Links 7/6/2022

SAFARI USERS: Patient readers, it has come to our attention that some Safari users are having trouble with the Links page: It will not scroll, or react to clicks. My solution was to turn off JavaScript (Preferences -> Security -> uncheck Enable JavaScript). When I did that, Links behaved as expected. So try this temporary solution until we find out what’s going on. Opera, a Chrome clone, and Firefox worked for me as normal. –lambert

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.

* * *

Cause Of Neurological “Staggering Disease” Affecting Cats May Have Been Revealed IFL Science

If the U.S. Is in a Recession, It’s a Very Strange One Wall Street Journal

A Crisis Historian Has Some Bad News For Us The Atlantic. For some definition of “us.” “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” –Louis Pasteur


Methane much more sensitive to global heating than previously thought – study Guardian. Original.

How Will Climate Change Affect the Search for a New Black Mecca in the South? Capital B

‘Cod was a way of life for us’ Saltwire

Skies Are Sucking More Water from the Land Scientific American

In a boost for species conservation, freeze-dried mouse cells produce healthy pups STAT



Selective visuoconstructional impairment following mild COVID-19 with inflammatory and neuroimaging correlation findings Nature. From the Abstract:

“[I]t is important to understand what are the implications of mild COVID-19, which is the largest and understudied pool of COVID-19 cases…. In approximately one-quarter of mild-COVID-19 individuals, we detected a specific visuoconstructive deficit, which was associated with changes in molecular and structural brain imaging, and correlated with upregulation of peripheral immune markers. Our findings provide evidence of neuroinflammatory burden causing cognitive deficit, in an already large and growing fraction of the world population. While living with a multitude of mild COVID-19 cases, action is required for a more comprehensive assessment and follow-up of the cognitive impairment, allowing to better understand symptom persistence and the necessity of rehabilitation of the affected individuals.”

And from the Discussion:

“We observed significant cognitive impairment only in the ROCF, a drawing task test used to assess visuospatial abilities, executive functions and memory….. Visuoconstructive deficits are usually defined as an atypical difficulty in using visual and spatial information to guide complex behaviors like drawing, assembling objects or organizing multiple pieces of a more sophisticated stimuli.”

I’m not a biological determinist, but perhaps we’re in the stupidest timeline for a reason. (I wanted to underline the conclusion, so I didn’t underline denialist cant like “mild” and “living with,” which seems to infect everything.)

* * *

CureVac files patent lawsuit in Germany against BioNTech over mRNA technology Reuters

We’re getting an Omicron-optimized booster many months too late Matt Yglesias, Slow Boring. Remember when new mRNA vaccines would be a software point release? Good times.

* * *

Leading Causes of Death in the US During the COVID-19 Pandemic, March 2020 to October 2021 Nature


Top US and Chinese diplomats to meet on sidelines of G20 this week South China Morning Post

China’s Plunging Land Sales Threaten Local Government Coffers Caixin

The Young and the Resentful: Multinationals Reconsidering Their China Operations Face Geopolitical Resentment That Could Cause Lasting Reputational Damage Morning Consult

Xinjiang Response ‘Cannot Be Limited’ to XUAR: Report Sourcing Journal

China Tries to Censor What Could Be Biggest Data Hack in History Gizmodo


India raids offices of Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, after earlier searches on Huawei and Xiaomi South China Morning Post

India’s mass closure of schools is leaving lakhs of students stranded The Scroll

In Kashmir, ‘conscious music’ tests India’s limits on speech AP


Norway strikes threaten to cut off gas supplies to UK within days FT

Now Lurpak nears a TENNER a pack: 1kg tub is spotted on sale in Iceland for eye-watering £9.30 while supermarkets put security tags on ‘high value’ items cheese, meat and BABY MILK as cost-of-living crisis drives thefts Daily Mail

New Not-So-Cold War

A Modern-Day Frederick The Great? The End of Short, Sharp Wars War on the Rocks. Important:

The long-term demands of a protracted war with China or Russia will demand a modern-day American levée en masse with implications far beyond reinstituting conscription. As we are seeing again for the first time since World War II or Korea, the dogs of war have insatiable appetites for people, munitions, and materiel. We are also witnessing in real time the sacrifices this has demanded from Ukraine and Russia. The final question for us as a nation, as we ponder the realities of great power competition and conflict, is this: Are we up for the same?

U.S. Generals Have Been Wrong On Ukraine. We Shouldn’t Be Shocked 1945. No indeed.

Putin’s War Was Never About NATO Natalia Antonova, Foreign Policy. Antonova is Ukrainian-American and a former editor of Bellingcat.

* * *

Episode 236: Pledge A Legion (podcast) TrueAnon. “Seth Harp returns from Ukraine to talk with us about the International Legion of Ukraine, the media situation, and foreign fighters writ large.”

The Latest on Ukraine from Jacques Baud Internationalist 360°

US-led naval escort to break Russian blockade could risk wider war Responsible Statecraft

* * *

Natural Gas Soars 700%, Becoming Driving Force in the New Cold War Bloomberg.

Kremlin Spokesperson Peskov Says No Decision Taken To Covert Russian LNG Sales To Rubles Republic World

Russia boosts coal exports as Western sanctions yet to bite Hellenic Shipping News

Russia To Hit Gazprom With $20 Billion Windfall Tax

* * *

Tens of thousands gather in pro-EU, anti-government demonstrations in Georgia Agence France Presse

Biden Administration

‘A Conflict Nightmare’: Judge Raises Concerns Over Colleagues Holding Berkshire Stock National Law Journal. A letter. Another judge’s letter:

Sounds like one for Stoller; this is at the very least a concentration issue.

The Supremes

Clarence Thomas’ Latest Guns Decision Is Ahistorical and Anti-Originalist Slate

Fourth of July Post-Game Analysis

John Kiriakou: Hold the Fireworks Scheerpost


Frantic 8-hour manhunt ends with the arrest of the Highland Park shooting’s suspect Illinois Newsroom. I don’t see why the suspect wasn’t whacked in a hail of gunfire by eight cops. Must be something about Highland Park, but I can’t think what….

10 Killed, At Least 62 Wounded in Fourth of July Weekend Shootings in Chicago NBC (ChiGal). These shootings are in Chicago proper, not in Highland Park. But they’re not a topic for a national projection-fest conversation. I can’t imagine why…

* * *

3 fans wounded at Oakland A’s game by ‘celebratory gunfire’ on Fourth of July, team says NBC

In Wake Of Supreme Court Gun Ruling, D.C. Gun Owners Sue To Be Able To Carry Concealed Handguns On Metro DCist. Over/under on the first mass shooting in the Metro?

Activism, Uncensored: Are Black 2nd Amendment Advocates the Ultimate Taboo? Matt Taibbi, TK News


Federal Patient Privacy Law Does Not Cover Most Period-Tracking Apps ProPublica

Roe vs Wade is dead. Will a new ‘sisterhood of strangers’ help guide women into the future? LA Times

The Bezzle

Will the crypto crash derail the next web revolution? FT. No, because there isn’t one. Web3 is a Silicon Valley honeypot for stupid money.


The Fatal Flaw in Hospital Price Transparency Rules MedPage Today. Immortal deck: “There is too much room for interpretation in the definition of compliance.”

Our Famously Free Press

Propaganda (1):

Propaganda (2): OK, Zelensky is the woman in the tub….

Zeitgeist Watch

This service retrieves your dead loved ones’ tattoos and preserves them as framed mementos Boing Boing (Re Silc).

Imperial Collapse Watch

10, 9, 8….

The cost of information acquisition by natural selection (preprint) bioRxiv. From the Abstract: “We note that natural selection is a highly effective learning process in that selection is an asymptotically optimal algorithm for the problem faced by evolving populations, and no other algorithm can consistently outperform selection in general. Our results highlight the centrality of information to natural selection and the value of computational learning theory as a perspective on evolutionary biology.” From one of the authors:

Stunned by UFOs, ‘exasperated’ fighter pilots get little help from Pentagon The Hill

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Sardonia

    Someone’s tweet featured on yesterday’s Water Cooler:

    ** An unmasked woman in the checkout line next to me just loudly said to the unmasked cashier, when asked for ID, “Don’t touch it though. I’ll hold it for you. I have COVID.” **

    This deserves a song – with apologies to Sade (Ah, Sade – the woman who became perched on my Pedestal of My Dream Woman, replacing Morticia Addams from The Addams’ Family, who had been there since I was 13):


    I gave you all the bug I had
    I gave you more than I could give
    Gave you bugs….

    I gave you all that I had inside
    And you took my bug
    You took my bug.

    Didn’t I tell you
    What I believe in?
    Our President said that
    This little bug can’t last.

    No need to worry
    Just don’t touch my ID

    I gave you all the bug I have
    But I went and got the jab
    Last September.

    So we can laugh and shout and sing
    And not care about a thing
    Just remember…

    No more crying
    They’re not lying
    There’s nothing like
    A peaceful psyche

    It’s…just…an…ordinary bug
    An ordinary bug.
    It’s…just…an…ordinary bug
    An ordinary bug.

    Once it came our way
    Now it’s gone away
    From our minds.

    Didn’t I tell you
    What I believe in?
    Rochelle Walensky
    Said no need to hide our smiles
    Don’t have to care now
    Go anywhere now

    It’s…just…an…ordinary bug
    An ordinary bug.
    It’s…just…an…ordinary bug
    An ordinary bug.

    I’ll keep smiling for you
    It’s only a tiny flu
    I’ve got so much to do
    Why am I turning blue?
    And I’m falling….
    Why’m I falling….

    1. Samuel Conner

      > no need to hide our smiles

      But … if hiding smiles is considered anti-social, then wouldn’t masking be regarded to be pro-social when it hides the scowls that everyone is going to be expressing later this year?

  2. griffen

    Darwin award entrants. From the video linked, re, last 30 seconds.

    Idiocy with no equal.

    1. tegnost

      Well the one woman did grab the baby and run, so there’s that…
      by the way missed your comment yesterday re crude spiking down due to recession fear rumors, and it’s still dropping this am…I noticed a headline that traders are “waiting for fed minutes to be released” and wonder whether it will spike back up as soon as free money f(r)eddie promises to give wall st a hamburger today so that it can buy another one on tuesday…

    2. jr

      Is that a family of arms dealers? There were enough fireworks in that box to take out an armored column. I considered awarding the video a Vonnegut Event designation but it’s actually not surreal at all. It’s all too real.

