Links 7/15/22

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.

* * *

Closing Time: The Life and Death of the American Mall The Baffler

Scotland’s Rare Seaweed-Eating Sheep BBC (furzy)

Rowdy the Runaway Cat is Caught after Weeks on the Lam at Boston’s Airport BBC (David L)

Imaginary Numbers are Real Aeon

Smart Thermostat Swarms are Straining the US Grid The Register (Kevin S)

Watergate: The Burglaries Were Never the Story n+1

The Indian Women Vloggers Making Visible the Invisible Drudgery of Housework The Wire

Mario Draghi Resignation

Italian Premier Draghi’s Resignation Rebuffed by President AP News

Italian Markets in Turmoil as Mario Draghi’s Coalition Splinters The Telegraph

Ivana Trump

Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s Ex-Wife, Dead At 73 Huffpost


U.S. COVID Hospitalizations Have Begun to Rise Again Axios

Biden Administration Announces New Strategy to Tackle Covid Subvariant Guardian

How the Pandemic Screwed up Our Antibiotics Vox

Canada Resuming Mandatory Random COVID-19 Testing for Air Travellers CTV News

Pressure on NHS Emergency Services Getting Worse in England BBC

COVID-19 Outbreak Hits Popular Summer Camp for New Yorkers Gothamist


Demand for Monkeypox Vaccine Rises with Case Counts, but Supply Remains Low CNN

Nearly 800,000 Doses of Monkeypox Vaccine May be in U.S. by End of July Washington Post

New York Stresses Monkeypox Vaccine ‘Urgency’ as Cases Rise France24


Europe’s Brutal Heat Wave May be Continent’s Worst Since 1757 Accuweather

Nice Shades: Study Shows Passive Cooling Can Help in a Heat Wave Treehugger

How Climate Change Could Drive an Increase in Gender-Based Violence Nature

How Climate Change Threatens Sequoia Trees ABC News


China’s Record Trade Surplus Shows Exports Staying Resilient Bloomberg

Old Blighty

Tory Leadership race: Rishi Sunak Leads Pack in Tightening Contest BBC

U.K.’s Conservative Leader Contenders Pitch Themselves as Next Margaret Thatcher Axios

Adieu Boris, Adieu New Left Review – Sidecar

Spain Moves Ahead with Bill to Honour Victims of Franco Dictatorship The Journal

Spain Keeps Banks Guessing on Windfall Tax Ahead of Meeting Bloomberg

No-Confidence Vote Against Macron’s Government Fails in France PBS

Fortress Greece New Left Review – Sidecar

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Meet the Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy Mint Press News (ctlieee)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Former National Security Adviser John Bolton Admits to Planning Foreign Coups NBC News

John Bolton Should Be Banished From Public Life Jacobin


Netanyahu and Biden hold talk on Iran Jerusalem Post

Khashoggi Fiancee Slams Biden’s ‘Heartbreaking,’ ‘Disappointing’ Visit to Saudi Arabia Times of Israel

Remarks by President Biden at Israeli Presidential Medal of Honor Reception The White House

Is This a New Taliban? Afghanistan After the Exit London Review of Books

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s President Resigns After Months of Protest NYTimes

Sri Lanka in Crisis: What, Why and How? Al Jazeera


Jan. 6 Panel Will Turn Over Evidence on Fake Electors to the Justice Dept. NY Times

Secret Service Deleted Jan. 6 Texts After Oversight Officials Requested Them The Intercept

Jan. 6 Panel’s Next Hearing Will Focus on Trump’s Hourslong Failure to Stop the Capitol Riot CNBC


A Rape, an Abortion, and a One-Source Story: a Child’s Ordeal Becomes National News NPR

National Right to Life Official: 10-Year-Old Should Have Had Baby Politico

Supply Chain/Inflation

June Inflation Soared 9.1%, a New 40-year High, Amid Spiking Gas Prices Washington Post

House to Vote on Bill Boosting Defense Spending, With Inflation Help for Troops Wall Street Journal

The Bezzle

Crypto Lender Celsius Files for Bankruptcy, Still Won’t Let Users Withdraw Funds Ars Technica

Guillotine Watch

Like Father Like Son: Elon Musk’s Dad Has Secret Second Kid With Stepdaughter Rolling Stone

Explainer: Why the Euro’s Fall Below Parity Versus Dollar Matters Reuters

Class Warfare

Its Workers Keep Unionizing But Does Starbucks Smell the Coffee? Capital & Main

Dire US Labor Shortage Provides Opportunity for Ex-Prisoners AP

Public Transport Should Be Free Tribune

Antidote du Jour (Tracie H):

A lot of folks think of squirrels as pests, but this one isn’t in someone’s backyard eating their favorite daisies. This Belding’s Squirrel can be found minding his own business along the banks of the Kern River (California).

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. bassmule

    You know things have gone sideways when you find yourself defending John Bolton. Banned from public life? Because he told the truth? Yikes.

    1. Kronii

      Is it because he told the truth or because he’s admitted to participating in the overthrow of democracy and all which that entails? Rape, corruption, murder, and so on.

    2. pjay

      No. Banned because of the tremendous human suffering, chaos, war crimes, and policy sabotage in which he was directly involved. In a just world he should be in prison – but then so should a lot of our zombie officials who just keep getting brought back with each turn of the political party merry-go-round,

    3. Pelham

      The most interesting thing about his statements will be the media response. I’ll give it a little time, but I suspect the story will go nowhere. And that, from my perspective, would be great as it’d confirm my conviction that the media are thoroughly a tool of the deep state.

      This is true even when they foreground content that embarrasses the state. It serves only as a kind of window dressing concealing sheer evil, just as the presence of “the squad” in Congress serves to help conceal or temper the horror that is the Democrat Party.

    4. Jonathan King

      I honestly don’t see the point, even if it could be managed. Bolton wasn’t in power for the first five decades of U.S. postwar interference in other nations’ elections and processes, and there’s a long line of highly trained coup-plotters behind him waiting to take over. In this respect the headline writer got ahead of the author, who called for Bolton and those like him (however many thousands there are) to be banned … clearly a rhetorical appeal, neither practical nor likely.

  2. griffen

    Ivana Trump has passed on, and therefore it will follow an untimely demise in the coming days for at least 2 other celebrities, famous or borderline of fame. Is that not true, these always happen in that sequence.

    Yet…the Kardashians live on. Apologies if you happen to find them fascinating, as I decidedly do not.

    1. Lexx

      … and Kissinger, don’t forget Kissinger. Still alive. There’s been such a death watch on that guy for so long, when he does finally pass away as all humans and quasi-humans must, there will be dancing in the streets.

      1. Big River Bandido

        I say we start a betting pool. Who do you think will go first, Kissinger or Keith Richards?

        1. Wukchumni

          I don’t want to seem like a deathmonger, but Charlie Munger & his loan ranger sidekick Warren Buffet ought to be in the pool.

        2. Lexx

          Okay, but only ‘humans and quasi-humans’… I don’t know how to weigh out the odds on whatever the hell Kissinger and Richards are.

          It looks like Errol Musk is on blood thinners. I’ll ante up with 2 million quatloos on Musk!

          1. Mildred Montana

            Never underestimate the determination of the rich and powerful to hang on, almost forever. Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of Israel, is a case in point:

            “Sharon suffered a hemorrhagic stroke on 4 January 2006, and remained in a long-term care facility in a vegetative state from late 2006 until his death [at the age of 86]. Sharon died at 14:00 on 11 January 2014.” (wiki)

            Eight long years in a coma. Punters speculating on his quick demise were sorely disappointed.

            1. Lexx

              Well, Mildred, if you’re going to dig up a ringer, we have to start over to include the ‘already dead’, and that’s really going to throw the numbers off!

              … but I get your point.

              1. Mildred Montana

                Further to your comment about blood thinners:

                “Hadassah Hospital Director Shlomo Mor-Yosef declined to respond to comments that the combination of CAA and blood thinners after Sharon’s December stroke might have caused his more serious subsequent stroke.” (Wiki)

        3. skk

          Ahh yes, a ghoul pool. She would have been a total outsider.. apart from for people with inside knowledge of her ill health

      2. griffen

        I often forget, former president and peanut farmer Jimmy Carter is getting up in age as well. They ain’t buying green bananas as is oft quoted here.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Not Dianne Feinstein? Born five months before Roosevelt first became President in 1933.

        1. FlyoverBoy

          Was recently hearing about how Jimmy Carter has thoughtfully adjusted his activities to those, such as painting, that can help him stay vibrant and occupied despite the inevitable decline in his physical faculties. He is unquestionably the most inspiring ex-President of my lifetime.

          And as an aside, I’d sure as hell rather own a Jimmy Carter painting than a George W. Bush painting (of course, that’d be true even if Mr. Carter. applied the paint with his anus).

          1. Arizona Slim

            Say what you will about Jimmy Carter, and, yes, Yours Truly has quite a few things to say about his presidency, but he did put Habitat for Humanity on the map. (No, he wasn’t the founder. Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda, were.)

            Any-hoo, while I was a Habitat volunteer here in Tucson, I worked on a house with a crew leader who had actually been on one of Carter’s annual work projects. According to her, Carter was a real task master.

            He had zero patience for the fan boys and fan girls who might have thought that they could just stand there and do nothing while, well, being in awe of the former president. He would say things like, “C’mon, we’ve got a deadline!”

            Carter also knew construction cold. To the point where he’d be more than willing to help a volunteer who was struggling with some task. While he was helping, he explained how to properly complete the task.

              1. Michael Fiorillo

                He also, in June of 1978, held and attended a celebration of jazz on the White House lawn that included Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, George Benson, Dexter Gordon and many other masters. After Cecil Taylor, among the least accessible of modernist players, performed, Carter sought Taylor out and said he’d never heard the piano played like that – no one played piano like Cecil – and asked if Vladimir Horowitz had ever contacted him… clearly a thoughtful and open-minded man.

