Links 4/14/2024

Research team discovers more than 50 potentially new deep-sea species in one of the most unexplored areas of the planet

Tiny black holes left over from the Big Bang may be prime dark matter suspects

Thousands of Meteorites in Antarctica Are Destined to Be Lost Forever Science Alert

Many Stone Age people were murdered with the same method used by the Italian Mafia — and it was all part of a ritualistic sacrifice ZME Science

Chartbook 274 From Bauhaus to Buchenwald .. to mid-century cool. Adam Tooze


Burden of Stroke Attributable to Nonoptimal Temperature in 204 Countries and Territories Neurology

Can artificial snow save ski resorts amid the hottest winters on record? ZME Science


One-Year Recovery Among Survivors of Prolonged Severe COVID-19: A National Multicenter Cohort Critical Care Medicine. Conclusion: “Nearly two-thirds of survivors of among the most prolonged severe COVID-19 illness had persistent impairments at 1 year that resembled post-intensive care syndrome after critical illness plus debility from hospital-acquired complications.”


‘Wise to assume bird flu pandemic will cause more severe disease in humans than COVID-19’ Down to Earth


Thousands protest in Niger for immediate withdrawal of US troops Al Arabiya

‘Agadez has begun to live again’ Al Jazeera. The deck: Migrants and smugglers are returning after Niger repealed its anti-migration law.


U.S. blacklists Intel’s and Nvidia’s key partner in China — three other Chinese firms also included in the blacklist for helping the military Tom’s Hardware

The Electric Vehicle Developmental State Phenomenal World

Foul Play? On the Scale and Scope of Industrial Subsidies in China Kiel Institute for the World Economy

US airlines ask Biden administration to block additional flights to China CNN. “The “anti-competitive disadvantage” with China worsened in 2022, the letter said, when the Asian country’s airlines continued to access Russian airspace, while US carriers stopped using it as a result of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February of that year. Having to avoid Russian airspace adds time and costs to flights.”

Between the US and a hard place, Germany’s Scholz ‘re-engages’ with China Reuters


Iran launches dozens of drones on Israel amid escalation Anadolu Agency

Israeli cabinet grants Netanyahu, Gallant, Gantz authority to decide response to Iranian attack Anadolu Agency

Iranian Officials Warn of ‘More Severe’ Response if Israel Responds to Unprecedented Barrage Haaretz

Joe Biden vows ‘ironclad’ support to Israel. Who said what on Iran’s attack Hindustan Times

Scoop: Biden told Bibi U.S. won’t support an Israeli counterattack on Iran Axios

Gulf states warn US not to launch strikes on Iran from their territory or airspace Middle East Eye

Iran threatens to attack Jordan if it ‘cooperates’ with Israel: Report Al Arabiya

Iran’s IRGC seizes ‘Israeli-linked’ ship near Strait of Hormuz Al Jazeera


Israeli mobs set homes, cars ablaze in West Bank pogrom The Cradle


France and Germany hit by legal action over arms sales to Israel amid Gaza war The New Arab

End of Innocence New Left Review. “If, as there is reason to believe, this is a rendezvous with decline and fall, then the time will come when we will be able to say that the world was upturned in Gaza.”

Germany to give Holocaust survivors $236 payout to help them cope with October 7 attacks CNN

European Disunion

Germany Feels Special Again Tarik Cyril Amar

Von der Leyen castigates far-right AfD over Russiagate scandal POLITICO EU

Europe’s sinking economy:  how many causes can we name while ignoring the Russia factor? Gilbert Doctorow

New Not-So-Cold War

“The primary threat is not Vladimir Putin but the danger of conflict spiralling into nuclear violence” Thomas Fazi

Did British intelligence create a Neo-Nazi militia? Kit Klarenberg, Al Mayadeen. The deck: “Kiev’s collapse cannot be far away. When that day comes to pass, Centuria will be lying in wait throughout Europe, ready to deliver retribution to the people and governments who allowed it to happen.”

Germany to send Patriot air-defense system to Ukraine but holds out on Taurus missiles POLITICO EU

Death ray weapon: UK’s DragonFire to take out Russian drones in Ukraine Interesting Engineering

The Caucasus

Armenia deepens military ties with Western allies Defense News

Into the US-NATO plot for South Caucasus Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to Khamenei. Al Mayadeen

Iran obstructs Indian howitzers shipment amid Russia’s influence Bulgarian Military

Old Blighty

Rigging Britain’s Democracy Tribune

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Navy’s new warship plagued by worker turnover Stars and Stripes

Navy’s new landing ship could cost billions more than planned: CBO Breaking Defense

All for One and One for All William Schryver, Imetatronink

Spook Country

Republican Mike Johnson Hits Walkoff Vote as Intel Community Edges 4th Amendment in 1-0 thriller Matt Taibbi, Racket News

Congressman Victimized by FBI Spying Votes for More Warrantless Spying Powers Lee Fang


Democrats bank on abortion in 2024 as Arizona and Florida push stakes higher Guardian

GOP Clown Car

House GOP vows Israel vote after Iran attack amid bipartisan pressure on aid package POLITICO Commentary:

Realignment and Legitimacy

Practicing an ‘Insurgent Politics of Care’ in Rural America Barn Raiser


American Corporations Help Fuel Mass Migration Lee Fang


Boeing’s CEO search has a new frontrunner—and insiders say it could mean a radical change for the $104 billion ailing planemaker Fortune



Police State Watch

The Slow Death of a Prison Profiteer: How Activism Brought Securus to the Brink The Appeal

Supply Chain

US drug shortages reach record high with 323 meds now in short supply Ars Technica

Guillotine Watch

The Rich: On Top of the World and Very Anxious About It Jacobin

The Bezzle

Toddler was able to start ‘defective’ Tesla and crashed into pregnant mom, lawsuit says Miami Herald

US biotech executive sentenced to 7 years in jail for COVID test fraud Reuters

Class Warfare

Amid standoff at Capitol over Uber and Lyft driver pay, Minneapolis council delays its ordinance Minnesota Reformer

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Budapest as sung by George Ezra)

    The White House is a mess
    Joe Biden at his best
    Can’t read or think or plan
    So who surrounds this man?
    Who? (oooh) Who? (oooh)
    Who makes the call?

    Is it the Kagan clan
    That I’d believe
    Or is all strategy
    From Tel Aviv?
    Tell me who? (oooh) Who? (oooh)
    Who makes the call?
    Tell me who? (oooh) Who?
    Who’s in this cabal?

    Biden’s gone to pieces
    He’s getting older every day
    Who is in this junta
    That’s killing children day by day?

    We’re heading for collapse
    As this goes on
    We’re arming Israel to
    ‘To mow the lawn’
    Tell me who? (oooh) Who? (oooh)
    Who makes the call?
    Tell me who? (oooh) Who?
    Who’s in this cabal?

    Blinken and McGurk most likely
    People from the CIA
    Blowing up West Asia
    To keep the fighting underway

    A neocon tribunal
    Deciding while Joe Biden sleeps
    Chaos is the outcome
    But no one in this White House weeps

    (musical interlude)

    My friends and family
    Don’t understand
    Why is diplomacy
    A no-man’s-land?
    Tell me who? (oooh) Who? (oooh)
    Who makes the call?
    Tell me who? (oooh) Who?
    Who’s in this cabal?

    Sullivan or Sherman
    Finer or the NSC?
    Wars across the oceans
    Started by some appointees

    Wars for oil and treasure
    Wars to keep us Number One
    Wars that have no meaning
    Ever since we left Saigon

    The White House is a mess
    Joe Biden at his best
    Can’t read or think or plan
    So who surrounds this man?
    Who? (oooh) Who? (oooh)
    Who makes the call?

    Tell me who? (oooh) Who?
    Who’s in this cabal?

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Navy’s new landing ship could cost billions more than planned: CBO”

    It’s a pretty generic headline whose variations we have seen for decades now. For example-

    ‘Army’s new XXX could cost billions more than planned’

    ‘Air Force’s new XXX could cost billions more than planned’

    And when it is finished, it may not even work – such as the LCSs. And you can expect to see more such headlines in the decades to come. After all, it’s only money.

    1. digi_owl

      And it all boils down to governments having outsourced everything to consultants and contractors, often with the consultants having members sitting on both sides of the table during “negotiations”.

