Links 2/9/2022

Custom-Made Aquarium Gives Cat Front-Row Seat to Watching Fish My Modern Met (David L)

Crocodile with tyre around neck freed after six years BBC (furzy)

This Community In Denmark Lives In Surreal Circle Gardens Bored Panda. Kevin W: “You have to see the images to believe them. Related to this is an article, also in Denmark, at

Earth’s water was around before Earth PhysOrg

These Animals Are Feasting on the Ruins of an Extinct World Atlantic (Kevin W)

Decoding Dickens’s Secret Notes to Himself, One Symbol at a Time New York Times (David L)


Sask. COVID-19 dashboard goes dark in transition to ‘Living with COVID’ CTV (GM). So if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist? Will pols next try that with hunger and teen pregnancy?


Boston University epidemiologist Dr. Eleanor Murray speaks on COVID-19 and endemicity WSWS

Some long Covid patients see improvement, but full recovery is elusive STAT (fk)

Johnson & Johnson stops Covid-19 vaccine production – NYT RT (Kevin W)


Coronavirus Hong Kong: new cases expected to top 1,100 amid exponential spike South China Morning Post (J-LS)


Blue states move to drop mask mandates Axios

The Doctor Will See You Now—Wait, Not You Wall Street Journal

America Still Isn’t Ready for the Next Pandemic Atlantic (Kevin W). “Next”?

Right-Wing Americans Want In on Canada’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ Vice


Please see the rest of this chart from (hat tip resilc). The tradeoff between less carbon use and other environmental costs looks worse than even yours truly had feared.

Mountain glaciers may hold less ice than previously thought – here’s what that means for 2 billion downstream water users and sea level rise The Conversation

Some rare good news: Sharp decline in reported severity of ocean acidification impacts on fish behaviour PhysOrg (Robert M). Shellfish get no respect? The biggest impact of acidification is to make it difficult to impossible for shellfish to make shells.


China’s Great Wall plows into Brazil as Daimler and Ford flee Asia Times

China Winter Olympics: Athletes complain about isolation ‘horror’ Daily Mail. Resilc: “Whining assholes
Hope is dead in Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria……..”.


Tied in knots: Despairing fishing fleet bound up by red tape after Brexit Sunday Post. Guurst calls this “Long Brexit.”

NI Protocol: Who needs Article 16 when crisis prevails? Tony Connelly, RTE. From earlier this week, still germane.

The dangerous end of Northern Ireland’s Unionist Ascendancy Philip Stephens (guurst)

The Cutting Room Files, Part 3: The Future of Canada Peter Zeihan (resilc)

Millions face hunger in Horn of Africa as drought worsens: UN Al Jazeera

New Cold War

The fatigue factor: the ongoing marathon of European diplomacy is a useless distraction Gilbert Doctorow (guurst). Important. Macron showed up with effectively no plan. And consider:

The whole issue of reducing the Russian troop numbers was dealt with by Macron and his spokesmen as if that by itself would reduce the chances of armed conflict breaking out at any moment. The issue of the 150,000 Ukrainian forces massed at the border with Donbas and armed to the teeth with new Western toys for the boys was not addressed in any way by Mr. Macron, whereas it is precisely that which explains the Russian troop concentrations on their side of the border and explains why the bulk of the Russians are not leaving any time soon. We heard from Macron only upbeat and empty remarks on how the Normandy Format would be continued in further efforts to implement the Minsk Accords.

Putin Wants His Own Monroe Doctrine Antiwar

Revisiting Russia’s 5th and, especially, 6th columns The Saker

Germany, US show ‘disunity’ on Russia policy, says expert DW

From (guurst):

PRESIDENT BIDEN: The first question first. If Germany — if Russia invades — that means tanks or troops crossing the — the border of Ukraine again — then there will be — we — there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.

Q: But how will you — how will you do that exactly, since the project and control of the project is within Germany’s control?

PRESIDENT BIDEN: We will — I promise you, we’ll be able to do it.

Going to War with Russia Over Ukraine May Be Suicide for America – Larry Johnson Turcopilier (Chuck L). From a few days back. May be useful in attempting to communicate with those who haven’t questioned the senseless rush to war.

We must do everything possible to avoid an enormously destructive war in Ukraine Bernie Sanders Guardian (furzy). The fact that this op-ed ran in the UK and not any US outlet speaks volumes.

Why is a regional security collective with Russia so hard to imagine? Responsible Statecraft

Cryptocurrency Is Funding Ukraine’s Defense—and Its Hacktivists Wired (resilc)


US: Houthis Must Accept Yemen War Is Unwinnable Antiwar. Moi: The stupid, it burns. Kevin W: “(Picard facepalm) They don’t have to win. They only have to not lose and outlast their enemies

The Jews dressing as Muslims to get around a prayer ban BBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Middle East is a self-perpetuating cycle of conflict and arms sales Responsible Statecraft (resilc). Confirming reader suspicions.

US gunning for nuclear edge in military satellite race Asia Times (Kevin W)

US defense to its workforce: Nuclear war can be won Bulletin of the Nuclear Scientists (guurst)


U.S. Refinery Outages Are Another Headache For Biden OilPrice. Resilc: “Caused by Putin for sure….ABC news this morning harping on oil prices UP! because of uUkraine…….non stop propaganda.”

ICYMI: Supreme Court, in 5-4 Vote, Restores Alabama’s Congressional Voting Map New York Times (Kevin W) and Comment on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Alabama Redistricting Case ACLU of Alabama (furzy)

GOP Clown Car

McConnell calls Jan. 6 a ‘violent insurrection,’ breaking with RNC NBC (resilc)

In his fight against ‘woke’ schools, DeSantis tears at the seams of a diverse Florida Stamford Advocate

How Greg Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star” Could Be Exported in the War Against the Right to Vote New Republic (resilc)


Gun-waving St. Louis couple placed on probation as lawyers Politico. Total train wrecks in gun safety. Should have put their guns on probation…and for a lot longer…

Elon Musk hits out at the media’s ‘relentless hatestream’ of bad news in a week of setbacks for Tesla Fortune

Big Oil Has a Plan to Turn Appalachia Into Hydrogen Country Vice (resilc)

The Bezzle

As Automakers Add Technology to Cars, Software Bugs Follow New York Times

US arrests couple for allegedly laundering $4.5BN in Bitcoin Al Jazeera

Class Warfare

Starbucks fires Memphis workers involved in unionization efforts. New York Times (resilc)

The coming backlash against growth and jobs The Week (resilc)

Opioid Overdose Deaths Cost U.S. Economy $1 Trillion A Year, Study Finds Forbes

Manchin skeptical of congressional staff union The Hill

Antidote du jour (ChetG):

And a bonus. Tracie H:

This was taken through a windshield, and so may be too faint.

We were driving along Pacific Coast Highway when a couple of motorcycles overtook us. One had this especially attractive passenger.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. ex-PFC Chuck

    Is there a missing link on the Gilbert Doctorow excerpt under the “New Cold War” section heading?

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Rev Kev:

        Today’s LaStampa reports that prime minister Draghi talked with Zelensky, p.m. of Ukraine. Draghi is ruling out war.

        The reason this event matters is that France and Italy have been having a love fest at the top levels. After all, France is Italy’s most glorious daughter. But if Draghi is hinting that one must negotiate one’s way out of the crisis, that’s likely support for France.

        Now that Biden has insulted the Germans, you may see the Big Three (Germany, France, and Italy) heading in their own direction. None of them stands to gain from a war.

        Biden’s smart-mouthing about the NordStream truly didn’t help. It isn’t that he’s demented. It’s that idea that the U.S. is the indispensable nation that is demented.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The EU is huge, and if it ever becomes more than Berlin cat herding, it’s going to be a player. I think Berlin not wanting to cede leadership to multiple power centers internally kept them from bringing Moscow or Turkey in despite potential in the 90’s. The UK was largely content to let Berlin manage things while London pretended it was relevant. Now Berlin doesn’t have London, and the years of integration have reduced Germany’s special role as the integrator of the East.

          Even without Berlin, Paris and Rome working together is a juggernaut. Berlin can’t balance it on its own.

      2. Polar Socialist

        I think Macron’s trip was mostly for the purposes of re-election. Not that Washington wouldn’t have impressed on him a message for Putin, but first and foremost it was about Macron.

        Certainly Moscow assumes Macron is merely a messenger regarding the restructuring of European Security, since that issue will be decided between Moscow and Washington since Europe is not sovereign when one looks at it from Kreml.

        According to Russia media there were also a lot of discussion between the two about current situation in Mali, where Russian military trainers are replacing the French military.

      3. JohnA

        I find it hard to believe the final claim in Doctorow’s article, that the 2014 coup in Kiev was engineered by Nuland without the knowledge of Obama. I can buy Biden being bypassed, but not Obama, he was arrogance personified in the ‘US as the exceptional, indispensible nation’ rhetoric he frequently boasted.

        1. christofay

          I think Obama wasn’t interested in the outside world except as the occasional stage. He granted world affairs to Hillary as he focused on domestic affairs which would be the conduit to assuring his future billionaire standard of living.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Until 2010. He may have been hands off, but:

            -pivot to Asia (Beijing heard this)
            -Afghanistan surge
            -Eastern Europe
            -nuclear arms, always need more
            -Iran and Cuba, a rare moment when he wasn’t actively destructive

            Obama cared about domestic issues? Really? Like Biden now, when the going gets tough, he went adventuring. The lack of low hanging fruit was the only thing that stopped him from more.

        2. Laughingsong

          I am looking for the link where I thought I read that it was Kerry that was shut out of the operation, not Obama or Biden. Of course this is me trying to remember something (sigh)…..

          Is this something that anyone else has maybe read?

        3. Oh

          Not only was Obama arrogant to the core, he was very vindictive. His ego would never allow anyone to act on Ukraine alone.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Not if he wasn’t interested. He let Hillary completely diss him. He said she could be SoS only on the condition that the Clinton Foundation stopped taking money from foreign donors. Instead she engaged in what amounted to selling favors, like taking even more money from the Saudis. Obama said boo when he could and should have hauled into her office and told her she’s submit an undated resignation letter that he would hold to assure her compliance, and if she didn’t, she’d be escorted out of her office 24 hours from then.

