Links 6/3/2022

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

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You can see all 5 naked-eye planets align in the night sky this month, a rare treat Starts tonight!

The world’s largest plant is a 112-mile-long seagrass in Australia Interesting Engineerintg. Original.

Confronting a Perfect Long Storm International Monetary Fund. “We must embark on public-private collaboration on a scale never before adopted. Public sector finances will not be able to meet these needs on their own. As it is, debt-servicing costs will take an increasing share of government revenues.”

Davos ignores the pandemic Felix Salmon, Axios. From last week, still germane.


Seen from space, the snow-capped Alps are going green Channel News Asia. Original.

Study finds ‘millions of tons’ of extremely reactive chemical in Earth’s atmosphere Independent. Original.


Herd immunity was sold as the path out of the pandemic. Here’s why we’re not talking about it any more The Conversation

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Early introduction and rise of the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant in highly vaccinated university populations (accepted manuscript) Journal of Infectious Diseases. From the Abstract: “The dynamics governing [Omicron’s] establishment and propensity towards fixation (reaching 100% frequency in the SARS-CoV-2 population) in communities remain unknown. In this work, we describe the dynamics of Omicron at three institutions of higher education (IHEs) in the greater Boston area…. We show that the establishment of Omicron at IHEs precedes that of the state and region, and that the time to fixation is shorter at IHEs (9.5-12.5 days) than in the state (14.8 days) or region. We show that the trajectory of Omicron fixation among university employees resembles that of students, with a 2-3 day delay….. We document the rapid takeover of the Omicron variant at IHEs, reaching near-fixation within the span of 9.5-12.5 days despite lower viral loads, on average, than the previously dominant Delta variant. These findings highlight the transmissibility of Omicron, its propensity to rapidly dominate small populations, and the ability of robust asymptomatic surveillance programs to offer early insights into the dynamics of pathogen arrival and spread.”

Multistate Outbreak of Infection with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant after Event in Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2021 Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC. The Abstract: “Bars and restaurants are high-risk settings for SARS-CoV-2 transmission. A multistate outbreak after a bar gathering in Chicago, Illinois, USA, highlights Omicron variant transmissibility, the value of local genomic surveillance and interstate coordination, vaccination value, and the potential for rapid transmission of a novel variant across multiple states after 1 event.”

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Association Between COVID-19 Booster Vaccination and Omicron Infection in a Highly Vaccinated Cohort of Players and Staff in the National Basketball Association (research letter) JAMA. From the Discussion: “This study found that in a young, healthy, highly vaccinated cohort frequently monitored for SARS-CoV-2, booster vaccination was associated with a significant reduction in incident infections during the Omicron wave. Study limitations include generalizability to older populations and the possibility that some infections may have been undetected in the absence of daily surveillance testing.”


Monkeypox is a new global threat. African scientists know what the world is up against Science. Presumably we’ve learned our lesson, and we’ll move to “Let ‘er rip” immediately?

What the surprising mutations in the monkeypox virus could indicate about the new outbreak STAT

Community transmission of monkeypox in the United Kingdom, April to May 2022 Eurosurveillance


Zeroing out on zero-COVID Science. “There is no such thing as ‘zero-COVID.’ As the Omicron variant spreads to China’s capital city, Beijing, the question is not if, but when and how, China will begin to ‘live with COVID-19’ rather than continue to impose endless lockdowns. The problem is that under China’s stifling political climate, this notion cannot be uttered, let alone debated.” “Stifling political climate,” eh? Apparently, even the editors of Science are not immune to projection. From a Beijing resident and observer:

I mean, it’s not as if the lives of a million Chinese elders are at stake. Oh, wait….

Beijing and Shanghai ease COVID restrictions as outbreaks fade Los Angeles Times

Russia oil giant Rosneft picks Mandarin speaker to lead global trading as Ukraine war prompts pivot to Asia South China Morning Post

U.S. updates fact sheet, again, says does not support Taiwan independence Reuters

Upgraded trade talks with EU on semiconductors signal an advance in Taiwan’s standing South China Morning Post

The mystery of Scott Morrison The Monthly


Non-inclusive ceasefires do not bring peace: findings from Myanmar Small Wars & Insurgencies. Leaving open the question of why the International Crisis Group is promoting one.

Mekong River in jeopardy: Sand-pumping operations ravage ecosystem France24 (Furzy Mouse).


BDS victory: General Mills says it will divest from Israel Mondoweiss (Re Silc).

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

Ukraine Security Services Hunt for Russia Supporters and Agents in Their Midst WSJ. Hmm.

Ukrainian Parliament Fires Ombudswoman Denisova Citing Lax Efforts In Response To Russian Invasion Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

* * *

West must brace for ‘long haul’ in Ukraine: NATO chief France24. Well, now that we’ve safeguarded the Atlanticists’ rice bowl, maybe we can pivot to Asia?

Vladimir Putin: Russian President Vladimir Putin thinks his biggest ally in Ukraine war is time Times of India

2022.06.03 Those Lying Americans, lol (video) Gonzalo Lira. Many interesting speculations.

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Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, UN Form Road Map For Shipping Grains From Ukrainian Ports: Report Republic World

Biden Administration

OSHA requires JBS to implement disease preparedness measures at seven plants Investigate Midwest

Biden Hikes Medicare Prices And Funnels Profits to Private Insurers Lever News

Supply Chain

Soaring costs squeeze farmers’ returns in North American grain belt FT

How we all paid for the shipping giants’ $150 billion windfall Freight Waves

About 3,000 workers laid off at Peru’s Las Bambas as mine shutdown drags on


Drug shortages: FDA to require risk management plans Benefits Pro

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Reliability and Effects on Drug Shortages Computers & Industrial Engineering. “With a lean supply chain configuration, we observe that expected shortages at status quo conditions are 10%…. The most influential single change would be to add a back-up supplier to a lean configuration, leading to expected shortages of 4%.”

The Bezzle

CFTC sues Gemini Trust over statements ahead of bitcoin futures launch FT. “Crypto winter.” Why not a “crypto Ice Age”?

Jump Report Shows Big Investors Exited Terra While Retail Bought Bloomberg


Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention? Politico

Zeitgeist Watch

The jury verdict in the Depp-Heard case: A telling, deserved blow to the #MeToo witch-hunt WSWS

The Depp Trial and the Demise of the ACLU: How a Celebrity Trial Exposed the Collapse of a Once Celebrated Group Jonathan Turley

Black Injustice Tipping Point

‘Was Emancipation Constitutional?’: An Exchange NYRB. Polemics!

Imperial Collapse Watch

Bound to Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Liberal International Order (PDF)) John Mearshimer. From 2019, still worth a read.

Class Warfare

The Conglomerate Problem Matt Stoller, BIG

Wells Fargo employees pushing to organize union across bank’s workforce Guardian

Amazon said to be impeding House probe of warehouse collapse AP

‘Tsunami’ of prosecutor departures hits Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office Baltimore Banner

Meet A Corrupt Company Town Boondoggle. Anaheim.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote, or maybe an anti-antidote. A thread on seagulls:

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. Basil Pesto

    byline on the “Zero-ing out on Zero Covid” article in *Science*:

    William C. Kirby is the T.M. Chang Professor of China Studies and the Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA.

    Sounds about right

  2. R

    “Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention? Politico”.

    I think the book “I am OK You are OK” by Thomas Harris, written some 3-4 decades ago, talks about it eloquently.

    1. Tertium Squid

      it completely flips the idea that someone with a gun on the scene is going to deter this. If anything, that’s an incentive for these individuals. They are going in to be killed.

      Offering no commentary on whether America’s problem is not enough guns, but this is not convincing. If it was just to get killed they would shoot themselves or deliberately pick places with more guns. Even if they want to die they want an impressive body count first.

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention?

    From the article;
    There’s this really consistent pathway. Early childhood trauma seems to be the foundation, whether violence in the home, sexual assault, parental suicides, extreme bullying. Then you see the build toward hopelessness, despair, isolation, self-loathing, oftentimes rejection from peers.

    That’s it? That is almost verbatim the narrative about school shootings since even before Columbine. Mark Ames wrote a book about it and how often it’s just wrong.
    No mention of how economics play into this? Or a winner take all society? Or that we’ve spent the past several decades carefully excising any way out of corporate America and how all of that creates a pressure cooker? Nothing at all?

    Also from the article;
    ….I don’t think most people realize that these are suicides, in addition to homicides. Mass shooters design these to be their final acts.

    I think almost everyone realizes this. Not sure which most people they’ve been talking to.

    In your book, you say that in an ideal world, 500,000 psychologists would be employed in schools around the country.

    Ahh. There we go. The PMC finds a problem that only the expansion of the PMC can cure.

    1. Sutter Cane

      Mark Ames book is amazing and nobody ever talks about it, probably because to do so would require talking about things that are verboten in the US like class, neoliberalism, and economics.

      The book mentions so many mass shootings that you never heard of, that got no news coverage, and it was written 17 years ago. The number that have taken place since then is mind-boggling. The number that happened LAST MONTH is mind-boggling.

      If he ever tried to update it to talk about the mass shootings that occurred after the book’s original publication it would end up being the size of a set of encyclopedias.

      1. Yves Smith

        I agree it was a great book.

        IMHO it didn’t get traction because it said things people did not want to hear like

        Shooters were generally of above average intelligence

        Just about none had any signs of mental illness

        They also demographically had nothing in common…but all had been severely bullied.

