Links 9/17/2021

At 101, she’s still hauling lobsters with no plans to stop ABC

Why the Bezzle Matters to the Economy Michael Pettis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From August, still germane.

World Bank Ends Doing Business Report in a Landmark Victory for People and Planet Oakland Institute. Wilmer Hale’s report to the Board of Executive Directors.

The U.N.’s Own Humanitarian Crisis New York Magazine

The ozone hole over the South Pole is now bigger than Antarctica New Scientist

A Just Transition Needs a Job Guarantee Pavlina R. Tcherneva, Project Syndicate

#COVID19

Beyond ‘vaccinopia’: Rapid tests should play a larger role in Biden’s Covid-19 plan Daniel P. Oran and Eric J. Topol, STAT. I’ve heard that vaccinopia is especially virulent among younger medical professionals. Hence, perhaps, Topol’s intervention.

How to tackle vaccine hesitancy FT

Vaccinating insurers against pandemics – a review of capital requirements for pandemic risk Bank of International Settlements

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A Lifeline from Buenos Aires David O’Reilly, RESCUE with Michael Capuzzo. As readers know, I’m not wedded to any particular repurposed anti-Covid treatment or prophylactic. But our system for evaluating them is shamefully bad, and constant, galvanic moral panics among the PMC, and censorship in the press, aren’t helping. (If they did, ivermectin sales in the United States would not have soared.) To be fair, moral panics mean clicks. I forgot about that. Sets the table for a response to: A Prominent Study Said Ivermectin Prevents COVID, But The Data Is Suspect Buzzfeed.

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The impact of co-circulating pathogens on SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Surveillance How concurrent epidemics may introduce bias and decrease the observed SARS-CoV-2 percent positivity The Journal of Infectious Disease. Results: “We find that a non-SARS-CoV-2 epidemic strongly increases SARS-CoV-2 daily testing demand and artificially reduces the observed SARS-CoV-2 percent positivity for the duration of the outbreak. We estimate that performing one multiplex test for every 1,000 COVID-19 tests on symptomatic individuals could be sufficient to maintain surveillance of other respiratory viruses in the population and correct the observed SARS-CoV-2 percent positivity.” And the Conclusion: “Correction of the positivity rate can be achieved by using multiplex PCR tests, and a low number of samples is sufficient to avoid bias in SARS-CoV-2 surveillance.”

Longitudinal Trends in Body Mass Index Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Persons Aged 2–19 Years — United States, 2018–2020 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC. From the summary: “Among a cohort of 432,302 persons aged 2–19 years, the rate of body mass index (BMI) increase approximately doubled during the pandemic compared to a prepandemic period. Persons with prepandemic overweight or obesity and younger school-aged children experienced the largest increases.”

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Gottlieb: CDC hampered U.S. response to COVID Axios. This seems to be the first insider’s book deal out of the box. Worth a read (the review, I mean).

China?

Analysis: Investors brace for a great fall in China Reuters. We’re heard this before, though.

Explainer: How China Evergrande’s debt troubles pose a systemic risk Reuters. Michael Pettis: “Good article, but the most important systemic risk Evergrande poses is setting off financial distress behavior across the residential property sector that causes revenues to fall, expenses to rise, liquidity to tighten and insolvency to spread.”

Billions blown as Macau casino investors fold amid gambling review Reuters

Covid-19: Hong Kong lawmaker Regina Ip gets BioNTech jab after no antibodies detected from Sinovac vaccines Hong Kong Free Press

Nuclear submarines give Australian military an edge and could deter China further South China Morning Press. For reference:

US stands in ‘unshakeable alliance’ with Australia – as China says AUKUS deal ‘intensifies arms race’ Sky News

Australian PM says he made clear to France possibility of scrapping submarine deal Reuters

Myanmar

NUG: No choice but to declare ‘defensive war’ NHK. “She also said the declaration was made as the NUG had learned of the military’s plans with the monsoon season about to end.” Myanmar’s monsoon season is said to end in late October, but climate change means that firm dates are up in the air.

Finding fault lines within the Tatmadaw Frontier Myanmar. Like I’ve said, wake me when a unit defects en masse, with its leadership.

Myanmar junta to put Suu Kyi on trial for corruption France24. Guys, come on. Meanwhile:

Great courage, considering the possible consequences.

Coronavirus concerns see China halt Vietnam’s US$1 billion dragon fruit trade South China Morning Post. Traces on packaging (i.e., fomites). So, interesting.

Malaysia’s Bodek Culture Asia Sentinel

India

India’s Modi Gets a Three-Week Birthday Bash as Popularity Dips Bloomberg

In Osmanabad: crop insurance, no assurance People’s Archive of Rural India

The Koreas

Top court confirms one-year prison term for ex-presidential aide in illegal surveillance case Yonhap News Agency. Wow, I wonder what it’s like to live in a country where the rule of law applies to high officials.

Court rules against officials in landmark Jakarta pollution case Al Jazeera. Ditto.

Syraqistan

Lebanon judge seeks arrest of ex-minister charged in Beirut blast Al Jazeera. And ditto.

Afghanistan

This Is Life in Rural Afghanistan After the Taliban Takeover NYT. No shooting. If only the United States could say the same!

With foreign funds frozen, Afghan aid groups stuck in limbo Associated Press. NGOs want business as usual to continue.

Afghanistan: Taliban seize millions from former Afghan officials Deutsche Welle. That’s “millions” with an “m.”

The Taliban Enigma and the Polycentric World Russia in Global Affairs

UK/EU

Europe’s Energy Crunch Is Forcing U.K. Factories to Shut Down and Fire at Key U.K. Power Unit Knocks Out France Link Until October Bloomberg

Pounds and ounces to return to UK shops after Brexit as Government sets about cutting EU rule Independent. Presciently, of BoJo: “But whatever his weight in pounds, shillings, and ounces / He always seems bigger because of his bounces.”

Exclusive: New party rule changes criticised as “bureaucratic power grab” Labour List

Kenny MacAskill: Scotland, but not as I know it Craig Murray Justice Campaign

Workers of Italy Unite Under One Covid Pass: Brussels Edition Bloomberg

Biden Adminstration

The DOJ Moves To Block The Purdue Pharma Bankruptcy Deal That Shields The Sacklers NPR

FCC Wants Landlords to Stop Screwing Up Your Internet Vice

Health Care

The next step in immorality: charging to create and cure disease British Medical Journal. “The next step in immorality is to charge patients to become sick and be paid to help with treatment. It’s a step that Philip Morris International, one of the world’s richest tobacco companies, is seeking to take with its proposed £1bn purchase of Vectura, a pharmaceutical company that makes inhalers for respiratory diseases.” Cf. Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth The Space Merchants (Galaxy, 1952):

“I came off shift dehydrated, as they wanted me to be. I got a squirt of Popsie from the fountain by punching my combination — twenty-five cents checked off my payroll. The squirt wasn’t quite enough so I had another — fifty cents. Dinner was drab as usual; I couldn’t face more than a bite or two of Chicken Little. Later I was hungry and there was the canteen where I got Crunchies on easy credit. The Crunchies kicked off withdrawal symptoms that could be quelled only by another two squirts of Popsie from the fountain. And Popsie kicked off withdrawal symptoms that could only be quelled by smoking Starr cigarettes, which made you hungry for Crunchies . . . Had Fowler Schocken thought of it in these terms when he organized Starrzelius Verily, the first spherical trust? Popsie to Crunchies to Starrs to Popsie?

Our Famously Free Press

OK, Seriously CJR. Teen Vogue.

New Cold War

The U.S. Army’s Iron Dome could be headed to Ukraine Politico. Certainly useful against rockets fired by Hamas….

Novichok Secret Paralyzes British Doctors Following German Doctor’s Disclosures Dances with Bears

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Romans and Intellectual Disciplines Yale University Press Blog

Class Warfare

DOL’s Trump-era take on tipped worker pay was wrong – 11th Circ. Reuters

Starbucks Is Waging a Ridiculous, Sinister Union-Busting Campaign Discourse Blog

The financial literacy industrial complex Felix Salmon, Axios. Reminds me of “wellness” in health care.

Did Occupy Wall Street mean anything at all? FT

Glen Ford Memorial Gathering YouTube (live stream scheduled for Saturday, September 18 at 2pm ET). One of the greats, sadly lost.

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus antidote (EJ):

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.

197 comments

  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    May I ask the opinions and observations of The Rev Kev and other Australians? From some information that the Rev Kev has given, I suspect that he is in northern Australia, quaking at the thought of the Chinese peril. (Except, oh, Indonesia, a rather sizable country, is in the way.)

    What benefit does this kind of alliance have for Australia?

    Undoubtedly, the U S of A, world master of saber rattling (or should I say consultant rattling?), as represented by the sub-competent Blinken and the enigmatically macho Biden, see some benefit in provoking China. Why would Australia buy into the Barnum patter about “mutual defense”?

    And why is the U.K. involved here except as an ancient barnacle on world history with delusions of Empire?

    And is this something that New Zealand was offered and took a pass on? (I know that we have some friends from NZ among the commentariat, too.)

    Bewildered in Realitylandia,

    DJG, Reality Czar

    1. The Rev Kev

      East coast, mate. Just a few observations here. There is no benefit for Australia here – but Washington made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. And as Henry Kissinger once quipped – ‘it may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.’ Not only will the US be bringing in more military forces, ships and bombers but there is even talk of installing medium-range missiles as well. Will they be nuclear-tipped? Don’t know. But you can bet that the Chinese military will have to assume that they are and will be prepared for retaliatory counter-fire. And now countries like Indonesia and the Philippines will have to think about a possible nuclear exchange over their heads and maybe being intercepted there. You think that they will be happy?

      It will cost tens of billions annually and we will not see the first sub for at least twenty years. Meanwhile, the US will be operating a nuclear sub base in Australia so we will have a great big nuclear target painted on us. A few subs will make practically no difference to our defence arrangement but I suspect that like the UK, we will have to gut the rest of the defence establishment and run down the manpower to pay for them. For the life of me I cannot think of one benefit that we get that could not have been done with conventional subs. And they were set to cost us maybe $100 billion. The Coalition government here has stated that they want to turn Australia into a major weapons exporter so maybe they are thinking that we can arm all the countries of the Pacific. And you may disagree with the following statement but from what I see, every country that has nuclear power turns itself into a more totalitarian country to protect that technology. Every country.

    2. Ian Perkins

      As a Brit, I’d imagine the UK is involved to help create a veneer of internationality about the whole thing – “Look, it’s not just the USA that’s concerned!” – and some in the UK love to imagine it’s still a major world power.
      As for New Zealand, PM Ardern said, “I am pleased to see that the eye has been turned to our region from partners we work closely with. It’s a contested region and there is a role that others can play in taking an interest in our region. But the lens we will look at this from will include stability,” which sounds like she probably was consulted, but wanted no part of it. And ‘Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has said she was uncomfortable with expanding the role of the Five Eyes, drawing criticism from Western allies who said New Zealand was reluctant to criticize China due to its trade ties.’
      https://news.yahoo.com/nz-wont-allow-australias-submarines-062446987.html

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Just speculation here:

      First off, I think the Australian blob has sensed the weakening of various transnational security arrangements worldwide, in both Europe and Asia, and has come to the conclusion that it has the choice of going it alone, or doubling down on the old Anglosphere alliance. This does (from one perspective) make some sense, as the sheer size of Australia means that any independent military deterrant would be hugely expensive. Other Asian countries are clearly arming up for a potential Pacific world outside the US umbrella, Australia wants to stay within it. So the origins of this alliance is a desire to embed themselves firmly with the US in the event of the US either retreating, or getting pushed away, from the western Pacific. If you are a neo-con minded geopoliticist, this makes sense. It also puts Australian in a weak position when negotiating with the US/UK as they know that Oz has backed itself into a corner. A smarter Oz leadership would have played hard to get.

