Links 8/15/2022

‘Splooting’ squirrels on Staten Island? NYC Parks sheds light on this bizarre behavior. SI Live (DL).

Angels Announce McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines On New Earth Will Work 67% Of The Time Babylon Bee. Somebody alert Stoller.


Rhine River at Kaub drops below transit levels, Germany The Watchers

China’s Yangtze river shrinks as heatwave, drought threaten crops Reuters

Panama Canal grapples with climate change threat Hellenic Shipping News

Global warming putting world’s biggest ice sheet at greater risk than scientists previously thought Daily Maverick

* * *

A long thread on designing swales to capture water:

How does young soil support plant life? Soils Matter, Get the Scoop

* * *

Climate change is making hundreds of diseases much worse Nature

Meet the team of volunteers removing invasive species from local parks Capital Daily


Morphological, cellular, and molecular basis of brain infection in COVID-19 patients PNAS. n = 26. From the Abstract: “Neurological symptoms are among the most prevalent of the extrapulmonary complications of COVID-19, affecting more than 30% of patients. In this study, we provide evidence that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is found in the human brain, where it infects astrocytes and to a lesser extent, neurons….. Our data support the model in which SARS-CoV-2 reaches the brain, infects astrocytes, and consequently, leads to neuronal death or dysfunction. These deregulated processes could contribute to the structural and functional alterations seen in the brains of COVID-19 patients.”

Has COVID-19 subverted global health? Pandemic


China announces new Taiwan drills as US delegation visits AP

Jörg Wuttke on China’s Self-Destruction The Wire. President of the EU Chamber of Commerce in China.

China home prices fall for 11th straight month as suspended construction, mortgage boycott and weak economy hit sales South China Morning Post

China Youth Jobless Rate Hits Record 20% in July on Covid Woes Bloomberg. How does a supposedly Socialist state even have a jobless rate?

Leaked Data Show China’s Population Is Shrinking Fast Project Syndicate

“Cha Bu Duo”: The expression that fills western manufacturers in China with dread Sourcing Allies

Don’t Rule Out Intervention in the Solomon Islands The National Interest

Secret swearing in of Scott Morrison to 3 portfolios ‘very peculiar’ ABC Australia. Which Dark Scotty could not have done without a sign-off from the Governor General:


Over 70 Economists Call for Biden Administration to Return Afghanistan’s Central Bank Reserves CEPR

The Shutdown of the Israeli Consciousness Haaretz. Seems to have wider application.

‘We killed a little boy, but it was within the rules’ +972

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

Henry Kissinger Is Worried About ‘Disequilibrium’ WSJ. “We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,”

Britain should prepare for a nuclear war The Telegraph

A World Gone MAD Myrmikan Research. From March, still germane. Well worth a read, but grab a cup of coffee.

* * *

Russia Struggles To Supply Troops As Ukraine Destroys 2 Key Bridges In Kherson Oblast: UK Republic World. I would take with a truckload of salts.

Turkish Drone Maker Baykar Is Booked for Three Years, CEO Says Bloomberg

Russia reopens bond market to ‘not hostile’ investors BBC

Biden Administration

The U.S. Wants to Close Guantánamo. Could a Saudi Center Provide a Way Out? NYT (Re Silc). Closing the circle?


Trump calls for return of privileged documents reportedly seized at Mar-a-Lago The Hill. Plot twist!

Trump’s Final Days Draw Scrutiny as Handling of Documents Investigated WSJ

Our Famously Free Press

Emails Raise Questions About WashPost Fact Checker Andrew Perez, The Lever. Kessler.

On TikTok, Election Misinformation Thrives Ahead of Midterms NYT. It’s so weird that Democrats never want to outcompete on the platforms; instead, they want to censor.


Mass General Brigham posts $949M quarterly net loss Becker’s Hospital Review

The Bezzle

The Strange Case of Nakamoto’s Bitcoin – Part 1 Sal Bayat. “Bitcoin is the world’s first case of investment fraud which is a digital network.” Well worth a read.

All time best interviews with accused fraudsters Dirty Laundry: AI, Investing & Fraud. This one is good, too.

Meta iOS apps accused of injecting code into third-party websites The Register. “If you trust Meta, you should have no concern that its script might be revised with more pernicious functions.”

Supply Chain

US CO2 shortage: Strains set to continue throughout the coming months GasWorld

Zeitgeist Watch

Daily affirmation (1):

Daily Affirmation (2):

Class Warfare

The Sanctification of George Soros James Kirchuk, The Tablet. “In case you couldn’t tell”?

Which diet will help save our planet: climatarian, flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan? The Conversation

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (ctlieee):

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. Quentin

    The ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’ Tweet is in fact titled ‘Tormenting the bear’ or even maybe ‘Poking the bear in eye’. What is all this nonsense going around since the beginning of Russia’s Special Operation that Russia is good at war but terrible at PR? I guess you could call organising a Vogue photoshoot with Mr and Mrs Zelensky when maybe as many as hundreds of their fellow-countrymen are dying and being wounded around them every day very savvy PR…as intended in the Bernays and Madison Avenue sense. ‘Buy me, buy me, I’m for sale.’ Filth.

    1. Yves Smith

      Russia is terrible at PR, at least directed at the West/Europeans. Please bone up on the topic. The classic books are Walter Lippmann’s Public Opinion, Edward Bernays’ Propaganda, and Alex Carey’s Taking the Risk Out of Democracy.

      1. anthony lyle

        germany 1914-18 were similarly terrible at PR.

        however, as GJ Meyer details in a world remade, the UK was/is a highly skilled, subtle, diverse, and pervasive PR and Woodrow co-opted the US into that machine from the very start of the conflict in 1914, i.e. well before the ‘neutral’ America ‘decided’ and ‘was forced into’ ‘defending democracy for all’.

    2. Sardonia

      “‘Buy me, buy me, I’m for sale.’”

      Savvy shoppers will ignore the markdowns that are coming, knowing that they’ll soon be in the bargain bin. And if there are still no takers then, they might even end up just being hauled away.

    3. hunkerdown

      Propaganda isn’t a beauty contest. Info ops are done for effects, not for recognition. What useful effects would Russian propaganda accomplish here, with ever-stronger and more precise censorship regime and Kamala (starting to think Yang and GPT-3 are in on it too?) running cadre bots on the social MSM? There’s no point wasting time and effort competing with two divisions of myth hawkers, their drones (robot or meat), and their infantile middle-class True Believers in an election year. So what do you do instead?

      As Dmitry Orlov blogged, it is in the Russian character to simply abandon the malicious and uncooperative to their own devices, which is a bad position to be left in on the Siberian steppe. These values of the cooperator are not so legible to the bourgeois ideology of politics as a moral gymnasium or the possessive individualism of the Western mainstream. A propaganda op consistent with Russian national character would, like any other effective war effort, seek to interdict that system’s access to essential strategic resources: audiences, foot soldiers, and credibility. John Robb’s theory of the “open-source insurgency*” wouldn’t be far from the model.

      Which could be why the petulant middle-class gentry who have massive positions of not necessarily corporeal property in that system are reacting so forcefully to threats of ideological disunity lately, and can’t help but discredit themselves further with every screechy law-giving tweet.

      * Bourgeois political parties could be called open-source counterinsurgencies, but that’s a whole other theory to develop…

      1. Thistlebreath

        Trivium Obscurum: Social rejection and isolation are the worst things that can happen to a free roaming horse. A solitary horse = dead horse. Young colts are typical offenders and are driven outside the herd by the ruling mares, to consider the error of their ways. Virtually none choose the solitary life and after amends, are accepted back into society and safety.

        The Amish also practice shunning as a way of enforcing a social contract. Non violent but effective.

        1. hunkerdown

          For transpersonal exclusion to work, it’s critical that the target have no or few other options. There is always a danger of adaptation, which increases the risk of permanent estrangement of a member by such a management strategy. While I can’t speak much to the horse’s inner life, Amish have the advantage of a plain, simple, basically closed/total social order, which (by design) overlaps with the profusion of liberal-capitalist properties only at the market. The people it produces are not as suitable to be successfully appropriated by industrial capitalism (if only the Puritans had learned that lesson earlier, things would have turned out much differently).

          I don’t romanticize social entrainment; I think it’s better if that process backfires fairly often so that precious bullshxt is devalorized and the dialectic is preserved.

    4. hk

      Marie Antoinette was wonderfully good at PR throughout Europe, as long as only internationalized aristocrats mattered…then she lost her head and the Revolutionists were terrible at PR.

