Links 10/14/2021

9:40 AM addition by Yves.

It looks like Jerri completely punked out. She was on duty today but delivered no posts and only partial Links. I assume because reasons but yours truly is Not Happy. I hope nothing is wrong with her but she reported a WiFi fail yesterday which led to a partial posting.

I have to run to doctors ASAP so I am afraid I cannot do much.


Robert Reich: The Real Reason The Economy Might Collapse – OpEd Eurasia Review (David L). Robert Reich.

Hearth site in Utah desert reveals human tobacco use 12,300 years ago KSL (The Rev Kev)

Primate Memory (Antony L) Inference

California’s Justice Department is now investigating the cause of the oil spill NPR (David L)


New AstraZeneca drug ‘prevents and treats COVID’ Yahoo News (furzy)


Failure by Taipei to recognise ‘one China’ will lead to trouble South China Morning Post (furzy)

China seeks action, not words, on US trade reset Asia Times (The Rev Kev)


EU ignores UK demand to remove European court from Northern Ireland Brexit deal

Waste Watch

Ocean Cleanup’s supersized system proves its worth with “massive” haul  New Atlas (David L)

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. jrkrideau

      Does one get the feeling that the UK Gov’t has a very tenuous grasp on reality? The EU must feel that the UK has never negotiated in good faith since the beginning.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Delusions of adequacy. They haven’t accepted they are now the EU’s Canada. Old connections are irrelevant in light of the juggernaut to the South.

        1. Jesper

          It seems to be possible to believe that NAFTA was bad for the ordinary US citizen but membership of the EU was good for the ordinary UK citizen. I am aware that the situations are different but I am not sure which difference is causing the different opinions?
          Would NAFTA be better of the ordinary US citizen if it was an EU-like situation?

          1. Objective Ace

            I would guess it’s that the EU has much higher income/wealth parity between countries then NAFTA. Even the poorest countries in the EU like Romania have higher average incomes then Mexico. And they make up substantially less of a percent of the overall trade agreement.

            Much less incentive to ship jobs abroad if you need to pay/treat those employees similiar anyway

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              The EU absorbed much of the Eastern bloc. Then not all of Europe is Germany either. Standards of living in Mexico aren’t the excuse, and flooding Northern Mexico with subsidized US agriculture led to both an exodus and forcing everyone left into drugs. Germany companies have entirely different corporate structures requiring labor representation. If not they would have shipped factories.

              The US moved factories internally with much smaller divides in wealth than between countries.

              1. montanamaven

                Yes, I believe companies like Bosch had to make an agreement with their unions to keep so many jobs in Germany in exchange for allowing some production in other countries. Helps to have labor represented on their boards. Bosch was able to grow their business in other countries while maintaining good jobs in Germany. Opposite of NAFTA. Of course, I remember this from around 2008 so not sure if it still applies.

            2. Taurus

              Try Bulgaria. Aging population. Minimum monthly pension – 178.08 USD

              BTW – this is higher than Mexico at 134 USD.

              However cost of living is much higher in Bulgaria.

              You see elderly people in Sofia going through the trash looking for food scraps. I am sure they take a lot of pride that their human rights are guaranteed by the European court of justice.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            The EU covers far more citizens rights than NAFTA. A key one that is very popular is the ease of travelling and working anywhere in the EU, plus rights of access to third level education in any country you chose. There are also far stricter ‘floors’ in employment rights and environmental/food/health protection.

            The travel/work one is the key thing that is most upsetting so many of my British Remainer friends. Two friends obtained Irish passports specifically so they could pass on those right to their children. Lots of retired British in Spain and Portugal are also discovering to their distress that suddenly they don’t have the easy of travel and access to local services they used to take for granted.

            1. Jesper

              The travel/work thing might be better separated out into two separate things:
              1. The right of (VISA-free) travel
              2. The right to reside

              EU-membership gave UK citizens right to reside in other countries in the EU, if and only if, certain conditions were fulfilled. The conditions could and were set by individual countries in the EU and this was done to limit ‘welfare-tourism’. UK (and to some extent also Ireland) had very lax conditions for the right to reside. UK citizens have now lost that right to reside but to the best of my knowledge there have not been any restrictions in the right of travel.


              In order to stay in another EU country for more than three months, EU citizens have to meet certain conditions depending on their status (e.g. worker, student, etc.) and they may also be asked to comply with administrative formalities

              My experience has been that most of the ordinary citizens in a country do not wish to move abroad. There are countries were that is not true, some people consider those countries bad countries to live in and to do business in. UK may or may not be such a country which ordinary citizens would like to escape from. I do not think so but I’ve not lived there.
              My experience has been that most ordinary citizens actually want to live in the country they grew up in. There are a few who for reasons of their own want to move abroad but my experience is that most want to live close to friends and family.

              My experience comes from living outside of my native Sweden for more than two thirds of my adult life.

              UK appears to be going for more of a NAFTA approach, implied to be bad by many, maybe NAFTA should be more like EU and that would make NAFTA better? Right to reside across national borders?

              1. Tom Bradford

                “most ordinary citizens actually want to live in the country they grew up in.”

                Well, I quit the UK for good in 1990 largely because after 11 years of Thatcherism it was no longer the country I grew up in, in the ’50s, 60’s and early 70’s.

                1. Irrational

                  Most expats I have talked to, who ended up becoming long-term expats, originally left for a short-term stint and then met someone that kept them there.
                  Maybe there are just more opportunities for short stints abroad in the EU that turn into these permanent stays?
                  Became an expat when I was 1 myself thanks to my parents and don’t really see the attraction of my passport country.

          3. NotTimothyGeithner

            There are protections in side deals to NAFTA, but… It’s an aerial view, but basically, you only have to lobby two of three arbiters when trying to get around NAFTA protections. In the case of the EU, the arbiters are often random and selected from a larger pool. Are you bribing a known friend of Bill Clinton or a bureacrat from Marseilles, Budapest, Vienna, Oslo, and so forth? Eventually the costs of bribing people climb to a point where accepting the regulation is cheaper. The line of Carville about dragging a 100 bill was probably projection.

            Remember how cheap US Senators are? Lesser paid bureaucrats aren’t going to risk their livelihoods except for a huge payoff. Senators will get a pension and we’re likely rich to begin with.

      2. Susan the other

        The new Brexit negotiator for the EU sounds like he is offering “humanitarian” concessions of easier access for the southern UK of food and pharmaceuticals imported by Ireland from the EU. But it’s sounding more like charity than a legal agreement. And the UK is too proud to do anything but bluster. It must be having an equally hard time arranging trade negotiations with other partners. Can emigration be far behind?

