Links 9/18/2022

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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.


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World’s Oldest Vertebrate Fossil Heart Found in Australia Smithsonian Magazine

For virus tracking, wastewater is liquid gold. Scientists hope that work isn’t flushed away CBC

Lost moon may have spawned Saturn’s rings Science

Byzantine Records of Solar Eclipses Have Refined Measurements of Earth’s Spin ScienceAlert

What Five Years with a Predatory Vanity Press Taught Me About Art and Success Literary Hub

Cambodian mega dam’s resurrection on the Mekong ‘the beginning of the end’ Mongabay


Covid-19 pandemic linked to early onset of puberty in some girls New Scientist

COVID-19 dismissals suspended for Marines seeking religious exemptions Military Times


New CDC guidance: Only high-risk groups should get monkeypox antiviral WaPo

As monkeypox eases in the West, “nothing has changed” for Africa, where doctors remain helpless CBS

‘Time’s up’: Critics call for end to Western-funded food program in Africa Politico

Jokowi to decide presidential hopeful he’ll endorse, has no plans to run for V-P in 2024: Sources Straits Times


China sanctions CEOs of Raytheon Technologies, Boeing Defense over arms sale to Taiwan region Global Times

China Signs Major Railroad Deal With Uzbekistan And Kyrgyzstan, Bypassing Russia OilPrice

Xi urges SCO to strengthen cooperation China Daily

SCO plans single list of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups banned on territories of member states Deccan Herald

Turkey Seeks to Be First NATO Member to Join China-Led SCO Bloomberg

‘US decision to lift arms embargo will embolden Greek Cypriot administration, lead to escalation’ Anadolu Agency

Kyrgyz-Tajik border clashes leave dozens dead and thousands displaced


It’s Not Politics, It’s the Marketplace, Stupid The Wire

The Game of Snakes and Ladders That Is India’s Defence Acquisition Procedures The Wire

Old Blighty

Northern Ireland Protocol: UK defies EU legal action over checks BBC

Anger from Labour activists as public ownership conference motion blocked LabourList

Luring Doctors from Poorer Countries is the UK’s Quiet Scandal CounterPunch

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Protests across UK over killing of unarmed black man Chris Kaba The Guardian

More than 50 Just Stop Oil protesters in UK sent to jail on one day The Guardian

Ethiopian Forces Rain Drone Terror On Tigray AllAfrica


Syria says five killed in Israeli air attack on Damascus airport Al Jazeera

Talks between rival Palestinian factions to resume in Algeria in October Business Standard

Venezuelan Institutions Seek Cooperation With Iran teleSUR

France boosts gas exports to Germany to offset shortfalls caused by Ukraine war France24

Hungary faces reckoning with EU that could cost it billions AP (furzy)

New Not-So-Cold War

Main power line back up at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, IAEA says Reuters

US Senator Calls for Sanctions on Algeria’s Russian Arms Deals Morocco World News

Russia urges EU to publicize Ukrainian grain shipment records Daily Sabah

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Zelenskyy honors Turkish drone maker, discusses its Ukraine plant Daily Sabah

Ukraine’s Zelenskiy thanks Nike for leaving Russia market Reuters

Never took money from Russia say Meloni, Salvini ANSA

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U.S. And EU Nickel Imports From Russia Surge OilPrice

Turkey to Pay for Quarter of Russian Gas in Rubles: Putin Moscow Times

Nigeria, Morocco begin 5,600km gas pipeline project The Punch

Nigeria loses N32bn daily to oil terminals’ shutdown The Punch

Uganda reacts angrily to EU resolution slamming oil pipeline SFGATE

Venezuela is Ready to Supply Oil and Gas to the World: Maduro teleSUR

U.S. Oil And Gas Producers Can’t Save Europe This Winter OilPrice

Nancy Pelosi visits Armenia as Azerbaijan truce holds Al Jazeera

Tension mounts in Haiti with widespread looting, violent protests La Prensa Latina


Voter challenges, records requests swamp election offices AP (furzy)

The Justice Department Was Dangerous Before Trump. It’s Out of Control Now and Part 2: The Justice Department Was Dangerous Before Trump. It’s Out of Control Now Matt Taibbi, TK News

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Facebook spied on private messages of conservatives who questioned the 2020 elections and reported them to the FBI OpIndia

‘Pretty creepy’: Agencies illegally obtained emails, voicemails and texts The Saturday Paper

The Bezzle

South Korea’s cryptocurrency ‘guru’ Do Kwon turns fugitive France24

Fake cryptocurrency giveaway sites have tripled this year BleepingComputer

Australian central bank demands deeper cuts to wages and social spending WSWS

Imperial Collapse Watch

Study finds 37% greater veteran suicide rate than reported by VA Stars and Stripes

Air Force discloses procurement fraud probe, provides few details Defense News

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Copperhead Road by Steve Earle)

    My name’s Alistair Ponce the Third
    I’ve got a crazy story, if you haven’t heard

    Our fourth house is out on lovely Cape Cod
    Our family rode the Mayflower — we’re richer than God

    We fly to ‘The Martha’ couple times each year
    That’s Martha’s Vineyard if you aren’t from here

    It’s a playground for the rich and for those with power
    A resort for the best of us, a private bower

    We lived in grace in our rich man’s clique
    Till fifty Venezuelans landed here this week!

    The Governor of Florida sent ’em here by plane
    He figures it’ll help him in his next campaign

    They couldn’t speak English, they were every age
    And the Border Patrol didn’t send along their cage

    Turned ’em loose on The Martha, with a printed map
    To our Community Center, it was so madcap

    Someone found a Mexican to tell us what they said
    ‘Bout all the dangerous places they’d fled

    We just told ’em this is no place to seek a Green Card
    And they better get away from Martha’s Vineyard


    (Hey!, Hey!)

    Since we only know charity as doling out cash
    We bought ’em Fair Trade blankets and ordered Door Dash

    Yeah, we all have yard signs that welcome them here
    We’re a sanctuary city, they’re the people we cheer

    But to see some on our island was as weird as Hell
    So we called out the National Guard as well

    And we told the troops to move ’em to the mainland quick
    While we wrote our monthly checks for the poor and the sick

    Now the whole world laughs at us for taking it hard
    You people better stay away from Martha’s Vineyard!

    Martha’s Vineyard!
    Martha’s Vineyard!
    Ha! Martha’s Vineyard!

      1. marym

        Martha’s Vineyard: year-round population about 17,000 median family income $77,370.

        The working and middle class residents provided immediate necessities of food and temporary shelter. The Republican governor activated state emergency facilities and services to bring them to a location equipped to provide shelter food, and necessary services, including access to immigration court and legal services they need.

        If the governor of Florida and his fans wanted to expose the hypocrisy of the donor class they would have found a way of doing so that doesn’t consist entirely of gleefully manipulating vulnerable non-donor class people, and trying to embarrass the ordinary people who rallied to help.

        1. Pat

          I don’t know. When you add in the details for some people it makes the donor class look even worse. I note you forgot where the local official noted the lack of enough affordable housing for those $77,370 median income locals. You know one of the reasons the immigrants had to be shipped elsewhere so promptly.
          Here is a playground of the rich and famous where those part time residents care so little they cannot and will not step up to make sure the people who keep it going have one of the basics of life – shelter but care enough to make sure arrangements are made that the immigrants they support become the problem of a state most of them aren’t resident in, so don’t pay taxes in, and aren’t left cluttering up the streets where they play. That is Pretty damning to me.

          1. Wukchumni

            In a tit for tat spat, don’t liberal cities retaliate by flying off their caste aways in the guise of recalcitrant robbers, hopeless homeless, problem prostitutes & the like?

              1. Wukchumni

                That’ll work, and talkin’ politics-a weird thing happened about 20 years ago, in that within the vast ocean of campaign posters sprinkled about moored to poles in these not so united states, no presumptive seeker of the position ever mentions his or her party affiliation on said placard, billboard or semaphore station along the road, highway or home.

              2. Anthony G Stegman

                Think about Nancy Pelosi; ostensibly a representative of a San Francisco Congressional district. She seemingly cares more about Taiwan and Armenia than she does for average San Franciscans. These politicos are utterly shameless sociopaths. I guess that is what it takes to get elected. What a fine situation we all find ourselves in.

            1. Pat

              Yeah, we did. As in NYC did. Mind you I didn’t have a problem since I remember when Texas sent us their homeless. Something that was ridiculous in midwinter.
              Look I think our immigrant policy is ridiculous AND honestly is practically schizophrenic. (Largely because the purposes of the politicians have little to do with anything but availability of cheap workers.) But our policies regarding drug addiction, mental illness and homelessness are outright sadistic. We don’t even have real policies for homelessness due to inability to find affordable housing, much less dealing with deep and difficult issues that make keeping a home impossible for most of the homeless. Everything is piecemeal.

              I don’t like what’s happening. NYC and Adams are looking into cruise ships for housing migrants. Last time I heard a count, we are getting eight buses a day. Meanwhile we have more and more people sleeping on the street and the housing programs that have been being expanded over years of development to help deal with that just went to migrantsand is overwhelmed by them. We have huge issues that the coming real estate bust AND winter’s oil bills are just going to make worse (buildings barely hanging on will go bust when it costs double or triple to heat them)

              Look I don’t like that we are a so-called sanctuary city. Mostly because I find that we have little criteria for that sanctuary. Some certainly are in need of it, but not all. In NY’s case it is right up ther with Bette Midler’s call to pay more for gas and oil to help protect little blond Ukrainian girls. It is politicians supporting a donor class demand that is Emotional bull based on little real knowledge of the whole situation and depending on others to make real sacrifices while making very few themselves.

              1. Wukchumni

                The Mexican Peso was on par with the almighty buck circa 1910 and by the time I was a teenager it had gone to a rock solid 12.5 Pesos to the $ and didn’t really waver in value.

                By the time the early 1980’s rolls around hyperinflation lasting a dozen years sets in, and not the flashy Weimar kind where it takes 100 billion Marks to equal a buck, it was much more insidious lasting so long and in the end when the new Peso was introduced in 1992 (1,000 old Pesos = 1 New Peso) the old Peso was now worth 1/264th of it’s late 1970’s value against the $, as it took 3,300 old Pesos to equal a greenback.

                Inflation is still ever present, as it went from 3.3 new Pesos to the $, to the present 20 new Pesos over 25 years, an 80% loss of value when measured against most all other currencies.

