Links 2/18/2024

Are You Kinda Healthy and Over 30? Apply to Join NASA’s Simulated Mars Mission Gizmodo

Plane Passengers Horrified as Maggots Rain Down From Luggage Compartment Futurism

Lawmaker raises new flap over U.S.-funded virology research that critics call risky Science

Breathing Space New Left Review. On anti-utopian architecture.


How the US government began its decade-long campaign against the anti-pipeline movement Grist


High-risk patients alarmed by CDC’s plan to ease covid isolation guidance Washington Post

Prevalence of Immunosuppression Among US Adults JAMA. “In this study using the 2021 NHIS, an estimated 6.6% of US adults had immunosuppression. This rate of immunosuppression was higher than the previous national estimate of 2.7% using the 2013 NHIS.”


Is there an “Africa penalty” in sovereign ratings by credit agencies? An Africanist Perspective

Thanks to the IMF, Zambia’s fuel prices have nearly doubled in two years Grieve Chelwa, Africa Watch


Munich Security Conference: China’s Wang Yi defends ties with Russia, warns West on Taiwan ‘red line’ South China Morning Post

GBA at 5: how Hong Kong has become the investment and insurance hub of Greater Bay Area South China Morning Post

Tesla Hacked? Kyle Bass Raises Questions On CCP-Linked Angela Chao’s Death The Deep Dive


War on Gaza: US ‘to send weapons to Israel’ while pushing for ceasefire Middle East Eye

Hamas welcomes UN court’s demands for Israel to immediately implement provisional measures in Rafah Anadolu Agency

Gazans Fled Their Homes.They Have Nowhere to Return to Haaretz

Palestinians in Gaza Do Have Somewhere to Go: Their Homes in What is Now Israel Sam Husseini


Israel settlers hold military exercises near Palestinian homes in West Bank Middle East Monitor

Illegal West Bank settlements broke record in 2023: Report The Cradle

Israel is surveilling U.S. data on settler attacks to thwart sanctions, sources reveal +972 Magazine


Israel Was Behind Attacks on Major Gas Pipelines in Iran, Officials Say New York Times


US to build 5 ‘well-equipped’ military bases for Somali army’s commando force to combat terrorism Anadolu Agency

Terrorism in Africa increased 100,000% during ‘war on terror’ Responsible Statecraft

Red Sea Rivalries. Phenomenal World. “Egypt, Ethiopia, and histories of maritime war.”

European Disunion

Germany blocked EU boss’ NATO bid – Welt RT

Germany swims or sinks with NATO Indian Punchline

Pashinyan Has Another Meeting With British Intelligence Chief Asbarez


EU ‘absolutely willing’ to use trade tools against China to fight unfair practices as bloc launches train probe South China Morning Post

New Not-So-Cold War

Navalny death ratchets up pressure on GOP to move Ukraine aid The Hill


Biden Administration Blames Congress for Fall of Ukrainian City New York Times

Ukraine Pulls Troops Out of Avdeyevka, But Not to ‘Save Lives’ – Moscow Sputnik


The Insanity of War Tarik Cyril Amar. “Is this avoidable conflict driving Ukraine out of its mind?”

DOJ: Confiscated Russian funds will support Ukraine — via Estonia Politico. $500,000.


Russian Space Nukes and Navalny’s Death… U.S. Psyops Go Ballistic Strategic Culture

Is This a Sputnik Moment? New York Times

The US Military Already Has a Decades-Old Countermeasure for Russian Space Nukes

SCOTT RITTER: Mike Turner’s Folly Consortium News


Imperial Collapse Watch

Army moving towards new Javelin launcher fielding in 2025, software glitch fixed Breaking Defense

Territorial Labor and the Political Economy of American Empire Law and Political Economy Project

From Individual to Society: New Insights on Mental Health Care’s Role in Social Justice Mad in America

South of the Border

Russia Claims Ecuador Has Agreed to Cancel Weapons Swap With US Bloomberg


Trump touts new shoe deal at Sneaker Con appearance Washington Examiner

Trump fans launch GoFundMe to raise $355M ex-prez owes after civil fraud trial New York Post

Fani Willis’ testimony evokes long-standing frustrations for Black women leaders AP

Atlanta Prosector Fani Willis Sent Black Educators to Jail Black Agenda Report. From August, still germane.


Nikki Haley’s latest target on the campaign trail? Kamala Harris NPR

Kamala Harris on Trump: ‘No previous US president has bowed down to a Russian dictator before’ The Guardian


Reddit Is Licensing Content To An Unnamed AI Company PC Mag


Quest Diagnostics pays $5M after mixing patient medical data with hazardous waste The Register


Cancer Patients Caught in the Crosshairs of Hospital Consolidation MedPage Today

Police State Watch

New bill would let defendants inspect algorithms used against them in court The Verge

The Bezzle

Supercomputers and AI Unlock Secret Materials for Next-Gen Carbon Capture SciTech Daily

Our Famously Free Press

State Department Threatens Congress Over Censorship Programs Matt Taibbi, Racket News

Klarenberg’s piece on the UK’s National Security Act referenced in the above.

Class Warfare

Business, labor fight over California law few know about Cal Matters

Labor Action Tracker, Annual Report 2023 Cornell University ILR School, University of Illinois LER School, “…the number of work stoppages increased by ~9% (433 to 470) between 2022 and 2023, the number of workers involved in work stoppages increased by ~141% (224,000 to 539,000).”

Take Shelter Atmos

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Wildwood Flower by The Carter Family)

    Biden says all is well but the truth has been bared
    He keeps starting new wars when we are not prepared
    We can’t build wonder weapons like World War Two
    While Russia makes missiles come out of the blue

    All our factory jobs long since whittled away
    Only strip malls abound in the US of A
    If it weren’t nailed down Wall Street sold it for pay
    As push comes to shove there is worse on the way

    We deplorables out here know we stand among
    The least on the ladder one hand on the rung
    How we live through each week is a story to tell
    When we lose our grip you will lose yours as well

    From ocean to ocean our lives are so sour
    What kind of a life must be earned by the hour?
    You may look down on us from your grand ivory tower
    From the seeds of your greed a rebellion will flower

  2. The Rev Kev

    “DOJ: Confiscated Russian funds will support Ukraine — via Estonia”

    ‘It is the first time the U.S. will transfer funds to a foreign ally for the explicit purpose of assisting Ukraine and comes as foreign aid for the embattled nation has stalled in Congress.’

    If this ever goes before an international court, I’m not so sure of a US win. They knew that legally they could not give the money to the Ukraine so they used Estonia as a bagman. So there right there was deliberate intent. Other countries may look at this case and how the US got hold of this money originally and decide that if they ever have to order something expensive from the US, that the terms will be cash on delivery in the country that ordered it. Safer that way.

    1. Pat

      I think that Washington is completely deluded. Since they control all the levers in the US, they believe that the law is what they say it is applies everywhere. All despite a great deal of evidence over the past three years that they have not steamrolled everyone.

      And yes I do blame the Bidenites and recycled Clintonites in the current administration for this. Not the big footing, America has been doing that for at least five decades. But the sheer number of outright rules do not pertain to us actions that are day to day occurrences domestically and in foreign affairs is gob smacking. I have begun to think that Trump Derangement Syndrome is just a symptom of an overall mental breakdown in the Beltway that will have severe consequences for years to come.

      1. i just dont like the gravy

        I have begun to think that Trump Derangement Syndrome is just a symptom of an overall mental breakdown in the Beltway that will have severe consequences for years to come.

        You don’t know how unfortunately true this is…

      2. Carolinian

        ‘No previous US president has bowed down to a Russian dictator before’

        What’s crazy about that? /s

        They are literally accusing him of being a Russia sponsored traitor on zero evidence and calling Putin a dictator even though Russia has elections and Putin’s approval rating at 80 percent is 40 percent better than Biden’s and even better than Kamala’s. With an 81 year old party leader clinging to power and a press devoted to said party’s party line we are more like the Soviet Union than Russia.

        Clearly the lesson is that the delusions of the powerful know no boundaries. We can’t fix their delusions but might be able to do something about the power.

        1. flora

          Seems like the 3-letter agencies want T to bow down to them but he didn’t. Everyone knows the famous Schumer statement that (paraphrasing) ‘the 3-letter agencies have 6 ways from Sunday to get you.’ They like Schumer. He knows his place in the pecking order. / ;)

          1. Carolinian

            He bowed down quite a lot once he became president. I’m not sure I buy Putin’s theory that the CIA is the deep state behind everything.

            That would be Hillary. Kidding??

      3. tegnost

        Since they control all the levers in the US, they believe that the law is what they say it is applies everywhere.

        This. They completely coopted the state to benefit themselves (Thanks Obama,you charlatan!)

    2. Em

      They’re really doing everything they can to drive the rest of the world off the dollar dollar system as soon as possible. A faster transition might be very painful and buggy as frequently noted here, but knowing that the US can arbitrarily freeze your dollar assets and prevent your country from trading, and does so with increasing regularity, can really clarify the mind.

      When the US led makes it impossible for its victims to live (vividly illustrated in Gaza and renewal of the Caesar Sanctions), everybody outside the deluded “Garden” and even some from within will scramble for alternatives.

      1. The Rev Kev

        In related news-

        ‘Egypt plans to negotiate a shift away from the US dollar toward national currencies for settling trade with other BRICS states, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this week.

        Using national currencies will alleviate the rising costs of using foreign currencies as a result of high global inflation, the ministry said, citing Ragy El Etreby, the country’s newly appointed ambassador to BRICS, who also serves as assistant foreign minister for international and regional economic affairs.’

    3. Wukchumni

      $500k will get you a really tired small home in Pacoima in LA…

      The idea that we would take that little money of Russia’s from Estonia is about the dumbest move imaginable, but as if you expect competence?

    4. Feral Finster

      Good luck enforcing any court ruling that the National Security State doesn’t like.

      And seizure of Russian assets is baked in the cake, hut UST buyers don’t seem to care.

  3. furnace

    Gazans Fled Their Homes.They Have Nowhere to Return to Haaretz

    Palestinians in Gaza Do Have Somewhere to Go: Their Homes in What is Now Israel Sam Husseini

    Well I guess that answers the question. Nice seeing someone else cutting this Gordian knot.

    Israel Was Behind Attacks on Major Gas Pipelines in Iran, Officials Say New York Times

    I suppose they don’t expect much of a payback? Lord the Zionists are lucky their enemies aren’t bloodthirsty. But the payback won’t be pretty when it comes. Recall the Yemenis quickly making the Saudis regret their war once ARAMCO facilities were up in flames…

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m waiting for Israel to propose that the international community build a space station in orbit to house all those millions of Gazans – with the international community paying for it of course. But that Israel will retain total control of all security as well as any food and water that needs to be sent there. If this sounds nuts, just remember that not long ago that there was an Israeli proposal for the international community to build and pay for an artificial island off Israel to house those Gazans. And recently the Israelis proposed that the international community pay for a tent city to be built on the Gazan coastline to house all those Gazans with no word how they were to get any food or water. I’m noticing a trend. With these schemes and others that I have heard, Israel always expects other countries to pay for it but never themsleves.