        1. c_heale

          Emigration is already happening I would say. I moved to Spain back in 2001 and would say I had an equal quality of life to my life in the UK at that time. Considering Spain is obstensibly much poorer than the UK that says a lot. I’m now outside Europe but have the impression that things may be worse in the UK now, especially if you have a low income.

          Back to the main point. There are constant comments on reddit, newspaper columns, etc. that many Brits have moved out of the UK due to Brexit.

      3. fajensen

        The UK firmly believe that the EU is weak and that weaknesses must always be met with sneering contempt.

        This creates a cycle where Every time the EU offers any kind of compromise or let anything slide, the UK belief system is confirmed and yet another round of “moving the fence posts” will follow.

        This will not stop until the UK is punched firmly in the mouth.

  1. Eric The Fruit Bat

    So, I spent 6 days at the local hospital in their behavior health floor while they washed me out of my old cocktail and installing a new one – so far, so good. Like all things in medicine, it’s imperative that you get an accurate diagnosis – for the longest time I thought I suffered from depression, but it wasn’t until 2017 that I got a correct diagnosis (Bipolar I with mixed affective states). I’m now in a better place than I have been in decades.

    1. jr

      That’s great to hear! I had quite a journey on my way to finding my right cocktail. It’s nice to hear your feeling better.

  2. Ian Perkins

    I’m intrigued by the map of the Mississippi’s watershed. What are the white bits in the middle of all the red? My knowledge of geography is sketchy at best, the USA’s even more so, but they don’t appear to be lakes, so how would rain falling there not make its way into the Mississippi?

    1. The Rev Kev

      You would have to check it against a topographical map but those white bits could be hills and ridges where the water could not flow over it.

      I found the ‘A map of Mississippi meander belts’ further down that page a head spinner worth the look-see.

    2. russell1200

      The red, I believe, is waterways. And the line weight is such that it makes some areas look like solid blocks of red. So the white areas, are areas without significant permanent bodies of moving water. My guess, given the area, would be areas like mountains where the water runs off too quickly, or possibly even in, some cases, moves underground.

    3. BillC

      Darn, you tickled my curiosity. Hint from further down that Twitter thread: endorheic basins, for example, the Nebraska Sandhills, which looks like it maybe biggest contiguous white area shown. The same tweet also suggests that the red maps specific watercourses, implying that some minor ones may not be included.

      1. southern appalachian

        agree, pretty sure there is an outline of the drainage shed with a solid line and then solid lines on the major watercourses and majority of tributaries. White areas then representing areas with no major well defined watercourses.

        Ian Perkins, I live in US, I study the geology and geography for fun now, I know the most about the Appalachians. The eastern divide for the Mississippi is very important in early American history because the French came up the Mississippi; the English and Dutch and Germans came from the Atlantic seaboard. The Spanish came through Mexico and Florida and the west coast.

        Passage through the Appalachians is difficult, there are not many ways through. Pittsburgh was founded in part because it controls one of the major routes from the east to the Ohio River (navigable, mostly) and eventually the Mississippi. Pittsburgh grew due to the anthracite coal in the hills around there. Coal and steel, built the country. That divide also has some effect on animal species and bird migrations.

        And then recently finished a book about the economic development of the Netherlands in the middle ages – there as well, after the times of the Romans, resettlement was guided in large part by the geology, which areas had the most fertile land,which required communal labor to make productive.

        Some times those initial conditions create patterns in the local culture which persist over time somehow. I don’t know how. But Pittsburgh is not like St Augustine which is very different from New Orleans, and on and on. Anyway, I have a lot to learn, but find it quite interesting.

        1. Hutch

          “Pittsburgh grew due to the anthracite coal in the hills around there.”

          Having lived in northeastern Pennsylvania, I was not aware that there was anthracite (hard coal) in southwestern PA. I thought Pittsburgh’s steel industry depended on bituminous (soft) coal. Most all the anthracite is located in six counties around the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazelton area and was used by Bethlehem Steel early on to produce steel. Because it’s scarce by comparison, anthracite was mostly replaced in steel making in the U.S. by bituminous.

            1. ivoteno

              both my parents could walk to this place in their youth.


              got to go there once. i really enjoyed it. one of my grandfathers was a coal miner back in the day. i always thought he was lucky to have avoided fighting in WWII, but it turns out that was due to him being, basically, an “essential worker” at the time.

              the ones (yeah i had 3 grandfathers, long story) that served, either ended up in a german camp or shot in the pacific.

              both of them outlived the coal miner by decades.

          1. archnj

            Definitely bituminous in SW Pennsylvania. It’s the upper end of the Pittsburgh seam and has excellent coking coal for use in blast furnaces.

          2. southern appalachian

            thanks! Appreciate the correction! I am some distance down SW of there, bituminous here, from what I understand lack of folding and pressure that the region up there went through. But still learning the boundaries.

        2. Eclair

          And, some additional geography and history from a resident of south-western NewYork state.

          We live on a hill, on a road about 2 miles long. There are two creeks, the Widdy Bostwick and Hatch Creek, one at each end of the road. At the bottom of our lower meadow, there is a tiny unnamed creek, a mere trickle of water except after a heavy rain, which flows into the Widdy Bostwick. Both creeks flows into Stillwater Creek, which flows into Conewango Creek, then on to the Allegheny River, which flows into the Ohio River, and then into the mighty Mississippi.

          A few miles to the north of us, lies Lake Chautauqua, which empties into the Chadakoin River, starting its own journey to the Mississippi. About thirty miles to the north, on the other side of the Lake Erie Portage Escarpment, lie two Great Lakes, Erie and Ontario. They have nothing to do with us down south, heading out to the Saint Lawrence River and into the Atlantic Ocean.

          The Allegheny River merges with the Monongahela River at what became the site of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to become the Ohio River. My spouse’s great great grandfather and his brothers, living near the Allegheny River in north-western Pennsylvania, were loggers in the ‘off’ season (they farmed in the summer.) They would lash together the logs into rafts, then float down the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh, sell the logs, then walk back home.

          I walk down the road to our tiny ‘no name’ creek after a rain, when it spreads out and flattens the grasses on either side, and watch it as it wends through the woods and starts on its journey to the Mississippi. Everything is connected.

    4. Gareth

      The red on the map depicts specific waterways rather than land areas. The line weight is heavy, which gives the illusion of it depicting land areas in the areas with more creeks and rivers.

