Links 12/8/2021

The Globetrotting Dragonfly That Follows the Monsoon The Wire

A Utopia of Useful Things Lapham’s Quarterly

Indonesia volcano eruption death toll rises Deutsche Welle

What Was So Special About Greta Garbo? New Yorker

Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas?”  MIT Technology Review. A 1959 essay, first published in 2014.

Leaked screenshots show Amazon blaming the big AWS outage on sudden, surging traffic from an ‘unknown source’ that overwhelmed parts of its cloud network Business Insider

Where the Light Is Better The Point


Terrible, flippant, wrong’: Doctors and researchers tear into Psaki for mocking idea of mailing free at-home COVID tests to all Americans Daily Mail

Where Are the Damn PCR Tests Already? It’s Been 21 Months! Truthout

Growing use of home Covid-19 tests leaves health agencies in the dark about unreported cases Stat


Anime convention of 53K is first US case study for omicron spread, CDC says Ars Technica

BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine may be less effective against Omicron, study finds FT


Surgeon general warns of emerging youth mental health crisis in rare public advisory Yahoo News


City Hall Withheld COVID Neighborhood Death Data During NYC’s 2020 Pandemic Peak, Emails Show The City

DeBlasio Sets Vaccine Precedent in New York. Will California Follow? Capital & Main

Judge halts Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide The Hill

Class Warfare

The Strange Career of Paul Krugman Tablet. From mid-November; still germane.

India is among the most unequal countries, says World Inequality Report Scroll

Billionaires’ share of global wealth soars during pandemic Yahoo News

Uber grapples with multiple challenges to business model in Europe FT

These Real Estate and Oil Tycoons Avoided Paying Taxes for Years ProPublica

Sports Desk

MLB misuses Clemente’s image in their locking out of the Players’ Union Payday Report

The Supremes

Activism Uncensored: Abortion Protests in Washington TK News. Matt Taibbi.

Our Famously Free Press


Biden demands MSM fall into line: White House holds secret meetings with news organizations and Washington Post columnist goes on CNN to claim that president is being treated WORSE than Trump by press Daily Mail

Biden Administration

Why it would be better if this Democracy Summit never happened Responsible Statecraft

Why Isn’t Washington Merry? Elizabeth Drew

Her failing is not an option’ — Harris convenes Black women and charts the path ahead Politico

COP26/Climate Change

Inflation threatens record pace of renewable power rollout Ars Technica

Layers of carbon: The Congo Basin peatlands and oil Mongabay

The medieval Dutch solution to flooding BBC

Big Tech’s Climate Policy Talk Doesn’t Translate Into Lobbying for Action Treehugger

Power companies band together for coast-to-coast EV fast-charger network Ars Technica

National Trust to fell at least 30,000 trees hit by ash dieback Guardian

Supply Chain

Supply-Chain Problems Will Last Through 2023, Intel Chief Says WSJ

Refugee Watch

The West Helped Create the Conditions That Force Iraqis, Iranians and Syrians to Cross the Channel Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn.

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Accuser testifies Ghislaine Maxwell told her she ‘had a great body for Epstein and his friends.’ She was 14. CNN

Old Blighty

Letter suggests ‘cover-up’ of PM’s involvement in Afghan dog airlift, says MP Guardian

Downing Street party: Government ministers refuse to go on radio and TV to defend event Independent


In Algeria’s Freedom Struggle, the Spirit of Frantz Fanon Is Still Alive Jacobin


“We Will Be Merciless in Applying the Law” Der Spiegel


‘Historic day’: Chile passes marriage equality legislation Al Jazeera

Chilean Election Is a Feast of False Equivalency FAIR


Is the Africa-China Relationship at Its Lowest or Highest Level Yet? The Diplomat

Intrigue on the high seas between Indonesia, China Asia Times

China threatens the US with retaliation over diplomatic boycott of Winter Olympics CNN

Australia joins diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Games Reuters

Inside Tim Cook’s Secret $275 Billion Deal with Chinese Authorities The Information

China Increasingly Obscures True State of Its Economy to Outsiders WSJ


Opinion: Cool, calm and collected — Merkel leaves but her political style remains Deutsche Welle


The Great Indo-Soviet Naval Relationship Owes Its Beginning to One Russian Man The Wire

Farm law protests: Samyukt Kisan Morcha to decide tomorrow on continuing agitation Scroll


Four Law Firms Take Action Against Facebook in $150B Legal Action for Rohingya Refugees

Myanmar soldiers accused of killing 11 after charred remains found Reuters

Meta removes Myanmar army-linked businesses from Facebook FT


Why the Turkish Lira Is Falling Like a Rock WSJ

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Redlife2017

    In the “who coulda known” category, I present you with the British Government’s biggest U-turn since…oh, I dunno, the last one?

    Guardian: Ministers expected to sign off plan B Covid rules for England

    “Ministers are expected to sign off new rules to impose home working and vaccine certification across England in the face of rising Covid cases, the Guardian understands.

    Downing Street said no final decisions had been made but ministers and officials convened on Wednesday to move to plan B and to begin imposing some restrictions as early as Wednesday night.”

    Going in one week from: Go out and have your Christmas Party to work from home is, uh, an interesting strategy.

    1. Trailer Park Boy

      Call me a cynic but this seem certain to be a diversionary tactic to shift the focus away from Tories partying in the middle of lockdown. Playing with people’s lives to distract from their own failings (as usual).

      1. vidimi

        tories partying in the middle of a lockdown seems to be a diversionary tactic from the massive attack on protest and free speech that is the proposed policing bill

        1. svay

          I think you’re onto something there, and Boris isn’t such a bumbling oaf as he goes to such lengths to appear. All the media hoo-ha about No. 10’s wallpaper, Cummings and Co. flouting covid restrictions, and other such outrageous but fairly inconsequential matters diverts attention from the NHS disappearing along with the right to protest about any of it.

    2. David

      I knew this was inevitable as soon as the government denied that it would be moving to Plan B. Their entire handling of the crisis has been characterised by too little, too late, and through clenched teeth. Which is appropriate, perhaps, since the government is behaving like a bunch of children who know they have to go the dentist, but keep trying to put it off, one more day, one more day ….

    3. PlutoniumKun

      Its a pretty good indication that the private briefings the government are getting are bad – very bad. If there was any possible way to avoid this they would.

      The thing that infuriates me is that the scientists and media talking heads who were pushing the whole herd immunity thing over the summer are allowed to gaslight us all. They are now pushing the line that ‘it is probably just a mild strain’, soon it will be ‘how could anyone have known such a varient could come about?’

  2. svay

    Downing Street party: Government ministers refuse to go on radio and TV to defend event

    The Daily Mash is, predictably, having a field day with this!
    (Ant and Dec are some kind of UK TV thing, who have chipped in with their two penn’orth.)

  3. fresno dan

    So I am dealing with my Christmas lights. LED, multicolor – and by multicolor, I mean each individual light is suppose to change to multiple colors. Except, 2 lights went out, and fiddleing around with them, and then all the lights after them went out. Mother%$!!@h*!!!! Went to Utube to see how to fix LED lights, and essentially, its just like when I was 5 years old. Check each individual light…
    60 years, and this is the progress humanity has made???

    1. David

      Well, when I were a lad, sixty years ago, we had to use trained hamsters on a wheel to keep the Christmas lights on, and the only colour available was white. This week, we bought Christmas lights, made in China, which could be programmed to flash on and off in eight different modes. Who says there’s no such thing as progress?

    2. katiebird

      We have a tool called LightKeeper Pro that zaps the string of lights and gets them going. Sometimes you have to use it two or three times to get the string going again. It can even test individual lights to tell you if the bulb is working.

