Links 9/19/2022

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

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


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

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

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The Earth’s Newest Secret: Fundamental Changes to What We Know About How Volcanoes Work SciTechDaily (CL)

Date With Adult Model Leads to Testicular Cancer Diagnosis Medscape (KS)

Form, function, and the giant gulf between drawing a picture and understanding the world The Road to AI We Can Trust (DL)

Surgical amputation of a limb 31,000 years ago in Borneo Nature

What constitutes a mind? Lars Chittka challenges our perception of sentience with the smallest of creatures The Conversation (DL)

Take It Easy on Your Dog The Atlantic (DL)

Ken Burns Turns His Lens on the American Response to the Holocaust The New Yorker (furzy)


President Joe Biden: The 2022 60 Minutes Interview CBS (KF) “President Joe Biden: The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. It’s– but the pandemic is over.”


Refreezing poles feasible and cheap, new study finds ScienceBlog (KS)

A Fight Over Nantucket’s Bluff Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor NYT (DL)

$35 Billion Worth of Real Estate Could Be Underwater by 2050 Scientific American

One dead, one missing after typhoon slams southwestern Japan Brisbane Times

Hurricane Fiona knocks out Puerto Rico electricity BBC


Biden Keeps Pledging Direct US War With China Over Taiwan Caitlin Johnstone

Can the West Shake Its Dependence on China’s Rare Earths? The Diplomat


Explained | The ban on the export of broken rice The Hindu

How Well Is India’s Pitch To Become an Energy Exporter Going? The Wire

Food insecurity in Sri Lanka likely to worsen amid poor agricultural production, price spikes and ongoing economic crisis, FAO and WFP warn FAO

Old Blighty

Hindu-Muslim Scuffles Lead to Heightened Communal Tension in UK’s Leicester The Wire

No 10 chief of staff spoken to by FBI about work for banker accused of bribery The Guardian (KW)

Mohammed bin Salman won’t attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral The Telegraph

First public global database of fossil fuels launches AP (DL)


Egypt and Qatar find ‘synergies’ in post-Ukraine Middle East Middle East Eye

Hamas claims Palestinian right to offshore Mediterranean gas Al-Monitor

Kuwait plans to increase daily gas production Arab News

US military base in Syria targeted in failed rocket attack Jerusalem Post

Iran says no nuclear deal without U.S. guarantees it won’t walk out again WaPo

The US Response to the World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis: Seize and Privatize CounterPunch

Eritrea issues army mobilisation call as Ethiopia fighting resumes, Canada says Reuters

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Customs officials have copied Americans’ phone data at massive scale WaPo

Spyware and surveillance: Threats to privacy and human rights growing, UN report warns The Guardian


Migrants can reverse French rural de-population – Macron RT (KW)

Orban won elections, Hungary is a democracy – Meloni ANSA

Pawnbrokers, winners of Germany’s growing economic crisis DW

A dangerous government in Greece Red Flag

Chartbook #151: Zugzwang – are we on the brink of a central banking paradigm shift? Chartbook (CL)

New Not-So-Cold War

Putin: Terrorists Near Russian Nuclear Power Plants (KW)

EU calls for war crimes tribunal after mass graves found in Ukraine The Guardian

Libyan parliament speaker to visit Russia in coming days — adviser TASS

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Ukrainian grain prices undercut EU farmers – WSJ RT (KW)

Russian sanctions slow to bite as US officials admit frustrations over pace of pain in Moscow CNN

German Gas Buyers Resume Nominations For Nord Stream 1 Supply OilPrice

G7’s grand plan to squeeze Russia oil windfall hinges on tanker shipping Hellenic Shipping News

Discounted Russia crude gives India Rs 35,000 crore gain Times of India

Pelosi Condemns ‘Illegal’ Azerbaijan Attack On Armenia Barron’s

Biden Administration

Border Wall Construction Resumes Under President Joe Biden The Intercept (furzy)

The Odds of a Bad Outcome are Rising The Lens (RK). This is an important piece on the US response to inflation that shows you have to ignore all the historical evidence to believe raising rates will solve the problem without pushing the cost onto working people.


Swing-state Republicans on defense over Graham’s abortion ban The Hill

Republicans in key battleground races refuse to say they will accept results WaPo (KW)

‘Welcome to fascism’: Top Arizona Republican blasts Trump-backed candidates who might try to overturn future elections CNN (furzy)

Supply Chain

Egypt’s Suez Canal to raise transit fees by 15% in 2023 Anadolu Agency

Johnson & Johnson and a New War on Consumer Protection The New Yorker

Class Warfare

Honda is blasted for ordering hundreds of workers at Ohio factory to REPAY part of their bonuses because the company was ‘too generous’ Daily Mail (BC)

German trade unions and employers conspire against the working class in a new round of the “Concerted Action” WSWS

The Bezzle

The lawless world of crypto scams FT

America taps 150+ prosecutors to fight cryptocurrency crime The Register

Antidote du jour (via):

And a bonus (DK):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    In yesterday’s comments, LawnDart linked to an article about a NY Times series which severely criticizes China’s Zero Covid policy. Wow. What song to parody for THAT? Immediately I thought of Eminem’s “Stan” – in which he exchanges letters with a fan who becomes increasingly deranged. Wonderful song – Eminem’s rapid-fire rap, interspersed with Dido’s beautiful song “Thank you”.

    Chorus – Dido (as NYC Mayor Eric Adams)
    My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I
    Got out of bed at all.
    The morning rain clouds up my window
    And I can’t see at all
    But then I read of my city’s Covid toll,
    40 K dead, that is all
    It reminds me, that it’s not so bad.
    It’s not so bad.

    Verse 1 – Eminem (as the NY Times)
    Dear Xi, – We wrote you, but you still won’t listen
    You got cities, high rises – you won’t let them shine and glisten
    Just wrote another series, dissin’ – your brain must be missin’
    It should be our a@@ you’re kissin’ – instead you just take a whizzin’
    It’s like you only care that your death toll hasn’t risen.
    But anyways, s***w it, what’s been up? We need your products
    You can’t lock things down, it s****s up the world’s economics,
    We don’t make our own drugs – we need your hypnotics.
    You only care about health?
    We gotta worry about wealth too (on the stealth).
    Try to contain this virus? Everyone feels like they’re in prison.
    You probably hear this a lot that we’re not your biggest fans.
    You mess with supply chains and it mucks up our business plans.
    We’re already stranglin’ ourselves with Russian bans after bans.
    Stop with this nonsense; with elections, recessions, we got enough on our hands.
    Anyways, hope you read what we have to say, hit us back sometimes.
    Explain yourself, hope it rhymes – Sincerely Yours, The Times.

    Chorus – Dido (as NYC Mayor Eric Adams)
    My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I
    Got out of bed at all.
    The morning rain clouds up my window
    And I can’t see at all
    But then I read of my city’s Covid toll,
    40 K dead, that is all
    It reminds me, that it’s not so bad.
    It’s not so bad.

    Verse 2 – Eminem (as the NY Times – again!!)
    Dear Xi, you still ain’t called or wrote, hope you have a chance.
    We ain’t mad, just…it’s sad you won’t answer our rants.
    Guess you think you’re so big you don’t have to.
    But we’re The Times, dig, we know way more than you do.
    We got writers from Harvard, Yale, and Brown
    You still pulling your damn rickshaws around?
    Don’t know if you know it, but we got a CDC here.
    We listen to them – maybe you got wax in your ear.
    If every time someone’s sick there you lock down, Clown
    Pretty soon your whole country will look like our Downtown.
    Remember how before we wrote nice things about China?
    We’d be writing some more – we used to like you, kinda.
    See, we’re just like you, in a way – got power over masses,
    Students read us in classes, their professors don’t razz us.’
    We’re read by the most powerful folks in our nation.
    They love what we write – we even take their dictation.
    Whatever we write, people take us real serious,
    When we write about Trump we even make ‘em delirious.
    Everyone smart turns to us for analysis
    We mold more minds than you can count on your abacus.
    It’s like adrenaline, having the influence we do
    We can tell any lie – they’ll believe that one too.
    You should see what we wrote about WMD
    If we really wanted, we could start World War Three
    You gotta talk to us, man, we’re the News Source Supreme
    Sincerely, The Times. P.S. – We could make a good team.

