Links 5/2/2022

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.


Emily Dickinson’s Botanical Inspiration: Stunning 19th-Century Flower Paintings by the Forgotten The marginalia (furzy)

Dutch boy, 4, takes mother’s car for a joyride BBC

The long and gruesome history of people trying to live forever WaPo

How the Thames went from being ‘biologically dead’ to one of the world’s cleanest rivers in 60 years Scroll

Sprawling Underground City in Turkey Discovered WSJ

Running and the Science of Mental Toughness The Wire

The Future of Public Parks New Yorker

Canada’s attempt to phase out open-pen salmon farms faces setback Guardian

Isso vade: The spicy snack that unites Sri Lanka BBC

How Vegetarian, Non-Vegetarian Food Curiously Co-Exist In West Bengal Outlook

“He Won’t Budge!“: New York Tenant Refuses To Move Out, Delaying A $70M Project, Ends Up Getting A $25M Lawsuit In Return Bored Panda

Don’t Forget Arbor Day American Conservative I did forget Asbor Day, which fell on the  last Friday in April.  I am, however, going to plant a tree today – a crabapple, after I’ve finished posting for the day.

While investigating a dog attack, a state worker was killed by the pack WaPo


Loss of Pandemic Aid Stresses Hospitals That Treat the Uninsured NYT

I was a marathon runner with killer biceps – long Covid has stopped me in my tracks Guardian


Endemicity is not a victory: the unmitigated downside risks of widespread SARS-CoV-2 transmission medRxiv


ER Docs Sue Employer, Say They Were Told To Work Sick, Avoid Covid Tests Kaiser Health News


Beijing teeters on edge of Covid lockdown FT

New Not-So-Cold-War

UKRAINE: The Real Zelensky Consortium News (Alice X). Hoisted from comments.

Zelensky awards Pelosi the Order of Princess Olga, a Ukrainian civil honor WoPo via MSN (Michael Ismoe). Hoisted from comments


German chancellor defends ‘cautious’ approach to Ukraine crisis Al Jazeera


Cashing in: No payment problems for Russian tourists in Turkey Deutsche Welle

Europe scrambles for long-term fix after Putin cuts off gas Al Jazeera

EU steps up action on Russian oil sanctions FT

Climate Chage

On Edmonton’s fringe, refineries are just one part of a larger air pollution puzzle The Narwhal

Heatwaves: India will face the brunt, needs hyperlocal heat action plans Deccan Herald

Western states brace for worsening fire season The Hill

Sunak urged to issue green bonds with higher returns if climate goals missed Guardian

Disney’s Clash With Florida Has CEOs on Alert WSJ

Class Warfare

In the capital of Blue State America, a new ferment over homelessness WaPo (furzy)

Warren Buffett Says Markets Have Become a ‘Gambling Parlor’ WSJ

On International Workers’ Day, We’re Still Fighting for the Eight-Hour Day Jacobin

‘A worldwide public health threat’: Rob Bilott on his 20-year fight against forever chemicals Guardian

Health Care

Would drugmakers lower their insulin prices if Congress asks nicely? Stat

Our No Longer Free Press

Western Civilization Is Being Organized Around Winning US Infowars Caitlin Johnstone

PayPal Cancels CN Account; May Seize Balance Consortium News

Jonathan Haidt: ‘We got fooled into thinking liberal democracy is easy’ FT (David L)


Biden Administration

Biden jokes about low approval rating during White House Correspondents’ Dinner New York Post

Halper: Clinton’s Albright eulogy ‘out of touch’ The Hill

Trump Transition

Trump’s criminal justice reform bill becomes persona non grata among GOPers Politico

Trump’s bid to shape GOP faces test with voters in May races AP

Report: Injuries and deaths soar from new segments of Trump border wall axios (furzy)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Congressman to F-35 contractors: ‘what in the hell are you doing?’ Responsible Statecraft

La belle France

Violence erupts in Paris as thousands of May Day protesters raise pressure on Macron France 24

Old Blighty

Firebombs and death threats: councillors need more protection, say UK bodies Guardian


As Men Fear Getting A Vasectomy, Onus Of Family Planning On Women India Spend

How a Dalit garment worker’s murder sparked a movement that got H&M to address gender-based violence Scroll

Europe visit comes when region faces many challenges: PM Modi Hindustan Times

Energy Security To Be Among Key Areas Of Talks During PM Modi’s 3-nation Visit Republic TV

After 8 years and Rs 4,633 crore, the Ganga waterway project’s environment impact is still unknown Scroll

Book Review: Failing to Internalise Why India Fought the 1971 War The Wire

The India Fix: Will Elon Musk’s takeover weaken the BJP’s hold on Indian Twitter? Scroll

The Russia-Ukraine war is making Indians poorer and hungrier Al Jazeera



China meets banks to discuss protecting assets from US sanctions FT

As US chips away at its one-China policy, fears grow for Taiwan’s uneasy peace South China Morning Post

As China maintains ties with Russia, Europe turns to Japan and India Politico

China drone giant grounds Russia, Ukraine sales Asia Times

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Antidote du Jour and Links here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. OIFVet

    Ukraine Is Now America’s War, Too. A bit slow on the uptake. The lede is precious: “The U.S. is leading a new coalition of “nations of good will” as the goal expands from supporting Ukraine to weakening Russia and outlasting Putin.” The article discusses the progression of official statements and actions from “we stand with the Ukrainian people” to “We plan to weaken Russia and outlast Putin” in the space of little over two months. To me, that progression it’s like the frog in water that is gradually brought to a boil, with the citizens of these “nations of good will” as the frog. Just like we discussed yesterday, the question is whether our elites did that by design or simply stumbled into it unwittingly.

    And “nations of good will?!” How unoriginal, but can’t remember what it reminds me of ?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Well they were going to use the phrase “coalition of the willing” but realized that it had already been used.

          1. Mildred Montana

            Love those “Bushisms”! Here he speaks with unintentional honesty:

            “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”—Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

        1. wilroncanada

          Anyway, both phrases/slogans have the same meaning: The United States and its Pack of Poodles.

    1. Stick'em

      I have learned the so-called Hanlon’s Razor: “Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence” often can be a false dichotomy when applied to the workings of the US government. What does this mean?

      When asking whether a given situation is the result of incompetence OR malice on the part of US government, sometimes the correct answer is BOTH.

      For example, 70 year-olds (Biden/Clinton generation) blindly following “Let’s poke the Russian bear” as a foreign policy is a malicious attitude learned through years of “Duck and Cover” filmstrips at school. This generation still resents the USSR for making them hide under their desks in fear. Mention the word “Communist,” and they run shrieking, hair on fire, towards the nearest Pentagon budget boondoggle to add a handful of zeroes to the bottom line. The malice is definitely there towards Russia:

      “The historical practices of the Russians, who typically, are almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. It’s in their DNA.”

      and it’s chock-o-block full of projection.

      Which brings us to incompetence. The decision makers can’t see their own Dunning-Kruger level of incompetence because they’re busy blaming it all on Russia, Russia, Russia! as a foreign policy.

      My generation grew up during the Cold War. We were promised it was over by Ronald Reagan when he famously told Mr. Gorbachev to tear down the wall. Yet here we are again, recycling the terror of The Day After afterschool special on a new generation of kids learning about the Doomsday Clock.

