Links 8/12/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

If we only had eyes to see Times Literary Supplement

The solution to online abuse? AI plus human intelligence World Economic Forum


The Forest Service is overstating its wildfire prevention progress to Congress despite decades of warnings not to NBC

France battles extremely violent wildfire, officials warn additional flare-ups could cause it to spread further The Watchers

* * *

DRIED UP: Lakes Mead and Powell are at the epicenter of the biggest Western drought in history The Hill

The Bureau of Reclamation’s $4 Billion Drought Question Circle of Blue. Sinema’s price.

* * *

This 17-Year-Old Designed a Motor That Could Potentially Transform the Electric Car Industry Smithsonian. “His winnings from [Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair] will go toward college tuition.” All this, and brutal gatekeeping, too!


Summary of Guidance for Minimizing the Impact of COVID-19 on Individual Persons, Communities, and Health Care Systems — United States, August 2022 CDC. Handy chart, which I have helpfully annotated:

You, you, you, you, you. Nothing about protecting others (let alone the “public”). The “Center for Disease” continues to grovel before the sociopathic libertarians of the Great Barrington Declaration.

CDC loosens coronavirus guidance, signaling strategic shift WaPo. “Signal,” a good Beltway word. “The new recommendations signal that the Biden administration and its medical advisers have decided that the lower fatality rate from covid-19 in a heavily vaccinated population permits a less demanding set of guidelines.” And by “lower fatality rate”, they mean the existing fatality (and infection) rate — remorselessly chronicled in Water Cooler — which — tinfoil hat time! — they wish to preserve. Equally, they wish to weaken all forms of non-pharmaceutical intervention in preparation for the next surge, a pattern we have seen over and over again [bangs head on desk].

Covid isn’t done with us, whatever the CDC says NBC

* * *

Genomic epidemiology of the first two waves of SARS-CoV-2 in Canada eLife. From the Abstract: “We investigated the effectiveness of international travel restrictions at reducing SARS-CoV-2 importations and transmission in Canada in the first two waves of 2020 and early 2021…. Of the sublineages seeded during the first wave, 49% (46–52%) originated from the USA and were primarily introduced into Quebec (39%) and Ontario (36%), while in the second wave, the USA was still the predominant source (43%), alongside a larger contribution from India (16%) and the UK (7%). Following implementation of restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals on 21 March 2020, importations declined from 58.5 (50.4–66.5) sublineages per week to 10.3-fold (8.3–15.0) lower within 4 weeks. Despite the drastic reduction in viral importations following travel restrictions, newly seeded sublineages in summer and fall 2020 contributed to the persistence of COVID-19 cases in the second wave, highlighting the importance of sustained interventions to reduce transmission.” So the obvious policy implication, in which the United States has deservedly taken a global leadership position, is to eliminate travel bans and minimize non-pharmaceutical interventions. Well done, all.

SARS-CoV-2 evolution and patient immunological history shape the breadth and potency of antibody-mediated immunity (accepted manuscript) The Journal of Infectious Diseases. n = 41,000 serum samples. From the Abstract: “We show that the breadth and potency of the antibody-mediated response is influenced by the number, the variant, and the nature (infection or vaccination) of exposures, and that individuals with mixed immunity acquired by vaccination and natural exposure exhibit the broadest and most potent responses. Our results suggest that the interplay between host immunity and SARS-CoV-2 evolution will shape the antigenicity and subsequent transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2, with important implications for future vaccine design.” Remember when mRNA was just like software, and we’d roll out new versions rapidly? Good times.

Persistent capillary rarefication in long COVID syndrome Angiogenesis. Observational study, n = 58, controls n = 16. From the Abstract: “Recent studies have highlighted Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as a multisystemic vascular disease. Up to 60% of the patients suffer from long-term sequelae and persistent symptoms even 6 months after the initial infection…. A newly developed version of Glycocheck™ software was used to quantify vascular density…. A µm-precise analysis showed a significant decrease of vascular density, that exclusively affected very small capillaries… Our current data strongly suggest that COVID-19 leaves a persistent capillary rarefication even 18 months after infection. Whether, to what extent, and when the observed damage might be reversible remains unclear.” A vascular disease that presents as respiratory?

* * *

Some Light on Long Covid Eric Topol, Ground Truths

Looks like some movement on Bharat’s nasal vaccine, BBV154:


Asymptomatic monkeypox virus infections among male sexual health clinic attendees in Belgium (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: “In stored samples from 224 men, we identified three cases with a positive anorectal monkeypox PCR. All three men denied having had any symptoms in the weeks before and after the sample was taken. None of them reported exposure to a diagnosed monkeypox case, nor did any of their contacts develop clinical monkeypox…. The existence of asymptomatic monkeypox infection indicates that the virus might be transmitted to close contacts in the absence of symptoms. Our findings suggest that identification and isolation of symptomatic individuals may not suffice to contain the outbreak.” Oh, good.


Xi Sought to Send Message to Biden on Taiwan: Now Is No Time for a Crisis WSJ

Xi Jinping’s Guns of August Richard Haas, Project Syndicate. President of the Council on Foreign Relations.

China’s military drills around Taiwan drive foreign firms to draw up exit plans for staff and assets South China Morning Post

Road to nowhere: China’s Belt and Road Initiative at tipping point (not paywalled) Nikkei Asian Review

The Inside Story of Carlos Ghosn’s Brazen Escape From Japan WSJ. Musical interlude.


Lady’s Slipper Orchid: The Meghalayan Orchid That Was Popular With The English Madras Courier (J-LS).


Man who took hostages demanding his own money becomes public hero in Lebanon Guardian (NL).


Leaked manifesto: Italian right-wingers will dump Euroskepticism in bid for power Politico

Ransomware attack on NHS systems could take weeks to fix, major IT provider warns Sky News

AMLO’s way Africa is a Country

New Not-So-Cold War

In the Ukraine war, a battle for the nation’s mineral and energy wealth WaPo. “Ukraine harbors some of the world’s largest reserves of titanium and iron ore, fields of untapped lithium and massive deposits of coal. Collectively, they are worth tens of trillions of dollars.”

* * *

Ukraine says giant Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant can’t supply Russia BBC

Ukraine and Russia Trade Blame After Rockets Hit Near Nuclear Site NYT. So Russia is shelling a power plant it wants to connect to its own grid?

U.S. backs calls for a demilitarized zone around Ukraine nuclear power plant -State Dept Reuters

* * *

Saki air base explosions:

(Note the source is from the Royal United Services Institute, which wrote that very good piece on industrial warfare.) Tossed cigarette, BOOM!!!!! #StupidThingsGuysDo is, amazingly, not a hashtag on the Twitter.

* * *

Monopolistic nationalisms Yasha Levine

The Beginning of History (not paywalled) Foreign Affairs

Biden Administration

FTC ponders proper punishment for commercial data ‘surveillance’ and shoddy security The Register


“Well he would, wouldn’t he?” —Mandy Rice-Davies. But what is the worth of a heuristic that applies to all the players?

* * *

Eric Trump reveals HE told Donald FBI raided Mar-a-Lago: Ex-President’s son claims agents ‘ransacked his dad’s office’ and that safe was EMPTY – and says all D.C. wants to do is ‘attack Biden’s greatest threat’ Daily Mail. If the safe really was empty, whatever was in it becomes the MacGuffin. So awesome.

Trump Calls for Release of Search Warrant Documents Used in Raid Bloomberg. Here is Trump’s statement:

Garland Moves to Release Details on Search of Trump’s Home NYT. “Minutes before Mr. Garland took the podium, a top official in the Justice Department’s national security division filed a motion to unseal the search warrant and an inventory of items retrieved in the search on Monday.” Here is the motion (PDF). What about the affidavit(s)?

FBI searched Trump’s home to look for nuclear documents and other items, sources say WaPo. Sources in the lead: “people familiar with the investigation.”