    Chorus – Dido (as NYC Mayor Eric Adams)
    My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I
    Got out of bed at all.
    The morning rain clouds up my window
    And I can’t see at all
    But then I read of my city’s Covid toll,
    40 K dead, that is all
    It reminds me, that it’s not so bad.
    It’s not so bad.

    Verse 3 – Eminem (as the NY Times – again!!!!!!!)
    Dear Mr. I’m-Too-Good-to-Call-or-Write-Them-Back,
    This’ll be the last letter we send to your a@@.
    It’s been seven days, still no word, we don’t deserve it?
    We told you how our writers can make people fervid.
    We coulda helped you out – been your PR machine,
    Written praising accounts in our Sunday magazine,
    Told everyone that they should bow to your whims,
    Written biographies that had resounded like hymns.
    All you hadda do was to do what we say,
    But no, Mr. Xi had to think his own way.
    You shoulda listened to us, shoulda took our advice,
    But no, Mr. Bigshot didn’t even think twice.
    You just blew us all off like we’re yesterday’s trash.
    So now sit up and listen, we got a brand new news flash.
    Think our series on your lockdowns was over the top?
    Just wait ‘til you see what our next move is, Pop.
    We’ll tell all our readers you cooked up The Bug
    And infected the world like a criminal Thug.
    That your Zero-Covid move is a weapon of War
    And it’s time for our country to even the score.
    We’ll awaken our readers’ subconscious fear
    And aim it at Chinese citizens here
    And then broaden our target to your own CCP.
    You have no clue how vicious Americans will be
    When they’re told all their problems are easy to see,
    And that each one is caused by YOU, Mr. Xi.
    We’ve done it before; we’ll do it again.
    Unleash Dogs of War through our mightiest Pen.
    It could have been beautiful, between you and us,
    But you just wouldn’t listen – no, you just missed the bus.

    Chorus – Dido (as NYC Mayor Eric Adams)
    My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why I
    Got out of bed at all.
    The morning rain clouds up my window
    And I can’t see at all
    But then I read of my city’s Covid toll,
    40 K dead, that is all
    It reminds me, that it’s not so bad.
    It’s not so bad.

    Verse 4 – Eminem (now as President Xi, replying)
    Dear NY Times, I meant to write sooner, I’ve just been busy.
    I heard Mr. Biden got Covid – how is he?
    Look, I’m flattered you’ve taken the time to advise me.
    I always considered your words to be wisely.
    Your paper is certainly one of the best,
    And I know your reporters are loaded with zest!
    However, I must say that your most recent letter
    Concerns me, I think we can all do much better.
    I’m sorry my negligence had such effect.
    I certainly, certainly meant no disrespect.
    I hold your opinions in the highest esteem,
    I agree that someday we’d make a good team!
    Your paper has always been one of renown,
    But I’m hoping for now we can dial this down.
    There’s no need for us to become enemies,
    Together we all need to fight this disease.
    I realize not everyone seems to agree
    On which way is best, which policy?
    Please understand, my main obligation
    Is to work to ensure the health of my nation.
    Our Zero Covid goal is not easy to reach.
    Keeping Shanghai in lockdown is no day at the beach!
    We certainly take your opinions to heart,
    As this effort is one in which we all have a part.
    It requires clear vision from all us adults
    So when judging our efforts, please see our results.
    Of a billion and a half of our citizens here
    Just 15 K dead – our success would seem clear.
    Why, just yesterday I had read a report
    On how some nations have really come up way short.
    There was one with one-fifth our population
    Whose policies resulted in mass devastation.
    With far fewer people, over a million were dead!
    Their citizens must have been horribly misled.
    Let’s see who it was; give me a moment or two.
    Let me scan through this list…. Oh my – it was…YOU.


      1. John Zelnicker

        Sardonia – I’m putting together a Naked Capitalism Songbook.

        I would appreciate it if you could send me any other songs/poems you have composed for NC. If you kept a link to the comment where you posted them, that would be the best option so I can include the link for those who would also like to see any responses to the post, some if which are great. A link to the original song would also be helpful. Otherwise you can just send the text.

        Please send them to me at zelnickertaxservice [at] comcast [dot] net

        Thank you.

    1. Robert Hahl

      My son who recently recovered from a confirmed case still does not take covid-19 very seriously. However we have reached an agreement. I will stop hectoring him on the subject, and he will now always refer to it as brain-shrinking bat virus, a phrase I picked up here at Naked Capitalism for which I thank you.

      1. Lee

        There is a parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, that makes a rodent lose its instinctual fears so that it is more likely to be eaten by a cat so that the parasite can reproduce within the cat’s intestines. I’m wondering if Covid-19 is producing a similar effect in some of the humans it infects. There seem to be many cases among those in leadership positions. I’ve long held that we are being ruled by pinheads and now it’s just going to get worse.

        1. Sardonia

          Natural Selection is fascinating. Dawkin’s “Selfish Gene” in action! (Genes only care about themselves, not the organisms they create)

        2. Mikel

          Well, Ivermectin is an anti-parasite medication and it has been claimed to show effectiveness in treating Covid. Things that make you go hmmm???
          Just spitballin’…..

      2. BeliTsari

        “Dick shrinking bat virus that makes meat taste like rotting offal & turns you into Biden, if you’re magically still alive by 35,” would be more effective? Thank Joe, its OVER, we’re back to NORMAL & only the uppity essentials & death o’ disparity deplorables still DIE six months later! NYC had rich kids lining-up, TRYING to get BA.2.12.1, after Rochelle forgot to mention this aspect of it’s being “MILD” & conveying SUPER Immunity©.

          1. Sardonia

            Yeah, that article – the chutzpah! The Times had it coming…

            I wonder if they’d let me post it in their comments. Sigh…a boy can dream….

  2. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Superstition by Stevie Wonder)

    Sanctions gonna kill us
    Writing’s on the wall
    Sanctions gonna kill us
    Europe’s ’bout to fall

    Here’s the price of methane
    Going up times ten
    Families face evictions
    Bankrupt businessmen

    When we start a war
    That we don’t understand
    Then we suffer
    Blowback Sanctions ain’t the way, yeah

    Sanctions gonna kill us
    Freeze us to the bone
    Gobbled up our savings
    Sank us like a stone

    People up in Brussels
    Want us going strong
    Cannot hear the people
    Sorrow is our song

    When we start a war
    That we don’t understand
    Then we suffer
    Blowback Sanctions ain’t the way, yeah

    These sanctions are so evil
    Results are so insane
    They don’t bother Russia
    We catch all the pain

    Tell Ms von der Leyen
    From every Herr and Frau
    Give us back our lifestyle
    Drop these sanctions now

    When we start a war
    That we don’t understand
    Then we suffer
    Blowback Sanctions ain’t the way
    No, no, no

    1. John Zelnicker

      Wuk – I’m putting together a Naked Capitalism Songbook.

      I would appreciate it if you could send me any other songs/poems you have composed for NC. If you kept a link to the comment where you posted them, that would be the best option so I can include the link for those who would also like to see any responses to the post, some if which are great. A link to the original song would also be helpful. Otherwise you can just send the text.

      Please send them to me at zelnickertaxservice [at] comcast [dot] net

      Thank you.

      Phooey, this was supposed to be for Wukchumni further down the thread. Apologies for the misplacement.

      1. Wukchumni


        As much as i’d like to send you my songbook, i’m not sure how to go about it as i’m not wired to understand technology all that much and would have to sift through endless entries to get ‘R done, unless there’s an easy shortcut.

        1. John Zelnicker

          Wuk – Do you have copies in some kind of text file, such as Word, WordPad, or Notepad? I assume you compose your songs outside of the comment box.

          You could just send me those files. I don’t need the links, that’s just an extra feature for those songs I see personally.

