Links 4/25/2024

Everything You Need to Know About Periodical Cicadas NC State


Japan’s Population Declines Again: Seniors 75 and Over Top 20 Million for First Time Nippon. Quite responsible.

Moment of truth looms for European green hydrogen investments S&P Global


Are low-water crops a realistic way to cut back on Colorado water use? 10 southwestern farmers are trying to find out. Colorado Sun


WHO redefines airborne transmission: what does that mean for future pandemics? Nature

The WHO’s claim that COVID wasn’t airborne cost millions of lives. Now, they’re changing the definition of airborne. The Gauntlet

The pandemic cost 7 million lives, but talks to prevent a repeat stall WaPo

* * *

Capitalism’s New Age of Plagues, Part 4 Climate and Capitalism

Vaccine breakthrough means no more chasing strains (press release) University of California at Riverside. Big if true. Readers?


Xi’s Armada Is Winning the Battle for Energy in the South China Sea Bloomberg

China trade body vows legal action over ‘unreasonable’ US Section 301 probe into Chinese shipbuilders, maritime firms South China Morning Post

Blinken calls for US, China to manage differences ‘responsibly’ ahead of talks France. China: “Hmm. So you’re saying we’re irresponsible?” This guy….


Myanmar rebel group says it withdraws from key town on Thai border Channel News Asia

Jokowi and Gibran no longer PDI-P members after backing Prabowo: Party official Channel News Asia

Philippine court blocks GMO ‘golden rice’ production over safety fears Channel News Asia


Israeli council considers issuing international arrest warrant for Netanyahu: Report. The headline is bad. From Israel’s Channel 13: “‘According to the information and indications available to senior officials in Israel, there is a possibility that the International Criminal Court in The Hague will issue arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant and Halevi,’ the channel added.”

‘An Israeli-style Wagner Group’: The ultra-Orthodox military unit in Washington’s crosshairs France24

* * *

They Knew There Was No Bomb (excerpt) Seymour Hersh. The deck: “Why Israel did not attack Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons facility.”

Sy Offers New Version of Israel’s “Strike” On Iran and an Update From Ukraine Larry Johnson, A Son of the American Revolution

* * *

Construction has not begun on US pier for Gaza, but Pentagon says it’s ‘on track’ to open in coming weeks Stars and Stripes

Israeli officials admit failure of campaign to halt funding for UNRWA: Media Anadolu Agency

Germany urges probe into mass grave reports at Gaza hospitals Anadlou Agency

Israel’s defense minister calls for halting pro-Gaza protests at US universities Anadolu Agency. Who’s the sovereign here?

Dear Old Blighty

Brexit Britain wants to be the snooping capital of the West Politico

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine lost Avdiivka because of aid delay – US National Security Advisor Ukrainska Pravda. Deploying the blame cannons….

“This is your problem now”: US leaving Ukraine for Europe to deal with – French expert InfoBrics

U.S. Aid Is a Lifeline for Ukraine’s Struggle to Hold Off Defeat WSJ

SITREP 4/24/24: Comedown After Post-Aid ‘High’ Brings West Back to Reality Simplicius the Thinker(s)

* * *

Russians carry out over 60 attacks along entire front line – Ukraine’s General Staff report Ukrainska Pravda

As Russian Troops Broke Through Ukrainian Lines, Panicky Ukrainian Commanders Had No Choice But To Deploy One Of Their Least-Prepared Brigades Forbes

* * *

US secretly sent long-range ATACMS weapons to Ukraine Al Jazeera

Ukraine to increase long-range strikes in Russia, says UK defence chief FT

Europe—but Not NATO—Should Send Troops to Ukraine Foreign Affairs

* * *

Is the Russian Federation Set to Fall Apart on Its Own? Window on Eurasia. Author is from the Jamestown Foundation, a spook cutout.

Opposition Divided over History Leading to Putin The WIlson Center

Georgia foreign agents bill draws protesters onto the streets BBC. “Sopo Gelava, a disinformation specialist with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Lab, says that pro-Kremlin Facebook pages have been spreading claims that the West is behind the protests and pushing the narrative that the US is ‘planning a coup’ in Georgia ahead of the October parliamentary elections.”

Biden Administration

Biden Praises Aid Package for Ukraine and Israel as a ‘Good Day for World Peace’ NYT

TikTok ban signed into law by President Biden: How we got here, and what comes next TechCrunch

‘Thunder Run’: Behind Lawmakers’ Secretive Push to Pass the TikTok Bill NYT

The Supremes

Testing the Major Questions Doctrine (PDF) Samuel Joyce, Stanford Environmental Law Journal

Digital Watch

Forget the AI doom and hype, let’s make computers useful The Register. That doesn’t appeal to stupid money.

AI could kill off most call centres, says Tata Consultancy Services head FT. The height of our ambitions….

Our Famously Free Press

Right-Wing Critiques Miscast NPR, NYT as Lefty Bastions FAIR

On Short-Short Blogging Random Notes. It’s nice to know there are still blogs out there, even if the platforms are attempting to starve them of readers and revenue while stealing their content. I found this through Kagi’s Small Web RSS feed. I’m not sure about Kagi as a business, but “Small Web” is a righteous endeavor.

Groves of Academe

Columbia University’s ‘Gaza encampment’ becomes centre of US stand-off FT

In Columbia chaos, student journalists stand tall Will Bunch, Philadelphia Enquirer

Speaker Johnson on Columbia visit: So many ‘rage’-filled students don’t ‘know what they’re talking about’ FOX. But Johnson, a callow youth, knows what he’s talking about because the spooks briefed him.

At least 30 protesters arrested at UT Austin: “These protesters belong in jail,” Abbott says CBS. Texas cops:

Anti-Israel agitators continue nationwide disruptions with escalations at USC, Harvard and Columbia FOX

The Final Frontier

NASA’s Voyager 1 Resumes Sending Engineering Updates to Earth NASA

Buried in the Cat’s Paw Nebula lies one of the largest space molecules ever seen

Supply Chain

More than 4,000 ship engines caught up in Japanese fuel data scandal Splash 24/7

Zeitgeist Watch

The Job of Consent The New Enquiry

What Does The U.S. Navy Need In Its Future Combatants? Naval News

Imperial Collapse Watch

How America’s Military Is Falling Apart

Tune into Your Own Brain Waves with Steve Parker’s Suspended Constellations of Salvaged Brass Colossal

Collective intelligence: A unifying concept for integrating biology across scales and substrates Nature. From the Abstract: “We explore the hypothesis that collective intelligence is not only the province of groups of animals, and that an important symmetry exists between the behavioral science of swarms and the competencies of cells and other biological systems at different scales. We then briefly outline the implications of this approach, and the possible impact of tools from the field of diverse intelligence for regenerative medicine and synthetic bioengineering.” How about political economy? Is there a discontinuity?

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Wabash Cannonball  by Roy Acuff)

    After eighty years of thievery and lies and blood and gore
    The lunatics in Tel Aviv launched atomic war
    Looking back it’s plain to see the writing on the wall
    They chose their Samson Option and the mushroom fireball

    They lost their deterrence Iran took that away
    They couldn’t empty Gaza though they bombed it night and day
    They couldn’t tackle Hezbollah they’d never win that brawl
    But they won’t live with goyim so they chose to end it all

    (musical interlude)

    The goal of the Israelis was to steal more land each day
    Their methods were quite vicious backed up by the USA
    So they nuked Beirut and Tehran and Damascus and Riyadh
    Then Istanbul and Cairo met the fiery Hand of God

    ‘Death to all the enemies of the Land of Abraham!
    Our scriptures say you’re slaves to us beneath our hexagram
    Accept your earthly role or every one of you will fall
    You’ve heard our only warning — we’ll make martyrs of you all’

    For one long afternoon the Middle East went wild with war
    There is nothing left of Israel from the river to the shore
    There is no stone atop a stone there is no path or wall
    They warned us this would happen — were you listening at all?

    1. zagonostra

      If historians look back and read Antifa’s “songs” they will say here was Cassandra come back from the past…but then again historians maybe of the Orwellian school, carefully reconstructing the past to make sure that he who controls the present continues to do so into the future.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Cassandra was doomed to have her prophecies not believed … I would say Antifa’s are believed, but just not by the “right” folks.

        Excellent work, Antifa.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Israel’s defense minister calls for halting pro-Gaza protests at US universities”

    ‘Who’s the sovereign here?’

    Well I would have said Netanyahu obviously. He owns Congress so before long you may see a new law coming from there called the Stopping Antisemitics in Universities Destroy Our Democracy Act of 2024.

    1. zagonostra

      What you say is not hyperbole, and yet…

      Zarathustra says, “‘We have invented happiness,’ say the last men, and they blink.” The people cheer, and ask Zarathustra to turn them into these last men.

    2. John

      Students protesting a threat to Israel? Tender ‘fifis’ assailed? What was that line? “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Problem is Congress, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIPAC et al, might respond.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is just Tel Aviv backing Trump. They know Biden will either attack his voters or “betray” his AIPAC donors through inaction. Biden being the Likudnik, doofus that he is didn’t realize what would happen a day simply expected to be a popular war president.

    4. Feral Finster

      Forgive me for repeating myself. If this is how the US treats the pampered children of its elites, just imagine how it will come down on poor kids if *they* ever get out of line.

      1. The Unabiker

        Last time America used conscription it featured the poor kids. Then, came the lottery, and some balance, though kids who had money could still get med deferments, or shuffle off to Acadia. Still, this imposition upon the white community had ramifications. Some reverb: the vol army, and corresponding switch to small wars (doing better with less), and then to proxy wars. Constant indirect warfare is the game anymore. Who wants big nasty wars, war economies, piles of neighbor kids in body bags, by inconvenient, and fussy war mobilization demands etc when dirty deeds can be done dirt cheap?

        1. Bill Malcolm

          That struck a chord.

          “shuffle off to Acadia”. Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, was where I attended college from ’63 to ’67. In those far off days, we had a lot of students from the so-called Boston States. Family ties, a huge number of summer homes where literal Yankees spent their summers — that phenomenon dating back to 1900 or before. The Loyalists who had left the new USA after the Revolution began, had family ties that never really broke. Nova Scotians went to Boston for employment before ever considering Toronto. The world was different.

          In any case, US students at Acadia U vied for part-time Canadian government jobs. Through some quirk of US law, an American employed by furriners was regarded as “lost” and probably treasonous — couldn’t be called up to fight in Nam. So, each residence had mail service, and there was a position for a sorter in each one, paid by Canada Post. Probably about $1 a day, since a letter was only a nickel stamp. Americans got all these jobs, er, somehow. Since our varsity basketball team was Canadian champ in ’65, it was a bit peculiar that the starting five were all American, as was the coach. And thus you, a mere peon, could get your mail in your slot sorted by a BMOC.

          Now, watching students of the elite (as discussed in much detail on entry “requirements” here on NC) at US Ivy League universities getting arrested for Wrong Thought by police thugs, I note that the powers that be are getting out in front of the trend to exercise an American citizen’s right to free speech. Nope, speech is not free if it doesn’t meet the Biden/Blinken standard of total fealty to Netanyahu. The Thought Police have arrived early this time around, and over a million Palestinians will soon grotesquely croak.

