Links 6/9/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

Dinosaurs Started Out Hot, Then Some of Them Turned Cold NYT

We Need to Improve Indoor Air Quality: Here’s How and Why Scientific American


A 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 can be achieved. Here’s how EurekaLert. Original.


Moderna’s Omicron-targeted booster shot shows promise Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Long-term mortality following SARS-CoV-2 infection: A national cohort study from Estonia The Lancet. Nationside cohort. From the Abstract: “People infected with SARS-COV-2 had more than three times the risk of dying over the following year compared with those who remained uninfected…. Increased risk of death from SARS-CoV-2 is not limited to the acute illness: SARS-CoV-2 infection carries a substantially increased mortality in the following 12 months. This excess death mainly occurs in older people and is driven by broad array of causes of death.”

Americans keep getting reinfected with COVID-19 as new variants emerge, data shows ABC. Mask up!

Long COVID: Why people are getting their blood ‘washed’ (video) Deutsche. Worked for Keith Richards.

Animal sales from Wuhan wet markets immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic Nature. From the Abstract: “Here we document 47,381 individuals from 38 species, including 31 protected species sold between May 2017 and November 2019 in Wuhan’s markets. We note that no pangolins (or bats) were traded.” Data source: “Serendipitously, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, over the period May 2017–Nov 2019, we were conducting unrelated routine monthly surveys of all 17 wet market shops selling live wild animals for food and pets across Wuhan City.”

Healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a mysterious syndrome – as doctors seek answers through a new national register Daily Mail. “Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.”


Monkeypox vaccination begins — can the global outbreaks be contained? Nature


China digs in for permanent zero-Covid with testing and quarantine regime FT. Meanwhile, this strikes me as really dumb:

Dumb especially in a municipality that has performed so badly. What are they thinking?

The Role of Identity Documents in the Holocaust and the Genocides of Rwanda and Myanmar (PDF) Fortify Rights


Myanmar: Military employs scorched-earth tactic NHK News

Pink ‘soul refresher’ unites wilting Indians and Pakistanis Bangkok Post (Furzy Mouse).


Passengers who refuse to wear masks should be de-boarded from flights, says aviation regulator

Coronavirus: Japan has dropped its outdoor mask mandate, but the message has not filtered through to the public South China Morning Post


Angela Merkel says she ‘won’t apologize’ for her Russia diplomacy. NYT. Something wrong with peaceful trade?

The return of “Concerted Action” in Germany WSWS

Josef Braml’s The Transatlantic Illusion: Why Germany is rearming WSWS (RK).

* * *

YouGov ‘banned’ release of 2017 leader debate poll because it was ‘too good for Labour’ Indpendent. I.e. Corbyn. The deck: “Ex-manager claims pollster was put under pressure by Tory MP founder.”

Paul Mason’s covert intelligence-linked plot to destroy The Grayzone exposed The Gray Zone

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

Live: Zelensky ties ‘fate of Donbas’ to battle for Severodonetsk France24

Ukrainian Forces Could Pull Back from Embattled Eastern City AP

Inside the battle for Severodonetsk, where a Ukrainian unit of 60 was reduced to just 4 soldiers Task & Purpose

* * *

Kissinger Nails It Bill Totten’s Weblog. The deck: “For once.” Kissinger: “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome.” On Kissinger at Davos, but still worth a read.

‘Full of sh**!’: Italian journalist has live on-air spat with colleague as he slams him for interviewing two of Putin’s ‘idiot’ cronies in Moscow and ‘spreading propaganda’ Daily Mail. The “colleague,” Massimo Giletti, was not one of the original “Dirty Dozen” (see Yves here), so apparently the attack on dissent by Italy’s organs of state security is broadening.

* * *

The futility of sanctions Splash 247. “Some of the remarks (reported in the media) made by leading Greek shipowners at the [Tradewinds Shipowners Forum at Posidonia 2022] are frighteningly honest: ‘They (Russians) are earning at least double what they were earning pre-war. I don’t know what kind of penalty is that.'”

Turkey, Russia discuss efforts to restart Ukrainian grain exports Al Jazeera

Russia hikes oil exports from major Eastern port to help offset EU ban Hellenic Shipping News

Biden Administration

Aid Stalled, White House to Shift Testing Funds to Vaccines and Treatments NYT. Democrats deliver again!

Soaring Oil Prices Force Biden to Engage With Saudis He’d Spurned Bloomberg

Biden and Bolsonaro to have awkward first meeting at Americas summit Reuters

Bipartisan Senate group eyes deal ‘this week’ on bill to prevent future coups NBC. You can prevent coups with legislation? Good to know.

Armed man arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home charged with attempting to murder a US judge CNN


Is the World Really Running Out of Wheat? AgWeb

How a battery shortage is hampering the U.S. switch to wind, solar power Reuters

Our Famously Free Press

“Clusterf–K”: Inside The Washington Post’s Social Media Meltdown Vanity Fair


St. Jude Stashed Away $886 Million in Unspent Revenue Last Year ProPublica (Re Silc).

Imperial Collapse Watch

The U.S. Dilemma–Pricey Weapons That May Not Work Larry Johnson, A Son of the American Revolution

Guillotine Watch

Tony Blair’s son Euan, 38, is on his way to becoming a BILLIONAIRE as his Multiverse firm is valued at £1.35BN… 22 years after being arrested on boozy night out to celebrate his GCSEs Daily Mail. Meritocracy at work!

Powered wheelchairs and Right to Repair Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic

Class Warfare

John Deere to move some production from Iowa to Mexico, after beating quarterly earnings estimates WSWS

Los Angeles Strippers Are Unionizing More Perfect Union

Trench Warfare in California Hospitals: Kaiser Clinicians Prepare to Strike Counterpunch

Same as the Old Boss The Baffler

On your back? Side? Face-down? Mice show how we sleep may trigger or protect our brain from diseases like ALS The Conversation

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


      1. .human

        Office and apartment complexes lit up 24/7/365, 800 plus military bases around the world, and of course the explosive waste of energy in the manufacturing, logistics, and use of weapons in the prosecution of war.

    1. Solarjay

      It’s not just those times you mention, what about a cloudy,snowy, rainy day/s, when solar production is greatly reduced, but loads are not or they even increase?

      Current battery technology/chemistry isn’t the solution for grid storage. It does work well for grid stability, but it’s a much smaller part.

      1. rhodium

        That’s why most renewable energy forecasts by leading institutions suggest that unless there are large breakthroughs in battery technology advancement making them way cheaper, then the only way to cut out all fossil fuels is with nuclear energy. Short term energy storage needs are doable, but with reasonable cost projections, it will be difficult to meet more than 60-70% of electrical demand with renewables by 2050 without an overhaul to the electrical grid. The costs of energy storage start to shoot up astronomically beyond that to get even close to 90%. I think the hope is that the technology improves faster than anticipated and then maybe you can make up the small 10-20% difference with nuclear reactors. There’s also a possibility of producing “green” hydrogen and using it as a feedstock to convert into various fuels which could then be stored in the long-term. There are large efficiency losses along every step in the conversion process though so that isn’t very cost effective currently.

    2. jefem

      I wonder how rigorously we have analyzed that midnight to 6 am demand, to really trim the fat?

      Lotta phantom electrons slipping away that are not contributing one iota to benefit individuals, communities, or society. Designs and products still incorporate energy- wasting attributes, and no laws appear to exist to simply ban it.

      So, if Mr. Market is the solution, we simply must not be charging enough for the power?

      As in most things, we appear to have lost any sense of urgency or concern. My co-worker once said, and I wished so much at the time he was wrong,

      “Nobody Cares” I am thinking he may have been right…

      I personally rationalize away any and every act (pretty much existing, in total- when I am honest) which I know to be destructive and deleterious to the planet and fellow species. x 8 Billions.

      One would think if we took a few days to reinvent the harness, yoke, and apple cart, and point it in a new direction, there would be plenty of work, and perhaps a renewed sense of shared purpose, self importance, and a bit less insanity-inspiring inanity to ‘the human condition and experience’ We had a window during covid lockdown, and all we wanted to do was ‘return to normal’
      Well, fundamentally, nothing has changed. Other than perhaps getting worser

      Gotta scoot- re run of ‘Dancing with the Master Chefs’ is starting, and I want to see it this morning, so I can watch game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Rangers and Lightning tonight.