  3. hemeantwell

    The article on Tooze suggests he is well-qualified to prognosticate on the current crisis, but then serves up very stale toast. I hope Tooze’s hedge fund clients get a better meal.

    1. Judith

      I thought marshmallow fluff. The author is the spouse of Ezra Klein (for what it’s worth). (Sorry for being snarky; it really was too much.)

  4. Samuel Conner

    One could hope that US inability to win attritional wars at industrial scale might incentivize a foreign policy that seeks to de-escalate potential conflicts with peer or near-pear adversaries.

    But probably not. The powerful are different from you and me — they have more power, but also … they’re (probably) sociopaths.

    1. LawnDart

      they’re (probably) sociopaths.

      From direct, first-hand and recent experience, to me there’s nothing “probable” or uncertain about the ruling classes sociopathy– it’s in their culture, and, as inbred as that culture is, one can rightly say that it’s in their blood.

      1. Mildred Montana

        >All the powerful are (probably) sociopaths

        I would go further and say that they are all definitely, certifiably, sociopaths.

        A simple syllogism:

        All pathological liars are sociopaths.
        All powerful people are pathological liars.
        Therefore all powerful people are sociopaths.

        I cannot think of a high-level politician today or in history who hasn’t lied, who doesn’t lie, who doesn’t obfuscate, fib, fudge the truth, or play fast and loose with it.

        Skillful and well-practiced lying is how they rose to the top and how they stay there.

        As Gore Vidal said, “All politicians lie. The successful liars are called statesmen.”

        When they should be called sociopaths.

        1. LifelongLib

          Politics isn’t about truth. It’s about making deals so that people who will never agree on what the truth is can live together without killing each other. Parts of those deals are face-saving BS, i.e. lies. And when people get tired of politics, the alternative isn’t truth. It’s war, or the next Hitler or Stalin.

    2. NN Cassandra

      I think there is a deeper problem. Sociopath advances own interest with zero care about how it affects other people. What we see hare is maniacal determination to continue with policies that harm not only the people, but even the sociopaths themselves.

      1. LawnDart

        Our ruling-class can generally buy their way out of trouble; they don’t dirty their hands in war or other unpleasant, confrontational or unseemly matters– let alone bloody them (that’s what lawyers and soldiers are for); when USA/West gets hurt, sinks into recession/depression, they buy for pennies on the dollar. And if SHTF, they can always jet to New Zealand or even fly off to Mars one day, the namesake of their god.

        The ruling class are soulless creatures lacking empathy and self-insight– they only know to devour and win. Fortunately for us, they are not as intelligent as they think they are. Unfortunately, for us, they are THE ruling class and they do not hesitate to exercise their power and privilege, as granted, defined, by their laws.

        Politics in USA is Harvard vs.Yale– just a game and friendly rivalry amongst peers to them. Seriously.

        1. NN Cassandra

          Guess it depends on the definition of ruling class. I think that when the various things flying around finally hit the fan, some of the politicians will have their physical well being on line. When it comes to the pundits, think-thankers and PMC enforcers, they may despise the proles, but they are linked to them and to the economies at large. Yet they persist in all this insanity, demanding even more and more of it. And when it comes to the oligarchs, they may be able to escape the mob in private jet and on some foreign island live comfortable life in absolute terms, but in relatively terms they will be poorer, having less peasants to command around than they have now.

          I think even the western MIC won’t come out of this in better shape, unless there is course correction soon.

          1. Wukchumni

            Sociopaths tend to need exclusivity as in not sharing their Gulfstream VI or 320 foot yacht with the hoi polloi, and only grudgingly share the roads & highways with the little people, there being no other alternative.

            Everything about them is exclusion* in being sheltered from the drudgery of the common people by having to witness their trials and tribulations.

            * i’m an exclusionist of a different stripe as my venue is on land that all 300 odd million of us have a share in and are welcome to come & play.

            1. Darryl

              Sociopaths tend to need exclusivity as in not sharing their Gulfstream VI or 320 foot yacht with the goi polloi, and only grudgingly share the roads & highways with the little people”

              Don’t worry, $20 gas will thin out the peons. The real problem is how will staff be able to afford to drive to the Mansions? Lots of mandatory construction of Low Income Housing will bring the servants close enough that they can walk to work.


      2. ArvidMartensen

        There might be parallels between the US and an organisation heading towards bankruptcy. Personal experience here too. A private school.
        For the first time, the school runs at a small loss. No probs. Advertise for students.
        Next year, bigger loss. No probs. Fiddle around the edges. Advertise some more.
        Next year bigger loss. Bring in some half-vast parent accountant to do the numbers again with unrealistic assumptions so that the numbers look good. Problem solved!
        Next year, same. Get the half-vast accountant to do the numbers again. Not so bad after all!
        Those who say the place is going bust are shuffled out of the conversation, chastised for negativity and ignored.
        Next year, oh, can’t make payroll, we need a loan. With the help of our half-vast accountant, we con a bank into a loan. Spend it on PR and a high-powered admin guy and advertising. No probs.
        Next year, loan mostly gone, no increase in enrolments. Then the Board realises that the school is going under and they might be on the hook personally to repay the loan. Lickety-split, school is put onto the bankruptcy track and parents have a week to find new school for kids. The delusional and the uniformed cry out, how could a whole school disappear overnight? Unimaginable!!

        So to the US. Things have always been good. We have always won. Our country is a beacon of safety and plenty for most. Let’s go the war again! Vietnam. Iraq. Serbia. Afghanistan. Iraq. Ukraine. Rah rah rah, we always win, even when we have to pull out but that isnt losing, no siree..
        Get some half-vast military dudes to say we are winning in Ukraine and it’s all good. Send out PR to say we are winning. Read our own PR. Sleep well at night!
        Rinse and repeat.
        Then suddenly. Crash. Where is the food? Where is the cheap gas? Why are people still getting sick from Covid after being vaxxed? Why are black militias forming? Why are white militias roaming around? Why are malls and schools and parades not safe any more?
        As Orlov has said, when the real depression starts in the US, the fat and waddling Americans will blow out at the knees. Whereas the wiry Russians just pull in their belts again and deal with the next catastrophe.

    3. hunkerdown

      Near-pear? There’s one party to this conflict about to go pear-shaped and it ain’t the adversary.

      “[O]ne could well argue that all hierarchies by their own internal logic must nec­essarily create images of rebellious disorder—images, indeed, of their own negation— that they then have to exert enormous amounts of energy to con­tain, so as to ensure that they do not burst out of the level of the imaginary. Such systems are always vulnerable.” -David Graeber

      “War is the health of the state.” -Randolph Bourne

      And this is why you never, ever give an idealist the power to command others.

    4. Karl

      …they’re (probably) sociopaths.

      A simpler explanation is that they are stupid, per the third law of Cipolla’s five laws of stupidity:

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

      The 5th law is that stupid people are the most dangerous of all. It would seem that stupidity is correlated with power. The reason may be that the donor class does not want, and will not support, people with brains and integrity. They want people who will do what they are told. Brains not needed, in fact they are an impediment.

      You look around at the leaders of the U.S. and Britain, and some countries of the EU, and you have to conclude: Stupid.

      Note that stupidity and sociopathology are not mutually exclusive. Maybe our leaders are both.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        A quote from an unknown German general that I ran across years ago comes to mind: “I divide officers into four classes — the clever, the lazy, the stupid and the industrious. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the high staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy is fit for the very highest commands. He has the temperament and the requisite nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be removed immediately.” Anon (Attributed to an unknown German general), as quoted at Pick Your Battles.

        1. Roland

          Earliest use I found is in Gen. Hoffman’s memoirs. He succeeded Hindenburg as German commander on the Eastern front in WWI.

          Hoffman was known among the Staff for his spiteful and career-limiting epigrams. e.g. “Here is where the great Hindenburg slept through his glorious victory at Tannenburg!”

          Hoffman was also the one who was able to figure out that Trotsky was the smartest guy in the room at Brest-Litovsk, and that both Czernin and Kuhlmann were getting played.

  5. LawnDart

    Re; Climate

    First the bad news:

    Arctic temperatures are increasing four times faster than global warming

    A new analysis of observed temperatures shows the Arctic is heating up more than four times faster than the rate of global warming. The trend has stepped upward steeply twice in the last 50 years, a finding missed by all but four of 39 climate models.

    Now the good news!

    Future increases in the Arctic amplification index are likely to be smaller as the temperature difference between the Arctic and the tropics decreases.

    First-cousin to Scientific American’s “Skies Are Sucking More Water from the Land” and recent news from the Arctic that indicates the big, cold drink is quickly running out of ice cubes.

    1. Daryl

      Buy your property now and plant some coconuts & bananas. Now a freezing desert, in a couple of years it’ll be a tropical paradise.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’m hedging bets with a pied-à-terre in Tierra del Fuego and a condo in an over 55 community well north of the Great Slave Lake in Alberta.

    2. Mike

      That is not news this has been known for a while. One of the issues with ice core analysis is trying to extrapolate a global average because the poles swing much more during periods of warming and cooling. I think these authors are smoking crack.

  6. JohnA

    Re the Bellingcat shill article in FP about Putin and Nato, she claims:
    “If Russia wanted Ukraine in its orbit, it could have chosen the path of economic incentives, political cooperation, and genuine aid.”

    This is exactly what Putin did offer in 2013 and Yanokovich accepted. Cue Nuland and Pyatt birthing the Maiden Coup to install an anti-Russian puppet regime, 8 years of genocide of ethnic Russians in the east and finally the Special Military Operation.
    These shills have no shame in airbrushing inconvenient facts out of history.

    1. digi_owl

      Speaking of Maidan, keep a very close eye on Georgia.

      Is Nuland et al about to open a second front?

      1. The Rev Kev

        There is a link about Georgia today called “Tens of thousands gather in pro-EU, anti-government demonstrations in Georgia Access to the comments” and that crowd strikes me as a crowd-for-hire. The reason that they were ignored in nomination to the EU is that they are not going along with the Russian sanctions package because a) They do not want to destroy their economy and b) they share a 894 km (556 mile) with Russia itself. Having seen what is happening to the Ukraine, they would prefer no second visit from the Russian army.

        1. digi_owl

          That link, and a tweeted image i had seen earlier of some deeply meme driven signs, is why i wondered openly if it was another color/Maidan in the brewing.

