Links 9/7/2021

Elephant, Giraffe Populations Rebound as Kenya Fights Poachers Bloomberg

Monstera Mania: Why the Rare Houseplant Craze Isn’t Going Away Modern Farmer

Is Uranium About to Go Nuclear? Doomberg

Supply chain squeeze: first cars, now chairs and cupboards FT

Launching into space? Not so fast. Insurers balk at new coverage Reuters

Michael K. Williams, ‘The Wire’ Actor, Dies at 54 Hollywood Reporter


COVID-19 Projections for K12 Schools in Fall 2021: Significant Transmission without Interventions (preprint) medRxiv. Computer model. From Methods:

“An extended Susceptible-Infected-Recovered model was developed using R programming language to project infections over one semester (107 days) within a well-mixed student population (n=500) in which 0.5% of incoming students are infected and one case enters the school per week (e.g., infected outside school)…. Levels of protection were based on CDC reports that 30% of students in the middle school age-range are vaccinated, 40% of students in the high-school age-range are vaccinated, and prior infection among all primary-school children is approximately 10%. A baseline effective reproductive rate (R0) of 4.0 represented the context of increased infectivity from the Delta variant. We assume universal mask usage decreases infectivity by 50%.”

The Conclusion:

“Without interventions in place, the vast majority of susceptible students will become infected through the semester. Universal masking can reduce student infections by 26-78%, and biweekly testing along with masking reduces infections by another 50%. To prevent new infections in the community, limit school absences, and maintain in-person learning, interventions such as masking and testing must be implemented widely, especially among elementary school settings in which children are not yet eligible for the vaccine.”

Applied to DC by Mike the Mad Biologist: “Why I Am Not Optimistic About School Reopening in D.C.: The North Carolina Modelling Edition:

“So if we assume 50,000 kids in DCPS–and note this completely excludes the nearly equally sized public charter system–a ‘very good’ case scenario is looking at 5,000 student infections over sixty days (ten percent). These student infections will lead to ‘parental’ infections (who then, of course, can spread COVID-19 to other adults). The student infections alone would average 85 cases per day, though this would not be a constant average, meaning there will be surges greater than that. Keep in mind, ‘the good place’ for the entire city is around seven cases per day (one new case per 100,000 people per day). And those 85 cases don’t include subsequent household infections (“Guess what I brought home, Mom?”), or the ongoing infections before school has started.”

Anecdote on transmission in Swiss schoolchildren (1), a thread:

Anecdote on transmission in Swiss schoolchildren (2), a thread:

Note the role of rapid testing in each case. On rapid testing in the United States:

On child vaccines, the experts are suddenly reluctant to follow ‘the science’ Jonathan Cook

* * *

The battle for ivermectin and Ivermetcin II: Cons and pros Your Observer. The editor, Matt Walsh, owns twelve newspapers and six websites in Florida, and was inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame by the Florida Press Association.

Evaluation of Ivermectin as a Potential Treatment for Mild to Moderate COVID-19: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial in Eastern India Journal of Pharmaceutical Science (Elsevier; peer-reviewed). Methods: “A double blind, parallel, randomised, placebo-controlled trial conducted among adult COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate disease severity on admission in a COVID dedicated tertiary healthcare of eastern India…. On day 1 and 2 post enrolment, patients in the intervention arm received ivermectin 12 mg while the patients in the non-interventional arm received placebo tablets.” From the Conclusion: “Inclusion of ivermectin in treatment regimen of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients could not be said with certainty based on our study results as it had shown only marginal benefit in successful discharge from the hospital with no other observed benefits.” • Not sure about that treatment protocol.

* * *

The Masks Were Working All Along The Atlantic. We linked (as the Atlantic did not (!)) to the original study from Bangladesh on 5/13. A thread from one of the principal investigators:

Of course, creating social norms is hard…

* * *

Risk factors and disease profile of post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection in UK users of the COVID Symptom Study app: a prospective, community-based, nested, case-control study The Lancet (Ian Perkins). n = 6030 + 2370. From Methods: “This prospective, community-based, nested, case-control study used self-reported data (eg, on demographics, geographical location, health risk factors, and COVID-19 test results, symptoms, and vaccinations) from UK-based, adult (≥18 years) users of the COVID Symptom Study mobile phone app.” From Discussion: “the odds of having symptoms for 28 days or more after post-vaccination infection were approximately halved by having two vaccine doses. This result suggests that the risk of long COVID is reduced in individuals who have received double vaccination, when additionally considering the already documented reduced risk of infection overall.”

Kidney Outcomes in Long COVID (PDF) Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. “The risk of adverse kidney outcomes increased according to the severity of the acute infection as proxied by the care setting (non-hospitalized, hospitalized, and admitted to intensive care). The totality of the evidence suggests that substantial risk of kidney outcomes in people with COVID-19 and highlights the need to integrate a kidney care component in post-acute COVID care pathways.”

* * *

Doctors should be allowed to give priority to vaccinated patients when resources are scarce WaPo. “Resources,” of course, pose distributional problems (see “Neoliberalism Expressed as Simple Rules,” invariants #1 and #2).

Here’s what the seven stages of severe COVID-19 look like Los Angeles Times. Commentary:

Of course healthcare workers are robotic subunits. “Fundamentally, nothing will change.”

The Five Things to Get Right Before the Next Pandemic Bloomberg. The deck: “The next epidemiological crisis—and there will be a next one, and another one after that—need not be this bad if we plan ahead.” For some definition of “bad.”


The Chinese control revolution: the Maoist echoes of Xi’s power play FT

George Soros ups the ante in war of words with BlackRock over China, exposing contrast of bets on world’s second-biggest market South China Morning Post

Chinese hull market overtakes Lloyd’s Lloyd’s List

After using the Japanese gas stove, I went home and immediately removed the Chinese stove in the kitchen What China Reads


Myanmar military government makes ceasefire offer, but not to protesters Channel News Asia. And in response–

Myanmar shadow government calls for revolt against military rule Reuters. Here is a useful thread on the NUG announcement:

Myanmar Military Struggling to Recruit New Officers The Irrawaddy. Big if true. I wonder if recruits “went with their states”…

Myanmar military releases hardline monk Wirathu -media Reuters. That Wirathu.

‘Large majority’ of the COVID-19 cases in new Changi General Hospital cluster are outsourced workers Channel News Asia. I don’t think migrant workers and the homeless are even on our radar in this country.


Govt revises NLEM: Slashes prices of 39 common drugs India TV (Eustachedesaintpierre).

The Koreas

South Korea fires submarine-launched ballistic missile for first time as North prepares military parade South China Morning Post


The Other Afghan Women The New Yorker. By “other,” we mean “not in Kabul, not NGO- and media-adjacent, but rural.”


