Links 9/15/2022

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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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Male Chimps In Uganda Use Distinctive Rhythms When Drumming on Tree Roots To Make Themselves Known Laughing Squid. I can hardly hear the rhythms over the hooting and screaming. Like so much else.

Cockatoos Work to Outsmart Humans in Escalating Garbage Bin Wars Scientific American

Meal Ticket No More: The ‘Gold Standard’ Private Pensions Exposed Now as High-Wire Busts RealClearInvestigations

California Sues Amazon, Alleging Antitrust Violations Inflated Prices and Stifled Competition WSJ

Climate

Empirically grounded technology forecasts and the energy transition Joule. From the Abstract: “Compared to continuing with a fossil fuel-based system, a rapid green energy transition will likely result in overall net savings of many trillions of dollars—even without accounting for climate damages or co-benefits of climate policy.” The Graphical Abstract:

‘Earth is our only shareholder’: Patagonia’s billionaire family transfers retailer’s entire ownership to climate-change efforts MarketWatch. If only this were true:

Sadly, unlike Lake Erie (at least before a Federal judge got involved), the Earth is not a person, and so cannot be a shareholder. Not to be churlish, but it might have been better for Chouinard to spend a billion winning the case for Earth’s personhood, rather than pouring money into the sand of the non-profit industrial complex.

Water

Mapped: Countries With the Highest Flood Risk Visual Capitalist

The watery secret of ancient North America BBC

#COVID19

Johns Hopkins Slows Frequency of Covid-19 Data Publication WSJ

End of COVID pandemic is ‘in sight’ -WHO chief Reuters

Lambert here: It’s like watching an anesthesia mask being slowly, slowly lowered….

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Risk for Developing Alzheimer’s Disease Increases by 50-80% In Older Adults Who Caught COVID-19 Neuroscience News

Complexity of Covid vaccine program leads to concerns about potential for error STAT. “The current Covid vaccine schedule seems tailor-made to trip up people who are delivering the doses, with multiple vaccines that are administered in different volumes, some after dilution but many not, and with intervals between doses ranging from three weeks to several months.”

Falling FX reserves herald Asia financial crisis 2.0 Asia Times

China?

China warns against meddling in Kazakhstan ahead of Putin meeting Eurasianet. “Meddling” is one of those words to watch. See About page.

Fortress China: Xi Jinping’s plan for economic independence FT

Lure of Cheap China Hydropower Backfiring Due to Climate Change Bloomberg

Modi, Xi, Putin Among Top Leaders To Attend First In-person SCO Summit After COVID Republic World. SCO = Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Iran, etc. “turned positive” at the end of 14 years. Russian expert: SCO is one of the few organizations that can compete with the West What China Reads

India

India’s Congress Party Is Still in Decline Foreign Policy

Syraqistan

Armenia, Azerbaijan negotiate another ceasefire: Yerevan Al Jazeera

US to move $3.5bn in Afghan assets to Swiss-based trust Al Jazeera and BIS statement on the establishment of the Afghan Fund Bank of International Settlements. A reader whose mail I cannot find supplied the Al Jazeera link. Take a bow in comments!

UK/EU

Labour’s weaponisation of anti-Semitism has never ended Palestine Is Still the Issue

Von der Leyen reaches for ideals, but there’s still a war to win Politico

Queen Elizabeth

Charles III retires to his beloved Highgrove estate – after dropping Camilla at her Wiltshire mansion – as the new monarch is afforded 24 hours of contemplation during the hectic schedule of events leading up to his mother’s funeral on Monday Daily Mail. With every new propaganda campaign, I think: “I’ve never seen anything like it.” This keeps happening.

Mourners queue for miles to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth as coffin lies in state at Westminster Hall CNN. Commentary:

And:

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Requiem for an Empire Project Syndicate

Decolonizing the Mind Black Agenda Report. “Decolonization” is often used unseriously. But this is BAR, so no worries.

After the queen’s death, pleas grow in Kenya for the return of a revered leader’s head. NYT

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine sliding into a real war India Punchline. For some definition of “real war.” If economic time > military time > political time, then perhaps “General Energy” will play the key role, not “General Winter.”

US shale bosses tell Europe: ‘There’s no bailout coming’ FT

American Interests in the Ukraine War Defense Priorities

That “leaked” “RAND report”:

I finally had ten minutes to look at a real RAND report (PDF). The “leaked report” clearly does not use RAND’s house style for formatting; the indented first paragraph under “Executive Summary” on the first text page is a dead giveaway. As are the fonts. Same page, paragraph four: “the major obstacle to it is growing independence of Germany.” A professional who reads and writes in an English-speaking milieu would not have left out an article before “growing independence.” Verdict: fake (and hat tip reader Michaelmas for the cleanup on aisle Johnson who (to mangle syntax and metaphors badly) should stay in his lane.

Planeload of Venezuelan Migrants Arrives at Martha’s Vineyard Airport Vineyard Gazette

Biden Administration

Lucrative IRS program targeting wealthy tax cheats is withering from lack of funds The Hill

The American Mall’s Long Goodbye Sunday Long Read (Kengferno).

Is There Such a Thing As an Ethical Smart City? Curbed

Health Care

Exclusive: Medical journals broaden inquiry into potential heart research misconduct Reuters

Hospital Admins Knew Star Surgeon Was Dangerous; Warned Before ‘Summer of Death’ MedPage Today. “Yet for years hospital management resisted reining in one of their leading rainmakers.”

“The Human Psyche Was Not Built for This” Pro Publica

Finding a New Mantra NEJM. Plot twist.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Microchips in humans: consumer-friendly app, or new frontier in surveillance? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

File-Selves London Review of Books

Assange

WikiLeaks founder’s family brings campaign to Mexico AP

Class Warfare

UPDATE 1 Railroad Unions and Companies Reach a Tentative Deal to Avoid a Strike NYT. “The White House did not immediately release details of the agreement.” Nothing from the union side as of this writing. So that’s alright, then.

UPDATE 2:

Big if true. I still want to see the actual contract.

Rail shutdown looms large even as Congress steps in Freight Waves. Good discussion of the various remedies (except for giving workers want they’re demanding and deserve. Naturally).

Railroad executives holding economy hostage Ryan Grim. The railroads are also shutting down services while workers are still on the job, so though nobody uses the word “lockout,” that’s what we’re seeing.

Biden faces a looming economic disaster that he can actually stop Politico. So give the workers what they want. How hard is that?

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Workers’ push to link wage rises to inflation unsettles bankers FT. You don’t say.

Nurses brought in at hospitals during strike offered $8,000+ for 5 days’ work CBS. It’s hard out here for a scab.

World’s first living robots can now reproduce, scientists say CNN

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.

180 comments

  1. Antifa

    OPUS DEI IS HERE AGAIN
    (melody borrowed from Happy Days Are Here Again by Milton Ager)

    Opus Dei and their apologists
    Have six Supreme Court Justices
    A gang of Catholic catechists
    Opus Dei is Here Again!

    A Catholic cult of self abuse
    A hairshirt crew we shall traduce
    A theocracy they will produce
    Opus Dei is Here Again!

    Abortion rights are all gone
    There’ll be no more from now on

    Six Justices quite fond of whips
    And secret fascist manuscripts
    A Constitutional Apocalypse
    Opus Dei is Here Again!

    We should bust ’em, cannot trust ’em
    They rule from the Old Testament
    Cannot reach ’em, let’s impeach ’em
    For their fraudulent intent

    Six judges we would never choose
    All lied through Senate interviews
    Brash perjury we can’t excuse
    Opus Dei is Here Again!