      I’m being a bit sarcastic, but I really do mean this. The notion of Revolution was anathema to European aristocrats for decades, for much of 19th century. Heck, restoration of the monarchy failed in France in 1880s(?) because the claimant to the throne refused the crown unless the tricolor was also gotten rid of.

        1. Bruno

          Marie Antoinette was indeed hated by the courtiers who called her “L’autri-chienne” (the Austrian bitch). Has any other historical figure been the target of such a stream of racist, misogynistic, and homophobic propaganda over so many years? The great artist Elizabeth Vigée LeBrun barely escaped lynching and had to flee the country for the crime of having painted Marie’s portrait. The queen’s reactionary political stance in 1789-1792 was that of a daughter of Maria Theresa. But as a human being she was superior in all respects to…say…Bonaparte (who reimposed slavery, whereas Marie had done her best–thwarted by the King–to appoint a great black musician, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, as head of the Paris Opera–Royal Academy of Music)!

          1. Daniil Adamov

            Her reactionary political stance was also that of someone singled out for social and then physical extermination. I’d say it was only fair for her to fight back against such.

            Agreed otherwise (and of course the propaganda continues to these days, turning a victim of politics into a convenient scapegoat for other people’s sins). It is also worth remembering that, far from saying the famous cake line was that was attributed to various French noblewomen since the 15th century, she was aware of and troubled by the famines, and engaged in charitable efforts to alleviate them. Insufficient? Yes, of course, but it was not like she had anywhere near the amount of power that her enemies alleged. I think she did what she could.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Re: the restoration – clearly not only among the aristocracy, unless one counts the vast majority of Frenchmen as natural-born aristocrats. Since, after all, monarchism enjoyed vast popular support during the early Third Republic. IIRC the reason the restoration failed was because the different pretenders could not reach an agreement among themselves. If not for that, the population and the government were all ready for it. Almost as if the Terror was indeed awful PR, and not only for the aristocracy.

        1. Bruno

          If that had been the case, Boulanger on his White Horse would have succeeded, instead of becoming the farce he was. The monarchists were never within light-years of agreeing among themselves. How could the Legitimists ever unite with the Orleanist heirs of the Regicide or the Bonapartist heirs of the Tyrant? In the aftermath of the Commune, French capital was as solidly Republican as US capital, today, is solidly Liberal.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            That’s what I’m talking about – the monarchist would-be elites did not agree with each other. If they had – which I agree was a tall order – they would have won, at least in the 1870s, because the voters supported avowedly monarchist politicians by a comfortable majority. I think that would’ve been enough to override the republican haute bourgeoisie – IF there had been one pretender that everyone agreed on. As for Boulanger, frankly, he was as farcical as the pretenders, if not more so. A competent putschist may well have succeeded, but that one was too indecisive as I recall. Also, his big thing was revanche, which was popular in some corners but not among the general populace.

  2. Sardonia

    So, more Congress Folks flying to Taiwan. Time to update the lyrics to Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road:

    Where are you gonna come down?
    Where are you going to land?
    You should’ve, taken hints from the White House
    Shoulda listened to That Old Man
    You know we can’t hold you forever
    You’re can come and go as you please
    But do you really think that poking The Dragon
    Won’t fill the world with un…ee…ee…ease

    So goodbye Yellow Détente
    Now the Hawks of Society howl
    You can’t stay out of the limelight
    And avoid a policy foul
    You gotta go fly to Taiwan
    You gotta find someone to taunt
    Oh, you finally decided our future lies
    Beyond the Yellow Day…taw…aw…awnt

    What do you think you’ll do then?
    They might just shoot at your plane
    It’ll take y’all, a lotta gelato
    To set you on your feet again
    Maybe we’ll get some replacements
    Who will work with President Xi
    But good luck, finding someone in Congress
    Who doesn’t want World War Three…ee…ee

    So goodbye Yellow Détente
    Now the Hawks of Society howl
    You can’t stay out of the limelight
    And avoid a policy foul
    You gotta go fly to Taiwan
    You gotta find someone to taunt
    Oh, you finally decided our future lies
    Beyond the Yellow Day…taw…aw…awnt

  3. Sardonia

    “Britain should prepare for a nuclear war – The Telegraph”

    If Russia, China, and India end up forming a cohesive Trade/Military bloc, and nuclear war gets set off, I think it would only be sporting for the Russians and Chinese to let India have the honor of targeting Great Britain.

    Not exactly Gandhi-esque, but the world has moved on….

    1. pjay

      First lines of the author’s Wikipedia bio:

      “Colonel Hamish Stephen de Bretton-Gordon OBE (born September 1963) is a chemical weapons expert and was a director of SecureBio Limited until its dissolution on 17 August 2017.[1] He was formerly a British Army officer for 23 years and commanding officer of the UK’s Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment and NATO’s Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion…”

  4. The Rev Kev

    ““Cha Bu Duo”: The expression that fills western manufacturers in China with dread”

    For the west, that is good news. If you can’t be bothered with high-precision or quality control, it will always undermine you when you manufacture goods that require some precision. The Japanese, who previously only manufactured stuff that had a poor reputation, took up the cause of quality after WW2 under the guidance of people like W. Edwards Deming which led them to becoming a powerhouse in the following decades. My favourite story from this era was when an American firm ordered some gear from Japan and, based on what they were used to, had the contract state that the gear had a maximum failure rate of 5% which meant that 95% had to be quality. Later the gear arrived from Japan and when they opened it up found what they ordered plus a smaller package with a letter. The Japanese firm wrote that here was their ordered gear but they were confused about the 5% failure rate stated so they packed the 5% failed gear separately for their convenience. In other words, they only shipped gear that was 100% good so was uncertain why the Americans were ordering failed gear as well. And until the Chinese get aboard with quality as a concept and dump Cha Bu Duo, then they will always have a spoke in their wheel.

    1. Eureka Springs

      Planned obsolescence is what the American companies want. Blame the customer for wanting crap, or accepting crap. In Japan customers are taught all about quality of goods. In clothing for example, right down to each and every type of thread and stitch in a garment. We, from customer, to sales to designers in most cases, have no care, no idea what quality is.

      1. Pavel

        One thing I love about traditional Japanese society (it may be changing of course) is the custom of using things until it is absolutely necessary to replace them. In my favourite sushi place in Tsukiji the woman serving drinks (beer, sake, tea etc) used an old metal tea kettle on a small gas hob; the rather battered kettle looked to be 20 years old.

        Having said that, Japan’s UNIQLO is more on the “fast fashion” side of things I suppose. But at least it replaced the expensive fashion tastes of young Japanese women back in the bubble years — Burberry scarves and Louis Vuitton bags!

        1. JTMcPhee

          The notion used to be present in the US of old — may parents and grandparents had the Depression mantra hammered into their “consumption choices:”

          Eat it up.
          Wear it out.
          Make it do.
          Do without.

          And this from a time when a lot of what people produced was quality, designed to last — like original Levis, Buster Brown shoes, John Deere farm implements (I’m talking 90, 100 years ago), Brown&Sharpe

          Not likely to ever self-repair the reshaped consumer masses into something “invested” in stability and survivability and stuff…

          1. Old Jake

            The best example I can think of is Singer sewing machines. Built to last forever. Until the ’80s rolled around and suddenly they were junk. I have one of the first models designed from the ground up to be driven by electric motors, earlier electric models had electric motors added to the treadle-based drive system. Yes the motor is not so powerful as newe ones but it is rock solid. Built almost 100 years ago.

      2. Lexx

        I have a brown fleece pullover I bought at Costco 25 years ago and it’s been my go-to favorite comfort wear ever since. It has gone through many washings because I like to tempt fate. So far, though the pill of the fleece looks like hell, it shows no signs of falling apart and I love its snuggliness all more. If given a chance, it will probably outlive me.

        Sometimes I like to imagine that somewhere in a garment factory overseas, a training meeting is going on, and one of those pullovers is held up as an example of the kind of garment they will avoid producing this year, precisely because it was naively and unwittingly made to last, and management is on a mission to stamp quality out before it spreads.

        1. BeliTsari

          I’ve PolarTec & PrimaLoft from US suppliers (Malden Mills) that kept me alive, inspecting 250′ high boilers & windy bridges, right after Reagan’s Miracle. (ALL 2nd hand; yuppies would donate used Patagonia, Marmot & Moonstone as hubby gained love handles, post cocaine). We stopped using driers for microfiber polyesters, well before Lisa Simpson heard of fracked ethane hollow-core lint clogging gills. Kinda hard to fit into 45yr old duds after PASC couch-potato bloat? But hemp, silk, wool, bast fiber linsey-woolsey proved DEADLY working out-of-doors in Edmonton & Puerto Ordaz, with one bag of work clothes? Mostly from Vietnam or the Persian Gulf, nowadays (I can’t buy child-slave stuff!)

