Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - Jan 6, 2023

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

A few issues I found interesting this week.

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How is the microchip war and bringing production back to the US going?

Balance of chip power still tilts toward Asia Asia Times Jan 5, 2024

Semiconductor fabrication facility construction data shows that more than 80% of the world’s fab capacity is still located in Asia, with this year’s estimated percentage slightly higher than last year’s.

China’s share of worldwide capacity is forecast to rise from 26% to 27% in 2024, while America’s remains slightly below 10% and Europe’s under 9%. US and EU efforts to rebuild their domestic chip supply chains are unlikely to bear much fruit until 2025 at the earliest.

Oregon is doing its part to increase microchip production. Land use laws were changed last year to make it easier to develop high quality farmland into new microchip plants. And we are just starting to hand out money.

Oregon finalizes $136 million in funding for 3 semiconductor manufacturers The Oregonian Jan 5, 2023

The initial recipients are Intel, Microchip Technology and HP Inc. The state announced the awards in September but didn’t have signed contracts until now.

A dozen other companies are continuing to negotiate for their share of $240 million in state money lawmakers approved last year. They’re also seeking millions more from the federal CHIPS Act that Congress approved in 2022.

And the federal dollars are starting to flow.

Microchip wins $72 million federal CHIPS Act grant, Oregon’s first, for Gresham expansion The Oregonian Jan 4, 2023

Microchip Technology won $162 million in subsidies Thursday from the federal CHIPS Act, including $72 million for an $800 million expansion already underway at Microchip’s semiconductor factory in Gresham.

It’s the second major grant under the $52 billion CHIPS Act legislation Congress approved in 2022 and the first to an Oregon manufacturer. The U.S. Commerce Department is allocating the money in stages, through various programs established by Congress. The vast majority of the funding has yet to be designated.

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Worth a full read. Timofey Bordachev is the Programme Director of the Valdai Club, a Moscow-based think tank [2] and discussion forum.

Timofey Bordachev: BRICS expansion was most important foreign-policy event of 2023 - what will match it in 2024? Russia Times Jan 4, 2024

Predicting the future is the most thankless task when it comes to international politics. All of the genre, in fact, because it involves the interaction of living human beings. That means it is subject to chance, elementary error, and the influence of emotion. If this were not so, history would indeed go straight on “like the sidewalk of the Nevsky Prospect,” the main thoroughfare of St. Petersburg.

But not only is history unpredictable, it doesn’t repeat itself, which makes it utterly pointless to try to predict specific turns of events. The only thing we can talk about with relative certainty is the development of the major trends we can already see today.

In the coming year 2024, Russia will definitely be the largest continental country in the world, with the opportunity to develop ties in several geographical directions at once: To trade with its neighbors, to build new transport and logistics systems, and to thwart its opponents’ attempts to isolate it.

The United States will remain the largest “political island,” whose security and development, in principle, depend very little on what happens in its immediate surroundings.

China will remain a country with a huge population and economy in need of external markets and resources.

The European Union will continue to “sit on the windowsill” in the far west of Eurasia, always critically dependent on resources from outside. But it is no longer in a position to extract them on its own.
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The consolidation of the West will continue to create problems for international security and the world economy. This is simply because the united West will be – for a long time to come – unable to accept the new reality, to stop fighting the natural course of history, and to start adapting to it. As can be seen from recent statements by politicians in Washington and its allies, the US has no other solution to its problems than to regain at least some of its former power and control. Even if key people realize that this is impossible, they will never admit it, so they will meddle and create confusion in different parts of the planet.

This will be countered by the global majority: The aggregate of the world’s states, comprising about three-quarters of the UN’s membership, which are increasingly focused on their own interests. This term was coined in 2022 to refer to countries that have not initiated or supported the West's economic war against Moscow at the state level – even if their companies and banks are forced to comply with US and EU bans on pain of retaliation. They are constantly looking for and finding ways to continue trading and generally doing business with Russia. In 2023, this phenomenon was already fully obvious.

