Links 4/2/2024

Yves here. Thanks for the many and varied animal pix! For those who sent ones of beloved pets: do not take offense if we do not use yours right away. We have an abundance of riches on that front at present and are grateful.

The best (and worst!) April Fools’ Day pranks of all time: From Big Ben going digital to a bountiful Swiss spaghetti harvest – so did you fall for any? Daily Mail

Everest climbers will have to take their poop away with them, as Nepal tries to address growing waste problem CNN (furzy)

Venting Doesn’t Reduce Anger, But Something Else Does, Study Finds ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Korean “Artificial Sun” Reactor Sets Record at 100 Million Degrees furturism (furzy)

How to grow a human Undark (Anthony L)

Scientists Discover Heightened Toxicity Risk For Children With Autism, ADHD ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

#COVID-19

Persistence of S1 Spike Protein in CD16+ Monocytes up to 245 Days in SARS-CoV-2 Negative Post COVID-19 Vaccination Individuals with Post-Acute Sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC)-Like Symptoms MedRxIv (IM Doc). Preprint. Seriously not good.

Climate/Environment

Oil giant admits it needs a ‘magic wand’ to keep green pledges openDemocracy

A growing number of homeowners face repeat flooding Yale Climate Connection

China?

Ex-White House CIO: TikTok ban may be diplomatic disaster The Register (Chuck L)

India

Cambodia: Hundreds of Indians rescued from cyber-scam factories BBC. Similar operations in Myanmar.

Lost homes, lost traditions, lost habitats: the cost of Indonesia’s brand new city Guardian (furzy)

Cocaine bricks: Illicit drug packages wash up on Sydney beaches BBC

Gaza

Israel’s war on Gaza live: Israeli army ‘executed’ civilians at al-Shifa Aljazeera

Israeli troops pull out of Gaza hospital, leaving wasteland in their wake Straits Times

Four foreign aid workers and Palestinian translator killed in Israeli strike, Gaza officials say Guardian (Kevin W)

Australia’s premier demands accountability from Israel over aid worker’s killing in Gaza Anadolu Agency

* * *

US military destroys Houthi drones over Red Sea and in Yemen Arab News

* * *

Israel’s war, Netanyahu’s gamble Alastair Crooke

Biden Keeps Fueling the Atrocious War in Gaza Daniel Larison

1 in 5 Wisconsin Democrats Said Gaza War Will Impact Their Primary Vote Intercept

Beneath Germany’s Unshakeable Support of Israel Consortium News (Chuck L)

New Not-So-Cold War

America has no Ukraine Plan B International Affairs. Micael T: “Just like in Afghanistan until they came up with Plan B – just leave, notifying nobody.”

Ukraine’s Economy Will, Ultimately, Lose It the War Antiwar.com. Huh? Did they miss that Ukraine is a NATO proxy? Not only have Western officials admitted that, but they’ve drained their weapons caches. This “Ukraine had too small an economy” is cope. It’s “Russia has a bigger manufacturing base and is very effective at arms production and implementing improvements by virtue of not being profit-driven.”

Turkiye

Turkey’s opposition party sweeps to local elections victory in snub to Erdoğan Guardian

Turkish local elections 2024: A seismic shift in power dynamics Arab News

Syraqistan

Imran Khan’s jail sentence suspended RT (Kevin W)

From Politico’s morning European newsletter:

BLINKEN LANDS IN PARIS AS SYRIA STRIKE PROMPTS FEARS OF ESCALATION: The United States’ top diplomat is in Paris today to discuss Ukraine and Gaza amid a likely regional escalation of Israel’s war with Hamas, according to U.S. and French diplomats.

Explosion in Damascus: Antony Blinken lands hours after reports an explosion killed a senior Iranian commander in Syria, setting diplomatic channels abuzz about potential retaliation from Tehran, which blamed an Israeli airstrike, including via its proxies in Lebanon and Yemen. Israel has not officially confirmed it was behind the attack, though four officials speaking anonymous to the New York Times indicated it was. Read Gabriel Gavin’s write-up here.

Bigger than Soleimani? Calling it a “huge escalation,” security analyst Charles Lister said the reported killing of Iranian Generals Mohammed Zahedi, Hossein Aminullah and Haj Rahimi was more consequential than the 2020 assassination of Qasem Soleimani by the United States, and that a response by Tehran was “guaranteed.” Retaliation could target Israel, or American bases in the region, or both. Axios reports that the U.S. has told Tehran it “had no involvement” or advanced knowledge of the strike.

In New York: The U.N. Security Council will hold an open meeting, requested by Moscow, on the strike this afternoon at 3 p.m. New York time, according to Russian state media.

Israel accused of deadly strike on Iranian consulate in Syria BBC (Kevin W)

U.S. Inks Deal to Build New Military Bases that Can Serve as Launching Point For Attacks on Yemen and Potentially Iran Eastern Angle (Micael T)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Google Pledges To Destroy Browsing Data To Settle ‘Incognito’ Lawsuit Wall Street Journal< (BC) Jeffrey Epstein’s Island Visitors Exposed by Data Broker Wired (Kevin W)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Illusion of “Smart” Sanctions: The Russian Case Russia in Global Affairs (Micael T)

Trump

Judge slaps expanded gag order on Trump after attacks on his daughter Politico

Donald Trump’s $10bn media group sinks 21% after disclosing widening losses Financial Times

Biden

Hunter Biden loses attempt to dismiss tax charges The Hill

GOP Clown Car

Republican blame game heats up as their majority thins The Hill

Greene goes after Johnson on border, says he ‘completely surrendered’ The Hill

Arizona’s Governor Signs Bill Making Pluto the Official State Planet Arizona Capital Times. Paging the astrologers in the house…..

Our No Longer Free Press

Santa Barbara’s Collective Memory, Sold for Kindling Santa Barbara Independent (Paul R)

Scottish Hate Crime Law Takes Effect as Critics Warn It Will Stifle Speech New York Times. Kevin W: “Related article JK Rowling in ‘arrest me’ challenge over hate crime law.”

Police State Watch

A Missouri police sniper killed a 2-year-old girl. Why did he take the shot? KCUR (Dr. Kevin)

Falling Down Baltimore Bridge

Hogan Pressed For Bigger Ships, Despite Safety Warnings Lever News (Randy K)

Profit Maximization in the Real World Steve Keen (Micael T)

AI

Hillary Clinton: 2024 is ‘ground zero’ for AI and elections The Register. Chuck L: “She should know.”

Sports

Tasmania JackJumpers NBL triumph over Melbourne United met with roaring response from Ant Army ABC Australia. Anthony L: “I played basketball, and I’m a Tasmanian.”

Not my idea of a good time:

California’s Deficit Is $222 Billion and the State is $1.6 Trillion in Debt Michael Shedlock (Kevin W)

2023Q4 GDP Advances in All 50 States; Real Personal Income Declines in 5 Menzie Chinn

Class Warfare

Montgomery County has found a way to reinvigorate public housing in America dezeen. Nice!

Half a million California fast food workers will now earn $20 per hour CNN (Kevin W)

How Gen Z Is Becoming the Toolbelt Generation Wall Street Journal

Capitalism has lost its original meaning Igor Pereverzev via machine translation (Micael T)

UN report highlights growing global inequality following COVID-19 pandemic WSWS

Antidote du jour. Mary P:

This is Spitz. He was our min pin mix who we sadly had to put down last Thursday. He was the most deviously intelligent dog I have ever know. He was much loved and now very much missed. This spring will not seem quite as bright without him.

And a bonus:

A second bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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235 comments

  1. Wukchumni

    A Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Bomb Iran
    Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Bomb Iran
    Bomb Iran
    Force America’s hand
    Bomb Iran
    You got Teheran rockin’ and a rollin’
    Rockin’ and a reelin’
    Bomb Iran
    Ba-Ba-Ba-Bomb Iran

    Bombed a consulate, looking for a leader penultimate
    Saw him there, so thought they’d take a chance and
    Bomb Iran
    Bomb Iran, Bomb Iran
    Force America’s hand
    Bomb Iran, Bomb Iran
    Take Gaza land
    You got Jerusalem rockin’ and a rollin’
    Rockin’ and a reelin’
    Bomb Iran
    Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-Bomb Iran

    Tried Iraq
    Tried Afghanistan too
    Tried Iraq again
    But I knew it wouldn’t do
    Bomb Iran, Bomb Iran
    Take action
    Bomb Iran
    Force America’s hand
    You got DC rockin’ and a rollin’
    Rockin’ and a reelin’
    Bomb Iran
    Ba-Ba-Ba-Bomb Iran

    Bomb Iran, Bomb Iran
    Bomb Iran, Bomb Iran
    Bomb Iran, Bomb Iran
    Bomb Iran

    Barbara Ann, performed by the Beach Boys

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8or7HQr2poc

    Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘Axios reports that the U.S. has told Tehran it “had no involvement” or advanced knowledge of the strike.’

    I would not believe that claim for a second. The US is sharing intel with Israel ‘to “unprecedented” levels under a secret memorandum issued in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.’ This would not only mean Gaza and the West bank but Syria, Lebanon and Iran at the very least. Since the US has already murdered one Iranian General, they would have no problem with telling the Israelis where they could bomb others. But bombing a Consulate? To the Israelis it would be just one more tick on the Geneva Checklist but just how many Embassies and Consulates do the Israelis have around the world? Do they seriously imagine that there will be no consequences for them?

    https://news.antiwar.com/2024/04/01/us-increased-intelligence-sharing-with-israel-to-unprecedented-levels-after-october-7/

    Reply
    1. CA

      https://twitter.com/RnaudBertrand/status/1774978887157743626

      Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand

      There is no overstating just how absolutely insane this is. * There is no precedent – NONE – of a state deliberately bombing an embassy. It didn’t even happen during WW1, WW2 or even the 19th century. Heck even during the medieval era and Roman empire, the protection of envoys and messengers – even from enemy states – was a recognized norm.