Using the Nuclear Pretext to Attack Donald Trump Larry Johnson, A Son of the American Revolution. Never steal what you can’t fence.

Mar-A-Lago Assistant Manager Wondering If Anyone Coming To Collect Nuclear Briefcase From Lost And Found The Onion. March 27, 2017 (!).

So Far As I Can Make Out Patrick Lawrence, ScheerPost

GOP Rep. Liz Cheney criticizes Republicans ‘attacking the integrity of the FBI’ USA Today. It’s like the Horowitz Report got memory-holed.

Supply Chain

U.N. expects ‘big uptick’ in ships wanting to export Ukraine grain Hellenic Shipping News

Ready or not, the supply chain transformation is underway The Hill. The author is from… McKinsey, who stands ready to help you through the “transformation”….

Class Warfare

TikTok, eh?

The best way to solve a labor shortage is with labor Stay-At-Home Macro

This librarian made a catalogue out of all the notes readers left behind in books CBC.

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. Lex

      Russian social media claims that there are dry casks of spent fuel at ZNPP, something like 50K kg total. This appears to be true from some digging up pre-conflict and early conflict western sources. There was a big contract between Ukraine and a US contractor to develop long term storage at Chernobyl which was way behind schedule (surprise!) and I can’t determine whether it was completed before the conflict, so probably not. Rather than sending spent fuel back to Russia, it would be stored in Ukraine. Russian rumors that Westinghouse was stockpiling spent fuel from elsewhere in Ukraine (again to avoid sending it back to Russia) but I can’t verify that. This is dry storage in vertical, moveable concrete casks.

      The dangers are in damage to the storage casks and to a lesser extent shutting down power. The reactors themselves could withstand anything armament the Ukrainians posses, but cutting power or cooling has meltdown potential. Of course breaking the casks would essentially be a dirty bomb and would likely pollute the river.

      As for the BBC piece claims: bullshit. It would be some heavy lifting to reorient a plant onto a different grid but hardly impossible. And Russia could always shut it down and just keep the cooling system running, but that would cut electricity to a good chunk of ukrainian controlled territory. Like everything else, Ukraine is saying that if they can’t have it, they’ll raze it to the ground and they’re supported by the US in this behavior. A demilitarized zone is easy: Ukraine can just stop shelling the plant.

      1. JBird4049

        Raze a nuclear plant, with all its spent and unspent fuel, to the ground? Because reasons? I would have thought that Chernobyl, which only threatened the habitability of much of Eastern Europe would have been caution enough. How silly of me.

      1. griffen

        SMH…if that was their plan the RSA has overpaid for what could be obtained freely or at a much lower cost. I always love those anonymous experts, of course.

        North Korea is not nearly as rich and they got nuclear capabilities.

      2. Michaelmas

        If so, Trump will be the first cast member of HOME ALONE 2 to make billions of dollars selling US nuclear secrets to the Kingdom.

        Future historians of this time — if there are any, of course — are going to have a ball with Trump. I struggle to think of a historical analogue even in classical Rome, which threw up jokers like Nero and Crassus and Commodus.

          1. Jessica

            Biden is more like one of the emperors in the 400s, puppets of court factions and their intrigues. If the US winds up economically cut off from China, that will be like the loss of North Africa, so the 430s.
            About Nero, there were three different rebellions years after his death in which the leaders claimed to be Nero. That suggests that he was popular among the masses and that his reputation may come from acting on their behalf but against the kinds of folks who were able to write history in those days. Or seeming to.

      3. Yves Smith

        This is Making Shit Up, a violation of site Policies. And it makes you and the site look bad. Among other things, the Saudis don’t make things, they buy things, and NYC real estate developers don’t take money and do things later. They’d just keep the money.

  1. Mikel

    ‘Asymptomatic monkeypox virus infections among male sexual health clinic attendees in Belgium” (preprint) medRxiv.

    Abstract won’t open for me. Does it say anything about asymptomatic cases ever found in Africa over the decades?

  2. Samuel Conner

    One gets the sense that the goal of Federal public health policy at this point has completely pivoted away from “Control” toward “Complacency”.

    Maybe the computers that run the Matrix are overburdened and they need a way to shrink the simulation.

    1. griffen

      At this juncture, an upright human living in the USA! USA! might be inclined to watch a work of fiction to get similarly bad advice. In full honesty, a film like “Zombieland” offers some pretty helpful tips.

      Cardio is important. Among other key suggestions.

    2. DanB

      Public health’s response to public health threats? Loyalty to the 1%. A corollary to “Go Die!”

    3. Henry

      More like ongoing maintenance of cases to seize power and profit, until and unless they can slip a monkeypox epidemic in as an excuse for more of the above.

    4. Basil Pesto

      And meanwhile, here’s the latest from the libertarian sociopaths

      It’s hard to even know what to say anymore about the fact that we are in the worst and stupidest timeline. And whether it’s next month, next year or next decade, a more virulent variant, new serotype with complete immune escape is coming, and given the givens it will be absolute carnage worldwide. We’re now basically locked in to an endless succession of SARS pandemics (with baseline high levels
      of infection in the background throughout the population), lol.

  3. The Rev Kev

    ‘Starbucks fired an @SBWorkersUnited
    union leader in Buffalo.
    The whole store walked out in protest.
    This video has over 17 million views on TikTok.’

    Something so satisfying with that short video. I hope that the friends and families of those workers help them out until they get their next job. Next person to lose their job will be the store manager after they ring corporate HQ to explain what happened and admit that a video of the whole thing has been seen by going towards 20 million people. Not the sort of thing that you want on your resume.

    1. griffen

      Howard Schultz needs to find the best spin mastering PR that money can buy*. That’s on the corporation, anyway (or the franchisee if it is a locally owned store). I can’t always keep straight about that aspect, how these retailers operate with many, many locations at least in the US.

      I hear Baghdad Bob could offer advice!

        1. Synoia

          The beatings will continue until morale improves.

          Because “the beatings” are the foundation of Starbucks’, and many other’s profit.

        2. Keith Howard

          Isn’t it becoming more and more evident that our corporate/oligarch rulers do not consider the bulk of the population to be human beings? Watch what they do, not what they say.

          1. jefemt

            True Story– son’s partner was working at our local food coop, and helping a semi-nearby-resort second home-owner find some foodstuff or other, and the part-time resident (evil) actually used the word peasant to describe the son’s partners’ co-workers.
            Implicitly, Present Company Excluded? The conditional Butt ?

            Pikes, Pitchforks and Torches

            Here, let me spit my Hep-C — (or was it a Monkey Pox?) upon your nation—into your prepared Oregon Tilth organic gmo-free hand- chewn expeller-pressed food.

            Have a Nice Day!

            1. ambrit

              A tangent to your comment.
              I went in for a three month check up at the Clinic. (Three months? What sort of pocket picking enterprise is this?) Blood was drawn for tests. I found out that I could “access” my test results online. I set up an account with the local Medical Complex and there it was. Yesterday’s test results already available.
              One of the blood tests done was for hepatitus C. The results were displayed as a range. I’m admittedly not the sharpest needle in this ‘shooting gallery’ but I wondered at this. Shouldn’t this sort of pathogen be an either or situation? Does one develop a “tolerance” for low level infection to these sorts of pathogens? I came in at the very bottom of the range, so, there is that.
              Secondly, the lab credited with doing the tests was “officially” ‘located’ in Birmingham, Alabama. How does that work? Does the parent company that supplies in house testing equipment become the default “address” of the tests?
              Strangely enough, the only items that were out of the range were creatine and potassium, both being elevated, but not ‘dangerously’ so.
              The test results characterized me as having stage 3a chronic kidney disease. Huih? I drink a lot of cranberry juice and take vitamin d for the Dreaded Pathogen.
              Oh well, one deadly life threatening problem at a time.
              Stay safe, if you can figure out how.

