Links 9/11/2022

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

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

–Yves

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

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

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Fed Inflation Battle to Spur Greater Economic Harm Than Realized Bloomberg

Climate

Drifting Toward Disaster: The (Second) Rio Grande Texas Monthly

It Was War. Then, a Rancher’s Truce With Some Pesky Beavers Paid Off. NYT. For beavers, a keystone species, as “ecological engineers,” see NC here, here, and here.

#COVID19

Ending Free Covid Tests, US Policy Is Now “You Do You” The Nation

A Q&A with WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove on Covid — and fatigue over the pandemic STAT!

China?

Chinese Banks Lose a Mortgage Safety Net as Developers Slide Into Distress WSJ. Commentary:

Chinese president may enshrine his views on ‘one country, two systems’ principle for Hong Kong in Communist Party’s charter South China Morning Post

Not So Fast: Insights From a 1944 War Plan Help Explain Why Invading Taiwan Is a Costly Gamble War on the Rocks

Cambodia and the Curse of Forced Labor Cambodianess

Bangkok street vendors fear new governor’s relocation plan Nikkei Asia

9/11

On 9/11 Anniversary, End the Self-Delusion About America’s Enemies Foreign Policy

The “War on Terror” at 20+ Years: A Retrospective Counterpunch. With 9/11, Queen Elizabeth, and Ukraine, it’s all a bit much.

What the 20 Years Since 9/11 Have Been Like For a Survivor Teen Vogue

Queen Elizabeth

King Charles III in his own words FT

EXCLUSIVE: Royal beekeeper has informed the Queen’s bees that the Queen has died and King Charles is their new boss in bizarre tradition dating back centuries Daily Mail. And about the corgis:

How Queen Elizabeth shepherded England out of Empire Responsible Statecraft. Commentary:

Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96 After a Series of Health Issues HealthLine. Including Covid. Commentary:

UK/EU

Truss is putting the monarchy at risk by joining Charles on tour Tax Research UK

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine’s lightning advance near Kharkiv leaves Russian forces in disarray FT. Article more balanced than the headline.

Russia Reportedly Withdraws From Izyum, Deploys Troops to Ukraine in Response to Kharkov Offensive (video) Alexander Mercouris, YouTube. Kudos to Mercouris for his Izyum call in his previous video, linked to yesterday.

Larry Fires A Salvo. Andrei Martyanov, Reminiscence of the Future, endorsing Larry Johnson here. The flower of Ukraine’s army exposed on the steppes, no longer behind fortifications….

Success on the battlefield whilst the pressure mounts on Ukraine’s home front. Adam Tooze, Chartbook. Economic time is moving faster than military time.

Ukraine’s southern offensive ‘was designed to trick Russia’ Guardian. According to “Ukraine’s special forces.” If so, the special forces fed a lot of pig farmers and other poor schlubs into the meatgrinder at Kherson as part of their sleight of hand. Slava Ukraini.

Last reactor at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant stopped AP. I wish they could find out who’s shelling the plant. ‘Tis a mystery!

Some Thoughts on Ukraine John Ganz vs. Brief response to John Ganz on Ukraine Carl Beijer. I would have thought that the establishment of a US/NATO-backed fascist state in Europe, on Russia’s western border no less, would be a cause for alarm on the left, even in the United States. (Readers will know I don’t use the word “fascist” lightly; see here.) Ah well, nevertheless….

Biden Administration

The White House has a plan for Big Tech Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic

Vice President Kamala Harris visits NASA Johnson Space Center to discuss the regulation of future space activity NPR

Chief Justice John Roberts defends legitimacy of court AP. Oh.

2024

DOJ and Trump each propose 2 special masters for Mar-a-Lago probe CNN

Healthcare

Scientists discover how air pollution causes lung cancer FT. “An estimated 300,000 lung cancer deaths per year worldwide are caused by very fine pollutant particles with a diameter below 2.5 microns, known as PM2.5, which are emitted in vehicle exhaust and fossil fuel combustion.” So on masking, come for the Covid, stay for the cancer!

New York declares state of emergency over polio to boost low vaccination rates CNBC. That’s bad news. Now for good news:

Wastewater surveillance of pathogens can inform public health responses Nature

Our Famously Free Press

Column: How the decline of local news exposes the public to lies and corruption Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times. Google doesn’t help either. If a local paper breaks a story and the Guardian does a rewrite, Google will throw the link to the Guardian.

Eric Feigl-Ding, the Epidemiologist Who Moves Fast and Breaks Things Office for Science and Society, McGill

The Groves of Academe

Will Bunch’s “After The Ivory Tower Falls” John’s Newletter

Realignment and Legitimacy

Our Ancestors Thought We’d Build an Economic Paradise. Instead We Got 2022 Brad DeLong, Time. Interesting!

Governance for a Healthy Economy Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate

An interesting talk:

Legitimacy crises in embedded democracies Benjamin Studebaker, Contemporary Political Theory

‘A new way of life’: the Marxist, post-capitalist, green manifesto captivating Japan Guardian (Re Silc).

Guillotine Watch

Yachts and Watches? The Real CEO Flex Is Washboard Abs. WSJ

Working Women Who Stay Single And Childless Are Richer Than Other Groups Essence

Class Warfare

How a railroad strike could send food prices soaring The Hill (Re Silc).

Why addressing inequality must be central to pandemic preparedness (editorial) BMJ.

From steelworkers to baristas: the new face of Pittsburgh’s evolving labor movement Pennsylvania Capital-Star

On Barbara Ehrenreich n+1

Remembering the Diggers Tribune

The Everlasting Wonder of Being: How a Cold Cosmos Kindles the Glow of Consciousness The Marginalian

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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

283 comments

  1. Old Sovietologist

    Here are some thoughts from a colleague in Belarus:

    Although most of the LDNR forces are directly subordinate to the RF Ministry of Defence plenty are not in particularly the Russians have been frustrated by elements of the Donetsk Militia’s.

    There’s a kind of of “alternative army” that doesn’t always agree with the Russian army’s approach and pursue their own line. The Russian Army then squeezes resources from these groups which mean you have forces who haven’t been received ammunition for weeks and have to relied on their own reserves. This might explain yesterday’s Strelkov’s Russian Customs complaint. Its not customs holding it up but the Russian MoD.

    There also doesn’t seem to be much sharing between groups either so all in all so you have some who who have plenty of artillery and equipment others don’t. Some get air support others don’t.

    Maybe its a more complicated front line for the Russians than we had thought.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Throttling ammo supplies is how the Russians have been keeping the Donbass militias under control since the early days. After one Ukrainian invasion of the Donbass was thoroughly defeated, the Donbass militias wanted to go all the way to take Mariupol but the Russians cut the ammo supply so that they could not. The reason behind that was that Putin still wanted the Ukraine to be intact and those Donbass republics to be part of a Ukrainian federation via the Minsk agreements under the supervision of France and Germany. It was only later that he found that those countries refused to push the Ukraine to fulfill these agreements and instead was helping train up the Ukrainian military to take back the Donbass by force. So now Russia knows that any negotiated agreement with France and Germany is worth nothing. Not a good thing that.

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith

      I am going to take an extreme contrarian position here.

      One of the ways I earned big bucks back in the day as a deal analyst/consultant was via literature searches. Oh, everyone did them but they didn’t bother carefully screening the info. If the same factoid or quote was repeated 5x in the business press, it registered in the minds of clients and even supposedly top analysts as if it were 5 independent data points. So an equally important and valid point that got mentioned in the business MSM once and died would be underweighted big time. Oh, and of course those important but shunted factoids would nearly alway be counter conventional wisdom.

      So everyone is freaking out over the map. All the talk is fixated on that.

      What is being ignored is the body count.

      The MoD, as quoted in various sources yesterday, said:

      The RF Armed Forces destroyed more than 2,000 Ukrainian and foreign fighters, as well as over 100 pieces of armored vehicles and artillery in three days.

      This was quoted after the end of day Saturday in Russia. But not sure when MoD gave the account.

      If the MoD figures are accurate, and most commentators have taken the MoD as accurate or at least not very exaggerated, they killed 2,000 men by at the latest end of day Sat, more likely earlier that day or end of Friday. That implies another 6,000 wounded.

      That is out of 9,000 to 15,000 troops. 15,000 is the highest number I have heard attributed to the Ukraine side. So more than half taken out in at most three days.

      If this is true, the misreporting/cognitive capture is massive. This “counteroffensive” will have been a worse slaughter than Kherson, but since Russia has not yet moved its troops in to retake ground, and instead is taking them out largely from the air (not the normal Russian order of battle, BTW) this will be the biggest PR headfake in a very long time.

      The reason this is not implausible is Big Serge indirectly confirmed that Ukraine was taking a beating in his account, citing a Ukraine reporter:

      “There is heavy fighting near Kupyansk, worse than Balakleysky. We are taking heavy losses. The enemy is transferring a bunch of reserves by air. The “Wagnerites” have already arrived in the city itself. The sky is filled with aircraft. Hearing about all this, a haunting feeling of an ambush arises in the soul. What if this all really turns out to be a strategic level ambush?”

      Reader Paradan chided me correctly for dismissing a report of a massive buildup of air assets on the Russian border, this 2-3 weeks ago. The speculation was that it was for a big assault. I pointed out that Russia normally uses its airforce to provide close cover for tank and infantry advances, and there wasn’t any evidence that either was massing.

      But to continue the scenario that the MoD report is generally accurate. The air assets thus could have been intended to strike the Kharkiv offensive if it materialized. This BTW would be a big change from the normal Russian order of battle. They tend not to go for air-only/dominant carnage the way the US does.

      This would be a smaller number of wounded than in Kherson, and over a much bigger area, as in potentially spread over more hospitals. But if there are that many dead and wounded, I doubt it could be kept under wraps. Might take a week at most for reports to bleed out (pun intended).

      Oh, and even if this speculation proves to be accurate…Ukraine and the West will still have won the PR war. Cognitive bias research says that once an initial impression has been formed, it’s pretty resistant to later information. So “Ukraine struck a big blow’ will stick even if later info proves it to have been a very costly own goal.

      Reply
      1. Stephen

        I agree. I made a similar comment on relative casualties that seems to be in moderation but that was before I saw this. ASB Military is talking about a higher Ukrainian casualty figure but that may include Kherson too. Either way, it is quite likely a Pyrrhic victory. Forget the Battle of the Bulge, more like Battle of the Somme. In that battle, the British also seized territory but just not very valuable territory and afterwards the Germans withdrew to higher ground anyway.

        Reply
        1. britzklieg

          The Somme, where poet Wilfred Owen (Anthem for Doomed Youth, Dulce et decorum est) died along with up to a million others.

          Reply
          1. frankenstein

            Wilfred Owens died along the Sambre-Oise canal in Northern France late in 1918. It’s a poignant and well known story often published around 11 November. This was well after the 1916 Battle of the Somme.

            Reply
            1. britzklieg

              Thanks for the correction. Weren’t there 2 battles fought in Somme, the second in 1918? Anyway, I was going on memory from a class I took in college and I’m long past those days. I knew he died in 1918, in battle and, tragically, just days before the war ended, but unaware the sad story is often published as you’ve pointed out.

              Reply
      2. Yves Smith

        One additional point: if Russia has killed this many Ukrainians and is continuing to keep the pressure on (a separate if), that would also mean that the Ukraine soldiers would be too busy trying not to be killed to get very far in retribution v. civilians seen as too cooperative with Russians. Not sayin’ it won’t happen but if the Ukraine troops are being killed and pressured, they won’t have yet had the bandwidth to get very far with punishment of locals.

        But again, this is a battle of optics. Ukraine doesn’t have to carry out many pogroms v. collaborators to have a chilling effect.

        And it’s really distressing to see a lot of commentators not just here but in the wider chatterati) get worked up about Russia ceding a lot of territory of little/no strategic value and taking very few losses in the process.

        The big cost here is the potential harm to the locals who’d been friendly. If you want to get exercised, that’s a worthy reason to get agitated. But the rest IMHO is over-reacting to Ukraine triumphalism.

        Reply
        1. Stephen T Johnson

          Yves, with respect, I don’t think that’s right. I suspect that the bulk of the dirty work is done by different people than do the stuff against those who can shoot back. The FSB and natsbat characters who do the war crimes aren’t going to be keen on putting their tender flesh in the way of RF heavy weapons, at least in my estimation.

          Further, I think much of the freakout in the Russosphere is due to the Russians being so successful otherwise (i.e. compare the Kherson debacle, or the assault on ZNPP). My two cents.

          Reply
          1. vao

            That is right. There are plenty of ultra-nationalist “battalions” and regiments, but not all of them (such as Donbass, Kraken or Aidar) fight on the front lines as part of the Ukrainian military. The Azov regiment is officially subordinated to the Ukrainian National Guard, and is therefore a kind of military police. The Dnipro and Sich battalions are Special Task Police forces. In other words, these are the guys who will perform the “filtration”.

            Apart from that, there are loose cannons like the Slobozhanshchyna battalion — whose exactions were so extreme in 2014-2015 that it was dissolved, before being resuscitated on the 24th of February. Remember that video of Ukrainians shooting Russia prisoners in the legs? That was the Slobozhanshchyna battalion.

            Reply
            1. Polar Socialist

              I think both of you are talking about SBU, Sluzhba bezpeky Ukrayiny (Security Service of Ukraine) and not FSB, or Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti (Federal* Security Service) of Russia.

              Lately FSB has been in the news mostly for preventing acts of terrorism, not perpetrating them.

              * Even if many Ukrainians were for federation in 1991, as were the Minsk agreements, Ukraine never became one because reasons of nationalist tendencies.

              Reply
      3. timbers

        Hope you’re right about cognitive bias. Another example of your point, might be Military Summary yesterday (9/10 report) which focused almost completely on the Kharkiv UAF offensive and basically omitted updates on Donbass. Is there progress in Donbass? Can’t tell, he skipped over it.

        And, Dima became quite emotional saying Russians who have started their lives over planning on Russian governance are now ruined and the ones pictured helping Russian into the area might well be dead now, with Dima saying the Ukrainians will show no mercy and are ruthless. He asked why should Kherson and others vote to join Russia if they see how they leave others unprotected and withdraw so quickly?

        Dima said if Russia does not learn from it’s humiliation, it might as well withdraw and end it’s SMO, meaning I suppose Russia needs to take her gloves off and start hitting the Ukrainians harder.

        Speaking just for me, I would also add to hitting the Ukrainians, hitting the West as well. The West is it at war with Russia. They are fair targets.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          To your point about Donbass, Alex Christaforu, who does not normally bother to do “state of battle” commentary, felt compelled yesterday to point out advances opposite Donetsk that were being ignored, as well as the total abandonment of the Kherson offensive.

          Reply
        2. Robert Hahl

          It seems they have taken the gloves off by attacking from the air. Since Ukraine won’t give up, Russia has to kill the soldiers somewhere, preferably where their supply lines can be cut. The PR war is apparently low priority for Putin, being the sign of weakness that it is, but in any case exciting fears they are permitting future Ukrainian war crimes is a PR win in itself.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            Admittedly Russia seems not to be very good at PR, but it will never get a fair hearing in the West. The question is if it can get in control of the messaging in Russia. I have the impression that Russian Telegram is in total freakout mode based on not necessarily great readings (Andrei Martyanov is even more dismissive than usual, which takes some doing, but he delivers the goods for a change by going after Rybar, a normally well regarded channel). Similarly, one commentor at MoA had the bad taste to point to that MoA’s analysis relied on not fantastic sources and it might be better to wait for better info before reaching conclusions.