          Between that spinning up, and the ongoing bruhaha in Lithuania, it seems someone is desperate to take some pressure off the Ukraine debacle.

        2. Stephen T Johnson

          More directly, Georgia experienced the consequences of accepting a “Why don’t you and Russia fight? We’ll support you” Invite back in 2008. I don’t think those with any sense want to try that again, but Saakashvili and friends are totally up for a rematch.

    2. Bart Hansen

      Was anyone able to read the Putin quote she referred to? For me there was a pay wall.

  7. Lexx

    ‘A Crisis Historian Has Some More Bad News For Us’

    ‘Hitler was compelled not just by murderous anti-Semitism but by shortages of land, steel, and fuel, Tooze argued in 2006’s Wages of Destruction, for instance.’

    Um, wait… what? What happened to Hitler being slowly poisoned by his doctor, and his lifetime of IBS? Not to mention the atherosclerotic heart disease and Parkinson’s. I was feeling sorry for little Hitler after that story; that’s enough to make any one manically grumpy. Grumpy powerful people do bad things, they just can’t help themselves. It’s not their fault.

    1. Wukchumni

      I could see how the 3rd Reich needed quick victories-being under economic duress, whereas we need slow losses to perpetuate an economy based on being utterly Krupp’d.

  8. digi_owl

    That Norwegian oil strike has already been ended by government intervention (A Labour Party led government no less).

    These last few years really have strained the Nordic model.

  9. Steve H.

    > A Modern-Day Frederick The Great? The End of Short, Sharp Wars War on the Rocks.

    >> Finally, soldiers are not ready for service until they have successfully completed their initial training. In the case of an infantry soldier, One Station Unit Training is a 22-week program. In a best case, the first group of infantry soldiers would be available in approximately one year to ship out to combat.

    The classical approach to warfare did not require such investment in conscripts. Sir John Falstaff:

    > Tut, tut, good enough to toss, food for powder,
    food for powder, they’ll fill a pit as well as better.
    Tush, man, mortal men, mortal men.

    Sir John gives details on the method of conscription:

    > I have got in exchange of a hundred and fifty
    soldiers three hundred and odd pounds. I press me
    none but good householders, yeomen’s sons, enquire
    me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked
    twice on the banns, such a commodity of warm slaves as
    had as lief hear the devil as a drum, such as fear the
    report of a caliver worse than a struck fowl or a hurt wild
    duck. I pressed me none but such toasts-and-butter,
    with hearts in their bellies no bigger than pins’ heads,
    and they have bought out their services. And now my
    whole charge… were never soldiers, but
    discarded unjust servingmen, younger sons to younger
    brothers, revolted tapsters, and ostlers trade-fallen, the
    cankers of a calm world and a long peace…
    Nay, and the villains march wide
    betwixt the legs as if they had gyves on, for indeed I had
    the most of them out of prison.

    The classical approach was based in a different grand strategy, not of more training for a short single battle, but of a broader approach. As Euripides says through Helen:

    > Zeus added further troubles to these; for he brought a war upon the land of the Hellenes and the unhappy Phrygians, so that he might lighten mother earth of her crowded mass of mortals

    Relevant to this article, I would suggest this indicates reinstating conscription, but shortening the training time. We shall see.

    1. Samuel Conner

      to your last, one wonders if the armed forces will find ways to incorporate some of the training into games and other media to which the young are already exposed.

      Perhaps “phys ed” in HS (or whatever it is now called) could be made more rigorous.

      1. hemeantwell

        They already have and it also occurs on a freelance basis. A number of years ago I checked out online combat sims and discovered well-established clans that did a decent job educating members to basic combat tactics. For the most part teachers were former military.

        1. John

          Perhaps so in the abstract, but faced with a skirmish, a battle, actual bullets flying? I have my doubts.

          1. Darthbobber

            Much easier to just follow the prescribed tactics when nobody’s REALLY getting hurt than when they are and you might be one of them. I know people who play the finest game of Poker imaginable for plastic chips or penny ante, but prove unequal to the task when the stakes rise to where the results are actually of consequence.

        2. Vandemonian

          My pacifist father (b. 1913) always maintained that the ‘shoot targets for prizes’ games at the fairground were the first round of military training. Now it’s video games and DIY drones.

    2. Soredemos

      Frankly I don’t want to hear anything from War on the Rocks about Russia or the logistical demands of modern warfare, after they infamously ran a long article assuring us in depth that Russia had no logistical capacity and would be exhausted after a push of a few days and a few villages. WotR is now opining about the sacrifices Russia has had to make (has it? As far as I can tell it’s gotten its war-making to a very stable place where it can keep up the pressure essentially indefinitely. The impression I get from the war in Ukraine is that Russia isn’t even breaking a sweat and has made its activities extremely routinized, which is why the victories are happening more and more rapidly as the Ukrainians shatter under steady pressure they have no response to), while previously they assured us that Russia was completely incapable of such sacrifices.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “US-led naval escort to break Russian blockade could risk wider war”

    Almost certainly not going to happen. Turkey is already stopping warships entering the Black Sea under the provisions of the Montreux Treaty and the last thing that they want is a naval battle breaking out between their country and the country that they get their wheat from, especially with the harvest coming in soon. In addition, it will be a job rounding up enough mine-sweepers to clear out the hundreds of sea-mines off the coast – providing that the Ukrainians allow it. And I was reading a year or two ago how the US Navy has run down their available number of mine-sweepers as they are not sexy ships or something. Just the other day Bulgaria had to blow up one of those sea-mine escapees so which commercial wheat-ship will sail into those waters? One ship has already been lost to those mines. So no, not really gunna happen this.

    1. voislav

      Also, inflation is already hitting Turkey hard, so Erdogan may face political headwinds in the coming months. His base is predominantly poor rural communities which are more affected by high food prices and with elections coming next June he’ll be feeling the pressure.

      1. hemeantwell

        When are those headwinds going to blow? The Turkish economy has been bleeding badly for months, and Erdogan’s crack-brained anti-deflationary policies have been very controversial.

        1. Wukchumni

          Turkey was really the last developed country to experience rather crazy hyperinflation about 20 years ago, and i’ve noticed a trend in that countries that go through it tend to be repeaters like Argentina or hapless Venezuela which is locked in a 40 year death spiral, and i’ve long speculated how you could get hyperinflation in a digital world where there isn’t an all of the sudden large amount of large denomination banknotes that buy ever less consumer goods, its just the opposite in that there are less consumer goods, which is the driver for cyberinflation.

          1. Skippy

            As you note with past reflections on currency seen as debasement in PPP post trade shocks or say in Venezuela’s case endless sanctions its actually either a case of imposed trade shock, what Hudson points out about social engineering through inflation like recently Brazil, or sorta like today where geopolitics/lack of CapEx/and Covid institute a game of 52 card pick up …

            Just imagine for a moment that some bright bulbs thought they could crush the Ruble whilst bleeding it dry through a military conflict only to see it go up in price … manic chortle … don’t even get me started on neo-paleo-Keynesian … barf ~~~~~~~

  11. Lexx

    ‘Antidote du jour’

    In case you were also wondering… do Siamese triplets exist? Yes, they do, but not in that photo.

    1. ambrit

      I thought it was the Cerebrus of the Yellowstone (the closest place to the Underworld one could find.)

  12. Wukchumni

    This service retrieves your dead loved ones’ tattoos and preserves them as framed mementos Boing Boing
    {warning: cranky middle aged man ranting}

    I’ve noticed that the only art show younger adults are interested in attending is the one on their body.

    I like to inquire as to their meaning and the other day a comely young miss of 32 told me that the gibberish on her forearm meant ‘fortitude’ in Hebrew and she isn’t even Jewish, so why bother, or better yet why not in English?

    Last month I talked to a young man in his 20’s about the lined script running the length of one of his arms and he told me it was his favorite poem and I hesitated to ask if it was an indelible crib sheet and if so, why not just memorize it instead and astonish friends when belting it out verbatim?

    1. The Rev Kev

      There was another mob that did stuff like this with tattooed skin a long time ago but at least they made them part of lampshades which were useful.

      1. CaliDan

        Is sleepy Ohio really the place to set up shop? Seems like business would be booming in Kiev (forgive the pun).

    2. Steve H.

      I’ll suggest that for those who’ve grown up in the age of electronic distraction, insistent and incessant and no farther than their pocket, a tangible reminder to themselves of what is important is a method of happiness. See ‘Memento’ for the logic.

      Also, hard to repo a tat.

    3. Lexx

      I’ve known two people who when they die want their families to hold them in one hand, gaze into their eye sockets and talk to them, like ‘dear Horatio’.

      I knew a guy who wants his whole body processed into a medical skeleton, complete with pose-able jointing, so he can generally hang around the house… and because Halloween is his favorite holiday, they can use him to decorate the yard or porch. He couldn’t bear the idea of the other choices for corpse disposal.

      I thought both of those ideas were remarkably self-centered, and yet somehow generous, in that all were fathers, looking out for their families from the ‘great beyond’, and charging their descendants with returning the favor. Tribalism…. it’s in our genes.

      Skinning a dead loved one and turning them into leather? Why just frame the leather? You could turn dad into a bracelet, a pillow to hug while you fall asleep, leather to cover the arms of a custom chair or an ottoman, a dream-catcher, a saddle (some dads have really thick hides)… dad just never stops being useful. Wonder why so many men are opting out…

      We really need to rethink what “family” means. At this rate a family of four could just stand out in the front yard on Halloween in their leather finery and say, ‘boo’!


    4. hunkerdown

      Modern people lack a sensuous connection to the earth or a metaphysical meaning in burial, are less likely to have cars to fly their vinyl memorial window decals, and have less access to history-carrying material goods (heirlooms) due to quality decline and general poverty.

      When other monumentalities have been foreclosed, it’s not unnatural for social people to satisfy their society’s need to negate death by keeping relics of ancestors, in the belief/hope that “their” energy still patterns its flow around their dead DNA.

      Then again, I don’t “understand” the concept of family china, so I guess that makes us even. :)

    5. Amfortas the hippie

      tats never bothered me…and i’m old enough to remember when only (Real) Bikers, Punks of varying descriptions, ex cons and Sailors were the only one’s who had them.
      similarly to the phenomenon of the Rednecks who used to chase me with sheep shears now all sporting long hair and beards….the evolution of what is acceptable in more or less mainstream is a good thing.
      one can see tats, ear metal, facemetal, and even weird hair(blue…whitegirldreads, etc) even in bank tellers way out here in the wilderness, where it’s still 1920 in spirit….this would have never happened in my formative years.

