Links 2/11/2022

Judge restores protections for gray wolves across much of US AP

Intricate Marble Run Machines Made Out of Cardboard Laughing Squid

To fight inflation, the Fed may resort to a tool it hasn’t used since 2000 CNN

‘Credit Suisse managers knew clients were potential criminals’ FT

When A Swap Becomes A Swipe Daily Poster

The “Crapification” of the U.S. Economy Is Now Complete Charles Hugh Smith, Of Two Minds

Túmin: the alternative currency rebuilding community in Mexico Resilience (JP).

Laying down a marker:


The Great Climate Backslide: How Governments Are Regressing Worldwide Bloomberg. “Harsh economic realities.”

Here’s how Arizona’s plan to sate its thirst will harm the Gulf of California Mexico Daily

Worst Drought in Decades Grips Swathe of North Africa Bloomberg

Whale Ears, Shell Oil, and the Hidden Toll of Seismic Surveys Undark

This lawyer should be world-famous for his battle with Chevron – but he’s in jail Erin Brockovich, Guardian


There Is Nothing Normal about One Million People Dead from COVID Scientific American

“Return to normal” (1):

“Return to normal” (2):

Heart-disease risk soars after COVID — even with a mild case Nature. n = 150,000 (VA database). “‘It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, it doesn’t matter if you smoked, or you didn’t,’ says study co-author Ziyad Al-Aly at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and the chief of research and development for the Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System. ‘The risk was there.'”

Assessment of Sequelae of COVID-19 Nearly 1 Year After Diagnosis Frontiers in Medicine. n=120. The Conclusion: “At the nearly 1-year follow-up, COVID-19 survivors still had multi-system issues, including those in the respiratory functioning, radiography, quality of life, and anxiety and depression. Moreover, non-severe cases also showed some sequelae and the proportion of IgG negative cases in the non-severe patients was higher than that in severe cases. Therefore, conducting follow-ups and preventing the reinfection of SARS-CoV-2 in this group is necessary.”


Why the World Needs China’s Covid-Zero Policy Bloomberg

A comparison between COVID control in China and the US Bill Totten’s Weblog. Interesting!

Chinese navy puts fleets through combat-readiness paces South China Morning Post

Why Some Chinese Are ‘Lying Flat’ and What That Means Bloomberg

Indonesia to buy Rafale fighter jets, as US approves F-15 plan Al Jazeera


Kachin tycoon draws controversy over gold mining at Myitsone Frontier Myanmar

The Politics of Protest in Myanmar, with Van Tran (podcast) New Books in Southeast Asian Studies


India’s textile industry revs up, giving hope on jobs for PM Modi Reuters

New Cold War

What a photo. Macron should be wearing a clown nose that lights up:

I mean, did Macron’s sherpas not prepare for this? Liz Truss seemed to have no Sherpas either:

The crisis in Ukraine is one for the history books David Ignatius, WaPo. CIA asset weighs in.

Ex-Russian separatists on whether another Ukraine war is possible Al Jazeera

A Ukrainian Sociologist Explains Why Everything You Know About Ukraine Is Probably Wrong Jacobin

Biden Administration

Biden Seeks High Court Pick Who Isn’t ‘Ideological Choice’ Bloomberg

The fight to oust Louis DeJoy and his ‘disastrous’ austerity plan Guardian

Column: Biden’s border surveillance empire should scare you regardless of politics Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the Clean Water Act’s reach High Country News

Canada Truckers

How the Left betrayed the Truckers Unherd. IMNSHO, it’s not woke-adjacent Schwärmer who are the betrayers, but the big industrial unions, for example the Teamsters.

Dispatch from the Ottawa Front: Sloly is telling you all he’s in trouble. Who’s listening? The Line (DS). Canadian report from the ground. Sloly is the Otttawa chief of police.

On the Canadian Trucker Occupations Ian Welsh

Ontario court freezes access to GiveSendGo donations for truckers’ protest Globe and Mail

Freedom Convoy Forms In Los Angeles Blocking Freeway And—Never Mind, That’s Just Normal Traffic On The 405 Babylon Bee

Trump Legacy

Haberman book: Flushed papers found clogging Trump WH toilet Axios. They want Trump bacl so bad.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Wyden and Heinrich: Newly Declassified Documents Reveal Previously Secret CIA Bulk Collection, Problems With CIA Handling of Americans’ Information (press release) Ron Wyden

Guillotine Watch

“That’s quite an act. What do you call it?”

Class Warfare

Mass Mobilisation of the Multitude is the Only Solution Verso (Amfortas).

First Thing: Target directs managers to stop workers from unionizing Guardian

Warehouse fined after hundreds of workers test positive for COVID-19 The Hill. By Washington state.

Data Provided by Amazon Workers Offers Rare Glimpse into COVID Cases in California Warehouses The Markup

What we like to see:

Monstrous (But Creative) Landlords Invent a Building of Fake Tenants Curbed

An Ancient Geometry Problem Falls to New Mathematical Techniques Quanta

Theses on Sleep Alexey Guzey

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Samuel Conner

    Glad to see that long COVID is starting to make headlines. I hope that mainstream media don’t ignore it. Alternative media (NC an outstanding exception) seem to be on the ‘get used to COVID (and, sotto voce, long COVID)’ bandwagon.

    A thought for the site principals: I’m wondering if

    ‘Long COVID’

    merits its own heading (or perhaps subheading, such as

    #COVID-19/long COVID


    within the structure of the news links.

    Arguably, as acute COVID becomes an accepted part of the hazards of the annual epidemic cycle, the big new news is going to be the incoming steadily rising flood of chronic sequelae, that will eventually affect a significant proportion of the population. This seems to me likely to be more significant over time than the attention-riveting ‘acute phase’ of the pandemic, in terms of human suffering and implications for society and economy.

    1. Basil Pesto

      This is the curious thing. It’s not quite right to say that the mainstream has ignored long covid. There’s been loads of reporting on it in mainstream newspapers etc. But when it comes time for the thinkpieces, this reporting is just… completely ignored. Because you can’t make an intellectually honest argument about Covid policy if you fail to take the Long Covid question into account. So let’s just ignore it and make tendentious arguments instead.

      1. Jason Boxman

        True enough, NY Times has relatively frequent articles about long-COVID, but this clearly in no way informs policy decisions. So clearly a lack of awareness is not what is driving our disastrous policy, but rather more acute awareness of other, more important issues, such as perhaps economic performance…

        1. jr

          On the ground, I hear nothing about Long COVID from people. This includes people I know who have had COVID, “informed” people. One is a NYT employee, for example. I think they are in denial. The information is out there. I mention it gently once in a while and everyone nods. But that’s it.

          “Live your life!”

    2. shoeless

      “Heart-disease risk soars after COVID — even with a mild case”.

      What I find interesting is that in many ways, the vaccine provides the recipient with a mild case of COVID via the spike protein, but we are not allowed to discuss the potential heart ailments associated with the vaccine.

      1. Larry Y

        I get the opposite impression. Lots of early talk about pericarditis and myocarditis from vaccines, especially young males, but almost none talking about getting it from the virus.

        As for irregular periods and other women’s issues, I haven’t seen anything outside of NC. But women’s health gets the short stick anyway, so it’s well within what passes as “normal”.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Thank you for making this point.

        The “thinking” is, apparently, that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is NOT a duck because it is a “vaccine.” And because “science.”

      3. Gumnut

        And as per cell preprint: , the amount of spike protein in the blood stream after vaccination is as high as a SEVERE covid infection and persists longer than after an infection.

        I’ve had three close relatives have severe cardiovascular issues in the weeks post injection 2 back in 2021:
        #1, early 70s, healthy, non-overweight, got an AV-block = pulse maxed out at 30bpm 2 weeks out from second Pfizer shot & got a pacemaker in a day later
        #2, same age and health had atrial fibrillations increasing from once every 3 months to every second day (also in weeks following Pfizer)
        #3, same age & health profile again, had a heart attack (AZ for a change)

        Plural of anecdote and so on, but I know for a fact (because one of the 3 happens to be the in-family cardiologist themselves) that 0/3 are in any adverse reaction database/ report system…because…well, a)what’s the point once it’s happened & b) belief in safe&tested. This is in Germany btw, not woop woop.

    3. Aaron212

      (Longtime lurker here!) I lost my sense of taste and smell back in late March of 2020 and had no other symptoms. It took about 7-8 months for it to partially return, but it is still really screwed up. Recently, at the suggestion of my PCP I saw a hotshot ENT doctor he recommended with expertise in the matter. When I explained my symptoms to him he said “Well, it can take up to a year for your taste and smell to fully return.” When I told him it had been 18 mos., all he said was “Oh.”

      On a positive note, my spearmint toothpaste tastes like cannabis now. :b

    4. K.k

      Peer reviewed observational study : Almost 1 in 3 older adults develop new conditions after covid-19 infection

      “Almost a third (32 of every 100) of older adults infected with covid-19 in 2020 developed at least one new condition that required medical attention in the months after initial infection, 11 more than those who did not have covid-19, finds a US study published by The BMJ today.
      Conditions involved a range of major organs and systems, including the heart, kidneys, lungs and liver as well as mental health complications.”

  2. griffen

    So does that meet the criteria to be called a “fatberg”? And if so, then it must be the most fantastic example of a fatberg ever. I mean, that thing is just tremendous. \ sarc

    I find that column from Axios believable, if that makes me gullible so be it. I picked out a key quote from the Axios summary: “Several advisers were unhappy about his decision to talk…But they concluded he couldn’t help himself and couldn’t be stopped.”

  3. Lou Anton

    Suburban Chicago too – last week, anti-mask parents of school-age kids found a sympathetic state-level judge and got the mandate overturned. Despite the governor saying they’ll appeal the judge’s decision, it’s been crickets.

