Links 8/17/2022

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.

* * *

Scientists Discover ‘Uncontaminated Extraterrestrial Materials’ In Ancient Asteroid Sample Vice (Furzy Mouse).

Scholars confirm what itsy bitsy babies around the world already know NPR

Human Augmentation – The Dawn of a New Paradigm GOV.UK


Shipping’s Decarbonization: A Real Prisoner’s Dilemma Hellenic Shipping News

Yangtze/climate change: droughts push China towards coal power FT

The Place With the Most Lithium Is Blowing the Electric-Car Revolution WSJ. Oh?

Can farmers fight climate change? New U.S. law gives them billions to try Science


Who Will Be Held Accountable for CDC Dishonesty? RealClearPolitics

COVID rebound is surprisingly common — even without Paxlovid Nature

Omicron is considered a milder coronavirus, but scientists aren’t so sure LA Times

Rate of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection During an Omicron Wave in Iceland JAMA. The Discussion:

In this population-based cohort study, a substantial proportion of persons experienced SARS-CoV-2 reinfection during the first 74 days of the Omicron wave in Iceland, with rates as high 15.1% among those aged 18 to 29 years. Longer time from initial infection was associated with a higher probability of reinfection, although the difference was smaller than expected. Surprisingly, 2 or more doses of vaccine were associated with a slightly higher probability of reinfection compared with 1 dose or less. This finding should be interpreted with caution because of limitations of our study, which include the inability to adjust for the complex relationships among prior infection, vaccine eligibility, and underlying conditions. Importantly, by December 1, 2021, all persons aged 12 years and older were eligible for 2 or more vaccine doses free of charge, and 71.1% of the Icelandic population had been vaccinated,5 compared with only 25.5% of our cohort of previously infected persons. Our results suggest that reinfection is more common than previously thought. Now the key question is whether infection with the Omicron variant will produce better protection against Omicron reinfection, compared with other variants.


Monkeypox virus shows potential to infect a diverse range of native animal species across Europe, indicating high risk of becoming endemic in the region mecRxiv. From the Abstract:

“We highlight the European red fox and brown rat, as they have established interactions with potentially contaminated urban waste and sewage, which provides a mechanism for potential spillback. We anticipate that our results will enable targeted active surveillance of potential spillback event, to minimise risk of the virus becoming endemic in these regions. Our results also indicate the potential of domesticated cats and dogs (latter now confirmed) being susceptible to monkeypox virus, and hence support many health organisations’ advice for infected humans to avoid physical interaction with pets.”


Why Beijing’s war games risk pushing Asean neighbours into the arms of the US South China Morning Post (Furzy Mouse).

Which Asian Countries Support China in the Taiwan Strait Crisis – and Which Don’t? The Diplomat. Handy chart:

There’s your balance-of-power/containment policy right there, if the United States has the diplomatic and strategic skills to carry it out, a dubious proposition.

* * *

Beijing is tanking the domestic economy — and helping the world FT

Free Enterprise, Not Central Planning, Will Beat China WSJ

Interpreting or misinterpreting China’s success Global Inequality


U.N. special envoy to visit Myanmar amid ‘deteriorating situation‘ Reuters

Not fare: Foodpanda riders dodge soldiers to deliver food and get paid a pittance Frontier Myanmar

Moving Everest Base Camp a ridiculous plan, says record-holding climber The Third Pole


The Pretence of Democracy In Kashmir Madras Courier

Sri Lanka faces looming food crisis with stunted rice crop Reuterrs


Taking from Afghanistan’s poor Felix Salmon, Axios


Germany to Keep Last Three Nuclear-Power Plants Running in Policy U-Turn WSJ

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

IAEA visit to Zaporozhye NPP via Kiev ‘very dangerous’: Moscow Al Mayadeen

Ukraine has telegraphed its big counteroffensive for months So where is it?. Politico. It is gone where the woodbine twineth. Meanwhile, attrition?

Besides, the whole mishegoss is polling badly:

Ukraine Strikes Again in Crimea, Challenging Russian Hold on Peninsula NYT. No substitute for the offensive we kept hearing about.

Enduring Ukraine resistance linked to US HIMARS, reflective belts Duffel Blog

Road to war: U.S. struggled to convince allies, and Zelensky, of risk of invasion WaPo. From WaPo’s Ukraine bureau chief.

Venezuela: Workers, Pensioners March to Defend Wages, Collective Bargaining Rights Venezuelanalysis

Biden Administration

Two of New York’s Oldest Mafia Clans Charged in Money Laundering Scheme NYT

Prosecutors Struggle to Catch Up to a Tidal Wave of Pandemic Fraud NYT


Sweeps Week on FBI TV! Matt Taibbi, TK News. Excellent timeline on shifting rationales leaked by the organs of state security:

The timeline of leaked explanations of the raid is mind-boggling. Anonymous officials started by telling us the case was linked to Trump having “delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by… the National Archives,” then it was “classified documents relating to nuclear weapons,” then it was fear Trump could reveal “sources and methods,” then it was possible Espionage Act violations. By Saturday, former “national security prosecutor” Barb McQuade went on MSNBC to explain the “brilliant tactical move” of using the Espionage Act, since it doesn’t “require the documents to be classified” (we’d been told all week this was about classified material). The next day, CBS published news of a joint FBI/DHS bulletin warning of “armed rebellion,” “civil war,” and a “dirty bomb attack,” and the day after that, we were told FBI “filter agents” did, then didn’t seize, then did again seize Donald Trump’s passports, but returned them in the end.

We’ve seen this movie before.

What are the types of ‘classified’ government documents? Explaining ‘Top Secret’ and more. USA Today

The Bezzle

Alex Mashinsky took control of Celsius trading strategy months before bankruptcy FT. “At the start of the year, Celsius had the outward confidence of a business that had just completed a $600mn equity fundraising round led by two big investors, Canada’s second-largest pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and US investment group WestCap.” Oh.

Losses from crypto hacks surged 60% to $1.9 billion from January to July, Chainalysis says Reuters (Furzy Mouse).

Bitcoin’s longest-serving Lead Maintainer calls it quits, names no successor Protos


Parents and clinicians say private equity’s profit fixation is short-changing kids with autism STAT

Buy a rural hospital for $100? Investors pick up struggling institutions for pennies NPR


Louisiana Woman Is Forced Carry Headless Fetus to Term or Travel to Florida for Legal Abortion Jezebel

Realignment and Legitimacy

The New Era of Political Violence Is Here The Atlantic

Imperial Collapse Watch

Doctrine for Diplomacy: To Remain Relevant, the U.S. State Department Needs a New Statecraft War on the Rocks. Or statecraft, period, instead of moralizing and then doubling down [rinse, repeat].

Class Warfare

our interest is conflict of interest bad cattitude. Light at the end of the tunnel:

“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking….” No doubt. So have we all. But who is “we” to Jha?

Sabotage: Part 3 – The Big Question Revue

Students, graduates, artists oppose the closing of the San Francisco Art Institute: Part 1— “What happens to the human spirit over time?” WSWS

In Tribute to Lance Taylor (5/25/1940 – 8/15/2022) Institute for New Economic Thinking. Taylor attended a pre-Covid NC meetup on Bailey Island. Here is one of his papers.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

The entire herd crowds round….

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Sardonia

    So, Warmonger Dick Cheney had his daughter Liz lose her re-election bid yesterday. Time to re-word Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” (Goodbye Norma Jean)

    Goodbye Neo-Liz
    Though we hardly knew you at all
    It wasn’t far from Daddy’s tree
    Your toxic apple made its fall
    Still he crawled out of the woodwork
    And whispered gently in your brain
    “Go forth my little darling
    We’ll make War Crimes great again”

    And it seems to me, that decency
    Was something just beyond your grip
    Or did Daddy, ever threaten you
    With a hunting trip?
    And we’re glad we got to know you
    Though you were just a kid
    Your compass burned out long before
    Your polling ever did

    Loneliness was tough
    The toughest role you ever had
    Not many Neo-Cons around you
    To help you resurrect your Dad
    But even though you’ve lost
    And your career’s a wretched mess
    You’ll get lotsa love from media
    Who will praise your TDS

    And it seems to me, that decency
    Was something just beyond your grip
    Or did Daddy, ever threaten you
    With a hunting trip?
    And we’re glad we got to know you
    Though you were just a kid
    Your compass burned out long before
    Your polling ever did

    Goodbye Neo-Liz
    Though we hardly knew you at all
    It wasn’t far from Daddy’s tree
    Your toxic apple made its fall
    Goodbye Neo-Liz
    From a man who didn’t have a say
    Who still grieves the half a million souls
    Who your Daddy blew away

    And it seems to me, that decency
    Was something just beyond your grip
    Or did Daddy, ever threaten you
    With a hunting trip?
    And we’re glad we got to know you
    Though you were just a kid
    Your compass burned out long before
    Your polling ever did

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Speaking of wordsmiths, this is from Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse on cheney’s demise:

          The sanctimonious pontificating pustule of political pomposity has been lanced.

