Links 3/24/2022

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.

* * *

Snakes’ and Lizards’ Slow and Steady Evolution Won the Race Scientific American

What Does the Word Radical Mean? Addressing the Root of a Problem Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue

Fifty years later, is Montana’s ‘Right To Know’ working? Montana Free Press


The far-reaching consequences of woodsmoke pollution High Country News

Quantifying Regional Methane Emissions in the New Mexico Permian Basin with a Comprehensive Aerial Survey Americah Chemical Society. From the Abstract: “We estimate total [oli and gas] methane emissions in this area at … 9.4% (+3.5%/–3.3%) of gross gas production.” Seems like rather a lot?

Airborne Toxic Events The Baffler


BA.2 accounts for 35% of US cases; Major surge unlikely, Fauci says Becker Hospital Review

America Is About to Test How Long ‘Normal’ Can Hold The Atlantic

Covid’s Fifth Wave Shows Us How to Live With the Virus Bloomberg. “The new wave is mostly being driven by countries removing pandemic restrictions right around when the more transmissible omicron BA.2 subvariant began to spread.”

* * *

Effectiveness and safety of pulse oximetry in remote patient monitoring of patients with COVID-19: a systematic review The Lancet. From the Abstract: “A meta-analysis was not feasible owing to the heterogeneity of the outcomes reported in the included studies. Our systematic review substantiates the safety and potential of pulse oximetry for monitoring patients at home with COVID-19, identifying the risk of deterioration and the need for advanced care.” Not the same as health outcomes, but enough for me. Background on pulse oximeters.

* * *

Judge rules in favor of immunocompromised students, but masking still optional in Virginia WTOP

Some hospitals ask patients, visitors to remove N95s, citing CDC Politico. “‘It’s baffling,’ said Ezekiel Emanuel.” Oh?

Airline CEOs urge Biden to end mask mandate, testing requirements CNN. Ka-ching.

* * *

Motivated Reasoning: Emily Oster’s COVID Narratives and the Attack on Public Education Protean


China Faces Worst Crop Conditions Ever Due to Climate Change Bloomberg

Russia’s Putin gets Chinese backing to stay in G20 Reuters

Fifty percent of Facebook Messenger’s total voice traffic comes from Cambodia. Here’s why Rest of World

Golden kids Couchfish


On Returning Home to Father’s Library The Wire

Australia’s carbon credit scheme ‘largely a sham’, says whistleblower who tried to rein it in Guardian

New Not-So-Cold War

Why this economic war on Russia breaks all rules of the game Responsible Statecraft. A must-read.

BlackRock’s Fink says Ukraine war marks end of globalisation FT

Putin and Xi Exposed the Great Illusion of Capitalism Bloomberg

Overextending and Unbalancing Russia RAND Corporation. From 2019, still germane.

Imperialism and the Weaponization of Empathy Black Agenda Report

* * *

Where Russia has been sanctioned Axios

Russian Gas Exports to Europe: In the Eye of the Storm Valdai Discussion Club

Foreigners banned from selling Russian stocks as market set for limited reopening Reuters

Putin’s oligarchs have an escape route: UAE, Israel and South Korea The New Arab

* * *

Exclusive: Sources Say Oligarch Funded Scheme to Paint Swastikas in Ukraine Rolling Stone. Paragraph one: “sources.” Two: “multiple sources,” Three: “multiple sources, including U.S. intelligence reporting.” Oh, come on.

Like, Share, Recruit: How a White-Supremacist Militia Uses Facebook to Radicalize and Train New Members Time. From 2021, still germane. That was then, this is now:

* * *

US formally accuses Russian forces of committing war crimes in Ukraine ABC. Somebody wants a long war. I wonder who?

Military briefing: the make-or-break fight for the Donbas FT. Coverage of the “cauldrons” breaks through to the mainstream, albeit framed as a change in strategy.

Putin’s Bombers Could Devastate Ukraine But He’s Holding Back. Here’s Why Newsweek

‘They own the long clock’ — How the Russian military is starting to adapt in Ukraine Task & Purpose

Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state and feminist icon, dies at 84 Reuters. Commentary:

And Albright fronting a multi-level marketing scheme is so, so right:

Former President Bill Clinton Says Ukraine Was All Madeleine Albright Wanted to Talk About WSJ. The Blob has wanted war in Ukraine for a long time:

Biden Administration

‘She Intended Not to Ignore Things Related to Climate, as There Is Pressure to Do’ FAIR. On the Administration’s failed nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin to the Fed.

America’s Approach to Energy Security Is Broken The Atlantic

Supply Chain

All That’s Stopping a Full-Blown Food Crisis? Rice Bloomberg

War changing Black Sea grain industry landscape World Grain

How war in Ukraine fuels a food crisis in Africa South China Morning Post

Russian-Ukraine Crisis. Thoughts on Russian Export Ban Hellenic Shipping News


The illusion of evidence based medicine British Medical Journal. Important.

Plagiarism Scandal Puts Renowned Concussions Doctor Under Scrutiny NYT

The Subtle Psychology of ‘Nudging’ During a Pandemic Undark

Class Warfare

Tulip Workers Strike in Washington State – 5,000 Sacramento School Workers Strike – 600 Obamacare Workers Walkout in Miss. & La. Payday Report

Wearing shoes in the house is just plain gross. The verdict from scientists who study indoor contaminants The Conversation

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. PlutoniumKun

    Airborne Toxic Events The Baffler

    The illusion of evidence based medicine British Medical Journal. Important

    Both are must-reads. The first was linked here before. I think its the best overall summary I’ve read recently on the deeper origins of the failure of public health medicine over the airborne issue. It links it carefully to money and profit – so often we see public health priorities, even as expressed by supposed independent experts, only gaining attention when they coincide with financial or political needs. The link between water and cholera was largely ignored until wealthier urbanites realised they were not immune. Then we had the great municipal public health investments in the 19th Century. Before that, the value of quarantine was undermined by ‘experts’ when it was found to be inconvenient for the explosion of trade. We can see, 200 years later, a direct parallel in WHO declaring that science did not support travel bans when Covid first emerged. Literally hundreds of years of public health experience thrown out the window because some experts didn’t like the idea of being denied their Bali vacation.

    As for the second article – I’ve a family member in pharm research so I’ve heard depressing stories for many years about how the pharmaceutical industry has for years been slowly degrading science and good practice. Sometimes its almost comical – a prominent expert in medical prescribing practice once told me how he was regularly invited to talk at industry funded conferences, but he was always scheduled for the first morning session the evening after the free drinks reception for all the attendees. So, he said, he always had to tailor his talk for a depleted audience of very hungover doctors.

    1. Lex

      Agreed on the Baffler article. It’s an excellent piece. I’ve viewed Covid through the lens of my professional world (Industrial Hygiene), it’s not specifically about disease transmission but the concepts are the same. Unfortunately it means that I have first hand knowledge of the industrial-environmental contaminants we’re exposed to on a consistent basis.

      And I view the pharmaceutical industry in the same light as the industrial chemical industry. A couple times a month (at least) I take a call from someone who wants to measure exposure to a chemical they use but I have to tell them that while I can theoretically sample for it, there are no regulatory standards, little to no research on health effects and the labs don’t have an analytical standard to quantify it. The last would cost ~$30k but doesn’t do anything without regulatory levels or even recommendations.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Water quality sampling suffers from the same problem. River and lake bodies are declared to be unpolluted on the basis of a very narrow range of tested pollutants, many of which are very poor indicators of ecological health. Back in the 1990’s there was a lot of talk about moving away from sampling E.Coli as an indicator of sewage contamination as it was realised that it is a very poor indicator of viral contamination. Even back then, the technology existed to accurately measure viral load. But nothing every happened, because e.coli sampling was cheap and nobody really wanted to know about the viruses in our water.

        1. redleg

          Viral load in groundwater has been researched in Minnesota and Wisconsin for the last 15 or so years. Fascinating research. I wish I could remember the different researchers that I’ve seen and talked with over the years.
          Search Minnesota Groundwater Assn and National Groundwater Association Midwest Region for papers. A Door County WI norovirus outbreak was the first research I recall seeing on this topic, but that led to some really important follow-on studies, including comparing the incidence of outbreaks of Gastroenteritis in treated (chlorinated and chloraminated) and non-treated public water supply service areas (spoiler alert- more in untreated, go figure).

      1. jr

        I’ll always be indebted to Barbara Ehrenreich for the term “bright-sided”. When I read the book years ago it opened my eyes to a social dynamic (?) that I had come to hate passionately. I had always thought positive thinking was idiotic; you took what reality dealt out but you reacted to it accordingly. Good times are happy times, bad times were
        sad. I couldn’t get why almost everyone seemed to fall on the happy side at all times, in all situations. It was weaponized positive thinking, I now knew.

        I was an adult education teacher at the time. The program I was working in was an abject failure. Money had disappeared from our budgets, the students had been lied to and were furious, and the administrators were constantly putting the blame on who else, the teachers.