Can a Pragmatic Relationship With the Taliban Help Russia Counter Terrorism? The National Interest

Al-Qaeda Reassures Nation 9/11 Anniversary Attack Would Be A Little Cheesy The Onion


Nord Stream 2: Last piece of gas pipeline is in place Deutsche Welle

Brussels escalates rule of law dispute with Warsaw FT

The Caribbean

In a crumbling economy, Venezuela’s cheap electricity is a blessing for its Bitcoin miners Euronews

El Salvador’s dangerous gamble on bitcoin FT

New Cold War

The Woolly Mammoth’s Return Could Thaw Relations With Russia Foreign Policy

Biden Administration

Two anchors of COVID safety net ending, affecting millions AP

DOJ says it will ‘protect’ women seeking abortions in Texas The Hill

Power back for 66% in New Orleans, 27% in Jefferson as Entergy suspends late fees and shutoffs Times-Picayune

Police State Watch

Wiretap Expert Fears Bill Will Open ‘Back Door’ For Police Wisconsin Examiner

Minnesota State Patrol destroyed texts, e-mails after riot response Star-Tribune

Police Say Demoralized Officers Are Quitting In Droves. Labor Data Says No. The Marshall Project

Our Famously Free Press

The Media Fell for a Viral Hoax About Ivermectin Overdoses Straining Rural Hospitals Reason. When you’re owned by Reason…. Anyhow, I don’t know if the media “fell for” the Oklahoma story as much as swiped right and dashed off to hook up. En masse.


Pontifications: David Joyce fills key void on Boeing’s Board Leeham News and Analysis. Read all the way to the end.

Class Warfare

Beneath the Soil of Blair Mountain The Land Will Tell the Story. Blair Mountain. Now that was an insurrection. One of those horrid interactives, but nevertheless well worth a read. It catalogs artifacts from Blair Mountain soil. Especially the bullets.

I’m warming up to Lina Kahn:

I just hope she doesn’t get chopped off at the knees….

More Americans are taking jobs without employer benefits like health care or paid vacation Vox

The Employment Situation is Worse than the Unemployment Rate Indicates Calculated Risk

Inequality, Interest Rates, Aging, and the Role of Central Banks The Overshoot

Philosophy of Money and Finance Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Food for thought.

Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: The USSR Was Better Prepared for Collapse Than the US Dmitry Orlov, Resilience. Alert readers bassmule and farragut highlighted transcripts from this 2006 (!) classic PowerPoint presentation. However, the original from Energy Bulletin has long since succumbed to link rot, so I went to the Wayback Machine and found this version, which includes the slides which are, if anything, more pointed than the transcript. This is a must-read.

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. bassmule

    David Leonhardt in today’s NY Times. Critiques of his math, etc., encouraged.

    “But at least one part of the American anxiety does seem to have become disconnected from the facts in recent weeks: the effectiveness of the vaccines. In a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, nearly half of adults judged their “risk of getting sick from the coronavirus” as either moderate or high — even though 75 percent of adults have received at least one shot.

    In reality, the risks of getting any version of the virus remain small for the vaccinated, and the risks of getting badly sick remain minuscule.”

    One in 5,000: The real chances of a breakthrough infection.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Are you prepared to risk your health and possibly your life on something printed in the New York Times? A newspaper with a proven track record for lying when it suited their purposes? Not having a go at you but with this evolving virus a precautionary approach would probably be wise.

    2. IM Doc

      There are less than 25000 in the total area where I live. By their calculus, that would mean that all the physicians in our area would have seen about 5 breakthroughs in total since Delta arrived.

      Well I worked this whole weekend.

      11 on sat
      9 on Sunday
      12 yesterday

      I had 54 total for the week last week. Things may be slowing down because I had 61 the week before. There are days with more than 10 repeatedly. And as time has progressed, these breakthroughs are not just head colds – yet another lie. Serious lung changes and other covid issues are becoming increasingly common among them.

      And the thing is everyone knows it. This has been in the newspaper here repeatedly. These pundits and the doctors supporting them are doing absolutely grave damage to the credibility of the media and medicine. This may be generational in its impact.

      I just cannot believe what I am seeing happen.

      Hey NYT WSJ and all others – is the Pfizer and big Pharma advertising cash really worth your credibility? You are looking more like prostitutes every day. Average people are increasingly noticing it and tuning you out. Just look at the cratering numbers for CNN and MSNBC. This country desperately needs an independent media but instead we have you.

      1. Eustachedesaintpierre

        You 5 last words – thank goodness for that & people like you.

        ” Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people ” – Garrison Keillor.

      2. vlade

        Not to question your numbers, but if you have a 25k vaccinated in your area, but are seeing on average say 9 breakthrough cases/day, for a couple of months, that means about 500-600 cases (for say two 10 weeks or so of Delta, no idea what the period you’re seeing this is for).

        Which out of those 25k vaccinated means 0.5% (at least) are sufficiently sick to seek medical help.

        Which seems quite a bit to me. Israel (that has pretty good data) says that in vaccinated, severe cases (can’t find what they call “severe” though) is less than 50 in 100k (as of early August, can’t find any recent numbers), so less than 0.05%, ten times less than what your numbers would indicate.

        I’m just trying to make sense of numbers.

        1. IM Doc

          I am reporting what I am seeing.

          Please note as well that even now reporting of non critical vaccinated breakthroughs is not happening. At least where I am and I assume a lot of the country.

          That is why I have said multiple times the dashboards are only a part of the picture in many areas.

        2. John Zelnicker

          September 7, 2021 at 10:40 am

          With all due respect, I have to take issue with your math. Five hundred to 600 cases divided by 25,000 population is 2-2.4% of the population infected. (0.5% would be 125 cases.)

          Or, I’m missing something.

        3. Oh

          Sorry, but you’re too quick to analyze incomplete data. Jast take the Doc at his word. He doesn’t have an axe to grind unlike our media or our administration.

      3. bradford

        I think you did their calculation wrong; NYT suggests 1 in 5000 breakthrough infections per day rather than total for the epidemic which would work out to 5 per day (if everyone is vaccinated) for your area.

        This is not to imply that you’re wrong about any of the rest of it, thanks for what you’re doing.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        The local newspapers where you are who are reporting these things, and other small local newspapers at other localities in the field may be the nucleus for a new credible print-media ecosystem. A distributed SSM ( Side Stream Media).

        When the Flagship MSM has discredited itself all the way among everyone in every small-city-town and up-country locality who see the difference between reality and Flagship MSM reporting, the only people who will believe Flagship MSM anymore will be the people ( PMCs? Maddow fans? etc.? ) who deserve no better anyway.

    3. Glossolalia

      My state of Maryland is now publishing data on breakthrough cases:

      About 3,369,018 Maryland residents have been fully vaccinated as of August 15, 2021.

      There have been 11,454 COVID-19 cases among fully vaccinated Maryland residents.

      Of those cases, there were:

      883 cases hospitalized, representing 6.5% of all COVID-19 cases hospitalized

      82 deaths, representing 5.3% of lab-confirmed COVID-19 deaths in Maryland

      Approximately 7.8% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Maryland since January 2021 have been among fully vaccinated individuals.

      1. IM Doc

        That has become a very common tactic to underwhelm the citizenry with the vaccinated positive percentage. To run the numbers all the way back to JAN.

        I would be very interested to see what the numbers are since the advent of Delta. I would guess it would likely be different. Comparing things now to back pre-June is really comparing apples to oranges.

        1. bradford

          Yes. If you can get, or keep track of, the breakthrough numbers for earlier weeks, you can dig out something better. Minnesota reported 15919 breakthrough cases as of 9/7, and the earlier document reported 12559 as of 8/30. There were 3028670 and 3050905 fully vaccinated people respectively.

          So that’s 3260 new breakthrough cases, or 1 in 930 for the “period” (extra day due to the holiday). Using 7 days, that gives about 1 in 6500 per day.

          To compare with totals, we’re running a little under 2000 positive tests per day in a population a little under 6M, so roughly 1 in 3000 per day for the whole (vaccinated+unvaccinated) population.