      1. fresno dan

        December 8, 2021 at 8:53 am
        OK, will give it a try (if I find someone who has it in stock). Bad enough that these LED lights are so expensive, but no Christmas lights!??! And what happens to malfunctioning Christmas light sets – yup, the island of malfunctioning Christmas light sets, where they sit waiting for Santa to take them to someone who wants Christmas lights that don’t actually light…

        1. katiebird

          We found it at an Ace Hardware more years ago than I remember. Looks like they’ve got it online. We’ve used it every year on indoor and outdoor lights.

          1. fresno dan

            December 8, 2021 at 11:28 am
            I went to Ace and got one and I gave it a shot. One of the problems is that this light string has 5 lines going to each bulb. The whole line didn’t work – I checked the fuses in the plug and they both appeared fine. I followed the directions for testing, plugging every line to a bulb into the LED tester and testing each and every one of the five lines to each individual bulb. Nothing happened.
            I am only sad about the fact that I am generating quite a bit of waste. Our recycle only takes plastic and paper.
            But never again will I buy Christmas lights unless they explicitly state that one burnt out bulb does not shut down the whole light set…

            One of the bulbs in the other light set is not working – queue theme from Jaws

      1. fresno dan

        December 8, 2021 at 9:07 am

        From the Guide:
        Pretty much every modern Christmas lighting system with small Italian-style bulbs won’t fail if a bulb burns out. Don’t let any retailer make you think this is special.
        The reason is that each bulb actually has both a filament and a “shunt”, an alternate path for the electricity to get through the bulb. When the filament burns out, the shunt takes over and passes electricity straight through the bulb to the next one.
        Believe it or not, I actually have the box the lights came in, and in that box are the instructions. Driven to despair, hopelessness, desperation, anguish, and unbearable suffering, and on the verge of insanity, I turned to the very last recourse, only to be used when all hope is lost – The PRODUCT INSTRUCTIONS. At the very, very, VERY end of the instructions, under CAUTION: Risk of fire, This product does not contain lamp shunts, which allow the product to operate if one lamp burns out. Replace lamps only with the spare lamps provided with this product.

        So I will try the LightKeeper Pro, and if that fails, I will end it all.

    3. Samuel Conner

      Lights on strings is so 20th, or even 19th, century.

      What is needed here is a programmable illuminated drone swarm.

      1. Mike Mc

        The silly little LED projectors that display a variety of patterns on your house’s exterior are pretty slick. Saw some fun ones at Halloween and expect to see more this week, when we do some Xmas lights tourism.

        Mercifully the 1904 retirement house we bought in April this year has plenty of easily accessible places to hang lights and garlands. Reaching the age where shinnying up ladders to try and string lights on gutters etc. is considerably less pleasant, and falling down represents life-altering – or ending! – results.

        Check out the little LED projects and spare yourself some holiday angst, Fresno Dan! We just got you back as it is.

        1. Frankie

          You can rig ’em to project text with a paper cutout mask. Instant billboards and they are portable with a 12v system.

      2. LifelongLib

        When my grandma was a girl in early 20th century Montana, they didn’t have electricity so they would trim the Christmas tree with candles. Strings of electric lights were an amazing improvement.

    4. Wukchumni

      A few years ago I was down in Tijuana-adjacent and my sister took me around to some neighborhood where the goal was seemingly to use more electricity than a Bitcoin mine in each of the dozen or so homes committed to the cause of eliminating any star in the universe from outshining them in the weeks leading up to the solstice, and if given the chance most would willingly go through with being fully lit all annum.

      Me, bah humbug to all that, and the idea of killing a young pine about 7 years old in order to put tinsel and ornaments on it in it’s funeral bier (don’t forget to add water to the corpse) was kind of way creepy to me.

      Here in tiny town, maybe 1 out of 40 homes puts up xmas lights-so we can afford the high overhead that comes with dark skies.

    5. Old Jake - Feeling Crochety Sometimes

      I’ve been using the same Christmas lights for years. Kind of an unusual color though. Black. But they are energy efficient (or at least they don’t use much).

    6. jonboinAR

      There are many blessings for me living out in the middle of nowhere as I do. One of the greatest is there’s little temptation or reason to put up Christmas lights!

  4. OIFVet

    Re: “We Will Be Merciless in Applying the Law” Der Spiegel

    I am heartily sick of the constant emphasis that Petkov and Vasilev are Harvard graduates. The fetish of credentialism has never been more nauseating in Bulgaria then it is right now. I sure do hope that the two “Harvards” and the coalition they are forming will make major inroads in the fight against corruption in Bulgaria, but the facts are as follows:
    1. Petkov and Vasilev are garden-variety Western-educated neoliberals. Petkov famously promised during the election campaign to achieve “Leftist goals using rightist policies.” I trust the NC commentariat is sophisticated enough to know what that means
    2. Petkov gives me constant flashbacks to Obama in 2008. Easy in the eyes, well-spoken, and a rarity for Bulgaria: an easy, near-constant smile. Just like Obama, people seem to see in him what they want to see, and hear what they want to hear. Needless to say, major warning lights light up, given my intimate familiarity with the Obama years.
    3. The two “Harvards” are not exactly new on the scene, one of them was a minister in a caretaker government in 2013, during which time there are allegations that he helped pave the way for a sweetheart deal on highly desirable government-owned land for the other one. At the very least, to pretend that they are entirely new on the scene and have no insider experience with the status quo is irksome.
    4. They, and most MPs of their party, are closely connected to a web of US-backed and funded NGOs, and most activities seem to have been connected to using NGO grants for proposals designed to pad resumes and train and network with like minded individuals. I can’t help but to think of what Lambert says: “Grifters gotta grift.”
    5. In light of 4, they are simply updated and credentialed versions of the previous rulers, Borissov and GERB. The latter went overboard in their graft, which led to problems for their previously warm backers from the EU (Merkel in particular) and the US once the Bulgarian population got fed up and took to the streets last summer. Though I suspect that the main problem of Western PTB with corruption in Bulgaria was that it had become unacceptably uncouth and “in-your-face,” which shines undesirable light on Western “blindness” toward corruption as long as the corrupt toe the EU and NATO lines.. In that light, corruption will likely be transformed into a more digestible form for Western tastes, with more credentialed and white-collars engaging in grift rather than graft.

    I can go on, but I think that this highlights my major beef with these anointed agents of change (cue acid reflux-inducing flashback to “hope and change”).

      1. OIFVet

        It’s a bit different, though. Almost everything of value in Bulgaria has long been looted. Now it’s almost purely a matter of geopolitics, for example see US and EU pressure on Bulgaria to lift its veto on Macedonian accession to the EU, and maintaining the neoliberal course.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Terrible, flippant, wrong’: Doctors and researchers tear into Psaki for mocking idea of mailing free at-home COVID tests to all Americans”

    And when you have a political party in opposition, this would be considered a golden opportunity. The Republicans could come out and promise that when they have power again, that all Americans would get free test kits at home upon request and would push for this after the 2022 midterms. And yet there seems to be nothing but cricket sounds coming from the Republicans from what I have seen. Odd that. It’s almost if both parties had the same donors.

    1. Randall Flagg

      Two parties?
      I wish I could remember who said it but it was once said D’s and R’s are just two sides of the same coin.
      There’s merit to that statement.

            1. JBird4049

              Or The Monoparty? The Conservative Monoparty being that every freaking president from before Bill Clinton during the twentieth century would be considered too leftist or even liberal for the current duopoly. IIRC, Barry Goldwater would be considered such for the current Republican wing of the party.

      1. mistah charley, ph.d.

        Gore Vidal said the American political system was an eagle with two right wings. And speaking of coins, wasn’t it Ross Perot who said there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the R’s and the D’s?

        1. jsn

          Then there was Julius Nyerere who said,

          “The US is also a one party state, but with typical American extravagance, it has two of them.”

      2. michael

        You are right. We have the corporatists – bought and paid for by the big money – and everyone else. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of people in the everyone else party.

