Links 8/24/2022

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.

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* * *

Adventurous Couple Travels the World With Their Three Cats MyModernMet (David L)

Dolphins use signature whistles to represent other dolphins – similarly to how humans use names The Conversation

A tiny town in regional Queensland is being overrun by aggressive kangaroos (resilc). First orcas, now ‘roos….

NASA’s James Webb telescope has taken new photos of Jupiter’s auroras, rings NPR

Researchers invent self-charging, ultra-thin device that generates electricity from air moisture ScienceDaily (Chuck L)

We are building a “species-level brain” with big data and ubiquitous sensors BigThink (David L)

New book co-written by philosopher claims AI will ‘never’ rule the world TechXplore (David L)

It’s Alive! It’s With the Band! A Computer Soloist Holds Its Own New York Times

The Math Proves It—Network Congestion Is Inevitable And sometimes “solving” traffic problems can just make things worse SpectrumIEEE (David L)

Nazi-tainted Pernkopf’s Atlas: A case for acknowledgement, not removal STAT (Dr. Kevin)




Pfizer seeks authorization for new Covid booster, without fresh clinical data STAT (Dr. Kevin)


U.S. plan to stretch monkeypox vaccine supply already hitting hurdles STAT

First trial of antiviral monkeypox drug that could speed recovery begins in UK Guardian (Kevin W)


Is There Enough Metal to Replace Oil? CounterPunch (Alex C)

Flash Floods: What to Know and How to Stay Safe Wall Street Journal (David L)

Risk of volcano catastrophe ‘a roll of the dice’ ScienceDaily (Chuck L)


China tears down tower blocks in effort to boost stalling economy The Telegraph

With Abe gone, Japan-Russia in a new deep freeze Asia Times (Kevin W)

Scott Morrison throws Australia into a ‘mini constitutional crisis’ Financial Times

Thai court suspends PM Prayuth pending term limit review Reuters (furzy)


In Europe: Recession, 500-Year Drought Heisenberg Report. Resilc: “Winter inflation and heat riots ahead.”

Europe’s Corn Crop Will Plummet By Almost a Fifth as Drought Bites Bloomberg (resilc). I’m surprised it’s not worse.

Old Blighty

Britain Is Rewriting the Rules of Social Collapse umair haque (resilc). Important.

More than 70% of pubs do not expect to survive winter as energy costs soar Guardian

Cost of living crisis pushing more women into sex work – and unable to refuse dangerous clients Sky

How Prince Charles Sought Revenge Against Princess Diana and the Palace Vanity Fair (furzy)

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine marks tense Independence Day hoping for more US help against Russia The Hill

Reinforcing Failure in Ukraine Douglas MacGregor, American Conservative. Important.

Finland Braces For Rolling Blackouts This Winter OilPrice. Resilc” “Party time is ovah.”

Denis Pushilin, leader of so-called Donetsk People’s Republic survives alleged Ukrainian attack on his headquarters EuroWeekly

Russia and Turkey’s Deepening Ties Prompt Concern in West Over Sanctions Compliance Wall Street Journal

How Much Is Power in Europe? It’s Now Equal to Oil at $1,000 a Barrel Bloomberg

Azoty of Poland Halts Fertilizer Production on Record Gas Prices Bloomberg

Finland was dismayed by Norway’s planned electricity regulation, which would raise prices even more – “A selfish act from Norway, which has become rich with peak prices” YLE via machine translation. Original: Suomessa tyrmistyttiin Norjan kaavailemasta sähkösäännöstelystä, nostaisi hintoja entisestään – “Huippuhinnoilla rikastuneelta Norjalta itsekäs teko”

Sending Canadian LNG to Germany is ‘doable,’ Trudeau says Politico (Kevin W) versus CBC the same day: Trudeau, Germany’s Scholz cool to the idea of exporting Canadian natural gas to Europe: Trudeau said there isn’t a clear business case yet for the development of a natural gas export terminal

Europe’s Natural-Gas Crunch Sparks Global Battle for Tankers Wall Street Journal

Kyiv vows to restore Ukrainian rule over Crimea to re-establish ‘world law and order’ ABC Australia (Kevin W)


Erdogan repairs Syria ties with eye on Eurasianism Indian Punchline

Beirut: Further part of grain silos collapses 2 years after blast BBC (furzy)

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Amazon’s Dangerous New Acquisition Atlantic (David L)

Imperial Collapse Watch

The west’s false narrative about Russia and China Jeffrey Sachs (Charles S)

Trump Raid

Trump defiance of DOJ on classified docs comes into sharper focus The Hill

Other Trump

The Idea That Letting Trump Walk Will Heal America Is Ridiculous New York Times. Um, Trump’s presidency came out of the fact that bank executives walked after two bailouts: the highly visible one in 2008-9, and the less widely acknowledged chain of title/foreclosure crisis, accompanied by 10 million foreclosures, most of which should have been prevented.

GOP Clown Car

Does Dr. Oz’s Team Hate Him or Are They Just Bad at Their Jobs? Daily Beast (resilc)

Democrats en déshabillé’

Nadler ousts Maloney in contentious New York House primary The Hill

Daniel Goldman, Ex-Trump Prosecutor, Tops Crowded Field in N.Y. Primary New York Times (furzy). bob from Syracuse is disgusted: “NY dems for the nat sec state….Conole, 44, an Iraq War veteran from Syracuse, had been the frontrunner…”

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Ex-Louisville detective admits to providing false information for Breonna Taylor search warrant Business Insider (Kevin W). Hoo boy.

Supply Chain/Inflation

‘So, We Raised Interest Rates’ Heisenberger Report. Resilc:

We have high inflation because:
endless wars
climate change
over population
not enough skilled labor
how is the Fed going to fix this with rate rises?????

Why Are Border Smugglers Trafficking Bologna? Atlantic

Congress is looking into Twitter whistleblower’s claims of lax security engadget

The 30-Year-Old Spending $1 Billion to Save Crypto Wall Street Journal

Class Warfare

Investors Bought a Quarter of Homes Sold Last Year, Driving Up Rents Pew Charitable Trusts (Randy K)

The technology that makes you sound more American and whiter Guardian

Here’s How Much Student Debt Forgiveness Will Cost Heisenberger Report. Resilc: “DoD pisses that away in 4 mo.”

Columbus, Ohio Teachers’ Strike Mike Elk, TikTok

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Antidote du jour. Tracie H: “This handsome Billy Goat lives at the Orange County Zoo in the Irvine Regional Park (Irvine, California).”

And a bonus (guurst):

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  1. digi_owl

    “Researchers invent self-charging, ultra-thin device that generates electricity from air moisture ScienceDaily (Chuck L)”

    Do wonder how well it scales. In particular if it scales to the point of being able to recharge say an EV without having to cover it in solar panels.

    Do also wonder if there are other way to keep the wet side, well, wet without the need for the gel. Like say a grid scale variant that can be operated by dipping it into the sea.

        1. Geo

          Ha! As the water wars heat up will be tough to decide what to do with my minuscule water ration: quench my thirst or charge my phone?

              1. digi_owl

                Supposedly such suits are a bad idea, as you would effectively boil in your own sweat while wearing one.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  But what if you know how to fasten the boots proving your status as the Messiah? Will you boil then?

              2. Lexx

                In a choice between sipping recycled urine, and crunching insect larvae snacks, I’ll take the pee-pee digestif. We’ve already created a pretentious vocabulary for describing the bouquet. ‘Asparagus kombucha, anyone? Anyone?!’

    1. Mikel

      I read the summary and thought beautiful, wonderful. Thinking of all the money for batteries for various electronic items to be saved and then reading your speculations about how it might scale.

      Then I read what the article was hyping:
      “This area has been receiving growing interest due to its potential for a wide range of real-world applications, including self-powered devices such as wearable electronics like health monitors, electronic skin sensors, and information storage devices….”

      They are hyping uses for surveillance – not saving us money.

    2. TimH

      A peak power density of 70 µW cm-3 was realized after geometry optimization.

      It’s pretty useless. That’s power per unit volume, not area, so since the power source is very thin… not high efficiacy per unit area.

  2. Geo

    Interesting interview with Rusty Bowers who lost the Arizona primary for not rigging the 2020 election in Trump’s favor. Worth a read. Recalls his talks with Trump & Giuliani, armed protestors outside his home, and talks about the current state of the GOP.

    He accepts that things are likely to get much worse before they get better. I ask him, at this moment, is the Republican party in Arizona lost? “Yeah,” he said. “They’ve invented a new way. It’s a party that doesn’t have any thought. It’s all emotional, it’s all revenge. It’s all anger. That’s all it is. I haven’t been hanged yet. But holy moly, this is just crazy. The place has lost its mind.”

    1. digi_owl

      It is hardly just the republicans in Arizona, though perhaps they have taken the development the furthest right now.

      Everything everywhere seem to be about pathos above all, from news headlines to world politics.

      Bernays is coming back to haunt us.

    2. griffen

      That is some crazy pants stuff he describes. I vaguely know of him, caught him being interviewed on a Sunday news talk show. Not a shock to hear Rudy is the lead bulldog.

      Republicans continue on this path, menacing and forcing people out of public office. Well that’s not a good thing net for the people of Arizona. It’s akin to the Star Wars films and the Sith mentality; you are either with me or against me and no middle ground of compromise changes that.

      1. John

        Wasn’t there a President who said something about you are either with us or against us? Any connection to the Arizona republicans et al?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          The current state of the GOP without lionizing rank amateurs like Bob Taft (Team Blue had people like LBJ, not Hillary Clinton, so the GOP knew the Dems really woukd send the IRS after them) goes to Gingrich and his crew when they took over candidate recruitment in the wake of disappointing coattails from Reagan in 1984 and cultivated talk radio and other relationships into a permanent situation. Yes, occasionally they eat their own now, but Rove and Shrub aligned more with Gingrich than his old man. In 1994, Jeb! along with Ollie North who ran an amateur operation and only came close because of his Democratic opponents personal problems were the only two GOP defeats.

          To a certain extent the performance art side of the Gingrich alliance is simply bypassing the weirdo former college republicans in elections.

          1. Michael Ismoe

            Rusty Bowers is the state of Arizona’s Lynn Cheney. He voted repeatedly to make it harder to vote, voted repeatedly to make sure most votes don’t count and voted to make it harder to use Initiative and Referenda to challenge the state legislature’s over-reach. He doesn’t want to disenfranchise the voters the way the Donald does it, but his own way. And that’s what the fight is about.

            Make him a hero if you want but he hates Trump and that seems like enough to be lionized in the mainstream press.

            He – like Lynn Cheney – really ought to be a Democrat because he’s most famous for losing.

            1. orlbucfan

              Garbage like him and Liz Cheney need to be hung on the rafters by the neck. That still doesn’t atone for all the damage their mindset has caused, but it’s a start.

        2. griffen

          If memory serves me well, there was a President who said that he stood between banker executives and those with pitchforks. False parallel perhaps but coming from the highest position in the land, that statement carried significant weight.

          And today, that former 44th president has a comfy place we read about from time to time. Several actually. That was a Dem president saying the above.

    3. Mildred Montana

      >”The place [Arizona] has lost its mind.”

      W.H. Auden once called Nazi Germany “a culture gone mad”.

      That wouldn’t be true of Arizona—except the “gone mad” part.

    4. Wukchumni

      Arizona is a weird place-kind of the weather extreme flipside of Duluth, not that there’s anything wrong with Duluth.

      My sister in law passed away about 6 years in Phoenix, which required a bunch of trips over a few months back and forth, and I noticed that at least 40% of the billboards on the 10 freeway were for lawyers of every stripe (motorcycle lawyer-burn lawyer-husband & wife lawyer, you name it!) looking for clients who were wronged and in need of a financial settlement.

      Was Phoenix built on this, billboards from $cavenger hunt organizers?

      It was never like that in LA as far as billboards go, that is until recently on a long stretch of the 5 where it was at least 70% lawyers all hoping to give you money (after their appropriate slice) like so many angels from above.