    Meanwhile, the governor announced a planned end to mask mandates on Feb 28. But the truth is that he’s already behind the trend…some business still have the “Please wear a mask” sign taped to the door, an equal number have removed it. And then inside anywhere, it’s similarly a mix. Some employees masked, some not. Same with customers.

    “Hope for the best, plan for the best” wins out as the strategy again. So let’s dance! Those Lebanese snipers are surely gone for good, most certainly not just taking a lunch break.

  4. Sardonia

    The most recent photos of Newsom and various mayors being caught maskless in mask-required settings meant that they really had no choice but to end the mandates – it allows them to say “See? I was ahead of my time!!”

  5. The Rev Kev

    ‘Things behind the scenes were even worse, according to @ElenaChernenko
    Lavrov said, “Do you recognize Russia’s sovereignty over Rostov and Voronezh oblasts?”
    Truss said the UK would “never” do so – before the ambassador told her they’re not in Ukraine’

    This is not the first time that the Russians have had to deal with Truss and her Oxford education. ‘Earlier in February, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed Truss for confusing two different parts of Europe when she proclaimed that London was “supplying and offering additional support into our Baltic allies across the Black Sea” – despite the fact that Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are located over 1,000km away from the southeast European body of water.’

    “Mrs. Truss, your knowledge of history is nothing compared to your knowledge of geography,” Zakharova wrote on her Telegram channel. She added that the world needs to be saved from the “stupidity and uneducatedness of Anglo-Saxon politicians.”

    Maria Zakharova and Sergey Lavrov do not suffer fools gladly. When Lavrov left the podium and went to the door out, he held it open for her. So western media showed only Truss left on the podium by herself like a shag on a rock and said that Lavrov rudely stalked off and left her alone.

    1. Sardonia

      Truss seriously sounds like she spends her nights huffing bags of gasoline and SARS-CoV-2 aerosols at 10 Downing Street parties, then shows up the next day for meetings and press conferences.

    2. Nikkikat

      This whole incident between Lavrov and the dressing down she received in front of the press was very amusing. Meanwhile Macron was fearful the Russians might get their hands on his DNA. Lol

      1. Michaelmas

        Nikkikat: Meanwhile Macron was fearful the Russians might get their hands on his DNA. Lol

        It’s 2022, as you might have noticed yourself. In 2022 a couple of things that can be done with someone’s DNA and the targeting specificity the biogenetic technologies have today are: —

        [1] Designer pathogens engineered to target not just ethnic groups, but in some cases individual-specific genomes. Here’s a hypothetical for some idea of how this might be handy: an individually-targeted bioweapon might be released among the 648,000-odd inhabitants of Wichita, Kansas, the home of Koch Industries; it infects the whole population more or less harmlessly till it’s eventually carried to Charles Koch, whom it’s designed to kill or permanently impair.

        [2] In Vitro Gametogenesis (IVG) has now been done in animal models, and with a big push could be achieved in humans in less than a decade. (Or maybe already has been, but whoever did it isn’t talking.) IVG means taking a sample of an adult individual’s cells and reprograming them back into pluripotent stem cells, then forwards to become sperm and egg cells. So in Macron’s case, anybody who got some of his DNA — even from his hair cells — could clone a little Emmanuel Macron that way, although God knows what advantage the Russians would gain from that.

        If you do some research you’ll find that some of the great and the good have become a lot more wary about others obtaining their DNA over the last few years. The above possibilities are two of the reasons why.

          1. Michaelmas

            Michael McK: I think the most simple nefarious use of someone’s DNA would be to leave it at crime scenes.

            Professional hitmen already do that.

            I once talked to a guy who’d grown up among the Philadelphia mob and a standard tactic there was to collect hair swept up at a whole bunch of local barber shops, then sprinkle it around the premises of a target of a hit. Also, to use on-site tools like the steak knives in the victim’s kitchen.

            Simple but effective. Philadelphia homicide detectives would know it was a professional hit, but they wouldn’t know much more than that. (Though presumably in many cases they could make accurate guesses as to who might want a specific target dead.)

            1. Roland

              But why would anybody bother whacking Macron?

              What’s more ludicrous, Macron’s superstition–or his vanity?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > In 2022 a couple of things that can be done with someone’s DNA

          That’s not the point. The point is that the brain genius énarques who were Macron’s sherpas should have known about this and prepared for it*. What is this, amateur hour?

          Certainly it wasn’t amateur hour with Putin’s team — they had that mile-long and very photogenic table all ready to go. They must have been very amused.

          * Say, a test from a trusted thirty party that doesn’t involve handing over his DNA. If Putin refuses that arrangement he looks bad. This is not hard.

          1. Michaelmas

            Certainly it wasn’t amateur hour with Putin’s team — they had that mile-long and very photogenic table all ready to go. They must have been very amused.

            Again, I agree. I was only making the point that in 2022 there are viable ways to weaponize one’s possession of an adversary leader’s DNA.

            See also: Hugo Chavez.

    3. YuShan

      I hope(*) that the West will get their ass kicked by the Russians. Perhaps they can shoot down a few of these $150 million airplanes that we were forced to buy from our corporate masters.

      (*) Of course I don’t really hope that. But we are in desperate need of a wake-up call. Can we finally take stuff seriously and remove these clowns from power?

      1. I'm just a girl

        I really do hope that. Russia killing a bunch of NATO imperialists and Ukrainian Nazis, and turning some of the us military’s pollution machines into rubble, all objectively good things.

        1. Val

          The good news is that the Russians are competent adults who can defend themselves. They don’t have John Wayne Brain and avoid both escalation and Western-style humiliation rituals (drives the Anglos crazy), but when they do open a can of whoop-ass, it is rather profound and occurs in a rational diplomatic and legal context.

          The bad news is that the western apparatus is essentially Wile E. Coyote and has not come to terms with the effects of its own criminality, perfidy and incompetence, and likely cannot for a variety of psychological and structural reasons.

      2. Roland

        I just want peace, even for the people I don’t like.

        For bloodshed to school against war, it has to be really bad, like 1945 bad. So bad that even the victors feel sick at the sight of it.

        1871 bad, for example, is not bad enough. You just get revanchism. Humiliation doesn’t chastise, it incites.

        I wouldn’t wish 1945 on anybody, not even Hitler. I wouldn’t wish 1871 on Bush or Blair.

  6. zagonostra

    >How the Left betrayed the Truckers – Unherd.

    The divorce between “the Left” and “the workers” is now complete and irrevocable

    Glad to see a good mix of articles on Canadian Truckers, thank you.

    1. Milton

      The conflation of liberal and the left is now complete as the public cannot imagine any policy that is contra to the pro-imperial, pro-capital, anti-worker agendas emanating from the “West’s” ruling parties.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        in my long term, informal fieldwork…the parts about separating individuals from the herd…when the conversation is going well, and i feel like i can lift the veil a little…i find that words are meaningless and without utility: left, right, conservative, liberal, centrist, socialist, fascist, lbertarian…even capitalism requires a huge parenthetical qualification.
        this makes discourse about the Big Things not only tedious…in these one-on-one tailgate things…but near impossible on any larger scale.
        add in that people have apparently been well trained to Not Listen and to talk over one another…and yes…it’s almost as if it’s by design.
        takes ten times longer than it should to say something meaningful about the current state of affairs…let alone what we might be able to do about it…because instead of one word(liberal), we must use 20…and keep the attention of whomever we’re talking to.
        and attention, itself, as has been remarked about in discussions about socmed, is in short supply.
        i can see no way to counter all this on any effectual scale.
        like all those canadians supporting the convoy…either missing or ignoring the attempted jump in front by the toxic right, because they’re starving for meaning and engagement and to feel like they’re Doing Something.

        1. jr

          “ add in that people have apparently been well trained to Not Listen and to talk over one another…and yes…it’s almost as if it’s by design.”

          This and a lot of other things. No one knows how to talk constructively, let alone argue politely with a purpose. Pressing a point home is treated as slightly rude. New information is examined only with the goal of refuting it, rarely absorbing it even if you can’t dismiss it.

          People mix and match categories at whim. Moral arguments blend with politics blend with economics blend with personal biases. This of course is actually how things are but this isn’t some widely available insight. It’s a lack of structure. No effort is made to differentiate. Address one of these points and another is tossed at you. Address the whole framing and everyone fades.

          Perhaps most annoyingly, people blend opinion with fact, like a tuna salad with bits of rubber in it. It’s all about feelings, literally. Challenging information is constantly questioned as to provenance but emotional reactions are are taken as perfectly valid as sources of truth.

          For the kids, you have imagination draining “toys” as a form of marketing like Star Wars LEGOs and “educational” games like on the Google internet etiquette propaganda site. The assault on education has been well covered.

          Then there is the reality denying, “words have power to defy biology which is just racism anyway” Wokels.

          Stupidification. Crapification’s drooling, dull-eyed brother.

        2. flora

          “…it’s almost as if it’s by design.”

          I think the MSM advertising has encouraged us to ‘feel’ and not to ‘think’. That works for advertising; “selling the ‘sizzle’ and not the ‘steak’ ” works in advertising. For most other things in the adult decision making world, consulting feelings before thoughts, as more important than thoughts, is childish. We have been subtly encouraged to respond childishly, including the short attention span, for several decades, imo. (Witness the West’s so-called foreign policy toward Russia and the latest US/UK diplomatic failures. When Lavrov, who sounds like a well versed and well prepared functionary of 30-40 years ago, seems like a towering intellect in public statements compared to his US/UK counterparts demanding “we want”, you see the problem .) My 2 cents.