      1. earthling

        While allowing and even encouraging mergers to create monopoly or duopoly builders, without the fresh air of competition to keep contracts in the realm of reality.

    2. griffen

      As we are often reminded by the resident outdoor activities director on the West Coast*, Wuk often chimes in with how the current FY budget is cutting spending on the NPS by about $ 150 million. $ 150 million just seems like pocket change of course, for our most glorious DOD and Pentagon efforts at military preparedness…

      *It’s honorary with zero strings included! And the money is honorary ( and fictional) as well. I for one, always appreciate updates from the wilderness.

      1. Wukchumni

        Took a drive up to Crescent Meadow recently to walk and 5 miles of slushy snow later, my in theory waterproof boots were a squishing inside with every step, but back to the pre-lims.

        We’d barely got through the park entrance when a stage 1 alert was almost immediately upgraded to stage 3, you gotta go, now! status, babies don’t let your prostates grow to be anxious!

        It’s about 3 miles to the Ash Mountain visitors center which has facilities, and I nearly ran out of the vehicle as it was running and did my best rendition of an old Hertz tv commercial from the 1970’s, jumping over a low shrub (an elderly lady who misjudged me for an African-American, yelled Go OJ Go!) and an equally low curb, elegantly though.

        The gravity of the situation was evident as I burst into the mens’ restroom, and the toilet was open-I didn’t think once or hesitate twice as a fresh pattern of depth charges found their mark, ASDIC enabled.

        By the time i’d completed the paperwork on the job, 3 men were anxiously coveting my former digs in the toilet, as the 1 lone urinal was covered in a Glad bag, broken.

        Ash Mountain was a Mission 66 project completed in 1964, and you wonder if there were a lot less bowel movements back then, as there is now 1 toilet for half of the 2 million visitors to Sequoia NP.

        It has become obvious the only way to get money out of the Feds is to change the name of the place to something will attract funding, so from now on please have the courtesy to call it by the new name…

        Slava Ukraini Shalom National Park

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘Michael Tracey
    End Times preachers are going to have a field day’

    That image of resistance missiles flying over Al-Aqsa Mosque is going to be one of the most iconic images coming from this war and will be spread both near and far in the Middle East alone. That image has it all.

    Say, did anybody else notice that that video cut out just before those missiles hit their targets?

    1. griffen

      Jim Jones was only off by about 45 years give or take…The end is nigh, the apocalypse nears..\Sarc But I admit I wish it weren’t sarcasm.

      Or to quote the loquacious Pvt. Hudson from the Aliens film ( apologies but it is nearly prescient in the depiction of a rapacious corporation ).. We’re on an express elevator to hell, going down.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I think that video in Tracey’s tweet might be showing the missiles being intercepted, since presumably many were.

      Interestingly though, right before I checked NC, the yahoo home page had an article claiming that 99% of the missiles and drones were intercepted, with two or three hitting and causing very minor damage. Then I come here and see the other video above clearly showing missile strikes hitting their targets. Then I go back to yahoo again and I can’t find the article that was just on the front page – it’s either gone or it went into hiding.

      Clearly, there is plenty of propaganda to sift through to get the real story. Perhaps the article I first saw was cribbing from the Ukrainians…

      1. Chris Cosmos

        You can never get the “real story” from the mainstream media so don’t bother looking. The facts will eventually leak out bit by bit for those of us who bother searching. Propaganda works almost always in the short-term. I think the plan is to push the narrative so that this was an Israeli “victory” hoping Israel won’t retaliate in a major way that’s how the organs of the State seem to be spinning the Iran attack.

        1. LifelongLib

          Dunno. Granted it was a long time ago, but IIRC I. F. Stone said that you could always find the truth in an American newspaper, but a lot of the time it was buried in a paragraph on page 17.

      2. SD

        I tried to follow the Iranian counterstrike on Twitter last night. Truth is the first casualty of war and all that, but a number of accounts I have followed for years, and that I trust, were describing (or posting comments and videos purporting to portray) significant damage at the Nevatim air base and also an Israeli intelligence facility in the Golan Heights. The air base was apparently where the attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus originated.

        A number of commentators were lauding Iran’s strategic approach and the operation itself for one or more of the following reasons: 1) by announcing its intention many days in advance, Iran gave Israel and its allies time to prepare defenses; 2) by deliberately targeting only military facilities, Iran sought to limit civilian casualties; 3) by invoking Article 51 of the UN charter, Iran signaled its willingness to work within UN frameworks, despite the fact that the Security Council refused to condemn Israel’s destruction of Iran’s Damascus consulate.

        Item 1 above is most interesting to me because many commentators argued that this decision was designed to give Israel, the US, and the UK a chance to intercept almost all of the drones and many of the missiles Iran launched. As a result, the West was able to save face and portray itself as having foiled Iran’s dastardly plan with its superior technology. A writer (this person is essentially a ruling class propagandist) for a prominent American magazine described Iran’s counterstrike as “feeble.” According to the commentators I tend to trust on these matters, this seemed to be the reaction Iran was looking for in the Western media, even as many of its hypersonic missiles hit their targets.

        Iran’s goal–according to the commentators I was reading last night–was to do everything possible to delegitimize in advance (and prevent) any further escalation by Israel. A secondary goal according to some was to probe Israel’s defenses in the event this situation does escalate.

        I was frightened last night. When I was a boy in elementary school, there were still fallout shelter signs in the building. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as fearful of a civilization-ending nuclear war in my life as I did last night. I can’t know what Iran’s military commanders or political leadership were thinking, but I feel grateful today for the restraint and careful calculation that many commentators perceived in Iran’s actions. Let’s hope cooler heads continue to prevail.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I’m worried in that Israel’s real founding myths, not the goat herding stuff, demand retaliation. Iran know this, but the consulate requires retaliation.

          Tehran seized the ship to remind Biden of what can happen. But Biden is stupid enough to need the warning.

      3. Kouros

        Ukrainians used to intercept more missiles and drones than the Russians allegedly threw at them…

        1. rowlf

          Huzzah! Glad you remembered that. And Russia only ever targeted apartment buildings, schools and pet shops, not military installations.

          And remember how many times The Last Hospital in Aleppo, Syria got destroyed. It was like there where a chain of these hospitals.

          1. yep

            The Last Hospital in Aleppo got destoyed couple of dozen times in three months, if I remember correctly. Then Syrian forces captured it in one peace, and found out that it was used as command center, weapons and ammo storage, and prison.

  4. digi_owl

    “Did British intelligence create a Neo-Nazi militia? Kit Klarenberg, Al Mayadeen.”

    And naturally they take their name from a Roman military term. This i getting farcical.

    1. Joker

      The real news would be finding a Neo-Nazi militia that was created without any British intelligence involvement.

    2. Skip Intro

      Ahh Rome. That’s where fasces originated. They are going old old school. Take that Himmler!

    3. Mikel

      In the first year of this conflict with Russia, I said somerhing to the effect of the Ukraine becoming like an Eastern European School of the Americas.
      None of these developments are far off that mark.

      And blowback is a mf’er.

  5. EarlyGray

    It looks like the damage to Israel was not so severe. I get the feeling it was all a bit of theatre to allow Iran to save some face without escalating the conflict too much.
    However, I’m not so confident Bibi will take the opportunity to calm the situation down. I reckon that psychopath wants a war with Iran and to drag the US into it so as to further postpone his personal day of reckoning. I assume he’s being told behind closed doors to take it no further but will he listen?

    1. digi_owl

      The fear is that Bibi needs this to ramp up to pull attention away from himself.

      After all, last year saw mass protests against him and his government’s attempt at putting the supreme court on a leash.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You would think that ordinary Israelis would be shouting how Bibi promised security for everybody as he always does but now they are running into bomb shelters because Bibi just had to hit that Consulate.

        1. Stephen V

          Um, you mean the Iranian one in Damascus, the one which was not a provocation according to the Hon. Senator Scalise? That one?

          1. The Rev Kev

            Yep. The same one that the UN Security Council did not think worth while getting too excited about. So actions actually have consequences. Who knew?

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘It looks like the damage to Israel was not so severe.’

      Not according to that Elijah J. Magnier tweet in Links-

      ‘Elijah J. Magnier 🇪🇺
      #Iran managed to destroy several military locations, many in the south and, in particular, Negev airport and the army facilities.
      The possibility of #Israel responding is higher now due to the damage it has suffered in this Iranian punishment.’

