Links 3/3/2024

The Search for Endangered Flying Squirrels in the Poconos WVIA News

America’s 4th-densest city has wiped out traffic fatalities by taking a page from Sweden and eliminating parking spots Fortune

Quite the leap: Iowa man born on 29 February has a son on same day Guardian

Scientists Reveal Where Deadly Lightning Strikes Most in The US Science Alert


Powerful California blizzard shuts roads to Tahoe, Mammoth; 190-mph winds reported Los Angeles Times

Texas wildfire: rising temperatures, winds and dry air hamper firefighting Guardian


Deaths from drinking surged during pandemic: CDC Axios. While they did increase from 2019 to 2020, they’ve also been going up for two decades.


China urged by foreign chambers of commerce to take firmer hand with private sector support South China Morning Post


US Green Berets reportedly permanently based in Taiwan for 1st time Taiwan News

EP passes foreign, defense policy reports with language backing Taiwan Focus Taiwan

Tipping Point? Germany and China in an Era of Zero-Sum Competition Rhodium Group


How Israel defied ICJ provisional measures, one month on Middle East Eye

US says Israel ‘more or less’ accepts framework deal for Gaza ceasefire Al Jazeera


War Between Israel and Hezbollah Is Becoming Inevitable Foreign Policy

Tactics and strategy in the war with Hezbollah Jerusalem Post

Hezbollah detains Dutch armed group in Beirut suburb The Cradle


‘Israeli violence is legitimized and Palestinian counter-violence is delegitimized’ FAIR

The New York Times Ignores Intense Scrutiny Of Its Oct. 7 Report Defector

BBC distances itself from 7 October “mass rape” claims Palestine is Still the Issue

Western media whitewashes Israeli massacre of Palestinians seeking aid The Cradle. For example:


Rubymar Sinks in Red Sea 13 Days After Houthi Attack Damaged Bulker Maritime Executive


Examining the Complexities: Kenya, Israel, and the Gaza Genocide The Elephant

Israel may have just torched its relationship with Russia, promising to supply Ukraine with ‘early-warning systems’ Business Insider

New Not-So-Cold War

Russo-Ukrainian War: The Deluge Big Serge Thought

Europe battles powder shortage to supply shells for Ukraine AFP

Ukraine strikes deal with Peter Thiel’s tech giant to clear unexploded mines The Telegraph


A most wanted man: Fugitive Wirecard COO Jan Marsalek exposed as decade-long GRU spy Der Spiegel, The Insider

Here’s why the West can’t be trusted to observe its own ‘red lines’ in Ukraine RT

Macron mulls sending special forces into Ukraine — report The New Voice of Ukraine

The perils of a Le Pen presidency The Economist. Election not until 2027.

Global Elections

Two winners from Iran’s elections: Hardliners and security crackdown Al-Monitor

Old Blighty

Rochdale and the future of democracy Thomas Fazi

First it was Corbyn. Now the whole British public is being smeared over Gaza Jonathan Cook, Middle East Eye

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Silent Eulogy Scott Ritter Extra

LONG READ: China and Russia, the industrial production superpowers that could win a war bne Intellinews

If you’re gonna to bleed someone, you better be sure they’d be doing the bleedin Policy Tensor

‘Ashes of Death’: The Marshall Islands Is Still Seeking Justice for US Nuclear Tests The Diplomat


Burnt Offerings n+1

Veterans Burn Uniforms in Solidarity with Airman Who Died After Setting Himself on Fire to Protest Gaza War


FAA orders fixes related to anti-ice systems on Boeing 737 MAX, 787 jets Seattle Times

Boeing Awarded $3.4 Billion Contract For 17 P-8A Poseidon Aircraft Naval News

US Navy inks $3.4B deal for 17 P-8s for Canada, Germany Breaking Defense

South of the Border

A Strategic Cross-Border Labor Alliance NACLA

B-a-a-a-a-d Banks

NYCB Downgraded to Junk by Fitch, as Moody’s Goes Even Deeper Bloomberg


Trump sweeps trio of caucuses in Missouri, Michigan, and Idaho yahoo! News

Democrats en déshabillé

‘Everyone is terrified of King Gavin’: Newsom’s unchallenged anti-homelessness gambit POLITICO


US Presidential Election — A Reinstatement of the Jerry Springer Show. Angry Tirades

Realignment and Legitimacy

The Political Effects of Neoliberalism LPE Project

In Nebraska, empty churches are becoming apartments, museums Flatwater Free Press

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

TurboTax wants to use your tax return to show you ads. You can say no. Washington Post


AI worm infects users via AI-enabled email clients — Morris II generative AI worm steals confidential data as it spreads Tom’s Hardware

This new AI tool promises to build your social media clout—by making X and LinkedIn even more spammy Fast Company



‘Immortal’ AI Challenges The Mortal Computation Of Humans NOEMA



Did Google, Facebook, and Amazon Endorse Jim Crow? BIG by Matt Stoller

Flipper Zero’s Co-Founder Says the Hacking Tool Is All About Exposing Big Tech’s Shoddy Security Gizmodo

Police State Watch

Machine gun-wielding robot dogs are better sharpshooters, claims study Interesting Engineering


Texas prosecutor is fined for allowing murder charges against a woman who self-managed an abortion AP

Abortion restrictions struck down by state court Montana Free Press

Guillotine Watch

The youngest son of Asia’s richest man is getting married, and the pre-wedding event features Rihanna, a 9-page dress code, and live animals Business Insider

Class Warfare

It’s now significantly more deadly to be homeless. Why are so many people dying? Cal Matters

What the billionaires want 48 Hills

The Most Important Labor Story Right Now Is in Minnesota—It Might Be the Model We All Need In These Times

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from The Letter by The Box Tops)

    The whole world has free universities
    Their scholars face no harsh adversities
    My student loan has me livin’ back at home
    I went to college and now I’m a debtor

    Nearly two trillion plus the interest rate
    And half of us never even graduate
    A diploma costs your life — no savings and no wife
    I went to college and now I’m a debtor

    I’m a permanent debtor when I ran out of cash
    I was shoved out the door
    Got most of my credits but I don’t have the funds
    To get two or three more

    Anyway, yeah!

    Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
    I’m gone and never comin’ back again
    Debtor days are gone I’m a-movin’ on
    I’m leavin’ to make my life better

    Well my life will be better
    The collectors won’t be on my back any more
    I can get my degree almost totally free
    On a foreign shore

    Anyway, yeah!

    Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
    America doesn’t need my working brain
    Debtor days are gone I’m a-movin’ on
    When I’m a doctor I’ll write you a letter

    I’ll have a chance there and won’t be a debtor

    1. Sardonia

      I thought you were from Sweden. Swedish radio played The Box Tops?

      Thanks for the nice earworm from my youth. :)

  2. The Rev Kev

    “In Nebraska, empty churches are becoming apartments, museums”

    In it’s own way, this is probably a very good development. Maintaining a church can be very expensive and between Covid and livestream options, many are not so necessary anymore. It is not the 19th century anymore when the local church (and the local bar) were at the heart of the social life for that community. if you get down to it, a local church is not a building but the people that make up a congregation. In frontier times, those communities actually met in fields and under tree shade and the church building came later when there was money to spare. But at least those Nebraskan churches are finding new life and new purpose rather than just becoming derelict buildings slowly falling down. Now that would be depressing.

    1. Arizona Slim


      And, I’m going to put this out there: If I could find a church without walls, I would join it in a heartbeat. Especially if the weekly service started with a brief prayer circle, and then the congregation goes forth to do a good work or two.

      Community tree plantings, anyone? Or how about a community cleanup? The possibilities are endless.

      Call it Word on the Street. Or something like that.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And don’t forget lay preachers like those 19th century Methodist churches had. Preachers that are part of the community who don’t have to deliver the messages from a “head office”.

      2. Samuel Conner

        I like the idea of community gardens.

        Wags could call the agenda “Genesis 2.0”

        1. The Rev Kev

          More than likely the local supermarkets would goose the local governments to have those community gardens be shut down as their produce would be in competition with that of the supermarket. In our region we use to have a lot of farmers selling the crops besides the road but they have all gone away for the same reason.

      3. Lena

        You could try the Society of Friends (Quakers). The traditional Friends have silent Weekly Meeting for worship and do a lot of community work. Anyone can attend Weekly Meeting.

        1. Martin Oline

          I know a little about the Quakers through genealogical research and have to ask you if there are any traditional Friends meetings west of the Mississippi? I was under the impression that as they moved west the nature of the Friends services changed.

          1. Lena

            Yes, there are traditional unprogrammed (silent) Friends Meetings across the country. Try searching the Friends General Conference “Quaker Finder” online to see if a Meeting near you is programmed (like an ordinary Protestant church with a pastor) or unprogrammed (traditional silent).

            I hope this is helpful to you, Friend Martin.

            1. Martin Oline

              Thanks to both of you for your help. The traditional meeting format has always intrigued me but I thought they were obsolete. I will see if there are any in the region where I will be moving when we leave Florida.

