Links 6/15/2021

Earth’s core is growing ‘lopsided’ and scientists don’t know why Live Science

The coming regime shift towards capital-heavy companies FT

Zombies Are on the March in Post-Covid Markets John Authers, Bloomberg

How do you count inflation? Tracking Weimar’s hyperinflation Adam Tooze, Chartbook

The rush to ‘go electric’ comes with a hidden cost: destructive lithium mining Guardian (Re Silc).

False Flags, False Narratives, And The Darkside Of Bitcoin The American Conservative. The headline is deceptive; the author doesn’t mention a “dark side.”


Novavax Covid-19 Vaccine Is 90% Effective, Including Against Variants, New Study Shows WSJ (not paywalled). One member of the NC Brain Trust comments:

It is not really well established — my understanding is that the nanoparticles are novel — but it has several major advantages:

1. It could in principle be intranasal, which means sterilizing immunity and no need for vaccination drives — people can just administer it themselves. Right now it is intramuscular, but in principle it can be

2. It does not need special storage, which, together with 1), can help poorer countries tremendeously

3. It should be somewhat easier to manufacture (Novavax has not been given to anyone outside of trials because they have not been to ramp up manufacturing, but this is because the company had no manufacturing capacity whatsoever just 9 months ago, not because of the technology itself).

Also, the pancoronavirus vaccines will mostly be of the same type — protein nanoporacticles, but with multiple different spike proteins. So eventually mRNA may be replaced by Novavax-type vaccines, at least for COVID (mRNA has huge potential for many other things, it’s just that COVID accelerated the deployment process)

P.S. Their preprint unfortunately only shows bar plots on a log scale, so it is hard to discern the exact numbers — a two-fold difference is not easy to see on a log10 axis.

But it does seem to follow the pattern from the other preprints on the topic of boosters

1. Moderna came out with one more than a month ago, and while it “worked” in the sense that the B.1.351 booster elicited a neutralizing response, the titers were only 40% of those against WT even after the booster. Which is concerning.

2. Then Oxford came out with their preprint about boosters a few days ago. And guess what the results were there? Titers against B.1.351 with the B.1.351 booster were 40% of those against WT withe the original formulation. And titers against B.1.617.2 with the B.1.351 booster were at 20 to 25% those of the WT. We will have to wait to see what the B.1.617.2 booster will be like, but this is not looking good at all — notice how B.1.351 appeared 6 months ago and we are only now looking at the boosters for it, meanwhile, while B.1.351 thankfully has not become dominant anywhere outside of Africa, we now have another variant that is becoming dominant, and it is something very different in terms of the set of mutations, and we don’t have boosters for it. Whoever thinks we will not be always 6 months behind variants (at least until a pancoronavirus vaccine appears), is either a lunatic or has a nefarious agenda to advance.

3. Now Novavax came out with their preprint, and as I said, they did not give the exact numbers for the titers, but it does look like titers at 50% of the WT there too.

So it will work as a booster, but then the next booster will have to be given even sooner than the first…

A Top Virologist in China, at Center of a Pandemic Storm, Speaks Out NYT

Are Covid-Sniffing Dogs at Risk? Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse).

Expiratory aerosol particle escape from surgical masks due to imperfect sealing Nature. From the Abstract: “Here, we show experimentally that the aerosol particle concentrations in the leakage airflows around a surgical mask are reduced compared to no mask wearing, with the magnitude of reduction dependent on the direction of escape (out the top, the sides, or the bottom)…. The overall mask efficiency, accounting both for air that passes through the mask and for leakage flows, is reduced compared to the through-mask filtration efficiency, from 93 to 70% for talking, but from only 94–90% for coughing. These results demonstrate that leakage flows due to imperfect sealing do decrease mask efficiencies for reducing emission of expiratory particles, but even with such leakage surgical masks provide substantial control.”

EMG and SPI-B: Application of CO2 monitoring as an approach to managing ventilation to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 transmission GOV.UK

Contextualizing the risks of indirect COVID-19 transmission in multi-unit residential buildings National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health. Important if you live in a high-rise. (For this link and the previous: A lot of the thinking about ventilation done for weatherizing can be applied to Covid in both single- and multi-unit homes. For example, it’s not the air through the open door that matters; it’s the draft under the closed door. Make sure to seal up holes in the wall for pipes. Imagine the building is a chimney, and so forth. It’s not rocket science, but careful observation, a mental picture of the building, and measurement where needed.)


China Taishan plant: ‘Performance issue’ reported at nuclear facility BBC. Built by Électricité de France.

With Kazatomprom Deal, China Secures Nuclear Fuel Supply and Enhances Ties With Kazakhstan The Diplomat

Win or Lose, U.S. War Against China or Russia Won’t Be Short Bloomberg

Global Times, voice of reason:

Of course, we don’t know if the Weibo ultra-nationalists are organic, either.

More Chinese provinces issue bans on cryptomining Reuters

Why “Pig Iron Scott” should boycott iron ore to China Macrobusiness

China’s sea-level rise raises threat to economic hubs to extreme FT. Shanghai 2100:

Go long water control projects….


Myanmar’s Failed Coup: A Roundtable Discussion (podcast) New Books in Southeast Asian Studies. This is excellent; worth the 36 minutes. One data point: There are 21 “ethnic armed groups,” but only two (KIA and Karen State) are engaged in armed resistance.

Junta’s investment ministry fires more than 80 staff over CDM participation Myanmar Now. Civil Disobedience Movement.

Ex-head of Myanmar’s COVID-19 vaccination programme arrested Reuters

Myanmar’s U.N. envoy calls for ‘effective’ anti-junta measures Japan Times

Tools For Repression in Myanmar Expose Gap Between EU Tech Investment and Regulation The Intercept. Ka-ching.

Taiwan company accused of forcing migrant workers back to dorms amid outbreak Focus Taiwan. Outbreaks in migrant worker dorms have happened in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. It’s a little shocking that Taiwan’s government, which is said to be functional, has been caught be surprise here, given the dorms’ obvious problems with overcrowding and poor ventilation.

Japan to avoid recession, but Q2 growth forecasts cut sharply Reuters


U.K. Pushes for Finance Exemption From Global Taxation Deal Bloomberg. On behalf of the City of London. Of course.

Chile: Fresh curfews despite vaccination program success Deutsche Welle

Imperial Collapse Watch

G7, Biden v. Putin:

Scoop: Inside Biden’s Putin prep Axios. I wish “scoop” had not come to mean “emptying one’s Rolodex” but here we are.

Putin and Biden Curb Their Enthusiasm Foreign Policy

Biden says it ‘remains to be seen’ whether Ukraine will be admitted to NATO Politico and Ukrainian tweet scrambles Biden’s press conference Politico. Oddly, Zelensky seems to have thought he could muscle Biden. Commentary:

Sorry, Liberals. But You Really Shouldn’t Love NATO. Stephen Wertheim, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (also at the NYT).

Biden Administration

Republicans plot an infrastructure 2-step: Spend more, then kill Biden’s agenda Politico

Reality Winner, NSA contractor in leak case, out of prison AP

Top DOJ national security official resigns amid fallout over seizure of Dems’ records NBC

As plan for new U.S. health agency to speed treatments takes shape, doubts remain Science

Biden’s Climate Irresponsibility Current Affairs

Compared With Seven Western Peers, U.S. Adults Least Alarmed About Climate Change Morning Consult

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Maine House votes to eliminate police data sharing center AP. Fusion centers. Dirigo!

