Links 4/14/2022

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.

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Gazelle Traveled Distance of Nearly Half Earth’s Circumference in Five Years Scientific American

Hubble Confirms Largest Comet Nucleus Ever Seen NASA

Four Financial Questions for Passover, and Easter John Authers, Bloomberg


A Lake in Florida Suing to Protect Itself The New Yorker. Oddly, Lake Erie goes unmentioned.

55-Year Study Reveals an Overlooked But Critical Desert Symbiote Is Disappearing Inverse

How Did Climate Change Affect Ancient Humans? Smithsonian


Zero-covid strategies are being ditched, but they were the best option New Scientist, Complete, not pay-walled.

CDC extends travel mask requirement to May 3 as COVID rises AP

Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from unvaccinated asymptomatic and symptomatic household members with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection: an antibody-surveillance study Canadian Medical Association.. n = 695. From the Abstract: “The rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission within households was nearly 50% during the study period, and children were an important source of spread. The findings suggest that children are an important driver of the COVID-19 pandemic; this should inform public health policy.”

The secrets hidden in sewage Vox


Coronavirus: Shanghai’s symptomatic cases soar to a record 2,573 as Xi doubles down on zero tolerance battle with Covid-19 South China Morning Post. Commentary:


Chinese financial institutions’ NFT guidelines prevent them from any major role in digital collectibles South China Morning Post

Ukraine tragedy shows why US must speak clearly on Taiwan Shinzo Abe, Financial Review


Troops burn villages in Myanmar heartland, seek to crush resistance Reuters. The rainy season is coming soon, and the military has not eliminated its opponents.

Dry streets as Myanmar boycotts water festival to protest junta The Irrawaddy. A silent strike.

Western pressure mounts on Solomons to quash pact with China AP

Sri Lanka Seeking Up to $4 Billion as IMF Talks Set to Start Bloomberg


France’s Le Pen wants NATO-Russia ‘rapprochement’ Agence France Presse

The White House is freaked out that Putin’s next big win could be in Paris Politico

The corner of France that explains Macron, Le Pen and a deep political divide FT. Commentary (nl):


What a debacle for the left in France:


* * *
Tories must learn from Trump and call time on Johnson’s lawbreaking FT. Since breaking the law and lying to the public are the Tory brand, one can hardly expect any resignations over this. And then there’s Sunak:


UK to send Channel asylum seekers to Rwanda: Reports Al Jazeera

New Not-So-Cold War

Opinion: For Putin to face justice, we must join the International Criminal Court Ilhan Omar, WaPo

Top Cover: Congressional Republicans Pave Way for US Policy Shift on Int’l Criminal Court Just Security

* * *
Ukraine says its missiles crippled a Russian flagship Reuters

Ukrainians Fleeing ‘Hell’ in Mariupol Find a City Free of Russian Occupation, but in Denial Haaretz

* * *
Liberal Russophobia and War Propaganda Black Agenda Report

Ukraine war: What weapon killed 50 people in station attack? BBC. “The BBC has tried to identify the launch site for the missile, using social media video and images, but has so far been unable to do so.” This keeps happening.

How U.S. Intelligence Sees Russia’s Behavior After Bucha William Arkin, Newsweek. Well worth a read.

* * *
The Role of Capitalism in the War in Ukraiine Richard D. Wolf, Counterpunch

The Ukrainian Crisis as a Stress Test for Globalisation Valdai Discussion Club

Will the United States Run Out of Javelins Before Russia Runs Out of Tanks? CSIS

Finnish ‘loopholes’ allow imports of Russian coal and oil to continue Hellenic Shipping News

Watch the BBC’s forgotten series on Operation Gladio Asa Winstanley, Palestine is Still the Issue. Well worth a read. It all seems familiar, somehow.

Finland, Sweden expect rapid domestic debate on NATO membership Deutsche Welle

Biden Administration

U.S. Extends Covid Health Emergency Declaration, Cases Rise Bloomberg

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Says Loan Repayments to Restart “Sometime” Teen Vogue

Pentagon to meet top arms makers to discuss stepping up aid to Ukraine FT. Ka-ching.

Supply Chain

Busiest U.S. port sees record volume ahead of high-stakes labor talks Hellenic Shipping News

Five things to know today about the supply chain crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border Dallas Morning News

The Bezzle

‘Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet’ NFT Went on Sale for $48M. It Ended With a Top Bid of Just $280 CoinDesk. That’s a damn shame.

Guns, Gains And God: Four Days In Miami With Crypto’s Most Faithful Fans Forbes

The Fake Artists Problem Is Much Worse Than You Realize The Honest Broker. Eesh. Crapification.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Augmented Reality The Verge


Nothing to Sniff At: Loss of Smell Linked With Increased Risk of Premature Death MedPage Today

Imperial Collapse Watch

Selling Albright as a ‘Feminist Icon’: Was the Price Worth It? FAIR

Guillotine Watch

America’s Top 15 Earners and What They Reveal About the U.S. Tax System ProPublica

Class Warfare

Indiana University Bloomington graduate workers go on strike Herald-Times

Injuries at Amazon Up 15% After Pledge to Become ‘Earth’s Safest’

Deaths of Despair in Comparative Perspective Annual Review of Sociology. Here is the full text from ResearchGate. Will repay study:

In the case of the United States, hundreds of thousands of deaths have been associated with industrial decline in the wake of the neoliberal reorganization of the economy. The existing evidence suggests that deindustrialization and economic malaise combine with the effects of broader public policies (including high incarceration rates), which jointly contribute to these deaths. In Eastern Europe, total excess deaths reach the millions, a much higher human cost to match the much more radical project of converting the socialist economies to (hyper)capitalist economies via shock therapy within only a few years. The epidemics of deaths of despair in the West and the East were not historically unique events that idiosyncrasies of the particular countries could explain. Dysfunctional health behavior in the form of alcohol and drug abuse is central to both deaths of despair epidemics. However, these are proximate and not ultimate causes and, in most cases, are on a shared causal pathway linking upstream economic dislocations to individual ill health.

Mass shooting suspect arrested in Manhattan a day after subway attack Gothamist

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus Antidote (Brunches with Cats), the Siberian cat lady:

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. marcel

    A very interesting read with alternate views from an ‘American Conservative’.
    Uses also Ukranian sources to attribute the Bucha false flag to local neonazis.

    1. dftbs

      Marcel, I really found your reading suggestion very elucidating, thank you for sharing it. I think it highlights a major cultural difference between the West and Russia, that of historical memory. The Russians have it and they, correctly, view this conflict as a tragic consequence of them not upholding their forbearers vigilance against this odious ideology. The West doesn’t, and so our leaders see it as poll bump; all the while the people who a few years back argued about how good it was to “punch a nazi” now sport yellow and blue and donate to actual nazis.

    2. Rolf

      I second @dftbs’ response above: this piece by Eliason is an eye opener.

      From afar, long-distance nationalists are driving the war to escalate beyond Ukraine using average Ukrainians like a videogame avatar for which there is only one single life.

      Ukraine’s agricultural mainstay is shutting down incrementally. Zelensky’s administration never bothered to answer Ukraine’s need for natural gas or fuel knowing his country’s economic crash was inevitable.

      The gas industry has a saying. America sneezes and the world blows its nose. Joe Biden took problems one country was experiencing and made them worldwide through his policies and sanctions.

  2. Ignacio

    Opinion: For Putin to face justice, we must join the International Criminal Court Ilhan Omar, WaPo

    I was thinking, what about accountability and legality of sanctions. What would be the proper court?