            I am simply saying an important data point from a source normally seen as pretty credible is being ignored. If you take that data point as reasonably accurate and simply tease it out, you come to conclusions very different from the conventional ones.

            Re supply lines, since the rest of Ukraine is right there, I’m not sure that is an issue unless/until Russia creates a cauldron or tries to. IMHO Ukraine has a problem with supplies, period: enough ammo, gas, armored vehicles, tanks, artillery.

            Reply
          2. Old Sovietologist

            The Russians took off the white gloves last night.

            In a few hours they took out two-thirds of Ukrainian electricity generation.

            Yes, these substations will be repaired quickly, as long as there is a supply of the necessary transformers. However, after another three or four blows to all at once, those reserves will be exhausted, and until new transformers are made, everything will come to halt.

            Reply
            1. Polar Socialist

              I think it was more about “could you please stop shooting at ZNPP. Like seriously” messaging, rather than actually escalating the Special Military Operation.

              But I may be wrong. At least I tend to be often enough when trying to interpret Russian aims, plans or messaging.

              Reply
            2. The Rev Kev

              But wait – there’s more. The Ukrainians were transferring their armour to prepare for an offensive down south so that they could go after Mariupol. And to do so, they were loaded aboard trains of course but when the power got cut, those trains carrying all that armour came to a halt. And that is when the Russians went after them. No numbers yet-

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYbtKbJ37-M (6:59 mins)

              Reply
            3. Sibiryak

              It was partially if not primarily about shutting down rail transport of Ukrainian troops and equipment to the new Ugledar (Vuhledar) front. (Cf. Military Summary)

              Oops, I see RK just made the same point above as I was writing.

              Reply
        3. Kouros

          Taking gloves off for Russia would have, at operational level, several consequences:
          – more Russian soldiers dead;
          – more civilians dead.

          Thus, the onus on civilians dead and persecuted would fall on the Ukrainians, and any minority in Ukraine would end up trembling in fear… which is in fact the ultimate goal of the ultranationalists and their legislation: be assimilated, leave, or die.

          Reply
      4. DJG, Reality Czar

        Yves Smith. Your view is not a contrarian point, and I will stress again what you wrote: “If the same factoid or quote was repeated 5x in the business press, it registered in the minds of clients and even supposedly top analysts as if it were 5 independent data points.”

        A datum, a data point, is a single observation. Repetition of a single skewed/isolated data point is propaganda. (I’m not bothering with cliché-of-last-year “fake news.”)

        [This is why I get persnickety and insist that “data” is a plural. Data are many observations. It is impossible to gauge a trend from a single point of data.]

        Much of the analysis of the Ukraine war still focuses on a single observation and runs off from there. I read something yesterday that mentioned “Russia’s defeat in Kiev”–a data point that has been repeatedly refuted. This is why Ukraine can control the narration of the story of the war: One photo of a blonde kid, one cover of Vogue, one brave granny-machinegunner, one ringing of the bell on Wall Street with promises of $400 billion.

        In short, we as witnesses have to let the data keep coming in–we’ll know in a week what happened yesterday in Izyum.

        Reply
        1. Brunches with Cats

          Thank you for clearly explaining one of my major pet peeves! Now, can we do the same for “media?”

          As a former reporter and editor, I’d like to point out that “media” also is plural. It replaces what we used to call “the press,” back when most news was in the print medium. With the expansion of cable and radio, collectively calling them “the press” became inaccurate and outdated (although I still see it from time to time). And, while I can’t shake the habit of calling an official statement a “press release,” this PR tool is now usually labeled “media release.”

          Beyond that, I involuntarily flinch whenever I read or hear, “the media is,” “the media says,” etc., like it’s a monolithic voice of God speaking from the burning bush or something. Although there’s some truth in that portrayal, given the alarming rate at which the major news outlets have devolved into little more than [prop******] tools, using “media” in the singular gives them legitimacy — however unintentionally — and relegates truly independent news and commentary to a lesser status requiring the modifier “alternative.” Just my $.02.

          Reply
      5. Dave in Austin

        I’ve cut back Ukraine-watching to one day/week. Here is my take:

        On the Ukrainian offensive, the best military blogger’s map is:
        https://mobile.twitter.com/JominiW/status/1568737425597386752/photo/1
        Open the map in a new window to get the details:
        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FcVE8FYXoAEtpHU?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

        During the past five months Ukraine-NATO has organized a reserve of five brigades equal to one modern NATO division, 15,000 men with 8-9,000 front-line troops. They attacked a 30 mile front containing 1,500-2,000 Russians screening troops. They easily penetrated and headed for the logistical hub of Kupansk on the Sivershyi Donets (the river I keep mentioning) 30-40 miles away.

        As in the Battle of the Bulge, the next step is expanding the breakthrough and hoping for a general panic. The northern shoulder was strongly held and not attacked. According to Jomini, the southern attack hit a defense at Balaklia 15 miles in the Russian rear. The Jomini map show no organized Russian battle group (usually 500-1,000 men) located at Balaklia, so this was most likely a scratch force of small units fleeing east. A three day battle ensued. On the third day the Russians were outflanked and withdrew. So this is the St. Vith of the Battle of the Bulge. After the Ukrainians got to the Donets at Kupansk, the Russians to the south were ordered to withdraw across the Siverskyi Donets. So, as in April, the Donets is the new front line.

        How severe is the Russian reverse? It’s hard to tell. If the Ukrainians can advance across the Donets then the reverse is very important. So far there appears to have been little fighting, few lost Russian tanks and guns and no reports of Russian prisoners, all of which would indicate a rout, not an organized retreat. The next few days will tell.

        This resembles the 1942 Russian retreat before Stalingrad. The technologically and organizationally dominant Germans advanced rapidly toward the Don and into the Caucasus. Unlike in 1941, when there was a huge bag of one million Russian prisoners, the Russians retreated to the Don with few casualties. By October, the Germans stood on the banks of the Don. Advancing across was beyond their means and the last spot of Russian resistance on the west side was in a ruined city of 400,000 named Stalingrad. So the second winter campaign began. Winter and ruined basements tend to reduce the value of high-tech.

        So to sum up, if the Ukrainians advance across the Severskyi Donets river or show off a big bag of prisoners this may be very important; if not, it probably isn’t.

        This winter will be very hard. the Russians could do a US-in-Belgrade and shut down the power, heat and water in Ukrainian cities, a real disaster. As wars go on the hard men rise to the top. Don’t fear McClellan in 1862; fear Grant and Sherman in 1864-5.

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          I strongly suggest you read the Andrei Martyanov post provided in Links above. He tears into how the maps being used for running commentary are crap. So it appears they need to be taken with a lot of salt.

          Reply
      6. NotTimothyGeithner

        b has 30k Ukrainian soldiers near Izium (Kharkov). With the Kherson efforts, 50,000 is probably closer to what was committed. I figure the Russian MoD wasn’t confident about defending both points until one had been destroyed or managed. The Ukrainians had some serious troops in the Kherson operation. The Russians have been swinging forces to the North who didn’t seem to enter the fray, so my guess is they plan to launch an active defense at least as supplies become an issue for Ukraine.

        Ukraine clearly tried and failed to encircle Russian forces.

        My gut jus the middle part of Ukraine was too big to destroy soldiers in a cost effective manner. Around the end of last month, the Russians hit that train with 200 guys, but a cruise missile for an suv isn’t a great trade off.

        Now there are reports of Uke troops building up for a third counter offensive. They are being actively bombed, but it looks Kiev is going big. They might be committing every reasonable soldier. Unless they overrun, they really don’t have places to cut off Russians, even Crimea as Kiev has no air force or navy. Even Crimea can’t be seized. It’s likely they think winter will stall, but the problem with winter is shelter/clothing, fuel, and calories. The Russians were fighting in February, preempting the Uke Spring offensive.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I was reading a few days ago that the Ukrainians were asking NATO to ship them tens of thousands of winter uniforms for their troops to use. Or to sell on the black market. Pretty sure that it is either one or the other.

          Reply
      7. Skip Intro

        It may be that winning the PR war was more important than living to fight another day. You didn’t mention the timing of the offensive and the NATO Rammstein meeting of donors. I think impressing them with new, switched up tactics and taking big ground at any cost was worth it for the leadership. Sucking more NATO resources into the killing ground may also be a bonus for the RF. There were reports that many foreign fighters and NATO/Polish tanks were in front of the blitz. Also, apparently civilians have been evacuated to Russia from at least some areas.

        Reply
      8. PlutoniumKun

        Yves, this is a very interesting take on it, although much depends on the question of whether the MoD’s estimates of casualties are true. The only way of ascertaining this is if they produce videos of the airstrikes, which so far they don’t seem to have done so. Providing a number for casualties based solely on their assessment of airstrikes is likely to be little more than a wild guess (unless they are tuned in to Ukrainian communications to the extent that they can use their figures).

        I still think that giving up Izyum and the perception of being on the back foot is a very big price to pay, even if they’ve inflicted grievous damage to the best Ukrainian units. Even Chinese social media is full of mockery for the Russians (significantly I think, Chinese media seems to have reported it as a defeat). If the Ukrainians dig in, it will be tough to win it back, whatever the circumstances, especially with the must season on the horizon. To overstretch an analogy I made earlier – the Japanese offensive of Ichi-Go in China in 1944 – this was largely ignored by the Allies as it was deemed to be a strategic distraction and ultimately doomed to defeat. But arguably, it led to the defeat of the KMT and the victory of the communists, so it changed history in ways nobody could have anticipated.

        It may be that the use of airstrikes by the Russians is an example of making the best of a bad situation. They knew they couldn’t hold out, so decided instead on a policy of creating a highly disproportionate ratio of casualties. If this is so, it does indicate that they are sorely stretched for men and artillery which raises the question of how are they going to move north when the time comes.

        I did try to resolve a few months ago on a policy of not commenting on military hot takes, as its almost impossible to sort out the wheat from the chaff – even the most reliable commentators have gotten things horribly wrong at times. As so often in history, what appear to be crunch points at the time, or examples of tactical genius (or stupidity) turn out to have been just part of a messy process. My feeling is that the Russians are feeling the strain from having pushed their logistics and the ability to fight of the local militias as far as they can go, and are now making the best of opportunities as they arise. I don’t think they have hit a culmination point yet, but they may feel that one is not far away so there could be changes afoot. We shall see.
        .

        Reply
        1. rowlf

          I’ve always liked retired US General of the Army George Marshall observing in an interview in the mid 1950’s how poorly the news media managed to cover the war. Important actions were missed and every US action was reported as precipitating a quick German surrender.

          Reply
        2. hk

          This also raises the question of Ukrainians being able to raise and deploy a quite large cadre of apparently fairly well trained and equipped troops with corresponding supplies to launch meaningful offensive. This undermines the Russian govt’s reports of how much losses they have inflicted in the Ukrainian forces so far–even if they are true. The strangest ref to the Ichi Go I came across was a short reference to the fall of Guilin in Joy Luck Club, of all things, which actually struck me harder than any military history, as it underscored how badly the offensive destroyed the credibility of KMT credibility: all the newspapers with stories of Allied victories–all true, btw–covering the dead Chinese in Guilin. (I suppose Tet was the same story, but somehow, it struck me the way Tan’s brief prose did

          Reply
          1. Joe Renter

            I suggest reading General Stilwell and the American experience 1911- 1945 by Barbara Tuchman for a good in-depth survey of the forces at play within the KMT. What a mess and what patience Stilwell had in trying to get the KMT to get involved in fighting the Japanese. What really what underlining the dynamics was the fear that the communist was the ultimate foe of the KMT among other factors of disfunction.

            Reply
      9. Lex

        As usual, Yves, your analysis is excellent. Big arrows on maps are extremely costly for attacking forces. They always have been and they always will be. It’s why Russia hasn’t been drawing big arrows. And by the looks of it, this offensive was six mo this in the making of stockpiling equipment and trained manpower. Ukraine doesn’t have another six months of that. (Not saying Ukraine is defeated in that time, I’m saying that it was a massive effort that will be hard to replicate.) I don’t buy “all part of the plan”, but it’s clear that Russia managed an orderly withdrawal that including civilian evacuation under military protection and rear guard actions. So it’s unlikely that there was any panic or real surprise.

        I’m of the opinion that the operation suggests a level of desperation in the west of the “now or never” variety. What’s the realistic prognosis for Ukrainian arms over winter? What about Europe? Can Ukraine be supplied with guns and butter over the medium to long term? If the answers to any of these are negative, there’s a point where the west must try to crack Russia now or it won’t get the chance. This was the best it could do and it’s not really much of a victory. Someone on Twitter pointed out that at 1,000 km2 per week Ukraine will need almost two years to regain its territory. Can it possibly maintain the Kharkov offensive for that long? No. Simple as that.

        Reply
      10. KD

        It really depends on the Russian reaction. If the Ukrainians can get across the river, they can open up a front in Norther Lughansk, and split the Russian forces. On the other hand, if Russia can push South and and envelope the Ukrainian salient, it could be a disaster for the Ukrainians. It really depends on what Russia can throw into the mix. On the other hand, at very least, it would appear that Russia needs to up their game and start calling up reserves and fortifying defensive lines. This is a humiliating defeat for the Russians, even if there is some 4 dimensional rationale for the whole thing, and will hurt public opinion in Russia.

        If Russia does not win this thing, Putin is finished, and the RF will fall apart.

        Reply
      11. Raymond Sim

        One of the ways I earned big bucks back in the day as a deal analyst/consultant was via literature searches. Oh, everyone did them but they didn’t bother carefully screening the info. If the same factoid or quote was repeated 5x in the business press, it registered in the minds of clients and even supposedly top analysts as if it were 5 independent data points. So an equally important and valid point that got mentioned in the business MSM once and died would be underweighted big time. Oh, and of course those important but shunted factoids would nearly alway be counter conventional wisdom.

        Less any big bucks that sounds like the story of my life. Nature and nurture (or the lack thereof) conspired to make me phobic regarding confirmation bias and groupthink. I’m pretty sure it’s more about my feels than my smarts, but I pick up on a lot stuff other people miss.

        Right now I feel as if I’m just about the only person who’s noticed that Russian forces actually engaged by the Ukrainian northern offensive appear to have functioned almost preternaturally well. If the Russians were as badly suprised as they appear to have been, then the response the forces on scene were able to execute makes it seem as if the Russians may be bringing on some sort of revolution in military affairs, to borrow a phrase.

        Reply
      12. Boomheist

        Great comments as always, Yves. The last few months have been a vivid, real life demonstration, despite modern video and communications technology, of the “fog of war.” Two basic narratives – the West’s being Ukraine is winning and the pro-Russian being, Russia is winning – ebbing and flowing based on reports from the field. When Russia struggled to take Mariapol the West was winning; when Russia moved inexorably ahead, Russia was winning. All the talking heads on each side so certain, so definitive, so….expert. Just a couple days ago after the Ukrainian offensive, Kherson I think it was, collapsed, it seemed that nearly all was over. Now, what, 72 hours later? Ukraine has turned the tide, Moscow next! All of which to say, the 24 hour news cycle matches poorly with a military campaign, especially one lasting longer than a week, or a month. Right now uncertainty reigns: have the Russians panicked? Will Putin be overthrown? Where is the Russian counter offensive, the “trap”? Maybe it is true that this is a huge and telling PR win for the West and Ukraine, this is the lever against which everything changed and Russia’s loss began. Or, maybe this is simply a boil along the front and the ever patient Russians will respond in ways unimagined. Right now the nuclear plant, the 5 reactors, has been shut down, for safety, leaving Ukraine in darkness and winter coming. Europe is on the cusp of a horrible winter and chaos without sufficient gas supplies.

