Links 11/8/2021

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They Carry Us With Them: The Great Tree Migration Emergence Magazine. Scroll down to skip the intro.

Maine Voters’ Rejection Of Transmission Line Shows Again How Land-Use Conflicts Are Halting Renewable Expansion Forbes. Or maybe the out-of-staters should tighten their belts like Mainers do (since Mainers won’t get anything from the line but ruined viewsheds and polluted rivers and streams). The project’s Spanish owners have filed suit to overturn the referendum.

Taylor Energy Oil Spill: Stanching the longest-running oil spill you’ve likely never heard of CBS. And suing the people doing the clean-up!

Visualizing the aquifers that straddle the U.S.-Mexico border High Country News

Heatpocrisy: The ‘mining ban’ exposing Antarctica to Big Oil’s blind ambition Daily Maverick


Countries’ climate pledges built on flawed data, Post investigation finds WaPo

Climate shuffles superpowers Axios

A Coal Mine for Every Wildfire LRB (AL).

The American pot goes after the Chinese kettle on climate change Responsible Statecraft

The World’s Addiction to Palm Oil Is Only Getting Worse Bloomberg


Adverse events of active and placebo groups in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine randomized trials: A systematic review The Lancet (DJG). From the Interpretation: “Our results are in agreement with the expectancy theory of nocebo effects and suggest that the AEs associated with COVID-19 vaccines may be related to the nocebo effect.” Nocebo effect: “A situation in which a patient develops side effects or symptoms that can occur with a drug or other therapy just because the patient believes they may occur. For example, in a clinical trial, patients who are not given an active treatment, but are told what side effects the active treatment may cause, may have the same side effects as the patients who are given the active treatment, only because they expect them to occur.” DJG: “Nocebo is a wilder phenomenon. Suffice it to say that I’m seeing different cultural effects. Throw in U.S. problems of a state of panic, low social cohesion, and lack of social trust—and voilà, nocebo effect.” And throw in a public health establishment that lost its credibility, deservedly.

Novavax completes process for WHO emergency use approval of COVID-19 vaccine Reuters and Novavax to complete data submission to FDA by end of the year for authorization of its coronavirus vaccine CNN

Influenza lineage extinction during the COVID-19 pandemic? Nature. “Influenza virus detections dropped dramatically from April 2020 with a ~99% reduction compared with previous years despite roughly similar levels of testing. Behavioural changes (social distancing, mask wearing and hygiene measures) and travel and movement restrictions are thought to be the major factors driving the reduction in influenza incidence.”

Sierra County Sheriff deputizes churchgoers KOB4


China’s coal imports in October nearly doubled from a year ago CNBC

Xi lays groundwork for third term by adopting Mao and Deng’s power ploy FT

Satellite images show China built mock-ups of US warships AP. Xi, on-site at the mock-ups: “So how many drones do we need?” Industrialist: [gives wildly inflated number]. Xi: “Build twice that many.”

‘The Battle at Lake Changjin’ and China’s New View of War The Diplomat


Veteran U.S. Diplomat Comes Under Criticism for a Trip to Myanmar NYT. Local commentary:

Can Defections Take Down Myanmar’s Military? The Diplomat

The Koreas

Vivid Look into the Eating Lives of the Poor The Blue Roof


Taliban victory sparks hopes of peace in rural Afghanistan Agence France Presse

In Iraq’s famed marshlands, climate change is upending a way of life NPR


How Britain Turned Into the World’s Most Self-Destructive Society Umar Haque

The secret history of Britain’s favourite dishes FT

German man sets record for massive herring salad Deutsche Welle

French bishops pray for forgiveness for ‘massive phenomenon’ of abuse EuroNews. Well, at least they’re not lizard people.

The Caribbean

Biden calls Nicaragua’s election a ‘pantomime’ that’s ‘neither free nor fair’ France24. I like my warmongering propaganda to appear more organic, and not to appear so damn suddenly. The usual suspects had the same problem with that stupid Cuban rapper boomlet.

Nicaragua Descends Into Autocratic Rule as Ortega Crushes Dissent NYT. Commentary:

From Nicaraguan revolutionaries to US embassy informants: How Washington recruited ex-Sandinistas like Dora María Téllez and her MRS party The Grayzone

Lessons from the Failure of Democracy Promotion in Venezuela Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations. Obviously, what we need is more mass killings, and Abrams is the man for the job.

Biden Administration

The Biden Administration Is Finally Trying to Do Something About the Republican Assault on Voting Rights Vanity Fair

Racial Politics in Schools Matt Bruenig


The Crippling Blow for the Steele Dossier New York Magazine

Ray McGovern: The Man Who Got Russiagate Right and Tried to Warn the Public—To No Avail Covert Action Magazine (AL).

Supply Chain

We chartered a boat with a logistics expert to look at port congestion up close and saw how American greed is leading to shortages and empty shelves Business Insider. A second tour of the The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. “‘I blame 150 years of supply chain optimization,’ Nathan Strang, Flexport’s director of ocean trade lane management, told Insider of why ships are still steaming towards Los Angeles and Long Beach. ‘It’s a sign of their success, that’s causing the congestion.'” Worth a read.

Gloomy picture for paint highlights depth of supply chain crisis FT

Our Famously Free Press

Yes and no:

I think this is a false dichotomy, in that liberal corporate media outlets are being opposed to “MAGA boomers on Facebook or 4Chan teenagers,” as opposed to conservative corporate media like FOX, Sinclair, etc. Still, it has to be said that the Pravda on the Potomac and Izvestia on the Hudson have consistently outdone their conservative counterparts; from RussiaGate today, all the way back to WMDs.

For 37 minutes after officials declared a ‘mass casualty’ at Astroworld, Travis Scott played on Houston Chronicle. The focus on the artist, rather than the promoter — Live Nation, a ginormous monopoly — seems a little sketchy to me, since the promoter is responsible for the venue, including crowd control and security. (The promoter would presumably also be responsible for the number and composition of security forces, for example mounted Houston PD cops.)

Health Care

Key Takeaways from the Denial of Tower Health’s Tax Exemption Bid Buchanan-Ingersoll Rooney (timotheus).

This company sells passports to Americans looking for a tax break on their bitcoin profits CNBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

More Than Just a Fire: The Bonnie Dick Reveals a Navy in Shambles War on the Rocks

US Navy names ship after gay rights leader Harvey Milk: Transgender health expert smashes champagne on bow with sister vessels set to be christened after RFK and Rep. John Lewis Daily Mail. I’m so old I remember when gay liberation and militarism were seen as being opposed to each other. Ah well. Nevertheless.

Class Warfare

Deere Strike Delays Delivery of Parts to Farmers Scrambling to Finish Harvest Bloomberg. Payroll theft at Deere:

‘It’s a walkout!’ WaPo

Mattel job listing for remote position says boss can make ‘unplanned visits’ New York Post

How American leaders failed to help workers survive the ‘China Shock’ NPR. A little late for a mea culpa. Worth a read, although the headline’s “leaders” is such a vacuous term.

Do brains of London’s cabbies hold the key in fight against dementia? Scientists hope study of black taxi drivers’ memory for maps will make it easier to detect Alzheimer’s Daily Mail

Toxic Positivity Is Very Real, and Very Annoying WSJ (Re Silc). Yeah, sheesh, I gotta work on that.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote (wolves):

Bonus Antidote (coyotes):

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. Cocomaan

    The focus on the artist, rather than the promoter — Live Nation, a ginormous monopoly — seems a little sketchy to me,

    Glad this was brought up. The artist has pyrotechnics and lights in their face for the entire show, running around with sweat in their eyes.