          Both Speaker Johnson and dear old Donnie Trump seem to have been turned by the Deep State recently into simpering twits fully on board with the current US foreign policy “line”. So, it’s time for all to fall in line or be ruined and live in a tent and crap in the gutter. America, land of the free!

          And no, it’s no better here or in Blighty, especially not in Germany, and in Frahnce under Micron, who the hell knows.

  3. Patrick Donnelly

    Japan lost so many in WWII, yet its ratio of centenarians is remarkable and far exceeds any other nation.

    Proteases …

    1. gk

      Tsutomu Yamaguchi only made it to his 90s. Maybe that was because he survived both Hiroshima and Nagasaki….

  4. digi_owl

    “Brexit Britain wants to be the snooping capital of the West Politico”

    I get the increasing impression that Britain is divided between London and all the rest. And if they could basically border off the rest and leave it to rot, London would do so in a heartbeat.

    1. Carolinian

      Tow London and DC out into the mid Atlantic and they can date. Paris and NYC can make it a double date.

      Long ago when I toured Europe London was my favorite city. Now that they have a lipstick building and a giant Ferris Wheel the Medieval charm may be gone.

      Not that we Americans should be giving anyone lectures on urban culture. Indeed if the world is imitating our fast food–as described yesterday–something may be amiss.

      1. digi_owl

        Best i can tell about that fast food thing, having grown up roughly around the relevant time, is that used to mean the nation had made it into the big leagues somehow. Become blessed with part of the Americana previously only seen in Hollywood exports and heard about from those that could afford the trip.

        I think perhaps the much ballyhooed European boomer generation was particularly susceptible to this, as US “culture” exports showed a nation almost drowning in affluence, where every teenager had their own car, while they themselves struggled with post-war rebuilding and import controls.

        1. Carolinian

          Godard: “the children of Marx and CocaCola.” To us over here the irony is that we view these restaurants as peasant food–which may no longer thrive when they become more expensive–and find it odd that sophisticated Europeans would see anything in it. Walmart supercenters next?

          When I traveled in Europe I was always disappointed to encounter American style features like supermarkets in France. Now they even have a Disneyland. Stop imitating us?

          1. Uwe

            Walmart supercenters next?

            We already had Walmart for roughly a decade in Germany. They could not compete and eventually withdrew.

  5. digi_owl

    “Forget the AI doom and hype, let’s make computers useful The Register. That doesn’t appeal to stupid money.”

    What is needed is a deliberate division between home/personal computing and “industrial” computing. More and more i am seeing home computers being infested with tools and parts that only make sense when doing computing on an industrial scale. And the result is that the home computer becomes controlled by anyone other than the supposed “owner”.

    1. Carolinian

      Well yes that was what the “personal computer revolution” was supposed to be about. But I’d say there are still enogh holes in those garden walls to make it still true.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Started with Microsoft Office turning Word into bloatware. In the early ’90s Microsoft decided that no one could possibly be satisfied with a lean, mean Word that created well formatted letters and short documents that were under 10kb in size. By the turn of the century it was impossible to create a letter in word smaller than 20kb, the interface was a kludgy nightmare and the extra kilobytes were all bad code that got worse with each new version. Worst of all, new Word documents could not be read by old versions of Word.

      Open source fixes most of these problems. All non-proprietary software should be open source. All basic data and word processing software should be open source. Every document and database should be readable by every application.

      If we ever manage to knock predatory capitalism to the ground, do not stop kicking until it’s really truly most completely dead.

      1. digi_owl

        Microsoft knows very well that their leverage is the Office file formats.

        Why they basically sabotaged the ODF standardization process with OOXML, that is basically impossible to implement correctly without knowing MS Office internals.

      2. scott s.

        I use LibreOffice, but IMO has plenty of bloat in it. What it “lacks” is the subscription model and cloud.

        OTOH, I do use MS Visual Studio Community (free) edition which does rely on Azure, and VS Code along with Github desktop. All help immensely, though we do use open source CMake for our C++ build environment (CMake co-exists with VS/VS Code).

      1. scott s.

        OK but I run AI “Whisper” speech to text open source on my personal computer using NVidia CUDA. I guess it could run on the CPU if you want to run a job all night. As it is I only have 6 Gb graphics RAM which is the limiting factor on running large model.

        Like a lot of the AI Whisper runs on open source pytorch.

        Whisper does have its interesting features, like often appending “please like and subscribe” at the end of a speech to text job.

  6. digi_owl

    Took me a second to cotton on that what was covering the fox was dandelion seeds.

    Do wonder what it is about foxes that makes them such charming rascals.

    1. juno mas

      Hmm, I just glanced at it and thought the white on face was chicken feathers: fox in the henhouse.

  7. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Very important article from @NaomiAKlein, one of the main Jewish thinkers of our age, which argues that Zionism is a perversion of Judaism, the pursuit of a “false idol” as she puts it. *

    It is so important because the single most damaging direction we can take as a result of Gaza is to buy into Israel’s current narrative that Judaism is Zionism, and that opposing it is therefore antisemitic. This is absolutely key, because from it stems absolutely everything else.

    It would be immensely damaging because it takes an extreme, radicalized and murderous ideology “that commits genocide in our name” (quote from the article) and says “this is Judaism, the first monotheistic religion, from which the other 2 derive”. There is no overstating how destructive this is to the very foundation of our culture, to the very core of our identity. Literally corrosive to who we are on a biblical scale.

    It is also immensely damaging because of course everything Zionism stands for runs so counter to fundamental human values we all share:

    – The sanctity of human life
    – The belief that theft is wrong
    – The belief that all humans, no matter their religion or ethnic origins, are equal
    – Etc.

    As Klein points out “it is a false idol that has led far too many of our own people down a deeply immoral path that now has them justifying the shredding of core commandments: thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not covet.”

    Coming back on this and saying that fighting for those fundamental values is “antisemitic” – a repulsive moral crime – is nihilistic to the extreme. It is a negation of our very humanity.

    All this would ultimately not only result in Judaism destroying itself by becoming coopted by this militaristic ethnostate political project, but it risks destroying all the countries that support it alongside with it. The moral contradictions necessary to support this are just too overwhelming, it’s like acid on the soul of these countries.

    And that’s why Jewish voices like Klein are so important. Because, as Mearsheimer and Walt argued in their famous book in the Israel lobby, accusations of antisemitism are “the Great Silencer”, a scarily powerful tool to silence criticism of Israel’s actions. And Jewish voices have of course the immense advantage of being able to say “I’m Jewish”, kryptonite to “the Great Silencer”. Which is why the fact so many of these students protesting today in US campuses are Jewish is totally silenced by so many media, as admitting it would reduce the potency of “the Great Silencer”.

    It’s not only important because they have this “Great Silencer” kryptonite, but also because their activism is in of itself the best weapon against actual antisemitism, the real one this time, which does exist. If the current Israeli project of equating Zionism with Judaism did succeed and were to be commonly accepted, then naturally all Jewish people would be equated with Zionism and its actions, which anyone with an ounce of common sense can understand would make actual antisemitism surge.

    The more Jewish people like Klein say “not in our name”, the more Zionism is seen as it should rightly be seen: a “false idol” that “Jews need an exodus from”, in order to ultimately resolve the biggest injustice of our age, that inflicted on the Palestinians.

    * We need an exodus from Zionism | Naomi Klein

    3:01 AM · Apr 25, 2024

    1. zagonostra

      I’ve been following the “two Naomi’s” for years, Naomi Klein and Naomi Wolf. I’ve lost a lot of respect for the former in recent years, especially since she joined the Intercept and reading about her husband’s ties to big Pharma. I’ve lost some respect for the latter because of her silence on Israel and ongoing genocide in Gaza.

      When journalist, writers, musicians, and other public figures lose my respect it’s hard for me to start up that relationship again, a relationship of content creator, and content consumer, educator and educated, teacher and student.

      1. bonks

        I had to unfollow Naomi Wolf just today after she painted the global anti-Israel protests as if they’re newly-planned psy-ops, instead of considering that maybe people are just not happy with Western support of genocide and that they have been protesting for months.

        I don’t recall when I had stopped listening to Ms. Klein, probably during the pandemic era.

      2. Albe Vado

        I like Naomi Klein well enough, but ultimately she’s just a radical liberal. Nothing she says is particularly different from what Marxists have been saying for decades. She’s just accepted more in the mainstream. It’s a similar phenomenon to Thomas Frank. What’s being said isn’t particularly radical; the interesting part is who is making the critique.

        Calling her one of the ‘main Jewish thinkers of our age’ seems like a ludicrous overstatement.

        1. vidimi

          I like Arnaud so I didn’t mention it, what with so many wonderful Jewish intellectuals, too many to name, but yeah, it’s a bit over the top. I would have agreed a decade ago, but not now.

    2. digi_owl

      Basic thing is that whenever something vaguely Jewish happens, the Israeli ambassador will be all over the news acting as “the face” of Jews everywhere.

    3. JohnA

      Equally relevant, is that her piece was published in The Guardian, that has been staunchly zionist for most of the 20th century and to date, a publication that was also in the vanguard of hounding Corbyn out of electability via slurs and mudslinging, because he supported the Palestinian cause.
      Another indication perhaps, that the times they are a changing.

      1. Emma

        Yes. While I don’t trust Klein at all at this point, the fact that this is being published in the Guardian is a hopefully sign that our overlords are realizing the indefensibility of Israel (militarily as well as court of public opinion) and are ready to make a shift. I hope every college administrator who called the cops on their students is out of a job by this fall.

        I hope we’re going to get a similar piece in WaPo and NYT soon. The Israeli papers are already openly acknowledging that they’ve lost and what’s done in Gaza was indefensible, it’s time to pile the blame on Bibi and then memoryhole the whole thing (hopefully by giving into some of the Palestinian demands and inching them closer to ‘free’).

      2. digi_owl

        I suspect Guardian hounded Corbyn for being Corbyn, and the Palestinian support thing was just a convenient cover.

        If big media comes after you than you either need to be an angel, or shamelessly own your flaws.

        1. vidimi

          The Guardian is the guardian of the establishment from the left, so zionism is absolutely central to them.

      3. Dissident Dreamer

        Perhaps even more interesting is that they published a piece by Corbyn himself the other day.

        I became utterly disillusioned about the G with their attacks on him, the whole antisemitism business, Assange and much more but I still keep going there and I have to say that in terms of comment at least they have been better than expected on Gaza especially lately.

        Sorry but the link function isn’t working for me. I’ll try again in a reply.

    4. Sean gorman

      Pedantic, I know, but “biblical scale” is peanuts. Watch any astronomy video on youtube. Yahweh is tiny talent time.

      1. gk

        Depends how you read the Bible. Isaac ben Samuel of Acre (13-14 century) claimed that years before Adam are “divine years” which, by Psalms 90:4 are each 365,250 solar years. This gives 15,340,500,000 years from Creation.

    5. vidimi

      Naomi Klein has been a big disappointment for me with her post-2016 descent into shitlib territory, but this was a good and important article. It ruffled up all the right people with prominent zios clutching their pearls.

