Links 6/24/2022

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.

* * *

Forever young: Many cold-blooded creatures don’t age, studies show Agence France Presse

World’s rarest sea turtle lays eggs on Texas beach Houston Chonicle

Discovery of ‘hidden world’ under Antarctic ice has scientists ‘jumping for joy’ Lve Science

Markets Are Losing the Anchor of a Generation Bloomberg. The deck: “Inflation has undermined the credibility of central banks. That explains how bond yields can be rising even as recession fears mount.”

Wild solar weather is causing satellites to plummet from orbit. It’s only going to get worse.


Mass biodiversity loss would slash global credit ratings, report warns Reuters (dk).

1% of invested global GDP could help slash emissions, but how? World Economic Forum

Lake Mead nears dead pool status as water levels hit another historic low NBC (Re Silc).

Utopia in the age of climate crisis The New Statesman


Endemicity is not a victory: the unmitigated downside risks of widespread SARS-CoV-2 transmission (preprint) medRxiv. Model study. From the Abstract: “An expectation exists, both in the lay public and in the scientific community, that future waves of the virus will exhibit decreased [infection fatality rate (IFR)], either due to viral attenuation or the progressive buildup of immunity. In this work, we examine the basis for that expectation, assessing the impact of virulence on transmission. Our findings suggest that large increases in virulence for SARS-CoV-2 would result in minimal loss of transmission, implying that the IFR may be free to increase or decrease under neutral evolutionary drift. We further examine the effect of changes in the IFR on the steady-state death toll under conditions of endemic COVID-19. Our modeling suggests that endemic SARS-CoV-2 implies vast transmission resulting in yearly US COVID-19 death tolls numbering in the hundreds of thousands under many plausible scenarios, with even modest increases in the IFR leading to an unsustainable mortality burden. Our findings thus highlight the critical importance of enacting a concerted strategy (involving for example global access to vaccines, therapeutics, prophylactics and nonpharmaceutical interventions) to suppress SARS-CoV-2 transmission, thereby reducing the risk of catastrophic outcomes.”

Five COVID Numbers That Don’t Make Sense Anymore The Atlantic (Re Silc). All CDC-invented or signal boosted….

DCGI approval in, but here’s why you can’t choose Corbevax as your booster just yet The Print (RK).


Chinese security official calls for crackdown on gangs following Tangshan attack South China Morning Post

EU champion Airbus has deep links to Chinese military industrial complex, report says Politico

Localized Bargaining: The Political Economy of China’s High-Speed Railway Program Pekingnology

Recovering the Forgotten History of China’s Constitution Sixth Tone. Part 2.

Active Denial: A Roadmap to a More Effective, Stabilizing, and Sustainable U.S. Defense Strategy in Asia Quincy Institute


Myanmar junta in ‘serious struggle to survive’ as insurgency gathers momentum FT

Myanmar’s Garment Factories Power Through Energy Crisis—That Might be the Problem Sourcing Journal


Triple blow for Boris Johnson as Tories lose two by-elections and party chairman quits Sky News

A Brief History of Britain’s Anti-Trade Union Laws Tribune

The UK’s (new) Bill of Rights Public Law for Everyone

Exclusive: Jeremy Corbyn on the Establishment Campaign to Stop Him Becoming PM Declassfied UK

BRICS basket-based international reserve currency under consideration — Putin TASS and As BRICS summit kicks off, calls grow for parallel payment system to counter US hegemony Global Times. At the BRICS Business Forum.

Internationalization of the Currencies of BRICS Countries Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences. From 2021, still germane.

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukrainian troops to withdraw from Severodonetsk, local leader says Axios. Escaping a cauldron….

Germany raises national energy alert over Russia’s ‘economic attack’ Politico

The Carlyle Lectures 2022 – The Cold War and the Canon of Liberalism Faculty of History, University of Oxford. Many videos.

Biden Administration

In 6-3 ruling, court strikes down New York’s concealed-carry law SCOTUSBlog. So, “no shirt, no shoes, no service,” but if you’re strapped? No problem! Commentary:

Biden sides with pork industry in fight over California law setting standards for animal cages San Francisco Chronicle

Intel withholds Ohio fab ceremony over US chip subsidies inaction The Register

Biden administration preparing to compensate some ‘Havana syndrome’ victims up to $200,000 CNN. Not a bad deal for a case of mass hysteria. Maybe the entire Blob could cash in?

The Government’s Investigation Into Brookings Should Worry Think Tanks The Nation

Supply Chain

Strong rouble, lack of vessels to hamper start of new export season for Russian wheat Hellenic Shipping News

Daily Harvest recalls a lentil dish after customers report food poisoning online NPR (dk). Commentary:

(DTC = Direct To Consumer.) Another regulatory arbitrage play.

The Bezzle

PYMNTS Data: 23% of Americans Owned Crypto in 2021 as Processors Stepped up Support Yikes. That’s a lot of scope for fraud and loss.

Don’t Believe the Obits for Bitcoin WSJ. There will always be a place for fraud in our financial system.

Daycare Apps Are Dangerously Insecure EFF


We Can’t Let Monkeypox Turn into a Repeat of COVID Scientific American

US allows commercial labs to test for monkeypox Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

CDC Eyes Bavarian Monkeypox Vaccine for Kids as Outbreak Spreads Bloomberg


Let Debt Be Thy Medicine… Jesse Ventura’s Die First Then Quit

Zeitgeist Watch

Alexa to add voices of your deceased loved ones The Hill. Quite a market for that now, I would say.

Tax excess margins Interfluidity

Class Warfare

Episode 187 – The Boy Who Cried Wolff (w/ Prof. Richard Wolff) (podcast) Bad Faith. “Marxist economist Richard Wolff returns to the podcast to answer all of your inflation questions.” Fun stuff; Wolff is a hoot.

Power Causes Brain Damage The Atlantic (Re Silc). From 2017, still germane.

Music Direct’s Jim Davis and Partners to Open Vinyl Pressing Plant Next Year Billboard. More manufacturing, please.

More Japanese carpentry, please:

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. voteforno6

    Re: Vinyl Pressing Plant

    Mobile Fidelity presses high-quality albums…this is good news, at least for collectors.

    1. Sutter Cane

      For smaller labels, the backup at current pressing plants means a record finished today won’t come out on an LP for 10 months to a year from now. And this when underground bands are having to cancel tours constantly due to covid, so things are even more precarious than usual.

      A small indie label that doesn’t make a ton of money on their releases anyway is taking a big risk now in betting that the band won’t break up before their new LP even comes out.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Indeed. There’s an interesting economy going on in the world of vinyl production. Indie labels and bands, who have kept the format alive for years, are being pushed aside for the majors, who have discovered people are willing to pay for records. However, from my friends who own a store I’ve learned even major labels are hitting delays on product these days, although the mega releases still get routed through. (I heard a lot of grumbling about people promised dates getting pushed back due to the latest Adele album, for instance.)

        I still think there’s a bit of a bubble going on with all the limited editions and colored vinyl and people buying the things just to stick them on a wall unlistened. But it’s also hard for me to deny this has gone on for much longer than I expected and I never thought I’d see new plants opened. (And this one isn’t even the first.) I hope this opens up the pipe line some for the smaller labels and bands, though the article was unclear on how much outside business they’d be doing. There’s no way MoFi is shipping 12 million a year, so I’d assume there will be some.

        1. Basil Pesto

          I still think there’s a bit of a bubble going on with all the limited editions and colored vinyl and people buying the things just to stick them on a wall unlistened.

          well, maybe, but I suspect the medium will be kept alive as long as dance music is a thing. Even with CDJs/laptops, records are still used as a tool by many, including younger DJs who grew up well after records were commercially relevant to the mass market. An affectation to some extent, maybe, but these records do get used. And the second hand market for 12”s, EPs and LPs on sites like discogs is really something. Some people seem to like them like some people (like me) like physical books, even for DJ sets.

          In the before times I’d often see touring DJs from Chicago/Detroit (admittedly, usually of a certain age) bring 12s with them, and a suitcase of records is a heavy thing to schlep halfway across the world.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Strictly my opinion, but Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s catalog is very depressing. For the most part they strive to improve on already well recorded albums. It’s hard to believe that all existing versions of Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks” were of insufficient audio quality.

      Other MFSL artists with multiple rereleases include The Rolling Stones, Yes, Traffic, The Moody Blues and the acts just get older with the oldest I noticed being Ray Charles’ 1961 “The Genius After Hours.”

      I love all kinds of music but MFSL is clearly a Boomer label that thinks dinosaur rock classics all deserve Steely Dan quality audio (incl. Rick Wakeman’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”).

      I think there should be some kind of cultural tax on labels like these. For each audiophile record you buy, you should have to buy a digital recording of something composed and performed in the same century you’re living in.

  2. griffen

    Havana syndrome and potential payout. Is that a lump sum, and non taxable income? It’s Friday so this sure sounds like I dunno, a form of bull dung. But I’m cynical.

    I admit there could be true suffering, if well documented. But it’s 2022, and this is America after all. I suffered emotional and financial harm after the GFC, does that qualify \sarc

      1. ambrit

        We too. I smell class action lawsuit here. Only $50 USD to sign up. Get in on the bottom floor before the sign up fees rise!

      2. Jason Boxman

        When it comes to Biden’s COVID response, a day late and $600 short really sums it up nicely. Could almost fit on a bumper sticker even:

        Biden: Day late & $600 short.

      3. griffen

        Old Joe is busy learning about offshore wind farms and big turbines based on the news reports this morning. Take that, creepy energy CEO luddites.

        I really could not believe that. Heck, I guess it is better than playing 18 holes with Obama but still the optics.

  3. nycTerrierist

    thought I couldn’t loathe Biden any more —
    siding with factory farms against CA’s long overdue (and still meager) potential
    relief for cruel cage size standards, makes me despair on this beautiful June a.m.

    he is a creep beyond measure

    1. wol

      My best (art) collectors and a gallerist on whom I depend for my livelihood are glued to the hearings. One told me how much good Biden had accomplished in such a short time. My tongue can take only so many bites, as could my bank balance.

      I helped a friend paint a farm mural in a children’s museum. We had to repaint the chicken cages because we made them too large.

      I depend on meditation and NC for my mental stability.

    2. Nikkikat

      Couldn’t agree more with nyc terriorist. Biden is more reprehensible everyday. Or at least the brains behind a President that needs detailed instructions on how enter a room and sit down.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If a decision is nasty and spiteful, its probably the real Biden getting through.

