Links 3/12/2021

Green-pawed sea otters are saving California’s kelp forests BBC (Furzy Mouse).

Bill Gates’s self-serving instructions for avoiding climate catastrophe Ann Pettifor, Times Literary Supplement

Hackers Are Swarming Microsoft Exchange Gizmodo

Microsoft’s GitHub under fire after disappearing proof-of-concept exploit for critical Microsoft Exchange vuln The Register


Update on COVID-19 Projections (PDF) Covid 29 Advisory for Ontario (IM). “Variants of concern continue to spread across Ontario. Our ability to control the rate of spread will determine whether we return to normal or face a third wave of infection. We know what works: continued masking and distancing are essential to controlling variants of concern. Our behaviour over the next few weeks is critical in determining the quality of our summer.” IM writes: “The race is on…we are feeling the renewed spread of coronavirus here in BC too. Lots of admissions lately.”

Why Virus Variants Have Such Weird Names NYT

* * *
Covid-19: European countries suspend use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots The British Medical Journal

New outbreak of COVID-19 in B.C. care home where 82% of residents were already vaccinated CBC

COVID-19: vaccination in a developing country Journal of Public Heatlh

Mass-Vaccination Sites — An Essential Innovation to Curb the Covid-19 Pandemic NEJM

* * *
Body Mass Index and Risk for COVID-19–Related Hospitalization, Intensive Care Unit Admission, Invasive Mechanical Ventilation, and Death — United States, March–December 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Report

* * *
One Year Later: The Data That Illustrates How American Life Has Changed During the Pandemic Morning Consult

A National Emergency: How Covid-19 Is Fueling Unrest in the US ACLED

The Pandemic That Won’t End Foreign Affairs

Why businesses can still require masks after states drop mandates ABC

Plague Fatigue The Baffler


Exclusive: ‘Shoot till they are dead’ – Some Myanmar police say fled to India after refusing orders Reuters. If the police go wobbly, the army can step in:


‘We are frontliners’: Youth brave bullets and arrest to keep protests alive Frontier Myanmar

From land of promise to pariah state: Myanmar coup rattles foreign firms Reuters

US imposes sanctions on children of Myanmar military leader, companies Channel News Asia

Jade: Myanmar’s “Big State Secret” Global Witness (PDF full report). From 2015, still germane.

South Korea to suspend defence exchanges with Myanmar, reconsider aid Channel News Asia

Myanmar junta hires Israeli intelligence veteran for international lobbying campaign Foreign Lobby

The ‘Quad’ Aims for Up to a Billion Vaccine Doses for Southeast Asia VOA


China’s leaders keep focus on job creation and better living standards as Communist Party looks to bolster position ahead of centenary celebrations South China Morning Post

Two Sessions and the “国之大者 the big national priority”; China sending top diplomats to Alaska; TikTok Sinocism

In Hong Kong, Beijing Sacrifices Credibility for Control Bloomberg. Handy chart:


China environment minister urges crackdown on steel mills’ illegal production Reuters

Decks cleared to build dam on Brahmaputra in Tibet as China’s Parliament approves 14th Five-Year Plan The Economic Times

Venezuela Gripped by Diesel Shortages as Oil Output Continues Recovery Venezuelanalysis


Why are Indian farmers so infuriated with Reliance’s agritech plans? ZDNet

Farm Bills: How A One-Shoe-Fits-All Approach Makes No Sense The Wire

How Big Tech Is Importing India’s Caste Legacy to Silicon Valley Bloomberg


Tunnel from Northern Ireland to Scotland considered despite massive doubts Deutsche Welle

Coronavirus digest: Germany’s ‘third wave has begun’ Deutsche Welle

Brussels warns that AstraZeneca will miss already reduced targets

Police raids across Europe after encrypted phone network shut down Guardian

EU struggles to build antitrust case against Amazon FT

I don’t know the date or the precise location, but shantytowns seem right:


New Cold War

Kennan Cable No. 65: Constitutional Crisis in Ukraine: Looking for Solutions Wilson Center

Biden Administration

Biden aims for quicker shots, ‘independence from this virus’ AP

President Biden Addresses Nation on One-Year Anniversary of Coronavirus Pandemic (video) C-SPAN

Biden not yet holding a formal news conference raises accountability questions ABC

With Relief Plan, Biden Takes on a New Role: Crusader for the Poor NYT. The Biden stimulus package lasts for one (1) year. I’m not averse to drenching the proles with cash, far from it, but let’s not confuse a temporary increase in purchasing power with new institutions that benefit the working class permanently, like the New Deal’s Social Security. Only propagandists would do that.

Biden’s next move should be to solve the filibuster debacle. Here’s how. MSNBC

California horror scenario could sink Biden Asian Times

U.S. unemployment system fell short in early days of the pandemic. It could buckle again CNBC

Our Famously Free Press

Journalists Start Demanding Substack Censor its Writers: to Bar Critiques of Journalists Glenn Greenwald. A thread from Stoller:


Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Sadly, from a parody site:


The Groves of Academe

The Impossible Conversation Chronicle of Higher Adminstration. Wnenever I hear about faculty cuts, I want to know about administration cuts. For example, does Ithaca College really need a President and a Provost?

Zeitgeist Watch

CRAIG BROWN: ‘Wh-what!? He cut off your mom’s head?’ Great Oprah Interviews From History – Queen Elizabeth I Daily Mail

Imperial Collapse Watch

I’d like this to stop: Drone comic Ayesha A. Siddiqi. “This” being:

Maybe when the propaganda stops? Like this:


Or this:


Black Injustice Tipping Point

How Unfair Property Taxes Keep Black Families From Gaining Wealth Bloomberg

Class Warfare

The United States of Oligarchy Marianne Williamson, Newsweek. No wonder the DNC got Williamson off the debate stage with such indecent haste.

The Label of Fascism and the New World Order Cornell University Press

Prehistory and Today’s Hunter-Gatherers Patrick Wyman, Perspectives

Antidote du Jour (via):

The rainbow could be an editorial addition, but the cows are cute.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. The Rev Kev

    “Covid-19: European countries suspend use of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots”

    You have to dig into Google a bit but it is not only European countries. South Africa has just announced that they are dumping the AstraZeneca vaccine in favour of the Johnson & Johnson shots instead-

    And just to show that it is not only just these two regions, Thailand has also suspended using this vaccine-

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

    1. Katiebird

      I don’t know how to evaluate the blood clot article. Do the clots relate to only one batch (this was implied in one paragraph.) And several quotes saying clotting events weren’t any higher for those vaccinated.

      Are they going to have another round of testing to figure it out?

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I posted the below late yesterday, as usual after everyone had left the page and moved on:

        The European Medicines Agency-

        “The information available so far indicates that the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than that seen in the general population. As of 9 March 2021, 22 cases of thromboembolic events had been reported among the 3 million people vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in the European Economic Area.”

        AZ has been a rolling debacle, but the actual vaccine itself appears to be both safe and effective. Millions of doses have been given without obvious and statistically significant serious side effects.

      2. Nameful

        It seems there are two distinct batches that are currently “on hold” in Europe pending blood clotting analysis – one involved in the Austrian cases and another involved in the Italian ones (funny how the article was amended to add Italy to the list of countries stopping AZ vaccination, but failed to mention why). Finding details about it though is an exercise in panning for gold through the swamp of Google results.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>Finding details about it though is an exercise in panning for gold through the swamp of Google results.

          Hey, you mean basic research and analysis as in reporting? I thought we had journalists for that?

          (Laughs bitterly.)

    2. John A

      I had an AZ shot a few weeks ago and no side effects whatsoever. Next one scheduled for late April.

  2. Donald

    I thought the drone came mic guy was being pretentious. His cartoon makes the point about US imperialism and pseudo liberalism in a very effective manner and does not interfere with anyone who might want to offer a platform for the victims of drone bombing— if anything, by writing this essay he is doing the same thing all over again.

    I thought the essay was an example of something we need to see less— elaborate performative meta analysis as virtue signaling.

    Our supposed liberal humanitarian foreign policy is murderous. That is the main message. The cartoon effectively makes that point.

  3. zagonostra

    >The Label of Fascism and the New World Order – Cornell University Press

    The current memory fight is a struggle to define the future of Europe…The current polemics around fascism should be understood as the epitome of the difficult dialogue between Russia and the West. Mastering the label of “who is fascist” thus decides what ideal Europe should be.

    What I would like to see is a “memory fight” over the role played by certain American and British corporate and oligarchic interest in the creation of the Soviet Union and the 1917 revolution, and the continuation of foreign military interventions across the world. How and when the word “fascism” is ascribed to certain political players to indoctrinate and mobilize support against a foreign country will be of little use if you do not understand who is benefiting from hostilities and whether they are real dangers or manufactured ones.

    In my own personal un/re-learning history project I recently came across Anthony C. Sutton whose YTube lectures has me re-thinking what I was taught about WWI, WWII and how contemporary international relations really play out behind the newspaper headlines and the orthodox high school and college history courses I received.

    In 1973, Sutton published a popularized, condensed version of the sections of the forthcoming third volume relevant to military technology called National Suicide: Military Aid to the Soviet Union, after which he was forced out of the Hoover Institution.[4] His conclusion from his research on the issue was that the conflicts of the Cold War were “not fought to restrain communism” but were organised in order “to generate multibillion-dollar armaments contracts”, since the United States, through financing the Soviet Union “directly or indirectly armed both sides in at least Korea and Vietnam.”[5]

    1. SOMK

      Thanks, have heard variants of such arguments hinted at in some books, but never fully spelled out.