                This is when all of the immigrants beat a path here, as their money wasn’t worth anything. Before that you’d only see Mexican immigrants in the border states pretty much.

                Rinse and repeat the hyperinflation saga in Central America, but add a dash of freedom fighter sauce to the not so sweet and sour soup we created.

                1. Anthony G Stegman

                  Isn’t blowback a bi*tch? Unfortunately for the victims of US imperial aggression they get blamed for the problems created by Uncle Sam. The average American buys the lies hook, line, and sinker.

                2. Pat

                  As with so many other things in this country, immigration is a complicated subject that is being treated in a very facile way. It is not black and white, open or closed borders.

                  And it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. How it is handled has massive effects on our education system, our healthcare system, our affordable housing supply, and yes the availability of living wage jobs. Without our putting massive amounts of money, effort and regulation into all of those all those economic refugees from the exponentially useless peso are merely jumping from heated frying pan into the preheating one.

                  1. Wukchumni

                    Here in the Central Valley where all of the Ag labor is quite aged (44 years young on average) and more than likely of Mexican heritage, their livelihoods are being mechanized away as the specter of no new replacements (who would really want to aspire to come to the USA to do what is all too often stoop labor when you can make the same money working @ McDonalds?) from down under is the driving force, along with automation never getting sick, needing potty breaks or rest.

          2. marym

            I’m not defending the donor class. I’m criticizing a supposed critique of the donor class which consists of harming or maligning some subset of ordinary people in order to win the votes of another subset.

            1. hunkerdown

              Such a position would prohibit support of any competitive politics, at all, especially those that give the “winner” a right to dominate the “loser”. I hope that’s what you’re asking for.

            2. semper loquitur

              The critiques of the donor class levied here aren’t harming a soul. Sadly. The immediate harm to the refugees was done by DeSantis and Co. No one here thinks using people as political pawns is a good thing. We spill a lot of pixels saying the opposite.

              But, like so many things in US politics, the reaction of one side reveals as much rot and inhumanity as on the other. The donor class has been lecturing about the value of diversity and the dignity of undocumented refugees for time out of mind, ignoring their impact on American communities. Anyone who points out the problems is a “racist”.

              But where was the donor class to aid these weary refugees, now in their community. And a potently symbolic community, to be sure, the pinnacle of American privilege and wealth. The refugees weren’t dumped into Martha’s Vineyard’s social safety system, as they are into El Paso’s or countless other communities, because they don’t have one. Why should they? Poor people aren’t allowed there.

              So where were the Obamas, the Schumers, all the rat-fu(kers, to lend a hand? Nowhere to be found. The undesirables were shipped off to a military base with the full-throated support of the locals. Listen to Tucker’s show the other night. The refugees were compared to garbage. A stern voiced woman noted how this immensely wealthy community had nothing to offer them. Any official reaction wasn’t done out of kindness. It was to clean up an embarrassing mess.

              1. marym

                I meant to convey that I was criticizing treating the DeSantis stunt – which consisted of harming vulnerable people – as if it were some kind of useful critique of the donor class. Sorry if it was garbled.

                Tucker talked about doing stunt this back in July.

                1. semper loquitur

                  I see, thanks for laying it out. And thanks for linking that quote from Tucker which apparently kicked off this horrid stunt. Such sad times.

              2. chris

                The stunt part comes from Massachusetts and MVY not being official Sanctuary locations. Now, do most of those people have the annoying “Love me I’m a liberal” signs out front of their homes? Yes. Having just visited there for work, I can assure you they do. I wonder how many people would buy those if they came with a requirement to register your house to accept immigrants? Or if they were to see an automatically updated version to reflect that people should care about Palestinians too?

                It is a cruel stunt. But it is devilishly effective. Here’s the summer time play ground of the wealthy and liberal elite and here’s their island and it has no room for anyone, even the people who live there. And if you think it’s rude to have these people dropped off on their doorsteps with no ability to help themselves how do you think border state citizens feel? Especially since the policies that have made central and South America hellish didn’t come from southern Florida. Or Idaho. Or Kentucky. A lot of the people driving NAFTA for instance were constituents of people like Senator Ed Markey in Massachusetts.

                The liberal freak out proves the point. The only way to make this stunt not be political fodder is to quietly and efficiently serve these people while they wait for asylum.

          3. flora

            Meanwhiles, the donor class at the upper reaches of wealth is more than happy to browbeat me as a rcist, deplorable (maybe even a white super) because I’m obviously not as righteous and virtuous as they about their pet issues. (Ya know, I’m starting to think the MV and Hamptons set are using the immigrants for their own political “we should have more than you because we deserve more because we’re so much more virtuous than you” reasons. There’s more than a few sides playing politics with the immigrants. my 2 cents.) If people in Texas acted like Marthas Vineyard the MV set would rend their garments and wail about TX rcism. Bet on it / ;)

          4. wilroncanada

            It would have been much less expensive to send them to Mar-a Largo and it’s potentate environs, with it’s ex-Russian, ex-Mexican, ex-Venezuelan, ex-Cuban oligarchs. But of course he couldn’t do that; that is where he gets a lot of his campaign funds. And they would have had the interlopers gunned down instead.

        2. Sardonia

          “the ordinary people who rallied to help”…

          You mean the ordinary people who made damn sure that those migrants got hauled out of town as fast as possible?

          Does the Cape Cod Times mention an of this –

          “Since October 2020, 726,401 people have been encountered by U.S. Border Patrol personnel. A majority of them crossing through small Texas border towns of the Rio Grande Valley like La Joya, Roma, Hidalgo, Mission, and Rio Grande City.”

          La Joya – Population 4,374 median household income – $27,894

          Roma – population 11,427 median household income $23,138

          Hidalgo – population 13,984 median household income $19.992

          Rio Grande City – population 14,411 median household income $38,542

          With a lower total population, and median family incomes being around 25% – 45% of the year-round residents of Martha’s Vineyard, do you think these 4 towns wouldn’t BEG to only have 50 unauthorized immigrants among them?

          I am truly at a loss for words when it comes to responding to anyone who tries to cover the a**es of the good folks of Martha’s Vineyard and their heroic efforts of “providing food and temporarily shelter” – for all of about 48 hours while knowing damn sure that those migrants would be out of their hair, STAT.

          I foresee Medals of Freedom being bestowed upon all of Martha’s Vineyards residents at at next year’s State of the Union address.

          1. chuck roast

            You don’t need to hang out at the Woods Hole Ferry for too long to get that the scores of Hispanics waiting with lunch boxes and work boots have daily round-trip tickets. The newest migrants will soon be integrated into the lawn care/dry wall/masonry commuter contingent. Nice that the “folks” on The Martha will continue to have “people.”

          2. marym

            There are a lot of problems with immigration. People who don’t live in border areas – or other parts of the country where the impact is great and economic issues are pressing – don’t understand some of them. Elites, wherever they live, and whether they claim to be pro or anti-immigration don’t care about the problems, as long as they have cheap labor and a divisive political issue.

            My loss for words is in understanding treating immigrants like pawns in a political stunt while not solving the problems; or not saying ok-good job to a few people who responded with a little kindness to strangers on short notice, while not solving the problems.

            1. Sin Fronteras

              In Tucson a few years ago, under Obama IIRC, there was a sudden flood of migrants being released by Border Patrol. It caused a major logistical crisis, and mainstream churches stepped up, and the crisis caused a lot of people who had been ignoring the border to suddenly become aware of it. Churches in Tucson are currently housing many migrants, who are en route to other places where they have family.

              I love trashing elites as much as anyone, but they are not homogeneous: some of them, and more of the upper middle class below the elites, stepped up and provided humanitarian help. And broadened their own understanding.

              Many in Tucson used to be incredibly ignorant of what was going on 90 miles to the south (Hell, many of them knew nothing of South Tucson, a predominantly Latino town that abuts Tucson). The crisis definitely educated a wide array of people.

              I can’t comment about Martha’s Vineyard, but would expect a similar fragmentation of the elites and people who live there. In fact I would expect MORE response from the latter. Anyone have direct experience of this?

            2. Henry Moon Pie

              “My loss for words is in understanding treating immigrants like pawns”

              But marym, everyone in the U. S., immigrant and born-here alike, is being treated like pawns with respect to Covid. And we’ve been treated like pawns easily sacrificed without even a pretend show of concern or sadness.

              Both parties are owned by billionaire sociopaths. The only question is what flavor of PR they use to cover their crimes. The Republicans revel in their cruelty toward the powerless, an attitude that plays well among both the actual billionaires and the want-to-bes dreaming of franchising their greasy spoon. The Democrats take the paternalistic route, hiding behind also-bought “experts” like Ja and Walensky to camouflage their obedience to the rich.

              Now just to relieve the oppressive air of negativity, I was at a meeting about vacant lots in Cleveland this week and heard from someone who has undertaken a wonderful project. They’re turning a vacant lot in a rundown neighborhood into a memorial for those who died of Covid in that neighborhood, a considerable number we were told. While the Biden administration does its best to sweep the whole thing under the rug–Pandemic? What pandemic?–there is an effort here to help us remember the lives that have been and will be lost.

              1. marym

                Agreed. The point for the rest of us should be not to treat each other like pawns.

                It’s counter-productive to cheer for one elite side or the other, as if a cruel stunt by DeSantis or feigned concern from Biden/Harris is anything but manipulation. Your Cleveland neighbors’ memorial project won’t change healthcare policy, just as Martha’s Vineyard’s blankets and food for a few immigrants will solve immigration issues; and maybe some of the participants still have a little bit of privilege that they’ll cling to.

                However, efforts at community building, mutual aid, and showing solidarity even for a limited time on a limited project present opportunities to learn to move forward in ways other than “pawning” and should be celebrated.

            3. Young

              While not solving the problems….

              To solve a problem, one neds to admit that there is a problem. But,

              “Look, the border is secure”
              The Border Czar, aka Kamala

              Need I say more?

          3. anon in so cal

            On every level, open borders is a neoliberal attack on the working class. Biden has a de facto open borders policy. Non-DNC-aligned MSM report that, since Biden took office, close to 2 million unauthorized immigrants have entered the U.S.

            1. marym

              I don’t know how unauthorized border crossings are estimated. As far as what happens within the scope of CBP, there are statistics. Possibly coincidentally the 2M number is also close to the CBP reported number of encounters. About half are Title 42 exclusions. I haven’t found statistics showing what percentage of Title 8 apprehensions result in wait in Mexico and/or release in US.