      I think the submarine thing is old style power politics. Submarines make sense militarily for a country with a vast ocean hinterland but without the money for a conventional navy or full air cover. They are a (relatively) cheap way of making anyone think twice about muscling in on anything from traditional fishing grounds to interfering with undersea cables or trade. There is nothing like the possibility of a lurking submarine to make captain of a destroyer very nervous. Australia has been looking to replace its submarine fleet for a long time, and like most countries have been looking at non-nuclear, as advances in air independent propulsion (AIP) has made them far more competitive with nuclear subs over the past few decades, at a fraction of the price. The irony is that they went for the French design solely because it was an existing design that could be cheaply altered for Pacific use and could be delivered (and partially built in Oz yards) within 10 years. But the new nuclear subs they want (its not even clear if these are British or US designs) will take decades to deliver, unless they buy them direct.

      So it looks like there was some sort if internal politicking going on – a way to poke the French in the eye while dangling a fancy bit of tech to the Australians, despite it being illogical in terms of what Australian actually really needs to protect its ocean hinterland (staying underwater for months is obviously useful, but its by no means essential). I suspect that once the Australians start to look in detail at what this entails they may get a nasty surprise in terms of cost and delays.

      1. Ian Perkins

        the Australian blob … has come to the conclusion that it has the choice of going it alone, or doubling down on the old Anglosphere alliance

        You may well be right, but there is a third option – improving relations with China, and letting the US and UK huff and puff about it – not that the Ozblob is likely to consider this, beyond guffawing at its supposed absurdity. And I don’t see how it makes sense, even to the most neo-con of minds, “to embed themselves firmly with the US in the event of the US either retreating, or getting pushed away, from the western Pacific.” If that happens, Australia’s on its own – option one – without the benefit of option three – improved relations with China (and perhaps still waiting for its submarines).

        1. PlutoniumKun

          As David has pointed out here, Australia is, in the context of the region, a small country, but I’d add that it has the misfortunate of being a small country with a lot of land and a lot of resources (unlike, say NZ, which has the luxury of being able to at least pretend to be neutral as its too small and unimportant for anyone to seriously want to mess with them). It can of course, try to steer a foreign policy between competing interests, but unless you are capable of defending yourself in a conflict, this is meaningless if one or the other parties has no interest in respecting your independance.

          So Australia can either spent a vast amount of money in preparing to defend its own interests in the event this becomes necessary (as many countries in the region, from ROK to Japan to Vietnam to Thailand to Malaysia have been doing), or it can tie itself firmly to one or other power.

          Doing a deal like this to firmly bind itself to the US is at least a decision. It may be a terrible decision, but countries like Australia, like most nations, simple don’t have the luxury of being nice to everyone and hoping everyone is nice back. Every country in the Pacific is being forced to make similar decisions. Most are opting for sticking with the US for now while arming themselves to the teeth. Apart from irrelevant small islands, none of them are opting for ‘lets just smile at everyone and it’ll all be fine’.

          1. Kouros

            There is also the Iranian pathway, to build conventional missiles and add on top of that an integrated air defense system. Nothing nuclear. See how that works.

          2. Ian Perkins

            I still can’t see how it makes sense for Australia “to embed themselves firmly with the US in the event of the US either retreating, or getting pushed away, from the western Pacific.” It may make some sense to ally with the US while it’s still in the region, but once it’s gone?

      2. Synoia

        Australia’s major market appears to be Minerals exported to China. Now that Australia has decided to favor the US over China, I’d expect China to look elsewhere than Australia for its mineral imports.

        Chine also has an Islamic Issue with peoples on the silk road. China may focus om ,multiple sources of minerals, form, Silk road based, Russia, and Africa.

        Africa seems prominent,as a replacement minerals suppliers; especially the non-Islamic regions of Africa.

        The US appears to focus on actual warfare, and miss the implications of economic warfare or competition.

        For mineral rich countries, their major customers for the foreseeable future appear to be Chinese Enterprises, unless the US embarks on a huge program if repatriating manufacturing to the US -AKA Socialism..

        Link to Australia’s trade numbers

        1. PlutoniumKun

          China’s main alternative source to the coal and iron ore it imports from Australia is the US and Canada (Brazil also). There are no significant other sources that could cover the scale of China’s current needs. So the link is mutual, China can only shut off Australia at the cost of massively increasing domestic construction inflation. So the pressure is not one way.

          The reality is that China is as dependent on trade links as much as Australia or anyone else in the region. It is far more constrained in how it can weaponise these than is apparent at first look.

    4. Basil Pesto

      No idea, to be honest. Completely ignorant of the ins and outs. Except I suspect UK’s involvement relates to some extent to their familiarity with nuclear submarines, as well as just being a sign of the generic cooperation among the first world anglosphere.

    5. David

      For what it’s worth, the Australians, with whom I’ve had some dealings in the past, have always had a defence policy based on meeting potential threats as far as possible from their own shores. So they’ve invested in small but high-technology forces, mainly air and naval, which could serve as the basis for an expansion if the international situation gets worse. (Once you lose a capability like supersonic flight, for example, it can take a decade or more to recover it.) Submarines have always been part of this strategy, but conventional submarines have significant limitations in endurance and flexibility. SSNs, on the other hand, can remain submerged for months at a time, and I imagine that one thing the Australians would use them for would be long-range intelligence gathering.

      It’s not for me to say whether this is a good idea or not, but I suspect it’s a specific case of a general concern, found all over the world, when small nations are in the same region as large ones. Many Asian nations, well beyond Australia, are nervous about the growing power of China, and hope to use alliances and understandings with other nations to balance this out. The habit of smaller nations to seek larger partners is so universal that only Americans seem incapable of understanding it. It’s essentially the same idea as some Latin American countries developing closer links with China.

      1. The Rev Kev

        China was never our natural enemy and I myself have no fear of Chinese people either in spite of the fact that there are 1.2 million people who have Chinese ancestry here in Oz. China is being made an enemy – by us, the west. It’s our fault. We are making them a threat with all these years of provocations and threats. Their arming themselves is a direct result of our military threats against them. No, they are not innocent themselves but let us say that they are more sinned against than sinning, OK?

        There was a solid chance that we could have accommodated their rise on the world scene but we wanted them to be another neoliberal power so that we could eventually run their country. Their independence we regard as a threat to the neoliberal west and that is the fact. And all of us are being dragged along for the ride. So all I am saying is give peace a chance.

        From Airstrip Two

        1. Tom Doak

          Has any politician in Australia in recent memory campaigned on, or even brought for discussion, the idea that Australia should be closer to China or at least neutral in the US-China conflict? As far as I have heard when over there, no. Years ago I bought my son a T-shirt that outlined the “Ten Comparisons” between New Zealand and Australia, and one of them was that “Defy America” was checked for NZ, and not for Aus!

          1. The Rev Kev

            When Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister back in 2007, there was a hope for good relations as he not only spoke Mandarin but had Chinese in his immediate family. Instead, relations went south.

            But I regretfully agree with that t-shirt.

            1. Wukchumni

              Americans tend to lump NZ & Australia together as they are only a few inches away on a map, but the people (aside from sport) are incredibly different.

              NZ bravely told the USA to pound sand almost 40 years ago in not allowing nuclear powered or nuclear weapon equipped ships into their harbors, I mean who else in the developed world was saying no in the Cold War?

              1. Greg

                And the “nuke free nz” stance is incredibly hardwired into the NZ psyche at this point. John Key’s government wanted to try and wind it back in an effort to get closer to the Obama administration, and he hit a brick wall.

                It’s funny, no nukes is so hardwired that when my wife and I were discussing the aussie deal, she mentioned that she can’t even bring herself to build imaginary nuclear power in games like Civilisation.

        2. lordkoos

          …we could have accommodated their rise on the world scene…

          The western world insured China’s rise when they moved all those factories to China. WTF did they think would happen? A competitor does not have to be an enemy, this is a choice by the blob.

          1. The Rev Kev

            When the blob insists on seeing the world through zero-sum games and winner take all policies, it tends to reduce the range of options that can be taken.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        The interesting question to me with this is why the Australians so quickly dumped the French subs for unspecified US/UK subs, especially when the whole point of the French deal was that there was an urgent need for replacement submarines in the next 10 years. The French did in fact offer the nuclear version of the subs they wanted and my understanding is that the Australians decided no, because of cost and logistical issues.

        Unless they buy identikit subs directly from US or UK yards, with some sort of service requirement (i.e. the contractors maintain them), there is no way in hell they will have these operating in time to replace the existing one. The logistics and costs involved is enormous.

        So it seems to me that either the Australians were absolutely desperate for this deal, and these subs were the price extracted out of them by the UK/US, or there was some other quid qo pro. I’m inclined to think its the former. I wonder if part of the thinking by both sides is that they wanted something that would tie the hands of future Oz governments for decades to come, and this is the only way they could come up with to do it. It would cost many billions for any future Oz government to reverse a contract like this.

        1. Kev

          The French subs weren’t due to be operational until at least the mid 30s, if not later, definitely wouldn’t be any capability in the next 10 years.
          I’m wondering if there is any plan for us Aussies to snag a few older boats on a temporary basis, maybe a couple of the British Trafalgar boats, as the Astutes replace them, or US equivalent.
          That would get some significant capability down under fairly quickly, before any new boats are built.
          Just a thought.

      3. Bill Smith

        Yes, the on station loiter capability of the nuclear subs at a distance is several times that of the conventional subs.

        Part of this thing is blown way out of proportion. The French government tells their own people they will build 6 of the nuclear version of that sub for a total of 10 billion Euro. But 12 of the conventional versions for Australia will cost $70 billion? What is the euro – dollar exchange ratio?

        As to the security partnership, that’s existed for decades. The only new thing, basing combat troops started years ago. Under Obama? [Excluding the Pine Gap types of places]

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Yes, there are huge variations in the quoted costs out there. I assume the big difference is the distinction between what in aviation they’d call the ‘flyaway’ costs and the overall lifetime cost (or the hull and the full fit out cost, or whatever other numerous type of type of accounting there is out there). I think the only realistic cost estimate for a particular weapon is the entire lifetime cost of the entire system, but this is very hard to find.

        2. Vandemonian

          As I understand it, there are two reasons for the cost differential:

          1. The nuclear version exists, and is ready to be built. The conversion to a conventionally powered version was in the contract, but was going to be a complicated process.

          2. The Australian version of the sub was to be built in Adelaide, in a shipyard that didn’t yet exist, with technology transfer to a workforce that yet didn’t exist.

          Australia has such an interesting way of buying new shiny toys.

