Links 6/4/2022

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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.

* * *

California court rules that bees are a type of fish in order to protect them under the state’s endangered species act Business Insider (Dr. Kevin)

The aliens are all hanging out on Dyson spheres circling white dwarfs, physicist argues Live Science (furzy)

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, but these geologists cracked the code Popular Science (David L)

Great timing and supercomputer upgrade lead to successful forecast of volcanic eruption PhysOrg (Chuck L)

3D Printing: Scientists can now grow wood in a lab without cutting a single tree Interesting Engineering (resilc)

Qualitative humanities research is crucial to AI FastAI (dk)

In vitro gametogenesis: just another way to have a baby? Journal of Law and the Biosciences (Chuck L)


The president of one of the main pharmaceutical companies in Spain, on the list of false vaccinated against the coronavirus EPE Original: El presidente de una de las principales empresas farmacéuticas de España, en la lista de falsos vacunados contra el coronavirus


As we said, and scientist GM even more so, almost from the beginning:

Dogs found to be effective for mass screening people for COVID-19 PhysOrg. Chuck L: “I recall reading about dogs doing this nearly two years ago. Is it even now getting traction?”

Study explores if prior infection with SARS-CoV-2 increased sensitivity to a mitochondrial toxin known to induce Parkinsonism News-medical (Dr. Kevin)

Welcome to the Great Reinfection Wired (Dr. Kevin)


What to make of the many mutations on the monkeypox genome STAT (Dr. Kevin)

We Should Have Seen Monkeypox Coming Atlantic (Mikel)


Countries expected to face large claims from fossil fuel investors in pursuit of decarbonization S&P Global (guurst). Wowsers.

Petroleum Wars in the Age of Climate Disaster: a Bridge Fuel Too Far CounterPunch (resilc)

Harris calls water security a foreign policy priority Associated Press (resilc)

Pacific Crest Trail may become unhikeable due to climate change SFChronicle (Paul R)

Global plastic waste on track to triple by 2060 France24

Countries /a> Climate Action Tracker<(resilc)

Think we need a new category for this sort of thing. Looting? Shocking: EU Commission exempts Big Pharma from competition rules Philsophia Perennis (Micael T)

New Not-So-Cold War

Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia exposes the hypocrisy of the imperialist war against Russia WSWS

Moscow’s (Pseudo)Intellectual Parnassus Gets A Clue Andrei Martyanov. Andrei is, if nothing else, not shy.

Ukraine Admits Heavy Losses in DONBAS HistoryLegends (Larry Johnson)

Ankara’s security concerns based on ‘just, legitimate’ grounds: Türkiye tells NATOPresident Erdogan says Sweden, Finland should prove they do not support terrorism, sanctions against Türkiye lifted Anadolu Agency

Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar at a security conference in Bratislava YouTube. Another clip of his is also getting notice: S Jaishankar teaches a very valuable, simple lesson to Europe

Gas traders rush to secure LNG tankers Financial Times:

Rates to charter an LNG tanker for a year are trading near their highest level in a decade at $120,000 per day, up more than 50 per cent on a year ago, according to Clarksons Platou Securities.

Ukraine Latest: Russia to Open Citizenship Centers in Kherson Bloomberg

“Everything is gone”: Russian business hit hard by tech sanctions ars technica. Chuck L: “If this isn’t an instance of PDS maybe the Rooskies could strike a deal – neon in exchange for SOTA chips.”

The President answered questions from Pavel Zarubin of Rossyia 1 TV channel. Kremlin (guurst). Running in part because individuals who are mortally ill do not do multiple in person business meetings in a day (see Meeting with African Union Chairperson, President of Senegal Macky Sall the same day, as well as


Crossing Continents, What’s Killing Israel’s Arabs? BBC Radio 4. Resilc: “Good listen. Poverty, society breakdown, gangs, neglect. Sounds like USA USA. Israel is rotting within.”

Sympathy for Colonized Ireland in the US Gov’t Doesn’t Extent to Colonized Palestine Juan Cole

Imperial Collapse Watch


Navarro lashes out at Jan. 6 investigations in court The Hill

Before Jan. 6, Aide Warned Secret Service of Security Risk to Pence New York Times (David L)


John Durham lost because he treated the FBI as a dupe — rather than a Clinton collaborator New York Post (Chuck L)


Americans Are Unusually Lukewarm About A Second Biden Term FiveThirtyEight (resilc). No shit, Sherlock.

One in Five US States Is 90% Out of Baby Formula Bloomberg (Mikel)

Abbott’s baby formula shortage reveals deep problems with the US industry Vox (resilc)

The abortion provider that Republicans are struggling to stop Vox (dk)

GOP Clown Car

Gov. Greg Abbott Is Leading Texas for Only a Sliver of Texans New York Times (resilc)

Republicans’ Anti-LGBTQ Conspiracy Theories Are Fueling Far-Right Threats to Pride Celebrations New Republic (resilc)

McCormick concedes to Oz in Pennsylvania Senate GOP primary The Hill

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

California officials install devices to limit water flow at homes that use too much UPI (David L)

Michigan prisons have banned Spanish and Swahili dictionaries. NPR (resilc)


Mass shootings in the United States have almost become a news beat in itself Globe and Mail (Dr. Kevin)

Long version here, see particularly at 4:32 and 8:00 (dk). Mom is a farm worker.

3 injured in St. Louis County grocery store shootout KSDK (resilc)

Florida high school raffles off AK47, guns week after Uvalde shooting (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

US State-Affiliated NewsGuard Targets Consortium News Consortium News. I want to scream. Why did CN knuckle under? Max Blumenthal showed how it is done:

Supply Chain/Inflation

Shipping Chaos Is the Latest Sign that Capitalism Is Eating Itself Tribune Magazine (dk)

Gas prices leap to nearly $10 a gallon at California station after smashing record highs nationally amid Bidenflation Daily Mail

Microsoft introducing ways to detect people “leaving” the company, “sabotage”, “improper gifts”, and more! Reddit (Paul R)

Exclusive: Elon Musk wants to cut 10% of Tesla jobs Reuters. Resilc: “Going teats up.” Lotta people agreed: Tesla shares slide after Musk reportedly flags cutting 10% of staff Financial Times

Leaked transcript: What Mark Zuckerberg told Meta employees about Sheryl Sandberg’s exit Vox (resilc)

Class Warfare

‘Priced out’ Bay Area city council candidate to end campaign, relocate elsewhere SFGate (o4amuse)

Even the PMC is no longer safe! French diplomats on strike, say ‘professional diplomacy’ at risk France24 (resilc)

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (furzy). Did those goats get enough to eat?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Shannon

    Quantitative social scientist here. From my POV, the difference between social science and data science is that social science is theory driven, where we use data to test ideas about how social forces work. In contrast, data science looks for patterns in the data. Social scientists do science. We’re also trained in both quantitative research methodologies. We’re trained to work with real world messy data and to think critically not only about the data that are present, but also what is missing, who is represented vs not represented, and why. Further, we are trained to adjust our models to account for uncertainty, missing data, response bias.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The article was not about social sciences but humanities. The core method in the humanities is explication de texte, which is a close and exacting reading of a passage (or passages), looking at syntax, structure, imagery, use of poetic and/or rhetorical devices, and overt or implicit references to other works. It is not remotely theory driven and suggesting it is is incorrect.

      1. Acacia

        …which explains why the Frankfurt School, Raymond Williams, Barthes, Lacan, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Badiou, et alia were all taken up in earnest by researchers in the Humanities…?

        1. Felix_47

          Four Ivy League years and I never was able to figure out Derrida. I think it was about publish or perish.

      2. Omicron

        You are absolutely right, dear Yves; I fought for this view throughout my career as a professor of English and linguistics. To little avail. Practitioners in the field of literary study persist in thinking they are creating “literary theory” when it is clear from their writings that they lack even the faintest idea of what a theory is. They also lack the ability to analyze “syntax [and] structure” in any systematic structure. I wish I could have pointed this out in as succinct and accurate a fashion as you did. Lord knows I tried often enough.

        1. Acacia

          Well, whether you agree with it or not (and it sounds like you might have been in the “anti-theory” camp, when a debate over literary theory boiled over in the 1990s), the fact remains that there is a very large body of published research in the field that is known as “literary theory”, and that many practitioners are very well acquainted with it precisely as theory, e.g. to cite only a few examples, Mikhail Bakhtin’s The Dialogic Imagination, Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism, Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, Paul de Man’s Allegories of Reading, etc. It could be debated whether this body of work is “theory” or just “criticism”, but much of it has a self-awareness qua theory and is received and interpreted as such.

          Where I would agree with you, though, is that there are now generations of graduate students who have passed through departments of national literatures and were, sadly, not taught the basics of literary analysis but instead only “theory”.

          1. Skippy

            Its not a matter if they the were not taught, its a matter of it being excluded, history confirms such dynamics, for whatever reasons ….

            Seems some wanted to simplify the disciplines range of view not unlike Philip Mirowski’s argument about slipping in/bastardizing some axiom so everything else could be extenuated from it and once dominate can not be rolled back.

            Personally I find this very much with the arguments of how the IRB of the DSM5 rolled and still an issue in academia e.g. future funding skews objectiveness. Have a local immunologist that suffers the same condition, self funded …

            1. Acacia

              If by “excluded” you mean that it was looked down upon by many faculty and treated as something unworthy of attention and therefore study, yes, I would certainly agree.

              As for why this happened, I am not sure about a desire to simplify, for if anything the spread of European theories of literature throughout the academic world has produced an explosion of different approaches. The geography of literary study is a lot more varied and complicated than it was fifty to seventy years ago. Having experienced it directly, my inclination would be to try looking at the phenom in terms of social capital, à la Bourdieu, as there was just a lot more “prestige” in being a Stephen Greenblatt talking about “new historicism” than being a humble literary exegete trying to get students to really master the basics. Looking at it in terms of social capital can eventually come around to how “future funding skews” research, too, not to mention salaries.

            2. Skippy

              In simplify I mean market driven influences which at its core is simplistic, but can be quite diverse in its application e.g. everyone seeking funding et al.

              Then again whilst I observe the Atlantic I always hedge it with Eastern and more so global anthropology.

            3. Skippy

              Compelled to agree with the foundation students have on offer, huge point of contention in my view with the economics discipline. Imagine talking to a so called Keynesian/Tobin sort that skews orthodox economics and then have them tell you after broaching a few topics that their dramas are about how Joan Robinson treated Saffra in once instance … welp she is toast … everything else she said is moot ..

              To be quite honest economics and humans is akin to voodoo and why if the discipline wants to move forward it must be removed from self seeking agency, absolutely no assembly line education by rote, and more so entrants having an old school depth in humanities, natural history, physics, maths, and science before being instructed …. sigh the neoliberal period functioned without a demonstrable model of the monetary system, not that is empiric at the end of the day with political machinations.

    1. griffen

      Well he is jawboning those white collar workers into capitulation and submission. Fortunately in their case, it is an opportune time to flip the middle index at Musk and walk out. Work from home is here and it seems that plenty enjoy not spending their life in a commuter hellscape. Not everyone can make that an option, of course.

      Job openings are at a reported record level. His “superbad” comment might have been misconstrued perhaps; the date of birth of the famed and fictional McLovin is indeed June 3.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Are job openings plentiful? Sure, but that does not mean there’s lots of tech jobs. See this other article by Wolf,

        Coinbase is currently going viral and not in a good way for rescinding offers that were already made and signed by candidates. One guy who is on H1B actually got his offer rescinded two days before he was due to join, and AFTER he’d resigned from his job.

        1. griffen

          Analytically thinking here, and not intended to object or as a clapback of any sort. That one example does not equal a widespread occurrence. Separately, I did see a comparable report of such a thing from Linked In yesterday ( individual moved for the dream job which ended after 9 or so months ).

          And sure crypto currency firms and fintech employers aren’t doing well in 2022. Unicorns and startups are colliding with the real world.

      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        Work from home is here until the overseer’s job can be moved overseas. I believe there is already talk of that at WEF.

    2. The Historian

      Musk is a major game player – nothing he does is straight forward.

      Most of the large companies have followed the Enron ‘rank and yank’ model where they get rid of a percentage of their employees every year for ‘failure to perform’. Enron’s model was 10%. Amazon does this too, although I don’t think their model is as high as 10%. I’m betting most of the major tech companies do this also although they don’t publicize it.

      What Musk did was to announce this publicly which means he wants something, but what that something is we don’t know yet.

      Perhaps his forays into China weren’t as much fun as he’d thought they’d be. China closing down Shanghai because they thought stopping Covid and saving lives was more important than Teslas? How dare they?

      Perhaps he wants out of that Twitter deal without paying the penalties so he’s driving his stock price so low that he can’t get financing.

      Perhaps he wants something from Biden since you can bet Biden doesn’t want to see a 10% layoff – or a drop in the stock market: not good for the story Biden’s trying to tell about how well the economy is doing.

      Who knows what Musk is up to?

      1. curlydan

        Trump-Musk 2024

        You will have not [bleep]-ing clue what’s going on

        Dang it… Musk wasn’t born here. grrr… it can’t happen

      2. TimH

        Freescale did ‘rank and yank’ when I was there, and the CEO said in an all hands that it was to force managers to los the underperformers.

        In practice, teams hired sacrificial goats to preserve the in-crowd.

    3. Joe Well

      If those Tesla workers were getting paid Bay Area-level compensation to work from Wyoming, you could see why they would be inclined to keep their jobs rather than looking elsewhere.

      And maybe this will lead to a compromise where remote workers are paid less?

      Of course, Musk saying the pandemic is over is CDC-level sosiopathy.

    4. AGR

      A Silicon Valley Business Model: Create a haze of ‘futuristics’, embellished with the promise of “AI”…over-promise, extract resources, then distract from externalities and under-delivery as incidental…

      There seems to be an ongoing campaign to position the “Elon Musks” of the world as the messiahs that will solve all that ails us…this campaign seems to have been going on for a while, but seems denser recently…

      Reminds me of this;

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        They’re our Pharaohs. Their huge piles of paper wealth are the pyramids we have built. And with Covid, inflation, social dissolution expressed in mass killings and suicides, we’re being told to make bricks without straw.

        Gods who walk among us. Well, not really. They use helicopters and private jets to avoid walking among us.