      The only other historical instance was NATO bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, killing 3 Chinese journalists, but the U.S. profusely apologized, Bill Clinton publicly said it was a mistake (something China still doesn’t believe to this day), compensated the families and paid to rebuild the embassy. All this, highlighting how profound a taboo this is in international relations.

      Israel now doing this – and it obviously isn’t a mistake – shows just how rogue and unhinged it has become as a state. It has literally become beyond the pale on a scale that goes back centuries, even millennia.

      If the world doesn’t forcefully respond to this, it undermines the very core of international relations: the sanctity of diplomacy. And if that’s the case, we’re literally entering a world we’ve never known.

      * https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/israel-bombs-iran-embassy-syria-iranian-commanders-among-dead-2024-04-01/

      9:55 PM · Apr 1, 2024

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘The only other historical instance was NATO bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999, killing 3 Chinese journalists, but the U.S. profusely apologized’

        During the ten weeks of the conflict, NATO aircraft flew over 38,000 combat missions but only 1 was directed by the CIA. Guess which organization directed the combat mission that hit the Chinese Embassy. Go on, guess-

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_bombing_of_the_Chinese_embassy_in_Belgrade

        Reply
        1. Martin Oline

          I always thought the CIA was a sinister organization until I read Legacy of Ashes – The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner. Now I realize they have been nothing but a clown car from Yale with weapons and an unlimited credit line. The only people they have been able to spy on and assassinate are their supposed superiors.

          Reply
      2. notabanker

        We are not entering, we are firmly in it.

        Whether is is Gaza, the total lack of recognition that Russia is unbeatable in Ukraine, negotiating 10 drugs at a time in 2027 for pharma, Inflation Reduction Act, Covid, ignoring UN resolutions etc….. None of these policies make any sense and are destroying both the US citizenry and the US standing in the World.

        History will not view this time for the US kindly, and this admin will go down as the worst to date in US history, by miles. Likely only to eclipsed by the next Democrat bought and paid for by ‘elite’ minds trying to extract more rent from whatever victim they can find. It is so blatant, it cannot be ignored or waved away.

        Reply
      3. Feral Finster

        So what does Iran propose to do about it? Screaming “no fair!” is not going to stop Israel. Truly, this never grows old, and the fragrant nineteenth century prose just gives it added spice:

        A wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf’s right to eat him. He thus addressed him: “Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me.”

        “Indeed,” bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, “I was not then born.”

        Then said the Wolf, “You feed in my pasture.”

        “No, good sir,” replied the Lamb, “I have not yet tasted grass.”

        Again said the Wolf, “You drink of my well.”

        “No,” exclaimed the Lamb, “I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother’s milk is both food and drink to me.”

        Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, “Well! I won’t remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations.”

        Moral: The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”

        Reply
        1. Emma

          Israel and America are very weak right now. They’re deeply dysfunctional and cannot compete with the rest of the world on fair terms. But they have such a high opinion of themselves that compromise is impossible. So magical thinking and clever seeming flexes overtake long term strategic thinking.

          Wounded animals are the most dangerous, they behave erratically and without thinking ahead. They lash out even when there’s no benefit to doing so. Russia, China, and Iran knows this. That’s why they’re being very careful. But they also know that the time of the American empire is quickly ending and recent events are greatly accelerating the coming of that day.

          Reply
          1. Feral Finster

            Keep telling yourself that. If they were so weak, they would not be seeking to expand their wars on any pretext.

            Reply
              1. Feral Finster

                To put another way, what would make Israel and the West stop?

                The same thing that made their nazi forebears stop, the reason Germans went instantly from chest-thumping darwinists to meterosexuals.

                Reply
                1. Emma

                  The most deadly months for the Red Army were in 1945. The Soviets expended maybe 100,000 lives fighting the Banderites after VE Day.

                  If there’s the possibility that your enemy is exhausting itself financially and resource-wise, destroying its soft power by doing obviously horrible thing after obviously horrible thing so that it completely loses legitimacy amongst its own population, all the while you’re growing your own industries and alliances, then why not take it slow and watch your enemy grind itself into dust?

                  Reply
                  1. Feral Finster

                    Axtually, the most deadly months were in 1941 and 1942, if you count surrenders.

                    And Ukraine today is not Galicia of 1945. For one thing, insurgencies require a a young population. Whatever one says about 2024 (or 2022) Ukraine, it is not brimming with youth.

                    Otherwise, it’s just a retcon. I wish I were wrong.

                    Reply
                2. Daniil Adamov

                  By no means instantly. According to at least some contemporary German observers, there was still a very large pro-Hitler constituency in the immediate post-war years (I think maybe about as big as it was before; German society was never united under and behind the Nazis when they were in power, and those divisions were maintained, with only the conformists and opportunists changing sides). It’s just that they had literally almost no opportunity to act on their beliefs in a politically consequential way. Anti-Nazi thinking only began to prevail en masse about a generation later, and even then those sentiments were distributed unevenly. So a total military victory wasn’t nearly enough, strict control, indoctrination and (ultimately) generational change were needed too. Frankly, I don’t see anyone trying to occupy the US a la Germany any time soon. Israel is a lot more manageable in theory, but again, who has the capacity and the desire to do it?

                  Reply
            1. Emma

              Actually starting wars that they definitely can’t win (because if they can’t beat Hamas, Hezbollah is 10x stronger and Iran is 10x stronger than Hezbollah), lying so brazenly that nobody will ever believe them on anything again, and openly violating international law written largely to protect them, are exactly the sort things that a weakened and stupid beast would do.

              A healthy, intelligently evil country like the US 30 years ago or even a modestly more sane evil country like the US 10 years ago in Syria, would wait for a good pretext and then muddy the water enough so nobody knew what was happening, and try to keep its enemies dazed and confused and not pushed into working together against the US.

              The US can’t even build enough missiles to supply Ukraine to fight a Russia with one hand tied behind its back. That’s strong for you?

              Reply
            2. Kouros

              The desire to expand is to bring in the US to do the fight for them. Like Ukrainians are doing it for the US…

              Thus this argument is not that they are strong.

              Reply
      4. John

        And yet the US continues its “unconditional support” for Israel. Is there sufficient stupidity in the DC Bubble and Echo Chamber for this support to continue regardless of the consequences? I mean why not go to war with Hezbollah and Iran because it suits Bibi’s agenda. Why not supply 2000 lb bombs? After all Israel has to defend itself. That seems makes sense in the DC Bubble and Echo Chamber.

        I still remember the first picture I saw in a newspaper of a concentration camp. That was in 1945. I was a few months short of my ninth birthday. What I see now is worse because I have a lifetime of experience and awareness. I have no interest in the “reasons” why Israel says it must do as it is doing. I do not care a fig for Germany’s staatsrason or that Joe Biden has a deep emotional attachment to Israel or that Tony Blinken, to name but one, thinks it important for Israel and Saudi Arabia to ‘normalize’ relations. This so-called war in Gaza is a genocide. Temporize, split legal hairs as you will. The aim of the government of Israel is to dispossess the people of Gaza … and of the West Bank … by whatever means come to hand. The government of my country supports that aim. It is unworthy of support. The elected officials ought not be re-elected. The appointed persons ought to be dismissed and never serve in government again. If exile to some desolate place were possible, I would happily see them sent away never to be seen again.

        No amount of hand wringing about “humanitarian assistance” while aiding, abetting, and encouraging the obscenity that is going in Gaza mitigates responsibility. Any maneuvering in the interests of “making it through the election” is unworthy.

        Reply
      5. NYT_Memes

        Bombing Embassies by Israel. Israel’s policies are more and more in line with settlers’ thinking.

        Remember what the settlers openly say: “We are God’s Chosen People. We can do anything we want!”

        Reply
    2. Emma

      I actually think this is sign of desperation and they really need to trigger a sufficient Lebanese or Iranian response to pull in the Americans.

      Remember that after 179 days, they still haven’t pacified even the northern third of Gaza. All that firepower and the only area they can really hold is the road to the “humanitarian” pier. There was significant fighting around Al Shifa during the last two weeks and the Israelis withdrew after destroying the hospital, even though the resistance actually operates more effectively out of bombed out buildings than intact ones.

      I’m guessing that IDF leadership has made clear that they have no capability to invade Rafah or southern Lebanon and are likely running low on bombs and missiles even for indiscriminate air bombing. Since any kind of compromise or ceasefire with Palestinian “human animals” is impossible politically, these provocations are hail Marys to avoid losing in some way.

      As for long term consequences. Just look at how they behaved for the last 6 months. What’s another crime that will eventually get them taken out by Iranian special forces? They want their Eretz Yisrael and turn the Temple Mount into an abattoir, damn it!

      Reply
      1. Jabura Basaidai

        likely running low on bombs and missiles? didn’t The Husk just send more bombs and planes to drop them?

        Reply
        1. Emma

          The airlifts are nothing compared to Israeli access to American arms caches in the region. Given the intensity of the bombings, I suspect the cupboard is running quite empty.

          Israel is lucky that Ukraine lost its air force early on, so the NATO stocks of airdropped bombs were still available for use. But given the intensity of bombing, they must be running pretty low and we know Western production capacity is not there to replenish in any useful timeframe. That’s why we getting weird stories like forcing Erdogan to sell his bombs for use in Israel/Ukraine.

          I think wrt Israel’s bombs, we might be looking at a Lannisters’ gold situation at this point. They may not have enough firepower to inflict substantial harm on Lebanon or Syria anymore, nothing like what Hezbollah can do to them. That’s why they’re trying to trigger an overreaction through their insane terrorist actions.

          Reply
    3. Victor Sciamarelli

      What’s more is the Israeli attack was not different than a direct attack on Iran itself.
      As we know, the UK police were not able to apprehend Julian Assange as long as he was a guest in the Ecuador embassy because consulates and embassies are territory of the home country.
      And I agree that Biden was notified but Netanyahu didn’t ask for his permission.

      Reply
      1. vao

        consulates and embassies are territory of the home country.

