Links 2/23/2022

Dear patient readers,

So far, I have spared you a report on the Eternal Picklestm. When my father died in 2006, he left one extremely large and other merely large jars of his pickles in the “back” refrigerator behind the carport. He can’t have produced them any earlier than six months and likely at least a year before his death. No one has disturbed them.

Tonight I needed to clean out the fridge in the house a bit more, and found to my surprise it also had a jar of Eternal Picklestm in the door in the very bottom shelf, the beet variety. Note this was not a virgin jar, it was about 80% full but still exceedingly tightly sealed despite that. I tried them. They tasted fine but were a bit mushy.

Massive bear named ‘Hank the Tank’ on the run from California police BBC (David L)

‘The Birds Outsmarted Us’: Magpies Help Each Other Remove Scientists’ Tracking Devices Gizmodo (Kevin W, BC) and Magpies have outwitted scientists by helping each other remove tracking devices ABC Australia (Paul R, YY)

Beekeepers using tracking devices to protect precious hives Associated Press (David L)

Plastic recycling shouldn’t be an end in itself PhysOrg (Robert M)

Astrophysicists Say ‘Planetary Intelligence’ Exists… But Earth Doesn’t Have Any Science Alert (Chuck L)

Brain scan of dying man shows ‘life flashing before their eyes’ ZME Science (Kevin W)

Good News: There’s an Effective Way to Treat Gaming And Internet Addiction in Teens Science Alert (Chuck L)

The FDA needs to reevaluate laser-based ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ STAT (Dr. Kevin). I can’t even….



Persisting pulmonary dysfunction in pediatric post-acute Covid-19 MedRxIv. Preprint. n=91 v. 17 controls. Ugly images.

Germany hopes protein-based Covid vaccine will sway sceptics Guardian. Nevervax, um, Novavax, has actually been launched!

From a few days back, still germane:

Study finds brain changes similarly to Alzheimer’s following COVID-19 infection Jerusalem Post


Opinion: The Ottawa truck convoy has revealed the ugly side of freedom Globe and Mail (Marcello P, JHR)

Versus: Letter From a Young Canadian: Authoritarianism, Media Propaganda and Repression Glenn Greenwald. Key section:

In fact, Trudeau’s opponents bear more resemblance to Gandhi’s satyagraha movement than any terrorist faction. The truckers and their supporters were brimming with national pride, and they appeared to be committed to peaceful protest, non-compliance, and civil disobedience.

Only Trudeau and his media allies’ warped, Machiavellian perception could caricature this diverse coalition as a group of “swastika wavers.” When the media was able to find a handful of protestors donning a Swastika, or spot a couple confederate flags in the convoy, the predictable histrionics ensued, as Liberal and NDP politicians attempted to defame the intentions of the vast majority of those present.


Chicago will drop mask and proof-of-vaccine mandates at the end of the month; Cook County follows suit Chicago Tribune (Kevin W)

Why Is This Group of Doctors So Intent on Unmasking Kids? New Republic (martha r)

Experts warn ‘not to get too cocky’ as US contemplates life after Covid Guardian. Resilc: “Daytona 500 sold out Sunday.”


Has the Willingness to Work Fallen during the Covid Pandemic? NBER. Resilc: “At shit jobs, for sure.”

Omicron Ripping Through Cargo Ships May Exacerbate Shipping Woes Bloomberg


Coal v. Renewables Barry Ritholtz


China takes rare earth aim at Raytheon and Lockheed Asia Times (Kevin W)

Does China think long-term while America thinks short-term? Noah Smith. Resilc: “More like usa usa has no thinking.”


Wa an early winner of Myanmar’s post-coup war Asia Times (resilc)

New Not So Cold War

Putin recognizes Donbas republics: what comes next? Gilbert Doctorow (singnet)

Biden’s First Salvo of Russia Sanctions Hits With Thud, Not Roar Bloomberg

The day Russia’s patience ran out The Saker. The triumphalism is premature and grating but still worth reading.

Perhaps The US Should Shut The Fuck Up About Respecting Other Countries’ Sovereignty Caitlin Johnstone

August 1914 ? By Walrus Turcopolier (resilc)

Qatar Says ‘Almost Impossible’ to Quickly Replace Russian Supplies to Europe Reuters (Marshall)

Russia-Ukraine live updates: Germany puts Nord Stream 2 on pause Al Jazeera (resilc)

Blinken scraps meeting with top Russian diplomat over Ukraine ‘invasion’ The Hill. Both The Hill and the Financial Times headlines putting “invasion” in quotes.


Putin Chooses a Forever War Atlantic. Resilc: “And how is USA USA different????????”

“Who Are We Supposed to Fight Against? Our Relatives?” Der Spiegel. On Donbass evacuees.

Medvedev — “Welcome to the brave new world where Europeans pay €2,000 for gas” Seeking Alpha. Not a good look as Helmer said, “Medvedev (like Gorbachev) can’t keep his mouth shut and depart forever. But I’d call that stupidity — arrogance only to the extent that he thinks someone is still listening to him.”

But not as if our side is a model of maturity. As Covid brain trust member GM said, “Just unbelievable that this was actually posted. Presumably someone higher up sanctioned that. If not, even worse, because that would mean there is no control over what gets posted from official channels. This is just not a serious country…”:

Boomer fantasies of world peace die in Ukraine Will Bunch (Randy K). I have no idea what boomers he is talking about. We were born right after the Korean War (both my father and his only brother served) and came of age during Vietnam.


White House Shifts Blame to Courts as Afghans Endure Winter Famine Intercept

Imperial Collapse Watch

PATRICK LAWRENCE: ‘Primacy or World Order’ Consortium News. I took one of Hoffmann’s courses in 1997.

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

IRS: Selfies Now Optional, Biometric Data to Be Deleted Brian Krebs (BC)


Tim Scott, only Black Senate Republican, hints he could be Trump running mate Guardian. Wait for heads to explode if that comes to pass.

Culture Interlude

Mithridatisation New Left Review (Anthony L). Important.

Take Nobody’s Word for It: A Conversation with Wes Jackson LA Review of Books. Anthony L hopes Amfortas will take note.


Democrats Have Been Souring On Biden Since Last Summer FiveThirtyEight. Resilc: “He always sucked, why is this news?”

DC Mayor Bowser is accused of a ‘huge overreaction’ after she approved 800 National Guard members to be deployed ahead of freedom trucker convoy arriving for Biden’s State of the Union address Daily Mail. Note this is DC and Capitol police requesting the assistance w/in DC. I thought the plan, if there is one, is to choke the roads into and around DC.

Our Famously Free Press

Russia-Ukraine is an Information War, So Government Intelligence Needs More Scrutiny Than Ever CounterPunch (resilc)

Labour party calls for ban on Russian broadcaster RT Guardian (Kevin W). OMG, the insecurity! RT has such small viewer share (<0.8%) that it does not even appear in Statista’s ranking of UK broadcasters.

Once mundane, school-board meetings have become battlegrounds The Economist (Dr. Kevin)

Not mentioned in the Economist article, but fits. Cutting off the speaker before her time was up was a violation (hat tip Kevin W):

The Bezzle

Silicon Valley has learnt little from Elizabeth Holmes Financial Times (David L)

US pension group Calpers hires Canadian as investment chief Financial Times. Nice shout out to NC in last para.

