Links 2/16/2022

How animals heal themselves ― and get high Deutsche Welle

4-story rogue wave that randomly appeared in the Pacific Ocean is the ‘most extreme’ ever detected Live Science

The looming threat of long financial Covid FT

Global Cooperation on Digital Governance and the Geoeconomics of New Technologies in a Multi-polar World Centre for International Governance Innovation. Keynote address: Kevin Rudd.


The Country That Decided the Pandemic Is Over (with Kristian Andersen) Andy Slavitt, In The Bubble. WSWS quotes the podcast:

Andersen authored the critical “Proximal Origins of SARS-CoV-2,” which carefully reviewed the scientific evidence against the notion that the virus was constructed in a laboratory or purposefully manipulated. On this week’s podcast, he said of Denmark’s action:

The problem is again that we need to be realistic about what that means, and probably what that means is that–in a country like Denmark, for example, it probably means that we should expect if we go back to 2019 that everybody should expect to get infected probably at least twice a year… If we are looking at the number of deaths resulting as a result of this, we have to be realistic too that this is not going to be no common cold or flu.

Slavitt followed with this chilling observation:

Look, I don’t think they want to say that, but I do think that implicit in this is an acceptance that there are going to be, at least in the US, 200,000 to 250,000 deaths a year at baseline.

Both Andersen and Slavitt agreed that such a scale of death could continue for 10 years, if not longer.

So, yes, “They Really Are Trying to Kill Us.” But there is a bright side if you’re worried about “the debt”:

Every citizen has their part to play, and all things work together for good!

* * *

Moderna CEO Sells Shares, Deletes Social Media: What You Need To Know Benzinga

‘I trust my drug dealer more than I trust this vaccine’ STAT (MR). Well worth a read.

EU investigates reports of menstrual disorders after mRNA COVID shots Reuters

Omicron-targeted vaccines do no better than original jabs in early tests Nature

* * *

CDC expected to update mask guidance as early as next week NBC. “Senior administration officials have asked Walensky to provide an update on masks before President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1, one of the people said.”

What Do Masks Do to Kids? The New Republic

* * *

Multiple spillovers from humans and onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in white-tailed deer PNAS. From the Discussion, possible mechanisms: “While the precise routes of transmission of SARS-Cov-2 from humans to deer are unknown, there are several ways in which deer may be exposed to the virus from humans, including through feeding in backyards or even when a susceptible deer may come in contact with potentially infectious material (such as saliva, urine, etc.) from an infected human in forested areas or exurban environments. Deer may also become exposed to SARS-CoV-2 through contact with wastewater discharges, infected fomites, or other infected animals. Regardless of the route of transmission from humans, our results suggest that deer have the potential to emerge as a major reservoir host for SARS-CoV-2, a finding that has important implications for the future trajectory of the pandemic.”

Model-Estimated Association Between Simulated US Elementary School–Related SARS-CoV-2 Transmission, Mitigation Interventions, and Vaccine Coverage Across Local Incidence Levels JAMA. From the Discussion: “Second, these on-ramps and off-ramps are highly dependent on the effectiveness of each type of mitigation, which can vary across contexts and individual school settings. We evaluated a wide range of effectiveness: 20% to 40% risk reduction for simple ventilation and handwashing, 60% to 80% for ventilation and handwashing plus universal indoor masking, and 90% to 100% for the full multilayered mitigation packages often used in 2020 to 2021.” This could be just me, but when I see sloppy tropes like “on-ramps and off-ramps,” I give consideration to the possibility that I’m seeing symbol manipulation and not science. (“Focused protection” is another one such.) Reinforcing the tell, why in the name of all that is holy would a serious “decision analytic model” confound handwashing and ventilation?=

* * *

The Omicron Wave Is Receding But the Pandemic Is Far From Over Time


Virus Cases in China’s Olympic Bubble Fall Amid Covid Zero Curbs Bloomberg. Disappointing many, many thought leaders here in the United States, no doubt.

China courts freeze $157 mln of Evergrande assets over missed construction payments Reuters

In Depth: Will Subsidized Housing Stabilize the Real Estate Industry? Caixin Global. Commentary:


China-Backed Pipeline Facility Damaged in Myanmar Resistance Attack The Irrawaddy. RPGs. Interesting. I can’t lay my hand on a quote, but I recall reporters who follow small wars thought that rocket-propelled grenades would be of more use than, say, Stingers, but that the “resistance” lacked them. Now, apparently, they don’t.

Japan’s Kirin brewery to withdraw from Myanmar Channel News Asia and Doing Business in Myanmar Is Tough, but Norway’s Telenor Finds That Leaving Isn’t Much Easier WSJ

‘Court Cluster’ of Felons Seeks to Destabilize Malaysia Asia Sentinel


Saudi Arabia Rejects Biden Plea to Increase Oil Production as Midterms Loom The Intercept

Ukrainian ripples: Turkey and Israel eye extended cooperation in Central Asia The Turbulent Woerld of Middle East Soccer


Sod’s law says Boris Johnson will be gone by now Guardian. Sod’s Law is the British equivalent of Murphy’s Law. Obviously, it’s time for pictures of cute cats from the Internet:

New Cold War

US hasn’t verified Russian pullback of troops near Ukraine AP

Ukraine crisis: ‘We don’t want war in Europe’ Putin says in talks with Scholz Deutsche Welle

Massive cyberattack takes Ukraine military, big bank websites offline The Register

Russian parliament to discuss draft bills on Donbass recognition Reuters

Sources: Germany, France ask Zelensky to comply with Russia’s spin of Minsk Agreements Kyiv Independent

Is Vladimir Putin Right? Der Spiegel and I was there: NATO and the origins of the Ukraine crisis Responsible Statecraft (Re Silc). On NATO’s eastward expansion.

The Nazis Globalist Liberals Prefer To Ignore The American Conservative


Saunas, haircuts, hot meals: Ottawa protesters set up for the long haul Guardian. Ottawa byline. Multiple camps (map; article) are interesting, suggestive of a sustained presence.

How the ‘Battle of Billings Bridge’ attracted hundreds of volunteers, trapped convoy for hours Ottawa Citizen. I wish I know more about the neighborhood.

Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly resigns amid trucker protests CTV

Biden Administration

Biden’s Multi-Billion Afghan Theft Gets Scant Mention on TV News FAIR

Biden Can Find Middle Ground in Heated Nuclear Debate Foreign Policy

Supply Chain

16 Billion Gigabytes of Flash Storage Were Just Ruined at Major Chip Makers’ Plants Popular Mechanics (Re Silc).

The Bezzle

UN reports that millions of dollars in stolen crypto have gone towards funding North Korean missile program Web3 is Going Just Great

NFTs are just the beginning of the Crypto Wealth Splash (excerpt) Noah Smith, Noahpinion. Really quite something.

Coinbase launches remittances programme to take on Western Union with cryptocurrencies South China Morning Post. Let me know how that works out.

Their Bionic Eyes Are Now Obsolete and Unsupported IEEE Spectrum

Health Care

How Medicare is quietly being privatized PNHP. Letter from PNHP to HHS Secretary Becerra.

Our Famously Free Press

US accuses financial website of spreading Russian propaganda AP. “Anonymous intelligence officials” are the “US” now. Good to know. I hold no brief for Zero Hedge, but this is garbage. Old, decomposing, whiffy garbage.

Context warnings (dk):

What next? Nuance warnings?

Trump Legacy

Court documents: Mazars, Donald Trump’s accounting firm, cuts ties to Trump Organization USA Today

The Prince Andrew Trial That Wasn’t Vanity Fair

Class Warfare

The coming backlash against growth and jobs The Week

What the left can learn from the trucker protest Ryan Grim, Bad News. Based on Ipsos polling: “The people in Canada most likely to sympathize with the truckers are young and working class. And most of those people also support Black Lives Matter. This is a frustrated group of people who are up for grabs politically. If progressives simply write them off as right wing reactionaries, the right wing is all too happy to tell them that yes, that’s exactly what they are, and welcome them in.”

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. griffen

    Dan Price on twitter. Is he a modern* John the Baptist? I can follow his posts on the Linking into site, and he generally makes very remarkable, obvious points. As the CEO of Gravity Payments, he does bring a fresh perspective to corporate leaders and levels of remuneration for all the tireless CEO-ing that must be done.

    *His posts and commentary do draw attention, not always open minded either.

      1. griffen

        I get that he is not without marks or is perhaps unseemly based on past sins. I have seen similar stories before. But seriously the last person?

        I can think of some Wall St types who fit that bill, as well as Silicon Valley. Price does call out the hypocritical execs who are numerous. That said I’ll dig into his past a little more, based on your link.

        1. urdsama

          Your mileage may vary, but for me, yes. I won’t take advice from someone like him who has no issues with twisting facts to support his agenda.

          One of my main problems whenever he is mentioned is many people will hang on his words like they are some great revelation, but have no clue about his background. Not directed at you, but more of a general observation.

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘I trust my drug dealer more than I trust this vaccine’

    Well of course. A smart drug dealer will take care of his ‘customers’ so that they will be an ongoing source of revenue for years to come. With the vaccines, people are having no choice as the Big Pharma companies are getting governments to mandate forced vaccinations so who cares if people trust the vaccines or not or even if they are safe?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      My local doctor works all the time with drug addicts (he often jokes that I’m his only patient that actually pays with a debit card). He would certainly concur. Drug dealers want to keep their regular customers happy and alive – its the suburban teens or hipsters trying to score something gangster that they’ll happily rip off.