      A hem

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        not just the phantom loads and other gross wastage built in, nor the lights of cities, aartments and office complexes…but pure and simple habits.
        mom’s wanted solar/wind for decades…but , aside from her control freak ways and not understanding electricity, she doesn’t want to change her habits in any way…tv and lights on all the time…a/c at 65(old central unit—i really like my whole house minisplit)…and a whole bunch of outside lights that only get turned off if i deign to go out of my way to flip all the switches.
        she is wasteful…knows it…and doesn’t want to form new habits.
        there are many,. many people pretty much just like her in this regard.
        (she also doesn’t like the big windmills, either,lol)

        i hope to be able to get, on my own, enough solar/wind to at least run a few freezers and the water well.
        i’ll make do on all the rest…but i’m of a different mold and outlook.

    3. Chas

      Maybe we are moving too quickly into lithium batteries. Two months ago I replaced our bank of lead acid batteries. I wanted to replace with lithium but decided against. We have two photovoltaic arrays feeding one bank of batteries and and I was told that lithium batteries couldn’t handle that. Also, lithium is about four times the price of lead acid. We’ve been living off grid for 42 years with lead acid. The batteries last seven or eight years. There’s plenty of lead and acid in the world but not much lithium. I wonder what kind of research has been done on using lead acid batteries for EVs. They might even be useful for grid bulk storage. Telephone companies have used lead acid batteries for many years to power their networks. At one time they used banks of huge two volt batteries. Maybe a rethink of lithium is in order.

      1. JohnnySacks

        Those giant 2 volt lead acid batteries have been time tested in backup storage use and have a recycling stream in place. Our current infatuation with lithium ion batteries was never going to be anything but a short lived stop-gap solution. Iron-air battery technology is making strides, but the big solution will be finding an efficient way to break the hydrogen-oxygen bond in water to store hydrogen on a large scale. That’s likely to happen before we manage to harness nuclear fusion.

        1. c_heale

          Hydrogen is very difficult to move through pipes without leaks. And combustion of hydrogen and water followed by conversion to electrical power will mean that energy is lost both times it is converted. That’s without talking
          about the safety aspects. I don’t think this is a solution. In fact I think the whole idea of a hydrogen economy is a crock.

          1. Glen

            Better let industry know about that before… oops, too late:

            These are all used ones:
            Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell EV For Sale

            I like this one, but you need to know Norwegian:
            Cummins hydrogen power delivering zero emissions with ASKO

            All kidding aside – more cool videos here:

            Toyota’s Developing A Hydrogen Combustion Engine!
            Here’s Why Toyota’s New Hydrogen Engine is the Future (Goodbye Tesla)
            Here’s How Long It Takes To Fully Fill A Hydrogen Car!

            So do I know what the right technology is going to be – no, but I think having industry and governments get off their butts and invest in every solution and then let the data decide, and the customers decide, and then have market kick in is a good way to go.

            We are going to have to try EVERYTHING going forward, just doing nothing but what we have been doing for the last forty years is the problem.

            Making major changes like this require long term planning and time. Which is unfortunately, no longer an American strength. Ike started the last real big infrastructure change in America with the Interstate system, and that took, what 30+ years? Wall St wants returns on investment every quarter. If that had been the criteria to even create America – it never would have happen.

          2. Skip Intro

            Fuel cells convert the H2 directly to electricity and water using ambient oxygen.

            1. rowlf

              I have a 1958 Sports Car Illustrated magazine from my father’s collection that had a short industry blurb of Chrysler working on fuel cells for automotive applications. This may have been spill over from Chrysler’s space program involvement at the time. (Back when the US did aerospace, electronic and automotive engineering, instead of financial engineering. Grr…)

      2. Skip Intro

        Lithium batteries are great for applications where weight/power density are critical. Like cars and phones. For stationary applications, they seem ill-suited.

      3. hunkerdown

        It would merely require a special charge controller, at most. I’ll defer to solarjay or other experts currently in the field on whether such animals are currently available in commerce, are a useful configuration, or whether a couple of big diodes would not do the business, but the engineering of such a controller is straightforward and not conceptually so far from the power path management regularly practiced inside mobile devices.

        As to the Maslow’s Hammer, lots of research has been done on lead-acid batteries for EVs. It turns out that lead is heavy, carrying lead around takes a lot of energy, the energy density and the rate of (dis)charge are inferior and trade off against each other, the effects of a catastrophic collision are still nasty, and the toxic effects of lead (re)processing are well-known. As a result, lead-acid batteries make a poor dominant form of mobile storage of energy for a large-scale personal transportation network, and accordingly gasoline displaced them quite early in the 20th century in most applications. Highways weren’t tenable on batteries alone. For that matter, Ford’s employees might not have made it to work in the next town over in such a machine.

        So, lead-acid motor vehicle tech is relegated to low-speed, short-distance, closed-course applications like golf carts, indoor forklifts, the occasional neighborhood EV, and amfortas’ farm truck.

      4. solarjay

        Hi Chas,
        Not knowing the situation, but in general lithium can handle a much higher C rate ( that’s charge/discharge rate) than a comparable lead battery. This has to do with internal resistance, which is much much lower in lithium.
        So if I had to guess I’d say that someone didn’t give you the best advice. But its usually a pretty simple sizing/costing of: How much kwh day do you need, days of autonomy, how much power ( amps) in/out you need. Comparing the different battery costs etc.
        Its true that some older solar equipment might not be able to be programed to the tight charging specifications of lithium, but most can.
        In short usually the lithium will cost more upfront, but last lots longer, so less expensive over time, but lots of variables to take into account.

        When it gets into the situation of cost comparing lead vs lithium it is super specific as to which lead and which lithium batteries. Generally lithium are more cost effective than lead for most applications at this point.
        Cars: The reason for lithium vs lead is multi fold. Energy density, energy weight/volume, how quickly it can give power. On all those lithium wins by a mile. As to dangerous, lithium is way more dangerous than lead, even so called stable chemistry like LFP still have the potential to ignite, but lead cannot.

        Grid storage/grid stability: No way with lead. You can’t deal with lead batteries at 1500vdc, way way to dangerous. And they can’t give up their power anywhere close to as fast like lithium can.

        Telecom is based on 48v DC, still is. The companies still use battery back up, the older batteries are lead calcium which are designed for float service, ie they don’t get used except in case of grid failure. LC batteries don’t like being cycled but are great for float service. Very hard to get anymore.

        1. Solarjay

          Yes flow batteries hold great promise, but they are not available except in test conditions really.

          Really we can’t say batteries, it should be storage of which there are many options.

          Huge scale are things like compressed air. Usually in underground old salt or oil wells

          Or molten salt for high temperature storage then used to drive a steam turbine. This is what power tower thermal solar uses.
          But could be powered by solar panels too.

          I call it the Elon musk problem, nobody can think of any other way than lithium batteries for everything. Such stupid narrow thinking.
          I’d take efficiency loss for stupid simple, no environmental impact storage like compressed air.
          Oh and this is proven and it uses all off the shelf equipment.

          I could go on and on.

      5. John Beech

        Chas, it’s unlikely you ever see this as you posted at 9AM and I only have time now, at 6PM to read comments but if you do, I’d love to hear about your experience with off-grid because I have a Freightliner hotshot rig, which I am converting to glorified camping duty (not a real RV, more a mobile workshop in which I can sleep and shower). This, for when I attend events to fly my model airplanes. Some of these sites have hook ups, most don’t. Anyway, while I have a diesel generator plumbed into the 120g mains tanks (meaning we can have air conditioned comfort for quite a while)t I am nevertheless interested in learning about 12VDC-life. FYI, I have two 90AH LiFePO4 batteries, 12V nominal (but a bit more than that as you know), which I purchased for another purpose, but I can source more.

    4. Glen

      Basic science hasn’t changed – all of this was known for as long as this technology has been around. The problem is THAT WAS NEVER THE PLAN.

      This was the plan:

      Dick’s Future

      And that’s also why denying climate change is a very real thing.

      Obama just went one better and went ahead with fracking full speed. Funny that, fracking technology was invented by the US government as part of that R&D stuff that nobody wants our government to do anymore. The oil companies thought is was a joke until the American taxpayer figured out how to do it and gave it to big oil.