        1. Toshiro_Mifune

          Also – Mark has a tendency to hyperbole which puts a lot of people off. But yes, the main reasons were “We don’t talk about those subjects”.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          every time this happens, since columbine, i fall into a review of my adolescence.
          late 70’s, early 80’s.
          i was the weirdo genius kid, perpetually un- and mis-understood, and bullied incessantly.
          i also had access to lots and lots of guns…even though at the time i loathed them, and the boring sitting in deer stands.
          so why didn’t i shoot up the place, stick it to my tormenters, and collateralise the damage to the teacher/administration cohort that both encouraged and enabled the bullying?
          what’s different, post-columbine?
          the most obvious, broad, difference is neoliberalism…and not especially the economic effects, but the social and cultural.
          the hyperindividualism…weirdly laced with being part of A Team(see all the ensemble cop shows, seamlessly finishing each others paragraphs)…the entrepreneurial self…the loosening of dress codes simultaneously with the tightening of offcampus behavioral controlls…
          and the proliferation to the lower orders of cable, then intertubes, then socmed…
          while IRL interactions were codified and cheapened and hollowed out in the name of conformism and “safety”…
          in short…lots more “freedom”, but much less Liberty.

          1. flora

            Related, imo, someone said the new McMansion neighborhoods aren’t really neighborhoods at all; they’re high dues clubs.

          2. fresno dan

            I agree with your view. I would add that I think a lot of modern alienation starts with the industrialization of education in grade school. Children are put into what is an office environment, and than given complete autonomy to walk about with not an adult in sight. Also a mass of people, most of whom one does not or only vaguely knows. I remember my schooling as practically being a Lord of the Flies situation.
            I compare it to my mother’s high school education – maybe 10 students.
            I can’t help that think that modern education (well, everything else as well) is done for the benefit of finance, and precious little for the children in school.

        3. Lexx

          I put ‘The Violence Project’ in my cart. I was outside yesterday having one of those long sidewalk conversations with my neighbor, who has owned that house for years but only recently moved in full time. We were talking about the shootings; she’s a mid-seventies-year-old retired high school principal. Her daughter followed in her footsteps in career choice. She said she couldn’t imagine dealing with the same level of problems in school her daughter is handling on a weekly basis.

          Both my parents were special education teachers. The Gifted program was added much later, but the bullying of both groups seemed to be exactly the same. We are a culture who viciously and gleefully abuse the Different and it’s getting worse. The troupe I keep seeing repeated in film is of the super humans who band together, deciding they’ve had enough of the Normies.

          1. hunkerdown

            Well, what are “we” doing about that? Are we bullying reconditioning kids and PMCs who call for conformity, or are we shielding them from the bottom-up social deformation they clearly need?

          2. flora

            Teach to the test, thanks to the No Child Left Behind act that financially penalizes schools that “don’t measure up”, can’t be helping kids stress levels. I remember all the stories about traumatized grade school kids after that act passed and teach to the test became common in public k-12 schools. (If we don’t get good scores I, your teacher, could lose my job! They might have to close the school! And both statements were true. No pressure on kids there, right?) / smh

        4. Stick'em

          re: Just about none had any signs of mental illness

          One of the problems here is the No True Scotsman phenomenon in what qualifies as “mental illness.” If there is no objective biological test for any of these diagnoses (and there aren’t), then people are “mentally ill” when society says they are.

          Michel Foucault talks about this kind of thing, for example, how homosexuality was once a legit psychiatric diagnosis. Now? Being gay is OK. The goalpost moved, not the gay folks.

          If you ask me, anyone who thinks murdering other humans is a good enough idea to actually do it is sick. But I don’t define the “mental illness” diagnoses. Whether we call murder a “mental” or “emotional” or “spiritual” sickness is a semantic argument; from a practical perspective, dead is dead.

          One of the reasons society doesn’t call everyone who thinks murder is a good idea “mentally ill” is our military regularly employs a rather large standing army who kill other people for a living.

          So the politicians constantly move the goalposts with mental gymnastics, such that you are “sick” when you murder the wrong people (kids at school), but you are a hero when you murder the right people, say Tom Cruise shooting missles pew!pew!pew! at the Russians because he’s Top Gun (not going to watch the movie, so no idea whether this is the actual plot of the movie and don’t care, it’s just a stereotype example).

          Is there a “sign” someone is strongly considering murdering people? I dunno if there’s one essential criterion, but certainly loading up on guns’n’ammo is an indication you just might use ’em on some human beings…

        5. CanCyn

          Have mentioned on NC before that I worked in a high school library when Columbine happened. It was a Catholic school located in a wealthy little town outside of Toronto but close enough to downtown to have poorer and immigrant students. We had some male students who wore the same black trench coat look as Dylan and Klebold. Creative, ‘nerdy’ gamers who sometimes hung out in the library to read and avoid the bullying and ostracism of the ‘cool’ kids. They wouldn’t report the bullying. Had a conversation with them shortly after the Columbine killings. They claimed to understand how Dylan and Klebold felt but didn’t understand the killing spree or suicides. They were mature? smart? enough to see high school as something to be endured and knew that things would get better once they graduated. I concurred and told them I wouldn’t go back to high school if it were possible nor would I ever attend a reunion event. They got it. So where is the line for those who do and those who don’t? If you simply look at Canada vs. the US, gun access definitely plays a part. But something else is going on.
          As a smart kid, I faced some bullying in elementary school. Luckily, I had an older brother who, along with his friends, threatened my tormentors (verbally nothing physical) and put a stop to it.
          PS – I left the school system as soon as the library job market improved and I could find work else where. This was the very early 90s and parental interference was just gaining ground. I could see the writing on the walls. You have to be a saint or truly thick skinned to endure in the schools these days.

          1. Sutter Cane

            They were mature? smart? enough to see high school as something to be endured and knew that things would get better once they graduated.

            Maybe that “something else” that’s going on now, moreso than even back when Columbine happened, is that the smarter you are the harder it is to see that anything is going to be better for you once you graduate…

            1. CanCyn

              Thanks for the reply. You may well be right. There is no doubt that things are tough for the young these days. I graduated from high school in 1979. Had a disastrous marriage that lasted two years and spent most of my early twenties sharing an apartment with others and working in retail, barely making ends meet. All of that was still better than high school, which wasn’t particularly bad for me.
              I have to believe that there is a combination of environmental factors that combine to affect some individuals horribly, causing the pain that leads them to homicide and suicide. Society needs more compassion and community and less capitalism. That seems to be the requirement to solve many of our ills i.e. poor mental health, poor physical health, inequality, and climate disaster.

          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            As that Trench Wearing kid at my Jesuit HS in Nola, I understand. Tons of bullying for the nerdy kids. I made jokes about it when people starting asking me if I had guns hidden inside. I’d pull apart the flaps real quick and be like CHECK OUT THESE AKS!!!!

            LOL. Ah youth.

            Needless to say my Trench Coat was banned within a month. Most other non school apparel followed by the end of the school year. I still miss my plaid lumber jack sweater that got banned cuz it wasn’t monotone!

            As always, solve poverty, and we can prevent these mass shootings.

        6. Preston

          I have searched everywhere to buy a new or used copy of Mark Ames’ book “Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond.” It appears to have been completely ghosted from all online sources. Even my very trusty local library did not have a copy. It has 7 copies of the “Violence Project:..” book. Anyone? Thanks.

      2. ex-PFC Chuck

        Another fascinating book on this subject is Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist, by Richard Rhodes. The maverick criminologist is Lonnie Athens who grew up in a home dominated by violent father, and very nearly became a violent actor himself. His mother and sisters were totally cowed by the old man but Lonnie not so much. He credits his being physically small, as well as being taken under the wings of first by the mother of a friend and later by a JHS counselor who recognized he was bright and steered him off of the dunce track in the Baltimore school system.

        He didn’t fit well in academia, first because of his blunt working class demeanor. More importantly, he thought the dominant positivist methodology of the time was BS. He developed his own in-depth process for interviewing convicts in maximum security prisons incarcerated for multiple violent crimes. From the interviews he teased out a four step process the convict endured in childhood and adolescence that led to their life of crime. He named the steps brutalization; belligerency; violent performances; and virulency. You’d have to read the description of each in the book to get a full understanding of them. Athens finally found a permanent academic perch at Seton Hall. When asked why his father didn’t attempt to intimidate him to the extent he did his wife and daughters, Athens replied “He knew it would lead to a fight to the death and that I wouldn’t hesitate to kill him.”

        Richard Rhodes himself was nearly starved to death as a youngster, along with his older brother, by an arch-typically evil step-mother. His brother escaped and went to the police. Most of Rhodes’ books deal with the problem of evil in some fashion. For example The Making of the Atomic Bomb and Dark Sun are, respectively, the go-to sources for lay people about the development of the nuclear fission bombs of World War II and the hydrogen or thermonuclear fusion bomb invented in the early 1950s.

        1. Glen

          Rhodes books on the bomb are excellent, and should be required reading for anybody trying to understand the danger we are currently facing provoking war with Russia.

          I did not know his family history.

        2. IM Doc

          Another of his books that if interested you should read is called DEADLY FEASTS.

          It is the best history of prion diseases ( kuru, mad cow disease ) ever written. Required reading for my internal medicine students for decades now. Not just about the actual topic of prions but more importantly the insightful discussions of how the pioneers in that field did what they did and the obstacles they faced.

          His books cover such varied topics. It is the sign of an excellent historian that he can write so well that his books are considered the standard in subjects as diverse as atomic physics, forensic crime and infectious disease.

        1. Stick'em

          Ames’ book is Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond

      3. RockHard

        I’ll have to read the Ames book as well as this one (I sigh as I look at the stack of ~30 books in my “to read” pile), but the Amazon reviews aren’t encouraging. For one thing, it sounds like Ames might have focused more on workplace (“going postal” being what Federal workers did in the ’80s). Again, I haven’t read the book and I’m only looking at online summaries.