          1. Bill Smith

            The sail away cost is quoted by the French government for the nuclear version is around 1.5 billion euros. 70 billion / 12 subs > 5 billion dollars each.

          2. The Rev Kev

            You don’t even know the half of it and a few past examples come to mind. For our big toys, we buy them solely on what it can do for us politically and not militarily. Money is no object here. The latest example is the F-35 which is the wrong jet for us to buy as it is far inferior to what it replaced. And that means that are armed forces are being equipped to fail. Our Defence Department is now saturated with civilian PMCs making these decisions.

    6. Blue Duck

      Don’t forget, the US has already over thrown one Australian government, why wouldn’t it do it again?

      1. Zachary Smith

        They basically threatened violence against Australia, and the successful 1975 government overthrow is also mentioned here: “To Protect Itself From U.S. Hostility Australia Decides To Buy U.S. Submarines”

        (MOA site)

      2. Vandemonian

        To be fair, the US rarely overthrows the governments of its neoliberal “allies”, only the socialist leaning ones.

        1. Ian Perkins

          Perhaps because it’s presence and influence in the institutions of its neoliberal allies mean it doesn’t usually see the need to overthrow them.

            1. JBird4049

              Well, I would call them quislings.

              United States helps its “allies” get rid of any troublesome reformers, be they leftist, old fashion liberals, or even the very occasional conservative, using propaganda, beatings, false arrests and convictions, deportations, and (usually judicious) assassinations, plus the occasional war or genocide; it is only when allies allow the troublemakers, by honest elections for instance, to come to power that the “local” uprisings, revolutions, and coups happen.

              Most of the Americas, plus a good part of the Middle East, Asia, and parts of Africa and Europe have had their governments destabilized and usually overthrown by the United States. It is almost more of what country’s government hasn’t been overthrown, or have had the wealthy elites funded, than not. Often multiple times for a country.

    7. Wukchumni

      Canada is on the verge of ridding themselves of their Justin time PM, to be replaced by Erin O’Toole who is a bit of a warmonger and wants to get tough on China.

      Would it be too late to include them in the CAUKUS?

        1. PlutoniumKun

          The Guinea deposits are gigantic, the industry has been eyeing them up for decades, but nobody has been able to put together the package needed to extract them. Its mostly logistical – they are situation far away from any suitable port and there is inadequate railway infrastructure. It would take decades of investment to make it work, and that requires a stable government.

          1. Ian Perkins

            Stable government prepared to do business with China aside, I expect the Chinese could reduce those decades to a few years.

            1. Eustachedesaintpierre

              Well according to the article the Chines had set up a 15 billion deal for the Simandou field, but of course what stability there was might no longer exist.

              I agree on the time factor.

      1. JEHR

        Wuk: I think neither the Conservatives nor the Liberals will gain a majority. It will be a minority government with the NDP becoming the power-brokers. The NDP is more closely aligned with the Liberals and might give the Conservatives a hard time. As for me, I would like to see the NDP get a majority just to see how well the leader (of Sikh heritage) will lead our country. I think he would do an excellent job!

        1. Mildred Montana

          “As for me, I would like to see the NDP get a majority…”

          No, no, no! Please God, no! No majority for any party! Since we in Canada still do not have proportional representation (a Justin Trudeau broken promise), a majority just leads to the Prime Minister being a de facto dictator for four years, due to the power of the party system and the Prime Minister’s Office. No thank you to that.

          In every election, I always hope for a minority government, am hoping for one this time, and will vote accordingly.

    8. Maritimer

      US stands in ‘unshakeable alliance’ with Australia – as China says AUKUS deal ‘intensifies arms race’ Sky News
      ********
      Aussies did their due diligence and found that the US deal with Afghanistan was “shakeable” so they made sure that this deal with US was “unshakeable”. One word of caution, however, Merriam-Webster may be changing the definition of “unshakeable” in the distant future. Other than that, looks good.

  2. Jessica

    I’m not an Aussie. Don’t even play one on TV. But @caitoz is an Aussie. She said that Australia isn’t doing this to protect itself from China, but to protect itself from the US.

  3. FreeMarketApologist

    FCC Wants Landlords to Stop Screwing Up Your Internet

    Interesting, because I just got a message from our managing agent (in a NYC co-op), that Charter Communication will be discontinuing the ‘marketing arrangement’ with TimeWarner (who were bought by Charter) that provided discounted rates on cable service for new joiners in our building.

    The managing agent noted that “A new ‘bulk service’ contract can be entered with Charter Communications, however one of the contingencies requires that the building switch 100% of residents to this contract.”, which would seem to violate the FCC’s 2008 rule making. The managing agent also noted that “Given less then [sic] 50% of residents utilize Spectrum/Time Warner today, this contract is not a feasible option for the building.”, which conveniently ignores the potential legal question.

    1. Big River Bandido

      IIRC, Charter Spectrum had its contract with New York State revoked for non performance. This was just before pandemic (? my memory is hazy on all this) and might still be playing out since such large deals can be complex to unwind.

      This very well might play into the situation you mentioned. Or…I might be remembering it wrong.

  4. GramSci

    Re: The Bezzle

    I find it interesting that Michael Pettit, writing for the Carnegie Foundation for International Peace on the unproductive investment which is the bezzle, does not so much as hint that military spending might be unproductive.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Very few economists (except maybe those working on regional or development economics) have anything useful to say on military spending. To be fair, its extremely difficult to price something like ‘security’ so its beyond the type of metric economists limit themselves to.

      I’d also point out that since military hardware is not priced as an asset in GDP calculations, Pettis is correct in not describing it as part of the bezzle as defined – Keynes (who had a lot to say about military spending in other contests) and Galbraith didn’t either.

      1. JP

        Military spending = broken window spending. It’s a net drain on the social fabric = no health care, fewer parks.

        1. hunkerdown

          Only violence reproduces establishments.

          Institutions are organizations with all that entails, particularly a defined boundary between members and non-members, and among kinds of members. Coherence is the measure of effectiveness of institutional reproduction. Coherence is not the ground state of any association. Effort must be taken to effect that boundary.

          As we see institutions, reproduction is a tax on mission. As institutionalists see institutions, mission is a tax on reproduction. Who among system-generators needs a social fabric when social Tyvek is easier, faster, more uniform, more exclusive, more reliable, and more billable?

          Ike: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
          Neocon think-tankies: 🎶A double pleasure is waiting for you…

      2. GramSci

        “Opportunity”, like “security” is also hard to price, which, it seems, is why bezzlers (and the stock markets) are attracted to both. And military spending figures quite prominently in the US stock market, which I think was more the focus of Pettit’s remarks than GDP. So my indictment stands.

    2. Susan the other

      Just goes to show how behind the times we are. An archaic system based on quick profits of moderately useful goods sold to a growing population which creates a growing GDP without even needing to know the “economic value an asset.” Or for that matter a quick asset from a long-term liability. Or anything anymore. “Most economists… exhibit this blind spot (for the bezzel) not due to any inability to recognize that market prices can diverge substantially from assets’ fundamental value for long periods of time, but rather because they are unable to model a system in which market prices are not also the best estimate of the true economic value of an asset.” (Where the words market, asset, and value remain too nebulous.) Can’t see the big bezzle for all the little bezzels? Of course not, that would be tantamount to recognizing that the system is a ponzi scheme by design. I’d think by now we would be well on our way to fiat-ing the definition of “fundamental value” just so we could design a viable, sustainable economic system. Of course, it will always have to be flexible, because evolution. But there are things that are close to an eternal value: air, water, pristine ecosystems, wildlife, human equality, science… food, healthcare, and etc. I don’t think “profit” can even be classified as a “value” at all. We really need to start over from scratch.

      1. Rainlover

        If only….. IMHO this essay is an easily understandable explanation of the bezzle and how it works within the economy. For a non-financially educated novice like me it was very helpful. Thanks, Lambert. And I appreciate your comments Susan.

    3. lance ringquist

      THE BEZZLE sounds a awful lot like nafta billy clintons economy,

      “The Clinton era epitomized the vast difference between appearance and reality, spin and actuality. As the decade drew to a close, Clinton basked in the glow of a lofty stock market, a budget surplus and the passage of this key banking “modernization.” It would be revealed in the 2000s that many corporate profits of the 1990s were based on inflated evaluations, manipulation and fraud. When Clinton left office, the gap between rich and poor was greater than it had been in 1992, and yet the Democrats heralded him as some sort of prosperity hero.”

    1. griffen

      Interesting, dare I say that line of work must keep you active & alert on the water. I can’t say I’ll be committed to working with loan data or finance data into my 70s or possibly 80s!

      Assumptions and so forth. No guarantee on this earth.

        1. hunkerdown

          Retirement is a violation of the wage relation.

          Primary producers not disgorged of their surplus tend to overthrow elites that parasitize them. (“The lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.”)

          On the other hand, so do primary producers disgorged of too much of their subsistence. (“There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” Or, from the other side, “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”)

          Elites that intend to reproduce the elite relation, and subsequently their own place in that relation, must therefore strategically cripple their masses in a measured fashion to ensure that the elite context has value to the mass. Results of failure include ideological decoherence, organizational dissolution, and the possibility of punitive damages.

      1. skippy

        This case is specific and notes the persons desire to do something they have an affinity for, hence comporting it to some highly charged perspective about being forced[tm] to do it by the machinations of the over class is some epic level projection.

        My grandfather was bailing hay into is 70s and it had nothing to do with being forced[tm] to do it or die. He was born and raised and spent his entire life on a farm and enjoyed doing it down to the fiber of his being. Even myself currently is working in the manual trades at 60 and love it, fitter and more capable physically than all the young I’ve worked with in the last 4 years after coming out of retirement [slow death]. I set up and dance on trestles and planks at 16′ all week long, by myself more than not, all whilst helping the young guy I work for build his business for his families future.

        Then there is the the contact with the clientele outside the work related conversations where I can bring in NC or many of its personalities like Hudson, Black, Kelton, PKE/MMT for their consideration at their leisure. Most would have no idea of the people and their work/network affiliations that I have dropped a penny on to forward NC perspectives. Not to mention my currant job where the wife was more than a bit surprised at my knowledge of the economic back drop to what has being going on in the Solomon islands as her husband is currently working there to advance its governments knowledge of economic/financial abilities so it can self administrate.

        So the idea that this persons life story can be twisted into some canned perspective about being a slave or indentured to some over class and if not would be gardening or knitting at home and then on FB to kids/grand kids to fill out her last days is absurd. Hell she would probably rather go down in her husbands boat in a squall than suffer that fate. Ye gads at above ….

      1. Procopius

        When I was at MSU, the Dean of the Honors College gave an address in which he said, “The secret to happiness is to find something you really like to do and then get so good at it the people will pay you to do it.”

  5. Foy

    I’m in Melbourne DJG, and I must say that I’m very concerned with this announcement, still trying to get my head around it. We apparently are not going to have a nuclear fuel development facility here, which means that our new very expensive nuclear subs will be reliant on someone else to provide fuel for which means that we are beholden to them. I don’t think that is a wise security situation as it leaves us wide open to pressure to do things we don’t want to do eg joining the next false pretences Iraq war.