              1. Lena

                I will tell you that sitting silently in a simple Friends Meetinghouse together with other Friends on a sunny Sunday morning in the summertime with the Meetinghouse windows wide open, the birds singing, and the many sounds of nature outside is a lovely experience.

                1. caucus99percenter

                  Even though my Dutch friend’s regular church in Amsterdam is the Keizersgrachtkerk, sometimes she instead chooses to attend the Sunday silent Quaker meeting in the Vossiusstraat meeting house. I have accompanied her there many times.

                  It is always a special feeling, especially during these last few years when much of the established church leadership in Europe seems to be all-in on backing government censorship and shilling for wars and re-militarization.


      4. Socal Rhino

        A local group has held services on our beach for years.

        I think the relevant quote, for those of the Christian faith, is “wherever two or more of you gather in my name.”

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Occupying abandoned churches is hardly a new phenomenon. From 1967:

      Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the
      church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and
      Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of
      room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,
      seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t
      have to take out their garbage for a long time.

      Arlo’s Ode to Anti-Authoritarianism (and draft resistance)

      1. timbers

        There are several churches in Boston that are now condo complexes, and have been for decades. But then, Boston has more money than Nebraska.

        1. Offtrail

          There are about a thousand churches in the Boston area that are now condo complexes. That’s not to mention the former mainline Protestant churches that now house Korean or Arab congregations (nothing against Koreans or Arabs).

          New England was famously once the most religious region in America. Now it is the least.

          The mainline Protestant churches provided local towns with a great deal of solidarity, warmth, sane community, and social outreach. I think that their decline is due to their failure to offer convincing answers to the larger questions of life which are, are all, the purpose of religion. Still, I mourn their passing

      2. Cristobal

        reply to HMP
        As a college freshman in 1966, near the end of my first semester, I went into a little restaurant in town one night, hoping that they would sell me a beer (being underage). No beer, but they had live music that night. It was some kid with a guitar singing in a not to great voice, and one of the songs he sang I have never forgotten. It was Alice´s Restaurant. He had changed the name a little due to the venue, and the few of us that were paying attention sang along to Harris´s Restaurant. As I understand from subsequent research, Arlo was on his way back from his first college experience somewhere out west (montana?), to his home in Connecticut. I too try to play it every Thanksgiving, but where I live now hardly anyone can understand the lyrics.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Thanks for that story. I saw Arlo for the only time about a decade ago in a summer outdoor venue. He performed a lot of his Woody’s songs and some of his own, but not Alice’s Restaurant. His response to the induction center sergeant’s assignment to write an essay about how he was morally rehabilitated enough to join the Army has come to mind during these Gaza days.

    3. Wukchumni

      Our local evang militia/tax evader house of worship has been for sale for about 5 years now, after they decamped to Idaho.

      Churches strike me as about worthless in converting into something else w/o major renovations and even then you’re looking at a building with high ceilings and low hopes.

      This church does come with one feature seldom seen, in that there is a target range in the back behind the building. I wasn’t kidding about them being an ad hoc militia.

      1. Yves Smith

        David Barton converted a church to a gym. But he liked evocative design to get the members to get people out of daily life mode into exercise mode. He called it TMPL.

        I was a very very long time member of the David Barton Gym uptown, which was not night-clubby but was very nicely done and that did make me enjoy going there. So his industry-atypical emphasis on design and lighting is not misplaced.

      2. Joe Well

        Here in Massachusetts, real estate is at such a premium that with relatively modest subsidies every single kind of building has been made into something else through adaptive re-use, mostly apartments or office but also retail, restaurants, you name it. One of the hottest Boston hotels of the 2010s was the Liberty, a former jail.

        1. CA

          Since 1890, home prices in America have increased closely in line with the cost of living. That long relationship came to an end after 1992 with real home prices increasing to unprecedented levels. I have no proper idea what has happened, nor evidently does Robert Shiller who has worked on home price relations for decades:

          January 30, 2018

          Case-Shiller Real Home Price Index, 1992-2023

          (Indexed to 1992)

          1. LifelongLib

            FWIW my late parents’ house built in 1960 sold to a developer in 2020 for about five times what it would have been worth based on inflation. And after renovation the developer sold it for double that. Don’t know anything about who bought it but my parents joked there was no way they could afford their place nowadays if they were buying.

            1. CA

              FWIW my late parents’ house built in 1960 sold to a developer in 2020 for about five times what it would have been worth based on inflation…

              [ Surely so, but Robert Shiller here is addressing national home price changes which between 1890 and 1992 were roughly in line with inflation. Shiller has also looked at collections of city home price changes with a similar real price result.

              Shiller’s data are robust.

              I am pleased for your family experience. ]

              1. Mike Mc

                The house we sold in 2015 for approx. $225K in Lincoln NE is now available for $365K (!). Saw a similar ridiculous spike in our Omaha townhouse a few years later. Escaped to The People’s Republic of Colorado in 2021.

                We could literally not afford to purchase either property now. Not that we wanted to – Nebraska is currently trying to be the Florida of the Midwest politically – but we’re stunned by the uptick in housing prices. Lincoln & Omaha can be fine places to live, but… c’mon man!

            2. juno mas

              Location, location, location.

              In my beach town, single-story homes built in the early 1950’s for $10K (and near the ocean) sell for close to 1M$. And are then stripped down to the concrete foundation and rebuilt into two-story, post-modern style vacation houses at an additional cost of $2.5M.

          1. GramSci

            Seems to me that across-the-board jump in home ownership going into the pandemic needs some ‘splainin’.

            1. CA

              Seems to me that across-the-board jump in home ownership going into the pandemic needs some ‘splainin’.

              [ Though I do not have enough confidence in the answer, I expect the answer could be early fund buying for speculative price increases and quick selling as prices increased. ]

      1. The Rev Kev

        Puts me in mind of the old Rick O’Shay cartton strips where one main character – a gunslinger named Hipshot Percussion – was praying in his outdoor church. Looking at the mountains and the scenery he remarked something along the lines of ‘That’s a mighty fine church you got there, boss.’

    4. scott s.

      Totally disagree. Having a dedicated worship space is vital. While it’s true that revivalism did have a mission of taking the church to where the people were with emphasis on camp-style meetings I don’t think that model is sustainable.

    5. dave -- just dave

      In Wolfville, Nova Scotia, home of Acadia University, a former house of worship is now a brew pub – The Church Brewing Company. Remaining is a stained glass window:

      The beautiful stained glass memorial window, located in the east wall of the sanctuary, holds significant meaning. The window was built in 1975 to honour the memory of former congregations, spanning over two hundred years. The many natural colours used in the stained glass window represent the good that is a part of every person regardless of how their characteristics make them appear to others–hence the kaleidoscopic design chosen.

      1. eg

        Brigid’s Well Public House is in the basement of the old Saint Brigid’s Church in Ottawa, Ontario. It has an impressive array of Irish whiskeys.

  3. VTDigger

    What the heck is Scott Ritter smoking today? The histrionics are up to 11. There’s no indication of impending nuclear war at all.

    1. .Tom

      Can’t help with Ritter. Haven’t seen it. But I disagree with the last sentence.

      Western political leaders are clearly ready to start a NATO-Russia war in order to stay in power. If they were to do what their populations want, to make a peace with Russia, they’d be voted out. So all they can do is escalate and it looks like they will. France, Germany, Poland, UK, NATO and EU leaders are all stating or leaking their plans to join the fight. They do it because they know Russia will have to respond and it all escalates from there and they get the extraordinary powers.

      Meanwhile they are suspending basic rights in at least Germany and UK over the popular displeasure at the Gaza death camp.

      What is the off switch for this kind of political psycho pathology? I don’t see one. On the contrary, I see only incentives to escalate for the incumbents and their mainstream oppositions. This is a complex dynamic system that nobody has the power control. Like the pre ww1 period, I guess, not that I know so much about that.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I think that what has him riled is that for the past twenty years the US has torn up one nuclear agreement treaty after another as they were convinced that they had the nuclear drop on the Russians and so could abandon any agreements and treaties. But then not that long ago Russia announced a whole new generation of missiles & nukes which meant that even from Russia itself, they now had the drop on the US. And Washington is finding it hard to deal with this new reality and may do something stupid or reckless – or both. Like stationing nukes in Finland for example whose new government welcomes this idea.

      1. CA

        “I think that what has him riled is that for the past twenty years the US has torn up one nuclear agreement treaty after another as they were convinced that they had the nuclear drop on the Russians and so could abandon any agreements and treaties…”

        This began in December 2001 and continued to the time when US missiles were positioned in Poland:

        December 13, 2001

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

        October 21, 2009

        Poland to Accept Missile Defense Offer

      2. Ranger Rick

        One of the things people overlook when examining these old bilateral nuclear treaties is that they only apply to one other country: Russia. There are other people out there with nukes who aren’t constrained by these treaties — namely, India and China. What’s alarming though is that despite the old treaties getting voided, there hasn’t been any public movement on replacing them with something that applies to more states.