      1. pjay

        ‘Opinion: For Putin to face justice, we must join the International Criminal Court’ – Ilhan Omar, WaPo

        ‘Top Cover: Congressional Republicans Pave Way for US Policy Shift on Int’l Criminal Court’ – Just Security

        No such luck I’m afraid, but I do sense another Big Propaganda effort coming up here. It’s great that we can have such bipartisan consensus on such an important subject! Omar’s invocation of Nuremberg was a nice ironic touch. Glory to Ukraine!

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What does Ilhan Omar want Putin to face “justice” for? For having helped Syria save itself from the Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis? Is this just delayed-action proxy vengeance-seeking on her part?

  3. William Beyer

    Paul L. Williams’ “Operation Gladio” is a great reference if you want to go deeper than BBC videos.

  4. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the link about cross Channel refugees being sent (permanently) to Rwanda, one should compare that to the warm and generous welcome extended to refugees from Ukraine in my home county of Buckinghamshire.

    300 children have been placed in a schools from next term, far in excess of the official figures, and kitted out with the latest, generosity that is not unnoticed by locals, but can’t be remarked on publicly.

    Individuals and families are being housed and schooled in well to do areas like Amersham and Wendover and localities in between. This could be after it was reported from a processing centre on the continent that the refugees do not want to be settled near, sic, “ethnics”.

    It was briefly advertised that Ukrainian (only) refugees get free public transport, including on the Chiltern (railway) line.

    The local authority has set up a Ukraine task force to manage the resettlement and integration of refugees.

    Public transport, education and housing have been problematic for years, if not decades, in the county, but have never been given this sort of attention.

    One can’t help thinking that there will be an adverse local reaction.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thank you, Colonel. It will be interesting to see when the war is over how many of those refugees will want to return home again and those that will decide to just stay in Old Blighty. Don’t be surprised to see the leading politicians in the UK in twenty years time to come from this wave of refugees and in other positions of power as well.

      1. OIFVet

        Mark my words, Europe will have the same sort of Ukie diasporas as do Canada and the US: with rather brown-shirted fashion preferences.

        1. wilroncanada

          Unfortunately yes, OIFVet, hating Russia seems almost to be a rite of passage among Ukrainians in Canada. I worked with a couple who were not that back in the 1980s, but the Ukrainian Cultural Centres have in the past and continue to be malign influences, ironically not dissimilar to Jewish Community Centres, where I played basketball with Jewish friends in the 1950s to 60s.

      2. Alex Cox

        Does this mean bucolic Amersham will become a hotbed of right-wing agitators like Dade County Florida, with its own violent, assassination-prone diaspora?

        HG Wells meets JG Ballard…

    2. OIFVet

      Congratulations on the importation of such humble refugees /sarc. It’s much the same here and some of these fine folks have brought along their Azov flags. Sure, most of the refugees are truly needy and are greatful for simply having a roof and a meal, but that minority that is demanding the red carpet treatment also seem to have the means to provide it for themselves, rather than syphon off sparce resources needed for the others. That tends to rub many of the natives the wrong way, but saying so invites an army of liberal outrage merchants and flaming wars. The Azov flags and the racism of its bearers don’t phase the liberal guard, indeed they marched shoulder to shoulder with them in front of the Russkie embassy, where they were joined by other refugees bearing the flag of the moderate Syrian jihadists that Russia helped to drive into Idlib. All in the name of peace and love on earth, of course, the clulessness of the liberal guard was deeply touching, as are their racist tropes about the asiatic beasts from the East. However, it is inviting deep resentment. The populace seem to grudgingly handle the freebies being doled out to Ukies while it has trouble paying for basic necessities. However it deeply resents being called Putinists for simply flying the Bulgarian flag, by people proudly flying the Ukrainian flag. Strange times.

      1. The Rev Kev

        OK, I’ll bite. How you you get to be labelled a Putinist for flying the Bulgarian flag? The damn thing goes back nearly 150 years. Are they triggered because two of the three colours are the same as the Russian flag?

        1. OIFVet

          Those who refuse to belive in the one true God the official narrative fly the BG flag in real life or on their FB profiles. The reason is generally strong belief that it is not Bulgaria’s fight so it should remain neutral in the sense of not sending any lethal aid to Ukraine and perhaps not participating in the sanctions. Some fly it because they sympathize with Russia but rightly think that a Bulgarian ought to fly the Bulgarian flag, not any other flag. Regardless, even the insistence to be neutral makes one a Putinist to those who can only spout the Munich appeasement nonsense amd march with people who sport Azov flags. War is Peace, donch’a know.

      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        I thought of you(r comments about BG from a fortnight or so ago) and mentioned it to my government official mother.

        1. OIFVet

          Thanks, Colonel. My bet is the coalition government will fall when people start getting their heating bills next winter. Earlier, if the Harvard-educated bubble brained PM decides to send military aid to Ukraine or lifts Bulgarian veto on Macedonia’s EU ascension. Either way, Bulgarians were very enamored of voting for the Harvards and are now very disillusioned with the quality of Harvard’s products. I tried to tell anyone who would listen to not be blinded by a Harvard diploma but they wouldn’t believe me.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you.

            I wish it was the same here. We have the Oxbridge / Russell Group of universities cross to bear.

            There seems to be a backlash against the French equivalent. I will let David comment further.

      3. Carolinian

        Apparently some of that same sentiment is driving the French election. Will Macron’s anti-populist globalism spell his doom? The culture clash between the elites and the lowers seems to be a world wide phenomenon with the former refusing to accept the true message of the Trump election. The globalists dispense their charity less out of a sense of justice and more as a way of rewarding their foot soldiers.

        And of course historically many in Europe and America were for the real Nazis before they were against them. They thought Hitler would take out the commies, their real enemy.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          It feels like it.

          One gets the feeling that failure to support / virtue signal about Ukraine, perhaps not as far as flying the flag, is a moral failing.

    3. Ignacio

      I notice at the end some proper borrowing of vaccine/immunology jargon.
      Let me expand. Such local reaction will only complicate the systemic adverse reaction to high energy costs.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Synoia.

        As with your native Norfolk, there’s a lot of hidden and not so hidden poverty and homelessness in Buckinghamshire. The Tory one party state is making a great show of doing something about Ukraine, an urgency and mobilisation that I have never seen in my five decades here.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      First Ukrainian children showed up at my kid’s school in Maine a week or so ago, along with a large number of other refugees from other countries. We are also housing a large number of homeless people in local hotels for extended periods of time.

      Meanwhile housing costs continue to skyrocket due to wealthy people from the Boston/NYC areas buying them up, many of whom don’t actually live in the homes they buy.

      I chalk all these changes up to the attempt by the US to make the whole world swallow neoliberal capitalism, whether they like it or not.

      I increasingly don’t recognize the town I live in or the entire society I grew up in any more.

      1. Wukchumni

        All of the dartful codgers in our over the hill ski group hail from Tijuana-adjacent and I asked them if they had seen any increased immigrant activityy in SD, and they knew nothing, nothing.

    1. Jeff V

      Women and children were evacuated from the Channel Islands to the mainland UK in 1940 after the battle of France. I have heard several stories of the men hosting these evacuees behaving in an inappropriate manner – and these were married men, since it never occurred to the authorities at the time to send women to live with single men.

      Older children were separated from their parents and their siblings, and sent to different parts of the UK. When they were reunited after the war it was apparently quite common for the children all to have different UK regional accents.

  5. The Rev Kev

    Yesterday, Yves had a Russian video clip of a Russian soldier criticizing a Ukrainian propaganda video and, having seen it, tried to describe it. Just a little while ago I stumbled across the video again that I saw again and I will let people see what they missed. It helpfully has subtitles to what she is saying- (1:46 mins)

    1. Après moi

      She may be an actress, but the hate she spews seems genuine. Looks like a cross between Lady Macbeth, a nasty witch, and an ISIS head-chopper. Despicable, I’d say.

      1. OIFVet

        Based on Ukie mythology, replace “ISIS head chopper” with berserker viking shield maiden. That’s basically what she was alluding to.