          (Hope this goes through this time.)

          1. Sardonia

            Thanks. I just started off to have a little goof on Liz, but as it was rolling, I started Remembering – and all the despair and rage for Dick came out, and I started feeling more solemn than I intended.

            I can only dream that one day, things might come to pass that would open up a parody of Otis Redding’s little classic, dedicated to Dick – “Sittin’ in the Dock of The Hague.”

            1. hunkerdown

              A push into the #CancelKissinger movement with such a thing, in a recorded performance, would really screw up their messaging. We are all Fetterman’s social team now.

      1. hunkerdown

        I’ll bet a penny Yang’s bot-canvassers are behind #NAFO and a second penny they were implicated in the r/antiwork regime change. That’s my two cents.

  2. Gavin

    It’d be great if the policy component of diplomacy would be viewed as an important skill – perhaps even a profession with a body of knowledge and something resembling consistency of implementation. But then we couldn’t give “diplomat” positions as a sinecure to rich donors who want more power, and that would be just like communism, man!

  3. kriptid

    Putin gave a brief speech yesterday at the 10th Annual Moscow Conference on International Security:

    English readout from the Kremlin

    An excerpt for those pressed for time:

    The situation in Ukraine shows that the United States is attempting to draw out this conflict. It acts in the same way elsewhere, fomenting the conflict potential in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. As is common knowledge, the US has recently made another deliberate attempt to fuel the flames and stir up trouble in the Asia-Pacific. The US escapade towards Taiwan is not just a voyage by an irresponsible politician, but part of the purpose-oriented and deliberate US strategy designed to destabilise the situation and sow chaos in the region and the world. It is a brazen demonstration of disrespect for other countries and their own international commitments. We regard this as a thoroughly planned provocation.

    It is clear that by taking these actions the Western globalist elites are attempting, among other things, to divert the attention of their own citizens from pressing socioeconomic problems, such as plummeting living standards, unemployment, poverty, and deindustrialisation. They want to shift the blame for their own failures to other countries, namely Russia and China, which are defending their point of view and designing a sovereign development policy without submitting to the diktat of the supranational elites.

    1. GramSci

      Thanks for this excerpt. I sent it to my Trump-deranged family. They will of course protest that US motives are pure, but will be hard-pressed to refute Putin’s analysis of the US domestic economy.

      1. Wukchumni

        It is clear that by taking these actions the Western globalist elites are attempting, among other things, to divert the attention of their own citizens from pressing socioeconomic problems, such as plummeting living standards, unemployment, poverty, and deindustrialisation.

        I’m in LA and have never seen the city appearing so awful from the looks of it in merely driving its freeways, its truly as if the metropolis has simply given up trying to keep up appearances with trash everywhere and homeless encampments in every nook & cranny.

        The $40 billion given to Ukraine with the approval of Bernie, AOC et al would go a long way in alleviating one of our biggest cities woes, but wheres the funds in that?

        A downward spiral that appears to be gathering steam…

        1. Ignacio

          Hey, St Peter,
          Before you ring your bell,
          Just come down to LA now.
          It really feels like he-e-ell.
          It really feels like Hell!

          Times were better with Flash N The Pan

      2. Louis Fyne

        you can’t deprogram a lifetime of pro-empire messaging with one e-mail forward. likely hardens their position

        just saying.

        1. GramSci

          This is admittedly a project of more than one forwarded email. My sibs were raised as and voted as New Deal Dems until TDS and Russiagate struck. So I try.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            You’re obviously the best judge in this matter, but in my experience close friends and family with TDS are impenetrable; when their “facts” are conclusively refuted, they just move on to a variation on the theme, or will sometimes even admit that, even if their facts are wrong, they don’t care… because all’s fair when it comes to “resisting ” Orange Man.

            Observing their willingness to do anything to bring down Trump, combined with their inflated sense of moral superiority is a quite a phenomena to observe, one they are totally oblivious to.

            The hysteria, combined with their magical thinking – ooh, Manafort was indicted!; ooh, the NYT got His tax returns! Ooh, He did business with Russians! Now we’ve got him! – makes them impossible to reason with.

            Trump is a scab they love to keep scratching, and it hurts so good…

            1. John Wright

              You find agreement with me.

              I had one neighbor state that “Trump was worse than Bush”.

              I asked by what measure?

              I then related that Bush was responsible for perhaps one million people dying overseas and many USA soldiers dying or being permanently injured. Then there is the financial cost if Bush’s wars’ estimated 8 trillion cost (more than 20K per capita in the USA)..

              I didn’t get into torture/Guantanamo/loss of American prestige/loss of civil liberties..

              They replied that “Trump was bad for the environment”.


              I talk with people, now, who hold that “Biden is better than Trump”.

              If one looks at human lives lost and harm NOT done, quite possibly Trump would have been better than Biden.

              But to state that is heresy..

              1. JP

                OK, Trump tired to get us out of Afghanistan but then he was forced to remember who his base and handlers were. He is so popular with all who are infected with Lib-woke-macho-southern sympathy syndrome. He is an authoritarian wantabe dictator. Is he a war criminal? No but would he be in a fast minute given the opportunity? Probably!

                Biden is the anti fanatic. He was elected because people wanted to return to some measure of normalcy. The harm Trump did was to any modicum of civility in the body politic as well as total fabrication of any reality he wished to pander. We are far poorer for Trump than Biden even if the idiot starts WW3. After all global warming/nuclear winter.

            2. tegnost

              but in my experience close friends and family with TDS are impenetrable

              This is my experience…like telling a missionary there is no god

              1. bassmule

                I have a friend who is always schooling me about how bad Putin is, and how noble Zelensky. I told him he might try taking his nose out of his autographed copy of “What Happened” once in a while.

            3. jr

              Same here and I think the moral superiority angle is key. The lib/progressive/PMC love love love them some squishy moralizing as it’s easier to process than facts and data. Most especially when the facts and data don’t align with their opinions.

              Take the soi-disant social justice types, for example. Lots of moral indignation, lots of proper labeling and language policing, lots of mental clownery that defies objective reality to protect narcissistic delusions. But can anyone actually point to any gains made, broad based social gains, beyond some tokens like a Batgirl of Color? Real, material problems grow and grow septic while the “Left” is busy with empty distractions.

              1. Michael Fiorillo

                Yes, moral vanity is the
                salient characteristic of these people, which makes them so obnoxious to those outside their bubble. It also makes for the lousy politics they are known
                for, impotent and embarrassing at the same time.

      3. Screwball

        Mine would too, but only after they are done with their tears over Liz Cheney getting beat. And don’t tell them they have TDS, that really ticks them off.

    2. digi_owl

      So much for the raving warmonger.

      How the F did we end up with the sane man being an ex-KGB sitting in Kremlin?!

      1. John

        A former colleague used to refer to things such as Putin’s remarks as DOPO: Department of the Painfully Obvious

        Seems to fit nicely.

      2. hk

        I had always heard that spooks (at least those who were any good) had to be sane: they had to know what’s going on around the world and how people’s besides themselves thought, not project their own fantasies. So an ex-KGB officer being sane is not a shocker. The real question is how our spooks came to be insane?

          1. LifelongLib

            For most nations, intelligence/foreign policy/diplomacy are life and death. For the U.S. it’s just a big game. Who’s going to bomb or invade us no matter how much we screw up? I only hope we either change our ways or keep getting away with it…not optimistic…

        1. hunkerdown

          To the targets of a cognitive warfare operation, the attackers would appear insane.

          It seeks to sow doubt, to introduce conflicting narratives, to polarise opinion, to radicalise groups, and to motivate them to acts that can disrupt or fragment an otherwise cohesive society

          The sickness of the PMC and their “right” to reform everything and everyone is evident.

        1. Louis Fyne

          the national Democratic Party, and Woke-ism too, has to go full Whig before anything resembling (pre-1981) left-of-center can move forward.

          In my opinion, Brandon is going to the Moses who leads the donkeys to the promised land. only 2.5/26.5 months to the elections.

        2. Lucy Cooke

          All elected Democrats are warmongers, eager to send money and weapons to Ukraine.
          If that angers you, rant to your Congresspeople,
          and especially rant to the Congressional Progressive Caucus,

          If you are willing to sink the Democrats until they change, if ever…
          tell the Congressional Progressive Caucus that you will vote against Democrats, knowing that The World’s survival is more important than the survival of violence loving America.
          Interesting article by Matt Duss, Bernie’s foreign policy advisor,

          His lack of fact based thinking is obvious.
          There is no hope for America becoming better.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Don’t just tell dems you’ll vote against them, do it. It won’t be any worse with repubs, and it just might be “better.”

