Links 7/21/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

How do you move 250 elephants to their new home? Very carefully NPR

Polar bears scavenge on garbage to cope with climate change Reuters

Meet the Giant Sequoia, the ‘Super Tree’ Built to Withstand Fire Scientific American

The investment drought of the past two decades is catching up with us FT

Comparing the US, Russian, and Chinese real economies, previously undertaken by Andrei Martyanov. Charts:

Pay attention, Europe:

The category I would think about including is (arable) soil.

What to do about the present inflation Joseph Stiglitz, Lars. P Syll and Millions in California to Get up to $1,050 in ‘Inflation Relief’ Bloomberg

Calpers Logs Decade-Worst 6.1% Loss as Stocks and Bonds Dive Bloomberg


The amount of Greenland ice that melted last weekend could cover West Virginia in a foot of water CNN (Furzy Mouse).

What To Know About The European Heat Wave The Onion (MT).

Shot, chaser:

Let’s Just Talk About The Weather From the Forests of Arduinna

The City’s Inflatable-Dam Handout Is Essentially Useless Curbed. I guess we’ll have to factor that into our personal risk assessments.

John Phipps: Why Can’t the U.S. Figure Out a Way to Move Water From the Great Lakes to the West? AgWeb

The Great Reset Starts with Farms The American Conservative. One solution. The powers-that-be are pushing this hard, too:


COVID-19 pandemic fuels largest continued backslide in vaccinations in three decades UNICEF

Front-Runners in the Race for Variant-Proof and All-Coronavirus Vaccines Hilda Bastian, Absolutely Maybe

A vax-only approach leaves the most vulnerable behind Source New Mexico. Critique of this study.

Vaccine effectiveness of one, two, and three doses of BNT162b2 and CoronaVac against COVID-19 in Hong Kong: a population-based observational study The Lancet. BNT162b2 = Pfizer. From the results: “Two doses of either vaccine protected against severe disease and death within 28 days of a positive test, with higher effectiveness among adults aged 60 years or older with BNT162b2 (vaccine effectiveness 89·3% [95% CI 86·6–91·6]) compared with CoronaVac (69·9% [64·4–74·6]). Three doses of either vaccine offered very high levels of protection against severe or fatal outcomes (97·9% [97·3–98·4]).”

The radical plan for vaccine equity Nature

* * *

There’s an emergency room crisis in Canada and a new wave of COVID-19 is making a dire situation worse MacLeans

* * *

Adapt or die: how the pandemic made the shift from EBM to EBM+ more urgent (PDF) BMJ. “From the Abstract: “Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) and Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) have significant limitations when extended to complex questions about a novel pathogen causing chaos across multiple sectors in a fast-changing global context. Non-pharmaceutical interventions which combine material artefacts, human behaviour, organisational directives, occupational health and safety, and the built environment are a case in point: EBM’s experimental, interventionfocused, checklist-driven, effect-size-oriented and deductive approach has sometimes confused rather than informed debate.” See also “The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine” at NC.


China’s SMIC Is Shipping 7nm Foundry ASICs SemiAnalysis. “To be abundantly clear, China’s SMIC is shipping a foundry process with commercially available chips in the open market which are more advanced than any American or European company.”

China’s Shenzhen vows to ‘mobilise all resources’ to curb COVID spread Reuters

Xi Faces Surprise Revolt From Chinese Homebuyers on Mortgage Boycott Bloomberg

Rich Chinese Worth $48 Billion Want to Leave — But Will Xi Let Them? Bloomberg

Australia’s COVID hospitalisations at record levels as Labor government rejects safety measures WSWS. I had thought Albanese would inprove on Morrison, but apparently bot.

Why Sri Lanka Imploded Project Syndicate


Liz Truss, comeback kid and ‘Red Rishi’: Is a Brexit-backing Thatcherite too left-wing for the UK Conservatives? Politico. I can’t even.

Mario Draghi resigns after Italian coalition unravels FT

Blessing or Curse? The Rise of Tourism-Led Growth in Europe’s Southern Periphery Journal of Common Market Studies

New Not-So-Cold War

Key Gas Pipeline From Russia to Europe Restarts After 10-Day Break Time. Nordstream 1.

Ukraine Faces Difficulties Getting Western Weapons to Front Lines WSJ

CIA director estimates 15,000 Russians killed in Ukraine war South China Morning Post

A short ethnic history of Ukraine… Yasha Levine. Locked, but the unlocked opener is worth a read.

Vladimir Putin ‘entirely too healthy’ says CIA chief Euronews. Well, er….

Biden Administration

Federal Health Unit Gets New Powers for Pandemic Response Bloomberg. “The Atlanta-based CDC is on the brink of announcing findings from an internal review.”

Biden: Military thinks potential Pelosi trip to Taiwan is ‘not a good idea’ The Hill. Maybe Pelosi needs more ice cream for her freezer?

Why is Biden joining the warpath against Iran? Responsible Statecraft

Democrats en Déshabillé

Congresswoman Karen Bass and the Will to Intervene Black Agenda Report

Democrats’ fears grow about GOP majority’s handling of Ukraine, Russia The Hill

Supply Chain

Maritime Meeting Reveals a New Phenomenon: Alleged Russian Grain Laundering Hellenic Shipping News


Depression ‘is NOT caused by low serotonin levels’: Study casts doubt over widespread use of potent drugs designed to treat chemical imbalance in brain Daily Mail

Police State Watch


Kill it with fire:

Realignment and Legitimacy

Going Beyond the Law The Baffler

Imperial Collapse Watch

Europe Warns of Russian Pressure From Africa Voice of America. From NATO’s updated strategic concept: “NATO’s southern neighborhood, particularly the ‘ East, North Africa and Sahel regions….” It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhoods! See 00:37:

The Great American Military Rebrand Matt Taibbi, TK News

How does the brain decide what memories are good and bad? A new mouse study offers clues STAT

The Finders: A Social Experiment Failed State Update

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Antifa

    Sonnets for Soil

    Joe Biden gets the intel he enjoys
    From persons who’ve established a rapport
    The truth the facts and any other noise
    Stays well outside the Oval Office door
    If you can please his ear you’ll get his nod
    He loves that neoliberal refrain
    Austerity at home and wars abroad
    Chop wages and the stock market will gain
    But planet problems now take center stage
    No water and too dry to plow or plant
    As every dial is redlined every gauge
    As this becomes a world where farmers can’t
    As everything goes sideways in reverse
    And most of our solutions make it worse

    We can’t even depend upon the rain
    It floods the fields, and then they dessicate
    The air’s so thick with carbon and methane
    It’s put the jet stream in an altered state
    The slaves who serve a list of rising stocks
    Expected to grow three percent per year
    Now face a wave of existential shocks
    And wonder if the money’s why we’re here
    For truth to tell it all depends on crops
    On photosynthesis and honeybees
    Not algorithms, quants, or terraflops
    That stuff is fluff — the soil holds all the keys
    The years ahead look hungry cold and rude
    So gift this world a garden — grow some food

    1. Karl

      “Austerity at home and wars abroad”
      Wars, this time, against nuclear foes.
      We should be talking with them about
      The worry of the planet’s woes.
      But war now drowns out,
      All that the planet shows,
      By wildfires and droughts.
      Human unity can only sow,
      By global collective will ought,
      Reframe the spirit and grow,
      A new manner of thought.
      But now war dooms hope,
      That a new paradigm can be brought,
      Drill, baby, drill is how we’ll cope,
      Because hegemonic power is sought,
      Destroy the planet to save it? Surely no,
      But our system must win at all costs,
      Defeating peace, we’ll win and then, laid low,
      We’ll be evicted by our planetary host,
      Step by fatal step, down this inexorable hole,
      We reveal by our cancerous lust,
      Worship of our true idol, and its fatal goal.

  2. Sardonia

    U.S. SOUTHCOM Commander:”This region is so rich in resources.. it’s off the charts rich.”

    “60% of the world’s lithium is in the region; you have heavy crude, you have light sweet crude, you have rare earth elements, you have the Amazon..”

    I was waiting for her to add, “And the good news is that we just bought it all for $24 worth of beads!! There was some resistance at first, but they soon realized that we were making them an offer they couldn’t’ refuse.”

      1. John

        Lithium is a factor in “democracy promotion.” The rationale for SOUTHCOM becomes clear. I was wondering about that.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Like that time Elon Musk said ‘We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.’ about Bolivia?

        1. CaliDan

          I was just thinking that exact same thing…

          Does anyone know of any book, article, essay, etc. that deals with the history of generals becoming political/self-serving/corrupt? From what I understand, especially in the US, generals are said to oblige the pleasure of the president and not their own/outside benefactor’s best interests, if there’s any difference, that is.

          1. Hickory

            The common transition from Generalship to so-called defense industry boards of directors screams corruption. And there’s a lesser but real corruption in the ones that don’t do that but accept the normality of the ones who do.

    1. CaliDan

      The Monroe Doctrine is such a powerful drug that it’s even got the generals politicking all googly-eyed in public.

      What I don’t quite understand from this clip is what are the plans for the Amazon again? To snag its resources? To bottle up and export its water? Where, in Brazil? And didn’t she just call it the “world’s lungs?” Healthy lungs sound vital, no? Smoking crack not so much.

      1. Anon

        I was taken aback by her acknowledging the Amazon as a resource… right after listing all the mining she intends to do… she… that’s a bit unusual eh?

        1. CaliDan

          Right. You mean after listing all the mining she intends to benefit from when she retires? Yes, unfathomable, but all too commonplace.

  3. SocalJimObjects

    Re: that chart by Winston Smith(?). Indonesia didn’t make the list eh, despite having a GDP of 1 trillion dollars plus, 5 times that of Iran, 3 times that of South Africa, 1.4 times that of Turkey. And no people don’t go to Indonesia to get fancy financial services, that’s Singapore. I wonder why? Indonesia also holds the world’s largest reserves of nickel, a critical ingredient in the lithium-ion battery cells used in most electric vehicles.

    1. Louis Fyne

      I think Winston just made an arbitrary list of G7 countries plus random countries he plucked. Indonesia’s population = USA minus California.

      Indonesia’s out of sight, out of mind for the West because it’s has relatively few sectarian problems, no big US diaspora, keeps its foreign policy cards close to its vest, and known as the country with that island with lots of Australian backpackers.

      As the USA goes further into the imperial collapse vortex, expect the White House to demand Indonesia to get a “be with us or against us” ultimatum. And shocker, Indonesia would be better off without US.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        There’s almost 20 countries in that list. I would imagine one would start with the G20 countries, of which Indonesia is a member. Oh look, Indonesia is actually chair of G20 this year, and they were asked to bar Putin from attending the G20 meeting later this year to which Indonesia already said no.

        There’s no big US diaspora to many of the countries in that list either like South Korea, Russia, India, Iran, Turkey, etc.

      2. caucus99percenter

        > relatively few sectarian problems

        Hmm. I guess the periodic pogroms against ethnic Chinese in Indonesia don’t count for many Western observers, even though each spasm of anti-Chinese violence essentially amounts to a Kristallnacht.

        In May 1998, when Indonesia’s dictator Suharto fell from power after 31 years, much of the popular anger was directed at Jakarta’s small but wealthy ethnic Chinese community. More than 1,000 people were killed in the riots, many of them Chinese; dozens of Chinese women and girls were raped. The Chinese were targeted on the assumption that they had grown fat from Suharto’s rule, even though many of the victims were small-scale traders.

        1. SocalJimObjects

          Well, I didn’t mean this to devolve into a discussion of Indonesia’s cons, but on top of violence against ethnic Chinese, there have been some occasional violence against Christians as well, not to mention the President can not be anybody other than a Moslem :(

          And to be fair, life for Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese has improved, for example: Chinese New Year is now a national holiday. That would never happen under Soeharto’s rule.

          Last but not least, I am not defending the violence against ethnic Chinese in the country, but a small minority commanding up to 60% of the country’s economic resources is bound to attract trouble sooner or later.

            1. JBird4049

              Rather than picking out individual groups, maybe we should just say Indonesians have a habit of using violence, rape, murder, and genocide in their politics?

              And it is not like Americans have not had this problem for the past four centuries. Only the Indonesian extermination of the Indonesian communist party was more extreme than anything Americans have done to themselves; however, the CIA with the help of the local American embassy gave the Indonesian génocidaires much assistance.

      3. bonks

        Indonesia was not “out-of-sight” in the 60s. Together with the MI6, the CIA covertly flamed the anti-communist genocide to remove a potential ally for Chinese communism. Hundreds of thousands died, the Chinese minority not only suffered heavy fatalities, but they were banned from practising their culture in public. We weren’t even allowed to have Chinese names in our birth certificates until recently. So there was a genocide followed by a cultural genocide. My parents went through that horrible period. I went through its genocide-lite 1998 version. Of course none of this was taught in the history classes during my time in school.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      Winston Smith engages in splatter spreadsheets.

      The categories for zeroes that Smith penalizes in a country like Italy are resources Italy simply doesn’t have. Italy’s natural gas field is one off Sicily that produces the equivalent in natural gas of a pot of bean soup, each year. Italy has no petroleum reserves to speak of, and coal is distinctly minor.

      Smith, who undoubtedly is Anglo-American, gets all whiffy as if Italians are all sitting around in luxury hotels at Lago Maggiore, fleecing innocent Anglo-Americans in money-laundering schemes. (That’s London and Delaware, Winnie.)

      Here in Italy, agriculture is remarkably productive (and note Lambert Strether’s comment about arable land). There are the famous wine, cheese, orchard crops, table grapes, and artichokes. There are agriculture ironies like Italy being the leading producer of kiwi fruit in Europe.

      There are the fisheries. Problematical, but still rich.

      I notice that he doesn’t bother with textiles, a business pretty much dead in the U S of A. Yet here in the [undisclosed region] of Italy I can buy men’s clothes and shoes made in Italy. Try that in the U S of A.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I found some oddities too in that chart like that with Japan. It listed no coal but that is a no brainer as Japan is not exactly famous for its coal mines and oil wells. Yeah, Oz has the most iron but that is because we have mountains of the stuff in our continent. That is just a geological happenstance that. I think that that chart needs rethinking.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          The Rev Kev: Yep, Italy is the Japan of Europe. Or vice versa. Neither has fossil fuels to speak of. Which is why there is a long, long history of cooperation in agriculture, cultivation of handicrafts, and an elaborate and effective food-distribution system.