      1. furnace

        I expect that when this is finally over we’ll just see Zionists trying to get other countries to accommodate them, as opposed to trying to get Palestinians elsewhere. But it takes a little imagination and humility to conceive of the shoe being on the other foot, and Zionists haven’t either.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            You need a different analogy: the Palestinians are not migrants from dozens of different countries entering at remote border crossings, but the local population of long standing. That the Israelis don’t see them that way, but as threatening Untermenschen, is irrelevant in the maybe not-so-long term.

            1. JBird4049

              >>>That the Israelis don’t see them that way, but as threatening Untermenschen, is irrelevant in the maybe not-so-long term.

              I rather think that the Israelis see Palestinians much the way most White Americans thought of Black Americans back when. Immediately after the American Civil War, there was a large Black diaspora with farms, small communities, even small towns appearing throughout the West and Midwest.

              After the end of Reconstruction, almost all of those communities were crushed with the survivors losing their possessions including farms and businesses, being ghettoized or expelled from the local town, city, county, or even state. A century earlier a similar expulsion happened in the Ohio Valley where Black families that had owned farms for generations.

              Blacks, the Palestinians, Native Americans, the Irish, and others have been demonized, and economically and culturally destroyed with their very degradation and destruction being used for the justification of further degradation and destruction.

              Everything the Israelis have done can be matched with what Americans did in the past to inhabitants of the United States who became an inconvenience. Some of whom were Americans.

          2. ArvidMartensen

            Texas is an apt example. Seems the whole thing is not only to do with rapacious settlers, but also there is a lotta oil on Gazan territory and marine border. And that is where the US comes in.

        1. Em

          Our Zionist billionaires (not all of them Jewish) will either make us pay for it or decide that like the Ukrainian refugees, they’re not worth anything if they’re no longer fighting for the continuation of the Zionist state.

          I’m guessing that Jews without a second passport will be offered/told to start a wonderful new life in a newly depopulated Central and Western Ukraine, away from the horrors of Palestinian “terrorists” (who have one of the highest proportion of holders with advanced degrees in the world and are rather moderate cosmopolitan Muslims). Zionists v. Banderites will present quite a mess for Russia to deal with.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That plan has been bouncing around since the mid-1880s and was talked about in several European nations. But in 1938 a new idea came up-

          ‘In April 1938 Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Austria’s ambitious SS Leader, proposed a resettlement scheme that went far beyond the Madagascar plan. Kaltenbrunner recommended deporting all 20 million Jews from across the globe to Australia. In return, all “White Australians” were to be resettled in Europe and other “Aryan” countries. Only the Aboriginal People, termed as “Austral N******”, were not to be removed. In this proposed plan, they were to be left behind, “to mix with the Jews” or to engage in a “race struggle”.

          Kaltenbrunner concluded: “Australia is the right continent. Handing over Australia to the Jews does not constitute a hardship but rather a gift of mankind. Australia is capable of development. Twenty million people could live here – easily and well, if they want to work. They can even multiply to 50 million. Indeed, this is the right solution of the Jewish Problem. However, it will presumably still take 50 till 100 years before mankind has grasped this.”

          Even Himmler deep-sixed that idea but if it had worked, perhaps they could have disassembled the buildings of Jerusalem and re-assembled it somewhere here in Oz. One place is as good as another, amiright?

        2. John

          I read an article about a political Big Foot in Texas who was described by some as a Christian Nationalist and it occurred to me that Christian Nationalism and Zionism are similar. Is that a fair statement?

          1. JTMcPhee

            I think in mathematics that’s what is known as an “identity,”

            I stopped going to church because every Xtian denomination I have sampled preaches big chunks of their dogma out of the Old Testament. With varying degrees of influence from that late and questionable addition, “The Revelation of St. John.” And heavy doses of the pyramid scheme advanced by that huckster Paul.

            1. MaryLand

              The Catholic Church does not follow that path in my experience. It’s just that too many “born again” Protestant lines do. Of course the Catholic Church is not perfect either, but at least they are not deranged Zionists. And they do a lot of charity work with the downtrodden.

              1. MaryLand

                That said, I no longer go to church anymore either. But if I did it would be to the Catholic Church (I was brought up in it) and just ignore the parts I don’t like. They are much less offensive than the born again churches (I’ve sampled quite a few Protestant churches, including mainstream ones) in my experience.

                1. Wukchumni

                  I go forward to the retreat here a few times a year for dinner, which is served buffet style.

                  Catholicism seems tame now compared to the evangs, a number of whom i’m familiar with are practically in ecstasy over events unfolding in the Middle East, it’s all going according to the book!

              2. playon

                Catholicism is great if you can manage to overlook what their priests have been doing to kids for the last 100+ yaers.

      2. Mikel

        I’ve been seething even more since I read about the USA guaranteeing Israel’s bonds along with the other infinite welfare.

        USAID needs to be terminated.

          1. Em

            That would be nice, both for the people living within and outside of its current borders. But let’s start a little smaller and terminate R2P ( which turned out to have nothing to do with responsibility to protect Gazan civilians and everything to do with protecting Israel’s right to genocide women and children) Power’s fiefdom first.

      3. undercurrent

        You’re tiptoeing right around the edges of anti-semitism, please be careful. When other nations were committing genocide, no one in all the world, I’m certain, ever proposed sending genocide’s victims into earth orbit, but no, when Jews do the genocide, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, someone comes up with this outer space nonsense. If this gets out, I’m sure that Jewish students everywhere, but especially at the better universities in the US, will feel saddened, even depressed, that their genocide is being dissed in such a way. Why is it always us? they might ask. It’s a severe wound to their psyche, but you, not being Jewish, cannot begin to feel how hurtful your idea really is. Imagine walking to your next class and hearing tittering behind your every step. The ignominy! At long last, sir, have you no shame?

        1. Em

          Still equating Zionism with Judaism and making excuses for the psychotic actions of the Zionist regime? Trying to bully others from talking about the Zionist genociders under the cover of tone policing?

          I’m sorry, your Holocaust credit card has been declined for exceeding the credit line of atrocities allowable by even highly propagandized Western audiences. In fact, we realized that you have been misusing what was issued as a “never again for anyone” credit card to go on a shopping spree of crimes against humanity. We apologize for the misunderstand and expect our collections and enforcement department to be in touch with you soon…

            1. Em

              Oops, my brain getting triggered because Zionists online basically do take this line, but admittedly they would never say genocide would have thrown in “rape” and “but Hamas”, so yeah, I should have realized it was parody.

              I probably need to a detox.

            2. undercurrent

              You’re right. As for my use of sarcasm, I heartily join in with that great chorus, Never Again!

    2. Fried

      There’s a fascinating (to me, anyway, as someone with no more than a passing interest in the topic in the past) interview with Dr. Salman Abu Sitta on the topic of Palestinians having somewhere to go on the excellent Makdisi Street podcast, which you can find on their youtube channel.

    3. Em

      Better yet, there are lots of voluntarily evacuated empty settlements near Gaza and the border with Lebanon right now. Move them there and nobody is even being displaced. In fact Palestinian occupation of the homes reduces the chance that they’ll be targeted by Hezbollah, so it’s really a win win.

      Once Hezbollah launches longer range missiles against the West Bank settlements, perhaps those will also empty out and be available for displaced Gazans. Sure the Gazans will have do deal with some malingerers in their midst, maybe we can take up a collection to help them defend themselves.


    4. Feral Finster

      For people who claim an attachment going back millenia, Israelis sure are quick to bolt from Israel at the slightest sign of trouble.

      This also blows up the idea that Jews have nowhere else to go other than Israel.

  4. The Rev Kev

    ‘DD Geopolitics
    🇪🇺🇷🇺🇺🇦 “Russia is throwing dirty Korean and Iranian weapons at Ukraine, and Ukraine is smart and upgrading our Wunderwaffe to Hyper Wunderwaffe” – Reich Gauleiter Galicia Ursula von der Lügen.’

    No wonder German Chancellor Olaf Scholz intervened last year to stop her from becoming NATO’s next Secretary General – she’s off in ga-ga land. Was she really saying in essence ‘Wir haben Wunderwaffe!’ In just that short clip she told two major porkies. She said that every life counts in the Ukraine. But we have seen how the Ukrainians have squandered lives by the tens of thousands leaving them with a dire shortage of trained troops. Both Napoleon and Adolf also fell into this trap of squandering the lives of their troops. And then she said that the weapons that the Ukraine used were more more precise, more targeted. And yet they keep on squandering those very same limited number of missiles on civilians as a terror tactic rather than using them for military targets. Still, I heard a bit more of this speech on the TV news. While Russia is pumping out tanks, missiles, APCs, etc. she said in this speech that the EU was coming out with a policy! And you know that I am not making this up.

    1. furnace

      Here is exhibit one that racial superiority theories rot your brain. Miss Ursula thinks that because she is one of the “Übermenschen” that therefore their weapons are better and they cannot lose. I had hoped that the Red Army’s utter victory in WW2 had put that myth to rest, but alas some people just like being proven wrong.

        1. jrkrideau

          And due to some quirks of history the main histories of the War on the Eastern Front, aka The Great Patriotic War, that were available in the West, were almost all written by German generals. It is a bit unusual for the defeated to write the history of the war.

          1. Feral Finster

            This was entirely intentional on the part of the Western Allies, as it was useful in shifting the west german narrative.

        2. Roger Boyd

          Yes, the Russians worked hard to eradicate the Nazi philosophy in East Germany but the Western powers soon relented – allowing many Nazis to take up senior positions and keep their wealth (like the family that controls BMW, and de Lugen’s grandfather) and even importing German and Ukrainian Nazis into their countries.

            1. c_heale

              It’s because they can’t conceive of doing the hard work of looking after their own children. They’ve got to the important work of telling us how to live our lives, instead.

            2. Ranger Rick

              It’s one of the few things that have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt: early childhood development is vital to a child’s intellect and capabilities. Most importantly, it can prevent crime, and that’s why it’s so important to those in charge. Preschool and kindergarten, unleaded fuel, paint and plumbing: all rather important developments in the history of civilization that have led to less violence in general.

        1. JTMcPhee

          But it looks increasingly like Russian ingenuity and engineering and productivity nave married quantity and quality. Jeebus, I would never have thought that I’d be inclined to root for Slavs over “my nation” that has proven so craven, incompetent and “diverse.”

          1. digi_owl

            May well be a result of the 90s forcing them to reuse existing designs while upgrading internals, thus maintaining the ability to produce in quantity while improving the quality iteratively.