      3. cosmiccretin

        “Like stationing nukes in Finland for example whose new government welcomes this idea”.


        1. The Rev Kev


          ‘Finnish President Alexander Stubb has boasted that NATO membership gives his country a “real nuclear deterrent” in the form of American missiles. At his inauguration on Friday, Stubb promised to lead the Nordic nation into a “new era” of military partnership with the West.

          During his election campaign, Stubb said that he would be open to allowing American nuclear weapons to be transported through – but not stored on – Finnish territory, calling these weapons of mass destruction “a guarantee of peace.” Speaking to reporters after his inauguration ceremony, he doubled down on his enthusiasm for NATO and for nuclear weapons. ‘

        1. JustTheFacts

          Add jpg to the end of the link. It relies on the wind blowing in the “average direction” that day, so it’s somewhat misleading.

    3. ilsm

      None to you?

      If the enemy uses the word nuclear war….. you listen.

      US is three mistakes away from nuclear war.

      While German generals get way too technical about how much engineering they will do on Taurus delivery so U.S. can give target…

      They go in to what NATO does with all the gifts.

    4. Feral Finster

      The West has already invested so many sunk costs, not just money and materiel but propaganda and diplomatic support that they cannot be seen to lose now.

      We see this every single time when the West escalates. First they deny, as this would unduly provoke Russia. Then some clamor, and American snaps his fingers, european knees hit the floor with a resounding thwack! and the latest red line is crossed. See, e.g., starting with weapons in general, then intelligence, ex-Soviet equipment, ex-Soviet aircraft, cluster munitions (a ‘war crime’ when Russia does it!) armored vehicles but not tanks, then tanks (“Release The Leopards!”), F-16, long-range missiles, etc..

      The leak yesterday about British troops being already in Ukraine simply reflects what has long been an open secret. This will be used to pressure Scholz “See, the British are already there and WWIII hasn’t broken out so get of the fence and send the army, already!”

      We also hear of the Bundeswehr proposing to supply Taurus missiles to Ukraine, with sheep-dipped German crews, without bothering to tell the Chancellor or anything. Again, this is an effort to pressure Scholz, who offers a couple days of token resistance before he caves. Same thing, every time.

      Of course, whenever you hear that something controversial is “under consideration”, that means that the decision has been made. Any consideration, debate or ratification is just a stage-managed rubber stamp.

    5. Socal Rhino

      Putin warns of the danger of a direct Nato clash with Russia, saying he’s said this many times and hopes someone listens. Western media networks report: Putin threatens nuclear war.

      That said, many including Yves I think have pointed out that Ritter tends to paint in overbright colors and I agree.

    6. JustTheFacts

      You must have missed that Macron is proposing sending NATO troops to Ukraine openly under NATO flags to “dissuade” Russia from taking more territory — presumably the idea is that if those troops were attacked, it would invoke Article 5.

      Putin responded that the people in the West seem to have forgotten that Russia has nuclear weapons… just one Sarmat could “deal” with France.

      ICBMs go up into space and reach Mach 23. Thus when the launch their payload, it is hypersonic. Russia claims to have shot down such a hypersonic payload in a test with an S500 during a test on 22 Feb 2024. In other words, Russia seems to have demonstrated the ability to defend Moscow against NATO nukes. This is something that changes the MAD (mutually assured destruction) balance and therefore destabilizes the situation further.

      Unfortunately mainstream media is in the business of narrative shaping (conning the plebs), so it is a poor source to rely on for indications that a nuclear war is pending.

  4. timbers

    US Green Berets reportedly permanently based in Taiwan for 1st time Taiwan News

    An American “totally unprovoked invasion” of China”? Brian Berletic says the US State Dept website and the United Nations recognize Taiwan as part of China. Nixon’s One China policy.

    This might be viewed in hindsight one day as part of China losing the peace in Taiwan, similar to how Russia started losing the peace in Ukraine around 2014. MSM keeps saying NATO is thinking of sending troops into Ukraine, but NATO troops are already in Ukraine and have been for a long time. So headlines should read NATO thinking of sending MORE troops to Ukraine. I don’t know the exact date of NATO troops arriving in Ukraine, but probably 2014 was a turning point if not an exact date of first entry.

    China is using the term “red lines” and she should use that term carefully and only if she means it and has a plan of action to enforce them.

    With the US distracted and booged down on other fronts, now may be a good time to act for China.

    1. CA

      “China is using the term ‘red lines’ and she should use that term carefully and only if she means it and has a plan of action to enforce them…”

      From the opening days of the Biden presidency, the administration has been making clear that China will be considered an adversary or enemy, and concerted American efforts will be made to contain China and undermine Chinese development. The intent of the Biden administration has been made clear yet again just in the last few days.

      The Chinese respond to the repeated agressions of the Biden administration by letting it be known China policy will not be determined by American aggression. So, the Chinese set down “red lines” which mean Chinese policy will not be changed and Chinese development strategy will not be influenced. Biden administrators can pay attention, though seemingly unwilling to, but Chinese policy will not change.

      The point is that despite the repeated denial of the likes of a Brad DeLong or Paul Krugman, Chinese policy has been markedly successful and is likely to be more evidently so since the Chinese have been very, very heavily investing. *

      * Radhika Desai, who knows, described this perfectly.

    2. CA

      March 2, 2024

      No end to US trade war with China, Biden administration pledges in policy document

      Report accuses China of maintaining a non-market economy that it seeks to use as leverage to distort competitive markets and concentrate supply chains
      ‘We are also considering all existing tools – and will seek new ones as needed,’ it says

      By Khushboo Razdan

      Washington – US President Joe Biden’s administration issued a policy document on Friday that pledged to double down with a strategy of realignment on trade with China, a sign that tension between the world’s two largest economies shows no signs of abating.

      The 2024 Trade Policy Agenda and 2023 Annual Report to Congress released by the office of US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, sought continued action against “harms wrought” by what it called Beijing’s “trade and economic abuses”.

      “We are also considering all existing tools – and will seek new ones as needed,” the report said, contending that actions so far had allowed the US to “engage and compete” with Beijing “from a position of strength”…

    3. CA

      “China is using the term ‘red lines’ and she should use that term carefully and only if she means it and has a plan of action to enforce them…”

      When President Trump met Xi Jinping for the first time. Trump interrupted the state dinner to take President Xi to a situation room to show off the US bombing of Syria for reasons that as Tulsi Gabbard understood were entirely invented. The US plan must have been to show what “red lines” meant to the US. What the Chinese already knew however, was never ever change policy in line with any attempts at intimidation.

      The Chinese understand.

    4. CA

      “With the US distracted and bogged down on other fronts, now may be a good time to act for China.”

      The way in  which China has been acting and will continue to act is to continue what is increasingly technically advanced development and forming mutually productive relations with developing countries.  Economists such as Paul Krugman write of the Chinese investment focus as a self-defeating strategy, but the superb Robert Solow long-ago found that technical advance was ultimately what drove general growth.  Solow’s work is for now strikingly overlooked, but not by the Chinese.

      The advances in technology, field after field, that are occurring are just what Chinese strategy is about.

  5. Mark Gisleson

    Galloway’s win makes me wonder if the US wouldn’t benefit from a series of strategic resignations. In states that would have to hold special elections, members of Congress could resign and throw their weight behind a pro-Palestinian candidate running as an independent for their seat.

    Giving up a seat in Congress to support an outsider is career self-immolation. I think that would sell really well right now. People are going to be looking for opportunities to express their disapproval. Giving them constructive outlets for their rage would be both timely and wise.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Heard today that after Galloway won his election, Rishi Sunak got so freaked out that he came out and made a speech outside Number 10 not only against Galloway but threatening to use the police to crack down on people who protest Gaza. He really went to the dark side of the force here- (1:31 mins)

      1. .Tom

        It’s getting pretty wild. The article in today’s Links by Jonathan Cook in Middle East Eye is good.

      2. Pat

        You know I get why some of our moneyed class is so invested in Israel that they are campaigning so hard to shut down information and support for Gaza and the Palestinians. I don’t agree but I understand how much denial can affect individuals.
        But when there is so much evidence and so little point in denying the facts, I don’t get why politicians would logically follow Israel over the cliff. I know they can live in a bubble, but there isn’t a bubble large enough to protect anyone from the knowledge that Israel’s actions are criminal and their justification is not just weak but falling apart.
        It is enough to make one believe all the conspiracy theories about Mossad, both the blackmailing database and the deadliness. (Although some of the destruction of the reputation of the IDF in the last months could also hurt the latter.)

        Seriously though I really wanted one of Galloway’s supporters to walk up to that Sky reporter and say “you know, dude, the only intimidation that Sunak knows about from this is that he lost so badly. He sees his promising future crumbling like it should. Think about it.”

