Links 9/14/2022

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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.


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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Eagle-eyed Delaware hunter chances upon ‘holy grail’ of tree lovers — full-grown American chestnut WHYY

Meet the women hunting giant pythons ‘eating everything’ in the Everglades Los Angeles Times

Another Private Equity–Style Hospital Raid Kills a Busy Urban Hospital Mo Tkacik, The American Prospect. Tkacik is always worth a read.

Debt monsters in the downturn FT

The power of folk ideas in economic policy and the central bank–commercial bank analogy New Political Economy. “My findings suggest that although Europe’s central bankers are cognisant of the irrelevance of balance sheet capital in theory, they nevertheless attach weight to it in practice, in order not to contradict the public’s assumed common sense that persistent losses and negative capital are undesirable.”


How to stop cities and companies causing planetary harm Nature

Watching the world burn Agence France Presse. The Melting North:

The Gulf of Maine is simmering, but its lobsters seem fine — for now WaPo


Fodder dries up for Pakistan’s cattle as floodwaters stay high Reuters


Rapid initiation of nasal saline irrigation to reduce severity in high-risk COVID+ outpatients Ear, Nose & Throat Journal. From the Abstract: “SARS-CoV-2+ participants initiating nasal irrigation were over 8 times less likely to be hospitalized than the national rate.”

The Flu Is Coming: Too bad we are ignoring the lessons learned from Covid Up@Night. Australia:

[T]here is a good reason to compare the flu to Covid. How so? Strategies and tactics that were used to reduce the transmission of Covid virtually stopped the flu in its tracks in 2020-2021. Unbelievably, only about 700 Americans died of the flu in the 2020-2021 season, when typically we lose tens of thousands.

An ethically healthy society would look at the number of lives saved and the suffering avoided during this time and say: “Wow! It looks like anti-Covid measures can help us against the flu and other viruses in the future. Wonderful! We need to make it happen.”

But we are not an ethically healthy society.

The Long Haul Chicago Magazine. “Long COVID is now the country’s third leading neurological disorder, the American Academy of Neurology declared in July.”


Europe needs China’s diesel if it does cut off Russia imports Hellenic Shipping News. Hilarity ensues.

China’s top weapons scientist says nuclear fusion power is 6 years away South China Morning Post

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China keeps West guessing about economic pressure on Russia AP

U.S. considers China sanctions to deter Taiwan action as Taipei presses EU Japan Times

The Defence Strategic Review and the received wisdom about the China threat and US support Pearls and Irritations. From Australia.

AUKUS, one year on Lowy Interpreter. Also from Australia


Important from the NUG:

Notably, Rohingya massacres took place on Aung San Suu Kyi’s watch. So I wonder if she will sign on to something similar….

The Koreas

South Korea issues arrest warrant for Do Kwon, Luna drop nearly 50% TechCrunch

Book Review: a Nuanced Look at North Korean Defectors The Blue Roof

[Kim Seong-kon] Missing the great America I used to know Korea Herald. The author encounters crapified customer service.


Erdogan Vows Half-Million New Homes in $50 Billion Vote Push Bloomberg

Is Afghanistan’s Long Civil War Really Over? Foreign Affairs

Saudi King marks 9/11 anniversary: ‘We lost many good pilots’ DuffelBlog


How to judge fiscal policy in the time of Truss mainly macro

Sweden’s election: The astonishing rise of the right-wing Sweden Democrats Deutsche Welle

Queen Elizabeth

King Charles’s staff given redundancy notice during church service for Queen Guardian. Oh.

Republican protesters arrested at King Charles proclamations Guardian. That is, advocates of a republican form of government.

The cradle of free speech (1):

The cradle of free speech (2):

Thousands of patients face cancelled NHS appointments or operations due to Queen’s funeral Independent. Contrast Diana’s funeral:

Other cancellations:

Never let a crisis go to waste:

The Fight for a New Chile Goes On Tribune

New Not-So-Cold Cold War

Kremlin TV Airs Call for Russia to Admit ‘Serious Defeat’ Daily Beast (Re Silc).

Predictions of Putin’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated Foreign Policy

Military briefing: Ukraine offensive ‘dooms’ Russia’s aims for Donbas and but Ukraine faces ‘tough fight’ even as Russian forces retreat, says US FT. We’ll soon know.

German economy to contract as energy crisis hits consumers, warn analysts FT. Economic time > military time > political time….

Biden Administration

A constitutional challenge to the F.T.C.’s very existence NYT. Stoller comments:

US officially added to WHO’s list of poliovirus outbreak countries Ars Technica. Joe, Rochelle, good job.

Supply Chain

Nigeria seizes donkey penises to be smuggled to Hong Kong AP

Police State Watch

Rifles, Tasers and Jails: How Cities and States Spent Billions of COVID-19 Relief The Marshall Project

Intelligence Community

Former NSA Chief Keith Alexander Accused of Pump-And-Dump Investment Scheme The Intercept. You just have to scan for the keywords: “SPAC,” “Wells Fargo”, “Amazon”….

The Death of Ronald W. Pelton Jacob Silverman’s Miscellany

What Does the Weaponization of Global Finance Mean For U.S. Dollar Dominance? War on the Rocks

Imperial Collapse Watch

Measuring Americans’ Views on Isolationism, Multilateralism and the Country’s Most Pressing Foreign Policy Challenges Morning Consult. Handy chart:

Repeal the Iraq War Authorization The American Conservative

Our ‘Forgotten’ and Invisible Wars Daniel Larison, Eunomia

Class Warfare

Nebraska railroad workers prepare for Friday strike causing supply chain worries: ‘Might just finally break’ KMTV. Idea: The workers don’t want to use vacation days for medical appointments. So stop requiring that, like a civilized society would do.

“Players Realize Now: They’re Workers”: Why Baseball Minor Leaguers Voted to Unionize In These Times

What is a paleo-left agenda? Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality and More 3.0

Appendix 2- The Ancien Regime (podcast) Mike Duncan, Revolutions. Duncan sums up lessons learned for historiography, history, and podcasting. The podcast is a must-listen, although (or because) it begins in 1625 with the English Revolution, back in 2013 (!). There’s really nothing else like it.

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus anti-antidote (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Sardonia

    For security, Heads of State will not be allowed to use their private transportation to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, and instead will all be loaded together onto a bus! Since none of them have probably been on a bus since they were in 8th grade, I can imagine them all regressing back to rowdy 13-year-olds once they all get on. And here’s how I imagine the bus driver trying to keep them in line (with them shouting in parentheses) – melody stolen from “Magic Bus” by The Who.

    “All you jerks, stay in your damn seat.”
    (“Oh Wow! Magic Bus!!”)
    “Behave yourselves, you got Royals to meet.”
    (“So fun! Magic Bus!!”)
    “Try to stop acting so infantile.”
    (“Let’s ride! Magic Bus!!“)
    “The ride to Abbey’s just another mile.”
    (“Let’s beat up Lizzie Truss!!”)