        1. Chris

          More people choose not to vote than vote for Ds and Rs combined. If you could form a 3rd party and get all the non-voters to vote for it, it would win by a huge margin. I plan to stop voting for corporate Ds and support more 3rd party candidates. Most people would rather vote for the lessor of two evils that vote for something new. Stockholm Syndrome?

            1. LifelongLib

              You’re assuming that “independents” all want the same things. In reality they’re all over the map. Here in Hawaii the Libertarians usually get about twice as many votes as the Greens.

          1. Pate


            “It has frequently been said that the Democratic Party (left wing) and the Republican Party (right wing) are “two wings of the same bird of prey.” Both parties need campaign money and both parties attempt to befriend rich people and wealthy corporations.

            The phrase “two wings of the same bird of prey” was used by Morris Hillquit and Norman Thomas of the Socialist Party in September-October 1928. The phrase has long been used by socialists and is still used today. Patrick Buchanan, who left the Republican Party to seek the Reform Party’s nomination for president in 1999, said that ‘’Our two parties have become nothing but two wings on the same bird of prey.’’

            Charles Edward Merriam, Jr. (1874-1953), a University of Chicago political science professor and author, was credited by at least 1932 for having said, “The Democratic and Republican parties here are merely the two wings of the same bird of prey.”

        1. LifelongLib

          Wallace used racist rhetoric to get elected, but his platform included expanding Social Security and Medicare. Today’s politicians talk about inclusivity but try to cut programs that benefit actual people. Almost makes me nostalgic…

      3. diptherio

        “The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.” ~Julius Nyerere

      4. dave

        There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.
        –Gore Vidal

    2. Samuel Conner

      One can hope that “from below” forms of beneficial COVID activism will emerge; this might be useful as preparation for future pandemics, especially given the evidence of resistance in the political class to learning useful-for-public-health lessons from the current pandemic.

      Sort of a form of ‘parallel institutions’ in the public-health ‘space’

      It has been suggested that N95 respirators would make great stocking stuffers this Christmas. As rapid tests become cheaper and widely available, perhaps these will become frequent holiday gifts.

      And perhaps not just for holidays. Invited to supper at a friend’s home? Wine is an excellent gift to bring, but N95s and rapid tests would be even better. You want your host to live (and remain un-incapacitated) long enough that you will have future opportunities to enjoy his/her hospitality.

    3. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      December 8, 2021 at 7:53 am
      I’ve heard it said a zillion times – people say that voting for a 3rd party is wasting your vote – I say voting for a dem or repub is wasting your vote….

      1. Mantid

        Voting is wasting your vote. Corporations are not even on the ballot, only their puppets. The only things that creates change are boycotts and strikes, not votes. Their heart is in their wallet. Small time, local politics is slightly different. However, the real puppets move up the feeding chain fast and are then onto county, state offices and beyond.

  6. fresno dan

    The Strange Career of Paul Krugman Tablet. From mid-November; still germane.

    Only a few years later, however, Krugman had become one of the most vehement critics of scholars, public servants, and journalists who questioned free trade, doing his best to destroy their reputations in the eyes of the trans-Atlantic media and business and academic establishments. He and other intellectual vigilantes like Martin Wolf of the Financial Times and the economist Jagdish Bhagwati who policed the borders of acceptable discourse about trade in general and offshoring to China in particular were all too successful. It might have happened anyway, but Krugman’s prestige and skill as a polemicist helped persuade elite media outlets, think tanks, government agencies, and business institutions that they could ignore the experts from varied backgrounds who were raising alarms about the consequences that offshoring U.S. manufacturing would have for supply chain fragility, domestic jobs, and U.S. military power. By the time Krugman confessed that he and others had been wrong to minimize the problems involved in globalization for a quarter of a century, the damage to the United States had been done.
    He (Krugman) repeated ad hominem attacks on free trade heretics in vituperative book-length pasquinades like Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations (1994). In “Competitiveness: A Dangerous Obsession” (Foreign Affairs, 1994) and “In Praise of Cheap Labor” (Slate, 1997), Krugman recycled familiar right-wing libertarian talking points. But his status as an MIT economist with prestigious credentials and his political identity as a nominal Democrat lent credibility to arguments that would have been dismissed had they been made, say, by a junior research associate at the libertarian Cato Institute.

    The Swedes claimed that the award was in recognition of Krugman’s work in “new trade theory” and “new economic geography.” As such, it was the first time the prize was awarded to an economist for work the prizewinner had already repudiated as a trivial thought experiment irrelevant to public policy and dangerously misleading if taught to undergraduates.

    Like most economists, and most people in general, Krugman will soon be forgotten. His only significant legacy will have been his role in shutting down the debate in the 1990s about strategic trade and offshoring, to the benefit of the state-capitalist Chinese dictatorship and U.S. multinationals engaged in global labor arbitrage strategies.
    I believed a lot of economics back then – I should have believed Ross Perot…

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      I am thankful to JLS for re-upping this … I obvo’ missed it in November. I derisively refer to Paul Krugman as the Last Court Jester Of The Neoliberal Crown, largely based on this line of assessment: “Krugman spent the rest of the decade in the political wilderness, trashing progressives and populists … “. I take issue however with the author’s brief timeline and this subsequent assertion: ” … Krugman will soon be forgotten. His only significant legacy will have been his role in shutting down the debate in the 1990s about strategic trade and offshoring … “. I only wish this were true. The damage Krugman’s has been able to inflict has been amplified by his position at NYT. Those of us who followed the last two elections cycles – particularly Bernie’s ascent and unfortunately failures – know all too well that Krugman effectively served as a dutiful consent-manufacturing soldier for the Democratic establishment. His odious takes on Medicare For All (“Don’t make it a purity test!” via NYT) were thinly veiled attempts to knee-cap a progressive agenda. Those of us in the #MMT community – including Pavlina Tcherneva (via Twitter) saw right through his erstwhile pragmatic intentions. He has unfortunately persisted far beyond any usefulness his economic opinions may have had at any point in his career. My hope is that he will eventually be relegated to the irrelevance he so richly deserves.

      1. pjay

        Yes! Thank you for noting Krugman’s continued neoliberal smears against Sanders and progressive economic ideas during the last two election cycles.

        A nice article by Lind, as usual. But any suggestion that the Clinton administration was an obstacle to the neoliberal onslaught is pretty funny. The “industrial policy” ideas of people like Magaziner and Reich had no effect on economic policy — unless we count Magaziner and Hillary’s massive Big Insurance health care debacle. As Lind suggests, Krugman may just have been mad at not getting The Call by Clinton. Perhaps he was hoping for a call by Hillary when he was trashing Bernie.

    2. WhoaMolly

      I lost one career from offshoring. At the time I was an avid reader of Krugman and one of his cheerleaders. Now I’m not.

      I watched the wages for my Silicon Valley specialty drop by 70% as charming, intelligent, highly educated foreign workers replaced us.

      (I was nearing retirement and landed on my feet. But many others didn’t.)

      It’s interesting that Krugman’s advocacy of free trade can be predicted by the principle: ‘Follow the money.’ In his case maybe not crass paper dollars but nifty Nobel medals.

      Lind’s article was so good I subscribed to Tablet and bought his new book.

      1. Grant

        I find him constantly referencing Ricardo and comparative advantage to be pretty annoying. It is obvious that he either didn’t read Ricardo (or Adam Smith) directly, or if he did that he intentionally failed to mention the assumptions in their arguments. The immobility of capital, the “home bias” they assumed, how it related to Ricardo wanting to reduce land rent, among many other things. Or, how about Ricardo’s embrace of the labor theory of value, Ricardo analyzing the economy in terms of class, etc? He summarized Ricardo as any Milton Friedman hack would, not as Sraffa did. I would highly recommend EK Hunt’s history of economic thought to anyone interested. Hunt was an interesting thinker, and a lefty too.

