Links 1/24/2024

As deep freeze grips the South, North Carolina gators chill out YouTube (furzy)

Climate change: Four new emperor penguin groups found by satellite BBC

Cicada brood map 2024: When and where billions of the bugs will emerge Vox (furzy)

How We Turned the Tide in the Roach Wars Atlantic (furzy). From last year, still germane.

Exploring Prehistoric Times: Dinosaur Footprints Found In Thailand Thaiger (furzy)

Iceland’s Dance With Fire: New Fissures Paint the Landscape in Flames SciTech Daily (Chuck L)


Surge in cases leads to over 10 fatalities Bangkok Post (furzy)


Growing Fruit And Veg In Urban Farms Isn’t The Green Choice We Imagine ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Floating Solar Farms: Southeast Asia’s Answer to Land Scarcity OilPrice


China Boosts Stimulus by Allowing Banks to Keep Smaller Reserves Bloomberg

European Disunion

From Politico’s morning newsletter:

TODAY: EUROPE’S PLAN TO DE-RISK FROM CHINA: Brussels will today add some more meat to its “economic security” stew — first scooped by Playbook last year. “The world is changing. It’s time for a ‘reality check’ about the risks we face at this time of profound geopolitical turmoil and fast technological change,” the Commission’s Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told Playbook ahead of an announcement today….

What’s in that proposal, you ask? Playbook had a look so you don’t have to. Basically, the law will ramp up rules to monitor foreign takeovers. The idea is to shield the EU’s crown jewels, such as robotics, biotech or aerospace companies from being snatched up by China and others. Under the new law, all EU countries will be forced to check certain foreign takeovers to make sure they don’t undermine the EU’s security interests.

More proposals: Brussels will also advocate for “some uniform” EU export controls — which are currently decided by each EU country individually — in an effort to close loopholes.

Preparations for six days of standstill Tagesschau via machine translation (guurst)

French farmers up pressure on government as protests spread Reuters. Notice URL.

Refugees leaving German state over new cash rules – Bild RT (Micael T)


‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 109: Israeli forces storm Al-Khair Hospital, bomb Palestinians sheltering in tents in Khan Younis Mondoweiss

Israel’s war on Gaza live: Attacks surge as Khan Younis battles intensify Aljazeera

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2024: The Coming Foreign Policy Peril Douglas Macgregor, American Conservative

US-British Strikes on Yemen Seek to Provoke Wider War with Iran Brian Berletic

Weapons for Israel (II) German Foreign Policy (Micael T)

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Netanyahu promises billions in government aid to battered north Times of Israel. Kevin W: “If he does not, then he will find that ‘The North Remembers.'”

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No progress in cease-fire in Gaza, prisoners swap with Hamas: Israeli official Anadolu Agency. Per Alex Christaforu on Tuesday, Axios ran a rumor otherwise, but it was not picked up by other MSM outlets and now we see why.

center>* * *

War on Gaza: Israel’s antiquities director displays stolen artefacts in parliament Middle East Eye (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

Hoo boy: Russian military transport plane crashes near Ukraine, killing 74: Victims include 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war, says Moscow Financial Times

Patrick Lawrence: Russia’s Turn From the West ScheerPost (Chuck L)

Turkey approves Sweden’s NATO membership bid after 20-month delay Reuters


Iran’s Rouhani rejected by electoral council in blow to centrists Financial Times

Western Values

Supreme Court Rejects Attempt to Silence Palestinian Human Rights Advocacy Center for Constitutional Rights (Chuck L)

Columbia University Scolds Students for ‘Unsanctioned’ Gaza Rally Where They Were Attacked With Chemicals Intercept


The Berlin War Cabinet on the prowl Nachdenkseiten via machine translation (Micael T)

NATO state’s citizens told to invest in tanks RT (Micael T)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Israel and Ukraine Both Need 155mm Artillery Shells. Can the U.S. Meet Demand? Wall Street Journal

Türkiye rebelled against rampant Western intelligence via machine translaton (Micael)

America has always been at war with itself South China Morning Post (furzy)


Federal appeals court lets Trump gag order stand in federal January 6 case CNN (furzy)

Don’t fall for the trumped-up charges against Fani Willis Salon (furzy). Comes off as desperate.


Joe Biden Steps Up Attack on Supreme Court Newsweek (furzy)

Virginia County Admits Election Tally in 2020 Shorted Joe Biden Ground News (furzy). From a few days ago


Trump and Biden Say the General Election Has Begun. Haley Disagrees. Wall Street Journal

GOP Clown Car

Goodbye to Ron DeSantis & Stable Genius Donald Trump Confuses Nikki Haley and Nancy Pelosi Jimmy Kimmel, YouTube (furzy)


Imitation Nation 99% Invisible. UserFriendly: “This is a truly horrific way to treat new immigrants from war zones.


US appeals court revives Mexico’s $10bn lawsuit against gunmakers BBC

Our No Longer Free Press

Why Is Music Journalism Collapsing? Honest Broker (Micael T)

Police State Watch

Virgilio Aguilar Méndez is Facing Murder Charges for an Officer Who Died of Natural Causes While Attacking Him ScheerPost (Chuck L)

The Bezzle

FTX Sold $1 Billion of Grayscale’s Bitcoin ETF After SEC Approval: Report Business Insider (furzy)

Why Technical Analysis (TA) Works Using Bitcoin as an Example MishTalk. Furzy: “More dog du jour: I see a head & shoulders top too.”

Guillotine Watch

After Auschwitz, Elon Musk Goes Full Crazy With New Claim About Holocaust New Republic (furzy)

Class Warfare

Opinion: Three ways to help millennials overcome the cost of living crisis CNN. Mark G: “Filipovic humps the shark.”

Reports Expose Deep Harms of Corporate Tax Cuts and ‘Trickle Down’ Ideology Common Dreams (furzy)

Did Stock Buybacks Knock the Bolts Out of Boeing? Les Leopold

The Los Angeles Times plunges into ‘chaos’ as brutal layoffs loom and senior editors call it quits CNN (Paul R)

Antidote du jour. Due to inbox overload, I am late to take up this submission by George D:

Here’s a pic of our dog Merlin guarding the entrance to our cat’s sleeping igloo until he gets back from the sandbox.