The most striking examples come from India, (NATO member) Turkey, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, all Asian countries (except Japan and South Korea), and all CIS members.

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India has not been obedient as the European nations in following programs initiated by United Kingdom and US. Time for new tactics?

The Trilateral Threat: India, Russia, And China Zerohedge Jan 5, 2024

he South Asian country is desperately poor, at just $2,400 gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 2022. Yet it seeks to portray itself as an up-and-coming economic powerhouse.

It is increasingly authoritarian. Yet it wants to be seen as all things to all people, including the democracies.

Its prime minister, Narendra Modi, is prideful, highly nationalist, and has superpower aspirations.

That makes India’s relationship with more responsible powers, including the United States, increasingly strained, not least because of New Delhi’s too close relations with the world’s most dangerous dictators, Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia.
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The more of a pariah Russia becomes, the more Moscow relies on New Delhi to moderate the power of Beijing, drawing the three ever closer into a more stable threat to the democracies. More fully separating India from China and Russia is thus an important U.S. foreign policy goal, which is why Washington is not more openly critical of the South Asian country. Yet more must be done as India has long been “anti-Western,” is increasingly autocratic, and U.S. business risks becoming reliant on its cheap labor in the pivot away from China. That risks increasing Indian political influence in Washington through the same kind of elite capture that previously insulated Beijing from criticism.

To mitigate these risks, the United States and G7 countries must impose economic penalties on India, as the many incentives of the past, including direct development aid, are underappreciated.

Our attempts at buying friendship apparently failed, and we are finally realizing that India is a fair-weather friend. Sanctions and tariffs will be needed to shift India away from Russia and China. No G7 country, including the United Kingdom, should execute new free trade agreements with India.

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US and UK talk tough but are we really ready to start expanding conflicts and adding new ones?

Just last month
US military grounds entire fleet of Osprey aircraft following a deadly crash off the coast of Japan The Associated Press Dec 6, 2023

The military announced late Wednesday it was grounding all of its Osprey V-22 helicopters, one week after eight Air Force Special Operations Command service members died in a crash off the coast of Japan.

The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps took the extraordinary step of grounding hundreds of aircraft after a preliminary investigation of last week’s crash indicated that a materiel failure — that something went wrong with the aircraft — and not a mistake by the crew led to the deaths.

This week's news -

Airman hospitalized after B-1 bomber crashes in South Dakota Air Force Times Jan 5, 2024

The bomber’s four crew members safely ejected from the aircraft, which was attempting to land at the installation around 5:50 p.m. Thursday during a training mission, the base said on Facebook. The National Weather Service reported low visibility and freezing conditions at the time of the crash.

Defense Secretary Austin has been hospitalized since Jan. 1, but Pentagon kept the news quiet The Associated Press Jan 5, 2024

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized since Monday, due to complications following a minor elective medical procedure, Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said Friday. It was the department’s first acknowledgement that Austin had been admitted — five days earlier — to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Ryder said Friday that it’s not clear when Austin will be released from the hospital, but said the secretary is “recovering well,” adding that he expected “to resume his full duties” Friday.

The Pentagon’s failure to disclose Austin’s hospitalization is counter to normal practice with other senior U.S. and Cabinet officials, including the president.

If you know someone qualified - Let them know United Kingdom is hiring.

NATO state recruiting nuclear submarine chief on social media Russia Times Jan 6, 2024

The UK Royal Navy has been forced to post job ads on LinkedIn as it struggles to recruit a new rear admiral to preside over the country’s submarine fleet, a move dubbed “unprecedented” and “shameful” by British military sources.
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A separate page on the military’s website states the two-star position would require a commitment of at least two years. It would reportedly pay a yearly salary of £150,000.
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Earlier this week, the Telegraph noted that the navy was so strapped for personnel that it would be forced to decommission two warships in order to properly man a new class of frigates. The vessels facing the cut are the HMS Argyll and the HMS Westminster – the latter of which recently completed costly renovations.