    2. Feral Finster

      We all know von der Leyden is lying. She knows she is lying, too.

      However, since she and those like her control the narrative, it doesn’t matter, at least for now.

    3. Victor Sciamarelli

      I don’t think you’re making this up but, at the same time, what else can we expect from an elite like UvdL to say?
      Imagine a football coach whose team is down 25-points at halftime and who says to a reporter his team can’t win, there’s nothing he can do, and they might as well quit now. The fans would go nuts and the coach would be fired instantly.
      Instead, you’re expected to have a new second half plan, you’re still in the game, anything can happen, and you’re determined to turn things around and win, even if it’s all bs.
      Biden already has his victory speech ready for the fall campaign. Sure Russia took some territory but if it wasn’t for his resolve, elites like the word resolve, Putin and his gang would be in Paris stuffing themselves with foie gras on toast-points and washing it down with magnums of champagne. Biden will never say the obvious, that he totally screwed-up, rather that he prevented something far worse.
      Whether Ursula, Biden, or other elites, they will never give us the satisfaction of hearing them admit failure.

      1. Acacia

        Agree, though this makes me wonder: what if Russia goes maximal, leaving a tiny rump Ukraine? Would be interesting to see Ursula, Biden, et alia spin that as some sort of “victory”.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Maybe not so much a rump Ukraine as a full-fledged Galicia. It would become the Idlib of eastern Europe.

        2. Jeff V

          It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if Russia wins in Ukraine then Putin will invade Poland, the Baltic States and anywhere else that takes his fancy (I even saw Alaska suggested the other day).

          Therefore, if Putin doesn’t invade any of those places, Russia can’t have won in Ukraine.

          If Russia hasn’t won, then the West must have won.

          If the West has won, then it’s all down to our wonderful leaders.

          The alternative, a negotiated settlement 2 years ago, might have been a better result for everybody (especially the people who’ve been killed since then), but it wouldn’t have been a win for the West. And winning is all that matters.

          The whole thing is so bleak that I’m almost at the stage where I’ll accept any outcome that doesn’t involve the use of nuclear weapons.

  5. islm

    I remember Commanche, the older version of [failed] future scout helicopter….

    Also the demise of future combat systems (FCS) still no new spec replacements for Bradley, APC, Main Battle Tanks…….

    The “battlespace” is changing maybe revise the concepts of airland battle?

    While USAF is retiring A-10? F-16 did not do that in the 1980’s!

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’ve got a story that can match that. Australia decided to build a ship and this ship would need helicopters on its rear deck. So instead of buying an off the shelf helicopter design, they went to the chopper boneyards in the US. There were these 1960s air-frames that the US had tried to give away to South American nations but were refused by them. But our mob decided we would buy them and pay top dollar for them. Back home they would be upgraded to modern standards with modern avionics and while they were doing this work, the ships themselves got cancelled so now no need for those helicopters. Still they persisted rebuilding the damn things and got a helicopter that could not be flown in dodgy weather or at night and was a decade late. It took a change of government to kill this project by which time it had cost us $1 billion.

      You should ask me about the two landing craft that the US sold Oz.

      1. ilsm

        Thank you!

        In my work among the US MIC, there was a constant stream of activities earning the accolade: “you can’t make this stuff up”.

        1. The Rev Kev

          No, but almost. Our Navy guys went to see two landing ships that the US was selling. On inspection, our Navy guys were told that they could not see anything below the waterline. With that, our guys should have returned to their hotel, packed their gear and took the first plane home. But our politicians insisted that we had to absolutely have them because deals were made behind the scenes. When they got here, it was discovered that the bottoms of both ships were rusted out and had to be completely rebuilt and cost a fortune.

  6. Scottd

    I worked on the antisatillite missile program at Hughes Aircraft back in the 80s. I remember searching through 12,000 lines of FORTRAN code to find a bug in the aiming software (found it eventually). It used 50 year old sensor technology, but could still detect heat of a candle from 10,000 miles away in space.

    The pressure was tremendous. Casper Weinberger or his undersecretary came by every few weeks to get updates (it was a warm period of the Cold War).

    One of these sensors is on display in the Reagan library (haven’t seen it). It was sort of a sputnik moment for the Soviets, as it became clear that we could build these missiles faster than they could build satellites. Negotiated away for START II, IIRC.

  7. William Beyer

    On “Breathing Space” in the New Left Review. This is the kind of vacuous twaddle that used to drive me ’round the bend during the 50 years I practiced architecture. Still does, I found out.

    1. Vodkatom

      I wanted to find more in that article. The style of writing gave me flashbacks to college, and my first exposure to literary criticism: Why am I not smart enough to understand what the heck they are talking about?

      I think it was trying to say big money can buy b.s. buildings, ego driven failures that are better branded than McMansions. But the true heroes of architecture are rejecting “big ideas” and designing practical buildings for everyday people. But I’m just not sure! Cause I couldn’t understand half the sentences.

      1. William Beyer

        Back in 1978, I took a Harvard summer course from Ellen Perry Berkley, who wrote for some of the big mags, Record and P.A.

        She forced us to go into buildings and ask the building users and visitors what they thought, a true measure of value created. Architectural criticism has never done this.

        If you can’t understand half the sentences, it’s on the critic, not you.

    2. Carolinian

      It’s all above my pay grade but if you say twaddle I believe it. London’s recent “starchitecture” seems bizarre to me.

      Last Friday PBS showed a tribute concert to Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles–starchitecture on steroids. The building is striking to look at but you wonder how it blends with all the homeless tents. But then the elites enjoying those perfect acoustics inside can’t see those.

      1. Revenant

        Persevere with the article. It is trying to say, à la Wargames, that commercial architecture is a stupid game and the one way to win is not to play. So Caruso St John have only designed a handful of very high-minded buildings. There weren’t enough photographs to judge the quality but apparently the quantity is superbly uncommercial (albeit each one reassuringly expensive).

        I did like CStJ’s purported desire to reappraise Arts and Crafts and other movements but I came away wishing architects a plague on ALL their houses.

        1. Old Sarum

          Architectural criticism (boiled down);

          I more worried by flat-roofers than by flat-earthers.


        2. Late Introvert

          The photos were horrifying. So if the author was praising that shite, that’s all I need to know.

  8. chukjones

    Covid should be under class conflict. From WaPo article on covid restrictions changes:
    “It’s time to wind down these special covid benefits out there, and this is the last remaining one,” said Frank Kerbein, director of the center for human resources at the Business Council of New York. “We don’t have a tuberculosis paid leave program.” That’s just cold hearted, How ’bout just some plain old paid sick leave. And while we’re at it, give more than two days. Back in the ’80s I was employed at GE and they gave 21 sick days a year.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘We don’t have a tuberculosis paid leave program.’

      Yeah, due to neoliberalism tuberculosis is slowly staging a comeback. He might want to rethink that policy.

      1. Pat

        The gods do not love us well enough to give the right people TB and debilitating long Covid.
        Although even then it may not matter as they may have golden deals where all their medical is paid, long amounts of leave and then a package where they still get tons of money and ongoing insurance. All of which means they would get ill but not suffer the disaster that means for average people. So I suppose the gods would also have to strip them of their undeserved superfluous benefits for reality to enter their existence.

        I’m not going to get it, but I think I will make an offering or two and request a little wrath from the gods.

  9. Wukchumni

    Dear friend

    With a very desperate need for assistance, I have summed up courage to contact you. I am from (will disclose this later), presently working in Israel with an international organization that I will also disclose later, I found your contact particulars in an address journal. I am seeking your assistance to advance the sum of (US$17.6 Billion Dollars) Seventeen Billion, Six hundred Million US Dollars to this country, as far as I can be assured that my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service here, this is no stolen money, and there are no dangers involved because Joe made it happen.

    Some money in various currencies was discovered concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near Gaza City during a rescue operation of hostages that failed, and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us, this was quite an illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? no compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole. The above figure was given to me as my share, and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a Congressman contact working here, and his office enjoys some immunity, I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.

    kindly fill up this requirements like: Kindly respond .

    Your full name:
    Your country:
    Contact phone/fax number
    Mr B. Netanyahu

    1. The Rev Kev

      It should have been signed ‘Sleepless in Tel Aviv.’ But Netanyahu fails the Nixon test as in ‘Would YOU buy a used car from this man?’

    2. Em

      He’s good for it. This loan will be secured by half a trillion dollars in offshore natural gas from “Southern Israel”.

            1. ambrit

              Remind me, how did Samson, “…eyeless in Gaza at the mill with slaves…” work it out? If I remember it properly, Samson died along with the Philistines. So, throw away the key?
              I like that locution; “a recurseion to the Mean.” (For both ‘modern’ and ‘antique’ definitions of “mean.”)
              Stay safe up there in the High Castle.

      1. digi_owl

        Speaking of Nigeria, i saw something about a big name banker from there that died, with family, in a helicopter crash en-route to Super Bowl of all things.

        1. Wukchumni


          How much money is in the deceased big name banker’s account in Lagos, and what’s my cut for helping out?

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          Nicely done.

          Patrick Boyle, who has an entertaining and informative finance/business channel on YouTube, often looking into cons of various kinds, recently did an episode on “Dr” Dozy Mmobousi, a Nigerian scammer which your letter immediately reminded me of. In Boyle’s episode, he posts a screen shot excerpt from a “novel” Mmobousi wrote and is selling on Amazon, which is a demented genius marriage of machine translation and ESL-ese.

          Also, for fans of nominative determinism (which I can’t get enough of), one of his confederates was a British lawyer named Christopher Cleverly.

          1. Wukchumni

            I used to look forward to receiving the Nigerian Letter via snail mail back in the day, the writing kind of being English, mainly in blocky big capital letters-the plea.

            On average i’d get 1, sometimes 2 a year.

            You wondered why people fell for it, but oh my gosh a lot of people got snookered.

            1. TTT

              A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to receive an email from Mr. Charles Koch telling me that his dear departed brother wanted to give me 2 million dollars. How do I know I was lucky?….He told me that on receiving the message I should feel very lucky, that’s how!
              Do I feel lucky? Well, I did used to be a punk:)

  10. Pat

    Gotta say that the speed and severity of Russian sanctions versus crickets from Congress and two faced statements from Biden on a country now proven to be in an ongoing months long process of genocide really does blow all humanitarian claims out the window

    I don’t think this will end well.

    PS I have to wonder if Suozzi would still have won on Tuesday if his opponent wasn’t clearly as loyal to Israel or more than America, even with the extra millions spent by the Dems.