    2. Jan

      A recent publication: Wall street and the zRussian revolution 1905 1925 by Richard B Spence is critical but positive re Sutton s work.

    3. Jason

      Charles Levinson’s Vodka Cola illustrates how the Cold War was largely a facade for powerful interests operating behind the scenes.

    4. schmoe

      You should probably read Hidden History by Gerry Docherty and Jim MacGregor. It paints a damning picture of the UK’s activities leading up to WW I and leaves little doubt that certain interests were doing everything in their power, including via media outlets, to propagandize for a war. Note that it is focused on UK archives, so no mention of some German officials wanting to fight Russia before it became too powerful. The book is also fairly consistent with Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark, which is very well-regarded.

      It is also notable that several key individuals in the Triple Entente destroyed their notes. Page 352 of Forbidden History says that Cabinet notes from July 14 – August 20, 1914 are largely missing.

      1. Michaelmas

        leaves little doubt that certain interests were doing everything in their power, including via media outlets, to propagandize for a war.

        Everything in their power included those ‘certain interests’ actively assassinating individuals in order to expedite the path to war in France (that I know of).

        Europe’s leaders were warned exactly what war would entail. Most people these days aren’t familiar with Jean de Bloch/Jan Gotlib Bloch —

        Worth a read to understand the almost incomprehensible, verminous stupidity of the supposed great and good, especially in the military

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Interestingly enough, during the very first year or two of the USSR, the US and some other governments sent soldiers into various edges of the USSR to try helping the Whites win the civil war with the Reds and topple the USSR before it could become truly established.

  4. Katiebird

    Overnight I got a strange email message from someone named “Tout Permis” that seems to be attacking Yves and Naked Capitalism. I was a BCC so I don’t know who else was on the mailing list.

    Did anyone else get this thing? And any ideas how I got it. I have never been spammed by making WordPress comments before.

      1. Katiebird

        I read my gmail messages on Apple (Ipad) Mail. So. Not Exchange. Plus, wouldn’t they have to be grabbing my address from here in the first place to link my email with my interest in Naked Capitalism?

        1. oliverks

          NC sends out fund raiser emails every now again (at least I get them). So if your email was hacked they would see those messages.

          However, given that you are using an iPad, I agree it seems unlikely to have been captured from the Exchange flaw. Could you have sent a link to someone by email?

          BTW I checked my email and did not see any message.

        2. Chris

          Gmail accounts are strange. I have one that I’ve been using since forever. I seem to be sharing it with a couple of other people with vastly different interests (US car insurance, temp jobs, hindutva, devout Catholicism). Gmail doesn’t distinguish between account names with punctuation marks, which is probably the reason for my experience.

          1. harrybothered

            You too? I suddenly started receiving messages meant for a teenage male in a fine arts HS in NYC. Poor kid, I’m sure he was not happy to have his e-mails going to a middle-aged woman in CA. His username was very similar to mine and gmail would automatically put in MY username when I tried to forward his messages to him. We both complained multiple times but nothing was ever fixed.

          2. Katiebird

            Wow. Me too!! I have received acceptance letters to colleges, store receipts, car insurance bids —- all kinds of things sent to various forms of my email address with punctuation. Weird stuff.

          3. Whistling in the Dark

            I get a LOT of (g)mail intended for other people. I even reached out to the friends/colleagues of one of these people (who had sent me an email setting up a discussion). I had always assumed that people were either intentionally using my email name for a fake account or, in the case of this guy’s friends, they suggested that our addresses were off by one letter (a middle initial), and senders were overlooking it. My gmail is…. my name. I, too, have had this gmail account “forever.”

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I got the same garbage spam. Since I comment using my own name, it’s not terribly hard to guess my gmail account address. The WordPress blog post it sent me to was poorly argued in a bizarre manner that suggests mental illness. The author appears to think that anyone with a blog who doesn’t fulfill their demand to reprint their content on their blog is [fill in the blank with nasty accusations].

      The most offensive thing about this trollish spam was the inclusion of what was alleged to be a picture of Yves, invading her privacy. I’m training gmail to route all future spam from this supposedly French troll straight to junk mail, and am mad at gmail for this crap not getting automatically routed there in the first place.

      1. Katiebird

        Me too — I was really shocked at the use of her name and photo. Just saving it for now in case a site administrator wants a copy.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I checked my email but so far so good. I will watch out for “Tout Permis” in the future in both my inbox and spam file. Thanks for the heads-up.

    3. Yves Smith

      I’m not tracking down the post and very much appreciate you not linking to it, since it would have boosted in in Google and so I would have had to edit the comment.

      If he did hack, and we will be able to establish that, it’s a Federal crime.

      I can tell you exactly who this guy is but won’t because that would be punching down. He first sent an angry message about not having posted his post which he sent earlier and made accusations.

      He also misrepresented his resume. He said he’d been a commercial banker for 10 years and in “commercial solar” for 12. His LinkedIn bio showed in fact that he’d been a runner for ~2 years and then a floor trader for 6, which is absolutely not ten years no matter how you count it nor is it commercial banking.

      Even more amusingly, he was trading before commercial banks were allowed to own these businesses; I had O’Connor & Associates as a client, and they sold themselves to Swiss Bank, but Swiss Bank couldn’t even buy them outright in the early 1990s. Swiss Bank had to settle for 3/8 ownership and 5/8 of the economics, plus a buyout option, which they did exercise.

      His LinkedIn bio also showed only 5 years working as a solar panel salesman to corps. He then tried claiming he had another year in a different solar-related which did show on another site with his professional history. Since when does 5+1 = 12?

      Oh, and he threatened to sue me for slander over a private e-mail exchange, which is further evidence of Dunning Kruger effect. Acted like he was convinced he’d get rich from that too. He needs to Google Unsworth v. Musk and take some smelling salts.

  5. oliverks

    California horror scenario could sink Biden

    This article is terribly argued. Lets start with

    As I argued in the last installment, a policy of attempting to achieve “100% clean electricity” without massive expansion of nuclear energy will inevitably mean subjecting the population to economic austerity

    At least he is assuming up front what he wants to prove.

    Then he says

    To get a bitter taste of that future we have only to look at California … more than 50% higher than the national average

    Hmm we seem to be paying lots for “stranded assets”, i.e. nuclear adventures that were horribly unprofitable, and the fact that Enron screwed us over.

    Throughout October last year, millions of Californians suffered from a constant series of “rolling blackouts”

    Which is true, but has nothing to do with how the energy was generated. It could be 100% nuclear and we would still have the blackouts, because the infrastructure is so run down.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its a horrible article, full of half truths and showing a very poor understanding of how grids work. He has an agenda for nuclear power, which is fair enough, but he should at least be open about it. But some statements are just a nonsense, eg:

      This looks good at first glance but it reflects the fact that solar and wind energy are extremely labor-intensive, and have intrinsically low productivity. This is due among other things to the huge numbers of units that must be installed and maintained in order to reach a given output level.

      This is just stupid and makes no sense whatever (neither do his examples later in the article, which are about 20 years out of date).

      The problem in California is straightforward – it has a terrible grid network which needs massive investment, and it needs DC interconnections with inland States with surpluses of power. Whatever the arguments for or against nuclear power are, it needs to be stated clearly that California is not a suitable state for a focus on nuclear. Its coastal sites are very high risk from tsunami/earthquakes and its climate makes inland nukes very problematic because of the lack of consistent water supply. Of the major options available, nuclear is quite simply the worst for California, whether you look at reliability or cost.

      It is also a State with a huge potential for cheap renewables – but you don’t want or need nuclear to complement this – the best and only complement for renewables is natural gas generation, as this is the only generating source that provides the required energy balancing for when there is a renewable shortfall at a reasonable cost. It really is that simple.

      1. Pelham

        In California the nuclear answer might be best provided by small modular reactors or molten-sale reactors rather than the massive fixed installations that are, indeed, so vulnerable to seismic events and require vast, uninterrupted flows of cooling water.

        The points made about California’s rickety grid are certainly valid. But, decades into the building of renewable sources, they still have a very, very long way to go to prove their worth at significant scale. And we don’t have a very, very long time.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Sure, the answer might be small modular reactors or molten salt reactors. All we need to do is develop economically viable ones. But despite 7 decades of use (mostly submarines) and countless billions of dollars/roubles/yuan/pounds/francs thrown at them, there still isn’t a single commercially viable small reactor available anywhere in the world.

          Wind and solar don’t have to prove anything, they are a mature technology worldwide at multiple scales. They are by far the cheapest source of new-build electric power in most countries (even the nuclear industry admits this) and can be scaled up far quicker than any alternative.

          1. oliverks

            I am not sure I would call either solar or wind mature yet. I would call them proven technologies, and I agree the cheapest way to produce spot power.

            But there is plenty of scope for revolutionary breakthroughs in both fields, and there is also room for figure out storage better. I can easily envision us laughing at the technology of today 30 years from now.

    2. a different chris

      Yes that was idiotic.

      The author “got his PhD @22 in 1973” or something like that, don’t have the stomach to go back and look. Anyway apparently nobody has thus ever told him that he’s an idiot and he (still) needs to learn to not start from prior convictions and work backwards.