        1. .Tom

          Why follow Israel (or Ukraine) over the cliff? They don’t see an alternative. First, they don’t serve the public, they serve themselves, donors, and their class interest. Second, U-turns are political suicide. Staying in office power for as long as possible is the first priority. If suspending freedom of expression, or banning a political party, or having a war accomplishes that, that’s what they will do.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            We are at the Carl Sagan point about bad ideas needing to die out. These people aren’t going to learn. They can only be replaced or have their lives turned into misery. Biden’s career of malfeasance was rewarded.

            The last six months of US policy discussion have been about supporting Israel, Ukraine, and who is more anti-immigrant. MSDNC is gleeful about Roe being overturned because it might save Team Blue, giving them an issue. They have no policy views just kind of shouting Roe as a stand in.

            1. Wukchumni

              Its rife with TDS crazy out there, a good friend in San Diego told me he was going to register in the primaries as a Republican to vote for Haley to thwart the Donald, and I thought he was kidding but alas no.

              The Donkey Show is running on empty~

              1. Henry Moon Pie

                On one of the CNN Sunday morning talk shows, the usual suspects were pushing the narrative that votes for Haley equaled a seriously divided Republican Party. Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report injected some reality: polling shows half of Haley’s support in the primaries is coming from people who voted for Biden in 2020.

                Lots of cope today on those shows today. It’s been a tough week for the PMC and Democrats in particular: Ukraine crumbling and hopes of more money disintegrating; the Gaza massacre reaching a new level of horror; SCOTUS is slowing down the J6 case against Trump; the Fani Willis case is imploding; the Michigan Uncommitted vote; abysmal polls.

                It appears to me as if a wide range of people with power and influence, from Jamie Dimon to Speaker Johnson, are beginning to act as if preparing for a Trump Presidency. I think I’d throw the Murdochs in that batch as well. Maybe the rest are looking into real estate abroad.

            2. ambrit

              Would it be too much of a stretch to say that the “defeat” of Roe has given the PMC Democrat Party apparatchiks a hard on? Or are they mistaking a wimpus for the ‘real’ thing?

        2. nippersdad

          O/T, but I thought you might like a head’s up on the last exhibit before the Rubin closes. Lifted from the e-mail they sent me:

          “Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now Opens March 15
          Opening Night Celebration
          Friday, March 15
          6:00–10:00 PM
          Join us as we celebrate the opening of Reimagine: Himalayan Art Now, the final exhibition opening in the Rubin’s 17th Street building before we transform into a global museum. The Opening Night Celebration includes free admission,…..”

          It looks like they are going out with a bang!

    2. pjay

      Joe Lauria had an entertaining article on the hysterical mainstream media reaction:

      The MSM goes nuts; the candidate’s supporters ridicule the press and eventually get angry at its obliviousness; the supporters’ reaction is used by the MSM to justify their hysterical paranoia about the rabble as a “threat to democracy,” etc.

      Why does this scene sound so familiar?

      I’ve been burned way too many times to get my hopes up about anything fundamentally changing. But I will take the opportunity to enjoy Establishment heads exploding when I can.

    3. cousinAdam

      George Galloway quote – “ “Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak are two cheeks of the same backside, and they both got well and truly spanked here tonight in Rochdale!” He gets my vote!!

    4. Darthbobber

      Galloway’s win owes a lot to labor’s decision to kneecap their own candidate over a contrived “anti-Semitism” offence.

      1. Pat

        Which goes to show that the official narrative, as far as the US and UK are concerned, is falling apart for the public. I love that they also tried to discredit Galloway because of Palestine and Hezbollah and yet he points out that Hezbollah is part of the government of an UK officially recognized sovereign nation and that resistance in an occupied country is also recognized. Something that the public might not have accepted even a decade ago.
        Too much playing in the Middle Eastern sandbox for too long has killed off the illusions.

  6. griffen

    Veterans burn uniforms and the Burnt Offerings articles, that’s a healthy combination of reading to start one’s morning. Not to depict the idea once again that self immolation is something to aspire, but rather something I had, to this point, not really given deep thought I’m a bit humbled and shamed to admit. Being more acutely aware of our military and political leadership lack of decency, or humanity, well it’s been a worthy lesson.

    Get an interesting history lesson on a well known ( in the circles of my independent Baptist youth ) preacher of fire and brimstone, Jonathan Edwards. Let’s just say well those were the times and common practices, but that doesn’t give the man a pass for what people he owned. One lesson learned from that youth, is that men might indeed be ordained but they are still men and capable of being wrong or doing wrong. I’ll watch what you do.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Hezbollah detains Dutch armed group in Beirut suburb’

    Now this is interesting. Can you imagine the headlines if you had an armed Hezbollah group wandering around Amsterdam? The Dutch government said that these 6 guys were theirs so Dutch military as they said. And what that means is that this was a Dutch operation that probably was not even coordinated with the Lebanese government. Having those group bypass the Dutch Embassy and operate in a small town on the coast makes it sound like a rogue operation on orders from the Dutch government. And having operatives from the Spanish, British, Canadian and other governments make it look like a combined western plan to identify targets in Lebanon on behalf of the Israelis. Shouldn’t be surprised. After the 2006 war you had UN troops pour into southern Lebanon and the Lebanese got antsy how the French UN troops would go into each home and take images of the people living at that house. You can be sure that this was not for the French government. As for those NATO & Israeli military cargo flights into Lebanon dropping of military cargoes, I would guess that it would be for when Israel invades Lebanon and this equipment would be for sabotage, reconnaissance and assassination groups. And those groups may not all be necessarily Israeli.

    1. Marc

      Of course, one thing we can count on is that if kinetic actions are launched in Lebanon, targeted assassinations, drone hits, and sabotage, western governments and media will call all such acts of terrorism, “special operations”. Macron’s government already tipped it when it said if France were to send special operation forces into Ukraine to do whatever, “The nature of these services is secretive, and therefore, they are not subject to the laws of war.”

  8. Will

    Interesting factoid.

    In the Bloomberg survey, a large share of the respondents voiced concerns with Biden’s age and a significant percentage said Trump was dangerous, and suggested the number of “double haters”, as pollsters call voters who approve of neither candidate, is significant.

    Those findings were broadly repeated in Saturday’s Times poll… Nineteen per cent of voters said they disapproved of both men, but among them Biden is slightly less hated…That spread, according to the Times, is significant: the candidate less disliked by “double haters” has won the last two presidential elections.

    Greatest democracy in the world.

      1. Lena

        I believe it is the Harter Brothers’ “Go On and Go Blue”. Some of the inspiring (cough) lyrics are:

        Lay down if you need to/
        The pain is good as a sinking tooth…

        Maybe we’ve lost our way/
        But we still look good some days…

        1. .Tom

          If the air is moving past you at about the speed of sound then I guess you’d be having a real one-sided conversation if your interlocutor is upwind.

    1. Milton

      Nope. Sierra peaks regularly record wind gusts way in excess of cat 5, though 190 is extreme. The record gust, BTW, is 198mph.

    2. Wukchumni

      Not unusual for the crest of the Sierra to get 100-150 mph winds in storms like this, but 190 mph is quite something.

      Tomorrow it’ll be in the mid 20’s and partly cloudy with bracing 16 mph winds as we break for lunch @ Mammoth and I have Kung Pao chicken @ McCoy Station.

      1. caucus99percenter

        It’s more than a half century ago now, but I recall one time not feeling so great, feeling like I was coming down with a cold. That evening some friends and I went to a Chinese restaurant. The spicy dish I ordered somehow stimulated my system and warmed me up so much that the cold never developed.

        After that, I was in the habit of singing the Lovin’ Spoonful song “Jug Band Music” to myself, with the titular phrase changed to “Kung Pao Chicken” … “♫ The doctor said, give him Kung Pao Chicken, it seems to make him feel just fine.”

        1. Wukchumni

          I guess i’ve had Chinese food in say 20 different countries, and it really varies quite a bit.

          My favorite was a restaurant in Vienna with beautiful artwork on the walls, and Chinese waiters barking out orders to the kitchen in German, and the food was so good.

      2. wilroncanada

        Mt Washington in New Hampshire gets similar winds. In Newfoundland’s southwest corner, in an area called the wreckhouse, the winds used to knock over railway engines ( when Newfoundland had a railway).

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Tactics and strategy in the war with Hezbollah ”

    ‘To date, 237 fighters have been killed, along with 44 Lebanese civilians, according to AFP figures. By comparison, 10 IDF soldiers and six Israeli civilians have died.’

    The Jerusalem Post may be gilding the lily here. You can bet that it is a helluva lot more dead Israeli soldiers than they let on. Came across an article a little while ago talking about how the Israelis are having serious manpower issues due in large part to the heavy casualties that they are having in Gaza. And if this is true of Gaza, then you can bet that it is also true for the Lebanese border-

    Strange that we never hear of groups tracking Israeli deaths going by funerals, obituaries, etc. like they do for Russia.