  4. fresno dan

    Let Debt Be Thy Medicine… Jesse Ventura’s Die First Then Quit
    And this does not appear to be by accident. Dr. Rishi Manchanda, who served on the board of the nonprofit RIP Medical Debt told KHN that…
    “Debt is no longer just a bug in our system. It is one of the main products. We have a health care system almost perfectly designed to create debt.”
    Well, going back to 2019 federal government data, U.S. citizens amassed an estimated $195 billion, at least, in collective medical debt. Which, as KHN points out, was larger than many a nation’s entire economies.
    With so many millions of American’s now drowning in billions of dollars of health care debt, I bet you can’t guess what our lovely leaders on Capitol Hill are doing in response to this crisis?
    Wait for it…
    House Committee Boosts Defense Budget By $37B
    Billions for defense….of Ukrainians….not one red cent for American debt relief…because strip mining Americans is how the system works.

    President Biden: And so, that’s why today, in order to sustain Ukraine as it — as it continues to fight, I’m sending Congress a supplemental budget request.
    It’s going to keep weapons and ammunition flowing without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters and continue delivering economic and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people.
    This so-called supplemental funding addresses the needs of the Ukrainian military during the crucial weeks and months ahead. And it begins — it begins to transition to longer-term security assistance that’s going to help Ukraine deter and continue to defend against Russian aggression.
    This assistance would provide even more artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armor systems, anti-air capabilities that have been used so effectively thus far on the battlefield by the Ukrainian warriors.

    You know, and it’s going to deliver much-needed humanitarian assistance as well as food, water, medicines, shelter, and other aid to Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war, and provide aid to those seeking refuge in other countries from Ukraine.

    It’s also going to help schools and hospitals open. It’s going to allow pensions and social support to be paid to the Ukrainian people so they have something — something in their pocket. It’s also going to provide critical resources to address food shortages around the globe.

    1. Screwball

      I watched a clip of Biden on TV yesterday telling the gas stations to lower their price – now – because this is a time of war and high gas prices are hurting people, or something along those lines. It was truly puke worthy.

      I get the impression the only two things that matter to the democrats is this damn war and Jan 6th. They have no trouble shoveling more money (and war budget) to Ukraine while shoveling more BS to the people they are suppose to be serving.

      I hope they get smoked by epic proportions in the next two elections. Things are going to $hit anyway, so what does it matter if the other side is just as awful.

      1. Wukchumni

        A friend with a unhealthy amount of TDS admitted to me the other day that if anything Biden is worse, so now he’s afflicted with BDS as well, poor fellow.

        1. Lee

          I would see your friend’s shift in perspective as an indication of, if not robust mental health, then at least a better grasp on reality.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If one is an accelerationist, then LOTE voting is the right way to vote. LOTE between Rs and Ds and Rs and Ds will accelerationise the arrival of the Great Burndown.

        1. albrt

          Why not GOTE voting? Or for that matter, why not write in the names of actual goats?

          Hard to see it making much difference at this point. Breaking up the U.S. is the only plausible way forward.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Modernians will have to retreat into some Modernian Majority states in a contiguous mass so as to be able to craft and evolve their own Separate Survival Economy.

            Any such would-be Modernia would have to figure out ahead of time how to defend itself because the United States of Christian Shariastan would invade it the way Russia has invaded Ukraine.

    2. chuck roast

      I gotta go in for a colonoscopy Monday. I’m considering using a magic marker to write “Medicare For All” on my ass. The down side of course, is that I will be out cold when the medical people see my booty, and I will be at their perhaps not so tender mercies.

      1. Futility

        There’s no need to get sedated during a colonoscopy. It’s not pleasant but doable, feels like having a lot of gas inside that wants to get out. I’ve done it. Then you could stay awake to deliver the message.

  5. norm de plume

    When there is ‘Growing Revolt Among Medical Practitioners Against Vaccinating ANYONE for Covid’ I might start listening to them again.

    I posted this in yesterday’s Links, suggesting it was worth inclusion in the next batch. It wasn’t. Perhaps it’s not important enough.

    BMJ, Peter Doshi et al:

    The excess risk of serious adverse events of special interest surpassed the risk reduction for COVID-19 hospitalization relative to the placebo group in both Pfizer and Moderna trials (2.3 and 6.4 per 10,000 participants, respectively).

    They don’t work and they are dangerous for many people, perhaps most. We don’t (and can’t) know yet. Surely that is now beyond argument.

    And yet we have all these chin-stroking tweets and stories of late chuntering on about Long Covid – in highly vaccinated populations, mind – and nary a mention of vaccination as a potential player. I mean, hello? Am I missing something?

    I don’t know about you but I am literally surrounded by triple-vaccinated people who are either battling Covid, a bad influenza (like 3/4 weeks of shocking coughing), heart conditions, cognition issues, sudden cancers… while we unvaccinated scum are going OK, thanks.

    I like surrealism, but this is too much for me. It’s like we are not allowed to notice the nose on our face. Same with Ukraine – I can’t speak to family and friends about it, for fear of being trampled by Ze-love and militant solidarity for a country most couldn’t find on a map. How do you tell someone you love that they’re a dittohead?

    Good job, MSM. If someone makes a movie about the media’s fall in the last few years they could call it Once Were Journalists.

    1. kareninca

      I especially enjoy sending my negative covid test results each week to the volunteer coordinator of the organization I help out at. I have to test weekly because I, too, am unvaccinated scum. So week after week, I faithfully test and report. Always negative (I use Xlear, a mask and horse paste)(this is most definitely not medical advice). For months on end they were all expecting me to drop dead as punishment for my arrogance, but I haven’t yet (knock on wood). Meanwhile everyone I know who has caught covid has been double vaccinated, and almost all have been boosted.

      Don’t get me wrong; I won’t be surprised when I catch it. There is going to be a variant for everyone.

      But I don’t feel great. I’ve had an upset stomach for about two months. It’s a good thing that I’m not eager to see a doctor about this, since the first available opening with a GP in my HMO is in mid-December, and the first available opening with a gastroenterologist is in late October. I signed on for both, just in case. I think that maybe the many vaccinated people here in Silicon Valley are taking up the slots.

      1. norm de plume

        Hi Karen, I hope you continue to manage avoidance of both the virus and the vaccine.

        Wish I could get the horse paste but our docs here would be de-registered for prescribing it. Apparently the official reason is that ‘it might not work’. You can’t say they don’t have a sense of humour.

        About your tummy, my expert diagnosis is ‘anxiety’. You want to be careful, if not treated it could turn into ‘dread’.

        1. kareninca

          My horse paste isn’t prescribed by anyone; it is from a farm animal supply store, over the counter, online. I try to get the version with the apple flavoring, but sometimes am stuck with plain. You can also buy it on Amazon (if that is all that works for you) or Ebay. This is not medical advice! Actually at this point I am taking it less frequently, since really I am not seeing unvaccinated people catch the latest version. And also I don’t know if there is much data on how well horse paste works on the latest variants.

          Yes, it could be anxiety. There is a lot of that going around.

          1. ambrit

            I too am a partaker of “Horse I.” I have noticed some drops in the online price of “..the drug that must not be named.” The panic buying phase has passed? Excess ionventory must be reduced? Who knows. At least I am assured of not catching Mississippi River Blindness, though the formulation has not shown much efficacy against ‘Neo-liberal Parasite Infestation.’ I’m going to have to go back to Paracelsus at this rate.
            Stay safe. Be vigilent.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Ukrainian troops to withdraw from Severodonetsk, local leader says”

    This article was from five hours ago? That option disappeared about five days ago. Those men are cut off and are going nowhere. And I think that Lysychansk is also going to be turned into another cauldron. Instead of pulling men out to defend elsewhere, the Zelensky regime threw in some of the good formations that they had left to try to defend that place. The only good option for those Ukrainians in that cauldron is to surrender before they got crunched as the Russians will do it. Just a day or two ago the Russians hit another brigade and caused 500 killed and wounded in one day. At this point the Russians have just about liberated the area of the Donbass republics and that is when the real ‘fun’ begins. I would imagine that the next stop on the Russian road tour will be those Ukrainian batteries firing on the civilian city of Donetsk.

    1. sinbad66

      Well said, Rev Kev.

      Alexander Mercouris has been saying the exact same things over the last couple of days.

      Immediately on the ‘to do list’ on the “Russian Road Tour”:
      1. Free Donetsk from shelling
      2. Mop up the rest of the Donbas region
      3. Take Odesa (probably inevitable)

    2. Polar Socialist

      Well, the Ukrainians in Severodonetsk can retreat to Lysychansk, but not much further. The news (in Donetsk Telegram) last night was that LNR/Russian troops are already on the southern outskirts of Verkhokamyanka, so less than 3 miles from physically closing the last remaining road out of Lysychansk.

      At the moment it looks like the Ukrainian defenses south-west of the Lysychansk have collapsed almost totally. The talk has kinda moved towards pondering whether next advance should be towards Slavyansk or to the south to deal with the Ukrainians still shelling Donetsk from behind.

      In this situation even a tactical withdrawal can easily turn into a rout.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I thought that at the very least they had fire control over the routes out of Severodonetsk but Lysychansk is now cut off. A German reporter barely got out of that town though the van he was in had a window blown in. Came across a video of supposedly American mercs fighting in the Severodonetsk industrial zone so I wonder who else is there- (2:20 mins)

    3. PlutoniumKun

      From the latest I’ve seen from the more reliable sources, the collapse is near total and faster than even the Russians were expecting. The mini-cauldrons are collapsing very rapidly once the neck is closed. The only real question is whether the Russians will keep on with their mini-bites, or go for a big offensive south from Izyum to cut them all off in the Lugansk\Donbass. The losses on the Ukrainian side will be enormous if they can’t manage some sort of organised withdrawal (sorry, I mean strategic advance on Kiev).

      It looks like phase I (liberating the two republics) will be complete by early July at the latest.

      1. Old Sovietologist

        I wonder when Zelensky’s one man Broadway Show begins?

        Slightly OT but the BBC didn’t have much actual Ukraine news this morning. Looks like war fatigue is setting in at Auntie.

        1. Pelham

          Amid the general gloom one tiny source of uplift for me is trying to game out what will be the most fascinating scenario, bit of news or narrative generated or spooled out by the blob. Re Ukraine, I will be absolutely fascinated to see how crushing defeat is sold to us.

          But that con job will emerge only if the crushing defeat isn’t purposely pre-empted by another manufactured event of even greater urgency. I’m thinking of the (alleged) rail blockade by NATO member Lithuania preventing Russia from reaching its exclave of Kaliningrad, something that could provoke an incursion and a NATO response.

        2. Old Sovietologist

          I see Zelensky has made an appearance at Glastonbury Festival

          Maybe they’re selling Azov merchandise at the supposedly anti nazi Glastonbury.

        3. Anonymous

          “I wonder when Zelensky’s one man Broadway Show begins?”