            His enforcer was Rahm and Rahm was good only for beating up on domestic parties outside the Administration.

      4. disc_writes

        Geopolitical think tank Limes sees it as an emerging problem between France and NATO in general.

        It seems to me that France reached the limits of what it can achieve in its role as the most trusted, yet most independent NATO ally. There is a limit to how far the Americans will let France go, and that puts the French president in a difficult position to negotiate with Putin.

        The French instinct (and the German, Italian, Belgian…) would be to build a relationship with Russia and China that is largely independent of Washington. But Washington will not let that happen, and neither will the anti-Russian faction within Europe.

        As long as the impasse is not broken, France’s diplomatic role will be diminished.

  2. griffen

    The St. Louis couple story, the McCloskeys. Their license to practice is suspended, ie, both are on a probationary period during which they can continue their practice. The suspension takes effect should they break the law.

    The husband is one of several Republicans running for the US Senate. Okay, clean the coffee that you had to spit out.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Progressive pundits love to cite Scandinavia when it fits their narrative (democratic socialism), then sweep it under the rug when it doesn’t (Denmark lifts Covid restrictions).

      IMO, same argument applies in both circumstances…more people live in Tri-state NYC than all of Scandinavia with less inequality and more cultural cohesion….sometimes their solutions may scale up, some times it may not.

      1. eg

        It’s almost as hilarious as the market fundamentalist types going “but Sweden!” (a country they had spent most of their lives dunking on as a socialist hellhole) in their desperation to latch onto any support for their aversion to public health restrictions of any description ever. Never mind that Sweden reversed course after the data demonstrated that their performance on every metric was worse than their Scandinavian neighbours.

        Motivated reasoning is a problem …

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      US has vastly higher population density than Sweden, a much worse health care system, and much more diabetes (11% here v. 4.8% there).

      US lockdowns were a joke, particularly outside NYC and California. Not enforced, too short duration, and tons of cheating allowed, like going to work if important, grocery stores, drug stores, even dry cleaners (I could see laundromats for poor people but dry cleaners?). Swedes also reportedly to a large degree self-lockedown during big waves, as in most people stayed home as much as possible.

      We also had no required quarantined like China.

      1. Alex

        The low population density is misleading. Sweden is mostly urban with 4 mln out of 10 living in the 3 biggest metro areas.

        1. Polar Socialist

          On the other hand, Sweden did eventually have a lot of restrictions (both recommended and enforced), and it must be also said that like most Nordic people they are predisposed towards social distancing from the birth.

          1. JohnA

            A lot of restrictions in Sweden were polite expectation compromises. Masks should be worn on public transport at crowded times, ie rush hour, restaurant seating more spaced apart, office staff mostly working from home etc.

            1. Larry Carlson

              So maybe the conclusion here is that half-assed measures have similar effectiveness whether they’re largely voluntary (Sweden) or enforced through mandates that anger at least some people (United States). I think an argument can be made for either a Sweden-style or China-style approach, depending on how you weight deaths, economic impact, and individual freedoms in your decision making, but it doesn’t seem like the U.S. approach is the result of a rational thought process. Not sure Feigl-Ding would want to articulate that, however, since that could impact his political future.

              1. Thistlebreath

                E. Feigl-Ding has taken to posting on Twitter about the impending Russian invasion of Ukraine.
                Political future, indeed.

              2. Basil Pesto

                What political future is there, exactly, for a guy who has been pointing out what no western political entities wants to hear? His position has precisely zero traction with any major political parties, so far as I can tell. He is highly critical of the US’ Covid approach, and would agree with your comment about it being irrational.

          2. John

            Whatever was done in the USA or Sweden, China or Australia, there are over 930,000 dead of this disease in the USA. That number will top one million sometime this year. By any measure the USA has screwed the pooch.

          3. Carolinian

            Sweden may have changed their tune to a degree but even before that their policy was not the giant disaster that many claimed it would be. They did have lots of nursing home deaths and admitted that they didn’t do enough to protect the elderly. And they also have lots of immigrant labor that quite likely don’t share the Scandanavian stand offishness and social diligence.

            It would be interesting to have a detailed report about what happened in Sweden since they chose in the beginning to go another way (for example primary school children carried on as before with no masks). But from the media it has been radio silence.

            1. Bart Hansen

              Sharp eyed readers may have noticed that the graph from Sweden shows that they number their weeks.

              When they talk about when school starts in the fall, for example, they specify the week number rather that giving a date.

              The first time my Swedish third cousin sent us a calendar we noticed the week numbering. But we couldn’t use the calendar because their weeks begin with Monday and end with Sunday, thereby logically placing the weekend at the end of the week.

        2. Mikel

          It’s all about what the health care systems can handle. Covid isn’t the only thing healthcare people have to treat.
          China, for example, with its billions of people, would be insane to let a virus run rampant.

          The US health care system can’t handle it (can’t be emphasized enough when comparing to Sweden) and that problem is still NOT addressed.

      2. Pat

        And people shouldn’t underestimate how much people staying home if sick can help. With mandatory sick leave and better healthcare doing that is part of their culture. With many, including most of our now known as essential worker jobs not just having no leave but a well known culture of firing people who don’t come to work when sick, we had another disadvantage.

      3. Eclair

        Anecdotally, my husband’s cousins live in Göteborg and have been checking in frequently during the last two years. Both retired, physician and PT; both vaxed and boosted, excellent health for late 80’s, physically active. They have been self-isolating, no social life, concerts, visits to galleries, restaurants, etc. Groceries delivered by markets or by family members. Their choice. Or, rather, a decision made based on their risk assessment of getting CoVid if they go about in the general public.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          We’ve been through that before. Sweden defines an urban area as having at least 200 inhabitants. According to that definition, Bailey Island, Maine, which has >400 year round residents, no cell phone service, and is a >22 minute drive from the nearest drug store, grocery story, gas station, coffee shop, laundromat and cleaner, is urban. That definition of urban is completely at odds with the one used in the US.

          Don’t argue this, you are earning massive troll points. I don’t have time to waste debunking blatant neoliberal crap that I have already shredded NUMEROUS times in comments.

      4. Swamp Yankee

        Massachusetts also had a pretty serious lock down in Spring 2020. That time is long gone, but it did hold for a few months.

      5. neo-realist

        Security Guards, many of whom make crap wages, need dry cleaners to clean and press suits and pants they wear on the job.

    3. MP

      I personally knew people who left the city, went on golfing trips, and had house parties in March and April of 2020 during when everyone claimed that Xi bolted our doors in. And even the pretense of that in half of American states was dropped by May 2020.

    4. BeliTsari

      NYC’s first lockdown, was a shambles. As Excess Fatalities proved, once National Guard units found victims who’d died in cold, dark apartments; too terrified of slaughterhouse private equity ravaged hospitals cursory intubation. Privatization is hardly unique to US healthcare… or rip & read media? Let ‘er RIP wasn’t proclaimed by Cuomo, Trump or de Blasio. But, it was de facto, for the first, critical weeks. We’d probably been infected, March 10th, at a PACKED supermarket full of panicked app-shoppers; perhaps two people wearing masks? The actual pandemic was media narrative control.

  3. Paul P

    Last time we fought a war was in Vietnam.

    Vietnam wasn’t a war. It was a massacre. McNamara in The Fog of War said that 3.1 million Vietnamese died in the war. That is about 10% of the population of North and South Vietnam. A comparable percentage of American deaths would have been 28 million (back of the envelope calculation). Fifty-eight Americans died in Vietnam. This discrepancy in deaths resulted from industrialized warfare against a peasant army.

    Calling the Vietnam War a war hides the fact that it was a massacre.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      58 americans died in Viet Nam??? More like 58,000 if you believe anything the govt. says, which nobody should.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Sure he meant 58K. I am old enough to remember Walter Cronkite showing weekly death counts where the North Vietnamese total was alway and ever roughly 10X the US one.

    2. Tom Stone

      There are 58,000 names on that wall in Arlington, some were people I grew up with.
      A multiple of that were crippled by wounds and many more died early due to the effects of agent orange.
      And there was very definitely a class division between those that served and those that did not.

      The right people made a lot of money and almost no one who mattered died.

      1. Pate

        I generally agree with all that you say. But nothing is absolute. I personally knew two young men who died in the war. Both from wealthy families. One – the son of a physician – was a recent law school grad who starred for Bud Wilkinson at Oklahoma in the early ’60’s. The other a local elite who has a library named in his honor at arguably the nation’s most important catholic institution of higher learning. Although I was not of the same cla$$, by luck both were friends and exceptional by every measure.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Exceptions proving the rule, no?

          I attended a “liberal arts” college after getting out of the Army in 1969. Lots of invited anti-war speakers, including some Catholic clergy who had ransacked a draft board office in Illinois. They were so very proud of their action, and the students, pretty much all upper class scions, sang along with them at the big convocation. Students who had deferments, and who helped other wealthy young males evade the draft by getting them doctor’s letters “proving” one disability or another, or lining them up with a one-way trip to Canada or Sweden.

          That draft office’s territory covered the wealthy Chicago suburbs. Too bad the quota the Selective Service Admin had set for Illinois had to be made up by other draft board downstate. Resulting in one downstate farm town having every one of its young men killed in Vietnam.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Don’t forget that Vietnam war from nearly fifty years ago was the last war where US soldiers were dying by the dozen in open combat. And the last time that the US fought without having a ‘friendly’ sky over them was the Korean war from about seventy years ago. So would the American public be ready to accept high casualty rates rivaling that caused by the daily pandemic toll or American soldiers being bombed from the air by missiles and thermobaric weaponry? Maybe having Washington threaten Moscow with nuclear weapons unless they let them win? This is literally tap-dancing your way through a mine-field here.

      1. John

        How is it that the death of one or a few members of the uniformed services is greeted with public solemnity while the, at present, death of 2,500 + per day from the virus attracts little public or official mention?

        1. fresno dan

          February 9, 2022 at 9:22 am
          To paraphrase Stalin, the death of one soldier or police officer is a tragedy, the death of thousands from Covid is a statistic…

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    WSWS interview with Prof. Eleanor Murray is definitely worth your while. First, she is a working scientist, so she operates as real scientists do: There are many ifs, maybes, we don’t know yets, and other qualifiers. Science is about doubt. Yet the information that she gives and her analyses are important. Also, note her stress on trying to use the correct terms, so that we are all discussing the same thing.