      How much groupthink Kool-Aid does it take for someone in charge to believe this is a good idea to revisit the culture of insomnia and paranoia? How could any competent/sane person believe provoking war with Russia is in the best interests of the Average American Citizen? This ain’t the pursuit of happiness…

      Therefore, just like the old Miller Lite “Tastes great/Less Filling!” controversy manufactured on the TeeVee by Dick Butkus and John Madden, the answer is BOTH (except Miller Lite tastes like piss and doesn’t get you drunk, but hey, marketing!)

      1. Chromex

        I turn 70 this year. I do not know any friends that are of a similar age that support this proxy war or want to “weaken ” Russia. There was plenty of ammo in the 1970s about the ridiculous “Duck and cover” brain dead us govt approach to nuclear war enough for anyone of my generation with functioning brain cells to figure out that it was stupid. I have never voted for a fascist of either party( plenty in both) and never will. Both Biden and Trump are abominations. This generational generalizing does not do anyone any good.

        1. Stick'em

          re: This generational generalizing does not do anyone any good.

          I’m not discounting your experience. You and your friends don’t support the US proxy war efforts/propaganda vs. Russia. Thank you for being amongst the sane.

          That said, you are in the minority on this amongst your age demographic. I try hard not to make shit up. Sometimes I unintentionaly fail in this effort to remain evidence based, but not this time:

          Americans ages 65 and older (83%) are much more likely than adults under 30 (55%) to have a very unfavorable view of Russia.

          1. wilroncanada

            Sorry I stopped reading your link, Stick’em, after the first couple of sentences. I was flummoxed (inherited from yesterday’s work link) by the incredibly high approval rating of Zelensky. The benefit of mass marketing! The gullibility of so many. You can fool most of the people some of the time is not just a cliche.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            What about the Americans between 31 and 64? Where do they stand on average by the numbers?

          3. Lambert Strether

            >Americans ages 65 and older (83%) are much more likely than adults under 30 (55%)

            It’s not just age:

            >Americans ages 65 and older (83%) are much more likely than adults under 30 (55%)

            It’s not just age:

            It’s education i.e. credentials. As usual, the “educated” are more susceptible to propaganda, not less (schooling behavior, again).

            It’s education i.e. credentials. As usual, the “educated” are more susceptible to propaganda, not less (schooling behavior, again).

        2. GC54

          This Cold War nostalgia insanity does seem to peak within the DC Beltway. Must be something in the (bottled) water that they drink. But, hey, it sure beats governing apparently.

        3. LifelongLib

          “This generational generalizing does not do anyone any good.”

          No, it doesn’t. But the generational one is far from alone. “Socialists”, “White Males”, “PMC”. Seems like everybody has their favorite…

      2. Pat

        Please include believing your own PR* in this. I recognize that it could be included in the incompetence arena, but this part isn’t about blaming Russia but being convinced of their own superiority regarding Russia. They do not recognize that they are playing a mediocre game of checkers while Russia, and yes China, are playing Chess. They have so ingrained that most money wins idea that they cannot begin to recognize the rather threadbare nature of our military both in weaponry and in personnel. They are psychopaths, but clever rather than smart. They relish putting things over on the public and rejoice in having lessers fight their petty battles, enriching them with every death and injury.

        Adults in the room, but hey marketing.

        *Or Another way of saying thinking your excrement smells like roses.

      3. nippersdad

        The attitude towards Russia has struck me as a function of pure greed. Doubling down on a failed policy, they feel like if they just put a few more chips on the table they will finally win the jackpot.

        They nearly had them in the 90’s and then Putin came along to foil their designs to divvy up Russia’s resources, hence their single minded hatred for him.

      4. Ranger Rick

        I suppose we are long overdue for a corollary to Hanlon’s Razor, with a nod to Arthur C. Clarke: any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

        1. John Beech

          Count me in because I also fail to see why we antagonize the Russians. For what purpose? Strikes me a lot like the kid with a stick hits the yellow jacket nest to see what happens – not good – trust me.

          1. CanCyn

            For what purpose? It is greed but of the monetary kind. Moar war means more money for the MIC and the politicians whose pockets they fill. No long term thinking, no childhood steeped in terror of nukes, no policy or reasons at all other than get rich helping their donors get rich.

            1. Ed Miller

              More money is nonsense. These people don’t need more money.

              It’s all about power and the drive to make every single human on this planet powerless and serving them. Different kind of greed. All psychopaths.

        2. pasha

          beautiful blend; thank you! Clarke was my introduction to SF in the late 50s — super short stories

    2. Carolinian

      For we USians “good will” is always the excuse for our evil deeds. Sure we destroyed the village but hey we meant well and were trying to save it.

      Whereas the British Empire didn’t bother with this sort of guff. The natives were uncivilized barbarians and the Brits were doing them a favor by colonizing them. Read any Churchill and he’s big on “civilization” versus “barbarism.”

    3. magpie

      Here in Edmonton (in one of the Nations of Good Will) there is a substantial Ukrainian population, which may explain the vast array of blue-and-yellow flags I see every day. As you might expect, they hang in living room windows and fly from cars and trucks, but they also fly on flagpoles at car dealerships, and they fly above all manner of big and small businesses. Blue-and-yellow ribbons bedeck chain-link fences at schools where hundreds of individual students have each composed them into Ukrainian flags; similar ribbons fly from the mirrors of city buses and school buses in traffic. There is a bridge in the French district here lined with the flags of all the French-speaking nations of the world (including the DR Congo) – but only yesterday, they were all swapped out for the blue and yellow. You could be driving in Kiev.

      We jump in the car and flip on the radio to one of the FM rock stations, and the DJ reads: “Canada stands with Ukraine. Here are three examples of Ukrainian strength and resilience.” A woman’s accented voice begins to speak before I turn down the volume. The war continues to be the lead story on local news-and-weather cable channels – I glimpse Zelensky delivering an update to the camera from his presidential office.

      I do not begrudge people their solidarity and sympathy for Ukraine. What strikes me is this level of private, public and corporate unanimity of expression is something I’ve never seen in Canada in my life – not after 9/11, not before Iraq (the first street march I ever saw was a February 15 march), not even after the Residential School revelations hit this country like a meteor last year. I’m done with the corporate press and I avoid social media, but even Spotify, the Apple Store and the Google Store have their Ukraine messaging on full display.

      When catastrophic, and preventable, humanitarian catastrophes in Africa or SW Asia happened during the past couple of decades, there was no response like this. I have never heard a rock radio station weigh in on political solidarity with a foreign country at war the way I did yesterday; that’s not some college DJ, that must be approved by a network at a high level.

      When I see this unprecedented messaging saturating the airwaves, television, the streets and the schools, I wonder what’s around the corner, even here in my country. When I read here how they’re coming after CN and other alternative news sources, it’s very disturbing. Minitrue seems utterly without sophistication anymore. Their version of events is so incoherent and corrupt that any second take crumples it, and they understand this, but finding no remedy, they have committed to force majeure.

      I wonder what the average person makes of all this, but I’m always too polite (afraid) to ask.

      1. OIFVet

        It’s base russophobic hatred masked as compassion for Ukraine. That’s why it’s so universal, it doesn’t take much to spark a large scale hatred given that the Anglo-Saxon populations have been primed over generations. Hatred is more effective than compassion in the drives to war. Compassion or R2P is the cover, no one ever wants to admit less than noble motivations.

        1. Donald

          In the US there is also the added pathological hatred that Democrats have for Putin, who many blame for Clinton’s loss. We might think Russiagate was discredited, but with liberals it is an article of faith that Putin stole the election on behalf of Trump and nothing in history was a worse crime in their view.