S&P 500 Falls Into Correction Territory as Russian Troops Enter Ukraine Region Wall Street Journal

The Boeing Documentary Lefsetz letter (resilc)

Class Warfare

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus (guurst). My kind of cat:

A second bonus (furzy), “Raptor training”:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. cj

    As opposed to the fox news view promulgated by one of their relatively new propagandists-glenn greenwald-here’s a different and I strongly suspect more accurate take.

    The Occupation of Ottawa is a Far-Right Assault on Labor and Democracy

    Excerpt: Some people believe the occupation of Ottawa is a leftwing, pro-working-class phenomenon, but that’s hardly the view of trade unionists, community organizers, activists and frontline workers here in the city.

    We see, feel, hear, and experience the occupation first-hand, on the ground. That might be why we understand the occupation differently: not as a leftwing phenomenon and democratic expression, but as a far-right movement of racists, evangelicals, union-haters, and conspiracy-minded lunatics, inspired and supported by the likes of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Elon Musk.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      This is straw manning Greenwald. He did not say it was left wing but said it had so many diverse elements, particularly non-Christian white participants like Sikhs (who yes tend to be conservative in Canada but no way no how can be called “white supremacists”) that depicting them as far right was a media creation.

      As for Norton, he’s reacting to press coverage from afar. I don’t regard that as reliable, particularly since the narrative that “vax possport opposing” = anti-vax = far right = fascist has become a new Big Lie. There are plenty of people who are pro vax or only vaccine-cautious or just anti more surveillance (think Edward Snowden aligned) who are also anti-vax possport. That does not make them far right knuckle-draggers. But I see dodgy stereotyping becoming more and more accepted.

      1. Shom

        There is a strong parallel with farmer protests in India circa late-2020 to late 2021 that I don’t see getting picked up much.

        The farmers initially blocked numerous key highways around the capital city (New Delhi) in late 2020. On Jan 26th 2021 (major national holiday), a subset tried to ride their tractors into the capital to be “heard more clearly” as per them, or “disrupt” celebrations as per the ruling party BJP’s propaganda; here’s CNN’s reporting.
        This gave the pro-BJP/Modi media (called Godi media locally, “godi” meaning “in someone’s lap”) a huge stick to try beat the protestors with. Also, incidents similar to what Greenwald points out, of small subsets bringing up other simmering issues like regional independence / autonomy demands were picked up by Godi media and over-amplified as “anti-national”.

        The protestors learnt to be more disciplined and focused, and kept at it through the horrific Delta surge and were able to finally prevail. The protest stayed close to the capital but didn’t overly inconvenience city dwellers, and of course they had massive public support right through.

        All these “trucker’s” revolts in north america seem to be trying to weaponize similar protest techniques (shades of Gene Sharpe’s weaponized “non-violent resistance”), but their demands aren’t able to swing massive public support to their side.

        1. dcblogger

          The farmer’s protests were about horrific economic policies. The convoy’s protests are against vaccine mandates (which do not exist for truckers in Canada, dunno about the US) and mask mandates. The convoy is protesting public health measures, not economic injustice. There is a reason that Canadians refer to them as the FluTrucksKlan.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Are not the material Economic realities not worsening for Canadian Truckers as well?

            FluTrucksKlan? Lol. Yeah. Those truckers are lynching Ottawans left n right! Wake me up when they start Tar n Feathering the Govt!

      2. HJR

        Yves, I’m really not sure who made up the members of the convoy or their backgrounds, but Gowan’s post from a few weeks ago is, in my opinion, closer to what most people in Ottawa who lived through it think.

        I think economics writer Armine Yalnizyan made an excellent point in today’s Toronto Star

        I hope the federal government inquiry that follows the use of the Emergencies Act will provide more detail.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Why are we discussing the makeup of the protest crowd? Protests will always attract malcontents, rabble, and rabble-rousers. They’re like soccer matches: most people are there for the soccer, a few are there to cause trouble.

          As far as I can see, the Ottawa protest was mainly a truckers’ issue. It started shortly after Trudeau decided to bully them with a vaccine-mandate and job loss otherwise, did it not? Those were mostly big rigs parked on its streets, were they not? Then we should be questioning Trudeau’s decision and listening to the truckers’ grievance, not looking for scapegoats.

          To divert attention to the makeup of the crowd is merely an attempt to discredit the protest without addressing the issue.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


            The politicians stick fingers in each other’s ears going LA LA LA LAAAA can’t hear you while ignoring LEGITIMATE Public Grievances.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          She’s monitoring them in her Million $$$ Fridge where all that Dry Powder Ice Cream is stored!

  2. jackiebass63

    You experienced exactly what happens with pickles.Even if they are sealed they tend to get softer with age.They will still be safe to eat. Once open ,if refrigerated they have a long shelf life. Over time the quality deteriorates. If mold appears it is time to throw them out.

    1. samhill

      Pickle story related: when I moved to Italy I cleaned out the ‘cantina’ and found a demijohn of wine from when my uncle died 10 years earlier, it was the last demijohn of that season’s home brew. Uncle was a good man, brave partisan in WW2, an honest, jovial, helpful man his whole life. Reinforced my atheist belief, if God was just he could have let him finish that last damn demijohn.

      1. jr

        Maybe God wanted you to find it, so as to launch a quest of personal exploration of It’s mysteries. One of those mysteries being atheism, of course.

        1. samhill

          Like the pickles getting flaccid it was long soured, didn’t even bother checking, 11-12% home brew doesn’t age one bit. Maybe that’s why uncle made six demijohns for the year but always ran out by the end of summer, get it while it’s good. BTW a demijohn’s 54L that’s ~ liter a day, granted my aunt helped, plus the the Sunday family meals, but most of it was him. As he noted water causes rust, he never even brushed his teeth with the stuff, he put those in a glass.

          1. jr

            But just the act of finding the bottle is itself the message! Every experience is, with the proper framing. I think this realization is why I suddenly like photography, taking a “message” from the background flow of experiential reality.

        2. urdsama

          Why is being an atheist a mystery? Or something that needs “god” to prompt a personal exploration into?

      2. truly

        add one grape leaf to each jar of pickles made to keep them more crisp.
        Tried it last summer on a friends recommendation. Never had such crisp pickles!

    2. lyman alpha blob

      When my grandfather passed away several years ago and there were a bunch of jars of pickled beets, etc that my grandmother had canned in his basement. When I asked my uncle who was around 70 at the time how long they’d been there, he said the same jars had been there since he was a little kid. I don’t think anybody tried them out, but they still looked pretty fresh after 60+ years.

      Wish I could say the same for my own efforts. I opened up some pickled peppers I made last fall and they had turned to mush…

  3. griffen

    Run, Hank, run until you can not run further. They are out to get you. They will surely send you away, either to a sanctuary or to the heavens to rest eternally.

    1. Wukchumni

      It’s not uncommon for a black bear to do a bluff charge, where they are about 50 feet away and if you didn’t know better being a cop and used to 2 legs bad, you’d think it was coming right at you, although they always stop well before getting to you.

      Gives a whole new meaning to ‘death by cop’


      Why would you have the police involved anyhow?