      Electricity costs in California seemed to have tracked inflation to this point. That’s probably as it should be. I didn’t see any evidence provided that PG&E’s pathetic investments in green energy would

      a) not only been equaled but would have been dwarfed if they had tried, and I say tried (cough, VC Summer, cough) to build nuclear plants instead.

      b) and wouldn’t be benefitting heavily from now on given the rapidly descending cost curve of renewable electricity.

      We read again and again (going back to slagging on the author) about how the invisible hand etc. leads market resources to be allocated efficiently. We find out again and again that, and quite understandably in fact I can actually be a bit sympathetic – that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it” and those blind spots drive more market “investments” than anything.

      Guy was a nuclear engineer. We don’t need him (he’s old enough to be retired, however so hold the hankies) but he can’t allow himself to understand that.

      1. JBird4049

        To be slightly fair to him, most people just don’t understand just how laced with fault lines California is. Big ones, little ones, unknown ones. Seriously, they still find new faults occasionally. Usually after they have gone off. So yes, a nuclear reactor, especially anywhere near the coast is a seriously bad idea.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      This series of commentaries by J. Tennenbaum is indeed poorly written and badly argued. He clearly has a nuclear agenda. I can only wonder who or what is backing him and why he appears in the Asia Times. Part six of the Tennenbaum commentaries mongers fear. But part five was the first part of the series I read. I found arguments nestled within the hyperbole and heavy nuclear and lesser fossil fuel hype that echo concerns about solar and wind power raised by the scenes from behind the wizard’s curtain in the documentary Planet of the Humans, and some of the arguments in the PNAS rebuttal “Evaluation of a proposal for reliable low-cost grid power with 100% wind, water, and solar” to Stanford Prof. Mark Jacobson’s “Low-cost solution to the grid reliability problem with 100% penetration of intermittent wind, water, and solar for all purposes”. I feel as if I am being covered in elephant dung by the energy elephants waring over government largess. And all the dung reeks of Big Money.

      California’s debacles including its miserable electric grid result from forty and more years of Neoliberal Market ‘solutions’. I have little confidence Biden’s Green Initiative will remedy this disease which widely afflicts our grid and other infrastructure. Some very rich will become very richer, some may eat stranded investments, and the Populace may enjoy a trickle down from employment assembling and installing the massive amounts of equipment that will have to be ordered — most probably from across the oceans.

  6. jsn

    “does Ithaca College really need a President and a Provost?”

    Who else is the President gonna preside over?

    1. gc54

      The President picks alumni pockets, the Provost keeps the faculty subjugated and un-unionized. Same throughout US academe.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I think we need to “right-size” university administrations, and combining functions like this is a good start. Frankly, I don’t see why we can’t use contractors. (Business model! The Administration™!)

  7. fresno dan

    The United States of Oligarchy Marianne Williamson, Newsweek. No wonder the DNC got Williamson off the debate stage with such indecent haste.
    When it comes to the American political system, the problem is not an instance of dysfunction here or an element of corruption there. It’s not just one thing, it’s the whole thing. It’s that our government has become a system of legalized bribery, as the undue influence of money, mainly corporate money, has corrupted our democracy.

    This has created what is for all intents and purposes an economically rigged system. Due to the undue influence of money on our political system, our politicians now do more to serve corporate interests than humanitarian ones, to advocate for short-term profit maximization for huge corporate entities before the health, well-being and security of the American people and the planet on which we live.
    COVID alone did not lead us to where we are, and Trump alone did not lead us to where we are. The massive transfer of wealth into the hands of 1 percent of Americans has been going on for 40 years, a march of malfeasance that began with the Republicans but which no Democratic president stopped.
    Well, at least we have a free press, e.g., Washington Post, that runs constant exposes of Amazon…
    Yup, nothing like that objective, fearless press, ready to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

    1. Pelham

      I just finished reading a review of a book on the history of the tobacco industry in which the author relates that it wasn’t really reined in until the advent of consumerism of the Ralph Nader variety. The conclusion in this instance and a number of others is that Americans have simply given up on two branches of their federal government — executive and legislative — as corrupt beyond even a faint hope of recovery and now rely solely on the judicial branch for any kind of protection or justice.

      I hadn’t quite framed the problem in these stark terms but they strike me as being about right. Hence, I suppose, all those TV commercials by lawyers seeking to represent mesothelioma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma and opioid-addiction victims. (And in future I’ll bet we see lawyer ads fishing for victims of the many pharmaceuticals now being pushed on TV alongside the lawyers.)

      1. JBird4049

        The judicial branch at the federal level might not be corrupted compared to the other two branches, but at the state and municipal level, it certainly is. It does depends on which state you are talking about with Louisiana being just one festering hell-pit. What is more of a problem is its capture by the security-carceral-legislative complex including the police. That is one of the reasons why the Bill of Rights and of just human decency can be ignored by all levels and branches. The courts have made legal decisions that consumed both until there is very little left by that having the government consistently favored.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “CRAIG BROWN: ‘Wh-what!? He cut off your mom’s head?’ Great Oprah Interviews From History – Queen Elizabeth I”

    Gunna get controversial here so here goes. There has been a lot of criticism of Meghan Markle lately and I admit to doing the same as well. But today I had an epiphany about her and so what I say is this – “Meghan Markle 2024!” No, no, no. Seriously, hear me out. She is ruthless, vindictive, will use her friends, family, people & organizations to further her aims and will drop them when no longer of use in her dedicated focus on accumulating wealth and power for herself. If that is not a typical description of a 21st century American politician, then I do not know what is. But there are other factors in her favour.

    She is already a born American and is old enough to run for President. She came from California so will run as a Democrat in order to use the Democrat machine to help her run. And you have to admit that she is far more popular that that other Californian politician, Kamala whatshername. Now the race card. She was American black by her mother. Not Kenyan black, not Jamaican black, not Indian black but American black. So her family actually has history in this country going back generations. That has to count for something. And she is white enough to put at ease any people that were not happy with Obama as President. Let’s not pretend that these are not factors.

    And she brings in the Royalty factor into the White House with Harry as First Husband. The media will go berserk about having an English Prince in the White House and would lap it all up. And I am sure that wealthy women would flock to the White house to be a part of it all. There is history here after all. A century ago, wealthy American women were notorious for their efforts in trying to get themselves introduced to Court in England in spite of being born and raised in a Republic . Go figure. I am sure that we will see the same with English Royalty in the White House. Tell me it would never happen.

    Also, she is young, glamorous and is an expert in manipulating the media and the dullards that make up modern journalists who will never see themselves being suckered and used continuously. She is photogenic too and could bring back that “Camelot” effect not seen since the early sixties. And while people are lulled to sleep by her as President, she will sell whole parts of the country down the river whether it is unions, social security or whatever. Yes, she does show a lot of promise here.

    1. Pat

      My country would probably fall for it. I mean I had someone thrilled to have gotten their vaccine at a pharmacy yesterday tell me what a good job Biden was doing and in only 50 or so days!

      Democrats do deserve their own thin skinned greedy narcissist with a handle on social media in the office. And the greed would probably make furnituregate look like small potatoes. But I just can’t go there.

    2. marym

      In that scenario she’d be the third entertainment industry celebrity expert in manipulating the media who used the race card to be elected US president.

    3. petal

      Rev Kev, actually, there’s talk that’s been going around for a couple years now that that is her plan-to go into politics.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        There’s a “recall the governor” effort right around the corner.

        Governor Markle and her child “formerly known as Prince”. Is Harry even necessary at that point? She can send him back to London to figure out how to ship something to mainland Europe. That should keep him busy.

    4. a different chris

      Oh god I tell myself to just ignore this…. but here goes.

      Yes to a lot of that, but this isn’t one sided. I’m fully going with “a pox on both their houses”. Or should that be “a pox on her house and the Royal’s House” since the star-familybloggers always want to capitalize anything to do with those schlubs. Anyway as you said:

      >and is an expert in manipulating the media

      But that kind of expertise starts with – as Trump showed – decorating the Big Lie Christmas Tree with decorations made of facts. So sure “Don’t Cry For Me California” but again I feel those that are actually invested in this crap need to sort out which side is the ickier. Lots, I bet most of what Megan and Harry said is gonna be true. As are the return lobbies from the other side.

      Not an easy or enviable task from the perspective of the rest of us. But if royalty really gets you hot and bothered go right ahead, and actually yes if she has political asperations you will be doing the more squeamish of us a favor.

      Note: I will state again my belief that in 3 more cycles being Governor of California will be more desirable than POTUS. So I will actually give you full credit if that turns out to be her aim.

    5. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      March 12, 2021 at 8:25 am

      C’mon man – why go for a princess by marriage when you can have full royality? No, no, NO – not that ginger. I’m talking the queen – OPRAH! The only question – who would be her vice president? Unfortunately, the obvious – Tom Cruise – had that couch incident. Therefore, Chris Hemsworth would be the logical choice.

      1. Michaelmas

        Chris Hemsworth does have the small impediment of being Australian.

        Rev Kev might like that, of course.

      2. Alex Cox

        After Ross Perot dropped out of the race against George HW Bush, Peoples Party chief Jesse Ventura wanted Trump to run as PP presidential candidate, with Oprah as Trump’s VP.