            Like “they” say, if voting changed anything, it would be illegal.

      3. Geo

        Reminds me of this quote from OBL back in 2004:

        “It easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaida, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies.”

  4. Jim Wilson

    Interesting to see the Diplomat map showing Tibet as having “no comment”.
    I guess Tibet is also not a legitimate part of the PRC.

      1. Wyatt Powell

        Arggh! Milton you beat my by 8mins!

        That’s what I get for not pushing F5 before commenting!

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    Quincy Institute peace poll–

    I think we’re more likely to hear an American politician say “f-ck” in a speech than “peace.” The latter has become a taboo word in American politics. When is the last time you heard one of our “representatives” utter the word? Maybe McGovern in ’72?

      1. Tom Stone

        ” Like a bucket full of warm Peace” is the phrase that comes to mind.
        The most plausible explanation of the raid on Mar A Lago that I have encountered is that it is a continuation of the Dims”Pied Piper Strategy” conducted with all the subtlety the FBI is renowned for.

        1. tegnost

          I’m sure the True Believers will think that the whole list of excuses is real…I heard it’s nuclear secrets for saudi arabia sold by trumps evil son in law…when the other guys do it it’s bad…I’m expecting an onslaught “incrementalism is great ” and “what other system is better than our system?”, and “smart people have said that the IRA is good for the climate (there will be no details or citations for why , just”smart people say”). Of course my boilerplate reply…”yeah socialism for the rich is just the greatest thing ever, for rich people….”
          I need to bone up on my list of abject failures so the conversation turns to the weather ASAP

    1. Wukchumni

      On my first flight in 7 years, I was amazed to hear the pre-boarding announcement for those in military uniform, this coming less than a year after leaving Afghanistan with our tales between our legs.

      When it finally comes and we get off the bandwagon of war, I expect things to go in a completely different direction, which is where a latter-day John Muir or Ed Abbey will gain traction, but not until then.

        1. mistah charley, ph.d.

          My dad was a WWII and Korea veteran, career Army. In his last years (he passed away in 2009, at age 96) I would go with him to his medical appointments at Walter Reed Hospital. He would grumble at the “warrior” signage in the lobby, and say “We were soldiers.” Another time in the early part of the 21st century I was talking with him about when he was first in Japan, the occupation immediately after the surrender. He spoke about how hospitable the Japanese were, accommodating and seemingly friendly, to the occupying American troops. I remarked, “They’d had enough of war.” He replied, “I wonder when this country will have enough of war.”

      1. Oh

        Pre-boarding and Store discounts for veterans, flags at NFL games and other faux show of patriotism is all our corporations do. In the meantime VA hospitals are being closed and disabled and homeless veterans are put out to pasture.

    2. Kouros

      They created a desert and they called it peace…

      As long as there is a Freeman doing mischief in that desert, the US Harkonnen Barons cannot truly have peace….

  6. OIFVet

    Re Human Augmentation.

    The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre worked in partnership with the German Bundeswehr Office for Defence Planning to understand the future implications of human augmentation, setting the foundation for more detailed Defence research and development. 

    I see “German Bundeswerh,” I read uberaugmentedmenschen. Sorry it’s not PC but that article game me the creeps on too many levels. Brave New World is is a cautionary tale, not a how-to manual.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Deep down, the people pushing this transhumanist/Eco-Modernist garbage don’t believe in evolution. In essence, they believe in so-called “Intelligent Design” and consider themselves more capable designers than whoever did it the first time around. Peak human hubris.

      1. JAC

        Exactly. These people want to become God. Have they not read the story of the Tower of Babel? Don’t they know how it turns out?

        1. hunkerdown

          Taking myths seriously was the root of all mistakes. Whatever else might be said about them, they’re wise not to take on that one.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Myths are not mistakes. They’re simply a human attempt to find a satisfying explanation for what is beyond our understanding at the time of the myth’s creation. The second Genesis myth, for example, is an attempt to answer the question, ” How did things get so f-ed up?” The answer, in short: humans screwed the pooch. The Babel myth is an attempt to answer what’s still a pretty interesting question: how did one species come to speak so many different languages?

            Humans are going to keep creating myths to satisfy our patterning instinct. We are compelled to find order, even if there might be none. And a well-constructed myth might serve to provide enough order for enough humans beings so that we can function as a society.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Human augmentation, Well I suppose that resistance to this idea is futile. Will our lives as it has been be over now? From this time forward, will we service them? Will our biological and technological distinctiveness be added together? Will our culture adapt to service them? This all sounds familiar somehow-

    3. GramSci

      My wife has a titanium knee, and I could use a good hearing aid. And since psychoacoustics seems to be a meme du jour, the term “Human Augmentation” in the mouth of the Bundeswehr also stuck me, bringing to mind an anecdote:

      My old mentor, George Miller had a droll sense of humor. He earned his stripes advising the US military during WWII on radio communications systems. He summarized his team’s contribution to the war effort by saying “We taught the generals that if they wanted to be intelligible, they should use polysyllabic words.”

    4. JAC

      I really cannot believe that was straight from the UK government. Or maybe I can.

      They are focusing on human augmentation when there is still homelessness and child hunger and on and on…

      You are nothing but fodder in this version of the world. Stop voting, stop feeding the capitalists. There is no other way out.

    5. Antagonist Muscles

      On the occasion I leave a comment here, it is inevitably about the mysterious and rare sensory augmentation disorder I suffer. From my perspective, the whole world is too bright and too loud, and this hurts. Fans and air conditioning are so loud I have to wear ear plugs in their presence. I can smell cigarette smoke a mile away, and it will hit me like kryptonite. When I used to go to the gym before the pandemic, I had to stop whatever exercise I was doing and move elsewhere because of the odor of the person near me. The taste of a poor tasting meal is unbelievably bad.

      I have no comment on “exoskeletons” and “brain-computer interfaces” as noted in the linked human augmentation article, but sensory augmentation is awful. It sounds like a superpower, until you experience it relentlessly.

        1. Antagonist Muscles

          I stay home most of the time. I don’t even bother turning on the lights at home anymore. If I turn on noisy things like the air conditioner, vacuum cleaner, or the stove ventilation fan, I simply wear ear plugs. All the food I cook smells and tastes great. There are no smelly people at home.

          While sunlight does not cause me any problems, any artificial lights will. This is easily fixed with dark sunglasses, a hat, earplugs, and a mask. (My appearance is suspiciously incognito, and my hearing is good enough to hear speech through the ear plugs.) The time of the day matters too. I am pretty safe if I go to the grocery store after experiencing bright sunlight in the daytime. Going to the grocery store at 10pm when my eyes are accustomed to the dark would be foolish.

  7. GramSci

    Re: What itsy bitsy babies know

    Female voices have a higher fundamental frequency with widely spaced harmonics. These resonate weakly in the formant envelopes by which vowels are recognized. Swoopy pitch distributes harmonic energy across and within the formant envelopes, thus improving vowel intelligibility that originates at the frequency-tuned hair cells of the cochlea. However there seems to be no psychoacoustic reason for men to use this vocal style when talking to infants.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Female voices have a higher fundamental frequency with widely spaced harmonics

      This is contradictory. As the fundamental pitch goes higher, the spaces between its harmonics naturally narrow, not widen. This is why upper harmonics are trickier to play on, say, a violin than they are on a double bass. They are closer together on the fingerboard and there’s less room for error.

      1. GramSci

        No, harmonics are multiples of the fundamental frequency. For a male voice at 100 Hz they are at 200, 300, 400, etc. For a female the fundamental could be at 200 with harmonics at 400, 600, 800… . A picture would be worth 10,000 words here … but for a sing-song fundamental, sparse harmonics over a high fundamental imply a poorly defined speech signal.

  8. Lexx

    ‘The New Era of Political Violence Is Here’

    ‘And it would not, in any event, mollify those among our fellow citizens who have chosen to discard the Constitution so that they can keep mainlining jolts of drama from morning until night.’

    He writes ‘drama’, but somehow I read ‘self-pity’ and he’s not wrong.

    1. GramSci

      “Tell the people they are being attacked and blame the pacifists.” I hate having to always cite that quote.

        1. jsn

          I believe GranSci got it close to right:
          Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

          Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

          Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

          1. John Wright

            As I remember, Gilbert wanted to put his subjects at ease and consequently did not actually record the audio or transcribe their words to paper while in the subjects’ presence.

            Consequently, the Goering quote may not be exactly what he said, as it was what Gilbert recalled, maybe later that evening, when he wrote his recollections down.

            However, given that Goering countered Gilbert’s original point of view, the Gilbert retelling of Goering’s words adds (at least for me) credence that Gilbert captured the essence of Goering’s words.