        My memory isn’t perfect, but I don’t recall mass shootings happening at inner city schools. Maybe that’s observation bias (Columbine was shocking because Littleton, CO is a nice suburban community with a relatively low level of poverty). Denver West High School is one of the worst in the state of CO, East and Manual serve low-income, historically non-white areas of the city, yet there’s never been a mass shooting incident at any of these schools, and bear in mind that Manual and East are historically Crip and Blood territory, respectively, and those areas continue to have gang-related killings. Meanwhile, Columbine, Platte Canyon, Arapahoe High School, and the STEM school in Highlands Ranch are all in the suburbs. The King Soopers shooting last year was a recent graduate of Arvada High (I believe) and chose Boulder as his site.

        So if it’s class and economics, why don’t we see more mass shootings at inner city schools?

        1. Stick'em

          My guesstimation is the magnitude of disparity (both real and perceived) between the two parties involved in these mass murder shootings is not always financial, but often social status symbol driven. Where else is social status more important than highschool, amirite? Small wonder shootings seem to happen in schools as a hotspot…

          Some folks call it “dissing” and some folks call it ‘bullying” and so on, but the root of it is this competitive obsession with demonstrating “I am better than you are” to the crowd, and the repercussions of this hyper-competetion being the bedrock foundation of our culture.

          Inequality predicts homicide rates ‘better than any other variable’, and it is linked to a highly developed concern for one’s own status.

          The connection is so strong, according to the World Bank, a simple measure of inequality predicts about half of the variance in murder rates between American states and between countries around the world.

          When inequality is high and strips large numbers of men of the usual markers of status – like a good job and the ability to support a family – matters of respect and disrespect loom disproportionately.

          Inequality predicts homicide rates “better than any other variable”, says Martin Daly, professor emeritus of psychology and neuroscience at McMaster University in Ontario and author of Killing the Competition: Economic Inequality and Homicide.

          This includes factors like rates of gun ownership (which also rise when inequality does) and cultural traits like placing more emphasis on “honor” (this, too, turns out to be linked with inequality).

          “About 60 [academic] papers show a very common result of greater inequality is more violence, usually measured by homicide rates,” says Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level and co-founder of the Equality Trust.

            1. Stick'em

              Are there examples in which a millionaire or billionaire member of the 1% committed one of these mass murder shootings? Serious question. I’m not saying the 1% are ethical people, but they don’t seem to be shooting up schools…

              “Counties with growing levels of income inequality are more likely to experience mass shootings. We assert one possibility for this finding is income inequality fosters an environment of anger and resentment that ultimately leads to violence.

              The clear conclusion from our results is socioeconomic factors, such as income inequality, are the main driver of mass shootings in the United States.”


        2. flora

          I don’t know. Maybe inner city school kids know they – each other – aren’t the real problem they’re facing? Some sort of innate class conscious or group cohesion? Just a guess.

          1. Stick'em

            If everyone is poor, then the magnitude of the disparity between perceived social status of any two given students isn’t that big.

            Same thing if everyone is rich. We probably aren’t seeing many mass murder shootings at the Beverly Hills private bording school for the rich’n’famous where the senators send their kids either, amirite?

            On the other hand, if there are rich kids and there are poor kids in the same school, then the disparity between ’em is enormous. Like an abyss of separation.

            This is why many teachers advocate for school uniforms, so kids can’t signal social status with the latest designer jeans. Evidence shows this helps reduce violence and bullying.

            1. CanCyn

              Poverty doesn’t just show in clothing. It shows in skin, hair, teeth – it is visible. I worked in a community college library for many years – it is generally people from lower income families who attend. They do carry their poverty physically. When I visited university libraries, I was always surprised at the physical differences in the students – university is more expensive and generally higher income kids attend. It starts with a ‘what’s different here?’ feeling, then as you observe, you figure it out. Cleaner hair, ‘better’ haircuts, better teeth, etc.
              Also, try enforcing uniform rules in a high school. Jeez Louise! It just adds a layer of unnecessary friction between staff and students.

              1. Stick'em

                When I was in junior highschool, one afternoon the Ku Klux Klan surrounded our school and would not let anyone leave to go home. It was a hostage situation.

                The reason?

                The school adminstration decided not to allow kids to wear Confederate flags on their clothing. The aforementioned KKK members were upset because kids were allowed to wear black T-shirts that said, “It’s a black thing, you wouldn’t understand” with a big red, yellow, and green map of Africa but not the rebel flag.

                We were stuck in the schoolbuses with these guys with rifles in pick’emup trucks blocking the entrances/exits to the bus parking lot for 2-3 hours while the principal negotiated with the KKK leader over how to settle this.

                What kids wear to school and the resulting perception of inequality is without question a huge factor in bullying and violence. I lived it.

        3. playon

          I think perhaps middle-class kids are more likely to snap because more is expected of them academically, behaviorally and socially. There is more pressure on them not only to perform but to fit in. I think a lot of poor or inner-city kids figure out pretty quickly that there aren’t high expectations of them, unless their parents are particularly focused on academic success. It is usually males who act out violently, and while girls can certainly be mean, boys/men tend to be much more competitive.

    2. marym

      “That is almost verbatim the narrative about school shootings…”

      Also, after a mass shooting – not just school shootings – there’s often comment from ordinary tweeters noting the shooter’s own history as a perpetrator of domestic abuse. I don’t know if there are studies.

      As for politicians paying attention, it seems like forever that we’ve heard about the proud “single issue voters” who want 0 abortions and/or ∞ guns.

      They’re a powerful political force, because, well, here we are. At least as powerful as the PCM who can’t do anything but fill their own rice bowls.

      Will they and the politicians they vote for “pay attention” to the need not only for mental health care but also transparency and accountability for the drug industry, social services, economic well-being for families and children, red-flag gun laws, age restrictions on gun purchases while teenagers achieve some maturity in coping with their problems, and respect for women’s bodily autonomy, instead of using “but mental health” only as an excuse for the culture and politics of gun worship.

      1. Wukchumni

        A civil war seems likely thanks to our slavish devotion to guns, all the combatants need really is identifying uniforms in hues of red & blue, purchased on their own Dime @ Wal*Mart.

        1. super extra

          the civil war meme seems overdone to me. like more of a vent of frustration than an actual kinetic conflict. propagate the meme of civil war so there isn’t something focused on specific leadership with achievable and measurable goals (unlike the incoherent constititutionalist treason fantasies, which divert the energy after a specific goal but doesn’t proceed beyond there). same with the utterly comical reliance on antifa as a supervillain among parts of the right. create a fake conflict to work yourself up over to discharge the rage at how things are going instead of coming up with a serious answer when asked, well, what are you gonna DO about it?

        2. flora

          Nah. Forgive this extremely cynical observation – with no disrespect to the issue at hand. The MSM of course always runs with ‘if it bleeds, it leads’. That’s a given. But what about the intense politicization of this issue this year? In the summer of 2020, I was hearing race war was just around the corner. yada yada. 2020 was an election year with policals milking summer protest tragedies for all they were worth. Now I’m hearing civil war (in another election year) and watching politicals again milk tragedies to score political points. Civil war? um…no.

          1. marku52

            Maybe not civil war, but various parts of the country are simply ignoring mandates from outside. Bundy is still grazing his cows free on US land. Shasta county CA is about to elect a bunch of “Sovereign State” officials. any new guns laws won’t be enforced. Etc.

      2. Tom Stone

        “Red Flag” gun laws are a very bad idea.
        1) you are denying someone a constitutional right without due process of law.
        Not a good precedent.
        2)Where these laws have been enacted they have been abused almost instantly, when the cops show up to seize your property they come ready for a shoot out.
        On the basis of a mere allegation.
        Angry at your Ex?
        Give the cops a call!
        With little luck you can fire your divorce attorney and avoid any argument about who gets the dog.

        1. flora

          I agree about the red flag laws being ripe for abuse and especially political abuse. Dem Senator Ted Kennedy put on the no-fly list without recourse? Remember that? But, oh no, we would never do that! (Except for all the times “we” have done that.)

        2. marym

          Wikipedia says (reference to a WSJ post) that in the states that have these laws about 5K guns were taken in 2021. No mention of cops shooting it out with the gun owners, but I see your point.

          Ironically, some opponents of any gun regulation who don’t think the problem is the guns also think the only answer to whatever they think is the problem is more cops and more guns in more places – just not at their own doorstep.

      1. flora

        Thanks. A ‘competitive parenting’ environment in many upper middle class homes. push push push, do better do better look how well your classmates are doing, etc. Everything is serious competition, even ‘fun’ organized kids’ sports.

        Competitive parenting is a thing, not a healthy thing for kids, imo, even if parents have best intentions for kid’s financial future in this cutthroat economic system.


          Sorry, life is hellishly competitive. Not training kids to understand that and put it into practice at least by their freshman year of school where GPA starts to count toward their future opportunities would be doing them a disservice.

          The counterpoint that needs to also be taught to the kids at the same time is once you’ve done your best, treat yourself with respect regardless of how the chips fall, because you deserve that; other people’s perceived opinion of you be damned.

          1. flora

            A misunderstanding. Competitive parenting is about the parents’ ego and bragging rights at the club, or soothing the parents’ own anxieties, not about the child’s present and future. It’s the focus that makes the difference. Teaching a child the world is a hard place to prepare them to do well is one thing. Demanding a child excel primarily to feed a parent’s vanity or sooth the parents’ anxiety is something else entirely… and children can tell the difference, imo.