      Mind you, I knew a guy in college who described himself as an ethical drug dealer. When he wanted to rip someone off, he swapped their drugs with vitamin pills. He said he was doing them a favour. Its amazing how many people got high on Boots multivitamins.

    2. KD

      Please. The drug overdose death rate in WV is 52.8 per 100,000 in 2019. The death rate for males in 1970 from combat casualties was 58.9 per 100,000. All these “smart” drug dealers are doing a better job then all the “smart” commanders in a combat zone.

      Not to mention they are cutting everything with fentanyl, and mixing it up in a blender (too bad if you hit a concentrated lump). No, drug dealers, smart or not, are psychopathic bastards, happy to kill their customers for profit or to pay for a few seconds of artificial bliss in the midst of a predatory lifestyle that leaves its proponents dead or in prison. The Communists were right on drug dealers.

      1. KD

        Is it just me, or has anyone else detected a strong whiff of social Darwinism in all this lifestyle-choice ideology pushed by DSA-types, but actually descended from the Libertarian Right (who often are explicitly Social Darwinists). It is very hard to do anything without support from others, and that is role of families. It is very hard to do anything without self-discipline, and that involves rejecting comfort (and pressure from advertisers). It is very hard to have much direction when one is young, and that is the role of morality. Take it all away, and you end up with a group of people going to hell, not in a metaphysical sense, but literally, in front of your own eyes.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s a case of who is better incenitvized to not murder. The bag boy at Kroger would sells weed in the parking lotmore the Sacklers. One has access to the government, no fear of law enforcement, and unlimited markets they never personally interact with. They knew what would happen by pushing addictive doses.

        The modern opioid crisis started in a corporate board room, not some guy flipping fat stacks. The formulation of “I trust my drug dealer more than” is a common rhetorical device.

        1. KD

          Do not get me started on the Sacklers, but no, there is no more higher moral reasoning going on in the Mexican Cartels or the Dominicans than there is in the Sacklers, and the drug gangs use murder and intimidation to resolve disputes, on top of a generalized sociopathy. It is not a question of legal versus illegal sales, it is drug dealers versus the rest of us (prey). But yes, the Sacklers and all their legions of pill doctors are definitely socially-parasitic predatory scum and would all be dead or in prison for the rest of their lives if our government really cared about the welfare of its citizens (in contrast to locking up young black males on petty charges). The contradiction of capitalism is that drug dealing is one of those high return on investment businesses, and hence why the libertarians want to legalize, and why everything else morphs into a drug deal.

        2. Mark Gisleson

          Not to mention that your average drug dealer is more like an Amway Representative, someone with their own habit just trying to defray costs.

          My drug dealers have also never tried to con me into getting unnecessary ultrasound treatments because because that dept of the hospital is being underutilized.

          My drug dealers have never taken me to court trying to get me to pay for an ambulance ride I didn’t request or need.

          My drug dealers have never tried to talk me into trying something new, and they most certainly have never given me free samples.

          My drug dealers have never stalked any doctors in hospital parking lots, trying to talk them into prescribing more drugs (like pharma sales reps do).

          My drug dealers also never engage in false billing, sending just half the actual bill in the hope that I’ll continue useless but expensive treatments.

          And when I buy from the bag boy at Krogers, I know I’ll get an honest deal because if he screws me I’ll tell his mom.

          1. John Zelnicker

            Mark Gisleson – My experience has been exactly the same except that I do get free samples on occasion. ;-)

      3. IMOR

        May have more to do with the people in charge of the war and of our drug laws than how niftily satisfying it is to take a group out and shoot them while doing good. But then, I don’t know much about drug dealers in West Virginia. Just three other states across more than thirty-five years.

        1. KD

          I would say there is nothing like a picture of a twenty-something dude face down on his floor, cold stone, and the thought that that is how is mother found him that morning to shape your perception–and then multiply it by 8,000 or so, as that is how many are dropping per month.

          Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > 100,306 drug overdose deaths

            Do we have a breakdown on how many of those deaths were from drugs run through pharmacies (script), and how many from drugs on the street (illegal)?

            (Adding, it’s almost like we have a portfolio of projects that cause mass death, isn’t it? I wonder what the next one will be….)

        2. ambrit

          Another factor I can personally attest to that makes “my drugs dealer” superior to Big Medicine is that, if your local drugs dealer cheats you, (and you realize it, of course,) you can effect direct, ‘kinetic’ countermeasures. A friendly ‘chastisement’ in the parking lot, some sugar in the dealer’s vehicle’s gas tank, slashed tyres on same, a tip to your local “Officer Friendly,” (often at third hand,) and so on. What are we to do with a cheating Big Medicine, go all John Q on them? (When all is darkest, muzzle flashes are guaranteed to light up the room.)
          See, the ‘aspirational’ role model:
          In general, ponder why Vigilante Justice popular entertainment programs ars so popular.

    3. bojackhorsemeat

      This is just a numerical bias. A drug dealer has how many customers? Maybe 1000? If the risk of them dying is “only” .1%, the dealer is probably extremely comfortable with losing that many customers.

      Big Pharma is not at all okay with that kind of fatality rate; if that was happening from the vaccines, it would be extremely obvious.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      For many of today’s opioid addicts, their first drug dealer WAS their “doctor.” When those doctors finally admitted how much harm they were doing, they just abandoned their patients to the street dealers instead of cleaning up the mess they’d made.

      Along comes this experimental savior “vaccine,” and drug users are just supposed to forget that they’ve been down that road before and it didn’t turnout too great for them.

      Not really so hard to understand.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > For many of today’s opioid addicts, their first drug dealer WAS their “doctor.”

        From the Atlantic, “The Key to West Virginia’s Vaccine Success“:

        West Virginia has fewer than 150 CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, and these are clustered in larger towns. We do, however, have more than 250 independent, community-based pharmacy sites, which serve many of our more rural populations. Rather than follow the federal plan, the state chose to partner with these independent pharmacies. Most of the pharmacists at these stores, which often carry the names of owners who were born and raised in that community, are people whom residents know, and who know the residents.

        Anne Applebaum: Frustration is spreading faster than the vaccine is

        By the end of January, residents and staff members at the state’s 214 long-term-care facilities who had chosen to be vaccinated had been given both doses. In that month, the number of active COVID-19 outbreaks in those facilities fell by 50 percent.

        We’re making rapid progress where other states are not because we’ve made long-standing personal connections central to the distribution effort.

        While also filling all those prescriptions for opioids….

    5. K.k

      I cant believe people still think criminalization is the way forward. Clearly it is not working. The only rational way To address addiction is as an illness and treat it as such. Remove the demand. The only way forward is treatment and giving people a life worth living. In the absence of this you can take all the drug dealers and execute them and in no time the demand will still be eventually met by a new cadre of dealers. Not to mention how much cash drugs generate around the world. All that cash flows through the economy and the worlds largest banking institutions. I think its profoundly misunderstanding the situation to think you can simply use the coercive powers of the state in the u.s to some how rid of the dealers and the problem of addiction will be mitigated in a meaningful way. You guys want to see a Plan Columbia for the U.S? See how well that worked out.
      From the perspective of the ruling class, as bad as the instability from drug addiction and overdoses is, can you imagine if all these communities de industrialized and left to rot would look otherwise. Instead of potentially having millions of workers being completely lumpenized and being turned in zombies and dropping dead turning to politics, especially radical politics that speak to their deteriorating material conditions. The drug war on all fronts is class war.

  3. russell1200

    “Saudi Arabia Rejects Biden Plea to Increase Oil Production as Midterms Loom The Intercept”

    Seem to recall very recently the WSJ reporting that they had tried to expand production, and had not been able to. Then on Feb 2, the WSJ reported that OPEC had agreed to expand supply, but added this subheading “Oil prices have risen in part because some OPEC+ members have been unable to meet their share of output”. This on top of recent reporting that US fracking concerns are not expanding, but simply replacing what is being used, noting that they go through their reserves fairly quickly.

    The right keeps trying to push the idea that we are energy independent and the new fossil fuel super provider, and the left is all about ending the use of fossil fuels. The fact that we might be slowly running out of easy reserves and have no viable replacement (renewable or otherwise) has pretty gone down with the (premature?) death of Peak Oil.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Saudi Arabia probably wants high prices because their budget has been hemorrhaging cash the past few years and they have been spending billions of dollars alone each and every month trying to conquer Yemen. Biden could just say ‘Right, pal. We are pulling out all military support for your war in Yemen and you can pay for that all yourself. No more spare parts, fuel, intelligence – nuthin’. If you want to change your minds on oil prices, you have our number’ but this will never happen as the Washington establishment is committed to the war in Yemen and would never let this happen.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      One thing Peak Oilers got wrong is that they underestimated the huge increase in productivity possible with more efficient drilling technology. Not ‘new’ drills, just a constant learning process that has allowed oil companies to get far more efficient at extracting oil/gas per well. By some measures productivity in drilling has increased tenfold in the past decade thanks to intensive fracking work. The Saudi’s are very well plugged in to this (the Royal Family may be idiots, but they do put the smartest people into Aramco).

      It is possible though that we’ve reached the absolute limit of modern technology, so they may have run out of road when it comes to squeezing out more oil. However, I’d bet that this is more to do with Saudi confidence (fuelled by soaring oil prices) that they have no need to play nice with Biden. Only time will tell if this confidence is misplaced.