      Cousin has lots and lots of tats….gets a new one when something momentous happens…or when he needs a “Reset” of some kind.
      it’s therapeutic, apparently.
      and like Steve says below, it’s an example of the actual Individual(as opposed to the Neoliberal Hyperindividual) breaking through the homogenaeity that masquerades as individualism.
      only 2 tats i’ve ever wanted were an acorn(quercus macrocarpa) and opened pine cone, on either upper arm.
      but i never wanted to spend the jack.
      my Eldest has a Comanche Snake brand on his calf…him and his Krewe made a big deal out of all getting them…fashioning the brand, and an almost ritualistic branding party.
      old as time.
      …especially, perhaps, in periods of Bowling Alone.

      1. Wukchumni

        My youtuber friend Wonderhussy reckons that on account of being tattoo-less in a world full of attractive women attired with them, gives her a special niche.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i peruse her site occasionally(HT Wuk) to dream of Mountains…
          y’all both are welcome to visit any old time.
          seems like my kind of chick.
          if we dig a hole under the cowboy pool and light a fire, we can simulate a hot spring.
          entry fee: sequoia cones.(pinon cones will do, as they’ll likely grow here)

          i attribute my lack of ink to Slack….which seems to mollify my tatted cousin.

          1. Wukchumni

            Wonderhussy is sneaky smart under her chassis and a hoot to be around, i’m glad to have met her and got into hot water over it.

            If you ever get a wild hair and want to see big wood, its only 6/10’s of a mile to the first Sequoia from our cabin, come west hippie.

      2. Darthbobber

        They never bothered me on others, but for myself I thought it was bad enough to have fingerprints. Why voluntarily add “distinctive marks or characteristics”?

    6. Kouros

      I would prefer to go the Roman way, with the Lari & Penati and the little shrine of family in a corner, with the mortuary masks of the ancestors. Much more civilized…

    7. ambrit

      I met a fellow who had a Japanese script circling his neck; angular and almost Goth. He said he got it in an ink shop in Yokohama while in the service. When I asked, he said that he later found out that the sentence said “Cut on dotted line.”
      I avoid body ink. I’m not a shaman nor a devotee to a cult.

  13. fresno dan

    Activism, Uncensored: Are Black 2nd Amendment Advocates the Ultimate Taboo? Matt Taibbi, TK News

    Bezzel was with a group of demonstrators, including Black Panthers, who were upset over a case involving a 24-year-old Federal Express driver named D’Monterrio Gibson. On January 24th earlier this year, Gibson was shot at by a man named Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Case, while attempting to make deliveries.
    The two Cases were eventually charged with assault**, but bonded out quickly.
    There are a lot of taboos on commercial television, which for instance doesn’t like to show scenes of poverty (unless it’s being chased by police), rarely interviews non-voters, almost never does military contracting fraud stories, and seldom shows results on the ground of American military/drone strikes, even if they’ve already appeared on the airwaves of other countries.
    A sign of the NRA’s new determination to influence electoral politics was the 1980 decision to endorse, for the first time in the organization’s 100 years, a presidential candidate. Their chosen candidate was none other than Ronald Reagan, who more than a decade earlier had endorsed Don Mulford’s law to disarm the Black Panthers—a law that had helped give Reagan’s California one of the strictest gun-control regimes in the nation. Reagan’s views had changed considerably since then, and the NRA evidently had forgiven his previous support of vigorous gun control.
    Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw “no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” He called guns a “ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of good will.” In a later press conference, Reagan said he didn’t “know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field to hunt or for target shooting who carries that gun loaded.” The Mulford Act, he said, “would work no hardship on the honest citizen.”
    2 points: If you really want gun control, than you should advocate for 2nd amendment open carry for black men . And I’m sorry Matt, but the biggest taboo on television, after “we have the greatest military in the world”, is how unjust inconsistent police and prosecutors are.
    ** Why not attempted murder?

    1. JBird4049

      >>>If you really want gun control, than you should advocate for 2nd amendment open carry for black men . And I’m sorry Matt, but the biggest taboo on television, after “we have the greatest military in the world”, is how unjust inconsistent police and prosecutors are.

      Whatever your beliefs are about the gunz, do think about how any gun control laws usually appear when Blacks get free, get politically active (uppity), or try to defend themselves from being murdered. It is part of that whole genocide, slavery, racism, and occasionally anti poor (usually immigrant) thing. California’s Black Panther Gun Control Law is a good example. The Oakland PD has always been a bit violent, but back in the 1960s when it was staffed by World War Two veterans originally from the South, it was much more so towards Blacks. This meant that those uppity armed Black Panthers started to follow the police around, which meant much less violence until the Panthers were destroyed.

      Usually, at the same time, Whites especially if they are not poor are basically ignored by the authorities especially in the South where guns historically have successfully been used by Blacks to deter lynchings.

  14. Dr. Phips

    “India raids offices of Chinese smartphone maker Vivo, after earlier searches on Huawei and Xiaomi”.
    For the ones who thought that India in the end would, if not side with, at least keep neutral in regards to China, this latest news helps to dispel any doubts about the path it chose to take. Getting in direct confrontation mode against major Chinese conglomerates like Xiaomi in my opinion shows that India is fully on board with the US strategy of containing companies from China using any pretexts, no matter how whimsical. I am sure that this will help dispel any illusions that the Chinese leadership harboured about India’s strategic policies. At least things are getting clearer now on the world stage, as now everybody is able to see who sides with whom.

    1. ambrit

      India doing this does not negate the slow Rapprochement between the two super powers. India is just telling China that it will be the one to spy on the Indian public, not China.
      As Frost said; “Good fences make good neighbours.”

    2. RobertC

      I’m not going to agree entirely with Dr. Phips fully on board with the US strategy but I do disagree with ambrit’s Rapprochement.

      As I’ve explained in many Comments, India isn’t capable of such consistency. I have occasional flashes of hope but I know they ain’t gonna happen.

      1. ambrit

        If India isn’t capable of consistancy in it’s foreign relations, then who is making the decisions? Or is the place just muddling through? That is a frightensome prospect; a huge nation rudderless, adrift in a burning sea. Is there even one India?

  15. LawnDart

    How to win votes and make USAians happy:

    Oil from U.S. reserves sent overseas as gasoline prices stay high

    Arathy Somasekhar

    HOUSTON (Reuters) -More than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency reserves release to lower domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit record highs.

    About 1 million barrels per day is being released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) through October. The flow is draining the SPR, which last month fell to the lowest since 1986.

    That’ll show those rooskis! Slava Ukraini!

    1. Wukchumni

      The Car Go cult won’t be dismayed by shortages of go-juice sure to come (see Sri Lanka for a taste of whats in store for us) and will construct tanker trucks out of scrap metal with tired out tires affixed port & aft, and old Taco Bell & Dunkin Doughnut locations only need a few faux pumps and most importantly a large sign showing the price for all grades of gas, and it’ll surely lure the crude back into lives.

  16. William Beyer

    Regarding the Natalia Antonova propaganda piece in Foreign Policy, consider this excerpt from “A REPORT TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL BY THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE August 18, 1948:”

    There is no clear dividing line between Russia and the Ukraine. and it would be impossible to establish one. The cities in Ukrainian territory have been predominantly Russian and Jewish. The real basis of “Ukrainianism” is the feeling of “difference” produced by a specific peasant dialect and by minor differences of custom and folklore throughout the country districts. The political agitation on the surface is largely the work of a few romantic intellectuals, who have little concept of the responsibilities of government.

    The economy of Ukraine is inextricably intertwined with that of Russia as a whole. There has never been any economic separation since the territory was conquered…To attempt to carve it out of the Russian economy and set it up as something separate would be as artificial and destructive as an attempt to separate the Corn Belt, including the Great Lakes industrial area, from the economy of the United States…If any real border can be drawn in the Ukraine, it should logically be the border between the areas which traditionally give religious allegiance to the Eastern Church and those who give it to the Church of Rome…

    1. Mike

      I have a book on my shelf written in the 50s which recaps the Russian revolution by way of the Mennonite community and their ultimate decision to emigrate away from the former Ukraine. They referred to it as the Ukraine then and it was also taken over by Ukrainian specific communists first, not Russians. Russians eventually finished the job because the Ukrainian faction maybe wasn’t organized enough.

    2. Steven A

      My grandfather’s family were Black Sea Germans who emigrated from Ukraine (near the Romanian border) to Canada at the turn of the 20th Century. When asked, he always said that they came from “southern Russia.”

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Kremlin Spokesperson Peskov Says No Decision Taken To Covert Russian LNG Sales To Rubles”

    The one word that Peskov did not say was the word ‘yet’ but he did not have to. The question has been raised and will now not go away and countries will be waiting for this particular shoe to drop. The Sakhalin-2 gas project mentioned in this article is different. LNG sales to Rubles is a general threat to all those country’s on Russia’s naughty list. The Sakhalin-2 gas project, I suspect, is more or less specifically targeted at Japan and in a way, drops Japan into their very own cauldron. And whatever they are going to do, they are going to have to do it soon. They may waffle and ask for ‘clarifications’ like they have done on a previous occasion but they now have a dead-line looming.

  18. marcyincny

    re: visuoconstructional impairment

    I will be reading the piece to see if this explains the recent spate of near-misses we’ve had on the highways and the increase in emergency sirens we’re hearing.

  19. Wukchumni

    Skies Are Sucking More Water from the Land Scientific American

    I’ve noticed a couple things in regards to Giant Sequoias which have no tap root and the roots spread out in a quite shallow manner underfoot, probably the one tree of all most susceptible to loss of moisture in the soil.

    In the past year there are 10 or so mature Sequoias i’ve seen that toppled and there was still greenery on them. This in itself isn’t unusual as that’s how they eventually succumb, but I haven’t see as many of them as now. If this trend continues I should see ever more of them laying prone in years to come.

    Was hiking with a group of seasoned friends in the Atwell Grove and we all noticed diminutive Sequoia cones, some 1/3rd of normal size. This indicates to me that the Brobdingnagians are really stressed, kicking out preemies that won’t bear any offspring.

    Closer to home in the Sierra foothills, oak trees are already turning canary in a coal mine yellow in early July instead of late October. These have deep tap roots-but is it enough to counter the drought?