        Also, is it just me or does she sport shiners and a busted lip, of the sort one gets when inadvertently running into a husband’s fist?

        1. Yves Smith

          Yes, the battered look is weird. Battered women get more battered. Conflating that with her as an incarnation of some sort of atavistic earth goddess is a mixed message. And not enough muscle behind her throat slicing for that to be non-fake either.

          See Kali as the model for women goddess killers. A contemporary rendering, and notice the more credible scythe:

          Diptherio says Kali has lovely manners when she is not on duty killing demons.

  6. Stick'em

    re: Mark Zuckerberg’s Augmented Reality The Verge

    I get that a certain nerdy segment of the population is going to get off when Princess Leia magically pop up on the table while they are consuming mass quantities at Denny’s:

    But’s what’s the real goal? Is it straight out of a comic book X-ray porn glasses so we can “see” people nekked all day? Is it still personalized advertisements/propaganda beamed to our field of view based on the tech knowing our exact location by GPS and data mining the websites we frequent? Is it really so we can pretend to be Iron Man or Capt Jean-Luc Picard while simultaneously performing as even bigger social media attention whores?

    Or is there something useful here I am not seeing?

    My guess is as reality continues to get shittier for the average person, this AR tech is intended to be yet another opiate for the masses, so we can entertain ourselves to death and not notice the poverty and climate crises around us. Because shiny objects.

    Any thoughts from the peanut gallery here at NC? Anyone have a more sophistocated take on this subject?

    1. Craig H.

      There is a long interview Lex Fridman Neal Stephenson, not just about virtual reality. Nerd vibe but I am immune and could watch the entire thing. After 30 years of exhausting research this is the best they could come up with:

      augmented reality with baby goats. You come home from work put on your play glasses (these still do not work yet they have to reduce form factor something like 40X) and you can see augmented reality baby goats (that do not eat, poop, or pee) frolic around your house and yard.

      This is the best America’s best and most highly compensated engineers with huge resources have been able to come up with in thirty years. I do not know whether to laugh or cry but Lex Fridman (who I like) and Neal Stephenson (who I like) get a C+. Only for effort. They probably put a day of their time into this.

    2. Eric Anderson

      JK Galbraith nailed it a long time ago as the “Dependence Effect.” Set out, here:

      According to Galbraith, modern capitalism is dominated by large enterprises and characterized by an abundance of contrived wants that are the product of corporate planning and massive advertising:

      As a society becomes increasingly affluent, wants are increasingly created by the process by which they are satisfied…. Wants thus come to depend on output. In technical terms, it can no longer be assumed that welfare is greater at an all-round higher level of production than at a lower one. It may be the same. The higher level of production has, merely, a higher level of want creation necessitating a higher level of want satisfaction. There will be frequent occasion to refer to the way wants depend on the process by which they are satisfied. It will be convenient to call it the Dependence Effect.[18]

      It is not consumers who are sovereign in the modern industrial system, but rather the gigantic firms that produce and market goods and services. In Galbraith’s “revised sequence,” producers decide what shall be produced and then mold consumers’ tastes so that they buy these products. Orthodox economics hold that initiative lies with the consumer, who buys goods and services in the market in response to personal desires or demands. The neoclassical theories of consumer choice takes wants as given. To say that consumers maximize their utility, says Galbraith, begs the important question of how consumers go about formulating those wants in the first place. And, if wants must be created through advertising, how urgent can they be? Furthermore, the neoclassical theory of consumer demand, with its emphasis on consumer sovereignty, implies that the market dictates the optimal composition of output and allocation of resources. This view, said Galbraith, makes little sense: “One cannot defend production as satisfying wants if that production creates the wants.”

      Galbraith’s theory of consumer demand has an important policy implication: there will be an underallocation of resources to public goods. Galbraith called this circumstance “social imbalance.” The creation of artificial wants through advertising and the propensity for emulation shifts resources toward private goods and away from public goods that have greater inherent value. New automobiles are seen as being more important than new roads; vacuum cleaners in the home are desired more than street cleaners. Alcohol, comic books, and mouthwashes take on a greater aggregate importance than schools, courts, and municipal swimming pools. One way to remedy this imbalance, said Galbraith, would be to impose sales taxes on consumer goods and services, using the proceeds to increase the availability of public sector goods and services.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not much I can find in that comment to disagree on and I have long admired J. K. Galbraith. I guess that it is mostly a matter of confusing our ‘wants’ with our ‘needs’ and not being outdone by the local Jones. Maybe it is also a function of the value of ‘happiness’ that out society attaches so much importance too. A coupla years ago an activist group was putting up large posters in London’s underground that would try to get people to think about such things and I think that one such poster said “Fill the Hole in your Soul with a Product.”

        1. Eric Anderson

          Reading Galbraith in my early 20’s was an eye-opener. Sort of an inverse 20 yr old Ayn Rand experience. He, more than any other influence, red pilled me to wisdom of democratic socialism.

      2. Stick'em

        Eric Anderson ~ Keep in mind, my background is in science rather than economics. If I am reading what Galbraith is saying correctly, then this AR is a form of supply side economics. Basically, we’ll make whatever it is, and it is up to the marketing people to convince regular people we want/need it.

        Therefore, a great deal of our resources are diverted towards paying celebrity influencers (Zuckerberg himself qualifies as a celebrity influencer, no?) and other charming sales technicians on TedTalks (come to think of it, both Trump and Obama basically were Salesmen in Chief) than towards making sure everybody can obtain regular necessity stuff, say food, shelter, and clothing or public commons.

        Is this a rough approximation of Galbreaith’s “Dependence Effect?” When someone says “dependence effect, ” I think of smart phones and the phenomenon of cognitive offloading, where I can’t remember how to drive anywhere but my phone can. Perhaps the two are intertwined?

        1. Bugs

          My understanding of how they plan to sell the multiverse (my stupid firm is high on this stuff) is that the platforms are going to move content and applications there and you’re going to have to use it to have access to them. Much like FB itself, at some point you’re going to need to go to the familyblogging multiverse or you won’t be informed, educated or connected to others you need. And they’re betting on it replacing travel for the stragglers in middle management. It’s a nightmare.

          1. Stick'em

            Bugs ~ Yes, that makes sense. Easy to see how FB would create a “need” for a PC –> laptop –> phone –> glasses –> what next? with this model through planned obsolescence of the old hardware’s ability to handle the latest “New & Improved” software.

            BTW, I was the last person my family/friends knew to join Facebook. Left once I met a few of my heroes and realized, ahem, let’s not go there as to how bad my expectation vs. reality experience was. I don’t believe in the devil, but if I did, Zuckerberg is definitely one of his chief minions on earth.

            I don’t do any social media now. It seems intentionally designed to bring out the worst in folks. Much better to stay in comment sections with a moderator, such as NC.

          2. Yves Smith

            Na ga work.

            First anyone who wears that gear except when sitting down is a Darwin Award future. And if they start trying to push too much through VR, people will wear them at other than their desks. They’ll be robbed, mugged, get in accidents, etc.

            Second some people can’t use VR. I have no binocular vision. I’d just get a bad headache and not see much of anything.

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            Perhaps Metaverse-averse people can slow the changeover down by using traditional internet as much as they can for all their on-line needs. Perhaps digital backwaters and sidestreams will still exist where retro-internetos can still read and see things without any Zucker or Berg.

            After all, radio still exists and people still listen to it.

        2. wilroncanada

          Maybe the Reaganites read Galbraith, and took it as a plan of action rather than as critique. They then just had to come up with a catchy slogan, “Supply Side Economics.” “Dependence Effect” would have been counter-productive to their plans.

        3. playon

          Isn’t every president in essence a salesman, and most politicians as well? They serve the people who finance their campaigns by selling to the public whatever the powerful want to see happen.