  1. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert, especially with regard to the Gray Zone expose of Paul Mason.

    There have been suspicions about Mason for years, but he was indulged by the, er, ill informed left. I was going to say idiot left, but mum told me to be nice to people.

    He’s a Zionist and an anti-Catholic bigot and used the left’s suspicion of Catholics to attack socialists Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon in the campaign to succeed Corbyn. Again, the ill informed left indulged that.

    The article mentions Marianna Spring. She’s one the liaisons with spooks at the BBC, similar to what Luke Harding does at the Grauniad.

    Readers will note the Thomson Reuters Foundation. This is how Johnson blurted out that Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe was training journalists in Iran. The story is murky, but the British public buys a black and white version.

    1. Basil Pesto

      It’s a pretty wild story. Unsurprisingly, Mason confirmed the veracity of the emails, then shifted the blame to Russia suggesting they were responsible for hacking and then leaking the emails and therefore in league with Grayzone. That deflection is probably just dumb enough to work.

  2. Geo

    Correct link for “Americans keep getting reinfected” ABC:

    “We have had more TV productions in LA shut down in the past 7 days for outbreaks than any other time since the pandemic.”

    I had one job for a commercial cancel due to a senior exec for the company being hospitalized with it and another job postponed because the lead actor tested positive – and got the news on both yesterday. It’s bad out here.

    Still haven’t gotten it, being safe as I can, but feel like it’s just a matter of time now.

    1. Otis B Driftwood

      Let’s see, my next door neighbor’s family had three sick, another nearby neighbor, my brother -in-law, my manager, one of my wife’s students, one of my daughter’s employees.

      All sick w Covid. All within the past two weeks.

      1. Tom Stone

        I’m seeing the same thing in Sonoma County, however almost no one is wearing masks including people I know who are in their 70’s and who have serious health issues.
        Concerts are on, restaurants are packed and everything is back to “Normal”, except for the dying and we don’t talk about that…

        1. ambrit

          Just about no masks to be seen in public here in the North American Deep South. Most people are drinking the Kool Aid. I fear the results will be similar to those at Jonestown.

    2. LilD

      An urgent care center in Carmel (MoGo) is closed; no staffing, COVID outbreak

      (Nothing to link to but there is a sign on the door. )
      We went yesterday morning after waiting 75 minutes on hold with my wife’s doctors office …. Finally got in to a unit two towns up the coast around noon… all seems well with us now but it’s not a good sign for stability of infrastructure

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye…more anecdata towards that conclusion:
        What I saw in the nearest real hospital
        yesterday, hospice nurse sent wife and I to the regional hospital, 60 miles away.
        One of her nephrostomy tubes had become unsutured and loose/misplaced.
        She called a head and they wanted us to enter through the ER.
        Got there at 8am, and they weren’t busy at all…got an er room(one of those with the glass doors and its own return air)…and the er got slammed.
        All of a sudden, there were 50+ people…then even more.
        Er folks frantically triaging people in the hallway, in the waiting room, outside in the growing heat…other er folks frantically calling all around to find room…to hospitals as far away as georgetown.
        …and frantically attempting to police mask use, until they apparently gave up…
        At noon, it was time for wife’s pain pills, so I went to the car to get them…5 ambulances stacked up outside, parking lot full…people all over…
        back inside, listening…nurse person yelling that a covid positive woman had driven past the emt buses and onto the curb, got out and collapsed on the pavement…emts donned pseudo moon suits and went to collect her, place her in “isolation”.
        I had closed our glass door when the rush began.
        We waited 6 hours for radiology to come get wife…and an hour and a half later, they bring her back, shirt soaked in blood, and I sign the paper and we’re gone.
        I’ve seen this level of chaos in a san antonio er…but never in this place…far exurbian orbit of austin/sanantonio.
        something is broken in the way we do this.
        They apparently had been diverting helicopters all day…i heard a few try to come in, and veer off , away to the south and east(san antone and austin, respectively)
        scanner in the er dept was beeping and yelling constantly…
        that department needed to be thrice as big as it is for this level of craziness.

        And…they may have given wife something that they didn’t tell me about…because by the time we got home, she was a limp dishrag…head lolling as I got her from car to bed…then unresponsive, high heartrate(160) and breathing strangely.
        1 ml of liquid morphine at 10:30 finally slowed her heart and calmed her breathing(per rn instructions, and after taking vitals)…but I expected to awaken to her dead.
        She’s better, now…woke me up at 2am…”what happened?”

        all in all, an exhausting and insane day.
        avoid ER’s if at all possible, if this experience is any indication at all of the state of healthcare.

        1. jax

          I am so sorry your wife is going through this terrible health insurance – oops care – system, and that you have to take the ride. I’ve been reading your missives for a couple of years now and have come to think of you as Herculean. Of course, you’re not, and I hope you take time to recharge before the next day. Bless you, Amfortas.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            trying to get her stabilised today…and take a good 24 hours off manana, to go smoke pot and drink beer in the bar and cowboy pool….and then hopefully sleep for a good 10 hours.
            i’ll still have to tell sons when to give the narcotics(simple right now, barring a need for morphine)
            (which means i can’t get too, too “relaxed”,lol)
            “i am a pair of ragged claws…”
            one thing my own disability…and before that, my crazy life in general…has taught me, is how to endure crises…and to save the freaking out for later.
            reckon that’s a pretty useful skill to possess..

            and the 8 hours in the er(me, wife got carted off to somewhere else for her procedure) was just pacing in that little fishbowl room, watching the chaos swirl past me.
            still…very stressful, and i was double masked when i got out of that little room for anything…and didn’t linger, at all among the plague dog Mundanes.

        2. ambrit

          If this is happening where you are, I shudder to imagine how it will be at the minor regional centres over here when this wave hits in earnest.
          This ‘wave’ of infections might be the straw that breaks the Democrat Party’s back.
          Trump can now run in 2024 on his record as instigator of “Operation Warp Speed” and win.
          Be strong. Stay safe.

        3. Basil Pesto

          something is broken in the way we do this.

          Not really sure what else there is to say, really. Everything feels acutely broken.

          Very sorry for what you and your wife and kids are going through

        4. kareninca

          That is terrible. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. I’m so glad you both made it home.

    1. BeliTsari

      Sudden rage in: serrapeptase‚ nattokinase‚ bromelain‚ papain‚ Lumbrokinase, (Zi Cao) Lithospermun Erythrohizon root, beet & nitric oxide precursor, hippy-dippy snake-oil concoctions along with 81mg aspirin & NRPT after NooYawker’s requisite 2nd, 3rd Omicron infection? Anybody, ANYBODY? The ‘3X increase in MI & stroke for each infection’ trope must’ve caught on like cascading PASC?

    2. Mikel

      Hey, remember the days of REALITY when it used to be called “immunocompromised” when someone kept getting re-infected with something over and over again and not “immunity”?

      1. Vandemonian

        To be fair, “re-infected with something over and over again” is exactly what we get with the common cold, one of whose causative agents is a coronavirus. The promise of effective sterilising immunity for CoViD-19 was always snake oil.

  3. kriptid

    RE: Animal sales from Wuhan wet markets immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

    I want to add some commentary here, as someone trained as an RNA biologist and who has also traveled in SW China.

    The fact that the ‘wet market’ hypothesis was ever entertained seemed insane to me in, say, July 2020, when it became clear that the most genetically-similar virus to SARS-CoV-2, at least that was still available in the public databases (let’s pretend that there is no incriminating genome sequences pulled down by researchers at Wuhan, as we know they requested some be removed from the NCBI databases in ~Sept 2019 — highly unusual), was harvested from bat droppings in a cave located in Yunnan province in 2012-2013.

    To give folks some geographical context here: the caves from which the most closely-related ancestral sequence came are located around 1700-1800 kilometers from Wuhan. That’s around a 16-18 hour ride.

    There have since been some sequencing data that suggests some very close relatives of SARS-CoV-2 in bats around the Laotian border, which are within ~100 kms of the caves.

    There has never been any discovery of sequences from bats between Yunnan province and Wuhan that resemble SARS-CoV-2.

    Yunnan province in the region around the bat caves are located is still very, very rural. It is a far cry from Shanghai or Beijing. We’re talking farmers that still plant and harvest by hand and live in extremely small rural villages. The geography is extremely challenging for transit and communities that are only a dozen kms apart as the crow flies may take hours to reach because of the terrain.