          Of course, this is not a randomized clinical trial; I’m sure that the vaccinated population gets tested at different rates too.

          References are weekly breakthrough report and daily overall report

    4. marcyincny

      I don’t read the NYT so I have to ask: does the writer do the numbers for the chances of unvaccinated individuals?

      According to COVID Act Now New York’s new cases are about 25 per 100,000 overall, one per 4,000?? What am I missing?

      Btw, in line with the reports from IM Doc, Onondaga county posts vaccinated/unvaccinated and runs close to 40% each with the remaining 20% indentified as “ineligible” so the odds?

      And isn’t the problem really that so many people are still relatively unaffected and after over 18 months, are feeling less at risk regardless?

    5. cnchal

      > In reality, the risks of getting any version of the virus remain small for the vaccinated, and the risks of getting badly sick remain minuscule.”

      In my neighborhood the vaccinated are running around like it’s over. Looking at the football games and the crowds, my expectation is that the vaccinated are at higher risk than non vaccinated of catching it.

      Jawb one is don’t get it. Jawb two is don’t pass it on if you do. So far it’s Total Fail.

  2. Wukchumni

    Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: The USSR Was Better Prepared for Collapse Than the US Dmitry Orlov
    In talks with my brother in law who works for a huge trucking firm, he tells me that most all the Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) Level Sensors are made in Malaysia, and the factory is shut down there, and this is a part which needs to be replaced about every year or so, and an ungodly amount of big rigs are down for lack of a nail, er sensor. The same sensor is used on buses & RV’s, which are also down for the count. Read some of the stories from RV’ers in the second link, to give you an idea of all of the sudden ‘you ain’t going nowhere’ sagas.

    He also mentioned there are hardly any new big rigs for sale, similar to the new car shortage. A friend went to a Honda dealer in San Diego, and related that they had a mere 13 new cars for sale.

    Most everything in our country is delivered by diesel trucks…

    1. Susan the other

      I’m not so pessimistic as Dmitry – I think he missed the forest for the trees. Just because he comes from a socialized country where there are safety nets and people know how to share to get through hard times doesn’t mean that we don’t have an ace up our sleeve. That might well be that we have a reservoir of recipients for our own generosity. The same generosity we have spent lavishly to buy friends and influence people. We can spend out way out of this austerity poverty and economic collapse because we can probably spend 50 or 60 trillion dollars and not catch the slightest whiff of inflation. We can spend our butts off. Especially if we go green, not in our typically frivolous way – go real green. I’m an idiot, but I really do think we are on the cusp of a new prosperity. Driven, finally, by actual human equality.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        In more recent years Dmitri Orlov has become a Russian nationalist who hopes for American collapse for reasons of hatred and spitred. One can smell it in his recent writing.

        But as Benjamin Franklin was supposed to have said . . . ” Love your enemies for they will tell you all your faults.”

      2. Wukchumni

        We can spend out way out of this austerity poverty and economic collapse because we can probably spend 50 or 60 trillion dollars and not catch the slightest whiff of inflation. We can spend our butts off.

        Past performance is no guarantee of future results, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      3. MonkeyBusiness

        But inflation is already here ….. just take a look at the Fed’s Core PCE.

        Printing money does not mean that supplies will just materialize out of thin air.

    2. Guy Hooper

      Gotta say that “Collapse Gap” was really a genuine “must read.” The Russian sense of humor comes through. Also, it could be written today so it has aged really well. This indicates to me that the basic truths in the presentation are valid.

      Seems like (if one is inclined to act on the presentation) one should buy a multigenerational property with a shop, tools, and light food production. Pay for it by…?

      The question of survival in a collapse world depends on your definition of collapse. When I think along these lines (generally in the context of writing a novel), I use the Depression as a model where law and order mostly worked. In a scenario where law fails, then a warlord model along medieval lines comes next. Dark age in other words.

      Really liked the link, so thanks to NC for that.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Suburban and exurban homedwellers should turn their suburban and exurban homes and yards into doomsteads. Or at least as close to doomsteads as they can manage.

        And prepare to survive in suburban slum-village squalor. Maybe enough preparation can make the coming squalor less squalorous.

    3. KFritz

      There’s at least one caveat that Orlov misses comparing US/USSR. The USSR was relatively isolated–economically, socially, etc, etc. Its Eastern European satellites were the only nations as closely linked to the USSR as many nations are to the US. The Soviet vassal nations did experience plenty of pain in the aftermath of its collapse, but that pain was counterbalanced by the blessed relief they felt/experienced being free of “The Bear,” who’d long dominated and oppressed them. When the US collapses, it will amost certainly trigger a spectacular, worldwide economic implosion. (American squillionaires planning to domicile in New Zealand will be interested to know that the Kiwis have enough petrochemical resources to keep their economy going for about a year–with total exploitation. I wonder how Peter Thiel likes the taste of mutton?) It’s in the interest of much of the world’s interconnected economy to help the US “extend and pretend” its precarious economy–for the moment. Someday that won’t be the case. Afterthought: Cuba was severely effected by the Soviet collapse, perhaps more than any Eastern European satellite.

      1. Oh

        I would say that when the collapse happens, the US$ will tank and Peter Theil and his buddies holding cash will have plenty of toilet paper.

  3. Tom Stone

    I asked myself “Why Oklahoma?”.
    It wasn’t affected by Ida, and it is the home of “Okies”, historically the most deplorable of deplorables.
    I do wonder if the “Streisand Effect” will cause one or more State Medical Associations to break from the herd when it comes to IVM as a treatment for Covid.
    Dying children changes the narrative.

    1. Stephen V.

      I’m a 24 year Arky resident hoping against hope that the AR Medical Licensing Board does right in their investigation of our local “jail doctor.” Instead of a few phone calls with simple questions we got an International news story.
      Fingers crossed as there is only 1 Board member from our librul NW corner of the state.
      As far as deplorables go, we look down on Mississipians. At least some Okies emigrated to NoCal during the Dust Bowl.

      1. Wukchumni

        At least some Okies emigrated to NoCal during the Dust Bowl.

        That’s`the reason there’s so many evangs in the CVBB…

  4. salty dawg

    Re: Evaluation of Ivermectin as a Potential Treatment for Mild to Moderate COVID-19: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial in Eastern India Journal of Pharmaceutical Science (Elsevier; peer-reviewed).

    > From the Conclusion: “Inclusion of ivermectin in treatment regimen of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients could not be said with certainty based on our study results as it had shown only marginal benefit in successful discharge from the hospital with no other observed benefits.”

    Though I don’t have the professional background of the researchers, I think it unfortunate that the conclusion–which will be widely quoted–didn’t mention that 7% (n=4) of the group (n=57) given placebo died, none of the group (n=55) given Ivermectin died.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I didn’t read past the NC citations; it occurred to me that the “outcomes measured” listed in the results summary, “PCR positive” and “discharged from hospital”, seemed kind of sparse.

      So the relative risk of the adverse outcome of “death,” IVM versus placebo, is “zero”. Did they quote a confidence interval on that?

      Consulting the free full text, Table 2 lists outcomes, Rate Ratios and confidence intervals.

      There is a stated confidence interval on every Rate Ratio except the “died in hospital” outcome.

      That seems odd.