    These too are bailing out, no acorns will come of them as they’re in survival mode.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      Post Oaks(Quercus Stellata) are our main oak tree…the various red oaks and live oaks succumbed to the Oak Wilt ten + years ago(White Oaks have better immunity).
      but the big drought a dozen years ago, plus the 6-7 year grasshopper plague…as well as the 2021 Ice Age…and now this years drought…have noticeably weakened them.
      taproots down to the water table, even…but to no avail.(may be indicative of water table dropping).
      the biggest ones on our place are all within the radii of my big sprinklers…and they’re all looking good….but those elsewhere have a thin leaf out/canopy…and lots of yellow leaves.
      the river bottom/creekside/gullyside specimens all look good, too.
      same with pecans…and even some mesquites, remarkably…especially those who are growing in the more rocky uplands.
      at this rate, the NW texas Hill Country will become more like the prairie it was before our interventions in the natural fire regime.

    2. Lex

      Will the fallen live trees turnup? Or is it too dry at this point? (I wish I knew the technical term, but in the mild, upper michigan forestry I’ve experienced a “turnup” is a fallen tree or even cut stump that returns to growth.)

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        mesquites do that regularly….(and i use the phenomenon in my coppicing practice)…as do our local “cedar”(really an ashe juniper…source of “cedar fever”)
        the oaks, not so much.
        at least these post oaks.
        likely due to damaged taproot if the get blown or just fall over.
        live oaks do that, if ground/root interface is sound.
        all the dead or damaged trees i spoke of are stressed, long term, from many angles of attack.
        (fruit trees do that, too…btw…facilitating creative and often inspired growth…see: esplanade, etc)

    3. RobertC

      no acorns will come of them as they’re in survival mode.

      Don’t you have wildlife depending on those acorns?

      After fires took out much of our next-door National Forest oak trees a few decades ago, I was putting out 100lbs birdseed daily for months until the pigeons stopped showing up. One morning I counted 300 on the high tension wire between my house and my neighbors a 1/4 mile away. These days I only visit but the oaks are coming back … chopped up into small pieces by the side of the road to be removed by the county.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        during the 6-7 year grasshopper plague, the hoppers would end up 60 feet up, eating the baby acorns, pecans, etc…so no crops(mesquite beans, too).
        during this time, the raccoons were more aggressive, more ingenious…and they were in the trash a lot more.
        prying open metal trash cans to get at the scratch…teamwork and mcgyverish skillsets to get into the old trash dumpster, in spite of my countermeasures(hence, the new one)
        the deer right now, during this drought, are might near fearless.
        they’re even in my mom’s yard and garden(none of us had a garden this year).
        one could hunt with a hammer. they are suffering from the acorn, etc shortages of the last few years as well.

        all 3 of the nut bearers around here are doing well this year as far as crop…but only within the sprinkler radii.(and, im gonna hafta thin the squirrel herd this fall– —frelling rodents ate all the peaches)

  20. Lunker Walleye

    Thanks for addressing the Safari issue, Lambert. Everything works fine with Brave.

    1. Vandemonian

      Not in iOS it doesn’t. I normally read NC in Brave browser on an iPad, but today’s version of Links wouldn’t load properly (kept reloading) and wouldn’t let me select text or open a link.

      Other NC posts today behave normally. Todays Links post works normally in Opera, but in Chrome it shows the same anomalies as it does in Brave.

      AFAIK there’s no Java in iOS.

      1. Vandemonian

        Silly me. There is JavaScript in iOS (as Rod pointed out below). Turning JavaScript on/off in Safari makes the Links page misbehave/behave, but I can’t find a way of disabling Java in Brave.

      2. Vandemonian

        It’s not just NC. I’m also seeing this problem when I visit Boing Boing (www.boing

    2. dk

      Testing on, I notice that on Safari the page doesn’t completely load, and ads are not visible. This suggests that script on an ad, or other script on the page, is causing the browser’s javascript engine to freeze, and preventing further user interaction.

      When page loading doesn’t complete, the refresh icon ⟳ doesn’t show up on the address bar, instead the stop icon ╳ remains visible.

      Also seems to currently affect Water Cooler and other NC pages in my testing.

  21. DJG, Reality Czar

    A tiny virus shows that the mind-body problem is solved (quote from above):

    “In approximately one-quarter of mild-COVID-19 individuals, we detected a specific visuoconstructive deficit, which was associated with changes in molecular and structural brain imaging, and correlated with upregulation of peripheral immune markers. Our findings provide evidence of neuroinflammatory burden causing cognitive deficit, in an already large and growing fraction of the world population.”

    About ten days ago, Lambert Strether posted an article with this upsetting finding: The virus uses the olfactory bulbs to penetrate the brain, damaging the “switching stations” between hemispheres—the hippocampus and amygdala.

    So much for the mind-body problem, when a virus causes cognitive decline by means of the nose. And we all know the power of scent to evoke memory (Proust’s madeleines, our collective mothers’s spaghetti sauce) and sexual desire (Colette’s many descriptions, Guerlain, why Marilyn Monroe was wearing Chanel No. 5).

    Too bad that so much rickety U.S. thought is based on radical dualism, the body as the “Tupperware container” (thanks for the image, Andrea Marcolongo). So you have hangovers of Cartesian ideas, decadent U.S. Protestantism, queer theory, and gender theory, all chasing after a radical separation of body and mind, of soul and genitalia, of psyche and thumos.

    Too bad about that philosophical virus.

    1. jr

      Agreed. Now if we could just get rid of the metaphysical mind-virus of physicalism, we would be well along to a coherent ontology. I’ll do my part.

  22. Rod

    Timely Thanks LS
    Your Pro Tip of cutting off Java Script to access Links on my Iphone6 worked perfectly.
    The Sanctions blowback piece by Yves came up normally before I went to Links.

  23. DJG, Reality Czar

    Interview with Jacques Baud is, as always with Baud, rich with information and sharp-eyed observations.

    To wit:
    “Poland dreams of an open conflict with Russia because it believes—like Ukraine—that with the help of NATO, it could deliver the final blow to defeat Russia once and for all, in order to make this old dream come true. This shows, by the way, that Poland’s interest in Europe is only superficial.”

    1. Foy

      Yep agreed DJG, I keep a lookout for anything he says, it’s always high quality insight. The sentence you mentioned about Poland being a classic example, never seen the Polish situation summarised quite as succinctly as that before.

  24. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Hill article on UFOs: Hmmm.

    Three pilots claimed to have seen a cube (dark/solid) in a transparent sphere.

    Holy Plato. Sounds like a platonic solid to me. And what platonic solid represents the Earth? The cube.

    So I’m still inclined to think of these UFOs as metaphorical–that is, naturally produced by the Earth. (Much as one can think of dragons, which used to appear much more often but are less likely to do so now, as embodiments of the water cycle or water column.)

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve linked this a number of times before, and its a great tale from 1955 of a couple of farmers from the Central Valley running into a fellow from Venus on the Alta trail in Sequoia NP who communicated telepathically, and then they saw a UFO over Moose Lake a day later.

      Of course if it happened today, it’d be a couple of respected tech guys from Silicon Valley who had a satellite phone and were able to transmit video of their encounters in real time, and it would even make Boris Johnson’s resignation be relegated to second page news.

    2. The Rev Kev

      “Tips for aliens in New York: ‘Land anywhere, Central Park, anywhere. No one will care, or indeed even notice. ‘Surviving: Get a job as a cab driver immediately. A cab driver’s job is to drive people anywhere they want to go in big yellow machines called taxis. Don’t worry if you don’t know how the machine works and you can’t speak the language, don’t understand the geography or indeed the basic physics of the area, and have large green antennae growing out of your head. Believe me, this is the best way of staying inconspicuous. ‘If your body is really weird try showing it to people in the streets for money.”

      ― Douglas Adams, The Complete Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Trilogy of Five

      1. Wukchumni

        I once took a ride with a NYC cabbie in the early 80’s whose stated goal in life was to make 23 stop lights in a row without stopping on this one stretch of blacktop jungle in the Big Apple. He related that his PR was 19 stop lights.

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          Oooooh … an old “game” I used to play myself!

          Nineteen sounds about right. Probably doable late-night/wee-hours-of-the-morning heading southbound on one of the major avenues or Broadway if you started high up enough (above Central Park North).

          Love NYC cabbies … when they weren’t busy refusing to take me to Brooklyn, that is! Hahaha!

          1. Wukchumni

            I used to see prospective London cabbies learning the knowledge on pushbike, they almost resembled wayward Mormons on a mission of sorts if you squinted hard enough.

            I was in a cab in London that got rear ended and did a bit of damage to the rear of it, but those things were built like Crusader tanks and I hardly felt a thing, and the cabbie got my name and whatnot, and a few months later in the states I get a letter from him asking me to testify on his behalf that it wasn’t his fault, which I obliged.

            1. ChrisRUEcon

              Ahhh yesss – “The Knowledge”

              I remember when I first traveled to London and found out about it. Amazing. I used to lament that NYC cabbies didn’t have to do something like it. I had a knack for getting first day/week/month cabbies for a spell. It was especially bad from NYC airports, I felt. Imagine being a 1st time traveler to NYC arriving at JFK and getting a cabbie on their first week in with no knowledge of say, how to get to somewhere in the Bronx.

              Yes, traditional London cabs are formidable. Good on you for following up on the accident! #GoldStarTraveler

        2. John

          Driving up West End Avenue in the wee hours many years ago, I made it through a slew of lights. Didn’t count, but 15-20 feels about right

    3. Glen

      Perhaps the most prevalent theory among the naval aviators is that you’re seeing advanced technology being developed by the American MIC in a very dark program. They attribute this to the fact that they only encounter these while flying in military controlled airspace, and because they also have experience with classified programs and how things like that play out.

      To be honest, it’s not a bad theory given their backgrounds, but does make you wonder why the Pentagon is spending trillions to deploy the F-35 if they have something so much better being developed.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        Maybe they’re skimming from the F-35 program to pay for their “dark” projects?

        1. Wukchumni

          I heard the F-35 program was spun off of the Pontiac Aztek platform…

          In the beleaguered jet’s defense though, it can still get it up-heard a couple overhead yesterday.

          1. ambrit

            Following up on your aviation procreative pun, I expect the “performance” of the F-35 is due to a liberal application of Viagrift.

            1. Wukchumni

              As if on cue a couple of the terra of the sky are doing their thing, going through the motions above my 6:00 o’clock.