        2. Kouros

          Why nobody is going to the transcript records of the trial and reproduce what was said and not …. That should be the way to go. Reuters did a poor job.

  9. Lex

    The WaPo piece on intelligence before the Ukraine conflict only proves that the only thing US intelligence has ever successfully penetrated is US media. If all that is true, then I’d like an explanation for why the US response was so panicked and discombobulated. Some of its just laughable, like how the US knew all about the Gostomol operation… but couldn’t do anything about it?

    Mostly it looks like narrative construction. In the end, the proxy must take the blame. And given that this is the same agencies who were sure the Taliban wouldn’t reconquer all of Afghanistan for months, there’s probably a pretty big dose of ass covering.

    1. Craig H.

      The goal is not to win wars. The goal is to profit off armaments. They don’t put this in the papers.

      1. hunkerdown

        The goal is to keep the working-class poor so that they do what elites tell them to and create people who do what elites tell them to. Moral ideologies like greed recode the normal operation and maintenance of capitalism as a supposed error which we are nonetheless forbidden from directly correcting.

      2. Lex

        The goal is to win wars. Winning wars still profits off armaments. If the US had won in Iraq, it would control and profit from Iraqi oil fields while selling the Iraqi army material. If the US had won in Afghanistan it would control and profit from Afghan mineral wealth selling the Afghan army material. If the US had won in Ukraine, it would control and profit from Ukrainian gas fields while supplying arms to the Ukrainian state. Winning those wars is far, far more profitable than losing them.

        1. OIFVet

          I respectfully disagree. Losing the wars is argument for even more spending on the military. MIC, their lobbyists, and the congress critters all benefit without doing too much hard work, like dealing with pesky natives and their strange notions that their mineral wealth is, well, theirs.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            But eventually, maybe even now, a majority of the American public quits buying the BS and begins to feel like the fans in a town with the highest team payroll but the lowest win percentage in the league.

            And the analogy isn’t so far off. As you stand at one of those sporting events with the B-2 overflights, the same feeling passes through the crowd as when the home team starts a bottom of the ninth rally. USA! USA! USA! No amount of PR will cover the truth that we’re losers militarily.

            The military remains one of the last institutions above water so to speak. When the billionaires lose that, things get very hard to keep under control. I think the billionaires are already concerned about how much of the military will continue to follow their orders. If the people are at the point of despising rather than revering the military because of the ongoing losing streak, what’s left to hold it all together?

          2. Daniil Adamov

            Surely the best thing is to neither win nor lose, but to keep wars going for as long as they will go?

        2. Wukchumni

          KBR, Halliburton and the other sutlers who made unlimited bank for almost 20 years in Afghanistan weren’t in the armaments business, they were more content with high markups on consumer goods.

          1. John

            Winning. Losing. The money keeps rolling in and everyone in the MICIMATT is in the game and cashing in. This is the all time successful grift.

        3. VietnamVet

          There could have been a short Afghanistan war. Make a deal with the Taliban and the Warlords, ship the Arabs back to the Middle East, and the Americans would leave. An ABC News broadcast of a Pentagon propaganda clip with two armed special operators in the first year, before Iraq, showed them walking through a walled village to collect the local Hajji for interrogation. By definition, the elderly leader of the community, who had the status of having been to Mecca as a pilgrim. I knew the war was lost. It took 20 years and looting trillions of dollars before it was over. The lives, the maimed, and the treasure wasted.

          The USA could have done what it did to the North American natives; kill them all and put the survivors in a reservation, but that would required a much larger army and settlers to seize the Hindu Kush mountains. American Indian Fighters pacified the Philippines but the costs of keeping the colony were so great, they were granted (before WWII) independence in 1945.

          The Afghan war was never winnable.

    2. fresno dan

      Too perfect!!!
      only proves that the only thing US intelligence has ever successfully penetrated is US media.
      Winning hearts and minds only at the NYT, WP, and CNN…

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Free Enterprise, Not Central Planning, Will Beat China”

    Because the past forty years has been such a thundering success for the US? So, no need for the US to have an industrial policy, no need for five-year plans, no need for the US to prioritize certain industries as being vital for American needs, no need to invest in advanced education for the population to give a solid basis for a competitive America – just, markets.

    ‘You just keep on thinking WSJ. It’s what you’re good at.’

    1. GramSci

      I will repeat the obvious for new readers: the US economy is centrally planned– by Wall Street.

    2. Stephen

      This was my thought as well, as I stumbled, baffled, through the ideological morass of this article.

      Nikki Haley doesn’t seem to understand history very well. Her beloved “Free markets” are responsible for exporting our industrial base to our “biggest global threat” and creating this problem in the first place. When all else fails, these people will always double down.

      Everybody seems to forget, or never bothers to learn, about the South Korean model of development. Which transformed a literal pile of rubble into the 10 largest economy in 2 generations.

      1. hunkerdown

        Haley’s job is to create myths, just like the rest of the intelligentsia. Everything we were told about the supposed beneficial “purpose” of middle class society was a lie. Not an error, not an aspiration, a lie.

      2. c_heale

        At one point South Korea received more US aid than the whole of Africa. It was transformed under dictatorships.

        Maybe not the best model to follow.

    3. JohnnyGL

      Those sorts of headlines read like religious incantations. ‘Only god and the free-market can save us, have faith!!!’

      1. hunkerdown

        They are exactly that. Church and state are as separable as any other pincers. With no supernatural myth to captivate people by general obligations and calls to faith, civil religion must be created to the same ends. Feature, not bug.

      2. ambrit

        Like the Princess Leia hologram in “Wall Street Wars.”
        Princess: “Help us Master Volker! You are our only hope!”
        Meanwhile, our hero, Luke Skytrader looks on bemusedly.
        The hologram fades out. Luke hits the Econodroid on it’s gold plated top: “Play that again M-2!”
        M-2 beeps.
        Luke: “What do you mean, the policy point has hit the lower bound? Replay the message!”
        More beeps.
        Luke: “Don’t you tell me the repo window is closed!”
        Master Ben walks into the recreation deck.
        Luke: “Master Ben! This econodroid played a message and now denies it ever existed!”
        Master Ben: “Oh. These econodroids are prone to sudden reversals of logic and policy.”
        Luke: “But Master Ben. There was a princess and she asked for someone called Master Volker. Who’s that?”
        Master Ben: “Master Volker. Hmmm… I haven’t heard that Name in a long time.”
        Luke: “But she said that he was the only one who could help her!”
        Master Ben; “You are correct young Skytrader. Such an appeal to Authority cannot be ignored!”

      3. spud

        and here is the one who supercharged it, and still has complete control of our policies.

        “Yet, it came into popular usage in the 1990s largely through the help of Bill Clinton, who readily adopted it. Clinton used it to describe both his administration’s approach of enlisting the private sector to address poverty domestically and using free trade and globalization to promote freedom, democracy and human rights around the world. The phrase encapsulates the aspirational belief that it is possible for the market to do good and to achieve traditional liberal goals of equality and providing for those in need.”

      4. Eureka Springs

        I like the religious incantation take. Free market is an oxymoron. An impossibility. Only god, if there is one or several, could endlessly supply a market for free. Even then god would surely just manifest the goods at far higher quality directly in your home/space. No need for marketing.
        But then god would be the ultimate monopoly. And if she took more than a few days off for free, many would die.

    4. Oh

      The US does have an industrial policy. Shovel money to the yuuge corporations, give them tax breaks galore, favor the CEO’s, do research for them, favor them in the Patent Office, sell for them worldwide, go to war for them, give them govt. contracts, never put the lawbreakers from these corps in jail, provide them with cheap labor through favorable industrial policies, etc., etc. Is there anything that I forgot to mention?

    5. jr

      Yeah, that paired with the lecture about clean drinking water and national autonomy strangling the lithium extraction process was a two-fer to the brain this morning.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If she is serving in the Donetsk Oblast, she’ll be lucky is she finishes the war with only PTSD. Her unit – the 72nd Separate Mechanized Brigade – gets mentioned frequently in the Military Summery channel and never in a good way as regards loses of people and equipment.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I bet it’s just a complete coincidence that her name is the same as in a popular Ukrainian song from the late 30’s and at least one post-war and two post-independence movies.

        Hutsulka actually means Hutsul-woman. That is, a female member of an ethnic group that lives in the Carpathian mountains. Basically a subgroup of Ukrainians living in Hungarian and Slovakian mountains.

        I believe the original song was about a Hutsul woman named Ksenia, who in 1938 was to be married to an American-Ukranian but then the Hungarian troops brutally crushed a newly formed Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine she lived in.

        Yup. Totally coincidental.

        1. Skip Intro

          It may be that the ‘reporter’ getting the story actually asked her name, and she picked a relevant famous historical/literary character name, as opposed to providing evidence to future tribunals. Reporter writes it down. She keeps a straight face, her group suppresses snickers.

