Links 3/21/2022

Dear patient readers,

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

P.P.S. One of our mods is on holiday till the end of the month, so comment liberation may take longer than usual. We are very sorry! Please be patient.

* * *

What Makes a Great Opening Line? Literary Hub

Thou Old Serpent! London Review of Books

Underselling Hawking Inference

Antarctica’s volatile ‘Deception Island’ BBC

Momos Are Taking Over the Dumpling World for a Reason Bloomberg

daydream houses of oman McMansion Hell

Long-lost Canova sculpture bought for couple’s garden could fetch £8m Guardian

Body composting takes root in US ‘green’ burial trend Agence France-Presse

A Big Bet to Kill the Password for Good Wired


Why Protecting the Immunocompromised Is Critical To Ending the Pandemic The Wire


‘There is a whole lot more to negotiate’: how Covid-19 has changed housemate hunting Guardian


Cyclist pedaling slowly holds up People’s Convoy as it continues to make daily loops of DC Beltway demanding end to all COVID restrictions and the removal of BLM mural on road leading to White House Daily Mail


Opinion: ‘Freedom Day’ is a slap in the face of history Deutsche Welle


Breaking | Coronavirus: Hong Kong to lift flight bans, reduce quarantine for arrivals; mass testing plans put on hold South China Morning Post

Millions in China’s northeast placed under COVID-19 lockdown Al Jazeera

Covid-19: China lockdown hits Indian companies Telegraph (India)

New Not-So-Cold-War

Ukraine refuses to surrender Mariupol as Russia warns of humanitarian ‘catastrophe’ Reuters

US and NATO allies arm neo-Nazi units in Ukraine as foreign policy elites yearn for Afghan-style insurgency Grayzone

The Only ‘Agency’ Ukraine Has Is The Central Intelligence Kind Caitlin Johnstone

How a Sleazy American Dating Coach Became a Pro-Putin Shill in Ukraine Daily Beast (Brunches with Cats) Moi: Translation: Lira is getting some traction.


Good news: not everyone in the Western music world has lost courage and humanistic valuesGilbert Doctorow


War in Ukraine: Backlash in Russia against anti-war musicians BBC


Why So Many Countries Want to Sit Out the New Cold War Bloomberg. Pankaj Mishra.

Imran lauds New Delhi’s foreign policy Telegraph (India)

Expand your horizons: English language news broadcasters from India and Iran Gilbert Doctorow (JZ)


Think Twice Before Sanctioning Russia Further Project Syndicate. Robert Skidelsky.


Russia is risking the creation of a “splinternet”  – and it could be irreversible MIT Technology Review


Becoming toast? Qantara

War in Ukraine Is Already Taking Its Toll on Global Food Supplies WSJ


Germany to ‘fast-track’ gas terminals as part of Qatar deal Agence France-Presse


Zelensky blasts Israel for refusing to send weapons to help battle Russia and says Putin is planning new ‘final solution’ against people of Ukraine Daily Mail

Agreement and uncertainty: The Iran nuclear deal in a new global order Responsible Statecraft

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Major government surveillance revelations fail to make a big splash The Hill

Our Famously Free Press

The Birth of the American Foreign Correspondent  New Yorker. I think I’ll dedicate this afternoon to rereading Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop – just what the doctor ordered for some comic relief from these dark and dire days.

Old Blighty

Labour urges Kwasi Kwarteng to launch legal action against P&O Ferries Guardian

Family’s MP says Johnson’s ‘poor grasp’ of Zaghari-Ratcliffe case led to errors Guardian

Supply Chain

The Supremes

What to watch as Jackson’s Supreme Court hearings begin AP

The Senate’s Supreme Court peacekeeper prepares for his moment Politico

Justice Clarence Thomas hospitalized with infection; Supreme Court says he’ll miss some oral arguments this week WaPo

Is turnabout fair play under the Federal Arbitration Act? Scotusblog

Biden Administration

US watchers in Beijing urge closer look at Biden’s tough new ‘China hands’ South China Morning Post

Activists Condemn Deep-Sea Mining Effort by Defense Contractor Lockheed Martin TruthOut

Tübingen: Europe’s fiercely vegan, fairy-tale city BBC

Demand for This Toad’s Psychedelic Venom Is Booming. Some Warn That’s Bad for the Toad. NYT

Is there such a thing as the perfect alarm tone? We think so (and this is what it might sound like The Conversation

Climate Change

California’s ‘Solar Canals’ Will Save Water and Produce Clean Energy Treehugger

Queens BP Donovan Richards endorses LaGuardia Airport boat service NY Post

Ski Resorts Threatened by Wildfires Prepare to Defend and Rebuild WSJ


Biden administration rules Myanmar army committed genocide against Rohingya Reuters

All that we’ve gained, all that we’ve lost Dhaka Tribune


In Assam, locals and forest officials have joined hands to save elephants from train hits Scroll

After 2 Years, India Restores Valid Tourist E-Visas to Citizens of 156 CountriesThe Wire

UN Sec-Gen Establishes Advisory Board on Multilateralism; Indian Economist Jayati Ghosh Among Members The Wire

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. Louis Fyne

      unverifid social media video has the plane crashing in a straight dive, perpendicular to the ground, at very high speed. definitely not a case of the pilot being lost on the clouds.

      Draw your own conclusions

      1. Basil Pesto

        yes, it is always a good idea to draw conclusions on plane crashes a few hours after they’ve occurred.

        1. Eileen

          Wired Magazine is pushing for facial biometrics and by default, authoritarian control and a cashless society?
          I’m shocked, just shocked!

          Wired quickly has earned notoriety as a clearinghouse for intelligence agency chatter. Prior to Wired, Mondo 2000, the Bay Area’s original tech and culture magazine, reflected the progressive, idealistic viewpoints of many of the pioneer tech innovators. Including anti-war and pro environmental activism.

          In contrast, Wired, which appropriated Mondo 2000’s look and feel and no small number of its employees, glorified military and intelligence agency celebrities and corporate CEOs who happened to be clients of Nicholas Negroponte’s MIT Lab.

          Wired gained snowballing prominence in the early 2000s at the same time that the CIA launched its notorious investment firm, In-Q-Tel, to infiltrate the tech industry and put Silicon Valley on steroids with easy terms and government contracts.

          Yasha Levine, Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet (Public Affairs, 2018), page 174

            1. Late Introvert

              you can manage cookies so that they don’t persist, but let you view things and purchase things, without tracking

              it’s a hassle but it can be done, look for Cookie Auto Delete

              and just don’t read Wired, I think NC is linking as a shame exercise

      2. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

        “unverifid social media video has the plane crashing in a straight dive, perpendicular to the ground, at very high speed. definitely not a case of the pilot being lost on the clouds. . . . Draw your own conclusions”

        Without an available detailed incident investigation and root cause anlysis, everything else is trifling speculation and flimsy conjecture. That is, conclusions that not based on facts and evidence are meaningless.
        How so? See for example,

        “Over the next six minutes, as the first officer struggled to control the airplane and the captain searched for the right checklist, PK-LQP climbed and dove over a dozen times. At one point, the airplane pulled out of a 900-foot dive at an airspeed of almost 375 mph, which is uncomfortably close to the 737’s “redline” of 390 mph.”

        “Aircraft CRASHES into Taxi and Bridge, WHAT happened?! | TransAsia Airways 235” (26:26)

        One conclusion, therefore, might be to assume that, interconnected networks, especially human and highly complex technologcal interfaces, are sometimes subject to fast acting, intrinsically unstable catastrophic cascade effects. Or, so it would appear.

    1. hunkerdown

      Two blind links to the BBC and one to Flightradar24’s whole Twitter timeline do not constitute importance, to humans anyway.

  1. Roger Blakely

    RE: How a Sleazy American Dating Coach Became a Pro-Putin Shill in Ukraine

    The guy that you know on YouTube as Gonzalo Lira is the guy that those of us in the Manosphere have known for four years as Coach Red Pill. Why is an Ivy League finance guy and film producer living in Ukraine? Because he wanted to have a wife and children, and trying to do something like that with a Western woman is a recipe for failure. He tries to help young men navigate the dangerous waters of relationships with women. Why does he have a YouTube channel called Gonzalo Lira? Because YouTube does not like men talking to men in a way that is critical of women. YouTube regularly pulls down men’s channels. He received several community strikes and almost had his channel pulled down by YouTube. Women on YouTube can spout the most horrific misandry and no one complains.

    But we in the Manosphere have a not-so-secret weapon. His name is Kevin Samuels. He is a black image consultant who found success on YouTube talking about relationships between men and women. KS has become a household name, and he now has 1.3 million subscribers on YouTube. Kevin Samuels is our MWD, and he cannot be stopped.

    1. haywood

      I almost never disqualify someone’s opinions based solely on the company they keep.

      One of my few exceptions is the red-pill / “manosphere”. That’s an immediate disqualification, having never met anyone in that community who wasn’t a supremely disgusting person, a con artist, or (at best) a sad traumatized person who fell in with a bad crowd.

      1. nippersdad

        From the (very) little I have seen of Lira outside of his discussions about what is happening on the ground in Kharkov, he does not appear to have much to say of interest to anyone save for right wing incels. He is very difficult to listen to when it comes to his views of the left, and lefty women in particular. In this case it would appear that your metrics still hold true.

        That whole group, Lira, Mercouris and Christoforou, though excellent on analysis of reports about the Ukraine conflict, appear to have some very strange blind spots which are applied in the most random manner. That may just be a function of Greek Orthodox and Chilean macho culture, but it is jarring/disconcerting when they raise their head.

      2. B flat

        Last I knew of Lira was during the 2007/8 crash. Mish Shedlock regularly took apart Lira’s economic forecasts. Totally forgot about him after that. Becoming a YT red pill guy, it’s a living I guess. Bet he flips real estate and touts crypto on the side/smirk

        1. Yves Smith

          Lira provided some OK commentary post crisis on microeconomic stuff, but:

          1. He loves to be hyperbolic

          2. He is a deficit hawk

          3. He does not understand the Fed

          So he’s basically all wet on macroeconomics, as a lot of finance guys are.

          Lira and Shedlock were both wrong on the US post the crisis. Shedlock thought we’d have Japan style deflation. Lira thought we’d have hyperinflation. I haven’t gone further in what their beefs were about, but one Google snippet suggests Mish straw manned Lira.