        1. Milton

          Gareth is correct. The red represents actual waterways rather than land areas drained by the Mississippi complex. At the scale shown, however, this is a not a too far off representation. I’ll need to check this when I go into work this morning.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      I assume they are enclosed basins where there is no direct outflow. Apart from in high arid areas where it all evaporates, the water almost certainly will end up in the Mississippi basin via groundwater. Groundwater usually, but not always, follows the same flow paths as surface waters. But as groundwater flows are a pretty complicated topic, the map probably just for simplicity models surface water flows by gradient.

      Maps like these can be a little misleading. Digitised watershed maps always seem very clear, but when you actually walk the supposed watershed, you find its all a little more complicated. I cycled the Great Divide Trail some years ago, which largely follows the watershed between the Mississippi and rivers going west – sometimes its nature as a watershed was very visible, sometimes not at all.

      1. barefoot charley

        PK, there aren’t enclosed basins east of the Great Divide–commentators are correct that the white areas are drained by rivulets too small to map. Even the sand barrens of western Nebraska have a bit of a river running through.

        Eclair, thank you for that lovely water slide!

    6. curlydan

      I was curious why the watershed actually wasn’t larger on the southern edge. The Red River (the river that’s basically the southern border between OK and TX) was “once a tributary of the Mississippi River [but] is now a tributary of the Atchafalaya River, a distributary of the Mississippi that flows separately into the Gulf of Mexico.” There is a huge amount of water flowing through Louisiana.

      Maybe the other LA (Los Angeles) can build a pipeline :)

    1. flora

      After her comment yesterday about a wifi outage, and by the look of today’s “ended mid-post” appearance, I’m guessing serious tech problems. Here’s hoping that if her wifi router went toast she can source another one soon, as in routers are still in stock at the tech store. my 2 cents.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Had my own router die recently after a lightning strike and it is no fun as here no internet also means no phone line. Had to borrow my son’s network which was lucky in that though he was away at the time, the password was stamped on his router. Having a router die is no fun at all. :(

  3. zagonostra

    >JRE Dr.Gupta Interview

    Just opened up podcast and started listening to interview. I like how JR opens up with pointing out that Gupta was initially wrong about the medicinal value of cannabis.

    Apparently Gupta asked to be interviewed. CNN and other Media outlets have lost all purchase on the mind of the majority. As the “Let’s go Brandon” meme has shown, the emperor has no clothes though some still think he does.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      In regards to CNN, I think it’s always been always relatively right wing project but it avoided outright capture always avoided choosing a side in the culture war, though giving the nuts a platform is tantamount to being a nut.

      Now, it’s functioning amid FoxNews, Comcast Infotainment, Koch funded NPR and so forth, so in passing, it’s not as glaring. It’s always been meant for a WASP like audience with occasional breaking news.

      That reporter in the Gulf War who stayed in Bagdhad is the source of its reputation. They’ve been coasting on that ever since.

      1. juno mas

        Actually two reporters breaking the news of “Shock and Awe” in 2003: Peter Arnett and Bernard Shaw.

        (There were also camera and sound personnel on hand that recorded the sights and sounds of the incoming cruise missiles.)

    2. pjay

      I’ve only seen clips of this interview so far, but what I saw looked excellent. JR is very good at making common-sense observations and asking the crucial questions on particular issues. The fact that the “expert” Gupta couldn’t answer them directly but had to hem-haw around exposes problems with the mainstream narrative. R’s critique of CNN was devastating (though admittedly I’m biased on this issue). I hope to view the whole interview if possible.

  4. Ebriddick

    The Great Plains used to be called “the great American dessert” and the only reason it got settled was because we discovered all the groundwater down there. Along approximately the 100th meridian is the line between “gets enough rain to grow crops (nowadays mostly corn & soybeans) and to the dry west, where you grow mostly wheat. To the west the farms are much larger, to the east smaller (and here I skip past corn subsidies & “corn as a platform”). Fun fact, thanks to global warming that rainfall line along the 100th meridian is slowly shifting east

    1. Pate

      “The Great Plains used to be called “the great American dessert” and the only reason it got settled was because we discovered all the groundwater down there.”

      Indeed earlier maps labeled the area immediately east of the Rockies “the great American desert”. That area today going west to east is categorized as the short, mid, and tall grass prairie. The Rockies create a “rain shadow” – the farther east the more rain until enough rain to support trees and forests. In their journals Lewis and Clarke described “being lost at sea” in the vast grasslands sans trees or other landmarks (it was said at the time a squirrel could travel from the Mississippi to the Atlantic without touching the ground- the vast woodland Lewis and Clark came from and were accustomed to). It was the railroads that changed the maps – they marketed the “great desert “ as the “garden of eden” where “rain follows the plow” especially to the Germans (the greatest farmers in the world including those recruited by Catherine the Great to settle the Russian steppes, grow drought resistant wheat and feed her subjects; when she passed so did the protections she provided those farmers (tax breaks free land and exemption from military service) at the same time the railroads came recruiting. The iconic symbol of the west – the tumbling tumble weed – came in the grain sacks brought by those German dry land farmers from Russia. The olagala aquifer and centrifugal irrigation came much later after the Dust Bowl revealed the garden of eden to a n fact be the great desert (fortuitously for the railroads and their immigrant recruits a climatic wet period sustained the marketing pitch for the last years of the 19th century and early 20th century. See Manning’s Grasslands-a truly wonderful book.

    2. Cocomaan

      Harpers had a great article years ago about the Oglalla aquifer, though I think some of the worst predictions did not come to pass. Still a ticking time bomb for agriculture in the USA

      1. Lee

        It’s getting so direly dry out here on the left coast that those proposals for cross continental water pipes are looking less and less crazy.

        1. barefoot charley

          You’ll pry Great Lakes water from the cold, dead fingers of Midwesterners. It’s what’s left of hope.

            1. Swamp Yankee

              You don’t have to dry up and blow away, you just don’t get to take the Great Lakes’ water.

              California takes a lot of other places’ water as it is.

          1. ambrit

            Don’t forget that the Canadians also have a claim to the Great Lake’s water.
            How that is managed:
            Also, something quite legal about possible “sharing” of the water:
            The real problem with this idea is the source of the energy required to move that water. The California water transportation system relies mainly on gravity flow to do the job.
            The final deciding factor to how water is conjured up for the West will be the energy cost per litre at point of use figures.

            1. Procopius

              I’m keeping my eye on recent developments in helium fusion. We should get a solid indication in 2025 when they test the superconducting magnets that have become feasible with “high temperature” superconducting, which is a bit of a misnomer, since it still requires temperatures in the range of liquid nitrogen. The experiments they’ve been able to run currently look promising, and I’m hoping it will be good for large scale desalination, which I think will be vital. I also think they’re going to have to build underground habitats, like those Isaac Asimov described in Caves of Steel, but my cousin assures me I’m wrong.