        Krugman was horrible to people like Galbraith, and given how consequential the 90s were as far as the neoliberal onslaught, I could care less what he thinks about anything. Especially with his arguments against MMT and his reliance on things like the loanable funds model, and IS-LM (which Keen has utterly dismantled).

        1. KLG

          Yes. I find Ricardo difficult, but Herman Daly is perfectly clear. He pointed out long ago that comparative advantage according to David Ricardo makes sense only when capital is immobile. I suppose it was in the early days of the Industrial Revolution. Not so much now, when it bounces around the world at near the speed of light…

          1. skippy

            Its all very Council of Nicea-esque and the editing room floor is waist deep with revisions and exclusions due to the political forces wangling, rigor is somewhere at the bottom of it all … first thing to die because it impedes the political desires[tm] …

          2. Grant

            I couldn’t read Ricardo and Marx and make sense of things until I read others that explained the different schools of economics. EK Hunt was one, Maurice Dobb and Ronald Meek had really interesting books on value theory, Michael Hudson has written a lot about classical economics, Rajani Kanth had a great book on Ricardo too. Once I read stuff like that, I was able to read Ricardo and Marx and make sense of it. But, I couldn’t by just jumping into their stuff directly. Krugman clearly didn’t make sense of it though, and he has a major paper and was militantly opposed to people that questioned his “free trade” dogma. He has been proven wrong over time, about this and other issues.

            I agree on Herman Daly. It was through him I discovered many interesting thinkers. In his Beyond Growth book, he turned me on to Frederick Soddy’s “Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt.”. One of my favorites too. My ultimate favorite though is Karl William Kapp’s “The Social Costs of Private Enterprise”. Man did he see into the future. If we followed his insights we wouldn’t be in this position we are in.

      2. skippy

        Wellie when one looks at the dominate distribution of Nobel’s from county and school its not hard to glean there is a preference established and to get one you need to colour in between the lines ….

    3. Soredemos

      Is Krugman still ‘researching income inequality’ from his million dollar New York apartment?

    4. skippy

      Just as an example look at his doctrinaire fundamentalist defense of the IS-LM [barter theory w/ a side of Says law], no one, and I mean no one – regardless of all the facts – put under his nose to the contrary of that supposition would budge him. All because without it vast swaths of what him and his propose falls apart in shaping the free market[tm] narrative – see treatment of Bill Black taking them to task only to receive the treatment Born would identify with … yet here we are …

      This is in the face of Hicks having abandoned the model as being too simplistic latter in life and not a true representation of reality or what Keynes was banging on about. Its all as bad as when Says law was being taken behind the shed and all and sundry were crying WE still needed it or gravity would fail and we would all spin off into space. Same same with Samuelson saying WE needed various models because thingy e.g. really the rational agent et al models buried in them or the approach use to arrive at them.

      Best bit is these blokes – too a fault – enter the room projecting their world class intellectualism and anyone that challenges that will get the treatment from the Orthodox Establishment Herd … for it was written …

    5. chuck roast

      Pardon me, but I also have some issues with Michael Lind’s Krugman article. Off the top, Lind writes of the ’80’s, “…the increasing offshoring of production to low-wage countries by U.S. corporations were challenging America’s manufacturing sector and its workers.” Excuse me Michael, but those of us who were paying attention read Barry Bluestone’s 1984 book “The Industrializing of America.” This was not like some kind of historical accident. But Bluestone, after all, was an ex-URPE commie. So, really, no orthodox right-thinker was paying any attention to this nonsense…least of all Krugman.

      Lind goes on,”…but Krugman’s prestige and skill as a polemicist helped persuade elite media outlets, think tanks, government agencies, and business institutions…” Wait up Michael! The only people Krugman had to impress with his unerring econ-logic were the great unwashed. All the other institutions you mentioned were completely on board. Please, Economists do quite enough standing on their collective heads.

      Let us continue. “In 1991 Krugman won the prestigious John Bates Clark Award.” Let’s take a look at the “prestigious” winners of this exclusive American award. See any other geniuses on this list? Most notably Lawrence Summers who won it the year after Paully-boy. With the exception of James Tobin, the only guy (and they are all are penis-worthy) on this list who has contributed a nickel to society as a whole is Emmanuel Saez. By my count, 75 years worth of ruling-class ass-kissing. Forget the Nobel. The Riksbank has taken enough abuse.

      After extensively describing the blow-by-blow of this high-level academic cat fight, including the naming the all the regulars on the dais of each and every Annual American Economic Association meeting, Lind finishes up with this, “Here’s a better way to put it: Things might have gone better if we had never listened to Paul Krugman.” Thanks Michael. Actually, things might have gone better here in the US of A if we had listened to the Economists who were advising the CCP these past years.

    6. lance ringquist

      i voted for ross. what nafta billy clinton was peddling was pure economic nonsense. we have been down that road before, and it did not end well, and today its not ending well.

      krugman should be laughed out of the house, as any free trader should be. another one on PBS is paul solman.

      c.fred bergsten is another one. so many shills to list. someone should start a list, then mail the list to every group that truly represents democracy and a civil society, so that we can drive these slimey slugs back under the rocks where they belong.

      the outrageous crap he spewed about free trade in the 1990’s was criminal at best.

      these shills are responsible for the looting of americas 200 plus years of innovations and improving living standards.

  7. OIFVet

    Oh fudge, I tried to edit my comment on “We Will Be Merciless in Applying the Law” just as time to edit expired, and it was disappeared.

    1. Lee

      Having had some of my comments vaporized from time to time, when I remember to do so, I copy them prior to posting.

    2. drsteve0

      I read, reread and maybe read my comment again and edit as needed (some of my misspellings are just plain embarrassing), then hit ‘Post Comment’. Not trying to be a wiseass but that second by second countdown freaks me out so once my comment’s posted, I’m gone. If it goes into moderation I’m blissfully unaware of it. If that’s drive by posting, mea culpa.

  8. Mikel

    Any stories out there about the return of office Christmas parties?
    Lots of places, even work from home, are having those. Lots of food and drink being served.
    Great way to bring in a new variant for the new year! Will be plenty of variety of cases to study in the coming week.

    Oh, and if omicron appears to spread so fast among other things, it is probably going to cause breakthrough cases faster and mutate into another variant faster.

    And the booster studies aren’t mentioning how temporary the booster protection is and most of this is lab…not real world verified.

    1. svay

      Omicron has sort of mutated into another variant already.
      “There are two lineages within Omicron, BA.1 and BA.2, that are quite differentiated genetically,” Prof Francois Balloux, the director of the University College London Genetics Institute, said. “The two lineages may behave differently.”

      Omicron, like Alpha, has a genetic change called a deletion in the “S” or spike gene. The glitch means that PCR tests that display so-called “S gene target failure” are highly suggestive of Omicron infections.
      Informally, some researchers are calling the new variant “stealth Omicron” because it lacks the deletion that allows PCR tests to spot it.

    2. Lee

      We await news of Omicron’s pathogenicity breathlessly, as it were. Mr. Market seems convinced it will be no big deal. But for the few who own most stocks, not much that adversely affects the rest of seems to touch them.

      In their well distanced hauteur I am reminded of the lines:

      “I am so framed by God, thanks to His grace!
      That any sufferance of your misery
      Touches me not, nor flame of that fierce fire
      Assails me.”

      Unlike Beatrice, I doubt their intentions toward us are uplifting.

      1. lance ringquist

        the problem we have today is that the rich have almost completely separated their ability to make as much money as they can, beyond democratic control.

        i am convinced nothing can touch them financially, nor politically tell we dump free trade. no matter how hard you try to regulate and tax, free trade allows them a escape hatch from a civil society.

        the land tax that’s being touted, not gonna happen, prop. 13 should have shut down that avenue that’s being discussed a long long time ago.

        prop.13 is just in one state, try to over come stuff like that in the other 49 states. its not gonna happen. because states and locals do the property taxes.

        till we regain our sovereignty, learn how to govern and excerpt democratic control, the wealthy simply will make money off of money, no need for ownership of much, just the ability to move large sums on money world wide, at the push of a key.

        that is why a income tax, a wealth tax, a land tax will only net a few extra bucks, and hardly dent the world wide oligarchy.