      1. salty dawg

        They didn’t give a confidence interval on the adverse outcome of death. But they did find that the difference in rates of successful discharges (ie, did not die) was statistically significant with a 95% confidence interval:

        Mortality was found to be 7% (n=4) in the placebo arm which was null for the intervention arm. Conversely, all patients in the ivermectin group were successfully discharged. In comparison the same for the placebo group was observed to be 93%. This difference was found to be statistically significant (RR: 1.1;95%CI; 1.0-1.2;p=0.045).

        Since it took a couple of clicks to get to the 8-page PDF from the NC link, I should mention that the link I’m quoting this from is

      2. urblintz

        And the original report was released June 6, with the final version from July 6th. The conclusion is, essentially, meh, we’re not really sure… more studies please.

        “it had shown only marginal benefit in successful discharge from the hospital with no other observed benefits. Larger, multicentre RCTs should be planned to provide a clearer answer”

        Plus ça change,

        It should be noted, however, that India officially started using ivm on May 17 followed by a precipitous decline in cases with levels maintained since, according to these graphs:

        have more studies been done, as suggested in this report?

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    I begin a course today in Doughnut Economics, the invention of British economist Kate Raworth. This link is to a 6-minute BBC video in which Raworth explains what Doughnut Economics is, and where it’s currently being used to restructure the whole discussion around economic policy. If you’re tired of hearing about nothing but GDP and endless growth, it’s worth checking out.

    Doughnut Economics is also one of the pillars of the Common Earth course I’m taking as well, along with MMT (Kelton’s The Deficit Myth), regenerative agriculture (Gabe Brown’s Dirt to Soil), systems thinking (Donella Meadows’s Thinking in Systems) and Thomas Berry’s “new story.” A new cohort of Common Earth classes begins September 27.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Doctors should be allowed to give priority to vaccinated patients when resources are scarce”

    These people have literally no idea that they are playing with sweaty dynamite here. So forget Wapo writer Ruth Marcus and give me Dr. Marcus Welby instead. At least he followed his Hippocratic Oath. She says that this idea of hers to deny people medical treatment conflicts radically with accepted medical ethics but she is prepared to ditch those ethics not on medical grounds but moral grounds – her morals. This time she wants to do it for vaccine refusal without recognizing that there might be several reasons why people hesitate to take these first generation vaccines. But once you have dumped medical ethics you open yourself up to other ideas which I have seen over the years. You can then deny medical treatment because they are smokers, they are drinkers, they are too fat, they don’t go to the gym to keep themselves fit, they are too poor, etc. But here I will cede the ground to link to an article where a doctor weighs in on this whole idea-

    1. IM Doc

      The principles of medical ethics have often been a response to the darkest of human times. Think Dr. Mengele.

      I have spent my life telling students that the ethics are there not just for the patients protection but also for theirs and their society.

      They serve us all during good times but more importantly can lead the way out of bad times.

      The very fact that such prominent people are allowed to spew like this about the sacred is beginning to make me question every assumption I have had about the very concept of America.

      On a more practical matter, what these knuckleheads seem to not be able to process is that I and every other HCW are in just as much danger from the sick vaccinated as the unvaccinated.

      The imbecile is just overwhelming.

      Lord have mercy.

      1. howard in nyc

        IM Doc, nearly every post you share makes me want to thank you. I’m a fellow physician, similar age but specialize in anesthesia, doing outpatient/office based work last several years, so I wasn’t on the front line for the early rounds with COVID in NYC (although they were close to calling me in to help).

        Your insights are essential and we readers at NC are lucky to have your observations and your principled viewpoint. Almost as lucky as your students to have you as a mentor, and your patients who benefit from your devoted care.

        Cheers and thank you.

    2. Hutch

      “But once you have dumped medical ethics you open yourself up to other ideas which I have seen over the years. You can then deny medical treatment because they are smokers, they are drinkers, they are too fat, they don’t go to the gym to keep themselves fit, they are too poor, etc.”

      Rev Kev, per usual, has pointed out the inevitable outcome of this kind of nonsense of denial of treatment for unvaccinated patients based on a very limited personal moral stance. The outcome of this kind of decision is denial of treatment for any condition a doctor deems abuse: smoking, drinking, sedentary lifestyles, the health impacts of poverty. This nonsense is the reason the Hippocratic Oath was invented. Because it’s right and it’s humane. It was right in the 5th Century BC when it was developed and it’s right in 2021.

  7. jr

    After reading IM doc’s comment the other day about smokers, including pot smokers, suffering terribly from long-COVID respiratory damage, I have decided to give up pot. Edibles are too expensive and they don’t give me the sharp high that I enjoy, so I’m walking away from it. I know it’s probably too late but it cannot hurt. I would appreciate any kind thoughts and support, I know together with my friends at NC I will find the strength, the courage, to face the world with a clear eye and a sharp mind. The journey will be long and hard but I know that, together, I can make it to a new, blazing dawn of sobriety and self-control, a higher plane of thought, a crystal clear view of reality that no intoxicant can efface. Forward to glorious victory!!

    * curls up into the fetal position and begins to quietly sob

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      I speak as a former habitual user of intoxicants, legal and illegal, and I assure you that a life of sobriety is comfortable, easy, okay – more often than not. Take it one day at a time – one minute at a time – one breath at a time. There’s a Firesign Theatre line about being high on the REAL thing – a clean windshield, a full tank of gasoline [or a fully charged battery, depending on your vehicle] and a shoeshine.

      Another Firesign Theatre line also comes to mind, about the future.

      THIS is the future. You got to LIVE it, or LIVE WITH it.

      And there’s a third option, not explicitly mentioned in the troupe’s oevre, but implied contextually – when the time comes, get out of the way.

    2. LaRuse

      No pot for me, but alcohol was another story…and not a good one. Its been 3.5+ years since my last drink. It takes some time but I can vouch for how good life can get without intoxicants. Take it slow, listen to the cliches – they exist for a reason. You have love and support here. Be well.

    3. mistah charley, ph.d.

      For close to three decades I was a habitual user of intoxicants, so I know that adopting a life of sobriety can be effortful and also rewarding. Keep in mind what the Firesign Theatre said about being high on the “real thing” – a clean windshield, a full tank of gasoline [or a fully charged battery, depending on your vehicle] and a shoeshine.

      In regard to the metaphorical depths of the FT’s dictum, there’s this:

      Zen, 6th century

      1. A special transmission outside of the scriptures.
      2. No dependence upon words or letters.
      3. Direct pointing at the soul of man.
      4. Seeing into one’s own nature and the attainment of Buddhahood.

      Volkswagen, 20th century

      1. A standard transmission underneath the chassis.
      2. Strong dependence upon gasoline.
      3. Goes where it’s pointed.
      4. Seeing out through the windshield and the attainment of Buddhahood.

    4. JacobiteInTraining

      Wherever you happen to live, deep woods or subdivision – barrio or small burgh – downtown or middle of the sticks….theres going to be *someplace* where Mother Nature still holds sway. A clearing, a park, an old growth forest, a beach, a rocky swale with lizards…you know the place. Your place, even if its shared with a buncha other peeps who like to smell the flowers too.

      Hang out there when you can and recharge from the source – Nature.

      Bring a sandwich, and an orange juice (maybe some nuts for a squirrel) and recall that all of us get just a short allotted time to enjoy this stuff until the universe revokes our pass.

      Spend more of that time being, you know, just happy, that you are there looking at the fascination of, well, I dunno…whatever you see. A spider’s web, for example, could take a whole afternoon to properly drink in, once one is sharp eyed and clear headed. :)

      1. Pate

        “enjoy this stuff until the universe revokes our pass”

        Words of wisdom for sure. Thank you!