    The interviewer, Benajamin Mateus, asks some leading questions. And why not? Note these statements / questions from Mateus:

    “To briefly preface, there has been a shift in the official messaging away from the idea that we could achieve herd immunity. The federal and state health officials needed a new platform to hang their hats on. The concept that COVID is endemic has gotten a lot of traction, and for the public, it means living with the virus permanently. However, the idea of endemicity being tossed around is not based on a scientific construct but a political one.

    In your Tweet, you wrote, “Everyone keeps talking about COVID becoming endemic, but as I listened to the conversation, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that very few of you know what endemic means.”

    What I am seeing is a lot of Covid-denialism-lite, which is tied into climate-denialism-lite. These “lites” tend to come from the enlightened class. Let’s greenwash climate change, and have all of our food delivered by GrubHub to save on transportation costs. Let’s not have vaccine checks, vaccine mandates, or required use of masks–and “hope” for the best.

    And one can argue that Covid is symptom of disastrous climate change. So getting serious about one means getting serious about the other.

    I’m not interesting in lectures on “hope.” Not when Prof. Murray talks about multiple waves of Covid, and even mentions the possibility of a major waves seasonally, which sounds to me like every winter.

    1. Sutter Cane

      First it was “everyone will get omicron and then they’ll have herd immunity and the pandemic will be over” but now that it’s clear that there is no lasting immunity, they just dropped the “and then the pandemic will be over” part but kept the “everyone will get covid” part.

    2. anon y'mouse

      vaccine checks and mandates will do little to stop the spreading around and mutating of the virus.

      1. Basil Pesto

        Depends on the vaccine, depends on the state of play with the virus, depends on being honest about both these things.

          1. Basil Pesto

            Yes that’s what I was alluding to, I should have been clearer. My point, and I’ve made this before, is that we are wasting political capital on these just-okay vaccines when a mandate for a future vaccine, likely intranasal, will be both necessary and desirable for public health. Mandates for pharmaceuticals (as opposed to NPIs), unless they’re well established and overwhelmingly safe like childhood vaccines, strikes me as a diminishing returns situation, especially if leaders weren’t frank and honest about the mandated pharmaceuticals in the first place.

            1. c_heale

              Why does the nasal treatment have to be a vaccine? Surely, any kind of nasal and oral treatment that kills the virus will do.

              1. Basil Pesto

                No, to reduce transmission meaningfully and endurably (albeit it also wouldn’t last forever as I understand it), you need a vaccine that will induce mucosal immunity. I do PVP-I nose spray in the hope that it does destroy a lot of the virus in vivo, but induce mucosal immunity it doesn’t (and has other shortcomings, such as being dependent on application technique of the individual), and so it’s not a viable long term public health solution in the same way as a (theoretical, thus far) intranasal vaccine of high efficacy.

                That said, I also sent a link last month about a potentially useful heparin nasal spray being developed in Australia – hopefully another useful weapon in the arsenal but I don’t think as effective as a well designed, functional vaccine – ie something that kicks the immune system into gear.

    1. rob

      I hope that kid finds some way to monetize his “creation”. I think there would be interest in people knowing where wealthy, well-connected people go. And when. In the sense of metadata, it is interesting to see who may(or may not) be going somewhere, and how often… and when. Just as it would be to any other investigatory tool to see what may be on the mind of certain people who have the means to hide behind their edifices… and they all like to fly places. And inquiring minds want to know.

      1. jr

        This brings to mind a climate change sci-fi story I read a while back in which heavy polluters were judged and punished harshly for their role in wrecking the climate. The story was implying or explicitly describing, I cannot remember exactly which, the formation of a new eco-spirituality with real world implications, a harsh one befitting an enraged Mother Earth. The information you describe would be useful to such black-robed tribunals.

        1. John

          In K S Robinson’s Ministry of the Future, I believe he portrays a scenario where cheap drones are directed by such flight information to discourage jet use by the overlords. Worked in the book. Go long dirigibles and sailing ships.

          1. jr

            I’d love to live in an age of dirigibles but this article says they are super expensive to fly:


            Having not read Reader’s Digest for decades and decades, I poked around and found this:


            Health and safety concerns abounded in the McPlaygrounds of yore but it took COVID to at least temporarily shutter them. However, deeper forces are at work. As the author notes, the kiddies don’t use them that much. They are on their phones and tablets. In her words:

            “Kids have all the play they need right there in the palm of their hands.”

            1. Odysseus

              According to the Federal Aviation Administration, only 128 people in the United States are qualified to fly airships. And only 17 of them are paid to do it full time. On average, it takes pilots ten to 15 hours to learn how to fly a single-engine plane. But in order for a pilot to go on their first solo trip in an airship, it takes 250 to 400 hours of training.

              This raises more questions than it answers.
              Why does it take so long to become certified as an airship pilot?

          2. lordkoos

            In that book, to make a statement the drones take down something like 60 commercial flights in one week. A harsh way to make a point for sure.

        2. Mike

          It sounds very much like one of the things from Kim Stanley Robinson’s “Ministry for the Future”, which was an enjoyable read for me last summer.

      2. GC54

        Musk tried to buy him off ’cause missiles, kid asked for a Tesla then for an internship instead, no Musk response.

      3. hunkerdown

        Why? The transparency is more valuable than all the money the subjects have. Let this be public forever, maintained by a cast of thousands like any other commons.

      4. Joe Renter

        I was in Van Horn TX last spring and in talking to a local, when Bezzos flies into his Blue Origin site, he doesn’t come in with one jet, but three! And the local says they are not small jets.

        What a d*ck!

    2. orlbucfan

      He won’t be the only one figuring out the tech formula–watch. He’s a young fellow, too. Bet he’s not too happy about climate chaos.

    3. Maritimer

      Love how the Techies scream and yell when the Tech is turned on them. They simply do not understand that 24/7 Tech, Tech, Tech is uncontrollable, moves way too fast to control. Just look at the Intertubes, Senator. Or Truck Convoys.

      And as Tech accelerates into GI, SI, these Techies think they will control all. Just another episode of Star Trek.

    4. Yves Smith Post author

      You can already get that info from the FAA if you have the tail numbers. This is not a big deal. One WSJ reporter who must go unnamed collects all sorts of embarrassing info about who uses their private jets for what, such as PE funds who charge 100% of their jets (which they own!) to funds, then having lots of flights between Christmas and New Years to the Caribbean and ski areas, and right before and after Valentine’s Day. But his editors spike those stories because they make business look bad.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Germany and US show ‘disunity’ on Russia policy, says expert”

    Unbelievable. Biden went out of his way to humiliate Chancellor Olaf Scholz in public by saying that it was up to him whether the Nord Stream 2 went ahead or not and not Germany. There is going to be a price to pay for that arrogance but it will take a long time to play out. It has been said before that if the Nord Stream 2 project does not go ahead eventually, that it will be a disaster for Germany. The lack of energy would throw a spanner into the German economy and will lead to skyrocketing gas prices that people pay to heat their homes and businesses. I believe too that this gas is used for fertilizers in Germany. Trying to source another supply is problematical at best and to buy US supplies which are much more expensive is one thing but the infrastructure to take it and even to have a fleet of ships to transport is going to cost a mint. I read earlier today that the US solution for Germany is just to put higher taxes on their citizens to pay for it and to give their businesses subsidies to compensate them. You can bet that ideas like that went down like a fart in an elevator.

    1. Tom Stone

      Biden is nuts.
      That remark about Nordstream 2 is something you don’t say out loud even if you are fool enough to think it.
      The arrogance and stupidity are breathtaking.
      And consistent with his domestic policies when it comes to incompetence.
      Is he trying to re elect Trump?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Biden is looking for a win for domestic audiences. It’s always 1995 to these people. They thought the Russians wouldn’t react. They even asked Beijing for help because it’s just a game for Biden’s right flank, other right flank in his reelection bid.

        Biden is desperate to look tough. He’s the guy who challenged Trump to a push up contest. Obama picked him as he plays a steady, tough guy hand for the neophyte nominee. Manchin exposed Biden as the fraud he is. The $750 billion dollar a year defense budget gives Biden courage he lacks when dealing with Manchin and Sinema.

        Hudson made good points about deep state assessments, but Biden is just a small man, playing president. He needs a win where he won’t have to politely ask for Senate approval.

        1. tongorad

          I told my liberal friends that Biden may be our last president. A bit of hyperbole, but now with this mindless saber rattling, who knows? Is Biden a candidate for the worst prez ever? That covid death toll…

      2. c_heale

        Biden is arrogant, like Obama, Bush, and Clinton before him. They are too used to people backing down. It looks like Russia, can’t back down, isn’t bluffing, and, can destroy the US. This is a new situation for the neo-cons who run the current government.
        The idea of a hyperpower which got them all excited in the 90’s and 2000’s was a fantasy, given that Russia and China both have enough nuclear warheads to destroy the US and the world.
        If Kissenger who is as amoral as it comes, doesn’t think it is a good idea, then it isn’t realistic in any shape or form.

        The US has to learn how to share the world with Russia and China at the very least.

    2. JohnA

      I was amused that Biden claimed the US would make up any shortfall of gas deliveries in the event Russian gas was cut-off. But he declined to add that the US would price match, which is economically impossible for the US, but still a moral obligation to keep European homes heated and industry running.

      1. ambrit

        I spotted your mistake in logic. You said that price matching was “a moral obligation” for America’s Oligarchs. Those people know and care nothing for and about morals. It’s all money and power to them.

        1. JohnA

          Yes and no. A moral obligation in the case of Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Afghanistan et at, of ‘you broke it you fix it’ should apply, but as you say the US aint go no morals. (Except when lecturing to the world about ‘responsiblity to protect’, ‘protecting democracy’, the ‘rules based international order’ etc. etc.)

    3. Louis Fyne

      Natgas gives the H in ammonia NH3. Expensive natgas = expensive grains (unless it is Russian)

      Belarus = #2 producer of potash, potassium. Sanction Belarus = expensive grains (unless it is Russian)

      And surprise Russia is #2 producer of phosphorus. Expensive phosphorus = expensive grains (unless it is Russian).

