Links 5/16/2022

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.

* * *

On Writing Slack Tide by Matt Labash

In the 1930s, Slovenia’s Jože Plečnik created a unique architecture utterly different from the prevailing style of the time – and changed the way we think about cities. BBC

What Are You Really Looking at When You’re Looking at a Black Hole? The Wire

As remote work has left many offices empty, developers are turning these spaces into private homes – hopefully reviving dying business districts as the same time. BBC

The Biggest Potential Water Disaster in the United States New Yorker (David L)


EU Lifts Mask Requirement for Air Travel Afar

North Korea: Six dead, 350,000 “fevers” as coronavirus spreads “explosively” ars technica

North Korea: More than a million Covid cases feared BBC

Coronavirus digest: Kim slams North Korea’s pandemic response Deutsche Welle

Shanghai says lockdown to ease as virus spread mostly ends AP

China’s top diplomat hits out at Western critics who ‘distort the truth’ on pandemic controls South China Morning Post

How Australia Saved Thousands of Lives While Covid Killed a Million Americans NYT

‘A magnet for rip-off artists’: Fraud siphoned billions from pandemic unemployment benefits WaPo


The Answer to Stopping the Coronavirus May Be Up the Nose NYT. Regular NC readers already know this. Nice to see that the gray lady is catching up and getting the message.

It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them. MIT Technology Review.

Climate Change

Top Australian writers call for climate action to be at the centre of election Guardian

Beach Houses on the Outer Banks Are Being Swallowed by the Sea NYT We shouldn’t be building permanent structures o the outer banks. And until relatively recently, we weren’t. Time to return to building beach shacks and ‘ephemeral bungalows.

Dirty liberal pipe-dream: 3 myths about electric cars Agence France-Presse

Here’s the First-Ever Map Showing Wildfire Risk to American Homes NYT

Watery graves recall early Las Vegas’ organized crime days AP

Birds, beavers and microparks: experts plan to rewild London Guardian

Why everyone should care about biodiversity loss South Tina Morning Post

Shoes made from grapes and mushroom handbags: the rise of animal-free leather Guardian

Class Warfare

The State Organizes the Capitalist Class. The Working Class Will Have to Organize Itself. Jacobin

CEO Pay Packages Rose to Median $14.7 Million in 2021, a New High WSJ

A Massive Expansion in Public Rental Homes Could Literally Pay for Itself Jacobin

There’s a Real, Live Plan to End Poverty in California Capital and Main

New Not-So-Cold-War

LiveLIVEUkraine troops reach Russian border near Kharkiv – governor BBC

Ukraine claims battlefield successes in northeast as Russians fall back Reuters


Ukraine: EU struggles to reach consensus over Russia oil embargo Deutsche Welle

Russia warns Finland and Sweden joining Nato would be ‘grave mistake’ Guardian

Tharoor Line | India must make sincere efforts to broker peace in Ukraine On Manorama. From earlier still germane, as it demonstrates Modi’s neutral policy on the Ukraine war enjoy’s respect throughout the Indian political spectrum. For more context, see NC here.

Why Turkey doesn’t want Finland and Sweden to join NATO and why it matters WaPo

McDonald’s to sell its Russian business, try to keep workers AP

Sports Desk

Has the Designated Hitter Been Good for Baseball? Tom Glavine vs. G. Scott Thomas. WSJ. Despite being a fan of an AL team – the New York Yankees – I think the DH should be scrapped.

How Are the New NCAA Rules on Paying College Athletes Working Out? WSJ

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Facial Recognition May Not Be Banned After All Gizmodo

Groves of Academe

Demanding Times for System Heads’ Chronicle of Higher Education

Biden Administration

The Demented – and Selective – Game of Instantly Blaming Political Opponents For Mass Shootings Glenn Greenwald

First on CNN: Record-high gas prices slash US spending by $9 billion a month CNN

Biden’s new recipe for the midterms: Less honey, more vinegar Politico

Sanders: Manchin and Sinema ‘Sabotaged’ Biden Agenda Because They Lack ‘Guts’ Common Dreams

2022 midterms: What to watch as 5 states hold primaries AP

Our No Longer Free Press

Supply Chain

Nations Aim to Secure Supply Chains by Turning Offshoring Into ‘Friend-Shoring’ WSJ


Food shortages could force ‘a third’ of fish and chips shops to close   Sky News

Indonesian farmers decry palm oil export ban as prices plummet Al Jazeera


First commercial flight in 6 years leaves Yemen’s rebel-held capital Agence France-Presse


In busy Mumbai, gramastha mandal dormitories offer the comfort of the village in the city’s heart Scroll

Evening brief: Kerala on high alert as pre-monsoon rains pound many areas, and all the latest news Hindustan Times

The India Fix: How will the age of inflation change Indian politics? Scroll

Centre Asks Wheat-Producing States to Continue Procurement Till May 31 The Wire

In photos: In the push towards cleaner energy, what about those who will be left behind? Scroll

Sizzling Under Severe Heatwave, Delhi Sees Temperatures Above 45°C. Here’s Why. The Wire


China’s economic risks ‘tilted to downside’, coronavirus-induced contraction ‘most severe’ since 2020 outbreak South China Morning Post

China’s economy slows sharply as ‘zero COVID’ pummels activity Al Jazeera

China’s economic activity plummets as Covid lockdowns hit growth FT

Antidote du Jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. petal

    Re CNN Record High Gas Prices: gas jumped another 20 cents here overnight. Regular in Hanover, NH is now at $4.549/gal, and premium is at $5.189/gal. Going to be a rough summer.

    1. flora

      hmmm…. let’s see. B predicted food shortages. We have food shortages, including baby food shortages. Predicted dark winter, and looks like we now have energy shortages and very high and climbing energy prices. The B admin isn’t doing anything to address these problems. (Starting to wonder if the B admin is ‘sanctioning’ us – siege warfare against us who voted for him? oy.)

      1. Questa Nota

        The best and brightest got tarnished in the 1960s. Their modern deviant won’t fare better.

        Combining arrogance and isolation in an echo chamber has even more consequences now. The consequences are to be faced by the populace, and they’ll like it. Or so says our PMC Consensus.

      2. The Historian

        As a studier of history, I’m completely baffled by Biden’s responses to food shortages and high energy prices. Doesn’t he know what happened in France and Russia? Just how bad will it have to get? If I were a politician, I’m not sure I would risk that.

      3. Glossolalia

        Maybe the Democrats’ polling* is telling them that people are willing to go without food and fuel for the glory of Ukraine?

        * 1,000 people living inside the beltway.

    2. Cobequids

      Yesterday evening in rural Nova Scotia Canada I paid CAD$1.994 per litre, which is CAD$ 7.55 per US gallon, which is US$ 5.81 per US gallon.

      I have never seen the price so high.

      1. Anthony Noel

        Here in Newfoundland on the Avalon peninsula it’s been between CAD 2.10 and 2.17 per litre depending on the gas station. We’ve had 2.00 plus gas before but it’s been a few years since it happened and was only charged for long weekends in the summer when the station owners could get a boost on holiday camping trips. I’ve never seen it maintain at plus 2.00 per litre before.

        Considering we’re an island and most things have to be shipped in, we’re getting murdered. My grocery bill has gone up from about 60 dollars a week to roughly 90. Chicken and pork have jumped from roughly $10.00 a KG to roughly $15.00. Fresh fruit and veg, are very high. 3 bell peppers cost me $6.00 and a bag of apples was close to $9.00. I don’t even want to think about what Labrador or the territories are paying.

        And Musk Rat Falls is going online soon, with the estimated doubling of power rates that’s coming with it.

        1. ambrit

          How big is that bag of apples? We are paying $4.50 USD for three pounds (5.80 CAD for 1.4 kilo,) of MacIntosh from Michigan right now. Plus, doesn’t Quebec grow apples? That’s right next door in a manner.
          I’m scratching my head on this.

          1. Anthony Noel

            Double checked to make sure, but it was a 3lb bag and it was 8.54. Macintosh were sold out, so these are Red and Delicious. No idea where they’re sourced from.

            1. Anthony Noel

              MacIntosh’s if avil. were actually cheaper then what you’re paying. Just under 5.00 CAD for a 3lb bag, but getting a bag is a real luck of the draw kind of thing some weeks. So it may just be that the local stores are pricing higher on something they know they can sell due to stock limitations.

              1. ambrit

                Got you. And the dreaded Red Delicious too. Phyl won’t have them in the house. “Taste like cardboard” is the ‘nicest’ thing she says about Red Delicious apples.
                Second, if you, being very close to the source of the MacIntosh apples are paying that, I hesitate to think what we will be paying for them soon.
                Stay safe.

      2. magpie

        Today, they’re paying $2.329 per litre on Vancouver Island.

        Edmonton is a little better at about $1.69.

        Either way, most of Canada lacks reliable and efficient public transit, so ordinary people have no choice but to pay these grotesque prices.

      1. ambrit

        Here in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, regular petrol is $3.75 USD to $4.09 USD per gallon today.

        1. Wukchumni

          When a barrel of go-juice went to negative $43 a few years ago, I bought gas @ $1.57 and would have gladly purchased a few thousand gallons at that price, but where would I put them all?

          $6.09 per gallon for 87 octane in tiny town.

          1. ambrit

            Plus, gasoline has a definite “shelf life.” I have put ‘STA-BIL’ in gas for storage before.

  2. digi_owl

    Turning office buildings into apartments go me thinking of that cyberpunk trope, the corporate arcology.

    Basically a all in one building housing offices, apartments, and the various services needed to sustain life and productive work.

    Funny thing is that the one place i hear such buildings were actually attempted (or close enough) are in Russia, built during the Soviet era. Massive buildings with apartments, kindergartens, shops, and services like laundromats.

      1. jsn

        It depends on the economic conditions that come with it.

        Morris and Ruskin were trying to end industrialism where it encroached on the human built environment, but were no match for Classical Liberalism’s universalizing tendency.

        The problem for office space conversion is tax base conversion: turning it all residential will kill city budgets, and most of the buildings will remain over-scaled, soul-less products of commerce. If you solved the tax base problem, with the right economics normal people could make them habitable but only with institutional support because of the infrastructure issues.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        More like the Apartment blocks in Mega City 1 from Judge Dredd…

        1. ambrit

          The apartment cubes running up Miami Beach, north to Fort Lauderdale is more like it. Give it a few more years and these will be great fishing “structures.” Turchin paved the way for “brutalism” in apartment design. He made a fortune off of it. All those Art Deco hotels on the Beach were torn down and replaced with literal concrete cubes.
          Here’s hoping he’s “toasting his wienie” down in H—. Just imagine “Infernal S’mores.” The Demonic class does have a sense of humour.

