Links 10/1/2021

Drewry Survey Of Top Shippers And Carriers On The Medium-Term Strategic Impact From The Container System Crisis Hellenic Shipping News

America faces supply-chain disruption and shortages. Here’s why Matt Stoller, Guardian (Re Silc).

There’s a Multibillion-Dollar Market for Your Phone’s Location Data The Markup

PG&E charged with manslaughter for Zogg Fire in northern California Wildfire Today


Longer NYC Commutes, Household Crowding Linked To Higher COVID-19 Rates The Gothamist (original).

The impact of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on Alpha and Delta variant transmission medRxiv.n = 51,798. From the Abstract: “We performed a retrospective observational cohort study of contacts of SARS-CoV-2-infected index cases using contact testing data from England…. Vaccination reduces transmission of Delta, but by less than the Alpha variant. The impact of vaccination decreased over time. Factors other than PCR-measured viral load are important in vaccine-associated transmission reductions. Booster vaccinations may help control transmission together with preventing infections.”

COVID Shuts Down ‘Aladdin’ Just a Day After Splashy Broadway Reopening Daily Beast. Oopsie.

Troops move to block Pentagon vaccine requirement in court The Hill

We’re Already Barreling Toward the Next Pandemic The Atlantic. Well worth a read.


Evergrande bonds snapped up by distressed debt investors FT

Greece Paves Way for China’s COSCO to Raise Piraeus Port Stake Maritime Logistics Professional

After Aukus, the Quad’s quiet resolve gives China much to think about South China Morning Post

Xi Jinping’s War on Spontaneous Order The Scholar’s Stage. Interesting!


Myanmar’s economic crisis fuels underground currency trading Straits Times

Myanmar Junta Crony Plays Key Role in Arms Purchases From Ukraine The Irrawaddy

Myanmar’s ethnic Bamar majority seeks amends with Rohingya after they, too, face military violence Globe and Mail

The Lockdown is Lifted Vietnam Weekly. For Ho Chi Minh city. But the provinces differ.

Australia’s NSW state premier resigns over corruption probe amid COVID-19 battle Reuters. Gladys: “My work here is done.”

Melbourne grand final parties directly linked to record-breaking COVID-19 cases in Victoria Perth Now. Extroverts are gonna kill us all.


India coal crisis brews as power demand surges, record global prices bite Reuters

After meeting Biden and Harris in the US, Modi discovers that the Sword of Democracy is double-edged The Scroll

The Koreas

Women Don’t Want to Do It, Men Don’t Have Anyone to Do It with The Blue Roof


Senior LFB officer wrote note warning of ‘significant threat’ of facade fires just weeks before Grenfell fire Inside Housing

Sunak faces the brutal maths of electric vehicles FT

Climate Is Germany’s Top Issue No Matter Who Governs After Talks Bloomberg

The Country That Makes Breakfast for the World Is Plagued by Fire, Frost and Drought Bloomberg. Brazil.

Amazon distribution center in Tijuana sits in sharp contrast to its surroundings Mexico News Daily

The Caribbean

Venezuela and the Re-Emergence Of Sovereignty in the America People’s Democracy

Biden Administration

Pelosi delays infrastructure vote as Democrats struggle to reach deal Politico. At this point, the “deal” — this deal, the previous deal having been retraded by “moderate” Democrats — is a proxy struggle not only for control of the Democrat Party, but over the role of government. That battle will still go on, deal or no deal. Based on past performance, however, it’s remarkable that Lucy and the Football has finally failed to work with “progressive” Democrats. To me, it looks like a lot of Democrats have reached a breaking point with machine politics as Pelosi and the Democrat gerontocracy conceives it, since not all the “No” votes on the BIF are from the (increasingly large) progressive caucus. Son of Brexit? Meanwhile, AFL-CIO, never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, hops into bed with the “moderates”:

Biden’s signature reforms jeopardised by Democratic infighting FT. The FT wrote a “Democrats in disarray” story, but see above.

* * *

Biden signs bill to avert shutdown The Hill

Appeals court rules FDA ‘arbitrarily and capriciously’ approved a rare disease drug STAT

Alito says recent Supreme Court decisions aren’t the work of ‘a dangerous cabal’ NBC. If you’ve got to say it….

Our Famously Free Press

Alex Jones Just Lost 2 Sandy Hook Cases HuffPo

‘You Should Get the Vaccine Despite the Media Telling You You Should’ FAIR

Why is CNN doing PR for a Middle Eastern dictatorship? Responsible Statecraft


Pompeo: Sources for Yahoo News WikiLeaks report ‘should all be prosecuted’ Yahoo News. So the story is true… .

Health Care

Woman charged for crying during surgery Boing Boing (Re Silc). Includes an image of the bill, with an $11.00 charge for 96127, “Brief Emotion”:

According to a Mentegram article titled, “CPT Code 96127: How to Increase Revenue with This NEW Behavioral or Emotional Assessment” CPT Code 96127 “is a code that may be used to report brief behavioral or emotional assessments for reimbursement” and “may be billed four times for each patient per visit, utilizing four different instruments or assessments. So not only will clinicians have more efficient practices by utilizing these screenings, but they can also use them to build revenue.” The article concludes with “Can you see how this missed income can really add up?”

On upcoding and the Direct Contracting Entity Business model designed to privatize Medicare, see here. It’s beautiful, in its own way. Health care for profit creates a system so vicious you cry when you experience it. Then they bill you for crying. It’s the neoliberal circle of life!

Groves of Academe

Australian Universities Are Finance Investors With a Side Hustle in Education Jacobin

Imperial Collapse Watch

Policy Series 2021-52: The Trump “Legacy” for American Foreign Policy International Security Studies Forum. As with so much, Trump was a catalyst, provoking a long-prepared reaction:

Cunctation may be the only realistic policy with respect to the other issues Biden must face. In the long run the United States is unlikely to overcome the assertiveness of China in geopolitical and economic terms, the resistance of both China and the Soviet Union to human rights, and the global turn to authoritarianism more widely. With respect to international economic and social issues, the major Western nations will all confront throngs of migrants fleeing collapsing or abusive state authority in Central America and the Middle East (the latter of which are more of a European concern); they have already had a hard time facing the global health issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic; and all them are struggling to institute the collective action needed to mitigate the massive impact of climate change. The harsh truth is that every president inherits a heavily encumbered international situation and must judge what to accept and what to contest. Biden has accepted Germany’s plan to move ahead with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia as a “fait-accompli,” even though it threatens to further squeeze Ukraine, and will not reduce German dependence on hydrocarbons[1] Despite ritual denials, NATO partners in general have apparently accepted the Russian annexation of Crimea as a fait-accompli. Swallowing the fait-accompli may become the leitmotif of U.S. decline even though acceptable political rhetoric will never allow it to be confessed openly.

Word of the day: Cunctation. Bonus points for getting “fait accmompli” and “leitmotif” into the same sentence.

Leader of Prestigious Yale Program Resigns, Citing Donor Pressure NYT

AP: Military units track guns using tech that could aid foes AP. Oopsie.

Pentagon, Lockheed Agree to Cut F-35 Delivery Rate American Machinist

Class Warfare

Body Horror The Baffler. Well worth a read; gets better as it goes on.

Capital Finds a Way The Age of Invention. Dutch capital drove the first enclosures.

Canada grants asylum to four people who hid Edward Snowden in Hong Kong Guardian. Virtue rewarded!

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

The alligator knows one big thing….

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. Questa Nota

        Health as a Service, the HAAS model.
        Subscribe today, while rates are still low.
        Be one of the first to sign up for the new booster shot series.
        What do you have to lose?

      2. Vandemonian

        …or run some experiments to find out whether the virus could evolve to become more infective…

      3. Jen G

        I’m not sure if NC was where I originally saw this originally, but this article from not too long ago seems pretty pertinent:

    1. Pookah Harvey

      Don’t worry. Big Pharma will direct the response for the next pandemic just as they have this one. Huge development costs (covered by the government) followed by corporate patents allowing huge profits.
      By the way Merck (who let the patent for Ivermectin expire) say they have succeeded in developing a new oral treatment for Covid. The latest drug, made by Merck, is reported to be the first that could be taken by at-risk patients at home. “It exceeded what I thought the drug might be able to do in this clinical trial,” said Dean Li, the vice-president of Merck research. “When you see a 50% reduction in hospitalisation or death, that’s a substantial clinical impact.” The United States government has agreed to purchase $1.2 billion worth of the experimental COVID-19 treatment from Merck if the drug is approved by regulators. This purchase would provide enough medication to fully treat 1.7 million people with the new drug. ($705 per treatment)
      Wow, this “new” drug seems to have the exact same effectiveness as Ivermectin has had in population based studies using the same treatment protocols. Does Ivermectin cost $705 per treatment?

      Also this would not be the first treatment that coud be taken at home. Mexico city and India have both had home treatment kits that included Ivermectin. Both have similar responses in hospitalization and mortality as the “new ” Merck drug.

      1. Mikel

        “When you see a 50% reduction in hospitalisation or death, that’s a substantial clinical impact.”

        That’s this month’s story. And that’s all that can be said for now about that “effectiveness rate”.

        Although this pill seems like it makes better sense than the spike protien shots they’re trying to inject people with over and over again with a virus that keeps mutating:
        “Since molnupiravir does not target the spike protein of the virus, which defines the differences between the variants, the drug should be equally effective as the virus continues to evolve, said Jay Grobler, head of infectious disease and vaccines at Merck.