          “Machine gunner Daniel Boone is determined…”

    2. OIFVet

      Shouldn’t she be named Katniss Everdeen? It will be more relatable for the Western audiences.

      Truly, Ukie propaganda is warmed up snippets of Hollywood productions.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Only if, at the end of the “revolution,” she puts an arrow through zelensky instead of nasty old Putin, because “new, corrupt boss is worse than the old, corrupt boss.”

        1. OIFVet

          Miss Everdeen, this is Ukraine we are talking about. Someone will eventually put an arrow through Zelensky , but it will only be in order to wet his own beak rather than because of some high-minded principles.

    3. digi_owl

      Why oh why did that remind me of the image of Hitler giving a row of young boys a pep talk before they were being sent off with panzerfausts against the Red Army?

      1. Wukchumni

        It struck me as more of a Lyudmila Pavlichenko vibe, and by the way, watched an interesting Russian mini-series last week which involves a mostly women ack-ack brigade in a sleepy part of the eastern front, check it out:

        The Dawns Here Are Quiet – Episode 1. Russian TV Series. English Subtitles.

        1. JBird4049

          As soon as it was uncovered that I was using a VPN, it blocked me. I had to change to a different location. Jackasses.

        1. Robert Gray

          Good film. I watched it about 2-3 years ago. In a way, it was amazing that such a picture could even be made in Germany only 14 years after the end of the Reich — but there were obvious limits that could not be passed. One thing struck me as glaring in its absence so I went back and double-checked; sure enough: at no point in the film does anyone — soldiers, Party members, sycophantic civilians — ever say the words ‘Heil Hitler’. (It probably was, and maybe still is, against the law to utter that phrase.)

          1. Wukchumni

            When I was in West Germany in the 1980’s everything with a swastika had to be covered up and was faithfully done so with a piece of tape or something, that is most everything except coins of the 3rd Reich where they never bothered as far as I could tell when going to coin shows across the country.

            1. CarlH

              When I was stationed there, my barracks had a sculpture of the Nazi eagle holding the swastika in it’s talons just above the front door to all the barracks. The swastika had been chipped out, but it still gave me the creeps. If only I had known I was serving in the modern version of the Wehrmacht and that it’s presence was therefore wholly appropriate.

            2. Stephen

              The UK was typically more relaxed, by the way.

              But in the early 80s when I was at school, one 15 year old had drawn a swastika on his exercise book. He was not that way inclined, it was a kid just being stupid.

              He made the mistake of revealing it inadvertently in front of our science teacher, who had been RAF aircrew in the war. I will never forget his reaction for my whole life: he stayed very calm but just said in front of the whole class: “I lost a lot of my friends fighting that. Please never show that here again.”

              You could have heard a pin drop. Everyone went pale. Suffice to say, that never appeared again. A man who had survived the nearly 50% death rate of Bomber Command knew how to handle a bunch of 15 year olds.

      2. jr

        I thought something similar. Next we will hear of the brave 12 year olds who have “volunteered” for combat. They’d rather be doing something bucolic but “duty called”!

    4. Skip Intro

      It is not a sign of desperation that young mothers have to ‘man’ the machine guns at all. Rather, it shows how empowering and diverse modern nazis can be.

      1. digi_owl

        I have observed that the “girlboss” ladies are very quick to fall back to courtly expectations of knightly rescue when the excrement hits the rotor blades.

    5. Tara

      Gonzalo Lira pointed this out awhile back- look at how clean the actresses are- that is the tell- these gals look rather well put together for being on the frontlines, subjected to the endless artillary barages. Look at the hair. Come on, it hasn’t gone a weekend without a shampoo.

    6. Stephen (different Stephen to previous commenter)

      Her hometown seems to be in deep far western Ukraine. But the war is in the east. The civilians suffering true hardship are there too.

      Sums up how much of a civil war this is at first level; although a U.S. and her puppets versus Russia proxy war at second level and quite possibly an installment of World War Three of U.S. and her puppets versus pretty much everyone else.

  11. Louis Fyne

    –Which Asian Countries Support China in the Taiwan Strait Crisis – and Which Don’t?—

    US diplomacy backfired negatively for South Korea as Russia gave an implicit blank check to support North Korea recently during the NK-Russia summit—-versus pre-2022 where Russia was practically neutral to the North Korea/”NK is China’s problem”.

    1. The Rev Kev

      And in a big surprise, North Korea today tested two long-range cruise missiles which is really something new for them. North Korea cops a lot of flak every time they fire off a missile because of United Nations resolutions but there is no mention of cruise missiles in those resolutions. Think that the US could get another resolution passed forbidding them to the Norks since the Chinese and the Russians will nix any such resolution brought before the UN Security Council?

    2. SocalJimObjects

      With the exception of Australia, none of the countries on the scale of 4 to 5 will actually send anyone to fight if hostilities were to commence. Singapore? Don’t make me laugh. Vietnam? LOL. Japan? Uncle Sam might force them to fight, but expect huge demonstrations followed by a quick collapse of their economy.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The government of Oz may be stupid enough to try to fight China allied with the US and NATO but I doubt that any of the countries between Oz and China like the Philippines or Indonesia will allow our military to overfly their territory or use their seaways to get to China. And it is over 4,000 kilometers (about 2,500 miles) from the northern tip of Oz to Taiwan. And the extended range for an F-35 is, I believe, about 1,500 kilometers.

          1. The Rev Kev

            No. No. No. The F-35 doesn’t burn av-gas as fuel like an ordinary jet. The fuel tanks of an F-35 are stuffed full of $100 bills which they burn instead.

            1. ambrit

              You are now making me worry if those anti-counterfeiting strips in the bills themselves aren’t radioactive. Another Jackpot “Policy Implementation Tool?”

              1. Kouros

                Or transmitting data, as the Danes have discovered some time ago. I wonder where the OFF button is….

          1. The Rev Kev

            There were a couple of them at RAAF Base Amberley recently about a half-hour drive from here though I never saw them myself. So if I was a Chinese strategist, in case war breaks out I would launch two nukes at that RAAF base before they had a chance to take off and head to China.

        1. Polar Socialist

          I think I saw sometime ago a minor news about Philippines being extremely upset about that AUKUS nuclear submarine thing. Something about perceiving it as a possible threat to them, too.

          I wish I remembered where it was.

          1. The Rev Kev

            You remember correctly though I cannot recall where I saw it either. They definitely did not want nuclear-powered subs passing through or hiding in their waters where they might be targeted in war time.

          2. PlutoniumKun

            The Philippines government was a strong supporter of Aukus when it was first announced. They backtracked a little later.

            The new President hasn’t said much about it but he’s part of the same grouping as Duterte so he will probably play the same game of trying to extract what he can from all power blocks without getting too close to one or the other. Most smaller Pacific island nations are more interested in keeping things balanced regionally than aligning themselves too much with anyone. Strategic ambiguity suits them.

  12. digi_owl

    “Human Augmentation – The Dawn of a New Paradigm GOV.UK”

    The actual F?!

    Did the western world take an extended siesta this summer? Because it feels like everything is revving up all at once now…

    1. jr

      There was an RPG called CyberPunk I owned as a kid. One of the problems a character in the game could encounter was “cyber-psychosis” where after so many augmentations one suffered a psychotic break and went berserk. I would add “cyber-psychopathy” to that list.

      Also, what do you do when you step out of line and the PTB switch off your legs? Or your eyes? Or your heart?

      1. digi_owl

        Check out the computer game cyberpunk 2077.

        It is based on the same universe.

        And as i recall, the cyber-psychosis would initially manifest as sociopathic or narcissistic tendencies.

        Never mind that police departments had special squads to deal with such people, that were more akin to anti-tank units.

  13. flora

    re: Taibbi piece

    That’s a must read. The comments are good, too. Watching Clapper, McCabe, Strzok, and some other ex-fbi guys (who were fired for lying under oath) instruct the public on FBI matters is…well…in a more normal time it would be a satire of “the news”.

    from the article:

    “McCabe, in other words, not only has a history of lying, but a specific history of misconduct involving improperly obtained warrants in Trump-related investigations. Paying him to go on air and offer “analysis” of an FBI warrant on Trump is an expression of total journalistic surrender on the part of CNN. They should be ashamed, but obviously aren’t, since they also employ another liar-under-oath, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who went on CNN’s “Newsroom” last Saturday to offer another master class in Trump-era journalism. Clapper shoved off hard from the pier of fact before inviting audiences to dream nightmare scenarios.”