              Biden has retained Trump’s Title 42 exclusion policy, and only recently ended Trump’s Wait in Mexico policy (MPP). People admitted under Title 8 would not be unauthorized.

              Fiscal year encounters and link to Title 8/42 detail:
              Graphic showing Title 8 (with MPP path high-lighted) and Title 42 process.

            2. Sin Fronteras

              Well Britain used to rape and loot Africa and elsewhere much like the US does. But due to peculiarities of their racist ideology, if you were in the Commonwealth you could live in Britain. Until their empire collapsed and then you could NOT.

              So the US gets to rape and loot AND exclude the victims. Except not exactly: Avaya Chomsky in “Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal”, describes our oligarchs’ ACTUAL policy. They want immigration, AND it should be illegal so as to degrade working conditions.

              So the oligarch position is not exactly open borders.

              I would also note that the jobs we have are not OUR jobs. They are provided by our oligarchs (and other smaller fry). They are part of a world-wide division of labor. And we have “good jobs” when we FIGHT for them; and often workers from outside the US have a higher level of class consciousness than American workers (or did, that may be changing).

              IMHO a situation where capital is free to cross all borders at will (with some exceptions that are resulting in warfare) is NOT favorable to labor. One reason our oligarchs want immigration restrictions is to keep pools of cheap labor available.

              1. chris

                What??? The main purveyors of open border policies are the Koch’s and their sycophants. The oligarchs want capital and labor to flow at their direction wherever they direct it so that we’re all racing to the bottom. Open borders is also the quickest way to kill any kind of state welfare system in the US.

                Unless you’re referring to some specific example I can’t see why you would think immigration restrictions is an anti-labor policy.

              2. Revenant

                Actual sly, the British Nationality Act 1948 provided for a subject of the British Empire to acquire citizenship of the UK and Colonies. This only ended in the BNA 1981, many years after the sun set on the Empire. At the time, the change was ascribed to working class racism and Thatcherites but even left leaning commentators now say the demands were a result of the underfunding of public services in the face of immigration and defence of class interests. Post-Brexit, it would be interesting to learn how much it was done with a bien-pensant eye on preparing for EU single market freedom of movement…. It was not done in anticipation if the handover of HK because the changes stripping most HKers of citizenship date back to 1962(?).

            3. tegnost

              yes to this…
              one really can’t talk about immigration on the micro level, it’s so easy to argue both sides. The macro is undeniably the deciding factor, and the macro is manipulating the herd…create debt, sow conflict and drive populations around to benefit the wall st globalists who intend to leave nothing on the table. They want it all. The TPP codified corporate control over what states could do and there was no mechanism for exiting the pact once you were in it. That was a massive loss for those destined (in their own minds) to rule the world. After a generation of the lassaiz faire* policy for our southern neighbors, the latin diaspora is far too complex to treat as a monolith.

              For the youngsters out there, back in the stone ages of ronnie raygun this was quite the popular theme…

                1. flora

                  Labor is a business cost in wages paid. Supply and demand. If you have lots of something the price goes down (the pay rate goes down for labor). Fresh veg are cheap in the summer and expensive in the winter. If there’s a scarcity – even if a man made scarcity ( see price of gas in the EU right now) – the price goes up.

                2. Polar Socialist

                  Just an anecdote, but ever since Peter the Great started building Saint Petersburg on the mouth of Neva, the officials (read: gentry) in southern Finland were complaining about how all workers moved there, lured by higher wages and better treatment and how it was playing [family blog] with their estate’s need of labor. The other option for border control was raising wages (and other perks), and the latter just can’t be good for the God fearing society.

                  The whining only stopped when the border finally was tightly closed in 1919.

                3. hunkerdown

                  In the same way that a state is an extrapolation of its family unit to the whole of society, borders are an extrapolation of capitalist private property to the entire globe.

                  Less Marxianly, they negate the ancient norms of hospitality and usufruct.

            4. flora

              Yep. Bernie was right about this in his 2016 campaign.

              Bernie Sanders, The Koch Brothers & Open Borders

              What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don’t believe in that. I think we have to raise wages in this country, I think we have to do everything we can to create millions of jobs. You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those kids? I think from a moral responsibility we’ve got to work with the rest of the industrialized world to address the problems of international poverty, but you don’t do that by making people in this country even poorer.


              1. CheckyChubber

                The average IQ is 100, so the unemployable 33% are probably 65 and below, with no technical skills.

                They are not fungible with highly motivated and technically skilled migrants.

                1. flora

                  Really? That’s the best ya got? We’re not talking about H-1B work visa holders here.

                  The biggest financial payoff for big companies is undocumented labor is paid not just substandard wages, (and how did standard wages get set? read on), but the workers are threatened with ICE raids and deportation if they complain, try to form a union (how standard wages once got set), get sick, or call OSHA for unsafe working conditions.

                2. hunkerdown

                  Then why did the “highly motivated and technically skilled” PMC design and implement a society that generates 33% unemployable people, and why did we allow them to?

                  1. CheckyChubber

                    It’s more to do with the law of averages, and normal distribution of intelligence in a large population, than the education system.

                    Despite what The Constitution says, we aren’t all born equal if you look at it in terms of strength, intelligence or other talents.

                    These migrants have had the willpower and wherewithal to leave everything they know, and travel across the world into the unknown, to try to get a better life. The ones that got here are the strong ones, because many who try will die on the way.

                    That bottom 33% of American youth probably barely has the wherewithal to put on pants without help.

                    1. semper loquitur

                      This is preposterous, actually silly. The notion that the unemployment rate is directly linked to I.Q. ignores that employment in the US is a relationship dictated largely by greedy and cruel employers, that the government at all levels is generally hostile to workers, that our education system is a intentionally broken husk of it’s former self, and that our “winner take all” society values profit over human dignity. And even so, there is plenty of work that needs doing that involves physical labor even the slowest wits could handle. Clearing our firebomb national forests of debris would be a great start but it’s not a money maker so it festers. See the Naked Capitalism blog for details on this and more.

                      I’ve worked with dozens of immigrants in my cooking years. The notion that they are intellectual ubermensch is vacuous. Their intelligence is distributed across the spectrum, from
                      extremely bright to dull as a crayon.

                      Fantasies like your comment above reveal either a willful blindness to,’or a lack of understanding of, reality. It’s same, stale myth the ruling classes perpetuate to assert their right to lead. I’ve attended school with some of them, they are generally very well educated but intelligence is distributed along a similar spectrum. There are plenty of super successful morons running around.

                    2. TomDority

                      I believe everyone is endowed with equal abilities if looked across a wider range of ‘talents’ Currently what is measured as intelligence is highly limited and shifts with time. If one were to measure intelligence in regards to the ability to adapt as a species or find positive employment away from parasitical financial practices…. or more clearly, if intelligence were measured across all species — I would find support to declare the human race as the least intelligent of all species, the most anti-social the most willing to put others down below themselves to somehow prove superiority as we ramble on to self destruction

                    3. hunkerdown

                      Actually, it has to do with values, starting with the white conformity test known as IQ, and ending with the rejection of the ridiculous idea that demands for service are sacred, valuable, or otherwise carry an inherent moral obligation to be satisfied.

                      Shorter: No.

                    4. Katniss Everdeen

                      “…travel across the world into the unknown…”

                      But it’s not really the “unknown,” now is it.

                      What they “know” is that u.s. immigration “laws” are not being enforced and, for some reason known only to the current powers that be, illegal immigration is actually being encouraged by the existing political regime.

                      Despite all the “humanitarian” bullshit empathy for these poor seekers of a “better life,” it must be acknowledged that immigration “policies” of these united states have always had a clear, if unstated, utilitarian purpose that has nothing whatsoever to do with the milk of human kindness.

                      The massive, rapid influx of humans with nothing to contribute to the function of this country, will stress the already rickety social infrastructure that “supports” those in need who are already here, and will create future societal problems that are foreseeable.

                      No one should be fooled. This has nothing to do with intrepid foreigners jumping headlong into the sanctified melting pot so that they can cut grass in the blazing miami sun so millennial video gamers don’t have to.

                      Something else is going on here. You can count on it. People are definitely being used as “pawns,” but it’s not DeSantis that’s doing it.

                    1. hunkerdown

                      “Greed” is a pseudo-religious ideology that explains nothing. The answer is PMC (Ehrenreich 1977) and leisure (Veblen 1899) class interest in the 3600-year-old institution of labor exploitation.

                3. eg

                  What do you propose we do with this 33% of citizens under the age of 65 “with no technical skills” CheckyChubber?

                  I eagerly await your learned solution …

                4. drumlin woodchuckles

                  Here is the entire Flora sentence which you responded to only part of . . . . ” If you’re a white high school graduate, it’s 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent. ”

                  You accuse the 33% of white high school graduates who are unemployed of ” barely having the wherewithal to put on pants without help”. Do you likewise accuse the 36% of Hispanic youth who are unemployed and the 51% of African American youth who are unemployed of “barely having the wherewithal to put on pants without help” . . . ? Is that the silent part which you carefully wish to avoid going on record saying out loud?

                  Are you a hasbarist for the criminal outlaw employERS of illegal aliens?

          4. CitizenSissy

            You can bring up your point about the “ordinary people who made damn sure that those migrants got hauled out of town as fast as possible” with the Republican governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who appropriately coordinated services for the trafficked Venezuelans. It’s an island, FFS.

          5. DJ Forestree

            Responding to Sardonia, September 18, 2022 at 9:55 am

            Thanks for your comment and for gathering those useful statistics. Agree 500 percent with your opinion!!!

        3. notabanker

          Another yeah, but, it was the locals that had to deal with it response.

          As if this doesn’t further drive home the point of the matter, virtue signaling followed by rules for thee, not for me.

        4. Pelham

          The Venezuelans sent to Martha’s Vineyard were first “gleefully” manipulated by the Biden administration, which flew them unannounced from Texas in unmarked planes in the middle of the night to deposit them in various communities in Florida.

          So 50 immigrants arrive in a wealthy enclave and get to stay for only 24 hours and it’s a human rights atrocity, turning them into “pawns.” But thousands are freighted all over the country to places even less capable of caring for them and that’s just fine.

    1. John Zelnicker

      Thanks, Antifa, for another fine addition to the Naked Capitalism Songbook.