      3. Dr. John Carpenter

        Americans don’t want crap. It’s what’s on offer at prices people can afford. You really think people want to shop at WalMart for cheap junk? But if you have a family you have to clothe and feed and stagnant income with decreased buying power, what are you supposed to do? Most Americans have had no agency in the decades long race to the lowest bidder in consumer goods. Stating it’s a condition of consumer choice is just wrong.

        1. spud


          the wal-mart/dollar store economy is about all most people can barely afford now. when ever i hear some completely out of touch piece of vermin say well they did not have to buy it, or why do so many americans have such a huge appetite for foreign made products, its typical blame the victim garbage.

      1. herman_sampson

        Which is also the usian method of choosing government representatives – most of them are “cha bu duo” seems to me.

    2. YuShan

      I lived in mainland China for some time and worked in manufacturing there 20 years ago. The article is very recognizable. But don’t underestimate them. They get things done, just in a different way.

      The thing that always struck me was the amazing speed that they could get things done. But it would often be sloppy. I came from Europe where we spent a long time designing and theorizing. Then when we finally had something it was pretty good first time. But often we would overlook one small thing and then still have a disappointing result.

      The Chinese on the other hand just started and have a terrible product very soon. But the next day they would already have a somewhat improved version 2 that is still terrible. Eventually they ended up with something OK after like 15 revisions, within the same period that we had 2 revisions.

      But their trial and error pragmatism, including “Cha Bu Duo”, never failed to impress me. We (Europeans) tended to over-engineer stuff and ended up with more complicated expensive results.

    3. Ed Miller

      “Cha Bu Duo” is a close relative to “Close enough for government work” in USA! USA!

      Actually an investor who spent many years working in China has said that Chinese quality follows the well established rule of 3 goals – price, quality and speed (if I have this right). You can have 2 of these, but not all three. He said that products sold in the US from Chinese manufacturers are usually of lower quality not due to the limitations of the manufacturers but due to the procurement practices of the buyers – cost drivers rule. We get junk from China because our businesses want the highest profits and most consumers are accepting trash instead of refusing to buy. They have the technology to meet or beat anything that US companies can do, largely because US companies made the decision to transfer knowledge to China to undercut blue collar workers in the US. Especially unions.

      I should add that I have no actual data or knowledge on this topic, so I am just presenting second hand information. The reason for my decision to comment is that I suspect this could be a hit piece that leaves people in the US-centric world underestimating what the rest of the world can do.

    4. Charger01

      Thank you for the story,
      I’ll use that for my future corporate trainings.

      My 2010 subaru has 194k and no repairs other than regular maintenance. A testament to good engineering and assembly.

      1. Tim

        Subaru is the only automotive manufacturer that specifically designs to a 200K mile service life. Virtually everyone else designs to half that.

        BTW you’ve only got 6K miles left! LoL. Should be fine.

    5. hunkerdown

      Why don’t the Chinese care about our feelings by over-delivering when we buy from them? Because commerce is not a substitute for romance outside of the Puritan-progressive West, maybe? Guanxi is earned; bourgeois Becky entitlement earns nothing.

      In my experience of small-time electronics sourcing, the real picture is closer to that of Robert Hahl and YuShan: “You get what you pay for.”

    6. bonks

      I run a design company in China and I outsource production to domestic workshops. It took me 3 years to find the ones who don’t give me the ‘cha bu duo’ excuses. They know they produce at a higher quality than their average industry peers, and they charge much more than them while also taking a longer lead time, which I am more than willing to fork out and put up with.

      I look forward to the day when cha bu duo becomes a rare phrase uttered in manufacturing.

    7. JP

      Deming worked for the war effort in the USA during WW2. His job was to improve the efficiency of US manufacturing. His system was to bring quality control to the factory floor and put it in the hands of labor. This was very successful but heresy to the corporate top down control. So after the war there was no future for Deming in the US but he went to Japan and helped rebuild their manufacturing capabilities. At first Japan made toys and cheap stuff and “made in Japan” was a pejorative phrase. Then the started exporting quality machine tools and electronic goods of better quality and cheaper then available in the US.

      When I worked as a manufacturing engineer I tried to introduce some Deming procedures but the CEO told me he didn’t want to cross train or expand any workers expertise because he would have to pay them more.

      1. Tom Stone

        I’m old enough to remember seeing “Made in Usa” on a toy my Mother bought me at the Japanese Tea house in Golden Gate park.
        That would be Usa, Japan.

      2. Kouros

        Working in government, I was amused to see how the fad of LEAN came in and then made disappear, because really it went against all the pillars of the PMC, good results be damned.

      3. JohnnySacks

        Mori-Seiki, Mazak, Matsura, Okuma, unbeatable machine tools. Took over after the big American names faded sometime after WWII. We had to place tariffs on Suzuki, Yamaha, and Kawasaki 650cc an under motorcycles because Harley Davidson etc. was such complete crap and was getting killed? Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto up against Japanese economy cars at the 70’s gas crunch?

        1. Wukchumni

          Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto up against Japanese economy cars at the 70’s gas crunch?

          We owned both motor city makes, and the Vega had a 4 speed manual transmission which i’d never driven before or any car for that matter, and one day when mom & dad were away early on in my teenager prone years I pounced @ the possibility.

          The idea that it took me 15 minute to find the reverse gear and back it out of the garage was an indication of what was to come in my sojourn of around 17 miles all driven in first gear as I wasn’t cognizant of the other 3 gears… the poor thing.

        2. spud

          try a slant six dodge dart or plymouth valiant, you could not kill them, and they got close to 30 m.p.g.

    8. drumlin woodchuckles

      The tragedy for America is that Deming wanted to teach these things to his fellow American corporation managers and heads, but they were not interested. So he went to Japan so he could see his ideas and methods applied. While at least part of the Japanese advantage has been attributed to currency manipulation and etc., part of it is due to high quality, which people will buy if that is what they need. And while high quality was always part of the Japanese craft tradition, Deming helped bring it to the industrial side of Japanese thingmaking.

      ( And one might note that in our own day, the Chinese authorities are taking the economy-financial management advice and wisdom of Professor Hudson, who might well have preferred to teach this to his fellow Americans, but who finds the American authorities bitterly opposed to the application of his knowledge.)

      Business entities which outsource their production to China can pretend to object to Cha Bu Duo all they like. They accept it as part of what give China a lower price which they can then arbitrage against the higher price conditions in their own countries. I doubt they will sincerely press to make China “Japanese” in that regard anytime soon.

  5. Katniss Everdeen

    Wait. There’s a souvenir “shop” at Guantanamo Bay?

    When you think about it, that explains A LOT.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It would be in pretty poor taste if you could also buy at that souvenir shop a coffee mug stamped “Hotel California.”

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Splooting’ squirrels on Staten Island? NYC Parks sheds light on this bizarre behavior.

    Oh sure, we humans do it at the beach and straight away we have the do-gooders getting on our case about skin cancer, social responsibility and all the rest of it but the squirrels do it and it is only ‘splooting.’

    1. jr

      More than once, in my partying days, I’ve “splooted” due to excessive whiskey inhalation. This is also known as “surfing the bathroom floor”. The cool, soothing linoleum seems to draw some of the gyrating away. It’s also helpful to plant one foot against the baseboard to give a sense of standing upright.

  7. John Beech

    I find these things to be pernicious to China in the real world. It’s my personal experience, perhaps yours as well using the Apple iPhone as a popular example, that products Made in China are world class quality when the buyer and the producer put their heads together. Major point being, perhaps it’s time to update the idea goods made in China aren’t excellent and already on a par with Japan? I can find many, many similar examples of superb products being made in China so to continue this canard is a disservice to these very hard working people.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Chinese drones are all over the Ukrainian battlefield, picking out targets for nasty big explosions. Sold even-handedly to all sides. The quality is damn good, as is the case with the Chinese stuff I have bought for my radio-controlled model airplanes. You get what you pay for, with the possible exception of “loss leaders” where you can get quite a bit more.

      The Russians do seem to be doing better at electronic countermeasures in disabling and bringing down Ukrainian drones, Chinese or otherwise.

      1. Tom Stone

        Apparently the full auto switches for Glock 17’s are first rate, $12 on Ebay with free shipping the last time I looked.