  3. Sibiryak

    Putin: Terrorists Near Russian Nuclear Power Plants by Ray McGovern

    This is a very straightforward, accurate assessment.

    Those watching yesterday’s News of the Week program with host Dmitry Kiselyov saw him offering a show tantamount to war preparation.

    I watched that show last night (Вести Недели) followed later by Evening with Vladimir Solovyov (Вечер с Владимиром Соловьевым) and I was really struck how the bellicose rhetoric was being ratcheted up. It was all very ominous.

    1. timbers

      Hope the Russian leadership knows something I don’t because a war of attrition can last a long time during which the neo-cons might just get truly long range missiles to Ukraine and I’ll wager only a matter of time before they overrule all and send nukes as well to Ukraine. No reverse gear. I never discount how unhinged they are.

    1. The Rev Kev

      He may be a ruthless, cruel monarch that has an entire kingdom under his sword but even he is not game enough to put himself into a building full of two thousand people singing for a coupla hours – any one of which may be virus-infected and sharing it around with everybody else. You think that we will ever hear who will be coming down sick from this mob in the next week or so?

      1. Wukchumni

        Hold on there Rev Kev, we’re talkin’ elite germs, not just some run of the mill spittle and the like.

          1. Wukchumni

            I was at the post office in the Big Smoke the other day and they had these long plexiglass panels @ the counter which dropped down from the ceiling, think 10 feet long by 3 feet wide with yawning gaps on either side.

            It struck me as quite ‘Cone of Silence’ not that there’s anything wrong with that, Chief.

  4. britzklieg

    I’m glad I clicked on the link to Spyware and surveillance, as I often pass on The Guardian these days… not that the UN is always redoubtable.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Egypt’s Suez Canal to raise transit fees by 15% in 2023”

    Wouldn’t this be a case of Egypt raising their fees to match that of the projected world inflation rate for next year? I don’t think that the Egyptian economy can afford to charge fees that are not matching the rate of inflation the way that they are going.

    1. Paradan

      Wonder if they’ll threaten to attack Israel if they don’t get an extra billion from us added on to their yearly stipend? They gotta be worried now that Ukraine is auditioning for the title of most special ally. Holy crap that means were gonna have to pay Russia not to attack Ukraine! Wheels within wheels..

      1. ambrit

        I dunno bout that. America already pays Israel lots and that particular Middle Eastern Theocracy attacks all and sundry without compunction.

  6. Wukchumni

    Ode to silly Joe…

    Covid doesn’t bother you anymore
    Golden days are here again
    Throw caution to the wind
    The pandemic won’t be near you any more

    Maskless moments when you fly
    Despite hundreds daily that seem to die
    Covid doesn’t want you anymore
    It’s over

    Long Covid breaks your heart in two, to know what you used to be able to do
    But oh what will you do? When its through with you
    There’s always someone new
    We’re through
    We’re through
    It’s over
    It’s over
    It’s over

    All the grieved of those who died
    Start to weep, then say goodbye
    Loved ones won’t be seeing rainbows any more
    Setting suns before they fall, a dirt nap-not amore
    But you’ll wont see them after all

    It’s over
    It’s over
    It’s over
    It’s over

    Roy Orbison – It’s Over

    1. John Zelnicker

      Wuk – I’m putting together a Naked Capitalism Songbook.

      I would appreciate it if you could send me any other songs/poems you have composed for NC. If you kept a link to the comment where you posted them, that would be the best option so I can include the link for those who would also like to see any responses to the post, some if which are great. A link to the original song would also be helpful. Otherwise you can just send the text.

      Please send them to me at zelnickertaxservice [at] comcast [dot] net

      Thank you.

  7. Steve H.

    > Chartbook #151: Zugzwang – are we on the brink of a central banking paradigm shift? Chartbook (CL)

    A note: the top of the chart for ‘Yearly changes in US worker pay’ is 8%, less than the 2021 increase in GDP of 9.08%. Thus pretty much ensuring that relative wages in the US continues its multi-generation drop. Thus pretty much ensuring that social instability continues to increase.

        1. Ignacio

          There are more than two options so zugzwang looks more appropriate even if the outcome is always the same as dictated by the neoliberalism rules you mention. The original article (Chartbook #151 is quite good though somehow depressing to read. The coordination of fiscal and monetary policies (no longer ‘independent’ monetary policy) looks very much needed like a full reform of broken energy mkts.

    1. Objective Ace

      TBF, GDP fell 2 percent in 2020. Wages were up 5 percent then.

      Wages are sticky.. so its tricky comparing them year over year.

    2. Half Bankrupt

      Did “That’s numberwang!” occur to everyone else too, especially if you said zugswang out loud?

    1. Screwball

      I just can’t….You are a brave soul Tom Stone.

      But I do wonder. Someone posts the daily death count from COVID in Watercooler almost daily. Now Joe says it’s over. I’m guessing these very same people who are calling it “over” and will blindly follow what Joe said, are the very same people who would be running around in rage with their hair on fire if the Trumpster was still in office.


      Only in America

    2. Mildred Montana

      I always guard against Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS) by first watching the 60 Minutes intro. Then I almost always go elsewhere, as I did last night. Thus, my head is just fine this morning.

      It used to be 60 Minutes did some fine investigative reporting. Now it’s dominated by interviews with politicians, sports stars, CEOs, and Hollywood actors, and they have agreed to appear for one reason and one reason only: To sell something, whether that be a political viewpoint, a book, a movie, a product, or stock in that product’s company. I’m not buying.

      If one is expecting revelatory truths to come from these scripted, edited encounters one is sure to be disappointed—or worse (see EHS).

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I’m still soft-blocked off Twitter but my EHS is still coming back. I read stories about what our government is doing, and my right hand feels an ancestral vibe that it’s time to pick up an axe.

        The only problem with my battle plan is that I live in a valley now which makes it much harder to run downhill at your enemies. Uphill fighting? Done that, wasn’t/isn’t fun.

        1. ambrit

          Time to learn the lessons from recent Anti-Imperialist Kinetic Force Projection campaigns. Put down the ax and resort to ‘roadside disruption events.’ It’s a ‘moderne’ world after all.
          It’s not as if America doesn’t have a history of similar tactics used in socio-political disputes. See the steel workers bombing campaign at the turn of the twentieth century. From what i’ve read, the major steel construction companies eventually decided that it was preferable to achieve labour quiescence via wage and conditions concessions than physical oppression of the workers.

      2. Questa Nota

        Biden is reliable. He gets a big megaphone to announce big plans, coincidentally before the big election. Cut that student debt, for the right people, then build that wall, or some at least for optics, and then pronounce Covid over.
        That could be a new trifecta.
        Keep your winning ticket or off to the knackers.

    3. Young

      I watched a short clip, and actually, did s second take.

      As far as I can tell, he was not talking to the interviewer or looking at the camera while he was walking.

      He was READING from a teleprompter.

  8. PlutoniumKun

    Hindu-Muslim Scuffles Lead to Heightened Communal Tension in UK’s Leicester The Wire

    From what I can see, this is being almost ignored in the UK media while its getting a lot of attention in India and Pakistan.

    Its pretty disturbing – looks like a boiling over of Indian political tensions, or more specifically, radical Hindu groups flexing their muscles. For those who don’t know, Leicester is a city with a very large population from Pakistan/India/Bangladesh (about a third of the total). Its been a relatively peaceful city but if this boils over it could be very destabilizing all over the UK where usually Indian subcontinent populations are very mixed.

    1. David

      I think it’s fair to say that the UK media (and the political system) have always ignored inter-community tensions among the immigrant population, because it massively complicates the whole discourse, whichever side of the various debates you are on. Far easier to see “immigrants” as a single block, to be for or against. I imagine the challenges of trying to describe and account for these tensions would risk head explosion situations in newsrooms.