      Israel is under full military censorship control so they are going with the narrative that 99% of the missiles were intercepted and there was only minor damage in one army base and the only casualty was a 10 year-old little girl. Yeah, right. ‘Tis but a flesh wound’

      If Negev airport got hit it is only fair as how many times has Israel hit the Syrian airports of Aleppo and Damascus? But there is something else. Guess what else is in the region of Negev? How about the Negev Nuclear Research facility. I bet that put the wind up them.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        We owe the US press zero deference as they shot their last bit of credibility with their shameful propaganda in the early days of the Ukraine war (Ghost of Kiev, Russian army fighting with shovels, etc.)

        So I don’t believe a single word out of the lying liar’s mouths. Whatever the damage done, we won’t find out about it.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Their superiority came from how those Russian shovels were powered by computer chips taken from washing machines.

          2. Joker

            It came from British intelligence.

            1. The Rev Kev

              The stupid thing about that BBC story was not mentioning how every nation’s troops often use shovels in trench fighting. While I was visiting a military museum in the UK, in a case of WW1 exhibits I saw they had several shovels that had been “modified” for use in fighting in trench warfare. It is a practical melee weapon.

              1. Joker

                Not only shovels, but clubs, maces, and all kinds of stuff.

                They are all made obsolete by modern firearms. You don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, nor a shovel.

                P.S. As far as stupid things in BBC stories go, it’s the only thing that UK still produces in Industrial quantities.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  Yet I was trained to use field shovel in a man-to-man combat in the 80’s. The presumption was that if you get into a melee, you likely run out of ammunition already.

                  1. Joker

                    I had bayonet, to go with my rifle in the 90s. It wasn’t sharpened, so I don’t hurt myself. :)

      2. ChrisFromGA

        Good point. Those bases are out in the desert, far from prying civilian eyes. Israel can lie for a bit, but satellite images will soon reveal the truth.

          1. ChrisFromGA

            Yeah, unless you have your personal satellite. Kind of like the Pizza Hut personal pan pizza.
            I will take mine with olives, pepperoni, and hold the BS.

            Then, there is the photoshop problem.

            I smell the aroma of BS in the air this morning, lots of normally sound thinkers saying things like Iran deliberately targeted their missiles not to do much damage. That sounds like a load of horse manure, frankly. I believe there is a lot of narrative control going on, to try and save markets.

            1. mrsyk

              I agree. I’ve been ruminating all day on this. Narrative construction zone. Somehow, Biden is the adult in the room. Please.

      3. Skip Intro

        It will be particularly rich to see Israel complaining to the Security Council. It is hard to see what is behind the theater from all sides. Among the threads of meaning that emerge, I note: Iran had Israel on high alert for a day or more. They could have drained Israel more by delaying longer. My 401K would like to thank the Iran for waiting for the weekend. One video I saw claimed to show a hypersonic missiles’ maneuvers. That is basically unstoppable, and if Iran hit a base in Negev like that, even as an arranged sacrifice, it seems like a message that they can hit anything. Aside from the bluster and posturing, the real meaning of the attack and defense are the physical and political costs for Israel and neighboring countries to shoot cheap shaheds with precious AD systems. If this becomes attritional, who wins?

        1. The Rev Kev

          ‘It will be particularly rich to see Israel complaining to the Security Council’

          You must be psychic as that is exactly what they are doing. I hope that they televise that session and will have some popcorn ready if they do. Old Joe on the other hand ran off to the G-7 which I thought odd. The International Rules Based Order gets mentioned often but then the penny dropped with this news. This order would need their own institutions so it looks like the G-7 is it for the International Rules Based Order. It is now their very own organization to use against other countries such as when they tried to put an oil price cap on Russia. Should have realized that before.

        2. Mikel

          “My 401K would like to thank the Iran for waiting for the weekend.”

          The global elite have investments in the USA.
          Even Oct. 7 and Crocus Hall happened after US markets closed.
          Just sayin’…

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            Don’t US markets close each evening? And didn’t Oct. 7 and Crocus Hall happen on the other side of the world, where it is daytime when it is nighttime in the US?
            Just askin’…

        3. rowlf

          I’ll have to watch for the Chinese UN ambassador’s response, as he often runs over the Israeli ambassador with the Freightliner Of Reality. Sometimes he backs ups for a second run. The Russians are fun to watch too but I think they feel they can never match the propaganda.

      4. Ignacio

        And now the US has to urgently approve something to help replenish Israel AD missile stocks after only one attack.

      5. vao

        On the other hand, some twitter message proposed the following explanation:

        My analysis is that the scale of Iran’s attack, the diversity of locations it targeted, and weapons it used, forced Israel to uncover the majority of anti-missile technologies the US and it have across the region.

        The Iranians did not use any weapons Israel didn’t know it had, it just used a lot of them. But the Iranians likely now have almost a full map of what Israel’s missile defence system looks like, as well as where in Jordan and the Gulf the US has installations. It also knows how long it takes to prepare them, how Israeli society responds…etc

        Makes also sense. I believe that the Iranians carefully calibrated that action to achieve several objectives simultaneously — and this is why they took some time to retaliate.

        1. Ignacio

          Alexander at The Duran says that there is talk in Telegram channels of a hypersonic missile included in the attack pack. That, if true, would be a dire warning and might suggest close cooperation with Russia and China. Who knows where to find truth these days but I tend to believe that Western punditry belief in Western escalating supremacy doesn’t hold any more.

    3. Louis Fyne

      For argument’s sake (I don’t own a satellite), let’s assume the damage is minor.


      1. Iran can attack Israel at will;
      2. Gaza was not bombed last night for the first time in 6+ months as literally every IDF asset was pointed towards Iran;
      3. IDF had the help of US, UK, Jordan;
      4. King Abdullah is going to get Pahlavi-ed one day…dunno when but likely culmination of economic woes and blatantly being a vassal, er partner, of the west.
      5. The random Arab insurgent on the street, whether a Hamas fighter or a 17 y.o. throwing rocks, knows that his possible death will not be in vain.
      6. Hezbollah still is on a tight least and didn’t get a chance to play.


      1. The Rev Kev

        I’ll add another point if I could. It was not only Iran that was attacking Israel but resistance groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen so this was a well coordinated attack by a five nation group. That has never happened here before.

        1. ambrit

          Also consider that Israel was hit, much less attacked, in their “Homeland.”
          Israel is right now beginning to understand that it is no longer safe in any sense.
          I am like others here in worrying that Netanyahu and his fellow travelers will go all Gotterdammerung.
          It’s time for someone with a level head inside Israel to remove Bibi and his Nutter Cabinet. Heck, even Hamas would not complain too loudly if it were ‘spun’ as a false flag attack.
          I wonder if Madagascar is still available? (Or, like a recent novel put it, Sitka.)

          1. Chris Cosmos

            No one can have a “level head” in Israel, at least not publicly. Israelis are almost all lusting for the blood of their enemies. The most peaceful outcome is if they declare victory and tone it down but the most likely outcome is escalation. Once Israelis start taking major casualties, the Empire will respond and then we are entering WWIII territory.

      2. Jason Boxman

        Yep. A key showing here is what Iran is capable of if attacked; they didn’t need to inflict actual damage to any Israeli facility in this. The mere fact that they capability exists and is out in the open is what matters. It’s also a learning opportunity; Doubtless the Iranians are looking at every aspect of weapon performance and Israeli and American counters, to improve, much as Russia has over the years.

        Hopefully it ends here.

        The West really does seem to have lost its mind.

        1. XXYY

          I wonder if one of the purposes of this forewarned attack by Iran was to light up all the nodes in Israel’s air defense network. Could be gathering intelligence for a subsequent “real” attack if needed (hopefully not).

    4. Louis Fyne

      and also every US base in the region is a sitting duck…so is the world’s largest refinery in Saudi Arabia.

      The US has sooooo many bases in the Mideast that it can not protect every one from being overrun. We reap what you sow.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I don’t think that Iran will attack the Saudi oil refineries as those two countries buried the hatchet between themselves some time ago. And because of that, Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are now full members of BRICS. On the other hand, I think that the US has at least 40,000 troops scattered around this region and in case of war, they will be considered fair game.