                Whatever his many political shortcomings, Carter is a mensch as a human being, in startling contrast to every single one of those who followed him.

            1. Grateful Dude

              He was an engineering officer on a nuclear sub, no? A lot of discipline and no BS there.

          2. Roland

            GWB’s self-portrait of him looking in a mirror while scrubbing his back, like his recent gaffe about Ukraine & Iraq, suggests to me that there is a soul in him, down somewhere.

            After seeing that painting, I came to hate him less, and hate war more.

      3. Lex

        I think Kissinger is being kept alive by some higher power to torment him. Forcing him to watch the absolute incompetents ruin all his plans for American empire as karmic punishment.

        1. griffen

          Like the villainous supreme leader in the last Star Wars install? Rise of Skywalker, the evil Sith was kept alive on a supremely well hidden planet.

          Spoiler. He wasn’t dying in the Return of the Jedi.

      4. chuck roast

        Unfortunately, his remains will remain. Best that his remains are fired into the center of the sun.

    2. Screwball

      Another take on this – from my PMC friends – who only live to believe anything bad about Donald Trump, stay riveted to the Jan 6th hearings (which is the most important thing in the world right now), and defend anything Joe Biden.

      Ivana was “Epsteined” by Trump – because she had something on him that would be problematic. Something about a helicopter crash of three Trump Tower executives in 1989.

      They are like watching a train wreck you really want to turn away from but can’t.

  3. timbers

    Not so cold war:

    The last several Military Summaries have been grim for Ukraine.

    The Russian tactics don’t seem to have changed much but their incremental success have noticeably quickened and “heavy losses” is a term Military Summary has been using a lot to describe outcomes for Ukraine troops and equipment. Each town is being taken by Russia sooner than only a month ago. An interesting mention that the Ukraine commander who killed captured Russian troops faced a mutiny from his soldiers because they believe he is a target of Russian forces and they don’t want to be on his sinking ship. The Himars have delivered some success for Ukraine when embedded into a swarm of missiles to confuse Russian anti missile defenses on the other hand the Russians seem to be learning how to better defend against them over time.

    Also, increasing reports of UAF forces firing missiles directly into civilian areas in Dontesk and even targeting a damn in Kherson region…one can only guess how much damage and civilian casualties that might produce if the Ukrainians succeed it destroying the damn. Has the Western media reported Ukraine seems to be targeting more and more civilians and civilian infrastructure?

    Maybe in a few weeks the Russians will be at the doorstep of Kramatorsk, and once that falls, seems likely Russian forces can move at will unopposed throughout most of Ukraine up to the Dnieper. If the neo-cons in the West still want to continue the war, they may need to resort to harsh unthinkable measures like giving western Ukraine truly long range missiles that can directly hit Russia…err…Donbass, or maybe even nukes.

    I for one would not totally rule out the possibility of the decision makers in Washington doing just that.

    1. Will

      Hmmm… is the impending end why, for example, the Guardian has “minimized” their Ukraine coverage? The Ukraine Invasion section used to be at the very top of the page but I noticed yesterday it’s now second after the Headlines section with font size, etc., consistent with the rest of the page.

      Or, I suppose, they’ve decided it’s just time to move on to the next shiny thing.

      Time for Zelensky and the writers to come up with something big for the second season. Maybe re-retake Snake Island?

        1. digi_owl

          FT may still hold to the initial idea that Putins true goal was the full resurrection of USSR ante. Meaning that his “red” army was poised to march all the way to Berlin, if not the Atlantic.

          But that by now have, thanks to a heroic sacrifice by Ukraine and supplies from NATO, gotten bogged down in a quagmire that will deplete it of resources.

          This all based on Putin being a consummate liar, and thus the “special operation” was anything but.

          1. jsn

            Or they may just be writing furiously to crowd out any possibility any of their readers will find the time to read any of the innumerable things Lavarov or Putin have said that contradict the necessary delusions to be able to call what is happening in Ukraine a victory for NATO.

          2. chuck roast

            Notice today that the Max Seddon byline was absent on their Big Read on the “limited” time the Ukies have to get it together befor they crash and burn. Two months were the authors talking about? Max has been pretty shrill in his support for the democratic defenders and his disdain for the satan Putin and all his shenanigans. Of course as soon as Max’s supple fingers touch the keyboard everybody knows he is lying. So, the pink paper has relegated he and his demagoguery to the sidelines for…shall we say…a more realistic approach. The kleptocrats appear to getting nervous and shaky.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Snake Island is not defensible. When the Russians concluded that and pulled out, the Ukrainians landed a small party of troops to raise the Ukrainian flag – so the Russians bombed them and killed a few soldiers while the rest bugged out. So yet more dead Ukrainians soldiers for yet more PR stunts. YouTuber Alex Christoforou was joking that in the western media that there was so much importance attached to this rock, that is was like a matter of ‘He who controls Snake Island controls the Black Sea.’

        1. Polar Socialist

          It’s main (only) significance is in when the Exclusive Economic Zones are defined argued between Romania, Ukraine and Russia

          1. Kouros

            It was only between Romania and Ukraine and if I remember correctly, Romania got what it wanted (not the restitution of the island though…)

        2. digi_owl

          Ever since MSM gave Anon attention for trolling the Westboro baptists that were protesting military funerals, it seems like western media have become ever more meme fueled. Snake Island became infamous because of the supposed “fuck you” response from the coast guards stationed there.

          Frankly i am not sure what worries me most, that western leadership is growing ever more senile, or that their media advisors seems to behave more and more like overgrown tweens fawning over the latest fad.

      2. martell

        They say they’re going to retake large parts of the south as part of a big August counteroffensive. The dam busting efforts are an attempt to prepare the battlefield. So says Mercouris. According to Military Summary the Russians are relatively thin along the southern front and there are still significant Ukrainian units in the area. But it still doesn’t make much sense. My understanding is that the Ukrainians have to move in order to mass forces for such an attack. People, heavy equipment. When they move, they’re seen. Seen to have massed, they’re destroyed by artillery, ground attack aircraft, various standoff weapons, etc. Plus, what sense does it make to announce when and where you plan to counterattack? So maybe it’s misdirection. But where else could they plausibly counterattack? Since I don’t have a good answer to that, my best guess is that all this talk of counteroffensives is PR. The spice must flow: money and weapons (with the latter often transformed into money through innovative marketing).

        1. Yves Smith

          I agree with your conclusion but Mercouris was pretty lukewarm. He said he thought the Ukrainians had so talked up an offensive that they have to try. But look at the PR offensives they had near Kharkiv and Kherson.

          He also pointed out that dams are much harder to take out than bridges and he was skeptical that the HIMARS could do it.

    2. praxis

      I imagine someone in the USA blob is working on giving Ukraine nukes — it’s quite literally logical extension to the ‘fight to the last dead Ukrainian’ position.

    3. Skip Intro

      Interesting strategy on the HIMARs, exhausting the air defenses with ‘decoy’ rockets is a kind of clever low-tech solution to anti-missile defense, but I was under the impression that Ukraine was already short on rockets. I wonder if they have done any calculations on this, or if it is mainly a way to generate good PR for the system, since it is clear than an important part of this war, for its sponsors, is the opportunity to show off weapons systems to prospective buyers.

    4. will rodgers horse

      Have enough billions been laundered to temporarily satiate the greed of the few yet? If so, maybe it is time to pause a bit

  4. ewmayer

    In the 13 July Links comments section, reader flora linked to the following long essay from 2009 by the former chief economis for the IMF, around the tail end of the acute phase of the global financial crisis. Lots of good stuff in there, but I was surprised to not see any readers note several crucial lies of omission in the piece:

    Simon Johnson: The Quiet Coup – The Atlantic

    The Atlantic nowadays is about as establishment-propagandistic as it gets, but it seems back then they still published an occasional piece containing actual “speak truth to power” content. The opening nicely captures the essence:

    The GFC of course was caused by Wall Street having “successfully” turned housing into a huge speculative-asset class with the generous help of the Federal Reserve and paid-to-be-asleep-at-the-wheel financial regulators:

    “The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.”

    At the time the article appeared, May 2009, “recovery” was underway, in the sense that stock markets were rebounding smartly (on their way to a new, even-bigger bubbliciousness, which makes another crash inevitable) thanks to the Obama administration firehosing $trillions at the crooked bank cartels, proving that beholdenness to Wall Street is a thoroughly bipartisan thing.

    And the truly evil-genius part of the decades-long financialization of everything program is that thanks to the Fed’s having relentlessly suppressed interest rates (meaning the ones one might earn on non-risky assets like cash accounts and CDs), everyone who wants to try to build any kind of financial nest egg and not get robbed blind by inflation is forced to participate in the casino and effectively cheer on the market-bubble-blowing, even though the tiny insider-oligarchy at the very top always wins in the end, boom or bust. Even when they make a bad bet, they get bailed out, the cost always eventually being borne by the rest of us in one form or another.

    One notable omission by the author – here the key passage:

    “…to IMF officials, all of these crises looked depressingly similar. Each country, of course, needed a loan, but more than that, each needed to make big changes so that the loan could really work. Almost always, countries in crisis need to learn to live within their means after a period of excess—exports must be increased, and imports cut—and the goal is to do this without the most horrible of recessions. Naturally, the fund’s economists spend time figuring out the policies—budget, money supply, and the like—that make sense in this context. Yet the economic solution is seldom very hard to work out.”