    Unless all the venue lights are switched on, the artist isn’t going to be able to see what’s happening in the crowd in any great detail.

    1. griffen

      And on Monday morning, Live Nation is named in what must be the first of a slew of lawsuits. Cue up the lawyers and the Brinks truck for the plaintiffs (who will rightly sue) and unfortunately, the families of injured / deceased concert goers.

      Links yesterday included a video clip from an ABC affiliate. Not a good look for anyone involved, but especially the group(s) responsible for security, crowd control and preparation leading up to this event.

        1. Barry

          I think you over-generalize with too few data points to fit a narrative in your head.

          Look at The Who concert disaster, The Altamont Speedway Free Concert, Woodstock ’99, the 2010 Love Parade disaster. Or look in Wikipedia for “List of human stampedes and crushes”.

        2. Basil Pesto

          A stampede at an Andre Rieu concert would of course be virtuous, even cultured, if it were in the direction of the exits.

          I’d sooner go to even a middling rap gig, and I spent much of my day rinsing Ravel.

    2. HotFlash

      Amen. Been onstage meself the odd time, and backstage many, many times. You have lights in your face, you are concentrating on your job, as is everyone else, and that means completely ignoring anything offstage. When on stage you get your cues/info from the stage manager and the stage manager *only*. Who, btw, is hired by and reports to the producer, directly or indirectly. Perhaps they did not have such a person? This would have been a huge breach of SOP, not to mention safety rules, anywhere I have ever worked, and pro’ly contra to the regulations of several of the various performance unions. IATSE, I know, would have a fit, ditto AFM, ACTRA and SAG-AFTRA, likely OSHA as well. The person on the stage is not at fault here.

      1. petal

        Travis Scott charged twice in the past for inciting incidents at his concerts

        “Now, many have been taking to social media to discuss and share videos from other live performances from the rapper in which he encouraged rule-breaking and even violence at his shows.

        The tragedy has also reminded people that the performer has been in serious legal trouble for his conduct at past shows, specifically, incidents in 2015 and 2017 in which he pleaded guilty to charges stemming from directives he gave his crowds at two separate shows.

        In 2015, Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster, was sentenced to one year of court supervision after pleading guilty to reckless conduct charges after telling a crowd at Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival. At the time, Chicago officials said Scott encouraged fans to vault security barricades. However, no one was injured.

        In 2017, it happened again. Scott was arrested after he encouraged fans to bypass security and rush the stage, leaving a security guard, a police officer and several others injured during a concert in Arkansas.”

        1. HotFlash

          Singers don’t book themselves. So why do promoters book him? Is it the $$$? If so, then it’s still their bad.

          1. Cocomaan

            Sicko mode, one of his songs, came out years ago but is still on the radio. I admit that I really like it.

            Sounds like Scott an enormous jerkoff. Jardashian orbit strikes again. But the managemrnt can shut it all down at any time.

            Still, what a nutcase that guy is.

    3. Mikel

      The.previous T.S.concerts and promoter/venue.responsibility: all noted.

      But this…this and reports about the crowd itself also give me shivers:
      “Finner said a security guard was knocked unconscious after someone injected him in the neck with an unknown drug. The guard recovered after he was given Narcan, which is used for opioid overdoses. It was unclear if others in the crowd suffered overdoses the same way.”

      1. InThePines

        This story was generally dismissed, because it would be an intramuscular injection with slow action. See this reddit thread of yesterday

        1. Mikel

          That bit didn’t say exactly how long after the alleged injection that the guard fell unconscious.
          Would actually need more detail to know either way. Can’t immediately assume he meant as soon as he was injected he fell unconscious.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          Comment from your reddit link:

          I’m guessing you haven’t seen the video of all the people storming the gate. That and there were official advertisements that actively advocated the idea of storming the gates and in response to when they sold out of tickets Travis Scott tweeted “NAW AND WE STILL SNEAKING THE WILD ONES IN. !!!!!”

          Houston Astros just played three World Series games, in Houston, in a stadium that seats 41,000 and was packed for each game. The team LOST the championship in Houston.

          Chaos did not ensue. No one crashed security. 28 Houston Fire Department units were not deployed.

          Just sayin’.

    4. B flat

      I worked a few concerts and nightclubs way back when, and I think Livenation is solely responsible. Not only does It know the acts and their respective audiences extremely well, more importantly it knows general admission part of the audience surges forward. This tends to happen regardless of “incitement” , in this respect it can just
      as easily be Taylor Swift. That terrifying footage of the entry point getting demolished was kids rushing to get a good spot up front. I have the sense these concerts are oversold and understaffed for crowd control.

      1. Nikkikat

        You would be correct B flat. Live nation does not care what happens as long as they make a buck. They run a monopoly on tickets and over sell the concert. Knew someone who worked for them. Lax security as they cut all corners.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I’ve read a lot of accounts of the tragic Who concert in the early 80s where fans rushed the entry point to get up front and people were trampled to death in the melee. This strikes me as pretty similar. Not to defend him, but Scott’s behavior almost seems like a red herring in this. What I’ve read, it sounds like this was a disaster waiting to happen, unfortunately.

  2. Another Scott

    I was wondering if we’d see a Lambert comment about the Maine transmission vote. What amazes (or would amaze me if I hadn’t seen it so many times before) is that liberals suspend all beliefs and concerns about the local community and land use once renewables become involved. If this was an oil pipeline or a new nuclear plant, they would be celebrating the project’s defeat and criticizing the utility for trying to overturn the referendum and continuing work on the project after the defeat.

    Personally, I think that, given its poor performance and callous disregard for its customers, CMP should lose its license to operate in the state, but that’s just a pipe dream.

    1. another mainer

      This transmission line had/has nothing to do with renewable energy. That was one of Avangrid’s many lies. It’s only about being able to charge more for conventional natural gas power with a smidgeon of hydropower mixed in. That’s their motivation: profit, not “sustainability” or “renewability”. But there are many credulous “liberals”.

      There is a movement in ME to replace CMP with a publicly operator carrier. Please don’t dismiss it quite so rapidly (tho you may be right).

      1. DF

        That’s the impression I got too. As New Mexico decides whether to let Avangrid buy PNM, people have been talking here about how Avangrid’s purchase of Central Maine Power has just led to much higher rates and lower grid reliability.

        1. Solarjay

          I’ve not researched this exact issue enough to know what’s going on. But pretty sure if you spend a billion dollars on a power line from a hydro dam you’re going to use it.
          However if we want renewables instead of fossil fuels then massive amounts of transmission lines will be needed to move it around from high production areas to high use areas.
          But people don’t like change.
          So we have quicker change of power lines, renewables etc which everyone hates for all sorts of reasons.
          Or we have the slower climate change.

          Right now climate change is winning by a long way.

            1. Jen

              NH as well. When the Northern Pass project went down in flames, our Hydro Quebec problem became Maine’s.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            We don’t need renewables instead of fossil fuels – we need to use drastically less energy.

            Of course, Massachusetts could have generated its own power using renewables much closer to the source where it was needed years ago – but that would have messed up the Kennedys’ ocean views so better to stick it to the rubes in northern NE. NH and VT had already told Massachusetts to pound sand when they tried going through those states and I’m thrilled that Maine did too.

            Maybe if these energy companies wanted to win, they could start by not insulting peoples’ intelligence for months on end. The ad campaign they ran decried “retroactive laws” without talking about the actual subject of the referendum at all. It was played incessantly for months on every channel you turned to. Of course all laws are retroactive in that they make something illegal that wasn’t before the law went into effect, or vice versa, but that didn’t stop CMP from running their bogus commercial.