        1. MT_Wild

          I’m not so sure on this one. Saudi was reported to be helping down iraniandrones. Maybe just a good show for the USA and already communicated with the Iranians, but who knows.

          Knocking out Saudi oil production for the foreseeable future seems like one of the strongest cards Iran holds against the West. Especially in an election year.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I would not betting that a deal was made. Saudi Arabia and every other country in this region – except for Jordan – have refused the US permission to use their airspace to attack Iran from. So to keep the US sweet, they shot at a few drones knowing that it would make no difference as the Iranians were using hypersonic missiles-


            1. begob

              Is there a source on Iranian use of hypersonics? Compared to the ‘laser beam from Heaven’ video from Kiev last summer, when the first Patriots were destroyed, the evidence of missile strikes in Israel shows relatively slow impacts.

        2. John

          So many comments. Good ones. Is this the beginning of reaping the whirlwind? But wait, maybe that was in Ukraine. On the other hand, could be China. Wow, you mean we have three conflicts going at the same time? Good thing there is a steady hand like Biden at the helm. Just joshing about the last.

          1. Martin Oline

            “you mean we have three conflicts going at the same time?”
            How about four wars at the same time?
            War, war, war, war,
            war, war, war, war,
            It’s great to be at home and safe
            And advocate for war-o,
            We daily like to boil the pot,
            And push the meme of war.
            (And push the meme of war.)
            ‘Cause war can maim and terrorize,
            And no one seems to care-o,
            We never need atone for lies,
            Live in Guantánamo,
            (Live in Guantánamo.)
            War, war, war,
            It’s a world all filled with war,
            So batten down the Quaker house,
            There’s nothing here but war!
            War, war, war, war, war, war, war, war,
            There’s war in Gaza and Ukraine,
            And war with the Yemenies,
            There’s Joe and Lloyd and Jake and Hill,
            And one gal we call Lindsey!
            (And one gal we call Lindsey!)
            War, war, war,
            It’s a world all filled with war,
            You’ll never need apologize,
            There’s nothing here but war!
            War, war, war, war, war, war, war, war,
            We’re men and killers ‘til the end
            And none of us are sissies,
            At night we sleep in separate beds
            And blow each other kissies! 
            (and blow each other kissies!)
            War, war, war,
            It’s a world all filled with war,
            Let’s watch my portfolio soar,
            There’s nothing here but war!

            Melody at 2 minutes 37 seconds Here

            1. ChrisFromGA

              Great work.

              Looks like we got war number 4:

              1. Ukraine
              2. Israel-Hamas
              3. Houthis v. Globalization
              4. Iran-Israel

              To borrow Wuks line:

              Four more wars!

    5. Henry Moon Pie

      “It looks like the damage to Israel was not so severe.”

      My schadenfreude as I watch Sunday morning news is almost boundless, but I never hear two questions asked about our super duper .999 batting average against the Iranians demons. They are:

      1. How much did all those anti-aircraft missiles sent up last night cost?

      2. How long will it take to build enough new missiles to replace them?

      It might be interesting to know our “Intelligence Community’s” assessment of how long it would take Iran to replace the drones and missiles they used to inflict all that cost.

      No, ‘Murca, you cannot win every war in 5 days. In fact, you can’t win any war in 5 days with shock & awe. Logistics and attrition have been part of war for a long time.

      1. Mikel

        And Ukraine should be feeling like world-class chumps after watching the aid going to Israel.
        But the Zelensky and that establishment still get first dibs on any grift that flows their way.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I’m seeing some rather disappointed messages by Ukrainians who have been watching how US and UK used fighters to shoot down a lot of missiles aimed at Israel while Ukraine is running out of air-defenses against similar missiles. Some are even starting to doubt that they’re not actually allies to USA…

          1. ChrisFromGA

            It’s worthwhile to try and think through the distinguishing factors, other than pure willingness.

            For one, Israel is near several large bodies of water (Meditteranean, Red Sea) where US Aircraft carriers are stationed. Israel also has neighbors (Jordan, SA, Kuwait) that are friendly to the US and have large air bases.

            The closest a US aircraft carrier could get to Ukraine would be the Adriatic sea. The Black Sea is closed to all combatants, thanks to the treaty of Montreux. So that would be a definite handicap to the notion of some sort of “NATO airforce” shooting down Russian missiles.

            Israel is also a much smaller country, with an airspace that is by definition much easier to cover vs. the vast amount of air space over Ukraine.

            It does seem at least plausible though that using Polish and maybe Romanian air bases, there could be a reasonable effort to shoot down missiles reaching Western Ukraine (Lviv) or maybe Odessa. Kiev and points east would likely be a no-go, as any aircraft that got close enough to shoot something down would be at risk of becoming sky-kill themselves due to anti-air defense systems on the Russian side.

      2. cfraenkel

        I think the immediate question is what this does to the balance of power between Hezbollah and IDF? Does the IDF have any AD ammo left? Will be interesting to see if the IDF backs off from the northern border in the coming weeks, since we can’t believe anything in the press.

      3. Louis Fyne

        one AMRAAM (pre-Covid inflation cost $1 million).

        one Patriot missile cost (can”t remember but a little more than 1 mil)

        if I recall correctly, the latest Patriot missile production rate is 150 per year (don’t quote me).

        whatever the actual numbers are…they favor Iran.

    6. Mikel

      It’s election year in the USA and Isreal has their dossiers on candidates and campaign funding carrots on a stick.

      1. pjay

        On that subject, I’ve been so busy criticizing Democrats and liberals lately that I’d almost forgotten how despicably slimy the Republicans are most of the time. And on no issue is this more apparent than on Israel. Republican after Republican outrageously kissing Bibi’s ass and screeching about Biden’s “appeasement” of Iran. And Trump’s weasel-words give them cover.

        It would be nice if the authentic foreign policy “libertarians” among the MAGA crowd would show their displeasure. But they probably won’t. They’re too busy taking down the “commie” Biden administration, following their fearless leader. And the leading third party candidate is just as bad. Sad.

    7. JustTheFacts

      Cost to Iran: $68 million
      Cost to US + Israel’s allies: $1 billion
      Cost to Israel: ???

      Israel claims 99% interception rate.
      a/ is that true?
      b/ if their allies hadn’t defended them, what would the actual rate have been?
      c/ had Iran had used its hypersonic missiles, what would that rate have been?

      It can be argued that Iran did was very restrained, given a long history of provocations. It mostly bared its teeth, showing it could bite back, taking over a ship in the Persian Gulf, a cyber attack that shut down Israel’s electricity, and by depleting the US & Israeli defensive arsenals, but at the end of the day only targeted the runway from which Israel attacked it. It also gained clarity as to where Jordan stands… as did the very large Palestinian population in Jordan. I wonder how long that Hashemite king will last.

      There’s something very weird when people then just dismiss this self-restraint, because Iran clearly doesn’t want a wider war, as “theatre”. We should be grateful that they don’t want a war, and we should be telling the tail that’s currently wagging the dog to deescalate and that it won’t be getting any more of our taxpayers’ dollars as aid.

      1. begob

        Dima at military summary did an initial napkin-doodle assessment – missiles got through in urban areas and in the desert, and drones got through in various places. He reckons the most telling damage will have been to air-defence sites, and that’s leaving aside the matter of depletion of Israel’s missile stocks:

    8. Kouros

      Even if Iranians didn’t aim at anything of consequence, the whole world has seen, in a short succession (Oct 7 and now) that Israel is vulnerable. And this second time, Israel was supported by allies, and forewarned. Now take a very small leap of imagination and think of a time when there is little support immediately available and the attack comes Israeli fashion, out of nowhere…

  6. Terry Flynn

    Re med supply shortages. What is said is true, but not the whole picture. The true but incomplete bit is:

    “Some of the most worrying shortages involve generic sterile injectable medications, including cancer chemotherapy drugs and emergency medications stored in hospital crash carts and procedural areas. Ongoing national shortages of therapies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD] also remain a serious challenge for clinicians and patients.”

    Erin Fox, associate chief pharmacy officer of University of Utah Health, told CBS MoneyWatch, that most of the drugs in short supply are generic, older products, and around half are injectable drugs that require more stringent manufacturing processes.

    There are myriad reasons for the hundreds of drug shortages now facing doctors and patients, many of which remain unclear. But, as Ars has reported before, the root cause of shortages of low-cost, off-patent generic drugs is well established.