      3. Mildred Montana

        I have always admired JKG and have read nearly everything he wrote.

        Besides his steady defense of the poor and his gentle chiding of the privileged (he was always gentle, never strident or shrill), his prose was smooth and witty. A writer I can’t remember called him the finest prose-stylist of the 20th century. That’s high praise.

        1. Wukchumni


          Economics is for the most part the art of droll numbers, but Galbraith wasn’t like most dismal sciencetologists in that he engaged the reader along the way in explaining the often inexplicable, by provoking the worth of mirth.

          1. lance ringquist

            he did not rely on math. he was always studying reality, and was for what ever worked.

      4. Carolinian

        Thanks for comment. Sounds like what David Graeber was saying in his last book–we live to support an economic system rather than vice versa. Of course it’s not original to Galbraith either since there once was a lively culture of capitalism critique that the “end of history” tried to bury.

        1. jonboinAR

          Wifey and I have discussed several times and puzzled how it has come about in modern society that a couple has to both hold down jobs and how we constantly have to help out our daughter and son in law with their kids because the 2 of them just don’t have time for everything. Part of why this has occured, we agree, is due to stagnant wages for a generation or more. Some part of the stagnant wages may possibly be attributed to that once upon a few decades or so ago women wanted (supposedly) to enter the work-force. Once they did, they were trapped because they had, in so doing, diluted the work force, thus tamping down wages. Then there’s the whole Reagan neo-liberal set-business-free! revolution thing. We adopt the “Thinker’s” pose and go “hmm”, maybe something to all that.

          But then, we bring up wifey’s closet, a large walk-in stuffed with clothes and shoes, and mine, a smaller walk-in also completely filled with stuff. Several other closets are also filled with junk/stuff. Our driveway is 4 cars across. Stuff, everywhere! Still, we are the only ones we know almost, basically out of debt. Everyone else has a lot more crap than we do (bass boats, side-by-side 4 wheelers, etc), but also a bunch of debt.

          My parents shared one of those old sliding door-closets, 1/4 the size of my smaller walk-in. It was enough for all their clothes. We had one family car. We just didn’t have all kinds of stuff everywhere. We weren’t poor, nor felt deprived. We just had a WHOLE lot less sh!! than we all do now. Wifey and I agree, that plays at least some part in why all adults now have to hold down a job.

          No, our modern “needs” aren’t organic, but somehow manufactured, and simply not the same as they were about 2 generations back. I don’t know quite how that’s come to pass.

            1. jonboinAR

              Thanks for the article. I hadn’t realized they’d figured us out so completely, so early. I mean, I’d heard of Bernays and all that…

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                The hope is . . . . is that if they can figure us out so completely, maybe we can learn to figure our own selves out just as completely. And then figure out their figuring-out-of-us as completely as they themselves have it figured out.

                And then rewire ourselves and help eachother rewire eachother for a different preference than what they have wired us up for.

                more Things? or more Time?

                and . . . .twice the sh*t things that last half as long? or half the shinola things that last twice as long?

            2. Stick'em

              Drumlin Woodchuckles ~ Thanks for the heads up! Here’s another one on conspicuous presumption:

              “There’s conspicuous consumption; there’s also conspicuous presumption. Blatant hypocrisy isn’t just a moral outrage, it’s a status symbol — no less so than driving a fleet of Ferraris, having a trophy wife and many mistresses, or owning multiple mansions.

              When you’re powerful you can get away with things. When you get away with things you impress people with your power. The nation is divided between those of us who are outraged by the hypocrisy and those who are impressed by it.”


          1. Stick'em

            Indeed. For all the fuss about virtue signalling going on these days, where’s the commotion about status signalling? Why would anyone need one of the monsterific McMansions they are building down the road from us unless it is to use said tower to broadcast the message of their success to everyone else? That, and to house all their stuff.

      5. Alice X

        The idea goes back to Walter Lippmann (Public Opinion) and Edward Bernays (Propaganda), techniques that were developed with the Creel Commission.

      6. Acacia

        Re: Galbraith’s “Dependence Effect”, this is what I was thinking of the other day in a comment on Varoufakis’ “Cloudalists: Our New Cloud-Based Ruling Class”. I only knew of Galbraith’s argument second-hand, via another very interesting article (David Healy’s Psychopharmacology & The Government of the Self), so I would like to thank Eric Anderson for the exact quotation.

        For any others interested in this, the quotation and summary of Galbraith are from Stanley Brue’s The Evolution of Economic Thought, 8th edition, Chapter 19, The Institutionalist School, pp. 416–417.

    3. CuriosityConcern

      Real goal: imagine you are walking down the street and someone is wearing a pair of shoes you like. As the pupil trackers in the glasses register your gaze lingering, a buy now button manifests in your field of view. You dismiss the button and keep walking. Later, when you get home and take off your shoes, a buy now button manifests in your field of vision again, which you dismiss again. You remove the AR glasses and settle down to watch some streaming. A commercial featuring the shoes appears on your screen.
      Best case scenario: imagine you are unwinding in a garden, your gaze lingers on a plant you haven’t noticed before, a line of text manifests and informs you of the common and scientific names of the plant. There is a link if you want to know more but otherwise the text will fade and you can get back to unwinding.

    1. anon y'mouse

      and neither does ours—once an imperialist plantation, always an imperialist plantation.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Not only them but the torturers as well. After the 1979 Iranian Revolution, they captured the torturers that the Shah had employed that had done so much evil to the people of the revolutionary movement for years. You would think that they would have been quickly converted into stains on a brick wall in short order but no. The incoming regime realized that they needed their “talents” if the new regime was to survive – so they put them back to work. And I bet that this happens a lot more than history lets on.

          1. LifelongLib

            Well, I’d exclude torture, but in any society there are things that need doing right now, and they can’t wait 30 years for a generation raised under the new regime to take care of those things. Plus in a larger sense certain tasks attract certain mentalities. Carpenters and poets in 30 years are likely to be much like carpenters and poets today, regardless of their relationships to the rest of society.

    2. dave

      If it recall, Gorbachev’s hope was that Russia would become a really big Sweden; a market driven economy with a robust social safety net.

      Didn’t happen of course.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well, Gorbachev probably hoped for that for the whole USSR, not just Russia.

  7. Lex

    ‘The Secrets Hidden in Sewage’

    Expect to hear more on this subject; we’ve been looking at health from the wrong end of the animal. It’s in Africa that poo researchers found the greatest microbial diversity and lowest numbers of patients with modern metabolic diseases (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc). So I’m not surprised to read that South Africa is ahead of the U.S. in collecting information about a community’s health from wastewater.

    ‘The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars, / But in ourselves’… truer words were never written, William.

      1. Lex

        You’re welcome to add another ‘x’ to the end of your name if the distinction is important to you.

          1. tegnost

            The more obscure the better, re handles
            and to the real name people well, there’s actually too many richard smiths and too few paisley terwilligers to make that sensible, unless you have real personality to go with it.
            There was a Bob thing there for a week or two, all I know is bob is from syracuse

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine war: What weapon killed 50 people in station attack?”

    The BBC is getting worse. What weapon killed 50 people in station attack? I can tell them. It was a Ukrainian Tochka-U missile which still had the serial number printed on the side. On some images published by our media, the serial number has been digitized out. Now why would they do that? I could have asked that missile expert at the Royal United Services Institute a few simple questions. How about these for a start-

    1) You have the booster and the location of the missile. So lining them up would give you the direction that the missile came from, right?

    2) Isn’t it true that the average range of a Tochka-U is about 75 miles (120 kilometers)?

    3) Isn’t it true that there are no Russians anywhere within that range and only Ukrainian forces?

    4) Why did you not mention a similar Tochka-U attack on the Donbass on a city center that killed dozens.

