Links 9/20/2021

Dickens’s Multitudes New York Review of Books

Taking a chance in Afghanistan: A Bengali traveller goes to Kabul in the 1920s Scroll

Robert Darnton and Zhang Chi: a conversation Voltaire Foundation

‘The Truffle Hunters’ review: A rich and poignant portrait of the quest for culinary gold Scroll

Big cats likely sick with COVID-19 at National Zoo in Washington NY Post

Facebook has known for a year and a half that Instagram is bad for teens despite claiming otherwise – here are the harms researchers have been documenting for year The Conversation


OK, Seriously Columbia Journalism Review

Instagram is bad for teenagers – and its owner Facebook has known this for more than a year The Conversation

Koalas are going extinct with as few as 30,000 left in the Australian wild when the country was once home to EIGHT MILLION Daily Mail

Animals died in ‘toxic soup’ during Earth’s worst mass extinction: A warning for today

What a 17th-century Dutch painting of an Indian boy tells us about migration today Scroll

Who was Dag Hammarskjöld? Consortium News


‘We have to be realistic’: Temporary COVID school closures to remain Sydney Morning Herald

Biden to Push Global Plan to Battle Covid as National Gaps Widen NYT]

Britain’s public sector is paying the price for the government’s consultancy habit Guardian

Covid Vaccine Prompts Strong Immune Response in Younger Children, Pfizer Says NYT

Old Blighty

Britain’s public sector is paying the price for the government’s consultancy habit Guardian ( Colonel Smithers)

Johnson to Tell Bezos Amazon Must Pay Fair Share of Taxes Bloomberg

Kwarteng in fresh crisis talks with energy suppliers as gas prices surge Independent

Class Warfarw

Amid reports of homelessness and food insecurity, 25,000 employees sue Disneyland for better pay SFGATE

The Indictment of Hillary Clinton’s Lawyer is an Indictment of the Russiagate Wing of U.S. Media Glenn Greenwald

UN to world leaders: To curtail warming, you must do more AP

Opinion: The Messy Truth About Carbon Footprints Undark

Where Sheep May Safely Graze New York Review of Books

California wildfires reach edge of sequoia grove containing world’s largest tree Guardian


EU-Australia trade deal runs aground over submarine furor Politico

Akkus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row BBC

Cultural clashes dividing French, Australian officials working on $50 billion ‘attack class’ submarine program  ABC (Australia)

Australia’s well-kept nuclear-submarine secret International Institute for Strategic Studies

U.S. and UK attempt to smooth tensions as France calls submarine snub a ‘crisis’ CNBC

Trump Transition

Former Joint Chiefs chair: Nothing unusual about Milley’s contacts with China Politico

Biden Administration

Why Biden Bet It All on Mandates The Atlantic

This Powerful Democrat Linked to Fossil Fuels Will Craft the U.S. Climate Plan NYT

Waste Watch

How to Prevent Food Waste in Your Garden Treehugger

The Coming Food Fight Project Syndicate


In India, delivery riders are taking to social media to talk about their long hours and low pay Scroll

Eco India: West Bengal’s ‘Tiger Widows’ unite to protect the endangered Sundari mangrove tree Scroll


Canada election: What you need to know about the campaign BBC

Justin Trudeau’s bid for third term in balance as Canada goes to polls Guardian


Chinese Regime’s Forced Organ Harvesting Could Spread to Other Countries, NGO Director Warns Epoch Times (furzy)

More of China, less of America’: how the superpower fight is squeezing the Gulf FT

Adam Tooze’s Top Links: Is Evergrande “China’s Lehman moment”? AT

As Evergrande totters, cracks in stressed Chinese developers widen as rating outlook dims and borrowing costs jump  South China Morning Post

China Property Fear Spreads Beyond Evergrande, Roiling Markets Bloomberg

More of China, less of America’: how the superpower fight is squeezing the Gulf  FT

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. vlade

      wasn’t there a theory 20 years ago that under some conditions La Palma explosion could cause a massive undersea landlide and thus a tsunami that would wipe most of Atlantic coast?

      1. Ignacio

        Fortunately this was not an explosion but more hawaian style eruption. Magma was finding its way during last week and noticed by small earthquakes more superficial each passing day.

      2. Ignacio

        That theory was probably based on the large crater that dominates the island (Caldera de Taburientes) which is suggestive of a very large explosion long ago.

      3. WhoaMolly

        If we were living in a disaster movie, the LaPalma landslide would happen about the time the opening bell rings in the stock market on Monday morning.

        Computer models show a 150-foot high wave hitting NYC in 8 hours (stock market close). Wave expected to go 12 miles inland. Panic selling all day. Roads jammed with evacuation.

        If we were living in a disaster movie.

          1. ambrit

            That’s Comedy Gold (our new cannabis, psylosybin hybrid smoke.)
            You win today’s “Face Palm d’ Or.” [You’ll notice that I did not make a specie-ous argument. This is so easy; it’s like printing money!]

        1. The Rev Kev

          This puts me in mind of a post that appeared today called “Can the Economy Afford NOT To Fight Climate Change?” If a 150-foot high wave hits New York City and goes 12 miles inland, I don’t think that all the insurance companies on the planet could pay for that event. Can you imagine?

 (1:40 mins)

          1. Young

            Most of the insurance company HQs would go under (the water) so to speak.

            Yes, they won’t be able to pay.

        2. griffen

          There was a recent disaster movie called “Geostorm”. I cannot recommend anyone, not even an enemy, to watch it. Unless it was for intended torture.

          Ok, it’s watchable but loose on the science. A floating space station is compromised. Gerard to the rescue! Sadly for Gerard, this is not Sparta.

          1. Wukchumni

            Just booked a flatwater kayak trip with an outfitter on the Colorado River for an overnight trip around Thanksgiving, putting in about 1/2 a mile below Hoover Dam, and there’s a few new peeps this go round and I always like to send them a video of this scene…

            San Andreas (2015) – Hoover Dam Destruction Scene (2/10) | Movieclips


            Tons of fun by the way, lots of hot springs & wildlife, just 30 miles from the Las Vegas Strip.

            A pitch for the outfitter:


            1. griffen

              I like the outfitter link, been two years since visiting UT and ended the trip with a visit to Zion and Observation Point. I could twist a few arms into going back for my own planned trip and related outing.

              I live about 2.5 hours from the Nantahala in western NC and also the outfitter of the same name. Come to think of, one can throw a dart to find an outfitter up there.

          2. Ignacio

            loose on the science, very much like Contagion, the movie. Extremely relaxed on Virology (free to make any assertion to increase catastrophe), a little bit better in Epidemiology but still loose and prone to End Of The World as we know it.
            Movies freely distort Science for the sake of the narrative even if they want to look based on scientific knowledge. Not unique on this.

      4. PlutoniumKun

        Las Palma or the Azores. They are surrounded by enormous undersea cliffs which if they collapsed would cause the biggest tsunami since the one that destroyed Doggerland.

        I used to work with a very talented but somewhat eccentric hydrogeologist. He told everyone that when househunting with his wife that his sole criteria was that it would be at least 10 metres above sea level as he had calculated that this was just below the maximum height likely from an Azores tsunami.

        1. freebird

          Good policy. Also keeps you above solar ice cap melt rise level. I assume said fellow also ruled out floodplains.

        2. ambrit

          After living through Katrina, (part of the time up in the attic,) we decided to move inland, and upland. It’s about as good as you can expect for lower class North American Deep South.
          Your hydrogeologist was not wrong. Those “once in a lifetime” disasters do have a habit of sneaking up on one.
          As we cynics like to say; “Expect the worst, and you will not be disappointed.”