        When we complained, about things like empty classrooms due to our advertising budget being stolen by the city of Philadelphia or textbooks from the 11th century or how the standards for “success” were literally changing by the week, we were told over and over again to “Stay positive!” against all obstacles. Oh, that and it was all our at fault.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Russia’s Putin gets Chinese backing to stay in G20”

    Putin may not want to stick around for long as in previous G20 sessions he was insulted on what was quite a juvenile scale. So I began to consider. If I was one of the bright, young sparks inhabiting old Joe’s WH at the moment, what would I be thinking? They are probably sitting around saying ‘Hey, Putin is going to Bali for the G20. What if we send up a few fighters from a nearby base and force his plane down on that American base? We could then arrest him on charges of war crimes against humanity and ship him off to the Hague. That would solve all our problems, amiright?’ I would put nothing past a Biden WH.

    1. Patrick Donnelly

      Putin was returning to Russia after the soccer world cup. But they got MH17 instead.

      Who would have taken over? Who was the next Yeltsin?

    2. Tom Stone

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if “The Big Guy” ordered Putin’s plane to be forced US Fighters.
      The White house was clearly surprised at the reaction to Joe’s decision to commit an act of war against Russia,
      No consideration at all seems to have been given to the consequences of the sanctions.

      1. JohnA

        Putin’s jet would be escorted by armed fighter aircraft. I would take the Russian fighter against an F35 every day of the week.

    3. RobertC

      TRK — as I said yesterday I think the important aspect was China’s immediate public support of Russia thereby reaffirming a relationship “better than an alliance.”

      China could have waited for a vote, etc but didn’t making its announcement while Biden was flying to Europe.

    1. Tom

      Excellent interview with Ritter. I’ve been sharing with friends and family. My sister just messaged me that her head is spinning after watching it. It cuts so hard against the MSM narrative that I was sure YT would pull it.

        1. Bob

          Sounds like irregular / guerilla warfare to me.

          There is an ongoing train of thought that a combatant with powerful, plentiful weaponry is guaranteed a win. This is not so, and history is replete with examples.

          The invaders are in for a rough time with very little to gain.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            It’s not guerilla warfare. It’s the remains of a battered and reduced army removed from air cover and supplies. In the case of guerilla warfare, they would be attacking convoys and foraging units. These are spats between two armies.

            The problem the Ukrainians have is their escape routes are covered by Russian artillery and planes. Everyone moving through dies, so the stay. They do have to eat, armies it’s the army, not the locals. Maps tell a great deal. The Russians have satellites too. So they can just blast convoys trying to move.

            The line about ongoing thought. The MSM is trumpeting nonsense about guerilla fighting all the time. There is a reason Zelensky was begging for a no fly zone. The Ukrainian army can only be ground down. Then of course thermal imaging is an issue. They can’t simply hide.

            1. nippersdad

              I suspect the idea was that these guerilla forces were trained to be left behind the lines to create problems for the Russian occupation after the Kievan government falls. The blind spot was that the Russians are running cover for the Donbass militias, so they are not viewed so much an invading force as an enabling one.

              Russian support for the separatist republics enabled the Normandy Format that led to the Minsk protocols. Russian support for the separatists now will mean the de facto existence of (somewhat) sovereign states; I doubt that they will forget that.

              Mercouris was citing reports that the Carpathian Rus now want to get into the game of partition, and there may be many others now that the yoke of the far right forces who have ruled them for eight years is lifted.

              The consolidation of the new states will inevitably expose those who are opposed to them, and they will be taken out fairly easily.

            2. Bob

              Please, all the modern weapons of war whether they are air power, some fantastic new weapon, some new imaging system, or even some as yet undiscovered system of identifying hostile or potential thoughts are doomed to failure.

              History is replete with examples –

              Poland 1939 – Decimation of leadership (see Katyn esp Stalin’s written instructions) and yet the Home Army became one of the largest and by some accounts the most effective resistance effort in all of Europe. This resistance in one form or another continued until the Solidarity movement.

              Philippines 1941 – Defeat of Philippine and US regular forces. No air power, very few weapons, widespread belief in MacArthur’s command that any local insurgent forces existed. Yet the local forces were able to force Japanese occupiers out of the countryside at times even forcing Japanese forces in town to pay protection money.

              The list goes on and runs through Vietnam, Cuba, China, Colonial America, etc..

              The point being that if and when a general populace is mobilized against an invader the outcome is unavoidable with the only variable being time.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                So the Nazis in Poland.

                Then the Phillipines where the landscape precludes then contemporary power. Good examples.

              2. Polar Socialist

                Ukrainian nationalists waged a guerrilla war in the early 1920’s and were defeated. Ukrainian nationalists waged a guerrilla war in the late 1940’s and were defeated.

                What are the odds that this time around the results would be different?

                1. PlutoniumKun

                  Yup, its a myth that most insurgencies win, in reality the opposite is true. There are numerous examples from South America to Africa to Asia of major insurgencies being either entirely defeated or suppressed to an ‘acceptable’ level of violence (India has several going at the same time pretty much since the country was formed). The Philippines have ones in the southern islands that have been going on for the best part of a century.

                  Ukraine is of course very unfriendly geography for guerrilla type insurgencies, the only advantage one would have is the sheer size of the country. It would have to be urban based, and of course the Russians learned in Syria how to deal with that type of conflict. The Russians would also have a lot of leverage over neighbours – weapons entering the Ukraine might end up flowing out the other way into the gangster groups that will no doubt form around Ukrainian refugees all over Europe.

              3. Kouros

                It might work when the majority of population is rural and the Home Army can find easy food, etc. However, with big urban centers and with a military left with not much, a political decision has to follow sooner or later…

                1. JBird4049

                  One of the reasons for insurgencies to win or at least become difficult overcome is the population’s belief that they are being exterminated or an extreme desire for revenge. If people get scared or mad enough, they will fight even if it means dying.

                  In the Philippines, not only is the country good for guerilla warfare, but the Japanese were extremely brutal on the whole population (well, on everyone they invaded). The Japanese Kempeitai (secret police) were brutal and murderous in the Japanese Home Islands on Japanese citizens. In the conquered territories, they were evil. They were effective, but like in Europe with the Nazis, their brutality got push back.

                  In Poland, the very real plans of the Germans included the extermination of first and most completely, the Poles, and then most of the other Slavs, under Lebensraum, or old-fashioned colonial settlement with planned extermination. The Holocaust eleven million dead were only the initial planned numbers. The Soviets under Stalin were better in that the general extermination of Polish culture and people was not a goal. Only a general subjugation under an extremely ruthless totalitarian empire. The Poles did not have a choice, unless they wanted to be a few million uneducated slaves in the first instance or just role over and suffer whatever was decided under the Soviets in the second. The same could be said of the Soviets with the Nazis. If they intend to exterminate, why not fight back?

                  Afghanistan has echos of this as well. Invade a country, support or install an unpopular government, composed of the corrupt, of warlords, and of child molesters. Then brutally suppress the population death squads or bombing villages because they might have resistance fighters. This in a country that is mountainous with an… obstreperous population.

                  I really do not know anything about Ukraine, so I can’t bloviate on it much. I can only guess the Ukrainian public will ultimately decide the outcome based on what they believe has been done and what they expect will be done in the future by the Russians, the Ukrainian government, or the neo-nazis

                  I’m also speculating that the neo-nazi elements are trying to get the Russians to commit atrocities that will enrage the population, making them resist enough to prevent a Russian victory, but without necessarily creating a Ukrainian victory. The Russians need to reach their goals without enraging the population for that will make getting and maintaining those goals more difficult whatever they are.

                  1. Yves Smith

                    No, the neoNazis will commit atrocities and blame it on the Russians. Look at the maternity hospital bombing. The US is running with the intelligence-insulting claim that someone producing a bomb with the work “children” on it proves the Russians did it.

                    1. JBird4049

                      >>>The US is running with the intelligence-insulting claim that someone producing a bomb with the work “children” on it proves the Russians did it.

                      My word, I missed that bit. The stupid spreads.

                      I can not comment on what is actually happening because I don’t know. I do get that the Azov Battalion and its fellow travelers have the motive and the means to create atrocities and to put the blame on the Russians. I think that is why they are shooting anyone trying to escape. They seem ruthless enough. The more civilians around the more chances the greater the chances for massacres that can be spun into “Rape of Belgium” . Then there are human shields. And the Russians are motivated to prevent all this, which is hard to in city.

                      People will act on what they perceive to be true and not what is true. The United States and the UK have been among the greatest propagandists in history. Although they might be slipping. I would be surprised if the Ukrainians were not being given expert help on this. Actually, I would be shocked if they weren’t.

            3. jr

              They aren’t going to get much help from this gaggle of clowns and misfits:


              “ With most of its initial intake now discharged, and many from subsequent intakes killed or wounded, the plan to stand up the Ukrainian Foreign Legion program is one part of the Ukrainian war effort that is definitely not going well.”

              The part about the Alabama sourced minister, booted from the US Army for medical reasons, who volunteered to “minister” to the Ukrainian troops is pure US smugnorance. I seriously doubt he speaks Ukrainian or Russian. He was in Poland when interviewed and he yells at the Polish soldiers around him about how their country sucks. Wait till he gets to the war. He may find himself with a rifle and a bulls-eye on his back as he is herded to certain death.