  3. jr

    re: Dolphins

    I was at the beach yesterday and had two great wildlife experiences. The first was watching an osprey fly overhead with a fish in it’s talons. I snapped a picture but it is indistinct so I won’t bother posting it.

    The second was the best. I was photographing the sun over the ocean and a pod of dolphins swam by about 50 yards out! I only saw their dorsal fins and tails but it’s the first time I’ve seen them in the wild.

    1. Carla

      Thank you so much for sharing this. The most thrilling wildlife encounter I have had (so far) was when my late husband and I were snorkeling in Hawaii back in the ’90s. A giant sea turtle decided to join us; he or she chose us, not the other way around. All of a sudden, that magnificent animal appeared in between us–we were perhaps 15 or 20 feet apart at most–and swam with us for at least five or six minutes. That may sound like a short time, but it was the experience of a lifetime!

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for sharing that story. Man, how many people can claim to have a memory like that? I can just imagine it.

    2. jr

      Years ago my step-father’s brother was night swimming in the Gulf of Mexico under a full moon. Something big brushed the bottom of his feet as he treaded water. He p(-(-d himself and looked down to see an enormous manta ray cruising along. It was wonderful but that was a wrap for the night swim.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Got to swim with some years ago off Cape Hatteras – some friends were swimming in the shallows and a small pod of dolphins showed up and started body surfing the waves right next to us. It was exhilarating at first until I remembered what they can do to a shark, then it got a little scary. Not wanting to get accidentally injured by them, we went back on shore and left the wildlife to swim without us.

  4. Geo

    “Goodlett is one of four Louisville police officers the Department of Justice charged in connection with Taylor’s death and the first officer to accept criminal responsibility. The other three officers have pleaded not guilty.”

    Not sure why this made me think of Lynndie England who became the face of Abu Graib prisoner torture and plead guilty as well. Maybe I’m reading more into it than is there but is interesting that in these horrific incidents that are part of systemic abuse it is a woman made to be the face of it, and plead guilty. Part of being allowed into the boy’s club is being thrown under the bus first? Is it to soften the public outrage with the image of a women as potentially more sympathetic? I don’t know. Again, may just be reading too much into it.

    On a related note: Saw an ad for Hillary Clinton’s new series called “Gutsy” where she talks with esteemed and gutsy women like Kim Kardashian (seriously). Maybe in the sequel she can have Goodlett and England join in?

    1. griffen

      Hillary, well ugh. No just no. There is nowhere else she can go I guess, if she doesn’t run after all in 2024 or 2028. Still time to start the next gen of Clinton’s to be involved in politics!

      Louisville police officer, well I’ll keep this polite. Pieces of sh*t deserve no sympathy. That is about polite as I can make it.

    2. Nikkikat

      I think that perhaps it is about four cops who set up a false story and lied to obtain a search warrant and a person lost their life because of the lie. Goodlett then met with one of the four and cooked up another lie. The basis for the no knock warrant was that drug packages were mailed to Taylor’s house. In fact there were NO packages delivered there according to the Postal Service. She then conspired with another officer to maintain the lie.

    3. jr

      “Saw an ad for Hillary Clinton’s new series called “Gutsy””

      I know my guts are churning. But I’ve discovered a book that finally gets to the truth about Hillary. It’s probably more accurate than the alternate history of her where she never met the Bill-do:

      “You’ve heard the rumors. Millions of Americans are wondering about Hillary. Is she a… * Shapeshifting Blood-Drinking Reptilian * Satanic Priestess * Antichrist 666 * Voodoo Mambo * Demon-Possessed Witch * Communer with the Dead * Servant of Strange Entities from Other Dimensions * UFO Quisling * Conspirator * War Criminal * This unique book seeks to answer these and many other questions. The Occult Hillary Clinton gathers the best facts and arguments behind such startling yet widely-held beliefs. See why so many millions of Americans believe! * Learn about the secret organizations where Hillary conspires with the rich and powerful ruling elite to shape the future of all mankind. * Learn what Hillary’s true politics are — and why they are stranger and more ominous than the mainstream media will dare admit. * Explore the terrifying charges of mind control, blood sacrifice, monstrous secret experiments on unsuspecting American citizens, and communication with the dead! And more! See why many people of all backgrounds and from across the political spectrum believe Hillary is far more than just another politician. Why millions believe she is in league with the Forces of Darkness — and a threat to all human life on earth. This book offers nothing less than an alternative history of politics, power and the occult in America. You will never look at the world the same again!”

    4. ambrit

      Anything promoted by and for Hillary has only one subject: Hillary Clinton.
      The woman is a sociopath, pure and simple.
      That she has any social and or political power in America today says a lot about this country.

        1. ambrit

          Yes! I see it now!
          Hillary and Lynn are playing a Yin and Yang political strategy. While one turns to “The Dark Side,” the other turns to “The Light Side.”
          It’s ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’ in a political form. [Few will notice that they both are “cops.”]

    5. Eureka Springs

      The insanity just keeps accelerating. How the head banging on sidewalk and knee to his side didn’t kill him, I don’t know.
      34 seconds:
      Arkansas deputies seen on camera beating up person.

        1. LifelongLib

          There were stats linked here on NC a while ago showing that in the southern U.S. the racial breakdown of people shot by the police matches that of the overall population there. Maybe police in the South are less racist than elsewhere in the U.S. Or maybe race is a red herring and something else is going on. IIRC it was suggested that people in high-crime neighborhoods encounter the police more often and are thus are more likely to be victims when an encounter goes wrong.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        But did ya notice how little attention was paid to that incidence of cop brutality?
        White homeless victim didn’t even rate a “protest” riot.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It’s time for a very harsh saying to force some thought about cross-racial citizen solidarity.

          ” Either White homeless lives matter . . . or Black lives don’t.”

          1. JBird4049

            I see it as this:

            1) there is racism and being black, especially if male, sometimes means getting dead while black, often for breathing too hard.

            2) there is classism and being poor, especially if male, sometimes means getting dead while poor, often for breathing too hard.

            3) there are the police, who far too often decide to become kapos, and being human, especially if black or male or poor, sometimes means getting murdered by them while human, often for breathing too hard.

            4) the police will often happily use robbery, blackmail, brutality, and murder on almost anyone not of the approved elite classes. Yes, there are plenty of exceptions and it varies (a lot) between departments, but it’s pervasive.

            5) there are those people who want more money, more power, more prestige, more something and use pointing out #1 while either ignoring or even denying numbers 2,3, and 4 as a tool.

            6) Political parties, NGOs, lobbyists, the Black Misleadership Class, the media especially the “news” all do this. If nothing else, for ratings, donations, and votes.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              We need a word for what items # 3, 4, 5, and 6 all work closely together to protect and support and apply.

              Maybe the “iron cubangle” ( in the spirit of the “iron triangle”).

              Maybe the Iron Cubangle of Blue Privilege.

              Maybe just . . . Blue Privilege.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                I realized there is already a word for close-enough to “cubangle”. That word is “rectangle”.

                So . . . the Iron Rectangle.

      2. jax

        Eureka Springs, except for the 2015 South Carolina cop who shot a running 55-year-old Walter Scott in the back, this incident is as bad as it gets. Fortunately, “according to NBC News, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division alongside the U.S. Attorney General’s office is running its own investigation into the violent incident.”

  5. SocalJimObjects

    Pretty soon the UK will issue a call to arms to the Commonwealth countries : please send us all of your oil reserves, or really whatever you can, we are freezing here!!! For Queen and Country or whatever. Karma is really a b****.

    1. JohnA

      Well Liz Truss has expressed her willingess, if elected PM, to use nuclear weapons. Maybe her best bet would be to drop one on London to solve the heating cost inflation problem and do the rest of the world a favour.

    2. GramSci

      Yes, Britain has clearly become Louisiana, but was it fair of Haque to say that Weimar Germany “lived on spite”? Correct me if i’m wrong, but my recollection is that was the subsequent regime.

      1. ambrit

        Having lived in Louisiana for years, I’ll quibble with you about your contention and suggest that a much better comparison with Britain today would be Washington, the District of Colombia. Or any other big city in North America.
        Comparisons of today’s socio-political climate with Frank Herbert’s book “The Dosadi Experiment” come to mind.

        1. GramSci

          I was looking for a picture of poverty, and from my current perch in Outer Pentagonia I don’t see the poverty that was apparent in DC during my last sojourn here twenty-five years ago. No doubt it’s still here, but I haven’t ventured very far into the belly of the beast since my recent rearrival.

          1. ambrit

            Undoubtedly a wise decision.
            Also, there are many sorts of ‘poverty.’ Such as a poverty of imagination, or a poverty of empathy. Etc., etc.
            Be extra safe there.
            If the Ukie balloon goes up, head on out to the Shenandoah Valley right quick!

      2. Sardonia

        “Yes, Britain has clearly become Louisiana”

        Except in Britain they speak “The King’s Creole”

        1. ambrit

          Is Elvis still that popular in Fulham?
          Who will do our film adaptation of “A Stone for Boris Johnson?”

      1. Alex Cox

        The author of the ruin of England piece blames austerity on the Tories.

        Nice try. Austerity was the official policy of Blair’s New Labour successor Gordon Brown. It would be the policy of Herr Sturmer, too, were his version of New Labour to be elected to government. But there is no chance of that.

    3. Kouros

      And Ireland hopefully will respond showing the middle finger! As befitted. Because the “social collapse” as fostered by the UK government on its population is based on the same approach as employed during the Irish Potato Famine.

      Ireland has yet to reach the same population levels as prior to the Potato Famine…

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Adventurous Couple Travels the World With Their Three Cats”

    I think that a mistake has been made with that headline. I think that it should read-

    ‘Three Adventurous Cats Travels the World With Their Human Support Staff’

    1. ambrit

      I beg to differ. This is exactly how said felines would hide their superior status, for personal protection, of course. Think of the cats as being the “Power Behind the Litter Box.”

  7. jr

    A few questions about the student debt article from Heisenberg. Doesn’t this assume that everyone with that debt will be able to repay it? Here are some articles:

    “Approximately 7.2 million borrowers have student loans that are in default. Warren and her colleagues write that 50% of federal student loan borrowers are at increased risk of student loan delinquency. This news also comes amid a new survey showing that 37% of student loan borrowers said they were “not at all confident” about their ability to make student loan payments when the student loan payment restart.”

    “With 45 million borrowers owing it a total of $1.6 trillion, the federal Education Department is effectively America’s largest consumer bank. And like any bank, it sees some of its loans go bad when borrowers can’t pay.”

    So it seems like over 1 in 6 borrowers are in deep trouble and more are on the brink. If we do slip into a recession, if we aren’t there already, of course that number will explode.

    Secondly, let’s say that all borrowers are willing and able to repay their debts in a timely manner. What is the cost to the economy of having that much money taken out of, genuflects, consumers hands? Here’s are some articles laying out the costs:

    “Student loans now account for more than 40% of outstanding consumer debt in the U.S., outpacing the amounts owed on motor vehicle loans, for example, by more than $477 billion.”

    “The Education Department projected that student loans would generate $114 billion in income over the last 25 years. However, a new report shows that federal student loans have actually cost the government $197 billion, a $311 billion difference.”

    Final note: I don’t trust jack $hit coming out of Penn Wharton.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      If the Republicans were smart, they would pass a law to make student debt dischargeable in BK and watch Joe Biden veto it.

      1. Mikel

        This! Ultimate brilliance, but there is where you see how much of a back scratching duopoly exists in D.C.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Someone should write that suggestion to various levels of Republican political offices, worded exactly that way.

        Pass the law, Biden will veto it, run against Biden on that veto.

        ( But that would require a Republican majority House with every Republican House member exactly understanding and supporting the strategy behind that gambit. And there is every chance the Democratic Majority Senate, if there is one, would refuse to pass it anyway, because they know Biden would veto it and they wouldn’t want Biden to look bad just before the next General election.)