    Alito runs the Court these days
    Rewrites the law by a single phrase
    But he has five friends so no delays
    Opus Dei is Here Again!

    Our Constitution is toast
    When state’s rights matter the most

    A Vatican society
    Obsessed with Catholic piety
    Wrecks our Constitution quietly
    Opus Dei is Here Again!

    Opus Dei and their apologists
    Have six Supreme Court Justices
    A gang of Catholic catechists
    Opus Dei is Here Again!

    Reply
      1. nycTerrierist

        I can picture the Mel Brooks-esque production number
        hoofing Papists in black robes doing the high kicks!

        Dog bless u Antifa — and Sardonia – for all the chuckles

        Reply
        1. Antifa

          In ’75 or ’76 I was a waiter at Scoma’s on Fisherman’s Wharf. All the other waiters were Italian, or Greek. Swarthy. The busboys were Chinese. I stand out because I’m pale, blue-eyed, and completely blonde. In the middle of a busy afternoon, a party of 13 waltzed in, and spare tables were quickly shoved together to seat them. I was so busy I didn’t catch on to how royally they were being treated. Al Scoma seated them himself, then touched my elbow and warned me to take really good care of them.

          They were clearly celebrating something they had all accomplished together as much as the distinguished couple sitting mid-table. I came over to see about drinks, and the lovely lady stood up with a very fancy camera, asking me to get shots of the whole group. Being yet of tender years, I had no idea who Ann Bancroft was, or her spouse. I remember thinking she was remarkably pretty, but my immediate concern was all the kitchen orders coming up for my other seven tables, handling this large crew, and now the fancy camera she was holding out.

          We were standing right behind Mel, who was seated, talking with the others. Since I’d never seen a camera with more than one button, I didn’t catch Ann’s instructions at first. She repeated them — just focus here, and push the button. She sort of pointed at the button she meant.

          Well, hey, there were lots of buttons.

          So I said, “I’m Swedish. You’ll have to show me.”

          She did, but we both then turned our attention to her husband, who was shaking with laughter, head down on his arms on the table. Everyone was watching, and chuckling. He went on like that for a minute or two, trying hard to hold it in, but it all came out anyway. When he looked up at us at length, there were tears in his eyes.

          She leaned over to hug him, and spoke in his ear, “He got to ya, didn’t he?” Mel just nodded, still giggling.

          I got the pictures, they got lunch, we all had a merry time, and they left a big tip. Mel shook my hand on the way out.

          This was my very first encounter with Mel Brooks’ sense of humor –a marvelous talent I have come to treasure long since.

          Reply
          1. britzklieg

            Great story! I had the honor of singing for A.B. at a fundraiser in Leonard Bernstein’s apt at the Dakota. She was beautiful and very, very kind and when she spoke to me afterwards all I could do is stare, wide-eyed and speechless, and hope she didn’t notice I was shaking. If Mel had been there (“he’s upstairs”, she said) I might have fainted. It’s probably better that you didn’t know who she was. To be star-struck while delivering food and drinks could have ended up a lot worse.

            Reply
          2. Sardonia

            “In ’75 or ’76 I was a waiter at Scoma’s on Fisherman’s Wharf”

            Ah, I moved to SF in 1979. Perhaps we once slammed into each other in a mosh pit at Mabuhay Gardens while enjoying the gentle melodies of The Dead Kennedys. (I’ve been wanting to use their “Holiday in Cambodia” for a song parody)

            Reply
    1. Lexx

      I liked that one so much I sang along. Sigh… my FIL was a member of Opus Dei. He signed his unwelcome emails ‘Saint Francis’. Those folks are everywhere. Have I mentioned we live half a block from the largest Catholic church in this city? It’s like a gatekeeper; one road with two exits out of the neighborhood and one runs past the church. ‘We’re watching… we’re always watching’.

      Sometimes the christianity can get quite thick around here.

      Reply
      1. .human

        The city of New Haven, CT (home of Yale for those unaware) is guarded by the Knights of Columbus citadel. A 12(?) story fort like structure at the entrance to downtown.

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      Antifa, you’ve outdone yourself!

      Nice Mel tell tale too and like every other aspiring juvenile delinquent of the era, I was captivated by his comedic genius and remain so.

      Reply
  2. Sibiryak

    Key Russian Talking Points on Pro-Government Shows 9/15

    The war in Ukraine has entered a new phase.

    Ukrainian infrastructure will be hit in furtherance of military goals. There is little Ukrainian infrastructure that is purely civilian.

    The war in Ukraine is now clearly US/NATO/Collective West vs. Russia,

    The West’s goal is not just a Russian defeat in Ukraine, but the destruction and dismemberment of the Russian Federation itself. A recent article by Ben Hodges in the Telegraph is cited.

    Because the West’s goal is the destruction of the Russian Federation, the war in Ukraine is an existential one for all Russians.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m afraid that is worse than that, Sibiryak. For Russia, this has been a existential war right from the very beginning. You could say that it is the biggest attempted smash-and-grab operation of the century. Well we all know that it failed but now because of the blowback from sanctions and the economic damage that has been caused which is only accelerating, it has now become an existential war for the west as well. The only possible way that the colossal damage that is happening to the west can be justified is for the original plan to succeed and Russia broken up for looting by the west. If not, you can write of the collective west as far as the rest of the world is concerned. Just my take.

      Reply
      1. Stephen T Johnson

        Quite right. The problem with existential conflicts is that negotiated settlements become impossible. Now, if we posit that Ukraine is both heading rapidly to collapse, dissolution or something of that kind, what are the next moves from the players who have any subjectivity?
        Presumably, the US forces their European satraps to escalate, while continuing to funnel such weapons and (implausibly) deniable military assistance in training, intelligence, command & control, etc. The question on my mind is how much of this can those European governments sustain? It’s going to be a winter of discontent, with hungry Europeans freezing in the dark, and I’m not sure the EU governments can repress their way past that. If they can’t, what then? The EU stages a military intervention in Ukraine? Marches on Moscow? Hardly. They ask the US to come save them? Please. I can’t come up with a result other than a super repressive dystopia for the EU that seems even faintly believable – and that one requires, I believe, a lot more faith in the competence of the Eurocrats than I possess.
        The RF and their chums will, I expect largely stand pat, just turning up the pain dial where and as needed, at least for now.
        Makes me want to hide under my bed.

        Reply
        1. Proponder

          Mass mobilizations needed by Europeans. Tax strikes to protest energy and food sanctions. “Sorry, we had to divert our tax payments to buy heat and food.”

          Say, that’s not a bad idea for working Americans as well.

          Maybe an updates to the popular street chant that expressed a wish and a prediction:
          “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, NLF’s Gonna Win!”

          New:

          “Fukraine, Fukraine, Russia’s in The Fast Lane!”

          Reply
          1. digi_owl

            Not going to happen, as the people that chanted for NLF back in the day chant for Ukraine today.

            Because this time, they have no real skin in the game as there is no draft that may send them into the meat grinder.

            Instead they think Russia is the great big fascist satan, while cheering for actual branded fascists to win.

            Orwell must be spinning…

            Reply
        2. John k

          Well, in the us we were taught to hide under the desk when the nukes arrive… my fond hope is eu is beginning to look for a towel to throw, though they still ask putin why he doesn’t surrender, he’s interrupting their plans. While truss ready to throw nukes… must be distraught from queen leaving… or Charles arriving. Or maybe she realizes it’s the only way to get a tie.
          Friend thinks 83% storage is good, doesn’t appreciate storage is adequate only if normal supply is maintained, just like us northeast. I heard storage already declining, maybe not true.

