Links 2/14/2022

Rack of squirrel, anyone? The chefs putting invasive species on the menu Guardian

Chris Hedges: Heeding James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ Consortium News

Britain’s miraculous, life-saving garden shed BBC

Mauritius formally challenges Britain’s ownership of Chagos Islands Guardian

Is there new evidence of Jewish Temple treasures in the Vatican? Jerusalem Post

Memory issues for older people could be the result of ‘clutter’ NBC

No Bugs, Few People and the Cold: The Pros and Cons of Winter Camping NYT. My husband’s a fan and in fact spent Saturday night camping at High Point State Park, in northern NJ. During my high school years, classmates and I did field studies for a biology class in the surrounding Stokes State Forest.

Are “The Classics” Bad for You? Los Angeles Review of Books


Where to Find Those Free N95 Face Masks Wired

Newsom wants to end school masks, but teachers say not yet Politico

Covid’s Great Uncoupling: Gap Widens Between Cases and Deaths Bloomberg. Nary a peep about long-COVID.


Omicron’s Threat to Global Economy Increasingly Runs Through China WSJ


Police filter Brussels traffic to dilute trucker protests AP

Ambassador Bridge reopens after police clear Windsor blockade Toronto Globe and Mail

Climate Change

Check Your Spillover London Review of Books

New York City mayor elevates environmental justice in climate approach Waste Dive

Australia is spending billions on the Great Barrier Reef. Will it do any good? Guardian

Architects call for mass insulation of England’s interwar suburbs Guardian

Big banks fund new oil and gas despite net zero pledges BBC

Future of world’s most exclusive horse race on thin ice due to global heating Guardian

More than 100 nations take action to save oceans from human harm Guardian

Biden Administration

The Outrageous Story About the Postal Service Too Many Know Nothing About Common Dreams

First Black federal judge in Alabama asks Biden not to nominate Jackson The Hill

Biden talks Supreme Court timing with Democratic senators WaPo

U.S. Senate panel advances first Biden appellate pick using Trump-era strategy Reuters

Harris heads to Munich at pivotal moment The Hill

Democrats en déshabillé

Pelosi won’t say if she’ll run for speaker again if Democrats win: ‘That’s not a question’ The Hill

No, you haven’t heard the last of Andrew Cuomo Politico

Sports Desk

Baseball’s Spring Training Will Be Delayed As Labor Talks Stall WSJ

Papadakis, Cizeron claim Olympic ice dance gold in Beijing AP

LIVEWatch Winter Olympics day 10 – GB men seal curling win, Valieva allowed to compete. BBC. Avoid the Olympics coverage of (most) U.S. sources and commentators, unless it’s jingoism that you seek. And not just from the tabloid press: the Gray Ladyis a prime offender.

Super Bowl Dancers Need to Be Paid Jacobin

‘Destructive’ Rams fans take over downtown LA after Super Bowl win NY Post

New Cold War

Ukraine the Powderkeg Story: Always Smoking, Never Quite Exploding Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn.

Ukraine sees no point closing airspace amid Russia tension Reuters

Ukraine seeks meeting with Russia within 48 hours to discuss build-up. BBC

The Clinton-era blunder that set the stage for today’s Ukrainian crisis Responsible Statecraft

‘Nothing More Grotesque Than a Media Pushing for War,’ Says Edward Snowden Common Dreams

Cry “Havoc!” and Let Slip the Dogs of War Craig Murray

Imperial Collapse Watch


Trump Transition

Clinton campaign paid to ‘infiltrate’ Trump Tower, White House servers to link Trump to Russia: Durham FOX. Yes, I know, Fox. But it’s the most thorough account.

Now even Democrats call for Hillary Clinton to be investigated after Special Counsel Durham revealed her camp hacked Trump’s White House servers to link him to Russia Daily Mail

Old Blighty

Labour wants Corbyn out of Commons to fury of union paymasters The Sunday Times

Starmer’s Hymn of Praise to NATO Is Bad History and Worse Politics Jacobin

Health Care

Mental health push in Congress sparks lobbying frenzy Politico

Class Warfare

The SEC has shone a welcome light on financial darkness FT. Rana Foroohar.

IBM Emails Show Millennial Workers Favored Over ‘Dinobabies’ Bloomberg via MSN (ANTIDLC). Hoisted from comments.

This Prison in California Forced Incarcerated People to Drink Arsenic for Years Truthout

Supply Chain

Printers warn on growing paper shortages FT


Pro-Dbeibah forces rally in Libya as political crisis deepens Al Jazeera


What Is Gandhian Architecture and How Must It Be Preserved? The Wire

‘No Country Has Provided Equitable, Inclusive Healthcare Without Investing In Public Health’ India Spend

Debt-ridden Pakistan begs China for a bailout Asia Times


When Nixon met Mao: 50 years later, reverberations are still felt South China Morning Post

China’s Push to Advance Rural Revitalization The Diplomat

China paints picture of African partnership with gleaming public works South China Morning Post

Antidote du Jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here:

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  1. marieann

    Re: the growing paper shortage, I can’t read it because it’s behind a paywall but I’ve already had 3 seed catalogue’s send me their online version because of a paper shortage.
    Part of the fun(for me) when choosing seeds is sitting with a cup of tea and checking out the catalogue.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If you want to read that article, put the title into Google. The first result that appears should be for ‘ft’ so when you click on it, the full article will appear for you. But a paper shortage? I’m still waiting for the paperless office that they talked about decades ago.

      1. John Zelnicker

        Rev – The paperless office na ga happen.

        Too many old school farts like me don’t trust technology enough not to have hard copies in the file cabinet. There are just too many problems with storage, access, and system failure.

        However, paper prices have increased at least 25% in the past year.

        1. Bonita

          Still getting Hammacher Slum catalogs and other crap in my mailbox. Is there a way to make bricks of them, then plaster them for fireproofing? I could have built a small house that way over the last ten years.

    2. LaRuse

      Was Baker’s Creek Heirlooms one of those catalogues? I had an email from them recently that I haven’t opened yet that suggested from the headline that there might not be future catalogues.
      I do so love flipping through catalogues of beautiful growing things in the dead of winter.

    3. Craig H.

      Is the paper shortage affected by westerners hoarding hundreds rolls toilet paper in the pantry? Some genius economist wrote a paper that most of the ’70’s gas shortage was everybody keeping their gas tank filled up.

    4. upstater

      An online seed catalog is an incredibly poor substitute! My mouse hand and wrist are sore from all the pointing and clicking to place my order. It really, really is easier to leaf through a hardcopy and look at a dozen varieties than clicking and pointing. Seed catalog p0rn affectionado here.

    5. FriarTuck

      I work for a textbook publisher, and we regularly send multithousand unit printing runs to US-based printers. As a sidenote, there’s not a lot of them left these days due to consolidation and closings.

      We went from a lead time of 3-4 weeks pre-pandemic to now 5-6 months for traditional offset printing. Digital printing is now coming more to the fore, with lead times back to the original 3-4 weeks, but the costs per book are much higher and the quality is a bit lower.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Yeah, especially the quality of the content. Here in the land of Edward Bernays and wokeism and crapification.

    6. Andrew

      While I hadn’t heard anything about paper shortages, I happened to notice in the last few months that a fair amount of mail I have received has been printed on “unusual” paper. Some boilerplate from my insurance was printed on glossy paper for no apparent reason, and lots of other stuff is on “printing paper” that feels about as substantial as a tissue. Strange days!

    7. Steven A

      I expect that the banks and utilities will soon ramp up to pressure “sign up now for convenient, eco-friendly on-line statements/billing.”

  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    Winter Camping;
    My husband’s a fan and in fact spent Saturday night camping at High Point State Park, in northern NJ. During my high school years, classmates and I did field studies for a biology class in the surrounding Stokes State Forest.
    Sweet – I’ve been to both High Point and Stokes many times. They’re beautiful and incredibly enjoyable places to be.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      It’s a lovely part of the state. Alas, ever since my family relocated – largely to NC, with one sister and her family ending up in Norfolk – I don’t manage to visit northern NJ very often.