    1. GramSci

      Wikipedia: “Arcology, a portmanteau of “architecture” and “ecology”, is a field of creating architectural design principles for very densely populated and ecologically low-impact human habitats.”

      Gets me thinking of “company town” or “plantation”.

      1. AndrewJ

        Or an update over the live-work structures humans have lived in for tens of millennia.

        The most inspirational I’ve seen with my own eyes is Arcosanti in Arizona. I’m not sure concrete used to that degree can ever be sustainable, but the dreams Arcosanti embodies feel like a future worth exploring.

        1. ambrit

          In days gone by, in the Arctic regions of Europe, farmers lived upstairs above the barns for their cattle. Often, both were built into the sides of hills for thermal heat storage.
          Bloody H— skippy, I just came across a YouTube video of a song from the “Hillsong Conference.” If Scotty from Marketing is associated with this lot, he must be a real nutter.

          1. The Rev Kev

            He is and he is. There are images of him at one of their services with one arm raised. You may see that often in the US but for Aussie politics, that is like having an American President that rolls out a Muslim prayer mat in the White House.

            1. ambrit

              Considering the antics and ‘rumours’ generated during the 2008 campaign, about a certain Builder of Pyramids in Chicago, your analogy is very close to the mark.
              (Politifact says the “Sworn in on a Quran” rumours are just political propaganda. That the ‘claim’ gathered as much support as it did says much about the American electorate.)

          2. Skippy

            Its the for profit Jebus MBA mentor mystical sect of the Protestant Movement ambrit. Recently during a public speaking event he actually responded to a lady with a special needs kid, after her bringing it up, that he was ***blessed*** with health kids …. rim shot … The Aristocrats – !!!!!

            Looks like he’s gone now but the LNP has a few more breathers of various ilk plotting away at ringing in the glorious future for – us – all so they can be rewarded[tm] …

            1. ambrit

              When I remember that Dick Nixon was a Quaker, it all makes a perverse sense.
              Good luck with the ouster this weekend.
              Who would have suspected that “The Aristocrats” was not, strictly speaking, a joke?
              Stay safe.

      1. Terry Humphrey

        Thank you Jerri-Lynn, now that I’m aware of such an interesting building I won’t forget it.

      2. Dave in Austin

        Lovely buildings which also have the distiction of being the first highrise residential building to be shelled putting while down a worker. revolt, 1927 I think.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “Sanders: Manchin and Sinema ‘Sabotaged’ Biden Agenda Because They Lack ‘Guts’ ” article at-

    i.e. I support the current thing and am against the current crop of villains. ALL the Democrats lined up to support $40 billion to the Ukraine without a vestige of oversight, including all the so-called progressives but if it was something for America, then they just can’t seem to get the numbers together because reasons.

    1. Polar Socialist

      I’m old enough to remember when democracy was defined as making political trade-offs between groups and we hated all that “shady” dealing and “you scratch my back, I scratch yours” mentality.

      You never appreciate what you have until the neoliberals take it away.

      1. hunkerdown

        That definition, too, was disinformation. Puritan culture is strongly commercial, authoritarian, and avoidant. So no surprise that a civil war reenactment is the basis of their electoral process.

        For some reason, perhaps Upton Sinclair’s, the possibility that competition is a pathological decision-making principle always escapes the moral entrepreneur.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    The marketing of war. It is remarkable how social media have gone gunning for war and have found one.

    Kush Orchestra wins Eurovision. Fatto Quotidiano reports today that at the same time, Zelensky outlawed eleven more opposition parties and that Medvedchuk is still in jail.

    It was rather disconcerting to see photos (published yesterday and today in the Italian press) of Kush Orchestra shouting to the audience to free the soldiers trapped in Azovstal. We truly have reached the Nazi-lite stage, haven’t we? (Fatto Quotidiano maintains that the group violated a no-politics rule.)

    And Kush and Zelensky are promising that next year’s concert/competition (which the winner gets to host) will be in Mariupol.

    Compared to these crazies, Leni Riefenstahl was a great artist. And maybe she was.

    What is worth noting and monitoring is how softened-up and mindless the audience is for such antics–the kitsch of the banality of evil. If you believe Zelensky, you are in the realm of Mrs. Olson:

    “It’s the richest kind, and let’s have some limited nuclear strikes with the limpa.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      On the news tonight, they showed people celebrating in the city that they came from and at one stage, they showed this public place which had two large flags at only a low height. One was the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag. The other was black and red. (Picard facepalm)

    2. Polar Socialist

      There was a picture of a FAB-250 bomb attached to a Russian fighter bomber with a text: “Kalusha, as you asked! Help for Mariupol”. At least some of the Russians were watching the show.

      At the moment it looks like in a few weeks nobody will remember Mariupol, since there will be more and more Ukrainian heroes trapped in Severodonetsk, Lysitsanks, Slavyansk and other urban centers and industrial areas in the western Donbass.

      1. The Rev Kev

        As I read your comment, the TV news is playing next to me and all the talk is of how Russia is losing. Russia has suffered a strategic defeat. Russia is diplomatically isolated. The Ukraine will win this war and beat Russia. Russia has torture chambers. The UK says Russia has lost a third of its army. Western weapons have turned the tide. It can mess you up listening to all this and knowing what is coming in the next coupla weeks. I can only guess how the media will be spinning this then. Probably it will accuse us in the west of not doing enough and it is all our fault or something.

        1. Polar Socialist

          There were some rumors earlier, but just now Russian MoD confirmed that the wounded Ukrainians in Azovstal are surrendering today trough negotiated humanitarian corridor.

          First batch of 51 is apparently being carrier out trough the wreckage right now.

          I wonder how many combat capable there will be left?

          1. The Rev Kev

            I suppose that the calculation is that as those fighters are wounded, they cannot fight and are just extra mouths to feed. Just found a link-


            I’m sure that the Russians will be checking the identities of the wounded to see if any are on their arrest lists. To see if there are any US/UK guys there, perhaps the Russians could wait til the wounded are together and shout “Free beer!” and see with prisoners look up.

            1. Darthbobber

              It appears that this humanitarin corridor goes only to the DPR. so there’s no grat urgency in the checking.

              1. Polar Socialist

                Well, the humanitarian corridor takes them out of the rubble and onto a bridge, where they surrender and are then taken to a POW hospital in Novoazovsk close to Russian border.

                There are now unverified rumors (redundant, I know) that some of the non-wounded are willing to surrender, too. Maybe carrying your comrades from a dark, desperate and dusty deathtrap to a sunny open space with nurses, doctors and whatnot while nobody is trying to kill you plays weird tricks on your mind…

          2. Polar Socialist

            A minor update about the situation in Azovstal: the first batch was 51 Ukrainians, of which 31 were not wounded and 20 were seriously wounded.

            At the moment 300 Ukrainians have left the factory, of those only 50 have been wounded and taken to hospital, 250 are being transferred to a POW camp in Elenivka.

            It may be that Azovstal is in the process of surrendering.

            1. Polar Socialist

              It really looks at the moment that Azovstal is surrendering. That’s the mood on Donbass Telegram channels now.

              There’s supposed to be 2227 Ukrainians left in the cellars, busses and ambulances are now transporting them batch by batch away from Mariupol.

              The commander of Azov battalion, Denys Prokopenko has said: “The defenders of Mariupol carried out their orders despite all the difficulties, pulling back the enemy’s superior forces for 82 days and allowing the Ukrainian army to regroup, train more personnel and receive large quantities of weapons from partner countries.

              In order to save lives, the entire Mariupol garrison is complying with the approved decision of the military high command and is counting on the support of the Ukrainian people.”

              1. tegnost

                funny, I just checked the seattle paper and it (the story) updated at 2:30 pacific time, so about ten minutes after your comment posted,all it said was russia suffering setbacks, one of which was sweden getting closer to nato, so that’s not really a military setback, and congrats from the z man to the squad that allegedly made it to the russian border…zip about azovstal…that news is presently stuck in the spin zone

              2. Soredemos

                It’s funny how they’re trying to spin this as having kept Russian troops pinned down, when doing that to Ukrainians has been a major part of the Russian strategy from the start. Anyway, most of the Russian, Chechen, and militia troops left the Mariupol fight weeks ago. All the Azovstal Nazis were doing was keeping however many troops were needed to watch all the exits busy.

        2. jr

          YouTube is crawling with news videos and private content all exclaiming that Russia has lost the war at least four or five times over. Russia is always abandoning it’s positions and is on the run. A particularly bizarre video revealed how Russian bunkers are chaotic and filthy, a seeming attack on Russian house cleaning standards.

          One former US Army tank commander turned omni prescient global military strategist, pontificating from the safety and comfort of his bedroom, runs a series with titles like “Why is Russia losing so many tanks!?” and “Why is Russia losing so many helicopters?!” Apparently the Ukrainians have suffered no such losses. His demeanor is smug and uber-confident.

          It’s war porn. People are looking for their wishes to be fulfilled and hucksters are happy to provide. It’s pathetic and dangerous to boot.

          1. digi_owl

            Speaking of war porn, i seem to recall reading that early in the American Civil War people would picnic near major battles to spectate the fighting. That quickly ended when they learned first hand how devastating the new rifles and cannons were.

            1. JBird4049

              Yes, they did at First Bull Run or Manassas, which was the first major battle of the war. After that they didn’t. Reading about the retreat of the combined mob of soldiers and civilians in the “Great Skedaddle” is fun. So are the descriptions of the civilians going to the battlefield in their best clothing and setting up their picnics.

              1. LifelongLib

                IIRC in the Civil War podcast that Lambert recommended, there’s an account by a woman who as a little girl was one day intrigued by people running around and loud noises from a field near her house. She decided to go look. After a bullet hit a branch near her head and somebody started yelling at her to get out of there, going home seemed like a better idea. Turns our she lived near a place called Gettysburg.

                1. Yves Smith

                  No, Russians and Donbass militias not allowed to carry cell phones. Using them tells Ukraine where to shoot. That is why any story that claims to be based on overheard Russian calls are obvious fabrications.

                  1. ambrit

                    You have just reinforced our decision to not carry the phone around with us away from the house. (If the State Organs of Security don’t know where we live by now, they are hopeless.)

          2. SocalJimObjects

            I’ve said this before, but a whole LOT of people are being prepped as sacrificial lambs a.k.a cannon fodders for the real confrontation between the Bear + Dragon vs Uncle Sam in the future. Bet big on “thoughts and prayers”.