            4. Anthony G Stegman

              I’m willing to bet that the United states has military assets in Ukraine – perhaps undercover but nonetheless operating lethal weaponry. Cowboys need to cowboy, and Ukraine is a great wild west for the cowboys.

      1. WhoaMolly

        Yes. Especially toward the end. Description of neo Nazis and their influence in Ukraine is chilling.

    2. Otis B Driftwood

      Ritter mentioned the Rand report linked today as proof that a war in Ukraine was always a risk of US actions. Here’s the money quote from that report.

      “Providing lethal aid to Ukraine would exploit Russia’s greatest point of external vulnerability. But any increase in U.S. military arms and advice to Ukraine would need to be carefully calibrated to increase the costs to Russia of sustaining its existing commitment without provoking a much wider conflict in which Russia, by reason of proximity, would have significant advantages.”

      Putin read that report.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Such a nice, old lady. On the TV news they said that they were going to show her biggest flub on video. The 500,000 dead children video I thought? No, it was the time that with Hillary that she said that there is a special place in hell for women that don’t support other women. Sigh! How about another video of her when she referred to Serbs as disgusting-

    I wonder if she hated Slavs as well? It would explain a lot. For her epitaph I will give one I heard a long time ago-

    ‘Some people best serve the world when they leave it.’

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        That is face is as ugly as it gets. Sometimes it’s not what is inside that matters most. Albright’s evilness was right out there in the open. You could clearly see it on her face.

    1. Roger Blakely

      This morning on the Mother of All Talk Shows George Galloway said, “My religion precludes me from disparaging the recently departed, but today I make an exception.”

  4. Mr. Phips

    As a short and concise comment about the world right now, this one from M. K. Bhadrakumar I think says it all: “The US is destabilizing the European security order while the western sanctions are destabilizing the global economic order”.

  5. MartyH

    I miss the opportunity to buy Yves and any of the team that dropped by a drink at an Irish Pub in NYC. Thanks for helping navigate through this mess.

    1. ChiGal

      really good set of links today, a thousand thanks; NC is once again an anchor to sanity in a world I otherwise find increasingly surreal. I have fallen into that familiar state of disconnection that hits me during the build-up to war and there is next to nobody I can talk to IRL.

      1. Eclair

        Yes, ChiGal, my feelings exactly. Even my spouse, bless his heart, is starting to look at me sideways. And my kids have bought into Bad Russia: well, they have to keep their jobs. Worse, our neighbors, whom we rely on for egg and veggie and tool and tractor exchanges, mutual aid, etc., are all displaying yellow and blue flags (which in our neck of the woods are routinely flown, but are Swedish) and proudly declaring they don’t care how much they have to pay for gas because it’s the least they can do for the cause. I just smile and make appropriate noises. But … at some point will we all have to publicly abjure our ‘enemies?’ Or suffer the consequences.

  6. OIFVet

    Re Putin and Xi Exposed the Great Illusion of Capitalism. Forgive me if my reading comprehension failed in this case, but it seems to me that the authors’ prescriptions for solving the problem is more of the same stuff that created it in the first place. I see very little nuance in the analysis, and I am being generous by saying “very little.”

    1. OnceWereVirologist

      More free trade. Reintroduce the TPP. That’s the main practical takeaway. Classic neoliberal disaster capitalism – never let a crisis go to waste. I don’t think it’s precisely true that free trade created this particular problem. That’s more down to the USA’s absolute refusal to accommodate itself to a world with more than a single superpower. So freer trade among a constricted list of “Western” nations is certainly not an answer.

      1. lance ringquist

        nafta billy clinton basically created the davos man.

        “Globalism is the creation of a set of property rights that, precisely because they span multiple sovereignties, cannot be touched by one government without inviting conflict with another.

        Organizing property and production across borders—whether through free trade, protections for foreign investment, currency unions or other devices—does more than limit the power of governments. It also serves, “to dissolve the small, discrete collective of mutual identification—which means a country.”

        offshore tax havens are a direct result of free trade: the pathology of free trade is being exposed

        Today’s global rich are increasingly stateless, detaching their money from nation states and conventional representations of ownership to hide and preserve it. A global oligarchy is growing — and it does not bode well for everyone else and the planet.

        free trade enables the plundering of the wealth of nations, especially hurting the world’s most poor and vulnerable populations. It allows wealthy individuals and corporations to dodge and evade their tax responsibilities, shifting obligations onto those with fewer resources. It empowers criminals, deadbeats, and kleptocrats

        in 1983 there were only 15 billionaires in the u.s.a., under nafta billy clintons free trade, billionaires have ballooned into more than 615, and under free trade, this is happening globally

      2. lance ringquist

        “for free trade to work, bill clinton came right out and said we need to invade others countries to force them into free trade, and be ready to invade anyone who dares say no

        ” Bill Clinton elaborated:
        “If we’re going to have a strong economic relationship that includes our ability to sell around the world Europe has got to be the key; that’s what this Kosovo thing is all about… It’s globalism versus tribalism.”

        “Tribalism” was the word used by 19th century free trade liberals to describe nationalism. And this war was all about threatening any nation which might have ideas of independence.”

        “a bill clinton mouth piece,

        In a March 28 New York Times article, Thomas Friedman wrote:
        “For globalization to work, America can’t be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is… The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.”

        As NATO troops entered Kosovo, the same newspaper announced Kosovo’s new currency will be the U.S. dollar or German mark, currencies of the two countries most responsible for Yugoslavia’s break-up. And after months of being told that Slobodan Milosevic was the problem, we heard Washington Balkans expert, Daniel Serwer, explain:

        “It’s not a single person that’s at issue, there’s a regime in place in Belgrade that is incompatible with the kind of economy that the World Bank… has to insist on…”

        The Canadian government professes great interest in human rights. Globalization undermines both democracy and national sovereignty, the only guarantors of human rights. Unfortunately for Messrs. Clinton, Chretien et al, that message was not lost on millions around the world watching NATO bombs pulverize Yugoslavia.”

        “bill clinton did this,

        NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 78 days following accusations that Milošević was ethnically cleansing Albanians in Kosovo.
        The late Milošević was quietly and de facto cleared of all charges by the Hague Tribunal in 2016, but by the time the truth came out, Yugoslavia was long gone, broken into seven, more manageable and exploitable, countries.

        One of those profiteers, Albright’s financial management company, was involved in the privatization of Kosovo’s telecommunications company. From Wikipedia, one can learn that she too likely profits well from her war mongering, along with other untouchables”

    2. Eclair

      Thanks for reading, OIFVet! I did the same, plowing through, but it is Boomberg being its own nature, like the scorpion. Can’t blame it.

      But, hanging here at NC and not watching cable or network TV, I tend to forget how so many view The World: Free World and then there’s the Not Free World. Plus the Partially Free World.

      What’s ‘free’ these days? Free to go into soul destroying education debt? Free to choose between life-saving insulin and food? Free to die a death of despair because your town’s major manufacturer moved to China (a Not-Free nation) or Mexico (a Partially Free nation) and took your job, and your sister-in-law’s job, with it?

      And, towards the end of the article, there is the insistence on the complete domination of The West. They’re talking of the economic and political and cultural entity whose espousal of white hegemonic patriarchy (sorry, I had to get that in) and the hell-bent extraction and conversion of the bounty of the natural world into cold hard cash, have brought us and The Planet to the brink of disaster. (Not that much of the Not Free World or the Partially Free World is far behind us in this project.)

    3. dftbs

      Yes, it’s very strange that they’d concede capitalism is an illusion. And then try to solve the problem of maintaining said illusion.

  7. notabanker

    Facebook Messanger in Cambodia summary: It would be a lot easier to surveil these people if they typed instead of talked.

  8. eg

    To the not-so-dearly-departed Albright, I give from “Happy Gilmore” — “the price is wrong, b****!”

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        In a long Blumenthal/Mate interview from a few days ago, Col. Douglas Macgregor stated that the american military top brass are against direct engagement with the Russians because they feel that american forces are underprepared for confrontation with a well-trained regular army, as well as, remarkably, underfunded!!! Not to mention nowhere near as motivated by actual threat.

        Macgregor lauds biden for resisting warmonger calls for war, which seem to be coming from the state department / cia wing of the deep state, and hopes biden can continue to resist the calls for confrontation.

        As an old soldier, Macgregor relates a story from the Vietnam era, claiming that LBJ knew he should just end that war, but was “convinced” to stay the course with threats of being labelled soft on “communism” in the next election. LBJ wound up not running again.

        I mention all this because there has been some wondering, on conservative media, about why the hunter biden laptop story has suddenly been resurrected and seemingly verified by nyt at this particular time. Could it be that renewed “interest” in the laptop constitutes a veiled “threat” to stop protecting hunter by suppressing the story in an attempt to influence his father’s “governing” choices?