    This is all to illustrate the absolute absurdity that some enterprising wet marketer would go through the effort of transporting a bat over 1600 km miles over extremely difficult terrain into an urban center where the demand for Chinese bushmeat is much lower than it would be in rural Yunnan, from whence the bat came.

    The cherry on top of this absurdity is that the outbreak happened to start at a wet market across the street from the virology research institute where scientists study coronaviruses. And yet somehow credible people are still entertaining this idea that it ‘might have’ come from the wet market. It’s the most dumbfounding thing I have ever observed. I work with many brilliant people and they seem to have just turned their BS detectors off on this matter.

    It’s blatantly absurd on its face, and that is notwithstanding all of the damning genetic evidence that someone could have been monkeying with the genome. See the recent piece in PNAS for the latest on that argument, if you are so inclined.

    I exchanged a couple of e-mails with Dr. Sachs about this, and despite this coming from him as a non-scientific person, he’s got the facts right, or at least the lead author on the piece who has the scientific bona fides, Dr. Harrison, has succinctly made the case for why the lab leak theory is compelling based on the genetics of SARS-CoV-2.

      1. Raymond Sim

        How long did it take to identify that intermediary as a prime target for investigation? Isn’t that more relevant to our current situation?

        1. Yves Smith

          I don’t think it was EVER agreed on as a prime target. There were competing schools, those who believe it came from bats, those who believed it came from an intermediary species, and of that cohort pushing the second theory, there were more species under investigation than pangolins (which it turns out are the most trafficked species in the world).

          And according to GM, who knows a lot about bats, there are at least 2 orders of magnitude more bat viruses in the wild, maybe even 3, than we have in labs all over the world. Even if there are good arguments for a lab leak, the magnitude of the unknowns means their degree of confidence is overdone.

          1. kriptid

            Even if there are good arguments for a lab leak, the magnitude of the unknowns means their degree of confidence is overdone.

            This is actually quite humorous to me, because this is the exact criticism I made of our scientific leadership when they declared the wet market the only viable theory before they even had time to analyze any real data (Feb/March 2020). Just replace ‘lab leak’ with ‘wet market’.

            There is a lot of circumstantial evidence to support wet market/lab leak depending on your narrative bias, so let’s just leave that off to the side.

            If you look at the scientific evidence, and understand that the changes to SARS-CoV-2 relative to RaTG13, which was the most closely related virus in the Wuhan libraries, would require an evolutionary leap that is nearly impossible. And the nature of the changes make the likelihood of an intermediate unknown strain nearly impossible. I’ll spare you the 1000-2000 words of technical mumbo-jumbo needed to articulate my reasoning behind these rough calculations. This is the critical piece missing in most analyses because only a small number of people in the world are able to analyze the sequencing and phylogenetic data themselves without relying on an expert’s opinion. This includes people like the NIH/CDC bureaucrats calling the shots on which narrative to push; they have never analyzed sequencing data in their lives because it is a technology invented long after their scientific training was complete. As such, while someone like Dr. Fauci is supremely credentialed and experienced, he is completely out of his depth trying to get an independent handle on this type of data and he relies on others to do it for him.

            As someone who looks at and analyzes genomic sequences everyday for a living, I can tell you that it doesn’t add up. The ‘missing link’ sequence needed to bridge the gap between SARS-CoV-2 and other closely related coronaviruses is nearly an evolutionary impossibility given the time scales we’re operating with in this scenario. But I’m just another expert with an opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I would advise everyone to read the PNAS piece if you are genuinely interested in the scientific argument and what type of data and access we (the collective research community) need to unravel the mystery.

            1. Yves Smith

              Our GM does the same thing for a living at a very top US university and disagrees. He also knows a frightening amount about bat viruses. He says the odds favor a lab leak but comes up with lower estimates about likelihood.

          2. Ignacio

            There are not schools or alternatives on SARS CoV 2 origin: by now it is pretty clear the evolutionary origin of SARS CoV 2 is from Bat CoVs. Very much like SARS 1 or MERS and other human infecting CoVs. A few others are from murine origin but this is not the case. Some of the CoVs from bat are known to have come through intermediary hosts: MERS (Camels) and SARS 1 (Civets) while some others that long ago started infected humans are suspected to come from intermediate hosts including possibly alpacas, cows and possibly others. These are suspected because the events occurred long ago and cannot be traced precisely. Bats are well known virus reservoirs and sources of viruses other than CoVs that have infected humans. In all known cases it is always through intermediary hosts. Direct bat-human zoonosis cannot be ruled out never but it is not how most bat viruses have been shown to infect and cause disease in humans. When many Rhinolophus bat viruses have been sequences it has been found that SARS CoV 2 is the descendant of some recombinant between those already sequenced that are several dozens. SARS CoV 2 is a mosaic made of pieces from several bat infecting CoVs and this is well established. Our RNA expert doesn’t seem to know that recombination is an important evolutionary tool in many RNA virus and so unilaterally decides that it cannot come from a bat, hence “it must be a lab”. This is utterly flawed logic and idiocy at the extreme. Too many flawed logics like this have been followed to “demonstrate” lab origin. The point they have in common is: wilfull ignorance of what is known and biased logic that always lead to a lab without any proof on that supposed event.

      2. kriptid

        For a few reasons, the situations are not really comparable, if that is what you are trying to convey.

        It was quite clear that SARS-CoV-1 had a zoonotic origin in less than a year because so many of the early cases were animal handlers.

        The fact that it took years to adjudicate the precise origin had no bearing on the evidence that allowed for an early conclusion about the zoonotic origin being made.

        After more than two years of study, nobody has found any evidence that there was an intermediary host for SARS-CoV-2 either near Wuhan or near anywhere else that would be relevant to the early outbreak patterns.

        As I stated, the closest related sequences have been found around the caves where we know Wuhan researchers were working to collect specimens for many years.

        So these situations are quite different.

        This is notwithstanding the genetic evidence for genome tampering, which I will not get into here because the discussion is too technical and anyone who wants to explore it can do so at the link I provided to the PNAS piece. But as someone with some expertise in this area, the evidence was quite damning to me when I first carefully examined the sequence myself in mid 2020.

        Also, for the unaware, SARS-CoV-1 escaped the lab multiple times.

        1. Yves Smith

          This is from GM:

          Last year they sequenced bat viruses from Laos that looked a lot more like SARS-CoV-2 than anything known previously.

          It doesn’t change anything really.

          There is this stubbornly persistent binary thinking regarding lab origins — either it came from nature or it was directly engineered (and some take it even further, to a deliberate release)

          In reality if it came from the WIV, the most likely way it happened was that it was part of the large collection of viruses they were studying.

          And it could have accumulated mutations in culture, or it could have been serially passaged to adapt it in certain way, or it could have been engineered (e.g. the FCS) but with absolutely no nefarious intent, etc. There are a lot of possibilities.

          Then an accident happened and here we are.

          Again, it doesn’t really change anything, and we are highly unlikely to ever unearth any conclusive evidence regarding the origins.

          What matters is that Shanghai was on hard lockdown for 2 months to stop it, while the rest of the world refuses to do so and will keep getting reinfected and ruining its health.

          P.S. Going back to IBV, some of the most lethal strains to ever emerge seem to have appeared from relatively benign closely related ones, and possibly even from the vaccine used (which is an LAV) in single evolutionary jumps, e.g. this:

          And in general these viruses are extremely plastic and prone to saltational evolution.

          And epidemiologist Ignacio (on a new paper that suggests that the progenitor emerged in Sept-Oct 2019):

          Problem is that transfer to humans can have occurred more tan once, multiple times, and what we see might not be the result of a single transfer which might change the evolutionary clock. I does not make any difference if the supposed original virus arose in September or November and the tracing of the evolutionary origin, through which species or whatever will only depend on finding current samples that have a common ancestor with SARS CoV 2 if these exist somewhere. Wild animals living in the vicinity of Rhinolophus colonies should be extensively sampled.

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      It is not absurd for authorities to cling to unlikely hypotheses when they know what happened and want to direct attention away from that truth.

      1. kriptid

        Well… you’re right about that, which is why I have always suspected that is what was happening.