      If you have links to previous songs you’ve posted, please send them to zelnickertaxservice [at] comcast [dot] net, so I can include them. Or, you can send your original text.

  2. Henry Moon Pie

    Covid 19–

    I came across this article comparing Cuba’s Covid response and results to here in the not-so-United States of YOYO. It tracks Cuba’s life expectancy data since the revolution and shows that Cuba has caught and now surpasses the U. S. in life expectancy despite 60 years of brutal sanctions. While American life expectancy has declined nearly 3 years since the advent of Covid, Cuba’s has edged up slightly until they are now 3 years ahead of us.

    The article also includes a account of what it was that Cubans have been doing to deal with Covid. It’s a combination of hope-inspiring (“It can be done without tons of resources!”) versus yet another affirmation of the sickening truth that we live in a country where the leadership could not care less about our welfare.

    1. Skip Intro

      “despite 50 years of brutal sanctions”

      Just imagine where they’d be if not for those sanctions, they could be basking in the fruits of capitalism, like Haiti. Instead they have had to survive somehow without McDonalds and Starbucks, and a new Chevy every other year, and the efficient and magically beneficent power of capital markets as epitomized by our Private Equity gangs.

      1. One Man

        Responding to Skip Intro, September 18, 2022 at 10:04 am.

        (Speaking as someone who knows Cuba intimately). I think your comment assumes that without the US embargo (the “blockade”, as it is known in Cuba), Cuba would have evolved towards becoming a consumer paradise filled with American and other capitalist franchises. I believe that such assumption misses the point: the US embargo (which is in certain ways as strict or more than the recent US led sanctions against Russia) has been the main factor in completely crippling for decades the Cuban economy, creating enormous social pain, scarcity, and more recently turmoil, not to mention the present massive wave of “undocumented” Cuban immigrants showing up at the Mexico – US border. The Cuban government of today doesn’t seem up to the task when it comes to finding ways around the embargo; their leadership is a far cry from the inventiveness displayed by Fidel Castro. Yes, the response to Covid has been remarkable, but the cost to the health care system has been extremely high, one example being the current scarcity of basic drugs, and a Dengue outbreak that is out of control and has spread to many of the major cities including Havana. The lifting of the USA blockade could allow for the development of a more normal society, in which the government and the general population could focus on solving the problems at hand without the constant pressure of the USA. Under the circumstances created or aggravated by the embargo, Cuba will never have the slightest chance to be close to any sense of normalcy.

    2. Sin Fronteras

      This is a rant I dropped on Facebook. I have progressive friends who “just can’t take the isolation”, HAVE to get back to “normal”. IMHO it is like we are on a wartime battlefield, and all our normal instincts will get us killed. Anyway, here is my rant:

      “Dropping life expectancy is not “getting back to normal”. It IS “living with covid” and acting like it is “mild”.

      This is not the canary “singing” in the coal mine. It is a warning that is being ignored of social catastrophe, of social murder. Our oligarchs are foreshadowing their behavior when the climate crisis really “hits the fan”. Remember George W Bush and Hurricane Katrina that devastated New Orleans?”

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Can you imagine the US government response to flooding on the scale Pakistan is suffering from now? How many tens of thousands of poor Americans would perish. Would anyone really care.

      2. Edgar, not Edmund

        And let’s not forget, as today’s generous donor, Harry Shearer, documented in “The Big Uneasy”, what devastated New Orleans was not the Hurricane. It was the poorly engineered and maintained levees giving way after being struck by the then Cat 3 Katrina, a storm level they were supposedly designed to withstand. That’s why Harry, on Le Show and elsewhere, refers to the disaster as the Floods.

      3. semper loquitur

        I’d love to hear their definition of “normal”. That train pulled out of the station. It’s heading towards a bridge that’s about to collapse…

    3. Basil Pesto

      Thanks for that. I think Cuban data should be taken with a bit of a grain of salt, but with that said their 2022 has been uncommonly encouraging. Whether their vaccines really are superior to western/chinese/russian products or whether this is state media boosterism is an open question given the inherent limitations of intramuscular vaccination against Coronaviruses. But if they are updating the vaccine regularly, that would help, and as I understand it they updated for Omicron earlier this year. Ironically, the sanctioning regime effectively isolating them, and their status as an island nation would make containment a relatively easy policy for them to implement (compared to China with its huge population, status as a global economic force, and enormous land border).

    1. JEHR

      “The Royal Group, based in Phnom Penh, is Cambodia’s largest diversified conglomerate and holding company with investments in various industries in the country including telecommunication, media, banking, insurance, resorts, education, property, trading and agriculture.”–Wikipedia

    2. PlutoniumKun

      What the article doesn’t mention is the reaction of the Vietnamese. A dam on the main channel of the lower Mekong could have catastrophic impacts on the Mekong Delta by reducing sediment flow. As far as the Vietnamese are concerned, this would be close to a declaration of war.

  3. LawnDart

    Ukraine has outdone us: we punish illegal immigrants, they punish illegal emigrants…

    The new law of Ukraine will reject millions of citizens

    The Ukrainian government has agreed on a draft law on criminal liability for the transfer of Ukrainians to Russian citizenship

    “Unfortunately, international law does not contain adequate norms to counter illegal Russian passport registration on the territory of Ukraine. Therefore, we must respond by strengthening criminal legislation, ” said Irina Vereshchuk, who is responsible for returning the territories lost by Ukraine back under the jurisdiction of the Kiev regime.

    The Cabinet of Ministers ‘ draft law provides for a whole system of punishments for obtaining Russian passports by citizens of Nezalezhnaya Square. And again the quote:

    “If a civil servant has received an enemy passport, he will receive a prison sentence of 10 to 15 years.

    Source: news-front[dot]info
    Roman Reinekin, Kiev, PolitNavigator
    18.09.2022 13:20

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just wait until they phone Washington for help and advice in building a Border Wall. The only difference is that this Wall will be for keeping people in, not keeping people out. You know that it is coming.

    2. Louis Fyne

      if the LBJ/Nixon had set up the same laws that Ukraine has right now—–no conscription-eligible adult can leave the country without special approval, the NYT would be calling for LBJ/Nixon’s impeachment.

    3. hunkerdown

      Imagine the ear-piercing screaming were the USA to do likewise. Some dual citizens are more equal than others, I guess?

  4. The Rev Kev

    “COVID-19 dismissals suspended for Marines seeking religious exemptions”

    I don’t suppose offering each Marine a box of crayons with each vaccine injection would help matters. :)

    1. LawnDart

      Well, unlike Army, at least Marines wouldn’t litter the floor with paper scraps– they’d eat them with wrappings and all.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


        The Army would indeed take the wrappers off. But not before getting the approval of commanders and such! Gotta get that proper documentation, HOOAH!

  5. zagonostra

    >Nancy Pelosi visits Armenia as Azerbaijan truce holds -Al Jazeera

    It’s too much. I still haven’t figured out what was really behind her trip to Taiwan. I’m upset enough over Ukraine, wondering about Argentina’s hyper inflation, Syria and Yemen are gnawing at my conscience because I haven’t really taken time to inform myself on current status. And, I know I should click the link on the “Inflation Reduction Act,” but I can’t work up the stomach for it yet, I still feel queasy knowing what was done through the CAREs Act.

    But not to worry, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, a rainbow on the horizon because Nike has left the Ukraine and we can all join hands with Zelensky and sing hosannas to a shoe marketing/manufacturing business. I have awakened and found myself in a Baudrillard hyper-reality.

    1. Louis Fyne

      if i recall correctly California has one of the the communities of the Armenian diaspora.

      Too bad for Armenia being literal Caucasians isn’t good enough to get attention from the NYC-DC-Twitterati axis of media.

      And Armenia having this complicated relationship w/Russia, treaty allies but a government that distanced itself from Russia, doesn’t help either

      …then toss in Israel being a major weapons supplier to the Azeris. the Twitter automatons get a “divide by zero error” on who to support

    2. smashsc

      Maybe she’s hoping to be the next Secretary of State, once she’s no longer Speaker of the House. With the upcoming restrictions on congressional stock picking, she’ll need to expand her (and her son’s) earning capabilities world-wide.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Next Saturday here they are having a doco on TV about Nancy. I really don’t know whether to watch it or not. If I do, that is an hour of my life that I will never get back again.

    4. anon in so cal

      A rally for Armenia’s withdrawal from the CSTO taking place today in Yerevan?

      Calls to attend the rally urged participants to bring the flags of Armenia, the USA, Ukraine with them?

      1. Old Sovietologist

        Seems there weren’t many people, about two thousand mostly employees of the Pashinyan government and western NGOs.

        Armenia won’t leave CSTO for now but the discrediting and indirect criticism of the Russian Federation has begun.

        1. Old Sovietologist

          There are far more demonstrators on the streets of the Moldavian capital this afternoon against the Sandu govt. I have said before this is will be the first European govt to fall and it looks increasingly likely it will be gone within the month.

  6. .Tom

    Alexa Dodd’s account of vanity publishing is great. I love stories like this because there’s usually a story of personal triumph amid all the shame and that’s certainly the case here. At the end of the day she wrote and published a book and some people read it. That’s something in an of itself! In addition, the publishing experience gave her another fine story that she now has. These are uniquely hers and are inalienable.

    In the 2nd-last paragraph she wrote “I won’t pretend that this experience isn’t one of the most frustrating of my life. But this is the nature of art…” Hmm, is it that or is it the nature of commerce? I think it’s useful to consider the making of art and the business of making money off someone’s art as distinct. Some people measure the success of an artistic effort by sales but I don’t.

    My own area is music and I’ve been interested in music that makes publishers and promoters run for the hills for nearly 40 years. Producing the music that makes the most money is usually not primarily an artistic process and often it involves barely any art. The music business is notorious for crushing the art out of artists and there are many tragicomic stories about that. Maybe fiction publishing isn’t as bad as the music business but I would still think that commercial success is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of artistic success.

    1. Chet G

      Per the Dodd article, it always strikes me as ironic that anyone can sell an article on the basis of stupidity, because understanding the nature of a vanity press (i.e., ripping off an author) isn’t rocket science.
      In the seventies, for one of my early novels, I received an offer from a supposedly legitimate publisher that said for x amount of money it would publish my novel. I got in touch with someone at the Literary Market Place (LMP), closest thing to a bible of the publishing world and where I had found that publisher; told the person about my experience; was asked for and sent the correspondence; and the publisher’s listing was removed from the LMP (which doesn’t allow vanity presses). End of story.