    Yes, “stuff that requires injection or refridgeration” has definitely been hit badly since COVID exposed the vulnerabilities of global supply chains. A psychiatrist told me ALL patients on the MAOI antidepressant Phenelzine (one of the two “top tier” anti-depressants) are being instructed to taper off. Why? Because it must be stored iin a fridge for most of the time (I gather it can be kept at room temperature but not for the weeks/months we store so many meds for). The NHS can’t guarantee supplies any longer. NICE will probably de-list it soon. However, the medication described to me by psychiatrists in 3 countries as variously “the mother of all anti-depressants” or “the anti-depressant of last resort” etc, Tranylcypromine, is also hitting a brick wall. And it is NOT because suppliers can’t make a good profit out of it or have difficulties supplying it.

    Having started my career in health economics I looked up what the NHS pays the (single!) generic producer of this medication. Bear in mind it went off patent probably in the early 1970s when I was born. Yet the monthly cost to the NHS to treat me when I was on it was GBP1000! 12k per annum. WTAF? More recently I checked USA prices charged to Medicare/private insurers. Still steep but often 10% of the UK price. There’s nothing in this medication that is costly. Producers charge what they can get away with simply because although meta-analyses showed its efficacy compared to glamourous SSRIs etc, the “downsides” were emphasised. Two generations of physicians have been scared off MAOIs due to the “cheese effect” ….which in actuality doesn’t really affect many people and only then if you’re on a very very large dose (certainly way above what NICE in the UK advises as the maximum typical dose).

    Tranylcypromine could be produced for peanuts. However, a generic new supplier would inevitably run into predatory pricing by the incumbent and encounter sunk costs. Meanwhile the NHS is ensuring that the average age of a patient on it is going up and up. Prescriptions in the East Midlands are falling off a cliff. the NHS is content to let MAOIs die, despite they actually accord with the “new” interest in how the gut and brain are so linked. I decided to “jump before I was pushed” and came off the med. I was increasingly finding that pharmacies were getting slow to receive it anyway. When the “demand side” isn’t working as it should, then the suppliers will back away even from large per-unit profits. Fancy new meds are all the business. Especially if they’re in patent and dazzle GPs with fancy pharmacology that isn’t even correct. (Prozac’s pharmacology and true way of working was only recently discovered IIRC and it is well known across medicine that the pharmacological jusification for SSRIs in the 1980s was not actually true. One of my two co-advisors when supervising a PhD student in the area of mental health admitted this, although I’d already begun to discover the literature). Plus RCTs all fail because when as a participant you notice erectile dysfunction or appetite changes you know you’ve got the active treatment, not the placebo, and blinding is broken. Efficacy is likely artificially over-estimated.

    I’ve seen scary anecdotes on social media regarding a lot of basic necessary medications and in conjunction with my own experiences, and “shop talk” with mental health professionals locally, have no surprise (unfortunately) at this article. TL;DR Unless you’re rich, and can afford an over-priced new fancy medication then “go die”.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    Europe’s Sinking Economy. Doctorow. Succint. Pointed. Recommended.

    And there’s this!

    “Additional points for discussion are eagerly awaited from Mario Draghi, former Italian prime minister and former President of the European Central Bank, who has been tasked by the European Commission to deliver recommendations on how European competitiveness might be improved.”

    Rido da crepapelle.

    Snort. Gurgle. Guffaw.

    In Italy, Draghi messed in the Superbonus economic stimulus that involves repairs to buildings and buying new appliances by means of a tax break. He never got around to the minimum-wage law. He diddled with reddito di cittadinanza, which is the only major program offering financial help to those who can’t work or are unemployed / unemployable. Then he had some kind of tantrum and resigned, only to blame his career disaster on others.

    O tempora. O mores. O propaganda.

      1. Eclair

        It’s ‘work’ when one’s labors contributes to and increases, substantially, the well-being of one’s ‘community.’ Where ‘community’ is the immediate family, the neighborhood, the village, the ‘nation.’

        When the fruits of one’s labor are syphoned off to increase the wealth of a relatively few billionaires, hedge-fund managers, bankers … oh … and let’s not forget … politicians, then it’s ‘serfdom.’

        Note: Thanks to Yves and Conor for the mind and consciousness-expanding selection of readings this morning.

    1. The Rev Kev

      He seems to be the Larry Summers of the EU. No matter how many times he stuffs up or is wrong, the neoliberals just love him and keep on bringing him back. Same with Super Mario here.

  8. timbers

    Iran launches dozens of drones on Israel

    Dima at Military Summary (for what it is worth) says the Western defense missiles are very expensive (said Israel may have expended about $1 billion worth of defensive missiles in just this one day of defense) while Iranian drones are inexpensive. Point being that this Western type of defense is not sustainable over time and favors Iran.

    Maybe The Duran or future guests on Napolitano or The Critical Hour (Sputnik) will take a deeper dive on the cost of weapons of Israel vs Iran.

    Also, did see reports there being communication btwn US/Iran that US will hold back on attacking Iran provided Iran stays within some sort of agreed parameter in it’s response to Israeli embassy attack.

    US engaged in so many conflicts and bogged down to take on any new confrontations now.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Also between the Ukraine in the past two years, Israel the past six months and Yemen the past coupla months, then you can figure that they are rapidly running out of anti-air missiles. Same with the missiles that Israel’s Iron Dome are using as well.

      1. ambrit

        So, this was a test of the “swarm attack” tactic. The tactic was proven to work. A sensitive military base in the Negev desert was hit. All Iran would have to do is stockpile a few hundreds of “cheap” drones and send in waves of them to overwhelm the Western defences. As is happening in the Ukraine now, logistics and supply have again been shown to be of central importance to successful warfighting.
        So, cribbing Clausewitz, drones are diplomacy through other means?
        It is also important to note that, as far as I can see, Iran targeted military sites and did no indiscriminate civilian bombing. In international relations, the High Ground is often worth a few divisions “on the ground.”

        1. Polar Socialist

          I’ve seen comments that it was a test of the Israel/US air-defense response using weapons already familiar to Israel/US. Meaning now Iran knows where the Iron Dome and David’s sling batteries are, how fast they reload, what is the fighter’s response time etc.

          While Israel didn’t learn anything new (except that Iran is both willing and capable), it now has the dilemma of having exposed it’s defensive posture while it and it’s allies spend hundreds of anti-air missiles that seem to be in a short supply.

          Calculating how many nights like this Israel can withstand must weight heavily at some level when Israel plans it’s response. Probably not at the top, though.

        2. ex-PFC Chuck

          From a twixt by Fadi Quran, whoever he is:

          The Iranians did not use any weapons Israel didn’t know it had, it just used a lot of them. But the Iranians likely now have almost a full map of what Israel’s missile defence system looks like, as well as where in Jordan and the Gulf the US has installations. It also knows how long it takes to prepare them, how Israeli society responds…etc

          This is a huge strategic cost to Israel, while Arab regimes now are being blasted by their peoples, particularly the Jordanian monarchy, for not doing anything to protect Gazans but then going all out to protect Israel.

          Crucially, Iran can now reverse engineer all the intel gathered from this attack to make a much more deadly one credible. While the US and Israel will have to re-design away from their current model which has been compromised. Its success in stopping this choreographed attack is thus still very costly.

    2. John k

      It’s not the cost that matters, us can just print that. The real issue is how long it takes to produce replacements. The us has already shown they can’t come close to matching Russian production, seems likely to me they can’t match iran’s drone production with us Ad missiles, either.
      Hope this distracts israel from Gaza bombing. Does seem the resistance is on the side of un law in resisting the us/israel genocide.

      1. Objective Ace

        “Printing” does have a cost. There’s the opportunity cost. Printing results in very real resources being expended even if the “cost” is hidden from the public. Eventually that starts to have real consequences and is not sustainable. See Afghanistan

    3. Willow

      I read somewhere that the old 7:1 offensive to defensive cost ratio has now been flipped & West isn’t prepared.

  9. CA

    Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

    Meanwhile: “Vietnam & China step up cooperation strategy for mutual development”, including “connecting Vietnam’s ‘Two Corridors, One Belt’ framework with the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative”

    What responsible leadership looks like. Easy to forget these days…

    Both sides are expected to build a bridge over the Red River in the border area of Bat Xat, Lao Cai (Vietnam), and Ba Sai, Yunnan (China), among other initiatives.