    1. fresno dan

      It was almost ten years ago – there was some semblance, a small inkling that objectivity was important to the mainstream media in how CNN reported on Clapper and lying to congress.
      I was trying to get a bunch of links that showed CNN reported the Clapper lying to congress fairly objectively – but it turns out finding good stuff on that topic was something I wasn’t able to do (?purposeful memory hole?) – current finds about Clapper was essentially all stuff about Clapper and Trump – and all from the point of view that Clapper is an objective credable person. Which sure makes my point, i.e., why whould someone dispassinately looking at the situation be so trusting of a man (Clapper) caught lying to congress under oath and of a democratic administration? And one other point – lots of articles later on the nuance on whether Clapper really lied to congress (note my CNN link about Clapper apologizing – it was all a big misunderstanding). And I would be OK with that, IF there was equal nuance for everything everyone said. To paraphrase Animal Farm, Dem legs nuance good, repub legs nuance bad…

        1. jr

          Wow, that’s disturbing. I wonder what sorts of alternative information distribution networks will grow out of this. New periodicals? More A.M. radio stations? And what happens when they clamp down on those? Informational blackouts made permanent?

        2. who is askin

          “The past was alterable. The past never had been altered. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

          ― George Orwell, 1984

          1. digi_owl

            People point to how Stalin had people that lost favor removed from official pictures.

            Between Google, Deepfake and photoshop, just how damned malleable is even the recent past to the TLAs these days?

      1. hunkerdown

        But anything against the combined partisan regime is nuanced right out of existence.

        The best defense is local storage and downloaders. “You wouldn’t download a car truth” [Awkward Look Monkey Puppet meme]

        1. digi_owl

          The biggest use of blockchains may well be as the keeper of signatures to verify media files against tampering…

        2. playon

          I wonder how if eventually the internet wayback machine will be compromised somehow, if it hasn’t been already? I’m no techie but it seems like it would take a ton of work to “clean”.

          1. hunkerdown

            It would take a fair amount of work to scrub of everything that disagrees, because there’s so much of it. More likely They would push a competing, bare-bones service of Their own, like archive dot today, and use lawfare to take down or impair dot org (as the book publishers started recently).

  14. Big River Bandido

    The RealClearPolitics article Who Will Be Held Accountable for CDC Dishonesty?: I clicked on this b/c it sounded so promising…but I bailed about 6 graphs in, when it was revealed the author’s beef was school closures.

    CDC is dishonest and absolutely untrustworthy. But this article is completely wrong.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Big River Bandido: I have a comment on the article by Markowicz that went into the ether.

      In short, her “critique” of masks and their effectiveness is the usual smart-mouthing. The effectiveness of masks has been repeatedly proven–Yves Smith and Lambert Strether have posted many links to reliable studies.

      Snarky Markowicz just doesn’t want to wear one.

      1. Big River Bandido

        You read more than I could tolerate. Any further and I would have been in danger of rolling my eyes out of my head.

        Another absolutely stupid piece was the Atlantic article on “The New Era of Political Violence”. I couldn’t get much farther than a few graphs into that. The stupidity makes my stomach hurt.

        1. DJG, Reality Czar

          Big River Bandido. Thanks. You read it so I don’t have to.

          That’s what makes the Naked Capitalism commentary so interesting: Our willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the collective good.

          1. ambrit

            I take solace in the NC Community supporting and arguing for the very existence of a “Collective Good.”
            Every public and or private argument in favour of the concept of a Public Good is one step in the right direction.
            “You’re on your own,” is this generation’s Big Lie.
            Brought to you be the Usual Suspects.

        1. playon

          He makes some good points about Fauci but I stopped reading when he started going on about masks.

  15. Big River Bandido

    The sh*tlib outlets are sugarcoating Liz Cheney’s humiliating loss. This account was actually more truthful, and a lot more fun to read as a result. I’m walking on air:

    • Finally, this real fascist is out of power. Back to screetch media, where she belongs.
    • Even more: all the sh*itlibs who tried to save her now have egg on their faces. Any “Democrat” who supports Liz Cheney ought to be tarred and feathered.

    Two years ago, I didn’t think it possible the Democrats could get any worse. I am truly amazed and disgusted by my former party.

    1. flora

      NPR has hopes for Cheney’s future. / ;)

      Is the real contest between Dems and Repubs? Or, is the the real contest between those who support the current regime of neoliberalism-globalism economics, (now over 40 years old), and those who oppose the current regime’s economics? Party label doesn’t seem to mean much on that question. (I keep thinking that if Sanders had won the presidency he’d get the same treatment T has gotten from the current regime’s supporters.)

    2. Nikkikat

      I am sure Liz Cheney will continue to be supported by the Dems. They will start raising money for her soon, to run for the senate.
      Liz may even become an official democrat. She is not that much different from the CIA and FBI types that the DNC loves

    3. Mark Gisleson

      Just read a stunning article by CBS News in which they dragged out every possible excuse for Cheney short of the stars being misaligned, and not once did they even hint at the vote count or margin of victory by Hageman. It was so bad I counted: Cheney mentioned 14 times, Hageman (the winner) namedropped six times.

      USA Today called it a “stinging” defeat, no mention of the vote count but they find space to mention that Cheney may run for President. CNN also skipped the numbers but mentioned other primaries in the same article and did gave percentages for them. The NYTimes might have had numbers but they slapped a paywall up before I could read them.

      And that was every link on this story at Google News. It’s like living behind a Chyron Curtain.

      1. Margaret

        Any mention of the five or more trillion dollar losing wars her family has promoted? I lost a nephew in one of them.

        That smirking ass**** George Bush Jr. did his clown routine searching under tables for WMDs at the National Press Club the day we buried him. Dick Cheney laughed.

    4. fresno dan


      Cheney noted that in the past, she had garnered more than 70% of the votes in her district’s primary, and that
      “the path to that same victory would have been very easy,” but she felt it was more important to focus on her opposition to Trump.
      I don’t know why she lost. My question is: Why did she ever win???

      I have a friend who is a Trump fanatic. He used to be for Bush the younger, and LOVED Mitt Romney. Now of course, he says he always hated Romney and the Bushes. Indeed, on pro Trump sites, NO ONE ever admits to liking Bush or Romney. I guess people can’t admit that they were EVER wrong on anything. I doubt anyone who voted for Cheney or Bush could give two reasons for why they voted for Bush or Cheney. Will people own voting for Trump 10 years from now???

      1. fresno dan

        extra credit question
        Is Trump actually a different kind of republican or is Trump pretty much like Bush but says the quiet parts out loud.
        I really would like to know if people think some significant actual changes in republican thinking or not has happend with the Trump era.

        1. HotFlash

          I don’t think that Trump is any sort of Republican at all. Trump is Trumpian firfst, last, and only. If (some/many) voters, Republican or otherwise, see him as Their Savior, it’s because he’s one of those blank canvases that people can paint their own beliefs and aspirations on. Like Obama before him.

    5. Kouros

      Lambert keeps updating his definition for the US Democratic party. He just had one yesterday in his Water Cooler.

  16. Sibiryak

    Re: Ukraine has telegraphed its big counteroffensive for months. So where is it? Politico.

    Another MSM outlet letting the cat slowly sneak out of the bag. A little unpleasant truth. Still, it has to be wrapped up in some reassuring mythology. Like the “Battle for Kiev” Ur-myth. The writers couldn’t be expected to leave that out!

    As the disastrous Russian push toward Kyiv in February and March showed, however, pushing thousands of troops toward an objective without softening the enemy’s defenses is a losing proposition — a lesson the Ukrainians have learned

    There are quite a few more dubious assertions, but I won’t bore NC readers by citing them all. It is, though, perhaps worth noting the entirely one-sided, propagandistic sources the article depends on:

    Ukrainian officials

    Konrad Muzyka, a military analyst and director of Rochan Consulting (based in Poland)

    Nataliya Humenyuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command,

    Mykola Bielieskov, a research fellow at Ukraine’s National Institute for Strategic Studies (Government-controlled “research institution”)

    A British intelligence assessment

  17. DJG, Reality Czar

    Monkeypox article about its many possible hosts. BioRxiv. The pox family of viruses seems to be highly adaptable.

    From the underlying PDF: “With regards to other wild animals as potential reservoir populations, many close human-associating scavengers, particularly in North America were identified. These include the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), and the common raccoon (Procyon lotor), are
    predicted to be susceptible to monkeypox, all with probabilities above our more stringent 0.76
    threshold. Given the large urban populations of these animals, we also suggest them as surveillance

    We all knew that Pepe Le Pew was randy, but now he’s sponsoring the newest STD. Well, the newest oddly categorized STD.

    Darn. Everyone’s got something to hide except me and my monkey.

    1. digi_owl

      Dems go all in on Gabbard, get their vaunted madam president.

      Never mind a Gabbard/Sanders ticket.

      But Wall Street would burn the nation before that happens.