            I agree with your counterpoint. Competitive parenting skips that part.

          2. Stick'em

            What we see in classrooms is kids are competitive naturally. So the problem becomes if this is our only method of teaching, encouraging the kids to compete with each other over grades, teacher attention, and so on…. when the only tool you have is a hammer, everybody looks like a nail.

            By the time they grow up, these kids have no model of relating to one another in school other than as competitors. Because our culture decides everything is competive for us as adults and school is preparation for this, then nobody has been taught how to cooperate.

            Instead, we learn it’s all an identity politics based zero sum game. There can be only one!

            I get people want to complain about giving kids trophies for participation rather than WINNING!

            However, the only way to decrease the “hellishly competetive” path we’ve chosen for ourselves is to teach kids to cooperate and do things in our common interests.

            We need to remember, this commodification of human beings thing that happens to us is a path we choose for our kids to follow. There is an alternative. We can choose to be something other than so-called “Social Darwinism.”

            1. JBird4049

              >>>We need to remember, this commodification of human beings thing that happens to us is a path we choose for our kids to follow. There is an alternative. We can choose to be something other than so-called “Social Darwinism.”

              What are you? Some kind of Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyist? sarc/

          3. Cat Burglar

            Conflating “doing your best” with hellish socially organized competition is an odd assumption.

            How would that work in, say, a marriage? Mutually exclusive goal attainment is the exact opposite of what you want in such a context. In mountaineering I have seen rope teams with members competing against each other, and the results were always poor, if not unsafe. So life is not hellishly competitive, and shouldn’t be. Not even nominally competitive sports are — Norway dominates cross-country skiing on the world cup level, for example, but Norwegian kids are not allowed to compete until they are twelve.

            That is not to say competition is bad per se — it is just fine if it is voluntary, like a ski race. If competition is compulsory, the real contest is with the compulsion: you either leave, or defeat the organizers and their scheme.

            An excellent resource is No Contest: The Case Against Competition by Alfie Kohn.

          4. Joe Renter

            So much to dissect here. Does life need to be so competitive? No, but the problem is so challenging due to to the break down of institutions. A reset is over due. Let’s hope the transition is not overly painful.

    3. Carolinian

      In other words it’s still the environment but not necessarily the home environment.

      I think the phenomenon is analogous to the one time wave of suicide bombings in the Middle East. While the victims prefer to blame these on Islam or simply “evil,” a more nuanced view would be that when people have no hope for the future they are much more prone to actions against society itself. The mass shooters are our version of suicide bombers since they surely aren’t counting on coming out of it alive.

      1. jr

        Just an aside, but I seem to recall hearing that suicide bombers are often also of higher intelligence than their peers.

    4. JAC

      So, as an older adult who, as a child, lived through

      – violence in the home
      – sexual assault
      – parental (attempted) suicides
      – extreme bullying

      And who as an adult experienced[s], mostly because of the PMC:
      – hopelessness
      – despair
      – isolation
      – suicide attempts.

      Why would a reasonably intelligent person not have “The hate turn[s] outward”? I can tell you my hate is all outward. It used to be more inward, hence the suicide attempts, but that ended up making no sense. In many ways my suicide attempts were outward in a way.

      I credit my survival to some innate sense of compassion, probably stemming from my mother’s spirituality, keeping from me not turning into one of these kids. Iw as lucky enough to escape any psychiatric treatment as a child even thought I needed it. You ever wonder why the internet is a hellscape of horrible comments? Next time you read some awful, angry comments just know that that person might be one of these kids, brutalized by a brutal society.

      The people who do these studies, all they do is nothing but make money off of our suffering. Ames wrote about this 12 years ago, and all they can do is write more about it.

      1. KD

        I agree. Who hasn’t experienced violence, sexual assault, parental suicide or extreme bullying growing up? While it may be a majority, it would have to be at least 1/3 of kids who were exposed to one of those stressors, and yet, mass shooters are the one in a million wing-nut. My guess is the mass shooters are off the chart narcissists, and all the media attention is doing nothing to help the problem. You could practically smell the unjustified self-regard wafting off that Breivik fellow.

    5. Mildred Montana

      Just speculating here, but what about cruelty to animals, which seems to start at a young age in many violent people? Should it not be treated far more seriously by parents, teachers, counsellors, and law-enforcement? Should it not be considered a possible harbinger of more extreme violence to come?

      As I said, just speculating here. Could not abuse of animals by youths be seen as an early warning sign and a need for their monitoring and, if necessary, pre-emptive measures? I think it could be—that is, if it were to be treated more seriously and not merely as something insignificant that those youngsters will grow out of.

      “The sociopathic personality first develops in early childhood or adolescence and is classified under the diagnosis of “conduct disorder,” which then develops into “anti-social personality disorder” (both of these are listed in the DSM). One of the early signs of a conduct disorder is often cruelty to animals.”,humans%20is%20a%20next%20step.

  4. Lex

    Regardless of how correct it is, I enjoy watching birds and imagining them as dinosaurs. Seagull dinosaurs would be terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. An old guy behind us puts out bread and such; he spends half his time outside yelling at the seagulls (not sure what he expects living 6 blocks from the world’s largest body of fresh water). But I get to watch the seagulls and the crows in both aerial and ground combat because of it. I’m on team crow because I’ve met the landfill flock of seagulls and know what they’re capable of.

    1. CanCyn

      Agreed Lex. We have wild turkeys nearby and they often walk by the house or through the farmer’s field behind us. They absolutely look like dinosaurs, especially from afar. Kind of like little (Checked for correct plural spelling, used what I found – anyone know better?)

      1. Cocomaan

        I have a little flock of chickens and the rooster is a real son of a bitch who, if a few feet taller, could easily kill me. 100% predator. Those spurs on the back of his legs can do serious damage.

        He’s relaxed in his old age but you can still see the psycho behind those eyes.

      2. vao

        Look up cassowary. The wikipedia page has some nice photos — many more in the Internet. There are enough YouTube videos as well. Those animals are probably the best reminder that birds descend directly from dinosaurs.

    2. Lexx

      I was u-picking raspberries at a farm outside of town. The patch was covered with netting to help keep the wild birds out. It was July so the grasshoppers were about halfway to the monstrous size they get around here. Also on the farm were a large flock of free-range chickens. A couple of the hens followed me into the berry enclosure because they knew my activity would stir up the hoppers. I’d never seen hens go predatory before. Chicken was something I bought plastic-wrapped at the grocery store and there I was picking raspberries from betwixt densely thorny stalks, caught between Dinner and what my Dinner thought of as a snack, who were in turn dining on raspberry leaves. An apex predator in a micro-chain-of-life. No, not me… the hens! I was holding a small bucket half full of berries and trying not to spill them, while the hens stalked their prey at my feet. It was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. The sounds those birds made, their wide-eyed murderous expressions, agility and speed. I haven’t been able to look at a chicken dish the same way since.

      Oh yeah, I’m still eating chicken but with respect. It’s tastier that way.

      1. Lex

        Oh yeah, common broilers aren’t much more than meat vegetables and will drown in a rain storm but even they will do a lot of insect hunting. Laying hens are on another level of the game. Wily, smart, quick and vicious. Their omnivorous diet is what makes real, free range eggs so good. If it wasn’t for my big, old blind dog I’d have 2-3 laying hens in the yard. Less for the eggs than for their Integrated Pest Management potential in the garden.

        Also, I didn’t mean that I claimed “Lex”. I assumed you’d been here a lot longer than me so I’d change and I went to Alyosha for a while but since you added the second X and kept it, I’ve gone back.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        i spend a lot of my day with birds…just on my part of the place: 30 chickens…bantams and “jungle fowl” and a few spotted sussex; about 30 geese, currently bivouaced in mom’s garden, 12 guinnea fowl, who roam all over; and 2 lonesome male turkeys who spend their days puffed up and walking self importantly in circles, defending their non-existent females from me and the boys(testosterone in the air sets them off).
        if i lay still enough, those little chickens would eat me in a heartbeat….
        there’s 3 1/4 distinct but overlapping societies, here….sometimes the little jungle roosters will square off with the toms(20 times their size), and the toms will end up deflating and running off and hiding…the guinneas don’t give a damn about what the others are doing, and just roam around in a gang, eating bugs.
        the geese, when they’re on my place, are also aloof…biggest birds there, and just parting the waves of smaller birds in pursuit of the grass.
        and the smaller chickens…bantams and jungle hens…periodically disappear…i’ll consider them lost/coon food for a week or two…and then there they are, with 3-10 baby chicks, in fuzzball phase…rambling around.
        i attempt to capture the fuzzballs…and their momma if she’ll let me(vicious, bristling flurry of flapping wings and claws)…to put them in a hutch, with a light and windbreak…so the bar cats and coons don’t get them.
        aside from putting the chickens up for the night, this is my only real intervention.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            yes, but more specifically, these:

            not really ‘domesticated”, at all,lol.
            even with one wing clipped, they’ll fly up and out of the run(12’ fences) if startled…and fast as all get out.
            it’s a challenge to herd them…i must wait til almost dusk and sort of suggest that they go in, by body language and posture.
            usually better to just wait til after dark, and they’ll put themselves up.
            i’ve picked a spot for a chair at dusk and observed whichever ones(usually a rooster and 2 hens) have decided that this is their week to be homeless…and they get up in the mesquite trees and essentially disappear(hens are a good shade of brown for this, but even the roosters vanish).
            they take turns doing this homelessness thing…date night, perhaps?
            havent lost a one.
            the bantams, sussex, or any of the various breeds mom gets, rarely survive a night out(bantam mommas, more so—remaining stone still and silent).
            this is why i got this breed…every barrio i’ve ever been in has had these guys running around loose.