    1. ambrit

      And probably at the nearest thing we have to the Entrance to H— in America; Yellowstone!

  25. MT_Wild

    So maybe I’m overthinking it, but could level of training of the responding officers be the reason the highland park shooter got taken into custody? I’m just guessing that once he was located and not an active shooter they sent some sort of “response team”. Maybe they are a little less trigger happy than the average beat cop. Or ar least more conservative with ammo.

    1. Wukchumni

      There was this quite successful cat burglar in the 50’s or 60’s who prowled LA homes and when eventually arrested after quite a career was questioned as to how he eluded the law?

      He told them quite simply, the coppers never looked up and quite a few times he was just above them in a tree or something and they had no idea.

      Of course its different when you’ve got a guy with an assault rifle on a roof-top with many magazines worth being expended,… that’ll get your attention, and escape routes for the shooter-few.

      1. ambrit

        Shooters who want to survive the experience generally do so from the ground floor. Many more escape options than high up in a building.
        For example, the “Official” shooter on 22 November 1963 was up in the Texas School Book Depository building. Lots of chances to be seen and recognized as one exits the place. The other shooters were at ground level, and got away.

          1. Wukchumni

            I thought everybody knew about the bakers dozen worth of hitmen on that grassy knoll?

        1. LifelongLib

          Don’t have a link handy, but as he was leaving the Book Repository Oswald supposedly went past his supervisor, who was with a cop. The supervisor told the cop something like “That’s OK, he works here” and Oswald continued on. There’s also a story from a reporter who had run into the building looking for a phone. He encountered a man who told him “There’s a phone in there”. The reporter is 90% sure the man was Oswald. So Oswald didn’t go entirely unnoticed, but he was lucky enough to get away, for a short while.

    2. Duke of Prunes

      Highland Park is an extremely wealthy area. Although I’m not wealthy, I always go car shopping in that area because the dealerships just treat you better. No hoops to jump through for a test drive (or annoying ride along sales guy), just “here’s the keys”. I think they’re used to dealing with people who have the capacity to ruin them if you look at them wrong so they err on the side discretion and deference. In this case, the cops used their discretion and deferred using their guns because this perp could be a related to someone important (or, more likely, just out of habit because so many people they deal with are powerful or related to the powerful).

  26. Lex

    So I read the link about Tooze over at the Atlantic, and that prompted me to make the grave intellectual error of reading something written by Eliot Cohen:

    Did you know that Russia is failing miserably in Ukraine? It can only throw more men at the problem, but is also terrified to mobilize the population for a real war. This is problematic given Russia’s national manner of just tossing soldiers into meat grinders to overwhelm the enemy. But Eliot has a plan. The Baltics, Poland, UK and Canada are the future. With this NATO-within-NATO we can surely defeat the evil Russians. Because, as it turns out, Russia is scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of access to manpower.

    I’ve done a lot of drugs and don’t regret it one bit, but I don’t even want to try whatever it is that the US foreign policy elite get high on. And they’re far worse than any cokehead or junkie I’ve ever known.

    1. digi_owl

      What they are getting high on is righteousness, something that has demonstrated its potency across history.

    2. OIFVet

      NATO-within-NATO is the ecolution of the good ol’ ‘New Europe vs. Old Europe.” Heck, it’s got the Polskis and the Baltiyskis, though some of the other new Europeans have gotten old. Or wiser.

  27. The Rev Kev

    ”One Week’ (1920)
    Directed by Buster Keaton
    A hand breaks the fourth wall to preserve Sybil Seely’s dignity.’

    They were a lot more experimental those early days and some of what they got away with on screen took until the 1970s to be matched again. And Buster Keaton was famed for the stunts that he himself did and left behind a solid body of work. But let us not forget Sybil Seely, that young actress, whose brief Hollywood career can still be seen a hundred years later-

  28. The Rev Kev

    “A Modern-Day Frederick the Great? The End of Short, Sharp Wars”

    Most western armies are designed for a hard strike and then back home in time for Christmas. Doing ten or twenty years of occupation duty really wore them down though and it was only because they were low intensity that supplies could be kept up. Well, except for that time that Obama bombed so many people that the US ran out of bombs. And that meant that outsourcing US industries to other countries was not a problem anymore. Until now. Wanna go to war with China? Where do the spare parts for the military come from? Two weeks in an intense war with China and most of the gear will be broken and unrepairable.

    But the NATO/Russia war is showing the future which will be long grinding affairs burning through huge amounts of ammo alone. And the US is just not up to the job. Not only has twenty years of occupation wars gone through most ammo stores, is there still the capacity to manufacture what is needed? This war is an artillery war and yet, and yet the US has cut back on ordering artillery rounds. Why? No idea. And it turns out that the Russian army is no longer like the old Soviet army. The NATO plan seems to have been for them to have smashed themselves up trying to fight through a series of Maginot Lines in the east. Turns out the Russians are full professional and used their artillery to do the hard lifting instead.

    Consider. The Russian task force is and has always been much smaller than the Ukrainian army. And yet in a series of moves, have now fully cleared out the Lugansk District and are now going for the Donbass District next. The hard grind of going through settlement after settlement is mostly now behind them and soon they will be able to do rapid strikes in open country. But there is something else that I just woke up to today. They have been able to rotate units out and back again. So a unit does heavy fighting, is replaced, and that unit goes back to rest and reset again. So not only are they using a numerically smaller force spread along a very long battlefront, those units on the front are not all that they have as they keep on rotating them out.

    Crane notes, “When I walk the halls of the Pentagon today, I still hear discussions about the importance of winning the first battle decisively.” but I suspect that the Russians would talk about who wins the last battle of the war. Maybe some neocons are wanting to push the army into a fight with the Russians in the Ukraine but those generals know that it simply cannot be done. The army has been too hollowed out over the decades and would need to be totally rebuilt again for which there is no will. So his idea of ‘The maximum number of forces available at all times at a deployable level of readiness should be the goal for U.S. forces.’ sounds good but that is extremely expensive and the Pentagon is really set up for finding Wonder Weapons instead – with the appropriate kickbacks.

    1. digi_owl

      The basic thing is that NATO expected Russia to go for an all out invasion, akin to 2x Afghanistan and Iraq. Because after all Putin is a warmonger with visions of recreating the soviet union (/s).

      Instead the move on Kiev was a feint, and much of the on the ground fighting and holding as been down to the Donbass local militia. Locals that the PMCs have been dismissing as “little green men” from Russia ever since 2014.

      All in all, the major difference is that USA and NATO is used to dealing with a population that largely do not want them there. And this can be seen as far back as the Vietnam war, where US forces were propping up a illegitimate southern ruler.

      Russia on the other hand is fighting with the support of the locals in Donbass.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Reading what Putin and Lavrov have said is, that they will make a 100 mile or so buffer zone between Ukraine and Russia.
        Serving as a defacto demilitarization zone.
        If Nato imports longer range missiles, they will take another 50 or so miles.
        They seem pretty deadly serious, unlike their peers in Nato.

        1. digi_owl

          May as well demilitarize everything east of the Dnieper then, just to be certain.

  29. Milton

    Highland Park’s is special, wealthy, Jewish, intensely blue, therefore, needs flag at half mast.

    Waukesha, just a bunch of deplorables, a Christmas parade.

    What different about these communities?

    1. LawnDart

      I was thinking the jewish-thing was probably moot; until I saw a few clips from the shooter’s music videos, I was thinking that if one wanted to kill jews in the region that you’d go to Skokie or Rodgers Park. But the video clips do make it seem that this was a factor in the shooter’s thinking.

      Highland Park is an affluent enclave and Waukesha is not. But like 9/11, mass death ain’t a tragedy unless it touches or at least threatens to touch the ruling-class, and that is why the flags are at half-staff.

  30. antidlc

    My healthcare story for the day…

    The family doctor practice was sold about a year ago. (I’m trying to find out if it was sold to a hedge fund.)

    Anyway, we never had any problem with the lab they used for blood work. The new practice is in network, but we didn’t think to check whether the lab they used for blood work was in network or not.

    Family member goes in for physical, gets blood drawn, and notices a sign on an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper taped to a cabinet, saying they send the labs to Lab X by default and if Lab X is not in network, you need to tell them to send the labs to your in network LAB Y (or LAB Z) at the time you are getting your blood drawn.

    How the *&^( are you supposed to know off the top of your head which lab is in network or not?

    And I wonder how many patients even noticed the warning taped to the cabinet?

    We are a messed up country.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      this sort of maximalisation of beakwetters is present throughout…
      consider the texas drivers license system.
      used to be run in-house by Texas DPS…with fully armed and uniformed troopers doing the driving test…and schools doing the training.
      now, mom and dad do the training…with easily fraudulent log keeping, no less…and all that is filtered through an online drivers ed course, based on a platform owned by who knows what hedgefund.
      we began attempting to get youngest a hardship license when he was 15…but “hardship” means something else, i suppose.
      couldn’t get a license til he was 16 anyway.
      wife did the training…and the log keeping.
      they finished the course in december, last year.
      then, right before his 16th birthday in february, she began her terminal decline, and couldn’t follow through(i was, of course, naive about all this mess…and far to busy taking care of her, anyway)
      so i take over the week after her death…and utter confusion abounds.
      DPS can’t be reached by phone…at any of the offices, including the main one…and the online mess was wonky and wouldn’t work for some unknown reason.
      finally got an appointment through the DPS App(!) for an office 70 miles away…usual surliness one expects from DMV…but these folks don’t work for the state…they work for yet another private partner,lol.
      LSS…we were missing something, and they couldn’t tell me what it was in language i could understand.
      turns out the first third party “partner”…the drivers ed corp…had changed the platform on january 1st…thus erasing my youngest’s efforts.
      we hafta start over.
      to learn this, wife’s cousin knows the woman who runs the nearest dps office(16 miles away), and we got her personal cell number…and thus learned the bad news.

      all of this is similar to wife’s prior experience with teacher certification: used to be run in=house by the state…now is farmed out to opaque “partners”…who fail everyone taking the test until the last chance one has to take it…then everyone passes.
      each test costs a couple of hundred bucks, and there’s no way to see what you got wrong…just pay yer fee and sign up again.
      it’s a racket.
      and so is the DMV…and so is practically all of the healthcare system.
      fie, fie, fie.

      1. John

        Didn’t Reagan say government was the problem and the private sector could do such a better job. Guess he forgot about dipping the beak.