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Oregon Democrats had a problem Ku Klux Klan in the 1900's. It created an opportunity for populist Republicans to govern the state. Klu Klux KlanJudge indicates significant members and influene at the national level.

Prof. David Beito : FDR’s War on Civil Liberties. (28:28 min)

Might have already watched thes interviews included in The Evening Blues. The first half of Prof. Mearcheimer's interview is on China and his belief the nation should be contaied, at the 17:42 mark conversation switches to International Court of Justice and the hearings which will begin Jan 11, 2024. (84 page pdf 1 APPLICATION INSTITUTING PROCEEDINGS)

Prof. John Mearsheimer : Who Is the US Enemy: Russia or China? (38:16 min)

INTEL Roundtable Johnson & McGovern: How Intel Will Disguise the Ukraine Defeat. (27:37 min)

The livestream videos this week by Judge Napolitano channel ongoing discussions regarding current events in Israel/Hamas/Gaza and Ukraine/Russia conflict. The interviews are generally posted on Monday through Friday if would like to view them in a more timely manner. The link opens in the LIVE column, occasionally an interview only appears in VIDEOS section.

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What is on your mind today?

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Comments

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Interesting how, in the ZH opinion piece, the west considers the ROW as a threat
while Russia and China seek development opportunities. It is the old competition
versus cooperation false choice.

If Oregon industrializes prime farmland for factories, will the people have to eat
microchips? Not much long range planning in those policies IMO.

The rural folks in Oregon sure know how to have fun! About 3 minutes.

Thanks for the potluck!

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enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS

give your model T one quick crank, jump in and drive off. That takes great maintnance andf near perfek tuning.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

studentofearth's picture

@QMS cord. My Dad bred and raised pigs when I was very little. Then I raised market hogs to show at local fair as a member of Future Farmers of America in high school. Made enough money to pay for most my first year of college.

Those 35 pounders are hard to hold - the guys have strong arms. Beautiful, very wet part of the state along the Pacific coast. Also known for salmon fishing, timber and dairy products. Do not eat the Tillamook dairy products very often since the major dairy farms supplying milk now reside in eastern Oregon using high density industrialized farming techniques. The quality of taste is much lower than using milk from pasture fed cows.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth

as a kid, we would have a local school fair,
a very small affair. One of the activities, they
would butter-up a small pig with lard and the
kids would chase it down. Whoever could hold the
squirming, squealing critter won brought it home.
It was called the greased pig contest.

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enhydra lutris's picture

The zero hedge article/column is completely unhinged; I can almost see the author out in his yard in Bermudas, knee socks, loafers and a wife-beater T-shirt shaking his fist at traffic and ranting at passers by.

Fun news: 1) Carrefour, which just happens to be one of the largest grocery chains in the world, is putting "shrinkflation" labels on products guilty of said practice. 2) Same chain is also removing Pepsi products from its stores because of "unacceptable price increases," This includes stuff like Doritos as well as the soft-drinks. Perhaps some of our chains should "do the continental" Wink

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris

back into the roaring 20's

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enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris Among other things, to get some tissues for those runny nose moments. I checked the grocery store prices, a bit high, but the Dollar General cheaper ones will be classic the shrinkflation scam. I have read that all the Dollar Stores have special packaging, so the low prices seem great, but as always, you get what you pay for.
No rain, but a low this evening of 36. That's pretty damn cold.
Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

studentofearth's picture

@enhydra lutris drop the product lines, we can drop Nabisco and PepsiCo from our grocery list. The nutritional value is low in most of the products.

When I bake my own cracker just a few satisfy my cravings. When I buy a Nabisco box want to eat until they are gone and check to see if the box is really empty.