And a bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from The Ballad of John and Yoko by The Beatles)

    The money in the Senate is flowing
    They’re fronting from the insider track
    While our troops convalesce
    Their brains and bodies a mess
    Down at the VA tryin’ to get somethin’ back
    Christ, the Senate is sleazy
    A whole new war overseas
    With winds of war blowing
    The money’s growing on trees

    Lindsey Graham enlisted on Friday
    He’s learning how to march and advance
    His face is sooty and black
    He’s so gung ho to attack
    A map of Persia in his camouflage pants
    Christ, we all know it’s easy
    To call for war in a speech
    Miss Lindsey will be in
    The first wave onto the beach

    Ted Cruz isn’t even embarrassed
    To back the man who slandered his wife
    When he fights with us grunts
    We’ll be attacking all fronts
    He’ll get to Teheran by just living the life
    Christ, he says it gets greasy
    Three meals a day MRE
    We gotta send him on downwind
    To do his necessary

    Going where it’s sunny for some combat pay
    Fighting is just barbarity
    As our colonel has said
    We’re here to make ’em all dead
    Who’s gonna catch it isn’t yours to control,

    Most men have their courage just built in
    McConnell’s not that kind of antique
    Mitch consistently tries
    To slip away in disguise
    Iran has room for playing hide and go seek
    Christ, he says it ain’t easy
    To be the Senate’s emcee
    Mitch won’t go out on recon
    He’s got a case of knock-knee

    Grunts don’t always look like John Cena
    Especially in a zippered up bag
    The Senate sends us ahead
    And while our friends are shot dead
    They count their money while we die for the flag
    Christ, it makes a man queasy
    Why does this war need to be?
    It’s completely mind blowing
    Where is the diplomacy?

    With winds of war blowing
    The money’s growing on trees

  2. The Rev Kev

    🇫🇷 It looks like the French got it in Kharkov again.

    It is reported that the strike in Kharkov was carried out on officials from the French Ministry of Defense at the time of handing over to them the identified bodies of French military intelligence officers killed during the previous strike.
    And according to the Come and See channel, Poles and Britons suffered in Kharkov:
    The strike hit a building in the Kievsky district of the city. It housed foreign mercenaries… We are talking about Poles and English-speaking mercenaries.’

    I guess that this counts as a “double-tap.” Seems that the days of the Russians giving multiple warning are over and they are simply going to kill western soldiers – I beg your pardon – western “mercs” on sight. After that hit that killed those 60 French a coupla days ago, the French Ambassador in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry where I presumed he was read the Riot Act. The meeting lasted several hours and the guy stormed past reporters as he left the building so a lot must have been said. It was after that, I beleive, that Macron said that Russia cannot win and announced a new shipment of weapons to kill Russians with. I guess that this second strike is Russia’s answer to Macron. Allegedly among the French dead was the son of a French general as a note of interest and a partial list of names has been released-

  3. Dave

    Re: “Why music journalism is collapsing.”
    I recently tried buying some new tracks for my kids and gave up. The enshittification of mainstream music purchasing has gotten too bad. You can no longer buy MP3s which can be transferred freely from one device to another. You have to use platforms like Amazon Music, which are completely gummed-up with ads, and seem designed to hide your own already purchased library from you. For my own music, I just buy used CDs. But for my kids it is a shame, because they are attracted to new songs, and the industry won’t allow them any control over their listening or collecting experience. Streaming is all that is allowed. Who predicted that the word “stream” would acquire such negative connotations?

    Not the biggest problem humanity is currently facing, but depressing nonetheless. Then again, maybe it will compel us to go back to making our own music with our own voices and instruments.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Pitchfork was founded in a bedroom of his parents’ home by my son’s high school buddy and garage band mate, shortly after they graduated in the mid 90s. It was initially a strictly online operation. The rest came later. He sold out to Conde Nast 5 or 6 years ago, and remained on as head of the business unit for 2-3 years before severing the relationship.

    2. Benny Profane

      This video is pretty interesting. Basically blames Clinton’s communication act for destroying radio, therefore destroying music.

      Meh, even back when I was a punk, a buddy of mine and I would go over the Rolling Stone top songs and album lists, and marvel at the garbage. Although it’s pretty extreme today. I still haven’t heard a Taylor Swift song. I think.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The monotization of popular music was already under way by 1996, somewhat disrupted by rap and country joining billboard’s list. MTV was already moving to non-music programming. Even in 1996, it was pretty much limited to late night and TRL with people making jokes about what happened to the music. Beavis and Butthead was already done, and making fun of music videos was their bread and butter.

        1. skippy

          NC back in the early days did post on the transformation is how fashion was arrived at and then marketed to consumers. Cornerstone to all of it was the hand held camera, so those in the industry that had already cut their teeth in big agencies then trotted off to start their own consultancies and anyone in tow that wanted a chance at the big brass ring.

          Basically they would send out new wannabees hoping to get a foot in the door with hand cams and then seek out all the original organic fashion teens were up too in the no adult zones and film them. This was then brought back to HQ and disseminated by the top brass at the buiznuts to both steal this organic creativity and call it their own, but more so to sell on to the big fashion houses as the next big thing and mommy/daddy will pay heaps to keep little Joe and Jane in the right social networks via materialism. Bonus points for branding younger generations being groomed to accept this paradise as normal human behavior = we sell you the image of what you whant[tm lol] to be … happy …

          Now its like a Scott’s box on acid …

      2. redleg

        He’s right- the Telecommunications Act of 1996 wrecked radio and completely homogenized music.
        Having been in bands (including touring) since the 90s, I’ve seen the effects firsthand and in real time. The talent level and creativity of musicians hasn’t dropped over the years, I think it’s actually improved, but the opportunities to be heard have dramatically decreased since the 90s. This goes for live music too, as venue consolidation (what hasn’t consolidated FFS?) and Covid closings has made finding venues extremely challenging. Guess what: bookers talent buyers want a band to provide a one-sheet with [drumroll] reviews.

        The Honest Broker article does a damn good job describing music journalism’s relationship with the state of music, and the Beato discussion video above describes the tipping point of how we got to [gestures broadly with the headstock of my Rickenbacker] this.

      3. Socrates Pythagoras

        Listen to the Ryan Adams covers instead. Much easier on the ears, and you will find that TS has written some decent songs.

    3. hemeantwell

      I occasionally checked out Pitchfork reviews and was always impressed by the quality of their writing, at least under the Best New Albums category. Reviews had a scholarly quality, especially in linking aspects of the music to the group members’ history in other groups, as well as social background. My tastes are pretty crude, and the reviews helped me listen in a more finely-grained way. The article’s reveal of the diluting power of streaming adds to the pile of the day’s ugly news.

    4. Amfortas the Hippie

      criminal, here.
      when i began constructing this house…circa 2010?
      there was no internet, of course.
      so i’d download(illegally, i assume) a bunch of songs from utube.
      and bring the laptop out here and plug it in to an old stereo and jam out.
      so now, thats what i do as SOP.
      gigabytes of music in my library, copied onto numerous flashdrives, external hard drives and 3 different laptops.
      and no ads.
      utube is making it more difficult to snag music, these days…but i still manage on one of the laptops(the one at the bar).
      no special hacking skills needed, btw.
      screw their streaming walled gardens and subscription “services”…even when you pay, you get ads in the middle of a song….and the clunky playlist/library interfaces seem designed to frustrate.
      and how much of that jack ends up in the musician’s pocket?
      and…between the hewing of wood…extreme cold(for us) and now warmer with a cloud on the ground for the third day…i’m attempting to rehabilitate my old bones(takes 3 days to recover from every one day laying around: stepdads rule of thumb)
      so i’m making this:

      with modifications…and triple the recipe.
      essentially british empanadas.