    2. Basil Pesto

      I read something about it in the grauniad last night and thought “wait, what?”: it sounded vaguely serious, even vaguely ominous, but the article was very thin on basic details of the who/what/when/where/why/how variety so I didn’t really know what to make of it

      I just checked the story to link to here and it’s been updated with considerably more detail

    3. Questa Nota

      I was in Leicester again recently and saw some of those problems.
      Chatting with the barman provided a fitting episode.

      Publican – Why the f**k did you come back to Leicester?
      followed quickly by
      Publican – Please take me with you.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Surgical amputation of a limb 31,000 years ago in Borneo’

    Not too surprising this as ancient Egyptian and Inca surgeons performed surgery to do with the brain to ease head injuries. And Egyptian surgeons also performed cataract surgery some two and a half thousand years ago. So amputation was not that surprising. But what is important is that as they lived for years after, that their community helped take care of them and probably helped take care of their needs so that is the important bit to note.

        1. JBird4049

          In one of my classes, I read about a the return trip from the quarry to make some more money, they accidentally dropped their stone overboard; despite it being at the bottom of the Pacific, it was still accepted as real money even though they had not quite succeeded in getting it back. They usually don’t move the other stones and just keep track from a distance who has what stone, where it is, and how much it is worth. Why not the stone at the bottom of the ocean?

          It is a nice comparison to our keeping money in ones and zeros online.

    1. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      Reverend, not to be too pedantic, but the amputation reported in the piece is considerably older than the Egyptian or Inca surgeries. I’m reading Graeber and Wengrow’s wonderful The Dawn of Everything where they discuss plenty of examples of “primitive” humans acting in very sophisticated ways. Accordingly, I don’t find this new evidence of surgery too surprising, but it is hugely interesting…

  10. .Tom

    > Pelosi Condemns ‘Illegal’ Azerbaijan Attack On Armenia Barron’s

    There was an article in the summer about RF’s trade diplomacy and a meeting of the nations on the Caspian Sea. Does anyone have the link handy? I think the article was from an Indian publication.

    If Pelosi is taking sides against Azerbaijan then I’m inclined to suspect it has to do with Russia.

    1. The Rev Kev

      More likely it is because Nancy is supporting the side that has all that oil. That was how Azerbaijan had the money to buy all those sophisticated drones. Turkey won’t be happy to see Nancy trying to muscle them out-

      This all reminds me of a cartoon I saw recently. I girl in a bikini was stranded on an island and although she had a sign spelling ‘HELP’, aircraft flying overhead were ignoring her. So then she changed the sign to ‘I HAVE OIL’ and in the next panel you had US Marines storming the beach while USAF aircraft flew cover overhead.

    2. Polar Socialist

      Could somebody clarify the relations in that area a bit? I do know that Armenia and Azerbaijan are in a constant conflict that goes kinetic every once in a while (mostly due Nagorno-Karabakh, one of the many issues left unsettled when Soviet Union ended).

      Russia has good relations with Azerbaijan and Iran, while somewhat complicated with Turkey and Armenia, while with Georgia the relations are silently hostile.

      Armenia is improving it’s relations with Turkey, while Turkey support Azerbaijan in every possible way.

      Iran is increasing tensions with Azerbaijan, who is accusing Iran for secretly supporting Armenia.

      Turkey and Iran have a very complicated relation, to the extent of fighting “proxy” wars in Syria.

      So if I understand this correctly, Nancy can annoy Turkey, Iran and Russia with one strike. Not bad at all.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Hopefully Nancy won’t tell them ‘You know what you guys need to solve all your problems? A big old American base in your country. That will help stabilize everything.’

      2. Louis Fyne

        —Could somebody clarify the relations in that area a bit?—

        It is a mess. Tough geography, historical mistrust = sounds like most mountain peoples in history. to add…

        Azerbaijan and Iran are both Shia, but Azeris are a Turkic peoples.

        Armenia is Christian, but of course, they can’t fully get along w/their Christian Georgian neighbors as (of course) each country have their own separate Christian denomination.

        It is such a mess that the US should stay out of it and let the Russians and Turks lead peace efforts.

        But of course, as both Armenia and Azerbaijan can be used as pawns in the “Great Game” against Russia and Iran (and now Turkey), the US will stick its nose into the mess.

      3. PlutoniumKun

        My knowledge of the area is very superficial, but as Armenia is a member of the CSTO and Azerbaijan is not, I’ve always assumed that Armenia has much stronger relations with Russia. Turkey and Azerbaijan have been closely co-operating in recent years, and both seem to have been eyeing up Armenia as a local weak link. If some of the commentators I’ve been reading are correct, Armenia feels very let down by Putin and the CSTO, which is one reason why the US seems to have seen its opportunity to make a new friend in the region. There is a pretty big Armenian population in the US and they have a reasonable amount of influence. And not just System of a Down, apparently Ian Gillan of Deep Purple fame has a strong Armenian connection (his wife). So if you are a heavy metal fan, there’s only one country to support there….

        Armenia seems very much one of the longer term losers in history. In every iteration its gotten smaller. But it is still in a very strategic location, which is presumably why so many neighbours have a strong interest in it. I think its very remiss of Russia not to pull out all the stops to support it right now. If Turkey and Azerbaijan keep on taking chunks out of it (and perhaps Iran will be tempted to join in), Armenia would have little option but to put its future in the hands of Uncle Sam. They quite literally have no choice.

        1. russell1200

          I would put Turkish-Aberbaijan relations has stronger than simple close cooperation. Some of the rhetoric comes across as a one-peoples nation type thing.

          Iran and Aberbaijan have fought recent border wars.

          Armenia would normally get Russian support, but they can’t do much for Russia. Good relations with Turkey are for more useful.

          On the other side though, Aberbaijan Oil is a direct competitor to Russian oil in Europe. I forget exactly which pipeline is on/off at the moment, but Turkey is a conduit for European Gas. Although neither France nor Germany were particularly interested in supporting the Turkish/Southern route pipelines back in the day.

          As you say, I think Miss Nancy is all about local politics.

        2. vao

          My understanding is that after becoming prime minister, Nikol Pashinian steered Armenia towards a more pro-Western course (including firing many military and intelligence officers he deemed too Russia-orientated and too close to the opposition). The reaction of the Russian government was to do the absolute minimum stipulated by CSTO rules so as to let Armenia appreciate the vacuity of the words of encouragement from the USA and France (both countries with a substantial Armenian diaspora).

    3. Louis Fyne

      —If Pelosi is taking sides against Azerbaijan then I’m inclined to suspect it has to do with Russia.–

      If one wants to assume that Nancy is playing 4-D chess (versus her office getting bombarded by calls from the Californian-Armenian diaspora), then Nancy is pro-Armenia so that Armenia leaves the Russia sphere and forms an anti-RU block w/neighboring Georgia.

      1. Wukchumni

        There’s a couple kinds of Cali Armenian refugees, the 1920’s version who are all assimilated now, and the more recent ex-Soviet Armenians, many who have claimed the LA city of Glendale as their homeland, complete with Armenian Mafia.

        In regards to the latter arrivals, a friend living within their midst in Glendale likes to say, ‘Well, their middle name is mean…’

    4. ambrit

      The deep dive here is that Turkey has traditionally tried to literally obliterate the Armenian population several times in the past. The Armenian genocides of the 1890s and 1910s-20s in Turkey proper established templates that a certain later German regime used to great effect on their own unwanted populations. Why do you think that there are such large ‘diasporic’ populations of Armenians in Europe and America? Because they were fleeing death squads and systemic murder at the hands of the Turks. So, Turkey supporting Azerbaijan against the hated Christian Armenians is a natural outcome of Erdogan’s attempt at resurrecting the Sublime Porte.
      As mentioned above, there is a strong racialist, ethnic component to Turkey’s foreign policy.
      As for Pelosi’s ‘foreign policy,’ just follow the money.

        1. ambrit

          It was, to steal a trope, a “target rich environment.”
          Also, the Germans in WW-1 were close allies with the Turkish government. They had to have had some direct knowledge of the lower level implementation of the Armenian Genocide. They certainly didn’t try to stop it.