        Molnupiravir instead targets the viral polymerase, an enzyme needed for the virus to make copies of itself. The research was presented during IDWeek.”

        But it’s going to be any side effects that determine how much of a game changer it is.

  1. David May

    “Extroverts are going to kill us all.”

    If anything, I have a feeling that it will be the socially inept who come out of this worse off. Bookishness is overrated: it is mainly geeks and nerds who have brought us to the precipice of nuclear and environmental annihilation. Party on kids, you owe the older generation nothing except contempt.

    1. jr

      “ Party on kids, you owe the older generation nothing except contempt”

      I was chatting with a buddy who is in her mid-twenties last night. She doesn’t see why she should take any steps to ameliorate her “environmental impact” when the corporations and government aren’t doing anything. Her roommates try to compost but for what? It’s all just environmental theatre as far as she is concerned. This is an intelligent, informed young woman who has a grasp of the bigger picture.

      I’d like to disagree but what could I say? Try harder while anyone with real power and influence does jack-diddly? That’s a hard sell.

      A few years back I picked up a book of climate catastrophe sci-fi, grim reading to be sure. One of the stories described a hellish future where the environment had pretty much collapsed and humans lived in enclosed cities eating their recycled, refortified wastes.

      The now fanatical environmental movements were running the show. People’s internet histories etc. were used to judge their contribution to the collapse. The environmentally judicious were the black robed judges. The higher ranked one’s were allowed to wear hoods to avoid the merciless sun; everyone else burned. Owned a sports car? Profligate consumer lifestyle? You were dumped into a pit where you ate the remains of those dumped before you and drank whatever rain water collected.

      But it was the frequent fliers who fared the worst. They were staked down to the ground and a small greenhouse was erected over you. Then you steam-baked.

      I’m really glad I’m in my 50’s. I’m also glad my spiritual intuitions allow me to “Exit stage left!” when I deem it’s time. Unfortunately, my intuitions also suggest I’ll be back into another meat-coat. No one here gets out, alive or dead. Fricking Cosmic evolution…

      1. Hank Linderman

        Unfortunately, the solutions for dealing with plastic pollution, renewable energy, climate damage will have to come from government and business. Individuals have too little impact. Sad but true.

        I still walk when I can, avoid plastics when I can, recycle everything I can, but I’m under very little illusion that I am making much of a difference.


      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I’m in my mid-40s and have to agree with your friend. In the 80s, they taught us about acid rain and the greenhouse effect. In the 90s, it was recycling. The 2000s were “An Inconvenient Truth”. Yet things kept getting worse and during the 2010s, it became hard to ignore that it had all been lip service. When I take my recycling out or use my reusable bags or whatever, it’s really hard to not feel like it’s theater or virtue signaling. (It’s especially hard to feel like it matters when the place where I have to take my recycling is always overflowing with non-recyclable trash, construction debris, old mattresses, etc. I find it very hard to believe the City of Indianapolis doesn’t just haul those bins to the dump.)

        1. Nikkikat

          We feel the same way as you. We recycle and have been doing that for years. Raised in the sixties I have always CONSERVED. I do not get rid of something so I can have new one. I use it until it can be used no more. I used a broom until it’s bristles we’re only a quarter inch long. Threw it out after 10 years, only to buy a new one that lasted less than a year. Cheap Chinese junk. The recycling proved to be a joke when we discovered that it ended up not in a recycling plant, but on a barge to a third world country. We continued to do it anyway because the homeless people we saw at the recycler station were always there turning in plastic bottles and needed the cash and we gave them the money. It is all just pretend, theater for people who want to believe this nonsense can save us. If we stopped everything today, who would be willing to have one minute of discomfort? No one. Big business did us in; but we helped them.

          1. Michaelmas

            The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,

            But swollen with wind and the rank mist they draw,

            Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread …

            –John Milton, Lycidas

          2. Maritimer

            “The recycling proved to be a joke when we discovered that it ended up not in a recycling plant, but on a barge to a third world country.”
            I’ve posted before on this subject. In my rural area, huge diesel trucks with multiple bins and lifting mechanisms drive around in sparsely populated areas collecting small amounts of garbage thence to a recycling plant. Most of this refuse is all mixed together and, to get any value, must be sorted which costs money. Giants Of Garbage was published in 1993 and describes this whole racket in detail as it existed at that time. You can imagine the refinements in succeeding years. Huge profits beget more and more racketeering.

            Garbage is a Global Racket and possibly a template for other Rackets, like Big Pharma, to go Global.

            One feature of this is that the Garbage cannot be controlled at source, the Giant Corps, like Walmart, Amazon, etc. but must be done by you, the end user. You must also educate yourself to the different types of Garbage and which bins/bags to put the stuff in.

            Another sad feature of this is they have the Behavioural Scientists on board to exploit Human Emotions and Feelings for the Racket’s ends.
            “I feel good I sorted my garbage today!”

        2. Jeff W

          According to this article, “it turns out that at least 85% of single-use plastics in the state [of California] do not actually get recycled. Instead, they wind up in the landfill.” All those “recyclable” plastic items with the arrow triangle symbols with numbers inside? Most of those—the ones with numbers 3 through 7—are not consistently recycled.

          The oil industry has known for decades that the overwhelming majority of plastic—over 90%— never would be, and, in a practical sense, never could be recycled but misled the public into believing otherwise.

      3. jr

        Thanks for the comments. The one that gets me is the fact that I can recycle the hard plastics but the ubiquitous soft plastic and styrofoam goes right to the dump. As for bio-plastics, I believe they are made from corn, whose horrid story is well known here. Sigh. The makers of Ikea must have a special room in Hell.

        Sometimes I think what the planet must have looked like 5000 years ago. Must have been beautiful.

      4. drumlin woodchuckles

        Your younger buddy might want to take those particular “environmental-stress mitigation behaviors” which would also make her more personally survival-ready for surviving through the Long Jackpot, if she decides she wants to survive.

      1. Maritimer

        My sympathetic heart goes out to all those Mom ‘n Pop investors in those great and wonderful Broadway shows, particularly those that address real problems in our society. No hoofin’/singin” it on Broadway!

        Possibly, the Federal Government, when they become aware of the stress these small investors are facing could come up with a plan including tax deductions, subsidies, and other forms of relief that will keep this vital industry healthy. Possibly also private Foundations, Trusts and other such socially minded entities could step in with some funding. Just a thought

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      If it is mainly the geeks and nerds who have brought us to this precipice, then why do the kids owe the non-geeks and non-nerds of the older generation nothing but contempt? And if so, why?

      And do the kids owe respect to the young geeks and young nerds of their own generation? And if so, why?

  2. griffen

    More clips like that catch and relesse! That was quite awesome to watch, inventive too with a big a$$ garbage or recycle bin.

    1. Wukchumni

      It was inspiring until the alligator wrangler went a whole few hundred feet away to release it, as if that is going to accomplish anything?

      Maybe a good metaphor for our military misadventures in the middle east…

      1. Raymond Sim

        C’mon man, look at the terrain. If they’ve got one alligator they’ve got twenty. This is coexistence.

        Would Sasquatch have to toss you a whole mile for you to understand not to go back where he found you?

        1. Wukchumni

          I apologize in that the only cold blooded creatures slithering around these parts are Kevin y Devin, and i’m familiar with their behavior and thought all reptiles were alike, my bad.

        2. JP

          I realized when we moved from the big city to the central valley that coexistence was the only way to support a community. My neighbors all have Kevin y Devin signs in their front yards (we aren’t even in Devin’s district). We all get along but don’t talk politics at the block party but, more to the point, I relocate any rattle snakes that I find too close to the house. When I let then go I always entreat them to keep their distance. A few days ago I had a returnee. I guess I will have to rethink my commitment to inclusivity.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Don’t rattlesnakes eat mostly rodents? If you delete all your rattlesnakes, won’t you get a surplus of rodents?

            And rattlesnakes are nice enough to rattle when you get too close, so you can back off. So unless you have pets and children, are the rattlesnakes really a problem?

            ( When I was a child, Dad once brought a black widow spider in a jar into the house and showed us all what it was. He told us there was one of them under every single upside down flower pot and in every weeper hole in the retaining walls. They would rather not bite, but would bite if bothered. So don’t bother them.)

      2. Vandemonian

        Down here it’s possums I relocate. After a 20 mile drive, crossing a river, I doubt I get many returnees…

    2. Eustachedesaintpierre

      It sort of reminds me of how the Manchester drug squad once dealt with pit bulls by taking a plastic dustbin to have open & ready before they smashed the door in, of what the officer said were mainly flats / apartments. which worked like a treat he said – although once when their intelligence was incorrect, they had a very hard time when the dog that leapt out was a huge rottweiler. He also told me that the government banning – in the 90’s I think, of fighting dogs in the UK was partly due to pressure from the cops.

      Another tale he told me of how they would using a cover story I have forgotten, get rookies to lie in one of those morgue drawers & leave them there for a few minutes, before the cop who would be lying alongside of him, would turn & scream into his face.

      Sometimes you can meet interesting people at airports.

    3. fresno dan

      October 1, 2021 at 8:20 am
      I was impressed with the alligator’s reverse gear. It can really go backwards well!

      1. Lee

        And running forward it can reach 35 mph in short bursts. Relative rates of acceleration would matter a great deal in such close quarters.

        1. jr

          The trick is to zig-zag when a gator charges, they have to stop and turn to charge again.

