Links 9/16/2022

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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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Lost moon may have spawned Saturn’s rings Science]

NASA Breakthrough as Rover Finds Strong Signal of Organic Matter on Mars Science Alert

Dissecting Adobe’s dumb deal FT Alphaville. Buying Figma. “M&A has been a substitute for R&D.” Sounds like Stoller territory. Commentary:

I don’t much like Adobe’s “Creative Cloud,” either. I’m so old I remember when you could buy software, not rent it.

Railroad Contract Talks

Railroad union strike averted as labor deal is reached USA Today. I link to this headline only to remark that it is outright anti-union and anti-worker propaganda. There is no “deal” until the workers vote on the contract. IOW, Biden’s press release is simply a way of muscling the workers, as is the Democrat triumphalism, and the press coverage.

BLET, SMART-TD reach tentative agreement with railroads Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. Key point: “For the first time our Unions were able to obtain negotiated contract language exempting time off for certain medical events from carrier attendance policies.” But as of this writing, nobody has seen the contract language:

US Rail Workers Have Final Say on Deal — or Possible Strike Bloomberg. And it’s not clear (as with John Deere) whether union administrators and workers have the same concept of a good deal:

28 Freight Rail Workers Tell Us What They Want You to Know About Their Lives Vice

Railroad Companies Almost Inflicted an Economic Disaster on the U.S. Slate

Climate

The World Has a $1 Trillion La Nina Problem Bloomberg. Or the world has an unpriceable human problem…

Shallow-water mining in direct conflict with sustainability goals – study Mining.com

The Elusive Future of San Francisco’s Fog NYT. More on fog and the redwoods from the National Park Service.

DOE report finds hundreds of retiring coal plant sites could convert to nuclear BIC Magazine

Water

Black Warrior Riverkeeper sues Warrior Met Coal over water pollution AL.com

#COVID19

The Lancet Commission on lessons for the future from the COVID-19 pandemic The Lancet. From the Conclusion: “In this light, our most basic recommendation is the strengthening of multilateralism in all crucial dimensions: political, cultural, institutional, and financial. We call for all countries, especially the richest and most powerful, to support, sustain, and bolster the work of the UN system. We call for awareness of the benefits of multilateralism, solidarity, cooperation, and the shared commitment to sustainable development, whether facing pandemics, ending poverty, keeping the peace, or meeting global environmental challenges.” Graphical abstract:

Major Covid report suggests virus could have leaked from a US lab Telegraph. Naturally this the press starts baying about lab leak theory, ignoring everything else.

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Analysis of post COVID-19 condition and its overlap with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome Journal of Advanced Research. From the Conclusions: “Nearly two years into the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, post COVID-19 condition syndrome has proven to be a serious and lingering problem for many recovering patients. This multifactorial illness is characterised by a variety of debilitating symptoms, including fatigue, brain fog, and post-exertional malaise. Many of the pathological observations of post COVID-19 condition, including changes in immune, cardiovascular, metabolic, gastrointestinal, nervous and autonomic systems, are shared with or similar to the symptoms described in ME/CFS [Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] patients. Considering the current evidence presented in this study, it is possible that large groups of post COVID-19 condition patients may eventually meet the criteria for ME/CFS diagnosis.” Graphical Abstract:

Long COVID Was a Preventable Tragedy. Some of Us Saw It Coming WebMD

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A DIY air purifier that costs under $100 to make is taking America’s classrooms by storm Fortune. I don’t see Corsi-Rosenthal boxes as an individual solution (although many are built for private homes). They are often built in batches, as gifts for institutions like schools. And the main use case for home-builds seems to be to protect others when one family member is sick. So I am optimistic on this front.

China?

Xi vows support for Russia’s ‘core interests’ during meeting with Putin in Uzbekistan Straits Times and Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping hail ‘great power’ ties at talks defying the West SBS. By contrast, most of the coverage in the West highlights Xi expressing “concerns” on Ukraine, perhaps because “concerns” is a Beltway word (means “hair on fire”).

Putin-Xi Meeting at summit marks the rise of Eurasia Responsible Statecraft

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Xi Jinping article gives insight into China’s direction ahead of Communist Party congress South China Morning Post. The deck: “Xi’s essay says the party must constantly self-correct to avoid fate of Soviet Union.”

China’s Village Bank Collapses Could Cause Dangerous Contagion Foreign Policy

China Plans More Moon Missions After Finding New Lunar Mineral Bloomberg

Boeing remarketing stored 737s ordered by China Leeham News and Analysis

Myanmar

Effective Control in Myanmar (PDF) Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (About). From the Summary: “The National Unity Government of Myanmar (NUG), the legitimate government of Myanmar, has the greatest claim to effective control of the country. The National Unity Government is at the centre of a democratic revolution shaped by organisations opposed to the Myanmar military junta, or resistance organisations. These organisations are the de facto authorities across more of the territory of Myanmar and for more of the population than the junta and are administering a growing range of government functions.” See here on “effective control” as a characteristic of a sovereign state.

Myanmar Junta Chief Airs Postponement of Sham Election The Diplomat

Lambert here: If you want to see real fascism in action, and what real popular resistance looks like, follow Myanmar.

India

Most important cultural resource India needs to protect is its pluralism: Gopalkrishna Gandhi The Hindu

The Koreas

Korea’s Exports of Key Memory Chip Plummet as Demand Chills Bloomberg

Queen Elizabeth

U.S. media overkill on Queen Elizabeth II should make us mourn, fear rising autocracy Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer

Just how many ABC staff have gone to London to visit the queen? Crikey

UK/EU

Hungary is no longer a full democracy but an ‘electoral autocracy,’ MEPs declare in new report EuroNews

Therese Coffey tells health workers to ‘stop using Oxford comma’ Telegraph. Preparing the way for illiterate American MBAs to run the place, I suppose.

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine SitRep – Hit On Dam Endangers Ukrainian Troops – Russians Defeat More Counterattacks Moon of Alabama. Al Jazeera: “It is unclear exactly why the Russians would want to target the dam. But perhaps it is because it is the hometown of Zelenskyy.” Well, read MoA.

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US sees the aid its given Ukraine as effective, likely won’t provide longer-range systems for now CNN

Germany seizes control of Rosneft oil refineries FT. Let me know how that works out.

Bundeswehr general sees no real counter-offensive in Ukraine Focus Online. Google translation; German original.

Russians’ Mir credit cards rejected in Turkish hotels as West pressures Ankara Middle East Eye. So sovereigns aren’t sovereign with respect to payment systems?

Pentagon aiming to buy hypersonic missiles for $5M-10M per round DefenseScoop

Supply Chain

Port Tracker report reinforces expectations for declining import volumes over remainder of 2022 Logistics Management

Hundreds of seafarers still stuck in Ukraine despite grains corridor – industry Hellenic Shipping News

Sports Desk

Helmet Shortage in High School Football Raises Costs, and Risks NYT (Re Silc).

Referee shortage fueled by sideline incidents amid football season WHEC

The Bezzle

Uber apparently hacked by teen, employees thought it was a joke The Verge. Commentary:

Alert reader dk commments: “Hack of Uber’s vSphere/VMware management layer, compromising an internal overview of overviews. Thing is, Uber may not be in a position to safely turn this VM service off without crippling their own operations in the process. This isn’t “checkmate,” it’s stealing the chessboard.”

The Boom and the Bust: How NFTs Went the Way of Beanie Babies Artnet News. That’s a damn shame.

Imperial Collapse Watch

An F-16 pilot died when his ejection seat failed. Was it counterfeit? Air Force Times (Re Silc). Surely an isolated incident.

Guillotine Watch

Neoliberal Twee Michael Lind, The Tablet. A review of Cass Sunstein’s new book. Good clean fun.

Class Warfare

Britain and the US are poor societies with some very rich people FT

‘Keep Going,’ Says Restaurant Patron Watching Server Out Of Cheese Start To Grate Hand The Onion

Exquisite Fossils Show an Entire Rain Forest Ecosystem Scientific American

Antidote du Jour (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.

241 comments

  1. griffen

    Referee shortage, well you couldn’t pay me enough for starters. And second, there are always stories out there from youth leagues up to the high school ranks of highly invested parents going way over the line. For example, youth football leagues in both Florida and Texas are highly competitive to the point of being absurd.

    Alternate option, maybe hire robots to do it? \sarc

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Sports are harmful to minors. I’m actually OK with abolishing competitive sports entirely. The less opportunity the middle class has to validate themselves as “rational” parasites on the working class, the less of their bloated moral code we will have to pay lip service to, and the less we will have to hear about it from them.

      Reply
      1. jackiebass63

        Don’t punish the kids for their parents problems. If a parent is a problem ban the parent. If many parents cause problems ban spectators.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          Don’t individualize a systemic defect and use emotional blackmail to protect it.

          I’m not punishing kids. I’m subverting a subtle induction into predatory societies and roles.

          Reply
          1. AnnaSteed

            I’m really ready to hear more about your point of view here. Is there anywhere you can link to where this is more fully spelled-out? I enjoyed school sports as a kid, but I also have come to see compulsory education as, um, less than an un-alloyed good. I would love to read more on sports

            Reply
            1. hunkerdown

              Thanks! Alfie Kohn’s No Contest (author site) speaks to the topic most directly on pp84-86, including competitive scholastics. I don’t have anything shorter-form about it, unfortunately. (That said, I did enjoy my year at the Mathematics Olympiad, so long ago.) I’ll transcribe a paragraph for you, though, from the chapter “On Sports, Play, and Fun”:

              Sport does not simply build character, in other words: it builds exactly the kind of character that is most useful for the social system. From the perspective of our social (and economic) system — which is to say, from the perspective of those who benefit from it and direct it — it is useful to have people regard each other as rivals. Sports serve the purpose nicely, and athletes are quite deliberately led to accept the value and naturalness of an adversarial relationship in place of solidarity and collective effort. If he is in a team sport, the athlete comes to see cooperation only as a means to victory, to see hostility and even aggression as legitimate, to accept conformity and authoritarianism. Participation in sports amounts to a kind of apprenticeship for life in contemporary America, or, as David Riesman put it, “The road to the board room leads through the locker room.”

              Reply
              1. Cat Burglar

                Kohn’s book is great resource for debunking the supposed value of competition.

                The team sports presented in physical education 50 years ago were a compulsory arena of adult authoritarianism and exclusion that turned a blind eye to violence and humiliation between the kids. It was an education all right — I never follow the sports now, never learned anything from the scant instruction we received (you were supposed to already know the skills and rules from watching TV and playing in your spare time), and detest them. Looking back now, as an adult that spent most of my life doing other sports and teaching them, it is amazing that out of the huge number of sports human culture has created, they only ever put real time into teaching us football, basketball, baseball, and a smattering of track and field skills. It was like nothing else existed.

                It was precisely because of the bitterness of school sports that I took up backpacking and rock climbing as soon as I was old enough — there weren’t any jocks in the mountains! I remember being amazed that standard practice on the trail was to step aside to let faster hikers pass, and that the pace of a mountaineering party is set by the slowest member. There are ways to do these sports competitively, but they are essentially cooperative arts.

                Having taught climbing for ten years, I look back at physical education in competitive sports and wonder how they ever expected most kids to learn skills or ever take pleasure in them. Instead, it seemed like just another way to rapidly sort the students into talents and rejects — the idea that a skill can be learned and trained, an essential fact of all physical culture, was reserved for the talented. They never even taught us basic exercise physiology in high school. I understand they do it differently now.

                Reply
          2. semper loquitur

            High school football is weird. I had an uncle who was an assistant coach. My two cousins, his sons, played.