        1. Bruno

          When the pyramids were built (“Old” and “Middle” Kingdoms) the egyptian peasants still owned their land and so the pyramids were necessary geodesics for marking field-boundaries after the Floods. Then came a clever vizier named Joseph who took advantage of a series of low floods and made “all the Egyptians slaves of pharaoh.” Then (after a century or so) came the catastrophic revenge of Hathor/Sekhmet (“The destruction of mankind”) the exodus of the multiethnic Egyptian proletariat (the “great mixed multitude”) and the conquest of lower Egypt by the Amelekites (“Hyksos”). The rest of the history is well known (or at least well-recorded).

    5. Joe Lauria

      Consortium News knuckled under? Rubbish. Clearly you did not read the piece. This is a very detailed rebuttal, which examines NewsGuard’s own Ukraine reporting. Check out the readers comments too. – Joe Lauria CN Editor

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        It’s not a good idea for all of us to act as if these guys have the right to sit in judgment of independent journalists.

        You may not like my choice of words, but you did fold by responding to their bogus charges and disclosing who your donors were. You played into their hand by acceding to a process that is clearly biased and designed to censor views that counter important official narratives. Complaining about it does not make you any less a participant.

        You legitimated them. They extorted you out of the hope of getting a green check, which you may not even get. Greyzone did the opposite.

        And this is not just my opinion. I’ve spoken to others, both professional writers and academics who know the players on what passes for the left these days. They were disturbed that you dignified the idea that NewGuard is good faith actor, which you did by (despite grumbling) acceding to their unreasonable demands for CN’s private information about its funding and by rebutting their objection to your position on the Maidan coup.

        If they contact me, I will not capitulate by providing any information. I will either ignore them or tell them I will sue them for defamation if they send me an e-mail like they sent you and make public anything that dimly resembles their false allegations (which includes the insinuation that our funding sources influence our editorial stance). These people cannot stand the light of discovery.

        Private equity, an industry with more money than God, that has the best lawyers in the US on speed-dial and hires their services in bulk, and has more money that NewGuard, has not gone after me when they could have dreamed up reasons to haul me into court (and in America, you can drop claims on people for nonsense and force them to spend money to get rid of it). They didn’t go after me for that same reason. The reputational damage that they’d suffer in discovery would be noteworthy and would also have called attention to my work, the last thing they wanted. Going after me would be like eating a porcupine: a lot of pain for not much nutritional value. Sites like ours have to behave like porcupines or we become prey.

        1. ChinaGuy

          CN’s rebuttal of NewsGuard’s (and establishment media’s) Ukraine disinfo was superb in its comprehensive laying out of the counterarguments. I forwarded it to a colleague, writing:

          Thought of your scepticism about the Maidan coup and neo-Nazi issues as I read this publisher proceed to justify them in epic fashion (I had to read this very long and consistently referenced article in two sittings today).

          It’s so comprehensive, I’ll never need to send you anything on either subject again:

          1. borkman

            Your reaction is naive.

            The CN post came off as weak, defensive, overlong AND FEARFUL, which is what bullies like NewGuard depend on. Confident respondents don’t write dissertations justifying their position. The fact that CN responded in a post as opposed to via e-mail does not make it any less a response to the trigger of the NewsGuard e-mails.

            It was a “lady doth protest way way way way too much “to NewGuard focusing on that CN stating the US “organized” the Maidan coup. CN clearly got wrapped around the axle of defending ONE WORD in Lord knows how many posts CN as written as some sort of valid measure of CN’s accuracy. CN fell fully for NewGuard’s framing of using a site’s stance on Maidan as a one-and-done measure of its bona fides.

            And CN 100% capitulated to NewGuard’s demand for donor info. That was a big fail.

            1. rob

              I don’t see it as a big fail at all,
              Sometimes even bad publicity, is still publicity… and the public needs more info, not less.
              People playing it safe, often do nothing. And we have too much nothing happening these days.

              1. borkman

                Then you aren’t paying attention, or didn’t read all of the CN article. Since when is spending hard donor dollars to prove your bona fides to NewsGuard NOT capitulating? You can wave your pom poms all you want for CN. They not only groveled before NewsGuard with their Ukraine piece, they’re now volunteering to do MORE than NewsGuard asked for! See this comment from Lambert:

                From the article:

                Consortium News has never taken a penny from any government, corporation or advertiser. To prove this, CN is hiring an independent auditor to attest to this fact. It will publish on this website the independent audit statement as soon as it is prepared to once and for all end any smears or suspicions about the sources of CN‘s funding.

                We’ll be sure to include the cost of such an audit in our next fundraiser, now that CN has been gracious enough to legitimize NewsGuard and set the precedent for the rest of us, good job.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Since I wrote this reply, I saw yet another comment on the CN post via e-mail from a prominent independent journalist. It sums things up better than I did:

        NewsGuard is already succeeding based on reading Lauria’s response.

      3. Lambert Strether

        > Consortium News knuckled under? Rubbish.

        From the article:

        Consortium News has never taken a penny from any government, corporation or advertiser. To prove this, CN is hiring an independent auditor to attest to this fact. It will publish on this website the independent audit statement as soon as it is prepared to once and for all end any smears or suspicions about the sources of CN‘s funding.

        We’ll be sure to include the cost of such an audit in our next fundraiser, now that CN has been gracious enough to legitimize NewsGuard and set the precedent for the rest of us, good job.

  2. The Rev Kev

    “Americans Are Unusually Lukewarm About A Second Biden Term”

    Well that shouldn’t surprise anybody. For his first term he promised that everything would go back to a DC normal and perhaps he might build back better. Instead he is leading the US into a two-front war with two nuclear powers, crashing the US dollar and making the cost of living so expensive that soon Americans will have to move down to Mexico to survive. I have no idea what he wants to do for an encore in a second term but I don’t think that anybody really wants to know.

    1. LawnDart

      I’d say that against the Pound and Euro he’s doing a bang-up job. Unfortunately, nothing comes from GB that’s particularly useful to me, and I’m not in the market for a BMW.

      1. Ed S.


        Don’t forget the yen – closed Friday at 130.86.

        Last time lower – September 1998.

      2. playon

        Can anyone explain to me why the pound is worth as much as it is? What do they still manufacture in the UK? Is it due to the City of London’s ongoing legal financial crime spree?

    2. jefemt

      Fundamentally, nothing will change.

      T Rump laid bare our blemishes, more often than not be behaving in a way that amplified them to a dizzying degree.
      Now, Anything Goes because Freedumb!

      Biden has helped to lay bare that DC , The FIRE group, MIC, Big Medicine(tm) and Oligarchic marionette-masters, are feckless and doing absolutely nothing to pump the bilge and shore anything up, other than their own nests.

      Strong messaging from leadership– and it ain’t good.

      Meanwhile , the ‘collective we’ dither about, occasionally feigning concern and seriousness about distractions like elections, as if they mattered, all while trying to keep the banker at bay, the tax man satiated, as we perceive in our core that the earth and natural systems are fatigued, haggard, and perishing on our beautiful elegant spaceship.

      Enough to drive a person to his or her own edge. Between that and the new clouds of plagues, folks really are displaying symptoms of PTSD.

      Thank goodness not EVERYONE as a gun and anger issues!

      1. flora

        The era of cheap energy is over. shhh. Don’t tell Biden or Wall Street. More automation and more globalization and more financial games will fix everything. / ;)

      2. albrt

        Just glad I don’t have kids.

        Best of luck to the breeders, though. You’re doing a bang up job of vindicating my decision.

    3. Terry Humphrey

      Before we throw Biden out with the bathwater we might want to look at the alternatives.

      1. tegnost

        You’re right. If one ascribes to HMP’s accelerationist philosophy, biden is definitely crashing it faster.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wow, I can’t believe this, but you may be the first person to say this. Do you think 1993 will be an exciting year?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, I think I have said a version of it, in that if the Republicans run Trump or DeTrumpis or some other hideous gargoyle, I will vote for Biden again or whatever Clintobamazoid the party chooses to run.

          Now . . . . if the Republican Party decides to run a Pence/Gabbard ticket, I will feel free to vote some kind of vanity third party choice.

          1. chris

            Trump surprised me at the end when I thought he was incapable of causing any more significant harm than the alternatives. He’s still too dumb to understand where the levers of power are to enact any kind of agenda but he comes with a cast of dangerous people who take full advantage of his idiocy.

            However… I fail to see much of a difference between him and Biden. Shoot, Biden is keeping Trump policies on any number of things so what’s the functional difference now? Besides Trump being more generous with relief programs?

            I feel no shame in voting 3rd party over any option presented by Team Red or Team Blue these days. They are guaranteed to be equally awful. They are guaranteed to make life worse for citizens in this country.

            What I’m sad about is that I can’t think of a single politician with any national standing who I would want to support as president. Literally none of those sociopaths should be anywhere near the White House. I dream of a candidate who would clear out the state department, put bankers in jail, end all our wars of choice, and dissolve the CIA. But there is no such person.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Biden is not devoted to abolishing the various Federal Agencies and Bureaus and etc. the way the Trumpublicans are. Steve Bannon called it ” deconstructing the Administrative State.”

              That’s a real difference. If the National Park Service is ever abolished and all the National Parks sold to private buyers, then you will see the difference.

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        Sounds a lot like LOTE to me, and I’m way past done with that.

        Instead, my understanding is that we’re trying desperately to travel down a road to a new world. There are two obstacles blocking the road, and the first one we’ve encountered are the Democrats. Until we remove that obstacle through utter electoral destruction, we can’t even get to the second obstacle, the Republicans.

        While it’s no easy task to get rid of either, at least both are helping with their ridiculous “solutions” to our mountain of problems that are only making things worse.

        1. bassmule

          This is why I’m not responding well to the 2022 Dem slogan “OMG! Republicans will control everything.” Neither Team Blue nor Team Red has any interest in doing anything other than servicing big donor wants and needs.

        2. Aumua

          I hear you, but the problem with removing the Democrats through total destruction or whatever, is that doing so will just give more power to the Republicans, or whoever they are morphing into, until at some point even the facade of having a two party system will disappear and we’ll just have a one party system: the USA Freedom Patriot party or whatever, and at that point you WILL do what they say. There won’t be any removing of that ‘obstacle to a new world’ by then. I mean, it’s a lose/lose situation at this point.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Well, a problem is that another round of Republican Administration will mean the final deconstruction of the Administrative State, the way Bannon wanted to do it.

              You’ll be sorry when there really is no more Post Office and no more National Park Service and all the other no mores which the Repubs will bring us. Also, it will become completely legal to put arsenic in the bottle and aspirin on the label.

              That’s something worth at least considering voting against.

              And the Republican Administration will be a Christian Sharia Law Fascist Administration. But that could be a good thing for accelerationist reasons. Unless it accelerationizes so fast that the Legal Abortion HuWoman Rights community can’t keep up in terms of arming itself the Christian Shariahamwe Holocaust that Administration would prepare.

              1. griffen

                So we gather that Republicans are evil. At a minimum it is an upfront evil. Democrats on the other hand, will vote to send $40 billion to Ukraine while quoting the New Testament; only to realize the shelves in American supermarkets are either bare to the bone or the prices are going straight up.

                Both of em are evil. Democrats seem feckless in my book. If they do care about your need or plight, I am certain they can work access into whatever it is you or your child are in urgent need of. Access to high quality but reasonable priced medicines. Access to “the best healthcare”.

                The shame of it is the Democrats are willful participants. They wring their hands about what to do. But when funding for military or DoD or Pentagon wish lists are on the table, both parties can’t help but say “more please, send more”.

                  1. hk

                    Darwin will likely suggest that we are all doomed:. D does not offer any better chance of survival than R now.

                1. Felix_47

                  It was obvious before the election that war was coming in the Ukraine. They did not drop millions on the Biden family for nothing. So I think war is a total waste after a couple of years in AFG and Iraq a few times.

        3. Noone from Nowheresville

          You mean like the Republicans crashed in 2008. Seems to me, Obama and the Democratic leadership picked them up and dusted them off before the wealthy could get their next party started.

          Neither political social club is going anywhere. They represent themselves, the historic US aristocracy and the newbie wealthy families their policies purposefully created. Throw in some of the global wealthy as well since US policies are global not just internal to the US.

      4. Big River Bandido

        Donald Trump at least sent me a few stimulus checks. Joe Biden still owes me $600.

        1. Janie

          Alternatives such as – oh, I dunno – maybe Kamela, Pete, Hilary. I’m gonna stay home with my head under a blanket on election day.

        2. Pookah Harvey

          Tulsi is getting a lot of face time on Fox. Her appearances on Tucker’s Youtube channel gets comments from Trumpers that are very positive. Is she thinking of running as an independent…..or even a Repub?

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I think so. Maybe not this cycle. She will not forgive the way the DemParty betrayed her utterly last cycle. She will want revenge.

            And in politics, revenge is a dish best served over. And over. And over again.

            I just hope she has enough sense not to associate with Trump itself in any way.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          This was all Indian Country. It could all become ” Indian Country” again if enough Boat Person Americans adopted a form and version of Indian Family Values.

          1. chris

            I think there’s a lot to be said for much of native culture and tradition. I was lucky enough to have people teach me things from the Apache way of living that were of enormous benefit to me. The rites of initiation and adulthood were special markers in my life. I would love to see those concepts made more available to other people in the US.

            Plenty of fiction has fantasized about a native resurgence. For example, there’s the Shadowrun backstory of a cataclysm that makes the medicine of the natives real and powerful, so they take back the whole country and most of what is currently the US becomes confined to large city states like Seattle, Chicago, New York, etc. That would be an interesting time.

            I personally wonder if we will find out that some people are much more immune to all these diseases that will no doubt be in circulation and they end up inheriting whatever is left of the Earth. And perhaps that will be the natives and indigenous peoples in North America. What a trip that would be if swine flu 1.0 killed their ancestors and swine flu 2.0 kills all their conquerors :)

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Swine flu 2.0 killing all their conquerors will not make a difference. If the non-Indian population of America is reduced to zero, the Chinese will immediately bring in several hundred million Chinese settlers in order to Tibetanise America. Whereas if ” their conquerors” all reduce their standard of living massively and resume correct Treaty Relationships with the Treaty Nations and Nature’s Law Base-ify their mode of living, the Great Han Lebensraum hordes of China ( and India too) can be kept at bay.