      1. LaRuse

        If you have family in Norfolk, you should check out Kiptopeke State Park across the bay in Cape Charles, VA.
        One of my favorite places in the state, but everything about Virginia’s eastern shore is pretty wonderful, I think.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          Agreed! We last visited that part of Virginia in April, en route from Point Lookout, NY, to High Point, NC, to visit my Mom and a sister and her family. (We all masked up, ate our meals in Mom’s large screened-in room, and opened windows and kept the ceiling fans running.)

          My husband and I departed NY first thing in the a.m., lunched in Cape May at an outdoor cafe, took the Cape May-Lewes ferry across, and spent the night in Chincoteague, where we’ve enjoyed much excellent birding over the years. As we drove south, the weather changed from winter to full-on spring. The next a.m., we drove across to High Point.

          We reversed our steps about a week later, also spending another night in Chincoteague, and arrived back in the cold and grey. We’re mulling a similar trip this May, but whether we take it or not will depend on the state of the pandemic.

          1. Bob

            If you are considering Virginia a must see are the high balds of Southwest VA and NC.

            As far as winter time hiking . camping it is cold out there. This means adding your water bottle and stove fuel canister to your sleeping bag. And getting up to pee before dawn is a real struggle. Of course, Hiker’s Midnight is 6:00 pm or1800 hours

            Astoundingly beautiful though.

            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

              Bart H: Ha! When you stay with your Mom, there’s no way to avoid eating at a place called “Mom’s.” I did all the cooking, however. Including daily gelato-making demonstrations, showing Mom how to use the gelato maker I gave my sister for a Christmas 2020 gift. (Otherwise, the machine might have remained boxed and unused.)

          2. orlbucfan

            As a DC native, I always wanted to go to Assateague (sp) to see the wild ponies. Never got the chance, unfortunately.

            1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

              I read all those pony books when I was a child, e.g., Misty of Chincotague. And saw the movie, when that required a schlep to a proper cinema.

    2. Huey Long

      Ahhhh yes, I love it up there, especially paddling down the Delaware in the nearby Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

      Northwest NJ is a beautiful place.

    3. jackiebass63

      As a young person in the Boy Scouts we frequently went camping on the weekend. We usually started in town and hiked into the nearby woods for most of the day. We set up camp and stayed for the night. The next day we hiked back to town by a different route. On these trips we learned about the beauty of Mother Nature. This was an experience of my youth I will never forget. All of this was 70 years ago before we had modern equipment that make camping easier.

      1. jonboinAR

        Weren’t those old canvas tents heavy and hard to set up? Modern tents are way easier to deal with.

        1. Bob

          Canvas builds character . !!!
          And is a direct line to the days of sail – see Henry Dana – Two Years Before the Mast.

          Especially if as a young scout you are issued a GI surplus shelter half that has to be properly buttoned to be rain tight.

    4. Swamp Yankee

      Winter camping is great!

      The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, particularly in the Porcupine Mountains, very much remains winter camping;

      as does the backcountry of the Tetons in early July!

      Spending a Nor’easter in a yurt in the Shawme-Crowell State Forest, on Cape Cod, was also a lot of fun.

      1. juno mas

        Yes, the high peaks in the Tetons in July is like winter camping. I was sorting through and discarding slides (35mm) taken about 50+ years ago. It is the slides of the High Sierra, White Clouds (ID), and the Rocky’s with friends that stay in the archive– (some day to be digitized).

        The Pro of winter camping is snow (skiing) and serenity. The Con is the brevity of daylight. However, hours spent studying the night sky is priceless.

  3. Steve H.

    > Check Your Spillover London Review of Books

    >> As calculated using the Ramsey formula, the discount rate is clearly an ethical, rather than ‘scientific’, element of the IAM.

    There is an ambiguity in the word ‘should’, whether prescriptive or predictive. (‘Ecology’ is another to be cautious of.) Here’s a counter to some of the assumptions in the presented model:

    On hyperbolic discounting and uncertain hazard rates

    >> If the risk manifests itself at a known, constant hazard rate, a risk-neutral recipient should discount the reward according to an exponential time-preference function. Experimental subjects, however, exhibit short-term time preferences that differ from the exponential in a manner consistent with a hazard rate that falls with increasing delay. It is shown here that this phenomenon can be explained by uncertainty in the underlying hazard.

    1. CanCyn

      The economics of climate change make me crazy. I could only get so far in this article. This paragraph caught my eye:
      “The concept of externality is crucial to the often awkward attempts of economics to analyse human relationships with the non-human world. Pollution, biodiversity loss, soil degradation and ocean acidification are all defined as externalities – negative environmental outcomes of quite rational market behaviour. The solution, we are told, is straightforward: internalise the cost of the externality. If we get the prices right – by including the costs to society of poisoned groundwater, for example – the market will send the right signals, the incentives will align themselves and the externality will disappear.”
      The world is so unequal that this screams at me as more ‘it works for me but not for thee’ BS. If we get the prices ‘right’, only the rich will be able to afford most things and we move even more into a have and have not world. Complicated math and modelling are not the answer – we just need to stop doing stuff that wrecks the environment. I allow that ‘just’ is doing a ton of work in that statement

      1. Steve H.

        > I allow that ‘just’ is doing a ton of work in that statement

        I’ll say it’s the ‘we’ that’s doing the work. Just one billionaire defector can f* up the work of a billion people.

        The paper I linked to doesn’t just apply to humans. Nor does the Maximum Power Principle. The advantage is it takes us away from blaming individuals, or each other. From the perspective of geological ages, there isn’t much difference between humans and the extinct single-celled organisms that ate the CO2 and gave up the oxygen that powers us. Killed themselves in the process. We may be better adaptors.

        Complete agreement on rich prices. There’s a parallel with low property tax rate, which then increases the price to adjust. Which then increases the assessed rate, and in the end the fixed-income widow is the one who gets squeezed. /r/suspiciouslyspecific

        1. CanCyn

          FWIW I did mean the entire population, including the billionaires, as unlikely as that is to happen. I do think that it is we plebs who will need to rise up and raise the blockades, not because we should but because TPTB are not interested in solving the climate crisis.

  4. jackiebass63

    Trying to dig up dirt on a political rival isn’t new. It has been happening in our political system forever. That is why I don’t bother getting excited about the subject. Elections are won on emotional issues. Actual policies are always on the back burner. The electorate aren’t generally well informed voters.

        1. tegnost

          More pure speculation about trump et al. in order to deflect from actual crimes by the clinton cabal. Some things never get old…and yes, JT below has it right, as usual… There was a time when hoi polloi democrats opposed he FISA courts.

    1. lentilsoup

      Are you saying Russiagate was merely about “digging up dirt”? That would imply the spying was just a form of investigative research I guess, instead of a smear campaign based on lies — people have been doing it since the dawn of time, who cares, you say. Yeah, who cares. In other news, it seems like the US and Russia are about to go to war soon over Ukraine — but that’s been going on since forever too, so who cares?

  5. Soredemos

    The spectacle of American officialdom constantly making these claims of Russian invasion is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Russia keeps calmly insisting they have no intention of invading and then…not invading. And then we have the absolutely farcical spectacle of Zelensky publically asking NATO to provide him with intelligence about an imminent invasion if they have any.

    If DC doesn’t have some sort of false flag planned I’m not sure what their exit strategy is.

    1. The Historian

      What I am afraid the US is doing is stirring up animosities between different groups in Ukraine that will eventually start warring with each other – without the direct intervention of Russia or our troops. And then the US will start feeding propaganda that “the Russians did it” and go after Russian assets. I am really curious how the US plans to stop Nord Stream 2 (ala Biden: since it doesn’t even go through Ukraine. Bombing it doesn’t seem like a good idea since it goes through the Baltic Sea.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Now that was something absurd! She’s actually saying that Putin would like to invade, even if both Zelensky and Putin deny this, and only thing preventing him is the deterrence of the sanctions that “will hurt our allies in Europe”.