          @ Wuk
          It’s pretty common for people to live quite close to large populations of gators in Florida. Apparently SC as well but then petting one is never advised:

          When I was in high school, we took a trip to the Cape Canaveral wildlife refuge. There was a 9 footer sitting by the parking area and we were all marveling at it. As we watched, a British tourist picked up her toddler and began to make her way towards it. We screamed at her to stop and she did. She asked what the fuss was and a classmate said “Watch.” He tossed a big stick at the beast and it instantly curled up into it’s defensive “doughnut” posture, hissing in anger. The woman burst into tears, she had thought they were lethargic enough to sit her child on it’s back. You would think instinct would have told her this was a very bad idea.

          Can’t fix stupid.

            1. kgw

              Great place! Used to visit as an adolescent…The real stars were the Nile Crocodiles in huge circular pits (bummer, I know). They are immense!

          1. Lee

            “The trick is to zig-zag when a gator charges”

            The number and variety of handy survival tips one finds on this site is truly impressive.

  3. Richard H Caldwell

    “It’s beautiful, in its own way. Health care for profit creates a system so vicious you cry when you experience it. Then they bill you for crying. It’s the neoliberal circle of life!”

    A masterpiece in the short essay category. Bravo!

    1. Lee

      I am reminded of a line from the film The Big Sleepin which Bogart’s character describes a thug so vicious that “He’d knock your teeth in and then kick you in the stomach for mumbling.”

    2. fresno dan

      Richard H Caldwell
      October 1, 2021 at 8:25 am

      So what is the opportunity for compounding of returns? Say the woman cries when she sees the bill for crying, and then is billed for that crying, which elicits still more crying…I would imagine there is a surcharge for crying that occurs because of crying about billing – as opposed to crying about the amount of the original billing and the amount charged for the procedure. As well as excess crying charges related to crying about the amount of the crying charges (for a single bill of crying. This is in no way related to the special charges for crying related to the number of bills for crying charges…versus of course the crying charges for the number of non crying medical charges…)
      All I can say is thank heavens I am not charged for anger related to:
      1. Doctor’s offices not returning phone calls
      2. Doctors being late to scheduled office appointments by at least an hour (are they doing open heart surgery at the office???)
      3. Appointments made by doctors at hospital laboratories, of which the hospital laboratory has no knowledge.
      4. Instructions to go to hospitcal ER for pneumonia by my doctor because my doctor said my cardiologist said so, when I don’t have pneumonia, and my cardiologist says he said no such thing….

      but I’m not gonna cry about it….cause I can’t afford to

      1. newcatty

        An anecdote to commiserate:
        Husband suspected that he had a hernia ( a first for him). Called PCP and told to go directly to ER. The usual fun and games. A resident saw him first. Yep, a hernia. She said, Now you will be seen by an attending doc. Another wait in another room. This one had TV! Finally ushered into another exam room. Attending doc saunters in and says, with a big grin, Weeel, do we have a tummy ache ( this to a 60 something year old man). I bite bullets, and say something like, The first doc to examine him said it probably is a hernia. He said, Ummm. Left room for some minutes. Came back with a chart and examines patient. Yeah, hernia. No emergency. Will need surgery. Do we schedule that with you? No, Call your PCP. We call his PCP. They give us referral to surgeon. All went well. TG, there are docs like IM doc in our world.

  4. Wukchumni

    Alex Jones Just Lost 2 Sandy Hook Cases HuffPo
    Its a funny country, you can lose a tremendous amount of money by asserting that a mass murder by hand-cannon of 6 year old kids never happened, imagine the ramifications now for those who believe the moon landing was faked?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Jones is being sued for defamation. Did Buzz Aldrin have problems because of basement dwellers or because he was a drunk? He never lost employment or had to move because someone thought Kubrick was sending a message in Eyes Wide Shut beyond “I made a terrible mistake casting Tom Cruise in this movie.” The comparison is an apples to something non organic that would never be mistaken for an apple.

      1. Wukchumni

        I knew of a fellow who worked for an auction house, which among many items they offered,up for bids, was space memorabilia auctions.

        He used to joke that if all the stuff that was claimed ‘flight flown’ on Apollo 11 that had ended up for sale later, there was no way the Saturn V rocket could’ve left the gantry.

        What if I claimed the Challenger never blew up, am i in cahoots with Alex?

        1. RockHard

          I have no idea what is going on in this thread. I’m struggling to pull together the relation to Kubrick, alcoholism, the fact that people sell fake memorabilia.

          Yet it does seem like an odd editorial note, Alex Jones filed under “our famously free press”. From a quick glance at the story, he was subpoenaed, he failed to produce documents, the court ordered a default judgement. *Shrug* life goes on.

          I will allow that it is indeed a funny country, you can make a tremendous amount of money by asserting that a mass murder by hand-cannon of 6 year old kids never happened.

  5. vlade

    FT article on Sunak and EVs.. Fascinating tidbit is that the article does not compare the EV/FF on the ticket price, but on the leasing/running price. Do really most new cars get out as leases rather than outright purchases? I know that at least here second hand leases are generally considered lemons (“why would the guy take care of it?” being the question asked), so it will be interesting to see whether second hand EV lease cars will really keep the value so well…

    (never mind the fact that “let’s lease it for three four years then get a new one” is not very green at all..).

    1. Craig H.

      Do really most new cars get out as leases rather than outright purchases?

      The source is Dave Ramsey so I am not sure if it is 100% authentic but it really stuck in my mind when I saw it. For Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, & Lexus, greater than 67% new car deals are leased. So when your neighbor gets a new one of those brands do not be impressed is the lesson I guess.

      1. Ignacio

        It is true that leasing is the new normal, and not only for luxury car manufacturers. Auto makers indeed prefer leasing possibly because in the long run they sell more vehicles if leasing time is shorter than possession of purchased vehicles. As vlade says, not very ‘green’ as if anything related with cars could be green…

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I think that for the sake of making a realistic annual cost comparison, he has lumped in ‘leasing’, ‘PCP’ and ‘finance’ cars together. So far as I’m aware, they all pretty much come down to the same thing in the end. Very few people in the UK seem to buy a car with cash these days.

      That said, there are annualised car cost calculators out there that he could have used instead (I think they tend to be ignored because most people grossly underestimate the ‘real’ monthly cost of running a car and the industry doesn’t like letting too many people know this). He seems to have just run a few crude sums through his calculator to come up with an article. I’m pretty sure that the Treasury knows exactly what this is costing them, and they wouldn’t be doing it if it was that expensive. They may see that encouraging a ‘churn’ of new cars being purchased has overall tax benefits.

      Of course, it could just be that they’ve run this past the pollsters and they find that its popular with a lot of Tories, especially the type who drive company cars and want to look a little virtuous when rolling into the office carpark.

      1. albrt

        This seems as good a place as any for my entry in the “ultimate humblebrag” contest:

        My 1996 Ford Escort wagon finally qualified for historic vehicle license plates this year (must be 25 years old). After two weeks of persuasion I finally convinced the motor vehicle department to issue them yesterday.

        As an aside, I also owned a Honda Civic hybrid for 14 years in the interim. Would not recommend anything containing large computerized batteries. Had to replace them 3 times and when it failed again I sold it for scrap. Clearly only intended to last the duration of a standard lease.

      2. Anon

        Car salesmen don’t sell motor vehicles, they sell financial vehicles. You don’t buy products, but ‘lifestyles’. Americans are masters at living beyond their means… it’s at the point, where you are perceived as odd if you are not drowning in debt… and indeed, people who could never achieve financial solvency in their lifetime are among the most confident, illustrious members of the society. It’s truly bizarre.

        1. Wukchumni

          Watching NFL yesterday, the commercials were primarily for sportsbooks or new cars. The latter were ‘spoketemkin village’ in that the vehicles exist in the commercials, but dealerships don’t have any to offer.

        2. Brian Beijer

          I was reading you comment and realized that I’m 51 years old and I’ve never purchased a car in my life. I have owned 5 cars but not bought a single one of them. It never struck me that this is unusual until just now. I guess the trick is to marry into a family who’s addicted to buying cars. They seem to always want to give me theirs when they go to purchase a new one. I do have a lot of debt and every dollar of it is student loans. The family members who are obsessed with getting new cars all went to college in the 70s… and have no student debt.

    3. Zamfir

      Depends on the location, but in some places it’s the majority of new cars. It’s a good chunk of the market everywhere.

      At least where I live, lease firms tend to take good care of their cars. And they are relatively honest about problems, compared to the average private owner. For their business model, it is important that they can sell used vehicles fast, for a reasonable price, at low effort. So reputation is crucial. When they put a car for sale, buyers (especially used car dealers) should be willing to buy sight unseen, on reputation only.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        With panned obsolescence, a separate crisis from the consumer perspective, and issues with the supply of mechanics and costs of repairs, it’s crossing into no brainer category to lease in many cases. Dealer maintenance costs are included, so if you arent set up to just do it yourself. And how many vehicles does one need before justifying setting up to do it ones self.

        I seem to have in my head that a lease is better than any car kept for six to eight years.

        Disclaimer I have a 15 year old camry which will be replaced by my dad’s altima or a probably a civic depending on the status of my dad’s driving abilities. I’ve never seriously looked at leasing except for fun purposes.