    4. Pelham

      But I’m sure that once he spiffs up the administration’s messaging — the only space other than Ukraine policy where there’s any detectable pulse in his administration — everything will be hunky-dory.

    5. Gregorio

      Unfortunately, Mexico is no longer the bargain it once was thanks to the massive influx of US refugees gentrifying all the desirable places, converting prime farmland into subdivisions, overtaxing the already inadequate infrastructure, and turning the former dueños into gardeners, waiters, and housekeepers. The latest phenomenon is carpetbagging foreign developers shopping for real estate in helicopters, because who has time to spend days driving around in a car?

  3. Sardonia

    “1/15 A thread: The LGBT share among young Americans tripled in the last decade to 21%. Trans & non-binary identification may be up as much as 1000%.”

    I foresee an increase in teenaged suicide, as vulnerable heterosexual cis-gendered kids realize that they are not trans, or not LGBT, and therefore, will never be cool.

    1. Pelham

      The trans trend, I think, may be driven by a bit more than sheer faddishness. If you’re a white male, it’s a way to transition not only from male to female but also from oppressor to oppressed, the coin of the current liberal/progressive realm.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        My Gen Z son said this last year. His public high school is super diverse (45% White, 40% Hispanic, 10% Asian, 5% Black). The message he has received is that being white is being an oppressor and something to be ashamed of. His opinion is that a lot of white kids choose to identify as LGBQT so they can be part of a “victim” group and not be one of the “bad guys”

        1. Lost in OR

          My HS sophomore son loathes the wokeness in teachers. “No political messages” on clothing allowed as they fly their rainbow and BLM colors on classroom walls. And as he weathers the blame and shame cannons, he knows he is not at fault.

          The real shame is that he is shutting down all empathy toward those who are or have been oppressed and identifying with the oppressors. While he doesn’t know enough to support some of the positions he takes, I can tell that he believes strongly in them at a gut level.

          1. chris

            Currently fighting this same battle with my kids. My heart goes out to all the parents who are trying to guide children through this bizarre time. Especially those with boys. The nihilism being preached as a solution to wokest dogma is poisonous and seductive to teenage boys.

      2. digi_owl

        I got this anthropological claim gnawing at the back of my head.

        Supposedly third genders show up in “warrior cultures”, as means of classifying those men that when of wage for some reason can’t or won’t take part in said culture.

        This possibly because gender roles/norms/expectations have become so ossified that it is easier to invent a third one than try to introduce an expanded definition of the existing ones. In particular when such an expansion may produce a “Venn diagram” overlap (ye horror /s).

        For 20 years USA et al tried by hook and by crook to get men to sign up with the armed forces, this in order to avoid another Vietnam war draft and the problems that came with it. In the process they accidentally or intentionally seeded/fueled a kind of uniform/warrior worship.

        1. chris

          The way I heard it explained was it was a way to not waste resources/people in societies where numbers really did matter, while also preserving the primacy of roles for men and women in those societies. Because we haven’t had to deal with real scarcity, we have a situation where so many people in US culture have no ability to explain what a man is, and what they should do, let alone what an adult is, and what they should do. Ditto for women. It’s all post modernist BS – you’re an adult whatever you say you are and no one can tell you that’s wrong. We’re all individuals. We’re not part of anything bigger than ourselves. So it’s easy to pick us off one by one :/

        2. Mikel

          In a way it seems like real radical idea is that every emotion, desire, and thought that you have is perfectly legitimate in the body you were born with.

        3. LifelongLib

          IIRC in one of Faulkner’s novels, a farmer who was in the U.S. Army in WW1 dismisses it as “a good job for a lazy man”. I think any warrior worship in the U.S. is at best superficial and at worst propaganda. Most Americans are isolationists at heart and (were so many not driven by economic desperation) would have better things to do than go to faraway lands and shoot people for reasons those who sent them haven’t even been honest about.

    2. Big River Bandido

      I suppose I should be flattered that my “lifestyle” is now a fashion label among my students.

      I’m not.

      1. bassmule

        Oh, I think this mostly has to do with finding a new way to freak out Mom & Dad, since they already do drugs and have tats and piercings.

        1. Wukchumni

          I find tattoos to be a very good judge of a young adult’s visible net worth, there’s a fellow across the way from me in SF airport who I would gauge has spent in excess of $10k decorating himself.

          1. albrt

            I don’t think you are going to get a good read on net worth from tattoos without doing qualitative analysis – maybe that could be a whole new branch of academic humanities. But by sheer volume, many of the homeless dudes who come into the bike coop where I volunteer have plenty of tattoos.

    3. Aumua

      I looked into this author Eric Kaufmann a bit, and I withhold judgement, for now. I’m not really sure what to think yet. But posting this thread here with no context or comment? Now that’s brave.

    4. Mikel

      Money to made on the “undoing” surgeries too.

      Just remember Michael Jackson’s face. He could always find a doctor that wouldn’t say. “Dude, get a grip. NO.”

    5. Etrigan

      If one were to look at a graph of the sudden explosion of left-handed people in the early twentieth century America, it would seem some sort of wild fad, a libertine movement of the left hand path of sinister black magic enthusiasts. Instead the rate leveled off at around ten percent where it has remained: after the act of suppressing left-handedness was reduced. I’m old enough to remember the lack of left handed scissors in kindergarten, so I grumbled and forced myself to learn how to grip right handed scissors. Likewise, I adapted many of the masculine formalities of dominant culture when pressured to, the right way to be a boy and a man, out of, well, not a lack of scissors but of a terror of consequences. that is not to say I necessarily wanted to transition, but my friends who did seemed pretty damn certain and are to this day.
      To say it’s a cultural fad neglects that perhaps with options available other than persecution, ostracism and death, young people are realizing you don’t have to hurt yourself every damn day fashioning oneself with the wrong shears. I imagine if the ‘fad’ is allowed to continue without reactionary persecution, forced genital inspection of teens, sanctioned murder etc, such a burst of activity would even off and we might see what percentages may be more steady in a decade or so. There was perhaps in the past enough of a cultural carrot and stick to maintain certain gender boundaries of the body rigidly both internally and with all the might of the state, but with the social and economic compact between citizenry and its rulers dissolving, what is the point of maintaining such fictions for those for whom they are fictions.

  4. griffen

    Jobs are plentiful, is about the only good sign of anything if you can call it such. If we reach 2024 and he is somehow elected to a second term, that would be a harbinger that things appearing not in control were somehow resolved. I defer to others on whether that is truly possible.

    Lame duck time is coming quickly. You can’t raise the gas prices so high, along with other vast categories necessary for modern life and then also leave American babies to starve without formula on the shelves. Starving overseas children, now is another argument cause that’s just foreign policy no matter the labeled R admin or labeled D admin in charge.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Nixon, that crook, froze and reduced gas and other prices in response to the OPEC petroleum embargo back in 1973. Biden and his coterie have all the powers of the imperial presidency, but he wrings his hands and says “What can I do? It’s the market…” while the Dems continue to transfer terabucks to the MIC and the FIRE creatures and bleed what’s left of the country’s resources and people, and “not white folk” die under the weapons of the West…

      And the 88%, will they feel any kind of commensalism with the Mopes of the 12% when the demolition of the “Formerly Free World” really gets rolling?

      Fundamental thing to keep in mind: The 0.01% do not care. And are too stupid to adapt.

      1. flora

        Never thought Nixon would look not-too-bad with hindsight. It’s strange to think of Nixon as more New Deal than the current Dem party.

        1. Pat

          I didn’t cotton to how far right the shift was until Obama, in hindsight I should have gotten it with Clinton. Unfortunately I was still distracted by the victimization and bad Republican meme. (Not to say there wasn’t a tantrum going on, but it did hide a multitude of bipartisan destruction)

        2. Lost in OR

          There is a longer list of significant environmental legislation signed by tricky dicky than has been signed by all subsequent presidents combined. Our political party(ies) are still trying to undo or get around what he set into law.

      2. Objective Ace

        How did Nixon freeze gas prices? Wouldn’t that just result in no gas being imported to the US?.. unless the government was paying the difference in price

        1. JTMcPhee

          Read for yourself. One link to get you started:

          Seems very “un-democratic,” but consider Janet Yellen and the Fed’s huge money dump into the FIRE thieves’ grasping paws, and the Fed’s “only valve” of setting interest rates to control inflation. The Fed being lucky, thanks to extrinsic factors, that its other nominal responsibility, nearly full employment, is just “happening” for “reasons.”

          The Presidency for decades has used naked power to serve corporate interests and make a nice sandbox for the neocons to move their little toy soldiers around in.

          Maybe it would be nice if something was done to benefit the ordinary people. What part of the current gas price is simple looting greed?

          1. Darthbobber

            I remember those wage and price controls (which in practice turned out to be wage controls and price guidelines). Note that even the link you give concedes that inflation continued to rise even with a supposed freeze.

  5. Wukchumni

    Goooooooooood Mooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The jubilee was upon us-a chance to nullify all debts real or imagined, but no-it was the glorification of one of the old school rich families-not what we had in mind but none the less for commoners in a financial pinch in old Blighty, let them eat watercress & dandelion sandwiches sans bread to pay for it, was the mood.

    Never was so much owed by so many to so few…

    1. anon in so cal

      Was fascinating but the authors clearly never took a research methods course. They stated,

      “Hypothetically, let’s say you wanted to find out whether the use of AI technologies by doctors during a medical appointment would make doctors less attentive to patients – what do you think the best way of doing it would be? You could find some criteria and method for measuring ‘attentiveness’, say tracking the amount of eye contact between the doctor and patient, and analyse this across a representative sample of medical appointments where AI technologies were being used, compared to a control group of medical appointments where AI technologies weren’t being used. Or would you interview doctors about their experiences using the technology during appointments? Or talk to patients about how they felt the technology did, or didn’t, impact their experience?

      In research circles, we describe these as ‘epistemological’ choices – your judgement of what constitutes the ‘best’ approach is inextricably linked to your judgement about how we can claim to ‘know’ something.”

      The thing is, the most basic research methods courses instruct students to use more than one, and preferably three, data collection methodologies in order to test a research hypothesis.

      1. flora

        Good point. My argument with so many AI sales pitches is the suggestion computer AI can substitute for human judgement. (Hint: it can’t. It’s a tool, but only a tool.) / ;)

    2. flora

      Yes, the “Qualitative …AI” is great! Thanks NC.

      an aside: I’ve seen the AI search results on ebay change based on the login account I use. Ebay’s AI is effectively restricts the choices I might make based on some sorting algo based on my login id. Google’s ever “improving” AI sorting of search results moves forward even as its search results degrade into something close to mush, imo. In both examples, the choices available are restricted by an AI algo without the general user’s awareness, by an algo. (This is an example of mostly harmless AI choice restricting options. I can think of many situations where this would not be harmless.)

    3. Mikel

      The unemployment denials are right up there with the algorithms being used for discrimination in job search.
      And then long term unemployment will stay high for people that are actually employable but the whackadoodle idea that any time off from the rat race should be punished persists. No matter the reason. And that was programmed in.
      It’s the system pychos love so they want be held accountable for anything.

  6. chris wardell

    3 injured in St. Louis County grocery store shootout KSDK
    live not far from that event
    The location is borderline ghetto
    Nothing new
    move on

    1. ambrit

      The pictures suggested that. We have similar neighborhoods ’round here. The WalMart close to us is locally referred to as “The Ghetto WalMart,” and not just by feckless whites either. At the other extreme are the smaller stores serving the “White Trash” exurbs. You know the place; local meth-heads hanging around in front of the place. One or two will amble up to a ten year old car in the parking lot. After a minute, money changes hands in exchange for a plastic baggie. Car starts off and soon begins driving erratically. The occasional shooting happens in the same parking lot, usually on a Friday or Saturday night.
      Welcome to America.

    2. griffen

      You combine these incidents with the headline from the Florida high school. One would assume a right minded adult would be in the room, and say maybe not holding the raffle of firearms and so forth but I am sure fund raising alternatives were discussed. Okay probably not.

      Unbelievable, but hey it’s America in 2022.

    3. Lunker Walleye

      In Iowa, shortly before Biden spoke about guns on Thursday eve, two women were shot to death at a church not far from ISU in Ames.

  7. Carolinian

    Re WSWS and Depp/Heard

    As for the claim that Depp’s much wider popular support gave him an unfair advantage, this speaks, in part, to his history as a substantial artist (including in films such as Minamata and Waiting for the Barbarians), his presence in court and the public’s general lack of confidence in Heard’s testimony.

    While Johnny Depp is indeed a talented actor I doubt his fanbase exists for his better movies as opposed to the Disney schlock. Indeed Depp’s seeming tendency to himself not take his career seriously limits the sympathy for his supposedly crushed reputation. What he really lost via the false accusations was of course lots and lots of money. And this is an aspect of ‘#me too’ that the WSWS, with its longtime opposition, has failed to address–that it is, in its celebrity version, an attack on powerful men who often deserve a comeuppance. How sorry should we feel for Harvey Weinstein? Not very.

    The truth always matters, but there are other areas of our public affairs where it matters a lot more.

    1. griffen

      Tangential to that last phrase, I’m catching up on the Sussman acquittal and related developments in the charges brought by John Durham. So it fell apart not because of lacking in evidence, but Durham failed to prove the accuracy or nature of the FBI being fooled. Which is just enough to whack yourself in the head with a 2×4.

      Semantics matter. The FBI was not fooled or duped, they were participants. Same reason that Eric Holder couldn’t jail anyone having a pulse after the financial crisis. Rules are for the suckers.

      1. anon in so cal

        Absolutely the FBI were participants. TechnoFog had a good analysis of this the other day, also. Apparently, one juror’s child was on the same school team as Sussman’s child. One of many issues.

      2. JTMcPhee

        One might think the falsely named Department of Justice sort of planned for this outcome. I had a lot of dealings with DoJ and US Attorneys’ offices as a grunt enforcement attorney with the US EPA in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and it was a pretty rank lot of corruption and intentional and inadvertent incompetence. DoJ wrote (and writes) the rules, via its various enforcement manuals and policies, that change(d) to suit political ends, and could never have been said to apply “equal justice under law.”

        It’s kind of like the Fed, neither fish nor foul institutionally, it was never laid down as an agency of the US government. It’s not provided for in the Constitution, and it just kind of morphed from a single attorney doing minor functions to “an executive department.” And its weird motto, “Qui Pro Domina Justitia Sequitur;” even the effing DoJ is not sure what it means —

        So obviously, as with the FBI, anyone looking for “justice under law” is going to be disappointed with DoJ.