      1. Oh

        ’cause the cops are soooo brave when they have a gun and can shoot unarmed people of color without provocation. That’s why.

  4. The Rev Kev

    Re the U. S. Embassy Kyiv post – who are actually stationed in Poland right now. In comparing Ukrainian churches and comparing images of what was in Moscow at the same time period, I do believe that they made a mistake. That last image marked ‘Moscow 1108’ is actually an image of ‘Jamestown, Virginia 1606’.

    1. russell1200

      There was a huge takedown of that posting by the The Scholar’s Stage

      The meme is idiotic at even the surface level: in face of Russian claims that Ukraine is a 20th century political fiction artificially dividing the Russian people into national categories that would not have made sense to any European who lived before Lenin, … the American embassy tweets a meme that highlights Kiev’s role as the origin point of Russian civilization.

      1. Soredemos

        I’m not sure that really is the Russian claim The Russian claim is that everyone is ‘Russia’ eg, the modern Russian state. Which is as nonsensical as Ukrainians claiming to be the ‘real Russia’.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Or alternatively, that it makes about as much sense? The word Russian has evolved in common meaning over time (to be attached to just one of what was considered “Russian”=”East Slavic” ethnicities historically), but is used in different meanings for political ends. I do not mind Ukrainians claiming to be the real Russians. That, in a sense, is accurate. They certainly have a decent claim, though perhaps we have an even better one by virtue of holding Novgorod. Or alternatively, we are all real Russians of different Russian ethnicities and Russian national allegiances.

          1. Polar Socialist

            I’m old enough to be familiar with Russians being divided into Big Russians, Little Russians and White Russians – or Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians respectively.

              1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

                My first Daiquiri was White Russian. To this day my favorite ever. I’ve been sober 8 years but have fond fond memories of those!

    2. Larry Carlson

      The implied argument here perplexes me. Should Iraq and Egypt be considered superior to the rest of the world?

    3. Andrew Watts

      It looks like the Pacific Northwest based upon the trees and foliage.

      Too lazy to reverse-image search to see if I’m right.

    4. JCC

      Silly and immature at best. And shows a great deal of historical ignorance (Kiev was the center of what was Russia at that time and Moscow had yet to be built)

      I wonder why they didn’t post the same sort of meme in 2003. juxtaposing the Washington, D.C. area against Baghdad? :-)

      1. Soredemos

        There was no ‘Russia’ at the time. There were various Slavic princes and other lords, and their subjects. Nationalities didn’t exist. Both the modern Russians and the Ukrainians are equally wrong on this. They’re arguing gibberish.

  5. Pat

    Admittedly I am pulling this out of my nether regions, but I think the Democratic brain trust is going to find that not only is Russia far better at gauging what the opponent will do and how little effect it will have on them but also at understanding what their opponent’s peoples will and will not meaningfully support than they are.

    Despite the relentless fear mongering and essential cheerleading being done for our country’s big footing it in Ukraine, the public is largely undeterred from focusing on food and gas prices and not being at all interested in shared sacrifice for a country many cannot find on a map. This may be making the Beltway’s hawks happy, but is a dud elsewhere. Biden and the Democrats are not going to resurrect positive public opinion with this.

    My bet, the look at the monkey tactics will not distract from their utter disinterest and inability of the politicians in power to make life better for most Americans. And even if midterms aren’t a blood bath, they will have set up for a Republican President with a majority in both Houses of Congress, possibly significant ones.

    Sadly that isn’t going to work either, but throw them out is the only mainstream action the public has.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Charlamagne tha God is probably at fault. He asked who the real president was. Biden is desperate to shake that. Like 41, he’s worried about the wimp moniker. Biden knows he’s a wimp. He’s terrified Manchin won’t invite him to golf or onto his yacht.

      Biden has essentially led a charmed life. And we are past the time, but why wasn’t he drafted? Not that individuals should not have tried to get out, but I bet he knows he missed Vietnam and now plays commander in chief.

      1. Patrick Donnelly

        I’m perplexed.

        Google seems to have many pictures of Joseph Biden, some in black and white. His right earlobe seems to have suddenly grown, to attach itself to his face.
        Some say this was a result of surgery.

      2. Tim

        Is it possible that so Ukrainian government has something on the Bidens and is blackmailing Biden with it? Could this explain what appears to be unexplained? Have not seen anything about this one way or the other. Have I missed something?

  6. Icecube12

    So I said a couple days ago that Iceland was preparing to get rid of all pandemic measures in spite of the exploding cases and the fact that the number of deaths has doubled since November. And yep, today they announced no more mandatory 5 day isolation for the infected and no more PCR tests for those with symptoms (which used to come back in hours and now take days just like in the US, but it is still too much work). Now we can only take the fast antibody tests that I keep hearing don’t work well. The government is still meeting so not sure if they have said anything about masks yet.

    The minister of health said today that since cases are exploding the measures didn’t seem to be doing much anyway, so why not get rid of them. What a doofus. As my husband said, they opened stuff up right before Christmas right when we started to see omicron, after the restaurants complained about gathering bans and pub closings, then they kept relaxing measures even though cases were just holding steady and not going down, and then now they say, well it is really too much for the measures to help. Without mandatory isolation and PCR tests even fewer people will test so we probably won’t e even have very good data anymore. But I guess now the infected hospital workers can be more pressured into going to work. Oh and get this, yesterday they said that the big worry with getting rid of covid measures is for the hospital, but the hospital has been under pressure, with tons of infected staff and major staff shortages, and has been figuring ways to deal with it. So they can deal with it, was the implication.

    They really just want for us all to get it and for everyone who could die from it to die. As for long covid, either they don’t think of it or they just say they will deal with it later, which is a very Icelandic way of thinking.

    I really can’t put into words the contempt I feel for them all. In America and mainland Europe, the spread may feel more inevitable, like an act of god. Here it was controlled for a long time, and it is very easy to see the decisions made that led to this.

    1. R

      if you want to track an alternate reality follow New Zealand where they have basically done everything they can to keep it out – but even now are on the Omicron spike.

      They will always have better numbers than everyone else based on having shut covid out at the border until the population was 95% vaccinated.

      but will they fare any better in the post vaccination, omicron world, than countries with looser restrictions? Maybe, or maybe not, and even people inside the country are beginning to suspect the measures to manage Omicron are just dragging it out if anything.

      1. Basil Pesto

        if you want to track an alternate reality follow New Zealand where they have basically done everything they can to keep it out

        They absolutely have not

        1. R

          I’ve been through their quarantine and i would say that it was pretty well run with a high level of caution.

          (to my frustration as i got locked out in year two) most the decisions around management of quarantine were to reduce risk of leakage even as problems mounted up with people needing to cross the border, and that system was never loosened – the first relaxation will come at the end of the month when citizens from australia are allowed to return with home isolation.

          regardless of that both delta and omicron got out. perhaps there has been some loosening of restrictions under omicron but it’s also accepted that things like lockdowns were losing effectiveness because a significant number of people stopped complying.

          short of deploying state resources on a china like scale – and attempting to implement controls that i doubt the population would accept – i really don’t know what more they could have done.

          it’s true though that there were back doors for the executive class to skip quarantine and home isolate- either by suing their way in, or via a dubious ‘pilot program’ for home isolation. but as far as i know there’s no sense that any cases came from this.