      2. lordkoos

        I’ve always heard that leasing a car is a raw deal for most people. I made a good buy this year on a 2006 Lexus that had been a leased vehicle when new. There were 85,000 miles on the car. It had been meticulously maintained at the dealership its entire life and my mechanic said it was in great shape. It has a few minor dings and scrapes here and there but $6500 for for a super-Toyota that sold for $32k when new is a no-brainer. I’d much rather buy an off-lease car than lease a new one.

    4. Maritimer

      Leasing story:
      Had a Honda Fit 2007. About two years after purchase, got a recall letter for the odometer. Took it in and had it fixed. About six months later, got a letter from a law firm regarding a Class Action concerning the odometer. Being a skeptic, I called the law firm and got more info:

      A lawyer in Texas (where else?) had leased a Honda and meticulously kept his mileage records for expenses. After a while he noticed odometer did not match his mileage always registering more miles than he had actually travelled.

      In looking further, he saw that Honda on his vehicle was using a Maintenance Minder. So, because of the mile overage, Maintenance was more frequent and thus more profit. In addition, more miles travelled on a lease more profit.

      These corps have analysts working overtime on their scams. Always beware!

      For a real auto biggie see VW Dirty Money at your local Torrent Dealer.

  6. Stephen V.

    Body Horror indeed:
    Solitude “is the primary condition of total submission,” which is perhaps why isolating—or individuating—is not only the punishment of choice among jailers, but the fundamental condition of American life, particularly as applied to health and wellness. Unquote.
    For another perspective on prisons, check out CAGED, By the NJ Prison Theater Cooperative. Intro by Chris Hedges who has taught in prisons for years.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “Oubliette” is one of my favorite French words:

      “to forget”

      in non-chaostime, i do solitude, a lot.
      but then, i’m strange…when i was a kid, mom was forever frustrated that sending me to my room was no punishment at all…I’d read…or just stare out the window and think.
      solitude is pretty easy to accomplish out here…dead end dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
      I know by sound all the vehicles that belong on this road…as well as UPS, etc.
      I’m unsure if Solitary Confinement would have the desired effect on me…although i am loathe to test it,lol.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        Amfortas — I am of a very similar temperament as you are. I was also, under a mental health/substance abuse Section of my state’s law, put into a jail (civil commitment) that was relabeled a treatment facility. (I am actually writing a white paper on the topic right now — short version is it was a horrific farce). This was at the height of Covid, and the public health solution of this oh-so-Enlightened New England state was to put the entire prison in 23.5 hr a day solitary confinement, which the UN rightly deems torture. I was in that state for a total of 12-13 days (you lose count).

        The fact of the matter is that it is in fact torture. I was lucky in that I brought about half a dozen books that I borrowed from a counselor/had my parents mail to me. I also had a writing pad and a portable radio that they issue but that got barely any reception. Even with these tools, it was extremely unpleasant. You can only sleep, read, write, so much in an 8 by 10 concrete cell. Other guys broke down, it was very difficult to hear.

        Mind you, we were civil commitments, put there to receive “treatment,” which even for this solitude-lover, turned out to be torture.

        Avoid solitary at all costs.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          aye. again, i don’t want to test it.
          8×10 concrete box vs alone on my farm in the wilderness..(but not really alone, if you count the numerous creatures…from my myriad fowl, to the squirrels, to the lizards and dragonflies…to the Big Oak, herself….i speak to all of these and more, regularly.)
          there’s no real comparison, there…choose the latter version of solitude, at all costs!
          nevertheless, perhaps introverts, with robust Life of Mind, are better able to withstand the former version…idk.
          i’m sure there’s a whitepaper somewhere on the subject…albeit locked behind a swiss corps(e)’ paywall.

          i remember keenly ,listening to my brother sob in his room, when we both got in trouble…but he’s always been more social than i….and didn’t have the reading bug, or the imagination to entertain himself….and was nowhere near as hard headed as i was.
          and as we grew, my head only got harder…endure!,lol…which has served me well with the vicissitudes….such that i could sit in jail and laugh and hold forth on random topics…while the others beat against the walls.

          “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
          ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

          I’m glad you made it through that injustice, btw…and hope that you are stronger for it.
          the “mental health system” in this country is a travesty…jail ain’t therapy.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            as far as the article, which is remarkable, and which i only now get around to:
            “This happens frequently in fascist movements, as Laing notes in observing Philip Guston’s paintings of the KKK: “The white robes are also sexless, while the hoods have no mouths, which is to say no appetite. Everything about them is designed to attest to purity, to differentiate the Klansmen from the animal bodies of the swarm. It’s funny how often this dynamic recurs, in racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, homophobia, hatred of the poor and the disabled . . . It makes me wonder if what drives prejudice is at root horror of the body itself.””

            this comports with Altemeyer’s findings:(
            feelings of disgust are harder and more intense among our right-leaning folk.

            i’ve known many, many people like that.
            given where i’ve spent my life.
            it’s like a perverse rendering of “there, but for the grace of god, go i”.
            that could happen to me, if i’m not vigilant and pure…and a warding gesture turns into a pogrom.
            from my observations, lo, these many years, FEAR is the root of it all…whether it’s susceptibilty to fascistic philosophical gurglings, or to hate the poor/queer/black rhetoric/belief.

            what this article made me think about…re: the prison…is that every single white dude i’ve met in 30 years who is outright Racist, has been in prison….has the Odin tats…and insists that they didn’t used to believe all that until they went to prison, and had to choose a side in the intraprison warfare that seems endemic…and therefore natural…but is not either.
            it is , instead, policy..whether made by the guards/warden…or in DC.
            it was thought up somewhere, and then implemented on purpose…for exactly this purpose, as near as i can tell.

            notably, every hispanic person i’ve met who’s been to prison is also quite racist..against white folks(of course) but also against black people, and even different kinds of “Hispanic” from themselves.
            Such men are, in my experience, less approachable on questions of belief and personal history…hispanic men tend to be closed books on the prison experience.
            see: Machismo, etc
            …so i so far cannot interrogate them regarding their pre-prison racism.

            1. small town white liberal

              > … every single white dude i’ve met in 30 years who is outright Racist, has been in
              > prison….has the Odin tats…and insists that they didn’t used to believe all that
              > until they went to prison …

              I grew up in the ’50s and ’60s, raised by wholly unbigoted parents who taught me and my siblings that Negroes or colored people — as they were known then — were equal to us. We didn’t actually know any Black people; our town was about 97% White and maybe 3% Hispanic. At age 18 I went into the military and saw racism ‘in real life’ for the first time. I was shocked by the rampant prejudice and to be honest there were times when it was challenging for me to live the open-mindedness I had been brought up with. I remember thinking that if a guy went in already holding racist views there is no way in hell that he’d be disabused of them during his service. :-(

          2. Swamp Yankee

            Thanks, Amfortas. I did end up coming through it alright, but it was no picnic. I am enjoying the New England equivalent of your own spread — though I need to put in even half of your effort to make it really begin to sing….

            Hope all is well in Texas!

  7. Tom Stone

    My Sister called yesterday to ask my Holiday plans, she and my BIL got their booster shots and flu shots yesterday and plan to host the extended family’s Thanksgiving this year.
    One member of the family is a woman of childbearing age with two young children, she and they are specifically uninvited because they are not vaccinated.
    Eight people in a small house sharing a meal and visiting, but it’s OK because everyone is vaccinated…
    Sis is a retired nurse and teacher of nursing, she is also an extrovert and has an inherent respect for authority.
    I will not attend.

    1. Carla

      Last year, we had my older brother for Thanksgiving. We opened windows on opposite sides of the kitchen, dining room and living room, and lit the gas fire in the fireplace. With jackets on, the three of us were comfortable. We did the same thing for Christmas and will follow the same plan this year. I would add a fourth person if the option came up, but not more than that. And yes, like everyone we know, we are all vaxxed, but not yet boosted.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. we had Stepdad’s funeral in the far front pasture last sunday…around 60 people showed up…from as far away as Back Home, 350 miles away.
      outside, under the oak trees at the little cemetery i built…then late lunch under the big pecans in mom’s yard.
      to my surprise, most of the people wore masks(almost all of them are trumpies)…but there was still hugging galore…and it made me nervous.
      wife and the boys and i kept our distance…i only succumbed to 3 side hugs, and caught myself holding my breath.
      i shook hands with my normal stick-hand(right), and kept my left for myself….surreptitiously slathering hand sanitiser on my walking stick when nobody was looking.

      1. newcatty

        I am recovering from oral surgery . I have had bad side effects from last two vaccines in my life. Told to never get a tetanus shot again. Got an MMR in my 40’s. Since I had never had mumps came down with a severe case. Out of commission for three days. Have had adverse effects to some medical tests and some drugs. Needless to say, am reluctant to be vaxed. Have socially isolated for a long time. Luckily, wonderful spouse ( vaxed) shops, etc. Now, extended family are pushing me to host visits. I can guarantee none will keep masks on when eating and drinking. I told a couple that they could not stay at our house. BTW, they can afford nice hotel in town, but were shocked that I was adamant. A favorite relative, so hard to do. Have not seen in years, too. Spouse will visit with them. But, there is an undercurrent of some exasperation. Uh, isn’t it time to get vaxed and party on! Then, close family in another state ( all vaxed) are pushing to see us. That would be a family with a young child. I do not feel well and still have a loss of energy. I miss our family, but feel between a hard rock and a harder place. Any advice would be appreciated.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          wife, who has cancer, and had a UTI at the time…just wore her mask and refused hugs and such politely, and then went home right after the actual funeral…outdoors, well spaced, plenty of room, etc.
          blamed the UTI….and all those republican women(the one’s really in charge, btw, and in my experience) nodded knowingly and that was that.
          we often game out exit strategies for things we don’t want to linger at…like baby showers and the like…so we have practice.
          most of our 22 years together it was my body…but, weirdly, people are more amenable to cancer as an excuse than global arthritis.
          the advice is to be utterly shameless in these tactics.
          we are, after all, supposed to be a “look out for number one” civilisation…use it to your advantage, and for your protection.
          as for people staying in your house…that’s potentially thornier.
          i offered to put a couple of dudes up in the library/trailerhouse…which is essentially “camping”…because “we have no room in the house, itself”…since 90% of these people had never been in my house, this worked well.
          the only people my mom would countenance staying in that trailerhouse ended up staying somewhere else, or just driving back home.
          again, be shameless in all this.

