Links 9/12/2021

Killer whale attacks continue on ships in the waters of Cadiz EuroWeekly (Ignacio). Ignacio writes:

I think it was in september or october 2020 [2020-09-16 –lambert] that NC reported attacks by killer whales to ships in the coasts of Spain and Portugal. This year the attacks have been more frequent and geographically expanded from Gibraltar to Galicia. According to a friend of mine I was dining with yesterday 170 attacks have been reported so far this year. Killer whale pods develop cultural behaviours and it seems these can spread fast within populations in a large area.

They frequently attack and destroy the rudders. My friend told me that two large killer whales or orcas would usually sweem at each side of the ship while other smaller individuals attacked the rudder. An English sailor told my friend that they stop doing this if he shifted to reverse gear. Near Gibraltar it is not recommended sailing with sailboats that are less than 15m in length.

Climate change risks triggering catastrophic tsunamis, scientist warns FT

Outrage: the hidden cost of solar panels The Architectural Review

World Economy Like a Patient on Experimental Drugs, Says Tooze Bloomberg

The Fed Is Deep in Uncharted Waters. Danger Ahead. Barrons. “The Greenspan put should get the shove.” Or the waters are all-too-well charted:

Something’s Gotta Give (Watching Paint Dry) Heisenberg Report


Happy 9/11 Day Eschaton

Afflicted Powers: The State, the Spectacle and September 11 New Left Review. From 2004, still well worth a read. It’s NLR, so fire up your espresso machine.

11 September London Review of Books. October 4, 2001. Eleven writers, many letters. Frederic Jameson:

Historical events, however, are not punctual, but extend in a before and after of time which only gradually reveal themselves. It has, to be sure, been pointed out that the Americans created bin Laden during the Cold War (and in particular during the Soviet war in Afghanistan), and that this is therefore a textbook example of dialectical reversal. But the seeds of the event are buried deeper than that. They are to be found in the wholesale massacres of the Left systematically encouraged and directed by the Americans in an even earlier period. The physical extermination of the Iraqi and the Indonesian Communist Parties, although now historically repressed and forgotten, were crimes as abominable as any contemporary genocide. It is, however, only now that the results are working their way out into actuality, for the resultant absence of any Left alternative means that popular revolt and resistance in the Third World have nowhere to go but into religious and ‘fundamentalist’ forms.

Interesting thesis. Fast-forward to a present day restatement:

20 Years After 9/11, U.S. Global Authority Is Weaker Than Ever Foreign Policy

The Twenty Year Shadow of 9/11: U.S. Complicity in the Terror Spectacle and the Urgent Need to End It Aaron Good, Ben Howard and Peter Dale Scott Covert Action Magazine

A modest proposal: Fire all of the post 9/11 generals Andrew Bacevich, Responsible Statecraft. Why stop there?

9/12 Edward Snowden, Continuing Ed. Langley on the day.

The Falling Man Esquire


CDC Quietly Changes Definition Of ‘Vaccine’ As COVID-19 Continues To Infect Vaccinated People The National File. August 26, 2021; the current version.

Molasses-brained CDC finally recommends N95s for dull normals:

* * *

Mississippi teachers beg for help after more than 18,000 students catch COVID-19 in one month: ‘At what point do we protect children over the economy?’ Insider

S.F. schools report no COVID outbreaks, even as delta overwhelms districts elsewhere San Francisco

* * *

U.S. could authorize Pfizer COVID-19 shot for kids age 5-11 in October -sources Reuters

‘Huge number’ of unvaccinated Delta workers got vaccine after $200 surcharge announcement, official says WGN

Court sides with DeSantis, reinstates school mask mandate ban pending outcome of appeal Miami Herald

The Limits of My Empathy for Covid-Deniers Tressie McMillan Cottom, NYT. “I still do not understand how we can be in community with people who, by withdrawing from their social responsibility, are actively harming others.”


China’s regulatory crackdown: what Asian credit investors should expect South China Morning Post

China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor Nature


KNU occupies Myanmar military base in Bago Myanmar Now. Infrastructure:

Quandary at U.N.: Who Speaks for Myanmar and Afghanistan? NYT The deck: “Governments of the two countries have been toppled by pariah regimes. Will they get seats at the world’s biggest diplomatic table anyway?” Retail:

Impressive, given the possible consequences.

Japan, Vietnam sign defense transfer deal amid China worries AP

What’s driving Japan’s incel violence and South Korea’s ‘semen terrorism’? South China Morning Post

The Koreas

USFK reports cluster infection at Osan base after recent no-mask dance party Yonhap News Agency

Declassified documents show Australia assisted CIA in coup against Chile’s Salvador Allende The Guardian. Also on a 9/11.


HGV driving tests to be relaxed to help lorry driver shortages ahead of Christmas Sky News

The Caribbean

Haiti PM, asked to testify on Moise murder, slams ‘diversionary tactics’ France24

Participative Democracy under Siege: A Conversation with Luis Britto García Venezuelanalysis

Biden Administration

Here’s who loves Biden’s vaccine mandate: The companies that have to enforce it CNN

Clyburn: ‘You may not need $3.5 trillion to do what the president wants done’ The Hill

Democrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards The Hill

If the worst ever happens, we need plans for government continuity New York Daily News. Indeed.

A secretive Pentagon program that started on Trump’s last day in office just ended, but the mystery has not (unpaywalled) WaPo

Police State Watch

‘The Longest Shadow’: 9/11 leads to the militarization of US police departments ABC

Deputy cliques in L.A. County Sheriff’s Department likely growing, study finds Los Angeles Times

Rikers chief medical officer: Jail needs ‘outside help’ NY1


Why is Biden Prosecuting Assange for Telling the Truth about Afghanistan? Daniel Ellsberg, Alice Walker and Noam Chomsky, Newsweek

Class Warfare

A Huge Unionization Vote Is Looming at the University of Pittsburgh Jacobin

Revealed: Google illegally underpaid thousands of workers across dozens of countries Guardian

It’s Not Just Clueless Celebs: Behind the Faux Activist NGO Producing ‘The Activist’ Adam Johnson, The Column

Don’t Believe the Salad Millionaire The Atlantic

An idea with bite Aeon. “The selfish gene.”

Human Augmentation – The Dawn of a New Paradigm (PDF) Ministry of Defense. UK.

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. Geo

    I was doing ok today. Some solemn reflection and pondering a throughout the day as the memories of that day and the dark era that it unleashed flittered through my brain. Then I got this text message from a family member:

    “If you get a chance, try to listen to Bush’s speech at Shanksville today. It was heartfelt and full of concern for our country.”

    I’ve tried to remind them so often over the years that just because Trump exists it doesn’t make Bush a good guy now. He killed 6,600 civilians during Shock & Awe alone. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead due to his actions. Not to mention the environmental and economic destruction he committed. No use. I didn’t even reply because it’s not even worth it anymore. They don’t care about any of that. They just don’t want Trump reflecting back our national mirror-image of the wretched and cruel people we are. They want to think we’re not like him because we don’t enjoy doing bad things – we just have to for freedom or something. But we’re always polite about our atrocities. Not like Trump who says mean things.

    Sorry for the rant. But, if Bush is the example of what libs want America to be then call me a Trumpist and give me a MAGA hat. I’ll take that half-wit charlatan any day over Shrub.

    1. griffen

      Memories are short, as one of our prolific hosts of this site frequently states. The policies put into place by Bush43 were beneficial to capital and financial markets. Quite likely a little less good for an average American family.

      I encourage any casual tennis fan to watch a recap after the women’s singles final on Saturday. These unheralded young adults, just passing the teenager stages, gave incredible performances. After finishing as runner up, Fernandez gave what I thought was a sincere response to the host city. I don’t think she was even alive in 2001!

    2. flora

      Taibbi has a terrific substack article on GOP and and also Dem hypocrisy. paywalled.

      “The Anniversary of 9/11 is a Great Day to Reflect on Republican Hypocrisy
      GOP pols in the Bush years set the constitution afire and cheered America’s march toward authoritarianism, but now want you to know Joe Biden has them Petrified For Democracy. Are you laughing yet?”

    3. j

      Trump is coarse and crass. Bush involved us in 2 pointless wars that killed many many thousands. Obama served 2 terms, didn’t do a thing to mitigate American forces killing people abroad or destabilizing countries. If I’m wrong, tell me. Trump at least had the glimmering of decency to say we need to get out of those places, for good reasons or bad ones. He began the process of ending the Afghan war. Biden may have made a bit of an ugly mess of the final move. It was a difficult one in any case. What he did overall far outweighs the tactical end-game mistakes. Kudos to Biden!

  2. Tom Stone

    The Pandemic is over here in my part of Sonoma County…
    Since masks aren’t required outdoors they are clearly not needed outdoors, right?
    My little enclave of the comfortable had its second to last “Movie Night” last night at its pretty little ampitheatre , it seats 300 or so on benches side by side.Lots of family groups walked past my deck on the way yesterday evening, 50-60 people from the 5 homes between my deck and the end of the road.
    Nary a mask in sight.
    Just like the College Football games and the MLB games.
    Local Farmer’s Markets are crowded, vendors wear masks and maybe 2 out of 10 patrons wear masks.
    Indoor dining is popular again…What, me worry?
    The consistency with which the USA has handled this pandemic is impressive, EVERY aspect has been politicized, every aspect has been bungled.
    That consistency is not easy to achieve.
    It;s an impressive achievement.


    1. Ignacio

      You are not unique to this. By no means! Spain: very much the same. Particularly dining, breakfasting, lunching, or having ‘gypsy’ (here as a synonym of endless, not to be offensive) parties indoors. Even at my own home, where Covid has entered 3 times so far no matter how many times I recommend caution. Social life in Spain is something most are not ready to give away. Intense, filled with hugging and kissing. I threw in the towel long ago though this doesn’t stop me advising caution again and again knowing that the message, as we say in Spain (literally translated) “enters through one ear and exits through the other”.

          1. jefemt

            I remember a segment on Jon Stewart years ago where they featured footage of Bush II was in a field, surveying things with Cheney and I think Rumsfeld and maybe Poweel and Condi Condi… and they panned around, with clever editing, and you could see Cheney on the other side, through Bush II’s aural canal and empty head.

            Funny stuff…

    2. Mr. Mergatroid

      “S.F. schools report no COVID outbreaks, even as delta overwhelms districts elsewhere”

      Unlike Sonoma County, San Francisco still has notably higher mask-wearing rates than anywhere else I’ve been. I’m talking even bicyclists, and people walking uncrowded sidewalks and parks outdoors being masked. Even Seattle can’t match what I see in SF. Walking around super hilly SF I also noticed another thing that no doubt works in the city’s favor re Covid: there are shockingly few obese people to be seen—anywhere in SF. It’s almost like you aren’t even in the obesity-plagued US at all there. I don’t think obese people can really manage life in SF, so there simply aren’t many and as my MCU nurse friend has repeatedly pointed out to me, the one striking commonality, besides being unvaccinated, of the Covid patients she sees doing poorly is obesity. Covid infection and obesity aren’t a happy pairing.

    3. Raymond Sim

      My wife and I were scrolling through the graphs for California counties just last night. Sonoma is … yeesh.

      Here in Davis we seem to be doing better than county data for Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento would lead one to expect. Second week of school just completed though, so our day may come.

      If there’s a sustained difference I’m guessing it’s due to the relative openness to masking etc here.

    4. JEHR

      In Canada, the 10 provinces have chosen to take different routes to “the end of the pandemic” and we see some provinces having very high case rates and high hospitalizations and even some deaths and others have mandated masks and other precautions and seem to be doing well. The virus does not respect the idea that the economy is more important than people’s lives.

    5. antidlc

      I just got back from the grocery store. For the past 18 months, I’ve used grocery pickup where I order online and they place the groceries in the trunk — no contact. I always watch the people entering and exiting the store. While mask wearing has picked up, there are still a lot of people (including a LOT of elderly) who do not mask up. I

      I drive by the local restaurant row and it is always packed.