Our Famously Free Press

Jessica Ashooh: The Taming of Reddit and the National Security State Plant Tabbed to Do It Mint Press. The Atlantic Council strikes again, if a blobbish pseudopodium can be said to strike.

Failed State Watch

Boarding the Failboat:

“Science is always a step ahead of the failure of natural resources. After all, when real meat got scarce, we had soyaburgers ready. When oil for civilian purposes ran low, technology developed the pedicab.” –Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants.

Why Buffalo is a hub for illegal debt collectors who scam thousands across the country The Buffalo News

Class Warfare

The Lords Of Hell (And Their Slaves) Ian Welsh

Urban broadband deserts Cory Doctorow, OneZero

How Mormon history helps explain today’s public-land fights High Country News

A Mycological Foray: A New Look at John Cage and His Mushroom Obsession Glasstire

Antidote du Jour (via):

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. John Siman

    “The U.S. needs to be preparing for big, grinding conflicts that could drag on for months or years…,” advises an extra-creepy Bloomberg opinion piece entitled “Win or Lose, U.S. War Against China or Russia Won’t Be Short.”

    “The U.S. may be able to repulse an assault on Taiwan or the Baltics,” reads the subhead. “But what comes next?”

    What comes next, Bloomberg envisions, is a war of attrition, much like World War I, but with the threat of global nuclear annihilation added to the mix for an element of nail-biting excitement and high-stakes strategizing! We’re the good guys (or course) because the guys who run Russia and China are “authoritarians.” And these authoritarians, being authoritarians, could launch an invasion or Lithuania and/or Estonia and/or Taiwan on a moment’s notice because that’s the sort of bad thing authoritarians do. So get ready for war!

    But take heart too! “Stopping an opening assault on Taiwan or the Baltic states,” we read, “might prove to be the 21st century equivalent of France’s desperate stand on the Marne River in the opening weeks of World War I — a heroic, necessary defense that simply set the stage for a long, bloody conflict.”

    Well, sign me up, Bloomberg!

    1. Dan S

      I can’t envision how any significant conflict with Russia or China wouldn’t end in a nuclear exchange, or humiliating defeat. How are Americans going to react when a carrier strike group is sunk and 7-8,000 sailors go in the drink? Any retaliatory strike on their sovereign lands may result in tactical nukes or a sub launching a air burst nuke over LA and knocking out power to the western grid from the resulting EMP. You saw how Texas managed with a week-long power outage. Try 6 months to a year. This is madness. No offense, but Ukraine made their bed and they can lie in it.

      1. hunkerdown

        Doesn’t matter. Elite classes must be reproduced, and the lives of the mass, minus a few carefully chosen slaves protected from the general fate, will be feedstock for that project if required.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s comic book morality. It’s steeped in fantasies of enemies always coming to get us. A Russian move on the Baltics? Really? They need an enemy to justify the grift all these years, but this isn’t happening. It’s absurd. What about Europe? If the EU of 500 million is threatened by the Russian Federation, the EU is a failed experiment not worth worrying about. Even Taiwan. The costs are too high for nothing. Factories? Cut Taiwan off. Problem solved if there is a conflict.

      3. Robert Hahl

        One high altitude EMP over Kansas would disable most every electronic device not in a perfect Faraday cage. There will be no coming back from that, not without motorized transport, power grids, or unmelted nuclear plants. Another under appreciated fact is not all of the targets will be on land. Off shore explosions will create flooding up and down every coast.

      4. km

        Pretty much every attempt to game out a significant conflict between the US/NATO and Russia and/or China goes all-out thermonuclear and quickly.

      5. km

        To be fair, we made Ukraine’s bed. That doesn’t mean that doubling down will do us, Ukraine or Russia any good.

    2. John Siman

      Wow, I just now found out that “strategy experts” are saying that we should be gearing up for a long “hypothetical conflict” in Azerbaijan too! To protect our NATO ally Germany! Look at what’s in The Times: “German military would ‘lose war to Azerbaijan.’” Uh oh!

      “The German military,” we read, “is so cumbersome and poorly prepared for a drone-based offensive that it would lose a hypothetical conflict with a smaller but nimbler force such as Azerbaijan’s, according to one of its strategy experts.”

      And I’d bet those drone-crazed Azerbaijanis are just as *authoritarian* as the Russians and Chinese!

    3. David

      My response to such people is to ask them what such a conflict would actually be “about”, and why it would justify the threat of nuclear armageddon. The fact is that, in the end, wars are always “about” something, and fought for a reason, even if history later decides that the reason was misguided or even totally mistaken.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Even if its only about football (the Honduras vs El Salvador war). Although as an example of war being sometimes spectacularly illogical, the War of the Triple Alliance is hard to beat.

        What always concerns me is that while wars always have, at some level, a reason, sometimes the actual ‘trigger’ for the conflict is not rational at all. My particular fear is that some neocons have convinced themselves that its better to fight China when its not fully ready (i.e. now) rather than in 10 or 20 years time. On the flip side, some Chinese think Biden (like Obama) is weak and will fold under pressure. This is the sort of thinking that can make a war seem inevitable.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Rationale from the interests of a nation state and the temporary elite of the nation state are two different items. There is work on this, though you really have to blame he UK for WW1 (I do, but it’s not for everyone), to make it work all the time, but wars are started when elites sense their time in the sun it’s slipping and they see an easy victory. Soil depletion and abolitionist sentiment deterring fugitive slave patrols meant the Southern planter class needed to get control of the borders and move West before the plantations went belly up. The economics of Germany in 1938 weren’t looking too good. Don Rumsfeld griped about Afghanistan not having the kinds of things that look great to blow up on the 630 news. Obama blowing up Libya when he found his domestic presidency was over.

          To a large extent, the failures of the other candidates to generate interest in the primary is a testament that the current political regime in the US is running on life support. The dreams of Biden’s contemporaries need to be carried out now. Is AOC going to carry the torch for the neoconservatives? They can’t risk it.

          1. Mikel

            “The dreams of Biden’s contemporaries need to be carried out now.”

            I don’t know if stalling psycopaths and their minions for about 10 years could get rid of these tensions. The economic and social system in place still rewards people that exhibit those traits.

      2. Ignacio

        Sometimes. or many times, the reason is as simple as ‘because I can’, because I have developed the military strength to do so.
        This Hal Brand looks very much like the classical imperialist… ups sorry! defender of the American-led liberal order. The ideology of the author can be reduced to a single phrase:

        bringing into balance, with a comfortable surplus of power in reserve, the nation’s commitments and the nation’s power

        Next step is to find a ‘reason’ not to let that ‘surplus power’ be wasted.

        1. John Siman

          Here’s the Bloomberg bio of Hal Brands. He’s a big deal in the Neocon Universe:

          “Hal Brands is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist, the Henry Kissinger Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Most recently, he is the co-author of The Lessons of Tragedy: Statecraft and World Order.”

          So Professor Henry Brands is, as we see, an intrepid forger of our nation’s Official Narrative, an honored arbiter of the elegance of war porn.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      There are plenty of strategic thinkers who think its possible to have a war with nuclear states without it going nuclear. This of course depends on everyone being rational, which is of course a big assumption.

      When the Vietnamese gave the Chinese a thrashing in 1979 (the Chinese obviously hadn’t been paying attention as to how many wars the Vietnamese had won), they noticeably didn’t follow up militarily and they never crowed or boasted about it. This was obviously a calculation based on the Chinese having nukes and the Vietnamese not having them. Humiliating China could potentially have resulted in a retaliation.