        1. Pookah Harvey

          “american military top brass are against direct engagement with the Russians because they feel that american forces are underprepared for confrontation with a well-trained regular army, as well as, remarkably, underfunded!!!”

          US defense sending $738 billion
          Russian defense spending $61.7 billion

          Efficiency of neoliberal capitalism?

          1. Polar Socialist

            I read recently that besides US Navy, both US Marines and US Army just have to have their own ships, because reasons. Just like besides US Air Force, both US Marines and US Army just have to have their own airplanes, probably because of the same reasons.

            It will cost a lot more to run several separate ground, air and air forces. To rephrase, “never attribute to neoliberalism that which is adequately explained by intra-service rivalry.”

        2. WhoaMolly

          underprepared for confrontation with a well-trained regular army, as well as, remarkably, underfunded!!

          Might be true. IF $$$ go primarily to exotic weapons systems and no bid contracts instead of actual troops.

    1. digi_owl

      It is interesting to note how hesitant Pentagon is about getting involved this time, compared to back when LeMay and such wanted to glass the USSR, China, and perhaps also Cuba for good measure.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Boardroom seats. No one wants a loser.

        During the early days of Syria, there was a story that Dempsey had to explain the Kerry Syrian missiles could hit or bases and ships if we became involved. I suspect the story was from Dempsey himself and likely about Obama. The drop in support for and no fly zone when people learn it requires troops is what the Pentagon gets. A bunch of sailors who drown because rescuers can’t get to them will make the nuts like Albright blame the Pentagon.

        The US doesn’t have figthing generals anymore and has too many for any general to be anything other than a hood ornament when necessary.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, I’ve noticed a few ‘hey, hang on there, lets get real’ headlines in the past few days. I suspect that at least some in the military establishments of the US and Europe are starting to get concerned that the story that Russia is in a quagmire might run out of control. I think there are at least some realists still around.

      1. David

        I’ve also noticed a lessening in the media hysteria in the last few days. For example, I can now look through the Grauniad RSS feed without wanting to vomit: it’s actually starting to contain real news again, instead of feel-good articles about how a bridge club in Bognor Regis expelled a member who confessed to once having watched a Tarkovsky film. I wonder whether western governments, realising that the game is up unless they are seriously envisaging the risk of nuclear war, are quietly starting to tell the media to back off a bit. The transition to a recognition of defeat in the next couple of weeks is going to be quite something to see.

  9. Karma Fubar

    Some observations on gas prices in Ohio

    I live well outside a college town in SE Ohio. Once or twice a week I drive in for groceries and the hardware store. On March 7th, I stopped at the first gas station I came to, and paid $4.09 per gallon for regular. I ended up driving past another gas station 10 minutes later, and noticed $3.79 for regular. Seemed like a significant difference at the time, but then I never price shop for gas.

    The odd thing is that since then, every gas station I have seen in town is now at $4.09 for regular / $4.99 for diesel. I had a couple extra errands yesterday, and drove a little out of my way to go by 8 different stations operated by 4 different companies (BP, Marathon, Speedway and the rebranded Valero) and every single one was the same. Technically I believe all 8 are within the city limits.

    Being the suspicious and cynical type, I have an extremely hard time believing that this is the result of market forces. I normally do not pay that much attention to prices, but this seems well out of the ordinary. Who has the muscle to set a cap on gas prices for weeks at a time? I doubt the city has the authority. The governor here is in a contested primary, but again I doubt the state can enforce gas price caps.

    Is there a free market explanation for why, in the midst of significant international and petrochemical turmoil, that gas prices would remain absolutely fixed and unmoving for more than 2 weeks? Or are there other forces at work?

    1. Jason Boxman

      Oh, I see that for weeks and weeks at a time in western NC. The prices don’t fluctuate daily here. Most stations have the same price, and I usually patron the one without the credit card surcharge. Who wants to go inside during a pandemic and pay cash?

    2. hunkerdown

      There is an explanation in which supply and demand are operative factors, but the ultimate driver is regulatory. Winter gasoline can be blended from cheaper, more volatile components which burn nicely but evaporate in warmer months. That’s bad for the atmosphere, but it’s also bad for product shrink and octane reduction in their and your tank. So the refiners switch to summer blend in spring and to winter blend in autumn.

      As for the free market, that’s a utopian myth.

    3. Bob

      Please gasoline prices / oil prices have been manipulated for a long time.

      It works like this –

      Oil commodity prices rise – price at the pump rises.
      Oil commodity prices fall – price at the pump falls slighty.

      MSM never ever reports or equates the price of unrefined oil with the price of gasoline at the pump.

      It’s just magic.

      1. polycarpus

        Also, when commodity prices rise, price at pump rises immediately, regardless when the station’s tanks were filled.
        It’s funny, a few years ago when gold prices spiked, the local jewelers reported you could still buy jewelry at the old gold prices, but new stock would reflect the new, higher, price. Gasoline never worked like that.
        Also, its funny that gasoline prices change 2 or 3 times a week, but diesel prices change 1 or 2 times a month.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Because Americans are addicted to oil the refineries have extreme leverage over Americans. They can charged whatever they like because most Americans have little choice but to keep driving their cars and trucks. In economic terms gasoline is largely price inelastic.

    4. Andrew

      Is there a free market explanation for why, in the midst of significant international and petrochemical turmoil, that gas prices would remain absolutely fixed and unmoving for more than 2 weeks? Or are there other forces at work?

      Capital discipline, mostly.

    5. Maritimer

      In my humble jurisdiction, they have refined the Oil Oiligopoly Racket. A few years ago when there was some price competition, the Oily Government stepped in claiming fluctuating prices were not good for consumers. So, they set up a regulatory board which sets fixed, uniform prices each week. AKA price fixing, no need for the OO to meet in backrooms to do it themselves. There is also an Interruptor Clause, i.e. interrupt this mechanism when markets are roily. Price goes up quick and, if it comes down, it comes down slower.

      This system is so ingrained the consumers listen for the predictions of a hike that week and if so line up a day early to beat the hike and save a few bucks. Very similar to Vaccine Behaviour; BF Skinner lovin’ it.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Airline CEOs urge Biden to end mask mandate, testing requirements”

    I guess that the sight of people wearing a mask & having to test is a bit if a drag and a reminder to passengers that perhaps all is not well and that maybe the pandemic is not really over. Best to just pretend that it is still 2019 and everything has gone back to norbal.

  11. Craig H.

    Wearing shoes in the house is just plain gross. The verdict from scientists who study indoor contaminants

    About twenty years ago I observed in the apartment across my porch a real family who left their shoes outside the front door. My first impression was “that’s odd”. Slowly I came to the realization that this was not a bad idea. I keep my outside shoes near my front door, not outside. But I like it.

    If you spend most of your waking hours inside an office this will reduce your exposure to germs and toxins by approximately zero but it’s definitely a pleasant improvement.

    Also: if these scientists have pets and/or children they are just being hysterical.

    Are there cultures where the office workers doff their shoes before going in?

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The Bertram Cooper character in Madmen forbade his employees from entering without first removing their shoes.

    2. digi_owl

      As i recall, Japanese homes often have a entrance areas that is lower than the rest of the ground floor. And you are expected to leave your shoes in that area when you visit. usually they will have some slippers that you can borrow.

      And i seem to recall reading about similar expectations in mining towns, coal mines in particular.

      Not sure if Japanese offices expect you to leave your shoes at the door though.

      1. grif

        my japanese house has a lowered entrance area called a genkan. the japanese consider it very rude to wear shoes in a dwelling. even service people and movers will remove their shoes as they bring things into your house.

        the company i used to work for also had a genkan and we removed our outdoor shoes before entering the office. not all offices do that, however. for example, at city hall the bureaucrats all wear their street shoes.

    3. Keith Howard

      WRT no shoes inside the house: I read the article, and I found exactly one sentence that gave any sign of awareness that not every human being is equipped with perfect feet and ankles. The generally dismissive and inflammatory tone of the piece aimed to suggest that such people are few and silly, and they should just change into different shoes upon entering the house (and leaving, one assumes) every time.

      Having inherited flexible flat feet from my father, and now in the middle of my eighth decade, I have accumulated all the injuries and disabilities to which people with such endowments are predisposed. I need aggressive custom orthotics in order to be able to walk without pain. Medicare does not pay for such things, so the $485 price of my (one) present pair came out of my pocket. If I’m lucky and my feet don’t deteriorate more rapidly, such orthotics will serve about as long as the solid, supportive shoes they are made for ( ~ $400.) I might also point out that many people — I am one — go in and out of the house frequently.

      The blithe ignorance and inconsideration demonstrated by the article is something I increasingly encounter. Leaving aside the accuracy of the article’s alarm about contaminants from outdoors (I am skeptical,) as a measure of simple hospitality why doesn’t a shoe-free household offer visitors like me disposable shoe covers? Painters use them. The local paint here store sells packs of ten pair for ~$3. A pack makes a good house gift, I find.

    4. Polar Socialist

      Most people in my office change to indoor shoes (sandals or slippers), especially in winter. But I live in the part of the world (from central and northern Europe to most of Asia + Canada(?)) where we don’t wear shoes at home.