    2. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      My son works at a Starbucks in Eugene, Oregon and the entire staff walked out of the store when the manager told them they would be fired if they went on strike. He said they plan to strike through at least the weekend. Meanwhile, two other stores in Eugene are also undergoing strikes.

    3. XXYY

      I always feel this is a GifThatEndsTooSoon.

      We needed to see the manager responsible for this and her reaction when she comes out to an empty store.

  4. Raymond Sim

    Four of the sites in the SCAN Bay Area wastewater monitoring project, Davis, Gilroy, Oceanside, and most notably Silicon Valley have had one or more days with markedly (i.e. extreme) high Covid readings in the past week. The Silicon Valley facility serves 220,000+ people in San Mateo Cpunty, and their excursion from prevailing trends was quiite striking. Their data on the variants page looks hinkey in a way we’ve seen before during variant changes – I think one of the new up-and-comers has arrived in the Bay Area.

    SCAN ‘Drilldown’:

    SCAN ‘Location Compare – Variants’:

    1. will rodgers horse

      i find it hard to believe that 34% of people taking placebo got infected in 45 days

  5. Petter

    It may be just me but anytime I see an article from the World Economic Forum with some solution, I get suspicious. And yes, I saw the disclaimer that this is the author’s opinion not the WEC’s etc etc.

    1. flora

      You’re not alone.
      In 2021, Whitney Webb wrote an article for Bitcoin Magazine.

      The War on Dissent

      (I think this ties in with Patrick Lawrence’s article about the MSM becoming an echo chamber of official narrative; any hint of dissent from the official narrative can be career threatening.)

      From a Webb 2021 tweet:

      For more context about the WEF’s policy plans in this regard, you might want to check out my report on WEF censorship plans and how it intersects with the digital ID agenda:

      Ending Anonymity: Why The WEF’s Partnership Against Cybercrime Threatens The Future Of Privacy

    2. digi_owl

      Given how unreliable any “in production” AI system has been so far, i would not hold up hope for this scheme going anywhere but down the toilet.

              1. ambrit

                It depends on the distribution of the ‘tools’ for the exercise of coercive violence within the society. This can be regional, not necessarily national.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Any time the soi disant technocrats try to tell you the solution to technology not working properly is moar technology, they should be laughed out of the room.

      First of all, these technocrats have awfully thin skin when it comes to online “harrassment” and they seem not to have ever heard the old saw about sticks and stones. At this point in history, I’m more worried Russia deciding the US isn’t worth the trouble of dealing with and sending a nuclear sub to my front door than I am about someone making a mean response to an online comment of mine.

      But if they really can;t handle the “harrassment”, maybe it’s time to pull the plug on social media and send it to the dustbin of history. Any benefits that might be had from it are far outweighed by the stupid it promotes. It is just glorified email after all.

      Flame away, those of the commentariat who disagree – I can take it!

  6. smashsc

    The Hill seems to be ignoring the existance of Native Americans when in the 1st paragraph it seys “The American West is experiencing its driest period in human history” while the 2nd paragraph says “Nowhere is the Southwest’s worst drought since the year 800…”

    1. Judith

      The people of the Mogollon culture were wise enough to understand they could not fix the problem (people quoted in that article are sure there is an engineering solution) and seemingly dispersed/ migrated/integrated with nearby cultures (as various theories suggest).

  7. Tom Stone

    I’m hoping a few of the readers here will join me in conducting an act of cheerful performance art.
    I went by my locally owned toy store yesterday to purchase a small bag of marbles.
    When I got to the counter to pay the middle aged clerk I asked her If I could send them through the mail?
    She replied “Of course, why?”.
    I told her I was sending them to President Biden to replace the ones he’d lost.
    She laughed so hard tears were running down her face.
    Even better she paid the tax,”It’s the least I can do”.
    Next I went to the local post office,there were half a dozen people in line ahead of me.
    There’s a little display of boxes and envelopes and a counter with a pen where you can fill various forms out opposite the cages where the clerks serve the public.
    I had cut the mesh bag the marbles were in before entering and “Accidentally” dropped several marbles on the floor which got everyone’s attention.
    I picked them up and asked if anyone knew the zip code for the White House?
    One person did, and asked why I was sending marbles to the WH.
    “To replace the ones the president lost”.
    The reactions were wonderful.
    “You can’t do that!” from one and a mix of giggles and laughter from the rest.
    The clerk who took my money had a hard time keeping a straight face.
    It’s the best $21 I have spent in years, the last time I had this much fun was when the hogs et grandma.
    Please do whatever you can to help poor old Joe out, even one marble rattling around in his head would be an improvement.

    1. Bart Hansen

      This brings to mind when Volcker raised the interest rate so high as to pretty much halt new home construction. As a protest, hundreds of eight inch or so long pieces of two by fours were mailed to the Fed by out of work carpenters and builders. The Fed’s address plus a return address were written right on the pieces of wood, no wrapping needed.

    2. CanCyn

      Great joke Tom! If you’d filmed and posted it online no doubt you’d get your movement 😀 IMO marbles were exactly the right choice

  8. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. backs calls for a demilitarized zone around Ukraine nuclear power plant -State Dept”

    Yeah, about that. For that to work, you would have to trust the Ukrainians not to move in a military force and take it over. You know, the same guys shelling it at the moment. But before then, who is going to protect that plant against sabotage teams? How about against missiles or drones? Will the Ukrainian workers inside be punished by the Ukrainians for ‘working with the Russians’? The Ukrainians shelling this plant is as much recklessness as it is a war crime. But for the US and the rest of the west to pretend that the Russians are shelling themselves instead of calling out this bs is just bizarre. They are literally telling the Ukrainians to keep on shelling that nuke plant instead of yanking the leash and telling them no ammo if they do not knock it off.

    1. ambrit

      Some days, when reading about the Ukraine mess, you have to ask yourself; “Is anybody in charge here?”

    2. Stephen

      Alex Christoforou of The Duran had an interesting take on this.

      He wonders if setting up a demilitarized zone or DMZ was the intention all along. Then provides an excuse to put in “peacekeepers”. Start with a small DMZ and then widen it. Possibly the portent for the west trying to freeze the conflict in a similar way to Cyprus.

      Feels incredibly Machiavellian if true. But it would be the sort of thing that someone in the White House might have dreamed up. Maybe the idea followed the shelling though and did not precede. I do find it hard to believe that Ukraine and its leaders are able to visit the bathroom without permission from Uncle Sam. So the idea that they were shelling the power station unilaterally also feels fanciful. There must have been some goal in mind, although that may be ascribing too much rationality both to Ukraine and the US regime.

      Timing is everything too. A DMZ might have been part of a workable solution to prevent this conflict (or end the existing civil war depending on taste) back in January. It may still be in the end but I suspect much further west than where Russian troops are currently based. At least in the south.

  9. .Tom

    I have to step back from consuming NC. Trying to stay abreast of daily developments as our empire’s decline becomes apparent (spottily within and more clearly outside) has become a bit obsessive and is making me anxious, agitated and sad. And it takes more of my time than I can afford to give. It has the appearance of an addiction. I don’t want to leave NC for good, just take a break and then later see if I can find balance. The last two and a half years have been almost a daily horror show and I should not look at it so much. Since fear is a powerful tool available to authoritarian rule, I sometimes wonder if this was the plan. Unfolding existential threats to divert our attention from looking up.