          Winston Smith works for the Wall Street Journal, so far as I can tell. MiniTrue.

          1. orlbucfan

            Italy has its pros and cons; but still, where did their terrific ability to cook and make/grow the fine sources of their gourmet foods, recipes and wine originate? How about their many contributions to the arts? I don’t know much about Indonesia, but I do have a niece who speaks fluent Italian. She has interned in Italy, and hosted her mother on a vacation there. Makes this backwards, broken country look like the bumf(family blog) joke it is!

      2. BillS

        And unlike the USA, Italy still actually makes stuff! In addition to food products, clothing and shoes, tons of manufacturing equipment, tractors and agricultural equipment, electric motors and drive systems, washing machines and refrigerators, metal goods, pottery, crockery and terra cotta on industrial scales. Don’t forget eyeglasses (Luxottica, of the recently deceased Leonardo Del Vecchio)! I could go on. Much has been offshored in recent decades, but a good bit still remains (and there is political pressure to bring the offshored production back).

        Boy, I’d take lounging around Lago Maggiore any day over the kitschy, dumpy casinos and hotels one finds in New Jersey and Delaware.

        1. super extra

          I spent several years working on tech projects in Europe (UK, NL, FR and IT) and I was really surprised – as an American – at how much actual manufacturing was going on there when it is pretty much gone in the US. Similarly surprised by seeing the same going on in Quebec but for the most part not in the area of southern Ontario.

          Bloomberg ran a piece yesterday (first of many probably; waiting for the backlash and what form it takes) on Americans priced out of the US home market buying in Europe, especially small towns.

        2. anon in so cal

          Yes, besides the longer-standing heavier manufacturing in the industrial triangle area of Genoa, Milan, and Turin, there’s the “Third Italy,” in the north-east and center, with its “flexible production” of clothing, ceramics, wood products, etc. This area has an interesting political past. The Italian Communist party was strong in Emilia-Romagna for many years and policies of soft budget constraints and a non-rigid class structure were linked to the success of the areas’ industrial districts.

        3. JohnA

          And cars, from Ferrari and Lamborgini supercars, to more run of the mill Alfas and Fiats. Every other small car in Europe now seems to be a Fiat 500.

        4. Eclair

          And, BillS, don’t forget the sturdy and indestructable stainless steel Italian pasta makers. We have two; I rescued one this spring from the local GoodWill, $3.50, just missing the clamp to hold it to the table. Easily remedied.

          Oh, and the stove top espresso makers!

      3. Brunches with Cats

        And not just any menswear!
        Jeff Bezos, Drew Houston, and a group of other tech execs traveled to a remote Italian village to meet with the fashion designer Silicon Valley is obsessed with (and whose sweaters can cost $3,000)

        $3,000 sweaters … $700 cashmere socks … $14,000 coats …

        “Pretty cool that Brunello Cucinelli got together with all of the 15 people who can afford to buy his clothes at MSRP.”

        1. CanCyn

          I’d someone can find people stupid enough to pay $3000 for a sweater then I say good on them! Kinda like a tax on the rich – but goes directly to a citizen. Of course it would be even better if the designer had well paid people making his stuff.

          1. Brunches with Cats

            He is widely quoted as saying he pays his employees 20 percent higher than the industry average. FWIW. Plus they reportedly get lots of wine and cheese for lunch and go home at 5:30.

            1. super extra

              I would enthusiastically give up being a computer person to be an artisan with livable wages and wine and cheese at lunch and leaving at 5:30

      4. lou strong

        By the way this is not to support Winston Smith’s point of view, but Italian situation is bad in many areas, and the textiles labeled Made in Italy quite often are not really Made in Italy.
        If we get to the a larger overview,last time I checked it out, Italy was the third EU economy but the second for industry and production. This happened despite decades of direct engagement of the politics and especially the Partito Democratico and his ancestors to do whatever it takes to make things difficult for our economy, starting a long time ago from the privatization/dismissal of the mixed-economy system and the state-owned IRI corporation, in the purest neoliberal style, and the adoption of the Euro.
        International competitivity has been achieved mainly by salary repression , so a OECD research last autumn found out that Italy was the only country whose average salaries regressed in the last 30 years, a score that put Italy below Greece.
        Italy used to be the “poor challenger” of Germany for a lot of products, now it’s mainly a chain-supplier for the German productive core.
        Industrial production never fully recovered from the last “sovereign debt crisis” ,which was treated as a balance of payment crisis with its following internal demand suppression policy .
        Finally the double result of a positive trade and current account balance was achieved, but now it’s over for both.
        I can add that along with the other “European friends” we eagerly complied to the hara-kiri policies requested by the US boss,and that our public debt is in a foreign currency run by external decision-makers.
        I’m not-so-eager to watch and live the next chapter of our decadence.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          lou strong: All of your points are important, especially the wages being flat for thirty years. Which is why the minimum wage law is one area (just one) where Draghi stumbled.

          As for me, I am curious about the “next chapter.” Several politicians went up in flames during Draghi’s resignation. We will see what happens to the ambitious Luigi Di Maio, the not-so-bright Matteo Salvini, and the very, very ambitious Giorgia Meloni.

          And let the debate about Italy and the machinations of NATO continue…

      5. square coats

        Yeah, I felt like the whole concept WS was maneuvering completely overlooked the fact of different availability of natural resources country to country. Lambert’s thought about arable soil got me thinking more on it. Like the existence of potentially arable area could be seen as a natural resource and the cultivation of that area into arability (?) could be seen as a productive activity maybe. I haven’t got fully formed thoughts on it but I think it definitely points to a major flaw in WS’s approach. He also seemed to be suggesting some kind of pure self reliance multipolarity wherein countries must constrain themselves to only productive activities utilizing sovereign natural resources. Definitely a very muddled thought experiment on his part.

        As a side note, here in the u.s. I got semi-involved in the world of fashion resale a couple years ago, and have discovered that there are so many Italian manufacturers of really high quality clothing (and also a lot of shoemakers!) made from really high quality natural fibers that get totally unsung and overlooked in our current fashion market for much lower quality, higher proportion polyester fibers clothing that somehow is raised to high street trend status. All of which I’m evaluating basically as a function of how much people seem willing/likely to spend on resale goods.

        As an example, a 100% polyester fast fashion mass produced item will resell $10-20, a handmade small production 100% linen Italian made item will resell $20-40, a 60% polyester 30% cotton 10% elastane mass produced item from a “trendy” high street “designer” outsourcing production to several countries with subpar labor conditions will resell for $80-$150.

        Of course it’s not just Italian clothing makers, but in my own experience I’ve just happened to come across this relative price/demand/quality phenomenon most often underappreciating clothes designed and made in Italy (probably second my frequently I have noticed it happening with clothes designed and made in India).

        Also this is not to suggest that there isn’t also high quality clothing from Italy reselling for a higher price commensurate, relatively speaking, with its imo actual value. I think what I’m really trying to say is that there seem to be a lot of people/small companies in Italy making really nice clothing and shoes, etc! This turned into a much less focused comment than I originally intended.

        1. hk

          It’s fundamentally an information problem, isn’t it? We don’t know, say in the US, high quality but unsung Italian brands in general. Without a clear market, neither manufacturer or potential importers take the risk. While internet could theoretically make direct sales from Italy possible, we still have no idea what the good but unsung brands are. How can consumers overcome an info problem like this?

          1. Brunches with Cats

            Upscale department stores such as Saks and Neiman Marcus carry a lot of Italian designer clothing and accessories, and you can order them online, of course. There’s also Farfetch, which IIRC either Yves or Jerri-Lynn has mentioned.

            As for the risk, retailers can have buy-back plans for unsold merch, at least with the luxury fashion houses, dunno about the lesser-known brands. Some of it has started appearing in discount stores, a relatively new trend. I read that Celine handbags (French) were being sold at TJ Maxx (gasp!!!) and actually saw one several months ago, priced at an unheard-of 50% off the MSRP of $6,000, under at least three layers of lock and key inside a glass case. Meanwhile, Cucinelli is reported to have donated a pile of his unsold goods to the “needy.” Unfortunately, I wasn’t among the recipients, my desperate need for a sustainable handmade cashmere sweater apparently not being convincing.

            1. Jack Parsons

              I recently saw Balenciaga and Gucci men’s suits at Nordy’s Rack (their kinda sorta clearance). $1000/$1500, secured with a bike cable lock. They were goofy garish things, like if The Riddler was Italian.

    3. hunkerdown

      For some reason, someone tries to sell authoritarian-right Indonesia as a model to look up to in Western media comment sections for at least a year. As if neoliberalism and its values should be respected rather than erased.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        Care to explain why you consider Indonesia to be authoritarian-right? That used to be the case under Soeharto, but that guy was brought down more than 20 years ago. Since then, no one has held the presidency for more than two 5 year period. There’s been talk of Jokowi becoming President for the third time, but he outright rejected the possibility.

      2. Roland

        Other countries don’t have to justify their regimes to me.

        Nowadays, from a foreign perspective, I have but one criterion of “good” government: do they start/escalate wars?

        By that standard, Indonesia’s OK. Iran’s OK. Egypt’s OK. North Korea’s OK. Philippines are OK. Mexico is OK. Jordan’s OK. Japan’s OK. Both Chinas are OK. Cuba’s OK. Ghana’s OK.

        On the other hand, my country, Canada, is bad. Canadians have become an overall cause of trouble in the world. That’s because today’s Canadians don’t want peace–instead they crave vindication.

        A “smaller” world demands more respect for separate sovereignties, not less.

        Russia? No question that they were grossly and repeatedly provoked. Nevertheless, the invasion of Ukraine has made the world a worse place for everybody. All who take part must share the blame for it, including Canada, whose role has been very unhelpful.

    1. LifelongLib

      Only knew “mad dogs and Englishmen” from Joe Cocker, didn’t know it originated with Noel Coward. Wonderful!

    2. Vandemonian

      “It seems a shame, when the English claim the Earth,
      That they give rise to such hilarity and mirth.”

      Had a wonderful way with words, did Mr Coward.

  4. fresno dan

    Democrats’ fears grow about GOP majority’s handling of Ukraine, Russia The Hill

    As Russia’s blitz invasion of Ukraine shifts to become a slow-rolling war of attrition, Democrats on Capitol Hill say they’re increasingly concerned that a Republican majority might cut off the spigot of U.S. aid that’s proven crucial to Kyiv’s military defenses.
    A number of conservative Republicans have vowed to stop funding Ukraine’s defensive efforts, citing a variety of reasons that range from domestic economic concerns, to deficit spending worries, to simple anti-interventionist sentiment. Those lawmakers are ready to press GOP leaders to halt the aid if Republicans flip the House in November’s midterm elections.

    That would be a disaster, according to Democrats, who are warning that an end to U.S. aid would doom Ukrainian defenses, empower Russian President Vladimir Putin and more broadly encourage authoritarian regimes that are on the rise around the globe.
    One word: dominos (ok, if you google that you get several pages about pizza – I mean domino theory)
    I can remember, and this is when dinosaurs ruled the earth, that democrats were considered the anti war party. It is hard for this old brain to accept how things have evolved… Is this war mongering due soley to Russia!Russia!Russia! I guess I shouldn’t be suprised that war mongering is used to advance political agendas.

    1. timbers

      The headline and narrative is one onion skin short of The Onion. 1). Ending our current catastrophic policy failure would be a disaster. 2). Because what is happening now is success.

      1. Ignacio

        It is nearly impossible to be cynical enough. But it is easy, even if democrats and republicans are only two brands of the same sh&t their thinking will always be that, whatever issue, it would be a disaster in the hands of the other party. This is the only remaining electoral reason when there are no reasons any more to vote any of them.

        1. Tom Stone

          I got a call from an old friend I hadn’t heard from in more than 6 months yesterday. He’s a retired professional who takes pride in being well informed about current events.
          He is also now a Democrat after having been what used to be called a “Moderate Republican”back in the day.
          We talked about Ukraine a a bit and here’s what he told me.
          Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unprovoked.
          Russian invasion forces vastly outnumbered the UKE forces.
          Russia has sustained massive losses during the SMO and their military has been significantly weakened.
          I asked himif he was familiar with the Minsk agreement?
          I asked if he had read the transcripts of Putin’s speeches of February 22nd and 24th,No.
          I asked what he knew of Victoria Nuland,Who?
          Robert Kagan, Who?
          Stepan Bandera, Who?
          Was he familiar with the “Plan for new American Century”?
          He thought he had heard of it…This from an intelligent man who considers himself well informed about current events.
          We also talked about Covid a bit and that was even more disheartening.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            All my casual Democratic friends are Maddowites now. They’ve either left the party, or doubled down on the cray cray.

            And you can’t argue with people when the NYTimes provides them with their lies.

    2. Eureka Springs

      Democrats were considered an anti war corporation dba party because too many refused to believe there is no anti war corporation dba party.

    3. KD

      If the Ukrainian lobby would just provide in-kind payoffs to the average American comparable to what they pay to buy Congress critters, there would be across the board support. Or nationalize all the Defense Contractors and start paying dividends to all Americans. Dems just need to think outside the box.

    4. YuShan

      Regardless where you stand on this, objectively speaking when all the weapons and money that has been thrown at this already isn’t enough, then it is a clearly lost cause and you better cut your losses.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Objectively speaking, you are quite right. Some people may think that what is happening is an example of the sunk-cost fallacy but it is more than that. The present set of politicians that we have in places like the EU and the US have a notable characteristic. When things go wrong – they double down! If it is still going wrong, they double-down again. These people unfortunately do not posses a reverse gear but will plow on ahead no matter what the cost to their countries.

        1. John

          Or, we cannot possibly be wrong as we have pure motives therefore throwing good money after bad is an incorrect conclusion. We shall spend harder. Does this define ignorant, hubristic, or stupid?

          Also note that it only a faction within the republican party who are pushing back. The votes to throw money at Ukraine have been overwhelming. Guess the donors like it.

          1. fresno dan

            Does this define ignorant, hubristic, or stupid?
            Why not all 3? Actually, I would add a 4th – evil

        2. Tom Stone

          Rev, it’s called a “Martingale Strategy” and it works just as well as a political strategy as it does in roulette.