      2. John Beech

        Chinese products can be the bane of my professional life, but after buying loads of them to open and look, I developed a strong respect for the ingenuity and hard work. I’ve no doubt The Rev Kev is right in some regards but just like Japanese cars were crap in the early 70s and today serve as an example of how it should be done, the Chinese are similarly climbing the ranks and in many senses have arrived. My major point was, it’s the team that results in the quality, and the proof of that being the iPhone. Only thing I hate ‘is’ the hate – not against black people, gay people, immigrants, imported goods, or anywhere I find it regardless how subtle.

        Experienced as a kid, marked me for life.

  8. Lexx

    ‘Which diet will help save our planet: climatarian, flexitarian, vegetarian, or vegan?’

    Breatharian… it was a thing for a while… if we keep it under 60 grams a day. Think of the children hypoxic in India!

    The husband next door was strongly encouraged to lose weight and referred to the in-house nutritionist, who put him on what sounded to me like the Atkin’s diet. In the last two years (under his wife’s strict supervision) he’s lost 60 pounds. He’s a small man and now a shadow of his former self. His wife joined him and has lost 40 pounds. She didn’t look like she had an extra 40 pounds to get rid of.

    They are both svelte now and insufferable. They have no intention of ever coming off the diet, that is high in meat and fat and very low in carbs. I offered her one of my first-of-the-season tomatoes and she looked at me like I’d farted in her face. ‘It’s a fruit!!! What are you thinking?!!!’ She didn’t say that; her facial expression conveyed enough, her loathing for the tomato and my bad manners. Don’t I understand the challenges and pitfalls of their low-carb path in life?! This from a neighbor who wanted to pay back my husband’s efforts in helping them put in their veggie garden by giving us a box of french macarons. They were exquisitely tasty and I’m a prediabetic on metformin (for all the good it does me… at least with insurance it’s cheap).

    Aren’t converts fun… for those of us satanically inclined?

    1. CanCyn

      We posted at about the same time Lexx! After my Dad had a big stroke and I spent a holiday season with my decidedly unhealthy looking family, I did no carbs for a while and indeed I lost weight easily. I seemed ready for it and for the better part of 2 yrs after I lost the weight I stuck to the diet. But eventually some fresh pasta dish at a resto tempted me and the slow slide back to carbs began. Anytime since that I’ve tried to give up wheat and sugar (I never gave up fruit, that’s crazy IMO) I cannot overcome the cravings. I predict that sooner or later your neighbours will cave, I don’t know anyone who has the wherewithal to stick to that diet.

  9. CanCyn

    The whole diet for the planet thing leaves me conflicted. I love meat. We are omnivores. I have tried vegetarian, close to vegan diets. I never feel as well as I do when I am eating animal protein. I had a vegan colleague who was very prone to injury and was having a terrible time healing from a bad case of tendinitis. Her doctor actually told her to start eating animal protein. Another vegetarian colleague got more colds than anyone I ever knew. The article in The Conversation link mentions saving millions of innocent animals along with keeping the planet habitable. Well, those cows and pigs are not going to be raised at all if no one is eating them so it isn’t as rosy and bucolic as that sounds, they simply won’t exist. Good for planet? Of course! But not the animals. I live in area that still has small farms and am able to get locally raised chicken, pork and beef. Locally produced milk and yogurt. Along with eggs, and fruit and vegetables in season. I am not foolish enough to believe that everyone can afford my diet. I am fortunate enough not to have to shop by price alone. I want to support my neighbours, and small farms in general. I think that’s as important as saving animals. I even drink wine made in my province and locally brewed beer almost exclusively. I guess I’m a believer in the 100 mile diet? Supplemented with things like coffee, rice, olive oil, chocolate and ethical seafood when I can get it. Last year the staff at the little local grocery store started wearing t-shirts that say “we’re local too”. That gave me pause, even if I buy something not made or produced locally, I am still supporting the local economy! My neighbour’s son works in the meat dept in that store, an actual FT job that he can ride his bike to! I have to admit that the guilt felt when I eat a hamburger is making me question my choices. Time for a look for carbon footprints of a locavore. I guess I question the article’s stats. I eat eggs and chicken that are produced less than a km from my house. I know the farmer and family by first name. Surely that counts for something?
    Anyone else conflicted or is your choice totally clear to you?

      1. CanCyn

        Indeed Katniss. I buy a whole chicken, not parts. We get several meals and chicken broth out of it. We don’t have the freezer space for 1/4 or 1/2 sides of beef but the steaks, roasts and ground beef that I do buy give us many meals for the money. We eat less meat than we used to and often treat it as a side rather than a main. But now and then we cannot resist grilled steak with potatoes and veg on the side. Still more like 4 oz than the 6 or 8 oz that was standard in earlier times.

        1. Laughingsong

          We do similar, although we cut down on meat in the summer….but yes, I too did vegetarian/vegan for over a decade and had problems. We do buy all our meat from a local butcher who sources everything either from our valley, or at the furthest, over the mountains. Our veg and fruit is either our own or the Farmers Market or our little one-location stores (we are blessed with 3 within a mile and a half) that also strive to source as locally as possible. But we realize how lucky we are, not everyone lives in a place like this.

        2. Lexx

          I buy chicken the same way, even giving a pair of poultry shears to a young friend as a gift, so she could learn to part out the chicken herself.

          In summer though I’m just as likely to buy one roasted at Costco. (Who wants to turn on a stove? Nyet!) The warm meat hardly lasts more than a few minutes after I get it home, before the container is open and the leg quarters are pulled off for munching (Meal #1). Meal #2 is half the breast chopped up and tossed into salad. Meal #3 later in the week is likely the same. The carcass from Thursday was picked over this morning and what was left went into a morning stir fry for breakfast (Meal #4 with leftovers for tomorrow).

          When I asked my neighbors what foods they had had to give up, the wife (from South Korea) said, ‘Noodles!’* They had been eating not just a lot of carbs, but primarily refined carbs. They both loved sweets too. We received a pan of tiramisu every Christmas from them. I’ll kinda miss those. Not the consuming – though very tasty – so much as the unfettered conscience. Sigh.

          *Many dieters have fallen overboard succumbing to the siren call of noodles.

    1. hunkerdown

      New rule: PMC who attempt to dictate what other people may eat have put themselves on the menu.

      1. Sub-Boreal

        Surely there is a middle path. After the Jackpot, I will eat only vegans.

        For variety, I have an occasional Intersectional Burger: a homemade veggie patty, topped with bacon and a melted slab of cheddar.

          1. Geo

            Fun fact:

            “Liver, fava beans, and wine – specifically Chianti (as well as vermouth) – are foods that need to be avoided if you are on MAOIs due to the presence of tyramine within them.

            The joke, as suggested by mrcchapman on Reddit, was not meant to bring the house down, but was likely a reference to the fact that he was either off his medication when he consumed the forbidden meat, or that he was misusing his medication.”


    2. The Rev Kev

      Personally I would be happy with foods that have an absolute minimum of processing and additives. I could live with that. Have people once again weigh what they use to back in the 60s and 70s.

      1. CanCyn

        Yes RK! Many vegans and vegetarians I know eat a ton of processed food, esp fake meat. Not to mention all the almonds and avocados. I get that it is still supposed to be better for the planet than eating meat but I worry about their health. I just don’t know many vegans who I would consider strong and healthy. And I know more than a few. I often wonder how vegans who get COVID have faired?

    3. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

      Well, those cows and pigs are not going to be raised at all if no one is eating them so it isn’t as rosy and bucolic as that sounds, they simply won’t exist. Good for planet? Of course! But not the animals.

      I’m guessing you’re not a Buddhist.

      1. CanCyn

        Not sure what you mean? I understand the Buddhist belief in reincarnation. Not sure what reincarnation has to with the fact that if most humans stop eating beef and pork there will be a lot fewer of those animals around because no one will be raising them.
        I’m also aware of the Buddhist belief in doing no harm and eating vegan but I have to stand with Lyman alpha blob on that one – some animals eat each other, that’s life. Humans could certainly be less cruel and wasteful and eat ethically raised and slaughtered animals in moderation. I stand by what I said originally – we’re omnivores.
        I aspire to mindful meditation but am not a Buddhist.

      2. Joe Renter

        Some Buddhist will not eat meat. Some will game the system. I recall reading that in Tibet they would herd animals (livestock) off cliffs so they would have gravity do the killing. Ingenious (with some karma attached).