  4. Lexx

    ‘Armed man arrested near Brett Kavanaugh’s home charged with attempting to murder a U.S. judge’

    ‘The man, Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, had called emergency authorities saying he was having suicidal thoughts and had a firearm in his suitcase, leading to his arrest, according to the criminal complaint.

    He told law enforcement he had traveled from California to kill “a specific United States Supreme Court Justice,” according to an FBI affidavit filed Wednesday. The affidavit said Roske was upset about the leak of the Supreme Court opinion related to abortion rights, an upcoming gun control case and the school shooting last month in Uvalde, Texas.’

    I’m finding these kinds of shooters deeply disappointing. What happened to all the competent assassins, those without a conscience or single thought of taking their own lives? On the next boatload from Japan could we have A Few Good Ninjas? Can no one rid us of this turbulent judge (and his genetically unfortunate family)?!

    1. amused_in_sf

      Those secret agencies of unnamed governments just don’t recruit and nurture as well as they used to! And if you look at assassination attempts in Japan post-WWII, they seem to have lost their mojo. What boring times!

  5. Ignacio

    RE: Moderna’s Omicron-targeted booster shot shows promise Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

    Thanks for this CIDRAP article. I might be looking for something like this for about next October-November on time for the next putative winter wave. An article published early this year tried to do some estimation on how long would it take for a new strain very different from Omicron to surge and they came with somewhere around March-2023 as their median estimate. If (some big if) this estimate turns to be correct next winter wave might be dominated by some Omicron-related variant call it BA.5.12.1 or BA.6.2.14 or whatever and such Moderna’s boost might make sense. In my case more particularly taking in consideration that I was vaccinated in June 2021 and did not receive any additional boost after the 2nd dose, meaning the response might show a profile better oriented to Omicron and less prone to the capital sin of the first vaccine. Other alternatives to the Moderna bivalent might be available next autumn who knows. I still would be worried about flu, the virus poised to come back with a vengeance.

    1. tegnost

      “shows promise” is pretty much an instant disqualifier for me. Done being the guinea pig…
      Long term vetted drug trial or forget it, and yes I never stopped wearing masks because they work and I’m almost always alone.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Angela Merkel Says She ‘Won’t Apologize’ for Her Russia Diplomacy”

    She should. She and France could have made the Ukraine enforce the Minsk Accords which would have meant that this war would never have happened – and tens of thousand of people would still be alive. But she never did because at heart she was a weak leader and Germany is now starting to pay the price for her terms in office.

    1. GF

      With thousands of neos chomping at the bit to be set free to kill evil Russians, I’m not sure it would have made any difference if the Minsk Accords were implemented.

  7. Wukchumni

    Gooooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    The war on cash was not lost on the Unit which had been gladly accepted as payment since the first greenbacks in 1861, but this was different-an annihilation of sorts-take no prisoners or dead Presidents (for the record, only 72% of FRN banknotes have DP’s on them) which was a disturbing precedence.

    If you want to camp at Wind Cave National Park or go underground on a cave tour, you’ll have to pay with a credit card as the park won’t accept cash payments as of June 15.

    Cave tours, camping and pass sales are important sources of revenue used to improve the visitor experience at Wind Cave National Park, including road and facility repairs and maintenance, trail and campground improvements, installation of accessible exhibits, visitor and resource protection services, and more.

    Moving to a cashless system allows the park to be better stewards of visitor dollars by reducing the cost of collecting and managing fees, increasing the amount of fee revenue available to support critical projects and visitor services, and improving accountability and reducing risk, a park release said.

    1. Eureka Springs

      My notes still say – This note is legal tender for all debts. Public and private.

      1. Wukchumni

        A fine day spent in an obscure National Park: Priceless

        But don’t try and pay for anything with American expressed banknotes…

        1. John Zelnicker

          The park is going to be paying up to 8% in merchant fees for processing the credit cards.

          The marginal cost of handling cash should be far less than that. This is not a casino with tons of cash moving through, it’s maybe as much as a couple of thousand a week (?).

          Wukchumni – any additional info?

          1. Wukchumni

            I know nothing other than the handschluss started innocently enough with nobody really paying attention as cash was stamped out in what was perceived to be a hollow cost in terms of what they wanted to accomplish.

      2. TimH

        An offer to purchase is not a debt.

        Similar to giving change with a pile of coins is lawful (“debt”), but business can be refused when buyer has a pile of change.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          we once paid our county’s by then illegal(per state leg) vehicle property tax with a feedsack full of unrolled pennies.
          they said thank you and forced a smile when i asked for a receipt.
          and i secured bail in rolled quarters, once(was throwing the paper at the time)
          so maybe government stuff is different?
          it is still, as pointed out above, legal tender.

          to undermine that is a huge mistake…because the essence of money is faith, held by a sufficient number of humans, that its real

          1. ambrit

            Adding to which, cash money really is real; crisp or wilted, banknotes can be touched, folded, bent, mutilated and caressed, all depending on your kink.
            Electronic “money” is ephemeral. It can literally be “here today, gone tomorrow,” all at the whims of an increasingly detached PMC Technocrat class.
            Extra added value; electronic money is fundamentally also a tool for observation, tracking, and manipulation. Imagine a case where a store refuses to sell you a box of Twinkies because the Medical Database says that you are overindulging in sugary snacks? Far fetched?

            1. Wukchumni

              {…clandestinely hands the cashier a Hamilton for a box of Little Debbie Nutty Buddys…}

      3. Milton

        My notes still say – This note is legal tender for all debts. Public and private.

        … except at Legoland. But they’re doing it for Covid according to signage at the cash registers “We’re all in this together.”

    2. Carolinian

      At one of our state park satellite parking lots–outside the main gate pay booth–you are asked to use your smartphone to scan the qr code on the info sign in order to pay (and presumably register your license plate #?). No advice is offered on what to do if you don’t have a smartphone.

      Of course most people don’t pay at all including by driving to that main gate and getting a pay box hang tag. So far the rangers have preferred to remain land managers rather than ticket takers and not enforced the seeming honor system.

      In AZ the Forest Service had self service pay machines at their popular parking lots and, when these were repeatedly smashed, started requiring visitors to buy parking passes in advance at afiliated convenience stores and other retailers. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anybody to revert to the old system of dealing with this problem by not charging for access to our public property at all. Blame Newt Gingrich who undoubtedly saw the “fee demo” program–also supported by Clinton–as prelude to privatizing our national park land.

    3. Kurtismayfield

      Looks like we need a federal law to mirror Mass law:

      Section 10A. No retail establishment offering goods and services for sale shall discriminate against a cash buyer by requiring the use of credit by a buyer in order to purchase such goods and services. All such retail establishments must accept legal tender when offered as payment by the buyer.

      I wish all states would adopt it.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        There are businesses in my town refusing to take cash which has prompted me to complain to the city council and city manager, since as Eureka Springs notes above, the bills in my wallet say they most definitely do accept cash.

        I brought this up to a neighbor who is also a retired city attorney, and she said businesses do NOT have to accept cash, and cited the Federal Reserve. I believe this is what she cited, and to me at least even the Fed seems ambiguous on whether cash must be accepted as payment –

        Is it legal for a business in the United States to refuse cash as a form of payment?

        There is no federal statute mandating that a private business, a person, or an organization must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law that says otherwise.

        Section 31 U.S.C. 5103, entitled “Legal tender,” states: “United States coins and currency [including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve Banks and national banks] are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues.” This statute means that all U.S. money as identified above is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor.

        So how can businesses not be required to accept cash, and yet all cash is still a legal “offer” of payment? And what I’d really like to know is when did the Fed come up with this? Until fairly recently in US history, there were no electronic payments or credit cards, and your payment options were cash or check, and I’d assume most businesses would prefer cash to a check that may or may not be valid.

        In my state, I don’t believe there is a state law that says it’s mandatory to accept cash. A few years ago, NJ did pass such a law and at the time I thought it was merely a symbolic reiteration of what was already clearly printed on all US paper currency. But maybe the law was in response to the rather unclear Fed policy above? What am I missing here?

        1. Jeff W

          The Fed seems to be making a distinction between “payment for goods or services” and “payments for debts.” (TimH points out the distinction above.)