          1. ChrisPacific

            The biggest problem in NZ has been that a big proportion of the public no longer wants to keep it out. Tourism and hospitality businesses have been howling for some time, nobody likes lockdowns or closed borders, and of course there has been the incessant drumbeat of propaganda from the US, UK and (more recently) Australia. MIQ, which as you noted was a great weapon in our arsenal, is widely hated now and its imminent end is likely to be celebrated. (Some of us will mourn it instead, but the other crowd are much louder, and appear more numerous).

            I agree there may not have been much else we could have done under the prevailing circumstances, but given a different global response in which we were celebrated as a success rather than scorned as a pariah, I think it could well have turned out quite differently.

    2. Samuel Conner

      > everyone who could die from it to die

      with accumulating long COVID sequelae from multiple reinfections, everyone may eventually be a candidate to die from this.

      I suppose it will, in future, make it easier to fill out the ’cause of death’ field in the paperwork.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      Why are governments removing public health measures for Covid? It’s just business risk and continuity planning as advised by risk and continuity consultants.
      To move the risk from businesses, and move the risk to us as individuals. Efforts to stop the virus cause avoidable loss of trading and fewer customers.
      So if businesses are open and staff and customers can pretend Covid is over, then they will spend and work as before.
      If every week, say 1 in 1000 of the staff or customers die, then it doesn’t matter because they were working and spending until just before their death. And businesses still have 999 staff and customers working and spending, and the 1 can be replaced. 4 a month? That’s less than normal turnover in pre-Covid days.
      And if 2 in 1000 become very sick every month and can’t work, well ditto.
      What about the retired who are more at risk of dying? They are not productive units. They consume a lot less. So they can die at higher rates and it doesn’t affect business. Ignore them.
      This strategy will work until the number of staff or customers drops below some sort of pain point, such as not being able to find replacement staff (risk of work not being done, risk of having to provide more pay)
      But right now it doesn’t matter because the time frame for this thinking is what? This week’s takings? This week’s output? Balance sheet this month? Next month’s election?

    4. Lambert Strether

      > Here it was controlled for a long time, and it is very easy to see the decisions made that led to this.

      Iceland would be an interesting and clean natural experiment. Do you know if there is a timeline of government decisions anywhere? Thanks!

  7. Pat

    Is that the intended tweet “from a few days back, but still germane” in the Covid section? I like that Craig Murray tweet but am pretty sure it was not meant to be used there.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, it is still relevant. I looked down the page and I saw a reply to it from Jeremy Corbyn. What was his idea?

      ‘The Russian forces that have entered Eastern Ukraine should immediately withdraw.

      The UK government should encourage a return to the Minsk-2 agreement to end the crisis and oppose further eastward NATO expansion.

      Diplomacy must resume.’

      Clueless. Utterly clueless. It would have been a good idea this after the 2015 Battle of Debaltseve when the second Ukrainian invasion was crushed but not on the eve of a third Ukrainian invasion for 2022.

      1. johnherbiehancock

        our media doesn’t point out enough – or at all – that fighting has been going on there since 2015, and the Maidan protests that created this issue were late 2014.

        Memory of goldfish, as Lambert says.

        I think about this now, b/c I have family members that ask me what I think is going to happen, if there is going to be a war or not, and are always surprised when I point out that both sides have had troops there for closer to a decade. they really have accepted the framing that Eastern Ukraine was a peaceful place until Russia suddenly massed 100,000 troops on the border to invade, 4 months ago. (any day now…)

        1. Lambert Strether

          > Memory of goldfish, as Lambert says.

          I believe I should not say this; goldfish do in fact have memories. But it’s such a vivid phrase, and one pictures the poor goldfish, circling embubbled in its impermeable glass bowl….

      2. Pat

        It is absolutely germane in the COLD WAR section, but since it is in links twice I want to know why it is also in the COVID section. I’m pretty sure that is a mistake and would love to know what is germane there.

        1. Lambert Strether

          I said recently elsewhere, which I’m to lazy to find, that the JavaScript code Twitter uses to copy the embed code which we paste into our posts has a demon. I’ve had too many problems with it to believe I simply forgot to copy or have too light a touch….

    2. pjay

      Re the Murray quote on Donbass vs. Kosovo: there is one obvious difference. Russia is not bombing the s**t out of Ukraine.. at least not yet. Of course I’m not a “journalist”; if I were that thought would never occur to me.

  8. jsn

    US Embassy Kiev Tweet

    If the bottom line of images was titled “D. C.”, the picture in each would be a swamp.

    1. griffen

      Or instead as an alternative to suggest would be pigs at the trough? We could play this out a dozen ways from Sunday.

  9. BeliTsari

    TNR: Feeding kids to Omicron

    Using “the help’s” defenseless kids as Delta vectors, to set yet off another FIRE & PhARMA feeding frenzy (it being serendipitously mucosal, kids’ girormous viral loads, silenced by all media) must’ve seemed fortuitous. With dear ol’ Joe on the TV, lecturing how little kids & vaccinated libruls were IMMUNE and only BAD Bubbas would DIE. Funny, He’d unmasked workers, returning to crammed workplaces; then kids in cafeterias, restrooms, choir practice… just in time for Omicron. Sheltered, insured, well-nourished PMC, watching NASDAQ portfolios swoon have every incentive to force us into the endemic maelstrom? Subtlety in sacrificing us uppity essentials isn’t on their short list of Brunch, Happy Hour & forking us lemmings to the ravenous sharks, circling below?

  10. The Rev Kev

    “The FDA needs to reevaluate laser-based ‘vaginal rejuvenation’”

    People don’t realize it but laser-based ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ was one of the technological spin-offs from President Ronald Reagan’s 1980s Star Wars program.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


      Tbh as I grow older I find all Vaginas to be special and unique and hate that any cosmetic surgery be done to them!

  11. antidlc

    Is it just me, but after reading Kashif Pirzada’s twitter thread and subthreads, does anyone else have an overwhelming sense of doom?

    1. AndrewJ

      I get the feeling that our twin problems of global overpopulation and an incurious, ignorant, tribal, propagandized American citizenry (I won’t speak to the mental state of places I’ve never been, but I think less and less of the people that call themselves Americans every day) are going to sort themselves out rather quickly, via covid-induced brain decay.

      1. steve

        Suffering from a little covid-induced brain decay myself I can see where this might be a net improvement.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “The Ottawa truck convoy has revealed the ugly side of freedom”

    For a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and former Chief Justice, I don’t think that she gets it. Freedom is messy. Freedom is inconvenient. Freedom can be exasperating. Freedom means having to hear from people that normally you would normally ignore or sideline. Normally I watch the latest videos from Paul Joseph Watson. Do I agree with his ideas? Hell, no. But I want to know what uber conservatives thoughts like his are. But then she goes on to say that ‘these rights and freedoms, precious as they are, are not absolute. Governments, it proclaims, can limit freedoms, provided the limits are “reasonable” and can be “justified in a free and democratic society.” ‘ That is not a right. That is not a right at all. That is a ‘privilege’ granted by a government and I recognize this line of thought from studying early colonial Australia. And American colonists from the 1770 s could also tell you how that worked out in practice. But in Beverley McLachlin’s world, it is up to the government to decide what freedoms that you can and can’t have. And then depending on that government not to decide to go into Punisher mode and remove people’s ability to buy food and to pay bills. Yeah, that didn’t work out so well that. Freedom as a Privilege? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

    1. jsn

      This is precisely the “abuse” of positive liberty Isaiah Berlin warned about.