    “I’m your driver, have respect for me!”
    (“So cool! Love this Bus!!”)
    “Just wanna get there, go home for tea.”
    (“Nice hair! Now it’s mussed!”)
    “Orban, Scholz, and Carl Gustaf!!!”
    (“Let’s trash, up this Bus!!”)
    “One more spitball and I’m throwin’ you off!!!”
    (“Who’s got, angel dust?”)

    “I don’t care how much this pays.”
    (“Let’s kick, up a fuss!”)
    “No way in hell I’m drivin’ both ways….”
    (“Let’s hi – jack this Bus!!”)

    “I’ve had it’, I’ve had it, I’ve had it, I’ve had it”
    (“You c-a-a-a-a-an’t stop us.”)

    “Morons and clowns are all I see,
    “Sorriest lot in History,
    “Morons and clowns are all I see,
    “These fools think they can win World War Three.”

    (“Magic Bus! Magic Bus! Magic Bus!”)

    “Trouble and nonsense, just today.”
    (“We own, Magic Bus!”)
    “Trouble and nonsense, just today.”
    (“We own, Magic Bus!”)
    “I don’t mind drivin’ the working class.”
    (“We own, Magic Bus!”)
    “But these Heads of State can all kiss my a__”
    (“We own, Magic Bus!”)_

    “After today, I’ll think I’ll just….”
    (“We own, Magic Bus!”)
    Retire from drivin’ this stupid bus.”
    (“We own, Magic Bus!”)

  2. Allzwell

    [Kim Seong-kon] Missing the great America I used to know – “I miss the America before politicians told lies…”
    Wow! He’s really going back there. Pre-1492 maybe?

    1. hunkerdown

      All group members lie. The fact of group membership is a lie. It’s literally the only way to distinguish oneself from the cold, hard, very real status quo.

      Here, he’s lying about the taking of something that never actually existed and is never intended to, in order to abase the mass so that the elite can be seen taller.

    2. Louis Fyne

      East Asia has an idealized view of America…perhaps 15 years behind the times.

      Being 15 hours away by plane and language/cultural barriers mean that most of them get a simulacrum/2nd derivative take on contemporary America

      1. Earthling

        Wow, lots of jaded resentment in this thread, of a simple essay saying Murca doesn’t seem as good as it used to be after corporatization. Just because that’s not breaking news doesn’t make it not true.

        Maybe it would have been better to say ‘when politicians didn’t make lying and grifting their entire reason for living’.

      1. jsn

        Yeah, it’s an onion: layer after layer after layer of the same bitter flavor.

        But it sweetens up when it’s cooked, so maybe there’s hope!

      2. JCC

        I remember the America he misses very well. It was, for the most part, just 20 or 25 years ago.

        After spending a solid 10 hours on the phone over the last three weeks with my insurance company, a national glass replacement company, and an internation car mfg just to get a simple windshield replacement, I can fully appreciate his attitude… to say nothing of 30 hours or so on phone calls with my health insurance provider over the last 2 years straightening out $3K worth of billing for two “free annual physicals”.

        It’s called Structural Unaccountability towards the clients that pay for the services they were told they purchased.

    3. Wukchumni

      Its really the corrosion of norms-not so much the lies, as we’ve accepted both as standard practice over a long range of time.

      Harry Shearer used to jokingly call Santa Monica the home of the homeless and back in the day before the turn of the century (is it still too early in the game to use that phrase yet?) it was apt and really the only place in the city of angels aside from skid row in downtown LA.

      These residents of tony Santa Monica were almost celebrities in that it was so uncommon for an angeleno to ever glimpse down & outers in their midst unless you went to Santa Monica. (dude, like nobody ever went anywhere near skid row in downtown LA unless you were going to the Bradbury bldg)

      You’d see ‘Lipstick Mary’ (she applied lipstick in a broad spectrum emanating outwards from her lips) with her 17 shopping carts full of nothing diligently pushing them down Wilshire Blvd. It might have taken her an hour to go a block. There was also the twister who never got dizzy spinning down Lincoln Blvd doing endless 360’s all the while.

      You don’t have to go far to see homeless in LA now as its pretty normal to see tent cities where the denizens have a net worth of $9 camped not too far from homes worth $900k, with a little $899.991.00 difference in the haves-some of who are barely making it, and the have nots-who have given up.

      None of this re-education camping existed when I slipped under the wire and made good my escape 17 years ago.

      From what i’ve read, there’s a lot of built up angst towards the homeless, and it’ll be a test of our humanity towards one another when things go south in a quicker fashion and polite society is looking for scapegoats who are essentially our untouchables.

      There was all kinds of light industry going on as well as a GM automobile factory in Van Nuys, and Farmer John-a large meatpacking plant The auto plant closed 30 years ago and Farmer John is calling it quits early next year.

      The LA that I grew up in during the 60’s & 70’s still grew a lot of citrus & avocados, but fruit don’t pay property taxes and subdivisions do, so just about every food source was wiped out.

      With the Farmer John plant going away, LA will be essentially a giant food desert, 50 miles from where the nearest sustenance is grown or produced.

      You can’t go home again, but you can go visit your old schools and my elementary, junior high and high schools had no fences to speak of when I attended, and now all 3 of them have the look and feel of light security prisons for juvenile delinquents.

      1. JBird4049

        You can’t go home again, but you can go visit your old schools and my elementary, junior high and high schools had no fences to speak of when I attended, and now all 3 of them have the look and feel of light security prisons for juvenile delinquents.

        The same here. The schools always seemed chaotic with kids everywhere at almost anytime indoors and out. Now, everyone is behind locked doors.

        1. Wukchumni

          Our elementary school here in tiny town has no fences-but increasingly fewer* students, as the only kids of school age are the families staying at AirBnB’s on vacay.

          Owners of local short term vacation rentals did great again this summer from a profit standpoint, but money isn’t everything if you have no community, and schools are the glue.