          1. flora

            adding: maybe our diplomats speak in ‘tweets’ whereas the RU counterpart speaks in paragraphs and full thoughts. (Social media isn’t helping attention span. Now, about FB’s 2014 emotional contagion experiment,… / ;) )

            1. The Rev Kev

              I suppose that you can say that a tweet is a typed version of a ‘sound bite’ which politicians are used to talking with.

          2. Stick'Em

            re: of course it is by design

            The Rush Limbaugh/ FoxNews model of media rose to prominence precisely because getting people to throw things at the radio/TV in fits of rage works. It is tremendously successful!

            Whether this model is borrowed from WWF wrasslin’ or whether it developed independently, I am not certain. It is certain Donald Trump is in the WWF Hall of Fame and learned his heel/face repertoire while performing there before moving on to reality TV.

            The model is simple: get folks worked up at “The Other” just like George Orwell’s 2 Minutes of Hate. Once the audience is frothing at the mouth with fear over black people or the Iron Sheik or Goldsten (insert target identity here ___________ ), then send in Rush, Trump, Big Brother, Hulk Hogan (insert name of infallible strongman father figure here ________) to beat down “The Other” and give the viewers this sense of comfort and resolution by the end of the show to assuage their premeditatedly cultivated fear and anger. This is what we call a “fascist sensory experience.”

            There’s a biochemical process going on here with a cascade of dopamine spikes and serotonin and so on that leads to changes in brain anatomy (amydala size response) and so on. You can measure this kind of thing and it leads to a sort of addiction, albeit on endogenous rather than exogenous chemicals.

            tl;dr version getting people emotional increases their engagement such that the amount of time one spends commenting on social media, listening to talk radio, and reading infotainment “news” increases exponentially. Rational people become sheeple and identity politics is all there is. That’s how we got here and yes, it is intentional.

        3. Cas

          re People Not Listen(ing). I blame it on television. We now have generations who have grown up with TVs. Many homes always have a TV on, whether watching or not. And even people watching TV learn to tune out the commercials. Before TV and radio, if you heard a voice it came from a person near enough for you to hear, so you paid attention; odds were they’re talking to you. Now it’s just random noise. People don’t read, people don’t listen. Communication is difficult, imparting new ideas virtually impossible.

          1. Mildred Montana

            > “People don’t read…”

            Good news for those who believe reading is important. There’s a new children’s book on the market. It’s called ?????’? ??????? The cover shows a picture of the Canadian Parliament buildings, then inside are pictures of various places where Justin can hide. Is he in the closet? Is he under a desk? Is he behind a curtain? Is he in a cubicle in the men’s washroom?

            Apparently the kids love this book. For one, they’re learning the habit of books and reading, and for another they are actually learning about politics in Canada and how a bully Prime Minister like Trudeau, when challenged, will go into hiding.*

            He implied in question period in the House of Commons yesterday (a rare sighting of him) that he wants 100% of Canadians to be vaccinated. He is either stupid or mad or both.

            *Obviously I’m kidding.

        4. coboarts

          I’m feeling a new podcaster here – perhaps splainin’ to good ole boys out at the wilderness bar

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            oh, hell no
            i feel exposed already with our current regime of aliases.
            yves and lambert know where i’m at.
            i leave it to them to determine your worthiness.

        5. Kouros

          This is why one needs to analyze the structures in place, because these are the walls that confine us and ultimately led us to slaughter. Remember Temple Grandin and her improvement in the design of the slaughterhouses to pacify the cows…? Or the rigmarole the Nazis created about the gas chambers? The structures and the designs in place are telling.

          And then ethics and morals have taken a complete back seat and we have been moving slowly towards societies dominated by sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies. There are only individuals for themselves and there is no community left.

      2. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        I suspect that some on the “Left,” as represented by people with “brain-work” jobs, are starting to notice some pit-of-the-stomach rumbles of fear at the possible consequences of people with physical jobs awakening to class realities and demanding political power.

        Man, I have a degree in English; I should never have written that sentence.

        1. LifelongLib

          The world needs brain work AND physical work. We need to recognize the value of both instead of ranking one over the other.

          The priviliging of brain work is deeply rooted though, going back to the time when few could read or write and those skills must have seemed almost magical. So getting people past that will take some doing.

          1. anon y'mouse

            everything is “brain” work.

            why do you think sports entertainers spend so much time at the psychologist’s office?

            humans who make or move things aren’t just operating silently and blankly like gears and pistons.

            1. Stick'Em

              I blame Descartes for his mind/body false dichotomy. I think he was trying to say your ass belongs to science and your soul belongs to the Church. What we got was a way of aprehending the world that causes our heads to hurt endlessly.

      1. zagonostra

        Thanks for the link, I missed it. A cursory look indicates that it is highly referenced and will take some time to digest.

        I had an exchange with my sister in Vancouver, B.C. who is in the grips of a MSM (CBC/CTV) narrative matrix; she thinks that these protesters are swastika/confederate carrying and illegitimate anti-vaxers.

        I’ll keep trying. I’m not letting it go. She tells me I should watch the Olympics instead of obsessing on this subject.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > she thinks that these protesters are swastika/confederate carrying and illegitimate anti-vaxers.

          Propaganda works (1).

          > She tells me I should watch the Olympics instead of obsessing on this subject

          Propaganda works (2).

          1. Eclair

            Hah! The other day, when I suggested that the current Olympic spectacles had become a shiny, glittery distraction from the real problems confronting us, I got called a ‘depressed Marxist!’ Highlight of my year …. so far.

        2. linearperk

          The leadership, such as it is, in a high percentage. The rank and file not so much at least not consciously.

          If you had to walk by or through the ‘protests’ you’d have a better idea.

          The vibe is not good. It’s aggressive. If you’re forced to interact with them the only safe policy is a performative faux support.

          My 2 cents from here in Calgary.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          Speaking of funding sources, Grid is funded — rather like Neera Tanden, oddly — by UAE and Abu Dhabi, to the extent the murk can be penetrated.

          I don’t much like Yglesias suddenly appearing on the masthead as “editor at large,” either. Matty must be doing very well for himself on Substack, too, so I don’t think the incentives, whatever they are, are financial.

          I don’t like well- but murkily funded venues that suddenly appear out of nowhere. Grid is one such.

  7. Sutter Cane

    The “covid is over” push of the past week throughout the media sure seems like obvious consent manufacturing, but I must admit that the audience is receptive because it is what they want to hear.

    There is outright hostility to talking about the numbers. Earlier in the pandemic, speculation about future possible deaths got you branded as a tinfoil hat fearmonger (and then those numbers would turn out to be massive underestimates), but now even mentioning the actual number of deaths is just you being a Negative Nancy!

    1. Samuel Conner

      In some parts of society (such as the professions of psychiatry and psychology), intentional self-injury is considered evidence of mental illness. Intentional self-infection probably would not, depending on the motive — that’s how vaccination was done, centuries ago.

      My interpretation of the present situation, which is kind of mid-way between the two, is that we are collectively tending toward a kind of endogenous society-wide mental illness or cognitive impairment, and I suppose that the problems will get worse as long COVID inflicts actual exogenous impairments on some or many people’s brain function.

      Is there a collective analog to Lewy dementia?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Haberman book: Flushed papers found clogging Trump WH toilet”

    Gawd! Trump always was an amateur. If he did not want papers to be found afterwards, he should have done what the professionals do. Just organize a “home brew” server with minimal security and run it out of an old bathroom closet in a downtown Denver loft and have it run by a mom-and-pop outfit. But not in Mar-a-Lago as it would be too easily found. If it does get found, just hold off until you can delete all the embarrassing stuff and if people call you on wiping it, just tell them “What? Like with a cloth?” Eventually people forget and he would have been safe. That is how the most qualified politicians do it.

    1. griffen

      I often wonder if Trump was more likely to portray leadership skills, like those of a team owner whose outsized reputation exceeds his skill as an owner. Apologies are in order to any Yankees fans, but I kid, I kid.

      Hypothetical, but here is one sample from Seinfeld.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        People knock George Steinbrenner, but as far as owners go, he was all in on the Yankees, Buss for the Lakers too. Can you imagine what the Orioles fan goes through? I think his name is Steve. John Henry traded away Mookie Betts and largely bought a team that was on the precipice anyway.

        1. griffen

          I could have opted instead included a clip of Ballmer dancing at a Clippers game or Mark Cuban producing howlers courtside about the NBA referees. Then again, the Mavericks have had recent, serious front office attention and not in a good way.

          Lately as franchises go in US professional sports, the Houston Texans are example A of how to ruin a somewhat successful franchise. I feel most sorry for those fans who will be suffering awhile longer.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > “Haberman book: Flushed papers found clogging Trump WH toilet”

      Now I remember why this reminded me of the pee tape. Trump is a germaphobe. It’s extremely unlikely he’d be flushing papers down a toilet. Taking boxes of papers out of the White House “Because I can” is another issue; that he’d do in a heartbeat, but that’s not Haberman’s claim.

      1. Milton

        The narrative class’ MO is to not only discredit a political enemy but try to their utmost ability, humiliate them. Witness the literal smearing (feces) of Assange with “sources” reporting how he bordered on the deranged while inside the Ecuadoran embassy. When regular lies (meetings with Trump operatives) don’t seem to do the trick, the blob must go with the visceral attack. We saw how both Fauci and Collins worked immediately to label Bhattacharya, Kulldorf and Gupta as raving lunatics because they considered an alternative to the NIH’s POV. Think about it, luminaries in their field of work and celebrated up to the beginning of the pandemic, these three are now on the par with the Qanon author. Anyone considered a threat are to be silenced and debased–their work no longer considered objective but rather added to the CS ether.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          The entire goal is to make a case to exclude Trump for the presidency. That’s why they impeached him after he left office, if successful, he would not be eligible to run for president, Same with the 1/6 charges. If he’s an insurrectionist, he can’t run for president. We’ve gone full Third World by doing an impersonation of Brazil and Lula.