    5. PlutoniumKun

      For many years I’ve kept a pair of ‘office’ shoes under my desk. It was a habit I developed when I cycling a long way to work and used cycling shoes. Apart from being more comfortable to change into them, I think its a lot more hygienic. I wish it was done more widely.

  12. Steve H.

    > Why this economic war on Russia breaks all rules of the game Responsible Statecraft.

    >> In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson somewhat mischievously identified “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the irreducible core of man’s natural right, which governments were instituted to secure. He might have said property, as John Locke had done, for everyone understood at that time, including radicals like Thomas Paine, that the protection of property rights was a central task of government.

    I once read an essay which said the Founders considered “life, liberty, and property.” Some were concerned this could be taken as a right to be landed, and the “pursuit of happiness” was a compromise, that the unlanded had the right to own the tools of their trade, which was their path to happiness.

    I remembered this when contemplating the decomposition of unipolar globalization in the moral dimension, “the cultural codes of conduct or standards of behavior that constrain, as well as sustain and focus, our emotional/intellectual responses.” How do we compare to our multipolar rivals? As a civilization-state, China is organized around culture rather than politics. Russia seems to be aiming toward a hard core nationalistic identity, exclusive rather than inclusive.

    I pondered what our national identity is, and it looks like consumer culture. After 9/11, we were told to go shopping.
    Buy more and be happy.

    The response to finite-world supply shortages has been virtual services. You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy. Perhaps this is harvest time. But it consumes itself. It’s antithetical to the concrete material means to pursue happiness noted above.

    It’s worse in terms of rivalries. Grand strategy is a quest to isolate your enemy’s (a nation-state or a global terrorist network) thinking processes from connections to the external/reference environment. This process of isolation is essentially the imposition of insanity on a group.

    Do you lie to yourself to be happy?

    1. digi_owl

      that the unlanded had the right to own the tools of their trade, which was their path to happiness.

      Curious how that seems to echo that “protestant work ethic”.

      Anyways, Putin seems to be pitching an Eurasian cultural identity.

      Interestingly it seems to be getting some pushback from Turkey in particular.

      1. Polar Socialist

        According to Paul Robinson Eurasianism is a fringe crackpot thing in Russia, with even less support than Navalny. The main philosopher, Dugin, of the movement was fired form government long ago, and has himself said he has no influence whatsoever.

        I’d say Russia (as a state) is searching an inclusive type of Russian patriotism as an identity. The country has 192 ethnic groups besides Russians, so it has since the 17th century made a clear distinction between Russia (ethnicity) and Russia (state). As far as empires go, Russian expansion was more akin to absorption than colonization.

        For example, foreign minister Lavrov is half-Armenian, defense minister Shoigu is half-Tuvan, prime minister Mishustin is Belarusian-Armenian and upper house chairwoman Matviyenko is Ukrainian. So an all encompassing Russian (state) identity has to be based on something else than cultural or ethnical ideas. Something like the Immortal Regiment which unites most citizens of Russia (state) regardless of their background.

        1. Fritzi

          I always thought the fact that they seemingly managed to get back on a good footing with the Chechens pretty quickly was a rather good sign.

        2. digi_owl

          Point taken, though the concept seems to have multiple interpretations. And the one Dugin is pushing is fringe even among them (i think one map showed him incorporating the entiere Nordics among it for instance).

          Putin may be going more for what wikipedia refers to as “pragmatic eurasianism”.

          That said, your comment about the distinction of state and ethnicity makes me think of the ideals France is supposedly aiming for. Maybe why Macron seems to be the one person in Europe that can still talk to Putin.

    2. The Scourge of Denver

      Not to diminish the author’s argument, but is this nothing more than a small step from police confiscating goods and treasure that they “believe” may have been acquired in the pursuit of a crime?

      Both are the result of hubris, and we all know that never ends well.

      1. ambrit

        I’d apply the Alchemist’s Creed here: “As above (state asset forfeiture,) so below (civil asset forfeiture.)”
        Either way you look at it, theft has become a tool of the State. It’s a big step backwards from the Social Contract Post-Depression.
        Neo-feudalism is looking more and more probable. (We can have the argument as to what exactly “Feudalism” consists of at a later date. Right now. I’m sharpening up my sword and lance.)

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I was struck by these statements in the link:
      “… revolutionary stake into the heart of the global economic system. They will one day be seen as hurtling us to a new monetary order, distinguished across the East-West divide by a rabid neomercantilism, wealth-destroying but inexorable.”
      The global economic system which built wealth(?) contrasted with neomercantilism which destroys wealth suggests the author believes the global economic system is a good thing and the only result of its breakdown would be the rise of neomercantilism. I have to question whose wealth are we talking about and I do not believe the current global economic system is so wonderful.

      I believe the current global economic system props up the u.s. as a global hegemon and works to transfer the world’s wealth to the wealthy in the u.s. and some of their buddies abroad. I believe the u.s. sanctions and policies of seizing assets, and forcing players out of the global economic system as a punishment is just plain stupid. It serves wonderfully to breakdown one of the key tools of u.s. world dominance and directly damages the economy of the u.s. Europe and the rest of the world. I do believe there are some short-term advantages to the u.s. Elite in effecting this damage. I cannot believe all the price increases we are seeing are driven by Market forces of supply-demand. I believe many of the increases, though passing on present cost increases, also reflect increases in profit margins and these increases in margins, the administered markups, will not go down when the costs go down. I believe the current global economic system has shaped the world into a web of coupled fragile systems facing increasingly powerful disturbances as the impacts of Climate Chaos and resource depletion increase.

      The discussion of Hamilton ignores that one of Hamilton’s first policy actions in support of life liberty and happiness lead to Shay’s rebellion when the whiskey tax was forced onto the backs of the very people who fought for Independence to support payments to the wealthy who had speculated on war bonds — which many of farmers paying the excise tax had been been forced to sell to keep themselves and their families fed. I can only wonder how the author of this link might regard Hamilton’s ideas for protecting infant industry in the infant u.s. in light of his mention of “rabid neomercantilism”.

  13. Jason Boxman

    Our COVID defenses are also flimsier than they’ve been in a long time. U.S. vaccination rates are still way too low, especially among the elderly, and kids under 5 remain ineligible for any shots at all. (Moderna is now making a bid for emergency use authorization for its under-6 shot, and Pfizer is expected to follow soon with data from its expanded under-5 trial, using a triple-dose series.) Much of America has freshly eschewed masking and flocked back into indoor public venues, at the same time that federal pandemic funds necessary for vaccines, treatments, and tests have dried up.

    (bold mine)

    As I said some weeks ago, we’re now entering the most dangerous phase of the pandemic yet. The Establishment is “over” COVID, and a pandemic is all about individual choices anyway, right? So with “public” removed from public health, facing an airborne pathogen, we’re all at substantial risk.

    I called it wrong last time; I thought we’d have no lockdowns last spring, and then reversed myself, I was wrong.

    This time, I suspect, there will be no lockdowns, no matter how bad this gets (see this past winter for example). I’ll stand by this prediction, this time. (And it’s probably an obvious call to make, sort of like BBB never happening, even from the vantage of March 2021.)

    Stay safe out there!

    1. Tom Stone

      Perhaps the next step should be to ban the use of the word “Pandemic”, make the penalty small,but just enough to remind people who’s the boss.
      Say a $500 fine and 30 days in jail.

      1. ambrit

        That was a great stroke of irony, that last sentence. For most of the people I deal with on a regular basis, that $500 USD and thirty days in the gaol would be the difference between eating next month or not doing so.
        That kind of dynamic is a fertile breeding culture for crime.

  14. Tom Stone

    There will be a few minor domestic issues coming up in the next few months.
    Little things like food shortages, inflation (Especially in gas prices) the Real Estate bubble popping, mega drought throughout the Southwest, unprecedented wildfires…that sort of thing.
    And while the Pandemic is over the current average daily death toll from Covid is unlikely to stay at the current trivial 1,100 per day.
    There doesn’t seem to be much official concern about wildfires yet even though the fire danger will be at critical levels before the end of May.
    If you think the last few years were bad you are about to get a wake up call.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?”

      Election Night might be over before the polls close in Wisconsin.

      1. the last D

        No, we’ll still be carrying the chains of economic deprivation around our necks, and we’ll be that much closer to ecological oblivion. The choice is either socialism or extinction.

  15. pjay

    – Exclusive: Sources Say Oligarch Funded Scheme to Paint Swastikas in Ukraine – Rolling Stone. Paragraph one: “sources.” Two: “multiple sources,” Three: “multiple sources, including U.S. intelligence reporting.” Oh, come on.

    Paragraph nine: “Rolling Stone was unable to independently verify any specific incidences of vandalism connected to Fuks’ alleged scheme. Anti-Semitic graffiti is not uncommon in Ukraine and has been for many years before the current conflict.”