          Having said that I would take Mish over Lira any day on finance matters but Mish has some important blind spots.

    2. anon y'mouse

      wow, i never thought i’d see such blatant misogynist shilling openly allowed through here on this board.

      and yet you sometimes censor “worthless” comments of others here rather openly (hey, it’s your place to do so).

      did someone not read the above?
      are we going down the road of where white supremacist ranting is allowed by the owner of the website, which implies a sort of endorsement of such views?

      1. Yves Smith

        You do not have the faintest idea how moderation works. Go read our Policies before getting worked up. Most comments appear automatically unless they hit our tripwires, which means containing particular words like faggot or fuck.

        As for misogyny, with all due respect, that is awfully mild. I’ve had vastly worse directed to my face.

        I suggest you see this for a frame of reference:

        The reality, whether you like it or not, is middle and even more so upper middle class women have been brought up to expect a substantial change in gender roles, when that has for the most part not happened. Peak gender neutrality in kid’s toys happened around the time of peak feminism, the 1970s. I came of age then. I personally believe so-called second wave feminists have far more realistic views of what is attainable. The expectation then was women could perform in male dominated roles, but they were not expected to be super-moms; the tacit assumption was motherhood was a competing obligation that was incompatible with having a really serious career unless you had a house husband, a role that was generally seen as castrating back then.

        Quite a few women IMHO have very unrealistic expectations of career v. motherhood. They have not been helped by a reversion starting in the Reagan era (I could see in on campuses when I was recruiting for Goldman, the change was astonishingly visible) of strong reinforcement of traditional gender roles in toys, ads, rom coms, TV shows.

        So men and women are confused, and the dating signals are made worse by widespread use of digital devices (and even more ready access to porn, which creates unrealistic male expectations of women’s bodies and what they need to do to satisfy a woman) which have reduced social/romancing skills.

        So no wonder you have a male backlash. Generally speaking, they have a much stronger sexual itch they need to scratch, so they whine more about their needs.

        1. Craig H.

          That the man is a sleazy dating coach is an ad hominem dismissal of his claims.

          His analysis on the missile attack on the NATO-adjacent training center near Lviv is one I had not seen anywhere else on the internet and I am interested in learning more about these:

          1. the base was 10 km from the Polish border; this can be checked and there was a NATO glossy brochure with a map and the 10 km on page 3 of the pdf;

          2. it was a cruise missile launched from hundreds of km distant, caught the mercenaries in their bunks in the middle of the night, the ground is within the remote sensing periphery of NATO, and the missiles travel slow enough that some alarm may be expected and some warning would have saved lives; all of these claims seem pretty easy for a specialist to check but I have not yet seen such;

          3. NATO generals are totally freaked out and the calls for a no-fly zone are rapidly dwindling; this first claim cannot be checked and the second claim would be hard to quantify but at least opinion on it could be composed; I have not seen such, though is impossible to read everything so maybe I am merely ignorant.

          The fellow is inside a war zone on the ground so perhaps some respect might be warranted?

          1. Stephanie

            That the man is a sleazy dating coach is an ad hominem dismissal of his claims.

            Agree that the accusation is an attempt to discredit information that falls dangerously outside the narrative and is therefore irrelevant to evaluations of the accuracy of that information.

            The fellow is inside a war zone on the ground so perhaps some respect might be warranted?

            Disagree that he deserves respect for staying alive in a war zone. Whether one does or doesn’t is frequently up to chance. And plenty of worse people have done more useful things with their lives than post Youtube videos from the front. For instance, Ed Kemper recorded audio books for the blind.

          2. anon y'mouse

            i was not critiquing Lira’s eyeball view (maybe?) on the war commentary, but by the commenter Roger Blakely on this website endorsing “redpill” views of “western woman” and his portrayal of how heroic this backwards misogynism seems out of place.

            as i said—it’s your place! it’s just surprising to find here.

            1. Yves Smith

              Again, I suggest your read our site Policies. You appear to have failed to do so and expect us to operate to please your sensibilities, and not in alignment with our rules.

              Men expect women to be subordinate. Women who make more than their husbands are uncomfortable about it and often lie to pretend otherwise.



              You can object to that as a pervasive norm but that is the state of play.

            2. Anon

              How is this different from critiquing the straw man that is the idealized Western culture in general, so often weaponized, as in the case of Ukraine coverage? Redpills seem to take cause with the nouveau idealized woman, not women, where the existence of the former is de facto anti-labor, anti-family and in essence, neoliberal. That redpills overcompensate in egregious ways is not evidence they are wrong, just offensive.

          3. José de Freitas

            Agreed. His podcasts are kind of rambling, but they contain lots of pretty good observations, and he is not stupid. And it also behooves us as supposedly smart and informed listeners/interested citizens to be able to weigh various opinions. His observation about how did those cruise missiles launched from Russian territory cross the entire Ukraine and hit a base 20 clicks from Poland, presumably well within detection range of NATO equipment, I never heard from anyone else, but once you’ve heard it, you can’t unhear it. It’s just uncanny.

            I think it is permissible to call out “assholishness” and violently disagree with someone, and it needn’t cross into ad hominem, if we are clear on separating things. On a side note, I went through my period of being very interested in NPL (and still am) and that did lead to interest in the “pick-up artist” scene. The vast majority of that scene is kinda… pathetic, I guess, and genuinely deserving fo some simpathy…? But the teachers are another completely different thing, and they vary from con-men (majority) to some incredibly interesting characters (John La Valle comes to mind).

            1. jimmy cc

              what was the missile? Russia has modified ground based missiles to be launched from aircraft.

              faster, stealthier and deadlier.

          4. Dave in Austin

            Many technologies for seeing a cruise missile exist. But that doesn’t mean the information will be received, processed, interpreted and disseminated to all interesting users when an incoming cruise missile is spotted.

            An example might be useful. US AWACS planes (see Wikipedia) are surely being deployed over eastern Europe. They most likely “saw” the missile inbound, like they have seen hundreds of other ballistic and cruise missiles (CMs for short) coming in since the war began. This is a feast of information needed for much more important operations than the war in the Ukraine.

            So where was the missile going? The AWACS had no information. The CM can maneuver or change course. A car going 60 mph travels 88 ft/sec so a CM traveling just below the speed of sound travel 880 ft/second or 10 miles/minute. That means that within three minutes, just using one turn of up to 45 degree, the CM can potentially hit anywhere within a 700 square mile area. So even with perfect communications and the will to communicate, someone would need to raise the alarm over a very wide area. And if the missile has flown 500 miles over Ukraine territory you can add another 15,000 square miles of potential target. And that’s for one 45 degree turn. People need sleep.

            Why were the materials and volunteers all in one place? Convenience and efficiency. “That’s how we always do it.” Welcome to war. Rookie mistake. Blood on the Tracks.

            Then there is the signal-to-noise issue. What is useful information and what is not? Throw in a few decoys for good measure. Finally someone (not on the plane) decides the most important question based on well worked out procedures. Who should be contacted? The NATO air defense HQ? Polish air traffic control? The NATO liaison office in Kiev? One of the potential targets? Or nobody but the standard chain of communications?

            For the best description of the problem read Roberta Wohlstetter’s 1963 Bancroft Prize winning book “Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision”, especially the sections dealing with how signals and messages were sent, received and interpreted on that morning. She was associated with Rand Corporation and was really interested in warnings and communications during a potential nuclear exchange. But the details of how Pearl Harbor went down explain the complexities of the problem.

            A few years ago I attended an event associated with the NSA Museum where the person who had investigated the communications during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident for NSA delivered a presentation. Many things didn’t go as planned or expected for a variety of very interesting reasons. The Agency’s job is to learn, to understand and do better next time… all the while not letting the contents or statistics of its own communications give useful information to what the Russians call “the main adversary”.

        2. Raymond Sim

          Peak gender neutrality in kid’s toys happened around the time of peak feminism, the 1970s. I came of age then. I personally believe so-called second wave feminists have far more realistic views of what is attainable.

          I’m curious what metrics one uses to measure that in toys, but the concusion accords with my personal impressions. Looking at current popular culture I don’t know how young people, girls and very young women especially, endure the cognitive dissonance.

          My wife and I graduated high school in `75. We were both raised Unitarian, and I think we qualify as being among the first cohort of children raised with second-wave feminist values. I’m not so sure that we were given a realistic view of what’s attainable.

          I can’t ask my wife her view just at the moment because she’s away, helping our son and his wife with their newborn, but as it happens she and I were discussing this issue on the phone a couple days ago, in the context of the challenges they’re facing. I said I think the feminist project as it actually evolved has led to a country that is in many ways a worse place to be a woman than the one we grew up in. In the past she’s looked askance at my musings along these lines, but at least where the challenges of motherhood are concerned she now emphatically concurs.

          1. Yves Smith

            I forget exactly what the study said, but it was things like having boys have blue stuff versus girls pink, the lesser level of gender-role-reinforcing dolls (recall Barbie had some what would have been work uniforms for women, like nurse gear v. the horrible 1980s Princess onslaught). Might have also been higher sales of gender neutral toys like Slinkies, Play-Dough, Super Balls, and more games (which tend to be gender neutral, boy kids and girl kids need to participate).

        3. jonboinAR

          “So men and women are confused, and the dating signals are made worse by widespread use of digital devices…”
          No jive (as we said in the 70’s). And speaking of digital devices and dating, do you know how many times I’ve seen a young couple in public with their heads almost together and thought, “how sweet!”, until I noticed that they were both on their separate digital devices. Dating must be kind of tough nowadays.

        4. adrena

          Women are not allowed a strong sexual itch but it has always been there. It’s the nature of the beast.

          1. Yves Smith

            Hate to tell you but I read a study which due to the state of the Internet I cannot find, which determined that a majority of women would rather have ice cream than sex.

            And lesbian bed death (lesbian couple not having sex despite not having simmering resentment in their relationship, which is often the sex killer in hetero couples, the woman is consciously or not withholding sex) is another testament to women’s generally lower libido.

            By contrast, I’ve had gay men tell me they’d be killed if we straights knew how much sex they had. One friend who was considered by his gay friends to have a low sex drive had had over 600 partners by his mid-30s. I don’t think you will find many women who had remotely as many sex partners as the men in this circle of gays did. And I don’t think they were terribly unrepresentative of a place like NYC with many pick up venues and of course bath houses.