    1. Paradan

      From the few videos I’ve seen, it looks like Hezbollah is mostly going after surveillance and communications infrastructure. I think it’s more of an attrition/pocketbook strategy as opposed to blinding and prepping the field.

    2. flora

      This para caught my attention:

      “Just one day ago, Israel’s Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, called to end draft exemptions for members of the ultra-Orthodox community. Gallant said he would only support legislation allowing for continued exemptions if all members of the ruling coalition backed it.”

      If the IDF starts drafting the ultra-Orthodox kids it’s game over for Bibi’s coalition, imo, (and Bibi loses next election and goes to jail). And if the IDF can’t win without drafting those kids it might be civil war time.

  10. Wukchumni

    Gooooooooooood Moooooooorning Fiatnam!

    MRE too movement was completed for a tiny percentage of Palestinians in need of a meal that is engineered to make you go to the bathroom less, on account of them being battlefield rations.

    The IDF hailed this as an amazing breakthrough in using less toilet paper, with of course Nobel peace prize implications to be considered, but how do you award a C-130 with such an honor?

    It’s almost as complicated as giving Obama a Nobel for peace just before we hit some country half way around the world with depleted uranium rounds, hey if the carnage doesn’t do you in, the radiation will.

  11. antidlc

    Wow. Ashish Jha has a whole set of tweets re: the CDC guidance.

    It starts here:

    Here is the 5th one in the set:

    Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
    In 2024, that burden of isolation hasn’t changed

    But the benefit has — it just matters far less

    98% of the population has at least some immunity

    Incidence of Long Covid is way down

    And we have widely available effective treatments for high risk folks


    Incidence of Long Covid is way down? Really? Because he says so?

        1. Wukchumni

          Death Wish VI plot

          An AI Charles Bronson runs rampant through the USA, shredding guidance protocol, it just doesn’t matter-it just doesn’t matter!

    1. JBird4049

      >>>Incidence of Long Covid is way down? Really? Because he says so?

      Oh, who gives a fig? As with the Bread Flour Massacre, the lies are merely pro forma cow flop, done merely to give the smallest of fig leafs for the credulous, sycophantic, and barbaric tools to accept these obvious crimes and lies, and the darkest of acts. Perhaps by being such obvious liars, they are also deliberately showing just how much contempt they have for both the truth and morality, not to mention for anyone not of their own morally diseased clique.

      As it is, if the CDC or the IDF said that the Sun rose in the East and set in the West, I would check that fact. They best not hope that there is an afterlife with karma.

    2. Socal Rhino

      In a short span of time I saw him post that you should, like him, listen to the experts all of whom agree with him and not some random dude on Twitter, followed by him commenting on a tweet from Eric Topol at Scripps which was highly critical of the new relaxed guidelines and was supported by data on viral shedding over time.

      1. flora

        Thanks, lyman alpha blob. I didn’t know about this and how serious it is for these areas. Good on ’em. Volunteering for community service. Very civic minded. / :)

  12. timbers

    Piers Morgan vs. John Mearsheimer

    Watched this because I like John Mearsheimer

    John Mearsheimer has a flaw and it shows in this interview. Piers Morgan in superficial Western News style mows over John Mearsheimer. Piers starts out with a rant with a LONG list of why Putin is a lying violent dictator who randomly kills folks for no reason and Ukraine is free peaceful Western democracy, and demands to know why Mearsheimer can be so deluded in his views. So that set things up not in Mearsheimer’s favor. Piers also keeps changing topics, preventing Mearsheimer going into any depth on any topic. Mearsheimer ignores most of Pier’s rant and tries to focus on a single topic which appears to be “there is no evidence Putin wants all of Ukraine and Europe” but he is not impressive, nor does he get to say what he probably wanted to talk about. IMO Mearsheimer falls flat, because he never mentions 2014 onward, never challenges the Western narrative, which had he done, would allow him to challenge Piers opening narrative and turn the tables on Piers regarding who is the aggressor and who is the defender, or at a minimum add context that at least makes the Western narrative seem one sided.

    Mearsheimer is great but a bit too void of a moral anchor. He claims to be a realist, but if you ignore context facts and history you have no moral compass, it can allow someone like Piers to trot the line that history started on Feb 29 2022, and therefore Russia is just killing folks and invading nations for no reason but Putin’s evilness.

    Mearsheimer improves towards the end when the topic moves to Gaza.

    1. Roger Boyd

      Mearsheimer is a US patriot who truly believes in something called the “US National Interest” and is embedded within the Foreign Policy Academic Industrial Complex. There are limits on what he can say, and fundamentally he supports actions to MAGA. i.e. much more effective Offshore Balancing and much less highly inefficient and ineffective wars and handing over Middle East foreign policy to the Zionists. He is no friend of the opponents of the US, he just wants a much more measured and sane US Foreign Policy.

      What he has never understood, or cannot due to his deep ideological beliefs, is that US foreign policy is completely sane if viewed as for the benefit of the US Oligarch class who rely on their ability to extract wealth from the rest of the world and from the US state and the US population.

    2. Es s Ce tera

      Mearsheimer is a prof, a teacher, an academic. So, like Morgan, is accustomed to speaking at length and uninterrupted but, unlike Morgan, to build an evidenced case over the course of an hour or so, with an introduction, a body, a conclusion, and using logic rather than rhetoric (because an academic audience knows all the logical fallacies and rhetorical devices).

      It’s kind of silly to take an interview with Piers Morgan without some prep and a plan to dominate him, which is the only strategy available against his particular set of tactics as you’ve described them. But this presents a dilemma for someone like Mearsheimer – do you abandon logic, academic rigour and go for rhetoric, thus degrading your own status as an academic, your own principles? Someone like Piers demands that an interviewee abandon their own principles, sacrifice at the altar of untruth.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Someone like Piers demands that an interviewee abandon their own principles, sacrifice at the altar of untruth.

        So why should an interviewee do that interview? Morgan is essentially an establishment tool isn’t he? A high profile, very visible, and therefore possibly useful one, but if you have to humiliate yourself, what is the point?

        Even now, there are interviewers with some visibility and integrity although not of Morgan’s viewership. Take the hit in visibility, but in exchange, you can present your views well. Get a good interviewer with integrity, even one who strongly disagrees with you, and you will likely make a better case than anticipated because of the questioning being used to better explain your views. No matter how good your argument or case is, honestly answering honest questions will improve it or at least your ability to clearly explain it.

        This comment is becoming a rant, but really, it is boring as heck to me to listen to some tricky, smooth talking, master of jive who can talk for hours while saying nothing, but still often obfuscating, confusing, and enraging very well. It is mental and emotional crack or meth that gets you get feel all good and righteous, but it makes you stupid and more ignorant than you were before you listened or read the fraudster. And the older I get, the less patience and the greater anger I have for it.

      2. steppenwolf fetchit

        I will never be famous enough to be on Pier’s Morgan’s show, or any other show. So I don’t really know what I would really do if I were on such a show and were treated that way.

        I like to think I would do the following . . . when Morgan ( or whomever) interrupted me I would stop speaking and if/when Morgan ( or whomever) asked me why I wasn’t saying anything or invited me to say something, I would say that the interruption derailed my train of thought, i can’t remember what I was going to say, and oh well. Let Morgan ( or whomever) deal with the dead air on his own.

      3. Michael Fiorillo

        I don’t think they necessarily have to abandon their own principles. By directly challenging the always-flawed premise(s) of those leading questions, they can put their interlocutor off balance and have a better chance of setting the terms of the discussion. Galloway did a skilled and entertaining job of it.

    3. pjay

      It takes a special talent to stay on topic and avoid getting side-tracked or thrown off by a skilled ambush interviewer with a partisan agenda. George Galloway demonstrated that skill the other night. Jeffery Sachs is very good at it – which is probably why we don’t see him much anymore on mainstream media. But there are a lot of good, smart people whose arguments get overwhelmed by the framing, interruptions, and leading questions of such interviewers. I agree with Roger Boyd that Mearsheimer’s ideological boundaries sometimes limit his ability to respond in the most effective manner as well. He does well in a format more conducive to actual debate, which is not the case here.

    4. Feral Finster

      When debating anyone like Piers Morgan, you should start from the assumption that they are not interested in a dispassionate examination of facts or in playing fair and to proceed accordingly.

  13. IMOR

    Re: yahoo news article’s denigration of caucuses.
    A good friend attended the Idaho ‘caucus’. It was actually a primary in mufti: no discussion, no winnowing, just marking one ballot one time and exiting. This goes back to a controversy among republicans in the legislature and the rank and file over which method to use that has seen the party do at least one 360° since 2008.

    1. Eric Anderson

      Idaho’s “republican” party is in total disarray. The Christian nationalist wing pulled huge upsets over the old school reaganites 4 yrs ago. This election cycle is the backlash. Currently there is a referendum on the ballot for rank choice voting which seems to have wide support. And, because republicans closed their primaries in a state where democrats are never a threat, huge numbers of democrats are registered republicans in the state — most of the rural ones anyway, where you can’t even get elected to a school board as a democrat (especially a school board come to think about it).