    6. midtownwageslave

      My one question is, what if instead of causing all this death and destruction in Palestine, why does Israel not create Palestine in the Metaverse and annex it there? Much cheaper and much less deadly.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Israel’s real national myth is that it’s a white settler colony. Killing the brown people is part of the whole project. They aligned with London and Paris to seize the Suez Canal. The reason Netanyahu dunks on Biden is Netanyahu doesn’t trust the official diversity of the Democratic Party but would prefer the Khristians as allies who are never denounced as antisemites despite their views.

        1. digi_owl

          So basically it is Apartheid South Africa in the Middle East. And perhaps the last remnant of the British Empire in the region.

        2. Lefty Godot

          Killing the brown people is part of the whole project.

          Is it just me, or do the Israelis and Palestinians not look mostly the same in all the pictures on the net (outside of clothing styles)? With few exceptions, I’m not seeing a big difference in skin color or facial features. I get that some Ashkenazim look more northern European and a small number of Palestinians look to have some African traits, but otherwise they look very similar.

    7. El Slobbo

      Something else that is probably happening already amongst the less intellectually energetic: accepting that Zionism == Judaism (because, after all, this is the dominant message), and concluding that antisemitism is a principled position to take as it means opposing the people who support genocide.

    8. Carolinian

      Of course many Jews have always said this. Israel wanted Einstein to be their first president and Einstein said Israel was a mistake.

      And arguably it was the non Jewish colonialists who made it happen so it was their mistake and now the mistake that they keep defending. It isn’t only about the bribes although it sometimes seems so. As WC Fields said you can’t cheat an honest man.

      Gore Vidal thought that winning WW2 was the beginning of America’s decline. Probably right. Our mojo was always from the bottom up, not the top down.

      1. gk

        No they didn’t. Ben-Gurion realized that they had to ask him, but, for the reasons you gave, he was relieved when Einstein refused….

      2. Feral Finster

        “Gore Vidal thought that winning WW2 was the beginning of America’s decline. Probably right. Our mojo was always from the bottom up, not the top down.”

        Entry into WWI. Even Wilson said as much before joining into that little adventure.

        Or the Spanish-American War. Mark Twain’s observations of Theodore Roosevelt are on point.

        1. Emma

          It’s been on a downward trajectory since the Clovis people hunted all the giant ground sloths to extinction.

          1. juno mas

            Did the Clovis share the same space at the same time with the ground sloth? If they did the ground sloth was a solitary herbivore and not likely that abundant in NorAm to begin with. (Or was that just a turn of phrase?)

    9. gk

      “this is Judaism, the first monotheistic religion, from which the other 2 derive”

      Islam, sure. But Sikhism? Really? (Traditionally, Judaism has not regarded Christianity as monotheistic….)

      1. Snailslime

        Many Muslims have also doubted Christian monotheist credentials.

        Sikhism has it’s share of islamic influences.

        And of course Christianity and the strains of Judaism that evolved into it were HEAVILY influenced by Zoroastrianism.

        Indeed, without Zoroastrianism the abrahamitic religions all wouldn’t exist in any remotely recognizable Form.

        So it can be called the true, always unacknowledged or dishonestly downplayed ancestor of them all.

      2. Laughingsong

        I’m no scholar, but from the ancient history I’ve read, Judaism is not the first and only ancient monotheistic religion. I believe that some scholars call Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten the first. And there were apparently monotheistic beliefs in China. And then there’s Zoroastrian belief….

        I have read a good amount of ancient history, and I have over the years developed a theory that the main “first” that can be attributed to Judaism is that they were the first to assert that NO OTHER god was real. From what I’ve read, there was a lot of schoolyard-ish “my gods are better than your gods”, but no denial of their existence outright.

        It also seems that when people traveled they would propitiate both their god(s) and the local god(s) just to be safe. But not the members of the tribes of Israel….only their God was worthy, and over time only their God even truly existed (you can read how this develops over time in the Bible, changing from “no other gods before me” to the “false gods” assertion).

        Again I’m not a scholar but that was my take. If it’s correct it may be why so many other peoples really didn’t like the Israelis in ancient times?

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Not a scholar either, but I’d say that’s a very good take. And if you believe Gibbon’s take on the ancient Xtians, they were persecuted for the same reason. Rome was more than happy to incorporate the Xtian god into its society – they did the same for the gods of pretty much any other people they incorporated – but the Xtians were stubborn and wouldn’t tolerate any other gods, wouldn’t take the day off for other religious holidays, of which there were many, etc. So to the lions with them!

          Of course, Xtian accounts of their ancient persecution tend to be greatly overblown, but it definitely existed. And after seeing the latest from true believer Mike Johnson, it does make one wonder if maybe the Romans had the right idea in certain cases….

          1. Laughingsong

            Hehe! We always joke in our house that the reason there is 1000 years of peace after the rapture is that God finally relieved us of all the fanatics. Win-win!

            1. Wukchumni

              A fervid evang friend often relates how she and her ilk are going to spend 1,000 years with the big cheese upstairs according to prophecy, and a couple of things…

              1 out of 5,000 of us make it to 100, wouldn’t it be torture of the slowest kind to stretch that out 10x?

              Wouldn’t seeing the same people all the time for 10 centuries get really old, quick?

              1. Laughingsong

                Well, it’s supposed to be Heaven so maybe just being there makes everyone really witty?

                Or, yeah, maybe there’s a lot of “Oh, it’s her again. . . I’ll pretend I didn’t see her “ after about 4 centuries….

      3. Albe Vado

        Hebrew polytheism evolved through henotheism before arivong at monotheism under the influence of Persian Zoroastrianism. There’s some serious stolen valor going on in claiming it’s the first monotheistic religion.

    10. Carolinian

      Thanks for link. That’s powerful rhetoric and a good speech.

      Of course the all too clear case against Zionism–i.e. two wrongs don’t make a right–is the very thing that must be suppressed if that project is to continue. Some of us would even argue that it is the source of the current zeal for a censorship that the powerful can then apply to other areas. Somebody tell Turley.

      1. Antifa

        It is good to see someone describe Zionism as a project, as opposed to a religion or a state. Had Jewish people simply moved to Palestine after WWII, and bought homes and farms, the result would have been a state full of Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Those Jewish persons would have practiced their religion in their new home as Jews have done in the Middle East for a few thousand years.

        It is adding in the concept of an ethnically pure Jewish state built on the lands described in pre-Medieval scriptures — specifically including whole sections of their Arab neighbor states of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon — that causes endless war over there. This ‘Greater Israel’ project has a lot of wars yet to go.

        Zionism IS apartheid, and it requires genocide. It requires removal of Al-Aqsa mosque, which will set the Muslim world on fire. But zealots cannot stop themselves. They are stopped by others.

        A Jewish person can stop such actions. An Israeli can stop such actions. A Zionist cannot stop such actions. If you could bring about the end of this world, and usher in a thousand years of Jewish happiness and supremacy over all other humans, would you stop? Or would you go for the big brass ring?

        We see this ethnic purity impulse in the Hindutva movement of India, and we see it in the effort to supplant the American Constitution with the King James Bible. These are both apartheid movements that must lead to genocide or fall short. And they are full of people who don’t intend to fail to bring perfect peace unto this world by dominating it utterly.

        In human history, any time an ethnically or religiously pure project succeeds, its members then turn on themselves, casting out those who are insufficiently pure until no one is left. This happens because they do not ever get that perfect peace on earth. It remains just out of reach, so the impure, the less-than-zealots must go. And then who else . . . ?

        1. gk

          > It requires removal of Al-Aqsa mosque, which will set the Muslim world on fire. But zealots cannot stop themselves. They are stopped by others.

          To see what this entails read Sarid’s masterpiece “The Third” (genre: biblical science fiction). It’s been translated into French and German. It hasn’t been published in English, but there is a translation, circulating in Samizhdat.

        2. Giovanni Barca

          How serious, numerous and powerful is this movement to supplant the Constitution (largely a dead letter without any need of religious zealotry) with the King James Bible? Christianity is in free fall decline in the US, even in the rural areas alleged to be the Christian redoubt. Christian Nationalism looks to be a bogeyman with which the PMC scares their one or two children.

    11. Big Chungus

      In Zionism in the Age of the Dictators, its genesis is laid squarely at the feet of German nationalism.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Indi Samarajiva is at it again. How America’s Military Is Falling Apart…

    All in one post. Read it, and shake one’s head.

    And this paragraph is directly on target, factually, morally, and stylistically:

    “Antony Blinken—America’s dead-eyed genocide whisperer—rides a custom Boeing 737. I include this in America’s war fleet because Blinken sure as hell ain’t making peace. Blinken’s 737 has been grounded multiple times, once with an oxygen leak when meeting oligarchs in Davos, and again with ‘mechanical problems’ while meeting vassals in Europe. Blinken has had to drive and his staff had to—the horror—fly commercial, separated by only a curtain from the peasants. This is emblematic of the state of the American war machine in general.”

    Già, as we say here in the Chocolate City.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It certainly is a sad read. The only way out is a total redesign of the US military, its doctrine, it’s strategic goals, its weaponry and the production needed to back it all up. But it can’t be done. Not because it is impossible but because US industries will only do it if not only profitable but excessively so. Maybe not even then. Also, you would have to implement these reforms with the present generation of Generals and Admirals who are more concerned with their post-careers in industry. And here is an example of how industry screws the US over- (1:15 min)

      After this came out, this guy in China offered to supply the same for about 7 Renminbi – with free shipping.

      1. digi_owl

        And most of that cost comes from the paperwork needed to certify them as “mil spec”.

        And likely among said paperwork is a waiver because they originated from a Chinese factory.

        1. ilsm

          Mil Spec went out with Bush Sr.

          Who stepped on profits by urging limited production runs of things like fighters who change all the time.

          Besides DoD do demand performance testing Mil Spec or non.

          There are only commercial micro circuits

      2. Benny Profane

        “And here is an example of how industry screws the US over”

        No, the “industry” is just happy pigs at the trough. The trough is constantly filled by congresspeople and senators, and they just dumped another unaccountable 100 billion into it, and it’s a damn vomitorium out there right now. Mr. Waltz is performing some nice theater there, but he’s another warmongering rep who just wants more efficient spending so that we can fight more forever wars everywhere, because he’s a god damned patriot who can take on those Chinese with just an M16, a few grenades, and knife held in his teeth.
        Oh, and machinists don’t make bushings. Machines make bushings. If you’re going to pull a stunt like that, get hip to just the basics of manufacturing, Florida man.

        1. Emma

          Just imagine a wonderful world where a F-35 cost a trillion dollars. America might be forced to sue for peace.

          1. The Rev Kev

            There was a joke going around that weapons were getting so expensive, that in thirty years time the US would be only able to afford one plane, one tank and one ship.

            1. ilsm

              That was Norm Augustine who had been CEO of one of the big MICC porker firms.

              He was famous for speaking out by the early 1990’s

            2. rowlf

              Roy Braybrook in Air Enthusiast magazine used that joke about the one fighter airplane in the late 1970s as he was writing about his career in the death and destruction industry.

      3. .Tom

        Why sad? Imagine how things would be if the American imperial war machine worked efficiently and effectively.

        1. The Rev Kev

          It’s sad because the US once had it all, and it was all then thrown away by an out of control elite class. Had a similar feeling when I was visiting the Roman Forum. Once it was the center of political power for much of the known world. A few centuries later, you had herds of goats feeding on the overgrown grass.