      DC is sleep-waking the West into another year of roaring food prices. Buckle up.

      1. Kouros

        How the wheels seems to be turning… The US is the land of ideology and very narrow Overtone windows; and now, like the Soviets in the 1980s, the US might face higher food costs due to insufficient crops…

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        It would be a fine opportunity for farmers who get all their nitrogen from solar-powered on-farm bio-fixation of nitrogen from the air to make good money charging the same for grain as their Haber-Bosch neighbors without having to pay for Haber-Bosch nitrogen.

        Farmers like Gabe Brown and Gary Zimmer and Mark Shephard and a few others ( so few that they could all be named with some research effort) will only have to charge what their Haber-Bosch neighbors charge for grain while not having to pay what their Haber-Bosch neighbors pay for factory-fixed nitrogen in order to retain more cash from the cash-flow than what their Haber-Bosch neighbors will be able to retain.

        1. R

          We farm in Devon, offering grasskeep to neighbouring farmers to graze their cattle (all largely grass fed around here…). This year, the phone is off the hook, metaphorically with five enquiries for the same 60 acres, all driven by the price of fertiliser prompting them to graze/silage more acres of grass, to keep their animals fed and in some cases reduce cattle cake use (expensive grain)

          Keeping fertiliser prices high is key to reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint and improving carbon sequestration and soil incorporation of organic matter (the golden hoof). Farmers using fertiliser and grains are also stocking their fields too densely, causing nitrate issues through run off from fields and slurry stores.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Bernie Sanders against the war in the Guardian, except:

    Why does Sanders feel obligated to do stuff like this?

    This paragraph is gratuitous. Read the article and skip this load of silly-ass blameology:

    “We should be clear about who is most responsible for this looming crisis: Vladimir Putin. Having already seized parts of Ukraine in 2014, the Russian president now threatens to take over the entire country and destroy Ukrainian democracy. In my view, we must unequivocally support the sovereignty of Ukraine and make clear that the international community will impose severe consequences on Putin and his associates if he does not change course.”

    Noting that he contradicts this assertion a few paragraphs later…

      1. John Beech

        Tom, respectfully, I believe you’re taking things out of context. FWIW, I always thought Haig got a bum rap for that. I interpreted him to be saying he was the ‘man’ right at that moment, a trained general officer able to maintain order and NOT that he was the MAN in America. He was the man at the moment in the White House (President in hospital and Vice President out of the loop). Just some military officer? Nope, former Secretary of State! So, in the alternative to him taking the podium, was chaos preferable? Would it have been better to respond to a reporter’s question with, ‘Sorry, nobody is in charge’?

        Remember, this guy was Chief of Staff when Nixon resigned so he darned well knew how things work. What is less known, what isn’t said out loud, is how there are procedures that go into effect during a Presidential assassination (or attempt), like pushing the first domino. So in establishing control until politics-as-usual could resume, he was able to effect a stand down of the Pentagon. Details matter.

        1. John

          Almost certainly correct, but as I remember it came across as an arrogant assertion from a man not unused to arrogant assertions.

        2. Dave in Austin

          Haig at that moment sounded like a military man, which he used to be. It was a poor choice of words for a public statement at that moment but I agree with the poster, above, it was not a claim that he was in charge of the country. This wasn’t a military coup even if the Washington Post pretended to be shocked and outraged.

          But what’s interesting to me is that one informed reader of NC had a vague folk memory of Haig and it was not a memory of what Haig did but a memory of what the Post made it into. Modern Amercian history is filled with- and very distorted by- this sort of thing.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wish that he did not say stuff like this as it will come back to bite him. During the Presidential campaign, he signed up for Russia!Russia!Russia! campaign because maybe he was afraid that David Frum would call him disloyal or something. But then came the day that reporters ambushed him getting off a plane to say that it has come out that Russia has been financing his campaign so what does he say about that? And with that he had nowhere to go. His idea of turning the Ukraine politically into another Finland could be a viable option but doing a total buy-in of Washington’s stance defeats that idea right from the get go. Does he understand that the Crimean people will never vote to join the Ukraine again so that it did not have to be ‘seized’? Or that Putin will never take over the Ukraine as it would be nothing but a financial black-hole?

    2. ambrit

      I find it insulting for Bernie to spew outright falsehoods like this to the public. Does the man really believe this? If so, we dodged a bullet when he was ‘dispatched’ during the “Night of the Long Knives in Carolina.”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        He’s openly challenging the former Vice President. It’s a big deal. The Maddowists don’t need to be agitated.

      2. fresno dan

        February 9, 2022 at 9:59 am
        We’re in a political system where EVEN McConnell spews crazy talk (i.e., Jan 6 was an insurrection).
        I grew up in the sixties and for a long time I believed the dems were the “peace” party. I was disabused of that idea DECADES ago.
        And one other point – this is not a “peace loving” nation. The USA gets involved practically daily, in some “hot spot” in the world. It sure doesn’t seem to me that Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and all the others are better for our interventions, and are in fact worse off, for our involvment. So either the American people think that is fine, or we are already in a non representative government in what a majority of Americans want. We just have some people who use disingenuous language to try and make it look like they oppose war (e.g. Obama)

        1. Rolf

          > So either the American people think that is fine, or we are already in a non representative government in what a majority of Americans want.

          Most definitely the latter. I think most Americans would oppose such involvements, particularly if it were their son/daughter/self at risk of coming home in a box or a wheelchair.

          1. lordkoos

            I think most Americans do oppose the endless US military adventures around the world. But “most Americans” do not matter to those in power so long as they keep working at their jobs.

            1. jonboinAR

              …but I don’t think most Americans spend any time at all worrying about it, either. It simply doesn’t touch our daily lives in a way that seems meaningful. I hope we never have to reap all we’ve sown.

        2. Dave in Austin

          If January 6th was an insurrection then we really are at the Grand Fenwick stage of our history. See the movie “The Mouse that Roared”.

        3. flora

          I think McConnell sees a midterm blowout of the Dems coming and is getting out ahead of it to do the Dems a favor by irking a lot of GOP voters. Sort of the way O did the GOP a favor to revive their chances ahead of the 2010 midterms by irking a lot of Dem voters. Like B said, “essentially, nothing will change.” My 2 cents.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps he is perma-spooked by the Mainstream Clintonite Democrats. Perhaps he feels he has to say this in order to avoid 10 million pink pussy hat Clintonites calling him a Putin stooge.

  7. CBBB

    WRT the Peter Zeihan piece, I agree I think Canada is in big trouble in the coming years.
    It’s from 2019 and the problem has gotten exponentially worse even in a few short years but can you imagine what will happen when the massive housing bubble there bursts?

    1. Charger01

      The Chapo boys did an interview about a year ago with Dan Bottenger (thats not quite his last name) about old Tricky Justin and his party failing around. Although the lede was buried by a new Brunswick hopefull politician with some “colorful” beliefs about abstinence and the male condition, he had some real good insights about the deteriorating conditions for Canadians, primarily jobs and housing. Affordable (really affordable for avg wage earners) is next to impossible for spendy places like Vancover or even Montréal.

      1. CBBB

        Not just those places. Over the past 3-5 years it’s also become the case in 2nd and 3rd tier cities.
        Housing is now over 10% of the Canadian economy. It’s disasterous.

        1. Synoia

          I have a large group of nephews and nieces in Canada, most of them in the Vancouver area.

          Their parents mostly own homes. Of the Vancouver young, none own homes.

          1. Joe Renter

            Vancouver had the money from Hong Kong come into play after 1999. That alone inflated housing prices. They instituted a vacant house tax. With all that going on there were a lot of grow houses of cannabis for the down south market.
            Still a beautiful city IMO.

    2. Oh

      I read his piece about Japan and it looks like he makes a lot of assumption like he did as regards to Canada.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      This has been going on in Europe for many years. They are called Slí na Sláinte, the Irish gaelic for ‘road of health’, waymarked routes in urban and rural areas – doctors regularly hand out a map and a prescription and they are signposted by distance. I was extremely surprised the first time I was in Sweden about 10 years ago in seeing the signposting in Irish gaelic – apparently its the same in Germany.

      1. Lina

        It’s brilliant and commonsensical (which most people are lacking). Get outside, get some sun and move your body.

        But wait, there’s no money for big pharma to make in that prescription.

        1. Wukchumni

          One thing I enjoy is the idea that our NP’s are by and large, nothing like the rest of the country in terms of capitalism…

          There’s also really no money in it for the concessionaires in our National Parks, which despite having a cloistered audience similar to a sporting event or concert, there’s no good reason why a Miller Lite shouldn’t be $12 @ the Lodgepole Market here, but it’s more like $2.

          As far as spending money goes, be sure to do it in the frontcountry of our National Parks, as there’s an ongoing war on cash and credit cards in the backcountry, won’t buy you a thing.

          1. lordkoos

            …our NP’s are by and large, nothing like the rest of the country in terms of capitalism…

            That’s not for lack of trying, however. There are many commercial forces that would love to take over the parks — Trump’s stunt with national monuments was something of a preview of what could happen.

            1. Dave in Austin

              One national park has been priced out of range to protect the Washingtron elite. Great Falls is the great falls of the Potomac river 10 miles north of DC. It used to be filled every weekend with locals to see this great site. But River Road and the entrance road to the park is now lined with $3,000,000 fake French chateaus owned by lobby runners and lawyers and they hate the traffic. So the entrance for the day is now I think $20/car; needless to say the year pass is only $35 so the chateau locals can visit anytime. It’s all great for my- my friends have a disability pass.

              1. Angie Neer

                Dave, I think what you’re seeing is not specific to that park, it’s the way the whole NP system has gone. I live near Mt. Rainier NP, and the one-day entry fee for a car there is $35.

                1. gc54

                  One benefit of being a geezer is/was the National Park “Lifetime Senior Pass” available at 62. As long as you can drive yourself in, you can take multiple generations with you (4 adults max). Was $10 now $80, despite increased morbidity from Covid, “because …”. Motivates one to visit constantly and stay active to 100 to stick it to The Man, win win.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    That $10 NPS lifetime senior pass was quite something! My wife beat the deadline and price octuple by I think 10 days in procuring hers.