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Please, sir, I want some more. This kind of request speaks to Biden’s particular world view. Not that he’s not one them, but he really thinks there is loyalty among thieves. Thugs like the Sauds and McConnell will be nice to him because he adheres to rituals.

      The worst part is he would probably soar in approval if a few Saudi palaces disappeared.

    4. Robin Kash

      If Biden can’t get the Saudis to jack up production, maybe he can use the good will he is building with the Russians to fill the pipelines and tankers!

    5. ex-PFC Chuck

      “Seem to recall very recently the WSJ reporting that they had tried to expand production, and had not been able to.”

      Matthew Simmons, a geologist and investment banker focused on the petrol industry, predicted this in his book of 15 years ago Twilight in the Desert. The monarchy was not happy and a few years later he was found dead in the hot tub of his getaway home in Maine.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Twilight in the Desert

        That was a great book, and the author seems to have been right early. Simmons’ method was to study the papers that geologists for the Saudis were writing for professional publications and conferences. They disproportionately focused on how to get the maximum amount of oil from a dying field., as through injecting saltwater, etc. since no new big fields were coming on line).

  4. Kevin Smith

    I see that Russia admits to a 23% rise in Covid cases over the past week, and I wonder what the Covid numbers look like for Russia’s military, living and working in close quarters for weeks on end. I understand that the Russian vaccine is mediocre. Over the centuries lots of armies have been stalled by infectious diseases …

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      I’m not aware that Russia’s main Covid vaccine (Sputnik V) is any more or less mediocre than its western analogues. I would expect cases in Russia to increase during the winter season, with a reporting lag, so no surprises here. Excess deaths in Russia have been high since the onset of Covid, which again isn’t surprising given that Russians (especially males) aren’t the healthiest lot to begin with, plus they’re generally skeptical about vaccinations (not just Covid) let alone masking and social distancing.

      As for the Russian military, all recruits are subject to mandatory vaccination. I don’t know about the contract troops or the Wagner mercs, but regardless of their vaccination status I imagine they’re all in robust health. Not quite sure what your comment has hinting at, but I very much doubt that the purported Russian “invasion” of Ukraine on 16 February (a full moon, just like 6 June 1944, what a coincidence!) was cancelled due to Covid.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    Re: The FT twitter on UK population projections.

    This is really interesting, as the UK was for long one of the few European countries to avoid a a looming demographic problem, mostly thanks to a relatively high birth rate and high immigration. The usual explanation for demographers for the higher birth rate was that the more flexible UK labour market allowed married women to dive in and out of employment, making it easier to have a child than in the more inflexible southern or eastern European (or Asian) countries of similar socio-economic status. Plus a relatively good welfare state. But it seems that the UK is rapidly catching up with the non-anglophone developed world norm (I believe the same is now happening in the US).

    I’d be wary though about projections on immigration. There is a tremendous ‘lag’ in migrant figures, as contrary to general assumption, cultural and familial connections are often stronger push/pull influences than economics. Put simply, despite the Tories and Brexit, people will still move to the UK because many potential immigrants have family/friend/community connections there making it easier to go there than, say, Germany. Likewise, the historic reluctance of UKers to move out to anywhere but English speaking countries (except for retirement) will take a long time to reverse, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

    So my suspicion is that over time the UK will lose its attractiveness to any emigrants that don’t have a compelling family connection. They will have to compete on jobs and money for good workers, and they may find out rapidly that there are more attractive options for the best workers.

    One way of measuring this indirectly is how much it costs to ‘buy’ a spouse for a work visa. I was once an interested eavesdropper when a Vietnamese woman and a Serbian woman I know were swapping tips on how much it costs to marry someone for a better passport. Interestingly, the cost of a US one has gone down a lot, Swiss is still the most expensive, but in general EU husbands are getting more expensive (they were discussing this out of abstract interest, both were beautiful enough not to need a dowry). I offer this idea for free for anyone wanting to do an off-beat economics PhD, I’d love to see the results.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, PK.

      I agree with your suspicion and add that even family ties may not be enough.

      Many of the migrants or people of migrant origin I know have family in other anglophone countries, including Ireland, and, with regard to the Mauritians, other francophone countries, too. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the process you identify is under way.

      I am still on good terms with my Swiss former girlfriend. She has an EU passport, too. Mmm.

      It works both ways, though. For example, a former farm employee of my family had a marriage arranged by, of all people, a cabbie with a French businesswoman in Mauritius. She needed to get her papers in order to stay on the island. He has a wife and daughter from a religious marriage, but this is not recognised by (Napoleonic) Mauritian law, so was free to marry her. The Mauritian authorities do spot checks on what they suspect and call “mariage blanc”, but the wife is a smart cookie. The guy now works at Charles de Gaulle. The legal wife remains in Mauritius. It’s common. As I could do with an EEA passport for work, it got me thinking… May be a nice Irish girl, as I am Catholic and into horse racing…

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I’ve been told that the Listowel Races is the number one place for meeting an available batchelorette with some good north Kerry grazing land. They are in high demand, but I’m sure you would be able to charm one :-)

    2. lordkoos

      The USA has become a lot more vigilant regarding fiance and marriage visas in the last 20 years. My first wife was Chinese and we had to jump through some hoops to get her a green card, but I hear it is much more difficult now.

    3. Terry Flynn

      When leaving Sydney in 2015 I had a woman do the required deep clean of my unit to get my deposit back from the money grabbing letting agents. She was originally from China but had permanent residency /citizenship of Oz.

      When she learnt I had gained Aussie citizenship but was reluctantly having to leave she explicitly said “shame… My sister in China needs to come here… Big money if you’d married her.”

      I laughed and said “sorry too late…. plus I’m gay”. To which she replied “even bigger money!” Then when paying a large amount of cash into my bank in Chinatown (sale of my car) and wondering why the cashier didn’t bat an eyelid, I saw her at next counter depositing what looked like over 20000 AUD in cash. Funny times.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        15 years ago I had a Canadian room mate – at the time the Euro was super strong compared to the canadian dollar and many moved here for work. She had an Irish passport via the grandmother rule. She told me that when she told her friends she was moving to Dublin to work, she had no fewer than three gay men in her broader circle contact her offering her cash for marriage – it seemed at the time to many Canadians a good investment in exchange for an EU passport. She said she was very tempted.

        The flip side of course though is that gay marriage means that there are fewer unmarried gay man available happy to marry a foreign in exchange for money. Maybe this has driven up the price. As I suggested, a study of this market would give a fascinating insight into the relative ‘value’ of certain passports.

        1. ambrit

          Fear not for the “Marriage Bureau” trade. One of our neighbors ‘out in the sticks’ of Louisiana was a fairly boorish fellow, quite butch and a ‘ride along’ cop wannabe, who married a Chinese Philippina ‘on approval.’ Kim was a very nice woman who immediately enrolled in nursing school and ended up eventually apart from the man, (who seemed accepting of the deal,) and a RN to boot. They lived for years in separate buildings on his acerage. We’re fairly certain that she was his ‘cover.’ Out in the boonies, some things still require discretion.
          Then there was the Swingers Club situated out on Eagle Road. A lot of ‘officials’ and police involved in that. [I knew several of them.] We later got to know, not in the Biblical sense, a woman who had been a stripper on Bourbon Street. Cookie said that that particular ‘Private Entertainment Venue’ was a going concern back in the 1960s. She claimed to have been a ‘member’ of said ‘Entertainment Venue’ back then. We tend to believe her. She had a signed photo of Earl Long, dedicated to her, on her fireplace mantel. She and her lifelong girlfriend were a hoot. They told us to be cynical about local politicians, and believe the worst. That advice has never let us down.
          Stay safe, wherever you are. Be strong, think independently.

    4. Irrational

      UK good welfare state? I must have missed something when I was there. The stories I heard was of miserable benefits and pensions and I can’t imagine it got any better since the 90s. My fellow uni students sure moaned about things getting worse just during our degree. Disclaimer: no personal experience, all hear-say.

    5. Rageon

      My landlord’s husband offered me $30000 to marry his Vietnamese niece when the Quebec government halted or suspended some immigration programs a few years back. Her three kids were going to school here and she owned a house (not quite sure about all the details or her status)…I politely declined; not something I wanted to be involved with (especially with kids involved and the legal liabilities surrounding child support). Though I suppose for someone who needs the cash they might not be adverse to it, though I’m not sure what the penalties are for marriage fraud are here. In essence you’re selling citizenship.

        1. ambrit

          Oh yes. Exactly that happened here in Southern Mississippi. Fairly wealthy “investors” in a solar power farm project, all from China, got unlimited Green Cards as part of their ‘investment package.’ Despite the best attempts by the project promoters to do a Max Bialystock, said solar farm is still going strong and makes a profit, somehow.

  6. Stick'Em

    re: What Do Masks Do to Kids?

    My wife and I work with autistic kids. We also have relatives who are immunocompromised due to leukemia and autoimmune conditions. These are the populations we wear masks for moreso than for ourselves. We look out for people who cannot look out for themselves through no fault of their own.

    Unfortunately, we find the group narcissism which drives the average American’s decisisions in this area (meaning for most, wearing a mask is a signal of “tribal” group membership, a group that is better than yours) rather than the altruism and public health motives we expected to see to be most disturbing.

    1. Carla

      I agree and empathize with your statements about masks, but am a little puzzled that anyone would expect to see altruism or real public health measures in a country that is in the late stages of capitalism eating itself.