    The IMF is well-known as an instrument of US and Western foreign policy. They have a long history of working hand-in-glove with the same looter elite in the various “emerging market” countries to help pauperize the economy, in terms of growing and extracting things to enrich Western multinational corporations, at the same time making the target countries dependent on imports, i.e. the very opposite of self-sufficient. Classical example of this sort of thing is not directly in form of an IMF loan package, but the strategy is the same: the NAFTA agreement of 1994. Prior to NAFTA, Mexico was largely self-sufficient in terms of growing staple crops like corn, of which it had many distinct regional varieties. NAFTA opened Mexico to a flood of low-priced US-government-subsidized corn, driving many Mexiacn corn farmers out of business or into the arms of big agribusiness. Fast-foraard 3 decades, and Mexico now imports much of its corn, with much of the remaining domestically-grown being of the expensive and environmentally toxic GMO-seed variety (I’m looking at you, Monsanto). So now we read headlines like this, in the same day’s Links:

    Prepare for the worst: corn supplies may have serious repercussions for Mexico | Mexico News Daily

    The author’s version of “the economic solution” is reining in the oligarchs, in many cases the very same ones the IMF loan programs helped to make so filthy rich at the expense of the general populace. And the part of the invariable solution he omits is “austerity for the masses” in terms of gutting of social safety nets and further privatization of the commons, i.e. more looting. And when only a devastated poverty-wracked shell of a nation remains, the IMF and “global investors” move on to another one.

    1. playon

      If people haven’t seen the documentary “Life and Debt” by Stephanie Black, it’s crucial viewing to fully understand the impact of the IMF’s policies on poor countries. The film is set in Jamaica but the IMF policies illustrated are common to most countries that the IMF “helps”. It’s also quite entertaining considering the subject matter.
      It can be watched free on youtube –

  5. Wukchumni

    Europe’s Brutal Heat Wave May be Continent’s Worst Since 1757 Accuweather

    Nice Shades: Study Shows Passive Cooling Can Help in a Heat Wave Treehugger

    We are headed towards a Maunder maximum, and the flipside of the crazy heatwave in Europe would be an event that happened in 1709, a Maunder minimum during the little ice age, where the average temps dropped around 2 degrees celsius. (no relation to that Crypto tale of owe, btw) We’re headed towards + 2 degrees celsius and beyond!

    The Great Frost, as it was known in England, or Le Grand Hiver (“The Great Winter”), as it was known in France, was an extraordinarily cold winter in Europe in 1708–1709, and was the coldest European winter during the past 500 years.

    It’s gonna be close to 110 in Godzone this weekend, which isn’t all that rare of an occurrence, but what worries me is something on the order of 125 degrees (my personal record here in nearly 20 years is 118) which would perhaps fry the the 666 million nut & fruit trees, bringing to an end what is predominantly orchards and not yearly crops in the bargain.

    Who would want to re-plant food trees after an event such as that happens?

    Not only are you looking at 5-10 years before the new hires start producing food, but you’re also rolling the dice that another heat wave won’t come, ruining your effort.

    This will mean the end of fun fund food that really isn’t needed, but it was all about finding the most profitable thing to grow (largely for export) such as almonds and pistachios, not boring wheat in the winter months (‘dry farming’ of wheat was the principal crop grown in the late 19th-early 20th century in Godzone) which can be grown in a whole lotta places, negating the advantages to our Mediterranean climate in the land of little rain from June to October.

    As far as the people go, there is really very little shade possibilities in the Central Valley aside from said trees (I would pick a walnut orchard to hang out in-as it provides the most shade of any food trees) and if the trees all die, there really isn’t a lot of reason for Fresno et al to exist anymore, not that anybody would grieve all that much for the ‘big’ cities emptying out.

    The easiest way to deal with crazy heat is to be a caveman, and we might see the building of substantial mines not for mineral extraction, but for cooling.

    The other way is to get high, but not everybody has a 14,000 foot mountain range to fall back on.

    1. Samuel Conner

      re: the drought vulnerability of the California nut industry,

      I don’t understand why I still occasionally see Almonds on sale at a generous discount. Is there a glut? I would think it would make sense to keep them in storage for a bit longer and let them sell through at full price.

      1. Wukchumni

        There is almost a billion pounds of unsold almonds in storage in Cali, and the wholesale value has dropped from $4.37 a pound in 2015 to $1.40 presently because everybody and their mother decided to get in on what looked like easy money, combined with some varieties yielding a crop in as little as 3-4 years.

        The way the price drops look, I wouldn’t be surprised to see almonds at a buck a pound soon.

        1. fresno dan


          I worked as a security guard while in college at a number of sites around Fresno, and one of them was the Sunmaid raisin ?plant? (I guess you can’t call it a raisin factory) – literally mountains of raisins. Maybe at some point water will get so scarce that using it to grow things nobody will actually pay to eat will end…Nah.

          1. Wukchumni

            Raisin d’être?

            Dried grapes involved too much effort as of late in terms of things Ag and a lot less of them are produced now, although they do have some good qualities in that according to my wife, they pack the biggest amount of calories on a per weight basis, which makes them an ideal food for backpacking, although i’d rather have candy.

            1. juno mas

              Raisins are natural candy. Love ’em. An excellent fruit to put in my Putin Plain Yogurt. That combination mixes natural sugars with natural protein. Must be why Putin is so strong after 6+ decades ;) .

              1. Anthony G Stegman

                The organic raisins that I purchase have not dropped in price. I’ve never been a big fan of almonds, so a lower price won’t entice me to buy them.

      2. vao

        Storage units are full with almonds that producers cannot export because of supply chain snags (containers are sent back to China empty because they are sorely needed there, harbours are overflowing with them that must be dispatched as quickly as possible, filling containers takes time and requires resources that cannot be found in congested logistical networks).

        Therefore I can understand that producers try to reduce their stocks with special sales on local markets.

        1. WhoaMolly

          If we are looking at a winter food shortage, might be time to lay in some almonds at the Molly ranch.

          1. LaRuse

            Thanks for pointing this out. I have a houseful of keto and low carb eaters. Cheap almonds are a brilliant idea since 50% of the family won’t eat beans and rice because carbs but I need a long storing protein on my shelves…

            1. Bart Hansen

              I make a loaf out of almond flour, eggs, chopped dates and figs soaked overnight in cooking bourbon, walnuts and a little butter.

              Costco has the flour.

            2. kareninca

              Nuts don’t store all that well; they go rancid surprisingly quickly. You can freeze them, that does help.

        2. curlydan

          I smell a rat in these almond storage stories. I started researching this abundance of almonds last week. Strangely, Scott Phippen, almond grower and exporter, normally was the only person quoted in all the stories.

          All the almonds are stored near the Oakland ports, but the empty storage containers are going back from LA ports to China. Phippen laments that we’re exporting “air”.

          But let’s face it, if you pay a container company a good enough price, they will take their storage containers up the coast to pick up some almonds. I think what’s really going on is that the cost to ship and export the almonds now way exceeds Phippen’s and other growers’ cost of production. He’s way underwater in this drought and just doesn’t want to admit it.

          1. juno mas

            Yes, in the past the almond growers could send their product to the Oalkand, CA port, load them on already scheduled returning containers at a very reasonable cost. The cost structure and priority shipping has changed.

      3. hunkerdown

        China put a 50% tariff on US almonds in 2018 but struck a deal to buy the hulls as biomass in 2020. I heard rumors of tearing out California almond orchards this year because of that source shift. You might be seeing the far edge of storage pushing through to the shelf. Check the code dates for fun.

      4. playon

        Aside from China, major importers of almonds from the US are countries in the middle east, from what I have read there are both demand and supply chain issues that are causing them to remain unsold.

      5. skk

        Mid-June to mid-Aug is when I get fresh almonds in green pods at my local Persian owned large supermarket. But there were none yesterday. Curious.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      i wonder what years and years of growing those fast maturing almonds and pistachios there have done to the soil?
      its also almost certain that they used every one of the latest whiz-bang herbicide, pesticide and fungicide that the county extension and trade rags pushed on them.
      from 2k miles away…and contemplating my own travails with persistent herbicides(solution: Charcoal)…prolly best to just burn all those nut trees in situ, and plow the remains under.
      then start some leguminous succession planting regime, preferably drought tolerant.
      otherwise, i wouldn’t count on wheat growing well there, as of yore.

      here, i watch my rancher neighbor grow his own hay for his cows(which i buy to put in the garden, since he doesn’t use the persistent herbicides).
      wheat in winter, “haygrazer”(a sorghum/sudan cross) in summer.
      prior to planting, the feedstore’s big bouncy tired tank truck with the big ass boom sprayers makes several trips per field…mostly ammonia, but with P & K as well.
      because the soil is all but dead.
      when he lets a field lie fallow for a year(rarely), nothing but superweeds will grow(things like stickerburrs and “careless weed”(an amaranth).

      when talking to people who sort of accept the idea of collapse, they are always…always….prone to the assumption that we’ll simply “go back to”…variously, 1850, 1910, or even 1776.
      but the biosphere isn’t there anymore…having been depleted along with every other resource.
      add in that we’ve got a population orders of magnitude larger than the earth can sustain, and it’s even worse(the recently exploded Georgia Guidestones had a pretty accurate target human population…although how to get there with some modicum of Humanity intact is an open question.

      1. Wukchumni

        Almonds are the hare and pistachios are the tortoise…

        The former can produce quickly and only live to be 25 or so, whereas the latter takes a dozen years to produce and can live hundreds of years~

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          ive considered putting in 20-30 pistachios in the back of the back pasture, due to that longevity, as well as their supposed drought tolerance.
          also because i like them,lol…and don wanna pay yer evil neighbors for them.

          1. Hepativore

            I am not sure if you can grow walnuts where you live, as I think that they are Zones 4-8 off of the top of my head. Water is no problem where I live as we have a very high water table in the Upper Midwest and we get frequent blizzards and thunderstorms.