                    Even @ $80 it’s a bargain in that it’ll get you into every NP & NM for free, plus car campground spots are half price.

        2. Joe Renter

          Considering that 50k a year die from auto accidents. I think big pharma the other players can make a little coin off that prescription.

    1. JohnA

      They are more like what are called ‘allotments’ in Britain, with ‘houses’ that are probably more summer residences than all year round for people who live in city apartment blocks.

    2. Stick'Em

      The government housing projects where I grew up were called “____ Gardens.” And by government housing projects, I mean concrete everything and someone getting pistol whipped on the corner. That’s the nature of PR, right?

      1. lordkoos

        One of the worst neighborhoods in Kingston Jamaica (which is really saying something as slums are everywhere in that town) was a patronage project called Arnette Gardens. Even cab drivers didn’t like to go there.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      That sort of layout (not specifically in circles) was very popular in the 1960’s – clumps of inward facing housing in ‘parkland’ settings. They are usually disasters as the parkland ends up being functionally useless and there is often a confusion between public and private areas resulting in all sorts of anti-social activities.

      Oval shapes are also a disaster when it comes to layout out housing areas, because it almost inevitably results in little slivers of land with no functional use. 90 degree angles everywhere are most efficient for plots and for buildings, the ancient Greeks worked that out, but unfortunately the lesson keeps being forgotten.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Sask. COVID-19 dashboard goes dark in transition to ‘Living with COVID’ ”

    There is currently in a lot of countries this pr effort to normalize the Pandemic. Make people think that it is just like a seasonal flu and if some people die of it, well, they must have been old or had a pre-existing condition or something that let it happen. Here in Oz on the news when they report the climbing death toll, they will say that they died ‘with’ Covid and not because of it. Maybe they want to get people to think of it like measles. They may be more correct than they think with that idea. Coronavirus is as infectious as measles I think which is pretty bad. That is why some people decided to have ‘Covid parties.’ So that they could get it and then be immune to it.

    But there is another aspect of measles that has been forgotten. When introduced to populations which had never been exposed to it (like Coronavirus), it could be pretty lethal and in fact in places like Hawaii it had the same effect as the Black Death of the middle ages. Yeah, I know – but Coronavirus is not that lethal you say. But as I constantly say, this little b****** is constantly evolving and if Omicron was not completely replaced by another variant by July I would not be surprised – and this one may very well be more lethal. We just don’t know. By this Christmas Omicron will be talked about as two variants ago. Sorry guys but it isn’t over and I would dismiss out of hand any government or business that tries to tell you any different.

    1. eg

      There’s also this weird notion that you can only catch Covid once. It’s foolishness all the way down.

        1. jsn

          Not quite, a few have died on the second pass.

          Still, that’s the only way to be sure of not getting it again.

  9. eg

    Peter Zeihan’s “The Future of Canada” hasn’t aged terribly well, and his assertion that the country is essentially a petro-state is absurd.

    1. CBBB

      I disagree – perhaps he should have said it was a giant housing bubble and money laundering centre — but I think the gist is right. I think all signs point to major trouble ahead for Canada.

      1. Jonhoops

        Trouble is brewing alright. Especially now that all our resources have come to the attention of right wing US oligarchs. I see this “Freedom Convoy” as the opening move by US elites to break up and seize a prize they have always coveted.

        Clearly a hybrid war move along the lines of other color revolutions.

        These “Truckers” might want to look at Appalachia to see their fate if the US Koch network is successful in breaking Canada.

        1. CBBB

          I personally don’t believe that to really be the story here. Canada is happy to export its resources to the US and large chunks of Canada have long been for sale/sold to US interests. I don’t think there is much in Canada that US oligarchs don’t have access to.
          This right-wing “populism” has a logic and momentum of its own – originally sparked by people like the Kochs and other oligarchs – it now moves largely under its own power and it isn’t always acting in the interest of big business, who would probably just rather have stability and the status quo (these movements of course are not standing up against business either!).

        2. GC54

          Canada will house the entire North American population in a few decades as points south become uninhabitable. My fantasy is Churchill, Manitoba is the capital city, one of dozens around Hudson Bay at the 30 m contour. Unfortunately, glaciers scrapped away all the top soil so only Soylent Green dining will be available.

    2. Lou Anton


      The top exports of Canada are Crude Petroleum ($67.8B), Cars ($40.9B), Gold ($14.6B), Refined Petroleum ($12.3B), and Vehicle Parts ($10.8B)

      When 4 of your top 5 exports are petroleum or things that use petroleum, I think that makes you a petro-state.


    3. Userfract

      Yes, this is not particularly good analysis. It contains factual errors and mistaken assumptions. For example, a major part of Zeihan’s argument rests on a demographic crunch when we actually have population growth driven by immigration (Today’s headline on If you ask anyone who lives here about our current challenges, you’re a lot more likely to get an answer about our unsustainable housing bubble than anything related to trade. As to whether we are a petro state, that sector certainly has disproportionate influence, but we have a diversified economy. The oil could be shut off tomorrow and we’d still have a huge agricultural sector, every other kind of resource and a highly skilled workforce.

      1. CBBB

        Canada has had a serious problem with very low productivity growth and a lethargic private sector incapable of innovation or productive investment for a long time. These problems haven’t gone away and with every passing year that this is not fixed Canada’s economic future continuous to be downgraded.
        There is a skilled population but the Canadian economy does a very poor job of utilizing these skills effectively and so they go to waste. Immigration is growing Canadian total GDP just from that fact that more people are coming in and working and consuming but they aren’t doing much for PER CAPITA GDP growth.
        The immigration boom seems to be doing little but contributing to extreme housing shortages and prices. Housing is over 10% of Canadian GDP and it seems highly unsustainable to me.

        Separatism doesn’t seem to be going away and there is a general lack of quality political leadership.

      2. bojackhorsemeat

        If we’re concerned about being a petro state long term… Well, that will disproportionately hurt Alberta! They’d be screwed if they separated.

        And all the nonsense about Alberta and Saskatchewan funding the rest of Canada… hot garbage. Sure, Ontario has been a borderline have-not province for a bit, but that erases the decades when Ontario put the vast majority into equalisation. Quebec has always been the largest benefactor. All of the Alberta independence nonsense flowed from their anger around that.

        The alternative? Let the maritimes and Quebec become poverty-stricken backwaters (moreso)? I don’t think Canada’s prepared to do that just to appease Alberta.

        1. CBBB

          I do agree that Alberta wouldn’t have a bright future as an independant nation. Tar sand oil, being so expensive to produce is bound to wind up a stranded asset in the coming decades. But this logic doesn’t seem to register at all with many Albertans and their politicans, so it seems to me they will continue to push for it.

      3. Kouros

        “Immigration — not birth rate — was the driver in Canada’s population growth from 2016 to 2021. It was also the main reason for a slowdown starting in 2020, as border restrictions were imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

        You will notice that there is no mention how much an influence immigration had on the growth of the population.

        The difference btw two Censuses was 1.8 million. The Feds approved 400,000 immigrants per year. Assume that number didn’t really materialized and maybe 300,000 people came. In five years, that is 1.5 million. That is an underestimate.

        Not a health approach I would say.

    4. Sub-Boreal

      I agree with some of the other comments on the two-year-old Zeihan piece on the Canadian situation.

      It’s correct that we qualify as a petro-state, and yes, population growth is now almost entirely due to immigration, which is keeping the housing bubble inflated. (Data point: the tiny 1938 Vancouver house that I sold in 1991 for $221 K, after buying it for $175K a couple of years earlier, is now assessed at $1.5M for taxation purposes.) In BC, we’re seeing the bubble echo out into the boonies where Vancouver refugees are finding what look like bargain prices to them – for now.

      Zeihan is correct in identifying the centrifugal tendencies – baked into the Constitution – due to the powers given to the provinces. A knock-on result is that because natural resources are in provincial jurisdiction, it’s easy for corporations to play the provinces off against each other, and we end up with races to the bottom on things like royalty rates and regulatory oversight. So the petro-provinces don’t get anything like real value for allowing resource exploitation – Norway is definitely not the role model here – but there’s still enough easy money and jawbs sloshing around to distort local politics and social functioning.

      Meanwhile, here’s another viewpoint on the #TruckerTantrum in Ottawa, from the First Nations Leadership Council:
      “As evidenced by the destructive, anarchic displays of anti-vax sentiments, as well as the state of emergency recently declared by Ottawa, the so-called ‘Freedom Convoy’ has sown division, intolerance, and misinformation during a time in which we cannot afford to have vaccine mandates and public health and safety endangered,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “Showing great contempt and disregard for frontline healthcare workers, the convoy that hit Vancouver last Saturday was set to target three major hospitals and sparked clashes between the convoy and counter-protesters. There continues to be an explosive and shameful display of unlawful violence associated with the ‘Freedom Convoy’ and truly abhorrent racist conduct including blatant antisemitism. Furthermore, the police response to the protest-turned-occupation in Ottawa has, up until recently, been almost non-existent and appalling in their unwillingness to intercede. The racist double-standard in policing in this country is on full display — had these protesters been Indigenous, the police would have cleared them out in a heartbeat.”

  10. jr

    These Animals Are Feasting on the Ruins of an Extinct World

    I have to say I really appreciate the analyses of our political establishment that you find on NC…and McConnell does look like something you would find at 5000’…Biden is definitely sponge-like, creeping along in both a literal and political way, blind and deaf to all but the most elemental of stimuli, say a teenage gymnastic competition on ESPN. Pelosi was here before Boston, the United States, perhaps before the space-time scaffolding itself; she is a true creature of the void. Harris is a hollow tube of worm poop for sure. Trump is a mountain of it.

  11. Noone from Nowheresville

    Crypto: So this crypto seized by the US government. Let’s say they prove in court that this crypto was the original stolen crypto and convict all or some of the individuals involved in the original crime as well as those along the way, do these Bitcoins get destroyed, returned the original exchange / owners for the original dollar worth amount or current amount, used by law enforcement for other purposes or…

    Do the couple get to use any of their “money” as part of their defense?
    If not, perhaps they needed to do more charity and think tank contributions.