      4. Ben Joseph

        Can’t come from China if it ONLY has military use. Currently US vs. Quadrant Magnetic filing disclosed that QM president lied about magnet source for generator converter unit on F18 while desperately, futility, looking for a US source. He’ll be in prison, but who knows what they want to do about the planes.

      5. Kouros

        You will have to redesign the policies and geostrategic goals, which are all political decisions.

    2. Benny Profane

      Our equipment and arms issues have been well documented, although I still have a hard time convincing some I know that the F35 is an incredibly expensive debacle, but our recruiting problems are pathetic. We really need a draft, along with some sort of national physical fitness program, if we want to field a decent sized army, but I doubt that will happen without a massive false flag event on US soil, and, even then, eh. I think the figure is something like 5% of Americans serve in the military, and they tend to be progeny of veterans, a sort of incestuous relationship that is breaking down, because grandfathers, fathers, and uncles aren’t going to be promoting a military career to the kids after what they’ve experienced the last few decades.
      And we’re beating the war drums to go up against China, a nation that has zillions of young men who can’t find a wife. Not smart.

      1. Emma

        Have you considered the possibility that America started wars all around the world to create single women for Chinese incels?

        Maybe that’s America’s master plan to destroy the Chinese warfighting capability is to marry off single Chinese men to Ukrainian war widows (maybe soon followed by Georgian and Armenian war widows).

        1. Benny Profane

          Well, actually, it was the one child policy and possibly infanticide of baby girls that got us here, and then inflation for the Chinese middle class that keeps family size down, just as in the west.

          Most Ukrainian mothers and children have escaped to the west, many with their lucky husbands who bought their way out, but, if he didn’t make it, on the dating market, never to return.

    3. digi_owl

      I seem to recall some dark humor about Russian airplanes after the USSR dissolved. Seems the same ones can be applied to USA these days.

    4. Feral Finster

      I love Indi, but if the United States military is really so weak, why are Iran, Hezbullah, and Russia all so trying desperately seeking to avoid a confrontation?

      1. Emma

        Because a weakened desperate animal is at its most dangerous. It will behave atypically and counterproductively. Everybody is hoping that the animal will further weaken and die off on its own or while attacking somebody else.

        1. Feral Finster

          In other words, the United States is still plenty dangerous and all of the above know it.

          1. Joker

            One does not need to be an expert, in order to know that nuclear weapons are dangerous. Biden and Netanyahu being in charge of the red buttons adds bonus danger.

          2. Emma

            Yeah, we’re in the time of monsters. But provided we survive the process, maybe there will be something a little more humane and same on the other side.

          3. John k

            Yes, we have nukes, and it’s tough to stop our subs. Nobody sane wants ww3 in which case we all die. So in that respect, we can still get a draw.
            But that’s about it, can’t fight and win on land, sea or air. Yet we’re still trying to push our bloated weight around as if we can still fight any kind of conventional war. Biden is rapidly demonstrating to row just what we can no longer do. I’m ok, I worry about the grandkids.

            1. Feral Finster

              I advise not underestimating our enemies.

              They are evil and sociopathic, but far from stupid.

              1. alfred venison

                Speaking of underestimating the enemy, seen recently on an Australian blog …

                The SU-35 is a pretty good aircraft, but I don’t think Russian pilots are really up to getting the most out of it.

                Guardian readers, one & all (“Tisdall’s a genius!”).

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Groan. They have been doing combat ops for over two years in a hostile environment. I think that by now they have the SU-35 figured out by. If that was by Simon Tisdalle I am not surprised as he has been a firm propagandist for this war since it started.

                  1. alfred venison

                    Not to mention Syria, where they left American pilots suitably impressed.

                    imho Tisdall’s a brain-dead blowhard with a tiresome outrage vocabulary, starting with “Putin is a thug!” and culminating after a suitably apoplectic peroration with (I paraphrase) “just give them the F15s, Biden, so they can win.”

                    No, it was a blog denizen trying a spot of even handedness, a la “on the one hand, on the other hand”, in a blog environment where sober attempts at analysis are routinely rebranded as advocacy and then denounced as “Putin talking points” gotcha !

                    It was the combination of abject ignorance coupled with a casual resort to the low octane racist trope that russians are lowbrows who can’t cope with high technology, all in the service of supposed even-handedness, that floored me.

                    Getting banned from there was a double plus good thing for me. Applying modest correctives to masturbatory fantasies of the wilfully ignorant & proud of it, is a mug’s game I was briefly addicted to, till I got better.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Maybe it’s the thousands of nukes and crazy USian [family blog]ers in charge with itchy trigger fingers.

        1. hnd

          So that’s the US version of the Samson Option. The USA has the right to defend itself, and to annihilate the rest of the world in order to best defend itself. USA, USA, USA uber alles.

      3. Kouros

        Because the US has absolutely no compunction in bombing civilians, puting them under siege, leaveing them to starve, finding proxies and mercenaries to fight in their place, etc.

        Whenever is a fair fight/competition, the US says that it is not fair. They only like shooting fish in a barrel.

        1. vidimi

          yeah, i think that’s probably it. you cant possibly beat the US in a fight but they will out-evil you.

  9. Joker

    WHO redefines airborne transmission: what does that mean for future pandemics? Nature

    WHO redefines health: what does that mean for future pandemics?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Back in 2020, the WHO eliminated the word ‘Pandemic’ from their official lexicon for several weeks so that they would not have to officially declare a world-wide Pandemic, even though all the items on a list that defines a Pandemic had been filled. It was at that point I stopped paying attention to the pronouncements of the WHO as they had proven themselves totally untrustworthy by that action.

    2. jefemt

      Remember when the CDC changed the definition of Vaccine in the fairly recent past (ie Covid onset) ?
      WHO coulddanowd…

      If one goes back and browses headlines and news stories from 2016 on, I and many others have concluded we are in a PTSD brain fog. Add some synergy from Covid, et voici- Voila!

      1. Late Introvert

        Re: the CDC changng the definition of vaccine.

        I do remember that well, and I also remember friends and family saying oh, well, that’s because they had to, and no big deal. That left me even more shocked, that even when I tried to remind people of how say the polio vaccine worked, they would get mad and dismiss everything I was saying. Even my mom, a retired nurse. It was pretty chilling and still is.

  10. yep

    Europe—but Not NATO—Should Send Troops to Ukraine Foreign Affairs

    Indeed. Russia is the biggest country in Europe, and not in NATO, and will be sending even more troops to Ukraine.

  11. Samuel Conner

    Re: the pier that is not yet begun to be constructed in Gaza, the thought occurs that logistics-over-the-beach is something US used to be good at (though one must admit that was ~80 years ago).

    I can’t help but imagine that if US govt really wanted to be seen providing humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Gaza, a way would be found to do that quickly. After all, channeling JRB, “we’re America; we can do anything.” There was a time when that did seem to be the case. In 1945, the construction time for a Landing Ship, Tank, was about two months.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It is a good idea that you had about delivering aid from landing craft but the Israelis would never allow it. When that pier is finished, it will be turned over to the Israels who will control what gets delivered, at what pace, etc. so it will just be like a more awkward border entry point. The Israelis would have no control over US landing craft hitting the beaches to deliver aid in large quantities as they would not have total control over it so would have told the west to forget that idea.

      1. Emma

        I hope it never gets built. I don’t think it will be built because the resistance fighters understand what it is and won’t let it get built.

        The pier is now going to be built further south, away from northern Gaza where the need for aid is the greatest. Apparently the IDF will check the aid after unloading.

        So at best it’s a transparent effort to bypass the Rafah entrance point and give Israel complete control over aid/people movement for Gaza.

        But it is almost certainly going to be used to ethnically cleanse everyone but a token number of Palestinians from Gaza and probably ship them to Morocco or Rwanda.

        1. Aleric

          Another motivation is for the US to take the burden of covering up genocide and clearing space for colonization by dumping rubble from collapsed buildings into the sea without checking for human remains.

          1. iread

            What has always seemed apparent to me, given its’ irrelevance to the delivery issue, is that it qualifies as infrastructure that can be manned, permanently as it becomes incrementally added to, and in a critical location, the Gaza coast, and all for free under cover of well intended, if typically misguided, Uncle Sam. Really ?

        2. Feral Finster

          The pier won’t get built, but if the resistance attacked it, it would be spun as a rejection of our generous and open-handed assistance, see, they really are a death cult.

          If they do not attack it, then it will be used for whatever purposes Israel wishes.

    2. digi_owl

      It is all a face saving exercise. Keep promising something will be done until MSM stops caring and moves on to the latest Hollywood scandal etc.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      It was always a phony promise. The expectation was that domestic angst would go away because Drumpf!

      That turd Josh Marshall at TPM is griping about people being distracted and not realizing there is an election 200 days away. He has some worse opinions, but Team Blue’s strategy was for the electorate to recognize how smrt the centrists were and simply praise them to a victory. Now they are getting worried becase the dead enders who actually like them aren’t going to do any of the voter registration or gotv they need to win.

    4. Enter Laughing

      The pier will solve nothing because getting humanitarian aid onto trucks isn’t the problem.

      The problem is getting the trucks through security chokepoints, across destroyed infrastructure and potentially through active war zones, with little or no communication because of destroyed cell phone towers, without getting shot up by the IDF or waylaid by roving bands of Hamas cell or highway thieves, to distribution centers.

      Why should the gauntlet for trucks entering Gaza from the beach be any different than trucks entering by land?

      Besides, the vaunted 2,000,000 meal a day delivered by Uber Fleets is the equivalent of 31 trucks of humanitarian aid. That’s something, but UNRWA reports that 316 aid trucks entered Gaza by land routes on Monday alone.

      If a few aid trucks roll into Gaza with wet tires I don’t see how that really changes the big picture.

      1. digi_owl

        I suspect the pier will never happen. But if it does, it may serve as a convenient cover for the mass “humanitarian evacuation” of Gaza civilians…

  12. Terry Flynn

    Voyager’s first non-gibberish reply will be “Must find and join with the creator”.

    (Yeah I know it wasnt V1).


  13. vidimi

    Re Larry Johnson’s analysis of Sy Hersh’s story on Israel’s attack.

    the distance between Isfahan and Iraqi airspace is way less than 1000km. I didn’t do the measurement, but between Isfahan and Basra it looks to be less than 400km. Even to Baghdad it is only about 600. That’s still more than the known range of a Rampage missile, but it’s not as extreme.

    Second, the remains of two Rampage missiles were found around Baghdad, as reported on Twitter some 6 days ago. If these are the same, then they never made it into Iran.

    Regarding Pepe’s version of the same story, shooting down a jet would leave some irrefutible evidence behind. I’ve seen no reports of a fighter wreckage.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I read a report that those Israeli missiles were fired from Iraq and there was talk of a US tanker in the area so those missiles would not have to travel so far. And as for those remains of two Rampage missiles that were found, I have also read of them being described as boosters so maybe not Rampage missiles. Seems that all sides do not want to talk about this strike but to bury it along with the Iranian strike on Israel and the Israeli strike on the Iranian Consulate. An attempt to keep a lid on things. In passing, I also hear that Israel may have used up to half of its air-defence missiles during that Iranian attack which must have concentrated some minds.