        Never got traction, but maybe next time…

    6. Zack Blabbath

      “Make America Great Britain Again”. By July 4th 2026, perhaps?
      Wee Britain is in California, last I checked (“Arrested Development” season 3 joke)

    7. Patrick

      Lots of homogenizing symmetry. Brexit. Faux-Woke IdPol. Bonus: the American Dream gets a “royal facelift”.

  9. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    With regard to shanty towns in Paris, there’s one at the back of Gare du Nord, another near Bercy and a small one near Auteuil racecourse.

    1. Harold

      I remember seeing a discussion somewhere of that or a similar “shanty town” in the northern suburbs of Paris once. Apparently it is a Roma encampment, people said.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      That looks like La Petite Ceinture, a largely abandoned ring rail system where there have been shantytowns for many years. They are built, then cleared out, and so on, ad infinitum. The right-of-way- is mostly below street level in trenches and you can walk around Paris and never know it’s there. Perfect place for keeping homelessness out of public view.

      More shocking to me was seeing a homeless camp set up in the Place des Vosges last time I was there. South Asians had set up a camp the South arcade in the evenings and cleared out during the days. This is a very toney part of central Paris and a popular shopping district. I briefly spoke with a Bengladeshi man who seemed to be directing the site as they set up for the evening. His English was elegant perfect RP, which I found somehow disquieting.

        1. Olivier

          Well, not to brush aside the deplorable state of France today but when I was in NYC in the 90s Grand Central was also a homeless camp at night. If you rode the subway early enough and got out at Grand Central you could watch the homeless clearing off or being herded out by the police.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > With regard to shanty towns in Paris

      Something about the light and the color convinced me it was Paris, I’m not sure what. But it struck me instantly.

      1. Wukchumni

        It reminded me of photos of 30’s Hoovervilles, where there was never any tents, it was all structures built out of wood.

        Conversely, you almost never see anything other than tents & tarps in homeless encampments in the USA now.

        1. LawnDart

          Tents and tarps are affordable housing: have you checked out the cost of lumber these days?

          You also stand a better chance of salvaging your abode when given the bum’s rush, told to move along or else, which may be quite often.

          A squat made of lumber, such as old pallets, or discarded siding might imply permanence, and thus may suppose more of a threat to your neighbors.

  10. timbers

    Biden’s next move should be to solve the filibuster debacle. Here’s how. MSNBC

    Why would Biden want to solve the filibuster debacle? He must be enjoining the 8 year old re-runs so much and NPR gets to drone on about Munchin and his unique constituents and how careful dems are to help him and all the strategery of getting 50 votes (well at least it’s down from 60 under Obama). Good filler analysis stuff to fill the air time.

    BTW, NPR projected a quite triumphalism when Biden $1.9 billion thing passed. Didn’t quite get to saying “It’s the Dawn of a New Age” but the their pride shown in the tone of their voices and reports was definitely there. And as a two-fer, every minute spent by NPR on vote strategery is a minute less on passing universal single payer healthcare. Speaking of which NPR report on Biden’s plan to increase tax dollars flowing to insurance corporations never mentioned medicare for all or CBO saying we save $650/yr with single payer.

    Everything is Good and Right in America, now.

    1. Lee

      Well, my local NPR station (SF Bay Area) has gone pretty much wall to wall Idpol, bumping old favorites or at least tolerable programs in favor of new ones produced it seems by NYC based Wokesters. Plus, there is a new on air prevalence fry tones. What is the appeal of that grating vocal affectation? I can’t even use the station any more, as was my habit, turned down to a murmur of soft, honeyed radio voices to help me fall asleep at night.

        1. Lee

          Hah! Faith Salie is a regular on one of the few NPR programs I still enjoy—Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

    2. Jason Boxman

      It’s interesting that, with Medicare for all off the table, that both NYT and now MSNBC seem interested in filibuster reform, eh? Particularly now that nothing worthwhile for the working class can pass a 50+1 Senate.

  11. Robert Gray

    A lot of people are speculating about when and how Sleepy Joe will quietly go into the soft night of ex-Presidenthood. However, I haven’t seen much — anything, really — about who will then replace Harris as #2. Here is my latest nightmare. In this age of power politics running amok … well, it seems to me that if they can jam Jeffrey Epstein completely down the memory hole, they can do just about anything. So, the question is: why not?

    This scenario assumes tight choreography by the DNC (plus Schumer, Pelosi, et al.), with all participants happily dancing along for the benefit they ultimately receive.

    (1) Joe Biden resigns; for his health, for the good of the country, whatever. Simpler than Article 25, but that would also be an option.

    (2) Harris is sworn in.

    (3) ‘When the office of VP becomes vacant, the President nominates a candidate, who must be confirmed by a majority of both houses’. Harris nominates … Hillary Clinton. Hillary is confirmed.

    (4) Harris then resigns. (’After much prayer and deep soul-searching, I can only conclude that at this time Mrs. Clinton is a better Leader for our Beloved Country than humble moi.’)

    (5) Hillary is sworn in.

    (6) ‘When the office of VP becomes vacant, etc.’ Hillary nominates … Kamala Harris. Harris is confirmed.

    It would be a merry dance indeed, but at the end the DNC would be orgasmic, all their dreams come true. Hillary would get ‘her turn’. Harris, handmaiden of the 1%, would be positioned, as she is now, to be next; ‘next’ would just take a wee bit longer. The Republican (almost-)half of the country would be apoplectic, of course — but could they do anything about it? The only thing I can think of that they might be able to do would be a filibuster in the Senate. Confirmation of a replacement VP only requires a simple majority but McConnell should be able to gum up the works with procedural hijinks. And if it came to that, I would have to say ‘thank luck!’

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Have you ever seen two rats fight over a slice of pizza? Picture Kamala and Hillary in a room…the presidency is at stake ……. only one comes out alive.

      The pay-per-view would be worth a couple trillion bucks.

    2. Jen

      A thought has occurred to me lately: all this speculation about when Joe will step down and who will be Harris’ vp, including my own, assumes that Jill Biden has no agency in these matters. Perhaps she does not, but I look at Joe’s frailty and cognitive, ahem, challenges, and wonder what kind of person would say “sure, honey, run for President.”

    3. Temporarily Sane

      I think the Kamala replacing Joe “prophecy” started as a right-wing propaganda meme that was widely amplified and then took on a life of its own. It’s been repeated ad nauseam on Twitter and in forum comments as if it’s a for sure thing but I’ve never seen any evidence to back it up.

      1. tegnost

        I think that anyone aware of general life expectancy or who has family members with cognition issues can come up with the notion that joe might not make it. I also think there will be a lot of effort put into her being shown to be “learning the ropes” as has already been done. It’s interesting that all our legislators are getting pretty long in the tooth. It’s a pretty entrenched system and they’ve been in control for most if not all of the current dynamics creation. Marianne Williamsons newsweek piece points this out very well. Succession is a big issue for both parties, but more so for the dems. They’re old. Who would you put on the bench to take over for pelosi/schumer/feinstein/bernie/biden and a host of others hiding their age behind plastic surgery, as is the american way? If the best you’ve got is mayo pete and the veep there’s going to be a problem.
        More than anything in the current march 2021 framework I notice the democrats claiming victory at the beginning of the game. It’s going to be a long summer and as to that 1400 a lot of that has been earmarked for bills already for the people that need it so a lot is gone the day it gets there, and I for one haven’t heard of and don’t expect another cash payout from the current rulers, blue ties notwithstanding.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        To anyone who doesn’t know that “president” biden was replaced by kamala harris the day after the “election”….well….bless your little hearts.

        Standing a half-dead corpse up in a clean, drool-free shirt and tie in front of a teleprompter for a few minutes every couple of months does not a “president” make.

        The guy has not been “permitted” to utter one extemporaneous word since he was “inaugurated” two months ago. The historic first “woman of color” vp is basically mia, except during the biden performances, during which she stands, “respectfully,” behind him (conspicuously masked, and presumably within arm’s length of a defibrillator). She can’t risk too much public face time lest some rogue reporter ask her who’s really running the show.

        There will be no formal announcement of the event that’s already happened. All the speculation just reinforces the fiction that biden actually is capable of doing the job, a circumstance that may change in the future. If this were a movie, everyone would know exactly what’s going on, but, unfortunately for america, it’s not.

        1. Different Jen

          I like the cut of your (virtual) jib! It’s amazing to me how we’re supposed to think everything’s totally normal, with the examples you mentioned, plus the ongoing troops stationed in D.C. It’s just until May we’re told, and then they’ll revisit the issue and (probably) extend it in perpetuity, a la the Patriot Act.
          For the record, I’m not and never was a Trump supporter, but it seems to me too many people are okay with this because things seem…calmer. I guess one could say they are, (simply because the corporate media aren’t blaring every little minutiae of this presidency and instead working overtime to prop it up), but things are still off and totally surreal, just like this past year.

            1. Different Jen

              Ha! Yes, I think there’s a big collective that wishes this now that the other guy is gone; ‘democracy was restored from the bugbear that brought it to the precipice, so let’s go back to sleep.’ On the other hand, I’m a jaded cynic with an overactive need to keep up and let others know it. Alas, a lot of my friends are hopelessly devoted to NPR, but I do throw dribs and drabs out there for them to consider.

              This site is bookmarked in my go-to news folder, and I usually peruse it every day, along with a select few others. There’s such a trove of info and great comments here.

              Love the song, too–one of my favorites of theirs and I always crank it when I hear it!