            However, the roots of walnuts are so deep that they can reach groundwater areas that other plants cannot. Most species of walnuts grow very fast when they are young, but they slow down dramatically as they get older and their nut yields do not really get going until a decade or two after planting. They also get huge, so you will need a lot of space between them.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              the problem with walnuts in texas is getting them.
              some tree disease or another led texas to ban imports of walnut trees from anywhere…look at any seed catalog that has nut trees and find the disclaimer.
              they don’t grow wild around here(lots of wild pecans, tho, in the river bottoms)…and i haven’t been to east texas during nutfall.
              i’m sure someone is growing them for sale here, i just haven’t found them
              i’d like a couple for the built wetland…because they like relative swamp, and once they get big from that, they’ll tap into the aquifer(100’…and the taproots will siphon some of that groundwater up, making a sort of oasis…sometimes…i’ve observed this,lol)

              1. Hepativore

                If you want, I can grab some walnuts from one of the many black walnut trees that grow wild where I live and send them to you in the mail so you can plant them. I would be more than happy to do so.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Italian Premier Draghi’s Resignation Rebuffed by President”

    Heard that on the news a few hours ago but I’m not buying it. Draghi never faced elections but was appointed to the job because of his background with things like the World Bank and Goldman Sachs. So I’m suggesting that his “resignation” was just theater and the President was never going to really accept his resignation. The good news? He will still have the job when all his disastrous policy decisions come home to roost over the next few months.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Rev Kev: The article is more or less the official line.

      Note: “In the measure Thursday, the 5-Stars opposed a provision to allow Rome to operate a garbage incinerator on the outskirts of the chronically trash-choked Italian capital.”

      As if Five Stars is some party of troglodytes who enjoy rolling in trash. The incinerator somehow conveniently showed up in the bill called Aiuti, which ran aground when Five Stars “boycotted a vote ostensibly intended to mitigate the country’s cost of living crisis,” as Nick Corbishley accurately notes in an adjacent post on banks and civil strife.

      How did that incinerator get in the bill? And the “outskirts” mentioned are on the Via Ardeatina in a densely populated part of Lazio leading to the famous Castelli Romani and la Ciociaria. Further, as the respected magazine MicroMega points out, the site has already been rejected–because of unchecked speculation and fancy deals going back to >>> Berlusconi!

      Allow me to point out that one of the avowed purposes of Five Stars is to drive Berlù out of politics. So the incinerator is an insult to the Five Stars. Or call it a red cape to a bull.

      And then there’s this anodyne mess: “Among Draghi’s achievements has been keeping Italy on track with reforms that the EU has made a condition for the country to receive 200 billion euros (dollars) in pandemic recovery assistance. Much of that EU funding is already allocated, suggesting it won’t be lost even amid government instability.”

      Recall how writers at Naked Capitalism describe the use of the term “reforms.” Note the word “condition,” which may mean blackmail. Note that the funds are already allocated, which may not mean blackmail. At least the EU is treating Italy nicer than it treats Greece, ne.

      Among the reforms are those advocated by typical managerial knuckleheads like Luigi Zingales, bane of taxidrivers. Why do you think that Italian taxidrivers were on strike? They know what getting “reformed” means. (The articles on the Uber scandal in Italy include special appearances by Jim Messina and David Plouffe–who’da thunkit?)

      Mattarella indeed parachuted in Draghi. We will see how Draghi’s incredible adventure goes over the next few days.

      Giorgia Meloni and the Fratelli d’Italia oppose Draghi because he was parachuted in and is not elected. When Giorgia Meloni starts making sense, it makes me worry, but she does have an important point.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that detailed report. I can’t help but feel that Italy will be an important country to keep an eye on in the coming months, especially if Draghi is still there. Just the size of the Italian economy alone makes it an important country. That incinerator sounded like a spectacular self goal and totally unnecessary as well. I have heard that the next time there is going to be a vote, that Five Stars will definitely be there to make their presence felt. And we know about “reforms” here in Oz too as it is the old gold mine gambit – the top end of town gets the gold and everybody else gets the shaft.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          Rev Kev: I just watched an extract of parliamentary debate in which Matteo Renzi, the Tony Blair of Italian politics, compared the Five Stars to Jacobins.

          When a bottomfeeder like Renzi, leader of the personal micro-party “Italia Viva,” compares one to a Jacobin, one must be doing something right, ne.

    2. chuck roast

      Guys like Draghi are going to have to bite the political dust if any human progress is to be made.

  7. Samuel Conner

    The thought occurs that the Rolling Stone story about the fecundity of the Musks might also be eligible for filing under “elite overproduction”. That and “popular immiseration” might be useful headings for organizing the news as we move toward greater disorders.

  8. CanCyn

    Canada resumes random airport COVID testing.
    Sigh. Wait a go Canada, that’ll really help.
    This is a link to the dashboard for the Ontario Science COVID Advisory Table.
    Now only updated weekly, formerly daily. I check it for wastewater trends, they’ve been going up since early June. So this so-called 7th wave is no surprise to me. Dr. Kieran Moore (head of public health for Ontario) said yesterday that the peak will likely happen in a couple of weeks. Also said there is no need to re-instate masking mandates – hmm, I can no longer find the article in which I read that just yesterday. In May, he predicted a ‘calm’ summer re COVID. He totally lost me last year when he said that whatever happens in Europe and the UK will be our fate 2-6 weeks later, as though it were inevitable and there was nothing we could do to change it. Right now the Canadian MSM is just banging on about 4th booster eligibility – all adults, and vaccine approval for wee tots. In another article an expert says that case numbers are likely 3-4 times higher than what is reported. Meanwhile emergency departments here and there around the province are closing for short periods due to staffing shortages, something I don’t ever recall happening.
    And yet people remain in denial. Ian Welsh posted about a conversation he had with a fellow Canadian.
    I had pretty much the exact conversation with a neighbour the other day. It is always very surprising to me to hear the views of people who only read the MSM. So different from what I know to be true about COVID and the pandemic. Thanks NC!
    (Praying to Skynet to allow 2 links in one comment)

    1. eg

      Ontario has been in deep denial with respect to Covid since at least March, maybe earlier, in part because of the provincial election.

      I’m not looking forward to the Fall.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      It will sound as if I am nitpicking, but according to Ian Welsh: “China has worse vaccines than us and much better performance”. I don’t think there’s proof that China has worse vaccines. I live in Indonesia, and we mostly use Sinovac/Sinopharm, although we have access to Pfizer, Moderna, etc in limited quantities. We’ve also NEVER locked down hard for an extended period of time. According to Worldmeter, Indonesia has had around 150K deaths. I believe that number is understated perhaps by a factor of 3, but not more. And Indonesia’s population is comparable to the United States.

      So it seems that the MSM also managed to get through Ian Welsh’s defenses!!!

      1. CanCyn

        I thought that what Ian said about the vaccines in China was questionable too, but nonetheless, he nails the general denial and attitudes of a lot of otherwise smart people I know.
        I have a friend, who is a pharmacist and epidemiologist, who went to Portugal earlier in the year. Claimed it was the safest place in earth for a vacation, low case rate and high vaccination rates. I knew that a surge in cases had started (of which she seemed unaware) and also mentioned that it was the ‘getting there’ (ie airport, airplane) that was most problematic. I got a pause but no real agreement. Surprise, surprise, she came home with COVID.
        I think the denial(s) I find most problematic are the belief that it is a mild illness and the little to no concern for long COVID.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          Well, first of all, although there’s like thousands of islands in Indonesia, half of the population (145 million) live in the island of Java (1/3 the size of California). Now I am not saying there’s no death from Covid on the other islands, but say most (80%) deaths occurred in Java, which is very probable, excess death count in the order of 600K to 900K would be very noticeable.

          No, the government unfortunately does not publish any official statistics.

    3. Yeti

      Health Canada COVID data shows hospitalization and death is mainly among the vaccinated. They still say that the unvaxed are many times more likely to die. One just has to look at the archived data to see they are giving “misinformation”. The Expose’ has a article clearly showing that 90+% in hospital are fully vaxed, many triple/quadruple vaxed. I followed the link to the data and sure enough you can parse out the info. Unfortunately you can only go back a few weeks into the data but it gives you a sense of what is happening on the ground. Still saying get your booster.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Key words from Yeti’s comment: Among the vaccinated.

        If you’re still in the control group, it looks like you’re doing something right.

        1. Aumua

          Right, which is why saying that “hospitalization and death is mainly among the vaccinated” is actually pretty meaningless, although it is meant to imply that the vaccines are useless at best, if not actually harmful.

          1. IM Doc

            This is not correct.

            What you are invoking here is in medical statistics known as Simpson’s Paradox. This has been paraded out time and time again over the past 6 months to excuse the fact that so many vaccinated are in the hospital and so many vaccinated are among the sick.

            Basically, the gist of the paradox is that if x% are vaccinated then x% will be the proportion in the infected.

            This is absurd on two levels.

            First of all, anyone having to invoke Simpson’s paradox in a VACCINE situation must realize their product has already failed or at least is non-sterilizing. I have never heard in any way shape or form this paradox invoked in any vaccine trial or evidence in my life. Why? Because if the vaccine works, there will be very very few breakthroughs. The only other vaccine in which this would be even remotely useful is influenza, and there are certainly nowhere enough breakthroughs there to even come close to par, hence, it is never used.

            Much more importantly is the sheer number of cases right now. We are seeing in my practice three or more times the number of cases as the highest peaks of Omicron. If anything, the vaccinated are actually MORE likely to be in the infected numbers than is found in the vaccinated %. This is also clearly going on all over the country. But more importantly, you cannot have 250 cases a week in a practice, week after week, when the highest amount in the previous wave was 70 or 80. The sheer number of cases tells you that the vaccine is a complete failure as far as transmission.

            You cannot invoke Simpson’s paradox to explain this situation. As much as the media and Twitter has turned this into a talking point, it does not mean it is so. It is another example of very poor learning communication from our media.