    2. Swamp Yankee

      Yes, this kind of credulous and bought greenwashing is no surprise from Forbes, nor from the liberal professional-managerial class (PMC) now that it has fully, amoeba-like, absorbed the old Rockefeller/Wall Street wing of the Republican Party. One of the upshots of the Dems becoming an almost entirely urban party is that the hinterland — even if it is just a few dozen miles from the Back Bay or Brooklyn or San Francisco — is viewed in pretty explicitly extractive/colonial terms.

      So down here, south of Boston in the great Plymouth Woods (Atlantic coastal pine barrens, giant, globally rare carbon sinks), you have perverse state incentives paying people to clear cut forest and put in solar ‘farms.’ These are usually large land owners like A.D. Makepeace, the cranberry barons; very frequently it is done to strip mine the extremely valuable sand and gravel lying beneath the pines.

      This is in no wise green, it is quite literally insane and destructive, local environmentalists and Indigenous people are saying no way, let’s do roofs first, and parking lots, for solar, ok, rather than destroy globally rare carbon sinks?

      But the urban upper middle class needs to pay its indulgences, needs the psychic wages of moral absolution for their destructive and self-absorbed lifestyles, and so see fit to destroy the natural world of other people “Out there,” beyond the ring rds like Rt. 128 in Mass. or the DC Beltway.

      This also jibes with their increasingly explicit anti-democratic and pro-aristocracy ethos.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        ?? Did you read the Forbes article in its entirety? The op-ed author, Bryce, hosts an anti-renewables podcast (*) that is linked in a byline at the end of the piece. He was frankly and obviously thrilled that the power line was defeated, and gloated about a few purportedly similar defeats in states like Iowa. (He neglected, of course, to mention the heavily stealth-funded, anti-green propaganda that has been deployed against renewables’ transmission in the heartland states). He spun this as a “green” defeat because it suits his illiberal agenda, not because he is a coastal “liberal” PMC aristocrat. He’s a flunkey for an older, and generally much wealthier American aristocracy.

        *(Do not be fooled by a couple of “both sides” interviewees in the podcast list. Bryce provides a platform for some of the most heavily promoted purveyors of pro-fossil fuel fake news. His podcast is a propaganda conduit for what Oreskes termed the Merchants of Doubt.)

        1. Swamp Yankee

          I take your correction in re: the Forbes article, , FluffytheObeseCat — I hadn’t read it nearly closely enough, a violation of Naked Capitalism’s policy for which I beg the forgiveness of the entire House.

          While conceding you are correct about Bryce, I believe my (and Lambert et al.’s) larger point still stands: the dynamic is one of exploitation/extraction, whether by liberal PMC aristocrats, or by vicious Trumpist Huns in the hydrocarbon industrial complex, when we talk about “Flyover” (a term I loathe, but it’s in use). You and I — I believe — have discussed how neither of these forces are positive or small-d democratic. I think that holds true here.

          The idea that I and others object to is that people in the Kennebec Valley, or southeastern Massachusetts, have to have their worlds destroyed so that other, wealthier people, in metropolitan islands, can feel better about their profligate life-styles, while doing little to nothing, and sometimes active damage, in the climate struggle.

          I think most of us would agree that the preferable thing would be actual green energy — the Innu and Cree seem to think that QC hydroelectric is anything but carbon neutral, and the Wampanoag agree re: solar farms in the pinelands.

          Glad to clarify, and thanks for the amendment (yes, we have a Town Meeting tonight, so I’m feeling parliamentary!).

      2. chuck roast

        I recently read a Boston Globe piece lamenting the CMP defeat as a setback in Massachusetts’ long term plan for “renewable energy”. Damn shame that. Boston sneezes and everybody else in New England gets the cold. That’s what they used to say. Now the saying is, somebody in Massachusetts gets in their SUV and everybody else in New England has to look both ways before crossing. The sense of entitlement is painful. Yep, the Old Colony’s got the externalities

        Mainiacs have a kind of elephants memory, and it wasn’t so long ago that Irving Oil was viewed by all as the tar baby pushing the CMP-that-could-not-be-stopped. They were clearing land without permits years ago. But LePage was governor then when laws were only enforced on the great unwashed. I’ve been “away” too long, but I think that Janet Mills (D) supported the corridor. And another damn shame to see a fully woke governor get her barn jacket stained in this embarrassing saga.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Yeah, Mills supported it. If we wanted pro-corporate boondoggles that assisted other states at the expense of our own, we could have just stuck with a Republican governor.

          I think LePage realizes the same thing which is why he is already gearing up for another run(!). At the rate Mills is going (supporting the unpopular CMP corridor, botching the rona response about as badly as every other politician), he will probably win. As long as LePage remembers to change his official residence in time – he’s a Mainer when he wants to run for something but becomes a Floridian as soon as he needs the cheap college tuition for his kids. Really wish he’d stay in FL and take Mills with him.

        2. Swamp Yankee

          Re: “The Old Colony’s got the externalities.”

          Yup! The Old Colony of New Plimoth wasn’t part of Massachusetts Bay until 1691, nearly 3/4 of a century after the Mayflower — and it remains quite distinct in oh so many ways. And externalities we do get! First the late unlamented Pilgrim Nuke Plant, now the solar farm [sic] clear-cutting and strip-mining.

          And Boston has been turned into Manhattan (though the Rose Fitzgerald Greenway is certainly pretty).

  3. Larry Y

    Food banks are under incredible strain. “ winter has come early”.

    Sobering numbers:

    Consider this math: In a typical pre-pandemic month, CUMAC spent $2,000 a month to serve the 2,500 visitors to its marketplace. Now it spends $15,000 per month. Community Food Bank, the largest anti-hunger organization in New Jersey, used to purchase 10% of the food it distributes throughout 15 counties. Now the Hillside powerhouse pays for more than 35%, because the supermarkets that would donate or sell food to CFB at a discount are dealing with the supply chain crimp.

  4. Samuel Conner

    I think the Nicaragua election result would have been far more credible if the competing candidates had voluntarily withdrawn from the race just before the election, South Carolina style.

    Obviously, the incumbent government hasn’t yet learned enough from US-style democracy. There are much “better” ways to pantomime.

  5. zagonostra

    >US court blocks Biden’s vaccine mandate for companies – BBC

    the court found “grave statutory and constitutional” issues with the rule, set to be introduced in January…It said it was suspending the mandate and gave the Biden administration until Monday to respond.

    (it would be great to see a NC Rubric or a subheading under CV19, for Vaccine Mandates)

    1. zagonostra

      >Unvaccinated Troops Push Back – TAC

      Since the Biden administration announced the mandate, military lawyers in D.C. say they have received hundreds of calls from service members who don’t want to take the vaccine… Though the Navy has approved a total of five medical exemptions for the vaccine, neither it nor the Marine Corps have approved a single religious exemption so far…Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, demanded in a letter last month that the Defense Department abandon the mandate for troops and civilian personnel

      1. Mantid

        Great news from the front line troops. Perhaps a few of their parents told them about the mandatory Anthrax vaccine that killed so many troops and service people. But, that was then and this is now. Actually however, the same company that manufactured the Anthrax vaccine now manufactures Moderna’s Covid vaccine. So few things change, unless you remember what went wrong the last time. Then again, perhaps some people forgot the horrible story of the Anthrax vaccine. The deaths and injuries caused by it had a name change to …. Gulf War Syndrome. I will “thank them for their service” in fighting against the vaccine mandates.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Visualizing the aquifers that straddle the U.S.-Mexico border”

    The article ends with the observation that “The reliance on surface water from both the Rio Grande or the Rio Colorado is really not an option for the future. The water will be coming from groundwater.” I’m not sure that it is so simple. Rivers are replenished (with luck) from both rain and snow fall. Those aquifers took thousands of years to fill so will they be easily replenished? That will be an important factor that. It may come down to who has the longer straw with them and it may be that, like in California, as the water is pulled from those aquifers, that the ground compresses together meaning that it permanently reduces its capacity to store water.