            Mind you, I’ve had roommates who could barely go a day without getting laid (which still falls short of Jeffrey Epstein and some other men I’ve known needing sex 3x a day). And these women really had to have it, they either came home with a man, pretty much any man, or passed out drunk. That level of need is more common in men than women.

            So there are women who are plenty horny, but I stand by my statement that on average, women don’t need to get laid as often as men do.

        5. Alphonse

          My impressions agree with yours – the egalitarian 70s, the pink-and-blue 80s, and the general confusion and war of the sexes today.

          Probably one of the best sources on this is Alex Kaschuta’s Subversive podcast. As a former girl boss techie (she took gender studies), she realized that despite “suceeding” she was not on a good path and turned “trad.” Dating and relationships are one of her personal interests in her wide-ranging interviews.

          On sex relations, two of her interviews in particular stand out: with Mary Harrington, and (if I recall correctly, it’s been a while since I listened to it) with Zero HP Lovecraft.

          I think Harrington in particular has fascinating takes on the current cultural and political juncture, e.g. her analysis of transhumanism. It seems clear that certain strains of feminism are at the heart of the social justice movement, for example.

          A local leftist recently said that the zeitgeist is authoritarian: wherever you stand on the left or the right, authoritarianism and hate stand near you. This is my experience. But it is too easy to dismiss people for their associations. While I know substantive, irreconcilable differences exist, I also think a broad intersection of interests transgresses many of the political divides our tribes teach us to patrol. I recommend Kaschuta and Harrington.

    3. Schnormal

      I watched a few of the Gonzalo vids, and even before I found his previous Red Pill shtick, I was left wondering why is NC linking to him? It’s just comic relief, right?? Because he’s obviously just a con artist who went to Eastern Europe for some tail he thought he was entitled to, and then accidentally found himself in close proximity to events with actual significance. Maybe that Dartmouth degree will come in handy after all, for pontificating! But he doesn’t have the goods, so he quick throws together a Man of Hard Facts persona, softening the edges with some two-day stubble and a soft, worn cap. “Believe me,” he yells at the camera, “I know the Russians are winning, because I can hear them getting closer, to my house!” Yeah his in-laws’ house, where he’s probably loafing around like Sarah Palin, eating all the pampushki, and annoying his relatives to the point of tipping off his whereabouts to the local MPs LMAO

      1. Schnormal

        I mean I’m down with most of what Yves wrote above, but this guy seems to have other issues. He seems like a real character, and not all bad — I just think he’s peddling hot takes more than useful information.

      2. anon y'mouse

        i was not critiquing showing Lira’s views on the war, but critiquing the commenter above for endorsing his other views on “western woman” who is too spoiled to marry, and casting these views in a heroic light as being the vanguard for what western men want and desire, especially without wondering whether those desires are as unrealistic as those of western woman’s (portrayed) values and desires are.

        this is a class issue, obviously. what women at the top have “come to expect of career and family” may be presented as the aspirational goal of all of us. my suspicion is that there are already plenty of working class women who would suit a RedPill man here, but may still yet complain about the unfairness of the expectations placed upon them, which is apparently what makes them so spoiled that Western man has to seek out marriage in other countries because all of the women here are unacceptable to them.

        my critique was that this kind of commentary would be featured here without any pushback, allowing readers to view it as tacitly endorsed by the website’s owners and managers.

        1. Yves Smith

          I hate to tell you, but marriage broker types (yes, they have them in the US, but I believe they have more elevated names) say the marriages that are most likely to last are between people of the similar backgrounds….which among other things means the same class.

          So if you are marrying outside your class, a marriage to a foreign bride might work just as well.

          On a trip, I met a couple. Rich man, former Russian wife. It was pretty clear that she was a postcard bride. This is not at all uncommon.

      3. Soredemos

        All that matters is that he has actually been on the ground in Kiev and Kharkov during the invasion. I’ll take his opinion of events over yours.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > All that matters is that he has actually been on the ground in Kiev and Kharkov during the invasion

          That is exactly where I am. I don’t have to like LIra’s views on the dollar or women to find his “lived experience,” as we say, inside a war zone helpful. It’s even more helpful in the complete absence of actual reporting from the media employees at our major venues.

          1. Soredemos

            The video where he films himself taking a walk around an untouched Kharkov, a city the media assures us is being reduced to rubble like Stalingrad, was particularly useful.

          2. Raymond Sim

            I don’t have to like LIra’s views on the dollar or women to find his “lived experience,” as we say, inside a war zone helpful. It’s even more helpful in the complete absence of actual reporting from the media employees at our major venues.

            Over the course of the pandemic I’ve found that anecdotes shared by healthcare workers on social media have been far more helpful in understanding what’s going on at any given moment than anything produced by the major media outlets. Of course there’ve been many many of them doing so, making it fairly reasonable to trust in any apparent consensus.

            Perhaps it’s hubris on my part, but I feel as though I’m capable of listening to what Coach Redpill has to say, bearing in mind that he’s just one guy, who’s oddball enough to have headed into Kharkiv under current circumstances, without his obscure charms overwhelming my higher faculties.

        2. Schnormal

          Ok, fair enough. My comment was kind of crass and immature (sorry, internet poisoning). But I still smell a con.

          1. Soredemos

            What would be the con? Either he is on the ground in Ukraine, or he isn’t. And he’s definitively proven that he is.

    4. DF

      Most middle-class men in America can get married (and stay married), and have kids as well.

      Unlike a lot of American men today, the men of the postwar era who supported their stay-at-home wives alone on their salary didn’t play videogames for 8 hours a day, they worked long hours at lousy, dangerous jobs they hated and spent a lot of their limited free time doing things like working the family car, fixing up the house, doing home improvements, and performing yardwork.

      1. The Rev Kev

        In defence of the younger generation, the men of that era were also able to get ahead with a decent wage, had a strong union to look out for them, had strong social and community bonds to support them, could afford to take their families away on trips to places like the Grand Canyon, Carlsburg Caverns, Disneyland, etc, had strong family bonds and support, were able to pay off their homes while some were even able to buy a cabin for holidays, had actual access to reasonable priced healthcare for themselves & their family, could save money aside to help put their kids through college, etc. Is any of that true in 2022 anymore if you are not very wealthy?

      2. Yves Smith

        That is not true among younger men who are not upper income. One of my CA contacts notes the breakdown of marriage among middle class people under 40, such as CA government workers, who are pretty to quite well paid and have steady jobs. I have friends who have kids who have had kids out of wedlock. This is pretty common. The man is sort of involved but let us not fool ourselves, he has the option of bugging out.

      3. AnArchitect

        This is comical and I hope it’s sarcasm. The younger generation (whipper-snappers?) would love to have time to work on their non-existent cars and non-existent single family homes, and , gasp, on their yards. Instead, they face crushing loan debt, insane home and car prices, hollowed husks of unions, and the judgement of their elders.

        No one below a certain threshold has time, money, or space to do any of those activities mentioned.

        EDIT: Also healthcare costs combined with a torturous food economy.

      4. JBird4049

        It is obvious why more people are having children out of wedlock if they have them at all. Most of the American population has been getting poorer, more isolated, more unhealthy often underpaid and overworked in increasingly corrupt, incompetent, dysfunctional society. Why would they not be less likely to have a home, family, and children? Seriously.

    5. KD

      One of the strange features of the manosphere is this fetishization of foreign women, which doesn’t make a lot of sense unless that is actually your fetish. Women are women, pretty much run the bell curve whatever their geographic location. This geographic cure seems like it betrays a significant lack of insight, reminiscent of drug addicts.

      I’ve seen a lot of people looking for a prairie dog in a tree top, and a bird under the basement, and they would do the same thing in Ukraine or Thailand. Does anyone ever stop, look in a mirror, and say, maybe its you and not them?

      People might do better avoiding the manosphere and picking up some old Christopher Lasch books.

      1. Soredemos

        It’s a kind of personality fetish. They idealize foreign women as not being tainted by a bunch of very vaguely defined ‘feminazism’, which basically means they have no self-respect and will cater to their man’s every need without ever complaining. To the MRA type, women aren’t fully independent beings, they’re an addendum to men, and their ‘natural role’ to to make a man’s life easier.

        And before any MRA types reply in protest, I’ve spent a lot of time observing and even hanging out with you types. This is 100% the subtext to everything you do and say. The ideal is a woman who isn’t ‘difficult’.

        1. jrs

          Catering to a man’s every whim sounds about right. In this thread alone, they want a traditional 1950s housewife who is all about getting married and having kids and he will be the breadwinner and she shouldn’t really have a career OR they have high sex drives that must be satisfied, and want to seduce someone quickly. Not even consistent in their ideals (not that premarital sex never happened in the 50s of course, but it hardly goes with the ideal).

          But catering to a man’s every whim and it’s suddenly perfectly consistent.

          1. Yves Smith

            Unfortunately, this is what many men want: female subservience, with the particular flavor depending on the man’s preferences. And there’s a lot of societal conditioning to support the idea that it is the natural order of things for men to get what they want, starting with men (boys) being allowed to interrupt women (girls) starting with toddlerhood, but there being low tolerance for women interrupting men. Boys being allowed to be rule-breakers but girls not much/at all is another.

            Of course, push comes to shove, the average man has size and greater muscle mass on his side, so he can beat the shit out of a woman who gets out of line.

              1. Pat

                And make many of the women in the locker room uncomfortable to boot.

                I wish I didn’t think it credible that an NCAA that normally moves at a snails pace allowing transgender competitors so speedily is not about rights so much as a means of discrediting woman’s sports and crippling Title IX, which has been too successful at forcing funding for women’s sports.

                (And yes I am enough of a protectionist to say the standard should be surgical procedure and two years of hormones to compete as a woman. And another protection is never any placement in a shelter for abused women and children – separate shelters period. )

            1. Skunk

              It’s amazing that if you’re having a conversation with a group of men and one woman, everyone ignores what the woman says. Then a man makes exactly the same point later, and everyone remarks what a great idea it is!

            2. Anon

              I think this is also what many women want, but our individualism insists it is shameful to be anything but the boss. Our culture doesn’t laud any role besides ‘winner’, so how would kids appreciate the nuances of teamwork, self-sacrifice, or heaven forbid ‘subservience’.