    1. Polar Socialist

      One must remeber also that the “sanctions from hell” in 2022 happened days before Russia invaded. Merely Russia officially recognizing the two people’s republics was vile enough for The Free World.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Lord Bebo
    Feb 16
    🇺🇸🇷🇺🚨‼️ Weird:
    1) Munich security conference opens with Navalny’s death
    2) Yulia Navalny happens to be at the the conference
    3) She holds a speech, despite his death
    4) She is known to have a new boyfriend and is visibly not upset
    5) She is paraded around like a hero
    6) She even gets a kiss from Nancy Pelosi’

    They are starting to call Yulia Navalny the new female Juan Guaidó or as I call him, Juan Greedo. And is that a Hillary-style pantsuit that Yulia is wearing? Is there a listed uniform of the day that I did not get the memo for?

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Down the replies from that tweet leads to an interesting thread on Yulia’s past-his-sell-by-date ex:

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange published secret cables detailing how Navalny was a CIA asset, and his party funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy. (via The Poll Lady X/Twitter)

      In 2012, Navalny’s right-hand man Vladimir Ashurkov was caught on camera by FSB for negotiating with MI6 officer James William Thomas Ford, he was asking for 10-20 million a year to deliver a “Color Revolution” in Russia. (also via The Poll Lady X/Twitter)

      That Navalny outlived his usefulness is testament to something that all the great Russia sources used by NC – Ritter, Helmer, Doctorow – have stated since the SMO began: Russia is never going to trust the west ever again, and is lost to western attempts at seduction now. Putin’s speech calling out wealthy oligarchs who live in the west as traitors serves as perfect punctuation for Navalny’s ex and her new oligarch boyfriend. There will be no “color revolution” in Russia. There will only be the ongoing forging of greater ties with the East and Global South while the western alliance falls to US belligerence and greed.


      1. Old Sarum

        Eastern re-alignment?

        I have been reading Orlando Fige’s ” The Story of Russia” and I am reminded of his analysis of the deep political-cultural influences of the “Tatar Yoke”, and that old saying “what comes around, goes around”.


  12. Wukchumni

    Plane Passengers Horrified as Maggots Rain Down From Luggage Compartment Futurism

    Nowhere noted was the plane being a Boeing, but why not to complete the tale of loose maggots in the luggage compartment falling down on passengers, and how does that happen anyhow?

    There’s somewhat of a bucket up there and you latch the door closed, right?

    1. Posaunist

      A passenger with rotting fish in their carry-on. TSA apparently doesn’t screen for this particular biohazard. I can’t really blame the airline or airplane manufacturer in this case – but didn’t anybody notice the odor?

      1. Wukchumni

        I don’t know, but instead of the crummy 8,000 points the airline graciously gave to passengers inconvenienced, i’d say they should sue she.

      2. griffen

        Travelling yesterday when reading this recap…oh goodness one more notch on the long list of reasons to avoid air travel when or if possible…

        I’m opting for road trips if I have that option, not much of a traveler lately anyway…

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Now there’s a job for AI. Transpose Sonny Crockett’s pastel t-shirt, white suit jacket, and baggy pants onto Z’s body, put some shades on his mug, and a cigarette in his grill.

          1. ambrit

            None other than the “Biscayne Boulevardier!” See you all down at Coconut Grove!
            (He had better watch out for the “Banderite of Brothers.” That lot would fit right in with the Narcos.

  13. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Wow, Lula isn’t mincing words. Here’s the translation: *

    “What’s happening in Gaza isn’t a war, it’s a genocide. It’s not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It’s a war between a highly trained army and women and children. What’s happening in Gaza and with the Palestinian people … already happened in the past: when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.”

    * FEPAL – Federação Árabe Palestina do Brasil

    9:48 AM · Feb 18, 2024

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Francesco Sassi
    🚨🇮🇱Israel is behind the sabotage of two major pipelines of the🇮🇷Iranian gas network.
    This is what The New York Times is reporting, with anonymous confirmations from both Western and Iranian sources.’

    Looks like all infrastructure is open season now. Good job Biden. It’s a good thing that Israel does not have any infrastructure that might be vulnerable.

    1. Screwball

      I keep waiting for someone to pull the crude oil pin on this grenade. $200 oil should just about do it. We are ruled by crazy people.

  15. .Tom

    Scot Ritter says, about the Russian space weapon, “The intelligence that Mike Turner is so interested in appears to relate to a Russian weapon designed to detonate a nuclear device in outer space. Such a weapon would destroy much of the PSWA network…”

    How does that work? I can only think of EMP. But does that mean that PSWA sats are not EMP hard?

      1. Polar Socialist

        SDA just sought PGI in PFP for PWSA starting with F2 and T2DES. Sorry, I just find the procurement language so amusing…

        What I ment to say is that the thing is PWSA, Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture. Basically a mesh of small satellites communicating with laser beam. I wonder how many have to be off-beam to collapse the network?

        Anyway, nuclear explosion still doesn’t create any EMP in the vacuum of space. It does release gamma radiation capable or destroying electronic, but not nearly as effectively as an atmospheric EMP.

          1. Polar Socialist

            This I don’t enough about to comment properly. I did see somewhere discussion about nuclear powered X-ray gun satellites. The idea being that X-rays can be focused with lenses to be as effective as a gamma burst and with the lens they can be directed, too.
            The downside being that the required power will in general fry the lens, too.

            In the occasion there was talk about Russian highly manouverable satellites that can dance around other satellites.

            That’s the limit of my current knowledge…

            1. cfraenkel

              That was Teller’s baby. It was also the point where Reagan’s SDI (Star Wars) jumped the shark and became obviously a smoke and mirrors PR exercise. Anyone that bothered looking at what would be needed to actually put such a system into operation quickly realized it was over the top impractical (even if it could maybe work if you squinted hard enough). The USSR had more than a thousand missiles. Each X-ray nuke could hypothetically, in theory, take out maybe 20 ~ 50 being generous. So you’d need ~100 of them in line of sight of the missiles. So that meant thousands of nukes in orbit, with a 10 year lifetime? So you’d need to be launching 100s of nukes every year, forever, with an at-the-time roughly 5 ~ 10% launch failure rate. (not mentioning that they’d eventually re-enter at end of life – any volunteers for having 100’s of nukes de-orbiting and spreading radioactive debris overhead?)

              That such a crazy idea got so much traction just showed the whole thing was a money pit.

      2. .Tom

        Whoops, Simultaneous comment to Polar Socialist.

        Thanks for the link.

        This means that the PSWA system was carefully designed to be resistant to various attacks except EMP, something certain weapon systems have been designed to withstand for decades. How odd.

        Such a pulse would take out a lot more than PSWA including Russian systems that aren’t hardened. What does this tell us about Russian battlefield electronics?

        1. 4paul

          I’m not a nuclear weapons physicist, but a vacuum of space blast will produce waves; there will not be secondary ionizations from air molecules, but the primary blast will propagate without attenuation by the inverse square law, so when it does touch something (satellite, Earth’s atmosphere) the effects will be un-attenuated.

          Soviet technology is notoriously low-tech, so in the vacuum of space Solid State circuits would probably survive, circuit boards not so much. Note the new swarm satellites are built with the latest drone/swarm theory/practice in mind, and nothing of lessons from the past.

          primer links below indicate JAMMING as the primary design consideration.

          Also note the new swarm satellites are Low Earth Orbit, not in the satellite belt. (even Scott Ritter mentioned this)

          What this means is: why in gods name did the US military think it was a good idea to put MILITARY satellites in Low Earth Orbit WHERE HUMANS ORBIT (ISS, etc) … weaponizing the Satellite Belt is bad enough, but now the US is putting military hardware in LEO? SERIOUSLY???????

          Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA)
          Futures Program (PFP),
          Ground Segment Integration (PGI).
          The SDA is looking for feedback from industry to inform its plans for the Transport Layer Tranche 2 Demonstration and Experimentation System (T2DES) satellite set
          Defense Department’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) effort.
          The organization is also keen on a space-based capability for protected tactical waveforms (PTW) — communications technology that is highly resistant against jamming attacks from adversaries.
          “This includes a software defined radio (SDR) capable of running PTW plus the required RF [radio frequency] and antenna components. The SDR would be capable of operation in low earth orbit (LEO) and compensate for the dynamics and environment of a space based PTW capability,” the RFI said.
          Link-16 MIDS Modernization 2 (MMI2) payload in low-Earth orbit and another that can run a “directional line of sight” waveform — a classified waveform developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory.

          The Space Development Agency (SDA) has renamed its proliferated Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation as the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture, or PWSA. 
          SDA announced the change on Monday [January 2023], changing the name from the former National Defense Space Architecture. SDA said this change will have no impact on the mission, and it reflects the agency’s mission to “deliver needed space-based capabilities to the joint warfighter to support terrestrial missions through development, fielding, and operation of a proliferated low Earth orbit (pLEO) constellation of satellites.”


          1. .Tom

            I found the segment on the Ask The Inspector episode you linked: it’s right at 1:00:00. Ritter talks about EMP but it seems he and I both got that wrong. So how this Russian counter to PWSA actually works is not clear just now. But no matter what it’s something other powers have to work on countering, so yeah, … an arms race in LEO. And the procurement text you quoted just reeks of gigantic boondoggle. Idk for sure but it smells like that to me.

  16. CA

    The United States has been trying to undermine and stop Chinese science and technology development and advance. Almost weekly, US sanctions are placed on Chinese technological institutions. However, no matter the sanctions, Chinese research institutions have been making world class discoveries and advances.

    For instance, high level theory, research and development publication shows 3 of the top 5 publishing institutions to be Chinese, 7 of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20 institutions:

    The Nature Index

    1 October 2022 – 30 September 2023 *

    Rank Institution ( Count) ( Share)

    1 Chinese Academy of Sciences ( 7545) ( 2259)
    2 Harvard University ( 3625) ( 1122)
    3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences ( 3199) ( 646)
    4 University of Science and Technology of China ( 1860) ( 642)
    5 Max Planck Society ( 2574) ( 638)

    6 Nanjing University ( 1437) ( 608)
    7 French National Centre for Scientific Research ( 4269) ( 602)
    8 Tsinghua University ( 1856) ( 592)
    9 Peking University ( 2210) ( 591)
    10 Zhejiang University ( 1450) ( 557)

    * Annual Tables highlight the most prolific institutions and countries in high-quality research publishing for the year

    1. digi_owl

      Large nation, a continual history going back to Roman time, independently invented the likes of printing and gunpowder. USA is but a petulant child by comparison…

      1. CA

        “Large nation, a continual history going back to Roman time…”

        Really important comment. The work of Cambridge’s Joseph Needham on Chinese science comes to 27 volumes:

        April 18, 1982

        The China The West Knew Nothing About
        By Jonathan Spence

        SCIENCE IN TRADITIONAL CHINA: A Comparative Perspective.
        By Joseph Needham.

        June 20, 1971

        Joseph Needham, the Real Thing
        By Richard Boston

      2. cfraenkel

        Way older than Rome, the Shang dynasty was roughly contemporary with ancient Babylon. The Roman kingdom showed up a thousand years later.