        3. Roland

          That is the Sunk Costs Fallacy, compounded with the Gambler’s Fallacy.

          Philosophically, it’s like our elites all go to bed listening to The Secret on loop playback. Bourgeois individualism is of course unable to recognize the qualitative changes that come with scale. Thus our bourgeois elites’ confuse a personal coaching and motivational technique with an entire worldview. Then just add some legal positivism to excuse the blunders, and we’re ready to test the limits of foul-up!

          Short form: Metaphysics by Oprah Winfrey, with Ethics by Bart Simpson.

          So much for the rational secular modern Occidental Enlightenment. These guys all must have read Voltaire in undergrad, or pretended to. But quelques arpents de steppe, and here we are.

          1. orlbucfan

            A fatal POX on most of both American Political Parties especially when one of their so-called “elite” is a corrupt fraud named Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. And metaphysics-Oprah Winfrey? The only physics that woman recognizes is big bucks, and she has a load of it.

          2. hk

            For many, it seems further compounded by the Crusaderd’ fallacy: we are right, therefore we shall have the might, by god! (Nevermind if they actually are right, but I thought “rational” ppl didn’t take this sort of stuff too seriously?)

    5. Jen

      If any of the republicans running in my congressional district vowed to cut off the spigot to US aid to Ukraine, I would vote for them in a heartbeat. Sadly, none are taking that position.

      1. MRLost

        Aye. If the Republicans become the party of peace, then I will vote Republican for the first time in my life.

    6. hemeantwell

      Is this war mongering due soley to Russia!Russia!Russia!

      I’m inclined to date the shift back in the 90s, when the Dems signed on to what Peter Gowan termed the Dollar/Wall Street system as the Soviet bloc crumbled and the US was jostling with Europe in the reformation of European security arrangements. This was also a period when the wrecking of state-based development policies in the aftermath of the Volcker shock was coming into full effect, a development heralded in the MSM as the “Washington Consensus.” It was during this time that a new imperial synthesis coalesced, complete with a veneer of human rights promotion. “Saving Bosnia” was the demo.

    7. Darthbobber

      I notice that they say that there’s a long list of Democrats with these concerns but the only ones quoted or named are Moulton and Wasserman-Schultz. No Pelosis or Schumers?

      One might hope for their sake that they aren’t considering this as a bullet item to waste their media dollars on in the coming months but I suspect they are.

    8. Oh

      Translation of the headline:

      Democrats on Capitol Hill say they’re increasingly concerned that a Republican majority might cut into the spigot of U.S. aid that’s proven crucial to their coffers.

  5. timbers

    Not so Cold War / Eurasia

    Lots of reports regarding Iran/Russia/Turkey/India meetings with things like Saudi Arabia joining BRICS, Gazprom to build gas pipeline from Iran to India…all sorts of agreements of mutually beneficial cooperation linking people together. This coming just after Biden’s clear failure in Saudi Arabia.

    One might sum what’s happening in World today in a way any voter or grade schooler can understand:

    Biden goes to Middle East, tries to make nations do bad things to others. Putin goes to Middle East, leaves with economic agreements of vast mutually beneficial cooperation. America fails, Russia succeeds.

  6. fresno dan

    376 officers were on the scene in Uvalde as they waited to confront the gunman.
    Makes you wonder if there had been only 2 sent, would there have been a better outcome?

    1. Eureka Springs

      Here’s an idea. Build schools with every class room full of windows and doors which open to the outside world.

      1. hunkerdown

        Just say “children shouldn’t live in urban areas” if that’s what you mean. (There are some more interesting ways besides face value to parse that while looking up the causal chain, though… like “urban density shouldn’t exist”, or “stop making babies”…)

          1. hunkerdown

            Urban density relies on stacking. Above the ground floor, escapees would need to get to ground level somehow. The cost of such a means implies a secondary exit through a fire stair or other chokepoint before they could scatter, which favors the assailant.

      2. caucus99percenter

        > every class room full of windows and doors which open to the outside world

        A design principle that works for almost all schools in urban Honolulu (which has its share of security problems with crime and homeless people).

        Granted, Honolulu = tropical climate, but still, you’d think architects and civil engineers in the continental U.S. would be clever and imaginative enough in this high-tech era to overcome what stumbling blocks there are…

    2. MT_Wild

      Contrast that to the lone 22 year old civilian from the mall the other day. No body armor, no fancy comms, just shorts and a tshirt. Thankfully it worked out OK for him, but he still has to live with experience.

  7. Toshiro_Mifune

    Depression ‘is NOT caused by low serotonin levels’

    At some point, and hopefully soon, there really needs to be some sort of shakeout of the psychiatric industry.

    From the article;
    Co-author Dr Mark Horowitz said: ‘I had been taught that depression was caused by low serotonin in my psychiatry training and had even taught this to students in my own lectures.

    That certainly lines up with everything I’ve heard since the early 90s, that includes from friends with Ph D in Psych.

    Yet another Dr commenting on the study;

    ‘Depression has lots of different symptoms and I don’t think I’ve met any serious scientists or psychiatrists who think that all causes of depression are caused by a simple chemical imbalance in serotonin,’ he said.

    Of course this now starts to enter ‘True Scotsman’ territory where you gets to dismiss everyone you don’t agree with as ‘not serious’

    But back to the point; At what point do we get to stop pretending that large portions of psychiatry are science and really nothing more than the enforcement of socials norms, usually via some form of pharmaceutical?
    Honestly, how many psychiatrists in the past 30 years have told any of the patients they’re treating for depression, “Of course you’re depressed! You’re existing on barley subsistence wages in a soul crushing job for a corporate entity bent on extracting every last cent from you in a culture driven by material acquisition which you can’t afford… That is a completely understandable reaction to situation you’re in. Paxil won’t help”.
    How many have told parents, “I’m not prescribing Adderall. You’re child has no problem paying attention. The problem is an educational system that is really 1 model* for teaching and not everyone learns that way. Expecting an 8 year old to sit still and pay attention in a system fundamentally failing to engage them and meet their needs for learning is not a problem with the 8 year old. Dosing them out on amphetamines isn’t going to help”
    How many would even be capable of such questioning?**
    At what point do we realize that the mask has come off, that this is another class of ‘expert’ that has fundamentally failed at its job, large portions of the DSM do nothing more than function as a panopticon for suppressing non-orthodoxy, the field isn’t science, is barely informed by it and is a vector for billions in pharmaceutical profits… regardless of the effectiveness of the pills or their side effects?

    * Yes, I know there are multiple models but most people will never have access to them. Especially in the public sphere.

    **Graduate level studies are very good at enforcing orthodoxy.

    1. Lex

      Way back when Ritalin was the cool new thing I was seeing a psychiatrist. Did a bunch of testing and got my diagnosis: I was depressed, gifted and had a learning disability (ADD). To which I asked (because I’m gifted?), “How do you square being gifted and having a learning disability? And why are you wanting to give me the class of drug I’m most likely to get addicted to?” There we’re not answers forthcoming and I declined the prescriptions because I had already been exposed to hard drug addicts. We didn’t really discuss that school was simply too easy and therefore boring.

      Also, SSRIs are active at the same sites in the brain as LSD. Another psychiatrist who put me on those later was uninterested in my observation that the acclimation period to them was very much like the beginning of a fairly light LSD trip. The similarities had prompted me to look some things up.

      1. Hunter B

        To your point about LSD & SSRIs: In today’s world, the correlation between SSRI use and propensity to commit a mass shooting is non-negligible. Just as the correlation between being exposed to LSD (either on your own or forcibly by the gubmint) and committing mass murder is non-negligible, shall we say.

        1. Lex

          I’ve consumed at least my fair share of LSD, quite likely much more than my fair share and never experienced the urge to commit a mass shooting. In fact, violence and LSD isn’t something I’ve noted in significant experience with a great many people taking LSD.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            All the horror stories are about what people do to themselves accidentally. I’ve also tripped excessively and have never felt an impulse towards violence (yet on the average I’m moved to rage by the news almost daily). I have never heard of anyone on LSD attacking anyone else other than as part of a panic attempt (when people do not want to be restrained…leave them alone if at all possible).

            I also took way more SSRIs than I should have. Those violent reactions I have to the news? Never happened pre-SSRI. I got through the entire Vietnam War without one. But I’m less concerned with side-effects than I am with the fact that no one seems to have the authority to make Big Pharma open up their labs and share research with scientists not earning bonuses for bringing product to market.

            This is not a medical problem, this is a capitalism problem.

          2. Toshiro_Mifune

            The worst thing I’ve ever done on LSD was listen to ‘Each a Peach’ 6-7 times in a row.

            1. orlbucfan

              I did enough LSD back when I got a B.A. in Classical English that I fit the description of an Acid Queen. I never suffered any negative side effects. The only warning was some dealers cut acid with tiny amounts of strychnine. The death reports were very rare, and mostly mental cases who jumped off heights thinking they were flying. They should never have done dope period, but them were the days.

          3. Roland

            On my worst, and last, acid trip, I was much too frightened of my inner abyss to have the least thought of hurting anyone. All I could do was to curl up and wait 16 long hours for it to end.

            The only danger I ever had on acid was one time I tried driving a few blocks. It was okay, until the friend sitting next to me sang the Hendrix lyric, “The traffic lights they turn blue tomorrow…” Oh Jesus, I gotta park.

            But the only drugs I got belligerent on have been alcohol and ecstasy. Normally I’m a maudlin drunk, not a mean one. But when I mixed the two, the tactile sensation of getting punched became fun! I bounced back up like a Looney Tunes character. Blood felt smooth, warm, and delicious (synaesthesia–it was tasty to the fingers). Luckily there were enough bourbon-only friends around to haul me off and apologize to the guys I was being mouthy towards. “Yeah, Rollie’s being an a-hole. Don’t worry, eh? We’ll whack him upside o’the head for you later, when he can feel it.”

            I survived my action-packed lumpenprole years with all my teeth, no criminal record, and a clean driver’s abstract. There but for the Grace of God, and a little help from my friends.

            1. Revenant


              What a mixture! The fighting suggests the pills were more likely MDA or other amphetamines but the synasthaesia suggests otherwise. Don’t mix uppers and downers or the grain and the grape are good maxims both!

        2. John Zelnicker

          Hunter B – Please provide evidence to support your allegations that there is a correlation between SSRI’s and mass shootings and between LSD and mass murder.

          Links to reputable publications are best, and the MSM is not reputable most of the time.

          1. Yves Smith

            Please use a search engine. It pisses me off enormously to do your work when you could have sorted this out on your own.

            This is not made up but so far a correlation, which is all that was claimed:

            Scientists have found that some people being treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have a greater tendency to commit violent crime. In addition, this effect seems to continue for up to 12 weeks after stopping SSRI treatment. This work is published in the peer-reviewed journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, alongside a linked comment. The authors of both the paper and the comment note that the work indicates an association (rather than cause and effect) and urge caution in how the findings are interpreted.


            Link here to study:


            And from the BMJ:

            As the published trial literature related to suicidality and aggression on antidepressants is unreliable, we looked at 64,381 pages of clinical study reports (70 trials) we got from the European Medicines Agency. We showed for the first time that SSRIs in comparison with placebo increase aggression in children and adolescents, odds ratio 2.79 (95% CI 1.62 to 4.81) (2). This is an important finding considering the many school shootings where the killers were on SSRIs.

            In a systematic review of placebo-controlled trials in adult healthy volunteers, we showed that antidepressants double the occurrence of events that the FDA has defined as possible precursors to suicide and violence, odds ratio 1.85 (95% CI 1.11 to 3.08)(3). The number needed to treat to harm one healthy adult person was only 16 (95% CI 8 to 100).

            Based on the clinical study reports, we showed that adverse effects that increase the risk of suicide and violence were 4-5 times more common with duloxetine than with placebo in trials in middle-aged women with stress urinary incontinence (4). There were also more women on duloxetine who experienced a core or potential psychotic event, relative risk RR 2.25 (95% CI 1.06 to 4.81). The number needed to harm was only seven. It would have been quite impossible to demonstrate how dangerous duloxetine is, if we had only had access to published research. In accordance with our findings, the FDA has previously announced that women who were treated with duloxetine for incontinence in the open-label extension phase of the clinical studies had 2.6 times more suicide attempts than other women of the same age (5).

            Looking at precursor events to suicide and violence is just like looking at prognostic factors for heart disease. We say that increased cholesterol, smoking and inactivity increase the risk of heart attacks and heart deaths and therefore recommend people to do something about it. Psychiatric leaders, however, routinely try to get away with untenable arguments. Many say, for example, that antidepressants can be given safely to children arguing that there were no more suicides in the trials, only more suicidal events, as if there was no relation between the two, although we all know that a suicide starts with suicidal thoughts, followed by preparations and one or more attempts. The same can be said about homicide. It can no longer be doubted that antidepressants are dangerous and can cause suicide and homicide at any age (5-7). It is absurd to use drugs for depression that increase the risk of suicide and homicide when we know that cognitive behavioural therapy can halve the risk of suicide in patients who have been admitted after a suicide attempt (8) and when psychotherapy does not increase the risk of murder.


    2. MT_Wild

      Michael Pollan’s “How to change your mind” shows that there’s clearly a different path that can actually “cure” depression, PTSD, and other ailments instead of endlessly treating symptoms with medications.

      But that is not the business model.

      The Netflix docuseries by the same name adapted from the book is excellent.

      1. hunkerdown

        The problem with a labor theory of value in a fetishistically hierarchical society is the Gresham’s dynamic where futile labor drives out productive labor as the source of value.

    3. Deschain

      I realized in my late 30s that I suffered from depression that started in my early 20s. Depression is pretty insidious in that when you are depressed, you can’t imagine not feeling depressed, but when you’re not depressed, it’s seems ridiculous that you could ever feel as bad as you do when you are depressed. It’s like there’s another person living inside you that occasionally takes control but neither you nor the other person have any real conception of what’s happening when they’re not in control. Then there’s also a ‘middle ground’ where you don’t feel depressed per se, but you don’t exactly feel great, either. You’re functional for sure, but short of your best self.

      I’m on a mix of two meds – neither technically SSRIs but they do deal with serotonin – and they have made a world of difference. My lows are less deep and they don’t last as long, and I have more periods of time where I actually do feel great and not just in the ‘middle zone’.