        Didn’t some wise guy claim that “matter and energy are neither created or destroyed”? I find myself thinking this “life phase” may be “revoked” but that the stardust we are made of and the energy it generates remain. I think it was Emerson who would remember to “have faith in the universe” when he had doubts about his fellow travelers (so appropriate for these times and the conversations taking place at NC).

    5. Ian Perkins

      I think you’ll have absolutely no trouble, beyond a couple of days at most remembering “I usually have a smoke around this time” and wondering if you’ll make it without one – don’t worry, you will, no problem at all. I’m less sure about the blazing dawns and higher planes – I’ve been surprised how little difference it’s made when I’ve stopped, which I’ve done a dew times for six months or a year, mainly being a bit less ‘monged’ in the mornings, but other than that, a few rather subtle effects at most. Of all drugs of habit, I’d very definitely say I’ve found it by far the easiest to stop. (And why did I start again? Because I was never that interested in stopping in the first place, not seeing it as detrimental, unlike …)

      1. Wukchumni

        I once had a gambling addiction when blossoming into a young adult, and realized eventually it was a 1 way ticket to Palookaville, and decided to replace it with another addiction-which happened to be the wilderness.

        I didn’t want to go cold turkey, and had set myself a limit of losing $1000 per year vis a vis the green felt jungle and/or racetrack, and managed to keep it down to $800 that first year, and gradually got to the point where I really have no interest in gambling on anything,

        My life was greatly enriched and energized by Mother Nature, who nurtures you, and all you have to do is go to her place and hang out for a spell, in my case about 5,000 miles of walking all over tarnation, er Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

    6. Pate

      As a servant to the cocoa bean I am inspired (truly) by the helpful ‘dealing with my demons’ comments. No chocolate today. Assume fetal position.

    7. IM Doc

      You are doing the right thing. The next few weeks will not be fun – but it will be all worth it soon.
      Hang in there!

    8. Jeremy Grimm

      Along with its blessings, the herb exudes tars and oils when smoked. I have never tried one — but someone who has, might further my comment — what about using vaporizers to minimize or eliminate the tars and oils in favor of the desired blessings of your herb? I suspect the tars and oils, like those in tobacco are the proper villains to avoid. Also, you might be very wise to abstain — if only to reset your tolerances and in times ahead obtain more high per toke. [This last suggestion is very Neoliberal Market based approved — as long as total monetary profits are not a focus.]

    9. Maritimer

      The famous American socialist and author, Jack London, wrote a book about his addiction, alcohol. John Barleycorn. Interesting read but watch out for the ending.

    10. jr

      Thank you all very much for the comments, it really does help. I’m cool for now; the next week will be harder but I’m done with it.

    1. hunkerdown

      Starting with the source, a nominally outward-facing propaganda organ of the US Government, I assume it’s just America Inc. running a crisis communications campaign. The banality of evil…

    2. Oh

      This sounds like an Onion headline. All this is mostly talk and when the attempt to pass it fails then blaming will follow.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: The USSR Was Better Prepared for Collapse Than the US”

    Dug into my computer for another article that Dmitry Orlov wrote several years ago concerning this same topic. It is called “Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century” and I found a version online-

    It is a long read so make yourself a cuppa first but it is well worth the read.

    1. dftbs

      I’ve always enjoyed Orlov, thank you for digging this second piece from the “archives.” I particularly enjoy how he never allowed his thinking to be bogged down by the onus of prediction, or the pendantry of trying to find historical similarities when it is the differences that should be held to higher account. I enjoy his current work, lots of which has to do with Russia’s resurgence and the US misconceptions of Russia’s intentions and strengths.

      This got me thinking about the Soviet collapse, and the consequences for the constituent people after the dissolution of the USSR. Particularly the impact of economic shock therapy, not so much on the statistical barometers of economic health as understood on Wall St., but on the lives of the people subjected to it. Russian life expectancy in the 90s dropped from 70yrs to 65yrs, estimates on excess deaths range from 4mm to 10mm over that decade. Whatever our “maddow-addled” brains may think of the man, the control and stability brought about by Vladmir Putin ended and reversed what could rightfully be interpreted as a Russian genocide. To me the real interesting story about the Soviet Collapse, is the resurgence of Russia, in economic and military terms (and if you agree with Orlov, in spiritual terms).

      The curious thing about the templates for US collapse is that they posit the process and consequences of the event somewhere in the near future. But the US has been run by the ideological standard bearers “Chicago School” for the better part of 50 years. If at one point their extractive policies were tempered on the home front because they found an outlet for their rapaciousness in the de-Sovietized expanse of Eurasia, that door has closed.*** So the real story about the US collapse may not be about the collapse itself. We are undergoing that. But like the Soviet-Russian story, about the nature of a resurgence, if there is one.

      *** Small personal anecdote, as a junior on a trading desk at the time, I remember some chatter back in 2008 about the Lehman collapse being exacerbated by the withdrawal of substantial funds/collateral from Russia, a consequence of their war with Georgia, and a part of their declaration of independence from the western system. I would attribute a similar, non-Russian, behind-the-scenes movement for setting up the conditions for the September 2019 repo crash, which was a US debt collapse where it not for the Fed re-writing the rule book.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        I stumbled across Orlov more than a decade ago. His penultimate slide (Do It Yourself -The Don’ts) is printed out and carried with me wherever I go. I re-read it occasionally to keep my eye on the ball. Crisp wisdom.

        A brief comment on Russian demographics: overall life expectancy in RU masks a huge gap between men and women, and this is not a recent development:

        Generally speaking, Russian women have good health habits, and the data reflects this. Whereas Russian men often seem like the reality version of the sitcom “Men Behaving Badly.” Too much (bad) food, way too much booze and cigarettes, not enough exercise, condoms and seatbelts aren’t for real men, etc. I’m amazed they make it to 65 on average.

    2. Brian L.

      PRI Permaculture News also has the Orlov talk that Lambert linked to. It is compelling. There were three Orlov talks/articles “published” there in quick succession in 2010. They originally were from 2005-2009.

      Lambert, is there a reason you used the wayback machine? The article (w/ slides) is still on although it isn’t easy to find ( The original seems long gone, like you mentioned.

      1. lambert strether

        I used the Wayback Machine because none of the reposts I found had the slides. For whatever reason, I blew past

    3. Wukchumni

      Thanks for that Rev…

      …we pretend everything still works, and our politicians pretend to pay attention to us

      As mentioned above with big rigs being sidelined en masse by a $300 item that is simply unavailable, shortages will ramp up and being the curious consumer mob that we are, when you can’t have something it only makes the desire all that much stronger.

      When money as we knew it is without value, doing things that don’t require the hand of manna will be in vogue, hard to imagine the hero worship of wealth gluttons not being all that, but you can clearly see it coming.

        1. newcatty

          Maybe the truck won’t be a “truck” as in a gas or electric vehicle. The more I read of our collapsing society , in this stage, the more I am reminded of the old wild west in our short history. There is not any fair or just rules of law. Some people are becoming vigilantes to enforce their own ideals and goals. Needless to say: gunz and more gunz. The mountain west has become a siren call, again. GoWest! You young, and old, wealthy men and women. Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are still available for your private retreats ( and permanent homes, when timing is near). Women are being reined in to have no personal agency to control reproductive health and, yes, family planning. Texas and Mississippi are leading the charge. Children are knowlingly being subjected to neglect ( hunger and lack of decent housing) and abuse by caretakers. Public education is dying a faster death, as schools will be shuttered to lack of real public health protections. Factories where livestock is “raised” are euphemistically called”farms”. All exacerbated by the ruinination of the wilderness, as of the commons. Fires, droughts, floods, pollution of air, waters and seas now are the” norm”.