      1. vidimi

        there has been a Hesbollah missile fired at Israel here and there and they all seem to get through

        1. The Rev Kev

          Hezbollah has even managed to hit Iron Dome launchers which must be disconcerting for the Israelis. They have even managed to shoot down a couple of their very expensive Hermes drones.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Blue Sparrow is a target missile for Arrow, pretending to be a SCUD-C/D. It’s booster is used in ROCKS missile, in Indian service also known as Crystal Maze 2. With a whopping 250 km range. So, no way the warheads would have reached Iran from where the boosters separated.

    2. Wisker

      What a load of hooey from Hersh–or his sources anyway, and not for the first time. Israel’s retaliation to the Iranian missile strike was tepid for a simple reason IMO: Iran put Israel on notice that they can wipe out the Israeli economy.

      I suspect Israeli society is much less capable of absorbing punishment than Iran. And Iran showed that it can turn out the lights, ground the planes, block the ports, or whatever with a few days of missile strikes. Israel is checkmated.

      Even nukes wouldn’t save Israel from massive destruction, and despite all the propaganda about ‘successful missile defense’ or ‘no viable nuclear targets’, I suspect Israeli elites grasp this now. Hence the rumor that ‘half of Israel would flee if they knew the results of the post-strike cabinet meetings‘.

      On top of everything, Israel–like it’s American sponsor–over-invested in aircraft-based strike capability. Iran was smart enough to see the future and invest in vast numbers of precision missiles instead.

  14. JohnA

    Re Is Russia set to fall apart

    “That Russia faces serious even existential problems and that Vladimir Putin’s policies have put that country on course to disintegrate is certainly true”

    And yet the author presents nothing concrete to suggest any kind of certainty nor any kind of truth in the proposition. Hopium on steroids. Similar to statements that Putin is a dictator, his election was a rigged sham, Russia is about to run out of missiles/tanks/soldiers etc. As ever, wishful thinking takes wings when it comes to western analysis of Russia.

    1. R.S.

      Many of those “Free Russia Leagues” are like the famous Underpants Gnomes.
      1. Draw Maps.
      2. ???
      3. PROFIT!

      I can’t even begin to grasp why on Earth someone’s payrolling them.

    2. Mikel

      “…But even more than that, such views reflect a widespread attitude that the future of Russia will be like that of the Soviet Union in 1991, a collapse that in the minds of many happened somehow naturally rather than as the result of the activism of ethnic and regional elites and political struggles at the top…”

      “…The author of these lines last year offered a discussion of these issues in which I suggested that the approaching end of Russia is far more likely to resemble what happened in 1918 than what happened in 1991 (; a Russian translation is available at…”

      Another dog whistle to the PMC and other elites of Russia who just love themselves some neoliberal economics.
      If they could dig up a Czar to put in as puppet their dreams would be complete.

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      The author (Paul Goble) has impeccable anti-RU credentials. His CV includes work experience at Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the State Department, the CIA, the Euromaidan Press…..and he has even received official government awards from each of the three Baltic states.

      It’s important to read articles like this from time to time. Aside from their entertainment value, they remind us that people like Paul Goble exist and are listened to by government decision-makers.

      1. Late Introvert

        It’s also important to mock Paul and his fellow brown lipped toadies as often as possible. They really hate that.

      2. vidimi

        The US is failing in part because it ruling class gets high on its own supply of propaganda that has no relationship with the truth. the days of making your own reality are over.

        these days, the only think tank that still studies reality is RAND, but for every RAND there are 20 ideologue think tanks who tout their own fantasies.

        1. yep

          It was RAND that suggested overextending and unbalancing Russia.

          The failing US was just following RAND instructions. The only think tank that still studies reality, supplied the supplies. Pay attention to year of publishing, and the one of editor’s note complaining of mischaracterization of their stellar work.

    4. ilsm

      A small group of post Soviet Russian emerges who thought US style oligarchy is way to get even for Stalin.

      Too many in US willfully project this non sense and experts pick it up to use as expert selling.

      See the late Barkley Rosser. Who supposed everyone should agree as if students!

      1. CA

        “A small group of post Soviet Russian emerges…”

        The AI-editor appears to have botched this comment. Could you please make any necessary corrections? I would like to understand what was intended, but I am now too confused.

      2. CA

        “A small group of post Soviet Russian emerges…”

        1) I would like to understand what was intended, but I am now too confused.
        2) I did read the link in question and the relevant comments before this, but I became confused.

      3. rowlf

        I have known US WASPs who were trained to be Russian linguists who caught hell for not having the appropriate biases against the Soviet Union and Russia.

        Totally stupid stuff from a US perspective, but in some circles career limiting if the department was full of old country family grudges.

  15. Es s Ce Tera

    re: ‘An Israeli-style Wagner Group’: The ultra-Orthodox military unit in Washington’s crosshairs France24

    Notwithstanding the article explains the Leahy angle but, sorry, I’m suspicious. The US does not act out of the goodness of its heart or because something is the right thing to do, and since when does the US do CYA?

    And the feigned outrage from Netanyahu is less than an energetic and full throated defense of Netzah Yehuda as a unit, he’s giving himself room to, in future, concede or agree with the sanction, and it feels coordinated, staged.

    One possibility that crossed my mind, is this maneouvering ahead of the ICJ genocide case? Are they hoping to build a case that any atrocities which have been/are being committed, were by bad apples not representative of the IOF?

    And if the US is indeed doing CYA, that in itself would speak volumes because it doesn’t usually.

    1. vidimi

      from what I understand the unit in question acted illegally in the West Bank. The US is not opposed to anything Israel does in Gaza.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      It’s just more dumb PR too make Joe seem slightly less genocidal so that maybe some of the kiddies protesting right now might still pull the lever for him come November. But there’s absolutely nothing to stop other IDF units from handing over US weaponry to the “sanctioned” one. From what I’ve seen of the current crop of protesters though, their are way too smart to fall for GenocideJoe’s little ruse.

    3. edgui

      What is really important about the U.S. statements are their taiming. I don’t know if they will materialize or not, but it seems a clear message urging Israeli de-escalation against Iran. That it happened days after the moderate Israeli response points in that direction.

  16. Sean gorman

    Pedantic, I know, but “biblical scale” is peanuts. Watch any astronomy video on youtube. Yahweh is tiny talent time.

    1. Skip Intro

      Indeed. If I were an institution or individual maliciously libeling and conspiring to deprive of income some students with access to legal expertise and financial resources, I would be a little more cautious in my threats. Supporting the 3rd Reich was pretty safe in 1942, but how did it look to a jury in 1947?

      This is yet another instance of desperate pols breaking powerful institutions for short-term political tactics.

      1. Snailslime

        Seeing as only a relatively small number of nazis who had held particularly exposed positions were ever actually seriously punished, with the vast majority having no problems successfully continuing their careers after the war, things didn’t look all that gloomy in 1947 either, or if they did it didn’t take long for the skies to clear up again and for the sun to shine once more on all those Good Germans (TM) who only followed orders and really deep down were to a man resistance fighters anyway.

        Though in some kind of worst case scenario it seems quite possible that Israel could find itself in a much worse predicament, it might get away less easily than Germany did.

    2. Daryl

      Caitlin Johnstone nailed it pretty well when some Zionist was walking the campus scowling at everyone and trying to start fights: “I have never in my life seen anyone in less danger”

    3. gk

      Eric Adams have said that someone must be organizing these protests as the tents all look alike. Many have tried to educate him about how Amazon works.

  17. britzklieg

    re the new vaccine, big, if true, indeed. With proper human testing/trials and complete access to all the data it seems like something for which one can be hopeful. Applied as a nasal spray is a particularly encouraging aspect and, all things considered, it takes a large, if vicarious, step toward admitting exactly how bad (or not-wonderful if it makes proponents feel better) the warp speed mRNA experiment was and the damage, physical/psychological/economic (which can not now be rectified), it promoted. A much needed win if it works as described.

    1. vidimi

      there were links to several strain-proof, non-mRNA vaccines on this site going back a couple of years, including one developed by the Pentagon. If true, they would have cost Big Pharma a lot of money so they had to be scrapped. My guess is that we won’t hear much about this one either, for the same reasons.

    2. RM

      Viruses may mutate in regions not targeted by traditional vaccines. However, we are targeting their whole genome with thousands of small RNAs. They cannot escape this

      Why can’t the virus escape by simply up-regulating their anti-RNAi response? (The response that the researchers knock out to create the vaccine in the first place).

    3. Big River Bandido

      Given what we have seen in pharma and “public health” the last 4 years, here’s my opinion on a nasal vaccine:

      Sounds awesome! You go first.

    4. Ignacio

      This mechanism of defence via gene silencing is much older than antibodies. Gene silencing plays several roles in animal cells and plant cells (possibly fungal cells also though I haven’t read anything on those). I think it was first showed that gene silencing played a defence role in plant virus induced diseases. It was, I recall, one of the most important discoveries during my lab times. If I recall correctly by about early in the 2000s or late in the 90s. The strategy makes a lot of sense and though I haven’t read the paper in full it is good to see promising results in mice.

      1. Ignacio

        I should have written “post-transcriptional gene silencing” since there are other mechanisms of gene silencing that work at different levels.

  18. jefemt

    Adapticve evolving mRNA shot. The Press Release made me think of the NC article on the CIA- Does the CIA still do this?

    Note- I called it a shot, not a vaccine. Vaccines are sterilizing. mRNA tech involves immune systems and evolving biology to battle viruses.
    What could possibly go right? If human war is an apt analogy, it’s forever war, the viruses are the gurilla freedom fighters. I conjur Cuba, Viet Nam, Palestine/Gaza, and Ukraine as object lessons of the quick-fix success. (sarc)

    Seems the gubmint should supply each citizen with a lethal dose of pharma-grade fentanyl with every ballot at every election going forward.

    1. t

      What do you mean by sterilizing? Ignoring the vaccines being designed for people who already have something (which I will never understand), plenty of vaccines are on a schedule. And Measels, for instance, has always had breakthrough cases.

      1. Big River Bandido

        A sterilizing vaccine is one that prevents transmission from one person to another. The mRNA vaccines were hyped as such (see Joe Biden, “you’re not gonna get COVID”), but this was clearly a lie.

        1. LifelongLib

          My understanding is that previous attempts at (conventional) corona virus vaccines had the same non-sterilization problems that the mRNA vaccines do. This probably has to do with the nature of corona viruses. mRNA vaccines may well have additional problems of their own though.

    2. flora

      Interesting that China did not use mRNA shots; they used the more standard partial or killed non-replicating virus mixture kinds of shots to prime the immune system.

      1. CA

        Interesting that China did not use mRNA shots; they used the more standard partial or killed non-replicating virus mixture kinds of shots to prime the immune system.

        [ Also, China never required vaccination only urged vaccination. China did develop and has mRNA vaccines, but relied primarily on standard vaccines. Vaccination in the end covered over 90%. The Chinese group that was most reluctant to be vaccinated was the elderly. ]

        1. flora

          and I believe China also used early treatment protocols that included hydroclor type stuffs.

  19. flora

    Oh goodie. Meanwhile, China and RU race ahead in manufacturing, standard of living, and new technology creation. From twtr.

    President Biden Considering “National Climate Emergency” Declaration
    “If Joe Biden declares a national climate emergency, he would have COVID-like powers. He would impose the Green New Deal on America without a vote in Congress” The AP is urging other news outlets to use the term “Climate Crisis”.