      I’m not sure why they work, but they definitely do work. Just because some Rx is garbage marketing doesn’t mean all of it is.

    4. YuShan

      From my own experience I can tell you that SSRIs can be spectacularly effective for some people.

      However, I also think they are prescribed too easily. Despite what they tell you, side effects (headache, fatigue, blurred vision, brain fog etc) can be long lasting (months, years even) after stopping the medication. The problem is that these symptoms can be vague and easily dismissed as “psychosomatic”, which can certainly be part of the problem but I think there is more to it (because they remain after the mental health emergency has largely gone).

      So based on what I know now, I would only consider this medication if problems are very serious. And given the amount of people taking SSRIs, I find it hard to believe that all of them are in such a bad place that it justifies the risk.

    5. Gawr Gura

      >Honestly, how many psychiatrists in the past 30 years have told any of the patients they’re treating for depression, “Of course you’re depressed! You’re existing on barley subsistence wages in a soul crushing job for a corporate entity bent on extracting every last cent from you in a culture driven by material acquisition which you can’t afford… That is a completely understandable reaction to situation you’re in. Paxil won’t help”.

      It happens, but given an alternate diagnosis: “sh!t life syndrome.”

    6. Jesper

      I believe that the article ties well in with the post here on NC from yesterday about evidence based medicine.

      I believe it is fairly well-known that people can react differently to medication, SSRI might well be such a medicine/treatment where differrent people react differently. If that were to be the case then the (profit-seeking) pharmaceutical company might be faced with a couple of different options. The ones that comes to mind:
      1. People are different so we’ll spend money and time to figure out why it works on some and not on others thereby possibly reducing the size of the market. Invest money to shrink the possible market might seem to be a bad investment for some…
      2. The different outcomes are due to:
      -dosage, change (up?) the dosage and that will do the trick
      -timing, the medicine/treatment needs more time to work so keep up the treatment until….

      There are probably more scenarios, the above two are the ones I can think of and my suspicion is that the profit-seeking is the main reason why some research isn’t being done. If the risk of law-suits is minimal then why do research that might confirm that the universal cure/treatment isn’t universal but only working for part of the population.

      1. wilroncanada

        Some of the research, to answer both #1 and #2 may, in fact, have been done, but profit seeking would certainly be a reason for results not being submitted or published. Hide the truth, at all costs.

        1. Jesper

          You are probably right.
          I just can’t help but get curious about when I see posts where someone says that SSRIs worked for them. I am cynical enough to know there is a possibility/risk that such posters are paid to post their story but I am not so cynical to believe that such postings are paid for without some more information.

          On average, or maybe even on the median, then SSRIs might not work and their unwanted effects might be stronger than the wanted effects.
          Possibly there are some outliers where the beneficial effects are stronger and those are the ones posting their stories about how SSRIs work.

          I am curious but I don’t think I will ever find out.

      2. Yves Smith

        In clinical trials, SSRIs have performed at best at placebo levels, and they have enough side effects that participants are warned about in advance that the trials are effectively unblinded.

      3. Acacia

        Over the years, a number of friends have been put on SSRIs. The pattern I kept hearing was that their doctors wanted to keep fiddling with the exact medication and dosage. The sense I got was that the meds weren’t really helping as expected and they were being told that the correct drug and dosage were somehow always right around the corner. I noticed them use the phrase “these new meds…” repeatedly. Later, I’d hear that they really wanted to quit taking them but started getting anxiety attacks as the dosage was dialed back. It reminded me of something that David Healy wrote: “A dose of 1 mg Stelazine given for several months might produce a state where the individual could never stop therapy ever again.

        I gather a number of friends may be in effect addicted, so I don’t mention SSRIs any more.

    7. Stick'em

      re: I had been taught that depression was caused by low serotonin in my psychiatry training and had even taught this to students in my own lectures.

      We’ve known for decades the “chemical imbalance of the brain” model is little more than a marketing myth created to sell SSRIs, as recounted earlier this morning here:

      The stubborn persistence of this “serotonin brain balance” story in the media and as a spiel in doctor’s offices is the direct effect of the marketing department hijacking “The Science” narrative for cash and prizes.

      Here’s a recount of the most recent review illustrating this finding of quackery:

  8. The Rev Kev

    Looking that that Antidote du jour, I would say that the last thought of that person was ‘Awww, what a cute kitty. I wonder if it will play with me?’

  9. Louis Fyne

    –CIA director estimates 15,000 Russians killed in Ukraine war South China Morning Post—

    Note that CIA didn’t breakdown the deaths and labelled them all as “Russians”.

    On the Russian side, the war is fought by Donbas militia, Russian and non-Russian volunteers, the Russian military, and Russia mercenaries.

    Collectively 15,000 seems to be on the high side but can give the CIA the benefit of the doubt.

    But it is very doubtful that 15,000 Russian army soldiers have been killed. Those numbers are impossible to hide on Russian social media or Ukrainian media.

    1. russell1200

      You have no basis for this statement. 15,000 deaths would be a somewhat low number.

      Based on WW2 data, a force of over 100,000 personnel would except to have .3% (3/10ths of 1%) casualties per day.

      So if you take a low estimate of Russians in the Ukraine 150,000 x .003 = 450 casualties. x 147 (# of days) = 66,150. Of these casualties, 1/4 are expected to be deaths. So 66,150 x .25 = 16,538 expected deaths. If you use 190,000 as the number of Russian troops in Ukraine you would get 20,948 deaths.

      The Ukrainians would likely have more casualties. Particularly as we move past the early Russian fobars. Modern warfare is slightly less lethal (greater dispersion), but not much. So 15,000 is a very reasonable number. It says nothing about who is winning or losing. It is just what is expected.

      1. Gawr Gura

        Is ww2 really a useful comparison, after a century of medical advancement, the development of body armor, and completely different material conditions

      2. hk

        I don’t think WW2 is a useful basis for calculating casualties, no more than the American Civil War or World War I: the kind of casualties that a modern army would take is probably much smaller (although, that, in turn, does not have good comparisons–the Gulf War or OIL didn’t quite involve comparable intensity of combat for comparable duration, for example, so perhaps they may not be such great ref points either.). I do wonder, though, even if Russian casualties are a third or less of that figure (about 4-5000 KIA, which I think is in line with their official figures, presumably not counting militias), how much effect that had on their effectiveness. That is, I think, rather higher casualty rate than the US Army at the height of the Iraq war and that was claimed to be serious enough to make it difficult for US military to function effectively, and Russia has relatively smaller cadre of professional troops to draw on (and the training requirements would make them essentially irreplaceable in the medium term–which was another problem that bedeviled the US Army in Iraq).

        1. amechania

          I restrained myself yesterday and skipped the casualty analysis.

          I still will not provide one, inexpertly, but let’s discuss.

          I would say the comparison is yugoslavia. Lots of the same weapons systems. Modern medicine (WWII is not relevant, for casualties. which again, if we’re remotely serious must be split into dead and wounded.)

          Yugoslavia had 1.5 million Albanian refugees (started a new, desperate ‘mafia’ organization that I hear, from a learned and trusted German, has replaced their local gangs through ruthless car-bombing.) Ukraine has 9.1 million refugees. A two month old official number? 3 million east, and 6 million west.

          Not everyone who went west is rah-rah NATO. Unless my cultural connections were very strong, I would have gone west based on PPP.

          Take 15,000 and divide it by days. 130? 150? Yeah. Seems fine. With the wounded it must me higher, not gonna try and solve that, but I do have questions.

          I suspect Russian dead are 100 a day, and 300 dead Ukranians a day. My analysis doesn’t fit, but if you take civilian casualties and use ratios the numbers are low. If you take the refugees, there is no great reference historicallly, but it has to be post 90’s to reflect the state of battlefield medicine, which used to be terrible.

          100 years ago combat casualties were 1/4th of death from disease. Ugh.

          RE: peace talks – how much? Russia pays to win. Historically, the victor takes on the debt of the loser. Go figure. If the west were good at this, we would stop sending weapons and send debt with a veneer of bribery. Apologies.

          edit : *dead as defined by official active combatants*

      3. Old Sovietologist

        Purely anecdotal but an academic colleague in St Petersburg who was around in the 80’s said deaths of Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan were noticeable at the time but he’s not seeing the same today.

        Given as Louis Fyne has said it would be hard to hide 15k deaths in a social media world I’m not buying the 15,000 figure.

      4. Polar Socialist

        I assume Luis Fyne tried to make the point that most troops in that 150,000-190,000 are not “Russian”, and thus Russians have not suffered such casualties.

        Lets assume the bigger number, 190,000 men (and women)*. We do know that it includes 80,000 or so militiamen and reservists from Donetsk republics (that is, Ukrainians until 21st February this year), some 15,000 Chechen Rosgvardiya specialists (+ other smaller volunteer contingents, like South-Ossetians and Cossacks) and also the 25000 Black Sea Fleet sailors (who have suffered casualties, but negligible for this purpose). Let’s also assume 5% of Russian Airspace force (150 aircraft and helicopter) being included in the count, that would be 8500 airmen.

        That leaves around 61,000 as the size of the Russian ground forces in Ukraine. The number of actual combat troops is much smaller, but doesn’t necessarily effect the casualty calculations, since battles are fought in depth in modern warfare.

        15,000 dead Russians would mean 25% of the committed force, and with 1/3 dead/wounded ratio would assume that there’s no combat capable Russian left in Ukraine. Although the ratio is nowadays more towards 1/10 than 1/3. So, by the that estimate half (165,000 men) of the whole combat power of Russian ground forces has been disabled.

        Does that sound plausible?

        * even if it’s not likely that all of those were committed at one point or the other.

        1. Greg

          I don’t know about the LPR, but for the DPR I would not at all be surprised if they had KIA in the 5-10k range. They’ve taken a pounding, but in exchange they’ve made a lot of gains.
          Following Patrick Lancaster and WarGonzo you hear about a lot of lost soldiers and leaders in the battalions they work closely with.

          If LPR has taken the same (I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve taken worse, given the different intensity of combat post-Mariupol), and .ru itself has taken 4-5k (in line with the BBC trawl plus a bit of time) then 15k is totally achievable. I’d even expect more in the range of 20-25k, just based on losses mentioned in social media reports from the front (the Chechens will have lost quite a few I think, they’ve been in some really ugly scraps).

          Of course, the same methods for the Ukrainians get you to the 100k KIA range, because reports from soldiers on the ground are of horrific losses and replacements that quickly get ground up to add to the pile.

          It just occurred to me that no-one has mentioned yet that both sides are probably also counting a judicious number of civilian kills as combatants, as traditionally happens in urban combat.

      5. Oh

        Is there a calculation you can provide for the no. of CIA personnel who got killed? Just asking.

      6. Yves Smith

        No, it is a high number. The BBC has had two majors investigative studies in Russia looking for deaths of soldiers and other combatants, using locally hired reporters. They’ve found only 4,000 dead. DPR and LPR deaths arguably 2x at most. Chechens and Wagner Group deaths would be captured as Russian and they also did front line fighting.

        The Russian Federation took out command centers early. It had air superiority in the first week. RF has best in the world signal jamming and missile defense. They have been taking out ammo dumps, fuel dumps, refineries and repair facilities.

        This is not like other conflicts.

    2. Sconnie

      I’d give it even less credit than that. The claimed ratio of losses makes this “analysis” hard to take seriously.

      The evidence is indirect and fragmentary of course, but it suggests UA losses are significantly higher than RU ones: dramatic RU change toward more conservative tactics after the first couple of weeks, large-scale unreplaced UA equipment losses, multiple UA conscription waves, openly rebelling UA units (claiming extreme losses incidentally), zero meaningful counterattacks by UA forces despite supposed numerical superiority, vastly unequal POW ratio in favor of Russia, etc.

      While 15k KIA seems high for combined Russian-allies, it’s not beyond the realm of reason as you say. But claiming less than 15k Ukrainian KIA seems positively absurd. Ukrainian officials, ever the optimists, have themselves alluded (obliquely) to heavier losses on multiple occasions: Zelensky’s various ‘hundreds per day’, Karpenko’s 30-50% material losses & Resnikov’s ‘<100k' (June 1+, June 15, June 16). BBC’s last verified Russia-only KIA count was 3,500 as I recall–likely an undercount, but unlikely to be off by 4x.

      The icing on the credibility cake is the claim that 'the Russian military is weak because they want more drones'. You could apply that to every military on the planet at this point.

    3. MRLost

      Is this the same weapons-of-mass-destruction CIA as we had previously? Because if it is the same CIA, then you cannot possibly believe a word they say. Maybe what they say is true. Maybe not. Probably some of each but the CIA has a lot to gain (I would imagine) by puffing up Russian losses and zero reason to tell us proles the truth … whatever that may be. Bottom line is Russia appears to winning and on its own terms.

  10. Lex

    Piping Great Lakes water:

    No. Come enjoy our winters and get free water! Also, I’m not above sabotaging those proposed pipes. Maybe if Greenland melts and Superipr tries to eat my basement we can talk.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was thinking too how you could bomb proof a coupla thousand kilometers of water pipe-line but it would be a disaster if this pipe-line was actually built because it might be too successful. Consider, if it was built those States would never have to change their ways or try to conserve water. In fact, they would probably use that extra water to attract maybe a hundred million people to move to their States which would give them the political power to make sure that that water flow was secured. So even if water levels started to drop in the Great Lakes, it would not matter as that water must flow west, young man. Just remember here how LA reached out and grabbed water from the surrounding regions and what effect it had on those regions as a model.

        1. Ed Miller

          Not the Colorado River. LA took over the Owens River and the Owens Valley became a dust bowl. The rest of SoCal is sucking the Colorado River dry, along with Arizona and Las Vegas.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        When Hillary Clinton is elected president in 2024 she will immediately propose a shovel ready project to build a massive water conveyance system to harness the Yukon River in Canada. In exchange for Canadian water Clinton will green light extensive new pipelines for Canadian oil to be moved to Gulf refineries. Win-Win all around!!!

    2. DanB

      I grew up in the Great Lakes region (Detroit) and this idea is sure to meet fierce resistance. It’s one more impetus in the breakdown of the national government and creation of separate regional states.

      1. Wukchumni

        In LA’s defense, their professional sporting team is named the Lakers in spite of there being no natural lakes in Cashablanca, and you can’t spell lake without LA, which means the Great Lakes are as good as theirs. Magic Johnson came from Michigan, which means they have first dibs over pesky Arizona.