    1. CanCyn

      .Tom – I know how you feel. From time to time I consider ‘quitting’ NC, for all the reasons you mention. My husband thinks my ‘doomscrolling’, as he calls it is a waste of time. I’ve been accused of just seeking confirmation of the beliefs I already hold – by those who won’t spend the time to understand the treasure trove of info and sanity that NC provides every day.
      Of late, I do skim the Jan 6 content and the Ukraine war content – I am frankly astonished at the level of interest in and discussion of the minutia of the Ukraine war! It is a shit show for which US/NAT0 is largely responsible, beyond that I don’t care to know.
      I also regularly skim or skip discussions of who might be a good presidential candidate and no longer follow any re-hash of 2016 or 2020 when they come up. Read very little about Trump these days, although I did comment on the search of Mar a Lago the other day.
      So what keeps me here? Certainly the best COVID coverage anywhere has been key the past couple of years. But mostly I take comfort in knowing so many others out there feel the way I do. And that there are people like Yves and Lambert with the passion and patience not to mention fortitude, stamina, grit, etc. to hammer away at seeking truth. Posting right, left and other sources, and seeking to pull back the curtain and reveal the depths of neoliberal depravity. It ain’t happening elsewhere in the media. I would kill for this level of coverage of Canada.
      In the end, though thaat much of the content is depressing, at the same time it is heartening to know that this community exists. When I think I really am going crazy, I just remember all the other people finding the same info and perhaps comfort here that I do and I feel sane again.
      Take a break if you need it. Hoping you find some joy out there.

    2. smashsc

      I am thankful everyday I access NC because of the wide variety of links provided that inform and help me understand what’s behind the MSM-approved curtain. As you are, I am dismayed by much of the content, but determined to use that knowledge to prepare myself & my family as best as possible for the future.

    3. digi_owl

      I hear ya. Sadly my main distraction from the world, gaming, is kinda inaccessible at the moment as my hardware is in dire need of an upgrade. Though i may have some books around that i have meant to read for eons…

    4. LawnDart

      It’s just Harvard vs. Yale, and us(a) proles are the pawns. It’s still a big and beautiful world out there, but kinda hard to see if you get blinded by the bullshit.

      From South Front (no link, because Skynet), what others see as they are looking from the outside into the monkey-cage:


      Written by Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.

      …the scenario is worrying. In midterms year, candidates are calling on American citizens to “fight” and considering the current administration “illegitimate”. Clearly, the US democratic structure is crumbling. The opposing sides no longer recognize each other as legitimate rivals, but accuse each other of crimes and promise to “fight”.

      If American levels of democracy were stable, Trump would be investigated peacefully and if proven guilty he would be punished without generating popular indignation. But the lack of transparency on the part of the authorities leaves many doubts about the case and indicates that it is really possible that some kind of political manipulation of the situation is taking place in order to harm Trump and his party.

      Indeed, there is a widespread belief among American citizens that this situation is going to get worse. And recent reports of US intelligence itself point the same way: the US is on the brink of a civil conflict.

      USA began moving towards authoritarianism since the 70’s, speeding-up under the Reagan Revolution of the 80’s, hit the turbo under Bush the Younger, and missed it’s last chance to exit the Highway to Hell under Obama: we can argue about the particular flavors of fascism, but what’s the point? Government of, by, and for the people is dead and isn’t coming back, not until this present system of rule and control is gone– and we’re not voting our way out of this, not in a rigged-game.

      As the Empire of Lies lashes and writhes in it’s death throes, I feel a sense of wonder and excitement– even privilege– in witnessing this era of history, much the same as one who witnesses an avalanche, albeit, while trying to avoid it’s path, and making every attempt and effort not to be swept along with it.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Thanks for that link. It’s hard to know how seriously to take some of their stuff. This made me laugh out loud:

          “The hospital as we know it will be on its way out, with fewer accidents thanks to self-driving cars and great strides in preventive and personalised medicine.”

          It looked like somebody trying out sales pitches for shit sandwiches. They should check with Nancy. She’s an expert at unloading them.

          1. LawnDart

            #8 “By the 2030s, we’ll be ready to move humans toward the Red Planet.”

            I’m more in favor of making them walk the plank, but seeing as how our oceans have suffered enough, this’ll work too.

        2. hunkerdown

          That one #7 was inspired by a lovely elitist quote from Kenneth Roth, regime lackey and director of the neoliberal apologist group Human Rights Watch.

        3. LawnDart

          Sure, to expand on that #7:

          Having seen the evil that governments can do, the world adopted a series of human rights treaties to impose limits and deter future atrocities. Protecting these rights was seen as necessary to preserve space for individuals to live in dignity, free from undue interference by the state. Democracy was understood to require not simply periodic free and fair elections but also human rights and the rule of law.

          From the United Nation’s perspective:

          What Are Human Rights?

          Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination.

          Economic, social and cultural rights

          The human rights that the Covenant seeks to promote and protect include:

          •the right to work in just and favourable conditions;
          •the right to social protection, to an adequate standard of living and to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental well-being;
          •the right to education and the enjoyment of benefits of cultural freedom and scientific progress.

          Civil and political rights

          The Covenant deals with such rights as freedom of movement; equality before the law; the right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; peaceful assembly; freedom of association; participation in public affairs and elections; and protection of minority rights. It prohibits arbitrary deprivation of life; torture, cruel or degrading treatment or punishment; slavery and forced labour; arbitrary arrest or detention; arbitrary interference with privacy; war propaganda; discrimination; and advocacy of racial or religious hatred.

          The USA, the same one that refuses to endorse or abide by the International Criminal Court, has steadily moved away from the practice of these human rights (as defined by most of the rest of the world) throughout my life, and I sure don’t think that the situation will be improving any time soon.

          They have their plan(s). They’re working to their plan(s). I do not think they will succeed in the long run.

          From a short-term perspective, say, a few years to a decade, what do you see?

          1. flora

            I see the long scientifically discredited belief in alchemy and the belief in spontaneous generation – life springing spontaneously from non-life, now posited as valid for Automatic Intelligence, will once again be discredited.

            My calculus is this:
            alchemy + spontaneous generation (does not equal) artifical intelligence. (unless “intelligence” is redefined as something entirely other than we’ve intellegence to be.)

          2. Stephen

            I tend to sympathize with the Hannah Arendt view of rights. This was also a similar view to Edmund Burke’s: a man often seen as the patron saint of Conservatism albeit a far more complex figure in reality.

            The basic point is that the only right that really matters is your ability to transact politically to ensure that you are able to protect yourself and be represented in the public square. Abstract rights created from so called rational principles as a “gift” can always be abrogated, interpreted and argued over. One person’s right also becomes another’s obligation. If such rights are also then not grounded in some sense of the traditions of a community then that will only intensify such arguments and create conflict.

            Many (or all) of the modern attempts to “nation build” overseas have been based on western notions of abstract rights (which themselves constantly alter of course) and have failed accordingly. The Holocaust still happened too although the various protections in the Weimar Constitution were never formally removed.

            Avoiding peoples ability to have a political voice seems to me exactly what the WEF style agenda is about.

        4. responseTwo

          Maybe change number seven to “The values that built the West will be the values that destroy the West”.

    5. juno mas

      …and you’re not reading/viewing but a small portion of the events related to Ukraine, if you are using the Firefox browser. All non-complementary (Russiab) IRL’s are blocked. I’ve learned to skim text and keep my NC access hours much lower than those who consume TV.

      Enjoy your vacay… see you when you return.

    6. notabanker

      I take long breaks too, for the same reasons.

      In the early days, links of the truly bizarre neolib world, and insight into the inner workings, were like gold pressed latinum, tough to find but worth a fortune. The last few years, the team here could fill the links meeting that criteria 20x what they currently do. It must be a tremendous job sorting through everything to get to the ones that do appear.

      It is really amazing to see how things have accelerated.

    7. Ignacio

      Hi Tom. We are now in the midst of the worst informational environment I’ve ever seen (I am 57 now). What you are experiencing, is IMO a normal and sane reaction when we see everything is turning upsidedown very fast.