    5. helpful reader

      (I’ll preempt any spam suspicion by stating that I’m a regular reader, not a bot!)

      Dave, you may want to check out Bandcamp. You can buy tracks and albums on their site, listen to them through their site and apps, or download the files in multiple formats to be used on any other device. I think they’ve also recently changed owners or announced lay-offs (it’s hard to keep track at this point!), but they seem like one of the better options at the moment.

      1. Thomas the Obscure

        I second Bandcamp. The majority of the money goes directly to the artists, while one can download albums in lossless files. Most artists on Bandcamp also sell ye olde corporeal cds, vinyl and often, as is the fashion, cassette. The recommendations are good also. Users are free to leave reviews. Many very talented artists are not on corporate streaming platforms.
        There are, thankfully, still peer to peer file sharing platforms devoted to good music in lossless format.

    6. Partyless poster

      Streaming has done more to hurt musicians than any tech in my lifetime.
      How can an artist support themselves if no one buys music anymore?
      Just another occupation destroyed by convenience

      1. Big River Bandido

        The major labels responded to the Crash of ’79 by culling their A&R budgets, cutting their artist rosters, and subjecting their entire production process to an algorithmic cost-benefit mentality completely inadequate to the product and devoid of any natural sense of or appreciation for the business. “Record producer” or “A&R rep” by that point meant a lawyer who negotiated contracts, not someone who actually made records. This problem was compounded by the nearly-complete defunding of music education in the public schools, thereby depriving the business of dedicated patrons. Faced with a declining base of music fans, labels devalued music further by “synergizing” it with videos, television, film, fashion, and consumer sex advertising — in short, making all its value dependent upon everything else except the music.

        That was the case well before the the industry came to its Waterloo in the late 90s. Had the execs been visionary and proactive, they’d have already seen which way things were going and set up an entire digital market to counter Napster before the genie was out of the bottle. Instead, they dug in their heels, refused to address the problem and lost countless billions for their companies. In the end, they got the pirates in court, but not before their entire business was destroyed. Unbelievable lack of vision.

        That it took this long for a publication that basically reports on the music business to reach its own demise shows how long decrepit empires can run on fumes.

        1. c_heale

          I agree. As someone who fanatically listened to music until the late 2000’s, I now only listen to songs to practice with my guitar and music at our church. Partly it’s getting old, but the music industry has killed the goose. Whatever happens next will not involve them.

    7. Deltron

      I do not stream, but I also don’t have a smartphone. I have CDs, records, and download mp3s (via so I own my music and don’t rely on an internet connection. I recently replaced my 2008 Macbook with a 2023 Macbook Air. I lost all of my playlists and folders since I won’t transfer data via Apple’s cloud, I use an external hard drive (spoken with Apple customer service multiple times, they say there’s nothing I can do but use their cloud to transfer files and keep folder/playlist organization, but they also told me that they wouldn’t pay me to use it). It’s taking a lot of time to rebuild my digital music organization, and playlists.

      Highly recommend the Amoeba Records “Music We Like” series, which used to be distributed in hard copy at the stores and via PDF on their website…but now it looks like they’re no longer compiling full-length issues, but making suggestions on the fly on their website. I also recommend Bandcamp articles. Sadly, Pitchfork and Rolling Stone aren’t what they used to be, but they’re still options.

      If you have the time to shoot the bull with record store staff for 10-15 minutes, that’s a good route. Another good route is to identify a few venues that bring in great acts in a few big cities, see who they’ve booked, and check out their music on youtube or bandcamp to see if it’s worth buying. Or listen to stations like KMHD and KEXP online to find new bands. Or identify the record labels that you like, and check out the albums that they’re releasing.

    8. redleg

      You can buy them on Bandcamp for download, assuming the artists have a Bandcamp page. Enjoy it now as Bandcamp might not be around for long.

  4. Sam Adams

    RE: Did Stock Buybacks Knock the Bolts Out of Boeing? Les Leopold?
    NO, but Boeing taxpayer subsidies while governor and later on the Board of Directors did buy Niki Haley a nice manse on Kiawah Island behind the second gate

    1. Randall Flagg

      After seeing pictures of it I’m not sure I would call that manse nice. Money doesn’t always equal good taste. To each their own…

    2. griffen

      I found out what I believe is the money quote, towards the ending paragraphs…”…we found that more than 30 million workers had lost their jobs due to mass layoffs over the last three decades…” Boeing is no different than any other US based manufacturer over that time frame…GE to name another bad actor in this overall span of time.

      It’s the management and the board, as ever it will be. Along the way these companies grew larger and more complex via merging and acquiring other companies or industries. Incompetence just doesn’t seem to really put a dent into CEO and executive pay packages.

    3. Carolinian

      A new report says that the door fell off because Boeing workers on the line took the door off and then failed to replace the locking bolts when re-installing.

      I guess in very faint defense of Haley and Charleston Boeing one can point to this Seattle mistake as proof that Boeing management is the real source of their problems since the Seattle workers are presumably union.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        On a recent Bad Faith podcast, Brihana Joy Gray interviewed Bill McGee, Senior Fellow for Aviation and Travel at the American Economic Liberties Project and former Editor at Consumer Reports.

        He traces many of boeing’s problems to the replacement of engineers in management with bean counters, and the move of headquarters, first to chicago and now arlington, va. He convincingly states that in its heyday, with management right next to the production line, the engineer ceo could immediately go out on the floor to troubleshoot when advised of production problems.

        He also details, alarmingly, the tremendous amount of outsourcing going on, including “maintenance” being done in places like Egypt (!!!) and El Salvador.

        Apparently, making a quality passenger plane is putting the stock churning airplane “manufacturer” under too much scrutiny, and they’d like to join the cost plus contract, who-gives-a-shit-if-it-actually-works, never ending firehose of cash MIC club like lockheed and raytheon instead.

        From cnn a couple of years ago:

        The company’s Thursday announcement that it will move once again, to Arlington, Virginia, only gives critics more fuel: By moving into the shadow of both the Pentagon and Congress, Boeing seems to be signaling it has lost the commercial race to Airbus and wants to be seen as primarily a defense and space contractor.

        1. Reply

          GM and their competitors went through a period of bean counters instead of car guys, with similar results.
          Remember badge engineering? You, too, could own a Cadillac that looked like a Chevy except for extra trim and some sticker shock. You, too, could own some upper end model and still have the lower end engine, until they got caught.
          When they lost sight of the customer and that customer experience, many walked away or drove in a competitor vehicle.

        2. The Rev Kev

          ‘Boeing seems to be signaling it has lost the commercial race to Airbus and wants to be seen as primarily a defense and space contractor.’

          Wasn’t Boeing excluded from a NASA contract not that long ago due to doubts about the quality of their work?

        1. JBird4049

          Good article and comments. Boeing and Spirit essentially described as stupid, incompetent, greedy, really unethical, and just SNAFUed because of all this.