        LA would drain Lake Superior first as the name sounds classier than the other bodies of water.

        1. Carolinian


          BTW your Sequoias were featured at the end of last night’s splendid BBC Green Planet show (via PBS Nature). David Attenborough visited the Nat Park and talked about the climate threat.

          This latest from the Beeb nature unit is heavy with drone shots and motion control time lapse. Looks like you have to get up in the air to truly appreciate how immense the trees are.

          1. Wukchumni

            Sometimes you can get a great perspective of how big they really are, but the stage is often too big for the drama to act out in concert, giant canaries in the coal mine that they are.

            The lowest altitude largest tree in Sequoia NP (about 12 feet wide) is one we call ‘Lowrider’ and you can be at the base of it and then half an hour later on the Ladybug trail to Cedar Creek, be equidistant from the top of it, 1/2 a mile away in the distance.

            I’ve noticed about 10 full sized 1,500 year old Sequoias have fallen down in the past year, with most of them still sporting greenery.

            That strikes me as unusual and seeing as they have no tap root and their root system spreads outwards-not downwards, is the loss of moisture in the soil-as per NASA, a contributing factor to their downfall?

            According to the expert in the forest for the trees, it isn’t unusual for 1 to 2 Sequoias to fall per thousand mature trees, per year, it’s what they do.

            I’m seeing a bigger number and that isn’t even canvassing the entire grove, only what I saw in passing.

            Guess i’ll have to see what happens in the future, if this becomes a trend with the leaning towers of treeza.

            1. Carolinian

              Well next time I go to your park I’m taking a drone (probably not allowed).

              Prominent sign on top of Hoover Dam: “No drones.”

      2. Stephen

        My entire life I was told “Ohio is dying, move to California/Arizona/Seattle/New York etc”

        Now California and Arizona are dying and they want Ohio’s water!

        LOL nope.

    3. nippersmom

      I refused to even read that article because I reject the premise that the US should even contemplate sending Great Lakes water to the west.

      1. Wukchumni

        We’re here-we’re water austere!

        …get used to it

        2, 4, 6, 8
        How much Great Lakes can we appropriate?
        Go team!

      2. super extra

        The good news is that for those who do read it, it is a short and engineer-y explanation of why a pipe from the lakes across the rockies is never going to happen. (collossal engineering effort that will still not be enough + all the governors west would have to agree (lmao))

        1. caucus99percenter

          If the Swiss can build entire railway tunnels up to 35 miles long under and through the Alps, I’d think a mere water conduit under and through the problematic parts of the Rockies would be doable.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Water is heavy. The energy to move it long distances will be considerable. The cost of this water will be unaffordable for the vast majority of people and businesses. Huge federal subsidies will be required. The whole idea is absurd.

            1. Wukchumni

              If only there was some kind of source of salt water on the coast of California we could utilize in turning it into freshwater, combined with the abundant energy from the long producing oil wells near Taft and environs. (Cali’s Saudi Arabia)

              Catalina Island has 2 desalination plants, LA zero.

            2. Roland

              MMT. No such thing as price to a sovereign. The only limits are Will, physical possibility, or the overthrow of the sovereign itself (which really just comes back to Will).

              The rest are just externalities: woe to the losers.

              The water could be costly, but the sovereign could give it away, and fiat money can dodge the thermodynamics until the subjects repudiate the sovereign. But up to that point, the insanities can be fully funded and successfully marketed. It’s just that the real quality of life will get crapified in a whole bunch of indirect ways, for anybody who can’t get latched onto the udder.

            3. Oh

              Hollywood can make a movie about it, just like we do that portray winning in Vietnam and we can celebrate!

        2. jefemt

          Colorado has done a great job taking western slope water over to the third-coast front range, via tunnel.

          Imagine it… dream it, build it. The pinnacle of human folly and another brick in the downfall wall…

      3. Displaced Platitudes

        It is an absurd notion. Even if one dismisses the considerable environmental issues with lowering lake levels in what is basically a massive gorge with a couple shallow areas near the Apostle islands and the St Marys river, the cost to transport that water 1500 miles over 8000 foot passes would be astronomical. The Navajo coal plant built to supply power to AZ and CA expended a considerable amount of that power to pump Colorado river water up 3000 feet and a few hundred miles. It might require several plants that size to bring great lakes water to the West.
        On the positive side, we would export zebra mussels to the Southwest to clog all their water intakes :)

        1. notabanker

          This is the US of A. There is no such thing as an absurd notion. We just haven’t spent enough money convincing people it is the right thing to do. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll ignore them and do it anyway because we know better.

    4. notabanker

      Here’s the basis for the next civil war. Not a doubt in my mind the captured US government will try to do it, and not a doubt there will be civil war over it.

    5. Louis Fyne

      won’t even click on that clickbait…..Great Lakes water is governed by treaty w/Canada.

      Of course, if the US ever broke that treaty, Canada can’t do much about it.

      1. John

        The idea has been tossed around for years as has piping water from Canada. Neither is going to happen. The long drought cycle of the southwest is not news and as long as it could be ignored, it was. Now that it has reared up to bite people, the reaction is to take resources from elsewhere rather than wonder why you moved to desert or semi-desert in the first place. There are climate migrants elsewhere in the world. Why ought the USA be exempt?

        1. Will

          I believe it was in my International Law class where we were covering the sovereignty implications of free trade agreements that the subject of piping water to the US was brought up. (This doesn’t consider the other agreements related to the Great Lakes mentioned by other commenters.) A curious feature of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is that once a resource starts being sold and transported over the border, the government of the source state can not later act to curtail the volume of the resource being transported. Which is why no Canadian government has ever, to my knowledge, permitted a pipeline for transporting water to the US.

          I would assume this wrinkle in NAFTA was retained when it was renegotiated by the Trump administration. I do not make the same assumptions about the competency of Canadian authorities.

          1. HotFlash

            Agree re your assumptions. We are governed by poodles. Didn’t we have the Foreign Investment Review Agency under Papa Trudeau? Foreign investment/ownership of Cdn companies could not reach 50%. Wonder what the old man thinks of his kid.

    6. Stephen

      I always have the same two reactions to this absurd proposal, which seems to drift around the internet and pop up every now and again.

      First, more people should read the Great Lakes Compact. As the author of the article rightly states, any withdrawal of water from the GL Basin must be approved by multiple states, provinces, two federal governments, and a separate dedicated transnational regulatory body. It will never happen from a political standpoint.

      My second objection is more personal and vociferous. I am a born and bred Rust Belter, living in a GL state. This region has suffered economic and cultural decline for my entire life. Three generations of decline, if you include my young children. That decline was not a natural disaster. It was a predictable consequence of a deliberate national policy of de-industrialization, free trade, globalization, outsourcing, and financialization. We have been denigrated as backwards and reactionary for demanding the right to live in our communities. We’ve been told that the path to economic stability is to up and move…to the very communities now suffering under climatic shift so profound as to render these areas uninhabitable.

      And then people have the gall to ask – nay, demand! – our most valuable natural resource be piped out to the very places that deliberately crafted our downfall.


      1. Wukchumni

        …would it be so bad if we had to rename them the Marginal Lakes after taking what we need?

        1. Stephen

          For you, I make an exception to the position, for your contributions to my daily morning reading.

          1. Wukchumni

            I appreciate that, now what size pipeline are we talking here… 8 feet wide, or is that too slender?

      2. Lex

        Indeed, it’s unrealistic because of the treaty and compact. The other technical problem is that you’d almost have to start from Superior because it has the highest elevation, but Superior’s water chemistry is antagonistic to steel. The pipeline would need internal corrosion coating. And for some reason the biology of the west end of the lake includes steel eating bacteria. Lake Superior will dissolve a galvanized pipe in about a year. Ungalvanized lasts but almost always with lots and lots of corrosion that will choke the interior of a pipe because it’s a build up type of corrosion like a clogged artery.

      3. Screwball

        I too am from a GL state. I worked in Toledo for 10 years at an automotive supplier. I share your disgust.

        My employer had 5000 employees, NAFTA passed, and by the late 90s what was once a 5000 person manufacturing facility became a wharehouse, and still is today.

        But I’ll go a step further, our PMC friends now call us mouthbreathing stupid red neck hicks, or something similar. Thanks!

        All I have to say to them; got food? Because before it comes from the grocery, it comes from somewhere else. No farm, no food, and the great lake states are pretty good growing and raising food. If times get really tough, maybe we’ll share.

        What will you call us then?

        1. wilroncanada

          …Probably mouthbreathing stupid redneck hicks with food. PMC’s never change!
          I grew up in Hamilton Ontario, which also became a rust belt, first of all, from moving our factories to the southern US and Mexico, where other mouthbreathing stupid redneck hicks live.

      4. spud

        when bill clinton stuck us with free trade, this was the inevitable outcome. every wild assumption he made turned out to be pure crap.

        “Due to our trade deals (especially Clinton’s), which cost millions of manufacturing jobs, the sector no longer offers any substantial pay premium over employment in other sectors. At the most basic level, the average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers in manufacturing is now less than 92.0 percent of the average for the private sector as a whole.[1]

        Much of the deterioration in the quality of manufacturing jobs is associated with the decline of unions in the sector. In 1993, 19.2 percent of manufacturing workers were in unions compared to 11.6 percent for the private sector as whole. By 2021 the gap in unionization rates had largely disappeared, with 7.7 percent of manufacturing workers being unionized, compared to 6.1 percent for the private sector as whole.”

    7. Kurtismayfield

      Yes, I agree they should manage their own resources. Let’s start by addressing how much water is being exported via agricultural products from the West. Then we can go into horticulture and the way people manage their lawns. Finally perhaps the population of the region can be addressed.

    8. Kouros

      The problem with the Great Lakes is that they are part of the US as well and it would be an instance of depriving fellow Americans. This is politically impossible. However, on the other hand, taking water just from Canadian sources would be a totally different, and OK thing to do…

      1. caucus99percenter

        The U.S. could do that sneaky slant-drilling-under-the-border thing for water, the way Kuwait was — and perhaps is still? — tapping Iraqi oil.

  11. paul

    Strange for the finders article to describe them as ‘victims of the satanic panic’.

    I first came across them in the 2004 book ‘programmed to kill’, relevant chapter available here: Finders Keepers.


    Cursory examination of the documents revealed detailed instructions for obtaining children for unspecified purposes. The instructions included the impregnation of female members of the community known as the Finders, purchasing children, trading, and kidnapping.

    1. pjay

      Joseph Flatley is a professional “conspiracy theory” debunker. He has been especially interested in exposing CTs about satanic cults and child sexual abuse, though he has written about other gurus, cults, and charlatans as well. Many of his targets are indeed based on rumor or misinformation and deserve to be exposed. But often such “debunkers” tend to conflate these mythical stories with others that are much more legitimate and fact-based challenges to dominant narratives. This serves power by labeling most conspiracy theories about the powerful as looney. I see this tendency in Flatley’s work.

      Flatley might be right about the Finders. He has written elsewhere about them (some of these are referenced or linked in this article). Some of the children involved in the 1987 incident are interviewed here:

      But there are also a number of unanswered questions about this incident, and this group, that are dismissed by Flatley’s typical “move on, nothing to see here” framing.

      If I read correctly, Flatley started Failed State Update to combat the type of “misinformation” sported by Q-Anon types and Trump followers. I assume that is why this article on a long-defunct group is being published today. Can’t wait to read his ‘Russiagate’ expose. Interestingly, he seems to be pretty close to libertarians and crypto advocates.

      1. paul

        Flatley might be right about the Finders.

        I would suggest he is not:

        The mistake was cleared up eventually, but the damage was done and the group became the subject of absurd conspiracy theories that have persisted to this day.

        What was the mistake?
        How was it cleared up?

        Cult operation behaviour, nuts deep in the security bureaucracy, legal enforcement immunity and no obvious means of support for such lavish, idealistic endeavours, are all rather odd.

        Seeing ted gunderson as a contributor to failed state, whose MO seemed to be turning up at a difficult situation, befriending the victims as an (ex) security community member and then sowing chaos, may have put me off.

        That poor ghislane maxwell (I do love that assumed surname) has been convicted of sex trafficking without a word about her clients, to me, says it all.

  12. Louis Fyne

    Family buys 2014 electric Ford w/60,000 miles for $11,000, battery fails out of warranty. (The original warranty on those batteries were 8 years/100,000 miles)

    Family discovers that the battery itself (not including labor) costs $14,000 at the dealer.

    Buyer beware w/electric vehicles if you are thinking of being the 2nd or 3rd owner. All batteries die over time, regardless of use—especially as you get into year 9 and beyond.

    Some models there is a cottage industry of suppliers that can provide reasonably priced parts. For other models there isn’t.

    1. DanB

      My wife and I recently had to decide what to do with our 2007 Prius when the hybrid battery failed at 173,000 miles. I learned that this vehicle can go 300,000 miles and that these batteries typically give out 150-200,000 miles. Also, the Kelly Blue Book value of a used Prius is eye-popping. For $2,000 we had the battery replaced, with a two year warranty. We’re retired and would have become a one car family; instead, we kept this one going for now and may sell it later this year or next year if we like.

      1. WhoaMolly

        I’m surprised you got a Prius battery replaced for $2,000. A neighbor has a 2007 Prius with similar miles sitting in his driveway with a dead battery. I heard a rumor that he was quoted $3400.

        PS: Dr. Google tells me that the minimum price for a new battery is 2,200, plus labor.

      2. Seismo

        Four years ago I paid $1584 for a battery replacement for our 2005 Prius. The company came to our house and did it in our garage in under 2 hours total. 5 year warranty. At the time Toyota wanted $3400. So far I’m happy with the result.

    2. Doc

      Yes, buyer beware. This is likely an older EV that was built before improvements in battery management. I believe Ford dabbled in an electric Ranger at one point. Modern EVs have heating/cooling to help reduce battery degradation. This is why you see Teslas with little to no degredation after hundreds of thousands of miles. You can get software to test the “health” of the battery. If you plan to buy a gen 1 EV with no active battery management (anything with less than 100 miles of range) get the battery tested.