        I totally get the idea that maybe this is a Hail Mary effort by NATO – for this really is a NATO Russia war – to throw the Russians into defeat before the winter stalemate sets in, because when that happens the West’s position just grows worse and worse. Maybe this is the case. Or, maybe, all these months, while Russia has ground ahead, NATO and Ukraine have patiently been building a new force, now unleashed. Or, maybe, patient Russia planned this retreat, or repositioning, to later strike back, striking perhaps before the hard winter feeeze sets in.

        We just don’t know. I am reminded of months of howling about Garland not doing anything, sitting there, being passive, why doesn’t he ACT for God’s sake? Months, even more than a year. Nobody talks that way any more as we learn of several simultaneous efforts to bring charges.

        I think it is probably true that Putin thought and hoped his initial invasion would force a quick solution diplomatically with the Minsk Agreement enforcement. Didn’t happen. I also think the Ukrainians have startled everyone with their persistence and ability to suffer, fight on, and never give up, however many weapons they have received from NATO. This may have startled Putin as well. Further, I would imagine that there are those in NATO and the US who had hoped to provoke Russia into doing something stupid justifying more direct NATO engagement, and to date that hasn’t happened either.

        In the long run, though, it seems likely that by winter the front line will have stabilized somewhere in Ukraine and the war will go on and on, which means, the winter crisis with energy and food and fear will strike Europe and the West, hard. I don’t think this was Putin’s original plan, but do think this is a current outcome he can accept. I also think, however, the West and NATO will not give up, and in this sense this latest PR win for Ukraine buys more months of horror….

        Reply
        1. Old Sovietologist

          https://iz.ru/1393694/mariia-vasileva/berlin-ostaetsia-odnim-iz-initciatorov-sanktcionnogo-davleniia-na-nashu-stranu

          An interesting interview with the Russian Ambassador to Germany:

          “The very fact of supplying the Ukrainian regime with German-made lethal weapons, used not only against Russian military personnel, but also against the civilian population of Donbass, is a red line that the German authorities should not have crossed,” the ambassador said.

          Reply
      13. Charles 2

        “Contrarian” is a function of where you put the Overton window. If one looks at that Russian TV video, you are positioned now at the right of the Russian debate. https://twitter.com/juliadavisnews/status/1569070513909022720?s=46&t=pBCJbhiMJLmSsz1cA1iUhg

        Speaking in terms of “position” and “profit and loss”, the guy has more skin in the game than any author and commentator in this blog. He is a protégé of Kirienko, but still, he leaves in Moscow and his previous boss (Nemtsov) has been killed by Kadirovskys.

        As an aside, I wouldn’t put that much credit to “Big Serge” analysis, the guy doesn’t seem to know that the Oskil reservoir has been emptied thanks to Russia blowing the dam at the end of March. So much for the 1km wide river…

        Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          It takes a certain level of skill to pack so much bad faith argumentation into a single comment.

          First, my discussion has zero to do with right/left. Ot has to do with looking at information and seeing what has been underweighted. And I bent over backwards to depict it as speculative but nevertheless teased out what it meant.

          Second, right wing = hawkish, although in Russia the Communists are hawks. If you were to attribute a political implication to the idea that the Kharkiv counter offensive might be shaping up to as bad or even worse than the Kherson counter-offensive in terms of losses, it is anti-hawkish in the Russian context. It would say that the SMO is still adequate to the task and the worrywarts need to take stiff drink and calm down.

          The hawkish position would be to demand mobilization.

          Third, I wasn’t using Serge for analysis. I was quoting his quote of a Ukrainian reporter on the ground. Your swipe is irrelevant to his citation.

          Fourth, this is a personal attack. You apparently don’t like what I wrote but were either unable or unwilling to devote the effort to argue on the merits, which would have been informative to me and the readership. Instead you pull out the “right wing” smear.

          I trust you will find your happiness elsewhere on the Internet.

          Reply
    3. Glen

      Let’s not let this get lost in the noise about battles in Ukraine because on a strategic level, this tells you everything you need to know:

      Xi to meet Putin in first trip outside China since COVID began
      https://www.reuters.com/world/china/xi-leaves-china-first-time-since-covid-pandemic-began-meet-putin-2022-09-11/

      I don’t draw any hidden meaning from the day that these leaders have decided to meet, but it does remind one of maybe what could have been:

      9/11 a ‘turning point’ for Putin
      https://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/09/10/ar911.russia.putin/index.html

      Reply
  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Capital in the Anthropocene–

    So degrowth is a hot topic in Japan, especially among the young. Here is a good quote from the book’s author:

    Now he hopes his message will appeal to an English-language readership.

    “We face a very difficult situation: the pandemic, poverty, climate change, the war in Ukraine, inflation … it is impossible to imagine a future in which we can grow the economy and at the same time live in a sustainable manner without fundamentally changing anything about our way of life.

    “If economic policies have been failing for 30 years, then why don’t we invent a new way of life? The desire for that is suddenly there.”

    That new way of life can be described as a switch from our current society’s focus on “compete and consume” to a new dedication to “cooperate and conserve.”

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      There is a logic here. For the past few centuries we have had constant growth as we had a planet full of resources to draw on. But now that we are coming to the hard limits on the natural resources left, not only will it be the end of the centuries long age of growth, but we will have to learn to live with degrowth instead. The problem here is that our entire culture, economy and even our civilization is predicated around growth and people have never known anything else. It is going to be a rough adjustment and the merry go round is now grinding to a halt. I hope that we enjoyed the ride.

      Reply
      1. Lex

        Putin’s eastern economic conference speech was enlightening on this subject. Russia may be the only nation on the planet with land and resources that can still be developed. And if what he laid out in the speech becomes reality, Russia’s domestic development is keenly focused on just that.

        Reply
      2. hk

        The problem with degrowth (and I’m partly channeling Branko Milanovic) is that degrowth, if it is seriously attempted, would invariably turn into a political problem wrapped in rank hypocrisy: people who already have stuff (and power) will try to use it, conscientioudly or ohherwise, as yet another rationale to keep the have nots from getting stuff–the game will be turned into degrowth for you, yhe unwashed, but not us, the righteous. They will try to moralize and lecture, then lament how selfish, ignorant, unreasonable the have nots are. In the end, the have nots, though, will see that, even if the elites remain wilfully blind, that it’s just another excuse to keep them in their place and the whole idea will get discredited in the process.

        If the elites (esp those in power) are serious about degrowth, or indeed, any other painful cutbacks, whether of medical care, housing, food, or whatever, they have to find a way to credibly commit to suffer alongside “the others,” whether they are people in the developing world or their own underserved populations. I don’t see this happening–credibly giving up privileges is hard enough even if they mean it, but modern elites don’t seem to see the need to do so and thry feel entitled to the privileges by divine right or something anyways.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Communism was largely de-growth or forced austerity if you’d like.

          My mom told me the national pastime in Czechoslovakia before 1989 was stealing from one another, what meager means everybody had.

          Reply
          1. Roger

            The Soviet Union was a very rapidly growing economy from the 1930s into the 1970s, what your mother experienced was the bureaucratization, corruption, and incompetence caused by the Brezhnev years. Also, by 1989 Gorbachev’s changes were starting to have a negative effect on the planned economy (together with the fall in oil prices).

            China was also a well growing economy under Mao (yes, growing faster than liberal democratic India with much better lifespan, literacy and healthcare outcomes), notwithstanding the setbacks of the great leap forward and cultural revolution. Then Deng came along and initiated market socialism.

            Reply
          2. hk

            Yes, I always thought there’s a good reason why someone like Milanovic is so skeptical about degrowth, being a product of communist Yugoslavia.

            Reply
          3. Kouros

            Nonsense. I experienced growth even in the last years of Ceausescu in Romania. There was a bit of a hardship because Ceausescu pushed for paying all the foreign debt, feeling that those chains were worst than whatever Moscow might have said or done.

            And no, I have not seen anything of the sorts of everyone stealing from everyone else. If stealing happened, was only from the state.

            Reply
            1. Daniil Adamov

              As sometimes-thief, sometimes-mayor Yevgeniy Roizman had put it, there was no stealing in the Soviet Union. Everything belonged to the workers, so they just took what was theirs.

              Тащи с завода каждый гвоздь – Ты здесь хозяин, а не гость!

              Which does not mean there was no growth, although the stagnation was real in the last decades. No sign of “inevitable” collapse.

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                I do not see it as the fault of a particular economic system. Heck, I often think that the labels are propaganda. Whenever you saw a country’s title start with “the People’s Democratic Republic of” you could be sure that it was neither democratic or a republic.

                Looking at the various economic systems, whatever their faults, it always seems to be the corruption that arises from the elites hoarding of everything that does the real damage. Capitalism, communism, feudalism, whatever. Madam Speaker, the Chairman, Lord High-and-Mighty, Mayor Bigwig manipulating the system to get more money, land, perks, or privileges for them and theirs regardless of the suffering of other people and beyond any reasonable justifications of the system gives is what destroys it.

                So yes, I am a believer in socialism, but what is endangering capitalism today is the massive corruption being given cover under the rubric of “capitalism” instead of the more immediate cause of neoliberalism; this is like how the totalitarianism of Stalin is blamed on communism (or communism on Stalin) instead of Stalin and the opportunists under him.

                Nuance is the thing. Stalinist Soviet Union was not the same as Yugoslavia and New Deal Capitalism was nothing like modern Neoliberalism. But it’s easier to conflate and ignore than to dig out the truth.

                Reply
        2. KD

          Feudalism: the original de-growth economy.

          If people want de-growth, just eliminate credit. Then, even if you have productivity gains, no one will be able to afford to purchase the surplus.

          Reply
        3. jr

          “They will try to moralize and lecture, then lament how selfish, ignorant, unreasonable the have nots are. In the end, the have nots, though, will see that, even if the elites remain wilfully blind, that it’s just another excuse to keep them in their place and the whole idea will get discredited in the process.”

          This is precisely the attitude I see expressed over and over on Youtube in the comments sections of Right-wing commentators’ videos. The recent debacle about Kim Kardasian and her ilk zipping around in private jets gets a lot of play. No one thinks Klaus Schwab will be eating worm burgers. And they are correct. So notions of change are summarily dismissed as elite finger wagging and methods of social control and nothing will get done.

          Reply
          1. hk

            I think this is how the “right wing” is winning around the world: by leveraging off of establishment elites’ hypocrisy. Now, these aren’t exactly “right wing” in the conventional “establishment” sense–that’s the likes of Liz Cheney–but they are “right wing” mostly because the “establishment” in most Western countries is vaguely left wing and, in opposing them, the rabble-rousers are adopting a vaguely rightist slogans and symbols. No reason that some notionally “leftist” version of the same would not pop up. (Was Sanders it? Certainly, some segments of the appeal was that it was anti-establishment rather than left or right of politics).

            I think we err by assigning this sentiment to the “right” or the “left.”. At least the people whom it appeals to are not really rightists or leftists, but with some potential to support either side. (Yes, different rabble-rousers will have rightist or leftist agendas and allies, however). The key is to address the crisis of credibility of the govt and other socioeconomic institutions–which not many elites seem to be even aware of.

            Reply
        4. anon in so cal

          IMHO, degrowth is the only rational response to climate change and the only way to preserve biodiversity, independently of CC. Besides economic degrowth, demographic degrowth is crucial.

          The “degrowth for you, lots of stuff for me” counterarguments were demolished decades ago in the political ecology literature but these days, many academics eke out careers cranking out articles alleging that discourse/attempts to reduce out of control demographic growth are racist, north against south agendas. Then you’re got people like Elon Musk calling for massive population increase. Situation seems hopeless.

          One of my biggest hesitations about BRI is that it appears to involve unlimited development.

          Reply
        5. drumlin woodchuckles

          A way to avoid that would be for the ” rich powers ” to say ” let’s all degrow, and we will degrow first with the whole world watching.” And then degrow to a per capita use of stuff and energy that would be sustainable if “the whole world” diddit.

          If we could do that, then we could tell the rest of the world ” okay, now you grow just up to the sustainability ceiling we have degrown down to”.

          But that would require defeating and domesticating our own upper classes first, because non-rich Modern Worlders will say ” let Davos Man degrow down to where he wants the rest of us to degrow down to, and then we will degrow down to that level. Otherwise, not.”

          The only other way to have degrowth would be for some very effectively sovereign countries degrow first in such a way as to prevent bystander countries from stealing any of the benefit of degrowth from the degrowing countries. ” Degrowth in One Country”. Eco-Stalinism . . . maybe with democratic characteristics and maybe not.

          If anyone can do this, Japan can. They could degrow and keep just enough modernity and military might to destroy any and every fleet of Perry’s Black Ships which dares to show up and try to force trade upon a degrown Japan. They could call it the Tokugawa Shogunate 2.0, or the Ecogawa Shogunate, or whatever they wish to call it.

          Reply
        6. Anthony G Stegman

          Perhaps one of this biggest challenges to degrowth is current levels of debt. The only way to have any hope of paying down debt is economic growth. It is a constant refrain from most mainstream economists that high levels are debt are manageable as long as economic growth continues apace. Even at a personal level many people take on debt (especially mortgage debt) with the expectations that their incomes will rise over time and thus high debt payments will be manageable. When economic growth stalls a debt crisis typically follows. Capitalism cannot survive in a degrowth environment. Degrowth means revolution. Who among us is prepared for this?

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            There is not a possibility on this planet that all the debt can ever be repaid. It is a fiction. Lazarus would not live long enough to see world debt written off. So you write it off. Start with a clean slate and laws changed so that they can never be accumulated in that fashion again. So for example, no loans without solid collateral to secure those loans.

            Reply
            1. john Steinbach

              IMO, the real issue isn’t whether degrowth will happen, or how. The reality is that near-term degrowth is inevitable, given hard physical realities, and the only question is how it occurs.

              Reply
          2. Joe Renter

            Revolution or revolutionary change of thinking and policy? Either way, change will come, as we know. It’s survival of the planet is what is at stake. Hopefully those at with little power will not have to pay the ultimate price in the debacle. We are certainly paying with the repercussions of climate change all ready. One could write a book on the subject :)

            Reply
        7. eg

          I fear dystopic genocidal wars where the rich world bombs the global south back to the Stone Age in order to preserve its privileges.

          Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        How cool! I took a quick look at the instructions and look forward to playing it in the next few days. This engagement with a degrowth process is the kind of thing we should be doing. There’s a lot to learn about how to go about it since the whole concept of shrinking is alien to us.

        Reply
      2. Basil Pesto

        This is actually a really cool conceptual framework for a bigger budget “reverse city builder” kind of game, an inversion where instead of starting with empty plots of land and building up, you start with a fully built city and try and “degrow” or redesign it in a relatively sustainable way without pissing too many people off. Vibe would ideally be cheerier and more hopeful than something like, say, Frostpunk.

        Reply
    2. JAC

      I am glad to see spirituality coming back into fashion with the young in Japan. Because that is what this is. This trend had been growing since before the pandemic, and it seems Shinto is playing an increasing role in this transformation.

      This is our only hope. This is my antidote.

      Reply
      1. jr

        I agree. We need a bigger vision than that of the trans-humanist, technophile Dr. Frankensteins. A vision that sees humanity as a part of, not an exception to, the Cosmos.

        Reply
      2. hk

        The last time spirituality (esp one that was Shinto-inspired) was becoming fashionable in Japan, bad things happened. I tend to think too many people have too rosy a view of spirituality.

        Reply
        1. JAC

          If you are talking about what I think you are, I would not confuse State Shinto with Shinto.

          Shinto is not the problem, people are.