  8. Samuel Conner

    This line,

    “The Union Pacific closed a giant Chicago sorting facility in 2019”,

    in the Matt Stoller article on supply chain disruption brought to mind something I read years ago, that the Allied strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany didn’t gain traction until it began targeting rail transportation. Interruption of coal deliveries impaired electric power generation, with downstream effects across many industries.

    I read that damage to the Hamburg rail marshalling yard was particularly disruptive as that was a major node in the rail network.

    Not feeling too happy about the fragility that is coming to light. It’s not clear to me that for-profit enterprises, competing among themselves to keep costs low, will be able to resolve this.

    Perhaps Federal action could help.

    Oh, … wait.

  9. NotTimothyGeithner

    Back when Shrub passed hideous legislation, he made it rain in blue districts with defense spending related projects, securing votes. The Romney approved infrastructure clap trap simply doesn’t do this. Even with ACA, there was a then genuinely popular president without much of a record. What is Biden going to do? Accuse people of being anti-Irish?

    From the point that Shrub made deals, he delivered. The compromise was reconciliation at 3.1T before Mittens’ bill. Ive seen it suggested the Democratic Senators were clever passing the Romney bill early as it meant sweeteners couldnt be added to the House version. Manchin and Sinema are simply no longer reliable actors, so no one will work with them. Republicans can’t support Biden in any way, maybe a couple of retirees.

    Even something like TARP was done in the shadow of a certain election outcome with larger Team Blue majorities and Obama in thee White House. Making what would turn out to be empty promises seemed more plausible. The elections are still 13 months away. The nihilists aren’t growing. The Democrats can secure or lose by choosing to make it rain or not rain for little people.

    The Romney Bill doesn’t even have the cachet of a promise to actually change anything. It’s just 10 more years of failed policies.

    1. CuriosityConcern

      Just wait for the implementation of the “explaining code use in bill” code, it’s recursive!

    2. JTMcPhee

      Don’t think so. It’s a real billble procedure code, and there are several articles in different medical trade publications specifically on how to increase billed income by invoking the codes.

      Nothing new here — if you ever have to spend time in the waiting area of a auto repair joint, read the trade magazines on the little side tables. They are packed with lots of neat ways to increase the charges for “service” levied on the customer, the same kind of thinking as what’s being applied in our worst of all possible medical rackets… like charging for spraying some solvent in the intake and billing for “fuel injector service” of many bucks. And of course most repair places do “book billing,” where what you are charged comes out of the “flat rate book” of “hourly rates” for specific tasks. My ex-son-in-law is a great mechanic, works mostly on Asian cars for a dealer. He was routinely able to charge 100 to 120 hours of flat rate charges in a 36 or so hour work week, and got a nice bonus for doing so.

  10. philnc

    This is an important point that everyone should know, but is so often shoved aside by professional commentators inside and outside the Political Industrial Complex that it bears repeating. Of course many of those “small” dollar donations going to progressives like AOC are coming from within the PMC. For many on the left that’s enough to make them suspect. But as Mike Duncan is so ably chronicling in chapter 10 of his _Revolutions_ podcast, those are the people who sometimes make the difference. The 1905 general strike and February 1917 revolution in Russia were supported and led by a broad coalition that contained a significant number of middle class professionals and managers (in 1905 railway workers, who were the ones who really “put the brakes on”, were in the same union as backoffice clerks, engineers and… lawyers).

    1. allan

      This is exactly why the attacks on `the 10%’ are so suspect. Legitimated by a billionaire-, oligarch- and autocrat-funded think tank (Brookings) and disseminated by billionaire-owned media
      (The Atlantic, NYT, NPR, …), it’s clear that the purpose is to create hostility
      and create a wedge between progressives and those with at least some financial resources
      and free time to help in activism and campaigns.
      After the war against the 10% seemed to flag, mentions of the PMC, playing a similar rhetorical role, increased.

  11. philnc

    This is an important point that everyone should know, but is so often shoved aside by professional commentators inside and outside the Political Industrial Complex that it bears repeating. Of course many of those “small” dollar donations going to progressives like AOC are coming from within the PMC. For many on the left that’s enough to make them suspect. But as Mike Duncan is so ably chronicling in chapter 10 of his _Revolutions_ podcast, those are the people who sometimes make the difference. The 1905 general strike and February 1917 revolution in Russia were supported and led by a broad coalition that contained a significant number of middle class professionals and managers (in 1905 railway workers, who were the ones who really “put the brakes on”, were in the same union as backoffice clerks, engineers and… lawyers). Whether AOC and the others are sincere is beside the point: it’s the ideas she represents that matter most to those donors.

  12. savedbyirony

    Today’s antidote reminds me to thank NC for the interview with the author of “Fox and I” they posted not too long ago. It inspired me to read the book (loved it), which then led me to pick up a biography of Antoine de St. Exupery and his work “Wind, Sand and Stars”. All good reading this early fall.

  13. Tom Stone

    Four more counts of manslaughter and 11 more felonies for PG&E from the Zogg fire.
    The shareholders will pay the fine, the poobahs at PG&E will keep their bonuses and probably their jobs and nothing will change.
    No jail time for anyone (Ir) responsible.
    No surprise.

  14. Wukchumni

    The economy is locked up in chains
    And they ain’t the kind
    That you can see
    Whoa, these supply chains of not enough
    Got a hold on me, yeah

    Well I can’t break away from these chains
    Can’t run around
    ‘Cause I’m not free
    Whoa, these supply chains of not enough
    Won’t let me be, yeah

    I wanna tell you, global economy
    I think you’re fine tuned
    Just in time doomed
    But, really, I’m imprisoned by thee

    The world has got me locked up in chains
    And they ain’t the kind
    That you can see
    Whoa, supply chains of not enough
    Got a hold on me, yeah
    Chains, chains of loan

    1. tegnost

      Brooklyn Bridge called this a month or two back, hoping for a patentable treatment that would be lucrative enough to please wall st.

    2. rowlf

      Will there be a apple flavored paste formulation to control Covid in livestock? Will this work to treat Covid in deer? Will it be safe for all canines?

    3. Rainlover

      Not surprising considering the anti-!vermect!n campaign waged over the last two months. Just clearing the way for the money-maker. Sigh.

  15. JeffC

    The cunctation/leitmotif piece also referred to the Soviet Union, in the present. Try to get too highfalutin’ and lord it over the plebes, and the unconscious will often step in and cut you down to size.

    1. Wukchumni

      Tale gunner Joe pontificating from the rear echelon of his yacht to the voce populi, or some hedge fund CEO making sure everybody knows they purchased a 48,427 sq foot ‘house’.

      We built up the illionaires to be our ne plus ultra and it was primarily the main reason Trump got the nod, as he portrayed himself as a billionaire, our mortal deities of propriety.

      Should the public lose their affection for those with a money collection, it will be dangerous to look prosperous, if cultural evolution was to happen.

    2. divadab

      Yup – who are these ISS people that have been asleep for over 30 years?

      “In the long run the United States is unlikely to overcome the assertiveness of China in geopolitical and economic terms, the resistance of both China and the Soviet Union to human rights”

      Credibility have they none. Sad.

    3. Randy G

      @JeffC — I noticed, too, the “Soviet Union” was still going strong right into the Biden Administration. Lots of ‘foreign policy’ gibberish packed in there so hard to know if they were just spewing boilerplate and forgot to update the cliches or were shooting for an egghead giggle.

      Yes, the reunification of Crimea with Russia is a fait accompli unless NATO and the USA want to go to war and reconquer it. At the moment, the eyes of the U.S. Empire and MIC are bugging out over China so Ukraine appears to have been pushed to the back burner as a backwater region.

      When you’re battling the Visigoths at the gates, it’s hard to properly punish the Celts rioting in the forest.

  16. curlydan

    Info on Merck’s anti-viral. A trial of 775 adults stopped by an independent panel after hospitalization and/or death reduced by 50%. 7% of treatment patients hospitalized vs 14% of controls. Honestly, the 775 seems fairly small. Patients must take 8 pills per day for 5 days.

    They are looking for emergency authorization. No price mentioned yet :) –that should be a good one

    “Merck had planned to enroll more than 1,500 patients in its late-stage trial before the independent board stopped it early. The results reported Friday included patients enrolled across Latin America, Europe and Africa. Executives estimated about 10% of patients studied were from the U.S.”

    1. Cuibono

      not as good as monoclonals. they achieved 70% in trials. advantage of not having to go in for treatment except going in is still what you need to do mostly to get diagnosed.