          1. Terry Flynn

            Yeah whilst I like to think the quirky hydrogeologist is overstating things, given that the empirical evidence is increasingly consistent with the “worst case scenarios” predicted 30 years ago I’m kinda glad I’m 40ish m above sea level and increasingly question any video doing cost benefit analysis of new infrastructure for central London and suchlike.

            1. ambrit

              Too true. Much of London will be a Water Park.
              J G Ballard did a book about it, “The Drowned World.” Specific parts of London figure in the plot. As usual with Ballard, crypto-realism is the flavour of the day.
              Be safe!

              1. newcatty

                File under “Can’t Make this Stuff Up.” Thank Goodness The “New” London Bridge was saved by an American chainsaw magnate, founder of Lake Havasu City. Uh, yes, that is in the state of Arizona.

                As Lake Havasu City founder, chainsaw magnate Robert P. Mc Culloch, Sr. saw a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

                Designed in 1799 by Scottish engineer John Rennie, the “New ” London Bridge was completed in 1831.

                McCulloch placed a winning bid of 2.4 milion dollars on April 18, 1968.

                On October 20, 2018 Lake Havasu City celebrated the 50th anniversary of the purchase of the London Bridge.
                (Go Lake Havasu, Home of the London Bridge )

                1. ambrit

                  And now the adventurous can water ski under London Bridge! Even J G Ballard didn’t think of that.
                  Lake Havasu is still pretty much full.

    1. Wukchumni

      Big whoop, Disney is paying $15 an hour now, while the McDonalds in Farmersville here was pleading for help offering the same amount, in an area with much lower rents than anything in Orange County.

      I think the $15 an hour minimum wage ‘victory’ got rolled over by the cost of living racing up alongside to nullify the gain.

      A critical thinker lived in Youngstown Ohio during the dirty thirties, and kept a diary that i’ve found to be instrumental in understanding what was going on in the era, if only seen through the eyes of one man in one city.

      He noted the same thing happening after FDR became President, wages went up, but so did the cost of living.

      The Great Depression-A Diary by Benjamin Roth

      1. ambrit

        Speaking of Bigg Boxx Emporia; the local WalMart is still manning a table at the main entrance with the “We’re Hiring” sign. Now, the wages on offer are suddenly $11 per hour foe front of store help (greeters, register droids, etc,) and $13 per hour for back of store help (stockers, clean-up, department “managers,” etc.)
        It looks like Da South is leading America again, onto the downward spiral.
        [Don’t even bother about staying safe today. Just get ready to flee from the tsunami. /s]

        1. Questa Nota

          Well, they are in competition with Amazon in various markets, and can’t match the perks, so there is that. /s

          1. ambrit

            Oh. Do you refer to the Amazon Prime Suckers? (That’s a “deal” we were never even tempted by. Thank the Gods.)

      2. Pelham

        The minimum, BTW, should be $26 an hour — or what it would be if the minimum had barely kept pace with inflation over the past 40 years.

        1. Tim

          Pfft. Like that would have changed anything. /S

          Could you imagine. It’s almost like a parallel universe plot of how different things would be today in this country if that were the case.

      3. coboarts

        “I think the $15 an hour minimum wage ‘victory’ got rolled over by the cost of living racing up alongside to nullify the gain.” Dude, you’re the first I’ve heard anywhere with the acorns to tell it. No stuff, right – I mean who didn’t get this – except those down with it. Stuff is so thick, now, I don’t even need my glasses anymore to see it. Of course, I may be wrong – taking bets

    2. Basil Pesto

      “food insecurity” has really caught on after coming out of nowhere hasn’t it? American sprechregelungen truly are unsurpassed.

    3. jr

      Anecdote: I was told a story years ago about Disney when living in Florida. Apparently, whenever Disney has any sort of legal problem they hire a different law firm in or around Orlando to handle the situation. The reason is that in then forces people seeking to sue them to look for an out-of-town law firm, which is more expensive and difficult to do. I’m not a lawyer so I cannot say this is true with any certainty, just a rumor I heard. This was told to me around the time that a young man was killed fleeing Disney security after stealing a stuffed animal or something. He flipped his pickup truck and broke his neck, if I recall correctly.

      1. Maritimer

        Great story!

        The omerta in the Law Biz is probably stronger than in that other Organization. Few books are written about how the Law really works. Here is a good primer for anyone heading into the Injustice Jaws:
        Holodeck Law — Litigation Vortex by Linda L. Kennedy, Esq.

        “You are a hard working man, hardly ever missed a day of work in your life. Unsuspectingly, you have found yourself in the legal system where your grade school teacher taught you justice would be served. You learn to research your case, try to make everyone understand your facts, and how justice would be served by finding in your favor. Initially, everyone seems to understand. The judge, and sometimes even the opposing attorney appear to want to understand and get to justice…and the clerk was so pleasant. You know she saw that you were an honest man. And the “Holodeck Court” stage image is set.”

        Keep in mind, the Lawyer’s interests come first.

  1. Tom Stone

    Vlade, it is one heck of a time to be alive, is it not?
    Low frequency, high impact events can change things in a hurry.
    And quite a few are more or less predictable, earthquakes come to mind.
    There’s no shortage of active volcanoes on the left coast, but even a little 6.8 on the Hayward fault would shut down the Ports of Oakland and Richmond as well as disabling three major refineries.
    We know it is coming and the preparations are criminally inadequate at a local, regional and State level.
    The Feds?
    Not a surprise because here in Ca not everything is run as well as CalPers.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Koalas are going extinct with as few as 30,000 left in the Australian wild when the country was once home to EIGHT MILLION”

    I regret to say that at the moment, perhaps the best thing to do for the Koalas is nothing. In all seriousness, if Scotty from Marketing was forced to finally do something about them, he would screw it up. And as another commenter has pointed out, it does not matter whether you are talking about the massive bushfires, vaccine supplies, pandemic response, climate change, Chinese relationships, defence procurement, etc. that everything that he touches turns to s***. Being all about management, his idea would probably be to round them all up and put them on an island somewhere where they will be “safe” and more easily “managed.” And what would happen next would be a massive fire on that island or an outbreak of disease which would wipe out the survivors and driving them into extinction.

    1. Wukchumni

      When I first visited NZ in 1981 the PM was Robert Muldoon, a former minister of tourism & minister of finance among his many laurels, and yet I could see at a tender age that the place was a wreck that in an odd way resembled Cuba, but instead of 56′ Chevys on Queen St in Auckland, there were ’59 Morris Minors.

      He was a divisive figure who managed to do a whole myriad of matters badly, and bears resemblance to Scotty from Marketing.

    2. timbers

      Perhaps. But is Scotty the type who would mandate each Koalas enroll in courses on the benefits of social diversity and equality (as long as equality doesn’t mean of even go near a hint of equal pay of course)?

      If so, as least we’d have that as a benefit. Because the Koalas could then make their journey towards extinction knowing they and become woke.

    3. FreeMarketApologist

      Tim Harford’s podcast, Cautionary Tales, from April 2021 on “Masterly Inactivity versus Micromanaging” is well worth listening to. It uses, among other situations, the 1842 British retreat from Afghanistan to argue that it is often better to let things alone.

      “Wiser heads later recommended ‘masterly inactivity’ as a better course of action. In politics, parenting and even medicine — avoiding the temptation to act is a sadly neglected art form.”

      1. PlutoniumKun

        There was a famous paper on decision making that used to be a standard in courses called ‘The Art of Muddling Through’, which was essentially about the virtues of not making strategic decisions unless and until you had absolutely no choice. I’ve always thought that Angela Merkel must have used it as her bible.