  5. zagonostra

    >Razor wire at the border: Supreme Court says feds can remove barriers in Texas meant to block migrants USA Today

    I missed this from yesterday’s links. This morning I had several friends who have removed themselves to homesteads contact me with this news and they are very upset about this.

    The border crises seems like a controlled crises so I’ve never got upset or paid much attention to it, maybe it’s my erstwhile liberal leanings. But boy it sure has those who topically (ignorantly) label as “gun-toting Christian conservatives, anti-Zionist, anti-establishment patriots” folks worked up.

    The Supreme Court has allowed the Biden administration to remove razor wire barriers that Texas erected along a 29-mile stretch of the Rio Grande meant to block migrants at the Southwest border.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “After Auschwitz, Elon Musk Goes Full Crazy With New Claim About Holocaust”

    ‘Elon Musk, who has used social media to spread antisemitic conspiracy theories, is now arguing that had social media existed at the time of the Holocaust, it could have prevented the tragedy.’

    Is Musk so clueless? Or is he just lying? He comes out and says that if there was social media in the 40s, that it would have prevented the Holocaust. Yeah, nah. Consider this. He is literally in charge of Twitter/X and so by his argument could put a stop to the present Genocide in Gaza. Instead he made a deal with Netanyahu to censor out Palestinian voices on Twitter/X like Zuckerberg does on Facebook/Instagram. By this measure, if he was alive in the 40s with Twitter/X, he may have ended up making a deal with the Nazis to censor Jewish voices on his platform too.

    1. Wukchumni

      I’d oft wondered what WW2 would have been like with the internet?

      Well, we’re seeing it in action in the Ukraine war, and it doesn’t seem to have changed things too much from a web standpoint, aside from bigger, better obfuscation.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not many years ago RT had a project going where they asked what if Twitter existed 100 years ago. so-

        ‘RT’s #1917LIVE Twitter project is retelling the fateful events of 1917 Russia through Twitter with special profiles for Tsar Nicholas II, Vladimir Lenin, Empress Alexandra and many others including everyday Russians who were caught up in the tide of history that swept their country.’

        They told events day by day in “real time” from 100 years ago and I believe that it was very popular.

        Can you imagine if they did the same for the American Revolution? No, I can’t either. Too many do-gooders would want some historical characters cancelled and would be offend by the Tweets of people with an 18th century outlook on life.

        1. Dessa

          “An 18th century outlook” from whose perspective? Much of what we consider barbaric about the 18th century had its opponents back then too. There were people who thought it wrong to destroy and colonize native people and to enslave back then as well. If we’re giving tweets to abolitionists, then THEY’D be cancelling these frankly terrible people. If we’re giving tweets to slaves and Indians, we’d see some pretty scathing rhetoric, don’t you think?

          “Do-Gooders” aren’t a recent phenomena and the “18th century outlook on life” is not a singular perspective.

      2. Carolinian

        I’ve mentioned Sophie Scholl who was guillotined merely for handing out memeographed leaflets about Stalingrad at her German college. So presumably the reason we are still allowed to read, oh say, this blog is that total war isn’t yet underway.

        Ironically in our own era one of the forces pushing for censorship re Gaza and other Israeli actions is the Lobby with its mantra “never again.” Meanwhile back in WW2 the Allies reportedly did know about the death camps if not the scale but didn’t bomb the camps or the rail lines.

        Censorship is the handmaiden of tyranny. Somebody tell the Bidenistas and, yes, the Israelis. The internet can be controlled, ultimately, by turning it off. Supposedly cutting a few underwater cables would do the job internationally. Internally Lawfare is waiting in the wings with their own virtual guillotine.

        1. Feral Finster

          “Censorship is the handmaiden of tyranny. Somebody tell the Bidenistas and, yes, the Israelis.”

          The Bidenistas and Israelis already know and they are all aboard.

          As long as they have the whip hand, of course.

    2. Xihuitl

      I am pro-Palestinian and depend on regular posts from Palestinian voices and advocates on Twitter/X. I see regular gruesome, heart-breaking videos and reports highly critical of Israel and Israelis and of biased media coverage. I’m not seeing the alleged censorship.

      1. CarlH

        The censorship needn’t be as blatant as removing posts or posters completely. They can just make sure that offending posts/posters are rarely or never seen unless expressly searched for while posts/posters amplifying a chosen narrative are front and center no matter what the users preferences are. YouTube does this. Whenever I type in a story I am interested in I have to scroll through page after page of approved sources of info, all MSM, while sources with unapproved opinions are almost impossible to find. The voices of dissenters are effectively silenced in this way.

  7. Mikel

    Why Is Music Journalism Collapsing? Honest Broker

    The eye-catching part: more layoff announcements (reading about more every day) in yet another industry.

    “But there’s a larger problem with the music economy that nobody wants to talk about. The layoffs aren’t just happening among lowly record reviewers—but everywhere in the music business…”
    (article then goes down a list of businesses)

  8. Hastalavictoria

    Interesting article.Previous articles I have read suggest that large parts of old the GDP who have suffered under the greater integration may provide Wagernecht with significant support.Also it will be very interesting to see how her immigration policy plays out.

    From my many years experience as a shop steward / trade unionist in the UK for many traditional Labour party voters this has long been a great concern to them – especially in low paid,low skilled jobs and a significant reason for their migration to UKIP and Brexit*

    Still,if W is the reincarnation of RL she gets my vote.But remember the Social Democrats killed her!

    Interestingly also in the comments yesterday regarding an American left party. Does such a similar party have any legs?

    *If I had a pound for every TU member I tried to dissuade from deserting Labour on this issue I would be a rich man.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Where billions of cicadas will emerge this spring (and over the next decade), in one map”

    Gary Larson did a cartoon on this where he drew a cicada professor addressing a cicada class saying-

    ‘And so, as you enter the adult phase of your life, you will thank God that these past 17 years of being stuck in the ground and unable to move are finally over. … Congratulations, cicadas of ’94!’

    I’ll be happy to see the birds get themselves a solid feed for a change.

  10. Steve H.

    > the Ansarallah blockade of Israeli ships.

    > The world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air.

    When the world was simpler, Mutually Assured Destruction enabled a stability that allowed global trade to flourish. As lesser entities began to acquire such weapons, the assumption of Destruction crumbled, and globalization stumbled on local conditions. This was revolutionary.

    But now a new revolution has occurred, in which the lesser entities which can alter global trade have scaled down to the individual. Wars are being fought with explosives duct-taped to quadcopters. A lone_wolf or a_kid_in_a_basement can now whack the rudder of an Ever Given and shut down a trade route for a week. So that person gets whacked with a million-dollar missile, but the effectiveness is there for all to see, and up pops another, like school shooters in the USA. Add in tribal, corporate, and national interests, and the technique of entrapment, and reverse-engineering culpability becomes difficult.