          That we have been complicit in mass murder in Yemen–yawn. Might be worth a few passing remarks every few months. I haven’t even seen anyone say anything about the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, caused when the idiot in the White House stole their money.

          Liberals in this country are beyond contempt. We always hear of the distinction between communism as it appears in people’s imaginations as utopia, and what it actually was in practice. It seems to me that liberalism is the same. The gap between the dream and the reality is enormous.

      2. Basil Pesto

        There’s a flag above one of the entrances in my apartment complex (yuppie central). I looked into ironically getting an Azov battalion flag to hang from my balcony and I’m not quite sure at this point if that’s done good or bad things for my internet search history.

        Broadly speaking though, in Australia, Ukraine is relatively off the radar for the general public. There was a brief bit of Sturm und Drang when the war started but that tapered off really very quickly. There’s been a bit of opportunism from politicians but not too much; federal election’s in a few weeks and Ukraine seems a non-starter as a vote-getting issue. As far as security goes, we just posture in the direction of China (which is a curious pivot, because policy decisions mean that China is going to be a nation of 10s of millions of übermenschen by default, just by dint of their population not being repeatedly reinfected with a sarbecovirus, lol).

        I don’t think I’ve heard Ukraine brought up in conversation, unless for some ironic reference to the aforementioned nazi wazi battalion.

  2. petal

    In the announcements email the college sends us every morning, today’s lets us know that the college president and his wife have covid after they took RATs on Friday. He is asymptomatic and she is “under the weather” but hey, it’s all good!

  3. SocalJimObjects

    Yen weakness is an opportunity, not a threat, for Japan. The end of the article has the following: “If the autumn within the yen now makes Japanese exports cheaper, then it is going to be exporting deflation: which is strictly what an inflation-hit US desires proper now.”

    District 7 has been called upon to make itself poor in order to make life in the Capitol bearable.

    1. Dave in Austin

      I did better than that. I put a $100 check in the mail to the address on the Consortium News website.

      When the Russians attacked the Ukraine I never expected this. Failure of imagination.

      1. FlyoverBoy

        MintPress dot-org has also been cut off by PayPal. The MintPress site still provides a workaround opportunity to donate to them, which I just did.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I bumped up my monthly payment to MintPress on Patreon, but I don’t think I can afford to donate to every org PayPal decides they are the boss of.

          I’m about to switch banks (my bank closed our rural branch, possibly because the shareholders thought it was a hospital), and I see no reason to hook my new account up to PayPal. They are not the boss of me.

    2. t

      Nothing says grace and class like using a eulogy to keep whining about a humiliation that was all your and your own fault and praising the departed for that time they shilled for you.

    3. Martin Oline

      I have not used my account in many years (16?) so I have to send checks for internet fealty. There is a balance of about $3 and I hope it has cost them more than that to carry it and send the constant reminders that I have a balance. This is the same theory of returning a post-paid solicitation glued to a brick.

    4. Bruce Wolman

      The only reason I continue to have a pay-pal account is to subscribe to nakedcapitalism. I want off pay-pal after what it did to CN and Mint Press News. Yves, can’t you provide us an alternative? Not everyone is able to write you monthly checks. What about Zelle or some other way to make direct deposits into a nakedcapitalism account.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > can’t you provide us an alternative

        We’re working on it, but there are a lot of choices to make. For one thing, it’s important to include subscriptions, and not all do.

  4. Rolf

    I follow Zelensky’s war speeches on a regular basis, and I can confidently say that the way he frames the conflict can hardly lead to any diplomatic resolution as he permanently repeats that the forces of good are attacked by the forces of evil. Clearly, there can be no political solution for such an Armageddon.

    The Olga Baysha interview by Natylie Baldwin is a must read. The Biden administration’s one dimensional depiction and support of Volodymyr Zelensky, who thus thrives in the media role of scrappy underdog fighting the imperialist Putin, in which ‘Russia can not be permitted to win’, plus the fantasy of ‘limited’ use of nuclear weapons, seem to lead directly to WW3, and the end of life on earth.

    Are there no actual diplomats here — people with deep experience and understanding of war, politics, culture, and history, and a grasp of how these things would end?

    1. flora

      Yes, it is a must read. Thanks to NC for linking.

      an aside: someone described neoliberalism as looting with a fake progressive diguise called id-pol; id-pol is a distraction to keep you from noticing the looting and identifying the true bad guys. Sounds about right.

      1. CanCyn

        So true and they change their cover as required. It used to be that outsourcing our manufacturing to other countries would mean ‘better’ jobs in the information and creative economies. Anyone remember the creative economy? And no one needed unions anymore because Labour problems are solved. And then along came cool gig work. Clearly those covers are blown now but no worries they’ve got us addicted to the online world and opioids, dying from COVID and best of all (for them) fighting amongst ourselves under the guise of idpol while they just keep getting richer and richer.

    2. Procopius

      It won’t actually end life on Earth. There will be a few species that survive, and in geological time the Earth will recover. I imagine the radioactive fallout will create lots of new species — over millions of years. Of course, no humans will survive, and most other species will die, as well. That’s the pattern of life on Earth.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Zelensky awards Pelosi the Order of Princess Olga, a Ukrainian civil honor ”

    The Order of Princess Olga? Who would ever imagine that within the heart of scheming, back-stabbing, avaricious, war-mongering, greedy old lady would be a little girl who just wants to be a Princess?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I felt the stunt (what happened to her Taiwan trip?) had real Markos delivers roses to Pelosi energy. A couple of weeks ago Zelensky was fuming and shouting about the Maine and the Alamo, and now he’s giving out medals. I suppose his bug out spot is secure.

        1. Brian (another one they call)

          I have never imagined being coerced, blackmailed, threatened, banned, sanctioned, invaded, killed as being voluntary considering it is an order from the borg. Can’t wait to see what happens when free speech breaks out. Little emperor heads will explode.
          Anyone else notice the tone in todays links? It seems the leaders of any nation willing to comment are rather frightened of Elon’s stance on promoting free speech rather than censorship. Tells me all I need to know in this minute, that the power behind the scenes are watching their nation get more angry about their governments actions and the breaking point moves closer.

        2. Paul Jurczak

          private jet direct to London

          More likely: private train to Rzeszow, followed by private jet to London.

        3. Greg

          I’ve only seen this story on really sketchy sites. Has anyone come across it somewhere vaguely trustworthy? Not expecting proof with the state of todays media, but a website that isn’t clearly a clicktrap at least.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > I’ve only seen this story on really sketchy sites.

            That’s the difficulty with so much happening on Telegram (which you have to give up a phone number to use, so…). Not all the Telegram stuff bubbles out to more “normal” sources.

            Zelensky, however, does own property in London, according to the Pandora papers. Pricey property, too.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              If you gave Telegram a fake made-up phone number, would they check up on it and discover that?

              1. Acacia

                Not sure if there’s another way, but their server might want to send a verification SMS to your phone.

                1. Revenant

                  There is a telegram client for desktop. You might want to run it in a VM though!

    2. TomDority

      Foreign Emoluments Clause is a provision in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution
      In Federalist No. 22, Alexander Hamilton stated, “One of the weak sides of republics, among their numerous advantages, is that they afford too easy an inlet to foreign corruption.” Therefore, to counter this “foreign corruption” the delegates at the Constitutional Convention worded the clause in such a way as to act as a catch-all for any attempts by foreign governments to influence state or municipal policies through gifts or titles.