    1. danpaco

      We would be lucky if the GND were implemented, since you know that the grifters are gonna grift, congress and executive orders will be the money supply, and what will be implemented will be GND in name only.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “This is your problem now”: US leaving Ukraine for Europe to deal with – French expert

    In a video from last year, Douglas Macgregor was making the point that the US is a maritime and aerospace power. But then he went on to say that what that means is if things do not work out, then those Naval ships can just sail away (Vietnam) and their airplanes just take off and leave (Afghanistan). If the US is gearing up for a fight with China, they will not be able to spend much resources in the Ukraine if it is still going so will just drop it into the laps of the Europeans. Bonus points as the Europeans will have to keep spending so much money on that country, they will have little left to invest in their own countries which might otherwise have competed with the US. Nonetheless, they will still demand that the Europeans send military units to the Pacific to help them confront China.

    1. Feral Finster

      Since Russia has no way, short of a nuclear exchange, of retaliating against the United States, the United States has every incentive to keep the war simmering for as long as possible.

      1. Cristobal

        Unfortunately true. The only way I can see of bringing the world wide American rampage to a non-nuclear end would be an insurection. I am not holding my breath waiting for the sheeple to wake up and stir themselves.

        1. Feral Finster

          I have seen many businesses and families in which the members all cordially hate each other but they stay together because the money is good.

          It’s when the money starts to run dry that the knives come out.

  21. timbers

    Blinken calls for US, China to manage differences ‘responsibly’ ahead of talks France. China: “Hmm. So you’re saying we’re irresponsible?” This guy….

    Dima’s quick version at Military Summary:

    (Paraphrased based on memory) – “Blinken arrived today to blackmail China into sanctioning Russia but was already humiliated when met by 3rd or 4th ranking China representatives…”

    Hopefully, China will immediately escort Blinken to what the Chinese greeters will explain to him is a quick briefing in preparation for his up coming meetings…a classroom-like setup in which he will be educated by a lecturer who gets him up to speed on China’s history, International Law, the United Nations, the settler/colonialist origins of the Untied States and Europe, what the word “sovereign” means, and the basis of International relations amongst sovereign nations. This course/lecture should be no less than 12 hours long.

    Blinken will then go on to his meetings and upon their conclusion be escorted to the public airport and given the Ursula von der Leyen treatment with a thorough check of his passport and supporting identification documents. The airport staff will be given information that they must spend no less than 6 hours doing this to ensure no error is made.

    A Chinese delegation will be stationed, such that when Blinken finally boards his plane of departure, they thank and and warming invite him back at any time as he is always welcome in China.

    This would be the best possible way to ensure the most productive use of Blinken’s time.

    1. Emma

      LOL. That’s an excellent de-radicalization program.
      Perhaps they can throw in a couple useful skills courses for tractor driving and engine maintenance, so he could refocus his energy into more productive pursuits.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Europe—but Not NATO—Should Send Troops to Ukraine”

    Of course once you have about 60,000 European troops in the Ukraine, then they can be re-badged overnight as NATO troops with the mission to defend the Ukraine. And that would lead to a war between NATO and the Russian Federation i.e. World War Three. So before that happens, Russia will have to target and kill any European troops that they can locate as a matter of priority. There is a rumour that French Foreign Legion troops are already in the Ukraine and were hit by Russian missiles forcing casualties to be evacuated out of the country. No confirmation though. If there is a flash point for this confrontation happening, it would likely be the city of Odessa. If the Russians take it, then the Ukraine will become a land-locked rump state and NATO will not be able to build a huge NATO naval base there to be able to attack the Russian Black Sea Fleet with. More to the point, Odessa is a Russian city with roots going back to Catherine the Great. They will not leave that city in the hands of neoNazis and NATO troops to become a permanent threat against Russia.

  23. Jason Boxman

    I’m still basking in the warmth and safety of the historic world peace that Biden promised yesterday with the passage of the bill funding more genocide and continuation of a proxy war with a nuclear power.

    How’s your day going?

  24. The Rev Kev

    At the risk of thread jacking which I hope our hosts will forgive, here is some breaking news-

    “Harvey Weinstein rape conviction overturned”

    ‘An appeals court in New York has overturned the 2020 rape conviction against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. In a 4-3 decision on Thursday, justices decided that the high-profile trial was prejudiced against the defendant.

    “The trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes,” the court’s decision said. “The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial.”

    The testimonies were “untested allegations of nothing more than bad behavior that destroys a defendant’s character but sheds no light on their credibility as related to the criminal charges” against Weinstein and amounted to “an abuse of judicial discretion” by Judge James Burke, the appeals court ruled.’

  25. t

    You don’t say. I should dive into Lexis-Nexis to see how many awards for wrongful termination based on sexual harassment have been snatched away from victims so far this year.

    Does this mean Jane Mayer is going to have be Ronan Farrow’s reporting nanny again?

  26. ChrisFromGA

    SO, according to NY Times and WSJ sources, it was “prayer” that turned Mike Johnson into a neocon who makes Bolton proud.

    Hide Your Sin in Prayer

    (Sung to the tune of, “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi)


    Mikey’s the new kid on the block
    Exodus 20, a chapter he forgot
    It’s tough, so tough

    Lindsey works the talk shows all day
    Working for the MIC, she brings home her pay for blood
    Mmm, for blood

    She says we gotta kill Slavs, or freedumb won’t win
    It doesn’t make a difference if murder’s a sin
    We got lethal aid, to Putin’s chagrin,
    Hang fire, give nukes to Berlin!

    Whoa, halfway there
    Whoa-oh! Caught up in the air
    Take the Lord’s name in vain, better hope He won’t care
    Whoa-oh! Hide your sin in prayer

    Mikey thinks that we’re on the clock
    Armageddon closin’ in, Thessalonians he forgot,
    So tough, ooh its tough

    Lindsey thinks that slaughter is OK
    She cries in the nightime, Mikey whispers
    We won’t have fight today, no way

    He says we gotta kill Slavs, or Freedumb won’t win
    It doesn’t make a difference if murder’s a sin
    We got lethal aid, to Putin’s chagrin,
    Hang fire, give nukes to Berlin!

    Whoa, halfway there
    Whoa-oh! Caught up in the air
    Take the Lord’s name in vain, better hope He won’t care
    Whoa-oh! Hide your sin in prayer

    Hide your sin in prayer!

    [Guitar solo]

    Oh, we gotta kill slavs, so freedumb wins
    The Big Guy might find out we’re not so Christian ..

    Whoa, halfway there
    Whoa-oh! Caught up in the air
    Take the Lord’s name in vain, better hope He won’t care
    Whoa-oh! Hide your sin in prayer

  27. Ghost in the Machine

    The Job of Consent The New Enquiry

    This was a bit of a slog to read. I agree there are problems, but if discussions about consent have to be this involved and abstract and include things like ‘negligent rape’ (how do you determine this in a court?), I understand the rising incidence of young people just foregoing sex. Is flirting even possible in this environment? Do we need to carry around contracts?

    1. KieselguhrKid

      I found it a real slog too, and I agree with the main critique that consent is a slippery concept that can’t really cleanly divide “good” from “bad” sex.

      I found it frustrating that it seemed to mix up three different axes: legality of sex; moral good/badness of sex; and pleasurability of sex. For the first one, I suppose it is a necessity for courts to find ways to strictly categorize all the gray areas of consent, but im personally not very interested in enumerating all of these. And the latter two are really not the same thing, I’m not sure I even need to explain that. And I think coming up with a strict line to divide morally good/bad sex is probably a fools errand anyway. There’s certainly a line on the bad side that the law tries to capture, but of course that doesn’t mean all legal sex is morally good.

      For your last point about the youths having less sex: I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I really don’t think this is the issue. Over-educated academics debating the nitty gritty of all this has pretty much no bearing on 20-somethings trying to navigate dating. I personally think it has a lot to do with how everyone’s lives are mostly online, and no one knows how to meet people in the real world anymore. I think the youngins just earnestly don’t know how to navigate meeting people in real life, flirting and dating etc, which was surely exacerbated by the pandemic but not totally caused by it. So they mostly try dating apps, which turn out to be an exhausting wasteland that turns them off of the concept of trying to date.

  28. The Rev Kev

    “As Russian Troops Broke Through Ukrainian Lines, Panicky Ukrainian Commanders Had No Choice But To Deploy One Of Their Least-Prepared Brigades’

    This was inevitable this. For over two years the Ukrainian military command has been squandering the lives of their men by the tens of thousands. No cause was so hopeless that they did not simply throw men into it to be massacred. Now the bill is coming due with their brigades undermanned and inexperienced. The officers and NCOs of two years ago which are the backbone of any army are mostly gone. And lots of the new soldiers are going in with only two weeks of training which is criminal. But they are still fighting for a just cause. To hang on till November so that old Joe can be re-elected.

    1. Feral Finster

      A fighting retreat requires trained troops and officers that have the confidence of their men. Ukraine lacks both these things.

      From the PoV of Washington, brussels and Kiev, none of whom care about Ukraine or Ukrainians any more than they care about the chickens that go into their Chicken McNuggets, this has worked perfectly well so far.

  29. Will

    re possibility of International Criminal Court in The Hague issuing arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Gallant and Halevi

    American Servicemembers’ Protection Act of 2002 (aka The Hague Invasion Act)

    Section 2008 (22 USC 7427): Authority to Free Members of the Armed Forces of the United States and Certain Other Persons Detained or Imprisoned By or On Behalf of the International Criminal Court.

    (a) Authority

    The President is authorized to use all means necessary and appropriate to bring about the release of any person described in subsection (b) who is being detained or imprisoned by, on behalf of, or at the request of the International Criminal Court.

    (b) Persons Authorized To Be Freed

    The authority of subsection (a) shall extend to the following persons:

    (1) Covered United States persons.

    (2) Covered allied persons.

    (3) Individuals detained or imprisoned for official actions taken while the individual was a covered United States person or a covered allied person, and in the case of a covered allied person, upon the request of such government.

    Section 2013 (22 USC 7432): Definitions

    (3) Covered allied persons.

    The term ‘covered allied persons’ means military personnel, elected or appointed officials, and other persons employed by or working on behalf of the government of a NATO member country, a major non-NATO ally (including Australia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Argentina, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand), or Taiwan, for so long as that government is not a party to the International Criminal Court and wishes its officials and other persons working on its behalf to be exempted from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

  30. The Rev Kev

    “TikTok ban signed into law by President Biden: How we got here, and what comes next”

    ‘FBI director Chris Wray once cautioned that users might not see “outward signs” if China were ever to meddle with TikTok. “Something that’s very sacred in our country — the difference between the private sector and the public sector — that’s a line that is nonexistent in the way the CCP operates,” Wray said in a Senate hearing last year.’

    Wray must have forgotten the shenanigans going on in Twitter before Musk took over. I find it funny that the law being used over Tik Tok is is called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act as it’s application is to force the Chinese to sell the world-wide operation of Tik Tok to just America so that they will control nearly all the world’s social media. All the better to control the narrative with. I suppose that Telegram will be next. I suspect though that the Chinese will just say that they won’t offer it to Americans. But if young Americans use a VPN to get it and use it, then it is not on them.