  16. amused_in_sf

    Re: the preponderance of voice messages in Cambodia

    On Twitter, I’ve seen Asian languages (Urdu and Indonesian, based on the locations of the users) expressed with some kind of “romaji” (the Roman alphabet used to write Japanese), so it’s interesting that Khmer hasn’t been adapted the same way. Lots of linguistic and cultural subtlety going on, I’m sure!

    There are also analogs to the development of things like Chinese typewriters, for which there were no workarounds like recording audio, so people had to just engineer decent solutions!

    1. digi_owl

      On that topic i find the Korean alphabet particularly interesting.

      It is phonetic, but the characters allow themselves to be arranged such that it mimic chinese in appearance.

      1. Michael McK

        There is a lot of use of Chinese characters in Korea. ‘Educated’ Koreans know 5 to 10 thousand (northern forms) and they are often seen in store signs and on tombstones where different families named Jong in Hangul (as an example I am familiar with) use different Chinese characters (and meanings) for the same Hangul spelling. I have heard of rare unwritten Indonesian languages adopting the Korean alphabet because it works well for the sounds and is easy to learn.

        1. Procopius

          Thai and Lao borrowed a lot of words from the Pali language, which is similar to Sanskrit. Khmer is (I believe) related to Sanskrit, as the ruling class came from India back in the second or third Century CE. Both Thai and Lao are tonal languages, like Chinese. Khmer is not tonal.

      2. c_heale

        Korean writing only mimics Chinese on a superficial level. Each letter of the alphabet is based on the mouth shape when making the sound. And each group of letters forms a syllable. The main reason for it appearing to resemble Chinese is that the letters were originally formed by brush strokes.

  17. Ben Joseph

    Re: RAND destabilizing Russia report.

    Very enlightening to read the NGO reports for the executive branch. It’s like a cookbook for the West Wing.

    Note that increased domestic fossil fuel production is deemed high reward and low risk. Readers forget that is only with regards to angering Russia.

    The unheeded warning within:
    “Such cost-imposing options could place new burdens on Russia, ideally heavier burdens than would be imposed on the United States for pursuing those options.”
    How heavy does killing off the dollar as the global reserve currency sound?

  18. Mikel

    “Airborne Toxic Events” The Baffler

    NC readers have been conversations about USA funded viral research in the Ukraine. The news reports claim that some idiot was trying to develop a viral weapon that targeted people based on race/ethnicity. And it was rightly torn apart as evil sci-fi…an idea without scientific basis.

    And then comes articles like this one in Baffler. It covers important ground and says plenty that needs to be said. Then this:

    “Airborne or not, we have known a great deal about what causes Covid fatalities since the earliest days of the pandemic. Being Black or Latino in America put you at greater risk of dying, and being Native American was most deadly of all. Race was not the only nonmedical condition comorbid with severe Covid…”

    All of that insightfulness and then the writer falls into a similar mode of thinking that the article criticizes.

    Covid is not a virus that knows critical race theory or cares about slave plantation era one-drop rules.
    The author also does not see how claiming “race” is a comorbidity has been a major way to slow down non-pharmaceutical measures and policies that would affect business procedures.
    Policy makers don’t want to talk about the specific living conditions of a community (crowded spaces, cultural practices and shared bathrooms) because that would translate into concerns about schools and workplaces.
    They don’t want to talk about diseases that may be more rampant in certain communities or regions because this often relates to other unaddressed problems in the health care system. And the.policy mavens are loathe to point any finger at any industry and workplace conditions.

    1. Raymond Sim

      What we are pleased to call ‘race’ does in fact sometimes correlate to nontrivial variations in susceptibility to certain pathogens and strains thereof.

      In my opinion the higher death rates suffered by Hispanic and Native American populations as opposed to other disadvantaged groups are most likely explained by this. If memory serves me it is the L452R substitution and the HLA A-24 serotype that were implicated in earlier waves.

      What’s scandalous to me is that this concern wasn’t publicized.

  19. Michael Ismoe

    Sarah and Jamie Raskin

    When Lambert finishes his compendium on the PMC – These two can grace the cover.

  20. Robert Gray

    Sorry if I missed it but did John Helmer ever come back early this week with the promised elaboration of his scoop on the Zelensky & Friends meeting hoax?

    1. digi_owl

      There are a few more entries on his site about the topic, but i can’t shake the feel that he is grasping for straws after the train station image was suggested taken upon the return to Poland.

      That said, i found myself wondering that the meeting room could be a sound stage replica. After all, Zelensky own the very studio that produced the TV show he stared in. And it would not be far fetched for it to have access to set designer and such that could replicate key rooms if need be. That said, it may well be that said replica is found in Lviv rather than Poland.

      And i do wonder if it could be possible for the train to pretend to travel to Kyiv by driving in circles closer to the border.

      All in all, if they stayed close to Lviv then unless they strayed to close to a military base or similar there would be little risk involved. Russian forces seems concentrated on the east side of Dnieper, even though they could easily have closed the polish border by entering from Belarus like they did near Kyiv.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        > grasping for straws …

        Yes, and sadly so. After reading the new installment last night, I imprudently stayed up until 5 a.m. searching for clues and found a ton of material, all leading to the inescapable conclusion that the meeting did indeed take place in Kiev, as claimed. That’s not to say it was all on the up-and up; clearly there’s more to it than meets the eye, with more questions raised than answered. I wish Helmer had taken that angle. It could have done more to save face than digging in his heels and refusing to admit a mistake — an understandable one, in the current info climate.

        I figured this discussion was over, so didn’t note all of my source URLs, but I do have some info in a file. It will take me a few hours to assemble something coherent, but I’ll be back, with links. Thank you both for the opening to do a brain dump. Makes it feel less like I wasted several hours and good night’s sleep for nothing.

      2. Brunches with Cats

        OK, here’s what I’ve got so far:

        A 2:08 video in a tweet by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala shows Zelensky arriving at the meeting, walking down a hallway with a detail of beefy guys, and saying “hi” to the media outside the meeting room, before joining the others already inside. It shows the room from several angles:

        That video alone should be enough to address “inconsistencies,” such as where the door into the room is located. The door shown on the left in the empty room and then supposedly on the right in the shot of Zelensky during the meeting is actually two doors, one on each side of the same wall. You can see the “left” door at 0:14, behind Kaczynski, and then again starting at 0:30. I can’t tell which door Zelensky entered, but one can reasonably presume it’s the same one shown in the post-meeting photo op.

        Speaking of media, Helmer did remark that the media there for the “press conference” were, oddly, all men with military haircuts. First off, this was clearly a photo op, not a press conference. They needed video for the PR value, but not real reporters asking embarrassing questions — or, one might add, giving away their location. On that latter point, turns out the meeting actually was announced in advance (more below), but other sources indicate they were making a show of secrecy, security, etc.

        As for the media in the hallway, lugging around heavy camera equipment doesn’t require the same skill set as reporting. Nonetheless, I don’t think all of those guys with military haircuts were necessarily media.

        Someone has commented on the network names on the mics. I haven’t researched them all, but I did look up CNN/Prima, which is CNN’s operation in Czechoslovakia. So why didn’t they cover the meeting? Turns out they did. And they announced that morning that the meeting was being would be held later in the day (announcement top right, link to story second item in left sidebar):

        The post-meeting story was published about seven hours after the meeting ended — enough time for the foreign delegations to be well out of Ukraine.

        I’ve got quite a bit more, but after 4 hours of sleep and sitting in front of a computer all afternoon on a nice sunny day, I need to go for a walk. Stay tuned for the next installment…

      3. Brunches with Cats

        I just looked back over Helmer’s third installment and saw that he noted the Polish government’s statement on the morning of the meeting, which is where CNN’s info came from. Always better to have the primary source.

        And indeed, that’s one of the fishy things about this whole affair. More about that in a minute… Getting back to clues about the meeting itself, another avenue I took (tedious and time-consuming) was to download several photos from Zelensky’s website so I could go into the raw data. While there was no location information (prudent to shut it off), there were times on them, all of which were consistent with other reports of the meeting, including the participants’ Twitter posts and media reports. The photos I checked showed times between 8:30 and a little after 10 p.m. on 3/15, the earlier times being on photos of the meeting in progress and the last ones being the photo op outside the room before the foreign delegations left. Alone, the times don’t prove anything, but they add to the body of evidence.

        Most of the rest of the information I found came from the Twitter accounts of the officials involved. There was a lot of retweeting each other’s posts, so I was able to hop around. I didn’t save any of the URLs, but if you want to explore, here’s a good one to start with:

        Anyway, there’s a lot about this whole thing that doesn’t add up on the face of it, such as the need for secrecy — which obviously makes sense — but then going and announcing the meeting in a press release, FFS. Moreover, as Helmer pointed out, the officials were all on their cell phones, posting photos on FB and Twitter and reporting on their progress. Several citizens tweeted responses essentially telling them to shut up about their whereabouts!

        Part of what kept me up so late was reading the public responses (via Google translate), many of which were brutal: You men just want to start a war! Weapons never solved anything. Your government is the worst ever, how do you think you can help Ukraine when you can’t even solve the problems in your own country? Clearly, not all of the citizens of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Slovenia are shaking in fear that Putin’s coming to get them. My favorite was something to the effect of, “Zelensky didn’t know he had Poland’s support until Kaczynski went to Kyiv?”