  9. Mikel

    “China Increasingly Obscures True State of Its Economy to Outsiders” WSJ

    Have to find a non-paywalled version. But some of what is being described also sounds like preparations for an expected attack.

    As a matter of fact, and not just China, wouldn’t preparations for war (overt or covert) cause all kinds of energy and supply chain issues?

    1. curlydan

      If there’s one way to boost a President’s approval rating, it’s war. Expect one (or at least a few missile launches) soon

      1. Lee

        First we have to choose which country sans nukes and with a fifth rate military to attack. Droning one or another group of unruly Africans seems a possible option at the moment.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The issues China are facing with power and supply chains are pretty well known, as are the causes. Its nothing to do with war preparations.

      The attempts to obscure whats going on in the economy is something that quite regularly happens when Beijing is trying to make sharp adjustments to its policy. Its usually intended as a means to ensure that whatever sector is the loser doesn’t realise until its too late, as well as preventing too much speculative activity. It usually fails at both objectives, but it doesn’t stop them from trying.

      1. Mikel

        I was just speaking in general. “War” (whether hot, cold, proxy, whatever) preparations don’t have to be offensive.

  10. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine may be less effective against Omicron, study finds FT

    Link didn’t work. Search just led to FT paywall so here’s a non-paywalled version:

    But never mind because there’s “breaking news” this morning that pfizer’s “own research” says that three doses of its “vaccine” “neutralizes” omicron:

    And just in case that turns out not to be the case,

    Pfizer is also advancing the development of an Omicron-specific vaccine, with the company expressing “high confidence” that it will be available by March.

    So everyone should just calm down and buy pfizer stock because, whatever covid throws at humanity, pfizer has it under control. According to pfizer.

    1. lordkoos

      Yeah that’s being repeated across the media, saw the same thing on the yahoo finance page a few minutes ago:

      “Pfizer (PFE) shares traded slightly higher after the company said that three doses of its Pfizer-BioNTech (BNTX) vaccine “neutralize” the Omicron variant, while noting that two doses “may not be sufficient to protect against infection” with Omicron.”

      Gotta use up those leftover doses ASAP… how could they even know this so quickly? The sheer chutzpah of the bu**shi*t is incredible.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I wonder what “vaccine” action the word “neutralize” is meant to imply. It seems to be a new one in the covid lexicon.

    2. NotThePilot

      Yeah, I saw Bloomberg’s version of the news and wasn’t blocked by the paywall:

      Third Pfizer-BioNTech Dose Is Key to Fight Omicron’s Spread

      And honestly, the complete mismatch between the headlines and the actual details gives me a bad taste. I’d definitely like to hear from people that understand all the details better, but my impression is that they’ve spun their actual results as much as possible while still being technically true.

      IIUC they’re actually saying that within a single vaccinated person’s blood, they only find 4% (1/25) as many omicron-neutralizing antibodies as for the initial strain. The booster doesn’t actually change that ratio, but just causes another flood of active antibodies so the absolute quantity of omicron-neutralizing ones becomes much higher.

      I’m not an immunologist so I don’t know if that translates into significant effectiveness: if they’re still just a fraction of active antibodies, is the actual effectiveness against omicron proportionally less, or is effectiveness more non-linear and a question of antibody count being above a certain threshold?

      Another thing that’s not clear from the articles is whether “as effective as two doses against earlier variants” means right after the 2nd dose, or as effective as the average vaccinated person in their sample (who has probably been vaccinated for a while & already has fewer active antibodies).

      1. Maritimer

        Just ask Joey at Walgreens, he is up to date on all things Covid and well qualified to answer all your questions before he has you sign the Informed Consent Form, and injects you, hopefully intramuscularly among other small details.

  11. LawnDart

    Hard-Time Harris and her path ahead:

    When Vice President Kamala Harris walked into her ceremonial office on Monday, a room full of Black women greeted her there in-person and on Zoom, waiting for some deliverables.

    Harris went around the room Monday, asking the women about policy areas they cared about, there was an explicit request for “creative ways” to connect to average Americans, especially the Democrats’ bedrock constituency: the Black community.

    They understand, as one attendee put it, that they must “start doing some midcourse correction in terms of messaging, but also methods of messaging.”

    Yep, all in the delivery: blow a bit more smoke and sunshine up our wazoos, that’ll do it. Maybe it’ll make us forget about that “content of character” thing.

    [Rev. William Owens, who is the president of the Coalition of African American Pastors, gave his endorsement to Trump in 2016]

    1. Tom Stone

      I read the Politico piece on Harris as “Damning with faint praise”.
      Sorta out there to “Balance” their last hit piece on Harris (Not that she doesn’t deserve every bit of criticism she has recieved, and more).
      At the National level I’m seeing two negative articles followed by one like this, locally the SF Chronicle is running a hit piece every week or ten days on Harris.
      Harris’ constituency is IdPol and big $, the attacks seem to indicate that some power players think she has a good chance of succeeding Joe “What’s his name ” before too long.
      Dr Jill has not forgotten the primary debates, the succession of no win jobs the “Biden”administration has handed her make that clear, but that’s obviously not all that is going on.

      1. John

        Should all the pieces on Harris, many if not most critical, be read as the opening salvo of a campaign to replace her as vice president either during or at the end of this presidential term?

  12. Milton

    Just in case one can’t get past the subscription wall, here is the Business Insider AWS outage story…
    Pulling out my jump to conclusions mat, I think hackers may have found a vulnerability amidst Amazon’s increasingly relied-upon business backbone:

    A separate internal note said “firewalls are being overwhelmed by an as of yet unknown source,” adding that the AWS networking teams are working on “blocking the traffic from the top talkers/offending hosts at the firewall.”
    Activity from Amazon’s real-time digital advertising auction may be responsible for much of the traffic overwhelming the firewall, according to internal Slack messages seen by Insider.

        1. Milton

          Oh fudge! Only I didn’t say fudge. I apologize for the double post. Hanky goings on with my connection.

    1. cnchal

      Pulling out my jump to conclusions mat, hackers probably had nothing to do with it. AWS is crapified just like the rest of Amazon. Can customers return their AWS contracts like the 30% return rate for the crapola Amazon sells?

      Even inside AWS, however, information on the outage remains sketchy. As engineers and executives worked decode the issue on a 600-person conference call, led by AWS’s VP of infrastructure Peter Desantis, rumors spread among staff. One AWS employee speculated that the outage was caused by an “orchestrated DNS attack,” while another employee downplayed those concerns, saying it was more of an “internal thing” related to networking and firewall saturation.

      “It’s the fog of war,” said an AWS manager.

      Fog of war, eh. So it’s no different working for AWS than in the brightly lit satanic mills.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > a 600-person conference call, led by AWS’s VP of infrastructure Peter Desantis,

        Are conference calls of this size normal? This translates to me that “nobody knows anything.”

  13. Otis B Driftwood

    The Amazon outage story rings true. Not surprised this is network related, but surprised it lasted so long. I can only guess, but engineers were likely playing a game of whack a mole against a sophisticated and unprecedented denial of service attack.

    The worst part of this is workers were sent home from distribution centers and lost wages. They need to unionize.

    1. cnchal

      Amazon is like China. Nothing is as it seems.

      So sad that the whip cracking sadists had to hold off cracking the whip for a few hours.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Doesn’t the CIA depend on Amazon for it’s cloud services? I wonder if they were effected or not.

    3. tegnost

      The worst part of this is workers were sent home from distribution centers and lost wages. They need to unionize.