          Reply
      2. Jay Francis

        >The only possible way that the colossal damage that is happening to the west can be justified is for the original plan to succeed and Russia broken up for looting by the west. <

        You're assuming that the war is driven by rational risk calculations by the west. Which is ridiculous – it's an unexpected, unprepared for event. The real driver is momentum: key decision makers staked credibility on an easy win then doubled down when things went bad. They raised a propaganda work against Russia and now can't turn around without admitting that they lied and that Ukraine isn't the Sudetenland and that Putin isn't Hitler. At which stage careers and even political parties are over. A u-turn would get no help from the media, because they've committed to the same line.

        Reply
        1. Mike

          So, what does that mean regarding future NATO reactions? Further employment of mercenaries? Actual professional troop placement alongside UKR forces? There does not seem to be much more sanctions can do, so can there be any little provocation used? AND, the big question- what will Russia do if that escalation happens?

          I would not be surprised to see more Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish, German and Slovak mercenary involvement. Maybe air support.

          Reply
          1. digi_owl

            Air support is the one thing “NATO” can’t do, as there will be no way they can explain away F-16s etc flying in Ukraine air space.

            This quite different from the Korean war where soviet pilots could be flying NK marked MIGs.

            Ground forces are different, as they could dismissed as retired, AWOL from service, or otherwise “volunteers”. Meaning that “NATO” will disavow any involvement, perhaps to the point of turning a blind eye to any such being put before a tribunal.

            Reply
            1. Mike

              Of course, this support would not be direct- something along the lines of we gave them to Poland, or Romania, and they just got exported (along withn some pilots who volunteered).

              Reply
        2. digi_owl

          They staked their credibility on being able to pull Putin into a war that would lead to a color revolution in Moscow. Instead Russia has pulled a “freedom fries” and basically replaced all things western with their own brands over night.

          All in all, western decision makes are either senile or so deluded they think they are still up against a barely functioning USSR while they have all those tangible goods to tempt the public with.

          Except all the west has to offer these days are luxury brands and financialization, everything else has been offshored to China etc.

          Reply
        3. Duke of Prunes

          Except it was not unexpected so we* should not have been unprepared. We* spent years poking the bear until it finally hit back.

          Either we* are really stupid and didn’t think through the sanctions – I mean a bunch of more or less regular people on this site predicted much of how these sanctions have played out so far -, or we* are getting the desired results. I don’t like either of these choices.

          * not you or me, but the govt agencies behind this war

          Reply
      3. spud

        to understand what the world is up against, you must understand the mind set of the free traders running the west.

        globalism is a multi-generational thing. the term globalism is lipstick on the pig of free trade. there cannot be any globalism without free trade.

        free trade was even embraced by hitler and musolinni, they understood what free trade really is. no sovereignty, no democratic control.

        so under that so-called system, a oligarchy has exploded, reducing governments into issuing traffic tickets to the deplorable, and carte blanche to the oligarchy.

        the servants of the oligarchs will not blame themselves for the lost ability to manufacture and keep up with protectionists countries like russia and china.

        bill clinton was very fast in action and sure he could scare eastern europe and russia into submission with what he did to yugoslavia.

        of course it backfired with russia.

        does russia have time to run out the clock on these dim wits? hard to say because all they know is money and power.

        once the twits figure out that money alone cannot, and will not buy the technology and production of the needed war materials in the west. all bets are off as to what this muliti-generational movement will do. all they have left is nuclear weapons, or missiles that can deliver them.

        don’t be to surprised if that’s next. in the eyes of the free trading twits, this a is a fight for their very survival, and they are so close to a victory started well over a century ago, that they are like wild animals cornered.

        Reply
    2. zagonostra

      The war in Ukraine is now clearly US/NATO/Collective West vs. Russia

      I think that although this is factually true, psychologically, it hasn’t penetrated most people’s thinking. In the U.S., the message is similar to post 9/11, that our role is just to go about business as usual, being good consumers. And similar to other military operations such as in Iraq, it is peripheral in it’s impact on said consumer citizen.

      The grocery stores shelves where I shop are full, traffic is congested as usual, gasoline is expensive but unlike in Europe, manageable. The news headlines are providing plenty of distraction, Queen’s death, Trump, migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard, Railroad strike, and so on.

      I think for the PMC, life is not too bad. That our “leaders” have provoked Russia to the point where they have clearly stated that they view this conflict as “an existential one”, has, to repeat myself not set in, it is just another blip in a long and continuous parade of events on the screen.

      Reply
      1. Keith Newman

        @Zagonostra
        From my perspective in Canada I observe the same thing as you. I do note we are 100% self-sufficient in oil, natural gas and electricity. Perhaps this is an important reason.
        More importantly there is no call to send our young people to die in Europe fighting the Russian military. That would change everything.

        Reply
        1. digi_owl

          A call that will likely not come.

          the PMC today is the same class of people that decried Vietnam, simply because of the draft.

          Once it was halted, the protests stopped even though the war kept going for some time after.

          That is also why outside of some half-hearted protests early on, Iraq and Afghanistan was allowed to go on for 20 years! Because only those that put on the uniform by “choice” (aka, failed to grab the PMC brass ring) was sent there.

          Reply
      2. ambrit

        Here in the North American Deep South (NADS) we are seeing empty shelves in the grocery aisles, fewer autos on the road, and creeping fear of “the deplorables” enter the community level discourse.
        The Nextdoor e-mail system is seeing an increase of “someone stole my kid’s bike from off of the porch,” and “someone broke the window in my truck and stole everything of valuable from it” messages. Warnings about “suspicious characters” in the neighborhood are increasing.
        I am hearing about rate increases in cell phone monthly charges. Since it appears that many of the younger cohorts now exclusively use their phones to enable access to the Internet, any drop off in phone usage, due to financial constraints, will have an effect on the efficiency of “Elite approved” propaganda.
        An ‘interesting’ social dynamic is beginning. There is now growing a disconnect between those who are “with it,” in effect, socially connected to “approved” sources, and those who are not so ‘connected’ and are reverting to old fashioned physical interactions for their socialization.
        A Meta society versus a “Wetworld” society.
        We live in very interesting times.

        Reply
        1. Keith

          Nextdoor is a data mining cashbox. Try reading their privacy statement. You agree to give up your verified name, verified phone number, verified street address, I.P. address, your facial recognition data, all your preferences, likes, message content, recommendations…it’s unbelievable how many houses have been burgled after some dope posts: “We’re going away for a week, need someone to water the plants”, after posting an ad for a garage sale the week before, with the street addres, or “Our alarm system stopped working, any recommendations?”

          They censor via robots, or Karens called Leaders, anything that deviates from the Narrative. Absolutely the most repulsive attempt to monetize real community out there.

          Use their platform to find neighbors you agree with, but don’t trust nor rely on Nextdoor’s intrusive snooping, censoring and blatantly commercial con. Get people’s email address to communicate with them and meet face to face to solve your community’s real problems.

          Here’s the main money raker running Nextdoor: https://www.earnthenecklace.com/sarah-friar-ceo-nextdoor/

          Reply
          1. Anthony G Stegman

            I agree with you completely. In the past I have had terrible experiences using Nextdoor. I strongly advise that people avoid it like the Black Death. The fear & loathing, along with the censorship is off the charts.

            Reply
          2. Eclair

            OMG, NextDoor! I signed on, about 2015, when we were living in a up-scale suburb of Denver, Colorado. I did get the name of a great handyman, but that was before the posts devolved into, ‘there’s a suspicious white van driving around the neighborhood!’ “Oh, look, there’s a ‘suspicious white van,'” has become a family joke.