        1. CA

          “Way older than Rome, the Shang dynasty was roughly contemporary with ancient Babylon…”

          Surely so, but why was there virtually no Western understanding that China could and would come to draw on its cultural heritage in successfully and completely modernizing? The prominent academic voices I heard for years, trivialized Chinese cultural tradition even as the Chinese were increasingly drawing on culture for modernizing strength.

          1. cfraenkel

            Western understanding can’t be bothered to remember only ~100 years of Russian history. Or our own history, for that matter. 1,000 years?!? Who’s got time for that?

            1. CA

              “Western understanding can’t be bothered to remember only ~100 years of Russian history. Or our own history, for that matter…”

              Fine, but why should this be so? And, just how self-damaging has this dismissal of history become?

              That Xi Jinping empathized historical continuity from the beginning, made Xi especially threatening for Western analysts. What had to be understood was that Xi’s portrayal of Chinese history would be overwhelmingly accepted in China, and that was too threatening for the likes of the Economist or New York Times crowd.

              1. Wukchumni

                We were in Tucson over Xmas and went to the amazing Pima Air & Space museum there which is largely financed by the Mars family (eat more M & M’s!) and there is an entire building devoted to one B-17, and I got talking to one of docents-a 75 year old, and he told me that young adult visitors know nothing about history-which we agreed was not a big surprise, but according to him an awful lot of older Americans were equally oblivious, didn’t know about Pearl Harbor or really anything about WW2

                Their breadth of knowledge was scary, he related.

                1. CA

                  We were in Tucson over Xmas and went to the amazing Pima Air & Space museum there…

                  [ What a fine, fitting anecdote. Just these types of cultural-historical experiences are being repeatedly emphasized in and through China. ]

                2. CA


                  January 9, 2024

                  Ethereal dance epic vitalizes ancient Chinese painting, causing sensation in Hong Kong

                  Over the past year, Hong Kong has witnessed a remarkable surge in the popularity of traditional Chinese cultural performances. This time, the poetic dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting has led to widespread acceptance and appreciation of charming traditional Chinese aesthetics among Hong Kong citizens.

                  By Huang Xitian and Lu Min

                  HONG KONG — As a group of dancers wearing turquoise costumes and towering hair buns moved their bodies to a traditional Chinese melody, they appeared as if they had just stepped out of an ancient scroll painting of Chinese landscape.

                  The Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting, a dance drama presented by Beijing-based China Oriental Performing Arts Group, made its debut in Hong Kong on Friday, immediately igniting the enthusiasm of dance drama fans.

                  It tells a story closely related to “A Panorama of Mountains and Rivers” housed in the Palace Museum in Beijing. The masterpiece of traditional Chinese landscape painting is characterized by its depiction of blue and green colors. It has a history of nearly 1,000 years and is said to have been painted by the 18-year-old genius Wang Ximeng during the Song Dynasty (960-1279)…

          2. Em

            Surely you kid. We’re not even allowed to remember that Biden promised us a $15 minimum wage and that MRNA vaccines promised to permanently protect us from COVID.

        2. JBird4049

          If we go back to the roots of what we call Western Civilization, we are talking over four or five thousand years ago or the beginnings of the Bronze Age and of writing. The Chinese has greater continuity, but there people outside of China and the core of Western Civilization that have histories going back one, two, even three thousand years. If nothing else, a new civilization always uses what the previous one created for its foundation like that of an ancient, still living city’s tell or mound. Just where does the new replace the old?

          Anyways, I find the American habit of forgetting everything before yesterday both infuriating and terrifying. Even American history is more than four centuries even if you choose not to study the history of all the nations of all the people who helped to create it. But it probably helps to manipulate people if they are ignorant.

          1. LifelongLib

            If Americans remembered history the way people in other places do, we’d be at each other’s throats. A certain amount of historical amnesia allows Americans who a few decades or centuries ago would have been deadliest enemies to co-exist in the same companies, neighborhoods, and even families. Ignorance may not be bliss, but it can be better than the alternative.

    2. Lee

      “The United States has been trying to undermine and stop Chinese science and technology development and advance.”

      Not precisely true in all instances. In the not so long ago earlier days Western capital ran headlong toward China’s cheaper labor market while at the same time transferring not only financial capital but Western applied science as well. I do hope and believe that China will synthesize Eastern wisdom (excuse my orientalism) and Western technical expertise with a of healthy dose of Marxism to produce better results for the gen pop than have we. Ever the giddy optimist, me.

      OTOH, the Chinese government, unlike our own elites, may decide not to abandon their own working class but be quite willing to sacrifice the interests of the Western working class in favor of their own. Something to think about. International working class solidarity appears to be over a far distant horizon at the moment.

  17. Carolinian

    This seems right up NC’s alley. Chris Hedges interviews Gretchen Morgenson about the press, business reporting and 2008 among other things. Both once worked at the NYT. Transcript:

    They talk about the rise of the web as the usual suspect in the death of newspapers but say little about the rise of TV infotainment as the true initiator of press unseriousness. The print press people sneered at Fox and then became Fox. Some of us have always suspected Watergate as the moment of greatest press power but also the point where they began their downhill slide.

    1. NYT_Memes

      Chris Hedges interview with Gretchen Morgenson is one I recommend. They go into detail about what and how journalism is being destroyed everywhere in the western world.

      His depth of knowledge should be appreciated, contrasting with the current stenographers we are forced to see on MSM. I am a paid subscriber.

  18. Wukchumni

    Biden ‘confident’ on $60bn Ukraine war aid package vote (BBC)

    Joe: ‘We plan to divert $355 million from the settlement to the Ukraine, for starters.’

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Faking confidence and lying to themselves seem to be the primary skills needed to be a politician.

      1. Wukchumni

        The amount that Trump owes is kind the flip side to the monkeyshines he and his minions (i’m looking at you, Devin) pulled by suing for a frankly exorbitant amount, with the entire point of the exercise was for you to notice that Nunes was suing Esquire magazine for $75 million, because the story implied that Nunes farm in Iowa used illegal labor, and surprise-surprise-surprise (in best Jim Nabors voice) said lawsuit was thrown out because Devin was employing undocumented, as it turned out.

  19. Lee

    Remembering Trump’s COVID [Microbe TV, 14 minutes] A discussion between Paul Offit and Vincent Racaniello.

    This was early days in the pandemic. Trump was at serious risk of dying and was treated with a variety of medications, several not yet publicly available. One of those that had been around and widely available for decades probably saved his life. This is an interesting discussion of how the understanding of disease progression and the use of different medications at different stages of this progression developed over time.

  20. Wukchumni

    ‘I’ll take Lame Lamé for $399, Alex
    Former President Donald Trump on Saturday unveiled new Trump-
    branded sneakers during an unexpected stop in Philadelphia.
    Trump attended an event dubbed “Sneaker Con,” a traveling convention for collectors to buy and sell shoes, according to its website. The former president presented a shiny, gold pair of sneakers at the Philadelphia Convention Center with an American flag detail on the back of the shoes.

    The sneakers are currently being marketed as “Never Surrender High-Tops” and selling for $399.

    1. Lee

      Trump’s minions of millions will surely come to his financial rescue, whether or not they buy his sneakers. He is a brilliant marketer and hard to kill both literally (see mine above) and figuratively.

      1. Screwball

        I blame Disco for all the bad things that’s happened ever since. Only partly kidding. It seemed to me Disco was the the beginning of the “me” generation. So many became obsessed with material things and lost track of the simple life.

        When Saturday Night Fever came out I was working in a bowling alley as a second job. All they played on the jukebox was that soundtrack – which I hated. I could still see John Travolta walking down the street at the opening of the movie in that gawd-awful costume, and then there was the Bee Gees, who as a rock and roll guy, I despised. All the ladies were going nuts over that movie. I didn’t get it. I can’t watch that movie even today.

        My buddies and I one night decided to find out what the attraction was all about so we drove 50 miles to a larger city to visit this Disco nightclub. Looked like we walked into the movie itself – lighted dance floor and all. We were wearing tee shirts with a pack of cigarettes wrapped in our sleeve, and found out quickly we were in the wrong place. The poor vs. the rich (or so they looked). I thought how the book “Outsiders” might fit here.

        The regulars were all dressed to look like Tony Manero and his dance partner – high heel shoes, fancy collars, and dress. They were all drinking these high dollar mix drinks with their pinky sticking out. We ordered a beer and were laughed at by the waitress – beers? – she asked. Yea, a beer.

        It didn’t take long for us rabble to be spotted. The pretties paraded by to laugh and sneer at us second class citizens as they sipped their grasshoppers through long straws. It was rather amusing to be honest. We might have stayed for an hour or so. Enough to catch the beginning of the dance contest, but that’s all we could take.

        We were auto mechanics, a carpenter, and a truck driver. We had invaded their special place. They laughed and made jokes as we picked up and left. We didn’t care, but we had to see what it was all about. No thanks.

        I wonder how many of those snobby pricks are now PMC?

        1. Wukchumni

          As an acne’d 15 year old who didn’t dance, the disco era was quite cruel on the outside looking in…

          To give you an idea of how full circle we’ve gone, have you noticed that nobody dances anymore?

          1. JBird4049

            >>>To give you an idea of how full circle we’ve gone, have you noticed that nobody dances anymore?

            Dance clubs, bars, sports, opera, plays, jazz… whatever is, if it is even quasi social and can be commodified, it has become too expensive, crapified, does exist anymore, or if it still exist, somehow, is good, and not too expensive, it is a very rare, small oasis in a very large wasteland. Americans have been driven into their homes and away from each other.

            1. Wukchumni

              It isn’t just dancing, we don’t do much of anything in a physical vein, when was the last time you saw somebody skipping along while ambulating or whistling for the sheer fun of it, and money doesn’t even enter into the equation.

              I’ve only named a few things we don’t do now, and there’s tons more things we used to do, but don’t anymore.

              It’s easy to blame the curious looking hand-held rectangle that resembles the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey as when they showed up on the scene, we stopped doing a lot of commonplace physical human things.

            2. carefree highway

              Rap and hip-hop have exploded in popularity over the past three decades, both in the US and subsequently around the world. Most rap and hip-hop do not produce dance-type rhythms, nor does the nature of this music induce in the listener a desire to let go and dance to any serious degree.

              There are exceptions to this. I find that artists who are more into mixing and sampling than rhyming are more likely to produce music that one can move to rhymically.

              Watch people who listen to rap/hip-hop. They don’t ever break out into little personal dances or shake their hips. The music simply doesn’t stimulate that.

              You will also notice at most rap concerts the performers are just wildly waving their arms while the crowd does same back, waiting to hear the next line which is usually some angry version of “fuc*ed that b*tch” and the celebration of a life of inanity, set to borrowed instrumental melodies that the performers themselves could never produce.