      I think the worst part is they didn’t use the time off to get a different job

      unrelated probably, but I’ve had both a ups and fed ex 2 day shipment delayed by a week in the past month….so much for the power of privatisation…better slow down the postal service so they can “compete”…

    4. WhoaMolly

      “Unknown source” crashed AWS?

      What the hell are we paying the NSA for anyway? Serious question. They should know the source in about 15 minutes-at most. But what do I know? I might be wrong.

      1. John

        AWS is wonderful … until it isn’t. Does this qualify as a point source failure or just one of the benefits of putting almost all of your eggs in one basket?

    5. Mantid

      Well, if everyone boycotted the blood sucking, non tax paying, worker manipulating, personal data collecting Amazon, they wouldn’t have a network issue. People feeding the beast that’s eating them, hmm.

      1. Anthony Stegman

        Biden’s been threatening Putin lately. Perhaps Putin decided to up the ante. As Amazon goes, so goes the US of A.

  14. Jason Boxman

    Contract with the lead story on the NY Times web edit this am, that “Pfizer-BioNTech Says Booster Offers Significant Protection Against Omicron“. But of course it does.

    The companies said that tests of blood from individuals who received only two doses found more than a 25-fold reduction in antibody levels against the Omicron variant compared to an earlier version of the virus. That finding indicates that two doses alone “may not be sufficient to protect against infection” by the new variant, the companies said.

    Boosters for all!

    Pfizer and BioNTech said Wednesday that laboratory tests suggest that three doses of their coronavirus vaccine offer significant protection against the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the virus.

    Contrast against “BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine may be less effective against Omicron, study finds ” in links.

  15. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Perusing the 91-divoc dashboard, with my morning cup of coffee, I see that the northeast is well on it’s way to hitting 35k cases/day, which is near the peak of last year’s Christmas/New Year’s mountain. I believe Lambert referred to it as the “foothills.”

    Other parts of the country are lagging that terrible outcome, but, the NE is probably the most heavily vaxxed part of the country.

    Mission accomplished, Fauci/Wallensky!

    Credit to Trump and Biden as well. From “hot vax summer” to Sisyphean defeat.

  16. Robert Hahl

    Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas?” MIT Technology Review

    The short answer is: Have a lot of ideas, and keep the good ones. Not addressed in the essay is the “last to invent” requirement. I have heard that the law of Conservation of Energy was discovered five times, but not established well enough to stick the first four times. I heard in a lecture at grad school that the antibiotic action of penicillin was identified at least once before Flemming. A crude mixture containing penicillin was used topically by the famous Dr. Lister on a patient with a leg infection. Perhaps the state of medicinal chemistry was too primitive at the time to make anything of it.

    1. TMR

      Would agree with the last statement – often the magic isn’t the discovery itself, but the epistemic framework to justify and propagate that knowledge

      1. Robert Hahl

        This reminds me of a conversation I overheard in an elevator in the mid-80’s.

        Dr. 1: Did you hear that Dr. X published the structure of natriuritic factor? (a peptide hormone with 25 amino acids)

        Dr. 2: Yes

        Dr. 1: He worked on it for twenty-five years. They said it couldn’t be done.

        Dr. 2: Twenty-five years ago they were right.

  17. griffen

    The continuation of the Maxwell trial. These women testifying have to acknowledge the horrific things done to them, in front of an audience in the courtroom. I don’t know this with certainty, but would suppose they provided previous testimony of the events in past accusations against Epstein. The article above states the girl was 14 years old, at the time of her first visit.

    These events probably, in all likelihood, scar these women for life. Still hoping these charges stick, and whatever legally happens sticks. Maxwell, Epstein, these pedophiles are evil; and in most instances the enablers are also evil.

      1. Screwball

        They also suspended one called something like “Nancy Pelosi’s portfolio tracker.”

        I’ve tried to follow the Maxwell trail. They are doing quite a job to insure not too much information gets out into the public. Imagine that. Then you look at who the prosecutor and judge is (and who appointed them) and you have to wonder.

        There is also chatter the prosecutor will rest this week. Strange? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not an attorney, but they haven’t spent much time making a case. On purpose maybe?

        I’ll take off my cynic hat now.

        1. griffen

          I believe I read an article today or perhaps yesterday, that four of Maxwell’s accusers were going to take the stand. A fifth accuser, and one possibly with the highest profile, is not taking the stand, not in this instance.

          That fifth accuser has been more outspoken and she has drawn the share of criticism and counter-suing for her efforts. She most notably has claimed abuse(s) by the prince, Andrew, who has denied all submitted claims of abuse.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Australia, UK join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Games”

    I’m pretty sure that the Chinese will be quaking in their Mao jackets at this news. China may be in a fury but this might be a good development for them. Since the people that weren’t even invited said that they aren’t even coming, it removes the possibility that these countries would ‘stage’ a diplomatic walk-out on some prepared excuse right in the middle of the Winter Games so that they can embarrass the Chinese. Myself, I am looking forward to the Winter games when they begin on February 4th. I’m curious to see too how Ester Ledecka from the Czech Republic goes this time around.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > “Australia, UK join diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Games”

      This looks like a mismatch between the war lust of The Blob and what Biden is willing to do. (Who cares about a “diplomatic boycott” as long as the athletes perform on TV?) I think that mismatch is a good thing. Same mismatch in Ukraine; sending “small arms” and ammo.

  19. vidimi

    despite it being covered here in NC links routinely over the past year, I still have no clue as to what is happening in myanmar. i need to know who the US dog in this fight is as that’s the only thing that could clear things up. is it the military junta? is it aung san suu kyi? syria seems crystal clear compared to this mess.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Re: the US

      A weakened Myanmar isn’t Iraq and hasn’t historically embarrassed us or have an opposition or official enemy with a lobbying arm similar to Israel or Saudi Arabia. No one cares, and we can’t just throw them against a wall which is the secret to US foreign policy. We do it because we can. Orientalism too, but don’t expect more out of US elites. They are all Kissinger’s idiot kids. It’s why he comparatively sounds sane.

      If Aung San suu kyi wasn’t part of the “hire more women prison guards” propaganda, there would be no mention of it.

      The best thing Biden has going for him is the states we can throw against the wall have been thrown or have built up enough to deter the US.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > Not much oil in Myanmar

        Myanmar does, in fact, export oil and natural gas, though not on the scale of the Middle East. Also jade, to China. Meth and migrant labor, to Southeast Asia generally. Also, plenty of money to be made if the country “takes off,” which is or was the play the telecoms providers were making. And for China, an opening to the Andaman Sea that avoids the Straits of Malacca.

        That said, I don’t think that Myanmar is any sort of a strategic pivot. What interests me is the struggle of the Myanmarese against a particularly noxious military regime. I think that the great powers think that Myanmar is more trouble than it’s worth. And so this struggle is an excellent natural experiment.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > syria seems crystal clear compared to this mess

      It seems that way because it is. IMNSHO, the outcome in Myanmar is completely dependent on how willing the non-junta people of Myanmar are to take up arms and bear casualties. From what I can sort — and if the NGOs would stop “helping” it would be super-useful — they are, but we can’t be certain until there’s an outcome of some sort on the ground, visible to all. (Note that the minimum the anti-junta forces have to do is stay alive until the rainy season begins again, next June, and the Army cannot move. So the war could go on for a long time.)

      >i need to know who the US dog in this fight…

      FWIW, and this is complicated, I don’t think we have a dog in the fight. I think outright intervention would annoy China so much it’s off the table. Ditto Stingers to the NUG. (Maybe getting the NUG some RPGs would be OK if laundered properly, but I’m not even sure of that.) I think the US and “international community” would like for Aung San Suu Kyi to be restored, but I think the situation on the ground has moved far beyond her that’s not possible, and the more informed know it. Nobody can support, let alone recognize, the NUG until they can take and hold territory. So, best thing for us to do is wait it out (and mess with the TMD finances and business dealings, if we can).