    4. C.O.

      Yep, never put in any sort of testing or anything unless or until the barn door has been ripped off the hinges in southern Ontario and the cows have already made it to Saskatchewan.

      I hear the cruise ship horns with a feeling of real dread and try not to think too hard about the airport.

  9. Stephen V.

    Tracie H: that squirrel reminds me of the marmots that are perhaps also in your neighborhood? Famous for chewing rubber hoses on the tourist’s cars…

  10. .human

    Public buses in Bridgeport, CT have been free to ride for over a year now,

    I don’t think that a significant percentage of private vehicles have been removed from the streets, but it’s certainly a boon to low income workers.

    I’ve taken long “sightseeing” trips reminiscing of the past glory of this once vibrant industrial center as I watch the urban blight roll by.

    1. dday

      Public transit (bus and streetcar) has been free in Tucson Arizona since early in the pandemic until at least the end of this year. Some bus riders are pushing for it to remain free indefinitely.
      Tucson is a blue oasis in Arizona. The female Hispanic mayor is the daughter of immigrant farmworkers from the Yuma Arizona area. There are no Republicans on the city council.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I have a friend who’s a bus commuter here in Tucson. Let’s just say that she isn’t too impressed with the unruly behavior of a lot of her fellow bus riders. The cleanliness of those buses also leaves a lot to be desired.

        Me? I’m of the mind that public transit needs to be attractive in order to get people to ride it. As in, close it for cleaning every night. That is done with the Moscow subway.

        And standards of decorum on the bus? I can remember such things in, of all places, New York City in the late 1970s. You brought your manners with you, and you made sure that you minded them.

        Likewise, the DC Metro. I don’t know how things are now, but when I used it back in the day, you didn’t even think of vandalizing anything. Other Metro users would come up to you and silently watch. That was enough of a deterrent to the vandals.

        Ditto for crime on public transit. It needs to be handled swiftly and consequences are indeed in order.

        1. dday

          I’m a frequent bus rider in Tucson, but mostly on the west side, fairly sedate crowd, working class, students and retirees. For two years riders entered thru the rear door, so no interaction with drivers. Now it’s front door entry. And no more fights about masking up. I think the drivers probably did not enjoy the mask mandate.

          The streetcar is a more middle class experience, lots of University of Arizona students going to Fourth Avenue and downtown.

          I agree with you about cleanliness and safety in terms of attracting more choice riders. For me the convenience of having a paid driver far outweighs any minor glitches. And it’s great people watching!

    2. anon y'mouse

      people of means generally do not want to pay the time tax involved with public transit.

      as someone who has used it in major urban areas my entire life (where it is a genuine necessity and not some commuter route to convenience only bedroom community residents who don’t want to drive every day of the week, but usually still do drive some days anyway), it takes 2-3x the time to get anywhere as it would if i had owned a car. and i could time this as sometimes i would get a ride.

      time spent mostly standing around with people on a windy, pathetically sheltered from all forms of weather corner inhaling car fumes. waiting for a bus that’s probably already overcrowded. now with added Covid!

      if you have a car and the means to use it still, why would you subject yourself to this and to the lower classes (near indigents, some of them!) who ride transit? only those who have no other means would spend 3x the time rubbing elbows with dirty people smelling of dog when coming out of the rain, or sweat when coming out of the sun in order to get somewhere, free or not.

      as long as people can pay for their little private bubble of conditioned air and satellite radio and drinking their favorite beverage (beverages not allowed on PT), they are going to and in some ways that makes perfect sense.

      1. The Historian

        I don’t know where you live but at times I had to drive around the DC and New York areas, and I can tell you that public transport is MUCH faster – and you don’t have to hunt around for a parking spot – and pay exorbitant fees – when you get to your destination. And yes, although at lot of people still drive (which is why I-95 and its arteries are such a b*tch to drive) most people use public transportation in those areas. Cabs are good for short trips but mighty expensive to get from the burbs to the inner cities.

        1. digi_owl

          Best i can tell, older east coast cities are more amenable to pedestrians as they were founded long before the car was introduced. The further west you get the younger the cities get and thus less and less of it was in place before the car got priority.

          And frankly, i think the reason public transit often such is that it is optimized for vehicle utilization rather than travel time. Thus you get long routes with frequent stops, in order to max out how full the vehicle will be at any one time.

          By contrast the individual will want short routes and few stops in order to shorten the time to destination.

          Thus the compromise would be short, frequent routes using vehicles and systems that makes it easy for individuals to transition between them as needed.

        2. Chris Smith

          The subway is faster than driving in Manhattan. But DC? I used to live on top of the Woodley Park Metro Stop, and would go to work each day at Legal Aid by getting off at Metro Center. Faster than driving? Yes, especially when you factor in the inconvenience in finding parking in downtown.

          Sometimes I had to go to the Income Maintenance office on H Street in the NE quadrant to help a client with TANF or SNAP (formerly food stamps). There was a bus that ran from Legal Aid on H street in the NW quadrant to the IM office. That is, you only had to take one bus down one street. After taking the bus the first time, and it taking way too long, I decided to drive. It turned out to be at least ten minutes less time each way to take the Metro back to my apartment, get my car, drive to IM, drive my car back to my apartment, and take the Metro back to my office.

          I think this was because the bus was always late, ended up stuck in H street traffic, and made a lot of stops. On the other hand, the Metro ran frequently and took 2 or 3 minutes to get from Metro Center to Woodley Park. Once I got in my car, I avoided traffic hellholes like H Street because I knew how to get around the city.

          My takeaway is that a frequently running train, preferably one that does not interact with car traffic like a subway, is faster than driving. Buses are not. Buses are a hellish tax on time.

          1. digi_owl

            Yep, a bus that has to share congested roads with cars will be the worst of both worlds.

            But that gets me thinking of a crazy concept that came out of china some years back. Basically a “bus” that straddled roads, and acted more like a train.

            All in all, maybe cities should consider suspended railways more.

            1. Revenant

              My wife is claustrophobic and convinced me to stop taking the tube and take the bus in London. It is much more pleasant than the Stygian depths, there is a nice view, fresh air (in the buses where the windows still open, not such much the sealed air conditioned ones where the aircon is not strong enough…) and you can get off much closer to your destination. It is not a lot slower for many journeys within the centre (zone 1-2) because if you pick the right bus, you can plan a direct route with a shorter wak at either end than if you insist on taking the underground with longer walks to the stations, long walks inside the station, waiting for changes of train etc. Only on journeys directly on the route of an underground line is the bus significantly slower.

              Journeys to outer London are a different matter – take the tube or train and then a local bus. Integrated transport!

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      It’s always difficult to convince residents of the vast suburban wastelands to use public transit. Many excuses for not using public transit are given – inconvenient, slow, dirty, only the poor, old, and desperate use public transit, stops running too early in the evening. And over the past two years fear of Covid. What’s left unsaid is the fact that many people have spent large sums of money on rolling status symbols which they are loathe to keep parked in a garage.

  11. LadyXoc

    Euro falling: Would anyone care to explain why/how shorting the euro, “massive bearish positions” will protect the euro from devaluation, as asserted by the author?

    1. praxis

      Overcrowded speculator short positions can have a tendency to squeeze in the opposite direction as the short positions are closed / covered. So, possibly, not much more room for speculators to push the Euro down.

      Now the Euro could keep dumping for other reasons (capital flight, energy imports, German recession etc). So its a push pull between the real economy and the traders / speculators.

  12. chukjones

    How the pandemic screwed up our antibiotics
    “The report … recommended the creation of a major new intergovernmental panel — like the one on climate change, but for drug resistance.” That’s worked out well for the climate!
    Last couple of paragraphs are telling, as the article concludes from a 2019 study that responses are required now. Three years and crickets. And so it goes..

    1. MJ

      James M. Murray, Director of the Secret Service, was appointed by President Trump. Trying to protect Trump? Just speculating.

  13. William Beyer

    Our foreign policy is run by the criminally insane. As reported at Yahoo news, NYC just ran a public service announcement advising residents how to deal with a nuclear attack on the city. I didn’t bother to read to the end, but I suspect the final advice was not, “Kiss your ass goodby.”

    1. Pat

      I didn’t see it, but did see where our mayor tried to justify it.

      So let’s put a different spin on it. We have an ambitious mayor who has been playing up to the state and National Democratic leadership. He has also gotten where he is fear mongering. His entire campaign was about crime. His first few months in office were about dead cops and heightened response to crime and relentless attacks on bail reform. His solutions weren’t successful in the early eighties and haven’t been here. (He also made things harder on himself by embracing the vaccine mandates and enforcement led to a whole lot of experienced personnel walking away.) When all you’ve got is fear and are in a political environment that wants a ramped up confrontation with Russia and China, this seems like a reasonable distraction from growing discontent and a political PR move.

      And yes I am that cynical about Adams abilities and his thought processes.

      1. Will

        What’s old is new again. From Wolin’s Democracy Incorporated (page 33):

        Just as terrorism would later become useful to American policy-makers for its “fear factor,” so during the Cold War the stockpiling of atomic weapons served that same end of normalizing an atmosphere of fear. As then Vice President Nixon explained, “tactical atomic explosives are now conventional.” When the Cold War threatened to become too normal and abstract, de ́ja` vu all over again, there would be “war scares,” including air raid drills during which children practiced protecting themselves from nuclear attacks by huddling under their schoolroom desks.

    2. Nikkikat

      The final advice on the New York video about how to survive a such an attack was: Don’t worry you got this! This video is seriously hilarious. First you get to the house, fast. Do not stay in your car. It’s not safe, then make sure to get all the dust off of you.
      Then take a shower, put your clothing in a plastic bag and seal it up. Close all your windows and doors and monitor social media for instructions from authorities.
      All of this delivered by an attractive woman dressed in a black jump suit that looks like Emma Peel from the old Avengers TV show.

