Monday, February 26, 2024

Diversity Is Legitimacy


​  The Real Problem at Yale Is Not Free Speech​ ,   Natalia Dashan   August 5, 2019 
​  When I saw him, he was outside Payne Whitney. Nothing about the tall, gray façade suggests it is the university gym, unless there is a new trend of contractors housing athletics departments in Gothic cathedrals. You wouldn’t guess by looking at the frosted glass panes and arches that the third floor hosts the world’s largest suspended indoor swimming pool. It is a work of art, like the rest of Yale’s buildings.
  Marcus was smoking by a bench, his face jaundiced from three packs that day. This is atypical for Yale students—most abstain from smoking. There was no reason for him to smoke so much, just as there was no reason for me to ride around campus on a blue Razor scooter. But Yale students tend to have such quirks. His suit-jacket was dusty and smelled of sweat—he didn’t mind lifting weights in a dress shirt and trousers if that meant more time to read Nietzsche alone at the bar.
  When I hugged him, he felt skeletal. I asked if he had eaten today. He assured me that his earthly requirements were limited—no need for anything other than alcohol and cigarettes. “I can buy you a sandwich.” He refused. I insisted. A nice one. Bacon and egg. Or steak and cheese. I was testy now. “GHeav is right there. I’ll be back in six minutes.”
  He turned his face towards me, warm with friendliness—and with one sentence, he changed our relationship forever.
“You know I’m rich, right?”
“You know I have a trust fund, right? I can buy my own sandwich if I wanted it.”

  This is the moment when after three years of friendship, Marcus sat down and told me his life story. His cottages in Norway. Sneaking into the family study. Learning about the cost of hardwoods and hearing his boorish, critical father sulk in 5-star hotel rooms.
  Marcus did not act this way out of anxiety, grief, stress, or because he had nobody to tell him his habits will kill him. He lived as a starving writer not out of necessity, but for the aesthetic. Out of some desire to imitate the Bohemian 19th century writers. Out of artistry. Style. Intentional choice.
  In terms of income at Yale, I was in the bottom 2%. And the people to whom I extended my generosity did not need it, whatsoever. This is mildly entertaining, but not the point. This is not a story about me, or about Marcus, or about our amusing adventures at Yale.
  This is a story about an institution and an elite that have lost themselves...
..Over the past decade, elite colleges have been staging grounds for what Matthew Yglesias has termed the Great Awokening. Dozens of scandals have illustrated a stifling new ideological orthodoxy that is trickling down into the rest of society through HR departments, corporations, churches, foundations, and activist organizations. The nation is becoming polarized and its parts disconnected. The right is evil, and the left is stupid. Or is it the other way around?
  The campus “free speech” debate is just a side-effect. So are debates about “diversity” and “inclusion.” The real problems run much deeper. The real problems start with Marcus and me, and the masks we wear for each other...
..The story of how I ended up at Yale is not typical. Yale’s tuition costs $50,000 per year, but if a student’s parents earn less than $60,000, they can attend virtually for free. This means that for the poorer subset of American society, Yale is not just cheaper than the state school, but cheaper than community college. Through the magic of the universe, I figured this out, and I wanted to go. I wanted to leave my small town, and I had the SAT score to try.
  Based on statistics from the class of 2013, approximately 2% of students hailed from the lowest income quintile, while 69% came from the top 20%. How did those poor students fare after graduation? Around 2% of students at Yale move from the bottom to the top quintile. In other words, nearly all of them. You show up poor, and you leave rich. Going to an Ivy League school may be the fastest way to join the upper class.
  But this low number of 2% surprised me because when I was at Yale, everybody kept talking about how broke they were.
  “Want to go out for brunch?” “I can’t—I’m so broke.” This was a common line. Sometimes the conversations had a more accusatory tone. “Wow, you took a taxi to the airport? I always take the subway.”...
..What is the point of this new ideology? This ideology is filled with inconsistencies and contradictions, because it is not really about ideological rigor. Among other things, it is an elaborate containment system for the theoretical and practical discontent generated by the failures of the system, an absolution from guilt, and a new form of class signaling. Before, to signal you were in the fashionable and powerful crowd, you would show off your country-club membership, refined manners, or Gucci handbags. Now, you show how woke you are. To reinforce their new form of structural power, people dismiss the idea that they even have the older, more legible forms of status. They find any reverse-privilege points they can, and if they are cis-white-men, they pose as allies. On an institutional level, the old ways of legitimizing power are gone, and the new motto is this: diversity is legitimacy.​..
..There is a deep comedy to this sort of signaling. Only around 2% of the student body was in the bottom 20% of American society, and yet extremely wealthy Singaporean students who had spent just a few years in America marched in the street and referred to themselves as “people of color.” People’s experiences were ignored when they volunteered information that countered the main narrative, because the surface-level debate wasn’t the point. The point was to signal that you were with the program. Only a select and secret group of student “leaders”—who were already savvy enough to engage comfortably with hierarchy—were invited in to chat with administrators.
  Shouting from the rooftops that “They aren’t doing enough!” is much easier than following any traditional system of elite social norms and duties, let alone carefully re-engineering that system to reestablish order in a time of growing crisis.
  Western elites are not comfortable with their place in society and the responsibilities that come with it, and realize that there are deep structural problems with the old systems of coordination. But lacking the capacity for an orderly restructuring, or even a diagnosis of problems and needs, we dive deeper into a chaotic ideological mode of coordination that sweeps away the old structures.
  When you live with this mindset, what you end up with is not an establishment where a woke upper class rallies and advocates for the rights of minorities, the poor, and underprivileged groups. What you have is a blind and self-righteous upper class that becomes structurally unable to take coordinated responsibility. You get stuck in an ideological mode of coordination, where no one can speak the truth to correct collective mistakes and overreaches without losing position...
..Let’s take down the Man. They say this in front of their PowerPoints. They clink champagne glasses. Let’s take down the Man! But there is no real spirit of revolution in these words. It is all in the language they understand—polite and clean, because it isn’t really real. It is a performative spectacle about their own morale and guilt.
  If you were the ruler while everything was burning around you, and you didn’t know what to do, what would you do? You would deny that you are in charge. And you would recuperate the growing discontented masses into your own power base, so that things stay comfortable for you...
..The capacity to really think through what an alternative should look like, and create one, is so rare as to be effectively nonexistent. Instead, idealists are forced to take the easy way of just going along with dominant ideological narratives of what it means to do good. They feel guilty about their wealth and privileges, and feel that they won’t be doing their part unless they do something very altruistic, and the idealistic ideologies reinforce these feelings. So they go overboard, and rush headlong into whatever they are supposed to do. They purport to speak for and be allied with underprivileged groups. They get their professors fired for minor infractions. They frantically tear down whatever vestiges of the old institutions and hierarchies that they can, and conspicuously feel guilty about the rest.
  These are the people who buy clothes from Salvation Army and decline your Sunday brunch invitation because it’s too expensive, sometimes with the implication that they are saving their money to donate to more effective causes, if they aren’t pretending not to have it. They are the people who might attack or cut off their friends for ideological reasons. They discharge their personal responsibility by sacrificing everything outside of their distant mission, including friendships and social fabric...
..But ultimately, by going along with the narratives of an ideology that can efficiently capture these impulses, but has no structural ability to deliver on its promises, it just diverts more energy from what a normal benevolent elite should be doing...
..Now we can begin to understand the real problem at Yale. It is not free speech—and it is not non-inclusivity. The standards of reality, and the standards of morality not based solely on being woke, are ousted. That’s because the conventional standards of elite morality, based on responsible use of power—actually responsible, not just a convenient feeling of doing good—are much harder, and based on the very self-consciousness that everyone is trying to avoid...
..Yale is having an existential crisis. Students are taught to break the system, but Yale doesn’t even want to teach them what the original system is, what it was for, or how to productively replace it. The university is so lacking in vision that it doesn’t even know what the ideal student looks like, or what it wants to teach them...
..Students are demanding more mental health resources. A new wellness space was created with bean-bag chairs and colored walls. But the real sources of unhappiness are more systemic. They are rooted in uncertainty about the future.
  If Yale students are uncertain about the future and their role in it, what does that say about the rest of society? ...
..Yale will not be replaced any time soon. Its worldwide brand recognition is worth trillions. And Yale’s role as an institution older than the Republic is important. It is the preserver of cultural knowledge. While Stanford can produce entrepreneurs, it still falls to Yale to produce the bulk of Supreme Court justices.
..Current Yale administrators have a sense of self-preservation for themselves and their corporation, but not for what made them great in the first place. They are quick to appease students, when they go along with the new zeitgeist, as if students and the latest wokeness were the preservers of cultural knowledge. This is the key to understanding why beloved faculty members can end up purged, against all public sentiment. Whether out of ideological commitment or hard-nosed realpolitik, these apparatchik administrators, bolstered by a minority of students, have effectively outmaneuvered their rivals. In doing so, they have also accelerated the tearing down of Yale’s institutional legacy and undermined its historical mission.
  If they were confronting a university and student body with a powerful commitment to that mission, things might be different. But they aren’t...
..The same vacuum of awareness crops up again and again, influencing both people and institutions, until they are unable to even grasp the potential of their position. Without doing that, rebuilding a shared set of goals around which to coordinate on a large scale will remain impossible.
  Yale is supposed to be using its power and reputation to set standards for excellence, but instead it is abandoning its responsibilities and getting embroiled in controversy after controversy. Yale is not special in this regard—other colleges are also often embroiled in controversies. But the controversies of top colleges matter most because they determine what is acceptable for everybody else.
  And what’s happening at Yale reflects a crisis in America’s broader governing class...