    1. CuriosityConcern

      Elaine Ingham espouses the idea that non-organic fertilizers kill the biology of soils and that creates hardpan. She hasn’t implicitly said it in her talks that I’ve watched on YouTube, but I’d wager that her cure for depleted aquifers would be to halt the use of chemical fertilizers and increase soil biology to break-up hard pan and increase drainage to aquifers.
      She also espouses that biology rich soil not only provides soluable nutrients to plants, but does it better than chemical inputs. She mentioned that soil lab analysis can be misleading because it reports soluable elements, but that biology is adapted to converting non-soluable forms to plant usable forms on demand. So if you get a soils report that says you have no phosphorus, she would say that’s bs, it’s there but in non soluable form.
      As you can tell, I’ve become a convert…

    2. I

      How much would the world’s oceans decrease if the world’s aquifers were at least 90% full? How many wetlands would return?

  7. Wukchumni

    This company sells passports to Americans looking for a tax break on their bitcoin profits CNBC
    One of the countries you can get a passport for a couple hundred grand is Grenada, and in a couple of generations we’ve gone from invading to evading taxes there, semper fi-nance!

    Now it’s a bit tricky in that you’d probably need to sell $200k worth of Bitcoin to evade US taxes, but you’d be doing it while an American citizen, so you’re on the hook for $80k worth of taxes. It seems cruel, but the root word of cryptocurrency is ‘cry’, so perhaps it all makes sense?

    For the benefit of money hiding
    There will be a bubbly time on financial trampoline

    The Winklevoss will both be there
    Late of being an olympic rowing pair-what a scene!

    Over reason and value, hype and doubters
    Lastly through in lieu of real F.I.R.E.!
    In this way cryptocurrency will challenge the world!

    The celebrated money charade
    Performs the feat online at this date

    The investors will dance and sing
    As 0’s & 1’s fly through the cloud-don’t be late

    Cryptocaves assure the public
    Their mining production is second to none
    And of course Satoshi Nakomoto dances the waltz!

    The price began at a few bucks-5 or 6
    When Mr. Nakomoto performed his tricks without a sound

    And then the market will demonstrate
    Ten martingales it’ll undertake to confound & astound!

    Having been some years in preparation
    A bubble time is guaranteed for all
    And for now Bitcoin is an invisible thrill

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      Great lyrics.

      I believe the bitcoin bubble will pop at some point – but I could be wrong.

      The outlier on that list of countries that one can buy into is Portugal – I can imagine actually living there, although I guess if you’re wealthy a Caribbean island existence can be pleasant.

      1. behindthetrees

        Hello to all wonderful NC people. I have benefitted from your fantastic website for a little while now; I would absolutely support you financially if I could, but at the moment, it just can’t happen, I’m sorry. When we can afford heating! Anyway, I’ve never posted because I never do, anywhere, but I feel that I have to say something now.

        Several times recently I’ve seen people mentioning moving to Portugal. Please, please don’t. If you care about other human beings at all, don’t. Although the EU and PT gov’t would have everyone believe that it is an economic recovery golden child, the actual situation on the ground is horrendous. The housing crisis is appalling. Families, the elderly, those with nowhere else to go being evicted — sometimes by the police — because their landlords would prefer to convert to Airbnb / sell to foreign investors / rent to “digital nomads” / sell to rich expats who are pushing the housing market into the Pleiades. I have personal experience with the situation, and it really is dreadful.

        Add to that the fact that the health system is on the brink of collapse (where isn’t it?), and the economy now relies way too heavily on tourism (which of course is fuelling the housing crisis) … the government is selling off large sections of the country to those who are never there, making it easy for the rich to create something with no foundations or solidity, the environment is increasingly ruined by development / plantation eucalyptus / unsustainable “infrastructure” … honestly people, please, please don’t move to Portugal.

        It is a beautiful country. Its people are the kindest, most warm-hearted and generous I’ve ever met. But “progress” (what is it Boris said: “capitalism and greed”?) is destroying what made is so wonderful.

        I just felt I had to say something really, because none of this ever seems to get out of Portugal. Lisbon still appears on every “Top 10 Cities to Spend Nothing and Exploit the Locals” list. Friends there say the influx has only increased. It just can’t go on.

        And anyway, it’s really damp.

        (All of that aside, thank you all again for posting, linking, moderating, commenting, etc. Take care everyone and stay very safe.)

        1. saywhat?

          Families, the elderly, those with nowhere else to go being evicted — sometimes by the police — because their landlords would prefer to convert to Airbnb / sell to foreign investors / rent to “digital nomads” / sell to rich expats who are pushing the housing market into the Pleiades.

          In the Old Testament, land ownership (for at least agricultural land) was limited (in the long run at least) to Hebrews ONLY (cf. Leviticus 25).

          Extrapolating to other countries, land ownership should be limited to citizens ONLY.

          But who takes the Bible seriously? Then suffer the consequences.

        2. Maritimer

          Thanks for that post. Much of what you say is also occurring in my humble jurisdiction which shall remain unidentified lest more hordes descend on our peace and still affordable economy.

          One of the great activities of our modern age is Travel. This is an Industry. Badge of honor where you traveled, how, when, how many times, where, etc. The hordes of people traveling, visiting, moving, second-homing, investing, starting businesses, etc. is enormous and destructive. The Boosters and the Governments that support them just want to see more loot, rising RE prices to tax and commission, tourist business startups, etc. No thought to the poor locals who face rising inflation, increased housing costs, etc. And most of the traveling folks contributed to the crappy environments in the places they are leaving and want to go to some other “nice” place.

          Folks in Portugal, Barcelona, Venice and many other places are starting to complain. Meanwhile, UNESCO creates more World Heritage Sites for the mindless tourist hordes to overrun.

          Likely none of the above considered or mentioned at COP(ulate)26 to which 25000-30000 or so traveled, some in one of the many 400 private jets.

          Benidorm, Miami, Vegas anyone?

    2. griffen

      The markets, and by all means more than bitcoin / crypto trades, begins to resemble a Fight Club type of environment. Markets in the green and moving higher!

      Instead of fights going as long as necessary, market bubbles will be going / continuing as necessary. And when I quickly check on UST yields, I see a minimal amount of premium / term spread (+0.45 to +0.50) for owning a 30yr UST compared to a 10yr UST. And the 10yr is currently below 1.50%.

  8. griffen

    Mattel job listing and an unplanned visit from the boss. Wait, do you mean as a corporate employer you do not or will not install all matter of productivity and site tracking mechanisms to run in the background? Surely your IT department can do such a service!

    Who wouldn’t welcome a drop in from the corporate honcho? But hey boss, it is no-shave November!

    1. QuarterBack

      Seems like a boon for sexual harassing bosses too. “How are you today? I would like to come in to inspect your work place.”

    2. Nikkikat

      This is right out of the early part of the century when Ford plant workers got home visits from Ford management to check to see if they went to church, led Christian lives and abstained from drinking and gambling. Anyone who would agree to this level of incursion on their privacy is opening a door that should remain closed!
      Howard Zinn wrote about this in his history books.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Walter Reuther got a visit too, but it wasn’t to see if he was sober. Luckily, he had friends over, so the hit men decided to come back another time.