          Is Lin Manuel Miranda writing it? That might be Biden’s best chance of winning in 2024.

          1. ambrit

            How about something to draw in the wokies, plus appeal to the MIC crowd; “The Hamiltons.”
            (I was going to suggest “The Benjamins,” but I fear there might be copyright issues since there was a film by that name, and on a similar topic if I remember correctly.)
            Similarly, “The Hamptons” would not be defensible since he was a Confederate General during “That War.”

            1. Wukchumni

              To be fair, the Confederacy nabbed the silver medal in the intermural state games back in the day.

    4. Dave in Austin

      On Tuesday there was a “caudron” at Zelote when the Russians closed the noose; it turned out the Uks had pulled-out the artillery four days before and there was no haul of POWS. The infantry got away. The same seems to be happening now; Russians closing on an even bigger pocket with little fighting and few POWs. My guess is that except for some Russian-allied Donetsk people and the Chechens, most of the Russians have no urge to close with the retreating Uks. Frankly the Uks have more reason to fight than the Russians. And both sides would prefer to live.

      Socrates was a 42 year-old veteran infantryman/hopolite when he got caught up in the rout at Delium. Plato tells how Socrates said: “I didn’t turn my back and run like many other. That only encourages them to chase you down and spear you in the back. Instead, face them and back away slowly, daring each to be the first one to test your spear and your courage. Your life is worth more to you than it is to them.”

      I suspect war hasn’t changed that much in the past 2,500 years… and most of the Uks will make it out. I may not always be on the side of the Uks, but I am this time.

      1. Yves Smith

        Ukraine has save for late in the game with Severodonetsk, has not been authorizing retreats. In the Ukraine chain of command, only Zelensky can do that, and he’s been regularly reported as overruling Zaluzhnyi, the degree to which it’s been rumored that Zelensky might replace Zaluzhnyi, mainly out of fear of a coup, that the troops would clearly be more supportive of Zaluzhnyi’s approach.

        That is a long-winded way of saying the troops leaving the cauldrons might not be retreats but desertions.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > troops leaving the cauldrons

          I remember reading in one of John Keegan’s books (Keegan, not Kagan) that routs begin at the rear, not the front (because the troops at the rear can (a) assess the situation better, since they’re not yet in the fight, and (b) because they can get away. The example he gave was the collapse of the Old Guard at Waterloo.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if LIFO was the actual, if not preferred, method of leaving the cauldrons.

  7. Lex

    The European distress over Russia “waging economic war” against it must be the funniest thing of the 21st century. It’s just not fair. Only Americans and Europeans are allowed to wage economic war on other nations. Everybody knows that. It’s the first bullet point of “the rules based international order”. These are not serious people.

    1. hunkerdown

      Destructive encompassment shalt not be coded as “war”. That’s impolite. We prefer “reform”.

    2. OnceWereVirologist

      Russia’s ruble hit its strongest level in 7 years despite massive sanctions.

      The Russians are now taking measures to weaken the ruble. Perhaps throttling gas exports isn’t even warfare purposefully directed at the Europeans, it’s just a good way to slow the ruble’s appreciation when you’re making money hand over fist and you can’t just park your earnings in the foreign bond markets any longer for fear it will be confiscated. Wasn’t the Americans’ ultimatum to the Saudis “You’ll recycle your oil earnings into weapons and treasuries, or else” and now the Europeans have broken that circle for themselves.

  8. kriptid

    RE: New Not-so-Cold-War

    Yesterday, Ukraine suffered what is probably the biggest single-day loss of territory since the conflict started in the area around Hirske and Zolote, about 10 miles south of Severodonetsk. It looks like a partial retreat/disintegration, with Russian MoD reporting that Ukrainian commanders were abandoning units in hopeless situations over the past several days as the Russian/LPR forces closed the cauldron around them. Ukrainian sources, of course, are claiming orderly withdrawal. Russian/LPR forces took both towns, which were heavily fortified at the beginning of the conflict, with little to no resistance.

    To give folks an idea, the region around the two adjacent towns is something like 25-30 square miles, so we’re talking a big swathe of territory to lose in a couple of days, considering these places were supposed to be heavily fortified.

    To me, it suggests the manpower problem is looming large now for Ukraine if they’re willing to give up so much ground without a fight, especially considering this was a fairly entrenched defensive position, or at least appeared to be so.

    So while the world watches anxiously as the plucky Ukrainians make Russia/LPR fight block-by-block for Severodonetsk, they fall apart spectacularly with nary a whimper 10 miles to the south.

    Also worth mentioning that this will put Russia/LPR shortly in striking distance of the last supply line into Lysychansk that they do not have fire control over, so it’s only a matter of time before that domino falls.

    1. Tom Stone

      The officer Corps of Ukraine were mostly trained in the USA and western Europe,those are plum assignments.
      Who do you think got those plum gigs?
      Was it the most qualified, or the Sons,Nephews and in laws of the powerful?

      1. The Rev Kev

        I have noticed again and again in accounts from this war of the Ukrainian officers shooting through and abandoning their men. I hope that this is not part of the US/European training. Sometimes though in fleeing, they run into a Russian patrol which does not end well for them.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          From Gilbert and Sullivan, The Gondoliers, “In enterprise of martial kind“:

          In enterprise of martial kind,
          ⁠When there was any fighting,
          He led his regiment from behind,
          He found it less exciting.
          But when away his regiment ran,
          His place was at the fore, O—
          That celebrated,
          The Duke of Plaza-Toro!

      2. polar donkey

        A few days ago in the links was a story about US navy sacking a bunch of officers without explanation. I forwarded story to a friend who recently left the Navy. He asked around his friends still in. The main rumor is there was some sort scheme being run that enriched these officers. Navy became aware because one of the officer’s wives was angry about an affair her husband was having. Told a Navy investigator about scheme. Navy has been quietly trying to purge all those involved.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > some sort scheme being run that enriched these officers

          Let’s hope it was ordinary, garden-variety corruption, as opposed to selling weapons, or enriched uranium…..

      3. chuck roast

        Sounds like my state senator. Graduates from the USMA in ’71. Gets a prime spot in an airborne unit…the fast road to generalship. Doesn’t come within 3,000 miles of the Viet Cong. Preps for a house seat then graduates to the senate. He simply dazzles me.

    2. anon in so cal

      To address its manpower problem, Ukraine is drafting new legislation to draft “disabled people,” “with their consent.”

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Germany raises national energy alert over Russia’s ‘economic attack’ ”

    This guy Robert Habeck really is a light weight. He wants people to conserve gas? What would that consist of precisely? Only one hot 3-minute shower a week? One day a week without heat in your apartment? There are already rumbles that Germany should do heavy fracking but if they go that way, that is not the only rumbles that they will be experiencing. Until a few minutes ago, I thought that Germany as a desperate last measure could use the Nord Stream 2 after getting the nod from the Russians. But it seems that they are intent on burning that option down as well. The German Ministry of Finance is studying the possibility of nationalizing that section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that runs through Germany and turning it into an LNG terminal. Seriously. They would literally cut it off from the rest of that pipeline to make an LNG Cargo Cult. You can bet that lawyers will be crawling all over that proposal but to my mind, that is akin to cutting out the seat-belt from your car and using the strap to wrap around the steering wheel for a better grip-

    1. caucus99percenter

      Habeck is one of the Green party’s two co-chairs.

      I was a supporter of the German Greens from their founding, and formally a member for many years. Do I feel conned? You bet!

      They, along with almost the entire alternative-left scene from the 1970s (typified by the now co-op owned, Green-adjacent daily newspaper), have turned into the biggest boosters of Ukraine, war, neocon-neolib globalism, the U.S. Deep State, and Wehrmacht 2.0 in the current coalition!

      To register opposition to this course electorally, one practically has to vote for the right-wing populist AfD — still a step too far for most people here, especially in the former West German states.

      Unfathomable. I have no words.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The Greens that I met and knew back in the 80s would never have supported this insanity. I mean, supporting coal plants, nuclear power and fracking? Back then it was not even on their radar. Seems that they got taken over in a long-term campaign and become the people that they use to fight against.

        1. Bonnie

          They are Harlequin Watermelons:

          Superficially Green on the outside, Red deeper down, then inside of that, a core of the true Green, finance capitalism, central banking and globalism.

        2. Mac na Michomhairle

          There were two currents in the German Greens at the point: the “Fundis” and the “Realos” (if I remember correctly.) The Fundamental approach is best enunciated in Rudolph Bahro’s books, and basically stated that the direction of society was such (so fundamentally-flawed) that only a social movement that noted the deep-seated nature of the problem and built an alternative direction: only it had any hope of changing society in necessary ways.

          The Realists were gradualists, and also probably better politicians and schemers, and eradicated (electorally etc.) the Fundis, by, (I think) the early 90s, maybe earlier.

      2. Kouros

        In the 1930s, the US prairie states in the north were hotbed of populism and mild socialism – same as in Canada, where the New Democrats and universal healthcare were born. A great campaign went underway since 1960s-80s that changed those populations in rightwing strongholds, all riding on social/religious issues and economy be damned… But in Germany, as in other places, it is also likely that a looong grooming campaign of potential leaders friendly to the US in foreign policy outlook also went on for decades…

      3. Monosynapsis

        I’m in the same boat as you, though I voted green only until Fischer took over (late nineties), their Neoliberal mutation became too obvious to ignore by then.

        Still, I’m aghast by the fact that its exactly this party -once the peace party par excellence ! – which has turned into an ultra-hawk today.

        Speechless and profoundly disgusted/betrayed.

        It now know what Gregor Samsa felt.

      4. Maxwell Johnston

        As best I can discern, Habeck has no experience in economics or finance or business, and has never been in charge of any large organization. How he became Minister for Economic Affairs for a country which depends on exports and globalization for its prosperity is really quite beyond me:

        Even the Peter Principle doesn’t explain his rise. Maybe he’s a smooth political operator. I think Germany is in deep trouble.

      5. Futility

        I concur. It’s unbelievable what’s become of the green party. LNG, coal, fracking, coming from a party that once stood for environmental protection. All irrelevant in the face of the new Hitler from the east.
        But what is even more distressing is the general agreement that is apparent in, say, the comment section of Der Spiegel, once considered fairly left ( not as far left as the Taz, though). Just minor criticism of the not exactly efficient sanctions elicits immediate accusations of being a Putin troll. It appears a not insignificant fraction of the population longs to be obliterated in nuclear hellfire to prove that the West has the moral high ground. It’s insane. We seem to be slowly sleep walking again.