    3. jr

      My step-mother was attacked by an emu once. A local garbage dump mafioso kept them as guards to keep people from, I dunno, stealing his trash I guess. She was getting out of her car and it drove her back into it. This was before cell phones so she was stuck for about an hour. I always wanted to thank that emu. I wish it had been a velociraptor.

    4. Eclair

      Would you believe belligerent robins? Perhaps they are a Chautauqua County subspecies, evolved through decades of having to deal with thoughtless humans, bent on wiping them out with chemicals.

      Last spring, it was the robin pair who built their nest on top of our back porch light. After pooping all over the porch (marking their territory?) they took up dive bombing us when we were within 20 feet of the nest. We gave up and used the front door for a month.

      This year, a robin couple (the same ones?) found the big maple tree next to the garage and claimed it for their nest. One morning we came out and discovered one side of the car (can’t use the garage because it’s crammed with ‘stuff’) was white with bird poop. Next morning, the side mirror was all scratched up and the other side door was streaked with poop. People started coming up to us in parking lots and asking what happened.

      We finally gave up and parked the car down at the end of the driveway. Robins 1. Humans 0.

        1. Revenant

          Robins are psychos, especially the males. They bully everything away that they can. Their charming habit of sitting on your upright fork handle as you work is just “get up high and dominate” behaviour.

          Who killed cock robin is a Murder on the Orient Express case, I suspect.

        2. Eclair

          Ah, Lexx, that clip brought back memories of, would you believe, a more innocent time.

    5. Andrew

      When I toss leftovers for the crows it is always entertaining. If I have had ribs or drumsticks they look like heckl @ jeckl flying out of the yard with those bones in their beaks. I live about twenty miles inland from lake Superior but two or three times a year the seagulls will stop in for visit. Their battles over the front yard spoils are epic.
      The seagulls aren’t very nimble on the ground but their feathers are like armor plating . They can take a hit. I think the crows have better ariel techniques and are lot faster on the ground, but even with homefield advantage they dont stand a chance. They seem to sulk for couple of days after a big loss.

  5. Mikel

    “What the surprising mutations in the monkeypox virus could indicate about the new outbreak” STAT

    And bingo. Just what I was getting at when I kept talking about the way transmission was being described in the clusters of recent breakouts and how that is different from the way it was desribed for years in Africa.

    Already spread enough for these type of mutations…

    1. JAC

      OK, this is some tinfoil hat stuff I am going to say but really? Why all these new mutations all the sudden? The jury is still our on whether SARS2 was nature or nurture, now we have Monkeypox suddenly, now, gaining all these new mutations? During a time when more people than every are masking and staying away from people? It just does not sit right with me. Is there a bio-war going on, subtly, behind the scenes? Did something get loose by accident in Ukraine?

      1. Mikel

        Well, can we really assume this all sudden? It could be a disturbing fact that it has been circulating more broadly outside of Africa for longer than reports indicate. That would give these types of mutations time to develop as well.

        Other than that, just time at this point will tell.

        1. JBird4049

          On Monkeypox, may I suggest being careful on the accusations? From the very little I know about diseases, they can be not seen if no one is looking. IIRC, HIV has existed for over a century, but was not noticed because its symptoms are of all the diseases that kill you when you no longer have a functional immune system. There is nothing that jumps up, and shouts: it is me, that evil AIDS virus!!

          Then there is the several species specific HIV viruses that combined into our human specific virus. Possibly of one monkey eating another monkey then eaten by a chimpanzee, which was eaten by a hunter. An unlikely thing to happen, but it probably did. Diseases are created randomly even when the environment weights the dice for certain results.

          Restated, While I can believe that what is happening is because of evil people being evil because we do have evil people running things, it’s not necessarily so; nature can sneakily murder us in job lots without any help from us.

          1. Mikel

            I was suggesting negligence in taking note of what was occurring in nature.

            Anyway, below from the The Atlantic. they are saying the weirdness started 5 years ago.
            Until more is revealed, that may as well be taken as a minimum of 5 years ago…

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        From Naomi Wolf, summarizing findings of volunteers combing through the “55,000 internal Pfizer documents which the FDA had asked a court to keep under wraps for 75 years,” and which we’ve heard precious little about.

        Adverse events tallied up in the internal Pfizer documents are completely different from those reported on the CDC website or announced by corrupted physicians and medical organizations and hospitals. These include vast columns of joint pain, muscle pain (myalgia), masses of neurological effects include MS, Guillain Barre and Bell’s Palsy, encephaly, every iteration possible of blood clotting, thrombocytopenia at scale, strokes, hemorrhages, and many kinds of ruptures of membranes throughout the human body. The side effects about which Pfizer and the FDA knew but you did not, include blistering problems, rashes, shingles, and herpetic conditions (indeed, a range of blistering conditions oddly foreshadowing the symptoms of monkeypox).

        The internal documents show that Pfizer (and thus the FDA) knew that angry red welts or hives were a common reaction to the PEG, a petroleum-derived allergen in the vaccine ingredients — one that you are certainly not supposed to ingest. Indeed, PEG is an allergen so severe that many people can go into anaphylactic shock if they are exposed to it….

        Food for thought.

        1. hunkerdown

          > a petroleum-derived allergen in the vaccine ingredients — one that you are certainly not supposed to ingest.

          Millions of people have drunk some 200 grams of PEG mixed in 4 liters of water to prepare for endoscopy, and likely hated every minute of it but nonetheless survived unharmed.

          By over-egging the custard way too much, she’s turned what could have been a sound if strident J’accuse into tendentious cloud-yelling porn to support her grift. Too bad. I’m sure there are many sane women tech editors out there who would appreciate the opportunity to assist a storied figure such as herself.

        2. playon

          Maybe this explains why just in the last year and a half (post Pfizer vaccine jabs) I suddenly have arthritis (at times severe) after never having suffered it previously. I went to the ER after my second shot, being alarmed by extreme dizziness and pressure in my chest. I’m not keen to get another MNRA dose, needless to say, even though a 4th booster is recommended now.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > From Naomi Wolf, summarizing findings of volunteers

          This sounds really interesting. I hope the volunteers are acting like bird-watchers (citizen scientists) instead of yarn diagrammers.. An effort worth following.

      3. Romancing the Loan

        Covid is ruining our immune systems en masse, so all sorts of other stuff can get a foothold now that couldn’t before.

        1. Mikel

          That too . Covid opportunism with a pox that is mutating more than ever and pox opportunism with a coronavirus that has mutations like none before it.

      4. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Why all these new mutations all the sudden?

        Consider reading the article:

        Here’s what might be happening: Some hosts (in this case, that’s people) have, as part of their immune systems, enzymes that are designed to induce mutations in whatever viruses they encounter. The idea behind such a sabotage scheme is that if you trigger enough mutations, certainly some of them will be deleterious. The virus won’t be able to replicate, and what will be left “is just a dead piece of DNA,” Neher said. It’d be like rearranging the letters on your enemy’s typewriter so they can’t get a clear message out.

        (There are different types of enzymes that play this role, but with the monkeypox outbreak, scientists have narrowed in on a family known as APOBEC3 as a prime candidate.)

        The strategy is not always foolproof, and some viruses might not pick up enough harmful mutations to be stopped.

        In general, I think it’s best to assume that nature (and viruses collectively) are smarter than we are, as at least the Western response to Covid shows, as opposed to moving straight to the Watchmaker Hypothesis.

    2. Raymond Sim

      I don’t think the mutations are suprising at all to those who study orthopoxvirus evolution. My impression is that monkeypox appears to be following the trajectory which has been hypothesized as having led to the emergence of smallpox, perhaps more than once, and perhaps from distinct populations of orthopoxvirus.

      I think the data discussed in the STAT article was discovered by researchers who had a good idea what to be on the lookout for, and unfortunately have found it. Once again STAT misleads by omission.

      And, to repeat my monkeypox refrain: I would be delighted to be disabused of these notions if they are false.

  6. Mikel

    West must brace for ‘long haul’ in Ukraine: “NATO chief France24

    “Brace for a war of attrition…”

    WWI-ish language. What could go wrong…

    1. Samuel Conner

      This brings to mind a recent Russell Brand item about a prominent politician, whom he jokingly speculated was intoxicated by that person’s own farts.

      Oh dear — they had gas warfare in WW I, too.

    2. digi_owl

      More like 80s Afghanistan. Get your enemy bogged down in a quagmire of a “police action” in a foreign nation and in that way bleed it for resources put pressure on the people in charge.

      The problem seems to be that the people informing western leaders have left out that modern Ukraine is more akin to 90s Yugoslavia. Most likely because said informants are descendants of post-ww2 emigres that did so because they were on the soviet shit list. And for them, Russia is the current inheritor of that ancestral sin and thus need to pay.

    3. Glen

      What is not made clear in the article is that the brave Ukraine men and boys are the cannon fodder on the battlefield, and it must be getting horrific.

      But in the economic war, we are the cannon fodder, and it’s going to get very very bad before our elites have decided they have suffered enough looking out the heavily tinted windows of their cars at the homelessness, poverty, and crime they are creating in our countries.

      I can remember in the 70’s when our EU relatives came to visit, they used to take pictures of the relatively small amounts of homeless people (or as we said then street people) because as they stated “nobody will believe this unless I have a photo, this does not happen in Germany!”
      Well, I’ll bet they don’t have to leave town anymore in Germany to get all the pictures they want – or as our elites constantly brag – progress!