      From time to time I personally have to take a rest from NC, because I need to concentrate hard in other issues and NC is demanding I tell you. And this is precisely one of the best features of NC. Another thing is that in the current environment you have to manage socially with caution. I never try to bring anyone to my side, just make a few points that tend to be forgotten by the mainstream and bring some discomfort to my friends and family. I am happy if I can manage to do that even if by the end of the day many will still be having their blue pills to stay orderly in their respective comfort zones. And this is the final point: in good part because NC, I now never feel comfortable and it would be irritant to settle down into complacency.

      1. .Tom

        Ignacio, yours is the last reply so I attach my response to the whole thread here…

        NC comments is a good bunch of caring and sharing people. Thanks for being that.

  10. timbers

    Ukraine says giant Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant can’t supply Russia BBC………..Yah, everyone knows Russians never think further ahead than the next stock buyback let along the 3 yrs the BBC seems to think is a magic number. That’s why they never got around to connecting Crimea by bridge and are running out of all sorts of ammo and missiles because of their Soviet supply chain mess. Meanwhile:
    “It seems like Kyiv scumbags and their Western patrons are ready to orchestrate a new Chernobyl. Rockets and shells are falling closer and closer to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant reactor,” Medvedev said. “They say it’s Russia. This is obviously 100 percent nonsense even for the stupid Russophobic public in the West,” Medvedev continued in his statement.

    “What can one say, don’t forget that there are nuclear sites in the European Union, too. And incidents are possible there as well.”

    1. Polar Socialist

      When the Zaporizhye plant was constructed, it was part of the Soviet national grid. Ukraine basically disconnected from the Russian grid in February 2022. I don’t think there’s anything preventing Russia from reconnecting the Eastern Ukrainian grid to old grid (a.k.a. Unified Power System) still covering Russia and Central Asian countries.
      At least the grid in Rostov region has connections to Donetsk and Luhansk grids. It’s actually connecting Central Russia to grids in Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘The VKS has a bad habit of leaving piles of munitions next to parked aircraft, including ones that are fuelled and armed.’

    If so, that is something that they will never do again. Reminds me of how the Japanese at Midway got caught short. The planes were being readied to bomb Midway island when the US task force was spotted. So the decision was made to swap the ordnance for bombs meant for ships. The first set of bombs were removed and set aside for the new ones to be attached. And as they were finally ready, it was then that the US dive bombers hit them with all that ordnance laying around.

    1. Lex

      Also probably real hot in Crimea these days which cannot be good for munitions storage in terms of increasing the odds of accident.

  12. Wukchumni

    The Forest Service is overstating its wildfire prevention progress to Congress despite decades of warnings not to NBC
    On our drive from Mammoth to the Red’s Meadow trailhead (about a dozen miles) I was happy to see that the USFS had done so much work in the forest for the trees of thinning it out and gathering downed wood to create large burn piles which will be covered up in the fall and unveiled and lit up in the winter when snow surrounds everything. I drove by miles of such work with many hundreds of burn piles and a forest that looked healthy space-wise, not the jumbled mess it was before full of fire ladders and more ignition sources than you could shake a stick at, all gone now.

    Its a study in contrasts between NPS and the Forest Service. NPS can’t really do a whole heck of a lot lest some extremist environmental group (best known for Dolphin-safe Tuna labeling) file a lawsuit against them, with the added proviso that everything is protected in our National Parks and even the look of taking down live trees way too close together is bad for their image & mission statement.

    Last year many miles of fire line (say 2x the width of a D-9) were created by bulldozers in Sequoia NP to assuage the threat of the KNP Fire, which was unprecedented in the annals of firefighting within our National Parks as the realization that mission statements are fine and dandy, but don’t the job done in this era of new & improved wildfires that don’t go to bed @ night anymore.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      I continue to be surprised that you still believe that forest “thinning” reduces wildfire risk. It does not, and in fact there is evidence that shows the opposite. Thinned forests are actually more prone to wildfires due to drying from lack of forest canopy, as well as reduced windbreaks which then allow winds to increase fire intensity. This is not rocket science. Forest thinning is thinly disguised logging for financial gain.

      1. Yves Smith

        You need to provide links. I do not like to have to waste time debunking your unsubstantiated remarks. We have a stern warning at the top of every Links which you keep ignoring. You are already in moderation and cannot afford any more troll points.


        HURTEAU: The influence that thinning has is that it alters the way that fire interacts with the forest. So by reducing the number of small-diameter trees, you break what we call a fuel ladder from the forest floor into the canopy of the overstory trees. And then the other thing is is that the crowns of the overstory trees are further apart, which makes it more challenging for fire to move from one tree crown to the next.

        And more recent confirmation:

        Scientists forecast massive wildfires like the ones that burned in Oregon last year will only get bigger and worse. However, new research out of Oregon State University suggests thinning the forests can go along way to calming the flames.

        “This study shows that fuel reduction thinning to moderate fire behavior… works.” said James Johnston, a forest ecologist at Oregon State.

        See also:

  13. cocomaan

    A year ago my employer was threatening to fire me for not getting a vaccine. Now the CDC has declared that Covid is over and no more precautions need to be taken.

    Kind of hilarious.

    1. Ignacio

      It is indeed hilarious when we take what are possibly the worst functioning approved vaccines ever, make them mandatory and claim mission accomplished while still burying thousands of bodies.

  14. nippersdad

    Re: The solution to online abuse.

    The site from which this article was published raised more hackles than did the subject. If the WEF wants to see a better world they could do worse than to look at the effects their past efforts have had on it. What would be more informative, for me, would be to see the reactions of actual moderators and whether or not it is wise for them to help the WEF create a better system for surveilling the populace.

    I imagine there is a literature on this, but as we presently have former CIA doing the bulk of moderation on sites like Facebook, properly overseen it may be better than what we have. As long as interface with the public is necessary to gain legitimacy (see The Hill and Politico, who answered this question by dumping their comment sections altogether so that no one could question the crap they print) someone will have to do it.

    But, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? The WEF? No thank you.

    1. upstater

      I don’t understand, why hasn’t an NFT been issued for this treasure? Any insights into that?

      1. JTMcPhee

        Intellectual property law. MLB probably owns all rights, including derivative.

        When I was in Vietnam, my dad took it on himself to get rid of a bunch of my stuff, including a nice HO gauge train layout my granddad had helped me with. And my baseball card collection, that included one for Ernie Banks’ rookie year and some other pretty valuable gems. That would have been a good part of my retirement fund…

        Oh well,…

  15. The Rev Kev

    “CDC loosens coronavirus guidance, signaling strategic shift”

    They’re not loosening guidance. What they are doing is taking the sort of measures that you would take if you want a population to ignore the fact that they are living in the middle of a pandemic.

  16. Lex

    Ukrainian media yesterday started reported another big push for selling state enterprises and now all sales will be quick auctions through

    Ukrainian commentary tends towards it being a standard, post-Soviet and deeply corrupt means of oligarchs (and foreign firms in this case) buying up state assets cheaply. The auction site was built completely by the Ukrainian state, which says that using the site instead of more traditional means will eliminate corruption. Ukrainian sources point out that the name of the site, which looks less slavic, is actually a combination of Ukrainian words and it essentially translates to “transparent” which gets some bitter laughter from those same sources. There won’t be anything left of Ukraine when this is over, it will all be owned by private equity and localish oligarchs. But it does make me wonder how safe any of these sales are, given that the purchaser might not be able to take possession of the property. Not sure that suing Russia will do much at this point.

    1. hk

      I would imagine they would all be actually owned by Russians…”illegally” of course, since their “real” owners would all be whoever Ukrainian “privatizes” sold them off to. This would be an interesting legal consequence from this, if we survive, that is.

    1. C.O.

      There are so many sad echoes of this situation in at least some parts of Canada (I live out west and can’t claim equivalent knowledge of what has happened in these areas east of Saskatchewan) – in Alberta the provincial government made war on the teacher’s union for over a decade, then complained mightily that Alberta was direly short of teachers and had recruitment problems. They carried out a parallel war against the nurses, and then complained mightily about having shortage of nurses and recruitment problems. All to force down wages and the necessary costs of decent education and healthcare, and do all they could to wreck any union that was not more friendly to the employer than their members.