              Obviously, what is deemed “socially conscious” hip-hop often breaks this mold, though I find that even much of it is over-the-top sexually gratuitious. I love sex, and I’m the furthest thing from a prude. But my god, we are a long way from Jagger’s “She’s my little T&A” with many of these rap songs.

              The great irony, of course, is that hip-hop did evolve from some Brooklyn housing dance parties, though DJ Merc and Afrika Bambatta et al were also heavy into gangs and violence.

              For that matter, the “Seattle grunge” scene of the late eighties and nineties was a nightmare for dancing, as it produced little to nothing that could be danced to, while rock itself, from its roots in the hip (pun intended) American jazz scene to Elvis to the Beatles to Led Zeppelin to the entire Grateful Dead/jam-band scene – rock has produced much more hip-shaking music over the years.

              1. JBird4049

                Did the lack of new dance music kill dance or did the lack of dance kill new dance music? Dance and music has been a human thing possibly before we hominids. It right up there next to fire, language, and tools. Yet, during the past forty or fifty years, it has slowly gone away. Not all of course, but it takes more effort to find venues and now add the increasingly poor health of Americans. Dancing takes health or it certainly helps, but dancing also creates it as well.

                1. Em

                  The IDF loves to do raves next to bombed out Gazan buildings, does that count?

                  There’s plenty of dance friendly music being produced now. Actually there are just lots of really great music being produced nowadays. But no viable music press or powerful DJs to push them into the mainstream. Being a good musician these days is basically taking a vow of poverty for 99.9% of them, unless they have an unrelated lucrative career or comes from money.

        2. Michael Fiorillo

          I think your disco-as-proto-PMC phenomenon is overstated: I’ve never seen the movie, but even I know that Tony Manero worked the counter in a paint store. I get the connection between the rise of disco and what we later affectionately called Yuppie Scum, but I don’t think it’s causative. Perhaps your treatment that night was because you and your friends gave the game away, and showed that despite the big heels and shiny clothes, most everybody in that room was going to work for someone else on Monday morning.

          Disco was basically popularized, mass market music – think Village People – that evolved out of Gay and Black dance club culture in late-’60’s and early ’70’s NYC, and that was far from what we now think of as PMC. I was too young, and wouldn’t have been drawn to the scene anyway, but I remember a few of those clubs from the neighborhood: Bon Soir on 8th St, the Ninth Circle on 10th St. As a yout’ I was groped in front on the Ninth Circle; trust me, PMC it’s clientele was not.

          I hated disco at the time (though I always thought Funky Town was a fun tune), and still could never listen to more than one piece at a time, but now find the “classy” string orchestrations, played by actual human musicians receiving union scale and benefits, evocative of their time and almost poignant.

        3. eg

          I was still in high school while Disco raged. In my circles, “disco sucks” was sort of an obligatory response. Now when I hear some of the old disco classics I no longer find them reflexively objectionable, though the clothing remains ridiculous.

    2. Pat

      Sounds like what I would have expected, and honestly they would fit right in a whole segment of the high end sneaker biz.
      Scarier to me is to try to imagine a Biden or Hillary branded sneaker.

  21. Wukchumni

    Gov. Kathy Hochul apologized Friday night for remarks she made at a Jewish philanthropy event that went viral on social media, which implied Israel is justified to destroy Gaza following Hamas’ horrific Oct. 7 attack on the Jewish state.

    Speaking at the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York’s event Thursday in Manhattan, Hochul called out Hamas as a terrorist group that “must be stopped” and then tried to make an analogy by using Canada and her home city of Buffalo.

    “If Canada someday ever attacked Buffalo, I’m sorry, my friends, there would be no Canada the next day,” Hochul declared.

    Sure with long winters and not much sun, the pale-eskinian movement in Buffalo is huge, but why would Canada want a repeat of the War of 1812, which they largely won up north?

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          “…but why would Canada want a repeat of the War of 1812, which they largely won up north?”
          is that why the US border doesn’t go all the way to the St Lawrence and include the Maritime provinces?

    1. Pat

      Congratulations to Kathy on managing to misread the zeitgeist AND insult Canada. It is clear why Cuomo picked her to be his Lt. Governor. Too bad he managed to become such a liability, she couldn’t save him. Now if only she did the same.

        1. ambrit

          I can hear the audible play call out now; “OK guys. Moose, go wide! Francois, check the tight end. Fortescue, sweep for Moose! On Un!”

          1. Wukchumni

            The only time I ever suited up for a Bills game was about 20 years ago and we arrived early in order to tailgate and threw in with a band of raucous revelers from north of the border, they were fun!

            Many wings & beers later I then asked the most innocent of questions-or so I thought, when I inquired why they went to an NFL game instead of a gridiron match in their home & native land?

            …27 voices as one rang out

            ‘Canadian football sucks!’

        1. ambrit

          Three Forks, CA? The epitome of fine dining? (Who ever thought up the idea of naming a town after “Formal cutlery?”)

          1. Wukchumni

            We actually have 5 forks of the Kaweah River here in Tiny Town, but being modest only claim 3/5’s of them.

            1. ambrit

              Now that’s a Compromise that will have ‘legs.’
              Just keep an eye open for “do gooders” who want to ‘free’ the braceros down in Godzone!
              {So, is one of the “other” ‘forks’ for escargot?}

            1. ex-PFC Chuck

              There are two small towns in northwestern Minnesota named Climax and Fertile. Decades ago, according to local lore, there was a car accident and the article about it in the local paper was entitled “Fertile girl dies in Climax.”

    2. Lefty Godot

      Where does the Democratic party manage to find and elevate this plethora of (to steal Caitlin Johnstone’s phrase) “garbage human beings”? Their claim to being the “lesser evil” party is far down the toilet as of last October.

  22. JBird4049

    Prevalence of Immunosuppression Among US Adults JAMA. “In this study using the 2021 NHIS, an estimated 6.6% of US adults had immunosuppression. This rate of immunosuppression was higher than the previous national estimate of 2.7% using the 2013 NHIS.”

    I think that they call this “a target rich environment.” Less jokingly, I am getting the old AIDS feeling.

    Let’s see. In the past decade they have brought back the Cold War and appear to be trying for a milder but airborne version of AIDS, but both the military and the healthcare system are falling apart. And then there are the 1929/2008 vibes even as the United States appears to be economically devouring Germany industry. American housing is catastrophically bad and getting worse.

    And they call the current ruling elites incompetent, but they sure seem competent to me. We are just assuming that our definition of competence is the same as the ruling elites definition is.

  23. Carolinian

    Re the latest from Nikki Haley crazytown

    “It’s either gonna be me, or it’s gonna be Kamala Harris,” Haley warned while campaigning in Orangeburg, S.C. last weekend.

    She thinks she is already running against Biden. At any rate come the 24th we will get yet another voter verdict on Haley from the voters who know her best.

  24. pjay

    – ‘Germany blocked EU boss’ NATO bid’ – Welt RT

    The deck: “Ursula von der Leyen is too hawkish on Russia for the job, Olaf Scholz reportedly told the White House”

    This whole article is hilarious for those who want their Sunday morning laugh. For one thing, how cartoonishly hawkish does von der Leven have to be for the cartoonishly hawkish – and obsequious – Scholz to rule her out? For another, the article notes that the US wants a woman for the role, but the women groomed for the job like von der Leven or Estonia’s Kallas are apparently just too darn, well, hawkish! Which I take to mean that they might be crazy enough to actually believe their anti-Russian rhetoric.

    These are the clowns that are destroying the Western world.

  25. antidlc

    re: “High-risk patients alarmed by CDC’s plan to ease covid isolation guidance ”

    Such a stupid article in such a stupid timeline. There are so many things wrong in this article, I don’t even know where to begin.

    “Public health experts say it’s also reductive to cast revised guidance as sacrificing the immunocompromised and elderly to minimize economic disruptions”

    Not reductive at all. It’s the truth. It’s called “eugenics”.

    1. Lee

      Eugenics implies improvement. The problem with the current culling is that if selection favors only the trait of being resistant to Covid, I doubt that it contributes to any other aspect of fitness. It’s selection without direction as regards all other traits associated with fitness. As for the elderly, most of us are past contributing to the gene pool. We’re just collateral damage. TPTB have certainly made the brutal calculation that the economic disruption associated with mitigating transmission is currently more costly to them than that caused by letting Covid rip. It would seem our system is too inflexible and therefore maladaptive to deal humanely with this pandemic or others that may follow.

      1. cfraenkel

        The current culling is selecting for the rich. Seems to be working well enough. (see Case & Deaton, the Sackler empire, Brexit, or Gibson’s Jackpot)

  26. tegnost

    On the morning of March 5, 2012, Debra White Plume received an urgent phone call.

    Wait…wasn’t there a democrat president then? How could something so authoritarian happen when a democrat was president? Don’t the democrats support the diverse entities that make up the grass roots of the nation? I don’t understand…?

  27. Lord-Admiral of the Pyrenees

    The Brad Setzer post hits on what I have been saying about Germany/Europe. People on here are mystified as to why the German elite keeps doing America’s bidding, but when you are so heavily reliant on exports for your economy and the US is such a key consumer in the world you really have no choice. Europe can’t have a serious, independent foreign policy until it fixes its domestic demand problems.

    1. spud

      that is correct. gerhard shroeder, the bill clinton/tony blair clone crippled the internal demand of germany, to get a advantage in trade. this enabled germany to run a massive trade surplus to the detriment of europe. its why free trade does not work, and why you can go it alone to a degree, if you have enough internal demand, coupled with innovation.

      Gatt had some protectionists abilities built into it. the E.U. is a free trade zone, where the strong rape and pillage the weak.

  28. antidlc

    Here is what Hoerger has posted:

    Mike Hoerger, PhD MSCR MBA
    The U.S. has had 139 million infections this #surge (credible interval, 97-160 million).

    That’s 41.6% of the U.S. population (3 in 7) if assuming nobody got double-infected this surge. If assuming 20% got double-infected this surge, then 33.3% of people got infected (1 in 3).

  29. Ghost in the Machine

    Prevalence of Immunosuppression Among US Adults JAMA. “In this study using the 2021 NHIS, an estimated 6.6% of US adults had immunosuppression. This rate of immunosuppression was higher than the previous national estimate of 2.7% using the 2013 NHIS.”

    My first thought upon reading this link heading was ‘good. Only 6.6% considering an immunosuppressive pandemic still raging.’ But, the study used a questionnaire to determine if people have been diagnosed with cancer or take a known immunosuppressant. It is missing any immune damage caused by Covid so misses the true state of immunosupression in the population. I just read the methods section, maybe they address this concern in the discussion

  30. antidlc

    Inside Kamala Harris’ quiet effort to break through the Biden campaign’s information bubble

    For some, it’s been a conversation off to the side at the White House congressional holiday party. Others have gathered at actress Eva Longoria’s house in Los Angeles. Still more have huddled on Air Force Two or gathered for a series of Saturday sessions and dinners that Vice President Kamala Harris has been hosting at the Naval Observatory.