          Reply
          1. hk

            “State Shinto” has a long history going back to the Senkoku period, in which religious traditions were coopted in support of bolstering martial values (and moral values deemed to be associated with martial qualities, like asceticism). The phenomena of early 20th century did not materialize out of thin air. The other example I wanted to refer to was the transformation of the Romantic nationalism of early 19th century to the militant version of late 19th century, but that’s further afield even if it follows an analogous logic. I have nothing against people turning to spiritualism, but I don’t think it’s something to be celebrated either: it can turn just as ugly as rank materialism.

            Reply
      3. Acacia

        WRT young people in Japan, it’s worth bearing in mind that they are the largest group supporting the ruling right-wing LDP. When queried why they vote for neo-nationalists like Abe Shinzo, one of the most frequent answers is that they don’t want anything to change, which sounds rather like a fear of actual change, because they reason that their lives will only get worse.

        To try to put it in perspective, imagine that a staunchly pro-business GOP ruled the US since the mid-1950s with the exception of a few years in the late 2000s when the Democrat party got control, and that young people are at present the primary supporters of the GOP. That’s roughly the position of the LDP in Japan.

        On a related note, Adachi Masao (a film director, notorious former member of the Japanese Red Army, and 83 years old) has just wrapped a film about the assassination of Abe Shinzo. Entitled It’s Revenge against the State [Kokka ni taisuru ribenji da], it will screen in Tokyo on the 27th — the same day as the controversial state funeral for Abe. The film is being described as a sequel to his A.K.A. Serial Killer (1975).

        https://smart-flash.jp/sociopolitics/200133/1

        Reply
        1. Daniil Adamov

          “which sounds rather like a fear of actual change, because they reason that their lives will only get worse.”

          A reasonable fear. If so, what we are seeing now may be a sign that some of them are deciding change is inevitable, and they may as well follow the advice of a certain druid: collapse now and avoid the rush.

          Reply
    3. Alice X

      Eclair
      Introduced me to an interview by Nate Hagens with Steve Keen from 6/22/22. He focuses on the importance of energy which Neoclassical Economists miss and while Keen doesn’t use the term degrowth per se, he does explain how much consumption needs to decrease to bring the economy (he is an economist after all) into balance with the means of the Earth. It is a lot. I found the talk quite interesting and thought provoking, though I jumped the bus when he got to Elon Musk and colonizing Mars.

      Reply
  3. Sam Adams

    RE: Chief Justice John Roberts defends legitimacy of court
    If Roberts and the rest of the Supremes have to sing this tune, they’re playing off discordant sheet music . IN theory the Supreme Court is the arbiter of Constitutionality, however as Mitch McConnell and the Billionaires have shown and the Democratic leadership allowed with 50 years of trying its possible to fill the Supremes with political operatives and undermine the authority of Marbury v Madison.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      If a Chief Justice has to defend the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, then that can only mean that they have already lost it.

      Reply
      1. Glen

        Exactly.

        But this moment should have occurred after SCOTUS stopped the vote re-count in Florida, and picked W as the President.

        But hey, progress, and now America has the best SCOTUS that billionaire bucks can buy. And they seem to have an agenda that transmutes money into free speech and corporations into super people with super rights. Gee, it’s always nice to get what you paid for – the REAL free market in action! (Wall St? Everybody knows that’s rigged!)

        Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      Institutions are neither holy nor sacred. The bourgeois republic is not a “name” that can be “redeemed”. We would be much better off resolving not to subordinate ourselves to imaginary friends or larp Puritanism, and creating kinds of human relations that are fit for human subjectivity.

      Reply
    3. timbers

      Legitimacy…

      When Chief InJustice John Roberts takes a job at a 7-Eleven or McDonald’s or Walmart as a cash register clerk, or at a Home Depot or Lowes, and requires each and every Supreme to do the same for a period of several months and live exsclusively on those wages and nothing else, as part of the program to get them out of their pampered elitist bubbles and see who and how their rulings affect their subjects – I might take his words seriously.

      Reply
    4. griffen

      That is an encouraging ancedote to read the 9 justices shake hands. It’s like the Lion lying down with the Lamb, I tell you. \sarc

      See they are just like you and me, they don’t talk business or politics around the dining room. Professional sports is debatable. What do you think Clarence, will the Commanders be better this season with a middling QB and an improving defense? Sorry to say it but the Jets will suck and again don’t have a QB. And they drive, just better cars or likely 4 door black SUVs, either way there is security detail for certain. Wait you don’t have a security detail driving to the grocery store?

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’ll admit to many bouts of nervousness as the rightpaw from Firebaugh kept doing runs into the Rams defense, as we’re not gonna get r’ done with Case Keenum if he goes down with an injury.

        Reply
  4. Arizona Slim

    The story about unionization in post-industrial Pittsburgh brought joy to my heart. It included unionization news from a former employer, the University of Pittsburgh.

    Let me tell you, if any place deserves to be unionized, Pitt is it. I would have enjoyed the chance to file a grievance against my screamer of a boss, and I think that many of my coworkers would have too.

    Matter of fact, one of them took a different job on campus, just so she could get away from The Screamer. Right before I bailed on my job and on Pittsburgh, I ran into this lady, and, yes, I admitted that The Screamer was a big part of the reason why I was doing what I was about to do. My former coworker told me that , after she escaped from The Screamer, it took her six months to feel like a real human being again.

    BTW, one of my Pittsburgh friends was a volunteer deejay at WYEP and she really should have been paid. Nice to see that the Afternoon Mix host is being paid and is about to become part of a union.

    Reply
    1. DanB

      Arz. Slim,

      I worked at Pitt’s school of Public Health and know what you are saying. We hired a Pitt employee fiscal person who wanted to escape a humiliating boss; and we hired another Pitt person with the same wish to escape a horrible boss. I had occasion to work with the legal staff of the university and was told by one circumspect attorney, “We often have to defend bosses whose actions are difficult to defend.” I won’t go into details because I left my job there with a “no criticism of the institution” agreement but it was a very “challenging” place to work.

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Los Angeles September 11th, 1952 speech: The American Future

      “It might not be many years, for example, before you people of Los Angeles can get your drinking water from the sea. Already our scientists have made great progress in turning salt-water into fresh. The extraction of oils from shale will soon create one more industry in the west.”

      Adlai Stevenson

      Reply
    1. Milton

      I saw the stickers on my latest boxes that extended the expiration dated by another 4 months. Impressive they can do that with an already released product. I can’t wait until they can perform the same magic on my dairy and pantry goods

      Reply
      1. Revenant

        It’s not unreasonable. Any reasonable in vitro diagnostics manufacturer will keep samples from production runs and will be able to supply the FDA with data to validate test performance degradation over time. Now, it might be unsupported with evidence but I am just saying there is a pathway to extend shelf life by the book. What seems unlikely is that a product in the hands of the end user can be extended because there is no longer a “chain of custody” for its environmental handling.

        These antibody tests are very shelf stable though. The use by date is a shibboleth. It will probably work in twenty years provided it is stored cool and dry….

        Reply
    2. ChiGal

      thanks for this. I generally figure most things are good past their expiry dates which are usually CYA conservative but this is helpful. Will share widely!

      Reply
  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Royal Beekeeper.

    This paragraph stands out: “Telling the bees is a traditional custom of many European countries in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper’s lives, such as births, marriages, or departures and returns in the household.”

    In deepest, darkest Lithuania, where the Gs emerged from their primeval state, bees are highly regarded. The Lithuanians even claim that their bees are friendlier than other bees.

    Here’s the bee-keepers museum:
    https://www.visitaukstaitija.lt/en/sightseeing-places/museum-of-ancient-beekeeping/

    As Lambert Strether notes upstream, Twin Towers anniversary, the Queen shuffling off the mortal coil, and Ukraine madness (sponsored by Antony Blinken and his consulting firm) together are a tad too much. Yet there is cultural continuity.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      Man cannot serve two masters, or some such phrasing I seem to recall. Like worshiping both God (or another higher being, deity, the Force) and Mammon it is impossible to please those equally.

      Who am I kidding though. Think of the fun word salads to conjure. It could be like a 2022 update on the RickRoll trends of yore (circa 2010?)!!

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        America is full of surprises. First I learn that there is such a thing as the Parliamentarian in US politics and now I learn that there is such a thing as Master in US law.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        The multiplication of masters is the very essence of complex society. Indeed, the purpose of private property is to create opportunities for relations of service, justifying social stations for masters.

        The question of whether social complexity is valuable is a much larger one.

        Reply
      3. JBird4049

        I thought Mammon IS God, which means you cannot be godly (or good) without being wealthy. Isn’t that what seems to be the belief of many American Elites? All this is not what I read in the Bible, but what do I know? I am one of those ungodly poors. ;-)

        Reply
    2. Bruno

      One of Trump’s proposed “special masters” is a former FISA judge who had signed off on the fraudulent Carter Page affidavit. Marvelous. What better way to get at the “Justice” department than to appoint someone with a vivid memory of how they had lied and deceived him?

      Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        A quick search found that all the judges tangled up with FISA rulings have been Republican appointees. Judges one would assume were nominated for being reliably deferential to authority.

        I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think Clintonesque “scams” have roiled the judiciary and that some judges may be eager to punish those who played the FISA court for rubes.

        I suspect Trump has a reason for thinking this judge will be on his side.

        Reply
  6. Jen

    Stopped by my workplace yesterday to clean out my office (working from home, no longer need it). I noticed a box of office supplies had just been delivered – which included a case of clorox wipes, and a prominent sign in the kitchen reminding people to wash their hands. Have I mentioned that I work for a medical school?

    Very little masking in the stores while I was out and about.

    Reply
  7. griffen

    Puppy against Puppy, that is too adorable. Could use better music accompaniment, perhaps?

    House of Pain’s Jump Around is first to mind.

    Reply
  8. Steve H.

    > Soon after 1870 people got a clue that something had changed.

    I guess we’ll never know what that was.

    * * *

    [Marx, Karl, 1818-1883. Das Kapital, a Critique of Political Economy. Germany, 1867.]

    Reply
    1. vao

      What are you referring to with that quote about things having changed after 1870 and people noticing? Is this from one of the links?

      Reply
        1. vao

          Thanks.

          Well, a couple of really important things changed in the economic sphere soon after 1870, and it was difficult not to notice them:

          a) This was the start of the second Industrial Revolution, based on synthetic chemistry, electricity and oil (the first Industrial Revolution was of course steam, steel and textile).

          b) 1873 marked the beginning of the Long Depression — a long bout of corporate bankruptcies, unemployment, deflation and economic stagnation that would last till 1896.

          Reply
          1. Mikel

            DeLong writes:
            “Before 1870 this world was a Malthusian world.

            But there was even worse: In such a poor world, only a few could have enough….”

            Did it really change afterwards? Then the Social Darwinism ideology took effect. The kissing cousing to Malthusian world views.

            By 1870, China was a shambles – as a few wanted more.
            And the 1870s also brought German unification and major shifts in Japan that would have far reaching consequences. All in addition to what was taking place in the USA and the British Empire.
            Because a few can never have enough and probably can’t grasp the concept of the word.

            Reply
          2. skippy

            This was also the timeline of where some economists became infatuated with Newtonian maths and physics which could be applied to the discipline in a deterministic manner – looks out window ….

            Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            They’re lying a new historical myth into existence, which is normal. Some other Entitled Journalist recently tried to convince us that liberalism is less than 100 years old.

            Reply
    2. albrt

      I have called Brad DeLong many things over his career as a Democrat apologist, but I would not previously have called him a reductionist.

      Reply
      1. Glen

        Most of what I still call him is [family blogging] unprintable. Him, Summers, Rubin, Greenspan, turned America from a country that created industries, sent people to the moon, and had a vibrant middle class into a country that destroys it’s industrial base, cannot get a years late overpriced rocket off the launch pad, makes billionaires and poor people, and destroys it’s middle class.

        Bravo to him.

        Reply
    3. Wukchumni

      The “Crime of ’73” was a pivotal moment in money…

      The Coinage Act of 1873 or Mint Act of 1873, was a general revision of laws relating to the Mint of the United States. By ending the right of holders of silver bullion to have it coined into standard silver dollars, while allowing holders of gold to continue to have their bullion made into money, the act created a gold standard by default. It also authorized a Trade dollar, with limited legal tender, intended for export, mainly to Asia, and abolished three small-denomination coins. The act led to controversial results and was denounced by critics as the “Crime of ’73”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coinage_Act_of_1873

      Reply
    4. fringe element

      I would frame things differently. Yes, it is important that Capital was published in 1867 and then by 1870 people were thinking differently about economics. I’m sure Marx was a big reason for that. But it was the changed economic circumstances that produced Marx and all the others who were thinking in a new way.

      Instead I would suggest another answer to the question of why all our progress ultimately produced something as backward and destructive as neo-liberalism. A clue to it is to be found in the quote from Keynes that Delong shared, where Keynes imagined that one day soon a person would only need to figure out “how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him”.

      If you have followed Michael Hudson you will be familiar with what he has to say about compound interest. Unless there is a tradition of having jubilees or some practice that wipes out debt across the board every generation or two, the mechanics of compound interest are such as to inevitably concentrate wealth in fewer and fewer hands. The fact that the West learned to use compound interest but did not care to learn about using jubilees to keep concentrated wealth and all it’s evils from emerging, is where we went wrong.

      Reply
      1. Kouros

        I think it is going a bit deeper than that.

        I remember reading on NC some years ago about the start of industrial revolution in England, which went hand in hand with the Enclosures Act that deprived many rural peoples of their commons, on which they could scrape an existence.

        In the article I am talking about, there were quotes from the late 18 century luminaries claiming that people should earn their keep as soon as they reach 3 or 4 years of age… Obviously not their children…

        The biggest domestication that we experienced was the domestication and subjugation of man. And there are few that wouldn’t mind ruling over all of them. And no, I don’t think they are aliens dressed as humans, but I do think that such people should be purged from the face of the earth.

        The spirit that we need to cultivate is something akin to what David Graeber talks here:

        “Far from being expected to demonstrate personal charisma or the ability to outdo rivals, those who aspired to a role on the Council of Tlaxcala did so in a spirit of self-deprecation—even shame—and were required to subordinate themselves to the people of the city. To ensure this was no mere show, each was subject to trials, starting with mandatory exposure to public abuse, regarded as the proper reward of ambition, and then—with one’s ego in tatters—a long period of seclusion, where the incumbent politician suffered ordeals of fasting, sleep deprivation, bloodletting, and a strict regime of moral instruction. The initiation ended with a “coming out” of the newly constituted public servant amid feasting and celebration. Clearly, taking up office in this indigenous democracy required personality traits very different from those we take for granted in modern electoral politics.”

        https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/democracy/hiding-plain-sight

        Reply
  9. Stephen

    Ukraine’s lightning advance….It is more balanced than the headline, as you say.

    Some time ago, Alexander Christoforou of The Duran made the point that the Zelensky regime will prioritise territory versus lives. Losing or gaining land, even unimportant land is visible whilst casualties can be hidden to a large extent, within reason. None of the mainstream headlines or Twitter exchanges I have noticed talk about relative casualty numbers in Kharkov. Unless I missed them, there do not seem to be hundreds of pictures of Russian equipment, casualties or POWs. There are some, but not the level one might associate with a complete Russian debacle. As ever, it is what we are not seeing that matters far more than what we are seeing. Fascinating too that there is so much criticism on the Russian side (could some of it be psyops) and seemingly such critics are not marched straight off to the gulag…..