      It’s Calhoun’s idea of freedom, the freedom of the powerful to control the less powerful.

      We’ll all be free to do as we’re told by our betters.

    2. Mildred Montana

      McLachlin should read (or re-read if she’s forgotten) her Jefferson. A hoary quote from him but I think it bears repeating in these times:

      “A nation that is willing to sacrifice a little liberty for a little order deserves neither and will lose both.”

      1. Bun

        MacLachlin is Canadian, Jefferson American, and the different viewpoints is one of the key takeaways from the article.

    3. HJR

      You don’t understand Canada’s Charter, or the process to limit rights that she was referring to. The government doesn’t get the final word. The Canadian courts do. And most of us are just fine with that.

      From Wiki:

      Section 1 of the Charter, known as the limitations clause, allows governments to justify certain infringements of Charter rights. If a court finds that a Charter right has been infringed, it conducts an analysis under section 1 by applying the Oakes test, a form of proportionality review. Infringements are upheld if the government’s objective in infringing the right is “pressing and substantial” in a “free and democratic society”, and if the infringement can be “demonstrably justified”.[2] The Supreme Court of Canada has applied the Oakes test to uphold laws against hate speech (e.g., in R v Keegstra) and obscenity (e.g., in R v Butler).

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘The government doesn’t get the final word. The Canadian courts do.’

        And how, as a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and former Chief Justice, is she representative of Canadian Courts? Take a look at the US Supreme Court. They are supposed to be the ultimate guarantors of justice but it has been obvious for a long time that they have become corporate enablers. But getting back to Canadian Courts, what are the checks and balances that they are impartial in their judgements?

    4. edwin

      I think that the correct description would be privileges granted from the Queen. We have had some changes along the road since then. Similarly with the POG clause (peace order and good government). While perhaps not intended, contrast with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These still are very much is a part of our legacy for better or worse. There has always been a tension between the freedoms of our southern neighbour, and the lack of freedoms of our southern neighbour, and our own lack of freedoms, and now – I don’t know – quiet freedoms. Perhaps slavery is an excellent place to see part of this in action. The British 1833 act banning slavery had very limited impact in the British Canadian colonies as we had already been hacking away at slavery – killing it with a thousand cuts.

      Americans continually react in horror at what Freedom means in Canada. I get it, but am continually drawn back to what freedom means in the US, and I find that this freedom is different, but also highly oppressive. The freedom of money. The freedom of power. This doesn’t mean that you are wrong, but rather the choices we have are not what you hint that they are. From the very beginning of the US, freedom has not been with the revolution if you were black or native. Canada exists as a country because the native population was willing to die to not be American. British colonists were far more ambivalent. (And we Canadians – well British to be technical about it – punished the native Canadians severely for it. )

      Just to further clarify your comment on the freedoms of the American colonists, they were just the first to suggest showing freedom to the northern colonies at the point of a gun.

      Today, I think that the Human rights act is the document which defines freedom and its limits in Canada. It can be found here:

      The organization, outside the government, that is tasked with monitoring is the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

      There are two sections that are interesting. The first is an answer to what are human rights. I think that for left-Americans it would cover what was expected. The second, though may not be expected.

      It is Human Rights in Canada.

      …”The first two articles are about equality and freedom from discrimination, the foundation of the Canadian Human Rights Act.”

      Whether we like it our not, the Freedom of the convoy protesters is not the freedom that is central to a Canadian understanding of the word.

      It is interesting to see what they say about the convoy in particular:

      February 8, 2020 Nobody is free if we let hate go unchallenged

      The Canadian Human Rights Commission has been watching the events of the past weeks unfold across the country with grave concern. Aggression, intimidation and assault are not part of peaceful protest.

      Brazenly displaying symbols of hatred and white supremacy is a threat to our democracy and our peace and prosperity. Dismissing or downplaying white supremacist rhetoric or hate in any form is reprehensible.

      Hate has no place in a free and democratic society. Hate is dangerous. Hate shuts down debate. Hate dehumanizes people and promotes fear and division. Hate has devastating consequences.

      The hate-fueled aggression levelled at citizens, on the streets, in their neighbourhoods, on their doorstep and online runs counter to our values and our laws.

      Nobody should fear for their safety because of who they are, who they love or what they believe.

      We stand with everyone who feels unsafe or who is struggling with grief, anger and anxiety as a result of experiencing hate in their communities.

      In Canada, just as in any other country in the world, our rights are at risk when we are complacent.

      We all have a responsibility to shut down hate and to call out those who support it. We must come together to denounce the unacceptable behaviour.

      Nobody is free if we let hate go unchallenged. We must raise our voices and silence the voices of hate.


      It is also interesting to see what they say about the emergencies act. I believe there is something, unfortunately, I can’t find it which is a statement in itself. I can think of no more important of a place for a statement on the emergencies act to be.

      The freedom of the US, while sounding good in theory seems to have morphed into some form of serfdom in practice and a sick joke – be careful or we will bring democracy to your country. We can hope for something better from both countries.

    5. Maritimer

      Beverly, are you concerned about the 22 murders which occurred in Nova Scotia? That is 22 murders involving a person who may have been an RCMP informant/agent. Government Commission coverup now in progress. I guess only what happens in sacrosanct, wealthy, cushy Ottawa is a concern for you.

      The above is only one example of the disconnect of Canada’s ruling class many of whom are rentals for Globalist interests. People way out of touch and can’t even be disturbed by 22 murders of their subjects.

      I guess we can at least all agree that Freedom doesn’t matter once you’ve been murdered. No need for judicial blathering.

  13. CuriosityConcern

    As someone who is prone to typos, I noticed Craig Murray tweet appears in COVID-19 section as well as in the Cold War section, intended?

  14. lance ringquist

    if the dim wits that have TDS would have spent their time understanding the policies that created trump, and spoke against those polices and named names, perhaps one would feel sorry for the dopes.

    Whatever became of the anti-Trump prophets?

    “Perhaps one of the most interesting, if not frustrating parts of the rise of Trump is the inability to get Democrats to accept the idea that the economic policies of Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama set the stage for a man like Trump. I think that among the Clinton Liberals, the madness has reached the stage the Tea Party reached with its “Birther” conspiracies around Obama.”

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Not surprising at all, and maybe a feature, not a bug. It’s a lot easier to point and yell RACIST at the deplorables than it is to do any self-reflection and admit your political party failed. The added benefit is, it circles the wagons for the tribal identity and gives people cover to keep voting blue, no matter who.

  15. Wukchumni

    Woke up this morning to a winter wonderland where an overnight blizzard dumped nearly an inch worth of snow covering everything, which represents pretty much the entire total of rainfall for what would normally be our most productive months of precipitation: January & February. The higher climes no doubt got more, probably 4-5 inches which represents less than 1/2 an inch of rain, as in bupkis.