      1. Milton

        Why would Wall Street toss the proverbial game board as they would have a fellow WEF alum in the executive branch? Gabbard may piss off the neocons but there can be no denying her neolib credentials.

        1. digi_owl

          Well se do not seem to have much love for the whole “great reset” idea.

          If she is controlled, then it must be one hell of a long con going on…

          1. Milton

            Not controlled, just not my cup of tea as far as economic policy goes.
            Having said that, I think she’s better than anyone else out there at this time.

  18. Tor User

    “Ukraine Strikes Again in Crimea, Challenging Russian Hold on Peninsula”

    It apparently IS the offensive they have been talking about:

    “Ukraine is engaged in a counteroffensive aimed at creating “chaos within Russian forces” by striking at the invaders’ supply lines deep into occupied territories, according to a key adviser to the president.”

    ‘Attritional offensive’.

    Evidently the idea is to weaken the supply lines to the Russians on the west side of the river enough that they have to withdraw once Ukraine starts to press them on the ground.

    It might work there, but in the Donbas the Russians continue to grind forward. If the Russians grind forward enough, they will be behind the Ukrainians down in the south.

    1. digi_owl

      Sounds like we should be on the lookout for “civies” with combat kit, same as cropped up in Libya…

      1. Tom Stone

        A sudden competence on the part of UKE special forces might indicate presence of “Volunteers” who are passionate about FREEDOM!!
        Or its functional equivalent.

        1. HotFlash

          Yes, that was my thought, too. Hope they are using deniable mercenaries from Xe or Academi or whatever they are calling themselves these days, and not actual NATO ‘advisors’. Or maybe I don’t.

    2. Franco

      It’s a desperate attempt at coping and it’s nowhere near enough to affect the outcome. For every successful act of sabotage on Russian-controlled territory, Russian cruise missiles destroy at least 20 Ukrainian supply depots. Zelensky even passed a law making it illegal to take photos of Russian missile strikes just so Ukraine could publicize these pin prick sabotage attacks as something unique and meaningful, when in reality they’re entirely inconsequential.

  19. Jason Boxman

    Chiu and his colleagues at Imperial College London have just such an undertaking in mind. They are planning “human challenge” studies involving the Delta and Omicron variants to mirror one already conducted with the original version of the virus.

    The resulting data could yield a clearer picture of exactly how Omicron behaves in healthy humans, and how a prior infection or different levels of vaccination affect an individual’s illness.

    Chiu said a new study would seek to enroll people who gained immunity through vaccinations, past infections, or a combination of both. That would give more insight into whether so-called hybrid immunity is an important bulwark against becoming sick in the Omicron era.

    If research confirms that the Omicron variant is indeed milder than its predecessors, and that getting it confers some protection from future illness, some may conclude it’s time to let the virus spread.

    (bold mine)

    Well, that sounds diabolically evil. Let’s do it!

  20. IF

    German utility Uniper on Wednesday reported a net loss of 12.3 billion euros ($12.5 billion) for the first half of 2022.

    The most high-profile victim of Europe’s energy crisis so far warned it would take until 2024 before it could return to profit.

    Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas had to be bailed out in a 15 billion euro rescue deal agreed with the government last month.

  21. Wukchumni

    7 years ago I could never go home again, as that is when my then 90 year old mom called it quits on la vida suburbs and a now torturous 2 story stucco hippie era haunt in the hills and moved to an assisted living place with 2 bedroom apartment.

    She hated it at first-a common reaction among the aged ones, but came to like it… a cruise ship of a place permanently docked on Whittier Boulevard if you will.

    When she moved in, a resident had to be somewhat ambulatory and no wheelchairs were to be seen, although a slew of canes and walkers were a-ok. Only a few residents walked unaided.

    Everything was going great until Covid came calling and she was under house arrest for a year in her gilded cage, with meals slid under the door (not really-but sometimes you have push the narrative along) daily, along with her lifeline of 4 newspapers (LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Whittier Daily News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune (I was a paperboy for this fishwrap, back when they trusted kids on bikes) delivering a little sliver of the world beyond her front door if only in tactile versions she could easily read online, but where’s the fun in that?

    She’s a voracious reader which really helped her ride out the gathering storm which has killed off a couple of residents and a number more have caught it, but the death toll isn’t what you’d think in a place populated by 90 year olds and up. One of the new residents is 102.

    The assisted living place started to get vacancies after being essentially full up prior to Covid, with the initial thrust being a move to cheaper digs across town ($2k less per month) and a few nonagenarians being ushered off by concerned kin.

    Went out to dinner last night with her in the communal dining room and there was 5 new residents in wheelchairs, so they’ve let their previous standards slide to accommodate them, which is great I suppose, but probably more reflective of getting those apartments filled, and even doing this, there are still 3 apartments awaiting empty nesters.

    The staff has had a steady turnover from top to bottom over the 7 year stanza, but that was happening before Covid, as the average age of worker bees seems to be in their 20’s or 30’s, nobody really older.

    I’m saddened to say that she’s now down to merely the LAT & WSJ, and i’m afraid she is slipping, ha ha.

  22. Darthbobber

    To date, the “new era of political violence” fortunately seems to contain much more noise about political violence than actual political violence. Certainly compared to various “older eras” of political violence in our fair republic.

    A cursory glance at our labor struggles from the Gilded Age on through the New Deal is remarkable for the numbers of dead and injured, and our history is dotted with events like the Orange Order parade through the “papist” tenements of NYC that led to a number of deaths and was one of the detonators for the end of Tweed’s reign. Certainly the reign of terror directed towards restoring the status quo ante in the former confederacy rises to a level worthy of mention, and these are but a handful of high points.

    In my own lifetime, between November of ’63 and May of 1972, JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, Junior, and George Wallace were gunned down. 3 fatally, and 1 paralyzed from the waist down for life. Then there was the rash of bombings, lynchings, mob assaults and police assaults directed against the civil rights movement in the era of “massive resistance” to desegregation.

    On into the late 60s and early 70s, a number of people who believed themselves to be leftist revolutionaries engaged in a series of bombings that, despite the sheer number, were mostly local news and produced nothing like the hysterical 24/7 coverage by national media that we’d get today if the same thing were happening. The FBI logged about 2500 of these in an 18 month period, though most of them were in the middle of the night at deserted places. (even my then sleepy hometown of Wichita had a couple of incendiary attempts on the college ROTC building). Also a few political bank and armored car robberies/attempts, and the kidnapping of Patty/Tanya Hearst.

    Gosh, I’ve left out more than I’ve included, but I’m sure this is enough to indicate that “violence is as american as cherry pie” is not mere hyperbole.

  23. marieann

    Re: the abortion story about the woman from Louisiana.
    As a Canadian I am horrified by these articles and I read this one and all the comments.

    The most frequent comment is vote out the Republicans and vote in the Democrats

    That confuses the heck out of me…aren’t the Democrats in power at the moment…when the actual law(?) was repealed…what could the Democrats do to change the situation in place now.
    What am I missing?

    1. hunkerdown

      Both of our parties are churches of bourgeois theology in a closed mythical world. Americans need freedom from religion.

    2. Lexx

      ‘Two households, both alike in dignity,
      In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
      From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
      Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
      From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
      A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
      Whole misadventured piteous overthrows
      Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
      The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
      And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
      Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
      Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
      The which if you with patient ears attend,
      What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.”
      -‘Romeo and Juliet

      Something about the first sentence in this quote popped into my head, and the fact that it is a play and pretend continuance of a long vendetta, on front of an audience. Back stage the players are the best of colleagues with more in common than differences or the play could not go on.

      The only real difference is in the names – the Montagues and the Capulets… but what’s in a name? We’re to believe of course, as was fair Juliet, that reconciliation was/is impossible! But say their names and know they are sworn enemies.

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      You aren’t missing anything. The Democrats would do nothing to change the situation for the woman, except perhaps to offer her a promise to fight for change.

    4. Daniil Adamov

      IIRC it was a ruling, not a law, and was struck down by the Supreme Court, which is nominally non-partisan but controlled by Republican appointees at the moment. Democrats could have passed a law that would be harder to get rid of, but didn’t. Maybe they will at some point now that they can no longer hide behind the ruling. Maybe not.

  24. Lemmy Caution

    Yesterday we saw this link on NC:

    DeSantis says teaching requirements are ‘too rigid’ as Florida moves to let veterans without degrees teach Yahoo. Resilc: “How to kill other students 101.”

    Incredibly, many other states have programs that also give special considerations to veterans who become teachers. For example, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin all have programs focused on transforming Troops into Teachers.

    As if providing veterans with a pathway to a teaching certificate isn’t bad enough, today we learn DeSantis must want even more students to die:

    Gov. DeSantis wants retired cops as teachers

    “[The] proposal would take first responders, including former police officers, firefighters and EMTs, from those high-pressure environments and move them to K-12 classrooms.”