        3. Susan the other

          There has been such a rush of propaganda about Putin’s health and the Russian retreat from Kharkiv that it really seems like it is intended to distract us from following the evacuations from Mariupol. Especially when you consider that the last thing NATO needs is to be caught red-handed helping the UA invade Russian territory. It could be an excellent move by the Russian army to let the Ukies think they are pushing the Russians back when in fact all the Ukies are doing is encircling themselves at the Russian border. Fish in a barrel.

          1. Oisin

            If they just regroup at the ukraine border they will have them! It’s not propaganda to say the Russian have retreated from Kharkiv. The long-talked-about wide encircling of Ukrainian troops in the dombass seems a distant memory. A slow grind for another 2 months should see an end to this phase. Logistics are going to bog down both sides. Only losers in this war with the notable exception of weapons manufacturers.

            1. Yves Smith

              This is ridiculous. Russia pulled a small number of troops back from a few unimportant small towns to redeploy troops further. This is the same story line as for their troops around Kiev before, on a vastly more trivial scale, a Russian redeployment depicted as a retreat because the Ukraine is desperate for anything they can spin as a positive story.

              In Donbass, the Ukraine side is losing a battalion of men a day in Donbass, to death, capture, surrender, and injuries. These are the best Ukraine troops.

              The reason you aren’t hearing about Donbass is the Western press has nothing good to say about what is happening there.

              1. IsabelPS

                Well the less bad outcome of this mess I can think of is that the Russians get Donbass and retreat from the rest of Ukraine.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  I don’t think that will happen. For starters, in the early March the Russians made it clear to the Ukrainian negotiators that the terms will get harsher the longer this thing goes on, but mainly because the whole Kherson oblast and parts of Zaporizzya have already converted to rubles and Russian banking and mobile networks. Russia is paying the pensions and administration salaries there.
                  The administration of Kherson oblast has stated their intention to ask to be a federated part of Russian Federation. They think that a referendum is not necessary, since the Crimea proved West doesn’t care about such things as “the will of the people”.

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    I hadn’t thought about that but what you say is quite true. The west recognized Kosovo, which was done illegally according to international law, but refused to recognize Crimea which was done legally. So it looks like the Russians are going to say ‘Stuff it – we’re doing it. They are our people and guess what? Russian Lives Matter.’

      2. digi_owl

        On that note, i recently saw an image of an Ukrainian artillery shell with the note “to Putin with love”. Apparently some enterprising artillerymen has started selling such notes on social media.

    3. Louis Fyne

      easy to cheer on war when your arse is safeon a couch and not on the receiving end of 50kg artillery shells for days on end.

      everything wrong in the world is due to Putin , don’t blame the West’s leaders of course

      1. Digital Echo

        Yes exactly. I wish all the keyboard warriors baying for blood and saying Russia/Putin need to be destroyed yadda yadda would put their money where their mouth is and go sign up to fight in Ukraine and leave the rest of us out of their apocalyptic fantasies. And they can take all the chicken hawk politicians and think tankers with them.

    4. digi_owl

      Speaking of Eurovision, apparently one nation claims there were some errors as points were tallied.

      The whole situation right now is looking for and more like mass hysteria, akin to a witch hunt or dance mania.

      I do wonder how long Putin et al can maintain their cool…

      1. DJG, Reality Czar


        Alex Christoforou explains after minute 23:00.

        Romania. He has a number of commenters from Romania, who were not happy. Ukraine: Everything it touches in corrupted, and not just Hunter Biden.

        The beginning of his report is interesting for information on some Brits and Canadians in Azovstal. The wives are on an international tour to get them released: This war truly should end up as a case study in marketing. Selling a war with weepy videos, world tours, slogans, and snark. It’s just like detergent, you see, and Nancy Pelosi can quote the chapter in the Gospel of Mathew in which Matthew mentions his plans for detergent.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The dogs are barking but the caravan is still moving on. Just seen that they are restoring electricity in Mariupol so that buildings have lights on again. Meanwhile, the Russian Marines have captured the southern Azovstal complex and are tightening the noose.

        2. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you.

          St Matthew? I thought she was quoting John Kasich. He often says that.

        3. Old Sovietologist

          Having seen the pictures of the Azov wives. What struck me is how cool they are. How photogenic. It’s as if they were playing role for a new Netflix series – “The Grieving Wives Of Azov”.

          1. hunkerdown

            Regrettably, yes. But it is, you know, a sacrifice required for the future of the human race. I hasten to add that since each man will be required to do prodigious… service along these lines, the women will have to be selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature.”

            1. JBird4049

              I have wondered a few times if Dr. Strangelove was prediction and not satire, but more recently I also wondered if it could be made today. I doubt it. Then again, it might not be satire.

              1. BeliTsari

                Dr Strangelove was a COOK book, an instruction manual. Without it, there’d BE no 60s; like the Dollars films? Or, Harry Palmer… I’m trying to decide on how they’ll do Billion Dollar Brain without Ken Russell. We recently saw Fail Safe and expressed DREAD, that Netflix might do a version wehere it’s all an elaborate plot for Jack to kill his wife, in NYC, del Toro to direct? Dom Deluise, explaining how to spoof target proximity with radar guided SAMs was even better than sexy Walter Matthau being raped? God, do I miss Stirling, Peter and Louis Burton Lindley!

      2. Darthbobber

        The people running the show admitted applying some undefined secret sauce to the juror’s resuts from about half a dozen countries, including Romania and Poland, because of perceived equally unspecified irregularities in the juror’s voting. The process is completely opaque, and the explanation boils down to “we didn’t like these results for reasons we couldn’t be troubled to explain, so we altered them in a manner we aren’t revealing.”

      3. ChrisPacific

        My wife (who follows Eurovision) played me the winning song. I think we were both equally mystified. Usually while the winner is subjective, there are a clear short list of songs that are particularly well-crafted, original, catchy or well-performed and that obviously deserve to be finalists. Sometimes there is even a clear and obvious winner. This year’s winner just wasn’t in that category. It was about as generic as it comes.

    5. hunkerdown

      Ukrovision: Ein bisschen Frieren

      Some German people decided to get on Zoom and hold an alternative Nuovision Song Contest simultaneously with the Eurovision Song Contest. The winner is a catchy little number by Corona Bavaria, Frieren für den Frieden (“Freezing for Peace”) which sounds more defensibly European in genre than whatever over-produced siren wail is the ESC’s holy grail.

    6. Dave in Austin

      Am I the only person thinking next year’s event should be held in Level 7 of the underground Avostal Auditorium?

  5. jsn

    So, coming off McDonalds in Russia, in Sports Desk I read, “Has the Designated Hitler Been Good for Baseball?”.

      1. Bugs

        Interleague play. Wildcard games. Extending the season. OK, all awful on their own, but I’ll never forgive him for moving the Brewers to the NL. Never. And they put up a “Selig Monument” by the ballpark – he’s still alive for the love of Pete. What a world, heh?

        1. Wukchumni

          Hwy 99 from Tulare to north of Fresno is named the Pearl Harbor Survivors Memorial Highway, which I always thought was a bit queer.

          And yes, Bud really helped tarnish the national pastime, with perhaps his biggest accomplishment being the incredibly aging of the fan base.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          The Pilots came into the AL along with my Royals, who owe their existence to Stu Symington’s threat to take away their antitrust exemption if KC didn’t get a team to replace Finley’s A’s.

          But Milwaukee was first an NL city when Boston’s second-fiddle team moved to Wisconsin. They had some great teams when they were in the Midwest, and some great players starting with Hank Aaron. Then there was the starting pitching rotation of “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain.”

          1. Leroy R

            Great soporific — nothing better than drifting off to a late night west coast game back here in the east. Best with sound off, music on.

  6. Chris

    Can we just stop with Glenn Greenwald already?
    He’s being sponsored and platformed to create what Noam Chomsky would call Flak, and then laundering it to the left and the right.
    Honestly, this guy’s filled with bad takes these days, let alone his latest that “Social media is a pressure release valve for fascists” akin to porn appeasing rapists.
    His endless contrarianism and hypocrisy is just for the cheap clicks.

    1. Yves Smith

      You have no business policing our content. We provide a minimum of 55 links a day. Readers are expected to be adults and skip over ones that do not appeal to them.

      We warned readers at the top of Links about no value added comments. You’ve lost your comment privileges thanks to your whining. Any future comments of this nature will not be approved, or if they somehow get through and the mods find them later, will be ripped out.

  7. jonboinAR

    re: architecture of Slovenian city, Ljubljana: The video of that city, reconstructed in 1890’s (?) is stunning. It’s beautiful and inspiring. Made my day. I wouldn’t have guessed that such eye-pleasing work had been done so late in history. Whoever it was who came up with modern architecture should have been made to live in a plastic dog kennel for the rest of their life.

      1. jsn

        Sullivan, Wright, McIntosh, Behrens, Haring, and Wagner were all excellent transitional architects trying to integrate the industrial manufacture of building parts to be assembled at a new industrial scale into familiar patterns of humane living.

        Plecnik, who became City Architect for Ljubljana, was trained by Wagner who designed the nicest subway system in the world for Vienna.

        Then industry discovered Bernays and out popped Le Corbusier who could justify eliminating everything about scale, texture, material and intimacy that had made great architecture great for centuries because it made “architecture” cheaper allowing industry to get more for less. Mammon’s been rebuilding the human habitat ever since.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          I’ve been in a lot of Wright’s buildings in Chicago and Spring Green. They do seem so integrated with their natural surroundings, in part because Wright liked to use local stone and brick. Fallingwater, which I have yet to see, is an even more radical example of this than Taliesin.

    1. anon y'mouse

      it’s not modern arch, it’s corporate arch.

      what litters the landscape? box stores and fast food joints and tilt up business shacks.

      what are people living in? poorly designed temporary structures, now full of plastic.

      if the rest of what we had around us was worth looking at. the modernist office buildings downtown wouldn’t sting so much.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Ljubljana is a beautiful city and looks like it was made for people to live in. It resembles some cities that I have seen in Germany. And all modern architects can come up with is Brutalism. Took a look for mention of the earthquake that led to all this happening and found the following. I can’t recall seeing walls being propped up after earthquakes in modern times-

      And thanks for that Twitter link, Louis Fyne. I have already bookmarked it.

            1. Copeland

              In my humble opinion (your mileage may vary) the living bits save it…barely, and it would be a disaster without them.