        I vaguely remember that the status of diplomatic representations changed from “formally territories of the represented country” to “extra-territorial areas” sometime in the remote past. Maybe Aurelien can chime in.

        Reply
        1. Aurelien

          This is Art 22 of the Vienna Convention which states that

          “1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
          2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.”

          But of course this relates – like virtually everything in the VC – to the relationship between the sending and receiving states. The Embassy is “home territory” with regard to the laws and powers of the host country. It says nothing about attacks from outside, but then that would be covered by the Geneva Convention anyway, which says firmly that “only military targets may be attacked.” I suppose that under certain circumstances (eg when the Embassy has been abandoned in the middle of a war) it could become a military target, but for practical purposes that’s an entirely different issue.

          That said, protection of Embassies is a huge topic politically and the more you have (I’m looking at you US) the more vulnerable you feel, and the more you insist on their inviolability, so the US is going to be absolutely livid after this. They haven’t yet lived down the episode of the outdated targeting file that showed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade as a communications centre, and which was fed into a Tomahawk missile. As I recall at the time, there were people in Washington who would have taken the poor analyst responsible out and shot him if that were possible.

          Reply
          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Aurelien / David.

            After the 1994 bombing of the Jewish centre in Buenos Aires, HSBC, which I joined in 1999, quietly reviewed its footprint and moved away from such sensitive areas.

            HSBC and Barclays employ retired diplomats like your good self and military professionals, usually army, to advise on such matters and manage operational risks. Deloitte employs an aristocrat ex Scots Guards officer in that role, internal and client facing.

            Reply
          2. CA

            US is going to be absolutely livid after this. They haven’t yet lived down the episode of the outdated targeting file that showed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade as a communications centre, and which was fed into a Tomahawk missile. As I recall at the time, there were people in Washington who would have taken the poor analyst responsible out and shot him if that were possible.

            [ Please forgive me, my disbelief.

            The Chinese are quite sure the CIA arranged attack on the carefully mapped Chinese embassy was purposeful. Western reports have maintained a purpose in the attack as well.

            As for Israel attacking the Iranian Embassy, New York Times reports, at least so far, give no hint of American administration “lividness.” Then too, this administration has never disapproved the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani while on a diplomatic mission in Iraq. ]

            Reply
            1. CA

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/oct/17/balkans

              October 17, 1999

              Nato bombed Chinese deliberately
              Nato hit embassy on purpose
              By John Sweeney, Jens Holsoe and Ed Vulliamy – Guardian

              Copenhagen and Washington

              Nato deliberately bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the war in Kosovo after discovering it was being used to transmit Yugoslav army communications.

              According to senior military and intelligence sources in Europe and the US the Chinese embassy was removed from a prohibited targets list after Nato electronic intelligence (Elint) detected it sending army signals to Milosevic’s forces.

              The story is confirmed in detail by three other Nato officers – a flight controller operating in Naples, an intelligence officer monitoring Yugoslav radio traffic from Macedonia and a senior headquarters officer in Brussels. They all confirm that they knew in April that the Chinese embassy was acting as a ‘rebro’ [rebroadcast] station for the Yugoslav army (VJ) after alliance jets had successfully silenced Milosevic’s own transmitters.

              The Chinese were also suspected of monitoring the cruise missile attacks on Belgrade, with a view to developing effective counter-measures against US missiles…

              Reply
            2. Aurelien

              Believe what you like. Some of us were there. The target the US hit was not the target they thought it was.

              Reply
              1. CA

                “Some of us were there. The target the US hit was not the target they thought it was.”

                Thank you, then, for this correction. Contrary to the Guardian report, I will assume then that the bombing was in response to an error by a CIA analyst. I appreciate the correction, since the episode is remembered and has been troubling:

                https://english.news.cn/20220506/149188feac1a4e76ae7b9e01f3e0e646/c.html

                May 6, 2022

                China will never forget NATO’s bombing of Chinese embassy: spokesperson

                Reply
                1. Polar Socialist

                  Sorry, but considering the immorality and illegality of the whole affair you folks are kinda like arguing if Israel was wrong to torture/execute most of the doctors in the fifth hospital in Gaza they raided…

                  Reply
                  1. Emma

                    Thank you for expressing it far better than I could! There was no excuse for bombing Serbia or for what NATO did to break up Yugoslavia into weak corrupt ethnostates.

                    Reply
                  2. CA

                    Sorry, but considering the immorality and illegality of the whole affair you folks are kinda like arguing if Israel was wrong to…

                    [ Yes, you are right. Thank you for setting this in the proper context. ]

                    Reply
              2. CA

                https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/world/global/072399china-embassy.html

                July 23, 1999

                In a Fatal Error, C.I.A. Picked a Bombing Target Only Once: The Chinese Embassy
                By ERIC SCHMITT

                WASHINGTON — The director of the CIA disclosed Thursday that the agency had selected just one target in the 11-week air war over Yugoslavia, and its decision led to the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in May.

                “It was the only target we nominated,” the director, George Tenet, said at a rare public hearing of the House Intelligence Committee.

                After the strike on May 7, which killed three Chinese and wounded at least 20 others, the CIA decided it better go back to its usual business of spying, a U.S. official said Thursday. Reeling from its error, the agency almost immediately suspended other preparations it was making to forward additional targets to help NATO.

                Tenet also acknowledged publicly that the CIA had employees and maps that could have told military planners the correct location of the embassy. But they were not consulted, he said….

                Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                That Embassy bombing was an inflection point for the Chinese. The US bombed it and they could do nothing about it as militarily they were weak. So at this time the Chinese decided what they had to do as a priority was to build up their military into a world class force so that it would never happen again. And nobody can argue that they have not done that.

                Reply
          3. gepay

            the news reports form the local NorthernVirginia DC suburbs have been scrubbed from search engines that told of the murder of the CIA agent that sent the “mistaken? target of the Chinese consulate in Yugoslavia to the Air Force. He and his wife were jogging in a local park when a white van pulled in – let out several masked shooters. He died and his wounded wife was left for dead collapsed on a fence. She survived and reported the details. Murderers were never found. I know I can guess who was behind this hit.

            Reply
      2. JTMcPhee

        No different than the Israelis trying like hell to sink a US ship, the USS Liberty. And the CIA actually acknowledging that the Israelis pose the biggest espionage threat to the US. The US propaganda machinery is already firing off salvos from the FUD cannons, so the destruction of Al Shifa was a Hamas missile, and “nobody knows for sure who blasted the Iranian consulate, maybe ISIS?”

        Now the big question is whether the Zionists who have worked their way into influence, not to say control, of all the levers of policy, feel themselves so immunized against consequences, or so rabid in their hubris and insanity, that they’ll start shooting off those hundreds of nukes that they don’t have.

        The Russians were lucky to remove the Soviet nuclear weapons from Ukraine. There is no scenario I can imagine in which the Israeli Zionists relinquish those unavowed unrestricted nukes.

        Seems to me Israel’s assassinations and genocide and extraterritorial assaults and killing are just aching for a “provoking response” from Iran, which has disavowed nuclear weapons as evil, or any other uppity state not “chosen by YHWH,” to go burn some Arab and Persian cities, and the European and Slavic cities within reach of their delivery systems.

        And for the Armageddon Fundamentalists out there, you may think you fit into the Talmudic narrative of “friends of Ysrael,” but you are useful idiots being played by some real masters of deceit.

        My bet is that Russia and China have the wherewithal to maybe intercept some of the nuke thrown their way by the Combined West including Israel, and the resilience to recover from the effects of “leakage.” The West? Not so much.

        Anyone see a realistic path to a denuclearized Mideast? Short of detonating the “unavowed” Israeli nukes?

        Reply
        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          Who is who’s useful idiot here?

          The Rapturaniacs and Armageddonites have been supporting the Israeli faction they hope will get the Armageddon War started and set off. The Rapturgeddon goal is to use Israel as the trigger for a “this-world ending” world war at the end of which Christ will return to rule over His Thousand Year Kingdom of Righteousness on Earth. Some mystically determined number of Jews ( I remember, maybe wrongly, that the number is 144,000) will convert to Christianity and the rest will be killed and sent to Hell for the sin of having rejected their Lord and Savior the first time around. After all that has happened, the Rapturegeddonites won’t care about fitting into the Talmudic narrative of being ” friends of Ysrael”, because there won’t be any more “Ysrael” or “Talmudic narrative” . . . according to the longest-range Armageddonite Evangelical planning.

          Meanwhile, the Armageddon Fundamentalists are happy to let the Likkudists and Kahanists and Third Temple-ists imagine themselves to be some real masters of deceit and are willing to let these “real masters of deceit” think that they are playing the Armageddon Fundamentalists.

          Reply
    4. Wukchumni

      Either Biden was in cahoots, or it was a ‘{family blog} you Joey, I do what I want!’ Cartman’ish move.

      Reply
    5. Alice X

      Edward Snowden

      The Netanyahu regime now pulling off the rare feat of violating both the Geneva Conventions and the Vienna Convention—at the same time. You’re living through history, folks.

      And the murder of four aid workers thrown in.

      Reply
      1. mrsyk

        I imagine the list of murdered is a rather long read. “Grab a cup of coffee.”, as we are fond of saying.

        Reply
      2. Avalon Sparks

        It’s 7 workers now. Jose from Word’s kitchen confirmed.

        It looks like they bombed 3 different vehicles. Confirmed by twitter so not 100% sure.

        They are claiming a terrorist was in one of the cars – Israels own justification.

        Yes, really.

        Insanity.

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          This reminds of police shootings often of the unarmed where the police officers say they feared for their lives, which almost inevitably protects them from any punishments.

          Reply
    6. Feral Finster

      Even if the U.S. really were telling the truth this time, LOL, it won’t matter. If Israel does not get the reaction that it wants this time, it will resort to bigger provocation next time.

      Sort of like Ukraine was used to provoke a Russian response so as to provide a pretext for greater aggression against Russia.