      I’m not sure China has a dog in the fight either (since it aids both the government and some ethnic militaries at the same time). Or rather, China’s dog is money. This may change if the situation changes, of course. (A China satrapy, is chair of ASEAN this year. So China has a straw they can work through, if they wish.)

      Myanmar is indeed a mess, and only the Myanmar people can fix it. For the great powers, I think it’s a tar baby. That is why Myanmar is such an interesting natural experiment in popular resistance. OTOH, if Myanmar is not to be fixed…. Well, militant right-wingers everywhere are watching with interest.

      1. pjay

        My first attempt to answer Vidimi’s inquiry was not posted. Depending on why, this one might not be either. I don’t necessarily disagree with your comments, but I would definitely add the following observations that seem relevant to outside interests and possible actions:

        1. Myanmar shares a border with China and is an important part of its Belt-and-Road plans.

        2. The West has invested a hell of a lot of resources in developing “civil society” NGOs in Myanmar (just check out the Burma page on the NED website alone). At one time, Aung San Suu Kyi was the pro-democracy darling of the West. We gave her the Nobel Peace Prize.

        3. But then, she got a little too pragmatic in dealing with China. All of the sudden she was being condemned for “genocide” of the Rohingya, and we wanted the Prize back.

        4. Who knows, but I agree that all appearances indicate that the coup was an internal affair by the corrupt military leadership to preserve its privileges. There does not seem to be a sensible rationale for either the West or China to have supported it.

        5. However, with regard to the ongoing civil war: China clearly has an interest in stability (perhaps this intersects with the interest in “money” you mention). What is our interest in Myanmar? Well, we’d love to have a pro-Western “democracy” in charge, of course. A pro-Western dictatorship would be second best. But if neither is possible, history suggests that our preference would be instability and chaos (did I mention that Myanmar shares a border with China?).

        6. I am not questioning the agency of those “pro-democracy” demonstrators in Myanmar or the various organized ethnic groups that are willing to fight and die against the Tatmadaw. And I am sure that most liberal supporters of Myanmar “democracy” in the West are sincere – as they were with regard to Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, etc., etc. But in trying to predict the future and the possible role of the US in it, I would consider the lessons of recent history. They reveal a clear and repetitive pattern, played out over and over in a variety of historical and geographic contexts.

    1. Rainlover

      I like the new tradition of trying to take as few steps as possible in a day. “See if you can keep it under a hundred.”. Thanks for the laughs, Flora.

  20. griffen

    MLB players union locked out by ownership. Pretty egregious of the Pittsburgh major league team, supposedly run by professionals. Clemente is on a pedestal, some 50 years after his untimely death. The story of free agency in baseball, and major US professional sports, can’t be written without him, Curt Flood or Marvin Miller.

    Great move, baseball. I had finally begun tuning into the playoffs and World Series; the Atlanta Braves certainly helped to pique my interest. Pay your darn talent in the A and AA minors better. They’re all still dreaming to make the Show.

    1. Wukchumni

      Used to be an avid MLB fan growing up (bled Dodger blue) and every boy I knew played little league (comparatively few played Pop Warner football) and the World Series had the cachet of the Super Bowl now, except it might last through 63 innings or more.

      MLB to me represents an odd brutal architecture @ this juncture, with defensive platooning and a play by the numbers scenario conjured up by a computer somewhere that is simply stifling to watch, compounded by the fact that the game is slow-some might claim lethargic, which has kept young fans away from driving to the park in droves (the average age of an MLB fan is 57) and banking on your fan base to have enough of their SS check left over to pay for tix or cable is not really the right way to go about it.

      A couple years ago, it was a juiced ball and any old palooka was hitting opposite field dingers on a checked swing (ok, a little hyperbole never hurt anybody) and last season it was a stingy ball and a record for most no-hitters in a year, it is as if MLB doesn’t know who they want to be?

      1. griffen

        I’m of the opinion, for good or worse, that the fundamental business of entertaining fans for 162 games per season is past it’s sell-by or best-by date. Wrap the season in middle September, and fans might tune into a form of extended playoffs (wild card round is 2 out of 3, by example). I’ve thought 150 games is a sufficient enough season to determine who is in or out.

        The kerfuffle last season over the use of “substances” was just way too comical. Yes I signed a contract paying me $20 million per season, but I’m not here to answer details. Good grief!

        1. Anthony Stegman

          When it comes to baseball I’m old school. I would do away with playoffs entirely. Play 162 games. The best teams in AL and NL play in the World Series. That is how things were back in the day. Time to go back in time. The current situation is so bush league. While I am at it, do away with shifts. Every player must play their position. And limit the number of pitching changes in a game to 4 for each side.

  21. Tom Stone

    The persistence of linear thinking is interesting because the world does not work that way.
    Two examples from my own life:
    1) A mosquito bite.
    2) Meeting a drunk driver head on.
    Both took seconds at most and both changed my life radically.
    Assuming that things will continue to go along the way they have in the past allows the comforting illusion that the future is predictable ( It is, to a limited extent) and that we Humans are in control of our fates.

    1. Keith Newman

      @Tom Stone10:54am
      “a mosquito bite”!! Did you get malaria, dengue fever, or some other nasty disease?
      And the drunk driver head on: What a nightmare that must have been.

    2. Mantid

      Tom, I truly hope you’re as OK as possible after that head on with a care less driver. Oh my. Our political rants seem insignificant at time like these.

  22. Ben S

    Re:EV charging stations

    I don’t know that EVs are green. Less petrol dependant. Shifts smoke to the power plants ( still coal-burning here). But the reason for the push is possibly more nefarious than a mere swindle.

    A few days ago folks here were extolling their later model cars as free from chip monitors and hackability. The EVs won’t be available in any such form. In an EV the government can find you and shut you down. Must-have technology that needs a sales pitch.

    ‘EVs are green’.

    1. doug

      EV’s were built way before chips. Those did not last, but an EV doesn’t require cloud contact. So far the mfgs have been doing that, understandably from a profit motive. However someone could produce a modern EV that had a key, did not need a smart phone, had no OTA capability, etc.
      The gov’t can find you via that huge computer in your pocket. And today’s ICE cars can be bricked as well.

      1. Carolinian

        True, but it would still need a government registration to go on the road. And should EVs become widely popular governments will likely insist on GPS tracking to calculate your federal highway tax bill aka road fee which we now pay at the pump. Norway is already doing this.

        By contrast the gas car cell radio connection can be disabled with some know how unless one assumes there is a secret backdoor radio hidden somewhere.

    2. Mantid

      Our EV is not internet connected and runs on solar panels. Drives like a top, but in a straight line.

  23. Alex Morfesis

    The great fall of China or does Indonesia bend
    the knee ?? Despite the Murdoch news network, et al, glorious attempts to conflate noise with capacity, China has not won a military battle in modern times…they had their nose punched bloody by both tiny North Korea and less tiny Vietnam in fairly recent history; is a nation of nations within a nation as it’s various languages within it’s own borders does not bode well for it’s long term capacity to remain physically one nation(technically same goes for India); it is quickly losing it’s capacity to provide product pricing arbitrage, thus eliminating its engine to buy influence globally with its own imf style asset provisioning to 3rd world countries within its bells and whistles network for trade; and BEHOLD the fine print…it is a Russian enterprise being harassed by the 9 dash nonsense…this does not bode well for any lovefest between pandaman and “raz” Putin….oh well…back to the reruns of Gilligan’s island….

  24. Wukchumni

    Shift happens
    More than 50 earthquakes have struck off the Oregon coast between Tuesday and Wednesday, with the largest two reaching magnitude-5.8.

    The 56 earthquakes hit far off the coast, roughly west of Newport. No tsunamis are expected.

    Small earthquakes strike often near Oregon’s coast, a regular reminder of the cataclysmic earthquake geologists say will happen when the pressure building between the Juan de Fuca and North American plates breaks.