    Many of our recent problems with China started when our foreign minister returned from the US and then immediately started saying how China should be investigated for the source of covid and other inflammatory comments. Completely unnecessary and triggered an avalanche of sanctions worth billions of lost revenue. It had been brewing for a while but a totally unnecessary comment that we were clearly played into saying by the US. I feel we have been shown to be diplomatic amateurs on every front and now have been played on this submarine deal as well. It does not bode well.

    I do think that China is now using us as an example to the rest of the world, putting huge tariffs on various imports from Australia for our perceived misbehaviour. They are not going to stop. But how a small country of 25m expects to tell a country of 1.4bn what to do and how to act is beyond me. Might has right, thats the way the world works unfortunately.

    Many industries here are paying the price of having China as a sole customer. As I learnt many many moons ago as wannabe accountant, a company with a single customer has a significant going concern risk. This risk has now come to fruition.

    US defense force presence here sadly will increase as result of this deal, we will be fused at the hip. Scotty from Marketing even said that 40 year ‘peace’ here is over to justify the subs.

    And he has upset France and EU and other nearby countries eg Indonesia, as well. And Biden can’t even remember Scotty’s name in his big moment. Everything he touches at the moment turns to…

    1. Basil Pesto

      Having a quick scan of le monde last night, while France is understandably miffé with Australia, most of their consternation seems to be with the US and UK, which makes sense. Australia is the minnow in that triad.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I get the impression its genuine outrage, not the usual performative type.

        The French have a habit of not letting this type of thing lie. They may see future trade deals with the EU as a means of making life a lot more difficult for the UK and Oz.

        I wonder too if the UK is under the illusion they’ll be able to sell the Astute class of submarines. I very much doubt the US will allow this, they’ll be able to undercut any UK offer due to the sheer scale of the US shipyards.

    2. Bill Smith

      I believe the nuclear cores on these subs will last the life of the boats. Thus refueling should not be an issue.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “This Is Life in Rural Afghanistan After the Taliban Takeover”

    It must be so strange the quiet in the countryside now. No more fighting. No more special forces raids at night-time to worry about. No people being taken away for torture at Bagram prison for months at a time. No more missiles from drones and no more the sounds of their engines At least the British in WW2 were warned of danger when the sounds of the V1 engines stopped. Not so the drones here. No more Coalition patrols in their heavy vehicles. No more warlords and their corrupt entourage. No more corrupt police and bribable judges. But they will have their problems.

    People will say that there is no parallel but a few days ago I wondered if it was kinda the same after the end of the American Revolution. The battles and the columns of the redcoats would be finally gone. No more cavalry raids. The American prisoners would have gone back to their homes after being released from the prisons – those that survived that is. People who supported the British (loyalists or collaborators – depending on you viewpoint) either paid the price and stayed or maybe were one of those evacuated by the British in New York. But aboard ships and not Boeing C-17 Globemasters. And American society had to settle itself into a new pattern and learn how to rule themselves and what their laws should be. And like in Afghanistan, it was not easy-

    https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/midwife-after-revolution/

    1. Ian Perkins

      I noticed this in the middle of the Afghanistan article: “many Afghan families are being forced to make do with rice and beans instead of chicken and other meats,” which leads me to wonder if the rural population at least might be more resilient over the coming winter than some are suggesting.

      I also came across an interesting piece in Unherd today, looking at the experience of rural and poor urban Afghan women. It included this, from the Taliban, in 2018:

      “Women are faced with a lot of disasters. The so-called women rights activists stayed in Afghanistan for 17 years; in this period billions of dollars came to Afghanistan, but still Afghanistan is at the top of the countries where many women die during delivery due to lack of health facilities. Afghanistan is still among the top countries of the world where the average life expectancy rate of women is only 45. It is among the top countries of the world where there are more than one million widows. Due to corruption, the expenses brought and spent under the title of women rights have gone to the pockets of those who raise slogans of women rights…”
      https://unherd.com/2021/09/the-truth-about-afghan-women/

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Afghanistan is in much worse shape. The article is still holding onto a 19th century reading of US history. Agriculture and industrial capacity boomed. There was a depression among the kind of people who owned plantations in the South because they were cut off from British banks and accounts. Washington was inured because the British wanted to be benevolent overlords and kept Martha’s assets intact, later leaving Washington alone in the name of diplomacy. Half of women in New England could sign their names. What is the European aristocrat equivalence? Or how were children faring? Boston was occupied for a year. Philly? 8 months? The local governments were intact.

      There had been two national congresses by the end of the war capable of organizing the East coast and implementing policy without phones (a professor corrected a student who liked to ask pablum type questions once by pointing out there were no phones in the 1770s).

      The famed 1/3 were revolutionaries, 1/3 were loyalists is from the guess of the famously optimistic (wink) John Adams. Support was probably much higher given the positions of local governments prior to the Declaration, how few people actually left, and the embrace of the new government.

      Then there is no Washington, the dude was a crazy action hero, who can soothe all egos. There were parallels with the inevitable conflict and defeat of the foreign invader, but the French experience is where one needs to look. To a certain extent, the playgrounds for the corrupt and US troops ending without any bridges will be replay of Versailles’ construction spending ending. No one knows where things stand. The British are going to be hostile. The big difference would be the SCO. Russia too might be a better example. What Naples if there is no one as clever as Trotsky?

  7. Ian Perkins

    Novichok Secret Paralyzes British Doctors Following German Doctor’s Disclosures

    Helmer seems wedded to the idea that novichoks weren’t used in either of these incidents, despite citing Navalny’s low blood butyrylcholinesterse levels, which would indicate (but not prove) nerve agent poisoning. He quotes an unnamed ‘British organophosphate specialist’ as saying of Navalny “unless he was not poisoned.” He writes, “In their attempt to prove the Russians had used Novichok against the Skripals in Salisbury in March 2018, and against Navalny in Tomsk in 2020, the British and German governments have reported claims…”

    For some unspecified reason, Helmer says nothing about the possibility that both these incidents involved novichoks, but the Russian state was not behind them. Plenty of non-Russians would have had at least as much access to the Skripals as any Russian, and some of Navalny’s entourage appear to have close links with Western intelligence agencies, as well as easy access to Navalny.

    1. Quentin

      If the Skripals and Navalny indeed recovered from Novichok their escape from death would be an absolute first in the history of this nerve agent poisoning. Wasn’t that what he was getting out? I’m inclined to agree with you that Helmer suspects that no Novichok was involved.

      1. Ian Perkins

        There aren’t many recorded instances of novichok poisonings, and Navalny and the Skripals were treated for organophosphate poisoning, so it’s not so surprising they survived. It would be different had there been hundreds of previous novichok poisonings, all of which resulted in death, but there weren’t. What’s more, who’s to say Navalny was supposed to die? If it was a false flag attack, the intention may well have been to inflame Western relations with Russia, and the question of his survival largely irrelevant.

    2. Après Moi

      Perhaps he’s “wedded” to the idea of no novichok (NK) because he’s done a ton of research into the matter, even writing a book on the Skripals. Even for a casual reader, the thought that NK – the most deadly poison -was spread on a door handle (after Skr’s left their house) and poisoned them, could have strained credulity.

          1. Ian Perkins

            Colonel H de B-G, ex-UK and NATO chemical weapons units, pops up after ‘incidents’ to spout outright lies such as two molecules of novichok will kill, and novichoks have only ever been made in Russia (an Iranian university made some before the Skripal poisonings, and published the results!). See the link in my comment above for more on his dodginess and shadiness.

          2. Ian Perkins

            Novichoks are nasty – that’s the whole idea – but they still have a lethal dose. If you get less than that, you’re not necessarily dead. And they don’t kill instantly; they can stop you breathing pretty quickly – not at all the same thing when help is at hand.

      1. Michael McK

        Also note that after the door handle exposure to the worlds deadliest toxin Skirpal and his daughter spent hours eating and drinking on the town before collapsing together at the same moment on a bench just before the Army’s head nurse randomly came upon them.
        BTW, NC has a great opportunity to purchase the London Bridge. Please donate now so they can take advantage of this limited time offer.

    3. Soredemos

      Loving the idea of a nerve agent designed to be nearly instantly and totally lethal that just…didn’t kill not one but three people.

      Navalny in particular; he was literally inside Russia. If the Russian government wanted him dead, he would be dead. Instead they let him fly to Germany for treatment. This whole narrative is so unbelievably stupid. At worst the guy got a case of food poisoning and spun it into a assassination attempt story. Navalny is not a reputable or honest actor. The man is a liar

      1. jrkrideau

        BTW Helmer’s site is down. I wonder if he annoyed Putin by claiming the Russian President did not try to kill Navalny /s

  8. Tom Stone

    Booster shots are here, I recieved both a text and an email yesterday informing me that I was qualified to recieve a booster of either the Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine because I am immunosuppressed.
    Since I am still experiencing the side effect of a substantial increase in chronic pain more than 5 months after my second dose of Moderna, I think I’ll pass.
    If the J&J vaccine were on offer I’d reconsider my stance.

    1. SE

      I am not sure that the side effects profile from J&J is better if you just look at reports from VAERS. I have a family member with serious side effects that appeared a week after J&J shot (heart arrhythmia). Also eligible for booster, also not too keen. The technology and target of these shots is essentially the same, despite J&J not being MRNA. In terms of dosage, from high to low they go in this order:

      Pfizer (Lowest dose)
      J&J (middle)
      Modern (Highest dose)

      Of course the data collection on this has been terrible, but I believe there is some evidence that severity of side effects is correlated with dosing.

    2. petal

      Tom, I drove 45 miles each way to get J&J in hopes of avoiding autoimmune triggering, and it didn’t work. Within 9 hours, any spot that had had previous injury/low basal levels of inflammation was screaming in a very scary way. It was like a switch had been flicked on and turned up to 11. Still dealing with the fallout 3 weeks later.

        1. petal

          Thanks, jr! Very kind of you! A friend who has long term vertigo from one of the mRNA vaccines told me to try OTC zyrtec and/or pepsid(their mast cells went crazy and haven’t slowed down after many months). Will probably give it a try over the weekend to see if it helps calm things a little. Why not at this point. Still sleeping a lot more than normal, too. Have a nice weekend, ok?

      1. ambrit

        Oh man. Sorry to hear about this. This definitely kills any chance that Phyl or I will get the J&J shot. We’re still waiting for a killed virus vaccine. (My medica asked if I would get vacinated if a killed virus vaccine were available. I said of course I would. Killed virus vaccines have decades of history from which to manage “problems” and weigh risks and rewards. She gave me a very funny look. I don’t think that she had anticipated such a response. [I visually fit the Trumpista template.] Most medicos that I have encountered seem to be ‘Liberal.’ Hah! Hidden biases everywhere you look! {Including in the mirror.})
        Take good care of yourself!
        I still think that adverse reactions to mandated Covid vaccines should be treated as job related injuries by Workman’s Comp.