        1. Mildred Montana

          “…we do have facilities to protect our politicians!”

          Like NYC officials. Get to the house, fast! Do not stay in your car! Stay at home and monitor social media!

          In other words, keep the evacuation routes clear for us.

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah, monitor social media. Good luck with that when the EMP just took out the electrical grid and the communications networks (Hello Rogers).

        It really does feel like we have forgotten how to ensure a resilient society these days. Everything hinges now on each individual following a myriad of social media accounts, because all those broadcast channels of old have been shut down.

        1. Wukchumni

          About the only mechanical objects that will continue to function perfectly in the aftermath of an EMP attack would be guns.

      2. GC54

        I highly recommend Warday and the Journey Onward for a more realistic depiction of the outcome of a limited strike/counterstrike with the opening frying all electronics. Except that Europe gets off easily because the locals take over the US bases (with what force, one wonders).

    3. Kurtismayfield

      Please tell me there was a duck and cover reference.

      Do we get kids hiding under desks in case vil defense drills next?

    4. jr

      I caught a bit of it on The Hill, good for a chuckle. You need to make sure you have a basement, a porta-toilet, and supplies for three (3) days. I actually do have these things. I guess the idea is that official “help” will arrive at that point but I have more faith in the Galactic Council snuffing the launches than the civil authorities showing up to help. After the COVID debacle why would anyone think they could handle a nuclear war?

      If you’re outside during the blast, make sure to change your clothes when you get inside. This is to avoid the irradiated dust that will be everywhere anyway. They forgot to mention you also need to be in far northern Canada, as the Eastern Seaboard will be a cratered wasteland.

  14. LawnDart

    Re; Dire US Labor Shortage Provides Opportunity for Ex-Prisoners

    I’ve worked with many ex-cons in my time, actually trusted some with my life on more than one occasion. Minus the S.O.’s and drug addicts, I have found many who have served at least several years behind bars emerge motivated to do right and to put their pasts behind them, and when given the opportunity, they do so. Some have become excellent machine operators, supervisors, counselors, tradespeople and even program directors.

    1. digi_owl

      It comes down to the type of crime.

      Many that are in for petty theft etc, are so because of desperation. They didn’t want to do it, but had to in order to survive another day.

  15. Mikel

    “U.S. COVID Hospitalizations Have Begun to Rise Again” Axios

    “We don’t know how many cases are individuals admitted for COVID versus those hospitalized for other conditions who happen to have COVID…”

    Over two years into this and that basic and important information can not be compiled and released accurately? Hospitals keep records on admissions.

    And there are 3 things that are not known, not 2. It’s omission from questioning is telling. The 3 thrings that ahould be inquired about: 1)individuals admitted for Covid,
    2)individuals hospitalized for other conditions who happen to have Covid
    3) individuals admitted who catch Covid at the hospital.

    I’m beginning to think it’s #3 that is key to this neglect of collecting and releasing important data. That is what is being hidden.

    1. m

      Wrong, it is #2. They can easily find out admit with or because of covid, they just don’t want to. How can they scare you to death otherwise

  16. paul

    The bezzle today leaves me even more bewildered about this crypto caper than before.

    Did their creditors buy crypto assets from them, or deposit dollars for them to manage and work their manic magic with?

    If its the former, then the unique ids on the great blockchain can be returned to them (whatever their current worth), the latter would require some sort of legal responsibility.

    The debtor position, those who took possession of the despised fiat with an obligation denominated in tokens looks like it could have been a clever wrinkle.

    What do I know, it all seemed baffling from the start.

  17. LawnDart

    Russia is slipping the noose:

    Russian freight train arrives in Iran, marking new trade corridor milestone

    The rail haulage development is important in the context of the accelerated development of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). A big aim of the corridor is to provide Russia with substantial import-export trade access to the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman (Indian Ocean) via Iran, while also allowing it to develop trade links with Iran’s Arab neighbours to the west.

    Iran’s not so isolated anymore either. This is a huge boon for both countries.

    1. Watt4Bob

      I’ve read an interesting analysis that says the precipitating event that started WWI was not the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, but Germany’s building of a railroad to Tehran, which threatened Britain’s monopoly access and control of Persian oil.

      The more things change…

      1. hk

        Berlin-Baghdad railroad. Whether it was going to be extended to Tehran was not officially decided, I think. The alignment of Turkey and Germany was more important, I think, to the British and Russians than the possible Iranian linkage, I think.

      2. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Bob.

        Amongst other things.

        I was at Deutsche Bank for 5 years and was shown the archives for the Berlin to Baghdad railway.

        BTW, corporate and family archives are fascinating and underrated as a source. As you may expect, records decades, if not centuries, old are sensitive. Financial services providers must get permission from heirs to show historians etc.

        1. Watt4Bob

          IIRC Britain and the USA got together in 1909 and decided that future warships would be fueled by oil. This would result in greater speed and range. In their calculations this required control of ME oil to assure uninterrupted supply.

          I’ve always believed that the state of Israel has the dubious honor of being the Atlantic alliances’ foot-in-the-door, so to speak, a never to be doubted excuse for intervention.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Bob.

            That and having an attack dog on the route to India.

            Churchill had what became BP part nationalised, a feat reversed 70 years later by Thatcher.

          2. GF

            I read somewhere that a primary reason for the switch to oil was that Churchill was tired of dealing with coal miner strikes that resulted in coal shortages for the Navy, and it was time to modernize in preparation for the coming WW1.

            1. Wukchumni

              There had to be coaling stations all over the place back in the day, which was a major hassle, another reason for the switch to oil.

              1. Polar Socialist

                Coal UK could get from it’s own soil, oil had to be imported and stored for at least 4 years consumption worth. That was the main reason not to switch to oil boilers, until the steam turbines just had enough advantages to make oil worth the dependency.

                Fisher preferred speed even at the expense of armor, Churchill wanted them both (thus super-dreadnoughts). And only turbines gave both speed and endurance.

                Oil also had the advantage that ships were able to fill their tanks even at the sea, which with coal was pretty much impossible.

            2. Roland

              Oil fuel is more efficient. Don’t need stokers, ship can refuel faster,etc.

              Before WWI, UK laid down a class of oil fired dreadnoughts (the famous Queen Elizabeths), but the following class, laid down on the eve of war (the Revenges), were again coal fired, because they grew worried about over-reliance on Persian oil.

              So it was the other way around. Churchill as First Lord preferred to go to oil, but went back to coal because of fuel security.

          3. LifelongLib

            My understanding is that at the time the U.S. was the largest oil producer. The Mideast had oil but its extent wasn’t known until later in WW1.

            1. Roland

              Persian oil in Khuzestan had been developed before 1914, and were then the UK’s main source. The expedition to Mesopotamia in 1915 was meant to forestall a possible Ottoman attack on that supply.

              Now USA and Russia were also big producers by that time. n.b. Stalin got jailed, tortured, and sent to Siberia for trying to unionize in Baku.

              But in WWI, Russia was virtually cut off from its western allies, while buying oil from USA would exacerbate the UK’s balance of payments problem.

    2. digi_owl

      On a different note, i recently read that the Saudis are buying refined fuel oil from Russia in order to run their power plants. This so that they do not have to use their own crude, that they can instead sell to Europe for a sweet premium.

      It is like the DC plan was made with crayons.

  18. Watt4Bob

    If the Watergate hearings provided a public spectacle that provided cover for the otherwise much bigger story of the takeover of government by business interests, what is happening behind the scenes at this moment while the public is busy watching the ‘riveting‘ January 6th hearings?

    Back then we were encouraged to believe that the story was Nixon’s corruption, and we mistakenly thought we won, and declared victory when he resigned.

    Might we be getting convinced at the moment that the problem is Biden’s, and by extension, the dims senility, and thus, once again, displacing the blame away from the neoliberal cabal that actually runs things, and placing it on the lap-dog politicians who are actually their employees?

      1. rob

        I wonder what could have happened were the people to have found out about nixon and his team and their october suprise in 1968.
        if the story walt rostow had kept hidden about nixon, kissinger, and anna chennault and the south vietnamese president and ambassador, derailing the paris peace talks, in 1968, so that a peace would NOT break out on the democrats watch. It could have changed the election.
        (of course they are all establishment, so it would still be neoliberal nightmares)
        walt rostow also spoke of his brother eugene rostow who was head of a bank in ny, where they also knew of the attempt to thwart the 1968 peace negotiation, and used the information to structure investments , knowing this meant continued war.
        Johnson called this treason.
        he had had the fbi wiretapping the conspirators and the vietnamese officials.
        nixon /chennault were interfering in us foreign policy in a time of war, before they were actually “in the gov’t”.
        johnson had implemented a cease fire to bombing, before the peace talks.
        the south vietnamese were promised that if they didn’t let a break in the warfare happen, they would be rewarded by the incoming administration.
        everyone who died or was wounded for the next five years, could have nixon to thank…

        That was what nixon and the plumbers were really concerned with, what did the democrats have? did they have an october suprise? to get back at them?
        after all, thieves think everyone is a thief. liars think everyone is lying…

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Meet the Ex-CIA Agents Deciding Facebook’s Content Policy”

    In the old days, the CIA would be content with influencing the media and getting them to say on the news what they wanted to be said. Now these days you have bigwigs from the CIA actually in front of the cameras reading the news and giving their spin. And ex-FBI agents too for that matter. But with Facebook, the CIA may have left their run too late. Facebook is no longer cool and kids want nothing to do with it nor even Instagram. In desperation, Facebook has made some, for them, radical changes but I doubt that it will make any difference long term. What changes?