      1. Tom

        I remember years ago a New Yorker profile of the mark of a Nigerian Prince scam. It was a frightening portrait of credulity. The guy knew he was being scammed but still somehow managed to talk himself into not believing it. On the one hand, it’s a scam, on the other hand, what if it’s not, think of what we’re leaving on the table. A form of FOMO, I guess.

    2. John Merryman

      One way to think about it is the basic cycles of expansion and consolidation. The new is constantly bubbling up, some as seed, most as fertilizer. Then those successful efforts get whole armies of followers, copycats, etc. until the whole edifice becomes unstable and crashes back down. From empires to art.
      When it’s all foam and bubbles, the wave has crested.
      Given much of current culture, politics, economics, etc. is starting to fall in the category of foam and bubbles, then the resulting crash will clear out that much more of the cultural cobwebs.
      Here are some points to consider;
      Logically a spiritual absolute would be the essence of sentience, from which rise, not an ideal of wisdom and judgement, from which we fell. Ideals are not absolutes and a culture based on the principle will be naturally fractious, with all the competing absolutist ideals, from Wahabism to wokism.
      Rome adopted a monotheistic sect as the Republic faded and the Empire coalesced. To the Ancients, monotheism equated with monoculture. One people, one rule, one god. While pantheism described multiculturalism. The many as one.
      To culture, good and bad are some cosmic conflict between the forces of righteousness and evil, while in nature, it’s the basic biological binary of beneficial and detrimental. The1/0 of sentience. That’s because it is the function of culture to synchronize society into one larger emergent organism. Thus the need for the social immune system to reject any deviations from the Canon.
      Money is a social contract, enabling markets, not a commodity to mine from the them. The medium has become the message. Blood is a medium, fat is a store. They are not synonymous. To store the asset, equal amount of debt have to be generated. The secret sauce of capitalism is public debt backing private wealth. The wars are just way to make it go away, so more can be borrowed.
      If you really want to dig down into the foundations, consider that as these mobile organisms, this sentient interface between the body and its context operates as a sequence of perceptions, in order to navigate. Which makes the narrative flow, from past to future, an emergent effect of change, turning future to past. Tomorrow becomes yesterday, because the earth turns. There is no dimension of time, because the past is consumed by the present to inform and drive it. Causality and conservation of energy. Cause becomes effect.
      So if it seems the world is crumbling around us, it’s because the foundations can no longer support all the assumptions we have built on them.
      Cycles of tradition and renewal.

    3. wol

      “I would rather be a failure on my own terms than a success on someone else’s. That’s a difficult statement to live up to, but I’ve always believed that the way you affect your audience is more important than how many of them there are.” -Tom Waits

      1. .Tom

        Nice one. Waits is on my list of “successful” pop musicians with serious artistic credibility. Close to the top of that list, probably.

        1. wol


          “I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public wants…you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you’re doing…even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.”

          -Thelonius Monk

          I got a million of ’em.

          1. Petter

            In Monk’s case, there were times, if you were the NYC public, you couldn’t even see him, due to his cabaret card being suspended.

    4. Mikel

      I did a bedtime viewing of “Velvet Buzzsaw” the other night. It’s a satire/horror movie about the art world with an ensemble cast. If the John Malkovich character is viewed as the protaganist, the film makes a poignant statement about art, artistic succes, and creativity.
      At least the very sleepy me thought so…

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine’s Zelenskiy thanks Nike for leaving Russia market”

    So I dug into where all Nike’s shoes are made and found that ‘Almost all Nike shoes are manufactured outside of the United States. The leading manufacturer of Nike shoes is China and Vietnam each accounting for 36% of the total manufactured world wide. Indonesia accounts for 22% and Thailand for 6% of the Nike shoes that are being produced world wide.’

    That’s four countries. You think that if a Russian company went to those factories, that they couldn’t place an order for their own version of Nike shoes – but cheaper on sale in Russia? Maybe they could call them Nooke or something. You think that Nike would ever be able to return to the Russian market? From what I see, Nike is just more or less a middleman operation.

    1. Skip Intro

      And they could save money by leaving out the swooshtika! Imagine Russians forced to live without expensive trainers… like the rest of us. This is such a joyfully vapid PR victory. One wonders how much business Nike did in Russia, and what the German competitors Adidas and Puma are up to.

      1. LawnDart

        This is cool– a bit of fashion history you might appreciate:

        Why Do Russians Love Adidas

        This time we will be demystifying some stereotypes around Russians’ love for Adidas. Of course, we all know that Adidas is a worldwide first-rate shoe manufacturer, but what exactly is the deal between this German brand and Russian people?

    2. spud

      ” From what I see, Nike is just more or less a middleman operation.”

      and that is the gist of free trade. there is a large contingent of so-called u.s. corporations that no longer really own anything but a name.

      they have no factories, no skilled labor, no machines, almost no engineers, but sell a lot of stuff that has their names stamped on them, and are listed on the stock markets, and are way way way over valued.

      someday the twits will wake up once russia/china do what you say they should do. just sell the output of the factories that used to be owned and run in america, to people all over the world minus the corporate name.

      the howls of rage that will echo the world will be louder than Krakatoa!

      1. digi_owl

        China pretty much already does.

        It is how the likes of Huawei got so big so fast.

        It is the same thing Samsung et al was doing in the 80s-90s.

    3. Mikel

      I’m taking the simplistic view that the longer companies can hang out in Russia in some form or fashion, the more pressure there is to stay away from the nukes or nuke threats.
      But this is cra-cra time, so…

  8. Lex

    Actions speak louder than words. After the IAEA report that neglected to detail shelling a nuclear plant and its calls to “demilitarize” the plant with control returned to Ukraine, we see Ukraine deliver equipment to restore a power line needed to maintain safety. It’s possible I missed it, but I don’t recall any recent events where the plant itself was shelled either. So it looks like the IAEA put out a report that’s borderline propaganda but also made demands on Ukrainian behavior much more quietly.

    I’m almost surprised the Reuters piece clarifies that the reconnection to the Ukrainian grid is only about feeding the plant’s safety systems. Seems like the sort of detail Reuters has a habit of leaving out.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Australian central bank demands deeper cuts to wages and social spending”

    ‘Philip Lowe yesterday insisted that workers’ wages must be kept far below the soaring cost of living and that the government must slash social spending, including on aged and disability care.’

    Good thing that consumer demand is of no consequence in the economies of countries like Oz. Otherwise that is the stuff that can fuel a recession. Lowe’s complaint about the “national credit card” is a weird one though. I mean, Lowe said there were only three “difficult” alternatives: raise taxes, cut services or grow the economic “pie” to pay for them. How about cutting that nuke sub order for a start. Would you believe that they are still trying to work out how much they will cost as they have no idea? And that the US has had to push back orders from Oz to the 2030s as they are still trying to fill orders for the US Navy? At a minimum we would save $100 billion plus.

    So I went to Wikipedia to get some background on this Philip Lowe character. It says that he was appointed by Scotty from Marketing which is strike one. It also says that he went straight from High School to work at the Reserve Bank with stints in University. So he has never worked in a real job in the real workforce in his life. That’s strike two. It then says that Lowe completed a doctorate in 1994 at MIT with Paul Krugman as his adviser. That’s strike three and he’s out.

    1. britzklieg

      In yesterday’s Politico link, mildly critical but ultimately laudatory (despite the headline), about the 4 private forces (featuring Bill “I stole Dos” Gates) which were given authority to handle the pandemic worldwide, we were told that “10 billion” dollars had been given/spent/wasted during the 3 years of the continuing scourge. 10 whole billion, I tells ya! Never mind the 80 billion which the USA alone gave, in 3 months, to the Ukraine Nazi’s for the purpose of dismembering Russia as a country and destroying all remnants of Russian culture, while inculcating racism and hatred here at home. Priorities, man, priorities!

  10. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Moooooorning Fiatnam!

    The platoon had been given a choice of R & R locales: Bangkok, Sydney, Martha’s Vineyard, Tokyo, or Guam, and technically Yigo was USA terra firma but you didn’t want to go there-so many snakes and/or other military personnel afoot. Besides, who’d want to blow their vacay on a place that sounded like a mid 1980’s car made in the Balkans?

    That left Martha’s Vineyard as the only viable alternative in the USA proper and the oenophiles in the platoon who didn’t know better were frankly excited at the prospect, not cognizant that the island’s best vintage was whines from brahmins who really wanted no imports other than oil from Venezuela.

    As we marched off the C-130 in formation, the cadence came with us…

    ‘I don’t know but i’ve been told, really rich people tend to scold… Sound Off!’

    1. Sardonia

      I hear that when the National Guard entered Martha’s Vineyard, they were “treated like liberators”.

        1. ambrit

          I’m thinking of calling the soon to happen “Martha’s Vinyard Class War” something catchy like, “The War of Late Stage Capitalist Primitive Accumulation.”
          See you at the aquacades comrades!

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Northern Ireland Protocol: UK defies EU legal action over checks”

    I don’t think that Liz Truss has a handle on what a treaty is exactly. Even one that she signed too as Foreign Secretary. And trying to make “grace periods” become permanent isn’t going to fly either. That is why they call them “grace periods”. If you sign a treaty, it does not mean that later you say yeah, we’ll do this but we have no intention of doing that. In fact, we’ll make up laws so that we don’t have to do that. As we say down here, if she had half a brain she would be dangerous.

    In going through their nasty divorce with the EU, the UK trashed their biggest market. And with Liz Truss burning down all bridges with China and declaring it as an enemy, they have trashed a market that might have bridged some of the gap. So exactly how many markets will be left for the UK to ship its products to? Or is she planning to de-industrialize the UK so that they have no products to ship? Just another treasure island.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Venezuelan Institutions Seek Cooperation With Iran”

    It’s a New World Order. You heard of the Coalition of the Willing from the Iraq invasion era? Well now we have the Coalition of the Sanctioned – and it’s getting bigger every day. At the moment, you have Afghanistan, the Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Yemen and Zimbabwe are all eligible to join. Just waiting for China, India and Turkey to join this list-—and-why.aspx

    1. britzklieg

      next up… Florida(!) – especially if things go south there for the Democrats. But don’t worry, the Dems have “chain-gang” Charlie Crist on offer to counter the nightmare of Ron “ship ’em to Martha’s Vineyard” DeSantis.