    Given that the US / NATO is really architecting Ukraine’s campaign it is very clear too that Ukrainian casualties do not really matter to them. No body bags being unloaded at US or UK airports. This really is “Fight to the Last Ukrainian” by a bunch of politicians in a state of obsession. The Russians, on the other hand, obviously care a lot about casualties. It also seems that the ongoing advances in Donbass are carrying on anyway. Evidence too it seems from Telegram pictures that Russian troops have explicitly been covering the movement of civilian convoys out of the abandoned territories, while Ukraine of course is about to go around with “lists”.

    Yep, agree with Yves comment elsewhere. The creation by the US / EU / UK of a “fascist” client regime in Europe is an evil that one day we will be held to account for.

    Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “Ending Free Covid Tests, US Policy Is Now “You Do You”

    I think that I must really get my mind out of the gutter more. When I was younger, if somebody asked you if ‘Did you do her’, I think that most people would know what is meant by that phrase as in ‘Did you (family-blog) her.’ So when I first saw that slogan – “You Do You” – it almost sounded like they were saying that you can go do yourself as in ‘Go (family-blog) Yourself’. If it came out years down the track that this was an inside joke among White House staffers, I would not be surprised at all.

    Reply
    1. Basil Pesto

      Heh. In fact “you do you” is a cliché that has arisen in the last few years, well enough known for it to be put in the MTA poster and its meaning to resonate with NYCers. “be your authentic self/do what makes you happy” kind of thing. That’s all well and good if you’re, say, considering putting pineapple on pizza. Less so when it comes to, uh, public health.

      Reply
  11. GramSci

    re: Independence from Britain

    It took a while, but eventually Britain won the US Revolutionary War: During the reign of Elizabeth II, with the protection of ‘NATO’, almost every one of those countries–and then some–has become a colony of the modernized East India Corporation.

    Reply
  12. Steve H.

    In rememberance of Charles Cameron, I present these two juxtaposed quotes. See if you can guess which quote goes with which article:

    > In the aftermath of the pandemic, various pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) plans have been announced, including the Gates Foundation’s Global Epidemic Response and Mobilisation team12 and the World Bank’s new Financial Intermediary Fund13 for PPR that partners with governments, the WHO and other international agencies. Alongside improving capacity for essential public health functions and maintaining core services, country PPR plans should invest in health equity.

    > Concerns about what information the sequences contain and how they will be used may be particularly seen among groups that have experienced health-related exploitation or mistreatment, including impoverished communities and Black, Indigenous or other people of color. Building and maintaining trust requires incorporation of community interests throughout the decision-making process; top-down implementation risks pushback by the communities monitored.

    : Wastewater surveillance of pathogens can inform public health responses
    : Why addressing inequality must be central to pandemic preparedness

    Reply
  13. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Ganz and Beijer exchange is inside, inside, inside baseball. If only I were as enlightened as Yogi Berra to be able to cut through it all.

    Yet Ganz seems to hang it all on “hypocrisy,” which means that the West can’t be criticized because it is what-about-ism, a word that he doesn’t use. Yet I recognize the mindset, having seen the scribblings on Facebucket of people who start by saying the U.S. (and U.K.) cannot be criticized.

    Even if, as reported here, the Biden administration is being parasitized by Antony Blinken’s consulting firm. I guess that’s why Blinken is too busy to call Lavrov.

    Beijer ends with a rather flat-footed rally at the end of his piece:
    “This entire Ukraine discourse is the product of brutish stupidity. On one side, crank conspiracy theorists who get all of their information about the war from BasedDuginDude69 on Telegram. On the other, smug “I’m completely out of my field, but” liberals who completely reverse their analysis because the new one sounds even prettier. And the only thing they have in common: both hate the anti-imperialist left.”

    The Left, by its very nature, as a movement concerned about the well-being of working people should be anti-imperialist. Do we truly have to argue about this using strawmen (strawpeople) from Telegram and Liberal Cluelessdom? The Ganz-Beijer dispute comes across as bloodsport in the graduate school of sociology. Mean remarks over the prune danish at faculty retreats.

    But then we’ve seen Twitters here that exonerate AzovBrigaders because they are blond.

    O tempora! O mores! O Yogi!

    Reply
    1. pjay

      Yes. A week or so ago there was a pretty incoherent article by Beijer posted at NC supposedly about “the left” and Ukraine. This week we have this exchange. Neither commentator manages to address the real issues; both circle straw-person arguments, as you point out, with a lot of irrelevant verbiage.

      I agree with your assessment, though you might be a bit unfair to sociology grad students; there are no doubt a few who could do better than this.

      Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      Lenin recognized that leftism is not a complete value system. At best it is a a general theory of property by which to prioritize interests and resolve conflicts, or a hermeneutic under which to read an ideology. At worst it’s the reification of a seating chart or a pointless self-identical demonstration of subordination. As platform labor replaces wage labor and the Puritan notion of employer as parent has become repugnant, it is a hermeneutic of less currency. In any case, a correct or deviant bourgeoisie can easily develop rationales and methods to exalt an unproductive petty nobility, and they do.

      Lenin also proposed imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism. Even if leftism were a total human emancipation movement (which it isn’t), left capitalism is not an oxymoron and not inconceivable. Given a different theory of property that is more emancipation-flavored, such an ideology can retain theories of absentee private property, some wage system (however abstract and partial) for rewarding conformance, intergenerational inheritance and debt, accumulation by dispossession all the way up to imperial scale, a “universal equivalent” value token, and more.

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    Been thinking about what is happening in the Ukraine today and ratting around the internet for what other people are saying. I see that my YouTube feed is crowded with videos gloating about the Russian setbacks as if, as if this was pre-planned or something. And a lot of information is not making its way out of this region. Such as where is that 3rd Corps that the Russians have been training in the south? Why is there so little info on the location of actual Russian units? Stuff like that. But here is the thing. I classify myself as a fundamentals guy. I look at – or try to – what is really important and here is what I am seeing.

    As the Russians have been doing for the past six months, they are temporarily swapping territory for Ukrainian casualties. And as Yves has mentioned in a previous comment, the Ukrainians are taking casualties like you would not believe. Maybe up to 50% out of the initial attacking force. So, do they have the strength to resist a counter-attack by professional Russian formations? Are their supply lines still intact? Remember too that whereas the Kherson attack was carried out by what was essentially the Ukraine’s B team (who fought – and died – valiantly), this one is being carried out by their A Team which has most of their professionals as well as tanks & other armoured gear from places like Germany and Poland. If this force is crushed, does the Ukraine get to spawn yet another foreign-trained and foreign-equipped fighting force? Will there be the time?

    Another thing is this. A lot of people call this a Ukrainian-Russian war but I believe this to be wrong. As I have said before, this is actually a NATO-Russia war. But it is the Ukrainians that are providing – mostly – the ground troops. So NATO countries around the world are emptying out their armouries to supply the Ukrainians to the point of giving them more than they can spare. And NATO countries have been training Ukrainians with Spain being the latest NATO country to announce that they will be training them in the use of battle tanks, missile systems, military medicine, and demining work. NATO satellites and intelligence is analyzing everything going on and if you think that the Ukrainians are actually running this war, I am going to have to disagree. NATO is running this war like they did in Afghanistan. So I think that you will find that it is US, UK, Polish, etc. troops using some of that high-tech gear that the Ukrainians were given. And probably getting themselves killed too.

    Finally, the c,lock is ticking for the west on this war. The economies of the west are being crushed and whole countries are being de-industrialized. So if there is not a victory by the end of this year, it is all over for them. But for a bit of perspective here is a video from Brian Berletic giving a few hard truths-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3zNxBahukU (16:52 mins)

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      What I find more and more difficult to understand each passing month is what on earth NATO countries can teach about war to Ukrainians that the Ukrainians don’t already know better? The people in NATO who have experienced this kind of war have to be older than 90 by now.

      It almost feels as sheer [family blogging] hubris, especially after so many NATO veterans tactically returning from Ukraine after a first taste and realizing this is not what they signed up for.

      I could understand if there was a stream of all level of Ukrainians from all branches coming to lecture to NATO of lessons learned so far. But that doesn’t seem to be a thing.

      Reply
      1. Jeotsu

        Experience only propagates if it is transferred.

        It is my recollection that one problem suffered by both the German and Japanese air forces during WWII was that they did not rotate their aces to the rear to teach the new recruits. So while the ‘best of the best’ of the Axis powers racked up huge kill tallies, eventually fate caught up with them and they died with their hard-won knowledge and experience.

        As Ukraine sacrifices their young (and increasingly older) men on the front lines, how much experience is being accrued and transferred?

        Reply
        1. JBird4049

          Both the Germans and the Japanese planned (hoped really) for a short war. They could not match the resources of their opponents so they tried to keep their best in the fight. The United States planned more for a long term war. Fighter pilots and bomber crews were generally rotated out of combat after a period of time or set of missions with the pilots sent back to train replacements. This is one of the reasons for the Americans getting better while the Axis got worse. Also, the Japanese navy didn’t speed up the training and increase the class size of their carrier pilots preferring to maintain the same very high level of training as was done prewar.

          IIRC, it was only about two years or mid 1943 for the Japanese to start to suffer. I think that the Germans did better, but only in comparison.

          Reply
      2. Kouros

        The West is exceptional… Nec plus ultra…

        reminds me of that Arabic warrior / khalif that conquered some new place and burned all the books because Quran already contained everything a person needed to know…

        Reply
    2. chris

      Re: the clock is ticking…

      Yes. It may have already run out for places like Poland in terms of available energy resources for the winter. I wonder if the decision to make a counter offensive and win the PR battle was to made to give the EU leaders cover as winter settles in. But, as they say, ending a day with hope to eat makes for a good dinner and a poor breakfast.

      I note many friends and acquaintances in my social feeds trumpeting Russian retreats this morning. A few bad attempts at re-writing phrases to “Brave, Brave, Brave, Brave Sir Robin…” I remain quiet because I still don’t have good information about either side in the conflict. It seems as if Russia may be having some supply issues. It seems as if Russia is encountering more resistance than it expected. It appears the Ukrainians are winning more than expected but no one knows what the costs of their victories are. None of what I’m seeing seems like it changes the fundamental truth here.

      These truths remain: The Ukrainians cannot win. The EU is committing economic suicide. A number of Europeans are going to be cold and hungry this winter. The fallout from preventing other countries doing business with Russia for essential goods is going to encourage every country that can to leave the dollar system as quickly as possible. Africa and large parts of Asia will starve because they can’t get the grains or fertilizer they need or can’t afford them anyway. Multiple countries may collapse due to the increase in food costs and dollar denominated debt service. The US will continue to send billions to every foreign cause it can while ignoring the number of our own citizens who don’t have clean water or fuel to get them through the winter.

      I expect more political and industrial PR campaigns to get desperate people excited about eating bugs.

      Reply
      1. JRJ

        So glad I bought ADM and energy stocks during the shutdowns. Tried to buy Cargill, but it’s private.
        Now that Ameranotrichans are paying what Europeons used to pay for energy, and food, And the Europeons are headed for debt, food and energy feudalism, the final looting of the America is profitably afoot. Biden/Harris 2024!
        Ideally in a few years, we’ll be charging the world whatever we want for energy, food, and reselling formerly Russian fertilizer and oil, not just in the 3rd World, but Europe and most importantly, our own internal colonies of dispossessed Americans.

        Now, if we could just disarm them? Maybe another terrorists attack after the midterms?

        Reply
    3. zagonostra

      >…the clock is ticking for the west on this war

      You’re absolutely right, unfortunately most of my family, colleagues, and friends are not paying enough or close attention. Me, I get my daily report from Scott Ritter, The Duran, True Info and of course NC as well as other sources. It is this lack of interest as well as laziness in listening or reading Putin’s transcripts and proceedings at the U.N. that has me worried.

      Scott Ritter’s rages and condemns in the strongest possible words the role of the U.S. His harsh words boarders on fighting words, he says the U.S. has become “dirt.” He is consciously provoking his listeners from inattention and their insouciance. He is not gratuitously seeking to inflame and titillate. He is going around the neighborhood and and shouting at the top of his voice to wake people up.

      So Rev Kev’s analysis is sound and good. but I fear that Congress’ connection to the people has been severed to the point where they no longer hears the people or look out for their best interest; they live not in an echo chamber but in a distorted fun house of mirrors.

      Reply
      1. chris

        Is it laziness or are we seeing another example of “where is the rage?” in the citizenry? There was no outburst domestically in the US over being told we needed to pay too much for gas as long as it takes. There were no demonstrations of any size against the US funding a proxy war with a non-zero possibility of nuclear consequences. Just like there’s been no general strike against these oligarchs who are obviously ruining the lives of millions. The best we get is “quiet quitting”.

        I think so many people are so hopeless, so tired, so overwhelmed at the thought of even trying to understand why everything is awful, that when they come home from a long day they would rather do anything than listen to Scott Ritter for an hour. I can’t blame those who make that decision just because I have the luxury of time and resources to do it in a way that doesn’t kill me.

        Reply
        1. jsn

          Look at the mortality rate and causes in the US and tell me there’s no rage.

          We have been made a furious, homicidal, suicidal nation by 50 years of neoliberal propaganda.

          That we are killing our selves rather than the Oligarchy that pays handsomely to ensure one half of the working class kills the other, when it’s not ODing itself, is the true genius of digital communication.

          Reply
        2. Kouros

          Cold and hunger and long bread lines have mobilized the French women in 1793 and the Russian women in 1917 to rise up, against all advice to stay put, and storm the absolutist monarchies and place them in the history books. So let’s pray for a long hard winter, no food (albeit EU has bought 85 ships of Ukrainian grains so far) and long lines for government dole (whatever that might be)

          Reply
    4. skippy

      @ Rev ….

      Any idea that Russia was taken by surprise[tm] and its main forces routed is some heavy duty perception management. That this is being produced from the lands of the endless Bernays cortex injection is all one needs to know e.g. we shape realities for the consumers.

      This operation is not in the history books so I would not go there for insight.

      Ukrainian demographics alone make a protracted conflict impossible, more so the lack of control or ability to forecast equipment supplies, let alone its ad hoc nature, and the always inevitable training cycles. I would also point out that Russia knows whom it really tangling with and would not be silly enough to take unwarranted losses to engage in the PR wars due to future potential.

      Gotta run to work …

      Reply
  15. lyman alpha blob

    That’s some breathless reporting of Ukrainian success in the Grauniad link –

    “Ukrainian forces are continuing to make unexpected, rapid advances in the north-east of the country, retaking more than a third of the occupied Kharkiv region in three days. Much of Ukraine’s territorial gains were confirmed by Russia’s defence ministry on Saturday.”

    Not a map guy, but elsewhere I saw the claim to make it simple for USians I guess that Ukraine had retaken an area the size of NYC and LA – COMBINED! Well, area is a lot different than population and that bit of legerdemain seems like an attempt to make people think in terms of tens of millions of people rather than the fact that two cities are only a partial county and a relatively small land area.

    Contrast all these recent reports of Ukrainian “success” with the reports we’ve been hearing since February that Russia is losing since it hadn’t taken over [insert region here, up to the whole of Ukraine] in [insert time frame here, up to the present day] while completely ignoring pretty obvious victories by the Russians. Sure seems like the West is grasping at straws here in the hopes of mollifying their own increasingly discontent populations.

    Reply
    1. Louis Fyne

      Yes, the width of the bulge that UA created is at most 40 miles. And that bulge has run against a decently wide river.

      While Russia still holds an area that is the size of something between South Carolina and West Virginia

      Reply
    2. Lex

      At the current rate of territorial acquisition over the last week, it will take Ukraine almost two years to reach its own borders.