    ‘Facebook parent company Meta hopes to combat declining user numbers by allowing users to create multiple accounts, Bloomberg revealed on Thursday. Certain users will be able to create as many as four additional profiles, the report says…However, according to the report, the extra profiles need not display the user’s real identity, a decision that represents something of a 180 for the social media behemoth. While Facebook has allowed public figures to keep multiple profiles and allowed users to have a separate profile on its Facebook Dating and Facebook Campus services, operating multiple personal accounts was previously forbidden.’

    So pretty soon the only people that Facebook will be able to spy on will be grandma and grandpa-

    1. paul

      I’m sure this will be a blessing to organisations such as the 77th brigade in the UK.

      However,I do worry about scanner darkly syndrome amongst their employees.

      This is very, very really different from previous invasions of privacy, like the guys who knocked up their CND suspects in the service of the crown.

      Perhaps this is behind their recent, increasingly public, pleas for more funding.

  20. Lex

    Re: load synchronization and a funny story. The state’s largest indoor weed factory (oddly didn’t build out with LED) is just down the road from a GM assembly plant. It uses more electricity than the auto factory. But the problem for the local utility is that the massive flowering rooms all run on the same 12/12 light cycle, which means every morning the draw from the grid goes from very low levels to massive levels instantaneously. According to sources at the utility, the ability to predict the time of both massive draw and the massive shedding 12 hours later isn’t really that helpful.

    1. Solarjay

      Hi Lex.
      While I’ve been out of the indoor weed market for a few years, LEDS’s just don’t work as well as the electronic ballast LPS or HPS. Leds just can’t seem to be the right wavelengths and intensity. So yields are lower.

      Big electrical users can be pressured by the utility to modify their loads. Might be that it takes 30 minutes to ramp down or up. It’s actually better for the plants anyway. The electronic ballasts can be programmed to ramp up/down over a time time frame.

      But yeah having MW of load on or off is a big deal, even if you know it’s coming.

      1. Lex

        That used to be the case but isn’t anymore. The days of blurple are gone and the days of fully customizable and instantly adjustable color mixes are here. Intensity is up to the point where the old issue of canopy penetration is moot too. I ran HPS for years and wouldn’t go back, even if I didn’t get free lights in exchange for field trials of specific wavelength application to look into morphology effects. The bigger gain may be significantly lower temps and reduced ventilation loads.

        If this place wasn’t ridiculously capitalized from the get go I could understand it. But they built the most high-tech space most will ever see (totally screwed it up but that’s a different story) so there was no reason not to splurge on the best tech. AFAIK they don’t ramp up or down, but I haven’t been inside in a while. They’re well over a MW running something like 15,000 plants. It’s ridiculous and I’m not sure they’ve turned a profit.

    2. paul

      Aaaaw maaan, that is such a downer.


      Try a uplighter, downer thing, like hehe?

      Someone picks up: No hehe, little hunter cannot respond right now, but do as his dad says

      Stay put, I’ve got it!

      It’s like we are connected.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Closing Time: The Life and Death of the American Mall”

    This should be paired with an article called “Closing Time: The Life and Death of the American Main Street” for back in the 1950s. What killed Main Street businesses? Funny you should ask. Meanwhile I invite people to go to the following page to see what has been left behind. Perhaps some readers will recognize one-

    1. digi_owl

      With the irony that Main Street has gotten a resurgence. This by embracing conspicuous consumption via luxury brands. It is not just about shopping, but being seen shopping.

    2. Carolinian

      The article is heavy on the malls = racism angle and while there was undoubtedly that, they were really more about cars as well as climate. For a long time the largest US mall was the Mall of America in frigid Minnesota. And here in the South malls made window shopping endurable in the muggy summers.This encouraged the “dwell time” the article talks about.

      As for cars, the real replacement for mall retail has been big box stores with giant parking lots–hence an even more banal architectural trend. Old downtowns are being repopulated but mostly by the young and fit.

      Truth to tell the mall craze was idealistic in a certain way by bringing a bit of the social and the fun to a so very American idea of public architecture.Instead of soaring cathedrals we built temples of consumerism. And in also typically American fashion we’ve grown bored with them so off to the dumpster.

      1. digi_owl

        Everything in US media these days has to have some kind of race/gender angle, or it will not see “print” it seems.

      2. MJ

        I’m not a serious shopper, but I like malls when it’s time to do my Christmas shopping. You can usually find something for everyone on your list without having to go outdoors. I say this because I have spent most of my life in either Minnesota or New York. Of course, now we have Amazon.

        When I was in architecture school, I helped my design professor prepare his entry in a competition with an unusual twist — design a shopping mall that can also serve as a public fallout shelter. This was in the 1960s, of course. I think he won 3rd prize.

        1. Discouraged in WI

          As my mother aged and had mobility problems, she was largely in a pushchair when she (we) went out. Shopping malls were terrific. One, automatic opening door, then easy entrance to stores and restaurants. She liked to eat lunch, then we would take a large cookie, get a coffee at the stand in the center walkway, and sit at a table and watch all the passersby. She especially loved it if there were children. A series of small shops would have been horrible to navigate!

  22. Ricardo

    Re: ‘Scotland’s rare seaweed eating-sheep’.

    A fascinating article, but I’m obliged to comment that ‘running’ communal sheep over ‘The Commons’ is not a practice exclusive to Scotland. I am from Wales (that’s to the west of the UK for those who are curious). We also raise seaweed fed stock, and their meat is marketed as ‘Salt Marsh Lamb’. This can be misleading as more likely the stock has been over-aged, commonly called Mutton (i.e. 3 or 4 years old) and is, as referred in the piece ‘gamey’ in result, wherever it is raised. Yet, there is a distinctive flavour that comes from the food it eats, at the shore and between the tides.


    1. digi_owl

      Common practice in Norway as well, and why there is such a massive bruhaha about wolfs along the border with Sweden.

      And i seem to recall some recent news that mixing sea weed into the feed could help reduce the methane that cows and such belch.

    2. paul

      Always liked mutton, a victim of ovine ageism, and the cults that prize devouring youth above all else.

  23. Wukchumni

    Was talking to a couple of Angelenos yesterday and it became painfully obvious they had no idea what dire straits SoCal is in as far as water goes, living oh so very far from the sources of imported translucent liquid we all so crave. The LA Times had an article today where gee whiz, those experts were right!

    The Colorado River is approaching a breaking point, its reservoirs depleted and western states under pressure to drastically cut water use.

    It’s a crisis that scientists have long warned was coming. Years before the current shortage, scientists repeatedly alerted public officials who manage water supplies that the chronic overuse of the river combined with the effects of climate change would likely drain the Colorado’s reservoirs to dangerously low levels.

    But these warnings by various researchers — though discussed and considered by water managers — went largely unheeded.

    Now, many of the scientists’ dire predictions are coming to pass, with Lake Mead and Lake Powell nearly three-fourths empty and their water levels continuing to fall. Some researchers say the seven states that depend on the river would have been better prepared had they acted years ago.

    Another good article about how droughts and punishing floods killed the cattle biz in SoCal circa 160 years ago, paving the way for future housing bubbles… (my favorite was the late 1880’s LA version, where non citrus trees on lots for sale were ‘staged’ by pinning oranges to the branches, ha ha)

  24. Foomux

    Nice Shades—

    California really needs to start adopting exterior shutters like they do in Spain and other Mediterranean towns. Glass acts as a magnifying glass that heats up the interior far hotter than the temperature outside!

    1. The Rev Kev

      An interesting article this. I suspect that going forward, trying to cool your home using an app or with electricity will be far too expensive and maybe not even possible. So the way to go is to use good, passive design built into homes. Your suggestion of exterior shutters is an excellent idea and they are also good in cold weather as well to keep heat in. In quiet moments, I sometimes think that a Hobbit house has a lot going for it.

      1. Solarjay

        It’s why they invented low E glass.
        It blocks long wave radiation, ie heat while allowing most light in.

        But agreed that physical shades are a simple inexpensive option.

        So no we can’t do that, have to install whole house AC.

      2. juno mas

        There is also the option of low-E (emissivity) glass. It comes it two forms (hard and soft coat). The soft-coat product when combined with dual-pane glazing provides both a reduction of solar heat gain and internal heat loss to outside (R-value of 4+). A structural solution for windows is shade overhangs sized for window size, orientation, and geographic latitude.

        The storm window is best used for occasional stormy weather where windows need physical protection from the elements.

    2. hk

      We used to have them (Spain did use to rule the area, after all), along with adobe as construction material…

    3. Nikkikat

      Foomux, you are correct these shutters would work great. I was thinking about that the other day. There was an old tv show and the people were closing their shutters to the cold. I thought how they could be used against the heat as well. When I lived in S. Calif. I used shade cloth on the back and side of the house (built in the 50s) The stucco would heat up and the inside walls would be hot to the touch. Once the shade cloth was hung from the eaves to just above the ground. The house stayed much cooler. I sewed little fishing line weights along the bottom to keep it in place. As it also covered the windows it worked great.

      1. Carolinian

        Those who live in Mediterranean climates should take tips from the actual Mediterranean. In Visconti’s The Leopard–set in Sicily–the buildings have tall windows with shutters and long cloth awnings on the outside. The floor to ceiling windows encourage convection while the awnings work as described above. What they don’t seem to have are window screens, which in my area would leave you prey to hoards of mosquitoes.

        And being Italian this style of architecture also looks really cool. Those awnings may be high maintenance though.

  25. digi_owl

    Speaking of strained grids, apparently UK power plants could tell when popular TV shows had a commercial break because of the power spike from all the tea kettles being turned on.

  26. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: A Rape, an Abortion, and a One-Source Story: a Child’s Ordeal Becomes National News NPR

    OK, so I’ll apologize in advance if my skepticism about this story is misplaced. But as far as I’m concerned, it has more than a bit of a Saddam-Hussein-dumped-500-infants-out-of-incubators odor to it.