      My relatives have made repeated vacation trips to Florida over the last 18 months. Yes, they primarily play on the beach, but they still have to stay at a hotel and they go to restaurants.

      The theatres here are holding auditions and giving performances. Not all theatres require masks.

      The huge opera house is holding performances again.

      Yet, I order online, get items delivered, and avoid stores to avoid contact.

      I guess the pandemic is over for most people, I keep wondering if there is something wrong with me.

    6. Darrell

      Mr. Stone

      The Peons at Pelosi’s fundraiser who serviced their masters all wore masks.
      The donors did not.

      In our PMC Pacific coast Blue zone, the staff wears masks, those serviced do not. Are you seeing a pattern here?

      Oh, do you think that Bill Gates or the PMC crowd would put up with using a QR code to order food or be serviced?

      “Emaskulation” means a loss of power and the the ability to continue to reproduce.

  3. Nikkikat

    When I read Bushes speech from the newspaper, I laughed all the way though it. Why would the families of 911 victims even allow that oaf to appear there? They should have pelted him with a shoe or something.

      1. Nikkikat

        No, not Richard Reid, I was referring to Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al Zaidi, the shoe he threw at the Bush press conference in Iraq missed its mark. He was then held by the Iraqi judiciary and later released after hundreds of Iraqis protested in the streets.
        He became a folk hero in his country. Richard Reid the alleged shoe bomber was more effective in that we must take our shoes off at the airport for a little TSA theater every time we want to board a plane for the rest of our lives.

        1. Daniel LaRusso

          without doubt. But I think he’s of the opinion that what happens in the US spreads to the rest of the world, even quicker now with social media.

          He’s quite the political pundit, talk radio particularly. He often gets the “you’re an archaeologist – what do you know” heckle.

  4. Henry Moon Pie

    Human augmentation–

    The brave new world just got even braver:

    Thinking of the person as a platform and understanding our people at an individual level is fundamental to successful human augmentation. Industrial Age warfare saw people as interchangeable components of military units or the material with which to operate the platforms–vehicles, aircraft and ships. These platforms are routinely monitored and analysed but it is remarkable that our ability to understand our most critical capability–the human–is so under-researched. Successful application of human augmentation demands a more sophisticated approach to understanding our people and their capabilities. Defining the key elements of the ‘human platform’–physical, psychological and social–provides a conceptual baseline to enable a multidisciplinary conversation.

    It’s not surprising that when a culture and the science embedded in it see the cosmos as a machine to be exploited as fits the fancy of powerful humans, it will inevitably treat humans themselves as machines to be “enhanced” that they might be better exploited. So just what is the high and holy cause that drives one group of humans to treat another group of humans the way the little boy in “Toy Story” treated his toys? How could anyone possess the requisite hubris to believe that she/he can do better than Nature’s evolutionary processes have managed operating over billions of years? Madness.

    1. Maritimer

      “It’s not surprising that when a culture and the science embedded in it see the cosmos as a machine to be exploited as fits the fancy of powerful humans, it will inevitably treat humans themselves as machines to be “enhanced” that they might be better exploited.”
      I guess the powerful humans might want to experiment with and alter the genes of the subject human machines. I wonder when they will start doing that.

    2. Soredemos

      I won’t defend their repulsive ‘human platform’ framing, but I also don’t have any sympathy for ‘how dare you mess with Mother Nature!’ style arguments. Using that logic you could argue against any kind of medicine at all. Evolution isn’t a conscious process. All it is a haphazard series of ‘eh, good enough’ layered on top of each other over and over. It in fact regularly produces defects, and human intervention can ameliorate or fully correct many of these defects. Just ask anyone who is on medication to reduce seizures.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        “All it is a haphazard series of ‘eh, good enough’ layered on top of each other over and over. It in fact regularly produces defects,”

        I think you’re leaving out the natural selection aspect of evolution.

        I’m not arguing against “any kind of medicine at all,” Instead, I’m urging some humility considering that the complexity developed over billions of years is far beyond our ability to understand fully. We throw stuff up against the wall, and if it happens to stick within a narrow frame of analysis (“effective” vaccines plus profit, always profit), then we go ahead and implement whether or not we have a full understanding of how something works or its side effects.

        1. Soredemos

          What I’m describing is natural selection. Is a change beneficial enough, or at least not detrimental enough that it prevents, a lifeform surviving long enough to reproduce. That’s all natural selection is. There in fact are a huge number of bad ‘design decisions’ in nature.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Consider this view:

            One of the most rewarding features of the systems view of life is the new understanding of evolution it implies. Rather than seeing evolution as the result of only random mutations and natural selection, we are beginning to recognise the creative unfolding of life in forms of ever-increasing diversity and complexity as an inherent characteristic of all living systems. We are also realising that the roots of biological life reach deep into the non-living world, into the physics and chemistry of membrane-bounded bubbles — proto cells that were involved in a process of “prebiotic” evolution until the first living cells emerged from them.

            From a review of Capra’s The Systems View of Life

            I’m not vouching for the review or its source beyond my finding that the portion about evolution was a close restatement of what I heard Capra himself talk about at around 20 minutes into this talk.

            You start out with subatomic particles and end up with one of Wuk’s sequoias, and that’s before you get to humans who track it all back to subatomic particles.

            I’m not into the Potter’s model, understand, but is not the self-organizing ability of what we call matter pretty amazing? And with a stunning level of complexity that we’ve only begun to appreciate?

      2. Massinissa

        Humans have been upgrading the human body at least since the creation of Tooth Fillings. If nature were as unimpeachable as Henry surmises, we wouldn’t need much of dentistry and orthodontistry.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Actually, the primary cause of tooth decay is eating excess sugars and refined foods, modern problems. While at least some hunter-gatherers had issues with tooth decay because they had a diet heavy in starchy nuts, most had dental health superior to ours. The problems started, like many others, with agriculture and a diet heavy in starches for everybody.

          As for orthodontics, our obsession with perfectly straight teeth is a quite recent obsession of the wealthy North. Check out the teeth of successful leading actors even a generation ago. Might that obsession be traceable back to the dental industry itself?

  5. Martin Oline

    Thank you for the CUB picture. After a little cropping I will have a new background screen that will delight my grand daughter.

        1. Mildred Montana

          I agree. My first thought upon looking at the cub picture was that it wasn’t real, that it was too perfect, with the gloomy sky in the background, the shafts of grass for ideal framing, and the ferocious cub looking directly into the camera(?).

          Quite frankly, it reminded me of one of those dinosaur CGI’s that have become so common. Color me skeptical.

          1. Basil Pesto

            texture of the fur for me. Sort of like an animal uncanny valley. Lighting also doesn’t seem right though I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe I’m wrong though!

      1. newcatty

        Cub is so cute. My cat was sitting on my lap, when I was scrolling through links and came to antidote. I have shown her other pictures of wild cats before and she just ignored them. Not this time. She stared at the cub’s picture and her eyes changed like a kaleidoscope. Hmmm. I took away my tablet from her view. Thought it curious as to how she reacted to this image. Was it the cub’s expression?

  6. Nikkikat

    George Bush should be banned from making speeches about anything, let alone 911 which happened on his watch. The speech was hokey nonsense about bravery and courage something he would know nothing about as a draft dodger from the Vietnam war, all the while he was attending drunken parties as a rich frat boy. He was only President due to Daddy’s friend convincing the a right wing Supreme Court to throw the constitution out the window.

  7. Ian Perkins

    China prepares to test thorium-fuelled nuclear reactor

    This could be great news. Thorium is fairly plentiful compared to uranium, and it occurs together with the rare earths China already processes. As a nuclear fuel, it doesn’t produce the amounts of very long-lived radioactive waste associated with conventional reactors, and isn’t as convenient for weapons production. A molten salt reactor like this comes with a failsafe mechanism, automatically draining the combined fuel and coolant away if it overheats, where it stops reacting. And thorium reactors don’t involve the fairly uncharted territory of multi-million degree plasmas needed for fusion technology, but the hopefully much more manageable challenges of materials, pumps and so on operating at temperatures in the hundreds of degrees. If this works, and there’s no obvious reason why it shouldn’t, it could set China, and then the world, on course for near net-zero electricity production.

    1. The Historian

      Have you bought into the nuclear world’s hype? They do spend a lot of money on that!

      Some articles you should read:

      And if you are really nerdy about molten salt reactors, read this:

      No form of enery production is without its problems. Thorium reactors may have a place in an overall energy plan but right now, it does seem a bit premature.

      Also, I worked at a site that tested reactors and one of things we had to do was to decom and destroy a molten salt reactor that we had tested in the past. That was one DANGEROUS and messy job that I would never want to be invoved in again! Much harder than taking down an ordinary test reactor!

      1. Ian Perkins

        I can’t get those first three links to work.
        Glancing through the other two, materials failure due to neutrons and corrosive liquid salt seems the main technical obstacle identified for these reactors. The Chinese think they have new alloys that can cope with the conditions, and if it turns out they can’t, a bit more tweaking might lead to alloys that can. (Then again, it might not!)
        But thanks, and I’ll peruse them both more fully later.

    2. jefemt

      I still don’t understand how we are so blindly willing to ignore the waste issues.

      Look at what the Japanes Gubmint and Utility company are about to do to OUR oceans.

      No free lunch, for sure.

      1. Yves Smith

        Please bone up before commenting.

        Thorium reactors “burn” all their nuclear inputs. No nuclear waste, unlike traditional reactors. That is why people are so keen about their possibilities.

        See Skip Intro below. The reason the traditional reactors became the established technology was that they generated waste that could be used to produce weapons, both bombs and depleted uranium.

        1. Zamfir

          To avoid confusion: thorium fuel does produce spent fuel waste, and in the “short” term this waste has roughly similar properties as waste from uranium fuel.

          The advantage of thorium only shows up after a longer time, a few thousands years roughly. Page 16 of the following link has the best graph I could find:

          As the document says, this difference has little impact on the way you have to dispose of the fuel.

      2. Soredemos

        Dumping the radioactive water into the sea is for all practical purposes a non-issue, and by far the least bad option available to the Japanese. Things absolutely should never have gotten to this point to begin with (I’m guessing some clueless bureaucrat and not an engineer signed off on building the plant where it was), but dumping it in the sea will produce little, if any, negative effects. It’ll be diluted in something like 187 quintillion gallons of seawater. The only compelling argument I’ve seen suggesting otherwise is that it’ll get concentrated into undersea currents, but even that is still an incomprehensibly vast amount of water. Just put a generous no fishing exclusion zone around the dump site, problem solved.

        Critics will find my casual dismissal of the entire issue reprehensible, but radiation isn’t some magical force that automatically taints everything in proximity to it. It’s a huge, but still finite number of particles. Those particles will be diluted into a non-issue by the sheer volume of water.

        1. ambrit

          The dilution of which you speak is not uniform across the entire water zone. The radioactive “stuff” will travel in plumes of concentrated waste water across the pacific Ocean via a northern route. The records of radioactive particle readings after the initial disaster show this effect.
          YMMV (Your Mutagenicity May Vary.)

    3. Skip Intro

      Why would countries invest all that money if they weren’t going to get weapons material? It will be interesting to see if nuclear reactors can survive when they are used primarily for energy.

      1. Ian Perkins

        The prospect of cheap, relatively ‘green’ electricity? The article mentions an investment of $500 million, which isn’t much for China, and subsequent full-scale reactors (if this one proves the technology works) would be alternatives or replacements for other equally expensive ways of generating electricity. Meanwhile, China has its own uranium reserves, and imports around 500 tonnes of uranium oxide concentrate from Australia each year.

      2. David

        For energy, precisely. The vast majority of countries in the world with reactors don’t make weapons (Japan, Lithuania, Switzerland for example). The French case is more interesting, because they had nuclear weapons in the late 1950s, before nuclear power. It was only after the 1973 oil crisis that the French realised that if they were to avoid being strategically dependent on oil, they had to go nuclear in a big way, no matter how much it cost.

