locals.

        1. B24S

          The one book we bought when we visited. My favorite part was the “continuing research”, wherein a 9 yo kid writes a letter to the author, telling how they play out the various scenarios, and how about a DitGC movie, with toys (action figures!), and a DitGC video game?

      2. Wukchumni

        Usually we get about 30% of the visitation to Sequoia NP from overseas and it gives Tiny Town a real cosmopolitan feel, with occasionally tourists from Berlin in 1 aisle with a food hedgerow separating them from a family from Normandy the next aisle over, in our supermarket.

        When there was no way to get here from over there during Covid, the only accents you heard were those foreigners living in the states, and my French expat friends who I often hike with, when i’d be with them in the NP, people would often ask how they were able to get to the states?

        If a new & improved really bad Covid strand hit, we’d be kind of this perfect awful vector, being on the bucket list and attracting an audience of quite the long distance spreaders coming & going.

        1. Lee

          Brings back a fond memory of one of my stays in a tent cabin in Yosemite’s Camp Curry. For a week I was surrounded by what seemed to be an entire French village. I do love the sound of French. As serendipity would have it, and with no foreknowledge of just who my fellow campers would be, I’d chosen Germinal to read during my stay.

      3. Carolinian

        In David Lean’s Summertime Katharine Hepburn backs into a canal while taking movies and she did the stunt herself. This was once rumored to be the source of later neurological problems but her “shakes” were probably inherited

        Still, probably best not to go swimming even if the water now clean.

        As for the Grand Canyon, many seem to think getting that all important picture is the main event.

        1. Benny Profane

          Italy too. I was, and am still astounded when a wife of a friend flew all the way to Italy with the major goal to do that holding of the Pisa tower up with her hand. Seriously. She could care less about churches, museums, and food.

  11. Wukchumni

    ‘Torah, Torah, Torah’ was the coded message Hasbara sent via propaganda channels to indicate that the Americans had been caught by surprise in regards to how despised Israel is by the rest of the world.

      1. Wukchumni

        We’re a rollin’ stone, all alone and lost
        For a life of entanglements, we have paid the cost
        When we pass by, all the people from other countries say
        Just another society on the lost highway

        Just a deck of a Ford class, and a changing battle line
        And a empire’s lies makes a life sadly sublime
        Oh, the day we met infamy in the islands, we went astray
        We started rolling down that war at any cost highway

        It’s a real Catch 22
        Neither good nor bad, just a GDP ploy to get you through
        And now we’re lost, there’s hell to pay
        Blowback is a bitch on the lost highway

        Now boys don’t start to ramblin’ round
        On this road of thermo nuclear has bins, are you sorrow-bound?

        Take my advice or you’ll curse the day
        Bombs started rollin’ down on that lost highway

        Lost HIghway, by Hank Williams

        1. Wukchumni

          We’re nearing the end of living history with a 103 year old survivor of the attack, the last of the mohicans.

          1. juno mas

            Yes, I have memories from tales my father told of that day while aboard the USS Nevada. He didn’t make it to 73, let alone 103.

  12. Lena

    “Which state besides Hungary could become a mediator between Moscow and Kiev?”

    Possibilities: Austria or Ireland

    1. Polar Socialist

      Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus in Europe or any of the 160 or so of the countries that have not yet jumped into the “Russia can’t be allowed to win” bandwagon…

  13. Enter Laughing

    RE: Long COVID is associated with severe cognitive slowing

    Here’s a simple reaction time test that probably has no significant clinical use, but it is fun. It estimates your age based on how fast you respond to visual stimulus (e.g., “You have the reaction time of an 18-year-old”).

    The Reaction Time Test.

    1. anahuna

      That test is fun. But I tried it three times and went from 69 down to 51 and then 45 ( actual age 87). So it seems to depend on the degree of alertness and motivation.