          * It was around 225 in 2005, now down to 104 students K-8

  3. JohnA

    Re Sweden’s election: The astonishing rise of the right-wing Sweden Democrats

    There is nothing astonishing about this at all. The Social Democrats, post Palme, have been a third way Clinton/Blair party fully convinced their traditional voters have nowhere else to go. In a similar vein to th Red Wall in Britain and Trump voters. There has been growing annoyance, irritation and outright anger about ask no questions asylum seeker approvals. Many of whom allegedly go back to their home country for holidays. There has been a failure to integrate them, for them to learn Swedish, to integrate into the workforce. Meanwhile gang and drugs related warfare has proliferated, and the police give all the impression of allowing so-called no-go areas to remain, and yet at the same time, enthusiastically participate in gay pride marches and events. The traditional parties have not helped themselves by forever claiming that the Sweden Democrats are a threat to democracy, hinting at foreign support and doing all they can to deligitimise the SDs. And yet, what kind of democratic debate is there to be had:
    During the election campaign, all the tradional parties were in agreement against the SD.
    There was no serious debate about the Nato membership issue.
    No discussion of Swedish involvement in Nato wars in Afghanistan, or US interventions in Syria and Libya
    No discussion of the rising inqualities and socio-economic divide (apart from the Left party in passing)
    Nothing about pensions
    No serious criticism of capitalism or to present a socialist/social democratic alternative.
    Like the population of most countries, people want good education and health, decent jobs, social security, pensions etc. Instead they get more mcjobs, outsourcing, a gig economy, privatisation, social inequality etc., etc. The media march in lockstep demonising Putin, Russia, demanding Nato membership, and supporting plucky picked upon Ukraine, to whom Sweden has donated billions of kronor, weapons and taken in thousands of Ukrainian refugees. Any opposing voices are denounced as Putinists, Nazis, traitors and worse. Sweden is as keen to cripple itself with sanctions as Germany and the rest of the EU.
    The Sweden Democrats have no answers and their proposed policies barely practicable, but they shout loudly and act as a repository for protest voters across the country.

    1. Petter

      And might add that younger voters switched to the Swedish Democrats. Turned the old if you’re young and not a leftist, you don’t have a heart and if you’re old and not a conservative, you don’t have a brain – on it’s head.
      But it makes perfect sense because it’s the young who have experienced the dysfunctional school system and other consequences of a disastrous immigration policy first hand.
      If you commit a murder in Sweden and are between 15-18 years old, the maximum sentence is four years. Might have made sense at one time, given what we know about brain development etc. but now it’s young gang members committing them and thereby making their bones. There’s an actual Swedish expression for this but would have to do a search to find it.

      1. hunkerdown

        Capitalism is an ideology of subordination. By its lights, any subordinate “membership” relation, whether party, gang, corporation, church, or state, is as good as any other in fashioning the “capitalist human”.

        1. LifelongLib

          No, our current economy is an ideology of money. The things you describe are relationships based on something other than money. The ideology of money does its best to destroy them.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Perhaps that everything is subordinate to money (capital) is the essence of capitalism. All relationships must be subordinate to and in service of the accumulation of capital. That which is not of service must be discarded.

          2. hunkerdown

            Money is just a token of value. All societies come to fetishize their own value tokens, to see them not as tools of accounting or allocation or social construction, but as actually embodying value, even as being the sources of value. But what value? Wage labor rewards subordination with value tokens. Private property, which can be traded for value tokens, allows certain persons to subordinate others. What we have here is a single, “universal equivalent” value token that rewards (and represents) subordination, is seen as embodying it, even to its most bombastic critics the very source of it.

    2. Lexx

      ‘There has been growing annoyance, irritation and outright anger about ask no questions asylum seeker approvals. Many of whom allegedly go back to their home country for holidays. There has been a failure to integrate them, for them to learn Swedish, to integrate into the workforce.’

      I used to read an English-translation of a Swedish newspaper, probably shortly after 9/11. At one point in time, it was written there that Sweden had the most generous immigration package in the world. It was their government’s policy to expect, eagerly accept, and pay lavishly for immigrants to live and work in Sweden. But in practice the Swedes themselves were xenophobic and specifically, racist. They wanted immigrants but not the brown uneducated ones, and maybe especially not the brown,young, and male ones. They liked to look broadminded to the world but were not nearly tolerant enough to integrate the many thousands who took them up on their open arms policy.

      I would welcome your thoughts on how such a policy came to pass and why given – well, mostly Malmo at the time – it hasn’t been significantly amended to what the Swedish population is actually willing to tolerate. I have no idea what happened after I stopped read that newspaper. You’re describing a situation that doesn’t sound like it has changed in the least.

      1. JohnA

        As someone who has not lived in Sweden for many years, but go back at least once a year, and try to keep abreast of what is happening there. I think it is something of a chicken and egg question concerning integration.
        When I was a student in the late 70s, I did some teaching Swedish to immigrants. These were mostly refugees from Latin America, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, following the wave of coups there. Naturally, the ‘students’ were of varying ability, but all were keen to become part of Swedish society and very appreciative of the reception and help they were given. Subsequent generations of these refugees are now fully integrated into society and effectively Swedish, even though many still have more Mediterranean type complexions and Spanish surnames. Although the middle east refugee population are more recent immigrants, there does not appear to be the same willingness/determination to become part of society, learn the language etc., and I would not be surprised if this attitude were also instilled in future generations. I do not believe Sweden is intrinsically racist but the impression many Swedes have is that these recent immigrants are all take and little if any give. As for Malmö and other big cities, there is a huge resentment of the kid glove treatment afforded to Israel in the way they treat Palestinians.

        1. IsabelPS

          I have once seen a graphic about the income of native and foreign-born (EU/non EU or European/non European) where, very surprinsingly for me, Sweden faired especially badly. It seems to me that integration did not work well at all (in spite of the fact that I remember what you mentioned from the same period, where I used to go to Sweden quite often, too). Unfortunately that graphic is buried somewhere in my FB and I won’t be able to find it easily.

        2. Lexx

          Twenty years later I think of Sweden as a high tax country*, where underneath the alleged racism is classism and class resentment. What must it look like to see their tax dollars going to a nonworking population in a nanny state? They can’t think the immigrants earned their ‘cradle to grave’ care. Is there still a safety net if they haven’t worked or worked enough?

          Tribes don’t tolerate within their midst large numbers of Others who refuse to join in their economy. It should mean the Others go hungry and over time move on. It’s why I’ve wondered if the situation isn’t more propaganda/public relations on the part of the Swedish government on the international stage, than beneficence on the part of the tribe, and why they haven’t taken their government to task over it? The far right seemed to grow in popularity with the rising number of immigrants. Ideologies never seem to be as advertised; there’s a hidden political agenda, right or left, and the objective just seems to be power by whatever path is available.

          I’ve been thinking about Diana Johnstone’s article from yesterday and the comments.

          *Sweden was #6 in the world.

    3. Carolinian

      Bernie Sanders used to say that we should be more like you but sounds like you are becoming more like us–ethnic conflicts, foreign adventurism, media groupthink….homeless encampments next? Those of us who get all our Sweden knowledge from gloomy Ingmar Bergman films might suspect that the socialist paradise of old had some psychological kinks. But please, don’t be like us. It’s not working out too well here.

    4. Lee

      I have in my day harbored and occasionally hired undocumented persons. I felt at the time I was doing the humane thing. Since then I’ve done a complete one-eighty. Given the push factors such as over-population and climate change, I’m becoming ever more twitchy about lax border controls. I feel now that I’m doing the reasonably selfish thing. I don’t want to end up in a world that looks like that portrayed in this map.