      6. Felix_47

        They got older. Being students they grew up to enter the PMC class. Greens do not work in factories. Greens are paid government salaries and work in law, medicine, social work, psychology and government. They need to build a workers party just as the US needs to. The SPD used to be that but it’s leadership is plenty corrupt. The Linke is a more useless variant of the Greens. The Afd calls it like it is but just as voting for Trump will get you kicked out of your family voting for the Afd will do the same thing in Germany. And the AFd has its own corruption issues. No good solutions expected. I would not advise investing in Germany.

        1. Futility

          The AfD is no solution either. Some of their leadership are members of the Mont Pelerin society, hard core neoliberals. And Höcke seems to succeed in pulling the party ever further to the hard right neo nazi direction. And so far, I haven’t seen anything useful coming from them. They just add to the general impression of general incompetence at the highest level of our democracy. But they might very well profit from this mess the establishment parties are currently concocting. And I am convinced that this will not benefit Germany either.

    2. RobertC

      Yesterday vao reminded me of an even more dire future. When he first described it, I couldn’t accept German industrialists abandoning their country’s future but as I examine what happened in the US I’m coming around to understanding his analysis. Good times ahead for Southeast Europe and Central Asis as China (along with Russia) has already built the import-export trade roads, railroads, pipelines, etc ready for the industrial shift into their countries.

      1. vao

        Somebody more knowledgeable with the British situation can chime in, but it is my understanding that since the Brexit was decided, the UK has been bleeding out firms that relocated their business in other countries.

        As far as I know, the financial sector has been busily transferring entire departments to the Netherlands, Luxemburg or Germany, other kinds of services are moving to Ireland, and several industrial firms (for instance in the car sector, TMS, Ford, Honda) are winding down their activities in the UK and increasing them elsewhere.

        I fear something similar will take place Europe-wide. It will not be a rush for the exits, but a steady shrinking of the economic presence of industrial firms that, in ten years or so, will lead to an irreversible atrophy of the productive capacity of Europe.

        1. Revenant

          No. Not happening. Banks have transferred some brass plate regulatory activities to The Continent. Car plants are staying, if only for the bribes.

          What has happened is that EU refusal to grant regulatory equivalence has cut the City off from certain markets, so Irish subsidiaries are being incorporated. And in some markets the EU is insisting activity occurs on EU soil, creating new teams in Paris or Amsterdam. Nobody wants to go to Frankfurt.

          Industries with single item export loads are fine, it is just extra paperwork. Industries who ship on carriers with multiple other goods are tearing their hair out at the extra form filling and delays to clear mixed cargoes. Services are in a works of pain because mutual recognition of qualifications ended so British lawyers and architects will have to requalify in the EU.

    3. RobertC

      Irina Slav at OilPrice provides a You-Can’t-Make-This-Stuff-Up analysis Germany Risks Industrial Crash With Gas Shortage

      …”Companies would have to stop production, lay off their workers, supply chains would collapse, people would go into debt to pay their heating bills, that people would become poorer,” Habeck said, blaming it all on Russia’s President, who, according to the German minister, wanted to “undermine our liberal democracy from within.”

      …Russia has reduced flows along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline by some 60 percent, citing the delayed delivery of a turbine that was repaired in Canada.

      …Earlier this week, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson acknowledged the problem but did not offer a solution, signaling that Canada had no intention of returning the turbine.

      …which is a step behind gas rationing, which will only happen in case of severe shortages. So far, it has not come to that, but the authorities in Berlin are worrying that they might need to stop exporting so there is enough for the domestic market.

      Meanwhile India has increased its Russian oil imports by 5000% and China is replacing Saudi Arabian oil with Russian so there should be plenty left for Biden when he goes begging. But I’m not expecting any pricing discounts — he couldn’t even get them domestically.

    4. Soredemos

      The last few months have made it abundantly clear that most European leaders, and those of Germany in particular, are utter morons, and completely subservient to the demands of the US. Europe will in fact willingly commit economic suicide because DC commands it.

      I never want to hear or read a European acting smug towards Americans ever again. Maybe we are all uncouth, uncultured swine with no history. But what does it say about the Europeans that they’re comically subservient towards us swine?

      1. Bsn

        Actually, you have to go higher up the food chain. It’s the pervasive public/private partnerships and the WEF who run the show. The European and U.S. leaders aren’t morons, they’re just doing their master’s job.

      2. OIFVet

        That hurts, but only because it is true. The EU has willingly given up whatever little sovereignty we had left, and added the destruction of our economies as a freebie. It’s like some sort of ritual seppuku, except it lacks the dignity our “betters” think it has. I am rethinking the European part of being European-American.

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        Much of Europe is under US military occupation. That explains much of European behavior.

        1. DZhMM

          And the rest is explained by decades of manipulation, supported by, and also supporting, the cultivation of corruption. Top all off with the targeted application of propaganda and flat-out murder.

  10. Samuel Conner

    The title of Jesse Ventura’s item reminded me of an ancient aphorism, that IIRC goes something like:

    ‘let all your food be medicine, and medicine your only food’

    Being an ancient aphorism, modern pharmaceuticals are not in view; it’s counsel to consume food and drink with known therapeutic properties.

    In that spirit, I offer this recent abstract, found in a quick search at Pub Med with the search terms ‘green tea COVID’

    Perhaps coffee and black tea are beneficial, an encouraging thought to those of use who depend on them to remain alert.

    I think that epicatechin is present in Green Tea, too. I read years ago that Green Tea polyphenols have oral health benefits, too, interfering with multiple pathogenic bacteria that cause tooth and gum problems. There’s an older study, in a Japanese population,

    that found significant benefits for cardiac event mortality.

    YMMV, but as we’re on our own, there may be value in casting a wide net in terms of what additional layers to incorporate to one’s personalized ‘swiss cheese’ protective strategy.

    And it’s not likely that Green Tea will be deprecated by the public health authorities as a ‘not proved’ intervention.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Thanks intriguing; thanks!

        Here’s a related item in the Pub Med abstracts database that identifies the specific phytochemical that appears to be involved:

        Bay laurel is an attractive shrub. It might make a great component of an edible/medicinal landscape. I wonder if there will in future be a move (by commercial actors, not just DIY people working at the margins) toward landscaping with plants that provide more benefits than simply visual appearance.

        1. anon in so cal

          Bay Laurel leaves can add flavor to various dishes. They also smell great when broken off and crumbled. They can be grown in containers. In the ground, while slow-growing, they can reach 59 feet in height.

          1. Michael Mck

            And the nuts can be roasted (take the fleshy skin off, about 15 min about 350F) and make a mocha flavored nut to nibble on or can be crushed with honey for a candy. They are very stimulating, like caffeine.

          2. ambrit

            Bay leaf is an integral ingredient in New Orleans Beans and Rice. A couple of leaves in the pot of beans while they cook, with all the other goodies.

  11. Tim

    Great video of Japanese joinery. In a previous life, I worked in timber framing and had some aptitude in drafting. The boss decided to have me clean up the ‘joint book’ (detailed drawings of different joints to be reproduced by the workers who chiseled them into the beams) as the drawings had been done by various draftsman that had come and gone over the years.
    I couldn’t help but have a certain awe for the limited number of Japanese joints that we were producing. I recognized one of those joints, a scarf joint, in the video!
    Any timber framer worth his salt will have a certain reverence for Japanese timber framing. So next level.

    1. Lexx

      Husband is working on his second even more elaborate garden gate, where he’s using a technique he calls ‘hogging out’. It’s our new phrase, he say’s ‘hogging out’ and chuckles deeply with wonder and contentment as he walks away with the sample of joinery he’s just showed me. Woodworking makes him very happy and the wife thinks the transition into retirement will go well for us.

      We were considering putting a ‘fence insert’ into the gate so it looked friendlier and less like a fortress. The available choices were awesome and I wondered how we could move into the neighborhoods where those gates resided. But none of them were sufficiently nerdy, so we decided that if anyone attempted to enter uninvited, we’d just stand on the chemin de ronde, wear silly helmets, and hurl insults at them in bad French accents.

    2. Lex

      Japanese scarf joints are amazing. I noted in this video that one of them was much less complex than usual, although a later scarf shown was in the traditional joint layout. It’s also wild how tight those joints are after 100 years, though Japanese framing generally uses much drier lumber than western timber framing.

      Chinese joinery seems to be primarily applied to furniture and it’s also something to behold. Chinese frame and panel construction uses a thin, flat panel that’s buried in the rails/stiles, but you insert a tapered, sliding dovetail into the back of the panel and this gets tenoned into the stiles. Super lightweight but also far more stable and sturdy than a western frame and panel where the panel floats and all the stress is on the corners.

      Andrew Hunter does mostly Japanese style work (tools, etc) but has incorporated Chinese joinery. I learned the frame and panel from him, though I mostly apply it as a floating top for coffee tables.

    3. Eclair

      Tim, last week, in the process of cleaning out my in-laws’ garage and workshop, (60 years of accumulation, and every item must be reviewed by my spouse and his brother ….. so about 100 years to de-clutter!), I found a wooden box that once held cans of Campbell’s Pork and Beans for shipment to retail stores. Dovetail joints hold together the four sides. One side, alas, had pulled apart (probably due to the 200 pounds of scrap metal pieces that were piled inside), but we coaxed it back together. It’s a lovely piece of work.

    4. Jabura Basadai

      Decades ago worked on a timber frame crew here in the midwest for about eight years – eventually built my own timber frame home after working with a local architect – we thought we were being inventive with some of the joints we created and then his parents were in England and ran across an old timber frame book in a used bookshop and lo and behold our joints were already thought of and designed – nothing new – and Japanese joinery is flat out awesome – it is my understanding the oldest wood building in the world is a temple in Japan – would love to see the joinery there –

    5. JP

      Gotta weigh in here with a hybrid joinery system employed at the Gamble house (Green & Green) in Pasadena using forged stirrups with tensioning wedges to hold the craftsman wooden beams together. If the wood ages and shrinks, just pound in the wedges.

  12. RA

    In yesterday’s Links there was a discussion about keeping old cars as long as possible.

    I was reading NC late so thought I’d make a post in today’s Links in case my info is helpful to anyone.

    Ambrit made a post
    where he said, in part,
    “Secondarily, most vehicles made after the mid 1980s extensively use computerized controls. A decent ‘scantool’ is required. Those run anywhere from $300 USD on up to the thousands of dollars range. I have been lucky so far in not having had to buy one, but that day is coming.”

    I have been using a Scan tool occasionally for around 7 years, which I like. Ambrit suggests low price is around $300 but the current version of the one I have is about half that ($140). It is a small dongle that connects via bluetooth to an app on your smartphone or tablet. The vendor provides their app (free) in the phone’s store or there are several other fancier apps that work too.

    The dongle plugs into the OBD connector somewhere under your dash. This interface has been standardized since 1996 so the scanner should work in any car or truck from 1996 or newer. I have used mine on two different cars and a truck.