      3. Carolinian

        Turley has said the fix was more or less in given the judge and the jury but that it was a difficult case to prove. And while the trial did definitely link Hillary to the chicanery we pretty much already knew that and about Obama’s involvement as well. It may not matter unless the Repubs take over in November and then begin some 11/2016 hearings to go with the 1/6 “insurrection” show trial.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      So you support #MeToo lying and extortion and shakedown rackets against “powerful men” because “powerful men” deserve “comeuppance” for something or other? And therefor the truth matters a lot less in this area?

      1. Carolinian

        No I’m saying that WSWS tut tutting of these sorts of complaints would be the opposite extreme, and used as my example Harvey Weinstein who all of Hollywood knew to be an abuser. They–WSWS–have been going after abuse complainants long before Depp/Heard.

        Me too is not about nothing. Higher ups in many professions–not just entertainment–get away with a lot and that’s where the “power” comes in. Often their bad behavior is widely known but the powerless are afraid to complain. The Depp case that the WSWS triumphs over is really a different kind of thing–more like your typical divorce battle. The media play a role here too and Turley wonders why Depp didn’t also sue the Washington Post.

        1. witters

          “The Depp case that the WSWS triumphs over is really a different kind of thing–more like your typical divorce battle.”

          Is it really typical?

  8. Stick'em

    re: US State-Affiliated NewsGuard Targets Consortium News

    Begs the question, who’s gonna guard us from NewsGuard, dunnit?

    The thing about Joe Lauria is right before it happened, he called out Hillary Clinton’s impending loss to Donald Trump and noted she would blame her loss on Russia!Russia!Russia!

    Consortium News called out Russiagate as bullshit psyops on American citizens in real time while Obama was still in office, and showed us exactly why it is bullshit:

    Robert Parry showed us Ronald Reagan cut a deal with Iran to keep ’em from releasing US hostages until after election day, thus sabotaging Jimmy Carter’s negotiations with an October Surprise:

    Their journalism is the kind of stuff that keeps people tethered to reality rather than lost in the Satanic Mill of propaganda. This is exactly why they are targeted.

    Hopefully the general public is intelligent enough to see when PropOrNot or NewsGuard (or whatever form the Ministry of Disinformation takes) calls out a journalist or news organization, it gives them street cred which brings them new readers. Hopefully…

    1. Michael

      This is a great read. Point by point defense of their claims and detailed evidence provided by MSM in their support. This is how a professional news org works.
      CN then asks NG to retract their false claims and issue corrections and provides a link so their readers can request these too. I did.

      Remember ProporNot? That was a trial balloon for this beast. Yer either with us or agin us.

      1. Nikkikat

        Newsguard has also gone after grayzone. Demanding answers to nearly identical transgressions by writers on the web site. All connected to foreign policy of the US. Grayzone refused to answer their questions and issued a blanket statement exposing the individuals named as board members and others partnering with the newsguard group.
        MintPress was their first conquest. Microsoft one of their partners according to Max Blumenthal.

        1. ambrit

          It’s now crystal clear why certain “non-standard” news sites etc. have been moving their servers out of America.
          I’m waiting for someone in Washington to seriously suggest the establishment of an American Ministry of Truth.

          1. Acacia

            Wasn’t the ill-fated Disinformation Governance Board basically a Ministry of Truth?

            Even the WSJ called it that, I think.

            Flamed out after just a few weeks, but we can safely assume it won’t go away.

            1. ambrit

              You got me there. That was a trial balloon for a Ministry of Truth. It seems that I’m behind the curve here.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        No, a professional organization does not participate in a shakedown operation by thugs. You don’t deal with people whose opener is “When did you stop beating your wife?”

        NewsGuard is not a professional organization and cooperating with them increases their stature. This is completely different than PayPal where CN was a customer and PayPal is in danger of being regulated as a bank if it misbehaves too much.

        The ONLY leverage NewGuard has is “Oh, some libraries use our extension.” I doubt if libraries are important to CN’s traffic. NewGuard had nuthin’ yet CN was cowed. CN provided confidential information about their donors to NewsGuard. How can any donor feel safe after that?

        As for the PropOrNot list is enshrined in HR 1.

        We got an attorney to write the Post and CN and three other sites joined that letter. TruthDig wrote its own letter. The other sites agrees to sue PropOrNot, which meant suing the Post too since PropOrNot was an unincorporated association of individuals, and we couldn’t find the identity of any (they had Ukraine Nazis among them, tweets, in Ukrainian with Nazi logos, they scrubbed them later).

        Then after the Post didn’t retract or correct the piece but merely added a weird disclaimer that amounted to “We don’t necessarily stand by our work” the other four sites wimped out. We couldn’t sue alone because only one site v. the Post would not be taken seriously by a judge no matter how egregious the facts were.

    2. Carolinian

      Sounds like any site that NewsGuard de-endorses is one we should be reading. A useful guide. /s

      1. Stick'em

        As a general observation, I’ve noticed often when politicians are confronted with evidence of some shameful scam they’ve pulled, their knee-jerk response is not to directly call said evidence “false,” but rather to attack its provenance.

        So for example, instead of Hillary Clinton directly denying she made up this entire Russiagate narrative, she will call you a “Russian bot Kremlin agent Putin’s puppet” for daring to say she did this. The Clintons are especially practiced at this kind of thing, not really stating the evidence presented is unequivocably false, but rather questioning the integrity of the person presenting the evidence.

        This is what NewsGuard is up to. Their activity suggests their goal is to label objective news sites as GZ and CN and NC as sources of “Russian disinformation.” So the political actors paying the NewsGuard salaries don’t have to specifically deal with any evidence presented against them, but rather since the provenance of the sources is so “scandalous,” they need not even deny anything originating from these sources.

        You can’t believe anything coming out of the mouth of any politician in both the R & D parties; certainly anyone paying attention to American politics has realized this by now. So the political tactic is let’s go ahead and get in front of this problem by projecting our own penchant for propagating propaganda like a PEZ dispenser onto any and all journalists who dare point the way to an evidence-based reality.

        Once I learned to first consider anything said by a poltician primarily as an act of projection, my head stopped hurting so much with the congnitive dissonance.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Problem is Consortium News was trying to get an endorsement by defending their position AND providing information about donors. This was not an act of defiance.

        1. Stick'em

          We’re on the same page, Yves. I agree with you. You can’t tell a girl she’s a bat-shit crazy stalker and then take her on a date and expect it to end well…

          Been reading CN for a decade and appreciate their sane take on things like the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Russiagate. Their journalism is solid. Here’s their self-description:

          When we founded Consortium News in 1995 – as the first investigative news magazine based on the Internet – there was already a crisis building in the U.S. news media. The mainstream media was falling into a pattern of groupthink on issue after issue, often ignoring important factual information because it didn’t fit with what all the Important People knew to be true.

          If CN is the first independent news magazine on the internet and been around for 30 years, why take NewsGuard seriously?

          If I remember correctly, NewGuard popped up after Trump’s election to counter his claim much of what we read is “fake news.” We already had sites like Politifact as fact checking tools for those of us who care about evidence-based journalism… so why do we need NewsGuard?

          Consortium News answering to NewsGuard a bit like Lebron James being one of the GOATs, yet taking some 18-year-old punk’s challenge to meet him at high noon for a game of one-on-one to settle the matter of “who is the truth” on the court.

          Giving NewsGuard info on who your financial supporters are only validates the glaringly sketchy claim that anybody answers to them as arbiters of truth. It’s a bad move. WTF would CN (or GZ or NC) answer to the New Kids on the Block? The relationship should be the other way around.

      3. CoryP

        I’m kind of torn on this. I do wish CN had flipped them the bird, tho his response post was a great summary of the Ukraine situation all in one place.

        Personally, I am interested in donor transparency for any site, but maybe big donor info was already published for those who cared to look. (I have not looked, so I guess I don’t care THAT much)

        I’ve thought about this topic reading C Johnstone’s response to critics about being funded by adversary governments. I think she’s perfectly legit, but it would suck if there was some big donation that could serve as a “gotcha” for her critics. Not that she would necessarily even know the ultimate source.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Journalistic sites are not political campaigns.

          I hate to come down on you but your comment on funding is wildly off base. Do you have any information about the funding of the New York Times? CNN? As in which advertisers are important to them? I can tell you they are owned by Wall Street, Gretchen Morgenson was effectively run out when a new business editor came in. The handwriting had been on the wall when she’d had to fight a while before that not to report to Andrew Ross Sorkin. I can go on about what goes on at other papers too but the Morgenson case is egregious.

          So you are holding small sites to a vastly higher standard than the visibly captured MSM. I’m appalled.

          1. CoryP

            Yeah you’re right that nobody should be expected to, or browbeaten into, disclosing the source of their funds.

            Ultimately it’s just my prurient interest. In the few cases where I’ve been genuinely curious about a site’s funding, it was after I’d already pegged them as a “suspect source” as a reaction to their content. So it would only have been confirmatory info at best.

            Anyway, sorry. I wasn’t trying to cast aspersions on CN or you.

          2. Stick'em

            Let’s be serious for a moment about the “serious” mainstream narrative NewGuard is supposed to be defending. Amber Heard can pay the Washington Post to publish her ghostwritten defamatory piece on Johnny Depp:


            It’s basically native advertising, signalling Heard’s own virtue in the MeToo movement.

            My dad always brings up Watergate and Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein 50 years ago did some real journalism at the WaPo. They got street cred for this.

            Now? It’s reputation is obviously for sale to anyone who can afford to buy a piece in it.

            Heard’s piece belongs in People magazine with the rest of the celebrity gossip. Trump’s a solipsist and an idiot, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. He’s not wrong when he says much of what comes out of WaPo is “fake news.” Bernstein also told us how Operation Mockingbird works at outlets like WaPo:


            It’s not a secret they’re outlets for CIA mis/disinformation. It’s how their reporters get access to “sources.”

            Anyway, WaPo publishing something like Heard’s piece should be the end of the public’s ability to take them seriously as journalism.

            But it won’t be. Because clicks’n’views and Too Big To Fail.

            But never fear, NewsGuard is here!

            Look over there –> at Assange or Snowden

            Let’s tar and feather the people who speak the truth like CN to make an example and lower the bar on people’s expectations of how much reality a company like WaPo will print. That’s what this NewsGuard kind of thing is really about.

          3. Stick'em

            Yves ~ The outstanding feature of neoliberal culture is, in my opinion, its ablity to take any thing – concept, historical figure, movement – and subvert this thing to use it for its own purposes.

            NewsGuard is an example of this neoliberal superpower. I can’t bear to listen to Donald Trump because his words make my head hurt. Yet his “fake news” call is one of the few things Americans can all agree on. We’re being inudated by this stuff. Everyone agrees. The question is where does it come from (of course, much of it comes from Trump himself)?

            So instead of authentically addressing where “fake news” comes from, the neoliberal response is to normalize the mainstream corporate bullshit from FoxNews, MSNBC, and CNN by weeding out dissenting opinions. Just project the “fake news” label on the people trying to put a realistic viewpoints out there rather than conform; thus, the MIC/blob/duopoly narrative is saved from authentic challenges.

            No need to critically think about what something means, just question its provenance.

            In this way, the call “Fake News” separated from being a measure of objective true/false matters and instead applied to considerations of wheter or not any given news outlet complies with the neoliberal narrative.

            As with the other censorious initiatives profiled in this chapter, NewsGuard doesn’t seem as concerned with eliminating fake news as it does with discrediting news sources critical of Western political and economic elites.

            For example, NewsGuard gives WikiLeaks a red rating, in part, they claim, because the organization does not correct their errors. Yet the rationale is plainly nonsensical, given the fact WikiLeaks has never published anything false or incorrect.

            NewsGuard’s summary for their red rating of WikiLeaks runs as follows: “A publisher of confidential documents, often acquired from leakers and hackers. WikiLeaks published hacked emails, traced to the Kremlin, that hurt Democrats ahead of the 2016 presidential election.”

            They also give red rating to the Russian outlet RT and the excellent alternative news website MintPress News. However, they give Fox News and Voice of America, the former a largely discredited organization and the latter an explicit outlet of US propaganda, green ratings. The Daily Caller and the now defunct Weekly Standard both also receive green ratings.

            The gushing applause given to NewsGuard by the corporate media is indicative of their support for this type of soft censorship, and contributes to the suspicion initiatives like NewsGuard are specifically designed to protect and promote corporate media interests.”

            From this excellent summary: “Fake News”: The Trojan Horse for Silencing Alternative News and Reestablishing Corporate News Dominance

  9. Wukchumni

    Looked hard and saw 4 homeless on the streets of Calgary, but my cousins assured me that there were lots of them in the underbelly, so I asked them to do a drive-by, and there were a few dozen in selected spots of Cowtown, but a sorry showing compared to legions of them in Los Angeles.

    …I was happily disappointed

    1. Synoia

      If one is homeless, LA has the best climate in the US for 365 days a year outside.

      The is the very occasional rain, and it is a little tepid in the summer, but much less so than NYC.

      I’d be very interested in the number who have moved to the LA from other states area over the last 10 years.

      The homeless have now affect Beverly Hills, so so the rich are now plagued with homelessness, so we might now see some housing action – – or Beverly Hills become the first new gated City in this century.

      1. Charger01

        You have the hearty homeless in Fairbanks, AK. They are a symptom of the disease of capitalism, an explicit threat of poverty if you don’t participate in the system.

      2. Mildred Montana

        “…Beverly Hills become the first new gated City in this century.”

        DISTANCE, n. The one thing the rich allow the poor to keep.
        —–Ambrose Bierce

      3. David in Santa Cruz

        California hasn’t become a mecca for discarded humans simply due to weather that is friendly to the urban outdoorsman; the federally-mandated open-border Trade Zones, “needed” in order to flood the country with the consumables that these discarded persons are no longer paid to produce, have inundated California with the cheap fentanyl and methamphetamine necessary to live comfortably without housing.