            1. jonboinAR

              As far as I’m concerned, he can take that giant concrete cylinder (British Museum at Yale) and sit on it. I just don’t get it. With its form-marks showing and everything, it takes up a good part of the room, Not what I would have focused on, given a choice.

            1. jsn

              Of course, habitats for plutocrats is a crass but delightful diversion from the responsible practice of architecture.

      1. playon

        For those who haven’t read it, Tom Wolfe’s book “From Bauhaus to Our House” eviscerates modern architecture and is also very funny.

    3. MrQuotidian

      Just a friendly suggestion when talking about architecture, art or literature.. “modern” is a very tricky term since it broadly refers to a historical period that encompasses many styles and philosophies, some of which are entirely contradictory… so “modern” can include everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Guggenheim (and much more). It includes many excellent works and many awful ones.

      By contrast, people like Frank Gehry or Zaha Hadid is are examples of post-modernism.. it all gets confusing because few actually ascribe to any of these labels even if you could properly define them. And much contemporary work is superficially similar to high-modernism, though it often has a very different philosophy. Much historical “modern” architecture, however misguided in hindsight, was intended to be utopian/socialist, while contemporary work is almost entirely capitalist.

      Anyhow I think using the term “contemporary” is better than modern because it doesn’t carry the same baggage. Contemporary covers all the horrible trash filling out cities and towns whether it’s neo classical, neo modernist, box stores, or neo googie. And just to put my cards on the table, I am a pluralist – I want a bit of everything, as long as humanism is the central to the design.

      1. digi_owl

        I wonder if one can translate “modern” to “attempted awe-inspiring”, while “post-modern” could be “starkly utilitarian”.

        And this the return to “modern-ish” architecture is basically about flaunting the wealth and power of the capital class. And current day version of those cathedrals of old, that were financed by mercantile money. Only that at least those cathedrals had a “useful” function.

        1. jsn

          Good architecture is always about making successful habitat for people, a uniquely social species. To me the salient divide in architectural history has been pre-industrial to industrial, when the scale at which things became possible shifted from human scale to that of machines.

          Like classical music, architecture is deeply socially embedded, requiring vast socio-economic prerequisites to be possible, but unlike classical music, the bad building sits around for a long time making the practice of architecture in the industrial age, by and large, a negative.

          As a practicing architect it’s really challenging to find space for humanity in programs and budgets developed for commercial reasons with the human contents imagined by those who commission the buildings as economic throughputs.

      2. Basil Pesto

        And just to put my cards on the table, I am a pluralist – I want a bit of everything, as long as humanism is the central to the design.

        Cheers to that, and to you for your patient post.

      3. LifelongLib

        I know jack about architecture, but I wonder if the massive rebuilding needed in Europe and Japan after WW2 put things on a track they might not otherwise have taken. It’s not the sort of event that “normal” development would anticipate…

        1. chris

          It’s a fair question. In the US we have examples of San Francisco and Chicago to look towards. Massive changes after massive calamities.

          I have a personal pipe dream that we might relocate the nation’s capitol to somewhere like Nebraska for similar reasons. All the building and infrastructure spurring new growth and ideas. Putting the nation’s center at the center of the nation. Putting enough land around the Capitol so that commuting and mass transit would be easier options and it wouldn’t be an awful time getting apartments or houses. It’s naive. But still, I’d like to think we could consider it.

        2. JBird4049

          The destruction of both world wars did create movements like Bauhaus, but while the interwar period aimed at both simplifying and maintaining some beauty or elegance, postwar architecture from International to Brutalism either sterilized or reduced to bunkers while also
          stripping away the both human scale and humanity from the buildings; I don’t particularly like Bauhaus architecture, but there is a connection to humanity, that remains to the buildings along with the focus on functionality.

          Even if they could only use concrete and cement as the main building material, one of the greatest advantages of the stuff is it flexibility of form. It’s liquid glop that can shaped anyway you want it. It can be colored. Surface designs, art could be imposed on the surface. Heck, you could create forests or gardens in, on, and around the buildings with the right design.

          Nope, it’s all leaning towards Le Corbusier’s over large, stark Brutalist horrors. It like someone wanted to stuff us into some kind of prison. An environment to darken our souls.

      4. Ben Joseph

        Doesn’t calling a style “modern” or “contemporary” violate the don’t- eat -at- a -place- called -mom’s rule?

  8. Wukchumni

    In regards to the latest shootings in Buffalo…

    Just when you get used to good old fashioned mass homicides via hand cannon, a new wrinkle appears in that 11 out of the 13 on the receiving end were black.

    Will this be a catalyst for more ownership of guns by black citizens in our country?

    1. super extra

      It has already been rising among most minorities for some time. Recall the march near Atlanta during the long hot summer of 2020 where several thousand black gun owners marched with their kit in response to threats of provocations by white supremacists (I seem to recall specific taunts from the marchers for any boog boys present to make themselves known).

      I think the best way to shut this down is to make internet publishers/online social media liable for the content they post (not sure that is the real scope of that favorite conservative bugbear of repealing section 230). The shooters work themselves up into these acts for the perceived audience in those online communities. I suspect a lot of very unsavory recruiting by and into state agencies for untraceable horror acts are also coordinated there in that same environment. These communities have no real profitable business outside of quasi-legal tip/donation or basic user membership. For the streaming-based companies, not just forums, they also have a grossly oversized ecological footprint from the data center cost of all that live video transcoding and streaming. The streamers may have a slightly more compelling business situation given their ample VC funding but they should be held liable for what they post. That would mean human filtering/approval of live content and active moderation based on rules like ‘not taking this down means tens of thousands of dollars a second this company is liable to pay for non-compliance’.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      The CNN/MSNBC spin seems directed more at “disinformation” than gun control. And the explosion in the number of multiple shootings over the past few weeks, from Sacramento to Milwaukee, most of which had nothing to do with “replacement theory,” are not mentioned.

      We have a society coming apart at the seams. The elites believe that more censorship will solve the problem while they do nothing to address the core problems in an environment capable of creating such hate in an 18 year-old.

      1. hunkerdown

        I’ve heard that the shooter was an Azov fellow-traveler. With no regard to the truth value of that claim, it would explain the mainstream (who is heavily invested in the Azov project) trying to get out in front of it with spin.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          We’ll hear from those intelligence experts before that information would ever come out–like Hunter’s laptop.

    3. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, W.

      The shooter’s links, just like that of the Canterbury mosque mass killer’s, with Ukrainian nazis are overlooked.

      A fortnight ago, a reader mentioned the blow back from the far right’s links with Ukraine and the arms being poured there.

    4. Aumua

      Will this be a catalyst for more ownership of guns by black citizens in our country?

      Maybe, but if you got a handgun and you find yourself in that situation you probably better run. Cause your pistol isn’t going to be a match for body armor and an AR.

      1. JBird4049

        True, but IIRC most shootings are done with handguns and most shooters are not wearing serious body armor.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I sometimes listen ( without talking) on the rare occasions when some of my Black co-workers discuss aspects of their modest personal arsenals with eachother. I am no expert, but it sounds like they are rather beyond the ” mere handgun” level.

  9. JTMcPhee

    Bertrand Russell was a notoriously perspicacious and intelligent guy. I ran across this video snippet of him offering advice to future generations based on his own study of humanity over a long life:

    Not that words of a dead toff from the declining British Empire’s ruling class deserves any significant notice…

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, JT.

      Russell’s family has been part of the ruling class since Henry VIII rewarded them with former monastic estates, including Bloomsbury and Covent Garden in central London and estates they still own. His ancestor Earl Russell (Lord John Russell) was PM during the Irish famine. Russell was well placed to comment.

    2. Zephyrum

      What a perfect message for our time. Thank you. If only people who need to hear it would actually listen.

      1. LifelongLib

        Freedom very often means having to listen to a lot of stuff you’d rather not hear, and putting up with a lot of stuff you wish would just go away. Not an easy thing for anyone.

  10. The Rev Kev

    ‘Experts continue warning that disinformation in Spanish will intensify in Florida ahead of the Nov. elex. Latinos are more exposed to false information than the general U.S. population. They use social media & other digital platforms at higher rates & over 60% are bilingual.’

    When I was listening to NBC’s Carmen Sesin talk about hearing conspiracy theories on election day among the Latino community, things that she said ‘were just false’, I wondered if one of those conspiracy theories she heard concerned the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop. The one which America’s spies labelled as “Russian misinformation.” That is until the election was over.

    1. Questa Nota

      NBC can’t be Lügenpresse, since everyone else was doing it, right?

      In terms of Newspeak, how about an update? There could be some term to describe a 72 hour news cycle. That could show how many manipulation periods over some span, see.

      A Hillary, a Colon Powell, a Push More Crap, aka PMC, a DC-3, add your own.

    2. ambrit

      Hah! They should have read some of the old “Alpha 66” leaflets common around Miami back in the bad old days.

  11. Henry Moon Pie

    Is the antidote a grouse gazing into the fog?

    One of my assigned tasks as a young associate in a Santa Fe law firm was to spot grouse on the firm’s annual hunting trip around Chama. I did spot one, but the partner with a gun missed it.

    1. Wukchumni

      Heard, but did not see Blue Grouse in the Atwell Grove of Giant Sequoias on Saturday, it sounds as if somebody was blowing on the edge of a glass bottle repeatedly.

    2. Bart Hansen

      As a ‘beater’ you were lucky not to end up like the one shot in ‘Gosford Park’

  12. Failed Intellectual (Emeritus)

    Re: ‘Food shortages could force ‘a third’ of fish and chips shops to close’: Not just a British thing either. A local burger and fish and chips place here in Toronto had no fish for sale at all when I went over last week (in this case, halibut fish and chips). The owner told me he had never seen anything like it, his supplier just had no fish to sell him. This is for a spot that has been in business since 1972, so that tells you something.

    Also, price was now $17.50, up from ~$13 when last I was there in 2019 pre-pandemic.

    1. Nikkikat

      The gray zone has incredible story today. I recommend everyone read it. It’s called Operation surprise. I would link it but I do not know how those things are done. Please take a look.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Rev. Please read my comment below. This has been known for some years.

  13. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, JLS.

    There are no UK / Brexit links today, but readers, especially former UK government official Anonymous 2, with whom I have exchanged comments on Brexit posts and threads, may be interested in This story has been known for some years, but no one in the MSM will dare write about it as to do is, to quote a former colleague, “career threatening”.