      Case in point, on paper, I’m a republican. So, what we’ll see in the general will basically be a coalition of mainstream republicans band democrats vs. The Christian nationalists.

      Wait, what’s that I hear? Is it the thunder of footsteps among the commentariat to pack up and move to Idaho perhaps?

    2. scott s.

      That is the way Hawaii R caucus works. Ds do it mail in with ranked choice. There was a bill this session to create a gov’t run preference vote that wouldn’t bind delegates but I think it died in committee.

  14. Es s Ce tera

    re: How Israel defied ICJ provisional measures, one month on Middle East Eye

    “Three days later, 67 Palestinians were killed during an Israeli assault on Rafah. The attack targeted 14 homes and three mosques, and survivors told MEE they were shot at by Israeli quadcopters while sheltering inside displacement tents. ”

    This seems like a significant development. I don’t recall seeing any reports that Israel, or any country for that matter, is using quad copters in sniper roles – especially against non-combatants, but even against combatants.

    It does seem like exactly the kind of weapon Israel would develop, however, since it specializes in population terror and control. I don’t think this bodes well for the world, as this WILL be exported, especially to malignant state and non-state actors. This being Israel, it has an established predisposition to sell tech which promotes fascistic uses, especially as it now transforms into the axis of genocidal evil, has no qualms about being the international bad guy.

    1. Tom Stonet

      Quadcopters armed with remote controlled firearms have been around since @ 2010, they are useful for assassinations and terror attacks on Civilians as well as poaching.

      1. JBird4049

        Any AI controlled ones yet? “It wasn’t us that wiped out the hospitals, schools, ambulances, and school buses, it was those poor autonomous killbots following proper procedures. It is just too bad that their memory storage was lost after those terrorists shot them down. But they were following procedures, trust us.”

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Israel may have just torched its relationship with Russia, promising to supply Ukraine with ‘early-warning systems’ ”

    Strange this when you consider how many came from Russia to Israel over the decades. But i think this aggressiveness to Russia is coming from the Likud more than anyone else and who have actually threatened Russia. I mean seriously, inviting a contingent of Azov people to Israel was never going to be seen favourably by the Russians. And the Russians noted when a coupla thousand Israelis left the front lines in the Ukraine to return to Israel after the October attack. But if the Israelis want to challenge a superpower, who am I to disagree? Israel may control the US Senate and House but unfortunately for them, they have zip control of the Russian Federal Assembly. But that video of Amir Weitmann – the head of the libertarian caucus in Israel’s ruling Likud Party – shows how far this party has gone down the rabbit hole. Does he know that Israel is not actually a superpower at all? Is anyone game to tell him?

    1. Wukchumni

      America is merely Israel-adjacent.

      How we got to this point where we could let our country go to shit-really a laughingstock of a place where things that used to reliably work, aren’t so much anymore.

      How would the populace react that in lieu of giving it to the Israelis, there was a proposal to go even further into debt by ginning up $17 Billion to create a latter-day CCC, which was by the way, by far the most popular of all of FDR’s alphabet soup efforts.

      We wouldn’t know what hit us…

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        We wouldn’t have to go into $17 billion debt for a latter-day CCC if we just authorised the Dept. of Treasury to print the bills to give to the FedGov to spend on a latter-day CCC.

        Would there be other implications of outright-printing and spending $17 billion of money on a latter-day CCC? That’s something for smarter people than me to debate. Once the $17 billion had been spent on CCC-created real wealth enhancement, I suppose taxes could be raised on the upper class just enough to take in $17 billion from those upper class taxpayers, and then ritually burned so that the printed-for-CCC $17 billion would be cancelled out in units-of-money terms after having been spent, and the inflationary ” dilution-of-the-value of all the other dollars” would not happen. Would that work in theory, if it were done in practice?

    2. Es s Ce tera

      I think this development might either be in response to Putin recently inviting Palestinian and other ME states to talks on Gaza, which I speculated might lead to some embarrassment for the west, or Putin invited these parties with foreknowledge that Israel was about to signal this major alignment shift.

      I’m leaning towards the latter.

      It seems counterproductive for Israel at this juncture to force Russia out of its thus-far neutrality ballet. We’ve had very many strong hints as to which side Russia would fall on the issue. Russia will now take the side of obvious good versus manifestly obvious evil.

      I’m puzzled as to why Israel would do this. What is the gain? Does the pro-genocide collective west imagine that with Russia coming out against genocide, they’ll be able to orchestrate the switching of sides? That if Russia is against Israel, and if Russia is bad, that Israel’s genocidal cause must somehow become good? If that’s the thinking, I’m afraid covid must have gotten to them…

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Isn’t the USA running around trying to find money and arms for Ukraine wherever they can find them? The Biden administration seems to have no higher priority than to continue the Ukraine fiasco, so maybe part of the price for the continued arms and UN support in the face of international and domestic pressure is for Israel to provide these systems. And conversely, Israel is willing to pay any price to continue their genocide, so risking its relationship with Russia is nothing compared to losing American arms, money and cover.

    3. Carolinian

      Perhaps the Likudniks want to rekindle the Cold War as an excuse for their expansionism. It (the war, not kindling) worked the first time.

      Also there doesn’t seem to be a lot of thinking going on in the Israeli govt these days.The plan is there is no plan,.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        If the Likudniks now work for the Messianic Hallucinators, then the motive would be to invite Russia into active engagement in the Armageddon War; playing the role of Gog or Magog or whomever the Book of Revelation could be said to have named.

        Because it is now the Messianic Hallucinator motives which matter, not any separate motives which their Likud captives might have separately held. I think that is one of the points of Ehud Olmert’s article.

  16. Neutrino

    Stoller’s article and comments made for instructive reading and much historical context.
    Looking at the various players, I got a laugh out of one group: McChrystal, McCabe and Clapper. They could market themselves as the Three Horse’s Asses of the Acrapolypse, showing the staying power of prevarication.

    1. Adam Eran

      Amen to that. Stoller makes a convincing case that racism (using the same arguments that buttress Jim Crow) trumps regional resistance to Wall St, which previously unified the South behind FDR.

  17. Alice X

    ~The Flour Massacre – and the weasel words that followed, NYT et all.

    I linked this piece yesterday but would like to re-emphasize the interview with an IOF colonel by an British journo who wouldn’t have the weasel words that followed. It starts about 2:14.

    Host FED UP With Israel’s Gaza Massacre Spin The Majority Report w/ Sam Seder

    1. Wukchumni

      Auschwitz headline in NYT-ese

      ‘Day camp has fewer arrivals than departures in peak season’

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        “For Waffen SS at Reichstag: Hope and Hardship”

        Given the times, they almost write themselves.

      2. Alice X

        Mon Wukchumni – you have penetrated a mind incomprehensible without a keen mind observing. Mon cheri

    2. Cetzer

      Here in Germany mainstream media called it (“The Flour Massacre”) a “Tragödie” ~ tragedy. The next massacre then might be weasel-worded Missgeschick ~ mishap or Malheur¹ ~ slip-up.
      It’s all so disgusting – Now I wanna sniff some glue .

      ¹From French, in German reserved for rather harmless or even funny accidents

  18. Screwball

    US Presidential Election — A Reinstatement of the Jerry Springer Show. Angry Tirades

    I got a kick out of the article. It’s nice for a little humor these days. Speaking of the upcoming election…

    If nothing changes (candidates) between now and November, this election may go down as one of the ugliest ones ever. By ugly, what I mean is how will people react to the outcome. Why would I say that?

    Between personal conversations with people, and what I read online, I think the anxiety meter is as high as it’s ever been. And without a doubt, the media and politicians are not done whipping up the frenzied masses.

    For example; in a conversation the other day someone said they found both parties lacking and were going to vote 3rd party. They were immediately scolded and put down for being so ignorant not to vote for Joe Biden – because democracy. In another case someone said the very same thing and they were told to move to Russia since they loved Putin so much. Another piled on and said anyone not voting for Biden should not only move to Russia, but should be sent to Siberia. A little out there don’t you think?

    Crazy? No, not at all. These people believe that. They think if Trump is elected it is literally the end of the world. Excuse my language, but the best way to put it is – they are scared $hitless. These people are starting to see that Biden is toast to Trump and they can’t deal with it. The are spinning themselves into blue goo trying poo poo the pols, remind everyone how great Biden is and how much he has accomplished – and how dare anyone not see this and want to rush out and vote for him. Even more reason – TRUMP – the Orange Hitler. OMG!!!! The end of the world as we know it.

    When I think it can’t get any worse, it does. These are the same people who, during COVID, wished people dead for not following their orders. Think the Jan 6 people should be executed, believe Putin is in control of half of congress, and the democrats are the only people who know how to govern and care about you.