        Most prognosticators get the “cycle” backwards: first comes job-loss/precarity, then comes addiction, then the mental illness. I have lived in California my entire life and worked in the justice/mental health machine over the course of four decades. This is not simply my theory; I have seen it to be so…

        1. Nikkikat

          Thank you for the clarity David in Santa Cruz, I lived there in CA. until recently. In Orange County Ca. nearly 4,000 living in Santa Ana riverbed. Most actually had minimum wage jobs. Could not afford housing other than a tent in the riverbed.

          1. Glen

            Same happening here up in the PNW. Last time I saw the data 40% of the homeless are working, they just cannot afford housing or now, commuting.

            1. JBird4049

              All this precarity has got me thinking.

              While the climate does not kill usually kill people directly as in other states, the California Dreaming that it helps to create has also pushed housing costs faster than inflation. That is why a majority of the homeless are natives despite what others may say.

              I am old enough to remember multiple seasons of floods, droughts, and fire along with an earthquake or two. The creation of the these often tragic events is usually years in doing, but the actual events are much faster.

              I think it has been a few decades since the last real flooding and with the climate changing who knows when the next ones will be. However, even though towns like Sevastopol (California) has had different costs of housing and preparations for flooding according to an area’s height above the Russian River’s flood line, much of the awareness came from the past memories. Just like how the last few fire seasons just shocked everyone. What happened was easy to predict or at least foresee because of the past both in California and other places. But just like people in the Professional Managerial Class now living at the base of Mount Tamalpais, which has had multiple fires almost within living memory, for whatever reason, people refuse to prepare, never mind actually preventing disaster. People just do not want to pay the taxes or spend the money for their own safety, which is in Darwin’s territory, but think of those without any resources living in whatever crannies that they can find, like river beds or hillsides.

              I wonder what might happen if the drought ever breaks. The various river beds can be very pretty. Often with some small stream and some greenery even between the years of rain. But people might not notice or realize just how large or deep some are. A little stream bounded by very wide edges of gravel and, or sometimes steep banks.

              Even in “wet” times, it might be months or even years between the rains. You spend the time praying for rain, while seeing the hills wither to nothing and burn. Then you pray even harder for it to stop! It is like nature or God’s little joke on us. All those dry, or nearly so, stream and river beds just overflow. Very quickly. I have seen it happen. It is like an arroyo’s flash flooding. Not anywhere as bad, just bad enough. All it would take is one solid month of nonstop rain especially as much of the plants and trees that keep the soil that absorb rain in are not doing so well.

              This would get rid of some of those disposable precariat.

          2. David in Santa Cruz

            All the hand-wringing about the “mental health crisis” among the urban outdoorsmen is seriously misplaced. The problem is job loss/precarity.

            Try sleeping on the ground every night and then trying to do a minimum-wage job. You will need something for the pain (how about some cheap fentanyl?) and something to get through the workday (a little crank is cheaper than Starbucks). A mental breakdown becomes almost inevitable…

            1. JBird4049

              Cheaper than the garbage coffee of Starbucks? Interesting. I just did some penciling in of my coffee budget. For good, but not fantastic coffee, it’s just south of one hundred dollars. Fudge. I’m either going to worship some of the Coffee Gods less worthy brethren or reduced my worship altogether. Thing is that I don’t buy brewed coffee, nor do I drink a gallon a day. Just how much does it cost to buy it by the cup?

              Seeing as how gas has hit ten dollars a gallon just north of the Bay Area, I am wondering how expensive everything is going to be by the end of Summer.

              And yet, your illegal hit of your drug of choice is likely to increase the least of all; I think that they need the worker bees to keep going even when they drop dead.

      4. griffen

        Seems more likely that Beverly Hills becomes an Elysium like environment with systematic controls and measures to limit the rabble entry and exit. Can’t have the upper crust mixing with the rabble!

        Or they build a fake moat, 15 to 25 ft wide and a good bit of depth for the sharks.

        1. ambrit

          Surround the place with car dealerships and the sharks will supply themselves.
          Eventually, the elites out there will adopt the tactics of their cousins in places like Mexico City and acquire “Lifestyle Protection Specialists.” Then the “deplorables” will become “desaparecidos.”

      5. Leftcoastindie

        I’ve heard estimates range up to 90% of homeless are from somewhere else.

        1. albrt

          It used to be that way here in Phoenix, but not anymore. Tons of actual displaced locals living in tents.

        2. JBird4049

          It probably depends on where the location is. Most people either don’t want to or can’t afford to move; when the cost of housing gets too much, out on the streets they go. When you start seeing families and retirees who speak with the same accent as you it’s a good chance that they are not transplants.

          The entire state of California has been getting increasingly unaffordable. That is forty million people living in a state that is two days driving time long and half a day across. All the decent paying jobs are nowhere near any “affordable” housing with more than half of Californians without any realistic choices except paying a third, or a half, or more of their income in housing.

    2. wilroncanada

      Don’t be too disappointed, Wuk. You can go on to Vancouver or Victoria and see a lot more of those homeless ex-Calgarians or ex-Edmontonians here. They may, if they are lucky, get some actual support here, unlike Christian fundamentalist Alberta.

    3. darren price

      Come to Vancouver (where the winters are warmer) and you’ll see a lot more homeless folk and assorted desperadoes on a downward trajectory.

      1. Wukchumni

        I get it, Vancouver & environs is about the only place to reliably winter over-so probably the majority of Canada’s homeless population is there.

        The internet sez there’s 300 homeless in Calgary out of a population of 1.4 million which is almost exactly the same as San Diego, to put things in perspective. There’s at least 10,000 homeless in Tijuana-adjacent.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Michigan prisons ban Spanish and Swahili dictionaries to prevent inmate disruptions”

    Seems kinda pointless as for centuries prisoners have adopted their own slang and terminology to communicate in private with each other in prison. They don’t need an official language to do so. And America is a big enough country that there must be lots of language pockets where outsiders are hard pressed to understand what is being said. What happens if a coupla of them land in a Michigan prison?

    1. The Historian

      Went shopping last week in ND, still no baby formula on the shelves. Apparently, all that formula that was flown in from Europe isn’t getting here.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When Biden did a deal with a local baby formula maker here in Oz, I did wonder who was going to distribute all that baby formula – and more to the point, which postcodes.

  11. mistah charley, ph.d.

    In vitro gametogenesis: just another way to have a baby?

    Science fiction has already gotten here – although I didn’t read the novels on which it was based, I viewed The Expanse on Amazon Prime – if I recall correctly the main character is the offspring of a group of people. Who knows if IVG is good or bad, which the authors put some thought into considering? I guess it could be either, depending on how and why it is done – the “it” being not just the creation of the zygote, but the social relationships within which that person lives as they grow up. But should it be done at all? Do we have a shortage of people without it? Maybe that’s not the right question.

    1. JTMcPhee

      See, e.g. “Brave New World.” “Oh, roof! Roof!” said the epsilon-minus elevator operator…”

      It’s just a PMC designer choice. And I bet that segment is also excited about progress in genetic manipulation of the zygote, in part to treat inherited diseases, , but you know the demand is there for designer babies “destined by biology” to excel at Harvard…

    1. Wukchumni

      A taxi ride from the airport to Istanbul was around 25 million Lira 20 years ago, but thank goodness they came up with the new & improved Lira by chopping off 6 zeroes from the old model in 2003, nipping inflation in the bud so that it would never be a problem again.

    2. ddt

      Doesn’t keep Erdogan from trying to feed his population nationalism (see impending incursion into Northern Syria and slap fights with Greece).

  12. super extra

    big grin on my face while watching the goat video. three (3) species communicating and working together happily!

  13. Tom Stone

    There’s a real risk that Russia will feel so threatened that they will initiate an attack on the USA, a member of the Duma actually recommended a demonstration by nuking the US test range from a sub.
    We are closer to a nuclear exchange now than at any other point of my 68 years , there plenty of westerners in power who also think a “Limited exchange” is possible…
    There is no limit to Human stupidity.
    There is an alternative to nukes if you want to deeply wound the USA with a strike and no explosives of any kind are needed.
    Notlong after the Dhofar towers attack I was sitting in my patio talking to my old friend Doug when the subject came up and he asked “How would you attack the USA effectively with low tech”.
    We came up with a short list in under 2 minutes, and since it is a better alternative than ending all life on Earth here are the top 3.
    1) Redirect the course of the Mississipi by taking out the old river control structure using barges loaded with iron or cement.
    2) Destroy the pumps sending water through the Tehechapi’s using sledgehammers or a rented dozer.
    3) There’s one old water pipe delivering water to Manhattan, tear it apart by deliberately dragging an anchor…
    It took us two minutes, the silence after Doug’s final “Oh Shit” lasted longer.

    1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

      “There is no limit to Human stupidity.”

      Where it appears somehow to be the case that, the only apish humanoids not ‘in the know’ [i.e., lacking true insight] are the hubristic ones [The smartest guys on the planet, who are all clever, all wise, and all deceitful, ect., ect..] running the big show on a fragile life sustaining mundane mudball that is part of a solar system orbiting a larger, somewhat unremarkable galaxy, as one among many in a larger universe.

      Further, the befuddled inner workings of the self proclaimed most clever planetary managerial elites operate in a manner similar to:

      “A stupid person is one who causes losses to another person or a group of people while they gain nothing or may even suffer losses.”

      And where, “intelligent banditry” can be contrasted with the dull exploits of terminally stupid apes that are understood as intelligently maximizing individual self interest in the following manner:

      “However, this is exactly the point made by Cipolla! In terms of large-scale human stupidity, that is not just limited to two agents, we have plenty of examples, from the destruction of the American bison, to the overfishing of many fish stocks. In general, these phenomena can be seen in terms of the “Tragedy of the Commons” described by Garrett Hardin. As interpreted by Hardin, the “tragedy” does not involve individual stupidity, but a collective phenomenon in which each agent acts intelligently in order to maximize his/her individual gains, but where the result is the collapse of the whole economic system. . . . . ”

      “In the case of economic agents, stupid people do not optimize the system they exploit, they rather tend to destroy it. In this sense, stupid people behave like bandits, but bandits can survive a crash in their revenues by leaving to their victims sufficient resources to rebuild their wealth. Instead, stupid people completely destroy their sources of revenue, ruining themselves as well. This behavior is equivalent to Cipolla’s definition of stupidity.”

      “There are several examples of this behavior in the history of economics, not just for the case of resources that are considered as “nonrenewable” (e.g., fossil fuels): one is the case of the mining industry which is exploiting resources that will need at least hundreds of thousands of years to reform by geological process if they ever will. It is also the case of industries that exploit slowly reproducing biological resources.”

      “A modern example is that of whaling, as demonstrated in previous papers. The same resource destruction also occurs for other cases of fisheries. Humans do not seem to need modern tools to destroy the resources they exploit, as shown by the extinction of the Earth’s megafauna, at least in part the result of human actions performed using tools not more sophisticated than stone tipped spears. Overall, the destruction of the resources that enable people to live seems to be much more common than in the case of any other biological species in the natural ecosystem. We believe that this observation justifies the proposed “sixth law of stupidity”, in addition to the five proposed by Carlo Cipolla, that states that “humans are the stupidest species in the ecosphere”.”

      “The Sixth Law of Stupidity: A Biophysical Interpretation of Carlo Cipolla’s Stupidity Laws”

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        @Tom Collins’ Moscow Mule (first off, I think I need a stronger drink) What do you do with bandits who exploit social conventions like currency created by a keyboard (and the ability to leverage it and all the slicing and dicing that goes with it) that is then used to get access to and exploit physical resources as well as direct human work output and how / what whatever currency is given in exchange is spent? That’s some trick when one thinks about it.

        Heck, some of the bandits most likely don’t have a clue (nor do they care) what they are exploiting; just that the overseers (typically PMC workers) of their accounts keep the numbers moving up or down and that a different set of overseers keeps the local humans busy / kept from finding common cause with their neighbors.

        Pull the lever, no whammie! no, whammie!

        @Tom Stone: Yep, risk management when it comes to the commons is not something we take seriously any more (if ever with the bison example – I want all! I want it all! I want it all! And I want it now! Sing it Freddie, Brian, Roger, and John ).

        Finance is global once again. Crisis is opportunity and the bandits pretty much have the ability to go anywhere with limited restrictions. Never forced to eat where they’ve shat.

        California allowing the land to collapse over decades, partly or perhaps mostly, because of groundwork extraction is a perfect metaphor for what portends to be our future. In the now column, their solution is to virtue signal. Restrictions for certain individuals. Delays for small / mid-sized Ag. Big Ag continues as usual.

        Personally, I’m waiting for the Great Lakes water to be sent out west. I know the idea has already been floated. Maybe the water would somehow be contaminated by those pipelines for the ethanol waste. Heck, the Midwest already has a PFAS crisis slowly being acknowledged.

        Realistically no outside foreign entity / individual has to do anything low tech or otherwise because we’ve already got that covered all by ourselves. The question is whether or not they wish to accelerate the failure points. Then it’s a question of whether one goes for the big, dramatic acknowledged “strikes” or smaller small / mid-sized who could’ve predicted US infrastructure failure shrugs.

        1. Mikel

          “Personally, I’m waiting for the Great Lakes water to be sent out west…”

          Not going to happen. Intel is building a semiconducter plant in Ohio.
          They need that water for all the chip manufacturing – fresh water.

          Ford is building more plants up that way. They use a lot of fresh water too.

          You know, to have a “green” future we don’t just need electric cars. Apparently, no one wanted to manufacture those without microchips and all the surveillance that brings.

          Which reminds me…How are the people of Flint these days?

          1. Noone from Nowheresville

            I know there’s a 2008 Great Lakes compact against such usage. That doesn’t mean they won’t stop trying. Especially if Lake Superior and Lake Michigan keep taking back the land.

            Illinois did not sign the compact. And Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee, just outside of the basin’s boundaries got an exemption.

            I, for one, hope it never happens.

            Flint: Probably furious, sick, disabled and perhaps dead. Warning for us all.

            1. albrt

              It is not really possible to send enough water that distance to make a difference.

              Heck, I don’t think 21st century US could even build the existing Arizona and California water transport systems if they had to do it today.

        1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

          Yes, I suppose you are right and it is a good thing that there are no apparent real world examples readily available for examination:

          “The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose collapse crushed the economy of Newfoundland and Labrador, has scientists worried the species will never recover without drastic change within the federal Fisheries Department. The federal government report shows the stock continues to cling for life in what officials classify as the critical zone, meaning “serious harm is occurring to the stock.” Population growth has been stagnant since 2017, the document says. “Next year will be 30 years since the original moratorium on this stock,” said Robert Rangeley, a marine biologist and director of science with Oceana Canada, a non-profit group that aims to protect the country’s oceans. “It’s time to do something different.”