      Not that, as with Rome, we as a nation don’t have a lot to answer for. But as with so much, many of us who are asked to pay the price for past wrongdoings, we were not the architects or even witting participants in them. As Camus posited: “Democracy is when we are all guilty”. I would argue that we have yet to approach such a state of fairly distributed rights and responsibility. Therefore, it is likely that the elites will once again try to foist the consequences of their crimes and errors of judgement upon the rest of us.

        1. Karl

          This only applies for a sustainable democracy. By contrast, the American Dream– the pursuit of happiness — tacitly assumes the right to be as irresponsible as you can get away with in that pursuit.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Regarding that map, history sure does rhyme, doesn’t it? Alaric the Goth massed his forces outside Rome in the early 5th century and his plea was essentially that the Goths and others had provided their nations’ resources to Rome, fought Rome’s wars for them, and now they wanted to be treated as equals and allowed the rights that came with Roman citizenship. Roman leadership scoffed at the idea. In the US, immigrants from the subject nations turned to rubble by the US war machine get to come here and clean toilets in Airbnbs and wipe up vomit in hospitals for less money than it takes to live.

        I’m sure today’s elites will try to foist the consequences of their own greed onto the rest of us. Here’s hoping that if they do, DC gets the same treatment Alaric gave to Rome.

    5. eg

      Thusly the erstwhile parties of labour (UK Labour, US Democrats, European Social Democrats) trudge onwards in their march to electoral oblivion, having abandoned the working classes whose material interests originally inspired their foundation.

      Like the Nazgûl, they are neither living nor dead, but merely continue — their hollowed husks swaying to the tune of their donors who pipe the illusion of educated urban elite driven electoral victory.

      And while the PMC feast on the rents and fees therefrom, there is only ever one outcome: failure.

  4. bwilli123

    Who says Hollywood can’t innovate?
    “Fan-baiting” is a form of marketing used by producers, film studios, and actors, with the intent of exciting artificial controversy, garnering publicity, and explaining away the negative reviews of a new and often highly anticipated production….

    A thread by Dr. Thala Siren (PHD)

    And commented upon by the Critical Drinker in the video below
    Why Modern Movies Suck – They Hate Their Own Fans

    1. Questa Nota

      Sit through previews at a local cinema.
      That is enough to show you that the target demographic wants action, volume, quick edits, over-the-top broad-brush hyperbole, latest stars, product placements, validation.
      Did I leave anything out?
      In Hollywood, there is something for everyone younger people.

      Art houses, when you can find one still open, are more likely to have what used to be called movies.

      1. Petter

        Right, and the Critical Drinker’s reviews are focused on superhero movies and its ilk.
        Two movies I’d recommend – Zama and A Hero- neither of which I saw at an art house theater because I can’t make it to art house or any other theater. As the nurse in the Big Lebowsky said, “he has health problems.”

      2. britzklieg

        Art Houses, yay! The uncounted hours I spent watching unique, non-mainstream films (not always great but always worthy of attention) for real cheap in the Thalia (now the Leonard Nimoy Theatre) on Manhattan’s UWS were some of the best times during my 27 years in the city… and not just because of the pot perfuming the place during my early attendances (before the stop and frisk era began with Rudy the Racist and every subsequent mayor thereafter). The Thalia was just 3 blocks north of my apartment, on the same parallel (between B’way and WEA) and when I moved there in ’85 it was still mostly an artist ghetto. Now it’s some of the most expensive living in the world and Symphony Space/Thalia are home to very highbrow offerings (I am reminded to comment on jr’s morning essay before the day is done). It’s all part and parcel of the slow and sad cultural suicide our nation has suffered during my adult life. I doubt I’ll ever go to a movie theatre again what with the dreck on offer now.

        1. Carolinian

          There were lots of them. My fave was the Carnegie Hall Cinema. Once Dan Akroyd and two girls plopped down in front of me. Forget the movie.

  5. Tinky

    Rapid initiation of nasal saline irrigation to reduce severity in high-risk COVID+ outpatients Ear, Nose & Throat Journal. From the Abstract: “SARS-CoV-2+ participants initiating nasal irrigation were over 8 times less likely to be hospitalized than the national rate.”

    Is anyone surprised by this? I and others suggested the pro-active use of a Neti Pot soon after COVID struck, but were largely ignored as none of the authorities were mentioning nasal irrigation. No money to made through salt sales, after all.

    1. Screwball

      On the day I have had classes, I would always use my Neti-pot when I got home – just to be sure. I also take Vid D, and gargle with the iodine solution mentioned by Yves (thank you).

      I don’t know how effective the Neti-pot is, but I have been fortunate so far. I fight sinus infection and the Neti has worked wonders for me over the years, so I figured it might be just the ticket for COVID.

    2. Sutter Cane

      It also makes sense that nasal sprays like Enovid would have an effect, maybe the particular formula of the spray or rinse, be it nitrous oxide or salt water, isn’t as important as the act of physically cleaning the nasal passages with something

    3. Questa Nota

      Low-tech option, a bulb syringe to squirt salty water at a temperature you can stand. Mix a solution with baking soda.
      Lower-tech version, use a turkey baster.
      Wetness ensues.

    4. curlydan

      The conclusion quoted, though, is a bit cringy from a statistical analysis perspective. The two groups in the study were “79 participants … enrolled and randomly assigned to add 2.5 mL povidone-iodine 10% or 2.5 mL sodium bicarbonate to 240 mL of isotonic nasal irrigation”. The conclusion then compares those two groups to “three million CDC cases, 9.47% were known to be hospitalized”.

      The authors admit the possibility of “risk of bias in the comparison dataset”. I’m not a person who needs a randomized controlled trial for every little thing in the world, but I don’t see why the authors couldn’t add a third group of participants with possibly water rinse or something to get a better control.

      P.S. I use a 10% povidone-iodine rinse sometimes after high-risk activities, so I would love to see positive results from that group.

      1. FredW

        Shouldn’t it be a 1% povidone iodine solution? That is, diluting the over the counter 10% solution to 1/10 of its strength, per FLCCC recommendations.

  6. griffen

    Python hunting in the Everglades, and a former MIC insider / intelligence official called out for his questionable actions during the SPAC craze. There is a lot to enjoy in links today!

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Nature article on scientifically determined ecological limits–

    Here’s the crux of it:

    Next year, this global team of natural and social scientists (including many of us) will issue its first report outlining these ‘Earth system boundaries’ (ESBs). Addressing regional as well as global scales, these limits are based on the latest science, modelling and literature assessments. Accounting for impacts on communities means that the boundaries will be tighter. For example, climate change is already harming the health, property and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people each year, and that is before the world reaches the Paris agreement cap of 1.5–2 °C of global warming.