          The rural people will greet the peddler with his wagon of “essentials”, such as a cook pot, ladles and knives, buttons, thread, needles, as well as the rare items of luxury like crafts made soaps and preserved peaches. Moma’s birthday is coming up…Just one possible story away from the naked cities.

  9. Mikel

    “Closing the ‘collpse’ gap…”

    Why is the British Empire never included in these comparisons? Forever and a day I see the cold-war induced paranoia that leads to the comparisons with Russia/Soviet Union and then comparisons to Rome, based on hazy interpretations of history.

    How is the British Empire collapse going? Is it even over? Etc…

    Lots more similarities with Great Britain and the USA. Not only with global military prominence, but language, judicial systems, and, more importantly, global reserve currency status…which Great Britain had something similar to in the past and more recently than any “Rome”. The Soviet Union never had that.

    Hope to inspire a long neglected conversation.

    1. Vandemonian

      How is the British Empire collapse going?

      Still a handful of colonies to be vacated: Scotland, Wales, Northerm Ireland, Chagos Islands…

      1. Mikel

        Yet, there is more than one way to “colonize”.
        The financialization of everything, the offshoring of finance, etc – I look at Great Britain as the model for modern times.

    2. vao

      I contend an even better comparison is with the Spanish empire, ca. 250 years ago.

      1) At that time the largest empire, by far. The British and French empires did not compare before well into the 19th century.

      2) A cultural reference — Spain and Spanish themes were important themes in European literature and music from the 18th till the early 20th century.

      3) A bigoted society, where piety had to be unquestionable and hence tended to ostentatiousness. The Church was influent, the Inquisition made sure to crush any deviancy.

      4) While Spain’s army was merely a shadow of the once fearsome tercios (at the time of the pike and musket), its navy was huge, powerful and present everywhere. The French had better ships, the British had better crews — but facing a Spanish ship or fleet led by a competent commander was something to avoid. In fact, Spain built the most powerful ship in the age of sail (the Santísima Trinidad).

      5) Very high inequality — normal in European Ancien Régime — but even then it was extreme. A tiny elite of supremely wealthy “grandes” and a populace wracked by poverty, with widespread banditry. Those portraits by Goya of haughty, degenerate aristocrats in their luxurious dwellings and of pictures of roadsides teeming with starving beggars in rags? That was Spain.

      6) A country in the process of de-(pre)-industrialization, dependent on importing manufactured goods from the Netherlands and China. An agriculture in an advanced state of deliquescence. Those aforementioned aristocrats derived their fortunes from the slave-run plantations and mines in the Americas, and from the trade with China; they did not care about economic development in Spain.

      7) A whole class of officials living from stipends of the state, often corrupt or incompetent, contemptuous of tradesmen and craftsmen, but always at the mercy of falling into disgrace and thence into penury.

      8) Spain minted the world currency, and it was a silver one. Spanish silver currency was accepted everywhere; it was legal tender in various countries, from the largest trading entity (China) to a newly independent country (the USA). When the colony of Australia asked for currency to bootstrap its economy, England sent chests full of Spanish silver currency for that purpose.

      At the time, about 40% of the entire silver currency in circulation worldwide was Spanish currency. After some important production sites were exhausted elsewhere (like in Japan), the various Spanish mines throughout the Americas (especially in Mexico and Bolivia) produced 60% of the yearly minted silver currency in the world. This is how a decaying Spain could afford such a large navy, import everything it needed, pay for its empire and remain an unavoidable diplomatic player. Well, most of that money ultimately ended up in China and India, from which Europe imported so many goods.

      Take the USA, replace the Spanish pieces of eight with the dollar, the Spanish armada with the US air forces (including everything that flies, helicopters, drones and airplanes) and the comparison with the Spanish empire in 1771 looks intriguing. An equivalence between the USA in 2021 with the Soviet Union in 1981 or the Roman empire in 371 is not at all convincing; even a parallel with the British empire in 1921 is questionable (economically overtaken by competitors, but not de-industrialized).

      1. Mikel

        But once world maps filled out to more their present day state, they didn’t have the reach of the British Empire or control as much land mass.

        And modern industrialization – more likeness between USA and Great Britain.

        And Great Britain was still a Global Empire around the time of WWI. After which, was the beginning of alot of the modern world and beginning of many conflicts as we know it. The Soviet Union was a post WW1 construct.

        But yes, you do have to think of Spain when you think of the current construct of the Americas.

        1. vao

          The actual size of the empire is less important than the fact it was very large in absolute terms, and the largest of all by a wide margin. Remember that in the heydays of the Spanish empire, many regions of the globe had not even been explored by Europeans. The map was still largely blank.

          More significant are the socio-economic similarities. The British empire de-industrialized just as it collapsed, after WWII. Prior to that, its industry was still churning everything the country needed and was competing globally. Spain de-industrialized (ok, pre-industrial revolution, so de-manufacturized) well before its demise. The USA is well on the way to descend to a similar state.

          Till the end, the UK was world-class in military equipment and personnel (all branches); Spain definitely was not: the army had decayed, the navy had numerous and powerful, though not quite state-of-the-art vessels manned by generally mediocre, sometimes brilliant and experienced sailors and officers. The USA is in a similar situation: the navy is a joke (incapable of designing ships, incapable of operating them — see the stunning accidents in the Pacific and the Persian Gulf, its officers corrupt — see the famous “fat Leonard” case). Ever since the Korean war, the army never attempted to confront a competent adversary head-on, relying upon air support to win the day. That is where the USA is dominant — but even there, very experienced personnel is manning excellent, but aging models of planes and helicopters, while newer planes are a joke (the F-35), and helicopters have difficulties operating at the altitudes of Afghanistan. Drones seem quite allright though.

          NakedCapitalism has long reported on the characteristics of the “professional managerial class”. Utterly contemptuous of what it views as “deplorables” or rednecks; afflicted by virulent bigotry (from “political correctness” to “wokeness”); obsessed by standing and markers of distinction; unashamedly corrupt (see the college admission scandal); and largely dependent upon the largesses of the State for its livelihood (finance spigot from the FED to sustain the FIRE sector; orders from the Pentagon for what remains of the industry; subsidies to prevent agriculture, car manufacturers, airlines, etc, from sinking; blatant or circuitous funding to the space and pharmaceutical sectors; often sectors of rent extraction instead of production). All the while, homeless camps are spreading, and violence and criminality reaches levels unmatched in every other advanced country. The UK was bad, it had a vicious class structure and a ruthlessly exploitative colonial system, but its society never plunged into such a form of deliquescence. Spain, on the other hand…

          A major point is that Spain kept its rank and power because it could mint the world currency. Likewise, the USA “prints” the world currency, which is recognized as the basis of its power.

          The UK was shaken by WWI while at its peak or not long thereafter, then cracked under the stress of the second world war. The abandonment of the imperial realm was rapid. Spain endured a prolonged decadence as a superpower before being wiped out by external forces (the French, the British, independentists in the Americas). The USA seem to have been on a similar declining path ever since the end of the second Indochina war. It is less inglorious to be compared to the British empire than the Spanish one, but alas, the reverse is probably more realistic.