​  Yale Reinstituting Standardized Tests For Admission
It was reported last week that Yale is once again instituting standardized tests for admission after years of keeping them optional for "DEI" reasons.
​  The university's undergraduate admissions dean announced a change in their student selection process amidst ongoing debate over the efficacy of traditional tests. Critics argue these exams don't fully capture a student's potential, suggesting high school GPAs as a more accurate measure. The move, seen as a step towards fairness for disadvantaged students, aligns Yale with institutions like Harvard, MIT, and Dartmouth, which have already adjusted their admissions policies, according to The Daily Mail.​...
.."Simply put, students with higher scores have been more likely to have higher Yale GPAs, and test scores are the single greatest predictor of a student’s performance in Yale courses in every model we have constructed," he said.

UN, West just watching Israeli crimes in Gaza for 140 days: Turkish President Erdogan
Even UN Security Council does not and cannot call for an immediate cease-fire, says Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Sexual abuse and beatings: A Palestinian mother's ordeal in Israeli custody
A woman abducted by Israeli forces from a school in Gaza recalls her harrowing experience in detention
"They asked me many questions about my family, my husband and my siblings," Hussain recalled.  
"The soldiers kept threatening to hurt my children, shouting at me that if I don't tell the truth, they will torture and kill my kids.​"
"They kept asking about my brothers and sisters. One of my brothers is a lawyer and two others are professors and one is a doctor and one barber. They are working people, they have no connection to anything else. They kept insisting that they were 'activists', and when I asked what they meant, they said I knew the answer.
"During the interrogations, they tied me to a chair and a female soldier stood next to me, kicking me and shoving me with her weapon to answer properly.​"

How Israeli settlers are exploiting Gaza conflict to seize more Palestinian land in the West Bank

​  Gaza faces famine as Israel blocks aid, breaching food rights treaties
​  Early treaties by international organizations include the right to food among fundamental human rights, with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948 recognizing it as a basic human right. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1966 further guaranteed the right to freedom from hunger, making it the most comprehensive treaty addressing the right to food.
​  A report highlighted that the framework for realizing the right to food obligates parties to take necessary measures to provide food and alleviate hunger, particularly in emergencies. International instruments mandate countries to ensure food provision and sustainability, allowing access through all means and providing healthy food to all groups without discrimination.
​  The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) also noted that numerous provisions of international humanitarian law pertain to providing food in armed conflict situations. Prohibitions include starving civilians as a means of warfare or combat, as well as depriving populations of food sources and supplies.

Aaron Burned Himself To Make Us Look At Gaza
An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force set himself on fire outside the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, in apparent protest of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, which he described as a “genocide.”
The burn victim, who identified himself in video of the incident as 25-year-old Aaron Bushnell, reportedly succumbed to his injuries on Sunday night.

​June 11, 1963, in front of the US Embassy in Saigon, Thích Quảng Đức burned himself to death, in peaceful protest.

Former Prime Minister Urges Israelis To 'Besiege The Knesset' To Oust Netanyahu

​  The Christian Zionist view from last Thursday: No, Virginia, Trump Has Not Lost A Step , Roger L. Simon
​  I was in the audience of two thousand plus at Nashville’s Opryland on Feb. 22 when Mr. Trump addressed the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) for more than an hour and a half with nary a stumble, consulting a teleprompter or extemporizing as he wished.​ He was also wittier than anyone on late night television...
​..Mr. Trump delivered a speech that was, in part, what many of us had heard before but skewed slightly to emphasize his Christianity and, probably consequently, his deep-seated love and defense of Israel.​ He stated he “fought harder for Christians than any president has done before.”​...
..Mr. Trump’s evolution has led him to affirm his religious faith emphatically as he did that night with statements like “Our allegiance is to our Creator. They [the Democrats] don’t get that.” Or: “They can’t stand we don’t answer to bureaucrats in Washington. We answer to God in Heaven.”...
​..Who did accompany him, the sole person he invited to join him on stage—he often invites many—was his former ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.
​  Mr. Friedman was greeted with utmost warmth and applause by an audience largely of evangelicals who are known as the greatest friends of Israel, not only in our country but arguably anywhere. (There were also a few religious Jews I spotted in the audience wearing their yarmulkes.)​ Mr. Friedman saluted his former boss, saying, “Mr. President, you are the greatest friend Israel ever had.”

Former Democrat lawmaker endorses Trump for US president​ , Tulsi Gabbard has been listed among the leading Republican candidate’s possible running mates

​  Why Possible Trump VP Pick Tulsi Gabbard Is Visiting Mar-a-Lago Soon
​  Ms. Bryan asserts: the former Hawaii congresswoman’s March 7 appearance at the ritzy resort in Palm Beach, Florida, is unrelated to President Trump’s big announcement involving Ms. Gabbard and others.
​  On Feb. 20, President Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, revealed at a Fox News town hall in Greenville, S.C., that Ms. Gabbard, a former Democrat, had made his “short list” of possible running mates.
​  Long before that revelation, Ms. Bryan had been in contact with Ms. Gabbard about serving as a guest speaker for the group’s annual gala.

CIA Built "12 Secret Spy Bases" In Ukraine & Waged Shadow War For Last Decade, Bombshell NYT Report Confirms​  (Not just bioweapon labs.)