    Here’s a link to the current version of the scanner I have been using
    The OBDlink MX+
    I have no connection. I’m just a satisfied customer.

    I’m in California which I expect is probably as strict or stricter than any other state in smog testing. Back ten years or so, a smog test involved putting the car on rollers with a sensor in the exhaust pipe to measure actual exhaust gases. For at least 5 years this is no longer done. There is a visual inspection and then they plug a cable into the same under-dash OBD socket and ask the car’s computer if it has anything to report. Nothing? — you pass and the results are sent off electronically to the DMV.

    So if I get the notice that I have to get a smog inspection, I get my scanner out, plug it into my vehicle and there is a page in the app that tells me if my car is good and clear for an emissions test. I know I will pass before I actually take it to a test station.

    There is one option where you can clear all the data in the car’s computer. Don’t do this unless you have a reason, like you repaired something and need to clear the earlier error code. I did this clear function one year before a smog was required. There are several tests in the car’s computer that need to complete to pass smog. I had to drive a lot in various ways (city, freeway) to get all the tests in pass state. I had a similar issue one year where I let my truck sit a long time and the battery died. This cleared the tests and when the battery was replaced I had the same hours of driving before I could get it smogged. Just a warning.

    I think I actually used it once to get a service code to identify a failing engine sensor in one car and repaired it. Mostly I just use it to check before smog tests.

    You can connect the scanner and, while driving, monitor or log all sorts of parameters. In the app you can create custom dashboard displays from a slew of metering options. Now that I think about it, with the price of gas lately, maybe I should study up on fuel efficiency monitor options in the app and see if I can train myself to drive more conservatively.

    If anyone is interested in one of these, I have one more suggestion. The little dongle has a few indicator lights and a little button to start syncing bluetooth. It varies by the car, but when I plug it into the socket under the dash I kinda need to stand on my head to see it. So I ordered an ‘OBD Extension Cable’. I plug that under the dash and then the Scanner dongle in the other end so it can be moved out in the open. There are lots of listings of these cables on eBay for just a few bucks. Probably Amazon and other car parts vendors too.

    Hope some may find the info useful and this doesn’t just sound like an advertisement. I think the purchase was worth it just for the assurance from checking before smog tests.

    1. hunkerdown

      Also an OBDlink MX+ owner. Good advice, but not entirely Jackpot-ready. I’d like to add that OBD-II is primarily designed to facilitate emission control repairs and secondarily to be privately extensible by automakers. The regular scan tool is designed to query industry-standard OBD-II operating parameters and trouble codes from the powertrain ECU, and to reset the malfunction indicator and self-tunes. The manufacturer scan tool (using the GM Tech-II scan tool for up to 2006 IIRC as an example), using the extension mechanism and manufacturer-secret codes, can additionally reflash firmware in flashable ECUs in the system, access non-emission-related trouble codes and parameters, set up test conditions for repair and rebuilding operations, exercise individual sensors and actuators, configure options, and (where required) pair new components with the vehicle.

      [1] Funny mechanic word for “loading firmware into” ­— powertrain ECUs tend to be self-tuning where possible.

      1. hunkerdown

        (endnote was in relation to the term “calibrate” used in the auto service industry, but I lost my edit button before my edits were done)

      2. Carolinian

        Right. There are scan tools and there are scan tools. The code reader versions are now quite cheap while the car model specific version used by the dealer may not even be available to ordinary car owners because capable of reprogramming the various “modules.”

        While I have a couple of scan tools I’ve never used them because when I did have a car that needed repairs they were never about the emissions sensors and other components. Apparently one reason there is a chip shortage is that car chips have to be made to very rugged specs which is why they are unlikely to be your problem.

    2. Charlie Sheldon

      Regarding computers in cars – it seems, to this unenlightened car owner, that some time around 2018 cars went from a lot of computer stuff to ALL computer stuff – although it is also true that a car built in 1999 seems almost Neolithic compared to today. My wife has a 1999 Toyota Corolla which runs just great, gets 37 miles per gallon, has a radio and a tape player (!!!) and which, whenever she thinks, time to replace it, she ends up spending a bit to, say, replace the shocks or the liner inside under the roof. Simple, runs forever, standard shift, goes and goes. Cheap and gets you there. Worth more now as a used ancient car than its purchase price, nearly. I had to replace my car in 2018, another old small car, and looking was a tremendous shock. The price! The amount of bling inside, backup cameras, side warmers, all sorts of electronic stuff for whatever – all stuff that might last, what, a few years? This is how I saw the 2017-2018 shift, realizing that something must have happened, some new generation of junk, appearing everywhere in the 2018 models, so I ended up getting a used 2017 Kia Sportage, which has a bunch of bling – back up camera, Bluetooth – but not EVERYTHING, and so far it;s been running fine. But I predict in the end that 1999 Toyota will be with us 20 years from now….

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Speaking of older radios…

        To my right are two older (1980s) Yamaha integrated amplifiers, one of which I keep for spare parts. I have looked at newer stuff and I’d probably have to pay $1000 or more for a new one with equivalent performance. The one I use was being tossed by a guy because one of the selector buttons quit working. $10, a bit of time to access the switch, a bath in electronics cleaner and, viola, a fully functional amplifier. Well, with the exception of one occasionally reluctant speaker protection relay that I have yet to replace. I know I will also have to replace several capacitors one day (they leak and die with age), but that day isn’t here.

        Meanwhile, there is some sweet jazz available online (for example, K-Jazz). Over the air, our local HBCU, Alabama A&M, has a show I consider appointment listening: Return to the Source, which is hosted by political science prof Douglas Turner. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, imo.

    3. Eric Anderson

      Yes, I have one too. They’re standard for anyone who still does diy car maintenance. But still, there are mechanical issues that I just don’t have the time or inclination to deal with and I wind of taking it to a shop.
      But, with the app, I never take it to the shop not knowing what’s going on. Thus, one of the biggest advantages of owning one and knowing how to use it is the ability to open the “black box” that is car repair gouging.

  13. Tom Stone

    The decision in “Bruen” does not mean that reasonable restrictions on carrying a firearm are off the table, Vermont has been a “Constitutional carry” State since its inception and like the other 35 such States it has restricted the places Citizens can be armed.
    In those 36 States you can carry concealed if you can legally possess a firearm,no training or license required.
    It will make it more difficult to disarm the peasants and especially minorities which has historically been the outcome of “Sensible” gun laws.

    1. Brian (another one they call)

      In a few weeks, as more and more people in NY apply for concealed carry permits, we will see the crime rate go down sharply and the politicrap class will explain that it isn’t because criminals are scared.
      I hate to mention this but the old NRA slogan has shown to be truthful, “if guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. Ask Chicago, and a hundred other cities. It sucks, but some think their idea of safety is worth the risk.
      The worst part is that our founders were convinced that without an armed citizenry the nation could not survive.
      Reality is different in reality.

    2. Skip Intro

      Except that those minorities are already presumed armed and dangerous and are shot preemptively by police and others who live in constant fear.

  14. Chas

    That was an interesting article about how the British establishment ruined Jeremy Corbyn. But did they ruin him for good? The article got me thinking that maybe Corbyn is now the prime minister in waiting. Sort of like Churchill before World War II. If the economy in Britain crashes next winter and people are cold and hungry it seems, to me at least, that there is only one leader to turn to. The UK has only one leader who could be counted on to put the welfare of the public first.

    1. hk

      At minimum, that he has been shunned and hounded by the current establishment (and is practically the only prominent leader who does not share in the debacle being brought by the incumbent leadership) makes him the obvious and possibly the only alternative –exactly same as Churchill during 1930s, who seemingly went against every consensus, including the abdication of Edward VIII…

    2. JohnA

      No, for all his virtues, Corbyn is not a leader and that was the problem. He lacks the ruthless streak. But hopefully, a kind of John the Baptist ahead of Jesus (if I have got my biblical references right).

  15. LawnDart

    Re; Alexa to add voices of your deceased loved ones

    This just seems really sick and creepy. I’m no shrink, but is this psychologically healthy? What about closure?

    1. Wukchumni

      On the 70’s channel on SiriusXM i’m often informed of the top 40 on say this week in 1976 by Casey Kasem who has been dead for 7 years now, it’s like a music séance.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        How many of the Top 40 artists from 1976 are still around? Our pop culture is often a séance.

        1. Angie Neer

          The tribal casinos around here (western WA) bring in quite a variety of bands that make me say “they’re still alive?”. Of course, it’s common for some of the members to have been replaced by youngsters. Maybe Alexa can replace them, too, if outfitted with a Marshall stack.

      2. griffen

        I caught the Eagles in concert two months back in nearby Greenville, SC, the acoustics were quite good and the guys still bring it. Absent the presence of Frey, and far as I know still alive Felder, but a great show!

        Glenn’s voice lingers onward on those classic rock stations.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I could see a hacker going in and messing with those voices by uploading and using the voices of other people instead. So as you go to put your child to bed and start a bed story, instead of grandma’s voice you suddenly have that of Kamala Harris blaring through those speakers, cackles & giggles included. That could give any kid nightmares that.

      1. LawnDart

        And what about abusive-relationships? Add a sadist to a hacker-for-hire and what could you get? “…forever!”

    3. Lexx

      ‘What the…. Aunt Stella? Is that you?!’

      ‘Yes, favorite niece. I hope you’ve been taking proper care of that quilt I left you in my will. You do still have it?’

      ‘Oh, yes! It’s proudly displayed on top of the guest bed. Thank you again; we’re so grateful!’

      ‘The guest bed? Why? Wasn’t your bed good enough for my quilt? Do you even have guests? Why would you hide all my hard work in some dusty unused corner of your house?! That quilt took me weeks and you know how bad my arthritis got in the end. Why, I have half a mind to give that…

      ‘It was nice to hear from you again, Stella. Come again when you can’t stay so long. Alexa…. off!’

      Using technology and guilt to micromanage our lives from beyond the grave. Oh, goody.

    4. jr

      What a fabulous idea! Imagine your dead kid’s loving voice calling to you from the Alexa device, reminding you that it’s time to order more filters for your smart Britta pitcher. Or Grandma’s warm, wise tones explaining the virtues of chip-augmented vitamin supplements in a targeted ad generated by a flag in your medical records.

      But why stop there? With Meta, your loved ones will always be with you! Virtual Junior can order a dinner of worm burgers by conversing with Junior in the Alexa, quarreling occasionally as boys will. Rascals! Grandma is back but for a twist she appears in her 30’s again like in that old photo you love, recommending new shows from Disney+++ while knitting a cozy digital sweater. The whole family is there….until the week long blackout hits.

      1. Mel

        There’s your market for GPUs after crypto-mining goes away. Vast voice-synthesis farms so that ads can be narrated in loved-ones’ voices. Videos I guess after that.