    3. Maritimer

      Mattel. That sound like a great job! Mattel is indicating that it has problems gauging your productivity. So, just comply with their requirements and get a good Boss-is-coming Detector. Have a Potemkin setup in your home for Boss Approval. Meanwhile spend many pleasurable, paid hours goofing off—after all Mattel is selling fun.

      I am reminded of the Boss Key early on in the IT days when you saw the Boss coming, you would hit a key which would switch your screen from the non-work activity you were enjoying to some graph or work related material at which you would gaze intently while Boss observed.

      Really makes one wonder how all these folk can work from home and Scrooge can accurately gauge their productivity. My guess would be that productivity has gone South.

  9. chris

    The Matt Bruenig article is good, but incomplete. I think the DEI topic feeds into a lot of other issues at schools. I wonder if he has kids attending any schools that are struggling with this now?

    What I liked about the article was his take that many of these issues have been brewing for a long time and we’re being forced to address them now. I think it will be much more useful to keep that in mind as we search for ways through this as a society. I’m already seeing all my neighbors pointing to teacher related labor problems as part of the Great Resignation and my concern there is it will be treated like the Great Financial Crisis. In that nothing will be done and any attempts to understand what is happening will be swept away as if it was an Act of God.

    We have some big questions to sort out in many different parts of society. It behooves our elites to ignore that or make it seem like the status quo is OK. As has been said many times on this site if anyone in power wants the status quo to remain in place there’s going to have to be a lot of changes made to society. I am one of the people who thinks that regardless of where you fall on the DEI related issues the status quo with respect to our public schools should fail. We need something different.

    1. Carla

      Thanks for this comment, chris. The other day, I ran across this interview re: public education with Fredrik de Boer from 2020, and I think it’s relevant here:

      As deBoer says “Of course, I believe in human equality, but I believe in equality of dignity, equality of rights, and political equality. But I don’t believe that everyone is equally good at all things.”

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      DEI sounds like Sesame Street will give them more intellectual rigor, and they should be off of the Street by the time they are in 1st grade.

      As its been noted for decades, kids should be in all year school, more days, less hours academic hours during the day more than compensated by more days, smaller class sizes, and more after school enrichment. The rest is noise to ignore these problems. And as Bruening points out we need less stratified societies more so than less stratified schools. With households not on edge, guardians simply are going to have an easier time addressing kids education. I know not all kids, but for 98%, yes. Classic Simpsons was dunking on virtual school over 20 years ago. Pepsi presents 1-2=Negative Fun.

      Certainly there was a rush to the exits due to Covid, but teacher burnout was already a problem. Again, too much work. Now there is a new challenge no one has experienced. Younkgin promising to increase teacher pay and the “biggest education budget ever” sounds great if you don’t know much especially in comparison to McAuliffe’s line from the primary about how Virginia dropped business start ups and growth compared to other states despite being pretty high which about as close as he came to defining himself. Now that the GOP won and Biden is going to restart student loans, buckle up because inane education related arguments are coming.

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        As its been noted for decades, kids should be in all year school

        It’s also been “noted for decades” that prayer should be allowed in public schools.


          1. jonhoops

            Of course anyone who remembers being a kid and looking forward to summer vacation should be against this proposal. So what if kids slide a bit, we warehouse them in schools for 12 years which should be enough time to teach them everything useful.

            And aren’t we now starting them at 2 or 3?

            Seems to me we need more free range kids not less.

            1. lance ringquist

              agreed, let kids be kids whilst they can. humans of all ages must have some play time.
              the elite that push 24/7 on all of us, have lots of play time for themselves.

      2. c_heale

        Where was this – As its been noted for decades, kids should be in all year school, more days, – noted?

        Kids should be in school less and out discovering things for themselves imo.

        The modern school system was created for an industrial society. Since many part of the West now have deindustrialized societies shouldn’t we rethink school.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “The secret history of Britain’s favourite dishes”

    If anybody want to take a dive into this era, there is always the “Supersizers”. This was a British TV series with restaurant critic Giles Coren & broadcaster/comedian Sue Perkins. They would explore the foods of different eras such as Edwardian, Tudor, Victorian, Seventies, etc. and they once did the Fifties as well. In each episode they would dress in the clothes of that era and, kinda, imitate the lifestyle at the time. Below is a link to the episode for that era broken up into six 10-minute parts-

    1. Pat

      I loved that series. Coren and Perkins were entertaining, and food history was front and center with historians and chefs contributing information. For many here something that would resonate, not only did Coren and Perkins give observations on how the food choices were effecting them there were health checks before and after that noted the changes in their weight and bloodwork.

  11. Wukchumni

    Looking back it seems we reached the high water mark for residential real estate when Zillow announced they were going to lose a veritable shitlode of money on random used homes they accumulated for no good reason other than to prop up prices for other houses they didn’t own, a rising tide that raised all boats for a time and the idea that the blame lies in artificial intelligence letting them down is a keeper.

    It wasn’t on account of faulty human reasoning, it was a computer that let us down the primrose path of poverty!

    If the powers that be wanted to keep things going, Zillow’s anticipated losses from such activity were pretty much a rounding error in the scheme of things $300 to $400 million, not exactly a big wahooza when it comes to how much free money has been ginned up by the Fed and Wall*Street.

    1. Wukchumni


      I expect inflation to ramp up mightily on everything except real estate, which will be headed in the opposite direction.

      You could see homes worth 25% of current value if artificial price support in its many guises goes away.

    2. Samuel Conner

      I imagine they could keep it going by issuing perpetual zero-coupon bonds, convertible to equity after a century.

      The financial actors who propped up the fracking bubble might pile in.

    3. cnchal

      > . . . it was a computer that let us down the primrose path of poverty!

      Not just any old computer, but one guided by Ayeeye which was assumed moar intelligent than the people that fed it the data to come to the conclusion prices only went up.

      For once the disruptor disrupts itself.

    4. c_heale

      The people who wrote the instructions that created the algorithms were at fault, not the computers.

      Since Zillow was completely based on greed, I have no sympathy or empathy for them.

  12. Louis Fyne

    Battle of Changjin/Chosin Reservoir (or pretty much all of November 1950 in northern Korea) is Exhibit 1, in 100-pt font, why the US should never fight a land war in Asia.

    Odd that the PRC would want to celebrate it…as Hollywood has the monopoly on jingoism (sarcasm)

    1. IMOR

      But… I ask The Diplomat and anyone else…how was the movie?
      Trailer looks pretty good:
      Throw out the 10s and 1s (people who haven’t seen it expressing their rooting interest in the actual battle), and IMDB rating comes in about 6.5 of 10.

      1. Louis Fyne

        I liked Wolf Warrior (in the same way I like “Top Gun”). I imagine Changjin Lake is similar to other Chinese and US films.

        If the Establishment feels threatened by a non-US film that plays standard Hollywood tropes about patriotism, duty, our side wins in the end, etc….says more about the insecurity about “the experts” moreso than anything else.

      2. Dave in Austin

        As usual, the movies pretty-up the history. I once talked to one of the Marines who walked out of the Chosen Reservoir. They joked about how the Amercian press reported it (“How many hordes in a Chinese platoon?”) but they were shaken by the troops they faced in the 10 below weather. Most of them were in summer uniforms and many were wearing sneekers. Watching wounded Chinese kids with no food dying in the snow when there is nothing he or anyone else could do about it stuck with him for the rest of his life.

        1. Janie

          I knew two marines who were at chosen reservoir, and as you say it stayed with them the rest of their lives.

    2. Chas

      I’d love to see this movie but I doubt the USA authorities will ever allow it to be shown. It might make Americans hesitatant to challenge China as the Democrats and Republicans so much want.