    This Anglo-American / Five Eyes cabal has existed for many years and mobilised once Brexit began began to register with the wider British public. The personalities named overlap with the likes of the Henry Jackson Society, Monday Club, Western Goals, Tufton and K Street think tanks and lobbyist groups, some groups going back to the 1960s.

    They are the “we” often referred to by Dominic Cummings, but who the media curiously avoid asking about.

    Followers of Russiagate* and LI(e)BOR** will also recognise the name Dearlove**. Dearlove, former MI6 official and master of a Cambridge college, and the Salisbury mentioned, in reality Robert Cecil, Marquess of Salisbury and former Tory minister and descendant of ministers going back to Elizabeth I, form part of that permanent British state that no amount of reforms and elections can get rid of.

    *As with the Steele dossier, the string pullers get their MSM useful idiots to point the finger at other parties. For Brexit, “girl power” hacks Catherine Belton and Carole Cadwalladr write about POOT’N organising Brexit and crowdfund their efforts and lifestyles.

    **Dearlove’s son, Mark, a senior banker at Barclays, chaired the LIBOR oversight committee in the UK when the manipulation was at its worst. When colleagues and I proposed the reforms, since adopted, to the loan market, we were told by Dearlove fils that the banks paid our salary and to mind our own business or else. Dearlove was quietly promoted from London to head investment banking in Asia and has never been questioned by the authorities. No regulator dares do so.

    If I have time, I will write more.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      One of my last comments before being banned from commenting at the Guardian was that, if the public learnt how the UK worked, Corbyn would be made president for life.

      1. Mikel

        “banned from commenting at the Guardian”

        I’m going to toast to you this eve. That means you laid them out….

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Readers should note that the names mentioned are from the neo con, not neo liberal, wing of Brexiteers. There’s some overlap, but there’s quite a difference.

      The neo con wing, a few of whom I know, are not keen on bank deregulation as they feel it puts the west at risk.

    3. Old Sovietologist

      Many thanks Colonel.

      Oh, and I hope you do write more. I love your insights.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you.

        There are Brexit sympathisers and hard core neo cons, not so much neo liberals, in the civil service, buy this sort of collusion is somewhat disconcerting.

        The last time there was a leak was due to some former lovers falling out. One wonders what provoked this one, especially at this level.

    4. Colonel Smithers

      Readers may be aware of Richard and Pete North’s Eureferendum and Turbulent Times blogs. The father and son are long standing Brexiteers and interested in institutional reform. They were played by the likes of Dearlove and his main associate, the former head of the armed forces, Field Marshal Lord Guthrie.

      Farage is a loudmouth and, going back to the 1990s, a sock puppet for Murdoch. He’s no more than a front man, as is Gove.

    5. Mikel

      “reclusive pro-Brexit financiers spied on campaign groups”

      And I’ll toast to myself because I saw that from across the pond. The City of London exists to be outside of government regulation. They never liked all those plans the EU had for regulating markets.

      Then, just like over here, they point the finger at a disgruntled working class – as if politicians EVER cared about the mass opinion of the working class. People who don’t have the money to prop up these scoundrels political careers.

    6. The Rev Kev

      Thank you Colonel. From this and other comments that you have made over the years, have made me wonder. If you could come up with a roster of the mercs that hit the beach in 1066 and a roster of the people that hold real power behind the scenes now in the UK, how many of them could you find direct links between. I suppose Burke’s Peerage could help here but it would be an interesting project.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev.

        That’s not a difficult exercise.

        I have heard that a British doctoral student at Harvard is mapping the Tories and covid related scandals, but I would and can cast the net / spider’s web much further.

      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev.

        Later this year, I may draft a post.

        Like the number of people claiming Irish (and even native) origins in the US, the number of people claiming to be descendants of William’s “companions” far exceeds the true number, which is recorded in three different archives in the UK and France. The royal family (as descendants of the Stuarts) and their Fitzalan Howard Duke of Norfolk (et al) cousins and the Grosvenor Dukes of Westminster are the obvious.

        Breton mercenary Alain had two sons. One is the ancestor of the Howards and were given land in Shropshire (Clun), Norfolk (Framlingham), Surrey (Deepdene) and Sussex (Arundel). The other son continued north, with his descendants becoming Great Stewards of Scotland and their surname being adapted from their hereditary job, and given land at Lennox. The descendants of Hugues le gros veneur (fat hunter and given land in Cheshire, Eaton) adopted the surname Grosvenor from the mercenary’s nickname.

        I have one for Yves, about the British connections and social season lifestyles that many wealthy families and wannabes from outside the UK aspire to and how this can be detrimental to their firms and even policy making when running the show / country, in my drafts.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thank you, Colonel. In reading your comments about some of the background of these power players, I was struck at the continuity of some of these families. And I remembered reading how when some of when Cromwell’s officers were rebelling once at the end of the Civil War, that they were noting that Generalissimo William (the Conqueror) became the King of England, his Generals became the Dukes, his Majors became Barons and his Soldiers became Knights so why not them. So putting that together, I began to wonder how many of these powerful/influential families could trace their lineage back to 1066.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Rev.

            With regard to Cromwell, his cousin John Hampden was a Buckinghamshire* landowner and MP. After the death of Oliver Cromwell in 1658, the Hampdens switched allegiance from Richard Cromwell and supported the return of Charles II. The Hampdens retained their Buckinghamshire estate, still owned by their Hobart-Hampden descendants, and were made Earls of Buckinghamshire.

            Across the border in Henley, Oxfordshire, the Stonor family, recusants, have owned their beautiful estate since Norman times.

            The cousins of the Washington family still own estates in the Midlands. They are not Norman, but made their money in wool in the middle ages.

            *My home county.

    7. ArvidMartensen

      We live in a manufactured reality where nothing in the media can be believed. Reality is crafted and honed and twisted to serve vested interests.
      I imagine that this was/is just one operation, maybe the main one, going on around Brexit. The money stakes are enormous. Other spies, other plots, other oligarchs who will never be mentioned or found out. Who was influencing these plotters? Layers upon layers of deception. The more senior, the more invisible.
      Who is pushing the privatisation of the NHS? The maPHia? The Make America Gates Again?
      Why leaks now? Who is behind the leaks? What is their purpose? Nothing gets out that isnt sanctioned by some authority. Or they end up in Belmarsh.
      Do the EU countries have any secret service that isn’t compromised by the CIA? Or is it all just the US, throwing crumbs to the servile Brits?
      Corbyn was despatched fairly easily. How could it be otherwise? Starmer is the heir apparent, it was obvious from the day he got the job. He just has to do as he is told and deliver to the right people.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, AM.

        A bit of both, servility and corruption.

        With regard to Starmer, some of his donors and advisers are from (US) big pharma. This was known during the election campaign, but most Labour members are ok with that and voted in Starmer.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you. I was hoping you would spot the link and shout out.

        It’s interesting that the leading and often publicity hungry remainers are not saying anything in public. No one messes with these (types of) Brexiteers. They have been contacted for comment.

  14. Alyosha

    The back and forth on electric cars, or alternative energy in general, really gets to me. There is no, single solution but the American brain seems to be tuned to only silver bullet answers. Yes, there are emissions associated with generation needed to charge the batteries, but centralized emissions are easier to control than decentralized emissions. That said, electric vehicles may not be the best answer for every situation in the short and/or medium term. Then I look at the goal of electrifying OTR trucking and think, “shouldn’t we build rail lines instead? Because short haul electric trucking is far more viable than long-haul electric trucking.”

    If every suitable home and commercial building in America had solar panels, and the national grid was built out with this idea in mind, how much more realistic does renewable large-scale generation become? That’s not going to happen without federal and state intervention, but none of these issues are going to be fixed without direction, funding and mandates from the federal government. Granted, expecting the federal government to design and execute a rational plan with long-term thinking and efficient implementation is a pipe dream.

    1. Gawr Gura

      The political class only tolerates silver bullet answers because they’d never have the stomach for the years, political investment, and career risk necessary for more complicated answers. Also their financial overlords don’t want things to change, so that basically only leaves magical silver bullet answers, because everything else entails a potential loss of profits.

      1. Susan the other

        I tend to agree with you. But at some point the political class realizes that the common good is the only salvation they have. They’ve been delusional for as long as the Earth itself could tolerate them. And now it is literally over. Today’s link to Jacobin’s “The State Organizes the Capitalist Class – The working class will have to organize itself” is also saying that it’s over. But in softened terms. Jacobin is calling for “democratic deliberation”. And I just think the age of “democratic deliberation” (or dithering) is dead. We have operated on an ideology that everyone embraced: For-Profit Capitalism. Nobody calls it that. But it should be. Seeking profit in order to make the economy work is a mirage. It always was, but up until now, the planet has been able to survive all the extractions. It no longer can. So all the democratic deliberations in the world will get us nowhere fast unless we first set some ground rules for our discussion. The first being to admit that for-profit-capitalism is the problem and it must go. Then, having stopped the poison, we can administer the remedy. Which will entail a lot of good thinking and planning, mostly scientific and economical – but none of it “democratic deliberation” unless we want to fail tragically. We need to fire-hose everything off the whole damn deck and start over.

  15. Mikel

    “Shoes made from grapes and mushroom handbags: the rise of animal-free leather” Guardian

    It’s like the people in these companies work in a twighlight zone where nothing is connected.
    They had to search out the advice of an expert when it’s obvious from the beginning of the story that the idiots were about to suggest that even more disposable, non-durable goods are “sustainable”.

    So now they want to go after fruit and vegetable food staples so we can wear them at a time of rising food prices.

    People are already going to be competing with computer chips for fresh water with the internet of things fantasies.

    But in the back of our minds, sometimes creeping to the forefront, and reinforced as the pandemic goes along – the current global neoliberal order ideology will entertain any cut or reduction as long as its not profits being cut or reduced for a series of quarters for the biggest players.

    1. hunkerdown

      Food-based handbags are a declaration of intent, as far as I’m concerned. Yet how many online fora will even allow one to put the words “oligarch leather” together, lest they lead to the help entertaining uncomfortable possibilities?

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Everything is just a play in “the _____ space,” fill in “green” or “climate” or “sustainable.”

      I don’t think the Earth is impressed by human PR.

  16. Mildred Montana

    >Has the Designated Hitter Been Good for Baseball? Tom Glavine vs. G. Scott Thomas. WSJ. Despite being a fan of an AL team – the New York Yankees – I think the DH should be scrapped.

    I agree, Jerri-Lynn! Big baseball fan here (San Francisco Giants since about 1960, the days of Willie Mays and Willie McCovey).