  11. PlutoniumKun

    I know this is very geographically specific, but I thought I’d report back on my experience with getting Novavax for anyone interested.

    Over the summer I made a personal decision that three RNA shots were enough, and that I’d only go for further boosters with Novavax until a nasal vaccine becomes available. The Irish health system has an oddly ambiguous advice note on Novavax. I decided to call to see if I could get it as a booster. The website allowed for this option, and I registered 2 weeks ago.

    Last week I got a call from the government vax centre asking me a few questions – I told them I’d had a bad reaction to the last RNA and didn’t want to get another one (this isn’t strictly true, but I decided it was an appropriate white lie). I was given an appointment for monday morning.

    8.30am I turned up at one of the three vax centres in Dublin. It was oddly empty and quiet. The security guy at reception told me there were no vaccinations today, to come back tomorrow. I showed him my texted appointment confirmation and he looked very unconvinced. Fortunately, a nurse was walking by, she saw my text and told me to go up to the main vaccination hall. Turns out she was the one who called me. I was very surprised to find myself the only person in a 20 room centre. There was a handful of staff, all very chatty. After a few minutes I was sent to the only two nurses on duty, answered a few questions and then ended up talking to them both for 30 minutes. There was nobody else getting a shot. We swapped anecdotes about masking, etc., – both said they were very saddened by the very low rate of masking and had plenty of stories of dead relatives and long covid. It seems a batch of Novavax had to be opened just for me. When I left, there was nobody else coming in. The lady at the door said a cheery ‘sure what else would you be doing on a Monday morning!’ as I left.

    That was 5 hours ago – I’ve had no reaction from the shot so far (I did have a mild reaction to the previous shots – slight fluey symptoms after a few hours). So far so good, although obviously there is a lot less long term data on Novavax than others, but what I’ve seen seems very positive, which is just as well as in the UK (which tends to ‘lead’ Ireland in covid) there has been a 20 day streak of rising cases, which probably means another wave is on its way.

    1. Paleobotanist

      I had Novavax in Montreal about a month ago. All I had was a sore arm. I had to argue with a nurse to get it. It was implied that I was a conspiracy-freak anti-vaxxer because I refused the mRNA vaccine that they wanted to give me instead. I had gone to some trouble finding out a vac centre a fair distance away that was offering Novavax and making an appointment.

      I am holding out hope for the nasal spray version of Novavax soon as my fifth vaccination. I continue wearing an N99 everywhere inside if I’m not way up north. I am getting cornered by chairs and deans who want to take me to lunch with them which means unmasking. They are hard to refuse because of their power. Idiots!

    2. Ignacio

      I would appreciate a 24/48h update on reactions. Local/systemic, fever, pain, clots, whatever. If Novavax results in similar antibody boost but with less adverse reactions compared with mRNA vaccines then it would be time to abandon the mRNA miracle.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        I had Novavax as a booster 3 months ago. After two doses of Astra Zeneca.
        I had to hunt to find a doctor who provided Novavax. He said he had waited for Novavax himself because it gives you a defined amount of spike protein rather than the unlimited dose you get with the mRNA vaccines.
        Was tired the first day after vaccination then back to normal.
        Did get a very sore arm for a bit over a week, and the injection site was swollen and a bit red during that time.

        1. Ignacio

          So, in your case mostly local reaction with apparently milder systemic effects (tiredness 24h) compared to mRNA vaccines. It is what I would expect. I think this is something to have in mind, even if these are only anecdotal.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        24 hour update: No symptoms at all, except that I woke about 2 hours earlier than normal (probably unconnected with the vax).

    3. Basil Pesto

      I believe it’s available in Aus for boosters as well. I would have looked into getting one last month but I was infected in late July so will weigh up my options in a couple of months. I doubt I will bother with another WT vaccine. Both Novavax and the updated mRNAs seem pretty sub-optimal in either case, but within that context of low expectations, Novavax seems to be holding up pretty decently.

      Incidentally (and I will submit for links for tomorrow in case it’s missed), Haseltine recently wrote a piece about intranasal vaccines expressing scepticism. I’m not crazy about his alternatives or his failure to countenance a pharmaceutical + NPI containment strategy, but I think it’s important to temper expectations about what intranasals might be capable of on an individual level. I expect to be able to get maybe a few months of relatively low risk, mask-free living before feeling compelled to mask up again, and that very much depends on the variant situation and whether any intranasal is suitably strain-matched.

    4. Objective Ace

      Does anyone know if the Novavax vaccines are being updated? Ie is the spike protein used from the OG covid or updated for omicron?

    5. MarkT

      I opted for a Novavax booster here in NZ for much the same reason. Fortunately it was readily available, though not at every single vaccination centre, and making the online appointment was simple. No side effects other than the usual soreness after having a needle stuck in the arm. I’d had vague flu like reactions to my previous Pfizer shots, including muscle aches and headaches.

  12. Jason Boxman

    I didn’t believe it, had to skim, but yes, Biden did say:

    Scott Pelley: Mr. President, first Detroit Auto Show in three years. Is the pandemic over?

    President Joe Biden: The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lotta work on it. It’s– but the pandemic is over. if you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape. And so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it.

    (bold mine)

    This is, as Lambert says, eugenics.

    And I was thinking about when Biden declared our independence from the pandemic back in 2021, and it was nonsensical then as well. This is quite unequivocal, though. So it is the blunt policy of the United States that there is no ongoing Pandemic any longer, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    Doesn’t bode well for much of a functional society going forward.

    I said back in January this is now the most dangerous phase of the pandemic; Sadly I wasn’t wrong. I don’t look forward to this year’s Biden Winter of Death.

    1. Basil Pesto

      I think he’s counting on there being no new serotype between now and November, and he’ll probably get lucky. Omicron subvariants, even though they’re getting more pathogenic, will continue to be ignorable for those not paying attention and not directly affected. For the midterms, Dems will try ‘take the W’ and campaign on “we ended the pandemic” (this is what one of their consultancies advised then to do in a memo leaked earlier this year).

      When a new serotype emerges between Nov 2022 and Nov 2024, it will be either a) less pathogenic or b) more pathogenic. If it’s a), they’ll double down on the “pandemic is over” thing, and the current state of slow degeneration will continue (something even half as severe as Omicron will still knock off quite a few more people and cause quite a lot of disability/chronic illness). If it’s b), this “pandemic is over” thing will be memory-holed and we’ll get the “we never could have foreseen this” treatment. Beyond that, who knows what will happen. Much will depend on just how much more severe such a variant would be. If it’s anything short of freezer-trucks-for-morgues level of badness again, I suspect a strong effort will be made to ignore it as much as possible.

      The rest of the world, bafflingly, will continue to follow the US’ lead on this whatever happens.

  13. jefemt

    Atlantic. Take it Easy on your Dog. No doubt.

    Unreservedly recommend any training book by Richard Wolters (Gun Dog, Water Dog, City Dog, Family Dog… all incorporate the methods used for seeing eye dog group) Simple stuff.
    Pup’s life from 7 weeks to 16 weeks — and you will have a great dog that everyone will be happy to be around. Not rocket surgery.

    I have hunted many hours, with many dogs, with and without a shock collar. I have trained without and with shock collar, have had several bird dogs of varying breed, temperament, talent, and intellect.

    My breeding, talent, temperament and intellect are pretty fixed and not particularly impressive.

    I was reading the article and substituting kid for dog.

    Perhaps we really should enact a policy about parenting qualifications and techniques before we get to imposing limits on training of charismatic parasitic domesticated midifauna?

    Don’t blame the kid (dog), blame the parent (owner).