  ​At the 2 year mark of the Special Military Operation, Ukraine has burned through 2 or 3 NATO-trained & equipped armies, extinguishing about 450,000 Ukrainian human lives, and most of the available loose military equipment and ammunition in Europe, the US, and even some from Israel. Funding has been cut off since early December. Morale is so low that exhausted Ukrainian soldiers are fleeing or surrendering, rather than fighting. The 1200 km line of contact is crumbling wherever Russian forces advance. Ukrainian (Patriot missiles and such) air defenses have been so degraded that Russian planes can rain down the huge 1000# to 3000# "FABs", fuel air bombs, remotely-targeted with satellite guidance and glide-wing kits. The Ukrainian army is not able to set up new defensive lines or hold defensive lines under devastating attack. The month of mud will soon arrive, but Russian FABs and long range artillery will not be impaired, nor will precision Russian missiles and drones. Zelensky's presidency ends at the end of March. He says he will remain in office, due to the emergency. Many think he will not, but will have to accept blame. A successor may negotiate peace with Russia.
​  Avdeevka Denouement: Russian Momentum Turning Point

​  "Like A Warzone": Farmers Surround EU Headquarters Building
​  The mephitis of manure, melting tires and malodorous teargas pervaded downtown Brussels this Monday morning as angry farmers encircled the European Union's headquarters. This protest coincides with a meeting of the bloc's agriculture ministers. The farmers are expressing their anger over the EU's disastrous green policies.
Hundreds of Belgian farmers on tractors clogged roadways around the European Council building. Videos posted on X show the chaotic scenes...
​  "There is a clear problem with the reduction of the import tariffs for Ukraine and massive imports of grain and poultry which depresses the prices," said Guillaume Van Binst, secretary general of the Federation of Young Farmers. Guillaume added: "The measures proposed by the commission are very weak and it is more passing the hot potato to member states." ...
..EU leaders are scrambling to defuse this ticking timebomb of social unrest spreading across the bloc. They are taking steps to reduce red tape and delay some green rules.  "It can always go more quickly, But we're already working faster than usually." David Clarinval, Belgium's agriculture minister, told reporters Monday. Clarinval said, "One can understand the anger of the farmers. One can also understand that some are in a difficult situation. But aggression has never been a source of solutions."   
(Oh, Really?)

​  EU must find ‘enormous amount’ of money to face global challenges, (​former Goldman Sachs banker, Mario) Draghi says
​  He presented EU governments with his diagnosis: The three pillars the EU has relied on — energy from Russia, exports from China, and the U.S. defense apparatus — are no longer as solid as before, and on the green and digital transitions alone the EU would have to spend €500 billion a year. The funding gap between Europe and the United States in terms of investment is equivalent to half a trillion euros a year, and a third of that would be public money...
​..Draghi called for "bold action" on the matter of investments.​.. Draghi stressed the necessity to channel European private savings, because “public money will never be enough,” but he also put on the table options to find funds at the EU level, according to the aide.​   
("Find" funds?)
​  The EU could create a new common cash facility, such as debt or loans, or use private partnerships where the European Investment Bank would have a role to play.
(Rothschild banker) French President Emmanuel Macron and others support the idea of new common debt.

Crisis Can't Be Solved in Few Hours, Macron Tells Enraged Farmers Who Stormed Agri-Fair in Paris

​  Subsidies differ dramatically by country, but all subsidies support global corporate agribusiness. Producers Vs Consumers: Who Do Ag Subsidies Support?
​  Indian farmer protests restarted in early 2024 as talks on the producers' demands to set more legally binding minimum support prices for agricultural products have broken down.
​  The borders of city state and capital Delhi have been fortified but farmers from surrounding areas seem determined to push past the barricades this week armed with heavy equipment, supplies and masks to fend off tear gas deployed by police. Ahead of the presidential elections in April and May, farmers once again want to make their grievances heard.

​  Xi isn’t destroying China’s economy – he’s changing it
  Xi Jinping deliberately set about changing the structure of China’s economy in order to end a growth boom based solely on real estate and debt. The newspapers love to waffle on about the “real estate crisis” and Evergrande, but can you imagine how big the problem would have been had previous policies been continued and China pushed for obscene 10% growth targets based on an explosion of debt? Xi Jinping ended this and initiated a process of deleveraging which deliberately slowed down China’s economic growth to around 6% when he came to power. Why? Because debt is not a sustainable mechanism and his policy has been literally to push the real estate industry into a managed recession, even if that has short-term repercussions.
​  Secondly, Xi Jinping’s policy has been to reinvent China’s economy to meet upcoming challenges by transforming it from a low end, export, real estate boom economy, into a high-end technological powerhouse. Instead of investing aimlessly in local government real estate booms, China has redirected state money to building up high-value industries including renewable energy, computing, semiconductors, automobiles, aviation, among other things. It is primarily this bid to become the global technological leader (by default of size) that has triggered the backlash from the US on an economic level and thus the bid to try and cripple China’s technological advance through export controls, which in fact show little evidence of working.
​  In addition to that, the global economic environment China operates in, has changed. The US has terminated its longstanding policy of open economic integration in favor of protectionism, bloc alignment, and the geopoliticization of supply chains. It has, in turn, created geopolitical conflicts with Russia and China and demanded its allies cut or reduce economic ties to the targeted countries...
​..The CIA for example, is relentless in trying to strengthen its presence in China, but if China arrests someone or links them to spying, the media will respond by calling Beijing paranoid, insecure and coercive, showing how the narrative will skewer the country no matter what. However, the point still remains that it is more challenging for China to grow in this environment than it was before.

​Meryl Nass MD explains Globalist Government via the WHO clearly and succinctly in a 15 minute monologue , Interviews I did at CPAC
Veronika Kyrylenko, editor of The New American interviewed me again. 16 minutes. (I had a cold). This is a very good summary of what the WHO is trying to do.
Cue in to 1:18, when ​Dr. Nass starts explaining​. (Sorry if you get commercials despite my efforts.)

​Dr Nass with (incessantly brilliant conversationalist) Russel Brand and Andrew Brigden. All express themselves well, Nass and Brigden more succinctly. 1:07 (long).
Russell Brand interviewed Andrew Bridgen and me about the WHO--the show dropped yesterday​ (sorry, commercials)

​  Peter McCullough MD , Springer Nature Cureus Journal of Medical Science Violates Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Guidelines
Publisher Retracts Valid, High Quality, and Widely Read Cureus Paper Calling for Halt in COVID-19 Vaccination
​  The paper called for a halt in COVID-19 mass vaccination based on a valid evaluation of the evidence. It topped >330,000 views/reads/downloads in a month as compared to an average Cureus-promoted paper which has only ~2700 in a year.