    Vietnam and China are expected to speed up the realization of a cooperation strategy for mutual development, especially the documents signed during the recent visit of State President Xi Jinping to Vietnam.

    3:17 AM · Apr 14, 2024

  10. JW

    Iran put up a blanket of slow drones, a few ballistics, to disguise the use of its hypersonics which hit their targets ( Slavyangrad). In the process Iran joined a very small group of nations with working hypersonics. As has been shown in Ukraine, Patriots, Iris etc cannot cope with hypersonics, ‘iron dome’ became ‘steel sieve’ overnight.
    Of course Israel/US/UK outdid Ukraine with their 99% of drones/missiles ‘destroyed’. However everyone knows the balance of power in the region just shifted quite dramatically last night with those hypersonics.
    If Israel now does something stupid, the nuclear facility just a few km from the air field targeted last night will look mighty tempting. God help us all!

    1. The Rev Kev

      You’re right about Iran using hypersonic missiles which I had not heard about. Now that is big-

      ‘Scott Ritter
      Eye for an eye.

      Iran struck Nevatim air base with at least seven of its new hypersonic missiles.

      Nevatim is home to the F-35 fighters that attacked the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

      Not a single Iranian missile was intercepted.

      Let that sink in.

      Israel is defenseless.’

      1. Carolinian

        Hey thanks for this. And thanks to Conor for some thoughty links today.

        I’m sure in the coming days the Mil Bloggers will be telling us more about what really happened yesterday.

    2. VietnamVet

      The claim of 99% of the ballistic missiles being intercepted immediately triggered my fake propaganda sensor. One video of South Israel showed six missile ground explosions which is a 6% success rate all by itself. Still the thousands of American troops on bases in Iraq and Syria need Israel’s defense shield too; otherwise, they will be sitting ducks, once again. Not to mention, Saudi Arabia, which is reported to have assisted Israel’s defense. The Saudis have US Patriot missiles that weren’t particularity successful in defending their oil fields from Houthi missiles.

      If Israel escalates and attacks Iranian nuclear facilities, Americans around the Persian Gulf region will replay first an updated real version of the movies “They Were Expendable” and then “On the Beach” if the NATO-Russian or the Iran-Israel wars go nuclear.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Europe’s sinking economy: how many causes can we name while ignoring the Russia factor?”

    I’m going to make a prediction base on this article. Between the economy of the EU struggling to tread water, the de-industrialization of the continent as they turned their backs on cheap, reliable Russian energy, the stated aim to concentrate all resources on a war economy which will mean cutting back on social spending, the incompetency & corruption of it’s unelected leadership, that by the end of the decade that the EU will be infamous for it’s poverty.

    1. spud

      there is also the possibility, lets let this sink in, of stripping your sovereignty away, maybe it was not the smartest thing to do!

      europe, canada, america, the collective west, will be a case study in the future of gutting sovereignty, and letting rational, self correcting, self policing markets rule.

    1. pjay

      I mentioned this above, but it is very concerning. Leading Republicans are yelling “appeasement” at the top of their lungs (Biden’s “appeasement” of Iran, that is) and pledging their eternal fealty to the Israeli genociders in response to Biden’s ever-so-slight hesitancy over starting WWIII. I fear this will give Netanyahu confidence that he can do whatever he wants and he’ll have plenty of support in the US. Trump’s bulls**t comments certainly haven’t helped; they’ve just given cover to the Republican superhawks and End-timers. The neocons are just getting ready to send their Red Team in to take over after the “good cop” routine of the Blue Team neocons has set things up for them.

      This system is so corrupt that it can never be effectively reformed from within. It must be destroyed; smashed into a thousand pieces and scattered to the winds. But how?

  12. Synoia

    In ww2 “War Profiteer” was a a slur. Now it appears to be a heralded as “Good Management.”

    1. rowlf

      Didn’t the US Navy build a lot of ships in its own facilities up to and during WW II? Why did it lose that capacity? Were very very very patriotic industrialists involved in the change?

  13. Mikel

    “US Navy’s new warship plagued by worker turnover” Stars and Stripes

    Having to pay more or give more in benefits to keep or train workers is considered a “plague.”
    Little about training programs that could run parallel to production.
    Maybe they want to hold out for the AI fantasy.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That story bothered me. It was all managers talking to each other. Nobody thought to ask the guys working there what it was like and why so many workers left there. Find out what the go is in working in that shipyard but none of that was in this article. Then again, it was “Stars & Stripes” magazine.

      1. Mikel

        Yes. I was under the impression the USA military used to have training programs. What happened to those?

        How much of the turnover is due to incessant drug testing?

        1. digi_owl

          All sub-contractors now, most likely.

          The writing was on the wall when the first Blackwater hit the ground in Iraq.

  14. Lena

    I hope this is not violating NC policies but I have a question for readers here:

    Where do you go for the best (meaning most reliable) “breaking news” coverage of the Middle East? Yesterday, when the news about Iran’s strikes on Israel broke, I went to Al Jazeera because I am familiar with it and can get access. Is there another news source that NC readers would recommend? I don’t have access to X/Twitter.

    1. Louis Fyne

      IMO, you should make an anon-burner Twitter acct.

      Watching AlJazeera yesterday was just brain-numbing and a waste of time as their pundits were (imo) insufferable.

      5 to 10 min on Twitter daily is all you need….unless you have specific niche you want to explore

    2. LawnDart

      Where do you go..?

      When I am looking for news-coverage in that region, these are the sites I turn to:

      Western sources often only confuse or mislead, but it’s good to keep tabs on what the dogs are being fed.

      1. LawnDart

        I should note that I frequently turn to Yandex for a Russian perspective– Russia has a wealth of media-outlets, never cited in the west.

        I use the translator-app to submit my query in Russian, and to translate the search-results into English. It can be a little time-consuming, but the rewards are often eye-opening.

        I’ll add that I almost always find it impossible to link here to the media I find on the Russian web, as Skynet finds these particulary tasty.

        1. LawnDart

          Very informative article, from Russia:

          “The war has officially begun.” How do experts assess Iran’s strike on Israel

          “The war between Iran and Israel has officially begun. Previously, it was conducted only by proxy, but last night everything changed, now it is a direct confrontation.” Stated by Emmanuel Navon, an Israeli political scientist, lecturer at Tel Aviv University and expert at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya

      1. LawnDart

        I totally forgot to add that one, but I turn to it daily to get a feel for the temperature in the region– a very good source.

    3. Lena

      Thank you all for the excellent Middle East news recommendations!

      I’m going to have to think about getting a Twitter/X account. I’ve refused to fall for its charms after all these years but maybe it’s time.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Iran’s IRGC seizes ‘Israeli-linked’ ship near Strait of Hormuz.”

    ‘White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said ‘We call on Iran to release the vessel and its international crew immediately. Seizing a civilian vessel without provocation is a blatant violation of international law, and an act of piracy by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.’

    Bit rich coming from the White House when they have hijacked Iranian oil ships, sailed them to the US and then sold off the stolen oil. An earlier era would have called that piracy. But the point of Iran taking that Israeli-owned ship was to demonstrate that they could shut down the Strait of Hormuz if they wanted too. If that happened, the price of oil would shoot to the moon, the price of gas in the US would skyrocket and there would go all chances of old Joe winning the November election. And that means that Iran has old Joe by the short and curlies so is also a warning about the US getting too involved in Israel’s war.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Somebody somewhere pointed out that point of seizing that vessel was to remind all interested parties of who controls the Strait of Hormuz, in case Israel really, really wants to escalate.

  16. Mikel

    All for One and One for All William Schryver, Imetatronink

    “It is increasingly evident that Russia, China, and Iran recognize that an attack against any one of them would constitute an existential threat to them all. The strategic interests of all three countries are now inextricably intertwined.

    Most importantly, they are united in a single overriding strategic objective: to dismantle the dominion of the long-reigning Anglo-American empire.”

    I don’t think there is a desire to dismantle Anglo-American influence or empire. Maybe more like reverse containment.
    They still need the Anglo-American oligarchy in tact enough to control their populations, which have different social nuances.