      2. Pate

        T Boone Pickens now deceased oil Barron wanted to tap it in west texas then build a pipeline to big d as in Dallas to sell them this pristine ancient water. Didn’t happen.

  5. upstater

    The Brooklyn keyboard/text supply chain seems the be struggling again today. Who wouldda thunk we’d be seeing shortages in that product lane, 2 days in a row? Hoping the shortage doesn’t spread to Maine or Alabama — then we’ll be in utter darkness information wise…

    1. JohnH

      To paraphrase Big Daddy Kane, “linkin’ ain’t easy”

      I can be patient. I love my daily ration of links. Thanks NC gang!!! <3

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Never thought I’d see a Big Daddy Kane reference here.One of the best to ever do it.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          There was a Chapelle Show sketch that kept him in the zeitgeist or at least the line/song. If it aired a few years later, it would be one of those memes people post non stop.

          Maybe “John H” wasn’t referencing this, but Chapelle Show jokes were everywhere and still blow up. I do feel like the show was a bottleneck in the zeitgeist. References to it are made all the time. My maybe controversial opinion is the defense of Chapelle’s less palatable views is a direct result of everyone having laughed at the old show at some point.

          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            Ah. Interesting. My knowledge of the Chappelle Show comes from bits and pieces viewed here and there and the memes. On the other hand, Big Daddy Kane is one of my favorite rappers and a great writer (he even ghostwrote some of Biz Marke’s early stuff.) I feel he’s one of those guys who got pushed aside when gangsta blew up and he’s been kind of forgotten, even though he was once famous enough to be in Madonna’s Sex book (or should that be infamous? Heh.)

    2. griffen

      We could discuss amongst ourselves in the interim. Not completely open thread. It’s open season for Halloween movie marathons.

      And just in time, a new, new, version of the same, above titled film is out. How many ways can Michael Myers not actually die?

      1. Etrigan

        There’s an intriguing carve out of horror titles with The Absence of Death, distinct from Un-death?

      2. Nikkikat

        Michael hasn’t caught up to Jason yet, and people still go swimming at Crystal lake. Happy Halloween

        1. griffen

          There is a new series recently starting called Chucky. Supposedly he’s now a vintage or retro doll, a collectible perhaps.

          Brad Dourif is in the credits, I think as the voice for Chucky.

      3. NotTimothyGeithner

        I figure as long as he wears the Shatner mask he is immortal. Shatner use to take his daughter trick or treating while wearing the Michael Meyers mask.

      4. begob

        How many ways can Michael Myers not actually die?

        He’s an archetype – in the American context, the Man of Sin, and the ineffective police and psychiatric institutions the Katechon?

      5. Arizona Slim

        Here’s a suggestion: The annual fundraising event is coming soon. Hit the donate button and help the fundraiser start on the right foot.

        In the interest of putting my money where my mouth is, I just mailed a check to Yves in Alabama.

  6. Wukchumni

    Failure by Taipei to recognise ‘one China’ will lead to trouble South China Morning Post
    Panschluss is proceeding apace except appeasement doesn’t appear to be an option.

    Would our vaunted navy come to the rescue if Taiwan was attacked on say December 7th?

    If they did, we’d be looking at Tsushima Straits all over again, except we’d be the Russians this time.

    Every ship a sitting duck tracked by precise computers, backed by smart munition delivery systems.

    And then to every consumers horror back on the home front, there are no more Chinese imports all of the sudden, and shelves go barren in a buy everything frenzy.

    People band together through the crisis with workshops on how to keep that $39.95 Bissell vacuum cleaner going, despite it only being 8 months since purchase, and other tips in order to keep your consumer status alive in trying times.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It has been many, many years since I read The Foundation series but that last bit reminded me of a war that happened in one of the books where that scenario actually unfolded. It was noted that the people who launched a war were more than willing to send their sons into space in leaky spaceships but when – by design – all their consumer gear started slowly failing and could not be repaired, that this created the eventual pressure by those same people to end that war without any serious fighting taking place.

      1. Wukchumni

        Methinks lack of consumer goods was a key driver in the Communist bloc party collapsing all of the sudden after 40 years. The citizens had everything to look forward to all of the sudden.

        It is happening now to Capitalism, and the consumers only know how to buy stuff, it’s what we’ve been trained to do all of our lives, we hanker for the good old days of just a few years ago.

        1. TimH

          I naively hope that some people used the pandemic to learn some basic cooking, bread making, yoghurt making, simple veg growing (basil on a window ledge is a start for apartments)

            1. Eclair

              Now, Slim, if you have a cow and refrigeration has disappeared, you must know how to preserve those gallons of daily milk. Fermented milk products (and the possession of a really good ‘starter’) will keep us from starvation: yoghurt, labne, filmjulk, kefir, cheeses. Although, now ….. how to feed that cow? I think a goat, or a ewe would be more sustainable.

            2. ambrit

              I usually begin the process by forgetting to put the carton of milk back in the fridge in the middle of the night .

              1. newcatty

                Ha! I begin the process by finding the carton of yogurt in the refrigerator, always behind the feta cheese and pickles.

      2. lordkoos

        There is a new TV series based on the Foundation books, apparently made with the blessings of the Asimov family. We just watched the first two episodes, it seems pretty good so far. It helps that it’s been so long since I read the books that I remember practically nothing about the plot…

        1. Maxwell Johnston

          I read the Trilogy long ago. It’s one of those rare books that has concepts that I still think about constantly. I’m always on the lookout for The Mule. Is it The Donald? Putin? Xi? Or someone else who hasn’t reached the top yet? Or maybe not in my lifetime?

    2. Blue Duck

      the era of “made in China” is already over. The dual control of energy consumption program has factory production being slashed. Due to demographic shifts China no longer needs to continue massive job growth for its own internal stability. Apple is already cutting iPhone production. Once the US port backlogs are cleared, the American people are going to find no more ships full of plastic junk have arrived from China. Only then will the US people understand the deflationary role China has played in the US domestic life.

      1. lance ringquist

        the deflation of wages, and the increase in inequality, debt and poverty. the facade of free trade has been ripped off, and anytime some shill barks its for the poor, they will be laughed out of the house, or ran out of the house.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not bad. Not bad at all. I had assumed by their music that they are an American group but it seems that they are actually from Oslo, Norway. Thanks for that link.

    3. c_heale

      If Evergrande leads to a systemic collapse of the Chinese economy there may not be many Chinese exports.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Our sister and brother chimpanzees–

    Fascinating article that blurs the lines between our fellow primates and ourselves. Ai reminded me of a schoolteacher mom preparing her child to go Ivy.