      1. JM

        I agree, and I think that the connection with alertness and motivation would be intrinsic to this sort of a test. I was slowed down the first time thinking the “stop” would be a sign on the side of the road and not something that just shows up in front of you. I went from 55 the first time to 25 the next two; both of those are pretty far off of my actual age, but I’ll take it.

        1. Enter Laughing

          My time was so slow it advised me to make an appointment with my doctor right way. I prefer to blame my crummy internet connection instead!

      2. flora

        clear your browser history and cookies between test takes and see if the numbers change. there are so many ways to game results. / ;)

      3. Lee

        Wow, I just knocked 50 years off my actual age. With a little practice I can probably regress to previous lifetimes. Maybe I’ll drink some more coffee and try. Nah, I’ll just take a walk and then a nap. As I reflect back over the decades, the mere idea of starting all over again makes me bone tired.

    2. britzklieg

      I’m 67. First test scored me at 28 yrs, second one scored me at 21yrs and the next 2 said “we aren’t sure if you’re human” at 259 milliseconds…


      I’ve not, to my knowledge, had covid.

      I am unvaccinated.

      I am decidedly NOT an optimist.


      1. ambrit

        Theory. Since you are a professional stage singer, you have trained yourself to notice cues extra quickly.
        Eg. “No! No! You are not singing Klingsor!”

        I think we may have had mild cases of the ‘original’ “wild type” Coronavirus strain” early on.
        Not been vaccinated.
        Definitely a cynic. (Wife a Christian Mystic Optimist. {Opposites attract?})
        LOCOL! [Laugh or cry out loud.]

    3. Tom B.

      My first time was ~85 yrs, then once I knew what expect, subsequent tries were sub-300 ms (18-20 yrs) with a few “You are not human!” results. I attribute this to my long term video game addiction. I am in my upper 60s.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “California may require homeowners to replace broken A/C units with heat pumps starting in 2026”

    Took a look online to see what the cost of a heat-pump is in the US and found the following-

    ‘A typical air-source heat pump costs $3,500–$7,500 to install, but a more well-known, high-end brand may charge closer to $7,000–$11,000.’

    That’s a lot and I bet that California will not come to the party with a grant or subsidy to ease the cost of transitioning to a heat-pump system. Maybe they can retrain those A/C unit installers to be heat-pump installers instead. But for home-owners, it’s gunna cost. Unless they move to another State that is.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      i got my minisplit in 2020 from amazon(!) for around $5k…biggest one they had by a name i knew(pioneer).
      i installed it myself…and screwed up and lost all the refrigerant…so add another $400 for the pro to come out and mend my screwup.
      works like a charm since…and costs next to nothing to run.
      but i hear cali is pretty hardcore about preventing folks from doing such things themselves.

      1. earthling

        These have been a godsend for old homes everywhere, you don’t have to retrofit the whole house to put in decent A/C. But, we are discovering, they do need to be maintained or they fail, so learn how to do a checkup on it annually.

    2. Mcsnoot

      There will be a subsidy (provisioned in the Inflation Reduction Act), many of those with less than <80% median income for their area will get their units for free or close to it

  15. eg

    “Dror Poleg’s “Urbanism and Peace” expresses fine sentiments. I’m no expert on the history of the Levant but it seems to me there’s only peace there when some empire or other imposes it upon the fractious elements therein, not because there are cities there.

    His observations about the crisis in Western states manifesting themselves in various urban failures, on the other hand, strike me as fundamentally more correct — if only our betters would spend more time solving those and less time lecturing foreigners and embroiling us in foreign wars; useful distractions for them, I suppose …

  16. Jason Boxman

    More and more, you see failed copyediting:

    And there’s still a chance senators may pick the stalled border policy negotiations back up. Senate Democrats aren’t closing the door but continue to argue the GOP needs to move toward a compromise rather than sticking with pursuing tough asylum, parole and detention policies while. The fact Democrats are airing their problems publicly isn’t a great sign for those talks, however.