            Reply
  3. Stephen

    All the mass hysteria about the UK Queen…

    Just not getting it. Every moment I open my email I see another business proudly saying they are closed on the 19th. One person stated that they could not arrange a funeral for a deceased relative at all that week: apparently the cemetery was not accepting bookings for the whole week. Out of respect. Obviously not out of respect for “ordinary” people who have passed away.

    I was originally sorry about the Queen dying (still am at a personal level) but this excessive propaganda, over hype and over exposure is putting me off the institution now. Just wait for the Coronation though!

    Paradoxically, she herself fulfilled all public duties (even meeting Liz Truss) right up to her passing. Not sure this is respecting her true memory.

    Reply
      1. Stephen

        Right. This is far more about getting the masses to obey the elite’s narrative.

        Both of the new king’s namesakes were not overly successful. Charles I suffered a civil war and was executed. Charles II survived but there was lots of drama and his brother James II then provoked the 1688 Glorious Revolution (which some see as a precursor for 1776).

        We will see if he proves to be as wise as his mother.

        Reply
        1. Mildred Montana

          From your first comment: “…this excessive propaganda, over hype and over exposure is putting me off the institution now.”

          You and the 52% of Canadians who didn’t support the monarchy to begin with. Here’s a poll from a year ago and here’s the money quote from it:

          “Should the queen step down or die, Canadians’ enthusiasm for the monarchy drops further, with 66 per cent saying they are opposed to recognizing “King Charles” as head of state, a figure that has increased from 54 per cent in 2016.”

          https://vancouversun.com/news/support-for-monarchy-dwindling-among-canadians-poll

          66%! By declaring a national day of mourning for the queen with short notice, PM Justin Trudeau has inconvenienced the tens of millions of Canadians who happen not to be government employees and therefore not entitled to a paid day off. Instead, they will be scrambling for medical care, waiting for government offices to open, and trying to arrange daycare because they have to work in the private sector while schools are closed.

          I think this might have been a colossal blunder on Trudeau’s part and I hope people remember it come election time.

          Reply
            1. Polar Socialist

              Canada is a sovereign, constitutional monarchy, and the monarch just happens to be the same as the British monarch. So Canada technically is mourning the passing of a Queen of Canada, the head of the state.
              I’m sure there are plenty of Canadians that can explain this better, though.

              Reply
          1. eg

            Medical care and schools are provincial responsibilities in Canada, which is a Federation rather than a unitary state. In Ontario and Quebec, the two largest provinces, neither will be affected.

            Reply
        2. LifelongLib

          In fairness to Charles II, he accepted ruling with parliament, was religiously tolerant, and liked women (it was during his reign that actresses first appeared on the English stage). As for his brother, there’s that saying that God gives us our friends and the devil supplies our relatives…

          Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        Right now, for at least the moment, I am smiling.

        That is one of the best mashups? I think I’ve ever seen. Perfect in every way.

        Reply
      2. Paul Jurczak

        Beautiful! Such transpose should be often applied to analysis of international relations to take the edge of a false good vs bad guys (gals) dichotomy.

        Reply
    1. Vandemonian

      In Australia (much like the UK) free to air television and radio over the last week has involved saturation coverage of the demise of QE2 and the attendant pageantry.

      My better half (a child of the early 50s) grew up in a household where a statement of the blatantly obvious was met with the derisive retort: “Queen Anne’s dead.”

      Over the last week, that saying has been updated to “Queen Elizabeth’s dead.”

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Asked my wife tonight that if Queen Elizabeth came back as a zombie, whether she would still be Queen of England or not. She was not amused.

        As for saturation coverage, just wait next week for the day of the funeral.

        Reply
        1. Vandemonian

          As for saturation coverage, just wait next week for the day of the funeral.

          I’ve given up watching TV, and mute the radio (ABC Classic FM) when the news comes on. Skim past any RSS feed that mentions events in London.

          There may be a funeral next week, but I’ll barely notice…

          Reply
    2. Petter

      I was sad to see her go too but have not clicked on a single link related to her passing, or any link related to her or the Royals. Genug.

      Reply
    3. pjay

      Re the twitter thread on The Queue:

      This was a remarkable thread, and should be read in its entirety. But in my darker moments (and those are frequent these days), spectacles like this make me wonder whether the apologists aren’t correct after all. Perhaps the masses *do* need, want, to be led by their “betters”. Maybe all that high-falutin dialogue in The Crown was right. Hell, maybe Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor was right. What the hell?

      Talk me down, please.

      Reply
    4. David

      I’m not sure I would call it hysteria. I think the British people have seized instinctively on the only opportunity they have had for a long time, and will have for a long time, to take part in a display of collective solidarity. The content scarcely matters, though I have argued previously that the Queen represented a memory of a time when actual societies did exist and people were not simply consumers. In the circumstances not going to work, not opening your shop etc. are the nearest thing to resistance that most people can manage. It’s essentially a rerun of the « back to work «  controversy at the height of the Covid crisis.

      Reply
      1. jonboinAR

        Yeah, I think it’s a celebration of their communal, historical culture thing. The royal family mostly ties them to their history. I can’t blame them for that need.

        Reply
      2. jonboinAR

        Yes. They’re celebrating, clinging to, if one wanted to express it dismissively, their history and their culture. I don’t live there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a fair amount of cultural angst and insecurity lately. I suspect that the continuing elevation of the royal family is an, I don’t know, unconscious(?) attempt to bolster their place in the world in time and geographically. Similarly, if I were British, I would experience some of the pretty aggressive attacks on the queen at the time of her death as attacks on me and my legitimacy, as well, rightly or wrongly.

        Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Great link.

        State funerals reduce Britain to the level of North Korea

        and

        The monarch is redundant today. The real king of Britain sits in the White House.

        Doubtless King Joe would like to have it that way if it was up to him. Tariq Ali says the Brit royals have been a series of dim bulbs since the Stuarts with Charles 1 the only true intellectual. Joe would fit right in.

        Reply
    1. Lex

      I happened to see video of the pen leak incident and all I could think was, “This man is not fit for the role; it will crush him and he will undermine the role.” There is one primary duty of the British monarch, appear unflappable to the public. A man who’s never wanted for anything in his life (save having a different wife) throwing a public tantrum over a minor inconvenience is a bad, bad sign. And if even a portion of the economic pain England may experience comes to pass, the difference between the public face of Elizabeth and Charles may well be influential.

      Reply
  4. Steve H.

    > “The Human Psyche Was Not Built for This” Pro Publica

    I really want to commend the layout on this article for the induced dysphoria. The black-and-whiteness, the blurring, the dissociation of scrolling the text from the background. Really well done.

    Long ago we lived in the woods with the kids. For awhile, every morning when we’d come into town there was a billboard, black & white with blurred edges and one large word: “Depressed?”, with the mental health commodity listed at the bottom. Every f’ing morning with that thing plopping a big one on the mood.

    I decided I must must model behavior to the kidlets, so one morning we stopped so I could throw a balloon filled with yellow paint, which landed successfully, but the billboard was so big, the paint was but a speck. Ah, well, the kids were very excited, and the morning mood tangibly improved. Parenting win!

    Reply
  5. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Planeload of Venezuelan Migrants Arrives at Martha’s Vineyard Airport

    What, were the jet set running short on the help? How convenient!

    Reply
    1. petal

      It’s like FedEx Air but for cheap labor! Great minds think alike, LAB-my first thought upon seeing the headline this morning was “They’ll be so excited for the cheap labor.”