          1. Oh

            The British pound which was the world’s currency was undercut and minimized by the US$ during the Suez crisis and it never recovered. The US is all too much dependent on imports and has destroyed its manufacturing base. This will undoubtedly lead to the destruction of the US$ as a world currency.

        1. Wukchumni

          I bought and sold a couple of ‘dumps’ one of them I bought at a coin show in Germany in the 80’s for practically nothing and made a ‘small but useful profit’ which was a phrase a UK numismatist I knew liked to say when he made a killing on something.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Beneath the Soil of Blair Mountain”

    About the most interesting part of this story is where it says ‘For decades, the miners kept quiet fearing prosecution by the state or federal government while West Virginia State officials worked to keep accounts of the Mine Wars out of textbooks and the larger national history of the United States.’ Having said this, I wish that there was more context to the finds shown in this article as in did they map them and try to put together the story what those articles told? The context in other words of where those finds were made. Let me illustrate.

    Decades ago there was a fire that swept through the battlefield site of the Little Big Horn. A lot of the brush and vegetation was all burned away which made the actual ground available suddenly for close examination for the first time. The site was thoroughly examined by archaeologist and if I recall correctly, one blue coat was found. But they were able to put these finds into context. By the surviving bullets, they found that the Indians had superior weapons in use against the blue coats. The pattern of where the artifacts were found actually told the story of how this battle evolved and some individual’s movements could be traced by their bullets. So I hope that the same will be true of Blair Mountain.

  11. jr

    Re: Orlov

    I was a reader of Orlov years ago and I have always found his writings interesting and useful although I don’t agree with a lot of the politics being kicked around. One thing I didn’t appreciate was his, and his readers, attitudes towards social justice. There is a definite libertarian streak in his realm although I don’t know that he believes himself to be one. They essentially lumped all social justice efforts as the work of “SJW’s” etc. and there was a lot of talk about the “culture of poverty” and other shibboleths.

    Here is a panel talk featuring John Michael Greer, Frank Morris, James Kunstler, Orlov, and Chris Martenson discussing the impending collapse. I’m not a fan of a lot of the politics being kicked around, especially when immigration comes up, but there is much of value, I think:

    It’s worth remembering too that Greer predicted the rise of Trump:

    1. dftbs

      I agree with what you say, I think Orlov and a lot of the company on the panel have exceptional analysis, but I don’t agree with all their politics(and consequently disagree with many of their prescriptions). I think Orlov’s philosophy in particular, and that of many post-Soviet Russians, have navigated the historical event they lived through rather interestingly.

      In some regards they alienate themselves from “communism” as a force that provided no agency for the constituent people of the USSR. I think this is something that jives with our western prejudices of that system. In other regards they identify a lot of the strength and resurgence of contemporary Russia in the legacy left from the USSR. Be it the scientific legacy of advanced space exploration, weapons systems and research programs, or the historical and moral glory of defeating Nazism.

      I’m not accusing them of something as simple as “having their cake and eating it too.” Rather, I find the way they mend this contradiction very interesting. It seems to me they reconcile it by elevating the importance of Russian nationalism, vis-a-vis spirituality (Orthodox Christianity). Now as someone outside that culture, I may think that is at best affectation and worst the seeds of revanchist nationalism. But I think if you were one of these post-Soviet Russians trying to piece the country and society back together through the disaster of the 90s; you would grab all the glue on the shelf. The result being that Russian national character appears to be more honest about itself than our own American one. Rather than curate their history to contour to their contemporary self-perception, they admit all of their history, “good” and “bad”. This allows them to create goals and archetypes outside of contemporary politics, allows them to see Peter the Great, Alexander I, Prince Bragation, Lenin, Stalin, Zhukov as great men despite their different politics. The guy may have seized my great-great-great-great-Grand dad’s estate but he chased the Grand Armee back to Paris; the guy may have thrown my uncle in a gulag, but he beat the Nazis.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Dealing with Lenin and Stalin isn’t easy. Lenin’s tomb still sits on Red Square, and there’s no consensus as to what to do with it. So it stays. And of course it’s hard to find a town in Russia without at least one street named after Lenin, while two of Moscow’s main thoroughfares are named after him. Stalin is even more controversial. A few years back Putin made quite the kerfuffle by kind-of rehabilitating Stalin; really nothing more than acknowledging that Stalin was a capable administrator “despite some excesses” and was a highly successful war leader, but the outcry was such that it went no further than that. I’m not aware of any streets named after Stalin, nor any statues (not in Russia anyway). Plus he was Georgian not Russian, which muddies the waters further. It’s a complicated history. Orlov’s take is interesting; I don’t agree with all he says, but he’s always intelligent and thought-provoking. I do think he’s right that if a 1990s-type collapse hits the USA, the Americans will not cope as well as the Russians did.

  12. SteveD

    Another “upvote” for Closing the Collapse Gap
    Reading the slides only provides an excellent thought exercise, and doesn’t take very long. Thanks for posting Lambert!

    1. Mikel

      Provides a binary thought exercise. Throw in Great Britain in the comparison and start to get multidimensional.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Chinese hull market overtakes Lloyd’s”

    China may have another reason to do this. In the past the US and its allies have yanked the insurance of ships moving cargoes to countries that the US does not like. By doing their own insurance, this will make them immune to such attacks and I am wondering now about whether they are offering insurance to ships that might be under such insurance attacks. So Iran is shipping fuel to Lebanon to solve some of the worse problems that Lebanon has but this was done by Hezbollah rather than the Lebanese government. So I am asking myself if those ships are now insured by the Chinese.

  14. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “More Americans are taking jobs without employer benefits like health care or paid vacation– Vox”

    And the real meaning of “transitory” . . . .

    “On the call, the Biden aides said the president has always felt that the federal program was meant to be temporary, according to three people who were part of the conversation or briefed on its contents.”

    “Biden added: “We’re ending all of those things that are things keeping people from going back to work.””

    . . . . is a reminder of, “the incentives to work”, where; “In his lectures of 1919–20 on economic history, Weber similarly remarked that under the capitalist conditions of the free sale of labour, workers ‘actually under the compulsion of the whip of hunger, offer themselves’.”—-“Max Weber and the Sociology of the Market”

    That is, “[those who are propertyless] have nothing to offer but their labor or the resulting products and….are compelled to get rid of these products in order to subsist at all.” And, “[Action that is motivated by self-interest can still be] substantively heteronomously determined…[in] a market economy, though in a formally voluntary way. This is true whenever the unequal distribution of wealth, and particularly of capital goods, forces the non-owning group to comply with the authority of others in order to obtain any return at all for the utilities they can offer on the market….In a purely capitalist organization of production this is the fate of the entire working class.”—-“The Shadow of Exploitation in Weber’s Class Analysis”

    Where ‘self interest’ is understood to mean, work or starve. You are entirely ‘free’ to choose.

    It is, “The dark shattered underbelly of the American dream. Avoid it like the plague. It stares back at you from your bathroom mirror. Drown!”

    1. Mildred Montana

      Your comment reminds me of what some Reaganite/Laffer Curve idiot said back in the ’80s:

      “In order to succeed, all the poor need is the spur of their own poverty.”