  7. ex-PFC Chuck

    re: Biden Hikes Medicare Prices, Funnels Profits to Insurers

    Yet another reason for the Democrats to adopt a new motto:

    Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.

    1. JAC

      Yes, and the logo will be a Donkey with its head up its own butt.

      I am about to cancel my the healthcare portion of my Medicare. Doctors are useless for my chronic condition and I pay them for the privilege for what amounts to sick care.

      But the fact that I was convinced to vote, and I was convinced to vote for Biden by some of my PMC friends, makes me angry for doing this to myself. That is the last time I sacrifice my beliefs for my rich friends.

      1. .human

        Medicare Part B is a requirement. I am dinged monthly for not having signed up when I turned 65. Aaaarrrggggghhhh.

        1. Grateful Dude

          not required, just automatic enrollment. My spouse just turned 65 and her minimal SS dropped by $170 that month. She went to the SS office, dropped the coverage – she never sees MDs nor takes prescription meds: Medicare sent her her $170 for that first month and no longer deducts it.

          I use part B for diagnoses and testing. I have no faith in Pharma; all their ‘medicines’ are synthetic – they have to be patentable’ – and so are toxic. I am my own doctor. I choose alt practitioners: physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and practice whole natural foods diet and yoga.

          So far so good at 76.

          1. Joe Renter

            Right on Grateful Dude. I just turned 65 a few months ago. The state of CA is nice enough to put me on their COVID emergency coverage. When that ends I will visit the SS office too. Long term plan is to leave the country after my 90 year mother leaves for greener pastures. Cuba is a consideration.

    2. Screwball

      That article makes me furious. What an a$$hole.

      But I guess I shouldn’t be. He did tell us nothing will fundamentally change. Yea, Joe greasing the palms of who helped put him there.

    3. Mikel

      And this:
      “OSHA requires JBS to implement disease preparedness measures at seven plants” Investigate Midwest

      Over two years into a pandemic!!!!

      And while the baby food had to wait, notice they are on top of keeping big pharma’s profits up:

      This is all over the news. Not missing a beat. People are thoroughly updated on this mess. Pharma is whipping those puppets into shape.

    4. Mildred

      And that’s why I sent that article to hundreds of my older friends and or their kids.

      Don’t get mad, get even.

      We’re going to vote straight Republican. Or counsel our Democratic friends who can’t stomach that to vote Independent, or Decline to State, or just leave ballot blank for Democrats.

    5. JBird4049

      They really are fvking us aren’t they? Sometimes my semi-regular comments on our system being a financialized abattoir designed to rend profit from the masses of people for the financial benefit of the very few as hyperbolic. Then I read stuff I this and realize, I ain’t being hard enough. Well, Vanz Kant Danz as sung by the great John Fogerty makes every more sense. Every single day.

      >>>You’re watchin’ ’em dance, not a care in the world;
      So Billy and Vanz get busy, they’re makin’ their move;
      The little pig knows what to do,
      He’s silent and quick, just like Oliver Twist;
      Before it’s over, your pocket is clean,
      A four-legged thief paid a visit on you

  8. SocalJimObjects

    I wonder if this is also one of Fauci’s “pet” projects.

    “The academics found the adorable bundles of fluff turned into mutant rage monsters exhibiting ‘high levels of aggression towards other same-sex individuals’.” Conservatives are probably already salivating at the mouth at the possibilities this project can bring.

    Rejoice!!! Planet of the Apes can’t be more than 10 years away.

    1. digi_owl

      Ah yes, how long before those can be issued to soldiers about to be deployed?

      And why do my aging brain bring to mind a old movie series called Critters.

    2. playon

      I recall This American Life on NPR did a story several years ago about a guy who had a bull cloned. The original bull was well-behaved, almost like a pet, but the clone almost killed his owner with a horn to the groin.

  9. Cocomaan

    Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention? Politico

    This was a great piece. The problem is despair and the meat grinder system we have in place, which then sensationalizes epic suicide/homicides. That was always the problem but it has no easy fix, because empathy and caring, as it turns out, don’t make the grifters a lot of money.

    1. John Zelnicker

      I read recently (probably here at NC) that Stinger missiles are already on the market in the Middle East for $15k per.

    2. ambrit

      I can imagine the ‘under the table’ arms merchants advertising.
      “Free delivery of missiles! Anywhere you want!”
      I was thinking of a company logo of concentric circles, and the name Target Corporation. But that might have copyright infringement issues attached.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > They’ll soon be online for sale with free shipping

      Arms sent to Ukraine will end up in criminal hands, says Interpol chief Guardianx

      Once the guns fall silent [in Ukraine], the illegal weapons will come. We know this from many other theatres of conflict. The criminals are even now, as we speak, focusing on them,” Stock said.

      That makes no sense. Why wait? Even the most patriotic black market arms dealer would sell weapons on when they were sure the war was a lost cause, not when the “guns fell silent.”

  10. Wukchumni

    The mystery of Scott Morrison The Monthly
    NZ & Australia are an interesting contrast in that NZ dodged the curse of having an evang leader when this up & coming political turd was caught with his pants down, effectively ruining things for the cause by poisoning the well being of little girls. EnZed got lucky, but the Lucky Country?

    Not so much…

    Graham John Capill (born 1959) is a former New Zealand Christian leader, politician and convicted rapist.

    He served as the first leader of the now-defunct Christian Heritage Party, stepping down in 2003. In 2005 he was convicted of multiple sexual offences against girls under 12 years of age and sentenced to nine years imprisonment.

  11. KD

    U.S. updates fact sheet, again, says does not support Taiwan independence . . . just wants to be close enough to sniff her hair.

  12. Jeff W

    Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention? Politico

    If this finding seems familiar, that might be because it’s not exactly new—you’ll recall this same study was covered in the 11/22/2019 Water Cooler: “Nearly All Mass Shooters Since 1966 Have Had 4 Things in Commonm [sic]” [Vice].

    (And, FWIW, the Violence Project, which compiled the study, happened to be mentioned in that Al Jazeera tweet in yesterday’s Links. It has that very restrictive definition of “mass shooting”—only killings count, not injuries, so if someone takes a gun and injures, say, 15 people without killing any, that is not, according to the Violence Project’s definition, a “mass shooting.”)

    1. playon

      Interestingly enough, there seems to be a virtual news blackout on the fact that a total of 38 people were shot in Uvalde, but all you hear about is the 19 that died.

  13. Duke of Prunes

    Just posting this so others don’t waste their time with it.
    Not sure what I was expecting, given the title and the source, but guess what? (Geesh, I’m starting to talk like JB). Biden’s popularity problems are all about messaging… actually it’s not even the message that’s the problem, but rather how that message is propagating to the masses. Well, it turns out it’s not because reasons like old media vs new, and it’s hard to talk about war while licking an ice cream cone. Such drivel.

    1. jr

      Thanks for the laughs, that article is a real hoot:

      “At the center is a president still trying to calibrate himself to the office.”

      The man is degenerating, visibly. How can anyone calibrate themselves when they cannot articulate a complete sentence? Here’s a prediction: Biden will never calibrate himself to the office.

      “The country is pulling itself apart, pandemic infections keep coming, inflation keeps rising, a new crisis on top of new crisis arrives daily and Biden can’t see a way to address that while also being the looser, happier, more sympathetic, lovingly Onion-parody inspiring, aviator-wearing, vanilla chip cone-licking guy — an image that was the core of why he got elected in the first place.”

      Right, so “Doh!”-Joe Biden was elected because he was nice and liked ice cream. Not for any particular issues. I strongly suspect people would be fine with him dumping the “Cool Breeze” persona if only he would do something, anything, about anything at all, other than provide the Onion with plenty of new material. The reasoning behind this paragraph is cartoonish at best. CNN is a hive of morons.

      “Sometimes clipped moments from those speeches that the White House puts out on social media generate huge traffic but, at least as often, moments from the President appearing to be caught off-guard go viral on their own.”

      Yeah, voters are concerned when they see that the Easter Bunny has been tasked to manage the President’s comments and even more concerned when the man looks absolutely terrified by the creature.

      “But even with his intense delivery and repeated return to the word “Enough” and laying out of an aspirational agenda that has little chance in Congress, despite broad support among many Americans outside of Washington, he was more than anything reacting to how the conversation had already taken shape without him.”

      So, despite mouthing platitudes, saying a strong word over and over emphatically, and describing a fail-plan, voters still think he wasn’t going to do much of anything. This is what I turn to CNN for, insightful analysis.

      “Biden left for an early weekend at his beach house in Delaware, without much of a public schedule for days.”

      This is probably the most helpful thing he could do. Soak up the sun, Joe, and watch the action at the kiddie pool. The nation will take care of itself.

      “”A speech is presidential, remarks are presidential. His view is if he can just explain to people what’s going on and why, that people will understand,” said one person familiar with Biden’s thinking.”

      Yeah, people will understand that nothing is getting done, that the President is helpless and out of touch, and that speeches mean jack-$hit without corresponding actions. Remarks are cheap, actions are presidential. Of course, the Democratic Party is a totally prostituted institution so nothing can get done but CNN dare not say that. Where would they get new hires from? The Onion? We should all be so lucky.

      “Biden aides cite a range of other factors — a political press corps still hooked on Trump-style melodrama, a news environment dominated by Ukraine and pandemic, a Secret Service buffer that limits what Biden can do…”

      Um, what was CNN’s role in promulgating “Trump-style melodrama”? And the news environment SHOULD be dominated by the threat of WW3 and the Plague, are these some sort of mere inconveniences?! I’d bet the Secret Service limits what Biden can do, cannot have too many physical and verbal gaffs in one week. There is the Babylon Bee waiting in the wings behind the “loving” Onion…

      “Nothing happened that wasn’t on script. Nothing that’s not fully planned.”