    In this financial environment, actuaries will run the numbers, and the insurance rates will become prohibitive. This change in the scale of capital strikes means that the insurer of last resort become governments. That’s fine on the money level, maybe even better if you don’t have to pay labor costs on a sunk ship.

    But if the actual material on the ship is important, it’s a logistical disaster. Economies of scale of container ships just make bigger sitting ducks. Small stuff like pharmaceuticals can still be flown, but bulk goods (like Food) can be completely disrupted. Leading to a more multipolar world with regional control, the Wings of the Eagle wrapped lovingly around Latin America…

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Joe Biden Steps Up Attack on Supreme Court”

    Old Joe had better be careful here criticizing the Supreme Court over Roe v. Wade. Remind me again of how many decades the Democrats had to legalize it? Obama said that he was going to do it as soon as he was elected but afterwards said it was no longer a priority. But here, what if the Supreme Court calls old Joe’s bluff and announce that they are re-considering their decision on Roe v. Wade and are now going to actually legalize it. The Democrats would flip. No more money to be raise from Roe v. Wade ever again and nothing to “fight” for.

    1. Pat

      I’d say there is the more immediate problem that the Democratic Hail Mary to keep Donald Trump off the ballot will happen first. Which begs the question, is this fund raising hype OR have the Dems realized the Fourteenth Amendment scam is a real loser on too many fronts and they need it killed?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I listened to msdnc this morning out of morid curiosity. You would think nothing happened but a predictable primary. They seemed incredulous Republican voters havent risen up to protect them from Donald Trump.

        They really wanted to replace the Team Blue base, but it’s just not coming together. Now they need to go to griping about the Supremes, pretending Biden hasn’t been a clown show all this time.

        Biden’s reelection campaign has already gone through bow the dumb dumbs don’t recognize how great he has been. Team Blue is running out of greatest hits already.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Watched some of Taibbi’s coverage of the primary last night, where he switched between netrworks. MSDNC, which wouldn’t put Trump on the air after the Iowa caucus lest he say something “disinformative”, was positively gushing over Nikki Haley last night and put her on the teevee to yammer on with her platitude filled palaver . Thought I was watching Fox there for a second. All very clarifying!

          1. ilsm

            The ‘power’ Haley has with the media is she gives credence to all the slanders of the past 6 years against trump.

  12. Wukchumni

    The Los Angeles Times plunges into ‘chaos’ as brutal layoffs loom and senior editors call it quits CNN
    Its sad to watch the newspaper I grew up with flail and flounder like a beached whale, but it isn’t as you couldn’t see it coming.

    The LA Times taught me how to read between the lines, where often the real news was hidden in plain sight on page 9 of the first section…

    I read the headlines only these days, being a cheap bastard-although if I let the cobwebs out of my wallet with 1 measly buck, they’d give me 6 months worth of digital dreck, as it isn’t uncommon for stories online to remain up for weeks-imagine that happening on the dead tree format?

    Well it can’t, as the last physical LAT I read was 27 pages long and more closely resembled a concentration camp victim systematically starved over many years of captivity.

    Why it was priced @ $2.77 is a bit of a mystery, as it comes to about $600 for 6 months worth, versus one Dollar online.

    How would you feel if you were a scribe for the newspaper though?

    Your work was valued at nothing, and it wasn’t as if the Times was coy about their buck offer for 6 months, they practically shouted it, silently.

    1. Benny Profane

      I am presently moving to Baltimore, and watching the Sun get gobbled up by the CEO of Sinclair. It’s been a rough road for the Sun for awhile, like most newspapers, and most of the good reporters and editors have moved over to a new venture, the Baltimore Banner, an Internet only publication, to which I subscribed. I just don’t get why some people want to own legacy newspaper brands, and then turn them into personal mouthpieces, when nobody is buying them anymore. David Smith, the new owner, is a real piece of work. Look him up. I wish him great losses.

      Print is dead.

    2. upstater

      Back in the day I’d go to my Sunday night shift at the railroad with the 400 page Sunday NYT. I was pretty good at doing 8 hours work in 4, but there were always unread remnants for the week.

      Even the local Newhouse owned Syracuse Sub-Standard, er Post Standard, and the Horrid Urinal (oops, Herald Journal) were worth reading for local and state government shenanigans and even legitimate investigative journalism.

      Probably the best thing about hard copy newspapers was reading things that were not my core interests but nonetheless broadened my views. Plus comics on line surely are not the same.

      Now everything you’re presented with are driven by “analytics” and have devolved into 2020s versions of People Magazine. The Newhouse is a pathetic garbage collection; politicians love the absence of scrutiny. The NYT with their 7 million subscribers and 1000+ “journalists” is much the same.

      Democracy for the elites as practiced in the west thrives in darkness.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        from when i was a tween, north of houston…all the way thru college and my wild years, ending in south austin…the sunday paper was a big deal.
        i refused to work on sundays because of it.
        a few joints…coffee and mimosas then beer…and lay around all day reading newsprint, cover to cover.
        the houston chronical and/or houston post of my youth easily weighed in at 15# each…and all that ended up as fire starter or compost fodder.
        my boys dont understand my nostalgia over this,lol.

        intertubes came late, out here(like every other phones and tv,lol)…so everyone still relied on austin tv news and papers from austin, san antonio and san angelo all the way into the early 2000’s…but by 95 or so, you could tell it was going away…beginning with the business section…dwindled to 2 pages of stocks and a page of idiotic stories that were more brochure for whatever than news…and a whole bunch of ads.
        the rest of the paper followed suit….and austin american statesman stopped sending copies out here…then the san antonio paper…
        all one can get, now, locally, is the san angelo sunday edition…on monday,lol.
        when wife and i were in san antone a lot for cancer adventure, i’d pick up a news paper for perusal/nostalgic sadness during my long waits in the car.
        even the sunday edition could be rolled up and stuck in my coat…such thin gruel it had become.
        hardly worth the 2 bucks or whatever.
        sic transit, gloria mundii.

        1. adrena

          When I lived in England way, way back I used to lounge around every Sunday with 4 newspapers at my side. The papers are gone but my love for news has never subsided. If I don’t know who is killing whom I’m not happy.

    3. Neutrino

      The Chandler family was associated with the LA Times for decades. In the 1990s I read in a business journal that they sold their flagship newspaper and made out like bandits. I thought that they saw the end coming for print journalism and needed to take care of their heirs while they could. The Microsoft pivot to the internet in that decade was a vote of confirmation that the new internet would shake up businesses. In that era, companies across the country were re-engineering in desperate attempts to stay alive until ’95, as some put it.

      One way to see a decline in print newspapers is to walk around neighborhoods in the morning to observe the declining number of driveways with some paper or papers. Now there are fewer. Coffee in front of a screen will have to do.

  13. Benny Profane

    I know it’s a bit early, but, if that Russian POW plane was shot down by missles, then where is the smoke and damage before it hit the ground? Looks totally intact in the videos.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The video I’ve seen on the Guardian website pans back up into the sky after the crash and shows a distinct puff of smoke, likely the result of some type of impact. That would certainly indicate a possible missile strike. Some modern missiles have relatively small warheads due to their accuracy so its possible that a direct impact on the cabin would not necessarily have led to an explosion and fire. A small number of missiles rely on kinetic impact alone.