            The small town they lived in treated him like royalty, everyone called him “Coach” from store clerks to waiters to passers-by. The actual head coach could have sold his toenail trimmings as holy relics to the fawning townsfolk. The two were tight with all the cops, the local state troopers, the mayor, and the business leaders. The coaches couldn’t get a traffic ticket if they parked atop a child. I name-dropped my uncle once and got out of a DUI that would have sent me to jail. He, a history teacher at the school, would smack rude male students and no one said a word.

            My cousins would spend hours watching scrimmage tapes. I’d come to visit and chafe while they talked about how they had twisted one guy’s helmet when the referee wasn’t looking or had tripped someone. These dirty tricks were officially forbidden but the coaches and assorted retired coaches and hangers-on promoted them to the team on the sly. The dirty tricks carried over into everyday life. My one cousin was fond of peeing on his friend’s carpets when they weren’t looking. They both got in fights on the regular.

            The players were the golden sons of the town; young men who didn’t play were second rate. My one cousin would introduce me to them but then quietly add that they hadn’t made the team. The ones who didn’t care to try were scorned.

            Game night was, if I recall, Saturday night. The entire town would pour out into the stadium in what I now recognize as mass ritual of martial ardor and strength. Generally peaceful, there were occasional fights in the bleachers. Sometimes things got thrown. Winning was like everyone had won, losing was the same.

            Barring the then unknown brain damage the game causes, it all wouldn’t have been so bad if it had all been for fun. But there was so much of everyone’s identity deeply wrapped up in it. And so much privilege associated with it. So much in-group/out-group, social hierarchy none-sense. So much sanctioned violence. So much time and energy and resources spent on this thing that, in the final accounting, didn’t really mean anything.

            Reply
            1. Anthony G Stegman

              You are describing the NFL as well. Many people’s entire lives revolve around the NFL schedule. Humans are strange.

              Reply
          3. Laura in So Cal

            Competitive soccer quite literally was part of saving my kids life. At age 12 he was severely depressed and had suicidal ideation. We did all the normal stuff, but focusing on one sport, with teams that had consistent players was a God send. Being outside, getting lots of physical exercise (especially during the pandemic!), being forced to interact with others, channeling angry feelings, etc. was a big part of my son’s progress. He ended up playing high school soccer for 4 years and it was a very positive experience.

            Reply
            1. flora

              Thanks for this comment. I listened to this Joe Rogan/ Gabor Mate 14minute segment of the longer podcast where Mate talks about the high-anxiety culture we in the US and the West in general live in, and the cost it has for children’s wellbeing. It seems relevant here for some reason. (As for parents acting out their own adult frustrations and aggression while at kids’ sporting matches for their own needs, oh man. I’ve seen it one too many times.) Gabor gives his answers without judgement or blaming.

              Rogan and Mate, utube 14 minutes.

              Physician Gabor Mate Gives His Analysis on ADHD and Anxiety

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jQSOSi2DA8

              In another clip from this same interview Mate points out the importance for young people to get “outside” of themselves through sports or art or anything, really.

              Reply
            2. griffen

              Thank you for that anecdote. That was highly encouraging to read how it became an outlet and eventually generated positive results.

              Reply
        2. Henry Moon Pie

          Our society must move rapidly from “Compete and Consumer” to “Cooperate and Conserve.” Maybe there are youth activities that might help with that transition rather than inflicting that mindset on another generation.

          Reply
        1. spud

          football is not a sport, its organized violence. 1967 was the year in my eyes, that the military successfully got football to be americas premier sport.

          americans embraced the violence against each other, as the military had hoped.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            The NFL is the only professional sport in these not so united states which the opposing teams have a peaceful meet up after every game.

            In stark contrast, you’ll generally only see angry meet ups in the MLB in the midst of a game when benches clear in regards to some slight slight over perhaps a slider that came in spikes first to a batter’s ribcage.

            Reply
      2. griffen

        I have read so many wrenching stories about a star player, escaping a violent home or facing the world in a one parent home and realizing all the sacrifice that single mom or single dad has made for their benefit. That star player often carries that forward, in their own life, and determining to be a better parent and model for their children. Not always the case, mind you.

        Sport gives a lot of youth purpose, discipline and structure. And without sport they would, most likely, wind up doing something else much less constructive.

        Reply
          1. griffen

            I dunno, hang out on the corner and learn how to turn your life’s direction into a dark alley of substance abuse or dealing of those certain substances. Fail and then drop out of school possibly, one might build an empire or possibly end up as a sad statistic.

            Even the poorest of the poor, who have nothing can find joy in sport. Kids playing stickball or street hockey with made up hockey sticks. Tough crowd today.

            Reply
          2. Hank Linderman

            Ultimately there is very little any of us do that will matter in 500 years. Kurt Vonnegut once said (supposedly) the purpose of life was “to fart around.”

            And I suppose much of what humanity considers constructive is at the root of our impending doom.

            I used to play soccer in my student years. I liked it.

            Best…H

            Reply
            1. Lee

              Vonnegut’s statement is similar to one I saw posted over a bar in Carmel, CA: “Hanging out is the basis of all civilization”, or words to that effect.

              Reply
            2. Anthony G Stegman

              The problem is not enough of us are spending enough time “farting around”. We are strivers, ambitious, go getters. All this go getting has resulted in the huge mess we find ourselves in at this time. The problem with high school football is the players think it’s a game, but the adults think it is business. Serious business.

              Reply
          3. Bruno

            Used to be, in the true continent before the Spaniard conquistadors arrived, that getting a rather heavy “ball” through a hoop was literally a life and death game.

            Reply
        1. cfraenkel

          Those stories are part of the problem. Sure, the family’s sacrifices were for the best for that star player, but what of all the ignored sacrifices of the other 999 families who didn’t result in a star player? And how many of those 999 non-stars screwed around through growing up betting that they would be stars and now are left staring at an empty future?

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            There’s the hitting the lottery aspect of your kid being a star that didn’t exist when I was in little league…

            It wasn’t uncommon for the back of baseball cards to say what sort of job the player had in the off-season, as many needed 2 incomes.

            You’d find our hometown MLB star tending Etchebarren’s* liquor store, and he was the catcher for those great 1960’s Oriole teams.

            * RIP Andy

            Reply
            1. Anthony G Stegman

              With the huge paydays for professional athletes these days, even including the bench warmers, there is an element to winning the lottery if you make it to the pro level in sports. Like the lottery, there are many times the numbers of participants who fail to make it to the pro level as those who do. But like the lottery the dream of making it big lives on.

              Reply
            2. HotFlash

              Yeah. We had a Detroit Tiger who delivered groceries for a grocery chain (IGA) in the off season. Our family-owned franchise store awarded him the Bozeman Chair of Philosophy (made up by us) at the Smiths Creek Institute of Higher Studies (also made up), which he accepted graciously. NB, our family had a weird sense of humour.

              Reply
          2. griffen

            Well that could generally be true of any professional endeavor, sport or politics or business. In a generalized and broader context, I like to think of men and women who lead programs that help to ensure these college age young men are expected to attend class, expected to stay in line.

            For example, I wonder how many young men this prominent head coach helped in many ways to matriculate through the college system. I am not a particular fan of Georgetown basketball, but he was really good at his job. It also helps being nearly 7 feet tall to be taken seriously.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Thompson_(basketball)

            Reply
            1. hunkerdown

              Now do Jerry Sandusky. Or Larry Nassar. Or the rest of us who have to put up with the smooth-brained martialism out of these “products” the predatory middle class forces on us.

              Reply
              1. griffen

                Your point is well taken. The above predators are like the darkened panel vans, best avoided and when the light is finally shined into dark corners we get a very ugly, very tainted view of what can happen when “good or decent people otherwise” fail to speak for those with no voice.

                Coach Thompson thought all athletes that were able but perhaps from less ideal conditions should be eligible, whether they scored 600 on their SAT or 1200. Could be, someone who played for him did not know his options in life could include a graduate degree or possibly train to be a lawyer. At the very minimum that door that was otherwise closed was now open, this is my point to make.

                Reply
                1. HotFlash

                  Well you know. SAT’s are an attempt to quantify one thing, and athletic prowess is another. What is a college suppossed to do, train minds or muscles? Either are fine with me, but I wonder if we are confusing them. Perhaps pro sports should have (and fund) their own scholarship programs?

                  Reply
          3. semper loquitur

            As a GED/”work readiness” instructor for a few years, I’ve seen plenty of young men who thought that the best route out of the ghetto is to play professional sports. That or become hip-hop stars. When I would try to gently deflate those illusions, they would laugh and say “Whatever, Mr. Loquitur.” I came to learn that while not the best route out of poverty, it was the only route available to many of them as their shoddy primary educations and lack of job experience blocked other avenues.

            Reply
        2. JohnnySacks

          On the other hand, organized sports can appear be a petri dish for the cultivation of insufferable tools. The likes of OJ Simpson, Brett Favre, Herschel Walker, and many others not exactly countering that stereotype.

          Reply
          1. Cat Burglar

            A non-competitive sport took a poor French-Canadian immigrant kid though a youth eating cat food to yesterday’s newspaper: Yvon Chouinard.

            Reply
        3. Cat Burglar

          You’re right. Sports cultivate the potential of the athlete as a person — something that is lost sight of by every bad coach or instructor.

          Learning a new skill, training for mastery of the skill, and confronting novel situations to apply your skill, working with others toward an objective, are not just physical development — they are all forms of intellectual development, too. Good instructors know that, and bad instructors don’t. Nobody needs to be a star to apply what they learn to other parts of life — or just to use their sport as a passion that brings meaning to their life — any person can.

          Reply
      3. GramSci

        Competition is a fact of nature. Kids know how to manage it instinctively: in street sports two captains pick teams down to the weakest kid. Nobody rides the bench. When the parents and the schools get involved, it’s only a matter of time until “scholarships” are offered.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          My nephew was the next Maradonna, Messi or maybe more when he was 12 was the thought and last month went to one of his games where he got 10 minutes of garbage time late in the match when he’s now nearly 18, and my sister still talks of how he could make it on a community college soccer team as hopes of a full ride scholarship to the bigs went away.

          I know a couple of fellows that played soccer until their 50’s and 60’s, and I asked my sister why not abandon the whole school soccer thing and posture him for it to be a lifetime sport, similar to yours truly with skiing?

          That is if he isn’t pretty much burned out from it all after playing for around a dozen years…

          Reply
        2. hunkerdown

          No, that’s social Darwinism which is capitalist ideology. It’s a game that we can ruin and punish people for playing if we want to. The disingenuous PMC want the poors to be martial, competitive, and selfless, for easier exploitation, so they don’t want to, unsurprisingly enough.

          Punishing people for competing is the best way to get idiotic games out of our lives.

          Reply
          1. Lee

            But competing in the realm of ideas is okay, right? Or else what are we all doing here?

            Being a boomer raised in a working class neighborhood, we kids were so numerous that from just on our block we could field two full teams for various sports. We were self-organized without direct adult input or supervision, and it was grand.

            Reply
            1. semper loquitur

              I don’t think the point of NC is competition per say, although that does happen, but rather to learn through debate and discussion along with the numerous articles and essays.

              Reply
              1. Lee

                But most of us here subscribe to views that contend against those held by social and economic elites. We are competing with those elites for hearts and minds.

                Reply
            2. HotFlash

              But competing in the realm of ideas is okay, right? Or else what are we all doing here?

              Well maybe it’s just old me, Lee, but I consider it conversing.