        2. Yves Smith

          There is zero evidence for your claim. You are already in moderation for past unsubstantiated claims. Don’t press your luck.

          Biden is a bit too obviously being kept in cotton wadding, but Harris has been even more invisible. An appearance in a yarn store as pretty much her only sighting, targeting the very safest possible audience? Harris is being even more managed than Biden is. Remember the guy who made her, Willy Brown, told her not to run!

          She may be formally next in line, but she’s no Dick Cheney. Even Dan Quayle was higher profile. I suspect insiders finally got a good look at her in Cabinet meeting and realized they were better served by propping Biden up as long as possible than letting her out and about. They must deem her to be a huge negative for the midterms.

      3. Dr. John Carpenter

        I’m not sure how anyone could look at Joe’s declining mental abilities and deny the possibility that he won’t complete one term. When you combine that with the big push from party establishment to make Kamala VP, and that they rigged the primaries for Joe after Kamala fizzled out, I don’t think the idea is too far fetched.

        1. Michaelmas

          I expect Kamala the Kop to be installed as POTUS at some point, and I live in the Bay Area, California, so I know how little support she had among voters here. There’s not an American politician who ever had less people vote for her that I know of, and nevertheless TPTB have jammed her in there.

          Thus, the day Harris is officially installed as POTUS will be the day you know that what Frank Zappa predicted has come to pass —

          “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

    4. Skip Intro

      Mayo Pete got his payoff in the form of a cabinet position. It seemed like a move to get the dem. plans from the start of the primary back on track, and slide him over to VP.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Journalists Start Demanding Substack Censor its Writers: to Bar Critiques of Journalists”

    ‘Matt Stoller
    No Substack isn’t a platform and no it’s nothing like Google/FB/Spotify, etc. It could become like them, but right now it is simply a neutral service provider to content creators. It’s like a magazine distributor.’

    That is strange that having to have Matt Stoller explain to those journalists what Substack is. I would have thought that it was part of their job for those journalists to find out stuff like that first.

    1. Pelham

      I like Matt and hope his argument is correct. But I suspect it isn’t. I don’t really see much functional distinction between, say, Facebook and Substack. The key question — I think — centers on the ability of an online content enabler to exercise control over that content. Substack certainly could choose to do so.

      That said, I have no good suggestions. But I will express my deep and abiding shame and revulsion over fellow journalists who continue to insist on censorship.

      1. Phillip Cross

        An easy way to test Matt’s hypothesis would be to see if there are any high profile substack accounts that are publishing material that “the middle east’s only democracy” would deem grossly offensive, and are still able to monetize it.

      2. Yves Smith

        There is all the difference in the world. I’m stunned you can’t see it.

        Facebook runs ads and manipulates readers to stay at FB as much as possible. It uses algos to present material that they have determined by extensive research to be emotionally manipulative to keep them around.

        At Subtack, the money is ONLY subscriptions, and only for particular authors readers choose to patronize. Zero cross-selling. I subscribe to Greenwald and Taibbi and have heard bupkis from Substack about anyone else there.

    2. chuck roast

      Greenwald and his sources are singularly responsible for getting Lula out of the can. Now if he can perform this same Herculean feat for Assange, then Substack is surely toast.

    1. Kouros

      Wasn’t always the argument of the rich and powerful that in net value, they shed more money for taxes than the poor folks.

      I like how some Scandinavians give fines proportionate to the wealth. The richer, the bigger the fine (i.e. traffic). Makes sense.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Tunnel from Northern Ireland to Scotland considered despite massive doubts”

    Didn’t PlutoniumKun say in a comment a long time ago that that sea there is lousy with dumped surplus munitions from WW2? Not a confidence builder that.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Well, it has been pointed out in a few articles. There is an undersea valley between NI and Scotland called the Beaufort Dyke which was the dumping ground for millions of tonnes of waste munitions (including chemical warheads) in the post war years. Nobody wants to go anywhere near it. It makes most bridge proposals and any type of shallow tunnel (such as an immersed tunnel design) impossible. You’d have to go very deep or around it, which would add billions to the cost.

      The tunnel proposal is, even by Johnsons standards, stupidity upon stupidity. Apart from anything else, all it would do is connect a small city (Belfast has about one third of a million people population), with a very beautiful, but almost entirely empty chunk of Scottish mountains (the road is scenic but narrow and twisty, and there is only a very old style slow railway line). The cost of a proper connection (motorway/high speed rail/dedicated goods rail) with any significant population area in Britain would be astronomical. Most business would still prefer the ferry links from Liverpool as they’d be almost as fast and much cheaper. You could provide a subsidised high speed ferry link between Liverpool and Belfast for a minuscule fraction of the cost of the tunnel, and it would probably be more useful for the vast majority of traders.

      An interesting question nobody has asked though is what would happen if they are 80% through building it, and Scotland gets independence? Who pays for it? Who pays to complete it?

      1. John A

        I also understand that Britain and Ireland have different gauge railways so a rail link would add to the complications.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, thats true, for various reasons lost in history Ireland adopted a narrower gauge. That said, Dublin alone has managed to develop three different incompatible gauges for its systems.

          But to a large degree it can be overcome – one problem Eurostar faced was differences in electric power standards between England, France and Belgium, although obviously different track gauges present a much bigger issue.

          But in the unlikely event that the tunnel was built, you’d almost certainly have to have a new build track right across from central Scotland to Belfast as the existing lines (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) would be entirely unsuitable for such a use, so presumably you could just extend the most suitable UK standards, whether for goods or HSR or regular commuting trains.

          1. JBird4049

            Hold on. One city has three different railway gauges? That is just crazy. How did that happen?

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              My guess is express routes in the early days of railroad along with what was being shipped relative to natural improvements and availability of routes.

            2. PlutoniumKun

              It actually had more in the early days. Dublin even had its own pneumatic air powered railway, 150 years before anyone had heard of Elon Musk. As the second city of the Empire at the time, it had lots of railway projects before anyone had worked out the standards. Early adopters had all sorts of problems like this, mostly because the railway companies didn’t want to be forced to co-operate. This is one reason why, for example, the London trains going north from Kings Cross station can’t link with those from St. Pancras Station – the former go over the Regents Canal, the latter go under, meaning they are at incompatible levels, so almost impossible to integrate properly (this was deliberate). In Spain, regional nationalism meant that nearly every different region opted for a different gauge, thats one reason why the Spanish went for a brand new HSR system in the 1980’s to focus on Madrid, it would have cost too much to integrate all the local gauges.

              The heavy rail systems have the same width railway after some changes later in the 19th Century, but ‘gauge’ also applies to things like tunnel height and transition curves and they never fully connected the main east-west and north-south system. Then to complicate things further in the 1990’s the government decided on a light rail system for the city as they couldn’t afford a metro, which is fair enough. Light rail always has a narrower gauge, but thanks to idiotic political compromises, the two main light rail lines have different standards for transition curves, meaning they can’t interchange rail cars (thanks to our friend, neoliberalism, the government at the time refused to let the national railway or national bus companies run the new system).

              So strictly speaking there are more than three in Dublin – realistically there are about four different lines where you can’t interchange rolling stock easily. They are currently working on yet another metro line, which would probably be some sort of intermediate gauge.

          2. RMO

            “Yes, thats true, for various reasons lost in history Ireland adopted a narrower gauge.”

            I don’t have detailed knowledge of railways but what I can find online (I was surprised at the statement that Ireland doesn’t use standard gauge so I looked things up) and everything I find says Ireland uses 1,600mm gauge which is wider that the standard 1,435mm used in Britain (and North America and most of western Europe).

            I found mention that the Dublin tram system which opened in the early 2000’s uses a gauge different from the 1,600 which makes two – what’s the third?

              1. PlutoniumKun

                Sadly they don’t run anymore! I wish they did though. My mother was born in the shadow of the Guinness brewery and told me stories of how the kids loved to watch the barrels moved around on those little rails. The filled barrels would go to a nearby canal branch where they’d be floated around the country.

                There was yet another, lesser known, mini narrow gauge railway in Dublin that looped around the city, solely for collecting garbage (weirdly, its almost forgotten in history despite the rails still being visible in many areas). It simply looped long some main roads and you tipped your waste in it as it passed, and it was incinerated and dumped in the sea in what is now called Fairview Park (now, it doesn’t have a particularly fair view).

      2. Zamfir

        There was once an internet joke: My ‘Not involved in human trafficking’ T-shirt has people asking a lot of questions already answered by my shirt.

        The tunnel is a rhetorical device to sidestep that problem. Johnson cannot go around saying “I want Northern Ireland to stay in the UK” all the time, because that statement raises the possibility of the opposite. Instead, he talks about the tunnel, as symbol of that sentiment without having to say it out loud. He’s good at that kind of games

        It would be stupid, if he had any intention of building the tunnel.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          You are quite right of course that Johnson has the instinctive ability to distract from core issues. The tunnel is a very good way of taking peoples attention away from the mess he has made of Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland.

          But from what I understand of his character, he genuinely believes in these various outlandish schemes he comes up with – he is very resistant to anyone telling him he is wrong, even if its an engineering issue and the people telling him he is wrong are engineers. Something to do with that Eton/Oxford education.

      3. R

        I disagree.

        Detouring the Beaufort Dyke is not impractical. Once you are tunnelling and you have the tunnel boring machines down there, there is a marginal cost per mile. In any event, MMT tells us we can afford it.