        1. DZhMM

          We do not have a nuclear reactor, but our neighbors in Belarus do. They work just as well, though, as an example of ‘not-weapons-making’ with it.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      It could be great news if it works, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. They are basically trying out a half century old technology which has been looked at carefully by all the nuclear powers – nobody has managed to make it work commercially. The fact that its not even been adopted for military use (such as in nuclear submarines) should be a red flag to anyone who thinks that molten salt reactors, with or without Thorium, is some sort of magic bullet. There is quite a good discussion by proponents and opponents on this NPR transcript. The Indians in particular have been working on Thorium as a fuel very intensively for a few decades and they can’t make it work commercially either.

      The Chinese government has for the past 3 decades or so taken a scattergun approach to nuclear power, building prototypes of pretty much every available technology to see if they improve it or if they could make it scalable. They haven’t succeeded with any of them – their current favoured design for the ongoing five year program is essentially a reworking of older PWR reactors (the US APC 1000).

      For whatever reason, China hasn’t made any strides at all in developing nuclear reactors that can come even close to matching those of the existing market leaders. As with all technology areas, they are catching up fast, but there is no particular reason to think that the are likely to leapfrog those countries with much older and more successful nuclear industries (i.e. Russia, ROK, US, Japan, France).

      1. Ian Perkins

        I’m not sure about India working intensively on thorium for decades without success. It looks mainly like the last decade or so, and they still sound fairly upbeat about it.

        From that NPR link:
        MARTIN: Yes, so the molten salt reactor experiment ran from about ’59 until 1973, when it was canceled, and the director of Oak Ridge, Alvin Weinberg, who was a great proponent of thorium and of molten salt reactors, was actually fired by the Nixon administration in 1973, partly because of his belief that we needed an alternative form and that thorium was really a better fuel.
        And so they ran the molten salt reactor, started out running it on conventional uranium, transitioned to uranium-233, which as I mentioned is the byproduct of thorium once it’s in a nuclear reactor. And it was completely proven. I’ve read the documents from Oak Ridge, in which they were – the officials were reporting on the results of this experiment, and it’s basically Dr. Weinberg, thank you very much, your experiment has been a complete success, and now we’re shutting it down.
        (It’s often been suggested that thorium reactors were unpopular with US authorities because they already had existing uranium reactors set up to produce plutonium, with its obvious appeal to those same authorities.)

        None of which is to say either China or India definitely will get the technology up and running, but there seems to be nothing in principle to stop them, and no weird new physics to come to terms with – just some fairly mundane engineering that might need re-jigging, and the will to keep at it.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          That was 50 years ago. It beggars belief that something that worked so well (allegedly) would somehow be ignored by the US private and public sectors, the Russians, the Japanese, the Europeans and everyone else searching for cheap power.

          You can either believe the Oak Ridge Reactor was the holy grail and was killed off by nefarious bureaucrats and somehow or another nobody else picked up the ball, or you can believe that people angry that their expensive toy was taken away from them talked it up in hindsight. I’m inclined to the latter interpretation.

      2. John k

        The problem is, the bar gets higher as the cost of renewable power goes lower, still falling maybe 5%/year.
        My co built a gas cooled reactor in CO, after 3-mile island did gov funded nuclear studies for many years. Worked on the international gas cooled and fusion programs, imo hideously expensive.
        Surprised China is messing with this, thorium reactor doesn’t support bombs like u235/238 does.
        I’m also surprised they don’t shift from coal to renewables given low renewable costs there and awful smog in cities… plus, they’ll lose a lot of land with sea rise.

        1. hunkerdown

          > thorium reactor doesn’t support bombs

          Perfect. Build 1000 for export starting tomorrow.. Even for domestic use, international regulations impose effort and paperwork in case of having too much weaponizable material around.

          Look at the political trouble Iran’s been having with any own conventional civilian nuclear program activity outside the bourgeois international, and consider the possibilities of a fuel cycle that doesn’t entail that level of international “partnership” under pretext of anti-diversion. Especially, imagine an Indian Ocean rim that doesn’t need Uncle Sam’s or Uncle Jinping’s permission to produce energy (as long as the plant mortgages are paid off).

        2. Ian Perkins

          I think the overall cost of renewable electricity stops falling so fast, and even starts to climb, the more of it there is in the supply. Solar and wind are intermittent, requiring storage and fancy grid systems. Thorium could run 24/7, lowering the requirements for both.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Nuclear does not obviate the need for storage and fancy grid systems. Nuclear is excellent for baseline power, but it is very inefficient at providing for predictable and random fluctuations in demand over a day, or week, or year. Its best balanced with CCGT. The same with renewables. If you don’t have gas power, then you need some form of storage or backup (or just massively overbuild capacity, in which case you waste a vast amount of energy).

            1. jonboinAR

              I’ve been assuming, welp!, there is no good large scale storage. What about hydrogen, though? It may be inefficient, turning solar or wind generated electricity to hydrogen via hydrolysis. One could store that electricity that way, though, and it could be worth it were enough being produced.

      3. Bazarov

        I think it’s a bit cynical to hand wave this away with “Half century old technology, nothing to see here!”–the Chinese have achieved breakthroughs in solving some of the problems of the old thorium reactor designs.

        For example, one of the major issues that arose in the 1940s and 1950s: the super-heated salts corrode reactor piping. Chinese scientists claim to have designed a new alloy of “nickel and molybdenum and silicon carbide” that can withstand 1000-degree molten salt without cracking.

        Moreover, technical developments in other fields over the past 70 years greatly increases the chances of success this time around. For instance, salt pumps have come a long way, as they’re used to cool solar arrays. Chinese engineers need only modify already existing pump technologies for use in specialized nuclear-thorium contexts.

        A working thorium reactor would be a boon to climate change mitigation, especially for arid regions of the world, which do not have access to water needed to cool traditional reactors (thorium reactors are salt-cooled).

        This is not just “same old failure!”–the Chinese have good reason to try again and to imagine they could succeed.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          There are no new breakthroughs needed to create a vessel capable of containing 1000 degree salt, any half decent foundry can do that (they are already in use for some forms of CSP plant in Europe) and the Chinese are well behind in materials technology (this is one thing the Europeans, Russians and Japanese have been pretty good at keeping out of their hands, mostly for military reasons).

          Its not Thorium that is the secret sauce for arid regions, its the use of salts or similar to replace water. Thorium may have some advantages over Uranium, but its mostly oversold – its big advantage is that its more common, but we are nowhere near running out of uranium yet.

          I’m very happy to hope that the Chinese could crack this problem. But it beggars belief that with all the advantages a modular molten salt reactor can provide, not least for nuclear submarines, that all the major nuclear powers have come nowhere near to solving it. All the major nuclear powers have thrown mountains of money at compact reactors since the 1950’s in an attempt to make them work, and yet they still end up falling back on water reactors for both civilian and military use.

          And its not just governments – numerous start ups have thrown cash at any number of variations on modular reactors since at least the 1980’s, and there are many still doing it. Oddly enough when you read their websites and press releases, they are all just 5 years away from a working commercial reactor. And they have been for decades.

          It would be marvellous if the Chinese crack the problem. But I’ll believe it when its up and running at scale and has proven it is cost effective. Until then, its just one of the vast herds of ‘too cheap to meter’ nuclear unicorns that have been roaming the earth for the past 70 years.

          1. upstater

            Why is it inconceivable that China, on a drive to industrialize, eliminate poverty and become a superpower (lacking the 800 foreign bases and the likes of grifting Westinghouse, GE, Boeing and Lockheed Martin, of course) couldn’t develop superalloys for molten salt? I worked for a US firm that produced superalloys for commercial and military and it was a actually fairly small cadre of metallurgists and engineers (a few hundred?) that developed the technology and processes.

            While it is true that the US successfully miniaturized nuclear reactors for the navy decades ago, there’s zero incentive to take that technology further. Build one every year or two and the fleet continues to sail. It US completely different than China trying to scale thorium reactors for both domestic and foreign markets.

            Note that the USSR and Russia had/have capabilities for rocket engines that the US has NEVER been able to master (cf. RD180 and predecessors) even as NASA stuffs billions in Elon Musk’s pockets. It is not possible, if not probable that centralized control of strategic investments to leapfrog the sclerotic US?

            1. Felix_47

              Hyman Rickover was risk averse, appropriately. The reactors the Navy uses are fairly reliable and the technology is well understood. Were he alive I suspect the US would be, like France, largely nuclear powered. I doubt he would think experimenting with molten sodium in a sub would offer any advantages in terms of the mission. He was one of a kind. Since CO2 electric power is a public good, like healthcare, like the military even, like the TVA or rural electrification it is hard to understand why it is private. And if global warming ends up as bad as they say it will be, we will be adding a lot more nuclear. Like all the solar panels and electronics we use the Chinese will be building our reactors unless another Rickover is possible in today’s US…which I doubt. Americans will be doing the legal, public relations and regulatory work. A large proportion of the Chinese leadership hold engineering and STEM degrees which are essentially worthless in leadership positions in the US. It would help us if we could build a cadre of well paid engineers who could serve a career in power and nuclear engineering instead of surviving on the crumbs the MBA and M and A people leave them as they shut down and monetize technical enterprises and outsource them to China. Without campaign finance reform I am assuming the worst.

  8. Wukchumni

    Gooooood Mooooorning Fiatnam!

    It was a given that the only way the unit could be propped up was through ‘Operation Loanbacker’, the Fed would build bridge loans to nowhere during trading hours in order to sustain order of the marketplace for the heir force, lest they incur any reversal of fortune or fail to outpace inflation.

    You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time-and the rest are just a rounding error.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “The Falling Man”

    That foto is both deceptive and revealing that. Although it makes that guy look like he is doing a ‘swan dive’, other fotos taken that day show that the guy was actually rotating on his way down. And it hides the fact that plenty of women also dived as well rather than burn. Was reading today this guy describe one young women plunge by as seen from the other building and he could see what she wore, her expression and noted that she was falling with her back to the ground. But there is a lot of denial about these “jumpers” to this day. On 9/11 in heard a New York city official deny that any jumped and I wondered who he thought that he was kidding. About 200 people jumped that day which ended in tremendous, repetitive crashes. The New York City Medical Examiner’s office says “We don’t like to say they jumped. They didn’t jump. Nobody jumped. They were forced out, or blown out.” And that robs those people who jumped of their humanity at the end of their shortened lives.

    And that is what I meant when I said that it was ‘revealing’. This denial that people actually jumped. As if Americans would rather burn to death in place than jump and end it painlessly in only seconds. But this denial in the face of reality was not always so. In twenty years I have never, ever read of a comparison of these jumpers with something that had happened 90 years earlier – the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. This place, also in Manhattan, caught fire and 146 garment workers died from the fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths. Girl after girl went to the windows and jumped rather than burn. One young gentlemen was seen to actually stand by the window and help these young girls to jump. Some hesitated to long and went down with their clothes and hair ablaze. But back them nobody had the hide to claim that nobody jumped. So something changed in America between 1911 and 2001-

    1. Tom Stone

      I watched, heard and smelled two people burn to death while trapped in their car when I was young.
      Jumping to your death is MUCH to be preferred.

    2. Kurrismayfield

      I have no idea how they could deny it. I distinctly remember footage of the command center for the firefighters in the WTC before the towers went down. You heard the bodies hitting the ground and an official said it was bodies jumping.

      Also the first firefighter died that day from a jumper hitting him

      The first fatality occurred at approximately 9:30 a.m., when a civilian leaping from the south tower struck firefighter Daniel Suhr, according to the 9/11 commission report and an oral history interview with FDNY Captain Paul Conlon, who witnessed it. “It wasn’t like you heard something falling and could jump out of the way,” Conlon recalled.

      That level of denialism escapes me.

    3. Wukchumni

      Suicide is rarely reported as such unless you’re famous, and then its open season, but never ever will an ordinary person’s obit mention it as it carries a stigma sick connotation.

      Jumping to your death is a quite reliable way to commit suicide and notable locales include the Golden Gate Bridge and other spans of spilt ilk.

      Unless you’re a Vietnamese Buddhist monk or Jan Palach, most everybody agrees that burning yourself to death isn’t high on the lists of ways of offing yourself, typically its more an accident-not your fault.