  8. Ignacio

    RE: The west’s false narrative about Russia and China Jeffrey Sachs (Charles S)

    Nice to see Sachs doing this critique to West security and international policy narratives. I bet the reaction to this will be silence. So far i didn’t find any reaction by qwant search.

    1. pjay

      Sachs keeps making these remarkable statements challenging Establishment narratives. One would almost think he is trying to do penance for his contribution to 1990s neoliberal chaos, though I’ve never heard him express regret about that. Nevertheless, it’s always good to hear truth from those with a public profile. The mainstream will certainly ignore him; if that doesn’t work, they’ll throw him into the “loony conspiracy theorist/Putin puppet” pile.

    2. Susan the Other

      Jeffrey Sachs has been doing lots of good analysis lately. I do think he had a big epiphany after the Russian debacle. He cleared his head and came back much better than before. Whenever his name pops up I always read him.

  9. jr

    Sociopath of the Day multi-winner “Dr.” Leanna Wen is in the news:

    “Through her platform on news outlets and social media, Dr. Wen has promoted unscientific, unsafe, ableist, fatphobic, and unethical practices during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the petition says. “For instance, in a recent article, Dr. Wen suggested that infection should be accepted as a ‘new normal.’ In another article, she writes about how learning loss is a threat to children from parents who want to keep their kids safe; despite the fact that as of 8/6/2022, 1,376 children have died from COVID-19 infection. In yet another article, she advocated for ‘hot vax spring,’ suggesting—while still in an omicron surge—that municipalities lift all protections except vaccination. Her recommendations also included the unscientific and nonsensical suggestion of designating a section of planes to wearing masks in response to an airborne pathogen.”

    I don’t know about the “fat phobic” bit but the rest of the points seem to land. Here’s how Wen has responded to critics:

    “Dr. Wen’s statements are “antagonistic to and diminish the hard work of APHA members and colleagues who have had to deal with the fallout of her messaging, some of whom have experienced compounded harm from being disabled and/or immunocompromised,” the statement continues. “Indeed, instead of listening to those most at-risk and most harmed by her words, Dr. Wen has famously blocked disabled activists and public health experts on social media.

    Feigl-Ding gets a mention.

  10. alfia

    Re: Britain Is Rewriting the Rules of Social Collapse – the collapse is not due to UK electing Tory government in 2000s and not due to Brexit (these are the consequences), the collapse is the consequence of Thatcher reforms started in 1980s and the blaze governance of Labour in late 1990s and 2000s

    1. The Rev Kev

      Had the same thought but which you outlined better than I. My comment was ‘This was quite an interesting article listing what is happening in the UK at the moment but then Umair Haque has the idea that everything was caused by Brexit and everything from this followed. Not buying that for a moment as the Brexit vote was only about six years ago. What he is describing are deep structural problems and you do not get them in that short a time span. More likely Brexit revealed all those structural problems. I would suggest that the origins date further back to about 1979. It was then that Margaret Thatcher was elected and who proceeded to commence a wave of neoliberalism that is still playing out to this day. The trained and experienced civil service have been crushed in favour of fly-by-night contractors and much of the country has been de-industrialized. If you did not live in London then it was tough luck for you as the central government would consider which regions to let go to rack and ruin. With the basis of community heavily undercut and people atomized, it was no wonder that Brexit could be sold. So no, Brexit was not the cause. It was a symptom.’

      1. Old Sovietologist

        Britain Is Rewriting the Rules of Social Collapse – Its a childlike piece.

        It could only be written by a pro-European liberal/social democrat who has seen his world come crashing down.

        “Europeans will feel (rightly) smug, for being abused by their former friends” No, I think they’ll have more pressing issues to worry about.

        As Rev Ken rightly points out the UK’s deep seated structural issues go back to 1979 and to be fair probably before that.

        1. Old Sovietologist

          Umair Haque said he had heard about fuel and food shortages on the news and hadn’t quite believed it, but asked a friend in London if it was really as bad as it had been portrayed. Mind you that doesn’t have the same pizzazz for the audience that he writes for.

          She told him: “It is that bad. I couldn’t get gas or milk today.”

          Writing on the website, Haque asked: “What kind of country is that? A failing state.”

          Of course it was made up tale and he’s a good weaver of a tale. I have never had a problem getting milk nor has anyone I know.

          Now if he had said

          I called my friend in London and she told me she couldn’t get hold of her speciality pasta from Waitrose. Then he would be right, as I had the same problem.

          Mind you that wouldn’t have the same pizzazz.

            1. Polar Socialist

              Tales must have more logic than that sentence has. It’s pure propaganda, devoid of reason.

            2. hunkerdown

              He’s right, in the sense of “democracy” as a theater for middle-class moral entrepreneurship. Personally, I’ll be happy to see that ideology and its instances gone. All of them.

              1. orlbucfan

                When is the Russian Federation going to knock Ukraine out and force them to the peace table?? Otherwise, all this media noize is a bunch of b(family blog).

            3. Mr.Jenkins

              Russia is attacking the Western Banking Cartel, patents and trademarks, the ability of OUR empire to extract minerals and human resources worldwide and on top of that, they are successfully practicing and promoting autarky, what a bad example!

              The opposite of war is peace. Peace in Ukraine would save lives. The U.S. wants dead Ukranians for financial gain. The Liberal World Order has convinced the EU to commit energy, industrial and social suicide.
              Funny how the Britain is Rewriting the Rules of Social Collapse never mentions “Sanctions” on oil and gas, which drive up prices, even once?

              I am rootin’ for Putin. The sooner he wins, the better off everyone, except U.S. weapons makers will be.

          1. Stephen

            I agree. Not sure which shops his friends visit. Not seen these issues in south west London either.

            The only systematic shortage issue seems it be a notice in Waitrose asking people not to buy more than two bottles of Sunflower Oil. But the oil is there. Have not tried to buy speciality pasta though!

            Not saying all is rosy either and there is definitely food price inflation but the supply chains are intact. Or so it seems.

            1. Colonel Smithers

              Thank you, Stephen.

              My local Waitrose is experiencing a shortage of staff and refrigeration issues. The latter is taking time to resolve due to the shortage of parts and engineers.

              The local lawn mower repairer, an elderly guy who can’t find a replacement, complains of the cost and time of getting parts, mainly from Germany.

              1. ambrit

                Thank you Colonel.
                Tell your small engine mechanic to consider how much harder it is for an American to get replacement parts for an American vehicle, said parts all manufactured in China. (I have been waiting two months now for an under One Hundred dollar part for the Chrysler. So far, no word on the availability of the part, much less a shipping date.)
                Welcome to the New World Order Queue.
                Stay safe!

                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  I can imagine a “niche market” opening up of small fabrication workshops making “American” parts for American cars to cut China out of the picture for those particular parts.

                  Would enough American car owners pay an American price for American parts for American cars made in America by Americans to allow such after-market parts-fabrication businesses to come into existence and stay in existence?

              2. Stephen

                Agree on labour shortages.

                Come to think of it too, the local Waitrose here in Surrey does have a freezer cabinet that is not working. To be honest, I was not sure if that was parts problems or just part of the endemic decline of Waitrose / John Lewis.

                Neither the local store nor the John Lewis in Kingston has looked particularly well kept for a while. I spent part of the 90s at another iconic UK retailer and lament the decline in the overall appearance of trading floors these days!

            2. Revenant

              As a genuine report on the stock outs at Waitrose, the following have vanished without comment:
              – waitrose own brand olive oil in 1l bottles
              – Waitrose own brand clear lemonade (the only lemonade line they stock made with sugar, not foul metallic sweetener)
              – pitta bread: seemingly cancelled for geopolitics, replaced without explanation by Greek flat breads and we have always been at war with Eastasia
              – a rotating medley of herbs and organic fruit and vegetables (which are all much shrunken by the heat this season)
              – organic meat: steak arrives in the cut they have, not what you ordered; bacon comes from whoever delivers

              It’s not a tough life but by god it is getting expensive. Come the end of the school holidays when drear routine returns, we plan to reinstate the weekly delivery but from Sainsbury’s. There was a recent comparison showing the Waitrose is nearly twice the price of a basket from Aldi or Lidl. Sainsbury’s was in the middle.

              As another example of BoBo austerity, we’ve had the Aga turned off (since we went to France for three weeks) and are cooking in the microwave or on the verandah on the plancha I impulse bought after falling in love with the one at the villa. I am doing my bit for the LNG industry with my Calor gas bottle!

              We are seriously thinking about not turning the heating on in the house and making do this winter with the Aga and a woodburner (if we get the chimney repaired) and hotwater bottles…. We have plenty of wood up at the farm….

          2. Revenant

            Precisely. There was a terrible moment at the start of the pandemic when I dropped the capers in salt and we lived through long months when there were only capers in brine at Waitrose. Lockdown was terrible!

            I would not describe Umair Haque as important, more hysterical. Britain has had a political class of spivs and fools since Wilson’s government fell. The good things in the 70’s and 80’s all came from the 60’s: AGR nuclear power stations, Concorde, the advanced passenger train and Intercity 125’s, north sea oil and gas, meaningful state benefits, various pieces of equality and liberty legislation. Umair Haque only just noticed the wheels fell off because he lives in a PMC bubble of the highest order and he cannot get a cleaner.

            I don’t think Beexit is a symptom of this slow collapse either. It was a rationale do or die gamble by the non-PMC class. Nothing was going to change otherwise. And now, like the French Revolution, it is too early to tell. :-)

      2. JohnA

        Thatcher’s election coincided with the North Sea oil bounty, which she squandered on mega tax cuts, policing, further liberalising the City and finance sector, and to destroy unions. Now that oil money is gone without any lasting legacy unlike Norway with its sovereign fund and big infrastructure modernisation spending. Plus all the silver has been sold off in waves of privatisation. Truss and Sunak simply argue about how much each of them is going to slash taxes and further bash unions/the underprivileged/immigrants, if elected PM. Reality has totally gone out of the window in Britain and Brexit was the last thrashing tail of a terminally wounded beast.

        1. digi_owl

          Careful. That fund is more a millstone than anything. Thanks to the oil fueled wage boom in he 80s, and the ongoing industry driven workforce imbalance (just about every newly minted engineer ends up working in the oil industry either directly or indirectly), politicians are reluctant to do anything more than the bare minimum.

          Those infrastructure projects were planned and “paid” (more like the commuting public will be paying for it via tolls for decades to come) as a response to the last oil bust, back when the Saudis started selling mass quantities to fund their bunch in Syria. Thank to the ongoing boom however, all future plans are either being reworked to reduce their scope or put on indefinite hold.

          And very little of it is being paid for by the oil fund, as the driving rule is that the fund’s contribution to the national budget is something like 2-3% of the expected profit. Only the populist right is really keen on using mass amounts of it, or perhaps just split it between all Norwegians as a one time payment.

        2. Questa Nota

          A century ago there was the country house downsizing and manor sell-off. Downton Abbey as an interwar echo of the genteel Edwardian Age. Hard to maintain even a shabby lifestyle or bring in a crop when support staff like Tommy This, Tommy That and their fellow workers got slaughtered at the Somme and other places. Lions led by donkeys and all that.
          More recently the city houses have been sold off.
          What will be left to sell? Break the entail?

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you.

            Two such entails were broken in my home county and the estates sold to Russian oligarchs in the mid teens. As these have been made unwelcome, it’s not clear to whom the UK can sell.

            London town houses are being targeted by US investors.

        3. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, John.

          Further to the bounty from the North Sea, unfortunately, Wedgie Benn, Labour’s energy minister, set the royalties comparatively lower than other producers / exporters, so the UK did not make as much as it could have done, if only to fritter it away.

          Do you remember British Leyland boss Michael Edwardes suggesting that the oil and gas be put back into the North Sea if it’s not going to be managed and used properly. To his dying day, he was scathing about the Thatcher government.