      Oh, wait…

  13. Wukchumni

    ‘Time’s up’: Critics call for end to Western-funded food program in Africa Politico

    {…slips on Reynolds Wrap toque and peers into the mirror…}

    Most every Ag story I read in the USA is that of a tale of woe, either too much water not allowing crops to be planted or not enough water causing in one case I mentioned a few days ago, a sizable Cali farmer deciding to let 30,000 productive nut trees die-that each took 7 years to be able to produce a viable crop. It isn’t just us in the USA, its the same saga across the globe.

    Old school hyperinflation was across the board, but what if in the face of this worldwide decline in foodstuffs as we are about to welcome the 8th billion on board our overburdened space orb trolling the universe, we only get it in one prime area, say hyperfoodinflation?

  14. LawnDart

    I’d like to extend this sentiment to ensure that it included USA bluebloods, their toadies and enablers– anyone who doesn’t think that the USA has an aristocracy is kidding themselves:

    Economic Freedom Fighters Statement on the Death of Queen Elizabeth

    The Economic Freedom Fighters notes the death of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, the Queen of the United Kingdom, and the ceremonial head of state of several countries that were colonized by the United Kingdom. Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, reigning for 70 years as a head of an institution built up, sustained, and living off a brutal legacy of dehumanization of millions of people across the world.

    We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa’s history. Britain, under the leadership of the royal family, took over control of this territory that would become South Africa in 1795 from Batavian control, and took permanent control of the territory in 1806. From that moment onwards, native people of this land have never known peace, nor have they ever enjoyed the fruits of the riches of this land, riches which were and still are utilized for the enrichment of the British royal family and those who look like them…

    …During her 70-year reign as Queen, she never once acknowledged the atrocities that her family inflicted on native people that Britain invaded across the world. She willingly benefited from the wealth that was attained from the exploitation and murder of millions of people across the world. The British Royal family stands on the shoulders of millions of slaves who were shipped away from the continent to serve the interests of racist white capital accumulation, at the center of which lies the British royal family.

    If there is really life and justice after death, may Elizabeth and her ancestors get what they deserve.

      1. LawnDart

        If I did Facelook, I’d have to repost that twit-link (or twink?) without mentioning that it was humor! Good stuff, thanks!

    1. David

      Oh dear, BAR should have known better.
      You know who this doesn’t mention? The Afrikaners.
      You know what this doesn’t mention? Apartheid.
      The British took control of the Cape Colony during the Napoleonic Wars because they needed the naval base at Simon’s Town. They took control from a bunch of obscurantist Dutch and French Calvinists who believed that God had given them the colony, and treated the native population accordingly. The more liberal attitude of the British forced the Afrikaners to leave, and they massacred their way to the north-east of the country. Tensions caused by British immigration and dominance of the economy boiled over into the Boer War, which the British won, but nonetheless granted the country Dominion status like Australia. It was for all practical purposes independent. If the country “has never known peace”, which would come as a surprise to historians, this is one thing you can’t blame the British for.

      After the Nationalist Party (sympathetic to the Nazis) narrowly took power in 1948, its first target was the English speaking minority, who were purged from government, the military and politics. They then progressively introduced the apartheid system. resistance to that system came from all communities in the country, and many English-speaking whites were in positions of importance in the ANC and its military wing. The world HQ of the anti-apartheid movement was, of course, in London, and, even under Thatcher, the apartheid state was very firmly told to leave them, and the ANC exiles, alone. After the 1994 elections, Mandela publicly and privately thanked the British.

      As it happens, we’ve been here before, in the arguments between the ANC and the Pan-Africanist Congress in the 1950s and 60s. The ANC Freedom Charter said that the country belonged “to all those who live in it” – including whites, coloureds and Indians. The PAC wanted an ethnically pure South Africa (they subsequently adopted the slogan “one settler one bullet.” Fortunately, and in spite of the enthusiasm of western intellectuals for the PAC, it was the ANC that attracted the support. This is in the history books as well, but then the EFF never could tell its assegai from its elbow.

      1. flora

        Thank you, David. You are right about the history.

        The Dutch and the Boers were in fact worse than the British. (I won’t even mention the Belgians in Congo.)

        On the other hand, being not as bad as other guy (which seems the basis of US politics at the moment) doesn’t really resolve the modern question, imo. But also adding, as someone once wrote: The past is a foreign country.

        1. flora

          And adding: as a USian I did feel an inexplicable sadness at HRM QEII’s passing. Maybe that’s because she was the last living public figure who experienced and gave a personal effort during WWII. My parents were WWII, my dad a US naval aviator in combat. (I’m afraid C III isn’t granted a fraction of the same regard from me I that I granted his mother.) I’m not a monarchist in any sense. (US and all that.) So I’ll leave this 2008 Proms Palace bit out of my distant regard for what seemed to me her individual work and modest , respectful dignity.

        2. c_heale

          Two wrongs don’t make a right. And if you know about the torture that the UK committed in Kenya and Yemen (then Aden) and the fact that the UK officials implemented a policy of destroying all the documents about what they did in their colonies under the British Empire, I don’t think you would be so sanguine about the Boers and Belgians being worse than the British.

          They were all evil.

          1. David

            Oh come on! Even if you haven’t visited those countries, the history books are pretty clear on the question.
            It’s not a question of two wrongs: this is western ethnocentrism at work. We simply can’t accept that most of the world has always lived in empires, and that the large western empires in Africa came almost at the end of this process and didn’t last very long. Most empires for thousands of years were gained by conquest and maintained by cruelty. The Ottoman Empire, for example, was much nastier and more brutal than anything the Europeans organised, and most of the world’s current conflicts and crises, from the Balkans around through Iraq and Syria to Libya and Tunisia can reasonably be laid at its door. It’s time to turn western egoism down a bit.

            1. Eclair

              Well, David, after reading this apologia, I do feel a lot better about the enormous wealth accumulated by the Windsor family, and their hangers-on. Everybody was doing it, and the British were much more civilized and benign invaders/occupiers/settlers/colonists/thieves, than the Dutch/Belgians/Germans/Ottomans. (Plus they built all those railroads. Except in the USA.) Thanks for clearing that up.

  15. chris

    I’m glad to not see many Ukraine links this AM. I’m sure they would all be declaring how Putin is soon to be deposed by his generals, how we need to prepare for Ukraine to win this war, how the Russian economy is collapsing, and how very soon this will all be over.

    But as I see these notes passed about my feed from my friends and acquaintances I wonder if they have a plan to force Russia to sell Europe oil and gas? I wonder why they are so certain that this time Putin is done for? I wonder is this desperation over the clear energy crisis that is now unavoidable? Is this hope against hope that the impossible will happen and this war will end with no further economic aftershocks?

    I really wish I could read Russian. I’d like to at least see what the other side is saying. Even if it’s blatant propaganda it would still be a useful counter perspective to the triumphalism seen in our press. I don’t understand why our government seems to think people will believe the fundamentals of the situation have changed.

      1. LawnDart

        Yandex/Yandex Translate are very good and getting better– their Chinese translations have vastly improved over this past year. I bailed on Goog a long time ago, so I don’t know how it compares.

        I use Yandex Translate when looking for media sources in a particular country for non-West/non-MSM coverage of news or a particular issue– and in the case of Russia, there’s a vast, rich trove of media-sources to be found that you would never know existed. I also use Yandex Translate for the Telegram accounts of Russian officials, so you can see for yourself what these officials are saying, directly and in context.

        For news, I’d add:

        On Telegram, there’s Сергей Викторович Лавров (Sergi Lavrov); dbelyakov (Boris Belyakov); MariaVladimirovnaZakharova (Maria Zakharova); Дмитрий Медведев (Dmitry Medvedev); and of course,

        You also don’t want to miss this guy:
        RKadyrov_95 (Ramzan Kadyrov)

    1. Craig H.

      I really wish I could read Russian.

      Google translate has come a long ways. It still barfs on Heidegger or Dugin but it has been a long time since I popped a daily fare internet link in there and could not get the gist or better.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      There are definitely dead enders, but now, the need to create a stabbed in the back myth. Russia would have collapsed if they were given five more minutes. The energy crisis Europe is facing isn’t a case of turning the thermostat to 66 or 64 and wearing a sweater. People do that all the time, maybe not on a continental wide level, but the collapse of small businesses and closure of energy intensive factories are going to be the real show.

      If a fantastical no fly zone was implemented, Russia would be giving Europe gas! The promise the former European colonies would align with the G7 if given a choice was absurd, but their whole strategy was based on everything was fine because G7 leaders will wear local costumes for a photo shoot.

      Unlike previous foreign policy decisions of the West (where are the sanctions for the Cheney family?), there will be real blowback at home and not just for random kids from West Virginia and Detroit who wind up with PTSD.

      Though the moves against Russian oligarchs as a means to weaken a fairly popular Putin, if a bit past his sell by date at the time, reveal a genuine misunderstanding about power and the state. Oligarchs weaken politicians and the state when they exist. We essentially strengthened Putin and the Russian state by solving a problem for him without hurting the productive capacity of Russia. Oh no, Berlin seized a refinery largely employing German workers…I guess they don’t get oil meant for that refinery. And people want oil. Russia can fine buyers especially while Europe is bidding up prices.

  16. JAC

    I would like to throw this out here for all you people that I like so much in order to help you and your loved ones who might be suffering Long COVID. And I apologies for the length but I think this is important and I feel you all are the only few who might appreciate this.

    I was infected last march, had a psychotic episode in the beginning of it, and a pretty bad case. The month after I was just not right, much harder for me to stabile my brain and my body. Much more joint pain including my back where I already have some stenosis. Also my gut, just horrible.

    A friend of mine went to a dietitian (she had COVID as well) because she was having horrible bloating. She also had a previous mood disorder (depression). The dietician told put her own a FODMAP diet and she improved greatly across the board. Knowing I had a previous gluten sensitivity I decided to go gluten diary free as well, but also some other restrictions I will not go into fro brevity.

    Five days on the diet and I also had improvement across the board. Joint Ian gone, gut better, mood more stable. Three days ago I decided to start eating wheat again, slowly, two servings a day. For example, a bagel with cream cheese in the morning.

    Sitting here this morning lucky I had klonopin to keep me alive last night because the suicidal thoughts came on like a wildfire. My gut is fckd and my back is jacked and my knees are gone again.