    Important idea, but why didn’t anyone read Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics? Raworth takes those nine limits and makes them the outer ring of the “doughnut,” while using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as the inner ring. The “doughnut” makes a great tool for local governments to use to do exactly what the Nature author is advocating.

    1. hunkerdown

      Capitalist knowledge production sets myths against one another, to elevate the “least wrong” rather than rectify it. The Nature author, like the rest of the PMC, is creating private intellectual and social property, not expanding knowledge.

  8. The Rev Kev

    ‘Thousands of patients face cancelled NHS appointments or operations due to Queen’s funeral ‘

    Funny that. Here in Oz the government has announced a memorial public holiday for Queen Elizabeth II on September 22nd. But there is a lot of unhappy people moaning about this as seen in the following article-

    The reason that I mention this is that nearly all the sorts of people moaning about this were exactly the very same people who were moaning about lockdowns, masks, closed borders, etc. during the worse of the pandemic during the first two years.

    1. FreeMarketApologist

      A lot of complaining going on, most of it pretty petty.

      I would suggest that people read up on the events, attendees (local and global), and business and governmental closures on 25 November 1963, or on 5-6 June 1989.

      (specific locations for the dates are left as an exercise for the reader)

      1. Milton

        Do the above dates have anything to do with our intelligence agencies–as far as attempted overthrows of sovereign governments?

        1. cfraenkel

          1989 presumably refers to Tienanmen Square. 1963 is not obvious /s. No clue what any of it has to do with complaining, petty or not. Makes for a waste of screen real estate when a comment is so tangential it might as well be random noise. What’s the point in making readers work to understand whatever you want to say? Why should we?

          1. FreeMarketApologist

            1963: Funeral of John F Kennedy in the US.
            1989: Funeral of Ruhollah Khomeini in Iran.

            In both cases, leaders of their country and world figures. In both cases, figures who were venerated and loved by a majority of their populations (and many in other countries as well). In both cases, the local countries came to a near stand still (governments, markets, most shops closed). I’m not aware in either case that the local population moaned about having to miss their tumor removal or hair appointmment. The point being that those complaining seem to be unaware of the historical precedents around the rituals of death of society’s leaders and the respects that are paid them.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      Can people in Australia not multi-task? Or do they want to watch the funeral to make sure that the old bird is finally dead?

      1. The Rev Kev

        The problem is that there are an awful lot of monarchists here in Oz and a lot of them are in the centers of power which call the shots, hence the day of morning. The cover on TV is relentless over every stage of this procession because they suck up to power. But I mean seriously – how many hours can you watch a procession of cars travel along a highway before your brain turns to mush.

        1. Stephen

          To be fair, the UK is the same. Am not sure who all these people are who are queuing to view the coffin and so forth. Nobody I know talks about the Queen now.

          On the day it was announced it was a topic. Many people I know did express regret. One friend who happens to be a second generation British Muslim of Indian ancestry proactively reached out and said he was sorry to see her passing and that he was surprised that his children were also upset by it. So, her passing did affect people, including me.

          But, the whole thing is just going on too much. Media is milking it for all they can and these numerous ceremonies strike me as modern inventions: many of our so called ancient ceremonies are really that, designed to create spectacle around the institution.

          Monday is the State Funeral and associated holiday – clearly chosen to extend the weekend. Businesses have no idea whether to open or not. Many are not, although for anyone who works for an international company and is used to overseas business the holiday will typically not be observed, of course.

  9. Kengferno

    Silly me…I assumed that “Paleo-Left” would be an economic and/or cultural theory built around the need for regenerative farming, healthy soil, elimination of most processed foods, expansion of individual fruit and vegetable gardens and fitness as government policy, and a repudiation of the Medical & Pharma Industrial Complex. Instead it’s a re-branding of generic left talking points. Ugh

    1. Arizona Slim

      Not to mention the use of too many words to make the point. I followed that link, hoping for a set of bullet points, say, a five-point plan or something like that.

      Nope. It was blah-blah, blah-blah, and more blah-blah.

      Kengferno, I like your Paleo-Left idea better. Let’s make it into a movement.

      1. Questa Nota

        What my parents provided as our childhood.
        Maintaining a healthy skepticism became an aerobic event over the decades.

        1. hunkerdown

          Until I learned about atrial fibrillation, I figured that news was just a way to inspire low-impact cardio exercise.

    2. deedee

      Paleo indeed.
      Any modern left political philosophy that starts with a focus on growth is part of the climate crisis-denial past.

    3. Socal Rhino

      I think the term alludes to “paleo conservative”, used at one time to describe views found in places like the American Conservative. I generally find the author interesting but I think these thoughts weren’t fully formed.

  10. Screwball

    According to some Twitter feeds the Durham investigation is about over. Seems like a long time, a bunch of ink spilled writing about it, and we end up with….nothing?

    Seems like another colossal waste of $$$$$. But that’s what we do, or I missed something.

    1. smashsc

      The conservative sites came to the conclusion 4-6 months ago that Durham was appointed to “run out the clock” on the statute of limitations for any significant crimes. Hence the “long time” you mention.

  11. madarka

    I got hooked onto Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast because you posted it in Links a few years ago, Lambert. Back then he was doing the French Revolution arc iirc. Can’t thank you enough.

  12. The Rev Kev

    ‘Under cover of the Queen’s death, Liz Truss lifted the fracking ban two days ago. A swathe of fracking licences across the country is the result.’

    Liz Truss may want to be careful. Looking at the map showing the Carboniferous Midland Valley area, that fracking may cause a big enough earthquake so that Scotland gets separated from the rest of the UK in a geographical sense rather than a political one.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Liz Truss doesn’t need the death of a royal to make stupid decisions. She does so naturally, without any input from God or Man. She has the tact of Donald Trump, the brains of George W Bush, the appeal of Hillary Clinton and the effectiveness of Barack Obama. If she were American, the Democrats would have nominated her by acclamation. Would love to see her in a negotiation with Putin. She’d be reaching for The Button before the first ten minutes were up.

      Whatever Great Britan has done to deserve her, it’s still not enough to garner forgiveness, and they deserve every minute of her.

      1. Polar Socialist

        She’d be reaching for The Button before the first ten minutes were up.

        Thankfully she would not be able to find it.

  13. Lex

    I second the recommendation for Duncan podcasts. I listened to his Rome podcast in its entirety and have listened to most of Revolutions up to the Russian Revolution (only because I stopped spending many hours in my truck for work). Revolutions is extra good because of its structure that allows the listener to choose a revolution and listen. I very highly recommend the Haitian Revolution series, and while he references the massive French Revolution series in it, getting through that one is not necessary.

    1. JEHR

      I, too, listened to all the Rome podcasts and some of the Revolutions. I’m in the midst of the History of England (1600s) by Crowther and feel like I may never reach the end!!