    1. CanCyn

      We adopted a 1.5 yr old dog, Milly, about 9 months ago. She is a rescue from Mexico where she was likely a street or beach dog. That article pushed a lot of buttons for me. Her not being a puppy, Richard Wolters does me no good. I am very glad that you have a reliable way to raise and train your dogs.
      I could write a book about my experiences over the last 9 months. The world of dog training is filled with contradictory advice and various ‘schools’ from the purely positive to the highly authoritarian, and as the article indicates, people from all walks of life with no standard of training or education for the trainers. We have seen three different local area trainers and I have spent a ton of time online sifting through many YouTube channels and taken more than a few books out of the library. It has come down to trial and error and what feels right and what seems to work. The trainers who are the most helpful are the ones with an absolute ton of experience with 100s if not 1000s of dogs – some without formal credentials. I would hate to see some kind of licensing started for dog trainers that anyone could get. Just like fitness and yoga teachers – many have the credentials, few actually seem to know what they’re doing.
      I would never use an e-collar, I would worry about malfunctioning. We did use a prong collar for a little while – Milly pulled so hard on the leash she was damaging her trachea and my shoulder. It helped and we can now have a pretty good walk using a regular collar. Patience and consistency are key.
      Last, you’re right about the parenting thing – it is the humans who need to be trained, not the dogs. Here is where I could start a rant about all the irresponsible people out there with their spoiled untrained dogs but I’ll spare you.

    2. Lexx

      Five days into vacay with ‘charismatic parasitic domesticated midfauna’. So far he’s really not digging his new fifth wheel. Humans have been groveling in apology for boneheaded purchase and upsetting his tummy on the ride over the mountains. He’s agreed to soldier through till Saturday, forgiveness may take longer. Still warily scanning floor for lumpy signs of his displeasure. Revenge is a dish best served cold and squished between bare toes in the middle of the night. .

  14. antidlc

    “The pandemic is over”.
    Biden on ‘60 Minutes’: ‘The pandemic is over’

    Despite Biden’s statement, Covid has continued to exact a toll in the United States and around the world. The John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center lists more than 2 million Covid cases in the country in the last 28 days, with hundreds dying from the disease every day.

    Biden’s insistence on Sunday night that the pandemic is over caught several of his own health officials by surprise. The declaration was not part of his planned remarks ahead of the “60 Minutes” interview, two administration officials familiar with the matter told POLITICO.

    bold mine

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      So what happens to those EUA “vaccines” and student loan forgivenesses, both of which are predicated on the covid “emergency.”

      I think biden has jumped the gun. He needed to wait until after early November to give himself a reason to renege.

      1. marku52

        It will certainly improve the odds of any legal action against any mandate, some of which are in court right now.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      He’s already an “ex officio” member.

      I’m so old that I remember when he was touted as “better than Trump.”

  15. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: The Odds of a Bad Outcome are Rising The Lens (RK).

    In the article, Kelton quotes a “Public Policy Brief by MMT economists Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray:”

    The appropriate solution to inflation would be to work to alleviate supply-side constraints. That, however, cannot really be achieved by monetary policy. In fact, cutting interest-sensitive spending, such as investment, would work to constrain our capacity to produce (i.e., supply) in the future. The pandemic has taught us that the United States must become less reliant on foreign production, and we need massive investments in alternative energy projects to free us from the grip of OPEC-Plus, which includes Russian oil production. We need more domestic investment, not less.

    Can anyone explain to me how “working to alleviate supply-side constraints” is accomplished in an “economy” that has been massively deindustrializing for 30 years, in a nation whose brain dead chief executive continues to militarily threaten the only country that could possibly help us do it? You can’t put a third shift on in a nonexistent factory.

    And the “massive investments” recommended are for “alternative energy projects” because “we” need more windmills and solar panels to power those same nonexistent factories?

    That’s the solution to the 8+% inflation that’s right here right now? Does anyone feel the need to be serious anymore?

    1. DanB

      Excellent questions. Here’s a hoary term: Peak Oil; it has major consequences for MMT. And MMT is, to, me, not a theory but, as most of its advocates suggest, a description. Here’s another term to couple with MMT: Degrowth. Degrwoth is now unfolding in Europe. My guess is that the Russians and Chinese will “win” a pyrrhic victory over the West vis a vis Ukraine, sanctions, and “The Great Game” to control the Heartland. I say pyrrhic because of degrwoth and because there are wildcard options -all creating destruction, chaos, and death- that the Western nations might turn to in denial of their declining power and hegemony.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Degrowth has arrived. We’ll have to get used to using a lot less energy. A long-time Peak Oiler, Nate Hagens, and Kris De Decker, a Lo-Tech-er who walks the walk, have an interesting and realistic discussion about degrowth, transition and the role of technology.

    2. Objective Ace

      Can anyone explain to me how “working to alleviate supply-side constraints” is accomplished in an “economy” that has been massively deindustrializing for 30 years

      You cant do it instantly. The answer is already contained in the question–reindustrialize. Monetary policy could actually be used to help if the Fed wanted to. They already target housing with cheaper subsidized rates. They should be targeting other sectors that actually produce things

    3. Ignacio

      Ending sanctions looks like best option to alleviate supply-side constraints. Instead, we have monetary tightening.

      1. ambrit

        Your comment suddenly had me imagining “Creepy” Joe as a drugs sniffing dog.
        Someone should send “Creepy” Joe a dog collar with a Return to Owner tag. The fun will be in figuring out who the ‘owner’ really is.

        1. semper loquitur

          Rather than sniffing out drugs, a task better suited to Hunter, “Snuffy” Joe could be used to sniff out missing and exploited young girls from traffickers and the like. One caveat: don’t let him off the leash. He’ll get into the “product”.

          1. ambrit

            Good point. That’s how you reward a drugs sniffing dog, you give it some of what it’s searching for. I can see Joe being all over that like a Politico on an Appropriations Bill.

    1. semper loquitur

      I salute that young lady’s sense of civic duty. Those photos are a boon to public health. I can imagine thousands upon thousands of men are performing inadvertent self-examinations as we speak…

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Russian sanctions slow to bite as US officials admit frustrations over pace of pain in Moscow”

    CNN must have better information than I do. I have been hearing from The Duran recently that inflation, prices and inflation are all decreasing in Russia right now and even Russia’s Central Bank can hardly believe what is happening. At least this article is honest when it says that US officials are saying ‘We were expecting that things like SWIFT and all the blocking sanctions on Russia’s banks would totally crater the Russian economy.’ Mind you, they are still hoping that ‘Russia’s economy will suffer enormously — both from the cost of the war itself and from western efforts to cut it off from global trade’ but I am beginning to think that long term that it will be the west that will end up being cut from global trade. Still, if we can hold on for another two years they say, surely things in Russia will finally crash. Just two more years – honest.

    1. digi_owl

      Given that neither China nor India is playing along, that hope is a vain one.

      If USA still was the industrial powerhouse it was after WWII, maybe this would have worked. But USA has long since seceded that position, though DC pretends otherwise.

      Never mind that Russia, unlike say Venezuela, has a well established industrial base of its own. This even after massive looting following the collapse of the USSR.

    2. Ignacio

      This is the great bet that seemingly went wrong. The game was planned years ago and it might have possibly worked when it was planned but the stakes could have turned upside down in a short period making the collective West more vulnerable than anticipated and Russia more resilient than anticipated. The thing that strikes me the most is that the planners seemed to believe that the sanctions would be fulminating to Russia and have an immediate effect when, to my knowledge, sanctions work by attrition and long term effects. Is anybody there re-evaluating the policy? Anyone there doing checks and controls as if Good Policy Practices were applied? May be nobody is noticing and the endgame will be a more resilient and reinforced Russia + China + India + etc and a very much debilitated West. Every move we make may result on this. For instance, the G7 oil cap structure might end in a weakened Western maritime insurance and banking system in favour of new players rising to the occasion.

      1. Simple John

        When the rest of the world outside five eyes, EU, and Japan have to live resilient lives, we are smoking crack if we think we will be able to get them to do our bidding without using our nukes. Western sanction fantasies seldom change policies.
        Joe, being of an advanced age, is trying to get that nuclear confrontation before he passes on. Ukraine, China, Iran – bring it on. Mr. Putin, you use a tactical nuke and I won’t be able to control myself. Same for you Mr. Zero Covid. You’re cheating.
        Or maybe Joe would settle for that MAGA vs. F-15 confrontation to fill his heart.
        Dangerous Dude, this Mr. “Nothing will change.”. I guess he was whispering: “except the radiation level”.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Macarthur wanted to bomb North Korea back in the day but wiser heads prevailed.
          There aren’t any wiser heads left in the US.