    But nobody will ever hold the BBC to account. Just another garbage publication.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Rev.

      You will love this one.

      Some years ago, after Mauritius had supported Palestine in some UN motion, the BBC warned tourists not to visit Mauritius due to the risk of cyclones in June, sic, a plague of giant rats (presumably like the giant tortoises that inhabit the islands) and violence. You know the island…

      1. Carolinian

        Some of us Yanks love David Attenborough and Melvyn Bragg. Is the BBC a Jekyll and Hyde outfit?

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          Very much so, but the decent output is fast diminishing and often an aid in support of the establishment.

          Bragg? That’s a blast from the past!

          1. Carolinian

            Melvyn carries on with his In Our Time radio podcast. For us movie fans he once worked with Ken Russell back in the late 60s.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          The BBC is celebrating its hundredth anniversary, but there’s no mention of how the and why the private company became government owned and how it has replaced the Church of England as the Tory party at prayer.

        2. wilroncanada

          I thought, Synoia, that it was a “PILL” of the establishment, just like the CBC in Canada, and every US network. Soma, soma, soma.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      The other thing that no one mentions is that those people who were trying to evacuate were trying to board trains to Russia. There was zero need for Russians to attack people who were going to be in their control once they had boarded the train.

    3. Bart Hansen

      Sins of omission run amuck. One big one is the eight years and over 10,000 dead by Ukie shelling the Donbass.

      Last night on The News Hour one part of Ukraine coverage featured Bellingcat’s prop, which for me was jumping the shark.

  9. Jeff V

    I appreciate the fact that the Politico article on Le Pen made the effort to obtain quotes not just from the Atlantic Council (“concentrating on the Atlantic Community’s central role in meeting global challenges”), but also from something called the Centre for European Policy Analysis (“ensuring a strong and enduring transatlantic alliance”), two organisations whose offices appear to be several miles apart in Washington DC.

    The statement from the National Security Council is mentioned but not deemed worthy of comment – I mean, who cares what those folks have to say when there are so many think tanks you can canvas?

    I’d like to have seen them expand on one of the points in their third paragraph i.e. that if France elects a President the USA doesn’t like then it could end France’s status as a leading European power. Hard to see how that could happen, given the USA has publicly stated they don’t do regime change …

    1. flora

      Starting to sense a pattern: if the neoliberal candidate loses to a not-neoliberal candidate, it’s russiarussiarussia wot done it. See the headline. / ;)

    2. Michael

      “” “Her election would play directly into Putin’s goal of exacerbating cracks in the NATO alliance.”””

      Anyone else notice the heavy use of exacerbating lately? Seems to be the DOD (descriptor of the day)

      Seems a rational response by VP to nato war mongering.

      1. Bart Hansen

        Well, we’ll always have ’embolden’, as in embolding our enemies.

        One word that seems to have disappeared is one of Pompeo’s: Malign, as in Russia’s malign activities. Maybe it was because of his nickname: The malign manatee.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Haven’t seen this word recently, but for awhile “discern” was everywhere.

    3. hunkerdown

      It’s not really regime change when it’s “promoting democracy”, by which they usually mean absolute private property in the English tradition.

      1. Bruno

        The french presidential election is interesting: a proven techno-fascist “president of the richest” keeping full control of the state’s repressive and propagandist and parliamentary apparatuses and committed to the US’s semi-cold war against Russia at whatever cost to the French people; against a semi-fascist/semi-Gaullist populist lady whose hope for election rests on the mobilization of a working-class and antiwar vote, and without any prospect of forming a strong administration with a “presidential” parliamentary majority. There is a lesser evil in this contest, and it’s name is definitely not Macron.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          We said the same about Trump. Still working on digging ourselves out of that hole …. and into a deeper one.

          1. Bugs

            I’m maybe in the minority here believing this, but HRC wanted a no-fly zone over Syria and that war was still smoldering to hot when Trump took office. He launched a few missiles and let the CIA play games there for a while but never went so far as Mrs Clinton was apparently willing to go, ie shoot down Russian pilots. I think we dodged at least one bullet with Trump.

            1. Pat

              I don’t think it is the minority here. Many of us know Clinton wanted a confrontation with Russia.

              We would also give credit to Trump for relegating TPP to the round file.

              What may be minority opinion is that as bad as his response was Trump dealt with Covid better and provided more tangible support to the deplorables aka anybody who wasn’t PMC or above who took financial hits either from illness or loss of jobs than Biden and the Democrats did.

              Oh another minority opinion is that the losers in 2016 attacks on his win did much to discredit elections and election results and helped make Trump’s claims more credible in 2020.

            2. Acacia

              In the run-up to the 2016 election, I often heard this point made about HRC wanting to fight the Russians, either in Syria or elsewhere. She clearly had Putin Derangement Syndrome, whereas Trump did not.

              I suspect it’s not a small minority who saw HRC was part of the Blob’s Gleichschaltung, and in that respect quite dangerous.

          2. Durans

            Just because Trump was bad doesn’t mean Hillary wouldn’t have been worse. Based on what she has said since, I think we really dodged a bullet there. If Hillary had won we would probably be in at least one new war (more likely multiple) and still in Afghanistan. In addition, going by how the Dem Biden admin has handled it so far, our covid response would have likely been worse, far worse.

        2. flora

          Interesting essay at UnHerd:

          The future is Marine Le Pen
          A Macron victory won’t hold back the tide of populism
          BY Matthew Goodwin

          Whatever happens in the second round of the French election, Marine Le Pen will be able to claim victory. If the polls are correct, as they were in round one, she will receive around 46% of the vote. But while Le Pen will fail to win the presidency, she will be able to saviour another prize: the knowledge that she has forever broken the mould of French politics. ….

    4. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you.

      The Atlantic Council has recruited heavily in France in recent years, in part as the US needs an EU / continental presence after Brexit.

      Two of the Council’s ne’er do wells are former diplomat Gerard Araud and jack of all trades Benjamin Haddad.

  10. The Rev Kev

    Re the Bonus Antidote. Something tells me that if you got one of those Siberian farm cats together with a Maine Coon cat, that they would have a lot of experiences in common.

    1. Pat

      I want a meet up of them plus a Norwegian Forest Cat just to see the sizes, sort of like the dolphin/whale/dinosaur graphs.

    2. Yves Smith

      Look how much hair they have to have!!! Compare with snow leopards. Due to more unfavorable surface to mass ratio, they need so much more insulation.

      1. Stick'em

        Yves ~ I used to work with snow leopards. My favorite was named “Lapis” after the color of his eyes. His sister was called “Lazuli.” Anyway, one day we moved Lapis from his rather plain crummy enclosure to a nice big one, complete with rocks and a tri-level platform made of telephone poles. To do this, I darted him with a blowgun.

        Once Lapis was tranqued, I picked him up and carried him on my forearms a couple hundred yards to his new bachelor pad. I had previously scratched him behind the ears but this was the first time I’d ever really picked a snow leopard up. There was this sense of lightness you definitely would not expect from looking at him. He weighed much less than our 100 pound German shepherd, though the two looked to be about the same size to the eye. Maybe even half as much.

        The point is they are mostly fur and their bone/muscle structure is really light, which explains how they can bounce down the mountain after a goat, like so:

        1. OIFVet

          Gosh, I love snow leopards. My favorite big cat, together with cheetahs. My dream is to see one in the wild. Small chance of that, one has to get very lucky even on those snow leopard sighting tours that are available. But one can dream.

          1. Wukchumni

            Those lucky enough to live in the 5th largest city in Cali have ample opportunity to see a ‘Fresnow Leopard’ only an hour away @ Cat Haven in Dunlap on Hwy 180, along with a feast of other felines…


    3. Maritimer

      Siberia is part of Roosia, isn’t it? So, Tyoma and Pooh, how do you feel about a fellow feline,

      “Stepan, a beloved 13-year-old Ukrainian cat with over a million followers on Instagram, has managed to flee from his war-torn country — and found refuge in France with his owner after a harrowing trip to Poland.