          1. Bonita

            How to make Neville Chamberlain look like a towering genius in historical retrospective; send in The KamaLass.

            Perhaps there’s the equivalent of a used car salesman in the Russian Government that they could send to meet with her for “Equity”

            1. Kilgore Trout

              Chamberlain gets a bad rap with the charge of “appeasement”. In a recent interview with Aaron Matte, Lawrence Wilkerson stated that Chamberlain did the honorable thing, signing an agreement with Hitler to buy time for England to prepare for war. He effectively fell on his sword for his country and opponents of Hitler.

              1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                Agreed! Munich, a 2017 novel by Robert Harris, draws on recent historical scholarship and makes that point exactly. The novel’s excellent, as is the Netflix movie released last year.

                The book was inspired by the life of Adam von Trott zu Solz, a German aristocrat who studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, during the interwar period, and was executed for his part in the 1944 assassination plot against Hitler.

          2. Charger01

            Harris has been sent

            Holy cow, I nearly spin out my coffee in laughter. What a line!
            Every policy dog gets attached to poor Harris. I hope she can find a nice K street career after this.

    2. CG

      Personally, I’m at the point of assuming that someone in the Biden administration is just a big fan of Wag the Dog and decided that said movie provided sage political advice for an administration on the ropes. Hopefully, when they get to the point of needing a fake war hero to keep the pageant going, it goes better for whoever’s running this than it did in the movie.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Biden is a “tough guy”, recently emasculated by a friend in President Manchin, so now Biden is trying to look tough. I’m convinced he loaned to announce a new defensive arrangement with Zelensky and told Moscow of shove it. Then he would call Trump “comrade”.

        And Biden needs a win. They tried the Al Qaeda number 2 routine with an Obama style photo op just the other day. It’s just the Russians don’t want dangerous people on their border like Americans. Putin is reported to consider Menedev not reacting to Libya a major failure. Remember, Gaddafi had unilaterally disarmed in a deal with Shrub. When Obama needed a win to resurrect his failed presidency, kaboom.

        Now Biden has to get out while trying to look like a tough guy. Per the CBS poll with stay out and “support” (whatever that means) as options, Biden’s position is supported by people over 65, the group he is actively letting Zeke Emanuel have his way with.

      2. Basil Pesto

        I rewatched it about a week ago and it’s aged terribly well. Spm (smiles per minute) probably higher than Don’t Look Up, even.

    3. Lina

      I’m not following this story closely but that’s the jist I’m getting. Russia keeps saying we are willing to talk and the US running around screaming,the Russians are going to invade.

      It’s so strange.

  6. MarkT

    Re yesterday and SpaceX and satellite constellations falling out of space:

    Geomagnetic storms and atmospheric drag on low orbit satellites are very well understood phenomena. And this was a very weak geomagnetic storm. Makes me wonder about the “science” being practised at SpaceX. It sounds like it might be approaching the level of “aeronautical engineering” being practised at Boeing?

      1. Ranger Rick

        Sure they knew in advance: maybe by a few minutes, same as everyone else. They had enough time to put them into safe mode. What they didn’t account for was how much the storm expanded the atmosphere, which increased the atmospheric drag acting on the satellites 50% more than they were designed for. The attitude control devices in the satellites were too weak to move them back out of safe mode, so they did not have enough power from their solar panels to increase altitude.

        The funny thing is this happened to Skylab back when NASA was waiting for the Space Shuttle to be built. They previously had hoped to move it into a higher orbit with the Shuttle, but solar storms caused it to deorbit sooner than they expected.

    1. Maritimer

      “Makes me wonder about the “science” being practised at SpaceX.”
      Yes indeed, if Medical Science is corrupt, gamed, rigged why not other “science”. What makes space science, for instance, less susceptible to corruption, fraud, deception? Some magic potion or a firewall a la Wall Street?

      For instance, a number of years ago, I remember a well known mathematician refusing an international mathematics prize because he said mathematics was corrupt. I have since searched for that story and cannot find it.

      So, are scientists concerned about corrupt science? It would seem not just business as usual. Follow the Science, all of it.

  7. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, JLS.

    Further to Mauritian action regarding the Chagos, this morning, the BBC’s Today programme stated, without explaining, that the islands are essential for the UK’s security.

    Are the Chagos on the other side of the Isle of Wight? One can’t be too careful with the dastardly French, especially as the Chagossiens and other Mauritians are largely francophone.

    Joking apart, the Mauritian mainland is divided between those who want just justice and others who fear Uncle Sam. Despite what the BBC thinks, as per the recent public dressing down of a BBC stenographer by the Mauritian PM, no one cares or fears John Bull.

    1. Kouros

      Shouldn’t UK be more concerned about Malvinas, now that China has a closer thing with Argentina now…

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Valieva allowed to compete.’

    Kamila Valieva was cleared to compete by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, noting how even though the odd test was from two months ago, it was only just after she had won gold for her country did it suddenly become an issue in spite of taking part in other events afterwards. It was almost like it was, well, planned. Kinda. The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee was enraged and went feral in their criticisms of this decision. There is already talk in the American camp that they could seek to prosecute anyone involved in Valieva’s case under the 2020 ‘Rodchenkov Act’.

    If Kamila Valieva wins a second gold, the International Olympic Committee has already said that they will not hold a flower & medal ceremony until it can be sorted out. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Skating Union (ISU), and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are not happy about this decision and intend to chase after her in the coming months so that any medals she won can be taken off her and if they lose, well, I suppose they will mail her the medals in the mail or something. WADA is already blaming the Russians over causing this.

    Russians may be looking at this with a jaundiced eye as they note that medications that the Russian teams get put on the banned list. And yet it was noted in the last Winter Olympics that 70% of the Norwegian Olympic skiing medals were won by asthmatics according to Swedish public broadcaster SVT. And being asthmatics, they have been prescribed with beta-2 stimulators which can increase muscle strength. I don’t know if they still do this but I note that Norway is at the top of the 2022 Winter Olympics medal tally at the moment. So, no problem there.

    1. JohnA

      Valieva has tested negative every time in Beijing and never tested positive until a single test taken at Christmas that was sent to Sweden for analysis. The results should have been returned within I think, 20 days or so, but strangely, the alleged positive result only came in mid February after Valieva had won. The entire matter stinks to high heaven of a fix. Sweden also produced a positive test for the alleged Navalny poisoning even though all the blood tests taken in the Russian hospital were negative.
      And bear in mind Valieva is only 15 years old. Way to go USA, USA, child abuse at its finest.

      1. TimH

        Sports = business ==> politics.

        As a Brit, I still can’t get over the money US high schools spend on spectator-focussed sports facilities, which applies to a fraction of the student intake.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          As a USian, I can’t either. (Statement also applies to pro-league sports and their facilities.)

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            As an American Southeasterner, our prowess over the hallowed fields of glory reign Supreme ?

            But seriously, during my seniorish year at LSU, ExxonMobil donated 400 million dollars. Pretty sure SOME of it went to Academics lol

      2. Bart Hansen

        And Sweden must have been bribed into those later retracted sex charges against Assange that led to his present situation.

    2. Carolinian

      The NYT sports reporter Juliet Macur has been quoted as saying Russian athletes should be banned from the Olympics altogether. Macur is clearly in deep with WADA given her Javert like pursuit of Lance Armstrong. Armstrong shouldn’t have lied but some might argue his blood doping was par for the course in competitive cycling and in any case not a world shaking scandal. Sports are there to entertain us and often only pretend to be innocent and healthy with many past scandals in baseball and football.

      1. Gerd

        I just read the Rodchenov Affair written by the former head of the Russian Doping Agency and head when Russia passed bottles through a wall opening to replace the urine at the Sochi games.

        It was an eye opening read and after reading it I wouldn’t automatically assume Valieva is innocent. It was a good read and I would recommend it.