    3. Tom Stone

      LF,I highly recommend Martin Russ’s “Breakout” to any who are interested in the retreat from Chosin.
      It was very close indeed,without the successful night march and flanking attack led by Ray Davis the 1st Marines would have been wiped out.
      He led 600 exhausted and half frozen Marines 14 miles cross country at night, in the middle of a blizzard without good maps and successfully dislodged a Chinese blocking force that could not be taken by frontal attack.
      If you are familiar with the Siskiyou’s you have an idea of what that terrain was like.
      One of the greatest feats of leadership in Marine Corps history and one of the most important small unit actions of the 20th Century.

      1. The Rev Kev

        In a way, this counter to an invasion of Korea had historical form. Back in the late 1500s, Japan invaded Korea and it was going to be a prelude to a full-fledged invasion of China itself. When Korea was hard pressed trying to stop the invaders, Ming China sent forces over the Yalu river which helped push them back until that war ended in a stalemate. Starting to sound a little familiar?

        Not sure if you know it or not Tom but this was not the first time that the US Marines were fighting in Korea-

  13. Shonde

    Can someone tell me what the FT article re paint says? Do I need to buy paint in advance for my late winter projects? My ceilings look really dingy.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It says to manufacture paint, there is a long complicated line of petrochemical manufacturing that has to be done. Add on shipping bottlenecks, truck driver shortages and power shortages in China and the price of paint is going to skyrocket – if you can get it that is. If I were you, I would jump into my car and get what paint you will be needing today. Do not stop at Go, do not collect $200 but grab it while it is still there.

      1. Shonde

        Thanks. Guess I will buy paint for next spring’s outdoor projects too. This is definitely getting scary.

        Looks like I should keep the wood when the tree trimmers come. Might have good resale value down the line. Yikes.

      2. Duke of Prunes

        I also heard from a somewhat reliable source that Lowes should be a good place to buy paint. Apparently, they have very strong contracts with Sherwin-Williams (who makes the Lowes in house paint) so they are at the front of the line when it comes to paint delivery.

      3. skippy

        All exacerbated by consolidation in the paint Mfg industry IMO, last decade has been nuts, but being a price/Vol setter has huge long term balance sheet implications. Bit like good old KBSwift in Oz destroying heaps of family owned business, went nuts in new facilities builds, locked in contracts with major wholefoods retailers, hooked everyone with initial low prices and then started hiking up with ratchet effect = see local Coles deli is now a wall of prepackaged goods behind cooler glass where old deli was …. check isles for reduced brands, increased shop brands, et al …

        Yet were flat out till March and can’t do quotes past that, no idea of price. Oh and know of a top Brizzy builder that had to source timber from Russia – lmmao. Add on people down due to vaccination, fatigue, better wage offer, and here comes the refuges from the south – flash backs from the early 90s from Calif to Colorado … play it again Sam … off to Wilston and then I have to figure out how to help friends sort their outside in Kenmore – Helap …

  14. The Rev Kev

    “More Than Just a Fire: The Bonnie Dick Reveals a Navy in Shambles”

    The question posed by that fire is very serious. If a ship that was tied up in a dock and had all the resources from that naval base and further could not put that fire out through blatant mistakes and a lack of serious training, then what would happen in a war with ships of the Seventh Fleet being hit by missiles? Would that lack of training lead to the total loss of those ships as well when they could have been saved and repaired? It wasn’t always this way.

    Back in WW2 there was a US carrier named the USS Franklin that sustained massive damage with 1200 crewman killed or wounded. That ship was a burning wreck but the surviving crew managed to save it through heroic efforts and it eventually went back to the US. If WW2 had not come to an end, it would have been returned to action- (6:54 mins)

    1. XXYY

      I am mystified why naval ships of any size or complement are still a thing in an era of cheap hypersonic anti-ship missiles that can be fired from hundreds or thousands of miles away. All detectable surface craft will be put out of action in the first few minutes of any hot war, far outside the range from which they could do anything useful themselves. Large surface vessels seem like weapon systems whose time has come and gone.

      And yet we still see articles calling for more and bigger Naval forces.

      1. Maritimer

        Don’t forget EMP attacks. Just imagine what that would to a digital currency if it is the sole means of financially transacting. Or crashing the GPS system. As we move along the Tech Curve, life becomes more and more precarious but the scientists haven’t noticed.

      2. Mantid

        Yes, true dat. Remember the Falklands war? A couple missiles, a couple less ships. Floating targets, that’s all.

  15. Tom Stone

    For those that are curious, it has been more than 6 months since my second jab of Moderna and my once fully healed sprained elbows are still painful and my other longstanding injuries ( Cervical spine,sciatica) are still substantially worse than they were before the shot.
    I have lived with chronic pain for three decades and was reluctant to use painkillers again, however I finally agreed with my physician to give Butrans a try because I could not rotate my neck more than 15 degrees without disabling pain and the elbows woke me up every time I moved my arms while asleep.
    It did not play well with my other meds and I had a lively ambulance ride to the ER where I spent 6 hours being stabilized.
    I am now giving Gabapentin a try,a minimum dose and it is helping.
    About a 10% reduction in pain, which is wonderful.
    It is especially welcome because I am being unlawfully evicted and being able to lift a 20 Lb box without biting back a scream is huge.
    So is being able to sleep for more than half an hour at a time.
    My LL’s latest FU was having the water turned off without notice…
    I am functional now and will be seeking redress through the courts, likely small claims because that’s what I can afford.
    I have found a safe place to stay, it won’t be comfortable but it will be safe.
    That’s good enough.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘I had a lively ambulance ride to the ER where I spent 6 hours being stabilized.’

      Jee-zuz, Tom. I hope that you have someone that can keep an eye out for you while you get those meds sorted. I have to admit that you seem to be going through the wars at the moment. Just hang in there till things change. Nothing stays the same forever.

    2. Lee

      The exercise linked below (hat tip to Arizona Slim) worked quite well for my sciatic pain. Given the problems with your elbows it may not be right for you.

      For chronic lower back pain, in my case associated with CFS/ME nerve hypersensitivity, I replaced prescribed opioids with low-dose Naltrexone and it worked brilliantly. As an opioid receptor antagonist, low-dose Naltrexone has a seemingly paradoxical pain relieving effect as it causes the body to upregulate endorphin production.

      As with many things, YMMV.

      1. John Beech

        Lee, I followed both links. Sciatic pain is a way of life for me due to stenosis, and opioids plug me up, and nothing else has worked (Tylenol, and Aleve don’t touch it). The exercises won’t help (will aggravate things, actually). Nevertheless, thanks for sharing because I’ll take the link to the low dose with me on my next doctor’s visit.

        Tom, we’ll get relief when we die. No sense rushing things. Meanwhile do what works, pal.

    3. jax

      We have been reading your tortuous path as you’ve been writing. If I had two farthings to rub together I’d definitely send them your way. As it is, my dislike of landlords (it’s not a job!) and 50 plus years of sobbing over what passes for health care find no relief. Take care Tom Stone. You have more people on your side than you can imagine.

    4. Dave in Austin

      I was in the original Moderna study and had no side effects except that I slept 12 hours after the second shot.

      When I went for my booster they told me there was a study of a booster that was designed to protect against Delta and a few other, newer varieties. I signed up and got the shot this morning. No side effects at all. If anything changes, I’ll keep you posted.

  16. Wukchumni

    Today is when foreigners can at last visit these not so united states for the first time in 19 months and I know i’ve missed the cosmopolitan feel they bring here to tiny town. It wasn’t unusual riding in a shuttle bus in Sequoia NP to hear half a dozen dialects being spoken at once among the passengers.