      The world-famous feline from the heavily bombed city of Kharkiv worried his legion of fans when his account — @loveyoustepan — went dark for almost two weeks, the Washington Post reported.”

      There should be an embargo on any Roosian cat stories for the duration of hostilities.

      1. OIFVet

        Q: “So, Tyoma and Pooh, how do you feel about fellow feline Stepan?”
        Tyoma: “Stepan is a croissant-eating surrender pussy, obviously. My great great great granpa Tchaikovsky once upon a time slapped some croissant eaters, they couldn’t handle even Moscow’s mild winters apparently.”
        Pooh: “Who is Stepan and why should I care? Can’t you see I’m busy taking a nap?”

  11. Lex

    Re: Ukrainian refugees, I’d really like to see a breakdown of where the refugees came from within Ukraine. We know that Ukrainian forces block refugees in the east from leaving (for the most part), but I don’t know if people from the north-central regions were fleeing early on. So is it that many of these refugees are from areas of the country not currently experiencing active combat?

    Others have explained that the real divide in Ukraine is economic and Ukrainian leadership has either focused on the industrial east and ties to Russia or the west which has some agriculture and not much else. In the western oblasts, one of the primary means of earning a living is guest worker status in Poland or Western Europe. How many of these refugees took the opportunity to leave Ukraine for economic reasons rather than avoiding war? (I don’t know and I’m not accusing.)

    1. Michael

      See the pics in the Haaretz article.

      Refugees look like they were whisked away in an air conditioned bus from the mall. I’m sure most have it much tougher.

      Reading on, “The children collected wood, we were forced to learn how light a fire, we cooked what we could…”

      How many million people have been forced into this situation as a result of US policy of NeverendingwaR.

      Where is the outrage? !!

  12. Pat

    Anecdotal evidence again a post on a Twitter feed I check about rising costs. Not getting into the good and bad of horse racing and breeding but I assume other farms that might depend on hay are seeing the same.

    Cost vs. compensation disconnect in racing using hay.

    The videos of the horses especially the foals and yearlings in the feed are one of my tranquilizers when news makes me want to scream.

    1. Wukchumni

      Driving home on Hwy 395 from Mammoth after the best darned mid April skiing* conditions i’ve ever encountered, we must’ve passed 30x fully loaded 18 wheeler hay trucks all headed south, many of them with Or-Wa plates.

      How much is a bale of hay these days?

      * Another season in the books, my 43rd year of purposely sliding down steep precipices on parallel planks. Worked out to $39 a day for 18 days on the slopes on an Ikon season pass, versus the walk-up daily rate for lift tickets which was $179 yesterday.

      1. Pat

        Listened to two occasional skiers going on about the increased day pass cost about six weeks ago. Congratulations on the success of your “bulk” purchase and utilization of it!

        And I don’t know the actual price of hay, I just watch from the cheap seats. But considering how much you must need for a horse I would bet even 50 cents a bale more would hurt.

  13. Lex

    ‘Selling Madeleine Albright As A Feminist Icon’

    There’s a word I’m searching for in response… and I think it might be: tokenism… but feel free to correct if I’ve used it inappropriately.

    ‘the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do a particular thing, especially by recruiting a small number of people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of sexual or racial equality within a workforce.’

    “the use of gay supporting characters is mere tokenism”

    1. Questa Nota

      Albright Marketing Spin Push, next step, rename the Bully Pulpit into something more acceptable, so, Bovine Pulpit? Or would that be speciesist?
      The spin efforts seem late to the barnyard although they did announce waft their arrival. /s

    2. hunkerdown

      Icons are a Russian Orthodox thing. They probably shouldn’t use that analogy. ;)

      The Catholic Church has a process of canonization consisting of four degrees. The supermanagerial reich seem to be angling for the second degree, veneration, with the third degree, beatification, as a stretch goal.

    3. pjay

      Unfortunately, I’m not sure “tokenism” for female warmongers is necessary any more. There seem to be a lot of them around today. Many on team Blue were nurtured during the Clinton years (the article mentions Hillary and Samantha Power). And women seem well-represented among team Red neocons as well. Perhaps not absolute equality yet, but we’re getting there!

      Which “Lex” are you, by the way?

      1. Lexx

        “Lex” is short for Alexandra. I will add the extra ‘x’ to clear the confusion.

        ‘the Lexx, an enormous, sentient insect genetically modified for space travel and planet-destroying capabilities.’

        Bit of a boast that, not really planet destroying, but I can do some damage to a plate of tacos.

  14. Dr. John Carpenter

    Jack Dorsey’s NFT sale bust made me think of the recent thing with Ubisoft’s NFT offerings. Less than 100 sold of “thousands” minted, prices way lower than projected and the game they were minted for just wrapped up it’s last new content with no announcements of what’s next (despite the promise these NFTs will follow the players in whatever come next.) Of course, Ubi’s opinion is that it’s the gamers that are wrong and they’re going to try again, but, for what it’s worth, on-line opinion has been universally negative, as it has for every game dev announcing NFTs. Sometimes I worry I’m a little too in the bubble for opinion on this kind of stuff, but it does seem when it comes to NFTs, the dogs aren’t eating the dog food.

    And a personal sidenote on NFTs, I guess among some musicans, offering NFTs which will grant access to exclusive content ranging from access to ticket sales, merch, music downloads, etc. I had one group I was doing a monthly subscription to via Bandcamp which gave me everything they put out, both download and physical media, plus the occasional poster or merch item. The price was about what it would have cost to buy the stuff anyway and since I was pretty much getting everything as it was released, I didn’t have a problem prepaying to help the artist out.

    Well, a few months ago, they announced they were ending the subscription and going to an NFT that would essentially be the equivalent plus and undefined more! I gritted my teeth and after much deliberation at least took a look at what was on offer. I figured if nothing else, I could just get what I’d gotten normally and leave the NFT in the either.

    But the price! Ye gods! To get as close to the same level of stuff as I had on my canceled subscription, I’d be in for a $750 NFT, which was about 3 times what I was paying a year before. Oh, did I mention that’s going to be an annual thing too? So, presumably, I’d be in for another $750 next year, if I wanted to continue.

    And though they were quick to plaster everywhere about my NFT going up in value, they had no explanation of how. The side benefits weren’t transferable and I couldn’t imaging anyone paying $750 for just a 3d cube of their logo that only lives on your computer.

    Needless to say, I passed. I have no idea how they’re doing. Luckily, I can still buy the albums they’re putting out by themselves. However, as a fan who was more than happy to throw regular financial support to an artist doing an interesting project, it was beyond disappointing to have this happen.

    I wish I had a line on what the general feeling is among those of us who actually spend money on music about NFTs. It’s a lot easier to get a read on gamers and they are notorious complainers (present company included.) The bottom line is, it seems NFTs aren’t taking off as many would like, but that isn’t stopping them from forcing them on us.

    1. Wukchumni

      When you see reference to a new paradigm you should always, under all circumstances, take cover. Because ever since the great tulipmania in 1637, speculation has always been covered by a new paradigm. There was never a paradigm so new and so wonderful as the one that covered John Law and the South Sea Bubble — until the day of disaster.

      J.K. Galbraith

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Selling Albright as a ‘Feminist Icon’: Was the Price Worth It? FAIR

    I have no idea what the words “feminist icon” even mean if a hideous, murderous, psychopathic harpie like madeline albright could be considered to be one.

    It’s disturbing enough to have to accept that this odious creature was a member of the same human race as the rest of us, may she rot in hell.