          “After almost 3 decades, cod are still not back off N.L. Scientists worry it may never happen”

          “Atlantic Cod And The Human ‘Tragedy Of The Commons'”

          1. Kouros

            Actually, the North Atlantic Cod was overfished by the Canadians after they pushed the Spaniards and Portuguese fishermen away. The Great Banks were not managed the way commons were historically managed, and a lady got her Nobel Prize in Economics debunking this stupid myth that was maliciously created.

            It is in the same vein as the ideas that the commons were not brought to full economic potential and needed to be privatized and thus the Brits passed the Enclosure Acts, while evidence showed that all that hype about productivity was hokum.


        2. Darthbobber

          I’ve read some of the supposed debunkings, but everything I’ve come across actually seems to fall far short of actual refutation.

        3. Skippy

          This sort of non attributed comment reminds me of something a newly minted econ kid said to me …. Psychology has been refuted and DSGE models reflect reality …. e.g. we now need no other methodology or other frameworks to divine humanity or its environment …

            1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

              You state clearly that, “There was a Nobel Prize in economics given to the lady that debunked this stupid myth. Get educated.”

              I will try.

              Even as, Elinor Ostrom has unequivocally stated that, “Much of the world is dependent on resources that are subJect to the possibility of a ‘TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS’.” [Emphasis mine.] I wonder what that means?

              Further, what Elinor Ostrom provides is an economic model based on optimism, as opposed to the more pessimistic models regarding ‘Common Pool Resources’, such as the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ model of Hardin; where, Elinor Ostrom states that, “The key to my argument is Ihat some individuals have broken out of the trap inherent in the commons dilemma, whereas others continue remorsefully trapped into destroying their own resources.”

              Because, “As long as analysts presume that individuals cannot change such situations themselves, they do not ask what internal or external variables can enhance or impede the efforts of communities or individuals to deal creatively and constructively with perverse problems such as the ‘TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS’.” [Emphasis mine.]

              And where, “I hope this inquiry will contribute to the development of an empirically supported theory of self-organizing and self-governing forms of collective action.” Because, “Instead of presuming that some individuals are incompetent, evil, or irrational, and others are omniscient, I presume that individuals have very similar limited capabilities to reason and figure out the saucture of complex environments.”

              And Elinor Ostrom is also careful to note that, “There are limits on the types of Common Pool Resources studied here . . . . ” But where, “I hope these conjectures contribute to the development of an emplrcally valid theory of self-organization and self-governance for at least one well defined universe of problematical siruations.” Because,

              “A study that focuses on how individuals avoid free-riding, achieve high levels of commitment, arrange for new institutions, and monitor conformity to a set of rules in Common Pool Resource environments should conlribute to an understanding of how individuals address these crucial problems in some other settings as well.”

              Therefore, in simple terms what Elinor Ostrom is proposing is an alternative self organized governance model for resource management based on an optimistic view of human behavior, both individually and collectively. The fact that unrestrained resource exploitation occurs and human caused species extinctions occurs can certainly be viewed and understood through the lense of a tragedy of the commons model. That is a long standing and historical fact of human resouce mismanagement. Nothing has been ‘debunked’; although, an alternative model, as is demanded by the followers of the scientific method, for resource management has been presented by Elinor Ostrom. Semantic and ideological quibblings aside.

              1. Kouros

                How long standing and how much throughout the history of human communities engaged in the use of natural resources?

            2. Yves Smith Post author

              One more remark like that and you will be banned. Your link does NOT “debunk” the thread as Tom Collins’ explains and you have ZERO business talking to another commentor like that regardless.

              1. Kouros

                I would like to apologize for my uncalled remarked, but not for not going in the boat with the Harding’s myth of tragedy of the commons.

                First and foremost, I think that the timeline of study should be much longer, since human communities have been using natural resources since before historical times.

                As recent archeological evidence suggests, yes, we did eat the megafauna, and then slowly stooped down to smaller and smaller prey until agriculture became the obvious choice.

                But not everywhere. North America, before Columbian discovery, still had huge amount of megafauna, same as Africa…

                The tragedy of the commons comes from the slow grinding of the pursuit of privatizing the stream of resources from the commons by some. They are not free riders, as Harding calls them. They are the opportunists that want to push everyone aside and take over. Strong communities will ultimately resist and eliminate the sociopaths.

                In my grandmother’s village (about 2500 hectares, including the village, private lots and the commons), hundreds of cows, pigs, and thousands of geese used the commons, for hundreds of years, no problem, under different regimes and different polities.

                It is not the extra cow that destroys the commons, but the pursuit of full control and exploitation by a small group, for private benefits, that destroys the commons, especially in polities where private property is sacrosanct and the law and law enforcement is tilted that way.

                I do not see socialist regimes as a type of “commons”. Since the beginning, the PMC has done the managing of resources, as by corporations. No democracy.

                1. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

                  You, no doubt, have agreater familiarity with the published work of Elinor Ostrom and its applications than I do.

                  Now, if I remember correctly, what Elinor Ostrom wanted was something more than an either/or choice between either a private, or a government resource management model that Garrett Hardin proposed. Problems with Hardin’s theroetical assumptions are fairly well known.

                  The model developed by Elinor Ostrom suggests that exclusively top down regulatory frameworks are unecessary as long as certain conditions are both satisfied and adhered to, such as:

                  a. Clearly defined boundaries.

                  b. Proportional equivalence between benefits and costs.

                  c. Collective choice arrangements.

                  d. Monitoring.

                  e. Graduated sanctions.

                  f. Fast and fair conflict resolution.

                  g. Local autonomy.

                  h. Appropriate relations with other tiers of rule-making authority (polycentric governance) [Where, “Polycentricity is a fundamental concept in the work of Vincent and Elinor Ostrom. The term connotes a complex form of governance with multiple centers of decision making, each of which operates with some degree of autonomy.”

                  Further, “Previous studies have shown that polycentric governance has proven more useful as a diagnostic and a description than a panacea for solving the multiple challenges of global environmental change.”]—-“The black box of power in polycentric environmental governance”


                  And again, noting that, “All governance involves power: more powerful actors receive more favourable outcomes than less powerful ones; equality and fairness are rare. . . . . In polycentric systems, power is not only the property of authoritative government hierarchies, street-level bureaucrats, and policy stakeholders – it is also in the hands of lobbyists, nonprofits and the media. These actors bargain for influence through rational and manipulative persuasion, inducement, sanction, and coercion.”

                  Apparently multiple variables [both anticipated and unanticipated] and multiple diverse self interested actors sometimes lead to less than desirable outcomes, for exampe, as resource mismanagement, human caused extinctions, ect..

                  The idea, I suppose, is to try and overcome or modify the worst human behavioral tendencies. It appears to be a long term project, as most complex relationships/interrealtionships are, or seem to be.

                  That is all for now, because the neverending call of ‘chores’ demands my attention.

    2. Synoia

      Pardon me, but publishing this appears to me to be very unwise. If is obvious infrastructure is unguarded and in the open. Better not to make suggestions for targets on the internet.

      1. ambrit

        I will note that not all of the “backroom kids” are dumb. These items are already ‘common knowledge’ among the policy ‘shadow elites.’ The usefullness of this ‘outing’ of the problem is in it’s educational effect upon the non-elites. Now some of us can see the seriousness of the fragility factor and plan accordingly.
        4) The water mains for some American towns are over a hundred years old. They have not been replaced purely due to budgetary constraints.
        I know for a fact that large swaths of our local town roads are underlayed with red bricks. The original roads were overpaved with asphalt. My neighborhood’s water mains are cast iron, lead and oakum packed loints, laid down in the 1930s.

        1. JBird4049

          IIRC, some of the problems with the water mains around here are 1) somewhere, but we’re not sure exactly where. 2) in the oldest towns they are made from redwood trees.

          Some of the system was put in place in the 19th century and the records lost. It was not a bad idea to make the larger and original pipes from the trunks of the very large Redwoods that existed at the time. Redwood last really well for a long time, but after a century plus of no one even knowing where they were, after some heavy rains some serious local flooding occurred.

          Reading the news stories about the flooding, I got the impression of “so there’s where they are!” from the water district and of course grumbling about the district’s “failure” finding and main the missing water mains as well as the cost of repair. Considering that the system lasted from roughly 1880s to about 2010 without the cost of maintenance and doing so meant paying for finding, digging up and replacing the lines with mental pipes, which the locals didn’t want to do…(rolling my eyes here) This did constrain what the district could do.

          It’s like different parts of the state refusing to allow the local fire departments from doing the controlled burns and even brush clearing for decades and decades and when the inevitable disasters occur complaining about the deaths and destruction.

      2. Tom Stone

        Synoia,two dudes with no military experience came up with that list in less than 2 minutes almost 30 years ago.
        John McPhee wrote about the Old River Control Structure in his book “The Control of Nature” and the fact that the Big River wants to shift its course again has been known for many decades.
        Russian and Chinese strategists are not incompetent,they have undoubtedly found many valuable and vulnerable targets in the USA.

  14. Pat

    Local news here on reports that NY is lowering its Covid alert to medium. Hospitalization is down, which goes along with the comments from the last few days. But I have reasons to believe that any reports of Covid infection levels dropping to be….well wishful thinking.

    Example, friend in school system checking on students absent was answered with “yes ——— is out, they tested positive for Covid” more than once and yes this was the first time the positive status was reported to any system.

    Anything to make it appear that we have not turned this country into a nationwide Covid sanitarium.

    1. jr

      I just took a looong hike from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side today. I estimate there were maybe 100 people without masks for every masker. Bars, restaurants, and stores are packed to the ceilings.

  15. Wukchumni

    A negative Covid test is required 24 hours before heading down under up over on a jet back to the states, because we care so very much about transmission and tightly controlling the pandemic in returning back to the jokeocracy we’ve become.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Latest: Kyiv Warns of Food Crisis Amid Port Blockade”

    You keep on hearing this accusation again and again. You know what? The Russians should tell all these countries that they are absolutely free to send a grain ship into Odessa to load up with grain. Let’s see what happens. But also tell the insurers of the world to tune into what happens when that ship approaches Odessa and get ready to not only to take notes but to have some calculators handy. But if I was that ship’s insurer, I would cancel that policy as soon as they entered the Black Sea.

  17. Raymond Sim

    The STAT monkeypox article seems to be the same one that featured in Links yesterday, titled What the surprising mutations in the monkeypox virus could indicate about the new outbreak

    Has it been updated? I didn’t reread it, as I anticipate I will be reading a lot of stuff that makes my blood boil today, and that really wears me out.

    So my criltique from yesterday might no longer entirely apt, but I’ll reiterate it: They weren’t unexpected. The virus showing up having been battered by human enzymes in the way it has is the hypothesized evolution of smallpox playing out before our eyes.

    And as I say every time I write about monkeypox: I would be delighted to be disabused of these notions if they are false.

    1. Mikel

      Holy Jumpinjacks, Batman!

      I have noticed that Fausti has receded from the spotlight. I just thought they thought showing less of him was a good effect for the “it’s over” meme.

      From the article:
      “It could just be coincidental,” said Iversen, “ … but I will say that there is something very suspect about the fact that they started working on identifying treatments for monkeypox in September of 2020. This has been a virus that’s been around since 1970.”

      Now this sentence from the Atlantic monkeypox article is burning a hole in my head:
      “In fact, a preliminary genetic analysis from University of Edinburgh scientists suggests that the evolution of this monkeypox lineage suddenly accelerated sometime between 2017 and 2022…”

      1. Solarjay

        The NIH and other organizations have been tracking MP since it reappeared in Nigeria in 2017.
        The fear seems to do with the lack of vaccinations around the world and how fast this could spread.

        I’d say it’s smart “department of health” policy to you know plan ahead. Which people like Iverson take as a sign that somehow in some unidentified way that the NIH caused MP.

        But Causation vs correlation is hard for many people to understand.

        1. norm de plume

          Are there any US biolabs in Nigeria?

          The Russians think so, but they would think that wouldn’t they? Misinformation, obviously.

        2. Mikel

          My eyebrows aren’t raised at the study of the virus. It’s the timeline for the acceleration of the monkeypox lineage.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Well some one saw it but forgot to tell the rest of us.

      Well, we kinda got little hints from bill gates el al. when, while the covid conflagration was still all anyone talked about, “lessons learned” and “what ‘we’ should do differently in the NEXT pandemic” articles and commentary began to appear.

      And just by the way, wasn’t September, 2020 a weird time to even be thinking about a “cure” for an obscure, relatively benign condition like monkeypox?

      Think back to what was happening at the time–covid hysteria was at fever pitch, there were no “vaccines” or treatments, and the population was being assailed, pretty much minute by minute 24/7, with dire images and predictions of the deadly covid scourge that was killing wantonly and would claim hundreds of millions of lives before it was finished with humankind.

      You would think that it would have been all hands on deck to save humanity from the covid plague, with anything else put on the back burner. Instead, someone like fauci takes the time to review and decide to fund a proposal to cure monkeypox, a gruesome looking but, by all accounts, not deadly disease that’s been around for 60 years, and which just happens to show up a couple years later when the energy around covid is exhausted and impervious to resuscitation. (And another election is looming large.)

      Must just be one of those “lucky” coincidences that seems to happen in the magic land of washington, d.c. with a frequency that defies even the wildest of imaginations.

      1. Mikel

        I want to know if there are any other scientists/organizations with Fausti’s batting average for research that coincides with accelerated viral mutations of viruses that in a fairly short time come up on the CDC/WHO watchlist for outbreaks.

        And even if there are contenders, time to wonder even more about what is going on in labs.

      2. Basil Pesto

        And just by the way, wasn’t September, 2020 a weird time to even be thinking about a “cure” for an obscure, relatively benign condition like monkeypox?

        No. People who actually know things and don’t use cynical hunches as some inane hermeneutic have been aware of the threat of monkeypox to human health for quite some time. And that probably even includes an asshole like Fauci.

        See for example:

        I find such research more, let’s say, rigorous and trustworthy than people pretending to know what they’re talking about on the internet. In that context, given that this has been a known threat to human health for many years, research into treatments for the disease isn’t really surprising. Pissweak circumstantiation and invocation of coincidence rooted in ignorance is cool too, though, I guess.