  31. Wukchumni

    In April 1924, a road crew was working in Sequoia National Park, near the spectacular granite dome of Moro Rock, when a large shape emerged from the woods. These workers had previously been stationed with the Park Service at Yellowstone, and they were familiar with the animal that walked by their camp. In their report, they noted its cinnamon-colored fur and the prominent hump on its back, both telltale signs of a grizzly bear.

    A century later, that report remains, in most experts’ eyes, the last credible sighting of a grizzly in California. An animal that had once numbered as many as 10,000 in the state, living in almost all its varied ecosystems and gracing its state flag, had been hunted to local extinction.

    They didn’t get the facts right, the last Grizzly in Cali was killed by a local rancher around Hospital Rock in Sequoia NP in 1926.

    His aged son gave a talk at our museum in Tiny Town about a dozen years ago and he brought the model 1892 rifle that did the deed, along with a photo of the deceased bear, and a clipping from the Visalia Times-Delta from 1930 that stated this was the last Grizzly in the state.

    I held the agent of it’s destruction in my hands, and if you’d like to see said rifle, it’s on display in the museum.

  32. juno mas

    RE: Vaccine breakthrough

    Note that UCR(iverside) is one of the lesser known UC campuses, but evidently doing seminal research. All the key researchers appear to have oriental heritage (Chinese?: Gang Chen; Qingxia Han; Wan-Xiang Li; Rong Hai; Shou-Wei Ding).

  33. GramSci

    Re: Collective Intelligence and political economy

    An amusing read, but the authors hew pretty close to genetically scripted ‘collective intelligence’. As political economy has no script, there’s nothing in Natural Selection stopping ‘collective intelligence’ from having a grand mal seizure or a grand petit mal seizure, exiting with a bang or a whimper.

  34. Steve H.

    > Collective intelligence: A unifying concept for integrating biology across scales and substrates Nature.

    This is a survey article with a goal of extending intelligence definitions to collective biological behavior. Calling it a unifying concept is a bit much. There’s not much advancement in its substrate that wasn’t there in 1972.

    There are a number of new cases, and if it descends from these general models, the modification is this technique:

    > Concepts from connectionist machine learning, such as artificial neural networks, now provide a rigorous, quantitative understanding of ways in which higher-level information is derived from lower-level subsystems’ inputs in a collective system

    Okay, now define the terms.

    > One is intelligence, in William James’ sense of a degree of ability to reach the same goal by different means (i.e., problem-solving in changing or novel circumstances). The other is collective decision-making, as studied in the rapidly advancing study of group behavior among swarms

    So their notion of Intelligence is Choice (goal, decision-making), is volitional, and now plants a stake in the ‘Is there Free Will’ question.

    Taleb: We have to accept the fuzziness of the familiar “because” no matter how queasy it makes us feel (and it does make us queasy to remove the analgesic illusion of causality). I repeat that we are explanation-seeking animals who tend to think that everything has an identifiable cause and grab the most apparent one as the explanation. Yet there may not be a visible because ; to the contrary, frequently there is nothing, not even a spectrum of possible explanations. But silent evidence masks this fact… The Aristotelian “because” is not there to account for a solid link between two items, but rather… to cater to our hidden weakness for imparting explanations.

    There is a profound blind spot to the nature of the selection process (technically Covariance). Selection can be tangible (heat tolerance) and/or social, and/or other unknown factors (see Taleb).

    > Clever experiments radically altering the geometry of the tissue test its intelligence by forcing it to explore a variant morphospatial landscape.

    They are creating variants without understanding their own impact on the covariant landscape.

    > More specifically, several perturbations targeting the bioelectric control circuit (Fig. 5e) have shown randomization of outcome: such Cryptic planaria are destabilized, and fragments (even from the same parent worm) will form 1-head and 2-head forms at a set frequency of ~1:2

    Back in the Toxicology Lab we called this Teratogenesis – the Creation of Monsters. Great, now I’ve got an emotional Disgust reaction interfering with my critical thinking.

    > We extend James’ definition of intelligence to collectives by considering the perceptual field of an agent: the area in space and time that the agent can survey to find alternative paths to a goal (Fig. 2a, b). As the size of a collective increases its perceptual field increases, improving its ability to find variant paths.

    Well, that’s kinda cool and useful, if a bit Big Data adjacent. What’s the relation of the higher-order entities to the lower?

    > Understanding how the behavior of subunits percolates up toward adaptive processes at higher levels (Fig. 1a–e), and how higher levels of organization constrain and facilitate the behavior of their parts

    Okay, ‘constrain and facilitate’…

    > Biological intelligent systems demonstrate increased ability to achieve their (collective) goals despite obstacles by integrating the individual competencies of their components (which can perform tasks in their own space without any inkling of the large-scale goals to which they contribute)

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this. Maybe it’s that disgust reaction? ‘which can perform tasks in their own space without any inkling of the large-scale goals to which they contribute’

    > Future work is essential to understand how higher-order entities (organisms, organs, tissues, etc.) distort the energy landscape for their subunits, benefitting from their competencies to navigate spaces of which the subunits are unaware.

    Okay, I’m getting foily. ‘of which the subunits are unaware.’ If the higher-order entities are governments, corporations, ngo’s (ie funding agencies), what’s the downstream effect of using(?) AI techniques in a review article published in Nature? Is it to ‘distort the energy landscape’ for AI funding? Who’s doing the funding? Follow The Money:

    : Guy Foundation Family Trust: facilitate exploration into quantum effects in biology and the role it could play in advancing medicine. [Okay, cool.]

    : Air Force Office of Scientific Research [Not unexpected.]

    : John Templeton Foundation: THE TEMPLETON PRIZE honors individuals whose exemplary achievements advance Sir John Templeton’s philanthropic vision: harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest questions of the universe and humankind’s place and purpose within it.

    Now, I like Templetons. My wife is a Templeton. But that phrase ‘humankind’s place and purpose within it’ is like Taleb’s ‘Because’. The funding is attached to an ontology, and the recipients may be unaware subunits. Surely that’s the case.

    > as well as the very elegant electrotactic ‘SCHEEPDOG’ system which is able to precisely steer collectives

    O ffs.

    end of transmission

      1. Steve H.

        I’m thinking of it as a travelogue, from critical thinking to confirmation bias, with the emotional response being the detour.

  35. Feral Finster

    “Israel’s defense minister calls for halting pro-Gaza protests at US universities Anadolu Agency. Who’s the sovereign here?”

    After seeing what was done to the children of the rich and connected at Columbia, if anyone now thinks that the establishment will not do whatever it takes to retain power, break any law of God or man, then I truly have no words for such naivete.

      1. Feral Finster

        A pretext can always be ginned up to arrest and charge anyone that TPTB want arrested and charged.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          As fate would have it, I know the daughter of the Atlanta Police Chief, so I will not be participating in any revolutionary activities within Atlanta City limits.

      2. gk

        When Streleski was released in 1985 Stanford University warned him not to visit the campus. He said he had the right to visit if he wanted (but never put it to the test)

    1. Yves Smith

      Alexander Mercouris, who has actually visited oil refineries, says they are huge, substantial complexes and drones can’t and won’t do much damage, and have not so far.

      And we don’t even know if that image is from the recent attack. Ukraine has this way of hoisting old pix and attributing them to current events.

      1. Feral Finster

        Mercouris is not the only one who has visited an oil refinery. So they are big? How does this make them less inviting as targets?

      2. PlutoniumKun

        The vulnerable part of a refinery (apart perhaps from control centres) is the Crude Distillation Unit (CDU), which is where the crude is initially heated and distilled into its major fractions (which are in turn further processed, distilled and processed in smaller units – its all these smaller processing units which ensure that refineries sprawl over huge areas).

        The CDU is essentially a very large high pressure kettle and as such is very expensive to construct and vulnerable to damage, and probably can’t be easily repaired if the main containment vessel has been badly damaged. They tend to be scaled very large for economic purposes, so even the very largest refineries won’t have more than a few of them – many will have just the one to serve the entire complex.

        This is what they would be aiming for if the intent was a killer punch, although I’ve no idea if the ATACMS or the cruder cruise missiles have the accuracy or punch to do critical damage to one. A lot would depend on accuracy. I’d guess both an ATCAMS and Taurus would have the punch to do serious damage – the latter would probably be able to deliver a more precise strike and has a shaped charged warhead, so could penetrate pretty much anything.

        Its not clear to me if a direct hit would be all that spectacular from a distance, as only the lighter fractions would burn hot – if you want to create a fireworks display (which is possible if the attack was just intended as a ‘see what we can do’ attempt), you’d aim for one of the smaller distillation units for lighter fractions such as butane. But for serious long term damage, you have to go for the CDU. I’ve no doubt that a successful strike on one would knock an entire refinery out of business for months at least.

        1. Polar Socialist

          The oddity of hitting Russian refineries is that most of them are out of range of even ATACMS, so more than enough capacity is retained anyway for internal purposes. If we try to see everything Ukraine in the light of trying implode Russia – this won’t do it.

          Since Russia exports crude, strikes won’t affect Russia’s exports except they will rise the price, so Russia will get more for it’s crude. Which would be counter-productive for the aim of causing internal friction.

          And, logically, Russia will retaliate and shut down more of Ukraine. There are already reports of Ukrainian businesses leaving Kharkov area. Even groceries can’t get supplies anymore, since suppliers see the risk of deliveries (and payments) too high, so food is getting scarce and expensive.

          A few more months of the same, and Kharkov will be happy to surrender to Russians.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            This is what puzzles me about the attacks – the how and why they are doing it, and why Russia has been so slow at defending what should be an obvious target.

            This is one reason I mentioned the ‘fireworks’ element. Its possible the attacks are intended not to cripple the refineries, but to send a ‘see what we could do’ message. If so, its not been particularly well done.

            Just a point on exports – while almost all Russian exports are crude, they are usually in the form of ‘mixes’ such as Urals or ESPO blends– these are where crudes from differing sources are mixed together to create blends suitable for the purchasing refineries. ESPO is required for many Asian refineries, while Urals blend usually goes to China . The blending of these grades are done in refineries too – its not impossible that the mixing vessels were the target, although they’d be a pretty hard target to damage. That is certainly what you’d aim for if the intention was to disrupt exports only, although it would represent a much harder target as its really just a series of industrial sized smoothie makers.

            But I think its more likely that the Ukrainians and whoever is helping them really don’t have a clear strategic idea of what to do, and so just thought hitting refineries is a good idea as it might cause domestic fuel shortages. At this stage, I doubt anyone west of the contact line has any clear idea of what should be done. Its all very reminiscent of the last year of WWII where the losing sides where just randomly throwing the dice to see if they could get lucky.

            1. yep

              Not much of a puzzle, I would say. Russia is full of obvious targets spread around (industry, infrastracture, etc). It is physically impossible to cover them all.

              An example of even more obvious targets in war, are tank factories. Ukrainians aren’t striking Uralvagonzavod (the biggest tank factory in the World), for some reason. One could assume that they are aiming at things with least protection, in order to maximize chances of scoring a hit. If Russians were to transfer more AA to refineries, Ukraine would strike whatever those AA systems were protecting before. Taking casualties in war is inevitable.

    2. R.S.

      > Russian air defense is not nearly as effective as I may wish.