              Reply
        3. Lee

          I would agree. Play-fighting among young and even some adult critters seems pretty much universal. Indeed, I’m right now watching an adult cat play-fight with a kitten. They seem to be having a rollicking good time. My adult dogs, may they rest in peace, remained at times playfully feisty well into old age.

          Reply
          1. hunkerdown

            Combat play, doesn’t usually create losers or manufacture a rivalrous “character”.* As far as I’ve ever known, it’s done for the thrill of the experience, with no injuries intended. Competition, on the other hand, is intended to create losers and engender rivalrous bearings.

            * Nor, I add, albeit lacking access to John Malkovich’s cat’s direct experience, does combat play generate food. The acts which generate food are probably not intended to leave the food feeling entertained and willing to return for more.

            Reply
        1. Don

          I hope so too, but I suspect most commenters are evangelically serious.

          From makeshift childhood pickup games of every sort, to tennis, to shooting pool, to competitive team sports in high-level amateur adult leagues, I played sports well into my fifties — to my great benefit and pleasure.

          I have no patience with those who take haughty pride in looking down their noses at athletes.

          For all our flaws, and an obsession with hockey that we share with Russians, we don’t have any equivalent to the bizarre phenomenon of Friday night highschool football played in huge floodlit stadiums in the American South, so I can’t knowledgeably comment on it, but the stereotype of the “dumb jock” is elitist bullshit, as is the notion that athletes are inherently rightwing, racist, misogynist thugs (“cannon fodder for a military empire” – seriously?) — any more than, say, economists or cabbies or chess players or dancers or tile-setters are.

          You don’t like sports or opera or sushi? Fine, but instead of insisting that sports or opera or sushi suck, just quietly avoid them — nobody will care.

          Reply
    2. Allzwell

      In high school I umpired for local softball leagues for extra $$ in the summer (late 80s-early 90s). Youth leagues were bad, but the worst were the church leagues. Whew! Had a choir director come after me one time on a called strike. He had to be held back by the pastor and youth director. WWJD if he was called out on a bang bang play at first? Not turn the other cheek, based on my experience. Best were the weekend fundraiser tournaments, just a bunch of good ole boys using softball as an excuse to drink beer all day.

      Reply
    3. Polar Socialist

      For a several decades I was part of a sport where we had very little interference from the sidelines and even participants usually behaved extremely well.

      It’s has very strict rules about how to behave during an event and they are enforced, too. You break them rules, especially after a warning, and you’re out. As in removed from the premises. Doesn’t matter if you’re competitor, coach, manager or audience, if the referee tells you to leave, you leave. No appeals.

      As a competitor, you as much as say the f-word so that the referee hears it, and you’re out. From the current event immediately and from the next one as soon as the sports organization has received the report.

      I’m talking about fencing.

      Reply
      1. Mark Gisleson

        I wasn’t any good at it but I enjoyed fencing more than any other sport I’ve ever tried. Saber was best but only a masochist (or really good fencer) could possibly enjoy epée and the resulting bruised biceps.

        Reply
        1. rowlf

          Seeing the welts on sabre athletes I thought being an epée fencer in high school and university was better. Also, epée didn’t require any right of way as far as stopping attacks. In epée if you couldn’t hit the arm either hitting the big head or small head rattled the opponent. I always thought knees and feet left too much of an off balance opening to your opponent.

          Reply
      2. HotFlash

        Never fenced myself, but I have attended several times as a dear friend does. For a bunch of folks with pointy things that they attempt to poke into the other person, it seems remarkably civilized.

        My own experience is with judo (many years). Throw the other person, let them get up, and do it again. The most useful thing I learned from judo is how to take a hit without going to pieces.

        Reply
    4. Randall Flagg

      As a high school basketball referee, I can report the 2020-2021 Vermont High School Basketball season was played with no fans allowed in the gymnasium . Only players, managers, and any medical personnel. Games were streamed so parents and family could watch at home.

      Absolute heaven.

      Pretty quiet gyms. No BS from parents. Players and Coaches on their absolute best behavior, I think because underlying it all was the sense that the season could be called off at any moment (and many lobbied hard for just that), so enjoy playing while you could.

      Reply
      1. qmess

        Umpiring in Prescott, AZ maybe 40 years ago for a pony league game (normally only did little league)
        with a team visiting from Phoenix was a very bad experience. The coaches, players and parents all were harassing me to the point of extreme vulgarities. I pleaded with the coaches, threatened the parents, reprimanded the players — all to no avail. I let the game finish, but it was the last game for me.

        Reply
      2. mrsyk

        For about ten years I coached and participated in running a high school aged men’s NYC basketball league. The officiating crew was often stretched thin so that occasionally I had to officiate a game. When this occurred I would address the spectators, telling them I would do the best job of it I could, I would surely miss some calls, and if anyone of them would like to join me on the court I had an extra whistle. No one ever did, but no one ever complained either.

        Reply
    5. CanCyn

      I dunno, organized sports aren’t everything. Kids today are over organized and scheduled IMO. I dealt with college age kids all through my library career, and all too common characteristics were waiting for instruction and seeming inability to think outside the box. Obviously not everyone but depressingly more than a few. They’ve never been encouraged to act independently (which come to think of it is paradoxically weird when seen up against our me, me, me hurray for the individual society). As a kid, when not in school, my friends and I just made up our days as things came up. Ride bikes, hang out, kick the can, whatever, it was all good. We were never bored. A bit trouble but nothing criminal. Aside from playing volleyball for a couple of years in high school, I did no team sports. I don’t think I suffered for the lack in any noticeable way. I can work in a group as well as anyone else I know.
      Seeing my friends’ highly organized kids become adults, I have also realized that organized sports don’t easily translate to a lifelong pursuit of fitness – something that I think should be the main purpose of phys Ed in school. Encourage your kids to run or cycle, two activities more easily pursued in adulthood and, even if racing as kids, with less of the obnoxious parent ‘fandom’.

      Reply
      1. Anthony G Stegman

        A portion of us, kids and adults alike, need structure in our lives. This is one of the appeals of organized sports. It’s also one of the appeals of the military. it also helps explain why some adults continue working well into their 70s.

        Reply
    6. Steven A

      I was a volunteer official in my son’s soccer leagues, from the developmental league to the youth leagues. In the development leagues everything was great, the coaches supported us and “played to tie.” Most of the time the parents were barely aware of the score. The compeitive impulse dialed up consderably when the players got older and moved into the youth leagues. We were getting “help” from the sidelines from parents and coaches pointing out off-sides and fouls when we were apparently looking the other way. On several occasions we stopped the match and offered parents a whistle or a flag, suggesting that they sound like they are the ones who should be on the pitch. It always worked, though in retrospect I feel lucky nobody got violent after such an offer. Sadly, it stopped being fun for many of the kids.

      Reply
      1. MaryLand

        I watched a soccer game my grandson was in. Age range was 6-7. His team lost and I said to him that the important thing was that everyone on his team worked together and he helped too. He replied, “I thought the important thing was to have fun.” I felt properly corrected. I was taken aback a bit and then said, “Of course that’s right.”

        Reply
      2. HotFlash

        In my FiL’s judo classes, there was always one father on the sidelines who just had to give (totally uninformed) instructions to his son during class. My FiL would invite him to join the class — never, ever, any takers. I felt so sorry for those kids. Even my jujitsu sensei, when his wife offered (unasked for) advice to the class, would ask her if she wanted to suit up.

        Reply
    7. howseth

      I played high school football circa 1969-1970. Seemed a natural thing to do – though football was not as big deal where I lived on Long Island (and sports in general) then what is described about Florida and Texas.

      I loved playing sports with my friends – school sports not nearly as much – the militaristic/ macho/aggressive qualities of the high school football team was a turn off – however, being the smallest and lightest boy on the football team – it was a way to test/prove myself – (and may have had something to do with my father being a wounded WWII vet)
      I never got hurt too bad in football – only one time knocked out – my helmet was all scratched up more than most, because I would often be tackled at my head since I was so short – and not at my knees – the legs less protected than the head. (I was a running back – in those flexible-body days of youth. I was put in the games for’ special plays’ and also as a defensive safety)
      I remember going into those games for a play here and there and being surprised at the intensity of he adrenaline level of the other players – since I was coming in cold.

      Later in life I spent a few years in the trading pit of the NYC commodity exchange – it would be quiet the traders just hanging out, joking – and then a big order would hit the trading pit and arms would be flying and all the shouting – adrenaline surging – like a battle – reminded me of those high school football games…

      If I was a kid today – I’d probably choose soccer?

      Reply
      1. MaryLand

        Soccer can be intense if it’s in a league. Our granddaughter age 7 started on a team in a state in the Northeast. She was the only girl on the team (there were no teams just for girls.) She’s a plucky determined person used to rough housing with her brothers. We all thought it would be fine. The boys on her team picked on her mercilessly and the coaches did nothing to stop it. She quit the team saying “Boys are mean.” I can only hope she has better experiences in the future.

        Reply
  2. zagonostra

    >Major Covid report suggests virus could have leaked from a US lab

    Sachs’ appearance on RFK Jr’s podcast… undermines the seriousness of the Lancet Commission’s mission to the point of completely negating it,” said Prof Angela Rasmussen

    Yes, God forbid such a subversive act such as going on a non MSM outlet, can’t have that.

    At this stage, interest in the CV19 origin has, for the most part, evaporated, at least with people I know. They have made up their mind, they have no curiosity or interest in the subject. It is in some sense similar to whether the 2020 election was tampered with, Trump was a Putin Puppet, and so forth. Subsequent reports/data points like this one by Lancet are mainly of interest to historians and a small sliver of the population.

    Reply
    1. .Tom

      According to The Lancet’s infographic most governments were hampered by low public trust and an epidemic of misinformation.

      I can think of more than one way to interpret that and what to do about it. I suspect The Lancet has something different in mind that I do.

      Reply
      1. marku52

        Indeed. Much of it coming from those self-same health organizations.

        Pierre Kory’s substack on the war against the Unmentionable Is vomit-inducing

        Reply
    2. YankeeFrank

      And when the western project comes crashing down, people are going to start casting around for answers to how this could happen: how could “the greatest empire the world has ever known” collapse? At that point, the facts that the CIA, and its able assistant the Mossad, killed JFK, RFK, fostered and opened the door for the 9/11 attacks and generally led the country and world down the rabbit hole with a thousand other actual conspiracies, including MKUltra, the production of biological weapons used against China and Korea in the early 1950’s to release of Covid in China and Iran in 2019, the wholesale corruption of our mass media and intellectual landscape, the lies, the causes of our wars… all of this will be discovered as if new information because finally people will, out of necessity, need to see where it all went so catastrophically wrong.

      So documenting the endless corruptions and conspiracies is of vital importance — we are entering the phase where, as Claudius said:

      “let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out”

      Anyone who has researched and still questions who killed JFK and RFK is simply not ready to see the truth. My concern now is that as Russia continues to win in Ukraine and even more on the economic front, what horrendous false flags or other atrocities will be committed in the mad hope to extend the life of this dying empire.

      I was never a conspiracy theorist, which is of course a derogatory term invented by the CIA itself (also not a conspiracy theory but documented conspiracy fact). Instead, I watch the world around me, read some history and understand that the CIA, in one form or another, has always been around and conspiracies are simply what the powerful do. The devil does exist and he is powerful men engaged in compartmentalized games of world domination. Many such cases.

      And please don’t accuse me of anti-semitism for bringing the Mossad into this. I’m actually Jewish and love my people. I simply have no love for liars and manipulators, whatever their ethnicity.