        1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

          Buddhists have this idea that the endless birth/death cycle is defined by suffering/unsatisfactoriness (dukkha in Pail). The notion that breeding animals for food, entailing sometimes unimaginable suffering, is good for them because it keeps them engaged in an endless cycle of birth/suffering/death, would be alien. Escaping this cycle is a (probably the) primary goal of Buddhist enlightenment.

          Vegetarianism, let alone veganism, is not prescribed for lay Buddhists, although it is sometimes encouraged.

          I am not a Buddhist.

          I am vegan. ;)

          1. Cancyn

            Thanks for the response, I get it now. I do know some Buddhist teachings and understand, albeit not deeply, the quest for enlightenment and an end to suffering. When someone explained the Buddhist idea of happiness as an end to suffering, it immediately made sense to me. Not rainbows and unicorns but peaceful equanimity. Hence my exploration of mindful meditation. Sorry if this offends any Buddhists, but I can‘t help but notice that Buddhists achieving enlightenment is like a long term rapture. Instead of ascending to heaven collectively as some evangelicals believe, Buddhists individually achieve enlightenment over time, no need to return and thus slowly depopulate the earth.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      For many of us I believe our diet will consist of what is available, and affordable. The future will not be tolerant of picky eaters.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      I’ve pondered being a vegetarian, and eating certain meats does give me pause from time to time. Lobsters, for example. But then I think about what would happen if I were lying on the bottom of the ocean, and I’m quite sure that the lobsters down there would have no qualms about eating me.

      It sure seems that for whatever reason, and philosophers can debate it endlessly, some animals have evolved on this planet to eat others, including our own species. I’m at the point where I figure if the other animals stop eating each other, then I’ll stop eating them.

      In the meantime, moderation.

      1. Joe Renter

        True confession of a crustacean and shellfish killer. I have remorse of consciousness of years in the retail seafood business. In my employment I prepared clams and oysters for consumption as well as cooked live Dungeness crabs. Not sure what steps are necessary for atonement. Sorry King Neptune.

    6. nick

      If you do care about climate change then buy chicken, pork, and fish from these local vendors. Beef is quite a bit worse GHG-wise, largely due to things other than transportation, and it’s a pretty easy thing to cut.

    7. Anthony G Stegman

      Your comment just proves that absolutely any behavior can be rationalized. Humans are very good at rationalizing.

      1. Mike

        Same thought crossed my mind as an impressive amount of people just commented one form or another to justify what is likely their over consumption of animal products. In a true crisis there won’t be wild animals to eat, since they are almost gone anyways, most of mammalian biomass is farm raised animals or humans. And even then we only have the level (carrying capacity) because of fertilizers. The natural level of biomass should be much lower…

    8. Tim W

      The cliche “it’s not the Cow it’s the How” is the crux of the discussion. If you’re going to have a sustainable, mixed agriculture you have to have ruminants on the land. As the Ukraine debacle shows, sourcing fertilizer from non-animal sources is subject to interruption. Feedlot beef is not healthy just as monocrop Soy dowsed with artificial nitrogen is not healthy. Keep the animals, eat fewer of them and let them convert that sunlight to high quality protein via grass and return fertility to the soil naturally.

    9. Mike

      I think people mistake omnivore with we are really vegetarians that can eat meat every now and then. Our teeth are much closer to straight herbivore/frugavore than omnivore or let alone carnivore. There has been decades of research on meat consumption and longevity, and the relationship is not on the side of the meat eaters. Still there’s errors on Both sides, the Atkins followers aren’t eating the whole animal, just the tasty parts of an unhealthy animal not at all representative of what their elders ate just like a lot of vegetarians are eating scones and dairy free ice cream…

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Don’t Rule Out Intervention in the Solomon Islands”

    When reading this trash, don’t forget the person that is writing it. Another fan of the rules-based order – so long as somebody else pays the price for their ‘moral’ stance. He already labels China as ‘a hostile foreign power’ and wants an invasion of the Solomons because the natives are restless or something. He thinks too that the US attacks on Nicaragua, Grenada and Panama were hunky-dory. Would be interesting for his views on Afghanistan, Iraq and the Ukraine but he steers away from them and only mentions 20th century ‘interventions.’ Here is his bio-

    ‘Dr. Julian Spencer-Churchill is associate professor of international relations at Concordia University, the author of Militarization and War (2007) and Strategic Nuclear Sharing (2014), and a former operations officer, 3 Field Engineer Regiment. He has published extensively on security issues and arms control, and completed research contracts at the Office of Treaty Verification at the Office of the Secretary of the Navy, and the then Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO).’

    1. playon

      I had to stop reading that one after the first two paragraphs. The mentality exhibited by the author seems to be widespread unfortunately.

    2. Jeff V

      I don’t even think it is hypocrisy; seems like the author genuinely believes it’s different when the “good guys” are doing it.

      It reminds me of the scene in Lord of the Rings when the Hobbits ask Galadriel if what she is doing is “magic”. Galadriel’s response is along the lines of “I believe you would call it magic, but you also apparently use the same word to described the twisted works of the Enemy, which is completely different to what I’m doing.”

  11. The Rev Kev

    Scotty from Marketing

    This one is going to have its own chapter in Australian political history. Usually here in Oz, the Opposition has what is labeled Shadow Ministers who dog their actual government counterparts. It looks like Scotty from Marketing went one further and made up a Shadow Government composed of himself and the Governor-General. The equivalent in the US would be for old Joe to get the Parliamentarian to appoint himself Secretary of health, Finance and whatever else he wanted. Scotty’s Coalition partners had no clue this was going on nor did the ministers of the portfolios he had himself appointed to. No wonder Scotty was so vehement in opposing the corruption commission. If this is allowed to stand, you would open up the idea of a secret shadow government being formed every time a party got into power. That is what we have our elite for so the job is taken. He has gone to ground but I can see him trying to answer any questions on this power grab-

    Interviewer: ‘Mr. Morrison – who said that you could do this?’
    Scotty: ‘I consulted three Cabinet colleagues about this.’
    Interviewer: ‘And who were they?’
    Scotty: ‘Me, myself and I.’

    1. HotFlash

      I seem to recall a previous Governor-General being involved in the couping dismissal of Gough Whitlam back in ’75. MI6 and 5 Eyes involved in this, too?

    2. OliverN

      I will say that I disagree with the tweet in links by the lawyers saying that the governor general’s position is untenable. First, it distracts from Scomos own corruption, which should be the real focus. Second, fundamentally in the modern era, Australia’s GG has one job: don’t get involved in Australian politics. So as GG, if a PM comes to you and asks you to do something dodgy but maybe not illegal, do you
      a) decline, and thus be influencing Australian politics?
      b) make an announcement that Scomo did something dodgy, and thus influence Australian politics (based on your own judgment of what is morally right?)
      c) do nothing, after all regardless of how despicable he is, Scomo is the elected representative of Australia?

      I will need to evolve my opinion on this over the next few news cycles, but it will be a bad outcome if the current GG is dismissed and a new one is installed, who is given the mandate to have opinions on Australian politics.

      1. The Rev Kev

        d) Agree so long as everybody knows what is happening.

        It is one thing for Scotty from Marketing to make a power grab like that. It is another when the Governor-General aids and abets this all behind the scenes in secret. I do not imagine that the Palace is happy to see itself being dragged into this. No, that GG is toast. What happens if using the precedent that Albo forms his own secret government? It can’t be allowed to stand.

  12. Tom Stone

    I am not at all surprised at the allegation that the FBI seized privileged material from the Trump Residence.
    Even with no more evidence than a bare allegation I consider it more likely to be true than not because the Feebs have repeatedly demonstrated that they have no use for either the law or the truth unless they serve their political ends.
    Justice Rosemary Collyer of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court described the FBI as having an “Institutionalized lack of Candor”.
    When you have lost the FISC which rubber stamped 99.8 % of the first 1,000 warrant requests submitted by the feds…
    They lost any remaining shred of trust or respect I had ( It wasn’t much) for the bureau when FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shot Vicki Weaver in the head while she was holding her 10 month old daughter in her arms.
    Vicki Weaver had never been charged with a crime and was unarmed.
    Horiuchi’s punishment?
    Paid administrative leave.
    Cold blooded Murder, covering up murder ( Whitey Bulger), Lab techs testifying under oath about tests they had no ability to perform, lying to the FISA court under penalty of perjury by an FBI Lawyer ( Punished by 400 hours of Community Service) is just the tip of the iceberg.