          They are worried they can’t beat him. That scares me more than anything.

          1. Michaelmas

            We’ve gone full Third World by doing an impersonation of Brazil and Lula.

            No, the US has reverted to what it’s been throughout most of its history.

            Except for the brief interregnum of Roosevelt’s New Deal, when you dig into the real history of the US — not the lies they teach in high school civics classes — the country has always been an English-speaking version of a colonial kleptocracy like Brazil.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Does this “journalistic” obsession with pee, poop and toilets–formerly the exclusive domain of first and second grade aspiring comedians–strike anyone else as way beyond creepy?

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          It certainly strike me as creepy (though “waste water” is a separate issue). At some point in the recent past, the infantile “poop” became normalized as a word adult writers used in headlines and in text. I agree it’s one of the creepier aspects of the current zeitgeist.

        2. Skip Intro

          It may be that the palette of insults has been savagely reduced by the gradual elimination of religious-, national-, racial-, and even sexual-orientation-based slurs. The rainbow diversity of appropriate insults is now monochrome. It seems like only a few years ago when mocking a sexual relationship between Trump and Putin was de rigeur.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I found that amazing that. The New York Times has been all in on equality for gays and lesbians for decades but when it came down to the crunch, said that Trump and Putin were just a bunch of f***. One wonders what they would have said if Putin was a black guy.

        3. C.O.

          It strikes me as the reflection of the way in which so-called elites and those who identify with them believe the rest of us are stupid children, and need to spoken to as such. It is definitely creepy.

  9. Tom Stone

    The pandemic is over, officially.
    I have been lucky enough to take advantage of emergency housing assistance since December 1st, a program limited to those of limited means who are at high risk from covid due to health issues and who are at risk of homelessness.
    Serious health issues, the worst week saw 5 of 80 die of non covid problems.
    Funding ended because things are going so well in the fight against the virus and the remaining residents will move on before the end of the Month.

  10. DJG, Reality Czar

    Bill Totten’s web log, where BT hosts Chairman Rabbit (whose name sounds cuddly but who is prickly):

    Worth your while. This is the kind of directness that Chinese are well known for. Note the stress on responsibility of the government for the citizens’ well-being.

    A few spicy paragraphs mid-article:

    Between China and the US, which can be more tolerant of the death of the elderly? The death of the weak? The death of a million people?

    The US, of course.

    In pursuit of “herd immunity”, society can overlook these burdens – carry on without the burden. A million are “abandoned” so that those who remain can move on.

    The US is a racial society. If observed with a magnifying glass, the race with the highest mortality rate is the most vulnerable race.

    In other words, black people.

    Also, take a look at the note at the bottom of the article. We truly do require a “rectification of names” when it comes to the use of the word “endemic.” Why don’t we just face facts and call “endemic” what it is?: A scourge.

    One of the Four Horsemen.

    More on rectification of names: I borrow from the Wikipedia entry in English:

    The rectification of names (Chinese: 正名; pinyin: Zhèngmíng; Wade–Giles: Cheng-ming) is originally a doctrine of feudal Confucian designations and relationships, behaving accordingly to ensure social harmony.[1] Without such accordance society would essentially crumble and “undertakings would not be completed.”[2] Mencius extended the doctrine to include questions of political legitimacy.[3]

    When Confucius was asked what he would do if he was a governor, he said he would “rectify the names” to make words correspond to reality.

  11. griffen

    Global financial institution misses tell tale signs that a client listing included Bulgarian mafia. It’s remarkable due to the fact this stretches back to mid-2000s.

    Looks like the “Know Your Customer” practices in place at this CS branch were a little lacking, to understate the presented facts in the article. Credit Suisse is once again swirling inside a tornado of bad publicity. But unlike Dorothy and Toto, the bank was never that innocent and will never return to a Kansas farm.

  12. Don Midwest

    Prescribing ivermectin can get a doctor fired and/or suspension of license

    A headline describes what happened

    “MIT-educated anti-vaxxer doctor who treated COVID patients with Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine has her license suspended and must undergo psychiatric evaluation ‘for spreading misinformation'”

    Dr. Meryl Ness explains the decades of actions to prevent the use of generic drugs beginning with Lyme disease when they fired 40 doctors in the North East from using drug cocktails to treat Lyme. She is well versed in the law and describes the way that formal and informal means are used to control medicine. She says that what is happening to her is not against the law so she is trying to find out what is going on.

    This is the main topic in the weekly update on flccc dot net, 7PM EST Wed, and this session was held on Feb 9. Scroll down the page and click on the link

    I learned a lot about how declaring an emergency grants the government extreme powers which is the blanket under which the EUA, Emergency Use Authorizations, fit. All the mRNA vaccines have been under EUA for the last couple of years.

    1. Nikkikat

      It might have been helpful if we had known that the EUA could only be used when there was no other drugs or treatments available. This enabled Fauci and big Pharma to deny any treatment to patients. Therefore, people were sent home to die. Doctors hands were tied.
      It was either ventilator or nothing.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        “We” DID know and tried to tell the rest of the country, but “emergency” hysteria is / was the the preferred public position.

    2. t

      Headline kind of skips over her history as a dangerous anti-vax grifter. And it looks like the claims against her are about lying to pharmacists which she admits to doing.

      1. Don Midwest

        Yes she lied. Patient in critical condition unable to drive 2 hours for IVM. She wrote. A prescription for Lyme, not Covid.

        If you were a physician what would you do?

      2. lyman alpha blob

        I’ve been following Nass off and on for many years. The headline also skips over her being one of those who called bul***it on the Bush administration’s anthrax attack narrative 20 years ago.

        She was right about that.

  13. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Jacobin article on what to know about Ukraine is very good, although many of the facts have already been set forth here at Naked Capitalism’s daily postings (or among the commentariat).

    Let’s set to rest the idea that Ukraine has a healthy economy and that the Russians would really like to reincorporate some 50 million people in to the Russian Federation. To quote:

    “Economically, Ukraine is actually a big failure. If you look at the economic indicators, Ukraine is probably one of the very, very few countries in the world that has not reached its 1990 level of GDP per capita. There was a huge economic decline in the ’90s, and then Ukraine failed to grow like its Eastern European neighbors. We don’t live better than at the end of the Soviet Union, unlike Poland, for example, or even Russia or Belarus.”

    An example of what extreme corruption leads to. And familiar to Americans, where wages and benefits have been stagnant since, ohhhh, 1990.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’ve actually got a lot of sympathy with the ordinary people of the Ukraine and what is being done to them. Ruled by a predatory bunch of oligarchs for decades who siphon off as much wealth from the country as possible and now a geopolitical play toy to use against Russia with which they share a very long border. Since the Maiden they have become I think the poorest country in Europe and though there is constant talk of bringing them into NATO, I have not heard a single word about bringing them into the EU. Probably Turkey will become part of the EU before they do.

      But a few days ago I saw an appalling example of how ordinary Ukrainians are being abused. So they wanted the army to get training in urban warfare so they can seize the Donbass cities. Assuming the Russian stand by and do nothing that is. So where did they send their soldiers to train? Why in Pripyat of course. If that name sounds familiar, that is the city of 50,000 people that was abandoned after Chernobyl and is too radioactive to live in. Visit yes, but not live in. If I were those soldiers, I would not be boiling the snow to make my tea with-

      1. YuShan

        “I have not heard a single word about bringing them into the EU”

        Ukraine has an association treaty with the EU. In the Netherlands there was a referendum about this (it needed to be approved by all members), which was rejected by 2/3 of the people who voted, but the Dutch government went ahead anyway, as is usually the case with EU matters.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks. I had forgotten about that referendum in the Netherlands. Strange thing was that young Ukrainians were so desperate to get into the EU back in 2014 while at the same time, Greece was being put through the wringer by that same organization. Isn’t Turkey also a major partner with the EU as well? How many decades have they been wanting to get into the EU. If I were the Ukraine, I wouldn’t be holding my breath then.

          1. YuShan

            Turkey is forever on the waiting list.

            The risk of Turkey joining was a significant factor in Britain leaving the EU. A couple of years before the Brexit vote, David Cameron standing next to Erdogan, said that he would make a strong case in the EU for Turkey joining soon. This scared the hell out of many British.

            Tony Blair said in 2004 that he expected about 13,000 Poles to come to the UK as a result of opening the borders. In 2016 when the Brexit vote happened, there were more than 1 million… And that is only the Poles. So when Cameron said that he wanted Turkey – a country with 84 million population- to join soon, some people were not amused. Even when the remain campaign later said that it wouldn’t happen, of course nobody trusted the government anymore. For many, Brexit was seen as the last chance to stop these things from happening again. They rightly or wrongly believed that it could be decided again by EU bureaucrats in yet another backroom deal. Hence “Take Back Control”.

            For the record: I’m an EU citizen living in the UK. I couldn’t vote in the referendum myself, obviously. Would have voted remain myself, but I totally understand why Leave won.

      2. Paradan

        Actually people still live there, or at least in a town close by. They can’t grow their own food, and have to be very fastidious about dust. I have no idea what their long term cancer rate is.

        In other news, because of the Russia issue cutting off gas and coal, Ukraine is currently running all 12 of it’s reactors full time. All the ones scheduled for maintenance are supposedly being brought on line, and the maintenance delayed. I’m one of those evil pro-nuclear people, but this has me worried. These are really old reactors, Ukraine is super corrupt, and electricity is so critical politically that I’m afraid the engineers might be pressured to go against their better judgement.