        Will it repay the investment in a tunnel and supporting roads and rail. Yes, it would be transformational. Dumfries and Galloway is a backwater because it leads nowhere. Build a car transporter depot like Eurotunnel and high-speed line like Eurostar running Cork-Dublin-Belfast-Carlisle-Newcastle, crossing a London-Scotland one at Carlisle (dumb idea) or Newcastle and you would see a lot of growth in D&G.

        The Celtic economy of Scotland and Ireland is 12m people and better links between them should be encouraged. If you add the North if England, it is more like 40m, more than than half the British Isles people, within a 2h travel time by high speed train.

        Plus global warming makes Hibernia attractive in the long run….

        1. The Rev Kev

          Regarding the Beaufort Dyke – ‘According to documents from the Public Record Office, approximately two tonnes of concrete-encased metal drums filled with radioactive laboratory rubbish and luminous paint were dumped in the dyke during the 1950s.’ Add to that the fact that some of those munitions wash up on beaches in places like Scotland and I think that you can write this region off-

        2. Anonymous2

          Thus far Johnson has proposed a bridge across the Thames, an island for a new airport and a bridge across the Channel to France. None of these projects has gone ahead but large sums of money have been paid to consultants who may or may not be ‘friends ‘ or associates of Johnson. I don’t expect a tunnel to be built between Scotland and Ireland either. Some more money for consultants? Well that is another thing altogether.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > There is an undersea valley between NI and Scotland called the Beaufort Dyke which was the dumping ground for millions of tonnes of waste munitions

        Maybe — kidding, of course — put the Tories and Blairites in diving suits and herd them through the mine-field? Then put the tunnel through the cleared area. No man, no munitions, as Stalin did not quite say.

  14. doug

    Local news this am, I heard a phrase not heard in 4 years:
    ‘Commander in Chief’
    For some reason, that was dropped from their lexicon for a while…

    1. LifelongLib

      Wish they’d drop it altogether unless they’re talking about the President’s authority over the military. IIRC that’s the only way “Commander-in-Chief” is used in the Constitution.

  15. icancho

    yes, I reckon that rainbow has been shopped in. When anyone looks directly towards a rainbow— and this includes photographers— the sun is necessarily directly behind you. This means that shadows will stretch directly away from you. It’s clear from the shadows of the distant cows that this isn’t so.

    1. Synoia

      Once, and only once, I saw a circular rainbow. Sun behind me, in Boksburg, ZA, Summer 1976, and no I was not drinking nor high.

      How could that happen?

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: katie breckenridge crombe tweet

    So much pissing and moaning over the past year about how it’s just too HARD to be at home with your kids all day, making them keep up with their Zoom school; but government issue camo, a big ass gun, and a breast pump in a foreign country where you have no business even being make you STRONG.


    I guess I just don’t hate myself enough for being female to be impressed by this.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Kennan Cable No. 65: Constitutional Crisis in Ukraine: Looking for Solutions”

    Fortunately they are already solving their problems on this front – by preparing to go to war against the Novorussians yet again. Right now trainload after trainload of hundreds of tanks and other heavy equipment have been spotted going east- (14 secs)

    And in a complete and total coincidence, a NATO delegation has just arrived in the Ukraine headed by US General Roger Cloutier. Must be on a sight-seeing tour or something-

    The current theory is that if there is another invasion by the neonasties and it goes bad for the Novorussians as they have no strategic depth, Russia will intervene with long-range and stand-off weapons to even the odds which will lead to massive denouncements and sanctions by the west. Tough luck if you are a normal Ukrainian soldier being used as a pawn in this international chess board.

    1. John A

      Tough luck if you are a normal Ukrainian soldier being used as a pawn in this international chess board.

      Sadly, most are reluctant conscripts. The very definition of cannon fodder

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Tough luck if you are a normal Ukrainian soldier being used as a pawn in this international chess board.

      Nord Stream 2 connection, do you think? (I mean, obviously Europeans should be buying our more expensive natural gas, which arrives by ship, as opposed to cheaper natural gas, which arrives overland in a pipe.)

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think you got it. The Navalny fiasco was not enough to derail it but a war response would be. Germany would be sued for non-completion of their side of the Nord Stream 2 contract but NATO would not care. They did not care when the French had to pay Russia a massive amount of compensation for non-delivery of those two Mistral-class carriers a coupla years ago.

  18. Roger the cabin boy

    I watched the Biden speech. Usually I can’t watch these things, but I guess I’m not completely sickened by him yet. He was doing OK until the last couple of minutes. Then he said “no one could have imagined this.” God I am so sick of this gaslighting bullshit.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Didn’t even know he was speaking until flipping through channels and noticed the networks had blocked off a time slot for a Biden speech – all of 15 minutes on the schedule.

      Never seen such a short time blocked for a presidential address – you’d think they’d block off 30 minutes or an hour and if he doesn’t speak the whole time, trot in some talking head to fill the last few minutes. This would seem to indicate that his handlers know he can’t last more than a quarter hour.

        1. JBird4049

          Well, it was written and hand delivered to Congress for over a century from about 1800 to somewhere around 1914 IIRC. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that the President has to make a speech; merely has to tell Congress about it.

    2. Alex

      At this point, I think that Joe is so far gone that he believes his own press. He really thinks he’s the most progressive president since FDR. Jill gets to sleep at night by telling herself that this is a huge favor to him, letting him live in this fantasy world for a little while.
      As for the idea that “Kamala replacing Joe is a right wing meme…” Oh my Lord, I don’t know where to start with that. Try watching the hardware store photo op from a couple of days ago. The guy can barely stand upright.

  19. Tom Stone

    I read the Greenwald link with real pleasure,but doubt he’s on the “Winning” side when it comes to censorship here in the USA.
    I do expect a “Domestic Terrorism” bill and a normalization of the censorship we have already experienced.
    And I expect NC to be shut down sometime in the next 2-3 years, one way or the other.
    If Yves and the gang weren’t so good at playing the game it would have happened already, but there’s a limit to what can be done no matter how tough and sophisticated you are.

  20. Keith

    “We’ve pumped breast milk on the Syrian border.”

    Aside from narrative driving PR, why would someone pump breast milk there (not a local, of course)? Breast milk needs to used or frozen with 48 hours. Is the military really freezing breast milk and then flying it back out to the US, where presumably the baby is? Seems like a waste of military resources if that is the case. Additionally, regarding deployments, military is (or at least was- my time was late 90s USMC) very generous regarding pregnancy and deployments. Shipping a new mom off is bad PR and a pregnant women on ship cannot be problematic. So the thought was best to take them off rotation and let them get their baby to a reasonable age. (I had an old girlfriend who fell into this trap, as she got preggers before a deployment ((not by me))). I also recall guys getting last minute deployment orders for this.

    This leave just one real reason for that, lies and propaganda. I guess the only question is why no one is calling that out. One would think a lactating mother in a war zone would garner questions from an independent press. Perhaps I just answered my own question.

    1. Socal Rhino

      That tweet was one of many reacting to a Tucker Carlson bit on Fox News. Referring to news that one of the services was looking at a maternity version of a standard garment, Tucker said the US was feminizing our military while China was emphasizing masculinity, and this is putting the US at a disadvantage.

    2. JTMcPhee

      So nice to start seeing recognition, even applause, for the fact that women can be as vainglorious, vicious and destructive (and happy to help the Empire kill the Wogs) as their male counterparts. Yep, equality (and no special treatment for the lactating, apparently.) Having helped raise a baby via a lactating mother, I have to wonder what the hell these women are doing? Do they donate the milk to the children orphaned by their happy warrior “bravery?” At some point, women just stop lactating if they stop encouraging the breast tissues to produce. Maybe it’s this: Lactating healthy for mother as well as beneficial to feed human milk to child. Got to effing love that the Military encourages and “supports” this — given the jejune behaviors of the Troops, visible in lots of videos from the “fronts” of the Global War on Terror, I wonder if these ladies maybe do like Rose’a’Sharn in “Grapes of Wrath…” Some people get off on including lactation in sex play…

      It’s all just a sickness of Empire…

      1. Pelham

        Maybe a few roles in society should be reserved for men and a few others for women. For instance, front-line combat for men, and midwifery for women.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Nooooo! That would be “discrimination on the basis of sex!!!” Can’t have that, now can we? Maybe a better arrangement would be to end that effing behavior called “war,” so nobody could be forced or suckered into playing Imperial Trooper, or allowed and empowered to work out their fantasies and thrills by killing and maiming other humans…

          From experience of women I have known, in their experiences with male gynecologists and obstetricians, at the very least as with midwifery, those professions should be reserved for women. Not that this would guarantee there would not be episodes of human perversity from supposedly “trusted” male or female providers. And having lived next door to a lesbian couple for several years, I got to witness the violence that is not a rarity in such relationships, humans being what we are:

          No way, of course, to guarantee that us naked apes, with our hyperactive limbic systems and long tails of history, will not go on preying upon and killing our fellow creatures…

    3. Kouros

      Nobody told those two wannabe Valkyries that is extremely important for the babies to actually suckle the breast, not only get a bottle of breast milk… I guess is country and duty first…

  21. semiconscious

    re: A National Emergency: How Covid-19 Is Fueling Unrest in the US ACLED

    re: Plague Fatigue The Baffler

    ‘lockdown denialism’:

    Ezra Klein deploys what is now the very predictable trope here, where he worries about:

    what the coronavirus has done to children — whether this year will be a trauma that marks a generation, and remakes their lives. How has it changed socialization for toddlers — like my 2-year-old son? What has it meant for children who can’t go to school, who watched their parents lose work or who had family members die alone in a hospital? How do we help them? How do we even understand what they’ve gone through, particularly when they can’t tell us?