  17. Wukchumni

    “The Colorado River is getting the most attention recently, but the Central Valley in California has hideously overpumped its groundwater,” Glennon said. “The ground levels there have dropped by 30 to 40 feet — the whole surface of the Earth has dropped in response to excessive groundwater [depletion].”

    DRIED UP: Lakes Mead and Powell are at the epicenter of the biggest Western drought in history The Hill

    Walked up to Farewell Gap in Mineral King yesterday, and monsoonal clouds formed as the day wore on, and this monsoon system has been hanging around for almost 3 weeks now, which is unprecedented in length, and how bizarre-Las Vegas being flooded as Lake Mead dwindles daily. It’s as if the gods are angry and want to make light of their situation.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Had this vision earlier where in future years they had to start evacuating tens of millions of people from the American west because the water was no longer there to support all those people, even though some States tried to sue the Feds for water deliveries from the east. But then I reflected that some of those Californian growers would probably move to a State in the wheat belt, clear out the wheat crops, sink wells deeper than their neighbours, and then start to grow almonds for export to the middle east.

    2. smashsc

      A tiny piece of good news is that the decent monsoon this year has caused Lake Mead’s level to rise by almost a foot from the recent bottom on July 27th. Short term weather models show continued monsoonal flow over the area. We can hope!

      1. Ghost in the Machine

        I wonder how many acre feet of water 1 foot of water at Lake Mead’s present area is.So I guess, equivalently, what is the current area of Lake Mead?

        1. amechania

          Apparently the legally binding Drought Contingency Plan is entirely connected to the water depth at Lake Mead in August.

          Current available here

          The linked water rights reductions, if tier 3 is hit, would hit California and Mexico hardest, with a total reduction of about 350K acre feet in water draw from the river.

          These are lower basin numbers. Reported upper basin flow annualy is 14.8 million.

          Not sure the actual area of lake mead, since it isn’t a cylinder. ;)

          1. Sean

            It should also be noted that the 2-4 million acre feet cut over the entire Basin that the Feds are wanting are in addition to the cuts in the Drought Contingency Plan. The reason the plan is based solely on Lake Mead is that Mead is the reservoir for the Lower Basin and bringing other lakes into the mix would have required sign off from the Upper Basin states. And at this point the Upper Basin states are insisting that the Lower Basin take the majority of that 2-4 million acre feet cut. The next few months will be interesting to say the least.

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      “Glennon said. “The ground levels there have dropped by 30 to 40 feet — the whole surface of the Earth has dropped in response to excessive groundwater [depletion].””

      In a sane society, people would be aghast at how careless and stupid we’ve been to allow such a thing to happen. In our society, the people who did this are now busy looking for other places to do it to.

      1. amechania

        Is that why we’re spinning faster?

        Headline: “The Earth spun faster than usual on June 29 and triggered climate anxiety — here’s how to cope”

        ‘Understand that climate anxiety is normal, says Patrick Kennedy-Williams, co-founder of Climate Psychologists, based in the U.K., and author of Turn the Tide on Climate Anxiety.

        It may even be good to welcome a bit of climate anxiety because it often leads to more conversation, which can result in more action and change, he says.'”

        This is not founded in any studies of anxiety I’m aware of.

        “mysterious” the article claims.

        Btw, a cone might be a good enough approximation of the area of the lake if you average a few lengths and widths.

    4. Raymond Sim

      …the Central Valley in California has hideously overpumped its groundwater.

      Funny you should mention that. A couple days ago I found myself planing down the top of a door, for fear of ripping the doorknob off the next time I tried to open it. The next morning it was stuck shut again, tighter than before. Meanwhile another door that has been sticky since forever now swings freely.

      1. Jorge

        That’s just Califonia. The ground shrinks all summer and swells all winter. You can only hang a door well in the spring or the fall.

  18. The Rev Kev

    ‘In the Ukraine war, a battle for the nation’s mineral and energy wealth”

    The people that were due to be buying this stuff up on the cheap are butt-hurt that now they are going to miss out on it all and that mother Russia is going to get the lot. It’s like reading the menu from a great restaurant that you are never going to be able to go to. This story actually parallels one made before the US had to pull out of Afghanistan when an article came out – from the Washington Post I think – saying that there was a trillion dollars worth of minerals in that country just waiting to be mined and you had the feeling that this article was a way of shoring up support for this war from the elite who could be expected to profit from it.

    1. doug

      Yes, the same BS in Afghanistan. Now, that ‘mineral and energy wealth’ of the USofA has migrated to somehow being under yet another country. I don’t understand geology.

    2. Mr.Peet

      Vietnam had lots of Wolframite. Tungsten. Offshore oil nearby as well as that other “domino”, Indonesia.

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      Try not to forget that capital is infinitely patient. As long as the mineral wealth in Afghanistan and Ukraine remains in the ground the capitalists will continue to lust for it, and scheme to get hold of it. Governments come and governments go, but the capitalists are always there waiting for the opportunity to strike. All victories against the capitalists are temporary at best and must be repeated over and over again. Time is always on the side of the capitalists.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Thanks for succinctly stating what I have struggled to say in many discussions and arguments over the years. That’s the fundamental truth underlying the death cult we are all now bound to. The Fermi paradox explained.

  19. flora

    re: Patrick Lawrence – Sheerpost

    Thanks for the Patrick Lawrence link. Reporters who deviate from the official narrative can find themselves looking for work.

    A few days ago there was a youtube link in the comments to a Camille Paglia talk wherein she said, the Foucaultian “narrative is all” nonsense has taken over the academy in the humanities, it’s everywhere. I agree. I see it daily. It’s now carried into the professions by the college graduates, imo. If “narrative is all”, and all the great and good agree on what the official narrative is or should be, then how can there be an incorrect purging of non-narrative information? Purging the non-narrative is only “correcting the record.” That is an entirely circular argument, of course, but the circularity doesn’t bother the official narrative minders, apparently.

    1. Ignacio

      You should watch a conference by Mearsheimer in Italy and witness how he confronts the official narrative in the Q&A section of the seminar by the end of the video
      The audience was all composed by people in humanities.

      1. jr

        I will have to listen to the whole thing later but I skipped ahead and the “narrative” guy who pipes up around 1:45:10 launches what amounts to an ad hominem attack. Does he really think Mearsheimer doesn’t double check his sources? Does he really think Mearsheimer isn’t aware he could be wrong about something? That there is always interpretation at play on some level? Does this schmuck really think Mearsheimer needs a breakdown of his teaching methodology? With his theatrically elevated voice at the end of his spiel, I got the sense he realized the flimsiness of his “critique” and was seeking to inject some heft via impassioned speech. Mearsheimer was too kind when he dignified that rant with a measured response. I would have torn him in half.

        1. Ignacio

          If you watch until the end you will be surprised by the intervention of an English man, a former civil servant or diplomat who shows astonishment about the reaction of Western governments.

    2. jr

      When nothing means anything, power will dictate meaning without any grounds for resistance. That’s why post structuralism’s absurdities are welcomed by some sectors of the establishment. I’ve called that trend rainbow fascism. That’s why Judith Butler and Karl Rove are philosophically identical, when you strip away the empty verbiage, political posturing, and moral platitudes of the former you are left with the same solipsistic, inert mass: reality is what I say it is.

  20. JAC

    on “Some Light on Long Covid”

    The levels of cortisol were “uniformly low” among the people with Long Covid, as you can see from the partitioning in the far right diagram, and this marker was clearly the most significant predictor for Long Covid (an AUC of 0.96 is pretty striking).

    I do not understand why western medicine fails to grasp the idea that the pathways that create these proteins are the first thing that should be investigated..