    I don’t really know how many 10-year-old american girls get pregnant every year, but if it’s a common occurrence, I’d expect to have heard more about it, given how grisly the idea is.

    So how likely or coincidental is it that it happens within a few weeks of the “supreme” court striking down Roe v. Wade, in a state which immediately enacted draconian abortion restrictions in response, and requiring interstate travel to resolve? And the abortionist just happens to also be an activist doctor who, in complete disregard for this young patient’s privacy and trauma, spills the details to a newspaper. Not details about abject child abuse mind you, but about the unavailability of abortions.

    And as the story evolves, there’s some fodder for people of every political stripe, and we are handed a criminal illegal as the perp, which “legitimizes” the account, and gets skeptics on the religious right to back off their calls of bullshit.

    As the maelstrom swirls, the only person left out is the child abuse victim herself who, apparently, has returned to her happy home and is perfectly “fine” according to her mother, who was interviewed, in Spanish, by a Telemundo reporter.

    Indiana will “investigate” whether the abortionist filed the correct paperwork, and Ohio is glad that a “child rapist is taken off the street.” Franklin County Child Protective Services apparently heard about and “referred” the matter to the cops, but no one seems to give a shit about that part of the story. Presumably both sides of the political aisle are “against” child abuse, so there are no points to be scored by belaboring that point.


  27. pjay

    re: ‘Watergate: The Burglaries Were Never the Story’ – n+1

    This was a puzzling piece. It was a pretty good discussion of the various economic interests that came together in support of Nixon. But it purported to be a review of the Watergate books by Graff and Morley. It was a long article, yet said almost *nothing* about Watergate or the two books. He mentions *in passing* that both books seek to demystify our Watergate “myth.” Yet from the article itself the reader gets no idea what this “myth” is, and why it is important to challenge it. In fact, reading this history leads the reader completely away from the intra-elite competition and intrigue that are the central focus of these books. One wonders why.

    My advice: please read the books by Graff and Morley.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I also read this link. It beat around the block and up the road and off into the toolies but never quite reached the point of its discussion let alone addressed the content promised/suggested in the title.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe Kevin Phillips documented the trends for what happened in 1971, as he detailed them in his book “The Emerging Republican Majority”. We still had a democracy of sorts back in those dinosaur days, so that how people voted mattered more, and

      politicians at least kinda sorta tended to say things pre-election and kinda sorta tended do those same things post election —

      or at least they went through the motions. Kevin Phillips documented the altered trends that reflected a sea change in u.s.

      politics. The South had a long standing ‘arrangement’ with the Democratic party in the Midwest — the Dixiecrats in the South would vote with the Labor Democrats in what was once the Industrial Midwest — but now has become the Rust Belt — to support Labor Democrats in return for the support of the Labor Democrats in keeping hands off the South’s new Jim Crow laws and right-to-work laws alone. Jack Kennedy very slowly and with great prodding broke that arrangement, responding to the Civil Rights Movement. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society appeared to poke a thumb into the South’s eye. [I do not have a link … I recall that Howard Zinn made this explanation for the trends Kevin Phillips had found ref: “Southern influence in national politics” a speech by Howard Zinn that is or had been available from the archives of Pacifica Radio.]

      I would not discount the impacts of the Powell Manifesto nor the relentless efforts of the Mont Perlerin Society’s intelligentsia and their numerous and growing think-tank outlets for exuding the eclectic and nasty secretions of the Neoliberal thought collective. What changed in 1971 was a sea change in the allegiances of the voting public … something which matters less and less, and I would argue matters — LITTLE — in the present day. We do not live in a democracy, and certainly do not live in a Democracy.

      1. Skippy

        Ugh … just like Austrian economic thinkers was imported into the U.S. and had perches funded by the FEE party sorts everything else is just a subset of that kinda leveraged agenda.

  28. KD

    “John Bolton Should Be Banished From Public Life”

    Not a big Bolton fan, but cancelling him for detailing how the sausage is made is shooting the messenger.

    1. Pat

      Bolton didn’t just spill the beans he admitted to a war crime. If he was planning and doing logistics for an insurrection it wasn’t here in America, IOW he was actively overthrowing a foreign government. Not the first or last war crime he has been suspected of doing.

      Bolton shouldn’t be banished from public life, he should be tried, convicted and spend the rest of it serving a not long enough prison sentence.

      1. hunkerdown

        I think a writ of outlawry would be more appropriate. That way everyone gets a turn.

  29. KD

    “Like Father Like Son: Elon Musk’s Dad Has Secret Second Kid With Stepdaughter”

    Wow, that article is like false-light publicity text-book defamation. No allegation that Elon Musk had children with his stepdaughter, but the implication is all over the place. I guess Rolling Stone needs a new lawyer if they are publishing that stuff.

  30. Carla

    Democrats blamed for inflation.

    Have seen many dollar bills with “BiDemflation” and the D in God we Trust replaced with a P written on them.

    What about the Republican congresscritters that are voting along with the unanimity of Democrats in the house and senate to throw 56 billion at Ukraine?

  31. Petter

    Others here on NC have reported on the denial of Covid. Here’s my contribution. Our son has contracted Covid for the third time. Leaving aside his personal story is the attitude towards Covid he describes. What’s the attitude – Covid isn’t a thing anymore!
    He’s on a month long holiday in southwestern Sweden. No need to get into specifics but in the last two weeks he’s been through two airports, been a participant in festivities with young and youngish people dancing the twist, mashed potatoes, limbo and other young(ish)people dances. Fun fun fun til your daddy takes the T-bird away.
    Anyway, he hadn’t been feeling so good, tired, sore throat etc. and getting worse. At our suggestion he goes to the pharmacy to get a rapid test.
    Informs the pharmacist (who is unmasked) about his symptoms and is informed that everyone has a summer cold this year. No mention of Covid, not even when he gets the rapid test. No request to mask, keep safe distance, leave immediately, nothing. Everyone has a summer cold this year.

    1. jr

      A good friend’s elderly mother had it about a month back. Her doctor told her she is immune to it for a couple of months now. No need to mask, etc.

      I mentioned to my friend that a lot of the vaxxed and boosted are in the hospital, that the immunity is short lived, that we are in a surge, that long COVID can strike even after mild infections, and that repeated infections cause cumulative damage. He replied that the doctor said it’s ok. And that we have this under control.

      I told him a variant could emerge with a mortality rate many times higher than Omi or even Delta therefore we must remain vigilant and he shrugged it off with the crown jewel of magical thinking “it hasn’t happened yet”, ubiquitous in the mind of the eternally bright-sided US’er. This is proof that the dearth of philosophical studies in US education has literally cost lives. Death by positive thinking.

    2. Wukchumni

      Come to think of it, I haven’t had a cold since Covid done showed up early in 2020, anybody else?

      I’m usually good for at least 1, sometimes 2 a year.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I had one cold,but that is less than the several per year I usually have. And everyone i ask about that says that . . . you know, they haven’t had any colds either. Or very few.

        So distancing and mask-wearing has given us that benefit in concurrent real time.

        What has been the level of colds and/or flu among mask boycotters? Has anyone begun any studies? Have the mask-wearers circuit-broken the spread-around of colds and/or flu enough that the mask boycotters are also benefitting with less colds and/or flus?

      2. .human

        Me too. I’ve thought about this. It’s been noted previously. I wonder if there is any data or research.

  32. RobertC

    Dog-in-the-manger Ukraine blocks its grain from being shipped while claiming Russia is responding to the global food shortage by stealing that grain. Crimea Shipping Surge Points to Stealing of Ukraine Grain

    Bumper exports from Sevastopol, which is sanctioned by the European Union and US, are a likely sign of smuggling, according to Maxigrain analyst Elena Neroba, previously based in Ukraine.

    “This is how Russia exports stolen grain,” Neroba said from London. “The Crimean port is large, closer and all the territory along the way is controlled by Russia.”

    Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from occupied regions and exporting it. Last week, Ukraine summoned the Turkish ambassador, citing an “unacceptable situation” after authorities in Turkey released a Russian vessel that Kyiv said was carrying grain seized from the Ukrainian port of Berdyansk.

  33. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” “In the end… we have to make smart thermostats even smarter,” Zhang said. ® ” . . .

    In the end, we have to make cancer even more malignant.

    In the end, we have to make covid even more contagious.

    In the end, we have to make anti-biotic superbugs even more pan-antibiotic superbugger.

    In the end, we have to make every hamster wheel hamster wheelier, and make every hamster run faster . . .

    Really? I see another way out. Everybody get rid of their smart thermostats and install dumm ones.
    Everybody give their smart house as many digital lobotomies as it needs to become a dumm house.

    And then everybody regulate the energy use of their house by hand, guided by their own attentive informed awareness. People should become smart enough for themselves and their houses.

  34. Wukchumni

    Went by Lytton BC on a chi-chi choo-choo 6 weeks ago, and I would have never believed it could hit 122 degrees there last year, unthinkable.

    The British Columbia village that was destroyed by wildfire in 2021 is now under evacuation orders as a quickly growing wildfire once again threatens the area.

    Lytton made international headlines last year when a fire engulfed the town, destroying most of the houses and businesses. The fire came days after the village posted record-breaking summer temperatures of 49.6C.

    In the months that followed, some residents returned and began the slow process of rebuilding. On Friday morning, however, the British Columbia Wildfire service said the Nohomin Creek fire is out of control and has doubled in size since Thursday evening, growing to 500 hectares. At least 50 residents in Lytton have been ordered to evacuate, as have several reserves within the Lytton First Nation.

  35. Jack Parsons

    “How the Pandemic Screwed Up Our Antibiotics”

    No mention of their use in raising food animals. None. Such Journalism! Many Wow!

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