    (bold mine)

    No Oxford, but that’s typical, and stupid. But the rest of the sentence is missing? This editor works for CDC? Or maybe they skipped it.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Italy tells China it is leaving Belt and Road Initiative”

    I can’t believe that Meloni pulled the trigger here. The finances of Italy are not that crash-hot in any case and their banks wobbly. But to turn away all that potential wealth that would have flowed from China, what did Meloni get out of it? Thanks from Von der Leyan? A future promise that may or may not be fulfilled? Guess that when the Italians voted last, they were wanting hope and change. Instead they got a blonde, female version of Obama instead.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is old fashioned politics. There isn’t much Meloni can really do without risking her standing and actual issues with Italian revenue which isn’t going away, but she needs to look like she’s doing something. She’s cooked by coasting. She’s going to double down on nationalism and hopes xenophobia will help her.

      She came to power in a record low turnout election and with the increasing fallout of kowtowing to Biden.

    2. Feral Finster

      I can believe it. Meloni is a puppet, and the hand up her backside is not Italian but American.

  18. flora

    Free speech. Michael Shellenberger.

    The so-called “Hate Speech” bill isn’t what it seems. It’s not a bill about protecting the Irish people from hate crimes. It’s a Trojan Horse designed to control the world’s Big Tech companies — X, Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

    This is a free speech emergency. We thought the legislation was dead. But the Irish government is using recent riots as an excuse to ram the legislation through before Christmas.

  19. Wukchumni

    Lifestyles of the Blessed & Famous: Preacher Homes Sold in 2023 The Roys Report. For example
    The televangelist dacha is kind of similar to a house of worship, in that said houses of the holy have incredible latitude in terms of architecture compared to any other buildings, you might say they are very liberal on the outside and yet very conservative on the inside-the flock.

  20. Wukchumni

    Taylor Swift won Time magazine’s person of the year-beating out Putin et al, but i’d suggest this young miss is as worthy and I procured seats about 30 feet from the stage for everybody, here have a listen…

    Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway – 11/18/23 – Port Washington*, NY – Complete show (4K) (1 hour 43 minutes)

    *I spent the summer of ’69 in Port Washington

    1. dave -- just dave

      I first heard Molly Tuttle on WAMU’s bluegrass digital radio channel 2 yesterday -singing “The First Time I Fell in Love” – it was memorable just over the radio. Now this video shows me why she could be considered to be plausible competition for Ms. Swift.

      Since there are time stamps, I first listened to that song again. Then jumping ahead to the end of the show to hear “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” showed me something surprising – but it made sense soon enough:

    2. The Rev Kev

      Taylor Swift may have won Time magazine’s person of the year but hey, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been named ‘The World’s Most Powerful Woman’ by Forbes magazine for the second year in a row. That’s gotta be worth something.

    3. CarlH

      Molly Tuttle is fantastic. She and Billy Strings have done some good collaborations in a live setting. When I first heard her I guessed that she must be from the Appalachians somewhere and was surprised to find out she is a Bay Area native, from Santa Clara.

  21. CaliDan

    The Military’s Big Bet on Artificial Intelligence Undark. You just buy AIs, you don’t have to recruit them.

    As I let my mind wander after reading this, I hopped on over Wikipedia’s Skynet page to refresh my mind on current Terminator lore. The page is much, much larger than I ever thought it would be. Go figure. Then suddenly I remembered Slaughterbots, from 2017 (ca.8″). Anyone else?

    1. JustTheFacts

      Honestly, watching Ukrainian drones dropping chemical weapons on Russians, and Russian drones dropping grenades on Ukrainians, demonstrates that the problem isn’t the AIs but the evil humans playing power games without their own skin in the game.