      Reply
  16. griffen

    Twenty years is pretty long time to have some retrospective. I found the article by the young author in the link above, Teen Vogue, to be pretty detailed and insightful. It is really difficult to put myself into her shoes as a frightened young girl just trying whatever, or however, to get home or to her grandparents home and feel somewhat safe. It is encouraging that this author finally got a solid diagnosis and plan of action to at last get better.

    I remember that morning well, working as a young analyst for an investment manager based in Chapel Hill, NC. Could not believe what was showing on the television after the first plane, but then watched as the second plane struck. And in the weeks that followed, the stories that in hindsight just seem horrific like those that were encouraged to return to their desks. And the amazingly few who said forget that, I am heading downstairs and doing so with haste.

    To paraphrase Red and Andy in Shawshank Redemption. Twenty years, Gawd. When you say it like that, you wonder where it went.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I think the most important question in terms of colonization and independence, is how did the UK’s competitors do in comparison, in retrospect?

      Reply
    2. griffen

      I couldn’t help but recall this from the fine film by Eastwood, Unforgiven. If one remembers the preceding scene, English Bob is prattling on about shooting a King or a Queen during a train ride. He continues that diatribe once they finally arrive in the Western town. Cut to the 1 minute mark, more or less.

      https://youtu.be/rsyw13yrRoo

      Reply
    3. Kouros

      Britain never invaded Romania or Romanian principalities. The bombings of Ploiesti during WWII do not make an invasion. Britain believes in its lies. Doesn’t make them true.

      Reply
  17. Carolinian

    Re LA Times on the decline of local news–Hiltzik’s column could be offered as exhibit A of the problem he describes since it is largely empty of any new information or original attitudes. Where’s the shoe leather? Perhaps the stalest of these attitudes is he assertion that local newspapers were once civic minded Don Quixotes tilting at corporate and government windmills whereas most of them have themselves been mere businesses sharing a fraternal relationship with their true audience, the advertisers. My own local paper–now owned by Gannett/Gatehouse–has dwindled to practically nothing but it would be a real strain to think of any past instance where they investigated anything. It was always AP stories, sports and local business news to fill the very limited “news hole” between ads.

    In this context the rise of the web has been, not the destroyer of the news business (that would be television), but a reaction to the inanity and often outright dishonesty of the traditional sources. Cronkite said :”we are selling credibility” and they’ve blown that, big time.

    Surely we do need a return to journalists doing actual journalism but it seems dubious that legacy print newspapers will be the source. All they have to offer at this point would be brand fumes.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      My educated guess would be that a new prospective hire as a reporter for fishwraps these days, would mean that they have the ability to go deep, as in all the way to the bottom of the first google page, when researching a story.

      You can’t but notice all the spelling errors and janky text all too often, which means the newspapers are hiring reporter-editors for the low cost of just 1 human.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        “Hiring” may be too strong a word. Much of my local fishwrap seems to be produced by freelancers. I believe they have only one full time news reporter.

        Reply
    2. GramSci

      Thank you, Carolinian. I find it hard to swallow all the romanticized nostalgia for “local newspapers”. Broadsides in the tradition of Thomas Paine made some genuine contributions to the redemption of humanity, against which the [local] newspaper was a counter-revolution.

      IMHO, the Interstate Highway System destroyed everything local. What survived were the metastasized “papers of record”, which have become the mainstream web. Credit craigslist for killing the local chamber of commerce and its claque.

      And credit WordPress and Yves and Lambert for carrying on the tradition of Paine. Donate now if you have not yet.

      Edit: WordPress loses points for its moderation software.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Our local weekly newspaper went digital about 5 years ago, which represented the very last tactile newspaper i’ll ever subscribe to, and truth be said it wasn’t all that, but a heck of a 6 minute read when ensconced on the porcelain throne.

        The owners attempted to sell it before going digital and found out that nobody was interested, really at any price. They played the digital game for a couple years before it went the way of the Dodo

        Almost all of the news was of the local kind, and now when somebody passes away in the community, did it really happen?

        Reply
        1. GramSci

          I was recently looking for some pix of old friends, fairly recently dearly departeds. There are still a few obituaries of uncles and aunts who passed away before the web, such pix apparently the main source of income from the remnant of my hometown rag. But of my age-mates and friends, scattered by the great internet diaspora, I’ve only found the picture of a real estate developer who bullied me in the second grade. Sic transit transit.

          Reply
    1. ambrit

      I’ll suggest that the identity of the demographic that is the most highly “damaged” by the Dreaded Pathogen is the important point. This is working out to be a huge Eugenics exercise. Kill off the old and weak. Something a true savage would understand.
      We are living through, those of us who are so “lucky,” the decline and fall of ‘Liberal’ Industrial Society. Some talk about the present day trend of “rolling back” the socio-economic measures of the Franklin D Roosevelt reign. What is emerging from the chaos of our recent history is the “rolling back” of the gains of the Enlightenment.
      I’d like to help build a survival “colony” somewhere and name it Trantor.

      Reply
      1. antidlc

        “I’ll suggest that the identity of the demographic that is the most highly “damaged” by the Dreaded Pathogen is the important point. This is working out to be a huge Eugenics exercise. Kill off the old and weak. Something a true savage would understand.”

        Yep.

        Reply
        1. Petter

          We’ll so far the plan hasn’t worked on me or my two my two table-mates in the care facility we’re in for two weeks stays to give our wives a break. (It’s actually a combo hospice, nursing home, short term facility but never mind the details.) My dining companions are 86 and 91, neither one a Charles Atlas or Clint Eastwood, to the contrary. Both got Omicron and neither got hit hard, unlike me, who got Delta – infected on the pulmonary unit at our regional hospital back in November, as I never tire telling everyone.
          I’ve asked others on the unit if they got Covid and all have answered in the affirmative.
          Staff not masked, patients not masked, so the opera ain’t over yet. But we’re still all kicking.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Good man, but your survival is the eugenics at work.
            Strictly speaking, proper eugenics requires the ‘culling’ of people before they reproduce. Or at least a restriction of the probable population levels of various groups.

            Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “What the 20 Years Since 9/11 Have Been Like For a Survivor”

    ‘I spent my teenage years in and out of different therapists’ offices and psychiatrists’ chairs as I took dozens of medications and sought help for issues that nobody seemed able to fix. It left me feeling drained of hope. My first therapist grumbled and closed his eyes while I talked, but listened for long enough to hypothesize that I was depressed. I was medicated for depression, but I didn’t get better. Another therapist concluded that my frequently intrusive negative thoughts warranted a diagnosis of ADD—and she medicated me for it. I still didn’t get better. Another psychologist diagnosed me with Bipolar Disorder, and I was medicated for that too. I still didn’t get better.’

    Three trained specialist and all they could come up was to push a bunch a pills at her. Gee, I’m not a trick-cyclist and even I could see this was a case of PTSD caused by being in the middle of a catastrophe. So, does that make me super-smart or does that make those three specialists super-stupid?

    Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          In any society, most people are “dogs”. “People” are that social role formed by “education”. Charming that he thinks of the labor class that way, but at least he’s honest about how societies work.

          Reply
      1. Petter

        Reminds me of an old colleague. He was listening to a client and suddenly thought “you need professional help” and then thought” I am professional help.”

        Reply
  19. Louis Fyne

    Occam’s razor: Queen died from old age (heart failure, failure of the immune system, widespread cellular death) and slicing up the Queen to get a definitive answer is macabre;

    Twitter: The royal family must be hiding something!

    Surprised that the Twitterati haven’t brought up the death of QE2’s father—-given a healthy dose of opiate painkillers so that (purportedly the anecdote goes) his death would be announced by the morning papers and not the plebian evening papers.

    Reply
          1. digi_owl

            No MD or similar, but that last image of her was haunting.

            There was clearly not much left in her, but still she insisted on meeting Truss on her feet.

            Reply
    1. Stephen

      When my father passed aged 89 the Doctor was very careful to discuss the cause of death on the Death Certificate. My father had many co-morbidities but ultimately it was old age, and I agreed that with the doctor as the primary cause.

      However, the doctor told me that many relatives push back on that as a cause, and even get very upset by it. I guess it is the hyper micro “scientific” age that we live in. Everyone wants a set of deterministic “causes” for everything.

      That may be part of this “debate” but at 96 I too think the Queen passed from old age.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Was talking with my 97 & 1/2 year old (halves matter when you’re 7 or 97) mom the other day about dying and got the idea she was fine with it, but the body wasn’t quite willing, although her legs are quite restless these days.

        The finish line is in sight and don’t be pulling no Betty White, I implored…

        But the idea of reaching a 3 digit number is everybody else’s concern, not so much hers, ha ha

        Reply
        1. Lunker Walleye

          So true about the halves mattering. Mother, who had 8 children, died 13 years ago today a few weeks after turning 99. On her 99th, she asked how old she was (dementia) and we told her that she was shy of a century by one year. She was stunned;)

          Reply
        2. John Wright

          My grandmother would announce her age as “I’m xx going on xx+1”.

          She didn’t need do fractions/rounding this way.

          Every night, at around 7PM, grandma would develop a slight cough.

          Then she would administer her “cough medicine” which was a shot of whiskey, to cure the cough.

          She made it to 103..

          Reply
      2. Omicron

        When my mother died (at 101), the cause of death on the death certificate was “failure to thrive.” Fair enough: observing the last six months of her life was like watching a chandelier with the individual lights going out one by one. Probably many causes, and not a good use of autopsy time to try to figure out which one was determinative. She had a long and productive life and realized that the end was near.

        Reply
        1. Petter

          My mother was 96 and a third when she died. Like yours she faded her last months. I was with her the night before she died. She asked me where my wife was and I answered she’d be there tomorrow. “Too late,” was her reply. And it was.
          We were informed of her death the next morning and rushed to the nursing home. After saying our farewells, (actually I can’t remember what I did except cry) my wife and I discovered we’d forgotten to shut off lights in the car. This was March 5th, still winter. Got a jump start from nice fellow who turned out to be the physician summoned to certify the death. Cause of death, I didn’t even check but assume natural causes.
          She died in a nursing home on Saturday morning in early March in Norway. The funeral bureau came on Tuesday to remove her remains. Why the delay we never learned but the nursing didn’t see it as any big deal. They opened the windows in her room and kept the door shut – natural cooling.

          Reply
      1. ambrit

        “They” don’t want an autopsy because that would expose her as being a Zeta Reticulan lizard person.
        Our Overlords thrive in the shadows.

        Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Only hinted at in the article is that the physician wanted the news of the King’s death to be released in the official “Times” newspaper and not the next day when it would be the tabloids that would be carrying the news. An example of dead-copy?

        Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    Baseball has realized that it’s just too slow (scratches crotch and taps bat on cleats @ the plate as I readjust batting gloves after each pitch) and unwieldy (the shift looks like cheating to me, did anybody in MLB ever think of that?) of a game for these times as it evolves from a pitcher’s milieu (looks off the sign from the catcher and throws repeated lobs to first base in order to keep the runner honest) to a speeded up version.

    Couldn’t they have just cut the games down to 6 innings and kept the same staleness intact?

    Reply
    1. griffen

      But, but the records and stats all go back to the Red Stockings who started play before the Civil War!?! What we will sell the game on if we don’t have records within reach, many of those predate the automobile…heavy sarcasm.

      The entirety of the season gets boiled down into these finals weeks. Pujols might reach the 700 plateau for career home runs, which is notable. Not sure what star pitchers are doing or who would be in the race for a Cy Young. I used to love the sport and fall weather and the playoffs. Now I really don’t give a care when stars get busted for using PED and they shrug their damn shoulders. Which is a shame to admit, knowing there is lot of young talent coming into the league.

      College football owns Saturday, and professional football owns Sunday and also Monday nights. Not sure what baseball really has been doing the last decade or so.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        MLB seems mostly a catalyst for sports betting these days, and I still get interested once the playoffs start (I haven’t watched a game yet this season-and i’m the average age of the MLB fan base) and the boring repetition of 162 games is finally silenced.

        Reply
        1. Anthony G Stegman

          With the exception of hockey, which still remains a fast game, the other major sports – baseball, basketball, and football have too many interruptions. In basketball it’s nearly impossible to drive to the basket without a foul being called. In football the slightest grab will result in a holding penalty. And if a defender were to lay even a pinky on the quarterback’s head that’s 15 yards for roughing. The games have become ridiculous much of the time. Baseball has too many pitching changes, juiced balls, and a lowered pitching mound. The shift is odd in that it seems to often work. What is wrong with so many batters that they are unable to hit the ball where the players ain’t? Pathetic. And this focus on swinging for home runs all the time makes the overall game boring as all get out. I no longer watch baseball. I still watch playoff basketball. Football has been taken over by the Pentagon, so adios there as well.

          Reply
      2. John

        … And watching college football yesterday, it will not own Saturday much longer if these interminable reviews continue. If you cannot see a reason to alter a referee’s call in 60 seconds, let it stand. Stopping the game over and over is vexing.Seeing by super slow motion and enlargement what no person could discern in real time is not “getting it right” but using technology to second guess and find fault with officials for being human and allowing smug second-guessers their required satisfaction. It’s a game played by people.

        Reply
        1. griffen

          Not going to argue with that. Reviews for what a generation ago was a standard hit above the shoulders, not helmet on helmet or leading with the helmet, just your run of the mill defensive stop get consistently reviewed. Targeting is usually pretty obvious. And while we’re at the topic, idiot head coaches don’t help.

          Last week, UNC Chapel Hill defeated (but nearly failed to seal it) Appalachian State after a 4 hour slog. Four damn hours to finish a standard game, no overtime. Absurd.

          Reply
    1. Revenant

      It is a rather ghoulish game but everybody wants to know.

      My guess is that the unspecified overnight hospital investigation in 2021 uncovered some sort of cancer with primary or metastatic bone/joint involvement (or the other way round, there was an orthopaedic issue that uncovered a late stage cancer as the cause). Hence the immobility but otherwise undimished. The Queen repeatedly had very bruised hands suggesting regular canulation, which could fit with a regime of palliative chemo and/or analgesia.

      She was clearly getting frailer but then all of sudden there is a clinical emergency (I would guess a thrombus from something collapsing and the bone fragments / marrow / local clot causing a cerebrovascular / pulmonary / cardiac event) which initially appears like another minor step down (just another bout of tiredness or a TIA) but she doesn’t recover from it….

      Reply
  21. The Rev Kev

    “‘A new way of life’: the Marxist, post-capitalist, green manifesto captivating Japan”

    So I was just thinking. Based on this article, is this what Robert Habeck – Germany’s Minister for Everything – has planned for Germany itslef? He said the other day that businesses can just close down for awhile and maybe open up later on after the energy crisis is over. I don’t think that it works that way. But as far as de-industrializing Germany is concerned, he is well on track to this ideal future for Germany.

    Reply
  22. Carolinian

    That’s a good Doctorow but the TDS is strong with him on his Pluralistic site. Here’s a better Doctorow from EFF that admits that censorship is very much directed at the Right as well as portions of the Left.

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/07/right-or-left-you-should-be-worried-about-big-tech-censorship

    Which is to say on this issue it’s likely that “progressive” Joe Biden is more dangerous than potential presidents DeSantis or Green or Trump. Those latter don’t have a phalanx of MSM backing them up.

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      Sadly the underlying assumption for many is that if you get kicked you automatically did something wrong to deserve it. the algos are right even when they are wrong…

      Reply
  23. Roger Blakely

    RE: Working Women Who Stay Single And Childless Are Richer Than Other Groups.The Essence Magazine (for black women).

    Men and women cannot get along. The issue can no longer be avoided. Those of us in the Manosphere on YouTube have been talking about it since 2015. Now the discussion is leaking into the mainstream.