​Old White guy (took this picture of Jenny by blooming apple tree, with peach in foreground)

Friday, February 23, 2024

Professional Managerial Class Struggle

 Productive Citizens,

  When I was in med school and residency, and beyond that, doctors always had the last word over administrators. That changed by the later 1990s, and it is now reversed. 
All Professional-Talent (including IT geeks) is now subordinated to middle managers, which impairs the ability of the professionals to perform their essential tasks. This Professional Managerial Class (PMC) is non-productive, so it can only be maintained by societal excess of production. It grows in the monopoly phase of capitalism, and its solutions usually prescribe more-middle-management. 
  As the non-productive managerial jobs proliferate, they must always justify their proliferation by presenting to the owner-class a picture of improved output of goods, lower cost, and improved profits, as a result of better control over workers and talent. 
  This presentation necessarily becomes a falsehood at some point. "I passed that point long ago.", Jackson Browne

​  Identity and the Professional Managerial Class​ ,  This post by albrt reviews and analyzes Barbara Ehrenreich’s seminal work on the Professional Managerial Class. ​ 
​  The origins of the Professional Managerial Class lie in Napoleon creating a professional bureaucracy and standardizing education across France so as to allow for the identification of bright young men from poor families could be tracked into the grandes écoles.​..
..Widespread identity issues tend to go hand-in-hand with social and political instability, when too many young people are not finding satisfactory options to build an identity they can live with.
​  Erikson said that identity takes shape in late adolescence (maybe into early adulthood if the process is difficult) based on multiple factors. Some of the most important are childhood experience, individual capacities, available ideologies, and available roles. Of these variables, ideology is a wild card because a new (or old) ideology can unexpectedly become available to the individual much more easily than any of the other variables can be changed...
..What matters is that you become comfortable and confident enough with your identity that you can stop behaving like an insecure adolescent and focus on adult things like personal relationships, community, or work.​ But . . . this process sometimes goes wrong, especially at difficult periods in history. If a young person was having trouble building an identity and the issues became acute, Erikson called it an “identity crisis.” ...
..This brings us to the subject of today’s post—the social group widely known as the Professional Managerial Class (“PMC”), a group which has suffered a few different identity crises on a widespread basis.  The PMC was christened by Barbara and John Ehrenreich in a 1977 article called The Professional Managerial Class in a small journal called Radical America ...
..Radical America assumes some degree of familiarity with Marxist ideas, so here is a superficial review for those who came in late.  Marxists generally believe that society is divided into two classes:  the owners of the means of production are the bourgeoisie, and everybody else who must sell their labor to survive are the proletariat.  Marxists have always debated how to categorize people who seem to be in between.  The most established category of tweeners is the petty (or petite) bourgeoisie, who in the 19th century were basically mini-capitalists such as shopkeepers, tradesmen, and small property holders...
..The Ehrenreichs started out:
​  "The Professional-Managerial Class (“PMC”), as we will define it, cannot be considered a stratum of a broader “class” of “workers” because it exists in an objectively antagonistic relationship to another class of wage earners (whom we shall simply call the “working class”).  Nor can it be considered to be a “residual” class like the petty bourgeoisie; it is a formation specific to the monopoly stage of capitalism."  ​...
..We define the Professional-Managerial Class as consisting of salaried mental workers who do not own the means of production and whose major function in the social division of labor may be described broadly as the reproduction of capitalist culture and capitalist class relations.
​  Their role in the process of reproduction may be more or less explicit, as with workers who are directly concerned with social control or with the production and propagation of ideology (e.g., teachers, social workers, psychologists, entertainers, writers of advertising copy and TV scripts, etc.). Or it may be hidden within the process of production, as is the case with the middle-level administrators and managers, engineers, and other technical workers whose functions, as [Andre] Gorz, Steve Marglin, Harry Braverman and others have argued, are essentially determined by the need to preserve capitalist relations of production.​..
..The Ehrenreichs highlighted the inherent antagonism between the proletariat and the PMC:
​  "We should add, at this point, that the antagonism between the PMC and the working class does not exist only in the abstract realm of “objective” relations, of course.  Real-life contacts between the two classes express directly, if sometimes benignly, the relation of control which is at the heart of the PMC–working-class relation: teacher and student (or parent), manager and worker, social worker and client, etc.  The subjective dimension of these contacts is a complex mixture of hostility and deference on the part of working-class people, contempt and paternalism on the part of the PMC.
​  The interdependent yet antagonistic relationship between the working class and the PMC also leads us to insist that the PMC is a class totally distinct from the petty bourgeoisie (the “old middle class” of artisans, shopkeepers, self-employed professionals and independent farmers)​"...
..Because the boundaries are not always obvious, the definition is important – the PMC is defined by its role in “the reproduction of capitalist culture and capitalist class relations” rather than production of necessary goods...
..The analytical leap that the Ehrenreichs made was not the recognition that a buffer class existed, or that it was often antagonistic to the working class.  The big leap was to point out that the composition of the buffer class had changed in an important way since the 19th century, and as a result the PMC was experiencing spectacular growth rather than dying out as Marx had expected the petty bourgeoisie to do...
​..The introduction of modern methods of management was a reform which was understood by contemporary observers to be part of the overall Progressive cause.  In fact, scientific management first became known to the public as a tool for the Progressive attack on corporate greed: In the “Eastern Rates” case of 1911, the Interstate Commerce Commission turned down an increase in railroad rates after scientific-management expert H. Emerson testified that proper management would cut a million dollars a day off the cost of rail shipments.
​  In short, the PMC is defined by its expertise, and the Ehrenreichs described how belief in expertise was raised to the level of an ideology.
​  Erik Erikson summarized his working definition of ideology as “a highly charged attitude rooted essentially in a general need for a world view coherent enough to attract one’s total commitment and to render forever unnecessary the upsetting swings in mood and opinion which once [in adolescence] accompanied identity confusion.”  ​...
..Paul Sweezy has argued that the basic test of whether two families belong to the same class or not is the freedom with which they intermarry.  The children of PMC members do overwhelmingly tend to marry within the class; marriage “‘down” to the working class or “‘up” to the ruling class is comparatively infrequent. In line with the frequency of intermarriage, the class exhibits a substantial degree of intergenerational stability: children of PMC families are more than twice as likely as children of working class families to themselves enter PMC occupations.
​  Moreover, the class is characterized by a common “culture” or lifestyle​ [COMPLIANCE].  The interior life of the class is shaped by the problem of class reproduction.  Unlike ruling-class occupations, PMC occupations are never directly hereditary...
..As a result of the anxiety about class reproduction, all of the ordinary experiences of life – growing up, giving birth, childraising-are freighted with an external significance unknown in other classes.  Private life thus becomes too arduous to be lived in private; the inner life of the PMC must be continuously shaped, updated and revised by – of course – ever mounting numbers of experts: experts in childraising, family living, sexual fulfillment, self-realization, etc., etc.  The very insecurity of the class, then, provides new ground for class expansion.
​  The PMC is capable of expanding at the expense of the other two classes by constantly identifying social and technical problems, and creating new experts to solve them.  That gives the PMC a class interest distinct from the interests of either the bourgeoisie or the proletariat.  The cultural component of capitalism is precisely the product that the PMC is in charge of producing under the Ehrenreich definition, so to some extent they should control their own destiny.  But it isn’t a durable product so it needs constant care and maintenance.​ The “anxiety about class reproduction” has only grown since 1977, and the “insecurity” has blossomed among PMC offspring...
..But the PMC was not only a victim of more powerful groups.  It had also fallen into a trap of its own making.  The prolonged, expensive, and specialized education required for professional employment had always been a challenge to PMC families—as well, of course, as an often insuperable barrier to the working class.  If the children of the PMC were to achieve the same class status as their parents, they had to be accustomed to obedience in the classroom and long hours of study...
..KLG ... expressed this feeling a little more bluntly in a review of Catherine Liu’s The Virtue Hoarders:  the Case Against the Professional Managerial Class:
​  The “good enough” mother and father are likely to produce a human being who will grow into a mature adult who is at one with the world.  The perfect helicopter parent often produces fear and misery, which with lucky outcomes will not lead to catastrophe.  But few of those bathed in the backwash of that rotor, however outwardly successful, are likely to ever be fully independent.​..
..The PMC gradually moved more and more toward the neoliberal version of rationality—something along the lines of “him who grabs the fastest gets the mostest.”  In her book Fear of Falling, the Inner Life of the Middle Class (Harper Perennial ed. 1989), Barbara Ehrenreich wrote that her theme was “the retreat from liberalism and the rise, in the professional middle class, of a meaner, more selfish outlook, hostile to the aspirations of those less fortunate.”...
..By 1989, Ehrenreich maintained that the PMC had achieved class consciousness, aware “of being a class among others, and, ultimately, of being an elite above others. . . .  [T]his emerging self-image has led to . . . the adoption of the kind of political outlook appropriate to an elite, which is a conservative outlook, and ultimately indifferent to the nonelite majority.”  Fear of Falling at 11.  Yet “[i]f this is an elite, it is an insecure and deeply anxious one.  It is afraid, like any class below the most securely wealthy, of misfortunes that might lead to a downward slide.  But in the middle class there is another anxiety:  a fear of inner weakness, of growing soft, of failing to strive, of losing discipline and will.”​...
.​.In their 2013 article, the Ehrenreichs argued that substantial portions of the PMC were being squashed and proletarianized after all.
​  By the time of the financial meltdown and deep recession of the post-2008 period, the pain inflicted by neoliberal policies, both public and corporate, extended well beyond the old industrial working class and into core segments of the PMC.  Unemployed and underemployed professional workers—from IT to journalism, academia, and eventually law—became a regular feature of the social landscape.​.. The old PMC dream of a society rule by impartial “experts” gave way to the reality of inescapable corporate domination.​..
​..The Ehrenreichs seemed to have lost track of their original PMC definition—if you want to know whether college educated workers are part of the PMC, the question to ask is whether they are engaged in reproducing capitalist culture and capitalist class relations rather than producing necessary goods?​ ...
..The fact is, the PMC is continuing to grow in numbers, but it is not achieving socialism, and it is also not achieving the liberal/neoliberal dream of enlarging the PMC’s share of the economic pie or delivering good economic outcomes to all the little PMCs who work hard and hew to the PMC line.  The PMC ideology was difficult for many people to incorporate into a firm identity to begin with, and now it is failing outright because the credentialing process does not reliably produce acceptable role opportunities for individuals...
..The bourgeoisie figured out that they could kneecap the smart alec PMC experts politically with a caricature that is really not all that much of a caricature.  The PMC are the bossy gatekeepers that everybody hates, and they have lost most vestiges of their (real or feigned) mid-twentieth century concern for the welfare of the proletariat.  The current PMC pretty uniformly regards the working class as deplorable.​..
​..The essence of the PMC ideology is a giant jobs program for bureaucrats and experts, not socialism that would benefit the poor or subsistence workers. If you substitute “PMC managerialism” for the word socialism in right-wing rhetoric, then the proletarian/deplorable reaction to a lot of things starts to be a little bit more understandable.  Every issue that is dear to the PMC, from climate change to forced diversity, can be interpreted by the working class as just another excuse for the PMC to boss the working class around...
..The PMC is minimally organized as a class and acts in its own class interest only in the very broadest terms.  It is second nature for the PMC to view creating more rules and more PMC jobs enforcing those rules as the solution to every problem, but the PMC appear to have no competent class leadership or strategy to keep the proliferating PMC jobs from being devalued and proletarianized.  They are being squeezed economically, and we are going through a phase where neither the bourgeoisie nor the proletariat is listening to the PMC’s expert pronouncements.  In fact, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat seem to be uniting behind, of all people, the anti-expert, Donald Trump!