      Reply
    2. griffen

      It is oddly ironic how this is occurring. They should be able to handle about 48 people. It’s unfortunate for those caught in the cross hairs, the people who are migrating, but they left what has to be a hell on earth. Basing that on previous anecdotes I read few years back in the Dallas Morning News circa 2015.

      Welcome to America, 2022. Dark Brandon bids you to come visit

      Reply
    3. marym

      The wealthy summer visitors are probably gone by now. It seems as though the ordinary local people who live there are trying to be kind. Abbott’s been sending people in buses from TX to DC and NYC for a while. Apparently DeSantis wanted to grab some headlines with planes and high profile destination, not just a big city bus station.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > It seems as though the ordinary local people who live there are trying to be kind.

        Yes. I didn’t see a lot of preening, as would certainly have happened had the summer people been there to be quoted.

        Reply
        1. Michael Ismoe

          Well, they DO have to be trained first. You don’t wait on an Obama without proper training. American Royalty and all that. I’m going to guess that they should be ready for their public debut around Memorial Day. Now Barack won’t have to push the lawnmower around the entire 30 acres himself.

          Reply
        2. Swamp Yankee

          Yes, this is precisely correct, Lambert, re: preening and summer people. It is year-rounders there now, as a Mainer like yourself is well aware, contra various meme-ists out there.

          There is in fact a year-round population full of poor and working and middle class people on the six Towns of Martha’s Vineyard.The Aquinnah Wampanoag, the African Americans of Oak Bluffs, various Swamp Yankees and Irish — the year-round community is the one that gets colonized by seasonal rich people colonialists in the first place, who are now, post-Labor Day, mostly gone.

          The year-round community meanwhile, and predictably, given the maritime tradition of caring for wrecked sailors, is putting them up in a local church and feeding and clothing them.

          Reply
      2. lyman alpha blob

        In that case, I’m sure they could all stay at Obama’s estate while this gets sorted out. Guessing it’s big enough to house a few dozen.

        In all seriousness though, it’s hard for me at least to understand why people want to flee from their own country to the one that turned their home country to crap in the first place.

        One of my in-laws is from Angola and I asked her this once, since a lot of her fellow Angolans are now immigrating to our area. She said that until she moved to the US to go to college, she really had no idea what the US did to the rest of the world with the warmongering, assassinations, sanctions, etc. Clearly the USA #1 propaganda is effective.

        I’d love to move somewhere free from US influence, if only I could figure out where that might be…

        Reply
          1. juno mas

            Actually, there is only one town in the state that is influence free: Stanley. A one saloon town deep in the Sawtooth Valley with mostly summertime visitors seeking vibrant recreational opportunity—then spend time at the bar. BTDT!

            Reply
    4. Katniss Everdeen

      All joking aside, this is shockingly pathetic, dysfunctional behavior by a country that purports to be the planet’s GOAT (greatest of all time.)

      It should terrify every american that the country is so horribly out of control internally that stunts like this are reported matter-of-factly, the issues remain not only unaddressed but flatly denied, and the regime in power appears to think its only concern is destroying the half of the population that owns a MAGA hat.

      While the Venezuelan-born high school student who takes “AP Spanish” jumped into translator action, and the community came together in “typical vineyard fashion,” you know damn well that this bucolic community would have folded long ago if it would have been subjected to the withering onslaught of the border towns.

      Give us all a freakin’ break.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the regime in power appears to think its only concern is destroying the half of the population that owns a MAGA hat.

        That’s really not true, for two reasons. (1) Half the population isn’t MAGA; (2) Biden is trying to split the Republican voters. He explicitly wants some Republicans to not “identify as” MAGA, especially suburbanites, especially women suburbanites, as I urge here.

        RINOs, of course, say that to attack MAGA is to attack all Republicans. MAGA does not say that, because they know they’re different, and they view RINOs as part of the problem.

        Reply
        1. Skip Intro

          I fear Biden is leaving his left flank exposed. Although the scorched earth and minefields hold off challengers from the left, they also decimate the ranks of party faithful, the demographically-destined democrats, and the most loyal troops needed for the final ground game.

          Reply
        2. nippersdad

          I am having a hard time locating “RINO’s” on the Republican spectrum. I have been hearing about them ever since Newt Gingrich was my representative, and the only real definition I can come up with are people who are not far right enough to stomach the meme of the day. But, then, there I see Newt Gingrich is still in the thick of the action, so how much have they actually changed?

          Reply
    5. chris

      I guess they’re part of the same stunts that Texas has been pulling for months now. The article doesn’t say much other than they were flown in from San Antonio.

      These articles are uniformly frustrating to read. You see journalists either praising the communities for receiving the migrants, or surfing the communities that sent them. You hear about people mocking the committee that send them on these extended jaunts, but not mocking the receiving communities who fall to pieces with handling not even single digit percentages of the numbers of migrants that have gathered on the southern border. DCs mayor trying to get the national guard to help was particularly stupid.

      I hate that we’re using these migrants as political stunts. I hate that we’ve destroyed so much of the south that they feel they don’t have any option but to travel north. I hate that they’re crossing the border illegally. I hate that our poor suffer even more because the migrants come north. I hate that we’ve decided not to enforce the laws we have so that people think they can come north and get work. I hate that people have said they’d rather current Americans die and we import new ones. I hate that these migrants are such a burden to border communities that sending them north and east on these stunts is the only way to get attention. I hate that these migrants destroy the environment, steal from local communities, and are unfunded burdens on communities and schools. I hate that these migrants will suffer needlessly because our system is so inefficient and cruel. I hate that we will never solve this problem because it benefits too many politicians to keep it going.

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        amen.
        as the widower of an esl teacher…as well as an honorary mexican…i’ve had a first hand view of actual immigrants.
        the vast majority i have known i would trust to watch my kids more than i’d trust the majority of the white folks i know who rail about their presence.
        almost to a person, i’ve found them forthright, honest, hard working, thrifty and a bunch of other adjectives that haven’t applied to run of the mill americans since my grandparent’s generation.
        the guys that have been out here the last 2 saturdays helping me clear a bunch of bamboo and brush and collate and organise my debris are like that.
        we talk about where they’re from…like others i’ve known, a small fraction own land in mexico, with orchards and such…but could no longer make a living due to the cartels and nafta.
        i’m more likely to catch a communicable disease from the pasty white town fathers than from these folks,lol.
        i’m also more likely to be robbed by a white guy…if de facto legally.

        as for the idea that these folks will take over…yes…i agree…and they will deserve to…because they ain’t buying fancy cars, and instead plow everything back into the bidness of the familia.
        be it land and housing, or numerous businesses(usually starting with lawn services, then rock work, then general contracting…)…again, reminds me of my granddads, and how they got ahead.

        interestingly, my eldest has shown that he has noticed the horizontal and vertical integration practices and it has become a part of his long term thinking.
        so add in being a positive influence on our youth,lol…unless you consider graft and corruption and magical thinking as the ideal methods of making it in the world.

        Reply
        1. anahuna

          Amen. I spent several months in Mexico, on and off for a few years. The locals I came to know there were exactly as you describe them. Many had made the risky trip to the US more than once. The stories they told me: picking melons in Texas, standing up to the waist in shrimp tanks in Louisiana (I think), getting picked up and warned off at the border — over the years it added up to a carefully preserved pickup truck, buying a plot of land, and then the slow, patient effort of building a house with eventually a second floor.

          And then there were the days of mourning at the house of my neighbor just down the street. Her sixteen-year-old son had drowned trying to swim the Rio Grande.

          Reply
      2. lyman alpha blob

        Indeed. And the one thing that you NEVER see discussed is the details of why these migrants are leaving their own countries and who is responsible for these countries being in such dire circumstances to begin with. The vast majority of the time, it is the US of [family blog]ing A.