    Of course the other side is pretty much the same, and with history (Jan 6), so here we are. I don’t think this ends well. How many cites will be burning the day after the election? Stay safe all.

    1. Lena

      I am experiencing the same conversations. The TDS is rampant and the Biden apologists are twisting themselves into pretzels. I want to tell them they are every bit as blind, brainwashed and bats*** crazy as any Trump supporter but it’s useless.

      1. Screwball

        It is useless. There is nothing you can say to these people. Nothing. I can’t believe what I hear these days – it’s off the charts crazy. What’s ever crazier, they think we are the nutjobs. So much of their narrative revolves around how stupid the other side is. So much of their time is wasted ridiculing, mocking, and trashing everybody that isn’t them. The hate is off the charts. I think it’s worse than I ever witnessed in my 67 years on this rock.

        This can’t end well.

        1. Lena

          I agree. I’m in the Midwest, definitely not PMC, but a lot of people I know are. They have convinced themselves that Biden is doing an amazing job, that he still has a brain and that the economy is fabulous. They are all about freedom of speech except when it comes to talking about genocide in Gaza. They hate fascism but can’t really define it. Their minds are full of stereotypes of people they don’t know but hate anyway, like people who eat at diners or wear baseball caps. Yeah, those fascist Putin loving ‘MAGA people’.

          I happen to love diners. I also love baseball. I think Biden’s economy is a failure, he’s a war criminal and he’s not mentally or physically fit to be president. So does that make me a fascist? A Russian asset? Does it make me stupid? Does it make me someone who wants Trump to be reelected? I’m not a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter. I’m someone who wants a better choice. I’m someone who wants an end to poverty and forever wars.

          This is going to be one very bad election year here in flyover land.

          1. Screwball

            I’m from the Midwest too, rural Ohio to be exact. I couldn’t agree with you more. The only crack in their narrative I have noticed is the Gaza thing. The Isreal/Gaza topic is one that seems to divide almost everyone, no matter if you wear red or blue.

            When the conversation turns to Gaza, you see cracks in the narrative. I listened to conversation the other day where a guy made a good case about the genocide in Gaza. That didn’t go over very well, and others got really nasty for that to even be suggested. At one point this person was challenged to show or prove any such thing. That’s not to hard to do IMO, but this person claimed there is zero evidence of such. Really? What are you reading, and where?

            That’s part of the problem. They live in a bubble of their own making, and they refuse to look, read, or believe anything outside that bubble. Everything they don’t like is fake news. Who? Can’t believe them, get out of here with that.

            Gaza is only one example. The economy is another. You can cite economic data from all kinds of sources but it gets poo-pooed. Same with polling data – you can’t believe that either.

            They are so arrogant. How can anyone possible question them. Today was a conversation on how the CDC has done a bang up job on COVID and between people getting infected and the vaccines we are almost at herd immunity and the virus is whipped. Really? Again, this fits their arrogance, but not their logic. They are so smart they are following the science, but can’t fathom the science is at the mercy of money.

            It is truly amazing. It’s like they live in an alternative universe and the rest of us know nothing. It makes me want to scream.

            I like diners and baseball too. Maybe these arrogant know-it-alls should get to know us deplorables here in fly-over country. They might find out we are not as bad as they think. Na, never gonna happen. They have to have someone to hate and blame everything on – that would be us.

            Heck, as posted above, they just wrote a book about us; White rural rage – The threat to American Democracy.


          2. Jason Boxman

            Does liberal moral superiority rankle people there? It certainly rankles me. It’s such transparent drivel, I can only conclude liberal Democrats are functionally stupid.

            1. Screwball

              Good question Jason. Yes, but I’ve always been rankled by people like that. That’s on me. I should not be bothered with it, but that’s not my makeup. I wish it were.

              I’m in the STEM field so not trained in psychology. I really don’t understand what makes these people tick. I seriously don’t get it. But I guess that makes me just like them – they think I know nothing – and I think the same of them. Where do we go from here?

              I think an old movie line kind of applies here (for me). From the Outlaw Josie Wales; don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        Maybe it’s time for US to take some notes . . . from the strange case (as Rod Serling might have said) of George Galloway — showing that there is an alternative after all — and that, if enough of us common people have the courage of our shared convictions, it is still possible to cast the gods of the TPTB pantheon out . . . into the Twilight Zone. . . .

  19. tegnost

    A while back I posted a link from the same paper about amazon packages taking so much space they had to build a tent to hold them and I thought to myself “What, no thank you letter from bezos?”
    Here’s a chance for biden to do something that his globalist privatising donors don’t want him to do.
    C’mon man! Let’s see some action! Put your money where your mouth is genocide joe!

    1. Oak Parker

      It’s easier to put your spending where your idealism is
      to help flush Genocide Joe.

      Except for food, energy and essentials, stop buying stuff until next February,
      after the new president is sworn in. Marie Kondo was actually a revolutionary if you examine the consequences of a buyer’s strike on the current administration.

      Speed the already here, per Michael Hudson, BidenDepression, to help vanquish the human husk.

  20. Wukchumni

    About 25 years ago i’m driving in the slow lane of a 2 lane road in Glendale, Ca. and coming in my would-be fast lane is a car going the wrong way, and it passed me in an instant and I looked back to see it veer off the road to avoid a head-on collision into a grassy knoll where it came to a halt, and the driver had good placement as the Fire Dept was about 400 feet away from the scene of the decline of driving abilities, the perp was an older woman in her 80’s, dazed & confused but otherwise ok.

    We take away driving rights at a certain age when things become manifest, why not the same with our leadership?

    1. Paradan

      No one over the age 65 is allowed to run for re-election.

      That way if your 70, after having spent your life in politics, you finally have a shot at a seat in the Senate, you can present yourself to the voters and crown your career with a term in the Senate.

      1. LifelongLib

        My understanding is that power in the Senate is based on seniority, so you’re better off getting elected as young as you can so you have time to build that up. States would try to have a senator with a lot of seniority and a younger one building seniority who could step up when the older one retired or died.

  21. Screwball

    Off topic but an observation about TV. I don’t watch much TV, and last night reminded me why. I decided to see what was on found a movie I wanted to watch. About an hour or so in I thought; there sure is a bunch of commercials. So I decided to time them. Took out my phone and did so. 7 minutes and 15 seconds of commercials to 9 minutes and 45 seconds of movie. I think the channel was TNT.

    I turned it off.

    1. marieann

      I did something similar with magazines, I counted the pages of ads, 60% of the magazine was advertising…..and people PAY for this!!

    2. griffen

      Yep, episodes of the series on Paramount, Yellowstone when I was watching or had recorded the episodes might run for 1 hr 15 minutes but goodness the commercial gaps seemed endless. One of the few reasons I really do not consume much on regular or cable television anymore. One night of programming might have a hospital show, a fire department show and a police station show. Variety.

      It’s getting close to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, and games that might finish in 2 hours or so are going to stretch out to 2.5 hours. All those “corporate champions” gotta support the NCAA!

      1. Martin Oline

        I lived for many years without a TV and did not miss it. In fact when visiting acquaintances the blaring TV would be very upsetting to me. When I remarried a TV in the house was a required item. She paid for the ‘service’ and now it includes a DVR which is essential for me. Our standard practice is to record something and then replay later which allows us to FF through commercials. Streaming services do not allow this so the only option is to mute the commercials.
        I remember when cable first came out they said you had to pay because it was commercial free. This went the way of the classic three promises.

        1. marieann

          I stopped watching TV because of the commercials. I would knit or do handwork while I was watching and would mute the commercial…..then I’d forget to unmute it

          Eventually I got fed up with missing parts of the programme, so then my husband started recording them for me and would take out the commercials…and dial down the background music.

          I also stopped watching new shows and when the ones I liked got cancelled my TV list dwindled, I gave up and now get my TV shows at the library

          1. El Slobbo

            What’s all this about muting the commercials? The commercials are the parts worth watching, being of much higher quality than the programming. The high point of the Capitalist Realist art form.
            On the other hand, I don’t have a TV.

        2. Vandemonian

          I have a server on my home network running a DIY streaming app called Plex. The server holds several terabytes of movies and shows that I seem to have accumulated from here and there*. I can stream what I want when I want to either my AppleTV or a smart TV.

          Last night I finished re-watching Guys and Dolls. My goodness, people could really dance in those days!

          *VPN is your friend.

        3. griffen

          Streaming services…kinda slow on a Sunday here, so I turned into something on the Netflix. Foreign film, suggested by a family member….30 minutes and thought nah, this is the film “Deliverance” but set in Sweden or Switzerland where the city dwellers take on the local hunter gatherers…hint, if dubbed over with English make it so the spoken English matches to the closed captions.

          Bill Burr has a fantastically funny comedy special, which made a better selection. Not sure his comedy is suited to every taste, however.

      2. scott s.

        You only need to watch the last 5 minutes (game clock time) of NCAA BB tourney (which actually runs about 30 mins). That’s why hockey is better.