      Look. It’s a 1500-mi border that did never exist as a border. They mention Voronezh and Smolensk in that article – the distance is about 600 km as a bird flies. You can’t cover each and every refinery, oil depot, factory, train station, etc. in the area. Don’t forget schools, kindergartens, everything down to civilian trains and buses. (E.g., [1], just yesterday.) Something’s gonna leak somewhere.

      Moreover, quite a few drones are launched from inside Russia. It’s a civil war after all. For the last thirty years or so (if not for the last century) the choice between Ukrainian and Russian identities has been often a conscious conversion.

      Akshually, the Russians have been living like this since the early 90s. The peak was 300+ terror attacks a year [2]. It’s not good, but it’s already figured in. That time it was “Jihadists”, but it makes no big difference.

      I mean, the problem can’t be solved with the snap of a finger. And the vibe I get is that the idea of “bringing the war home to Russia” was a very bad one.

      [1] “In the Bryansk region, a Ukrainian Armed Forces drone hit a bus, four were injured”, link in Russian

      [2] “…the peak of terror activity in Russia in 2010, when 327 attacks and 274 deaths were recorded.”
      Global Terrorism Index 2024, pdf

    3. ilsm


      Mia reported ATACMS shots a week or so again.

      Russian air defenses do not have to be all that effective.

      The ATACMS, long range strike needs to be effective around attrition.

      The U.S. has not proven long range strike strategic since the minority dispute with the effectiveness of WW II strategic bombing.

      From Korea thru Iraq U.S. bombing has not turned the tide.

      Russia needs to be as good as NV air defenses.

      Experts touting ATACMS etc should be questioned

      1. yep

        Russian long range strikes on Ukraine have proven to be devastating. They are literally strategic, meaning that they are part of an actual strategy that Russians are following.

        Post WWII bombings around the World, by the US, are not part of some specific military strategy, but bombing for the sake of bombing. As Martyanov would say, US does not do strategy.

  36. Feral Finster

    “Right-Wing Critiques Miscast NPR, NYT as Lefty Bastions FAIR”

    I seem to recall that NPR’s own veteran reporter and ombudsman saying as much recently. Are they now coded “right-wing” all of a sudden?

    Still, FAIR may have a point. NPR is a PMC bastion, not necessarily a “lefty” bastion. In fact, the reason for NPR’s existence is not in news, information or even analysis, but its role in instructing a carefully curated slice of the PMC what they are expected to think, what they are expected to prioritize, and what they are expected to ignore.

  37. Tom Stone

    I was wondering if the FDA was looking at pigs as well as dairy herds, it seems Bird flu would be more likely to jump from pigs to Humans than from Cows to Humans since pigs are susceptible to both Avian and Human Influenza strains.

  38. John Merryman

    As for collective intelligence, government, as executive and regulatory function, is analogous to the nervous system, while money and banking work as blood and the circulation system.
    With public government and private banking, the banks rule and the only real job the flunkies allowed in office have, is running up the debt the financial sector needs to grow metastatically. The secret sauce of capitalism is public debt backing private wealth. “The real money is in bonds.”
    Bacteria and modern economics operate on the same infinite growth strategy. The problem is reaching the edge of the petri dish, or resources.
    The advantage of multicellular organisms is being able to sense and navigate the environment.

  39. Wukchumni

    Biden Praises Aid Package for Ukraine and Israel as a ‘Good Day for World Peace’ NYT

    There’s a backlog of around $20 billion in deferred maintenance in our National Parks & Monuments-which are a testament really to world peace, as violence and murder are conspicuously absent among the 325 million visitors each year.

    I suspect no aid package will ever be forthcoming…

  40. CA

    Federal interest payments on debt became greater than Federal $1.03 trillion military spending between January and March of this year:

    April 25, 2024

    Federal Government Defense Spending as a share of Gross Domestic Product, 2000-2024

    $1,030.0 / $28,284.5 = 3.6%

    Federal Government Interest Payments as a share of Gross Domestic Product, 2000-2024

    $1,059.2 / $28,284.5 = 3.7%

    * Billions of dollars

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Today is a bad day at the office for the Manila Folder a.k.a. Fed Chairman Powell.

      The GDP report delivered a strong cup of stagflation, and “W.I.N.” buttons are now trending on Instagram.

      The Folder may need to put his Pirate costume back on, for a spell. Bond markets look to be taking one look at all that debt, including a fresh $100B in lethal aid for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan that at least in the first two cases, will soon be turned into scrap metal, and puking.

    2. skippy

      Ref Fed interest payments … bond holders rejoice – !!!!! – free money.

      Anywhoo … I thought Kelton did a fairly decent unpacking of the IR antics by the Fed post covid. In addition those like Hudson and others pointing out IR as a social tool for shaping society first and foremost.

  41. CA

    April 25, 2024

    Defense spending was 56.1% of federal government consumption and investment in January through March 2024. *

    $1,030.0 / $1,837.3 = 56.1%

    Defense spending was 20.9% of all government consumption and investment in January through March 2024.

    $1,030.0 / $4,932.0 = 20.9%

    Defense spending was 3.6% of GDP in January through March 2024.

    $1,030.0 / $28,284.5 = 3.6%

    * Billions of dollars

    1. Screwball

      Thanks for this. From the same chart under Government consumption expenditures and gross investments for 2024;

      National Defense = $1,030.0
      Nondefense = $807.3

      That pretty much tells us all we need to know. Bombs, war, and killing is more important that We the people.

      These people can go straight to hell.

      1. CA

        From the same chart under Government consumption expenditures and gross investments for 2024;

        National Defense = $1,030.0
        Nondefense = $807.3

        That pretty much tells us all we need to know.

        — Screwball

        [ Perfectly illustrated. ]

  42. CA

    April 25, 2024

    U.S. Economy Grew at 1.6% Rate in First Quarter
    Consumers ensured that growth continued, but the latest data showed signs of vulnerability elsewhere.
    By Ben Casselman

    The U.S. economy continued to grow but at a sharply slower rate early this year, as strong consumer spending was offset by weakness in other sectors.

    Gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, increased at a 1.6 percent annual rate in the first three months of 2024, down from 3.4 percent at the end of 2023, the Commerce Department said Thursday…

    1. ChrisFromGA

      Big trouble for the pivot mongers is that the PCE inflator came in at 3.7%, meaning that the downtrend from last year is burnt toast.

      They’re not going to get their free money and now they’re screwed.

      1. flora

        I think Yellen has been doing a quiet QE based on a one-year bond float since the one-years don’t show up in the official debt stats. That one-year float can only go on so long for consecutive years per the rules and will come to an end this year, at the end of the current consecutive years’ limit.
        Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

        1. flora

          edit: at the end of the current consecutive years’ limit before it does show up in the official debt stats.

        2. ChrisFromGA

          My understanding based on Wolf and Mish is that she’s moved into mostly T-bills, 1 year and under maturity as you say.

          Which worked, until the RRP account balance approaches zero, then the jig is up. A new way of cheating will be found, IMO. Remember the repo crisis from 2019?

        3. ilsm

          Reverse Repro are running $440 billion each day this week and Fed reserve balance sheet report for 25 April shows paltry $3.5 billion reduction.

          Financial conditions are still very open.

          Fed doing everything short of rate cuts!

  43. Wukchumni

    Hey kids, shake it loose together
    The spotlight’s hitting something
    That’s been known to change the weather
    We’ll kill the fatted calf tonight
    So stick around
    You’re gonna hear martialistic music
    Solid walls of sound

    Say, Volodymyr and Vladimir, have you seen the F-16’s yet
    But they’re so spaced out, B-B-B-Biden and the Jets
    Oh but they’re old and they’re wonderful
    Oh Biden he’s really keen
    Its the golden anniversary of both of their skein
    You know I read it in a magazine
    B-B-B-Biden and the Jets

    Hey kids, plug into the aegis
    Maybe they’re ancient
    But Biden makes them ageless
    We shall survive, let us take ourselves along
    Where the fight is out in the streets
    To find who’s right and who’s wrong

    Say, Volodymyr and Vladimir, have you seen the F-16’s yet
    But they’re so spaced out, B-B-B-Biden and the Jets
    Oh but they’re old and they’re wonderful
    Oh Biden he’s really keen
    Its the golden anniversary of both of their skein
    You know I read it in a magazine
    B-B-B-Biden and the Jets

    Biden and the Jets
    Biden and the Jets
    Biden and the Jets
    Biden and the Jets
    Biden, Biden and the Jets
    Biden, Biden and the Jets

    Bennie & The Jets, by Elton John

  44. CA

    The continual failure of prominent Western economists to understand the strength of the Chinese economy is a serious problem in that developing countries are discouraged from looking to China as a development model:

    April 16, 2024

    China’s economy off to good start in Q1, up by 5.3%, defying ‘Peak China’ rhetoric
    By Ma Jingjing, Li Xuanmin, Wang Yi and Qi Xijia

    China’s GDP growth rate beat market expectations to reach 5.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, kicking off a good start to the year and laying a strong foundation for achieving the annual development targets.

    The strong momentum of the world’s second-largest economy has debunked the “Peak China” theory and other fallacies, Chinese analysts said…

    1. Schopsi

      Part of the mission successful then at least.

      For those who by this point still believe enough in western economists and media to allow them to dictate their decisions in economic policy, despite how they seriously should and easily could have learned that neither are in any way reliable, trustworthy or honest a thousand times over, all hope may well be lost .

      1. flora

        Odd how I still believe in the western political systems even as I no longer believe in The City’s type financial system. How odd. Are ‘The West’ and ‘The City’ the same thing? I hope not. Is he West’s polity synomious with the West’s banking systems. I hope not. / ;)

  45. CA

    As for the writing of Naomi Klein, while I know nothing of her family life or position other than as a senior professor, I know that Klein wrote an especially fine criticism of the work and economic following of the work of Milton Friedman for which Klein was fiercely, even profanely and unjustly criticized by prominent American economists. I also know that Klein has now written a fine and brave explanation and criticism of political Zionism that appears to explain critical occurrences such as the unjust criticism of former UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to the decades-long treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

    Klein deserves to be read with respect.

  46. Willow

    >They Knew There Was No Bomb

    Irrespective of doubts about veracity of these ‘leaks’, there’s been an uptick in nuclear alertness suggesting an (attempted) escalation orders of magnitude greater than a few quad drones attacking Iran.

  47. Jessica

    The book “Revolutionary Yiddishland” is an excellent presentation of the non-/anti-Zionist culture that was lost in the Holocaust and Operation Barbarossa. It shows what principled Jewish nationalism could be.

  48. Jay Ess

    I think that if there was a single way to deal with all viruses, some animal would have evolved it already, yet none has. I doubt this approach will work as well as advertised.

  49. zach

    On short-short blogging… Neat concept. Sounds kind of like a comments section on someone else’s website, kind of like longform twitter, but if i were to read it again more carefully i’d probably understand that it’s actually totally different, in fact i think i’ll do that, i’ll let you know what i find out.

    Ok i’m back, turns out the difference is you’re supposed to do things like “call-to-action”(?) and “support-your-claims-with-claims-made-by-other-people-who-agree-or-disagree-with-your-short-short-take.” Scott also insists any opinions should be “informed,” which, idk, sounds elitist to me. Trump.

    So yeah totally different. Like fathoms apart.

Comments are closed.