      Reply
      1. Jabura Basaidai

        so consider this – and keep the USS Liberty in mind while you do – since bombing the Iranian embassy didn’t get the response necessary to drag us into a hot war yet, the next step is to have US service members killed by Iranian “proxies” – and at risk with the Trojan Horse of a pier The Husk has promised to deliver aid (hahahaha) that will deliver the sacrificial lambs of 1,000 troops – it seems a perfect scenario to pull off a false flag event –

        Reply
        1. Emma

          Yes, when that pier was announced, the first thing I thought of was that it would be an American tripwire against Hezbollah and Iran. For people who didn’t pay attention, attacking it would seem like an obvious payback. That’s probably why Iran should act quickly and decisively to punish the embassy bombing and settle the matter, so it doesn’t get accused of a pier bombing.

          Hamas should take it out.

          Reply
    7. Louis Fyne

      We are well beyond the event horizon for 2024 = a 1776/1789/1812/1914-type year.

      not necessarily a global war, but a year in which there is a memorable break between Phase A and Phase B.

      Fasten your seat belts

      Reply
  3. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the Consortium article about Germany’s support for Israel, a German former counterpart told me about this being a form of narcissism amongst the German PMC and wannabes. The support is to show their purity, decency and commitment to a cause (even at the expense of a people that had nothing to do with Europe’s mass murder of Jews and others). I replied that it often felt like it here, too.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Thank you, Colonel. I thnik that the kicker to that article is at the end-

      ‘In Germany today, the space for public debate on this issue is becoming increasingly narrow. Support for Palestineis being censored or outright banned.

      Yet the German government cannot so easily silence Global South states. As it continues to travel from country to country, incessantly justifying the Israeli genocide in Gaza while propagating the notion of “feminist foreign policy”, the German government is rapidly undermining the West’s ideological hegemony and exposing its own hypocrisy to the world.’

      Nobody is buying what the west is selling anymore.

      Reply
      1. CA

        https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/newsroom/news/baerbock-guidelines-ffp/2586412

        January 3, 2023

        Speech by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to present the feminist foreign policy guidelines

        Dear guests,

        but today I will above all say: dear colleagues,

        because so many of you have worked on what we now have here in our hands or under our chairs – our new guidelines for feminist foreign policy.

        I must admit that I was surprised time and again during this process by what a “trigger word” it is, this little word “feminist”. And yet what we are aiming for with these guidelines is something that in the twenty-first century should really go without saying – for all people to enjoy the same rights, freedoms and opportunities, regardless of their gender, regardless of what religion they belong to, regardless of who their parents are, how they look or who they love.

        And women, as we all know, make up half of society in every country. Feminist foreign policy is therefore not an ideological rallying cry, but here in Germany is a product of our Basic Law. And it is certainly not a trivial afterthought. It is a cold hard security issue.

        Because “if women are not safe, then no one is safe”. That is what a Ukrainian woman said to me as we stood near the contact line in the east of Ukraine – before 24 February 2022, before Russia’s brutal war of aggression. This sentence has stayed with me. Because we all know what happened next. War, suffering, terrible violence. Because this sentence shows us that women’s rights are too often a barometer of the state of our societies. Too often, inward repression is a warning signal for future outward aggression – as in the case of Russia…

        Reply
        1. Kouros

          What about that oecd principle that if a country is not safe, no country is safe and alliances should not be made at the expense of other country(ies) expenses?

          As per Astana and Istanbul treaties.

          Reply
          1. CA

            “What about that OECD principle that if a country is not safe, no country is safe, and alliances should not be made at the expense of any other country(ies)…”

            Really helpful.

            Reply
        2. cosmiccretin

          “That is what a Ukrainian woman said to me as we stood near the contact line in the east of Ukraine – before 24 February 2022, before Russia’s brutal war of aggression”.

          How telling that in her fatuous homily 360°-Baerbock should – even whilst “standing near the contact line” – so conveniently have “overlooked” the 14000+ civilian fatalities caused by the shelling across that very line of the separatist eastern provinces carried out over the preceding eight years by the banderite (=fascist) Kiev regime, whose usurpation of power via coup d’etat those separatists were protesting.

          Is there some reason why a so-called “feminist foreign policy” should be so deliberately purblind (crapified if you prefer) or does that just come with the territory?

          Reply
  4. Mikel

    “Do they seriously imagine that there will be no consequences for them?”

    I think they have this idea that they can withstand the consequences as long as consequences are worse for everyone around them.
    Kind of like long-term planning coming from short-term thinking.

    Reply
      1. Ben Panga

        Or they genuinely believe they are in an “existential threat” situation and this is their one chance to sweep all their enemies away.

        In which case all consequences (beyond whatever the heck victory would mean) would be irrelevant

        Reply
    1. Skip Intro

      Their only hope is drawing US further in to the conflict, so provoking escalation, as in Ukraine, despite immediate costs, is the only plausible strategy.

      Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      Assassinating Soleimani was so out of character for hair furor I thought, wonder what sort of encouragement he got in kind from Bibi?

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Wasn’t Trump the same guy who believed the Skripal story because somebody showed him a picture of some sick ducks?

        Reply
    3. Feral Finster

      Nope, they intend to provoke a reaction so that they can run screaming to their American attack dog.

      The dog knows full well what is going on, and is simply waiting for the right pretext to go all-in.

      Reply
      1. John k

        This dog never needed a pretext to do what it wants. Imo it doesn’t want to attack Iran at all. And with good reason.

        Reply
  5. mrsyk

    Hmmm. Just one in five Wisconsin dems see Gaza impacting their primary vote. I guess the censorship policy is working. Who are they going to vote for?

    Reply
    1. LawnDart

      Don’t be too hard on the cheeseheads– Wisconsin is home to many descendants of German immigrants, and cultural ties are strong. There is much sympathy for Genocide Joe in Wisconsin… and didn’t you know he had an uncle who died in the holocaust?

      Fell off a watchtower…

      Reply
    2. steppenwolf fetchit

      If the censorship policy is working, then how are one in five Wisconsin dems able to see material about Gaza which would impact their vote? Isn’t it more likely that five in five Wisconsin dems either see the material or could see it if they want to, and that one in five dems have decided to base their vote on it?

      And in a razor-thin margin state like Wisconsin, one in five dems would be enough to sway the General election one way or the other, if the Biden Admin has not got the scrip flipted by then.

      Reply
    3. nippersmom

      There’s also the possibility that a certain portion of the remaining 80% had already decided not to support Biden. In that sense, events in Gaza would not have impacted their vote. Then there are those who no longer identify as democrats.

      To me, the bigger question is whether they are going to follow through with boycotting Genocide Joe in the general.

      Reply
  6. Wukchumni

    Half a million California fast food workers will now earn $20 per hour CNN
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ‘I’ll have the moot point combo, supersized’

    McDonalds in St George, Utah was offering $17 per hour plus bonuses for new hires a fortnight ago, with the minimum wage in the Beehive state being currently $7.25 per hour~

    Reply
    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I watched an interesting YouTube video about this the other day. Specifically, it was about Panera, who got a carve out from Gavin Newsome (who is besties with their CEO). Because Panera offers bread, baked on-site, for sale, they are classified as a bakery and thus exempt from this law. But the author of the video felt Panera would be foolish to exercise this carve out, as their wages would automatically be less competitive than other fast food/fast casual eateries and it would impact their labor pool. I don’t share their feelings on this, especially if the labor market is one where the $20/hour positions are all filled (not something I know for sure.)

      Regardless, I agree with your point. Around here (Indiana) I’ve noticed posted wages for fast food scraping the high teens already.

      Reply
      1. Rod

        Can’t argue about having a job and getting ‘Compensation’ that enables your life, however I have been wondering about the ‘distortion’ in value and worth that accompanies that–imo.
        Although always wanting to maximize my return on labor sold–I never perceived ‘Fast Food’ as a career vocation–for reasons.
        I choose to wear the tool belt–those old timers advising “Get a Skill”
        And what about that addage –Compensation based on value added?
        What does that electrical apprentice, or CNA, think about that level of compensation when they discover their lunch order is wrong?……”And I could be flipping burgers for 20hours a week!??”
        Having issues?? Ask to speak to someone with language skills(either expressing or organizing)
        That’s the distortion

        Reply
        1. Laputan

          I can see you’ve never worked in management, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to type “compensation based on value added” without spitting all over your keyboard. Your compensation is based on how much you can convince someone to pay you. It has nothing to do with skill or “value added,” and most people end up conning their way into a PMC sinecure. Skilled labor hasn’t seemed to have an issue keeping pace with this “distortion,” why would this be any different?

          And you’ve never worked in fast food, otherwise you’d know that it’s actually hard work, on the level of other manual labor jobs just in shorter hours.

          Reply
        2. steppenwolf fetchit

          As long as people insist on buying fast burgers, someone will have to flip them. And the flippers of burgers ( ” hewers of wood and drawers of water” ) can either be paid a living wage or not.

          People who insist on buying fast burgers should have to pay a living-wage price for those burgers if that is the price of being able to buy those burgers. The kind of people who think the flippers of their burgers don’t deserve a living wage are the kind of people who do not deserve to have any burgers at all.

          Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “Australia’s premier demands accountability from Israel over aid worker’s killing in Gaza”

    ‘This is a human tragedy that should never have occurred, that is completely unacceptable,’ says Anthony Albanese’

    If this keeps up, the PM is seriously considering sending the Israelis a sternly-worded letter. This was pathetic. An earthquake is a tragedy. The murders of aid workers was an actual war crime but Albanese did not want to use the word ‘Israelis.’ Those aid workers had just dropped off food to a depot and the three car convoy was returning home when the Israelis hit them with a missile. They knew exactly who they were and deliberately targeted them-

    https://twitter.com/clashreport/status/1774924370768527730

    A PM that wasn’t gutless would have taken this up with the UN Security Council but we have Anthony Albanese instead

    Reply
    1. ChrisFromGA

      To be fair, where is China on this? Having already had an embassy bombed by the US in 1999, they ought to be cutting off diplomatic relations with Israel.