      1. fresno dan

        just normal, average intelligence people rooted in reality talking about the true problems of when civil liberties and principels are not followed, especially for a national law enforcement agency. Another Church commission – not a snowball chance in heck. Used to be congress was for making laws, now its just for making points…

      2. Yves Smith

        I doubt they will do anything on current facts since so little is known. But if enough GOP types think they could get treatment similar to Trump, they’ll be after the FBI with flamethrowers.

  13. Adam

    The Leaked China Data Population link from Project Syndicate instead goes to a Haaretz opinion piece.

      1. Acacia

        Thanks for that. Compelling read until this sentence in the last paragraph:

        Will China adjust its strategy and seek better relations with the West, or will it follow Russia in desperately trying to undermine the global order?

        In any case, yes, this would be a real wildcard for the Chinese economy as population decline will cause some very significant stress. On a related note, I notice that most every discussion of the problem of greying populations, health services, etc., seems to presuppose no changes whatsoever to the existing class structure and gross economic inequality we’re living with today. Finally, reducing the global footprint of homo sapiens isn’t a bad idea, really.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Re the bear and ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall….’

    My takeaway lesson from that is to never surprise a bear in the woods. It does not look like it would ever end well.

    1. Randall Flagg

      Rather than a mirror, Imagine instead it being some member of NATO caught screwing around in Ukraine beyond just supplying weapons. The “bear” had warned everyone…
      And to Rev Kiev’s point, the mirror got off easy.

    2. digi_owl

      Basically why you try to make a bit of noise while moving around bear country.

      In particular around spring, when they come out of hibernation with cubs.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Russia Struggles To Supply Troops As Ukraine Destroys 2 Key Bridges In Kherson Oblast: UK”

    This article is long out of date – or lying. The Russians have at least two pontoon bridges set up across that river to transport their military supplies with. And so long as the pillars of the Antonivka bridge are intact, it can be repaired. I hear that when they built that bridge, they built it to military specs in case of war. This article is all part of the propaganda for Steiner’s attack in the Kherson area which now is more like Godot’s attack. The Russians have about 30 battalion tactical groups there which now gives them the advantage. When the Donbass has fallen – as it is falling right now – then the Kherson will become a hot front.

  16. JAC

    I want to be clear that telling the people of the world to become vegetarian to fix climate change is genocide. Much of the planet depends on long chain PUFAs, like DHA and EPA, to maintain their health because genetics. And much of those people live in places that are not white European, like Bangladesh or any Inuit people.

  17. anon in so cal

    “I would like to let you know that I have tested positive for #COVID19. I am thankful to have received four doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and I am feeling well while experiencing very mild symptoms. I am isolating and have started a course of Paxlovid.”

    —Albert Bourla

    Chairman and CEO of Pfizer

    1. Questa Nota

      Does he have one of those new Ventilator 2.0 models handy?
      Is saline still in short supply?
      Bet his flak didn’t answer those questions.

  18. Ghost in the Machine

    The link for the population article on China is off. The article is pretty astounding. If it is accurate, China’s official population numbers are too high by over 150 million people! Over ten percent! That seems impossible to hide.

  19. JTMcPhee

    “Has Covid 19 subverted global health”?

    No, no it hasn’t. It’s just a virus, with obscure origins, doing what its structure impels it to do.

    The miserable, greed-driven, incompetent actions of almost all the humans nominally charged with promoting the part of “general welfare” that is “public health administration” have subverted it, and continue for institutional and personal reasons (looking at you, Fauci and Walensky and other miscreants) to double down on that subversion.

    1. Tom Stone

      JT, you have that phrase backward, it’s “Welfare for Generals”, not “The General Welfare”.

    1. hunkerdown

      I love the job board lady’s cope about IT workers being laid off as if they were terminally obsolete.

      It sounds as if older people are expected to enterprise and employ, rather than be employed. That is really weird for a nominally socialist nation, but makes sense under the English industrial system and Calvinist ideologies of servanthood which have, in each their own ways, tacitly informed revolutionary Marxism.

  20. jr

    That Tablet piece on Soros is wonderfully warped:

    “ All well and good. America is a free country, and Soros has every right to spend his vast fortune however he wants within the boundaries of the law”

    The vast fortune he is spending to shape the law to his own ends? That kind of freedom? The country is free when the freedom of all is subject to the freedom of a handle of oligarchs? But there is hope:

    “The same applies to those of us inhabiting lower tax brackets, who have no less a right to criticize Soros for how he’s trying to influence American public life—which, to repeat, he is very much, and by his own admission, trying to do. ”

    Ah, criticism! No less a right than the ability to dump tend of millions of dollars into a society to get one’s way. Except Soros has already said he doesn’t give a fu(k. And he is going to do what he wants. So there’s that. But feel free to criticize him! Until your Twitter account is shut down.

    Predictably, the Synthetic Left, here represented by Weingarten and suckling greedily at Soros’s teat, are playing the “hate” card as they do any time anyone criticizes them for anything at all. Don’t want your kids learning about the sex lives of adults? Hater! Rubio and doubtless others of his ilk will make plenty of unhappy noises while greedily stuffing their pockets with the money of the oligarchs who use them as their tools. See the common thread? It’s money in politics. It’s not even remotely a free country. It’s an oligarchy and Weingarten, Rubio, and those DA’s are prostitutes. The author is merely a useful !diot.

  21. Regis II

    The Strange Case of Nakamoto’s Bitcoin – Part 1

    Bitcoin has always struck me as being based on the Econ 101 explanation for where money comes from.

    I.e., in the Econ 101 version of the origin of money, individual players agree upon a particular commodity – gold – as the medium of exchange. Government is nowhere in the origin story, but only emerges later.

    The commodity in the Econ 101 story has to be mined, literally; and there is a limited quantity of it.

    Bitcoin, it seems to me, is the attempt to recreate the Econ 101 money story in digital form. I.e. government is not involved, only individuals, It has to be “mined” and there is a fixed amount of it.

    So, while the article correctly associates bitcoin with fraud, it could also have been that the inventors of bitcoin were true believers in the fantasy which is peddled in Economics departments throughout the country about how and why money works.

    1. skippy

      Funny too me … just reminds me of the old warcraft game dos – mining to make other stuff happen whilst being *** the first *** leads to exploration for more stuff and then you bump into the natives – war – or far away doppelgangers with the same results …

      The punch line is the econ 101 mythology was funded by corporatist, rewarmed pre great depression ideology plucked ad hoc out of religious texts.

      1. chuck roast

        If my failing memory serves, this was also the argument of the Marxist political economist Ernest Mandel. He postulated that gold miners and gold pirates were responsible for developing a widespread medium of exchange and store of value. Nixon famously put the kibosh on Mandel’s American campus tour around 1970.

        1. skippy

          Might be so (Ernest Mandel) though I was just observing the advent computer games and warcrafts paradigm = more market based online gaming aspects for digital tokens = its ultimate expression crypto. Furthermore the funding of not only the econ 101 but the on line gaming rational agent preference.

    2. Skip Intro

      ‘Digital Gold’ is still part of the standard crypto shill patter. All the BTC stock photos seem to use gold coins too… (ok probably pyrite coins for authenticity)

    3. jsn

      Another manifestation of the libertarian need for money to be a thing rather than a social relationship.

      Or, more precisely, a scam to play on the desire of libertarians for money to be a thing rather than a social relationship.

      Stealing it from them is pure social relationship.

  22. Tom Stone

    I ran into a friendly acquaintance who I will call Mike this morning while taking a walk in the Laguna De Santa Rosa.
    Mike is in his early 40’s a registered nurse and a long time member of the peace and freedom party.
    He brought up the Mar A Lago raid and when I mentioned I had serious concerns ( Putting it very mildly) about the propriety of the raid he volunteered that he was outraged to the point that he intended to vote for Trump if he ran for President again.
    He also mentioned that he had never voted for a Republican in his life,which I can well believe.
    I have heard others speculate that Garland is secretly a Trump supporter and that the raid was part of a devious plan to boost Trump’s chance chance of winning another term.
    The most likely explanation to me is that a combination of reckless arrogance,malice and stupidity led to the raid.
    Dunning,meet…is it Krueger?

    1. Louis Fyne

      I like the aphorism: don’t attribute to malice, that which you can explain with stupidity (and/or hubris).

      Just because Garland has a lot of credentials after his name, doesn’t mean squat. I’ve met a lot of common-sense-dumb people at my fancy pants school and in my professional life.

    2. JP

      The most likely explanation to me is that a combination of reckless arrogance, malice and stupidity led to the raid.

      Yeah, Trump’s

      And he raised the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony because lock her up. If he is convicted he will not be able to run for office.

      Outraged? The whole thing should be on the entertainment page instead of team sports.