        One of the last comments on the NC repost of Helmer’s original report pretty much said the same thing. So why DID they pull what obviously was a publicity stunt? Reader Lynne had some thoughts. I have a few of my own, but they’ll have to wait for now.

        1. digi_owl

          Yeah i get the impression that some in Polish politics wants a throw down with Russia as “glorious” payback for WW2 and the communist era. Never mind that most of them are too old to serve, and may well die of old age soon anyways.

          On top of that the situation surrounding Kyiv/Kiev may be overstated by western press.

          And frankly if Putin wanted to start WW3, i hardly think he would start with the east end of Ukraine. A land war in that fashion was getting old even by WW2. And Russia did bomb military locations all across Ukraine, and did have the opportunity to close the Poland-Ukraine border using troops from Belarus.

          But the bulk of the fighting seems to be about linking Crimea to Donbass, and beyond that having the Ukraine army bleed out along the border region.

          And we are seeing that this may be working with how Zelensky is starting to make noises about accepting terms.

          Question then comes how much control he has over the Azov assholes down south, who is fighting a dirty war with the western press as useful PR idiots.

          Anyways, i guess that unless we see some kind of officially stamped report from the various security services i guess the reality of this meeting will be a case of “he said, she said”.

  21. upstater

    re. BA.2 accounts for 35% of US cases; Major surge unlikely, Fauci says Becker Hospital Review

    In Central New York State (Syracuse and surrounding counties) positives are back to late January/ early February levels (500+ per day, at peak it was 1500+). The infection rate is the highest in the state. Not clear if this is from the universities; if so, travel home and spring break should work like it did in 2020.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Australia’s carbon credit scheme ‘largely a sham’, says whistleblower who tried to rein it in”

    As I have said before, climate-change denial is in the DNA of the present Coalition government and they will never change. Ted Cruz has got nothing on this mob. Rather than trying to explain it myself, I will link to the following video which I should say now is Absolutely Not Safe For Work but will explain what is happening on Oz- (3:45 mins)

  23. Tom Stone

    I just got off the phone with an acquaintance I hadn’t heard from in sometime,he’s OUTRAGED at the unprovoked assault on the Ukraine by the barbaric Russian hordes.
    I decided to be diplomatic.
    “The suffering of the millions left in Kiev after more than three weeks with no water,power or internet must be incredible.
    Cholera must be raging through the populace and the smell of 50 million unflushed turds combined with the reek from the mass cremations has to be horrific.”.
    I got a one word response.

  24. divadab

    Re: High Country News article about woodsmoke

    Well yes burning wood in an urban area is probably not the best idea considering the density of population. But wood heat is carbon neutral if cut from a sustainable woodlot, which makes it better than fossil fuel from a CO2 and climate change perspective.

    In Washington State, wood heat pollution is regulated according to atmospheric sensors – citizen science – here’s a link to the monitoring website:

    If particulate hits a high level in the air in a particular area, wood heat can be and is limited and enforced. But it is hard to tell a poor country person to put out their woodstove when that is their only source of heat.

    Bottom line – if you are allergic to woodsmoke, study the air quality monitors before you move to an area – there are topographies where particulate levels regularly hit high levels. Usually these are poorer rural areas – in mountainous areas. Locate yourself somewhere where this does not happen. It is not widespread – just study the purple air website maps – woodsmoke particulate levels are predictable for specific areas.

    1. Carolinian

      Fortunately for me I live in a neighborhood where the fireplaces are used more for the occasional romantic tete a tete than for heating. As a mild asthmatic I’m very sensitive to smoke, be it from cigarettes or campfires, and the linked report about the toxicity of wood smoke comes as no surprise. It’s a real problem when car camping and surrounded by dozens of fellow campers who are there for the bonfires and the S’mores. Someone should tell them about Indian campfires and this new stuff called propane.

    2. Bob

      Burning wood has advantages.

      As a byproduct of forestry / wood products industries it can often be had at an attractive price point when compared with natural gas, fuel oil, coal, or even nukes.

      Note that wood fired generating stations were common at one time in the Northwest and even in Vermont.

      And yes particulates can be an issue however with a modern bag house / and or condensing economizer this is an avoidable problem.

      Looking at the positives – Wood, especially wood waste can be cheap, it is sulfur free, it is a renewable resource, the ash can be used as a soil amendment, and forestry waste can be removed to reduce fire hazard.

      Compared to other fuels especially fossil fuels wood can be an attractive alternative.

      1. digi_owl

        Gets me thinking that around my parts there is more and more talk about water delivered heating. Meaning that here is a central furnace, usually these days burning non-recyclable garbage but could likely run of wood chips or whatever, and then the heat from that is delivered to homes and offices via insulated water pipes.

        This could potentially move the particulate issue out of the city cores, and perhaps also burn the wood more completely via higher heat etc, while getting the benefits of using a renewable fuel source with a carbon neutral cycle.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Where I live around 90% of the apartments and most of public and business buildings are connected to district heating networks. The waste heat of power generation is used to heat water or even turn it to pressurized steam in the network.

          What I found out recently, to my surprise, is that for decades people have used wind energy directly to heat water and warm up their houses: water brake windmills! I find this type of human ingenuity just absolutely fascinating.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      I grew up in a rural area with wood heat, but we had the good fortune of having 80 wooded acres to cut firewood from, so basically free heating as long as you were willing to put in some work. My dad finally got sick of spending his work vacation cutting firewood, so they switched to propane a few years ago but a lot of my extended family still uses wood.

      While you wouldn’t need 80 acres per family for a woodlot to be sustainable, you’d probably need 5-10, so not everybody could heat with wood without deforestation. But as long as it isn’t everybody, or concentrated in an urban area, I tend to think these dire warnings about the dangers of wood heat you see every so often are greatly overblown.

      1. Polar Socialist

        As a kid I spent a lot of time year around on our off-grid cottage which had a huge masonry heater. It took an armful of firewood and a few hours to get it warm, but once the fire was out and you closed the chimney it would stay warm for hours and hours.
        We usually cut down only one tree every two years for firewood, partly because the heater was so efficient, partly since we had no power tools. While I loved swinging the axe I really, really hated sawing the tree into the small blocks part.

      2. Eclair

        Other cultures have used techniques such as coppicing and pollarding, rather then felling mature trees. Lambert posted on this a few days ago in Water Cooler. If the harvest is of smaller diameter limbs, they may be used for fencing. But, larger diameter ones can be used for fuel. And, the trees grows back. I think that in North America, people needed to clear land for agriculture, so became accustomed to felling huge trees then splitting the logs for firewood.

    4. The Historian

      “But wood heat is carbon neutral if cut from a sustainable woodlot, …”

      I’m still trying to get my head around that comment. To be sustainable, that means if you cut down one tree, then you must wait for another tree to grow before you cut down another. How does that rationalize using wood for heating?

      Don’t know where you are from but where I grew up that means you have to wait 20+ years before you can cut down another tree – and that is with softwoods like pines. All of us who have ever had to heat our houses with wood know hardwoods burn more slowly and put out more heat, but hardwoods take a LONG time to grow – a lot more than 20 years! And as anyone who has ever heated their house with wood knows, it takes a LOT of wood to heat a house in the winter. We used about three cords of wood for the winter, and a cord of wood is about three trees.

      I know Scott Pruitt said that burning wood was ‘sustainable’ but Scott Pruitt was pandering to the lumber industry at the time.

      Perhaps those who believe burning wood is ‘sustainable’ should read the history of Easter Island – and how quickly a small band of people denuded the place.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      No kidding. A few years ago our city welcomed a bunch of African refugees, who judging by the reports in the paper were upper middle class families (doctors, professors, etc.) who had enough money to get out, and not the poorest of the poor. They were housed in a public arena until proper housing could be found for them. Not far away from the arena were a whole lot of homeless USians living rough on the streets.

      Being educated individuals, I’m guessing these African immigrants got the message about just how far US good will really goes. It ends just as soon as you’re no longer politically useful.

    2. newcatty

      Quick and million dollar question. Appreciate the report from Tucson. The homeless there and almost every where are ignored , neglected and vilified. It’s not just that the city, county, state or federal governments are playing the just-in-time strategies. When local residents complain , then move’em out is the ineffective “solution”. A long time ago, I knew a nurse who had a close relative, a physician, who ran a public health county mobile clinic for the “underserved”. She related that the clinic was struggling to serve so many patients. Her relative stated that every one of the patients did not qualify for Medicaid. They were truly working poor or indigent. She learned from their stories that almost all of them had relatives or friends that did qualify for Medicaid, including Medicare for older ones. Many qualified for SNAP or WIC. The determining factor was that they all were “smart” people. A cousin or a friend was a carpenter, a shade tree mechanic, a gardner, “therapist”, a “salesman”. Not to include the ones in the military. All knew exactly how to not declare all income to uncle Sam. Most lived in nice homes, drove nice trucks and cars, enjoyed nice restaurants and had full freezers. Their attitudes was that they were “smart” and ,often, entitled for these nice things. The relative or friend who had “jobs” were either fools or “pitiful”. My nurse aquaintance predicted that as social and economic inequality increased that the “smart ones” would be facing some resistance from the fools and the pitiful. Now, more homeless. More hungry. More ill. The disgusting irony of the smart ones is that they usually identify as Republican or Libertarians. Hate big gubmint. OK, rant done.