      1. Stick'Em

        We expected people would care about kids and people who are already sick. We were wrong. People are too selfish for that now. What we got instead is a 21st century version of eugenics.

  7. Sailor Bud

    Oh man, that context warning Twitter fest is excruciating. There are even a few Milo Minderbinder posts in there if you dig just a little bit.

    1. Flyover Boy

      RE Joe Weisenthal’s Instagram post: I too got a “context warning” yesterday after sharing almost exactly the same post on its sister company Facebook. Turns out “fact checking” for Facebook is a big business in itself.
      When I clicked through on the “context warning,” it was linked to an entity called “AFP Fact Check.” When I clicked through, I found that AFP Fact Check had already prepared a canned article to answer this criticism of corporations. The article was headlined:
      “Corporate price hikes are not root cause of soaring US inflation.”

      AFP Fact Check’s site said it’s “published by Agence France-Presse.” The site is a business-to-business advertisement that markets “AFP Fact Check” to businesses including Facebook. The site boasts that its sales to these entities are big, and that it has 2,400 employees working in 20 languages. It also contains this testimonial:
      “AFP is our most expansive global fact-checking partner” with a “global reporting footprint,” in a quote from “Keren Goldshlager, Integrity Partners, Facebook.”

      Interestingly, the “fact checker” did not question my facts, only the conclusion drawn from them. As an aside, my better half had already run the exact same post with no sanction. But I got a previous “context warning” last month for criticizing Rochelle Walensky (my appeal was ignored then), so I suspect I was already under surveillance generally. Punishment for a “context” violation: They warn that they’ll simply choke off all your future posts so nearly no one sees them. I’ve read this often lasts 90 days.

        1. Flyover Boy

          RevKev, I think you’re right about the inadvisability of posting that, but it’s a very nice fantasy.

      1. Bugs

        The experts they quote to refute the claim of corporate greed are none other than Desmond Lachman, an AEI senior fellow (former Salomon and IMF) and Prof. Mark Witte from Northwestern, a debt bug.

        1. JBird4049

          Really, AEI?? The American Enterprise Institute? Okay, an extremely conservative and libertarian institute supported by big business is the place for unbiased, honest, information about big business. Next, we will be looking at supply-sider Larry Kudlow for good economic advice. He has only been wrong always for decades. And so, this proves what Twitter is about: supporting its profits and the regime that enables it, whoever they are.

          To get historical, that’s like using a lobbyist for FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) in pre Civil War United States for information on slavery. The more slavery expanded, the more money they made.

      2. Weighfairer

        The “article” providing “context” helpfully provides that “the spike in prices follows big federal spending,” as its thesis without further elaboration as to a causal mechanism as if that correlation does not need context.

  8. griffen

    Moderna CEO stock sales, deleted social media. Yeah no correlation to a vastly declining stock price, nope nothing to see here. Maybe he is planning ahead for his career step, as the ex-CEO.

    While I don’t follow Moderna too closely, nor do I know their pharmaceutical offerings or drugs in development, at a bare minimum I do know that Pfizer (comparatively) has more in their toolbox of available drugs for sale.

    1. Baby Gerald

      Fun fact: until it came out with their Covid gene therapy treatment, Moderna had zero patented drugs to their credit. What they did have was patents on genetic sequences. Sequences they sold to labs researching things like viruses.

    1. Bugs

      Great link. Forwarded to friends and colleagues who have to deal with this nuttiness every day at work. Thank you!

    2. juanholio

      The goal seems to be to bribe congress and influencers to fast track legalizing and normalizing crypto. The people who hold huge amounts can then dump them into everyone’s 401k before it collapses.

      You can tell which critters have already taken bribes because they are concerned about “stifling innovation” or making their state the most “crypto friendly”.

      I wonder how much they paid this congressman from Ohio to embarrass himself with this bill?

  9. Wukchumni

    Rest in peace P.J., you often made me laugh and weren’t afraid to laugh at yourself, a rare attribute these days,

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      Hear Hear, he made me laugh at times I didn’t expect it. He would bite but not chew. I will miss him and Red Ruffansore.

    2. IMOR

      Across all the years, my fave piece of his writing was a satirical “Answers to Your Top 20 Questions About Cocaine” or similar title that appeared in RS in ’80 or ’82. Multiple belly laughs and one phrase/one liner I’ve used and adapted numerous times and in numerous contexts across these decades(!).

    3. Maxwell Johnston

      Parliament of Whores was excellent…..and full of surprises. PJ was an observant fellow and intellectually honest; and a fine writer too. Another irreplaceable loss, sigh.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “4-story rogue wave that randomly appeared in the Pacific Ocean is the ‘most extreme’ ever detected”

    I don’t know how they can say that wave was a “once in a millennium” occurrence. At-sea sensors have only been a thing for the past few decades and would we really know about one of those waves just appearing in the middle of the Atlantic a coupla centuries ago? I’ll quote this bit from a Wikipedia entry on rogue waves-

    ‘In 1826, French scientist and naval officer Captain Jules Dumont d’Urville reported waves as high as 33 metres (108 ft) in the Indian Ocean with three colleagues as witnesses, yet he was publicly ridiculed by fellow scientist François Arago. In that era it was widely held that no wave could exceed 9 metres (30 ft). Author Susan Casey wrote that much of that disbelief came because there were very few people who had seen a rogue wave and survived; until the advent of steel double-hulled ships of the 20th century “people who encountered 100-foot [30 m] rogue waves generally weren’t coming back to tell people about it.” ‘

    And with the oceans being messed up by human activity, it is not beyond belief that we might have one of these waves hit an ocean liner at sea for example- (2:30 mins)

    1. griffen

      The acting from the clip above….goodness that is pretty bad. But I have a special place set aside for such campy movie fare from that period.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Never cared much for that film myself, also due to the acting and the lousy script, but it illustrated my point. The film “The Towering Inferno” from the same era was pretty good though.

    2. Mikel

      Later in the article they say:
      “….Since then, scientists have studied only a handful of rogue waves, but they estimate that one forms every two days somewhere in the world’s oceans, researchers wrote in the paper.”

  11. philnc

    About to change out the filters on our Corsi boxes (on each floor of the house) for the first time since making them last fall. Looking forward to a mess of duct tape outdoors in the cold. Even post-Covid (assuming that ever comes in my lifetime) they’ll come in handy to filter out the usual Piedmont allergens as they did smoke over the winter (always check the flue is open!). Taking ventilation seriously, like nasal vaccines and effective post infection treatment regimes, was a major miss during this crisis. You might compare it to overlooking the role of rats on the spread of the Plague: but that assumes its importance wasn’t well understood by the Pharma and FIRE captive medical and political establishments (and the subject of malicious suppression by them). At this stage I’m still not willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. They may not be smart enough to be as evil as we think, but they’re still evil enough.

    1. countrumford

      Your comment reminds me of a Lilly Tomlin sketch where she sez “No matter how cynical you become it never seems like enough.”

  12. kramshaw

    Apologies if I simply didn’t catch these last week, but friend-of-the-show Shahid Buttar is getting some press about his upcoming primary run against Pelosi. I gather that there are several others in the “jungle primary” but figure Shahid is the strongest challenger.

    ^jumping on the stock ban bandwagon seems like a good idea

    ^a bit of a master class in how to sustain Assange-like smears while talking as if you’re debunking them

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Every two years, Shahid Buttar makes his big move and “wins” 9% of the vote in Pelosi’s congressional district. It must be time again.

  13. Carla

    Re: The Omicron Wave Is Receding But the Pandemic Is Far From Over

    The esteemed trio of doctors who penned this piece for Time magazine just can’t see the elephant in the room.

    Until we have universal health CARE we will never have a public health system in this country. And until we have public health, we are sitting ducks for pandemics like the one we are lurching through now.

    One organization that has been working toward this end since the 1990s is Physicians for a National Health Program —

    I have been a dues-paying supporter of PNHP since 1999 and urge fellow NC-er’s who are not, to consider joining.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Easter is April 17th, and with a mere additional 1,200 or so people dying every day and mission accomplished from Team Blue, the next wave will start then with Omicron specific antibodies going away and early boosters losing effectiveness.

    2. Carla

      Just made it down to these links: How Medicare is quietly being privatized PNHP AND Letter from PNHP to HHS Secretary Becerra.

      Thanks so much, Lambert, for featuring these today!

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Thanks so much, Lambert, for featuring these today!

        De nada. Frankly, I’m a little discouraged on Medicare for All. I wonder two things: (1) Is people’s experience with actually existing Medicare (which has a bad neoliberal infestation, as we know) making the prospect of “Medicare for All” less attractive? I know that the Jayapal and Sanders proposals were improvements, but that messaging is hard. (2) Perhaps the ask was too small, and as opposed to Canadian Medicare, the model should have been the UK’s NH — at least when the Tories hadn’t demolished it — with the VA the precedent.

        1. Carla

          I understand your concern, Lambert, and share it to a certain extent. I try always refer to Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. Even as recently as 10-15 years ago, Medicare was a dramatic improvement over the health insurance most people without employer-provided plans were able to get (and MOST people have never had employer-provided insurance). I think Medicare is still a damned sight better than Obamacare, but our fearless leaders and the insurance industry are changing that just as fast as they can. Circling the drain. I never, ever thought things (not restricted to, but including, healthcare) would get this bad. It makes me very grateful to be old but I so deeply fear for those who will live on after me the gratitude also makes me feel selfish.