        This doesn’t exonerate any other countries, I am sure there is lots of doping going on and Norway has a culture of doing it too.

        1. jonhoops

          I wouldn’t put much stock in the fairy tales that Rodchenkov is peddling. The guy after all was neck deep in dirty deeds himself. He was under investigation in Russia for extorting money from athletes as head of the Russian antidoping facility. It was only when authorities there were closing in that he absconded to the USA which welcomed him and his lurid tales of widespread doping.

          The reason Russia is now back competing is that the CAS after cross examining Rodchenkov’s claims pretty much came to the conclusion that his testimony was bunk.

          You might want to read this for a different view on things.

  9. zagonostra

    >Super Bowl Dancers Need to Be Paid – Jacobin

    I haven’t been over to Jacobin in a long time but since it was in the links I ventured over there and was dismayed at the image of the “dancers,” they looked satanic: The symbolism of the red suit and tie and masks that cover the whole face is disturbing. I can only imagine the musical drone/beat that accompanies them. I didn’t watch the Superbowl but I’ll probably look for a website that aggregated the commercials so I can see what the mind manipulators have cooked up for the masses.

    Yes workers, especially interns working for free, should be paid. Not exactly a revelation. Much evil in the world to fight, like what is happening in Yemen and many places in the world.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Back in 2002, New Orleans hosted the Superbowl and they needed bodies for U2’s halftime show so they recruited a bunch of high school kids to do the performance. There were hundreds of us packed into Tad Gormley stadium at the rehearsals. We were all volunteers of course, some scheme from the superbowl logistics team to save money, but that experience kicked major ass and taught me anyone could go up to these “Bonos” and “demand their blue tinted shades ? as a souvenir!”

      Not sure if they’re still using high schoolers. That halftime show was awesome!!!! That beginning beat is one of the best in the world. Only thing I’d change would be the houses. Why make them bland and white??? They shoulda had them look like REAL houses from Compton!

  10. MarkT

    Jeremy Corbyn about to be deselected. His principled stance against apartheid and anti semitism shows that there’s something strange going on in our world.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Mark. I don’t disagree.

      However, Corbyn must take responsibility for treating politics, especially when fighting the British establishment, as a non contact sport and refusing to fight fire with fire.

      When sympathisers, all outside Labour, provided the ammunition that would have seen some of his opponents have some serious explaining to do, Corbyn and his motley crew refused. As one such sympathiser said, “If Corbyn won’t fight for himself, why should we?”

      One hopes there are young socialists, in the UK and US, learning from Corbyn and Sanders and how not to fight. Lee Atwater and Karl Rove should be the model. They did not take prisoners.

      One hopes Synoia pipes up. We went to similar schools and have worked with British establishment types and are under no illusion about “what is to be done”.

      1. flora

        When sympathisers, all outside Labour, provided the ammunition that would have seen some of his opponents have some serious explaining to do, Corbyn and his motley crew refused.

        Old saying in the US, “You can’t change General Motors from within.” No matter how sincere your intentions to modernize and change General Motors for the better, if you mean first and foremost to stay inside General Motors you won’t rock the boat too hard to change General Motors. Old saying in the US.

        1. flora

          adding: the phrase “changing General Motors from within” became a well known joke in the US in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

          1. flora

            adding: I did once know a few bright young scientists who believed they could change GM from within, and went to work for GM with hopes to make GM a better company. I’m sure their then latest scientific knowledge about water pollution etc did make a difference in the corporate edges.

      2. Kouros

        Something that ultimately Lenin understood very well… Me, it is the dictatorship of the Bolsheviks that I impute to Lenin, not necessarily his methods of implementing it…

      3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Rove is such a shark. Read that “Consequences ” autobio book and he just gamed the fraternity system and hellenic councils that control college student govts. Just ruthless. No wonder my college student govt suckkkkkkeddddd

        I’d add Bannon to this list as well.

        It’s worth noting that pretty much all of Bernies people and advisers are not cutthroat. Hoping Turner in Ohio takes no prisoners.

    1. The Historian

      I love their use of phrases, like ‘eliminating inefficiencies’. I take it that that means not treating people who have no money.

      And this paragraph is particularly telling:
      “Value-based healthcare is about focusing on delivering health outcomes that truly matter to the individual and the society at large in cost-effective ways.”

      Do people without money ‘truly matter’ to a Davos Man’s version of ‘society’?

  11. Eustachedesaintpierre

    Classics are bad for you.

    Personally if I could but obviously can’t, I would add to the curriculum for all budding members of the PMC, billionaires etc a novella written by a white RUSSIAN guy named Tolstoy titled The Death of Ivan ilyich.

        1. Eustachedesaintpierre

          If it’s war it would be David M Glantz,

          Something Prof. Iain McGilchrist said about everything needing a resistance including kids to build up strength. The example he gave was when biosphere’s were just getting started, after a few years they found that the young trees they had planted were falling down, which turned out to be because there was no wind they had failed to develop a good root system.

    1. William Hunter Duncam

      Classics are bad for pseudo-intellectuals, revealing to them their inability to comprehend anything other than their own preening self-congratulatory social ambition.

    2. Basil Pesto

      Supremely lame piece. Like, it’s not really about pouring scorn on the classics, but it’s still super lame navel gazing of the most uninteresting sort. The tell of the mediocrity to come is in the very first six words:

      In my field, young adult fiction

      emphasis added, commentary follows:


  12. The Rev Kev

    “Is there new evidence of Jewish Temple treasures in the Vatican?”

    As the background story for a new Tom Hanks “Da Vince Code” film, it might be workable but otherwise no. Too much sizzle and not enough steak. But where it says ‘in this author’s view it’s the truth, that this vast treasure was, is now, and will always be Jewish, with its home ultimately in Jerusalem, the united capital of Israel’, that is the heart of this article. The logical sequence would then be that the Vatican hands all these treasures back over to Jerusalem, the Islamic shrine – the Dome of the Rock – on Temple Mount gets bulldozed by Israeli Army bulldozers, and the dream of building the Third Temple is finally accomplished so that those treasures will be housed there again. And then the fun begins.

  13. griffen

    You aren’t crazy after all; they really were out to get you….Trump must think outloud, well after the daily mail reading, of course he is saying it out loud. Cue up the blame cannons of outrage!

    Given how 2016 went for the betting favorite, one just wonders why Hillary is not silo’ed away in a concealed location. But then again, the acolytes who follow will never find doubt or lack purpose to cling to HRC every last word.

    Good grief, the political thought leaders and elite that we are stuck with.

    1. foghorn longhorn

      The most disturbing thing is Jake Sullivan. This pos is now pushing for war with russia on the claim of, because we said so.
      What a clusterfock.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      They’ve hidden Terry McAuliffe. To hear Clintonistas talk about Virginia, you would think the democratic nominee. Influence and access is the most important commodity Clintonistas have. It’s not talent. So they can’t put her away. She’s all they have. It’s just other centrists are so loathsome Hillary seems great by comparison.

      1. Pat

        More loathsome…Really?
        I agree that the Democratic bench is practically nonexistent, but the only thing Clinton has going for her is a rabid fan base that is still fairly large. I cannot think of a so-called centrist or liberal Democrat who does not get exposed as a slimy destructive parasitic creature the moment you kick over the rock they hide under. None are great by comparison or otherwise, even those named Clinton and Obama.

  14. Calypso Facto

    I used to live in Portland and was there for the years of alt-right vs black bloc protests before the real moral panic started after the 2020 protests. The nonsense about Ukraine reminds me so much of the (wholly manufactured) moral panic about Portland being turned into a ‘war zone’ due to ‘antifa and BLM violence’ when it was a highly staged cosplay/street fight event limited to a 10-block area of downtown, that was almost entirely incited by online entities looking to profit from the mess in some way. If you lived there the story was utterly different from what was in the news. My mom would call me in tears worried that ‘protestors’ were going to burn my house down because of what was on the news when I’d been living a normal life with no issues in actual reality. I’d come here and be told by people on the other side of the country that I was wrong about what was going on. Portland is still standing today and I suspect Ukraine will be as well in a year. The ‘people in charge’ will move to another disaster and this will disappear from the news without being mentioned again.