      Any hot war between nuclear states will almost inevitably result in one or both sides having to ensure the losing side maintains face. This makes it all the more stupider to start one as it makes some sort of score draw almost inevitable, even if one side gains parity. You could even see one side sacrificing a major ship or something similar just to give their opponents a face saving victory..

      1. vlade

        IMO, the only chance of the a nuke-armed conflict not going nuclear is if neither state attacks the mainland (which for the US also means Hawaii, not that it would matter that, but WW2 and all).

        Which makes it really hard to run a non-nuclear non-proxy war with China and Russia.I guess that’s why the writer mentions Baltics and Taiwan, but realistically, w/o nukes, the US/West has about zero chance of defending either. The logistic lines are just too long and vulnerable. It is somewhat better for Baltics as you can get there via Poland, but it’s till just a noodle of land, with no strategic depth – if Russia really decided to take it, it would like overrun all the Baltics before NATO could respond sensibly, even with NATO forces already there.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          My ex Army Dad who was as long as I can remember a military history buff, would agree with all of that. He believed that logistics was the most important factor in warfare, while also being the most lack of medal or deserved recognition part.

          Isn’t it these days very hard to sneak up on somebody in a military sense ? – perhaps they could do another Warp Speed, or even better go straight up to Ludicrous speed.

          1. Procopius

            Yes, there’s no way we could launch a surprise attack on Iran, for example, because we would have to build up stores of supplies, ammunition, food, water, spare parts, first. No way to hide it. A first strike with missiles is possible, but in the end you can’t win a war without putting soldiers on the ground. Logistics is the most important part of warfare, and the least discussed. Very hard to find information about how it’s done. One of the big improvements Marius made in the Roman legions, for example, was to make every man carry enough food for three days. Not necessarily just for himself, but as part of the meals his conturbium would be eating. That meant the legions could march farther faster than the barbarians because they didn’t have to waste time foraging for food as they went. I first realized about ten years ago how important logistics are, and I haven’t been able to find much about the subject. Not as much as I’d like, anyway.

    5. The Rev Kev

      You can’t have a long-term war without a plentiful supply of ammunition and spare parts and I really don’t believe that the US has those in stocks enough for a long war. So how could it go? Take a look at Israel’s war against Gaza last month. It was all fun and games bombing a helpless population until they realized that they were rapidly running out of missiles for their Iron Dome defence systems against Hamas rockets. And that is why they called it quits. So if there was a war against China, what if the Chinese refused to stop fighting but kept going?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The obvious joke is the Pentagon’s reliance on parts from China, but even adjusting for that, the overlooked part is probably the process of getting military supplies from point A to point B is entirely dependent on Chinese parts.

    6. fresno dan

      John Siman
      June 15, 2021 at 7:45 am

      “The U.S. needs to be preparing for big, grinding conflicts that could drag on for months or years…,” advises an extra-creepy Bloomberg opinion piece entitled “Win or Lose, U.S. War Against China or Russia Won’t Be Short.”
      We had such a good time in Vietnam, let’s do it again. The worst year of Vietnam was 16,899 dead for the US military. And you can see what that did to US society. For comparison, Iraq has seen 4550 soldiers die from 2003 to 2018 (and 3793 contractors).
      How many volunteers would the US get in a war with 20,000 dead per year? I suspect after just a year discontent with such a war would cause not only no new recruits, but a “work slow down” and even large scale desertion. There would be incessant critique of the war from the soldiers involved, and I think cynicism (people think that the definition of cynicism means only unwarranted skepticism, but this reads something into the definition that is not there. Cynicism can be general or specific and I think can often be wholly realistic). The debate about the true reasons for the war and those propagating it would encompass a scope, intensity, and questioning of the involvement never before seen. It has been a long time since the US faced an adversary that could inflict significant casualties for a significant period of time.
      And although I do not doubt the propaganda capability of the US elite, I think the US could not continue a conflict with sustained mass US casualties politically. And as far as having robots fight our wars, I’ll believe that when I see robots driving our cars…

      1. David

        Even a conventional war between advanced nations is going to be short, simply because modern weapons are so destructive. Back in WW2, individual bombing raids would expect 2-3% casualties among attacking aircraft. In the Cold War, NATO expected perhaps ten times as much, but also to inflict massively greater damage on the other side. It’s got worse since, and in any conventional war between advanced nations, major platforms would be used up very quickly. Remember also that major air and sea platforms tend to be very fragile: one decent hit will knock a ship out, and aircraft these days (being aerodynamically unstable and full of wiring) can be downed by a simple kinetic hit almost anywhere. And there’s no chance, unlike earlier wars, of making up the losses from new production.

        1. vlade

          Yup. And while the countries in the WW2 could knock out tons of miltary HW quickly, most of it was relatively unsophisticated – and those that were (some of German tanks, Me262 jets) suffered multiple in-field and productin problems.

          Say, for F16, which is really a very old plane (going on 50 years old, would you believe it?), the production capacity is around 30 planes/month tops. And getting new capacity on line is not a matter of months, never mind less.

          With a major cpty, you can easily lose more than a plane a day, so you’d run out of planes pretty damn quick.

          Same goes for any other major platforms.

            1. vlade

              Yes, but retooling an existing factory, or building a new one, was something that could be done within a few months.

              Building a new chip foundry takes years, and getting it working efficiently more yet.

              Right now, even to retool an existing car factory is a year long project, building a new one a couple of years at best. You’d probably push it down to a year if pressed, but in a year you’d have lost much of your HW already. And it’s a question how long it would take you to train the skilled workforce to operate it – in WW2 most new factory workers would get trained pretty quickly (weeks), which from what I know about manufacturing now is not the case anymore.

              Plus you need specialised equipment for all those factories, much more so than WW2 factory tools. That is another bottleneck in creating capacity.

              1. David

                Not to mention pilots. Even in WW2, it took two years to train a bomber crew, and these days RAF pilots put at least that into training on generic fast jets, even before doing conversion training so they can fly the aircraft. These days you go to war with the number of pilots you have.

              2. NotTimothyGeithner

                The P-51 was sporting the Rolls-Royce engine. Even with the ludicrous nature of trucks, those engines aren’t going to be put into fighters.

            2. Procopius

              Ah, those were the days. Do you think they could ramp up production of F-35s to 20 a month? I don’t.

      2. VietnamVet

        There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Imperial Staff believes propaganda that is totally divorced from reality. To top it off, the West’s multi-national managers project themselves on to the others. Their sole goal is to make more money by any means, no matter the risk. “Russigate” was simply corporate liberals being unwilling to blame themselves for Donald Trump election. North America’s industry has been offshored. Americans are overweight, ill, and up to their necks in unpayable debt.

        If there is coronavirus spike and another lockdown this winter because the mRNA vaccines failed, there is no Plan B. Western governments are simply incapable of doing public health anymore. The collapse of Neo-liberal society is likely. If the USA gets in a shooting war in the Taiwan Strait, the US economy flatlines without the resupply of Asian goods. If a Seventh Fleet carrier and support ships are sunk, turning the cheek is impossible. Once a nuclear weapon is used, the opposition has to use theirs or lose them. China has around 100 nuclear armed ICBMs in deep mountain tunnels. A nuclear war is a human extinction event, although Neo-cons flatly deny this. This is so unpleasant; nobody discusses “The Day After”.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Western governments are simply incapable of doing public health anymore.

          Worse, they actively to dismantled it, at least in the US. No contact tracing, Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions discredited, science turned into celebrity worship, etc.