      1. jhallc

        There is also visibly a piece/puff of something coming off the plane just as the truck passes in front of the camera before it impacts.

      2. Carolinian

        The Buk missile coverage from a few years back said it explodes next to the plane and destroys via shrapnel. This latest incident surely must have been a shootdown.

        1. juno mas

          Yes, can’t have those POW’s showing up voicing their discontent. A perverse Hannibal Directive?

  14. zagonostra

    >The Four Horsemen of Gaza’s Apocalypse – Chris Hedges

    Not the first person to point out that the U.S. government is controlled by Israel lobby. Scott Ritter said the same thing on a podcast recently. And these two prominent public speakers are not the only ones. And yet, not much reaction from a relatively inert, uninterested (Col. Douglas McGregor’s term), debt-burdened, distracted, seemingly impotent citizenry. Makes one almost want to just turn off all the news feeds and hunker down until the four riders appear.

    The policies embraced by the Biden administration not only blithely ignore the realities in the Arab world, but the realities of an extremist Israeli state that, with Congress bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, couldn’t care less what the Biden White House dreams up. Israel has no intention of creating a viable Palestinian state. Its goal is the ethnic cleansing of the 2.3 million Palestinians from Gaza and the annexation of Gaza by Israel. And when Israel is done with Gaza, it will turn on the West Bank, where Israeli raids now occur on an almost nightly basis and where thousands have been arrested and detained without charge since Oct. 7.

    1. JCC

      John Mearsheimer and Stephan Walt wrote an entire book on the subject, “The Israel Lobby and American Foreign Policy”, back in 2006. It is an excellent read and probably more true today than it was 17 years ago.

      There was a strong reaction… by the Israel Lobby. The various groups that are part of the lobby spent the next few years accusing both of being anti-semitic at every available opportunity to include paid-for book reviews in just about every newspaper in the country.

  15. The Rev Kev

    I guess that this counts as a breaking story. The Ukrainians have shot down a Russian IL-76 cargo plane in the Belgorod Region killing everybody onboard using either US-made or German air defense systems based in the Kharkov region. A second Russian IL-76 cargo plane was able to get away. Both planes were carrying Ukrainian POWS on their way to the Belgorod Region to be exchanged for Russian POWs. The losses were 65 Ukrainian POWs, 6 crew members and 3 guard soldiers. The kicker? The Ukrainians knew that these planes were carrying POWs as Moscow and Kiev had agreed to conduct a prisoner exchange later that day. So have the Ukrainians adopted the Israeli Hannibal doctrine or something? It’s OK to kill your own people if you can get a propaganda victory in shooting down an aircraft?

    1. RookieEMT

      Another kicker, pro-Ukrainians are editing their tweets from celebrating the aircraft being shot down to, “Oh it crashed.”

      I really wanted to be neutral but now I can’t wait for Russia to finish the job. I don’t see any other ending. The lines are just beginning to crumble. More of Ukrainian elite units are being ground to dust in Advikka.

    2. Morincotto

      They did deliberately shell ukrainian pows before.

      Then as now a warning to their own people that they will be killed If they dare to surrender instead of fighting to the bitter end may play into it also

    3. Dyspepticon

      Was Russia keeping POWs in Iran? Because that’s where flight RA-78830 had just been on the 23rd. It flew over Syria on it’s way to Belgorod. And since when do POWs get air travel when Russian soldiers have to take train? And when has Russia passed on the opportunity to publish video of Ukrainian bodies burning? Never.

      Anyway, if there were to be a prisoner swap by air, the airspace should have been formally cleared and secured ahead of time. The real story is that Ukrainians (or Russians holding a grudge) carrying MANPADs are wandering around Russia proper. The IR seeker wouldn’t even trigger a missile warning in the cockpit.

    4. alfred venison

      Recall the Donetsk remand centre massacre. Ukrainian PoWs from Azovstahl held in remand pending their immanent trials & testimonials under oath. All killed in a rocket attack originating in Ukraine.

  16. diptherio

    I’m sorry but that Kari Lake bribery recording sounds fake af. Lake is a much better actor than DeWitt and it really sticks out.

    1. Martin Oline

      It seems as if your reasoning is sound, but today, Jeff Dewit has resigned. A coincidence I’m sure.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “NATO state’s citizens told to invest in tanks”

    At least Lithuania is being upfront by saying that ‘citizens should not expect substantial returns on any investments.’ I would guess that it would work out to be less than the rate of inflation. Sorry but investing my money in a tank that could be taken out by a Lancet does not seem a good way to use your savings. I have heard that the entire EU is moving into recession so perhaps it would be wise keeping that money in your sock – you may end up needing it. But they should never hide their money under their beds. That is where the commies are hiding!

    1. OnceWere

      Given the course of the Ukraine War, I would have thought that compulsory school classes in the piloting of FPV drones would be a better investment for the defense of a small country – might even give the kids some enjoyment and useful skills – but of course not very much grift for the MIC in that plan. At least the Lithuanians aren’t advocating building hundreds of concrete fortifications – Estonia-style – real 21st century Enhver Hoxha energy there.

      1. Polar Socialist

        At least the Lithuanians aren’t advocating building hundreds of concrete fortifications – Estonia-style…

        It is, actually, a joint project of the three Mini-Me states. I guess the idea is to force Russia to use missiles instead of an invasion.

        1. OnceWere

          Tanks, concrete bunkers, and now air defense – the “investment” opportunities in the Baltics are truly endless.

    2. CA

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      NATO chief Stoltenberg with the usual Orwellian doublespeak: “We are not moving to Asia but China is coming closer to us” *

      When the closest Chinese soldiers to Europe are stationed in – guess where – China!

      And the closest NATO soldiers to China are stationed – guess where – in China as well! ( the US actually has some troops in Taiwan: )

      * Alliance has to address developments in Asia: NATO chief

      10:33 AM · Jan 17, 2024

    3. Polar Socialist

      Maybe the idea is that the price of tanks in EU will eightfold soon, as did the price of 155mm shells. Or that in the close future a tank is what you need for personal safety in the garden.

      Sometimes it’s hard to decipher these WEF kids…

    4. Samuel Conner

      The Russian experience of the ’90s suggests that there could be value in investing in learning how to grow potatoes in one’s back yard.

  18. CA

    Since 2001, America has been arbitrarily cancelling what had been hard-won arms control treaties. This while becoming increasingly confrontational:

    December 13, 2001

    Bush Pulls Out of ABM Treaty; Putin Calls Move a Mistake

    December 13, 2001

    Tearing Up the ABM Treaty

    1. chris

      Yes. Seeing Clinton start down this path and then Bush accelerate it was disheartening. Seeing Obama double down on Bush’s decisions is what lead me to understand the uni-party. You can draw a straight line from Clinton to Trump when it comes to US foreign policy. Biden is a slight deviation because he’s both more inept than Bush and more of a warmonger than Obama. But it’s not like either of those Presidents would be doing something more to foster peace in this world. They’d just be managing the multiple wars differently.