    The DH takes a lot of the strategy out of the game: bunting, stealing, pitcher management, etc. making it less interesting imo. I suppose it’s become standard in both leagues because so many players today seem to be poorly trained in the fundamentals of baseball and can’t bunt successfully.

    I have seen instances where a player who was asked to bunt clearly resented it, made two feeble attempts at the first two pitches and then swung away, failing to advance the runner. If I were the manager of that player I would have been livid. I would have sat him for a couple of games and sent him to remedial bunting school.

      1. Mildred Montana

        I am probably in the minority of baseball fans, but I prefer finesse over brute force, brains over brawn. But then, I also enjoy watching curling, often called chess on ice. ;)

    1. John Beech

      Manager includes bunting practice for everybody (prior life as high school math teacher subsidizing income as assistant coach of the baseball team). Anyway, I’m in the same bucket as those who oppose the DH – it definitely takes away from the game.

      1. Dave in Austin

        I’m dislike the designated hitter rule for the same reason I’m dislike war by drone airstrike; the designated hitter who throws a brushback never has to face one himself and the drone operator… well, you get the idea.

    2. Screwball

      Baseball was my life until I was about 21 and had ruined my pitching arm. I agree with the DH rule, and the lack of skills. I’ve watched the same thing you talk about – can’t bunt. It’s not only that though – the skill of baseball has been lost over the years. Hitting, fielding, strategy, etc.

      The roid era helped ruin the game, but it happened (IMO) due to the strikes and fan losses but the roids helped turn the average player into a home run threat – and home run derby ensued. Who could forget the Sosa vs. McGwire drama that helped get the fans back to the game. I remember the late great Al Kaline on a broadcast say “if you can hit 30 home runs you can leave your glove in the bus.” So true, like the ball that bounced of Jose Canseco’s head for a homer.

      But they keep changing the rules (bigger bases? WTF?), have their strikes and lockouts, while the billionaires fight with the millionaires which do nothing but price the average family out of a trip to a game. Can’t afford the peanuts and cracker jacks either.

      After this last debacle, I turned them off for good. Strike 3 and your out you might say. It is no longer a game but a giant $hit show. Good riddance. I still have my memories which will have to be good enough.

      1. Josef K

        Ha, Screwball, same here, but I ruined my arm by 16. No good coaching back then. I threw serious smoke and had numerous 0-run wins. I also threw an old-school screwball which probably hastened the end of my arm. I was then put in the outfield since I could still manage a few hard throws per game.

        I was a poor batter, and my reasoning for pitchers being poor batters was that pitchers know that at any time, you can lose control and throw a wild pitch and maybe bean the batter. We have that inside knowledge, a conscience that could make cowards of us all.

        So yes, absolutely, get rid of the DH. Having it in one league only is in itself ridiculous. Let the pitchers bat!

    3. CaliDan

      I must offer a rebuttal to everyone’s feelings about the general decilne of baseball as y’all see it.

      First, it is a modern miracle that baseball players (or anyone) can strike at all. Hopefully the fans can understand and withstand occasional dispruptions (as cringeworthy as the amount of $$$ may be). I would also like to remind readers that the last MLB strike was in 1994-95 and that this year’s owner lockout did not cancel any games. In fact, of the five ever owner lockouts, only the lockout of 1990 postponed opening day by…one day.

      Then there’s bunting. I need to admit here that I am a fascinated by today’s advanced metrics, which simply attempt to better quantify a player’s contribution towards winning a game. One older metric for example, pitcher wins, is very limited in its description about how well a pitcher pitched. Hypothetically, a pitcher can win 20 games in a season (very good) and still have an ERA of 9.00 (not good); in this case, the pitcher’s win/loss record heavily depends on the offense scoring a ton of runs and not on how well, relative to their peers, they pitched. Here it would seem that nostalgia for pitcher wins is simply that, nostalgia, because it is of no use for practical evaluation purposes. Similarly, bunting by such maths has little to no positive value except for in extreme cases, such as no outs/runner on second/high leverage situation (say, tied in the bottom of the ninth with a poor hitter at the plate). This certainly goes against conventional wisdom of yesteryear, but that’s what the numbers bear out. Additionally the mainstreaming of advanced baseball metrics is now nearly a twenty year-old project, a period during which all of the current crop of professionals were learning their craft. Is it no wonder that the players disdain being asked to bunt?

      Now, and I think this goes toward my thinking about the universal DH, we ought to take a step back and look at the trajectory of professional baseball in general. Here I acknowledge that there are irksome trends (according to my taste and usually in the realm of business), but equally acknowledge that these trends are, in the grand scheme of things, simply evolution. Maybe not for the better, but I’m not in a place to really make that judgment. Recall how in 1893 when the pitching mound was moved to 60′ 6″ and the players were worried about how that was going to change the game. Recall how in the 1920s MLB switched from a dead ball to a live ball and how Ty Cobb called Babe Ruth an n-word because more homers. Or when spitballs were disallowed. Night games proliferated. Or when the league integrated. Expanded. Shifted to division play. Padded walls. Raised the mounds. Formed a union. Mandated hard helmets. Allowed domes and astroturf! Lowered the mounds. Introduced the DH. Batting gloves. Wild card. Pitch counts. Etc., etc.

      I think that we, including me, tend to idealize and aestheticize the game we loved when we learned to love it and become discombobulated with the slightest deviation. But in my opinion one must remind oneself that the game is and has always been in a constant state of change, because of which skills and tactics must be gained or lost, forgotten, reimagined, emphasized, transposed, ignored, abandoned, and invented. To say that the players are not trained or lack fundamentals is just another way to say that the game you idealized is not the same. But they are still the same elite players who are skilled and specialized for today’s baseball.

      1. Mildred Montana

        I take your points. But, as an enthusiastic baseball-watcher, I see too many examples today of sloppy play. Two examples from the other night in a Blue Jays game:

        1. Runner on second failed to advance on a passed ball because he thought the catcher was going to catch it. So he turned his back on the play and went back to second. He would have made third standing up. Inexcusable.

        2. Runner going from first to second did not slide. He would have been safe. Instead he tripped over the bag and was tagged out. Inexcusable.

        There’s much more. Batters failing to hustle to first on infield hits and shallow fly balls, batters standing at home plate admiring their long flies, thinking they’re going out, and turning a potential double or triple into a long single when they don’t. Fielders forgetting how many outs there are. I can sympathize with physical mistakes like routine errors. Mental mistakes should be punished with bench time.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        RE: what the numbers bear out

        I’m with you on about everything but that. Analytics are ruining professional sports, especially baseball, with basketball not far behind. I’m very glad baseball is doing away with the shift, which we have analytics to blame for, but I would rather have seen it fall into disuse naturally with players bunting until opponents stopped using it. Bunt for a double enough times because nobody’s on the left side of the infield, and teams would find their third baseman again.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Could it be that players today 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 bunt? Or hit for contact to the opposite field? Maybe analytics has factored that into its numbers.

          Seems to me players would rather hit into the shift in hopes of a 450-foot homer. No guts, no glory!

        2. CaliDan

          Yes! Analytics are responsible for the shift. And they’ve taught us a lot about the sports we love. But are they an inherently ruinous project? I think that’s a hard sell if one is predisposed to allow competition (in sport!) to find and exploit market inefficiencies. But I, like you, wanted to see hitters respond to the shift rather than rule changes. Sort of how in uptopia we wouldn’t need affirmative action, but in the real world… That’s what I find exciting about these analytic baseball times: today it’s the outliers and rebels, tomorrow it’s those who might take an opposite approach and turn the analysts’ presumptions upsidedown precisely because of the analysts’ faith in analytics.

          1. CaliDan

            Now that I posted my comment, I realized I should qualify my remark by saying that the shift has been around since Teddy Ballgame, though not nearly as pronounced. So it’s not a new phenomenon; it’s just highlighted in today’s game.

      3. Wukchumni

        MLB has sold out to cryptocurrency & gambling interests, the essence of purity is missing from the game outside the foul lines, just a scandal away from turning into croquet if it isn’t careful.

  17. Carolinian

    Re The New Yorker on the northern California Delta–this is in many ways a crib of the 2003 Marc Reisner book A Dangerous Place, mentioned here the other day. The fact that not much has changed since 2003 speaks to the overwhelming nature of the problem and the precarious human footprint that exists in California. Add catastrophic potential drought to the fires and the earthquakes.

    The article does contain this interesting factoid

    agriculture accounts for no more than about two per cent of California’s economy

    Maybe Tinseltown needs to take on the Almond growers before it’s too late.

  18. John Beech

    Regarding the home on the Outer Banks being taken by the sea . . . as a kid growing up in Birmingham, weekends often involved a trip to Gulf Shores. There we had, to be kind, a house on the beach. Shack is more like it.

    Constructed of 2×4 framing with 4×10 for the perimeter set directly on concrete blocks (plywood floor with the whole thing raised about a foot or so off the sandy soil creating a crawl space), the walls were 1×6 boards (painted on the inside) and sheathed in tar paper (also painted on the outside).

    Basically, you could see the studs and the boards from the inside, no drywall or anything (exposed wiring and plumbing, and ceramic rosettes for light bulbs. Looking up, also from inside, the roof was visible (corrugated steel nailed to joists). Linoleum on the floor (everywhere, not just the kitchen), and the only two doors were the entrance and bathroom because otherwise, curtains separated bedrooms from living and working space (kitchen).

    There was a galvanized pan for the shower, which along with the toilet and sink led to a septic tank he and his brothers had dug themselves. Better than camping, which we also did (with a tent and sleeping bags), but not a house by any stretch.

    I remember Dad saying to my Mom that in 1964 (before they had married) some storm had taken the roof (at the time boards like the walls instead of plywood, and covered with tar paper like the exterior walls). Point being, the tin roof was new.

    He was proud of the place and how he and his brothers had built it for less than $1000 (in 1968 they’d bought a new Buick station wagon with ‘all’ the options for $3500, so not big money, but significant for the times). My uncles had similar shacks nearby. Anyway, it was a far cry from the photos of the home swallowed by the sea in North Carolina recently.

    Me? I have no heartache with those who want to build palaces on the beach (under the doctrine we’re free in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness) but I totally disagree with their insurance being subsidized by homeowners like me. Meaning, those living far from the coast (the scheme FL has in place to ensure rates are manageable for those on the coast).

    Basically, my thoughts are, screw ’em, they can pay their own rates adjusted for their risk instead of shifting any part of the burden to my shoulders. After all, I don’t get to walk out and enjoy the beach in the mornings, so why should I pay for their privilege? But you know who lines the pockets of FL politicians, right? Sigh.