        Yet somehow ending the wars and sanctions that cause mass migration is never brought up as a solution to the problem. Just hand wringing and virtue signalling.

        Reply
        1. digi_owl

          Sadly MSM and their PMC audience will invariably tell you the nations brought it upon themselves for electing someone deplorable to run the place into the ground.

          Reply
      3. Anthony G Stegman

        The United States has always welcomed immigrants it approves of. Blond haired and blue eyed Ukrainians are welcome with open arms. Red haired and green eyed Irish are also welcome with open arms. People who speak with a British (or vaguely British) accent are always welcome. Blond haired and blue eyed people of the Aryan race are always welcome. On the other hand, black and brown skinned peoples are not welcome. Slant eyed peoples are welcome in small numbers – a few here and there is okay. White flight is common across the land. Racism endures.

        Reply
        1. hk

          Not quite that simple: Nigerians and other Africans are welcome in certain quarters:. You see, Nigerians with advanced degrees are usually very good, extremely well-educated, as good as people from anywhere in the world, and since they are black, organizations who hire them can claim them as diversity hires as well in place of African-Americans. This is well known phenomenon in academic universe.

          Reply
    6. nippersdad

      I was surprised to read that it was not Juan Guaido and his entourage fleeing from the horrors of discriminatory restaurant patrons. Had that been the case I have no doubt there would have been any number of summer homes made available for their use. But then it is also the case that DeSantis would never have given them up.

      Reply
  6. griffen

    I will defer to the engineering types, but the secret of the canals and the history article was pretty interesting. Isn’t it obvious that the ancient citizens might have had better sense on managing a valuable resource, than say, what we are currently doing in the modern American west? It’s an added bonus that one of the named researchers has the excellent surname of Huckleberry.

    It doesn’t mention if there were alfalfa fields or, say like in California, vast orchards of nut trees.

    Reply
    1. amechania

      https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED175745

      “Towpaths to Oblivion”

      The canals here were the original federal improvement projects. Built on the speculative fiat war funds, same as it ever was.

      I didn’t see anything about canals above, but the railroad strike could be avoided easily. Instead we ‘atomize’ production and pay even more for non-centralized transport.

      Reply
        1. LifelongLib

          Robert Lowell was a poet.

          The astronomer was Percival Lowell.

          According to Wikipedia they were from the same Boston Brahmin ancestral family, although born decades apart.

          Reply
          1. amechania

            Ah! Why so it was. I was relying on my fragile meat-brain for that one.

            I ran into Robert Lowell’s poetry the other day doin’ nuthin’ and must have got the lines crossed.

            Thanks!

            Reply
      1. griffen

        It is linked today and is available to view online from the BBC. It is discussing the history of the dug canals in Arizona, and includes historical or relevant surveying in the US of what would become Phoenix.

        Reply
    2. Jessica

      I did notice that the original canal builders eventually reached a population in the area of 50,000. The city of Phoenix now has 1.6 million people and the metropolitan Phoenix area has 4.8 million.

      Reply
    3. digi_owl

      Because back then far more people lived off the land directly.

      These days most college students would not know where the nuggets are coming from, and declare themselves vegan on the spot when they learn.

      Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      So, when banks don’t like a state’s government, they routinely create a SPAC and force a takeover, for keeps. Peak neoliberalism just keeps going and going and going and going

      [Cut to: fresno dan’s bunny slippers propelling themselves across a dark wooden floor, hunting for best reception, Audio under: shortwave tuning noises, squeals]

      Reply
  7. Steve H.

    > Finding a New Mantra NEJM. Plot twist.

    Finally, a physician taking Personal Responsibility!

    Every day I tell Janet, I’m so glad you’re out. It’s a sick system of sickness.

    Reply
  8. diptherio

    Re: fake RAND report

    The tells were all over this one. I could tell just from reading Larry’s blog the other day that this was phony (as I mentioned in comments), and the fact that he was giving it any credence at all made me seriously question that guy’s judgement. Always astounding to me how dumb otherwise intelligent people can be…makes me wonder what dumb-@ss stuff I do that I’m totally oblivious to.

    Reply
    1. YankeeFrank

      Yeah, I read it as fake too — the style is far too clumsy. From what I recall Rand writing is much more arrogant. I can’t exactly define it but Rand and similar analysis is normally written in such a way as to elicit the definite feeling that one would be a fool to question its premises.

      Reply
      1. diptherio

        The writing was most definitely not polished, as pointed out. Added to the sus provinance of the doc, taking it at face value seems pretty credulous to me.

        Reply
      2. Old Sovietologist

        Is it fake almost certainly so.

        However, the US worked to get the Greens into political power in Germany

        I think Bärbock was to be the anointed Chancellor , which would fit the striking pattern that in a number of European countries in geographical proximity to Russia, relatively young women are suddenly being promoted to high government offices (Sweden, Finland, Moldova, Estonia). All perfect foil for Putin.

        Unfortunately Bärbock then screwed up her election campaign, but the implicitness with which the CDU was excluded from government participation before and after the federal election was more than strange.

        Coalitions without Green participation would have been possible, but it seemed as if the Greens were always in place.

        I could imagine that Robert Habeck’s trip to the USA (apparently his first trip to this country) at the end of January 2020 played a role here. Immediately before this trip, he had won the sympathy of all of liberal America with an attack dog speech against Trump at the WEF in Davos, and from then on he was considered by the empire to be a suitable representative of US interests in Germany.

        Who had initiated and paid for this trip to the USA, who had arranged the travel program (which strangely enough included a meeting with representatives of the Republican Party in El Paso, rather strange for a Green politician from Germany), no one has been able to find out.

        Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “Is There Such a Thing As an Ethical Smart City?’

    No! Oh, you want a longer comment? OK. If the idea of living in a surveillance, errr, smart city was so great, then why do you not hear of our elites and celebrities wanting to buy up a place to live in that city and having their friends move there as well? It’s because they know what living in a place like that would be like. And if you had such a place built, it would be not too long before a new psychosis was discovered as some people living there would crack under this lifestyle. If a smart city was to have a motto, it would be this-

    ‘We are watching you.’

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        Sounds like modern public schools.
        So, there is a reason for pushing Panoptical schools! It trains the kiddies to accept a Panoptical society as “normal.”

        Reply
        1. semper loquitur

          My sister the teacher recently told me her school has instituted a “no phones in the classroom policy” for students……and for teachers. Sis told the meeting that she’s an adult and how dare they put her on par with children. No one said anything.

          Reply
    1. JWP

      It’s kind of like a bill in congress. These “smart” cities take a decent to well-planned city design and attach their tech to it, like a rider. Everyone knows what a liveable people-centric city can look like, these tech companies like to take urban design and co-opt it with their surveillance tools. The end of the interview implies that there is a push from private companies to build future cities. This won’t work as cities tend to either be unprofitable ( mostly due to roads, poor tax structure, and sprawl) or awash in too much politics for these projects to get off the ground. The tech companies’ foray into urban planning has been a colossal failure.

      Reply
    2. Rainlover

      I’ve been watching the first season of The Prisoner, a 1967 ITV production streaming on Kanopy which I get through my library. This was prompted by the Big Brother is watching you section here. So a smart city sounds like a truly terrible idea to me. 24/7 surveillance and no control over your own body (in The Prisoner)? No thank you.

      The sixties ambiance is a hoot though.