        1. Kouros

          Until she unleashed 1 million refugees on Germany alone, rather than ever blame the US for this human tsunami…

          1. Ian Perkins

            Tsunami? Lebanon and Jordan are both housing over a million Syrian refugees each, with far smaller populations and far smaller economies.

  3. Carla

    Re: The Coming Food Fight

    The lede states:

    “The absence of a Food Systems Stability Board is a notable gap in the global governance architecture needed to bolster sustainability and resilience. By agreeing to launch consultations regarding the creation of such a body, governments could contribute to a better future for hundreds of millions of highly vulnerable people.”

    The essay makes a good case for an FSSB, but unfortunately, the second sentence above makes me fear that nothing will come of it. If, instead, that sentence stated, “By creating such a body, governments could contribute to a better future for hundreds of millions of vulnerable people.”

    If, indeed, as the conclusion states, “The current absence of an FSSB is a notable gap in the international governance architecture required to bolster the sustainability, equity, and resilience of the global food system in the twenty-first century and beyond” — I would hope those advocating for it will adopt stronger, clearer and more declarative language.

    1. hunkerdown

      Maybe The Conversation is helping select contestants warm up for that NGO reality show. I predict that the futility of proposed social enterprises will increase markedly in the coming months, in anticipation of market demand.

    2. tegnost

      sounds like a board bill gates would demand to be the chair of….
      “we must GMO or those others will starve!”
      Anything that says “global governance” is a wall st. project.
      resilience of the system FTW

      1. lance ringquist

        correct. free trade has done away with food security.

        african country driven into poverty and starvation by faith based free
        market economic policies that took away the role of the government and
        the disasters mounted, reverses course and collectively uses public
        investments in the basics of a farm economy: fertilizer, improved
        seed, farmer education, credit and agricultural research, now exports
        hundreds of tons of corn doubling their money

  4. PlutoniumKun

    Adam Tooze’s Top Links: Is Evergrande “China’s Lehman moment”? AT

    This is going to run and run. As so often, Tooze has an excellent summary.

    The key issue is not Evergrande as such – China has the tools to stop it collapsing. The problem is that China has been trying to deflate the grossly overvalued housing and property market without damaging the rest of the economy. It has to try to prevent a collapse in prices as so many peoples savings are wrapped up in it, and so many jobs are directly tied to construction, but this is no easy task. The Chinese economy has been grossly unbalanced in the direction of construction for more than a decade, you can’t undo this in one go, and the Chinese just don’t accept one off collapses in a Lehman manner (or at least, in how Lehman was supposed to be allowed go as a lesson to others).

    One thing to look out for is what happens to Xu Jiayin, the CEO. Evergrande was a ponzi scheme and this has been known for years. Its bonds were already being sold at a discount at least 4 years ago. But he and his cronies were still taking vast amounts of cash out of the company. But unlike the tech billionaires, he has been personally untouched by this. He is, in effect, a made guy within the CCP, and so difficult to touch. He may also know where a lot of bodies are buried (or to be precise, just how many very senior and important people have had their snouts in the Evergrande trough). So if anyone pays a personal price for this, its not likely to be him.

    There are already signs of strains in the Chinese economy with much lower than expected consumer spending post Covid, and there are indications that the electric power system is under quite a lot of strain. Winter could be tougher than expected. It remains to be seen whether Beijing holds its nerve and continues with the reforms that pushed Evergrande over the edge, or whether it backs out yet again, piling up more problems until the next Evergrande hits. There are plenty more of them in the line.

    1. dftbs

      Certainly the smell of massive risk off early this morning. I wouldn’t be so worried for China structurally, but I would be worried if I were an owner of any Evergrande dollar denominated liabilities.

      I think Churchills quote, dug out by Rahm Emmanuel, about never wasting a crisis applies here. Our guys took that crisis opportunity to create the “Lehman moment”; which was not the collapse of the investment bank but the bailout of the banking sector. I can’t see the Chinese government and regulators doing the same. Their interpretation of “not letting a crisis go to waste” may be to allow the deflation of housing market bubble, and of the broad asset bubble in general.

      We think that creditors laying siege to the Evergrande office is a Chinese government problem, because where that to occur here it would certainly be the responsibility of the US government to protect our patricians. I don’t think the CPC feels the same way. That is not to say they are unaware of the impacts on asset markets, or employment. But I don’t think they hold the former in mystic regard with which our society does; and they’ve wanted to reallocate capacity in the latter and now can rip the band-aid off and have some villains to defenestrate for the public.

      Again, so much of our “China analysis” is either projection, or garbage, like that Epoch Times article which seems to have snuck past the goalie onto the links. I think even Drudge or Tyler Durden blush when they link to the Epoch Times.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I don’t think the Chinese will see it as an ‘opportunity’ to deflate the housing bubble, as its pretty clear that the catalyst for the collapse was some very mild attempts to deflate the bubble. It shows just how finely poised so many companies are in the sector, and how difficult it will be to manage. If anything, this will have made the authorities there even more nervous about tackling the bubble. They’ve been kicking the can down the street for more than a decade, they may be tempted to keep kicking it in the hope something turns up.

        The Chinese government will be very concerned about creditors – they know this is the tip of the iceberg. Millions of people could be directly and indirectly impacted, from a vast range of suppliers and sub-contractors, to the many who have already paid for homes that will never be finished. ‘Harmony’ (especially when it comes to keeping the middle classes fairly compliant) is central to the CCP success. They have to work out a way to keep creditors relatively content without creating even more moral hazard in the system. That won’t be easy. In the past, they’ve used the banking system to absorb losses (which ultimately pushes the cost until regular savers), but its not clear that they can do it this time due to the scale of the collapse and the possibility of simply displacing the contagion elsewhere.

        As I said, the senior people in Evergrande seem to be very well connected. They are not expendable like Jack Ma or the other tech billionaires. They are very much part of the system.

        A key problem with China is that the governments refusal to over several decades to allow any pause in nominal GNP growth and its constant protection of major sectors has increased the appetite for risk. A whole generation has never known a major reversal, or a real drop in property values (and the wealth of the overwhelming majority of Chinese is wrapped up in property). Nobody, including probably the CCP, knows what will happen if a lot of people suffer real losses.

        1. dftbs

          I agree, these are all problems. I do think that they will likely prove more adept than we were at separating the market problem from the economy writ large.

          As to the notions of stability, and mandate of heaven etc., all governments are subject to that, despite what the people in DC, London, Paris, etc., may think. I think less than 10pct of Chinese own stock, and so I would think they’d aim to preserve stability via actions that weren’t aimed directly at creditors and shareholders.

          As to who is in the graces of the Party, I think we can only judge the CPC by its actions, and from Party officials, to “princelings”, to a long list of billionaires, they haven’t been shy about meting out repercussions for bad behavior.

          I think the Chinese response to this market crisis will be distinctly different from one that could be found in a Western playbook. My inclination for this belief is that their pandemic response was completely different from our own. We see Evergrande as a critical moment for China, because we can only see things from a “market” lens, again see our pandemic response the bulk effect of which is manifest in equity valuations.

          That’s not to say Chinese authorities are faultless. I agree that nominal GNP was touted by China bulls in and outside that nation for the better part of 3 decades, fostering much of the speculative frenzy they are now trying to quell. But I do think they’ll be more capable than their Western counterparts, judging by their record thus far.