    4. JEHR

      The Rev Kev Re: The Falling Man
      I don’t know whether or not you read the whole article but it is well written and worth the time. I was so impressed that I tried to send a thank-you to the writer, Tom Junod, but could not find one. The writing is done with compassion and care and ends on an note both allegorical and mythical. Not many writers can take such a hard topic and treat it so respectfully and truthfully.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Couldn’t agree more. Well said. In fact, I’ve forwarded the link to my brother, that’s how good I thought it was and how much he would like it.

    5. Swamp Yankee

      Rev Kev — re: the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire.

      Though you’re right that the 1911 catastrophe was mentioned only infrequently after Septemer 11th, it was mentioned — I distinctly remember George F. Will, of all people, mentioning it in a column (probably in Newsweek, to which I think I subscribed as a college freshman in the Fall of 2001).

      The other point I’d make is that the Triangle Shirtwaist Factore fire was far more contained and discreet an event than the massive conflagration on September 11th; the “fog of war” factor in the latter would certainly make it easier for nervous authorities to elide (or deny) factual truths.

      Moreover, the main spectacle on Sept. 11th was the falling towers, whereas in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, it was the falling bodies. Bodies of course fell in 2001, but it was not the “main event,” as horrible as that sounds.

      Just some thoughts, perhaps pedantic (for which I beg the leave of all here at NC).

    6. Archibald

      Suicide isn’t seen as heroic, and the government needed heroes to avenge in Afghanistan rather than victims to care for at home.

      1. John

        Choosing how one dies when death is certain does not make one a victim. Those who jumped displayed a courage that makes one ask, could I do the same? What would my choice be?

        I did not care then nor do I care not what the government wanted or needed. The Afghanistan and Iraq plans were made. 9/11 provided the justification, at least in their eyes. The choice in Washington gae us the “gift” of the last 20 years.

        1. newcatty

          The last way to depict the “jumpers” from either the falling towers or the factory is “suicide”. In both examples, a person made a choice of an inevitable way to die. Suicide is another subject for another time.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I think that the problem is that we do not have a word to describe what happened though the Japanese would. I have read of American pilots in the pacific in WW2 whose aircraft was wrecked but who deliberately chose to ram it into a Japanese ship rather than going into the drink – an early echo of the kamikaze pilots later in the war. But so strong is the stigma against suicide that we do not have a word to describe a person who ends their life as they are about to lose it anyway. It doesn’t exist. So accounts tends to flounder around this whole idea.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Usually that word is associated with medical matters but yeah, the meaning of that word comes close as in ‘the practice of intentionally ending life to relieve pain and suffering’. It may be a cultural thing here as in like everybody wants to talk about sex but nobody wants to talk about their own eventual death. Nobody really wants that conversation. We deny our own eventual fates in our society and the fate of those people who decided to jump is an uncomfortable reminder that we are not always in control of our fates.

  10. Ian Perkins

    I like the email I got after subscribing to Edward Snowden on Substack.

    Subject line – Congratulations: this will go down on your Permanent Record

    Body – Welcome to the list, my friend. And if you suspect you were already on it, well… congratulations on moving up in the ranking.

    1. Randy G

      Ian — Snowden occasionally shows flashes of a wry sense of humor. I didn’t know he was on Substack — and I’ll have to check that out — signing in as Alfred E. Neuman, of course.

    2. CoryP

      I’m glad he’s writing on substack. I enjoy his thoughts.

      Because of the date and what’s on my mind I wish he addressed some of the thornier 9/11 issues in his disclosures. I read his memoir so I didn’t read the linked piece which claims to be an excerpt.

      Myriad reasons for him not to dig into that topic and maybe he didn’t have the required access, but damn I feel it was a missed opportunity. (Or maybe there’s nothing to find!)

      But that’s okay, I respect his decisions and the fact that his stated goals are different than what I’d like them to be. He hasn’t criticized what I view as The Intercept’s mishandling of his material, so I’ve softened my position on that.

    3. Ian Perkins

      If anyone becomes a paid subscriber of his on Substack, please remind him what he describes as the greatest regret of his life led to a much-needed and widely appreciated exposé of the NSA and its workings!

      1. Michael

        Was going to comment on his article but paying customers only.

        So…All I could think of was Monty Pythons great line, Run Away!!

        From foxholes to cubicles. What a bunch of cowards.

  11. Solarjay

    It unfortunate that there are still so many articles with such bad information about solar panels.
    Yes solar panels absorb heat too, but compared to what? Most roofs in the US are asphalt, or metal, or tile or slate. All big heat absorbing materials. Few are white reflective synthetic materials. Also solar panels generally cover a very small % of the roof. And studies I’ve read and the direct measurements I’ve done have shown that modules show a reduced house heat gain due to the reduction of heat penetration to the house ie the solar reflects the heat away.
    As to the tired solar panels are made out of stuff so their bad, well compared to what? Keep burning gas, coal, oil, that’s worked out well.
    Or the false trope about recycling. Solar panels are pretty easily recycled. There are many companies in the US and more in Europe. The aluminum frames are removed and recycled. The glass snd solar cells are both high temp melting materials which will cause the loss of some of the trace silver and the EVA glue holding it all together but pretty much all
    The base material is reusable. This works for crystalline panels.
    Thin film, cadmium telluride being the largest group, is being recycled by the OEM, first solar. I don’t know what percentage they are able to reuse.

    Solar isn’t perfect, but let’s have a fair, honest discussion about the actual choices we have to produce our energy.

    As Ian says, Gen 4 nuclear like what the bill gates start up which is a sodium reactor uses up almost all its fuel, and what’s left has a 300 year radioactive life.

    1. Ian Perkins

      The choice of photo at the top of the article was very odd too – it’s of a thermal solar plant, not solar PV panels.

        1. TimH

          The other sign of selling a pitch was the statement “in 25 years, the efficiency of panels has increased by around 5 per cent.”. 5% deliberately doesn’t sound much, but if the starting point is 5% then its’s actually a lot. A quick searching told me that typical installed panels are 11 – 15%, and the good industrial ones 22%. So the 5% number was ficticious to boot.

          1. Objective Ace

            Sounds like the author made an error referring to percent rather then percentage points then. In fairness to the author, this is rather common among those with minimal statistics background, but it should have been picked up by a fact checker/editor

            1. TimH

              Just giving the 5% without the base number is deceptive in itself.

              Reminds me of those 10 or 20% off Costco vouchers which didn’t state the price. I don’t care how you get there, just gimme the final amount.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      “Most roofs in the US are asphalt, or metal, or tile or slate.” That is true and solar panels are comparably heat absorbing. But the link compared solar panels to white roofs. Are you suggesting we should not worry about solar panels on our roof because they are no worse or perhaps a little better than the existing heat absorbing roof? The link did not argue against solar panels per se — it argued for placing solar panels outside cities in solar panel farms.

      You left off part of the tired old “solar panels are made out of stuff so they are bad”. The stuff solar panels are made from is bad stuff leaving significant environmental footprints. I do not recall the link making the further point that like fossil fuels much of the stuff used to make solar panels is finite in quantity, and unless solar panel recycling is much more efficient than the existing recycling of other materials, the stuff used to make solar panels will be used up. I have trouble regarding solar panels as sustainable and resilient until the materials necessary for producing new solar panels are obtained from recycled solar panels, and all the energy required is obtained from sources other than fossil fuels.

      “Solar panels are pretty easily recycled.” I am not sure what you mean by ‘easy’. Do you mean I could easily find some place that will take old solar panels away or do you mean it is physically and mechanically easy to recover the high purity silicon, rare earths, and precious metals that remain after removing the aluminum supports. We have been told plastics are easily recycled too.

      I am not opposed to solar panels per se. I would not have them on my roof because I am wary of leaks and wonder how well roof mounted solar panels might survive some of the increasingly violent storms that seem to be in our future. I am not opposed to solar panels but I am opposed to solar panel boosterism. I oppose the way solar panels have been oversold as a solution to our energy problems. I strongly agree with the concluding sentence of the post: “Our aim should be reducing demand, not increasing power generation.”

      1. Ian Perkins

        Are rare earths widely used in solar PV panels? I thought they aren’t, though they might be employed in some less common types.

      2. solarjay

        A few points:
        1. There are no rare earth in any commercial solar panels.
        2. here are two companies in the US that recycle solar panels. With many more starting up.
        3. even if solar is made with coal, it takes 2 years to produce as much energy and offset its CO2. Then they work carbon free for 23 more years all under a warranty that says 80% minimum output at the end of 25 years. I often work with 30+ year old panels working at 80% or better.
        4. As I said from direct measurement, solar panels provide a shade on your roof, reducing heat penetration into the house, think of a double roof. They also make extremely good black body radiation emitters providing good cooling at night.

        I don’t believe we will ever be able to reduce our energy needs by 140% by conservation. Yes 140% because we need to actively reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, this is from the best scientists in the last 2 IPCC reports, so we have to figure out a way to produce it with non carbon based sources. Solar and wind are but 2.

        1. Guy Hooper

          Solar jay, Good post. This handwringing over solar panels misses the points that you list for those who may not be aware that panel recycling is highly possible. Good place for the government to step in and require it. That would be good for sustainability and get us the real full life cycle cost of panels. The concern trolling over solar panels usually avoids the “compared to what?”question as “Solar panels are polluting compared to (fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, hydro, geothermal…)”. On those comparisons, panels score well. I put 5k on my roof ten years ago and it has worked great in Northern California. Bills pretty much went to zero; payback in 5 years. My community has about 30% panels installed and our first Tesla solar roof with backup Powerwall. Yves continually points out that conservation is a critical part of our future and she is right on. I used to do power audits and the amount of power thrown away to poor practices, inefficient appliances/motors is astonishing.

          I am not averse to nuclear power. My problem with it is nuclear projects are rarely accurately costed (I am being very kind here). When we can estimate and build nuke plants on a budget, I will become supportive. Right now, nuke in the US seems like a scam.

          Fossil fuels are killing us. They have to go. I wish all of the negative pieces on renewables would address that as “given” in the first paragraph, because the implication that FF are critical to our future and we gotta have them is like advocating for suicide. Time to get that front and center when we talk about renewables/nuclear.

        2. Peerke

          We just installed a 8KWh peak array on our roof here in PHX area. We also set our a/c to constant temp rather than turn it up down etc. we noticed that our overall energy use has dropped (so using the thermal mass of the house as a store of coolness works and/or solar panel reflect some heat??) and we see very large overall drop in net energy – expect we will be negative for several months of the year. Effectively our lectric car is powered for free. In 2 months we generated 2.4 MWh. Those are the numbers – now read the article again

        3. Jeremy Grimm

          I stand corrected: “tellurium, germanium and selenium” are rare materials, not rare earth metals. Elsewhere I found: “chemicals in solar panels include cadmium telluride, copper indium selenide, cadmium gallium (di)selenide, copper indium gallium (di)selenide, hexafluoroethane, lead, and polyvinyl” [] I think it is still fair to say — the stuff solar panels are made from is bad stuff leaving significant environmental footprints.

          There are two companies in the US that recycle solar panels, with more coming — I visited the two companies you pointed to but left without finding out much about how they recycle solar panels. “Recycle PV Solar accepts solar from across the US, recapturing over 90% of all materials.” I did not find anything at to explain how solar panels are recycled or exactly what they mean in their claim that they recapture 90% of all materials. One of the references from that site indicated: “it currently costs $20 to $30 to recycle a panel versus $1 to $2 to send it to a landfill, which is why he says research must focus on recovering solar-grade silicon to improve the economics of panel recycling.” [ref. The magazine article in pv magazine referenced by Recycle PV Solar] Further searches using DuckDuckGo turned up the following: “A method to recycle silicon wafer from end-of-life photovoltaic module and solar panels by using recycled silicon wafers” []. This recycling process sounds promising but I have no idea whether it is practicable on a large scale. This might address some of my concerns about the sustainability and resilience of solar panels — but promising results reported in a research paper may not find their way into practice for many reasons.