    I was left wondering just what is it that makes us “exceptional,” and I don’t mean that in a good way. Other species don’t build cut down forests to build subdivisions of houses composed of ticky tacky, engage in mountaintop removal or dump megatons of plastic into oceans. Our DNA is practically identical to those primates. Our cognitive processes are quite similar as well as this article explains. I was struck how Ai could put multiple words together though without syntax. It’s been argued that humans went through this phase as well. These creatures have toolmaking and culture, and as far as altering the environment, Lambert has been teaching us about keystone species like beavers that do exactly that.

    So what’s the difference? What launched us on a path that has seemed glorious for a few thousand years but now threatens to end in disaster not just for us humans but for the chimps and the rest of our fellow primates as well? Is Harari right about his theory that humans have a unique ability, dependent entirely on language and more specifically storytelling, to organize beyond small groups using myth as the glue? Is it that capability that has unintentionally brought us to this point?

    If that’s the case, then changing the myth(s) is a powerful way of changing the behavior of large groups of humans. Some of the old myths around kings, priests and gods, myths that are still around but fading, created very hierarchical societies, and at the bottom of that hierarchy was the natural world. More modern myths about progress and money have created societies where humans are gods, at least humans with money and power, and the natural world, including our first cousins, the chimps, are expendable resources living in a vast refuse dump.

    What if the dominant myth in our society changed to one based on our identity as another animal evolved on this planet with a ecological niche as a keystone species? Aboriginal peoples that we haven’t managed to wipe out completely along with their cultures might serve as guides in this process. If we could manage to suppress this god-complex that our culture has built in us, we might be able to return to the kind of careful, observant “tending” practiced in the Amazon or among the coastal peoples of the Pacific Northwest, albeit with the cautious use of the kind of observant science exemplified by this article on chimps.

    And the first task would be to restore, carefully, as much of what we’ve destroyed as possible. That seems to me a much more realistic, even ennobling, conception of ourselves than “the one who dies with the most toys wins.”

    1. Sailor Bud

      It would be nice to have a dominant myth change, but this world be captured, and I don’t think it’s coming this century. I suspect we’re too far into sci-fi worship already.

      Glad I’m getting old, because I won’t have to put up with looking at this for much longer. I have been reading Cellini’s autobiography, and it’s sad to read about so much constant caring for beauty and art, by almost everyone he meets in the book. Renaissance Florence must have been infectious with the art bug. His father begged him to become a musician instead of a goldsmith, which is such a hilarious thing to read for a modern American, where all I see are right wingers telling kids to stay away from liberal arts or else they’ll be cooking fries.

      And then I look at the public spaces here, the nastiness, the garbage, the ads, the cars, and then the smokestacks billowing right into the sky all day long south of my town, every day.

      Instead of MAGA, I’m all for MEGA: Make Earth Giant Again.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I hear you, Sailor. That boom’s swinging around our way, and we’re completely oblivious.

        Would it be wrong to trace part of our problems back to the Renaissance and humanism? We began to get a little skeptical about a Big Guy up in the sky. OK. Could be progress. But we decided to replace a transcendent, anthropomorphic God with ourselves. And when we began to feel a little, shall we say “inadequate” in that role, old Mammon stepped in, promising to remedy our shortcomings. It would seem that some, who are (not exactly) among us, are convinced they’re close to the end products of that process, demigods at the least.

        Those cooking fries are to be kept busy frying up some poison after even the growing of those “potatoes” was a toxic process. Contamination all around. But I think the fry cooks and even us eaters have one advantage. We’re not so deluded as to confuse ourselves with gods.

        1. Sailor Bud

          I don’t know if it’s wrong or not. There is very little questioning of God and Christ in the early 16th that I can see, though we do have then the Reformation against the church and its malpractices. The renaissance was already a world of capital, for sure, but also of patronage. One thing I notice about Cellini himself is how competitive he was, and I hate ‘art competition.’

          I typically relate our problems to post-Columbus imperialism in general (globalism), sped up communication & travel, and the Industrial Revolution. There has been also the idiotic idea that just because someone invented something, it should then be mass implemented if it can bring the money, fast as possible, who cares what it looks like, and damn any environmental or social side effects.

          “Form follows function” led to the industrial squareism that pervades the whole planet now, and then the space age just cemented it. You can tell that the PMC looks lovingly at future bubble city San Fran in a Star Trek movie. I hate it. They’re the same freaks who romanticize the NYC skyline and think Frasier’s Apartment had a “great view,” which is a TON of people. I hate skyscrapers. I hate that they’re now in what used to be Constantinople. I despise the aggressive sci-fi look of sneakers for what has now been over 25 years.

          Finally, I’m amazed at how capable people are of endorsing private property but then incapable at even suggesting there be maximum amounts of it a person should be allowed to “own.” There’s only so much planet Earth.

          Now that I’ve read some multi-volume histories of both Britain and France, it seems to me that when we hit the 18th c. and beyond, it also becomes a history of legalism more and more, which means entrenchment (and suddenly boring reading).

          I’m not exactly endorsing the Renaissance, tho. I simply think that if we can’t create a world of the good, maybe we should try to make one that’s at least beautiful. That got destroyed too, tho.

        1. Sailor Bud

          Yep, though so far (I’m about one-third through yet) his duels are more challenges unrequited, more bark than bite, as one party or the other manages to wrangle out of a truly violent encounter. He was also a clear womanizer. He was a proud, vainglorious hothead, Cellini, and not a person I’d romanticize. He even goes and strikes a man merely for having insulted Florence. If someone said something nasty about my home town, I’d probably agree with them.

          It’s not just this book, but I sense that meek people had to watch their mouths a lot more back then!

          He has also pronounced at this point in the book that some dozens of artworks were the greatest ever in this or that technique, which is funny. I do love his sense of humor, though.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        You’re right. I excluded species overshoot, and that happens all the time. But I think it’s possible to distinguish that from the kind of concerted activity that humans engage in.

        1. Ian Perkins

          If you ask me, perhaps the most significant difference between our pollution of the environment and that of cyanobacteria is our ability to babble about it, creating rationalisations and justifications, while they just went ahead and did it.

    1. griffen

      I say there, is that you my long lost prince of Nigeria? I’m so delighted to finally greet you online.

  8. diptherio

    Re: Reich stating the obvious

    When he was in a position of political power, he used it to stab unions in the back and argue for policies that exacerbated the wealth and income inequality he now decries. Now that he’s got no decision making power outside of a Berkeley classroom he discovers that maybe those lefties had a point all along. Gee whiz!