    3. Stillfeelinthebern

      This is a great group. We had a Dr from their speaker bureau come speak in 2018 and the room was PACKED. It was great to see how many people were interested in this topic and the presentation was top notch. I wish we had invited our congressman, maybe we can make that happen in the future.

      Thank you for the membership reminder Carla.

    4. Mikel

      Additionally, we’re already sitting ducks for long term mental and physical health issues caused by a wide range of viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

  14. Wukchumni

    The families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have agreed to a US$73 million settlement of a lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators in 2012, their attorney said Tuesday.

    The case was watched closely by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and manufacturers because of its potential to provide a roadmap for victims of other shootings to sue the makers of firearms.

    I’d be terrified if I was a hand cannon manufacturer in the USA, it’s open season on them now, but it doesn’t really change the idea that there are already 400 million guns loose on the mean streets, and even if the merchants of death all were forced out of business, it would only make Americans more horny to be armed and dangerous.

    1. Me

      I wonder if the families of the people murdered in the Waukesha parade by the racist BLM supporter will sue the manufacturer of the SUV used by the assailant.

  15. jsn

    NFT “wealth”

    A story about waste energy told to incite a tulip like mania.

    But with the Fed for it’s own reasons pumping more and more money into the bubble. It’s a public relations machine manufacturing entropy to extract dollars from gamblers. Only in America (and our colonial empire).

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Massive cyberattack takes Ukraine military, big bank websites offline”

    The problem with a headline like this is that we never know who actually launched these attacks. And the information that Edward Snowden released showed that the US intelligence services had a tool-box of marks to add to files to make it look like it came from another country like China or Russia or Iran or wherever. So it could have been the US that launched these cyber attacks on the Ukraine as a way to ramp up the blame and the pressure on Russia. And that would make the Ukraine ‘collateral damage’ but as all these Russia-is-about-to-invade-the-Ukraine stories have already served to trash the Ukraine economy, a little bit more would not be a problem for some.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Rev.

      Last week, the UK authorities alerted, in particular, banks to be on the alert for such attacks in the light of Russian manoeuvres. I am working with the security team on such matters at my new employer. I did some work for the Bank of England on such matters last autumn.

    2. Skip Intro

      Deja Vu… Remember when that hotbed of Ukrainian nazis in the Democratic Party, CrowdStrike, blamed a hack on Ukrainian artillery on the Russians only to have the Ukrainians themselves force them to retract the story? I’m sure they will have the press release out soon, they wrote it for HRC’s 2017 war.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Sources: Germany, France ask Zelensky to comply with Russia’s spin of Minsk Agreements”

    It is not Russia’s spin here at work. It is actually in the Minsk Protocols. There were a series of measures to be taken to wind down that conflict and eventually integrate the Donbass Republics back with the Ukraine. When this was done, the Ukraine would then get back full control of the Donbass/Ukraine borders. Instead, the Ukraine has fulfilled hardly any of the protocols and has even passed laws to make it impossible to do so. And they also demanded that the Donbass forces disband & surrender their weapons while the Ukraine takes back that border first. Then, and only then, would they consider fulfilling any of the other protocols. Maybe. Possibly.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      “The End of History” may be one of the most dangerous books ever written in retrospect. The attitude it espoused is on prevalent in the swamp they can’t grasp how treaties work. The Matlock article demonstrates how deranged we became and how quickly.

    2. Bart Hansen

      From reading Gilbert Doctorow’s post this morning it looks like the Duma has approved a bill for reuniting Donetsk and Luhansk with the Motherland. Maybe I should read the post again but it looks like Putin has one version of a bill on his desk. Kind of an ace card of mischief for him.

  18. Tom Stone

    The political infighting in the lead up to SOTU is interesting.
    Biden is not just weak,but percieved as weak, the news coming out of the Durham investigation is hitting “His” administration as well as HRC.
    Thankfully the Biden Admin has been cutting the legs out from under Harris one inch at a time and continues to do so.
    So the SOTU has to be strong enough to lift badass Joe in the polls…
    RUSSIA!!! is losing steam,
    Will “The pandemic is over,all restrictions will be lifted” be enough?
    Perhaps for a short while,but 200,000 a year dying from Covid and a multiple of that number crippled each year IF the virus doesn’t mutate into something nastier will be difficult for people to ignore.
    Especially when it is their kids being crippled.

    I’m wondering whether a few of those brilliant geoengineers have calculated exactly how much of a Nuclear winter will be needed to counteract global warming.
    With the right PR…

  19. antidlc

    Slavitt followed with this chilling observation:

    Look, I don’t think they want to say that, but I do think that implicit in this is an acceptance that there are going to be, at least in the US, 200,000 to 250,000 deaths a year at baseline.

    Both Andersen and Slavitt agreed that such a scale of death could continue for 10 years, if not longer.

    An acceptance of 200,000 to 250,000 deaths a year for 10 years?

    I don’t “accept” this.

    And what about long covid?

    My god. These people are monsters. I hope they all rot in hell.

    1. Jan

      So antidlc what do you want them to do?
      Harsh lockdown like China?
      Ivermectin over the counter? That would be nice but apparently theres no money in a cheap cure.

      I prefer they do nothing since everything they touch turns to poo.

        1. juanholio

          Perhaps this is a knock on effect from all those adverts telling you to “ask your doctor about…” such and such a prescription drug?

          In my experience, prescription drugs are never available on demand.

          I would be in favor of getting rid of the gate keepers, and making all medicines available OTC, but currently that isn’t the case.

    1. Tom Stone

      Oklahoma is now more progressive than California.
      And Trump provided more concrete material benefits to the average American in his last year in office than Biden has in his first year in office.
      By no small amount.
      Interesting times…

  20. Carolinian


    However if Putin’s imaginary invasion has been called off, the Russian assault on the Olympics continued last night as their fifteen year old storm trooper on ice won the short program competition–no doubt fueled by the obscure heart medication that may or may not have actually have belonged to her grandfather. The NBC announcers made it clear that as far as they were concerned she could consider herself canceled.

    1. Nikkikat

      The NBC announcers were ridiculous. I still would like to know how this 15 year old was able to be so much better than they were at ice skating. Did the drug she supposedly took allow her to do multiple Quads with her arms above her head. A skill that the announcers have never been able to perform? Did the drug also enable her to have more technical skills than all the other skaters? At her worse she is the best ice skater perhaps ever. These were their own words a week ago. She was wonderful, exquisite, took their breath away and on and on. Those two announcers now spend a half an hour running her down and talking about their embarrassment etc. They at doing what their war mongering network told them to do. The drug was perhaps at best going to slightly improve her stamina. It didn’t and couldn’t give her the skills she has displayed. The announcers were doing their BS for the bosses the other complainers just weren’t as good. She wasn’t taking steroids. And she tested for this drug one time. She has not tested for it since. That little pill could not account for her abilities at this point in time. Opening night the Russian propaganda machine was running full bore, last night it was doing so again. I also noted on several occasions NBC putting up medals won overall and not seeing the Russians even listed.

      1. Carolinian

        Agree–totally. I know nothing about skating but thought she was easily the most graceful. A drug for that?

      2. Pat

        Please understand something, the double standard was allowing her to skate. She flunked a drug test. Something that if it was found out in a timely fashion would have barred her from coming to the Olympics period. If the IOC and International Figure Skating Federation had not been overruled by the arbitration court she would not be skating. All of the adjustments have been made because she can and probably will still lose her hearing. If she is on the podium there will be no medal ceremony. Athletes that have never failed a drug test and worked years to be at the Olympics could be denied that, because this shadow hangs over all of them.

        The increased blood flow provided by the drugs would give her a training advantage.
        She is a talented athlete and skater, but the rules were broken. Please also remember that Russian has a long history of illegal drug use, enough that athletes from Russia are competing under the entirely artificial entity of the ROC because the country has been banned, but it was thought unfair to penalize athletes who were not part of the systemic cheating. This is not an individual incident.

        She is fifteen. I feel for her. And if the final result does not overturn the finding not only any will any Olympic medal be stripped from her, but her National and European titles will be taken from her. Yes, my heart will hurt for her. But I will never forgive Tutberidze and the adults who have created this factory system where these talented young women are not only shaped, but also used and thrown out in a time table that makes football look like a career with longevity. Where young people who should be protected as well as trained are not. Valieva will take the punishment because too much has been invested and as we say here too many rice bowls will be broken if the hammer comes down on the adults.

        1. JBird4049

          >>> Valieva will take the punishment because too much has been invested and as we say here too many rice bowls will be broken if the hammer comes down on the adults.

          This is all logical, even ethical, but is it justice? To punish the weakest, possibly a personally guiltless or innocent individual, for the benefit of the powerful and the guilty? How does that help the system?

    2. Soredemos

      Even if we just accept that she intentionally took the heart medication (which I don’t), that was back in December. She’s never tested positive for anything at the Olympics. The media has been a bit obscure with this fact; they make it seem like she was doping at the Olympics. The December test only became an ‘issue’ after she won Gold in Beijing.

      There’s something really gross and petty about making a literal kid a target in our warmongering propaganda campaign.

            1. Pat

              That is a pretty decent overview of Tutberidze and her team.

              One aspect not talked about is not only do their bodies get roughed up, the training starts falling apart as they reach full growth and go through puberty. They start falling more and become unable to complete the difficult jumps as their center of gravity shifts, which just increase the injuries. As it becomes more about quads and not triples that is only going to get worse. Anorexia is probably much more common than we would like in skating as it is, in Russia I would imagine it is epidemic. But there seem to be an endless number of young girls to replace this year’s stars.