    2. Michael Hudson

      My Chinese friends are laughing. To Americans, China’s finance capitalism is collapsing. To my colleagues talking to Chinese officials, it means that its socialism Is succeeding.
      And to think that just two weeks ago, Soros was trying to convince American fund managers not to invest in China, thinking that their withdrawal would hurt it! (My website has my China lectures and articles, with Chinese subtitles.)

      1. Lambert Strether

        > To my colleagues talking to Chinese officials, it means that its socialism Is succeeding.

        Leaving aside ideological issues, it seems that our elites are having a hard time wrapping their minds around the idea that a government can actually govern. Maybe this whole TINA thing has finally passed its sell-by date….

    3. Glen

      Fascinating to learn more about this, and see how it resolves.

      But why is the American market linked to this?

      1. Basil Pesto

        oops, seems to have been taken down. Unsure why. If I see it again I’ll re-link it. Nothing revelatory, just a good discussion.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I assume at least part of it consists of Taleb informing us all about what a genius he is and how stupid everyone else is.

      1. Ian Perkins

        And not explaining why genetically modified organisms are an existential threat to humanity, but injecting millions with genetically modified viruses isn’t. (Not that I’m against either, but his silence on the latter is interesting, after making so much noise about the former.)

        1. BlakeFelix

          Well, I don’t think that the mrna vaccines are viruses, just lipids with some mrna. Self replicating gmos are dangerous in a way non self replicating things aren’t.

            1. Basil Pesto

              but the adenovirus vector in AZ (and presumably the others) isn’t harmful – if it was, it would have come up in early trials, surely? The self-replicating risk of GMO crops would appear to be on a different order. Like, I won’t pretend to be fully informed about the ins and outs of both but the argument has more than a whiff of false equivalence. I guess you’d have to ask him, though

              1. Ian Perkins

                I don’t think the adenovirus vector is harmful. But I can’t see why it’s a false equivalence. Taleb says the precautionary principle demands that GMOs aren’t used until their safety is conclusively proven beyond all reasonable doubt (and I wonder if he’s any idea how widely GMOs, especially bacteria and yeasts, are used in industry and research). It seems entirely reasonable that his logic would apply equally, if not more, to genetically modified viruses directly injected into millions (like I say, I don’t think his arguments hold water anyway, but that’s another matter). Yet I haven’t noticed a peep out of him on the topic.

      2. Basil Pesto

        ahahaha, we could start an NNT bingo! At one point he called the FDA “fucking idiots” but I can’t really take issue with that.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Former Joint Chiefs chair: Nothing unusual about Milley’s contacts with China”

    And I am not so sure about that. I mean Milley saying that he gave China a call to say that he woud give them a heads up if the US was about to attack them that is. To illustrate what I mean, imagine the following scenario. It is May of 1941 in Moscow and Chief of the Red Army General Staff General Georgy Zhukov is sitting at his desk when he receives a phone call put through by his staff-

    ‘Hello? General Zhukov?


    ‘Ja. This is General Franz Halder – Chief of Staff of the Wehrmaht High Command here. Hello? Hello, Georgy? Listen, I can’t hear too well, do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little? Oh, that’s much better. Yes. Fine, I can hear you now, Georgy. Clear and plain and coming through fine. I’m coming through fine too, eh? Good, then. Well then as you say we’re both coming through fine. Good. Well it’s good that you’re fine and I’m fine. I agree with you. It’s great to be fine. (laughs) Now then Georgy. You know how we’ve always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Pact. The Pact, Georgy. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Well now what happened is, our Führer, he had a sort of, well he went a little funny in the head. You know. Just a little… funny. And uh, he wants to do a silly thing. Well, I’ll tell you what he did, he wants our forces… to attack your country. Well let me finish, Georgy. Let me finish, Georgy. Well, listen, how do you think I feel about it? Can you imagine how I feel about it, Georgy? Why do you think I’m calling you? Just to say hello? Of course I like to speak to you. Of course I like to say hello. Not now, but any time, Georgy. I’m just calling up to tell you something terrible has happened. It’s a friendly call. Of course it’s a friendly call. Listen, if it wasn’t friendly, … you probably wouldn’t have even got it.’

    Nothing like this has happened since 1964- (2:32)

    1. Wukchumni

      …the Junta del Este (or Milley’s People if you prefer) subversion on el Jeffe Lameduck sets a dangerous precedent that the military is more powerful than the President, but we all knew that

    2. Bill Smith

      I agree.

      You notice that there was not a direct question asked about how normal that is… Which sounded like the thing that wasn’t normal. Effectively the interview switched to support a strawman argument.

    3. Pelham


      And you highlight something — Milley’s promise of a heads-up call — that much of the media coverage of this glides right past. And I suspect it’s on purpose. The media like Milley. And, to be fair, the sourcing in Woodward books is flimsy, to say the least.

      Nonetheless, Milley’s promise of a heads-up call stands right there in black and white. It’s just nuts that this IN PARTICULAR is basically ignored. Except here. I need to memorize that Strangelovian scene.

      1. flora

        The extremely low $600 accounts limits for transactions reporting is the sort of large new paperwork and staff hiring expense that could drive small community banks to merge or sell their charters to the big banks. Some smaller towns could lose their only community bank. (Not that Joey – best friend the tbtf banks ever had – would consider that a bad thing.)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      So I guess we should now be demanding only the $599.99 that Biden owes us and let Uncle Sugar keep the extra penny to avoid an audit.

      1. ambrit

        “They” want the $600 USD back from anyone who is not living in a cardboard box down by the river.
        (Look up your local State’s Medicaid qualification requirements for an example of that.)

        1. lance ringquist

          nafta democrats will tax the box and rejoin the TTP. then nafta joe biden will get on t.v. and recite the same dribble word for word that nafta billy clinton and empty suit obama did about the wonderful glories of free trade.

          nafta nancy pelosi will chip in that the democrats are the party of free trade, thus handing trump the white house in 2024, and the chinese communist party will have sucked the dim wit free traders into another trap.

          the nafta democrats will then double down on the deplorable, because after all, its all the deplorable faults, they should have found another job or learned how to code, or constantly move all over the country in search of jobs that will be created by the wonders of free trade, instead of mooching off of the state unemployment insurance which elon musk says stands in the way of full employment.

  6. Jesper

    About: Britain’s public sector is paying the price for the government’s consultancy habit

    I believe it happens for a couple of reasons:
    1. Handing out contracts is good for friends, both for the friends and for getting friends…
    2. Some managers/executives believe that if they do not know something then nobody in their organisations know that something
    3. Some managers/executives believe that if they do not know something and someone else in the organisation knows that something then they’ll lose face and ‘meritocracy’ might be questioned

    So the choice is easy, spend someone elses money by hiring outside expertise. Friends would never take advantage of lack of knowledge and use that to over-charge and if they did, so what?
    It is someone elses money and spending it is an investment in the career and network of the buying manager/executive.

    The outcomes might not be great as the large companies of experts are run by the same kind of people who buy from them. So a group of people who do not quite know and understand what they are buying are buying it from a group of people who do not quite know and understand what they are selling. The results are about as expected, by sheer luck and coincidences some projects succeed and the rest fail/succeed to varying degrees.

    Anyway, here is something put together about consultancy in Ireland:

    1. Count Zero

      Britain’s public sector is paying the price for the government’s consultancy habit

      That all makes sense. In my experience of working in a large public-sector institution for 30 years from the 1980s, part of the problem was that managers despised their highly-qualified and experienced staff. The feeling was mutual, of course. So it was easier for the management to go outside and pay good money for incompetent private consultants to do a bad job. This was idiotic in terms of the institution but it was good for the managers who were often flattered, wined and dined. We are never very far from outright corruption when it comes to private consultants in the public sector — but this would be very difficult to prove (and nobody is investigating it).