      1. Norm de plume

        I enjoy Crowther’s pod too, and have done the Duncans. My current fave is former Pennsylvania state rep (D) Mark Painter’s History of the 20th Century. Like Crowther he is taking his time; the current ep is 294 and we’re still in 1935, and he also is often dryly and wryly amusing.

        Patrick Wyman’s Tides of History is also excellent, though perhaps a few too many expert interviews. These can be informative but tend to interrupt the flow somewhat.

        Last, The Rest is History with historians Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook is lighter, with as much banter and good natured ribbing as actual history, and is not a chrono exercise but a ‘hodge-podge’ of topics.

    2. Kouros

      The Russian Revolution is really worth listening to as well. So many layers upon layers upon layers. The caricature presented in the West is blown to pieces…

  14. Lex

    So wait, I was under the impression that Putin ran a totalitarian state where he couldn’t be criticized and now the Daily Beast, Yahoo, the NYT, etc. are telling me that Russian media is tearing him apart and doing so openly on TV?

    The supposed conversation that leads the Daily Beast article may be true, but it also looks a lot like the standard Ukrainian psy-op and the standard western press regurgitation of whatever a Ukrainian source says. The general vibe of Russian TV talk shows is somewhat correct but the US “analysis” is totally missing the point and character of those making the statements. Or not, because it’s fairly clear that the US is hoping to escalate this to the point where Putin goes full “god of war” and mobilizes which will – in the US mind – cause significant domestic instability. It might. But does he need to? It looks like he could still level the civilian infrastructure of all Ukraine without declarations of war and mobilization, and I’d expect that would come before total war. He could actually apply significant ground forces of the Russian Army before declaring war and mobilizing, and I’d expect that he would.

    I guess we’ll find out. But while Russia going the total war route (whether Putin or whoever overthrows him) would galvanize European and possibly world support behind the US, it would create significant other issues … like having to contemplate throwing lots of European bodies in front of the Russian Army that’s now willing to take casualties. I don’t know, maybe DC is really hoping that Russia invades Europe. It sounds like something they’d dig.

    1. Karl

      Increasingly I’m of the view that Russia is playing for higher stakes than to neutralize Ukraine, namely: Russia seeks to weaken NATO and the EU. To do this with maximum effect, he has to stretch out the war until winter and keep tightening the energy turniquet. This requires giving Zelensky just enough “wins” to keep him in power while the EU gets very, very cold–and increasingly rancorous; and Ukraine gets ever colder in the rubble. In this scenario, the coup de grace comes by taking Odessa, say, around February (or maybe even before the November mid-terms) and Zelensky is exiled to his Italian villa, whence Putin can negotiate on his terms.

      1. Roland

        Eleven-dimensional chess? I doubt it.

        More like the usual thing in war: things go wrong, and then you try to figure what to do next. Then a lot more people get hurt, and even more things go wrong.

        Nobody in the Ukraine War is on their Plan A. Not UKR. Not RF. Not NATO. It’s a big mess. I can impose a narrative structure upon it, but no such structure emerges from the events themselves.

        Statespersons are prone to the Myth of Manageable War. While warfare can be discussed rationally, it is seldom waged that way. But the question is always simple: do we keep waging the war, or do we try to stop? For a statesperson, to keep on waging the war usually seems less awful than it would be to admit that one has botched the highest calling of one’s whole life.

        In this Ukraine War, as in many other wars, I notice that even as plans fail, costs mount, and dangers deepen, the participants have all raised their demands! It’s a classic case of the Sunk Costs Fallacy: the more we pay, the more we need to get, so that we can break even.

        As the enemy’s demands rise, defeat looks more and more awful. Meanwhile, the burdens and sufferings of the war itself make those who bear them demand an appropriate narrative structure to make sense of what has happened to them. Epic pain yearns for an epic tale.

        Struggling artists, take note! There might soon be a big market for all that kind of crap. When Apollo comes a-cropper, Dionysus can get some free beer.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “The Flu Is Coming: Too bad we are ignoring the lessons learned from Covid”

    This winter we had a pretty brutal flu season and I think that I made a comment at the time that the US should be wary for when winter sets in there. But articles like this do make me wonder. Even before the pandemic hit, Asian countries were noted for wearing surgical masks in their flu season – countries like China, Japan and South Korea. It was treated as an oddity and here is one such article from way back in 2014-

    So sometimes I sit back and think about what a civilized society would look like and how people would behave with each other. Actually it is a very challenging exercise that but whatever. Point is that in a better world, people would wear face masks in flu season as it would be good for people’s health and, wouldn’t you know it, it would even be good for the economy. They could even be fashion accessories. But then I go downtown and see that if somebody is wearing a tattoo, nobody gives it a second thought. But if you wear a mask – even in flu season – you may as well have a spare hand growing out your right ear.

    1. digi_owl

      Western individualism is a curious beast. On the one hand it craves individualism (duh), yet on the other hand it demands constant group affirmation of said “individualism”.

      Thus there is this constant drive to gather in groups to parade the symbols of “individualism” before each other.

  16. GuyinOhio

    Thanks for your coverage of Covid, especially long Covid. I experienced the depression, anxiety, brain fog in March. I’m recovering but still deal with cognitive and speech struggles. I take a few supplements and 15-30 miles of running each week. The journey is unpleasant, but I do appreciate the updates on treatment and prognosis provided in the links you supply.

  17. KD

    U.S. considers China sanctions to deter Taiwan action as Taipei presses EU

    Hey Germany, remember how democracy demanded you stop importing cheap Russia gas so you could no longer remain a competitive export nation? Nothing to worry about, because democracy now demands that you stop trading with your largest export market, so you won’t have to worry not being competitive. I’m sure with the exchange rate, Germany is very attractive location for tourism, so maybe you should start putting some eggs in that basket like Greece. Not to mention, plenty of foreign investors seeking to buy up your real estate with dollars.

  18. KD

    What is a paleo-left agenda?

    No, the issue is not “inequality,” the issue is called “class warfare of the 1%.”

    Perhaps our agenda should be “promoting wellness” rather than “eradicating COVID-19” on the public health front?

  19. Anthony K Wikrent

    Ian Welsh has an insightful analysis of the rejection of the new Chile constitution: The Egalitarian Rift Which Doomed The New Chilean Constitution

    Let’s bring this back to Chile: indigenous people’s have been badly treated and deserve restitution, but to give them permanent rights that others in Chile don’t have based on their ancestry means that some people have rights that they didn’t earn legitimately from an egalitarian point of view.

    Now, egalitarianism isn’t the only value, and more societies post-agriculture (and possible pre-agriculture) have been based on in-egalitarianism than on egalitarianism. Some of them have run relatively well. But there’s no question that creating status-anything based on birth is not egalitarian.

    For this to work it would have to be a legitimate way for people without the ancestry to gain the status, and a legitimate way for people wit the status to lose it.