    7. Daryl

      The fact that pieces like this can even be published seems like the height of delusional insanity. We’d still be drafting the give-trillions-of-dollars-to-corporations bill when the bombs hit.

    8. Lambert Strether Post author

      > a war of attrition

      A strategy of attrition against a country with a population of 1.4 billion seems… suboptimal.

      That said, I imagine that taking out all those big Chinese dams in a simulaneous strike would cause a lot of flooding and power loss, leading to issues with food security. A good deterrent for the EMP over Kansas?

      1. JBird4049

        I have never understood the need for some countries like China to dam rivers upstream of other countries or to build them near fault lines and slide zones. Then anything that goes wrong, like with earthquakes, and it because the builder’s responsibility.

        Then after the dam is built saying that the water is all theirs and threaten to deny others of the water they need to survive is stupid. It just makes people angry and gets no support from other countries. Water makes things easy. You have it and you live. You don’t and you die. Simple. It makes the decision to go to war easy.

        Then add modern weapons and it is likely fun and easy to destroy them. The British dam busters in the Second World War, and the Americans during the Korean and Vietnamese wars were able to destroy even very heavily defended dams.

  2. ajc

    All these climate change flood predictions rely on the premise of small, incremental linear growth in the sea level when we have geologic evidence that during the last deglaciation there were multiple events where huge amounts of meltwater were deposited quickly and catastrophically in the world’s oceans, raising sea levels fast enough to drown corals in the Gulf of Mexico. Oh, and we knew this back in 1995.;2

    Melting ice is a nonlinear, chaotic system that will likely cause massive pulses of meltwater to enter the world’s oceans, especially since the rate of change in anthropogenic heating is orders of magnitude faster than anything else recorded in geologic history. This will also probably cause population crashes and extinctions in many aquatic species as well as irrevocably destroying the weather patterns that while becoming more unpredictable are still strongly familiar, while the coasts flood with several feet of water.

    Even if one of these pulses happen over a handful of decades (a long timeframe for us/short for geology), most coastal areas, including most of the coast of China, would still be sacrificed because seawalls are not easy to build. Also not good for coastal nuclear plants and possibly those on rivers nearer to the ocean.

    At some point we need to give up the illusion that humanity is going to be to control for what it has done to nature, but that means giving up the central notion of progress — that we control nature.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, the evidence of catastrophic and rapid flooding has been available for many decades. A trained eye can spot the flooding features all over the northern hemisphere. With ice caps, gravity can be as important as temperature – once they lose their structural integrity (they can melt from the bottom up), they can collapse very rapidly. We may end up having to combat rising sea levels by building what will be essentially giant door stoppers to stop them slipping into the sea (they’ve already been looking into this in the Antarctica).

      Add to this the alterations to ocean currents due to massive influxes of fresh water which can occur literally over one season….. as you say, anyone who things climate change will be a linear phenomenon doesnt’ know the science. Unfortunately, in my experience this includes a lot of policymakers who are approaching the problem as if thats exactly how it works. I’ve heard engineers describe the ‘problem’ in exactly these terms, as if it was simply a case of raising barriers by X mm every few years.

      1. Geo

        “anyone who thinks climate change will be a linear phenomenon doesnt’ know the science”

        Too many of us (myself included) wouldn’t know real science if we were drowning in it. We’re like that ice water experiment where the heat is turned up but the water temp barely changes until the ice mostly melts then it escalates quickly – mixed with the frog in boiling water analogy.

        1. Isotope_C14

          Hi Geo, and everyone!

          Ugo Bardi discusses this in “The Seneca Effect”

          Hours upon hours of reading here for your pleasure. I think he is good at explaining things in a simple and straightforward way.

          I didn’t post his complete book, as I don’t want to pick his online pocket.

          I’d love to sit and chat with him over espresso in Italy.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      A warning from 2,000+ years ago:

      Those who think to win the world
      by doing something to it,
      I see them come to grief.
      For the world is a sacred object.
      Nothing is to be done to it.
      To do anything to it is to damage it.
      To seize it is to lose it.

      Tao te Ching #29 (UK Le Guin, trans.)

      And a much more recent comment from the translator:

      To lose the sense of sacredness of the world is a mortal loss. To injure our world by excesses of greed and ingenuity is to endanger our own sacredness.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        I missed you Henry Moon Pie. And all of you. Went a bit unbalanced and spent the last three months in the psychiatric hospital, they found things wrong and righted them. Sorry everyone for everything. That is all I can say. Homeless and happy again.

        1. Isotope_C14

          Welcome back Krystyn!

          Was wondering if you were well, always enjoy your insights around here!

          Glad to see you are happy, that’s a tough thing to achieve these days. :/

          Been trapped at work late for the last 2 days, makin’ the stem cells.

          Take care!

        2. Janie

          Best news of the day! Lots of comments worrying about you after your disappearance. It’s good to hear that you have some answers. Stay well, and here’s wishing the best for you.

        3. Henry Moon Pie

          I missed you too. Things get out of tune once in a while, and it’s great when you can find a good “piano tuner.” And the weather’s warm (way too warm some places) and Covid’s receding some places.

          But are you content? ;)

        4. hunkerdown

          You too were notable by your absence, Krystyn. Glad you’re alive and patched up and back.

        5. HotFlash

          Krystyn! Welcome home, you’ve been much missed. Very glad you’re better, and I wish you continued good health for the future.

        6. chuck roast

          Clearly, many of us have been thinking about you. You were the van of our initial understanding of the current plague. All the best.

        7. ambrit

          Good to read your thoughtful prose again. Hope that “things” are treating you well.
          Stay safe.

        8. jr

          Hey wanderer, good to see you back! I had a minor spell a few months ago but things have cleared up. It’s good to hear you are feeling better.

    3. Lee

      At 40 feet above sea level, my house is situated on a high point of two low lying islands in the San Francisco bay that comprise the city of Alameda. A considerable portion of the islands consists of artificial landfill rising just a few feet above the current high tide mark. In an attempt to address a housing shortage, the state government is nullifying local zoning ordinances and mandating the construction of high density residential development of these either vacant or or sparsely built up acres. I have dubbed them quicksand futures.

      Alameda Flood Risk Map

      And then if the flooding doesn’t get you, the earthquake probably will.

      Alameda Liquefaction Hazard Map

      And finally,

      The North American Drought Monitor Map

      I’ve lived in the SF Bay Area all my life, three score ten years and then some, but lately I’ve been wondering how far from the equator up the west coast I might move to avoid the worst of what’s happening. Based on the drought map, we’re gonna need a bigger continent.

        1. BayView

          You think Alameda’s bad? Remember, most of it is a real island with rock under it, stubs connecting down to the mantle. Bay Farm Island and the airbase are fill.

          Now Treasure Isand, that’s a real mudpie, made of dredged sand pumped in to build the world’s fair. Part of the rotten bourough of San Franfescesco, they have already built high density housing there and plan high rises! Oh, and part of it is radioactive. “Media silent as Navy digs 1,280 radiological objects from Treasure Island” Short version, built lots of crackerbox housing on contaminated land for black people and developers’ profits with the help of high politicians.

        2. lordkoos

          Here in WA state they are giving free weed (a joint) to people who get the COVID vaccine. Good times…

      1. Glossolalia

        Anchorage may be pleasant year-round soon. But you’ll still only have 3 hours of daylight in the winter.

        1. George Monday Floydweather

          Rain on ice in the dark in a failing petro-state is not my idea of pleasant, so I’m glad we still get snow here for now. I’m already seeing refugees arriving here in Anchorage from Outside (how we refer to the Lower 48) from California and Montana, joining the long history of oil industry employees that filter in from Texas.