  17. Tom Stone

    zfor those that are curious I paid for a background check on my landlord who has dementia and managed to reach his son after less than a dozen phone calls.
    While I was doing so on my deck a Sherriff’s deputy showed up to do a welfare check on him, sent by social services at Sutter Hospital.
    I’m expecting to hear from the attorney who handles the extensive family trust today and will put him in touch with the lawyer from legal aid.
    If we work together we may be able to resolve the issues without my becoming suddenly homeless and before my landlord kills someone with his car, which is a very real concern.
    I have a big hammer both because I can have this place red tagged with a phone call and because my landlord’s behavior has been so egregious that substantial monetary damages are nearly certain if I pursue matters through the courts…
    I’d prefer not to go that route, but it is nice to have a hammer.

    In more happy news my appointment for a root canal moved up to today!

    1. Raymond Sim

      “In more happy news my appointment for a root canal moved up to today!”

      If I’d have said this twenty years ago, it would have been a joke. Nowadays it’s the sort of thing I say in earnest.

      Wishing you a skillful dentist.

    2. jr

      I’m headed for a root canal myself. I want to get it done fast in case things explode even further. Sad times. Good luck with everything Tom.

    1. Lee

      In the interests of verbal propriety, do be sure that when uttering the word that your consonants are all present, correct, and rightly sequenced.

      1. jr

        Whoa Betty, that’s for sure. Say that around these parts and the ladies will strip the flesh from your tongue-tied keister.

  18. tegnost

    We at times have a commentor, “Uncle Billy Cunctator” I believe, and now I know what he’s good at…

  19. Wukchumni

    PG&E charged with manslaughter for Zogg Fire in northern California Wildfire Today
    Manslaughter always resembled ‘mans laughter’ to me, not that there’s anything funny about a fire that killed 4 people, although there’s nobody from PG&E looking at a stint in the electric chair, it’ll be settled for a sum.

  20. Baby Gerald

    Re: Australian Universities Are Finance Investors With a Side Hustle in Education [Jacobin]

    Australian higher education, eh? Why is Jacobin looking so far afield for examples? Every one provided in the article has an American counterpart, generally doing it for a longer length of time and on a larger scale. Has anyone at Jacobin looked at Harvard, Columbia, NYU, or just about any large private university in the US?

    The profits from Harvard’s endowment investment routinely exceed the tuition intake from their entire incoming freshman class. This year it went up 2.5%, or an additional $1billion to a healthy $42 billion- during a pandemic with remote learning, no less.

    NYU and Columbia routinely absorb land in the most expensive real estate market in the country, often with eminent domain laws and long legal battles backing their seizure of holdout cases like Columbia’s ‘Manhattanville’ campus in west Harlem.

    The article describes how before leaving his post vice-chancellor of Melbourne University had a building built with his name on it that apparently is standing vacant and without purpose. Here the university presidents simply build mansions for themselves.

    It looks like Australian universities saw what their colleagues in the US are doing, with MBAs turning private schools into profit engines and got in on the game. That Jacobin is pointing and going ‘look over there’ is revealing in its own way.

    1. Vandemonian

      The author, Ben Kunkler, is an Australian academic, currently at the University of Melbourne. From a local perspective, the things he describes represent a significant change. Australia’s universities weren’t always like that, and have lately caught a severe case of the US neoliberal disease.

      1. witters

        I was there. Just got out. And it started with Hawke/Keating. The usual story: the “left” party pioneering the Right’s plan, all in the name of TINA. John Dawkins “Educational Minister” (later “”private education entrepreneur”) set it all in institutional motion. But Keating insisting that university grads typically ended up earning more than non-grads meant it couldn’t be free for anyone who might want to try it, was the original sin. When university administrators stated calling themselves “Leaders” it was all over.

  21. Wukchumni

    Scotty from Marketing:

    And lets go see the
    Woman who spread it. (Gladys)
    When we met in her science
    Experiment – it (Gladys)
    Made me give you the eye
    And then panic. (Gladys)
    Now I’ve one thing to say
    And that’s Dammit, Gladys
    Adios, I love you

  22. rowlf

    While trying to trying to peer over the wall made by Western media, I became curious what The People’s Republic of China was doing to handle their Covid-19 problem. Are they using vaccines and Non-pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) only or are they also developing treatments? I would guess they would be more open to trying everything.

    I keep suspecting that there is a lot of information about Covid-19 that isn’t translated into the English language and that the US health care system likes to hobble itself by looking down on other countries’ research and practices.

    1. Raymond Sim

      China’s response has been full-spectrum and about as close to universal as it could be.

      If there’s one good thing you can say about a Marxist education, it’s that it seems to produce leaders who genuinely view their citizens as the nation’s fundamental source of strength. This is something neoliberals don’t believe in at all – as you can tell by the nature and amount of lip service they lavish on pretending otherwise.

      Anyone truly concerned about future competition and/or conflict between the U.S. and China should be very worried about the relative damage Covid is going to wreak on the two populations over the next four or five years.

      1. rowlf

        What are the ingredients in full-spectrum? Vaccinations, masks, social distancing, contact tracing, and…? Any details on the treatment effort, if there is one?

  23. diptherio

    I’m pretty concerned that the US Post Office is having some major issues that I haven’t really seen any reporting on. Currently, it’s taking 2 weeks to send a letter ~90 miles. Anybody else experiencing these kinds of delays with USPS? And is this just covid doing a number on them, or is there something else going on? Worrying.

    1. Raymond Sim

      My wife’s been doing a fair amount of back-and-forth mailing lately, and has complained of unusual delays. This includes things like partially completed items she’s knitting, where she’s the supply chain.

      Also FedEx has had a replacement appliance part for us listed as being twenty miles away for quite a few days now. However, even in much better times I once watched them ship me some drill bits Nashville > ..various cities…> Sacramento > Minneapolis > Reno > Sacramento, so maybe that’s just snafu.

    2. antidlc

      I mailed my Mom a Mother’s Day card about five days before Mother’s Day — around 650 miles.

      It arrived about five weeks after Mother’s Day.

      I ordered a gift card from a restaurant for her birthday. The restaurant was about two miles away. She never got it. The restaurant said they mailed it. (I trust them because our family has done quite a bit of business with them over the years.) The restaurant said they would cancel the old card and issue a new one. I had a family member pick it up in person.

      I have spoken with another brother and he has claimed on numerous occasions how slow the mail delivery is. He started using UPS instead for packages because he was so disgusted.

    3. Wukchumni

      It only took 10 days for a letter to go from St. Joseph Mo. to Sacramento by pony in 1860…

    4. Nikkikat

      Have had to call in to pay most of my bills this month. Last two months had to pay late charges. Mailed them two weeks ahead and still were late. I also noticed some mail so late to reach me that I again had to call them in to pay on time.
      Clear that the Dems do not give a crap what happens to USPS.
      Thing I have ordered have all been coming UPS instead of USPS
      As they did before. Looks like we can kiss it goodbye. I wonder if Louie DeJoy also meets up with his fans in congress on Manchin’s boat.

      1. Vandemonian

        Clear that the Dems do not give a crap what happens to USPS.

        I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate, Nikkikat. They seem to be keen to have DeJoy finish the job he’s been given – making the USPS so ineffective that the only option is replacement by a private alternative.

        I wonder which private operator has been pre-approved for the contract? Will the contract include an option for senators and congress critters to apply a name to postal facilities (for a modest fee)?

    5. Wukchumni

      The United States Postal Service has suspended most of its deliveries to Australia, infuriating consumers waiting for mail and businesses relying on overseas sales.

      The national postal service began halting services last month due to the “unavailability of transport,” with many items destined for Australia returned to their US senders.

  24. Georgia

    The billion dollar phone tracking market–

    The absolute Orwellian nature of one social media platform stands out:
    Next Door Neighbor.

    From their about us page and investor pages

    “Nextdoor is the world’s largest social network for neighborhoods. Since day one, it has been a platform built on trust, requiring members to use their real names and verifying their home address . {and their phone number, via checking with carriers before you load their tracking app, then post your facial recognition scanned photo} Neighbors, including businesses, in over 250,000 neighborhoods in 11 countries are using Nextdoor to get connected, stay informed, and find trusted local information {advertising} to address their daily needs.”

    The billionaire that blocked Californians from their publicly accessible beach is their money person.

    About to go public.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I got a glossy marketing post card for that service when I was in Somerville about 2 years ago, said it was completely free, I thought it must be some kind of scam, if that’s the case. Sounded like Facebook for the neighborhood.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        It is exactly Facebook for the neighborhood. I got a “personal letter” from a local member inviting me to join. I found it odd that the “personal letter” was sent from CA while my neighborhood is in IL. I passed. My wife joined which is how I know it is exactly FB for the neighborhood. Maybe folks are slightly better behaved because people use their own names, but our “neighborhood” is big enough that she rarely recognizes anyone posting from real-life.

        1. newcatty

          A close relative in CA related an amusing story about her neighborhood Next Door Neighbor service. She joined for like an LA moment. She lives in a mixed lower middle class( apartments, older condos) next to upper class single family tracks. The first day or so the alert went out! Porch pirates were raiding, front porches! To note, only said houses had porches. Everyday packages were just dropped off on them. The pirates were somehow very sneaky. Eventually, it was found that shady characters masquerading as , the horror, ubiquitous yard workers in old trucks with trailers were the perps. She and some of her friends were struck that no one in apts or condos were targeted. Never heard the conclusion to the crimes. After seeing the outrage and whingeing from “victims”, she dropped out. Good riddance.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > “Porch pirates”

            Propaganda works. I’m so old I remember when this wasn’t a term (and it became a term long after Amazon started to dominate.)