      I don’t think things have changed for the better in recent years — probably for the worse. Johnson and his cronies in government are merely more blatant and more confident that they can get away with anything. Austerity for the productive people while the public purse is plundered to line the pockets of the Hooray Henries who run Britain and most of its large institutions.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Heh. An in-law is a consultant for some large multinationals. I wondered why these companies would need a consultant to begin with since presumably these titans of industry got there by being highly knowledgeable. He said he basically asked the actual workers at the companies what the problems were and what could be done to make things better and then took the info to the C suite types. Nice work if you can get it.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Carbon footprints–

    Good article that advocates for a both/and approach to responding to the ecological catastrophe.

    Re: carbon footprints, here’s an interesting article breaking down carbon footprints in the EU by economic class:

    Now, this is where some readers will call us commies again, but the fact remains that even in a wealthy, developed part of the world like EU that many of our readers would dismiss as socialist, the top 10% emit more carbon than the bottom 50%, and so much of it is from driving and that most elastic source of carbon emissions, flying.

    And while contemplating that class disparity in Europe, consider that the average American carbon footprint is THREE TIMES the carbon footprint in Europe.

    The real American motto: I want my Maypo.

    I have to comment on the truffle article as well. We lived in Istria for a few years in the 2000s and even bought a canine brother and sister while we were there. Truffle hunting with dogs was common in that once-Italian area, especially in the Mirna valley between Motovun and Groznjan, and we lovingly called our Clark and Lana “Istrian truffle dogs” (watching a lot of “Smallville” at the time). Clark was a great athlete who could have made The Show if four-leggers were allowed, but Lana was the truffle hunter. She would sniff the ground, paw gently, sniff some more, paw some more, until she found what she was looking for without damaging it.

    When we came back to North America, we left from Zurich. The plane only allowed one dog per flight, and there was only one flight a day, so Clark and the rest of the family went first. I stayed behind with Lana until the next day. The next morning when we left, I had to turn Lana in her crate over to the airline folks, and when I did, the poor dog, now all alone, started the most mournful wailing, and it reverberated throughout that big hall of the Zurich airport. It just broke my heart as I was walking to the gate. The happy ending is when we arrived and Lana was reunited with all of us. Her tail was going crazy.

    Both dogs are dead now after long lives. They’re buried in our garden and commemorated by two beautiful blooming plants side-by-side.

      1. newcatty

        Brought tears to my eyes. Henry Moon Pie, I always look forward to your comments. Especially want to point to your personal anecdotes. They are always, as far as I recall, relevant to a link article or to a thread in the conversation. Your stories are told with insight and the humilty of your pov comes through. No hidden ego fluffing or a need for attention. No non sequiturs that are popped in to announce cool adventures to your readers.

  8. ex-PFC Chuck

    Several decades in the future, France’s vehement reaction to the US-UK-OZ submarine deal, together with the simultaneous acceptance of Iran as a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, may well be seen as the pivot point that induced the major countries of the EU to turn to face the East. German industrialists are already salivating at the market opportunities there. Among the dominoes to fall will be the U$D status as the planet’s primary reserve currency and NATO.

    1. voteforno6

      France has been making a big show of independence in its foreign policy for decades. I think that this overreaction on their part is more for domestic consumption – Macron is up for reelection next year. I’m not so sure that the average French citizen cares nearly as much as the government does. That being said, if the EU really does decide to align itself with China, at the expense of its relationship with the US, I’m not so sure the people there will be too keen to be dominated by a country that has much less of a commitment to an open society.

      1. ambrit

        I don’t know about that. It looks like China is just saying out loud the “hidden” parts of the New Revised Social Contract.

      2. David

        It’s not a popular issue in France, although the media and the political world is excited by it. If anything, the incident will probably rebound to Macron’s disadvantage, because it will be seen as a humiliation of France that he was surprised by, and did nothing to prevent. In the coming weeks there will certainly be a stream of articles alleging that he knew, or should have known, or that he failed to understand the signs or something.

      3. tegnost

        I’m not so sure the people there will be too keen to be dominated by a country that has much less of a commitment to an open society.

        Did you read the post about occupy wall st?

    2. Chas

      With atomic submarines and Australia together in the news, we decided to watch “On the Beach” last night. A great movie although a bit depressing. It’s free on Youtube. It ought to be run on a continuous loop at all TV stations in Australia.

  9. Wukchumni

    California wildfires reach edge of sequoia grove containing world’s largest tree Guardian
    Heard from somebody on the scene who described it as a light burn in the Giant Forest, but nothing too dramatic.

    It has been the realm of many decades of prescribed burns, which probably approximated conditions in the Atwell grove on fire in 1875 that John Muir witnessed…

    “But as soon as the deep forest was reached the ungovernable flood became calm, like a torrent entering a lake; creeping and spreading beneath the trees, where the ground was level or sloped gently, slowly nibbling the cake of compressed needles and scales with flames an inch high, rising here and there to a foot or two on dry twigs and clumps of small bushes and brome grass. Only at considerable intervals were fierce bonfires lighted, where heavy branches broken off by snow had accumulated, or around some venerable giant whose head had been stricken off by lightning.”

    There’s some 75 or so groves of Giant Sequoias, why don’t we consider them to all be of the same importance and do the same thing that seemed to have saved the Giant Forest, by reducing fuel loads through prescribed burns?

    1. The Rev Kev

      A coupla years ago I of course have heard of the Giant Sequoias but in the same way I have heard of Yellowstone Park. You note its existence and then move on. But I have found that in all the years of you talking about them and providing links about them, I now actually give a damn about them. And I am pretty certain that I will never, ever get to see one. When I see articles mentioning them lately I follow them up and even recently submitted a link to a story about them. Your subversive campaign is working! :)

        1. The Rev Kev

          I thought about that but even from Brisbane it is about 2,290 kilometers – about 1,420 miles – by aircraft to Auckland, New Zealand. And it is going to be some time before they open their doors to Australia again after Gladys exported the virus to them which they are still fighting down.

          1. Wukchumni

            There are Giant Sequoias all over NZ, but primarily in the South Island. There must be 30 of them in Queenstown, and we saw them all the way up to Hanmer Springs.

            There’s a pair that were planted in 1874 in Queenstown right on the main drag, and we saw the city groundskeeper fussing with them a little and walked over and related that we came from where they are native, and he laughed and explained how their shallow root system had caused the asphalt road to buckle, with an expensive re-do to accommodate them, ‘Bloody Trees!’ he snarled. I’d touched a nerve.

            There’s a Sequoia in the Christchurch botanical garden planted in 1869 by the Duke of Edinburgh. It’s about 6 feet wide and its low branches droop down to the ground.

            You’ll never see that on a Sequoia here, and its growth rate is about 3x that of a similar age, in girth.

            If you land in Auckland, go up and see the Kauri trees way up north, which are white-bark Sequoias, although not as tall, still very striking. The wood was similar to our coastal redwoods-very useful, and like the redwoods, 95% of them were cut down.

            …take a walk online to see Tane Mahuta, the largest Kauri


          2. Vandemonian

            You don’t have to go that far, Rev. There’s a giant sequoia (just a young ‘un) near the tea rooms in Launceston’s Cataract Gorge.

    2. Carolinian

      So merely a fresh charring of their giant trunks? But if it gets into the park won’t all those NPS buildings burn down?

      1. Wukchumni

        Last year in Sequoia NP the 9th largest Giant Sequoia of all burned up real good in the Castle Fire, not that anybody knew until Sue took a walk in May to find out that King Arthur had expired. I don’t think a Reynolds Wrap around the bottom would have helped much.