    It is interesting that bad unapproved (or no longer approved) state actors get stripped of their wealth but bad state approved actors get to keep much of their bad for the common good inter-generational gains.

    1. Wukchumni

      In a fashion, this saga is kind of similar to the plot from Dumb & Dumber but if anything oodles more fun.

    1. fresno dan

      February 9, 2022 at 9:49 am
      To be a democrat nowadays is to be FOR war. From what I have read about human psychology, a lot of ones views are formed in one’s youth. Growing up in the sixties, I equated the dems with McGovern and Eugene McCarthy and being the party against the war (Vietnam) The late 60’s was the aberration – one can no longer equate the dems as being the anti war party.

      1. MRLost

        I agree completely and this is why I am no longer a Democrat or expect to vote for any Democrat. I voted Green in the last three elections and will continue to do so.

    2. Paradan

      So they’re offering a 10 million dollar reward for information leading to kill/capture of the ISIS leader who ordered the attack. What that really means is that they’re concerned that he’ll talk, and name who it was from the MIC that called him up and asked him to do the attack.

  12. antidlc

    Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations still too high for changes to mask guidance, CDC director says

    The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is standing by the agency’s mask guidelines, emphasizing Tuesday that now is not the time to change the recommendations or loosen restrictions aimed at preventing Covid-19.

    The CDC “still recommends that all schools encourage students to wear well-fitting masks consistently and while indoors. And that’s consistent with our guidance that still also recommends that people mask in public indoor settings in areas of high or substantial transmission,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a radio interview with WYPR’s Tom Hall on Tuesday’s edition of the show “Midday.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The part that grinds my past field organizer self is the “moderate Republicans” Team Blue types lust after are the ones supportive of these measures.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      On the other hand:

      Biden officials trying to recalculate U.S. Covid-19 hospitalizations

      “While the guidance and intent of the hospital data collection is to capture people who are admitted for Covid (vs with Covid), in practice the data reported varies by entity,” a senior official at HHS told POLITICO in a statement. “Some entities may be able to delineate … but we do not do this in the national dataset.”

      Biden officials are conducting a national review of hospitalization data to determine how many individuals sought care for Covid-19 and unrelated reasons during the peak of the Omicron spread. In one CDC report published last week, a California hospital found that 80 percent of its patients came into the facility for Covid-19 and 20 percent were admitted “primarily for non–COVID-19 conditions.”

      Conversations about recalculating hospitalizations ramped up during the spread of Omicron, one of the two senior officials said. As the highly transmissible variant began to move throughout the country, hospitals began to see an increase in the number of individuals arriving for care for non-Covid reasons and testing positive during screenings, skewing the national hospitalization rates.

      Sounds like somebody’s trying to knock the cdc director’s mask mandate justification right out from under her.

      1. Nestor

        Must have as close to possible appearance of normalcy before the midterms.

        The last opportunity for the .1% to dump stocks on the chumps and pension plans. After that let the Bidenstagflation Depression begin.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Life in the Olympic gulag: Athletes are ‘crying like crazy’ in hellish quarantine with miserable food where ‘hope is dead’ as DOZENS miss out on their events after testing positive and being carted off to isolation camps”

    Had a radical idea. What if all the teams that went to the Winter Olympics isolated either as individuals or in their teams in a special camp designated as a virus-free ‘bubble.’ Have their wives, partners and girlfriends present too (may they never meet). Then, when they all have a clean bill of health, they could take a sterilized airliner to the Winter Games and would not have to contend with this isolation regime. But apparently that was too much to ask of them. No sympathy whatsoever.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > “Life in the Olympic gulag: Athletes are ‘crying like crazy’ in hellish quarantine with miserable food where ‘hope is dead’ as DOZENS miss out on their events after testing positive and being carted off to isolation camps”

      Could be replaced by “… testing positive….” I thought that was their personal responsibility? So why all the whinging?

      1. Dave in Austin

        Just a short clarification. The “Gulag” was an archipelago. The Olympic village is merely one island and probably the most comfortable island in this particular Chinese version of the archipelago. Solzhenitsyn be praised for his brilliant metaphor.

    2. Wukchumni

      I heard there’s a defenseman and goalie locked up in the other Gulag Hockeypelago in Beijing, both have been on involuntary hunger strikes.

    3. Mikel

      Many athletes talk about all the precautions they took, but they couldn’t avoid the long flight to China.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Bullshit. They could have worn N95s and taken one sip or bite and put their mask back on when they needed to eat or drink.

        Or they could have come three weeks early.

        They had an Olympic competition at stake. They have only themselves and at most their coaches to blame.

    4. Maritimer

      So much of “sport” is now just Gambling. So this is a heaven sent opportunity: the ability to lock up competitors at will, make them sick and depressed and then make corresponding bets. Also, the ability to manipulate Medal Totals depending on the bets.

      Just imagine the Dodgers v Yanks in World Series except Dodgers can lock up/disqualify Yanks’ players. (“Hey, Jeter, you got Covid.”) Badabing. Things may be going wild in Macao!

  14. Wukchumni

    Goooooood Moooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The con you missed forces would do hit-and-run attacks on unsuspecting assets, utilizing inherent heir superiority with the rule of law on their side, er, John Law, that is.

    Operating from strategic hamlets in the Hamptons, they were an island unto themselves and an ideal defensible position, in that they were surrounded by like minded sycophants.

  15. Lemmy Caution


    There’s so much to unpack in the Eric Feigl-Ding tweet.

    First of all, the “herd immunity” slur. Sweden has higher vaccination rates than the U.S. So to argue, like Feigl-Ding does, that Sweden has implemented a “natural infection herd immunity strategy” reveals he is either ignorant or lying.

    Second, the graph itself has been manipulated. It shows data ending January 31, even though data up to February 4 was available at the time the graph was screen captured. By manipulating the end date, the screen capture of the graph fails to show a dramatic, nearly vertical decrease in the number of cases starting February 1. “How convenient” as the Church Lady used to say.

    Third, the scary red circle around the testing collection dates implies the government cherry picked the time window to bolster their case. Turns out the government has collected data 14 different times since the pandemic began, as shown on page 9 of the Swedish Public Health Authority report cited in the tweet. Weeks 47 and 48 are simply the most recent collection period. Presumaby the researchers had no idea the case count would rise shortly after the latest collection efforts ended.

    The whole tweet is full of manipulations and misinformation designed to support a narrative. Judging from this example, anything this Feigl-Ding guy tweets or retweets should be suspect.

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      Is is sad or ridiculous to believe and link to news agencies that have lied about everything they could for the last 3 decades? Is it sad or ridiculous to provide links to people that are always wrong or lying? Is it sad or ridiculous to believe anything said by people that have no intention of telling a truth of any kind because they are paid to lie? add, governments, party members, shills, foundations….. Bill Gates is a wonderful example of someone functionally illiterate that believes what he is told by people that want his money.
      Why can’t people understand that life is always about genetics and their own personal choices about how they will die? The only caveat are accidents, that one has no control over.
      But the most ridiculous and sad thing I have ever heard of is the religion of pseudo science believing that they could make a vaccine for a beta corona virus when a curative treatment was known to them for decades before? That demonstrates crimes against humanity.
      How much ingrained ignorance is is necessary to believe something when reality has already demonstrated that the beliefs are akin to idiocy?

    2. whatmeworry

      Thank you for that! Also note that he does not put Denmark on the same chart. They achieved 2X as many cases per million as did Sweden despite choosing different methods.
      The man is not to be trusted.

  16. jr

    re: Hunter!

    For those who have questioned Hunter Biden’s expertise in energy matters, did you know he was also involved with a Chinese oil company in Kazakhstan? The Hill’s Ryan Grim and Robbie “Suave” Soave delve into this little morsel along with a bigger picture of elite operators working the rich fields of international corruption:

  17. fresno dan

    McConnell calls Jan. 6 a ‘violent insurrection,’ breaking with RNC NBC (resilc)
    “We all were here. We saw what happened. It was a violent insurrection for the purpose of trying to prevent the peaceful transfer of power after a legitimately certified election, from one administration to the next. That’s what it was,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters at his weekly news conference.
    I’m more right wing than McConnell??????????????????
    The world is just going topsy turvy.
    I mean, I just thought it was a riot (mostly a demonstration with some rioters – does anyone have any idea of the percentage of people who did criminal acts compared to the number of participants?)
    So, what is McConnell up to?

    1. Wukchumni

      I think Mitch realizes that the likelihood of a teetotalitarian dictator bent on revenge taking over in 2024 is a clear and present danger, and he really only has one card to play, and turned it over.

    2. griffen

      Perhaps he is inclined to stand apart for the benefit of the not-him-again coalition, and convince the donor class Republicans can be lead without Trump running the show. I mean the RNC is really parsing the thin line on that approved resolution.

      Or he’s just like y’all are just too darn crazy for this Kentucky boy.

    3. marym

      fresno dan @ at 10:32 am
      Equating the riot with “insurrection”, and those few hours as constituting the attempt to interfere with the orderly transfer of power is a good deflection from the elite components of that project.

      Looking backward, calling the riot an insurrection throws the rabble under the bus, while ignoring the role of those who tried to undermine the election with unsubstantiated claims of fraud, lawsuits, fake audits, fake electoral ballots from fake alternate electors, and votes to reject some of the real electoral ballots; and those who had some part in fomenting the riot itself.

      Looking forward, voter suppression and election subversion laws in the states, racial gerrymandering now endorsed by the SC, and Democrats unwilling to do anything about any of it pretty much get him where he wants to be without anyone breaking windows and trashing his domain.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Talking about the elite components, I still want to know why the DC cops didn’t show up, but clearly the Congressional “investigation” isn’t interested in finding out about that.

    4. hunkerdown

      Threading the needle between “deadly insurrection” (c) Reuters and “it’s not a toomah” (c) Ahnold. Yay enlightened centrism!

  18. Gumnut

    Denmark sitrep: record cases again, 55k (9.5k/million pop) cases today – cool & normal.

    Preprint from Cell
    – OAS full steam ahead: you got vaccinated, you will make vintage antibodies, no matter the new variant – cool &normal.
    – vaxxed you get same or more spike protein/ unit blood volume than SEVERELY infected with covid – cool & normal.
    – mRNA from vax does not get broken down fast & persists for months in ENTIRE body – cool & normal.