      Reply
        1. Lex

          Most of the OSS was recruited from Wall Street, including Donovan. Allen Dulles of course served in the state department and then worked as a private banker for a German industrial family. He primarily facilitated US investment in Nazi Germany.

          Reply
          1. jsn

            Alan & John Dulles were corporate attorneys at Sullivan & Cromwell.

            They represented the major German industrial cartels that saw National Socialism as an attractive way to manage the local politics until Hitler gave it a bad name.

            And, with the ratlines and close cooperation with the UK, they saw to it the essential racist, colonialist ethos of National Socialism was integrated into post war US Foreign Policy. 9/11 was those very fertile chickens coming home to roost.

            Reply
          2. .human

            Grandpa Bush (Prescott, former senator from Connecticut) was also instrumental at the time. He was named in the plot to coup FDR.

            Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Even after Pearl Harbour and war was declared with Germany, Presott Bush still kept his financial dealings with Nazi Germany going for about another year until forced to stop. He should have been charged with treason but his wealth & family protected him. But if he had, there could have never been a George Bush Presidency as the optics of a President having a father found guilty of committing treason would have been too much on the nose to consider.

              Reply
          3. HotFlash

            An excellent window into OSS history is “A Man Called Intrepid” by William Stevenson. It is a more-or-less authorized biography of William Stevenson and WIlliam Donovan who founded the OSS which morphed into the CIA. Reading it now after 30+ years — the sense of entitlement!!!

            Reply
            1. jsn

              If you want to see entitlement, I’m reading “Family of Secrets” about the Bushes.

              The displays by 43 begger the imagination with their “look at me, you can’t touch me” insouciance.

              41, on the other hand, kept it all on the low down, just happened to be in Dallas on 22 Nov 63, drove to Tyler in the morning, called FBI headquarters 20 mins after broadcast of the news to implicate a hothead on his campaign staff he knew had an alibi to be on the record in Tyler, then boarded the private jet of an oilman who hated JFK and headed back to Dallas.

              His sense of entitlement was much more proactive.

              Reply
      1. britzklieg

        The new headlines about “mass graves in Izium” and the implied genocide are exceedingly dangerous and need to be countered NOW as best can be countered. If the west thinks it can milosovich Putin into the Hague without cataclysmic consequences, it best have another think coming. Perhaps resident diplomat David can provide some answers as to how that might be done because the racist and hate-filled attitude so thoroughly inculcated into the tiny minded audiences that have swallowed it is precisely the tide which must be corrected and I have little hope that it’s possible. To have promoted such to the point where nuclear war is seriously being considered and supported by the idiot western masses is where we are at now: loving the bomb. Tell me I’m wrong…

        Reply
        1. jsn

          The Hague will be a candle lit, cooking over cow dung backwater before too long at this rate.

          Not sure who can or how to “Milosovich” Putin. In Yugoslavia NATO had superior force, not in evidence here.

          The rest of the world watched that episode and thought, “WTF, better tow the Washington Consensus line”. Now, they’re all rejoicing to see an alternative that respects national sovereignty above “The Market, TINA”.

          Reply
    3. MP

      It’s ridiculous to cover because it’s patently fantastical. Humans do not have the technology or the knowledge to create a novel virus, something that was covered on this site just a year ago. We don’t even know how the next variant of the exact same virus is going to fare, yet we’re confident it’s possible that a lab was able to engineer a once-in-a-millennia disease that perfectly threads the needle between asymptomatic and deadly? We only know how to leak viruses we know and have replicas of. If the Chinese government was able to re-engineer SARS to make COVID then they’re basically the most advanced technological regime in human history.

      Reply
      1. YankeeFrank

        The US has a documented history of researching and releasing biological weapons starting at least with the Korean War. We have documented incidents of release of various such weapons on the American population itself, and have many biolabs around the world. The ability to add the furring cleavage site to the SARS virus, with its resultant changes in pathogenicity, is a capability that exists. Ron Unz has carefully documented many of the facts and strange coincidences surrounding the origins of covid19 that point to its intentional release in China and Iran back in 2019 by the US. He does not state final conclusions and is not sloppy in his reporting yet his work is compelling. I suggest you keep an open mind.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        I’m just gonna dissect this:

        * Straw man argument (total synthesis)
        * Argument to incredulity (gain-of-function research is just sooooo rare and unique that )
        * Shifting goalposts from total synthesis to claiming gain-of-function research is a feat
        * Obligatory China attribution (against the known commercial relations of WIV and various US biowar operators)

        and the giveaway

        * Performative judgmentalism (free space)

        Thanks for posting drive-by disinformation and wasting one of my bingo cards.

        Reply
      3. Ghost in the Machine

        It is not fantastical at all. It is known that coronaviruses recognize species specific targets via the spike protein. Scientists, including ones at the Wuhan lab, have been swapping out spike proteins on coronaviruses to test how they target species for some time and their results are in the published scientific literature. They tested the effectiveness of these spike swaps on ‘humanized’ mice, that is, genetically engineered mice with the human ACE2 receptor, also stated in publications from the Wuhan lab. The other mystery, the Furin cleavage site, also has published examples of insertion into viruses in the literature. The spike protein has two main segments, one that attaches to the ACE2 receptor and one that is involved in inserting the virus into the cell. They work better when cleaved. A furin cleavage site allows the protein furin to cleave a protein at that site. Furin is present in humans, so some viruses use this as an efficient way to enhance fitness without having to code more protein. No beta-coronaviruses except COVID 19 have the furin cleavage site, the mystery. Inserting a furin cleavage site is a pretty standard trick used by virologists to enhance viruses. Ralph Baric’s lab at UNC has published on this technique and his lab was involved in transferring the technique to the Wuhan lab in a known collaboration. There exists a leaked DARPA grant application from the Wuhan lab (not funded) that proposes to do just this with coronaviruses. I worked as a research scientist for almost 20 years and I know that for most grants you are partially on your way to the proposed goals because you have to generate ‘preliminary data’ to demonstrate feasibility. Is this proof? No. But, it is certainly feasible that COVID-19 was manipulated and leaked from a lab. It is like a game of clue where the butler states that he would like to commit a murder in the study with a candlestick. During the game we find a body in the study, murdered with a candlestick. But, we go out of our way not to investigate the butler.
        A smoking gun, of course, would be a lab notebook that detailed the steps and stated the original unmanipulated virus. Finding a virus in a database that was like COVID-19 except for the furin cleavage site and maybe the spike protein (the backbone) would also be compelling evidence. Of course, the notebooks are locked away (or destroyed), and the relevant databases were taken offline right before the epidemic became public knowledge in the fall of 2019. If it was a leak, then both China and the US would like to cover that fact up. It would have been leaked from a Chinese lab funded by the US with technical skills transferred from the US.

        Reply
      4. cfraenkel

        The flaw with this line of reasoning is assuming that the hypothetical virus escaping from a lab somewhere was intentional or carefully designed. A lab doing research is going to create as many mutations as possible. The odds of a successful mutation are the same in a lab as in a wet market (or wherever). If anything, there’s an argument that a lab could be better odds since less-viable intermediate steps would have been protected in a petri dish vs dying out in the wild.
        Not suggesting that the lab leak has any merit, only that this argument isn’t convincing. Dumb luck beats careful planning every time.

        Reply
    4. Ignacio

      Read the article and what one can find striking is this incessant need to find someone to blame for it plus transmitting such necessity to the public. Idiotic, insane BS.

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        That’s what the PMC does: moral dictatorship. That’s why they need to be abolished. If there is anything useful that they create, they can create it in a wage relation without airs or wasteful flourishes and get Taylorized just like everyone else.

        Reply
        1. LifelongLib

          Maybe the opposite would be better — if we started according the same deference to the specialized skills of plumbers and carpenters that we now do those of doctors and lawyers. Ability should be given its due.

          Reply
      2. pjay

        In spite of its click-bait headline, the body of the article actually does a lot to undermine Sachs’ argument by emphasizing his appearance on Kennedy’s podcast and citing other experts on how “shameful” this was, how it reduces the credulity of Sachs and the Lancet commission, etc. It does not really address Sachs own points at all, which he has stated clearly in several places now. He does not claim to know for certain about a lab-leak origin. What he does state is:

        1. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that *does* point to such an origin, while evidence for its natural origin continues to allude us.

        2. There is a lot of *actual* evidence for a coverup by a variety of interested official parties – behind-the-scenes disinformation, smear tactics, repression of evidence on research and funding, etc. While this does not prove a lab-leak origin, it does suggest that there is *something* to cover up.

        3. There has been no real inquiry into these activities so far, and how they *might* be related to the pandemic or knowledge about the pandemic.

        4. The mainstream media has repressed these facts. So of course when Sachs goes to the “alternative” media to express his concerns, this “proves” he is a “conspiracy theorist” by association.

        I do not know the origins of the COVID virus. I have no expertise in biology. But I do know (1) the above facts are true; and (2) if there was a lab-leak origin – accidental or not, in Wuhan or elsewhere – it would be information of the upmost importance, for a variety of reasons. It is extremely misleading to refer to this as “idiotic, insane BS.”

        This is a pretty good overview of Sachs’ position:

        https://www.currentaffairs.org/2022/08/why-the-chair-of-the-lancets-covid-19-commission-thinks-the-us-government-is-preventing-a-real-investigation-into-the-pandemic

        Reply
    5. t

      RFK Jr is a longtime anti vaxx,pro woo moron. If you want to say something positive,he may have stolen the spotlight from Jenny McCarthy. Not sure how someone with a famous last name and an econ prof are the go-to guys for this.

      Reply
      1. YankeeFrank

        Ah yes, he’s just another moron/kook. And just like the fool on the hill and Alex Jones himself, much of what he says is true. Ensconced within the loving arms of the security state it must be easy to dismiss those outside it as fools. What about Jeffrey Sachs? Is he also a moron/kook? Weary must be the arms that flap.

        Reply
    6. Ghost in the Machine

      That Telegraph article really tries to paint Sachs in a bad light. It says he states the virus came from a US lab and that the Chinese have jumped on that statement. I have read Sachs’ words on the topic, and I think he is just pointing out that the technical skills for doing things like inserting the furin cleavage site was knowledge transferred to Wuhan in known collaborations. And the Chinese have been trying to shift blame long before Sachs. So Sachs is unpatriotic is how I read that. The article goes on to say that Sachs removed Daszak because he was too biased to the natural origins theory. It fails to mention that Daszak was the key link in getting US funding to the Wuhan lab, an obvious conflict of interest. Also, Sachs did not say he removed Daszak for a bias, Sachs said that Daszak was actively impeding the investigation into the possibility of a lab leak and that he also caught Daszak in lies. Sachs did not use the words ‘caught in lies’ but that is clearly what he was implying.

      I think Sachs’ stance is appropriate. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence for the lab leak. And very little evidence for the natural origin and that is also circumstantial. The argument for the natural origin is basically, ‘this is how all past epidemics started.’ And that is a reasonable thing to state. Although, people stating this also usually imply that lab leaks are very rare occurrences when there are quite a few examples including smallpox. The intermediary host for SARS1, civets, was found within a half year and the intermediary host for MERS, camels, was found within a year. Nothing for COVID19 so far. Tellingly, it was noted that there was very little genetic diversity around the original Sars-CoV-2 strain. Normally, when spillover occurs there is a struggle of natural selection where a virus adapts to the intermediary host and then adapts to humans. This creates some diversity. This usually requires a number of mutations for the virus to be effective in a new host. There is no evidence of this genetic struggle where there was for SARS1 and MERS. As far as I know, the trail is completely cold.