    I’d like to put in a request for a Miracle March, but the idea that the 3rd month is commonly referred to by that modifier in Cali, gives you an idea of how bleak the prospects are for precipitation, meaning our drought is ongoing despite unusually large storms in October & December.

  16. Mark Gisleson

    Not just Tim Scott, former NBA player Royce White has announced he’s running for Congress as a Republican to challenge Ilhan Omar this fall.

    His website is pretty much cookie cutter except for the front page picture of him with “United States of the Federal Reserve” magic markered onto his shaved head. He proudly includes a clip of his interview with Alex Jones. Etc.

    What’s interesting is that White is 100% Minnesota born ADOS. Omar is Somali American. As you might guess, there is very little pan-African solidarity among African immigrants in Minnesota.

    The Democrats have given ADOS very little back in recent years, and a split between ADOS and African immigrants would wreak havoc on the Democratic coalition, not to mention identitarian GOTV strategies.

    1. griffen

      Regarding to Royce White, I thought the name sounded familiar. White was an excellent player in college, starring for one season at Iowa State. Prior to entering the draft, he made it known that an aversion to flying may curtail his eventual prospects but was still drafted by the Houston Rockets.

      His aversion to flights, and mental health concerns, basically made him a prodigal in the NBA without a home. He played sparingly in overseas leagues, insisting that he would eventually come back to play for an NBA team. Somewhat a cautionary tale, at least in terms striving for that big time professional career. Most rookies have to report and do the team’s bidding.

    2. mistah charley, ph.d.

      I had to look up ADOS – American Descendants of Slavery – and maybe I’m not the only one.

    3. Stephanie

      Do you honestly see any chance at all of a Republican winning the 5th district though, even a Republican of color?

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Depends on what shape the country is in. At this moment in history, Biden seems determined to lose Congress by a huge margin. By November rank and file Democrats might be severely disillusioned, especially if the Durham Report gets any media play and makes it hard for the DSCC/DCCC to run their usual negative ads.

        The worst scenario for Omar would be if the Star Tribune’s usually inept conservative columnists managed to raise some issues damaging to her. Most of her weaknesses are White’s strengths. As a refugee her local roots are limited whereas he’s a hometown athletic hero. The immigrant vote in Minneapolis is sizeable but far from unified. If wedges can be driven between ADOS and immigrants, Republicans benefit. If wedges can be driven between immigrant groups (Liberian Christians, Somali Muslims, Karen Christians and the increasingly diverse Hmong), Republicans benefit.

        It’s unlikely Omar loses, but it’s possible she and the DFL’s coalition could come away from this election heavily damaged. If White wins, expect a lot of candidates to shave their heads for use as billboard space.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Depends if he sticks to Economic Populism Speeches and doesn’t get mired in Identity Politics mudslinging.

  17. Carolinian

    Helmer is promoting one of my favorite movies–Henry V–and one that was produced during another moment of patriotic danger. Agincourt was recreated in Ireland and Shakespeare’s play becomes an unabashed call to arms delivered on horseback no less (why didn’t Lincoln or Churchill think of that?). Olivier wasn’t always great but here he most certainly was.

  18. anon y'mouse

    my grandmother visited her father about 7-8 years after her own mother’s death to show off her grandchildren, whom he had not met yet.

    she said the back storeroom was full of wonderful pickles that still tasted as fresh as when her mother had jarred them with various things from their kitchen gardens.

    it might have been one of the better memories she had of the lady, as she told me that they didn’t get along all that well. most vividly, she was switched by branches for acting up in church when they were speaking in tongues, which frightened Grams as a child.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Why Is This Group of Doctors So Intent on Unmasking Kids?”

    Where did these doctors get their medical licences from? A box of corn flakes? Well there are doctors like IM Doc. And then there are other sort. Just the other day I read about another act by doctors in the US decades ago. There were identical triplets born. So they were ‘intentionally separated and placed with families having different parenting styles and economic levels – one blue-collar, one middle-class, and one affluent – as an experiment on human subjects’. As I said, there are doctors, and then there are doctors-

  20. Eric

    RE Boeing documentary

    How do you remove metal filings from the wiring?

    A question for the ages. 

    My wife and I watched this last night. I learned nothing new about the story, but it was really well done. The part that resonated for me was the corporate culture issue. 

    What to watch for:

    There is no such thing as a merger, one company takes over the other. And the dominant company “culture” has contempt for the other. Afterall, they were submissive. The result is predictable, and often destroys the efficacy of the resulting company. The pressure will always be to do more with less. The cash is tight as the investment bankers and senior execs extract huge amounts of cash to “manage” the merger. The company is explicitly financialized, nothing matters but the bottom line, as the execs have no knowledge or interest in what the company actually does. Basically, the company is in the cash cow stage and every thing is pumped out that can be. Stakeholders be dammed. The great pretense is that the company will be better and stronger for the merger. The reality is it becomes a carcass, and a really nasty place to work.

    1. PHLDenizen

      I watched it and thought it was fairly well done. I did have a couple of grievances:

      1) It didn’t discuss regulatory capture of the FAA in sufficient detail. The problem wasn’t just Boeing.

      2) It omitted Mark Forkner, other than a few flashes of his comments to others.

      3) It failed to dig into how the lack of unionization specifically contributed to building garbage. The move to SC was a clear attempt to avoid a unionized workforce. It was a missed opportunity to emphasize how collective bargaining gives voice to those on the line who run into problems.

      4) It omitted vendors like Rockwell Collins who built MCAS. Rockwell argues that it built to Boeing’s specs, but Rockwell has enough experience with avionics to have at least had a clue that this was a terrible idea. Not discussing how sprawling supply chains create deadly diffusions of responsibility was also a narrative weakness. Outsourcing critical components makes it impossible for Boeing to maintain an adequate level of control over safety systems.

  21. Watt4Bob

    I’ve been thinking lately about what I believe is a very real fact, that all these protests by right leaning business owners are rooted in the fact that they feel aggrieved by the empty promises made by our government since at least Ronald Reagan, that all would go well for those who worked hard and played by free market rules.

    The problem as I see it, is that the rules of the game assumed that the ‘natural’ operations of the free market would guarantee low-cost workers, truck drivers for example, who would provide the labor necessary for the success of small time business owners.

    These promises and the assumptions they are built on are all illusory.

    What we’re seeing in what’s been called the great resignation, is the logical result of the imposition of austerity on the working class.

    People won’t work for nothing, and you can’t squeeze blood from a rock.

    Workers refusing to work sh*t jobs is threatening to put an end to the dreams of small business owners, and those ‘owners’ now feel betrayed by the government that they thought had promised support in return for their loyalty.

    Now you might say that any business that relies on paying poverty wages has no business existing, and you would be correct, but then you didn’t buy Saint Ronald’s promises, and you didn’t enjoy a couple of decades of profit by squeezing your employees with help from the neoliberal dream factory.

    It’s taken a little while, but the empty promises of the ‘Ownership Society’ have now become clear.

    What hasn’t yet become clear to the would-be owners is that their expectation that government could provide endless cheap labor was, and is groundless, and maybe more importantly, heartless.

    That evident heartlessness is what prevents our feeling any empathy for those who bet the farm on the whole ‘ownership‘ thing, and lost.