    – a few weeks back NC ran the 40% excess mortality/ life insurer story. I’ve read allusions from IM Doc regarding vax injuries being higher than reported, to state it politely. Then last week, following on from the Ron Johnson senate hearing event (gods – in what world do I live in to rely on Republicans to question the public health narrative?), came the DMED data story (VAERS for US military as far as I understand), that 2021 health for all sorts of things was way up (in a bad way) from 2016-2019 as well as 2020. Internet coverage is the usual suspects, but here the letter:
    & the graphs of the reported issues: (scroll down to see graphs)
    DoD says that’s because 2016-2020 data was underreported (& then correctly from 2021?!) – cool & normal.

    Jimmy Dore interviewed on Triggernometry: …a leftie to speak out, thank f.

    1. Eustachedesaintpierre

      Yes, a friend sent me that a few hours ago – ” Vaccine spike antigen and mRNA persist for weeks in lymph node germinal centers ” – 60 days tracked before they stopped monitoring it.

      French geneticist Alexandra Henrion-Caud who has worked extensively with RNA was warning about the possibility of the above & much else besides months ago & criticises the choice of spike protein, stating that a nucleocapsid protein would have been a safer bet, but not so good for a business plan.

  19. Mikel

    “Cryptocurrency Is Funding Ukraine’s Defense—and Its Hacktivists” Wired

    “It’s proved itself to be a robust way to fund wars.”

    Now it’s clear why “crypto” was created in the first place and is tolerated by TPTB.
    Not different at all from reasons of any central government – monarchy, republic, etc.

  20. Tom Stone

    I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit on the political spectrum according to the MSM.
    It’s confusing,but as best as I can tell I’m a radical leftist paleo conservative tool of the Kremlin.
    And while I do enjoy a good Borscht I don’t speak a word of Russian beyond “Spasebo”.
    Go figure.

    1. Robert Gray

      > I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit on the political spectrum according to the MSM.

      A few days ago somebody here mentioned the political compass questionnaire. I remembered taking it a few years ago but I thought it would be fun to go back and do it again. Then I dug out my results from the first time. I seem to be pretty consistent although I am now a bit even further adrift in terms of MSM-thought.

      Feb. ’18: -6.63, -4.51
      Feb. ’22: -7.5, -5.9

    2. ChrisPacific

      I probably know a smattering of Russian, as some of my friends in grad school chose it to fulfil their foreign language requirement, and they used to ask me to quiz them on vocab using flash cards.

      It’s a very dramatic language when spoken aloud. My friends were particularly taken with the word for ‘opposite,’ (from Google: противоположный or protivopolozhnyy) which I have to admit is a lot of fun to say.

  21. Tertium Squid

    Fascinating article about the tech bugs in cars! Highlights the conflict that automakers (used to dictating terms to suppliers) are having with the tech giants that are writing the code.

    Amazing comment from a Google spokesperson:

    “Our general practice is to provide manufacturers with sufficient notice ahead of major updates.”

    I.e. WE tell THEM what’s going to happen and when, except sometimes we don’t even tell them.

    1. Carolinian

      From the article it’s clear that they are talking about the “head unit” in the middle of the dashboard and not the several other computers in current cars and most especially not the one that controls the engine. That latter has been in practically all cars since the early 1990s. It’s safe to say the technology is “mature.”

      1. sj

        Never underestimate the ability of tech to rewrite mature* and functional code and introduce new and interesting bugs in the process.

        *mature: often scary and unreadable and therefore unmaintainable. Often the best course is to back away from the keyboard…

  22. Wukchumni

    My Bitcoin investment is roaring back, although my $4.01k acquired @ Coinstar is still down, currently $3.34.

    I kind of feel like Mikaela Shiffrin…

  23. Stove Goblin

    Nord Stream II, meet Stuxnet. Stuxnet, Nord Stream II. Germany will get gas intermittently, and Russian engineers will rage-quit with never-ending phantom safety and meter issues. Qatar, alone, can pick up the 35% slack. — Who invented all of these pipeline compressor units? Commercial liquefaction was invented in Cleveland because gas pipelines were a wartime strategic nightmare on which to rely. — At best, Russia is playing a weak hand well up until now.

    1. Kouros

      Do I detect a sense of pride here? That US is capable of conducting full spectrum war?

      One forgets that the technical genie is out of the bottle and that technology is a two way street. Also it is important to ponder at the fact that the very private nature of US infrastructure makes it an easier target, with more cracks to exploit…

      It is the American sense of superiority and “exceptionalism” that will be the undoing of it…

  24. fresno dan

    The coming backlash against growth and jobs The Week (resilc)

    Republican Senator Ron Johnson (Wis.) won’t try to convince OshKosh Defense, a Wisconsin-based company, to make vehicles for the Post Office in his home state. “It’s not like we don’t have enough jobs here in Wisconsin,” he told reporters over the weekend. “The biggest problem we have in Wisconsin right now is employers not being able to find enough workers.”
    He’s not alone in that thinking. “We don’t have a lack of work but a lack of willing workers,” claimed Heritage Foundation research fellow Joel Griffith in a recent statement, adding that “[w]hat’s to blame are welfare handouts that don’t require any effort to get back to work[.]” Others aren’t so blatant, but the message is the same. “If I were the Fed chair … I would have raised rates early in the fall,” Bank of America researcher Ethan Harris told CNBC Monday. “When we get this broad-based increase, and it starts making its way to wages, you’re behind the curve, and you need to start moving.” That is: Workers are making too much, and their pay needs to be cut.

    These comments are reflective of a growing movement to strangle the American economy. Everyone claims to love growth and jobs in this country, but the fact is the rich have done very, very well over the last decade of slow growth and high unemployment. They’ll try to re-create that situation if they can.

    From the standpoint of business owners, a high-growth, high-employment economy has two big downsides. The first is eroded control over labor. In the decade after 2008, employers who needed to hire someone always had a line of desperate people going around the block.
    Second, a tight economy isn’t great for the stock market and the rate of corporate profits, particularly relative to the rest of the economy.
    Everything you need to know about the US economic system: laborers getting more money is bad, bad, BAD! The rich getting less money is bad, bad, BAD!

  25. Tom Stone

    For the SCI-FI fans out there Arcflash labs is now selling their first model of Gauss rifle.
    I’ll stick with my .700 WTF for dealing with giant mutant squirrels until they work the bugs out.

  26. jr

    Wow, I ignore CNN religiously but after listening to a Jimmy Dore bit I hunted down this piece with Jim Acosta red-baiting Tucker Carlson for asking legitimate questions about why the hell we care about Ukraine in the first place:

    Maybe this isn’t news. I’ve literally never watched Acosta in action and it’s something to see. He was probably picked in part for his “penetrating” gaze but he just looks like a moon-eyed fool doing his level best to sound authoritative. I swear you can see the back of his skull if you look deeply enough. That and a gaseous cloud of confusions, careerist plots, and a bust of himself. He retches up a joke: FOX is the “Bull-shevik” channel, which literally made me doubt my eyes for a second when I saw it spelt out. This is the professional voice of reason the liberal establishment offers? A viable source of information and analysis? He appeals to all the usual, discredited suspects as voices of authority in such matters, which is why his viewership is but a fraction of Tucker’s.

  27. PlutoniumKun


    NI Protocol: Who needs Article 16 when crisis prevails? Tony Connelly, RTE. From earlier this week, still germane.

    The dangerous end of Northern Ireland’s Unionist Ascendancy Philip Stephens (guurst)

    As observed in the NI political blog, Slugger O’Toole, the whole point of the DUP taking down the NI assembly was to get some attention, but they failed miserably, nobody cares anymore.

    As Stephens observes, Unionism is collapsing due to Brexit. Or at least, political Unionism, its not clear what is happening on the ground, except to observe that attempts to start trouble have been damp squibs. Northern Ireland Unionists made a huge error in embracing Brexit and can’t untangle themselves from their own mistakes. Now that the Tories have lost all interest in them, they are isolated and clearly have no clue how to fix the problem they created.

    The existing agreements, while widely abused by the UK government (the EU is not forcing this issue yet, but will eventually have to), has been a boon to NI as it has found itself in a very nice position as a trading entrepot between the UK and Europe. Ordinary business people have noticed this, but it doesn’t seem to have floated up to the politicians who see this as a solely political issue.

    The danger is that as the existing political Unionism collapses in on itself, something much nastier emerges. But for now, both Dublin and London and everyone else can, with some relief, just ignore the political problems and focus on the practical issues. Brexit is turning into a long, slow bleed for the UK, and its going to get worse as some of the harshest third country rules have not kicked in yet.

  28. Wukchumni

    Went out on a date the other day, and it’s the ultimate May to December romance in that the object of my desire is 1,469 years old and I don’t even know if it’s male or female. I got to first base with heavy petting in that with just thumb pressure you can push nearly an inch into the bark, which has he consistency of about 693 layers of Papier-mâché.

    Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a 70-mile drive from San Joaquin County, encompasses 6,400 acres and preserves some of the largest and oldest trees in the world.

    But the recent wildfires in the state present a looming threat to Big Trees and the nonprofit organization that maintains the park is asking for help.

    “In this area, wildfire is not a question of if, but when,” said Dr. Vida Kenk, president of the Calaveras Big Trees Association.

    The CBTA is asking the State Parks Department to aggressively step-up fire management efforts. They are calling for the state to take immediate action to mobilize crews to clean up the forest, during the winter months, Marcie Powers, a CBTA board member said in an email. And to hire permanent fire management staff.

    Flames lick up a tree as the Windy Fire burns in the Trail of 100 Giants grove in Sequoia National Forest, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
    The forest is in dire condition — choked with dry vegetation, dead standing trees and dense understory. If we don’t thin and clean up the park, now, we believe we will likely become the next Big Basin, she wrote.

    Anticipated costs within the park for clearing, thinning and abatement are currently budgeted at about $7 million (spread over several regional state parks), over five years, Powers said in the email.