          1. digi_owl

            Nice idea. I suspect many an industrial leader in Norway would love to do a similar thing, as their products became a hard sell abroad after the oil drove up the value of the NOK.

      3. Stephen

        There’s a lot of blaming Thatcher.

        But I remember the late 70s. Things were in a mega mess. We had a Winter of Discontent in 1979 and hyper inflation. The unions were more powerful than was optimal and the country was falling apart. Bins were not emptied and the dead were not buried. It was not a golden age. The slogan “Labour is not working” reflected reality.

        Not saying then that Thatcher was some form of angel either. I left secondary school in 1984 and the prime driver for staying on beyond 16 and then heading to Oxford was quite simply that there were no jobs. The only available ones were on the YTS scheme paying £25 per week. My next door neighbour managed to beat over 200 others to win one of just two proper apprenticeships available at a particular engineering company in that year. We all grew up fearing that we might never work. Seriously. Even in Essex, which was relatively prosperous.

        So I have no deep love for the 80s Conservative governments, just that the available alternative was actually worse. But to trace the UK’s current issues fully to Thatcher is also simplistic. She was as much a consequence as a cause. The corporatist state that had been created since the 1940s had pretty much broken down by 1979 and Thatcher simply confirmed it.

        What we can question is the whole trend of the past 40+ years for the UK to become more and more dependent on pure financial capitalism. That did start in the 80s, was a broader trend though than just in the UK (Reagan plus the EU) and very much continued or even accelerated under Blair.

        Many of the changes to the civil service and even NHS, for example, happened very intensively under Labour in the late 90s and early 00s. I saw much of it at first hand. The public sector became a feeding feast for the private sector much more at that time than earlier. If we look at the private sector, we still had significant industry at the end of the Thatcher era. My first job was at a company that made mass market clothing and fabric in the UK even! That was in 1989. Much of the hollowing out of the economy post dates Thatcher.

        Our current issues have a lot of complex causes that go beyond any specific government and can be traced back as far as 1945 and even earlier. At root, I believe that the UK’s failure to find a role is important. We have allowed our manufacturing industry to be run down, companies sold off and policies have then favoured financial capitalism and “services”. We have convinced ourselves that this is in line with comparative advantage but there has been no top down strategic thinking as to how much of this makes long term sense and what capabilities are needed in the economy and society. We pioneered nuclear power, for example, but now we seem to need France and China to build new power stations such as at Hinkley Point. But then our government elites pretend that they can still act as a Great Power. It is totally not joined up.

        Brexit, by the way, was an anti establishment rebellion. It should really be seen in that light. A way for many people to punch back. Rightly or wrongly.

        1. digi_owl

          One of Curtis’ oldest documentaries, part of his Pandora’s Box series, claims the situation of the 70s came about partially from a political reluctance to devalue the pound as part of an engineered boom.

          He also mentions in passing how during the same time the regulation on consumer credit was loosened (demonstrated by a TV ad of a young lady out shopping using only a VISA card tucked into her bikini bottom).

          So yeah, the situation predated Thatcher. But her monetarist policies etc didn’t exactly improve matters.

        2. alfia

          I agree that blaming Thatcher reforms was too simplistic. Not sure whether current UK government is capable of finding a way out of this mess

        3. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Stephen.


          It’s not just France and China and energy. Saudi Arabia was also courted by Cameron to build new power stations.

          In the early teens, China approached Cameron about buying the M40 motorway and converting it into a continental style toll road. Cameron said he was not opposed, but to wait until after the election in 2015 as the politics would be a difficult sell.

        4. JohnA

          The so-called Winter of Discontent was hugely exaggerated by the right wing media ever anxious to smear a Labour government and print lies, as seen more recently the campaign against Corbyn. And with 1979 fading a long way back in the rear view mirror, it is easy for the media to maintain these lies. And with all due respect Stephen, you would have been about 13 in 1979 if you left school in 1984 as you say.

          1. begob

            Certainly not old enough to own a house, work a job, and build an index-linked pension. Those who lived through that in the ’70s tend to be rolling in it today.

          2. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, John.

            You’re right about the exaggeration.

            Although the Baghdad brothers, Charles and Maurice, are famous for the Britain is not working poster, along with Tim Bell and others, they were liaising with the media to push these stories and narratives.

            A few days ago, the BBC rounded up some former industrial / labour correspondents to discuss whether the UK was returning to the 1970s. The same images and sound bites were broadcast, no doubt to associate current union leaders with their predecessors.

          3. Stephen

            I was 11 in 1979 but I well remember the bins not being emptied and the fire brigade being on strike. The firemen were then on a picket line with a brazier not far from my house on the way to school. Was very clear even at my age then that things were far from brilliant I am afraid.

            Then we had the spectacle of Jim Callaghan in the Bahamas I think it was on the beach with Jimmy Carter at a summit. He really did say “Crisis, what crisis”.

            I also remember our family having candles a couple of years before that and we did have power outages.

            These are all my memories from the time. Not from later readings of history.

            Not claiming by the way that the scenes around collieries in 1984-5 were a major improvement.

        5. Altandmain

          Thatcher deserves the blame though.

          She inherited a nation that was in rapid decline and then undertook a series of reforms that made things much worse. The UK doesn’t have the manufacturing industry that nations like Germany have (or currently has anyways, they may lose it due to this crisis). Instead she encouraged financialization and austerity. This would result in a series of financial bubbles, and ultimately set the stage for long term decline.

          If anything, she doesn’t get enough blame for the direction she took the UK. That’s largely because of the right wing media and the Blair part of the Labour Party.

          I’d go as far as to say, Thatcher could easily be nominated for worst Prime Minister of the UK ever.

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you.

            You may well be right. I think so.

            Thatcher famously avoided wartime service, say in the forces or as a land girl, unlike HM, and married a rich businessman. She had little idea of the complexities of life and the need for solidarity.

          2. David

            Oddly enough, I blame Jim Callaghan, and for two things. One was saying “you can”t spend your way out of trouble”, at which point I knew the end was approaching, because of course that’s exactly what you do have to do to get out of trouble. The other was not calling an election in October 1978, when the economy was starting to get better, before the semi-mythical “Winter of Discontent.” He might have won, and would at worst have confined Thatcher to a hung parliament or a tiny minority. She wouldn’t have lasted long. Imagine a Labour government with North Sea Oil revenues to spend ….

        6. ArvidMartensen

          Brexit was not so much of an anti establishment rebellion, as a managed PR campaign to enable looting of public utilities and to get rid of civilising EU laws around labour practices and other inconsequential things.
          Certainly the anti-establishment rebellion in one neck of the UK woods consisted of elderly people thinking Brexit would get rid of the “gypsies” who were apparently stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down (in their eyes).
          But whose money bankrolled the PR I I ask. Perhaps the best way to answer this is to see who are making out like bandits now (the hedge funds taking over the NHS? for example Care UK).
          Like almost everything, it was all about the money and the voting public were just deer in the headlights of a monolithic PR campaign using every bias and fear they could muster to stampede the deer into voting for Brexit.

  11. jr

    Some opposing views on the state of the humanities:

    “A growing number of humanities scholars are drifting away from what were once considered professional obligations. The result: editors and departments, more and more, are forced to turn repeatedly to the same reviewers if they want a timely evaluation.”


    “I was dismayed to read Steven Mintz’s Inside Higher Ed July 18 blog post, in which he argued that “[a] growing number of humanities scholars are drifting away from what were once considered professional obligations.”


    “The current struggle to fulfill obligations to the profession is not about lack of interest or will. It is about precarity, desperation, and exhaustion.”

    I wonder how much of that precarity is due to paying off student loans for their bachelors degrees…

    1. nycTerrierist

      recovering academic (moi): that second link is spot on

      cathartic to read, tho its been years since I was in the trenches

      1. nycTerrierist

        On a recent Jimmy Dore, Stef Zamarano, veteran high school English teacher,
        (with a grin): ‘It sucked all the good will out of me. Now I’m barren!’

        Same here, and I taught mostly grad students

  12. Henry Moon Pie

    Enough metal?–

    Well and succinctly put:

    THE PAST – “An industrial ecosystem of unprecedented size and complexity, that took more than a century to build with the support of the highest calorifically dense source of cheap energy the world has ever known (oil) in abundant quantities, with easily available credit, and unlimited mineral resources.” (Michaux)

    THE PRESENT – “We now seek to build an even more complex system with very expensive energy, a fragile finance system saturated in debt, not enough minerals, with an unprecedented number of the human population, embedded in a deteriorating environment.” (Michaux)

    Anyone telling you that Western consumer society can continue as it has been is lying to you. This article focused only on how much metal of various types that we know to exist and comes to the conclusion that reserves for some critical metals come nowhere close to meeting the requirements of converting our society to a high consumption/low carbon emitting society He doesn’t even go into how mining all those metals, by necessity powered by fossil fuels, will put us far above the carbon emissions allowed even if we concede 1.5 degrees C and adopt 2 degrees as our limit. And remember that such a concession is not a “no big deal.” We’re only at 1.2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels now, and we’re beset with droughts, intolerable heat waves and Delugean downpours. Maybe we can adapt to 1.5 and retain some level of civilization, but 2 degress?

    Modern consumer society will cease to exist. The planet couldn’t support it for long back when we were 3 billion. It can’t support it even for another 10 years now that we’ve passed 7 billion. The question is how will we adapt to this new realization? Will The Market decide, pricing some out of being able to survive while others jet to Tuscany and “explore” what’s left of the wilderness in their Land Rovers? That’s what is happening in Britain right now as Haque reports. That works until the social order breaks down so completely that it is no longer whoever has the biggest bank account who wins but the one who controls the most firepower as those billionaires who consulted Doug Rushkoff about bug-out strategies realized.

    Sadly, I don’t believe that there is any trusted authority left who can come before people in the U. S. or elsewhere and deliver the news that our credit- and fossil-fueled Tomorrowland is coming to an end. Instead, it is likely that all the WEIRD countries will follow the path of Britain, whose irresponsible behavior in international politics is exceeded only by its callous disregard for the basic needs of its own people.

    1. digi_owl

      I can’t help wonder if all this was known to those at the top all the way back in the 60s.

      Oliver Stone mentioned a curious quote from LBJ about how “they want to come and take what we have”, that Stone interpret to be about the third world taking away the US consumer lifestyle.

      So at the one hand the limits of resources were already known, but at the other the carrot of developing such a lifestyle was used as a counter against communism during the cold war.

      In other words, they were making promises they knew the planet could not sustain.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        We know Donella Meadows gave everyone a persuasive heads-up in 1972, so there’s been plenty of time for elites to lead things toward adaptation, but they obviously chose not to.

        I think part of it is that ruling elites have a very difficult time imagining how a society can hold together without the hamster game of work, debt and consumption. One of the things constricting their imagination is the fact that a different system, one less reliant on the radical individualism that seeks to justify outrageous levels of inequality, would eliminate much of their power and privilege.

        But by now it should be obvious to even the most psychopathic and parasitic of our elites that as they make the hamster game harder and harder, that radical individualism twists itself into Free-Dumb to such an extent that society becomes ungovernable.

        1. digi_owl

          Much of that problem may stem from it being the case for most of humanity.

          After all, the only people that didn’t work (the land) to survive were kings and emperors.

          Religion’s old chestnut was about an eternity of leisure in the afterlife if one just bent ones back and worked for the king and church in the here and now.

          So in a sense not working is fundamentally heretical, unless you wore the crown.

          1. Kouros

            Surface Detail of late Iain M Banks gives a glimpse of future virtual hells crated to maintain the hierarchy…

      2. jsn

        The Club of Rome published “The Limits of Growth” in 1973.

        It was funded by industrialists. They’ve been acting profitably on this information since they got it. The inherent short term interest of capitalism has always made it a death cult and everyone who sees capitalism as an organizing principal for an economy is buying into this cult. The death cult has recently become a totalitarian one in the West as the US attempts to make it’s surveillance capitalism a universal system.