          The Energy Return on Investment[ERI] looks good for solar versus coal, although I would hesitate to put too much faith in the accounting numbers from either side of that argument. But I did not mention coal or ERI and neither did the link.

          The link seemed to favor ‘green’ or white roofs over dark roofs or solar panels. I do not know whether the shade effects and nighttime black body radiation keep a house cooler than a white roof might. I do believe the black of solar panels added to the existing black of asphalt and dark roof materials could result in and increased Urban Heat Island effect, whether a house with solar panels is cooler or not.

          Although he never says, I suspect the author of the Outrage link is most concerned about the aesthetics of rooftop solar panels.

    3. Ignacio

      It is true that roof-top solar panels generally help to reduce overheating reducing A/C demand in summer. But it is also true that when you install these it is desirable to avoid direct contact through all the surface, to avoid direct heat conduction at least partially. If the roof is flat then is good to set the panels with optimal angle. If it is inclined, then it will be installed in the same angle (co-planar?) but if a couple of cm of air is left between much better.

    4. Eric F

      Yes, the article is almost entirely bullshit.

      Solar PV manufacture will never be limited by availability of raw materials. Silicon is one of the most plentiful solid elements on the planet, and the other elements are used in only trace quantities.
      The limit is the energy required to refine and smelt the materials and to maintain the level of purity required for the whole process.
      Arguments continue, and will forever, about how long it takes for that input energy to get paid back.

      The heat island argument is crazy. PV panels trap and radiate heat? More than asphalt shingles or concrete? The article doesn’t quantify that because it can only be a tiny difference, and only a difference to the greater heat trapping in carefully selected circumstances.

      Up until a few minutes ago, my main reason for not rushing out and installing PV panels on my roof was the performance degradation over time. I’d read an article that said public utilities were decommissioning PV installations after 20 years. Admittedly I will probably not live another 20 years, but it strikes me really wrong that something with zero moving parts would wear out in 20 years. Then i did a search for PV performance loss over time:

      A half a percent per year means 60 percent remaining after 100 years. Not terrible.

      The utilities are doubtless factoring in other things – like tax subsidies, etc.

      But the main question I have for the writer of this article is Why? What agenda is this pursuing? So much bullshit.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Silicon is one of the most plentiful elements in the Earth’s crust — second only to oxygen. That may be, but the silicon used for producing silicon wafers is has a Silicon purity of 99.9999999%. The costs for purifying silcon increase as less pure silica is used to feed the process. Even common glass is made using industrial sand — which must contain at least 95% SiO2 and less than 0.6% iron oxide. Industrial sand is a product of silica mining using open pit or dredging mining methods with standard mining equipment. Most industrial processes, including the production of silicon wafers, tend to prefer inputs from mining over inputs from recycling. In general, mining operations tap into sources of a substance which is concentrated in purity, and geographic location, easy to extract compared with other sources, and of sufficient quantity to justify large operations for extraction. Sources of a substance suitable for mining operations are finite and run out. Recycling has not yet proven capable to displace mining operations without Government support of one kind and another and of course mining operations are often supported and subsidized by the Government — leading to warring incentives. Recycling has weaker support, and often a much weaker economic case for the short-run. Recycled materials are typically geographically scattered, impure and difficult to separate for many reasons. Eventually only inferior sources of various substances including silicon will be available. This will lead to increased costs. The extraction of fossil fuels is similar to mining extraction with the difference that once they are burned, the energy they stored is spread to the wind or used in the transformation of other substances. Of course the Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, and other components that had been assembled into fossil fuels remain, but transformed — and geographically spread in impure, deconstructed forms.

        That this link appears on an Architecture site leads me to suspect aesthetic concerns about rooftop solar panels trump any allegiance to building solar panel farms. Besides, how are solar farms and rooftop solar panels in competition? I thought we had too few of both.

      2. drsteve0

        Yep, the article was not even very sophisticated trolling BS. A lot of worries about nuthin’. Recently installed an 8 kw system (24 X 335 watt panels – not on my roof, out in the yard) My wife and I were concerned we should have gone to 36 panels (12kw) the limit for the controllers and inverters we have, i.e. we could easily expand but hell we’re making more power than we can use. If after 20 years (I’ll almost certainly be dead) my poor pitiful heirs are only getting 80%, roughly 6 1/2 kw, they’ll probably not complain. It’s free for God’s sake. My biggest worry is 3” or 4” hailstones. Went with LiFePo4 batteries, not cheap but pretty idiot proof which is vital in my case.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      The only argument against rooftop solar that makes any sense is that it is far cheaper and more efficient to put the panels in large arrays on land that does not have a good alternative use, and that is close enough to connect to the grid. As you say, the urban heat island effect argument is purest BS and an obvious bad faith argument unless he can point out somewhere that solar panels are being put on white painted roofs.

      Current technology PV panels are nowhere near perfectly green, but there are numerous life cycle assessments out there (some of them are even honest and independent) and solar invariably scores far better than any fossil fuel alternative, and is at least not significantly worse than wind, which usually wins hands down in these studies.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        It seems odd to me that there should be so much concern spent by the link on the curious Urban Heat Island arguments and ‘green’ or white roofs versus solar paneled roofs while ignoring the quiet statement that: “The inefficiency of solar panels is frequently overlooked.” Increasing efficiency usually comes at a cost. Sufficiency, not efficiency should be a primary concern. Sufficiency returns the argument to consideration of “reducing demand, not increasing power generation”. I suspect some means less efficient than silicon wafer solar panels or giant wind turbines for converting solar energy or wind energy to electricity might suffice lesser demands and provide a greater degree of sustainability and resilience.

  12. jsn

    Tooze doesn’t see a wage price spiral, okay but he’s missing a prominent monopoly manufactured supply constraint.

    FIRE will target and drain every surviving pool of liquidity in the real economy until lawmakers stop it.

    With lawmakers well bought by monopolists, this dynamic has a good runway leading to sustained shortages of manufactured goods or networked services until the real economy is completely drained of cash flow. It will look like a series of sectoral inflations.

  13. Expat2uruguay

    LATAM news: what follows is a selection of articles from the Latin America News Round-up (LANR) put out by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). I’ve compiled links to several of the articles from this week that I will but in comments below organized by country/topic. I hope some here find this helpful or interesting. If others are interested in receiving the LANR newsletter via email 5 days a week:

    1. Expat2uruguay

      Brazil: Ninety minute YouTube interview by The Gray Zone with the editor of Brazil Wire about Bolsonaro, Lavó Javo, and the September 7th Supreme Court protest. There’s really a lot of stuff in this interview, including the CIA.

      Brazil’s business leaders publish letter urging institutional harmony

      Brazil’s Bolsonaro backs off comments about Supreme Court justice

    2. Expat2uruguay

      Deep dive.


      Ecuador to cut deficit by half in 2022:
      And restructure their IMF Lending:

      Honduras, hilarious title:

    3. Expat2uruguay

      Guatemala, two sides of a pretty wild story:

      “Guatemalan prosecutors have opened an investigation into allegations that Russian citizens paid a bribe to the nation’s president, Alejandro Giammattei, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office said Friday”
      “Guatemala’s top anti-corruption prosecutor had begun to look into the allegations with a small team of investigators, determining that the witness had likely stumbled upon a plot by a Russian-backed mining company to bribe the president for the right to operate part of a key port. But just weeks after their inquiry began, the prosecutor, Juan Francisco Sandoval, was abruptly dismissed by the attorney general and fled to the United States with the evidence he had compiled.”


      “Then, on July 23, Attorney General Maria Consuelo Porras fired the head of Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI), Juan Sandoval. FECI worked alongside CICIG in investigating government officials and corruption, and it has continued to do this work since CICIG’s expulsion. Sandoval’s illegal and arbitrary firing took place soon after FECI began investigations into President Giammattei, including for allegations that he accepted bribes from a foreign-backed mining company.”….

      “Sandoval’s dismissal triggered national protests and a national strike that has again placed Guatemala at a political and social crossroads. But the protests—some of the largest since the 2015 anti-corruption uprising—are not just about Sandoval’s firing. “….

      “Meanwhile, the government’s Covid-19 response has raised suspicions of corruption. The Giammattei administration purchased 16 million vaccines for $80 million, but the doses never appeared.”

    4. Expat2uruguay

      The Yellow Peril/Opportunity:

      Here is another one from America’s Quarterly, of which I am not a fan, but I actually like this article and consider it a must-read for anyone interested in Latin America/Caribbean International trade.

    5. Expat2uruguay

      IMF SDR: Clarification on the special drawing rights available to Latin American countries from the IMF: (Super interesting, originally published at FT Alphaville)

      “The IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation added $650 billion worth of potential dollar liquidity into the global financial system on August 23. But some of the world’s most stricken economies are floundering when it comes to putting that liquidity to use, due to disagreements in some cases about who has ownership over the funds: central banks or governments.”
      “Nonetheless, in Mexico, the country’s central bank, known as Banxico, recently published a statement asserting that it, rather than the government, should maintain control over the $12 billion worth of SDRs the state has received in the latest IMF issuance. Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, disagrees. He believes the SDRs should go to the government’s budget”

      “López Obrador’s is right…. The IMF’s managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, has made a courageous call to countries in dire need, noting that the SDR allocations of 2009 were often used simply to boost reserves. This time she hopes it will be different: “We call on you — on the leaders — to use these resources strategically, for top priorities. And, of course, self-resilience on health is a top priority,” she said.”

      “López Obrador proposes using the SDRs for the benefit of the people and to reduce his government’s debt service payments. While I would prefer to see SDRs spent on economic recovery, loans to small businesses, and key infrastructure, it is up to the Mexican people — and its democratically elected government — to decide how to best spend them, and not the central bankers who want to sterilize and stash away the hard-fought-for SDR injection in an already-high stockpile of reserves.”

      More on IMF special drawing rights, with the focus on use for the United States:

      1. GF

        Thank you for these links. Not nearly enough attention is paid to Central and South America by the north’s media outlets.

  14. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “Something’s Got to Give”
    Prices for things I need and use — things like beans or Medical Care — continue to increase at rates beyond the most tortured explanations and excuses torn from the mad lunacies of ‘Market’ mechanisms. Even modest interest rates paid to savings are a fond memory as the costs for borrowing money remain usurious. Government coddled Cartels set their own prices and vie with other Cartels for extracting greater profits from their small suppliers, workers, and customers. The last two times the equities and asset Markets stumbled, the Government made those Markets whole and then some. Bear reasoning based on old economic theories has fooled me twice, I wonder whether things really are different this time.

    1. Wukchumni

      Devil’s Own Ombudsman Dept:

      In Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre, he mentions the turmoil on Wall*Street when the 1906 SF quake happened, and we all know the Big One is coming, location & timing to be determined.

      Lets make the city by the bay in play again with a shallow 6.66 which destroys the pipes that bring imported water in from elsewhere along with wrecking the levee systems on the California Delta-allowing salt water intrusion, and because there is no reliable inventory of construction materials nor any imported water available, nothing gets done, and the exodus spreads like an octopus intra & interstate, their wealth and smug tied up in real estate, and as they say you can’t take it with you, so they become pauperazzi, and out of staters despise the new arrivals not just because the Cali equity locusts before them caused property values to rise so much along with their liberal values, but because the pauperazzi have nothing and their tent cities are located so close to homes, and tend to lower property values.

      {that’d be one way of got to give, the H20 version of Chernobyl}

    1. griffen

      Big fish…3 tons of him. Always enjoy seeing the interaction between the old man and much younger, perhaps sheltered by family resources, researcher.

      Dreyfuss just kills me with his antics. It’s a curious thing how they filmed it without digital or CGI !!

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        They despised each other in real life, but the scar scene with a begrudging admiration is just so good. Speilberg does so many things I loathe in movies such as kids being in movies so well.

        Spielberg killed a planned semi-sequel to Jaws featuring basically the whole cast and sets where Dreyfuss would play a Spielberg character trying to make a movie about a shark attack, running afoul of local politics and a shark that don’t work. Schneider would play a prima donna. Instead, they made Jaws 2. The filming of Jaws almost killed George Lucas. They barely filmed it.