  13. Michaelmas

    The changing world —

    ‘HSBC installs Communist party committee in Chinese investment bank’

    ‘HSBC has become the first foreign lender to install a Chinese Communist party committee in its investment banking subsidiary in the country, a move that underlines the tension facing the bank as it tries to navigate between Beijing and the west.

    ‘The lender’s China investment bank, HSBC Qianhai Securities, recently established a CCP committee …The move came after HSBC lifted its stake in the joint venture, which it launched in 2015, to 90 per cent from 51 per cent in April ….

    ‘HSBC’s move will pressure other foreign banks to follow suit ….HSBC is one of the most exposed global companies to the escalating geopolitical rivalry between China and the west. It is headquartered in London but makes almost all of its profit in Hong Kong and has designs to expand dramatically across mainland China.’

      1. hunkerdown

        Hopefully they’ll be calling in the organs of everyone involved in money laundering, just to degrade the West’s ability to create privacy structures.

  14. DJG, Reality Czar

    Draghi, inciampando verso le sue dimissioni.

    Is there a Sibyl of Naked Capitalism who can explain how Mario Draghi managed to foment the vote of no-confidence against him and lurch (more than once) over to President Mattarella’s offices to figure out what to do?

    Last night, in his speech to Parliament, he came down hard on the Lega. Did he finally break down under the pressure of Matteo Salvini’s endless, pointless antics? That’s hard to believe. And Giuseppe Conte, who used to give Salvini some of the nastiest glances I’ve ever seen must then be made of much sterner stuff.

    Did Draghi just admit that Giuseppe Conte’s list of unfulfilled promises and mismanagement of such social programs as the reddito di cittadinanza, the Superbonus tax deduction for renovations, and the minimum wage fandango is valid and correct? And reason for Draghi’s resignation?

    Or is Draghi simply annoyed that the underlings are questioning him?

    Well: At least the resignation wasn’t as excruciatingly kitschy as the on-going excision of Boris Johnson.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I could be wrong but I think that Draghi wanted to get out. He was never elected but was appointed to the job, turned friendly relations with Russia into bitter animosity in the short time that he was there which has had a serious effect on energy supplies, seen what a mess of Italy he has made, and now wants out before the full bill comes due this winter. By then he will probably get himself a safe gig with Goldman Sachs.

      1. Ignacio

        The job is no longer sexy for Draghi?. El Pais qualifies Draghi’s days as “prolific”. Prolific on what? Political analyses at El Pais went plain vanilla long ago.

  15. KD

    If the Ukrainian lobby would just provide in-kind payoffs to the average American comparable to what they pay to buy Congress critters, there would be across the board support. Or nationalize all the Defense Contractors and start paying dividends to all Americans. Dems just need to think outside the box.

  16. Schnormal

    That last link,

    The Finders: A Social Experiment Failed State Update

    is the best thing I’ve read in so so long, thank you!

  17. Wukchumni

    I’m used to dogs that bark and back up at the same time, but not on account of recoil from a Steely Dan.

    Have to say I preferred the AI K-9’s more when they were doing the Macarena, not the machine gun.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I wouldn’t worry too much. I would think that an armour-piercing round fired by a rifle with a telescopic sight would take it out just fine. Of course once Zelensky sees that video, he would probably demand that the collective west deliver 50,000 of the things.

      1. Wukchumni

        The Hounds of Taskerville perform pretty good on level ground, but would be unsteady on uneven ground, so you’d want to retreat to that sort of terrain, that is if the AIredale didn’t plug you without any remorse or chance of PTSD affecting it, who’s the good doggy?

      2. norm de plume

        As I said the last time the robot dogs appeared here, the thing everyone should see is the Black Mirror episode Metalhead.

        Short but not sweet.

    2. voislav

      If you watch the video the dog can’t handle the recoil and the gun drifts up as it fires. So clearly this is all fearmongering, that dog couldn’t hit a side of the barn, well not yet.

      1. Tom Stone

        The rifle used by Robodog appears to be an AR10 in 7.62X51MM in an improvised clamp based on the apparent recoil.
        Make it 5.56MM and mount it properly ( It doesn’t need a stock or separate Holo Sight) and I expect it would be more accurate than a Denver cop.

      2. MT_Wild

        Listen to the audio. It’s shooting at at least some steel targets, maybe off camera in the distance. Towards the end of the clip you can hear the “gong” of some hits.

        Steel cable foot hold snares anchored to ground stakes would stop them. Then capture/destroy. Reprogram and return to sender. The robot dog is really a gimic. The Russian mini-tank on treads seems a lot more realistic as a battlefield unit.

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        That’s the way it is with a lot of the street hits on our side of town. A car full of 15 year-olds, armed with way too much firepower for them to handle, sprays bullets at a crowd that includes their target. Most of the woundings are below the knees.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Hartmann has said what is needed to be said. We have been guilty of saying the future is “The Handmaid’s Tale”, but how many people armed really going to take the murders of their loved ones lying down? “The Sons of Katie Elder” is the future, and it won’t be over gambling debts. It will be a constant creation of very angry people with personal grudges.

      JFK said, “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

    2. hunkerdown

      51/ The only thing that will stop them is enough people turning out this fall to vote these freaks out of office, get the courts under control, and return sanity to our nation.

      No, it’s bourgeois mythology, and mythology is a partial (therefore corrupt) perspective. We should really start shutting down people who use charismatic tones to speak to or for others, so that we can purge idealism from the discourse and reorient ourselves toward broad, rich material subsistence instead of the value-chasing of the past 2500 years.

    3. Oh

      Hartmann is a phony and a full fledged PMC. His Democrat friends did not prevent the reversal of Roe v Wade and they’re all just all talk too.

  18. YuShan

    “Depression ‘is NOT caused by low serotonin levels’: Study casts doubt over widespread use of potent drugs designed to treat chemical imbalance in brain ”

    From my own experience I can tell you that SSRIs can be spectacularly effective for some people.

    However, I also think they are prescribed too easily. Despite what they tell you, side effects (headache, fatigue, blurred vision, brain fog etc) can be long lasting (months, years even) after stopping the medication. The problem is that these symptoms can be vague and easily dismissed as “psychosomatic”, which can certainly be part of the problem but I think there is more to it (because they remain after the mental health emergency has largely gone).

    So based on what I know now, I would only consider this medication if problems are very serious. And given the amount of people taking SSRIs, I find it hard to believe that all of them are in such a bad place that it justifies the risk. But doctors hand them out like candy.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “…side effects (headache, fatigue, blurred vision, brain fog etc) can be long lasting (months, years even) after stopping the medication.

      Sounds like “long covid” to me.

      1. YuShan

        I have considered this, but Covid test showed no Covid anti-bodies (pre vax). Symptoms started the same day as the SSRI medication started but the symptoms never stopped after the medication stopped (though they became a bit less).

    2. Soredemos

      For whatever it’s worth, entirely anecdotal, I know, I was on them for over a decade. After my mother’s recent death, I simply stopped taking them, full stop, cold turkey, because I mostly forgot to because I had way too many other things to do, and when I occasionally did remember I simply didn’t care enough to go about getting the prescription refilled.

      I literally don’t feel any different. And I don’t seem to have had any of the common side effects from stopping outright. You would think my current circumstances would be fertile ground for depression, and maybe I simply don’t have time right now for the depression to creep in, and the sadness will come later. But so far, literally nothing has changed for me. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else do the full stop approach I’ve inadvertently taken; if you’re going to get off of SSRI’s, do it gradually. But mood-wise they were apparently doing literally nothing for me.

      At the same time I also stopped taking my statins, which I was meaning to do at some point anyway since I’ve learned from reading on NC that they’re basically a giant scam: the type of cholesterol they lower isn’t actually firmly linked to heart disease.

  19. Amfortas the hippie

    re TAC, WEF and food/

    “keep it simple, stupid”

    such a hard thing for …ahem…some people…to get their heads around.
    Know Yer robust, regenerative, resilient and diverse local ag.

    get the damned persistent herbicides out of the manure and hay.

    end “industry standards” in “distribution” that keeps people like me out of the nearest grocery store.

    lower the tech, the better…but Parity Pricing for Farmers…so we can maybe hire a few of these disaffected people who dont want to work in a box…big or small…any more.

    in my perfect world…a place like san antonmio would replace the buses with horse, mule and ox drawn public transportation…and adjust scheduling expectations accordingly..because if we are to reliably feed ourselves, we’ll need the horse, mule and ox shit.
    likely need the humanure from the masses as well…to grow hay and whatnot for the draft animals.

    not money for all that, you say?
    observe the five sided hole in the frelling pentagon where all those trillions have been poured.
    redirect the Will towards feeding and caring, rather than domination and destruction.

    and…in spite of the aversion TAC(and lots of others) have for bugs as food…it’s a viable addition to the food supply.
    grasshoppers are what i have experience with, and they can be tasty and very, very nutritious.
    you could easily have a cricket, mealworm and earthworm farm in every apartment complex…using kitchen waste…and maybe even digesting the resulting compost fodder for methane to run at least the yard lights.
    add a few quail cages to the mix while yer at it.
    they are amenable to cage living, and reproduce like mad when well taken care of.

    i could go on for days like this.
    it doesn’t have to be hard…or high tech…or centralised into the usual hydraulic empires.
    add WEF Members and hangers on to the compost and bob’s yer uncle.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Thank you, Amfortas. You have inspired me to start feeding my compost worms again. I had forgotten about them in the torrent of bad news in recent months, and when they occasionally came to mind, I have been tempted to wonder “what’s the point?”

      Thank you.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      French farmers used to fight over who had the right to collect manure dropped on the road by horses, ox-drawn carts, etc. So I read long ago, I forget where. But makes sense. Sadly, many “modern” French farmers and winegrowers have no compunction about using pesticides and herbicides.

      1. Lex

        Intensive market gardening, including use of season extension technology was heavily pioneered in Paris. My recollection is that early green houses were constructed on pits filled with city manure, which while composting provided interior heating to the greenhouse. It all stopped when electric and gas transportation in the city began because the system was dependent on transport waste. But what a fantastic circular, local economy.

  20. fresno dan
    The First Avenue Theater wants everyone to know that they “believe in diverse voices and the freedom of artistic expression.” That’s why the Minneapolis venue decided at the last minute to cancel an appearance of comic Dave Chappelle for, um … not hewing entirely to the progressive ideology that makes transgenderism beyond any question or commentary.
    If someone or some group doesn’t want to listen to someone, that is fine (at least with me). One can wonder if a transgender comedian was cancelled in some southern locale, if these same people would be OK with that. Maybe they would be – who knows? My point is: is this newsworthy, really? The link is from a conservative or “right” site that I regularly read – they believe it is noteworthy enough to at least mention. Is NC “left”? – I would say NC is pretty much reality based, but I think it would be fair to call it left of center. But my point is, it does strike me that the number of people going “nyah, nyah, nyah I don’t hear you” says something about the modern age, as if things go away if you choose to ignore them. And the number saying it must go away seems to be increasing.

    1. CanCyn

      So sick of the anti-Dave Chapelle people. The guy is a comedian. Humour is subjective, if you don’t think he’s funny, don’t go to his shows. When did they start excluding black men from the diversity pool? Interesting times.
      I am too lazy to look for links but Chapelle talks about a trans comedian he mentored and befriended in one of his more recent shows. She actually defended Chapelle against the trans activists trying to cancel him. He also recently did a funny and loving tribute to Jon Stewart when Stewart won the Mark Twain humorist award. He seems to me like a very nice man who is more troubled by racism than he is by trans people. He has said of the whole ‘woke’ phenomenon that, in the USA, it has become a worse thing to insult a gay person than it is to kill a black person. He’s not wrong.

    2. johnnyme

      The word I heard is that the venue was changed at the last minute due to a staff boycott.

      Back when I was a regular there during my misspent young adulthood, one of the many nicknames we had for the place was “Forced Attitude”. Despite its reputation back in the day as a magnet for “edgy”, “alternative” young adults (including the all of the employees), conformity really was the name of the game there. It sounds like that aspect hasn’t changed all that much over the decades.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Australia’s COVID hospitalisations at record levels as Labor government rejects safety measures”

    Regretfully this is a pretty accurate picture of what is going in in Oz. Our new Prime Minister was a hack before he got the job and he still is and won’t take action. Big business, who pushed Scotty from Marketing to open up the country, do not want anti-Pandemic measures taken as they will remind people that the Pandemic is still here. And these same people are screaming because their workforce keeps on getting sick and disrupting profits. Also, all the medical officers who went with herd immunity are still there in their jobs but I do not expect them to be sacked and replaced anytime soon. For that to happen, it would have to be admitted that they f***** up and ignored all the evidence in front of them. Our media, who were bitter about masks and being unable to take their overseas holidays and who actually celebrated with the lifting of each restriction, are now having to report the new situation as it can no longer be ignored. Meanwhile, I see that we have racked up just over 10,000 deaths since we opened up.

    1. Mikel

      And this:
      “There’s an emergency room crisis in Canada and a new wave of COVID-19 is making a dire situation worse” MacLeans

      Dr. Talks about people complaining about wait times, the understaffing, etc.
      I can imagine them now, in Canada, the USA, maskless and yelling about “what is going on.”

      Just like I can imagine them at airports, frustrated, complaining and maskless.

      All maskless and complaining.

    2. GF

      “Australia’s COVID hospitalisations at record levels as Labor government rejects safety measures WSWS. I had thought Albanese would inprove on Morrison, but apparently bot.”

      Lambert, I think the last word is misspelled – it should be “bought”.

    3. Deak

      Great analysis Rev. It’s baffling to me that Labor seems to be taking Morrison’s style of government as a template, and not just on covid. As you rightly say Albanese is a hack, but you would have thought the party winning its lowest level of the primary vote in the post war period might have concentrated minds. It appears not.

      I had very low expectations for Albanese and his government and somehow they’re underperformed them. I suspect this is the last majority government Australia will see for a long time

  22. digi_owl

    Looks like someone opened a can of tuna.

    It is somewhat ironic to see France and Germany doing crap all with steel and coal, given the historic basis for EU.

    China doing their own 7NM chips now, oh boy.

    So from cameras to guns in less then a year. and someone put a muzzle break on that thing.

  23. Bsn

    In regards to “Comparing the US, Russian, and Chinese real economies” charts and stats, it would be interesting to see what a country can produce and use from within it’s own borders. China, for example, may be able to mine massive amounts of coal, but can it be shipped when the Yangtze runs dry as the Himalayas’ glaciers melt? Where would France get lithium?