  17. Carolinian

    Re The New Yorker and Ken Burns

    “The U.S. and the Holocaust” takes a keen interest in the American political landscape of today, and it rightly sees chilling parallels between the rise of fascism and the Trump Administration’s assault on American democracy.

    That pretty much sums it up I’d say. Perhaps it’s only just that PBS should go full bore Dem since the Repubs from Reagan on have done so much to undermine it. But undermined it is and other than some nature and arts shows, which are still very good, I barely watch anymore. As the New Yorker article says there are now scads of TV shows, movies and literature about the Holocaust so the choice of this subject for their Fall promo must be seen as laying down a marker rather than telling us anything new. Are they in fact trivializing their subject by politicizing it?

    1. Basil Pesto

      You’re probably right in one sense and if it is used for on-the-nose politicking of the presebt-day that would be a shame. But the angle is sufficiently uncommon and interesting, I think, to differentiate it from the scads of earlier material you reference. How many Americans are aware of the Évian Conference, for example?

      1. Carolinian

        On one of Burns’ sources.

        There are deniers of course and people with an axe to grind and yes even Charlottesville with its attention grabbing shock imagery. But perhaps the real “untold story” is the way the Holocaust has been used to justify subsequent things that dishonor that memory. To many the Holocaust, like 9/11, is more shocking, because it happened to middle class people like us. But perhaps what the DC mall really needs is a Horrors of War museum. The exhibits could include dead faces from Vietnam and Iraq and now Ukraine. “Never forget” has selective amnesia.

    2. Questa Nota

      Projectionists at PBS maintain that projection can be very effective when done correctly.
      Sign up for their new autopay contribution, now available digitally.

    3. playon

      I am sure that many well-off Jewish folks are major contributors to NPR, so it sort of makes sense that they would be playing to their donors (and before I get accused of anti-semitism, my father’s family is Jewish). Of course they are boosting the anti-Trump angle, but I don’t see Democrats taking much action against the “assaults on democracy”, which are definitely real.

    4. Mildred Montana

      >”…the choice of this subject for their Fall promo must be seen as laying down a marker rather than telling us anything new. Are they in fact trivializing their subject by politicizing it?”

      Yes and no. I’ve noticed a distinct uptick in Holocaust/Nazi Germany programming on several channels recently so with all the current talk in America about Trumpism, fascism, white supremacy, replacement theory, militias, etc. PBS is definitely “laying down a marker”.

      As far as “anything new”, I am of the mind that any education is better than none. I am older and I’ve read many books so the show wasn’t new to me. But, given the dubious state of schooling today, what about the young ‘uns? If they watch, which I admit is not too likely, they will learn some history.

      “Trivializing by politicizing”. My opinion is that major historical events are almost always intertwined with politics. There’s no separating the two. Therefore, (political) history can’t be trivialized by invoking the politics of today. It still lives, and as Faulkner famously said, “The past isn’t dead; it’s not even past.”

  18. Tom Stone

    A serious recession and massive unemployment would be a good thing.
    Good assets available for great prices and justification for that Domestic Terrorism Bill that good old Uncle Joe has been pushing for decades.
    Oh, and lots more workers for the Prison Industrial Complex.
    What could go wrong?

    1. ambrit

      Oh dear. There is already big money being made in “Cancer Treatment (TM).”
      When Phyl was trying ‘targeted biological treatment’ for her Melanoma, the mini-clinic was being paid over 14,000 USD per infusion. One infusion every two weeks. The ‘clinic’ was planning to do this for a year if need be.
      As it turned out, this “treatment” was as bad for the patient as the disease. Phyl’s immune system began to collapse. She decided to stop the infusions. She recovered somewhat and shortly after decided on an amputation of the affected appendage. She is now at the threshold time that physicians use to determine “success” or “failure” of the procedure.
      The entire amputation procedure and recovery cost about as much as one infusion.
      Losing a leg is bad enough. The alternative as Phyl saw it was the loss of the will to live. The infusions knocked her down that badly. Even today, we treat Phyl as if she were immunocompromised.
      Stay safe and think for yourself.

      1. GramSci

        Yikes! Brother-in-law is doing infusions for multiple myeloma and daughter-in-law for (presumably non-cancerous) iron deficiency. Juana and I pray it’s only the insurance companies that will pay for these.

        Best wishes to Phyl for her “success”….

        1. ambrit

          Infusions for iron deficiency? Something does not compute. I thought that oral supplements were the preferred manner of dealing with iron deficiencies. (Please enlighten.)
          Best of luck to both. They know how much of a life changing regime this is.

        1. ambrit

          Thanks to you both. Some days it’s an adventure, some days it’s an ordeal. As Phyl once put it, “How is this different from any other challenge in life?”
          Be safe, set your own boundaries.

    2. GramSci

      Wow, Karen Garcia really got under Bill Gates’ skin with that post (or maybe her earlier ones.) Neither “Karen Garcia” nor “Sardonicky” appear on Bing! or, therefore, on DuckDuckGo. Brave and Google still feature her prominently.

  19. zagonostra

    >Billions for Ukraine to fight Russia

    If the West stole over 300 billion USD equivalent in Russian reserves, not to mention Germany stealing Russian energy subsidiaries, then there is ~145 billion left of Russia’s own money to fuel Ukraine to continue to wage war and pay salaries.

    I can’t imagine other countries ever allowing their reserves to be taken and used against them in the future. Or, like Venezuela, allow gold reserves to be able to be confiscated.

  20. semper loquitur

    re: Ken Burns when I see

    This is a rant: I cannot stand Ken Burns’ work. To be honest, I’ve never watched a minute of it. But I’ve read so much about it and it all sticks in my throat. Anyone who has earned the title “America’s Film Maker” has to full of $hit. I imagine his films to be these mélanges of sappy moralizing and American exceptionalism. Imperfect, but we try!

    Using popular actors like that ding-bat Streyp for narration is the aesthetic equivalent of making an “apple pie” from Ritz crackers. (This is a real thing.) I read that Burns has latched onto the notion of “Racism!” under every bush but I wonder if he examines why and how racism arises and how it’s used to support the powerful or if he simply leaves it hanging as a moral stain on the American soul, to be expunged by discussing his film over cabernet-fueled dinners. And, of course, Trump and January 6th are invoked, assuring the audience that Burns is on the right side of things. The author of this piece writes that there is an ever present danger of losing historical truth, which is doubtlessly true, but historical edutainment glosses like Burns’ aren’t the answer.

    1. Angie Neer

      “I’ve never watched a minute…I imagine his films to be…”
      Very impressive that you can still comment about these films. Any other things you’ve imagined that you think we need to know?

      1. semper loquitur

        You’re too kind. It’s hard work to impress some when the outlines of what may be impactful are so unclear. But not to worry! I’ve plenty to share, on dreck like Burns’ work and more, as I have the imagination of a demiurge.

    2. Carolinian

      I’ll defend Burns to the extent that he has great skills as a documentarian and that makes most of his series watchable. What he doesn’t have are ideas, and these are often supplied by his collaborators. So one can enjoy all that great archive material he digs up while casting a skeptical eye toward whatever slant he chooses to frame it with. For example the first half of his Vietnam series seemed defensible, the second week apologetic for the U.S. and therefore indefensible.

      That said per my comment above I think PBS in general has gone downhill. Thank goodness for New York’s WNET which supplies much of what is still good.

      1. semper loquitur

        Thanks for this and we are agreed on Public Business Symbiosis. It occurs to me that Burns shares space with the MDCU genre of super hero movies. Hero-worship mingled with self-reproach, craptacular writing, and flashy visuals over substance.

    3. Sutter Cane

      You aren’t alone. Unfortunately, I have seen enough myself to be able to confirm that your instincts to avoid his work were correct. Burns has managed to make subjects as diverse as the civil war and Jack Johnson boring as hell!