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7 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth I would buy at truck stops when we are on the roads. Ham, cheese, crackers, and vanilla cookies. I would buy it 3 or 4 times a year. It was enough that I could share it with Dear One while he drove.
Then I started reading up on their "fillers". Now, some cellulose is healthy, too much is like eating tree limbs.
I haven't bought one since, would only do it if nothing else viable was available. Once in a while, that is the case.
A ct type just might believe these horrid food producers have stocks in Big Pharma.
Nah...never mind. Ridiculous.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

studentofearth's picture

@on the cusp it was one of my favorite quick grocery purchase while driving around the state for work. Like many product it has changed a lot. Single yogurt was also a favorite, then more sugar, corn syrup and stabilizers kept being added.

Provolone cheese slices, salami then rolled into appetizer tube and a fresh orange or grapefruit to peel and segment is current first choice. Any fruit or vegetable precut has a higher risk of salmonella. Think same precautions as when we used to travel to third world countries.

Pension plans, hedge funds and mutual funds will own both types of stocks.

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5 users have voted.

Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth that is cut up and packaged. I am more apt to think of the taste and smell than salmonella, but you are correct about that.
I might eat a single yogurt once every couple of weeks. I hadn't checked the ingredients/additives. I will henceforth, thanks for the tip.
When nothing else is handy, at the office, I keep seedless grapes and Jarlsberg cheese. My lunch is a European dinner dessert. Gets me through the afternoon!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

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Genocide in Gaza (John Mearsheimer)

First, it describes in detail the horrors that the IDF has inflicted on the Palestinians since 7 October 2023 and explains why much more death and destruction is in store for them.

Second, the application provides a substantial body of evidence showing that Israeli leaders have genocidal intent toward the Palestinians. (59-69) Indeed, the comments of Israeli leaders – all scrupulously documented – are shocking. One is reminded of how the Nazis talked about dealing with Jews when reading how Israelis in “positions of the highest responsibility” talk about dealing with the Palestinians. (59) In essence, the document argues that Israel’s actions in Gaza, combined with its leaders’ statements of intent, make it clear that Israeli policy is “calculated to bring about the physical destruction of Palestinians in Gaza.” (39)

Third, the document goes to considerable lengths to put the Gaza war in a broader historical context, making it clear that Israel has treated the Palestinians in Gaza like caged animals for many years. It quotes from numerous UN reports detailing Israel’s cruel treatment of the Palestinians. In short, the application makes clear that what the Israelis have done in Gaza since 7 October is a more extreme version of what they were doing well before 7 October.

There is no question that many of the facts described in the South African document have previously been reported in the media. What makes the application so important, however, is that it brings all those facts together in one place and provides an overarching and thoroughly supported description of the Israeli genocide. In other words, it provides the big picture while not neglecting the details.
……
Second, even though the South African application focuses on Israel, it has huge implications for the United States, especially President Biden and his principal lieutenants. Why? Because there is little doubt that the Biden administration is complicitous in Israel’s genocide, which is also a punishable act according to the Genocide Convention. Despite his admission that Israel is engaged in “indiscriminate bombing,” President Biden has also stated that “we’re not going to do a damn thing other than protect Israel. Not a single thing.”6 He has been true to his word, going so far as to bypass Congress twice to quickly get additional armaments to Israel. Leaving aside the legal implications of his behavior, Biden’s name – and America’s name – will be forever associated with what is likely to become one of the textbook cases of attempted genocide.

Third, I never imagined I would see the day when Israel, a country filled with Holocaust survivors and their descendants, would face a serious charge of genocide. Regardless of how this case plays out in the ICJ – and here I am fully aware of the maneuvers that the United States and Israel will employ to avoid a fair trial – in the future Israel will be widely regarded as principally responsible for one of the canonical cases of genocide.