      Some have suggested it could have jumped directly from bats. But, COVID19 is very poor at infecting bats, which suggests this is not what happened.

      Then there is all the discussion around the furin cleavage site I mention in another comment here.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        I have a problem with Sachs being in this role. He’s an economist, not a scientist, and can be completely bamboozled. The fact that a non-scientist is running this effort stinks big time.

        Reply
        1. Ghost in the Machine

          That is a legitimate complaint. For better or worse, respected outsiders are sometimes selected to run these kind of controversial investigations. In Sachs’ statements, he says his group contains a number of people who are experts who have diverse opinions on this matter. I got the impression that there were heated disagreements between The scientists in his group.
          Sometimes you need outsiders to assess emotionally charged debates. It is different, but I certainly wouldn’t ask the mainstream economic experts to assess the state of their profession. Virology is definitely different than the pseudoscience of economics, but the implications of a lab leak are so severe, it seems scientists recoil from it even though it is a plausible explanation given the current set of facts.
          Sachs I would also point out is a critic of neoliberalism after being an avid proponent in the 90s. I think he was involved with Russia a bit then and saw the disaster. So within economics, he sees problems.

          Reply
    7. pjay

      The purpose of this article is is to undermine Sachs by linking him to Kennedy, and then calling in the “experts” who are appalled at such an association, which (they say) calls into question his credulity. It gives no real information on any of his specific concerns or arguments.

      My own earlier comment has failed to appear, so I will just say please read Sachs’ own statements. They are anything but “ridiculous” or “insane,” though you would never know it from reading articles like this. Here’s a concise summation:

      https://www.jeffsachs.org/newspaper-articles/cpgynw2j9x4lamdd2resnf3eekppyd

      His article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a little more detailed:

      https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2202769119

      Reply
    8. pjay

      This article gives a distorted view of the nature of Sachs’ argument. He has a number of specific concerns that he has discussed in several places. For some reason I have been unable to either provide a summary of his main points or link to his own articles. So if I may, let me just encourage people to read his own statements, and please don’t rely on articles like this one.

      Reply
  3. Lex

    I’m Oxford comma agnostic (my wife, a former journalist is rapidly anti-Oxford comma) but professionally I employ the Oxford comma for one serious reason: lawyers. The lack of an Oxford comma opens up an argument by lawyers over what the author really meant, and since everything I write for work is either potentially or probably a subject of litigation the Oxford comma gets used. I also separate a series of clauses via semicolon more than I would in any other writing too because of lawyers.

    Reply
    1. Chet G

      Back in the seventies and eighties when McGraw-Hill had an editing services department, it recommended the serial comma (apparently now called the Oxford comma for whatever reason). The reason for the series comma was clarity:
      In the sequence “x, y, and z” all three have equal weight. In the sequence “x, y and z” the parts y and z modify x. Both formations occur often enough to make the distinction worthwhile.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Its advocates argue it can make sentences clearer and remove ambiguity but its opponents argue it is unnecessary and can ruin the flow of a sentence.

        From the article and with the highlight by me. Funny, I thought that the purpose of righting writing was to communicate clearly, and not prettiness or “flow.” Just saying.

        Reply
    2. Mark Gisleson

      In marketing using/not using the Oxford comma provides opportunities for constructive ambiguity (it’s not lying if they’re not sure what you just said). “Why yes, that is a bit ambiguous. Let’s talk some more about it : ) “

      Reply
    3. AnnaSteed

      both the use and non-use of the oxford comma can introduce ambiguity

      we invited my parents, jesus and elvis. –> no comma, ambiguous

      we invited my father, jesus, and elvis. –> yes comma, ambiguous

      Though its lack of use can only introduce ambiguity sentence-finally:

      My parents, jesus and elvis, arrived late. –> not sentence final, the second comma indicates the strange parentage reading

      My parents, jesus and elvis arrived late. –> not sentence final, but also not an appositive for lack of the second comma, only as the strange gathering reading

      Reply
      1. Brunches with Cats

        Any confusion* is easily avoided by rearranging the order of the people: “Jesus, Elvis and my parents arrived late.” “Jesus, Elvis, and my parents arrived late.” No difference in meaning, with or without the serial comma. If there’s a compelling reason to list her parents first, the writer can clarify using minimal extra words — e.g., “My parents arrived late, as did Jesus and Elvis.”

        * IMO, these silly examples aren’t the best, as few, if any, readers are likely to be confused in the first place. Examples in which the use of a comma could indeed cause confusion would be more educational, e.g., “My parents, John Smith and Mary Jones, arrived late,” etc.

        Reply
    4. ForgotMyHandle

      For many years, I avoided the Oxford comma, just doing my part, but now that the worldwide comma shortage is over, thanks to new comma production technology, I feel it is okay to use the Oxford comma, once again.

      Reply
        1. Brunches with Cats

          Good point, didn’t occur to me. I did consider whether this is all part of a Kremin plot to further divide the West by sowing discord over the Oxford comma.

          Reply
  4. Lex

    I think the article on hypersonics suggests the US is a ways from deployable reality of anything except glide vehicles mounted on ICBMs. That’s fairly easy but impractical since the ICBM launch looks nuclear to everyone else’s warning systems. If there was reliable tech in hand, projecting costs wouldn’t be terribly difficult, especially projecting for DoD budget planning purposes. I don’t get the hold up though, even the Russians can build them with parts scavenged from washing machines!

    Reply
    1. Nikkikat

      Saw an EU speech given by Van der Leyen yesterday on the duran, all dressed up in her blue and yellow costume and claiming the Russian were using semi conductors from washing machines so we should have victory soon.
      The insanity of this people is remarkable.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        It gets better. I saw an image showing her and a whole bunch of other EU Parliamentarians that were also dressed in blue and yellow – about twenty of them. In years to come, if they were ever challenged on this and the Ukrainian fiasco, I am pretty sure that they would all claim that they were only wearing those colours because they are those for the EU flag.

        Reply
    2. LY

      I always thought the US didn’t bother with hypersonics because Tomahawk missies did the job, from much longer range than any hypersonic missile.

      I don’t know much about hypersonics, but if they required new launch systems on ships, had smaller payloads (Tomahawks can carry nukes), and cost significantly more… yeah, that would explain institutional resistance.

      Reply
      1. YankeeFrank

        Russian hypersonics can carry large nuclear warheads, and one of the “great” features some of their latest generation weapons have is the ability to travel so fast and potentially also change course that they can easily evade any type of missile defense. Or in the case of the Poseidon nuclear submersible, to evade detection and cause a radioactive tsunami wave that wipes out a coastal city region like New York or London.

        The Russians are so far ahead of us in not just missile offense but missile defense that a nuclear war would certainly destroy the west while it might not actually destroy Russia, though I wouldn’t take that bet and nothing the Russians have done suggests they would either.

        Reply
      2. Lex

        The primary advantage of them is that no current missile/air defense system is known to be capable of shooting them down. Because they arrive too fast for the missile defense reaction time. The physics of kinetic energy and destructive power based on speed of impact debate always gets messy, but if a missile arrives at hypersonic speed, it will have significantly greater destructive power than a subsonic missile (like the tomahawk) with the same warhead size. Kinetic Energy is 1/2mv2, so theoretically, a Kinzhal can produce something like 200 times the destructive power of a Tomahawk. (BoE calcs)

        Russia has used the Kinzhal in Ukraine and while primarily plane launched it can apparently be ground launched as well. The Kinzhal and Zircon can be nuclear armed. Tomahawk has a 450kg warhead, Kinzhal 500 kg. Tomahawk speed of 914 km/h, Kinzhal speed of 12,300 km/h (unverified). Tomahawk flight altitude / range of 50 m / 460 – 2,500 km, Kinzhal 20 km / 2,000 – 3,000 km range.

        Reply
        1. GC54

          No, the chemical (or nuclear!) energy in the warhead far exceeds the difference in KE. In fact, the speed makes it more challenging to detonate at a programmed altitude. So, hypersonic won’t have 200x the destructive power. It will be harder/currently impossible to hit, so potentially infinitely more destructive viewed that way.

          Reply
          1. albrt

            I think the kinetic argument is usually for bunker busting, the idea being that the kinetic energy gets the payload into the bunker where it can do more damage. Seems to make sense, but I am not qualified to evaluate.

            Reply
          2. Stephen T Johnson

            That’s not quite right. I did a back of the envelope calculation for a 1000 kg total weight missile that contains 500 kg of TNT arriving at Mach 10, and kinetic energy was ~3x explosive energy. Not like nukes, but not nothing either.

            Reply
  5. Robert Hahl

    Re: An F-16 pilot died when his ejection seat failed. Was it counterfeit? Air Force Times (Re Silc). “Surely an isolated incident.”

    Well, there is an old saying that ejecting is like commiting suicide to avoid getting killed, but surely that problem has been solved by now.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Somebody is slacking of with inspections of those ejector seats. It was only a few short weeks ago that we read of an Airman become suspicious about the weight of a cartridge of propellant to launch those seats and which was found to be empty. Further inspections showed others to be empty as well but all those fighters had to be grounded first.

      https://www.defensenews.com/air/2022/08/15/all-us-air-force-f-35s-are-flying-again-after-ejection-seat-checks/

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        An answer to avoidable US naval mishaps has been pressures to reduce traditional crew sizes while adding new computer guys has led to cuts being made on personel manning the watch. The USAF is probably having similar problems.

        One thing I’ve noticed in the Russian propaganda is bits like feeding the troops and laundry processes. Besides contractor grift, I feel like the warrior ethos so prevalent in our own propaganda reflects an attitude where maintenance and accountability are being ignored.

        Reply
      2. JohnnySacks

        I don’t see any problem, the new Top Gun propaganda extravaganza movie will insure a constant flow of replacements when that targeted 13-15 year old cohort turns 18.

        Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Hungary is no longer a full democracy but an ‘electoral autocracy,’ MEPs declare in new report Access to the comments”

    The European Parliament says that if Hungary wishes to become a fully functioning democracy, all they have to do is ship all their weaponry to the Ukraine, sign up to every sanction on Russia that there is, and finally to cancel all oil deals with Russia so that they too freeze this winter like everybody else. Then they too will become a democracy, just like that other EU aspirant – Kosovo.

    Reply
      1. Kouros

        Democracy hasn’t failed. It was never tried in earnest. At least not for the past 2000 years.

        As for the US democracy… on the morning of May 29, 1787, in the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, Edmund Randolph, governor of Virginia, opened the meeting that would become known as the Constitutional Convention by identifying the underlying cause of various problems that the delegates of thirteen states had assembled to solve. “Our chief danger,” Randolph declared, “arises from the democratic parts of our constitutions.” None of the separate states’ constitutions, he said, had established “sufficient checks against the democracy.”

        And that fear of democracy has imbued the English Revolution 100 prior, the French Revolution, the Bolshevik overtake of the Russian Revolution, etc…

        Reply
    1. Lex

      “Electoral autocracy” is quite the turn of phrase. You could make an argument that if a person or party wins an election, then it has the mandate to govern in accordance with the will of the electorate. But that might just get called democracy. You could also make the argument that it means the electoral part of the phrase is nonsense and only serves as cover for the autocracy part of the phrase, that could be a valid criticism. But I’m not sure the leadership of the EU really wants to go down that route given how EU leadership is awarded and governs.

      It’s all so Orwellian and disturbing.

      Reply
      1. Henry Moon Pie

        If you observe which countries are accused of being autocracies, they are almost without exception countries where the leaders do not immediately bow to the demands of the billionaires. China’s Covid policy, Hungary’s preference for the survival of its own people over American imperial demands, Cuba’s persistent socialism are all examples of “autocracy” because those governments don’t consult with the billionaires about these heretical policies.