    3. BeliTsari

      See, “The Space Merchants” needs to become MORE than Lisa Simpson allusion? I’ve finally had a 2nd Moderna, 144 days late (I’d awaited a “targeted booster” that’s never come. But needed to travel to Pennsyltucky!) It being NYC, pretty much ALL clinicians, who’d not skedaddled upstate, had D.614. I’d worse, inflammatory side-effects than during active infection & only cursory imaging of PASC organ damage. Here (Italy, Israel, Spain, France or Germany) that made one a sane grown-up, not “anti-vax?” And could’ve freed-up many million second doses, right as Delta, Mu & Lambda hit! CDC got everything very suspiciously WRONG, about COVID. We’d caught it ~Mar 10th, ’20 and had pretty accurate information from East Asia, Iran, Italy… doctors, nurses, epidemiologists’ Tweets, certainly by May. HMmm? I’ll be the first to admit buying Regenron, Gilead, Moderna & BioNTech, along with Zoom, Chewy, Dash, ONLN, etc.

    4. Lee

      But then there’s this from a letter to The Lancet, Considerations in boosting COVID-19 vaccine immune responses, recommending against boosters, with a lot of data to back them up.

      “The conclusion by scientists, including two senior Food and Drug Administration officials and the World Health Organization, came as studies continue to show the authorized Covid vaccines in the U.S. remain highly effective against severe disease and hospitalization caused by the fast-spreading delta variant.

      While Covid vaccine effectiveness against mild disease may wane over time, protection against severe disease may persist, the scientists said. That’s because the body’s immune system is complex, they said, and has other defenses besides antibodies that may protect someone from getting seriously sick.” CNBC

    5. savedbyirony

      Tom, how long did you wait between your first and second dose? I am asking because i had my first dose four weeks ago now and am debating when (and slightly if) to receive the second. I favor waiting at least two more weeks and maybe as many as six. I have been wondering if side effects have been showing up more/or less frequently in those who received the second dose sooner rather than later, but a far as effectiveness is concerned it does look better to wait.

      Last winter when i first qualified for the shots I worried this whole booster push would happen. I am sorry to hear you are facing that decision and who knows what pressure tactics might arise. Due to disabilities, I barely ever leave home (maybe once a month) and when people come over we are either spread out outside or masking up inside, so i wanted to wait on getting the shots until closure to fall so that the best coverage would probably be around early winter (last year’s peak time where i live). So now I am not facing booster issues, but left wondering will these shots even help much against the next variant coming our way.

      1. Tom Stone

        Thirty days, as recommended at the time.
        Second shot April 24 and the pain was bad enough that my physician prescribed an opioid in late August ( I kept hoping it would diminish).
        Unfortunately the painkiller did not play nicely with my other meds and I landed in the ER.

        1. savedbyirony

          Thanks for the reply and I am very sorry to hear that you are having these side effect troubles. My first shot did not cause much more than a two day headache but i deal with chronic neuropathic pain and am becoming more nervous about taking the second dose.

    1. ChiGal

      My sister is a prof in astronomy and tested positive s couple weeks ago. She has had dozens of students report exposure and quarantining or outright testing positive and isolating and has never been contacted by whatever system the university supposedly has in place, nor beyond informing her Chair and students did she have anyone to report her own case to on campus though she did inform Orange County.

      After months of very cautious behavior she now has an inhaler (no previous need) because even after headache and brain fog and sore throat and joint pain resolved, she is easily winded, for example when lecturing.

      There is no vaccine mandate at UNC but there is a mask mandate. CO2 levels through the roof in her classroom of 200+ undergrads. No straight answer from admin on what improvements to ventilation/filtration have been made.

  9. Tom Stone

    If I am urged to take a booster I’ll ask that person why they don’t trust President Biden?
    Biden clearly stated that if I became vaccinated I couldn’t catch the Virus!

    1. Nikkikat

      You are correct Tom Stone. Biden did tell that big lie. This is to me among his biggest boldest lies. The fact is that if I am standing next to two people and one is vaccinated and the other isn’t, I could get covid from either one of them. If I am vaccinated then I can hope that as an older individual, it won’t kill me. I may still be hospitalized. Which would be a disaster since it would surely bankrupt me. I might also just be very sick.
      Of course, the CDC took away any ability for me to have any additional safety by telling these same lies to the public by telling people to take off their mask. Leaving me terrified to even go to the store and walk though clouds of vaporized covid virus. Now it’s vaccine mandates or lose your job. By offering people the option of once a week testing, which is doomed to failure. Once a week will not cut it. They know this. Setting up people for more
      Spread; but then the elites can blame these people who did not vaccinate and chose testing as the spreaders. As to boosters, after a year I will take the J&j vaccine again. The constant obvious misinformation related to J&j by the elites tells me that is the right and only choice to make for myself and family. Their attacks on ivermectin and near hysteria at controlling the narrative tells me I am on the right path

      1. m

        Really sad that people are so afraid. When this all started and I was sent to work on the covid unit, I admit I was terrified. The reuse of PPE and the chaos in the beginning, I admit that I wasn’t as careful as I should have been. I would leave work and be scared, but then nothing happened. I have worked on covid since they opened the unit and I have not been ill at all.
        I wish people wouldn’t be so scared. At the start at my hospitals the people dying were elderly 70-90s, there were a few younger that had health issues or were chubby/pot belly (not all were obese).
        We have cases with younger people now 50-70s, still getting fully vaxxed from long term care and fully vaxxed in the younger group most are not that sick. Covid has even been an incidental finding in some as they came to the hospital for other reasons.
        I think the real serious problem is that people feel sick, they come to the ED test positive and are being sent home. Some come back a week or two later and get the officially approved treatments. I don’t understand why more isn’t being done right at the start to prevent the need for hospitalization. Many of the vitamins mentioned on FLCCC we give in the hospital, duckduckgo covid proning position & covid. It really helps with oxygenation. This blind focus on vaccines I cannot understand.
        I guess I won’t be able to see Dune in the theatre, but “fear is the mind killer.”

  10. PlutoniumKun

    Why the Bezzle Matters to the Economy Michael Pettis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From August, still germane.

    This should be a must-read – I love this article (Michael Pettis is always great for a calm, clear eyed mostly ideological-free explanation of difficult real-world macro-economic concepts), and it should be shown to anyone who talks nonsense about China’s economy, which to be fair, is most people who talk about China’s economy.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Thank you. I’d seen the word bezzle on this site a few times, but hadn’t looked into it.

      This might be a silly question, but could China’s not bailing out Evergrande – so far – be an attempt to nip its real estate bezzle in the bud?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        China has little option but to bail out Evergrande in some form, its TBTF. Whats important to understand about the Chinese property market is that its not simply a case of property undergoing some sort of bubble, its fundamental to both domestic savings (Chinese people have few options for saving money due to the financial repression that is central to the Chinese development model), and also rising land prices is very important for local government funding. So the notion of letting the property market go back to more realistic prices is simply not on their agenda.

        So the Chinese government is in a bind with rising property prices – they can try stop them rising too fast (they’ve been trying this for years), but they cannot afford to see a substantial drop in prices, at least not without a lot of time to put in place financial buffers. So they have to find some means of liquidating Evergrande without undermining confidence in property. This will not be simple – as Pettis has pointed out elsewhere, most property in China is paid for ‘up front’ before construction, while Evergrande pay a lot of their bills with their own script (essentially IOU’s). This raises the question of where the hell all the cash- we are talking hundreds of billions of dollars here – has gone (most likely, somewhere far out of the reach of Beijing).

        So dealing with Evergrande will be an enormously complex task – its not a simple case of just stepping in and covering the bills. This company is gigantic, even by the scale of the Chinese economy. There are many thousands of people who have paid for apartments now that will not be built, and there are thousands of companies holding now worthless IOU’s. While it might be tempting for the government to just cover everything, they are very aware of the problem of moral hazard. Even shooting a few senior managers (yes, the Chinese are quite happy to do this) would not necessarily be enough as the looting of the company might have been happening at multiple levels and might involve some very powerful and connected people.

        It is worth reading Pettis in some detail on this – even before this blew up he has written a lot on the extreme difficulty China is having in resolving debts within the system. And no, its not a case of just ‘printing cash to cover the debts’ (there are many complex reasons why this is not as simple as many think). There are many powerful groups within China who think someone else should pay for this type of debt, there is no doubt a lot of internal battles going on to resolve this. It will be fascinating to see what they decide upon.

        btw, I would give a shoutout to anyone to subscribe to Michael Pettis’s twitter feed, its a mine of fascinating information about how the financial system in China really works – always bearing in mind that as he is based in a Chinese University, he can’t always be as direct in what he says as he may want.

        1. Ian Perkins

          Thank you, again. It will indeed be fascinating to see what they decide upon. My guess is the CPC isn’t walking into this blind, but has weighed up the options and decided on something already. I’ll follow Pettis a bit more, but I’d also be very interested to hear Michael Hudson’s take on it, though perhaps his links with China are keeping him silent too until the matter is resolved or at least clearer..

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Yes, I’d be interested to hear what Prof Hudson says too. My impression is that Prof. Hudsons perspective tends to be from the ‘big picture’ strategic side, while Pettis is more knowledgeable about the nuts and bolts side of things (although of course the real operations behind the scenes are likely to be entirely opaque to outsiders).

            Neither of course will give the whole story, we are as likely to hear as many versions of this as there are self-proclaimed Chinese financial experts, but certainly Pettis and Hudson are most worth listening to.

          2. michael hudson

            Re your request for my view of China.
            The economists and politicians with whom I speak say “ha, ha.” They have NO love for the merchant banks that borrow from the Peoples Bank of China to lend out at a markup to speculators in the housing market.
            They’re chuckling at the thought of U.S. and other foreign investors betting on a big Chinese housing bubble raising the cost of housing and thinking that they (the foreigners) can get rich on it — and losing their pants.
            there is little interest in bailing out speculators. The aim is increasingly deliberate to keep housing affordable — for living in by owner occupancy, not as an investment vehicle, either for domestic or foreign investors.

            1. Ian Perkins

              Thank you. I rather thought that would be your – and their – take on it, and I hope the CPC succeeds in reining in the rentiers. Some talk of the damage Evergrande might do to the Chinese economy if it fails, but it seems to me allowing it to ‘succeed’ would do far more damage in the long term. And I see Macau’s casinos are taking fright over new regulations now!

            2. cnchal

              > They’re chuckling at the thought of U.S. and other foreign investors betting on a big Chinese housing bubble raising the cost of housing and thinking that they (the foreigners) can get rich on it — and losing their pants.

              They can also chuckle that the Chinese looters are buying up Vancouver and Toronto housing to speculate in Canada’s real estate market, driving the price past affordability for anyone that actually has to work here. Their pants are full.

              From PlutoniumKun above:

              This will not be simple – as Pettis has pointed out elsewhere, most property in China is paid for ‘up front’ before construction, while Evergrande pay a lot of their bills with their own script (essentially IOU’s). This raises the question of where the hell all the cash- we are talking hundreds of billions of dollars here – has gone (most likely, somewhere far out of the reach of Beijing).

              Evergrande should go poof, take all the connected parasites down with them and expose the bezzle for all to see.

            3. Lambert Strether Post author

              > The aim is increasingly deliberate to keep housing affordable — for living in by owner occupancy, not as an investment vehicle, either for domestic or foreign investors.

              It’s almost like they’re Communists

    1. outside observer

      I caught a little bit of this and was surprised at two things during the short period I tuned in. One – Pfizer, with all their billions, couldn’t get a working audio connection and therefore was pretty useless at answering questions. Two – even at the level of the advisory committee, it seemed that no one had seen data to their satisfaction. It’s disgraceful that the USA has to rely on Israeli data and/or Pfizer data (is it proprietary?).