      2. synoia

        By Impractical:

        1 Level the Rocky Mountains. Most of the drought areas in the US are only watered by rain shadow. If we flatten the Rocky Mountains we could extend the US many miles west. /s

        2. Build a huge barriers in the Ocean at about 45 deg N between the US and Japan, and redirect the Ocean Current to bring us warmed water to the US west coast, and thus more rain; or we could change our lifestyle, voluntarily, instead of being driven by Mother Nature.

        Or we can just talk about fixing the issues until too late, and face extinction.

    4. juno mas

      I’m assuming your cosment, ajc, is a response to the article about the Dutch “coastal morphologists”. All the modelling in the Universe isn’t going to save the Dutch from the extent of sea level rise that climate change portends.

      Attempting to “advise” the Army corps of Engineers on “regenerating” land on the Louisiana shoreline from principles extracted from Dutch forebays for a fee is robbery.

  3. John

    The existence of arsenals of nuclear weapons all but assures that “great power war” will by design, by accident, or in extremis lead to their use. Even a limited use pushes us closer to a “Mad Max” future.

    I hear much tough talk and lots of chest thumping on this side of the water. Our declared adversaries, opponents, challengers … call them what you will… talk and thump less while designing and building the means to counter air power and the carrier battle group and at drastically less cost than one carrier.

    Talk produces hot air, which is not an especially effective weapon.

    1. Michael McK

      Speaking of the Max Max movies, did it ever bother you that people in a desert were fighting over gasoline instead of water? Also, a question for the gang: Was Blaster, from the last installment, Max’s brother-inlaw from the first movie?

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Why “Pig Iron Scott” should boycott iron ore to China”

    Jezus wept. Is this guy auditioning for regular payments from the Atlantic Council and the National Endowment for Democracy? The man is proposing bringing China to it knees by refusing to sell China iron ore. He is also hoping that a shock doctrine would lead to regime change and the world would only suffer a global recession. Gawd. This is like blowing your brains out with a revolver to cure a headache. The world would be lucky to only suffer a severe recession. More likely we would see great Depression 2.0 and if you think that times have been tough the past year or so, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The world’s economies are too tightly meshed and we are seeing this with a computer chip shortage that is effecting a whole range of goods including cars. You think that China would just sit there and take it? They are more likely to adopt a Samson and the Temple approach. Just for a start you would see them no longer shipping rare earths and maybe using their computer expertise to wreck further havoc on the world’s economies. And why wouldn’t they? What would they have to lose? Wouldn’t we do the same? I am afraid that the author – David Llewellyn-Smith – should not be let anywhere near a computer terminal unless he is wearing boxing gloves.

    1. Field Marshall McLuhan

      I am afraid that the author – David Llewellyn-Smith – should not be let anywhere near a computer terminal unless he is wearing boxing gloves.

      That may not be enough to stop him…

  5. John Emerson

    For over a decade Hans von Spakovsky was working the bogus “voter fraud” angle in order to discredit elections as such. Greg Palast wrote a lot about this but didn’t seem To get much attention. I wrote about Spakovsky on my own insignificant blog and my small readership didn’t seem very interested either. I think that this is just one example of the way Republicans play the long game and Democrats and most of the left don’t.

    Palast’s “How Trump Stole 2020” was off by 4 years but is more relevant than ever now.

    1. synoia

      Republicans play the long, game and Democrats take advantage by pretending to be concerned and surprised, and show appearances of being concerned but impotent.

  6. Lee

    Are Covid-Sniffing Dogs at Risk? Bloomberg (Furzy Mouse).

    With so many dogs on monthly prophylactic doses of ivermectin, perhaps not.

    1. anonymous

      Could be a variable, Lee!

      The Bloomberg article quotes Audrey John, chief of ID at CHOP: “While there is some risk for the animals, we know that brief encounters like these, especially in well-ventilated areas, are relatively safe,” John says. “In addition, while dogs can become infected with the coronavirus, they appear to generally have little to no symptoms.”

      The very few articles I’ve seen about infected dogs with “symptoms” (really clinical signs, as dogs can’t tell us what they are experiencing) have not reported on the presence or absence of signs consistent with anosmia; in pet dogs, I might ask whether the owner noticed a change in sniffing/marking on walks, trouble finding a toy on a surface of a non-contrasting color for dogs, less crittering, or less gusto in dining. The million dollar question remains whether a detection dog, when infected, may get anosmia without other noticeable signs and have a reduction in accuracy. I would like to see studies comparing baseline accuracy of detection dogs with accuracy after infection, as well as studies incorporating vaccination, if vaccination becomes available for these dogs. 

      An excellent recent article by the head of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center Cindy Otto, DVM, PhD, et al., is “The promise of disease detection dogs in pandemic response: lessons learned from COVID-19”, Cambridge University Press, June 8, 2021. On whether the dogs get sick, it says, “It has been shown that dogs are more resistant to infection with SARS-CoV-2 than other species, but the virus has been recovered from a limited number of dogs and dogs have developed antibodies to the virus… the dogs and people should be monitored for exposure to the virus.” The paper starts with a recap of the papers published from around the world on Covid sniffing dogs and goes on to consider what would be needed to make Covid detection dogs operational in a way that is scientifically sound, and it has interesting references.

  7. Lee

    “Lol when local government recommends you not to cook at home in place of building adequate housing with proper insulation in Hell…”

    They can always fry eggs on the sidewalk.

    1. newcatty

      Sigh, remember when that was the iconic joke about how hot it was in Phoenix, AZ. So sad to see that that joke is now on LA. Let them eat fried eggs. Or , “support local “restaurants”… like healthy, nutritious fast food, yeah that’s the ticket.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Will Stancil
    absolutely loving watching the Democratic Party shills dutifully cheer the (false) news Biden is admitting Ukraine to NATO, something that, if true, would instantly place us at war with Russia’

    Well, it wouldn’t be automatically war. It would probably go something like this. NATO says that in spite of the fact that NATO’s own rules say that the Ukraine is ineligible to join because they are both in a civil war and they have border disputes, they are going to let them join anyway. Both the Donbass Republics then declare themselves independent of the Ukraine after a plebiscite as allowed by the UN’s Charter. The Donbass Republics then sign a mutual defence treaty with the Russian Federation which has Russia throw a protective umbrella over them. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg says that NATO should really attack those two Republics so that they are returned to the Ukraine. The thirty NATO members mostly say ‘Nah! We aren’t going to do any of that.’ Hilarity ensues.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I figure a country like Poland with local archons who are the beneficiaries of rents must be apoplectic about this.

  9. marym

    Overview of Democrats in Congress not doing anything about voter suppression (manchin!!) while simultaneously not even pretending to be doing anything about election subversion.

    Congress likely won’t take action on the growing threats to election integrity, leaving election workers vulnerable to criminal prosecution and results open to partisan tampering

    A June update to a report from Protect Democracy, States United Democracy Center, and Law Forward[*] identified 216 GOP-backed proposed state laws in 41 states that criminalize aspects of the election administration process and give partisan officials more control over how elections are conducted and certified.

    [*] I’m not familiar with these organizations. From a cursory look at the about pages the first two seem to be bi-partisan elite “our democracy” proclaimers; and the third an experienced progressive advocacy group. Anyway, the referenced report pdf has a summary of the election suppression laws.