        Capitalism may have a place in a sustainable future, but only as a carefully controlled, constrained system for fostering technological competition contained within pro-social, pro-ecological governing structures. We’ve probably moved beyond that possibility already.

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        When you look at the actions of the Western colonial nations you can see that their intent is to keep the poor countries poor so that they won’t be able to have the high consumption lifestyles of the West. The elites know that there isn’t enough to go around, and they are hoarding what is available. Drilling down a bit one sees that in individual nations in the West the wealthy keep the poor poor so that they too won’t be able to compete for what the wealthy have. It is truly dog eat dog at every level of society. Propaganda is used to make the poor (and increasingly the middle class) think that they too can live the high life if only they get the right credentials and work hard enough. Because it is a zero sum game the wealthy won’t actually allow the poor and middle class to impinge on their lifestyles, but they certainly try to convince them that it is in reach provided…

    2. Mikerw0

      It goes further than that. The recent “transition” to things like EVs was happening because the price of key metal and commodities had fallen for over a decade. Now they are rising. As that happens the math no longer works.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I’ve got a lot of respect for that Simon Michaux in this really great article. Looks at what they say they want to do, works out how much is available, and then lets the mathematics show that it is just not going to happen. Which means that this movement to replace is just one big scam that will not only suck up precious resources, but it will suck up the time that we need to do something really serious. By the time this fiasco is over, we had better be investing in more horses.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        The dream will live on nonetheless. There are asteroids out there to be mined. Who knows what mineral treasures exist on the moon. Or Mars. Let’s not forget there is vast untapped potential in Africa, Afghanistan, and perhaps North Korea as well. Never underestimate the drive of capitalists for increased profits.

      2. Revenant

        Hmm. The article did not link to the paper but I wonder about the assumptions. A great deal of the metal demand seemed to be for batteries but there are other ways or storing energy, e.g. iron sulphur or lead sulphur batteries, vanadium flow batteries, compressed air, various thermal technologies. Fancy lithium ion batteries and hydrogen are the charismatic megafauna of energy storage. We need ants, not pandas!

    4. ArvidMartensen

      If there is one thing I have learned via Covid, it is how easily people can be made to ignore the evidence of their own eyes by well-funded, manipulative PR. Concern about Covid is sooo 2020.
      For global warming, business is doing what business does, turning the end of the world into a get-rich-quick scheme for looters and parasites. Using huge PR campaigns with both sticks and carrots (frightening people about the end of the world while making ownership of solar panels and EVs status symbols of higher morality and intelligence)

      The scrabbling rich have created a bubble of calming delusion for the population around keeping the warming to 1 degree C (maybe now 1.5 degrees). It’s all ok now, we have targets for 2030, 2040, 2045, 2050. Let’s call up UberEats and get a pizza and watch Stranger Things.

      Meanwhile those who work on the actual data from actual scientists are suffering from profound grief at the extinction of creatures that are miracles in themselves, and the realisation that we are heading the same way.

  13. Bugs

    This is big if true:

    Supercharging tweak could fill electric car batteries 90% in 10 mins (New Scientist, paywalled)

    “Eric Dufek at the Idaho National Laboratory and his colleagues deployed artificially intelligent algorithms to look at how changing factors such as current and voltage impacts battery ageing over time. “You can do things like ramping voltage, or sequentially decreasing what the voltage or current looks like,” says Dufek.

    Using computer models and verifying the results on actual batteries, the team came up with a new charging protocol that can charge a standard electric vehicle battery from zero to 90 per cent in 10 minutes, while protecting the battery’s long-term health.”

    1. John

      What powers the mining of the metals required to make the batteries? What powers the construction of the recharging stations? What is the source of the electricity supplied by the recharging stations? Just a guess: oil, natural gas, coal, and hydro power, if there is any water to turn the turbines. Now maybe this charging protocol is the answer to all our problems and the consumer society can hum merrily along. I have my doubts.

        1. digi_owl

          Nothing is really sustainable once one apply some basic physics.

          After all, thermodynamics sets a hard limit on how efficient any process can be.

          That said, it is likely we can improve a fair bit more from the present state. The major problem then become Jevons old paradox, whereby once efficiency improves new uses for the resources are found.

  14. John Beech

    Maybe it’s due to being a businessman, meaning a mind largely oriented toward seeking opportunity, but I wonder this . . . are kangaroos good eating? I know some view them as cute but so are baby cows. Lambs, even more so. And rabbits are kept as pets. Yet calves liver is a delicacy, so why not ‘roo steak?

    As idle pre-breakfast thought.

    1. Marcus from Minnesota

      There is a market for ‘roo meat but it’s too lean and not very tasty judging by my lone experience of a kangaroo brat. They’re like deer, living on the edges of human communities and trying to fit in. Many, many dead by the side of the road and the drivers blame the ‘roos for being stupid.

      1. Questa Nota

        Venison is lean, so bacon often plays a supporting role.

        New marketing campaigns for ‘roo:
        Everything but and the hop
        Put some spring in your shoes
        Lose your pouch, eat more ‘roo

        I’m here all week. Try the veal ‘roo. Tip your waiter.

    2. Bruno

      “A kangaroo can jump incredible,
      He has to jump, because he’s edible.
      I wouldn’t eat a kangaroo,
      But many fine Australians do.
      Those with rifles and those with boomerangs,
      Prefer him in tasty kangaroo-meringues.” (Camille Saint-Saens, via Ogden Nash)

      1. ArvidMartensen

        My partner once brought home two kangaroo steaks from some up-scale butcher when the kids were small.
        When the kids( around 10 and 7) asked why the meat on one plate was different, I said it was kangaroo. Oh the anguish! Not one of the cute, furry kangaroos and joeys we go to see!!!!??
        So I wimped out and said I was joking. First and last time we ever had kangaroo meat in the house.

    3. Yves Smith Post author

      A place I’d go by on Saturdays to a standing appointment (the mall over the Edgecliff train station) was a little shop with nice fresh meats, some fish, and upscale sausages. They’d often have samples of the sausages. They included emu and ‘roo, which told me they were both too lean for simple preparations but could be good in stews and maybe even schnitzel.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Australia is reckoned to be the only country in the world that eats the animals on its coat of arms – the Kangaroo and the Emu. Yum, yum, yum.

    5. Wukchumni

      There were rumors that McDonalds used kangaroo meat for their ‘Big Jacks’ but it turned out to be a apocketryphal tale.

      1. Wukchumni

        Turns out roos were @ Jacks in the Box, which was once owned by Ralston Purina-a pet food manufacturer.

        In 1981, horse meat labeled as beef was discovered at a Foodmaker plant that supplied hamburger and taco meat to Jack in the Box. The meat was originally from Profreeze of Australia, and during their checks on location, the food inspectors discovered other shipments destined for the United States which included kangaroo meat.

    6. Revenant

      Used to be sold in UK supermarkets in the early 90’s as part of an exotic meat promotion. Along with ostrich and crocodile. Ostrich and kangaroo both quite gamey and a bit tough. Never tried the tastes-like-chicken in case it was yet another aquatic animal I am allergic too!

    7. witters

      Down here in Tasmania my Nan would mince their tails and make rissoles. With bacon interspersed.

    8. shle

      Some years ago, ‘roo meat was marketed as australus here in Canada. Went nowhere.

      I had it a couple of times when I visited Oz. As others have noted, I found it tough and not especially flavourful.

  15. Wukchumni

    Flash Floods: What to Know and How to Stay Safe Wall Street Journal
    In the new climate change normal, huge cells will hover over an area such as Dallas-adjacent for a long time, dispensing booty that was most recently seen in the Rhein with lineage going back to when Jesus attempted to extinguish a burning bush but wasn’t up to the task, with constant recycling since in a group effort.

    Inevitably the deluges cause more consternation than delight (Tx was in a big drought before the onslaught) as we weren’t ready to harvest the new normal, a year’s worth of bounty causing property damage up the wazoo.

    How do we adjust to the differing times when precipitation is coming?

    I was camped @ Glen Aulin in Yosemite NP on the Tuolumne River when a monsoon slowly let loose one full day a fortnight ago, with the largess heading downstream to Hetch Hetchy and then onto Height Ashbury & environs, that’s simple.

    But what about the 1 1/2 inches that was wasted on Death Valley, there’s no way you could harvest that, and all it will do is put the whammy on roads, trails and whatnot, kind of a lose-lose deal, although i’m already dreaming of floral potential come the spring with the ground being soaked so.

    Here’s my idea:

    Construct vast underground heat bunkers that double as reservoirs if something liquid comes this way, with drainage to larger open air reservoirs.

    The first mass casualty extreme heat event won’t be from the temps, but electricity failing.

    1. The Rev Kev

      What happens if the water does not come back? As in ever? Take a look at Las Vegas for example. If the water does not come back, how long until the desert takes it back? Ten years? Twenty years? I am thinking of the Las Vegas scene from one of the Resident Evil movies here- (3:01 mins)

      1. John

        What happens throughout the southwest if the water does not come back? In the 1940 census Nevada had a population of about 110,000; the USA was about 130 million. Draw your own conclusions.

      2. Wukchumni

        I tried to wager on the demise of sin city @ a weatherbook in Vegas, but the pit boss thought it not to be a sporting proposition and seemed a bit hurt that anybody would propose such a gamble-going all-out, and asked if I couldn’t bet on professional sports like everybody else, instead?

        LV would make for a boring ghost town, as nothing was built with any permanence in mind and it’d look like a trashy mess as you flew by on Interstate 15…

        Wall Of Voodoo – On Interstate 15

        1. digi_owl

          Now you got me thinking about perhaps the best first person Fallout game, set in and around the ruins of Las Vegas.

        2. Sardonia

          If Las Vegas dries up and becomes a ghost town, expect some fantastic YouTube videos from Wonderhussy.

  16. DJG, Reality Czar

    I believe that esteemed commenters and fashion plates, flora and fresno dan, have pointed out that there is something fishy about the Trump search–involving civil rights. Yes, those pesky fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments. And I’m a leftist who voted Green in the last three presidentials (required disclaimer these days).

    Trump is edging into Assange and Chelsea Manning territory.

    From the “Trump Defiance in Sharper Focus” article at The Hill:

    “The accepted viewpoint in the intelligence community is that every day that classified information remains in the wild, there’s an incrementally greater chance that it will be used by someone to hurt the United States,” he said. [[That is, one of the two Security State goodthinkers quoted repeatedly in the article.]]

    Hmmm. I seem to recall in disputes like this that the documents turn out to be all about yoga. It may be gutsy of me to recall that, but as a civil libertarian, I’m just darn gutsy.

    Let’s see: Trump versus FBI and CIA (the latter two specializing in spying on Martin Luther King and overthrowing elected governments). Mothra v Godzilla?

    And if Mothra’s civil rights have been violated?

    1. John

      Wasn’t there a President who said something about you are either with us or against us? Any connection to the Arizona republicans et al?

      1. ambrit

        Speaking of Arizonanz, don’t forget Barry Goldwater. After all, he bequeathed to America the Goldwater Girl.

        1. orlbucfan

          Lord gawd, am I sick of tRump and all the mindset garbage symbolized by him! I wish he would drop dead ASAP from being fat and eating junk food. In his case, the so-called junk food must be a very healthy diet.

          1. ambrit

            “From your lips to Musk’s ear.”
            “Then I heard a bell sound,”
            “And the Archangel Alexa opened the Third Door.”

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Finland was dismayed by Norway’s planned electricity regulation, which would raise prices even more – “A selfish act from Norway, which has become rich with peak prices”

    It seems the legend of Scandinavian unity is just that – a legend. I think that over the next few months that this will be typical. I mean having countries put their own interests first. In fact it is inevitable. And certainly that will be true of the EU. There may have been a trigger for Norway planning to reduce electricity exports though. About a week ago it came out that Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund returned a negative 14.4% this year ‘as stocks and bonds reacted violently to global recession fears and skyrocketing inflation’. And that means that Norway just lost $174 billion in the first half of this year. With this happening, it may have brought the Norwegian government up short and consider where their true interests lay-

    1. Wukchumni

      In a similar way to electricity, it isn’t as if St. George and such upriver of other users of the Colorado are going to meekly exclaim, ‘oh well, I guess our town is done for-they say we can’t have any more water, pack your bags and load the car’.