    Nonetheless, he still has to throw a little misleading history into his “no s***t, Sherlock” article.

    Remember the housing and financial bubbles that burst in 2008? We avoided another Great Depression then only because the government pumped enough money into the economy to maintain demand, and the Fed kept interest rates near zero. Then came the pandemic.

    Anybody else remember Treasury pumping all that money into the economy post-2008 to maintain demand? Yeah, me neither. I do remember that we didn’t manage to replace the jobs lost during the crisis for a full 7 years. I do remember Bernanke all but begging for fiscal stimulus as even he could tell the Fed was pushing on a string. I do remember Obama making sure none of the criminals responsible went to the pokey, thus ensuring that they got to keep their ill-gotten gains from causing the crisis in the first place. Reich is fake intellectual, and a fake lefty. If I never read another word written by him, it will be too soon.

    1. griffen

      You’ve laid out quite the listing. One of the key constraints, my two cents, are the types of jobs & the companies that flourished after 2009. I’m leaving the bailout and TARP frustratrions off or for a later time.

      I’m looking at Uber, Lyft, and similar in-time or on request / command services. Workers opting into these roles have little leverage, and practically no tangible benefits aside from the income stream.

      We could have a contest, asking to name the best start up or IPO to come down the pipe in last 15 years. The types of jobs the US generates for the population of workers matter.

      1. flora

        I’m looking at Uber, Lyft, and similar in-time or on request / command services. Workers opting into these roles have little leverage, and practically no tangible benefits aside from the income stream.

        And now Joey B. wants the IRS to fish around in gig worker and waitress $600. + bank accounts to ferret out any financial shenanigans. Yeah, THAT’s the way to crack down on billionaires’ tax cheating. /let’s go brandon.

        1. flora

          There’s a joke in here somewhere, like the joke about the drunk looking for his lost car keys under the street light because that’s the easiest place see – even though he knows he didn’t lose his keys there.

          1. flora

            adding (going on too long):
            This sort of IRS reporting mandate foisted on small community banks will stress them even more and drive more of them out of business – selling their charters to the very bigs. Dey don’t call Joey B. da “Senator from Delaware” for nuttin’. / ;)

          2. griffen

            Unfortunately the joke is on the poor, lower classes and non-wealthy*, or that is usually the case. Truly elite, whether wealthy individual or family, will worry a little more but incrementally it’s another revenue stream for tax and legal advisory.

            I’d like to throw in a quote from a Joe Walsh song. “I live in hotels, tear out the walls; I have accountants pay for it all”.

            *I have a 401k after working and planning for 25 years. I was born kinda broke, but neither destitute or poor and I don’t care to end life the same manner. The 1980s boomed for others(!)

    2. tegnost

      True. It was when the dems were all in on never letting a crisis go to waste.
      The “reasonable voice” is a long con, and I should be more careful around it…

    3. David May

      He’s just another deluded dooshbag who thinks that America can be fixed with a little tinkering around the edges. Just more Hope and Change™. A large country that can’t even do basic things like build functional aircraft, ships or cars – never mind manage a pandemic – is heading into the crapper of history.

      Everything is a grift – healthcare, Tesla, F35, littoral combat ships, foreign policy, Facebook…. The solution (for the world) is that the US breaks up into warring statelets and manages to extinguish itself without taking out the rest of us.

      1. jr

        Everything is a grift. My last dentist ripped me off for 1K$, I discovered. The credit card investigator said “Tough (rap.” My partner still gets bills for a minor surgery that her insurance failed to cover adequately. New bills, she paid the old ones. She said they just recently stopped coming after two years.

        Our landlords still haven’t fixed our floors from Ida. We have ridges of buckled-up flooring running in all the rooms. They tell us how bad their supers and workmen are; it’s all a dodge. They will ignore us until we withhold the rent, but we sublet so it’s tricky. Oh and the sinks leak. The super told us they lost a bunch of money because COVID etc. and oftentimes don’t provide her with money for repairs. They ignore her a lot too.

        It’s all livable but I know the trend is that it will get worse, from all directions.

        1. Nikkikat

          You are correct everything is a grift! Recently bought a house. It has an HOA. I was charged 150.00 for someone to delete the name of the previous owner and type mine in its place. This HOA a is run by a wall Street investment group calling itself a management company. They manage nothing except picking your pocket.

    4. Randy G


      Good summary of the ever useless Dr. Reich. I used to try to take him seriously as a thinker many years ago, but he’s nothing more than a mediocre shill for the Democratic Party. Occasionally, he describes the nation’s symptoms accurately but his cure is always the same: “more leeches, please. Another hundred or so leeches and the patient will be as good as gold.”

      He is one of the many economists who, if swept away in a tidal wave, would not be missed.

    5. Pelham

      Reich offers a diagnosis when what we need is a prescription to rid ourselves of a thoroughly rotten political and economic system.

    6. Oh

      The result is a gap between potential output and potential consumption.

      To fill the gap, the economy depends on people going deeper and deeper into debt so they can buy. Even in 2018, when the economy appeared strong, 40% of Americans had negative net incomes and were borrowing money to pay for basic household needs.

      The Fed has had to keep short-term interest rates lower and lower to accommodate this buying. And the government has to spend more and more to fill the remaining gap.

      I stopped reading his opinion piece at the above point. AFAIK, lower interest rates do not reach the lower income classes. They’re still forced to pay an annual rate of 15% plus. Which world is he living in?

    1. The Rev Kev

      Over the past few years, I have begun to suspect that there is an unwritten chapter of history about the use of magic mushrooms in Europe and the Americas that just never really made it into the history books. People in earlier times were intimately familiar with all their local plants and were fully aware of any uses that they had for medicine or for cooking with. The bark from the willow tree, for example, contains the precursor for aspirin and has been in use the past 3,500 years so it stands to reason that they were familiar with the effects of certain mushrooms. For all we know, our distant ancestors were really a bunch of druggies who did a lot of the stuff that they did because they were off their faces half the time.

      1. Wukchumni

        Just about every Native American tribe in proto-Cali used Datura in important ceremonial rites typically, while we shun it in entirety because of the horrible properties it inflicts on us in the way we’ve attempted to use it.

        1. David May

          Maybe the US government are pumping datura into the water supply – it would explain a lot about America.

          1. Ian Perkins

            There are rumours – perhaps urban myths – of criminals using datura to render people amenable to helping load the contents of their apartments into vans. The crooks naturally disappear with the loot, the victims remember nothing, and neighbours say, “Well, they seemed to be friends of yours.” Which the US parasite class might think a great idea to adapt, if they’re not already adding datura to the water!