    1. CA

      “I don’t think there is a desire to dismantle Anglo-American influence or empire. Maybe more like reverse containment. They still need the Anglo-American oligarchy intact enough to control their populations, which have different social nuances.”

      Please explain further when possible. Why should an Anglo-American oligarchy be needed to control the people of China?

      Referring just to China, there is a 5,000 year old civilization of 1.4 billion that has repeatedly shown the highest social-institution trust level of any of 112 surveyed countries. * China assuredly would seem to need no social control of the 1.4 billion by Anglo-American institutions; especially when Anglo-American government institutions are fiercely trying to undermine Chinese development:


    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      When you say “They still need the Anglo-American oligarchy in tact enough to control their populations, which have different social nuances.” . . . do you mean that the governments of Russia, China and Iran need a Red, White and Blue Menace to scare their own populations into a state of control with?

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Germany to send Patriot air-defense system to Ukraine but holds out on Taurus missiles”

    I heard that Germany is going to be sending only one Patriot battery as that is all they can spare. What they do not want to send is the Taurus missiles as Zelensky has already stared that it is his goal to destroy the civilian Kersh bridge as he is obsessed with it’s destruction. But that is a terrorist threat and Germany wants no part in giving Big Z the means to carry one out which will implicate Germany.

  18. Es s Ce Tera

    re: Iran strikes Negev base from which the attack on the Iran consulate originated

    Ok, so the bully (Israel plus US gang of mean bully jocks) was not expecting the victim (Karate kid Iran) to actually hit back, got a bit of a bloody nose there. Under the rules of the high school mentality schoolyard fight, the bully gang of jocks does what now? At which point does Israel’s survival instinct kick in, or does it not and can we expect crane kick possibly followed by KO? Or is this going to be until someone holds someone in a headlock until they say uncle?

    Is there anyone on the Israeli side of this who might not be so juvenile as their leadership? Perhaps suggesting that, you know, they should be considering the possibility that maybe, just maybe, even with US as backup Israel could lose this fight?

    I’m thinking that pier is intended to put US ground forces in IFF Israel looks like it may be losing, which I think is now demonstrably more likely. Gaza is a human shield Iran won’t attack, Israel/US intends to use it for staging.

  19. flora

    re: Spook country.

    Is our own US Praetorian Guard running the place now? Per wiki:

    “During the Roman Republic, the Praetorian Guards were escorts for high-ranking political officials (senators and procurators) and were bodyguards for the senior officers of the Roman legions. In 27 BC, after Rome’s transition from republic to empire, the first emperor of Rome, Augustus, designated the Praetorians as his personal security escort. For three centuries, the guards of the Roman emperor were also known for their palace intrigues, by whose influence upon imperial politics the Praetorians could overthrow an emperor and then proclaim his successor as the new caesar of Rome. In AD 312, Constantine the Great disbanded the cohortes praetoriae and destroyed their barracks at the Castra Praetoria.[1]”

  20. Jason Boxman

    From Democrats bank on abortion in 2024 as Arizona and Florida push stakes higher

    For Biden, abortion is “the best issue for him right now”, Undem said. “All of the data I’ve seen on this upcoming election, young people are not nearly as motivated to vote as they were in 2020. And so in places like Arizona, the total ban – and I don’t make predictions ever – I do think it is going to turn out young people, especially young women.”

    Well, what else can he run on? Genocide? Failed proxy war against Russia? Inflation? Eugenics and the death of over 800k Americans? Mandating a non-sterilizing vaccine?

    He can’t even run on abortion, given the Biden administration’s deer in headlights response knowing a month in advance that Roe was likely getting overturned.

    Biden is a joke, along with the whole of the liberal Democrat Party.

    Oh. Wait. CMS can negotiate drug pricing for Medicare for the grand total of five whole drugs, and that was delayed for like 2 years. How many seniors are straight up dead since that “victory”? Maybe the largest increase in childhood poverty in history! That’s a win!

    I guess there’s always piecemeal student loan forgiveness. That’s gonna anger as many people as it helps, probably more. Because moral hazard, resentment, and so on. Meanwhile it does nothing for out of control college costs driven my rapacious college administrators.

    Wait, he can run on immigration! Ha. Who am I kidding? Who are they kidding?

    These people are completely out of gas. The Democrat Party has been running on brand fumes since narcissist Obama’s first term.

      1. flora

        adding as an aside:
        “Meanwhile it does nothing for out of control college costs driven my rapacious college administrators.”

        In my young undergrad days I saw both Yehudi Menuhin and Pablo Casals in concert at my uni, and my undergrad ticket cost no more than the price of a couple of a burger-and-fries meals at the student cafeteria. Menuhin and Casals were then older, still genius musicians, still in much demand at glittering venues like Lincoln Center. Why they and their managers agreed to perform at a much lower ticket gate receipts venue on a flyover college uni I will never know. I can only think it was because they wanted to share their love of the music to the young uni audiences. I also heard a young Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman in the same venue when I was an older student and student tickets were still amazingly cheap.

        This was back before the uni’s were overtaken by neoliberal MBA managers and before artist’s managers were overtaken by the neoliberal mantra of ‘profits uber alles.’
        Something about giving back and the sharing/ gifting to the next generation and so on, perhaps.

        1. flora

          Or perhaps the artists agreed to perform at less than usual gate receipts because the uni back then agreed to subsidize the student ticket prices, believing it was important for students to have the opportunity to experience great art at an affordable price for poor students.

          That’s gone out the window now, as far as I can tell.

          1. flora

            And adding from a comment from a utube video of a Casals’s concert:

            ‘Casals, then in his nineties, was asked why he still practiced 4-5 hours a day he replied: “Because I believe I am making progress”. ‘

            Oh, indeed. Every artist works always to make progress in their art.

  21. Jason Boxman

    Unhinged wokeness watch. Also from Democrats bank on abortion in 2024 as Arizona and Florida push stakes higher

    He reiterated his criticism on Friday, posting on his social media platform that the Arizona supreme court went “too far” in upholding an “inappropriate law from 1864” and calling on the Republican-led state legislature to “ACT IMMEDIATELY” to remedy the decision. “We must ideally have the three Exceptions for Rape, Incest, and Life of the Mother,” he wrote. (The 1864 ban only includes an exception to save the life of the pregnant person.)

    (bold mine)

    Never seen it that way before. Yeah, a woman is a person. But I didn’t know non-women could get pregnant? This is otherworldly. Suggesting that only women get pregnant is some kind of insufferable micro-aggression I guess.

    1. Terry Flynn

      So “Germany feels special again”.

      Caveat: on multiple Mediterranean holidays I have found German guys as the most empathic lovely people. As a nation? I think they have made a very very wrong turn. I absolutely don’t want Germany to be the bad guy a 3rd time. However they somehow are in danger of being so. I’m someone who simply hates society being ruled by texts written hundreds of years ago.

      Wake the family blog up. Don’t become the dog wagged by a truly awful tail. If you do….. I have the horrid feeling you’ll get nuked….. Not a threat but a very worried prediction.

    2. flora

      Ain’t it great how women are erased in the latest wokism? Love that erasure of women as women, per the woke nonsense. / ;)

        1. The Rev Kev

          Just saw this video yesterday talking about how a guy in a gym went naked into a women’s change room/showers and claiming that he was a women while strutting around. The police that arrived begged to differ and hauled his a** away.

          1. flora

            Um, yeah, too bad about that ‘woke’ gym franchise. (Actually that franchise in my neighborhood is pretty good, but they’ve been tarred with the same corporate woke brush.) Sorry, really, about my local franchise being crushed in the corporate woke nonsense.

          2. skippy

            Hence my 25 in 1 home workout station, plus still scared by all the mirror walls in Calif Gyms back in the 80s. Blokes would workout multiple mirror angles to watch the hotties on certain machines for a perv …. sometimes in packs …

          3. The Rev Kev

            Come to think of it, it works both ways. Not long ago there was this YouTube influencer who turned up to a gym but instead of tights she was only wearing body paint so she could get likes. They kicked her out.

          1. Pat

            There have been a number of news reports about JK Rowling refusing to accept apologies or forgive the Harry Potter stars who criticized her regarding her stance on so-called transgender issues. I only checked one, but as per usual it is both misleading and slams Rowling.
            First no one has apologized. Secondly, as per usual, there was a great deal more to Rowling’s response to a hypothetical question then you would get from the click bait headlines. While she did say she wouldn’t accept an apology she pointed out that who they really needed to apologize to were young people they influence. She didn’t just point out women who either could lose or no longer have safe spaces to change and shelter in, but those who might be influenced into transitioning for fun and profit before they are fully capable of making those decisions citing a recent study followed many detransitioning. She was very clear that it wasn’t to her they owed apologies.