      1. Nikkikat

        Rev Kev, “He must be one of those bad apples we keep hearing about”.LOl!!
        Bad apples are seemingly every where these days.

    1. SE

      Anecdote, but…

      I am also a layperson, so I won’t really comment on the study except to say that this was done with EG/Echo, troponin levels.

      My father has a likely case of myocarditis/pericarditis after J&J. He is 78. This has shown up as chest pain and arrhythmia one week after shot. EEG/Echo, troponin normal, no signs of heart disease. However, after months of confusion his doctor is treating this as likely vaccine induced myocarditis, and has told him that the only real way to detect this is with a CMR. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.113.000416. I haven’t seen any studies looking for prevalence of this injury using CMR. moreover, most studies focus on young people.

      My concern is that my father is 78. My question is if this is prevalent problem…for how many people in his age group will this problem be detected? I think for most people, doctors will just blow this off as a normal part of aging.

  11. NVL

    Regarding rapid tests, Michael Mina was interviewed by podcaster Lex Fridman. The video on You Tube provides a guide as to how many minutes the topic is addressed.

    About a month ago, I made a tour of pharmacies in lower Manhattan for a rapid test kit. Finally, I found one for thirty-five dollars(!) but as I wanted to visit an old friend with ALS, I did buy it. The next shock was that the friend’s home health aide- because vaccinated- was not wearing a mask!

    1. SE

      In the UK you can pick up 7 rapid tests a week from the local pharmacy for free. Yes, they are not Binax now, they are lateral flow tests from China, but…? What going on with us? Why can’t we do this?

      1. Skip Intro

        Apparently Germany is offering rapid tests for free until October.

        I have a question for the brain trust, (GM, IM Doc in particular). The rapid tests look for antigens produced as a response to covid infection. Presumably there is a delay between infection and testable levels of antigen, just as there is a delay between first infection, and detectable viral load. If this delay is small, then an antigen test is a good indicator of the level of virus and consequent shedding. Even false negatives due to low antigen levels would presumably still imply low levels of viral shedding for the infected, making the tests really useful.

        If I am wrong about the science, or source of false negatives, and you can be substantially contagious without detectable antigens, then the tests offer only a false sense of security, when used to screen group members prior to contact. Anyone know the deal here?

  12. Tom Stone

    Whenever I read or hear about a complete novice buying a gun for “Self Defense” I shake my head.
    Most of these novices end up buying a short barreled revolver in .357 magnum or a 12 gauge pump, because they revolver will stop a charging rhinocerous and “You don’t have to aim a shotgun”.
    They might go to the range, once.
    They have no clue about the laws of self defense, they have no gun handling skills and their heads are filled with fantasies from years of watching TV and the movies.
    If you decide to buy a gun for the first time PLEASE GET TRAINING AND OBEY THE SAFETY RULES.
    Recommended reading?
    “In the gravest extreme” By Massad Ayoob.
    Claude Werner’s E Books, starting with “Ten Serious mistakes Gun owners Make”
    “How to own a gun in (Your State) and stay out of jail.”
    When the guns come out all the good choices have left the room and one of the lives you hold in your hand when you pick up a gun is your own.

    1. jr

      Thank you for this, I’ve been meaning to dig into the legality of a self-defense shooting in NYC. I’m not getting a gun but I suspect the rules are similar across the board.

    2. MT_Wild

      I’m not sure if this holds true anymore, at least at a national level outside of individual state restrictions. I’ll look for sales data and post if I find it. My suspicion is they’re buying AR’s and 9mm handguns if the local gun stores are any indication.

      Upside is they’re much more pleasant to shoot and therefore practice with, downside is higher capacity magazines and stray rounds looking for targets.

      1. Skip Intro

        yeah, who would want a puny six gun, even .357 or .44, when you can have a nice light Glock with 15 rounds. What serious home-defense enthusiast is gonna wanna die because there were 7 home invaders instead of 6? It may not bring down a rhino, but it can bring down 10 humans, with a margin left for the coups de grace.

    3. curlydan

      What do you think of requiring, by federal law, mandatory training and insurance for all gun owners with some type of yearly continuing ed/training each year?

    4. MT_Wild

      National Shooting Sports Foundation Data.
      Semi-auto handguns by a wide margin, with shotguns just edging out “modern sporting rifles” which is woke speak for AR’s.

      https://www.nssf.org/articles/nssf-retail-surveys-show-3-2-million-estimated-first-time-gun-buyers-in-first-half-of-2021/

      As far as mandatory firearms training, might as well put it in the school curriculum along with advanced first aid, food storage, and other doomer prep.

      Actual qualifications for a carry-permit wouldn’t be a bad idea, but then you’d penalize a lot of people for not being able to afford ammo for training or having access to a range. Same goes for insurance. Should the right to having a firearm for self-defense only apply to the better off?

      1. Wukchumni

        Actual qualifications for a drivers license wouldn’t be a bad idea, but then you’d penalize a lot of people for not being able to afford gas for driving or having access to a car. Same goes for insurance. Should the right to having a automobile for self-driving only apply to the better off?
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

        …see how easy it was to nullify your argument?

        1. MT_Wild

          Now do the same thing for ID’s and voting. /s

          At the current junction, firearm ownership in one form or another is a right. Driving is a privilege. My guess is adding costs that exclude one class of citiziens from exercising that right would be deemed unconstitutional.

          Can’t imagine this isn’t in case law somewhere already but don’t know off the top of my head.

          I’d also add that I don’t think we have real qualifications for driving in this country. I see evidence to the contrary pretty much any time I venture out.

          1. JBird4049

            We are comparing apples and oranges with needs and rights, as well as the reasons things are done are not always what they say they are.

            Driving is not a right, but it is a necessity for perhaps most Americans. Gun ownership is not a privilege, but a right, but like driving requires money, time, and training, plus practice to do well and safely. Voting is a right and a responsibility that needs to be easy to do.

            I think it depends on being practical and realizing just what the needs for each are. Too often the rules are there for such reasons as to mess with people’s ability to do something, benefit the wealthy, or even to get funding without taxation. Or even as way to get votes and publicity. Not for any silly thing as personal rights or public safety.

            Too much of overclass seem to ignore the need for driving and the rights of gun ownership and so thoughtless jack up the costs of driving especially though fines, fees, charges, registration, and gasoline while thoughtfully doing much the same with gun ownership by also adding rules, laws, regulations, many, but not all, of which are done merely to be burdensome, while also jacking up the cost. Gunz are the evil and Driving is Bad for the environment, and lets not forget those lucrative fees and fines, which means less taxation. So the nonesense regulations and the jacked up expenses come around.

            As to voting is all the damn corruption masquerading as fighting voter fraud to deny people their right to vote, or the vote rigging, and just plain stealing, dumping, manipulating, and just lying to also get elected. Actual individual voter‘s fraud is almost as rare as hen’s teeth. Demanding an ID is just a method to stop voters as is the various shenanigans to drop voters from the rolls. Most, maybe all, states have these problems and it does not matter what party.

            Of course, just how and just what is done, or not, depends on whether it is blue or a red state.

            (I’m sorry Texas, but there are reasons why the words “a well regulated militia” are used, and having any fool the ability to conceal carry a gun is kinda nuts. And California? What does banning a bayonet lug have to do with gun safety or control? I mean what new, modern civilian weapon has them???? Or banning pistol grips for rifles? I mean really? Also, California sure loves to add fees to everything, including registration, tickets, and fines, while everyone praises, but does not build or fund the operations of a decent public transit. I need a car to anywhere.)

      2. Money Badger

        I would say requiring liability insurance for all gun owners should definitely be mandatory, just as it is for cars which, for most Americans in areas not served well by public transport, are far more necessary in day-to-day life.

      3. BeliTsari

        Thanks for that. Everybody guessed, but it’s interesting to see it in print. A number of geriatric friends were acquiring autoloading handguns. But, it’s blatantly double standard, where cops simply us white kids plinking away in waste areas and nobody questioned our buying really nasty “personal protection” rounds; whereas, you don’t see many retired Black or Latina grandmoms varmint hunting or target shooting in the swamps around NYC? The SCARY thing, mentioned here last year: my denial-ridden yuppie UWS Manhattan neighbors, returning from “vacation cottages” in MAGA country, suddenly all asking a rustbelt redneck about VERY pricey, concealable bull-pup rifles! It’s going to be scary to visit the Poconos this fall?

  13. Kit

    How are people getting to Helmer’s site? I’ve been trying since the cartoon was linked the other day and just get a CloudFlare 521 error. Should I be trying in a certain time window?

    1. Ian Perkins

      I got there first time with no problems, just by clicking on the ‘Novichok Secret’ link. I just rechecked – same thing.

      1. Ian Perkins

        The site is definitely still there – maybe someone is restricting your access to it, lest you be influenced by unsanctioned propaganda.

        1. Glass Onion

          Browsers are now routinely set by default to block unsecured data via old legacy HTTP. The site linked to uses that outdated protocol. It’s more expensive and a small hassle to upgrade to encrypted HTTPS with the host so a lot of small websites haven’t updated. You may be able to change your browser security settings to allow unencrypted website connections. That’s my guess here.

    2. Zachary Smith

      I repeatedly got the 521 error, so I went to Google Cache to read it. What I saw was more evidence of German & UK duplicity and dishonesty.

  14. Pavel

    So the esteemed newspaper of record NY Times had to add a correction to its article about calls to a Mississippi poison centre. Initially they stated that “70%” of the calls were about ivermectin overdoses.

    The corrected number? 2%. As in TWO PERCENT.

    H/t to @marybethpf on Twitter.

    Link to NY Times article.

    It’s almost as though the MSM don’t like ivermectin. Surely all those Big Pharma full page adverts have nothing to do with it.

    1. Ian Perkins

      What Business Insider says seems fairly reasonable.

      Ivermectin is a wondrous, Nobel Prize-winning drug that is cheap and available around the world. – sounds true enough
      But ivermectin is not a miracle cure for COVID-19, and there’s no reason to think it could or should ever be treated as such. – true enough again – it may be useful against COVID, but it’s unlikely to be a miracle cure
      Yet two men want you to think that ivermectin could be all we need to treat, or even prevent, any COVID-19 case: Dr. Pierre Kory, and Dr. Paul Marik. – and judging by the quotes given, Kory certainly does

      1. jhallc

        I agree that the article wasn’t overtly anti-Ivermectin. At least it didn’t refer to it as “horse-paste” only as “de-wormer”. However, it did seem to be slanted against it as seen in the quote of the Brazilian doctor:

        “We Brazilians had to learn in the hardest way that ivermectin didn’t work,” Dr. Ana Carolina Antonio, who works at a government hospital in Porto Alegre, told Insider.

        Antonio said that during the country’s second wave, about 70% of her patients were coming in having tried ivermectin already to prevent or treat COVID-19.

        “​​I have already cared for many patients who took ivermectin and were still in the ICU for COVID-19,” she said. “I regret to say, most of those patients have died.”

        This says nothing about how many never walked through the ER door because they took Ivermectin or anything about comorbidities of those that did.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        What Business Insider says seems fairly reasonable.