        At the end of this month, Ukraine is gonna to disconnect it’s grid from Russia’s. So I figure that’s when it’ll hit the fan.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I appreciate your admission of concern about running nuke plants in a country overwhelmed by corruption and incompetence.

          That’s why I don’t want to see any new ones built in the U.S., and why I think we should be in the process of shutting down the ones still operating.

          And maybe we could do that without the responsible utilities buying off the legislators to push their mistakes onto the public and the ratepayers.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          I figure Harris has been dispatched, so the White House has signaled the surrender. Everything she’s been entrusted with died.

          1. Anton

            You’ve got it backwards, every problem with which she’s entrusted becomes a bigger problem:

            She’s not the solution, she is the problem.
            Every sinecure she’s occupied has been left a bigger disaster; crime and homeless in San Francisco as D.A, housing inequality and corporate criminality in California as Attorney General, highest defense budget ever, High Court appointments, etc as Senator…….

            Her most recent- Solving the border crisis.

            “Illegal Border Crossings, Migrants were encountered 1.7 million times in the last 12 months, the highest number of illegal crossings recorded since at least 1960.”

            And now? A heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

        3. Polar Socialist

          Russia is pumping 108 million cubic meters of gas trough Ukraine every single day. It’s pretty normal amount – for summer. High prices and the “crisis” have kept European countries from buying as much as normally, but Gasprom (“Russia”) has not cut off any gas.

          Coal Ukraine used to get from Donbass, but eventually they have stopped buying it from the “terrorists”. What I read somewhere – can’t verify, so take with a grain of salt – is that late last summer one or the other Ukrainian oligarch got permission to sell the coal reserved for the winter to Slovakia, for a good price. Thus Zelensky had to warn EU countries in December (?) that Ukraine will have to “siphon off some of the gas” meant for EU just to keep the country warm.

    2. Maxwell Johnston

      The article in Jacobin is excellent but ignores one reality: nobody with active brain cells wants to own the tar baby of the Donbas. The Ukrainian government doesn’t want to be spending money on subsidizing an economically moribund region which wants to be part of Russia and will be endlessly obstructionist on domestic issues. The Russians are already subsidizing Belarus, the north Caucasus, Crimea, Abkhazia, and so forth: enough, already. A good article in Asia Times (written with a pro-Ukraine slant, mind you) describes this reality:

      The Donbas mess will drag on until “something” happens which starts the war which ends Ukraine in its present internationally recognized format. Until then, life in the Donbas will remain quite unpleasant.

    3. Jessica

      TLDR: Different parts of Ukraine have quite different histories.
      The Jacobin article omits one major factor that needs to be understood to make any sense of Ukrainian events: Ukraine was only unified in 1945. 1945. Until then, the Western part of Ukraine was part of Poland, then of Habsburg Austria until the end of WW1, then part of Poland. The separation of eastern and western Ukraine occurred in the 1600s.
      This western part was never part of Russia and has no affinity with Russia. This is where the intensely anti-Russian nationalists come from. These nationalist groups are also anti-Polish and committed atrocities against Poles during WW2. (The Poles also committed atrocities against Ukrainians.) Rough neighborhood
      The rest of Ukraine was part of Russia, then the USSR for centuries. The Donbass region (the part held by pro-Russian separatists) was one of the first parts of Tsarist Russia industrialized and was a key integral part of the Russian economy from then on.
      Crimea has an amazingly complex history. At various times, it was Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Genoese(!), Ottoman. Often, the coast and the inland areas of Crimea were held by completely different people. The inland areas were populated by horse people from the steppes, the type that the civilizations I just mentioned considered barbarians. One nation that the Crimea never belonged to was Ukraine.
      Crimea was transferred from the Russian Federated SSR to the Ukrainian SSR within the USSR in 1954 by Khrushchev for no obvious reason. It may have been for administrative simplicity. During the USSR, the nation as a whole was thoroughly integrated economically (one reason why tearing it apart was so bad economically) and Crimea was economically tied to Ukraine for water and gas supplies. The population remained overwhelmingly Russian speaking ethnic Russians.
      During the breakup of the USSR, Crimea tried to hold a referendum on full independence, but backed down when the emergent Ukrainian government threatened to cut off its water.
      It is the nature of nations to present themselves as much older and more solid than they really are. The Jacobin article is quite correct and helpful to point out that in Ukraine two different nation-building attempts are underway and neither has succeeded so far. Clearly, the Ukrainian people are a distinct people with a distinct language, but what form that will take on the level of nation-states has not yet been settled. I hope that they get to have as large a voice in that decision as possible. US-led Western intervention in this process is not helpful nor is it intended to be.

      1. Harold

        They also have a distinct religion; “Greek” Catholicism I don’t know why no one mentions this. They are a textbook example of the wrong kind of nationalism.

        1. Jessica

          If I knew Ukrainians in Catholic school growing up, their people figure to have come from western Ukraine (Galicia), right? Otherwise they would have been Orthodox, not Catholic?

          1. Harold

            They recognize the Pope of Rome as the leader of the Church, although the clergy is allowed to marry and keep other aspects of the Orthodox rite. One of the first thing Yatsenuik (sp?) did in 2014 was to pay a visit to the Vatican. My understanding is that there had been considerable successful Jesuit proselytizing in the seventeenth century in little Russia (which had the paradoxical effect of strengthening subsequent Eastern Orthodox separatism in Russia proper).

            In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was the children of Ukrainian Greek Catholic clergy who were prominent in nationalist agitating. This is because they were the most literate sector of Ukrainian speakers at the time, most of the others being agricultural workers with minimal schooling.

            The original pre-WW1 Ukrainian nationalists had been inclined to liberalism & the left, which is perhaps why Lenin was well disposed toward them. But later when the victors of WW1 placed them under Polish rule, the Ukrainian nationalist movement went underground and embraced a violent Fascist ideology.

            1. Kouros

              Was the same in Transylvania too. The orthodox where in fact ostracized and persecuted, left illiterate and impoverished.

        2. Eclair

          You may be referring to the Orthodox faith, Harold, the ancient eastern branch of Christianity. It includes the Russian, the Greek, and the Ukrainian Orthodox churches. And, there may be more, I’m not an authority.

          But, in Jamestown, NY, there is a small community of Ukrainian immigrants, flying pretty much under the radar in an old industrial city that was comprised mainly of Swedes and Italians. There is an old Ukrainian Orthodox church building, wooden and decomposing, centered in a working class neighborhood of wooden one and two-family houses, on narrow streets lined with old maples. Many of the second generation Ukrainians now attend the local Greek Orthodox church (St Nicholas) only a block or two from the now-closed Ukrainian Orthodox church.

          The St Nicholas parish have (or had, pre-CoVid) an annual fund-raising dinner buffet, featuring tables of ethnic dishes home-cooked by all the Orthodox ethnicities, from Greek to Russian to Polish to Ukrainian and half a dozen others. The entrance fee gives you rights to sample a set number of tables. Worth a trip! (Especially since they always seem to have left-over baklava that the Greek cooks insist on packing up for us to take home.)

      2. Polar Socialist

        According to the academics (at least before 2014) there really was no Ukrainian identity until late 1840’s. Even Wikipedia (I know, I know) admits that before the first World War the people in area of Galicia considered themselves to be either Masurians and Ruthenians. Only around then they learned that actually they were Polish and Ukrainians, respectively.

        Of course, quite heavy handed Ukranization has recently been undertaken. Which was/is one of the reason behind Donetsk and Luhansk “Republics”.

        1. Roland

          Whenever it may have begun, there sure is a Ukrainian nation today.

          I’m pro-Russian on the current dispute, but I dislike efforts to denigrate the national feelings of other peoples. We saw the same sort of talk about Iraq, used to justify occupation and partition by outside powers.

          Every country, every society, is a composite. Every history starts and ends in ignominy. All “isms” are artifice. That is the human condition, not just the Ukrainian.

    4. Procopius

      1973. That was when wages began to diverge from productivity. That seems to also be when the neoliberal philosophy began to replace Keynesianism. I still don’t understand what was going on in Academia then that caused the rapid adoption of neoliberalism, but that was also, IIRC, the year of the Lewis Memo. Obviously, the ideas had been circulating before then, but for some reason that year seems to have been when they made their move.

  14. flora


    Just think how much easier and less embarrassing this political spending denial by government would be in a cashless, central bank digital currency country. So much easier for the politicians. No court cases, no newspaper articles, just a flip of the switch somewhere in the central bank system.

    Absolute control.

    1. TinaTwins

      That’s why all people concerned with civil liberties, Democracy, local communities, civil justice and fighting fascism should spend only cash in small businesses, or pay people who work for you in non business settings. Cash, use it or lose it.

      Seeing lots of bills with political messages written on them:

      “BidenFlation killing us”
      “Food prices, double by 2024?”
      “In god we trust replaced with In fraud we trust”
      “End the Fed” and many many more.

      That’s legal, as long as denominations are not altered.

  15. Carolinian

    Good Unherd on “the honkening.”

    Ottawa’s truckers are a symptom of the massive class divide that is opening up across the West. Marxists are sticking their heads in the sand about this generational moment, or papering it over with absurd topsy-turvy leaps. In one recent display of moon logic, the Canadian activist, writer and self-described socialist Nora Loreto complained that “labour” was invisible in the resistance to the “fascist” truckers that had occupied Ottawa. An exasperated comrade chimed in with a story of being a shop steward for a teamster (truck driver) union, and — horror of horrors — the painful truth was that many teamsters were more likely to be in the protest themselves than protesting against it.