            One of the first tweets that caused Rowling trouble was one objecting to using “person who menstruates” instead of the perfectly good term woman. I kept waiting for the obviously needed acceptable term for man, or men to come up. Mine was “person who produces sperm”. If it ever happened I missed it. I know Rowling recognized that it wasn’t just language and saw how far reaching the toxic nature of the “woke” agenda would get long before I did.

            1. Ben Panga

              The debate around this is so toxic. Most trans women I know don’t buy into the “trans women= women” dogma and recognise that their are difficult issues. Most I know do not support any kind of hormones, puberty blockers, surgery for minors.

              They are more concerned with not being murdered by violent men, and fairly uncontroversial rights issues. They want to lead normal, safe, lives and very much do not want to take away women’s spaces. They recognise that transition is a serious step and kids aren’t able to make that choice. They recognise that it shouldn’t be pushed on anyone.

              A very small number of very vocal trans activists loudly claim to represent all trans women and it’s just not true. The justifiable backlash to said activists means all trans women get seen as being like that. These activists are toxic.

              They recognise that it’s a difficult thing for others to understand and accept and are compassionate to that.

              And a whole load of disingenuous actors on social media just stir up the hatred pot, weaponising people’s fears and people’s discomfort with what is a challenge to societal norms.

              The ‘woke agenda’ (god I hate that phrase) is mainly an invention of a small number of divisive fools.

              A sane society could resolve all these issues.

              Just from my experience. I know many trans people fwiw.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Looks to me like men and the spaces they used to inhabit are also, wishfully and with malice, being erased.

          Yeah yeah I know, check my white male privilege. Now let them and they all check their claims of privilege and preference.

          The issue, my fellow humans, is “Of course there is class warfare, and (chuckle) my class, the rich class, is winning.” Or in another reported version, “has won.”

  22. Jason Boxman

    The Internet just gets better and better. Because Vivaldi is now a dumpster fire with basic functionality, tab handling, I installed Arc, which requires that you create an account. That’s understandably a no-go for many, but I’m desperate to have a working web browser again. (My only must-have feature is CTRL-TAB goes back to the last tab, no matter how many I have open, accurately, every single time I press it; Vivaldi fails this for 12 months now, astonishingly. This is like basic software engineering 101.)

    Anyway, they’re all all-in on LLM. You can enable sending your tabs to Anthropic and OpenAI and it’ll do fun stuff like summarize the tab title so you can find it easier, or summary data on a page.

    Arc Max uses OpenAI’s API Platform and Anthropic’s Claude for commercial applications. All Arc Max features that send data to OpenAI are eligible for zero data retention (ZDR). These features are off by default in the desktop app, but you may enable some or all of them by visiting “Max” in the settings panel.

    Oh, fun! Why even read the Internet anymore?

  23. Wukchumni

    Can artificial snow save ski resorts amid the hottest winters on record? ZME Science

    We had season passes at China Peak in 2014-15, our local ski resort above Fresno, near Huntington Lake, and we could’ve gone skiing in December with skimpy snow conditions, which typically means exposed rocks, er no, we’ll wait.

    That was the only chance we could have skied @ China Peak that entire winter. The owner of the resort wrote this, which describes the kind of hurt ski resorts will be in when stuck in a world where snow is skimpy, and yet conditions are too warm to make snow.

    2014-15 was the 4th year of the drought in Cali

    This has been what I’m now calling the ‘cruelest’ winter I’ve ever seen, dating back to my first season working for Snow Summit in 1976. By that I mean we have not only dealt with no snow, but also with incredibly marginal snowmaking conditions. To top it off, when we finally did get enough moisture last week to make a big difference, it came in with a snow level of well above 10,000 feet, higher than all but a very few peaks in the state. It was the nail in the coffin, washing away what precious snow we had on the mid mountain, forcing us to close all but the beginner hill for the busiest ski weekend of the year, President’s. In nearly four decades I have never worked for a resort that closed mid winter; now I have.

  24. noonespecial

    Re Iran/Israel

    Just adding to the NC chorus of “what in the frick happens next?”

    New Left Review’s words from today’s links seem an apt descriptor of the neocon frothing: Sympathy for domination, sympathy for racism, perhaps the purest form of domination, and therefore most exciting for the dominators.

    Long time blob club member John Bolton (dominatrix adjacent/ s/) penned the following words found at the Wash Examiner. ‘Cause following bolts-n-knucklegragger’s advice will certainly set off some serious fireworks. One possible interpretation can be summed up by the lines from Curtis Mayfield’s hit: And if there’s a hell below we’re all gonna go.

    “To start, Israel should destroy Iran’s air defenses, to facilitate its retaliation now and well into the future, with targets including anti-aircraft artillery and missiles…Further up the prospective target list is Iran’s oil-and-gas-producing infrastructure: the oil-and-gas fields, refining and processing facilities, domestic distribution pipelines and terminals, and the hydrocarbon export ports and related facilities. “

  25. Willow

    > Iran

    Iran did just enough to provoke further escalation by Israel and force ME countries to take sides. Jordan being particularly vulnerable to civil unrest by siding with Israel. Iran clearly baiting Israel into some form of outright war. I suspect though ultimate goal is the economic impact of escalation. Forcing West into deeper debt & financial distress as military spending increases and energy prices spike. Are Russia & China with Iran’s help trying to trigger a Soviet-style economic collapse of the West? West can no longer sustain long wars. For Russia it would be sweet revenge. While for Iran long term gain of Israel’s sugar daddy going broke will be huge.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Any retaliation would demand Israeli response based on their founding myths. Israel is a deranged hole.. Israel hit a consulate. Tehran has to make a choice. They know what Israel is, but they can’t overlook the bombing of the consulate as not acting is a clear question about legitimacy and 5,000 years of diplomatic norms and norms for treating guests. This is a basic lesson.

      Iran isn’t baiting. It was forced to react. I’m not sure Israel is reasonable enough to move on.

  26. LawnDart

    The struggle inside Israel between political forces who wish to strike now versus those who wish to strike later, this article shows Bibi and the hard-right in all their splendor:

    Should Israel launch an immediate retaliatory attack on Iran? Lawmakers are divided

    Far-right members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government issued strident calls for Israel to react to Iran’s attack on Israel with a show of force, while other moderate members of the coalition, including war cabinet Minister Benny Gantz, urged a balanced approach aimed at avoiding a spiraling escalation.

    …Hebrew media reports the security cabinet on Saturday night authorized the narrow war cabinet — whose only voting members are Gantz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant — to make the ultimate decision on a response.

    1. Jamie

      Retaliatory attack depends entirely on these two?

      Voter 1. Benjamin Netanyahu
      Me guessing: Duh

      Voter 2. Defense Minister Yoav (Dahiya doctrine) Gallant
      Me guessing: Yes

  27. Jason Boxman

    A.I. Made These Movies Sharper. Critics Say It Ruined Them.

    In 1998, Geoff Burdick, an executive at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, was hunched in front of a 12-inch monitor at a postproduction house, carefully preparing “Titanic” for release on LaserDisc and VHS. A state-of-the-art computer process had made it possible for Burdick and his team to scour the film frame by frame, removing tiny imperfections embedded in the original negative: little scratches, flakes of dirt, even water stains that smeared the image. The computer could erase these blemishes using a kind of copy-paste tool, concealing the defects with information from another frame.

    Another extreme of this is Star Wars; Lucas apparently hates his original work, and you can’t get version of the non-garbage original Star Wars, it’s all special edition. If you search the Internet, you can find a restored version of the original films based on painstaking fan effort, using some original sources including film from I think Spain and the old laser disc releases. It’s available in upscaled? 720p.

    Worse I find is when you can’t get the original theatric edition of movies anymore, only special and extended editions, which are usually garbage. They were cut for theater for a reason; the extra footage rarely adds anything. The extended Terminator 2 adds nothing of value.

    Aliens is about the only exception; the director’s cut is perfect.

    Here comes AI, lol.

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