    Then it dawned on me at 3:30 this morning that this was so new to me and the COVID popped into my head. What if it was COVID that made me even more sensitive to gluten?

    I went searching on reddit and twitter and there is moire than enough anecdotal evidence that this is happening to more people than just me and my friend. Then I started looking at studies…

    There is a protein called zonulin that controls intestinal permeability in the gut. And they are finding that people infected with SARS2 have increased levels of zonulin!

    They are using a zonlulin inhibitor in the treatment off celiac

    It is basically acetic acid. What is this important, because acetate is a short chain fatty acid normally created by our microbiome.

    But it is not just the gut! Zonulin also opens up the blood brain barrier, and I feel this is why it caused my, and others, psychosis and brain fog.

    So my thoughts are that long COVID are all a result of this increased intestinal and blood brain barrier permeability that leads to all kinds of proteins getting into peoples blood and causing the myriad of symptoms.

    I am working on what to do with this since just stopping gluten is not the answer. They should be a way we can naturally lower zonlulin and close the tight junctures in the gut.

    1. HotFlash

      Thanks for this, JAC. Your situation is almost word for word Mr HotFlash’s, we will go FODMAP, which I now go to look up.

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘I wonder why they are so certain that this time Putin is done for?’

    It’s sort of like marrying for a second time. A victory of hope over experience.

    1. Pat

      I call it the Mueller Garland Syndrome. The absolute certainty of the main stream media reading public that this time the boogeyman the media has been telling them about will get their punishment usually through the tireless actions of a legal freedom fighter.

      Since Putin has been going down every other week since the start of this, wouldn’t that have to be married for the eighth time or more for your example?

    2. tgs

      As a rule, I don’t pay much attention to the MSM. However, I did see some coverage yesterday and given what I heard, American news consumers must be wondering why Russia has not surrendered without conditions and sent Putin to the Hague! The impression is that Ukraine has now won decisively and the end for the Russians is nigh.

      1. chris

        I agree. It’s bizarre. I don’t think anything will come of my questioning. Yet I’m still asking my friends… how much oil and gas can you force Russia to sell to Europe? Or what are you going to do to take it?

  18. Wukchumni

    About 50 migrants, including a one-month-old baby, have been sent in a bus from Texas to the Washington DC residence of Vice-President Kamala Harris, in the latest move by Republican-led states to transfer migrants unannounced across the country.

    The bus let off the migrants, who are believed to be mostly Venezuelan, outside the Naval Observatory, the traditional home of US vice-presidents, on Saturday morning.
    I don’t know my Hispanic hierarchy, er pecking order in terms of them being desirable immigrants, but why are so many of the migrants being shipped, from Venezuela…

    Is there some of statement being delivered that i’m missing?

    1. LawnDart

      I’m seeing that too… Venezuelans don’t even make the top-10 list of “illegal” immigrants to the USA. Maybe it’s the result of focus-group driven messaging, or maybe because our B-52s are loading-up on freedom and democracy to deliver to their country?

      1. tegnost

        Well you don’t say what did I note below about sow conflict and drive populations to the benefit of…
        Not certain but I think there’s some oil industry in the lone star state. /s

        FTA…”. Some are poor and working-class Venezuelans in search of economic opportunity. Some are professionals who were purged by the Chávez government. And some are the same corrupt businessmen who stole billions from the Venezuelan government and plunged the country into the worst economic crisis Latin America has seen in a generation.”

  19. Mikel

    For those interested in keeping track of foreign bussineses in Russia. Looks like a handy guide with filtering and sorting tools:

    Yale CELI List of Companies Leaving and Staying in Russia

    Last Updated:

    September 18, 2022

    How We Do It: We have a team of experts with backgrounds in financial analysis, economics, accounting, strategy, governance, geopolitics, and Eurasian affairs with collective fluency in ten languages including Russian, Ukrainian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Polish and English, compiling this unique dataset using both public sources such as government regulatory filings, tax documents, company statements, financial analyst reports, Bloomberg, FactSet, MSCI, S&P Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters and business media from 166 countries; as well as non-public sources, including a global wiki-style network of 150+ company insiders, whistleblowers and executive contacts.

  20. Glen

    Deal averting railroad strike has potential to fall apart

    This is like watching a real time crappy version of manufacturing consent done by a PMC drone that failed out of Noam’s classes at MIT. Obviously, the railroad workers are going to get $crewed so that Warren Buffet can tack a few billion more on to his fortune.

    I remember reading a comment here a while back that the railroads were actually no longer capable of doing some of the work routinely done in the past (getting crops from the fields to markets in refer trains going across America in under four days). So we have a railroad industry that is less capable, is losing workers, but is being stripped mined to maximize profit. Where have I seen this before? And how will it end?

    So, a plea to the workers: This is a hard ask, but please consider that America will need a functioning rail system for it’s future, and your strike might represent our last, best chance to preserve that result.

  21. Jason Boxman

    How Russian Trolls Helped Keep the Women’s March Out of Lock Step

    More than 4,000 miles away, organizations linked to the Russian government had assigned teams to the Women’s March. At desks in bland offices in St. Petersburg, using models derived from advertising and public relations, copywriters were testing out social media messages critical of the Women’s March movement, adopting the personas of fictional Americans.

    So the women’s marches failed because… Russia.

    Of course!

    1. hunkerdown

      Every Sunday the USA shuts down for religious programming. (As we know, churches are cults the ruling class likes.)

    2. Sibiryak

      How Russian Trolls Helped Keep the Women’s March Out of Lock Step –NYT

      one message performed better with audiences than any other. It singled out an element of the Women’s March that might, at first, have seemed like a detail: Among its four co-chairs was Ms. Sarsour, a Palestinian American activist whose hijab marked her as an observant Muslim.

      Over the 18 months that followed, Russia’s troll factories and its military intelligence service put a sustained effort into discrediting the movement by circulating damning, often fabricated narratives around Ms. Sarsour, whose activism made her a lightning rod for Mr. Trump’s base and also for some of his most ardent opposition.

      Fortunately it was just the Russians. Imagine how much worse it would have been if Israel & Co. had joined in.

  22. Tom Stone

    It’s raining in the Wine Country, almost .25 inch so far with more expected.
    Just weeks before the grape and Cannabis harvests with temperatures expected to reach 90 F by Saturday.
    Unless we get a couple of cool windy days before the heatwave mold and mildew will seriously affect both crops.
    Cool and windy = good, cool and still,manageable with big fans to dry things out, warm and still = lots of mold and mildew, warm and windy = lots of split skins, not good but somewhat manageable.

  23. Jason Boxman

    More nightmares of ‘great’ corporate health care from a large employer I am familiar with:

    Ran into this here in [mid-sized city], but only when I used tele-medicine visits (one during the summer of pandemic when the office @hospital owned facility was closed for in-person visits and one on the yearly follow-up). There was a $205 video call origination facility fee each time that wasn’t covered. I make the 1hr drive each way now instead.

    The exact wording on the last one was “Telehealth Originating Site Facility Fee” for [name] (ospital) Facility. I’m very careful to avoid tele-visits even though my PCP and Ortho docs offer tele-visits for routine follow-ups as both are in [hospital chain] owned facilities.

    What a brilliant grift, eh?

    And these emails come into the US employees list. Routinely, like every couple of weeks a thread starts about how to get reimbursed for COVID tests properly (for months you had to _fax_ a recipe in to insurer) or why some random fee is being charged or why the dental insurance has dropped half the dentists in the country or whatever.

  24. QR

    Re: covid, there’s a new sera research published in Nature, with what seems to be quite grim news of ADE and negative vaccine efficacy:

    Taken together, these results demonstrate that after vaccinations, neutralizing Abs are induced and persist for a long time in some individuals, but ADE-causing Abs also exist from the early stage and persist for a longer period than do neutralizing Abs in some individuals (HC2 and HC4 in Fig. 3B–D). […]

    These results suggest that the rapid spread of Omicron around the world may in part result from the lack of cross-neutralization against Omicron and some ADE activity of sera after vaccination.

    If the Covid Brain Trust has time to look at this paper, I’d be grateful for their assessment of how deeply concerning the future implications of this are.

  25. square coats

    For anyone interested in learning more about what’s been going on in Ethiopia, I recently listened to this interview Katie Halper and Leslie Lee had with Rania Khalek which is from 8 months ago (maybe it’s been shared here before), so I’m not sure what has changed since and how much but I found it to be very informative about the situation then and the overall context for it. (link goes to youtube)

  26. Mark Gisleson

    I was surprised to learn that “Third World” is now considered to be a derogatory term (still a great band) but I didn’t realize that the U.S. is now ranked alongside developing nations in many statistical areas. Now that we’re eligible this term is obviously rude!

    In its global rankings, the United Nations Office of Sustainable Development dropped the U.S. to 41st worldwide, down from its previous ranking of 32nd. Under this methodology – an expansive model of 17 categories, or “goals,” many of them focused on the environment and equity – the U.S. ranks between Cuba and Bulgaria. Both are widely regarded as developing countries.

    From The Conversation. (apologies if NC linked to this but if so I missed it)

    In music there are tags like post.rock and post.punk. Are “post-developed nations” a thing now because that kind of seems to be our thing nowadays.

    1. ambrit

      Hmmm…. “From pillar to post” comes to mind. Some might see it as a call to “whip up some enthusiasm.”
      As the DJ used to say: “Look out boys and girls! Here come the slammers!”

    2. jinn

      U.S. is now ranked alongside developing nations in many statistical areas. Now that we’re eligible this term is obviously rude!


  27. Mikel

    Nigeria, Morocco begin 5,600km gas pipeline project The Punch

    Nigeria loses N32bn daily to oil terminals’ shutdown The Punch

    Uganda reacts angrily to EU resolution slamming oil pipeline SFGATE

    Venezuela is Ready to Supply Oil and Gas to the World: Maduro teleSUR
    Looks like the competition is the thing heating up.

  28. spud

    the power of socialism, central planning and protectionism: bolivia has the best economy by far in south america, poverty has been vastly reduced since bolivia threw out their milton freidmans, and only have a 2% inflation rate:)

    IMF Tells Bolivia To Drop Its Successful Economic Model.

    “Bolivia is the only country in the region to see no rise in fuel prices, a policy that has kept inflation at less than 2%, unlike the rest of South America.”