              “Subservience” is a crude representation. I believe most men want a woman who, at a minimum, will defer to their ego. If that sounds “subservient” you know nothing about men and women, as it is better viewed as an act of mercy.

              1. Soredemos

                The concept of an equal partnership is apparently completely alien to you.

                If that sounds “subservient” you know nothing about men and women

                That’s rich coming from the MRA.

                You literally just said that was the minimum. What, then, is the ‘ideal’?

                1. Anon

                  If you accept that by nature of society’s existence, it will have protocols, and expectations of and for its participants, which are not all useful, admittedly, but generally aim to optimize it:

                  The ideal, would be appreciating these roles, and incorporating them into your considerations. Whether you and your partner believe in them or not, the rest of society will perceive you through this lens, and it can affect you positively and negatively.

                  It is not a crime to want someone who will defer to your ego. Neither is it a crime to do it. Why do you take such issue with this? I simply mean they want a woman who appreciates said roles, and will accommodate them, at least publicly, as needs be, as he is likely eager to do for her.

                  Men don’t get to be anything but men, so when you remove that status, they are at a significant loss, whether you acknowledge it or not (and we all do, don’t kid yourself).

                  What we want and what we get are two different things, of course. Part of why most redpills are probably celibate, and birth rates are at all-time lows. Never been better for the Western woman though, eh? Cheers.

                  what is the ‘MRA’? Best I could find was ‘magnetic resonance angiography’, but I don’t think thats what you mean.

            3. hoki haya

              these are all great points, very western-oriented experiences, truly invaluable in their way. different mindsets/approaches-to-the-world, beget different relation. i have never believed in casanova or in cuckoldry; but tho the basic points are solid, among westerners, let’s retain an open mind to different modes of relation to sexuality in what is the majority of the world.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > This geographic cure seems like it betrays a significant lack of insight, reminiscent of drug addicts.

        It’s also possible that in the United States relations between the sexes (if I may so denote them) are uniquely awful and that it’s a worthwhile effort to escape them. Is there a reason why relations in the United States should conform to the global median, instead of being, say, like our exceptionally bad health care system? Or any of the other exceptionally bad systems I am sure readers could list?

        1. hoki haya

          you have this exactly right. women in eastern europe or the middle east are not in any way disenpowered from who they are. there’s a saying in Pakistan, and other places i think, ‘the man rules the courtyard, but the woman controls the judge.’ it’s true. i’ve been out here for twenty years and have never seen a woman have to defer to her counterpart. the relation, compared to the west, is entirely different.

    6. Soredemos

      Nah, his dating nonsense is cringe (as is the entire ‘manosphere’). Unironically calling yourself ‘redpilled’ is also cringe. I only care about Lira in the context of his providing personal accounts of events in Ukraine.

      “Why is an Ivy League finance guy and film producer living in Ukraine? Because he wanted to have a wife and children, and trying to do something like that with a Western woman is a recipe for failure.”

      This is code for ‘Western women won’t be doormats with no self-respect’. It’s the exact same reason a certain type of right-winger fetishes ‘Asian’ women (because everything from Kazakhstan to Japan is one giant mono-culture /s). They don’t want a relationship with another person. They want a compliant sex toy that will cook.

      1. Anne Twitty (anahuna)

        Thanks for summing it up so concisely. And from the female side of the yawning gender gap, I quote you a British friend who once remarked in frustration: “I’ve realized that what I really want is a woman with a p*ick.”

      2. Anon

        While that does sound ideal, I gather the key to success in any relationship is mutual satisfaction. That you are a compliant sex toy that cooks, doesn’t necessarily make you unfulfilled, just highly attractive. Also doesn’t mean you are being degraded; on the contrary, you are likely prized, especially in this social economy.

        That you will wear lingerie, cook a fine meal, and respect my wishes, does not mean you can’t write a thesis, or put me in my place, or that I won’t do the same for you (perhaps not the lingerie)… just says you are committed to the success of the relationship. That this is considered negative speaks volumes.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “What Makes a Great Opening Line?”

    Personally I have never seen anything wrong with the oft-mocked line ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ but that is just me. Words, however, are a powerful thing for evoking stories through imagery and one of the best examples is a six-word story supposedly written by Ernest Hemingway – “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

      1. Tom Stone

        “One day I lived the American Dream, I threw my boss out of a 14th floor window” is my recent favorite.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Since no one has said it yet…

          Andra Moi Ennepe…

          Speak to Me, Oh Muse, of the Man….


          1. aletheia33

            Menin aeide thea, peleiadeo achilleos

            Sing, goddess, the wrath of achilles, son of peleus

            (if i remember correctly!)

    1. Sailor Bud

      I also never hated the dark & stormy night thing. I’m certain I’ve seen worse.

      I also dislike at least two writing rules, if they’re to be taken prescriptively or at face value:

      1. “Write what you know.” If this were dictum, fantasy, sci-fi, or fabulism would all be rather constrained, and a lot of perfectly good adventure tales would suddenly become less good. Personally, I think people would do well to rediscover the world that wasn’t known, rather than this typed, categorized, explored, burnt-out planet and its 900 millionth maundering existential “my life in the city” novel. Historical fiction is a good way to put your eyes into the wonder of this planet when it wasn’t all known and typed, and yet keep boots-on-ground style going.

      2. “Show, don’t tell.” Disagree with writer workshop and TED talk people who spout this, at least as a catch-all. Show and tell is what I learned as a boy. If we only showed, our writing would become overwrought and dull. The sentiment is good here. But it’s no truism. For example, an author can do both at the same time even, in the form of dialog. Speaking people have a lot less concern with being novelists, so they often straight up tell and don’t show. Therefore, a writer might show two characters telling about a third. (e.g. “Stay away from Raoul over there. He’s a snake.”)

      1. wol

        Miles Davis famously said “Play what you don’t know.” I think it was E L Doctorow (?) who said he tried to write just beyond what his headlights illuminated.

        Seconded re: historical fiction- I recently finished Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and am waiting a suitable interval before rereading it.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          Miles was notorious among musicians for keeping them off balance, presumably because he felt he got more out of them that way.

          I remember listening to an interview with John McGlaughlin about his time with Miles, and he said that when recording “In a Silent Way” (Miles’ first electric album), McGlaughlin asked Miles how he wanted him to play… Miles’ response was, ” Play the guitar like you don’t know how to play the guitar.”

          On another occasion, Miles was giving the stink eye to reed player Dave Liebman throughout the entire set. Expecting some kind of rebuke afterward, Liebman said Miles walked up to him afterward and asked, “What do you think of my shoes?”

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Then there’s the great line of Ornette Coleman’s: “It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.”

        2. Martin Oline

          Thanks for the mention of McCarthy’s book. It is one I haven’t read yet but it should be at the library. I had to stop reading him for awhile because I wasn’t sure how much of his historical novels were based upon fact. I read a tremendous amount of SW American history in the next few years and realized he only takes liberty with the conversations, like all historical fiction. The inter- social relationships in his books seem to be mostly modern but who knows? If you haven’t read Allan W. Eckert you may enjoy him, but he is becoming increasingly harder to find.

          1. LifelongLib

            IIRC when Blood Meridian came out, McCarthy was being compared to Faulkner. I was disappointed. While Faulkner’s writing is a barely contained gush of language, it seemed to me that McCarthy was always straining for effect. No comment on Blood Meridian beyond that since I didn’t finish it.

            1. howseth

              I read (most?) of Blood Meridian years ago – after a strong recommendation, if I remember correctly, the literary critic Harold Bloom. Huge claims of some kind.

              I found it boring and repetitive. Despite all the violence. I figured it was just me.

              The film “No Country for Old Men” was based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy. I did see that – a tale steeped in a mythological evil. It was effective – I disliked it – though I know evil does exist in spades.

      1. BillS

        A couple somewhat more ancient famous opening lines

        þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon.

        Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
        Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
        Ché la diritta via era smarrita.

          1. Midget

            The first is the opening of Beowulf in Old English; the second is that of Dante’s Comedy.

    2. Chromex

      “It began as a mistake”
      Charles Bukowski Post Office

      “It had been a bad night and when he tried to drive home he got into a terrible argument with his car”.
      Philip K. Dick The Game Players of Titan
      The PKD opening line, although written in 1963 or thereabouts was about alcohol level detectors in cars that forbid driving, a technology now becoming possible according to articles I have read.

      1. Bruno

        Sometimes the first *word* can specify the theme of the whole book. That was the case for the very first work of western literature: “Menin” (wrath) the first word of the Iliad.

        And perhaps the best first *line* is the one that adumbrates the whole book: “Riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.”

        1. Robert Gray

          Except that it is, crucially, ‘riverrun’ — with a lower-case ‘r’ — since the resolution of the adumbration, as you call it, comes with the last line of the book, 628 pages later, where we get the first half of that opening sentence, thereby completing the ‘recirculation’, reconnecting the Ouroboros, etc., etc.

      2. Yves Smith

        I love Dick’s Valis but I suspect reactions to its opening line will be bimodal:

        Horselover Fat’s nervous breakdown began the day he got the phonecall from Gloria asking if he had any Nembutals.

      3. hoki haya

        “they forgot what they were looking for, and no dog washing in no gutter could remind them.”

        “them mafia boys, they were alright, mostly good, certainly no worse than what preceeded them; all things in the world being a mafia of some sort.”

        “did he know english? i didn’t catch his name. he brought broccoli, thanked us, and left.”

        late to the idea here, as i don’t understand how things must be updated every day, when time actually moves on a different, slower axis. the community entries are enjoyable to read.

    3. Noone from Nowheresville

      If it was good enough to start Meg Murray’s story to save Charles Wallace and herself, then I guess it was all right. (A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle)

      In general, the thing about a great opening line is that I’ll read on. The bad thing about a great opening line is that if the writer or rather the ending of the story doesn’t fulfill the implicit promise of the opening (and the story becomes a wall-banger) then I might not ever read anything by that author again regardless of how good they are at their craft.

    4. steve

      Considering the extent of light pollution in modern times night doesn’t automatically mean dark anymore and besides I always felt it referred to the mood and not light level.

    5. Mildred Montana

      I once had a collection of opening lines from a number of novels. Unfortunately, I can only remember a few of them. Here’s one, perhaps not the best, from Anthony Burgess’s ??????? ??????:

      “It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me.”