      Lots of “gutless” leaders all around the world.

      Reply
      1. mrsyk

        Craig Murray saying kind of the same thing in his latest video (China taking the reins via UN mandate).

        Reply
      2. CA

        “To be fair, where is China on this?”

        Being fair in response, China has immediately formally “condemned” the Iranian embassy attack by Israel. The Chinese condemnation of the attack by Israel has been all over Chinese media.

        Reply
          1. jsn

            US today at the Security Council:
            “The representative of the United States said that his country had no involvement in the reported strike in Syria, nor did it know about it ahead of time. However, one thing is clear: Iran and its proxy and partner groups need to avoid escalating tensions in the region. Indeed, since the 7 October terrorist attack on Israel, the United States has repeatedly warned Iran not to take advantage of the situation to escalate its longstanding proxy war against Israel and other actors. Iran has ignored that warning. Washington, D.C., does not have confirmation of the status of the building that was struck in Damascus, he said, adding that any confirmed attack on a diplomatic facility would be of concern to the United States. Turning to reports of an Israeli airstrike on the World Central Kitchen Convoy, he said that Israel needs to do much more to protect humanitarian personnel and facilities in Gaza. “It is unacceptable and inexplicable that nearly six months into this conflict, Israeli military deconfliction mechanisms are not functioning appropriately,” he said.”

            No involvement, nope, nosiree.

            It’ll be interesting if a transcript of Xi and Biden today turns up.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Interesting concept. So Israel is allowed to kill Iranian government officials and destroy a Consulate, but that if Iran does anything in return that is ‘escalating tensions.’ So what will happen when the Israelis launch an attack on Iran’s Parliament building? What will they say then?

              Reply
              1. jsn

                Yes, the epic scale of doublespeak here is an inspiration to us all!

                Per below though, China is staying in its lane so far.

                We bombed their embassy in Yugoslavia, now our investment in Israel is used to bomb Iran’s embassy in Syria: what else needs to be said? Our deeds speak louder than any critic of us could.

                Reply
    2. jefemt

      Seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen were killed during an Israel Defense Forces attack in Gaza, the food-relief organization said, adding that it plans to pause its operations in the region.

      “This is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire of situations where food is being used as a weapon of war,” CEO Erin Gore said in a statement. “This is unforgivable.”

      Reply
      1. Emma

        And keep in mind that WCK was collaborating closely with Israel on their (puny compared to need) food barge stunt. They were widely touted as an alternative to UNRWA for handling aid distribution in Gaza. The vehicle was clearly marked and they coordinated clearance with the Israeli government.

        As with attack on UN peacekeepers and unprecedented attack on the Iranian embassy in a third country, the gleeful 2 week bloodbath in Al Shifa, Israel is having the mother of all psychic break episodes. Feels like we’re heading to the final minutes of Thelma and Louise here. Carpet bombing Rafah (assuming they have enough bombs left) or actually nuking Iran seems like the last cards to play.

        Reply
        1. Emma

          Though starving hundreds of thousands in North Gaza to death would certainly be a contributing incentive. Though this stoppage would be only 1-2 lbs of for per person still remaining in northern Gaza. Keep in mind that Gaza City is only 15 minutes from the Israeli border. There IDF easily brought in heavy equipment to build the stupid pier. It would be very easy to bring in 100 or 500 trucks a day for food, water, and supplies.

          Never forget and never forgive. What they’re doing today to the children of Gaza, they would have no qualms visiting on any one of us.

          https://twitter.com/JoshuaPHilll/status/1775154050402746693

          Reply
          1. LawnDart

            Good point– pretty soon the trickle of aid entering Gaza will be enough to meet the needs of the [remaining] population, thereby rendering this whole “genocide by famine” accusation moot.

            Hell, by this time next year, no aid whatsoever will be needed in Gaza! Hellofa acomplishment, Joe! The dems have surely learned a thing or two since October, so I betcha they can solve that deplorable poverty problem at home too!

            Reply
        1. Revenant

          THIS!

          I had never heard of World Central Kitchen but I smelled a rat when the UK MSM who are so anxious to assuage Israeli self-love that they write the Palestinian genocide in the passive voice (BBC, Guardian, Telegraph) suddenly came out in a chorus of disapproval of Israeli violence against an unheard-of arriviste food aid charity. UNWRA is apparently a brown-skinned terrorist camp but an independent NGO was staffed by Western angels.

          But hang on, nobody and no thing is allowed into Gaza by Israel and Egypt has shut the Rafah crossing! How did the angels get there? How did their food aid get there? Oh, they happen to have sailed a ship that was prepositioned in Cyprus since February to the US-sponsored token landing pier just opened? Well, well, well….

          Oh, and two of the UK dead are former Royal Marines, you say? Royal Marines are genuinely lovely people in my experience (chill, with nothing to prove, even met a few at Space in Ibiza) – but that seems a bit odd, two out of seven (minimum) being from UK’s most elite service and the primary recruiting pool for the SAS and SBS….

          My working hypothesis is World Central Kitchen is a front for US and UK military to insert special forces operatives for targeting missions inside Gaza under cover of disaster relief, to relay information to Israel (and perhaps to check up on Israel’s lies). They may also be part of a “Hamas” false-flag operation to justify some further atrocity.

          If you look at WCK’s greatest hits, it is a resume of CIA shit-shows. Haiti, the Ukraine, Turkey, Syria…. It is based in Washington dc. Its founder is a chef with honorary degrees from Georgetown and GWU.

          It glows in the dark.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            I still do not see any upside to the IDF bombing a well marked, previously cleared food convoy. Northern Gaza is now a wasteland and the whole of it is full of starving refugees. What would be the need for any special forces any ways? I suppose there could be a reason, but I just do not see what, which includes a false-flag operation.

            To me, it just appears to be more IDF happily kill-mongering with insulting bald-faced lying as excuses. The slaughter serves nothing, but deaths for those who would help the Palestinians, which is what the IDF is trying to do because they want to complete the genocide, and hatred for the Israelis.

            Reply
          2. Emma

            I bear Jose Andres permanent animus for a memorably bad restaurant experience. Back when I didn’t know better, I took my parents out to one of his restaurants for a birthday celebration. My parents mock me to this day for the ridiculously tiny portions on 3-4 items (I have been to plenty of fine dining restaurants since, anything that small gets clearly labeled as an amuse bouche and is usually gratis) and a $40 seafood paella (this was 15 years ago) that managed to be inedibly salty, undercooked, and smelled rather strongly of unwashed feet. Attempts to get some sort of fix or even explanation for the dreadful Paella was blithely ignored.
            We continued to take my parents to birthday dinners in nice DC area restaurants until COVID hit and always had wonderful experiences, but my parents certainly derived the greatest value from that meal at Jaleo.

            Reply
    3. Feral Finster

      Albanese is trying to have it both ways. Pretending to give a [FAMILYBLOG] whilst doing nothing that would offend his American Master.

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Even on Mt Everest, shit happens.

      ‘Camp 6 report: After 3 weeks on the mountain, my backpack weighs almost double what it did before…’

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Aussie bushwalker’s saying-

        ‘If you carry it in, then you carry it out.’

        Maybe they can have a device near the top peak where it dries your poop out and removes all the moisture. That way you are only carrying ‘dry weight’ back. :)

        Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            I’ve picked up enough trash in perhaps 5,000 miles of walking in Sequoia NP to maybe fill half a backpack, if that.

            It’s pretty clean in this here back of beyond, my half-pint Himalaya.

            Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      p.s.

      If you ever want to see a demolition derby on the slopes, just watch a snowboarder trying to negotiate a Poma lift, which is a disk you slide under your derriere and ride up. It works pretty good for skiers, but not so much for boarders. They are rarely encountered these days as its almost all chair and gondola lifts now.

      I saw something similar to this happen @ Powder Mountain in Utah…

      Snowboard beginner on the ski lift takes out everyone

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4-U1sXTxEg

      Reply
      1. Benny Profane

        There is a poma on top of Crested Butte that allows local skiers to voice derision at the one plankers as they have to attempt using the steep lift in front of a hundred or so. Great fun.

        Reply
  8. CanCyn

    Re Missouri police sniper article – I think the sniper and his superiors should all be rotting in jail. First of all I can’t get over the equipment that those small town cops had at their disposal. I suppose if all you have is guns you’re going to have a shootout (hammer, nail). The article provides evidence that orders to shoot were made when they likely shouldn’t have been. The sniper didn’t wear his night vision goggles. Plenty of blame to go around.
    Maybe they tried to negotiate with the guy but it is not mentioned in the article. Yes he was shooting but he had a phone and aren’t there bullhorns for that kind of thing. The guy called his sister-in-law to come and get the child who was later shot by the sniper. She arrived and was willing to go to the door and get the child. Why not body armour her up and let her do what she was willing to do? Maybe because that kind of bravery is not recognized by a bunch of idiots with guns and military level equipment?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      This is pretty standard for police forces. The most immediate example that comes to mind is Ruby Ridge.
      It is the Israeli “strategy” at work. Everyone in your field of fire is an “enemy combatant.” It may not be in the manual, but it is the way things work out in the field.
      Not letting the relative retrieve the little girl was the big “up yours” to ‘common humanity.’
      “We will make the decisions here. You shut up and do as you are told.”
      There is a lot of that breaking out around the world right now.

      Reply
      1. Feral Finster

        Keep in mind that police departments recruit heavily from military veterans, who (shocka!) act like they’re still an occupying force, patrolling Fallujah or the Panjshir Valley or wherever.

        This is entirely intentional.

        Reply
        1. LifelongLib

          I guess i have more sympathy for the police than many commenters here. Like (say) social workers and ER docs, police get stuck dealing with the end results of problems the rest of society creates and then can’t handle. Bandaid fixes for poverty, sickness, and despair.

          Reply
          1. Feral Finster

            Not arguing any of that. That said, police departments are not training cops to act as glorified social workers but as occupiers, and they select cops accordingly.