    If it was based on ancestry combined with “you’ve been treated badly”, then the harm would have to be quantified, and the status lost when the harm has been rectified. “The harm has been made substantially whole.” People could join the status by proving similar harm had been done to their ancestors and/or them and was still effecting them.

    If, on the other hand, the status is justified by “indigenous people are better stewards of the land” then a duty would have to be set up to take better care of the land, and those who did not do so would lose the status, while those who are willing to do so (and to learn indigenous methods) would be allowed to gain the status.

    The “left” political theorists are simply abject failures — one of the reasons the reactionaries have been able to amass so much power despite their being a clear minority. We see this in USA, and around the world, and now in Chile.

    1. Carolinian

      So it was really about reparations?

      If we want better “stewards of the land” perhaps we need better laws rather than picking and choosing stewards. Arguably positively generalizing about people based on race or ethnicity is no different intellectually speaking than doing so negatively. Both are stereotypes.

  20. Petter

    So here I am at the old folks home for two weeks to give my wife a break and got to chatting with a Polish nursing assistant about the war. I was a bit taken back when she didn’t say Putin is a crazy monster but rather that this was a war between the USA and Russia and we’re all losers. Then we got to taking about the Ukrainian refugees in Poland. She said Poland had taken in 6 million and they get everything handed to them and they do nothing. She was home this summer and saw the young Ukrainian men with their gold chains laying on the beach drinking the days away. I replied I thought it was just women and children who had entered the country but she replied no no.
    Anyways, she went on – Ukrainian corruption, Ukrainian oligarchs, even the time Ukrainians slaughtered – cut them open- one hundred thousand Poles some time back in The Middle Ages.
    I questioned her about the six million, because I’ve read that it was around 1,5 to two million. She then clicked on a Polish news site: 6,230,000 had entered Poland and 4,488,000 had left.
    Is she representative of Polish sentiments about refugees? I don’t know. We read about compassion fatigue but this was something else. This was refugees taking advantage of the system, getting benefits denied Poles -Poles having to wait for medical services whereas the refugees get right in – and so on. Classic anti-immigrant arguments, resentments.
    Here is a link to the news site she showed me and my Google translation, minus a Twitter embed.

    Since February 24, the day of the beginning of Russia’s aggression, over 6.26 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border, informs the Border Guard. According to the Guard, they are mainly women and children.

    22.8 thousand people came to Poland in the past 24 hours. refugees from Ukraine, the Border Guard announced on Wednesday, September 14. Today, by 7.00, the border was crossed by 7 thousand. people.

    This means that since the beginning of the war, 6,263 million people fleeing the war have come to Poland.

    On September 13, 23 thousand people left Poland for Ukraine. people, and as of February 24, a total of over 4.488 million people.

    According to the UN, over 12.3 million people have left Ukraine in total since February 24. There are currently over 7.1 million refugees from Ukraine in Europe.

      1. Lexx

        Oooooo, hard pass. The trauma just keeps coming. Even if they wanted to forget, could they? A Polish propaganda film perhaps? Who put up the money for that one? Can’t find it on Netflix or Prime except for sale.

        1. Petter

          That was raw, “hard kost” as we say in Norway. I’m going to hunt it down, searching my not kosher sites. My VPN has come in handy because the Internet provider here where I’m staying for two weeks, blocks just about everything, including comments on YouTube!!

        2. Principe Fabrizio Salina

          The movie is very balanced. Shows both Ukrainian atrocities and retaliation by the
          Polish Home Army.

        3. The Rev Kev

          You can watch it on YouTube for free with subtitles but I don’t think that I could sit down and watch the full movie myself.

      2. Petter

        This was 1943???!!! The nursing assistant didn’t tell me when it occurred but didn’t correct me when I said “Middle Ages.”

  21. Dalepues

    American Chestnut. My Aunt Ida has one of these trees next to her house in Randolph County, Georgia. In fact, it just produced this fall’s crop. I picked up eleven pounds of nuts; half I’ll roast
    and the other half I’ll try to germinate. If anyone would like some I can send them to you.

    1. nippersdad

      Have you looked into the breeding program for chestnuts? If not there is a Georgia chapter of the Chestnut Foundation that would prolly be interested in having some of them.

      There is one a couple of houses up from me (one of the best protected secrets in the neighborhood) and I have been waiting to snaffle a few of them, myself.

      1. Dalepues

        Nippersdad, I called the main office in Asheville NC and the lady who answered told me to send a cutting and a leaf to their lab where they do a dna test. She also told me that because my aunt’s tree is making nuts, there must be another tree nearby. Thanks for the great information!

    2. .human

      If it is truly an American Chestnut, I would apprecate a dozen or so. My favorite wood! I have a woodlot in CT and have had some success with seedlings. dmn at nalven dot org

    3. LY

      Are the trees a hybrid?

      I really appreciated the link, as I’ve mentioned the tree before in comments. And as I think about it, bringing back the American Chestnut would be great for permaculture. Chestnuts were a significant food source for indigenous people and early settlers. I also think that free roaming pigs feeding mostly on chestnuts would make some delicious eating…

      1. nippersdad

        The ones being worked on by the Chestnut Foundation are hybrids with Chinese Chestnuts. They first breed them with the Chinese and then back breed them with natives until they are ninety plus percent American Chestnuts with the blight tolerance of a Chinese chestnut. There are already named varieties on the market, but, IIRC, none have yet reached the former size that American Chestnuts attained, so they are still pretty much understory trees. Could still be useful for shade by themselves, but would be shaded out by larger trees in a wooded setting.

        Also, too, other problems with mainstreaming chestnuts are that the burrs are downright dangerous and the smell, when in bloom, is considered….objectionable.* Still a great program, though. At some point they should overcome the size problem so that they can be put out in national forests and regain their former niche. They were a huge loss for the biome, and the more native seed they can get the better the ultimate genome will be.


      1. Alice X

        It’s behind a paywall?

        But the subtitle reads:

        Peng Xianjue unveils plans for combined fusion-fission reactor that could make China world’s first to achieve the elusive viable energy source
        No country has so far managed to build a facility that generates more power than it uses in the fission process

        So a combined fission-fusion reactor!


        Leave those fissionable materials in the ground!

        But if they do get it to work the previous efforts to wreck the earth could pale in comparison.

  22. semper loquitur

    That tweet from a “royal fan”, whatever the he!! that is, is grotesque. Talk about false consciousness. It brought to mind an event I watched unfold in Philly years ago. A very wealthy woman who lived in a nearby suburb had had to put one of her horses to sleep. One local television news station had found this an important enough occasion to merit a segment, because Philly doesn’t have any real problems. A literal crowd of well-wishers had gathered at the gate of her estate with candles and flowers to commiserate with her. The horse owner had even deigned to pop out and greet the fawning crowd…briefly.