      An intriguing introduction to a good novel and my introduction to the word “catamite”.

      A small quibble about the article. The writer states, “I say this….as a human who reads and writes fiction.” The word “human” is an adjective. The noun form of “human” is “human being” and I would think that a professional writer would know this.

      1. Pat

        I’ve always been rather fond of Du Maurier’s opening to Rebecca: “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

        But then I like “It was a dark and stormy night.” Of course that period doesn’t exist in the actual opening. It is the start of a run on sentence that dulls the power of the beginning. OTOH quite a few novels with supposedly good opening lines would land like a thud if you just took the first sentence and not the opening paragraph (s). You need the shaping the following sentences provide to continue the trajectory into the story. I have looked at lists of supposedly good openings and gone eh, a lot. Just like you cannot judge a book by its cover, the first words don’t always say it all.

        “There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”
        “Call me Ishmael.”
        “What’s it going to be then, eh?”
        “For a long time I went to bed early.”

        All opens to great books and lauded openings at that, but didn’t any of them make you want to know what the book was or seek it out?

        Perhaps using Camus will make what I am saying clearer. “Mother died today.” is eh. But follow it with “Or maybe yesterday, I can’t be sure.” makes it much better.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >“Mother died today.” is eh. But follow it with “Or maybe yesterday, I can’t be sure.” makes it much better.

          Yeah, big improvement. Along the same lines, from Beckett’s ?????? (not the opening line but on the first page if I recall correctly):

          “For example my mother’s death. Was she already dead when I came? Or did she only die later? I mean enough to bury. I don’t know.”

          Speaking of opening lines landing like a thud, Somerset Maugham had some advice for the reader. If the first twenty, thirty, or fifty pages of a book don’t grab you, throw it aside. You’ve given the book a chance and the fact that you didn’t enjoy it is the author’s fault, not yours, and there’s no sense in wading through hundreds of pages of tedium.

          I sometimes jettison books in accordance with Maugham’s advice. After all, books are meant to give pleasure, not the torments of boredom.

          1. Pat

            I didn’t know Maugham had given that advice. I have had a fifty page test for awhile. Too many books, too little time to continue something that does not engage you somehow. Glad to know it has some other proponents.

          2. ex-PFC Chuck

            “Mother died today.”

            It fit the novel, conveying the sense of ennui that was the narrator’s life. I still remember it, having read it over 60 years ago now.

            The most classic Camus opening line was in his non-fiction “The Myth of Sisyphus:”
            “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide.”

          3. c_heale

            If the beginning is too boring/difficult I sometimes jump ahead a few chapters and see if it’s any better. If it’s not it gets put aside, if it is I start again.

      2. JEHR

        Mildred Montana: My English teacher, Miss Mercer, would thank you for this reminder (she taught in the 50s).

    6. hemeantwell

      Felix Feneon, French anarchist and art critic, published around 1000 condensed news summaries in Le Matin in 1906. They’re available in the NYRB book “Novels in Three LInes.” Sample:

      “If my candidate loses, I will kill myself,” M. Bellavoine,
      of Fresquienne, Seine-Inferieure, had declared. He killed

      In political disagreements, M. Begouen, journalist, and
      M. Bepmale, MP, had called one another “thief” and
      “liar.” They have reconciled.

      The May Day celebration in Lorient was noisy, but not
      a hint of violence gave the slightest cause for police

      In Clichy, an elegant young man threw himself under a
      coach with rubber wheels, then, unscathed, under a truck,
      which pulverized him.

    7. jesp

      A desperate foolishness. The crops failed. I sold my children. –Caryl Phillips, Crossing the River, 1993. I read it not long after it was published. I don’t recall much else of the book, but the opening remains vivid in my memory.

    8. CallMeTeach (retired)

      I, too, don’t mind the line “It was a dark and stormy night.” The problem is he kept going…
      It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.’

      And for those not familiar with it, there is the Bulwer-Lytton contest where people submit their own opening lines. It’s a great place to spend some time.

    9. Charlie Sheldon

      The wind shook the house, roaring like a great animal.” Strong Heart 2017
      The general fire alarm in the hallway outside my cabin howled, ringing, chattering.” Adrift 2018
      The two boys were up to something.” Totem 2021

      Three separate tales, one big story, with the opening lines that came to me….

    10. britzklieg

      I would suggest, strongly, that anyone hoping to write a novel, to not read that essay.

    11. Posaunist

      Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

  3. Bob Kavanagh

    The Azov battalion…How big is it? It seems to be the real bogey man of many commentators?

    1. K.k

      The following links predate the Russian invasion when the western media had not yet begun to rehabilitate the fascists.
      Its not just Azov. There are multiple ultra nationalist, fascist groups with their own political party, Svodoba.

      Ukraine: On patrol with the far-right National Militia – BBC Newsnight

      The far-right group threatening to overthrow Ukraine’s government…

      Ukraine’s far-right children’s camp: ‘I want to bring up a warrior’

      Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine: NEWSNIGHT
      Glory to Ukraine? The De-glorified Truth of Ukrainian Nationalist Policy

      Plenty of other videos and articles over the last decade.

      If you are using bogeyman to suggest the fascist threat is imaginary you are sadly mistaken.

      1. fresno dan

        Thanks K.k – good to have that info.
        I just made a comment about how the media simply will not report contradictions or inconsistencies any more – pretty much the “narrative” has to be like an old Hollywood action movie with clearly identified heros and villains. An Any Inconvenient Truth undermines “the narrative” and can never be stated…

        1. K.k

          Not a reference to Kool Keith. Your comment did genuinely make me smile as it brought back some memories from a very hazey period in my life from the Dr. Octagon era.

    2. russell1200

      Battalions usually peak ~1,000 people. They are not generally considered to be an independent unit. The latest reports put the Azov at 900. Maybe there are more, but there wouldn’t be many more or they wouldn’t call themselves a battalion. They would upgrade to the much more militarily important brigade.

      1. Marlin

        Ritter has talked about this in the past. They started out as a battalion, but then grew and were ultimately integrated into the regular army, where the supporters are now widespread throughout other units. They were the original core, but they are not any more the military key to the ideological battle.

        1. truly

          It also appears (as shown by BBC and Time) that there are unaligned paramilitary Neo Nazi “vice squads” that take it upon themselves to provide “security”. One video shows them going into a business and smashing equipment and attacking patrons. (Online gambling or video gambling establishment?)
          Also, sorry I couldn’t find a source on this but I recall it being said that a candidate could run for national office and expect to get 10-12% of the vote. Being openly Neo Nazi that is.
          I also am trying to understand how big this movement is, but for me personally one Nazi is one too many. They seem like a leading indicator of a failing system and culture. Isn’t Nationalism and flag waving always a sign of that?

          1. JBird4049

            I don’t think that Nationalism and waving the flag alone are symptoms of a failing system or culture as plenty of good people are patriotic without being neo-nazis or even jingoists. I do think that as someone said “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

        2. jsn

          I don’t remember the details, but this is essentially what the SS did with the Wehrmacht.

          The regular army was salted throughout with SS men in key roles as de facto political officers.

          It’s an effective way to quickly radicalize an otherwise conservative institution.

    3. Paul Jurczak

      It outgrew battalion size, and it’s called “Azov Regiment” or officially “Azov Special Operations Detachment” (see The “special operations” part reflects their willingness to kill Russian-speaking Ukrainian civilians who are not enthusiastic about shouting “glory to Ukraine!”. Regular Ukrainian army detachments sent to suppress separatists in Donbas in 2014 refused to fire on civilians, often their relatives or neighbors. That’s how Azov Regiment gained it’s power, having no such qualms.

      1. Foy

        Yep, yesterday in a long twitter thread I saw multiple videos of them tying civilians to telephone poles and posts, often wrapped in plastic/glad wrap so they couldn’t move, pants stripped naked and then whipping them, and then leaving them there for other people to whip them. Local bystanders also involved with the Ukrainian army taking turns at whipping. It’s really bad. And there were so many different instances at different locations that it is clearly a common/standard procedure being implemented for those who don’t toe the line

          1. The Rev Kev

            I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that I am getting a good insight to what life was like in Germany back in the 30s information-wise.

  4. nycTerrierist

    Gilbert Doctorow rightfully credits good actors in the cultural world who stand by Russian artists.

    However…anyone else spot an incongruity here?

    “Le Cercle Royal Gaulois Artistique & Littéraire of which I am proudly a member. I say “proudly” not so much because of the social prestige of this 175 year old establishment, but because this gentlemen’s club is an oasis of tolerance, free speech and free thinking in our modern age of polarization and dumbing-down. “

    I checked on wiki, ‘le Cercle est un Belge exclusivement masculin Club “

    my italics

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      nycTerrierist: He wrote directly in the quote that you pulled “gentleman’s club.”

      So the “incongruity” is that he belongs to an old literary club that doesn’t have women members?

      As if this is a test of moral purity?

      I think that if the war in Ukraine is going to have any lessons for Americans one lesson may be that U.S. cultural preoccupations are not universal. And, no, Cleopatra isn’t really black in the U.S. sense.

      1. nycTerrierist

        My comment said nothing about ‘moral purity’

        I was referring to the incongruity of an ‘oasis of tolerance, free speech and free thinking’
        where women are excluded

        Projection over-ruled!
        I am no fan of identity politics

      2. Bruno

        The only sense in which Cleopatra VII was “black” is that, while her ancestry on the paternal side was Macedonian, on the maternal side it stemmed from the *Black* Sea kingdom of Pontus.

    2. Zephyrum

      nycTerrierist: many years ago I was invited to join a gentleman’s club that excludes women. The concept went against my values and I declined. But still hung out with those men quite often and eventually learned the reason. Men act differently when women are not around; they tend to perform for women in many ways subtle and not. No generalization is entirely accurate, but when just among men, they are kinder, more honest, and more supportive of each other. This was an eye-opener to me.

      1. britzklieg

        All-men clubs do not bother me in the least, but ask me to put on a tie and you’ve got problems.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        This got me thinking about my US Army Basic Training Days…

        My first Basic Training Cycle: all male, brutal

        My Second Basic Training Cycle: ~20% Women, Super Chill

        Lemme tell you how much more motivated us soldiers were with a coed battalion!!!!