    Do I really need to point out that the risk of severe outcomes from the virus to children approaches zero? Surely everyone knows that by now. The childhood trauma is shocking to consider but it’s not the coronavirus’s doing. It was the shutdowns of schools, the mandatory isolation, the forced masking, the persistent messaging that they and their fellow kids are nothing more than disease vectors.

    In other words, it’s the lockdowns. Why not say so? Why the taboo?

    The habit of lockdown denialism even extends to the crime pages, such as when the NYT reports on the tragic death of the ten-year old Ayden Wolfe:

    Ayden, an only child, had been attending elementary school remotely during the pandemic, prosecutors said, adding that he had been inside the apartment for months without in-person interactions with teachers, counselors or nurses…. Mr. Giacalone said that the pandemic was likely to have made it easier to hide any abuse Ayden was suffering.

    Another Times writer, David Gruski, penned this tortured sentence: “For far too many American workers, the pandemic has delivered a one-two punch of hardship.”

    It’s a preposterous claim on the face of it: 80% of the deaths associated with Covid are people over 65; below the age of 70, the chance of death from infection is 0.05%. One might expect that this would be public knowledge by now. It is not the virus delivering the one-two punch. It is government policy. It feels silly having to point this out but one has to when the best and brightest of our reporters so carefully avoid the point…

    1. Phillip Cross

      This article by Jeffrey Tucker who is the author of, “The Best of Ludwig von Mises” (short book?), among other libertarian classics.

      I think we have heard the counter argument a million times by now.

    2. Lee

      As we are currently observing, and quite predictably so, high host availability will increase the probability of randomly selecting for more transmissible and virulent strains of the virus. The virus either already has, or might yet, mutate so as to have deadly and debilitating effects on other age groups than is currently the case. Acquiring herd immunity through exposure to a virus that then rapidly mutates does not seem to be a winning strategy. Whatever we do at this point, there will be casualties, and we are in the unenviable position of having to discern and then choose what is the least worst option—what will ensure the greatest good for the greatest number. A very difficult calculation to make.

  22. jefemt

    Pre-history and Today’s Hunter Gatherer. I’m struggling to connect an analogy for Wall Street & Davosman.

    1. Lee

      I would rate this article’s revelatory value to be on about the same level as the statement that “water is wet.”

  23. Abandon all hope

    Another fyi from Canada: “New outbreak of COVID-19 in B.C. care home where 82% of residents were already vaccinated”

    ” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said being vaccinated doesn’t mean transmission will be stopped and that precautions must remain in place for seniors and care homes.

    “You can have transmission even when people are fully vaccinated,” she said. “The illness seems to be milder and doesn’t transmit as much [and we] won’t see rapid explosive outbreaks.”

    She said some of the cases were among people who had received two doses of the vaccine.

    “This serves to remind us that, while we are confident vaccine is very effective and prevents severe illness and death, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all transmission will be stopped.”

    1. flora

      Much shorter: I think he’s worried that vaccs which target a specific gene sequence on the S spike will allow virus immunity escape and unwittingly end up working as a gain of function for the virus. I’ve no idea if he’s right or wrong.

    2. RMO

      And we’re at, let’s see… 569 new cases in the past 24 hours. Back up again, nearly double last week and over five times as high as the peak of the spring 2020 first wave. And we’ve vaccinated a whole 6.9% of the population here in BC. About half the rate they’ve achieved in Turkey.

      Good thing I found new, genuine N95 masks finally.

    3. Jason

      Thank you flora. I’d be interested in knowing how the different vaccine types currently fare in relation to NK cell response.

  24. junez

    re: …”let’s not confuse a temporary increase in purchasing power with new institutions that benefit the working class permanently”… With Relief Plan, Biden Takes on a New Role: Crusader for the Poor NYT.

    Though it is not a permanent change, I think the child allowance an important step. A new benefit, it is expected to halve child poverty. After a year of many getting this benefit, they and many supporters are likely to fight to make it permanent.

  25. fresno dan
    Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is backing Amazon workers’ attempt to unionize in the city of Bessemer, Ala., in an op-ed published Friday morning in USA Today.
    “For decades, companies like Amazon have been allies of the left in the culture war, but when their bottom line is threatened they turn to conservatives to save them. Republicans have rightly understood the dangers posed by the unchecked influence of labor unions. Adversarial relations between labor and management are wrong,” Rubio wrote. “But the days of conservatives being taken for granted by the business community are over.”

    Rubio added, “Here’s my standard: When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy—I support the workers. And that’s why I stand with those at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse today.
    So….just so nobody gets it wrong – Rubio still believes management should be able to crush labor regarding money, wages, benefits, but occasionally there might be a rich person the repubs might have to teach a lesson to…regarding repub cultural values, e.g., Dr. Seuss, or Mr. Potato head. OF COURSE, unions should not raise wages…cause that would just be wrong.
    Nice for Rubio to clearly state his principles.

    1. Carolinian

      Great stuff. We used to call them Pravda and Izvestia as a joke. It’s fast becoming real.

      1. Michaelmas

        Izvestia on the Hudson, Pravda on the Potomac.

        And it’s been real for a long time already.

    2. Kouros

      A new science needs to be developed in the US. Former socialists could give lectures on how to gage the truth out of propaganda rags. Reading between the lines, reading the silence, etc…

      At least in international relations it is easy, just listen to Mr. Serghei Lavrov’s speeches and answers to questions. He gets very technical and detailed at times…

  26. lyman alpha blob

    Related to Jerri-Lyn’s Sports Desk piece yesterday and yet another sign of the apocalypse –

    The headline that caught my eye said MSU was having a team name change, which made me think that ancient Greek city states had now been deemed racist by default, but when I checked the article it was even worse –

    Michigan State entered new territory on Thursday by announcing a massive expansion in its endorsement deal with Rocket Mortgage, including a name change for its men’s basketball team on campus.

    Yes, rather than call them the Michigan State Spartans, the team will now receive the following treatment in East Lansing’s Breslin Center:

    Under the new five-year deal, Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage will be the presenting sponsor of the famed men’s basketball team which will now be known throughout the Breslin Center as, “MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage.”

    The MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage, feel the hype.

    Coach Tom Izzo proves to be a good neoliberal soldier –

    “Rocket Mortgage has been a valued partner for years with Michigan State and we are excited that they are continuing to support our program into the future,” said Michigan State Men’s Basketball Coach Tom Izzo. “As presenting sponsor of our season, their presence will be an asset as we compete for championships.”

    After several decades of successful and extremely well compensated coaching and some NCAA championships to boot, I might just call it a day and retire rather than be dealt this indignity. Wonder how much of this deal went to giving Izzo a raise for playing along and not making waves?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      The MSU Spartans Presented by Rocket Mortgage

      Whole lotta words to fit on a basketball jersey–they don’t even have sleeves.

      I wonder what they’ll choose to leave off–player’s name or number, “MSU,” “Spartans”???–because it sure won’t be “rocket mortgage.”

      1. RMO

        Doesn’t “Rocket Mortgage” sound like a name for some variety of deceptive, exploitative financial “innovation”? Something that looks to be a normal method of financing a house at first glance but actually has a mechanism to make the rate and payments skyrocket later on?

  27. km

    People should not throw beer bottles at police drones.

    They should shoot them down with high powered rifles and so forth.

    1. urblintz

      My solution is a bit more crass but was very effective the one time a drone of unknown origin stationed itself over my back yard patio. It was close enough that I could have swatted it with a broom but instead (warning: graphic content),,,

      I dropped trou and and “bare-faced” mooned ’em with my 64 year old and unattractive alt-cheeks. The drone’s retreat was immediate and at super-sonic speed, lol!!!

      If it was a cop I’ve not yet been arrested. If it was a neighborhood kid I probably gave him nightmares for a week…

    2. tegnost

      They should shoot them down with high powered rifles and so forth
      …well, gravity…maybe a potato gun or something, or just throw a potato, maybe a vinegar baking soda rocket! But not bullets please or maybe this an an opening for what’s old is new again and bring back the blunderbuss…

      1. JTMcPhee

        Depending on trajectory, “high-powered rifle bullets” can go a long way and hurt or kill when they descend. Around here, at New Years and 4th of July and other such holidays, lots of neighborhoods have people living there who just have to act like ISIS and al Nusra types and fill the skies with pistol and rifle bullets. “Celebratory gunfire,” it’s called, and it is even a Wiki Thing: There have been a number of consequent injuries and deaths.

        Shotgun is better, #4 steel birdshot with an open choke would do the trick… Not, of course, that I am advocating for such behaviors… or what the Gilets Jaunes have done over there in France with speed trap cameras and general “CCTV” eyes…

      2. Josef K

        Yes, a shotgun with birdshot is most likely to cause disabling damage to the drone while minimising risk to others.

        What I’m waiting to see–and am a little surprised I haven’t seen yet–is technology to down drones electronically. That’s how the Iranians captured a USAF drone.