​  War Guilt in the Middle East​ , By Murray N. Rothbard,  Source: Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought, Spring-Autumn 1967.
​  After World War I, Great Britain seized control of Palestine and used its sovereign power to promote, encourage, and abet the expropriation of Arab lands for Zionist use and for Zionist immigration. Often old Turkish land titles would be dredged up and purchased cheaply, thus expropriating the Arab peasantry on behalf of European Zionist immigration. Into the heart of the peasant and nomadic Arab world of the Middle East there thus came as colonists, and on the backs and on the bayonets of British imperialism, a largely European colonizing people.
​  While Zionism was now committed to Palestine as a Jewish National Home, it was not yet committed to the aggrandizement of an independent Jewish state in Palestine. Indeed, only a minority of Zionists favored a Jewish state, and many of these had broken off from official Zionism, under the influence of Vladimir Jabotinsky, to form the Zionist-Revisionist movement to agitate for a Jewish state to rule historic ancient Palestine on both sides of the Jordan River. It is not surprising that Jabotinsky expressed great admiration for the militarism and the social philosophy of Mussolini’s fascism.
​  At the other wing of Zionism were the cultural Zionists, who opposed the idea of a political Jewish state. In particular, the Ihud (Unity) movement, centered around Martin Buber and a group of distinguished Jewish intellectuals from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, advocated, when the British should leave, a binational Jewish-Arab state in Palestine, with neither religious group to dominate the other, but both to work in peace and harmony to build the land of Palestine.
​  But the inner logic of Zionism was not to be brooked. In the tumultuous World Zionist convention at New York’s Hotel Biltmore in 1942, Zionism, for the first time, adopted the goal of a Jewish state in Palestine, and nothing less. The extremists had won out. From then on, there was to be permanent crisis in the Middle East.

​  Jeffrey Sachs, Will Netanyahu Bring Down Biden?   (I would always put "Biden" in quotation marks, myself)
The U.S. president needs to take back U.S. policy from the Israel lobby and should stop backing Israel’s extremist and utterly illegal policies.
​  The cabinet of Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is filled with religious extremists who believe that Israel’s brutality in Gaza is at God’s command. According to the Book of Joshua in the Hebrew Bible, dated by scholars to the 7th century BC, God promised the land to the Jewish people and instructed them to destroy the other nations living in the promised land... Netanyahu pursues the religious ideology of 7th century BC in the 21st century.​..
​..The vast majority of the world today, including the vast majority of Americans, are certainly not in line with Israel’s religious zealots. The world is far more interested in the 1948 Genocide Convention than in the genocides supposedly ordained by God in the Book of Joshua. They don’t accept the Biblical idea that Israel should kill or expel the people of Palestine from their own land. The two-state solution is the declared policy of the world community, as enshrined by the UN Security Council, and of the U.S. government.​  President Joe Biden is therefore caught between the powerful Israel Lobby and the opinion of American voters and of the world community.​..
​..So far, Biden is going along with AIPAC, even as he loses younger voters. In an Economist/YouGov poll of January 21-23, 49% of those aged 19-29 held that Israel is committing a genocide against the Palestinian civilians. Only 22% said that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, their sympathies are with Israel, versus 30% with Palestine, and the remaining 48% “about equal” or unsure. Only 21% agreed with increasing military aid to Israel. Israel has utterly alienated younger Americans.
​  While Biden has called for peace based on the two-state solution and a reduction of violence in Gaza, Netanyahu has brazenly brushed Biden aside, provoking Biden to call Netanyahu an asshole on several occasions. Yet it is Netanyahu, not Biden, who still calls the shots in Washington.​..
..Biden needs to take back U.S. policy from the Israel lobby. The U.S. should stop backing Israel’s extremist and utterly illegal policies. Nor should the U.S. spend any more funds on Israel unless and until Israel lives within international law, including the Genocide Convention, and 21st century ethics. Biden should side with the UN Security Council in calling for an immediate ceasefire and indeed in calling for an immediate move to the two-state solution, including recognition of Palestine as the 194th UN member state, a move that is more than a decade overdue since Palestine requested UN membership in 2011.
​  Israeli leaders have shown not the slightest compunction in killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians, displacing 2 million Gazans, and calling for ethnic cleansing.​

​  Same stuff, "no Palestinian State", now written down.  Netanyahu Finally Presents Gaza Post-War Plan To Cabinet & It's Sure To Anger Biden Admin
The operation will continue until Israeli forces achieve the "complete demilitarization" of the Strip "beyond what is required for the needs of maintaining public order."