  22. Feral Finster

    As Ukraine aid falters in the Senate, Biden signals he’s willing to make a deal on border security AP

    Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” – Joe Biden

  23. Feral Finster

    “Trial window: Russia allows negotiations with Kiev in a Western country (Google translation from original) Izvestia. The deck: “Which state besides Hungary could become a mediator between Moscow and Kiev?” From the article:

    Russia is ready for negotiations with Ukraine, including on the territory of a Western country , a high-ranking source told Izvestia. Earlier, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó said that Budapest could still become a mediator between Moscow and Kiev on the issue of resolving the conflict. However, the Russian Foreign Ministry emphasized that today Ukraine and its Western partners do not demonstrate readiness to negotiate with Russia. Nevertheless, the expert community believes that, most likely, the role of mediator could go to a country that is not a member of the NATO bloc.”

    Unfortunately, that shows a lack of resolve in the Russian leadership.

    1. timbers

      Yep. I was shocked to see that. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is not to be ruled out. Meanwhile, Dima claims delivery of shells to Ukraine is increasing.

      1. Polar Socialist

        What’s so shocking about that? Russia has consistently declared willingness to negotiate peace. All Ukraine has to do is acknowledge the new border, declare neutrality and assert equality for Russian language and culture – willingness thus demonstrated the negotiations can commence.

        1. Feral Finster

          Because there’s no indication that Ukraine can or will agree to any such thing, and anything less than Total victory will be proclaimed a Russian defeat.

          1. Michaelmas

            Feral Finster:Anything less than Total victory will be proclaimed a Russian defeat.

            [1] So what? It’s always been the case that if Russia doesn’t conquer all of Ukraine’s territory, then the US/EU/West will simply proclaim that as victory — despite Putin emphatically declaring that full territorial conquest was never Russia’s objective. That’s good; it gives the US space to declare victory and pull out.

            [2] For international consumption, including in the global South, Russia needs to look like it’s ready to negotiate an end to the war, which is a terrible thing. That doesn’t mean Russia can’t strategically extend the process of coming to the negotiating table till such time as it’s bled NATO, the EU, and the US maximally.

            1. Feral Finster

              I doubt that the Global South cares. They aren’t so much in favor of Russia as they are opposed to the West and the US and want to see them lose.

              Moreover, Russia’s track record in these negotiations is….not good.

  24. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Pro-Kremlin Ukrainian politician Illia Kyva assassinated near Moscow: “Such a fate will befall other traitors of Ukraine”

    There was this bit in the article that has me shaking my head –

    “Last month, Ukraine said it believed Russia had poisoned the wife of its military intelligence chief, in an apparent assassination attempt targeting the heart of Kyiv’s leadership. Ukraine’s Babel news site reported that Kyiv had opened an investigation into what it described as the “attempted murder” of Marianna Budanova, the wife of Kyrylo Budanov, who is the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency known by its local acronym GUR.

    Russia denied the accusation.”

    20 years or so ago, Putin was supposedly dishing out the polonium and his “enemies” were dropping like flies. Fast forward a decade or so and the Skrpals, Navaly, and this woman were all supposedly targets if Russian poisoning, and yet they are all still fogging a mirror somewhere. Is the novichick not as good as Putin’s previous poison of choice? Has the Russian poisoning industry been crapified like so many Western endeavors?

    Of course, all of this propaganda is meant to make the Russians seem like some cloak and dagger Boris and Natashas. If they really wanted to kill someone, in today’s more modern world I suspect they’d probably send a drone and put a missile up the target’s nether regions.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Might be worth pointing out that Kyva was much more anti-Bankova than pro-Kremlin. In 2014 he was Right Sector activist and knows a lot of what went on during the Euro-Maidan. He also worked as the deputy commander of the Donetsk security police during the slow phase of the civil war, so he knew where the bodies were buried – and not just metaphorically.

      He also was a sort of a nut job and didn’t much care what he said in public, so when Zelensky turned on the “defender of democracy” mode and started hunting, suppressing and disappearing any opposition Kyva had to escape to Russia, where he made a living by telling anyone who was willing to listen what crooks the Kiev regime is.

    2. Feral Finster

      Of course Kiva was murdered by Ukrainian agents or western agents. Duh. Of course they are murderers and terrorists. Duh.

      What does Russia propose to do about it?