    3. the last D

      Didn’t pelosi say that we’re all capitalists now? Do little American girls just wanna have fun and grow up to be greedy old ladies? Hey, it’s the american way.

    4. BlakeFelix

      Princess Olga did some scheming too, IIRC, although after being provoked. Quite a tale.

    5. wilroncanada

      Perhaps he just made that up, to demonstrate that he’s part of the creative class. I’m sure Pelosi will hold it dearly to her uplifted bosom until it can be put into its place of honour next to her ice cream freezer.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          Here it comes: I hate to say this but “Trump was right” about this Pete Buttigieg wanna-be.

          Rep. Adam Kinzinger is introducing a joint resolution that would authorize President Joe Biden to use U.S. military force in Ukraine if Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. The legislation the use of force, if necessary, to “protect the national security interests of the United States with respect to Ukraine and assist in defending and restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” The authority would terminate when “the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been restored,” according to the resolution.

          “Putin must be stopped,” the Illinois Republican, an Air Force veteran, said. “Accordingly, the commander in chief to the world’s greatest military should have the authority and means to take the necessary actions to do so.”

          1. fresno dan

            “protect the national security interests of the United States with respect to Ukraine…
            My first thought was why don’t we just go back to Afghanistan. But why stop there – VIETNAM. Dominoes…

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Well isn’t that special!

            But since when has any president worried about whether Congress had authorized force before using it?

          3. Lambert Strether

            > The authority would terminate when “the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been restored,” according to the resolution.

            I.e., never, given that Ukraine will never get back Crimea, probably never Donbas, maybe Odessa…..

  6. Gavin

    The “solutions” offered within that Atlantic piece are a bit uninformed.

    This techdirt link is required reading – for both direct discussion about Musk&Twitter and the real tradeoffs of the user verification proposed within as a magic bullet to Fix Social Media.

    As with all magic bullets, it’s not quite that simple.

    And it’s not just theory — Atlantic would have had a more nuanced article if they’d dived deeper into Twitter’s multiple attempts to implement user verification.

    1. t

      The Atlantic of the last decade or more has an absolute phobia about science and technology.

      They never get it right. Waiting for a breathless long form article about the possible future benefits of a perpetual-motion machine written without any acknowledgement of friction and gravity.

      1. digi_owl

        Because being a “techie” these days means wrangling javascript and SQL, not something like electrical engineering or physics.

        Just watch the number of “computers” coming out that are some kind of Raspberry Pi put into a 3d printed or laser cut case. woho, everyone be “makers” now.

    2. hunkerdown

      They’re disinformed, actually. If the disinformation office can create self-identical bots at light speed, why should I value online self-identity?

    3. BeliTsari

      The last decade’s been exponentially more stupid, BECAUSE The Atlantic’s agitprop is exclusively from the perspective of WTO neoLiberal Creative Class narcissist churls? We ONLY hear one big lie, over & over, pretty much verbatim. Part of this is a real divisive protection scheme, typically misquoted from Jay Gould: “our” side, unleashing MAGA Nazis on uppity essentials or some damn thing? Petit bourgeoisie readers kinda freaked-out in 2016, but were “back to NORMAL,” with >120% NASDAQ valuations, right as a million of us were casually dying of Catastrophe Capitalism’s COVID caper. A few of their pouty Panglossian pontificators freaked out, discovering rich white folks were not SUPER Immune, maskless and a few more failed to notice every single thing they’d published about Ukraine, RussiaGate, Biden, COVID & China were diametrically opposed to consensus reality. But, heck, it sure beat having your blog de-monitized, stringing for K Street Social Networking Advocacy Solutions firms, trolling or simply making shit up for Bellingcat or Comcast affiliates?

    4. Lambert Strether

      > This techdirt link is required reading

      It is indeed very good; thoughtful and technically informed.

      Having been banned because I called Governor Cuomo “Ratface Andy” in a thread from Chris Cuomo, I can understand the agita about censorship. On the other hand, characterizing political opponents as vermin really is a slippery slope.

      1. Pat

        Is it? IIRC there are historical cartoons that do exactly that. And it may not be as direct as a political cartoon or commentary, but there are more than a couple of novels that are clearly political allegories that either directly portray politicians as vermin and or predators.

        Polite constraint may be a slippery slope in the other direction.

        I currently lean towards no slander, no bullying and/or threats. Mind you that last one could limit one of my standards – that we need riots and guillotines.

  7. Lexx

    ‘Western states brace for worsening fire season’

    Northern Colorado – Three days of intermittent rain in the forecast, starting last night when we got a good soaking. Two days ago I looked out the window to see a squirrel licking the pavement of the gutter for the little runoff there from the one neighbor running her sprinklers. Driest April on record here.

    Our fifty gallon rain barrel went from empty to brimming overnight. Phew. I was getting worried. Half expected the roof to open its maw like a humpback whale and nothing would make it to the barrel.

    Instead of rain in April what we got was wind, with gusts up to 70 mph. The kind of wind that tore my cheap plastic-covered greenhouse to shreds, starting with the zippers. The humidity dropped to 8%; the itchiness has been merciless. This level of dry sucks the moisture right off human bodies.

    We drove up the east side of the reservoir Saturday; the water level is reported to be at 95%. Little of this rain will make it there. We’re just too parched.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I don’t suppose that Colorado has those large size rain tanks to buy, does it? After a hard drought here in Oz back in the 90s, all the Councils (equivalent to your Counties) got religion and changed their laws to allow homes to install them if they so desired. We have a 5-ton and a 25-ton tank to fall back on and they are attached to our roof. Worth every dollar. You would be surprised to see how quickly they can fill up on a heavy rain storm. Here are some examples-

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Forty years ago, my spouse and I were building an adobe (as in personally laying the mud bricks) in a 7,500 ft. high mountain valley in Mora County, New Mexico. Today, Mora County is on fire from the little high plains town of Watrous to Holman at the base of the Sangre de Cristos on the road to Taos. Roads are closed. Power is down. Everything has been or is being evacuated. Winds have been gale force for days, often shifting quickly and sending sparks over attempted fire lines. Where we lived, there is but one road out now, and that’s through the forested mountains and leads to Angel Fire which itself is now threatened by another huge fire coming up the mountain from Ocate.

      When we lived there, the county only had 4,000 residents (served by 40 bars), most of whom were descendants of Spanish land grant recipients who arrived in the 1830s. Mixed in with the Martinezes and Pachecos were Webers and Trambleys who were descended from the adobe Fort Union soldiers who decided to stay in this beautiful but often harsh area. People lived off of their livestock, mostly cattle with a few sheep, selling Christmas trees cut from their land and federal welfare. Reagan and Clinton ended the welfare, much of the livestock is being lost in the vast fire, and next year’s Christmas trees are toast.

      It’s hard to imagine how this unique little culture, with its Penitentes and brujas, will survive this. The houses are mostly adobe, but Mora gets too much snow for the kind of flat roofs you see in Taos or Santa Fe. Most, like the house we built, have gable roofs framed with rough-cut pine from local. Walton-style sawmills and covered by corrugated tin. These fires are so hot that the tin isn’t enough protection, and all the wood in these adobes is burning.

      Some Texans will lose one of their vacation homes, but the local “People of the Valley” may finally be dispersed after surviving nearly 200 years in a largely hostile, gringo world.

      1. Lexx

        Every other year on the drive into Santa Fe, somewhere around Las Vegas, I’d roll down my window and hang my head out like a hound, drinking in the incense of pinon pine, juniper, and sage. And the smell of the cold ashes on the wind from the hundreds of kivas.