        However it’s also worth pointing out: it’s fair to say in this instance that prevention is better than cure, and why we aren’t doing anything to prevent the current spread of monkeypox – not an especially technically difficult thing to do by all accounts – is an open question with many possible answers.

        by all accounts, not deadly disease

        I challenge you to present a single account that monkeypox is unequivocally “not deadly”. Whoever told you this has misled you.


        with dire images and predictions of the deadly covid scourge that was killing wantonly and would claim hundreds of millions of lives before it was finished with humankind.

        Setting aside that this strikes me as a strawman as 1) unsubstantiated fire-and-brimstone accounts of Covid in 2020 and beyond could have been just as readily dismissed as the most moronic “it’s mild and no big deal and we need herd immunity asap” GBD nonsense of the same period, and 2) it has been clear for years now that death from the acute phase of infection is not the only (or maybe even primary!) burden of the disease – it is probably closer to some kind of truth than 1): using excess death, which is probably the best metric we have, Covid has likely killed upward of 20,000,000 people, not even three years in to a pandemic that is going to last many more. That’s a pointlessly high and unacceptable number as is, but it’s hardly going to plateau there. Moreover, it causes long term damage to multiple systems of the body (documented on this very site – hardly cavalier and careless when it comes to trying to inform readers – almost daily) which can contribute to death after the initial acute phase of infection. So this will likely add to the excess death count relative to 2019 as well going forward. And the possibility of a more virulent variant evolving and spreading in a global population that has more or less abandoned the concept of disease control is also not out of the question, which would be extremely bleak. So, a death count in excess of 100,000,000 in the next 10 years is very much still on the table. Fingers crossed for a sterilising intranasal vaccine!

  18. dday

    A more recent article on Rebecca Gomperts, the European doctor providing abortion pills to Americans.

    From the interview:

    What I see is that all the women who choose abortions who already have children, they do it for their children. They do it because they want to give their children a better life. They do it because they want to give their children everything that they can give and everything that they need. They know that an extra child is going to take away from the child that they have and from what they have to offer. It’s not because of egoism; it’s because of capacity.

  19. scarnoc

    CA water restrictions: Residential use accounts for less than 10% of my state’s total water consumption. Big ag is the real consumer. Yet it’s the people, not agribusiness, that are being harassed and crammed down on. The nobles who own this state despise us plebs. Their rule is comply, die, or get out of our demesne. We will see how wobbly that rule gets as energy prices spike, food prices spike, and water restrictions tighten. It’s gonna be a dry, hot, fiery Autumn here in the Golden State.

    1. Wukchumni

      Real estate listing in the near future:

      ‘Beverly Hills charmer, mid-century 6 bedroom/4 bathroom, completely updated with renovated rooms and detached mother-in-law suite on a large lot. BYOW’ $135k obo

    2. skk

      Re: Las Virgenes water authority installing half dollar sized devices to restrict water usage.

      I read that since that’s a bit close to home, my first thought was, who’s even seen a half dollar ?

    3. Charger01

      Western US water law is a funny thing. Senior vs junior rights and the leftovers. Hows lake mead doing?
      Time to reread Cadillac Desert

      1. Wukchumni

        If you’d like to delve into the historical intricacies of Cali water, a doorstop sized tome titled The Great Thirst, by Norris Hundley, Jr. might be up your alley.

        1. JBird4049

          Even though it is 822 pages long, I have added the book to The List. As a California I could use a greater understanding of our water politics.

          1. albrt

            I heard the water czar of Colorado give a presentation on western water law a few years ago. Interestingly, he concluded that Arizona has the most rational, workable, dare I say progressive system. It could never be put in place today, but Arizona was a somewhat rational place back in the 70s and early 80s.

            California has the worst system by far.

    1. griffen

      Maybe viewed as a preemptive step to retain and keep employees, but whatever the reason one can hardly use terms such as “nice” and corporate employer in the same sentence lately. To be honest, trained employees on a line are probably a valued item given the hiring landscape.

      I do think the current Ford CEO, Jim Farley, is a great fit.

      1. jo6pac

        I think he is also. Ford started delivering the F-150 electric and you can in the near future order your Ford online by passing dealer mark ups

        1. hunkerdown

          That explains what they’re doing with their employee parking lots. Notably, parking inventory instead of employees in them, that is, teleworking as if COVID were not over. Just for that I’ll vote confidence.

          Of course dealerships hate being cut out of the deal. Michigan also banned many direct-to-customer auto sales in 2014 (in practice, there’s an extra hoop to jump through), so it’s interesting that not just Tesla but FMC is blowing in quite the other direction. Is there a social role for car dealerships, besides local stock warehousing? I’m not sure, but it could be worth thinking about.

      2. Glen

        “Trained employees”


        Management where I work has worked EXTREMELY HARD to destroy a highly trained and dedicated workforce over the last twenty years – and they have succeeded.

        I was called in one night recently because – nothing is working! Everything is failing! Your equipment must be broke! The equipment, it turns out, was not even connected to the product being checked.

        This factory used to be an absolute gold mine, but after twenty years of laying off employees, slashing pay, cutting benefits, and trying to create a workforce that you can hire right of the street for next to nothing – management has achieved success, and we cannot make $hit.

        Add in twenty years of outsourcing your feeder lines for parts to foreign countries, and we are really hosed right now.

  20. Pelham

    Re shipping: Khrushchev was right about capitalism consuming itself. He just got the timing wrong, as the demise of Soviet-style communism had to come first, freeing capitalism to reach its unsustainable, globe-encircling limits.

  21. The Rev Kev


    You guys remember those four HIMARS rocket systems that Biden is sending the Ukrainians and how Biden got a promise from the Ukrainians that they wouldn’t use them against Russian territory? Yeah, about that. The Ukrainians are already talking about using them against Crimea as well as the Donbass as they are not technically Russia. And apparently the new US Ambassadress to the Ukraine came out and said that those Biden promises were null and void. So who is go to tell Joe all this?

      1. Polar Socialist

        The biggest mystery of this all is that The World supports these a-holes even when they constantly and clearly declare they indeed are a-holes.

        This twisted logic of “Crimeans are not Russians, but Ukrainians even if they claim otherwise, so Ukraine can target them” passes in the MSM? Oh, wait, it has passed for 8 years in Donbass…

        1. David

          Bear in mind that “Ukraine,” like “Bosnia” or “Kosovo” or for that matter “Afghanistan” shares only the name with the country between Russia and Poland. It is a virtual space the West has created, almost a consensual hallucination, in which we control reality, and things are only real if we want them to be. If you like, think of it as a video game called Fantasy Ukraine, with lots of non-playing characters, where we get to make the rules, and where we have cheats available in case we can’t win otherwise. It’s a theatre for us to display our selfless altruistic virtue, and indulge in the dark luxury of legitimised hatred.

          1. Old Sovietologist

            Any attack on the Crimea by Ukraine would elicit a response similar to an attack on Kursk i.e. the destruction of what remains of government infrastructure in Kiev. No rational actor wouldn’t even go down that road.

    1. Lex

      If Biden let’s them have a few of the long range rockets, they could probably strike at the Kerch Bridge. Arestovich has spoken at some length about striking the bridge, even though they currently don’t have munitions capable of reaching it. This is the only issue with the plan, according to him.

      It’s well-defended and would pushing operational range so the strike isn’t likely to be successful but it’s the thought that counts for Ukrainian leadership.

  22. Pelham

    Re the global democracy survey: Hope everyone takes a look at the thread. The link between democracy perception and the belief that a country’s government works for everyone rather than a minority is particularly telling. Thus China can have a one-party state and a wide belief in democracy because the interests of the nation’s elites roughly align with the interests of the people as a whole — something that hasn’t been true in fact or perception in the US for a number of decades now.

    1. Basil Pesto

      Yes, I found it really quite interesting as explained in the thread, though I didn’t have time to cast a more critical eye over the report’s findings/methodology. Thread’s definitely worth a read though, and the tweeter provided some interesting food for thought.

    2. jsn

      There was also a long tweet chain linked here a year ago from someone on China describing how elections at each level select who is elevated to the next in the Party.

      In the same way perceptions the USSR kept New Deal restraints on US elites, the Empire of Chaos is keeping the CCP honest enough to maintain legitimacy, providing a different vision of Democracy.

  23. JTMcPhee

    Re gas prices ($10/gal!): what percent of that price is “intrinsic,” due to those Mystical Market Forces, and what percent is just greed-grabbing by the consumer-facing end of the supply chain? Brent crude is $121.08 as I write. It was $80 a few months ago, when the price was less than $3.00.

    And maybe someone else has noted this, but the last time there was this kind of “price shock,” when OPEC actually cut off the supply from there, the then President actually “did something” about the price surge:

    “ Nixon responds to nationwide fuel shortages, Nov. 25, 1973,”

    Wage AND price controls. And Biden says what? In addition to sitting on it and rotating while his grand policies of sanctions and moar war run aground on the REAL actual ‘new world order,’ all we get on “inflation” which a lot of people understand to be just money grabs by the 0.01%, is incoherent mumbling whining… not the tiniest move toward the better path of re-industrialization and self-sufficiency in critical (non-MIC) parts of the economy…

    Oh, but students of a certain type get some of that ‘debt relief,’ just not all the rest of us.

    But he and the Dems know who who owns them, and it ain’t “us.”

    I wonder how many Americans are responding to that old “patriotic” vitriol, “If you don’t like it here, go to Russia,” by applying for visas… there’s problems there, but Russia is becoming a winner in the geopolitical jungle and the US does not really exist as a nation, if it ever really did, just a congeries of competing monads.

    1. Screwball

      I was working in a gas station in 1973. We only sold gas and were usually one of the lowest in town. I don’t remember the price, but it was ~35c(?) I think. We had to ration. We could only sell so many gallons a day. Once that threshold was hit – we had to close.

      It was mayhem. Cars lined up down the street, and if you were the next car when the pumps turned off – you were a very unhappy camper – along with all the others lined up behind you. As a junior in high school, this was quite the scary mess. I was cussed out, threatened, and nearly run over. I was lucky my boss was there and nobody wanted to mess with him (a badass).

      For reference;

      When Biden was elected in November, crude was about $38/bbl on the 3rd. On inauguration day, Jan 20th, crude was ~54/bbl. The price moved into the 60 dollar range by May, 2021, and then proceeded to create higher highs with some volatility to 85 in October of 2021. A dip to 62 on 11/29, but then off to the races. We were at 93 when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th of 2022. Now at 120/bbl (depending if you are using Brent or WTI).

      1. LifelongLib

        Not sure how much the price of crude determines the price of gas though. It must set a floor but a number of commenters have brought up things like refinery capacity as being big factors too.

    2. Art_DogCT

      Regarding the wage and price control regime instituted by Nixon, as I recall it after a few months it seemed only caps on wages were being enforced. Saw prices rising every month in the grocery store, but nobody I knew ever got a raise.

      1. Darthbobber

        Unsurprising, since the wage freeze obviously had a ready-made group willing and able to enforce it, unlike the price freeze. And then there was the board established to oversee it, with equal numbers of labor, corporate, and public members. But the public members were also all corporate.

        Inflation was so thoroughly whipped by this method that a few years later Ford was reduced to throwing WIN buttons at the problem

  24. B flat

    Re Uvalde mom Twitter thread, I found this ex police officer’s analysis helpful in understanding the school’s layout and what the mom was describing. However trumpy he may be, IMO the video is worth watching.

  25. Thistlebreath

    Yes, dogs have been touted for years:

    Maybe the Sacklers can pivot over to training dogs.

  26. Bart Hansen

    On coming lawsuits from fossil fuel investors: They have had plenty of time to ‘pivot’ to other industries, oh, wait; but they could try noble gasses and fertilizers.

    How long has it been since Al Gore showed off his hockey stick graphs?

  27. JTMcPhee

    Two randomly related stories from RT today:

    “ Grain prices go down after Putin’s pledge — The drop to two-month lows comes after the Russian president’s statement on Ukrainian exports”


    “ Kiev hopes to get submarines from Germany
    Modern weapons and speedy decisions are key to “common victory” over Russia, the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament says,”

    We live in interesting times…

    1. The Rev Kev

      If the Ukraine wants submarines, they may need a coastline first which may not be a given. In any case, Germany makes lots of promises. The Poles sent tanks to the Ukraine on the proviso that Germany send some of theirs to Poland. When the time came, the Germans said that they have no tanks to send the Poles. They did the same with the Greeks as well. That German government is proving themselves very feckless indeed.

      1. digi_owl

        Also, hasn’t Turkey (or whatever it is called these days) closed a certain strait for military traffic?

      2. tegnost

        If they have submarines then when the negotiated settlement happens of course ukraine will require some coastline for the submarines….they’re a bargaining chip.
        As it is now probably no coastline.

  28. Carolinian

    Shame on Steven Brill–and let’s name him personally–for NewsGuard. He used to be legit. Now he’s another reputation on the neocon bonfire.

    Good luck to Consortium News in their ongoing fight

  29. Mikel

    The mom that ran in and saved her kids after being handcuffed in Uvalde finally spoke out.

    “F it! I’m goin in!”

    That’s my girl!

    But noted that’s the one procedure the authorities knew: handcuffing a little lady.

      1. The Rev Kev

        At least that judge was a decent person and I suspect that he had a word with those cops to forget that little tactic. I still say sack that 40 cop police farce. Then recruit better people the next time and spell out what will be expected of them.

    1. Grumpy Engineer

      Gah. [Bangs head into keyboard.] We want the total amount of fuel burned in vehicles to go down. But the new blending rules specifically require that more ethanol and soybean oil to be run through engines. The only way the math works on this is to go beyond today’s E10 mix to E15 (or even higher).

      But most engines in service today weren’t designed to accept ethanol fractions above 10%. There is increased risk of corrosion due to water absorption by the fuel, which can cause said engines to operate less efficiently and emit more pollution. This would cost consumers more, not less.

      1. doug

        Especially awful in periodic use engines such as a boat, snowblower, mower,snowmobile, RV etc.

  30. kareninca

    The level of covid RNA measured in the sewage in Palo Alto, CA, is now higher than it was during the omicron surge: (scroll down to the “Timeframe: since tracking started in Oct / Nov 2020” chart).