Recommend reading in full. Lots of people are saying that this is an open and shut case from SA. Let’s just hope that if the verdict is guilty then people will actually be held accountable. But that won’t bring back the dead.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

studentofearth's picture

@snoopydawg official national opinions around the world. Israel appears to have no defense to the truth of the events documented.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has ordered its embassies across the globe to pressure their host countries to reject South Africa’s genocide case against it at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Axios has reported, citing an urgent diplomatic cable.
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The cable, which was sent out by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, stresses that Israel’s “strategic goals” are for the ICJ to reject South Africa’s request for an injunction, refrain from determining that Israel is committing genocide in Gaza and acknowledge that the IDF’s actions in the enclave comply with nternational law, Axios said in an article on Saturday.
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"A ruling by the court could have significant potential implications that are not only in the legal world but have practical bilateral, multilateral, economic, security ramifications,” the document, copies of which were seen by the outlet, read.
Russia Times

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Cassiodorus's picture

When Satire Beats You By 18 month...

I'm imagining a play. Here are a couple of lines:

ZIONIST: But Hamas is a terrorist organization!

REALIST: The Hamas partisans are still alive, whereas the IDF killed everyone else in Gaza.

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"The war on Gaza, backed by the West, is a demonstration that the West is willing to cross all lines. That it will discard any nuance of humanity. That it is willing to commit genocide" -- Moon of Alabama

studentofearth's picture

@Cassiodorus a couple of other examples of messaging problems

Rival White House Spokespeople Caught in Power Struggle Over Podium Sputnik Globe Jan 6, 2024

When Biden originally offered Jean-Pierre the position, he awkwardly mentioned that she would work with Kirby as a team, leaving her upset and confused as to how things would operate, according to three sources cited in the report.
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Kirby has accompanied Jean-Pierre on nearly all press briefing and gaggles since the war. Biden also asks to be personally briefed by Kirby and to have him accompany him on both domestic and international trips, Axios reported.

Jill keeps Joe on Message regarding his favorite food - ice cream.

She seems to be present at all his public presentations.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

is committed to the idea that whoever is Number 1 will do what the US does, primarily for economic reasons, like start wars and revolutions everywhere, employ economic sanctions, drop some bombs, etc...For that reason, he would rather the US be the Big Bad Balls than China.
Global economic dominance is what he sees as the rational, understandable goal of any advancing country. He thinks any country that could do that would understandably do it.
Cooperation, economic fairness, the lifting of the boat for economic partners, are not ideas within his intellectual grasp.
I am required to sous for The Master Chef. Must go sous!
Thanks for the OT, lots of terrific info contained infra.
have a wonderful weekend, soe!

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

studentofearth's picture

@on the cusp Western university training and infects our foreign policy professionals, intelligence services and military.

The pressure applied to China keeps making it stronger. The changes are subtle at first and not noticed, then US and UK make a panicked response starting the cycle over again.

The educated mainland Chinese (not American Chinese) I have met are aware of the thought process differences. Once aware one can shift back and forth between the different ways of processing information and making plans.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

@studentofearth is not what you, I, and billions of others know. If and when you get to be No. 1, you become a global tyrant, mass murder, so he says. All the while, he literally admits that the US is exactly that, and that we should prefer that, because, it is inevitable, it happens, it is the goal of hegemony, so it is best if it is US running things.
USA! USA!
Mearshiemer is past his sell by date.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

soryang's picture

@on the cusp He's a late 19th/early 20th Century throwback to social Darwinist analysis of international relations. While he claims to understand that Russia's intentions are limited and that the US forced this Ukraine war on them, for the Chinese, he projects all the worst intentions on them. He's got his pseudo intellectual "yellow peril" analysis down pat.

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語必忠信 行必正直

@soryang to white guy Putin that he will not give yellow guy Xi.
I am trying to remember my 71 years in this county ever knowing a person of Asian ancestry, and can't remember a single one.
I am obviously not as aware, and radar sensitive as you on that thinking. We have the blacks, browns, and reds...
That "yellow peril" is what the man knows, and no doubt believes.
Your perspective gives me even more reason to question his "wisdom".
I really appreciate your comment, friend.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981