    1. Pat

      I once told a friend that breaking a glass ceiling is meaningless to me if the woman has all the evils of a man. I despised Reagan, but I am supposed to admire Margaret Thatcher because she has a vagina? It may be a sign of equality, but personally I think it is a greater indicative of society’s deep seated dysfunction if the people that achieve these powerful positions all have to be psychopaths regardless of race or sex.

      1. Stick'em

        Exactly, Pat. This is what I told people about Hillary Clinton. What does it tell you about her that she made it to the top of a heap of scoundrels? It’s not that I’m a misogynist Bernie bro, it’s that if you are queen of the monkeys, you’re still a monkey!

        Problem is proud members of the Blue party can’t/won’t see it’s full of neoliberal vampire squid and war-mongering neoconservatives no matter how often you show ’em examples.

  16. Anonymous 2

    Partygate in the UK is just another sign of the moral degeneration of contemporary British politics. There was a time when a Minister found to have lied to the House of Commons had no choice but to resign. See Eden and Profumo in the 50s and 60s. Now the Tories appear to be waiting to see whether the effect on their support is sufficiently large to warrant sacking Johnson. The UK political system is broken. I fear for the future as the Tories are busy at work to rig the next election.

    1. Darthbobber

      With Starmer leading the ostensible opposition, do the Tories even need to rig anything? What would they have to do to be in danger of losing to Labor or the LibDems in their present incarnations?

      1. Anonymous 2

        The Tories clearly think so. I don’t think that they are focusing merely on the next election but intend to turn the UK into a one (right-wing) party state permanently. Control of the media is already largely theirs. Rigging elections is next on the agenda. I fully expect that they have further steps to suppress any effective opposition tucked up their sleeves for future implementation. The next election may be the last chance to prevent this so, unless you are happy with this outcome, which will benefit only the rich, let us hope the opposition can thwart the Tories.

        I am not a member of any political party so don’t have a clue what the opposition parties may be contemplating when it comes to the next election but am assuming they are currently keeping their powder dry when it comes to announcing their policies, lest Johnson steals any that are popular. Let us hope that they come up with some that have appeal.

      1. AnArchitect

        I don’t know. Inertia will keep the Twitterati right where they are, I’d imagine. With no other alternative for quick mass distribution (Facebook? gasp!), the information peddlers on the Twitter platform will continue to curate their little fiefdoms. Gab et al are “The Other” when it comes to the social media platform caste system. If and when Twitter “Gab-ifies”, the definitions of that system will adjust to benefit the incumbents.

  17. Mildred Montana

    >How Did Climate Change Affect Ancient Humans? Smithsonian

    Talk about your climate change and its effects on humans, what about the theory of the Toba (Indonesia) volcanic super-eruption some 75,000 years ago? It triggered a 6-10 year global winter and reduced the human population to a few thousands.

    If the theory is accurate, we had a lucky escape from total extermination.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Gotta admit that I was a bit unnerved when I first read about that particular evolutionary bottleneck. It must have been hell on earth for the survivors trying to find food alone.

  18. ambrit

    I made the mistake of reading the Reuters “article” on the Russian cruiser Moscow “having difficulties” in the Black Sea. Utter and complete garbage. Almost comically slanted propaganda. I suddenly thought back to the early part of “Citizen Kane” where Orson Welles as the millionaire proprietor of a major New York newspaper, (the MSM of that time,) tells his man on the spot to wait a bit longer, he, Kane, will conjure up a war for the field operative to cover somehow.
    It is a retelling of an actual event.
    Remington to Hearst: “…there will be no war…”
    Hearst to Remington: “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”
    Time Magazine about Hearst from 1947. The anti-Russia ‘thing’ has been around for a long time.
    The Elites base their supremacy on the fact that critical thinking skills are not in general supply. Also, and related, such skills are not usually taught in schools. I suspect that the “dumbing down” of the population is a secondary goal of the “Teach To The Test” methodology presently in the ascendant in public education in America.
    Stay safe! Think for yourself!

    1. Maritimer

      “The Elites base their supremacy on the fact that critical thinking skills are not in general supply. Also, and related, such skills are not usually taught in schools.”
      So, The Elites then must have special schools and infrastructure to provide the Critical Thinkers they need. Where is that Infrastructure? How are the necessary Critical Thinkers isolated and protected from the Koolaiders? Where do the Elite draw the line between the Dumbed Down/Propagandized and the Critical Thinkers?

      I listened to an interview with Scott Ritter in which he suggested that US decision makers for Ukraine had consumed the Ukrainian Koolaid and there were no Critical Thinkers.

      Some think this might also apply to the Kovid Koolaid with there being only a few Critical Thinkers while the Medical Elite have consumed the BP/WEF/WHO/CDC/FDA Koolaid.

      I would cite the US FED and Wall Street also with the Critical Thinkers driven out and ostracized.

      IMHO, Critical Thinking is on the Elite Hit List. I don’t think they have really considered the consequences and they may end up drinking their own poison.

      1. Acacia

        Indeed, and when you look at the present-day woke wars in so-called higher education (a.k.a., the contemporary version of the “science wars” in the 1990s, cf. Alan Sokal vs. Social Text), even in the putatively elite schools, it really does seem like the Koolaid Drinkers have been quite successful at shouting down the Critical Thinkers.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Critical Thinkers may get less covid less often, and over time might reproduce just enough of themselves to survive the Jackpot Epoch.

  19. Jason Boxman

    Wow, this is the first admission I’ve seen in the NY Times that vaccination doesn’t prevent infection!

    The spread of Omicron, which easily infects even vaccinated people and generally causes milder disease than the earlier Delta variant, has prompted some officials to put more emphasis on hospitalization rates.

    Of course instead the report hangs their hat on “mild” instead.

    Until late last month, New Hampshire’s Covid-19 online dashboard displayed all inpatients with active coronavirus infections. Now, it instead displays the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients taking remdesivir or dexamethasone, two frontline treatments. (Data on all confirmed infections in hospitalized patients remains available through the New Hampshire Hospital Association, Dr. Ballard noted.)

    Beware dishonest hospital metrics, as well.

    The C.D.C. recently added wastewater data from hundreds of sampling sites to its Covid-19 dashboard, but coverage is highly uneven, with some states reporting no current data at all. If wastewater surveillance is going to fill in the testing gaps, it needs to be expanded, and the data needs to be released in near real time, scientists said.

    It’s been clear for almost two years that we should be doing this. So of course we don’t do it competently, enough, or with any serious federal support.

  20. Wukchumni

    A Lake in Florida Suing to Protect Itself The New Yorker.

    As it happened, in the autumn of 1971, while Stone was at work on his article, a major environmental case was wending its way through the courts. A couple of years earlier, Disney had decided to build a giant ski resort in a wilderness area south of Yosemite known as Mineral King. (The resort was to be, in Disney’s words, an “American Alpine Wonderland,” with a five-story hotel, twenty-two lifts, and ten restaurants, including one at eleven thousand feet.) To construct the resort, and to bring in visitors, the company needed an access road through Sequoia National Park. When the Interior Department approved the highway, the Sierra Club sued, arguing that it would cause “irreparable harm to the public interest.” A federal judge in San Francisco ruled in the group’s favor and issued a preliminary injunction blocking work on the resort. On an appeal from the Interior Department, the ruling was reversed.


    Now, there’s no way of knowing what role the Marmot Cong played in the saga, for if Disney had built a ski resort in Mineral King it would have been curtains for them, as the proposed plan didn’t allow for any vehicular traffic, and thus no radiator hoses to chew on.

    Here’s my driveway which stopped Disney in its tracks, on speed:

    Drive Down Mineral King Rd. [Time-Lapse ]

  21. Wukchumni

    What’s even a bigger loser than the Edsel of the Air?… why that would be the movie starring the F-35 and Tom Cruise, which has been in the can since June 2019 @ a cost of $152 million. Thank goodness for war in the Ukraine, so as to showcase the sanctionists weaponry!