    Humans make cortisol from Cholesterol through a five step enzymatic process. Genetic changes in CYP21A2 are know to cause a cortisol deficiency. (21-hydroxylase deficiency)

    CYP21A2 is an enzyme that needs heme to function properly.

    Are they bothering to test these patients for heme deficiency after SAR2 exposure?

    And heme has its own biosynthesis pathway in another multi step process with enzymes that needs B6 and zinc to work. Zinc! It needs zinc! You know, the metal that has been shown to shorten the flu and is crucial to proper immune function?

    People like Topol are smarty but they are too smart, they are over complicating what the human body needs to be healthy.

  21. Larry Carlson

    From “Xi Jinping’s Guns of August” by Richard Haas:

    “What we saw was a reaction – more accurately, an overreaction – of choice. The scale and complexity of the response indicates that it had long been planned, suggesting that if the Pelosi trip had not taken place, some other development would have been cited as a pretext to “justify” China’s actions.”

    This is incredibly dubious logic. Governments and militaries develop complicated plans that can be used in a variety of situations, but many (most?) of them go unused.

  22. digi_owl

    “#StupidThingsGuysDo is, amazingly, not a hashtag on the Twitter.”

    The hashtag you are looking for may be #holdmybeer…

  23. Carolinian

    Yet another must read from Patrick Lawrence. To sum up his message: the media are the problem. Just keep saying it, over and over. Going by the single digit ratings for the MSM the public already gets this. It’s the reporters and editors themselves who need to come to terms with how far they have sunk.

    1. notabanker

      So they will unseal the warrant, the list of items will be redacted and they won’t release the affidavit. Sounds like another Russiagate nothing burger is heading our way.

      I hope the blowback puts the Hunter issue under a microscope. They have been trying to sweep that under the rug for a while.

    2. Chris Chaney

      I want to see the predicate for the raid. Who cares about the warrant.

      Until the DOJ releases the evidence they presented to the judge to get the warrant approved, half the country or more will see this as a purely political move against a potential candidate for president three months before the general election.

      The optics are terrible. In today’s NYT, there is an article on Trumps relationship with the intelligence community, the replies to my post make for interesting reading.

    1. Ignacio

      Hahahahah! That monkey looks like he has been witnessing Western elite actions in stupor an incredulity. The answer is yes, they can be so stupid and we have to wake up from our own stupor and do something.

  24. Ignacio

    This 17-Year-Old Designed a Motor That Could Potentially Transform the Electric Car Industry Smithsonian. “His winnings from [Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair] will go toward college tuition.” All this, and brutal gatekeeping, too!

    The young guy is a crack! It made me wonder if, and this is a question for engineers, they see symptoms of complacence, absence of imagination and/or unwillingness to innovate in some many engineering fields.

    1. JAC

      Do you think lithium miners will let this kid live past 19?

      But yeah, today having creative thinking you are strange or have mental illness. everyoen wants to me normal so they can have a lot of TikTok views.

      1. hunkerdown

        This kid sounds too easily bought to need more than a few stitches worth of convincing tbh.

    2. digi_owl

      The article cropped up on Hacker News earlier, and someone mentioned that from the skant details given it sounded similar to something Tesla was already doing with the engines in their cars.

      Beyond that things rapidly went over my head, with discussions about how it may no longer be the kind of engine claimed given various changes etc.

    3. ambrit

      The “Regeneron Prize” used to be known as the ‘Westinghouse Science Talent Search.’
      Keep an eye on who gains control of the patents associated with this “breakthrough.”
      My dad found out the hard way that corporations will buy up patents, worldwide and use them to stifle breakthroughs that threaten revenue streams.
      Dad came up with a very simple idea in plumbing and went through the patent search process in America and was then told to pay an extra grand or so for an international patent search. This blindsided him. He had already sunk some money in the initial patent search. A similar but not very close patent was found in France. Dad wrote off to the French patent holder asking for the North American rights. The Frenchman was all courtesy and wrote back telling Dad that a major international plumbing parts company was paying him, (the Frenchman,) a handsome annual stipend to suppress the invention.
      So, this is a case where a cynical person, (Who, me? Perish the thought!) could imagine that this “breakthrough” might be a distraction from something really important happening somewhere in an adjacent Alternate Universe.
      That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

    4. juno mas

      The efficiency and torque gains in his version of a reluctance motor have merit for objects other than electric vehicles. A Tesla is heavy (batteries) and requires a motor with high torque. A light vehicle (bicycle) would function with a lower torque motor. The young engineer’s invention could find uses in other applications.

      Then again, when high manufacturing costs meet lower mining extraction fees, it is the environment that takes the hit.

  25. petal

    Salman Rushdie has been stabbed at a conference in Chautauqua.

    Salman Rushdie, 75, is stabbed on stage before speech on America being a haven for writers in exile in upstate New York – 33 years after Iran issued fatwah on him for novel Satanic Verses

    Snip: “Author Salman Rushdie has been injured after being punched and stabbed on stage ahead of a speech he was due to give in Chautauqua, near Buffalo.

    The writer, 75, was attacked as he was being introduced to the stage for the CHQ 2022 event before giving a lecture on Friday morning.
    He was attending for a discussion of the United States as asylum for writers and other artists in exile and as a home for freedom of creative expression.
    Rushdie has previously received death threats for his writing, with his book the Satanic Verses sparking protests in 1988.
    Witnesses claimed that he managed to walk off stage with assistance and the attacker was restrained.
    Blood appeared to be spattered on the wall behind where Rushdie had been attacked, with some also seen on a chair.
    His current condition is not known, and a man has been arrested by New York police.”

    1. Bruno

      Rushdie was marked for assassination because of Khomeini’s fatwa, with overwhelming “blasphemy” slander among muslim idiots, but the real reason for the fatwa has been totally obscured. Only in Collier’s Encyclopedia, AFAIK, is that real reason cited: “…in February 1989 Khomeini ordered the assassination of Indian-born author Salman Rushdie, a British subject whose book *the Satanic Verses* was denounced as blasphemous. In actuality, Khomeini sought revenge for veiled attacks on him in the book.” (v.13, p.236). The reference is to the passage in Rushdie’s book depicting “The Imam” and his celebratory “Fountain of Blood”–unmistakably denouncing the destruction of many hundreds of thousands of Iranian and Iraqi lives by Khomeini’s refusal to end the war even though the peace terms were identical to those he would accept after an additional two years of slaughter.

  26. amechania

    Somebody ‘serious’ should get a copy of the US constitution. Amendment 6.

    “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.”

    I hear the Supreme Court might look favorably on the conservative views on this issue. Naive I know. Quite the mar-a-lago share on yesterdays WC.

  27. Henry

    Climate change is real. However, what a wonderful opportunity to slap a carbon tax on what’s left of business activity and personal mobility as a slush fund that can be administed by a tiny percentage of society and their relatives who can run non-profits that will spend it.

    Some wealthyaround here driving $150,000 luxury cars have been spotted with performative “Carbon Tax Me!” decals on their cars.
    The peons in their Grand Prixs and Corollas probably can’t afford that on top of gas, so it’ll free the roads up for the wealthy. Except how will servants get to work? Hmmm…

    “Oh, The Housing crisis!”, build, build, build multi-story low income units, on open space, parks, single family home lots, closer to jobs, and it’s carbon neutral! They’ll ride mass transit, if there is any. How to get the peons and Middle Clas to agree?

    Why not just shorten the message to something easily remembered?

    GLOCATOE! (GLobal Carbon Tax On Everything!)

  28. HotFlash

    re AMLO’s way Africa is a Country in today’s links, amazing. I have added Mexico to my short list of places to move to, and it has the advantage of being reachable by bicycle. It would be so nice to live in a place that is getting better.