          And from this article from The Pew Charitable Trusts:

          In recent years, left-leaning leaders in cities such as New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco, as well as in the state of New Jersey, have enacted similar laws to protect unbanked customers who rely on cash. Massachusetts has required businesses to accept cash since 1978.

          While the bills in Democratic-controlled Colorado and Washington, D.C., passed, the red state proposals did not.

          So the list of states or cities requiring business to accept cash appears to be (according to the article): Massachusetts (since 1978), New Jersey and Colorado; New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

  8. Solarjay

    If anyone knows a link to access the actual findings on the 50% reduction by 2030 I’d really appreciate it.

    1. GH Hunt

      I do not see the “C” word in the article and doubt that their proposed solutions will get the job done.
      I do not have a link to that article but do have a link to a nice comparison of the actual IPCC report and the Summary for Policymakers.

      The report is grim, but the prettified summary for policymakers undercuts that:

      1. Solarjay

        It’s not good to link to articles that you can’t actually view, think about or comment on.

        It’s quite easy to do a study from the comfort of your computer without looking at the real world. Sure install this much solar, wind, and batteries and presto all done. But what about the real world of actually making and installing all that? Because lots of these studies don’t mention costs, only the energy part. Not very practical, but maybe this one is different.
        Pretty much every article I read just ignores any discussion of winter, or regional differences, when solar production is very low to extremely low. Heat spells are usually not so bad because it’s in the summer with high solar production.

        For example the very common view that we need to convert everyone to heat pumps ( water heaters and heat and electric stoves ). Ok so what’s the actual $ cost to do that? Who pays? Is that the best use of $ vs other options? Who actually is going to install those 200-400 million devices? Including new upgraded electrical for some/many. Who is going to make them, and the list goes on.
        They do make $ sense in certain conditions.

        1. Reaville

          What will be the questions when we pass climate points of no return? Will it be “Why did no one tell me that we had to stop fossil fuels completely or end our civilization…or push it back to something much closer to subsistence?” Or, will it be “Why did air travel stop?” and…

      2. BeliTsari

        Fundamentally, academic any old way. If our fracked methane pyramid scheme is bound to take us over the top, already? And we’re picking wars to ensure scores-of-thousands new quick to kick, SURE to leak, impossible to plug fracked methane, oil & ethane wells. We’re doubtless, past that point, already? In Manhattan’s UWS, our side streets are basically gasline ROW tying into laterals; thousands of ancient fuel-oil boilers, all replaced with gas (moving slumlord superdelegates’ carbon-footprints 140mi west, into Cancer Valley, Frackistan?

    2. GramSci

      Me too. I was incredulous of the claim that we have already achieved 40% renewable electricity in the US, but I don’t have access to the original Science article.

          1. Solarjay

            It’s why I use the term
            Non carbon.
            That’s all that matters IMHO

            But technically there are breeder reactors which create more fuel than they use.

              1. Solarjay

                Breeder reactors do exist.


                I never said bio mass was non carbon. I said that my preference for energy sources are that they be non carbon.

                Bio mass gets very confusing to understand the actual science. Is it carbon negative or positive? I read reports that say both. But it’s such a small component of our energy mix that it’s not all that important.

                1. BeliTsari

                  Grew up down-wind of Shippingport (think it’d created 1.4% “more fuel” in 5 years AND supplied Israel’s inventory?) I meant, a viable solution, in consensus reality, now?

  9. doug

    I thank you for the wheelchair article.
    I am waiting for a Numotion rep to show up ‘sometime today’ with a new armrest to replace the one that the weld broke two months ago. It is a part listed for 60 bucks. I ordered one with my own money, then (here is the kicker) found out that they don’t sell that one part, it has to be the entire side for that armrest for 170 bucks. The part I needed was listed, but it could not be purchased alone, despite it having a list price and allegedly being for sale alone. I said forget it, and started working through medicare via numotion.
    So, two months later, a simple part along with a bunch of parts I have that are fine are coming with a technician to spend the 30 seconds to put the parts in place(they are user removable).
    To recap: This has been a dangerous two months for me with only one arm rest. The repair costs will be much higher than it should have been with excess profits going to Permobil and numotion. A pox on their houses.

  10. Cocomaan

    Is the World Really Running Out of Wheat? AgWeb

    Kind of a terrible headline for some shocking info. They buried the lede on China stockpiling grains for years. Wonder what they’re thinking over there?

    1. nippersdad

      China has become increasingly drought prone. Wheat, as with many crops, is just tranmogrified water, and one of the arguments against shipping off grain grown with fossil water here is that we may not have it ourselves for very long.

  11. junkelly

    The Task & Purpose article was disappointing. The headline seemed promising. The content was repackaged western talking points, like how Russia was humiliated in Kiev, and is using so much material and sustaining so many casualties capturing a non-important city that they won’t be able to do anything else.

    1. Andrew Watts

      Most of the people at Task & Purpose wear their bias on their sleeve. That doesn’t mean they don’t have good information or aren’t raising valid points. Even if you don’t agree with them.

      The conclusion I drew from that article was that while both sides are exhausting their limited reserves it is Russia that ultimately holds the advantage in the battle for the Donbass. They have a clear advantage in firepower, their supply lines aren’t as stressed, and they have more replacement manpower to call upon.

      ‘Course people wouldn’t be talking about a Ukrainian withdrawal if Russia wasn’t winning.

  12. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the link about young Blair, I live and often walk near their country estates and can shed more light.

    Euan Blair is friends with chancellor / finance minister Rishi Sunak, which helped get the government contracts. This is how Tory leadership hopeful and already rich Jeremy Hunt also made his money. It’s rumoured Sunak’s family trust owns some of Multiverse.

    The Blairs own several country homes around Wotton Underwood. These estates used to belong to the Grenville family (also Dukes of Buckingham [see the magnificent Stowe] and all buried at All Saints), but were sold soon after WW1. Blair’s spinster sister lives in one of their spares. The family got a taste of such living from Chequers, the Buckinghamshire estate for the PM.

    The family frequently broke lock down rules and, for a while, did not scale back flora to avoid attention. Soon after they moved into the first house, fires broke out there and at a farm. The local fire service prioritised the Blairs. The more ancient landowners are not like them.

    The Blair property empire is heavily invested in student towns like Bristol, London and Manchester. The value exceeds that cited by the Mail. After running their own investment firm, which included Middle and Central Asian money, the firm was wound up and assets transferred to vehicles operated by JP Morgan.

    1. Revenant

      I know the person responsible for structuring Blair’s Firerush and Windrush limited partnerships, through which he ran his consulting and investment sinecures immediately post-resignation. My friend was very proud of the opacity achieved. The structures were all unwound, as the Colonel says. No obvious reason why so I would guess it was tax or somebody was offering to cash him out for past favours via JP Morgan or one of his co-investors had started to smell worse than whited sepulchre Tony – or all three….

      I just trawled through the Multiverse conformation statement at Companies House and there is not much smoke.
      – Lots of individuals. Perhaps the Colonel can spot the connections, he knows his bloodstock!
      – Of the institutions, there are endless opaque LP vehicles, some in Jersey, but all seemingly “legitimate”, i.e. associated with LocalGlobal (Saul Klein, ex-Index), Index Ventures (the Rimers), Seedcamp (now owned by Molten Ventures), Audacious Capital (nauseating “future of work” fund, i.e. serfdom futures), Lightspeed Ventures (similar), General Catalyst (reliable Boston-based VC bagholders). There’s nobody obviously toxic, just “tech” investors (i.e. investors in service businesses whose competitive advantage is tech-enabled regulatory arbitrage and VC-funded negative gross margins for predatory pricing). No real technology VCs present.
      – There was some jiggery-pokery with the share classes in February. A bunch of Series A and Series B investors got upgraded to Series C. Probably some sort of sweetener to induce them to reinvest in the Series C, by giving an effective discount. Haystack Ventures (rent-a-vc), Blitzscaling Ventures (Reid Hoffman vehicle), Nextplay Ventures (ex Linkedin, friends of Reid). The curiosities here are the Jasper Ridge charitable fund (connected to Jasper Ridge wealth management services) and the Mintz family in London – never heard of them! Colonel?
      – There was also a weird share capital reduction in late December 2021 when £24m of share capital was reduced and allocate to the P&L to wipe out a deficit and created distributable reserves. The company then repaid a £1m subordinated loan (lender not disclosed!). Resulting share capital was still £91m. This sort of capital restructure is very rare in VC. You don’t need to do it to repay a loan. It’s done to solve a problem, for example redeeming or repurchasing shares, unblocking a dividend etc.