            Funny how the neighbors were immediately gaslit in a system built on trust. IIRC, when this term started cropping up, there was no data to support it. Apparently, there still isn’t. From the Conversation:

            In terms of solutions, recipients would be smart to try to ensure there’s a secure container or location to store packages until they can be retrieved. Businesses should make sure to always notify customers when packages are delivered and avoid leaving them in the open.

            The article concludes differently, but it seems that most of these thefts are opportunistic, to the extent they exist, and you don’t have to sell your soul to Amazon to protect yourself. The United States is the most gaslit country in the world…

  25. Mo.B

    Is Bernie being rolled, or is Bernie rolling us?

    I mean how can Manchin have a signed document from Schumer saying the deal is $1.5 trillion, but Bernie comes away thinking the deal is 3.5

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There isn’t a notary attached, so its not so much a document. Schumer knows he might be primaried, but my suspicion is he assumed the bill was so relatively inconsequential Manchin would get his big man moment and move on. They’ve done so little.

      Manchin has been to the White House and probably had a little pep talk from Joe, not being leaned on, and a story about what WV is going to get. It worked on lefties for ACA after all.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I mean how can Manchin have a signed document from Schumer saying the deal is $1.5 trillion, but Bernie comes away thinking the deal is 3.5

      Pelosi says Schumer never showed the document, such as it was, to her, and why on earth would Schumer or Manchin show it to Sanders? (I can’t tell if the document is an agreement or not. Schumer signing it, to me, means “Yeah, I read it”, not “Yes, I agree.”)

      In any case, like everyone else, Sanders is entitled to think that the number given in the Budget Resolution, $3.5 trillion, is controlling (and in any case it comes after Manchin’s document, if you read the post).

  26. Expat2uruguay

    I have become rather interested in the special drawing rights (SDRs) from the IMF. First off, the name. Isn’t this just a fancy word for line of credit?
    On the one hand I don’t like the thought of poor countries going in debt to wealthy bankers. On the other hand the needs after the pandemic are extreme in Latin America, and elsewhere as well. Probably part of the reason I’m seeking more information on this is because I’ve not seen it covered here at naked capitalism, which is of course my favorite source of such information.

    Anyway, I got the following for in an email from the center for economic policy research, CEPR, and I hope it will be of interest to at least one person here:

    Making the Most of Special Drawing Rights: Approaches to Maximize Impact and Create a Sustainable and Just Recovery

    DATE: Monday, October 4, 2021
    TIME: 8:00 AM – 9:30 (EST)

    To maximise the impacts of the upcoming allocation of US$650 billion Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the IMF is working on proposals for countries with strong external positions to voluntarily channel their SDRs to vulnerable countries. How can the design of these mechanisms enable transfers on a grant or low-interest basis? Provide access to both low-and middle-income countries in need? Avoid onerous economic policy conditions? Support country-owned and accountable plans for pandemic response and inclusive and sustainable recovery? The session will also assess need and viability of a new SDR allocation to meet outstanding Covid response and recovery needs.

    This event is sponsored by CEPR, ActionAid, Afrodad, the Bretton Woods Project, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, Eurodad, Global Policy Forum, Global Call to Action Against Poverty, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Latindadd, Oxfam International, Social Justice in Global Development, Society for International Development, and Third World Network.
    (Emphasis added)

    You can join the event live at this link. Simultaneous translation will be available in French and Spanish.

    Introductory Remarks:
    Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF

    Izabella Kaminska, Financial Times

    Andres Arauz, CEPR senior research fellow
    Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, IMF
    George Gray Molina, UNDP
    H.E. Dennis Vandi, Minister of Finance, Sierra Leone
    Nadia Daar, Oxfam International
    Patricia Miranda, Latindadd

    And here is the link given. Although I haven’t quite figured out how to use it to watch live, there do seem to be up loads of previous sessions at this page:

  27. Stanley Dundee

    Re: Xi Jinping’s War on Spontaneous Order. The Scholar’s Stage nicely puts a finger on the spiritual malaise haunting Western civ, aka alienation:

    when you hold up the industries targeted by this latest campaign, Walicki’s words come to mind: here we see people “enslaved by their own products.” Here we find the “dehumanization of man,” “the victory of egoistic individualism,” and the reduction of human beings to “isolated economic subjects.” Isn’t this what the “late capitalism” moniker is really trying to get at: the felt sense that we are no longer men and women with dignity and agency, but instead the playthings of advertisements and algorithms, commodified by processes we cannot opt out of?

    Xi is trying to do something about it; odds of success perhaps not so great. But at least he’s trying.

    Linking Chinese communist party success to an embrace of unrepentant nationalism (versus the Soviets’ tepid internationalism) is another useful insight to contemplate. Can’t beat something with nothing, and we’ve got globalists to beat. Interesting piece, indeed. Thanks, Lambert.

    1. Soredemos

      I dunno, the part where the article is whining about time ‘wasted’ on video games just makes it seem like it’s written by a dinosaur. There’s a certain type of old fart who apparently can’t grasp that video games are as valid a medium as film or books, and that they aren’t going anywhere. Why does the prospect of people playing lots of video games elicit such a reaction, but no one ever seems to complain about people spending all their time eg reading books instead of exercising?

      1. Basil Pesto

        they used to! which is why I find plaintive back-in-my-dayist conservative jeremiads such as those he linked to in the piece entirely unconvincing – same shit, different century. Back in the pre-videogame (or pre-television or pre-rock or pre-motion picture or pre-radio or pre-atonal or pre-novel) days, these people complained along exactly the same lines – grim prognostications of a vague downfall of culture premised on things they make no effort to understand. That said:

        There’s a certain type of old fart who apparently can’t grasp that video games are as valid a medium as film or books

        Yes and no; there’s psychological trickery and dopamine engineering that goes on in the most commercial videogame products that doesn’t really, and can’t really exist in films or books (this includes game mechanics themselves, but also microtransactions, loot boxes etc). That’s a distinction that can’t really be ignored.

        I also found the linked piece interesting, cheers Lambert

        1. Soredemos

          I don’t like the cynical things like loot boxes either, but I wish the article would make a more nuanced distinction. I suspect the author doesn’t understand any such distinction to begin with.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > There’s a certain type of old fart who apparently can’t grasp that video games are as valid a medium as film or books, and that they aren’t going anywhere.

        Dunno about first person shooters. Sure, they’re training the youth to whack people in the military, so there’s a valid social purpose, but aside from that?

        I’m for works of art, for sure — and think I’ve posted enough material on games to show my heart is in the right place, here. But if the gaming people are manipulating people’s dopamine loops the way social media does, then Xi is right to ban that sort of game. After all, a beautiful painting in a museum no doubt gives one a lift of dopamine — but the Mona Lisa doesn’t have a loot box, either, if you see what I’m saying.

        1. Soredemos

          I get what you’re saying about shooters, and some like the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises are absolutely used as recruitment propaganda (although apparently not to much success, see for example Larry Wilkerson recently talking about how the US military can’t make recruitment quotas, which is part of the reason why there’s so much focus on female soldiers these days. They can’t get enough of the men they really want).

          But I’ll make two points. One is that there is artistry to the portrayal of violence, especially stylized or exaggerated violence. It’s actually very hard to make a good ‘dumb’ action movie, for example, as evidenced by how many bad ones there are. Truly well-executed ones are genuine classics (Aliens, the original Die Hard, Hard Boiled, etc). And in fact video games are currently in the midst of something of a throwback period. People got thoroughly sick of all the gray and brown, ‘realistic’ military shooters and now there’s been a trend of successful games that seek to recapture the 90s flavor of Quake and Doom.

          We are a violent species, and I thing there is something to be said for the cathartic joy of engaging in simulated violence. There is something fun about the absurdity of shrinking an enemy and them stomping on them in Duke Nukem, or pinning someone to the wall in slow motion with a nail gun in FEAR, or getting a perfect kill shot in one of the Sniper games, and so on.

          Second is that there is actual substance to some of the best shooters. Half-Life and especially Halo have meaningful, extensive stories that contextualize all the shooting. The Metroid Prime series (even Nintendo has gotten in on the shooting genre. They’ve also made Splatoon, a cutesy kid friendly third-person shooter about shooting paint), which is making a long-awaited comeback, relies heavily on lore and environmental story telling, as well as exploration.

  28. Wukchumni

    Looking at my handy dandy fire map of the KNP Complex, both the 19th largest Sequoia-the Diamond and the 23rd-the Above Diamond will be in for a licking of flames to what extent it is difficult to say. It has taken the fire 3 weeks from ignition to finally find my playground, and is moving as quick as a 96 year old jogger with bad knees, so it’ll hopefully be more of a creeping burn than an onslaught on high.

    It needs a burn, it’s been 146 years since the last big blaze…

    AD has a ton of ladder fuel pine trees around it’s periphery just like the Diamond, not too far from one another on the slopes of a diamond mine.

    Blue Rodeo – Diamond Mine

  29. Randy G

    @ Matt Stoller in ‘The Guardian’

    Matt Stoller is fascinating because while his analysis of monopoly and ‘financialization’ is usually very coherent and trenchant, his solutions sound like someone whose mind has been colonized by DC policy wonk delusions.