      Gee, one might begin to suspect that they are micro-managing “Slo-mo” Joe’s public appearances. I wonder why. Good thing CNN is here to provide penetrating investigative journalism…

      “It’s because Biden himself shines through, like when he, a father who’s buried two of his own children, talked about the parents in Texas having parts of their souls ripped away, or on his condolence visit a few days later when he placed his hand on each murdered student’s oversized photo.”

      The only thing shiny about Biden is his glassy eyes. I suspect most people are well and done with Biden using his dead kids as political fodder. And everyone knows he would much rather place his hands on live kids.

      “They’ll acknowledge that Biden himself feels shut off enough that he’s quietly had a half-dozen sessions with favored writers since the fall, like last month’s lunch with the New York Times’ Tom Friedman, in which the columnist shared his own impressions of Biden’s off-the-record thoughts, with only the tuna sandwich, fruit bowl and milkshake approved for publication.”

      Oh yeah, no better way to meet the masses than the rambling word salads of arch-imbecile Friedman. I’d bet the conversation was as chintzy as the lunch menu. They forgot to mention the “puff pastry” that was served to the public.

      “In the end, not a single town hall was scheduled. A White House aide said Wednesday that now more town halls are expected in the near future.”

      So, more town halls are expected to be discussed and then dismissed in the near future, right, since none of the morons mentioned one sentence prior have changed their thinking? Oh, well, maybe they quit, so there is that.

      “”World’s most interactive man,” sighed one person familiar…”

      Interactive with what? His nursing aides? A TV remote? The Jello salad with the fruit bits? What the hell are they talking about?! There is a lot of interacting with celebrities and cozy chatter about “grandfatherly” and “middle class” Joe but no one is buying that crap anymore. The world is spinning wildly off it’s axis and all we are told is that Joe isn’t comfortable with Tweeting.

      *Apologies to the mods if this is too long, but with material like this what am I supposed to do? Comedy gold!

      1. Joe Renter

        I appreciate the write up JR. My favorite word these days for so many players/actors, Strawman! He is OG of that description.

  14. Carolinian

    I had read the Turley which contains the amazing information that ACLU staffers actually helped Heard to write the WaPo article that got her sued and now owing millions. One may wonder how this once storied organization has gone so astray but here’s betting money has something to do with it.

    1. John Zelnicker

      My father left a small five-figure bequest to the ACLU Foundation back in 1994.

      He must be spinning in his grave over what they have become.

      If there was a way to claw back that money, I would definitely be working on it.

      1. ambrit

        How about suing them for “Bait and Switch?”
        The Southern Poverty Law Centre might be interested in the case. /s

        1. John Zelnicker

          Glad to see that sarc tag.

          The SPLC has fallen just as far as the ACLU.

          Best to you and Phyl.

          1. JBird4049

            The American Red Cross is right behind them.

            It all grifts everywhere, as far as one can see.

    2. Verifyfirst

      I try to distinguish between my state-level ACLU, which continues to fight the good fight, in my view–when you read their newsletter, it is endless cases against petty tyrants in schools etc., always in defense of free speech. Most seem to be resolved at the letter-writing/threats/meeting stage, but it’s important education for those in power.

      I stopped supporting the national ACLU long ago, after I read their 990 and saw the kind of money they spend on salaries (at the time Romero was north of $600K per year).

      It’s not so easy to separate the two, however, since the state org is compelled (or has agreed?) to share revenue with the national.

    3. Larry Carlson

      I agree with Turley that money doesn’t seem to be the primary driver of their decline. Instead, the politicization of their mission has been the problem. It seems very difficult for any group (free speech or individual rights advocates, infectious disease experts, corporate leaders, climate scientists, etc.) to avoid becoming politicized to the detriment of their core principles.

  15. Wukchumni

    I think we’re about due for a melange of merde, some of it will bear resemblance to the French Revolution, another part will look an awful lot like post WW1 Germany-which was barely touched from the war and yet defeated. Chaco Canyon and it’s over the top McMansions in the guise of Great Houses when climate change came calling looks an awful lot like our lot. A real scary part will be us adjusting to the new normal of countries that experience lengthy bouts of inflation, and Argentina would best resemble us, imagine the almighty buck being worth 1/100th of what it was worth previously, and yet things still function there, the locals being used to the game. The worst part might resemble Rwanda but substitute hand cannons for machetes. We’ve been anesthetized to mass murders, anything under double digits is hardly worth reporting these days, and even if 99.999% of us don’t know of anybody killed in such events, they play larger than life in the same way an airplane crashing and killing 138 on board makes the news and yet 138 people dying on the road every day doesn’t.

    1. dday

      Chaco Canyon is an interesting place. My pet theory is that Pueblo Bonito was a “no tell motel”. Small clans from all over the southwest came for a couple of weeks in rainy season to meet new partners, probably get high, and maybe trade a bit.

      Casa Rinconada could have been a human auction site. It looks like the major clans had designated spaces on the upper rim, observing whatever came in through the below ground tunnel.

      What else could explain carrying all those trees all that distance but sex?

  16. jr

    Thanks for the WSWS article, I was wondering why they would even care about two celebs going at each other’s throats but now I see the bigger picture. In the same vein of phony Leftism a la “Me Too”, here is a link to a WSWS collection of essays about pseudo-Leftists:

    “In his foreword to The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left, published in 2015, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North provided a concise “working definition” of the pseudo-left, as follows: 1) It is “anti-Marxist, rejects historical materialism, embracing instead various forms of subjective idealism”; (2), It is “anti-socialist, opposes the class struggle, and denies the central role of the working class and the necessity of socialist revolution in the progressive transformation of society”; (3) It “promotes ‘identity politics,’ fixating on issues related to nationality, ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality in order to acquire greater influence in corporations, the colleges and universities, higher-paying professions, trade unions and in government and state institutions, to effect a more favorable distributions of wealth among the richest ten percent of the population”; and, (4) “in the imperialist centers of North America, Western Europe and Australasia, the pseudo-left is generally pro-imperialist, and utilizes the slogans of ‘human rights’ to legitimize, and even directly support, neo-colonialist military operations.”

    1. digi_owl

      I do wonder how much this is a product of the generation growing up during the forever war, and the resurgence of warrior/uniform worship.

      I can’t help wonder of late if it is a east coast creation, and that the adoption in west coast tech circles and Hollywood is more of a post-Occupy thing. A case of covering one’s ass lest one get bitten on their part.

      1. jr

        Sorry, can you be more specific? What is the product you are referring to? I’m confused…

  17. Mikel

    “Meta’s Tin Man may finally have to find his own heart and lead the emotional side of the business…”

    I know we have psychiatrists, but what about “de-botification specialists?”
    (Better titles welcome).

    This would be a person who tackles the specific type of “human/robot dysphoria” – people who think like machines or, more to the point, believe that people do. They would also have to have some experience with removing sticks from up people’s butts.

    Help me out. I think there’s something here that could be a growing industry….

    1. jr

      Jesus, this stuff writes itself:

      “Zuckerberg can use this moment to become the leader the world wants — and Facebook needs — if he follows five simple rules and learns to lead with heart.”

      Who in the name of fu(k wants Zuckerborg to lead anything? Everyone I know, PMC types included, want him dead. And isn’t leading with “heart” exactly what successful capitalists are NOT supposed to do? Oh, the writer of this idiocy is a life/success/leadership counselor/teacher/shaman. That explains it.

      “With the Meta stock price down 41% this year through Thursday and the wider economic and political environment in turmoil, many Meta employees are likely not feeling very secure these days.”

      Boy, if my portfolio were in dire straits, I know for sure that having The Zuck take me aside and buy me a Coke would assuage my fears. Just looking into those dead, cold eyes flowing with faux concern would buoy me to the stars. Yep.

      “By acknowledging people’s fears and providing coaching and mental-health resources to help them talk things through, Zuckerberg can help employees avoid falling into unhealthy fear responses like infighting or just calling it quits.”

      Ah, the Bezzle. I bet this dunce will be sending an offer to “help” right after the publication of this dreck. Don’t want any of the “unhealthy fear responses” brought on by the loss of one’s income or retirement. And by all means, no one should quit! Quitting is for losers!

      “Recent research has indicated that employees aren’t leaving their posts as part of the Great Resignation due to compensation and benefits. Instead, after over two years of mostly working from home, many employees are feeling starved for the No. 1 motivator of all: recognition and appreciation.”

      Really? That’s not what the title of the article you linked says:

      “Majority of workers who quit a job in 2021 cite low pay, no opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected.”

      but than no one is going to hire a happiness guru if he is spouting none-sense talk like improving wages and benefits. Commies!

      “Zuckerberg must help people feel that the company is once again a force of good in the world,”

      Riiiight, it’s altruism that drove people to work at FB/Meta. The essential goodness in their hearts just shines through the political slants, censorship, addictive and manipulative features, and the ideology of “Move fast and break things.” Real Albert Schweitzer territory here.

      “With a little effort, perhaps even the Tin Man can learn to lead with heart.”

      Come on man, I just ate lunch. The Tin Man is much closer to a biological human than The Zuck. But not to worry, there is a market out there to love to pieces, one Meta is perfectly designed to integrate with:

      Cuddly, huh? Gently stroking the wires running from your VR headset as you lay it down to rest in it’s styro-foam case at bedtime. Giggling when the Internet hiccups and your “kids” disappear for a few seconds, only to reappear fuzzed out and glitchy for a moment before their “childhood” resumes. Watching them not-grow into not-adult not-humans one day at a time, unless there is a power outage due to raging climate catastrophes and breakdowns in supply chains.