    According to DeSantis, the proposal would waive the exam fee for the state teachers certification and throw in bonuses for up to $5,000 for teachers addressing acute shortages in some subjects.

    Other states are also changing their certification processes to alleviate teacher shortages.

    Examples include:

    California legislators voted last year to allow teacher candidates to skip two different exams—the basic skills test and a subject matter exam—if they have taken approved college courses.

    New Jersey has implemented a five-year pilot program where prospective teachers can still get limited certification if they either don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement, or earn the minimum passing score on a state licensing test of subject matter knowledge.

    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill in May that removes the requirement for teacher-candidates to pass a general education exam that covers communication, critical thinking, and computation.

    Missouri’s state board of education voted earlier this month to grant teaching certificates to test-takers who score within one standard error of measurement, meaning they missed the qualifying score by a few questions.

    Where will the madness end?

      1. hunkerdown

        They are reproducing a working class who will stay a working class. That’s the way that task is done, and no special creativity is required. Scènes à faire, as it’s called in IP law.

    1. OIFVet

      I resent the implication that veterans are unfit to be teachers because they happen to be veterans. Hiring veterans to be teachers is not wrong in and of itself, provided they have the qualifications and pass psychological muster.

      1. FreeMarketApologist

        Agreed! Following his military retirement, my father, a 30+ year veteran (combat: Korea, Vietnam; administration/teaching: Germany, Pentagon, & Army War College), went back to school and got a masters degree in education, and then taught special education at the high school level for another 10 years, picking up several teaching awards and gratitude from a lot of parents along the way.

  25. Raymond Sim

    I first became aware of the truly scandalous nature of ‘droplet’ theory thanks to Johnathan Mesiano Crookston’s Tweeting on the subject. He’s been fighting the good fight since the early days of the pandemic.

    He’s produced numerous long threads with many citations. Recently, because the goons deflect, divert, dissemble, and defame like it’s their job, he produced this long, but summarized thread which, given we’re now living through Monkeypox part 2 – Return of the Droplet (part 1 was Curse of the Sodomites) I thought might be topical:

      1. Raymond Sim

        You are most welcome. I can’t say enough good things about the work he’s done – on Twitter no less.

  26. JTMcPhee

    So, some poll by some US university says a majority of Americans polled think the US should enter into negotiations with Russia to end the war in Ukraine. Which looks to me to be a place without a real existence any more, as any kind of sovereignty, but hey, doesn’t “protocol” sort of indicate that the state being warred upon ought to have a “voice” in such decisions?

    What exceptional, hypocritical, uninformed arrogance, at the mope level and above, to accept the notion that the US has the right and power to determine the fate of all those Ukrainians, however Banderist their world view and behavior. But that’s where realpolitik lies, in all the senses of the word.

    The obvious reality is that the Empire/NATO de facto owns the place now, has accepted the burden of filling the bottomless pit of oligarch corruption and pre-lost industrial war. And thus gets to say when the war special military operation should end. That’s of course subject to the other reality, that MI6 is now taking the opportunity to drive the military decision-making, and for some reason the US “policy” apparatus just can’t say no to the parent empire.

    As long as the Empire/NATO persists in “containment/sneaking up for the skill shot” against Russia and of course China, I doubt the Russians are about to end the “slow, grinding processes” of demilitarization and dena-zification in Central Europe. Already, with the ‘successful’ sabotage attacks in Crimea and Russia itself, the filthy-fingered sneaks of the CIA, MI6 and the “hard men (and maybe some women)” who are Gladio’d in place and already active in the areas Russia has dominated, make it clear that there will be no real peace, no demilitarization there — just constant threats of destabilization and destruction of infrastructure and assassinations. Crazed nationalism seems to be as seductive a drug as fentanyl and heroin, with no end of suppliers ready to inject a “fix” of it for fun and profit.

    So, now that the Russian guns are eating the Empire’s hohol mopes as cannon fodder, and the Empire’s collective West has shot its wad (short of nuclear weapons), who has the right and power to speak credibly and enforceably for “Ukraine,” in any kind of truce, let alone “peace?”

    1. digi_owl

      Said Banderites are in control thanks to US meddling in the first place.

      Self determination for Ukrainians went out the window with Maidan, ironically.

      1. tegnost

        when did self determination abandon us mopes in the USA
        I’d say citizens united was the last nail to be driven in, TPP was the final nail and ‘whoops, smashed my thumb”. It’s been a long term project.
        Actually I’ve driven an errant #2 phillips through my finernail and that is more like tpp was to the credentia…

  27. JTMcPhee

    Robert “Low Bridges” Moses and “structural racism:” why does the name Obama, and the fate of a big part of Chicago’s Jackson Park which was truly a people’s park, come to mind?

    There’s so much to get angry and exercised about in the world today, which the Obama grift has faded to being a small part. People need to remember the damage that Obama and the other “first Black President,” Slick Willie Clinton, and their wives of course, have done to comity and the chances for decency in the political economy.

    1. Adam Eran

      I’m always surprised at my liberal friends with “Trump Derangement Syndrome” – Trump being an embarrassment and a saboteur. Why do they never think “…And what did these people believe needed sabotaging?…” ?

  28. Karl

    RE: Closing of the San Francisco Art Institute

    As a former resident of SF, I read this with interest as another signpost on the culture, or lack thereof, of this wealthy and creative city. Most of all: how could SF let this 150 year-old institution fail?

    While I like art as much as the next person, I do wonder if this school was too caught up in fine arts snobbery to adapt. A related article) had this interesting quote:

    the financial situation at the school…which offers only fine-art degrees and no (generally more lucrative) design and architecture programs, has become especially precarious.”

    I mean, the Bay Area, the epicenter of the digital arts, in the end, had no use for an institution that seemed bent on producing the rare Picasso or Rothko.

    As the same article pointed out, “Ninety percent of SFAI’s domestic students take out some form of loan to pursue their educations, loans that must one day be repaid. Amid the student debt crisis, a nearly $280,000 art degree [including graduate school] can be a hard sell.”

    An interesting quote on the difficulty of making a living as an artist:

    In his book The Death of the Artist: How Creators Are Struggling to Survive in the Age of Billionaires and Big Tech (2020), William Deresiewicz took note of a study revealing that “only 10 percent of the two million arts graduates in the United States make their primary living as artists, that 85 percent of artists in New York City have day jobs unrelated to the arts, and that the other 15 percent have median incomes of $25,000.” Meanwhile, in 2018, “just twenty individuals accounted for 64 percent of total sales by living artists.”

    1. tegnost

      I’m not of the 10 percent, but I’m an art school grad and I use my skills from there all the time, it helps one create a way of thinking/planning/outcome, or what am I doing, how am I doing it, it’s done because the next thing is moving, learn all the time, don’t be haunted by the imperfections and etc… very much like the average tradespersons reality…it was also a great school for messed up people and I would have been lost without it.
      The buddhist college in boulder…

  29. kareninca

    The reinfection study done in Iceland has two groups of people. Those who had zero or one covid shot, and those who had two or more covid shots. It is so odd. You would think there would be three groups: no shots, one shot, two or more shots. But they combined people who had had no shots, with those who had had one. Isn’t there a big difference between no shots and one shot? I guess we can’t know, since they aren’t telling us.

    I just checked and 84.5 percent of Iceland’s population has had one or more shots, so that means that about 15 percent of the population has had no shots at all. And there presumably were people in their study who had had no covid shots (otherwise why would they describe one subset as being zero or one?). Why would they leave this data out of the study results?

    As someone who has not had a covid vaccine, I would find it to be helpful information.

    1. Raymond Sim

      I haven’t looked at the Iceland study, but back when I was perusing a lot of Covid studies I found far far more of them than I anticipated exhibited peculiarities of the sort you describe. In fact that was a main reason I’ve dialed back my Covid reading mostly to sources I haven’t seen that kind of thing from – it’s just too damned exhausting having to vet everything so thoroughly. And given the large percentage of ‘peculiarities’ that struck me as mendacious, I was getting hazardously close to self-induced learned helplessness.

      That said, having both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in my family, including children (One being a baby coming up on the 6 mos. mark.) I’m very actively interested in this topic – and going nowhere fast in terms of offering my kids any kind of meaningful risk assessment for themselves or my grandkids. There are risks galore, but I can’t quantify them.

      Basically I’m able to say “I think if you don’t vaccinate, then in the long term you’ll probably regret it, dependng on your powers of self-deception. If you do vaccinate you or children may experience serious negative effects, which will almost certainly manifest themselves long before any benefits are apparent. (Optional WASP silent argument argument about masking etc. may ensue)

    2. c_heale

      Well the first question is, where is the control group? With the two groups shown there is no possible control group.

      Seems like a really unscientific study.

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