      Anyway, I doubt young Euan is worth those amounts. The capital has all been introduced as preferred ordinary equity. The capital structure is a bit vague but assuming they all have a 1x preference, a lot of the invested capital will come off the top of any exit and then the surplus would be shared pro rata so dividing the headline valuation by his equity percentage will overstate his share of the exit waterfall.

  13. Ignacio

    RE: Animal sales from Wuhan wet markets immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic Nature.
    Facts to notice verbatim from the article:
    1) Almost all animals were sold alive, caged, stacked and in poor condition.
    2) …the animals sold were relatively expensive, representing luxury food items, not cheap bushmeat. We thus make an ethical distinction here between the subsistence consumption of bush meat in poorer nations, versus the sort of cachet attached to wild animal consumption in parts of the developed world.

    1. Ignacio

      Just in case you didn’t do the right reasoning: If you keep animals alive, caged & stacked in poor condition and stressed those are excellent conditions that would favour the spread and maintenance a an airborne pathogen. Then: one thing is bushmeat obtained by poor tribes without caging etc and a very different thing is the commodification as described in the paper and point 1, meaning that zoonosis probabilities skyrocket.

  14. KD

    Unfortunately, the actual paper claiming “50% reduction in emissions by 2030” is behind a paywall, so there is no way of checking the methodology or the assumptions made by the authors of the article to determine if they are sound.

    1. Solarjay

      From an academic study, the answer is yes. Totally do able.
      Enough non carbon energy sources, batteries etc and it works.

      But the devil is in the details and what assumptions they made.
      Usually the default on all the studies I’ve seen is around solar yearly production averages vs actual daily/monthly production values which vary greatly. And greatly increase the amount of non carbon production greatly.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        [Sigh…] Not being able to review the original paper is annoying, but I’m almost certain they’re neglecting supply constraints. Much like Mark Jacobson did. The biggest item is probably batteries used for energy storage.

        Right now, world-wide production of batteries is about 500 GWh per year, about half of which goes into electric vehicles and half into industrial applications. If you divide 250 GWh by 70 kWh per vehicle, you get 3.6 million EVs per year. However, US sales of new cars are ~17 million per year. So there’s only enough battery to convert 20% of new car sales to EVs, and that’s only if the US gets 100% of those batteries and nobody else (like Europe) gets any.

        And then there’s the question of the existing car fleet. In addition to the 17 million new cars sold in the US every year, there are nearly 300 million vehicles out there that were purchased in prior years. They’d need to be replaced as well.

        There will be supply constraints for grid energy storage as well, but since the recap of the paper didn’t provide any TWh numbers at all, I can’t comment on the supply chain viability. Hopefully the actual paper contains a real estimate the storage requirements, but too many authors of “renewable energy plans” seem to omit that portion of the exercise.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Dinosaurs Started Out Hot, Then Some of Them Turned Cold”

    A fascinating article this. As a kid I remember that there was the big argument whether dinosaurs were warm or cold blooded and the debates got a bit hot-blooded themselves. So with this new technique we have our answer – it was both. And a few long held beliefs have had to be junked as well such as the assumption that the giant herbivores had to have had lower metabolisms. As well, some species could reduce their metabolism as well. These sort of articles are fun to read.

    1. Wukchumni

      I see dinosaurs all the time in the guise of lizards which look just like em’ although hardly the terror when they’re perched 5 feet and 10 inches below yours truly.

      They all too often feel compelled to do push-ups when I pass by one on the trail and it isn’t as if I yelled out ‘Drop down and give me 20, mister!’

      …did T-Rex do push-ups?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Why yes they did. But only little ones of course. Those tiny arms….

        There is a rumour that the T-Rex was already dying out before that asteroid hit. Their physiology mean that they were prone to chocking on the meat that they gulped down. And other T-Rexs nearby could not help as they were so lousy at giving the Heimlich maneuver.

        1. Wukchumni

          I read in one of the dinosaur sites in South Dakota, they found an exercise mat and remnants of Lululemon leggings in XXXXXXXXXL.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        those pushups…and depending on species, the coincident dewlap inflation…are challenges. you’re threatening their territory…or look like you’re trying to run off with their wimmens(ala Sabine Women, but with lizards).
        turkeys do much the same(also dinosaurs) but instead of pushups, they walk around in a circle all puffed up, the weirdness on their neck and heads gets more colorful, and the penis shaped thing that hangs over their beak gets a little more rigid.
        if it bothers you stop trying to run off with the lizard women.
        i mean, really, Wuk…

        1. Wukchumni

          if it bothers you stop trying to run off with the lizard women.
          i mean, really, Wuk…

          I met her on Tinder where she claimed a variable body temperature, but every cold blooded vixen on the make claims that, so I was dubious-and besides she had 3 kids from a previous marriage, lotta baggage, man.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            lizard etiquette says that if you want to be a player, you have to attract the girl lizards to you…from your clearly marked territory.
            that means pushups, i’m afraid…so just get used to it.
            and if you possess a dewlap, might want to practice inflating it in a mirror…just in case.
            mark out your territory on the porch, do your pushups (and dewlap inflation) when a lizard chick comes around, and yer golden, man.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              lizards, it turns out…and in my considerable experience with lizard society…are pretty traditionalist and small-c conservative,as a rule, and by nature(it’s the tiny brains, however distributed)

  16. ddt

    Regarding the Kaiser strike by the mental healthcare clinicians, some background with the caveat that I left the enterprise a year ago, and tho I’m still in touch with some folks, I don’t have the latest to the minute detail. Kaiser has had a problem with “mental health parity” for a while now. The clinicians are overworked and staffing is short. The availability for appointments is lacking. All those things the article states are true. There have been strikes in CA repeatedly over the last few years over these issues and Kaiser does get dinged by the CA dept of Managed Healthcare for all this (tho I’m assuming management finagles fines with the state). What the article authors don’t mention is the lack of available clinicians Kaiser can hire. There just aren’t enough qualified candidates. It’s not like they’re not trying to fill these positions; they just cannot. I’m assuming that the covid related exodus has made the problem even worse. And I can assure folks that KP, perhaps not to the degree of 20-30 years back, is still committed to unions for the time being.

    (Also and BTW, KP gave unused covid funds back to the government. I wonder if for profit healthplans did the same.)

  17. begob

    Of mice and sleep: Andrew Huberman on youtube talks about the glymphatic system quite a bit, recommending yoga nidra in place of naps to get it going. Another of his recommendations is the three day fast to maximize autophagy for a good clean out of folded proteins, inflammation etc.

  18. pjay

    ‘Bipartisan Senate group eyes deal ‘this week’ on bill to prevent future coups’ – NBC.

    I assume this bill is a response to the four year rolling coup attempt by powerful members of the national security establishment, the FBI, the Democratic party, and their media lackeys to overthrow Donald Trump. Right?

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Turkey, Russia discuss efforts to restart Ukrainian grain exports”

    Al Jazeera shows their colours again. The whole article talks about coordination between Turkey and Russia to get that grain out of Odessa and what will be required to be done. But then right at the end it says the following-

    ‘Ukraine said on Wednesday it would not de-mine waters around the Black Sea port of Odesa to allow for grain to be exported, citing the threat of Russian attacks on the city.
    “The moment we clear access to the port of Odesa, the Russian fleet will be there,” spokesman for the regional administration Serhiy Bratchuk said in a video statement on social media.’

    So the title of this article might as well be “Ukraine refuses to ship grain out from Odessa.”

    1. Polar Socialist

      Indeed. Never in the history of naval warfare has there been a clear path trough a minefield. Yeah, sure the Russian would figure out the route when the first ship traversed it, but if the route forced the Russians to travel an hour under artillery and missile fire, I doubt they would be willing to try.

  20. Mikel

    “Americans keep getting reinfected with COVID-19 as new variants emerge, data shows” ABC.