    The exchange is modern Western Leftism in a nutshell. Is there a single better illustration of the contradictions of the moment? An “activist” and organiser” recoiling in horror at a bunch of truckers — people who work in the real, material economy, ferrying the foodstuffs and goods we all depend on to survive — staging a political protest, only to then ask “but where is the organised working class in all of this?”. Isn’t it obvious to the point of parody that the workers are the people inside the trucks?

    This was Taibbi’s theme as well in yesterday’s column. He says that the neoliberal mindset has become so ingrained that opposition from below is dismissed as freakish cultism and the “deplorables” enlarged to take in almost half the country. One could say the current elites learn nothing (from those with a different life experience) and forget nothing (for them it’s always the rise of Hitler or, in foreign policy, Munich). Even if the above is giving the truckers too much credit something seems to be brewing. The immense callousness of Biden’s “do as I say or get fired” may have finally thrown the switch.

    1. lance ringquist

      its what i posted the other day, the heads of the unions should be replaced and run out of town on pitchforks.

      to even have endorsed carter a second time let alone the fascist nafta billy clinton and empty suit hollowman obama, let alone nafta joe biden even the first time, is criminal negligence.

      the unions should have poured money and resources into perots campaign the second time, it might have nipped the nafta democrats in the bud.

      then the dim wits endorsed nafta hillary the deplorable hater over bernie, it was nuts!

      the 2022 elections the dim wit union heads are going to watch the radicalized rank and file vote for fraudulent GOP.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Hard to imagine how different this country would look today, had “labor leaders” of the early 90’s not taken the bribes and warm “welcomes” into the clean fingernails halls of “power” to ignore “the giant sucking sound” of nafta, and forced their members to experience it for themselves instead.

        Let’s go, Brandon. Honk! Honk!

        1. Eclair

          Yeah, Katniss. But that’s how The Establishment works. They allow a certain number of the ‘outsiders’ to become members.

          If you’re working class, you could become a labor leader and sit down with the power structure.

          If you were a smart but poor kid, you could be a scholarship student at Harvard or Stanford, and enter the portals of corporate and political and financial power.

          If you’re female or you’re Black or your roots are in south or central America, and you play the game, you are allowed in.

      2. Kouros

        The Unions leadership have been entirely coopted into the Professional Managerial Class, quite a long time ago…

    2. Beyond the rubicoN

      Many of these protests over Covid policies seem devoid of any requests for meaningful or realistic political or economic change ( higher wages and benefits, more responsive governance ). They just seem like a longing for a return to a recongnizable status quo. Their status as working class seems decoupled from their demands. They can organize to protest vaccine and mask mandates but not for money and healthcare? That seems odd to me and as such I cant see why the left would want to pick up a cause that is just give me back my “freedom”.

      1. Carolinian

        If they are disorganized maybe it because there is no viable political opposition trying to organize them. Likely the vaccine protest is a proxy for other complaints. What Taibbi and others are saying is that the visibility of the workers is an indictment of The Left in general for its invisibility on class issues. IMO.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          And maybe they are just fed up to the gills with the “organizers” on offer.

          … But for the longest time, the political rhetoric and worldview of the Left depended on the idea that the trucker and the activist were merely two sides of the same coin.

          Without the activist and the “organiser”, the trucker would never be able to know how to organise himself and his fellows politically; without the trucker, the activist and the organiser would not have a cause for which to organise. Now it seems that the trucker — and by extension, the pilot, the garbage collector, and the bus driver — does not need or want this caste of self-appointed leaders.

          Exhibit A of the vichy “organizer” class being one barack hussein obama, and his faithful dog joseph robinette biden.

      2. Jonhoops

        They are in Canada , they already have universal healthcare.

        But yeah I get your point. And if you scratch a little deeper you realize this is just a bunch of the usual right wing cranks who have managed to harness a moment of discontent after 2 years of pandemic.

        If someone would do some digging we might find out who most of these “truckers “ are. Are they actually owners of small or medium sized trucking companies. How many are actual single owner operators or employees.

        How many really care about vaccine mandates or is it just a bunch of disaffected “Fuck Trudeau” Albertans who just found a vein of anger to use to their advantage.

        Also it seems like the local dupes are now being used by the larger right wing forces from the US to amplify the chaos.

        1. Maritimer

          “They are in Canada , they already have universal healthcare.”
          As far as the Uninjected, that is not true. They are now discriminated against, segregated and targeted by that “universal healthcare”. They pay for that system with their tax dollars like the Injected. Quebec even wanted to tax Injection Dissidents for exercising their CDN Charter rights. This, by the way, is one of the issues for the Freedom Truckers in Ottawa.

          Please do not spread misinformation.

          1. jonhoops

            The last time I checked no one has been refused care in Canada, and in fact the main reason Quebec is trying to impose this tax penalty is because unvaccinated patients are putting an undue burden on the system.

            Please do not spread misinformation.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Just because I love this paragraph so much and think it deserves a shout out in the Comments section:

      During the pandemic lockdowns, the email jobs caste loved to talk about essential workers, and luxuriated in public displays of gratitude for them. But this caste of genteel urbanites never realised that this choice of nomenclature was in fact much more meaningful — and ominous – than they understood. Some people, it seems, simply are critical to the functioning of the economy, pandemic or no pandemic. Once those people — and truck drivers are perhaps the most critical of them all — start to demand to be listened to, they have ways to make those demands felt.

      As Chris Hedges said on a recent Briahna Joy Gray podcast (paraphrasing)–there’s plenty of kindling around, and you just never know what the spark will be.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        This brings to mind the 300 concrete mixers bringing to a halt the 28billion$ worth of construction in Seattle.

        We need this nationwide!

    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      That’s why Urban Marxists need to throw their lot in with the Rural and Suburban Libertarians and Paleo Conservatives.

      F the Libs.

      Working Class is the Working Class so we need to suck it up, reject Idpol, and start forming relationships with these groups! The real energy is with the Right. Most Marxists, myself included, get mired in the Liberal muck of their parents and democrats for decades.

        1. coboarts

          I seem to have misplaced my previous comment about the validity of Unions in general, as servants of the corporate state. Might you have a copy?

    5. Procopius

      The exchange is modern Western Leftism in a nutshell.

      Those people are not leftists. They are clearly PMC. That’s the problem with the current English Language. The words “liberal” and “leftist” have been corrupted. The people who now call themselves “liberals” are mostly Fascists trying to impose authoritarian governance on the rest of us. Same applies to “woke.” I have no idea what to call myself now. I’m mostly Revolutionary Socialist, meaning FDR (or New Deal) Democrat. Those calling themselves “liberal” are what I call “center right.”

      1. icancho

        Certainly a frogmouth, but not the Tawny, I believe. The white spotting on the chest and the white wing-bar suggest to me possibly Blyth’s Frogmouth, Batrachostomus affinis, or one of the other species of Batrachostomus.

  16. hemeantwell

    The Unherd of article on the Left’s abandonment of truckers is awful, and lambert nailed it. We’ve subbed to TDU’s paper Teamster Voice (formerly Convoy Dispatch) for decades, both because truckers are a strategically important group of workers and because the paper retains a Trotskyist panache, punching away at business unionism and corruption. All through that time they have steadily attacked the various mobbed up, salary-stacking parasites who’ve run the Teamsters for lousy contract defense and failing to organize. TDUs yearly publication of the list of double- and triple-salaried officials, running into the hundreds, was just painful to see. The victory of the TDU-supported slate in last November’s election was a champagne moment.

    The Unherd author is apparently ignorant of all this and instead goes after that favorite tackle dummy, Marcuse, blaming him for downplaying the importance of the working class. Actually, this despair over worker incorporation into organized capitalism was widespread from the 50s on, and showed up in a range of writers, not just people like Andre Gorz but also including Monthly Review’s Baran and Sweezy. In the case of Marcuse, his questioning of the working class’ revolutionary potential was driven by an interest in promoting students, racial minorities, and the “Third World” as revolutionary agents. And during the Vietnam period when this theoretical tendency came to a head the idea was to stop wasting time, there was a war machine to stop.

    In any event, once we begin to peer through the fog of theoretical fetishism the Unherd article’s misplacing of agency is staggering. The social power of systemically-incorporated business unionism, which Marcuse and others were trying to theoretically register in order to broaden the Left’s focus, is transmuted into a force of misguided theory. This is sheer sectarian analysis, where the implications of theoretical differences are amplified in order to promote bring about a, if you will, “cancelling” of an opposing political tendency. Here, it’s self-cancelling.

    1. Carolinian

      Wow you really think it is about all that? Perhaps they simply want to not take the vaccine and still be able to work. If there’s a conspiracy afoot Galbraith may have nailed it elsewhere in NC–the same old conspiracy that has always existed of capital against labor (through automation and offshoring). For sure the working class and “the left” haven’t always been on the same page (the unions mostly favored the Vietnam intervention). But the real danger for the PMCs is that resistance–any resistance–may inspire a lot more. Which is to say our current establishment is screwing everyone, not just the workers.

      1. jonhoops

        These idiots can work all they want without a vaccine. They just can’t do cross border haulage. It’s a red herring since Trudeau can’t even give them what they want, that’s up to Joe Biden. As far as I can tell they are just a bunch of separatist cranks and right wing nuts who finally found an issue that resonated with more than .01% of Canadians. And last time I looked the majority of Canadians overwhelmingly support vaccine mandates.

        We’ll see how long this lasts now that they have decided to move their protest beyond the sleepy confines of Ottawa. Blocking hundreds of millions of dollars a day in international trade will bring the hammer down.

        1. eg

          Bingo. No sooner was the Ambassador Bridge clogged for a couple of days that Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario (who had been in strategic hiding as long as the salient incident was in Ottawa — not exactly a bastion of Conservative support, and comparatively meaningless economically) declared a state of emergency.