    1. Larry Carlson

      People tend to believe just about anything about Portland given that it is somewhat disconnected from reality. From the article about the postal service replacement vehicle fleet:

      One of our kids, for example, recently became the first member of our family to buy a fully 100% electric car. She was so excited and has loved it driving around Portland…until she had to drive to another state for a conference, when she discovered what a problem America not having an electric charging infrastructure causes.

      After all, who knew that electric vehicle chargers are not scattered generously all over our glorious land?

  15. The Rev Kev

    “IBM Emails Show Millennial Workers Favored Over ‘Dinobabies’”

    Personally, I am in favour of taking measures so that younger people get a chance to get ahead in a company or industry. But not this way. Not like this. Here, an IBM official ‘described a plan to “accelerate change by inviting the ‘dinobabies’ (new species) to leave” and turn them into an “Extinct species”’ and they seemed to have a lot of fun working out how to do it. But when you pull back a bit, you realize that they could do the very same to other groups – like women and blacks and Asians. And going by Silicon Valley’s track record here with these groups, that could very easily happen.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      IBM is just saying the quiet part out loud, err, via email. I know this happens in other fields as well, but as someone in IT who can remember back to the first IBM PC (and a little further), I definitely have felt the squeeze at jobs.

      1. Questa Nota

        HR consulting firms like rhymes with Rotson Riot told their clients, of which my Fortune 500 employer was one, that earnings could be increased by some selective policy adjustments.

        One of those was to back-load various contributions and then off-load those nearing their applicable vesting or normal retirement date.

        Voilà, earnings bump, with other benefits expenses like medical lower, too. That was before the nasty PE asset strippers got ramped up and really changed the HR game.

        Keep the workforce younger, hungrier, seemingly healthier, or so it seemed.

      2. Laughingsong

        They could offer an early retirement if they cared at all about just making opportunities for the younger employees… hmmm

    2. griffen

      I am not shocked at all; employers may regret such antics, given the sustained level of reported job openings (the jolts survey) and persistently low labor force participation. That said, anecdotal to my recent roles the millennial workforce was motivated.

    3. Bob

      Anecdotally this is a feature of a large international electrical gear supplier. With a very large US footprint.

      IBM ain’t the only player in this game

    4. Socal Rhino

      From what I’ve seen, when firms are clearing out their “dinobabies” they take care to include numbers of younger workers sufficient to defend against charges of ageism. I wouldn’t be surprised if some hiring was done specifically to stock up on younger staff for the purpose of including them in a planned culling.

      1. marku52

        At HP, they specifically designed a layoff where the “participants” were selected by random!
        What a way to motivate the troops. Do a great job, and have the same probability of keeping your job as someone who barely shows up.

        This was the Reign of Carly, of course.

    5. Kurtismayfield

      It’s always funny how the older workers that are shown the door are rarely the executives who are making the decisions.

      1. Vandemonian

        One of the strange things about being an older non-executive worker is that you know too much.

        You know where the bodies are buried.
        You know why the latest management fad won’t work.
        You know that external consultants are no help.
        You know what fraud smells like.
        You can spot an organisational psychopath at fifty paces.

        You’re obviously not a team player, and you need to go.

        1. Glen

          Wow! You have just drilled down to my work experience to a T.

          And flora as well. I’m not even well paid compared to my peers, but have had several upper level managers whose expertise consisted of making senior employees quit no matter what that actually did to the company.

    6. Mikel

      Ageism has horrible effects on the young. How many give up on something because they think they are “too old” to pursue it? And they aren’t even 35 yet….
      It squeezes everybody. It’s another aspect of manufactured frenzy and anxiousness about everything.
      And it’s a great tool to create division among workers.

  16. Mikel

    “Memory issues for older people could be the result of ‘clutter’ “NBC

    For years, I’ve been saying this to friends and family…old and young.

    But the nature of memory faces a different challenge in the future. I suspect there may be less effort being put into storing information with the expectation that information, photos, etc. will be easily found thru a digital search.

    1. The Rev Kev

      You are more correct than you think with your last paragraph. There was an article here a few months ago how younger people had no idea of what files and folders were on computers anymore. They just dumped it all on their computer and if they wanted to retrieve a file, just used the search function to find it.

      1. .human

        Files are not necessarily on “their” computer anymore either, more likely in “the cloud” or another subscription model.

      2. Mikel

        I would also argue that someone with good recall from various sources – experience, books, etc – can perform better searches than someone without a store of information to draw from.

    2. Vandemonian

      Is remembering a fact more valuable than spotting a pattern, or developing a rubric? As we age, the way we use our brain changes.

      Data is not information.
      Information is not knowledge.
      Knowledge is not wisdom.
      Wisdom is not insight.

      1. .human

        Are you trying to make a point?

        I agree with your brain function postulate, but find your bromides disturbing.

      2. Mikel

        It would be possible to make more connections with the new things one encounters or see patterns if there is already info stored there….

        1. ambrit

          In most cases, wisdon does not ‘come’ at all. Look at the geriatric malefactors in the American Elite Class. Lots of knowledge, lots of devious insight, no wisdom.

  17. griffen

    Sports desk….the rare breed of a sports team enthusiasts, the fanbase for the LA Rams has been hitherto a rare sighting in the wild. It has been known for some time since the team’s forced relocation from the no longer hospitable St Louis, that a champion will once more reunite the long suffering Los Angeles sports fan.

    See, this is a plan that works! Just relocate, obtain a few $ billion for a sparkly new domed arena and magic will follow. The suffering of the Cleveland Browns fan base can be traced to the opposite tactics, which was to remain in said city and be awarded an expansion franchise; the former US pro football denizens of Cleveland moved to a new city, Baltimore, and has flourished winning 2 Super Bowl championships. Look upward Browns fans, for you are not the Lions. And more recently, your team’s fate has been superior to the 2 franchises located in the New York City markets.

    1. Wukchumni

      I grew up an LA Rams fan and they’d always look decent, make it to the playoffs often and then lose to Minnesota Vikings in the slop @ their old outdoor stadium before the Vikings would lose yet another Superbowl. We did have the coolest sounding name of any QB though: Roman Gabriel.

      I swore off of sheep thrills when becoming a made man in the Bills Mafia in the early 90’s just as the Rams were fixing to move to St Louis.

      The commercials were about the worst i’ve ever seen @ a Superbowl since the disastrous .com bombs in 2000, uninspired dreck.

      SoFi stadium was built on the carcass pf Hollywood Park, easily my least favorite of the ‘oval offices’ in SoCal, it was a racing factory that greatly paled in comparison to Santa Anita.

      1. griffen

        Well the Bills have been recently successful, to the extent I’d include that team as an early favorite to compete again with the Chiefs for next year and AFC dominance. And it pains me to admit as much, one cannot rule against a Patriots return to the top tier of the AFC.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          A little strength coaching for Mac10, sign Godwin or Davante Adams, a couple younger, faster guys on D, and you’re all playing for 2nd place baby!

  18. Tom Stone

    I am soliciting advice in regard to my Daughter from the commentariat.
    She has been asked if she wants to be the Valedictorian when she graduates this spring from the Honors College at the University of San Francisco.
    Would this confer any concrete material benefits?
    She is somewhat hesitant because “Her” class won’t graduate until 2023, she completed a 4 year program in 3 years while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.
    Her major is International Business with a minor in Mandarin.
    She has been a member of the Honors Society throughout,her undergraduate thesis was very well recieved and she has been very successful as a peer counselor.

    1. nycTerrierist

      and the downside — if any?
      does she hesitate? and if so, why?

      I would say, yes, and brava!