    Hold that thought and do a scooby double take on this:
    COVID vaccines for infants and toddlers are stalling and stumbling even before they’ve left the gate

    “…Children can also easily contract the coronavirus and spread it around; “if we’re even halving the amount of kid-prompted transmission we’re having, it’s going to make a substantial difference in day-to-day life,” says Emily Martin, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Michigan. Vaccinated children would be less likely to catch the coronavirus and pass it on; parents, siblings, and grandparents, in turn, would be less likely to be pulled out of work and risk losing income…”

    And everybody here remembers last year or so when the BIG LIES to get school re-opening were the claims that “kids didn’t pass it around as much” . WHAAATTT???? Everybody should remember the dumb opposite the MSM kept claiming…

    AND they STILL don’t know what non-sterilizing vaccine means.
    I can’t…

    1. pjay

      I’m a little confused by your comment here. I understand your criticism of the “kids didn’t pass it around as much” argument. But are you advocating pushing these “vaccines” on infants and toddlers? Because if you are, that’s a *whole* other issue for me, given the current information available.

      1. Mikel

        No, no (hell to the no)…they shouldn’t be surprised people aren’t rushing to give their kids these shots.

        1. pjay

          My apologies. The quote threw me. I have a real pet peeve about doctors advocating vaccinating toddlers like it’s a no-brainer and treating those with doubts as idiots. I reacted without reading your comment carefully.

    2. tegnost

      “”…parents, siblings, and grandparents, in turn, would be less likely to be pulled out of work and risk losing income …””

      I love that bolded part, like the only problem covid presents is that the economy may suffer, especially since this economy looks pretty damn good for the people who matter. I paid 6.50+ a gallon yesterday and that money is not going to the evil putin. It’s going to exxon shareholders as dividends.

      1. Mikel

        People on NC were making that comment – that it wasn’t just about how much covid affected kids – TWO YEARS ago.

    1. Mikel

      None of those alleged “progressives” or whatever remember a time when rallying to the war cries was considered right-wing.

      1. nippersdad

        I am having a very difficult time wrapping my mind around how effectively the left wing anti-war movement has been stamped out.

        1. hunkerdown

          They stopped treating war mongers as non-uniformed combatants and went over to lifestyle pacifism.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Kara Dansky has also committed the ultimate mortal sin–she has appeared on Tucker Carlson several times.

      She’s quite articulate and, worse yet, makes complete sense.

      Burn her at the stake!

  21. Mikel

    “Healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a mysterious syndrome – as doctors seek answers through a new national register” Daily Mail.

    Only NOW doctors are trying to determine the cause? No fools out here. Everybody can see when “Sudden Death Syndrome” has suddenly become a concern.
    Just don’t look at VERS, I guess?

    And if not, then:
    “Long-term mortality following SARS-CoV-2 infection: A national cohort study from Estonia The Lancet. Nationside cohort.” From the Abstract: “People infected with SARS-COV-2 had more than three times the risk of dying over the following year compared with those who remained uninfected….

    1. Raymond Sim

      Do you mean ‘VAERS’?

      In my opinion VAERS is a crap system designed to obscure problems with the vaccines.

      The fact that it’s so useful to anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-child fraudsters like Tracy Beth Hoeg might seem like a bug, but I think it’s a feature.

    2. norm de plume

      ‘“Healthy young people are dying suddenly and unexpectedly from a mysterious syndrome – as doctors seek answers through a new national register” Daily Mail

      That word mysterious is getting a workout nowadays. It’s rather mysterious.

      Perhaps it has to do with that substance they just found in the atmosphere which may cause cardiac arrests. Or maybe we are all not being careful enough when doing something arduous like tying our shoelaces or making the bed. It’s a toughie. I’m so glad the medical science profession is on to it.

      We cannot find the right answers if we are too scared or too stupid to ask the right questions. We are getting to the stage where we will be permitted to see the nose on our face, but not to mention it.

  22. The Rev Kev

    ““Clusterf–k”: Inside The Washington Post’s Social Media Meltdown”


    /ˈʃɑːd(ə)nˌfrɔɪdə,German ˈʃɑːdənˌfrɔydə/

    Noun: Schadenfreude; noun: schadenfreude

    pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

    e.g. ‘I read that piece with a nice slice of schadenfreude’

  23. flora

    Here’s another Taibbi article, public excerpt:

    What is a Woman?” A Movie That Should Be Reviewed More, For One Thing
    Matt Walsh pranks the pants off America’s silliest intellectuals, and the sad thing is, it wasn’t hard at all

    As Taibbi notes in the full article:

    “That latter point gets back to what I think is an emerging political problem for Democrats in general, who ahead of crucial midterm elections continue to lose ground on an educational issue that a) is crucial to House races, and b) they’ve traditionally dominated. Polls show they’re dropping from a historical 20, 30, even 40-point lead to the statistical margin of error this spring, in part because of this issue. There is a perception that these relatively new controversies have been declared undebatable, by a priesthood of experts who feel above talking to the unwashed.”

  24. flora

    re: The Role of Identity Documents in the Holocaust and the Genocides of Rwanda and Myanmar

    Thanks very much for this link. Bookmarked for future reference.

  25. Mikel

    “Clusterf–K”: Inside The Washington Post’s Social Media Meltdown” Vanity Fair

    And they still call it “social” media.

  26. Mikel

    Kissinger Nails It Bill Totten’s Weblog. The deck: “For once.” Kissinger: “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome.”

    Indeed. Well worth the read.

    Alot of this desire for manufacutured austerity is because the establishment thinks everything is wrong because workers are demanding more pay, etc. I think they put that above China as a threat…

    1. Andrew Watts

      The problem with Kissinger is that he thinks that the West can dictate an end to the war. I think that is wholly unrealistic and anybody else who believes that is deluded.

      The only real leverage the US/EU has would be to stop shipping arms to Ukraine. That’d probably be unpopular enough that I assume western governments wouldn’t even consider it. But if they did I imagine any post-war Ukrainian government would retaliate with the one weapon they’d still have left.


  27. Andrew Watts

    RE: The U.S. Dilemma–Pricey Weapons That May Not Work

    It’s easier to drool over the latest technology rather than think how a war with any adversary will unfold and ultimately end. The only takeaway I have is that our government is filled with jocks and nerds. As opposed to their retaining the services of artists or musicians. The ability to play in-sync while extemporizing in a performance is what enables good musicians to make great music.

  28. ArvidMartensen

    Looking at the sabotage of Grayzone story, brings to mind the changing dividing lines of politics. From working class/bosses, left/right, liberal/conservative to now? What?
    Mason is a “former Trotskyist” so that would make him Left/Communist? But he is “in support of NATO military escalation against Russia”, and “motivated by fear of an emergent “left anti imperialist identity”? So maybe not Left/Communist?
    Labels of left/right and liberal/conservative are defunct. “Liberal/Left” used to mean pro- free speech, anti- US warmongering, anti CIA and military adventurism, anti state propaganda, pro-abortion rights, pro-LBGITQ+ rights. Etc.
    But “liberals” have morphed to creatures of pro-war, pro-censorship, pro-security state for starters.
    New labels are needed. Say, Authoritarian/ Non-authoritarian.
    Authoritarian – demanding authority over citizens via censorship, constant shaming/ridiculing of the disobedient, running the disobedient out of town (having them sacked, lose their housing, kids mocked at school etc), obsessive approval of force (wars, policing, openly calling for assassinations on FB, death penalties, disappearances), etc
    Non-authoritarian – wanting to discuss options, ideas, live and let live, community based etc.
    In an Authoritarian society, the Non-Authoritarian are silenced, self-silence for survival, or die (eg Bonhoeffer)
    History is full of this stuff. Our liberal society once allowed free speech, now being snuffed out.
    Free speech had to be obliterated once it became clear to the population that to save the world we need to end the mega profitable industries of coal, gas, oil and plastic. A huge threat to the massive wealth of the Oligarchs of the West.
    The Oligarchs will not allow it. They are the new autocrats. They will act as autocrats have to, by eradicating anyone who is a threat to their power. Right now it’s fairly gentile eradication through “cancellation”, “demonetisation” ridicule etc. If threats still remain then we can expect that the inevitable eradication of people who question the autocrats will become less gentile, as it has over time in every other autocratic regime.

    1. Norm de plume

      Great comment. My sentiments Ed Zachary!

      I have been looking for more accurate alternative classifications too. ‘Authoritarian/ Non-authoritarian’ will do me, thanks…

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