    Even Hasan Piker is talking about it. Who is Hasan Piker? I wasn’t familiar with him until about two weeks ago. Hasan Piker has been associated with The Young Turks political TV show, and he is Cenk Uygur’s nephew. Hasan has one million subscribers on Twitch where he discusses Democratic Party politics. Hasan is a good-looking young man. Last week he commented on a viral post from RealFemSapien where she was talking about being a housewife.Hasan was outraged. However, RealFemSapien was saying things that ninety-nine percent of twenty-something American women would have said in 1965.

    Young men are having a difficult time finding women who want to be wives and mothers. We in the Manosphere blame young women’s preference for promiscuity. At the same time we have to remember that young women are facing social pressure. A minority of young women who want to be wives and mothers are taking to social media and pointing out the social pressures not to be housewives. Young women are reporting that it is difficult for them to openly say that they want to be housewives instead of being strong, independent career women. This piece in The Essence Magazine is an example of the that social pressure.

    Reply
    1. CitizenSissy

      “Prefers promiscuity”? Just wow. American culture is notoriously intolerant of any nonrevenue generating activity, and time off for any caregiving (childcare and eldercare) draws a general negative inference from prospective employers.

      You refer to 1965, when the wages of one breadwinner could comfortably support a custodial spouse and children. That’s definitely not the case in 2022, save for very limited exceptions, and most women don’t have that option.

      Let’s also discuss back in 1965 women had limited access to education and to many jobs. I’m old enough to have seen families torn apart by death, disability, long-term unemployment, and divorce, and left in dire financial straits.

      I hope for a culture where caregiving receives the respect it deserves. Let’s also get rid of the false nostalgia.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        If you were to take a 25 year old male back to 1965, he’d fit in just fine aside from all those tattoos which would make him look like a freak, but try the same thing with a 25 year old woman now, and she’d have no idea how to fit into society in the mid 60’s, things have changed so dramatically.

        The janitor @ my elementary school owned a house in our neighborhood with his wife and 3 kids one 1 salary, don’t try that today.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          If you could take a young male or female back to 1965, they would realize how royally they have been screwed over in their lives and what was lost. I think that the experience for both would be verging on being traumatic.

          Reply
          1. Anthony G Stegman

            If you took a young male back to 1965 they may well find themselves on the way to Vietnam to rape women, and murder children and old people. But one may find himself chosen to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State, and a presidential candidate. And an unindicted war criminal.

            Reply
    2. chris

      I have no earthly clue what you’re talking about. As a married man for the last several decades and a father to several daughters none of what you’re saying is present among my family, friends, or community.

      Who is blaming whom for young women’s preference for promiscuity? What basis is there to assert a bias for promiscuity in women at any age? And, “the manosphere”? I’m not sure I’d even want to Google a list of who would be included in that group. Is there an economic angle to your thoughts or are you limiting your commentary to something seeking for commiseration? Or expiation?

      I’d suggest getting out more and talking to people. Maybe switch to decaf and stop watching so much YouTube. Be well.

      Reply
      1. kareninca

        It is possible that the females of your family and of your acquaintance are not sharing information about their sexual lives with you.

        Reply
        1. chris

          Yes, they’re hiding that instead of staying inside for 2ish years during a pandemic, they were out partying at closed restaurants and seeing lots of strangers in public. And all the teens in my family, including my own, who couldn’t attend any dances (because there weren’t any) and didn’t go on dates (because none of the parents let their kids out) and didn’t go to house parties (because there weren’t any around us) were all sleeping around with abandon. Or perhaps my in laws and siblings who have all been married to the same person for 20ish years were enjoying cuddle puddles.

          I’m aware of people in my circle of 150 or so who engage in serial monogamy. But none who would match the claims of promiscuous behavior alleged above. Of the 30 or so teen women I currently know, perhaps 2 are what I would recognize as “sex crazy”.

          But I think a better possible explanation is that the person who made the statements above is looking at biased data and won’t have any kind of good basis to make any similar claims until we’re several years past the pandemic.

          Reply
    3. Roger

      The vast majority of the research shows about 50% of people have the ability to bond comfortably with another human being, 25% are problematic/nervous/not trusting and 25% are avoidant. If a problematic gets with a comfortable, the latter provides the comfort necessary for a good relationship.

      The median age of woman at first marriage in the US is 28, which means that many were in long-term relationships by the age of 25/26 at the latest. So, 50% of women are married at 28 plus there will be an additional amount that are in long term relationships. Divorce rates are overstated by second etc. marriages being co-mingled, which have much higher rates of divorce. Educated women divorce much less than less educated women (the manosphere lies blatantly about this), non-white women tend to have higher rates of divorce due to a myriad of socio-economic negatives (less well off people have much higher rates of divorce across all ethnicities and Black people are generally poorer than the average).

      The people who are happily married/in relationships tend not to be out on the streets being interviewed by manosphere channels, and those that are single at an older age will tend to have a significantly higher representation of avoidants and insecure (male and female). Plus, Black women seem to be very significantly over-represented in manosphere sampling.

      So stop with the essentialism, a very large proportion of the male and female population settle into committed relationships and are happy about it. Financial wealth, income and education are all highly correlated with ability to marry/marital breakup. Over the past 40 years the real incomes of working class people (and now even those wanting to be college professors) has flatlined/declined, getting much worse for younger people post the GFC.

      So lets stop the cap, yes cultural issues have had some negative impacts on relationships (e.g. dating apps) but economic issues have had very major ones (especially in the Black community devastated by welfare cuts/the collapse of manufacturing jobs and the intentional mass incarceration of Black men for trivial drug and other offences, and drugs introduced through the Vietnam [heroin] and Nicaraguan wars [cocaine]). The manosphere serves as a ‘controlled opposition” saying “look over there not over here” and divide and conquering between the sexes.

      In addition, there is very little correlation between the number of sexual partners and marital bliss, another thing the manosphere very blatantly lies about by misrepresenting statistics.

      Reply
    4. Laura in So Cal

      I went back to read the article after reading this comment to see what prompted it but I gave up after an obvious error in the second paragraph. It states it takes $286k PER YEAR to raise 2 children in the US. I stopped reading at that point.

      However to the comment. People look to the past and assume that everything looked like the fictional tv shows of the 50’s. My great grandmother worked their 1/2 acre city lot to provide almost all of their produce while my great grandfather with his 8th grade education worked as maintenance man at a power plant. This was the 1920’s thru the 1940’s. My grandmother worked outside the home as a secretary after her kids started school in the 1950’s while my grandfather with a high school education worked as an electronics technician. My Mom WAS/IS the classic housewife of yore in the starting in the 1960’s. My Dad is an engineer with a Masters degree and in the early years money was tight. I do have a few friends who are in their 40’s who were the classic stay at home Mom. However, one of them just got divorced (not her idea) and is having to start over financially.

      Reply
      1. chris

        What they don’t tell you is at least 100k$ of that each year is in berries and other food items that your kids never eat despite begging you to buy them…

        I agree with you. However, raising kids is much more expensive than I thought it would be. Dealing with college expenses for kids is much more expensive than I thought it would be. But it’s not almost 300k$ per year for 2 kids. For those who are spending that kind of cash, there must be a lot of interesting choices behind those expenditures.

        For example, the most expensive daycare we ever considered for our set would have come to $5500 per month back in 2010 or so, but thecexpensive rate we ever decided to afford was $1000 per month per kid. At the time, our mortgage was $1300 per month. Having just gone through this with family in the area who have young children I can say that my anecdotal information is in 2022 for children under 3 years it regularly costs $1500 per month per kid in daycare, and the rate drops to $1200 per month for 3 and up. Outside of insurance my experience with family expenses says those numbers are reasonably middle class for the US east coast. So figure 20k$+ per year per kid easily in daycare expenses when the kids are too small for school in your typical not too fancy daycare that is clean and not run out of someone’s home. Once they’re in school, after school and before school daycare programs run between $600 and $1200 per month per kid.

        So if you throw in food, insurance, annual vacations, clothing, fuel costs, and impulse buys, any savings accounts/529s, and I can see where people who consider themselves somewhere in the middle class are spending 40k$ to 80k$ per kid per year. Assuming all kids are healthy and don’t have any medical issues of couse.

        But unless your daycare is ski school in Vail I have no idea what anyone is spending 143k$ per year per kid on in the US right now. If they are, they’re probably supporting articles like this being published to make it so that it’s seen as more normal than the outrageous thing it really is.

        Reply
    5. hunkerdown

      A less self-absorbed way of saying it is that Puritan role play is a losing deal for women and that men need to get the familyblog over themselves and stop wasting women’s and other people’s time with their somnambulant patriarchy reenactment games. Graeber:

      Neither was the Puritan concern with “the darker parish” and floating pop­ulation of “masterless men” notably different than contemporary concerns with an immoral and overly fertile “underclass.” In fact, as some historians of the time have noted (H ill 1972, Hunt 1984), Puritan opinions on this sub­ject— that the problem of poverty had nothing to do with real wages, but was really rooted in the poor’s own lack of morality and self-control, their unwill­ingness to create proper families—have an uncanny resemblance to those employed by American conservatives today.

      There is no right to reproduce yourself. What the hell would make you believe that there is, at others’ expense no less?

      Reply
    6. MaryLand

      Women prefer promiscuity? Hilarious. I graduated from high school in 1965. My mom returned to her secretarial job when our youngest sibling was in first grade. She and my dad had high school educations and saved every penny they could to put their three kids through college. We were from a white collar working class background. We went to community college the first two years with minimal cost. My dad wanted me to be a pharmacist because it was one of the few jobs a woman could have that paid well then. I became a teacher. Most girls my age became nurses, teachers, or secretaries, though I knew one who became a doctor after first becoming an X-ray technologist. She was gay and did not fit the usual career path. Boys became engineers and accountants if they were good at math. Many boys went to trade school. In my experience there were plenty of young women who stayed with their husbands no matter how big of jerks they were. Most could not afford to be divorced as their jobs had low salaries. At that time society was not kind to single women whether from divorce or just not wanting to be married. Now women can support themselves without having to be married and many more choose that path. Many are happy to avoid the problems living with a man brings. There are too many fragile male egos that try to dominate relationships. That is the real reason more women avoid marriage in my opinion. I think it’s amazing there are not more divorces than there are. And before I get accused of hating men, you are wrong. I am happily married.

      Reply
    7. Yves Smith

      You are asking to be put into moderation for Making Shit Up.

      I hate to tell you, but most men are not very good in bed and not willing to take suggestion. The “preference for promiscuity” is a 100% male excuse/projection. Yes, I have known some women with impressively high sex drives. They are a decided minority. One survey found, by a large margin, women prefer ice cream to sex.

      Marriage is also an institution designed for men. One of my married college buddies regularly sends me studies showing single women are happier than married women. The typical finding is married men happiest, single women next happy, single men next, married women at the bottom. Now admittedly with such big groups, you’ll find lots of married women individually who are happier than particular single women.

      This finding is indirectly confirmed by 75% of divorces in the US being initiated by women, despite women having a pay gap v. men (as in the “two can live more cheaply than one” will hit them harder as a single household head than the average man), and the remarriage rate among women being lower than men (although the gap has shrunk a bit over time).

      The idea that being a housewife is an attractive job is another male fantasy. This is confirmed by the fact that men who do more household chores get laid more: https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2016/08/want-more-sex-split-household-chores

      I doubt the claim “Working Women Who Stay Single And Childless Are Richer Than Other Groups.” Numerous studies have found that married women accumulate more wealth than single women. If this is based on “working women” as in currently working, it’s missing out on the pronounced wealth skew in favor of the married among retirees (like higher Social Security/pension v. “two can live more cheaply than one” economics) and critically, the average woman living longer than the average man and thus inheriting his half of the combined wealth.

      Reply
    8. anahuna

      So many crossed wires in this one that it’s hard to know where to start. As the saying goes: “Men are studs and women are sluts.” Hmmm, doesn’t the Manosphere include all those incels, often murderously inclined, who complain endlessly that women aren’t sluttish enough to sleep with them? Instead, it seems the world is full of true-hearted manly men who want nothing more than to be stable providers for a wife and family. No drunks or gamblers they, and presumably studs only within the bonds of matrimony. And all they require in return is total subservience.

      Who thinks up these fantasies, and to what end?

      Reply
  24. Lex

    Whoa boy the whitewashing of the queen is in overdrive. She didn’t oversee decolonization of the empire out of the goodness of her heart, she was forced into it kicking and screaming. It’s almost as if people opened social media and found out that people all over the world are celebrating her death and with good reason. And now the establishment needs a narrative to counteract that.

    I still consider her serious and competent, but not good. So my daily laughs are tilted heavily towards curating social media dunking on a dead queen. As it is with “the war on terror”, Ukraine and the queen, the western establishment / PMC lives in a tiny world of its own, comforting creation.

    Reply
    1. Revenant

      And who forced her? The US State Department because it was America’s world now. That was the US strategy of WW2 and that was the British strategy of Churchill (whose mother was American….).

      Reply
    2. semper loquitur

      Yeah, the power worship is off the chart, especially in mainstream media sources. The majority of people, in my experience, align themselves with power because they crave it. It doesn’t matter if it’s antagonistic to their well being, although I doubt if it holds in the former colonies. Total brutalization can dispel such ensorcellment, I suppose. I noticed The Telegraph has closed it’s Youtube comments section…

      I keep seeing the words “service” and “hard work” associated with the Queen. You haven’t worked a day in your life if your life hasn’t depended on it. It follows that, given her insulated life of luxury founded on blood money, Liz never worked a day in two lives. Flitting about to boring ribbon cuttings doesn’t count.

      Reply
  25. digi_owl

    “I would have thought that the establishment of a US/NATO-backed fascist state in Europe, on Russia’s western border no less, would be a cause for alarm on the left, even in the United States.”

    The left you talk about no longer exist in many meaningful way. It was smothered by the introduction of Reaganomics and the fall of the wall.

    Reply
  26. Ghost in the Machine

    The Brad Delong article in Time about growth since 1870 does have some interesting thoughts but really demonstrates mainstream economists’ energy blindness. As heterodox economists like Steve Keen point out economic growth is almost one to one related to energy consumption. Mainstream growth theories descended from Solow’s theory attribute growth to labor and capital with residual unexplained growth (about 50% !) to technological ingenuity (hand waving). Steve Keen has discussed this recently in a podcast with Nate Hagens. I am also finishing a good book on the topic by the energy researcher Carey King, The Economic Superorganism. If this analysis is correct Europe will contract by at least as much as the percentage reduction in energy supplies. It could be more as the contraction will be uncontrolled.

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      It all seems to come back to Jevons age old “paradox” observed regarding the consumption of coal.

      As steam engines became more efficient, rather than see a dip in coal consumption it instead rose. Because now all manner of uses that were previously seen as too expensive became possible.

      And i suspect we are seeing this with renewables. It simply helps drive down the price of electricity further, thus opening up new ways to use it rather than replace other sources. Only by making other sources insanely expensive will we see them dropped.

      So in the end, capitalism is a fundamentally parasitic economic system. It will, given time, “kill” the host planet.

      Reply
  27. Mikel

    Highly important:
    “The White House has a plan for Big Tech” Cory Doctorow, Pluralistic

    One of my pet peeves is that there is not enough focus on the parties asking and paying for this data.
    Example: A store or any business does not need to know where you go every minute of the day.

    Then there is this sentence in the opening:
    “Fixing Big Tech is important, because a free, fair and open internet is a necessary precondition for organizing all our other fights about human rights, equity, labor, the climate, and racial and gender justice.

    The White House plan is a mixed bag. They set out six action points, each of them amorphous enough that they could all be summarized as “the devil is in the details” – that is, depending on how these are handled, they could be great, or terrible….”