      In a video about a year ago, the Az water majordomo was relating that even in good years, the Colorado is so oversubscribed, they end up with something like 35% of it.

      1. Lee

        Reminds me of a tale a relative told me. He was a new hand on a Nevada ranch and he opened a sluice gate to water some cattle. When the owner arrived, he got most upset and ordered my cuz to close that sluice gate or they might get shot, or worse yet, sued.

        For more on western water wars in contemporary times see: The Milagro Beanfield War, a good book and a pretty good movie.

    2. OIFVet

      I mean having countries put their own interests first. In fact it is inevitable.

      I love your optimism, however it disregards just how captured some national elites are.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Well, the Finns are mostly complaining because this Norwegian move is against the market rules. Nobody knows how much it will raise prices in Sweden or Finland, so they really can’t bitch about that, yet.
        They think low water reservoirs are not a good enough reason to act against the markets. Where’s the fun in being a rich Swede if Norway gives the electricity to the Norwegian poor?

    3. digi_owl

      The unity is that of cousins.

      And in more recent times, it has been repeatedly tested by neoliberal free market doctrine.

      Also, unless i am completely off the major connection between Norway and Finland is up north. And the price hike and low hydro reserves are down south.

      That said, in typical government fashion there will be one rule written for the whole nation.

    4. Maxwell Johnston

      Agree completely with your comment, but at the risk of being pedantic: Finland is not Scandinavian. It is Nordic. Finns are ethnically and linguistically different from Swedes and Danes and Norwegians.

      And the Scandinavians don’t all like each other. My Swedish friends during my teenage years loved telling disparaging Norwegian jokes. Oh, and the Baltic trio aren’t all peas in a pod either. They’re totally different in terms of language and history, and frankly don’t really like each other. My long-ago Estonian colleagues had a joke: “To be Estonian or Lithuanian is to have a nationality, but to be a Latvian is to have a profession.”

      1. digi_owl

        Them jokes are often told similarly on both sides of the border, but with the butt of the joke flipped.

      2. Fran

        In my experience, people from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark see themselves as essentially the same people but they view Finland as completely foreign and can get offended when foreigners assume that Finland is part of their familial club.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Actually, culturally Finns belong to the same group as Scandinavians, even if linguistically and genetically they don’t. But then, so do the Karelians and most Russians in northern Russia.

          What unites the Nordic people though, is that Finns, Danish and Norwegians in general like to tell jokes about Swedes. Sure, each group has it’s own oddity: Danish drink beer all the time, Norwegians spent their whole life outdoors and Finns are silent and brooding and yet the Swedes are the butt of almost all jokes.

          Well, maybe except when an Icelander is present – they speak so funny everyone forgets the Swedes for a while.

  18. flora

    re: We are building a “species-level brain” with big data and ubiquitous sensors – BigThink

    “key takeaways
    >We are bad at math, poor at reasoning, poor at collecting data, limited in the amount of data we can handle, and unable to comprehend the complexity of the world we are in. Computers with sensors are perfect at math and can be flawless in their reasoning. >Imagine if the life experience of every person who lives from this moment forward were preserved forever, and that data were used to improve the lives of everyone to come. >Coupling massive processing power with sensors will create a species-level brain and memory. ”

    A couple of thoughts:
    1. This old business joke comes to mind: We lose a little money on everything we sell but make it up on margin. / ;)

    2. It’s alive! It’s Alive! /heh

    1. GramSci

      Is Big Think published by The Onion?? The last word is a direct quote from Lambert:

      “I believe this system to be a good thing, and I regard it to be inevitable. Besides, what could possibly go wrong?”

      Incredulous, I drilled down to another featured Big Think article subtitled “Understanding “why” may be the key to unlocking an AI’s imagination”. Find in page beneath the editor’s sub-head found only one mention of “why”:

      “Identifying a picture of an airplane is good; identifying why and how it’s a “flying machine” is much better.”

      “Why and how” is a very different question from “why”. But silly me, maybe I was expecting a consideration of Sartre?

    2. Polar Socialist

      Human “stupidity” beats artificial intelligence every time.

      Humans may not make the most optimal decision at any given time, but human brain can shift trough enormous amount of incomplete information without blinking an eye and reach a valid result in a blink of an eye.

      Algorithms are really good at math (when someone tells them how to use it), but they require high quality data to do that math thing to. It’s GIGO all the way down. There’s a whole discipline of computer science dedicated to the issue of how computers can’t survive broken data, or data that is not within boundaries, or is in wrong format, or causes an eternal loop.

      People are really good at processing data they have never come across before, because they do intuitive and effective pattern matching (and adjusting) way beyond the capabilities of any algorithm ever. Human brain has no halting problem.

      1. GramSci

        Current “deep think” AI is deemed valuable for coming up with a hypothesis that is not in the textbooks. If a human student were to do that, he would be failed.

      2. digi_owl

        Usually the sifting is done using best approximation and force of habit rather than proper logic though, something that can exploited by a practiced foe.

      3. Dave in Austin

        I once asked a computer researcher how the IBM chess program would do if we randomly rearranged both sides’ back row pieces and played a game. He answered: “It isn’t programmed for that”. I suggested that this was like a rat that was always trained on the same maze. He said: “But they are!”.

        Then we went back to the bar for another drink.

    1. GramSci

      Apparently based on a Bloomberg story from April:

      “The report doesn’t say the activity was illegal or even wrong. But the revelation could renew congressional and public debates over the power U.S. agencies have to collect and review intelligence information, especially data concerning individuals.”

      “could renew congressional and public debates” — very funny, as if that was going to happen and Edward Snowden would be forgiven.

  19. antidlc

    RE: Pfizer seeks authorization for new Covid booster, without fresh clinical data

    Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

  20. pjay

    Re “NY dems for the nat sec state…”

    Meanwhile upstate, CIA Democrat Matt Castelli easily won his primary in NY-21. Now it’s on to battle Elise Stefanik. Though Stefanik is marketed as a strong Trumper, her rapid rise in Congress has more to do with her friendliness to the MIC (she’s on both the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees). Stefanik will probably be victorious, but the National Security State will win either way. Yay democracy!

  21. Grumpy Engineer

    Is There Enough Metal to Replace Oil? The short answer: No, not even close!

    The CounterPunch article was an interesting read, and the seminar by Simon Michaux ( is fascinating. I’ve only skimmed over portions of it (as it’s over an hour long), but he appears to have done his homework. And I found the IEA report that was referenced:

    I was already skeptical of the “100% renewable” economy. Now I’m even more so.

    1. tegnost

      Thanks Grumpy,
      I bet you could write a great post on the various energy storage and their likelihoods of being actually useful. I always look for your comments and have been enlightened as a result.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The article is nonsense and unworthy of Counterpoint. I mean c’mon:

      When Michaux presented basic information to EU analysts, it was a shock to them. To his dismay, they had not put together the various mineral/metal data requirements to phase out fossil fuels and replaced by renewables. They assumed, using guesstimates, the metals would be available.

      EU analysts (whatever they are) shocked? The materials implications of energy use have been intensively studied at multiple levels for decades – I was peripherally involved back in the 1990’s in EU studies on it and it was a hot topic even back then. My local University has a 15 million euro EU funded ongoing research project on the mining implications of renewables and that’s part of a much broader EU study. There is mountains of research on it, much in the past, much ongoing, both in general terms and in individual materials and the information has been widely disseminated. The IEA (and many national and private organisations) have produced detailed studies that are all out there for critical examination.

      The notion that some assistant Professor in Helsinki has somehow discovered something nobody else has realized is just guff. From what I can see, he is just using simple linear projections of demand based on current technology. Anyone who has tracked raw materials prices over the decades will know this is simply not how it works.

      Its a serious issue, and there is serious research out there. Counterpunch should do better.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Who said that Simon Michaux discovered something nobody else realized? I don’t recall reading that in the Counterpunch article nor hearing it in Michaux’s seminar. Material resource constraints have obviously been studied before. Heck, we’ve had at least one such study published here at NC:

        As for Michaux talking with EU authorities who were unaware of such studies… Well, that doesn’t surprise me. Higher-ups are often clueless as to what’s happening in the trenches around them, and even if they’re aware, they often fail to understand the true implications. Just witness EU authorities thrashing around with their current energy crisis. I’m certain that someone somewhere in the EU warned that relying so heavily on Russian gas carried significant geopolitical risk, but study or not, here we are.

        But the real question is this: Is Michaux’s assessment of the mineral situation accurate? I’m reading the “growth in demand for selected minerals from clean energy technologies” from the IEA link that you provided, and the numbers seem to be in keeping with the numbers listed in the Counterpunch article. Resource extraction rates of several critical minerals need to grow by a factor of 20 to 40, or alternately expressed, we have severely inadequate extraction rates today.

        Yes, Michaux’s seminar could be considered a “me too” kind of work, but it’s clear that the reality of resource constraints has not fully sunk in with the political class. Heck, leaders here in the US have already announced plans for vehicle electrification that will fully consume worldwide lithium production several times over, and we produce only 2% of today’s lithium ourselves. Will we increase domestic lithium production to help address this shortfall? Alas, that’s TBD. The one and only attempt at expansion in the US is mired in opposition:

        1. Dave in Austin

          I’ve know a few researchers who live at the intersection of physics and chemistry. I don’t pretend to understand what they do, but they are generally optomistic about solar and solar storage. Materials in short supply are greeting with “What else in the same column of the Periodic table can we use?’ and there is a general sense that if plants can use the sun to create long chain molocules by photosynthesis so can we.

          The old joke about doing photosynthesis is “That’s not a scientific problem; that’s just engineering”. The science and the engineering of the industrial revolution were done by 1/100th of the scientists we routinely deploy today on even trivial projects. We went from rubbing cat fur to make static electricity to street lights in 100 years because people would pay for light… and found substitutes for cat fur.

          Now we are ready to pay for harvesting photons, collecting electrons, storing them in stable bonds, and putting them in dense packages to power cars and refrigerators. All this will probably take is turning loose a horde of bright people from Zurich to Shanghai, giving then a few hundred cubic meters of $100 bills and waiting for a few years.

          Put me down in the optimist column, but human needs are growing fast and time is short.

      2. Jonathan King

        Counterpunch, for good and for ill, does little to no editing of its contributors, and accepts nearly anything from anyone. I still find it valuable — particularly editor Jeff St. Clair’s weekly doomscrolling digests, but also quite a few of the contributions, especially on topics I’m familiar with, where they’re usually on the right (= robustly cynical) side. I suggested recently (via email) that they introduce a comments section, citing NC’s moderated approach specifically, but they said it’s not on their horizon. If I were them — I edited a mildly progressive national enviro publication for years — I wouldn’t want to be held accountable for contributor overreach either. And we at least had interns fact-check stuff!

      3. Carolinian

        Just getting around to the Counterpunch. Your link shows that others are aware of the problem (indeed I believe I’ve read such articles here) but doesn’t suggest the solutions. While I believe energy demand in countries like mine is more elastic than many expect, the Counterpunch article does not appear to be bogus on the facts or at least not wildly bogus. Are you saying that it is?

      4. Jeremy Grimm

        I wonder at what impressed me as the very uncharacteristic acrimony of your comment. Is there something more to know about Simon Michaux?