        My first impression of that Place was of home, and that home was sacred and had nothing to do with buildings. I think of the entirety of the northern part of that state as an open air church where nonbelievers entertain the idea again that spirits and magic are real. There’s something in the quality of the light that makes that seem possible, even probable.

      2. Lambert Strether

        > Today, Mora County is on fire from the little high plains town of Watrous to Holman at the base of the Sangre de Cristos on the road to Taos. Roads are closed. Power is down. Everything has been or is being evacuated. Winds have been gale force for days, often shifting quickly and sending sparks over attempted fire lines. Where we lived, there is but one road out now, and that’s through the forested mountains and leads to Angel Fire which itself is now threatened by another huge fire coming up the mountain from Ocate.


      3. Pat

        The physical loss is bad enough, the cultural, historical and human loss overwhelming. The land is only part of what makes New Mexico spectacular.
        I Prato whatever deity might listen that it is the “People of the Valley” that defy the odds yet again.

    3. playon

      We’ve been getting a lot of rain here in eastern WA, more than usual for spring, at least for the last 10 years or so. Here’s hoping we have a cooler summer and fewer fires this year. When I was young we would have summer thunderstorms and rain, but this seems to be a thing of the past.

  8. Bart Hansen

    Re: The real Zed. If what the interviewee says is true, his administration has outdone whatever our new Ministry of Truth has in mind; for shutting down media outlets, banning opposition parties, etc.

    As for our media, they are hiding so much from the public, perhaps shutting them down would work for us.

    1. doug

      Football is entertainment. Coach is in charge. And we pay entertainers outrageous sums of money in the USofA, and I suspect elsewhere.

    2. griffen

      It is not a low paid existence to win big or even to lose big. UT is the poster child for all I know in paying it’s former coaches to go elsewhere, and then pay well for the replacement. And they are just playing catch up, LSU unveiled a whopping new locker room after winning bigly during the 2019 college football season.

      All that spending and excess. And for UT a single national championship to show for it, which I recall was after the 2005 season.

      1. Edgar, not Edmund

        When I worked for a paint store in Greenville, SC, we supplied the paint when Clemson expanded their dressing room and training facilities. Clemson colors are Orange and Purple. The architect had picked a standard Orange off the color charts. When the first coat went up, some of the boosters saw it, and complained that is wasn’t proper “Clemson Orange”. A few rounds of color matching later, it was finally approved. And, whenever fans came in looking for Clemson Orange, it was a guaranteed sale when they heard we’d supplied the dressing room.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “The long and gruesome history of people trying to live forever”

    The Epic of Gilgamesh may be four thousand years old and have a long white beard on it but that advice still holds true-

    ‘Humans are born, they live, then they die,
    this is the order that the gods have decreed.
    But until the end comes, enjoy your life,
    spend it in happiness, not despair.
    … Love the child who holds you by the hand,
    and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.
    That is the best way for a man to live.’

    And yet modern society is now at the point where we are relaxed talking about sex but when it comes time to talk about death, most people cannot tolerate it. The thought of our own personal extinction is something that we, as a society, is an idea that we cannot tolerate. Too many don’t want to even plan for it. Some of the behavior of our oligarchs shows efforts to either deny this personal fact or else to spend their wealth to try to cheat death. But here, one should always choose wisely and not poorly- (2:41 mins)

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”…when it comes time to talk about death, most people cannot tolerate it.”

      Yeah, and forget about making jokes about death. They are distinctly unpopular among the well-represented “denialist, live-forever, head-in-sand” crowd. I know this from personal experience, albeit limited because I have learned my lesson.

      That’s why I’ve always enjoyed reading Samuel Beckett and his humorous and healthy (imo) writing about our ultimate and inescapable end. When asked what people would do in Heaven he replied:

      “Oh, they’ll probably sit around talking about the good old days when they wished they were dead.”

    2. Carla

      I have lost many loved ones during my life, starting with my father, who dropped dead on the tennis court when I was 13. Although today, Americans do not deal well with loss and death, the denial was even worse then. I later realized that I spent my adolescence being ashamed that my father had died.

      A few years ago, I read, probably on NC, about “death cafes” — safe spaces for people to gather and talk about death — their own, other people’s — whatever they wanted to share. I actually was able to attend one locally and it was refreshing. If given the opportunity, I may go to one again.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        In capitalist societies the dead have no value whatsoever, and so mentioning them is considered an utter waste of time. If one is unable (or unwilling) to produce and to consume they are useless. People fear death and don’t wish to talk about death because that means they won’t be working and shopping which are their only reasons for existing.

        1. Carla

          I think people fear death because we are people, and facing the reality that we, as individuals, will cease to exist is profoundly unsettling and frightening to us. So we make up all kinds of fables about death, via religions and otherwise. Consumerism and shopping are simply another kind of religion. It’s all just about biology in the end. For millions of us, Covid and climate change really mean that end will come a little sooner. It will not be even, and it will not be fair, but it will be … sooner…

  10. Lost in OR

    Thanks for the Matt Stoller piece.

    I have no insurance (well Medicare, but, same thing). I am in need of dental, eye, and hearing care. I’m ready to book an international vacation where I can address these issues. A fishing trip to B.C. would be my first choice, but I don’t know how non-Canadians fare there. Other possibilities would be south of the border for a out-of-culture adventure.

    Anybody with experience doing this?


    1. Dalepues

      Several years ago I needed extensive dental work. The quotes I got here, Mobile
      and Atlanta, were well beyond my budget. A friend who had recently returned from
      a dental care trip to Costa Rica recommended a visit to Dr. Kriebel in San Jose.
      I called and got my quote for work over the phone. Took about a day to get the price.
      I cannot recommend Dr. Kriebel enough.

    2. playon

      If you can afford the plane ticket, Thailand has excellent medical care at 1/3 the price of the US. We had dental work done there and I was considering having cataract/implant surgery done there as well but we had to return to the US before I could have it done. I did have my eyes examined in Bangkok and was very impressed with the doctors at the place we visited.

    3. Yves Smith

      One ranking I found says Mexico has excellent dentistry but I have no contacts. I would daisy chain to see if you know anyone who lives in an American enclave there.

  11. Jake

    ‘In the capital of Blue State America, a new ferment over homelessness’
    We just had yet another machete attack in Austin. ( Four people tried to steal someone’s dog as they were walking. The victim’s dog was able to escape to a bar nearby but the dog’s owner was stabbed in the back, had his arm hacked, and was hit on the head. He can no longer do his job as a welder. We got Prop B passed here a year ago and the city council/mayor completely ignored it. Prop B required that the camps be cleaned up. They were not, in fact the camps got bigger and crazier after it passed. To me it felt like the city made the camps worse just to spite all the people who voted for Prop B. The Homeless ‘Strategy’ Officer for the city actually went on the local news to mock people who voted for it and expected the city to actually respect the democratic process. After the man was hacked up, news reports just said it was an attack and not that it was a machete wielding gang from the very large encampment nearby. Somehow in Austin the local government and news media have convinced everyone that reporting the facts about what goes on in and near the encampments is cruel to the people living there, even though the encampment residents are the most common victims of these violent gangs and individuals. It’s tearing the city apart. And this is a red state, so surrounding communities now use Austin as a dumping ground for their own people that they cannot help and Austin’s problem is now huge compared to all the other cities in Texas, so it’s become something the republicans can campaign on. “Look what the incompetent democrats have done to Austin” is something that rings very true for me, even though I know the republicans are actively making the problem worse. If the dems hadn’t made this city a target to begin with, the situation would not have turned into something that is so easy for them to take advantage of. At the very large encampment by my neighborhood a couple of years ago, a person was getting out of their car with their dog at the emergency hospital. The dog was frightened and ran away and ended up at the homeless camp under the highway nearby. The owners located the dog, but a person living under the highway had claimed it and would not give it back. They were unable to get the police to allow them to check the microchip, which is a whole other problem that I can’t get into now. So their dog, in need of medical attention, now belongs to the people living under the highway. Things like this happen around these camps all the time and the city and local news downplay it every time. They did finally clear a couple of camps after the latest machete attack, but we all know those camps will fill back up very soon. The only answer I see the city working on is handouts to developers that they claim will make housing cheaper at some theoretical point decades away. I especially love this one, where a far left democrat thinks that if they stop charging fees to developers the savings will be passed to consumers, and even thinks protecting the trees of Austin is no longer a good idea since the real estate industry needs to cut down those trees to make housing. To me it feels like the dems in this town have gone insane.