    1. curlydan

      I was in Galveston around New Year’s and was walking on the beach a few miles west of the city. There I saw many modern houses built right on the coast, not elevated by the city’s seawall, and seemingly ready to fall into the Gulf with exposed piers and foundations. I immediately thought of the insurance as well (as in who the hell would insure this thing?). Is there someone insuring homes in Galveston who is unaware of the 1900 hurricane? I guess that’s likely.

      And besides the insurance, who is going to clean up all the crap from the houses after they inevitably fall.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Went to the Outer Banks about 30 years ago and stayed at a friend’s dad’s guest house, which was one of those McMansions on stilts. I’d never been before and was amazed that anyone with half a brain would build a huge expensive house on what was essentially a sand bar, and in a hurricane zone at that. I was even less enthused about the idea when I learned several years later that the US taxpayers wind up picking up the tab to insure those types of houses built by stupid rich people in an area where it’s not a matter of if but when the house will be completely wiped out –

      I have zero sympathy for anyone losing their Outer Banks vacation home. I just wish they’d really lose, rather than waiting for it to be washed away so they can collect on the insurance as mentioned in the article.

    3. JP

      When I first saw the video clip of the bungalow collapsing in the NY times I had to laugh. It was truly an “ephemeral bungalow”. I could not see a single cross brace to keep it from folding right into the sand.

  19. Mikel

    “How Australia Saved Thousands of Lives While Covid Killed a Million Americans” NYT

    Australia was able to take advantage of trust they have been able to develop in their health care system.

    Think that’s because the health care industry there isn’t sending people into bankruptcy or send out trickster billing?
    Does it cross tiny minds that that could be key to buliding trust???

    1. Basil Pesto

      The article is misdirection; Australia is now in the midst of a crisis – monumental mass death event, severe problems with hospital capacity and healthcare workforce etc. leading to long wait times for medical care and health worker burnout. Oh, and the *checks. notes* raging SARS pandemic is almost completely ignored by voters and campaigners alike one week before a federal election, the result of which will change absolutely nothing. Inner city bobos spent much of 2021 yelling at the unvaccinated for not doing their part to fight the pandemic, but for the most part couldn’t take off their masks soon enough when the state governments arbitrarily and unscientifically decided that it was okay to do so, despite the fact that unlike these intramuscular vaccines, respirators have an actual, meaningful impact on transmission. These people are now proudly contributing to out-of-control chains of transmission of a virus which is killing hundreds of Australians a week. But it’s okay, They’re Vaccinated. For them it’s ‘Black Lives Matter (Unless I Have To Wear A Mask)’. This breathtaking hypocrisy is obvious, which is perhaps why it’s completely unmentioned. NC readers will not be surprised to learn that when the rubber hits the road in the form of a genuine, universal moral crisis, these would-be titans of moral philosophy are found desperately wanting.

      (this not even 6 months after we lavished praise upon a certain pop-culture artifact: a satire in which mankind is blithe in the most deranged way in the face of a looming, minatory natural disaster. Proof, if it were needed, of the uselessness of satire)

      All this, of course, because we shat the bed and decided to follow the lead of the country with the most pointlessly barbaric healthcare system in the world, and decided to lean on vaccines that have failed in the most predictable way as instruments of population-wide public health (as many were warning through 2022, and were called anti-vax for their trouble) when they were never actually needed here, except for HCWs and quarantine workers, as we had already achieved elimination which is clearly the ne plus ultra of pandemic management in these early years of the pandemic which, again, has barely just begun (albeit it’s a strategy that makes overseas travel difficult. Qantas lobbied heavily for this predictable policy of failure, leading with juvenile and fucking absurd strawmen like “we can’t stay locked down forever”. As I’ve said before, borrowing from Dr Noor Bari: faced with the choice between making overseas travel difficult, or making everything difficult, we’ve decided to make everything difficult).

      Our political and health-political leaders told us delta couldn’t be stopped because it was “too transmissible”; this was a lie, as China showed repeatedly. They told us the same for Omicron; China has again proved this to have been a lie, repeatedly. The high moronics of the “noooo it’s just too transmissible >:O” meme preferred by the spoilt brat manchildren in charge here and around the western world are in fact axiomatic and can be shown to be so with a simple hypothetical: Say that SARS3 emerges next month, and say it takes hold in the west (and if it emerges anywhere except China, it certainly will take hold, because a corollary of fucking up SARS2 so bad and politicising TTIQ is that disease control as a concept, as a public health field, is now in the shitter) and say as well that this new virus has all the same properties as Omicron with regard to transmissibility etc. But say it has a MERS-like Infection Fatality Rate. Or even SARS1. Or something in between like 25% IFR. Does anyone honestly think the whole world wouldn’t be going Full China, full War Keynes to stop it, given that stopping it is, indeed, obviously possible and technically pretty straightforward? Failure to do so would literally result in the collapse of human civilisation in fairly short order. Instead we have this frog-boiler strain of the virus, and so it’s slow degeneration for all of us (except China apparently, lol)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Just checking, nearly 7,000 people have died since Scotty opened the country up starting back in July. We could have done it like China but were constantly being undermined by the Coalition government, the media (especially!), business people and medical spokesmen who sold out to go with the message. All this helped undercut trust so now many people actually believe that the pandemic is over.

      2. Kfish

        We got lucky by living on a big island with a small population. Closing the borders was the key to keeping Covid out, but our entire ponzi economy is built on importing people and cash – immigrants, international students, tourism – so it couldn’t last.

      3. Vandemonian

        Basil, Kev, Kfish, I share your frustration. But who can you vote for on Saturday to get a better outcome?

        I had a quick look at my voting options for the Senate, and thought the ‘Informed Medical Options Party’ sounded promising. But no, they’re just the re-badged ‘Involuntary Medication Objectors (Vaccination/Fluoride) Party’ – total anti-vaxxer nut jobs…

  20. The Rev Kev

    “What Are You Really Looking at When You’re Looking at a Black Hole?”

    If Sagittarius A* is 27,000 light years away, then that must mean that any images taken of that black hole is showing what it looked like about the year 25,000 BC and not right now. So what was happening here on earth when the light left that region?

    ‘25,000 years ago: a hamlet consisting of huts built of rocks and of mammoth bones is founded in what is now Dolní Věstonice in Moravia in the Czech Republic. This is the oldest human permanent settlement that has yet been found by archaeologists.’

  21. flora

    Scotty Kilmer about the environmental and gas prices impact of EV’s. utube, 11 minutes. (I’m a fan of his utube shows. Watching them has saved me a few times from getting up-sold something I didn’t need from a dealership.)

    If You’re Worried About Rising Gas Prices, Watch This

    1. flora

      adding: the full comment from a viewer named ocsrc in the utube Gas Prices comments is pretty darn interesting. I do remember those days. I remember that in our small town with 3 gas stations, 2 of the independent stations went out of business, the third station that survived was linked with a major oil company and later became a ‘fast-mart’ with gas fuel pumps, replacing the local grocery store.

    2. Maritimer

      Would love to hear Scotty on Covid Injections but theirtube would probably bring out the boot.

  22. CaliDan

    There’s a Real, Live Plan to End Poverty in California Capital and Main

    I wasn’t aware of Tubbs before, but, at the very least, he asks some great questions:

    “[CA has] a Democratic governor. We have a Democratic assembly. We have a Democratic senate. Like there’s no opposition party. So what’s the issue?

    “…Who is the pro-poverty lobby? I’m about ending poverty in California, so I want to see who the opposition is. No one says they’re for poverty. Who gets really uncomfortable when we start having this conversation? Who starts saying this is too much?”

    1. Carolinian

      Bette Midler seems to have lots of money. Perhaps she could chip in. Ralph Nader suggests some other names in the above linked column. Larry David is a big Democrat. Let’s ask him.

      Here’s suggesting our wealthy Democrats are as interested in having their taxes raised as in personally going to fight in Ukraine.

  23. vao

    RobertC May 15, 2022 at 2:27 pm points out the newest actions by Germany regarding gas and oil supply. I could not take this up right away, but a perusal of the online German press adds complementary details to the article he refers to.

    A few weeks ago, the German government put Gazprom Germania under fiduciary administration. The German parliament is now amending a law dating back to the first oil crisis — the Energiesicherungsgesetz — to give the government considerable leeway to proceed in a similar fashion in other cases.

    1) So far, a fiduciary administration could last 6 months; this is being made extensible to 12 months.

    2) The law now explicitly allows expropriation instead, if fiduciary administration is deemed insufficient.

    3) A trustee could be imposed on Gazprom Germania only because of a legal technicality. Now this will be possible if a firm is viewed to be failing to fulfil its mission regarding energy provisioning, or if a disruption of energy supplies looms.

    4) All large industrial firms and gas distributors must register in a so-called “digital gas platform” and provide data on energy usage, resp. capacity. In case of shortages, the government may decide where throttling or even shutdowns must take place.

    5) Price increases at the source may now be immediately passed on to every element of the energy delivery chain till the final consumer, irrespective of the contracts in place.

    6) Shutting down gas storage capacity must be announced to and authorized by the regulation authority (Bundesnetzagentur) in every case.

    7) When energy suppliers want to terminate a contract with customers, they must get an approval from the Bundesnetzagentur. In case of bankruptcy, the insolvency administrator must continue to fulfil existing contracts.

    Interestingly, the law does not prescribe how energy must be rationed — when it comes to that. This is the realm of the Gas-Notfallplan (emergency plan for gas), whose current version determines that industry is to be affected first, and households last. The Bundesnetzagentur decides the priority level for firms in the rationing scheme.

    The law is to be put in force in June; its first target is the PCK oil refinery in Schwedt, owned in majority by Rosneft (40% by Shell, the rest by ENI) which is exclusively configured to process Russian oil arriving via the Druzhba pipeline from Russia, and plays an important regional role. Employees fear for their jobs and are not convinced by the plan to bring (more expensive) oil from other sources by tankers to Rostock and Danzig first, and then by pipelines to Schwedt; this should at best ensure a 70% load of the refinery.

    Neither the association of energy retailers, nor the industry at large (as per the German chamber of industry and commerce) are happy with the new law — which goes in the direction of a state-controlled energy market. I do not know whether the EU Commission has reacted to what could be construed as meddling with “competitive, free energy markets”.

    In a sense, Germany is not just moving against Russian interests; it is taking seriously the prospect that energy markets will be disrupted not just temporarily, but in the long term. At least more seriously than other countries; I have not read anything about, say, France or Italy taking similar measures.