        Truth be said, it was torture just getting there to glimpse it, 7 miles with 3,000 feet of elevation on trail with lots of poison oak just off the trail, until you go off-trail through steep sections of hillside for an hour before finally seeing it. I’d guess it got 10 visitors a year, versus a million for the Sherman Tree, even though it was 2 feet wider @ eye level, which is where you look at such things.

    1. dftbs

      Thank you for sharing, great thread. It’s like they saw our movie and decided not to star in the sequel.

      One point of contention I would have is the concern with regard to “funding stress”. Yuan denominated funding stress is likely to occur but should not be a concern, particularly as the PBOC has become pretty adept at providing domestic liquidity. Dollar funding stress could be an issue, and here we’ll see how many figs if any the Chinese authorities give, after all it’s not their job to preserve the value of dollar investments. Particularly those whose ultimate owners may be overseas. They do have swap lines, and plenty of dollars, but it’ll be interesting to see if they utilize those to help out market participants they may deem as “speculators”.

    2. griffen

      Mr. Market is definitely having a sad moment. It will get interesting if China takes the extended approach, but the speculative approach to building homes and condo towers and giant shopping centers is or was well known. I confess to not following China’s developments and GDP intricacies all that closely.

      I think the miners of “stuff in ground” are catching a brunt of selling today. After all that country is a massive importer (China, that is).

  10. The Rev Kev

    “‘We have to be realistic’: Temporary COVID school closures to remain”

    From reading this article, they aren’t even trying to pretend that they are following the science. Shutting the school for a day or two for “deep cleaning” but no air purifiers like Victoria will have? And no rapid antigen testing either? So it is still about magical vaccines then. But they do have a solution. Opening doors and windows. That can work that. Good thing that it is never hot in NSW, especially Sydney, as those classrooms would become sweat-boxes otherwise (shudders with memories of school in summertime Sydney). I think that what is happening is that NSW is going to try to spread this virus near and far to achieve herd immunity and has determined that using school kids would be the most effective vector to do it with. And when everybody has been vaccinated, they won’t need those tests or air purifiers anymore so why buy them now? F*******.

    1. flora

      And when everybody has been vaccinated, they won’t need those tests or air purifiers anymore so why buy them now?

      Au contraire. See what’s happening with top US colleges. One example (and at Boston College student vax are mandatory for enrollment):

      Some time ago I stopped thinking most of this is about public health and started thinking it’s about something else, nothing to do with public health.

      1. Carolinian

        about something else.

        Indeedy. And to think that you don’t have to go as far as the foil hatters. Here’s an interesting article on the origins of “the managerial revolution” that we now call neoconservatism.

        The idea was that the “professionals” would take over and the public would have to submit to their “mandates.”

    2. jr

      My sister reports that the professional imbeciles running the NYC school system have actually allocated an air purifier for each classroom.

  11. griffen

    Sports desk commentary, from the cheap seats. Fans of sport or boxing will or should want to tune into the latest product by Ken Burns. It is a series that premiered last night about Muhammad Ali. Thus far it began with his youth and teenage years. Ali is compelling as a historical figure, even a young know next to nothing like me has that figured out.

    I look forward to see how he was jailed for refusing service in Vietnam. Malcolm X has been introduced but it is early yet in his career.

    Spoiler alert. Ali beats Liston as an underdog.

    1. Nikkikat

      Expect ken burns to tread lightly over the Vietnam war and Ali. He appeared on talk shows during this period of time and was incredibly articulate. He has been my hero all of my teen and adult years. He is worshiped in my home town of louisville. Burns is very good at smoothing over inconvenient history. Inconvenient in the way that the elites want to rewrite history in a way that down plays the real reasons behind war, imperialism is presented.
      Some of his past work has been enjoyable; such as Baseball. His Vietnam war was just terrible. The civil war even worse. He believes in the “both sides do it” type of “fairness” and “balance” that distorts real history. While I ntend watching it for all of the film, and boxing that I love. I doubt you will see fair treatment of either the Vietnam war, the racism that led to his Supreme Court battle or his religion. There are still some interviews on you tube where he gives his reasons for refusing the draft and his conversion to Islam that will be far more interesting. He was particularly good on the Dick Cavett show on several occasions.

    2. Wukchumni

      Ali transcended the game and was a presence all my life from coming out party until I was an adult. He was larger than life in an era where tv made little people big and big people little.

      I largely stopped watching boxing after he was gone, nobody had the panache or lasting power, combined with his happy feet and quick wit. I think a lot of other people must feel the same way, as they are staying away in droves from the ring

      Book tip:

      The Sweet Science by AJ Liebling

    3. Carolinian

      I thought Part One was good because, let’s face it, whatever one thinks of boxing, Ali’s charisma overwhelms everything including the presence of the funereal Remnick.

    4. griffen

      I find a certain poetic beauty and appeal to the better movie offerings about boxing. I recently caught up to finally seeing “The Fighter” and didn’t realize it was more fact-based than I’d thought.

      Cinderella Man, with Crowe as Jim Braddock, is parts heart-wrenching when you realize that was likely the reality during the Depression. There were two versions of the book, I read one written by Jeremy Schapp. Boxing greats just have a great story to tell.

      Yeah I’m leaving others out I know. Million Dollar Baby was a great film.

      1. ambrit

        My all time favourite is “Body and Soul” (1947) starring John Garfield. Another great treatment of the theme is “Requiem For A Heavyweight” written by Rod Serling. Try to see both the original television version (Playhouse 90, 1957,) and the later film (1962.)
        I got the game early. Mom tells me that Dad took me down regularly, !962-63, to watch the training at the 5th Street Gym on Miami Beach. The public was welcome to come in and watch the training. I don’t know if I met Ali, (Cassius Clay then,) but he was known for having fun with kids at the gym, so, it’s possible. Being very English at the time, Mom and Dad had no overt racism, so they wouldn’t have minded. (That got Mom and me into trouble once in Miami, but that story has been told before.)

  12. IMOR

    The Atlantic on vaccine mandates quotes anonymous insider as saying, “we made it convenient.” About 80% of the failure exemplified right there. “Doc, we’ve tried nothin’- and we’re all out of ideas!” – Ned Flanders’ dad in the ‘Hurricane Neddy’ episode.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Cultural clashes dividing French, Australian officials working on $50 billion ‘attack class’ submarine program”

    Saw this earlier and thought it bull. Cultural differences? Sure they go for two hour lunches. Because they start their work days two hours earlier. You know who else uses this system? The Swiss. And we all know what slackers the Swiss are when it comes to work. Sure France shuts down for four weeks in August for their annual holidays. Guess what. Workers in Australia get four weeks annual holidays as well. If it was such a big problem, those Oz companies could have their workers schedule their holidays in August too.

    If I sound annoyed it is because there was a TV program earlier discussing a coming war with China and you had neocons from obscure think tanks and ex-US intelligence officers going all gung-ho about it. It was all the old lies and charges with no context for facts whatsoever. You had a Chinese-Australian guy trying to keep a sense of reality while another Chinese-Australian guy was all for challenging China. Funniest bit was when they mentioned that there are over a million Chinese-Australians and how in WW2 we put Japanese-Australians in camps. So the first Chinese-Australian guy while making his point, turned to the neocon Chinese-Australian guy and said ‘See you in the camps, John.’ The presenter herself was an old hack from the “60 Minutes” program and was really hyping the whole thing up. They really want that war.

    1. dftbs

      I always found Sydney lunch to be long and wet by comparison to NY during my tours of duty down under, and you get to watch the West coast games live.