  29. Amfortas the hippie

    regarding my moment of weakness the other evening, after standing too close to the whiskey:
    thank you all for your kindness.
    i means a lot to me, as well as to Wife.

    we’re embarking on another clinical trial…this one is like a targeting laser…painting the “Plectin” that is apparently crazily expressed on cancer cells…so the immune system can target it easier(
    she’ll be the third(3RD) Human that this drug is given to…which is kind of weird.
    if this fails to work, the only option are the 4th and 5th line regular treatments…pills…that have 30% efficacy, and better odds of causing horrible side effects.
    she has indicated that she doesn’t want to go there.
    we went to san antone yesterday, and spoke at length with the oncologist who runs these trials…and, as we had agreed, asked the Hard Questions.
    doing nothing= maybe a year…and it’ll be liver failure that does it.
    if this drug works…perhaps a year longer, depending on variables too numerous to list.
    all my Aurelius and Ram Dass and the rest of the Feral Philosophy is being brought to bear, here…and all i can do is be the Rocky Promontory, for her, and for the boys.
    Eldest is as stoic as i am, if not more so…and with the same penchant for the suppressed chaos underneath to burst forth if whiskey is available(we both try t stick to beer)
    Youngest…a much more sensitive and emotional creature…is gonna take a lot more work.
    Wife, herself, careens wildly between a morose sit-on-couch watching george lopez reruns…and an almost giddy sense of adventure, asking about the death process…ie: what’s the science say about such a subjective experience…and remembering almost 25 years of half listening to me ramble…picking Princeton Eggs, and non-local consciousness and endoDMT production out of the brain-on-fire morass of Amfortasspeak….i admit to being pleased and surprised that she’s been listening enough to remember such esoterica.
    so i’m re-reading Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy as a refresher, so i can up my game for this.
    again, thank you all for your kind words, and your forbearance.

    1. ChRmander

      All the best to you and fam, Amfortas. My mom beat stage 4 cancer. May the highest situation for all of you prevail.
      A fellow hippie

    2. DJG, Reality Czar


      You have not tested anyone’s patience. Further, many of the comments were about how people are grateful for your commentary and for the what-passes-for, being virtual, community here among us groundlings.

      Your poem was direct and elegant. Zen-like, Franciscan-like moment of hitting people on the forehead with the sublimity of art. Compliments.

      Don’t be too Stoic. (I’m not a Stoic, having been seduced long ago by the impeccable logic of Lucretius.)

      Yes, it is going to be an experiment. But that’s what “science” is about, the mess of experiments and doubts.

      Whiskey? Rye, of course. Templeton, if they sell it in Texas. Old Overholt, if you feel like having a hangover. And Rittenhouse isn’t bad, even if they don’t make it in Pennsylvania anymore. Sip, though. Sip: Rye likes to scrape the palate.

      Who to read? Emily Dickinson. The Spoon River Anthology. The Greek / Palatine Anthology.

      And post here, when you can.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        lol, thanks.
        didn’t think of it thataway when i said it.
        a western haiku, perhaps.
        (one of my favorite Kerouac books, thin…fits in a back pocket)
        (“missed a kick
        at the refrigerator door
        it closed anyway”)

        i’m a beer guy, and generally avoid likker.
        unless i’m already in the beer, and Eldest’s Gaggle shows up and starts doing shots.
        i generally regret it.
        in this case, it’s my mom’s peculiar talent for calling me with a long string of narcissistic complaints when i’m in the proverbial “Sweet Spot”(see” Streetcar Named Desire”)…and i grope around for whatever’s to hand to try(and ultimately fail) to get back to that interrupted Sweetspot.
        problem is that i forget to turn off my fone,lol.
        in easier times, i lean towards Dark Rum(Kraken…dangerous stuff!) and t’Killya!…the Patron kind…top shelf, sipping tequila…and Scotch Whiscea(Sc. Gaelic:”water of life”)…none of which i can afford on anything like a regular basis.(i only have the scotch, whiskey and tequila i’ve been getting into because of Xmas…and people not really knowing me, due to this swirl of affectless aloofness i sort of naturally developed due to growing up embedded in hostile tribes.
        that, and the Glamour of dangerous hostility i sometimes habitually cloak myself in, because of the trauma that growing up that way entailed.)

        with tax return + EITC, we’re planning to obtain a 2 seater Kegerator…with the bottle of CO2..because it’s just a whole lot cheaper than all this nickle and diming.

        usual caveats apply…i swear i ain’t trolling for sympathy…but, aside from the geese,sheeps, chickens and my two Toms(and wife and boys, of course)…y’all pretty much are my social life.
        I don’t call the people i encounter when i leave the Farm “Mundanes” by accident.
        while they have their endearing qualities…which i hope i acknowledge appropriately…they are as a rule, incurious, reactionary and oh, so average,lol.
        haven’t read a damned thing!
        and have the usual…and expected, by now…knee-jerk reaction to a Tall Weed like me, when i remove the proverbial Bushel Basket from my shining mind, thereby blinding them for a moment…like a flash grenade,or a fire hose, is how they’ve described it…. and causing them…like the little hammer on the knee….to lash out at this strange and fearful thing before them…..

    3. jonhoops

      Amfortas, Hope your wife does well on this clinical trial. If not you may want to try the metabolic approach to cancer treatment. Search for Jane McLelland Starving Cancer, The Care Oncology Protocol, The Joe Tippens Protocol. Thomas Seyfried cancer as a metabolic disease.

    4. Dave in Austin


      Come to Austinland and visit Donn’s Depot ( to hear all the songs you two remember played by people who used to be on the road with Elvis and a lot of the other people we both remember.

      I hereby authorize Naked Capitalism to give you my email address so I can buy you and your honey either the first Shiner or the first whiskey.

    5. orlbucfan

      Amfortas, I know I speak for everyone on here in telling you, we all have your back. Plenty of us have been through and scarred by the Big Curse/Cancer. I have followed your interesting/intelligent comments since starting as a lurker here. Several years ago. All the very best to you and your krewe. You all stay strong and as positive as you can. Thoughts of peace and strength flowing your way; and as the Bikers (motorized) say: stay safe!

    6. Kouros

      It was depressing for me having to write a report on Death, Dying, and Bereavement in my population of interest, never mind living through such an experience.

      Christine Overall has a book about “Aging, Death, and Human Longevity: A Philosophical Inquiry”. If it helps…

    7. griffen

      We will keep an open chair, and anytime you are certainly welcome to stop by for a visit. Cheering / hoping from the sideline for the best of any possible choice and possible outcome.

      I keep repeating myself. Cancer just sucks.

    8. Sardonia

      A whiskey-ed moment of weakness? Nah. I think it was Rumi who said – My Broken Places have been better bridges to Others than my Strengths ever were.

      If curious, another interesting read is Ken Wilber’s “Grace and Grit” – he and his wife having spent years absorbed in exploring the Perennial Philosophy, suddenly having to see if they could apply it to her diagnosis of terminal cancer, taking it from the abstract to the Real.

      Best wishes to you all.

      1. Joe Renter

        I am sorry to hear of your wife’s battle with cancer. I recall when seeing your handle here a number of years back. I think you would be something like the character in Sarte’s book Nausea, “the self-taught man at the library”. You drip with wisdom gleaned from experience from this life and others.
        Might I suggest you and yours read, “When things fall apart: Heart advice for difficult times”, by Pema Chodron.
        Also, never too late to start meditation, if not already practiced. Mindfulness or Vipassana is quite easy to start with. It can deal with pain if approached diligently. The basic teachings of the Buddha may be of use.
        You can never take life away from life. We continue…

  30. Wukchumni

    Mademoiselle from Armentières
    Parler view
    Hasn’t been missed for over a year
    Hinky-dinky Parler view

    Oh Mademoiselle from Armentieres
    Parler view
    You didn’t have to know her long
    To know the reason men go wrong
    Hinky-dinky Parler view

    Oh Mademoiselle from Armentieres
    Parler view
    You might forget Trump’s hard sell
    But you’ll nev’r forget the Mademoiselle
    Hinky-dinky Parler view

  31. Medbh

    I thought this was from an onion article, but it’s posted on the REI website so I assume it’s legitimate. They’re all-in on the signaling, but not too excited about sharing the cold hard cash.
    REI anti union podcast

    Wilma Wallace:
    Hi REI. My name is Wilma Wallace and I serve as your Chief Diversity and Social Impact Officer. I use she/her pronouns and am speaking to you today from the traditional lands of the Ohlone people.

    So I’m here chatting with Eric Artz who serves the co-op and all of us as CEO. And Eric, welcome. I know you emailed all employees two weekends ago to let us know what was going on in SoHo before we saw it in the news, and we know employees have lots of questions about what’s going on.
    So just to recap for the audience on Friday January 21st we were notified by the National Labor Relations Board that the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union filed a petition for an election at our SoHo store in New York. And since then I’m sure you’ve heard from lots of employees across the co-op. Maybe we can start by you sharing some of what you’ve heard.

    Eric Artz:
    Well thank you Wilma. Thanks for hosting and hello to everyone that is listening. For those of you who I have not had the chance to meet, I use he/him pronouns and I’m speaking to you today from the traditional lands of the Coast Salish peoples…

  32. Wukchumni

    Super Bowl is this Sunday and it isn’t too far from LAX to the stadium, and the city burghers are in the midst of cleaning out the various ‘Poortemkin Villages’ en route, so wealthy game goers sensibilities won’t be challenged…

    Homeless Encampment Removal for the Super Bowl 56 in Inglewood Los Angeles

    1. griffen

      Shocking, I tell you, shocking. Modern US city, hosting American and foreign travel for the annual phenomenon. It is much better to reflect the generic and clean view to the world.

      1. Wukchumni

        Every time I venture to the City of Angles, its as if the homeless population grows by 10% since my last visit.

  33. Joe Renter

    I hear you Wukchumni. It was an eye opener for me when I went to a trade show in 98 in LA. This was a precursor to what was to happen in Seattle after 08. Intense is a word that comes to mind. Now I am my overrated hometown of Santa Cruz where it’s different but of course still chronic.
    Rents here are crazy and the rich doing quite, well thank you. I was in a restaurant where the president of Net Flicks was dining (I worked there). Side note: the waitperson got 40 off of a 90-dollar tab. I would hope so.

Comments are closed.