              1. Carolinian

                Seen the movie I, Tonya? Isn’t a lot of Olympic training a form of abuse (in the movie Harding is getting it from every direction including her husband).

                I don’t think the coach is the issue here but rather the suspiciously last minute raising of the accusation and the quick assumption that she must be guilty. There as been a lot of criticism of WADA and the doping obsession with suggestions that the organization is not entirely on the up and up.

                But even if it is legit is there a history of skating–as opposed to cycling–being rife with drug abuse or that this has changed results?

                1. Pat

                  Every skater goes through drug tests. While the usual drugs people think of aren’t the ones that skaters get dinged for, several have faced bans. What usually get them are diuretics and weight loss drugs.
                  Part of the reason for the delay is that Russia is not allowed to run their own tests. Obviously that is not based on the skaters but is because of the rampant abuses in the athletic community. Valieva’s test was taken at the Russian nationals. It was sent to Sweden. It should have been marked as a priority, but it wasn’t. Usually this would have been processed in ten days or less. If it had been processed in that time not only would she have faced a ban for the Europeans, her appeal would had to have happened and been successful before she would have been allowed in the Olympics.
                  However the results didn’t come in until after she had not only been entered in the Olympics but had already skated twice in an event.
                  I don’t know how the protected status might have worked if the results had arrived in a timely fashion, but I do not think it would have come down as it has. That is most of the justification for overruling the the governing bodies. What I do think is that regardless of the various outcomes, it is even more likely that a Valieva will not happen again in senior women’s skating. There has been some lobbying to raise the age requirement to 17. That is more likely now than it even was a week ago, largely because of that protected status clause.

                  If that happens it will be a severe blow to the Tutberidze dominated Russian women’s skating program as currently most, hell practically all of the skaters retire at that age or soon after.

                  1. Carolinian

                    Here’s Sally Jenkins’ strongly worded opinion that I linked the other day. As to whether Valieva’s age itself is some kind of abuse, they almost all looked like teenagers to me and several seemed under stress and emotionally overwrought. Not just a Russia problem?

                    The Valieva story has exposed the World Anti-Doping Agency yet again for its shoddy gutter toxicology, arbitrary persecutions and endless legal spirals. There is zero firm evidence that a trace amount of an innocuous medication called trimetazidine gave Valieva so much as an extra blade-width of advantage or that she took it willfully.[…]

                    Nevertheless, the pure-blood cranks and Russia’s rivals promoted it as a global crime, and WADA and the International Olympic Committee plunged Valieva and the entire field into uncertainty with a multilayered suspension process. They are incapable of sorting out the matter sensibly, because they are sham structures that impose a policy of “when in doubt, punish” on individual athletes to appear as if they have ethics, of which they have none. The system is a wonderland of injustice more gross than any original offense and reflective of the autocrats with whom WADA and the IOC love to do corrupt business. Zero tolerance means mistakes will not be tolerated by athletes, and so WADA must be incapable of mistakes.


                  2. The Rev Kev

                    I believe that that Valieva has taken part in two competitions since that dodgy test and before the Olympics started. And all the tests came back showing zip. So it was a complete and total coincidence that this was only raised immediately after she won gold for her country? Seriously? This whole thing is just getting sick. There is talk about raising the age limits because the older girls can’t compete. Barring Russia from the Olympics forever because that is the spirit of the Olympics? If she was American she would have been “cancelled” by now. Or maybe not if she was winning gold for the US. A lot of Americans were raging at that American-born Chinese Eileen Gu who gave her allegiance to China and is winning medals for China now. But I would not go to deeply into the subject of drugs and western athletes in between games as that is something that you are not supposed to be talking about. But as an example, just do a quick search on Norway Olympics asthma.

              2. Roger

                With anorexia comes amenorrhea, stopping the bone growth that is critical for young women at that age. Not only do the girls damage their backs very significantly with long-term effects, they start breaking bones and may have thinner bones than normal for the rest of their lives. Its called WOMENS skating, it should only be for adult (18+) women with normally developed bodies.

                1. John

                  The skater gets tarred and feathered. She thought of this all one her own? She procured the stuff? She knew what she was doing? Maybe she is incredibly sophisticated and wicked. I have been teaching kids that age for over 50 years. The ones I have known who were high level gymnasts, skaters, and swimmers would not have had a clue.

                  Explain to me why it takes months to reach a decision.

                  This sort of shenanigans coupled with the jingoism of the US media led to my having ignored the Olympics for the last 30 years.

  21. antidlc
    Pandemics disable people — the history lesson that policymakers ignore

    Two years in, the debilitating tail of the pandemic has revealed itself in the form of tens of millions of people living with long COVID1. It is high time to ask whether attitudes to disability will change as a result. Will society grasp that the body can be altered for a long period — even permanently — by infectious disease, just as it seems to have accepted that the body politic will never be the same again? And will it make the necessary accommodations?

    1. Daryl

      The unfortunate answer is that medical and governmental authorities have many, many twisted incentives to deny long covid and continue to do so for decades to come. Absent a societal change I imagine many of the poor people who are suffering with it will have a tough time getting treatment or help of any kind.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>The unfortunate answer is that medical and governmental authorities have many, many twisted incentives to deny long covid and continue to do so for decades to come.

        And this is something I REALLY do not understand as infectious diseases are, you know, infectious. It is just a rolling of the dice on getting, never mind surviving, any such disease regardless of your health or medical care. With something as infectious and mutable as Covid, it is only time and chance that protects us, if the intent is to “let it rip,” as it is this playing an endless, profitable game of Russian Roulette. Perhaps they do feel that they are taking 1/6th of a chance of blowing their brains out against 5/6th of a chance of making money with each “mistake” or example of “bad” judgement. Maybe they think it is more like a .22 revolver, which might mean 1/8th against 7/8th chance. Not that I truly believe that any of our leaders are thinking quite that way, but maybe not.

        I just wish I knew what on Earth they are thinking of, as it will hit them, their family, and their friends, eventually. It takes no deep knowledge of statistics. Mass Bideneism of the head… but now I am just mumbling to myself.

    2. jsn

      This is why Neoliberalism has rule 2.

      People are an expense, unless they’re a profit center.

      Loose your profitability (to others), loose your life. That’s the Neo Deal.

  22. fresno dan

    To be of Watergate dimension, a scandal needs proof that government officials were the puppet masters behind the political spying against Trump — that the government drove the conspiracy. According to Durham, that is not what happened. Instead, he alleges that presumably well-meaning government officials were having their strings pulled. They were mere dupes of the real masterminds: Hillary Clinton’s campaign operatives.

    Last week, Durham disclosed that, in February 2017, nearly four months after the 2016 presidential election, Sussmann provided updated Trump/Russia data to another government national security agency, apparently the CIA. It was a dumbfounding revelation because Joffe had culled the DNS information from the Executive Office of the President — meaning the White House. (Sussmann’s defense disputes this allegation.) In sum, Durham alleges that by leveraging their trusted access and cozy ties to government data and officials, Clinton campaign operatives managed both to portray the sitting president of the United States as a mole of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to urge an investigation of Trump under the guise of protecting national security.

    If true, this would be one of the most devious political dirty tricks of all time. But in Watergate, the government officials were the culprits; in Russiagate, to hear Durham tell it, the government officials were just saps. Oh, sure, they were negligent, all-too-credulous. The bureaucrats even may have been just a tad politically biased against Trump, predisposed to believe he was the bad guy and the Clintonistas — like-minded Party of Government types — were just trying to protect America. The government officials were naifs, and Clinton rolled them, in Durham’s version.
    Of everyone I have read regarding Russiagate, I think McCarthy is the most dispassionate and equanimous in his analysis. But here I think McCarthy gives too much the benefit of the doubt to people WHOSE JOB was to look at the most serious accusations and weigh the evidence objectively and prudently. This was about invalidating a presidental election, insinuating that a nuclear adversory had taken part in such a conspiracy, with ramifications that could conceivably lead to military conflict.
    So I take no solice that the bureacracy is populated with morons and imbeciles, as well as those toadying for advancement. For example, Cheney instigated Iraq, but essentially a whole bureacracy backed him up – whether they did it because they were genuinely stupid or because they were evil, the outcome is just as bad, and we really shouldn’t tolerate either reason.

    1. juanholio

      “The so-called Freedom Convoy was never about truckers, or border mandates”.

      The article makes a good case, but Rand Paul, Jack Poblicec, Cernovic and Tucker told me it was all about Freedom™ and Freedom™ gud. Now I don’t know what to independently think any more.

      1. ambrit

        Well, here’s the deal. Admitting that we “do not know” is the first step in becoming independent. I’m a sixty something and I am still finding long standing biases that I did not know I posessed.
        Could we start a Neo-liberal twelve step program?
        “Hi. I’m Consumer #4402 of the Twinkie Collective, and I have a problem.”
        “Hi C-4! Welcome to the first day of the rest of your miserable life!”
        *Group hug*

    2. KFritz

      As an aside, the main practical reason the truck protest remains in Ottawa–as it is now–is the refusal of all the region’s towing services with big truck expertise to tow any of the trespassers. They’ve been asked to do it, and would not honor the contracts which would seem to compel then to do so.

      As always, my desktop doesn’t allow me include links in my posts, but a google search entitiled “ottowa tow truck companies refuse to tow protestors,” will more than verify this fact.