    5. hk

      Makes the last death in “And There Was None” by Agatha Christie practically realistic. (The actual murderer manipulated the last murder victim/murderer to hang herself by giving her subliminal instructions via the “voices” of the people whom she hurt/murdered, if I remember correctly.

  16. Wukchumni

    Funny how in the course of a day, the Supremes make it so that you can conceal your manhood (lets face it, most hand cannon fans are male) while the Senate approves a ‘gun control’ bill.

    It’s a strange country we’ve turned into…

    1. Eclair

      Geez, nix on ‘gun control,’ ‘birth control.’ Women being forced to just pop ’em out, and the ubiquitous hand cannons will be used instead as a selective form of population control. We are a bizarre and conflicted society.

    2. John

      I confess that I am ignorant of the just passed “gun control” bill. Does this bill have useful purpose or is it structured as political salve for the wound of Uvalde? I further confess to having become all but 100% a cynic about any action Congress might take.

      1. marym

        Provisions of the bill:
        “Red flag laws” to temporarily confiscate guns from people deemed to be a risk, and closes a loophole that allows domestic abusers to keep their guns; additional background checks for 18-21-yr-olds; $$$ for “mental health.”

        Yesterday’s SC ruling
        “The Court’s Second Amendment ruling calls into question key parts of the Senate gun bill,” Winkler tweeted after the decision came down. “Thomas says only gun regulations consistent with historical regulation of guns are permissible. Red flag laws, however, are a modern invention. So too bans on domestic abusers.”

        Historical regulation – based on the citations in this ruling, and Alito’s draft of the Roe-ending ruling – means pick examples from a time frame that gets the court majority where it wants to go.

        So, the new law doesn’t do much to control guns, and is subject to abuse (“deemed to be a risk”) and grifting for mental health dollars; and the new SC ruling may further weaken this and other new or proposed laws.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Well if the Supremes are insisting on only gun regulations consistent with historical regulation of guns, then why not go all the way. Yeah, you can have any gun you want but only those that were in use at the time of the introduction of the U.S. Constitution. So that means “Brown Bess” muzzle-loading smooth-bore muskets, Charleville muskets, “Pennsylvania Rifles”, Pattern 1776 infantry rifles and Ferguson rifles. That is more than enough choice.

          1. marym

            One of the citations was to England “between 1660 and 1688.” Presumably the right-wing agenda enforcers would choose a different timeframe to specify weapon types. Maybe “last Tuesday through 2090.”

          2. vao

            Doesn’t the famous amendment talk about the “right to bear arms”?

            So what about swords, sabers, daggers, bayonets, and spontoons?

            Actually, what is the regulation for blade weapons and why does it differ from firearms?

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Don’t know about the rest of the union, but in Alabama, Bowie knives are illegal to carry concealed. Further, if one kills another in a fight using a Bowie-type knife (such as a Ka-Bar), it is considered premeditated murder. Odd, because if you switch to, say, a Glock 19 and empty a magazine into someone you find threatening, you’re just another god-fearin’ patriot.

        2. LifelongLib

          IIRC some Old West towns banned guns completely so maybe there’s a bit of hope? I live in a state (Hawaii) where carrying a gun is highly restricted, so not looking forward to what may happen next.

          Time to start thinking about repealing the 2nd amendment…

            1. ambrit

              Don’t forget Switzerland’s version of “..a well regulated militia.” As in everybody. (Still mainly male, but women are creeping in there.) Citizen soldiers there take their arms home with them, or so I’ve read. And this is made workable in a country with four languages!

  17. LawnDart

    Re; Wild solar weather is causing satellites to plummet from orbit. It’s only going to get worse.

    Good article, and I found it quite informative. Even better, it linked to another article that brought great joy to my heart.

    If Musk’s satellites piss you off for polluting the night sky, you will love this:

    Fiery death of SpaceX Starlink satellites captured on video after geomagnetic storm

      1. LawnDart

        Well, the Russians are referring to Musk as a neo-nazi sympathizer and a Pentagon employee, and they really are not happy with Ukrainian drone strikes and military communications allegedly made possible by his Starlink system… …I’m willing to entertain alternative theories.

  18. Questa Nota

    DTC and other recent, uh, innovations, present some ethical dilemmas. Nothing against DTC, per se, although the regulatory dodge brings up some questions. Whether to push the limits, go outside the envelope, cheat or otherwise do something sketchy seems to be wired into modern life.

    When did that change? Gradually, then suddenly?
    Was it when people and their consciences went off some type of Gold Standard?
    The simple metallic analog in ’71 has repercussions that are still being felt.
    Will it take a Jackpot to force some decency reset.

  19. Wukchumni

    $4.01k update:

    Don’t Believe the Obits for Bitcoin WSJ.

    Sure, I had major palpitations when Bitcoin dived for cover under $20k as it looked like a 1-way ticket to Palookaville, but I HODL’d and yeah i’m licking assorted wounds, but i’m still here ready for the assault on catch $22k sure to come.

    If you aren’t heavy into crypto like yours truly, the brickbats always come out telling you what a goof you are for believing, but didn’t Jesus have a coin wallet with a bunch of iWidow’s Mites, and lots of people still believe in him.

    1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

      I’m with you. I just bought some tulip bulbs at the local garden center. Fingers crossed!

  20. Lexx

    ‘Power Causes Brain Damage’

    Where’s the baseline showing he tested as a Regular Joe at any point in his life? Where are the same baselines for the caregivers?

    Mirroring is learned, not everyone born has the same innate capacity for imitation, or is encouraged to learn based on the same social incentives. What are the consequences to the powerful for ‘just not getting it’? They have ‘people’ who protect and distance them from any negative consequences, maybe all their lives… that’s the ‘aesthetizing effect’ – no pain for them directly, and pain is such an exacting and powerful teacher.

    Imagine how attractive that would be to someone who was never good at mirroring from birth. High risk/ high reward, but also safe and warm… like heroin, or so I’ve heard.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Lake Mead nears dead pool status as water levels hit another historic low”

    That article starts with an image of a speedboat sticking out of the water but I was watching a video today of two guys – a father and son – that went to visit it. It is now fully out of the water but they could not get too close as the ground is still very muddy and you would need something like snow shoes to walk on that mud. Thing is, that water that you see in the background is only about three foot deep and going down rapidly. So the father said that this time they visited this well know boat with their own boat but pretty soon, if you want to visit it, you will have to go on foot to see it as that water will be g-o-n-e gone.

    1. flora

      Hoover Dam was built in 1935-6. The populations in AR, NV, and CA have quadrupled since 1950. Between drought and the 4x the water draw now for cities and irrigation, it’s not surprising the water levels are so low. Not good, especially if it hits dead pool status and the dam can’t generate electricity.

      1. Shannon

        You also have to factor in that when the water from the Colorado was apportioned in 1922, they used a baseline figure that derived from an abnormally wet cycle. There never really was 15 million acre feet to distribute. As I understand it, the total is really between 9 to 11 million acre feet. It’s just that it took until the 2000’s for this deficit to become a serious problem.

        1. hk

          AZ did not have the infrastructure to take it’s share of the water until recently, and before that, there was a decades long lawsuit between CA and AZ over water (having a Supreme (SD O’Connor( on your side helps) preventing it

          1. Shannon

            CA v AZ was decided in 1964, the CAP canal started delivering water in 1985 and was fully online in the late 1990’s. The fact the the Colorado River was oversubscribed has been known for decades. This is the major issue that no one in the watershed wanted to deal with, but now everyone will have to deal with it.

            1. hk

              Completion of CAP got the city of San Diego (at the bottom of the water totem poll) to engage in shady dealings to divert agricultural water from Imperial County for municipal use (which probably was not legal–but Imperial County and agriculture had higher water rights). I’m not sure if CAP has been operating at full capacity (to bring all the water that AZ was legally entitled to) the entire time? I don’t think the Colorado had enough water to allow that (and still allow for SD to have water) in the past couple of decades.

              1. Wukchumni

                Tijuana-adjacent is last man charlie on a long delivery line for H20, that’s no bueno.

  22. Wukchumni

    Here’s a preview of what will be coming to prosperous SoCal, a prosperous Mexican city is going tilt with water trucks the only option for many residents of Monterrey.

    Monterrey: queues, protests, despair. No water, no answers

    The Government of Nuevo León has taken different measures to face the crisis, among them, trying to convince large companies to give up water from their wells and redirect it to urban consumption, since dozens of companies have had federal permits for decades to exploit aquifers with which they keep their production active.

    “We panic because we don’t know when the water is going to come out again ,” said Lara, 60, as she and her husband dragged buckets under the intense sun to fill them from a tanker truck sent by the government to their neighborhood. “Finally they listened to us and they sent us a pipe, but we still don’t have water service, ” she added about the tanker truck.

    Lara’s situation is shared to a lesser or greater extent by the almost five million inhabitants of this hot city hit by an intense drought that has almost emptied the three dams in the state of Nuevo León , whose capital is Monterrey . Residents have organized protests and even blocked main avenues in demand for the liquid

    The crisis that Monterrey is experiencing derives from a drought that has lasted for almost six years, increasingly high temperatures, poor planning by the authorities and excessive use of water by the population, according to experts and officials. The situation forced the state government to declare a state of emergency in February and implement harsh measures such as reducing the water supply to only seven hours a day, from 4:00 to 11:00.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Intel withholds Ohio fab ceremony over US chip subsidies inaction”

    If there is one industry that America should be building up it is chip production and she should be doing it right now. Or better yet, last decade. You would reckon that the Pentagon would be jumping up and down on this one because so much of their gear uses chips. But here Congress cannot pass $52 billion in subsidies to expand US semiconductor manufacturing because reasons? Really? You know, my mind must be playing tricks on me. I am sure that I was reading how Congress had no problem passing a total of $52 billion in subsidies for another project the past several weeks. I just can’t seem to recall what it was. Oh well, it will come to me sooner or later. Whatever it was, it must have been worthwhile.

    1. caucus99percenter

      I know, right? You crane your neck and strain your azzoff trying to remember, but somehow the name of the project eludes you at the moment.

      1. ambrit

        The name of that supposed ‘project’ eludes you because, as every Righthinking (TM) person knows, there was never any such ‘project,’ (at least since the last Reality Revision of 2022.)
        Welcome to the ‘Outer Limits.’
        ‘Outer Limits’ Intro:
        Any self respecting parody site could do a reboot of the ‘Outer Limits’ Intro, using different terms to update it to our day. For instance, replace “..adjust the horizontal..” with “..fact check the news…”
        Stay safe, for some definition of “safe.”