  25. Roger Blakely

    Optimism Linked to Poor Decision-Making and Lower Cognitive Skills Neuroscience News

    A modicum of solace for us denizens of NakedCapitalism who have spent our lives being told that we were Debbie Downers.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m not sure its even necessary to plant replacements based on the little I’ve seen in the Atwell Grove where fire came through in 2021, and it wasn’t uncommon to see hundreds if not a thousand seedlings underneath trees, although the survival rate is practically zero.

      Sue Cag is probably the ultimate explorer of Sequoia groves, and based upon her visits to where fires burned with even more intensity, regrowth is not an issue, and the hand of man isn’t needed, thank you very much though.

      We’ve been to every single grove that burned in the 2020-2021 wildfires (the 2020 Castle Fire and the 2021 Windy and KNP Complex fires, respectively). There are millions of sequoia seedlings everywhere that burned harshly. Sequoias very obviously thrive by fire, especially severe fire. They’ve been doing so for millions of years, as far back as the Tertiary period. It’s absolutely amazing to watch their rebirth, even just the little bit of it that we get to glimpse during our extremely short lifetimes. In a few millennia, the monarchs will have reinvented themselves – assuming we allow it, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Unfortunately, we’re repeatedly seeing tyrannical “authorities” bulldozing through groves, logging, burning, and building tree farms. The natural sequoia seedlings are being destroyed in numerous groves. The new genetic code provided by the ancient monarchs to their burgeoning progeny seems on track to be lost, if we don’t wake up and realize the harm we’re doing.

      1. juno mas

        Okay, I’ve read the article linkded above and viewed the video link.

        It seems the NPS has been captured by the wood industry similar to the Forest Service. The environmental protection groups have the science on their side.

        There is no need to remove standing deadwood to promote revegetation/succession. It will occur naturally, over time. Some of the standing deadwood will become homes to animals/birds; others will fall to earth and replenish the soil, after termites/beetles gnaw into dust. The numerous new Sequoia seedlings will compete with other plants for soil nutrients, moisture, and sunlight. The Sequoia will win that race, over time. Then the Sequoia will compete with one another and end up spacing themselves in a new more mature forest.

        Man-made removal of the standing deadwood will remove the source of nutrients for the soil. Not just from the decaying carbon, but from the whole trophic pyramid of insects, invertebrates, and animals that make the space home, over time. Man-made removal will simply disturb the soil and encourage accelerated soil erosion. Better to leave it alone and learn from the process.

  26. AJ

    The Haaretz story covered by The Grayzone has a write-up in The Times (UK). I suppose it’s something.

    But then again, is it? The Times is mixing in other IDF-sourced stories in the same article. Stories about alleged Hamas speeches, instructions, maps, which are just as impossible to verify as the lies just exposed.

    Given everything that has happened, it is hard to have confidence in that half of the article. And one has to wonder why the two stories were mixed in this way. The most likely answer to my mind is that the mixing was done to “manage” the assimilation of the Haaretz revelations – to allow people to understand they were lied to while still retaining the moral outrage to accept more “thumping” by Israel, more burnt babies.

    In Gaza, the only place where – as we now know – there really have been burnt babies in this conflict.

    1. pjay

      Yes the title of the Haaretz article clearly indicates the Intended message:

      – “Hamas Committed Documented Atrocities. But a Few False Stories Feed the Deniers”

      They admit a few of the worst lies that have already been exposed, present some of the confirmed deaths in an ambiguous way, and double down on the general overall claim – without, despite the title, presenting any new documentation on specific crimes. As you say, gotta keep the outrage machine going to distract people from the *actual* burnt babies.

  27. pjay

    Yes. The title, subtitle, and first paragraph of that Haaretz article clearly indicate the intent, including the claim that most of the atrocity stories are “supported by extensive evidence.” Admit ” mistakes were made” on some of the worst exposed lies, present some of the confirmed deaths misleadingly, and double down on the general accusations while providing no new evidence on specific crimes.

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