      I’d be quite surprised if there are concrete material benefits for the honorific per se
      but down the road, would always be a feather in her cap (and c.v.)
      ymmv: since she is clearly a leading student, she might be in the running for other awards from the school
      (not familiar with UCSF, but this was the case at my alma mater)

    2. Skip Intro

      Could be her entreé into the world of post-college unpaid credential-polishing labor!
      But it sounds like she’s all set for honors and should focus on getting over to China, where she’ll have the best chance of riding out the next covid waves and the increasing bouts of societal dysfunction from macro-level long covid.

    3. petal

      I say she should go for it. It could help her to stand out in the crowd/pile. And, it’s a great honour. Congratulations to her!

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      There isn’t a down side, but she’ll be gone by then or should be gone. It’s not pressing. She did it. It was offered. The feather is in the cap.

      On the other hand, Katie Couric gave the commencement at my youngest sisters graduation at UVA. I was standing near the Rotunda with the other non parent hanger ons. Let’s just say, Couric took the opportunity to have fun. Shes an alum. Non alum parents were clearly miffed. Not my parents, but they aren’t boring. Not all speeches have to be dull inspirational slog fests. It wasn’t the commencement speech she gave at Princeton (I think that was the shared one). Your daughter may not get invited back. Now is the time.

    5. John Beech

      Strikes me like she earned it Tom, so what’s the problem? This is NOT a participation trophy. Anyway, well done on the minor in Mandarin. Attaboy!

    6. urblintz

      Kudos to your brilliant daughter!

      My slightly snarky response is that she should give the address…

      in Mandarin.

    7. Tim

      She should accept. While the future material benefits can not be known, the experience is priceless. Good Luck to her.

    8. Lambert Strether

      > he is somewhat hesitant because “Her” class won’t graduate until 2023, she completed a 4 year program in 3 years

      I don’t know what the market value of this is. That seems to be the salient point. No point in finishing in 3 if you end up looking like you finished in 4, and make less as a result

  19. fresno dan

    Clinton campaign paid to ‘infiltrate’ Trump Tower, White House servers to link Trump to Russia: Durham FOX. Yes, I know, Fox. But it’s the most thorough account.

    “This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution,” Trump said. “In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death.”
    As much as I despise Trump, I think he is correct on this particular point. Nixon certainly tried to thwart, impede, and influence law enforcement, BUT Nixon was exposed quickly compared to now. When the evidence was presented, republicans acknowledged reality. And Nixon did NOT construct a narrative that McGovern was actively in cahoots with the North Vietnamese….
    Whatever set of circumstances in the early seventies that permitted republicans to acknowledge reality and get rid of Nixon is long gone. The real insurrection was instigated, financed, and cover uped by the 2016 democratic presidential candidate. IMHO, the democratic party is waaaaay more invested and involved in thwarting any investigation of her than the repubs were in 1972.

    The US maintains a defacto political duopoly – I have never found the arguments for disadvantaging 3rd parties persuasive, and I think it is obvious what it has gotten us – a thoroughly corrupt politics.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”Whatever set of circumstances in the early seventies that permitted republicans to acknowledge reality…”

      Fifty years ago independent, honest, ethical media still existed to some degree. I remember well the often critical reports on the Vietnam War from free and free-ranging reporters on the ground. Now they’re all embedded and simply parrot the comments of some military spokesman.

      Fifty years ago the heat of war protests was still in the air and it—along with the dogged reporting of ??? ?????????? ????—helped to make Nixon a liability the Republicans couldn’t afford. Protests ?? have an effect even if not measurable, not immediate, and not in the way the protesters intended. What will happen with regard to the Jan. 6 protest is still unknown but one thing is certain: It has put fear in the hearts of all politicians—Dems and Repubs alike—and will have short- and long-term repercussions.

      Fifty years ago a vestige of honor still existed among politicians. Call it the behavior expected from “gentlemen”. Most of them, as children of the “Dirty Thirties”, knew something of hardship (if not first-hand) and knew of FDR and his social concerns. Today’s politicians go into public life rich, with the intention of leaving it richer. They hang on to their jobs at all costs and spend their days currying favor with wealthy donors and corporations, out in the open and shamelessly. In other words, they sell out whatever principles they might once have had.

      All that is “long gone”, as you say. It died fifty years ago.

      1. fresno dan

        Mildred Montana
        February 14, 2022 at 11:20 am
        I agree. I hate to be one of those old f*rts who think everything was better 50 years ago…
        And I am wll aware of the adage, thus it ever was
        But I do think that 50 years ago repubs could discipline repubs, and dems could discipline dems. That the media was more interested in facts, and less than in the narrative.
        Somewhere along the line our two parties became one defacto party of the money, by the money, for the money.

        1. juanholio

          Back in the good old days of the US:

          Segregation, mk ultra, scaring kids at school with the threat of nuclear annihilation, installing south American dictators, causing millions of birth defects by soaking South East Asia with Agent Orange etc etc etc.

          Imagine what they would have got up to if they hadn’t been disciplining each other! Good times!

          1. Laughingsong

            Point taken. I think that people grow up in a given era and are adapted to it. When you’re a child there’s not much “earlier time” to compare to so you tend to take the world as it is, as normal. After enough time passes and the world moves on enough from that learned “normal”, that feeling of nostalgia creeps in, thinking of the way things used to be, etc.

            I think Billy Connelly said it best (paraphrasing from memory): you don’t miss “the good old days” — there was plenty of bad stuff — you just miss being young.

      2. juanholio

        What else ended ~50 years ago, back in the good old days of the US?

        I think politicians have always been corrupt, and the media have always been publishing lies in service of the 0.1%. The difference is that, with the Internet, it’s been possible to publish information that demonstrates that they are lying or corrupt, so more people are aware that is the case.

        1. Screwball

          What else ended ~50 years ago, back in the good old days of the US?

          Let’s see, 2022 – 50 = 1972. Nixon Shock (1971). From Wiki;

          A negative balance of payments, growing public debt incurred by the Vietnam War and Great Society programs, and monetary inflation by the Federal Reserve caused the dollar to become increasingly overvalued.[47] The drain on U.S. gold reserves culminated with the London Gold Pool collapse in March 1968.[48] By 1970, the U.S. had seen its gold coverage deteriorate from 55% to 22%. This, in the view of neoclassical economists, represented the point where holders of the dollar had lost faith in the ability of the U.S. to cut budget and trade deficits.

          In 1971 more and more dollars were being printed in Washington, then being pumped overseas, to pay for government expenditure on the military and social programs. In the first six months of 1971, assets for $22 billion fled the U.S. In response, on 15 August 1971, Nixon issued Executive Order 11615 pursuant to the Economic Stabilization Act of 1970, unilaterally imposing 90-day wage and price controls, a 10% import surcharge, and most importantly “closed the gold window”, making the dollar inconvertible to gold directly, except on the open market. Unusually, this decision was made without consulting members of the international monetary system or even his own State Department, and was soon dubbed the Nixon Shock.

          No matter what one thinks about finance and money, this was a turning point in history.

          1. Mildred Montana

            To juanholio and Screwball and Laughingsong:

            As a 70-year-old I am constantly on guard against the temptation of “old-fartism”, as fresno dan puts it above. I know it is a common failing of older people to think that things were better “back then”. But, quite frankly, as a student of US history, I think fifty years ago they were.

            Things were by no means perfect in the early 70’s (they never are) but they were nowhere near as bad as today. Back then, the watch-dog media did its job to a lesser or greater extent, civil rights were an issue (thank you, LBJ), President Nixon sought rapprochement with China, the Federal Reserve and the markets were ?????? (again, to a lesser or greater extent), politicians were well-off but not millionaires or billionaires.

            Today? Voters seeking truth are bombarded with lies, lies, lies, day after day, with media complicity. A pathological liar by the name of Donald John Trump was elected President in 2016, lost in 2020, and has been perpetuating The Big Lie ever since, that the 2020 election was stolen. Meanwhile, GOP states seek to restrict voting rights.

            I hold that this would never have happened fifty years ago. To the charge of old-fartism, I plead not guilty.