  29. chuck roast

    The librarian made a catalogue…

    In the mid-70’s I made a bad choice and got stuck in Cincinnati. Bad because I always laughed in the wrong places. Anyway, I ventured up to Yellow Springs on a sunny summer day to see what Antioch was all about. I was intrigued by all the rabble-rousing abolitionists it had produced in the 19th century. Both town and gown were very quiet. I remember the Joe Hill Bookstore. I knew I was in the right place.

    I wandered into the library as I always do on strange campuses and disappeared into the Economics section to check out the array of ancients. During the course of my visit I was in need of the restroom. Nobody was around so I thought, “What the hell, I’ll go to the Ladies room.” I spent an hour in there reading the most astonishing graffiti. No knucklehead guy jottings here…long impassioned writings by angst ridden genius-girls with follow-on responses by their similarly crazed and dazed classmates. Reposts appended to the follow-ons. Every stall was so adorned. A multitude of head-spinning anonymous emotions jammed into this smallest of public/private spaces.

    Later I thought how photographing it all would have made one the greatest coffee table books ever. All the graffiti is probably still there…it would be criminal to remove it.

    1. ambrit

      In the end stall of the Poison Ivy League University Dorm I attended for a few years, we denizens of the Seventh Floor had a monthly graffiti contest. At the end of the month, a winner was voted on and that person usually got a pitcher of beer from the rest of us. We would paint the affected walls white for the next month’s entries in the contest. This went on for a year.
      The best women’s bathroom graffiti I ever read was in the Unisex bathroom in a Lesbian bar in the French Quarter. There was a “men’s table” in the back of the room. No ‘cruisers’ or ‘chickenhawks’ were allowed in that bar. So, it was a ‘safe’ place in the French Quarter for straight men to stop off for a drink after work. If you needed to use the one and only bathroom, the men had to have a friend guard the door. If you were not crude or obnoxious, everything sailed along peacefully.
      I also saw the most horrific fights in that place. “Big Girls” would go to town on each other over the favours of some petite pretty. I’m talking blood flowing and bones broken.
      Ah, the “Good Old Days.” I’m glad, and very lucky, to have survived them.
      What will our present day younguns have to reminisce about when, and if, they reach their age of senescence?

  30. Mikel

    “CDC loosens coronavirus guidance, signaling strategic shift” WaPo

    People are acting like there was an enforced quarantine in effect for over two years in the USA.
    They’ve been going everwhere hacking, coughing, and sneezing. The steady death numbers are there to prove it.

  31. Anonymous

    Re: “Living with Covid”. Here in Canada, the public health authorities are doing 180s as they are in the rest of the Western world. This mindset of pretending that life is back to what it was in The Before Time has trickled down to capture our family physician. Since the pandemic began, she has dropped the ball somewhat. This past winter, she came down with Covid. Recently, I went to see her for a routine treatment. When I was ushered in to the examination room (tiny, no open windows) there she was with a useless surgical mask being worn as a chin diaper. She pulled it over her nose after I entered. As for me, I was wearing an N95. What really shocked me was her recommendation that it was OK to travel because vaccines were allowing for a normal life. Because I read NC, I felt that I knew more about Covid than she did. Anyone else have a similar tale?

    1. Basil Pesto

      I haven’t seen my GP since Australia surrendered a year ago, but twitter etc is replete with stories of this sort, of doctors in both high and low positions being just completely ignorant about the nature of the pathogen.

      One would like to imagine that there will be a reckoning for a lot of members of the profession for this reason, but the level of ignorance seems to be commensurate with that of the general population and the current “vaccines are the opiate of the masses” mode of mass scientific illiteracy, so I’m not so sure.

      My dentist’s office got in touch wondering if I need to make an appointment, which I really do. I had an infection 2.5 weeks ago so I have a ~2 week window from now where I’d be willing to make an appointment with them, but I told them that after that I would need assurances that they take SARS2 as seriously as I do in the form of HEPA purifiers in each room; and N95s minimum for patients and staff. I showed them a local practice adopting these policies, I’ll be interested to see what they say.

  32. will rodgers horse

    ““We show that the breadth and potency of the antibody-mediated response is influenced by the number, the variant, and the nature (infection or vaccination) of exposures,”
    And so what? Even Pfizer admitted there is no certain correlation between Ab levels and protection.

  33. witters

    “Dried Up” – The Hill – key quote of the (blatantly irrational) management faith: “We caused it and so humans can fix it. We will fix it.” Jonathan Deason, director of the Environmental and Energy Management Program at George Washington University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.

  34. JBird4049

    >>>The existence of asymptomatic monkeypox infection indicates that the virus might be transmitted to close contacts in the absence of symptoms. Our findings suggest that identification and isolation of symptomatic individuals may not suffice to contain the outbreak.” Oh, good.

    Just how is this any different from HIV/AIDS? One of the fun things about AIDS was that for a while the who, what, why, and how was unknown aside from the apparently random long, painful deaths. But one could take precautions like safer sex. Once the what, why, and how was known getting tested for the virus was the certain way of knowing who was infected. The truly terrifying part was before when being completely unable to know was reality.

    We already have all the information we need to deal with Monkeypox for fuck’s sake. Maybe I am less sanguine about having contagious, but easily controllable, certainly testable and trackable, diseases just spread uncontrolled after seeing people rot to death for decade. But who knows? This might just be me.

    So, let’s see. We have two diseases becoming endemic with one of them a close relative of Smallpox. I can’t wait to see something like the 1918 Influenza or maybe an appearance of a similarly infectious variety of pneumonic Plague. The CDC will probably think of another fabulous ad campaign about personal risk management.

    1. Yves Smith

      The CDC has said monkeypox is transmitted by air. However, unlike Covid, it’s not highly contagious that way. More like tuberculosis, which requires protracted exposure.

      1. Raymond Sim

        Sepkowitz, How Contagious is Tuberculosis? is a review of what was known about TB circa 1996:

        Exposure Due to Closed Ventilation
        Ventilatory interventions to control the spread of tuberculosis remain a contentious issue, about which cost vs. efficacy is
        debated. Several thorough reviews of environmental control of
        tuberculosis have appeared [59-61]. In a series of classic articles about studies of guinea pigs, directed air flow, and patients
        with newly diagnosed pulmonary tuberculosis, Riley and coworkers contributed significantly to our fundamental understanding of tuberculosis transmission [62-64].
        In these studies performed during the late 1950s, several
        hundred guinea pigs were exposed to air ventilated out of rooms
        housing patients with tuberculosis. The exposed animals were
        then systematically tested for evidence of tuberculous infection
        and disease. The authors concluded that the airborne route
        could indeed “account for the spread of pulmonary tuberculosis
        in human beings” [62], the first scientific proof of this now
        seemingly self-evident principle. These studies verified and
        extended the work of William Wells, who had postulated the
        existence of droplet nuclei [65]. …

        Duration and Intensity of Exposure
        Analysis of several outbreaks in hospitals and in the community has helped define the association between duration of exposure and rates of tuberculin reactivity. In perhaps the most
        remarkable outbreak, a bus driver in a rural area of New York
        State was symptomatic for several months before diagnosis
        [72]. Of 258 children with known duration of exposure who
        rode his bus, 83 (32%) were tuberculin reactors and 51 acquired
        tuberculosis (table 5). Stratification of the children’s tuberculin
        reactivity rates according to the daily duration of exposure to
        the bus driver revealed that 22% of children riding 40 min/d. Community prevalence of tuberculin reactivity was —2%.
        Other school outbreaks have demonstrated similar findings.
        In one, 48% of children whose only exposure was to enter a
        classroom directly after the index case had left were tuberculin
        reactors, vs. a community rate of —2.5% [74]. In another,
        suitemates and social contacts had the highest rates of tuberculin reactivity [78]. It is disturbing that eight tuberculin conversions occurred among classmates with no more than 5 hours
        of exposure to the source case who had laryngeal tuberculosis. …

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