  10. flora

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    University Vaccine Mandates Violate Medical Ethics

    Even soldiers, whose rights are constrained when they join the service, aren’t being compelled to take a Covid vaccine. In a case involving a vaccine against anthrax, a federal district judge held in 2004 that “the United States cannot demand that members of the armed forces also serve as guinea pigs for experimental drugs” absent informed consent or a presidential waiver of service members’ legal protections. The following year the judge held that an emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration was insufficient to meet the legal test.

  11. antidlc
    COVID-19 cases rise slightly across US

    At least eight states are recording rising 7-day averages for infection rates over the past 2 weeks, including Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Of those states, only Hawaii has a vaccination rate of 43% or more, which matches the average across the country.

    The slight increase in virus activity comes as most states are reopening fully, and many states are now choosing to report new cases less frequently than they did 1 year ago.

    1. crittermom

      Colorado is now open. Mask mandate gone.

      Yet a week ago our local gas station was closed for days, as well as the only bank in town. All due to Covid. Very tiny town.

      I’m told the manager of the station infected others, including those at the bank. (That’s the local scuttlebutt that I’m hearing, anyway, regarding the ‘culprit’).

      I continue to mask up and probably will for some time to come. I still feel it’s too early to let down our guard and the recent infections seem to be supporting my view.

      With this state now SO crowded (you now have to make reservations to visit some parks, like Rocky Mtn Natl Park!), I fear infections will once again be on the rise. Despite the fact a good percentage of the population here are vaccinated.

      I will say that I’m not alone in still wearing a mask. I’m noting quite a few others are, as well. (Or maybe they’re ones who chose not to get poked?) All the more reason for me to mask up, even though I’m vaccinated.

      Will admit I was surprised when talking with our postmistress last week (who still wears a mask).
      She chose not to get the poke as she doesn’t like taking any meds, it seems.

      Hey, I mask not just for health reasons. There’s a bonus. It also covers a lot of wrinkles! win/win ;-)

  12. Watt4Bob

    From Truthout;

    Only 3% of the 250K jobs listed on Tennessee’s website pay more than $20,000.

    That’s $9.61/hr.

    And in an effort to push people back to work governor Bill Lee is ending enhanced unemployment payments?

    What next, a fugitive employee act?

    And what can be said about the intelligence, let alone the heart, of the employers complaining about the fact that people are reluctant to work for slave wages?

    1. Oh

      I’m willing to bet that the Guv is making at least $250K plus benefits – the unwashed masses don’t deserve that!

  13. The Rev Kev

    “U.K. Pushes for Finance Exemption From Global Taxation Deal”

    It used to be said that the Kingdom of Prussia was an Army with a State attached to it. I sometimes wonder whether it is equally true that you can say the City of London has a Government attached to it.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Scoop: Inside Biden’s Putin prep”

    Man, this is so bad this. By listening to all these so-called Russia experts, old Joe is going to go in and totally blow a chance to have any reconciliation with Russia. That is assuming that the Democrats, Republicans and the establishment will let him. Maybe they should send him in to Putin with Rachel Maddow at his elbow to advise him as it could not be any worse. It’s going to be a fiasco and I think that the only reason that it is going to go ahead is so that Biden can say later that he did try.

    1. km

      …old Joe is going to go in and totally blow a chance to have any reconciliation with Russia.

      That would be entirely intentional.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      The group [of rabid Russia “experts”] urged Biden not to hold a joint press conference with Putin or afford him any opportunity to try to upstage the private talks with new public proposals.

      Does anyone actually believe this?

      A shuffling, bumbling biden standing next to a vital, cogent Putin answering unscripted questions from “journalists” not wholly owned by american media moguls would be a personification of the two nations too stark and contrasting for the world to be permitted to see. There’s not enough spin on the planet to ameliorate the damage that would be done to the u.s.’ reputation, particularly if our “president” started rambling on about Corn Pop and hairy legs at the swimming pool as is his wont when polishing his personal power turd.

      As for all that “prepping,” here is cartoonist Ben Garrison’s depiction of the “summit”:×751.jpg

      Enough said.

      1. Darthbobber

        The only Russian leader Biden could have stood side by side comparison with was Constantin Chernenko

      2. Oh

        If there are any damsels nearby he’s likely to sniff their hair and start rubbing their shoulders. That would be a great spectacle for international TV!

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > not to hold a joint press conference with Putin

        A second reason to do this would be to avoid Biden slipping a cog.

        If I were Putin, I would be doing everything possible to exploit Biden’s obvious physical weakness. Make the chairs a little too uncomfortable, the stairs a little too hard, the ventilation a little too stuffy, the food a little too heavy, the mike a little too weak, the light a little too dim, and especially the walks a little too long. The Biden staff would fight the latter tooth and nail, of course.

    3. Duck1

      For better or worse Biden is the executive. From what I read from Russian sources they have low expectations for this meeting and expect lecturing from life guard Joe on the usual topics. I think mainly it will give the Putin team an opportunity to take the measure of the man. In my view Biden is obviously in some sort of cognitive decline and interacting with him across the table will allow the Russians some insight into our power structure. One hopes there is not some sort of debacle.

      1. Wellstone’s Ghost

        I want to know if Biden brought his own personal bathroom like Dubya did back in the day. Don’t want the Russians getting their mitts on any stool samples.

  15. flora

    re: Whoever thinks we will not be always 6 months behind variants (at least until a pancoronavirus vaccine appears), is either a lunatic or has a nefarious agenda to advance.

    So, UK could be on lockdown forever, (or until BoJo is out of office), in the cause of fighting the corona virus – the last enemy. / ;)

  16. tegnost

    I wonder what the timing will be re the contentious meeting with putin and the unveiling of the infrastructure bill

  17. Carolinian

    re High Country News, the Mormons, the Bundys–it’s undoubtedly true that Mormons are a lot more widespread in the region than people realize. A friend lives in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa, which started out as a Mormon colony. But as the article points out even the LDS doesn’t support the Bundys and their welfare rancher grift. Utah is an incredibly beautiful state much of the time and it could be that its Lockean highest best use is as a tourist magnet rather than occasional ATV playground for the locals. All those National Parks are there for a reason.

    There are certainly things to admire about the industrious Mormons and their tidy little towns. But land use wise they live in a state where Nature mostly has other ideas.

  18. outside observer


    “Now we’re turning the pressure up a notch, handing Biden the key to fixing this national crisis on a silver platter: We wrote the entire executive order for him. Thanks to the same brilliant legal minds at the Debt Collective who rescued compromise and settlement from obscurity, we wrote the exact language, pursuant to existing legal authority, that Biden would need to use to cancel about 95% of all student loans. Literally, all the president has to do is sign this piece of paper.”

    Maybe we need more crowdfunded and crowdsourced legislative initiatives, like a gofundme for legislation.

  19. Jason Boxman

    So this is disturbing, but not news to anyone at NC: Many Post-Covid Patients Are Experiencing New Medical Problems, Study Finds.

    Naturally, it looks at health insurance records, because neoliberalism, so one wonders if this is an undercount given the working class and particularly minorities have been devastated by this, but might not have health insurance.

    The study, tracking the health insurance records of nearly two million people in the United States who contracted the coronavirus last year, found that one month or more after their infection, almost one-quarter — 23 percent — of them sought medical treatment for new conditions.

    The report “drives home the point that long Covid can affect nearly every organ system,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of the research and development service at the VA St. Louis Health Care System, who was not involved in the new study.

    Taken with the comments about boosters in this post, we really ought to purse elimination-as-national-policy strategy. If only.