    That’s too bad considering their collective economic failure is going to be bad for everyone, and because our collective ability to empathize is going to be so important to any effort to recover from the damage done by the neoliberal break-out.

    It’s also too bad that massive failures of small businesses will likely result not in soul searching, but in long lasting resentment, and grudges.

    1. Wukchumni

      The oft repeated claim is that price fixes everything, could the great resignation be reversed with a $25 an hour wage, seeing as $15 is already the de facto minimum wage, because hamburger markets, er McDonalds?

      Of course, this would require raising retail prices to compensate for the extra 2/3rd’s over prevailing hourly rates.

      It’s a damned if you do-damned if you don’t, deal.

      1. CanCyn

        I guess that’s true (raising prices) if you’re talking small businesses but large businesses and publicly traded companies have other ways of making up the profit loss from higher wages. Lower executive compensation (I don’t think I need to provide links to say that executive compensation in comparison to labour wages is through the roof). Shareholders do not need to be compensated first and foremost. I’ve told these stories here before …. in the 1970s my sister took a gap year because she got a full time job at the grocery store where she’d worked in high school. Union wages, benefits and a pension plan. And yet, my father, the construction worker whose wife did not work could afford to shop at the store where my sister worked. I worked full time in a drug store for quite a large gap of years between high school and university. My wage in the early 80s is equivalent to @$22/hr today. Those of us over 50 yrs of age know that it doesn’t have to be this way.
        And it isn’t everywhere. I have a friend whose brother works for a small computer software development company <50 employees. They lost some work early in the pandemic but the owner laid no one off. He lowered his own salary and a sliding scale of higher to lower paid folks got a little less (lowest paid lost nothing) and kept everyone working doing backlog, updating, upgrading, all that 'someday' stuff most businesses have. They are all back up to full pay now. Guy reasoned that it made no sense to lay people off, lose them as employees and have to train new people when things got going again. I don't know if he would have been eligible for any of the Canadian government's COVID relief funds. The point is, thinking of his employees was good for his business.

        1. Wukchumni

          McDonald’s has been instructive as far as wage tiers go for ‘lower executive’ types.

          The help wanted signs here read:

          $15 an hour for counter work
          $16 an hour for cooks
          $17 an hour for managers

      2. Watt4Bob

        Of course, this would require raising retail prices to compensate for the extra 2/3rd’s over prevailing hourly rates.

        And this ‘requirement‘ to raise prices is enforced how?

        It seems to me that the most pernicious example of a personal attitude of entitlement is that held by employers who feel entitled to the level of profit associated with wage slavery.

        And this has many of the features of addiction, having gradually taken root over the last 40-50 years.

        When will it be ‘required‘ that business owners have a realistic expectation of the sort of return they can expect from their chosen enterprise?

        My boss has only one absolute rule as concerns business expense, it is ruthlessly enforced by our parent organization;

        Personnel will not exceed a fixed % of operating costs, and if it does, heads will roll.

        “If you can’t figure out who to fire, we will send someone who will.”

        There are seemingly infinite funds available for outside vendors, many of them cronies, that go completely unquestioned, but increasing pay for employees is a broad red line.

        What we’re talking about is ideology, a sort of vicious hatred of the working class, wrapped in, and disguised by a sort of religious fervor.

        1. Wukchumni

          In this sort of inflationary imbroglio, you either raise prices to keep up or you go out of business.

          Ideology is best left to those who believe in deities, not employees.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        Or maybe business owners could just accept that owning a business does not make them some kind of genius with an inherent right to become a billionaire.

        There’s no natural law that says increased wages must result in increased prices, as much as economists with physics envy might wish it were so. Accepting smaller profits is also a solution, even if it does cost some of the wealthy a yacht or extra home.

        And the above comes with assuming that capitalism is a thing. It doesn’t have to be either.

    2. Pate

      I think you’re on to something here.

      Saint Ronald did tell some Whoppers.

      “Free markets” aren’t free (because “bigness” aka “monopoly”).

      Tax cuts for the wealthiest don’t trickle down (his VP labeled it “voodoo”).

      These Whoppers are like Yves’ pickles – they have amazing shelf life.

      Speaking of mushy pickles, Williams Company stock is up 3% today after CEO Alan Armstrong appeared on CNBC yesterday immediately after Uncle Joe’s sanctions speech to tout the need for the funding of new LNG export infrastructure that he claimed would lower fuel cost here at home. That’s a mushy-pickled Whopper if ever there was one.

    3. LifelongLib

      The small business owners I’ve talked to don’t strike me as heartless exploiters of the working class. They’re mostly of working class backgrounds themselves and have generally worked those sorts of jobs. But they’re very bottom line oriented. I had one contractor say to me that if he bid projects the way he should, with good quality materials and people who knew what they were doing, he’d never win a bid because somebody would always undercut him. At minimum solutions to this have to be industry-wide — labor unions that can force all employers to pay good wages etc. and customers who are able/willing to pay more for quality work.

    4. Bazarov

      What the small business tyrants fail to understand is that capitalist society does not run for the benefit of “business”–it runs for the benefit of a particular class, and they ain’t part of it.

      When you understand this, the behavior of the ruling “ownership” elites–the people who really dominate the means of production for the whole society; e.g. massive firms–makes much more sense.

      For example, many are often bewildered by elite resistance to universal healthcare, as this would take ballooning healthcare costs off of the ledgers of their private businesses. However from a class perspective their opposition makes perfect sense in that universal healthcare would give the ruling elites less control over the lower classes they *must* discipline (otherwise they’d have an uprising on their hands). The more the lower classes are dependent on the elite class for survival, the more they’re functionally enserfed. Hence, elite concerns pay up to prevent such manumission.

      If the elite class can trade profitability for power and security, they usually will. This means that they’ll act to degrade general conditions for prosperity that small businesses especially depend on. These conditions include a healthy, confident, reproductive population with the willingness and means to consume at the local level. Such a population, from the elite perspective, is a liability. A vigorous population is, after all, apt to assert itself and may even developed the consciousness necessary to do so *as a class*. This is the stuff of bourgeois nightmares!

    5. Lambert Strether

      > It’s taken a little while, but the empty promises of the ‘Ownership Society’ have now become clear.

      Despite the attempts of the crypto bros to reconstitute the ownership digitally, with web3, NFTs, etc.

  22. curlydan

    With regard to corporations and pricing, I’ve done a lot of price elasticity studies in my career. Here’s what I’ve found: most goods are price inelastic. In other words, if a corporation raises price on a product by 5%, the resulting quantity reduction from that price increase is less than 5%, so the corporation makes money by rising prices–at least in the short-term.

    I think most corporations know and will take advantage of this. It does become something a self-fulfilling prophecy. A CEO looks around and says, “Everyone is raising price, so I must follow.”

    In the long-term though, inflation finally could get out of hand, a recession results, and then finally the quantity sold starts falling enough, so that the corporation starts losing revenue, lays off workers, …

  23. antidlc

    Hey, Lambert!

    An article on Rosenthal, of Corsi-Rosenthal fame. There is even a video of how to build a box.