      1. CA

        ‘Seeing Clinton start down this path and then Bush accelerate it was disheartening. Seeing Obama double down on Bush’s decisions is what lead me to understand the uni-party…. ‘

        Really, really important as well as disheartening… Later, the initial American rationale for moving missiles to Poland, was the danger to Europe from Iran:

        October 21, 2009

        Poland to Accept Missile Defense Offer

  19. chris

    After most of the votes have been counted, Dean Phillips got about 20% of the vote in NH. For a candidate who suffered a media blackout and the antagonism of the DNC, that’s not bad! And Marianne Williamson got almost 5% of the vote? After years of being accused of spreading silly woo woo on the campaign trail, when people were allowed to talk about her at all? I think the people who are worried about Joe Biden’s chances this election are right to be worried. Even when the deck is stacked in their favor the people really don’t like the options being shoved down their throat by the DNC.

    1. Screwball

      All I can find is a Twitter video, but I’m sure you can find it of you search. Phillips said in an interview he went to a Trump rally – and imagine what I found kind of thing. I read CNN even aired the clip of him talking about it, which would surprise me. He had nice things to say about the “Trumpers” and not so good of things about the DNC. He said they were nice and polite people, and thought the only one who was listening to them was Trump. I think he is spot on.

      He broke two cardinal rules of the PMC – you can’t say anything bad about democrats, and you can’t say anything good about “Trumpers.” Not that it matters, he’s going nowhere anyway, but it’s nice to hear some truth in a sea of BS.

      My PMC friends think Biden is a lock for the election because NH showed Haley has a chance since some of the stupid red neck hicks that like Trump are beginning to see how awful he is. They are now going for the non-crazy part of the GOP, which Haley represents (I almost choked on that one). They hate Trump so much they are delusional, which goes along with what Phillips said about the democratic party.

      I can’t imagine what life is like when your entire worldview is through the prism of Donald Trump. He lives rent free in so many heads, which eliminates any room for self reflection, rational thought, or honesty to themselves. It’s hate 24/7/365 – that’s all they know.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Come election night, instead of getting in just popcorn for you and your friends, you should also get in some Cheetos.

  20. Samuel Conner

    > Some professors at Harvard assured the crisis phase of covid was over.

    The subjective crisis is over; people are used to the pandemic. They seem to have become inured to repeated infection, in ways that they are not to the discomforts of protective NPIs.

    The objective disaster may still be just beginning.


    One can hope that media people will decide that there might be news value in looking at Long COVID. Chris Cuomo (recently linked at NC, I think), may be start.

    1. Enter Laughing

      The Covid crisis may not be over, but the tweet by AJ Leonardi, MBBS, PhD, pinning the blame for the “capacity disaster” at Massachusetts General Hospital on Covid, is unwarranted.

      While overall Emergency Department (ED) visits are up slightly compared to last year, the percentage of admissions due to Covid or other respiratory illnesses is actually significantly lower.

      According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH):

      There were roughly 66,975 emergency department visits in Massachusetts between Dec. 31 and Jan. 6, according to the most recent data from DPH. The number of ED visits is up slightly compared to the same week in previous years. For example, the same week one year earlier saw roughly 65,240 ED visits and the same week two years ago saw about 64,000 ED visits.

      But respiratory illnesses are a less significant part of the case mix this year than in the last two. Of the 66,975 ED visits the week of Dec. 31, 17.2 percent were related to a respiratory illness like COVID (3.4 percent), flu (2.7 percent) or RSV (0.6 percent). Respiratory illnesses accounted for 19.8 percent of ED visits one year ago and 29.8 percent of visits two years ago, according to DPH data.

      Indeed, the DPH reports a steep, three-week decline in ED visits related to acute respiratory disease, including Covid-19, influenza and RSV.

      So if Covid is not the leading cause of the “capacity disaster” as Leonardi claims, what is?

      The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association says the main culprit is the chronic and systemic difficulty in moving patients through the system in a timely manner:

      The well-documented patient “throughput” problem is the result of many issues, from workforce shortages that have taken available beds offline, to the difficulty in transporting patients, to delays in getting the proper authorizations for the transfers.

      So while Covid may be part of the problems at Mass. General Hospital, inflammatory and misleading language from people like Leonardi placing all the blame on Covid just muddies the waters about what is true and not true about the ongoing crisis.

      1. thump

        Thanks. I was just about to try to write something to this effect, but you have done a much better job than I would have. I am suspicious now, whenever I see an alarming sounding tweet, that copies just an image from an article but does not link to the article itself or even quote from it, that the sender means to score Twitter clout more than to inform. There was a tweet here not long ago from T. Ryan Gregory that did the same thing. When I found and read the underlying article, it did not support the alarm he was spreading.

  21. t

    Speaking of plagiarism, this example from the tweets shows how you don’t do a plagerism: The LA Times laid us off in an HR zoom webinar with chat disabled, no q&a, no chance to ask questions. As a colleague described it, “that was like a drive-by.”

    Five extra words. Easy peasy. All it takes to give credit. And I’ll guess naming names might out the colleague in the crosshairs.

  22. flora

    re: Refugees leaving German state over new cash rules – Bild ( RT)

    Interesting story. Putting a welfare payment on a credit card that is restricting in what it can be used to buy isn’t new. Many US states that use a CC system for benefits restrict what can be bought with the card to prevent purchase of cigarettes or alcohol, expecting the benefits to be spent on food, for example. The new wrinkle in this German system is preventing where payments can be made in a geographic area. I wonder if this is a beta test for one of the “features” of Central Bank Digital Currencies. “Absolute control”, as Agustin Carstens says.

    1. Trees&Trunks

      You can bet your jamón serrano on this being a beta test for one of the “features” of Central Bank Digital Currencies.

  23. John Beech

    Regarding Musks claim had X existed at the time of the holocaust, I disagree with the premise of the article, basically, an attack against Musk and that’s he’s mistaken. I happen to agree it would have resulted in a different outcome.

    That knowledge and X are not helping the Gazans today? There are differences. Not to get bogged down, nor to argue one position or the other, e.g. Israeli policies forced the Hamas attack, Israel knew it was coming, nor on the side Israel is totally innocent. Asymmetric warfare is never black or white. Period.

    However the camps were introduced by an insane group of men, continued through coercion, and destroyed millions. Not the same thing no matter how bad Gaza. With X (nee Twitter) the world would have stood aghast and while I don’t know what could have been done faster than the Allies mobilized anyway, to stop it sooner, we wouldn’t be in the position we are where there are forces (governments) and individuals denying it happened in the first place. For shame.

    Anyway, I’m with Musk on this one. X and the spread of aghastitude may well have helped bring it to a stop, or maybe even kept it form beginning. We’ll never know.