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      Over the years Intel has spent somewhere north of $40 billion purchasing its own shares. Intel is a welfare queen of the highest order. Congress ought not give the semiconductor industry any subsidies. Collectively, the entire industry (including semi equipment providers) have spent $100 billion on share buybacks. Back in the day the founder of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Jerry Sanders said “real men have fabs”. The “boys” went fabless by outsourcing semiconductor wafer fabrication to Taiwan and other places. Now they all come crying for government bailouts.

    1. flora

      Not surprising. If the Dem run on “think of the Court” – again – I won’t consider it anything more than another tease they intend to raise money with but not actually do anything about. (They had 3 times of full lege/admin control in the past 50 years to codify Roe and did… nothing.)

      This ruling pushes the decision back to the states.

      1. TBellT

        This ruling pushes the decision back to the states.

        That must be a comforting thought to states like NY right now… oh wait…

        1. lyman alpha blob

          It would be nice if the rather blatant hypocrisy of the recent awful decisions by the Supremes regarding Fed v state jurisdiction could put to rest once and for all the “states rights” canard the Republicans like to use.

          It’ll never happen though – the county is too far gone for even that little sop.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        pelosi just said it in her “response.” Paraphrasing: “If you give the majority to republicans, they’ll institute a nationwide abortion ban and take away the right to contraception (!)–You must keep democrats in the majority to prevent such a travesty!

        Well, they’ve got the presidency and both legislative branches right now and until the end of the year.

        Put up or STFU as far as I’m concerned.

        Friggin’ obama just weighed in “lamenting” this violation of women’s rights. Yeah, OK.

        1. Stephen

          They had 50 years to encode abortion rights into federal legislation. They consistently failed to do so because, as we’ve all seen, they prefer using it as a wedge issue to campaign on.

          Crocodile tears form the lot of them, and so transparently so. Pathetic.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          Pelosi just wants to keep her Speaker position, rather than being sent out to pasture which she richly deserves.

          1. JBird4049

            >>>rather than being sent out to pasture

            Considering her many crimes, lies, abuses, and betrayals, would that not be a reward? The Madam Speaker should be on trial; instead, she probably will be spending her last years slurping her Jeni’s Ice Cream along with her bum of a husband probably in her nice mansion in San Francisco. A city whose middle and working class she helped to destroy.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Pelosi just wants to keep her Speaker position, rather than being sent out to pasture which she richly deserves.

            That would be bad. No ice cream in pastures.

      3. Art Vandalay

        At least when the news was announced this morning and I said, “Thanks, Obama,” my spouse heartily agreed, whereas a couple years ago she was still a big fan.

        Helping open eyes 1 person at a time, with a side benefit of domestic tranquility.

        Would be a longer road were it not for NC and the critical thinking skills of the commentariat. And I don’t see that changing any time soon.

        1. Aaron

          Glad to see that I’m not the only one that has a negative view of both sides. Even my mother, a diehard old school liberal, is openly negative about the Dems.
          Now, onto alternatives. There is a growing (still shall, but growing) movement of left organizations that are calling for a workers party. I’d love to see more articles from those organizations on the daily list here. Socialist Alternative has poignant articles, and a strong track record with Kshama Sawant in Seattle.
          And Art, sorry for burying this so deep in a reply to your comment lol

      4. marym

        Pelosi just tweeted that they’ll be “fighting ferociously” and the House Judiciary Committee that they’ll have meeting after their vacation “to explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America.”

        Between now and when the Republicans pass a national ban, I imagine the court will find many creative ways to impede anything the states try to do that interferes with the right wing agenda.

        1. Lex

          We’ll get to that, right after vacation. Committee members could cancel their vacations to work on something so important … unless their vacations are more important to them.

      5. Noone from Nowheresville

        Caught part of Nancy’s presser. She says the Dems are gonna’ fight for the right to access to abortion services. That it’s on the ballot in November.

        So I guess no attempts at any new legislation between now and then.

        1. jo6pac

          Nope, but demodogs will use this as a fund raiser. I wonder if any reporter will call them out the fact that demodogs held the power to make this a law several times and didn’t.

          demodogs a more effective evil. I just read where justice uncle tommy want to ban the pill and gay rights. It’s just the beginning.

        2. Pat

          First a reminder that Nancy and the DCCC just spent time, a boatload of money and political capital to help an anti abortion, 2nd Amendment advocate to defeat a Hispanic pro choice female who supported Biden’s supposed agenda in a Texas primary by a whopping 200 votes. He wins again in November he won’t help that Democratic majority keep anything safe.

          As for currently, They’re too busy holding PR hearings about illegal parading and rubber stamping social spending* for another country’s citizens they can’t be bothered about for Americans. Said funds and arms also in the bill being sent to one of the most openly corrupt countries in the world, so we know a whole bundle of already rich grifters will get richer, arms will be sold to our actual enemies and the average Ukrainian will never see any benefit.

          IOW, if it ain’t all about posturing they don’t know how to do anything. Useless pieces of scum.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The Supremes are acting because they know Team Blue elites are only going to berate their likely voters.

            They aren’t afraid of Biden et al.

            1. Pat

              The Supremes are acting because this is one of the three big reasons they are Supremes. The Republicans have always considered this one of the things to give to their voters. They have consistently made this position one of their criteria for judgeships. The Democrats have it on their lists but it has been clear to anyone who looks corporate fealty and government power were the priorities, everything else is for show. With a clear majority the Supremes, with the possible exception of Roberts, saw no need to wait.

              All presidents are of no real importance except to their personal political wishlist.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                This was tabled under Trump because they were still afraid about 2020. Biden proved conclusively with his failure on BBB that he was weak and wouldn’t respond.

      6. hunkerdown

        Now we know which party HQ the Democrats store their dry powder under. Democrats have border throngs, GOP has SCOTUS to declare one or another kind of property sacred. All aimed at us.

      1. RockHard

        No, it was 6-3.

        There’s plenty of blame to go around besides Obama and RBG. This was failure across the board over many years. It should be clear to the “traditional Democratic constituencies” that their party has no interest in representing them. Thomas has signaled what’s coming, and it’s likely that will happen in the next 6 years, given the likely outcome of the midterms and next Presidential election.

    2. timbers

      I guess Thomas forget to include ending slavery to be overturned as well. Maybe someone can remind him to include that also, in his concurring opinion.

    3. mrsyk

      Team blue’s commodification of the issue of abortion bears fruit!!! I’m getting bombarded with grimly worded fundraiser messages. Good grief. Ka-ching!

  24. Ignacio

    Five COVID Numbers That Don’t Make Sense Anymore The Atlantic (Re Silc). All CDC-invented or signal boosted….
    The Atlantic tries to get current … and fails miserably. At least for the discussion on vaccine on terms like “fully vaccinated” or “up to date”. There is no way you can be “up to date” on vaccination, supposed this is possible, when the vaccines being administered were developed against variants no longer transmitting significantly and replaced by variants for which the vaccines might give a smidgen of protection if any.

    Moreover, being “up to date” could be totally counterproductive as you are priming again and again the immune system against the already non circulating VOCs and making it more difficult to have proper responses against current VOCs. The same capital sin committed all over again.

    But there is still this meme that vaccination with whatever “prevents the worst” which is repeated all over again without proof. Because what was valid in 2020 is no longer valid in 2021 not to mention 2022 and what was valid the first half of 2022 may not sustain in the second half being so far the disease so dynamic and with so many variants coming here and there. The problem is not only the ‘binary’ stuff that the Atlantic mentions but we are making generalizations all the time which probably don’t hold none of them if examined and too many based on statistics that say close to nothing. Each individual, and each infection episode is different and the outcome depends on too many things too assure anyone that next time will be milder or more severe. One should just try to avoid infection and do not trust on wasteful boosters, supposed mild strains, protection from previous infections etc.
    Try not to get infected in the first place and go on.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Every single person that I know who has been infected with Covid (all infections occurred from March 2022 onward) were vaccinated + at least one booster. The vaccines are largely useless, and over time may prove to be very damaging to one’s long term health.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “BRICS basket-based international reserve currency under consideration — Putin”

    I think that you could call this a tectonic shift. Just suppose that a loan from the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund with their economy-shredding measures were no longer the only game in town. That they could be totally bypassed and ignored. How would the west retain control of those countries? I could very easily see a situation where over the years that the west ends up being financially isolated which means that the only choice for those western financial institutions was to ‘devour their own’ so to say.

    1. ambrit

      “The West” is trying the other strategy available to them for the protection of the “Rules Based Order;” the destruction of any potential rivals. So, we have a proxy war in the Ukraine and a probable proxy war in Taiwan.
      We live in interesting times.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        I’d go with grab whatever isn’t nailed down before the house they started on fire burns down. Then sit back and use the Rules Based Order to allow them to grab more stuff from the fire sale before the other system can get up and running on a truly worldwide level. If they can create even more noise and chaos diverting more attention from their smash and grabs, all the better.

        Does one take a chance on any potential new order with all the unknowns that entails or does one fall back into the old order knowing that they’ll likely be screwed but at least their expectations can be managed since they already know “the rules?” Or perhaps the better question is which options gives the country’s elite the better deals cuz it’s not like DC or Wall Street are alone in grabbing goodies from the common good or finding ways to increase a population’s work output.

      2. Mel

        Yeah, Tom Perkins, The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. A point he makes is that when the economic hit men aren’t working, They will fall back on old-fashioned wasteful hit men. Perkins calls them “Jackals”. So that chain of military bases ringing the world will be in use for a while yet.
        That ring of military bases will become more expensive to maintain, though, as described by Prof. Hudson in Super-Imperialism. Up to now bases are provisioned by host countries, paid for by US$ that wind up sequestered in reserve accounts, or in perpetually-rolling Treasury bonds. When that system fades, the US$ will wind up in the U.S. market, bidding for goods, services, and assets. Where up to now the bases have been paid for with foreign inflation, they’ll be paid for in the future with U.S. domestic inflation. On top of the inflation that’s here now.

        1. albrt

          In a few years the U.S. will not be able to pay for its soldiers stationed overseas to get back to the U.S. by boat (air travel being no longer available to ordinary people). Let us hope the U.S. withdraws its forces in an orderly manner before it comes to that.

          1. Paradan

            I wanted someone to make a movie about that back when we were still in Afghanistan. Like a modern day Anabasis, economy collapses and 2000 soldiers have to try drive back to Israel, across Iran, Iraq, then Syria. Tense stand-offs, etc. Seriously has potential, of course, no way in hell the DoD would allow anything other then a patriotic run and gun, where in the end we find out the whole collapse was brought about by an evil isolationist congressman.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Heard of one book where America collapsed and all those overseas garrisons were stuck. The American forces in Afghanistan eventually became just another tribe along with all the others and there are instances of this happening in history often enough.