    February 22, 2022 5:15 AM
    This Fort Worth inventor created a DIY air filter that traps coronavirus particles

    Rosenthal, 73, began thinking about how to make indoor air safer in summer of 2020, as scientific consensus emerged that the coronavirus could spread via the air. Eventually, he put the basic principles and research that have backed decades of air quality research into action, and built a cube that relies on high-quality air filters and air flow to trap tiny particles of virus and other pathogens, thereby reducing the virus in an enclosed space.

  24. Andrew Watts

    RE: Putin recognizes Donbas republics: what comes next?

    I don’t jive with Doctorow’s analysis. His predictions are merely prior events that were already under serious consideration since 2015, like the recognition of the Donbass regional governments as independent states, or has already happened like the deployment of Russian ships off America’s coastal waters. A Russian surface fleet was spotted 30 miles away from Hawaii back in January.

    It apparently spooked Washington enough that they scrambled a carrier strike group even though the Russians were in international waters. Somebody messed up, because the Russian fleet was expected to be drilling their forces hundreds of miles away from Hawaii in the Kuril islands. Prior to this incident they sent a spy ship to monitor the American missile base at Barking Sands.

    I think it’d be a dire mistake not to take Putin’s speech at face value. The end goal here is the neutralization of Ukraine through whatever means are deemed necessarily. The de-communization comment he made alongside his version of history regarding the Ukraine SSR leads me to believe that the obliteration of the Ukrainian state, or whatever shattered remains of it that will exist as a rump state in the west, is very much on the table. That has been Russia’s response historically to threats, both real and imagined, to their country.

    The good news is that the situation in Ukraine has always been a slow-boil situation. There’s still plenty of time to avert the host of catastrophic outcomes. Buuuuuut, who am I kidding?

    1. Lambert Strether

      > It apparently spooked Washington enough that they scrambled a carrier strike group even though the Russians were in international waters. Somebody messed up, because the Russian fleet was expected to be drilling their forces hundreds of miles away from Hawaii in the Kuril islands.

      Odd. That sounds like something it would be hard to “mess up,” even for the Pacific Fleet.

    2. The Rev Kev

      A deployment of Russian warships near Hawaii? Does anybody know the Russian for “Climb Mount Niitaka“?

  25. Wukchumni

    Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor is reviewing dozens of books found in public school libraries to determine whether they violate state obscenity law.

    Books under review range from classics such as Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies to newer titles that cover LGBTQ and social justice issues. The Frontier obtained a list of 51 books under review from the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office.

    O’Connor’s review comes as libraries and school boards in Oklahoma and across the nation face a surge in challenges to books in public schools. Republican state lawmakers have introduced several bills this legislative session that seek to place new restrictions or oversight of school library standards.

    It can be colder than a witch’s tit in Tulsa, those proposed banned books would make for an excellent bonfire…

    1. flora

      The hubris of so many liberals thinking can-culture wouldn’t and couldn’t work both ways makes me doubt they’re , as they self-describe, ” the smart people. ” I’ve compared the liberal can-culture to the Reagan era Moral Majority. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. / ;)

    2. JP

      Time for a free online library of all the banned books. Just grandstanding by OK GOP. They all know nothing sparks interest in reading like a book banning.

      1. Wukchumni

        I like how they included a Nobel prize winner and a Pulitzer prize winner among those tomes considered for expulsion-Stay classy, Ok

  26. Peter VE

    The magpies have successfully resisted carrying around a tracking device. Proof that they are more intelligent than we are.

  27. Raymond Sim

    Regarding Hank the Tank: My wife escorted our granddaughter on a school camping trip to that area a few years ago. The bear situation at the campground was badly out of control, with campers generally not seeming to recognize the danger.

    I suspect the main challenge for the police in dealing with Hank is finding a way to kill him off camera. Poor Hank, at least, since he’s apparently not afraid of people, his end may come while he’s in a happy frame of mind.

    I’ve heard that an animal refuge in Galt has offered to take him in. I wonder how many wild 500 lb breaking-and-entering specialists they’ve dealt with? I’m imagining an escaped Hank going through Galt house-to-house eating nothing but M&M’s and Cheez Whiz.

  28. S.D., M.D.

    Re: Guns of August Perhaps a better analogy would be to the situation just prior to the start of the war in Europe in 1939. Russia=Germany, Ukraine=Poland, Donbass=Danzig, U.S.A=Britain/France.

    Germany attempting to re-assert itself following years of hardship a generation after the collapse of empire by recovering territory populated by ethnic Germans, while the newly restored nation Poland was cynically egged on to hostility and intransigence by promises France/Britain had no intention of keeping, seems to fit the current situation almost perfectly.

    Given what happened to the Poles(a greater % of the population killed in the war than any other nation, followed by loss of territory and 45 years of occupation), the people of Ukraine should be very concerned about the direction current events are taking them.

    The whole world can only pray that none of the current cast of nuclear armed characters on the stage prove as bloodthirsty and treacherous as Stalin, Hitler, Churchill, and Roosevelt.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      That’s an interesting analogy you’ve made; I’ll need to think it over. One big difference that springs to mind immediately is that Russia-Ukraine relations were just dandy up until early 2014, and then they went downhill with blinding speed post-coup. Not at all like the 1930s with Germany-Poland. In general today’s situation reminds me much more of 1914, for which I look to Clark (The Sleepwalkers) rather than Tuchman (The Guns of August) as a guide to what might happen next.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > I look to Clark (The Sleepwalkers) rather than Tuchman (The Guns of August) as a guide to what might happen next.

        Here is NC’s review of The Sleepwalkers. a wonder of diplomatic history. Two of my takeaways from that great book are: (1) All the chancelleries in Europe wanted war, including Britain, France, and Russia, and (2) utter mediocrities were in charge everywhere.

  29. Daniil Adamov

    Re: ugly side of freedom. Is it not central to our understanding of the concept of freedom that free will is defined by the ability to do evil? On a more grounded level, if free speech means the freedom to say things that are approved of by those who hold the power in your society, then North Korea is a bastion of free speech: they let you make all kinds of noises there, and only regulate a pretty narrow selection that any North Korean official would have no difficulty in justifying on those same public good grounds. I do not even disagree with the philosophical arguments she makes there (although one might say that they do not reinforce the Western idea of freedom so much as expose its weaknesses and inconsistencies), but it seems odd that apparently some people are only discovering this now.

  30. Cat Burglar

    One of the observations in Putin’s speech that I have seen nowhere else was his contention that NATO headquarters has de facto command of Ukrainian forces. How this could be verified or debunked is not clear to me, but I will definitely be looking for reports about it.

  31. C.O.

    With all the deranged sabre-rattling on behalf of Ukraine in the msm, I can’t resist sharing this link from the folks at Improbable Research of IgNoble Prizes fame.

    Popular Medicines as In-a-Pinch Radiation Sensors:

    The researchers work at the Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences, which for some reason strikes me oddly as appropriate. The ever trusty popular medicines in question are mostly OTC pain relievers, and glow after exposure to ionizing radiation.


    Ibuprom Max

    Ibuprom Zatoki


    Nurofen Forte



    Panadol Extra


    Polopiryna S


    News you can use!

  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    Quite a few years ago when our father died, we had among other things a big flock of pickle jars ( many 2-quart) from his pickle-making days decades earlier. They were thick heavy glass, not like the thin “paper glass” pickle jars of today. I felt bad about them going in theory, but I had no way of doing anything about them, so away they went.

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