​It is the standing international law...  China's 'Shock' Statement: Palestinians Have Right To Use 'Armed Force' Against Israel

​  Gilbert Doctorow, Russian expert:  UN agency for Palestinian refugees at ‘breaking point’:  Press TV, Iran
  I recommend this 10 minute video both for what the presenter and my fellow panelist said as they described Israel’s unconscionable efforts to destroy UNRWA, the main provider of humanitarian assistance to Palestinians inside and outside of Gaza, and also to what I was allowed to say regarding how this tragedy may yet be brought to a halt if the war widens, rather than contracts.
  Most of humanity is outraged by what Israel is doing in Gaza. But governments in the region have not taken military action against Israel to save the Palestinians.  The only forces that have acted are non state forces of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. Everyone else is reasonably fearful of getting involved in a hot war with Israel given the vast destructive force that Tel Aviv commands, not to mention its nuclear arsenal...
..As I say in this interview, Israel may yet be brought to heel because of the now irrational, hubristic mentality of Natanyahu and his cabinet. Netanyahu seems to want a wider war to hold onto power, and perhaps he should get one because only a real war can stop the genocide.
  The wider war may yet come from the side of the Hout​his.  From what looked like pitiful volleys of drones and missiles that were easily shot down by U.S. air defense several weeks ago, we saw how the Houtsis have in the past week seriously damaged a Qatari oil tanker, forcing its crew to abandon ship, and how they sank a British freighter in the Red Sea. Now, I understand that the Houthis have successfully attacked Eilat.  We may suppose that their weaponry has been greatly improved, and how can that be?  It is improbable that Iran would step in, due to the risks posed by the U.S. naval force in the Med.  But it is well possible that the Russians are assisting the Houthis in the spirit of tit for tat, paying Britain and the U.S. back for their proxy war on Russia in Ukraine.   If this conflict expands, if the fight between Hezbollah and the IDF becomes a war, then we may witness the showdown that will distract Israel from genocide and focus its attention on its own survival as a state.

​  The Yemeni rebel movement Ansar Allah (the Houthis) has put a number of shipping and insurance companies on notice that US and UK vessels will not be allowed to sail across the Red and Arabian Seas, Reuters reported.
​  According to the news agency, the Houthi-formed Humanitarian Operations Center has issued notifications to shipping and insurance companies warning them that US-and UK-flagged ships or ships owned by US and UK individuals or legal entities are banned from entering the Red and Arabian Seas, as well as the Gulf of Aden. The ban also applies to ships registered in or linked with Israel.

​  US has no real leverage on Israel, says Russia's UN ambassador
​  "Washington's so-called diplomatic efforts on the ground that our American colleagues keep repeating like some mantra, have led nowhere so far. It is obvious that Washington simply has no levers of real influence on the government of Israel," the UN ambassador said.
​  "The authorities in West Jerusalem are declaring in no uncertain terms that that mopping up of the enclave will take several more months, making calls for continuing the military operation, the withdrawal of the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East - TASS) from the enclave and the forced displacement of Palestinians from the places of their permanent residence,"

​  Red lines: Will Iran enter the regional war?
Despite Tehran's central role in the Axis of Resistance, which has launched regionwide operations against Israel and its US ally, the Islamic Republic refuses to rise to the enemy's bait and make itself a central target.
​  Tehran’s envoy to the UN later clarified that the Islamic Republic would only intervene in the Gaza war if the occupation state were to jeopardize Iranian interests or citizens.
Given the events of the past four months, this raises the question: What are Iran's red lines, and at what point would Tehran opt for direct confrontation?​ ...
..Many in Tehran believe the Gaza war is orchestrated in Washington, with the US serving as Israel's primary advocate in global arenas like the UN Security Council. As such, Iran aims to undermine US influence by exacerbating divisions between Washington and Tel Aviv.​..
..Last week, a major attack was carried out on Iran's national gas transmission pipelines. Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji called the pipeline explosions in three regions "sabotage and terrorist attacks" and said the enemy's plan was to disrupt gas supply to several cities and main provinces during the winter to ignite social and political unrest across the country.
​  While no country has claimed responsibility, a New York Times report names Israel as the culprit, citing several western official sources. Despite the severity of the attacks, Iran's critical gas transmission capacity was safeguarded, preventing widespread energy crises.
​  Yet even these attacks didn’t cross Iran's red lines because this act of vandalism – intent on destroying about 40 percent of the country's gas transmission capacity and creating an energy crisis – was immediately thwarted...
​..If Israel pushes Iran's Palestinian allies to the limit, it appears that Tehran would pursue a relative, restrictive, short-term, and mid-term response.
​  In the interim, the assertive military reactions from Iranian allies – including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, factions operating in Iraq and Syria, and the Ansarallah-aligned armed forces in Yemen – serve as a stick to confront Israel's aggressive stance autonomously, even in the absence of direct instructions from Iran.
​  While Washington and Tel Aviv claim they wish to avoid opening new fronts, on the ground, they are gearing up for military confrontation and have already escalated on various fronts.​..
..Today, Iran's adversarial stance seems to be more focused on the US rather than Israel. Via regional intermediaries, Tehran hopes to broker agreements with Washington to secure a ceasefire and alleviate Israel's pressure on Gaza. A common view among Iranians is that the pursuit of "legitimate defense" is preferable to engaging in a wider regional conflict, as prolonged internal crises within Israel could ultimately work in Iran's favor.

​  Drawing from past conflicts, particularly the Hezbollah–Israeli battles in south Lebanon, Iran sees potential in eroding both Israel's internal power and external support. This strategy intends to gradually force the occupation state to retreat from its aggressive posture in the region...
..Although a “preemptive attack” has already been proposed if Israel continues its assault on Gaza, Iran's strategic partners in Moscow and Beijing have not declared their full support for direct war. Therefore, Tehran is likely to avoid divergence with Russia and China in the event of major international crises...
..As the Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said in January, although Iran is not seeking war, it will not leave any threat unanswered.
​  It must be noted that Iran sees the war in Gaza through a realist, long-term lens and not an ideological point of view. This highlights a critical reality: while Iran makes efforts to maintain a delicate balance of threats without plunging into direct warfare, the potential for direct actions and reactions to spiral out of control remains ever-present.
​  Iran has thus far calculated that neither Washington nor Israel would risk direct attacks on its territory. However, the mutual risk of miscalculation on both sides could lead to a gradual escalation into direct warfare.

Bundestag backs resolution calling for supplies of ‘long-range weapons’ to Kiev​  (but removed ​specific reference to the Taurus long range cruise missile.)

Czech farmers join protest against EU’s agricultural policy
National protests are organized by major farmers associations led by the Czech Agrarian Chamber, with more than 2,000 agricultural vehicles being involved in the protests​.