        Reply
      2. Stephen T Johnson

        Electoral autocracy = People voting in ways we don’t like.
        The people are defective, and must be overthrown.

        Reply
      3. Sibiryak

        Apparently the “illiberal democracy ” epithet was no longer damning enough; Hungary had to be put clearly on the evil side of the “democracy vs autocracy ” dichotomy.

        Reply
    2. Michael Ismoe

      It’s all about this sentence:

      Article 7, seen as the nuclear option, can deprive a member state of its voting rights in EU policy-making but requires a unanimity vote in the Council to move forward.

      Viktor Orban has told them he will vote for “no more sanctions” and the only way to stop him is to take away his vote. They are saving democracy by killing it.

      Reply
    1. malchats

      Be sure you have a backup that will allow the programs to keep running in case of a hardware failure. I thought as you do re: CS subscription, until my laptop crapped out on me, and the repair work somehow made my copy of CS6 stop working. I was forced to go the subscription route, and deal with all the crappy updates and “upgrades”, not to mention the insane yearly expense (which I can’t avoid, as I need the programs for my work). Adobe sucks so hard.

      Reply
      1. digi_owl

        Sounds like it used a hardware fingerprint to bind the copy to the computer.

        That said, it would not surprise me if there are cracks out here in the murkier corners of the net. Now the safety of using those, never mind the legality even if one have originally paid for the copy, i can’t comment on.

        Reply
  7. Questa Nota

    Once you have gotten the Nudge and the Kludge,
    you are told to await the new Sunstein book, Trudge.
    Then just a lurch and a stagger to Bludgeon.
    A slippery slope to the Dungeon.
    Hey, can’t rhyme them all. :p
    Just trust us, the neo-liberal philosophizer kings say.

    Reply
    1. chuck roast

      Too funny!

      “…Sunstein proposes that all agencies undertake sludge audits. That’s right. The cure for excessive government paperwork is more government paperwork.” When I first went to work for the Feds back around the century’s turn my agency had recently undertaken a sludge audit. The presumption was that our environmental requirements (NEPA) were holding up the start of federally funded local projects. Our sludge audit determined that local project delays were more likely caused by changes in project design requested by the locals and not environmental requirements. Sludge audits are a real thing.

      Reply
      1. Kouros

        Who’s going to do those audits? Who’s going to request them?

        Everything is fine, nothing to see here…

        I have seen an investigation done by our Privacy Commissioner (independent!) over a presumed data breach that led to firing of many folks and one suicide… boy oh boy. And was funny to see how they avoided talking to me, despite me being the highest level officer in the institution on those matters of data access, and not in management… And then I saw the report…

        Reply
  8. jo6pac

    Great Title

    Germany seizes control of Rosneft oil refineries

    I wonder were the oil going to come from to refine and also now germany has to maintain them. Brilliant move once again by govt.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      The German government is putting them in trust for six months so perhaps they are hoping that things might get better by then. Lots can happen in six months. ‘The ministry explained that the step was taken to ensure the operation of three Rosneft oil refineries in Schwedt, Karlsruhe and Vohburg, which was jeopardized after critical service providers, insurers and banks allegedly refused to work with the Russian company.

      “The legal basis for the order was Article 17 of the Energy Security Act. According to it, a company that operates critical infrastructure in the energy sector can be placed under management if there is a specific risk that without management the company will not be able to perform its tasks that ensure the functioning of society in the energy sector, as well as if there is a risk of disruption of security of supply,” the ministry said in a statement.’

      https://www.rt.com/business/562907-germany-seizes-rosneft-assets/

      So it sounds like they had to take them under control because their own sanctions made it impossible for them to run as there were no carve-outs to permit them to operate unimpeded.

      Reply
      1. vao

        Yes, old news for NC readership.

        Basically, without Russian oil for Rosneft refineries in Germany, one must find substitutes.

        Schwedt is supplied by the Druzhba pipeline from Russia. The replacement means first bringing oil by tanker to German or Polish ports far from Schwedt and then forwarding it via pipelines. This is not only more expensive, it is barely enough to have the Schwedt refinery work load reach 70%. Which makes it unprofitable. Which means that suppliers, consumers and insurers no longer want to deal with it. Which means that bankruptcy is looming, with lots of unemployed people and a massive reduction in the supply of refined products. Which means the German State must take over.

        The Rosneft refineries in Karlsruhe and Vohburg mainly face the issue that German firms no longer want to work with Rosneft or its subsidiaries. Karlsruhe and Vohburg are supplied by a pipeline that ends in Trieste.

        All that because of the oil embargo against Russia.

        Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “OnPolitics: Railroad union strike averted as labor deal is reached”

    It’s a set up. When union workers vote to reject it, then the headlines will say that the Union reneged on their agreement. Then all the usual suspects will crawl out of the woodwork to criticize those railway workers as being untrustworthy and not worth supporting.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      It’s a set up.
      Thanks Rev, no question about it…
      My tech bro friends despise unions and trump….
      not sure which they hate more…
      We have two conservative parties.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        >>>We have two conservative parties.

        It is amazing how people can be trained to slit their own throats and to smile while doing so; it also feels increasingly strange to call our parties as “conservative” when they are more like organized and legalized grifts instead of political parties.

        Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    The fate of mangrove wetlands across northern Australia is deeply entwined with the wobble of the Moon, a new study suggests.

    In 2015-16, a 1,000-kilometre stretch of mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria was wiped out.

    The dieback was attributed to very low rainfall and steep drops in sea level that occurred during an intense El Niño.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2022-09-15/mangroves-dieback-moon-wobble-gulf-carpentaria-climate-change/101434980
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Tommy Emmanuel – Blue Moon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0IY3Ax2PkY

    Reply
  11. John Beech

    I have uncounted hours fishing for spotted and large mouth bass, plus the occasional channel cat if trolling, out on the Black Warrior river. Growing up in Alabama, Dad a fanatical fisherman, Saturday and Sunday mornings I’d smell the coffee and hear him moving about the house, which would wake me. Out of bed by 4:30 if he had to actually wake me, but usually I was already up and brushing my teeth.

    Boat hitched the night before, we’d be on the road before 5 and backing into the water about 5:30 or quarter of six. I’d hold the rope and pull the boat over to the dock whilst he parked as I peered through the mist to catch a sight of him walking down from parking.

    Trolling speed as we left the dock kept the wake from bothering those in houseboats. Fog obscuring the far bank, he’d throttle up as our red/green bow lights flared into a halo as we hit patches of fog. And always on the lookout for the looming bulk of coal barges working the river, we skirted the edges of the channel

    Soon enough we’re easing our way into a familiar slough or down a similarly familiar bank. Dad skillfully maneuvering the boat with the foot-controlled trolling motor, both of us standing and casting as we worked the bait (artificial worms or Hellbenders if we were trolling. This, because Dad said live bait was cheating. I liked the flip tail purple worms best.

    Occasionally the blast of an air horn would sound as a loaded tug heading downriver was passed by another one, this time shepherding unloaded barges back upriver, instead. And us? We’d fish and ignore the rocking of occasional waves as they’d push past us.

    Often catching the limit because Dad was good and I contributed too, by noon we’d be back and loading the trailer, cleaning and scaling the catch, me buying ice on which to lay the fillets for the trip home.

    Coal is the lifeblood of industry. Growing up, it fed the blast furnaces of US Steel in Bessemer. Exports via Port of Mobile to all points contributed to the balance of payments for the USA. As for me? Dad’s been gone 20 years. Haven’t been fishing since. I miss those days.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      If you have any kids John I hope that you take care to write out any memories like that for them. Otherwise when your times come they will be lost to time which would be a shame.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Ah, the Good Old Days; back when someone not born into wealth could have a family and a boat.
      [I have met people who consciously decided not to have children so that they could have a boat, or travel to far off climes, or put a swimming pool in the back yard, or….. ]
      Yes my children, there was a Golden Age!

      Reply
    3. flora

      Thanks for this. Reminds me of younger days when awakened in the middle of the night to hear dad and brothers making a quiet racket of cooking breakfast in the kitchen at a gawd-awful hour, realizing on brief listening that they were simply getting ready to set off fishing, and then rolling over, pulling up the blanket, and going back to sleep. “God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world.” As a poet once wrote.

      Reply
  12. Alice X

    Dissecting Adobe’s dumb deal

    It’s behind a paywall so I won’t read it, but I found this:

    Adobe shares plunge on deal to acquire design platform Figma for $20 billion

    I’m so old I don’t know much about the Cloud, except to steer completely clear of it. I like all my digital stuff in the box I can carry. I also steer clear of subscriptions for software. My old computers and the bought and paid for software work fine. Until they won’t with a newer OS. We’re just a bunch of insignificant dinosaurs hereabouts! Argh…

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      You now officially have To Big To Fail Banks but what I want to know is whether you have To Big To Fail Silicon Valley corporations. Google certainly would be and Microsoft as well. Too many government contracts. So imagine that Adobe succeeds in blowing their own company up. Do they get a bail out too? Last year Adobe said that their Creative Cloud had 26 million subscribers so can you imagine if when you went to the Adobe website, you got a 404? What about all those subscriptions them? Would they be honoured by any corporation buying up the pieces? So many questions….

      Reply
      1. Alice X

        Well, we already have too big to fail tech. We have a Corporate State, hollowed out with corporate tentacles filling in the holes.

        What happens to those subscriptions? Poof!

        Just like those not so old tech pieces that can’t run the latest OS, which you need to run the latest software, which you need ’cause the Man says so.

        It’s Markets 501. Never give a sucker an even break

        Reply
      2. JohnnySacks

        Ask the poor among us who purchased SketchUp when Google owned it. I’d gladly pay for an upgrade, sorry we didn’t before the new owner changed it to a subscription plan – a complete non-starter for us casual users. AutoCad – same thing. All of our house plans over the past 2 decades in both programs. All for naught if the install and/or license files get lost or the newer OS fails to support the programs, something Apple is more famous for doing than Microsoft.

        Reply
        1. HotFlash

          Ayup. I’ve got decades of accounting files for my own biz and for clients that I can’t access due to OS and/or program updates. I am so old I even have some paper records, which I can read just fine. I am using a Linux OS now and Ledger, and I print out frequently. Bill Gates alone has stolen so much software and hardware from me, but he’s not a pirate?

          Reply
      1. notabanker

        After negotiating tech contracts for the last 30 years, if you think you weren’t renting software, then you were definitely the buyer they were looking for.

        Reply
      1. LifelongLib

        Having your own computer is no panacea. I’ve had several friends who lost important data when their PCs crashed. Not everyone has the motivation or skill to properly handle things like backups and offsite storage. A lot of people would be better off with somebody trustworthy managing their data for them, but computer services are about where banking was in 1930. Seems like their could be legal remedies for this as there were for banking, but data isn’t as fungible as money so hard to know if that would work.