        1. Wukchumni

          Once upon a time @ the Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena, one of the floats was titled ‘The Bastard Sons of Robert Shaw’ with a dozen of his would be progeny waving and blowing air kisses.

        2. griffen

          Given the nature of Hollywood and now all the streaming options, it would be unsurprising if there was a push for an “origin” or prequel story. After all, little fish become big fish!

          So many prequels and origins of “whatever story / character” are occasionally not too great. I thought the “Solo” movie about Han Solo was just okay.

          I wish they had barely filmed Jaws 3!! So very very bad. Apologies to a younger Dennis Quaid.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Most aren’t necessary. Han Solo’s familiarity with the Empire’s military procedure, German pants and Jack boots, life of crime, and running around with a “thing” (a walking Malamute, a work dog) told an origin story. Since there is no mystery, the adventure aspect better be worth it. The movie was largely boring otherwise. Rogue One was fun even though I knew they were going to get the Death Star plans out.

            I don’t know if the making of Jaws comedy would have worked, but everything I heard about it made it sound great.

    2. Ignacio

      Indeed! According to an expert in cetaceans these attacks could be hunting (or fishing?) lessons for the ‘little’ cubs. That might explain why the rudder is their objective, not that different to a tail fin of a great white shark.

          1. Ian Perkins

            I’ve witnessed urban macaque monkeys whose homes were being destroyed venture out on a wrecking spree, twisting TV antennae and hurling roof tiles down – which they’d never done before, certainly not in such a collective and determined manner.

            1. newcatty

              Well, just because something sounds “novelistic” doesn’t mean it would not be a valid theory. Truth can be stranger than fiction. Who, especially many scientists, knows the extent of the intelligence and concienceness of cetaceans? Almost every time a cetacean behaves in a way that resembles ” human beings” that behavior (such as working together in groups) of the cetacean’s are subject to the interpretation of the observer. IMO, it is likely that cetaceans are aware and knowledgeable that human behaviors in their ocean home waters has crossed the line of hubristic, greedy , selfish and destructive acts. Cetaceans have shared their world with us for many years. Is it any surprise that all of the reasons for their “attacking” ships that are vehicles apart of that consequential pollution, sound interference in their communications, food supply disminishing are their response?

              1. Ignacio

                You are advancing chapter 1. Go ahead, I foresee lots of money behind it. Can you already imagine who will play the principal roles in the film?
                Suggestions for the title:
                “The Revenge Of The Killer Whale”
                “KW Strikes Back!”

  15. Wukchumni

    Go check new car dealerships-they’ve got nothing in stock, which means we’re in the throes of a used car bubble which could get silly, because when we can’t get something (Coors beer east of the Rockies in the 70’s, Cuban cigars in the 90’s) it makes the desire all that much stronger.

    Zillow Autos ad: June 2023:

    2007 Chevy Suburban, 146k miles. Location-Location-Location. This cream puff isn’t going anywhere on account of a seized engine and opportunity knocks. Sleeps 5.

    $110,500 OHO (or higher offer)

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      I was recently hoping to get a new (high-MPG/AWD) car using my excellent credit rating and 0% financing. Great, I qualify for the no-interest financing everywhere I applied, but then when it comes to saying ‘No, Thanks’ to the modern equivalent to the ‘Its got the undercoat, and the sports package accessory option!’ (at ridiculous inflated price) and/or the ‘can we at least shave $250 off the lot price?” heh…no compromise. Take it or leave it.

      Basically with a small # of such vehicles appearing on the lots due to (apparently) the chip shortage the sellers can charge all they want, and if someone like me comes along to try and bargain…its a big ‘Nope, we’ll get some other sucker who doesn’t bargain a little later today, so buh-bye!’.

      So I gave up on new cars, looked at used – and despite being in used car lot ‘heaven’ (near Highway 99 in Puget Sound has lots up and down hereabouts) I just couldn’t stomach the inflated prices, never mind the fact I couldnt put the balance of any loan into one of those nifty 0% financing deals.

      Soooooooo….I’m left working with my older brother to put in $3500 or so for replacement transmission into a 2008 Honda Civic I bought new years ago for my Mom (since passed away) and that has just been sitting on the farm, out to pasture.

      As it turns out – though the car has 200k miles on it already – it was subject to a warranty/recall thing for the engine, where the block had potential to crack. So my bro had already taken it in to get what was essentially a complete engine rebuild at about the ~175k mark. So transmission aside, thats only 25k on the rebuilt engine.

      I dunno, I guess that’s how I am gonna get my backup car. I mean, at least it still gets really good mileage, and my bro has a set of studded snow tires for it he will give me.

      1. griffen

        I own a 2008 Accord, now over 200k miles. In the past 2 years, roughly after hitting 160k on the odometer, I’ve practically updated or repaired every other item but the auto transmission.

        I’d encourage your plan includes checking the plugs, late 2020 I had a misfiring issue. Then you might as well confirm that the belts & water pump are good as well. I am incapable of doing much for this car other roll it into the service dept.

        When in Rome, so it goes. Good luck. I’ll acknowledge your Civic might be a 4 cylinder as opposed to the V6 I have.

        1. ex-PFC Chuck

          Ditto here on the misfiring issue with my ’98 Camry with 230K miles a couple of weeks ago. New plugs & wires did the trick.

          1. JacobiteInTraining

            Thanks to both for tips – I’ll rely them to my brother!! (I inherited the IT/computer brain in the family, my brother got the mechanical/auto brain instead)

            I’ve at least been taught to religiously obey the standard fluids and belts checks in my vehicles, but he absolutely babies his (including doing same for the Civic while Mom had it) so I am pretty lucky to have him around to insure all the automotive i’s are dotted & t’s crossed.

            He has always been effusive in his praise of the reliability of that Civic over the years.

    2. Skip Intro

      I expect all the flooded cars from our most recent ‘troubles’ in the northeast and Gulf will cause even greater auto shortages as owners try to replace them, and gradually appear as very dodgy used cars.

    3. Daniel LaRusso

      I went to buy a new couch yesterday. It will be made to order and delivered …. Christmas Eve, and he said he was surprised how quick they could do it. He said it’s materials and backlog. Nothing was getting made or delivered during the pandemic, but you were still allowed to buy.

  16. jimmy cc

    i am surprised to hear corporate america isnt worried about our freedoms./s (i counted on it, of course)

    there will be many mid sized companies that will take Biden to court

    1. dday

      Many companies might welcome the vaccine mandate. Having their entire workforce vaccinated will end the current tension between those who are vaccinated and those who are not. I’m hearing a lot of anger from vaccinated folks about the non’s.

      1. Objective Ace

        I still dont understand the enforcement mechanism. If it comes down to firing your employees, or just pretending you didnt know they weren’t vaccinated to avoid paying a fine, the latter would seem most palatable. (Thats what they do with illegal immigrants)

        Do people seriously think the government is going to be investigating any big company that just so happens to spend millions on lobbying? What is the possible upside to doing so?

        As enoughisenough mentioned below, its almost like the mandate was written so the government wouldnt have to actually do anything. People still arent getting vacinated–not our fault, we told businesses to worry about it

        1. Tom Doak

          Opportunities for selective enforcement are a win-win for the ruling party and those who pretend to toe the line. Ask Xi.

    2. enoughisenough

      businesses always enjoy putting their boot on their workers’ necks, they believe they get better work out of people when people feel trapped and oppressed.

      I am pro-vaccine, but don’t like employers having so much control over people. They are functioning like proxy governments, tyrannical ones, since our actual government refuses to do its job, and create thoughtful legislation that protects our democracy and civil rights.

      This is a weird workaround – to mandate vaccines, and outsource enforcement to businesses.

      Meanwhile, we can’t even get a federal mask mandate.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        All good points, enoughisenough. And perhaps best illustrated by Washington State’s vax mandate, issued last month for all state employees, with a deadline of Oct. 18 to be fully vaxxed or get fired. The mandate also applies to all healthcare providers, educational workers, and contractors to all of the above, including volunteers. There are increasing rumblings of systemwide walkouts. Gov’s proclamation can be found here (PDF):

        The proclamation includes guidelines for enforcement, with a barn-door-wide opening for individual agencies and companies to exceed those guidelines. A contact in the ferry system told me they not only must be vaxxed by Oct. 18 or be terminated, but they also have to register with a third-party vaccine compliance management system by 10/4. I asked for, and received, a copy of the memo. It doesn’t say what will happen to them if they miss the registration deadline, but it’s clear that all WA Dept of Transportation employees need to use this app. I did a quick search and found that it’s one of the leading apps used by colleges to verify that students have been vaccinated and to deny them access to class materials, grades, and refunds if they refuse. I’m pulling together some info to send to our esteemed mods. This is the pandemic Big Data grab we’ve been warned about.

  17. jimmy cc

    i am heavy in Treasuries and buying index options with the interest income.

    trying to stay safe while getting most of the stock market gains.

    1. griffen

      Not to cast shade on your thoughtful & conservative plan, please be mindful of the duration / maturity risk within Treasuries*. Any 10 yr to 30 yr maturity exposure might leave a mark if inflation is not, alas, transitory.

      Still thinking in broad terms that 2022 will prove interesting. The mere YTD increases in the broad US indexes makes me a bit concerned.

      *You most likely are. Just in event someone reads your plan without a disclaimer or a concern.

      1. Neckmann

        IMHO – the U.S. government is bought and paid for by the wealthy. And the wealthy disproportionately own stocks. Whenever (last 20 years or so) there is a problem in the stock market, the wealthy “owners” of the government insist the government fix the market. Then vast sums of government money are thrown at the market to fix the problem. Therefore I believe broad index funds are FAR safer than are generally believed. Hitch your wagon to the same investments of the wealthy is not a bad idea.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “20 Years After 9/11, U.S. Global Authority Is Weaker Than Ever”

    ‘The 9/11 attacks…were the explosive outgrowth of a crisis of authority within Islam that had been swirling for 200 years.’

    Really? This is what Foreign Policy reckons? That is strange that. Personally I would have put it down to Washington for decades green-lighting Saudi Arabia spreading one of the most intolerant forms of Islam that there is – Wahhabism. It is so extreme that not only have they destroyed nearly all buildings that they could associated with the Prophet and his family, but they have indicated that if they could, they would destroy his Tomb, rebury his bones in an unmarked grave somewhere and then build a museum or something in its place. And this is the form of Islam that they have been using their petro-dollars to export all around the world causing radicalization there. When a million Muslim refugees went to Germany a few years ago, Saudi Arabia offered to build 200 Mosques for them but Germany told them what they could do with their Minarets because they could see why the Saudis offered this idea.

    There is another reason why US “authority” is no longer working so well. Washington has been sending the US military all around the world fighting an endless series of fights for the past twenty years. But when you fight an enemy, you are also teaching him how to fight you. Countries like China, Russia and Iran have watched and learned and now it is impossible to attack them. And all those Jihadists have also learned how to fight Americans which paid off for them in Afghanistan. And it is why Washington is lurky about trying to invade places like Venezuela as they too have had twenty years to learn about American doctrine, tactics, equipment and capabilities. Which may be good or bad, depending on your viewpoints. But Washington should really be concentrating on soft power and diplomacy going forward if they want to get anything done.

  19. farmboy

    To sleep, perchance to dream….now could be ominous. “Molson Coors recently announced a new kind of advertising campaign. Timed for the days before Super Bowl Sunday, it was designed to infiltrate our dreams [1]. They planned to use “targeted dream incubation” (TDI) [2] to alter the dreams of the nearly 100 million Super Bowl viewers the night before the game—specifically, to have them dream about Coors beer…”
    Subliminal, shapeshifting advertising for your dreamscape, just give me some LSD, thank you!

        1. pasha

          kudos any reference to “firesign theater.” iirc, ‘bear whiz beer’ was also the favored consumable in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers comix

    1. Samuel Conner

      This could backfire. Outraged consumers, on learning that their dreams are being manipulated, could learn to dream lucidly, and enjoy the experience of the manufacturer’s product during dream time rather than in waking life.