  29. LawnDart

    Re; Covid-stuff

    I do not want to bother the brain-trust with this one, I just wish to note that sometimes the Russians can be a little too direct and may be in need of some improvement in their bedside manor:

    Neurologist says loss of sense of smell after coronavirus worsens intelligence

    Neurologist Pavel Khoroshev said that if you lose your sense of smell, a person can become stupid, reports Life with reference to

    According to him, deprivation, that is, the deprivation of any sensation, leads to a decrease in cognitive abilities, as well as a decrease in intelligence.

    Source: tsn24[dot]ru, Невролог заявил, что потеря обоняния после коронавируса ухудшает интеллект
    15 сентября 2022, 15:34
    Тульская служба новостей

    Perhaps “stupid” has less unkind intonations in Russian… …I kinda doubt it though.

    Incidently, has the NC covid brain-trust run for the hills? Haven’t seen them around lately– hopefully they’re just taking a break before the Fall falls upon us.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Hope they return too, the various covid people I follow think we are in for another nasty wave (or series of waves) as winter sets in. There are several ‘scarients’ emerging, although none seem to have fully established themselves fully. It would be good to have some updates from reliable sources.

      I’m off now for my novamax shot – hopefully it will give me better protection over the winter than the RNA vax’s. I’ll soon find out I guess.

      1. LawnDart

        I was going to post another link from a Russian source suggesting such a “scarient.” But I will hold off for a few more days to see if more information emerges, (I’m not entirely confident in my ability to discern what is real and what is breathless-crap in foriegn-to-me media) although I will note that on 9/16 the WHO stated that countries “should be prepared for the possible emergence of a new and more dangerous strain of coronavirus.”

        The gogov[dot]ru website has a lot of current information and links to news and other resources, under “home/coronavirus” — and I like this because they make no sole claim to authority or that knowledge of this virus has been set in stone: they’re running best they can in a fluid-situation, just like the rest of us.

        Let us know how the novamax goes. If we don’t hear from you in a week, we’ll at least know not to eat that cheese!

      2. wilroncanada

        I wonder how many large-scale funeral and upcoming coronation events have, and are going to, become superspreader events? All those self-styled dignitaries? all those crowds of hoi polloi.on the sidelines. The dignitaries returning home. The hangers-on stuck in their masssive or tiny bergs. Worship your royalty, suckers!

    2. Sibiryak

      Neurologist Pavel Khoroshev said that if you lose your sense of smell, a person can become stupid,

      The neurologist himself does NOT use the expression “become stupid” (“поглупеть”). That’s just some writer spicing things up. As your quote and the rest of the article show, the neurologist himself talks about “a decrease in cognitive abilities (когнитивные способности) ” and “intelligence (интеллект)”.

      So your remark that “the Russians can be a little too direct and may be in need of some improvement in their bedside manor ” is completely off base here.

      1. LawnDart

        You’re right– the ura[doy]ru article does not use that wording in their reporting, on which the life[dot]ru is supposedly based (Life headline and repeated in the first sentence: “The doctor said that because of the loss of the sense of smell in covid, a person becomes stupid”).

        So perhaps the writers at Life are graduates of American journalism schools?

  30. skippy

    This is interesting and has more than a few outcomes attached too it …

    See new Tweets
    Nick Brown🌻
    French government inquiry confirms (as reported earlier by investigative media) that the initial IHU-Marseille hydroxychloroquine study was faked, with different criteria for +ve/-ve PCR tests being applied to the two groups. This is straight-up scientific fraud.

      1. skippy

        I believe its the age old combination of ego and incentive [long history with hydroxychloroquine] Lambert. Its also notable that at the time he had strong support from far right notable French polies, so there could be some synergy dynamics.

        Wellie we’ll see how the clean up on isle IHU and any medical journal that passed it on goes …

          1. skippy

            By incentive I did not infer a Fauci payday, not that it could have been played many many market ways for a few players.

            At the end of the day – too me – its just so Science Mart-esque.

      2. britzklieg

        Dodgy data abounds, huh?

        From the study linked a couple of weeks ago and commented upon by IMDoc:

        “Pfizer and Moderna each submitted the results of one phase III randomized trial in support of the FDA’s emergency use authorization of their vaccines in adults. Two reviewers (PD and RK) searched journal publications and trial data on the FDA’s and Health Canada’s websites to locate serious adverse event results tables for these trials. The Pfizer and Moderna trials are expected to follow participants for two years. Within weeks of the emergency authorization, however, the sponsors began a process of unblinding all participants who elected to be unblinded. In addition, those who received placebo were offered the vaccine. These self-selection processes may have introduced nonrandom differences between vaccinated and unvaccinated participants, thus rendering the post-authorization data less reliable. Therefore, to preserve randomization, we used the interim datasets that were the basis for emergency authorization in December 2020, approximately 4 months after trials commenced.”

        and IMDoc’s comment:

        “With regard to the above linked article from the journal Vaccine about COVID vaccine side effects.

        This is the exact same article from a few months ago that was then in preprint and now in a peer-reviewed top of the line journal in that area.

        As I said then, and I will say again – this work is very likely going to be remembered for the ages. Each era, AIDS, opiates, Vioxx, you name it, have foundational papers that break the ice. This is likely going to be one of the papers for this crisis.

        Basically, they did the work because the CDC and other federal agencies, and Big Pharma, continue to this day to withhold any and all granular data about side effects. So these authors came up with absolutely ingenious ways to arrive at these numbers in other ways. As I said at the time, these are not people to be blown off. Three of them are world-class epidemiologists, one of them is the author of the current foundational textbook in epidemiology ( all my students and I use it), and the other is an editor of the BMJ. These are not people to be trifled with.
        And again, they did this because the data has not been forthcoming from the authorities or Pharma.

        It is a magical paper. Since the preprint was published I have had every student go over it. It is truly wonderful to see these young and bright people go over this in their head and watch the lightbulbs go on.

        Of course – when the preprint came out, we were informed by the medical establishment and the Medical Twitterati – that it was obviously useless and written by morons – it had not been peer-reviewed, and it would never see the light of day in a reputable journal. How dare these people just make up new ways of assessing the situation, why, how dare they? If I recall correctly, that was even stated in these comments. Oops. I cannot wait to see what they have to say now. Actually, I have been looking all week. Crickets. As has been the case all along, when things do not fit the narrative and appear to be gaining traction, they are memory-holed as soon as possible.

        All of this would be for naught if the CDC and Pharma would just release the data. I pray daily that our society will learn from these huge mistakes.”

        Looks like there’s a lot to investigate… Famotidine activates the vagus nerve inflammatory reflex to attenuate cytokine storm
        “Late last month, Senate Republicans sent a letter to the Biden administration calling for an Operation Warp Speed-like project for intranasal vaccines to reduce transmission, as well as pan-coronavirus approaches.”

  31. LawnDart

    RE; Ukraine: a prelude to the end of the SMO (Special Military Operation)? Most definately not a good thing, as this will likely escalate into an “anti-terrorist operation” (which is one-step away from “game-over”). The West are not the good-guys, and the mood in Moscow is getting grim.

    Ukraine has become a terrorist state

    The fate of Islamist terrorists is also well illustrated by the saying about God’s mills that grind slowly but surely.

    However, the scale of Ukrainian terror also requires a large-scale response. Moreover, the owners of the Ukronazis have already crawled onto the battlefield. French Caesar howitzers and American Himars are firing at Donetsk. Expensive systems are serviced entirely by foreign specialists. Mercenaries from NATO countries helped take cities in the Kharkiv region.

    And all this Western kublo has already crept up to our borders, shelled the Belgorod region, the Crimea. In these circumstances, many Russian politicians are calling on the military to strike at critical infrastructure in Ukraine. This was discussed both in the Federation Council and in the State Duma Defense Committee.

    “Just recently, the Russian Armed Forces launched a couple of sensitive strikes, we will assume that they are warning,” President Putin described the recent bombing of Ukrainian power plants. — “If the situation continues to develop in this way, the answer will be more serious, ” he continued.

    Source: news-front[dot]info; Victoria Nikiforova, RIA Novosti; 19.09.2022 08:26
    “Украина превратилась в террористическое государство”

    Worth a full-read‐- this is some of the domestic-pressure on the Kremlin.

    1. LawnDart

      [nezalezhnaya – a Russian derisive slang reference to Ukraine. Borrowing of Ukrainian nezalezhna, “independent”, with a Russian ending, mocking the historical Ukrainian struggle for independence (compare Russian nezavisimaya). Sometimes used colloquially by Russians and Russian mass media to express ironic, disparaging attitude towards Ukraine.– wikipedia]

      1. Polar Socialist

        I don’t think it mocking “historical Ukrainian struggle for independence”, since it apparently appeared only after 1991. I think it’s mocking the well known Ukrainian struggle to be a functional country – see terms like “country 404”, “Urkaina” (from “urka”, bandit, thief), “Ščenevmérla” (from Ukrainian national hymn “Not yet dead”) or “Ukruanda”.

        1. Sibiryak

          nezalezhnaya – a Russian derisive slang reference to Ukraine

          Previously LawnDart quoted from “The new law of Ukraine will reject millions of citizens”

          The Cabinet of Ministers ‘ draft law provides for a whole system of punishments for obtaining Russian passports by citizens of Nezalezhnaya Square .”

          Now, when you go to the Russian version of that article, you find this:

          Кабминовский законопроект предусматривает целую систему наказаний за получение гражданами Незалежной российских паспортов

          Note: the word for “Square” does not appear at all. “Незалежной” is used just as term for “Ukraine”; so “гражданами Незалежной” means simply “by citizens of Ukraine.”

          I’ve just consulted with some native speakers around me here in Siberia, and they say this Ukrainian term for “independence” has become a relatively common non-official term for “Ukraine” itself, and that it’s only mildly derisive, or perhaps not at all derisive, depending on the context.

          In other contexts, using the Ukrainian term for independence with a Russian ending is something like saying “independence, Ukrainian-style”, with various degrees of irony.

  32. The Rev Kev

    People will be glad to know that NATO is taking the fight to the Russians in every way that they can. So, ‘Janis Sarts, director of NATO’s Strategic Communications Center in Riga, was spotted wearing socks inscribed “Топчу русню” – “I trample on Rusnya,” a derogatory term for Russians – at a conference in Warsaw on Friday.’

    That’ll learn them!

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