      A parade of abominations, from the human-ish to the utterly, decidedly non- human. We are well and truly fu(ked. We need a spiritual revolution and we need it yesterday.

  18. DJG, Reality Czar

    WSWS article by Walsh on MeToo and Heard verdict. The class analysis is interesting and excellent–MeToo as upper-middle enforcement mechanism.

    And there’s this paragraph: ‘In an especially loathsome comment, Moira Doneghan in the Guardian, the house organ of British liberal philistinism, claimed that the trial, with its “strange, illogical, and unjust” verdict, “has turned into a public orgy of misogyny. While most of the vitriol is nominally directed at Heard, it is hard to shake the feeling that really, it is directed at all women.”’

    Remember Doneghan? She was forced to reveal herself as the compiler of the Shitty Media Men spreadsheet. At least, this time, she isn’t making anonymous allegations.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > MeToo as upper-middle enforcement mechanism.

      Liam Kofi Bright had an excellent post (on a DSA debacle, not Depp v. Heard, although it might as well have been) where he wrote:

      I have often witnessed the following combination of characteristics in a person or organisation on the left, specifically those from (or drawing heavily from) the professional middle classes. First, re the justice system a commitment to restorative justice as opposed to punitive measures wherever possible, an extremely-critical-up-to-the-point-of-abolitionist attitude towards incarceration, and where not abolitionist then at least in favour of reduced sentencing and more lenient judgements. Second, re disputes in their local sphere, a mercilessly punitive attitude, using the full scope available of whatever communal norms or local organisational procedures exist to seek out and punish to the full extent possible rule violators…..

      [I] think, the resolution is quite simply this — people are punitive towards things they care about, and lenient towards things they do not care about. The sort of things people are incarcerated for wherein they want penalties to be lessened are things like participation in the drug trade and the violence surrounding that. The sort of things people are fired for which they wish prosecuted to the full extent are things like saying insensitive things about a demographic group they care about or writing book reviews they do not care for. And it turns out that, in their heart of hearts, many on the activist left just do not think that poor (and disproportionately black, I might add) people killing each other is really so bad, whereas they think that that their sensibilities being offended is entirely awful. That is to say, what explains the discrepancy is nothing other than self-centred callousness, disdain for the poor and their lives combined with narcissistic aggrandisement of the problems of the upper middle class like myself.

      This is obviously not the most charitable interpretation. But I ask you just to observe people for a while and try this hypothesis on for size. See for yourself how well it predicts behaviour, the level of passion displayed, the sort of things that will and will not generate extended discussion and rapid action. I think at least some of you may come to be persuaded once you have given this perspective a serious go.

      The post (“A Brief But Angry Post”) was sadly deleted almost immediately, unusual for Bright, I would say. I imagine the pushback from “upper middle class enforcers” (Karens?) was the cause (though it’s also possible he didn’t want to put the boot into DSA).

  19. flora

    Confronting a Perfect Long Storm – International Monetary Fund.

    Erm… let’s leave the “private” out of this, shall we. The “private” is the part that’s gotten us into this mess. The “private” is the looting part, the destruction of the “public” welfare. Ask any number of countries.
    IMF never lets a crisis go to waste. (How much of this crisis did they create?) I think of them now in the same way I think of title loan lenders and payday lenders — not exactly loan sharking, but a close relative.

    1. thump

      “The unpalatable short-term reality is that the world will have to rely more on fossil fuels, including even coal, to ensure energy security and prevent sharply higher energy prices.”

  20. CuriosityConcern
    Guardian covers regenerative farming on what to me is a big plot, but probably small to an honest-to-goodness real farmer.
    Salient excerpt:

    Such a time-consuming process might disappoint farmers looking for a quick fix to free themselves from rocketing fertiliser costs. “It’s really a two-year transition phase in my experience,” O’Connell explains. “It’s got to be planned for. If you’ve got a large farm, you would probably want to make a transition one block at a time rather than the whole, because it would cause a cashflow problem.”

  21. antidlc

    RE: N95 masks

    The other day Lambert asked about availability of N95 masks.

    I ordered a pack of 20 3M Aurora N95 masks from the website yesterday. They arrived today.

  22. JTMcPhee

    On the Morrison piece — the writer thinks Scotty’s tenure was a bottomless elevator shaft, maybe, but one has to ask, from distant, equally corruption-saddled Florida, just who benefitted from Scotty’s tenure. Maybe the legitimized-by-“election” Morrison had no there, there, but it sure seems he managed to accelerate the wealth transfers, exacerbated the idiot Great Reset and east-west conflict, and trashed a lot of whatever residual comity and civility might remain in the ruling clique’s operations. The latter being part of what one has to start perceiving as a kind of choir or chorus among all the cult creatures that have suborned all political processes to the neoliberal dogma, all singing variations on the tune of “take from the poor, give to the rich, leave the place an effing mess for the cleaner staff to deal with (having fired most of the cleaner staff and cut the wages of the rest).”

  23. antidlc

    ‘We’re in trouble’: Electric rates in Texas have surged over 70% as summer kicks in
    Natural gas prices have soared, and gas-generation plants produce the most electricity in the state — and set the market rate.

    There’s no no escaping rising oil prices. They’ve driven up the cost of gasoline, and the higher expense registers every time people fill up the tank.

    The price of natural gas has increased even more than crude oil, but many consumers may not have noticed. They will soon enough — in higher electric bills.

    How much higher? Over 70% higher than a year ago for residential customers in Texas’ competitive market, according to the latest rate plans offered on the state’s Power to Choose website.

    This month, the average residential rate listed on the site was 18.48 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s up from 10.5 cents in June 2021, according to data provided by the Association of Electric Companies of Texas.

  24. juno mas

    RE: 5 planet alignment

    If you click on the image and open it in another browser tab it shows much larger. Take a screen clip and save it to your phone for viewing reference this month.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      In the present flux of crises — Ukraine, the world economy, pandemics, Climate Chaos, Peak Oil etc. — I am curious: How do astrologers interpret this alignment?

  25. Mildred Montana

    >Confronting a Perfect Long Storm International Monetary Fund. “We must embark on public-private collaboration on a scale never before adopted…”

    “Public-private collaboration”, commonly known as a Public-Private Partnership.

    Taxpayers everywhere should learn to distrust and despise that phrase and its abbreviation PPP. It’s just a euphemism for Private Plundering of the Public. In these agreements, the public sector usually takes on most of the risk while the private reaps most of the profits.

    Any small profits the government might reap are small compared to those of the private actors, but are trumpeted to the benighted as a triumph of the arrangements. They aren’t. They were, in all likelihood, the result of luck.

    PPP. Pigeon-Plucking Party. It doesn’t take much intelligence to know who is the “plucker” and who is the “pluckee” and who is enjoying the party and who isn’t. Taxpayers beware.

    1. Raymond Sim

      “Taxpayers everywhere should learn to distrust and despise that phrase and its abbreviation PPP.”

      I could not agree more. Taxpayers and anybody else who might have a concern over diversion of public funds or misuse of governmental power.

      To me they’re all just versions of the military-industrial-complex pretending to care about other things.

    2. Cat burglar

      According to the author, the PPP is necessary because fiscal limitations on government spending mean that states will not be able to spend enough on the social projects needed to overcome the crises. But the writer also affirms that the private sector has plenty of capital to invest — and also that governments have to participate by mitigating the risk. If states have the power to suspend the risks, don’t they have the power to fund and realize the projects themselves?

      The article is a commonplace policy product with really cool wrapping.

  26. ChinaGuy

    Re: “Zeroing out on zero-COVID Science”, I was aghast to see that it was written not by a scientist, but by Harvard “historian” of China Bill Kirby. I had to endure many of his modules on EdX’s otherwise excellent History of China MOOC years ago. “Historian” is in scare quotes because Kirby mainly focuses on business in 20th and 21st Century China from a predictably neoliberal perspective. “Endure” is apt because so many of his units included cringe-worthy bootlicking of Blackstone CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman.

    Kirby’s animus against Xi and the CCP more generally was always palpable.

    On a personal note, as a sexagenarian working in China since Covid broke out–and currently in Beijing under soft lockdown and daily testing–I can cop to both finding the restrictions frustrating *and* comforting because it has worked. I have known zero people, foreign and domestic, who have had Covid in China since January 2020 (okay, one Chinese woman caught it in Oregon while on a visiting professorship, ’nuff said).

    And I am now very apprehensive about my unavoidable visit to the States in July. I want to enter, do my business, and get the heck out as quickly as possible.

    1. Basil Pesto

      thanks for the further background. One feels that this should be an embarrassment for Science, but will just go unremarked upon.

      Congrats on getting on top of the recent outbreak and hopefully the soft lockdown will be behind you soon.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I can cop to both finding the restrictions frustrating *and* comforting because it has worked.

      Thanks for this comment. To nitpick, they’re not restrictions (thats’s the “because freedom” frame). They’re protections.

      > I want to enter, do my business, and get the heck out as quickly as possible.

      There’s your freedom, right there.

      Adding: As I understand it, plenty of cities have done just fine: Shenzen, for example. Western coverage seems to focus on Shanghai and Beijing only; the places the correspondents are, and, worse, the views of the kind of people the correspondents hang out with (i.e., people like themselves). And that’s before we get to the propaganda efforts; the spectacle of the press cheering for failure of ZeroCovid when the stakes are a million dead elders is vonit-inducing.

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