        Michaux’s presentation is essentially an aggregation and review of information about the materials implications of energy use, as applied to implementing a first generation of the technologies currently available for building systems for generating renewable energy — to implement his version of a Green New Deal. What seemed novel to me was the impact of aggregating the information. It is one thing to contemplate a study that indicated there is not enough ‘X’ to build out some version of the Green New Deal, even while suggesting that other– even many other mineral components — are also insufficient. Discussion would pass to considerations of what could be substituted for ‘X’ and the other components in shortfall mentioned in passing, and what new and better technologies are just around the corner that use a different mix of mineral components. But Michaux’s more comprehensive review of the considerable shortfalls in all the needed mineral components for building his version a Green New Deal combined with Gail Tverberg’s studies of fossil fuel resources makes it very hard to believe in a Green New Deal that will not involve living with greatly reduced energy resources.

        If EU analysts (whatever they are) have been studying these problems for years and understand everything, then some cat must have stolen their tongues. Perhaps they talk among themselves and shake their heads as various talking heads and politicians and entrepreneurs make grand pronouncements about a renewable energy future.

        This statement of yours troubles me: “From what I can see, he is just using simple linear projections of demand based on current technology.” Yes, Michaux’s presentation is more like an accounting exercise than basic research but the reference to “current technology” is very suggestive to me that you believe there is some soon to be developed new technology that overcomes all the material implication Michaux collected together from the extensive existing knowledge. If that is so, I am most curious what hopeful technology the near future holds.

        However, as a lay member of the u.s. Populace, I am very pessimistic the u.s. will discover or take advantage of any such new technology. There is too much existing capital which might become obsolete or require investment or upgrade before the full value of its useful life has been extracted.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Nazi-tainted Pernkopf’s Atlas: A case for acknowledgement, not removal”

    Well if using those books is so ethically challenged, why not produce a new set of books using updated knowledge and techniques? And it would be profitable! The original books had to be sanitized as the people who worked on in put swastikas as part of their signatures which proved that they were total d****. Still, you can carry this sort of thing too far. I mean, are you going to ban Fanta because it was the drink that Nazis drank?

    1. Wukchumni

      Until we get that last Nazi who worked in some low level capacity @ death camp and sentence them to life imprisonment @ 104, the war won’t be over.

      FD: I had a Fanta the other day

    2. GramSci

      Per the historyofyesterday , the Nazis preferred Coca-Cola until FDR cut off their supply in 1941. Did Coca-Cola still contain cocaine in the 1930s? They say here that Coca-Cola was made cocaine-free in 1929 because of Prohibition in the U.S. But was it required to be cocaine-free for export??

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Coke is licensed and produced by local beverage producers. Its why coke went into soldier’s care packages as opposed to the LBJ preferred Pepsi. LBJ was in charge of that particular project.

        The date I could find is 1903, and there was no production of Coke in Europe until 1919.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Here’s How Much Student Debt Forgiveness Will Cost”

    ‘If you’re wondering how much it would cost for the US to cancel $10,000 in student debt contingent upon borrower incomes not exceeding $125,000, the answer is almost $330 billion over a 10-year budget window.’

    Of course that $10,000 that would be forgiven would go right back into the economy in the form of bills paid and consumer spending. It may even be that more than a few ex-students will not find themselves living on the streets as this money will be enough to help them over a bump which means that communities will save by not having to deal with more homeless. So perhaps one can look at it as a $330 billion boost to the US economy over a 10-year budget window.

    But if it was up to me, I would have student loans be either interest-free or loans whose interest rate matches the inflation rate. Best of all to regard money spent on education as a long-term investment into the country and not something to be turned into a hustle.

    1. Antifa

      What does any human ever do with their one life except pass everything to their children? You sure don’t take it with you. Whatever you’re working for, you’re actually working for them.

      All of Them, the next round of humans. The ones who will be right here when we are gone.

      What madness it is to steal from the rising generations! The only sane thing to do is to gift them everything they need to learn, to mature, and to exceed us in knowledge and wisdom — all for the sake of the ones who will take over from them, and from them, and from them.

      You pay it forward. If someone wants to learn, you pay it forward.

      A species of our capabilities that does not think this way has nothing ahead. What future but poverty and psychotic greed can come from mortgaging the lives of our offspring?

      The rising generations are not fresh colonies to extract wealth from. They are the only real wealth we possess, in the end, and in the moment. Harvesting them before they grow is suicide.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Yep a well trodden path, and good to see someone outing it. Brought back memories of trying to do agile in a large organisation of 120,000 +.
      Had a team of pretty competent people who could be trusted to do their thing well and had proven that on a skunkworks project I let them run to rejig creaking code. Under the radar of the bean counters.
      So, tried to carve out some space for agile. Did the training. Got started. Then got walloped by a big project that was suddenly urgent urgent for political reasons. With a crazy business manager who changed his mind over and over again. Who could speak for 20 mins straight and say nothing at all (best case) or say a lot of conflicting things at the same time (usual case).
      Any space for agile evaporated, the team burned out and the best ones moved on, and then so did I.
      Very sad. We coulda been champions. Maybe.

  24. Mira Martin-Parker

    In mathematics, power relations are expressed using geometric symbols such as points, lines, rays, radians, vectors, etc. A physicist might add a wink and a smile when presenting an argument (that would be cute). But generally they stick to their abstract symbolic languages, and consider winking and smiling attempts at seduction and thus fallacious. We everyday folk use words, plus smiles, music, poetry, and food when attempting to persuade others. We also use screaming, plus frowns, loud noises, graffiti, and poison…Most of us everyday folk are also victims of fallacious arguments…

  25. VietnamVet

    Pierre Trudeau and the global jet-set are being hoisted on their own petards. They turned the world into a free trade scheme that relies only on markets and its sole purpose is to increase corporate profits. Russia, China and Iran are trying to break free of this new world order.

    The only response in the West to the shortages and missing workers due to the Ukraine Russia proxy world war and ongoing unmitigated coronavirus and monkeypox pandemics is to raise prices. The globalist bubble is so impervious that it is of no matter that the rising energy prices for most will be unaffordable and many will face an unheated winter. No business can build and operate an ocean terminal in Canada to ship Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe in the next six months. No one is thinking of the consequences.

    The 2021 Texas Freeze power outages for one week “led to widespread damage to homes and businesses, foregone economic activity, contaminated water supplies and the loss of at least 111 lives. Early estimates indicate that the freeze and outage may cost the Texas economy $80 billion–$130 billion in direct and indirect economic loss” (for example, frozen pipes and water damage to homes and apartments). If this happens next Winter in Europe, it will collapse the EU and Western Europe. Yet, there is no talk of an armistice or opening NORD Steam 2 gas pipeline from Russia. The West is at war but with no sovereign working governments. All the West can do is to send money and armaments to Ukraine – ignoring the looming disasters that await.

  26. Lex

    I saw a university research poster board today about carbon capture. It’s a brilliantly simple plan that works (is now patented) but needs to be scaled. Flue gas goes into a vertical column with water and sodium carbonate, which is frothed. The chemical reaction uses the CO2 to make sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). So not trying to capture and manage and store raw CO2, turning it into something inert and manageable. Doesn’t even use any dangerous chemicals or processes.

    1. Michael McK

      There is only so much Sodium Carbonate to be mined (Trona or Natron, not uncommon in deserts).
      If it ends up in water it will decompose.
      Let’s focus on stopping industrial culture and consumerism first.

      1. Cyclist

        Also: what does one do with all the bicarbonate? Any contact with acidic substance and CO2 is liberated.

    2. Revenant

      I think you have muddled the story. Sodium carbonate is Na2C32. Sodium bicarbonate is tradition confusing nomenclature for NaHCO3. See the difference, there is an extra H and one fewer Na in the compound?

      Addition of H2O and CO2 to the bicarbonate solution will drive the formation of NaHCO3. But what then do we do with it?

      1. Lex

        I may have. It was a poster board and I was at work, glancing at it. I seem to recall NaHCO3 was the end product. And I didn’t examine the reaction very carefully.

  27. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to the demise of dear old Blighty, readers outside the UK may be interested in the following for further explanations of the UK fell apart: Please see Aditya Chakrabortty’s recent comments about the, to quote NC’s Adrian, rancid BBC on Twitter.

    Whitehall is rudderless, according to civil service contacts. Ministers hardly turn up for work. They are on holiday, shirking from home or busy currying favour for a ministerial post in the new government. Would it make a difference if they were at their desks in London? No! They have little idea of how bad things are or interest in a wartime level of mobilisation to address the crises. Frankly, neither is the so-called opposition.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      There is a study floating around on Twitter (from the FT science guy, can’t remember his name) which indicates that there has been a very specific mortality spike in the UK which is not reflected in other European countries and seems related to the breakdown in NHS services, especially in poorer areas (the Tories are always careful to shield their voters from the worst damage). If so, its a very ominous sign of where things are going for the winter.

      I recall, in my first job back in 1990 in the UK, the building manager of a local authority school network telling me that they were still catching up with the backlog of damage to school buildings caused by the 1981 Budget where Geoffrey Howe had frozen all local capital spending to ensure he hit his budgetary targets. It was costing many multiples of the money saved to fix all the water and frost damage that ensued.

      I don’t have any personal contacts anymore in the NHS, but from what I can see it (and multiple other sectors of the public service in the UK) has been slowly degraded to past the point of no return after years of underinvestment – at least not without historic and epic levels of spending, and that simply isn’t going to happen.

      Structural breakdown is notoriously hard to predict – broken systems can survive many decades after they’ve apparently run out of steam. But if there is a point where the famously robust UK system of government breaks down, I don’t think there are such long odds on it being this winter. Of course, with someone like Truss in charge…..

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, PK.

        I have come across that study, too, and will try to post.

        My godfather and another of dad’s former comrades have just retired in disgust from the NHS. They are both in their late 70s.

        It’s not just the NHS. The UK’s condition is terminal.

    2. Mikel

      All of that and everything else in the world comes back to bite in the USA too.
      How many times have people been reminded how exalted exports and foreign customers are to the US economy?
      Of course, all that’s left for the billionaires to squeeze over here are the millionaires.
      Going to get interesting….

    3. Old Sovietologist

      Meanwhile Boris Johnson in Kiev today. Blamed Putin and the Trade Union leaders for the UK’s problems.

    4. paul

      It has been gruelling and depressing to watch the two (glove puppet) leadership campaigners downbid each other before their overwhelmingly senile electorate.

      Manifesto level statements are made to this hellbroth of resentment and growing fear.

      Between this and the now constant preparation of each increase in the cost floor of necessities, it is hard to be optimistic about the UK emerging with anything like the government it needs.

      Sir Blair Starmer might well change the wallpaper in downing street, but even that will probably require a positive focus group outcome from newspaper owners.

      My better 50% told me central edinburgh looks far worse than 2018 athens, thanks to the high minded, bipartisan tory and labour coalition stealing a wage in the city council these days.

  28. The Rev Kev

    Just logging off for the night but thought to link to a brief video first. To honour the memory of Daria Dugina and to also congratulate the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the Independence Day of Ukraine, the Cossacks of the 6th Regiment gave off a fireworks display- (43 secs)

    If you look sharp, you will see that being a religious guy, he crossed himself too.

  29. Andrew

    Bologna Smuggling: The CBP Labrador pictured in the article looks absolutely in-corruptible. I am sure he has a real nose for the crinamals and fulfills his duties to the highest standards of the law enforcement community. No corruption here, no siree.

  30. Mikel

    “China tears down tower blocks in effort to boost stalling economy” The Telegraph

    “…Analysts have warned Beijing has adopted a “build, pause, demolish, repeat” strategy as Chinese officials seek to restrict supply to avoid a plunge in house prices and boost economic activity through more construction….”

    A strategy that leaves out “put roofs over people’s heads.”

    For all the East vs West blah, blah…the same old, same old just pops up everywhere. There may be slightly different cultural adaptations, but the same crap.
    Adopting the goofy financial engineering: seeds of destruction (or rather “build, pause, demolish, repeat”).