      1. JBird4049

        Just the Orange Man’s? He is of questionable intelligence and at times ethics and morals, but he has done nothing wrong that every president of the past thirty years hasn’t done. Although he did not start any new wars, which is something I can’t say about the previous four presidents.

        I still will not vote for Trump or Biden, unless Madam Secretary Hillary “We came, we saw, he [Muammar Gaddafi] died” Clinton was on the ballot, but not starting a war is big with me.

    3. flora

      As far as the appearance of a blatant double-standard, possibly even politically motivated action/non-action, is hard to ignore.

      New tweet I can’t disagree with on the above points.

      “The power of this video is that it comes to us from during the Great Meme War itself – as made by @socialistmop
      “Incredible meme energies were unleashed during this time”

  23. Tom Stone

    The Salton Sea is what remains of the enormous lake that resulted from the ’61-’62 flood.
    You can find maps that show its size at the peak, overlay that on a current map of the Central Valley and you have an idea of just how much damage a repeat of the winter of 1861-1862 will cause.
    The ecological damage will be astounding and permanent but no surprise to anyone who takes five minutes to examine the matter.
    And it isn’t just fires,floods,earthquakes and Mud/Land slides there are several live volcanoes in California.
    Lassen blew in 1917 and the Long Valley Caldera…HOLY SHIT!!!
    Humans are very bad at recognizing and dealing with low frequency high impact events.
    At least the climate was nice…

    1. Wukchumni

      The Salton Sea is what remains of the enormous lake that resulted from the ’61-’62 flood. You can find maps that show its size at the peak, overlay that on a current map of the Central Valley and you have an idea of just how much damage a repeat of the winter of 1861-1862 will cause.

      Sorry, but not correct-not even close, and guess what?

      It isn’t anywhere near the Central Valley…

      The current lake was formed from an inflow of water from the Colorado River in 1905. Beginning in 1900, an irrigation canal was dug from the Colorado River to the old Alamo River channel to provide water to the Imperial Valley for farming. The headgates and canals sustained a buildup of silt, so a series of cuts were made in the bank of the Colorado River to further increase the water flow. Water from spring floods broke through a canal head-gate diverting a portion of the river flow into the Salton Basin for two years before repairs were completed. The water in the formerly dry lake bed created the modern lake, which is about 15 by 35 miles (24 by 56 km).

      1. Tom Stone

        Wuk, if you had actually read what I wrote you would know that I specifically referred to the winter of 1861-1862 in the body of my post.

        1. Wukchumni

          Sorry, but that isn’t how it reads and Salton Sea is in SoCal, not the Central Valley and had nothing to do whatsoever with the 1861-62 event.

          1. kriptid

            I, too, was first confused by the original post, but I believe Tom Stone is correct at least in that the Salton Sea filled up due to the 1862 flood, although I cannot comment on the formation, as I was under the similar impression that it was filled up by the poorly conceived canal project.

            You can see it filled in here, NE of San Diego, on a map of the purported flood levels after the 1862 flood.

            So I think everyone’s right here, despite the confusion.

            1. Wukchumni

              That map you linked is just a hypothetical of what might happen in a future megaflood, the 1861-62 storm never went that far into the desert, and was wholly created by diversion of the Colorado River gone horribly wrong for a couple years in the early 1900’s. That’s a lotta water!

              The Southern Pacific Railroad Versus the Colorado River

              The irrigation system was initially successful, but as the canals silted in, new cuts in the banks had to be made farther downstream, in Mexico. In 1905, torrential rainfall swelled the river, causing it to break through the man-made irrigation canals and drain to the north, where it overwhelmed the tracks of the Southern Pacific Railroad. “In the struggle for supremacy between the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Salton Sea the waters have won,” announced an article in the Los Angeles Herald on July 26, 1905.

              Although the railroad company lost the battle, it eventually won the war. The president of Southern Pacific Railroad, E. H. Harriman, sought assistance from President Theodore Roosevelt, who then asked Congress to help the railroad company staunch the floods pouring into the Salton Sea. Thousands of men were employed to force the river back into its channel. After many failed attempts, the final successful effort involved using railcars to move rocks continuously over three weeks from quarries up to 180 kilometers away, dumping the rocks into the breach until they created a dam that finally held back the river on Feb. 7, 1907.


    2. LifelongLib

      You can live a lifetime (or several) without experiencing a low frequency event. People will use whatever is at hand when the chances are the high impact will be somebody else’s problem.

      1. JBird4049

        This very true. However, California is blessed with several kinds of low frequency events. Massive floods, fires, droughts, and earthquakes of which at least one is going to beat a California over their head during their life. So far, I have enjoyed all of them at least once. Drought of 1976-78 was the worse plus the other five or six. The Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989. The Bay Area floods of 1982 and 1986. Then the intense fire seasons of the past five years. Extremely uncomfortable, but only slightly dangerous to health or home. So far, I should add. The next local 1906 strength earthquake is overdue.

        While checking on the dates I realized that I had completely forgotten that the last severe flooding season in the Bay Area (1986) ended a multi year drought. The floods of 1982 happened just four years after a serious drought. Maybe Sebastopol, California could get flooded out by the Russian River during the next rainy season. It use to be common for rentals in the area to indicate just where they were on the flood plain or how far above the river they were.

        Looking at this, while people keep saying how nice the weather is, I think people don’t realize just how strongly things shift here. I forget and I am a native. No hurricanes or tornadoes and the disastrous snowstorms are only very rarely in the Sierras and the Rockies, but we got something for almost anyone’s taste.

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      Perhaps the megaflood will result in the rebirth of Tule Lake, and the submergence of countless acres of nut trees. By the grace of God says he.

  24. Jason Boxman

    ‘Frustration and Stress’: State Officials Fault Rollout of Monkeypox Vaccine

    In Idaho, a shipment of 60 vaccine doses disappeared and showed up six days later, refrigerated rather than frozen, as needed. Another 800 doses sent to Minnesota — a significant portion of the state’s total allotment — were unusable because the shipment was lost in transit for longer than the 96-hour “viability window.”

    The federal government’s distribution of monkeypox vaccine has been blemished by missteps and confusion, burdening local officials and slowing the pace of immunizations even as the virus spreads, according to interviews with state health officials and documents obtained by The New York Times.

    The Bumbling Biden administration continues to fail citizens. And too much time has elapsed to blame Other Guy. This rests squarely on liberal Democrats.

  25. marym

    Some perspectives on Trump’s/Trump lawyer’s claims of privilege

    According to the Fox link below “sources” say DOJ told Trump’s team they “would oppose” a request for a “special master” to review the documents retrieved from his residence/resort for attorney-client privilege. He has a right to go to court for that, in addition to posting about it on social media.

    The National Review and Forbes links discuss a court ruling on a Trump attorney’s claim for attorney-client privilege in regard to the Capitol riot investigation.

    The Hill link says Trump has lost in district and appeals court on overriding Biden’s waiver of executive privilege for documents requested by the Capitol riot investigation. The Politico link says the SC has said ‘Trump’s effort to assert privilege would have failed even if he were the sitting president…”

    1. Yves Smith

      I have not read the links, but executive privilege and attorney-client privilege are totally different matters. Courts are usually extremely deferential to bona-fide assertions of attorney-client privilege, since it’s a bedrock of jurisprudence. I believe the foundational cases on it in British courts hundreds of years ago refer to it as being a practice that dates to time immemorial.

      I hope lawyers will weigh in. I wonder if one reason to go to court is that Trump hopes to force the DoJ to have to itemize every document they took. They could then wrangle over whether the DoJ described it with enough specificity.

      1. marym

        Trump made an executive privilege claim and one of his lawyers made an attorney-client privilege claim for Capitol riot documents. For the latter, there was a process of review by the court to decide which of the subpoenaed documents would be protected by the privilege.

        After Trump referenced both types of privilege on his social media platform yesterday I haven’t seen any reports so far that he’s followed up in court.

  26. Mikel

    “Which diet will help save our planet: climatarian, flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan?” The Conversation

    One that’s low in rare earth metals.

  27. Mikel

    “China Youth Jobless Rate Hits Record 20% in July on Covid Woes” Bloomberg. How does a supposedly Socialist state even have a jobless rate?

    By sending a bunch of their technocrats to study economics in the USA or Europe.

  28. thousand points of green

    Which diet will save our own presence on the planet?

    I suggest flexo-climatarian. Restrict meat to strictly pasture-and-range raised, or to organic stacked-function farms which can demonstrate they suck down more carbon overall than they emit. Gabe Brown , Gary Zimmer and others make this claim for their operations. Can it be verified?