      And I don’t think that the patent and trademark laws could reach this method of producing their product.

    2. jr

      This is beyond hideous. Literally, your most private experiences turned into an advertising “opportunity” for garbage. Dreams are the only free space we have left. Our bodies and our imaginations have been bought and sold but this is another level of desecration.

      If someone were to tell me they volunteered for this, I would personally downgrade that person to something other than that. After flinching. When you surrender your last bit of inner autonomy, you destroy what is human about you. You are a kind of experiential cyborg, un-whole, a thing, and one to be avoided.

    3. Maritimer

      Follow the Behaviourial Science, much of it developed on the taxpayer dime. I have read/listened to many Behaviourial Scientists and have yet to hear even one of them express any reservations/misgivings about their Industry. Ethics do not buy yachts or win lucrative grants/contracts.

      1. jr

        Here’s one of those scientists:

        “I’ve studied dreams and methods to influence them throughout my career, but working with the artists of the Coors Dream Project was a novel opportunity to craft audio and visual stimuli that viewers could use to trigger specific dream content,” says Dr. Barrett. “We saw the results come to life in the Dream Lab trial run when participants reported similar dream experiences including refreshing streams, mountains, waterfalls and even Coors itself.“

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Mississippi teachers beg for help after more than 18,000 students catch COVID-19 in one month: ‘At what point do we protect children over the economy?’ ”

    According to leading economists, there are about 35,000 babies born annually in Mississippi so plenty of replacements coming down the pipeline. And after typing this, I would not be surprised to learn that this is what and how they are thinking.

  21. hunkerdown

    “the Continuity of Government Commission has been reconstituted under the aegis of the American Enterprise Institute”

    The reproduction of the US government itself is being privatized into a neoliberal think tank, and Shalala’s okay with that. Rush Limbaugh is smiling on her from Heaven, no doubt.

    This looks like the actual coup to me.

      1. newcatty

        Reminds me of an old friend’s favorite greeting to any jerk or narcissist who walked into a space we were sitting at, a cafe, a social occasion, etc.
        What! They let you into the place? Said with a soft voice and a grin. It always got the desired effect of the person not joining us.

  22. CoryP

    Thanks for the CovertAction link. It’s been on my reading list but I’d forgotten about it. Ben and Aaron have been great guests on TrueAnon (PDS too!) and I read some academic article by Aaron that was enlightening.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Clyburn: ‘You may not need $3.5 trillion to do what the president wants done’ ”

    This is Clyburn giving cover to old Joe and the Democrats. They will in the end pass a minimum budget plan and claim that this was their intention all along. It won’t solve that many problems but they have to have something to point at for the 2022 midterms.

    1. tegnost

      Like everything else out of DC it will be socialism for the rich and shared sacrifice for the mopes.
      That it’s taken so long is informative, the patriot act took like one day. The long term has given the pols lots of chances to make empty promises while no real effects or giveaways are known.
      8 million green cards? What happens when those south of the border don’t want to come to this $h*+h@!e country?

      1. Nikkikat

        Just like how quickly they were able to get all of the pandemic money out when it was for the banksters and the big corporations. Not so much when it was time to throw a pittance our way. My question? Why do people still believe the game is real.

      2. ambrit

        The “lower class” jobs are already well on the way to being “internally outscourced.”
        These ‘Nuevo Green Cards’ are aimed squarely at the remaining “middle class” technical jobs in America.
        If I were a “progresive” President of Mexico, I would clandestinely support revolutionary movements inside ‘El Norte.’ Ship some of those guns the DEA sent South years ago back North.
        Tell the Cartels that what they do up North is of no concern to Mexico. Just let them know that it is no longer “business as usual” in Las Pueblas.

        1. newcatty

          IIRC, many immigrants from Mexico are going home. It used to be, and still is in some cases, that immigrants came to work in farms, factories, meat processing “plants”, landscaping, etc. to support themselves and send money home. With the deplorable conditions, much less the lack of health protections due to virus, some are saying that helping the older small family farms is preferable to being slaves in most El Norte farms, etc. There is a movement in some states in Mexico to encourage self-sufficient small farms . Many are ready to embrace organic, pèrmaculture practices. Why be slaves ,when you can live with an even better quality of life with extended family, friends and culture? Money is not as needed, once the homestead is in place.

            1. Michaelmas

              Mexico also has National Medicine. Better than the ‘average’ person has in America.

              As does Russia.

              “Healthcare in Russia is provided by the state through the Federal Compulsory Medical Insurance Fund, and regulated through the Ministry of Health.[1] The Constitution of the Russian Federation has provided all citizens the right to free healthcare since 1993. In 2008, 621,000 doctors and 1.3 million nurses were employed in Russian healthcare … There are about 9.3 beds per thousand population—nearly double the OECD average.”


  24. jr

    Naked Prepperism:

    Update on emergency food stock: Corn and beans are great for protein but low on fat. Solution? Full fat refried beans!

      1. ambrit

        I have two sisters. Believe me, two are more than enough.
        Refried beans are great! Just keep an eye on the ingredients list. Cans of beans are not all the same.

        1. newcatty

          Yes, look out for excess salt, especially. Also, like we were told many moons ago, forms of sugar ( not neccesary for flavor enhancement) or so called “preservatives”. We did the search and have a favorite brand. Another bonus, refried beans are a perfect food when any time a”soft diet” is needed.

    1. jr

      Thank you for the comments.


      I’m going to have to go with a multi-vitamin to supplement those two, not by choice I assure you.


      Agreed but I have to go the cheap route and this is not food I hope to have to eat for longer than three months at most. After that, if there is nothing else available, I will probably just eat the bottle of trazadone in my bathroom.

      1. ambrit

        Don’t give up after just three months. Use that time to start some sort of garden. It can be done anywhere. Save the tranks for high stress situations.
        Trazadone reminds me of the Flintstone’s Dog of the Future: Tralfazzzzz.
        Then there is Trafalmadore, a place I’d like to visit.
        Concerning trazadone, well, I very much doubt if the original formulators of the substance considered self extinction as a “cure” for depression and sleeplessness. Today? I wouldn’t put anything past them.

    2. Zachary Smith

      Consider vegetable oil. A gallon of vegetable oil inside a 5 gallon bucket can be buffered by pouring rice or some such over it to fill the bucket. Around here corn oil is the most expensive, but this is no place to economize. Anyhow, I don’t like what I’ve been reading about “canola” or soybean.

  25. Raymond Sim

    The SF Chronicle page for the article on the apparent successful suppression of Covid transmission in SF schools doesn’t seem to function properly when I open it. Won’t scroll, links don’t work.

    Can I guess that they’ve taken ventilation seriously, but vaccination gets the credit?

    1. Wukchumni

      When they’re trying to hit people up for 99 Cents for 26 weeks worth of product, it isn’t as if anybody should be expecting much out of the SF fishwrap.

  26. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The Limits of My Empathy for Covid-Deniers

    This is where I stopped reading –

    When I asked [psychotherapist] Martha to help me with my empathy, she started with the topic of grief. If you are like me, struggling with empathy as the world seems to split apart at its social seams, Martha’s perspective may help guide you back to a version of yourself that you can live with.

    She suggests that the anti-science, narcissistic, antisocial Covid deniers are displaying a collective grief response.

    Are there any unvaccinated people who might not fit that description? She might as well have called them a bunch of feeble minded reprobates. Just when you think you reached peak liberal goodthinker condescension…

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Boy, no kidding. Let’s consult with the passive-aggressive “psychotherapist.” For clarity and insight.

    2. enoughisenough

      Yeah, that article was an exercise in self-fluffing. She says it’s not performative or for her own virtue signalling, but that is so obvs. exactly what it is. Why is her self-righteousness of interest to anybody? The NYT is disgusting.

      If you have to create a rationale to be empathetic, you’re just not empathetic.

      Here’s an idea for these people: how about minding your own business? You can be sad someone died from a pandemic, and leave it at that. The rest is unknowable to us – how dare people try to assess everyone’s lives, like they’re Osiris in the seat of judgement of the dead, when they have *no idea* what other people are going through?

      1. hunkerdown

        The clerisy.

        The familyblogging clerisy.

        Their social role is to mind others’ business and judge others. The order of society requires it. It’s easy to propose alternative social orders without humbug having force of law, not much harder to propose such orders that are self-sustaining and even seen real-world testing; “the problem lies in getting them accepted.”

  27. Pat

    I am amused at the CNN article about business owner’s pleased with Biden’s vaccine mandate. The Chamber of Commerce, an outplacement company, Business Roundtable…anyone notice a theme in the people/companies saying this is exactly the stick they need to force employees to stay in their jobs or get jobs? They aren’t the ones actually hiring or employing people. *

    One such organization, the Consumer Brands Association, did put a caveat in this – they wanted to know about enforcement methods the government gives them. As they said the devil is in the details. I suppose saying if all I can do is fire X percentage of my staff, what happens then beside my business failing is a bit too blunt.

    I am not saying they aren’t right, but kicking out all the unemployment support hasn’t gotten people back to work. So it isn’t impossible that employees might give the finger to employers who go “But the government says you have to.!” If that happens I don’t think businesses will be quite as happy as the Chamber thinks.

    *This could very well be a PR/sales pitch article meant to tamp down uncertainty. They acknowledge that some businesses will file suit. But the return to the status quo folks really really need to believe that 100% vaccination will solve everything.

    1. jr

      “anyone notice a theme ”

      Read my mind here, in a related vein. I’ve spent some time last night watching a couple of MSM news videos regarding COVID. One thing jumped out: at least 2/3rds of the people interviewed were either in business or doctors… business.

  28. LilD

    Sweetgreens went too far, but the link between nutrition and health is very strong. It’s not just BMI, it’s junk vs nutrients…

    For evidence based examples

    I don’t think it’s too strong to say that if most of the world adopted a whole food plant based diet, health outcomes would be much better. And, less pressure on the environment by reducing the industrial food complex.

    1. IM Doc

      More than a year ago, I wanted to get my nurses and office staff on some kind of project in the office that would actually be constructive and positive in their work on the pandemic. You have no idea, but the amount of screaming and yelling directed at doctors and their staffs is at an all time high. And much worse now with all the breakthroughs.

      We all decided to double down on diabetes because that is the biggest single risk factor for covid severity in everyone other than age. And you cannot really fix that.

      And they did with gusto. Diet education. Exercise. Diabetic education. Fine tuning meds. Praising patients without ceasing. A marked increase in follow up calls.

      Our average a1c reading in August 2020 was 8.1.

      August 2021 that average a1c was 6.9.

      I could not be more proud of my staff and their intense efforts to do something anything positive for covid. It is important for all hard workers to have positive success and the feeling of contributing.

      I have always felt with health issues that carrots work much better than sticks. It is also beyond me that the CDC has not been all over this issue on a national basis since it was known in the very beginning. I have no words.

      1. Eduardo

        Our average a1c reading in August 2020 was 8.1.

        August 2021 that average a1c was 6.9.

        That’s fantastic!

        It is also beyond me that the CDC has not been all over this issue on a national basis since it was known in the very beginning.

        But seriously, where’s the money in that?

      2. Vandemonian

        IM Doc, I suspect that CDC’s reluctance to promote your approach is related to the absence of a market based impact. Looks like you and your team forgot to put medications front and centre of your campaign – where’s the benefit in that? In fact, your patients may have reduced their medication use overall. Did you track that?

        1. newcatty

          Another note of appreciation for IM Doc’s contributions to all that is knowledgeable, fair, kind and honorable in his profession. Not only are your patients fortunate to have you as their Doc, but your staff is fortunate to have you as their “boss”.

        2. IM Doc

          That is the one aspect of this whole operation totally in my purview – I do not have exact numbers – but the med use, especially insulin, is down as well. Most people do not realize actually how toxic insulin is. It is so much better for the body to diet and exercise and lose weight than to pump it full of insulin.