    These two long paragraphs describe where the current supply chain disaster originated:

    “But what we’re experiencing is also the net result of decades of policy choices starting in the 1970s that emphasized consumer sovereignty over citizenship. The consolidation of power into the hands of private equity financiers and monopolists over the last four decades has left us uniquely unprepared to manage a supply shock. Our hyper-efficient globalized supply chain, once romanticized by men like Tom Friedman in The World Is Flat, is the problem. Like the financial system before the 2008 crash, this kind of economic order hides its fragility. It seems to work quite well, until it doesn’t.

    The specific policies that led to our supply constrained world are lax antitrust, deregulation of basic infrastructure industries like shipping, railroads and trucking, disinvestment in domestic production, and trade policy emphasizing finance over manufacturing.”

    Only an economist could be dumb enough to insist that eliminating redundancy in a complex system is smart and efficient.

    Stoller’s solution, however, is based on — “fortunately, policymakers have noticed”, “even business leaders are getting it”, and “it is possible to fix our economy and our supply chains, if we choose to do so.”

    He doesn’t want to acknowledge that the people who have become immensely wealthy and powerful promoting the ‘disease’ are very unlikely to want to take the ‘cure’ at this late, late stage of the illness.

    It’s a lot harder to reverse a collapse than to avert it, and the threats were obvious decades ago.

    Matt adds optimistically, “Several times in the 20th century, Congress or the FTC undertook detailed studies of the firms in the economy. We need one of those again. At the same time, Congress should strengthen antitrust law, ban all large mergers, strictly control finance, and re-regulate our transportation industries.”

    No sweat. Congress and the White House are working day and night on this stuff right now … just as soon as they get it approved by the donors.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Matt Stoller worked as “former policymaker who focuses on the politics of market power and antitrust” — “he spent six years on Capitol Hill, most recently as a senior policy adviser to the Senate Budget Committee where he focused on trade, competition policy, and financial services. He has helped author legislation on Federal Reserve reform, the concentration of power among banks, and the restructuring of our trading arrangements.”

      “Only an economist could be dumb enough to insist that eliminating redundancy in a complex system is smart and efficient.” Your complaint about Stoller is troubling. Stoller accepted as given that ” eliminating redundancy in a complex system is smart and efficient” … he did not and does not argue that claim. On its face the claim is true — redundancy has been ruthlessly removed from supply chains. Firms with the least redundancy have lower costs and they have driven out firms that were slow to get the memo. If you have an alternative explanation for the thinning and spread of supply chains I am most interested to read about it.

      Redundancy increases robustness but comes at a cost. A more robust firm may survive a crisis that ruins less robust firms … but less robust firms can ruin the more robust — but more costly firms — as long as there is no crisis. The consolidation of u.s. industry and the elimination of redundancy have reached levels where crises have become very beneficial to u.s. commercial interests. Only less robust firms remain. Crises affecting supply chains serve those firms that remain with opportunities to raise prices and increase their margins — their monopoly rents.

      The u.s. has indeed dealt with very large scale and entrenched Corporate monopolies in its past. There are laws — on the books, but unenforced — that might be adequate for dealing with monopoly today, even without Congress giving those laws longer, sharper teeth. I hope Matt Stoller is not being a Pollyanna in hoping the u.s. might someday elect a leader to high office who is able and willing to make a few well chosen appointments to existing Federal Agencies — otherwise — where are we?

  30. Nikkikat

    I find Stoller to be exactly as you state above. His solutions always come back to congress fixing this or that. What planet does he live on? It seems that he is just another gas lighter to me.

  31. Jeremy Grimm

    “…Barreling Toward the Next Pandemic”
    The u.s. is indeed “barreling toward the next pandemic and the u.s. Public Health system is indeed in a sorry state. The argument in this essay wanders through issues — the u.s. Public Health system is underfunded, understaffed, undervalued, and in bad repair and reaches the conclusion that the funding line for “public health” — the proposed “$65 billion over the next seven to 10 years” underfunds repairs to the public health “infrastructure”. After arriving at this conclusion the essay goes on to suggest that much of the funding will go toward “technologies that can create vaccines against a new virus within 100 days”. [Odd — I do not recall seeing any mention of who will be the ultimate beneficiary of this inadequate largess.]

    Germ theory, single minded belief in high-tech solutions, and the technological subjugation of nature have all worked to steal away funding lines for the public health bureaucracy and undercut the more mundane, time-tested and essential public health measures essential to controlling this and future pandemics. From this springboard the essay launches into a list of problems whose remedy is essential to controlling this and future pandemics: inequality, a “panic-neglect cycle”, low incomes, food insecurity, eviction risk, and jobs in grocery stores and agricultural settings, fair labor policies, better housing, health-care access, social equity, paid sick leave, safe public housing, eviction moratoriums, decarceration, food assistance, and universal health care [oddly, I missed mention of motherhood, apple-pie, and truth, justice, and the American way, … and Hey! where is my sparkle-pony].

    In all this long desultory essay, apparently making an appeal for more funding for the public health bureaucracy — since inequality, a “panic-neglect cycle”, low incomes, food insecurity, eviction risk, and jobs in grocery stores and agricultural settings, fair labor policies, better housing, health-care access, social equity … can be mentioned but never addressed — there was no mention made of the complete lack of responsible public health leadership. One third rate intellect supported by a staff of three or four well-trained technicians could have provided better leadership in dealing with the Corona pandemic. If funding lines beyond the mere $65 billion “rounding error” were the panacea this essay suggests the u.s. would have the best fighter-bomber in the world, the best medical care, the best elections and the best politicians and bureaucrats ever. I leave this essay underwhelmed.

  32. The Pale Scot

    “with an $11.00 charge for 96127, “Brief Emotion”:

    Hell NO. Reaction? Lawsuit to prove the “disturbance” was caused by ineptitude of the medical team. Punitive damages, RICO charges if there’s a pattern

  33. begob

    Capital Finds a Way The Age of Invention. Dutch capital drove the first enclosures.

    From Losurdo’s Counter-history of Liberalism:

    Until the mid seventeenth century, the country where the prologue to the successive liberal revolutions occurred namely, Holland had a ‘hold’ on the trade in slaves:” ‘By the beginning of the eighteenth century, all of their [Dutch] possessions were slave or bound labor societies.’ If, in one respect, it was synonymous with liberty at the time, in another, Holland was synonymous with slavery and a particularly brutal form of it.

    The Dutch aristocracy managed a hostile takeover of England in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, and from that you get the legislative union (UK) and John Locke’s draft constitution for Carolina, which provided for chattel slavery.

    That book is a handy read, and an eye-opener on the pedigree of modern liberalism.

    1. Count Zero

      Losurdo is always interesting and the so-called “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 is certainly a crucial watershed in Britain’s evolution into the hegemonic capitalist state. However, I cavil at the notion that 1688 was a “hostile takeover” by the “Dutch aristocracy.”

      1688 was a coup by the English aristocracy, only made possible by the inflexible stupidity of James II. He was his father’s son. William was a key figure in the struggle against Louis XIV’s push for French ascendancy on the European mainland and so a natural ally for England. He brought a few Dutch experts and military men (and friends) with him but William’s regime was English through and through. The Dutch plutocracy had no power in Britain. And at his death in 1702 he left no heirs. The crown reverted to the Stuarts in the form of Anne. And at her death, childless there was another aristocratic coup to install the Hanoverians.

      The current family occupying the throne are thus imposters. The real heir to the throne of James II was displaced twice. There was never a James III nor a Charles III (see his failed incursion of 1745-6). I am not sure if there is still a secret Jacobite cabal on the fringes of the Tory party.

  34. Kris Alman

    Re “Woman charged for crying during surgery.”

    Methinks this is just evidence of fraud. The CPT billing code 96127 is Brief emotional/behavioral assessment with scoring and documentation, per standardized instrument.

    If no instrument was administered and scored for a crying episode, then it’s bogus.

    Not the kind of CPT code a clinician wants to risk flagging their facility with an investigation by Medicare that can lead to stiff legal penalties under the False Claims Act

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > If no instrument was administered and scored for a crying episode, then it’s bogus.

      It’s awesome that the NC commentariat has a billing code maven who can cite to chapter and verse.

  35. griffen

    New distribution center for Amazon in Tijuana, Mexico. The photo of the “first world company’s” new center juxtaposed against a shanty town is beyond depiction.

    Looks like a scene straight out of “Elysium”, or some other super capitalist future scenario (with the remainder living in a hell hole).

    1. Maritimer

      How unfair! The Amazon site has just been opened.

      Soon, because of the wealth of the newly employed, that site will be surrounded by lively street scenes of high end boutiques, organic purveyors, toney cafes, trendy restaurants, etc. Outlying areas will feature well landscaped and spacious McHaciendas.

      Give Capitalism a chance please!

  36. Mildred Montana

    “Alito says recent Supreme Court decisions aren’t the work of ‘a dangerous cabal’” NBC.

    I dedicate this parody of Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” to the late Antonin Scalia, a reliable member of the cabal of five until his demise in 2016:

    Waiting for the court to rule,
    I won’t be a hopeful fool,
    Gloomy thoughts are in my head,
    I give up, the law is dead.

    Now the nine come through their door,
    5 to 4 or 5 to 4?

    Staring dumbly at the bench,
    What bad law will they entrench?
    Wanting just to get away,
    This is more than I can take.

    I’ve seen this show before,
    5 to 4 or 5 to 4?

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