    The other question is whether this is a precedent to impose state control upon other critical markets which are now out of whack — such as foodstuffs.

    1. RobertC

      vao — Thank You so very much for this insightful essay. I printed it out and have read it for a third time as I try to fully comprehend its implications for the future of the EU.

      One trend appears historical. First, Chancellor Scholz asked for $100B military funding. And now former Defense Minister von der Leyen is heading the European Commission where she is asking for the elimination of the unanimous vote requirement. It looks like Big Germany is on its way back. And I doubt it will want to share leadership of the EU with the US.

      Lord Ismay’s 1952 aphorism comes to mind.

      1. HotFlash

        For those who don’t remember what General Hastings Lionel “Pug” Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay, and first director of NATO, said in 1952 (I, for one, was only 9 yrs old), he described its purpose as “Keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”. There ya go, what’s the score?

  24. Jason Boxman

    HLY F ST

    These people are insane. Who F thought this?

    How Often Can You Be Infected With the Coronavirus?

    The spread of the Omicron variant has given scientists an unsettling answer: repeatedly, sometimes within months.

    Just like the financial “crisis”, who could have foreseen?

    Each infection may bring with it the possibility of long Covid, the constellation of symptoms that can persist for months or years. It’s too early to know how often an Omicron infection leads to long Covid, especially in vaccinated people.

    Cool, let’s infect everyone and find out!

    This is not how it was supposed to be. Earlier in the pandemic, experts thought that immunity from vaccination or previous infection would forestall most reinfections.

    Who thought that? These people are stupid.

    At the pandemic’s outset, many experts based their expectations of the coronavirus on influenza, the viral foe most familiar to them. They predicted that, as with the flu, there might be one big outbreak each year, most likely in the fall. The way to minimize its spread would be to vaccinate people before its arrival.

    And they’re all morons. And wrong. So will never be held to account, but lionized as heroes.

    Instead, the coronavirus is behaving more like four of its closely related cousins, which circulate and cause colds year round. While studying common-cold coronaviruses, “we saw people with multiple infections within the space of a year,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia University in New York.

    LOL. So it behaves like others viruses in its own family. Wow. Hard to fathom anyone might see that coming.

    “This is actually for me a bit of a surprise,” said Alex Sigal, a virologist at the Africa Health Research Institute. “I thought we’ll need a kind of brand-new variant to escape from this one. But in fact, it seems like you don’t.”

    One stupid person found.

    If reinfection turns out to be the norm, the coronavirus is “not going to simply be this wintertime once-a-year thing,” he [Jeffrey Shaman] said, “and it’s not going to be a mild nuisance in terms of the amount of morbidity and mortality it causes.”

    A second stupid person found.

    The list is probably endless.

    Once these people learn how to turn door knobs, all bets are off.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Beautiful fisking.

      It seems that “following the science” really means science following what the billionaires want.

      Could Galileo have stood up to the billionaires?

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    The only way I can think of ( as an ignorant outside observer) for the ” make global warming an issue” community in Australia to really and truly ” make it an issue” . . . would be to form a single issue Solve Global Warming Party and run candidates on a Solve Global Warming Platform in every contestable election. They could try growing their party to a dominant position. Or short of that, they could promise to exterminate other parties from existence by drawing enough voters away from those other parties to get those other parties exterminated. Perhaps the Solve Global Warming Party would be the Last Party Standing.

    Perhaps if such a party ran on Immediate and Total Tax Funded Retirement-for-Life for all coal miners in Australia, such a party could peel the miners away from the companies and get the miners to not care anymore if the Solve Global Warming Party could run on exterminating the Australian coal mining industry from existence and wiping it off the face of the earth. For example.

  26. Wukchumni

    Lifted from a Reddit thread:

    Location: West Coast

    Work as a sterile technician. Large amounts of supplies required for sterilizing instruments is running low or on a backorder with unknown ETA. Were being asked now to be thoughtful of how much waste were creating when processing supplies. If we don’t have this inventory, we cannot sterilize items. This means many hospital operations will grind to a halt. This is includes but not limited to things like any and all surgeries, emergency procedures like ultrasounds and certain echocardiograms, or anything else where we’re required to sterilize or disinfect the equipment used, etc. If a floor requires a sterile item, we may not be able to deliver on it as shortages increase.

    People talk about no nurses, but they don’t realize that won’t even be the worst part if they don’t have the supplies needed to do their job. And this isn’t just my hospital. Were constantly calling and getting calls from other hospitals to see if we have x, y, or z supply and if we can spare some so that they can manage until shipments arrive.

  27. Wukchumni

    The volcanic eruption in Tonga was the biggest explosion ever recorded by modern sensors.

    It was so powerful, the force lifted cloud over Britain and generated small tsunamis in the Mediterranean Sea.

    A pair of research papers published in the journal Science have reviewed data and found the enormous eruption of the underwater volcano at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in January was far bigger than any 20th century volcanic event.

    The papers also compared it to atom bomb tests conducted after World War II and found they were dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of the blast.

    Only the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 – which is thought to have claimed more than 30,000 lives – rivalled the atmospheric disturbance produced.

    “Tonga was a truly global event, just as Krakatoa was, but we’ve now got all these geophysical observation systems and they recorded something that was really unprecedented in the modern data,” Dr Robin Matoza, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, told BBC News.

  28. Mikel

    You know what numbers I want to see at the end of the year?
    A comparison of people in Ukraine being killed by Russian soldiers versus Americans killed by our norma everyday gun violence.

    This weekend was a doozy!!

    1. HotFlash

      And compared to the people killed by corona virus, while they’re crunching numbers.

  29. Henry Moon Pie

    “The papers also compared it to atom bomb tests conducted after World War II and found they were dwarfed by the sheer magnitude of the blast.”

    Here we’ve been dwelling on the possibility of things going Strangelove when all the time humanity’s power remains puny compared to the Earth.

    And we continue to treat this planet as cavalierly as we do instead of being thankful for every day the Earth doesn’t wipe us off its face.

  30. Stick'em

    re: How Are the New NCAA Rules on Paying College Athletes Working Out?

    The best part is the new laws legalizing gambling dovetail nicely with this newfound ability of college athletes to get paid. Imagine being 18 years old and some booster pays you a million bucks to play QB at his alma mater because you’re the big-swingin’ cojones 5-star recruiting prospect.

    Then once you get to Daddy Warbucks University, you find out how much another booster will pay you to throw the ball at the nacho vendor up in the stands so he can beat the point spread.

    Nope, nothing could possibly go wrong here…,t%20bet%20on%20any%20sports.

  31. antidlc

    NYC Nears High Covid-Alert Level, May Consider Requiring Masks

    City strongly recommends masks in public indoor places for now
    About 9% of people tested for Covid in city have been positive

    New York City is preparing to hit a high Covid-transmission level in the coming days that would have it reconsidering mask requirements in public places.

    “If NYC’s Alert Level is raised to High, the City will consider requiring face masks in all public indoor settings,” according to guidance on the city health department’s website.

  32. Brooklin Bridge

    It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them -MIT Technology Review.

    The question of the article was, should we identify auto piloted cars so people know they are automated; non human driven? The author leaned toward the “yes we should” side.

    One (or more) of the car mfgs., however, protested based on the logic that it would influence the learning process of the robot car if pedestrians/human drivers could identify the vehicle as a robot before reacting to it. Indeed, if a pedestrian dives out of the way and selfishly saves his/her own life due to knowing a car is a robot, how is that robot car and all his AI buddies making ginormous profits for the mfgs going to do better next time? Duhh.

    As the fabulous freak brothers used to say about cockroaches that bit the dust for what ever reason, “Ah well, there’s plenty more where that came from.”

    1. HotFlash

      I would feel very, very bad at limiting the education of an automatomobile. BTW, does it have a student loan?

  33. marym

    Re: Greenwald’s “both sides” take that it’s wrong to blame prominent people for violence carried out in response to their propaganda because “there is a fundamental and necessary distinction between people who use words to express ideas and demonize perceived enemies, and those who decide to go randomly and indiscriminately murder in the name of that ideology.”

    The right has chosen to blur the distinction between the people who use words and the people who use violence. The Buffalo manifesto for example cited the so-called great replacement theory and “CRT.” These are issues defined and actively promoted by elite right wing politicians and media, some of whom also post pictures of themselves with guns, bring guns into public spaces, use guns in political rhetoric and images, and in some cases are openly adjacent to militia groups or unwilling to condemn them. This political faction is also codifying the use of lawsuits and reporting mechanisms to enable individuals to persecute fellow citizens in the cause of the right wing agenda.

    The connection between elite public policy, elite political and media rhetoric, and rank-and-file vigilante persecution and violence on the right has along history. It’s not the sole cause of vigilante violence, but there’s no reason not to consider events this context.

    As reprehensible and dangerous as their ideas are in other respects, the elite liberal political and media establishment does its violence in ways other than overtly aligning itself with vigilante violence. It’s a distraction from real evils on “both sides” to equate them, as a way of minimizing one aspect of one “side’s” methodology.

    1. Dandelion

      Except that it is common parlance now on the left that words are “literal violence.” Especially words about the material realities of human physiology. In the US, the soi-disant left attacked radical feminists in Los Angeles, physically assaulting one woman, and the media portrayed the *women* as the attackers.

      In Canada and the UK, feminists have face violent threat, harassment, and physical assault from the soi-disant left, and as that has happened, the elite have blamed the feminists. Just yesterday, members of this non-materialist left dressed in black ninja outfits and filled Speakers Corner in Manchester to prevent women speaking, assaulting one woman in the process, and the police arrested no one and blamed the women.

      Google Meghan Murphy and her requiring police protection to speak in Vancouver after credible threats to her life from the left. Google the assault on Maria Maclachlan in Speaker’s Corner, attacked by three males, punched, kicked to the ground, and throttled. The attempted assault on Julie Bindel.

      Google the violence lesbians have experienced at Dyke Marches in Vancouver, London, Manchester, and San Francisco.

      Then ask female academics if they feel safe speaking their minds about certain issues on US campuses.

      1. Aumua

        Putting aside your questionable conflation of the “the left” with transgender rights activists for a second, I just wonder why you found it necessary to insert your take on transgender issues into a discussion that had nothing to with that?

        1. Yves Smith

          See our comment above and again thanks for making our point. Transgender issues are off topic and any transgender thread-jacking like the examples you cited will be ripped out. The perps will accumulate troll points, which means unless they have a past history of good comments on other topics, they will be moderated or blacklisted.

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