        You’re right, in a world where several thousand words of mockery and character assassination in an effort to discredit a promising off-patent drug is considered “reasonable.” Or even “journalism.” (Would that bi would have exhibited the same level of “reporting” where the sacklers were / are concerned.)

        The article, under the word “science” in tiny type, screams the headline

        2 fringe doctors created the myth that ivermectin is a ‘miracle cure’ for COVID-19 — whipping up false hope that could have deadly consequences

        and goes downhill from there. Quite “reasonable” if you’re a big pharma “investor” or one of their paid media enablers.

        Prior to covid, life-span in america was declining, and the u.s. was at the bottom of measures of virtually all “health” outcomes except cost when compared to other economically developed countries.

        Under those circumstances, dissenters from conventional medical “wisdom” should pretty much be canonized as far as I’m concerned, and the more opprobrium heaped on them by defenders of the american “healthcare” status quo, the more they deserve to be believed. IMNSHO.

      3. JanJ

        The protocols recommended by Doctors Kory and Marik are not restricted to Ivermectin. They do state that Ivermectin is a “core medication” in the treatment and prevention of Covid. Quoting from their website at Covid19CriticalCare.com in reference to their protocols (emphasis mine),

        “The protocols complement each other, and both are physiologic-based combination treatment regimens developed by leaders in critical care medicine. All the component medicines are FDA-approved, inexpensive, readily available and have been used for decades with well-established safety profiles. Both protocols are available in several languages.”

        It should also be said that these doctors are not opposed to vaccines and see their protocols as compliments to, and not substitutes for, vaccines. It’s obviously easier to attack and misrepresent an unfamiliar medicine (Ivermectin) than some of the other components of their protocols, such as Vitamin D.

  15. Questa Nota

    Health care immorality, who coulda node!
    The supply-side economics calculus expands beyond old standbys like short and long run marginal costs. Au courant suppliers integrate switching costs and dark patterns.
    They derive optimum rent extractions and customer object inconvenience suffering while maximizing asset stripping and dividends.

    Nice life ya got there, shame if someone was ta retract yer meds. What’s it worth ta ya?

    Of course, that was no surprise as businesses were alert to changes in the air. The ad agency of Alaska Airways came up with a preview last millennium. They spoofed competitors who used pay toilets on flights, leading to some, er, price discovery in getting exact change for flyer relief. So, a user manual.

  16. Blue Duck

    > The Romans and Intellectual Disciplines

    I have three children aged 8 and under. Part of my “parenting in the anthropocene” approach is to make sure my children’s education is as well rounded as possible. There is no “computer coding camp” in this household. We work hard with our kids in math, but I’m also working hard to make sure their historical knowledge is as broad and deep as possible. Frankly, even a well informed American has a historical knowledge that I would consider a-historic (FWIW I am a foreigner raising kids in America).

    My generation was raised to be mindless PMC. From an early age we were raised and educated to be lawyers, accountants, computer engineers, doctors etc. All my peers, myself included, are in those professions, and not only are we all professionally miserable, we’re also completely ill equipped to deal with the world as it churns into chaos. Those raising their kids to follow in their PMC footsteps, with its focus on STEM while ignoring history, philosophy etc are setting their kids to be similarly out of their depth in the future.

    In my opinion, if our kids understand history, they will be much better place to understand and deal with a world going completely to hell. Hell maybe they’ll even be able to develop philosophy and an understanding of political economy that could actually lead to actual change…

    1. Glossolalia

      Ugh, yes, the term “STEM” is just repeated like a mantra these days in schools. And you’re looked at like an alien if you say you kid doesn’t have any real interest in it.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Eh, I wouldn’t be too biased against computer programming if your kids are interested in it. The skill set required to be a good programmer requires an understanding of whole systems analysis and the creation, and eventual solving, of complex mathematical equations. It’s why there are so few talented programmers and a whole lot of copy / paste all-stars. Coding is an art form in itself.

      My sympathies on being a foreigner in America. It can’t be easy.

    3. ObjectiveFunction

      I had a slightly different take on that piece:

      The treatise continues in the form of a dialogue between Marcus Crassus and Mark Antony, in which Crassus claims that ‘whatever the topic’, the orator will speak better about any branch of knowledge than someone who confines himself to it.

      This passage instantly summons to mind any number of private equity / VC types I know, who can ramble soothingly about pretty much everything from semiconductors to oven mitts. Their knowledge is a mile wide and an inch deep, but this is masked by a fog of financial wankspeak (which is all the people seeking double digit returns want to hear about anyway).

      Any ‘specialist’ having actual depth or experience can either be paid to rubber stamp the Orator’s ‘thesis’, or if they object, dismissed as ‘too far down in the weeds’).

      These Orators are the alpha predators at the apex of the PMC pyramid. They are extremely smart, but equally convinced of their own smartness, like their (patrician) Roman antecedents. I think you get the drift of where this is going….

  17. Eclair

    RE: “At 101 She’s Still Hauling Lobsters ….”

    Lobsters have gone from a working class food to a delicacy. In the summer of 1947 (I remember the year because that fall, the famous 1947 forest fire swept through the area,) my grandparents, parents, and a bevy of aunts and great-aunts, and barely sentient me, spent two weeks in a primitive log cabin tucked into the wooded shore in Wilde’s District, Kennebunkport, Maine. My grandfather worked on the railroad with Clarence Wilde, who kept a farm with a few cows (I definitely remember standing too close to the rear end of one of his cows as it let loose) a bit inland, as well as owning this cabin, and had wrangled a rental for two weeks.

    Our near neighbors … we had to park in their dirt driveway and walk through a wooded path in their yard to get to the cabin … were lobstermen. My parents and the various aunts were looking forward to eating lobster, a then almost unheard of food in our working class Irish Catholic family (were they really fish and could we eat them on Friday?) They had a discussion with the lobsterman and his wife and I remember the wife looking a bit sick and stating that she would never eat lobster again. It had been a hard winter with little cash and they survived on what the husband caught …. when he was able to take out his boat.

    The local lobstermen no longer live within sight and sound of the sea in Kennebunkport. Wealthy out-of-staters have bought up the ocean-front properties, the log cabin with the hand-pumped water well in the front field, and the privy out in the back woods, is long gone. As is the modest wood lobsterman’s home.

    1. Ian Perkins

      Lobsters have gone from a working class food to a delicacy.

      Letters and diaries of those working on the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal in England some two hundred years ago complained of having nothing but damned salmon to eat day in day out. They presumably came from the nearby River Don, in which a salmon was discovered in 2019, after a century and a half with none being seen.

  18. Wukchumni

    Squaw Valley ski resort finally got around to renaming it to Palisades Tahoe after a year of angst over what to call itself in losing the Native American moniker, and the Washington NFL football team still can’t decide what to call themselves, and I just looked at a team photo and 2/3rds of the players are African-American, so they should go with:

    the Washington Blackskins

  19. petal

    For Lambert, maybe for water cooler: Vt. health officials say IT glitch to blame for COVID case spike
    “Vermont health officials say Thursday’s record-breaking spike in reported daily COVID cases was due to an IT glitch that delayed the delivery of some test results.

    The Vermont Department of Health reported 314 new cases Thursday, far surpassing last March’s previous high of 266 daily cases. Officials say they continue to investigate how a vendor IT glitch that delayed the delivery of test results impacted the count, as well as previous days’ case counts.

    The department monitors the time it takes from when specimens are collected for testing to when the results are reported back from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Review of the data from the past week showed an increase in the turnaround time that began with specimens collected on September 9. They say the glitch involved EllKay, an IT vendor working for Broad.

    Vermont state epidemiologist Pasty Kelso says they reported all the cases Thursday to be transparent. “It’s most valid to report them on the day we receive them and in this case we put a note on it saying some of these cases would have been attributed to other days,” she said.” More at the link.

  20. Wukchumni

    Would it even be all that possible to park 50 feet away from other cars in a city situation?

    What’s good for GM is good for the country!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As it seeks a solution to a battery fire risk, General Motors issued yet another safety recommendation Wednesday for Chevrolet Bolt owners: If you’re pulling into a parking deck, keep your car at least 50 feet away from other vehicles.

    A customer’s concern about the safety of leaving their electric vehicle in a parking garage led the automaker to provide the additional guidance to owners of the Bolts, all of which GM has recalled, spokesman Dan Flores said.

    “In an effort to reduce potential damage to structures and nearby vehicles in the rare event of a potential fire, we recommend parking on the top floor or on an open-air deck and park 50 feet or more away from another vehicle,” Flores said in a statement. “Additionally, we still request you do not leave your vehicle charging unattended, even if you are using a charging station in a parking deck.”

    https://www.oregonlive.com/business/2021/09/drive-a-chevy-bolt-gm-says-you-should-park-50-feet-from-other-vehicles.html

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So, the “bolt” becomes the “unvaxxed” of the automobile “population.”

      How long before “bolt” owners need to show evidence of completed recall–“recall passport”–in order to park near other cars?

      1. Maritimer

        So, the “bolt” becomes the “unvaxxed” of the automobile “population.”
        ****
        Good way to put it. One sees more and more common denominators in US Rackets. There must be a central clearing house where all the techniques, gaming and other ruses used in the Rackets can be interchanged and used as needed. You might call these Business Consulting Firms. Mix ‘n Match, whatya need today?

        Bolt, as pointed out, has some characteristics similar to Covid vaccines.

        Even I, a lifelong skeptic was shocked by the revelations about VW:
        https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/jan/27/dirty-money-review-netflix-alex-gibney-vw

        See your local Torrent dealer.

    2. Ian Perkins

      Until the charging time is reduced to something like the time to refill a gas tank, “do not leave your vehicle charging unattended” sounds just as impractical and unlikely to be heeded.

      1. Wukchumni

        This Bolt imbroglio has given me a certain fondness for the 1974 puke green (the automakers claimed it was avocado, yeah no) Pinto in which I learned to drive.

        Ford’s instructions would have been something like:

        ‘Don’t ever allow a car to get within 50 feet of your rear bumper’

    3. rowlf

      The joys of modern mass production:

      Ford Recalling 8.7 Million Vehicles Over Fire Danger (1996)

      DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. announced the biggest voluntary safety recall ever by a single auto maker on Thursday, a callback of 8.7 million cars and trucks equipped with a defective ignition switch that can cause steering-column fires, even in turned-off vehicles.

      Many fires involved vehicles that were parked and had been shut off for hours. In some cases, autos caught fire in garages and damaged the owner’s home as well as the vehicle. There are 28 injuries–all minor–attributed to the fires.

      Massive Ford Recall to Fix Fire Hazard – Despite Earlier Recalls, Fords Have Continued to Burn (2007)

      Why would anyone doubt vaccines are safe? /s

      After a neighbor’s Ford F150 caught on fire unattended and not running in their garage in the mid 2000s I started to think attached garages on houses were not a good place to store vehicles (even if I did own a big fire extinguisher).

  21. Zachary Smith

    The U.S. Army’s Iron Dome could be headed to Ukraine

    Opinion time: the US Army is dumping a junk system forced on them by the neocons of both parties. See story “Iron Dome for Ukraine: US military aid or just farce?