    1. ambrit

      “…the Dems in this town have gone insane.”
      It’s similar here. Our half-horse town has had a policy of having “distressed” properties torn down instead of renovated. If you own a place and cannot afford to keep it up, down it comes. No help for renovations, no policy of turning them into City run homeless shelters, etc.
      Mark my words, this will eventually resolve into an ‘excuse’ for the establishment of “Committees of Vigilance.” Since such ‘Committees’ are generally the creatures of the local burgeois and petit burgeois, we can expect a wave of anti-populist violence to be the accepted response to outrages like the machete attack.
      This is purely a class issue. It will be “resolved” as one. One class will try and oppress, and if that does not help, “liquidate” the other.

      1. hunkerdown

        Private property tends to corrupt. Absolute private property corrupts absolutely.

    2. playon

      It’s fascinating how many supposed “liberal” cities run by Democrats have the worst homeless problems as well as many of the worst police.

    1. Acacia

      WRT Covid 2.0, ole Billy Gates told us long ago that software upgrades were never about fixing bugs, and here we are.

    2. BlakeFelix

      And it autoupdates at inopportune times, unless you splice the premium version…

    3. Basil Pesto

      lol, he’s very obviously just regurgitating Haseltine’s work in Forbes and passing it off as his own unique insight

    4. wendigo

      A local epidemiologist when asked about the Bill Gates statement replied “We have not seen the worst Windows variant yet either.”

    1. Jacob Hatch

      Using “satire” as in “satire conspiracy theory” is redundant. Calling out ‘conspiracy theory is a tool of the state, an old one. It is to help de-value the standing of those, in this case who do point out conspiracies, vs. conspiracy theories. ie: “conspiracy theory: is already a satire.

      The term was probably first coined by American author Charles Astor Bristed, who was in the pay of the British Government, to publish in American papers that the supplying of weapons by the British to the Confederacy wasn’t real, that it was a “Conspiracy Theory” instead of an actual conspiracy between the Confederacy’s foreign office and the British foreign office, cotton cloth firms, and MIC. However term was made popularized by the CIA through their mighty Wurlitzer.

      1. Harold

        That’s interesting because I read recently that it was first used in by Karl Popper, the Cold War theorist. He must have merely revived it. Or likely, it never really died as a term of art in Anglo-American espionage circles.

      2. LifelongLib

        “Conspiracy”, like “illegality”, is often a red herring. The big injustices are perpetrated by legal and out in the open “normal business”. Conspiracy and illegality exist, but generally are secondary to what the System does to people when its working the way it’s “supposed to”.

  12. Carolinian

    Re the New Yorker and parks

    Kian Goh, an assistant professor of urban planning at U.C.L.A., said she uses Olmsted as an example of the lineage of urban parks—but one for which students swiftly see the limits. “Yes, you have idealistic ideas of full access, but, really, parks like Central Park and others have become centers of real-estate speculation in the city,” and the recent critiques of both the High Line and Little Island on Manhattan’s West Side bear this out. “This is where I find the most purchase among students,” Goh said: “the idea that green space has a history of exclusion, even though the original ideals might have been different. They don’t think that the ideas of folks like Olmsted stand the test of racial and social-justice critique now. How do we decolonize ideas for public parks?”

    I live in a typical US town where parks and park space have always been an afterthought to real estate speculation (George Washington and others of the founders were real estate speculators). With the rise of the “New Urbanism” we are finally building more park space in the form of trails. But to find the land they have to turn to abandoned rail lines or along utility right of ways such as high tension electric corridors or sewer line right of ways. And arguably the only reason this is happening is in response to a real estate boomlet and internal migration trends. A just out survey has our slice of South Carolina as number fourteen out of fifteen top destinations for departing Californians.

    So all power to the park builders (I’m enthusiastic about our new trails) but let’s not kid ourselves that it is driven by some new zeal for “the commons” or socialism. As in Olmstead’s day it’s all about the bucks.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Kian Goh posts some interesting things sometimes, but that last two line of hers is just a load of guff.

      The history of urban parks is complex and often very culturally specific – in much of Asia, they are related to temples and holy places, refuges from the city. In Europe, early true urban parks were really just marketing gimmicks in the 18th Century to show off the new urban quarters for the rich. Older parks were often commonage which had been seized as playgrounds for the rich (and the military). Within walking distance of where I live there is a huge park which originated as a commonage seizure in the 17th Century, one beautiful park which was built also in the 17th Century as a refuge for sick and ageing soldiers, a small urban park which had also being seized by private developers from commonage in the 18th Century, three lovely 18th C parks which were commercial schemes built by speculators, a couple of Victorian parks designed and paid for by the rich for the betterment of the deserving urban poor, and some truly crappy new parks designed and laid out in the 20th and 21st centuries by municipalities with no clue what they were doing. One particular park has been re-designed (from a former graveyard) three times in the last two decades, and each time they’ve made it worse.

      In the industrial areas of the UK, a lot of parks were the outcome of a mix of altruism and ruthless capitalism. Lots of Victorian parks were on industrial wasteland that nobody could work out what do do with. I once did some survey work on a small urban park and discovered 48 uncapped mineshafts. More recently old canals and railways have been repurposed to varying degrees of usefulness although the reluctance to spend the amount of money thats needed is always a limitation.

      I do despair sometimes at how retrograde so many modern landscape designs are. I’ve seen all too many that no doubt looked good on a paper plan or Apple Mac screen, but are utterly hopeless in reality as open spaces. My favourite example is a public square in Birmingham, UK, which was paved in a pattern based on South Indian textiles. It didn’t seem to occur to the designer that this could only be appreciated by anyone flying 500 yards above it – to anyone at ground level it just looked like a visually incoherent mess. It got worse once repairs were needed and the workers had no idea there was a pattern so just replaced the pavers at random.

      In continental Europe, there is more of an appreciation that you can’t look at parks in isolation. They have to be tightly bound into the fabric of the city, and this includes proper design of streets and public spaces. In other words, lock all your traffic engineers in a basement and never let them out if you want to have a liveable city. For some reason, the French are particularly good at this – even the smallest, poorest town or village often has truly beautiful and useable parks and public squares.