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine Faces Difficulties Getting Western Weapons to Front Lines”

    Even more problematical if they do get delivered without being turned to ash. You have lots of different weapons systems that are being sent in piecemeal which creates all sorts of logistical nightmares. Those M777 howitzers for example. They use 155mm shells which the Ukraine never had but have to be supplied by the west and which have to be sent to the other side of the country. Same with the HIMARS rocket launch systems as they need their specialized rockets. And you have other systems such as the US M109, the German Panzerhaubitze (PzH) 2000, France’s Caesar and the Polish Krab each of which needs their own spare parts and their own training for their crews. But politically it looked good sending them-

    1. c_heale

      I watched an interview with Aiden Aislin (one of the British merceneries captured by the Russians) on Youtube yesterday. He stated that an Ukrainian Intelligence official contacted him to ask for a contact details for a friend of Aiden’s in Syria (where Aiden previously served). He later found out the reason the official wanted this contact was to sell weapons to one of the parties (I think it was a Kurdish group) in the Syrian war. Apparently all the good weapons were being sold and the ones they received on the Ukrainian front lines were the broken ones.

      Aiden later theorised in the interview, that some of the weapons were intentionally being delivered to Ukraine so they could be forwarded to Syria to fuel the conflict there.

      Shades of Iran-Contra, I think.

  25. Lexx

    ‘Depression is NOT caused by low serotonin levels’

    I have this theory that if depression is your “normal”* and always has been, you’ve probably developed a few (possibly many) coping mechanisms. Depression is best defined as a ‘coping crisis’ than anything to do with serotonin levels. SSRI’s might help. I suspect they are less effective than the pharmaceutical industry would have us believe. Faith-based medicine is not all BS – never was – but the industry would like a profitable lock on it nevertheless.

    *Whatever the hell that means.

    1. c_heale

      Just like the C19 vaccines. Less effective than the pharma industry want us to believe and with dangerous side effects.

      It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

  26. The Rev Kev

    “China’s SMIC Is Shipping 7nm Foundry ASICs”

    You think that if we asked them nicely, they would sell us a bunch of those chips that they can make now so that we can finally finishing building all those cars that just lack chips to be finished? Just sayin’.

    1. Glen

      The auto industry, like many of the users of semiconductors is a lagging, not leading edge user. I would wager that the majority of the chips required use 28nm based chips, not anything newer. More here:

      Where The Real Chip Shortage Is

      Sorry about the Utube. This is another good source of information:

      Fabricated Knowledge

      And the situation discussed in the Utube may not cover the other aspect of the lagging semiconductor use. The semiconductor manufacturers have been pushing these big users to re-design their products, but it may be difficult to get all the required talent to make such a transition. All of these manufacturers used to design and fab many of their own chips for products, and so had “inside talent” for this type of work, but all the people were let go, and the work outsourced mostly in the early 00’s. So it’s becomes more difficult to keep up to date.

      It’s really followed the American industrial model – lay off, out source, concentrate down to a couple key providers, then watch those key companies do the Wall St financialization dance where the CEOs and managers get huge bonuses and the company and it’s products gets flushed.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I’m assuming the bugs are eaten whole (fiber!) because if if gutting and cleaning insects was part of this brave new food chain, it would rival larks tongue in aspic as a delicacy.

        “Please do have some of this goose-free paté made from cockroach filets!”

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          with grasshoppers, you remove the legs mandibles/head and maybe the outer wings if they’re an older instar
          all before cooking.
          boys like a tempura batter fried in butter or olive oil…witha little honey.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            I had some deep-fried grasshoppers once. The legs were still on and yes, they got stuck between your teeth. OTOH, breaking off the legs required looking at your food more closely and I do not recommend that with insects. The less you think, the better they taste.

            1. super extra

              Does cleaning shrimp incite the same reaction? I had to clean crawfish before I ever encountered real seafood and my brain buckets all the water bugs and land bugs together. Maybe there needs to be a grasshopper pre-processing step like with shrimp for it to really catch on? Can they be boiled before removing the parts and eaten like shrimp?

              1. jr

                Years ago, one kitchen I worked in served a lot of calamari. If you bend one so that it’s eye is on the outer fold then squeeze hard, the eye will pop out. Had some fun battles with my workmates!

                All that being said, the push for insects as staple foods, combined with NC’s antidotes, is steering me towards vegetarianism.

    1. HotFlash

      I’m OK with eating insects, but I would prefer to convert them to poultry or fish first.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Told my cousin the same thing.

        TPTB who control our culture and THE MESSAGE are sure pushing eating bugs as an alternative to meat.

        Like jfc. Is that really their plan? To price us out of shit? That old Free Hand of the Market throwing tempura hoppers at us!

        They’re so boring they can’t think of any other inventions to benefit mankind.

    2. jrkrideau

      Given that a large percentage of the world consumes inserts and other bugs as a normal cpart of their diet, the xenophobic reaction is amusing.
      Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ISBN 978-92-5-107595-1
      Personally I have no objections to feedbag black flies to chickens or crickets to dogs but just eating them seem reasonable too.

  27. Wukchumni

    Insidious Inflation Index

    Fancy Feast, the favorite of moogies & grandmas-went from 78¢ to 83¢ in a month, but to their credit, didn’t shrink the can size on me.

  28. flora

    Thanks for the Winston Smith links. Very important information showing the need for sane national economic planning, imo, instead of following the WEF’s hollowing out of national economies strategy.

    1. flora

      Speaking of the way WEF has hollowed out national economies, I’ll quote part of a much longer para from Christopher Lasch’s “The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy.” published 1995.

      “In a country like Peru, once a prosperous nation with reasonable prospects of evolving parliamentary institutions a middle class for all practical purposes has ceased to exist. A middle class, as Walter Russell Mead reminds us in his study of the declining American empire in Moral Splendor, ‘does not appear out of thin air.’ Its power and numbers ‘depend on the overall wealth of the domestic economy,’ and in countries, accordingly, where ‘wealth is concentrated in the hands of a tiny oligarch and the rest of the population is desperately poor, the middle class can grow only to a limited extent…. [It] never escapes its primary role as a servant class to the oligarchy.’ Unfortunately this description now applies to a growing list of nations that have prematurely reached the limits of economic development, countries in which a rising ‘share of their own national product goes to foreign investors or creditors.’ Such a fate may well await unlucky nations, including the United States, even in the industrial world. “

  29. The Rev Kev

    “Liz Truss, comeback kid”

    I have seen her talk before and she sounds like she would be a disaster as PM. Both ignorant and arrogant which is always a bad combination. YouTuber Alex Christoforou said that if she gets the job, then before long people will start to miss Boris. Liz Truss is an ideologue who would just as likely send the British Army into the Ukraine and christen it the British Army on the Dnieper.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Rumour has it that Johnson is backing her so that people will miss him when he’s gone.

    2. LifelongLib

      I suppose they could call it the BEF but that doesn’t have such a great track record…

    3. John k

      It’s just a desire to match us leadership. Since she’s such a good fit, kind of like a female Biden, likely us will do everything possible to make her pm.

  30. Katniss Everdeen

    biden tests positive for covid. “Cancer” and covid in the space of 24 hours.


    1. Tom Stone

      An excuse for Biden to resign?
      Imposing those sanctions without informing the right people cost some donors big $.

      1. super extra

        I don’t know if it was just the sanctions.. when he talks now he sounds so bad. Lots of repeating of words, verbal missteps, poor tone choice. Also he’s been marinating on Covid air for the last few years like all the other psychos in power and it does destroy your tcells. It could be real!

    2. Soredemos

      Not to defend Biden, but my understanding with the cancer thing is that he screwed up ‘has’ and ‘had’, and was referring to some minor skin tumor he had a few years ago which was removed and which has never made a resurgence.

  31. CanCyn

    Re Emergency Room crisis in Canada.
    This is not news. Nursing unions have been telling TPTB of the looming retirement wave for well over a decade. The pandemic has only exposed and, yes, worsened, what was already well underway. We also have family doctor shortages which means that people go to ER more frequently for things that would normally be handled by a family dr.
    My father had a pretty big stroke in 2011, it left him paralyzed and unable to care for himself. In the following 5 years until his death in 2016, I spent countless hours in a Burlington (city to the west of Toronto) emergency department on numerous occasions with my dad. Waiting for hours. Our record was 14 hours in the hallway. On that occasion, my Dad projectile vomited blood (internal bleeding) on the intern who finally stopped by to begin care. That got us out of the hallway in a hurry. That hospital was very old and has since been renovated and apparently managed to solve some of its wait time problems but I’m guessing COVID has brought them back. I no longer live in the Greater Toronto area.
    What I observed during the many occasions I was waiting with my dad were lots and lots of cases that probably didn’t need the acute care (heart attacks, broken bones, etc.) that the emergency room was designed for. So many people do not have reasonable access to General practitioners and specialists that they become more ill than they would/should and thus wind up in the ER. The ER docs do the referrals to specialists that should be done by family doctors in a more timely manner. Newly graduating doctors apparently do not want the grind of a family practice and nurses are simply fed up. Who wants to spend 4 yrs in school and then be faced with changing bedpans and back injuries from doing the work that used to be done by practical nurses, nursing assistants and orderlies – jobs that no longer exist for the most part.
    The old adage that a hospital is no place for a sick person is especially true these days. My mother-in-law was also sick and declining from COPD during the years my Dad was post stroke (they died the same week) and her doctor always tried to avoid admitting her to hospital if possible. Unlike my Dad, she was able to afford extra at-home private care. I guess we still have it better than the US with regard to healthcare, people rarely go broke in Canada due to healthcare costs. But it ain’t especially pretty right now.

    1. Maritimer

      Compliant Canadians think they have the best healthcare in the world, just more delusional opinion unsupported by the facts. As for “…people rarely go broke in Canada due to healthcare costs.”,maybe better broke than dead. Wait times as experienced in Canada, kill.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      I had no idea he wasn’t vaccinated.

      “For months, President Biden has characterized the continued spread of the coronavirus as a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ and repeatedly claimed that vaccinated people cannot spread the virus…”

      1. Soredemos

        I had to listen to some right wing talk radio today (not my choice, believe me), and they were all over Biden testing positive. They hammered away at the fact that he lied, repeatedly, about the vaccines making you immune and stopping spread. Which is a 100% fair criticism, and the Democrats are complete fools for having created this kind of ammunition for the right.

        Of course, the right being the right, the hosts followed this up with a bit talking about how they love to ridicule the occasional ‘idiots’ they see who still wear masks. So the right doesn’t actually care; so Biden got Kung Flu, well we all know it isn’t dangerous or worth worrying about anyway, so who cares really. An irony in all of this is that the Democratic Party position is that the pandemic is over (or at least they’re going to pretend it’s over) and we should all take our masks off. Which is effectively identical to the Republican position of doing nothing. But partisan radio hacks have to have something to pretend to be outraged about, so on and on the nonsense fake inter-party war goes.

        1. Jason Boxman

          Yep, it was clear when endemicity!! became a topic at the end of last year that liberal Democrats had embraced the GBD, and everyone can go die. How this is any different than Trump and the Republicans, I’m not really sure. I guess liberal Democrats make noises about caring about immunocompromised people and minorities, but then their policy choices condemn both anyway.

          I can at least respect the honesty of the Republican position on this, go die. Liberal Democrats just lie, no integrity at all.

  32. The Rev Kev

    “Key Gas Pipeline From Russia to Europe Restarts After 10-Day Break”

    There is a lot of stress about the amount of gas that will be delivered but the situation has now become worse. Putin has said that since Germany is not using Nord Stream 2, that he is directing that half the gas in it be sent for internal consumption. Furthermore Putin said ‘Therefore, even if we launch Nord Stream 2 tomorrow, it won’t be 55 million cubic meters a year, but exactly half of that. In addition, bearing in mind that only the second half is left of this year, it means only one-fourth. That’s the situation with the supplies’

    Just logging off for the night but thought that I would share two stories. First, the good news. Zelensky wanted to address South America’s Mercosur trade bloc Summit but too many countries torpedoed this idea. This follows Zelenesky’s talk to the African Union when hardly anybody tuned in. Now, the bad news. Nancy Pelosi want to have Russia designated as a ‘terrorist state’ and if SecState Blinken does not do it, then she says that Congress will. This is real 40 year-old sweaty dynamite on a raft in the middle of a lake of napalm stuff this-

    1. Tom Stone

      Pelosi is insane.
      Declaring Russia a Terrorist State is a move that combines arrogance and stupidity to a degree that it leaves me almost speechless.

      1. pjay

        This, combined with her threat to visit Taiwan, is truly mind-blowing. And add today’s story about the Democrats charging the GOP with not being war-mongering enough. I don’t know who controls the Dems today – CIA, Rooskies, Israel, Chinese Manchurian candidates, WEF elites, nihilist anarchists – but they clearly want to finish off the US as a functional state and perhaps destroy the world in the process.

        1. Lex

          Pelosi’s recent behavior on Taiwan and the declaration of state sponsor of terrorism is terrifying. Hubby must have a large bet on WWIII placed somewhere. Wasn’t one of her kids involved in Ukrainian grift with Hunter and the Heinz boy?

      2. orlbucfan

        She’s not insane. She’s semi-senile, unfit for office, and rich. Don’t confuse the two, thanks.

  33. Noone from Nowheresville

    President Biden Tests Positive for Covid

    “This morning, President Biden tested positive for COVID-19,” said Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “He is fully vaccinated and twice boosted and experiencing very mild symptoms. He has begun taking Paxlovid. Consistent with CDC guidelines, he will isolate at the White House and will continue to carry out all of his duties fully during that time.”

  34. glaucus naïs

    Was writing with Yves already about the serotonin study so I’ll rehash some of that here, too.

    On the one hand, it is encouraging to see this kind of result published on nature ( It shows that editors and the higher realms of the academic hegemon are at least on the surface willing to engage with long-spoiled paradigms. It is obviously also great that such findings can be shown to be robust across so many participants in past work, demonstrating that such ‘science’ is just as bad as the shit that it produces.

    On the other hand, one already can see psychiatric/psychological researchers starting to erroneously demonize the umbrella review for taking ‘weak studies’ into account. This is how these arguments always win out over real, empirical counter-evidence.