      You bring up something that I’ve always wondered about with regard to Australians of Chinese extraction. I feel there was always a subtle (by my oblivious sense of perception) racism against Asians; perhaps expressed in the way you could cloak behind a disdain for the nouveau riche.

      As things heat up down under, I was wondering if there was a fear of a “fifth column”, or some such non-sense. I guess I should continue to assume the worse, so as to not be disappointed.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I used to work for a company that was a partnership between a US, two UK and one French engineering company. Among other things, I learned not to organise meetings involving French engineers after lunch.

      To the absolute fury of my US and UK colleagues, it was quickly apparent that the French engineers were way ahead of the game. The reason was not that they were better engineers, but there is a strong tradition in France of maintaining consistent long term teams designed to build up institutional knowledge, rather than the anglophone tradition of chasing after whatever project seems interesting/profitable. When there was a financial crunch in the project, half the US engineers were made redundant – the French made it clear that this was insane as it would cost far more money and time to retrain new engineers if and when the money was flowing again. In this, they were proven exactly correct.

      My suspicion is the French found the Australian insistence on transferring much of the manufacturing to Oz a complete waste of time and effort, so just pandered to them while trying to do as much as possible in-house. The irony is that if Australia wants those new nuke submarines on time and on budget, they will have little option but to order them off the shelf from the US or the UK, which is what they should have done in the first place with the French design if cost and effectiveness (rather than notionally creating local jobs) was the real priority.

      1. The Rev Kev

        My bet is that the US will crowd the UK out and it will be a US designed submarine that we will be buying. At best, they might give the UK the contract for the periscope but that will be about it.

        1. Ian Perkins

          Ans the periscope will aptly become the symbol of the UK’s post-Brexit strategic position in the world.

    3. Wukchumni

      Of the plan Scotty from Marketing had born
      Lived of men who sailed to sea
      And he told us of his act of pact
      In an axis of submarines
      So they sailed on the enriched power of the sun
      ‘Til they found a target of opportunity
      And they lived beneath the waves
      In their yellowcake submarine

      We all give for a yellowcake submarine
      Yellowcake submarine, yellowcake submarine
      We all give for a yellowcake submarine
      Yellowcake submarine, yellowcake submarine

      And our US & UK friends are all aboard
      Although none of them live next door
      And the band begins to play

  14. ambrit

    I know it’s an assignment but; does anyone have a link to a 12 page PDF on room ventilation and Covid that was mentioned in a comment here about two or three weeks ago? I “lost” my copy and want to use it in my local Grand Jury work.
    Thanks in advance.
    Stay safer than I am!

    1. Wukchumni

      I knew a safe cracker once in the deep south, but computers mystify him.

      I too was served notice that my presence on the Grand Jury might be needed, and as an added bonus i’d be doing time in Fresno, so it’s a win-lose deal even if I stay impartial.

      1. ambrit

        Once we get to “a certain age,” plus vote more than once in a decade, we must go to the top of the list.
        Hmmm… I grew up in Florida, where we have numerous crackers, both safe and unsafe. As for your ‘contact’ down South, well, if computers and Myst are Greek to him, (a Brutal similie, I’ll admit,) he’ll have to game it out on his own. (What did he want you to do? Draw him a map?)
        Good luck with the conflagration! (Both physical and legal.)

      1. ambrit

        Thank you very much. I can use this. I just re-downloaded it and might make a hard copy later. (Ink box near empty just now. Must replace.)

    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Looks like you got an answer so you can ignore this (and best):

      Alas, I don’t have that link, but here is something (from back in Jan) along those lines.

      And a bonus article (that you didn’t ask for :-) on air purifiers and how to determine requirements (best one to use).

      I keep putting it off, but a good investment, after the oxygen level finger tip gizmerizer, might be a CO2 meter. Looking back at your comment, I’m just getting further and further afield of your question… sorry(:(x) &lt- guy frowning with a bow tie

      1. ambrit

        Thank you kind sir! The more resources available, the better the final result of the exercise!
        Be safe up there!

      2. ambrit

        I just caught on to your Codalesque. I’m keeping it. (:(x)
        Never be sorry for offering up information on the altar of alter. I always appreciate your comments. They give me the authentic New York vibe.

    3. Daryl

      I’ve found that telling them I have opinions and like to think for myself is a reliable way to get dismissed from these sorts of things.

      1. ambrit

        A friend of ours wore a Che Guevarra tee shirt to a Jury summons, and got chosen for a case right away. Go figure.

  15. farragut

    Re: allegations of forced organ harvesting in China….

    Are there any credible sources / reports which come close to confirming this to be true? I ask because 1) we know govts & agencies lie for propaganda all the time, and 2) the opening paragraph of the main report supporting the claims (cited in the article & available for download as a pdf) uses the phrase “if accusations are proved” no less than three times.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      The source (Epoch Times) is utterly unreliable, but there is plenty of evidence in the past (20 years or so ago) of organ harvesting of convicted criminals, and this would have included political prisoners and religious minorities who don’t meet Beijings approval. This was well documented by Amnesty International back when it was considered a fairly reliable and independent resource.

      China executes a lot of people every year, but details are kept very opaque. Most Chinese would see using those organs as simple pragmatism.

    2. Maritimer

      Here is one example of what goes on in the democratic, free West:

      “The University of Pittsburgh has admitted that it routinely harvests organs from babies born alive during gruesome abortion procedures.
      Judicial Watch and the Center for Medical Progress have obtained documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showing that the University of Pittsburgh received a whopping $2.7 million in federal funds to extract kidneys from living babies who were subsequently aborted by immoral doctors.”

      Even NPR checks in:

      Search “organ harvesting scandals corruption” and there are many similar stories.

      In some Western jurisdictions, organ harvesting is the default and you must “opt out”. Like the opt outs Big Tech uses.

      Of course, all this human material goes into the Medical Racket, tops up the bottom line and shows their increasing contempt for Humans. Science rules.

    3. oglenn22

      As I read this edition of Links it almost seems that you’re moving to the left but I’m not quite sure.

      In “Why Biden Bet it All on Mandates” the author seems to imply that the public good, i.e. forcing people to get shots whether they want to or not, is more important than individual rights. On the other hand the author of “Chinese Regime’s Forced Organ Transplants…” implies that people should have a choice, i.e. whether their organs are harvested, even if it’s not in the best interest of the greater public.

      So which is it, personal choice or the greater good? The latter is definitely a slippery slope. Shall we throw out the entire “Bill of Rights” for the greater good??????

  16. jr

    Unemployment Blues: Exiting the Puzzle Palace?

    So I got a call from Albany last week and everything is cleared up. Except today when I checked my account, I had only received around 500$ as opposed to the 2500$ I’m owed. It’s possible I’ll get it on a weekly basis but who knows? This is beyond annoying. It’s always fu(I<!ng something with these people. How many people are homeless, sick, or even dead because of the incompetence, if not downright intentional confusion, of the NYS Department of Labor?

    1. JBird4049

      >>>How many people are homeless, sick, or even dead because of the incompetence, if not downright intentional confusion, of the NYS Department of Labor?

      I’m getting cynical enough to think that something like this is by design, not incompetence, and anyways some might think they are clearing away the deadwood.

      1. jr

        I am as well. It’s also a great way to bump up the need for prison cells as the desperate turn to petty theft etc. to eat…nice, fat corporate contracts paid by you to throw you in jail.

  17. ambrit

    I know the linked site calls our colourful birdydote a parrot, but, to this untutored eye, that’s a budgie. We always had one or two in the house when I was young. One of our dogs, when we lived on the Beach, caught two outside, two different times, and brought them, alive, [both survived and lived for years after,] inside and dropped them at Mom’s feet. “Don’t tell me I don’t do anything to earn my eats!”