        Reply
  13. YankeeFrank

    Btw, I recommend the latest Blocked and Reported podcast (www.blockedandreported.org) for details on the escalating war on the internet. A pivotal achievement in censorship has been unlocked with the takedown of kiwifarms. Like 4chan, its full of people being mean and hurling slurs and insults, and its also a clearinghouse for information the rest of the internet censors but, like the MSM with Julian Assange, piggybacks off of constantly. So its takedown on the flimsiest pretext, not just by cloudflare and the domain registrar, but even the deletion of its entire history by the Internet Archive, is I believe a first in what will certainly be a massive wave of internet erasure in the coming months and years as the empire continues to crumble. NC itself may even be on the chopping block one day soon…

    Reply
  14. KD

    According to Dima at Military Summary, Wagner Group is recruiting at Russian prisons seeking storm troopers and promising to commute their sentences if they last 6 months on the ground in Ukraine. On one hand, its probably cheaper to make a soldier than it is to manage a prisoner, and a lot less mourners if some axe murderer or rapist dies. Also, there are about 400,000 people in prison, so plenty of cannon fodder. On the other hand it is similar to the “go to Vietnam or go to jail” days in the US Armed Forces, which led to a huge decline in discipline and helped to get all the fragging of NCO’s and Officers going.

    Dima said the ground rules were “no retreat, no looting, no raping” but when you are looking at cons doing long bids in Russia, they are probably below average at following rules. If this is how Russia intends to beef up their forces in Donbas, it is not hard to see some serious blowback down the road. If they “accidentally” start raping and looting in Donbas, its not going to help sway hearts and minds.

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      As far as I know (and I certainly may be wrong) Russian law doesn’t allow for that kind of thing. If you commit a crime while enlisted, you can indeed transfer deprivation of liberty (jail) to serving in a disciplinary military unit and even have – at the courts convenience – the remaining sentence transferred to a milder one after record of good bahavious, but you definitely have to have enlisted before the sentence.

      Also, Wagner Group is not a “disciplinary military unit” in the sense meant in the Criminal Code of Russian Federation. So it’s doubtful they can pretend to be one for the purposes of the law.

      Furthermore, only sentences under two years can be transferred to service in disciplinary units, while minimum sentence for rape in Russia is three years.

      And as always, I’m not an expert in Russian Criminal Code, so take my comment with more salt than Dima’s. I’m just saying I really don’t see the legal mechanism for that kind of thing to happen. Which may well be due to my limited understanding.

      Reply
      1. chuck roast

        When I enlisted in the US Army pre-Vietnam, I took the oath to preserve and protect with a bunch of other enlistees and a bunch of draftees. Quite a number of my fellow enlistees were given two alternatives by which ever justices they had been standing before. Join the military or join the jailbirds.

        Reply
          1. LawnDart

            ’88 for me: “Well Mr. LawnDart, we meet again… …you obviously haven’t learned. Did you have plans for the next few months?”

            “Yes, your honor. I am working with a recruiter and joining the army!”

            “As long as I don’t see you again, are we clear?”

            And that’s how I ended up in the USAF.

            Reply
        1. HotFlash

          To my certain knowledge, in 1967 or 68 a young many from my small town was recruited from a state institution of the criminally insane (where he’d been put for murder — he had fatally knifed a guy who had said something to the young man’s girlfriend at a dance). Daddy had pull so young MT went to loony bin not state prison. When young MT knifed a fellow inmate there, US Army talent scouts recruited him for very special duties in ‘Nam.

          Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    Over there, Uber there
    Send the word, send the word over there
    That decimated ranks are coming
    Decimated ranks are coming
    The hackneys ho-humming everywhere

    So prepare, say a prayer
    Send the word, send the word to beware
    It’ll soon be over, we’re talking over
    And old school taxis won’t come back till it’s over, Uber there

    Reply
  16. Tom

    Any strong opinions on the new booster? (The NC commentariat is unusually diverse and well informed, which is why I’m asking this here.) I’m 58, vaxxed and boosted one time. Had Covid around New Years. I’m conflicted and have little faith in media.

    Reply
  17. The Rev Kev

    “US sees the aid its given Ukraine as effective, likely won’t provide longer-range systems for now”

    There may be another reason for that. The Russians have let it be know to the US that if they provide extra-long range weaponry to the Ukrainians, that they will regard that ‘it would cross the red line and become an actual party to the conflict’ which is really serious when Russia says something like that. Furthermore, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that-

    ‘Such a move would be equivalent to deploying ground-based medium-range missiles to Europe, Zakharova said, adding that such weapons were previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), which the US abandoned back in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump. “In such a scenario, we would have to come up with an adequate response,” the spokeswoman said, adding that Russia “reserves the right to defend its territory using any means available.” ‘

    https://www.rt.com/russia/562888-moscow-red-line-us-ukraine/

    I think that the problem is with the Ukrainians themselves. If they used their weaponry against military targets, then fair enough. But whenever they get advanced stuff like M-777 howitzers or HIMARS, they can never resist the temptation to use it against civilians again and again. If given extra long-range weaponry, then it would be a given that they would attack civilian towns and cities in Russia itself which would invite counter-attack on Ukrainian cities – and on American targets.

    Reply
    1. Kouros

      That fall into temptation by Ukrainians sheds a light on the fact that they really want to get rid of Russians in their midst, which was manifest starting with 2014…

      Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    …the Burning Manna festival

    So when organizers of this week’s inaugural Future Proof decided to create their own event, they did away with many of those tired convention hallmarks.

    They began by dubbing it a wealth festival — “the world’s first,” and, also somehow, “the world’s largest,” according to the splashy hot pink and orange signage plastered on every available surface — and planted it in Huntington Beach, right on the beach itself.

    Inspired by Coachella and South by Southwest, all of Future Proof’s speaker sessions and panels are being held on outdoor concert stages, which on Tuesday night doubled as performance venues for musical acts Big Boi and Fitz and the Tantrums. A caravan of food trucks hired to provide free food for the four-day event, which ends today, is posted up alongside exhibitor booths in various shades of tropical smoothie colors. The 2,200 attendees are being encouraged to post on social media, and there are made-for-Instagram selfie stations aplenty.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/tesla-tiktok-taquitos-beach-worlds-120035669.html

    Reply
  19. flora

    I’m thinking about Stoller’s article on Amazon for some reason. / ;)

    From Politico:

    How Bill Gates and partners used their clout to control the global Covid response — with little oversight

    https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/14/global-covid-pandemic-response-bill-gates-partners-00053969

    Bringing to mind this Justice Louis Brandeis quote:

    ‘We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” – Louis D. Brandeis

    Reply
  20. spud

    i feel that potato’s don’t get enough recognition for their versatility.

    breakfast, hash browns.

    fast food, fries.

    fancy dinner, baked potato’s.

    holidays, mashed potato’s.

    relaxing at home, potato chips.

    party time, vodka!

    there is a potato for every occasion, thank you potato.

    Reply
    1. Screwball

      Since around last Thanksgiving I have been having trouble finding the Ore-Ida hash browns at our local Kroger (Ohio). They have been out more than it stock. And the prices has also went from around 4 bucks to 5:15.

      The house brand is always there. They are like eating small sticks so I refuse to buy them.

      Reply
      1. Laura in So Cal

        I had the same problem a few months ago with Ore ida “tator tots”. I tried the store brand and they were just as good for 30% less. The Ore Ida brand ones are back on the shelf, but I’ll stick with the store brand.
        YMMV.

        Reply
    2. Late Introvert

      Don’t forget latkes and home fries! And I don’t mash my boiled potatoes, they are diced.

      And potatoes are very good for you, plus cheap.

      Reply
  21. The Rev Kev

    “Russians’ Mir credit cards rejected in Turkish hotels as West pressures Ankara”

    This is all part of a US/EU campaign to force Turkey into sanctioning Russia. You know. The place that they get nearly all their wheat and oil from. But if they double down and give Turkey an ultimatum, I’m not sure what they will do. Erdogan would know that once you agree to a blackmailer’s demands, that there will always be more demands. I think that the long term effect will be to push Turkey east to Russia, China, India, Iran, etc. and leave the US/EU to their own self-inflicted damage. As an example, how much power will the EU have a year from now? I suspect a helluva lot less then they have at the moment. And how many times can a country be expected to deal with the latest US Clown President like a Trump or a Biden?

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Money laid out in defense of Ukraine: $53 billion and counting

      Possible loss of Dollar Hegemony: Priceless

      There are some things Mir can’t buy in Ankara; for everything else, there’s Mastercard

      Reply
  22. Sibiryak

    Immigrants fleeing Venezuelan “communism”?

    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, September 15, 2022

    Q: […] And on the — the migrants that are being — that are being bused to D.C. and other cities — there were some that showed up at the VP’s Residence earlier this morning — is the administration looking into whether busing migrants around the country is legal?

    MS. JEAN-PIERRE: […]So, as we have said repeatedly, there is — there’s a process in place. We have had a process in place. There’s a legal way of doing this and — for managing migrants. Republican governors interfering in that process and using migrants as political pawns is — is shameful, is reckless, and just plain wrong.

    And remember, these are people who are fleeing communism , who are fleeing hardship. […]

    * * * * *

    MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Again, it’s a political stunt that Republican governors are using. And — and, you know, the question is: Will Republican — Republicans call out their colleagues for playing political —a cruel political game, a cruel political stunt with migrants and families and children who are fleeing communism. That is what they’re fleeing; they’re fleeing communism.

    Reply
  23. timotheus

    Lambert here: If you want to see real fascism in action, and what real popular resistance looks like, follow Myanmar.

    I read the entire (long) special issue on Myanmar that popped up in links a few days ago. Having lived in a military dictatorship for a number of years, my take is that the position of the Myanmar coup regime is extremely shaky. Its social base is very, very narrow (essentially the uniformed services themselves and their cowed family members) while the rejection of the regime AND the military as an institution is dangerously deep and broad. (This latter phenomenon is crucial.) The rejection is also filtering into the lower ranks and probably further up the chain. Even very brutal regimes (say, Latin American ones of recent memory) retained substantial social support among the middle and even lower classes while keeping virtually all the big economic actors fully on board. This appears NOT to be the case for Myanmar’s generals, which bodes ill for the regime’s long-term survival IMO.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I read the entire (long) special issue on Myanmar that popped up in links a few days ago.

      Thank you. You write:

      bodes ill for the regime’s long-term survival IMO

      I agree. Thinking optimistically, I would reframe that to “….the regime’s long-term survival at the personal level.” I think Mussolini’s fate for them is the only way out. And then we must see what emerges from the NUG. I think the outside world, and especially the NGOs, would like to see the re-installation of Aung San Suu Kyi, because that is the brand they know, but the situation on the ground has moved far beyond her (and in any case, from the moral perspective, the Rohingya massacres took place on her watch).

      Reply
  24. Karl

    RE: Boeing Remarketing 737 Max’s Ordered by China

    Boeing still has 400 Max’s in storage due to U.S.- China trade issues. “Remarketing” — a euphemism for “fire sale” at near zero margin per plane, isn’t going well. The author of that report cites this in the comments section:

    BA [Boeing] needs every dollar it can get just to keep the wolf from the door…. Analysts are now expecting yet another loss for Q3/Q4.

    Elsewhere in comments he says this:

    BA also has $5.1B of short-term debt that needs to be repaid within 10 months — so it’s urgently in need of income. Its cash at the end of Q2 ($10.5B) was barely enough to cover accounts payable ($9.3B) at that point in time.

    Boeing is facing a brain drain, parts supply issues, 787 quality and sales issues. Plus, the industry is still reeling from Covid-19. Hard times for a once-great company. Informed commenters say Boeing needs to build its planes in Asia!

    Boeing looks headed down the path of Lockheed–getting out of civilian airliners and becoming a pure defense contractor. That’s where the money is.

    Reply
  25. Wukchumni

    It used to be religious relics were the cats meow, Mark Twain reckoned he’d seen enough pieces of the true cross in various churches to put together a dozen of them, in The Innocents Abroad, but these days the relics are not religious-but of hero worship.

    And by golly, a once sweaty uniform not even 25 years old ought to be worth $10 million!