            1. jsn

              And there existed an organized left that could get LBJ to sign the Civil Rights Bills and intimidate Nixon into signing the EPA into law.

              If that left hadn’t been crushed by Nixon’s FBI and Carter’s Fed, it would be a different world, we were even on the path to addressing climate change back then.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      “IMHO, the democratic party is waaaaay more invested and involved in thwarting any investigation of her than the repubs were in 1972”

      I think one reason is that Tricky Dick was paranoid and fairly insular and, if by design or by luck, the Clintons brought a lot more people to the party. I think the Dems would have a much harder time selling it being a few “bad apples” as lot more hands are dirty.

    3. Bonita

      I am an Obama, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard voter and small donor.

      Tucker Carlson is the closest thing out there to the Democratic Party I once knew. The rest of Fox is junk. One can view him on youtube.

    4. Ed Miller

      Re: Clinton campaign paid got infiltrate Trump Tower

      In the Nixon days the press was not in bed with the Republicans. One could say we that back then had some semblance of a free press, but that is long gone. The difference in press coverage/investigation is “clarifying” as Lambert often says on other topics. Today newspeak is clearly insider spokespersons rather than critical examiners of insiders.

      Upton Sinclair seems to have known in advance everything we accept these days.

  20. Michael Hudson

    Regarding face masks, here in Queens (the “immigrant borough” of New York City), there were no face masks until a few days ago. Nothing at the local CVS, etc.
    Friends in Manhattan tell me something very interesting: LOOK AT THE EXPIRATION DATE. Most expired in 2020, the rest in 2021.
    That means that back in spring 202 when Walenski etc. said, “Don’t wear face masks. We need them for emergency health workers,” there were millions of masks available. But first Trump’s and then Biden’s CDC people just sat on them, telling people not wear them.
    It reminds me of heirs to trust funds, who are afraid to “touch the capital” and live in penury, self-imposed.
    Have ANY NC readers received NON-expired N 95s?

    1. Chuck Harris

      About one month ago I bought 2 boxes of 20 N95’s directly from 3M for $21 per box. The use by date is 08/2026.

    2. MP

      Bought a few antigen tests when Omicron hit and then waited for the government ones to arrive, and to my surprise, the HHS ones expire in July while most of the ones bought on the market last for well over a year, ya gotta laugh.

      1. HotFlash

        Let’s see. Front-line health workers went short of or without decent masks for two years. Chuck Harris’ new masks are good for two years. I am seeing, here in Toronto, as of two weeks ago, N95’s on everybody and their dog, available in drug stores, grocery stores, and corner convenience stores. Haven’t checked expiry dates. It is almost as if a stockpile of masks made in 2020 or so was released recently. IIRC, there were reports of hospitals and states ordering masks at the beginning only to have the shipments commandeered by the federal govt; Jarrod Kushner was the mask czar at the time.

        I wonder who had them all this time, and who they were saving them for?

        ‘Scuse me, gotta go reconnect the ground on my tinfoil hat.

    3. hunkerdown

      Labeled expiration dates are figured under the assumption of loosely controlled storage conditions, such as a home interior modestly heated and cooled to seasonally energy-efficient temperatures. The conditions will be specified on the container label or accompanying leaflet with language like “Store at controlled room temperature 59°F-86°F (15°C-30°C)”. The Shelf Life Extension Program is a thing. “In some cases, testing has shown that certain properly stored medical products can be used beyond their labeled expiration date if they retain their stability.”

  21. Michael Hudson

    Regarding face masks, here in Queens (the “immigrant borough” of New York City), there were no face masks until a few days ago. Nothing at the local CVS, etc.
    Friends in Manhattan tell me something very interesting: LOOK AT THE EXPIRATION DATE. Most expired in 2020, the rest in 2021.
    That means that back in spring 202 when Walenski etc. said, “Don’t wear face masks. We need them for emergency health workers,” there were millions of masks available. But first Trump’s and then Biden’s CDC people just sat on them, telling people not wear them.
    It reminds me of heirs to trust funds, who are afraid to “touch the capital” and live in penury, self-imposed.
    Have ANY NC readers received NON-expired N 95s?

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine pledges funds to keep airspace open amid Russia standoff”

    Most countries allow foreign airlines to fly through their air space but charge overflight fees and in the case of the Ukraine, this must add up to many millions of dollars. If the air space gets shut down or airlines refuse to overfly the country, that is going to be yet one more revenue stream drying up which the Ukrainians desperately need-

  23. Carolinian

    Re Responsible Statecraft/Bill Clinton/NATO

    Domestic politics also influenced the decision to push NATO eastward. President Clinton had a chip on his shoulder about his lack of combat credentials. Like many American presidents (31 to be precise), he hadn’t served in the military, while his opponent in the 1996 elections, Senator Bob Dole, had been badly injured fighting in World War II. Worse yet, his evasion of the Vietnam-era draft had been seized upon by his critics, so he felt compelled to show Washington’s power brokers that he had the stomach and temperament to safeguard American global leadership and military preponderance.

    In reality, because most voters weren’t interested in foreign policy, neither was Clinton, and that actually gave an edge to those in his administration deeply committed to NATO expansion. From 1993, when discussions about it began in earnest, there was no one of significance to oppose them. Worse yet, the president, a savvy politician, sensed that the project might even help him attract voters in the 1996 presidential election, especially in the Midwest, home to millions of Americans with eastern and central European roots.

    Isn’t that exactly what is happening now? There was some talk in comments the other day about whether presidents should have military experience (as they once often did). Perhaps it should be reframed as should presidents have military experience if they are going to range around the planet trying to start wars. LBJ, Dubya who didn’t go, “good at killing people” Obama, Bill Clinton and now Biden with his veterans of the Ivy League…makes a case.

    1. Ed S.

      A great comment. I wonder if the opposite isn’t true – those with military experience (not Pete Buttigieg’s base driver experience) are LESS likely instigate as they’ve seen the cost.

      George McGovern was the anti-war candidate in 1972; he was also a veteran B-24 Liberator pilot with 35 missions (in 7 months) and a Distinguished Flying Cross commendation.

    2. fringe element

      Best idea I’ve heard in a while is that anyone running for Congress or President should have to spend six months as an orderly at a VA hospital. That would include two months in the burn ward, two months in the amputee ward and the last two months in the head trauma ward.

  24. IM

    Meanwhile here in Norway almost all covid restrictions have been relaxed, including masking, distancing, testing of children and (bizarrely) the recommendation to tell close contacts when you are infected.

    As someone who hasn’t had covid (yet), it feels like the decision has been made for me.

  25. William Hunter Duncan

    Whoever Stephen h-k is he must think we’ll just let in a few million easily abused immigrants to move all that merchandise that keeps him alive.

  26. Fastball

    Given the near certainty that the Republicans will take over both the House and Senate in November, due for the most part to Democrats’ inaction, corruption and personal profiteering, Nancy Pelosi’s thoughts on her illusory Speakership post that time would seem to be utterly moot.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Of course she will run for the House Democratic leadership position. She has to if she wants to impeach Trump again in 2025. I must be getting old. Every day is deja vu.

    2. cgregory

      Under “Pay for Play,” will she have to again pay $25 million to the DCCC for having been elected to the position?

      1. Fastball

        If the Democrats lose their majority in the House in November to the Republicans, she’s not going to be Speaker regardless of what she does.

        And because of what she’s done already, along with her fellow Democrats, the House is going to fall to the Republicans and the Senate too.

        With the House in Republican hands, she can’t be Speaker. Oh, the Republicans could elect her to be Speaker, but they won’t.

  27. Carolinian

    re NYT/winter camping

    “Winter camping probably best fits in the category of ‘fun when it’s done,’” said Mr. Howell. “It often provides that feeling of relief from having survived something challenging.”

    Some of might say that about all of our marathon camping trips. We also tut tut at the huge RVs pulling a small car “dinghy” via a tow bar in back (or perhaps a hiking unfriendly golf cart). Which is to say there’s an attitude among some that travel is not supposed to be comfortable and if you want that you should stay home. Serendipity is all.