      2. antidlc

        So sorry, Amfortas.

        Thanks for the heads up about the teacher certification. I’ll pass that info along to someone who is thinking about getting certified to teach in Texas.

  31. Wukchumni

    Supply chain woes, freeze dried food dept:

    I’m partial to Mountain House brand granola with milk & blueberries (I always also add dried strawberries to the morning constitutional) for breakfast when backpacking, and went on REI’s website and aside from a couple of #10 cans of way too much, no single serving packages of anything in the Mountain House line, and this is the biggest retailer of outdoor goods in the country?

    Is it an indicator of just how big the back to nature element of young people going in the wilderness for extended stays is becoming, or just another supply chain snafu limiting availability?

      1. Wukchumni

        Nope, I have at least 3 backpack trip planned this summer, and breakfast is probably the most important meal and I don’t do instant cream of wheat or oatmeal, which would make for onerous plan B’s to my taste buds.

  32. ChrisRUEcon


    > No doubt the spooks scooped up the merc cream, so the “legion” gets the dregs

    This ostensibly unintended, but delicious swipe at Malcolm Nance gave me early hump-day giggles … :) (via #Twitter)

  33. Mikel

    “We’re getting an Omicron-optimized booster many months too late” Matt Yglesias

    I’m going to speculate that also serves a purpose. Letting so many Omnicron variants multiply beforehand will muddy the waters of causation when the next franken-spike variant develops.

  34. Mikel

    10 Killed, At Least 62 Wounded in Fourth of July Weekend Shootings in Chicago NBC (ChiGal)

    A bit of context for ChiGal’s post. The numbers in Chicago area for the weekend stand out even with all of this:
    Gunfire rocked other cities across the country.

    “In New York City, 13 people were shot and three killed in six incidents across the city, NBC New York reported.
    In Gary, Indiana, three people were killed and seven were wounded after gunfire erupted at a Fourth of July block party, NBC affiliate WTHR reported. The Lake County Coroner’s Office said the dead were a 26-year-old man from Lafayette, Indiana; a 25-year-old man from Merrillville, Indiana; and a 20-year-old woman from Olympia Fields, Illinois.
    In Kansas City, Missouri, six people were shot in three separate incidents overnight Monday and two people died in the violence, according to the Kansas City Star. A shooting following a concert at the T-Mobile Center near the Power and Light District left four people wounded just after midnight. Two others were shot in separate shootings in the city, the newspaper reported.
    In Richmond, Virginia, six people — four men and two women — were shot early Monday on West Broad Street, NBC affiliate WWBT of Richmond reported….”

    Those are the bullet points (pun intended) in the article. But there are other incidents mentioned regarding smaller communities and the article probably didn’t cover all that happened in the country.

    I found this article because out of curiousity I wanted to see LA’s numbers for the weekend.
    The article of note about LA was actually from just last last year for July 4th holiday:
    “A bloody Fourth of July weekend that left a dozen people dead across Los Angeles accelerated an already troubling increase in homicides and shootings in 2021, with some of the city’s poorest communities suffering the heaviest toll…
    “Watts, Westmont, downtown Los Angeles, Westlake and other largely poor neighborhoods have endured much of the upheaval, though there have been some exceptions. The Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire division had recorded no homicides this time last year. It now has at least 10. …’

    Other citywide and a few national stats are included in this article.

    And the Fed and other economists think tinkering with interest rates will solve the problem of workforce participation…

    1. Mikel
      There were a total of 45,222 firearm deaths in the US in 2020, an increase of 14% or 5,155 firearm deaths from 2019.

      So we can imagine how we’re tracking and meanwhile:
      Since Russian invasion: Civilian casualties: just over 5,000 (335 children)

      USA is going to absolutely SMOKE the Russians on the stats. Why would any country ever need to attack the USA? They just sit back and wait…

      1. JBird4049

        I’m not too sure why I feel compelled to note that 24,292 deaths were suicides while 19,384 were homicides, and 1,020 of those were by the police. So, in 2020 five percent of all gun homicides were by the police. Of course, just under 92,000 deaths from opioid overdoses happened in 2020 or twice that of those by guns. I guess since dying alone, often at the end of being slowly tortured to death by our society is not sexy those deaths don’t elicit quite the screams of outrage and “do something” that guns do.

        What a country.

        1. Mikel

          Who knows the exact details of all of the Ukranian casualties?
          Of course most gun deaths are suicides. But I still think USA is going to smoke Russia on gun murders by the end of the year. And have more Covid deaths per capita and other types of excess deaths.
          Police murders are murders by a govt force…something else to consider.

        2. Mikel

          And the people of Ukraine understand a war has been declared on them…
          The people of the USA don’t understand that.

  35. CaliDan

    3 fans wounded at Oakland A’s game by ‘celebratory gunfire’ on Fourth of July, team says NBC

    Aside from the fact that all the victims will recover, there are so, so many things wrong with this, not least that the Blue Jays somehow managed to lose to the A’s. First, what are the chances that a single bullet (fragment) fired from somewhere “throughout the city of Oakland” hits a person? I realize that it happens from time to time, but atronomical is my guess. Second, how much citywide celebratory gunfire must there be to hit three people in roughly the same location (and also a fourth elsewhere)? Are we talking Ukraine aid package numbers?! [Note: that evening’s game saw the highest attendance of the year, at just 24,403, so density, if one is familiar with the titanic parking lot, was not likely a primary factor.] Then, the author, who wrote a total of eight sentences, couldn’t be bothered to read the first five sentences of the official statement from the Oakland A’s, wherein it was revealed that the Oakland PD and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering $20K for info leading to an arrest and not, as the author blundered, the A’s offering the reward. I mean if the A’s were that loose with their money they just might have a winning ballclub on their hands and how would that look? But they are not, so how did the Blue Jays manage to lose?

    1. Wukchumni

      Now that the Supremes have laid down the law, I can’t wait for ‘Concealed-Carry doubleheaders’ with an irate fan caterwauling over a missed tag and taking matters into his own hands.

      1. John

        How about concealed carry in the Supreme Court? The Capital? Everywhere? I would sure feel so much more protected with all those crack shots strapped, locked and loaded, and there must be another metaphor but I cannot recall it if there is one. Justice Thomas and friends sure have some unique perspectives on the law.

        1. Darthbobber

          Oddly, wherever large numbers of politicians gather, it mysteriously becomes an enforceable gun-free zone for all but the security apparatus. Apparently they don’t find close proximity to dozens of gun toting strangers nearly as reassuring as they think I should.

    2. Tom Stone

      One 4th of July in Oakland the neighbor behind me starting firing off 30 round magazines of tracer ammo from his AK.
      Full auto mag dumps, one every 20 minutes or so.
      Big city America is like that.

  36. OptikErik

    Re: military pilots encounters with UFO’s. Let us hope that the aliens are like the ones in Iain M. Banks’ Culture series novel “The State of the Art”.

  37. Mikel

    “Roe vs Wade is dead. Will a new ‘sisterhood of strangers’ help guide women into the future?” LA Times
    Typical costs:

    For patients not covered by health insurance, tubal ligation typically costs between $1,500 to $7,000. Usually, getting tubal implants falls at the lower end of the cost range, while surgical sterilization falls at the higher end. For example, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center[1] in New Hampshire, a surgical sterilization would cost about $3,829 with an uninsured discount. And at Park Nicollet, a hospital in Minneapolis, Minn., the estimated total cost for surgical sterilization is $6,837.
    Tubal ligation typically is covered by most health insurance, according to Dr. Don Snyder, an Indiana gynecologist; insurance companies that typically cover tubal ligation include Aetna, United Healthcare, Cigna/Sagamore and Anthem BlueCross BlueShield.
    For patients covered by insurance, typical out-of-pocket costs would consist of an office visit copay of $10 to $50 and possibly coinsurance of 10 to 30 percent, for a total cost of as much as $2,150.

    Not bad prices when considering the costs that could be occured by some seeking abortions that now include potential legal costs. And, please correct me if I’m wrong, blocked and tied tube procedures can be reversed?

    More psyops way of dealing with potential unwanted pregnancy: turn off the rom-com porn and assorted romantic dramas – books, online, tv, and film.
    I have my own abstract reasoning for this idea, but I’ll save a longer rant about that for another day.

    1. juno mas

      Lira is being a bit disingenuos, if not fully informed. While the atmosphere we breath is 70% nitrogen, the environmental concern and the Dutch restrictions are for livestock farmers. Livestock produce massive amounts of nitrous oxide, ammonia and methane. Methane degrades into a greenhouse gas, ammonia breaks down into nitrate/nitrite which when introduced to surface waters induces algae blooms.

      Agriculture is the largest single anthropogenic emitter of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere over the last 10 years. The farmers are pissed to be singled-out for climate change restrictions when food is more important than transportation. The Dutch reductions are the order of 30%. That could likely occur with a small reduction of livestock herds.

      1. flora

        I wonder what will be the environmental impact of Gates’ lab-created meat substitutes. Are there going to be insect “farms”? Someone and some big outfits like Goldman Sachs expect windfall profits from meat substitutes. I think the ‘green’ is a cover for a pure profit motive, ‘green’ of a different kind. / ;) My 2 cents.

        1. flora

          The EU exempts corporate and private jets from carbon fuel tax. From last year.

          Corporate jets to escape EU’s ‘green’ aviation fuel tax

          From this year, exemption of ships from carbon tax, including yachts.

          Climate impact of exemptions to EU’s shipping carbon pricing

          There seems to be a double standard in their ‘green’ new deal.

          1. flora

            and going on too long:

            COP26: What’s the climate impact of private jets?


            So, exempt private jets and go after the cattle and dairy farmers and the veg farmers (fertilizer restrictions). Makes no sense, unless they really don’t care about the climate, they’re just using climate as an excuse for other, personal wealth increasing ends. / ;)

      2. The Rev Kev

        Of course it could be just a land grab. With a third of all those farms gong bust, what happens to all that land? Do the banks get it? Will they be sold at a discounted price? Does Rutte’s mates get to buy them on the cheap and build housing on them or sets of apartment buildings?

        Alex Christoforou in a video was saying that a commenter on his video brought up an interesting point. Russia is being accused of creating a food crisis even though it is actually the Ukrainians. So when Rutte has a third of the Netherlands farm animals get the chop, won’t that be creating a food shortage? Not only for the Netherlands but all the places that the Netherlands exports their food? Will Rutte be accused of creating a food shortage? Let’s not be silly here.