    That said, there’s scant reason for them to show up here, as Sequoia NP will be closed probably until the spring, on account of the KNP Fire.

  17. JWP

    Re Flu decreases:

    I would seem college is a world of its own. We have seen a majority of the school sick in some form for about a month and a half now, with many classes operating at about 1/2-2/3 capacity. Interestingly, there have been outbreaks of baby diseases such as hand-foot-and mouth and whooping cough. Flu has been common and COVID has been a sideshow as everyone who is sick is tested, and positives are rare. I’m not sure if its due to wake ned immune systems from covid or what, but way more people are sick with way more diseases than before the pandemic.

    Curious if this will be true of the broader world in a year or so.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      One question that sticks out would be are they pre-Covid sick enough to care or being extra precautious as a result of Covid where they would just tough it out, regardless of sick day policies. What motivates a trip to student health is likely going to be different. We know Covid is responsible for so many excess deaths because they actuaries are usually reliable and we have death certificates, but were there times I could have seen the doctor instead of nyquil and sleep? With everything, the only reason the absence of the flu was even noticed as early as it was was because it was 0 when everything was shut down and super sanitary.

      Dorms are gross anyway, but my guess is its a behavioral change more so than anything. Covid and the flu would probably be really bad too.

      1. JWP

        Many of the people I know who have been sick have had it pretty bad to the point of needing to get antibiotics or other meds from student health. The policy for quarantine has changed so kids go to designated school owned townhouses instead of the dreaded hotel. They test everyone who shows symptoms so most of these kids are actually pretty ill. School is business as usual except masks in the gym, class, and school sponsored gatherings. Definitely infinite ways of transmission beyond that, the real surprise is the type and severity of disease.

  18. Wukchumni

    A nagging question of questionable importance…

    Why is the first comment ‘one’ whereas all the rest are in regular number form?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Why is the first comment ‘one’ whereas all the rest are in regular number form?

      Where are you seeing this? We don’t number our comments. (If we did, we’d have to number them outline fashion, because they are nested.)

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        The Comments section of each post starts with a note about how many comments there have been so far. Usually that number is written in digits (emg., “23 COMMENTS”) — but when there is only one comment, the note does indeed spell out “ONE COMMENT”. I’ve seen this myself a very few times, and wondered about it, but never commented on it.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Satellite images show China built mock-ups of US warships”

    Are they allowed to do that?? Seriously, all big militaries train against their likely opponents and it has a long history. ‘In the Second World War, the antagonists captured each other’s aircraft and introduced them into a modest DACT role. The Germans created a unit known as “Touring Zirkus Rosarius” with captured P-51s, P-47s etc. that visited fighter bases and even let the senior pilots fly the adversary aircraft themselves. The RAF created a unit with Luftwaffe captured fighters (Bf-109s and FW-190s) that were fully tested and then taken to USAAF and RAF bases for familiarization training.’ This still goes on today. Ever heard of Top Gun? Even the North Korea use mock ups of US warships to practice on as well as to make a propaganda point. The only thing unique is the Chinese putting this mock-up on train carriages so that it can move.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Are they allowed to do that?? Seriously, all big militaries train against their likely opponents

      This was a story hook for the larger point that once the United States was “the arsenal of democracy” because of its manufacturing. Now we are more like Germany, making expensive bespoke weaponry in insufficient numbers. China is the arsenal. So look out. Also, see the story of the Bonhomme Richard also linked to:

      The Navy, and the U.S. military more broadly, have tacitly returned to the “Third Offset” approach that faded into the background after the Obama administration. It relies on a specific reading of US military success in the late 1970s and 1980s, one that emphasizes the role of high technology in compensating for personnel disadvantages.

      Technological change will play an undeniable role in military power in the next ten years, as advancements from hypersonic missiles, better unmanned vessels, and networking systems come to fruition. This is the logic behind the Navy’s “Divest to Invest” scheme, which sheds older surface combatants for a more distributed force of smaller manned and unmanned warships.

      However, it will take time for new forces to reach the fleet. Until that point — until manned systems are almost phased out of frontline forces — the United States will rely upon traditional warships for naval combat. And even as unmanned systems replace traditional fighter aircraft, automated processes simplify targeting, and small unmanned vessels are fielded, traditional warships require significant crews for damage control.

      Not a recipe for success in the short-term, and I’m a believer in simple and rugged over complex and fragile any day.

  20. jr

    We need help as a species. We are heading for disasters on multiple fronts. It’s time to reach out to the adults in the solar system and ask for help. This could be an important first step:

    Please Contact Your Elected Officials. Tell Them To Support The Gillibrand NDAA 2022 Amendment To Fund, Study, And Disclose Findings On UAP
    (… )

    (Phone Calls, and Snail Mail)



    ” Senator Gillibrand submitted an important amendment for inclusion in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act requiring the government to strengthen its investigations of unidentified aerial phenomena , otherwise known as UFOs. SA 4281. Mrs. GILLIBRAND submitted an amendment intended to be proposed to amendment SA 3867 submitted by Mr. REED and intended to be proposed to the bill H.R. 4350.

    As your constituent I urge you to support this amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 as it is vital to our nation’s security.

    We have documented these unknown craft using advanced technology, and we cannot evict them from our nation’s airspace even if we wanted to do so as they outclass our own technology.

    This is documented in the Pentagon’s June 2021 UAP report, as well as the declassified videos they have released.

    We do not know if these are Russian, Chinese, or some other adversary.

    These craft seem to be engaged in studying our nuclear powered naval assets, ships, submarines, and also nuclear reactors, waste storage sites, and nuclear missile silos, and nuclear weapon storage sites.

    If this is reconnaissance by an adversary using this advanced technology we need to be investing significantly more money to understand and then counter it.

    We need to fully fund and study this phenomenon to determine what risk, if any, is posed to our nation.

    We need answers.

    Please support Senator Gillibrand’s Amendment SA 4281 to the NDAA of 2022 H.R. 4350.

  21. tegnost

    Re: helping workers
    Everybody knows you can’t help others until you help yourself first.
    Congress has been helping themselves first for this entire century, at some point it has been theorized that they helped themselves enough, and then they will certainly be anxious to help others now that their implacable selves have finally pushed away from the trough.

  22. Wukchumni

    They Carry Us With Them: The Great Tree Migration Emergence Magazine.
    Sequoia trees once ranged near and far, you can purchase Sequoia cones from the late Cretaceous era (65 million years ago) that grew in South Dakota in the Hell Creek formation, and big red grew everywhere, why not expand their horizons in a meaningful fashion-not the onesy twosey Sequoias here and there growing all over the world (proof that they aren’t one-trick ponies only able to eek out a living on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada) and create world beater carbon catchers in the process?

    In NZ, Sequoia trees grow 2-3x as quick as in their natural habitat here, what other tricks do the brobdingnagians have up their sleeves?

    1. Lee

      In at least two of our local parks in Alameda, CA someone some considerable time ago, judging from their size, planted three species of redwood, our native Sequoia and coastal, plus the Dawn Redwood that is native to China.

      The Three Redwoods

    2. John Steinbach

      I’ve got a Dawn Redwood planted in my year in Manassas, VA. About 30 years old & already approaching 70′

  23. Wukchumni

    Sierra County Sheriff deputizes churchgoers KOB4
    It is an old video from May 2020, but indicative of the lengths evangs will go to thwart the law and spread disease, in this case using a law enforcement official in cahoots.

    At the time of the making of the video there was but 1 case of Covid in Sierra County and since then, 1,106 of which 57 have perished, a vastly higher rate of deaths than in Bernalillo County (Abq et al) where 78,333 have contracted Covid with 1,132 passing away.