  25. Steve B

    Re: RAND destabilizing Russia report
    Yes, the 2019 RAND brief is certainly enlightening, as Ben Joseph says. The table in the conclusion of the document offers a cost/benefit analysis of various US strategic options for unbalancing Russia. Though the benefits of economic sanctions against Russia are high, the costs in terms of blowback are also high. Sanctions in the latest crisis are therefore surely a short-term measure, to last as long as it takes US oil and gas companies to expand production and kick Gazprom to the kerb in Europe. The long-term cost-benefit calculus favours increased US missile shipments to Europe and the restationing of long-range bombers (including stealth bombers) closer to Moscow – moving them from Germany to Poland, perhaps, or from Italy to Romania. In other words, the crisis would seem to support the development of the energy and arms industries in the US. Which means these industries will likely have more influence on an aggressive US foreign policy. Like William Burroughs said, we live in a war universe.

    1. Martin Oline

      Oh-oh. Look, over there, bright shiny object!
      You know, I haven’t heard a thing about Putin’s announcement on the Ruble for gas deal. Perhaps the media is giving all of the exceptional people time to adjust their investment portfolios before Bob the welder from Birmingham finds out?

  26. ambrit

    Re. the Payday Report piece. The Hattiesburg, MS phone bank run by Maximus, which started life out as a division of General Dynamics, sits just a half of a mile from where I type. I pass it once or twice a week, and have seen no picketing yet. I would like to see how this “walkout” is organized. This, along with the Bogalusa, LA facility were embroiled in a unionization drive two years ago. Unions having a minimal history here in the North American Deep South, that campaign lost. Is this a Son of Unionization Attempt event? I do remember two or three years ago being told by an ‘insider’ about new hires at the phone bank being paid $12.00 USD the hour. That this has risen to $15.00 USD the hour, especially given the stressors engendered by the Pandemic, I can credit.
    The ‘tell’ here would be the parking lot for the facility. This former mall has two decent sized parking lots, situated on either side of the main body of the structure. During sign up time, and also Social Security and Medicare enrollment periods, those parking lots are nearly full.
    We’ll see what we can see.
    Stay safe.

  27. Peerke

    Not sure what to make of this but a post from the Ukraine account popped up on my LinkedIn feed. Nice picture of the ukrainian actor/president and a statement from him containing the following: “Drive these slaves (sic) out!”
    I assume spellcheck was involved, perhaps a translation algorithm but I assume the intent was slavs. Maybe not. Not a good look. Did the mask slip? Assuming this really is official social media then they need some better PR copy writers.

  28. Mikel

    “Uber, hit by driver shortages and a surge in food delivery requests during the pandemic, will list New York City taxi cabs on its app, a partnership that until recently would have been unthinkable with both camps fighting ferociously for the same customers.

    After a period in which waits for an Uber ride grew longer, the partnership will boost the number of rides available, and it gives NYC cab drivers access to a massive pool of commuters with an Uber app on their phones.

    There had been hints tensions between Uber and taxi services had begun to thaw as Uber expanded aggressively into the very lucrative food delivery business and needed a growing supply of delivery drivers….”

    What goes around, comes around…
    Crystallizing that the alleged “tech revolution” is a whole lot of giving people a different version (or a different delivery method) of what they had before, but never delivering on any realy “revolution.”

  29. Alex Cox

    Thanks for the top story re. reptiles and their longevity. The herp depicted in the article is a tuatara – I think the only land based animal with a third eye : a light sensitive optic nerve in a gap in the top of its skull.

  30. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

    RE: Antidote du jour’s peacock. One of the surprising things when I moved out to foothills of the Oregon Cascades almost 20 years ago were the wild, or I guess feral, peacocks. I was told they had originated from some birds that had been given as a gift by Ken Kesey to an old member of the Merry Pranksters that had “retired” out here. They ranged maybe 10 miles up and down the river from us and could be real pests. We had one, whom we called Peaky, who would come up to our house and eat the cat food that we left outdoors. Even after we no longer had cats, he would come to visit and would spread his tail feathers and preen at, what we gathered, was his reflection in our sliding glass door. Mostly he would walk, but once I saw he fly away from our barking dog. It was an incredible sight, such a large bird aloft and across 500 plus feet of ground in three or four beats of his wings. My dog had know clue as to what had happened.

    Peacocks are mostly solitary, and we rarely saw more than one at a time, usually and older male and a juvenile male. I saw females extremely rarely, maybe two or three times. They appeared territorial and late in the day we would hear them calling in what seemed to be ways of establishing their territories as the calls always came from some distance.

    They’re all gone now; I haven’t seen or heard a peacock in maybe five years. On the other hand, wild turkeys have been slowly moving up river and I’ve seen a group of three in my fields twice in the last week. I’ve speculated that the more solitary peacocks were out competed by the more social turkeys. We still have a nice collection of the glorious tail feathers we would find from time to time…

  31. RobertC

    I’m not quite sure what message the Indian diplomat (retired) M. K. BHADRAKUMAR is sending with Biden wings his way to the borderlands of Ukraine

    Conceivably, Biden is travelling to Europe not to discuss tougher sanctions (something which he could as well have handled in a videoconference) but to explore NATO’s potential engagement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict for which his participation becomes absolutely essential.

    As things stand, there is every possibility of a prolonged conflict in Ukraine and Russia eventually prevailing. Such a scenario is extremely damaging for Biden politically in the US. Biden is facing domestic criticism both for his failure to prevent the conflict as well as for being ineffectual in blocking the Russian advance.

    Nonetheless, the outcome of Biden’s visit to Europe will have significant bearing on the conflict in Ukraine. If Biden succeeds in getting European backing for his proposal for a NATO intervention in Ukraine, the conflict may escalate dramatically into a world war involving nuclear weapons.

    Will Biden push the envelope? It seems he’s unwilling to risk. Biden seems to have a Plan B as well. He has scheduled a separate visit to Warsaw. Poland indeed has its fair share of Russophbes and has been straining at the leash for some form of involvement in Ukraine.

  32. LawnDart

    Mistranslation as propaganda:

    GT Investigates: Behind the online translation campaign are a few Chinese-speaking badfaith actors fed by antagonistic Western media

    “Translation should be a bridge for communication between people using different languages and from different cultures. Using it as a tool to incite antagonism and hatred runs counter to the history of intercommunication between different civilizations,” Wang said.

    Yeah, the running-gag in comedy movies where an English-speaker totally misunderstands the native tongue, it’s not so funny anymore.

    Somehow our species needs to rid ourselves of those who sow division through lies, falsehoods and deliberate untruths– no less than our survival is at stake.

  33. Dave in Austin

    The more I look at the Twitter links on here (with a few honorable exceptions) the more I’m reminded of the old story about the guy who told a friend he’d just taken a speed reading course and then read Moby Dick in two hours and eleven minutes. When the friend asked him about the plot, he said “Its a book about a fish”.

    By the way, Maddie Albright may have been the perfect admino-snake, but the story about the “500,000 dead Iraqi children” is, as I’ve pointed out before, a complete fabrication sold by an-ex diplomat who took the total of all the Iraqi kids under the age five who had died of natural causes during a five year period and deduced that “Saddam killed them!”.

    And our ever gullible press brought the story because it confirmed their biases and fit in with the narrative the folks on the top floor told them to put on page one today. The people hit with the charge like Maddie A. hire press spokeoids who are ex-PR people instead of ex-news reporters, so they don’t have the instincts- or the brains and cunning- to say, “That number smells funny. Where did you get it?”

    When the best on-the-scene reporter in the Ukraine is the flawed, excitable, accidental news-draftee Patrick Lancaster we are truly in Evenly Waugh’s “Scoop!” land without a guide.

    1. newcatty

      Wondering what “natural causes of death” were for the children? Did it happen to include being chronically under nutritioned or actually starvation? Were sanctions at all responsible for “food insecurity”? Then this begs the question, Did she when asked by the reporter about the number of Iraqi children who died did she say it “was worth it”?

    2. Donald

      That didn’t make any sense. The death toll was blamed on the sanctions, but yes, the 500,000 figure was probably inflated. At the same time it probably was in the low hundreds of thousands because there was a survey conducted immediately after the Gulf War which found that tens of thousands of children died in the aftermath. One can safely assume that figure only went up.

  34. Maritimer

    The Subtle Psychology of ‘Nudging’ During a Pandemic Undark
    That should be retitled:

    The Not So Subtle Psychology of Threatening, Shaming, Coercing, Bribing, Bullying, Othering, Penalizing, Segregating, Discriminating Against Citizens During a Pandemic

    All the above happened, the Nudgers should at least own what they do and did.
    Own up Nudgers!

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