              But something based on Anabasis’s March of the Ten Thousand might make a good movie. But what if instead they went the other way to Vladivostok to try to get transport to Alaska where they could march down south to home? It would be more direct.


              1. Mel

                “another tribe”

                Shades of Rudyard Kipling’s The Man Who Would be King. Adventurers get to the back of beyond, locate a tribe they’re going to swindle, and find that those people are Freemasons.

        1. LifelongLib

          Serbia, Poland, Ukraine. Places of no importance in themselves but where the great powers of the times chose to confront each other. Hmm…

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > No one seems willing to admit that WWIII has begun.

          Fiona Hill, so anybody who does admit that is in good company:

          Reynolds: The more we talk, the more we’re using World War II analogies. There are people who are saying we’re on the brink of a World War III.

          Hill: We’re already in it. We have been for some time. We keep thinking of World War I, World War II as these huge great big set pieces, but World War II was a consequence of World War I. And we had an interwar period between them. And in a way, we had that again after the Cold War. Many of the things that we’re talking about here have their roots in the carving up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire at the end of World War I. At the end of World War II, we had another reconfiguration and some of the issues that we have been dealing with recently go back to that immediate post-war period. We’ve had war in Syria, which is in part the consequence of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, same with Iraq and Kuwait.

          All of the conflicts that we’re seeing have roots in those earlier conflicts. We are already in a hot war over Ukraine, which started in 2014. People shouldn’t delude themselves into thinking that we’re just on the brink of something. We’ve been well and truly in it for quite a long period of time.

          Readers will recall that Hill was a key figure in Trump’s first impeachment, since apparently Trump wasn’t getting on with World War III fast enough.

    2. Anthony G Stegman

      I just don’t see US Dollar hegemony going away any time soon. The demand for Dollars remains enormous globally. A BRICS basket of currencies will have only a marginal impact on Dollar hegemony for the foreseeable future. Putin and Xi can dream I suppose.

  26. CaliDan

    Mass biodiversity loss would slash global credit ratings, report warns Reuters

    I suppose it’s somewhat heartening that the ghouls can sense a few negative consequences of the disappearance of a livable planet.

  27. chuck roast

    Good point. I was going there myself. Lets call the new currency the Bancor in a nod to JMK. I’m trying to figure how the west’s primary bag-men the IMF and the WB will deal with this. How will they be sidelined? Won’t the BRICS need a new-style global bank to administer their inter-country loans? Developing a new SWIFT may be the easy part. Putting together an equitable international bank of actual “assistance” would be the keystone.

  28. RobertC


    China has succeeded in preserving SCS petroleum resources for its future as Philippines Nixes Joint Maritime Resource Exploration Talks With China In 2018, Manila and Beijing began talks on the joint exploration of offshore oil and gas resources in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

    Teodoro Locsin, the outgoing foreign minister of the Philippines, yesterday announced that Manila had terminated negotiations over joint energy exploration between his country and China in the South China Sea, dealing a blow to Beijing’s strategy in the region. [I don’t think so.]

    For years the Philippines has struggled to find foreign partners to help exploit the offshore energy reserves that lie within the West Philippine Sea, as Manila refers to its areas of the South China Sea, in large part due to the unresolved disputes in these regions.

  29. Jason Boxman

    On A Billion-Dollar Crypto Gaming Startup Promised Riches and Delivered Disaster

    Even many Axie regulars say it’s not much fun, but that hasn’t stopped people from dedicating hours to researching strategies, haunting Axie-themed Discord channels and Reddit forums, and paying for specialized software that helps them build stronger teams. Armentia, who’s poured about $40,000 into his habit since last August, professes to like the game, but he also makes it clear that recreation was never his goal. “I was actually hoping that it could become my full-time job,” he says.

    The reason this is possible—or at least it seemed possible for a few weird months last year—is that Axie is tied to crypto markets. Players get a few Smooth Love Potion (SLP) tokens for each game they win and can earn another cryptocurrency, Axie Infinity Shards (AXS), in larger tournaments. The characters, themselves known as Axies, are nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, whose ownership is tracked on a blockchain, allowing them to be traded like a cryptocurrency as well.

    (bold mine)

    Wait, what? People actually believe this stuff, like there’s some magic door that just opened and you get to opt-out of capitalism and live the easy life? This stuff just defies belief.

    There are various ways to make money from Axie. Armentia saw his main business as breeding, which doesn’t entail playing the game so much as preparing to play it in the future. Players who own Axies can create others by choosing two they already own to act as parents and paying a cost in SLP and AXS. Once they do this and wait through an obligatory gestation period, a new character appears with some combination of its parents’ traits.

    Whoa. You’ve gotta be trippin’ balls to think this makes any sense whatsoever.

    1. a fax machine

      BTC is a classic scam, so yes people do beilive it. Just look at a certain imageboard when BTC dipped under $18k last week .. guys who had refinanced their house to go all in at $60k were asking when they’d get to $120k. For what it’s worth, at the current rate BTC will be trending at or near $16k by the end of the month. All BTC relies on the greater fool theory and the “bags” theory – your money is only worth as much as the next sucker willing to purchase it.

      Regrettably, there is a casual link between mainstream venture capitalism, “real” companies and BTC. When the Nasdaq sells investors try to sell BTC to get liquidity. Which means as the economy stalls, the net new USD into BTC will fall and collapse BTC. It also creates a big problem for miners as unless they cut BTC production and BTC reserves, prices will continue going down.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Interesting — Because most BTC is mined by a small handful of players, will they coordinate like OPEC to keep the outstanding number of coins to a particular level, or will there be an incentive to cheat and mine as aggressively as possible?

  30. RobertC


    A realistic explanation of the China-Taiwan-US future, albeit force-of-arms oriented Beijing Is Still Playing the Long Game on Taiwan Why China Isn’t Poised to Invade

    But fears of an imminent Chinese attack are misplaced. For decades, China’s policy toward Taiwan has been characterized by strategic patience, as has its approach to other territorial claims and disputes—from India to the South China Sea. Far from spurring China to jettison this approach in favor of an imminent military assault on Taiwan, the war in Ukraine will reinforce Beijing’s commitment to playing the long game. The price Moscow has paid, both militarily and in the form of international isolation, is but a fraction of what China could expect if it were to attempt to take Taiwan by force. Better to wait patiently for Taiwan’s eventual surrender, as Beijing sees it, than to strike now and risk winning the island at too high a cost—or losing it forever.

    …None of this is reason for American or Taiwanese complacency. China is following the dictum of the ancient strategist Sun-tzu: “To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

    …If Beijing eventually succeeds in taking Taiwan, it will fatally undermine Washington’s credibility with its Asian—and even its European—allies, challenging Australia, Japan, South Korea, and other countries to either come to terms with China or prepare to defend themselves without American help.

    The only way to defeat China’s Taiwan strategy of strategic patience [not an American strength] is to exercise corresponding patience, continually adapting American and Taiwanese deterrence as Chinese arms and training present an ever-changing and ever-growing threat.

    This is a tall order for the United States at a time when its share of global GDP has declined to less than 25 percent (from 40 percent in 1960) and the U.S. Navy complains that it doesn’t have enough ships to perform all the missions it is charged with.

    …But if a prolonged standoff in the Taiwan Strait is the most likely prospect for the future, the side that that stays in the game the longest is the one that is likely to come out on top.

    [edited to highlight key points]

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The price Moscow has paid, both militarily and in the form of international isolation

      I think the author has “international” confused with “US client states.” Here is a handy map:

  31. RobertC

    Supply Chain

    A decade or so ago when Europe’s carbon elimination really got moving, its oil and gas traders decided they didn’t need long-term contracts and would refill their storage from the spot market when prices were low. Didn’t work out so well for them 2020-2021. And now that they’ve turned away from cheap Russian oil and gas, they must find new suppliers. Who’ve seen past behavior of Europe’s traders and are having not of it as Qatar Demands EU Sign Long-Term LNG Deals

    …The Persian Gulf state, one of the world’s top LNG exporters, will demand that EU nations sign long-term contracts, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to identified discussing a private matter. The EU countries say they need a shorter duration to hit the region’s pollution reduction goals, the people said.

    A recent German deal for a 20-year US LNG supply agreement bolstered Qatar’s reserve to push through its demands, the people said. However, the Europeans argue that the Qatari offers are too rigid, providing buyers little ability to divert supply — unlike the US contracts. Negotiations on the duration of the imports have been in deadlock since March [Robert Habeck, Germany’s economy minister, visited Qatar in March], the people said.

    …But at the same time, European LNG demand is slated to balloon through 2030, while Qatar needs to lock-in customers to underpin an enormous [$10Bs] expansion LNG plan.

  32. Bsn

    I just love this headline: Mass biodiversity loss would slash global credit ratings, report warns Reuters.
    Not too concerned about the death of humans and everything that supports them, yet worried about credit ratings. Got to love it.

  33. Bsn

    Loved the short video on joinery. I remember my first wood shop class, when they offered shop classes in school. There are very few now in accordance with the dumbing down of the U.S. populace. In any case, our first assignment was to take a 1′ X 1′ piece of pine and make it square on all sides. Took me a week. No power tools of course. I’d say “Mr. Fessler, i think I have it”. He’d pull out his square and show me the light coming through on one side. Wow, a classy class.

  34. Lunker Walleye

    Japanese Joinery

    The ability of the carpenters who created the joints by hand was fantastic and no doubt, a joy to take apart and discover how fine the work was.

    1. Skippy

      As someone with a few degrees, one is a MBA, I’m more than happy to be working at 60 years old in the trades. Always been a fall back when shifting between corp jobs or just punching out for a bit of mental repair from the corporate life style life.

      Anywhoo if any are interested one should look up videos of how this work is actually done, even today, no power tools, only traditional hand tools, several times a day they have to manually sharpen them, master tradesmen run the site and educate the rest over many years, only regional timbers are used, no short cuts are taken, pride and ownership of craft is paramount in a almost bushido like mannerism.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > As someone with a few degrees, one is a MBA, I’m more than happy to be working at 60 years old in the trades. Always been a fall back when shifting between corp jobs or just punching out for a bit of mental repair from the corporate life style life.

        Readers with children, listen and learn.

  35. drumlin woodchuckles

    If you are in the Global Overclass, then covid endemicity is a victory for your World Jackpot Agenda.
    Just imagine having a viral driftnet drifting . . . drifting . . . . through the “ocean” of world population, steadily taking out more and more and more people, year after year after year for decades to come.

    That’s a pretty major Jackpot Delivery System right there. No wonder the World Overclass is deeply pleased by the prospect of covid endemicity.

  36. digi_owl

    So is that cold blooded survival article yet another data point suggesting reptiles are running the world? ;)

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