    A jersey worn by basketball icon Michael Jordan during the opening game of the 1998 NBA Finals has been sold for a record $10.1m (£8.8m).

    It is the most a piece of sporting memorabilia worn during play has fetched in history.

    Auction house Sotheby’s says it drew “palpable excitement” from collectors.

    It was reminiscent of a sporting season – chronicled in Netflix documentary The Last Dance – which saw Jordan winning his sixth and final NBA title.

    On Thursday, Sotheby’s said Jordan’s Chicago Bulls jersey attracted a total of 20 bids.

    Sotheby’s head of streetwear and modern collectables, Brahm Wachter, said bidders were “eager to own a rarefied piece of history”.

    The jersey outstripped a previous record of $9.28m, paid for a shirt worn by football star Diego Maradona at the 1986 World Cup. (BBC)

    Reply
  26. Kouros

    Is S Korea’s drop in memory chip demand due to lack of demand or due to US sanctions on China? Couldn’t access the article.

    Reply
  27. lyman alpha blob

    Apologies if this has already been posted, but I found it following a link from a sentence in that Sustein link that said “… under Biden the federal government has almost completely ceased to enforce federal immigration law.”

    Evidently my area is now the poster child for immigration issues – https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/06/us/politics/asylum-biden-administration.html

    The piece mentions the need for workers, and I could not disagree more that on a grossly overpopulated planet, more people are necessary to fill all the job openings. Again, I highly suspect the problem is too many businesses with many of them still paying far too little to survive. There are only so many vacation hotels you can put in Maine and expect a full workforce when the population isn’t growing.

    Also, the article notes that many of the asylum seekers are from Angola, which is not currently a war torn country. I’d like to hear more details on what people need asylum from, but the article doesn’t mention that. An in-law is from Angola and lives in the area and is a citizen through marriage, so not an asylum seeker and she comes from a wealthy Angolan family involved in the oil industry there. Relatives of hers have come to the area as asylum seekers though and I don’t believe they are particularly poor Angolans either. It’s unclear to me why many of these immigrants can’t seek citizenship through normal channels.

    As the article notes, immigrants to this area get about the best treatment in the country. What it doesn’t note is that while they sit in their hotels waiting to be allowed to seek legal employment, they get to look out the windows at all the homeless USians who nobody seems to give two [family blog]s about, as a reminder of what will happen to them in this great country if they don’t get in line and stay there.

    The article does echo what I’ve been mentioning at NC – as much as people might want to help, at some point there is just no room for more people in a given area. The cost of housing is skyrocketing still in this area as a result of the recent uptick immigration, and probably even more due to the wealthy urbanites trying to escape the larger cities, throwing the entire economy out of whack. Most houses are $400K or more, even for the tiny little crapboxes, with rents upwards of $1500/mo for single bedroom apartments. Most of the jobs that need filling are service industry jobs that don’t pay nearly enough to afford those costs. I really believe that if people hadn’t been priced out of the area, there would be plenty of people to fill restaurant jobs for example. But nobody wants to commute 45 minutes to an hour each way to come in for a restaurant shift – it just isn’t worth it. When I was a waiter in Seattle back in the day, I could easily afford to live downtown and walk or take a short bus ride to work. That just isn’t possible in most places anymore.

    As the article notes, local officials have had to ask the state to stop sending more immigrants. Then I walk down the street and see the housekeeping department from a new fancy hotel taking a break out on the sidewalk and they are all clearly recent immigrants judging by their language. That makes me wonder whether there isn’t someone from the Chamber of Commerce whispering into state officials’ ears telling them to ignore the local officials and keep sending the cheap labor.

    I really don’t know what to do about the problem, other than replacing the US leadership bent on ruling the world and turning these immigrants’ home countries to crap, but that clearly isn’t going to happen any time soon.

    Reply
  28. antidlc

    “A DIY air purifier that costs under $100 to make is taking America’s classrooms by storm”

    But what if we leap? Prather, the aerosol expert, has suggested using the Defense Production Act to build 40 million C-R boxes, allowing us to place 200 to 300 boxes in every school in the country. The total estimated cost is $4 billion. That is a relatively minor investment for the major payoff of helping to keep students, teachers, staff, and families safe through a school year.

    Excellent idea.

    But Biden won’t do it.

    Reply
    1. Lex

      Even better, there are off the shelf means to build better than C-R boxes for low cost. I’m not denigrating the C-R box, but upgrading it to HEPA and providing more air exchanges per hour is still roughly a $100 build (and less if buying components in bulk).

      Reply
  29. LawnDart

    Probably a repost, but still funny (Russian humor is infectious):

    From Sergey Lavrov Telegram account:

    [Serbian President] Aleksander Vucic: It will be difficult if the meetings of the Council of Europe and the European Commission at the end of September decide to set maximum prices for Russian gas. From this second, the Russians can decide to turn off gas for Europe, and the price of gas will no longer be important, because there is no gas, and therefore you freeze. Then the price of electricity will jump from today’s 400 euros per megawatt hour to 40,000 euros, and even Germany will not be able to pay. Yes, not only Germany, no one else can.

    Reply
  30. LawnDart

    China heating product exports to Europe surge
    Fan Feifei
    Updated: September 14, 2022 09:05 China Daily

    Despite it still being summer in Europe, China’s exports of heating appliances, including electric heaters, electric blankets and air source heat pumps, have witnessed explosive growth this year as the continent is in the grip of its biggest energy crisis in decades, with natural gas supplies from Russia becoming volatile, industry experts said.

    http://english.www.gov.cn/news/internationalexchanges/202209/14/content_WS632128fcc6d0a757729dff59.html

    I imagine bed-sharing will become a much more common practice in a few months too, along with the associated vermin and disease.

    Reply
  31. spud

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/09/16/you-cant-fight-maga-fascism-without-smashing-bidens-republic/

    “Think about it. What are all the sins that make MAGA reek like Mussolini’s drawers? The demonization of opponents. The weaponization of the border. The use of law and order to contain irate minorities. The proclamation of absolute power. The glorification of militaristic nationalism. All of this is straight out of the Clinton-Obama-Biden playbook.

    It was under Obama that a merciless campaign was waged against whistleblowers and the few journalists left who dared to publish them. By weaponizing the century-old Espionage Act and sicking it on more dissidents than every other previous president combined, Mr. Hope-and-Change sent a brutal message to critics of empire across the planet that the price of the truth won’t just be your freedom, it will be your sanity. Julian Assange, quite possibly the greatest journalist of his generation, continues to physically and emotionally disintegrate in a cement box at Belmarsh as we speak while awaiting his live burial at Florence Supermax. All part of an international campaign spearheaded seamlessly by the regimes of Obama, Trump, and Biden to destroy a man for telling the truth about unchecked power.

    Trump definitely took the weaponization of the border to new lows by going well out of his way to target children, but those crimes too were built on the precedents of his predecessors and his successors alike. The foundation for the current racist military regime that we see at our southern border was first established by Bill Clinton’s 1996 Immigration Law and reached its zenith if not quite the height of its cruelty under Biden and Obama. This lethal liberal tag-team still holds the world record for wrangling desperate people like alligators for crossing an invisible line in the fucking desert before shipping them back to the swamps we turned their shithole countries into with our imperial foreign policy. They also built the concentration camps which remain open and designed for the primary purpose of traumatizing migrants into never returning to the land we stole from their ancestors.

    If you want to talk about the white supremacist school of law and order that the MAGA set are so stoked on then ask the motherfuckers who wrote the goddamn book. Joe Biden spent the eighties working closely with his allies in the moderate wing of the Republican Party to turn America’s finest thugs in blue into a heavily armed army of colonialist occupation complete with machine guns, battle tanks, three-strikes laws and mandatory minimums and he used openly racist rhetoric to earn the support of white Americans on both sides of the aisle to make it happen.

    In the decades since the landmark 1994 Clinton-Biden Crime Bill, America’s prison population has doubled into the largest population of incarcerated people on the planet. It has also decimated inner city communities of color to a level of economic depravity that made them fodder for a pandemic that turned this whole country inside out. The fallout from this perfect storm of carceral apartheid and systemic neglect is our current crime wave which Biden himself seeks to fix with more cops, more prisons and more law and order.”

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The fallout from this perfect storm of carceral apartheid and systemic neglect is our current crime wave which Biden himself seeks to fix with more cops, more prisons and more law and order.”

      Wherever you look, self-licking ice cream cones.

      Reply
      1. spud

        to reverse what the people who came into power have done since 1993, will be all but impossible under current conditions.

        half the voters still think the bill clinton democrats are the party of FDR.

        “How can we get back what we have lost without confronting those who took it?”

        https://ilsr.org/post-2359/

        Reply
  32. LawnDart

    ‘US-China decoupling is matter of survival for Korea’

    [The money-shot:]

    Liu Yangsheng, a senior fellow at Taihe Institute and a founder of HAO Capital, argued that it would be impossible for the United States to disengage from China in the technological sector.

    Liu contends that from the perspective of businesses, it is only rational to pursue efficiency, and the US cannot just ask all companies around the world to “give up” the Chinese market. It is also inefficient to reorient businesses to the US, not only for increasing costs, but because the US lacks the capabilities, Liu said.

    “Just on the chips side (semiconductor industry) alone, how can you build factories in Arizona, or in Texas when you don’t even have the engineers required to build these factories? The cost would be the multiple of that in Asia, in China, Korea or in Taiwan,”

    http://m.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20220916000474

    Reply
  33. LawnDart

    Neoliberalizing Europe:

    Food shortage fears prompts call to de-regulate GMOs in EU

    Climate change, food insecurity and seasonal shortages have triggered calls to loosen regulation for genetically-modified food and seed technologies in the EU.

    “We can help farmers by using innovation,” the Czech Republic agriculture minister Zdeněk Nekula, whose country currently holds the rotating EU Council presidency, said in a press conference on Friday (16 September).

    https://euobserver.com/health-and-society/156077

    Reply
  34. LawnDart

    Possibly useful:

    Explainer: Who Are Russia’s Pro-War Bloggers And Why Are They Important?

    Via Moscow Times, pro-Russian bloggers:
    Starshe Eddi
    Rybar
    Reverse Side of the Medal
    Grey Zone
    Zakhar Prilepin
    Kotsnews
    Alexander Sladkov
    War Gonzo

    Reply
  35. JBird4049

    >>>The Elusive Future of San Francisco’s Fog NYT. More on fog and the redwoods from the National Park

    Just from seeing year after year, I believe that the amount of fog has been decreasing for decades. Don’t get me wrong in that we still have the air conditioning come blasting through the Golden Gate or creeping in all along the coastline, but the overwhelmingness of it has weakened. If the ocean is truly warming, the temperature difference between the land and sea, which creates both the fog and the pump for the fog to go inland. Part of the low pressure system that pulls in the fog depends on the very great difference in temperature between the cool coastline and inland especially the Central Valley.

    The Redwoods almost require fog to survive and with it do not need much rain. With the decrease, I wonder if the large Redwood forest that used to exist in the East Bay especially around Oakland and Berkeley could still survive today if we decided to replant them.

    The current forest are much like the Amazon Jungle or the Atacama Desert. A place where the soil is poor as in the Amazon (Much of the Bay Area is clay. Just awful.) but like the jungle recycles everything and as in the Atacama Desert uses fog when there is no rain as in common in California. Ecosystems that exist despite major obstacles in both soil quality and water. (A reason for the Amazon’s poor soil is all the water taking it away to the ocean.) Ecosystems living in liminal spaces between other environments with their own ecosystems.

    Reply

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