  23. Bart Hansen

    Re: Was Vladimir Putin Right?

    The above referenced article by Jack Whitlock, who was present at the time of the end of the original Cold War, is worth reading about the beginnings of NATO’s eastward advance. Earlier this week I watched a one hour video of Whitlock being interviewed on the current unpleasantness. He was the last ambassador to the USSR, and now at age 92 still remembers it all. Here it is:

  24. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    ‘I trust my drug dealer more than I trust this vaccine’ STAT

    “To be sure, not all people who sell drugs operate in the best interest of their consumers.”

    That is an interesting statement and observation, is it not? If we wish to travel beyond the current fascination with vaccine hesitancy and the vaccine hesitant, issues of iatrogenesis, polypharmacy, and end of life issues are intertwined and shape contemporary medical dogma. How is that so? Multiple lines of inquiry immediately present themselves:

    1. “As former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine , Dr. Marcia Angell said that, “When the boundaries between industry and academic medicine become as blurred as they are now, the business goals of industry influence the mission of medical schools in multiple ways.” She did not discount the benefits of research but said a Faustian bargain now existed between medical schools and the pharmaceutical industry.” Further, “In a New England Journal of Medicine study, an alarming one in four patients suffered observable side effects from the more than 3.34 billion prescription drugs filled in 2002.
    The leading causes of adverse drug reactions are antibiotics (17%), cardiovascular drugs (17%), chemotherapy (15%), and analgesics and anti-inflammatory agents (15%).”

    “Death by Medicine”: LE Magazine March 2004

    2. Noting carefully that, “Potential for drug interactions arises with as few as 2 concurrent medications, and risk of iatrogenic harm increases with the number of medications. Whether such interactions will occur and their severity is often unknowable in advance.”

    “When Should Iatrogenic Polypharmacy Be Considered a Disease?”

    3. The increase in average lifespan in the last century is a result of several advances in the medical sciences: improved preventative medicine, the curing of life-threatening acute illnesses, and improved management of chronic diseases. In spite of this boon, most older adults will experience a time-
    related increase in the number of incurable comorbidities and disability, and the suffering they engender for prolonged periods of time prior to death. And so, despite the tenuous evidence base, we continue to implement multiple specialty-specific interventions to older patients, irrespective of extreme age and patient characteristics, and often into the palliative stages prior to death. In this way, the epidemic of IMUP (“innapropriate medication use and polypharmacy”) was born, and nothing short of a revolution in our clinical thinking will suffice to stem the tide of this lethal problem.”

    “Poly-De-prescribing vs Polypharmacy – The Weapon to Fight an Iatrogenic Epidemic: An Overview”

    4. “One should die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death should be chosen freely,—death at the right time, faced clearly and joyfully and embraced while one is surrounded by one’s children and other witnesses.” Again, noting carefully that even the purveyor of that harsh doctrine could not turn those words into reality, i.e., ‘voluntary death’..

  25. Mikel

    “..if we go back to 2019 that everybody should expect to get infected probably at least twice a year…”

    “We” is doing alot of work there.
    They are not accounting for the fact that more and more will learn the places and/or services they could really do without as the sickness and death draws closer to more people.

  26. flora

    re: What the Left can learn from the trucker convoy

    Wish Grim would stop calling liberals ‘the Left. When the actual left and Tucker agree about the convoy, it’s the liberals who are out of step. Even Newsweek starts to get it, fer gosh sakes. The unconstitutionality, the abrogation of fundamental Charter rights was and is the point. Trudeau just put the cherry on top of that point. / ;)

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Thanks for saying this. In truth nothing these last few years has creeped me out more than discovering that Tucker Carlson and I agree on some things.

    2. Basil Pesto

      except, again, everything the truckers are advocating for is completely aligned with the current “liberal elite” covid response: covid’s over/we’re over covid, back to ‘normal’, let er rip. Even vaccine policy looks to be falling by the wayside, as there is absolutely no urgency over updates or improvements or vaccines which induce mucosal immunity (intranasal). iirc, GM actually predicted this: turning away from gratis vaccination to full-blown libertarian “you’re on your own, best of luck” with opt-in vaccines à la flu. They’re all pulling for the same thing and it’s astonishing the extent to which people are acting like this isn’t the case.

      To the extent that we sit around discussing what “the actual left” thinks, who gives a shit? (and you’re quite wrong btw, many non-liberal actual leftists such as Mark Ames are fairly sceptical about the protests and their origin and the fact that – perhaps deliberately – they can’t see the forest for the trees. historically of course, the traditional way of people upset that those who they assumed conform to their in-group have diverged unacceptably from the presumed belief schema is to accuse them of not having ever belonged to that in-group in the first place). This isn’t an intrinsically political problem that can be addressed by our feeble left/right political classification system; it’s a physical one. The virus laughs at this childish nonsense. What use is “the actual left” if they cannot come to grips with this: The problem is the deadly and crippling virus that were are letting spread out of control; this will have (is having) far greater impact on our daily generic freedom than incompetent and flailing politicians possibly could. That’s it. That’s the crisis. Sometimes a crisis is actually just a crisis, not a Reichstag fire – boring I know. And the protestors want to continue to let it spread even further out of control (broadly speaking, they are clearly not just against vaccine mandates; they are against all covid protections). They will live to regret it, but, alas, probably not for very long.

      That these protestors seem to think covid is no big deal is obvious, because: 1) if they didn’t think that, they’d be showing even just a modicum of solidarity with healthcare workers in the coalface who have been barreling headlong through a tunnel full of shit for the past two years instead of chucking barely coherent temper tantrum (although frankly a healthcare worker strike against the braindead policy direction we’re taking would be frankly magnificent), and 2) they would be floating even just some covid protection alternatives to vaccine mandates beyond “muh freedums”. But they have been misinformed (in which sense they are victims) about what this virus is capable of and going to do to all of us – truckers and non-truckers alike – in the years to come, and merely echo that misinformation (in which sense they are tools, and apparently pretty effective ones.)

      Again, it’s all a paltry distraction, a locus for misdirected energy. Protests or not, pointless mandates or not, vaccines or not, we’re seriously in the shit.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > What use is “the actual left” if they cannot come to grips with this: The problem is the deadly and crippling virus that were are letting spread out of control; this will have (is having) far greater impact on our daily generic freedom than incompetent and flailing politicians possibly could.

        As I wrote:

        To put this in the U.S. context: If the Association of Flight Attendants, the International Longshoremen’s Association, the “Big Four” railroad brotherhoods, and of course the Teamsters had wished to, they could have done, on a national scale and with far more effect, what the Canadian Truckers are doing. These industrial unions might have demanded, at the very minimum, decent PPE for health care workers, and proper ventilation for teachers. At a maximum, they could have demanded that Americans be paid to stay home until Covid transmission in this country sputtered out, ending the pandemic here and setting an example for the world. But here we are.

        The curious incident of Big Labor in the night….

  27. Gumnut

    Denmark sitrep:

    – daily life: as if nothing ever happened. No masks to be seen. Kids’ daycare is giving away free quicktests by the dozens as they have received a hefty oversupply for staff use (literally 100s per staff member) from the municipality.

    – cases & hospitalisations: about 25% down from peak 2-3 weeks ago.

    – deaths: now as high as peak last winter, still rising per day. (graph in bottom right, click right to ‘dødsfald pr. dag’ dark orange one

    – infections vs. vax status:
    Gennembrud = break through, Graph top left: Unvacc – explains itself; Påbegyndt vacc = within 2 weeks after any vac injection, but now vast majority is booster; Forventet fuld effect = expected full effect – I must presume 2x, given that revacc = boosted/3x. Takehomes from that data: for 14 days post-boost you beat unvaxxed for infection by 20%, then you are worse off in risk. In absolute numbers vaxxed (all together) vs. unvaxxed there were 266k cases in the vaxxed and 36k in the unvaxxed = 88% to 12% in the last 7 days. Compare for a vax rate in DK of around 83 to 17% = for some reason I won’t speculate on, a vaxxed Dane has hence a 50% increased chance of contracting covid than an unvaxxed Dane (88/83 * 17/12).

    Happy to be corrected on my reasoning.

    1. Alex

      That’s really weird. I thought it might have to do with different vaccination rate for different ages but the confirmed cases per 100,000 is lower for unvaccinated for all age groups (if I read Bekræftede tilfælde pr. aldersgruppe de seneste 7 dage (pr. 100.000) correctly).

      I’ve compared it to the data from the Israeli dashboard and here it’s different: for 60+ years old the unvaccinated have higher incidence and for those younger than 60 years old it’s the same.

      1. juanholio

        Could it be that the unvaccinated aren’t worried about covid, and so don’t get tested unless it’s forced upon them when they end up in a hospital ward?

          1. Gumnut

            PCR tests in Denmark are free and for the vast majority withing 15min of their home. And given that less than 1% end are from hospital testing, that argument doesn’t hold.

            And just as a general thing: this is not a question of ‘vaccines working not quite as good’ but an apparently significant signal to the contrary. It’s like arguing about a bridge built to cross a river dry-footed is 50m/% under the water level. Even if it’s just 40 or 4m – you are still wet, not dry. Not a good bridge at all.

            1. Yves Smith

              Free is not free. There is still a time cost. You have to go somewhere and wait.

              I never got tested even though tests were free unless I needed to (for surgery, etc). I don’t have time to waste that way.