CBP Seizes 6.5 Tons Of Meth In Eagle Pass, Largest Haul Ever At A Port Of Entry

​  "Unprecedented": Now-Fired CBS Reporter Who Investigated Biden Laptop Story Has Personal Files Seized By Network
​  Reporter Catherine Herridge of CBS had "her personal files seized by the network" in what is being called an "unprecedented" move. Herridge was investigating the Hunter Biden laptop story prior to her firing.​ Last week she was one of about 20 staffers fired from CBS as part of cuts at parent company Paramount.

​  Joe Biden's EV Mandate "Vision" For America Is In Full Collapse
​  In the year and a half since passing the Inflation Reduction Act, automakers are finding out the hard way that the rigorous criteria for manufacturing batteries using materials from the United States and its free-trade allies could render them cost-inefficient compared to global competitors.

​  Charles Hugh Smith,  How the Economy Changed: There's No Bargains Left Anywhere  (Additional thanks to the PMC for helping so "expertly".)
What changed in the economy is now nobody can afford to get by on working-class wages because there's no longer any bargains.
​  Many people are spending half or 2/3 of after-tax earnings on rent. Personally, I was only able to work my way through college because there were still nooks and crannies of low-rent dives and rooming houses, and low-cost hole-in-the-wall restaurants and cafes, day-old baked goods outlets, etc.
​  Lowering the cost of credit for corporations, financiers and the wealthy created unprecedented competition for places to invest all this nearly free money, and real estate has long been a favored market for those seeking to increase income and appreciation by gentrifying low-cost properties.
​  The net result is nobody can afford to start a business because rents, insurance, fees, utilities and regulatory compliance are all unaffordable​.

​  Pfizer Secretly Studied a Heart Damage Marker, Troponin I, in Five- to 15-Year-Olds, Following mRNA COVID Vaccination in 2021.
​  It became clear by February 2021 that a myocarditis safety signal was in the data and in scientific research ‘in press’ – meaning, scientific research which had passed peer review and been accepted for publication but that was not in print. In fact, the Israeli Ministry of Health alerted the CDC to a myocarditis safety signal on February 28, 2021.

​  I know of only one pregnant patient who got this vaccine. 12 hours later her amniotic membranes ruptured, labor was induced and she developed preeclampsia. A fluke?
FDA Approved First Vaccine for Pregnant Women to Prevent RSV in Infants Six Months Old and Younger
​  Though this is not a Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccine report, it offers vital information on a Pfizer vaccine targeting a once protected group -- pregnant women and their unborn babies.
​  "Among maternal participants, the incidences of serious adverse events through 6 months after injection were similar in the two groups; the most frequent were preeclampsia (in 1.8% of participants in the vaccine group and 1.4% of those in the placebo group) and fetal distress syndrome (in 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively)."
"The incidences of premature delivery were similar in the two groups (28 cases [0.8%] in the vaccine group and 23 cases [0.6%] in the placebo group)."

​(There was an X 6.3​ solar flare last night) 3 X Class Solar Flares, Satellite/Network Issues, Biggest Flare of the Cycle | S0 News Feb.23.2024

Unvaccinated Deplorable (pictured today with tomato starts)

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Two Might Play That Game

 Playing With Fireworks,

  Gilbert Doctorow on new weapons in Yemeni hands:  Britain’s failed submarine launch of a nuclear missile set against its proxy war with Russia
  As I pointed out in this interview, these problems of underfunding and poor maintenance are not the only serious challenges the Navy is facing.  A new threat has just arisen in connection with the determination of the Houthis in Yemen to fight back against the U.S. and U.K. naval presence in the Red Sea and the recent air and missile attacks on Yemen of these two nations. From the early days of the Houthi actions, when their drones and missiles were intercepted by U.S. air defense installations on board their fleet in the Red Sea, we see that the Houthis have in the past week become far more effective: a Qatari oil tanker was set aflame, compelling the crew to abandon ship, and a British owned commercial vessel is said to have been sunk. Moreover we are told that the Houthis are now in possession of submarine and surface drones capable of sinking ships.  It is an open question where this new capability has come from.  In the interview I venture the guess that the Russians are helping, in the spirit that two sides can play at the game of proxy wars.

  Another UK Ship On Fire Near Yemen As Sea Becomes Littered With Disabled Tankers
  The US military confirmed Tuesday that two US-owned tankers were struck the day prior. Such attacks are now coming several times a day.
  On Thursday the Pentagon said its coalition ships in the Red Sea intercepted six more drones over waters off Yemen. This came after another UK-owned ship was struck, and is reportedly burning and immobile some 70 nautical miles southeast of Aden.
  A new United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency alert said the British-owned, Palau-flagged ship was hit by two missiles while en route from Thailand to Egypt.

  How much have Russia and Iran been cooperating in missile technology, and for how long?  Iran Sends Russia Hundreds Of Ballistic Missiles
  The report alleged an estimated 400 missiles, mostly from the Fateh-110 family of short-range ballistic weapons, have been provided. These are mobile-launched and have a range of up to 435 miles.
  "The shipments began in early January after a deal was finalized in meetings late last year between Iranian and Russian military and security officials that took place in Tehran and Moscow, one of the Iranian sources say," according the report. “There will be more shipments,” one Iranian official has boasted. "There is no reason to hide it. We are allowed to export weapons to any country that we wish to."

  Gilbert Doctorow looks at longer-range "Hail Mary" weapons in small numbers for Ukraine, as it starts to implode from 2 years of massive losses:  
German parliament to vote on delivery of long-range air-borne missiles to Kiev
  The Biden administration is saying behind closed doors that it is ready to ship to Ukraine its 500 km version of Himars. The difference between the two missile systems is that Himars is ground launched from an artillery rocket system while Taurus is air launched.  In practical terms, given the devastation that the Russians have inflicted on most every military air field in Ukraine and given the drastically diminished fleet of suitable jets owned by the Ukrainians today, the launch vehicles for Taurus might have to be F-16s or other planes based in Romania or another NATO country, which becomes a very risky proposition...
..If the United States and Germany do indeed opt to send such long-range missiles to Ukraine, the expert believes that Russia will have to abandon its hitherto ‘humane’ conduct of the war and become similarly vicious.  Specifically, he is recommending Russian missiles targeting the Rada (parliament) building in Kiev, leveling it to the ground, the Ukrainian central bank and other decision making centers...
..The hopeful signs come from the growing awareness of military officials, politicians and even some media outlets in the West that the struggle of Ukraine against Russia is a hopeless cause, as demonstrated by the major Russian victory in Avdeevka and the Russian advances on the ground and at other parts of the 1200 kilometer line of contact.
  I put in this context the following amazing remarks by Donald Trump during a campaign talk yesterday. Said Trump: “Russia defeated Napoleon. Russia defeated Hitler. Russia has a military machine.”  For those who have been nodding off for the past decade or so, Trump just said what no other American or European politician has admitted over that decade: namely that Russia defeated Hitler, not the Americans by their Normandy landing...
..Meanwhile, it is no secret that Zelensky is coming under intense challenges at home, and even within his Servant of the People group of Rada deputies.
  Zelensky has cancelled the constitutionally mandated presidential elections in April and, and none other than his predecessor as president Piotr Poroshenko publicly asserted a day ago that Zelensky will have lost his right to hold office after 31 March. With the dismissal of General Zaluzhny as chief of the armies, Zelensky now bears on his own shoulders the shame and disgrace of defeat at Avdeevka and of the further territorial losses that are sure to follow in the days ahead.
  For these reasons, it is entirely conceivable that with or without any further deliveries of money and weapons to Kiev the government will fall and whoever takes charge will be empowered to enter into talks with the Russians over capitulation.
  Should that happen in April or May, the preconditions will be set for a possibly dramatic shift away from the Center Right  European Peoples Party and Center Left Socialists and Democrats in elections to the European parliament in June. These are the parties that have turned the European parliament into a rubber stamp of Cold War ideologists.