          After all, his election slogan was “Ontario: open for business” …

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Ontario court freezes access to GiveSendGo donations for truckers’ protest”

    Anybody know how much jurisdiction the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has in Dover, Delaware? Because that is where GiveSendGo’s Donations center is located in. Think old Joe would be sympathetic with a foreign country wanting to put legal limits on a corporation in his own pet State?

    1. divadab

      Seems dubious to me but the government is getting desperate and getting a friendly judge to issue a stay on distributing funds, regardless of the thin-ness of the legal basis, probably seemed a useful tool regardless of its potential ultimate quashing in a full court hearing. Not a lawyer, but the terms of service of Givesendgo clearly denote exclusive legal jurisdiction in Delaware.

    2. Userfract

      I believe the intent is to intercept any transfer of funds from GiveSendGo on its way into Canada. Any transfers over $10,000 are already monitored by FINTRAC by default to detect and prevent criminal activity such as money laundering, and I would expect that they have the capability to monitor transfers below that amount in a specific case such as this. I doubt very much that they would be pursuing the company in Delaware as I’m sure Delaware is well set up to protect the lenders incorporated in its jurisdiction from legal liability to the greatest extent possible. That’s part of the state’s charm after all.

  18. Jason Boxman

    On The “Crapification” of the U.S. Economy Is Now Complete:

    In other words, Americans have been trained like Pavlov’s dogs to consume, no matter how poor the quality and service. We just buy it anyway, and grumble over the decaying quality and service–but we won’t take the only action that would impact corporations and the government: stop buying the products and services. Opt out, drop out, make it at home, cancel the service, just stop buying abysmally made junk and pathetically poor services.

    (emphasis in original)

    Gotta take issue here. For example we’re down to, what, three cellular carriers in the United States. It isn’t clear that switching from Verizon to AT&T for example is going to fix my 15 spam calls a day problem, because this is industry wide. So I’m supposed to refuse to have a phone? What signal does that send, exactly?

    This blame the consumer approach is tired. Individual action doesn’t fix markets. This is a systemic, societal problem, and it needs systemic solutions.

    Corporations and the government are monopolies or quasi-monopolies, and so they don’t have to care whether customers are appalled by poor quality and service: they know the customer has to consume whatever is offered, no matter how crapified.

    Doesn’t that invalidate the prior paragraph then? Why write it?

    the herd will continue buying the same garbage products and services because to stop consuming is unthinkable: I consume, therefore I am.

    This seems overly reductionist. It’s a huge country.

    In any case, I’m sympathetic to the overall crapification theme, because it is manifest. But I take issue with disparaging consumers, as if in many cases US citizens had much choice in this.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i agree(like with the unherd thing, to a point)
      as the only person i know who is actively trying to drop out and cut as many dependencies as possible…it is incredibly hard!
      “Buy nothing day” is doable…but to disengage from the global corpofeudal economy is all but impossible…unless one literally builds a village of like minded individuals who are dedicated to that end, and willing to both do without, and do the work for what they do have/use…then, maybe.(libertarian socialist gault’s gulch,lol…i do understand the comedic potential, here)

      1. divadab

        The system is not in our control but it is possible to make it work for you and your family. You don’t have to buy their crap but SSi and Medicare are very useful.

    2. Questa Nota

      Combine crapification with private equity, or rather, harness the power of private equity to explore further opportunities for crapification.

      See which products and services will extract further value from consumers, while restricting their options. At some point, there will be so little left to restrict that some might start to question why, perhaps even in the media. When the ride sharing and food delivery break down, stories might take on new urgency.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Matt Stoller has written about how this works in software, where private equity buys out a successful software company and then rides it hard into the ground.

        Although oddly, to my astonishment and shock, the opposite has happened with Quicken. When Intuit sold it off, I thought I’d have to go back to GnuCash or Moneydance or whatever, but the VC that bought it has vastly improved the Mac version of Quicken to the point that it’s mostly fantastic, and substantially better than the rotting Quicken for Windows version. (Although they might have improved that as well.)

        They did, unsurprisingly, adopt the software-as-a-service model and now Quicken must be “bought” again every 1 to 2 years. Granted, Intuit kind of had this model as well starting in the late 2000s, but you still “bought” Quicken rather than an outright subscription, up until about 2015 or so.

        Nonetheless, the general trend towards rent extraction stands.

        1. marku52

          My general impression of US companies is that they regard their customers as “victims”

          Cue Animal House “What can I say, you trusted us. You effed up.”

        2. lordkoos

          Intuit began putting spyware in the Quicken program at some point — I’d be surprised if it has been removed by the new owners.

    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      One of my favorite examples: Chase bought my local bank. The level of service plummeted. I let my money talk for me, closed my accounts and transferred to another local bank…who Chase also bought out within a year. Rinse and repeat, this time to a national, because I was running out of local options. Would you believe Chase ended up buying this bank too? I ended up at a regional bank, whose service and fees were every bit as bad as the big guys, before I was finally able to join a credit union.

      Most of this took place when I was in college and still had time to sit on the phone waiting around to talk to this person or that and cancel accounts, which they don’t make easy. I also lived in an area where I had options, though over that time the huge banks snapped up pretty much any locals they could. Most people don’t have options and in my situation, it was getting to a point where I was wasting time moving accounts only to get the same crap service.

    4. Carla

      @Jason Boxman — thanks for this. I agree, systemic change is all that really matters. If you have not watched/read the podcast with Jamie Galbraith Yves features today, please do. It seems to me that anything we can do to see that his policy solutions receive broader currency would be helpful.

      For several years now, I have tried to direct my (very limited) charitable giving only to organizations that I have evidence are working for systemic change. For example, and on the national level, and to some political efforts and activist organizations working for fundamental change at the very local level (making local government more responsive to peoples’ needs, advocating for municipal broadband, etc). I also try to concentrate my volunteer hours on such systemic causes as well.

      I really don’t know what else to do.

    5. Anthony G Stegman

      You answered your own question. You can refuse to have a crappy phone. Many of us older folks were quite fine without cellphones. You may feel that “smartphones” are indispensable, but they aren’t. Consumers have choices. One of these is to choose not to consume so much. Perhaps crapification can’t be eliminated entirely, but it can be reduced. Tune out, turn on, and drop out. Give it a try.

      1. ambrit

        One problem is that, around here at least, there are no more land lines left. None. Everything is now cellular. Try to find a cheap, decent ‘dumbphone’ now. I have seen ‘basic’ flip phones priced at over a hundred dollars. I am certainly not going to pay $1700 USD for a “smartphone.”

      2. LawnDart

        You may feel that “smartphones” are indispensable, but they aren’t.

        To whom?

        I often need to look up info and download large PDF files in the field (hundreds of miles from my home office), i.e.; to troubleshoot from a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) or maybe a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) that’s throwing a fault code. No smartphone = many hours of additional time and labor, and that would equal me losing a customer, and future customers, and eventually going broke.

        Like an automobile not being indispensable, “just take the bus” works really well in Cameron, WI.

        No food on the shelves at the grocery? Just order takeout, duh.

        Feeling ill? Well heal thyself…

        Many of us older folks were quite fine without cellphones.

        But dinosaur meat tastes better when cooked over fire…

        It’s not 1980 anymore, pops.

        1. Yves Smith

          Gee, have you not heard of a laptop? Which is better for viewing and manipulating data, studying maps, and reading (and retaining!) longer than text length prose?

          And I see your version of reasonable life depends on having slaves, um, servants, um delivery people. Here in the biggest city in Alabama, all I can get delivered ex delivery services I refuse to use because they kill restaurants is crappy pizza and only OK Chinese (which I pick up the few times I get it because not far and I only would place a very small order, so not fair to restaurant (even if I tip the delivery person generously, it’s still a misuse from the restaurant’s perspective to have him/her running a bare minimum order).

          And I don’t have the (very close by anyhow) pharmacy deliver because to get that, you have to agree to a program that sells your data. Screw that.

          1. LawnDart

            Like an automobile not being indispensable, “just take the bus” works really well in Cameron, WI. No public transport in Cameron. Or Uber.

            No food on the shelves at the grocery? Just order takeout, duh. –Might be no food there, either.

            Feeling ill? Well heal thyself… –Jesus wept.

            Many of us older folks were quite fine without cellphones. I got arrested after calling a 900# from a payphone… …ask me why.

            But dinosaur meat tastes better when cooked over fire… …just trust me on this one.

  19. Jason Boxman

    Bumbling Biden continues to threaten public health:

    President Biden, who came into office vowing to “reinvigorate our national science and technology strategy,” is now facing a leadership vacuum that may threaten his ambitious research agenda, which stretches well beyond fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

    Both the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health lack permanent leaders. Mr. Biden’s health secretary, Xavier Becerra, has been criticized for his low profile. And on Monday, his science adviser, Dr. Eric S. Lander — the first such adviser to serve in the cabinet — resigned after acknowledging that he had bullied his colleagues.

    (bold mine)

    Not much urgency here, I guess, is there?

    Wasn’t Trump roundly panned by liberal Democrats for not getting positions filled, long into his administration? Is this leadership by the “adults” I guess? I think “sleepy Joe” hit close to the mark, after all.

    1. divadab

      Lander was under a cloud for simple insider trading also but easier to can him for woke sins than for financial crimes, especially when financial crimes are the norm.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I felt that was Republicans like David Gergen who weren’t invited into the Trump administration driving that narrative. Now Trump is still out there, and they didn’t expect too many openings in the Biden administration.