  38. Mikel

    K, Zelensky is the woman in the tub….

    ‘One Week’ (1920)

    Directed by Buster Keaton

    Anyone ever bother to find out if the Ukaranian media oligarch, who has been Zelensky’s pupetteer, received any consultation from USA on the development of the tv show “Servant of the People”?

  39. Jason Boxman

    In a bid to begin clearing procedural hurdles and pave the way for quick action if a broader deal can be reached, top Democrats on Wednesday asked the Senate parliamentarian to begin reviewing the updated version of the drug pricing plan, according to an official familiar with the private discussions who divulged them on the condition of anonymity. Because Democrats plan to use the fast-track budget process known as reconciliation, the measure must adhere to the strict limits enforced by the Senate’s top rules official.

    Our Democrats; Gotta run it by the parliamentarian, of course. Meanwhile, Republicans have replaced the same when necessary to pass their agenda.

    Under the new measure, Medicare would for the first time be allowed to directly regulate prescription drug prices. It would cap the out-of-pocket amount that Medicare patients can be asked to pay for prescription drugs at $2,000 a year, limit the amount drug companies can increase prices each year, and make more vaccines free for those patients, according to a draft put forward on Wednesday.

    Oh, $2k. Sure! How about $0?

    The drug package unveiled on Wednesday is broadly similar to drug provisions that were part of earlier negotiations. But it reflects some of the pair’s negotiations: It now expands financial help to more low-income seniors, lowering their premiums, deductibles and other payments in Medicare’s drug benefit.

    The current program provides such assistance to seniors earning less than 135 percent of the federal poverty level — about $18,000 a year for an individual — and more limited assistance for beneficiaries earning slightly more. The legislation would extend those subsidies up to 150 percent of the poverty level — around $20,000 a year — according to the summary.

    LOLz more liberal Democrat means testing! What a joke.

    Certain provisions of the original drug bill were also removed, including one that would have limited the amount Americans could be asked to pay out of pocket for insulin each month.

    Curious, given Manchin’s family history in this area.

  40. Bryan

    Stunned by UFOs, ‘exasperated’ fighter pilots get little help from Pentagon

    What are the leading theories about these crafts? I’ve read other stories over the years that address these accounts in a similar fashion – suggesting they’re serious, deserve more attention, etc – but they never offer a strong theory about what are the likeliest explanations. I get going through the difficulties the pilots have reporting them through official channels, but in an article that long shouldn’t there be some putative explanation presented? The silence would seem to speak volumes. But am I missing a genre of explanatory (rather than merely descriptive) articles on these phenomena?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      either aliens/alien probes….some new fangled drone tech out of the Skunkworks…or new fangled drones from china/russia.
      that’s really the only options i can think of.
      if they’re one or both of the latter two, i say “drones” because…to my knowledge…the high G’s would kill a human, and i’ve never seen any indication that “dampening fields” a la Star Trek have become a thing as yet.(we don’t really know what “Gravity” is, yet)

      i, of course, lean towards Aliens, due to my Dad’s Nasa story.

      1. LifelongLib

        If civilian pilots aren’t seeing the UFOs it suggests something aimed at the military, which to me means it’s more likely a human op. I doubt if aliens would be particularly interested in our military tech since they’d be so far ahead of anything we’ve got they’d hardly notice the difference…

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          perhaps our civilian pilots feel less free to report such phenomena than our military pilots do.
          the freedom in speaking of such matters enjoyed by the military is a relatively new thing, after all.
          cia was too successful, maybe, with all the Round File Ops(“conspiracy theory”)
          lump all the counternarratives in with the Crazy, and thereby discredit it.

          i’ve never seen a ufo.
          i have seen numerous weird military aircraft…B-52’s when darth cheney lost those nukes, etc.
          and helicopters that made no sound when they damned sure should have.

    2. Grebo

      There are no likely explanations, only unlikely ones. The apparent lack of curiosity among the top brass may be telling.

      The options are: aliens (the ETH), time/interdimensional travellers, secret military projects, supernatural/psychic phenomena, hitherto unknown natural phenomena.

      They have been observed in many forms over centuries so there is probably more than one kind.

    3. ambrit

      Astronomer Jacques Vallee’s writings on the subject, “Passport to Magonia” being the most well known title, are interesting. He approaches the subject from the position that truly ‘alien’ phenomena will require a reordering of Terran human means of perception. (If I read him correctly. He is one of those “too smart for his own good” persons.)
      My favourite theory is that “Close Encounters” are alien xenographey graduate students having some ‘fun’ with the natives.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “alien xenographey graduate students”
        should be, maybe, xenobiology.

        that’s my preferred outlook, as well.
        perhaps violating the protective reserve we’re likely inside of.
        hence, their spookiness, and apparent unwillingness to “Come Out”, generally.
        “walk a mile” and all…were you of a galactic collective, would you want us….us>?!?—rampaging into the galaxy, ere we matured?

        we likely failed some test…some decision tree….and are therefore sequestered…
        like a bear preserve, or a section of jungle set aside for lower(sic) primates.

  41. juno mas

    RE: The End of Short Sharp Wars

    This article follows a typical pattern for former US military commenting on Ukraine. First exclaim that others are misleading Americans, then project your “truth” to the forefront.

    The US military has never won a short, sharp war—ever! They, didn’t even win WWII, the Russians did (with 27M dead). The author then explains the shortcomings of the Russian military in the Ukraine—ignoring how the war has been short and sharp and a “win” for them. He then exclaims that conscription will be necessary for the US military to win wars of the future. But notes that he doubts America has the motivation/persistence to maintain a large army. Well, it was US military adventures in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other NATO-inspired actions that cultivate that culture.

  42. OIFVet

    The UFOs exhibit the same unprofessional flight behavior as Putin’s pilots. Heck, Putin probably trained them himself.

  43. Glossolalia

    In Wake Of Supreme Court Gun Ruling, D.C. Gun Owners Sue To Be Able To Carry Concealed Handguns On Metro DCist. Over/under on the first mass shooting in the Metro?

    To be fair, I doubt the person who commits first mass shooting in the Metro is patiently waiting on the outcome of this suit to do it…

  44. kareninca

    Yesterday I brought an elderly relative’s hearing aid to the local VA hospital to be repaired. It was a very simple repair – the plastic tube was broken and needed to be replaced. The VA system has drop-in hearing aid repair clinics, and this one was open. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get in because I’m not vaccinated (I wear an N95, use Xlear or other similar nasal sprays, use “I” intermittently and test weekly). However, going in by a side door worked.

    A nice lady fixed the hearing aid. I was thrilled; I brought it home. But my relative couldn’t put it in. Really I am not mechanically inclined, but it occurred to me that perhaps the repair lady had reversed the hang of the tube. I told him to try fitting it into his other ear. Sure enough, although it was a broken right-ear hearing aid – and it is red, to prevent this error – she had turned it into a left ear hearing aid.

    I wonder if this is an instance of “visuoconstructional impairment.” This lady specializes in fixing hearing aids. She probably doesn’t do it consciously anymore. If I did this, I would have to recheck every time I did it, no matter how many times I did it; if I did it a hundred times a day for twenty years I’d have to check each time, and I know that. But she doesn’t at this point. So she did it wrong.

    I am not eager to have any sort of surgery done going forward.

  45. Raymond Sim

    About a year after my stroke a doctor asked me to draw a table. I did it quickly and casually, unlike previous occasions, when I was careful to focus on the task. He looked at it, and handed it back, asking how I thought it looked. It looked sort of like a table, in the process of exploding perhaps.

    One of the hardest daily tasks for me to reacquire was putting on a shirt. More specifically, undoing or doing up buttons as needed, because my left hand kept trying to do my right hand’s job, or visa versa. I took to leaving my shirts buttoned and pulling them over my head to dress. The grandkids found this hilarious.

    All these deficits improved slowly over time. But after I had what I presume to have been Covid in January 2020, five years having passed since the stroke, many of them worsened again. For me the first six months of 2020 were not unlike months 7 through 12 post-stroke, with loss of smell and taste as a bonus.

    And of course this renewal of old troubles began before I had ever even heard the word “Covid”

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “The grandkids found this hilarious”
      as i used to encourage the wife, “Ride the Damned Wave, Babe”.

      there are much worse things available and waiting.
      make it a Thing, such that they remember that, and also…even unconsciously…remember “shit grandad said”.

  46. millicent

    re: Selective visuoconstructional impairment following mild COVID-19 with inflammatory and neuroimaging correlation findings

    The only significant finding was on the Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure (ROCF) copy task. The article does not report actual mean scores (maximum would be 36) only instances of impairment. I could not find a definition of impairment. Usually it would be 1.5 standard deviations lower than average but it’s not clear from the article. Without reporting mean and standard deviation, it’s impossible to know anything about the “impairment”. Oddly, means and standard deviations are reported for the comparison groups. Woman tend to do more poorly; the sample is mostly women. Older people do more poorly. I don’t see that the analysis either controlled for age statistically or split the sample into groups by age or gender. Most importantly, it looks like they tested the subjects while they were sick with covid. If so, the ROCF is very susceptible to stress. It’s a very complex figure. I’d like to know how they do 2 weeks after the first negative test. I’m amazed that they found no differences in any other neuropsych test.

  47. dk

    Skies Are Sucking More Water from the Land Scientific American

    “Along with higher temperatures and lower humidity, the study also noted rising wind speeds and increasing solar radiation. In arid regions, humidity declines as temperatures warm. Albano says she is not yet sure why the sunlight and wind are changing.”

    Because 1. hotter atmosphere is less conducive to cloud condensation, 2. when clouds do form and precipitate, desiccated air below rapidly absorbs the rain before it can reach the ground, downdrafts of colder/heavier air generate ground-level winds, sometimes with velocities up to 100mph.

  48. RobertC


    The submarine saga continues with Australia’s transition to nuclear-powered submarines could run into the 2060s

    …Whichever way we look at it, we are facing a long transition, one that could potentially last into the 2060s. That fact has to be a central tenet of our planning. Once we accept that, we can chart a course that addresses any capability risks presented by that extended timeframe. The most obvious of those risks is the Collins-class ageing out before the SSN capability is serviceable.

    Defence Minister Richard Marles has said his mind is open on how to bridge a capability gap. There is a range of options. In our next post we’ll start our consideration of the one that has attracted the most attention to date—a new conventional submarine.

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