  15. Mildred Montana

    “Inequality, Interest Rates, Aging, and the Role of Central Banks The Overshoot”

    From the article: “No model can capture all of the relevant mechanisms, which is probably why every model that’s produced estimates of “neutral” (or “natural”) interest rates generates extremely strange results at least some of the time. In practice, the best that central bankers can hope for is to get reasonably close with trial and error. As Richard Clarida, the Federal Reserve’s Vice Chairman, put it at the end of 2018, the “key parameters that describe the long-run destination of the economy are unknown”—and the only solution is to constantly update your estimates as new data come in.”

    Wow, what an admission of the futility of macro-economics/central banking. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    For some reason, after reading it I keep thinking of tea leaves, astrology, chicken entrails, and the Oracles of Delphi. It must be all those “extremely strange results” and all that “trial and error”.

    One question: What “model” explains why markets, rents, and housing prices are all up about 15% this year while interest and savings rates are stuck at 0%?

    /sounds of tea leaves, astrology charts, and chicken entrails being consulted

    1. dftbs

      The title of the article is very funny. It’s like “Bill Withers records, Champagne, what cereal will be available for breakfast tomorrow, and how babies are made” The role of central banks, and their fostering of inequality through asset inflation and artificially low interest rates are the vicious cycle. Aging is a canard here, as population growth rates are not expected to temper in “non-developed” nations; I suppose those people are not expected to have “demand”. Mama’s don’t let your babies grow up to be economists.

  16. drumlin woodchuckles

    About Myanmar, I try not to say this so often as to sound like a broken record.

    That the NUG has called for uprising of the whole country against the Tatmadaw GovRegime re-inforces my feeling that the two sides will fight until one side has exterminated the other side into total submission or extinction. Either the NUG-identified and adjacent uprisers will kill the Tatmadaw into submission or extinction,most of all focusing on the officer class and the junta class ( of whom permitting any survivors would be a fatal mistake), or the Tatmadaws will exterminate the NUGies into abject submission or extinction. I personally think the Tatmadaws will go for extinction. ” The NUG fighters are very brave. They never ever surrender. They fight to the last man, woman and child. They never allow themselves to be taken prisoner. They be all that they can be.” That’s how the Tatmadaws would spin it.

    ( I remember hearing back during the Falklands War that most British retakers of the Islands captured any number of Argentine prisoners. But a detachment of Nepalese Gurkas took zero prisoners. Their explanation was that ” the Argentine soldiers were very brave. They fought to the last man.” )

    1. lambert strether

      I have been saying this, in my mild way, for some time. The ethnic army general who called for the people to be stoic was quite right. All this is why Myanmar is such an intriguing natural experiment. And you can bet that tyrants all over the wotld, including thise in our own country, are watching to see what the Tatmadaw’s fate is very carefully.

      1. rsw

        I dunno. Given that I no longer live in the US and in any case never watched TV news when I was there for 20 years (I absolutely loathed all of it, without exception), I have no actually idea about Maddow. Does she particularly matter? All I can see from my little perch over in Europe now is a bunch of button-pushing going on all round that just seems like pure and utter madness. I’ve seen similar stories that flip the flow starting on the right, debunked by the left, no one is the bit wiser but everyone is feeling smug. The smugness-industrial complex.

        I guess the point Scott Alexander is making is that everyone is feeding their priors, which only extends the madness, instead focusing on the truth of the matter. Instead this was a meta-story for everyone. Everyone gets their preferred prior confirmed and perpetuates the cycle. Maybe the NC take is just part of it? How do you instead get past all that? The media is awful, I get it. I had to leave partly because the US has the most toxic mental environment I’ve lived in (I don’t claim wide experience but I do speak other languages and live in other mental environments that I can compare to), and to me was unbearable. So how do you get a Superfund up and running on the American toxic mental dump?

  17. Cat Burglar

    The Minnesota scandal over the police deletions of emails and texts covering their response to the BLM disturbances is not the only one. In Seattle, it appears the Mayor’s office is behind a similar campaign of deletions, though the lawsuits are still going forward.

    During civil disturbances, the authorities violate the rights of demonstrators and expect to be sued and lose — it is just a cost of doing business. There was the Seattle WTO protest suit (surrounding protestors, ordering them to disperse, preventing them form leaving, and arresting them), the Port Of Oakland protest against the Iraq war (firing wooden dowels and rubber pellets at peaceful protestors), and others. In the current cases, authorities hope to limit the political exposure of their orders, and maybe save a little money.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      It appears that the forces of authority are stronger than any demonstration and will remain that way.
      Perhaps the sort of people who automatically think of demonstrating should think of something else instead.

      What would that be? I have my ideas and other people have their ideas. Perhaps all ideas should be expressed and considered and tried by groups who like one idea or another.

      I see the young tiktokkers are beginning to figure out how to find, fix and paralyze targets in Texas with ad hoc digital mobbing attacks. They might have a lot to offer in many contexts.

      If the gears are digital, that’s a good place to put digital sand between.

  18. Brian Beijer

    I realize this is off topic, but I’m so depressed about the news I heard today that I feel the need to write a comment here about it. The Swedish government just announced today that they are ending almost all restrictions; meaning no more advising to work from home, no more restrictions about the number of people who can be at a restaurant/ bar, and I believe no more recommendations to social distance/ wear masks. It can be a little confusing considering that different agencies are in charge of different recommendations.

    What remaining buffers we had against this disease have been taken away today just as children are going back to school and as dropping temperatures start forcing everyone indoors. The government stated that Covid is something we all must learn to live with AND that getting the disease provides just as much immunity as getting the vaccines. At this point, they’re only recommending that the immuno-ompromised get booster shots. The government has completely given up, and they’re acting like it’s a victory.

    Luckily, over the course of this year, I’ve began to make peace with the thought of dying sooner than I expected, and I’m learning to live one day at a time. If this is how pathetic a Social Democtratic, “welfare state” country has become, then Thatcher’s statement that “There’s no such thing as society” was a prophecy that’s now been fullfilled.

    Even though I’m a big anti-gun advocate, if I lived in the US right now; I’d be stocking up on guns and ammo because it’s every person for themselves nowadays no matter where you live in the world. There’s no turning this ship around.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Keep on taking your own precautions, Brian, whether it is masks, social distancing, zinc, Ivermectin or whatever and to hell with what others say. But I would not be surprised to hear you say that you feel betrayed by your own society. It seems that the only real advice that a neoliberal society for its own people has is ‘Sauve-qui-peut’

      1. Brian Beijer

        Thanks Rev. I do plan to keep my own restrictions, health regimen and even the superstitious anti-Covid rituals for as long as the virus is still around. It’s hard for one person to fight a pandemic and have any realistic expectation to beat the odds. Unfortunately, I’m not Matt Damon ;)

  19. Matthew G. Saroff

    I dunno who does your ads, but serving up a Donald Trump silver coin, or for that matter any ad for precious metal coins, seems to be antithetical to your readership.

    Coin scams seem to be something that the readers of NC would avoid like the plague.

    1. Yves Smith

      I assure you that that is a Google ad that only you got. Yyou could have been served that on any site that serves Google ads. Moreover, Google picked that based on your viewing profile.

      And I think you should be amused that an ad is paying for content on this site that is totally at odds with the ad.

      1. Matthew G. Saroff

        I was very amused, like when I saw John McCain “Death Star” ads on my blog in 2000.

        I just wish that there was an alternative to Google for ads.

        Even when you go with another source, Google gets 80% of the vig.

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