    Per Oregon officials, scientists say there is a 37% chance that a 7.1 magnitude or higher earthquake will happen at the boundary between the two tectonic plates, called the Cascadia Subduction Zone, in the next 50 years.

    1. Carolinian

      Funnily enough the other night I was watching the new Nicholas Cage movie Pig and one of the reasons he cites for retreating to the woods with his truffle pig is the coming “big one” earthquake that will wipe out Portland.

      Here in SC we only have to worry about floating away due to the ever more vicious hurricanes.

    2. Anthony Stegman

      For 40 years of living in CA I have heard over and over again that there is a high probability that the “Big One” will hit within the next 30 years. I’m still waiting. I suspect I may be waiting for far longer than 30 years. Seismologist estimates should not be taken too seriously. There is much they don’t know about earthquakes.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve got 60 years of experience now in not really ever being in an earthquake of great consequence in Cali, and would prefer to keep my streak intact, but feel that i’m in a good place far from any faults, but all the same am surrounded by them.

        Happened to be in Mineral King when the Ridgecrest temblor hit a few years ago and it was like we were back in the SoCalist movement, couch surfing a 4.7 and then calling friends and family to see if they felt it, cowabunga dude.

        We were in Christchurch a few weeks before the little big one hit in 2011 and it was only a 6.3 which isn’t much on the Richter scale, but it was close to the city and quite shallow as opposed to the deeper 7.1 which struck 4 months earlier 25 miles from ChCh.

        I remember being amazed that relatively few buildings there were red-tagged in ChCh after the initial 7.1, but the city was laid low by the follow-up earth shaker and how. A 25 story hotel named the Grand Chancellor was tilted along the lines of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, yikes!

        Earthquakes usually afford not much warning* as opposed to a Cat 5 hurricane which allows you time to flee before something wicked this way comes. Advantage ‘Canes!

        * 56 quakes including a couple of 5.8’s on the CSZ is Mother Nature’s way of telling those living on the coast from upper NoCal, Oregon & Washington to seek higher ground

      2. Angie Neer

        There is no contradiction between “high probability within 30 years” and no event in 40 years. That’s why it’s called “probability” and not “certainty”. Seismologists know the difference, and for the most part know their limitations, too.

  25. LawnDart

    China has not won a military battle in modern times…

    China vs Vietnam was over 40-years ago, basically during Mao’s famines and shortly after Vietnam kicked us our, and prior to that China very nearly handed our butts to us in Korea.

    Today the poverty rate in China is .60%, while in USA it is 17.80%.

    I should add that China is doing quite a good job protecting its population from Covid-19, unlike certain other countries.

    The reality is that China is a worthy competetor to USA and I’d rather we work with them for mutual benefit than demonize them as a foe. But that doesn’t make money for the “defense industry,” does it?

  26. Tom Stone

    We now have Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, both of which are more contagious than Delta.
    And the next variant which replaces Omicron will be more contagious yet.
    More infections in a given period of time = more .opportunities to mutate in that given period of time.
    Which implies shorter cycles and less time to develop a successful vaccine or treatment.
    It also increases the odds that a successful variant will have higher mortality rates, up to a point where increased mortality diminishes the odds of viral replication.
    A 5% mortality rate wouldn’t seriously affect opportunities for viral replication, and I don’t think 10% would either.

    1. lordkoos

      Dr Campbell put up a new video an hour ago discussing Omicron —

      So far it does seem to have milder symptoms, especially among the vaccinated. It has rapidly overtaken Delta in South Africa, being now responsible for over 90% of new cases. If it is true that it’s less lethal version then that is very good news, as a milder variant that is also highly contagious could replace the more serious Delta, Beta, etc.

      1. Anthony Stegman

        Doctor Osterholm said the same thing a few days ago. As things stand now, based on what is known about the omicron variant nobody should be in a state of panic. There is no cause for doom and gloom.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > nobody should be in a state of panic. There is no cause for doom and gloom.

          Let’s not identify all those emotions with taking precautions. I certainly don’t. Feelings aren’t facts, as they say in AA.

      2. Yves Smith

        No this analysis is garbage because Campbell is either ignorant of or chooses to hide the very high rate of prior infection in RSA. It was 60% as of the second wave, and there’s been a third, so it is at least 70%, maybe 80%. On top of a 24% or 26% vax rate, concentrated heavily in the elderly.

        So the comparison is not “milder symptoms that symptomatic Delta” but potentially far more valid characterization “worse symptoms than previously asymptomatic cases among the young”. Even babies and toddlers are being hospitalized, which pretty much never happened before.

  27. Sub-Boreal

    Retreating glaciers along the Pacific coast of N America are revealing new habitat for salmon: (open access)

    Glacier retreat poses risks and benefits for species of cultural and economic importance. One example is Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), supporting subsistence harvests, and commercial and recreational fisheries worth billions of dollars annually. Although decreases in summer streamflow and warming freshwater is reducing salmon habitat quality in parts of their range, glacier retreat is creating new streams and lakes that salmon can colonize. However, potential gains in future salmon habitat associated with glacier loss have yet to be quantified across the range of Pacific salmon. Here we project future gains in Pacific salmon freshwater habitat by linking a model of glacier mass change for 315 glaciers, forced by five different Global Climate Models, with a simple model of salmon stream habitat potential throughout the Pacific Mountain ranges of western North America. We project that by the year 2100 glacier retreat will create 6,146 (±1,619) km of new streams accessible for colonization by Pacific salmon, of which 1,930 (±569) km have the potential to be used for spawning and juvenile rearing, representing 0 to 27% gains within the 18 sub-regions we studied. These findings can inform proactive management and conservation of Pacific salmon in this era of rapid climate change.

  28. noonespecial

    Re Amazon’s Lites Out

    The IOT – a/k/a internet of poo….

    From Bloomberg:

    “The outage at Inc.’s cloud-computing arm left thousands of people in the U.S. without working fridges, roombas and doorbells, highlighting just how reliant people have become on the company as the Internet of Things proliferates across homes.”

    I’m old enough to remember (an in fact still do) all chores, looking into the icebox and answering the door analog style. And heaven forbid, play music from a CD player sans IOT connect. /s/

    1. Mantid

      And … no one looking over your shoulder, taking notes, selling the information – while you pay them to do so. Not sarcastic, factual.

      1. Anthony Stegman

        The vast majority of people willingly allow their data to be accessed (and perhaps sold). If Facebook and Google are so evil why do they have so many regular users? We all make tradeoffs. Most of us trade privacy for convenience. Business interests profit from this. Profits make the world go ’round.

        1. Mantid

          Anthony, are you being either sarcastic or ironic? Really just curious on my part. It seems that you are saying that if some lemmings jump off the cliff we all should. F’book and google are (luckily) still fairly easy to avoid (duck duck go, proton mail, add and spam blocker tech), just as the cliff edge is. Leaving my home curtains open day and night and my door unlocked in a large city is not a trade off I chose to make. Thanks.

        2. tegnost

          And boy, have there been profits!

          but seriously, most people,even likely yourself, have no idea what happens to your data, that you surrender for a fee that you pay.

  29. Maritimer

    Surgeon general warns of emerging youth mental health crisis in rare public advisory Yahoo News

    “This is unprecedented, the amount of trauma that our students are experiencing on a mass scale,” said Loretta Whitson, executive director of the California Assn. of School Counselors.
    Since the inception of Covid I have listened over and over to alternative/contrarian well qualified experts specifically state that the Public Health authorities were not addressing or even considering all the consequences of Lockdowns and Mandates among other measures.

    So, now the SG suddenly recognizes the “youth mental crisis” which he has helped to create among many other consequences. And this tardy recognition may be due only to a plan to reward and payoff the Mental Health Interests of the Medical Industrial Complex. Gather round the Covid Trough!

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