      Reply
      1. Kengferno

        Best show ever. Glad you’re watching! And yes, an interesting look into all the ways surveillance and “smart” items can go wrong. I love when 6 picks up the phone and they know who it is before he says anything

        Reply
  10. John Beech

    I’m tired of articles stating retires did nothing wrong when in fact, they did. Call a spade a spade because they kept voting for corrupt union leaders. And they kept voting for corrupt politicians. One who stood idly by while mismanagement occurred without forcing them to have skin in the game.

    Politicians stood idly by while Times-Mirror hid from responsibility. And the Pension Guarantee Corporation? This is just Congress hiding their heads. Proof? How many thousands of pensions have effectively gone into their care?

    More? At NC we’ve borne witness to the battle Yves has undertaken vice California’s gaming the system and making promises which can’t be fulfilled in a million years, She’s called them out over and over and over again. All while, the big dogs (Pelosi’s gang, Newsome, et al) get golden parachutes.

    Ditto local politicians who buy the votes of public services like firefighters and cops. Dangerous jobs? Sure, but they signed up willingly. That, and at relatively young ages begin to double dip. I personally know Lieutenants in their early 50s, virile robust men making bank whilst going fishing and riding quads and living the life of Riley. whilst others eat cat food.

    Worse, cops who abuse the public without loss to their pensions, e.g. putting the costs of abusing public resulting in cities paying out what should be the cops collectively paying out. Put their pensions on the line and see how quickly they close ranks, the famous blue line, now arrayed against bad cops. This would serve as the stick adjunct to the carrot (the pension). Anyway, just pension oversight, e.g. put all pensions under the corporation now before they’re looted, plus equity in payout would satisfy many right now. That, and going after those responsible, pension leaders, corporate executives, etc. and and stripping them down to the state of the average pension looting they stood idly by, or outright oversaw would be fair, too. Bottom line? Stop saying people were blameless. They weren’t. They are receiving what they voted for, feckless leadership and theft. Just because you closed your eyes isn’t going to absolve you of blame. This lesson is in the Bible, too because you reap what you sow applies.

    Reply
    1. nippersdad

      That is an excellent idea, but for this…

      Worse, cops who abuse the public without loss to their pensions, e.g. putting the costs of abusing public resulting in cities paying out what should be the cops collectively paying out.

      …I have long thought that police should have to pay for their own insurance policies. Just imagine how efficient an insurance company would be in policing the police?

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        I suppose we did have the opportunity to level the church of capitalism, and all the white suburban middle-class moralistic ministry that comes with it. I suppose we failed John terribly in that regard.

        Reply
      2. Eureka Springs

        Not voting is a choice. For me, the only choice. It’s liberating. Voters strike. I will not vote for liars, thieves and murderers, or a party/system designed to do all of those things above all else.

        Reply
    2. Anthony G Stegman

      Public employee unions (and especially those representing police officers) do not refer to pensions as “pensions”. Instead, they consider pensions to be simply deferred compensation. This allows them to justify “double dipping” whereby a “retired” public employee collects a pension while at the same time working another public job. Collecting a taxpayer funded wage or salary while at the same time collecting a taxpayer funded pension. This is quite common. In some cases the combined annual income for the double dippers exceeds $500K per year.

      Reply
    1. Jessica

      Some day, we or our descendants will marvel at the amount of obvious, systemic pollution we tolerate in our information supply.

      Reply
    1. notabanker

      The big win for Biden is the cooling off period. I have not been able to find a report on exactly how long that is and when the Union will actually vote to ratify. My guess though is somewhere post Nov 8th. If sooner and they do not ratify, they Dem’s will have a pretty big mess to navigate through.

      Reply
  11. The Rev Kev

    “End of COVID pandemic is ‘in sight’ -WHO chief”

    The only thing that he did not say was that he saw the light at the end of the tunnel – hopefully not the light of an oncoming train. When this was on the news tonight, they had some medical authority idiot fully agreeing with this. And a big story today was how an ocean liner was pulling into Melbourne for the first time in three years and saying people should really go on an ocean line cruise. But then they interviewed this staff member at a hospital who had a WTF look on her face and her saying that her hospital was still being slammed.

    Reply
    1. CanCyn

      The cognitive dissonance is painful. Here in Ontario, the CBC Radio Noon program lead today with the “WHO says it over story” then proceeded to talk about higher cases over the summer, the need to get the new vaccine and worries about a fall wave now that we’re back to school. Oh and an added blurb about worries about the coming flu season. I don’t know the media folks can keep it up without vomiting into their microphones.

      Reply
      1. Anthony G Stegman

        This is similar to Ben Bernanke seeing “green shoots” during the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.

        Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      Hickenlooper is slick. Years ago I emailed his office to query whether or not he was related to former Iowa US Senator Bourke Hickenlooper (distantly as it turned out).

      The response from his staff was immediate, courteous and for a moment I felt like a major campaign donor.

      This .pdf suggests a different kind of slickness. If I’m reading it right, what he’s really suggesting is a space police force to start towing illegally parked satellites from orbit (Russian plates? Tow it!).

      I wish I had the Photoshop skills to create a picture of the Space Force’s Low Orbit Parking Division Meter Maid uniform.

      Reply
    2. WobblyTelomeres

      IMO, it is necessary and waaay overdue. You should see the damage done to the ISS just by stray micrometeoroids such as paint flakes. Wish they would provide a thorough definition of “national jurisdiction”, though.

      Reply
  12. JTMcPhee

    Will anyone be following up on the number of medical errors and sentinel events occasioned by the employment of scab nurses during the ‘uppitiness’ of working nurses being crushed by the private ownership of “health care?”

    You don’t just walk into an ER or ICU or med-surg floor and “hit the ground running.” Given the various electronic medical record systems and protocols and vagaries of each hospital, there’s a very steep learning curve. There’s not even commonality of medication distribution equipment and pharmacy practices, and of course the varieties of micromanagement styles of each floor, let alone each institution, are manifold.

    People will sicken and die as a result of scab insertion, and don’t blame the nurses who have been forced by looting “management” to finally undertake a job action. What ever happened to the paeans to “indispensable workers?”

    Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “The American Mall’s Long Goodbye”

    I’m sure that the author has a lot of good memories of when she was a mall rat when younger but the time of the mall has come and gone. The same way that you had main street being at the center of a town or suburb’s social life – before the malls came along and gutted them. I still think that it has to be remembered that a mall is always just a commercial space – no more, no less. But when you get down to it – and this is confirmed when you read about the author’s memories – it was never about the businesses but about the people. It was people that made the mall a place to be.

    I can sympathize about her thoughts about where young people can go to relax and be by themselves. I was once in this German village in wintertime and I saw a group of young teenagers walking the streets in the cold at night as there was no real social center or library for those kids to go hang out in. I still remember them in their thick jackets and their breath visible in the cold air. And the town that I live near does not have much space for young people either except maybe the local park. I guess that in our society, we will only build places for them when a profit can be extracted from them.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. that’s the second main reason i built the wilderness bar…so eldest and his buddies would have a place to be.
      first reason was because i wanted one.
      its the townhall of our little embryonic village.

      Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          when boys have young people i dont know out..
          and introduce me as a wander through…i say “you may address me as “Mi’Lord…”
          sets the proper tone, i reckon.
          and the quizzical looks are pretty entertaining, as well.

          Reply
    2. digi_owl

      Same problem in Norway, something that really came to light during the COVID restrictions. lots of trouble with urban youths because their usual hangouts had closed, so they instead congregated on the streets.

      Never mind that Norway is somehow adopting both the mall and the taking to online shopping at the same time, with the malls being packed end to end by clothing chains while everything else comes shipped to the door.