  24. Carolinian

    Meanwhile at Columbia University

    The campus chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine publicized the incident on Saturday morning, identifying the substance as “skunk,” a chemical weapon used by the Israel Defense Forces against Palestinians and one that U.S. police departments have reportedly acquired in the past. SJP also alleged that the assailants have ties to the Israel Defense Forces, a claim that The Intercept could not independently confirm.

    The university administration doesn’t sound too concerned.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘It’s OK when they do it.’

      A tweet I saw the other day said-

      ‘Former Israeli military dressed up as pro-Palestine protestors smuggled an illegal chemical weapon to a solidarity rally at Columbia University. They secretly sprayed the chemical on other students. They should be expelled and face criminal charges.’

  25. Carolinian

    This is interesting

    The Israeli outlet explains that the Israeli military command was surprised by the extent of the tunnel network beneath Gaza. “Only gradually did the IDF realize that the tunnel network was much more extensive than it had previously understood and that their main use by Hamas was not for launching arsenals, but for preserving its forces.” The Haaretz article continues, “Another assumption that was proven wrong was that it would be enough to control the ground above for a few weeks for Hamas fighters, starved of food, water and oxygen to be forced to emerge.”

    The incorrect assessment of the tunnels is just one of many Israeli intelligence failures highlighted since October 7. Israeli officials had the Hamas plans for what ultimately became the October 7 operation over a year before the attack. During the months leading up to the attack, several different sources attempted to alert Tel Aviv to a growing threat in Gaza.

    The New York Times reported that Tel Aviv initially believed Hamas controlled 250 miles of tunnels. That number is now assessed to be close to 450 miles. Haaretz reported that one IDF commander discarded the maps he was given and dismissed the intelligence as useless.

  26. Daniil Adamov

    “Patrick Lawrence: Russia’s Turn From the West”

    I wish.

    He points out that for us: “Periods of orthodox conservatism have been followed by cycles of Westward-looking liberalization, this followed by a return to previously abandoned traditions, which have included over many years a return to reaction and a new valorization of one or another kind of nativism and nationalism.”

    Which in broad terms is true, I suppose. (Really both of those tendencies coexisted since Peter’s time, but one or the other could gain greater prominence or political influence for a bit.)

    However, he claims that this cycle is now over. He seems to base this largely on recent statements related to foreign policy. That is what I simply don’t see from inside Russia, though. Rather we are in yet another period of anti-Western (rather than West-free) “orthodox conservatism”. I would add that under Putin, Russia has been perhaps at its most westernised culturally, and the last two years haven’t really changed that. Even our “orthodox conservatism” takes the form of protecting children from sexual deviance and women from feminism – in other words, whatever one might make of this policy’s merits, it is cribbed from the playbook of Western, specifically Anglo-Saxon religious conservatism.

    One can hope that the current situation will indeed free our minds from the West, but I don’t think that happened yet. What I see regularly is that people here still either love the West or hate the West – stances that give the West power over us. All too often the main argument on policy issues (certainly cultural policy issues; more tangible issues do require a bit more thought) is “whether it is something Westerners do or not” (Westernisers think the Western way is always the right way, anti-Westernisers would do the opposite of what Westerners do). Meanwhile the rest of the world doesn’t have a remotely comparable cultural footprint here. Perhaps with enough Chinese influence, the Eurocentrism of our intellectual elite and the educated generally will finally be undermined by the presence of an alternative. On the other hand, there is a real threat that the Second Cold War will only help perpetuate the cycle – since it encourages one part of society to blindly identify with the West and another to blindly oppose the West.

    1. OnceWere

      If the European economy ends up in a long-term malaise, and the Western university to Russian elite pipeline gets cut off then Russian eurocentrism may just die a slow natural death. Absent the apparent superiority in material prosperity that was present during the First Cold War (and for that matter hundreds of years ago when these cycles got their start), how do you see a pro-Western Russian being able to sell his viewpoint to the next generation during the coming Second Cold War ?

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Appeal to Western values and snobbishness. That stuff is deeply-rooted. Moreover, the government’s embrace of anti-Westernism makes pro-Westernism a natural refuge for anyone who dislikes the government’s policies (especially the aforementioned feminists and “sexual deviants”, or people who object to the latter classification for whatever reason). I don’t think the West will ever be as popular here as it was in the USSR, but I do think that pro-Western sentiment has significant staying power among the highly educated (or maybe they can be called the PMCs; there is considerable overlap at least).

        By the way, I would dispute the significance of Western universities for this purpose. The West is much more attractive as a remote forbidden fruit; if you ever actually go there, you might end up becoming a little sceptical. Some did. That elite pipeline did not exist to any significant extent in the Soviet Union. It was not necessary to convert people to fairy tales about the West.

    2. Mikel

      “Perhaps with enough Chinese influence…”
      I don’t think Chinese troops are going to hang out in Germany for over 75 years.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        No, but what does that have to do with anything? I mean Chinese cultural influence in Russia – currently virtually non-existent. It’d be nice if there was at least some alternative to Europe as a cultural pole here.

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      “…under Putin, Russia has been perhaps at its most westernised culturally…”

      I fully agree, which makes it even more amazing to me that Putin–Peter the Great’s westernizing heir from Leningrad–is turning Russia away from the west. Of course it’s early days yet and there remains the glimmer of a chance that Russia and Europe (forget the USA and Canada) will kiss and make up, but I very much doubt it.

      Politically: I think the break with the west will continue for at least as long as Cold War 1. Economically: the speed with which Russia is re-orienting its trade links away from the west and towards Asia (take a glance at the recent trade data with China and India) is remarkable. Here in Moscow (on an extended stay after a 7 month absence), I see many new Chinese cars on the roads, as well as the appearance of Chinese brands and goods in stores (in parallel with the ongoing disappearance of western brands and goods). Culturally: time will tell, but we know from history that cultural influence eventually follows economic influence, and Asia’s rising power is in sharp contrast to the present situation in the EU. This is what I see as a huge game-changer: because Asia has largely caught up with the west technologically, Russia no longer needs to look to the west as a source of modernity. The future lies elsewhere.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        I don’t know much about cars, but even I noticed that the local reputation of Chinese cars has greatly improved in recent years. There are still some complaints about them being relatively poorly-adapted to Russian conditions (which I suspect will start to change now), but overall they are considered a viable alternative rather than a subpar substitute accepted out of necessity. Likewise with Chinese smartphones. So yes, there is at least some potential for the more practically-minded to notice an actual alternative to the West. We’ll see if it is enough to break the overall cultural dependency.

  27. The Rev Kev

    Recently there was a link about how one of the two big retailers in Australia – Woolworths – was pulling all Aussie themed goods before Australia Day which includes Australian flags. People have noted that they still carry displays for Indian Diwali and Chinese New Year however. So Woolworth’s CEO sent out a letter to their employees explaining this and it went down like a lead balloon-

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