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Zelensky blasts ‘indifferent’ Israel for refusing to send weapons to help battle Russia and says Putin is planning new ‘final solution’ against people of Ukraine”

    With some tact and grace, Zelensky could have made a powerful case for Israel coming to the aid of the Ukraine. Instead he continued with his self-entitled demands for fealty and in the Israeli Knesset, what he said went down like a fart in an elevator. Trying to equate the fight the Ukraine is having against the Russians being the same as the Holocaust did not go down well with people, especially when he started taking about Final Solutions. But I am sure that Israels know full well what the Ukrainians were up to during world war two and on whose side they fought and against whom. This was not helped when the Ukrainian Ambassador to Israel claimed that the Ukraine aided jews in WW2 a coupla weeks ago, all evidence to the contrary-

    1. Polar Socialist

      Jerusalem Post quotes Yuval Steinitz, a Likud MK: “If Zelensky’s speech was given… in normal [non-war] times, we would have said it bordered on Holocaust denial…”.

    2. fresno dan

      For American politicians Israel’s stance on Ukraine is comically awkward. Israel must never be criticized yet Zelensky can never be wrong.
      What happens when sacred cows fight with each other?
      Well, like a lot of MSM “coverage”, what is not covered is typically more important than what is covered – so the inconsistencies, paradoxes, and contradictions of what are or have been reported just go down the memory hole.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Exactly, FD. None of the stuff that I brought up was mentioned in the news tonight. It was just reported as one more whistle-stop on Zelensky’s tour of triumph and I think that he may be appearing before the Oz Parliament soon where they will lap it all up.

      2. nippersdad

        Re: “inconsistencies, paradoxes and contradictions”: I think it was Medhurst that had a short vid on Youtube about Pelosi bellowing out “Glory to Ukraine” twice the other day. I can no longer find it; it would appear that YT has been busy.

        I am simply amazed that a bunch of senior citizens find themselves in the business of exalting a bunch of Nazis. There is an entire generation of vets that would have had something to say about that just a few years ago had anyone tried that on. Now that most of the Greatest Generation have died off they must feel a lot better showing their true faces to the world.

        1. hamstak

          I read a comment to a post in another weblog I shall not name, where the commenter (presumably U.S.) claimed to have witnessed a Jewish couple walking down the street proudly wearing lapel pins, in support of Ukraine, featuring the Azov Battalion variant of the Wolfsangel.

          It appears that “Never forget!” has a sell-by-date.

          Truly we have entered a Seinfeldian Bizarro-world.

          I wonder what the ADL’s stance is on this entire mess?

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Caitlin Johnstone is on the mark again: And I’d add that what is particularly insightful in her piece is how the debased reasoning of postmodernism has combined with neoliberalism (markets are everything) to produce a crowd-sourced war in which thousands think that Twitter matters and that tracking the spectacle of death at a distance is somehow not immoral.

    But, hey, speak *your* truth.

    Selected quotes. Note the cultural references:

    Imperial narrative managers have even been working overtime to make the word “westsplaining” happen, which is their progressive-sounding term for when one makes the self-evident observation that western powers influence world events. Mainstream westerners are actively trained to regurgitate lines like “Stop westsplaining to Ukrainians about coups and proxy conflicts! You’re denying their agency!”

    [Ahhh, agency. I’m so old that I recall when synergy was the word of the moment.]

    And here, branded decadence:

    Where was all this reverence for Ukraine’s “agency” in 2004, when The Guardian was reporting that “while the gains of the orange-bedecked ‘chestnut revolution’ are Ukraine’s, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes”?

    Now, after two years of plague, we are seeing in the U.S.A. seems to be a kind of religious hysteria foaming at the mouth for the Sign of the Beast. Agency, indeed.

    1. fresno dan

      I’m so old I remember when everything was a new paradigm…
      And I’d add that what is particularly insightful in her piece is how the debased reasoning of postmodernism has combined with neoliberalism (markets are everything) to produce a crowd-sourced war in which thousands think that Twitter matters and that tracking the spectacle of death at a distance is somehow not immoral.
      I was flipping through news channels (US tv) just to see the most ridiculous thing I could find (what a plethora!). And it would be that the Ukrainians are winning because of body counts
      Now, back in the time of Vietnam, many said that the US had claimed to have killed the entire population of North Vietnam 3 times over. Of course, the US never claimed to have killed that many. But as a metric of success, it was less than…uh, successful.

      1. Bart Hansen

        New paradigm, watershed event (inappropriately used), pivot*, sweeping, and now agency, stolen from the insurance business. The British seem to be stuck on brilliant.

        *As a youngster, I recall pro basketball centers being called the pivot. One was George Mikan of the original Lakers.

  7. woozel

    Discovered this youtube channel yesterday:

    It presents an updated map of Ukraine on a daily basis, based on information from multiple sources. The linked video starts with an explanation of what sources he’s using and how he decides what to trust and not. Highly recommend.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Lambert talks about whether you have a business if you depend on a tech company for your platform. I am beginning to wonder if you can say you have a country if another can yank your internet leaving your own country in economic chaos. China set up a Great Wall because they saw how the internet is used to undermine countries and the Russians set up and tested their own internet in case somebody tried to yank their net. If they had not, I am sure that we would be hearing how there would be serious consideration about kicking Russia off the net right now.

        1. truly

          How about “if your business depends on someone else’s currency, you don’t have a business”?

          1. fresno dan

            I like it!
            I would also suggest:
            if your wealth depends on someone else’s currency, you don’t have any money
            if your freedom of speech depends on a platform, you don’t have freedom of speech

          2. Maritimer

            A business a small matter.

            If your existence depends on the Government’s Electronic ID and Currency, then you don’t have a you.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “US watchers in Beijing urge closer look at Biden’s tough new ‘China hands’ ”

    I’ll be damned. It looks like Biden is planning on opening up a Second Front with China. I was going to say that he had better get a move on as the midterms are not that far away but considering that the Democrats are the anti-Russia party and the Republicans are the anti-China party, if he loses in November, he may end up with yet more support to take on China.

    I found it very telling when the article said “Most importantly, this team … is familiar [with each other]. They have worked with Biden at different times during his political career, especially when he was vice-president … this means their coordination is pretty good.” Yeah, I bet it is. In other words, they are all his placemen. And probably not one of them will say whether trying to take down China is a wise idea or not.

    1. Tom Stone

      I can’t seem to find the vote count, can anyone here point me to a site that will tell me which congresscritters voted in favor of a war with Russia?

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Things have definitely changed in the U. S. attitude since the Biden-Xi phone call. Another indicator of how well it went is that Blinken hurriedly arranged a meeting with his Chinese counterpart who was also in Rome, immediately after the call and before the WH let Psaki go out and answer questions about it.

      Since that call, Langley’s quasi-official spokesman, David Ignatius, has been trying to talk down the wildly jingoistic Scarborough and Zbig’s Russophobe Mika. He’s telling them they need to tone down the rhetoric about Putin being a war criminal because they’ll have to negotiate with him (i.e. take the bell off the tiger). Today he lectured them, in between angry protests from Joe, that despite the emotional pull because of Ukraine’s heroism, they had to listen to their heads and realize that a negotiated settlement was coming.

      They got everybody all lathered up. Now they’ve got to bring them down without any consummation. At one point, Scarborough started citing polls and saying that “the people” in Europe and the U. S. would demand action against Russia. “Thank goodness polls don’t decide foreign policy, Joe,” was Ignatius’s response.

    3. Nikkikat

      They know Biden was a dummy prior to losing his marbles. The blob picked him for that reason along with the people he has surrounded himself with in his administration. They can manipulate him into just about anything. Jos Biden was always a fool

      1. jonboinAR

        And I’m beginning to think we picked a bad time to have 2 distinctly sub-competent presidents in a row.

        1. ambrit

          Add Obama to that listicle. He talked a good game, but when it came to delivering on campaign promises, fugheddaboutit! (Campaign promises to ‘The People’ of course. He came through with flags flying for his donor base, and I do mean base.)

          1. Pat

            Personally I would say that the American people have not had a decent choice for a long time. Obama was a essentially a blank slate for most people, but the information of who he really was could be found if you didn’t buy the marketing. So in our plethora of bad or bad choices from almost two decades we had Obama/McCain, Obama/Romney, Trump/Clinton, and Biden/Trump. And personally I am still thankful that Trump won over Clinton. She was campaigning on policies that would have gotten us further over the precipice than our Ukraine policies have. Just think of it this way, most of the Blinken, Kagan, Sullivan, Nuland, Tanden brain trust are from the Clinton camp. Not to mention he jettisoned the TPP. (That it was going to restrain China never made sense, so it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the previously named fools were big in its development as foreign policy.)

            Perhaps a simpler way of looking at it is it it is hard to have competent representation that advances the general good for America if they are busy working their own deals for post Political life by making the multinational MIC, FIRE and tech sector happy. Those sectors believe the public should never have jobs, protections or services because splitting all the spoils with each other already lowers their “share” too much.

  9. Tinky

    re: A Big Bet to Kill the Password for Good

    My reaction is admittedly superficial, as I have no IT background, but isn’t this at least somewhat, and therefore disturbingly analogous to efforts to ban cash? What I mean is that in both cases, it seems, the current iterations (i.e. cash and usernames/passwords) are not easily connected directly to individuals, whereas in an ePayment only/post-password world, the devices or IP addresses, etc., would invariably be associated with specific people.

    Not a road that I will ever travel willingly.

    1. playon (formerly lordkoos)

      Yes – I’m certain the solutions are biometric – fingerprints, facial recognition, eye scans etc.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        That Wired article is dumb.

        Biometrics and Facial Recognition and Thumb prints are PASSWORDS BY ANOTHER NAME!!!

        1. Yves Smith

          And worse, just certain parts of your retina or fingerprints…which can be copied…and then what do you do?

          This is so stupid. > 30 character passwords will solve most problems.

  10. TimH

    On the FIDO passwordless scheme: It’s a credential manager, but unlike a password manager, you don’t control it. A password manager is just dumb secure data storage that you control. There’s no correlation between accounts. FIDO allows all the accounts you have to be identified as being yours. No anonymity. No thanks.

  11. Rod

    Common Sense in a crazy world.