  20. Tom Stone

    A Million Covid deaths has been perfectly acceptable largely because those who died were useless feeders or troublemaking minorities.
    And long Covid hasn’t been a political issue yet.
    If it were primarily confined to the lower classes it would not be a problem, as time passes and it becomes clear that the PMC and their children are not immune to the consequences that will change.
    The two tools TPTB have are narrative control and the big hammer,the narrative is getting harder to control which is why we are seeing so much overt censorship.
    The big hammer is the militarized Police/Surveillance State and the various repressive laws such as the “Patriot” act and the soon to come domestic terrorism bill.
    I suspect that the only thing that will prevent a slow,grinding descent into chaos is a new variant that kills large numbers of Americans quickly.
    At least we have the Superbowl commercials to look forward to…

  21. Andrew Watts

    RE: Wyden and Heinrich: Newly Declassified Documents Reveal Previously Secret CIA Bulk Collection, Problems With CIA Handling of Americans’ Information

    Not surprising. The CIA has long been attempting to become a SIGINT agency for awhile now. Why the country needs another of’em is just typical American excess that strains already limited resources. It can’t possibly be good for cyber security either.

    To those keeping score the following agencies have mass surveillance program(s); NSA, DEA, and now the CIA. I assume that the FBI has access to some of the NSA’s collection programs and/or it collects whatever it wants through national security letters.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      I am sure there are many more agencies doing mass surveillance. The NYPD for sure. Likely most other big city law enforcement agencies as well. The Defense Department also has mass surveillance capabilities that are deployed domestically.

      1. Procopius

        When the CIA was chartered in 1947, its charter provided that the agency would never operate within the continental US. In 1975, the Church Committee revealed that they had violated that “restriction.” How is it that nobody is objecting to the CIA operating full time inside the US now? The Old Queen (J. Edgar Hoover) would have had their guts for garters.

  22. Andrew Watts

    RE: The crisis in Ukraine is one for the history books

    If the situation in Ukraine threatens to be a Suez moment for America it’s because Washington wrote a check with their mouth that they couldn’t ever cash. Collective security agreements are meant to be mutually beneficially arrangements that create advantages for both parties that’ll outweigh potential liabilities.

    Bringing Eastern Europe into NATO has only further weakened American military power by over-extending their obligations into a geographical region where other powers have a greater interest and willingness to commit their resources to. I doubt the US military could successfully protect the Baltic states against a Russian invasion anyway. But that’s assuming NATO is a defensive military alliance and not a weapons-peddling cartel.

    The entire domestic situation over Ukraine seems Rove-like in nature. People are creating and living in their own reality over the threat of a possible Russian invasion. I don’t see that happening short of a Ukrainian attack on Crimea, or the Donbass, which doesn’t seem all that likely.

  23. Mikel

    “This is such an irritating take because most of the country has never “closed everything,” so the insistence on “opening everything” as a proxy for shaming people for their enduring cautiousness when thousands are still being infected & dying daily is as obnoxious as it callous..”

    Thininking about the number of people living with somone with a co-morbidity – if they don’t have one themselves.
    These numbers are huge.

    And they will never be shamed of protecting themselves or loved ones.

  24. bluegrapes

    I said I would report on when my insurance company reimbursed me for my over the counter covid tests. I submitted a claim online on the day they started accepting the forms which was Jan 15. I got my check Feb 9. I had to re-submit the forms 3 times before it got taken care of, and no one could explain the black hole the previous submissions disappeared into. Worth noting I received email confirmations of each of the submissions but UnitedHealthcare kept telling me the paperwork wasn’t found on their side.

    1. Angie Neer

      Ugh. I remember getting that same “the office dog ate your paperwork” runaround back in the days when the paperwork was faxed. Fortunately the insurance companies have upgraded their paperwork-losing capabilities with cloud technology.

  25. Wukchumni

    Túmin: the alternative currency rebuilding community in Mexico Resilience
    The smallest Mexican banknote is 20 Pesos, so the Túmin currency is more of a fill in for Mexican coinage-it being 1 to 20 Pesos in denomination. Imagine a 5 Cent banknote instead of a Nickel, that’s how low the face value is on a 1 Peso.

    You see that from time to time, it was common in Italy in the 70’s to have privately made currency in lieu of coins, or as they called it: Miniassegni.

  26. Mikel

    “Macron refused Russian COVID-19 test before Putin meeting, didn’t want to give Moscow his DNA: report..”

    Hehehe. There was another photo I saw of Putin and Macron sitting at opposite ends of a comically long table.

    Putin’s an old KGBer, so in his mind he wasn’t trying to catch a dose of anything either.

  27. Wukchumni

    Biden had designs on being FDR, but ended up being Hoover-who famously could get nothing done in his tortured time as President, despite much experience.

    Want to read all about it, when the country is circling the drain and a critical thinking lawyer from Youngstown Ohio kept a diary of goings on from 1931 to 1941, banks closing up all of the sudden with depositors money (apparently no ATM’s back then) and no way to make a withdrawal, one bank after another in real time, as you read his now 90 year old dispatches from the localized financial front, and then-unlike now, money was incredibly scarce. He buys a bushel of apples (125 of them) for a Quarter, to give you an idea of the late stage gold standard last whiff of deflation. Money was so hard to come by that many municipalities and states issued what is now known as ‘Depression Scrip’ and not all that dissimilar to the Mexican Túmin alternative currency in one of the links above. He calls them ‘white rabbits’ in the diary, as i’d imagine they were always popping up in lieu of Federal coin & currency.

    You’ll witness what happened to incredibly overbuilt movie theaters, social mores & more. Those banks which closed down with your money in them?

    Said banks were holding real estate as collateral, and in Youngstown at least, there was a thriving trade in deposits where you could get 35 to 65 Cents on the $ for your own money, as the companies buying your money were in turn using it to purchase real estate from the banks @ el cheapo rates based upon their discounted money purchases.

    The Great Depression-A Diary, by Benjamin Roth

  28. griffen

    The article above regarding monstrous practices by landlords. If you click to the article, you find the owner / landlord was falsifying tenant records in order to jack up the rental rates. Below isn’t the money quote per se, but from the ending paragraph.

    “You have to admire the grift…create a whole building full of Amandas (fake) who are quite happy to pay sky high rents for their ‘unimproved’ apartments.” I am not sure that admire is the term I would have written.

    1. Mikel

      I remember glancing over an online version of the CIA “fact” book.
      They claimed the US had a 99% literacy rate. Facepalm….

      I guess they must count being able to recite the alphabet as literate.

  29. Katniss Everdeen

    cnbc is positively giddy this morning over the tens of billions of dollars that will be be legally gambled on any and every aspect of the super bowl this weekend. (Undoubtedly brought to you by amazon “statcast,” a relentless, annoying barrage of meaningless “data” points.)

    You can even gamble on who wins the coin toss making the game so much more FUN and ENGAGING!!!!

    When the bread gets too expensive, ramp up those circuses.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I really hate this mainstreaming of vices – gambling, weed, etc. It was all much more fun when it was still seedy and frowned upon.

  30. Wukchumni

    Now that sing along with Mitch has termed January 6th a violent insurrection, that leaves my Kevin (since 07′) as a potential flight risk, and he’s good at it.

    While a bevy of Republicans has spoken out against the RNC censure resolution, McCarthy on Tuesday quite literally fled questions about whether he agreed with it — and on multiple occasions. He defended the “legitimate political discourse” language the censures used, but he declined to say whether he supported the censures. (WaPo)

  31. Wukchumni

    They can still get it up, dept:

    First time in many months, F-35’s have been overhead out of Lemoore Naval Air Station about 50 miles away to the west.

      1. Wukchumni

        The F-35 (if only it had a horse collar looking front, and then it’d really be a flying Edsel) is the loudest jet fighter of all time, so it’s nice to know it excels at something!

        Because i’m in a canyon, the reverb is overwhelming..

        1. The Rev Kev

          I’m going to say that the F-35 has a parallel with the P-35 from the 1930s. It too was an advanced design featuring all-metal construction, retractable landing gear, and an enclosed cockpit. In fly-offs with the competition it was under-powered and slow so of course went into production. It was obsolete upon delivery and was hopelessly outclassed by Japanese fighters. Gee – it’s almost like a reincarnation with even the same number-

  32. Dan Berg

    Kamala Harris now to oversee Ukrainian border “negotiations”; will she visit?

    Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Munich, Germany to attend the February 18-20 Munich Security Conference.

    1. Wukchumni

      Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Munich, Germany to attend the February 18-20 Munich Security Conference.

      I heard she’ll give a press conference in regards to ‘peace in our time’ before departing for Munich…

    2. MrJC

      A clear demonstration to any potential enemies which America has that our country is led by co-opted clowns.

      Also, expecting anyone to “negotiate” with her is being grossly insulted beforehand.

  33. C.O.

    The Scientific American article is truly refreshing to read.

    NC readers may also be interested in a long, thoughtful documentary review posted by Maximilian C. Forte at Zero Anthropology, “COVID-19: The System.” It is from way back this past June and I am annoyed to have missed it at the time. I have not had an opportunity to see the documentary as yet, so the seeming lack of discussion of early treatment and whether it is being made available as it should may be an artifact of an already long review having to stop somewhere.

    Part 1:
    Part 2:

  34. sbarrkum

    The Nature journal article on Long covid

    The report/study pointedly ignores and does not report the number who were vaccinated. i.e. The study was not controlled for vaxxed vs unvaxxed.

    there was one cohort that got the fist positive cohort test between 1 March 2020 and 15 January 2021
    n = 162,690 (Fig 1 of the peer reviewed article).

    The Pfizer vaccine was first released in Nov 2020, so there should have been some that had been vaccinated between Nov 2020 and Jan 2021. Absolutely no mention in the article.

    However, there was this intriguing sentence in the journal article
    “the increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis reported in this study is significant in people who were not vaccinated and is evident regardless of vaccination status.

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