            I asked a former inner city cop of my acquaintance why I dislike cops so much. I used to like them just fine, so was it me that changed or did they change?

            He laughed and said that they were the ones who changed.

            Reply
      2. steppenwolf fetchit

        The Ruby Ridge sniper was not police. He ( Lon Horiuchi) was FBI. I remember reading that the FBI had Randy Weaver’s wife shot because she was considered to be the moral backbone-of-resistance in that family. So shooting her was not a matter of “just shoot anyone in the field of fire” It was a deliberate and carefully worked-out choice to shoot her in particular.

        If either Horiuchi himself or his FBI trainers had been trained by Israelis, that would be interesting to know.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Interesting concept, that the FBI are not police. I’m using the term in the sense of ‘Organs of State Security.’ That would include both local coppers, the FBI, and Homeland Security goons.
          I’ve read the same theory about her killing.
          The actions of the Forces of Law and Order at Waco, the year after Ruby Ridge, reinforced the message. “Conform or die.”
          I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone here.

          Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “The best (and worst!) April Fools’ Day pranks of all time: From Big Ben going digital to a bountiful Swiss spaghetti harvest – so did you fall for any?”

    The Critical Drinker put out a video today called ‘Thank You, And Goodbye…’ in which he said that he no longer got joy in doing his YouTube Channels though he made many friends on it which he will keep for the rest of his life. That the work is just a grind as there was so many rubbish movies that he had to watch and then spend hours editing into a review. He was really speaking from the heart and thanked everybody for supporting him on his channels, especially his two million subscribers.

    Then at the end he said the whole thing was a April Fool’s joke-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW0yhZgqBic (4:00 mins)

    Reply
    1. JohnA

      I honestly assumed the recent Bellingcat operator film claiming Russia was behind the so-called Havanna syndrome, was an April Fool. But many people seem to be taking it seriously. Who knows these days?

      Reply
      1. IMOR

        Wow! Another super-rich clown relocates near Bozeangeles? How novel.
        Rare misstep by Swift. Should hold her up for $125 million, not $25 m.

        Reply
        1. jefemt

          It appears to be a very effective april Fools Day ‘gig’. I submitted the following to Reddit- it was taken down…

          Montana Governor Greg Gianforte just confirmed that Taylor Swift has signed an option to purchase Montana.
          Swift purportedly is working closely with Gianforte, Daines, Rosendale, Zinke and frontrunner presidential candidate Trump, for a post-November 2024 election regime change.

          Trump’s intention is to declare himself King for Life of the United States, and to transfer federal lands to the Trump family. Holdings will include The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton National parks, nearly the entirety of Alaska, and various other future world-class golf venues.

          Swift purportedly will pledge her fealty to Trump, bring along her vast fan base for the 2024 election, in exchange for being the sole Transferee of all Trump Montana(tm) formerly federal lands.
          Rosendale has urged caution, as he believes Prince Earache the Dunce and DonJay Hoonior want all federal prairie dog habitat land in southeastern Montana for their Red Mist forays.
          Gianforte added, “I want to make sure that everyone is clear this is Taylor Swift, not Taylor Sheridan”.

          We reached out to Beyonce Knowles (aka Cowboy Carter, the Reverse Cowgirl Queen) for comment, and she assured us her committed dates at the Gallatin Gateway Bar and Red Ants Pants Festival will be honored.

          Kevin Costner has not yet responded to our inquiries.

          Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    Arizona’s Governor Signs Bill Making Pluto the Official State Planet Arizona Capital Times
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Az is already the political crass-test-dummy for the GOP, is it any wonder they picked the furthest right planet?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Even better, Pluto is no longer considered a planet. So, by analogy, is Arizona no longer a state?
      Oh, and how does this year’s spaghetti harvest look up there where the Swiss immigrants introduced the spaghetti trees back in the mid-eighteen hundreds?

      Reply
  11. ChrisFromGA

    Market desk:

    There is trouble a-brewin’ in the land of rate cuts for nothin’ and stimmy checks for free.

    Treasury yields are blowing out especially on the long end:

    10-year 4.4%
    2-year 4.75%

    Gold UP, oil UP

    Stonk futures DOWN

    The market may be showing the “Manila Folder” a.k.a. Jay Powell that the notion of rate cuts ain’t happening. Inflation is coming back, and he’d better get on the deck and start turning those cannons at it or else he’ll end up in Davey Jones locker!

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Having experienced ‘That 70’s inflation’ in my teenagerhood as an idle spectator, this one has a really different feel as my parents aren’t paying for everything now, so I notice everything.

      The big difference in inflation is the immediacy with everybody knowing everything now (how would I have conveyed in 1975 that restaurants in Utah were offering nearly 150% over the minimum wage per hour?) about wages and the burgeoning cost of living that can be raised in a nanosecond on a contraption such as this QWERTY, pushing everybody else to respond, and then eventually it becomes a race to see who can respond quickest, pushing the inflation envelope to the outer limits.

      Reply
      1. mrsyk

        this one has a really different feel as my parents aren’t paying for everything For sure! Trying to keep the coffee out of my nose this morning, have mercy.

        Reply
      2. IMOR

        Mine were, essentially, too, Wuk, but even with my summer job earnings I could get 8-10% on a 6-month CD in a (more honestly measured) 9-13% inflation environment.
        Neither proportional rates nor as many real parents around to play shock absorber this time around.

        Reply
        1. Benny Profane

          I’ll never forget my father chuckling to himself as he was grilling steaks in the back yard, after he got back from two banks that day (the FDIC insurance limit was 100,000 in 1981) with two five year CDs at 15% each. Double your money in that short period, and full faith of the Treasury behind them. Easy money. There is an upside to higher rates.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            A friend of Dad’s in Miami would fly up to Toronto every three months back in the ’70s to ‘curate’ his (illegal) Canadian investment accounts.
            Nowadays he would be considered yet another “prudent” investor.

            Reply
      3. ambrit

        Control Voice:
        “There is nothing wrong with your economy. Do not attempt to adjust the system. We are controlling inflation. If we wish to make things more expensive, we will increase inflation. If we wish to make things cheaper, we will tune inflation to a whisper. We will control the bond yield. We will control the liquidity. We will roll the Market, make it flutter. We can change the public’s focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal method clarity. For the next cycle, sit quietly and we will control all that you will sell and buy. We repeat: There is nothing wrong with your economy. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery that reaches from the inner offices to… The Lower Bounds.”

        Reply
        1. Mikel

          Maybe it’s more that nothing is wrong that hasn’t been wrong for a while now. The control is “this time it’s different.”

          Reply
        2. Wukchumni

          Well done!

          Outer Limits scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid, no mamby-pamby extraterrestrials on there the likes of ET, no they’d rip your face off if you looked at ’em askance.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Yes indeed. Uncle Gerry, (a classic ‘friend of the family’ from back in London who moved to America with some help from the folks,) once told of dating for a while in New York the woman who was responsible for the creature designs for the program.
            The Zanti Misfits still raise a shudder when I see that iconic BEM face.
            There was a two part episode where alien quants raised the Earth money for a project of theirs by “predicting” the Market precisely. Back then, numbers could do anything.
            With all of this rain and snowpack your defensible position is having, this year’s spaghetti harvest should be excellent. Perhaps as good as the stellar crops of 1957.
            Stay safe. Stay al dente.

            Reply
            1. t

              Was it Millicent Patrick? Even if not, another reminder to read the Creature from the Black Lagoon book about her.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                I don’t know if it was her. I have read the book about her. The real deal she.
                This happened I was told in New York City, so, probably not Patrick, who, I believe was based in California.

                Reply
      4. ilsm

        No!

        The MMTers say.

        This time is different, we (MMTers) burned all monetarists’ theory!

        It (inflation) was supply chain making empty shelves not trillions in wet ink fiat chasing things none of the money holders made.

        Where is Volcker?

        Reply
        1. Mikel

          Maybe it’s more that now more people are aware of MMT concepts/procedures – even if it didn’t have that name or any before.

          Reply
            1. ambrit

              So, are you telling us that Supplychainistan is ruled by a Cargo Cult? How droll, as in drollers and scents.

              Reply
    2. ChrisFromGA

      (I want muh stuff for free …)

      Well look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way ya do it
      Ya cut Fed Funds rate, give out stuff for free
      That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Rate cuts for nothin’ and stimmy checks for free

      Now that ain’t working, that’s the way you do it
      Let me tell you, credit markets ain’t dumb
      Maybe get a ten-year with a seven handle
      Maybe find you can’t print oil drums

      We got to show sound currency no lovin’
      HELOC cash-outs for custom jet skis
      We got to move these credit markets
      We got to bail out Boeing; you’ll see!

      The little printer with the JD and no courage
      Yeah buddy, he’s still Fed Chair
      The little printer got a dual mandate
      The little printer sides with billionaires

      We got to show sound currency no lovin’
      Custom bailout delivery
      We’ve got to move these credit markets
      We’ve got to hand out money for free

      [Sting]

      Gotta show the currency no lovin’
      HELOC cash-outs for custom jet skis
      [Knopfler]
      We’ve got to move these credit markets
      We’ve got to print more weapons for Zee

      Lookie here, look at it

      I shoulda learned from Greenspan’s tire fire
      I shoulda learned from Ben and Jan
      Look at that gran-mama, she had it, printing like a LaserJet, man, wish I could do that
      And who’s up there? What’s that? Japanese noises?
      He’s bangin’ on the printer like the JCB
      oh, that ain’t working
      That’s the way you do it
      Get yer coupons to nothin’ and yer stimmy checks for free

      We got to show sound currency no lovin’
      Custom bailout delivery
      We’ve got to move these credit markets
      We’ve got to hand out money for free

      Listen here

      Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Ya cut fed funds rate and give out stuff for free
      That ain’t workin’, that’s the way ya do it
      Money for nothin’ and stimmy checks for free

      (I want muh, I want muh, I want muh stuff for free!)