    California’s ‘Solar Canals’ Will Save Water and Produce Clean Energy Treehugger

    big time Gigawatts
    It’s about time, and among other benefits:
    In addition, solar canals will have a lower environmental footprint than traditional solar farms because they will be built on land that has already been developed, instead of on unspoiled areas, the study says.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      It makes such good sense that it likely will not happen. if it actually does happen it will cost 3x what it should cost. The California Premium, of course.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Why So Many Countries Want to Sit Out the New Cold War”

    Sounds like some people at Bloomberg can’t get their mind around the concept that not everybody agrees with their editorials. In Indonesia, though their government voted against Russia at the UN, the Indonesians themselves have their own views-

    Al Jazeera has been pro-Ukraine in their stories so here they try to explain it away as Indonesians being anti-American or pro-macho men or Russian disinformation. Pity here that they never considered just asking some ordinary Indonesians why they supported Russia.

  13. Tom Stone

    I’ve had several people bemoan the horrific civilian casualties caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in my presence.
    When I have asked them how many Civilians the Uke army has killed in the Donbass since 2014…
    none of the three I’ve had that conversation with knew.
    Two called me a traitor.
    Between TDS and the Slavering Bolshevik Hordes brutalizing chubby little girls with angels wings there are fewer people in “Woketown” willing to speak to me every day.

    1. AnArchitect

      Both can (and might) be true and both can be awful. One doesn’t excuse the other. I don’t understand your point about countering current horrific events with past horrific events. Had the people in your presence acknowledged the damage in the Donbass, what would you have said?

      1. pjay

        There are two types of critics of the Russian invasion. The first simply regurgitate the mainstream narrative that Putin’s action was “unprovoked” while either consciously or ignorantly ignoring all of the many Western provocations over the decades leading up to it, and/or waving them off as Russian propaganda. The second are willing to acknowledge these provocations but then nevertheless condemn Putin’s actions as excessive, or unnecessary, or “irrational,” etc.

        The first type of critic is prominent everywhere, but they do not deserve to be taken seriously in a real conversation about the Ukraine. The second type is much more rare, but at least there is a basis for rational discussion. Tom’s question helps determine the type of critic to which you are talking.

      2. Tom Stone

        I found their lofty sense of moral superiority grating.
        There’s a saying about the pot calling the kettle black that you might be familiar with.

      3. urdsama

        I can’t speak for Tom, but for me the point being raised is the US shouldn’t support a nation that does such things. Or at the very least, shouldn’t claim Ukraine is some paragon of morality.

        Why was it “okay” for Ukraine to do this to its own citizens, but it’s bad for Russia during an invasion? And no, I’m not defending Russia. Any civilian deaths are bad.

        This situation is anything but binary. The US, and in general the “west”, are treating it like it is. Blowback will be ugly when certain facts come to light.

    2. Screwball

      My woke PMC friends think we are kicking butt, Joe Biden, Blinken, and Sullivan are doing just dandy running this war. Really? What about….? No, you should be listening to Natasha Bertrand, Max Boot, Bill Krystol, Fiona Hill, and Alexander Vindeman. Scott Ritter doesn’t know squat.

      Whenever this is over, half our populous will hold an entirely different opinion on what happened than the other. That same half will think Biden and Company were great in winning this war, and anyone who thinks differently is a clueless Trumper who doesn’t believe in democracy or a Russian asset.

      What about Hunter’s laptop? That’s been debunked. Orwell would be proud.

      1. LifelongLib

        You put your finger on why we can’t have a rational discussion about the Ukraine (or Covid or many other things). They’re all just proxies for whether you support Trump or Biden. The facts in each case don’t matter.

        1. JBird4049

          I do not support Trump or Biden and deciding whether something is real, or accurate, or true to their supposed support by political candidate or party is absurd; I agree that more of everything is tied to either of the manufactured Red or Blue “sides” with it being assumed that you must agree to the complete checklist. But if one of the politicians said that the Moon was made of cheese, would their followers have to believe this?

    3. Michael Fiorillo

      #McResistance idiots concocted and/or cheered on Russiagate (“The Walls Are Closing In!”), a spurious factional attempt to remove Trump because, of course, he was Hitler, but swoon in the presence of real Nazis.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Daydream houses of Oman”

    It is almost relaxing this page. Wars may come and go. Climate change is upon us. Economic chaos is on our horizon. And yet it does not matter what country you are talking about, bad taste always shines through. Ugly, gaudy, horrible, garish, trashy bad taste.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      Yes, but Kate Wagner seems to enjoy them and cuts them some slack.

      While it may be true that these houses are more symmetrical and balanced than the typical McMansion she expertly satirizes, and are built of better materials, they are still, as you say, ugly,gaudy, horrible, garish and trashy.

    2. playon (formerly lordkoos)

      I can’t speak to the interiors but I think the exteriors are lovely and colorful, I don’t find them garish.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Same. I see similar garish colors here in New Orleans and IM ALL FOR IT!

        I’d never heard of the silk screen faux stain glass windows before but that sounds awesome!

  15. edwin

    Just got back from our local food bank. I live in a small town of about 5000 people + 5000 people in surrounding rural areas 2 hrs north of Toronto. Dropped off a couple of cheques and a few items we could not use.

    Unlike everywhere else unmasking is not happening. They are wearing N95 ‘s. They are not allowing people into the food bank. There is a table by a window. You stand at the far end of the table and they pass items out to you. If you do not wear a mask they will not serve you. Social distancing is enforced by the table. This pandemic is the first time they have refused to provide food to someone – for refusal to wear a mask.

    They use to have 50 volunteers. They have cut it down to a staff of 7 who trust each other’s safety precautions. They have no plans to relax safety, indeed the opposite is true. And they have no plans to accept volunteers at this time. (we asked)

    I was not able to find vaccination rates for our area so I tried to figure it out from regional data. 300000+ vaccines in our region (not town) for a region population of 100000. Something is wrong, but looking at data from Ontario 18+ years or older our vaccination rate appears to be a hair under 90%. Because of the age of people in our town (the oldest in Ontario?) I expect that our rates are even higher.

    The food bank has been informed that 80% of their clientele are not fully vaccinated. It shows the intersection of poverty and lack of health care – even in a society with universal health care. It also shows the inability of the health care system to reach out to people even when they are reasonably accessible. Having an outdoor medical clinic next to the food bank should be an easy way to target a group of people who seem otherwise to fall through the cracks.

    It is not just the anti-maskers and anti-vaxers who do not trust the system. The food bank was not buying the line that this pandemic is over at all.

    1. CanCyn

      Ontario has dropped the mask mandate …reports from friends in the Halton region of the GTA (halfway between Toronto and Niagara for my American friends) … friend in IKEA store says all staff masked, 50%customers. Mother of children in elementary school – half the kids masked today. Grocery store – everyone masked.
      I live in a fairly conservative area in eastern Ontario. Am expecting to see fewer masks in rural area where I live and more in city of Kingston to the south. Will report later in week on errand running day.

  16. antidlc

    This bill has been mentioned on NC:
    Kaine introduces bill to research and combat long covid, after suffering it himself

    It turns out Kaine is not the only one on the hill suffering from long COVID.

    Kaine was on Andy Slavitt’s podcast and he talked about the bill and long COVID around the 43:00 mark:

    From the transcript:

    Tim Kaine 46:54

    And so that’s why I’ve started to do it. And I’ll tell you Andy the response of people, the first time I did it at a hearing couple months back with Fauci, Dr. Fauci, and Walensky, got a lot of outreach, introduced this bill, so a lot of people reaching out to me, including look, including colleagues here on the hill, who are having the same experience, but I don’t want to talk about it yet. And there’s that, hey, thanks for putting that bill in. Because this is real. And look, when COVID is completely in the rearview mirror, I don’t know when that’ll be. The two things that won’t be in the rearview mirror are the combined mental health impacts of a million deaths and job losses and businesses closed, kids missing the prom and homecoming to graduation, adults being isolated, because their kids can’t visit them. So the mental health impacts will keep going. And then this long COVID piece will keep going and in order to, you know, have a healthcare system, we can feel good about using that label for the healthcare system, we have to deal with these mental health pieces. And we have to deal with the long COVID reality.

    Andy Slavitt 48:03

    You know, it’s interesting, because we’ve had some advocates for long COVID on this program before. And I heard from a few of them after you made your announcement. And I almost got like the biggest exhale, that I think I’ve heard from a group like this quite a while, because I think they felt like nobody well known is saying that this is a problem. And if that’s the case, people are gonna have a tough time believing it, this has got to be a problem for some well-known people. And finally, I think they feel like a great burden. And pressure is lifted on them. Now my son who’s 20 has a still has symptoms almost a year and a half later, from COVID. And I guess I put him in your category where they’re not preventing him from doing the things that he needs to do in life. But he’s aware, you know, he’s had tachycardia, his limbs are ice cold and blue, his fingers in his toes, his are intermittent. He gets these rashes that are incredibly painful, and then they go away. And of course, like a lot of people, he doesn’t want to put too much of this on COVID because he doesn’t know. Just so strange things are happening to his body. And they’ve happened since he had the original case of COVID.

    Tim Kaine 49:21

    Well, Andy if I could just playing just playing down the road for your son. So your son’s a young person, right? So he’s got a long life at, if you have these symptoms after COVID. And then particularly if they’re severe, and not only, you know, may, is there some chance that as you describe them to others, they’re like, oh, I don’t know about that. Maybe that’s not COVID. But you yourself are dealing with the reality of how long is this going to go on? I mean, is there going to be a treatment for it? Am I going to live with this the rest of my life? And the answer is we don’t know the answer to these questions. So what we’re trying to do with this bill that I introduced is first have a registry where we could get as much the patient kind of symptoms data into the registry so that we can really understand all the nuances of this. Because for some, it’s cardiac for some, it’s neurological, for some, it’s I’m super fatigued. For some, it’s I have a respiratory problem, or it’s showing up in my bloodstream. So we want to document protecting people’s confidence, obviously, as much as we can, then secondly, we want to do research into causes, but also into treatment. So for example, maybe it would be hard to really identify the cause. But if people like me who have nerve tingling, well, there have already been some treatments that people use for this neuropathy and nerve tingling. And even though that might not have been related to COVID, well, maybe that treatment might work for the people who have what I have. And there may be other treatments out there that weren’t created because of COVID. But that might have some efficacy. So we need to research all that. And then the final thing we need to do and our bill is about this is disseminate information enough to patients and providers, and then also provide support services, like, how, what do you need to show about long COVID In order to get a disability determination or to go to an employer and say, hey, I’d like an accommodation at work, because I have this, we’re gonna have to figure all that out. And that’s, you know, that’s kind of what we’re trying to do with this bill.