  Eleni sends some Andrew Korybko posts: Is The West Plotting A False Flag Provocation In Poland To Blame On Russia & Belarus?  (Who would believe it?)
Poland might very well be put up by its dual American-German patrons into carrying out a possible false flag provocation in order to generate popular support for the bloc’s rapid militarization plans aimed at building “Fortress Europe”.

  A Top EU Think Tank’s Poll Proved That Polish Views Towards Ukraine Are Noticeably Shifting
  When asked what’s the most likely outcome of the Ukrainian Conflict, 17% of Poles said that it’ll end in Ukrainian victory, 14% said that it’ll end in Russia’s, while 27% said that it’ll end in compromise. To the question of what Europe should do, 47% favored supporting Ukraine until it reconquered all its lost lands compared to 23% who said that it should push Kiev to negotiate peace with Moscow. About the Ukrainians themselves, 40% see them as a threat versus 27% who see them as an opportunity.
  Only 16% of Poles would be very or fairly pleased if Trump returns to power while 41% would be very or fairly displeased by that scenario. If he limits support for Ukraine, 31% of Poles want the EU to replace lost aid as much as possible so that Kiev can keep fighting, 25% want EU aid to remain unchanged, and 19% want them to follow in the US’ footsteps by scaling back aid and promoting peace. As a whole, 34% of Poles think that the EU played a positive role so far compared to 31% who think it’s been negative.    
  These statistics from one of the EU’s top think tanks, which can’t be accused of being funded by Russia or operating as its propaganda laundromat, probably come as a shock to outside observers who thought that Poles were gung-ho about this proxy war...
..The preceding half-year was also characterized by Polish-Ukrainian ties plunging into a crisis over the influx of cheap Ukrainian grain to the Polish market, that country’s ungratefulness for all the support that it received from Poland up until that point, and Zelensky scandalously comparing it to Russia at the UN. Many Poles deeply respect their farmers and started to reconsider their views about Ukraine in light of that class warning that they’re on the verge of bankruptcy due to the influx of that country’s cheap grain.
  Its refugees also began to behave more rowdily as popular support for their homeland dropped, thus accelerating this trend as the socio-economic consequences of Polish support for Ukraine started to negatively affect the daily lives of average Poles. Everything then peaked after Zelensky compared Poland to Russia at the UN in September, which is one of the most insulting things that anyone can do to a Pole, as Ukrainians know very well since they have similar such sentiments in their own society nowadays.
  All of this combined to create the state of affairs whereby less than a fifth of Poles think that Ukraine will beat Russia, but nearly half still want the EU to keep funding it in pursuit of that goal anyhow..
..Quite clearly, the data proves that support for Ukraine has waned, and Polish society is now divided over this conflict.

​  Again, if they were going to do it, why would they wait? This Ramadan date is just an insult.
​  After ceasefire negotiations have faltered, Israel has given Hamas a new ultimatum, with top Israeli war cabinet official Benny Gantz saying that Israel will launch a full assault on the southern city of Rafah if all remaining hostages aren't released by Ramadan. The Muslim holiday begins on March 10 this year, which is a few weeks away.
​  "The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know — if by Ramadan our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue to the Rafah area," Gantz told a conference of Jewish American organizations in Jerusalem on Sunday.

​  George Soros could destroy the Israeli government bond market, I know he could...  Genocide is a bad investment.
The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is targeting divestment from Israel Bonds as part of a larger strategy to build economic and political pressure as a meaningful contribution to the Palestinian struggle to dismantle Israel’s apartheid regime.​.. Israel Bonds are money lent directly to Israel’s treasury.​..
​..One of the largest pension funds in the world has divested entirely from Israel Bonds.
​  In November, the Norwegian Pension Fund announced that it had withdrawn all of its nearly half a billion dollars worth of investments in Israel Bonds, citing “uncertainty in the market.” It pulled what remained of its investments at the start of the Israeli government’s genocidal war in Gaza.
Israel’s economy is in trouble. That tells us we need to double down on demands to divest from Israel Bonds.

​  Ex-UN Expert: If Assange is Extradited to US No Journalist in World Will Be Safe
​  "If Assange were to be extradited to the United States, no journalist in the world would be safe," Alfred de Zayas, professor of international law in Geneva, former UN independent expert on international order (2012-18), and a retired senior lawyer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
​  "Essentially it would mean that any journalist who publishes information that the US government does not like would be subject to persecution and prosecution. His extradition would set a very toxic precedent that the core principle of refugee law and asylum law no longer protects persons who have a well-documented fear of persecution, as codified in article 1 of the Geneva Refugee Convention."

​  US ‘Always Planned’ For Assange to Die in Prison
​  Julian Assange, an Australian national, could face up to 175 years in prison if extradited to the United States on espionage charges.
But the US has no plans for Assange to stand trial in the United States, Dan Kovalik, a professor, human rights lawyer and peace activist told Sputnik’s The Critical Hour on Tuesday.​ “If [Julian Assange] is sent to the US, they’re just going to delay the trial as long as they can so that they can guarantee that he’ll die in jail,” Kovalik explained. “That’s always been the plan.”
​  Kovalik noted that there is documented evidence that the CIA plotted to kill Julian Assange in 2017 which revealed their intentions. “Here’s a guy, even if you believe everything is true that they’re charging him with, he is not charged with any violent crime. There’s no reason for him to be in jail while he awaits extradition… They’re holding him so that he’ll die,” Kovalik said.

​(Yesterday)  Pro-Assange Rally Continuing Outside High Court in London for 2nd Day in Row

  Do look at the second video, 59 seconds long, of embalmers removing one of these weird clots from the jugular vein of a deceased person. I have never seen a clot like that in all the years I did c-sections and assisted on major surgery and trauma surgery.
​  A Midwestern Doctor , Embalmers are Continuing to Find Mysterious Clots in the Vaccinated
Reviewing the results of a recent citizen's investigation and what we now know about these amyloid clots.

​"Inquiring minds want to know":  Is An X-Class Solar Flare Responsible For Nationwide Cell Outage?
Although AT&T took steps to resolve network issues, the company did not disclose the cause of the outage.
According to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, there were no indications of a cyberattack...
Around the time of the outage, two X-solar solar flares were reported by NASA.
Solar flares can disrupt ground-based and or satellite-based communication networks.

​Detailed 3 minute space-weather video with eye candy from this morning:  Two X Class Flares, Two Other Eruptions, Solar Watch is High | S0 News Feb.22.2024

Follow-up space-weather video from this afternoon addresses communications outages directly, explaining mechanisms. MAJOR NETWORK OUTAGES | Solar Flare Impact?

  This 6 minute video explains that with magnetic poles going through an excursion now, and magnetic field strength dropping so rapidly that NASA won't report it since 2010, perturbations to the ionosphere and planetary electrical circuit happen with milder solar events than it took before.  Magnetic Pole Shift | Ionosphere and Atmosphere

Occasional Solar Collector (pictured recently with grandson)