    ‘Top Gun’ to star at Cannes film fest under Ukraine shadow

    After a pandemic-related production delay, “Top Gun: Maverick,” in which Cruise reprises his 1986 role as a U.S. Navy pilot, will be showcased at Cannes but outside the official competition, along with Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley drama “Elvis.”

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Nahgonnalie, I’ll be there opening night to see TopGun2 ?!

      The opening sequence to Top Gun is still one of the best of all time and Tom Cruise hasn’t made a bad movie in a lonnnngggg time.


      1. Acacia

        Dunno. I was underwhelmed by that War of the Worlds outing in which Cruise wanted to play “a strong father”. Give me George Pal’s adaptation, with those Albert Nozaki 50s-esque Martian war machines.

  22. Bob Kavanagh

    Since Russia is the aggrieved party in this war according to many reports I have read on the NC site and doesn’t threaten its neighbors, why are Sweden and Finland apparently reviewing their relationship to NATO?

    1. OIFVet

      Sweden is still sore about losing the Battle of Poltava, perhaps? Kidding aside and assumingthat youbare being sincere, their elites are just as captured as any other European elites. The visuals of the propaganda shot is compelling: an aspirant to NATO membership is viciously attacked by the perfidious Russkies, thus providing the contunuing need for NATO to exist and expand. It’s a self-licking ice cream cone, as Lambert would say, with Russian aggression as a self-fulfilling prophecy that enables it.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Just spitballing, but my guess would be US spooks making them an offer they can’t refuse.

      1. juno mas

        Do you see any nuclear weapons within the territory of Canada or Mexico? What was the US response when they arrived in Cuba?

        Putin has expressly stated the goal of the Russian military. It doesn’t involve placing nuclear weapons in the Ukraine.

    3. juno mas

      Do you see any nuclear weapons within the territory of Canada or Mexico? What was the US response when they arrived in Cuba?

      Putin has expressly stated the goal of the Russian military. It doesn’t involve placing nuclear weapons in the Ukraine.

  23. Carolinian

    That’s an important BAR and perhaps it takes a Black website to recognize prejudice wherever it raises it’s pointy head and not accept the Dem/PMC formula that hatred is “okay when we do it.” It’s hatred itself that should be the enemy and not hatred’s objects and ironically our new secular age seems if anything more irrational than the faith based religious one that preceded it. Christian ethics, when sincere, may be something to revive and not, as Obama put it, “cling to” out of ignorance. We can be secular and still see the benefit.

  24. KD

    The White House is freaked out that Putin’s next big win could be in Paris

    Wow guys, maybe you should have thought about the economic effects of massive sanctions on domestic politics in Europe before you went all out? If the sanctions and the war go on for years (like the US wants), you are going to bring the far right to power across the board in Europe.

    For a group of policy makers who’s knowledge of history begins in 1938 and ends in 1945, maybe they should examine the relationship between 1929 and 1933?

    1. Mikel

      “Senior U.S. officials have warily watched across the Atlantic for any signs of possible Russian interference in the first round of the elections, which will take place Sunday.”

      They’re about to send France their press playbook and cross out the name Trump and write in Le Pen.

  25. Wukchumni

    In 2013, while on a vacation to the Sequoia National Forest, we discovered a book titled To Find the Largest Tree, written by Wendell Flint. Originally published in 1987, it listed the top forty largest sequoias—all in California, a few hours’ drive from our home. After realizing we’d seen about a dozen of the trees in Flint’s book during numerous family vacations already, we wondered if we could find them all. So we set forth on a quest that led us back to the forests we’d enjoyed previously as well as many others. Through further research and personal explorations through sequoia forests, we discovered still more trees to add to Flint’s list.

    Along the way to finding the largest sequoias, we discovered countless other beautiful and intriguing ones. Each tree was unique, its shape and features carved by the fires, lightning, and other natural disasters it had endured over its two- to three-thousand-year lifespan.

      1. Freethinker

        What a coincidence between these 2 proximal events. Reminds me of a similar connection in the 2014 Maidan coup.

  26. playon

    “Loss of smell linked with premature death”.

    I’m still recovering from COVID but am extremely happy that my sense of smell has returned.

    1. Mikel

      Another link to premature death from this may be depression from such a loss.
      The singer Michael Hutchence (INXS) committed suicide. Many may not be aware of his depression was linked by some to a head injury he suffered that caused the loss of taste and smell.

  27. MakingItReal

    Mass shooting suspect: another one of Biden’s
    “White nationalist main terrorist threats to our nation.”

    How embarrassing for Joe! The last four terrorist attacks were black men who supported BLM, the Christmas Parade driver who ran over 63 people, killing 6 and permanently crippling 5 children, the guy ran over a cop in D.C., and the other one that arranged to kill cops, and now this one.

  28. Andrew Watts

    RE: Macron vs. Mélenchon (2022) vs. Commune areas in 1871

    It’s almost as if class and material interests can predict the future. You’ll also see the barricades of 1848 map comparison if you scroll further down. It’s not perfect on a street-by-street basis of where the barricades were or where they will probably go up in the event of a Le Pen win. But there’s a reason why some far-left people will vote for Le Pen in round two.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Vote the Populist no matter Left or Right.

      I hope those Melenchon voters ignore him and vote for Le Pen.

  29. juno mas

    RE: …Overlooked desert symbiote

    These microbiotic desert symbiotes have not been overlooked. Scientist friends of mine were studying these cryptogamic soil crusts in Nevada back in the 1980’s. Here’s a link of interest:

    Just like interstitial soil bacteria is important to root growth of vascular plants, the surface microbiotic (lichen/fungus) organsims are essential to keeping surface soil in place—and not blowin’ in the wind! Watch your step while traversing Joshua Tree NP.

  30. Angie Neer

    “Fake Artists”—it’s appropriately filed under crapification, but that’s because music “consumers” are mostly satisfied with crap. The author doesn’t convince me with the example of dialing up a playlist named “Jazz in the Background” and expecting to hear Louis Armstrong. I would expect crap. But even if it took you by surprise, you’d only do it once, right? If the recordings on that playlist are racking up ungodly numbers of plays, it’s because the people streaming it are OK with it. Mmmm, background music. Ugh.

  31. Maritimer

    Zero-covid strategies are being ditched, but they were the best option New Scientist, Complete, not pay-walled.
    “This typically entails a rapid lockdown once the virus is detected in the community, followed by reopening once cases have fallen, combined with a robust system for testing, tracing chains of infection and supporting those who need to self-isolate.”

    Oh golly gee, New Scientist, there are no such things as prophylaxis or early treatment! What Doctor ever heard of them!

    Same old Kovid Drivel from disgraced Scientists, New or Old. No wonder there’s no paywall.

  32. LawnDart

    Florida man, move over–

    These guys are charged with gang-raping a lizard:

    Four held for ‘raping’ Bengal monitor lizard in Maharashtra forest

    During the investigation, the forest officials found that the accused had allegedly raped a Bengal monitor lizard. Their act was also recorded in a mobile phone of one of the accused persons,” he said.

  33. RobertC

    Supply Chain

    China’s trade boom defies new Cold War China’s supply chains are only source of many products and any cut in exports to US would cause critical shortages of essential goods

    From a strategic standpoint, Taiwan is the goose that lays golden eggs for China’s electronics industry, which assembled 35% of the world’s electronic devices in 2020. In terms of both semiconductors and expertise, Taiwan is giving China everything it needs.

    That makes it extremely unlikely that China would disrupt the status quo by using force to achieve reunification of the island with the mainland – unless the United States were to take steps in the direction of Taiwanese independence.

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