    Over and over again in this (my) field, we see people silenced, forced out, tenure-stripped, threatened, and notoriously unpublished. One gets the sense that this study will make a ‘splash’ and then fix absolutely nothing. This is primarily the result of finance-capitalist pharmaceutical science that is central to the history and ontogeny of both psychiatry and psychology.

    Part of this effort is in publishing the study. The rest of the effort is up to the people who read it to disseminate its contents saliently, clearly, and simply to people who buy into the mechanistic, ahistorical, inherently non-social (if not anti-social) quality of the scientific wing of imperialist ideology.

    So, please find simple, non-confrontational, direct ways to share this information with as many people as possible because we are engaged in true cognitive warfare against mass pharma discourse which gets peddled out and produced so that people learn to de-identify with the world they occupy and re-identify with the pink flesh between their ears.

    It is important to remember that people are given these mechanistic ideologies in order to encourage hyper-individuality and to quell the horrid social landscape we are moving through.

    PS: if you’re interested in going deeper into the political histories of psychiatry, I recommend:

    1. Brunches with Cats

      As I noted in a comment yesterday on KLG’s excellent post, veterinarians are now prescribing fluoxetine for cats!

      Also gabapentin, which isn’t an SSRI but has seen increasing off-label use as an antidepressant and painkiller in humans. Veterinarians are prescribing it to calm nervous kitties before stressful circumstances — such as visits to the vet. Not a chance in hell I’d give any of this stuff to my boy.

      1. Terry Flynn

        Maybe things are different down your way but Gabapentin and its nasty big brother Pregabalin are not even unofficially off-label considered for depression – they are used for anxiety. Or, in the UK case, WERE until Pregabalin (the main offender) was quite rightly reclassified as a Class C drug (along with benzos).

        Pregabalin up to that point in Nottingham was bigger than cannabis, heroin, crack on the street….. National scandal which contributed to reclassification. It’s VERY good at making you feel bipolar but without the severity of the “lows”. I personally yellow carded it when I realised what it was doing…. Long before the BBC picked up on this.

        Impressionable (usually younger) psychiatrists had thought they’d solved the problem of the “most difficult to treat problem in the field – anxiety”. Nope. Older psychiatrists recognise that in the 60s/70s treatment of depression and anxiety hit diminishing and in most cases negative returns. All because we think we can have our cake and eat it. Treating depression etc with pharmaceuticals has its place but if you think these fancy targetted new meds with minimal side effects are the solution I’ve a bridge to sell you. Try asking the average psychiatrist approaching retirement what class of anti-depressants is by far their most preferred and demonstrably effective and whose pharmacological processes are understood enabling them to predict almost exactly how many days the “different stages of improvement” will kick in. Hint. It ain’t SSRIs/SNRIs/TCAs.

          1. Terry Flynn

            MAIOs. Nastiest side effect profile of all of them but like I said, people need to understand how much of medicine involves trade-offs.

            Plus MAOIs are increasingly being re-investigated as part of the whole “gut biome” thing since it was established 60 years ago that you can’t separate the effects on the brain from the gut due to common factors. (TCAs are tricyclics – ironically several are extremely valuable but not as antidepressants).

        1. Brunches with Cats

          Thanks, Terry. Based on your summary, things are definitely different over here.

          The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not changed its original approved uses for gabapentin, which are epileptic seizures and specific neuropathic pain (e.g., shingles). However, it has a blanket policy for off-label use of approved drugs, the gist being that off-label prescriptions are acceptable as a last resort when none of the drugs approved for a patient’s condition have worked. Wink-wink, nod-nod.

          A 2018 paper by four pharmacy school researchers questioned the safety and efficacy of gabapentin and urged extreme caution in its use pending further study. Here’s their conclusion:

          Gabapentin has several potential therapeutic uses and may represent a safer option versus alternative agents in some of these indications, so the intent of this analysis is not to condemn its use. However, it is prudent to recognize that gabapentin has seen high rates of off-label use and increased prescribing in recent years, which fails to align with current evidence regarding efficacy. Indeed, most of the evidence for off-label use is limited to a few small, low-quality studies, often with data only weakly supporting use. Higher quality evidence, which indicates gabapentin nonefficacy, is often lost in the shuffle. Given the increasing reports of abuse and evidence of potential harms associated with gabapentin use, it is important to realize the potential risks associated with this medication and weigh these risks against this lack of reliable evidence purporting its efficacy for many of its off-label uses …

          Three of the authors contributed to a 2021 update with the following conclusion:

          Evidence suggests that gabapentinoid misuse/abuse represents a growing trend that is causing significant patient harm. Prescribers should exercise appropriate caution with use in high-risk populations and monitor for signs of misuse or abuse.

          The FDA, predictably, continues to look away.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Many thanks. In one sense I’m glad Gabapentin is *also* being recognised as having potential for abuse via off-label prescribing. In another sense I’m sighing at the all too predictable “ok, pregabalin is more difficult to justify so we’ll just give you gabapentin high dose instead” reaction.

            The truly sad thing is that both drugs do have a unique and valuable role in pain management. In SOME patients. We just can’t identify whether a given patient will also become addicted and/or develop tolerance. Even “prior information” like “has this patient got an addictive personality or shown easily induced tolerance to benzodiazepines?” seems to have little predictive value.

            1. paul

              RE: your 2nd paragraph

              My mother was in agony with a necrotic toe

              After enforcing her rights for a referral, a 3rd party authorised the prescription.

              The pain eased and a couple of months later was no longer needed.

              During the treatment, the relief was preferred to the pain.

              Withdrawal was natural.

              After, just the usual problems you would expect of someone a few weeks off 90, who had seen themeregence of a public satate

              Judicious use is the way forward.

              Through an accident of education, I am familiar with many doctors(though it skews between psychiatry and paediatricians ) and they feel frustrated with the structures erected around them, to the point of resignation, in practice and career.

  35. Mikel

    “What To Know About The European Heat Wave” The Onion

    Yep, it’s hot. Bet they are ready for the cooler weather.
    Oh, wait…

  36. Mikel

    Enjoying the entire Winston Smith twitter thread:

    9/20 “How much of western GDP is derived from Tourism? Hotel, spa, and restaurant services, financial paper trading schemes, debt repackaging “services”, revenues from dickpic apps? Charging Chinese students fortune in tuition? Royalties on intellectual property (medicine/media)…”

    Paying over and over again for what is bought.
    “Hey, those are nice heated seats in your car. So nice you pay for them over and over again.”

    “I like to be in America
    Okay by me in America
    Everything free in America
    For a small fee in America
    Buying on credit is so nice
    One look at us and they charge twice
    I have my own washing machine
    What will you have though to keep clean…”

    “America” – West Side Story

  37. super extra

    Good piece on the recent SCOTUS rulings on Native American lands and the states’ rights within them:

    The rightwing supreme court has another target: Native American rights


    Last month, the supreme court tore up that decision and centuries of legal precedent with it. The 5-4 decision in Oklahoma v Castro-Huerta found that state governments have the right to prosecute non-Natives for crimes committed against tribal members on reservation lands. The decision weakens the effects of McGirt v Oklahoma, which found that most of eastern Oklahoma was still legally Indian Country, where many crimes were beyond the grasp of state law. But the court applied Castro-Huerta far beyond Oklahoma.

    “A state has jurisdiction over all of its territory, including Indian country,” Brett Kavanaugh wrote, resting his argument on a false 10th amendment claim, which doesn’t authorize states to intervene in tribal affairs.

    1. LifelongLib

      My understanding is that in many (all?) cases tribal authorities have no jurisdiction over non-tribal members, so various criminal types have been moving to reservations to escape any law at all. It seems like it would make more sense to give tribal authorities jurisdiction over everyone who resides or commits a crime on a reservation, but I don’t know if that’s legal/practical. Failing that, state law may be better than no law…

      1. super extra

        No, there has been a big scare campaign (by the anglo conservative elements in the state) since the McGirt ruling last year to raise fear of that or natives committing crimes that they couldn’t be tried for in order to stop the creation of the tribal judicial processes taking over from the state in the half of the state where they already handle lots of other policing functions. The tribal police would turn over a non-tribal member accused of a crime to state authorities even if it happened on tribal land. There are hundreds of years of treaties around the power dynamics and policing functions, I promise you there is no secret indian lawfree zone even if we get to run casinos on our land. We can’t even sell our own weed or do abortions in our clinics.

  38. super extra

    Something exciting to keep an eye on regarding Brasil:

    Reuters: Lula advisors draft plans for more aggressive FX policy


    Economic advisers to Brazil’s leading presidential candidate are drafting plans for a more aggressive foreign exchange policy, including more market interventions and tighter regulation of derivatives to curb volatility, senior aides told Reuters.

    Economist Pedro Rossi, who leads the team drafting currency policy for leftist former president and 2022 front-runner Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, criticized the central bank for what he called a hands-off approach to the currency, which he said had led to volatility. He insisted that Brazil use the exchange rate as “an instrument for development.”

  39. Mikel

    U.S. SOUTHCOM Commander:”This region is so rich in resources.. it’s off the charts rich.”

    “60% of the world’s lithium is in the region; you have heavy crude, you have light sweet crude, you have rare earth elements, you have the Amazon..”

    — Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) July 20, 2022

    And all of those people.

  40. Mikel

    “Europe Warns of Russian Pressure From Africa” Voice of America

    “We’ve seen the impact and destabilizing effect that Wagner brings to Africa and elsewhere, and I think countries that have experienced Wagner Group deployments within their borders found themselves to be a little bit poorer, a little bit weaker, a little bit less secure,” U.S. Deputy Commanding General for Africa Major General Andrew Rohling told reporters last month.

    They say this crap with straight faces because they don’t look in the mirror when saying it.

  41. Brunches with Cats

    Re: Russian “grain laundering”

    MSM headlines: Russians blocking Ukrainian grain shipments! Driving up global food prices! Causing famine in world’s poorest countries!

    Missing: Russians letting Ukrainian grain rot in silos while children starve in Lebanon

    But there’s this, notably from Russia’s 5th Column rag:
    Russia Begins Shipping Grain From Occupied Ukraine Port [AFP, via Moscow Times]

    My takeaway: Many of the world’s poorest countries rely on Ukrainian wheat. Russia is using its occupying forces to load Ukrainian grain onto ships that take it to those countries, or to ports through which it can then be transferred to those countries. Maybe the real problem is that it’s going to countries that won’t sign on to Washington’s Russia Condemnation Pact — which, uncoincidentally, happen to be some of the world’s poorest — while those that have must look elsewhere for their bread flour? I might be missing something, but it sounds like stealing from the rich to give to the poor — if, indeed, it’s even theft. Predictably, Russia sees it a bit differently.

    1. The Rev Kev

      A lot of that grain is going to Syria which I find OK as the US has occupied the wheat-growing regions in the east of Syria in order to starve the Syrians into letting the Jihadists win after all.

    2. Yves Smith

      I cannot stand this meme. The grain was never Ukraine’s grain. Ukraine does not run collective farms.

      It is the grain of Ukraine farmers. I have yet to hear anyone allege that Russian Federation forces took it from them at gunpoints.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Yves, I’m at a loss to understand how referring to a country’s grain — any country, whether Ukraine, Russia, U.S., Canada — implies that it was grown on collective farms or otherwise belongs to that country’s government. That said, some of the grain in question may indeed belong to the government of Ukraine, with the rest belonging to farmers and agro-industrial holdings. Further, there have been accusations of Russia forcing farmers to sell at low prices — not “at gunpoint,” of course, and there is the counterargument (more likely) that farmers have been forced by circumstances to sell low, as they can’t afford the fuel or can’t find the labor for harvesting.

        To further complicate matters, Russia considers crops grown in territories it occupies as Russian (and the map is constantly changing), and pro-Russian farmers and agribusinesses in these regions apparently agree. The BBC published a Bellingcat-type “investigation” a few weeks ago — obviously a biased source, but some of the details may be useful. Toward the end, there’s a link to an earlier piece on Russian export of “Ukrainian grain.” It’s in Russian, so you’ll have to run it through a machine translation (Google website translation looked pretty good to me). About halfway down, there’s a heading “Who owns the grain.”

        In any case, based on the hour+ of reading I did before posting the above comment, I understood the accusation to be not that the Russians stole the grain directly from farmers, but that they “illegally” took it from port storage facilities — by which time the farmer is out of the loop — and then, according to the article in 7/21 Links, tried to bypass sanctions by transporting it on ships with intentionally disabled tracking systems, a.k.a., “going dark,” or “smuggling.”

  42. Wukchumni

    Meet the Giant Sequoia, the ‘Super Tree’ Built to Withstand Fire Scientific American

    Once a fire burns a mere mortal pine tree on the outer edge and not much further up the trunk, they’re always a goner, lying dead in place for 5-10 years before kerplunk.

    Sequoias can take a hell of a beating from past fires and keep on living, i’ve seen so many giants with only a little greenery left up top on account of a lightning strike killing the rest of the crown, or ones where wildfire consumed the trees in an odd fashion, Spied a newly torched Sequoia of size in the Atwell Grove which burned so as to give the appearance of having a flying buttress, cool looking in its own way.

  43. Gregorio

    Re: Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.
    Maybe the Pelosi’s are considering an investment in TSMC.

  44. spud

    when this was being done from 1993 onwards, you would have thought the towering mental midgets in the democratic party would have seen this scenario:)

    Eamon Barrett
    Thu, July 21, 2022, 4:30 AM

    Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo warns of the ‘scary’ supply chain scenario that would lead to a ‘deep and immediate’ U.S. recession.

    “If you allow yourself to think about a scenario where the United States no longer had access to the chips currently being made in Taiwan, it’s a scary scenario,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CNBC on Wednesday, warning that losing Taiwan’s chips would mean “a deep and immediate recession” for the U.S.”

    1. bonks

      According to a comment in Mandarin in the original video, that’s in Rizhao, a city in Shandong. Not Henan.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The full story is just emerging, its hard to know whats going on, but it does seem that a lot of people who thought they had bank deposits were stealthily sold high risk wealth management products, which are not covered by deposit insurance. This really puts Beijing in a bind – they can either stick to the letter of the law when it comes to bank failures, or they can potentially open up a huge pandoras box by covering all sorts of bad debt. Either decision has serious consequences one way or another.

Comments are closed.