      Reply
  12. The Rev Kev

    “Israeli troops pull out of Gaza hospital, leaving wasteland in their wake’

    So one of the last working hospitals in Gaza has been reduced to a burned out husk and there are about 400 bodies scattered around the area, all of whom the Israelis swear were Hamas. So on the news tonight there was an Israeli military spokesman talking about the Al-Shifa hospital operation. This is what he said – though you may want to put down any coffees right now. He said that the Al-Shifa hospital operation was a brilliant success and that in the years to come, both West Point and Sandhurst will be regarding it as the gold standard as how to do urban warfare. These people are beyond redemption. They commit a war crime and it looks like they want a medal for what they did.

    Reply
    1. CA

      “So on the news tonight there was an Israeli military spokesman talking about the Al-Shifa hospital operation…”

      Truly, “beyond redemption.”

      Reply
    2. Polar Socialist

      At this point I’m willing to accept that both West Point and Sandhurst could teach that razing a civilian hospital in a ghetto is how to do urban warfare. Dirlewanger is probably still prohibited material, but Gaza is getting to be a good substitute by now.

      Reply
    3. Feral Finster

      “…in the years to come, both West Point and Sandhurst will be regarding it as the gold standard as how to do urban warfare.”

      They will, in fact, now that the pretenses of being anything other than SS Brigade Dirlewanger but with different flags are gone.

      Reply
  13. savedbyirony

    Yves, with all the picture submissions you received thanks so much for posting our little dog’s picture so soon. He was 14 yrs. Old and dealing with serious health issues in the last month, but lived a happy dog life with plenty of walks and lots of trouble to get into.

    Reply
    1. mrsyk

      He looks the mischievous part! Tell us a story. I’d like to hear one, and we could all use a break from the horrors.

      Reply
      1. savedbyirony

        Spitz, who was a puppy mill rescue, turned out to be a very friendly and affectionate dog once he knew someone but he never took his eyes off the prize which for him was the tv remote, a shoe or any kind of food. He became adept at convincing people he has interested in one thing, like playing with a toy or enjoying a belly rub, only to suddenly switch gears and grab the desired item to destroy or eat it. He was also incredibly quick and for a dog his size could jump surprisingly high well into his years. (If he had been willing to take any direction at all, he could have been a brilliant agility dog.) We had to install a gate between the kitchen and rest of the house to cook in there and not need to crate him while we fixed meals. Once when bringing in groceries I saw him jump from the dining room, clear the gate (which is probably a good 31/2 ft high), grab half a pound of ham from a counter top and bolt down the basement to a well protected corner where he proceeded to devoir his score in a less then two minutes. Had to call the vet on that one, but she said somethings just have to work themselves out in time. Poor dog was bloated for days, but he continued to love ham.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          Lovely memory, although not at the time obviously. Spitz and your family were very lucky to have each other.
          Thank you for sharing.

          Reply
    2. Mikex

      RIP to Spitz, what a nice looking dog. He does look like a bit of a devil, though. In the picture, kind of has the “I’m just a dog” look, but looking out of the corner of his eyes plotting to steal that half sandwich someone is holding low.

      Reply
      1. savedbyirony

        In that picture he was 13. In his prime, even for a mix, he had that lean proud look of miniature pinscher with the distinct gait to his walk. He was a terrific guard dog, too.

        I was so hoping he could enjoy one more spring and summer of warm weather but after living with diabetes for over four years he was letting us know it was now time to go.

        Reply
        1. kareninca

          He had a wonderful life with you. It is so painful to lose them but knowing that they had joy helps a lot.

          Reply
  14. Pat

    Odd review citing found in reviews for an all in one face and body cream from a television shopping network. The five star review told of how it was the only cream that provided relief for the awful eczema they had recently developed “after a cold”.

    I wasn’t expecting that one.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Those eyes really get you in though Mary P did mention that Spits was deviously intelligent. I bet that there are a few stories there. Every good dog has stories about them.

      Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Cocaine bricks: Illicit drug packages wash up on Sydney beaches”

    Going by that article, it sounds like there is either a sunken boat or a lost sunken stash where packages get loose from time to time and float around until washed up on the coastline. Good luck trying to find it though but it must be breaking the hearts of those druggies that were expecting this delivery. Hope for their sake that it was on a cash on delivery basis and that they did not pay for it up front. Maybe they should have sent it via Amazon.

    Reply
      1. jo6pac

        Air Amerika carried opium/heron out of southeast Asia and inter-mountain aviation carried cocaine out south Amerika. Fun Fact;-)

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          We knew a man who was a chopper pilot in Nam. He personally saw flights for Air America’s “cargo runs” to the Golden Triangle. Land near Cam Ran Bay and pack the goods onto returning supply ships from America. (Over the combat zones, the Air America DC-3s needed helicopter gunship protection. They got it. To maintain the illusion of ‘legitimacy,’ the DC-3 crews would carry some bombs out and drop them over a patch of jungle. Voila! An Air America “bombing run.”)
          Beginning with the Mafia back in WW-2, the OSS, later the CIA, has had “interactions” with drugs smuggling from the very beginning. Classic self funding ‘Black Box’ activity.

          Reply
              1. ambrit

                That was the “Independent Contractors.” I’m assured that the CIA worked at an order of magnitude greater than the “Independents.”
                One of the films of “Scientology Couch Surfer” Tom Cruise that I liked was a biopic of the life of legendary American “Independent Air Importer” Barry Seal. He worked for the ‘Shadow Government’ running guns south to clients of America and drugs back north as funds raising methods.
                The film is “American Made” from 2017.

                Reply
    1. digi_owl

      Banana shipment maybe?

      Norway had a bit of news about cocaine showing up in such a way last year…

      Reply
  16. John W.

    Regarding Antiwar.com, it was purpose-built to report on news in the Middle East. The team there does not have sufficient background knowledge to effectively report on Ukraine or East Asia. It is consistently 2-3 months behind the “dissident consensus”, which in turn is 6-8 months ahead of the establishment consensus.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Saywhat now? Antiwar.com has its origins in the war of aggression in the Balkans back in ’95 so has been round the block a few times. Most of its space is an aggregation of news article separated by regional categories and opinion pieces are marked as such. You use your judgement with the later. But when you mention the “dissident consensus” as well as the “establishment consensus’, you should really mention the “establishment narrative” as well. An example of that was where the White House announced that ISIS-K was responsible for the Moscow bombing and the Ukrainians were completely innocent about an hour after the attack. And this is the same White House that still cannot determine how that bag of cocaine got into the White House – though it is the most heavily surveilled building in America – after about 4 months and so had to close that investigation.

      Reply
    1. ambrit

      This has the potential to become a big deal. All of the people with immune systems degraded by exposure to the Coronavirus-19, and, some assert, the “vaccines” as well, are especially vulnerable.
      Will pasteurization eliminate the virus from ‘infected’ milk?
      Oh boy. Life is trying to kill us all.

      Reply
  17. t

    Why is this idiotic notion of venting and getting it out so pervasive in, apparently not only the popular imagination but also people with training in social work, psychology, and brain science?

    It’s been a thing that “science says the opposite” since I was old enough to have drinks with shrinks.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      There is a technique used in some circles in the New Age, which I heard called the “breakthrough process” but Lord only knows if it has a recognized name. This is not for an upset du jour but things you harbor deep resentment for over time, like a neglectful or abusive parent.

      You need a longish bludgeon, like a bat (a broom handle might break if you do this correctly). You have a big target that can take a pounding. like a mattress. Needs to be below waist level.

      You swing the bludgeon up and back, as if you were swinging an axe from the heels. Way back. It is critical for some weird Kundalini-esque reason to fully extent the torso and arch a bit back.

      You then scream at the top of your lungs while hitting the target repeatedly, visualizing the person, yelling all the things you want/need to say about how terrible they were/are in general and to you.

      If done properly, you do get a huge rush of energy. Many participants say things they didn’t even realize was on their hate list. It does seem to be cathartic; people who do it often shake and cry afterwards.

      But I don’t think that qualifies as venting.

      Reply
        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          beat me to it, re: splitting wood.
          my eldest went immediately to the woodshed after Tam died, and spent 4 hours splitting wood…such that i brought him icewater, so’s he wouldnt damage himself(it was june).
          i can always tell by this measure when he’s upset about something.

          as for the primal scream thing….after her first week in hospital…and me hanging around down there all week, gathering intel…i came home to check on boys…who were at the football game anyways…so i got shitfaced under the Big Oak and ended up yelling like an animal at the top of my lungs.
          cant say it helped, much.
          but perhaps it did…since i didnt kill anyone that afternoon.

          Reply
        2. Jen

          I can attest to the therapeutic value of splitting wood. I had a fine time busting up some kindling last night whilst mutter the names of the current and several former presidents. Helps me keep a good rhythm.

          Reply
      1. Craig H.

        Cricket bats are the preferred implement. If you don’t play cricket sixty bucks for a new cricket bat makes this a luxury item. If you have a lot of cricket players in your neighborhood a garage sale cricket bat might be real useful.

        Reply
      2. britzklieg

        “Many participants say things they didn’t even realize was on their hate list.”

        Sounds like it’s great at making false memories (for which there is clear evidence) true.

        Victim-lust.

        In a world where being a “victim” is highly rewarded, the biggest victims get the highest reward…

        unless one is Palestinian.

        Reply
      3. Late Introvert

        I’m all in favor of a late night beer and weed fueled long hard cry, with music playing. Get right to the shaking and crying.

        Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    Vovan and Lexus strike again-

    ‘International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has admitted to a pair of pranksters that Ukrainians have been asked to spy on Russian athletes online so that they could be banned from the upcoming Paris Games.

    In a video-call posted on Tuesday, in which one of the Russian duo known as Vovan and Lexus impersonated an African official, Bach claimed that by sanctioning Russian athletes, the IOC is “punishing those who are responsible for the annexation.”