      2. Ian Perkins

        There are a few references in the Bible to drinking piss, one or two describing it as a habit of northern peoples, which could be about fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) mushrooms – recycling the active ingredient this way seems to avoid some of the less desirable effects. Reindeer are said to lap up the urine of people or other reindeer who’ve been indulging.

        1. Harrold

          The instructions on how to cook manna from heaven are quite interesting if one reads closely.

          Its the same way one would prepare psilocybe mushrooms gathered from cow dung.

        1. The Rev Kev

          From the “Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”-

          ‘Many were increasingly of the opinion that they’d all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.’

      3. MT_Wild

        The documentary “Fantastic Fungi” makes reference to the Stoned Ape hypothesis for why there was such a rapid increase in hominid brain size. The idea being that early hominids followed migratory ungulate herds around Africa, and may have been eating shrooms off the dung piles.

        Not sure if there’s any support for that theory, but fun idea none the less.

      4. Keith Howard

        I haven’t seen it noticed here, but a recent book on the kingdom of the fungi and their connections/relationships to the rest of life cannot be too highly recommended:

        Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life, Random House 2021

        I’ve read it twice, the second time reading all the discursive notes as well as the text. This work made me feel somewhat less pessimistic about the future of life on ‘our’ planet — not necessarily human life, but life in many various forms.

        1. Ian Perkins

          Blair outlawed psilocybin mushrooms, not fly agarics, apparently the subject of The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.

  9. Samuel Conner

    The Mississippi River watershed graphic brings to mind a wonderful (though of course now quite dated) “control of nature” essay by John McPhee

    (not paywalled, but they want an email; didn’t need that last time I looked, several years ago)

    There is a new river control structure in this complex, constructed since the time of this essay.

    Failure of one or more of the river control structures at the Mississippi/Red River/Old River/Atchafalaya River “confluence” would deprive a lot of downstream industry of its water transport. I hope the Corps of Engineers (hmmm; Lambert hasn’t mentioned them in a while) is taking better care of these structures than US is taking care of general infrastructure.

    1. Larry Y

      Jeff Masters, when he was at Wunderground, followed up with a more recent series of articles on that flood control structure. He also links to McPhee’s essay.

    2. Rainlover

      Also check out Tyler Kelly’s Holding Back The River, just out this year. It’s a fascinating account of the Mississippi watershed and the Army Corps of Engineers “control” of the river. Lots there about the Atchafalaya outlet and the implications for shipping. If control of the Mississippi fails, jackpot-ready won’t begin to describe our situation.

  10. WhoaMolly

    Re: Robert Reich: The Real Reason The Economy Might Collapse – OpEd Eurasia Review

    When “everyone knows” that inflation is coming, I get worried. In my long life, I’ve observed what “everyone knows” is seldom right. Instead of inflation, I fear a collapsing economy as outlined by Mr. Reich.

    A personal observation from my corner of the world: Over the past decade or so, I’ve seen a steady increase in the number of panhandlers in our semi-rural Northern California county. Never saw them before. Most fast-food places and grocery stores now have people sitting nearby with cardboard signs.

    Meanwhile, house prices and rents are skyrocketing. The zeitgeist is beginning to feel like the third world countries I visited when I was younger.

    1. Glen

      Same here. There are homeless people living in the woods around small towns in my part of the PNW.

      America is masterful at making working people disappear from the offical work force. But where do they all go?

      1. ambrit

        This state of affairs has been the “new normal” here in the North American Deep South for several years now. There was an old warning of a sort: “It’s easy to murder a tramp.” That’s quite the slippery slope there.

        1. newcatty

          That slope started awhile ago. I am so old I can remember when almost any tramps were also called hobos. People who lived in camps, jumped trains, ate out of pork n beans cans cooked over camp fires were romanticized . It is a myth and stereotyped image, but like many some grain of truth. Homeless people, on the whole, did not include children, women and families. My grandmother, whom I never met, lived in middle America with 7 children, her spouse and various relatives on a farm. It was the Depression and a rail road was close by. It got around the to the hobo grapevine that anyone could approach the farm, with respect and hat off, and be welcomed with a cup of Joe and a sandwich, maybe a glass of milk if any available. This from a family with many mouths to feed. If a travelor , and many did, had dignity, asked to help out in return, Grandma would always find a chore that needed done. Kindness was the norm. Her kids all adored her from what I gathered and her early death was a turning point in their lives.

    1. cnchal

      70 percent of the US economy depends on consumer spending. So American consumers need to spend enough money to buy most of the goods and services Americans are capable of producing.

      He is off the rails and into the ravine right there.

      1. newcatty

        Yeah! We have special place in our hearts for Los Lobos. We are here in the southwest in Lobo territory.

  11. TroyIA

    The first strike in 35 years at John Deere has begun.

    Over 10,000 John Deere workers strike over ‘years’ of poor treatment

    More than 10,000 production and warehouse workers at 14 John Deere plants in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia walked off the job at midnight on 14 October in the latest in a wave of industrial unrest in the US.

    The workers, represented by nine locals with the United Auto Workers (UAW), voted 99% in favor of a strike authorization in September after receiving the initial six-year contract proposal from John Deere.

    It is the biggest private sector strike in the US for two years, since the UAW led an action against General Motors. It also comes amid threats of other strikes in the US and widespread labor problems in an economy still recovering form the battering inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

    On 10 October, workers voted overwhelmingly by 90% to reject the tentative contract agreement offered by John Deere, with a strike deadline set for 11.59pm CT on Wednesday, 13 October.

    David Schmelzer, a quality control inspector at John Deere in Milan, Illinois for 24 years and former chairman of UAW Local 79, explained in 1997 workers took several concessions from John Deere in contract negotiations at the time, which included creating a two-tier system of employees, with workers hired after 1997 receiving fewer benefits.

    “We sacrificed and we want that back now,” said Schmelzer. “Workers in this country need to understand that we have a considerable amount of power in this country, if we choose to utilize it, and there’s no reason why we should stand back and let these companies just completely exploit our labor for billions of dollars and fight tooth and nail not to give us anything.”

    1. flora

      Thanks for the link. I think one of the sticking points is Deere wanted to introduce a new 3rd tier benefits system for new hires… with worse benefits than even tier 2 hires, especially in the pension area. New hires in Tier 3 would essentially have self funded 401k “pensions”. My understanding, (and someone please correct me if this is wrong), is that current workers are fighting against that and other reduced benefits for future new hires in order to protect the financial health of any future new hires. They know how the “promises” of the 2 Tier benefits have unfairly treated Tier 2 hires on Tier 2 benefits. It was the UAW “leadership” that pushed those benefit cuts.