          By the way, there are all kinds of videos of Dr. Fauci himself lauding this “eat well, sleep well and exercise” approach to infectious disease avoidance and overall general health. Something happened to him at the beginning of COVID – and I have not heard him mention it once. He literally talked about it all the time preCOVID. I have heard him talk in person multiple times – and he used to just dwell on this. Eat well, exercise, etc.

          I am certain there are many others – but this is just one example from MAY 2019.

          Go to about the 16:50 mark – and it lasts about a minute. He was asked if he would wear a mask when ill – and you can hear his answer…….

      3. Brunches with Cats

        Just this morning, I was rereading the intro to the original South Beach Diet book by cardiologist Arthur Agatston. It had been so long since I got the book that I’d forgotten he initially created it for patients at high risk for heart attack; specifically, diabetic and pre-diabetic profiles. When it turned out that they also lost weight — a lot of it around the middle — his diet recommendations to patients turned into one of the biggest fad diets in history. I did it for a while** and had marked improvements in cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar (went from “pre-pre-diabetic” to well within normal range). The weight loss also made it more comfortable to exercise.

        Anyway, what caught my attention and immediately made me think of you was his mention of a mid-thirties patient who had been trying for seven years to conceive and finally succeeded after losing 30 pounds in a few months on South Beach. A year later (early 2000s), he learned of the connection between insulin resistance and polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause abnormal periods and infertility in reproductive-age women. (He didn’t claim his diet could cure infertility; only that it removed one possible impediment.)

        Your reports that diabetes is the single biggest risk factor in COVID severity makes me wonder if that could have anything to do with the abnormal periods many women are reporting after getting COVID. I suppose the only way to know for sure would be to collect enough data to make a positive link, but I just wanted to throw it out there.

        Many thanks for your enormous contribution to the quality of the discussion on NC.

        ** Modified for a dairy allergy and aversion to the recommended chemical-laden substitutes for butter, cream, and sugar.

        1. ilpalazzo

          My brother (mid forties) has Diabetes since his teens. He’s been on the low – carb diet for many years and it allowed him to substantially reduce his insulin dosage.

          Every other year he goes to Diabetes clinic for a week long stay where they do all the examinations and try to “normalise” patients’ diet. During and after every stay there where they put him on a conventional diet he has to increase insulin dosage. It takes a couple of weeks for him to switch back to low carb and reduce his intake afterwards to the level he worked through with his own diet.

    1. Gareth

      History never repeats, but it does echo. There seems to be an expectation in articles like the one you linked to that any conflict would follow the model of the American Civil War, but the situation is not comparable. Conflicts in the UK and Ireland from the 1660s to the 1770s might provide a better parallel for today’s situation. It might be possible to include some aspects of the 1640s and 1650s, but that’s stretching it. The question is if 80 million people and their children decide to decamp from the United States, where will they go since there isn’t really a New World to go to? Perhaps Antarctica or Mars?

        1. AndrewJ

          If you don’t have much money or a graduate degree, or similar work expertise, it is damn near impossible to leave the US permanently. I’m afraid most of us can’t leave.!

      1. ambrit

        They will establish their own enclaves within America. After all, the rich have their ‘Gated Communities.’ So, the “deplorables” have precedent for establishing “Vaccine Free Zones.”
        This is not going to end well.

  29. Brooklin Bridge

    I’ve avoided the bobble heads all week. I wasn’t quick enough once, saw it taking a deep breath, all set to go, that perfect professional look of concern and resignation on its face while getting the word “9/11” all nice and comfy in it’s mouth before I managed to grab and goose the clicker.

    Never been this bad before. I know, COVID and all, “Kum ba yah” everyone, we will overcome, bla bla bla: they all died cause we’re so great. Now buy stuff* and get jabbed ya serfs.**

    *”buy stuff” was George Bush’s response to a reporter asking what Americans could do [for the war on terror].

    **Not against the jab, an all lies on deck approach, however…

  30. antidlc

    Seven nursing homes hit with COVID outbreaks
    Total of 138 cases, 10 deaths in Peninsula facilities

    Recent cases of COVID-19 have hit residents and staff at seven long-term care facilities in Clallam and Jefferson counties, leading to a total of 10 deaths and 138 cases, Dr. Allison Berry, health officer for both counties, said Saturday.

    Seven people have died in one facility in Jefferson County and three among four facilities in Clallam during the outbreaks, which began in late August, Berry said in a string of text messages Friday and Saturday. She would not identify the facilities where they occurred, but did confirm, when asked, that cases had occurred at Sequim Health & Rehabilitation Center.

    More than half of the present ongoing cases — 65 of 117 — have arisen at the facility, where 50 residents and 15 employees have contracted the coronavirus, Berry said Friday afternoon.

  31. jr

    Naked Prepperism: Medical department

    My beloved suffers from mediumly serious asthma. With the constant threats of shortages and breakdowns, I thought I would look into alternatives to her inhalers. Caffeine apparently can help, posture, etc. but I think this is what I was looking for:

    No batteries, no disposable parts, easy to clean, lasts for years.

    1. Jack Parsons

      Dear Sir or Madam-

      If this works out, please post about it. We’re shelling out $50US a month for the prescription stuff (Kaiser price).

  32. ambrit

    Mini Media Zeitgeist Report.
    I was just replying to a neighbour on Nextdoor about trick-or-treaters in the area, and questioned as to whether there would be any due to the Covid Pandemic.
    I hit “Reply” and a pop up screen appeared. It ‘nudged’ me to add a link to the CDC guidance for Covid. It then stated that they ‘police’ comments to stop “misleading and false information” from being disseminated in comments on the site. I declined to add anything, and hit “reply.” Now to wait and see if my comment gets sent on to the Internet Dragons for lunch.
    We are now experiencing something more than a plain old Panopticon. Phillip K Dick’s “Pre Crime” comes to mind.
    Stay safe! Stay ‘real!’ (Hull down is no longer an option if you want to interact on the media.)

  33. dcblogger

    How Important Is It to Us that No One Gets Anything for Free, Ever?
    There is a common denominator despite all these varying circumstances. There is one thing that 100% of homeless people need to end their homelessness. In case you haven’t guessed, that one thing is a home.

    Do we have enough of them? Yes, we do. In fact, we have so many houses that we could, theoretically, give every single homeless person in the United States 33 residential properties.

  34. jr

    “I still do not understand how we can be in community with people who, by withdrawing from their social responsibility, are actively harming others.”

    Gee, I thought Cottom was from the United States. Poor dear, it will take some getting used to.

  35. Soredemos

    >Declassified documents show Australia assisted CIA in coup against Chile’s Salvador Allende

    Between this and the spectacle of the UK throwing a giant hissyfit about the US leaving Afghanistan (oh no, Parliament has held Biden in ‘contempt’! Whatever will he do?), I’m reminded of Caitlin Johnstone’s quip about US ‘allies’ being gimps. The UK is the gimp in the backyard, Australia is the gimp in the basement, and Canada is the gimp in the attic.

    And of course it was a right-wing government that was subservient to the US, and of course it was Whitlam who ended it (just one of many reasons he needed to be removed).

  36. Jack Parsons

    “Deputy cliques in L.A. County Sheriff’s Department likely growing, study finds”

    The phrase “gang-like cliques” must now enter the euphemism dictionary.

  37. Wukchumni

    The “KNP Complex” was comprised of the Colony Fire, located in the Yucca Drainage near Crystal Cave Road, and the Paradise Fire, located south of the middle fork of the Kaweah River. These fires were growing and have potential to affect park infrastructure and resources, a park release said.

    The fires were located in steep, densely-forested terrain. The Paradise Fire so far has been inaccessible from the ground, and air resources have been very active with water and retardant drops to slow its spread. Still, the fire that measured approximately 32 acres on Saturday covered more than 800 acres on Sunday with no containment in place.
    As luck would have it, the Paradise Fire (25x as large as yesterday)is burning in the same general area as the 1875 wildfire that John Muir chronicled, which I wrote of last week on here…

  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    About the Heisenberg Report’s ” Something’s Gotta Give” article . . .
    Wealth will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no wealth.

    How can the non-rich majority possibly use or apply that?

    Perhaps in small ways . . .
    Food will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no food.

    If anyone reading this has any spare money, the question arises . . . . do you have your spare money tied up in meme stocks? Or do you have your spare money tied up in storable non-perishable food?

  39. drumlin woodchuckles

    I remember the National Lampoon News headline about the Allende overthrow . . .
    ” President Allende shoots self in head 47 times, pausing only twice to reload.”

  40. juno mas

    RE: Hidden cost of solar

    Leave it to the Architecture Review to pick the wrong fight at the wrong time. The solar project in the photo is a concentrated solar (steam producing) project that is highly complex, expensive AND uses mirrors to concentrate sunlight on towers that heat a salt-medium to high temps and create steam to generate electricity. Far from photovoltaics.

    The last sentence in the article: Our aim should be reducing demand, not increasing power generation. There were architects promoting passive solar heating/cooling principles (saves energy) in the 1970’s, to little acclaim! Where is the ArcRev when you need them? Out to lunch.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      ” . . . reducing demand, not increasing power generation . . . ” Well, better late than never. Would some people really prefer better never than late?

      Can architects contribute anything to the study of how to retro-passivise houses and buildings which were built without that concept in mind? If they can, it would be nice if they did. And helped figure out how to up-passivise a hundred million houses and buildings in the US.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, see a contemporary of mine, Goooogle: ” David Wright–Passive Solar Design”. He writes books about it; I make comments on NC.

        Any current home can be modified to better accommodate passive design principles: day-lighting, controlled solar heat gain, thermal mass for indoor temp. modulation, cold air infiltration reduction, low-to-high window placements to improve natural airflow, hydronic heating systems instead of forced-air. etc. Read David’s works and search for “solar decathlon’ to see what the latest advances are. (My alma mater (CalPoly, SLO) came in third—could have been first but the students didn’t accept my advice to swap out the BMWe automobile for a more efficient Chevy Volt. The Volt consumed less electricity from the PV panels and had better mileage characteristics.) Small things matter in the solar decathlon competition.

      2. juno mas

        I made a prior comment to your question, but it went to moderation. Maybe this one won’t.

        Also see Mike Corbett’s “Village Homes” near UC Davis. All the homes integrate passive solar concepts as well as other environmental conservation concepts. The planning began in the late 60’s and construction ended in the 1980’s. (Yeah, long time ago.)

        (Reagan become President in 1980 and passive design, including PV, lost political momentum.)

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Reagan served his Infernal Majesty dilligently

            Reagan wasn’t His Infernal Majesty’s only servant. Carter’s solar panels ended up at Unity College in Unity, ME (America’s Environmental College).

            When [genuflects] Obama was elected, some Unity students drove down to D.C. with the panels, to give them back to the White House. The Obama staffer they spoke with wouldn’t set up a meeting, wouldn’t accept the panels, but gave the students a brochure to take away with them.

  41. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is a satirical tiktok posted by a young person listing all the things that get you accused-of-something if you do them, or don’t do them, or do them wrong, or don’t do them wrong. It is a satirical display of Applied Social Justice Wokeness.

    This sort of thing was invented in the various basement laboratories of the various Vampires’ Castles of the left world, not the boardrooms and inner sanctum offices of the corpo world or the rich world. ( Even though they now find it very useful in pursuit of their own class control agendas.)

    Anyway, here is the link.

    1. ambrit

      Oh good heavens. The good old days. A friend caught a ‘square grouper’ down in South Biscayne Bay once…..
      Near the Bayside shore on “the Beach” you could hear the thunderboats leaving at dusk to go “fishing” offshore. You didn’t think that those Donzis were strictly pleasure boats, did you?

  42. K.k

    “At the heart of the team’s findings is an antibody that shows up weeks after an initial infection and attacks and disrupts a key regulator of the immune system, said lead researcher John Arthur, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chief of the Division of Nephrology in the UAMS College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine.”

    Apologies if this has already been posted here.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Let’s hope treatment (if found) is potentially expensive enough, that is, makes enough loot for big pharma, to get past the CDC and FDA. If not, it won’t matter if it cures old age.

Comments are closed.