      His civil war doc was chock full of embarrassing lost cause apologia. And he uses the same tired house style regardless of topic. Is there any reason a documentary about jazz should have the exact same format and tone as one about… national parks?

      Watching his films is like having someone read a book to you at a slower pace than you could read it yourself.

      1. semper loquitur

        “Watching his films is like having someone read a book to you at a slower pace than you could read it yourself.”

        Well said, I suspect much of his audience turns to his work for that very reason. And what little I have seen, mostly in promo pieces, all has that stultifying form and tone to it. I guess much of his audience tends to find it reassuring. Burns is the Ray Kroc of documentarians!

    4. nycTerrierist

      Watching the doc with low expectations, for reasons like yours —
      it struck me what a powerful case it was making against race reductionism
      — would have been genius for one of the talking heads to point this out – but they
      were too ‘right-thinking’ to pick that up

      If anything the doc is a chilling warning against current identity-politics

      on a separate note, will be impressed if Burns sees fit to mention Operation Paperclip

      1. semper loquitur

        I’m willing to bet a box of doughnuts that to mention “race reductionism” would elicit screams of “Racism!” from all corners of Twitter and so on. Such an event might lead the mighty DiAngelo to try her hand at making a documentary, heaven forfend. I can imagine that blighted landscape of dubious abstractions incestuously flowering from dubious abstractions, twisted neologisms piled atop a squalling heap of writhing, tortured logic that condemns logic itself as a product of the white patriarchy, all framed with imagery cruelly plucked from it’s context and stitched into a rambling narrative, like the senior project of Dr. Frankenstein had he majored in film production…

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      How do you know you cannot stand Ken Burns’s work if you have never watched a minute of it?

    1. hunkerdown

      Notice the heavy “Snitching is good, actually” subtext in all the missing-person flyers that are now moot.

      1. ambrit

        And have amazing street cred as a genuine, all American Freedom Fighter. (Ambiguity is the bane of communication.)
        She might also get a spot on the next Russian Olympic team.

  21. playon

    “Refreezing poles feasible and cheap, new study finds”

    Could there be some unexpected side effects from releasing these particles over the poles? What is to keep them from drifting to other parts of the globe?

    1. MaryLand

      There was a sci-fi story that fits this scenario. The one particle started a chain reaction of ice crystals that spread to the rest of the planet, freezing all lifeforms. Can’t remember the name of the tale.

    2. MT_Wild

      Lol. When I saw what you had in quotes I expected your comment to be about about the coming energy and heating crisis in Europe.

      Freezing Poles indeed!

    3. nippersdad

      Circumpolar jet streams, in theory, would keep them corralled. The two thoughts I had were that the polar vortex storms (filled with additional particulate matter) caused by the weakening of those jet streams would have truly cataclysmic amounts of precipitation when they occurred, and we would need whole new fossil fuel infrastructures just to keep all of those planes in the air.

      As the author pointed out, this plan would not eliminate the need for reducing fossil fuel use, but what he left unsaid is that the amounts of jet fuel necessary to keep the planes aloft would represent a direct contradiction to his point, and the fuel necessary to shuttle the plane fleets from pole to pole would provide immense amounts of particulate matter in areas not targeted by the project. Ultimately, this sounds like a hydra project conjured up by the remaining Koch brother, Boeing and Johnson and Johnson.

      Shorter: AGW is not a problem that cannot, at least partially, be solved by yet more drilling. planes and talcum powder./s

    4. Mildred Montana

      A maxim to live by: If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it.

      This applies to car and furnace repair, re-roofing, home renos, and above all, geo-engineering.

  22. Michael Ismoe

    When are they going to plant Liz? She wouldn’t get this much press if she came back from the dead (although it would be fun to see Charles’ face if she did).

    1. Mildred Montana

      One more hurdle to clear—Charles’ coronation. Unfortunately the hoopla for that will probably be worse.

      But then…finally…back to the usual Royal scandals, imbroglios, and 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘴.

      1. Pat

        I am fonder than many here of the monarchy, but I don’t think Charles coronation will be the media event this was. The queen had been in that position for most peoples entire lives. And people older than that have memories of the Princesses being part of the British war effort. There is a nostalgia attached to Elizabeth that Charles cannot begin to match. People who aren’t interested in all the massive formal proceedings watched bits. The sheer number of foreign heads of states and representatives attending demands some coverage. That is not going to happen for the coronation. Especially since Charles will have been King for months before it happens.

        There will be some coverage of the coronation itself, largely on the BBC and news channels, but I don’t expect most American networks will lead the news with it multiple days and devote their morning shows to cover it.

      2. semper loquitur

        Speaking of hoopla, Youtube has a series about mourning “Her Majesty, the Queen” which consists of still images of the corpse lying in state. The tone of the accompanying text is deferential and assumes the reader feels the same way. Amazing, the fetishizing of power that comes from our media outlets. Or not.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Seeing all the flags at half mast the last week, I really wondered who in the US died. Got my hopes up thinking it was one of our geriatric, sclerotic Beltway types only to find out it was just for the queen.

      Our national education really has tanked – seems almost everybody has forgotten about that Revolutionary War back in the day.

    1. ACF

      Drought monitor is part of my regular climate doom scrolling, so I’ve been staring at the map each week, and not until your comment did I notice the giraffe. Now of course I can’t unsee it. Not that I really want to, seeing a giraffe made me smile, which I almost never do looking at the monitor…

  23. Wukchumni

    Book banning is really in, so i’m declaring Danielle Steel, Hal Lindsey & Barbara Cartland officially verboten as far as i’m concerned.

    1. Mildred Montana

      My gawd, you’ve opened a can of worms. The mind reels with the almost limitless possibilities. Dan Brown? James Patterson? Tom Clancy? John Grisham?

      All of the above have mastered the art of bad writing and should be banned, lest they addict the youngsters to it.

  24. Pat

    I m going to relate a couple of media observations. The first couple have to do with BBC World News, the last with NPR.

    Partially because I love pomp, partially because I do admire Elizabeth II for certain things, and because the logistics fascinate me, I have watched a fair amount of BBC World News the last few days. The pushing of Ukraine was even part of the masses of coverage during the days of funeral proceedings. Not only was Mrs Zelensky’s personal audience with the Princess of Wales covered there were multiple mentions of her attending because of her husband couldn’t and Putin was not invited. At one point when they weren’t on the funeral there was an interview with an Ukrainian representative, I missed the beginning so short on details but I was gobsmacked at the gentleman’s response to a question about Canada’s support. It started with grateful for all support but rapidly descended to whining that Canada wasn’t doing their part, there wasn’t enough weapons, they were old, implications of not enough money, and so on. The entitled twit was like listening to a spoiled child complaining that all his toys were broken and his servants weren’t giving him the new ones they had that he wanted. And not only did the interviewer ask that she helped him expound on the subject. It was a total set up.

    The nicer shock was an NPR article on Biden’s Covid is over claim. They may not have destroyed it like they should, but they did list multiple reasons this was not credible. Covid is done was apparently too far for them to go.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Serious question: if DeSantis/whomever becomes President/ vp . . . . or Trump/DeSantis becomes President/vp . . . . will they officially declare Biden was wrong and that the pandemic continues? Will they take covid-containment and suppression measures to bring the infection rate and the death rate down? Even if they won’t take such measures at the National Federal level, will they support those States which wish to take such measures at the State level?

      If anyone here thinks they will, they might start saying so right now so that we can work for a DeSantis/whomever victory or a Trump/DeSantis victory so as to escape the dystopia of a Biden re-election in 2024.

      1. Pat

        I can only speak for myself in that I see no reason to support Trump, DeSantis or Biden for any reason. Recognizing that Biden’s Covid response is so bad it makes Trump’s look better doesn’t mean it was good.

        I am pretty sure that much of the NC community would embrace and support a candidate who wants a real public health system, if one emerges. Not that they will have a chance in either of the two major parties currently as both have clearly rejected that concept.

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