  20. Katniss Everdeen

    So, in the “under the radar,” “defunding the police has consequences,” and “all politics are local” categories, comes this from Atlanta.

    The area known as “Buckhead” wants to divorce Atlanta and become its own city. The residents of Buckhead think the rent is too damn high for what they’re getting from city government. And it would appear that Atlanta needs Buckhead way more than Buckhead needs Atlanta.

    Atlanta could see crushing economic damage if Buckhead broke free, some community members say. According to an April analysis by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Buckhead City would take nearly 20% of Atlanta’s population and remove more than 40% of the assessed value of its property.

    “The impact on the City of Atlanta’s finances would be devastating, including on its ability to satisfy nearly $3 billion of existing liabilities and unfunded pension obligations,” Jim Durrett, president and CEO of The Buckhead Coalition, also against the split, wrote in an op-ed in the Journal-Constitution last month. “The loss of the city’s excellent bond rating would impair its ability to fund infrastructure and city services in the future.”

    Appeals from local leaders to work with residents are “really too little too late,” says Spencer Roane, who has lived in Buckhead for more than two decades.

    “I’m convinced that there’s enough people in Buckhead — enough resources, if you will, in Buckhead — to run the city of Buckhead every bit as well as any other city,” Roane said. “I would say to the city of Atlanta, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m tired of talking about these problems. I’m not interested in more lip service. I’m ready to do something about it myself.'”

    mayor keisha lance bottoms, once considered a rival of kamala for the vp job, will not be running for re-election. Unfortunately for her city, she may be remembered for the damage she’s done long after she’s gone.

    1. Aumua

      Well yeah if we don’t give the richest people in town exactly what they want, they’re gonna just take their ball and go home. Get those funds back to the police! Get them their military grade toys. We need law and order, gotta protect the rich people and their property or they’ll leave, and take the entire economy with them. That’s what matters, blue lives and private property.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Some might say you don’t bite the hand that feeds ya.

        The Buckheaders want more “law and order” and, supposedly, other areas want less. Sounds like two birds with one stone to me.

        You can’t blame people for working a bad system that grossly inadequate politicians refuse to change.

        1. Aumua

          Is it because it is the hand that feeds me that I shouldn’t bite it, or is because it’s the hand that’s got me by the nuts?

    2. Carolinian

      According to reports at the time Buckhead commercial district was majorly trashed during the BLM, er, demonstrations following George Floyd. It would be too much to call it a Georgia Beverly Hills but it’s generally quite swank. I more or less once lived there (not the swankier part). Elton John did too for awhile.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        How many of the major trashers were BLM marchers and how many of them were recreational trashers-of-opportunity taking advantage of BLM’s presence to do their own recreational and stuff-aquisition trashing?

        And were any of them secret false-flag police or Trump Supporters in BLM disguise hoping to start a major trashathon in order to generate ” good TV” for the Trump campaign to run tough on?

    3. rowlf

      Atlanta is having police staffing problems. A lot of police have left after last year and not many people want to hire on. Some people do not pass the physical standards.

      1. Carolinian

        Apparently, according to other reports on the web, this withdrawal has been afoot for some time, not just after last year’s events. One should say that the City of Atlanta has always been small in population compared to the region as a whole. The city is a donut of edge cities around an urban core. That’s why the withdrawal of the Buckhead neighborhood from that core would have such a big impact.

        1. flora

          The old saying about urban growth was “growth pays for itself”. Now it’s become clear in many places that in today’s world growth doesn’t pay for itself.

          In the case of large urban areas built out in a ring pattern from the original city core, if part of the origin core decides to re-incorporate as a separate entity then the urbanized “donut” rings have to find new resources (higher taxes) for street maintenance and other city costs because the area hasn’t reducing in any meaningful way the size of the area to be maintained. If Buckhead was on the periphery of the city and left the city, then its leaving would reduce the original city’s costs to maintain its larger footprint by reducing the footprint at the edge of the urban “donut” expansion. Being in the core, its leaving doesn’t reduce the city’s cost of maintaining its footprint but only reduces the financial support necessary to maintain the larger footprint. my 2 cents.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      I read somewhere that Kerala State in India has in general had the lowest per capita income in India coupled with the highest literacy rate, the longest life expectancy, the lowest infant mortality rate, etc. If that is true, the question arises . . . how does Kerala do it?

      And if Kerala does do it, and this is really true, then can it be learned? Can Atlanta learn to do what Kerala does? If Buckhead seccedes from Atlanta, this may be Atlanta’s big chance to ” Learn from Kerala”.
      ( If it is really true that there is something to be learned there).

      1. jrkrideau

        f Kerala does do it, and this is really true, then can it be learned?
        First elect a communist government…. A Communist-led government under E. M. S. Namboodiripad resulted from the first elections for the new Kerala Legislative Assembly in 1957.

        The former Minister of Health (25 May 2016 –30 May 2021) K. K. Shailaja, is a Central Committee member of Communist Party of India (Marxist). She is now Chief Whip.

  21. Elizabeth

    Welcome back, Krystyn! It’s good to see your postings again. I always appreciate the information you gave the NC commentariat.

  22. Henry Moon Pie

    Another little data point:

    Dennis Kucinich is running for mayor Cleveland on a law-and-order platform.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        It’s sad in a lost opportunity sort of way to realize that’s he’s only 4 years younger than Biden. What an active mind Kucinich has. His recent campaign speech indicates his ears are open to the concerns of people living in the city he proposes to lead, and that he’s not a prisoner of fashion, but what else is new for Kucinich?

  23. Susan the other

    Wellie. High Country News. About the ongoing interpretation of the Bundy’s behavior. I can only offer my own interpretation: From the 1840s (+/-) on there was the Homestead Act encouraging anybody going west that if they homesteaded it they owned it. Usually 300 acres. But if they needed more they got it. And with the population growing exponentially grazing land came equally cheap… a lease for less than pennies on the acre. There was imperialist expansionist thinking behind every government move. Was that “nationalist?” Well, yes it was. Some people like to call it other things. But one clear point is that the Bundys have been in southern Nevada since the pioneer days and have been homesteading, grazing and working their land since then. Even though some of the poorly conserved court documents have disappeared, possession is the law. The Bundys do possess their land and they have grazed their cattle forever. Turfing them out now because red meat has become offensive is not a good legal excuse. Trying to create a thesis of pioneering religious zealots inheriting the banner of imperialism is quite a stretch. It’s sophomoric at best. The Mormons were hard-nosed self-promoters seeking a place to prosper. And Joseph Smith was a total lunatic. He was on the verge of screwing up the whole movement. Some of the things I scrounged up from the deep dark crypt of Sam Weller Books in SLC was a book (sorry I can’t cite) that implied that my great, great uncle Erastus, a true politician if there ever was one, smuggled a gun into JS in the Nauvoo Jail… but the incident is shrouded in nonsense because as soon as Erastus left JS was found bleeding from a near-fatal gunshot wound as he jumped from the window to his death. All reference to Erastus has, of course been expunged, But he went on to be the right-hand-man of Brigham Young who visited the area of Utah that Erastus governed (southern Utah) frequently; he had a winter home there. And etc. My whole family on that side used to say that Joesph Smith was a flaming lunatic but Brigham Young was a great leader. I tend to agree. And so to conclude, I’d just like to offer this: the Mormons are and have always been very, very practical people. I think the Bundys are too in spite of their various reading of the Book of Mormon. I think one can just ignore that. Dear Jesus.