    Dogma appears to be the main difference…

  24. DJG, Reality Czar

    “I’m so old I remember when gay liberation and militarism were seen as being opposed to each other. Ah well. Nevertheless.”

    What with commodification of dissent, puritanism, and the belief that a revolution should assure one’s place in the petty-bourgeois order of things, one does wonder how gay liberation settled for marriage equality, places at the service academies, and the very public incompetence of Pete Buttigieg.

    We’re a long way from Angels in America, with its more-than-noticeable theme of tying radical politics to one’s sexual liberation. And more life. (Which doesn’t seem to align with a career at the Pentagon.)

    Heck, the current crop of U.S. drag queens is a bunch of Avon ladies compared to Divine.

    Time for the national conversation on what it means to make real change? Yes, we want bread and roses. I don’t see bullets in there.

    1. Lee

      If one considers the Spartans, for example, homosexuality is not concomitantly non-violent. From Wikipedia:

      “Homosexuality in the militaries of ancient Greece was regarded as contributing to morale.[1] Although the primary example is the Sacred Band of Thebes, a unit said to have been formed of same-sex couples, the Spartan tradition of military heroism has also been explained in light of strong emotional bonds resulting from homosexual relationships.[2] Various ancient Greek sources record incidents of courage in battle and interpret them as motivated by homoerotic bonds.”

  25. Joe Well

    The New York Times still publishes some of the best long-form journalism in the US. But is there any point in reading it knowing how often it just makes stuff up?

    I remember clearly when they declared that the ridiculous 2002 fake-coup against Chavez was a popular uprising against an “authoritarian” (whatever that means). Then memory-holed all of what they had written two days later when the president pretty much walked back into office.

    You could make quite the coffee table book of the major NYT lies over the decades.

    1. tommy s.

      Totally agree. I still have a great Times article bookmarked right after the 2016 election ‘why didn’t Wisconsin blacks turn out for Clinton like Obama,’ but yeah the lies overall, are so deep, and have been all my life….I just can’t look often…… Use to subscribe back in the 80s’ to 90’s to Lies of our Times, which just centered on NY Times’ lies…..that and FAIR’s Extra magazine, kept me somewhat sane…..

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > You could make quite the coffee table book of the major NYT lies over the decades.

      We’re at the point where you not only have to assess the individual reporter, you have to assess the stories, paragraph by paragraph, where the default setting is that the reporter is corrupt or played, and that the story is false or deceptive. This is a good mental exercise in media critique, of course. But it’s exhausting. And the effect is to render the NYT brand meaningless. And yet there are many who cling to the brand….

      I remember years and years ago, when the Sunday Times was not a shrunken, hollow shell of its former self, how nice it was to sit down and go through it, finishing with the crossword. Sure, it was the Times, but I felt I could generally apply a proper discount and read between the lines as needed. Now there seem to be no lines.

  26. Anthony Stegman

    This morning while watching one of the network news shows I learn that the Biden administration is opening the country up to vaccinated travelers from 33 countries, including many European countries. The next story on the news was this gem – Europe is seeing a surge of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, with UK and Germany hospitals being overloaded with patients. How does the Biden administration’s decision make any sense?

    1. cnchal

      It makes lots of cents. Money power > than people power.

      Forgive my sarcasm, but the whole idea that this is over and we should get used to catching it multiple times, according to the money grubbers, is insane.

      Still Flying = Total Fail

    2. Mantid

      Anthony, you misspelled sense, it’s cents – and a lot of them. I’ve come to the conclusion that the powers that be (large corporations, big money, et al) are making a lot of money on Covid and don’t mind if people keep getting sick, die or have long Covid. They (high tech, big pharma, military intelligence, surveillance capitalists) are making a grip of money and do not want this gravy train stopped.

  27. Basil Pesto

    I had actually been wondering a few months ago about adverse reactions and the nocebo effect, though regrettably I don’t think I brought it up here. Good to see some literature touching on it (and hopefully undertaken in good faith), thanks for the link!

  28. Wukchumni

    Canadians are likely to see inflated food prices at their local grocery stores for several more months, some experts say.

    Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, told CTV News Channel on Sunday that food prices have risen by about five per cent across the board since January.

    “Now five per cent may seem low, but for consumers out there looking for similar products, some products have actually gone up by 20, 25 per cent,” he said.

    When it comes to global food inflation, Charlebois says we are likely in the “third inning of a nine-inning baseball game right now,” which will mean “several months of rockiness at the grocery store, unfortunately.”

  29. synoia

    How Britain Turned Into the World’s Most Self-Destructive Society

    The roots of this were always there. 3 day week? No heat? Contempt for the “Working Class,” That happened in the early ’70s.

    The unions and Labor go the blame, and them came Thatcher, after the Wilson and Callahan Labor Government was undermined.

    Thatcher blamed to unions and workers, and set the program in motion.

    One has to understand the deep contempt the British Upper class have for the working class.

    1. Count Zero

      Umar Haque has a taste for hyperbole. “The government is literally shitting” on society? Literally?

      The teenage abuse of basic English — in the very subtitle of his piece — tells you everything! He seems incapable of understanding either facts or the simplest of concepts. His charts of an opinion poll and data on Covid are not telling stories of “political economy.” The opinion poll suggests that around 40% of the population would currently vote Tory. Only in Haque’s addled brain is 40% a majority, much less every Brit. (“Brit” incidentally is a mildly offensive term, generally used by foreigners, and about equivalent to calling Americans “Yanks” or Japanese “Japs.”)

      There’s a lot wrong in Britain and the government is an appalling shambles of corruption and incompetence. Haque’s incessant hysterical rants contribute nothing of value.

  30. Andy

    Re. Myanmar
    When opposition movements in countries the US considers adversaries take money from the NED and fly their people to Washington to learn about things like ‘democratic governance and civil society’ they are committing treason and shooting themselves in the foot. No country in the world, from the most democratic to the most repressive, will stand idly by while a foreign power funds and advises internal forces that seek to usurp the status quo. Aung San Suu Kyi even has her own page on the NED website. This is textbook collusion and meddling.

    Would the US tolerate a CCP version of the NED calling itself, say, the Confucian Democracy Endowment funding a major American political party, flying its leaders to Beijing to learn about ‘democracy’ and actively promoting the party on the international stage while denouncing the governing party and the Jeffersonian system?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Aung San Suu Kyi

      It would be madness for the NUG to get involved with any of the various US NGO tentacles.

      As for Suu Kyi, I think her day in Myanmar is done, FWIW. I don’t think the “international community” recognizes that, and would like her to re-assume a leadership role. I don’t think that will happen, and if it did happen, it would be bad. Leadership needs to emerge organically from the NUG (or a warlord who wants to be George Washington* instead of, say, a smuggler or a meth manufacturer).

      NOTE * The general and first President of the United States, not the land speculator and slave-owner, of course.

  31. lance ringquist

    the china shock article was spot on as to what i have observed in rural minnesota and in a large area of the mpls,/st.paul metropolitan complex. but the authors are way to naive by saying free trade can be reformed. no it cannot be reformed. the object is to profit off of human and environmental degradation on both sides of the trade. only a tiny few elites really prosper off of free trade.
    lincoln, and by the time keynes came along, they knew free trade could not be reformed, and the losers are never ever compensated.
    so to ignore well over a century of failure, seems to point to a ideology that will never let reality, trump ideology.
    smoot hawley and Gatt were a god send for civil society. and they point to the nordics, but they hide behind the Vat tax, which forces labor to subsidize free trade.

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