    More than two dozen sources tell CNN that Harris has been gathering information to help her penetrate what she sometimes refers to as the “bubble” of Biden campaign thinking, telling people she’s aiming to use that intelligence to push for changes in strategy and tactics that she hopes will put the ticket in better shape to win.

    1. Acacia

      The VP is outside the bubble, wants in, and is gathering”intelligence” on the very campaign she is supposed to be a part of?

      Seems pretty obvious that the DNC considers her expendable and she hasn’t figured this out yet.

      I guess we should not be surprised.

  31. CA

    “Kyle Bass Raises Questions On CCP-Linked Angela Chao’s Death”

    Such is a naked continuation of American racism that was manifested in the beginning with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. At least there can be an understanding of what this racism amounts to, and how harmful it can be.

  32. CA

    “Kyle Bass Raises Questions On CCP-Linked Angela Chao’s Death”

    Similarly, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer wishes to prevent the manufacture of railway cars in Massachusetts, since the cars are of Chinese design and Schumer thinks the railway cars will be used to spy on what commuters are reading. Such is the appalling racial waywardness of a leading member of Congress:

    1. upstater

      The CRRC subway cars for Boston are years behind schedule for a variety of reasons, including domestic US content requirements and constant engineering change orders. About 100 of a 400 car order have been delivered. But delays are also is political; from Trains magazine:

      Under a 2019 federal law, CRRC can only solicit federally funded business from transit agencies with which it had already established contracts. In addition to the MBTA, those are the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and the LA Metro subway. A separate subsidiary is building cars for the Chicago Transit Authority at a factory in Illinois.

      “Essentially, CRRC is limited in future work they can do,” he said. No other work is currently scheduled for the Springfield factory once the MBTA contracts are complete.

      New Acela trains are similarly years behind schedule because of US domestic content and engineering change orders.

      Obviously CRRC is a world class rail equipment manufacturer and *could* supply the US rail car needs. There are ZERO such US companies, they all went belly up 30-40 years ago. Alstom and Siemens are producing Amtrak’s new equipment based on European designs. All that stuff is years or even a decade off. Don’t hold your breath for “nice things” like commuter or long distance passenger rail in the US (cf, California HSR debacle to provide 180 MPH trains between Merced and Bakersfield in the next decade).

      1. Wukchumni

        (cf, California HSR debacle to provide 180 MPH trains between Merced and Bakersfield in the next decade).

        I can easily sense the need for speed when going from one lovelorn location in Godzone to another in avoiding other lovelorn locales scorned, but being in the beating heart of the Central Valley. it isn’t as if you hardly notice any construction going on in regards to HSR.

      2. CA

        “Obviously CRRC is a world class rail equipment manufacturer…”

        Thank you for the interesting thoughts, but what I fail to understand is the need of the likes of a Charles Schumer to attack Chinese integrity. Let Boston walk, but to besmirch Chinese integrity is intolerably prejudiced.

        1. ambrit

          Prejudice is one of the bedrocks of politics the world wide.
          I learnt the hard way what a ‘Chinese Agreement’ is. Basically, agree to everything the counterparty demands and then ignore it all and do what you originally intended to do. I’m not claiming that this a uniquely Chinese “accomplishment,’ but it is quite the ‘done thing’ in certain circles.
          Race prejudice against Asians by Americans is more common that you imagine. Not defending it, but there it is. Ignore it at your peril.

        2. Em

          Because bigots are terrible people who always project their worst personal attributes into others they wish to denigrate. We’ve seen Zionists do this nonstop since 10/7. They always have their reasons and no amount of facts and logic is going to stop them.

  33. Vander Resende

    180224 “Ecuador backs down and will not supply Russian weapons to the US
    The decision comes on the same day that Russia renewed its authorization to import bananas from Ecuadorian companies. Imports had been partially suspended since the beginning of the month
    180224 “Equador volta atrás e não vai fornecer armas russas aos EUA
    Decisão ocorre no mesmo dia em que a Rússia renovou a autorização para importação de bananas de empresas equatorianas. Importação estava parcialmente suspensa desde o início do mês,2024

    16 de fevereiro de 2024, 20:35″

  34. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Fani Willis’ testimony evokes long-standing frustrations for Black women leaders AP

    In a Rising segment on Thursday, Briahna and Robbie were especially dismissive of PMCers like willis and those quoted in the article coopting idpol to explain performance deficiencies. I wholeheartedly agree. willis has been pulling this since her first appearance in the church. They noted that not even msdnc was coming to willis’ rescue.

    In commentary elsewhere, veteran prosecutors have wondered how willis and wade found so much time for romantic recreatin’, however it was paid for, with “our” very democracy on the line in this existentially important case against the fascist, Trump, and 17 other RICO “racketeers.”

    To that point, Kunstler wrote on Friday:

    The reason the lovebirds could take so much time cavorting across the Caribbean and California — vineyard tours featuring “pairings of champagne, chocolate, and caviar,” Ms. Willis testified — is because their Fulton County case was entirely prepped for them out of DC by Mary McCord, the veteran blob lawyer active in every Get-Trump hoax cooked up since 2016. (And I’d bet cash-money that she had plenty of assistance from Lawfare blobsters Norm Eisen and Andrew Weissmann.) The complex particulars of the case were all teed up, ready to go. All Ms. Willis and her lead prosecutor, Mr. Wade, had to do was get the trial date set, raise the curtain, and follow the script.

    My money’s on there being more to this than run-of-the-mill racism and misogyny against black female PMCers.

    1. pjay

      Kunstler’s discussion of Mary McCord is quite informative in that piece. A number of dots are connected through this woman; it’s worth keeping her name in mind, I think.

  35. jhallc

    Re: The Husseini article – Palestinians in Gaza Do Have Somewhere to Go: Their Homes in What is Now Israel

    “Re JFK, see my prior pieces “60 Years Ago, JFK Tried to Stop the Israeli Bomb” and “Israel and the Kennedy Assassinations” for general Israel policy as well as this podcast by Aaron Good which reports that JFK affirmed right of return to the horror of pro-Israeli forces”

    I found the podcast on JFK, linked at the end of the article to be very informative. I had no idea that JFK and RFK as AG were pushing for the 1960’s “American Zionist Council”, which morphed into AIPAC, to be registered as a foreign agent. He might have been the last president to really push back against Israel’s actions and they were not happy about it.

    1. Em

      Colonel Wilkerson has asserted that GHWBush was planning to make peace on Palestine after gaining significant leverage from Gulf War I and the Israel lobby broke him. That could explain Ross Perot’s quixotic campaign and how Bush went from 90 percent approval to losing to an unknown governor of Arkansas in 20 months.

      1. Carolinian

        Jimmy Carter did some pushback too and of course Eisenhower put the kibosh on the Suez takeover. Mondoweiss contends that it was LBJ who greenlit the 1967 war that made Israel such a player in the minds of Kissinger and others.

        As for RFK, his support for Israel following that war got him shot by a Palestinian. Some may choose not to believe this but unlike with Oswald there was a trial and conviction.

        In that sense (support for Israel) RFK jr. is a chip off the block and his CT about the killing of his father and uncle gets no respect from me. Prove it I say or leave it alone.

        1. jhallc

          No doubt by 1968, RFK had read the political tea leaves and saw how things were going with regards to Israel. I’m just trying to imagine what would happen politically today to someone trying to have AIPAC designated a foreign agent.

        2. Em

          Lisa Pease makes a very strong case that Sirhan Sirhan could not possibly have shot RFK. RFK was shot at point blank from behind and Sirhan Sirhan wasn’t in position to make that shit. There’s plenty of dodginess around the trial and Sirhan Sirhan’s imprisonment.

          According to Pease, RFKJr was convinced by her account about Sirhan Sirhan’s innocence, but he just mutely stood by when Boteach repeated the accusations next to him.

          The Kennedys are used to running right of their political opponents and then trying to govern left. But I’m not going to give RFKJr much credit after he fired Dennis Kucinch and installed his CIA daughter in law (step daughter to a Zionist billionaire) to run his campaign. After 4 months of backing Israel, he’s as dead to me as Biden, Trump, and 98 percent of the creepy crawlies in DC.

          1. ex-PFC Chuck

            ” After 4 months of backing Israel, he’s as dead to me as Biden, Trump, and 98 percent of the creepy crawlies in DC.”


        3. pjay

          “Prove it I say or leave it alone.”

          Though it is difficult to “prove” exactly what happened with certainty in either case, I will assert that anyone who believes that the mainstream story of either assassination has been “proven” is either lying or completely ignorant of the contrary evidence. So when you say “prove it,” have you actually been willing to *look* at the evidence? Or are you just taking the Chomsky line that “who cares, it really doesn’t matter anyway” since the Kennedys were just imperialist war-mongers like all the rest?

          For all the various information available today that contradicts the Warren Commission story, the evidence regarding RFK’s assassination is actually more striking. That few people even know this says much about our media. That “leftists” don’t know or care about this says much about our so-called “left.”

          I’m afraid I can’t forgive RFK Jr. for his outrageous take on Israel. But he’s not wrong on everything.

          1. Carolinian

            My prove it was aimed at RFK jr. Of course we commenters can talk about it all we want but I don’t want. Oliver Stone justified his movie by saying the world would have been different if JFK had lived. On this I am deeply skeptical without going the full Chomsky.

            At any rate speculating about things that happened decades ago doesn’t serve much purpose IMO. That’s why only proof would make it interesting again.

            1. Em

              You could try reading JFK and the Unspeakable and Brothers. They make a convincing case to me that JFK intended to withdraw from Vietnam and would never have supported the coups in Indonesia and Brazil. JFK would have reined in Israel and probably led to a lasting l, peaceful and just resolution for Palestinians. Johnson did a 180 on all these policies and have millions of deaths on his hands.

              I would say knowing this does matter a lot even now. Because the system that killed the Kennedys and MLK is the same one that ensures unlimited money to Ukraine and Israel for genocide (self genocide in case of Ukraine) but no money for universal healthcare or affordable college education. You need to understand what they’re capable of in order to confront them properly and hopefully beat them.

              1. Carolinian

                I have been reading about Vietnam and one of the excuses LBJ used to defend his policy was that he had to preserve the honor and the intentions of the dead JFK. Don’t forget McNamara was Kennedy’s man.

                And the Vietnam policy wasn’t just about the decision of the president, whoever it may have been. Johnson’s policy was majority supported by the public and certainly supported by the Republicans, some of whom wanted him to do much more. Before JFK it was Eisenhower and Dulles who came up with the Domino Theory and this too had wide support.