        1. Steven A Semple

          I think it is worse than that. A few years ago I recorded the last two minutes of an NCAA Tournament BB game. I timed the recording and it was 28 minutes to the final gun. The game was close and intentional fouls and team time-outs put a huge drag on the clock. Yes, hockey is better but soccer is best. It’s almost alway over in two hours.

  22. antidlc
    CDC director on new COVID guidance ending 5-day isolation

    video and transcript at the link

    Dr. Mandy Cohen:

    So, one, I want to say, remember, vaccines and treatment continue to protect folks.

    Amna Nawaz:

    But, to be fair, the vaccine can obviously prevent serious illness, but it doesn’t prevent spread of COVID.

    Will people isolating for a shorter amount of time potentially add to the spread of the virus?

    Dr. Mandy Cohen:

    Well, the good news is, when you get vaccinated, right, you are both less likely to go into the hospital, but you’re also less likely to get long COVID, and you are less likely to get this virus overall, right?

    And, look, the folks who are vulnerable, they were top of mind for us at CDC as we were thinking about this guidance. We all know someone who’s at higher risk, over 65 or immunocompromised. I have them in my own family. So we were thinking about them as we did this guidance.

    We think we found the balance to protecting the most vulnerable and having this clear and simple way for most folks to protect themselves.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Thanks for attending to this so that I don’t have to.

      It feels like the CDC’s approach to interpreting the pandemic to us ignorant rubes is sort of like the MSM items I see crowing about how badly Ukraine is kicking the stuffing out of the RF Black Sea fleet. All the while the UAF land army continues to bleed out into the rich black earth of the Donbas, at an annual irrecoverable casualty rate that is, intriguingly, comparable (within an order of magnitude) to the ongoing US irrecoverable COVID casualty rate.

      Nuke the CDC, and then do the things Lambert has suggested to what is left.

  23. Tim Lee

    ‘Everyone is terrified of King Gavin’ Wouldn’t be too worried about him. He’s a grandstanding phoney working for the Carpenter’s Union and banks ready to lend tax backed dollars to developers.

    His two decades of failure and turning California into the magnet that attracts 40% of America’s homeless, and a majority of the ‘migrants’ is his legacy. He’s facing another recall.

    “In 10 years”, he pledged on June 30, 200 4, “the worst of San Francisco’s homeless problem would be gone.”

    “The most seriously ill homeless people would be moved indoors, clearing downtown streets of in-your-face transients who were startling residents and tourists alike. Emergency shelters would cease to exist because nobody would need them, he said. And new arrivals to the streets would be helped immediately.”

    As to The youngest son of Asia’s richest man is getting married, the son of Asia’s SECOND richest man, Lawrence Liu, is already married to San Francisco mayor London Breed, a progressive woman of color.
    San Francisco’s where the elite plot their schemes and launch mediocrites into power, under the guise of helping the impoverished. One’s just heartbeats away from the White House.

    1. Glenda

      Newsom – His two decades of failure and turning California into the magnet that attracts 40% of America’s homeless, and a majority of the ‘migrants’ is his legacy.

      Studies show that most all homeless grew up near where they shelter. Newsom is just getting ahead of the movement for treatment hospitals and housing.
      The huge death statistics in and near homeless camps is obviously due to the lack of treatment beds in a secure setting for people with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) with self-medication with street drugs. Fentynal has become a leading death both on the street and else where of poor people. Addicts do not stay put very long in Voluntary settings, and go back to the streets for their drugs.
      While this Prop 1 bill will NOT solve homelessness (duh), it will attempt to transfer funds to the most disabled from the feel-good cheap efforts in the varouls counties. It will be a huge challenge to steer the slow ship of govt. towards real help for the most ill, but if we don’t try to fix it, it will just lumber on.

    1. flora

      Wow. So Judkis writes for the WaPo which is owned by Bezos who also owns Amazon. During the lockdown Amazon stock soared. So no big deal to Amazon owner Bezos if more brick and mortar stores, aka real stores go out of business. That means more business for Amazon and profits for him! Judkis knows who her boss is.

      It’s her extra dollop of sanctimony aimed at the owners and customers and employees and neighborhoods of the stores closing that’s disgusting. If there are moral lepers in her story it isn’t the people complaining about shoplifting.

  24. antidlc

    A little background on Change Healthcare, the company that was cyber attacked…

    From 2021:
    AHA Urges DOJ to Investigate UnitedHealth Group’s Acquisition of Change Healthcare

    In a letter to the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, the American Hospital Association expresses concern with UnitedHealth Group’s proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare.

    From 2022:
    UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare merger trial begins

    A trial in a federal lawsuit to stop UnitedHealth Group from acquiring Change Healthcare kicked off today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Department of Justice, joined by Minnesota and New York, this year challenged the proposed merger, alleging that the $13 billion transaction would harm competition in commercial health insurance markets and in the market for a vital technology used to process claims and reduce health care costs. AHA had urged DOJ to investigate the proposed acquisition, and continued to express serious concern that any remedy could resolve the transaction’s anticompetitive impact.

    Later in 2022:
    Judge denies U.S. bid to stop UnitedHealth plan to buy Change

    A U.S. judge on Monday denied the Justice Department’s bid to stop UnitedHealth Group (UNH.N), from buying Change Healthcare (CHNG.O) in a blow to the U.S. administration’s tougher enforcement of antitrust issues.

    Change shares rose 7% after the close of trading.

    The Justice Department had filed a lawsuit in February aimed at stopping the $8 billion acquisition, saying the deal would give the largest U.S. health insurer access to its competitors’ data and ultimately push up healthcare costs.

  25. antidlc

    More on Change Healthcare:

    The AHA has been in communication with the FBI, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency regarding this incident.

    I had no idea Change Healthcare was so pervasive. Their website is

    On the homepage, it says:
    We’re enabling a better,
    more efficient healthcare system

    There is also a 2 minute video that describes what the company does. The company “facilitates 1/3 of all US healthcare expenditures annually” and “We process more than 15 billion transactions and approximately $1.5 trillion dollars in adjudicated claims every year.”

    About the :52 mark you can see a diagram of how Change Healthcare interacts with so many parts of the healthcare system, including pharmacies, dentists, labs, hospitals, and physicians.
    U.S. prescription drug market in disarray as ransomware gang attacks

    Change Health and a rival, CoverMyMeds, are the two biggest players in the so-called switch business, charging pharmacies a small fee for funneling claims to insurers.

    So here are some of the players involved in the prescription business:
    Pharma company
    Insurance company
    Pharmacy benefit manager
    Switch businesses (Change Health and CoverMyMeds)

  26. ArvidMartensen

    AI will have two major effects on humanity.
    The first is to finish the job of corrupting knowledge, so that nobody knows what is true or real any more.

    The other will be to corrupt morality and ethics. People will no longer have a moral compass because AI has no moral compass. So murder, theft, rape, suicide will all just become options from the big AI menu of best options in any given situation.
    Your neighbour has a new car and it’s problematical for you because you want one and can’t afford it? Some AI bot might just say that one option is to go over and take the car and off the neighbour.
    And like doctor shopping, people will indulge in AI shopping until they find the answer they were looking for.

    If AI is made by scraping all internet posts etc, then the worst of humanity will now become our new holy book of moral guidance. Which will suit the bro’s fine because that seems to be their ethics anyway.

  27. Jason Boxman

    The latest CDC guidance is rightfully seen as evil. But never forget asymptomatic spread. Even with scientifically supported 10+ day isolation, we’re still screwed without robust testing regime. The CDC should be burned to the ground.

  28. flora

    File under Gemini and ChatGPT AI:

    “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists.”

    Hannah Arendt

  29. upstater

    Norfolk Southern… 3 derailed trains at the same location; eastbound train #1 was rear-ended by train #2, westbound train #3 hit derailed cars. What a mess! Locomotives in the Lehigh River. Some incredible pictures.

    3 trains involved in Northampton County derailment that sent 2 engines and diesel fuel into Lehigh River; NTSB reveals new details [Update]

    Norfolk Southern is in a proxy battle with Ancora Holdings Group, a hedge fund that want moar PSR. They have a rogues gallery of board nominees and executives.

  30. Martin Oline

    I see that President Biden is being trolled by Russian soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine. They get bonuses for destroying western armor, bigger bonuses for more prestigious kills. It seems there are not enough Abrams tanks to go around and they are urging him to send more. They are not greedy though and are offering him the 10% kickback commission he requires. From the story:

    The soldier added that there are not enough American tanks in Ukraine for every Russian serviceman to receive their bonuses, and offered Biden a 10% commission for each tank they destroy. He also suggested that Biden should get a Russian MIR debit card to make it easier for the soldiers to send him the money.

    The video ends with the serviceman mockingly praising Biden as “a true patriot and the best US president,” while expressing hope for “a mutually beneficial partnership.” “Together, we will win!” he adds.

    Russian Soldiers Thanks Biden

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