    How many of his colleagues are suffering from long COVID? What are their symptoms?
    More than one-quarter of Congress has had COVID-19

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      If Kaine could just catch more horrible diseases, maybe he would support single payer? We can always hope.

      1. antidlc

        Why would he support single payer? Congress has its own healthcare system.
        Special Health Care for Congress: Lawmakers’ Health Care Perks

        A little known office on Capitol Hill provides quality care at a low price.

        Services offered by the Office of the Attending Physician include physicals and routine examinations, on-site X-rays and lab work, physical therapy and referrals to medical specialists from military hospitals and private medical practices. According to congressional budget records, the office is staffed by at least four Navy doctors as well as at least a dozen medical and X-ray technicians, nurses and a pharmacist.

        Sources said when specialists are needed, they are brought to the Capitol, often at no charge to members of Congress.

        “If you had, for example, prostate cancer, you would go to one of the centers of excellence for the country, which would be Johns Hopkins. If you had coronary artery disease, we would engage specialists at the Cleveland Clinic. You would go to the best care in the country. And, for the most part, nobody asked what your insurance was,” Balbona said.

        Kaine went to a neurologist and had an MRI. I doubt he paid much, if anything, for these services. He doesn’t have to worry about health care.

    2. Maritimer

      Senator Kaine, you should have looked at the prophylaxis and early treatment for a long time recommended at
      Senator, had you done that, you might never have had a Covid problem in the first place.

      Dr. Peter McCullouch has hammered away at the fact that America’s most distinguished medical schools and hospitals have avoided Covid prophylaxis and early treatment like The Plague. In my Dark Ages jurisdiction, it is still test, get sick and then come to the Big Pharma Processing Facility if you can get in.

      Lesson to be learned: there are dangers to swallowing the Dominant Narrative.

  17. Seth Miller

    Re: the perfect alarm

    I have never disagreed more vehemently with an article linked to in Naked Capitalisms. The article you cite does not describe what it means by “success” in using an alarm tone to wake up, but it seems clear that the goal is to go abruptly from sleep to wakefulness. That may be your boss’ goal but I don’t see why it should be anyone else’s goal. The opposite approach — to wake slowly and deliberately — results in a much better mood. Try something more dreamlike, that walks the line better between sleep and wakefulness. Here’s what I am waking up to lately:

    1. jr

      I’ve found that setting a clock radio alarm to white noise is the easiest going alarm sound. It just barely ekes it’s way into your sleeping mind. The “nuclear sub taking on water” style of alarms were always sure to enrage me and start the day off horribly. Doubtless this sort of aural self flagellation appeals to some Puritanical types who enjoy being reminded of their status as worker-drones, the kind of slave that upon hearing another complain about being mistreated at work quip something to the tune “Well, if you don’t like it, get another job!”

  18. aleph_0

    A Big Bet to Kill the Password for Good Wired

    Come on. Don’t be biometrics. Don’t be biometrics.

    *opens article*


    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      ? ? ? ? ?


      I kept reading it, excited to see how we can get rid of passwords…only to see their solution is another de facto password!!!!

  19. jr

    “ This is a line you’ve probably had bleated at you by propagandized empire livestock if you’ve engaged in online debate about the role western powers have played in paving the way to this war.”

    Sing it, sister! Livestock is right on the money. Docile and dumb, except when someone naysays their masters. Then the hooting and yammering starts. Comfortable in their pens and engorged on the trash that is dumped into their troughs. Weaponized with words and ideas like “agency” that they have the weakest of grasps on. Handily diverted with thought-stoppers like “Whataboutism!” both because it’s easily digested and it stops the annoying itch of contrary voices poking through the soothing fog of their ignorance. A comic book vision of how nations work, as if Ukraine is some coherent, bounded entity bedecked in a yellow and blue cape, as if any nation is such a thing.

    I believe it was on NC that a tweet was posted recently in which some imbecile was declaring that he didn’t care that the “Ghost of Keeeeeev” was a hoax because it made him “feel” the right way. This is of a type with the blasphemous “Hand of God” cops, the hustler with the dowsing rods, that pathetic, pathetic cheater on the Penn women’s swim team who “broke all the records” by virtue of his innate biological advantages as a human male: all of this is magical thinking of the crudest kind. It is rank superstition. Those peasants mentioned in that recently posted article about medieval magic were far more coherent in their thinking about the nature of reality than any of these mental degenerates.

  20. RobertC

    Movement towards border resolution is speeding up with China Has a Huge Strategic Opening With India — While differences between the U.S. and India have widened, Beijing and New Delhi have made similar statements on the Ukraine conflict.

    Unease continues to fester over the border, but dialogue goes on. Owing to multiple rounds of talks, India and China completed their disengagement process around the sensitive Pangong Lake last year. Earlier this month, the two countries held a fifteenth round of talks to resolve pending issues in eastern Ladakh. Prior to that, Wang admitted that the setbacks caused by the border flare-up did not serve the fundamental interests of the two countries — a rare show of rapprochement from Beijing on the border dispute.

  21. RobertC

    Commodity markets are jammed up as Wheat prices soar on Ukraine fears, but U.S. growers can’t cash in

    Instead of reaping a windfall, Ehmke found a commodities market turned upside down. He and his wife Louise told Reuters they couldn’t sell a nickel of their upcoming summer wheat harvest for future delivery. Futures prices for corn and wheat had rocketed so abruptly that many along the complex chain of grain handling – local farm cooperatives, grain elevators, flour millers and exporters – stopped buying for fear they couldn’t resell at a profit.

  22. RobertC

    Biden will get an earful from Europeans on Why Biden can’t help Europe rid itself of Russian gas — “Governments don’t make deals,” said the director of Tufts University’s Climate Policy Lab.

    The issue is expected to be a central topic when Biden visits Europe to attend a NATO summit and a European Council meeting scheduled for Thursday. The White House’s senior adviser for energy security, Amos Hochstein, and members of the State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources are expected to accompany him, a person familiar with the plans said.

    Biden will also hear about Europe’s increasing food prices and the flood of Ukrainian refugees (UN estimates 3.5M with another 6.5M internally displaced in Ukraine) overwhelming social services.

  23. Eclair

    So, has anyone watched Servant of the People? It’s streaming on Netflix and was featured a couple of days ago at the top of my homepage there.

    I remembered reading last week a story, linked at NC I am sure, about the relationship of Ukrainian ‘warlord oligarch’ Igor Kolomoisky with President Zelenskyy. Apparently Kolomoiksky not only owned the Ukrainian TV station that featured the TV comedy series, starring then-comedian and actor Zelenskyy as a humble history teacher who finds himself elected President, after a clip of him railing against corruption goes viral, but also bankrolled the production of the multi-season series.

    Is this a trend? Are smoke-filled rooms so last-century? A billionaire buys a media outlet (it could never happen here, thank the goddess!), finds a likable and charismatic actor, funds a TV series featuring him/her as a national leader and the electorate, who have never been able to distinguish between reality and fantasy (check out the bronze statue John Wayne, in full cowboy regalia, that greets arrivals at the Orange County, California airport) then land-slides in to the actual post.

    At least, under this system, the citizens have more fun listening to a polished and charismatic actor (Reagan was a blessed anodyne when he speechified,) than to our current crop of halting, stuttering, giggling, deer-in-the-headlights pols.

    1. pjay

      Servant of the People is streaming on Netflix? You’ve got to be kidding!

      I wonder if there is any way they can bend the rules and put it up for next year’s Emmys? It’s sure to get a lot of votes from the “community.”

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        I noticed that. Netflix is shameless, as are most of corporate America. If it were possible to boycott them all I would do so.

        1. Polar Socialist

          On the other hand Netflix is also streaming Twenty-Five Twenty-One, a South Korean series about teenagers and young adults dealing with the IMF-crisis of 1998. Pretty much everyone’s life has been ruined by IMF and they’re not shy about it.

          Also, the sabre fencing in the series is done exceptionally well. I mean, the movements are a tad too perfect for an actual bout, but all the little things fencers do during a match are right on. Took me right back to my fencing years in the 90’s and put a big smile on my face.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            They also financed Squid Game, a S Korean TV series that features 456 contestants plucked from their ordinary lives because Debt, etc.

            That being said, “F NETFLIX!”
            Netflix is throwing around billions in its quest to get rid of Movie Theatres and Movies that don’t adhere to the bottom line.

      1. LifelongLib

        Safer for them to just write checks from behind the scenes. Let the “PMC” take the heat…

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      We’ve had our share – Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Arnold Schwartzenegger. Humans are easily influenced, and easily bamboozled. After all, social media “influencers” are a thing, and it’s very lucrative.

    3. Maritimer

      I depend on my Local Torrent Dealer. With an extended cable, you can set up your computer nicely for Lazboy viewing and say goodbye to Hollywood, Netflix and their kachingaling and propaganda.

      1. judy2shoes

        Maritimer, could you please enlighten this ignorant person about your “local torrent dealer” or point me in the direction of more information? I don’t like the “kachingaling” or propaganda either.

  24. juno mas

    RE: the perfect alarm

    Two of the three guidelines for selecting an appropriate alarm for yourself are pretty straightforward: selecting a tune you can sing/humm to, and the tempo–speed of the rhythm. The third, 500Hz, may be a bit obscure to some. A piano is tuned with note “A4” at 440Hz. The tonal key for note C5 (the “C” note an octave higher in pitch than “middle C” on the keyboard) is the 8 notes ascending from this note on the keyboard. Find that keynote on the piano keyboard and listen to the sound of these 8 notes (all white keynotes) and you’ll hear the sound/pitch range the article is describing.

    The sound pitch described is higher in frequency than I imagined it would be.

  25. judy2shoes

    I found this interesting tweet about potential McKinsey Company influence on public health decisions:

    Dr. Lisa Iannattone
    This is enlightening. McKinsey has their own invented definitions of endemicity.

    #3 is “economic endemicity” which means ‘decoupling epidemiology from economic activity’?

    So are they advising govts to decouple science from economic decisions? Because that would explain a lot.

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