        1. ambrit

          I remember reading that some Iranian equivalent of “graduate students” hacked the controls of the American drone and landed it at an Iranian air base.
          I would not be surprised to discover that various State Actors around the world have dedicated teams working on anti-drone technologies and tactics. The Army alone would consider this a high priority. Drones are perfect for artillery spotting duty.
          I wonder when we get the Free City of Hong Kong swarms of nano-drones.

          1. Josef K

            As COVID has shown, the smaller the attacker, the harder to defend against; those are a potential nightmare.

            EMP-type defense seems to be the way to go–also to disable those Boston Dynamics robots before they start appearing on every corner.

            As a long-time astronomy buff, I was and am incensed by Eloi Musk’s typically puerile and hubristic satellite internet debacle, bringing that swarm down would be the ne plus ultra.

            Not so off-topic as it seems: I am quite sure that since stop-light cameras appeared, in order to ticket red-light runners (laudable goal to be sure), the yellow light duration has shortened, not for safety reasons, but to increase revenue. This first came apparent when I was making a left at a light I’d been turning left at, off and on, since the ’90s. I was away for a few years in the interim, but when doing so again about 2 years ago, I’m absolutely sure the left-turn light’s duration was shortened (I was only a few cars back from the front)–it went red as I was already committed, camera clicked, $146 fine. I’ve since noticed this elsehwere–this in the neoliberal stronghold of Seattle WA.

            Point is, social engineering will accompany these tech changes, along with conditioned acceptance–going back to the stop light cameras, isn’t this a denial of habeus corpus?–of both the tech and the New Rules around them. This latter seems to attract less attention than the hardware side, but is at least as significant IMO.

            1. lordkoos

              My wife was out in the early morning darkness on Feb 8th when she saw and counted 53 bright objects streaming by in the sky, she described them as appearing like a string of square beads. She realized she had seen a launch of 60 of Elon Musk’s satellites — they were also spotted by another person in a nearby town. As a fan of astronomy and person who enjoys the night sky she’s also quite offended by Musk putting more trash into space.

              1. Josef K

                I re-read my earlier comment and thought (not the first time) woah, calm down, whence all the spite?
                But it is just one of the outrages perpetuated by this particular generation of boy men. At what age does one learn to ask before changing the channel when others are watching? Oh right, Eloi doesn’t watch TV.
                Those little white lights are just stepping stones to Eloi et al having their likenesses or brand shining down on us from the night sky. More conditioning, so time to nip it in the bud. Other solutions exists, and in any case, how about a little regulation?
                An average citizen being able to see the night sky without that mucking it up should be reason enough, but if not, actual astronomers are having their work affected, compromised.
                What a reprehensible human being.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          I’ve been struck by falling birdshot in the field, it’s like being hit with small hail. Bullets, however, are another matter.

          1. Josef K

            Which is why I suggested birdshot, although it comes to mind that one could market (or cook up) special anti-drone loads using something lighter than steel. Maybe even frozen water sabot or wrapped slugs.
            Electronic safest, but something satisfying about taking out a hi-tech intruder with low-tech tools.

      1. Josef K

        There’s an elegant solution. Not so elegant, but I’d like to see the software enable the drone’s new owner to “return to sender” while recalibrating the horizon for landing a few feet lower.

      2. Dirk77

        Much better than EMP if the number is small? Or should it matter? Seems possible that a swarm is controlled by the same signal?

  28. kees_popinga

    The Ann Pettifor essay about Bill Gates is paywalled and unfortunately isn’t written in inverted pyramid form so the point she is making occurs after the teaser text cuts off. Any 25-words-or-less summary of what she says about Gates would be appreciated.

      1. kees_popinga

        Thanks — I tried clearing TLS’s cookies before and after posting here — still getting partial text. They hate me! I will read the Forbes piece.

        1. kees_popinga

          OK, so science will save us, it’s all affordable, and can be done in a 30 year time frame. Trust Bill, he’s an expert (at something).

          1. Josef K

            Well, old Bill is an expert–at stealing tech, gaining power, using it to bully others, buying competitors, convincing people his company’s crappy software isn’t, making sure TINA, IOW being a consumate monopolist, but also spearheading the no-bennies contractor model of employment, defining himself as a tech genius and philanthropist, and so on. All that must count for something.

            1. Josef K

              I did wonder for a few minutes if my characterization of BG was unfairly uncharitable. Fortunately reading the article allayed those concerns.
              Fertilizer, indeed; fitting since MS Windows is in a way the Roundup of OSes.

              1. Dirk77

                For those who remember the software wars of 20-40 years ago, that Gates can be taken seriously on any topic other than how to gain and hold monopolist power is mind boggling.

        2. Michaelmas

          The TLS has toughened its paywall above and beyond most others in the last two months. My usual penetration measures no longer work.

          There are harder-core measures but they involve investing time in research and installation of third-part software. I will just have to forgo the TLS till libraries reopen and I glance at a paper copy when I’m there.

    1. Judith

      I just finished Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book “Under a White Sky The Nature of the Future”. Sort of the anti-Bill-Gates perspective on climate change.

      She does her usual fascinating reporting. She does her homework and finds interesting people to interview.

      Here is an excerpt from her conclusions:

      This has been a book about people trying to solve problems created by people trying to solve problems. In the course of reporting it, I spoke to engineers and genetic engineers, biologists and microbiologists, atmospheric scientists and atmospheric entrepreneurs. Without exception, they were enthusiastic about their work. But, as a rule, this enthusiasm was tempered by doubt. The electric fish barriers, the concrete crevasse, the fake cavern, the synthetic clouds – these were presented to me less in a spirit of techno-optimism than what might be called techno-fatalism. They weren’t improvements on the originals; they were the best that anyone could come up with, given the circumstances. As one replicant in Blade Runner says to Harrison Ford, who may or may not be playing a replicant: “You think I’d be working in a place like this if I could afford a real snake?”

      It’s in this context that interventions like assisted evolution and gene drives and digging millions of trenches to bury billions of trees have to be assessed. Geoengineering may be “entirely crazy and quite disconcerting,” but if it could slow the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, or take some of the “pain and suffering” away,” or help prevent no-longer-fully-natural ecosystems from collapsing, doesn’t it have to be considered?

      Andy Parker is the project director for the Solar Radiation management governance Initiative, which works to expand the “global conservation” around geoengineering. His preferred drug analogy for the technology is chemotherapy. No one in his right mind would undergo chemotherapy were better options available. “We live in a world,” he has said “where deliberately dimming the sun might be less risky than not doing it.”

      But to imagine that “dimming the sun” could be less dangerous than not dimming it, you have to imagine not only that the technology will work according to plan but also that it will be deployed according to plan. As Keutsch, Keith, and Schrag all pointed out to m, scientists can only make recommendations; implementation is a political decision. You might hope that such a decision would be made equitably with respect to those alive today and to future generations, both human and nonhuman. But let’s just say the record here isn’t strong.”

      1. Dirk77

        It sounds as if the author describes interviews with real scientists and engineers, during which they actually might be sincere. A possible good read. Thanks!

  29. JTMcPhee

    Lots of stuff happening in the world. Impossible to keep track of it all. Distressing to even try, because one comes across little tiny bits of the overall situation like this: “Ethiopia: video of Tigray massacre lifts lid on ‘war without photos’”

    There’s probably a “humanitarian intervention” that the “civilized (sic) world” could undertake to stop or alt least render less frequent. What that would be, there’s not a good way to know. But give people weapons and guns and a shrinking set of resources to kill each other over, especially if there’s tribalism and bad history involved (and despite what was written here a few days ago, memories of past horrors and depredations persist through centuries,) this sort of stuff is a “growth industry” and part of the froth of violence that outfits like the CIA, Mossad and SIS/SAS, leading to articles like this:

  30. JTMcPhee

    In other news, The Barack Obama Presidential Library has been sighted in St. Petersburg, FL:

    President Barack Obama Main Library
    Sign Unveiling

    The St. Petersburg Main Library, located at 3745 9th Ave. N., has been renamed the President Barack Obama Main Library in honor of America’s first African American president.

    The dedication and installation of the new sign kicked off renovations at the library. The facility will undergo renovations that will include an upgraded rear patio and outdoor gathering space, reconfiguration of interior spaces with new programming areas, additional parking spaces and more.

    The Main Library will be temporarily closed for the renovations starting Thursday, April 1. Library patrons will be able to return items checked out from the Main Library at other St. Petersburg Library System locations and essential services will continue to be provided by the open libraries in accordance with existing health and safety measures.

    Compare and contrast with the South Side Ziggurat:

    A new sign, and cosmetics. Fitting.

  31. The Rev Kev

    “‘Deborah’, a female Mk IV tank that was knocked out during the Battle of Cambrai”

    Here is a bit more info on this old girl. Seems that she was buried deliberately as a ready made protective dugout-

    She is not the only one. There is a YouTube channel dedicated to battlefield archaeology and from time to time they find and rescue WW2 tanks-

  32. lobelia

    Re: How Big Tech Is Importing India’s Caste Legacy to Silicon Valley

    Hmmm, more like: How Big Tech Has Been Importing India’s Caste Legacy to Silicon Valley For Decades – Adding to Silicon Valley’s, Already Existent, Decades Long Caste System.

    Also, love how the piece did not note the huge Male versus Female population disparity, which Silicon Valley has also imported from India, despite it already being a problem in Silicon Valley for decades – along with the brutal: black; hispanic; and age discrimination that importation has significantly increased.

    gotta run

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