      Taiwan and South Korea are very interesting places to explore, as both developed extremely rapidly without any thought to making their cities liveable, but are trying hard to catch up. Because of this, they’ve had to invest heavily and think very clearly about what they are trying to do. In Seoul, they’ve blown a lot of cash on some truly horrible schemes, including the grossly over-rated Cheonggyecheon waterway (you have to walk it to appreciate just what a mess they made of the design), but they’ve also done some fine work on old railway and highway overpasses. There is one that I can across by random (I’ve no idea the name), which was clearly influenced by the NY highline, but is much better. There is also a lovely rail path through the western University district that has been done beautifully. They’ve also done some great long distance bike trails, although some of the other cities and towns are grim, with some hopelessly misguided ‘greening’ schemes.

      1. Carolinian

        Needless to say you Europeans have us all beaten flat when it comes to parks. New Yorkers make a big deal about Central Park but I lived there for awhile and wasn’t that overwhelmed by it. Here’s suggesting one needs some first class artwork to set managed nature off.

        On the other hand we have the Grand Canyon. So there.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          The Grand Canyon has been ruined by over-development, too many visitors, and the Glen Canyon and Hoover Dams. Talk about the canary in the coal mine.

          1. Carolinian

            No crowds of tourists in those Paris parks of course–nosiree.

            The entire West is a great American spectacle. Europeans seem to agree since there are so many of them visiting there. And while the National Parks come and go a bit in popularity, giant crowds at GC or Yosemite are hardly a new thing. “Ruined” is in the eye of the beholder.

            1. Anthony G Stegman

              Europeans have no concept of “wilderness”. Whatever they had of it was lost centuries ago. So their idea of wilderness are over-developed national parks such as Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. So much has been lost. So few have even a clue as to how much has been lost.

        2. PlutoniumKun

          I love Central Park, although it was partly blessed by geography (all those rock outcrops), but is also a little incoherent after all the interventions over the years. I’ve a soft spot for the parks at the very northern extent of Manhattan, although its many years since I explored them. I remember being very surprised at the time how empty they were compared to Central Park and the public squares of southern Manhattan – it was a long time ago, things may have changed by now. The High Line is fun, although the last time I walked the line was on a freezing cold and windy February day in 2018 and nobody else seemed willing to brave it. But NY as a city is blessed with its physical geography – so much waterfront, so many interesting rocky nooks. But sometimes cities in great locations (like Hong Kong or Lisbon or Stockholm) take their luck for granted – its the more boring cities that feel the need to do more to beautify.

            1. PlutoniumKun

              That book looks great, Phaidon do some great old style books.

              Nothing can beat the tiny nooks you find in old towns and cities, especially in southern Europe – or in some old central Asian/Arabic towns. I’ve seen many attempts to ‘design’ them in, but they never seem to succeed in the same way. I think sometimes it takes time for a small public area to mature. China is scarred by vast areas of soulless development, but after a few decades its visible that the older folks simply take over passages and corridors and turn them into ad hoc community spaces in defiance of rigid decrees of the architects.

        3. orlbucfan

          With all the poverty and boarded up and rotting buildings in this joke of a country, you would think they would just tear them down, let the scavengers have at it, volunteers clean up the rest, and let nature take over. But, nope, that’s too sensible. Common sense is extinct in America, dontcha know?

  13. The Rev Kev

    That is a beautiful bird in today’s Antidote du Jour. And that blue is something else. Shame that it’s name sucks.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Europe scrambles for long-term fix after Putin cuts off gas”

    Al Jazeera fails to mention that it is only cutting off those countries that refuse to pay for their gas. Try refusing for example to pay for the electricity that you use in your home to your utility company and see how far that gets you. Fortunately Russia is suffering terribly from these measures. Their state budget is only going to increase an extra 45% this year giving them an extra $180 billion to play around with. How will they cope?

    1. ambrit

      The Russians could use some of that windfall to buy a couple of F-35s and reverse engineer them.

      1. GC54

        Would they fly any better backwards? Maybe! Not as stealthy though, especially if weather allows them to actually take flight noisily.

  15. Verifyfirst

    Long-covid seems to be having a moment. No mention of Workers Compensation or employer long-term disability insurance.

    Healthcare workers with long COVID are having their careers cut short due to debilitating symptoms as the industry struggles with labor shortages

    Their virus symptoms were minor. Then they had long Covid.

    1. Basil Pesto

      It’s not just the LC that is a serious threat to the strength and depth of the HCW workforce, but this reality of putting them through the wringer several times a year in response to successive epidemic waves of disease, which from what I’ve read over the last 2.5 years creates working conditions that can be pretty hard to bear. That’s going to a lead to a lot of churn in the workforce, surely. Good thing HCW’s can be trained quickly to do their low-skill work to the requisite, not-very-demanding standard!! Oh.

      1. Medbh

        A lot of employers only offer paid time off, and don’t distinguish between sick leave and vacation time. A friend of mine is an Emergency Department nurse and has had covid 3 times now. Not only does she have to deal with the misery of being sick and has huge medical bills from treatment, but she also gets no other paid vacation time for the rest of the year because it’s being used up with covid. It’s not sustainable.

  16. Judith

    The ongoing meddling of Victoria Nuland continues, as she visited Brazil last week. (I wish she would just stop.)

    With an election six months away which promises to be far from business as usual, the notorious US official Victoria Nuland’s arrival in Brazil has aroused understandable suspicion.

    By Nathalia Urban

    The US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland, arrived in Brazil last week for a “Meeting with Young Entrepreneurs from Brazil” and “High-Level Brazil-United States of America Dialogue”.

    In an official statement, the visit was called a “diplomatic mission” that aims to bring Brazil closer to US foreign policy.

    The arrival of the coup specialist in the midst of Bolsonaro’s attacks on the Federal Supreme Court and the Electoral Court (TSE) may also mean that the pressure may be accompanied by promises of American support for Bolsonaro’s current coup intentions, despite public statements suggesting the opposite. For example Nuland has expressed confidence in Brazil’s electoral system.

  17. Pelham

    On the general subject of Ukraine and comparisons with Munich and the days leading up to World War Two: I wonder how things would have turned out if the Axis and the Allies in the 1930s had all had nuclear arsenals.

  18. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold-War

    I’m surprised TheHill published this realistic analysis Why sanctions against Russia may not work

    …But the sanctions, by signaling the advent of a new era of U.S.-led unilateralism, are likely to weaken and ultimately even undermine the Western-controlled global financial architecture that they are meant to defend. The sweeping sanctions, by spurring broader concerns about the weaponization of finance and its implications for any country that dared to cross a U.S. red line, have created a new incentive for non-Western states to explore establishing parallel arrangements. China will not only lead this process but also is set to emerge as the real winner of the NATO-Russia conflict.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      In the West, especially DC and the US, we haven’t had a discussion about the US’s place in the world beyond FREEDUMB. Occasionally reality intrudes. Obama’s “pivot to Asia” seemed obvious, but when you get beyond his clumsiness, the goal always was to contain China. He hit end points on the New Silk Road.

      When you see this kind of article, reality is intruding. US aparatiks can’t conceive why China might align with Russia.

  19. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    Re: “The long and gruesome history of people trying to live forever”

    Observation of the impermanence of dewdrops apparently reveals that, “As the dew appears. As the dew disappears. Such is my life, that Naniwa Is a dream within a dream.”