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”…boost economic activity through more construction…[after intentional demolition]”

      This is economic foolishness of the highest order. Will they never learn? As Steven Landsburg emphasized in his 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘈𝘳𝘮𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘳 𝘌𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘴𝘵 (recommended as an easy, brisk read), when it comes to an economy it is not labor that counts, it is the 𝘧𝘳𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘴 of labor.

      The labor involved in rebuilding after the destruction of storms and wars, for instance, only gets a society back to where it was before. Net gain to the economy = 0. It’s easy to see: A society which isn’t forced to spend, let’s say, $30 billion on reconstruction has a lot to spend on other things, other fruits. The same logic applies to paying people to dig holes and then fill them back in. Lots of labor, no fruits.

      Personally painful example: Twenty-five years ago we had a foolish Premier here in BC who decided we needed a ship-building industry. His nascent industry spent $500 million building three ferries which were sold for scrap a few years later. So, much expensive labor (workers on the project won) but no 𝘧𝘳𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘧𝘶𝘭 ferries or 𝘧𝘳𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘧𝘶𝘭 ship-building industry (the rest of us lost). No net benefit to the economy and perhaps a heavy cost, as to this day the BC Ferry Corporation is still paying the price of his stupidity—old ships, breakdowns, cancellations of runs, etc. The BC economy (and the ferry system) would have been far better off if he had gone out and purchased the twelve ferries the $500 million would have got him at the time. Instead, he chose to chase an economically crazy scheme.

      1. JBird4049

        The labor involved in rebuilding after the destruction of storms and wars, for instance, only gets a society back to where it was before. Net gain to the economy = 0.

        Actually, it can be worse. The need to quickly replace the housing is the cause of Bauhaus, Modernist, Brutalist, and I think, Internationalist with Postmodern architecture being the boring stepchild child. Bauhaus and Brutalism were particularly focused on replacing what was lost.

        In contrast to City Beautiful movement’s Beaux-Arts architecture or the later Art Deco style, which meant to build beautiful buildings often either in addition to, or a replacement for, a still standing building, much of European architecture’s focus was building replacement homes, offices, and factories immediately and at a lower cost than before; appearance, while still important, was last.

        I believe that the architects who created the various styles other than Beaux-Arts and Art Deco would be unhappy with my description and being fair some of the movement towards simplicity was a reaction to Victorian clutter, but it is still true that pouring cement or doing away with fripperies is cheaper and quicker. And this was important after the two world wars.

        So, when a war comes along and obliterates centuries of architecture, replacing it is often with worse, not equal, and certainly not better buildings. It does also partially depends on who the architect of the moment is (or how good his publicist is). I don’t particularly like Bauhaus, but it has a spare kind of beauty, which I think is much better than Brutalism; however, the Nazis did not like Bauhaus design school and Le Corbusier got some good press for his fortress style of architecture. Comparatively little Bauhaus was built. Choose your favorite designers well because you are likely going to be stuck with the results for generations. They will also influence future styles or fads of architecture.

    2. JBird4049

      Maybe I am stupid. I have heard of quality problems in construction especially in housing, which America also has. Instead of quickly building garbage and then tearing it down why does not the government mandate high quality construction for both present and future climate conditions. It is hard to determine all the changes, but I seem to remember that scientists have made some detailed predictions. The Chinese could create both a central and local committees, commissions, or agencies to study, predict, and plan for the right construction. Good construction probably does take more resources like well paid and trained workers to build, which would keep the economy going?

      People would still be employed, families could buy or rent in long lasting, livable housing that would require much less energy to cool or heat. The same could be done for everything: utilities, offices, factories, transportation, maybe even farming and something to help wildlife. I am sure that the government could find ways to revamp the flows of money to keep everyone solvent.

      Or am I being silly?

  31. Pat

    Well that NY Times article about Goldman possibly squeaking out a win in the NY 10 primary was sort of amazing. I am hoping against hope that Niu will win after all the ballots are counted and we can once again have another example of the PMC choice declaring victory before the results were all in.

    But to get back to that article, I just found it fascinating how clearly it lays out the case that Goldman sought to buy the seat and how not local his financing was without coming out and saying it. And how little of that may it into the Times endorsement of the useless PMC jerk who is a trust fund Buttigieg. (And yes I resent it, as I wouldn’t doubt that a third to half his votes are the result of that endorsement. Researching over a dozen candidates takes time away from brunch.)

    I will also say that it was surprising how badly Jones did. Appropriate but still surprising as he did hold the closest version of incumbency for the seat.

  32. Lexx

    ‘More than 70% of pubs do not expect to survive this winter as energy costs soar’

    The beatings will continue until morale improves. Domestic violence was already high in the UK, ratcheted up by lockdowns, and now no pub? They’ll be home with each other drinking, instead of out with their mates? For their importance to the community, you would think pubs would be eligible for emergency crisis funding to help with the heating bills.

  33. Michael Ismoe

    Taiwan has 23 million people on a rock that is twice the size of New Jersey. China has 1.3 billion people and is the third largest country in the world. Assume 23 million casualties.

    Think what would happen if Puerto Rico declared independence.

        1. JBird4049

          And like Cuba, people keep telling the natives what to do. IIRC, Taiwan’s natives generally kept outsiders away. I think that only the annexation by Japan really destroyed its isolation. Then the Nationalists came in and squashed the locals again. I kind of look at Taiwan like Burma, Korea, and Vietnam; they all all have had multiple invaders taking over or trying to because reasons.

          I think it is also egotistical of the Chinese, just as with the United States, to go and throw their weight around.

  34. CaliDan

    Risk of volcano catastrophe ‘a roll of the dice’ ScienceDaily (Chuck L)

    [A riff on my late-afternoon comment yesterday]

    Dear Volcanologists,

    We are currently not accepting new applications for “Existential Threat.” If you would like to talk with one of our representatives, please take a seat and enjoy our fine library of general interest magazines until we have an opening.

    Thank you for your interest in “Existential Threats” Inc. To learn more about us, visit your local existential threat today!

  35. Bugs

    “How Prince Charles Sought Revenge Against Princess Diana and the Palace”

    Highly recommend watching the HBO documentary “The Princess“. Very compelling retelling of the story of the courtship, marriage, and the devastating consequences for Lady Di. Couldn’t take my eyes off it.

    It’s actually showing here in France in cinemas, not that you’d catch me in one of those Covid traps.

  36. Mikel

    “Britain Is Rewriting the Rules of Social Collapse” umair haque

    “…There’s just a plan to destroy what was left of a functioning society — the BBC, the NHS, water, energy systems, and hand it all over to hedge funds and whatnot….”

    They’ve hung their hat on being a big exporter of financial services for centuries.
    Service economies mean financial services are calling the shots. Servicing debt is the claim to fame for their GDPs.
    Snake being a snake and they thought it wouldn’t eventually poison them.

  37. Lexx

    ‘Why Are Border Smugglers Trafficking Bologna?’

    There’s a b&w photo of me at around age three, sitting alone on the couch, illuminated by the light of the TV test pattern, snacking on a slice of bologna I’d fetched from the fridge. It’s adorable.

    Now the consequences of eating that bologna could clear room. It’s disgusting, even I want leave but I’ll just drag it behind me. Sixty years have passed and I still love bologna, the consequences be damned. The smugglers understand this.

    OTOH, charcuterie has become a thing and it’s expensive. I saw an article yesterday advising how to best properly fold your thinly sliced meats.

    (Cue hunkerdown’s gag reflex.)

    1. hunkerdown

      Hah! I got bacon roses for Valentine’s Day once, so I am less prone to be triggered by char cutery.

    2. danpaco

      Bologna in the US kind of sucks. Soft, mild flavour, definitely not sure what its made of.
      The “No Name” store brand bologna in Canada is far superior to anything I’ve had in the US.
      Its truly a guilty pleasure type food!

    3. Bugs

      I’d like to politely ask Americans to abstain from using the words charcuterie and crudités.

      Sliced cold cut platters and veggy plates were just fine until recently. There’s also ciabatta.


    4. lyman alpha blob

      When I was about the same age, the guy at the meat counter at the grocery store would give me the leftover end of the bologna from the deli slicer to eat while we finished shopping. Still have an affinity for bologna fifty years later – bologna and cheese with tomatoes and mayo on white bread. Yummy.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        When I was growing up I sought out the end of the bologna roll. Excellent in a sandwich. I feel the same regarding the ends of loaves of bread. :)

    5. Milton

      Never could eat it raw but loved to fry it in a pan and watch the center part rise. Mind you, I was about 8 when I did this. Now a days, if the authorities knew my parents let me near a stove at that age I would have been in protective services. Oh the joys of being a free range kid…

  38. Mikel

    “More than 70% of pubs do not expect to survive winter as energy costs soar” Guardian

    Whew…they went through all of that and didn’t once bring up the issue of what becomes of the land that these pubs occupy.

  39. Mikel

    “Heisenberger Report:
    We have high inflation because:
    endless wars
    climate change
    over population
    not enough skilled labor
    how is the Fed going to fix this with rate rises?????”

    Considering the extremist ideology of policy makers, interest rate cuts also didn’t do anything to help with the rising cost of living and inflation. So people took out bigger debts and it solved NOTHING.

  40. Mikel

    First lady Jill Biden tests positive for COVID in ‘rebound’ case

    “First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 in a “rebound” case, her deputy communications director said Wednesday. “After testing negative on Tuesday, just now, the First Lady has tested positive for COVID-19 by antigen testing. This represents a ‘rebound’ positivity,” said Biden’s deputy communications director Kelsey Donohue in a statement. Biden, who left isolation on Sunday after earlier testing positive, has experienced no reemergence of symptoms and will remain in Delaware, Donohue said…”

    That’s why Taiwan makes all those visiting DC critters wear masks.

  41. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Ukraine marks tense Independence Day hoping for more US help against Russia

    Will the Ukrainians be celebrating their “independence” ironically?

  42. jr

    re: Species-level brainlessness

    Ok, so for starters we aren’t building a “brain”. We are just building a bunch of networked computers. Stop anthropomorphizing stuff.

    Secondly, this m0ron doesn’t seem to be acquainted with human history outside of his orgiastic understanding of technological development. What makes him think that the power accrued to such a network would be used in a fair and equitable manner? When has concentrated power ever been used in a fair and equitable manner? Here are some gems:

    “This will happen, not because Big Brother will force it on us, but because we will demand it. If a spoon can keep me from getting Salmonella, I want one. If a toothbrush can tell me I am coming down with a cold, I want one of those, too.”

    Really? Because from what I understand, the average person is getting fed up and a bit afraid of all the surveillance they have to live with. Those that are reflective enough to grasp it’s import. Why wouldn’t Big Brother force it on us? Under the familiar guise of convenience or safety or what have you?

    “Imagine if the life experience of every person who lives from this moment forward were preserved forever, and that data were used to improve the lives of everyone to come.”

    Wow, this guy needs to write some epic fantasy cause he is ain’t living in this world. I can imagine all of that…and that’s where it stays, in my imagination, because there is little sign of it playing out in the real world.

    “Instead of being billions of separate people with siloed knowledge, we will become billions of people who share a single vast intellect.”

    Or a handful of people will use that knowledge (it’s not wisdom, by the way, as he foolishly claims just prior) to dominate everyone else. Does he have any evidence to the contrary? Because there is a lot to support that dire claim.

    “Imagine having an AI that could not only tell you what you should do but would allow you to insert your own values into the decision process.”

    Or imagine that the values of those who control this network come to control every aspect of your life. Because that’s what’s going to happen.

    “I believe this system to be a good thing, and I regard it to be inevitable. Besides, what could possibly go wrong?”

    Well, he got half of the first sentence right. Barring some major societal collapse brought on by those short-sighted, poorly reasoning humans he described, it most likely will. To the detriment of all. As to his last question, well, he’s either dumb(-er than I thought, mocking the reader, or is planning on writing a second installment to address those fears. Sadly, there isn’t a section to comment or I’d take the time to excoriate this (crapola where he can read it. “Big Think”, yeah, right. It reminds me of those dun(es who call themselves “Brights”.

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