  29. Tom Stone

    There goes another friend…of 35 years standing.
    TDS and PDS ( Putin Derangement syndrome).
    He did not call me a traitor directly, just a gullible fool who has swallowed Russian propaganda hook line and sinker.

    1. The Rev Kev

      All part of the plan to have people fight each other rather than their true enemies, no matter what the cost to people and the country as a whole.

    2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Sorry, Comrade Stone, that sucks.

      I’m reminded of the Dune quote saying that a thing will destroy itself rather than become its opposite.

    3. skippy

      Welcome to the Club Tom … been there and done that going on a few decades now. Just popping information in front on eyeballs that can be verified. Gulf War was a hoot, liberals and right wing, dead set told – WE – come together in a crisis come hell of high water …

      Then you have the special cases of economic tribalism where you get called a – Deviant – for challenging pure made up ideological stuff … again verifiable …

      PS I really enjoy the part where if they cant win you over they get aggressive.

    4. Ignacio

      Not alone on this. I have had a similar experience with a friend from +40 years. He was a former communist. Now I don’t know what he is exactly. The worst thing is that he is a clever guy. Obviously not in this theme.

      As an anecdote in the place where I am staying there is an Ukrainian family (the kind that owns an expensive SUV. The other day in the pool there was a Spanish family and their little boy was wearing cork floats in his arms. One with the colors of the Spanish flag and the other with UA colors. The Ukrainian man was with his two children in the pool. The little one weared similar floating corks in his arms but the colors of the 3 corks if anything resembled the Rumanian flag. The man watched the Spanish boy corks and the expression in his face seemed to me disgust.

  30. Tom Stone

    He didn’t like being laughed at.
    No one does.
    It’s pretty hard not to when someone claims Russia poses an existential threat to the USA.
    That the invasion was an unprovoked attack on a Democracy.
    That Russia invaded with overwhelming force and has been fought to a standstill by Ukraine.
    That Russia has been shelling that NPP.
    I asked if he believed the Russians were shelling their own troops?
    Yes, and they have also been deliberately targeting civilians.
    When I told him Zelensky was now admitting that it was Ukraine shelling the NPP he called me a liar.
    Not good.
    This is an intelligent and well educated man who considers himself well informed and he is some one I had always considered to be level headed.
    I believe that he would be in favor of a Nuclear first strike if he thought it had a good chance of success.
    It’s the “Liberals” I have spoken to who are intent on escalating both at home and in Ukraine.
    They are full of righteous rage and a desire to punish the evildoers.
    As a teen I wondered what it must have been like to live in a Country (Germany) gripped by mass Insanity, now I know.

    Pogo said it best “We have met the enemy and He is Us.”
    IMO we will be lucky to escape Nuclear Armageddon.

    1. Acacia

      Sorry to hear this. It’s a pretty difficult time we’re living through. I lost a couple of long-term friends to TDS — in the past, they would call themselves “liberals” but I think that’s all out the window now — and had serious scrapes with a few others. Latest was with a colleague who is from Eastern Europe, is convinced Putin is evil incarnate, and went all in supporting Ukraine. COVID is another flash point.

      My sense now is that rational argument just doesn’t work. You can point people at well-researched articles, but unless they are really devoting time to trying to understand what’s happening now, it just rolls off. Insinuating that they have been gaslit will really set off fireworks. They are getting “news” through their social media timelines or sort of half-listening to liberal media and are mostly focused on their careers, not really thinking deeply about economics or politics for a long time now. Biden got elected and they went back to sleep. They have a lot of outrage, though, which is just what their media providers have been skillfully cultivating to keep them coming back for moar.

      At a certain point, I decided that I just won’t engage on certain issues for the sake of maintaining a civil relationship, and when I start hearing the cray-cray or woke talking points, I just let them slide. It’s like dealing with somebody who has a bipolar disorder: sometimes you have to just step back when they’re in a manic phase.

    2. skippy

      Irretrievable stakes in the ground manufactured out of the myth of exceptionalism and the new American Century propaganda. Greatest country in the world post WWII and some say even since day one. Imagine that mental cornerstone to your entire world view …

  31. LawnDart

    Re; shelling Zaporizhia NPP

    In an earlier piece it was suggested that shelling the nuke plant was of limited concern. While there is some difference of opinion on this, the bombing may be motivated in part by somewhat overlooked economic factors. Via website news front:

    What should Russia do in the face of the growing threat of a nuclear catastrophe?

    Experts note that the aggravation of the situation around the Zaporizhia NPP will benefit Ukraine for a number of reasons. “The maximum task for Kiev is to force Russia to withdraw from the territory of the nuclear power plant and launch all six power units on it. This will allow Kiev to survive the cold season with fewer problems and even earn money on exporting electricity to the European Union, ” political analyst and economist Ivan Lizan wrote in his Telegram channel.

    He recalled that in June, the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal estimated the potential income from the sale of electricity in the EU “in the region of 70 billion hryvnia per year in money and 2.5 GW in capacity.” “Without the Zaporizhia NPP, Ukraine will not be able to be the powerbank of Europe. Simply providing the territory controlled by the Kiev authorities with electricity will also be at risk, ” Lizan said.

    In his opinion, Kiev will arrange the burning out of electrical substations with transformers and the destruction of power lines, from which electricity is issued to territories not controlled by Kiev. “In this case, there will be a new humanitarian crisis after the gas cut – off,” the expert predicts. In addition, he believes that this will disrupt the connection of the Zaporizhia NPP to the unified energy system of Russia.

    Lizan believes that the station can be fully protected only after the offensive in the south, but before that it is necessary to liberate the Donbass. As an intermediate option, stop the station, after which it will no longer be of interest to Kiev, which will switch its gunners to other targets.

    Meanwhile, an expert in the field of nuclear energy, Alexey Anpilogov, in a conversation with the newspaper VZGLYAD, pointed out that “it is not so easy to stop the plant.” “The main problem that can arise and lead to an accident or even a catastrophe at the NPP is the loss of the cooling system. The fact is that reactor cooling is a very complex and lengthy process. Even if we stop the nuclear reaction by itself, but we need to cool down the reactor for several more weeks until the isotopes decay there, ” he explained.

    “If the plant is operating at full capacity, it will be difficult to cool all the reactors at once if necessary. So now it is worth choosing a compromise option – to leave one unit and transfer it to the minimum capacity (300-500 MW), ” the source says.

    At the same time, the expert noted that such actions will lead to the termination of electricity supplies to the territory of Ukraine. “Supplies are deployed to the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions. This will allow you to safely keep the station on minimal electrical and thermal supply. The reactor will be enough to cool the remaining five power units,” Anpilogov explained.

    No link, because Skynet.

    1. Yves Smith

      Russia is not leaving. This is more Ukraine PR to keep money and weapons coming.

      Alexander Mercouris today cited a second Russian report, apparently long and detailed (remember he reads Russian) that says the plant is so overengineered that it is pretty impossible to damage the plant or even the spent fuel areas. The most you might do is harm the refrigeration units, which would force a reduction in electricity production.

    2. Glen

      Compare debates over running nuke plants and power grids in the middle of the war to this:

      High winds prompt PG&E to shut off power to 25,000 California customers

      Texas grid fails to weatherize, repeats mistake feds cited 10 years ago

      And of course our favorite (for those TL;DR inclined, a war on the other side of the world means you pay 20% more!):

      What does Ukraine invasion mean for energy bills?

      The short story – American citizens are really stupid suckers getting ripped off by power companies too cheap to do basic maintenance (burning down towns, busting pipes, etc) but able to jack up rates to further increase profits for a proxy war over 5000 miles away.

  32. anahuna

    Early on in the Ukraine invasion, I made a casual remark in an email to a friend that provoked an indignant response. As she wanted to pursue the question, I offered up Mearsheimer, thinking that he was sufficiently academic and credentialed to be respectable in her eyes Nope, haughtily dismissed. In return, she proposed Fiona Hill, and that was when I realized all was lost and suggested we stick to other topics. She insisted, and after my next response, silence fell.

    Later and by then forewarned, I called another friend of long duration, determined to avoid the topic of Ukraine. Success, except at the end of a pleasant conversation, seemingly out of the blue, she started praising the vaccines and insisted on knowing whether my son and I were vaccinated. Another impasse. I told her, truthfully, that I believed it was a very personal decision and received a sermon in return.

    Couldn’t help laughing at myself after that. There’s a saying lurking here, something like: While trying to avoid one trap, you fall right into another.

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