                Plus the belief by many at the time was that the North Vietnamese couldn’t possibly last long against the full might of the US military. Hindsight is 20/20.

                As for assassinations there’s Diem and the attempted assassination of Castro. There are reasons that Chomsky and Hersh and others don’t share your view. I think they are good reasons.

                1. Em

                  There’s pretty good evidence that JFK never sanctioned assassination of Diem or the attempts against Castro. That’s the point, JFK was fighting the deep state and his own cabinet for the few approaches to peace that he was able to make. With almost any other American politician in his place, Bay of Pigs would have blown into a full American invasion of Cuba and the Cuban Missile Crisis would have gone nuclear.

                  The best illustration of the difference between Kennedy and Johnson is what other world leaders said at the time of Kennedy’s passing. They recognized that a genuine opportunity for peace and detente was gone. Their analysis of the situation is much more significant than trashy post hoc personal digs by paid off shrills like Hersh.

                  As for Chomsky – if the person of the president wasn’t important, then why did he keep telling us to vote for Biden no matter what his demonstrably awful record?

                  1. Carolinian

                    There is an alternate explanation that the Kennedy brothers were floundering and insincere and basically didn’t know what they were doing any more than their “best and the brightest” staff did. Certainly the black people who met with Bobby came away hostile and unimpressed and Kennedy’s very high initial job approval rating steadily deteriorated throughout his term. While the Cuban missile crisis is now spun as some kind of great triumph the message the public got at the time was “we are in great danger.”

                    So had he lived there was no guarantee that JFK would have been re-elected to do those great things you think he would have done. When Johnson took over his theme was that he was going to accomplish the agenda items that his predecessor struggled with and as a result he won election in a landslide.

                    When you dispute people like Chomsky and Hersh you forget that they were around during these events and may have a fuller picture than the rosy glow put out by histories with an agenda. Our PR politics didn’t start with the current crop of Clintons and Obamas–in fact the Kennedy cult was the archetype.

                    1. Em

                      So rather than respond to what I say, you’re making argument from authority of Hersh and Chomsky, even though both have many indications of being limited hangouts for the deep state.

                      Who is the cultist here?

                2. Procopius

                  According to David Halberstom, in The Best and the Brightest, Kennedy may have been planning to completely review his policies toward Vietnam after he was reelected. I think he was shaken by Diem’s assasination, but he was also vaguely aware that we were continuing France’s colonialist war. His relationship with Diem must have been unsettling too — Diem always promised to adopt more liberal policies and then ignored his promises. Kind of like with Israel now when Biden is claiming to beg for less genocide. In both cases the only recourse the U.S. had was to stop all material support. They were/are not willing to do this, even though it makes us complicit (well, Vietnam, although it was a LOT more civiliam casualties, wasn’t clearly a genocide). The American public wasn’t really aware of Vietnam until the number of American combat troops exceeded 100,000, and believed the Pentagon until Tet ’68. According to the Pentagon Papers, the Pentagon didn’t believe their own propaganda. And, by the way, the assasination of Diem was done by the coup plotters, and it’s not clear that Washington was warned beforehand about it.

            2. pjay

              Interestingly, thanks to Stone’s movie and the resulting public outcry, Congress passed the Assassination Records Collection Act and created the Assassination Records Review Board which declassified a huge number of documents related not only to the assassination itself but also Kennedy administration policy. While of course no one knows for certain what would have happened had Kennedy lived, we do know that people like John Newman (and Oliver Stone) were basically right regarding his foreign policy aims and their significant differences from that which came both before and after. There are a number of good books dealing with various aspects of this issue today. Chomsky was wrong, and I don’t recall his ever admitting it. The other key source poisoning understanding on the left was the book by Hersh in the 1990s that was a total CIA hit piece fed to him by disinformation agents like Sam Halpern, combined with the most outlandish tabloid sensationalism. It was universally panned by almost everyone from every political perspective — except Chomskyite lefties.

              My reply to your last comment would be that those who fail to understand history are condemned to repeat it – a cliche that has proven itself over and over again since then.

              1. pjay

                I should add: the fact that almost no one knows about the ARRB and its contents provides the same lesson regarding our media, academic court “historians,” and “the left” as does our ignorance of Thomas Noguchi’s autopsy report on the RFK assassination.

            3. ambrit

              “At any rate speculating about things that happened decades ago doesn’t serve much purpose IMO.”
              Oh, look over there! A Shiny Martyr!

  36. Wukchumni

    Notice how the death number in Gaza has barely done anything the past month or so, the plowers that be are only admitting to 28k+.

    I mean would we feel any worse about the ongoing genocide if they took the reprisal number from 20 dead Palestinians for every dead Israeli, to more like 100 to 1?

  37. Tom Stone

    I’ve been considering the “Dogs that did not bark”, SBF’s political contributions and the failure to charge Hunter Biden with violations of the FARA act come to mind.
    So does the MSM’s failure to cover Covid deaths, 10K deaths in January is not newsworthy…
    Along those lines, it appears that those that matter consider us deplorables to be fungible as well as disposable.
    If a job doesn’t require a college degree anyone should be able to do it well after watching a video or two on youtube.
    There won’t be any serious problems caused by Long Covid and pervasive immune dysregulation, because reasons.
    Have you ever watched a pit crew during a Formula 1 race?
    They change the tires and fuel those cars in a matter of seconds, refueling and re arming a jet on an aircraft carrier requires that same level of choreography and competence, what happens when one of the crew doing that has Covid brain fog?
    Biden is the perfect President for today’s America, a President who is Bananas running a Bannana Republic.

  38. Vander Resende

    Bolsonaro is Ineligible and almost being arrested. He calls for a demonstration of support for 25 Feb, 2014, in São Paulo, Brasil largest global city.

    Bolsonaro calls for an event on Av. Paulista for February 25th, Feb24.
    According to former president, event will be in “defense of democracy”

    “3 governors and 92 congressmen confirm their presence at Bolsonaro’s event
    Feb 17, 2024 (Saturday) – 7:01 pm

    The event called by former president Jair Bolsonaro (PL) for Sunday (25.Feb.2024) on Avenida Paulista, in São Paulo, has at least
    3 governors,
    8 senators (9% of the Senate) and
    84 federal deputies confirmed ( 16% of the Chamber),
    according to a list compiled by Poder360”

    The governor of Santa Catarina, Jorginho Mello (PL), ….”The governor of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans), the governor of Goiás, Ronaldo Caiado (União Brasil), and the mayor of the capital of São Paulo, Ricardo Nunes (MDB), said they will also participate in the event… Bolsonaro/#:~:text=Jorginho%20Mello%20(left,compiled%20pelo%20Poder360

  39. Wong May

    Tesla Hacked?

    “These baseless conspiracy theories reverse years of progress made on our behalf”, declared Wong Wei, president of AAA. “In addition to making a splash in her work in the business world, both as CEO of the Foremost Group and on the board of Bank of China, few know that Ms. Chao also was a long time board member of AAA (Asian Automobile Association),” continued Mr. Wong. “Her death has sent ripples throughout our community.”

  40. Wukchumni

    I fear for the City of Angles, another 3 to 5 inches of rain coming to the SoCalist movement a week or so after the last atmospheric river, and a much beloved chapel is now closed on account of a land slip, of which there must be oodles more to come…

    The Wayfarers Chapel, a glass-walled, mid-century marvel that sits beneath a canopy of redwoods in Los Angeles, has closed indefinitely due to “accelerated land movement” in the area.

    Known locally as the “glass church”, the building was designed by architect Lloyd Wright and designated a national historic landmark just two months ago. But the structure sits on the Palos Verdes peninsula, which is prone to landslides. Cracks had begun to appear in the structure, and several panes of glass had broken in recent months.

    “Effective immediately, we are extremely devastated to announce the closure of Wayfarers Chapel and its surrounding property,” a statement from the chapel reads.

    1. Lee

      A truly lovely structure, and the wedding prices are fairly reasonable so long as you’re reasonably well off. The simplicity of the framing and the availability of well tempered glass should make the building’s replication on firmer ground a definite possibility.

      Wedding Contribution Amount

      Monday through Thursday – $5,400

      Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and most Holidays – $6,400

      Wedding contributions are non-refundable.

      1. Wukchumni

        I only ever hiked there for free, never got hitched, ha ha.

        It was about 3 miles walk down to the Wayfarers Chapel and then you turned around and came back up the same way.

        One of the most beautiful buildings in one of the most unstable areas for movement in the state.

        Along the way en route on your walk, peacocks would often make sounds as if they were a really bad 1950’s horror film soundtrack, and you hoped they didn’t shit that watery white crap of theirs on your ride back at the trailhead, out of spite.

    1. Wukchumni

      My feeling is we are fighting the last war, kind of similar to what France went through when they had no answer for the speed of the German advance, but our defeat wont be on home soil-nor will we be occupied.

      It will leave us in a similar position to Germany in 1918, and who will we blame for the knife in the back?

  41. sleeplessintokyo

    Bird Flu GOF? Say what?
    This is what comes of no prosecutions for the GOF Covid Debacle.
    These folks are insane. They need to all be locked up

    1. Lee

      Just what horror so terrifies the likes of Colbert et al? It pleases me to think that the loss of working class allegiance may be at the root of their fears. But then, I am something of an ideologue when it comes to such things. Therefore my judgment may be suspect.

      1. The Rev Kev

        He’s freaking out that Trump will become President for a second time. As a comedian he should welcome this development but as a member of the PMC he cannot understand how this can be. It’s not supposed to be this way in his world.

        1. Pat

          He is also freaking out that he has so little influence. He is just smart enough to know his inability to understand how this is happening illuminates his total failure as a social commentator. And even in this propaganda driven media, these things means he is expendable.

    1. Em

      What a hideous piece of writing! Sorry but I couldn’t muster the energy to do more than skim it.

      What good is “freedom” if 95 percent of your population and culture are wiped out? And you’re still at the bottom of the new “freer” (aka liberal universalist) social hierarchy with no land, no education, and no secure job tenure?

  42. Willow

    Just at thought. But if Israel was going to do Hezbollah (and Iran) the best time would be at the beginning or towards the end of Ramadan. Either mid March while people are adjusting to the rituals or beginning April as people are preoccupied with the celebratory end. Or to really screw with Westerners and catch everyone by surprise, 1st of April. So we’ve probably got another month or so to go before things get serious.

    1. Em

      I guess it depends on whether bombing a million refugees in the tiny space of Rafah is considered serious or not. It seems likely that will take place with the next Security Council vote.

      Israel already crossed serious redlines by openly targeting civilians in Lebanon and bombing Iranian gas infrastructure in Iran. They will pay at times of Hezbollah and Iran’s choosing. I wouldn’t assume Israel has escalatory dominance here merely because it’s enemies have been trying to keep the temperature down so far.

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