    However, the Americans did not succeed in putting the Iron Domes on alert, since technical difficulties arose: the complexes were not compatible with the new army’s command and control system. To operate the Iron Dome, special radars are needed, the acquisition of which will require additional costs. As a result, the Israeli complexes remained in warehouses, while the Americans are developing their counterparts.

    Prediction: if and when the “iron dome” encounters a competent attack, it’s going to be a total bust.

  22. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Explainer: How China Evergrande’s debt troubles pose a systemic risk”—-Reuters.

    “Analysis: Investors brace for a great fall in China”–Reuters

    The true “risk” exists in the potentially shattered confidence of ‘mainstreet speculators’, as the fable unwinds and is exposed. Globally, it is the same central bank fable and belief system, backstopped by the state. Avarice and the envy for the already wealthy, or newly wealthy speculators only increases the frenzy. You are only worth, as a social being, what the value of your accumulated assets is at any moment in time. It is central bank conditioning for salivating speculators, because the prices of speculative risk assets ‘are only ever supposed to go up’.

    “Without a social safety net and with limited places to put their money, Chinese savers have for years been encouraged to buy homes whose prices were only ever supposed to go up.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-16/china-s-nightmare-evergrande-scenario-is-an-uncontrolled-crash

    What happens when it (the carefully constructed and managed mirage) is no longer the case and reality intrudes once again, demonstrating that ‘this time’ is no different from all other past episodes?

    1. Vandemonian

      Australia is experiencing a housing bubble, which continues unabated. Everyone with functioning cranial cells knows that we’re in a housing bubble, but it continues unabated. It’s not too hard to identify a range of possible causes and culprits:

      – Direct government financial support for first homebuyers. (The government subsidy was immediately added to the sale price of every property on the market)

      – Low interest rates

      – Unfettered purchase of domestic dwellings by foreign buyers (I suspect that Hong Kong escapees and cashed up mainland Chinese are big purchasers)

      – Large scale acquisition (by individuals and corporations) of low cost rental properties for conversion to AirBNBs. Vacant rental properties for low income families and individuals are now nowhere to be found.

      The bubble will collapse, as all bubbles (bezzles) must, and it won’t be pretty. I’m fairly sure that in the Venn diagram showing circles of winners and losers there will be very little overlap between the two.

      And what does Little Scotty from Marketing do to address this crisis? Sign up for nuclear powered submarines to ‘threaten’ China.

      1. jrkrideau

        But Little Scotty already has residences in Canberra and Sydney. He need not worry, well until the next election anyway.

        We have much the same housing crisis here in Canada.

      2. Kfish

        Also, preferential treatment for losses made on real estate investments (negative gearing). The Labour Opposition tried to regain power in the last election by promising to undo that boondoggle, and lost in the face of a barrage of media hysteria about raising taxes. Which my countrypeople fell for.

        I’m 39. Most of my peers and younger are rooting for the real estate collapse, so they can actually afford a house in their lifetimes.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’m much older than you and I am rooting for a real estate collapse as well. Apart from making housing unaffordable for younger people which is self-defeating, it is seriously distorting the economy just so an ‘aspirational’ class can sit on their investments to everybody else’s cost.

          1. fajensen

            AirBnB is there to keep housing unaffordable for younger people. Probably half of the flats in central Copenhagen are now AirBnB, never to be placed for sale in “The Market” even though the owners moved long ago.

            Now. This is illegal, there is residency requirements there, never mind the tax evasion stuff that also comes with these “sharing” platforms, and of course the “authorities” are doing Nothing.

            It is amazing how cheap Scandinavian politicians are. All it takes is just one paid-for trip to Silicon Valley to meet some “4’th floor from the CEO”-flunkies and they are all hooked and will buy into whatever thrash is being peddled!

  23. Darthbobber

    Iron Dome for the Ukies.

    Another step by the politicos towards providing things that score political and symbolic points while being of highly questionable military value in the event that that Russian invasion the Ukrainian leadership purports to fear ever materialized.

    A batch of javelins (which Obama rejected and the military under Trump had the commendable good sense to stipulate keeping them far away from the line of contact) plus a patriot battery or two would have little actual value against an actual combined arms offensive. Unlike anybody the Israelis face, the Russians have ample resources to eliminate the Patriots at no great risk to themselves, and a very large fraction of the Javelins would not survive to confront the arriving armor, as aircraft and dedicated artillery would be hitting all their known positions and aircraft and reconnaissance would be looking for the others. And along the determined axis of advance of the armor they’d also be hitting positions that were even likely good spots for the Javelins shortly before the tanks were scheduled to arrive.

    But it all sounds very impressive to career civilians who don’t look into the praacticalities and wish to strike bellicose poses.

    (Might point out that the only reason Iron Dome achieves even such success as it does against Hamas is the very narrow area from which an attack might come. The bigger the angle that needs to be covered, the more problems Iron Dome has. Reaching near uselessness once you start approaching the edges of 180 degrees and total uselessness against the rear 180.)

    1. Bill Smith

      It would be hard to destroy the Javelins if the Ukraine managed to get them out of storage in the event of a conflict. They would be dispersed. However there aren’t’ many and the Ukrainian Army has plenty of other ground based antiarmor systems.

      The C-Dome version of the Iron Dome has 360 degree coverage. But… The reality is that a battery of Iron Dome would protect some high value target for only a few minutes if the Russians unloaded on it. If nothing else Iron Dome would run out of missiles long before the Russians did.

      Would the real effect of the iron Dome and possible Patriots be to eliminate a middle level of a war? It could be low level as it is now, or require a much higher level of effort on the Russians if they decided to do something? They would need to destroy those systems that would be stationed well back from current line of conflict?

      .

      1. Darthbobber

        We saw their other ground-based antiarmor systems the last 2 times around.
        Dispersion is all well and good, but they have to be there when and where the tanks arrive, and Russian doctrine for an offensive will have plenty of resources devoted to keeping that from being the case, which with overwhelming air and artillery superiority plus the initial infiltration and softening up forces really isn’t as difficult as one might think.

        If it were serious business the Russians would be on the Dnieper by about day five. But they clearly have no desire to do anything of the kind, which makes the constant hysterics pretty silly.

    2. fajensen

      Modern “anti-machine” weaponry is crazily effective. In any real battle against an equally technical opponent, all parties would be down to man-carried equipment, assault rifles and grubbing in the mud within 4 weeks. With supply lines down and all of that “smart”, “high-tech” stuff being reduced to black smudges on the ground!

  24. dcblogger

    Without Occupy I don’t think that Bernie would have run for office. And had Bernie not run for office I don’t think that the teachers in WV, OK, And KY would have had the courage to strike. And without Bernie I don’t think that Squad would have run for office, at least not AOC, so yeah, Occupy demonstrated that many of us were thinking along the same lines.

    1. Milton

      Without occupy, workers would still be earning the same minimum wage, would still have no universal healthcare, would still be working in unsafe conditions do to previous administrations’ cutting of OSHA, would still be struggling to find affordable housing, would still be living off meager retirement benefits and predatory Medicare parts.
      Hard to believe that we actually could have lived under such a dire scenario. Thank you to Bernie, the Squad, and especially AOC for all the worker gains we have today.

      1. dcblogger

        Disney raised their starting wage to $15hour as a direct result of pressure from Bernie, as did Amazon. All those teacher strikes were successful. we won some very important victories.

        1. Milton

          I would argue that Covid had more to do with your examples due to a temporary increase in UE benefits, worker fear of catracting said disease in the workplace, and not needing to work for peon wages due to an eviction moratorium.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        And a doff of the cap to David Graeber whose influence on Occupy may have contributed to the lasting effects.

  25. jr

    Anecdote: Chatting with my partner and some of her work friends the other day. All vaccinated, 1 Moderna, rest not sure, all three described mild menstruation issues. One had a lowered white blood cell count after being vaxxed, as did I.

  26. paul

    Thanks for linking to Kenny MacAskill’s piece.

    I wandered around our neighbourhood’s teeming art fair last weekend and the only person to comment on my prominent ‘Craig Murray is innocent’ badge was an elderly lady.

    She was quite shocked (understandably, as omerta = employment in journalism here), and after I explained the situation, promised to write to him.

  27. Matthew G. Saroff

    Using US Navy nuclear technology is a nightmare.

    First, to conserve space, the Navy used HEU (90+%) bomb grade fuel.

    Second, you could integrate a lower power reactor in an existing hull (1MW as opposed to the 30 MW in the Virginia class boats) for a much smaller hull and less cost.

    While you cannot transit 5000 km at 25+ knots with such a system, you could operate very quietly, and move at more than 5 kts for an infinite period of time, and this could use LEU fuel. (No classified knowledge, just basic physics)

    Australia does not, as the UK does, need the ability to deploy down to the Falklands in 4 or 5 days time.

    1. Zachary Smith

      The French Barracuda/Suffren class of torpedo isn’t a slowpoke – it’ll go at least 25 knots. And it uses 5% enriched fuel.

      IMO the Australians are just begging for trouble with every aspect of this nuclear submarine affair.

    2. Vandemonian

      …and the interesting thing, Matthew, is that while the larger hull version that Australia appears to have signed up for is fine for fast blue water transits, it’s too big for use estuarine or coastal settings. We have a coastline of 25,780 kilometres (16,020 miles). How are they planning to keep that protected? I guess there must be a few years’ service life left for the old Collins class boats (see “The Front Fell Off” above).

      But at least we have China worried:

      https://www.betootaadvocate.com/breaking-news/china-panics-after-learning-theyve-only-got-25-years-until-australia-gets-8-new-submarines/

  28. Henry Moon Pie

    World Bank’s “Business Report” for hire–

    Combine this with the stellar performance of that Cincinnati FBI field office, and in my mental model of institutions, PMC precarity and institutional corruption are in a reinforcing loop.

  29. Andrew Watts

    RE: Analysis: Investors brace for a great fall in China Reuters. We’re heard this before, though.

    This time might be different. The Global Times has said that Evergrande isn’t too big to fail so the risk of a crash or contagion isn’t out of the question. Yet another speculative bubble based upon land speculation is imploding once again. If that was the only bubble to watch out for it wouldn’t be as concerning of an issue. Combined with the speculative mania of GameStop and cryptocurrencies we might be in for another not-so-fun ride.

    It’s definitely something to pay attention to over the next few months.

  30. Kouros

    Australia getting those nuclear submarines in 10-15 years down the road is small potatoes. Subs are just platforms and the American missiles are 190s technology. There goes nothing against S-400 and S-500 and whatever comes down the road – China has purchased S-400 systems and likely will get in the future S-500 (which can also defend against starlink). Also, no comparison with the hypersonic missiles that the Chinese have (and Russians).
    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/09/my-fast-input.html#disqus_thread

    I would put the fact that Iran is going to join SCO as a far more shattering geopolitical event than Australia getting some subs sometimes down the road…
    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/09/this-is-huge.html#disqus_thread

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/09/this-is-huge.html#disqus_thread

  31. MarkT

    Re Mr John Clarke and The Front Fell Off

    RIP a great Kiwi with an enormous sense of humour and an eye for the truth. I’m a relative newcomer to these isles and am sad to have missed his “output” /s

    Where is the satire these days? Why aren’t we taking the high and mighty down as we used to, many decades ago.

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