    Answering a question on whether Russian athletes who support the Ukraine conflict deserved the right to take part in the Olympics, Bach revealed that the IOC has a special commission which monitors public statements by athletes in support of the government in Moscow.’

    https://www.rt.com/news/595286-russians-prank-thomas-bach/

    Reply
  19. Enter Laughing

    RE: Persistence of S1 Spike Protein in CD16+ Monocytes up to 245 Days in SARS-CoV-2 Negative Post COVID-19 Vaccination Individuals with Post-Acute Sequalae of COVID-19 (PASC)-Like Symptoms

    So vaccine-induced Long Covid is real.

    I wonder if repeat vaccinations and boosters compound the risks, just like repeat infections of the actual virus compound your risks.

    Reply
    1. ilsm

      No one asks: is that S1 protein good for anything and safe. Or does it go away before harm?

      Big grain of salt. Science!

      Reply
    2. britzklieg

      Hey man, get with the program… aside from infection and transmission, the “vaccine” protects against EVERYTHING!
      Feigl-Ding told us so and we must believe him, rah!

      Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Israel’s war on Gaza updates: New Israeli law paves way for Al Jazeera ban”

    I don’t think that the EU will criticize Israel here. If they did, then Israel would point out the EU banning RT and Sputnik back in ’22.

    Reply
  21. The Rev Kev

    “How to grow a human’

    The story I heard was that how humans had babies was a long-term gamble which paid off. Animals are born hitting the deck running so there is a limit to the brain size of that animal being born. But with humans, birth is all about brain case size. At birth the human brain is still growing and the plates of the skull are still coming together. And for the first several year, babies are fairly helpless which not only requires parents to support them but an actual community. The pay-off is that as they become an adult, they have a much larger brain than other animals and therefore much more potential for learning. It is a very risky strategy for a species but if it can be done, then it gives humans an enormous advantage over other animals.

    Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Not quite. While it is true that bird species appear to approach primate levels of intelligence using a relatively smaller brain, generally the bigger the brain in comparison to the body, the smarter the animal. Not to mention that each animal’s brain is optimized to do different things well. What is “intelligent” for one is not for another.

        Actually, I cannot really find a clear definition of what intelligence is. Obviously, different individuals and species are smarter than but again defining it is problematic. American eugenicists tried to find or creat a single number or indicator of intelligence. But the Intelligence Quotient or I.Q. Merely test different aspects of mental abilities and is used to determine one’s ability in the designated skills. However, the question has to be asked if it is a practiced skill such as reading or actual intelligence whatever it is. A dyslexic could be extremely intelligent but have great difficulty in reading. In fact, I have known several people who were just as, or more so, intelligent as I am, but they all had difficulty in reading.

        Anyways, humans have big brains for a reason despite the continuing evolutionary pressures for reducing the size of a touchy, delicate, power and oxygen hungry, organ.

        Reply
    1. Old Jake

      Are we squandering that advantage? What about strengthening it so that we get past our current barriers of self-destructive self-centeredness? Can we conceive of a way that evolution could do that without the need for humans to consciously drive the process? How smart do we have to be? Or is it that we should lose some other instinctive behaviors?

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Quite nice out today in the forest for the trees~

      When I began work on this book in 1991, the largest Marxist-inspired society in history was in the midst of collapse. Monuments to that great experiment were being destroyed — statues were toppled and walls were knocked down. Soviet communism, as established by Lenin and ruthlessly enforced by Stalin, was a distant cry from the communist utopia Marx and Engels had envisioned. Nonetheless, to more than one generation of Americans, the name Marx would forever be linked to the powerful and evil Soviet communist regime—our greatest threat and the losers in a long and bitter Cold War.

      One monument to an earlier Marxist-inspired utopian endeavor still stands, even though the experimental colony disbanded 100 years prior to the recent dissolution of the great Soviet experiment. There exists an old photograph of this living monument with more than two dozen socialist pioneers standing shoulder-to-shoulder within the width of its massive trunk. The incredibly large redwood tree was christened the Karl Marx Tree by these pioneers, the Kaweah colonists. Being the largest tree in the forest (in fact, it is the largest tree in the entire world), it was given a name representing the greatest honor in their eyes.

      Today, that giant sequoia is known as the General Sherman Tree and is a major tourist attraction in Sequoia National Park. Those who know the story of the 19th-century utopian experiment, however, will always partly look upon this awe-inspiring giant as a monument to a colorful and dramatic chapter of California history: the Kaweah Colony.

      https://www.yoresequoia.org/blog/foreword-co-operative-dreams/

      Reply
  22. Feral Finster

    Israel will commit more and more provocations until Iran responds.

    Then Israel will run screaming to its American bully.

    This is all entirely intentional.

    Reply
  23. Donald Obama

    The Arnaud Bertrand tweet is interesting to me for a different reason – the Philippines and Vietnam both continue to be strongly aligned with the United States, at least according to the referenced survey. So the history of U.S imperialism in those countries, not to mention U.S foreign policy of the past thirty or so years, does not bother them as much as the fear of China?

    Reply
    1. playon

      I think the governments of SE Asia are trying to walk a tightrope – they have China as a close neighbor who is an economic powerhouse while the US has military might and long arms – they try to appease both. Or maybe, telling the US what it wants to hear and still doing business with China.

      Reply
    2. LY

      In Vietnam, US imperialism was two decades. Chinese empires have invaded Vietnam for over two millennia.

      In the Philippines, I’m not sure why still pro US. US soft power (English is the language of their elites)? Anti-Communism?

      Vietnam and Philippines also have to deal with China’s less than neighborly behavior in the South China Sea, with the Philippines hit harder by illegal fishing, etc.

      Reply
      1. Emma

        They themselves do plenty of illegal fishing and illegal military actions in the South China Sea. Those just don’t get reported by the MSM. It is a disputed area where China has somewhat better claims than the other two, but should really be settled in multiparty discussion and agreement. It is certainly none of the US’s business, except that it keeps building more bases in the Philippines to further ring around China and make it everybody’s business.

        I assume you don’t trust MSM on anything else, why trust their reporting on this?

        Reply
    3. steppenwolf fetchit

      Perhaps they fear that China will strip-mine every last fish out of the sea and pump every last barrel of oil and puff of gas out from under the sea all around these countries, leaving them with utterly nothing at all. Including not even one fish left to eat.

      Perhaps they think that America can somehow do something to prevent that. In the long run, I don’t think it can.

      In the longest run, I think that China will be the most hated country throughout all of non-Chinese Asia long after America has become a forgotten memory. And I think China will just laugh about it if China even deigns to notice at all.

      I remember reading somewhere that in a multi-country Asian conference the Singapore representative complained about something or other and the Chinese representative said something like: ” China is a very big country. Other countries are very small. That is just a fact.” And he’s right. That is just a fact.

      Reply
    4. Daniil Adamov

      They have border disputes with China and not with the US. Border disputes flare up reliably, at least on the level of TV and Internet rhetoric. I think that might be enough to explain the survey results – the population keeps getting reminded that they have a powerful neighbour with whom they disagree about borders. Plus, as was already pointed out, Vietnam has had problems with China for much longer than with the US (and can expect to keep having them when the US is long gone as a regional factor). The Philippines have at least some cultural and ideological alignment with the US (English, Christianity, anti-Communism, etc.).

      Reply
      1. Emma

        Vietnamese national heroes are the Trung sisters, from 2,000 years ago. It’s as much a cultural thing as it is any historical reality. Though China certainly didn’t do itself any favors with its ill considered little war “to teach Vietnam a lesson” in 1979. But the Vietnamese government is not hostile to China and they’re able to work together on plenty of things.

        Philippines, I can only assume some combination of right wing media domination and projection of all their problems into a Chinese boogieman. These people willingly voted for Duerte and Bong Bong Marcos, FFS. That century of American domination, which directly killed millions of them, really did a number on them.

        Reply
  24. antidlc

    https://www.politico.com/news/2024/04/01/first-human-avian-flu-case-texas-00149949
    First human case of avian flu in Texas raises alarm

    Still, senior White House officials are closely monitoring the evolving situation, with the Office of Pandemic Preparedness receiving regular updates from HHS and USDA. Jeff Zients, President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, was briefed last week, said one person familiar with the matter, granted anonymity to discuss internal conversations.

    (bold mine)

    Oh, I feel so much better now that ZIents was briefed.

    From 2022, still germane:
    https://prospect.org/coronavirus/fire-jeff-zients/
    Fire Jeff Zients

    Biden’s COVID czar has gone from ‘Mr. Fix-It’ to grim reaper, steering the administration’s pandemic response to catastrophic lows.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      > raises alarm

      Given the experience of the past 4+ years, the thought occurs that the alarm will persist only until unstoppable community transmission begins, at which point the posture will become something closer to boredom.

      Reply
  25. Samuel Conner

    It seems that in addition to worrying whether the maintenance techs who worked on the aircraft (whether Boeing-made or not) one is about to board were CV-brain-fogged while doing their work, one can also worry about cognitive impairments among the pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer.

    I suppose that these concerns must also extend to the air-traffic control staff.

    One gets the sense that we may be on an involuntary de-growth path.

    Reply
    1. vao

      If covid-induced loss of control / reaction is a thing, we should already observe its impact from the statistics of traffic accidents.

      Reply
  26. juno mas

    RE: Santa Barbara Memory

    Santa Barbara is one of the oldest towns in California. Plenty of history, most of it progressive. How could a billionaire owner bankrupt it? By being a reactionary jerk: a billionaire who didn’t earn it.

    Wendy McCaw was the wife of the inventor of the cellular phone Craig McCaw and used those unearned funds to buy a renown publisher and proceed to drive readers into the local Independent. The paper the published the article detailing the loss of the digital history.

    Reply
  27. ArvidMartensenad

    re Jeffery Epstein. So Pedo Island has been closed down.

    I’ll wager the itch hasn’t gone away though.

    So the question is, where are all the rich and powerful people going now to get their dose of pedo now? I hope there is a journalist somewhere onto this. They should be hunted to the ends of the earth.

    Reply

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