    Off the cuff, it seems like people worldwide were more effective at organizing BEFORE big tech. It’s not just about seeing how many people can show up at an event. It’s about the results from actions.
    And since neoliberal order (which the Biden Administration is a leader of) is opposed to real reforms in many of these areas, especially the hatred of labor organizing which is an existential threat to neoliberalism, I suspect nothing but a trap and the devil in the details will be the devil indeed.
    ____________________________________
    Above this article within Pluralistic is another must read:
    “American healthcare did a fuckery”

    “…the nation’s mammoth insurance companies began dumping enormous amounts of price-data – and I do mean enormous…
    …All told, the industry has produced more than a trillion prices. Writing on Dolthub, Alec Stein contextualizes this unimaginably large dump: larger than English Wikipedia, the Library of Congress, Libgen, and all of Netflix – combined:

    https://www.dolthub.com/blog/2022-09-02-a-trillion-prices/

    The writer states correctly the main issue begins with the extremist ideology of turning EVERYTHING into a market:
    “…The problem with health-care isn’t that it’s an imperfect market – it’s that we treat it as a market at all. Markets may help organize and allocate discretionary goods and services, but the core of healthcare is not discretionary.
    Fundamentally, an unconscious person in cardiac arrest being loaded into the back of an ambulance cannot send a price-signal by shopping for a hospital emergency room and directing the driver to take them there. Even less extreme examples – cancer treatment, insulin, a sick child, a broken bone – do not lend themselves to market dynamics….”

    While there are things they can still do with this information and suggestions are already made about how it can be parsed, I also suggest more: 1) comparing prices with other countries 2) getting bills from actual patients. They are more than willing than the healthcare industry to stop this billing insanity. Plenty of places where that kind of information is already being aggregated and one can be created 3) footwork by actual people, like a census, vistiting hospitals, clinics, and medical suppliers. The data dump still requires some kind of independent verification. They can NOT be trusted.

    Reply
  28. Wukchumni

    I miss the tag-team of Devin y Kevin, as the former up and quit on us to lead the ex teetotalitarian leader’s Truth Social which has been in a word: underwhelming.

    You get the idea that Nunes has some powerful dirt on the former majordomo, which is why he’s still in his employ.

    Reply
  29. Carolinian

    Re Taiwan article

    China would need to be prepared to target any combatant supporting Taiwan in East China Sea, Philippine Sea, and the Luzon Strait.

    In other words an assumption in the tough nut to crack premise is that America and its allies Japan and perhaps Australia would come to Taiwan’s rescue which is surely what the article should really be talking about. Meanwhile if over a billion Chinese were really serious about physical conquest it’s doubtful that an isolated Taiwan by itself would last very long.

    ——

    For those interested here’s a book excerpt on the Formosa versus the Philippines debate in 1944. A big consideration back then was that the nearby Chinese mainland was controlled by Japan rather than China as is true now. So contra the Links article the two situations are not all that comparable.

    https://history.army.mil/books/70-7_21.htm

    Reply
    1. Bruno

      “if over a billion Chinese were really serious about physical conquest”
      If “China” is to try to impose its Stalinist regime over Taiwan that decision would be made by a few less than “a billion Chinese.” Try to add up the number of members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and the PLA High Command. That’s how many “really serious” people would decide to start the adventure.

      Reply
  30. Rob Urie

    Re: fascism,

    here is Michael Parenti explaining the natural attraction of capitalists to fascism.

    This explanation was replaced during the Trump years with the idealist theory that fascism is a popular movement motivated by personal beliefs, as opposed to political economy.

    Parenti’s explanation makes Obama / Biden more threatening than so called populists.

    https://valleysunderground.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/blackshirts-and-reds-by-michael-parenti.pdf

    Reply
    1. CoryP

      Thanks for that link. Also good to still see you around here. I have one or more of your e books.

      Hope you’re still writing! I don’t check CounterPunch that often anymore but maybe i should. Cheers.

      (I’m currently reading Guerin’s “Fascism and Big Business” and I think its finally giving me a workable framework for this term that’s been used so broadly and carelessly )

      Reply
    2. Zagonostra

      I’m glad Michael’s son, Christian is carrying on his father’s work. I too enjoyed your articles on Counterpunch but alas I don’t go there much these days, they seem to have lost their punch.

      Reply
    3. spud

      hi Rob,

      miss you articles on counterpunch.

      yes politicians like the clintons, obama, and biden are much more dangerous than a Trump. the GOP in most cases are not feverish believers, they know they peddle nonsense.

      but the neo-liberal democrats are feverish believers in the economic nonsense, and are willing to use coercion, force, and war if necessary to further cement the goals of free trade economics, which is fascism.

      the neo-liberal democrats are far more dangerous, feverish believers are always more dangerous.

      Reply
  31. dcblogger

    Do we have anyone from Jackson or Flint here? It seems to me that by this time in Flint many people must have build themselves rainwater collection and water filtration systems. When government fails over a period of years, people are forced to improvise solutions, to build parallel structures. Has this happened in Flint? Is it beginning to happen in Jackson?

    In Texas I imagine anyone who can afford it has put solar panels on their home so that they are no completely dependent upon the grid. I imagine this is also happening in the UK where winter heating will go thru the roof. If no one can afford the grid, or where the grid ceases to function, people will, of necessity, look for off-grid solutions.

    this is actually an obvious project for mutual aid groups. so obvious I assume it is going on and I just have not heard of it.

    does anyone here have any information to this effect?

    Reply
    1. Daryl

      > In Texas I imagine anyone who can afford it has put solar panels on their home so that they are no completely dependent upon the grid

      Solar panels on homes are close to non-existent here. Subsidies and the ability to sell back to the grid do not exist at the state level really and are few and far between. And if you don’t want to be dependent on the grid, you also need batteries which adds to maintenance and expense. So you have to really want the self reliance of it, and have the money to make it a reality. More people have generators, but those have their own downsides of course. And A/C or heating take more juice than just about anything, the extreme temps here being probably the biggest immediate threat to life and reason you’d want to not be dependent on the grid.

      I have a small battery and panels — they’re about enough to power my CPAP machine.

      It is very odd because when you drive through west Texas you have the juxtaposition of massive solar and wind farms with tons of oil rigs. It’s a funny place for sure.

      Reply
    2. hdude

      Solar panels that are not tied to the grid somehow, are useless as even an intermittent power source. Nobody is going to power much of anything with a off grid setup and batteries.

      Reply
    1. curlydan

      “This pump [for citrus trees] ran the day before for 9.7 hours and moved 536,000 gallons into the little reservoir, from which it slowly dripped about 61 gallons at the roots of each tree in this 40-acre orchard…. This efficient drip irrigation method is used on about 20 percent of the citrus fields here, he said. The other 80 percent still flood entire fields, using twice as much water. Historically, the water savings of drip irrigation haven’t mattered much to farmers here, who pay only $10 per acre-foot—about 326,000 gallons.”

      Holy cow! $10 per acre foot for water. It only cost $16.44 for a monster watering for one day in that super dry climate–all for the pleasure and profit of “investors, absentee owners, and a few local farmers”.

      Reply
  32. OIFVet

    I mentioned on Friday that Russia might have to escalate by taking out Ukraine’s power, communications and transportation networks. It appears they have begun to do just that with the power grid. Blackouts are reported in Odessa, Poltava, Sumy, Zaporozhie, Dnipro and elsewhere.

    Reply
    1. Lex

      Indeed. It doesn’t look like anything permanent (although the heat plant at KHPP might be a very big deal) but it’s a message. It amazes me how because Russia hasn’t done this that Ukraine and the west seem to have assumed Russia can’t, or would never, do this. And the Ukrainian government is already having a fit, as if it hadn’t cut fresh water to crimea, blockaded Donetsk, shelled power and water treatment plants. I’m sure the west will strongly condemn this barbaric behavior too. NATO would never do such a thing!

      Reply
  33. polar donkey

    Last weekend, there was the abduction, rape, and murder of a female jogger here in Memphis. Got mentioned on Tucker Carlson and got a lot of national attention. Carlson described as societal collapse. Which may or may not be true. We get 100 people a year kidnapped, so however horrific it was, it was not terribly out of the normal. Heiress to a billionaire made it a national story. News came out yesterday the kidnapper/murderer tested positive for a rape kit from victim in 2021. Memphis had been in national news a few years ago for an 18 year backlog in testing rape kits. Local authorities had dragged feet testing kits. The DA who just lost election 3 weeks ago had been DA for 18 years and assistant DA for years before that. If rape kits had been tested, even within 6-9 months, there was a good chance the murderer had been picked up and this wouldn’t have happened. The former DA, she is a republican. She had been rated one of the worst DA’s in the state of Tennessee.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      I followed that timeline and the story, or at least when it was getting weekend news coverage from (apologies) ABC. I have yet to determine what exactly is the family or particular fortune, of which she was an heiress but it was interesting to read the personal history to becoming a teacher.

      Wrong place, wrong day. It’s unfortunate. I have come across a comparable story from the Dallas area, about a former distance runner at SMU ( that story was in the past decade or so ). Fortunately that runner survived to tell her story and hopefully work for improvements in getting the local PD to do their damn jobs.

      Reply
  34. spud

    the article about the ivory towers fails to recognize that free trade took away any chances that the under educated had. the under educated many time entered into trades, trades that required training, and trades that required training run by unions.

    that said, i was a product of Trumans education commission. i got almost four years free higher education. all through it i moaned why do i need this extra education, its not what i want to do.

    today i say thank god Truman had vision, that extra stuff i learned really helped me all through my life, tackle some very bad issues in life.

    we cannot get out of this mess till everyone who wants to change things, understand how we got here, and what really needs to be done.

    not everyone is a candidate for higher education. higher education alone will not stop offshoring, which is a polite way of masking free trade.

    just about any innovation we maybe able to produce, gets the wall street treatment and the free trade treatment.

    that means reversing the American governments polices from 1993 onwards, that are still completely in command of America, and has a feverish tight grip on our throats.

    prior to 1993 were some bad policies implemented also by carter and reagan, but they were easily reversible. not so with the stuff from 1993 on wards.

    Reply
  35. Wukchumni

    There’s only a couple of supremes in our country and both come with 9 toppings, but so far nobody has had to defend the legitimacy of pepperoni, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, sausage, onions, pineapple, basil & bacon.

    Reply
  36. griffen

    The article on the real CEO flex and the Jeff Bezos effect. I found an accompanying summary of the article and even includes a few recent photographs. It is a bit funny to read that Musk, in his words, just really hates working out. And most here know that Mr. Bezos has in recent years has redefined his personal success to include a younger partner and to promote his proverbial “gun show” biceps.

    best read on a lightly or somewhat empty stomach. If the photos are not too much, the narcissism is so obvious on display it would be difficult to not lose your lunch. And I am being far too polite.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Saw a picture of a shirtless Elon last month and had to turn down the brightness knob on my laptop, lest I be temporarily blinded by the glare reflecting off his torso.

      Reply
  37. Sibiryak

    Dima’s (Military Summary) latest report presents a interesting new explanation for the Russian retreat from the Kharkov region.

    Reply
  38. Wukchumni

    Short-term rental hosts who have long been able to rent their San Diego dwellings out to visitors free of formal regulations will now have to apply for licensing starting next month and hope they’ll secure a coveted license as part of a city-run lottery. Jonah Mechanic, who for years managed short-term rentals for his host clients, said he’s pleased with the city’s revised timeline for implementing the new regulations. Still, there’s likely anxiety, he said, among hosts who want to be assured they will get a license to operate.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/travel/news/get-ready-licenses-for-short-term-rentals-in-san-diego-will-soon-be-the-law/ar-AA11zYys
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This means around 5,000 homes that used to be short term vacation rentals in Tijuana-adjacent will no longer be able to rented out in such a fashion, and as nobody lived in any of the garage mahals, there isn’t any skin in the game and this coming in a housing bubble going bust.

    Going to be an interesting race for the exits next month…

    Reply
    1. Tom Stone

      Short term rentals raised sales prices in my area by roughly 25%.
      And long term rentals became much less common and thus more expensive as well.

      Reply
  39. Jason Boxman

    Expanded Safety Net Drives Sharp Drop in Child Poverty

    In the two years before the pandemic, child poverty fell more than a quarter, a record pace.

    The analysis examined multiple factors beyond the safety net that collectively explain about a fifth of the poverty decline. They included lower unemployment and a 23 percent increase in the average minimum wage, driven by state-level growth. (Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage eroded.)

    So for some, voting for Trump was perhaps a rational decision, if you credit his administration for the economy.

    Reply
  40. drumlin woodchuckles

    Just earlier today on one of my runs, I saw some nurses having a very relaxing background video playing on their computer. It was a videocam slowly droning up an irrigation canal with a long running raised growhump of land on the left with taro plants on it. Just going and going.

    They said it is found on You Tube and is called Dog TV. The point is to turn this on for your dog to watch when you leave the house so he/she does not get agitated and upset. I looked it up and haven’t yet learned how to find particular sequences on it. So far I have found what looks to be rice fields in semi-tropical Asia. It could be just as interesting to gardeners as to dogs if one finds the right video. Here is the initial link.
    https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=DLsUcQzvc_U

    ( just now as I circle back to it and look a little deeper, the timeline slider bar says this sequence runs for about 11 hours. So maybe one just skips ahead to find part of the sequence one likes as one’s own long slow-running video plantidote. There do seem to be ads in it here and there and I don’t know how dogs would feel about that).

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      My dear Mr/Ms Woodchuckles, thanks for that. I am not a dog, nor do I own a dog, but after abt 15 min of taro fields (paddies?) I feel quite relaxed. ‘Tis truly a worthy plantidote! Goes for nearly 12 hrs, longer than my attn span, but I am bookmarking DogTV. Never know when I might need it.

      Reply
  41. Wukchumni

    Are grasshoppers as delicious as ham? Mexico’s insect hunters would like you to find out. (LA Times)

    The big push on us eating bugs is worrisome even if they’re kosher, and you wonder if it’ll lead to our pets being fed in such a manner, that is until we’re inundated with stories of how to prepare ‘hot dogs’, ‘kitten cattiatore’ eat al?

    Reply
  42. chris

    Since Lambert and others have said they’re trying to figure out games and gaming culture, I thought I’d share a new offering from Renegade Studios that has elements i think appeal to a lot of the commentariat. My Father’s Work requires planning and a ghoulish sense of humor. I’m looking forward to getting it to play with family during the winter.

    Reply
  43. skippy

    The upward redistribution of wealth over the past 40 years has shifted $50 trillion from the bottom 90% to the top 1%.

    That’s $50 trillion that would have gone into the paychecks of working Americans.

    Trickle-down economics was always a hoax. This has been the agenda all along.

    Robert Reich
    @RBReich
    ·
    9h
    Three multibillionaires now own more wealth than the bottom half of America – 160 million Americans.

    This is what oligarchy looks like.

    https://twitter.com/RBReich/status/1568351044874440704

    Seems Reich is a wee bit miffed these days and hay whats the deal with the chatter about Trump rocking up to DC.

    Reply
    1. spud

      Reich backs free trade, which is the largest trickle down scheme ever perpetrated on the world.
      the real inequality started in 1993, it was nafta and the disastrous policies from 1993 on wards.

      all one needs to do is view Pickttys graph to see that it was 1993 on wards that super charged the theft of trillions. not the Carter/Reagan years when it started, the clinton years. Reich was neck deep in it, he even spoke about the factory of the future, pure racist rubbish.

      https://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/pikettys-inequality-story-in-six-charts

      the first graph from 1919-2010 says it all, the line heads almost straight up from 1993 on wards.

      Reply

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