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Opinion: The Messy Truth About Carbon Footprints”

    Never been a fan of carbon pricing as it always seems a way to try to solve climate-change with a market solution – with a good deal of performative art as well. Maybe they should be thinking more in terms of resilience. So that means food sourced locally instead of being trucked from the other side of the country or even flown in from overseas. A long time ago while traveling through Germany I went into a supermarket and saw a fruit & vegetable stand. Each fruit/vegetable had the country of origin marked proudly next to it and not one was from Germany itslef. Even way back then when I thought of the amount of fuel alone, I knew that this was epic wastefulness of resources. Certainly those people living in areas that are subject to fires, floods, tornadoes, etc, would benefit from some resiliency.

    1. newcatty

      “Resiliency “, a key to achieving it, and keeping it, is to support local sources for food. It also needs to be coupled with the opposite of BiG AG and factory farms. Organic, permaculture models for small farms. Just to speak to the U.S., there is time to break-up huge farms. As uncle Joe would say, Period. There are young people who are either already interested in this type of farming or ones who would embrace it, as a lifestyle. I totally confess, I have no idea how this would be done in this country. Its all tied together with all of the elite’s control of the nation. Ranching would need to be reined in, too. But, private property rights! Its like climate change. Either we face its consequences or act upon real solutions. When the market and “performative art” are allowed to continue on their merry ways, fresh strawberries in winter may be a thing of the past. That would be a sad for some people. Even sadder will be the short supply of basic and healthy foods. IMO, GM fake and processed “foods” are not healthy “substitutes” for evil beef or other meats. I was actually shocked when just a few weeks ago, a chain grocery store, brand is its a natural and healthy grocery store, had weekly and monthly “specials” on a plethora of processed ” new” alternatives to any products that might usually contain some of meat. Miss your chicken nuggets or burgers? Come and try these delicious GM soy and salt substitutes. Guess who are big finacial backers of most of these “innovative” foods?

  19. Jason Boxman

    Liberal Democrat revisionist history:

    “I believe that health care is a human right, and if you believe it’s a human right, you don’t believe it’s a human right for 38 states,” said Senator Raphael Warnock, Democrat of Georgia, whose push for Medicaid expansion in his state was central to his special election victory last year, and who is eager to bring such an achievement to voters when he stands for re-election next year. “People are literally dying for lack of access to any care at all.”

    Health care has long been a winning issue for Democrats. It delivered them the House in 2018 and contributed to their taking the Senate in 2020, thanks largely to the runoff victories in Georgia of Mr. Warnock and Senator Jon Ossoff.

    No mention of the $600 that Biden and the Democrats owe everyone. And as we’ve seen Warnock in particular had a photo literally of a $2k check in his campaign for election. That’s unequivocal.

    This story also sets the stage for cuts to the 3.5t bill, as you’d expect would ultimately happen.

    Happy Monday!

    1. petal

      Ugh that word again...access. People are literally dying for lack of any health care at all. Health care. Why is that so hard for them? Yeah yeah I know.

    2. lance ringquist

      i think i got this from 2009?

      Capitalism sowed the seeds of its own demise because the benefits of a decade-long boom accrued to capital, with nothing flowing to labor. Telling workers who hadn’t had a decent pay raise for years to tighten their belts once the good times ended proved disastrous.

  20. jr

    Naked Prepperism: Cleaning water

    I found this handy chart which details how much bleach one can use to clean water for drinking:

    Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water.
    Volume of Water Amount of 6% Bleach to Add* Amount of 8.25% Bleach to Add*
    1 gallon 8 drops 6 drops
    2 gallons 16 drops (1/4 tsp) 12 drops (1/8 teaspoon)
    4 gallons 1/3 teaspoon 1/4 teaspoon
    8 gallons 2/3 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon

    Remember to check the % of your bleach as well as the expiration date. I was surprised to learn the stuff goes bad!

      1. coboarts

        I once read that dipping a tea spoon into the bleach then letting it drip off, then dipping the spoon into your water container would keep your water fresh. That’s the kind of precise information I can appreciate. I still have bottles with zero contamination that I did this with years ago. I keep two of them jff and continue with this practice.

  21. tegnost

    The seattle times is instructive today…
    big headline…
    60,000 renters behind as moratorium ends…
    below that a story on how the rent is going up and how to deal with it (wait..what?)
    below that an opinion piece on why moratoriums and rent control are bad.
    But all is not lost! There’s a local story on black trans people getting housing!
    A few opinion pieces scolding selfish state workers.

    1. jr

      “below that a story on how the rent is going up and how to deal with it (wait..what?)”

      Let me guess, there’s an app…

      1. Glossolalia

        It’s like the stories about what to do if you don’t have enough saved for retirement. Step 1, start saving $6,000 a month.

        1. jr

          I once had a woman I was being interviewed by for a minimum wage job earnestly explain to me that it would be best for me to retire the battered diesel Rabbit I was driving and get a brand new car, so as to insure I could make it to work without a problem.

          1. tegnost

            maybe you should have said you were planning to run it on the used fry grease and she would have seen a profit opportunity…

    2. QuicksilverMessenger

      > Seattle Times headline/ article about rent. I made the mistake of reading the comments from that article. It’s very disheartening. A pretty good number of comments about ‘deadbeats’, ‘should have saved enough’, ‘just move if you can’t afford it’, ‘get off the couch and stop playing video games’, and my favorite one: ‘Since homelessness is socially acceptable now, a lot of evictees will probably just slide on over into living on the street. Some people don’t have a sense of self esteem that would incentivize them into working their way out of a bad situation”

      I think of these practices (for that is what they are) “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”, “judge not” and this from Shantideva:
      “Those who desire shelter quickly
      For himself and for all others
      Should use this sacred mystery,
      The exchanging of oneself for others”

      and realize that we are very far from this.

    3. lordkoos

      There’s a local story on black trans people getting housing!

      Classic liberal Seattle, where the press loves running photos of people of color, whether it’s the Seattle Times or local art publications. Meanwhile the city does little or nothing to improve the lives of people who don’t happen to make enough $$ to survive in the city any longer.

      A good friend of mine and I were walking around the Ballard neighborhood last week & he commented “How would you like to be running a business with all these homeless tents next door?” To which I replied “How would you like to be living in a tent next to Leary Way (a major arterial)? People seem to have little to no empathy now, it’s depressing. My friend is good guy who has done a lot for the Seattle performance scene, but…

  22. Trogg

    “California wildfires reach edge of sequoia grove containing world’s largest tree Guardian”

    That “largest tree” was once known as “the Karl Marx tree.” That’s how Forest Service founder Gifford Pinchot identified it in his autobiography.

    May it live long enough to be called by its original name.

  23. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” How to prevent food waste in your garden” looks like a good article. You certainly want to minimize food loss in your garden.

    But in the widest scope, any garden product you don’t eat can be composted and fed right back to the garden for feeding the soil which feeds the next round of plants next season. So food lost to human edibility in your garden is really not wasted unless you through it away out of the garden soil-nutrients cycle stream. If you feed it back to the garden, it is recaptured for another try next season.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “What a 17th-century Dutch painting of an Indian boy tells us about migration today”

    ‘In real life, after his tray-hoisting days were over, Filander van Bengalen became chief of police in Dokkum. He married a Frisian woman and had five children.’

    I bet that when some people take an Ancestry DNA test in the Netherlands to see what there is to be found, that they will be in for a pleasant surprise.

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