    1. Carolinian

      So the USG had the right and the power to give them the land in the 19th century but not to take it away (if that is really what is happening) in the 21st? The article says the Bundys are now planning some kind of armed demonstration but can’t yet decide what that will be.

      If might makes right then here’s suggesting that 330 million are mightier than one family who really just seem to be out for attention. The Mormons in general very practically came to accept the supremacy of the federal government back in that same 19th century. I don’t find anything at all admirable about the Bundys coming as I do from the home of “sesesh.” It’s time for them to admit that the West and the lifestyle of those who live there totally depend on the rest of the country and its national government that builds the highways, protects their grazing etc.

    2. juno mas

      The Bundy’s are being “turfed out” of federal land, NOT their private holdings. The Bundy’s have been grazing cattle on federal BLM land (leased at ~ $2.50/per acre). This federal land in southern Nevada is very arid and has modest (at best) grazing potential. So there are cattle limits (AUM). The Bundy’s have ignored both the cattle limits AND refuse to pay the minimal grazing fees.

      The Bundy’s are not valiant Cowboy’s.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Is there a way to track where the Bundy cattle are sold? Is there a way for concerned citizens to boycott every place that sells Bundy-derived beef until the Bundies have been all-the-way evicted from our Federal Lands? Such a granular traveling boycott could incentivise the beef-sellers themselves to strip the Bundy-cooties from out of their supply chains.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      When they are grazing their private cattle on our collective public lands, aren’t they supposed to pay a grazing fee into our common collective treasury, the way all the other pay-to-graze private ranchers pay to graze on public lands?

      Isn’t their steady refusal to do so just brazen thievery, however cleverly dressed up in a language of “grievance”?

      1. Susan the other

        I’m just remembering the whole Bundy flap from their first standoff a few years ago. They claimed to have grandfathered rights, iirc. But somebody was/is determined to get them off their rangeland. Right now, in this drought, it is hard to imagine much of a herd of cattle surviving out on that sparse rabbitbrush. The weather might just settle the whole argument. But, imo, the Bundys actually have the law on their side. The court records in southern Nevada are hit and miss, but the Bundys have been in possession for the duration. That this is still going on is interesting. It almost looks like somebody is interested in the land for other reasons. (I’m always suspicious of motive.) Lots of stuff going on out here under the radar. There is a big concern over the Colorado; Hoover Dam might not produce enough electricity soon; the Governor of Utah has asked everyone to “pray for rain” (really); it looks like that, unless wildfires threaten a city, they will be left to burn themselves out. And then there is big, thirsty Las Vegas. We are headed for some serious water wars. Curiously, no mention of the effort to turn Harry Reid’s Nevada into (his words) “the Saudi Arabia of thermal energy.” Probably because they’ll have to import the water from the north. Maybe there is a reservoir of water under the Bundys – who knows? There are probably several possible reasons in all of this change to make some people want to get the Bundys off that property.

  24. athingtoconsider

    Novavax’s vaccine contains proteins resembling the “spike” proteins found on the surface of the coronavirus and are supposed to trigger an immune response to the virus once injected. from Novavax Covid-19 Vaccine Is 90% Effective, Including Against Variants, New Study Shows

    Except, from what I’ve read, the spike, by itself, causes disease. Granted, ‘proteins resembling the “spike” proteins’ aren’t necessarily harmful but neither are they necessarily harmless either.

    Then why can’t we have a vaccine with every part of the virus EXCEPT the spike?

    So, I’ll just wait and see since my father wisely said “Don’t be the first nor the last to adopt something new” and I’ve been burned before.

    1. Maritimer

      From poster First One at ZH:

      Rat One to Rat Two: Have you gotten your Covid-19 “Vaccination” yet?
      Rat Two: No Way. They haven’t finished the HUMAN Trials yet.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > from what I’ve read, the spike, by itself, causes disease

      Not sure what you’ve read, but this seems reasonable enough (also here).

      I’m not at all sure that “the spike protein” derived from an in-the-wild virus is the same as “the spike protein” artificially created in an mRNA vaccine. Proteins twist themselves into shapes in order to function, and we don’t know what the shapes are. Of course I defer to the NC Brain Trust of medical specialists on this one…

  25. Pelham

    Re Americans being less concerned about the threat of climate change than people of other countries: I wonder to what degree this lack of concern is a function of the many other threats facing Americans that aren’t threats in more advanced countries. The imminent threat of losing a job and healthcare alone probably pushes the estimation of long-term climate calamity down a few pegs on the US worry chart.

  26. Spoofs desu!

    John Auther’s bloomberg piece on zombies is a good read for the Econ geeks out there.

    I think this should in the NC category of “imperial collapse watch”

    Three main points of the current policy predicament:
    -increasing inflation;
    -increasing inequality;
    -decreasing productivity.

    Though he does not seem to explicitly take it to its logical conclusion; I.e. there is no exit to this existing policy. And if there is no exit, then these three trends will continue. If these three trends continue, then what?

    Does anybody see an out to the current monetary/fiscal policy we seem to be stuck in?

    Note: I noticed frequently my posts are delayed. Just in case it is related my use of “spoofs”, I should tell you it is my cats name.

    1. Lost in OR

      Spoof… it’s beyond the monetary/fiscal realm.

      Can you name a single aspect of your life that is sustainable? Food? Water? Energy? What is the logical conclusion of unsustainable? Fasten your seat belt.

  27. Wukchumni

    How do you count inflation? Tracking Weimar’s hyperinflation Adam Tooze, Chartbook
    Weimar lasted about a year and then it was back to business as usual with the old guard being tossed and hello Rentenmarks!

    What makes it memorable is hyperinflation seems to mostly happen to 2nd & 3rd world countries, not so much developed ones, and the extreme amount it went to in just a decade, when it was 5 Marks to a $ in 1913 and then went to 4.2 trillion Marks to the $ at the zenith. Its easy to be wowed by such numbers, but you get to a point where it doesn’t matter-the significance of the size of the downfall of a currency, and that would be the Mexico hyperinflation from 1980 to 1992 when the exchange rate went from 12.5 Pesos to the $, to 3,300 to the $, a dozen years of losing wealth gradually yet surely if you had any savings, and just as bad if you were looking for employment ‘down under’ as you’d be paid in what amounted to slave wages, which is why there has been such a migration from south of the border to here, it’s the economy, stupid.

    1. Aumua

      As if they didn’t make insane amounts of money doing this. No, they’re just doing all this from the charity of their hearts.


      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        I get the following when I click on the link. And Bless Their Hearts.

        Full page ad in today’s @nytimes from @pfizer regarding global distribution of #COVID19 #vaccines

        It’s our north star.
        Since the beginning of our race to make
        the impossible possible we’ve been committed
        to making our vaccine affordable
        and accessible to everyone.
        From the neighbor down the street,
        to our neighbors around the world.

        Because there’s no point in creating
        breakthroughs unless all people
        can access and benefit from them.

        Toward that promise, we’ve committed
        two billion vaccine doses to the poorest countries
        around the world. And just this week
        we partnered with the U.S. Government
        to deliver at least 500 million of those doses
        as quickly as possible.

        Now, we are not only one step closer
        to helping end this global health crisis,
        we are one step closer to proving again that
        Science Will Win™:
        For everyone. Everywhere.

  28. drumlin woodchuckles

    So, UK pushes for exemption from new tax suggestions for City Of London banking/finance firms? If they get that exemption, it won’t just be for physical City Of London entities. It will also be for every Caribbean, Pacific, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Channel, Indian Ocean, etc. tax haven connected to the City and cleverly defined as “part of” the City.

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