    Were these friends or neighbors? No. Total strangers had made their way from the city proper to gather. One older woman, obviously poor with a scrawny, pinched face and missing teeth, was interviewed as to why she had taken the trouble and time. She explained in vague, meandering words that she felt terribly for the equestrian woman, what a loss it must be to have to put down a horse! The interviewer nodded sadly in agreement. I nearly threw up.

    If she were so concerned about people having to lose pets, why wasn’t she haunting veterinary hospitals to comfort cat and dog owners whose pets had died? Because they don’t carry the status symbolism that a horse does and therefore don’t illicit the worship of power from the gullible, the slavish. Likewise, the “royal fan” was worshiping the power of the Queen, a woman who had only ever taken things away from this fool, who had only ever appeared on her TV set or in a parade surrounded by security but never in her actual life.

      1. semper loquitur

        That’s the stuff, right there. “Mourn Hub” captures it precisely. No mourning for the young girls whose lives Prince Andrew warped. For the millions who died under colonialism’s yoke so that Liz could hunt deer, eat delicacies, and romp around the world at her leisure. No mourning for the millions of Brits losing their heating or livelihoods or homes this winter. No public outcry over those doctor’s exams that were delayed, those medical appointments deferred, or any of the countless other minor tragedies that doubtless occurred. But lot’s of tears and wailing for a person who most never saw in the flesh, who only appeared on their TV’s to wave her hand or mumble something official sounding.

        I have an idea. If losing a monarch is so damaging to so many, leaving such a rift in their otherwise fulfilling and stable lives, why not come up with a fictional character instead? That way, as Britons lose more access to the necessities of life with every dawning day, they can turn on the TV’s and see the smiling face of their cartoon monarch beaming upon them for a spot of comfort.

        1. Revenant

          I don’t think the British Empire was organised so Liz could hunt deer. The Royal Forests date from 1066! Less pedantically, the British Empire was “organised” in a selfish emergent fashion so the British people could get rich and stay ahead of the French. I think monarchy could be blamed for distributional iniquities at home but in foreign affairs, we are all guilty. Every spoonful of sugar, every clove, every latex glove, all organised by late 19th century extractive capitalism and enjoyed at all social scales. Plus a great number of petit bourgeois got to live like swells in colonies when in the home country they would have slicing bacon or clerking.

          1. semper loquitur

            Yeah, I wasn’t being literal there. I was pointing out that all that blood money did support her lifestyle. While her subjects suffered.

        2. norm de plume

          ‘why not come up with a fictional character instead?’

          What about an NFT Queen? (Not sure ‘Crypto-Queen’ would fly…) Subjects could literally own a piece of it/her.

          And whoever re-animated Tupac could be asked to do the same for Mrs Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

          In time, we might reach the stage where we can produce copies of her so that we can all have one of our own at home…

  23. The Rev Kev

    “China keeps West guessing about economic pressure on Russia”

    I’m pretty sure that any day now, that China is going to cut off all economic relations with Russia and introduce the sanctions-from-hell like the rest of the west is doing. Then Russia will be really suffering. It is just that the Chinese leadership has to wait for a report on their strategy first which is being done by Chinese General Godot.

    1. Daryl

      Nearly did a spit take reading this article. Surely the nation we keep trying to pick fights with while being completely dependent on will go along with our shenanigans.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        The idiots were on Daily Kos the other day celebrating the closure of Nordstream 1 because now “Russia won’t have Euros anymore”. They don’t quite get that Europe is going look like Texas during The Big Freeze. If we can fight to the last Ukrainian is there any reason why we can’t fight to the last German?

        1. hk

          Funny that they missed the part about Euros being no good to Russians so that they don’t (officially) take them any more.

  24. Jason Boxman

    Walgreens updated variants finally! As I feared, BA4.6 is on the rise. On the Twitter about a month ago someone pointed out that this might be a variant to watch. I’m calling this a VoC for our upcoming winter of death, brought to you again by Joe Biden and The Democrats!

  25. Lambert Strether Post author

    Apologies for site ups and downs. At least for the last twenty minutes or so, things seem to have stabilized. Thanks for your patience (and let me point out, since this is fundraising week, that one of the things your generosity is paying for is multiple servers, including one in, well, a country that relies exclusively on hydro and geothermal power. (IOW, if the European grid is playing hob with the site, we have options. The tip jar is to your right).

  26. Anthony G Stegman

    Is Russia’s military really so weak that a single Ukraine offensive can result in its knees buckling? Hasn’t Ukraine’s military been seriously degraded? How is it that Ukraine’s military is suddenly a formidable fighting force poised to drive Russian forces completely out of Ukraine? Perhaps there is a great deal of rot inside the Russian war machine as western media says. China will do well to be taking copious notes as it is also in NATOs crosshairs.

    1. Yves Smith

      Please read today’s post or start reading non-MSM propaganda sources. Russia engaged in a planned withdrawal. Alexander Mercouris, who initially pretty upset about the Russian pullback, now depicts the Ukraine advance as “punching at air.” Russia had had 10 BTGs in the area and was down to the equivalent of one when Ukraine advanced, which consisted of militia forces and Russia territorial police, which were to help keep order in Kharviv, not be a fighting force. Russia is holding the line at the Oskil River, which Ukraine would have to pass to accomplish anything meaningful strategically. The area they took is very sparely populated.

      What the Western press is not covering is Ukraine had to pull forces from other places to man the Kharkiv offensive, which appears to have resulted so far in over 3000 Ukraine losses (as in deaths) v. hardly any for Russia. AND Russia is making far more important gains as a result. Ukraine pulled troops out of Bahmut, which is widely acknowledged as the linchpin to the last line of defense in Donbass. The Wagner group entered the Bahmut suburbs yesterday.

  27. Sibiryak

    Huge Russian attack on Kryvyi Rih (Krivoy Rog) dam to destroy Ukrainian counter-offensive hopes. See Military Summary for details.

    The Western take:

    Eight Russian missiles that struck Kryvyi Rih at about 5pm local time were directed at hydraulic structures, causing enough damage that the water level of the Inhulets river is now rising and posing a serious threat to the city. This aligns with Ukraine’s concerns that Russia will continue to target Ukraine’s infrastructure in retribution for its success in regaining occupied territory. In particular, Kryvyi Rih is the hometown of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
    –The Guardian

    1. Old Sovietologist

      Whilst we shouldn’t expect this to become the norm. The Russians have sent a powerful message that striking civilian/dual purpose infrastructure will now be carried out if its useful to the operation

  28. Kouros

    “The majority of the North Koreans who have left their country do not wish to live in South Korea or any other “free country”’; indeed, a significant proportion hope to return home after a brief stint earning money abroad. This, and many other surprising observations about North Korean defectors fill Jo Cheon-hyeon 조천현’s recent book, The Defectors”

    My sister is retiring and leaving Frankfurt am Main, Germany to go back to Oradea, Romania. She will be much better off.

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