    Obviously a minority view.

      1. fringe element

        A good friend of mine lives in a section of town where a person can get around to shops, supermarket and whatnot in a golf cart. Her sister cannot drive because of a chronic seizure disorder that is well-managed with medicine, but still makes it too risky for her to drive an auto. Being able to go anywhere she needs to go with a golf cart gives my friend’s sister a mobility and independence she would not have in any other local suburb.

  28. Screwball

    Couple of things on COVID.

    1) The Super Bowl – how many people did you see wearing masks? There are several videos touring the net showing all the celebrities at the game and not a mask to be seen. Yet today, as I understand it, kids in the same area will be required to mask up in school. The double standard is crazy and obvious IMO.

    2) got an e-mail today telling me my free government at-home-test-kits will arrive February 17. I ordered them January 18. So if I get them on the 17th, it will have taken a month. I have also read they are made in China, and, they need to stay above 35°F. Good luck with that when it’s 20°F outside in the middle of winter here.

    Ain’t America something?

    1. juanholio

      Is being forced to sit inside a small room all day, 5 days a week, really equivalent to choosing to buy very expensive ticket to go and watch football in a huge well ventilated arena for a few hours?

      No masks in our school district, and our son has missed 5 weeks this school year because they are asked to quarantine after others in the classroom get sick.

      I thought people were really keen to keep the kids in school, so why object to measures meant to limit the spread?

  29. Mikel

    ” The SEC has shone a welcome light on financial darkness” FT

    They repeat the mantra “better off sticking your money in an index fund…”

    Still a lot of caveats with indexing meeting expectations of anywhere near double digit returns that are often hyped.

    One has to stay gainfully employed for decade after decade AND not have a 2008, followed by a Dec 2018, then a feb-march 2020 along with sporadic employment either during or after such periods.
    I”m talking about a type of employment that can build an emergency fund, pay all bills, and leave you with money for throwing at the economic narrative making broad claims about “the market”. And then avoiding taking loans or early withdrawals is important.

    1. Mikel

      However, for the type with funds to invest in private equity and institutions around for decade after decade it would be more of a no brainer to do indexing…at least it seems…

      I don’t know if anyone else feels this way…

    2. griffen

      I think fighting the consumerist economy in the US is job number one. Stating the obvious but living within one’s means, not updating to every technology want as opposed to legitimate need, and so forth. Driving my 4-door vehicle, by one example, for far longer than I really want but it still performs and overall I enjoy how it drives.

      Once upon a time and long ago, a simple couple lived beneath their means and was able to live a comfortable retirement. That myth can still be accomplished, and become fact. Note, you maybe will make a series of short term compromises to avoid wrecking the long term goal. Taking advantage of the pre tax treatment for my personal retirement savings since ’98 has been the single best move (as opposed to say, accepting student debt to pursue an MBA). Sporadic employment seems to be my current and likely future circumstances, and I can still abide with it being so.

      1. AndrewJ

        Implied then is that single people are screwed. I broadly agree. A couple sharing bills can make things work – living by yourself, though, you’re lucky to make rent. Ah well. Smoke ‘em if ya got em! Live now, for tomorrow we die!

        1. griffen

          That is really not what I was attempting to convey. I was not explicit or just failed to draw a distinction, that whether single or a couple (married, partnered) living within one’s means is the particular point I wanted to make. Doing that plus a specific and committed intention to planned savings, is what I really intended. Other Mileage May Vary.

  30. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    Re: Melinda Haring weekend prediction of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    I’ve figured it out! Putin, of course, uses the Russian Orthodox Old-Rite Julian Church Calendar! Haring got confused because she uses the sleek, modern Gregorian calendar! Wait 13 days and she’ll be proven right!

    1. ambrit

      Sarcasm warning!
      Vlad Vladimirovitch uses the old Julian Calendar? Why, that makes him not only Orthodox, but the AntiChrist as well! This assumes that rumours to the effect that Obama is the “real” AntiChrist are not true. Others I know merely assert that Obama is a high level Infernal Potentate. Some have hinted that the Obama Mansions on the coast at Martha’s Vinyard, and Waimanalo are so sited so that the Infernal Couple can easily ‘commune’ with their subaqueous Dread Lords, Dagon and Cthulhu. See, the Most Evil did win those elections!

  31. BrianC - PDX

    Stumbling around on youtube I found this clip about the conversion of 11,500 miles of railroad track from one gauge to another in ~36 hours.

    A story about how this country could actually do stuff:

    Note the final section where he talks about the greed of the Railroad Cartel’s preventing the realization of increased productivity from this change…

  32. Swamp Yankee

    Winter camping is great!

    The Upper Peninsula of Michigan, particularly in the Porcupine Mountains, very much remains winter camping;

    as does the backcountry of the Tetons in early July!

    Spending a Nor’easter in a yurt in the Shawme-Crowell State Forest, on Cape Cod, was also a lot of fun.

  33. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    ‘Nothing More Grotesque Than a Media Pushing for War,’ Says Edward Snowden Common Dreams

    Since it is rampant thievery and corruption that appears to grease the economic wheels of this world, something that should be considered more grotesque “than a Media pushing for war” is the bottomless pit of state failure and corruption that is continually financed and backstopped by means of Western democratic wealth transfers. Where for example, “He called oligarchs bandits that robbed the state. In one TV address, he listed several top oligarchs by name, ominously saying they will have to live by the law.” It is asumed that like the holy of holies that is capitalist profit which remains forever inviolable, individual and private; money that is “robbed” from the state also remains individual, private, and untouchable. Apparently rich thieves should be left alone instead of having their illegally obtained assets confiscated by the state.

    “U.S. considering offering Ukraine up to $1 bln in sovereign loan guarantees”

    “EU offers Ukraine 1.2 billion euro aid package”

    Further, “Shefir is believed to have created a network of offshore entities for Zelensky and others, such as Zelensky former business partner and employer, and a U.S. sanctioned Ukrainian banking and media tycoon named Ihor Kolomoisky. U.S. authorities allege that Kolomoisky “laundered $5.5 billion through a tangle of shell companies, purchasing factories and commercial properties across the U.S. heartland,” according to the ICIJ. The Pandora Papers do not bode well for Ukraine, and is a bad look for Zelensky. As one Washington-based analyst who requested anonymity told me, “Ukraine is the Saudi Arabia of corruption.”

  34. juno mas

    RE: Architects call for mass insulation

    The headline is a bit imprecise. Is it calling for a type of insulation or insulating a massive amount of homes? The article is a bit more precise, but still gets the first law of retrofitting for efficiency wrong. The solution to reducing energy use is CONSERVATION.

    In homes, reducing cold air infiltration (sealing windows and doors) is job one. Increasing thermal insulation in attic space is next. Then living area walls. Then underfloor area at grade. Then perimeter foundation.

    Then removing central heated air systems for floor-base hydronic heating units. The homes in the article are interwar edifices. But if you were starting from scratch, it could look something like this:

  35. KFritz

    Melinda Haring’s tweet is the first plausible scenario for a Russian attack on Ukraine I’ve read about, aside from a conventional land operation in the vicinity of Donetsk, where the Russians have their largest concentration of troops. Russia’s problem in Donetsk is that largest concentration of Ukrainian troops is right across the cease-fire line. Russia does have overwhelming air and naval superiority, and at a cost can make Ukraine’s air force and navy totally ineffectual. It would be interesting to learn how Ukraine’s general staff is to be done away with en masse. The Twitter foremat allows Haring’s style of (possibly) definitve statement to be made without messy details–like sources for the information.

    Addendum: the other military operations that have cropped in the press and blogospheroperationeoperation aren’t plausible with an invading force of 100,000–unless Russia establishes complete air superiority and uses it to destroy Ukrainian armored formations. Russia would also want to cripple Ukraine’s petroleum infrastructure to cripple its tank forces.

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