    A kid in his 20s who lives in England (near London) worships online with my peace church. He was surprised to hear that people in the U.S. were still talking about covid. He said that everyone in England now felt that the pandemic was over; that that is what was being told to them by the government and that that is what everyone he knew believed. He has had covid twice himself, and he didn’t look all that well.

    1. Raymond Sim

      Paging Lambert! Looks like the Santa Clara County page kareninca linked to has the SCAN data for the sewersheds in the county displayed without the weird presentation I’m always bitching about. And I didn’t notice ‘Biobot Analytics’ mentioned anywhere.

      The differences between the sewersheds are interesting. I like that they give population data and the name of the treatment plant. The sewershed map is good too.

      And it’s not just Palo Alto setting records, checking in at the SCAN site:

      I find record or near-record levels in multiple locations. On the 29th the Oceanside facility hit a level roughly 3 times Palo Alto’s record setter. (From a facility I strongly suspect of diluting their samples.). Here in Davis our June 1 level appears to also be a record. And yeah, we beat Stanford.

      Thanks for this kareninca! Best of luck staying whatever passes for safe these days.

      1. kareninca

        Yes, this is the only sewage site that I find truly understandable. It is a very good presentation. I had almost given up on sewage sites until I found this one.

        We will be bringing our dog up to Davis on the 9th. From the pot into the fire!!

        With wishes that you avoid adding to the RNA sample.

  31. Alex

    The violence and crime affecting Israeli Arabs is certainly a big problem. At the same time, the number of murders per 100,000 is lower than that in the US (in 2021 there were 126 murders of Israeli Arabs in a population of more than 2 million, whereas the US rate is 6.9 per 100,000). Note that it’s the US average.

  32. CaliDan

    3D Printing: Scientists can now grow wood in a lab without cutting a single tree Interesting Engineering

    From the last paragpraph: “Every year, humans cut down about 15 billion trees” and “If it turns out to be successful, lab-grown wood can help us get rid of deforestation once and [for] all.”

    Shhh. No need to read between the lines, just make your checks out to MIT please. (We are not accepting crypto at this time)

  33. Michael Ismoe

    “… because individuals who are mortally ill do not do multiple in person business meetings in a day.”

    I wonder how many meeting Brandon does a day?

    1. ambrit

      Brandon is A) not mortally ill, and B) if he were is not aware of it. Adding, C) ol Vlad Vladimirovitch isn’t doing his meetings in his basement bunker. “Creepy” Joe lives down there.

  34. digi_owl

    So Air America is still flying? Quelle surprise…

    There was no way that CIA et al would give up such a lucrative means of funding their black programs.

    1. ambrit

      Get with the program digi_owl. Those places are now referred to as “Rainbow Sites,” where the “Rainbow Policy” is carried out.
      I wonder of Air America still has regularly scheduled flights out of the Mena, Arkansas airport?

  35. Lexx

    My husband sent me these links this morning:

    If you put that information together with Blasen writing that the gut microbiota is equal to an adults by the time we’re three, you might conclude that the only time we’re ‘perfectly healthy’ — if such a thing exists — is when we’re very young, and from there it’s downhill.

    If you ask a middle-aged person (or older) what age they would return to if such magic was offered to them, they almost always pick somewhere in their twenties… maybe thirty, not three!… even as medical science seems to support that it’s an optimal age for a human. Fairly helpless (unless you count cuteness as a known and under-estimated superpower), but optimal. And that moves the exercise goalpost to unattainable, and twenty-five is nothing more than a marketing tool for trainers that look like the Engineers.

    The next time you put off that walk for lounging about and a few martinis, it may be your body telling you you’re way, way past your prime… and whatever else happens your liver will be fine. As juicy a rationalization as I’ve read lately and it’s science!

    1. Samuel Conner

      If the implication is “I’m not that well, so you may not have to put with me for a full term”, that might actually be a clever campaign tactic.

      Throw the bums out, and replace them with other bums who will be gone before the next election.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Pennsylvania boy here, from the ‘Alabama between Philly and Pittsburgh’ zone. That’s the only way I see Fetterman being able to play it. He can win as walking wounded, but any sense he’s not being honest will hurt him far more than it might another candidate.

  36. Glen

    I really, really hate to go there, but it needs to be said:

    So I don’t know if “projection” is a Russian thing or not, but in America, when an elite says “they are worried about Y doing X” it generally means:

    The elite is up to his eyeballs in doing X, and just showing off about it.

    The elite is already doing X, but worried about to get caught.

    The elite is getting ready to do X, and getting the PR lined up for it.

    So, all this American talk about “worried about Russian nukes”…

    1. Samuel Conner

      I think this is also appropriate to the recent assertions of a prominent US politician about VVP’s psychological state.

  37. drumlin woodchuckles

    3-D printing wood in a lab . . .

    How much carbon did those scientists emit in order to grow that test-tube wood in a lab?

    How much carbon does a tree reverse-emit to grow its own self using solar energy?

  38. Michael Ismoe

    “Janet Yellen, worried by the specter of inflation, initially urged Biden administration officials to scale back the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan by a third, according to an advance copy of a biography on the Treasury secretary,” Bloomberg reports.

    Writes Owen Ullman: “Privately, Yellen agreed with Summers that too much government money was flowing into the economy too quickly.”

    Can someone explain to me why $350 million a year going to citizens is “inflationary” but $5 trillion going to businesses is not?

    1. LawnDart

      Because most flesh-and-blood citizens don’t have off-shore accounts? And maybe once those billions are overseas they won’t be circulated back into the US economy? (And neither will the millions in “campaign contributions” that make such a system possible!)

    2. Objective Ace

      Rich people don’t spend money on things that show up in the CPI inflation basket. They buy houses, stocks, bitcoins, etc.

    3. IM Doc

      Excuse me if I misremembered something…..

      Did Janet Yellen not spend most of last summer and fall repeatedly stating there was very little inflation threat? That all that was happening was a little blip? Along with many others?

      The biggest tell for a sociopath…….they cannot keep their lies straight.

      It appears they are starting to throw Biden under the bus in earnest now.

      1. Raymond Sim

        “The biggest tell for a sociopath…….they cannot keep their lies straight.”

        Psychopaths can be a bit of a hoot in that regard. I think the idea psychopaths are clever is down to stupid psychopaths being so low-functioning.

        I’m guessing Yellen’s busy repeating “Don’t talk about suppressing wages, don’t talk about suppressing wages, don’t …” over and over in her head. Or are they already saying that out loud?

      2. Skippy

        Ugh all of this is how various factors effect financial elites and not what the unwashed experience.

        Groan … how much baked in results are just the reflection of the IS-LM and NARIU which some thought staved off hyper inflation during a long drawn out lower deflationary period and confused it with proof of concept.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Somebody once put on twitter this comment-

      ‘It’s amazing how spending on the working class results in inflation but tax cuts for the 1 percent never does.’

      1. Pat

        Let me add an adjustment to the second part of that tweet:

        “…but government corporate grants funding stock buy backs never do.”

        I am sure we can come up with a whole plethora of second parts.

        1. JohnA

          And modest pay rises for workers are inflationary, but massive bonuses to execs aren’t.

  39. LawnDart

    Attention: the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board has a new address and has rebranded.

    Oh, it’s also been privatized, so you can shove your FOIA requests where the sun don’t shine!

    US State-Affiliated NewsGuard Targets Consortium News

    The Pentagon and State Dept.-linked outfit, with an ex-N.S.A. and C.I.A. director on its board, is accusing Consortium News of publishing “false content” on Ukraine, reports Joe Lauria.

    Gotta love CN for not taking this crap.

    1. The Historian

      Read Yves’ response to Joe Lauria above. Apparently, CN DID initially take this crap and is now trying to spit it out. Too late, I think!

      Yves is right. You can’t work with these people and I agree with borkman. CN should have never tried to justify themselves to NewsGuard.

      1. LawnDart

        Sorry– Late to the party.

        In retrospect, it does seem like an over-reaction that inadvertently gifted a group of grifters in a “any publicity is good publicity” sort of way.

  40. Mikel

    “Shipping Chaos Is the Latest Sign that Capitalism Is Eating Itself’ Tribune Magazine

    The world economy is a complex system composed of a multitude of intertwined but distinct networks—networks of people, goods, money, or even ones and zeros. These networks are characterised by constant movement. People move, goods move, money moves and data moves—and they always have. Under capitalism, however, this movement takes a new form. Movement becomes the prerequisite for growth, which is in turn the prerequisite for the stability of capitalist social relations. The system, in other words, cannot survive without movement.

    Capital has to circulate to generate value, just as blood has to circulate around the human body to deliver oxygen to our organs. If there is a blockage, the whole system breaks down—often rapidly and without warning—whether that blockage is a build-up of plaque in a human artery, or a ship stuck in the Suez Canal…”

    I was thinking more it had to keep moving…like a shark.

    And another thing about that constant generation of movement: most should recognize that for what it is. That’s the hampster wheel. Run little hampsters run…the interest rate is 2, no 1, no…the Wizard of Oz says it’s…

    1. danpaco

      It almost as if supply chains have become so complex they may technically be alive.
      We’ve achieved the singularity!!!

      1. Mikel

        Much of the complexity comes from the people in the companies with monopolies trying to keep others out of the biz.
        A complex web of political favors, etc…

  41. Mikel

    “Microsoft introducing ways to detect people “leaving” the company, “sabotage”, “improper gifts”, and more! “Reddit

    My favorite past time while working is ignoring MS Office email alerts about your workday and calendar.

    No way I let Hal pace me.

  42. Pat

    Ended up on a few tabloids today where today’s version of Putin’s destruction is not to be cancer but an uprising of Russian generals standing up to the unhinged megalomaniac Putin for the good of Russia and the world.

    Why do I think they aren’t paying royalties to Tarantino no matter how much of the plot they stole…

  43. norm de plume

    ‘We’re just ignoring the fact that our vaccines prevent death better than they prevent post acute sequelae of covid…’

    Is it possible that the vaccines in fact increase post acute sequelae?

    I can’t see the value of these tweets that apparently demonstrate the long term dangers of spike protein replication to the brain if it not clear at the outset whether the subjects had been vaccinated. The mRNA vaccines produce spike proteins in very large numbers don’t they? So the ‘control’ for such studies must surely be unvaccinated people who get Covid, yes? Otherwise, how the hell do you know whether this is happening due to Covid or the mRNA vaccines?

    I am probably missing something here but if so would appreciate some expert guidance. Because, you know, experts are always right, right? Sorry if my cynicism is showing, but now that trust has disappeared it’s pretty much all I have left.

  44. The Rev Kev

    ‘The mom that ran in and saved her kids after being handcuffed in Uvalde finally spoke out.’

    Seems that with nothing better else to do, those Uvalda cops are now telling that mom that ‘if she kept speaking out about the botched police response to the massacre, she’d be charged with a probation violation for obstruction of justice’

    On the bright side, ‘Gomez said the judge overseeing her probation told her she did not face new legal problems and that her bravery would be rewarded with a shortened probation.’

  45. flora

    The was a bit about digital CERT security issues the other day in the links and comments. Now I read this. oh great…

    Vulnerabilities Affecting Dominion Voting Systems ImageCast X

    And from AP:

    Cyber agency: Voting software vulnerable in some states

    Once again: Paper ballots marked by hand and counted by hand in public.

  46. lance ringquist

    thanks for this article in the links,

    it proves in rather rough way, and i have no problem with that. that america is no longer a super power, and who cares if our economy has lots of dollars, like a banana republic has lots of bananas.

    the person most responsible for this will remain un-named at the moment. but he was the chief cheerleader for turning america into a de-industrialized, privatized, deregulated, tax cuts for the rich hollowed out shell.

    completely wasting our human capital and gutting our standard of living.

    looks like another russian century, and they look like a super power in almost all aspects.

    1. Skippy

      Again whilst I don’t disagree with the majority of your comments the agency is misplaced and predates the people you take exception too.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      @lance ringquist,

      Thank you for putting the spotlight of singular blame for driving the actual passage of NAFTA/WTO enslavement of America/ MFN for China/ etc. on the person who excercised singular and unique agency in driving that passage . . . . President Jeffrey Epstein’s friend.

      That person’s degree of self-sought personal agency in all this should not be lost sight of, diversionary disinformation on the part of certain Clinton exculpationists to the contrary notwithstanding.

      1. Skippy

        Bill Clinton did not dream it up all on his own drumlin, that has more to do with orthodox economics and how it became dominate.

  47. flora

    Krystal and Saagar with James Li on the WEF. utube, ~14 minutes.

    The TYRANNICAL Truth About the World Economic Forum | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar

    (Sounds a lot like the US’s Koch Brothers backed American Legislative Exchange Council – ALEC, but worse. )

  48. Jason Boxman


    So NC has the best TV recommendations. Black Sails and Giri/Haji are awesome. Almost makes everything else go away for an hour. Thanks!

    Agents of SHIELD is actually pretty good too; But I’m a Joss Whedon fan. Maybe I’ll do Buffy again sometime.

    Stay safe out there!

  49. Wukchumni

    Hi there Uvalde Texas, what you say
    Step aside partner, it’s my day
    Bend an ear and listen to my version
    Of a really deadly Tennessee excursion

    Pardon me, boy
    Is that the Chattanooga shoot shoot? (yes yes)
    He hit 20
    Boy, 3 dead & 17 wounded
    Can we afford a Chattanooga shoot shoot
    I’ve had my fare and no more to spare

    You leave the Philly shooters, ’bout 14 shot there
    Reload a magazine and then you’re emotionally in Baltimore
    Bodies in the rue morgue
    Nothing could be more defining
    Then to have a number of them flatlining

    When you hear the last rites spoken
    Then you know that Tennessee is not very far
    Shovel all the bullets in
    Gotta keep the action going
    Woo, woo, Chattanooga there you are

    There’s gonna be
    A certain AR-15 at the situation
    Magazine emptied on location
    I used to call our funny fate
    Some are gonna cry
    For those who will never go home
    So Chattanooga shoot shoot
    Why’d you shoot shoot outside the nightclub where you roamed
    Chattanooga Chattanooga
    Get aboard
    Chattanooga Chattanooga
    All Aboard
    Chattanooga Chattanooga
    Chattanooga shoot shoot
    Why’d you shoot shoot the club up all alone?
    Chattanooga shoot shoot

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