              The question is whether the unvaxxed have a lower propensity to get tested than the vaxxed given identical conditions (having been exposed to someone who has Covid, having Covid those supposed ‘mild’ Covid symptoms). Your retort is not on point to that question.

              But it is fair to say that Alex’s claim is pure conjecture with zero supporting evidence.

              1. Alex

                In fairness, it’s juanholio’s claim. I said that the hospitalisation data confirms it (or rather doesn’t contradict it).

  28. Jason Boxman

    Both Andersen and Slavitt agreed that such a scale of death could continue for 10 years, if not longer.

    And from yesterday’s long form substack piece on long-COVID, we know that the deaths are the least of it, as each infection likely damages a wide variety of organs and injures your immune system itself. And the effects are cumulative, particularly if you don’t recover fully from the prior infection, which that author pegged at about 25 days to run the full course for a mild case.

    The kind of disability we’re going to see over the next 25 years is simply staggering. Even if the elites wanted to, how can you tackle climate change with significant morbidity in your existing population; And what of the children? Climate change and COVID morbidity aren’t a great combination.

    I can’t see how this ends well, unless we get a sterilizing intranasal vaccine that works and is widely available very very soon, or immediately begin an aggressive campaign of elimination. As the bumbling Biden administration has said, we do have “the tools”. We had them in 2020. We can engage in an elimination campaign at any time.

    1. ambrit

      The Ur Cynic in me whispers that we indeed are proceeding with a program of ‘elimination.’ A Social Darwinian program.

    1. Steve Moran

      Jessica, Thank you, and as we say down here in Texas, bless you!! NC is my intellectual lifeline. So many mainstream-media columnists I read seem to live in a bubble that is mirrored on the inside.

      They couldn’t possibly write as they do if they lived on my block, and talked to and listened to people I meet on city buses, and on the street.

      My old hometown, a small Appalachian city that was once prosperous, with a diverse manufacturing base, is now, post-NAFTA, a hell of addiction, joblessness, and hopelessness.

      On NC, everyone gets why. At the New York Times, as best I can see, no one does–or at least is WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE what has happened.

      On the realities of teaching today, you might want to look sometime at the work of the late Mike Rose, who came up the hard way, or (for a voice from a much younger generation) the late Mark Fisher’s brief “Capitalist Realism.”

      The book I’m recommending to friends right now is Johann Hari’s “Stolen Focus” because it’s READABLE and inventories a considerable list of things (not just social media) that Gen Z, and all of us, are up against.

      What Hari reports on will only be news intermittently to the wise birds at NC, but I have smart, well-meaning friends back East, prisoners of MSNBC, that I’m scared to tell what I really think & that I hope will take a look at Hari.

      Again, blessings on you and everyone in the NC galaxy. Y’all give me hope.

  29. DanO

    Re: Battle of Billings Bridge. Close friends of mine were involved. There were several very experienced grassroots community organizers, with many years of experience engaging in anti-fascist actions and on-the-ground consensus decision-making, involved.

      1. DanO

        Well, the action was initiated by people with a lot of experience and so the rotating in-and-out-of-the-cold, the provision of hot beverages and food, the fast-acting on the ground decision-making via conversation and consensus, and the courage to stand up to the police and force concessions from the truck drivers (i.e. making them surrender stickers and flags before leaving), all came from the years of experience these people brought to the action. Articles have been framing this like some kind of spontaneous neighbourhood thing–and, don’t get me wrong, a lot of people from the neighbourhood were more than happy to jump in and be a part and what a great experience to have to bring people into further organizing–but the fact that it was pulled off the way it was, speaks to the experience and wisdom of some really critical organizers. Imo. Of course, as with any organizer worth their weight in gold, the organizers themselves aren’t interested in receiving any credit and are happy to operate behind the scenes and give all the credit to the group as a whole. Which is appropriate.

  30. Nikkikat

    Thanks Flora, you always seem to get to the real deal here. Grim is owned by a Billionaire over at the Intercept. To me being called a liberal would be fighting words. He thinks it sets him above all others.

  31. Cat Burglar

    At last we have an estimate of Russian troops attributed to a named US official. Biden says there are 150,000 Russian troops near the Ukraine border. No basis was provided for the claim, as normal. An earlier unattributed report stated that 30,000 came from eastern Russia to the border region last month.

    I have not been able to find any account that describes how many troops near the Ukraine border are permanently stationed there, how many have remained there after maneuvers last spring, and the total number just arrived. It is possible that all 150,000 are just part of the normal complement of troops in the Western and Southern military districts.

    It is significant that all this is just left unclear despite the amount of reporting on the crisis, as if somebody did not want us to know. I had to laugh when Biden said the US was not sure if Russian troops were withdrawing — my guess is that there is at least an entire room of analysts that can watch what the Russian soldiers are doing on real-time satellite video!

  32. Michael Ismoe

    The Prince Andrew Trial That Wasn’t Vanity Fair

    Wouldn’t it be great if Virginia Giuffre took her $14 million settlement and bought the house next door to Harry and Meghan?

  33. Maritimer

    “Saunas, haircuts, hot meals: Ottawa protesters set up for the long haul Guardian. Ottawa byline. Multiple camps (map; article) are interesting, suggestive of a sustained presence.”
    What no mention of Bouncy Castles? There are at least two for the children to enjoy while they get a premium education in civics and the meaning of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    And from the CDN MSM Toronto Star, a ruling party Liberal outlet:

    “Sympathy with the protests, and their objectives, is felt by a third of Canadians — and by no means a random third but a third defined by clear demographic and attitudinal factors.

    The most important driver is generational. Half of under-50 Canadians are sympathetic to the protests and their cause. Other key drivers include education, with college graduates more sympathetic and university graduates more opposed. Social class is also a key factor with working class drawn to the protesters and middle and upper classes opposed.

    Moreover, it may be that economic anxieties are driving these protests as much as the named issues of vaccines and mask mandates. Those most adamantly opposed to masks and mandates have (by far) the bleakest economic outlook, resulting in a generational resentment toward an economy that has seen younger Canada faring much worse than their parents or grandparents at a similar stage of life cycle. Wage stagnation exacerbated by inflation and affordability is a key force expressing itself in housing and many other pocketbook issues.”

    And one should consider that Mark Carney Globalist Extraordinaire is waiting in the wings to take over the Globalist agenda in Canada. Carney was not only head honcho at Bank of Canada but also England. (How’d he do that?) Carney has connections to the WEF and Bilderberg. Christina Freeland, Trudeau’s second in command is a Board Member of the World Economic Forum. The Truckers are very well informed of these connections and how they threaten their freedom.

    1. wendigo

      Uh, yea those childeren will get a premium education on the meaning of the Canadian Charter, especially the beginning that lays out the fact that in Canada rights are not absolute but subject to limits.

      My guess is most of those children and their parents are unaware of the difference from the US.

  34. John

    Biden, the administration, have taken it upon themselves to …what is the proper word: appropriate, sequester, divert, steal; one of those fits the circumstances … some billions of dollars of the assets of Afghanistan and yet there appears to be not a ripple. They may think as they wish of the Taliban, who defeated the USA quite decisively by staying the course, but does this somehow confer the right to take funds belonging to a sovereign state. It is a first in my experience. I have not heard any justification and what the heck does that have to do with 9/11. Bin Laden was a Saudi as were most of the hijackers. It looks like a heist in the full light of day.

    1. The Rev Kev

      There is precedent for this. So countries lend museum collections to each other all the time, right? But if the US is in a dispute with a country, it is not unknown for them to try to ‘legally’ seize that museum collection, auction it off (to the ‘right’ people) and use the proceeds to give to victims of terrorism or something. But that seizure of Afghanistan’s money was just pure theft.

    2. marym

      Biden and any “charities” or “families” accepting funds stolen from the Afghan people are perpetrating an atrocity.

    3. K.k

      We are ruled by gangsters. America loves its gangsters. Might, after-all makes right. All the talk about the rules based order and the talk of American values by likes of Blinken is just that, talk. Many Americans that simply ignore foreign policy and the horrendous things carried out by the American State do so at their own peril. The globe is only getting smaller. The changing global order and the development of a truly multipolar order in the not too distant future will leave American capital with fewer opportunities abroad to exploit and will lead them to squeezing the life out of American labor bereft of any independent political power or any organizational capacity to defend itself. I do have hope that out of these struggles American labor will be able to break the chains that bind them to the two ruling gangster parties. Maybe I’m just delusional. I dont want to imagine the alternative.
      Its not particularly surprising that Biden admin pulled this criminal act. Others have speculated the U.S wants to see a destabilized Afghanistan over the next generation or two in order to scuttle any plans by its rivals in the region to develop that part of the world and integrate it into a potentially new order where the u.s will no longer be the biggest gangster on the block.

    4. fringe element

      Actually, giving stolen Afghan money to people who suffered from 9/11 struck me as racist, as in the idea that everyone in that corner of the world is responsible for the 9/11 attacks, as in they all look the same to us.

  35. deplorado

    I’m sorry and all due respect, but why are we supposed to listen to Michael Pettis on China?

    He seems to analyze China’s macroeconomy through the prism of the US financial and fiscal system, and has been beating the same drum for years, that China’s banks and finances are about to be hit by something big. Has this been useful to anybody? Isn’t it clear that China exercises monetary sovereignty differently than the US?

    Again, I’m not really qualified to say, but as someone who is trying to understand, following him hasn’t helped me.

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