      For those not interested in union labor negotiations, or think the contest between capital and labor in manufacturing doesn’t affect them personally, remember that the same “little people pay more now (or get less now) temporarily to get us – the country, big business, the rich – out of a jam” is the same talking point used to convince little people to pay more into SS and raise the retirement age from 65 to 66-67-68 back in the Reagan admin. (A raised retirement age is a benefits cut.) This was at the same time a huge tax break was enacted (supposedly temporary) for the richest and large business/stock owners – you know, the so-called “job creators.” Now 35 years later, the DC pols – including Dems -are STILL trying to cut SS to paygo for continuing big guy tax cuts. It’s the same rationale. It’s the same fight, imo. An entire new generation has seen how that works in practice.

  12. Skip Intro

    Bonus Link: Cory Doctorow on Adobe’s abuse of DMCA to preserve a last bit of their hellish Flash empire.

    Darktohka built Clean Flash Installer from scratch in .Net; it contains no Adobe code and no code from Zhong Cheng Network – Clean Flash Installer is Darktohka’s code and his alone, hosted on Github for all to inspect, use and improve.

    Or rather, it was hosted on Github – until earlier this month, when Adobe sent a fraudulent DMCA Copyright Takedown notice to the company, falsely claiming that darktohka’s code infringed on their copyright.

    1. lordkoos

      I’d guess that what was once on github might now be found on a torrent site if one knows where to look.

  13. LawnDart

    Happiness in Early Adulthood May Reduce Demenia

    Children Who Eat More Fruits and Veggies have Better Mental Health

    The first article really gives me cause for concern for our future: life in USA has seemingly become more coarse, brutal, and uncertain for all of us, but I feel that this is especially true for our young.

    The second, More Fruits and Veggies, does ring true to common sense, but I would suspect that kids who do this likely benefit from social, family, stability and support, from a degree of affluence.

    So for those who don’t already know, and those who will soon experience it if Reich’s fears come to fruition, the message of the day is


    1. lordkoos

      Wasn’t Los Angeles in a similar situation with their PD? I never heard what happened but IMO 40% of the LAPD quitting might be a good thing.

    1. hunkerdown

      Very suspicious. It’s just the excuse the bourgeois state needs to keep the help from comparing notes citizen journalism down, at just the time when it is building a project to do just that.

  14. zagonostra

    >Kim Iversen: VIOLENT Protests Show The World Is OVER Covid Mandates

    MSM finally deigns to report on world wide protest over Vax Passports (if you consider The Hill MSM). Interestingly I’ve been sending links to friends and family and occasionally posting here at NC with but tepid interest. Glad it has finally started to seep into a wider “public space” maybe people will get sufficiently and correctly outraged to see the danger to where this can lead.

  15. Wukchumni

    I’ve seen the war on Halloween with my own eyes, retailers aren’t acknowledging the HFCS laden holiday for young freeloaders and are going straight to Xmas displays instead, featuring a lump of shiny anthracite in a lone display case.

  16. Josef K

    The Big Muddy, Ole Man River, or just the Great River. IIRC it’s Twain’s Life on the Mississippi (makes sense) that begins with a description of its size and its drainage. I remember being awestruck when I learned how large that area is.

    1. Rainlover

      Yes Twain’s memoir, which covers both his youth and describes his journey on the Big Muddy during the great flood of 1872, is a rollicking funny tale. His respect for the great river is present throughout. It’s also a detailed study of small town America during its early industrialization. Highly recommended.

      1. newcatty

        Great recommendation. Makes me smile, because Twain is among my spouse’s, a Geographer with a keen sense of humor, favorite author. He has read most , if not all, of his work.

    2. Maritimer

      As I recall in the book, Twain describes traders who would buy US cottonseed oil, export it to Italy, package it there and then ship back to the US as olive oil. Not much new under the Scam Sun. (See The Great Salad Oil Swindle)

      If one wants an indicator of the Decline of America, here it is: there are no Mark Twains today. Satire, what little there is, is tepid, weak, corporatized (SNL) pablum.

  17. newcatty

    Agree. Brings to mind another satirist of modern times, George Carlin. Would also include Lily Tomlin, the late great Molly Ives, early Richard Pryor, the late great Gilda Radnor ( When SNL was fresh and funny), Gene Wildner ( Gilda’s spouse). There are more, of course, will stop here. There is clearly cognitive bias in my examples.

  18. drumlin woodchuckles

    I am just a lowly third or fourth tier commenter here. But my feeling ( for what it is worth . . . or not) is that in light of Jerry-Lynn Scofield’s long and consistent service here, that the reasons for her absence would be real reasons. Just a feeling, to be sure . . .

  19. drumlin woodchuckles

    Robert Reich writes as if he believes that any coming Great Depression would be an inadvertent effect from Overclass monopoly of money and actual wealth and power. And maybe he really does believe it.

    I myself believe that the Overclass wants to create another Great Depression on purpose, in order to implement another Andrew Mellon plan. Here is the relevant Andrew Mellon quote from the start of the last Great Depression.
    ” Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate. It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life. Values will be adjusted, and enterprising people will pick up from less competent people.”

    Notice how the Overclass has used the Overclass Occupation DC FedRegime Gov to give itself trillions of “dollars” in reserve to execute their Andrew Mellon Plan 2.0 when the next Great Depression is set into motion. They plan to distress every single asset and every single person within America and they intend to buy every distressed asset and buy ( or “Jackpot”) every single lower-class-majority person within America.

    And they plan to make their upcoming Great Depression 2.0 into a permanent Depression for centuries into the future so they can reign in Hell rather than serve in Heaven).

    We need a Final Solution to the Overclass Question in America.

  20. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” China seeks action, not words, on US trade reset ”

    Oh really? Well . . . here’s the action we need on the US trade reset.

    Abolish Free Trade.
    Restore Militant Belligerent Protectionism.

    Withdraw from all Free Trade Agreements starting with NAFTA, MFN for China, membership in the WTO, and going all the way back to GATT Round One if necessary.

    Give up on Marketizing China. Focus on Strategically and Tactically Protectionizing America.
    Maintain trade with countries who have social structures and cost structures similar to our own or even higher than our own. If they outcompete us on quality, we raise our quality to their level or we accept the result.

    Lower trade with countries who have social structures and cost structures lower than our own. Progressively move to replace imports from those countries with re-shored in-country production or production from our socio-economic equals and/or our socio-economic betters.

    The endpoint should be zero trade with countries which are cheaper and meaner and more abusive than our own country is.

    Free Trade is the New Slavery.
    Protectionism is the New Abolition.

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