      Reply
  14. chris

    Anyone have a good reference as to what is actually in this magic agreement that the Rail Unions and Management have produced? I see articles describing how fortunate this is the Biden Admin and how bad it would have been if there was a strike. But as to whether or not key issues like not needing to use vacation time for doctor issues

    Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    Here in Kharkiv
    I feel safest of all
    I can lock all my doors
    It’s the only way to live in Kharkiv

    Here in Kharkiv
    I can only receive
    I can listen to you
    It keeps me stable for days in Kharkiv

    Here in Kharkiv
    Where the image breaks down
    Will you visit me, please
    If I open my door in Kharkiv?

    Here in Kharkiv
    I know I’ve started to think
    About leaving tonight
    Although nothing seems right in Kharkiv

    Gary Numan – Cars

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99fRdfVIOr4

    Reply
  16. Carolinian

    Re BBC article on Phoenix, AZ

    Three years later, Swilling and other Anglo pioneers met to consider names for their settlement. The top contenders were Pumpkinville and Stonewall.

    Dodged a bullet there. In particular the latter name (this was 1867) would now have to be dropped causing great economic confusion.

    I’ve mentioned here before that my friend in Phoenix also lived there in the ’60s and had a canal behind her house with a water gate that was allowed to be opened once a week to flood the back yard. Now she lives behind the giant Central Arizona Project that evaporates its way across the state from Lake Havasu. But whereas the latter gets its diminishing water from the Colorado much of Phoenix still slakes its thirst via the Salt and the eastern mountains.

    Reply
  17. Wukchumni

    ‘Earth is our only shareholder’: Patagonia’s billionaire family transfers retailer’s entire ownership to climate-change efforts MarketWatch.

    Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance. -Václav Havel

    Reply
    1. Cat Burglar

      Living where you live, you know what formed Chouinard’s outlook.

      Most of what he did as a young man is not well understood outside the climbing world, and only recorded in short articles, like his article about climbing El Capitan in 1965, or Mount Watkins in 1964. It is right there in these articles from his years in the Camp 4 rock climbing bohemia. Unlike supposed “risk takers,” he has taken real risks in a tangible natural world that required him to respond creatively as a mountaineer and a metal worker.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Yvon has been legendary in everything he’s done and then some.

        What better choice to lead us down the primrose path (I believe it is a 5.15c) towards the salvation of not only the planet, but everything living on it?

        Reply
  18. efschumacher

    Well from the 1980s to the 2010s I experienced the American Mall as a place of great Culture Shock. I think it is an artifact of Car Culture: the Mall is a safe zone to leave kids while you go about your essential shopping. Other countries which allow their citizens safe and independent means of getting around: like walking or cycling to nearby destinations, or bus riding and train riding to slightly more distant ones, never seemed to use shopping palaces in quite the same way. Now that parts of America are coming to understand that actual freedom of choice of transportation is good for their citizens’ autonomy, they have less need of the Mall as Child Care Zone. Now that parts of America are affording their citizens less in the way of liveable wages, they have less need of the Mall as useful shopping outlet.

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      Sadly Norway seems to be adopting more and more of US mall “culture” these days, as cars has become vital for rural life (never mind that some seems to worship the idea of “redneck”).

      Reply
  19. antidlc

    EW: “Meal Ticket No More: The ‘Gold Standard’ Private Pensions Exposed Now as High-Wire Busts ”

    Speaking of pensions…
    https://www.ibm.com/investor/articles/ibm-transfers-a-portion-of-us-pension-obligations
    IBM Transfers a Portion of U.S. Pension Obligations

    On September 13, 2022, IBM filed an 8-K describing the transfer of a portion of its U.S. qualified defined benefit pension plan obligations to The Prudential Insurance Company of America (“Prudential”) and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”) (collectively, the “Insurers”).

    IBM has taken actions over the last several years to reduce the risk profile of its worldwide retirement-related plans, while at the same time increasing the funded status of the plans. Exiting 2021, IBM’s U.S. qualified defined benefit pension plan (the “Plan”) was funded at 112%.

    The overall funded status of the Plan makes the transfer of a portion of the pension liabilities and assets to an insurance company a logical next step to further de-risk retirement-related plans. This change eliminates the potential for IBM to make future cash contributions to fund the pension obligations being transferred to the Insurers.

    On September 7, 2022, IBM and the Plan entered into two separate commitment agreements, one with Prudential, and one with MetLife. Under the agreements, group annuity contracts are purchased to transfer to the Insurers approximately $16 billion of the Plan’s obligations related to certain pension benefits that began prior to 2016. This represents over 40% of the Plan’s obligations. On September 13, 2022, the purchase of the group annuity contracts closed, and the contracts were purchased utilizing assets of the Plan. No cash or asset contribution was required of IBM. Under the contracts, the Insurers split equally the responsibility to pay the pension benefits due on or after January 1, 2023.

    Reply
    1. Cat Burglar

      When Chouinard spun off his original climbing equipment business from Patagonia because of liability lawsuit exposure, he sold it to the employees. As Black Diamond Equipment they kept growing the business, then sold out to big tech money. That experience may have influenced his decision this time.

      Reply
  20. Petter

    >>File-selves:
    When I saw the the title of link to the LRB article, I instantly thought of Rom Harré and his book Personal Being:a theory for individual psychology.
    The writer mentions him as a source for file-selves but not the book. It’s obvious now that in addition to being embodied selves (the concept Self itself being problematic) we also exist as files – health files, tax files, law files, etc etc.
    I can’t do the book justice (and don’t have it handy and it’s been a long time since I read it) but remember one chapter discussing medieval morality plays as precursors to cognitive behavioral therapy, with excerpts from the plays to make his points.
    A fascinating, got the old neurons firing book. I know, there are thousands of fascinating, gets the neurons firing books but hey hey, shout-out to Rom Harré and Personal Being.

    Reply
  21. Expat2Uruguay

    Looking at the global map of flood risk, I see that Uruguay is at a relatively very low percentage of 7% of the population at risk. This is in keeping with other information I’ve read about the effects of climate change and uruguay.

    But what is really remarkable about this estimate of low risk for Uruguay’s population to flood is that 80%+ of the population lives near the shore, whether that is the the ocean shore or the banks of a major river. The capital city has around half of the country’s population and it is at the Port of Montevideo and on the banks of the world’s widest river. So, it appears that living deep in the southern hemisphere is itself a protection from climate change, especially flooding, I suppose.

    Reply
  22. LifelongLib

    Robert Lowell was a poet, and indeed a Boston Brahmin.

    The astronomer was Percival Lowell. I don’t know if they were related.

    Reply
  23. old jake

    Just tossed a bit extra into the pot. A longer comment seemed to disappear. Maybe to reappear later, who knows. -\_(°°)_/-

    Reply
  24. digi_owl

    The energy system scenario, baring societal collapse or some other monumental event, will be the third one, as that is how capitalism has always rolled.

    Reply
  25. will rodgers horse

    “Not to be churlish, but it might have been better for Chouinard ”
    About as churlish as anything I have ever read at NC….

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      Interestingly, the crosses seems to be numbered. That suggests some kind of record having been kept. Others are apparently Russian crosses (this war really has exposed me to the oddities of Russian faith) with some sort of plaques attached.

      In the video there is also what looks like a photo resting against one of the crosses. Sadly, or deliberately, the video blurs the second i try to pause it to get freeze frame look at things.

      Anyways, this seems more like a makeshift cemetery than some sort of mass grave akin to ethnic cleansing.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > It didn’t take long

      Shows that in fact Ukraine did in fact face significant opposition, even if “only” from shelling.

      Took them longer to set the scene here* than it took them in Bucha.

      NOTE * That is, to acquire the bodies….

      Reply

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