    One would never want to be thought of as a mere internet provocateur, or as a mere iconoclast in these dangerous times of partisan intellectual zealotry, but collectively we have all been here many times before as the circular repetitive nature of the historical record seems to reveal, along with the observation that by becoming divided, walled off, and compartmentalized (a seeming reductionist fragmentation of both the inner and outer worlds as alienation and separation) we (collectively and individually) lost our way long ago. We have now arrived at a time where every problem is allegedly solvable by applying the correct technological/technocratic solution(s). Any moral and ethical limitations along with potential negative spillovers are simply turned on their respective heads and viewed as positives, for example, the ‘greed is good’ rationalization, among countless others. Whereas, improvement in the moral and ethical constituents of human primates, if possible, should be the least starting point for any suggested improvements on this planet. Does that too have a potential high tech engineering solution?

    In any case, “The long and gruesome history of people trying to live forever”, is exceedingly careful to avoid examining the worst excesses that define the latest quest for immortality that has gripped the imaginations of technocrat billionaires and their hypnotized followers. Where, as stated and noted above, in this environment an individual has to be very careful in choosing which sacrificial oxen should be gored and which cherished applecarts should be overturned. In any case, the standard titillating and salacious bits in the Washington Post article are woven into the missive as follows, “An enterprising surgeon ran with the idea, grafting monkey testicles onto elderly men’s private parts in a bid to reverse aging.” One would imagine that bull testicles would more suitably match the egos of aspiring billionaire immortal overlords, like the song lyrics humorously remind us, “Sometimes I wish they were bigger. Even bigger. Big as the wheels on tractors. Big as the Golden Arches. Big as the Golden Gate bridge. Big as the state of Kansas. Big as Mars and Jupiter. Big as the swing of Tiger Woods.”

    Now, we are further informed, in a separate article that, “Narratives are made by the artful omission of facts.” Which brings us to, ” Here were young people possessed of the lust for eternal life, who required no PR blitzes to persuade them of technology’s ability to overcome the brute empirical facts of the human condition—many with the outsize ego to cast themselves as Christlike figures awaiting resurrection and the ample self-confidence to ignore all naysayers.”

    Because, snake oil salesmen and business hucksters all go to the same ‘church’ and read from the same ‘hymnals’, apparently. So, “We want to increase support for life extension, physical and cognitive augmentation, and combat statism, and paternalism. Especially important in the 1990s is combating the false doom-mongering of the apocalyptic environmentalists. These anti-growth, anti-market, anti-freedom, back-to-the-Pleistocene forces threaten all that we believe in.” So, “Most extropians were content to enthuse over how awesome eternal life would be once they assumed control of their indestructible cyborg bodies. Others, however, flirted with totalitarianism and called for genocide in the service of the Singularity.”

    But, the underlying theme remains, as the usual constant overriding factor, ” the brazen scammery of it all.” and the selling of “false hope to the hopeless.” , as chronicled in “Everybody Freeze!” by Corey Pein.

    Further, as noted above, in this environment one has to be both extremely cautious and highly disciplined, to the point that even the obvious, for example even those events reported by the MSM as factual, cannot even be repeated, because even the mere recognition and repetition of those reported facts by verbally ackowledging them is potentially intellectually seditious. As an example, listen carefully to,

    The Sunday Magazine for April 17, 2022

    “This week on The Sunday Magazine with guest host David Common: • Peace studies professor Paul Rogers argues we need a more accurate narrative of the war in Ukraine”

    Especially pertinent starting at 00:14:00, noting the careful and calculated lack of deep exploration of the ‘attitude’ of the ‘Global South’ toward the destructive unilateral policies of the global hegemon, understanding fully that the dominant belief remains: “But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future . . . .”

  20. Anthony G Stegman

    Something I find odd about the people holding out in the underground tunnels of the vast steelworks in Mariupol – how is it that they can communicate via cellphone? When I take a local commuter train I temporarily lose cellphone service when the train enters a tunnel. The tunnel is not at all deep underground, unlike the many level tunnels at the steelworks. The entire war in Ukraine is surreal. The Russians are accused of all kinds of atrocities, they are said to control the airspace above Ukraine, have magnificent missiles that are very accurate, and yet Zelensky holds court as if he is royalty. People visit him with no fear of attack. Cellphones work seemingly everywhere. Even the wives of Azov battalion commanders holed up in Mariupol think nothing of asking that their husbands be allowed free passage out of the steelworks. Is all this happening in the metaverse? In the real world I would expect something very different, certainly by now.

    1. Jacob Hatch

      The Ukraine cellphone network is providing the Russian military with useful intelligence on Ukraine, plus it is also allowing for very useful propaganda, as in mothers telling their sons to defect as it’s not true that Russians are eating the Ukrainian conscripts they capture. The American military intelligence is as the common joke goes, an oxymoron(ic) so of course the first thing they did in Iraq was to take it down.

      I suspect the Azoz battalion are not being subject to normal military discipline and installed signal repeaters. This would please me greatly if I was in the Russian’s shoes, so I’m sure that’s the last thing they would target, maybe more effective than civilian human shields.

  21. Maritimer

    Violence erupts in Paris as thousands of May Day protesters raise pressure on Macron France 24
    When it comes to protest mayhem and chaos the French are such wimps. They should take lessons from those fringe CDN Truckers who really get the protest on with Bouncy Castles, wood fired pizza ovens and, scariest of all, hot tubs. So scary and threatening, trot out the Emergencies Act!

  22. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold-War

    Biden didn’t accept defeat in Afghanistan. The Great Game continues as Afghanistan braces for new war

    …There is a lot of infighting amongst marginalised [non-Taliban] Afghan elites, civilian and military. Apparently, the western powers are trying to rally them behind [former Afghan army general Sami] Sadat. An axis between Sadat and Panjshir leader Ahmad Massoud seems to be the preferred option for MI6 and the US intelligence. Sadat and Massoud are both products of King’s College, London, known to be the recruitment centre of MI6, and British military academies.

    …Clearly, the immediate purpose of a hurried Western insurgency in Afghanistan at this point is to create a rival counterpoint to power with a view to portray that the Taliban is not the only force in Afghanistan which is capable of running the affairs of the state. The proposed insurgency in May is in effect a trial balloon to see how far it will fly. Sadat told the BBC that he hopes to attract “moderate Taliban” as well — that is, MI6 and the CIA will split the Taliban.

  23. RobertC

    Yesterday Jan Krikke explained Mackinder’s The Geographical Pivot of History.

    Mackinder developed the Heartland Theory when Britain ruled the proverbial waves. Like rival colonial powers Portugal, Holland and France, Britain’s power was based on naval power. But Mackinder concluded that the railroad could change the global battlefield. Naval powers had the advantage of surprise; land-based powers using railroads had the advantage of speed.

    I Linked two articles that described the background and difficulties for China’s Iron Silk Road but didn’t include this fascinating map Iron Silk Map

    The Iron Silk Road will interlink about 75% of the world’s population in more than 40 countries in Asia and Europe. China hopes to complete its massive infrastructure in within ten years. It will include at least one line running 320km/hour and will shorten land-transport time between London and Beijing from 15 to only 2 days — if Europe is willing to connect, that is.

  24. The Rev Kev

    Re that $33 billion that old Joe is sending the Ukraine. Kim Dotcom did a calculation that I found interesting-

    ‘Kim Dotcom
    Approximately 600,000 people in the United States are homeless.

    Last week @JoeBiden
    asked Congress to send $33 billion to Ukraine. That’s $55,000 for every homeless person in America.’

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      The homeless are not worthy of aid, but clearly Ukrainian Nazis are worthy.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Well those Nazis are homeless too. Don’t Dems love complex eligibility requirements? Nowadays, just being homeless is not enough, you have to be a Nazi too. Most people are too decent to become Nazis so no wonder there’s no money for them.

Comments are closed.